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OpEdNews Op Eds    H3'ed 4/29/20

Weaponizing a Pandemic

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There is a well-documented history of great powers using all kinds of diversions when faced with different and difficult internal challenges that happen during the course of every-day life. The key reason why governments resort to such subterfuge is also well recorded and ranges from deflecting attention from internal weaknesses and mistakes, as well as ginning up public support around a leader found wanting, and unable to step up to the plate and hit a home run when a crisis calls. In fact, American presidents have long been defined good, competent, inept or incompetent -by crises.

Way back in slavery times many were the deliberate diversions including stoking the drums of war by slick United States politicians eager to preserve the institution, and to take the public's attention away from its brutality and genocidal practices. Demonizing foreign nations and accusing them of the very things that the United States was doing at home is an old, tried and true deflection and redirection tactic blame others, not you. For example, in recent times as the COVID-19 pandemic rages on with devastating results in the United States, the Trump Administration is trying to cover its ineptness and incompetence by targeting Venezuela and accusing that country's president of drug dealing without providing a scintilla of evidence.

And if history is our judge and guide, the United States fought two wars on similarly shaky grounds: The War of 1812, while ill-conceived, was followed by a new sense of American patriotism rally round the flag and the Mexican War, while divisive resulted in the acquisition of Texas. So, the idea that America routinely goes abroad "in search of monsters to destroy" is an old historical fact today. America not only regularly searches for monsters that it creates, it does so to explicitly divert attention from its own internal shortcomings, mistakes, and fumbling.

The very first salvo hit the U.S press when, again without presenting any evidence, a biological warfare analyst claimed that the coronavirus originated in the Wuhan Institute of Virology, a lab allegedly linked to China's "covert bio-weapons program."

This weaponized language implied that the coronavirus was not a consequence of the jump by a virus from animal to human but a Chinese-created bio-poison. That China, an ascending power and rival to the United States, became the newest shiny object in the Trumpian blame game caught political observers by surprise since Trump himself had spent a considerable amount of time praising China's efforts to contain the diseasewhich he described as both "professional" and "capable." Such flimflammery and rapidly changing narratives have come to define the Trump Administration up is down and done is up, and truth and facts do not matter.

Not to be outdone in the conspiracy and national distraction arena, China floated the theory that the virus had entered Wuhan when U.S. military personnel visited the city during the October 2019 Military World Games. Again, without any evidence proving this to be a fact.

But there is no need for facts when peddling conspiracy theories or weaponizing a pandemic. All that's needed is to hurl accusations without proof and let public fear, confusion, anxiety, and xenophobia do the rest. Want more evidence? Let's move past the insane notion of injecting disinfectant as a possible cure for the coronavirus disease, peddled by the POTUS. President Trump has said the most outlandish and unscientific things over the past three years. Remember, he believes that windmills (he incorrectly mixes up wind turbines with windmills) cause cancer, that stealth aircraft are literally invisible, that we should rake the floors of our forest to prevent fires, and that science and truth is what he says it is.

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MICHAEL DERK ROBERTS Small Business Consultant, Editor, and Social Media & Communications Expert, New York Over the past 20 years I've been a top SMALL BUSINESS CONSULTANT and POLITICAL CAMPAIGN STRATEGIST in Brooklyn, New York, running (more...)

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