By Stephen Lendman
In late February, Trump appointed Mike Pence to head a task force on COVID-19. Pence is an evangelical Christian fascist, and I emphasized the fascist. On last Wednesday, I believe it was, Trump appointed his son-in-law, Jared Kushner, to head a second COVID-19 task force.
Well, what we need is one task force headed by anybody who's competent, who has medical expertise. Neither Pence nor Kushner has any knowledge about healthcare or medical issues. They’re the wrong people at the wrong time to be doing the right thing which is not being done by them.
Appointing these people to be involved in a task force on health care, on any topic, especially something that is becoming a national epidemic, it's like appointing a serial killer to be police chief, or an arsonist to be fire chief. And that's what Trump has done.
[It’s a] pretty desperate situation. Kushner believes that the states do not need anything from the federal inventory, protective equipment, face masks or protective gear. He doesn't want to send them any. He said it's for the nation, not for the individual states or cities.
He does not realize that the nation -- the people in Washington -- represent all of the 50 states and all of the people in these states, and whatever is in the federal inventory that's being held back from hospitals and the ability to treat patients around the country it is vital to get this stuff out to as many medical providers as possible so people can be treated.
The key point, which I wrote about, the Pentagon, shortly before Trump was inaugurated, knew something like what's unfolding now was coming -- a coronavirus crisis – probably didn’t explain exactly their theory. There’re different strains of coronavirus.
For weeks, this thing began at the end of December and early January, there were outbreaks that were beginning. There were senators who knew about this in advance, telling their constituents one thing, everything is fine, there's nothing to worry about, we'll take care of everything, and the stocks they own they sold them, so they didn't have to take any losses. They avoided the stock market being hammered in the US. And now they're being investigated, nothing will happen. But this is what goes on.
Trump was in denial for many weeks. Oh, only a few weeks ago he admitted publicly that there is a serious situation. It’s very serious.
As early Sunday morning, they were over 320,000 COVID-19 cases in the US. I think about eight or 9000 people have died. This is serious stuff. And the numbers are growing by twenty, thirty, forty thousand every day. Iran has fifty to sixty thousand cases. Well, the number of cases in the US are increasing by more that number, more than that number every two days. Maybe it's heading toward increasing it by more than that number every single day. I don't know. But it's possible.
The economy is the other issue. We have a dual crisis in the US, and in most other countries, a healthcare crisis because of COVID-19 -- a virus, a very infectious virus. And the other issue was the economy. The economy is crashing. It's crashing in the US. It's crashing in Europe. It's crashing in other places. Unemployment is jumping exponentially in the US.
I haven't kept track of European numbers, but I'm sure the same thing is happening there, and in other countries. I wrote an article. An estimate by one economist said, by the end of April, he thinks the unemployment rate in the US could be 43%. That's his projection. That is a disaster. At the height of the Great Depression in the 1930s, the US unemployment rate was 25%. If it gets to over 40% there's been nothing like that in US history, and probably history anywhere except the nation ravaged by war.
Well, maybe there are no jobs, but in countries at peace, there's been nothing approaching this. What's going on in the US right now and won't end soon, could continue for months, could continue throughout the year, possibly, possibly even into next year.
It is the greatest dual health and economic crisis in US history. Since 1776, there's been nothing remotely like what's going on now. And the set of leadership and Washington capable of handling this, we have incompetence and indifferent people who only care about profit making for themselves and their cronies and their business associates, and they don't give a hoot about ordinary Americans, and it shows by their inaction to care for them.