Today, I've decided to state the obvious. It wasn't as obvious several weeks ago when I first thought of writing this, but as regularly happens in Trump World, bigger news stories keep getting in the way, but it's obvious now. Still, sometimes you have to state the obvious -- not just to get it out of your system, but so the abnormal doesn't get accepted as normal. And in fairness, pretty much everything with Trump is pretty obvious, especially the last few months as the presidential election came closer to reality. The man has no filter.
So, to state the obvious --
Trump supports the insane, mass murder policy of herd immunity. It's been clear for a while now, but it's hard to miss now. Having five mass rallies a day, without social distancing or any requirement to wear face masks. Holding a rally in Florida at The Village, the large retirement community of the most-vulnerable members of society. Holding a rally in Wisconsin, which has one of the highest hot-spot rates in the country. Holding a swearing-in party for new Justice Amy Coney Barrett at the White House Rose Garden which was the site of the infamous Rose Garden Massacred that infected Trump himself and a mass of White House staffers. Sending Mike Pence out to rallies across the country, despite five members of his inner-circle staff testing positive for COVID-19, including his chief-of-staff and body man who is by his side regularly. Holding a rally in Nebraska in below-freezing weather...where buses were charted to bring people in, but not to take them back. And so much more, on and on and on and on.
Topped by Pence's press spokesman being asked if it was too dangerous to hold a rally in Wisconsin where infections were so high and hospital beds were almost all full -- and answering that Pence was fine and had a good medical staff with him, ignoring the blatantly obvious point that the question was about the public potentially getting infected and risking dying.
By the way, there's no evidence that herd immunity works -- in fact, there's evidence that it doesn't, most particularly in the failed experiment in Sweden. Scientists who are experts in the field of infectious diseases have discredited. But never mind, it's what Trump wants, and so everyone in his sphere goes along, never the risk of spreading a deadly disease across the country and to themselves. After all, spreading the disease is the point.
And to anyway to thinks even at this point that this is all hyperbolic, I would suggest that -- besides all the evidence -- what else can you conclude when the person Trump put on his pandemic team and by all accounts now listens to the most is Dr. Scott Atlas, a man who pushes herd immunity and has absolute NO experience in infectious diseases. None, zero, nada.
From the first, I've had my theories as to why Trump is doing this. There's no one reason, to be clear, and for all I know none of them are correct. But the reasons include that 1) he's unhinged, 2) taking no responsibility for safety precautions fits in perfectly with his desire to ignore face masks and social distancing because those are bad optics for him having said from the beginning that COVID-19 is just like the flu and it'll all go away soon like a miracle, 3) he has no understanding of science, so simple explanations make the most sense to him even if they're wrong because science is much more complicated. and perhaps most of all, 4) as the death toll went up and passed the horrific 200,000 mark with estimates now of it reaching 400,000, the more people who die through herd immunity, the more Trump can explain that this is actually part of the "plan" and a good thing -- the more deaths, the better.
I don't know. I think all the explanations are possible, though -- and that "he's unhinged" and "it's all part of the plan" seem most Trumpian to me.
But who knows, maybe there are other reasons. Or no reason, because as we've seen for four years, Trump doesn't need a reason to act irresponsibly and horribly towards others. He's a morbid narcissist, and one of the qualities of that condition is the risk of bringing harm to those around him.
I only know that, to me, this is stating the obvious. Trump is pursuing herd immunity, and not only doesn't care how many Americans get infected and risk dying, he's actually okay with that.
And I know, too, that even with this people his policy, it isn't about Trump, because we know who he is. It's about the elected members of the Republican Party who enable him, accept hundreds of thousands of more Americans getting infected and risking death, have blood on their hands and are complicit.
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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