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Donald Trump defeats the coronavirus again as a victory


The president also reiterated blatant false claims that the United States had done a better job than many other countries now experiencing outbreaks of the disease that pale in comparison to the disaster in the southern United States.

In a press conference filled with questionable superlatives and glowing praise for his government’s work in carrying out routine procurement duties, Trump sketched out a completely different reality than is unfolding across the country .

Perhaps the most disturbing aspect of his briefing was not the massive misrepresentation, but the fact that the White House is so confined to its constantly tested Covid-19 bubble that it actually believes its own propaganda.

“We’re starting to see evidence of significant progress nationwide,” Trump said, five months after the start of a pandemic he first denied and then overlooked.

“An encouraging sign. Very encouraging,” said Trump, after collecting data and praising the governors of Florida, Arizona and Texas – who allowed the virus to sweep their states – for doing a “tremendous job” . He continued, “The virus is receding. In the southern and western hot spots, we have seen slow improvements from their recent weekly peaks.”

“I think we’re doing very well and I think … as well as any nation,” Trump said baselessly, given that the United States has less than 5% of the world’s population but about 25% of global deaths due to Covid-19.

Earlier, Pence also spoke optimistically about the outbreak in the southern and western states which enthusiastically greeted Trump’s demands for an early opening and were therefore hit with a deadly wave of infections.

“We are starting to see not only a plateau, but we are starting to see cases decrease and emergency rooms decrease,” Pence said during a call with governors.

The plateau, after so many deaths and at such a high level of new infections in the southern states is welcome. But that’s hardly a cause for celebration, given that infection rates wouldn’t have been so severe with proper management of the viruses.

Trump and Pence against the experts

The President and Pence, razor sharp on the election in exactly three months, spoke in a way that implicitly ignored and may well have been intended to counter the warning from Birx, the coordinator of the coronavirus task force who The virus was in a “new phase” on CNN on Sunday as it weighs on rural areas where healthcare is often rudimentary. Trump complained earlier that Birx had come to criticize the administration because Democratic House Speaker Nancy Pelosi accused her of being too positive. “Deborah took the bait and hit us. Pathetic!” Trump wrote.

But Birx’s remarks were reinforced on Monday by the government’s top infectious disease specialist, Dr Anthony Fauci, no stranger to presidential scolding, which painted the picture of an out of control pandemic.

“When the community is spreading, it’s a lot harder to understand that,” Fauci said during a press briefing with Connecticut Gov. Ned Lamont, a Democrat.

“When the community spreads, it’s insidious. There are people who spread it who don’t have any symptoms, and we know it’s definitely happening. It is difficult to identify him and it is difficult to carry out identification, isolation and contact tracing ”. Fauci added.

Trump appeared to get the message that the spread of the virus in central regions would be politically damaging for him. He repeatedly used the word “rural” in his press conferences to emphasize that his government was in control.

But for yet another day, the message from the administration’s top political hitters and medical experts has been rife with contradictions, not least because Trump seeks to obscure the real story with his daily briefings.

“What jumps out at me is that we are in a crisis situation in America and we are hearing a narrative that does not recognize this,” said Dr Richard Besser, former acting director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention from the United States on “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.”

There are encouraging signs in the seemingly endless fight against Covid-19. States like New York, which ignored Trump’s demands for early opening – part of a federal approach that Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo on Monday said was the “worst government mistake in modern history” – are doing well .

New infections are down in Arizona, Texas and Florida, although they remain at levels suggesting the downward curve will continue.

But at least 30 states suffered higher rates of new deaths last week compared to the previous week, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

In 12 of those states, the increase in deaths was at least 50%: Washington, Idaho, Montana, South Dakota, Texas, Mississippi, Michigan, Ohio, Maine, Virginia, West Virginia and Alaska.

And test positivity rates – an indicator of the rampant spread of a virus – remain stubbornly high in more than 30 states.

Several victory rounds

Throughout the pandemic, the administration desperately wanted to proclaim victory and great progress and move forward, while pocketing a political victory incompatible with the facts of the virus.

From the same podium in the White House briefing room in mid-April, Trump signaled to Americans that their brief fight with the virus was already over.

“Now that we are past the peak of new cases, we are starting our lives over again,” Trump said. “We are starting to rejuvenate our economy again,” he said, while saying the United States would suffer far fewer deaths than expected. By that time, the disease had killed 30,000 Americans. Less than four months later, 155,000 died.

A month later, in May, and after the death toll from Covid-19 reached 80,000, the president was back with another ‘mission accomplished’ moment.

“We met the moment and we triumphed,” he said, although he later tried to reverse his remark by saying he was sent back for testing. In this case, it was an indistinguishable distinction as health experts say that now, even in early August, the United States still does not have a national screening and screening operation. screening.

Like Monday, Trump’s victory lap at that point was contradicted by a warning from Fauci which has been proven by events.

“If we skip the checkpoints in the guidelines to ‘Open America Again’ then we risk the danger of multiple epidemics across the country,” Fauci wrote in a May email to The New York Times. which turned out to be quite correct.

“This will not only cause unnecessary suffering and death, but will actually bring us back to our quest to get back to normal,” Fauci added.

Pence was also guilty of misrepresenting the facts of his position as head of the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

Just six weeks ago, the vice president wrote an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal in which he lambasted the media for specific reports of a construction disaster in the southern and western states.

“In recent days, the media have sounded the alarm bells on a ‘second wave’ of coronavirus infections. Such panic is overblown,” Pence wrote.

“We are winning the fight against the invisible enemy.”

Such commentary by those charged with stabilizing America during the worst domestic crisis since World War II is one reason why their politically motivated forecasts of imminent victory may have the opposite effect of the intended effect.

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