With Covid-19 pandemic surging in regions across the United States, progressive activists plan to spotlight the president's "reckless and deadly" handling of the public health emrgency by displaying the "Trump Death Clock" outside the White House and Trump International Hotel amid July 4th celebrations this weekend.
The "clock" quantifies the number Covid-19 related deaths that the activists say can be directly attributed to President Donald Trump's delayed response to the coronavirus. As of this writing, the figure stood at 76,895.
The website for the "Trump Death Clock" gives the background that spurred the creative display:
In January 2020, the Trump administration was advised that immediate action was required to stop the spread of COVID-19. According to NIAID Director Dr. Anthony Fauci, “there was a lot of pushback” to this advice. President Trump declined to act until March 16th. Experts estimate that, had mitigation measures been implemented one week earlier, 60% of American COVID-19 deaths would have been avoided.
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The clock has made previous appearances, including in Times Square and, most recently, on billboards in Tulsa, Oklahoma, where Trump held a June 20th rally and bragged about his administration's response to the coronavirus. "Wherever he goes, we will remind him of the cost of his recklessness," organizers said at the time.
The eight-hour action planned for Saturday in the nation's capital, said Public Citizen, a partner in the effort, will kick off at noon. It will feature a truck with video screens on both sides that display the real-time number of deaths that organizers pin on Trump's delayed and inept response. The names of Covid-19 victims will be read over a loudspeaker as well.
In an op-ed for Common Dreams in May, Kenneth R. Peres, former chief economist of the Communications Workers of America, discussed the deadly delay by the White House, writing, "The scale of the preventable deaths resulting from Trump's policies is astounding." But, he added, "The tragedy is not just the scale of the deaths—but that these deaths could have been prevented."
"The bottom-line question remains," wrote Peres, "can a president do anything—even causing the preventable deaths of tens of thousands of people across America—and escape any form of accountability? The answer depends on us," he said.
The U.S. has the highest number of Covid-19 cases and related deaths in the world. Out of the over 10 million confirmed global cases, more than 2.7 million were in the U.S., according to the Johns Hopkins Covid tracker. As of this writing, there were 128,951 total Covid-19 related deaths in the nation.