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What does the media think is magically going to happen in Georgia and the other Red States that re-start businesses? That suddenly the highly infectious virus will stop transmitting with unknown infected people who may number 10 million or more at this time? Why does the press pose this as an open-ended question? We know infection and death will follow the Trump-rushed economic opening, period.

trump test markets death

Trump, throughout his career and in his administration, has pushed out ideas to test if they can be normalized. He has shown tremendous success, with the help of both the right-wing media and the media in general, in persuading the public — and the White House Press Corps — to accept aberrant behavior and policies as normal. He is masterful at pushing the edge of the envelope of acceptability further and further out.

So he is willing to facilitate tens of thousands more Coronavirus deaths and millions and millions of infections to stay in the White House for four more years.

To be re-elected, Trump needs a humming economy. To do that, he is willing to sacrifice lives to Coronavirus. The US is at 56,000 confirmed COVID-19 deaths (an undercount) and rising at the time of this commentary. The idea of opening some state economies — which appears to be a death sentence to many workers — now is happening ahead of Trump’s schedule. What was thought to be a plan that was grossly indifferent to Coronavirus death and infection is now taking place without any serious repercussions for Trump. He has pushed the edge of the envelope further out again.

As I noted in an April 13 commentary, “The Second Wave of Coronavirus Infections and Deaths Is Already Underway, With a Willful Boost From Trump,” more Coronavirus infections are occurring in the current “essential economy,” but they will soar in Trump’s premature call to states to “reopen.” Trump is betting that Americans will start to accept the Coronavirus infections and deaths as acceptable. He is literally building a re-election campaign on dead Americans. If the public accepts Trump’s willful manslaughter, we could reach 100,000 deaths by early summer.

Trump is intentionally letting the Coronavirus “wash over” America, and we are in the initial stages of Trump finding out if Americans will tolerate rampant COVID-19 infection and death, as the nation is still woefully unprepared to end shelter-in-place.

GOP Georgia Governor Brian Kemp started the ball rolling with the re-opening of specific small businesses that share the distinction of being high-transmission professions.

We know that 3 weeks after the Red States reduce social distancing and start opening up more businesses, we will see a new rise in infections — and then a few weeks later a new peak in deaths. Georgia and Red States are GOP tests to see if Americans will accept people dying to benefit the rich, reduce worker’s compensation liability for Red States, provide salaries, reactivate the economy and shore up the stock market.

And, of course, risk becoming infected — and perhaps die — to help Trump get re-elected.

Others might also argue that Kemp knew that many people who were swept up in making a choice between possibly contracting a lethal infection or starving were Black. The Washington Post ran an April 27 article focusing on Blacks in Coronavirus-stricken rural southwest Georgia entitled, “For black folks, it’s like a setup: Are you trying to kill us?”

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What does the media think is magically going to happen in Georgia and the other Red States that re-start businesses? That suddenly the highly infectious virus will stop transmitting with unknown infected people who may number 10 million or more at this time? Why does the press pose this as an open-ended question? We know infection and death will follow the Trump-rushed economic opening, period.

Take Georgia, which ranks 14th in infections and 40th in testing among states. And now Red States have fallen in line and gone much further toward ensuring that asymptomatic and pre-symptomatic transmission will re-ignite community spread.

As summarized in an April 27 email from Slate:

At least 17 states have released concrete plans on opening their economies: Georgia has taken the most aggressive measures, opening up barbershops, gyms, salons, restaurants, and movie theaters. In Alaska, restaurants can now offer in-person dining and retail stores can open their doors if workers wear masks and practice social distancing. Oklahoma and Idaho will both open houses of worship by May 1.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, who was not included in Trump’s Monday news conference, has stated that testing would have to be dramatically increased to move people back to their workplaces. Other epidemiologists have suggested that millions of COVID-19 tests will be needed daily before people can safely stop social distancing, along with contact tracing, serological antibody testing, and isolation of both symptomatic and asymptomatic persons who test positively. Because of Trump’s obstruction of putting a public health approach in place nationally, we are no where near achieving a level of confidence to significantly reduce workplace (or social gathering) risk in a nation of 330 million people..

In his Monday news conference, Trump tried to yet again reassure Americans that testing was dramatically increasing, but not only did he do it with the same group of corporate testers — along with Mike Pence — who promised adequate testing weeks ago, the White House has once again made it known to governors that it will only be the “last resort” as far as testing. Trump is just providing duplicitous leadership when his intent is to normalize willful murder to get him another term in office. Indeed, at the end of Monday’s “Daily Trump Show,” a reporter shouted out as Trump exited the Rose Garden [if the testing is going so well] “Why did the Governor of Maryland have to go to South Korea to get 500,000 tests.” Trump just walked away.

To those who argue that Trump chastised Kemp in a “Trump Daily Show” briefing last week, that was for plausible deniability, which is unbelievable considering that Trump just recently encouraged anti-shelter-in-place protesters and infection spreaders to “liberate” their states. In addition, Trump’s official consigliere, Bill Barr, has been threatening to legally prevent states who maintain-shelter-in-place orders from doing so. Barr is obviously doing this to back up Trump.

No, there is no “miracle” that is going to make the Coronavirus infection transmission stop at this point other than shelter-in-place until there is massively more testing, increased knowledge about the virus itself, and a national public health model of reining in the virus. And that will take time, which Donald Trump knows is not on his side in terms of the economy.

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So he is willing to facilitate tens of thousands more Coronavirus deaths and millions and millions of infections to stay in the White House for four more years.

Mark Karlin
BuzzFlash

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