If you're not outraged yet by the systematic crippling of public health and science by Donald Trump now that we have the coronavirus serial killer on the loose — ironically, an orange blob of a virus according to electron miscroscopic images from the National Institute of Allergy & Infectious Diseases — than you'd better check your pulse. You may already be dead.
Trump's vicious, inhumane and vile ideas while in office have already torn families apart, and inspired right wing fanatics to shoot Jews, gays, immigrants, and people of color. Now, as this new global health threat explodes around the world, his incompetence and malfeasance in office will kill even more people.
The dangerous science and fact-denialist came into office with a vendetta against scientists and any expert whose mind he could not bully into submission. He directed his Agriculture Secretary to eliminate the jobs of some of the most world-renowned scientists; left vacant hundreds of critical public health positions at the Centers for Disease Control, the single most important US Infectious Disease agency, whose leaders Trump is now trying to muzzle.
Trump dismantled the National Security Counsel's office which concentrated on Pandemics and how to deal with them. He fired scientists and long-serving career professionals from key positions across the entire US Government because he saw them as part of the "Deep State." Their only crime was doing their jobs to protect the American people, and telling Trump the truth, on issues as diverse as diseases, food contamination, airline safety and climate change.
But don't take my word for it. Just Google "Trump's War on Science." Some 53 million articles and videos are at your fingertips. His attacks on reason and facts, and especially on scientists, medical health professionals or military experts who understand grave international dangers, go back to the very beginning of his Know-Nothing campaign for President, when the Orange Blob from the High Tower first began calling climate science a "hoax."
As of this week, the coronavirus has infected 83,000 people around the world and killed 3,000. Financial markets have tanked, with many worried about the extraordinary economic disruptions caused by quarantines, flight cancellations, and the postponement of large events — like Venice, Italy's Mardi Gras' festival. All schools in Japan have been closed for the entire month of March. Stock markets in the US, where a few hundred possible cases of coronavirus have been reported, dropped more than 3,000 points in one week — the biggest losses since the Great Recession of 2008.
With the first new confirmed case of an American testing positive for the virus in Northern California — in a town less than 30 minutes from where I live — the actual virus is beginning to replicate itself faster than Trump's 16,000 lies can travel virally on social media. Most frightening about this California case in the Solano County town of Vacaville, is that while no one yet knows how it was contracted, evidence is emerging — through a whistleblower's report — that points to Trump's own Administration spreading it through their abject stupidity and negligence.
In keeping with their pattern of covering-up all truth, Trump and his HHS henchmen are trying to crush a career professional with decades of experience in public health — the whistleblower at the Department of Health and Human Services — who told of how the agency's political appointees put the lives of more than a dozen of their own health workers at risk. Without training their own front-line employees to take any basic health precautions, HHS hastily send them to Travis Air Force Base in neighboring Solano Country, California, to process the first American travelers returning home from China, who were exposed to the coronavirus.
Within one week, after the unprotected federal workers came in contact with the possibly-infected passengers, one member of the community in Vacaville — who never travelled to China — became infected with the highly contagious virus, went to a local community hospital, where she was initially refused testing for the disease, and may have exposed others. Sent to the University of California Medical Center in Davis for further examination, she tested positive.
The Trump Administration's response to the whistleblower's vital information was to abruptly transfer the career public health specialist, threaten termination, and, of course, deny all of her well-documented allegations. The action perfectly reflects the war against science and the facts going on in all critical agencies of the federal government under Trump's Torquemada like terror-tactics toward the truth.
Two years ago, obsessed with anything Obama, Trump cut the Obama-era health security programs, dismantled the global health security team, and eliminated the highest government office specifically focused on pandemics, located within the NSC. Later the same year, the CDC was forced to cut its' own highly effective preventative efforts against global disease outbreaks by 80%. In an effort to manage the drastic cuts, the agency scaled back on its work by no longer focusing on China, according to an article in Fortune magazine. Trump had killed the very agencies designed to prevent us from being killed by out-of-control diseases.
Fortune also reported that another $30 million from an emergency response pool of money was cut from the Complex Crisis Fund of the State Department (a fund set up by Hillary Clinton when she was secretary of state), used to deploy infectious disease experts around the world. By the end of 2018 Trump called for the gutting of $15 billion of the global disease-fighting budgets of the CDC, National Security Council (NSC), Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Health and Human Services (HHS) in the process.
So now, with the Trump administration facing a murderous, viral orange monster, and desperate for the funding it eliminated for fighting epidemics and global diseases, a global crisis of enormous proportions is literally in our backyard. This real, not imagined, threat to human life wasn't brought into this country by an illegal immigrant or a terrorist — but by Donald Trump, and his willful ignorance about science and the real world we live in — not the hermetically sealed bubble in which he dwells.
Tragically, we are now all suffering the consequences of Trump's incapacity to grasp anything but the distant memories of his childhood — still stuck in the back seat of his mother's rose-colored Rolls Royce, looking out the vehicle's tinted windows, watching the world he never wanted to come into contact with whirl by, passing through the dirty streets of Queens, NY, and the only Corona he ever knew. Until now.