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John Hopkins

In February the president of the United States knew that COVID was deadly and airborne. This is what he was told by Chinese President Xi. He told this to Bob Woodard. According to the transcripts, he said this:

“It goes through air, Bob. That’s always tougher than the touch. You know, the touch, you don’t have to touch things. Right? But the air, you just breathe the air and that’s how it’s passed. And so, that’s a very tricky one. That’s a very delicate one.”

While he knew this, he continued to downplay the seriousness of the virus in public. He claimed that it was going to go away, or that it was the latest hoax. If he had led, we would be singing a different tune, and he may have skated to reelection.

He also told Woodward that “I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.” Of course, the panic he meant has nothing to do with the American people, and all to do with money, the Stock Exchange, and his reelection. He is desperate for that. While he hates the job, he loves power.

In a second term, he will consolidate power into his hands and that of his family. There is no doubt in my mind of this, because of some of the statements he’s made in the past. He has very little trust in the American people or our institutions. His oath means nothing to him. They are just words.

Trump is a transactional individual, and he symbolizes the modern-day Republican Party. While many of us are angry about this ultimate betrayal of the people he swore to protect and defend, this is not the case with his base. His white supremacist base congregates in certain online communities where they are now claiming, as usual, that this is a Jewish conspiracy, pushed by a controlled media. Or at best, they see this but discount this as something that will go away. They will still vote for their cult leader because he will save them from minorities and other people they hate.

Oh never mind there is tape. That is just an inconvenient fact that needs to be swept under the rug.

Incidentally, they are also telling each other that this is another scandal foisted by the media because his insults to service members have played out…oh never mind they have not. Many veterans and families of veterans don’t like that they were told they were fools. Nor do they appreciate that he referred to war dead as chums.

In the mind of his white nationalist base, all this is a coup attempt to destroy the presidency by the deep state. Never mind Trump is doing all this himself.
This lack of leadership from a president with the attention span of a fly is costing tens of thousands of lives, which could have been saved if we did what functional modern nations do. Most of these people would still be alive if the president did not keep undermining his own people and calling the virus a hoax, which many of his political base continue to do. Here is the cherry on top. We all could have a more normal life until the vaccine (likely vaccines) come online because we could have flattened the curve.

Because of the nature of this rudderless leadership, the pharmaceutical companies and some government officials have vowed to follow the science. They will not release a vaccine to serve the political goals of the president. This means we will not see a vaccine before the election. Or to be more precise. It is highly unlikely. They know that doing that could lead to more people killed, or permanently injured. Why? This is the reason for a. phase three testing. They are done to look for side effects, as well as safety and effectiveness. You do not want to find out that a vaccine could cause something similar to Multiple Sclerosis in the larger population. One of the volunteers in the UK did have something similar. Astra Zeneca stopped phase three until they can determine what is the cause. This is following the science.

This is not a joke, even if the president seems to think so. After all, for somebody only interested in his reelection, science is getting in the way.
I am citing part of the pledge from the companies:

We, the undersigned biopharmaceutical companies, want to make clear our on-going commitment to developing and testing potential vaccines for COVID-19 in accordance with high ethical standards and sound scientific principles.

The safety and efficacy of vaccines, including any potential vaccine for COVID-19, is reviewed and determined by expert regulatory agencies around the world, such as the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA). FDA has established clear guidance for the development of COVID-19 vaccines and clear criteria for their potential authorization or approval in the US. FDA’s guidance and criteria are based on the scientific and medical principles necessary to clearly demonstrate the safety and efficacy of potential COVID-19 vaccines. More specifically, the agency requires that scientific evidence for regulatory approval must come from large, high quality clinical trials that are randomized and observer-blinded, with an expectation of appropriately designed studies with significant numbers of participants across diverse populations.

Following guidance from expert regulatory authorities such as FDA regarding the development of COVID-19 vaccines, consistent with existing standards and practices, and in the interest of public health, we pledge to:

* Always make the safety and well-being of vaccinated individuals our top priority.
* Continue to adhere to high scientific and ethical standards regarding the conduct of clinical trials and the rigor of manufacturing processes.
* Only submit for approval or emergency use authorization after demonstrating safety and efficacy through a Phase 3 clinical study that is designed and conducted to meet requirements of expert regulatory authorities such as FDA.
* Work to ensure a sufficient supply and range of vaccine options, including those suitable for global access.

We believe this pledge will help ensure public confidence in the rigorous scientific and regulatory process by which COVID-19 vaccines are evaluated and may ultimately be approved.

In case you wonder, this is unprecedented, but it is a direct response to the president. Most of the time medical research is done, and clinical trials follow their natural path. There is no need to tell the American people that they will not be swayed by political pressure. This is not normal and the president vowed to have a vaccine ready for deployment by the end of October, the election is November Third.

In another episode of projection, he accused Senator Kamala Harris of being an anti-vaxxer, when she said she would not trust one word from the president. Some of that statement is pure politics, but a lot of it is not. There is no trust in the president or what he has to say among many Americans. When a president lies this often, it is clear that he cannot be trusted.

There is another aspect to this, which is also dangerous. A large percentage of his QAnon acolytes came to this movement from the New Age, clean eating, anti-vaxxer groups on the left. They have joined a movement that is catering to their crazy belief system, which if you know anything about the Third Reich and Adolph Hitler’s men it makes sense. They were also into alternative medicine, veganism, and yes, were anti-vaxxers. I suppose clean eating was part of it and leads us down the path of Ecological Fascism.
When woo intersects with far-right extreme politics, it can make for very strange bedfellows. It can also lead to a disaster.

There is a saying that says, “knowledge is half the battle.” Well, we know the president is doing all he can to get reelected. He sees the rest of us as marks, yes even his base of support. the people he swore to protect do not matter to him, and increasingly his party. I realize some of us will be very angry at this latest revelation. Some of us are going, meh. Why? None of this is surprising. This follows a long-established pattern. Trump only cares about one person, not even his family.

If you are angry, whether it is at Woodward for revealing it now and not months ago, or the president, channel that into something useful. Because I can tell you right now that the coming two months will be hard to stomach. They will be the most divisive time since the civil war.

I know that Trump should lose, and if he does, the road to inauguration will be even more bizarre. Authoritarians never give up power just because, and he has an army of true believers who are willing to take up arms. His former lawyer, Michael Cohen, has warned that the president will do anything to keep power. This may include starting a war.

As to his white supremacist base, cults are strange. Some will return to some sense of normalcy if the president loses, and loses big. But some will believe that this was a coup from the deep state. So I expect violence.

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Historian by training. Former day to day reporter. Sometimes a geek who enjoys a good miniatures game.

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