Covid-19, raging forest fires, riots ,and high crime in the cities, we know who to blame. Donald Trump is President, and it’s all happening under his watch.
Trump never fails to provide a real head-scratcher. Why he would give recorded interviews to Bob Woodward, I can’t fathom. In what way would it ever turn out well? Sure enough, Woodward uses the tapes to hammer the President less than two months before the election. Of course, he’ll sell a boatload of books. It indeed adds the narrative of it’s all Trump’s fault.
I haven’t read the book, just the widely published excerpts. The idea trumpeted in the book is Trump knew all about the Covid-19 but failed to level with the people. By playing down the threat he lied to America. This assumes what Trump told Woodward were hard and fast facts the President was hiding from the public. Looking at the excerpts provided, this is far from the case. Rather than hard facts, they are more of an illustration of the fog of war.
Take the Virus was dangerous, airborne, highly contagious, and “more deadly than even your strenuous flus,” passage.We already knew from reports out of China the Virus was dangerous and highly contagious. The February 7 interview was done at the same time the Diamond Princess was quarantined in Japan. The ship was, in fact, a floating coronavirus lab. What we found out from it has held basically true throughout the epidemic. We received daily re[ports from the ship.
“Mounting evidence suggests coronavirus is airborne — but health advice has not caught up” was the authoritative journal Nature’s headline not in February but on July 8. “Governments are starting to change policies amid concerns that tiny droplets can carry SARS-CoV-2. And after months of denying the importance of this, the World Health Organization is reconsidering its stance.”
On August 31, the CDC reported, “While there is still much to learn about COVID-19, at this time, it does seem as if COVID-19 is more deadly than seasonal influenza however, it is too early to draw any conclusions from the current data. This may change as we learn more about the number of people who are infected who have mild illnesses.” Even at this late date, the CDC hasn’t come to any conclusion.
Woodward played a March 19 recording in which the President said.” Now it’s turning out it’s not just old people, Bob. Just today and yesterday, some startling facts came out. It’s not just old- older.” Woodward replied, “Yeah, exactly.” Trump added, “Young people too, plenty of young people.”
The premise the President’s had all the facts and hid them from the public just doesn’t hold up. As we can plainly see, the points were and maybe still are in dispute. More likely, the President was just relaying some things he was being told. We know he received some scary intelligence reports. One supposedly said the coronavirus would be worse than the Spanish Flu.
Any fair-minded person would concede a President is given information from different sources, and much of it is conflicting. For instance, during February 29, 2020, CBS interview, Dr. Anthony Fauci said, “that at that time and under the circumstances pertaining to that date, Americans didn’t need to change their behavior patterns.” It would be interesting to know if Woodard has any recordings showing the clash of information the President was receiving. In any case, many of Trump’s advisors at the time were talking in public with differing messages. How could Woodward not be aware?
This is important in light of the President and Woodward’s false information on young people’s Covid-19 danger. My series on Covid-19 started on March 20. In that initial post, I made the point data showed the threat was overwhelming with the elderly and the compromised. There was little risk to the young. The CDC just recently reaffirmed this fact. How did I know this, and the President and Woodward get it wrong?
As an octogenarian blogger hunkered down in Phoenix, I have no unigue sources of information. Only what is widely available online or in print. The data out of Italy, the far east, and the Diamond Princess was readily accessible. It appears the President had been given some wrong info. This just confirms the unreliability of the briefings he was getting.
Under the circumstances, was it any wonder the President didn’t want to roll out this unverified stuff. Especially if it would cause widespread panic. We want our leaders to keep a cool head.
As it happened, we did have the perfect illustration of lousy information, causing panic and bad coronavirus decisions. Remember the flawed Imperial College of London model’s over the top March prediction? It, too, predicted the coronavirus would, in fact, be worse than the Spanish Flu. This caused the hard lockdowns turning a bad situation into a deep depression. As I pointed out, this rotten, widely publicized info caused even the President to panic. At least he wasn’t the source.
Woodward waited till now to publish his book based on these recordings. Even if he wasn’t aware of confusion over the Virus at the time the interviews were done, he had plenty of time to investigate. As a once top reporter, how could be less informed than yours truly? Did the chance to blame Trump for Covid-19 override his journalism training and ethics? How does he mesh the actual timeline with his book? How does he accuse the President of deception when he is the one misleading?
Trump is to blame for West Coast forest fires. Global warming is causing them, and he failed to stop and reverse it. Unless one attributes Godlike powers to Donald Trump, this is preposterous. Even under the Paris accords, carbon neutrality wouldn’t be achieved until the mid-century. This is happening now.
During the Middle Age’s Warm Period 950 to c. 1250, seas rose due to ice melt. The Dutch took notice and built and raised dikes as needed. Of course, unprotected low lying areas suffering flooding. Instead of taking action like the Dutch,some blamed witches and burned them at the stake. Witch burning might have made some feel better, but they were still wet. Dikes proved more practical.
When you are aware of some adversity, common sense tells us, like the Dutch, to take effective action. Fires need fuel. Due to many years of forest management neglect, much of our forests are overgrown and provide ready kindling for fires. This is nothing new; we’ve known it for decades.
So why haven’t cleaned up this dangerous stuff? I’ve have written in the past of the Nature Conservancy’s long battle to clear up Arizona’s Forests. It’s still trying. Like California and other western areas, our forest is a powder keg just waiting for sparks. In conjunction with others, the Conservancy has put forth plans to mitigate the dangers, with little progress.
What stands in the way is opposition and ligation from powerful “environmental” groups, such as the Sierra Club. Unlike the Nature Conservancy, these groups do little or no actual hands-on environmental work. They just exist to lobby and litigate. I guess if the problem is fixed, they won’t get more donations. Yet, they have significantly limited forest reform across the nation. As a long time Nature Conservancy supporter, I share its frustration with these organizations and their feckless political allies.
However, one person who joined up on the side of forest reform is Donald J. Trump. He may be frustrated like the rest of us by the opposition, but he is on the right side and hard to blame for the fires. We know where the kindling comes from.
Going back to my posts on Ferguson, Mo, and Charlottesville, Va., I’ve warned if we didn’t realize what was happening, we would face growing lawlessness. Justifying the destruction of communities and thugs would only lead to more trouble. Unfairly branding a policeman as a criminal would lose our good public safety officers’ confidence as was done in Ferguson. Not recognizing Charlottesville’s adverse Antifa presence has put us on the Weimar Republic path where this kind of thuggery began. Unless we change course, the problems will continue to multiply. Good candidates will avoid public safety work, just when we need more to protect our people. Why should they risk their lives for people throwing them under the bus? The thugs will rule our streets.
Under our Federal system, these are state and local government problems. The Federal Government’s role is severely limited. The President can offer help, but can’t force Governors or mayors to take it. He can protect Federal Property, but not a burning local car dealership. Primarily, these problems are in areas controlled by Democrats. Many have told the President to stay away. As they say, you can’t help those who won’t help themselves. These problems started before the Trump Administration and, unless addressed locally, will go on after.
As readers of this blog know, I’m not a great Trump fan, but I have to say fair is fair. If you really want to know who is to blame for all this, maybe you should look in the mirror. This is why we have the vote.