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Letter: Trump and the Lysol controversy (don’t even think about drinking it)

President Trump, the self-anointed genius, has again defied the odds.

He said something that not even Lindsay Graham can spin away.

Trump decided to embalm people BEFORE they die. He spoke of Americans ingesting disinfectants in order to kill COVID-19. Calls to emergency rooms spiked when anxious people seeking help trusted the president. We put locks on floor level cabinets in order to prevent toddlers from ingesting poisons. And the CEO of the company that makes Lysol was so horrified that he felt compelled to warn Americans that consuming disinfectants can KILL people. Trump, after having been made aware of the stupidity of his insanely dangerous statements, said that he was being sarcastic. He was joking. In the face of more than 50,000 dead Americans at the time, our president thought that it was appropriate to joke about killing even more Americans?

Of course, the “band still plays on” (Titanic) at Fox News. The Trump-supporting talking heads at Fox, especially Laura Ingraham, pushed the president into promoting hydroxychloroquine as a “game changer” in the fight against the pandemic. It was “a miracle.” She criticized those who wanted more testing, saying that they were “in total denial.” When a VA study showed that the use of the drug INCREASED the risk of death, Ingraham attacked that study as “shoddy” and “shockingly irresponsible.” She’s not a doctor. She doesn’t admit much less apologize for her mistakes. She simply promotes untested medicine show elixirs as the Fox Carnival hauls in viewers and money.

But there are some people in the White House who are genuinely alarmed. White House staffers, senior Republicans and Trump campaign officials are trying to convince the president to decrease his involvement in COVID-19 briefings, i.e. shut up. It’s all about this year’s election. Numerous public and campaign polls, including Fox polls, indicate that not only are Trump’s presidential poll numbers tanking but he is dragging down Republicans running for election to the Senate and House. The GOP is concerned that it could lose the presidency and both houses of Congress.

It’s their political assessment that Trump’s stupid stuff helps him with his cult following on the campaign trail but when he is allowed to nationally ramble, verbally tweet and wing-it in front of moderate Republicans, independents, and a broader sampling of the news media, that voters are concluding that he is too dangerous to be president. Therefore, they hope to lock their crazy uncle in the attic and pretend that he doesn’t exist for awhile. Hey, where’s what’s his name? (No. Not Joe. He’s in the basement.)

They hope that the pandemic breaks soon enough so that Trump can be unleashed on his white horse to tout a new economic recovery just in time to be re-elected. Let’s face it. There are people who will swallow that Kool Aid.

One of the voter groups that is polling against Trump is that of senior citizens. The most reliable group of voters in our country voted for him in 2016 but now that they are in the crosshairs of COVID-19, they seem to be paying more attention to his press briefings/campaign rallies/carnival snake oil pitches. He scares them. Trump scares them to death. That doesn’t bode well for the president or down ticket Republicans in the mid-west, Florida or the rust belt.

Did you see those videos of protesters waving flags, wearing Trump MAGA hats and gathering without masks or social distancing? Funding for these organized protests comes from conservative coalitions. Remember the Tea Party? And when Georgia’s governor went along for the ride and opened his state against the advice of health officials, Trump changed his mind about a quick reopening and threw the governor under the Trump campaign bus. Loyalty is a dangerous one-way street with him. Remember Jeff Sessions?

As much as that bothers me, it’s still, unfortunately, just politics as usual. It’s rank and file Republicans acting against their own economic interests. There’s nothing new there. What bothers me the most was seeing these people yelling at nurses. Nurses in uniform and masks silently stood in the streets blocking the vehicles of protesters. Nurses are working to save lives. Nurses are putting their own lives and the lives of family members at risk simply by helping others who are sick. Nurses are dying. What did the Trump-supporting protesters do? They yelled and cursed at the nurses. They said that if they wanted communism (stay at home by executive order), then the nurses should move to China. The arrogance of ignorance. Ignorant and proud of it.

It’s personal for me. My son is a nurse.

The Trump campaign and Mitch McConnell are defending Trump’s handling of the pandemic by blaming Democrats for impeaching Trump. In other words, but for the impeachment, Trump could have focused on the virus. Think about that for a moment. That “defense” starts with an admission (Trump chose to focus on the impeachment and the virus got away from him) and also ends with an admission (Trump can’t walk and chew gum at the same time).

MAGA! One hoax at a time!

And now that Trump has retreated from his legally unsupported claim of unilateral authority over the states, promising instead to help the states in a back up role, McConnell is fighting against Pelosi’s suggestion that the next stimulus bill be passed to financially support states and local municipalities. McConnell stated that the governments on the front line should file bankruptcy if they can’t pay their bills and control the pandemic. Remember the 2008 Bush recession with layoffs of teachers, cops, firefighters, healthcare workers, and thousands of other Americans? Federal law doesn’t allow states to file bankruptcy. It also doesn’t prevent bailed out corporations from making campaign donations. How do you define fairness?

Have you noticed all the tax breaks for corporations and the super rich in the recent stimulus funding? Have you seen how the money runs out for small businesses by the time big business gorges on the taxpayer dollars? When these same folks got their now $2 trillion tax cut in 2017, did they create more jobs, share it with workers or do anything for people other than themselves? No. They bought back corporate shares in order to fund executive bonuses and shareholder dividends. Some even borrowed low interest monies to do more of the same. And when the virus hit, they had no cash reserves. What did they do? They were first in line at the public trough! At least we don’t have socialism!

— Charles A. Wieland,

Madera County Superior Court judge, retired

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