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COVID-19, Trump and our senators

By Jack Bernard

Bernard is a retired corporate executive.

In January, Dr. Fauci said “Effective response requires prompt action from the standpoint of classic public health strategies to the timely development and implementation of effective countermeasures.”

In February, Trump said “My administration has taken the most aggressive action in modern history to prevent the spread of this illness in the United States. We are ready. We are ready. Totally ready. … This is their [Democrats] new hoax.”

Obviously, Trump was 100% incorrect. We have 4% of the world’s population and about 20% of its deaths and cases. Did he just miscalculate, or did he just lie to us, as he has so often for the past four years?

We have tens of millions of Americans over 60; Trump knew that fact. We also have tens of millions who have cancer, COPD, asthma, diabetes, morbid obesity, and so on putting them at high risk. Trump knew that fact as well. It was fairly easy to project that we would have a high number of cases and deaths… especially when our President decided to deny the crisis was real until mid-March. That was when the stock market crashed (soon after Kudlow, Trump’s main economic advisor had said the markets were stable) and after the AHA, AMA, and ANA sent him a joint letter emphasizing the severity of the pandemic. He then briefly acknowledged that there was a crisis but did little,(see below). And then quickly returned to incorrectly saying that we had “turned the corner” and the virus was going away.

In March, one of my COVID-19 columns was published in a Texas newspaper. I refuted Trump’s claims that we were prepared, indicating that simply isolating a few people and sealing our Southern border were not enough. As I stated at the time, the Trump Administration was talking about doing testing and contact tracing but actually doing very little compared to other advanced nations. I indicated that our lack of planning and concrete scientifically based actions would come back to haunt us. History has borne out the truth of my statements. At this same time, Trump was telling Bob Woodward how dangerous the virus was, while downplaying it to the public. But Trump was not alone in lying and being two-faced. Both Georgia Senators Kelly Loffler and David Perdue told us everything was being handled and that we had nothing to worry about. Meanwhile, they had confidential intelligence briefings which informed them of the disaster we were facing. Their response was to make stock trades worth millions, selling off obvious potential losers and buying obvious potential winners based on what they learned. 

There’s a reason why Loeffler is worth between $1 billion and $500 million, and Perdue $40 million. They don’t follow the rules like the rest of us do. And somehow, they still manage to remain unindicted. Strange how the wealthy and powerful get away with these things.

Getting back to Trump, he initially appointed Pence and Kushner as his two main people heading the pandemic mitigation efforts. Pence was a right-wing radio show guy before he became a Governor. Kushner is a real-estate tycoon, like Trump. Neither had a background in crisis management, healthcare or supply chain logistics. There are a number of private national healthcare supply chain firms purchasing tens of billions in medical supplies. I know, I was a VP and SVP for three of them. None of them were ever contracted to purchase and distribute gowns, masks and so on. Or buy and distribute tests and organize testing capabilities in each state and county. No, almost all of this was simply dumped on the states by Trump who strangely claimed, “total authority”… but at the same time accepted “no responsibility” (his words).

Yet, 75 million Americans voted for this incompetent. And many Georgians voted for Perdue and Loeffler knowing their financial antics. I suppose that PT Barnum was right, there’s a sucker born every minute.