SEPTEMBER 17, 2020 Counterpunch printed in the Missoulian
As if the nation hasn’t been traumatized enough by the horrendous effects of the out-of-control coronavirus pandemic, thanks to recorded interviews with legendary Watergate reporter Bob Woodward, we find that President Trump knew the disease was deadly, was easily transmitted through the air and was by far the most serious health threat to the United States in over a century. Yet, instead of doing what any rational human being would have done and taken steps to prepare the citizenry for the great peril, Trump decided to, in his own words, “play it down.”
Now, as we approach 200,000 dead Americans, the time has come to hold accountable those Republicans who have continually enabled, defended and praised this historically heartless excuse for a president. In Montana’s case, that would be Senator Steve Daines and Congressman Greg Gianforte, both of whom are up for election in six short weeks and neither of whom should ever again be allowed to hold the sacred trust of public office.
It is almost impossible to grasp the enormous evil of a president who would allow a lethal disease to spread uncontrolled through the populace, killing and crippling innocent people, destroying businesses and crashing the strong economy he inherited, while callously claiming, “I don’t take responsibility at all” for the resulting disasters.
Even now that the truth has undeniably come to light, Trump hasn’t evinced a shred of compassion or a scintilla of guilt for the millions of people who have lost friends, families and loved ones to COVID-19. Instead, we are to somehow believe that things would be worse had we known the great peril we faced and taken the necessary actions — which other nations took — to limit the disease’s spread and damage. The sorry excuse from the presidential poseur in the Oval Office is that he thought people would “panic” if the true threat of the pandemic was revealed.
Now, Americans are no longer allowed to enter countries around the world — or even visit Canada, our great friend and neighbor to the north. Now, the bankruptcies and evictions mount daily as the pittance of monetary relief Congress offered to a nation on its knees has evaporated — and now that same Congress apparently cannot find the compassion and offer more to offset the widespread suffering of its constituents.
As the nation faces a predicted increase in coronavirus infections and deaths, this same president and his Republican enablers disparage precautionary measures such as social distancing and masks at their political rallies. It strains credulity to understand how Trump’s supporters could believe a man who has made more than 20,000 lies during his term in office and who still tells them the nation is “doing great.”
The global warming exacerbated by Trump’s policies to “dominate” fossil fuel production — while repealing regulation of greenhouse gas emissions — has resulted in raging wildfires, drought and unlivable temperatures across vast swathes of the nation. Yet once again, as with the pandemic, the man Gianforte, Daines and the Republican Party continue to defend shows not a shred of interest in the human suffering for which he is responsible.
The stunning toll of Trump’s presidency and his supporters Daines and Gianforte can no longer be tolerated or endured. The coming weeks and months will only magnify the tremendous damage these individuals have inflicted on our country and fellow citizens. Our only recourse, if we seek a livable future for ourselves and generations yet to come, is to vote them out — and fortunately the opportunity to do just that is coming soon.