By Alemayehu G. Mariam
say that if you had a process that was ongoing and you started mitigation earlier, you could have saved lives. As I have said many times, we look at it from a pure health standpoint. We make a recommendation. Often, the recommendation is taken. Sometimes it’s not. But we — it is what it is. We are where we are right now.” Anthony Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, April 12, 2020.
As Trump points an accusatory finger at Adhanom, he fails to see three fat fingers are pointing at him
I do not believe there is a more severe and vociferous critic of Tedors Adhanom, the Director General of the World Health Organization, than myself.
I opposed Adhanom when his name was wafted in cyberspace and on the airwaves as a possible candidate for the top WHO job in 2016. My opposition to him has continued ever since. My past criticisms of Adhanom shall stand or fall in the court of world public opinion on their own merits.
Now, I rise to defend the very man I have criticized relentlessly for years.
To be sure, I do not so much defend Tedros Adhanom the WHO official as I do the principle of fair play. I don’t believe in playing dirty to win.
Donald Trump revels in playing dirty to win.
Trump and his wolfpack of liars, con artists and dissemblers are hellbent on making Tedors Adhanom the fall guy in their futile effort to cover up Trump’s own criminal negligence in failing to protect the American national health interest.
The indisputable fact is this: TEDROS ADHANOM, W.H.O. DIRECTOR GENERAL, IS NOT IN ANY WAY RESPONSIBLE FOR AMERICA’S LACK OF PREPAREDNESS IN DEALING WITH THE COVID-19 CRISIS.
Donald J. Trump is 100% responsible for America’s lack of preparedness to deal with the COVID-19 crises!
Because of Trump’s criminal negligence and depraved indifference to saving American lives, in just three weeks the U.S. is leading the world in COVID-19 infections and deaths.
As of this writing, Worldometer Coronavirus reported the U.S. has 535,591 cases of the global 1,810,827 for a whopping 30 percent of all cases. Total global deaths are 112, 222 of which 21,409 (almost 20%) are Americans.
It is conservatively estimated that between 100-250,000 Americans could die as a result of COVID-19 infections.
I am not surprised Trump is looking for scapegoat to pin he blame for his incompetence and utter moral depravity in the face of COVID-19.
But has there ever been a time Trump took responsibility for his mess?
The hallmark of Trump’s presidential leadership has ALWAYS been avoiding accountability like the plague (pun intended).
When Trump is held to account — when his feet are held to the fire — he pulls out his raggedy “Blame everyone but me” bag of tricks.
It is laughable Trump should expect anything from W.H.O.
When has Trump ever shown concern for global health?
Trump ran his presidential campaign railing against the United Nations, the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, North American Free Trade Organization, the World Trade Organization, the Paris Accords and so many others.
In September 2018, Trump told the UN General Assembly,
America is governed by Americans. We reject the ideology of globalism, and we embrace the doctrine of patriotism. Around the world, responsible nations must defend against threats to sovereignty not just from global governance, but also from other, new forms of coercion and domination.
Today, facing criticism for his incompetence and moral depravity in the face of COVID-19, Trump champions “globalism” and damns “The W.H.O. really blew it.”
No, TRUMP REALLY BLEW IT.
Thousands of Americans have died and continue to die because Donald Trump blew it by ignoring and trivializing repeated warnings on severity of the COVID-19 threat.
When has Trump ever shown concern for the health of Americans?
Last month, Trump’s Justice Department asked the U.S. Supreme Court to completely eliminate the Affordable Health care Act (“Obamacare”). If the Court agrees, millions of Americans would lose health care or face very high health insurance costs. That would likely mean, given the 17 million unemployed today, over 50 million Americans will have no health care insurance.
To add insult to injury, last week Trump cut funding for widespread COVID-19 testing, perhaps the most important tool in fighting the pandemic forcing many cities and states to shut down facilities.
But why would Trump cut funding for testing?
Simply stated, if there is more testing, more cases will be discovered. If more cases are discovered, Trump believes his chances of re-election will vanish into thin air. Trump wants to keep up the appearance of low infection and death rates.
While cutting testing funds for everyone, Trump at the White House set a “rapid coronavirus test” to be given to anyone coming into contact with him.
Why is a “rapid coronavirus test” good for Trump but not good enough for 320 million Americans?
Over the past decade and half, there have been numerous scientific studies, conferences and calls by experts and leaders warning about inevitable pandemics with devastating impact on human health and enormous disruptions to the global economy.
In 2014 President Barack Obama facing the Ebola crises warned:
We were lucky with H1N1 that it did not prove to be more deadly. We can’t say we’re lucky with Ebola because obviously it’s having a devastating effect in West Africa, but it is not airborne in its transmission.
There may and likely will come a time in which we have both an airborne disease that is deadly. And in order for us to deal with that effectively, we have to put in place an infrastructure, not just here at home, but globally that allows us to isolate it quickly, see it quickly, respond to it quickly.
So that if and when a new strain of flu, like the Spanish flu, crops up five years from now or a decade from now, we’ve made the investment and we’re further along to be able to catch it.
