Friday, May 22, 2020

Trump's America blaming dead coronavirus victims

Guardian (Aus Ed):

'All the psychoses of US history': how America is victim-blaming the coronavirus dead

As racism warps the US pandemic response, a health crisis has escalated into a culture war

People protest against the coronavirus shutdown in front of state capitol in Madison, Wisconsin, on 24 April

Photograph: Kamil Krzaczyński/AFP via Getty Images

Why do Americans represent less than 5% of the world’s population but nearly a third of the known coronavirus death toll? Not because of government incompetence, the Trump administration is arguing, but because Americans are very unhealthy.

The United States’ organized response to the pandemic had been “historic”, Trump’s health secretary, Alex Azar, told CNN on 17 May, but America “unfortunately” has a “very diverse” population, and black Americans and minorities “in particular” have “significant underlying disease”.

Jake Tapper, the CNN anchor interviewing Azar, paused and squinted. Surely, he asked, Azar was not arguing that “the reason that there were so many dead Americans is because we’re unhealthier than the rest of the world?”

Azar doubled down: “These are demonstrated facts.”

“That doesn’t mean it’s the fault of the American people that the government failed to take adequate steps in February …” Tapper said.

“This is not about fault. It’s about simple epidemiology,” Azar said, adding in a pious tone: “One doesn’t blame an individual for their health condition. That would be absurd.”

Black Americans dying of Covid-19 at three times the rate of white people 

Blaming black Americans for dying from a novel virus because they had diabetes or high blood pressure was precisely what Azar was doing. Someone had to be held responsible for an American death toll approaching 100,000 people, worse than any other country’s reported deaths. In order for the Trump administration to remain blameless, someone else had to be blamed, and the administration was now blaming the dead.

It took less than a month after the first shelter-in-place orders to devolve into a full-blown partisan culture war, complete with armed protests egged on by the president; conservatives questioning or denying death numbers; pundits arguing against a continued lockdown with lines like, “You can call me a Grandma killer”; attempts by hair salons and barbers to stage acts of civil disobedience; and some states led by Republican governors moving to quickly reopen, even as other states with Democratic governors announced months of continued restrictions.

A majority of Americans remain supportive of public health restrictions, including nearly half of Republican voters and 68% of people who have lost a job or suffered a pay cut.

The US health secretary, Alex Azar, speaks at the White House last week

Photograph: REX/Shutterstock

The anti-lockdown demonstrations at state capitols have attracted a messy jumble of protesters: anti-vaccine activists and other conspiracy theorists, rightwing provocateurs, members of known anti-government militias, gun rights advocates, established conservative groups backed by wealthy billionaire donors, Republican stalwarts and people who were actually out of work.

It would be wrong to argue that racism was the sole motivation for the protests, or even a decisive factor for the many different protesters who showed up.

But the moment when the US response to coronavirus escalated into a full culture war is revealing. The big protests at state capitols, with crowds of white Americans demanding their governors reopen the economy, started about a week after national news outlets began reporting in early April that black Americans made up a disproportionate number of the dead.

The Coronavirus Is Exposing Our Racial Divides - The Atlantic

Covid exposing America's racial divide 

Coronavirus: Why has the virus hit African Americans so hard ...

Systemic racism created the health disparities that made black and brown Americans more vulnerable to dying from coronavirus, public health experts say; and now the same racism is also shaping, and undermining, the country’s political response to the pandemic.


  1. Why does Italy, with 0.8% of the Worlds population have 9.8% of the CCP Virus deaths ?
    Why does UK, with 0.9% of the World's population have 10.9% of the CCP Virus deaths ?

    Both are advanced economies with highly developed health care systems.

    The fair answer is - its complicated , with many local conditions.

    But the Guardian did not choose to blame it on Racism (Italy has one of the more racially homogenous populations in Europe, and most of the dead are White), or even ask the question.

    Or blame it on "All the psychoses of Italian / British history"

    As I advised people before - don't get stupid, just because you abhor the Americans to the core.

    1. in Italy most of the dead were older people

    2. Wakakakakaka…

      "The fair answer is - its complicated , with many local conditions."


      What a 'righteousness' fart.

      The fair answer is economic!

      Sweden has the highest death per capital despite her #7 ranking in the Global Health Security Index rating how countries r prepared to deal with epidemic or pandemic.

      Yr uncle Sam is ranked #1 on the list followed by UK. Surprisingly, Thailand ranks #6!

      Most of the deaths in these 'advanced' countries r majority from the old, the poor & the destitute WHO share similar social standings in the eyes of these countries' health care system.

      Coupled that with the inherent cold-bloodedness of sacrifice for the greater good as exhibits in herd immunization acceptance, these classes of sociaty burdens become the easy front liners to top the death score.

      Ain't these the epitome of "All the psychoses of WASP history"?

      What local conditions? Money? These 'developed' countries r just superficially loaded but pokai inside?

      How complicated when more cares should be given? Or they r specialty burdens?

      Don't get stupid, just shove that coronavirus up where the sun dont shine.