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Fifty Thousand Americans Dead from the Coronavirus, and a President Who Refuses to Mourn Them | The New Yorker - April 22, 2020 |

In just the past few days, President Trump has blamed immigrants, China, the "fake news" and, of course, "the invisible enemy" of the coronavirus for America's present troubles. He has opined extemporaneously about his plans to hold a grand Fourth of July celebration on the National Mall and has announced that he planted a tree on the White House lawn in honor of Earth Day. He has offered his opinion on matters small and large, bragged about himself as "the king of ventilators," and spent much time lamenting the pandemic-inflicted passing of what he invariably (and inaccurately) calls "the greatest economy in the history of the world."

Despite the flood of words, though, what has struck me the most this week is what Trump does not talk about: the mounting toll of those who have died in this crisis. So voluble that he regularly talks well past dinnertime at his nightly briefings, the President somehow never seems to find time to pay tribute to those who have been lost, aside from reading an occasional scripted line or two at the start of his lengthy press conferences, or a brief mention of a friend in New York who died of the disease soon after calling him at the White House.

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But the numbers are the numbers, and, notwithstanding Trump's relentless happy talk, the coronavirus epidemic has, as of this week, already produced some fifty thousand American dead. This is not, needless to say, a best-case scenario, or anything close to it. Just a few weeks ago, a survey of scientific experts predicted forty-seven thousand U.S. dead by the beginning of May, according to the Web site FiveThirtyEight. Instead, forty-seven thousand deaths were recorded by this Wednesday, April 22nd, well before the experts had anticipated.

On April 8th, a leading model at the University of Washington had revised its projections downward to forecast a total of sixty thousand American deaths by the beginning of August. But the nation now looks to hit that number by May 1st, meaning that, just a few days from now, more Americans will have died from COVID-19 than the entire toll from the Vietnam War.

Honoring the dead has long been one of the tests of American Presidential leadership. Abraham Lincoln's Gettysburg Address was, after all, not just another political speech but a remembrance of those who were killed in the bloodiest single battle of the Civil War, in which some fifty thousand Americans became casualties and about eight thousand died.

    Four score and seven years ago our fathers brought forth on this continent, a new nation, conceived in Liberty, and dedicated to the proposition that all men are created equal.

    Now we are engaged in a great civil war, testing whether that nation, or any nation so conceived and so dedicated, can long endure. We are met on a great battle-field of that war. We have come to dedicate a portion of that field, as a final resting place for those who here gave their lives that that nation might live. It is altogether fitting and proper that we should do this.

Twenty-five years ago this week, Bill Clinton's lip-bitingly empathetic response to the Oklahoma City bombing, in which a white supremacist blew up a federal building and killed a hundred and sixty-eight people, was seen as a key moment of his tenure. He was dubbed the "mourner-in-chief," at a time when he was languishing politically. That speech is often said to have saved his Presidency.

[Links and photo's added are mine - Oui]



Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Fri Apr 24th, 2020 at 05:11:08 PM EST
Human cost of war ... we don't count the dead.

Pentagon lifts media ban on coffin photo's | NBC News |

Families of America's war dead will be allowed to decide if news organizations can photograph the homecomings of their loved ones, Defense Secretary Robert Gates said.

Gates said he decided to allow media photos of flag-draped caskets at Dover Air Force Base, Del., if the families agree. A working group will come up with details and logistics.

The new policy reverses a ban put in place in 1991 by then President George H.W. Bush. Some critics contended the government was trying to hide the human cost of war.




Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Fri Apr 24th, 2020 at 05:22:02 PM EST
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Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Fri Apr 24th, 2020 at 06:00:31 PM EST
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Global Warming - distance between America and Europe is steadily increasing.
by Oui on Fri Apr 24th, 2020 at 06:02:10 PM EST
[ Parent ]

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