Republicans want us to die.
That is the only logical explanation for their continued irresponsible push to reopen society, and their obstinate insistence that people ignore basic safety protocols, in the face of a deadly virus that has yet to subside.
President Donald Trump has responded to Tulsa’s health officials’ pleas to cancel his ill-advised rally, scheduled to be staged Saturday in a packed indoor arena, by giving them the figurative middle finger. The show must go on, and if that means hundreds or thousands of people get sick in a state where the virus is spiking, so be it.
On Capitol Hill, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi had to institute a mask-wearing rule for committee hearings, because many of her GOP colleagues refuse to cover their faces. This is in a chamber where the average age is almost 58. How irresponsible are these people?
The same trend is repeating itself throughout the country. In areas under Republican control, there is an extra-strong push to reopen, followed by a spike in novel coronavirus cases. Right-leaning individuals have a propensity to still believe the virus is “just the flu,” and they are not taking necessary precautions to protect themselves and those around them. We see it in the grocery stores, at the beach, at community swimming pools and in bars.
Arizona’s hospitals are overrun. NFL players and college athletes are getting ill in Texas, where Dallas Cowboys RB Ezekiel Elliott has tested positive and six University of Houston athletes picked up the virus. In Jacksonville, a group of 12 friends rushed to a bar to celebrate being sprung from their containment. They now all have COVID-19.
In Riverside County, Calif., a conservative area where last month five supervisors unanimously overruled the county health official’s mandate to require residents to wear masks until June 19, daily cases have almost quadrupled. The virus is spiraling out of control there, after the situation had been fairly well contained.
There had been hope that warm weather and high humidity would kill the virus and slow its spread. That has not been the case, as deaths in this country are now approaching 120,000 and are averaging about 1,000 per day.
What started as a fringe movement of flag-waving, automatic-rifle toting extremists has evolved into mainstream Republican governance. Fixing the damage to the economy, to them, is more important than our lives. Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick said as much when he went on national TV in April and told America that senior citizens should sacrifice themselves for the greater good.
We don’t see or hear from Dr. Anthony Fauci or Dr. Deborah Birx anymore. They have been silenced, and their task force has disappeared, because they would say that rushing to the bar to get your drink on right now is a terrible idea. When asked if he would attend Trump’s
Tulsa rally, Fauci responded: “of course not,” citing coronavirus concerns.
Yet here we are, and it didn’t have to be this way. Pretending the virus doesn’t exist is not how to fix the economy.
The virus needs to be controlled to the point where there are only a few outbreaks here and there. Then contact tracers can move in and put those exposed into quarantine. That is the only way we will safely fix this mess.
Denying science and evidence has become the Republicans’ brand, so their handling of this crisis shouldn’t come as much of a surprise.
It’s the “stupid party,” at its finest.