Live and Let Lie

On Tuesday, President Trump toured an N95 mask manufacturing plant, wearing goggles, but no mask, as the song Live and Let Die blasted in the background. At least we know metaphors will survive the pandemic. Many Americans won’t be so lucky. It’s not a hoax. It’s not fifteen cases going down to five. The same pattern of nonstop lies that has marked Trump’s years in office continues apace, but now the disinfo is not about his biography or political opponents. The lies about the virus are not just irritating, demoralizing, and frustrating; they’re deadly. During Trump’s checkered tenure, there’s been no moment when facts and science are more imperative than when it comes to the re-opening of America. What we’re getting is more of the same. Politico: Trump touted reopening. Privately, his team sounded alarms.

+ Among those most endangered by the lies are those still most trusting of the president. Andy Slavitt: “Trump, at a Fox News town hall this weekend, said the number of deaths could now be 75,000 to 100,000. As we approach 70,000 deaths, with 1,700 dying every day, he’s not leveling with us, he’s helping his supporters become the last to know.” His true believers are protesting in the streets. The rest of public is astonishingly united.

+ The contempt for experts and talent guided us to a Jared Kushner-led response to the pandemic. Surprise. It didn’t go well. “The team responsible for PPE had little success in helping the government secure such equipment, in part because none of the team members had significant experience in health care, procurement or supply-chain operations.” And from WaPo: “Some associates of Mr. Trump sought special treatment from FEMA. “In one case, Jeanine Pirro, the Trump stalwart and Fox host, repeatedly contacted task force members and FEMA officialsuntil 100,000 masks were sent to a hospital she favored.” And from Vanity Fair: “Political Connections and Cronyism:” In Blistering Whistleblower Complaint, Rick Bright Blasts Team Trump’s Pandemic Response. (This is all par for the course. But the course itself is more lethal now.) Meanwhile, Jared just had a new gig added to his portfolio: helping get a vaccine for the disease developed in record time.

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