“There’s no circumstance in which you should take a disinfectant or inject a disinfectant. ... It can cause death and very adverse outcomes.” — Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb
Trump is actually leading his own supporters to inject themselves with Lysol by suggesting, essentially (not his exact words but close), “Hey, it’s a disinfectant, right? Disinfectants kill the virus, right? Why wouldn’t it work?” He actually said he thought it was a good idea to try injecting disinfectant directly into the lungs of a coronavirus patient. Wowwy wow.
“Maker of Lysol and Dettol says people should not administer disinfectant into the human body”: I can’t make up headlines like these fast enough to keep up with reality.
At the same time, our president is encouraging his supporters to engage in armed protests against continued lockdowns around the country. The protesters, led to believe the coronavirus is either a Democratic Party hoax or a Chinese bio-weapon, seem to think that their political ideology makes them immune, so they protest without masks or plastic gloves and without keeping 6 feet apart. Seeing them do that, he encourages them to “liberate” their states.
Even Trump has said Georgia’s governor, Brian Kemp, shouldn’t lift that state’s lockdown yet. I want to remind you all that Kemp is the same guy who, only on April 2, woke up to the fact that people with asymptomatic COVID-19 could transmit the disease. Even though it had been in the news every day for weeks at that point. Now he’s decided it doesn’t matter. Let the old people die. The economy is more important.
Trump must be feeling the heat. He knows old people are his best demographic, but he’s afraid he’ll lose like Herbert Hoover if the depression starts to look as bad as the one in 1932. What’s saving him from that now, ironically, is unemployment insurance that was mostly instituted under FDR’s leadership.
How many old people can Trump afford to lose? It’s a balancing act.
Trump thinks in practical terms. He doesn’t seem to mind losing old people in Blue states, probably calculating that those Electoral College votes won’t come his way anyhow, but if he loses a lot of old people in Florida and Georgia, that’s serious business.
So, he wants states such as California, Oregon, Washington, Massachusetts and New York to lift their lockdowns, for the sake of the national economy, but when a Red state wants to do it, he calls it a hasty move. Too dangerous. Rash. Lives are at stake. Very important lives.
Some lives are at less risk than others. The Seattle Times has had a story about rich people trying to escape the pandemic in underground bunkers, some in remote areas of New Zealand.
New Zealand has stopped most immigration to their country, but will kindly make an exception if you’d agree to invest $6 million in businesses there over a three-year period.
Longtime readers will know I have often reveled in print at the thought of emigrating to New Zealand. I also have had a lifelong desire to live in an underground bunker. After all, I’ve been clinically tested in the top 5 percent of introverts. But, darn it, I’m a little cash-strapped right now, wouldn’t you know it, and even with all my coins in the coin jar, I’m not close to one million, let alone six. And then where would the funds come from for me to build my mansion under the ground? I’d only have enough cash left to buy a shovel and dig my own bunker.
Speaking of odd headlines, there’s this one: “Missouri Sues China, Communist Party Over The Coronavirus Pandemic.”
Here’s a fun little real-world math fact: 18 percent of all human beings live in China. It is therefore to be expected that 18 percent of all apocalyptic pandemics will first appear among residents of China, “all else being equal,” as people will say. All else being equal, I’d be as rich as Jeff Bezos.
The first person in history thought to have died of smallpox was Pharaoh Ramses V. Should we sue ancient Egypt on the grounds it was a populous cradle of civilization and therefore an attractive nuisance for deadly viruses? All else being equal.
In other news, I just found out yesterday my editor is working on her Judy Garland impression. This is certainly the best of all possible worlds. [Editor’s note: Dreams that you dare to dream really do come true.]
Dr. Wes Browning is a one time math professor who has experienced homelessness several times. He supplied the art for the first cover of Real Change in November of 1994 and has been involved with the organization ever since. This is his weekly column, Adventures in Irony, a dry verbal romp of the absurd. He can be reached at drwes (at) realchangenews (dot) org
Read more in the Apr. 29 - May 5, 2020 issue.