I think I've mentioned this before, but I'm on an immuno-suppressant due to several autoimmune issues. The suppressant has kept me alive up til now because my own wonky immune system is no longer attacking my body, which left me with degeneration and crippling pain in my joints and bleeding ulcerations in my digestive system that brought me near death. But that same immuno-suppressant also risks my life when faced with a fatal virus for which I cannot fight. It's not the first time this has happened since I've been on the medication; over the years, we've had the Avian flu, SARS, H1N1 and even Ebola scares. But I've never been as fearful as I am now, because we've never had an administration so invested in misinformation and incompetence.
And I don't think we've ever had a population so deeply embedded in the cult of personality that they will believe such a shameless grifting huckster like Donald Trump over science and medical expertise. We truly have become the Dunning-Kruger Nation.
And the Trumpists' nonchalance means that they are the perfect vessels for which this virus spreads with an order of magnitude that is frightening to consider. Iran's (now considered a Level 3 hotspot for COVID-19) National Influenza Committee estimates that 30 - 40 percent of Iran's population of 12 million will be infected with COVID-19 within the next two weeks. That's somewhere in the neighborhood of 400,000 people infected in TWO WEEKS. Imagine what that means in Trump's America with a population of 330 million and a public health task force more focused on fluffing Trump than giving out good information.
Now that doesn't mean that everyone who gets infected will get horribly sick. But if they come into contact with people like me-- be they hourly employees unable to take off work, or gig economy workers doing deliveries to those of us afraid to brave Costco, or working on a campus with large student populations (both of my kids are on college campuses with sizable international students percentages and spring break is coming up--how many of these GenZers do you think are worried about washing their hands?), or even health care workers--the risks are very high. It's not surprising that most of the deaths recorded so far (and we don't know how many people died of what doctors assumed was the flu or pneumonia because they lacked testing to confirm COVID-19) are vulnerable populations like the elderly or those with compromised health. That number is going to rise, no matter how hard the Trump administration tries to gaslight us into believing it's contained.
Trump's biggest ally in this misinformation is Fox News. An Reuters/Ipsos poll taken recently showed that Democratic voters were twice as likely as Republican voters to do even general precautions like hand washing and limiting travel (FOR CRYING OUT LOUD, PEOPLE, WASH YOUR DAMN HANDS!). If any of these billionaires REALLY wanted to save the country from Trump, the single best thing they could do is take that ad money and buy out the Murdochs from Fox News and shut it down. People will die because Fox News wants to fluff Donald Trump over keeping their viewers informed. Not only their geriatric audience will die, but people like me. And my nephew who had heart surgery at two days old. And my friend who is going through cancer treatment. And my elderly dad.
All our lives are now endangered even more because Fox News cares more about Donald Trump's tantrums than American lives.
ABC's “This Week" — Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders; Housing Secretary Ben Carson. Panel: Chris Christie, Rahm Emanuel, MaryAlice Parks and Alexi McCammond.
NBC's “Meet the Press" — Sanders; Dr. Anthony Fauci, the National Institutes of Health's infectious diseases chief; Gov. Larry Hogan, R-Md. Panel: Matt Bai, Al Cardenas, Helene Cooper and Hallie Jackson.
CBS' “Face the Nation" — Surgeon General Jerome Adams; Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn.; Gov. Jay Inslee, D-Wash. Panel: Dan Balz, Joel Payne, Leslie Sanchez and Amy Walter.
CNN's “State of the Union" — Sanders; Adams. Panel: David Urban, Alexandra Rojas, Linda Chavez and Bakari Sellers.
CNN's “Fareed Zakaria GPS" — Hillary Clinton.
CNN's “Reliable Sources" — Kathleen Sebelius, Elisabeth Rosenthal and Seema Yasmin; TJ Ducklo; David Sirota. Panel: Errin Haines, Sara Fischer and Joe Lockhart.
“Fox News Sunday" — Sanders; Fauci; Sen. Bob Casey, D-Pa.
Fox News' “Sunday Morning Futures” — Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.); House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy; HUD Secretary Ben Carson.
So what's catching your eye this morning?