The following video by Now This News documents the short-sightedness and negligence of the Trump Administration that has allowed the Corona virus epidemic to become much more widespread and deadly within the U.S. than it need have been. I can’t stress enough how well done it is and how important it is for everyone to watch it and pass it around. WATCH IT NOW!!!
This video must be circulated far and wide and frequently--especially to places on the internet where Trump supporters hang out. Three other points should be made when posting this video.
1) After the video was made Israeli news sources reported that the U.S. Intelligence community gave the Trump Administration information about an emerging disease outbreak in Wuhan China, but the Trump Administration "did not deem it of interest." These intelligence officials then shared their information with NATO and the Israeli Defense Force BACK IN MID-NOVEMBER, 2019. Thus, the Trump Administration was tipped off that there was trouble brewing in China that needed close watching even earlier than this video said it was.
2) Donald Trump's grandnephew, William was extremely ill when he was a baby. Heidi Evans of the New York Daily News described just how ill little William was:
. . . 48 hours after baby William Trump was born, he turned blue in his mother's arms, his body stiffening and then shaking uncontrollably. It was the first of many devastating seizures to come. What followed for the next harrowing six weeks of his life were brain scans, spinal taps, blood tests and heart-wrenching visits to three hospitals, including Yale Medical Center. Doctors eventually diagnosed William with infantile spasms, a rare disorder that can lead to cerebral palsy or autism and a lifetime of care.
"We just don't know what William's future holds, what he will be able to do in his life," said Lisa, a full-time mom. During the baby's three-week stay at Mount Sinai, Robert Trump [Donald Trump's brother] called to assure his nephew that whatever the child needed would be covered by Precise, the Trump company medical plan. Round-the-clock nurses. Neurologists. Pulmon-ologists. Emergency room visits when William stopped breathing twice in the first eight months of his fragile life. "We were so relieved when Robert called,"
Despite William's illness, Donald Trump and his siblings cut off his health insurance after a fight with William's Father, Fred Trump III, broke out over their inheritance from Fred Trump's estate. Evans writes:
Even when it comes to a sick baby in his family, Donald Trump is all business. The megabuilder and his siblings Robert and Maryanne terminated their nephew's family medical coverage a week after he challenged the will of their father, Fred Trump. "This was so shocking, so disappointing and so vindictive," said niece Lisa Trump, whose son, William, was born 18 months ago at Mount Sinai Medical Center with a rare neurological disorder that produces violent seizures, brain damage and medical bills topping $300,000. The Trump family feud has come to light in recent days as the dispute over Fred Trump's estate is being played out in Queens Surrogate Court. The patriarch left between $100 million and $300 million, according to different family estimates. A separate case over the denial of medical coverage that Fred Trump freely provided to his family for decades was filed in Nassau Supreme Court. Both lawsuits were filed by Fred Trump 3rd and Mary Trump, the children of Donald's late brother, Fred Jr. They offer a rare window into one of New York's most prominent families, a world where alliances and rivalries are magnified by power, money and the tough-nosed tactics of Donald Trump. "When [Fred 3rd] sued us, we said, 'Why should we give him medical coverage?”
Donald said in an interview with the Daily News last week. Asked whether he thought cutting their coverage could appear cold-hearted, given the baby's medical condition, Donald made no apologies. "I can't help that," he said. "It's cold when someone sues my father. Had he come to see me, things could very possibly have been much different for them.
So, what happened next, and just what insights can this give us about Donald Trump? Evans continues:
A Nassau County judge ruled this month that the Trump family must continue paying the health insurance until the dispute is resolved. "You have to be tough in this family. I guess I have what my father didn't have. I will stick to my guns. I just think it was wrong," Fred said. "These are not warm and fuzzy people. They never even came to see William in the hospital. [Emphasis added] Our family puts the 'fun' in dysfunctional.
Of course, Trump supporters have been well trained to say “FAKE NEWS! FAKE NEWS!” every time they see a story critical about Donald Trump. It has become an instinctive reflex to dismiss any reporting of his negligence or malevolence as nothing but sour grapes arising from political opposition to Trump.
BUT THIS STORY WAS WRITTEN IN DECEMBER 2000 –long before Trump showed any serious interest of running for President. Thus the excuse that this was a politically motivated hit job is quite a stretch.
