Trump LIES on COVID … Needless DEATHS Follow … A FASCIST Advance – Part II




Imagine if someone knew that some arsonists were planning to burn down a crowded apartment building that he owned and managed—an apartment building that was not only crowded with people inside, but did not have adequate sprinklers and fire extinguishers.

Further imagine that this person decided to not only keep that information to himself, but to consciously give the tenants false information to cause them to stay in that building and take no precautions against fire, in the name of not “causing panic.”

Then imagine that in fact a great many residents of that house needlessly died.

In any just society, such a person would be and should be condemned and prosecuted for a crime against humanity.

Yet that is exactly what Donald Trump admitted that he did with his knowledge that COVID-19 was extremely virulent and certain to cause death and suffering on a huge scale. He not only did that, he allowed the entire society to walk into this crisis with absolutely inadequate preparation—most of which was his responsibility. More than that: Trump suppressed and attacked scientific knowledge and actively spouted and spread ignorance instead, from the authoritative podium of the White House.

This is more than—far worse than—incompetence. This is vicious, conscious criminal negligence.

Think about it. You hear the statistic of nearly 200,000 people dead. But think about the people behind the statistics. Think about the stories of the health care workers and professionals, heroically working double shifts, who died from inadequate protective gear... the transit workers and meatpackers and grocery clerks who died from contact with people when they had no foreknowledge and no protection and when their choice was to risk their lives or starve... think about the older people, left to die in nursing homes, alone and afraid and suffering. How many of those were needless?

This came out in the new book Rage, by Bob Woodward. The accompanying article digs into the facts that have come to light and analyzes what was driving this. One thing is very clear: This monstrous crime is yet another reason why this fascist regime must go.



Editors’ Note: In Part I, we covered the actual content of Trump’s lies in relation to COVID-19. Here we go further on his rationale and their impact.

Trump’s Rationale—Crime Upon Crime

Trump told Woodward in March, “I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down because I don’t want to create a panic.” This week he doubled down, saying, “I’m a cheerleader for this country. I love our country and I don’t want people to be frightened. I don’t want to create panic.”

Trump doesn’t want “people to panic”? His whole political “brand” is built on spreading fear! But it has to be specific fears—fear of Black people “invading” the suburbs, of Mexican and other immigrants “raping and killing,” of Muslim “terrorists,” of righteous protesters against white supremacy and institutionalized racism “looting and rioting.” That fear fuels a fascist movement that is forging and transforming millions of ignorant and backward people into unthinking foot soldiers—“warriors,” as Trump sometimes says—for “Making America Great” by restructuring it on an openly white male Christian supremacist basis.

Inciting fear is Trump’s fascist drug-of-choice.

Trump and his regime seem to have assessed early on that the major social and economic disruptions needed to combat the pandemic—like the lockdowns in China and Italy—would get in the way of their overall fascist program, particularly by causing major economic problems. It would ideologically undercut the aura of being “a winner.”1

Trump’s approach to truth is deeply Machiavellian: truth is what is politically “useful.”

In mid-March, the regime was finally forced by both public pressure and the pandemic itself to back “rolling shutdowns” across the U.S. and speak solemnly about being a “wartime president” fighting “the China virus.” But once cases began to go down—but with the virus still rampant—they started demanding the economy “open up.” When some Democratic- (and a few Republican-) led states didn’t comply, Trump infamously tweeted “LIBERATE MICHIGAN,” unleashing fascist mobs spearheaded by armed militias to bring those states to heel.

Trump’s whipping up of anti-science lunacy among his tens of millions of followers has been particularly destructive. In a country with roughly 40,000 new infections daily, a huge swathe of the population has been “inoculated” against science, and takes it as a point of pride to flaunt minimal health practices, instead holding “super-spreader” events2, and not only refusing to wear masks themselves, but sometimes attacking store employees who ask them to!

Trump also turned mask-wearing into a culture-war issue. Trump refused to wear a mask in public, even as health experts were screaming that widespread use of masks was the most effective way to contain the virus. Trump went to a factory making medical swabs and wouldn’t wear one. Pence visited patients at the Mayo Clinic and was the only person there violating their rule that masks be worn. Trump insisted reporters at his press briefings take theirs off.

Partly this was about maintaining an aura of “normalcy” that went along with “reopening America”—masks are a constant reminder that we are in the midst of a deadly pandemic. But Trump specifically mocked mask wearers—including Biden—as “weak.” Trump’s hostility to masks is part-and-parcel of the fascist (and macho) conception of “The Leader” (“Der Fuehrer”) as strongman, fearless, invulnerable.3

All this has constituted a deeply anti-scientific advance of whipping up and mobilizing his fascist base. In places like the Midwest and Northwest, it was also part of mobilizing armed white supremacist thugs, not only against Democratic politicians and officials, but later deployed against protests across the country that began in the wake of the police murder of George Floyd, the Beautiful Rising.

Followers of Trump—from high officials like Texas Lt. Governor Patrick, a Christian fascist and fanatical Trump supporter to his minions—have articulated social-Darwinist theories of culling the herd, letting the weak die. Patrick suggested that if many older people had to die to get the economy going, thus “saving this country,” well, so be it: “There are more important things than living.” This also coincided with growing evidence that the pandemic was disproportionately hitting Black, Latino, and Native American people.

Economy trumps health in fascist America, to the point that when dozens of meatpacking plants became COVID “hotspots,” with tens of thousands of infections and at least 100 deaths among mainly low-wage immigrant workers, Trump declared meatpacking an “essential industry”—meaning workers could not stay home from work without losing their unemployment benefits—and refusing to impose mandatory COVID safety regulations on the industry. The same with factories in Mexico supplying the U.S., coerced by threats into staying open to serve the U.S. economy.

We now have a situation where 193,000 are confirmed dead, and projections that the toll may rise to 400,000 by year’s end. A thousand deaths a day is the “new normal.”

Trump’s lies are acts that by their scope or nature shock the conscience. They are crimes against humanity.


1. The interplay between the pandemic and consolidating fascist rule, maintaining the economy, and advancing U.S. imperialist power worldwide, is dealt with here and here.  [back]

2. Trump held five huge indoor rallies in the month after the first Woodward interview, and other events that alarmed public health officials continue to this day—Trump’s Tulsa rally in June, the Sturgis motorcycle rally in August, Trump’s airport rallies in recent weeks. It’s not possible to make a firm connection between any one such event and the pandemic, but taken as a whole they are part of the fascist orientation that is actively spreading the coronavirus—which they’ve been very good at!  [back]

3. Amanda Marcotte of put it this way: “To wear a mask, in other words, indicates a belief that your personal body can become infected. A fascist-minded person like Trump cannot admit such a thing, either because he genuinely believes he is too strong to be affected by the virus or because he fears looking weak in public. Just as important, wearing a mask indicates care and concern for others, especially those who are high-risk. But the fascist-minded person doesn't want to protect those viewed as ‘weak’—in fact, those people are expected to die so as not to be a burden on others.”  [back]

Armed militia occupying the Michigan State Capitol demanding an end to “stay at home” orders intended to slow the spread of COVID-19.



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