Thursday, June 25, 2020

On The Rise

Covid-19 cases are on the increase, most notably in places where the governors relaxed the restrictions.

Now those governors are basically saying “Oh, crap.”

While Vice President Pence urged senators to focus on “encouraging signs,” these governors and CEOs were instead responding to mounting indications of a deadly surge across the South and West. Nevada and North Carolina both ordered residents to wear masks in public, and Virginia moved to implement new workplace safety rules that would force companies to protect workers from infection. Disneyland delayed plans to reopen, and the governors of New York, New Jersey and Connecticut announced a mandatory 14-day quarantine for visitors from certain hard-hit states.

The 38,115 new infections reported by state health departments Wednesday underscored the changing geography of the U.S. outbreak. The bulk of the cases were posted in Texas, Florida and California, while Oklahoma also set a new statewide record in infections. Since the start of the pandemic, the United States has recorded more than 2.3 million coronavirus cases and at least 119,000 deaths, while the global number of cases has soared past 9 million.

But what is Trump doing? He’s going full-tilt racist.

Trump’s first use of the phrase “kung flu” — during a campaign rally in Tulsa last weekend — drew broad political backlash as a racist slur against Asian Americans.

Within three days, however, it was also something else: a rallying cry for his supporters.

Trump’s appearance before a crowd of several thousand enthusiastic young people at the Dream City Church in Phoenix on Tuesday showed how his casual use of a demeaning phrase — one that even some White House aides rejected three months ago — has swiftly morphed into a staple of his reelection message amid tumbling poll numbers.

The president hadn’t even used the words in Phoenix before audience members, presumably primed from having heard his riff on the “many names” of the coronavirus at the Tulsa rally, beat him to the punchline and began shouting out “kung flu” — prompting Trump, with a grin, to repeat it.

“Kung flu — yeah,” Trump said, eliciting cheers. “Kung flu.”

Don’t tell Trump, but if he had grabbed hold of the pandemic at the very start, taken it seriously, enforced the social distancing and mask-wearing, and gotten behind printing tons of money to support the economy, not only would be be seeing the pandemic on the level of New Zealand or Vietnam, he would be coasting to re-election. But his lizard-brain instincts led him to appeal to his racist, xenophobic, glorying-in-ignorance base.  I honestly don’t know how anyone can claim that making people wear a mask is a political statement.  That’s like saying “I can drive drunk and you liberals can’t stop me.”

But Trump and his minions — the stupid ones especially — went around the country saying that it was more important to get the economy going again.  But that’s kind of hard to do when the people on both ends of the economy — the suppliers and the consumers — are getting sick and dying.The tragic irony is that all the people he’s appealing to with this tactic are the ones who are going to be the most vulnerable.  Kinda hard to vote for Trump from an ICU.

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