"Well", Trump supporters can tell themselves, "the Daily News is just a rag and its reporters are all hacks." The problem with using this excuse for discounting the story is that its author, Heidi Evans won two George Polk Awards while writing for The New York Daily News, one in 1990 and one in 2001. The Polk Award is one of the most prestigious awards in journalism, having been won by the likes of Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein, Walter Cronkite, and Edward R. Murrow. Oh, and one more teeny tiny thing. Evans also won a Pulitzer Prize for her writing at The New York Daily News in 2007.
But Trump supporters don't give up so easily in their attempt to discredit a report critical of their God-Emperor. Next they will say, "Well-- that was only reported by one paper. So even though the reporter later won a Pulitzer Prize--FAKE NEWS! FAKE NEWS!"
Unfortunately for them, the story was independently verified by a phone call that a the New York Times reporter had with Donald Trump in 2016.
In 1999, the family patriarch died, and 650 people, including many real estate executives and politicians, crowded his funeral at Marble Collegiate Church on Fifth Avenue.
But the drama was hardly put to rest. Freddy’s son, Fred III, spoke at the funeral, and that night, his wife went into labor with their son, who developed seizures that led to cerebral palsy. The Trump family promised that it would take care of the medical bills.
Then came the unveiling of Fred Sr.’s will, which Donald had helped draft. It divided the bulk of the inheritance, at least $20 million, among his children and their descendants, “other than my son Fred C. Trump Jr.”
Freddy’s children sued, claiming that an earlier version of the will had entitled them to their father’s share of the estate, but that Donald and his siblings had used “undue influence” over their grandfather, who had dementia, to cut them out.
A week later, Mr. Trump retaliated by withdrawing the medical benefits critical to his nephew’s infant child.
“I was angry because they sued,” he explained during last week’s interview.
And finally, Trump's supporters will say, "OK, so maybe that story isn't so fake. But big deal. Donald Trump knew that Fred III would be able to buy insurance on his own. It even says so in that article. Plus, I know he'll look after me and he wouldn't THINK about taking away MY health insurance!"
Not so fast--Remember, not only did Donald Trump cut off William's insurance--he didn't even bother to see him when he was in the hospital. That in itself is indirect evidence that he didn't give a damn about little William's health. But there is evem more direct evidence that he does not give a damn about YOURS-- The Trump Administration's efforts to kill the Affordable Care Act.
The foundation of the Affordable Care Act was a requirement that most citizens have health insurance. If they didn't get health insurance from their employers, then they would have to buy it themselves and there was a tax penalty for those who did not buy the insurance. In late 2017. The Trump Administration backed the Republican "skinny repeal" tax bill that would have gutted the ACA by eliminating the individual mandate. Fortunately, John McCain helped defeat this bill with his dramatic last minute thumbs down vote in July 2017. Next the Trump Administration cut the ACA's enrollment outreach program's budget by 90% in the hopes that the ACA would implode with fewer people registered.
But that's not the worst thing the Trump Administration has tried to do to the ACA. Congress passed a law in December 2017 that reduced the penalty on those who did not get health insurance to zero. Based on this new law, 20 Republican states or their representatives filed a lawsuit to have the Affordable Care Act declared unconstitutional. And in a highly unusual move, Trump's Justice Department filed a brief in support of part of the Republican states' lawsuit. Amanda Michelle Gomez of ThinkProgress explains:
The norm is for the federal government to defend federal law, but the Trump administration, instead, agreed with the 20 conservative states. The Justice Department lawyers stopped short of arguing that the entire law [See update below], including Medicaid expansion, should be struck down, but did say that the provisions protecting people with pre-existing conditions should now be ruled unconstitutional.
It’s not unprecedented for the Justice Department to decide against defending federal law in court; the Obama administration didn’t defend the Defense of Marriage Act of 1996, which prohibited married same-sex couples from receiving federal benefits. But, the Justice Department concluded, as the University of Michigan’s Nicholas Bagley points out, that it was no longer constitutionally defensible to deny equal rights to LGBTQ people. That said, it’s rare, and law and health experts alike are jolted by the news.
The case is now before the Supreme Court. Naturally, the Trump Administration doesn't want to face the inevitable backlash that will occur should the Court decide in their favor and rule part or all of the ACA unconstitutional, throwing millions off their health insurance and removing protections for those who have pre-existing cases. Or at least, they don't want to face the backlash that will occur by a decision in their favor before the election. So they asked the Supreme Court to hold off on their decision until after the election. The Supreme Court is likely to hear oral arguments in October, which means their final decision is likely to come after the election.
