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OpEdNews Op Eds    H2'ed 8/19/20

Trump's "Law and Order" Campaign is a Distraction

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From Robert Reich Blog

Trump has refused to act to contain the coronavirus, opting to sit on the sidelines as the pandemic ravages the country. But when it comes to waging violence against his own people, he's quickly risen to the occasion.

Here are six ways Donald Trump has failed to attack the coronavirus, but instead has attacked Americans.

1. LEADERSHIP?

Trump has said he has "no responsibility" for the coronavirus pandemic, fobbing it off on governors and mayors whose repeated requests for federal help he's denied.

But when it comes to assaulting Americans exercising their right to protest in defense of Black lives, Trump is quick to assert strong "leadership." He called the NYC Black Lives Matter mural a "symbol of hate" and has sent federal agents to terrorize protestors even as mayors and governors urged him to stay out.

2. STRATEGY?

Trump has never offered a national strategy for testing, contact tracing, and isolating those who have the virus. He has provided insufficient funding for the schools he's trying to force open, abysmal standards for reopening the economy, purchasing critical supplies, or helping the unemployed, and no clear message about what people and businesses should do.

But he has a strategy for attacking Americans. He deployed unidentified federal agents against protesters in Portland, Oregon, where his secret police pulled them into unmarked vans, and detained them without charges. Federal agents have since left the city, causing violence to go down almost immediately, but Trump has threatened to send agents to Kansas City, Albuquerque and Chicago. He also said he'll send them to New York City, Philadelphia, Detroit, Baltimore and Oakland -- not incidentally, all cities with Democratic mayors, large Black populations, and little violent unrest.

3. PERSONNEL?

Trump can't find enough federal personnel to do contact tracing for the coronavirus.

But Trump has had no problem finding thousands of agents for his secret police, drawn from the Departments of Justice and Homeland Security.

4. EQUIPMENT?

Public health authorities don't have adequate medical equipment to quickly analyze coronavirus tests.

But Trump's police have everything they need to injure protesters, including military style armored vehicles, teargas, and tactical assault weapons -- "the best equipment," Trump boasted obnoxiously.

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Robert Reich, former U.S. Secretary of Labor and Professor of Public Policy at the University of California at Berkeley, has a new film, "Inequality for All," to be released September 27. He blogs at www.robertreich.org.

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