Trump Is All Over Coronavirus Safety
Except for that part about the rest of us.
I find it remarkably ironic that the same man who once called the coronavirus a hoax in January has, at his direction, implemented very strong safeguards at the White House. Yes, the President of the United States has gotten serious about coronavirus safety.
How do I know this? First I read about it in an opinion piece at MSN with the byline of “Joe Biden”. I can’t say for sure if one well-known presidential candidate is the person who actually wrote it. Maybe his speech writer wrote and it was just approved by his wife. Not sure. But that opinion piece had this to say about Trump’s apparent path forward:
Again, the solution isn’t a mystery. The Trump administration could focus on producing and distributing adequate testing and protocols that conform with the guidance of public health experts; doing so would speed up the reopening process considerably and make it a whole lot more effective. The administration is fully aware that this is the right path, too — after all, the president and his staff are now reportedly receiving daily tests. They knew exactly how to make the Oval Office safe and operational, and they put in the work to do it.
They just haven’t put in that same work for the rest of us.
Indeed, they are performing daily tests, self-quarantine, temperature checks, and working from home when they can. USA Today says that anyone and everyone who could potentially come into contact with Trump or someone that Trump has regular daily contact with is being tested. All visitors are being tested. They are taking no chances. The Trump Administration has figured out how to go forward for themselves. But the rest of us are on our own.
We know this because Trump’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner is in charge. Everyone has to tip-toe around Jared. If Jared doesn’t like your idea, he can drive a wooden stake through it with a few words with Trump. A casual observer may note that Jared has been operating with very little transparency. He’s kind of opaque. So If you’re not singing the praise of Trump from your rooftop, you’ll have to answer to Jared if you want to stem the tide of coronavirus in your great state.
Still, Joe has a point there in his opinion piece. The Trump Administration knows the way forward with testing, quarantine, and teleconferencing. Joe sees the irony in Trump’s drive to reopen the economy and the lack of confidence that Trump has given the American people about going back to work. By all appearances, Trump isn’t really thinking of the rest of us.
Trump and his aides are telling the rest of us that it’s OK to go back to work. The message seems to be, “Just get back to work, and let’s see how things shake out.” Some people think that Trump thought the pandemic was an emergency until they figured out that black and brown people were disproportionately affected by the disease caused by the virus, COVID-19. After that, it only became more urgent to send people back to work.
According to Adam Serwer at The Atlantic, it’s clear which demographics are most affected by the disease caused by the coronavirus and who’s responsible for their safety:
The disease is now “infecting people who cannot afford to miss work or telecommute — grocery store employees, delivery drivers and construction workers,” The Washington Post reported. Air travel has largely shut down, and many of the new clusters are in nursing homes, jails and prisons, and factories tied to essential industries. Containing the outbreak was no longer a question of social responsibility, but of personal responsibility. From the White House podium, Surgeon General Jerome Adams told “communities of color” that “we need you to step up and help stop the spread.”
Huh. I guess Trump is not responsible for this. When Trump instituted daily testing and strict security measures to mitigate the spread of the virus at the White House, I don’t think he had “those other people” in mind. Well, if he did, perhaps he was a bit concerned that those people might show up at the polls in November.
The way Trump is running things in the White House suggests that he’s been taking cues from South Korea. You might have noticed that I mention South Korea here and there. That's because their metrics make America look upside down:
America: 252 deaths per million people (330 million people)
South Korea: 5 deaths per million people (~50 million people)
I get the impression that Trump would really like to cut the risk of anyone dying from COVID-19 while working in the White House. But for the rest of us, we should get back in there, regardless of how fearful we might be. I’m still not sure that’s someone I want in the White House.
There is a certain part of me that wants to believe that Trump is thinking of us. I really do. I hear that in person he’s a nice, warm and affable person. But the fights over supplies, testing kits, and PPE between the states and the federal government leave me feeling unsure. The constant drive to re-open the country when people are literally in fear for their lives leaves me feeling unsure. If Trump really cares for the rest of us, he knows what to do for us because he’s already doing it for himself, his family, and his friends.