It was abhorrent to hear President Trump’s cold, uncaring voice recently admitting he knew early on how deadly the coronavirus was, but lied to the nation about it. Trump then continued to lie to Americans for months as he played down the severity of this vicious killer that has now claimed nearly 200,000 lives in this country.
On Feb. 7, Trump stated, “You just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed.” “It’s also more deadly than even your strenuous flus.” “This is deadly stuff.” Trump later stated, “I wanted to always play it down.” “I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”
As many already know, those were the voice recordings of Trump that Bob Woodward made for his latest book—“Rage”. While Trump was being truthful about always wanting to “play it down”, but he lied when he stated he didn’t “want to create a panic.” As most of us know, threats, fear and panic have been Trump’s stock in trade for years. Most recall what he said about Mexican immigrants—which incriminated all American Latinos: “They’re bringing drugs. They’re bringing crime. They’re rapists.” That of course, was to create fear and panic among white voters as he prepared to run for president. Trump then lied about the dangerous invasion by Mexican immigrants that he said would overrun the country unless América spent hundreds-of-billions of dollars to continue building his racist border wall. And he has made numerous other false comments to spread fear and doubt as it suits his personal interests.
Despite Trump’s denials of his early awareness, it is on the record that Peter Navarro, his trade advisor, issued a significant written pandemic warning on Jan. 29, to the National Security Council which stated: “The lack of immune protection or an existing cure or vaccine would leave Americans defenseless in the case of a full-blown coronavirus outbreak on US soil.” “This lack of protection elevates the risk of the coronavirus evolving into a full-blown pandemic, imperiling the lives of millions of Americans.”
In Trump’s case, professional medical experts have estimated that Trump’s intentional lies have killed roughly 75% (or about 150,000) of the nearly 200,000 Americans that have died…in Trump’s situation he openly admitted he deliberately withheld vital life and death information from the nation for personal gain and never expressed any remorse for his deadly actions.
Research shows that American intelligence agencies knew in late December 2019 that people in Wuhan, China were dying from a strange deadly disease. A Chinese doctor named, Li Wenliang, was so concerned that he began sending warnings to others on Dec. 30, 2019, via the Chinese social network, WeChat. Apparently, that’s how American intelligence also became aware. And American intelligence services are required to pass this critical information to the President. Unfortunately, Dr. Li Wenliang died from the virus soon afterward which created a serious backlash in China, which indicated that the virus had now spread worldwide.
Therefore, it is now clear that Trump had to know about this deadly virus at least by early January; well before his Feb. 7, interview. But, we now know by his own taped admission that Trump intentionally lied to the American people about this monstrous virus purely out of self interest. That’s because Trump knew that any bad news about the virus would cause the stock market to fall. He also knew that his own re-election prospects and personal wealth were closely tied to a good economy. As we are also aware, the economy is now in free fall and equal to the Great Depression of the 1920’s.
What Trump has done based on his admitted behavior is so heinous and that it appears to fall within the realm of criminality called: Criminally Negligent Homicide. While I’m not purporting to be a legal counselor, but during my last career as a senior probation officer with the Colorado State Justice Department, I supervised a client upon his release from the corrections department after being convicted of that very crime. His offense occurred while drinking and driving which sadly resulted in the death of 5 innocent people.
West’s Encyclopedia of Law edition 2, states: “Criminal Negligence is the failure to use reasonable care to avoid consequences that threaten or harm the safety of the public and that are the foreseeable outcome of acting in a particular manner.” In the case of my client, he killed 5 people due to gross negligence by drinking alcohol to excess and then deciding to drive. So, while he never intended to hurt or kill anyone, but his decision to drive while intoxicated regrettably resulted in the death of those 5 people; thus, according to the law he committed: Criminally Negligent Homicide.
In Trump’s case, professional medical experts have estimated that Trump’s intentional lies have killed roughly 75% (or about 150,000) of the nearly 200,000 Americans that have died. But my previous client who took the lives of those 5 souls, did not intentionally commit his crime for personal gain and was clearly devastated by the incident. However, in Trump’s situation he openly admitted he deliberately withheld vital life and death information from the nation for personal gain and never expressed any remorse for his deadly actions.
As such, because approximately 150,000 Americans have died due to Trump’s wanton disregard for human life, he does appear to have committed Criminally Negligent Homicide on a grand scale with an added element of wanton behavior. The aforementioned West’s Encyclopedia of Law defines wanton as follows: “The term wanton implies a reckless disregard for the consequences of one’s behavior. A wanton act is one done in heedless disregard for the life, limbs, health, safety, reputation, or property rights of another individual. Such an act is more than Negligence or gross negligence; it is equivalent in its results to an act of willful misconduct. A wanton injury is one precipitated by a conscious and intentional wrongful act or by an omission of a known obligation with reckless indifference to potential harmful consequences.”
The passage of legal definition: “an omission of a known obligation with reckless indifference to potential harmful consequences“; effectively describes the essence of Trump’s crime. Here, he intentionally omitted (played down) his known obligation as President to protect the American people. He then lied (played down) about his other known obligation to tell us how deadly this virus was. At the same time, Trump also delayed (played down) telling the nation about the dangerous virus all of which constitutes “reckless indifference to potential harmful consequences.”
While all lives are precious, but unfortunately on a proportional basis the Latino community has been especially hard hit by the coronavirus due to centuries of systemic and institutional racism. And hopefully, by working as hard as we can to defeat Trump, we will shift the nation’s attention and resources in our favor to begin to undo the devastation our fellow Latino’s have been suffering all these years.
The reason I’m laying a legal foundation for criminal charges against Trump is to hold him fully accountable for his despicable actions when he is defeated in November. I would very much like to see Trump sharing a cell with his previous attorney. That should be another great reason to encourage us all to overthrow this wretched tyrant.
Angel Gonzales is a former teacher with the domestic Peace Corps and is also a retired senior official with the Colorado State Justice Dept. He is now a documentary filmmaker living in New México.
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