A Nation Of Liars

Wow. We have more than 130,000 Americans (and counting) dead as a result of the coronavirus health crisis — and yet we have a game show TV host opining that it is all a conspiracy. Apparently everyone from the nation’s top public health experts to emergency room doctors and nurses are lying about this in a masterfully conceived plot to deny POTUS a second term.

Folks, you can’t make this shit up.

But amazingly — although I guess not unexpectedly — Trump appears to agree.

Here’s from The Washington Post:

With tweets, impromptu interviews and unscripted remarks, President Trump has increasingly undermined the public health message of his own government, adding a sense of confusion to what has been a disjointed and ineffective response to the novel coronavirus pandemic.
Public health experts say Trump’s efforts to deflect blame for the surging virus have become yet another distraction making it harder to slow the spread of covid-19, the highly contagious disease caused by the virus now infecting Americans at a record clip.
On Monday, Trump retweeted a message from Chuck Woolery, a longtime game show host and conservative commentator, that accused the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention of “lying” to the American public about the virus.
Trump in recent days has also accused Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, of making “mistakes,” blasted CDC guidelines for opening schools as “impractical,” and repeatedly undercut public health officials’ recommendations by questioning the efficacy of masks and social distancing.

Here’s what Woolery said, via Yahoo News:

During a flurry of activity on his Twitter account, Trump retweeted a message from game show host Chuck Woolery that claimed “everyone is lying” about the coronavirus as part of a plot to sabotage the economy and hurt Trump’s reelection campaign.

“The most outrageous lies are the ones about Covid 19,” wrote Woolery in the message promoted by Trump. “Everyone is lying. The CDC, Media, Democrats, our Doctors, not all but most ,that we are told to trust. I think it’s all about the election and keeping the economy from coming back, which is about the election. I’m sick of it.”

Hmmmm.

IMG_0914

I take it Woolery, and many others, get their infectious disease creds directly from social media, and not the real world.

IMG_0913

Well, I’m not big for conspiracy theories. Especially those being advanced by a TV game show host — Chuck Woolery — and by a realty TV star — Trump — who somehow managed to con his way into the most important job on Planet Earth.

So call me naive but I believe the pandemic is real. It’s a big threat to lives and to our economy. And it’s not going away until we have some national leadership — of which we currently have none.

Here’s the problem in a nutshell, as shared by a group of conservative anti-Trumpers via The Lincoln Project:

When I was still working, I had the privilege to teach journalism at Kent State University. We taught the mechanics of journalism: writing, editing and so on. But we emphasized the ethical imperatives of honesty,  transparency and building trust.

All of those qualities have kind of been flushed down the toilet by a President and his supporters who have worked hard for the past several years to convince us we have become a nation of liars.

I don’t share that belief.

And come November, let’s hope we return honesty and leadership to the White House.

IMG_0013

Kent State Massacre 50 Years Ago

Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young immortalized the massacre of four students at Kent State University on May 4, 1970, with the following:

Tin soldiers and Nixon’s comin’
We’re finally on our own
This summer I hear the drummin’
Four dead in Ohio

Gotta get down to it
Soldiers are gunning us down
Should have been done long ago
What if you knew her and
Found her dead on the ground?
How can you run when you know?

I wasn’t planning to write about this — but I couldn’t get it out of my mind this morning. Kent State and May 4, 1970. That’s 50 years and a lifetime ago — but I still think about Allison Krause and the others who were killed and injured that day.

safe_image.php

I didn’t know Allison — or Jeffrey Miller, Sandra Scheuer and William Schroeder. But I think about Allison because of the Pittsburgh connection, hers and mine. And I think what a shame. Allison and the others would have been — should have been — in their late 60s or early 70s now. Maybe they would be ending careers. Maybe they would be parents — possibly grandparents. I can’t shake those thoughts having been at Kent State myself in 1970, although graduating in March and back home in Pittsburgh in May.

I know there is no point in rehashing what happened on May 4, 1970, and the days immediately before it. If you have an opinion, like me, it has been anchored in concrete for years. For most others now — it’s history.

Yet it is a day in America’s history worth remembering.

And what happened at Kent State 50 years ago today is something we must never forget.