Sunday, October 4, 2020

I Have a Question for Trump Supporters

...Several questions, actually.

As we all know, President Trump and First Lady Melania tested positive for Covid-19 late last week. "Out of an abundance of caution," he was taken to Walter Reed Military Hospital for treatment of his "mild symptoms."

Let's back up to March, when news of a virus that originated in China and was rapidly spreading around the world was all over main stream media. Americans were urged by the CDC and by NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci to exercise "an abundance of caution" to protect themselves, i.e. frequent handwashing, keeping a distance of 6 feet from others, and avoiding public places as much as possible.

 But what was the Republican/conservative attitude back then?  Here it is, summed up in one video: 

For those who don't have time to watch the whole clip, let me provide a brief breakdown:

Rush Limbaugh, February 28: (0:18) "Corona virus is the common cold, folks."

Jeannine Pirro, March 7: (0:52) "All the talk about corona virus being so much more deadly {than the flu} doesn't reflect reality."

Matt Schlapp, March 11: (1:33) "It is very, very difficult to contract this virus."

KellyAnne Conway, March 6th: (2:30) "It is being contained. Do you not think it's being contained?"

Donald Trump, February 26th: (2:40) "This is a flu. This is like the flu. It's going to disappear one day, it's like a miracle." 

Note the dates on those quotes. Yes, the case numbers were still small at that point, and yes, Trump had already placed restrictions on traveling from China to the US, a decision I do commend him for (did you read that? I will give credit where credit is due). 

Trump had no problem commending *himself* for this decision, either. On January 22nd, he said, "We have it totally under control. It's one person coming in from China, it's going to be just fine." 

On February 2nd, he reiterated, "We pretty much shut it down coming in from China."



So positive was Trump in the success of his efforts that on February 24th, he tweeted this:


February 26th, the same day the first known community-spread case was identified in California, Trump told the media, "When you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is gonna be down to close to zero, that's a pretty good job we've done."

And yet. And yet.

This was said AFTER the Atlanta Journal Constitution ran this article on February 12th headlined "200 Georgia Residents Are Being Monitored for Corona Virus."

For the record, I live in Georgia. The state which, on August 19th, 2020 was reported as "lead{ing} the nation in the rate of new virus cases with 216 cases per 100,000 people." 

More on that later. Back to the first article, which states, "Nearly 200 Georgia residents are quarantined in their homes after returning from recent trips to China, where a deadly new coronavirus has sickened more than 40,000 people."

Notice it does NOT read, "200 people are being detained in China for a mandatory 2-week quarantine." 

Nope. It says, "Georgia authorities were avoiding using the word quarantine, saying instead that people are being isolated in their homes for 14 days, the illness’ incubation period." And further on: "Georgia health officials have been calling each traveler to discuss the required, 14-day period of staying home and stressed the importance of notifying authorities of any potential symptoms of the virus."

Where was Trump when it was decided that TWO HUNDRED potentially exposed people should be allowed to repatriate in the same state, with nothing but a warning to complete an unenforced self-quarantine? How could he brag that cases would soon be down to zero with a) no proof whatsoever and b) no imposition of stricter quarantine on potentially exposed travelers? 

How is that "shut down," Mr. President? How is that "contained," Kellyanne Conway, who is also now infected

Less than 3 weeks after the AJC article ran, the first two cases of corona virus were confirmed in Georgia on March 2nd. In the county where I live. 

On March 5th, Trump tweeted this:


By this time, we were starting to learn more about the havoc the virus was wreaking in other countries. Horror stories were circulating on social media, like this piece titled "A Cry From Italy" that detailed the nightmarish scenario of overwhelmed ICUs and doctors having to choose who lived and who died.

"There are 2 reasons why Coronavirus has brought Italy to it’s knees. First it is a flu is devastating when people get really sick they need weeks of ICU – and, second, because of how fast and effectively it spreads. There is 2 week incubation period and many who have it never show symptoms."

