Leana Wen identifies six reasons motivating the WH and GOP to reanimate the economy and their logical fallacies seem to follow so easily.
- Instead of preventing covid-19, we should let people infect each other to achieve herd immunity.
- Most cases of covid-19 are mild. We can keep older people at home and allow young, healthy people to go back to school and work.
- People are getting sick and dying from other illnesses in greater numbers than covid-19.
- It’s worth the sacrifice if some people die so that the country has a functioning economy.
- We’ve been in lockdown for more than a month and cases aren’t declining; social distancing doesn’t work.
- We can’t keep the country in lockdown until a vaccine is developed, which could take years.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 10, 2020
Yet the greatest act of disinformation will be to numb Americans to the death toll up to Election Day.
“The plan is to have no plan, to let daily deaths between one and three thousand become a normal thing, and then to create massive confusion about who is responsible — by telling the governors they’re in charge without doing what only the federal government can do, by fighting with the press when it shows up to be briefed, by fixing blame for the virus on China or some other foreign element, and by ‘flooding the zone with [bleep],’ Steve Bannon’s phrase for overwhelming the system with disinformation, distraction, and denial … ,” wrote my friend Jay Rosen, the New York University professor and media critic, in a short piece that arguably offers the best look at where we are right now.
Rosen sees the “plan” as creating so much confusion that the average person no longer knows what to believe. In many ways, this is the culmination of years of noise about “fake news” and journalists as “the enemy of the people,” and the ultimate fulfillment of the 1985 prediction by another NYU media critic, Neil Postman (coincidentally, Rosen’s mentor), that America was on a path to replace civic discourse with TV-entertainment values and “amusing ourselves to death.”
— PoliticusUSA (@politicususa) May 9, 2020
Multiple strategists said they believe GOP candidates will recover once the nation — and the presidential campaign — returns to a more normal footing, casting the November elections as a contest between Trump and presumed Democratic nominee Joe Biden. Democratic Senate candidates in the most closely watched races also could be benefiting from a lack of scrutiny and negative ads with the nation’s attention consumed by the pandemic.
But a return to normalcy ahead of the elections is far from a given as the death toll continues to rise and economic data paints a grim picture, meaning the president’s handling of the pandemic could be the determining factor not only for his reelection but for Republicans’ ability to hold onto the Senate. In short, as goes Trump, so likely goes the Senate majority.
Trump has retweeted, quote-tweeted and tweeted himself 52 messages in around an hour’s time this Mother’s Day morning. A sampling: pic.twitter.com/xDvU87NZoA
— Manu Raju (@mkraju) May 10, 2020
1.3M cases. 80K dead. The epicenter of the pandemic. You are a guileless, malignancy. An ignorant fool immune to logic. No one is giving you “great marks” you pathetic pestilent pustule. People are dying as you tweet. @realDonaldTrump https://t.co/0Fns0Vaxyv
— Brian J. Karem (@BrianKarem) May 10, 2020
🔥 Steve Bannon is quietly creeping back into the White House, sources say. https://t.co/kmnuFKED1q
— D.K.R. Boyd (@ReflectingMan) May 10, 2020
Must read: The long list of people who thought Flynn’s lies were material https://t.co/SItqAnL1V6
— Nicolle Wallace (@NicolleDWallace) May 10, 2020