At this point no one is surprised by Donald Trump’s heartless indifference to the tragic loss of nearly 100,000 Americans (so far), not to mention the 1.7 million who have been sickened, some with permanent disabilities. He refuses to acknowledge his direct responsibility for the pain and suffering that has resulted from his negligence, incompetence, and even deliberate malfeasance. And he continually proves that all he cares about is himself.
However, it would a grievous mistake to allow Trump’s loathsome inhumanity to become normalized just because of its frequency. But that’s precisely what Trump hopes will occur. And despite his recent vicious attacks of late, his mouthpieces at State TV (aka Fox News) are stepping up their campaign to achieve that goal.
On Tuesday’s episode of Trump’s favorite morning lie-fest, Fox and Friends, co host Brian Kilmeade took a valiant stab at flagrant Trump-fluffing during a segment discussing the death toll of COVID-19 (coronavirus). Naturally, Kilmeade and the “Curvy Couch” potatoes were determined to downplay the catastrophic human consequences of Trump’s ineptitude. When addressing the magnitude of the pandemic’s destruction, Kilmeade launched into his propaganda spiel (video below):
“We definitely noticed the seriousness when almost 100,000 Americans die, but what I took from Dr. Siegel’s math was 0.3%, not even 3%, 0.3% — we’ve shut down an entire country for 0.3% of those who get it, lose their lives.”
It’s bad enough when Trump and his media sycophants purposefully lie to spread their disinformation, but these remarks are pitifully stupid. Let’s begin with the fact that 100,000 deaths are actually about 6% of the total population of infected persons in the United States (1,700,000). So Kilmeade is only off by 2,000%.
What’s more, Kilmeade’s argument is that, because the death toll is so low (according to his fractured math), the nation shouldn’t be subject to restrictions intended to impede the spread of the coronavirus. He is even suggesting that there should never have been such restrictions in the first place since the risks were so minimal. We’ll set aside for now that Fox News regards 100,000 deaths as trivial. Apparently none of the deceased were members of their families. But he actually believes that the mortality rate would be the same even if there were no restrictions at all from the start.
More to the point, Kilmeade is missing entirely the fact that the death toll is “only” 100,000 precisely because there were tough restrictions on risky behaviors, implemented by state governors in spite of Trump’s opposition. Had that not been the case there would have been many thousands of more fatalities. A recent study by Columbia University found that if the mitigation efforts (social distancing, face masks, etc.) were in place even one week earlier, it would have saved 36,000 lives.
The pressure being applied by Trump and Fox News to “reopen” the economy is, by all accounts, premature and dangerous. Every public health expert, including those on Trump’s Coronavirus Task Force, are warning that a second wave of infections – and subsequent deaths – is almost certain. That’s particularly true if Trump’s call to stand down is followed by everything from businesses to churches to schools to his own upcoming Republican National Convention (that’s having its own problems getting off the ground).
Consequently, any further loss of life will be directly attributable to the Fox News Ministry of Disinformation that is lying to the American people. And Fox will share that dubious “honor” with Trump and the Republican confederacy that continues to enable what he himself called “American Carnage.”
100,000 deaths is serious, but …
Kilmeade: "We definitely noticed the seriousness when almost 100,000 Americans die, but what I took from Dr. Siegel's math was 0.3%, not even 3%, 0.3% — we've shut down an entire country for 0.3% of those who get it, lose their lives." pic.twitter.com/roBj2sTd3w
— Lis Power (@LisPower1) May 26, 2020