This post circulated on March 11th the very same day that conservative activist Matt Schlapp claimed the virus was "very, very difficult to contract." It was also the same day that Dr. Anthony Fauci stated the virus was "ten times more lethal than the seasonal flu."

Stories were also emerging of how difficult it was to get tested for corona virus in the US. Only those meeting certain criteria (recent travel, high-risk health conditions, severe symptoms) were being tested, and many times, not even then.  

But here's what our president had to say about testing on March 6th:


I could continue with a detailed timeline, but that information can be found here and here. I think we all remember what happened at this point, even if not everyone remembers it the same way: local governments made decisions in regards to closing schools, many corporate men and women were sent home to work. Non-essential businesses closed, and several states issued shelter-in-place orders to limit people from traveling outside their communities.

photo credit: voanews.com

And still, by April, New York had become an epicenter of the pandemic, with more than 15,000 people testing positive. 

Author and former literary agent Nathan Bransford recounted his experience as a New York resident and Covid patient here, stating, "My building overlooks Brooklyn Hospital Center, and every afternoon I'd see them rolling body bags into the mobile refrigerated morgues outside. One day I just stopped counting after seeing 11..." 

Read that again. Body counts were so high they were being stored in MOBILE REFRIGERATED MORGUES. 

photo credit: gothamist.com


On May 8th, David Muir from Nightline News asked Trump about the lack of supplies.

Trump's response? "The last administration left us nothing." (This is a lie. Obama left behind an entire pandemic playbook.) Trump claims, "We didn't have ventilators, we didn't have medical equipment, we didn't have testing." (How WOULD you have testing for a virus that didn't exist yet?)

When Muir pointed out that we were now 3 years into Trump's presidency and asked what he'd done to restock the cupboards, Trump fumbled through a list of excuses, including having "a lot of things going on," and "a lot of people who refused to let the country be successful" because they were too busy distracting him with "hoaxes" like Russia and Ukraine and impeachment.

As Trever Noah perfectly summed it up: "Trump spent 3 years not preparing for a pandemic because he was distracted by all the scandals he created."

At this point, unsurprisingly, Americans were asked to take greater precautions than ever, including the CDC recommending wearing masks in public. 

By now Trump had at least acknowledged that the virus was more serious than originally thought, but here's what he had to say about wearing masks (click the quote for video footage):


Once again leaving it up to local governments and businesses to be the bad guy, many of Trump's supporters were none too happy when certain places began requiring masks. I'm sure you remember how that went:



(I am not the photographer of these pictures)

Trump may have had a distaste for masks, but one thing he spoke very highly of is the drug hydroxychloroquine. He's seen in this video saying that the drug was given to people in "extraordinarily bad condition, people who were dying," and out of 300 patients, not one was lost. Trump goes on to say that he is preventatively taking the drug himself, and in July he retweeted a much-shared-among-conservatives video of  Dr. Stella Immanuel, in which she claims that hydroxychloroquine is Covid's "cure."

Click here for video footage of Immanuel saying, "This virus has a cure. It's called hydroxychloroquine, zinc, and Zithromax." She goes on to say, "Hello, you don't need masks. There is prevention, and there is a cure."




The video was later taken down, citing dangerous misinformation, but not before it was shared by both Trump and Trump Jr. to their collective millions of Twitter followers, an incredibly irresponsible move. 

There is a big difference between touting HCQ as an "effective treatment," and calling it a cure. In the same way that chemotherapy is oftentimes an "effective treatment" for cancer, it is in no way a cure. Semantics matter when lives are at stake. But conservatives claimed that removing the video was censorship, and further proof that Covid wasn't nearly as dangerous as others believed.  

In fact, raise your hand if you're Trump supporter who shared that video with a caption along the lines of, "Wake up, people!" Actually, you don't have to. I already know who many of you are. 


