Although wishing everyone at the White House well, still it was alarming to watch President Donald Trump being rushed by helicopter from the White House to the Walter Reed Hospital last Friday after being diagnosed with the COVID-19 virus.
It was also unusual to see Donald Trump all-masked-up as he boarded Marine One after he ridiculed former Vice President, Joe Biden at the recent Presidential Debate for continuing to wear a mask as recommended by Trump’s own CDC (Center for Disease Control).
The President has already been given an experimental “antibody cocktail” that is generally not available to anyone else. Most White House staff are now also wearing life protecting medical grade masks and gear that are not commonly available to the general public.
Nonetheless, it’s important to note that according to national news reports there is growing evidence that the initial transmission may have started at a fundraising event Trump held at the Trump International Hotel on September 25th, 2020. The next likely transmissible event occurred at Trump’s Supreme Court nomination rally for Judge Amy Barrett at the White House on Saturday, September 26th, 2020. That assemblage of approximately 150 people was certainly a superspreader affair that probably caused most of the coronavirus infections based on the large number of attendee positive readings.
It was very disturbing to realize that while Trump is receiving the very best medical treatment available at taxpayer expense — he and most of the Republican congress have been trying to kill the Affordable Care Act for nearly four years.
While not intending ill-will toward the President or his family, but just on the merits alone, it is extremely outrageous that Trump has clearly desecrated the coronavirus related deaths of 210,000 plus Americans by holding a coronavirus cluster event at the White House against Trump’s own CDC recommendations. Furthermore, it is abhorrent on its face that the President would act in such a reckless manner in his management of this dreadfully deadly disease that even he and the first lady, Melania Trump became infected.
Not to make light of the coronavirus tragedy, but it seems quite ironic that a deadly disease mainly devastating the most impoverished and underprivileged minority communities has now struck the most powerful man in the world. It also seems almost instructive that the natural world has a way of demanding ultimate equality.
It has also been reported by national news organizations that Vice President Mike Pence was in close contact with President Trump while he was actively infected and he (Pence), and various others that the Vice President was in contact with may have also been infected. Senators Mike Lee (R-Utah); Senator Thom Tillis (R-North Carolina); Senator Ron Johnson (R-Wisconsin), and numerous others that attended the White House event have already tested positive.
A sample list of additional White House staffers reporting positive includes Trump’s closest advisor Hope Hicks, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany and her two deputies, RNC chairwoman Ronna McDaniel and campaign manager Bill Stepien. The list also includes Trump’s body assistant Nick Luna, former advisor Kellyanne Conway and former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie.
Based on the haphazard contact tracing that has been reported it appears that even the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi and the Secretary of the Treasury, Steven Mnuchin may have been exposed due to Trump’s wanton negligence.
In a spectacle of wanton carelessness (and outright craziness), while still at the Walter Reed Hospital on Sunday, Trump decided to go on a “joyride” around the hospital in the Presidential SUV with two Secret Service agents as a purely political stunt. Dr. Jonathan Reiner, a respected professor of medicine at George Washington University, stated that Trump unnecessarily and irresponsibly exposed the two agents to this deadly virus.
Then, in a truly irrational act of recklessness Trump decided to prematurely leave Walter Reed Hospital on Monday Oct. 5, prior to concluding his critical one-of-a-kind experimental treatment. When he arrived at the White House Trump then quickly discarded his mask against all medical recommendations. While in his Mussolini-like pose, Trump was clearly more concerned with his personal appearance than with the health and welfare of all his White House staff and Secret Service agents that must be constantly at his side.
Dr. Sanjay Gupta, who is a neurosurgeon and a Professor of Neurosurgery at Emory University School of Medicine, and Dr. Megan Ranny, a medical consultant, stated that the powerful drug concoction Trump is on has been known to cause psychosis, delirium and mania.
That led David Gergen, a highly respected former presidential advisor to four previous presidents to state on national TV; and in complete seriousness: “We may be in the grip of a mad man.”
