We are finally seeing a glimmer of hope. The COVID-19 epidemic in the United States has fallen below the number of daily new cases counted on the eve of the presidential election. It was then that this viral nightmare soared. The New York Times coronavirus data tracker counted 74,195 new cases in the country on November 1, 2020. As of February 16, new case reports were received at 64,376.
But between those dates, a national horror unfolded, peaking on January 8, reporting 300,619 new cases in just 24 hours. This breathtaking wave, a year after the pandemic began, was completely unnecessary for the richest country in the world. In order to achieve a sense of closure, Donald Trump must be held accountable for failure.
There is ample evidence of Trump’s negligence during the third wave of the pandemic. Had I been a member of the House of Representatives during the panel’s impeachment deliberations, I would have added Trump’s indictment of the pandemic crime and labeled him responsible for most of the COVID-19 deaths that occurred while he, the nation’s leader, was preoccupied with the bloody election victory of Joe Biden. Trump’s failure, “as he swore in his oath of office,” to “faithfully carry out the office of President of the United States,” heralded a death toll in excess of that experienced in the country since the civil war 160 years ago.
I am not blaming Trump for the pandemic regarding mistakes his administration made between January 2020 – when it generally ignored the outbreak in Wuhan, China – and the summer spate of cases and deaths in the United States. I’m not paying a pandemic because of Trump’s February 26th, 2020 dismissing the COVID-19 threat as tiny, and claiming, “The level we’ve had in our country is very low and these people are getting better, or we think so they are or get better in almost all cases. We have 15. “Nor do I blame pandemicides for repeatedly insisting that COVID-19 cures are available in the form of hydroxychloroquine, bleach, ultraviolet light, convalescent plasma therapy, Regeneron cocktail, oleander extract, or just warm weather .
And while there is remarkable evidence that the policies of the four-year Trump administration significantly deteriorated life expectancy and death rates in the United States, causing 461,000 deaths in 2018 alone, it is persistent, ill-considered policy and one brutal budget cuts ahead of the virus’ arrival on US shores.
Pandemicide is not the result of ill-advised, ignorant, or downright stupid household measures and health messages. I am not even bringing charges of Trump’s condemnation of mask use and opposition to temporary business and school closings to stop the spread of SARS-CoV-2 and encourage people to “liberate” states that are introducing strict lockdown regulations.
Rather, the pandemic’s path has been paved to watch the president’s re-election and his relentless, all-consuming post-election campaign to refute his opponent’s victory and to claim electoral fraud and even theft. Despite the nationwide spike in COVID-19 infections across the country over the summer, Trump abandoned the virtual campaign in favor of overcrowded, largely maskless gatherings of his supporters, knowingly risking that any rally would turn into a superspreader event. According to a study by Stanford University, 18 rallies held between June 20 and September 22, 2020 that resulted in more than 30,000 COVID-19 cases, which has likely resulted in more than 700 deaths. Over the same period, half of Trump’s campaign events were followed by COVID-19 waves in the counties where they took place. While Biden’s campaign rallies were largely virtual or held in parking lots with participants in their vehicles, Trump’s densely packed, mostly mask-free crowds increased both in number and frequency, which further spread the virus and the top COVID-19 response experts in the U.S. government caused. Anthony Fauci to warn that the president is “asking for trouble”.
Even after Trump and the first lady signed COVID-19, which included mandatory emergency treatment, which in Trump’s case included hospitalization at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center and round-the-clock treatment by an army of doctors and nurses, refused the president to do this regularly put on a mask. On the day of his hospitalization, October 2, the United States had cumulatively recorded more than 200,000 deaths from COVID-19 – an undercount like all US COVID-19 numbers, but an official data point that would more than double that Inauguration of Biden on January 20th. According to a new Lancet Commission report compiled by an international team of August scientists and public health leaders, around 40 percent of America’s COVID-19 deaths were unnecessary during the Trump administration, which means they are could have been averted with available non-medical interventions.
At the time of the election, Trump had ignored the pandemic and had not attended a single White House COVID-19 meeting for at least five months since the end of May. Behind the scenes of the fall, the Trump administration lobbied vigorously for Congress to block the shifting of funds to states for vaccine adoption so that they were unable to conduct mass vaccination efficiently.
And from election night on November 3 through his inauguration on January 20, Trump was determined to undo Biden’s victory. He stopped speaking to the press on December 8, stopped holding public events after November 4, and finally appeared publicly at a football game on December 12. According to White House schedules, Trump had few official meetings for days, leaving Washington for Mar-a-Lago on December 23 and only reappearing on New Year’s Eve when he gave a video address to the nation celebrating the Food and Drug Administration Submitted emergency approval of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines. On January 6, the president delivered his now infamous speech to supporters, exhorting them to march down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol. From January 7 until he moved out of the White House on the morning of January 20, Trump made few public statements, frustrated with his loss of access to social media. When his much-touted Operation Warp Speed stuttered and was unable to get vaccines into the arms of Americans, Trump was silent. And the White House became the central COVID-19 team. Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, four other White House officials, Secretary of State for Housing and Urban Affairs Ben Carson, and David Bossie, Trump’s designated head of campaign to challenge the election, were all infected. In line with the president’s mantra that COVID-19 wasn’t too serious – “Don’t let it take over your life” – none of these people wore protective masks regularly in the White House or on their way to the polls.
Therefore, I am bringing pandemicidal charges against Trump for saying nothing or doing anything to stop the rising burden of infections and deaths in the United States from election day until he left office. Trump was a mom during a time when experts within his administration warned that vacation travel and interactions over Thanksgiving, Christmas, and New Years could lead to a massive spread of the virus and states were calling for help spreading vaccines.
He ignored the November 3rd pandemic when 92,000 people were newly infected, bringing the nation’s cumulative total to 9.4 million and the death toll to 225,000.
It remained silent as more than 1 million Americans a day flew on commercial airplanes over the four-day Thanksgiving weekend and millions more traveled to families by other means, although the centers for disease control and prevention stayed at home. By November 30, more than 13.5 million Americans had tested positive for COVID-19 and 259,000 had died.
As Christmas drew near, public health officials again urged Americans to resist the temptation to stay home and avoid family gatherings. As of December 22, 18 million Americans had acquired COVID-19 and 314,000 had died from it. But the president was silent, and again millions of Americans traveled and celebrated with friends and families.
As the New Year approached, the total number of cases as of December 31 was nearly 33 million, with 336,000 deaths. And yet Trump was silent.
When his insurgency mob gathered on Capitol Hill, the case topped 21 million with 352,000 deaths.
And by the time Trump boarded Marine One on his way to Mar-a-Lago at the taxpayer’s expense, 24 million Americans had tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, killing nearly 400,000 of them.
Between the election and inauguration, the number of Americans infected more than doubled, rising from 9.4 million to 24 million. Around 15 million cases were added to Trump’s observation as he was fixated on overthrowing Biden’s victory and AWOL on the pandemic front.
And in his absence from the pandemic – his duty to protect the American people – 172,000 Americans died, nearly doubling the death toll since election day.
The Republicans have, of course, decided that now that Trump is a private citizen, he cannot be charged. So my call is controversial for formal reasons. But let the story line that no seated US president – since April 30, 1789, when George Washington took the first oath on the balcony of Federal Hall on Wall Street in New York City – has deliberately allowed himself to such preventable carnage affects the American people.
Let history record that Donald Trump is guilty of the crime of pandemicicide.