The Trump administration is a disaster. It was a garbage fire when it began, but that ongoing fire, stoked by the entire Republican Party, has led to an increase in authoritarian use of law enforcement and ICE forces to dehumanize people all across our country. On top of all of that, the bad economic policies and general culture of avarice and self-serving incompetence promoted by Trump and the Republican Party have led us to the precipice of an economic depression, and a public health crisis the likes of which has not been seen in generations has pushed that depression into the territory of collapse.
With just over two weeks until Election Day, Trump’s surrogates—the ones not sick with COVID-19 or hiding out to pretend they aren’t still milking the poisonous Trump cow—have taken to the airwaves to pretend everything is going according to plan. Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar was on Meet the Press Sunday, to implore Americans in his most imploring-sounding voice, to wear masks and follow the basic general protections against spreading the COVID-19 virus that experts have been promoting since the beginning of this pandemic. Azar even scripted his statement as a plea to Chuck Todd’s “viewers.” This, obviously, surprised even Meet The Press host Chuck Todd, since Donald Trump and his administration have done the opposite now for, oh, about ... seven months.
Secretary Azar’s message to Chuck Todd’s viewers was specifically about large “indoor gatherings.” This is relevant due to upcoming Halloween festivities and Thanksgiving celebrations. Todd remarked that Azar’s statement was strange considering that just last week, Azar attended an indoor rally with President Trump—the same President Trump that still may very well be COVID-19 positive. Azar said that everyone at the indoor rally was socially distanced—sort of—and were all offered masks. Of course, this means nothing if you don’t wear said mask. Todd pointed out that the message being sent doesn’t seem consistent, as states like Wisconsin see surges in COVID-19 cases, while Donald Trump flies into those areas to promote big superspreader events.
It is here that Azar attempts to promote misinformation that does two things: It attempts at justifying the Trump administration’s current anti-public health farewell tour, while also absolving the administration’s criminally negligent handling of a pandemic that has claimed almost a quarter of a million American lives. Azar says that lots of countries in lockdown are having big surges. The implication here is that you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t.
This isn’t true. The fact of the matter is that the United States, for the first time in years, is actually No. 1 in the world in something: death rates due to COVID-19 and death rates in general during the pandemic. We are also a leader in the world in cases per 100,000 and deaths per 100,000. I guess Azar is talking about how places like Aruba and Bahrain have a worse case rate? Todd asks why it’s been so “difficult for the president” to promote a public health message that would actually save thousands, if not tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of lives.
ALEX AZAR: I think it's a difficult message for all western democracies. We're seeing that in Europe. The American people have given so much. People of Europe have given so much, Chuck. They've been locked down, isolated. But they’re tired. But the point is, we're so close. Hang in there with us. We're so close ...
Azar has been a Trump hack throughout this process and can be justifiably blamed for much of the misinformation and confusion among certain sections of the American public in regard to COVID-19. He has attacked Americans and frontline responders instead of the virus. If we lived in a just universe, Alex Azar would soon find himself doing some prison time along with the hundreds of Republican operatives and scam artists who have brought us to where we are now.
Posted with permission from Daily Kos.