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Pandemic Politics


If you don’t know anything about Coronavirus (COVID-19), it’s time you learned. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updates a global map to indicate which countries are affected. As of February 29, there are now 19 cases reported through the U.S. public health system.


Additionally, 18 of the evacuated U.S. passengers from the American Diamond Princess cruise ship have tested positive with one admitted to the hospital with symptoms. Today the World Health Organization (WHO) has raised the risk level to “very high”. Those most at risk are people with compromised immune systems, such as small children, the elderly and those taking immunosuppressant drugs.


And today, the first death in the U.S. attributed to the coronavirus was reported in Washington state by health officials. President Trump described the victim as a “wonderful woman” and a “medically high risk patient” in her late 50s, at a White House news conference.


The pandemic contributed to a stock market crash, the worst decline since 2008. The uncertainty of manufacturing and the potential supply and demand impact from countries with outbreaks was indicated to be the part of the reason for the crash.


Trump is in Control of the Situation (Yeah, right!)

Trump-being-Trump turned this entire global health issue into a political tool to use against the Democrats and demonize the media. On February 26, he put Vice President Mike Pence, a known denier of science-based evidence, in charge. Trump assumed this news would cause the stock market to bounce back because he has always been able to manipulate the market.


This time, not so much.


The market crashed the very next day. Seems Wall Street has no confidence in Trump when it comes to dealing with a global health crisis. They don't believe him, either.


Pence faced an HIV epidemic in Indiana when he was governor and was so slow to respond that the epidemic was worse than it should have been. People died.


Really instills confidence, doesn’t it?


Now that Pence is appointed, it was announced that all health officials must seek approval before making any statements to the media. Trump even banned a U.S. disease expert from speaking to the public about how the virus may not be able to be contained. Trump is now trying to control the narrative for a deadly disease that could kill hundreds, if not thousands of people in the United States.


All to score political points to get re-elected.


Trump’s Ignorance on Display Again

After claiming that warm weather would take care of everything, Trump continues showing his denial of the facts to suit his own political agenda. His view that it “Could maybe go away. We’ll see what happens. Nobody really knows.”, just shows his ignorance when it comes to a real crisis and not one that he manufactured out of thin air.


Hate to break this to you Donald, but the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization do know what will happen, but you are, as usual, not listening to the scientists.


At Trump’s latest rally in South Carolina, he called the coronavirus outbreak a liberal conspiracy theory and Democratic “hoax” that targets him specifically in order to hurt him in November. And it wasn’t only the Democrats he was blaming; it was also the pesky media who have been attacking him since he took office. He claimed the media was creating hysteria and it isn’t as bad as they make it out to be.


And his supporters show their ignorance by cheering him on.


Trump’s response to anything that might make him look bad is to downplay the seriousness of it and find a way to blame someone else. I can hear him now if we go to war with N. Korea: “Just minor scratches to our troops after the nuclear bomb landed in California. Not to worry. Everything under control. The media and the Democrats are making it sound worse than it is to undermine my authority.”


An Opportunity for Profit

During a global pandemic where millions of people are at risk, “how much will it cost me to stay alive?” should not be the first question people ask. But because of our out of control, for profit healthcare system, Health Secretary Alex Azar immediately claimed he couldn’t guarantee everyone could afford the vaccine when one is developed.


Trump's acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, is a little upset with investors for monitoring news coverage of the outbreak. Seems Mulvaney wants to see if he can manipulate the stock market, as well, by putting blinders on investors.


Investment companies also are advising clients when to buy coronavirus impacted stocks that have been “beaten down” so investors can make more money.


Anyone who sees this epidemic as a financial opportunity should be ashamed.


Stay Safe Out There

Regardless of what Trump says, there is a risk that the U.S. will experience an epidemic across the country. Everyone can help contain it by doing a couple of simple things – wash your hands often, scrubbing for at least 20 seconds, and don’t touch your mouth as that is the mode of transmission into the lungs.


If we are all knowledgeable about how this virus replicates and infects people, we can stay safe. And if you have flu symptoms and have recently been in an area where there is an outbreak or on an airplane, see your doctor immediately.


It is always best to play it safe. This is not politics as usual.

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