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  • Writer's pictureDonald V. Watkins

Donald Trump v. COVID-19

By: Donald V. Watkins

Copyrighted and Published on August 10, 2020

A Commentary

The novel corona virus known as COVID-19 has devastated America. Our economy is in shambles. Unemployment is at a record high. Public health officials and first responders are overwhelmed. The federal government and Federal Reserve have pumped nearly ten trillion dollars in stimulus and loan money into the hands of American businesses, state and local governments and individual taxpayers in an effort to keep the nation afloat. Churches and other religious institutions have sought and received federal stimulus money. Americans are scared.

Early on, big corporations robbed the small business stimulus fund of $350 billion in just two weeks. Federal assistance for Wall Street giants was swift, massive and was distributed without a hitch. Federal assistance for “Main Street” was more symbolic than substantive. As of July 31, 2020, there was no national plan to save Main Street from the ravages of COVID-19. In a biblical sense, the disease is a “plague upon the land”.

Since January 2020, the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in America has surged to 5,255,392. The number of COVID-19-related deaths has climbed to 166,345. Approximately 1000 people per day are dying from COVID-19.

A second wave of COVID-19 is on its way. It will sweep across America with a vengeance. No community will be spared. The death count will rise dramatically.

It is evident today that America’s response to COVID-19 was never organized, adequate, or effective. At the beginning of the year, many Americans thought the greatest threat to the nation’s national security was the endless caravans of migrants from Central and South America who sought entry at the southern border. They were called “drug dealers”, “gang members”, and “rapists”. Migrant children were forcibly separated from their parents. There was widespread abuse of detained migrants by border agents. Chants of “Build the Wall” drowned out a thoughtful bi-partisan approach to immigration reform. By March, we learned that the real threat to our way of life was COVID-19 and that we had no way of stopping this deadly disease.

With the 2020 presidential election less than three months away, COVID-19 has made it crystal clear that President Donald J. Trump’s “real” opponent is the novel corona virus. This disease is doing to Trump’s chances of re-election, what former Vice President Joe Biden could never have done alone. COVID-19 is eroding Trump’s voter approval rating with all voters. It has forced our national economy into a nosedive. All of us are experiencing COVID-19 fatigue.

Working class Americans are living through an economic depression. Jobs are bleeding out. The major American corporations that received a huge tax break early in the Trump presidency never used the money from their tax savings to repatriate their jobs in foreign countries back to America. Instead, they bonused CEOs for making their companies look more profitable on paper.

Political philosophies have been thrown out the window. Republicans have always frowned upon welfare benefits for poor people. Yet, they are now first in line for corporate welfare for the richest companies. Because of COVID-19, these corporations have accepted trillions of dollars in federal welfare benefits without spending one minute standing in any line.

Those who railed against universal healthcare are the first ones to seek bailout money for hospitals and other healthcare facilities that are overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients. I have never understood how elected officials and other public servants who enjoy healthcare insurance that is paid for by taxpayers can vote to deny healthcare for a substantial body of working class, uninsured taxpayers who foot the bill for insurance plans for these public officials.

Voting for the November 3, 2020 election will begin in a few weeks, via early voting and absentee ballots. The presidential election has become a referendum on whether Trump has provided credible leadership during the COVID-19 crisis which is infecting and killing Republicans and Democrats alike. Millions of voters will make up their minds on this question by the end of September. They will likely be guided by scientific data and not political spin because Main Street is hurting, badly.

PHOTO: The bodies of patients who died from COVID-19 being loaded into a makeshift morgue.

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