Let's imagine that you or someone close to you lost a loved one to cancer, the same way Amanda Kloots lost her husband Nick Cordero to Covid-related complications. Then you go online and see some quack doctor standing on the steps of the Capitol, pontificating about how no one needs to be scared of cancer, because it has prevention and a cure, and that cure is called radiation and chemotherapy. NOW do you see how dangerous and grossly negligent it was for a) Immanuel to make these claims and b) Trump to call attention to them and thereby imply his support of them?

Fast forward to today. Trump has the virus. And suddenly the same people in my social media feeds who were demanding that others "FOCUS ON THE SURVIVORS!" or "WAKE UP!" are suddenly calling for kindness and compassion.

To Trump's supporters, here is my question: How have you not realized that YOU are the ones who need to wake up?

In September it came to light that Trump knowingly downplayed the virus, as was revealed by his FEBRUARY 7th (remember he said, "This is like the flu" on February 26th??) interview with Bob Woodward: 



Yes, Bob Woodward should be considered a criminal for sitting on this information and waiting until 200,000 people had died from Covid to bring it to light. But you know what? SO. SHOULD. TRUMP. 

He willfully put lives in danger by downplaying the seriousness of this virus. 
He LIED about how contagious it is. 
He praised himself for "shutting it down" at the source even as potentially exposed and infected people poured back into the country.
He stood by instead of overriding poor decisions by local governments when they reopened too soon -- in some cases, like Georgia, before their shelter-in-place order had even finished, or when they sued the covid-positive mayor for trying to mandate masks
He refused to lead by example when it came to wearing masks.
He retweeted a call to fire Dr. Fauci after Fauci criticized the US response to the pandemic and no longer wanted Fauci's briefings when the doctor would not back Trump's claims on the benefits of hydroxychloroquine.
He circumvented the CDC and demanded hospitals send their Covid data directly to the Whitehouse. 

Now America has surpassed 200,000 deaths, a disproportionate amount of them black and brown people

For those who will undoubtedly say But the CDC admitted only 6% were Covid deaths: No, they didn't. If you don't want to read why that's false, here is a succinct explanation you can watch (click the link, the image is just a screen shot): 



So, like I was saying. 200,000 deaths, and 7.3 MILLION confirmed cases in the United States alone.

Trump is now one of those cases, despite taking the drug he never debunked as the "cure." And yet, he still got to the point of a positive test even while ingesting HCQ during the 2-week incubation period. Could that be because it's NOT. A FREAKING. CURE? And maybe he should have said as much, instead of tweeting a misleading video to all his followers, who then felt qualified to tell anyone who follows them on the internet to "wake up?"

Regardless, Trump has Covid. After thousands of Americans were turned away from hospitals or denied tests for not being sick enough, he -- a 74-year-old, overweight man who never would have been a priority in an overwhelmed hospital were he a civilian-- is getting the best care from the best doctors, in a 6-room hospital suite, paid for with tax dollars that he contributed nothing to, as a PRECAUTION for MILD symptoms.


Meanwhile, in the same week, here's what's still happening to another elderly, average American who also exhibited Covid symptoms (shared with permission from the person who posted it):

If you're reading this and you're not angered by any of it, or if you already knew all these things and you just don't care, my question for you is - WHY? 
Why are you not angry that you were misled and lied to? 
Why do you so willingly accept that rich elites should have immediate and free access to luxurious health care while others die on the floors of crowded ERs?
Why does it not bother you that these people died from the same virus that those rich elites agreed was contained, harmless, and about to disappear? 
Why do you not care that those words were said with FULL KNOWLEDGE that they were false?
Why doesn't it bother you that he threatened schools and teachers, knowing that this virus is most transmittable indoors, which meant the endangerment of children, too?
Why haven't I seen ANY of you apologize for the false information that you yourselves spread?
Why doesn't this make you wonder what else this man has lied about?

And my final question - Why would you possibly want another four years of this?
(Note: NONE of these questions were Why do you hate Joe Biden, Kamala Harris, or Hillary Clinton? So if that's what you choose to answer, you've already missed the point.)

2 comments:

  1. I just can't understand how anyone can can support him. It's like a cult, they follow him no matter what. It's insanity

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