The 2016 election of Donald Trump revealed the depth of American racism. The coronavirus outbreak of 2020 has exposed our raw greed.
Trump and the Republicans have consistently called for American deaths in order to keep the economy profitable to people whose blood will never grease the wheels of production.
Rep. Trey Hollingsworth, (R-Ind.) told an Indianapolis radio station: “It is always the American government’s position to say, in the choice between the loss of our way of life as Americans and the loss of life of American lives, we have to always choose the latter.”
At an Arizona rally, the president called for the re-opening of businesses. “Will some people be affected badly? Yes, but we have to get our country open, and we have to get it opened soon.” Just to be clear, “affected badly” means death.
He has since proclaimed that the economy will not close if a second wave of COVID-19 starts killing people at the (undercounted) rate of about 1,000 a day. Of course, the consistency of that rate indicates that the first wave has yet to pass.
Later, justifying his haste to reopen businesses, the president declared, “all throughout the country, the numbers are coming down rapidly.” But, to bolster this false claim, the White House buried its own data that, “Coronavirus infection rates are spiking to new highs in several metropolitan areas and smaller communities across the country,” according to NBC news.
Of course, burying facts that threaten corporate profits is a hallmark of the Trump administration. That, and firing real scientists. The gutting of the Environmental Protection Agency is Exhibit A.
Can’t have thinking people around to point out the absurdity of claiming that “When you test, you have a case. When you test, you find something is wrong with people. If we didn’t do any testing, we would have very few cases.”
A recent order to abandon all business regulations reinforces the perfidy.
And if burying facts leads to burying people? NBC News also reported: “The federal government placed orders for well over 100,000 new body bags to hold victims of COVID-19 in April, according to internal administration documents obtained by NBC News, as well as public records. The biggest set was earmarked for purchase the day after President Donald Trump projected that the U.S. death toll from the coronavirus might not exceed 50,000 or 60,000 people.”
We’re in the process of doubling that figure to enrich rich Republican donors.
Included are those who are pushing up to the public trough to claim coronavirus relief funds.
Raw Story reported that, “The California-based Clay Lacy Aviation charter company received the government grant as part of the $2 trillion CARES Act, and its payout appears to be the largest grant any private company has gotten, reported CNBC…. Company founder Clay Lacy gave the maximum $2,700 to the Trump campaign in 2016, and he gave another $47,000 to the Republican National Committee after Trump won the nomination.”
If you can’t sniff around for insider trading, ala Sen. Jim Inhofe, maybe getting a foot in the door is what you need. Sen. Elizabeth Warren pointed out, “It is a huge conflict of interest for the White House’s new vaccine czar (Moncef Slaoui) to own $10 million of stock in a company receiving government funding to develop a COVID-19 vaccine.” (He has since refused to divest the stock, calling it his “retirement” plan.
Then, Common Dreams reports, “Reporting Friday from Bloomberg News showed that ‘$1.9 billion in CARES Act tax benefits are being claimed by at least 37 oil companies, service firms, and contractors.’
“’In the name of “small business,” we’re shoveling out billions of dollars to big corporations and rich guys,’ Steve Rosenthal, a senior fellow with the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center, told Bloomberg.”
CNBC has publicized a joint report from Americans for Tax Fairness and the Institute for Policy Studies’ Program for Inequality. The result is as expected as it is disgusting: “America’s billionaires saw their fortunes soar by $434 billion during the U.S. lockdown between mid-March and mid-May.”
I just wish we could be surprised to learn that Republicans value profits over people or that fat cat donors are getting money needed by desperate working Americans.
(Gary Edmondson is chair of the Stephens County Democratic Party: scdpok.us or facebook.com/SCDPOK/.)