As the coronavirus (COVID-19) has spread across most of the country, including making its first appearance in Oklahoma, President Trump and other Republicans have rushed to defend – corporate profits.         

          Our pathologically lying president has been front and center in spreading confusion about the disease while reinforcing GOP money-first policies.

          The World Health Organization has scientifically determined that 3.4 percent of people who have contracted the virus have died. The death rate for our seasonal flu is one-tenth of one  percent. But, our president, who “has had briefings from the nation’s best doctors and scientists on COVID-19,” according to climate scientist Peter Gleick, as reported by Common Dreams, “has a hunch” that factual figure is a “false number.”

          Operating under this lie, the president suggested that, since some people are only mildly affected by COVID-19, those people might as well be at work.

          The website for the Center for Disease Control, whose budget was cut by the president prior to the outbreak, had different advice for anyone infected:

          “”You should restrict activities outside your home, except for getting medical care. Do not go to work, school, or public areas. Avoid using public transportation, ride-sharing, or taxis.”

          For anyone – including the president and his economic adviser Larry Kudlow, another “work sick” advocate –  who hasn’t heard of Typhoid Mary, the truth is that infected people with little or no symptoms can infect other people, such as those who might develop more severe cases and die.

          But, economics trumps individual safety in Republican economics.

          Our president told Pennsylvanians that the fear of traveling to foreign countries means, “people are now staying in the United States, spending their money in the U.S.—and I like that.”

          Common Dreams reported: “Rep. Don Beyer (D-Va.) urged the U.S. public to ‘never forget the moment when, amid growing fear and suffering across the nation and the deaths of Americans, President Donald J. Trump went on national television and praised the coronavirus.’”

          When the virus first disrupted the Chinese economy and then the world stock markets, the president demanded – and the Federal Reserve complied with – a cut in the interest rates, to protect rich folks’ money.

          Then we have the Daily Kos headline: “Republicans holding up emergency coronavirus spending to protect drug company price gouging.” (The Democrat-originated emergency spending bill was eventually passed.)

          The Hill picked up a Washington Post report that “Trump administration officials were considering deferring taxes for sectors most affected by the outbreak, including the hospitality, cruise, travel and airline industries.”

          Social welfare for the business sector, downplay health risks to real, breathing people.

          In fact, as PolitcusUSA reported last week, “During an exchange with Martha MacCallum, Trump promised that he would cut vital programs like Medicare and Social Security….

          “’If you don’t cut something in entitlements, you’ll never really deal with the debt,’” the Fox News host said, referring to programs like Social Security and Medicare.

          “Trump responded with a promise: ‘We’ll be cutting.’”

          Got to pay for the tax cut scam for the rich.

          Stable genius that he is, Trump also thought it would be a good idea to keep quarantined cruise ship passengers at sea to keep the number of infected people on American soil lower.

          During a visit to the CDC, which he tried to turn into a campaign event, the president bragged about his natural gift for medical issues. Oops, such expertise was a bit tainted when at the same meeting (The Independent reported), the president of the United States remarked, “Does anybody die from the flu? I didn’t know people died from the flu.”

          The president’s grandfather, Fredrich Trump, died of the flu during the worldwide pandemic of 1918.

          When it comes to health issues, Trump and the GOP have as much credibility as those now shunning Corona beer because of its name. Smart bunch. And, what is their alternative to the Affordable Care Act? They have never ever proposed one.

          Republicans cut public health funding in order to fill rich people’s coffers with more, ever more money and now promote ignorance and lies to cover their perfidy.

          The Trump response to coronavirus has been to protect rich people’s money. That is all that concerns him and his GOP cronies.

          And with Trump’s pals Putin and Saudi Arabia blowing up the oil market and, I guess we can expect similar handouts to big oil.

          Stephens County Democrats meet Thursday at  7 p.m. in Room 112 of the Morris Building at Red River Vo-Tech on West Bois D’Arc.

          (Gary Edmondson is chair of the Stephens County Democratic Party: or

GOP prioritizes profits over people

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