So much for an ounce of prevention…

President* Trump,

You know, there’s some relief in hearing that you all have officially thrown in the towel on any attempts to control COVID, that you’re finally owning the fact that you aren’t in the business of attempting to limit the infection rates. It definitely totally sucks that this is your official truth, but it’s actually less crazy-making to have it out in the open since Meadows spilled it yesterday. He did pivot to the idea that you’re all in on “….vaccines, therapeutics and other mitigations,” stating that these are things within your all’s control, so presumably you haven’t completely (officially) given up.

First, the relief part of the admission. Many (most?) of us have known for a long time that under your leadership the federal government hasn’t done jack to bring down infection rates. Some among us have even suspected that you want to see infection rates continue to climb given the truism that actions speak louder than words. What else can it mean when you insist on holding mega-rallies with thousands of people crammed together, most of them mask-less? Or how about when you, our Commander in Chief, appears to delight in denigrating those who are wearing masks and social distancing? Why you appear to be so keen on endangering your own peeps is a mystery, but it’s still good to finally have it out on the table that you all don’t think it’s worth your while to continue pretending that you want to control infection rates. This non-revelation allows the noxious truth vectors to line up properly rather than continually having the jarring disconnect poke us. As Eugene Robinson (WP) put it, now we know – officially – that you all are basically saying “you’re on your own; try not to die,” except that the sub-voce is actually “go ahead and die, we don’t really care.”

Second, the dubious math part of the admission. Let’s say, for the moment, that Meadows was telling the truth on Sunday and that you all are putting in place real (not just bullshit election timing) effort into developing vaccines and systematically improving therapeutics and other post-infection mitigation strategies. There are certainly lots of big assumptions packed in here, but we’ll grant you the benefit of the doubt. For now.

So, let’s say you all do make some headway on these poorly operationalized goals and a safe, effective vaccine is identified in early 2021 and production ramps up for large-scale distribution by late winter/early spring, optimistically in about 4 to 5 months. That’s a super rosy forecast, but even if it were to work out, the problem is that while you all work the vaccine/therapeutics angle, the infection rates look very likely to keep climbing. Those rates have been off the hook the past few weeks and if they keep going up and up, it’s likely that even more healthcare systems will be swamped with serious cases. If the pace of new infections persists into the winter, the costs (lives, dollars, etc.) will be far more astronomical with no infection control efforts than if you all would just step up and take a reasonable two-pronged approach.

Remember the old adage – ‘an ounce prevention is worth a pound of cure’? It’s really, really true! (BTW: it was our very own slave master turned abolitionist, Ben Franklin, who coined the phrase. He was talking about preventing fires, but it works in zillions of contexts, including the current one.)

Basically, you all seem hell bent on letting the infection fires blaze and spread in a hands off, ‘Nothing to see here folks, move along – go to the mall, spend some money’ sort of way when people are f-ing dying – in droves. I started to ask “what is wrong with you?” but there’s not enough time in the day to enumerate all of the responses and, really, it’s a stupid, rhetorical question so we won’t actually go there.

Instead we’ll just wrap this puppy up and put her to bed since it’s truly exhausting dissecting and describing evil works such as yours.

May we be safe from our POTUS and his minions.
May we be willing to look out for one another because it’s the right thing to do.
May we stay strong and hold it together as long as it takes.
May we accept that there really is such a thing as evil.

Sincerely,
Tracy Simpson

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