Donald Trump made this virus much worse than it had to be. Yes, there would have been some deaths and many people sick and some damage to the economy, but it would not have been as bad as it will get. He eradicated the pandemic response team put in place by President Obama even after a simulation mandated by law showed him the dangers. He refused to accept the tests from WHO. He was warned how dangerous this was early on, before February. He kept minimizing him. At political rallies, he would say that it was a plot to hurt his chances of reelection. He chose not to order massive testing because he was afraid that testing would reveal truths that could hurt his reelection chances. He did not give national directives so that the virus would not move from one community or state to another based upon different and more relaxed guidelines. He minimized it. He did not act to ramp up testing in a massive way, nor did he use his powers to commence manufacturing ppes and tests and ventilators early on. We have been flying blind. Without massive testing, we don’t know where it has been, who has it, where it is spreading, where there are clusters, and what areas are likely to get hit next. Furthermore, we have not yet started the eight week clock. Until we are all sheltering in place (except for those in emergency services and those facing an emergency) with uniform regulations, then the eight week clock does not start. So, we continue to have the virus spread and we continue to have these massive layoffs without approaching an end point. Once we are all sheltering in place with only required exceptions, then the eight week clock starts. After eight weeks is over, then we may be able to return to life in our new normal possibly. And we can rebuild. But that clock does not start until we are all sheltering in place. The sooner we do that, the sooner the clock starts and the sooner we may possibly be able to restart our lives and our economy.
There is a fantastic story in the New York Times about a conservative couple who were both mostly apolitical. However, they like their friends tended to distrust experts and scientists. Mark Frilot is the husband, an attorney, who caught the virus. The couple were both well-known and popular. The couple tended to think that the danger was exaggerated and / or a hoax. So did their friends. Mark is in his 40s. He was healthy. He did not have any known health risks. It started with a low grade fever and his wife called him “a wuss” for allowing it to affect him. Then, it reached 101.9 and she realized that it was serious. He had to go to the hospital. Those at the hospital were fearful. He was the first case in their neck of the woods in Louisiana. He had to be intubated. He has only been able to take 2 breaths on his own over the last week. His wife began to resent the jokes and the mocking of the virus as “a hoax”. And she shared Mark’s story with all of their many friends on Facebook. Their conservative friends began to realize that this was real.
There are many responses to the story that are worth reading.
And there you have it, summing up Trump supporters and their lack of empathy, ignorance, and trust in Fox News and conspiracy theories: “We kept kind of joking about it, like, ‘Oh, this is crazy! This is not going to affect us, why is everyone so wigged out about it?’ And then it did,” she said. Reading about Mr. Frilot, she added, put it into perspective for her.
The President continues to lie to the public even today regarding this crisis. I firmly believe he does not care. Every press conference is about what he has done or how great he has acted from the “beginning”. How can Americans believe him. He has practically muzzled Dr. Fauci at the daily briefings.
This is the extreme danger we now face due to the complex relationship between Donald Trump and the conservative movement/Republican party. This is not about alternative viewpoints, or different interpretations of the situation we’re facing. It is about the construction of a wholly fabricated reality in the service of maintaining political power. Terrifying!
i feel bad for this family. I hope that Mr. Frillot recovers and no one else becomes ill. This article also illustrates the worldview of conservatives, as best I can figure. That is a world view that lacks any real empathy for people outside their own immediate circles as well as a lack of empathy for people who don’t fit their preconceptions about who is a “good person”. Once something impacts people they know, family members, friends, their attitudes change. I am reminded of how republican politicians treated gay family members well, but were opposed to basic human rights for the gay community. I wonder how many people it will take getting sick and dying before conservative folks take a hard look in the mirror and behaving towards strangers the way they treat their family and friends.
When things like this effect your community, that is when you realize that maybe you were wrong in thinking it was just another “flu” and would be over soon. Even though the evidence clearly shows otherwise. It is OK to say you were wrong, I will never hold it against you. It takes a very strong person to admit they were confused, or had the facts wrong. In this time of suffering we all need to come together and support one another, from 6 feet away I might add. We as a nation have been so seperated and divided, I know many people do not think we will ever get things back ontrack. I do thibnk we will get back on track. But to do this this we have to come together. I do not need to pay any attention to your religion, political preference, education and anything else to support America. I will work with and for you any way I can.
This is all a very brutal reminder that cooperation, not conflict, is how we as a species need to act to survive. I was saddened to read about the number of people who felt that this was some sort of a “liberal” plot to get Trump. We will have no way of knowing how many people will have been sickened or killed, even just in the Frilot’s community, by the sheer stupidity of confusing identity politics with actual, factual reality.
