In one of them we'll be crowding in to concerts and baseball games this summer; in the other we'll never see our friends again.
It's well past time when we come to some realizations, not so much based on hopes and dreams and nut-job aspirations, but on simple data and observation.
Here in Connecticut the virus peaked, just as it was supposed to, and just about when it was supposed to. But citizens continue to die at an alarming rate. The same is true in Rhode Island and Massachusetts. I refer to these three states because they don't get the national exposure that New York does, but their infection rates are extremely high. In the Boston area, 1095 per 100,000; in Providence (RI) country, 587 per 100,000; and in Fairfield (CT) county, 897 per 100,000.
What's more, the totals may have peaked, but the infections are not dropping, despite attempts to keep people in their homes. And if those facts aren't frightening enough, here's something even more damning:
Eleven days after peak, China's cases dropped 89%
Eleven days after peak, South Korea's cases dropped 81%
Eleven days after peak, Germany's cases dropped 35%
Eleven days after peak, Spain's cases dropped 34%
Eleven days after peak, Italy's cases dropped 22%
Eleven days after peak, America's cases dropped 2%
And Trump wants to eliminate immigration? If I were European country, I'd send him a thank-you note, for once again the wealthiest nation in the world—the nation with the greatest capabilities of keeping its citizens safe—is failing. And it's failing from the top down.
I read something in a response to one of my pieces the other day—something to the effect that Trump gets angry at reporters because everything he does is criticized. There's a simple solution to that problem: do something right.
Number one, address the fact that Americans continue to die at horrific rates and admit the truth: we're not doing well and nothing is under control, least of all this administration. In World War II Michigan didn't say, "screw you, Mr. President, Michigan builds cars, not planes." And families that had to choose between butter and sugar didn't stamp their feet and scream they wanted both. And sports fans may remember that Ted Williams, Stan Musial and Joe DiMaggio didn't claim to be baseball players and incapable of fighting a war. They simply did their duty. And yet we have an entire subculture who, despite the obvious threat to their lives and the lives of their loved once, just don't care: they want what they want.
Those countries that are doing well, with the exception of China, are democracies. Their citizens have freedoms similar to ours, and many of them are frustrated at being shut up in their homes; yet they have for the most part not exhibited the inanity of Americans, a stupid foolishness urged on by a stupid and foolish president and his equally stupid and foolish apologists.
The leaders in Germany, Spain, et al. have actually led. They've confronted their citizens with the truth. I'll leave China out of the mix for now, since their ruler is the state and doesn't have to integrate honesty into his pronouncements, but in Europe the people in the stricken countries have known how bad it was, have not had to listen to some lame-brained grifter "explain" the things he wants to be true, and lie about the rest. And I do blame his supporters—they should have wised up by now and figured out that he's feeding them lies they want to hear and avoiding the hard truths. No wonder they love him—to death.
Trump was all fun and games when he was just a goof who was going to upset the establishment. Even I contented myself with questions like "how bad could it be?" Now we know. How's "forty-two thousand dead and climbing," for an answer, and Trump without the guts to tell his people that mingling and socializing and getting their "I survived COVID-19" tattoos will probably lead to their deaths. Instead he urges all of us to maintain a safe distance, then praises those who rise up against it.
It is gutlessness and ignorance on an enormous scale, and if you're reading this in one of the aforementioned three states, that gutlessness and ignorance are going to cost you too. As hard as you try to do the right thing, the governors in Georgia and Florida and South Carolina are having none of it. And once the virus takes hold again in those states, you can pretty much forget about this most recent peak, because there'll be more a-coming.
And those state leaders who always fall back on the Constitution might want to remember this bit of advice from the Founding Fathers: the enumeration in the Constitution, of certain rights, shall not be construed to deny or disparage others retained by the people. So yes, you have your right to congregate and wave your guns in the public square and fill Facebook with imprecations against those who want to stifle your expression, but remember, when your public expression violates others' rights to their very lives, your public expression is secondary and expendable.
A real president would point that out, would establish some societal norms and then defend and promote them. Sure there will be malcontents—there were in World War II—but do you really have to have seen Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan to know that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few? Isn't that obvious?
Of course when you're a child, you don't always grasp that; and when the president is a child, we can't expect him to grasp it either.
That two percent "dip" in cases? We should all be embarrassed. And I was not exaggerating when I said you won't see your friends again, other than in pixels. The road to perdition, paved by Trump, is being kept in good repair by DeSantis, Kemp, and McMaster, and there will be more such governors, eager to lick the boots of their master and afraid to incur the wrath of their voters. That's not leadership, but again, it's failing from the top down.