Trump’s actions questionable
To the editor:
Donald Trump did not cause the coronavirus.
OK, now that’s out of the way, let me tell you what he is responsible for.
Violence against Asians in America has increased as have racist memes and general discrimination against Asian-Americans. What has Trump done to try to dissuade or otherwise curtail this activity? Absolutely nothing. In fact, when challenged for his own racist use of the term “Chinese virus,” he doubled down, said it was accurate (which it’s not since the disease has a name,) and reminded everyone that the virus is from China (which he said in his peculiar overly emphatic pronunciation.)
When offered testing kits from the WHO, Trump refused them, and suggested that America had very few cases even as experts were warning him that we almost certainly had many cases yet to be diagnosed. He put Mike Pence, a notoriously anti-science conspiracist who had previously exacerbated an AIDS outbreak when he was governor of Indiana, in charge of the task force charged with minimizing the U.S. experience of the virus. When told about a cruise ship suffering an outbreak, he suggested keeping the boat moored indefinitely as to not allow the infected to raise the total of persons in the U.S. who have the disease.
Trump wanted to charge Americans for testing once we do have it (a plot foiled by Congresswoman Katie Porter who pressured Trump’s CDC director to use his authority to provide such,) and he tried poaching German scientists for a vaccine which he would also sell, but only to Americans. And then there’s the fact that Trump eliminated the National Security Council’s global health security office.
Now let’s talk about the economic impact. Yes, it’s impossible to know how the economy would have suffered under a different leader, but what we do know that caused a negative effect under this administration follows: Trump cut taxes for the wealthiest Americans and corporations. Rather than go toward job creation, much of this newfound cash was used to buy back stocks artificially inflating the value of said stock creating a bullish market but no liquidity. The tax cuts were also coupled with expanded spending on military boondoggles and the unnecessary southern border wall leading to the largest deficit in the nation’s history.
In a further attempt to help Wall Street, Trump pushed the Fed to drop interest rates even as he tanked the farming and manufacturing sectors with unhelpful trade wars and reneging on trade deals. Consequently, when the first international obstacle presented (in this case a pandemic) there were none of the regular metaphorical Band-Aids in the government’s figurative first aid kit. He threw $1.5 trillion at it, and it stopped the hemorrhaging for 20 minutes. He lowered the interest rate to zero, and the market didn’t even notice.
Now as a final Hail Mary, Trump is listening to Bernie Sanders and Andrew Yang, and Americans will receive checks from the government for $1,000.
Too little too late? We’ll soon see.
J. David Core