Welcome To Operation Warped Denial of Reality

 

Doctors intubate a COVID patient. Illustration by Tyler Comrie, photo by Go Nakamura/Getty

Grim times. U.S.COVID deaths spiral towards 350,000, Wednesday set a second straight record death toll of 3,750, January offers a bleak prospect of another 80,000 deaths coming and cases of the lethal, highly contagious new variant identified in the U.K. has now turned up in both Colorado and California. Meanwhile the murderous bunglers in charge have, once again, bungled: Having promised 20 million Americans would be vaccinated "very, very rapidly" by now, the actual number stands at 2 million and states are scrambling to distribute the fraction of the doses they were expecting because, Biden notes of the inept feds, "There is no detailed plan" - a charge feebly refuted by Trump (from his golf course) and Pence (from his ski slope), who laughably retorted, "This is no time for playing politics!” The irony was likely lost on furious, exhausted health care workers in California, where COVID deaths in L.A. County have hit over 10,000, the number of ICU patients has broken records for 16 consecutive days with a daily increase of 35 patients, ambulances are being turned away, even very ill patients needing oxygen have waited 18 hours to get into the ICU, and hospitals are so overloaded they are placing patients in gift shops and conference rooms. A hospital CEO of 40 years: "I have never seen anything like this."

The New Yorker just devoted an entire, chilling issue to "The Plague Year," and the devastation wrought by Trump, not a leader but "a saboteur." Perhaps most disturbingly, he was aided and abetted by an army of saboteurs - what has become the GOP death cult, including evangelicals and multiple GOP pols who have gotten sick or died in dumb defiance of COVID realities. Having long mocked, fought and ignored CDC guidelines, Republican-controlled states are now bypassing frontline workers for the vaccine and giving it to the elderly and high-profile pols like healthy 'lil Marco Rubio. They're also still getting sick, and still wondering how. James Trent, head of New York's Queens Republican Club, was just admitted to a hospital after an indoor Christmas party at a GOP club featuring a conga line of maskless idiots; he's surprised he got COVID because "I wasn't doing anything risky." Luke Letlow, 41, the newly elected representative for Louisiana's 5th District, just died of COVID complications after months of holding maskless campaign events, urging businesses to re-open, and declaring, "We have to learn to live in a COVID world." His death prompted fierce debate online: Some called it "a tragedy," which it is for his two young children, just like the other 343,000 and counting; some noted he made his choices and faced the consequences of his actions, thereby also threatening the lives of all the doctors and nurses who cared for him. In awful truth, almost 3,000 of them have died too; The Guardian, God love 'em, have profiled many. They all belong in the miles-long line of coffins The Lincoln Project has darkly deemed "Trump's Wall." Ultimately, we reap what we sow: "Let the party of personal responsbility take some for a change."

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