The Trump administration is a few things: it’s fascistic, it’s xenophobic, it’s white supremacist, it’s corrupt, and it is incompetent. The last part of this is a common trait in dens filled with thieves. In some respects it is the saving grace of this regime, as their ability to truly overthrow our democracy has mostly been hampered by their general incompetence. Even the administration’s egregiously obvious attempts to bribe Americans into voting against everybody’s best interests fall flat, because they aren’t very good at anything that doesn’t have to do with the short-term thinking of lining their own pockets. Best people and all of that.
Tragically, the other side of this incompetence is their inability to even muster up the most basic of functioning governmental infrastructures. This has led to, as of this story’s writing, 225,000 dead Americans due to the COVID-19 pandemic. The lacking response to the growing global pandemic, due to both cowardice and egomania, has been well-documented. But the Wall Street Journal has just reported a new level of low: details of the Trump administration’s plans on how to promote reopening the United States by using Santa Clauses, while not protecting first responders.
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According to the WSJ, this coronavirus ad campaign would have cost taxpayers $250,000,000, and was being coordinated by the Department of Health and Human Services. Titled “Covid 19 Public Health and Reopening America Public Service Announcements and Advertising Campaign,” the plan would have offered a deal where Santa Claus performers would receive early vaccines—like before the rest of the American public early—in order to get out there and bring the Christmas cheer to
This was a part of the big push, using celebrities like Dennis Quaid to make public service announcements in an effort, like with every effort this administration makes, to make themselves look responsive to our national crisis. The deal, like every other deal Trump and his minions have pretended to make, has fallen through. A HHS spokesperson told the WSJ that Alex Azar had no knowledge of this little plan.
This somewhat bizarre idea was reportedly thunk up by HHS assistant secretary Michael Caputo. The plan included rolling out freshly inoculated Santa performers (with elves and Mrs. Clauses) at events in around 35 cities and would have obviously been used by Trump to make some threadbare argument that Trump and MAGA heads were winning and Christmas was saved … from Trump?
In a 12-minute call with Ric Erwin, chairman of the Fraternal Order of Real Bearded Santas, Caputo reportedly told Erwin that if the Santas were “not essential workers, I don’t know what is.” I mean I can think of a few, like doctors and nurses … EMT workers … teachers. I just had my first cup of coffee but I’m sure I could come up with about 1,000 more jobs before Santa Claus performers.
Caputo is the ridiculous person who is on a 60-day "leave of absence to focus on his health and the well-being of his family" after it came out that he’s been actively undermining and attacking the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for months. Sounds like a guy Donald Trump can understand.
I am 45 and I have never missed a Christmas in New York with my immediate family in my entire life. Even after I moved out West over a decade ago, and even with two young children, I’ve gone back every year to celebrate the holidays in general with the family. I will not be able to do that this year because of Donald Trump and the Republican Party’s handling of our country’s national security response to the COVID-19 virus. The Republican Party was right: there is a war on Christmas and all of those family value things they babble about when it is convenient for them. But that war is from within. They, along with their most conservatively Christian base, have turned their own temples into dens of thieves.