At first, it might seem a bit over the top to say that Trump Derangement Syndrome (TDS) has caused or increased fatalities in the coronavirus pandemic. A good case can be made, however, that it has been and is continuing to do so. It can be tied both collectively and individually to deaths in large numbers and small.
More on that in a minute. Let me preface by saying that I fully understand those who oppose the President on a multitude of issues. I understand those who cringe at some of his behavior and I understand their strong motivation to replace him with someone more to their liking. Strong political motivations (whether pro-Trump or anti-Trump) are normal, absolutely to be encouraged, and a healthy part of our society. Those infected with TDS, however, are in a completely different classification.
When I refer to those with TDS I am not referring to those who hold strongly opposing views. I am referring to those who display a visible, visceral hatred for the President. Those whose eyes enlarge and nostrils flare at the mere mention of his name. Those who will take every opportunity to attempt ridicule of the President or his followers, even when discussing completely unrelated subjects. Those who simply cannot allow that he ever receive credit for doing any good deed at all, no matter how small. Ever. In their eyes he is to be mocked, scorned, and opposed no matter what the situation at hand. He’s just wrong because….Trump. The most important characteristic of those infected with TDS, as it affected the United States virus situation, is the fact that they always immediately oppose the President. It’s a reflex. If he does something bad for business he’s “crushing the economy” and they head for a microphone. If he does something good for business he’s only “helping his rich friends profit” and they search out a TV camera. Trump bad. In regard to the virus, the press relentlessly hammered him for weeks demanding that he use his authority to force the states not on lockdown to do so. Now that it is time to begin opening some states back up they are telling him he has no authority to do that. There are far too many examples to include here. Going back to the day of his inauguration the operative phrase has been “resist.” In the case of the U.S. virus response the results of this reflex were disastrous.
Think back to January 31st. The Coronavirus Task Force was two days old,
there were six cases in the entire country, and the first fatality was a month away. President Trump banned air travel to and from China. Enter the TDS reflex. They said he was wildly wrong (of course) and they stretched for every possible reason to prove it. For the next thirty days there were several themes to the response. The ban was “xenophobic.” The ban was “racist.” The ban would cause a “backlash” against Chinese American citizens. Those things, even if true, could have a political or social effect but certainly would not cost lives. Looking back, the most damaging theme of the month long TDS response was the accusation that the ban was unnecessary. They knew that the charges of racism and xenophobia would not stick if it could be shown that the ban was necessary. And so, the campaign to discredit the need for the ban was on. That gambit, at a minimum, contributed heavily to New York becoming the worst place on Earth regarding coronavirus devastation. As the virus hitched a ride, New Yorkers were told to ride the subways, take in a movie, and attend parades. In television interviews and press conferences the talking points were clear and coordinated. The ban was not needed. This was no big deal:
*On January 31st New York City officials vehemently denied the existence of a coronavirus case in the city. They later admitted that a person who had just returned from China was being tested as suspicious. Interestingly, that same day the New York Times pointed out that New York has the largest Chinese population of any city outside of Asia with a headline “New York Bracing for the Virus.”
*On February 1st New York City Mayor DiBlasio advised New Yorkers to “go on about your lives normally.”
*On February 7th the New York City Health Commissioner, Oxiris Barbot said “We’re telling New Yorkers, go about your lives, take the subway, go out, enjoy life.” She said, “there is no reason they should not take the subway, not take the bus, not to go to their favorite restaurant, and certainly not to miss the parade. I will be there.” (the Lunar New Year Parade on the 9th). This was clearly aimed at the Chinese population of the city, as if to say the President’s ban on travel was somehow more related to people of Chinese ethnicity than to the geographic location of the virus’ release. See video
*On February 12th the Democrats of the House Judiciary Committee voted to rescind the China travel ban.
*On March 2nd Mayor DiBlasio advised New Yorkers to go see a movie. “If you’re not sick you should be going about your life.” “Since I’m encouraging New Yorkers to go on with your lives + get out on the town despite Coronavirus, I thought I would offer some suggestions,” de Blasio tweeted. “Here’s the first: thru Thurs 3/5 go see ‘The Traitor.”
*On March 10th Mayor DiBlasio told New Yorkers: “We want to encourage New Yorkers going out. If you’re under 50 & you’re healthy, which is most New Yorkers, there’s very little threat here. This disease, even if you were to get it, basically acts like a common cold or flu. And transmission is not that easy.” See video
*On March 13th New York City schools were still open while at least five other states had already closed theirs.
*On March 15th Mayor DiBlasio again,“If you love your neighborhood bar, go there now because we don’t know what the future holds.”Just 31 days after these remarks by Mayor DiBlasio New York State reported its 10,000th fatality from the virus.
The results of New York’s pooh-poohing of the travel ban and the virus turned out to be absolutely disastrous. The red line below is New York. All the other lines are every other major city in the U.S. being tracked. (from the Coronavirus Task Force on Saturday) Roughly one half of all cases and fatalities in the U.S. have come from New York and the surrounding area.
As laid out in PJ Media, both fatalities and cases per capita in the downstate New York area are higher than any country in the world. If you broke off downstate New York from the rest of the U.S. the remaining portion of the country would not even be in the top ten in either category.
While the collective effects of governmental reflex in New York are shocking on a grand scale, the effects of TDS on individuals who may contract the virus could also be costing lives. Anecdotally, I have had several TDS friends (they would be proud to say so) tell me they would refuse to take hydroxichloroquine (HCQ) if they were infected. These are people who would not know the difference between HCQ and H2S if the President had not mentioned it in a press conference. Hypothetically, were they to become infected in a world where they had never heard of HCQ and they progressed to a point where it was needed their doctor most likely would advise them of possible side effects and suggest they take it. They almost certainly would. But this is not that world.
In today’s world those with TDS must always reflexively oppose all things Trump. Since he said it showed promise and “could be a game changer” it must be bad. Never mind that it is approved by the FDA for emergency use on COVID-19. Never mind that it is being used in hospitals all across the country as standard protocol for COVID cases. Never mind that both The Society for Critical Care Medicine and The Infectious Disease Society of America include HCQ in their guidelines for dealing with the virus. Never mind that it could save their lives. Trump likes it….it must be horrible. They begin grasping at reasons why this must be so and latch on to scare tactics and distortions put out there by those with a political agenda. It seems many actually wind up believing it’s “dangerous” or “not approved.” I don’t know if these folks would actually go through with denying possibly life saving medication if it got down to crunch time but I’m betting there are some who have.
To you TDS folks out there, if you want to hate Trump that’s fine. The country is pretty evenly split between those who do and those who don’t. Just be mindful of the consequences of a knee-jerk reaction. Not all things in life are about politics. Just ask New Yorkers.