When live puts lives at risk

Dear President Trump,

Are you seeing all the wise women (and some men) calling for the news outlets to stop airing your daily covid-19 press conferences live? I’m sure it chaffs your hiney (“a childish term for buttocks”) that so many are pointing out that allowing your statements on the airwaves live is endangering lives because you are lying and wrong and lying so much of the time.

Again, this is not our beautiful house, how did we get here? Oh, yeah, right – a whole bunch of us were persuaded that it made sense to blow everything up and voted for you while another whole bunch of us opted to stay home rather than cast a vote for the competent, if imperfect, woman candidate. And oh yeah, right – this really hasn’t ever been a beautiful house for many of us, a fact we must not forget since the inequities underpinning our society are a big part of what got us into this mess. You know, this nightmarish mess where we are saddled with a POTUS who doesn’t have any but his own best interests at heart, who can’t even pretend to have the least bit of empathy or care for his people, but instead blasts reporters who ask for a word of comfort for frightened Americans. Shameful.

By the way, the Worldometer website (https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries) that’s tracking covid-19 cases and deaths worldwide has the US up another 8,373 cases yesterday with 113 more deaths. You should check out the graphs of the world’s numbers – whether you look at the linear or the logarithmic views of cases and deaths, the lines are very, very scary. I sure as hell hope the news sites listen to the folks calling for your messages to be tape-delayed so that only the correct portions are aired because your bullshit is only going to prolong the awful spikes the graphs are conveying. Basically, we have to accept that our POTUS is a menace and that we cannot let him speak, unchecked, to the American people (or really, to the world).

Yesterday a friend sent me a video clip from TikTok of a woman sitting up close to her TV set facing the screen, which was filled with a still of your face. A glass of white wine is visible in her right hand for a nanosecond just before she takes a deep breath and let’s loose a most profane series of “shut the f*ck ups” directed at your picture. I’m not sure why the wine glass prop was needed – I didn’t get the sense that she needed liquid courage one tiny bit; her rage was like molten lava spewing out at you. She ended with something to the effect of “and shut the f*ck up until you are no longer able to f*ck anything else up”.

I’m thinking that some of the talking heads who are calling for their peers to stop airing you live would rather just scream something akin to what this woman said to her TV. Who knows, maybe it will come to this. After all, Andy Slavitt used Twitter today to tell people to stay the f*ck home, so there you go.

I know this has been a heavy letter so I’ll close with two positive things. First, Laura and I are grateful for our younger and healthier (than me) friends who grocery shopped for us this past week. And second, I’m seeing evidence that the Seattle Freeze is starting to thaw as strangers smile and say “hey” to one another, and even stop to chat for a few minutes, careful to keep the requisite 6+ feet between them.

May we be safe from selfish, stupid, incompetent leaders.
May we do what we can to keep from freaking out and to keep our spirits up.
May we look to our fearless, strong leaders with moral compasses (go EW!) for guidance and hope.
May we never, ever, ever again accept such debased leadership as we have now.

Tracy Simpson

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