The Trump Administration and the Republicans have vowed to protect those with pre-existing conditions. They have said they would come up with a health care plan better than the ACA. But the Republicans had over six years between the time that the ACA was passed and the 2016 election to develop a better plan. And they controlled the House, the Senate, and the Presidency from 2017-2018. If they had a better plan than the ACA they could have easily passed it then when they had total control. But they didn't. Instead of trying to convince us that they had a better plan to replace the ACA with and getting Congress to actually replace the inferior ACA with their superior plan, they have tried to kill the ACA first in the hopes that once the ACA was dead, Congress would pass any old crap plan they could come up with. Killing the ACA during a pandemic without having something at least as good to replace it is like removing and burning a flat tire in the middle of a desert when the nearest spare is 100 miles away.
So now we know that Trump was willing to deny promised health care coverage to his seriously ill grandnephew. Trump supporters will say that this doesn't PROVE that Trump is a cold-hearted monster who doesn't care about anyone but himself because he knew little William's parents could afford to buy insurance on their own. But Trump refused to visit his grandnephew in the hospital. And more importantly, Trump is willing to throw millions of Americans off THEIR health care and have the Supreme Court rule against protecting those with pre-existing conditions.
But die-hard Trump supporters will say, "But that STILL doesn't prove he's a monster. That STILL doesn't prove he doesn't care about us." To them I say, "Watch how Trump answers this question from Yamiche Alcindor. She asked if he was concerned about people who were getting sick because he had downplayed the danger of the Corona virus. Watch the video embedded in the tweet below for his answer.
.@Yamiche: A man said his entire family got sick because they listened to you and didn't stay home. Are you concerned that downplaying the virus got people sick?
Trump: "A lot of people love Trump, right?" pic.twitter.com/FACeyXTine
— Pod Save America (@PodSaveAmerica) April 20, 2020
Trump could have said a few words in sympathy for those who got sick and lost love ones to the virus. He could have said,
If anyone got sick because they misinterpreted what I said--If my words weren't strong enough to unambiguously convey how dangerous this virus is--I am sorry I was not more forceful in my language. And so let me be clear so that there will be no more misinterpretation in the future. This virus is dangerous and it spreads incredibly quickly and incredibly easily. To those who are protesting close together without masks--knock it off. Your lives are valuable. Protesting is fine, but take precautions. Wear masks. Stay at least 6 feet apart. Don't be stupid about this. And don't gather in big crowded areas. You don't know who has the virus and who is infectious and can pass it on to you. You might get infected, and even though you might not develop any symptoms, you could end up passing on the virus to someone you love and you could be responsible for killing them. Don't be stupid about this.
But he didn't say this. He couldn't say this. As I have written elsewhere, Trump has narcissistic personality disorder with a side dose of sociopathy. The only person he cares about is Donald Trump. So Trump supporters--Donald Trump didn't care about baby William. He doesn't care about the millions with pre-existing conditions who could lose their health coverage if the ACA dies. And though he cares about your vote, he is willing to see you recklessly risk your health in protests in order to further his agenda, HE SURE AS HELL DOESN'T CARE ABOUT YOU.
Update 5/5/2020: Politico reports that despite Attorney General Barr's attempts to warn top Trump officials of the potentially adverse political consequences, the Trump Administration has doubled down in its determination to persuade the Supreme Court to kill the ACA. I quoted Amanda Michelle Gomez as saying that the Trump Administration wanted to kill only part of the ACA. That has apparently changed. Susannah Luthi writes in Politico:
The Trump administration had previously shifted its legal position in this case, but appears to have decided against doing so again. DOJ originally argued the courts should throw out just Obamacare's preexisting condition protections, before last year urging that the entire law be struck down.
Update 10/13/2020: Howard Stern, who knows Trump socially and was at his 2008 wedding, agrees with my assessment. He said:
The oddity in all of this is the people Trump despises most, love him the most,” Stern said. “The people who are voting for Trump for the most part... he wouldn’t even let them in a f---ing hotel. He’d be disgusted by them. Go to Mar-a-Lago, see if there’s any people who look like you. I’m talking to you in the audience.