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OpEdNews Op Eds    H1'ed 3/30/21

Will America Hold Trump & His Enablers Accountable for 400,000 Unnecessary Deaths?

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From Hartmann Report

Is this manslaughter, now that Trump brags that he actively ignored the scientific advice?

Donald Trump
Donald Trump
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Dr. Deborah Birx is trying to clean up her reputation by telling the story of how Trump was ignoring the science and pressuring her to instead promote his "open the country" policy that killed so many Americans.

But we don't have to listen to her; Trump, himself, bragged on Fox News that when Dr. Fauci gave him advice on how to save American lives, he "was doing the opposite of what he [Fauci] was saying."

The scientific research is in, and at a conference convened by the Brookings Institution it's being reported that Donald Trump's criminally incompetent bungling of the coronavirus pandemic killed 400,000 Americans who didn't have to die. Oh, and we could have saved billions of dollars had it been done right.

Reuters summed it up in the first paragraph of their story: "The United States squandered both money and lives in its response to the coronavirus pandemic, and it could have avoided nearly 400,000 deaths with a more effective health strategy and trimmed federal spending by hundreds of billions of dollars while still supporting those who needed it."

One researcher presenting at the conference, an economist with UCLA, noted, as Reuters reported, that "if by last May the country had adopted widespread mask, social distancing, and testing protocols while awaiting a vaccine" we could have saved 400,000 Americans from death. And that doesn't begin to count the serious illness, damage to families and businesses, and long-term disabilities.

When is this man going to be held accountable?

After Pearl Harbor Republicans were all in a froth, suggesting that FDR knew the Japanese planes were on their way and let it happen anyway so he could get us into a war to help his reelection prospects. It was a widely held article of faith among Republicans of a certain age; my dad believed it to the day he died.

But they also held President Franklin Roosevelt to account. Republican uber-conservative and Supreme Court Justice Owen Roberts headed up the Roberts Commission to investigate who was responsible for the intelligence failures on that terrible day. They ultimately cleared FDR, instead laying the blame with Navy Admiral Husband E. Kimmel and Army General Walter Short, the two men on command at Pearl Harbor on December 7, 1941.

When they think a Democrat might be to blame, Republicans are all about accountability.

Although the George W. Bush administration used private servers to conduct government business for eight years, and then deleted over 22 million emails as they were leaving office, when it was discovered that Hillary Clinton had a private email server for her personal email use when she was President Obama's Secretary of State, the Republicans went insane. The investigations into her "missing" 30,000 personal emails covered three years, and cost our country tens of millions of dollars. In the end, she was cleared of all the charges.

But, the GOP had already decided, Hillary had to be accountability for something!

So when four Americans died at Benghazi, in the years after the State Department's requests for extra funds to harden that station and others like it were turned down by Republicans in Congress who said it would represent too much "big government spending," the GOP decided that Hillary Clinton was at fault.

It was accountability time!

Clinton was the subject of multiple Congressional hearings, examined by private investigators and federal prosecutors, endured hours of testimony before Congress, and a thorough raking over the coals in conservative media for years.

Again, Hillary was found not culpable for any part of that tragedy, although she took responsibility for it happening on her watch, but the Republicans sure portrayed themselves as the ultimate American champions of accountability.

Republicans were even serious about holding Richard Nixon accountable, once there was clear evidence of his crimes. It wasn't a group of Democratic senators who walked over to the White House one afternoon to inform Richard Nixon that his time was up and he would have to leave office: it was a group of Republicans, led by Senator Barry Goldwater.


Now we have a Republican former president who independent and impartial scientists say made decisions (I would argue politically motivated decisions) that cost the lives of 400,000 Americans. While New Zealand, Taiwan and South Korea (among dozens of others) only suffered minor fatalities, America, with 4% of the worlds population, has about 20% of all the deaths from COVID in the world.

And, the researchers say, it's all because Trump ignored the science. Instead, he chose to do what he thought would get him reelected while pandering to his fat-cat corporate buddies who wanted their front-line workers to show up and keep the money flowing, no matter what.

So when is somebody going to seriously investigate what happened during the Trump presidency?

When is somebody going to look into why his administration was actually planning to do something about COVID prior to April 7, but in the week following that day -- the day the news broke in all the major media that COVID was disproportionately killing Black people and was then only widespread in Democratic-run states -- they turned on a dime and decided to do nothing?

Why did Trump, after April 7, start lying about how serious COVID was and pushing to reopen the country?

Why did Trump lean on Republican politicians and governors to keep their states' open, producing super-spreader events like the motorcycle rally in South Dakota that GOP Governor Kristi Noem encouraged that led to 260,000 new COVID cases, and deaths across America?

Over a half-million Americans have died, and the science indicates that 400,000 of them died because Donald Trump was a blustering, incompetent, racist, narcissistic, greedy, politically motivated ass.

America is grieving the loss of these people. Friends, family, brothers, sisters, fathers, mothers, grandparents, even some children.

But, as any prosecutor will tell you in any routine murder case, grieving requires closure, and closure requires accountability. This is, at the very least, manslaughter, particularly when you consider how he now brags that he actively ignored the scientific evidence and advice.

When will America hold Donald Trump and the people who surrounded and enabled him accountable?

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Thom Hartmann is a Project Censored Award-winning New York Times best-selling author, and host of a nationally syndicated daily progressive talk program on the Air America Radio Network, live noon-3 PM ET. His most recent books are "The Last Hours of Ancient Sunlight," "Unequal Protection: The Rise of Corporate Dominance and the Theft of Human Rights," "We The People," "What Would Jefferson Do?," "Screwed: The Undeclared War Against the Middle (more...)

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