It doesn’t matter that all the blame in the world doesn’t save a single life or create a job. The game must continue because politics is ultimately a zero-sum affair.
President Trump, of course, is the most common target, and his detractors are the usual suspects. Democrats and the media come together to create a story that people died because Trump did not act quickly enough.
“While the president is fiddling with people, people are dying,” said House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, announcing an investigation that smelled of impeachment 2.0.
She and others cite the President’s reluctance in January and early February to fully grasp the threat of the coronavirus and the delays in providing test kits.
They have a point, especially on the test fiasco. But they conveniently ignore their own guilt.
First, the president was up to his neck in the fragile dismissal of Ukraine Pelosi and the media has cooked. The final acquittal took place on February 6, but remember that the accusers, who included all of the Democrats in Congress and the party’s presidential candidates, demanded additional witnesses. If successful, the trial would have lasted until the end of February and possibly until March.
The second fact they ignore is that Trump had already declared a public health emergency for the coronavirus on January 31, barring entry to most people who came from or went to China and put travelers down. Americans in quarantine. At the time, there were only seven known cases in the United States, with zero deaths.
Trump’s decisions have shaken travel and tourism businesses and rocked the stock markets, but have also prevented infected visitors who are believed to have accelerated the calamity here.
The restrictions on China were not popular with the Dems, and the president’s second ban, which covered Europe and was announced on March 11, also disregarded the usual cabal.
The New York Times, which now insists that the president acted too slowly, said he acted “without evidence” when he said that European travelers were a threat. Reflecting his own bias and ignorance, the newspaper reunited Trump with foreign leaders who closed the borders and accused them of xenophobia.
“The same denigration of science and the desire to block foreigners have characterized China’s leaders in Iran, as well as right-wing populists in Europe,” taunted Mark Landler, head of the London Times office.
As these examples show, the game of blame cuts in all directions. If Trump is to be held accountable, he should share the wharf with many others who have not foreseen the destruction to come.
Most mainstream media have dishonored themselves by falling into the first lies of China and the World Health Organization regarding a relatively small number of deaths and the claim that the virus was probably not spread by contact human.
In addition, the media mistakenly compared the coronavirus to the 2002 SARS epidemic, which also started in China and killed around 800 people worldwide. The coronavirus killed nearly 64,000 people on Saturday.
Much of what we know from what Congress knew came from the sales of outrageous shares of Senator Richard Burr.
Reports indicate that the Republican from North Carolina, chairman of the intelligence committee, received near-daily briefings on the coronavirus in early February. He co-wrote an opinion column on February 7 declaring the nation well prepared, a common view in Congress.
However, in about a week, Burr was unloading up to $ 1.72 million worth of stocks in companies that were loading. In late February, he privately told donors that the virus “is much more aggressive in its transmission than anything we’ve seen in recent history,” according to a recording obtained by NPR.
Three other senators also made large stock sales around the same time, spilling stocks that would suffer huge declines.
All four say they didn’t do anything illegal, and that may be true. But it is certainly true that they did nothing to warn the public of the impending nightmare. So save space for them in the blame game dock.
Representatives of the state and local authorities also have explanations to make. Governor Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio are pressing for federal assistance, but none has done much to prepare for a pandemic.
Cuomo, now in his 10th year as governor, has never built the state’s supply of ventilators and intensive care beds and has grossly underestimated the deadly virus.
“This is not our first rodeo,” Cuomo said confidently on March 2. “We are fully coordinated, we are fully mobilized and we are fully prepared to deal with the situation as it evolves. “
Five days later, with most of the 89 state cases in Westchester County, Cuomo declared a state of emergency. On March 10, he ordered the closure of schools and places of worship in New Rochelle, where most of the infected residents lived, and deployed the National Guard. He then prohibited gatherings of more than 500 people.
It was not until the third week of March, however, that Cuomo began an almost daily escalation of orders imposing stricter and broader restrictions.
On March 15, he closed schools in the city and some suburbs. On the 16th, he limited gatherings to 50 people and closed bars and restaurants.
On the 18th, he ordered companies to keep 50 percent of their employees at home, and then increased it to 75 percent the next day. On the 20th, he ordered the closure of all non-essential businesses.
Yet after all of this and with more than 20,000 cases in the state, the governor insisted on March 23 that “many people will get the virus, but few will be really at risk,” according to ABC News.
Just eight days later, on March 31, he conceded the obvious: “We have underestimated this virus. It’s more powerful. It’s more dangerous than we expected. “
De Blasio, now in his seventh year at city hall, was stronger in his complaints and slower in his actions. He and the health commissioner downplayed the risks and urged New Yorkers to attend Lunar New Year celebrations in Chinatown.
City Council President Corey Johnson also gave false assurances. According to Jim Geraghty in the National Review, Johnson said on February 13 that the fears of the coronavirus “are not based on fact and science. The risk of infection for New Yorkers is low. There is no need to avoid public spaces. “
Obviously, few people in public life will emerge unscathed from the blame game if we ask everyone the same questions: what did you know, when did you know and what did you do about it ?
On the other hand, mutual destruction is neither required nor desirable, and there is a better option. We can just ignore the blame for now and work together to help America get through this worst time.
Think of it as the patriotic choice.