Trump, Masks, Crime and The Cold Civil War

A lot has been made, and should be made, of Trump’s unhinged Chris Wallace ‘Fox News Sunday’ interview that aired on 7/19/2020.

But for me, two Trump quotes stood out.

These statements occurred 48 seconds apart in the “full interview” edit.

Link to the interview on YouTube (in case you want to make yourself sad)

Quote 1 (9:40) — Regarding Trump’s multiple claims over the past six months that COVID-19 will “disappear”:

“I’ll be right, eventually. I will be right, eventually. You know, I said it’s going to disappear. I’ll say it again, it’s going to disappear, and I’ll be right.”

Quote 2 (10:28) — When asked if there should be a national mask mandate.

“And I don’t agree with the statement that ‘If everybody wear a mask, everything disappears’.”

So, let me know if I’ve got this right…I’m following Trump’s “logic” here…COVID-19 will disappear, unless that is, there is a national mask mandate…in which case it will not disappear? …

And this is from the mouth of the President of the United States? He’s saying this in July of 2020, four months after the WHO declared the pandemic. On June 5, very late in the game as far as I’m concerned, the WHO officially recommended wearing face coverings in regions where cases are growing.

…And you’re telling me Trump still has a 39% approval rating? …Okay…Can you hang on a sec? …Just one…I’ll be right back…

[Ken wails and screams into the void until he collapses]

Sorry about that…I’m better now.

Yeah, that whole interview is just sick. Trump is a terrible, terrible person. I’m glad Wallace gave him “enough rope”…if you know what I mean.

Here’s the deal on masks…

In the early stages of the pandemic, confusion about face mask efficacy was caused by experts trying to avoid shortages of PPE for front line workers.

These experts (WHO, CDC, NIAID) downplayed the necessity for masks as a tool to slow spread, to avoid a run on mask supplies, particularly the N95 masks medical workers need.

It wasn’t long before that tune changed and it was clear that non-medical grade masks and face coverings were going to be essential to slow community spread. The idea being that the masks would not so much stop virus particles coming to you from the outside (like a N95 mask’s filter would) but the mask would instead keep most of the droplets you create, when breathing, speaking, coughing, sneezing, etc., from going out into the open air. So, you wear the mask to keep yourself from polluting the open air in public spaces. If everyone participates in the mask wearing, the potential for virus in the air is reduced.

With viruses, it’s about reducing risk. Part of this is thinking in terms of viral loads (the amount of virus agents [e.g. individual viral particles] entering your system as you are infected). You might think of poison as a metaphor for understanding viral loads. So, with this specific “poison”, if you take a teeny-tiny amount it won’t work. The poison will have no noticeable effect. Now, say, you get a medium dose of the poison, you feel real sick, but you’re probably going to live with treatment. Last example, you take a big ol’ drink of that poison, down the bottle, enough to kill a horse…Well, you’re in trouble…I guess because you’re not bigger than a horse (hopefully). But seriously, you get a big dose of this virus in one sitting, and if it doesn’t play nice in your system, that amount of viral load (between medium and high) might mean the difference between life and death for you. It’s no joke. So, any reduction of virus agents in the environment is a step toward safety, a step toward saving a life.

I have had BIG issues with this calculated disinformation that came from the health experts early on to protect their supplies. It was short sighted, and we see how planting that seed of disinformation, in the midst of a PANDEMIC…in this era of “alternative facts”, has continually been used against us in our fight for greater public health safety.

We see it used to this day by Trump and his idiot minions (including idiot governors) to further confuse and disinform. Disinformation that will kill, period.

I’ve been wearing a face mask in public since March, religiously indoors and also outdoors when social distancing is not possible. I have family that are in the category of people at increased risk of severe illness from COVID-19, so I take this deadly serious.

The bottom line is that every day we are all learning. If we don’t learn, IF OUR LEADERS DON’T LEARN AND COMMUNICATE THE TRUTH, innocent people will die.

- — -

And I could go through every subject in that whole Trump interview and say, “Wrong! … Lie! … Evil! … Sick!” to all the beats, and tally it up, and make jokes about this and that. But, in the interest of brevity and taste, I just wanted to focus on his two CRIMINALLY IRRESPONSIBLE statements regarding COVID-19.

I call it criminality because I believe, perhaps naively, that a public servant in a position of trust and authority who is given empirical information and data that shows that masks and face coverings will slow spread and save lives…when that executive public servant undermines that truth, discredits the doctors and scientists who research it, and then falsely states that “masks cause problems, too” (same interview, 10:42), spreading lies and disinformation that will cost lives, I believe that IS a crime. Similar to the crime of a tobacco company claiming their cigarettes don’t cause cancer when they know for a fact that they do…Except Trump’s crime is worse, because here, instead of some scumbag tobacco company board of executives, we are talking about the PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES AND ALL HIS EXECUTIVE POWERS. Don’t you get it?! (Well, I know you do…Let’s get real, if you didn’t, you wouldn’t be reading this).

It’s those 39% of people who don’t get it that vex me. The fact that 4 out of 10 people you might see on the street are with this criminal President who is getting people killed for no other reason then his cynical arrogance and pride. Those people are fucked up in the head. I can’t say it any other way. I wish I could. I really wish I could. Whatever these people are thinking, whatever their calculation of what they think they will gain by propping up this sack-of-shit, criminal President, it isn’t worth it. Whatever their perceived grievances, this can’t be worth it.

This whole charade is just sick. It’s getting innocent people killed. It’s destroying our international reputation. It’s doing immeasurable damage. It is tragic that such a large swath of our population supports this nightmare. It is tragic that we cannot depend on these people to turn around. It is tragic that we are in a Cold Civil War. It breaks my heart to say it. It just breaks my heart…

So, there are no silver linings here. Not until this fever has broken. Not until we see this approval rating tank (that could be a sign of hope). Until then, the danger is very real. Do not fool yourself. Protect your family. Make sure your vote is counted. This nightmare needs to end, and we need to organize and work together to end it. It is essential.

As I’ve said before…Challenge people, organizations and entities who put money and “things” above people’s lives.

Epilogue

To be fair, in the same interview, Trump said masks are “good”. It was in contradiction to everything else he was saying and totally disingenuous, but he did, technically, say the following words — (10:46),

“I’m a believer in masks. I think masks are good.”

It had to be disingenuous, as he had just earlier dismissed their lifesaving function to slow community spread. And also, almost in the same breath he said, “masks cause problems, too” (10:42).

Ya know, it’s like Trump and women.

He was always either calling them “dogs”, or paying them off to stay quiet, or, without consent, grabbing them by the “wherever” and bragging about it to the boys club.

You know…Trump and women.

He loves women.

Everybody knows that…That he loves women…

Just like he loves masks.

Who is Ken Powers? He wants you to know the most important thing you need to know about him is his content.