Andrew Jackson and his like-minded bestie. Photo by Andrew Harnick/AP
Huh. Despite our estimable leader's willful, febrile good cheer - all good, great job, no virus, you're the virus, don't need testing, let's go shopping! - COVID-19 is skyrocketing. Wednesday saw the highest confirmed single-day surge for new infections - 38,115 nationwide - with new outbreaks in at least six states - including re-opened Texas, Arizona, Florida - already threatening to overwhelm hospitals, and even states like California and Washington that took reasonably early precautions seeing surges. U.S. deaths now total 121,117 - or they did at this writing - with roughly 784 new deaths a day. And the CDC is now warning we could have 20 million cases, ten times more than those reported, in part because just 18 states - thank you Maine - have mandated wearing masks in public, our most stupidly elemental act of prevention. That's in part: The other part of the equation, of course, is the yawning, murderous void where leadership should have been. A new infographic in the New York Times captures the deadly failure of those in power to halt the spread wherein, "At every crucial moment, American officials were weeks or months behind the reality of the outbreak."
Now, using the demented illogic of avoiding pregnancy by skipping a pregnancy test and halting climate change by not tracking climate, Trump wants to cut federal funding for COVID-19 testing at 13 sites in five states, including some seeing surges, because, in his immortal words, "When you do testing...You’re going to find more cases." His malignant idiocy was on full, awful display at his appearance in Arizona, where he flouted both CDC guidelines and state law by packing several thousand maskless Students for Trump into a mega-church that falsely claimed it had purified the air, darkly ranted the "left-wing mob is trying to abolish our heritage," and spewed endless lies about a #TrumpVirus he grotesquely called "Kung Flu" and "China Virus" because he clearly hasn't seen this video" - his dumb wall stopped Covid, it's "going away," we'll have a vaccine "very soon," "people get sick from the other," and besides, “some people can’t explain what the 19” means. Then, sweating like a pig, he said the quiet homicidal part out loud: "I said to my people, slow the testing down please.” Many weeks and bodies ago, some were debating if he was criminally responsible for the mounting death toll. Now, it's clear: Cue hashtag #TrumpKillsUs and two damning, truth telling ads - from the Lincoln Project and the new grassroots Meidas Touch - charging him with mass negligent homicide. Yes. Pass 'em on.