I get what people are saying–how peculiar that some of us are worried about the world, fretting about pain and loss experienced by people in China, Indonesia or France–and then we find some people in Louisiana won’t believe or care about this pandemic unless they are personally connected to a person with the virus. It’s hard to understand. What matters is that they care now.I am grateful that Ms. Frilot is so eloquent and willing to help her neighbors grasp the reality.Let’s remember is that we are all connected. The virus proves it. Everyone in this world is interdependent. Instead of getting angry, remember that perhaps equipment we need will be made by the sweat and toil of Chinese laborers in factories and this labor has benefitted us. They have families too, and any illness they have will gut their loved ones. Perhaps their work and effort will also save our lives. We will all be affected, and we will all suffer. We must put aside petty ideas about whose life matters because they are absurd. Everyone’s life matters.I hope her husband pulls through to live a long and healthy life. I hope all get lucky and do not catch this virus or die from it. I am sad for all of us. This is no one’s fault, we’re connected, and most of the good things can be shared with almost everyone–love, courage, and generosity. We share mortality. If we consider on how short and fragile life is, we can become better people.
The corona virus doesn’t discriminate. It doesn’t know how. It looks for a host body to multiply in and survive to attack another day. People are the ones who make the outbreak a divisive political issue. It is the president, using the outbreak for his daily self satisfying preening in front of the cameras and spreading lies about his early and continuing incompetent response or just by calling it “Chinese Virus”. His followers are learning from horrific examples like this story in Louisiana, that they aren’t immune just because Rush, Hannity etc. are calling it a hoax. The virus keeps marching on relentlessly across the world and our country. As all other viruses, the corona virus is an equal opportunity killer.
No offense and however sorry I may feel for this family, this story sharply demonstrates the delusions under which many act and react in US society. And the willful ignorance. Then, to compound matters, they don’t consider the community and the need to question their assumptions, nor reevaluate the ethical orientations and moral compasses of the people they have elected, who have been instrumental in producing and perpetuating a string of national crises. They do not extrapolate from these harsh personal narratives and lessons into reorienting their ideological orientations and political actionsOh, no: they opt for prayer. And thus the lessons they should be internalizing, the need for reflecting upon communal needs and the erosion of a safety net for the society as a whole, are dispelled through this very personal, very individual psychological valve. And they repeat their pernicious political acts over and over again, continuing to elect undeserving leaders and impacting the general welfare for all.And rinse and repeat, again and again, crisis after crisis.
I’m glad this family and their friends are now taking this seriously, but it troubles me that people so often don’t until it hits them. Why is empathy and concern so hard to muster for strangers? The one silver lining I see in this terrible disease is that perhaps it will finally help this country overcome the partisan divide we’ve been locked into for so many years. However, I fear that will only happen if it affects a large enough proportion of our citizens. When right wing pundits insist on minimizing the risk they not only endanger lives, they create even more partisanship where there might be healing and grace.923 Recommend
I found this piece quite moving. It’s a window of insight into how and why this tragedy will reshape our society in the weeks and months ahead. One of the only things we can say about the virus itself is that it’s a “great equalizer.” None of the usual divisions apply to this threat.The experiences described here may finally force us to start questioning why we accept those divisions in the first place — or, at the very least, question the public figures who are so committed to maintaining them, they will glibly contradict what we can see is true.
Ms. Frilot’s friends aren’t just reacting based on their conservatism: they are expressing the end result of many years of Republican bashing — and then totally dismissing — of scientific results, explanations and experts. Republicans have made a career of rejecting science and mocking those with an education (while they send their children to the best colleges money can buy in order to make the “right” connections). Even now, the president continues to provide non-science-based information as fact; even now, people believe him rather than the truth which is open for all to see in their community hospitals. I hope Ms. Frilot’s husband has a full recovery and, when he does, remembers that it was science not politicians that delivered it. And I hope their friends have a recovery of the heart and soul.
2 weeks ago I was ridiculed by people at our country club (who listen to a steady diet of Fox News) because I dared to say that this was real, and that we all needed to prepare our businesses for extended closures and worse.I heard over & over – “this is just the flu”; “This is a hoax”, “don’t buy into that liberal panic”.I didn’t understand why these college-educated people were not heeding global information or looking at the data.Fox News is a propaganda machine that should be banned.
These responses were the ones that the New York Times selected out to emphasize. I think that those responses are for the very most part right on the money. The only way that conservatives will realize that it is real is when it happens to them or somebody that they know. People like the friends of the Frilots are delaying the end of this. They are costing others their lives and making more people sick and many others lose their jobs and put them in dire straits financially. I am glad that the Frilots and their friends take it seriously now. I wish they had taken seriously sooner. I am concerned about people like the friends of the Frilots not taking it seriously and enabling it to spread with all of the consequences of the spread (deaths, sickness, prolonged quarantine, job losses). It is not just the fault of the conservatives, but also the fault of the people whom they listen to like Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Fox News, and President Donald Trump. Of course, they choose their sources of “information”. Accurate sources of information are available. They simply do not choose to listen to accurate sources of information.