It’s a smart investment for us to make. It’s not just insurance; it is knowing that down the road we’re gonna continue to have problems like this – particularly in a globalised world where you move from one side of the world to the other in a day.
So it’s important now, but it’s also important for our future and our children’s future, and our grandchildren’s future.
Of course, Trump is obsessed with obliterating anything Obama has done.
Trump calls himself the master of the “art of the deal”.
In fact, he is the grand master of the art of demonization, dehumanization, polarization, vulgarization, personalization, marginalization, infantilization, fictionalization, trivialization, dramatization and demoralization.
Now that he finds himself cornered like a rat in the COVID-19 trap, he and his gang of con artists want to pin the blame for his incompetence and moral depravity on someone else.
Trump tweeted, “The W.H.O. really blew it. For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China centric. We will be giving that a good look. Fortunately, I rejected their advice on keeping our borders open to China early on. Why did they give us such a faulty recommendation?”
John Bolton, war hawk and Trump’s former national security adviser joined tweeting, “The @WHO is an accomplice to China’s massive coverup of Covid19. That’s why I support efforts by @marcorubio & @tedcruz pushing for resignation of WHO director general. He misled the world by blindly trusting a communist regime intent on deception.”
Republican Senator Marco Rubio tweeted: “Head of WHO says: “Our greatest enemy right now is not the virus itself. It’s fear, rumors & stigma…We do not see evidence as yet that the virus is spreading freely in communities. When @WhiteHouse says something similar they are accused of incompetence & “downplaying” threat.”
Duh! Rubio says W.H.O. and the White House are saying the same thing: COVID-19 is not “the enemy right now.”
Trump now wants to pin the blame on W.H.O.’s tail for downplaying the threat.
“Lying” Ted Cruz, the Republican senator from Texas chimed in, “It is deeply troubling @WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu is helping the Chinese Communist Party obfuscate the origins and trajectory of #COVID19, at the risk of health around the globe.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham, the Republican senator for South Carolina threatened, “I’m not going to support funding the WHO under its current leadership,” because “it’s in America’s best interest to withhold funding because they have failed miserably when it comes to the coronavirus.”
National Review, a conservative publication joined proclaiming, “The WHO has lent its imprimatur to Chinese disinformation and blessed China’s slow response to its domestic outbreak, which likely caused a 20-fold increase in cases” and urged a congressional investigation into “Chinese influence on the WHO.”
So, the Republican Congressional Theater of the Absurd and Hypocrisy continues.
Trump’s attempt to make Adhanom America’s COVID-19 boogeyman is transparent and contemptible but very much in character.
Trump’s message is simply this: “The man from the shithole continent is responsible for America’s lack of preparedness to meet the COVID-19.”
The fact of the matter is that Trump who campaigned to “make America great” is now turning America into a COVID-19 graveyard.
The indisputable fact is Trump has a heart of stone and cares about no one but himself. He is a pathological narcissist interested only in Trump, Trump’s ego and Trump’s re-election.
Trump dismissively declared keeping US COVID-19 deaths to 100,000 would be a “very good job”.
Why is Trump aggressively promoting hydroxychloroquine (anti-malaria medication) when the medical evidence shows it is ineffective or downright dangerous in the treatment of COVID-19?
Could it be because “several pharmaceutical companies stand to profit, including shareholders and senior executives with connections to the president” and Trump himself?
Why is Trump pushing to “open America for business” against the best medical advice and the broad consensus of the states’ governors?
Trump believes the loss of a few hundred thousand deaths is an acceptable price to get people back to work so he can brag the economy is doing “tremendous, very tremendous.”
Trump, the master of the “art of the deal”, would bargain hundreds of thousands of lives for marginal economic gains at the drop of a hat.
If Trump had any trace of humanity in him, he would not have ignored all the warnings and alarms bells rung by members of his own administration and others.
On May 15, 2018, Representatives Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Ami Bera (D-CA), members of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, sent a letter to National Security Advisor John Bolton urging the Trump Administration to reverse its retreat on global health security. They warned, “We fear these recent decisions will leave the United States vulnerable to pandemics and commit us to a strategy of triage should one occur.”
In October 2019, Trump’s Department of Health and Human Services issued a report based on simulations of influenza pandemic concluding federal pandemic preparations are insufficient, inadequately funded and in conflict with one another.
A full year before the COVID-19 crises, a January 29, 2019 an intelligence report by the Office of the Director of National Intelligence warned, “The United States will remain vulnerable to the next flu pandemic or large-scale outbreak of a contagious disease that could lead to massive rates of death and disability, severely affect the world economy, strain international resources, and increase calls on the United States for support.”
On January 29, 2020, Peter Navarro, Trump’s economic advisor, in a Memorandum to the National Security Council warned, “There is an increasing probability of a full-blown COVID-19 pandemic that could infect as many as 100 million Americans, with a loss of life of as many as 1-2 million souls.”
