Because the nation’s case rely and dying toll climbed, Trump continued to dither, to push the concept of “miracle cures,” and to proceed ignoring the recommendation of medical consultants, even after they have been sharing the identical stage. However, for a passing second at the very least, the plain risk of the virus, underlined by overrun hospitals and refrigerated morgue vans, was so nice that even Republican governors made at the very least a gesture at taking motion. States like Texas, Florida, and Arizona actually did have a interval of stay-at-home orders. There was even a day when Sean Hannity claimed that “I’ve at all times taken the coronavirus severely.”
However that perspective didn’t final. These stay-at-home orders have been barely in place earlier than Trump started pushing for them to be lifted. Fox Information and right-wing radio banded collectively to help gun-totting hoods who stormed state capitols demanding that governors “reopen,” even in states the place the “closing” was little greater than lip service. And, after a few weeks by which Republican governors noticed that the expansion of latest instances appeared to be slowing, they eagerly joined the “reopen” refrain. The truth is, they did so even in locations the place the expansion of instances by no means slowed.
This second section of the pandemic response each compounded the errors of the primary section and made it almost inconceivable that america would have any final result wanting an excellent larger catastrophe. As a result of governor after governor—and I’m you, Ron DeSantis, and Greg Abbott, and Mike Parsons—handled the slow-down in instances as if it have been utterly unconnected from the lockdown interval.
Specialists had urged the stay-at-home orders expressly as a result of they’d assist to interrupt the transmission chain of COVID-19 and generate a discount in instances, permitting time for growth of therapy and vaccines. Nevertheless, in america, as quickly as that discount within the transmission fee arrived, Republicans appeared to neglect why it had occurred within the first place. That allowed folks like DeSantis to make speeches about how all the things was going higher than predicted whereas totally ignoring the truth that they have been solely days previous the tip of lockdown.
On this section of unwarranted and overwhelming complacency, Republicans pushed opening, and opening extra, and opening extra, with out even bothering to see the outcomes of their final motion. From malls to tattoo artists, eating places to summer time camps, red-state governors opened all of them, tossing extra logs onto the pandemic fireplace even earlier than the final one had began to burn.
When the decline in instances predictably reversed, the nation entered Part three of this occasion: Pure homicide. Not solely was the rise in instances completely predictable—it was predicted. And nonetheless Republicans are searching for in charge all the things, and everybody, for the outcomes of this final result aside from their very own actions. The epitome of this may be Mike Pence’s repeated finger-pointing towards “younger folks” getting collectively with out working towards social distancing or sporting a masks … whereas ignoring social distancing and never sporting a masks. Worse nonetheless, Republicans throughout the board—within the White Home, in Congress, and within the media—have turned the 2 actions that we all know can sluggish the speed of unfold into “political statements.”
As Auric Goldfinger as soon as quipped to James Bond: “As soon as is happenstance. Twice is coincidence. 3 times is enemy motion.” The failures of each federal and state stage responses within the preliminary section of the pandemic have been each horrific and pointless, however they have been additionally nearly the anticipated outcomes from a celebration that had spent not simply Trump’s time in workplace, however many years upholding the worth of “intestine” above details. Having made information into an enemy, the nation dined out on ignorance to the tune of 100,000 useless.
The actions throughout Part 2—as governors reopened their states within the face of not solely additional warnings, however with full disregard for the rules coming from throughout the authorities itself—have been worse. It wasn’t simply that on this interval the chance for real reduction was squandered, however that it additionally turned clear that state governors had as soon as extra positioned the considerations of preserving Donald Trump and Fox Information happy far forward of the well being and security of their residents.
The present section of the pandemic is just homicide. Not simply the pointless sacrifice of lives and well being, however the destruction of jobs and financial safety, by championing ego over all the things. COVID-19 is, and at all times was, a pandemic, the well being results of which can go away a generational ripple within the type of a lot of disabled that significantly exceeds the appalling variety of deaths. The financial and diplomatic results might effectively be a black swan occasion for America within the sense of derailing the nation and eradicating any idea of the U.S. as a “world chief” in any type aside from the terrible. Relatively than caring about how he can get contract-killing Russians again into the G7, Trump can be higher served discovering the reason why america shouldn’t be heaved out.
The US entered into this catastrophe using a wave of deliberate ignorance and disdain for experience. At each step, Republicans haven’t simply made issues worse by attacking any try into take logical motion—the newest section of this response compounds the earlier errors by refusing to even acknowledge trigger and impact.
Relatively than ideas and prayers, the nation wants reasoning and rational motion. But when that section goes to return, another person must ship it.