Politics is killing people

QUICK READ: Politics and politicians are killing people. Republicans insistence that COVID-19 is “no big deal” and their refusal to mandate masks is leading to record levels of the virus.

While other nations are starting to re-open the US is in the midst of a COVID-19 disaster. Make no mistake about it this tragedy was caused by the politics of division. Trump had a chance to slow Covid-19 by following Hong Kong’s example and insisting that all Americans wear masks.

Florida, on Sunday, reported record cases of COVID-19 because the Governor decided that the state could go about business as usual. In Houston ICUs are full and they’re putting patients in the ER. And, at a time when the United States is reeling from the recession and the coronavirus, and increasingly isolated internationally, Beijing senses American weakness and just signed a $400 billion agreement with Iran.

In the meantime, US Surgeon General Jerome Adams said Sunday that the US could turn around novel coronavirus infections in two to three weeks if “everyone does their part” by abiding with official prevention recommendations like social distancing and facial coverings.

Studies in thousands of people on multiple continents now show the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine does not help patients hospitalized with Covid-19 live longer. But on Tuesday the White House, based on a new study that outsiders greeted with deep skepticism, disagreed.

Now the Food and Drug Administration again risks being pulled into an ugly political fracas over whether to permit more patients to be treated with the drug. It is a debate that threatens to undermine the agency’s credibility when it needs it perhaps more than ever.

And the news about COVID-19 is not good. “In case you are wondering, long term effects of #COVID19 are real and highly debilitating. This is not anecdotal. In this study, 80% of patients develop long term fatigue & breathing difficulties. So please don’t get #COVID19″ said a leading Ph.D.

Now you have to ask yourself this. If Republicans and Democrats increasingly view COVID-19 in starkly different ways, from the personal health risks arising from the coronavirus outbreak to their comfort in engaging in everyday activities, then why?

The answer is simple: politics and politicians. White House chief of staff Mark Meadows on Monday defended President Donald Trump’s claim that 99% of coronavirus cases are “harmless” – an assertion at odds with a wide array of data on death rates and hospitalizations and studies on the impact of the disease.

Asked on “Fox and Friends” about Trump’s claim that 99% of coronavirus cases were “harmless,” Meadows responded, “When you start to look at the stats and all the numbers that we have, the amount of testing that we have, the vast majority of people are safe from this.”

FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn — the only administration health official to make the rounds of last Sunday’s morning news shows — refused to defend Trump’s assertion that 99 percent of coronavirus cases are “totally harmless.”

In Texas, the Lt Governor continues to downplay the effects of the virus and in Florida, the Governor responded with the opening of Disney World.

Politics and politicians are killing Americans. Social media is full of Trump supporters who say that COVID-19 is a Democratic lie and they don’t have to wear masks. There is a debate in the medical community about Gilead’s data around remdesivir and more and more people believe that any vaccine that is approved won’t be safe.

The FDA and CDC have been taken over by politics. Trump has been successful at removing anyone who dares question his moves. In the meantime, our economy is going to suffer and deaths from COVID-19 are sure to rise.