Joseph Klein, Trump and businesses don’t care about American lives? Really?
At this Wednesday’s press briefing by President Trump and his Coronavirus Task Force, President Trump was asked one of the most insulting questions that he has ever been asked during his presidency – and that’s saying something. A “reporter” wanted to know, “how many deaths are acceptable?” The president’s response was firm and direct: “How many? None. Okay? How many deaths are acceptable to me? None. Okay? None, if that’s your question.”
The pretextual reason for this sinister question was to follow up on the extent of testing of Americans for the coronavirus that would be considered necessary before allowing people to go back to work. President Trump rejected the idea of testing 350 million people or requiring the testing of all persons within a state that has virtually no problem to date:
“We have some big problems, but it’s confined to certain areas, high-density areas. So why would we test the entire nation — 350 [million] people? With that being said, I’m going to say it again: We tested far more than anybody else. We are — we have the ability to test — I mean, we’ve come a long way from an obsolete, broken system that I inherited. We have now tested, with the best test, far more than anybody else. And when I say “anybody else,” I’m talking about other countries. No country is even close.”
The question is sinister because it is a thinly veiled way of pushing the left’s latest false narrative against President Trump – he is more interested in prematurely pumping up the economy to bolster his re-election campaign than he is in saving lives. The message also is that greedy capitalists care more about profits than human life. For example, in an article entitled “Trumpworld Embraces the Death Wish Economy,” published by the New Republic on March 25th , the magazine staffer Matt Ford wrote that the president and his allies “have concluded that the loss of human life is acceptable and the decline in corporate earnings is not.” He added, people “will suffer and die if Trump’s nihilistic vision of crisis management prevails.”
Fortunately, most Americans have common sense and reject the outright lies the left is spreading to advance its sick socialist agenda. According to a Gallup poll released on March 24th that specifically looked at how President Trump has been handling the coronavirus crisis, “Americans give the president generally positive reviews for his handling of the situation, with 60% approving and 38% disapproving. Ninety-four percent of Republicans, 60% of independents and 27% of Democrats approve of his response.”
Leftists believe that even talking about beginning to open portions of the country by Easter or perhaps soon thereafter exposes the “evil” of capitalism – i.e., profits over lives. The national affairs correspondent for The Nation, Jeet Heer, wrote an article entitled “Trump Toys With a Let-Them-Die Response to the Pandemic.” Heer lashed out at what he called “a kind of cult capitalism.” Heer added, “The existing system is viewed as so sacred that it is worth sacrificing innumerable human lives to keep it going. Even nonrevolutionary changes to the system are anathema.” Heer’s apocalyptic claim, so emblematic of the left’s deranged hate-Trump, hate-capitalism echo chamber, crumbles under the lightest feather of facts.
The “existing system” has been turned upside down to save as many lives as possible and the livelihoods of millions of Americans when they are finally able to go back to work. Perhaps Heer should count to 2 trillion before the next time he goes to sleep – the cost of the truly revolutionary congressional deal to rush economic relief to Americans, businesses and the health care industry who are all coping with the human costs of the coronavirus pandemic. It’s all about keeping workers employed and paid, and keeping the companies (big and small) that employ people afloat long enough to remain in business when the crisis significantly abates. And it’s about enhancing the nation’s health care system to save as many lives as possible while the pandemic continues to afflict Americans. President Trump and his administration worked tirelessly with leaders of both parties in Congress to move this legislation through the Senate in record time. Even Democrat Socialist Bernie Sanders ended up voting for the Senate bill. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has predicted that the legislation will pass the House of Representatives on Friday with bipartisan support. Meanwhile poor Joe Biden imagines himself as being too busy to think about any more debates because his “focus” is “just dealing” with the pandemic crisis. Who knew? Biden is disappointed because student loan forgiveness and “my Green Deal” will have to wait until “the next round [of congressional economic aid].”
While Congress was spinning its wheels, President Trump acted early and forcefully to address the pandemic crisis on multiple fronts. His travel restrictions have played a big part in preventing the crisis we are now facing from potentially turning into a catastrophe on par with the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic, which cost about 675,000 American lives. The progressives’ hero Woodrow Wilson made matters worse by failing to heed medical advice during the Spanish flu outbreak. Wilson hid the truth about the outbreak from the public. He had also rammed through Congress the Sedition Act, which made it a crime to report anything that could negatively affect the war effort during World War I. As a result, the press did not adequately warn the public about the disease and the dangers of large social gatherings. The death toll in Philadelphia alone was about 14,500, following a huge war bond parade in the fall of 1918 that led to an explosion of the disease in the city within 48 hours.
President Trump has listened to his medical advisers and followed their advice on instituting strict social distancing guidelines, supplemented by mandatory stay-at-home edicts in the most critically affected states. The Trump administration has supported those states, regardless of the immediately devastating economic consequences. The president and other administration officials have made it clear that the most affected areas will not return to normal for a considerable period of time. Under President Trump’s close direction, his task force, led by Vice President Pence, and many other parts of his administration have overseen dramatic increases in the manufacture, distribution and supply of tests, medications, masks and life-saving medical equipment, such as ventilators. The private sector has stepped up to the challenge. The president has been extraordinarily transparent – so much so with his daily in-person briefings that the left wing press is complaining.
The New York Times carried a story by the Associated Press on March 24th that purported to be a “fact-check” against President Trump’s claim that “People get tremendous anxiety and depression, and you have suicides over things like this when you have terrible economies.” According to the so-called fact-checkers, “There’s no evidence that suicides will rise dramatically if nationwide social-distancing guidelines that have closed many businesses and are expected to trigger a spike in unemployment stay in place.”
In fact, there is historical evidence correlating horrible economic conditions with a rising suicide rate. First, there was an increasing suicide rate during the Great Depression, which the New York Times article downplayed. A study of the period between 1928 and 2007 found the following: “The largest increase in the overall suicide rate occurred during the Great Depression (1929–1933), when it surged from 18.0 [per 100,000] in 1928 to 22.1 (the all-time high) in 1932, the last full year of the Great Depression. This increase of 22.8% was the highest recorded for any 4-year interval during the study period.” The study added, “The overall suicide rate also rose during 3 other severe recessions: the end of the New Deal (1937–1938), the oil crisis (1973–1975), and the double-dip recession (1980–1982).”
There is also evidence of increased suicides during the Great Recession that began in 2008. “Three recent studies with data from single countries—England, Italy, and the United States —found a significant rise in suicide during the 2008-10 recession,” BMJ reported.
The left wants President Trump to fail and for the U.S. capitalist economy to collapse so that desperate Americans will embrace socialism. The socialist Jacobin Magazine published an article lauding the Soviet Union’s “fully socialized health-care system” established during its early days. “In a way few would have imagined, the coronavirus has, in recent weeks, severely challenged the dynamics of global capitalism by bringing the economy to a halt — perhaps even dragging it toward an unprecedented depression,” the authors wrote. “But surely, in this moment, we should think big — not only about health care as a collective right, but about the way capitalism has managed our existence. COVID-19 has shown that the world is willing to make dramatic changes and economic sacrifices to save lives. We should demand that the principles for collective health-care solutions also apply for other issues, such as food security and combatting climate change. The Spanish flu in 1918 brought lasting societal changes made possible through strong action taken by the state and the public realm. The COVID-19 crisis of 2020 provides a unique opportunity to change the world once more — and shows us that the necessary tools are within reach.”
American must firmly reject such charlatans even in the worst of times. Socialism is dangerous snake oil that would kill our constitutional republic and the liberties it is supposed to protect.