Republicans Won’t Let a Little Global Pandemic Ruin the Economy — A Few Might Need To Die, Though
Trump calls for “packed churches” on Easter Sunday even though the Pope himself cancelled services at the Vatican.
While we’re self-quarantining, right-wing pundits are trying to recruit your grandma for a suicide mission.
The daily COVID-19 task force briefing features more unhinged drama than a Real Housewives reunion show.
It’s rare, if unprecedented, for Danielle to agree with Trump on anything. But she does this week.
“We actually are at war,” she says. “With an invisible virus.”
As the pandemic spreads across the country, every day seems to dawn with fresh hell. Hospitals are overwhelmed. The medical supply chain is broken. Meanwhile, the consequences of the outbreak on our economy, and our society, are unclear. But the future looks dim.
“I am deeply afraid of what's going on in this country,” says Touré. “The direction we're headed economically is incredibly frightening –– massive unemployment of 20, 25, maybe 30 percent.”
And as we record this episode, Congress has yet to pass a relief bill that provides cash support for working people.
“Unfortunately, we had a two month head start that Trump blew by referring to it [COVID-19] as a hoax and putting no parameters in place to keep Americans safe,” Danielle says.
“Republicans, when the blame falls squarely on their shoulders, like to say shit like well, now is not the time to blame.”
“Motherfucker, I have all the time in the world. What the fuck else am I doing?”
That’s the vibe this week. Let’s get into it.
Episode Highlights –– The Apocalypse Is Here
Republicans’ pandemic pitch: choose death over a depression
“I'm really afraid of where we are right now,” Touré says to Danielle. “How are you?”
“I am deeply unwell, I'm just gonna be honest,” she says. “For the past two weeks, I’ve been waking up in the middle of the night ... rolling over, picking up my phone, looking at Twitter, wondering if I've missed something. If catastrophe has hit even harder than it's already hitting.”
Danielle admits that she deals with anxiety even in “normal” times. But it’s exacerbated by the chilling tone of Trump and his acolytes in the midst of a troubling development: the WHO says that the U.S. could become the new global epicenter of the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Republicans literally went on television this week and said to the elderly: Sacrifice yourself. Sacrifice your life for your grandchildren. But more than that –– for the fucking economy. For the Dow Jones,” Danielle says.
Not only is that insane, but there’s some clear cognitive dissonance happening.
“This is the pro-life party, by the way, that talked about Obamacare ‘death panels,’” she says.
Trump’s cure: Back to work by Easter
Sunday night, @realdonaldtrump tweeted that “WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF.”
Trump has been pushing this message since the beginning of the crisis. A tanking economy is kryptonite to his reelection campaign. His base, ostensibly absorbing little more than his sound bites, are quick to parrot Trump’s claims that America will be open for business just as soon as we eradicate the “Chinese virus,” which is totally happening before Easter.
“Just in time for Jesus's resurrection,” says Danielle.
“We have a leader who is thinking, how can I make this work for me politically, rather than trying to make this work for the people of America,” Touré adds. “He talks about America's great companies. Notice that he never talks about an American who has died because of coronavirus.”
Connection amidst COVID-19: we need a hug, but we’ll wait
While Trump thinks people are just dying to go out to restaurants, “I am dying to see other people and connect with them,” Touré says. “But it's not like somebody's gonna say the war is over and now we can g