During a week when we became number one for coronavirus cases in the world and when we saw the death toll multiplying at dizzy rates, Trump stuck to happy talk.
The current number of 1600-plus deaths is likely to be much larger by the time this column is published. (You can see how much here .)
There are those are masters at arousing emotions. But perhaps because of years of writing for academic journals and preparing legal documents, I’ve learned to self-edit to the point of understating my complete contempt for this administration. The facts tell us we have a monster for a leader.
Previously, I said that life during this public health crises really is bad if you’re an American citizen and it’s even worse if you’re an immigrant.
I’ve written about the conditions that innocent asylum seekers live in. The concentration camps, the cages, the rotten food, the lack of soap, hot water, shampoo, toothpaste. It’s what you would expect from someone as monstrous as Stephen Miller and the man who follows his advice, Donald J. Trump.
If you aren’t outraged because Immigration judges were ordered to continue to hold deportation proceedings during this pandemic, I don’t know how to make you feel the outrage.
If you aren’t disgusted by the likelihood that COVID-19 will spread like wildfire among children and people of all ages being held by ICE and border control, I honestly don’t know what words you need to move you.
If you aren’t disgusted by Trump insisting on a bit of suck-up from governors if they want lifesaving respirators, I doubt there is anything I can say that will change that.
We live in times when some of us want to turn off emotions because it hurts too much. At least, it does for me. The absence of expressing them doesn’t mean they don’t exist. In fact, they lurk beneath the surface as we fumble our way through the worst public health crises in over one hundred years.
Fear figured prominently this week as two people dear to me showed symptoms but couldn’t be tested. Fortunately, by the grace of God, they are feeling better. But, many families are mourning, and they are mourning because Donald Trump is the monster who tried to dismiss the coronavirus as a Chinese hoax and “fake news” put out by the “Democrat Party” because, even as thousands of people fall ill and die, he still thinks it’s all about him.
Donald Trump dreams of opening the country for business at Easter. Some pro-Trump governors still encourage the people who trust them to go about business as usual. Within the next week or two, we will see numbers in those states as scary as the ones in New York.
Even without that, people will die because of his actions. Families will be shattered. Nothing about this should need especially poetic, emotion-inducing prose. The facts speak for themselves!
Doctors are readying themselves to prioritize who gets respirators and who gets pain management as they suffocate to death. No one should have to make such decisions.
And it didn’t have to be this way. It’s a fact that we had a pandemic plan and infrastructure. It is also a fact that monster in the White House destroyed it because of his obsession with erasing everything Barack Obama did during his presidency.
That’s the most maddening thing of all. Trump destroyed the things designed to defend America from the deadly pandemic. He destroyed protecting Americans because he couldn’t stand a black man being president.
There are some positive elements in all this. After a week of negotiations by both Democrats and Republicans, Trump finally signed an imperfect aid package. Ever determined to prove how small he is, though, Trump refused to invite Democrats to the signing ceremony.
That’s actually a good thing, because we know he’s been exposed to COVID-19. So we should be glad that rather than feeling snubbed, Democrats had the good sense to socially distance from a man who cares more about social distancing from the truth than from a deadly virus.
Meanwhile, we’ve seen America coming together, recognizing that we are on our own because there’s a monster in our White House. We saw great leadership from governors like Andrew Cuomo, Jay Inslee and Gretchen Whitmer this past week. They showed evidence of understanding how quickly the virus spreads and at what point the curve collapses the healthcare system. They’ve done things within their powers, looking at less-safe treatment options, at creating hospitals out of stadiums and hotels. (One particular hotel comes to mind.)
At the same time, we saw them plead with Trump on live television, but then we hear him grouse about how all they do is “take, take, take”.
Amid these emotion-rousing, outrage-inducing facts, amid the grander landscape of Trump’s affront to the nation, is an affront to our nation’s capital. The same COVID-19 bill that is so generous to the rest of the country gives less to Washington than it ought to. Traditionally it would be treated like a state. Instead it’s ripped off by some 700 million dollars.
But Washington, DC, which pays more per capita in taxes than many states, is also the site of the Trump International Hotel. I so wish District of Columbia council would expropriate this crown jewel of the Trump empire. It’s nowhere nearly enough to make up the difference, but it hits the monster in what passes for his heart.
Note: Occasional PoliticusUSA writer Tobias Grant contributed to this column.
Ms. Woodbury has a graduate degree in political science, with a minor in law. She is a qualified expert on political theory with a specific interest in the nexus between political theories and models and human rights.
Based on her interest in human rights and the threats that authoritarian regimes are to them, Ms. Woodbury’s masters thesis examined the influence of politics on the enforcement of international criminal law was cited in several academic studies.
Published work includes case summaries for the War Crimes Research Office.
She has an extensive background doing legal research in international and domestic law.
Ms. Woodbury’s work for politicusUSA includes articles on voting rights, the right to asylum and other civil/human rights.