Trump, speaking about Pence’s aide who just tested positive:
Trump: Katie, she tested very good for a long period of time and then all of the sudden today she tested positive… This is why the whole concept of tests aren’t necessarily great pic.twitter.com/iM9Xo3jddU
— Acyn Torabi (@Acyn) May 8, 2020
To repeat, Trump said: This is why the whole concept of tests aren’t necessarily great…”
The obvious interpretation is that is another of his stupid, bass-ackward, off-the-cuff, wanting-to-hear-himself-talk bullsh*t statements, and it would be easy to leave it at that.
It betrays, however, a part of his mindset that we don’t hear so often or so clearly. In his own passive aggressive way, he is, right there, arguing against testing.
But he can’t be, right? I mean, as we’ve all heard, the more testing there is, the sooner we get this thing under control. Right?
The words are pretty clear, however, and they fit a pattern of behavior that he has shown throughout the pandemic. That statement is, in fact, another piece of evidence that our president doesn’t care if people die. And no matter how dense he is, he’s not so dense that he doesn’t know that his actions (or inactions) will lead to people dying. This isn’t incompetence, it’s malevolence.
That he thinks the “concept of tests isn’t necessarily great” shows that down in his sick heart, he really doesn’t see the utility in it. He’s not talking about functionality or practicality, he’s talking about the very concept of testing, even though he knows that our relatively low rate of testing is leading to more deaths. He is showing that he wants to stymie efforts to limit the spread of virus.
- Just like he did when he called it a hoax.
- Just like when he made the states bid against each for supplies.
- Just like when the federal government confiscated needed equipment from the states.
- Just like when he put it out there people might try poisoning themselves as a cure.
- Just like when he ordered meatpackers to keep working when they were dropping like flies.
- Just like when he wouldn’t order manufacturers to make PPE and, as we have recently learned, just like when he turned away the lone major American manufacturer of PPE who offered — directly to the US government — to make the needed equipment in the early weeks of the pandemic.
- Just like when the CDC published a “how-to” on how to open, and he sent it back.
- Just like right now, when is he letting infections spread in ICE detention centers or sending infected immigrants back to their home countries, where there is a greater likelihood the virus will spread there.
Maybe this isn’t new news necessarily. Maybe it’s something that people already know and I’m the last one to this party. It really hit me today, however, and it’s not something that I’ve seen said enough. The facts establish a clear pattern:
Regardless of the reasons why, the President of the United States has knowingly taken, is knowingly taking, and will continue to knowingly take, steps — be it through action or inaction — that will lead to more deaths.
Trump wants people to die.
Trump is letting people die.
Trump is a murderer.
He’s not so obtuse that he can’t see the cause and effect. He’s shown no signs of deviating from this path. He’s shown no effort to make better choices. Mind you, he’s done this throughout this presidency, as demonstrated when he allowed immigrants in detention to die of neglect and no one — NO ONE — faced any consequences. Now he has a much bigger canvas.
“Nah, c’mon,” you say, “He’s just incompetent.”
Perhaps, but incompetence and wanting people to die aren’t mutually exclusive concepts. He has hurt people all his life. He gets off on it. This is who he is.
Moreover, now that it’s becoming pretty clear that COVID disproportionately affects the poor and people of color, he’s even more ok with letting people die. Very recent data shows that the “COVID mortality rate for Black Americans is 2.3 times higher than the rate for Asians and Latinos, and 2.6 times higher than the rate for Whites.” Moreover, at least in New York, where the most complete data is available, the poor are contracting the virus at a far higher rate.
So along with the elderly, it’s killing the poor and people of color and, my friends, we all need to recognize that he’s not just ok with that, but doing things to make it happen by shrinking the federal government’s efforts even further. Remember his trying to “wind down” the COVID task force? In the clip at the start of this post, he almost seems bored, like it doesn’t matter anymore. He seems less burdened.
Once the disproportionate impact of the epidemic was revealed to the American political and financial elite, many began to regard the rising death toll less as a national emergency than as an inconvenience. Temporary measures meant to prevent the spread of the disease by restricting movement, mandating the wearing of masks, or barring large social gatherings have become the foulest tyranny. The lives of workers at the front lines of the pandemic—such as meatpackers, transportation workers, and grocery clerks—have been deemed so worthless that legislators want to immunize their employers from liability even as they force them to work under unsafe conditions. In East New York, police assault black residents for violating social-distancing rules; in Lower Manhattan, they dole out masks and smiles to white pedestrians.
It is akin to putting one’s head in the sand to continue to believe that he and everyone around him are just stupid or incompetent. Pundits and the media – regular and social – need to stop trying to figure out and explain why he does what he does. Maybe he was abused as a child. Maybe since his brother died he wants other people to suffer, too. Or it’s all that and he’s a malignant narcissist. But, honestly, worrying about such things only normalizes what he’s doing, and we can’t do that anymore.
The pattern is clear and leads to a frightening conclusion, almost impossible to acknowledge. Nonetheless it needs to be said, and loudly: Donald J. Trump, the President of the United States, is knowingly letting people die. He is killing people. He is a murderer. Everything else is just noise.