"There really are no words for this level of insensitivity and inhumanity. A serial killer would be jealous." That was one response to President Trump's statement that it would be "a good job" if the U.S. can hold coronavirus deaths to under 100,000.
Charles Idelson of National Nurses United made that comment, expressing outrage at Trump, who just a month ago claimed no problem, everything's under control.
Trump cited new estimates he claimed indicate as many as 2.2 million people could die "if we did nothing," so holding that number down to 100,000 would indicate the U.S., under his sterling leadership, will have done well.
Really? After all of the blundering and mismanagement that has typified the federal response since January? "Just" 100,000 deaths will be a victory?
Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, predicted that between 100,000 and 200,000 Americans could die from the coronavirus before it is abated. He described that as a "middle-of-the-road estimate," not a worse-case-scenario.
He said preparing for 1 million to 2 million Americans to die from the coronavirus is "almost certainly off the chart," adding: "Now it's not impossible, but very, very unlikely."
So, here we have Trump, who constantly belittled the seriousness of the coronavirus problem, now throwing out scary numbers like 2 million deaths so he can declare victory if "only" 100,000 Americans die.
Better Not be Blue
Meanwhile, from the looks of it, some states led by Democratic governors that are seeking help from Trump and the federal government are getting screwed, while some more friendly red states are getting what they need.
The latest example of this came yesterday in a letter from Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) asking the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) why it seized at least two of Massachusetts' recent orders for protective equipment. The letter said FEMA appears to be interfering with the states' efforts to obtain needed medical supplies.
In her letter, Warren asked Peter Gaynor, FEMA administrator, what the agency is doing to make sure the federal government does not outbid states for such supplies, noting at least two instances where Massachusetts lost orders for ventilators and hundreds of respirators to the feds.
The Boston Globe quoted Marylou Sudders, Massachusetts' health and human service secretary, as saying the Trump administration impounded a third order of 3 million masks the state had negotiated to buy earlier in the month.
"Massachusetts state officials are continuing to face federal impediments as they scramble to find essential medical equipment to respond to a public health emergency," said Warren in her letter. "This is unacceptable, and I request answers on behalf of the Commonwealth."
Other states led by Democratic governors, have complained of a lack of federal support. But Florida, led by Trump pal Gov. Ron DeSantis, experienced no such roadblocks.
In fact, an order for protective medical supplies placed by Florida on March 11 was received in full just three days later. Meanwhile, other states that had submitted earlier requests received only a small percentage of their order.
Trump was asked in one of his reality-TV COVID-19 episodes how it was that Florida was so fortunate. He simply said they were "very aggressive" in their ask.
He's made it clear in his briefings and interviews that for states to get the supplies they need from the federal government they need to be nice to him. They can't complain. They need to recognize the highness of His Highness.
"It's a two-way street," Trump said in a Fox News interview last Tuesday. "They have to treat us well, also. They can't say, "Oh, gee, we should get this, we should get that."
The outspoken Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, which is taking the brunt of the coronavirus attack, has had a rocky relationship with Trump, to say the least. Over the weekend, Trump implied that New York hospitals were inflating their requests for face masks and ventilators for apparently nefarious purposes, saying he couldn't imagine why they suddenly needed so many.
Earlier this month he belittled Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer as "failing" and gave her one of his famous, demeaning, nicknames, because she had the nerve to complain about Washington's coronavirus response. He called Washington Gov. Jay Inslee "a snake."
"We've had a big problem with the... woman governor," Trump told Fox News' Sean Hannity, referring to Whitmer. "We don't like to see the complaints." He later said he'd told Vice President Mike Pence not to call "the woman in Michigan."
He basically said states need to order their life-saving supplies themselves. But apparently when states do that -- as Massachusetts seemingly has experienced -- Trump's federal government has somehow stepped in to block them.
Remember all this on November 3 -- unless you're one of Trump's unlucky 100,000, of course. Who die.