19 reasons why
During a campaign rally in my state of Michigan, nearly four years ago today, candidate Donald J. Genius directed a question to black voters. Was he offering a platform packed with promises to right the wrongs of racial injustice? Did he reach out to have a meaningful discussion about reparations?
He did not.
Instead Trump said, “You’re living in poverty, your schools are no good, you have no jobs, 58% of your youth is unemployed — what the hell do you have to lose?”
Well . . . let’s start with the fact that black America lost the constitutional protection of the leader of the free world against racial prejudice and hate. African Americans continue to survive in a system that not only wasn’t inclusive to them but still works against them. Now on top of all that, there’s a fair housing discriminating, Obama birther instigating, black lives matter doubting, confederate generals hugging; white supremacy fantasizing jackass in charge.
Fast forward to April 5, 2020, in the throes of the deadliest pandemic in one hundred years, Trump inexplicably revives his “what have you got to lose” shtick. But this time he’s touting the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a cure for the coronavirus. “What have you got to lose?” he asks.
Well . . . medical experts cited cardiac arrhythmia which could lead to death. So it would be your life. You could lose your life.
Look, I get it. Back in 2016, there were a lot of Hillary haters. And as we later found out, there would be major retaliation for the audacity of this nation to elect, and then reelect, a black man as president. Who knew there were so many baskets full of deplorables, or gullibles, or gamblers who thought, “Hey, why not give that rich blowhard on TV a shot at this?”
And now we know how staggeringly reckless and dangerous it was. There are so many explanations why Trump did not deserve his first term, let alone a second. There’s Russia, Ukraine, Iran, Mexico, the wall, climate change, human rights, all the lies, immigration, social justice, sexual misconduct, bigotry, babies in cages, demonization of the press . . . the list is endless.
But to me, Trump’s horrific failure in managing the COVID-19 crisis ranks number one. And here’s why:
1. 150,000 dead and counting.
2. People of color and the poor are at higher risk of contracting the virus and dying.
3. Paycheck to paycheck hardworking Americans can’t feed their families or pay their bills.
4. Small business owners and entrepreneurs have lost everything.
5. Families have and will continue to lose their homes.
6. My friend in Maryland lost his mother to the virus. A week later he lost his father.
7. Children can’t go to school and are falling behind intellectually and emotionally.
8. People who have lost their jobs have lost their healthcare.
9. Nothing feels normal.
10. My Arizona sister’s annual summer visit didn’t happen this summer.
11. I haven’t hugged or kissed my dad in 137 days.
12. Nurse L., at my dad’s long-term care facility, hasn’t hugged or kissed her grandchildren in 137 days.
13. Nursing Assistant E. sent her asthmatic son to live with relatives to keep him safe from her.
14. My dad and all his neighbors are isolated in their rooms. No bingo, no card games, no dining with each other, no physical therapy, no visitors except through the windows. And no reassuring smiles from their caregivers because everyone wears a mask.
15. Dad’s fellow resident, and former schoolmate, died from COVID and I decided not to tell him.
16. I see some confusion and a little slippage in my dad’s friends whom I continue to visit through the glass.
17. And If I’m being honest, I see it in him too.
18. My heart stops every time I get a call from my dad’s facility with the weekly COVID report. And then I gush with appreciation to the social worker over the good news about my dad.
19. And then I feel guilty because I know someone else got heartbreaking news.
I am terrified for my dad, his fellow residents, and the heroic staff who care for them. I am equally horrified that this narcissistic imbecile of a president has some say in what happens to them.