Every politician is a position of power is called on to make decisions that can affect lives. Whether that represents a small number of soldiers being tasked with a risky mission, or funds being allocated to repair a bridge crossed by thousands of commuters each day, those decisions can have the most severe consequences.
In the course of events, the pushback against those in charge is generally limited to the political: Make a bad decision, and the threat is losing your seat in the next election. Forcing politicians to stand in front of a court for something they did in office—if that something was not an actual crime, like bribery or extortion—is a genuinely rare event. And it should be.
But what Trump did over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic goes beyond bad decision-making, or even the ugly politics of retribution. We’ve known since last year that Trump’s team repeatedly took actions, not to prevent infections, but to deliberately increase them. We already know that
- HHS political appointee Paul Alexander demanded that CDC stop publishing scientific reports he believed were damaging to Trump. CDC officials were then ordered to delete Alexander’s emails to cover up this attempt to quash vital public data.
- Dr, Deborah Birx has confirmed that quack Dr. Scott Atlas was brought into the COVID-19 team specifically to reduce the level of testing across the nation, generating a false impression that case loads were falling.
The new report also shows that Trump’s team did with COVID-19 what they did with every other project while he was in charge: opened it up to corruption and “left the federal government vulnerable to fraud and profiteering.”
How Donald Trump managed the COVID-19 crisis wasn’t a litany of errors. It wasn’t even just a cascade of crimes. It was an attempted genocide, one in which Trump repeatedly took actions designed to cause more deaths out of a mistaken impression that those deaths would mostly affect urban areas in blue states. They didn’t just commit a crime against humanity, they knew it, because they devoted resources to trying to cover up that crime.
What Trump did leading up to Jan. 6 is unforgivable and deserves criminal prosecution. What he did in handling COVID-19 is far worse.
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