Monday, March 30, 2020

Pandemic Panic

The United States has the largest number of coronavirus cases of any country.
And the number is over 100,000.
Donald Trump has been fouling up the response to the crisis, yet a majority - yes, a majority - of people surveyed approve of how he's handling it.  This is probably owing more to high marks from people in parts of the country that are less affected by COVID-19 than others, and it's worth noting that his overall approval rating is still below 50 percent.  The small bounce he's getting may be indicative of a desire by Americans to see Trump to a good job, not necessarily a desire to see him get re-elected.  But he dithered when he ordered General Motors to make ventilators, and General Motors was unsure of whether there was a deal or not between the company and the federal government, and he blew off Governor Andrew Cuomo of New York by saying he didn't think the state needed so many ventilators (and also has insulted other governors, including Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan and "failed presidential candidate Jay Inslee of Washington).  Other forms of equipment necessary to fight the pandemic are in short supply, and states have to compete with each other and with other countries to buy it.  Trump's order to GM goes a little in the right direction, but not far enough.  People are supporting Trump because he's the only leader we have - except for Andrew Cuomo, of course (more on that later)  - and they want him to get us out of this mess.  But when you think about it, Trump is more infamous for messes he's gotten us into.  He wanted to open the country for business for Easter, but why did he think he could do that when the Indianapolis 500 - which runs every Memorial Day - has been postponed this year until summer? (He's since extended social distancing guidelines through April.)
I could think of more examples, but I don't want to give myself a headache (though that would be preferable to COVID-19).
Congress passed a bipartisan $2 trillion (that's $2,000,000,000,000) relief package to shore up private businesses and help people.  It will help, but it won't be enough.  And don't ask me to break the bill down in detail, but suffice to say that the Democrats improved it and prevented from becoming a full-blown corporate bailout.  So, in the spirit of bipartisanship, let's hope Trump helps get us out of this mess.  But let's not hope he gets re-elected.    

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