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Bernie Evans: Politics in the age of coronavirus
Bernie Evans.jpg
Bernie Evans

Jeez, are we in a tragic mess or what?

A doctor friend, a fellow columnist with another newspaper, tells me he doesn’t think we should be “waxing political” during this pandemic crisis. Of course, he votes Republican; funny how that works when one worries their team might have the losing hand.

But maybe I’m just a mean old jaded polemicist.

Too bad nobody was around to give the good doctor’s message to our current president, spin-master DJ Trump, when former President Barack Obama was dealing with the Ebola outbreak. Obviously, the comparison is apples to oranges. But then again, Obama didn’t come into office and immediately start enforcing the right-wing ideology Republicans have lived by since former President Ronald Reagan (RIP) declared, “The solution to the problem isn’t government, government is the problem!”

CNN: “Trump refuses to invoke National Defense Act to address dire medical supply shortages.”


CNN: “Trump refuses to use full power to combat crisis.”


Anyone who thinks for one hot second Republicans wouldn’t be screaming themselves hoarse from the mountaintops if Obama was committing the same rank errors and mistakes, really, intentional spinning to hide the truth, has lost their minds.

Not that today’s GOP leadership should be a model for morals, ethics and/or behavior.

Yes, the rumors are true, Trump officially disbanded the entire National Security Council’s Directorate for Global Health and Security in 2018.

The price we now do pay.

Obama used the international structure of the aforementioned NSC’s Directorate for Global Health and Security to stop Ebola from even coming to our shores; if memory serves, we had exactly one case.

Trump, on the other hand, spent weeks denying there was any problem at all, even calling it a “Democrat hoax” at one of his rambunctious rallies. In January, he said, “We have 15 cases and that will soon be zero, one by one they will just disappear, it’ll be like a miracle.”

Now we find out from the Washington Post, “Intel reports warned in January and February of a likely global pandemic”, according to one intelligence official, “The alarm bells were flashing red but they just couldn’t get Trump to do anything about it, he may not have been expecting this but a lot of other people in government were.”

We’re learning the hard way about the importance of competent leadership and good governance. It’s time to toss everything we’ve learned from our illustrious (G)rand (O)le (P)atriarchy right out the window. Preferably, from a skyscraper.

Did you know 1 in 8 Trump voters live in a county with no ICU beds? Intensive care units matter in pandemics. My doctor friend tells me “most” people testing positive are already in the hospital. I had no idea! Get this: Trump acolyte Florida Governor Rick DeSantis refuses to close Florida beaches even though medical experts and other Florida officials, Republican and Democratic, have requested it. One spring breaker insists, “I saw Trump on TV and he said the virus goes away in the heat, this is Florida, it’s hot out here!”

To wit: Florida currently has over 1,000 cases testing positive and over a dozen deaths.

Maybe Rachel Maddow has a point when she beseeches the network news organizations to, “Please stop broadcasting the Trump daily pressers live.” False info has taken over the airwaves.

After Trump delivered some nonsense about a “feeling, a hunch” that a malaria drug will work “very excellent” curing Covid-19, a reporter followed- up the next day, “Do you think it’s a good idea giving sick people false hope …what do you say to Americans who are afraid right now?”

Trump replies, “I say that’s a nasty question, and you’re a terrible person, and a horrible reporter, that’s what I say!”

More than once Trump tells reporters, “You’re putting these awful thoughts into people’s heads”.

Me tends to think he’s more worried about his re-election than anything else. I mean really, asked for reassurance our beloved president offers insults? Does everything have to revolve around his ego and narcissism?

What is saddest of all, and the most ironic: the experts, are already predicting that the states most driven by right-wing ideology, like Georgia, that haven’t invested in Medicaid, namely the Affordable Care Act’s expansion, will suffer most.

So much for good governance.

Stay tuned for word about the trillion-dollar coronavirus “stimulus”, I hope it’s not another cash-infusion stock-buyback opportunity for those who least need it; ignoring “the least of these”, as Republicans are wont to do.

When MSNBC anchor Ali Velshi asked our own multi-millionaire Representative Buddy Carter (R-GA) about it this past Sunday, he started whining about “socialism”.

Oy vey!

Sounds to me like the Jesus-principles will be going out that skyscraper window.

But here’s hoping.

Evans is a local writer whose opinions have appeared in local publications, TIME and The Nation.

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