Pence and Pelosi, respectively, are next in the line of presidential succession if Trump becomes fully incapacitated, but because of the coronavirus this potentially creates a bizarre national security crisis that boggles the imagination. In a previous column entitled “The Failing American Experiment,” I postulated that due to the ongoing failures of the executive, legislative and judicial branches that we were experiencing “a de facto failure of democracy.” And that clearly appears to be the case now more than ever.
If it wasn’t for the fact that the presidential election is just several weeks away, I would have strongly recommended that section 3 of the 25th Amendment be invoked. This section of the constitution allows for a voluntary transfer of power to the Vice President when it is believed that the President is potentially incapacitated. (The fact that the President has gone for “joyrides” while he was supposed to be fully isolated at Walter Reed Hospital, and then left prematurely while still undergoing treatment, I believe would have qualified for this action).
Moreover, it was very disturbing to realize that while Trump is receiving the very best medical treatment available at taxpayer expense — he and most of the Republican congress have been trying to kill the Affordable Care Act for nearly four years. According to the Kaiser Family Foundation there are already roughly 30 million Americans without any medical insurance and if the ACA is crushed another 23 million-plus Americans will also become uninsured. Therefore, approximately 50 million-plus Americans may soon be uninsured during the worst deadly viral pandemic in the past 100 years. We may as well add most of those poor souls to the ever-growing coronavirus death count.
It is in these areas of greatest historical societal inequality (such as systemic racism), that the coronavirus mostly resides. And that’s why the Black and Brown communities have been so greatly devastated. But, again it’s as if nature is shouting to Trump and the greater white community to pay attention to the most vulnerable lest it will come and rub their faces into the same savage misery being suffered by ordinary Black or Brown people.
And nature has already clearly shown that it will treat everyone equally even if it happens to be the most powerful leader of the world, in the most secure environment.
It is also within these various zones of inequality that The New York Times has now released a report showing that Trump hasn’t paid any taxes for 10 of the past 15 years. Equally deplorable, Trump then only paid $750 in taxes in 2016 and $750 in 2017, while he was already President. Still more, this has all occurred at the same time that Trump has continued to enjoy the great luxuries of being a billionaire.
In the meantime, a field hand or a kitchen worker (both of which I was at one time), making $18,000 to $20,000 per year is required to pay $4,000 in federal taxes on their meager earnings. These are also the same proud workers now standing in food lines by the millions begging for assistance to feed their hungry children. And all because Trump destroyed the economy due to his own complete dereliction of his duties as President of this country.
Those heart-rending images of people standing in food lines are especially agonizing to me (as I weep while recalling similar painful experiences of my own past). As a child I grew up in desperate poverty and at times I literally had to eat out of trash cans to survive in the bigoted all-white backwater communities of Nebraska during the 1950’s.
Because Trump’s Republican system is so rigged against us ordinary people the only way to regain any fairness is to thoroughly defeat him and the entire Republican party on November 3rd. That will then give us the power to dismantle his entire ill-gotten empire and force him and all his corrupt Republican henchmen to be held fully accountable for everything they have stolen from us. Maybe when Trump is standing in a food line while wearing a prison uniform, he will begin to understand what equality means.
But now that the coronavirus has slammed Trump’s orange face into the viral muck he and the rest of his “make America white again” society better realize that just as their racism has killed us over the many years, the natural course of the coronavirus is now bringing them to account. And until they eradicate the racism plague and most of the related inequality, they won’t be able to eliminate the coronavirus plague. Therefore, the coronavirus will continue to exact its own natural form of equality.
Judging by which candidate it has spared, it appears the coronavirus has already voted in this contentious election and has made its choice very clear.
As a child, Angel Gonzales lived in dire poverty. However, he eventually became a teacher with the Domestic Peace Corps. He later also became a senior official with the Colorado State Justice Department from which he retired. He is now a documentary filmmaker living in New México.
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