A newly released report from the inspector general for the Department of Health and Human Services paints a devastating portrait of the Trump administration’s failures during the coronavirus pandemic.
On April 7, 2020, Trump went on the warpath against the Inspector General tweeting, “Why didn’t the I.G., who spent 8 years with the Obama Administration (Did she Report on the failed H1N1 Swine Flu debacle where 17,000 people died?), want to talk to the Admirals, Generals, V.P. & others in charge, before doing her report. Another Fake Dossier!”
Trump NEVER, NEVER took the COVID-19 threat seriously. He downplayed it. He ignored it. He sugarcoated and whitewashed it.
Now, Trump wants to make Tedros Adhanom and W.H.O. his whipping boys.
For Trump, COVID-19 has always been a big joke. He said it will be all over when the weather gets warmer.
He was dismissive of suggestions for better preparation and his mouth oozed with a torrent of lies, damned lies and statistical lies.
He blathered about how the virus was “under control” and how he knew it was a pandemic before it was called a pandemic.” He assured the people “we are doing a great job with it. And it will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.”
COVID-19 has not gone away but to date over 22 thousand Americans have gone away forever.
“This is a pandemic. I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.” January 22, 2020.
“We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. We have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.” January 30, 2020.
“We think we have it very well under control. We have very little problem in this country at this moment — five — and those people are all recuperating successfully. But we’re working very closely with China and other countries, and we think it’s going to have a very good ending for us … that I can assure you.” February 10, 2020.
“Now, the virus that we’re talking about having to do — you know, a lot of people think that goes away in April with the heat — as the heat comes in. Typically, that will go away in April. We’re in great shape though. We have 12 cases — 11 cases, and many of them are in good shape now.” February 14, 2020.
“There’s a theory that, in April, when it gets warm — historically, that has been able to kill the virus. So, we don’t know yet; we’re not sure yet. But that’s around the corner.” February 23, 2020.
“We have it very much under control in this country.” February 24, 2020.
“The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!” February 26, 2020.
“So, we’re at the low level. As they get better, we take them off the list, so that we’re going to be pretty soon at only five people. And we could be at just one or two people over the next short period of time. So, we’ve had very good luck.” February 26, 2020.
“And again, when you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.” February 26, 2020.
“I think every aspect of our society should be prepared. I don’t think it’s going to come to that, especially with the fact that we’re going down, not up. We’re going very substantially down, not up.” February 26, 2020. February 27, 2020.
“It’s going to disappear. One day — it’s like a miracle — it will disappear.” — Trump at a White House meeting with African American leaders. February 26, 2020.
“And I’ve gotten to know these professionals. They’re incredible. And everything is under control. I mean, they’re very, very cool. They’ve done it, and they’ve done it well. Everything is really under control.” March 4, 2020.
“[W]e have a very small number of people in this country [infected]. We have a big country. The biggest impact we had was when we took the 40-plus people [from a cruise ship]. … We brought them back. We immediately quarantined them. But you add that to the numbers. But if you don’t add that to the numbers, we’re talking about very small numbers in the United States.” March 4, 2020.
“Well, I think the 3.4% [dead patients worldwide] is really a false number.” March 7, 2020.
“So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!” March 9, 2020.
March 10: “And we’re prepared, and we’re doing a great job with it. And it will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.” March 10, 2020.
The coming to pass of prophesy
The Pale Horse of the Apocalypse rides in every nation of the world today.
In America, our technological prowess, expensive medicines, learned men and women and even military might cannot save us from an invisible virus.
No one knows when the COVID-19 crises will be over. Every day, Trump blathers and dithers cluelessly.
The national government under Trump’s befuddled leadership has made America an object of pity and the laughingstock of the world.
Luckily, the state governor’s led by Governors Andrew Cuomo of N.Y. State and Gavin Newsom of California continue to provide effective leadership in the COVID-19 fight.
Would America have been in the mess it now finds itself in had it been President Andrew Cuomo? The answer is self-evident!
When Trump points an accusatory finger at Tedros Adhanom, he should beware three fingers are pointing at him for America’s lack of preparedness for the COVID-19 silent invasion and thousands of American deaths!
But the day when America will be caught with its pants down was prophesied by H. L. Mencken nearly a century ago.
Mencken, (a/k/a the “sage of Baltimore”, the “Voltaire of America”) was an iconoclastic commentator with extraordinary insights into the American people and American politics.
In his book Notes on Democracy (1926) [an absolute must read for anyone interested in taking a hard look at American democracy], Mencken warned Americans against the kind of empty-headed demagogue who would preach pseudo-patriotism (“Make America Great Again!”) and become president and send the country to hell in a handbasket.
As democracy is perfected, the office of president represents, more and more closely, the inner soul of the people. We move toward a lofty ideal. On some great and glorious day the plain folks of the land will reach their heart’s desire at last and the White House will be adorned by a downright moron.
That great and glorious day Mencken prophesied is darkness at noon in America today. We now have Trump adorning the White House.
In the memorable words of Forrest Gump, “Stupid is as stupid does.”
So it is with a moron!