Lies and coronavirus have something in common. Both can be transmitted by air and both can kill. Indeed, as of September 13, in the U.S. alone, more than 198,000 people have died because of the coronavirus. How many of those people died because of lies? That is hard to calculate, but many of those lives could have been saved, if President Trump had acted on what he knew when he knew it.
“Trump lied; people died,” said Senator Chuck Schumer. The New York Democrat made those remarks after a taped interview of President Trump chatting with investigative reporter Bob Woodward was made public. The investigative journalist interviewed Trump repeatedly for his new book, Rage.
The taped interviews clearly show that President Trump was informed in January by his intelligence gatherers that a virus, worse than the common flu, was on the horizon and headed toward America. It could be the worse international problem his administration faced; his advisors warned.
On February 7: “This is deadly stuff,” the president told Woodward during his interview. “You just breathe the air, and that’s how it’s passed.”
After that, the president took to the road seeking support for his reelection. He visited five cities, where he held indoor rallies attended by thousands of people, breathing the same hot air.
In late February, the president insisted in public that the coronavirus was no worse than the seasonal flu. He promised in late February that the “China flu” would disappear when the seasons changed. All the while, the administration accused the Chinese government of lying to the world about the severity of the pandemic started in their country.
On March 19: “I wanted to play it down,” the president told Woodward. “I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”
As a result of his cheerleading, the president refers to his approach as cheerleading for the country he loves, the coronavirus spread faster and sickened or killed more people than in similar nations, such as Canada, where the fatality rate is lower.
While the number of victims and deaths kept rising, the Trump administration pointed crooked fingers at the media, accusing them of creating a hoax to bring down the Trump presidency. After all, testing, not the disease itself, caused the numbers to rise.
Now, the president insists we have rounded the corner, a vaccine is near, maybe available by election day. The experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, disagree, warning that a vaccine might be here next year. In the meantime, look for the coronavirus to spike this fall.
The truth may be hard to swallow sometimes, even in small doses, but a healthy dose could save a life. Which begs the question: Who would the deceased victims of the coronavirus vote for if they could still take a breath, admire a sunrise, eat a meal, hug a loved one, or vote for president?