Testing, testing — anyone there?

President* Trump,

Our county health officials have been encouraging everyone who has attended a protest (or protests) to get tested for covid-19. Accordingly, our daughter and her boyfriend went and got tested mid-week last week and Laura and I were tested on Sunday – all of our tests came back negative.

How often do you get tested? I think I read that you and your immediate staff get tested every day, which frankly does make sense even if it’s an expense I’d rather see allocated elsewhere. I’m curious, though, how do you cope with having that damn swab jammed up your nose for a 10 full seconds – twice? Everyday? It’s pretty darn miserable. I didn’t swear at the nice woman who did the swabbing, but I wasn’t the least bit stoic about it – there were plenty of involuntary exclamations of various sorts. So good on you for tolerating this challenging test every day, if you are indeed having it done.

I know you aren’t making non-jokes about slowing testing down because you want to spare people the very temporary discomfort of the swab procedure, but you could consider trotting that one out the next time you’re challenged on the idea that our numbers will look bad if we keep up the better, but still truly sub-awesome, rate of testing we’ve got going now. I listened to a clip of you talking with a reporter at the White House yesterday when he was pressing you on whether you had told “your people” to slow down testing and even though I know you’re an idiot, it was still stunning to hear you essentially say that more testing means more cases. You didn’t say that more testing means there are more known cases – you just said it means more cases.

There’s a super early developmental milestone that most sentient beings achieve that’s critical to survival and that is object permanence, or the understanding that things continue to exist even when we can’t see, hear, smell, or feel them. I know that most of us have never seen the little coronavirus buggers and that have to trust science (and commonsense) that they exist and that they are dangerous, but it’s the same idea as a 3-month old baby knowing that the blue ball is still a real thing even though they can’t see it when their sister hides it from them. That you either believe not testing means there will be fewer cases or that it’s better for us to drive blindfolded are both nutso, indefensible positions.

But you know this, don’t you? What you actually believe is even worse…. I think it boils down to something like “Let’s get everyone in a flap over the latest misanthropic word salad spilling out of Donny’s mouth rather than paying attention to the steady uptick of covid-19 cases or that the temperature near the Arctic Circle in Siberia has been over 100 this week or that African Americans continue to be targeted and killed by police.” Looking the fool is apparently an acceptable trade-off for the cover it provides as you all continue to pile on ill-gained profit.

I know it’s a futile exercise, but I keep wondering how different things might be if the evangelical arm of the Republican party had truly embraced life instead of allowing itself to be co-opted back in the 1970’s and ‘80’s by politicians who recognized they could get more revenue flowing upstream by dividing the populous on social issues. I’m sure I’d still disagree with much of what they would be about, but if they were currently, truly pro-life they’d all be wearing masks, staying home, not attending mega-masses (or mini-rallies), addressing climate change, and supporting Black Lives Matter. Actually, if they’d been on board with life for the past 50 years, we probably wouldn’t be in the awful, multi-pronged jam we’re in now since they’ve been the putrid wind in your all’s sails for a long, long time now.

May we be safe from our POTUS and his evil cronies.
May we be willing to safeguard the common good.
May we hold onto our basic understanding of how the world works to keep us healthy and strong.
May we accept our POTUS is actively, purposefully, endangering us.

Sincerely,
Tracy Simpson

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