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It would be so easy to succumb to the temptation to simply wish that the miracle that Trump attributed to the coronavirus, that it would magically go away, would just apply to him. His faux bravado, driven to support a narcissism that is not just dangerous but deadly, is on full display this week. But I would never stoop so low so I will just stick to the facts. The Master of Mixed Messages is working overtime.

stupid is as stupid does

First, he rides his golf cart to a mask factory without wearing a mask, the only person in a group closely aggregated together for a photo op to illustrate both how hard he is working and how stupid he actually is. Next, he displays his military chops by attending a ceremony with living World War II veterans sans masks. To complete the trifecta, he holds a photo op with the military Joint-Chiefs-of-Staff in the White House and you guessed it, not one person at the table was wearing a mask. I will give the military brass some credit here, you know better, where is your honor to the nation you serve? Do you know something we don’t? If so, don’t you think you ought to share it so maybe we can stop wearing masks too?

That so many have experienced the wrath of this unstable idiot is a testament to the one-way nature of the Trump Boulevard of broken dreams.

“Stupid is as stupid does,” a phrase uttered on numerous occasions in the movie Forrest Gump, is alive and well and unfortunately for the nation individuals who should know better embolden the President by bowing to whatever pressure they feel to either reject top notch medical advice or merely mimic the boss. That Trump can and does command unconditional fealty and the risk of expulsion for those who refuse to comply is tantamount to playing Russian roulette with at the least your career but at worst your life. That so many have experienced the wrath of this unstable idiot is a testament to the one-way nature of the Trump Boulevard of broken dreams. That so many are unwilling to exercise their intestinal fortitude, their basic personal and professional integrity, and their oaths to serve the Constitution along with adherence to the rule of law is an ominous harbinger of a democracy in decay.

All of this is occurring at the same time that the invisible enemy has crept into the bowels of the White House and threatens those who work there, side by side with their unmasked hero. Community transmission is not a difficult concept. It is premised on the notion that preventing the spread of the virus will protect those who simply cannot conduct the people’s business without physical contact that penetrates the six-foot rule. Senior aides, Cabinet and sub-Cabinet officials, public health professionals, visiting dignitaries such as Governors, Mayors, foreign leaders, Military and intelligence leaders, valets, waiters and waitresses and spouses and family members of those mentioned here run the risk of either being infected or infecting those foolish enough not to take advice rendered by Medical professionals.

“Stupid is as stupid does,” is exhibited each time the leaders of this nation fail to follow advice meant to mitigate further deaths. By the time this article is read over 80,000 Americans, and that is a conservative estimate, will have perished due to an astounding resistance to adhere to basic social distancing and quarantining protocols. Furthermore, a maniacal pursuit of economic recovery has overtaken protections of life as the fundamental goal of addressing what is first, foremost, and unconditionally a public health crisis.

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That not one of those top military brass attending the White House meeting yesterday had the courage or intelligence to protect their commander-in-chief from infection by taking the simple precaution of donning a cloth mask represents either an act of subversion or cowardice. Who among them would have in good conscience ordered soldiers or sailors under their command to fail to take such precautions? Mr. President, you should be lava-level mad that not one of those under your command was willing to take the basic level of precaution to you or your staff. Mr. President, has no one advised you to take such precautions yourself? The absence of such advice is evidence that your loyal subjects are so conditioned to tell you whatever you want to hear that they would rather throw you under the proverbial bus rathe than do their job, which is to protect you, even if it is from yourself.

Is it too inconvenient to ask Americans to maybe take a lesson from others. The time for us thinking we know the answers to every problem is being wasted as our citizens die each and every day and our own forecasts call for this not only to linger but to worsen as time goes by. An article in Vanity Fair this week offers compelling evidence that other cultures are doing a better job of protecting their citizens than we are.

David Ewing Duncan offers that in this past week Japan’s fatalities approached 600 wile the US exceeded 76,000 and even adjusted for population the Japanese death rate is 2% of Americas. What accounts for the difference? Ewing writes “this comes despite Japan having no lockdown, still-active subways, and many businesses that have remained open…nor have the Japanese broadly embraced contact tracing.” The answer is widespread adoption of mask wearing. Is that such a burden on individual American liberties or is it merely a sad comment on our desire to express a fashion statement? C’mon folks, we are talking about life threatening circumstances that could be with us for an extended period of time.

To every last man and women that enables the President to blithely accept the mounting American casualties by placing his bets, and yes he is gambling with others’ lives, on letting the virus run its course so the economy somehow magically recovers in time for the November election will carry around with them the albatross of annihilation that history will record for their children and grandchildren. You will bear that cross in life, and it will have been for whatever short-term relief will present itself. Even if you win the election, it will be soaked in the misery and misfortune mass murder.

It is becoming readily evident that minorities caught in the public health mousetrap that presents a distinct prejudice against them will further the narrative that this administration is tone deaf to the plight of black and brown Americans. Yes, when the destruction is deconstructed there will be a stark realization that racial prejudice will once again exact a deadly price among the most vulnerable in society.

Additionally, older Americans represent a larger percentage of physical vulnerabilities that place them in the crosshairs of this invisible enemy that destroys from within. We are not too proud to learn from others and to suffer minimal inconvenience for the sake of those who are paying the ultimate price. Right?

lives

Lance Simmens

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