A pandemic has infected the Republican Party—it has one name and many faces

“What we do have is we have perhaps the lowest, but among the lowest, but perhaps the lowest, mortality rate—death rate—anywhere in the world.”

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Image Credit: Sarah Grillo/Axios
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President Trump July 9, 2020 (The same day he surpassed 20,000 false or misleading claims since taking the oath of office.)

A contagion has ravaged the ranks of the GOP. It’s name is Donald Trump but it has many faces. The infection this forever impeached president has spread in the larger body politic is potentially fatal to the republic and, possibly, to the Republican Party whose backers elected him and whose leaders in the U.S. Congress have enabled him at every turn. 

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Senator Mitch McConnell

The Trump contagion has infected the ranks of GOP leaders on all levels. For a short list of notable and egregious high-level spreaders of this deadly political disease, please read on. 

Here’s Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell staking out a position on federal assistance to state and local governments facing budget shortfalls in the current public health crisis: “…we are not ready to just send a blank check down to states and local governments to spend anyway they choose to.” That was after the Senate approved a $2 trillion stimulus package that gave 25 percent of that largesse–$500 billion—to big business and another $377 billion to small businesses, the latter to be funneled though the Small Business Administration (SBA). It now seems likely taxpayers will never know who actually pocketed all that money. Just ask Secretary of the Treasury, Steve Mnuchin.

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Steven Mnuchin

Mnuchin:  “I don’t think it’s fair to say in any way that the Administration should have been better prepared. I mean, if anything, this issue is no different now than it was four years ago, or eight years ago, or twelve years ago,” he said. “This goes back to prior Administrations—I think the country should have had better stockpiles of critical items.” (Quoted in Sheelah Kolhatkar, “The High-Finance Mogul in Charge of Our Economic Recovery,” The New Yorker, 2020/07/20.)  Now Mnuchin is suggesting the government forgive “all taxpayer-backed small loans under the federal Paycheck Protection Program without verifying how the funds were used,” according to a report in the Washington Post.

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Peter Navarro

Peter Navarro, a Trump toady if ever there was one, wrote an op-ed in USA Today attacking Dr. Anthony in the ugly manner of his puppet master:  “[Dr. Fauci] has a good bedside manner with the public, but he has been wrong about everything I have interacted with him on.” Navarro is a notorious liar who during his public and professional life has never let objective facts cloud his views. Here is USA TODAY’s pained disclaimer: “… several of Navarro’s criticisms of Fauci — on the China travel restrictions, the risk from the coronavirus and falling mortality rates — were misleading or lacked context. As such, Navarro’s op-ed did not meet USA TODAY’s fact-checking standards.”

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Education Secretary Betsy DeVos

Devious Betsy DeVos recently threatened to deny federal funding to public schools that do not physically re-open in the fall, telling Fox News’ Tucker Carlson that she was “very seriously” thinking about doing it.  Two days later, again on Fox News, DeVos appeared to reverse course: “…if schools aren’t going to reopen we’re not suggesting pulling funding from education, but instead allowing families to take that money and figure out where their kids can get educated if their schools are going to refuse to open.” She was rather more petulant than penitent, don’t you think?

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Brian Kemp

Is DeVos THAT devilish? Is she devious enough to spend her time and the taxpayers’ money dreaming up ways to reshuffle the school deck? If so, why? If not to turn the clock back on school desegregation, then to what end? Or is she just another shill for a president who only cares about one thing: creating the illusion of normalcy so he can get re-elected? 

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp is the guy who sued the mayor of Atlanta and 14 other local governments in Georgia to block mandatory wearing of face coverings in public places. Never mind that, with a single exception (Arizona), Georgia has recorded the highest number of coronavirus cases in the nation this summer, including 2,200 in a single day on June 28. 

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Brian Stitt

Oklahoma Governor Kevin Stitt attended Trump rally in Tulsa without a face covering, having aggressively pushed reopening the state and ignored experts’ health recommendations. In mid-July he announced that he had  tested positive for Covid-19 but felt “fine” except for being a “little bit achy”…

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VP Mike Pence

And let’s not forget Vice President Mike Pence who just last week at a Louisiana State University roundtable said, “To be very clear, we don’t want CDC guidance to be a reason why people don’t reopen their schools.” 

It’s no secret: Donald Trump is a pathological liar. July 9 was not the first time he told the cruel low-death-rate lie about a pandemic that has killed more than140,000 Americans since last March—in fact, it was the thirteenth time. He’s an empty suit with no shame, no compassion, no decency. He doesn’t care how many people die due to his spectacular failure to lead the nation in a time of crisis. Because the only thing he cares about is getting re-elected so he can use the Oval Office to enrich himself and, not least, avoid being put on trial for his crimes. If the tide of public opinion continues to turn against rule by fiat and puerile tweets, November 3 just might be the long-awaited day when America returns to its roots and the GOP is relegated to the proverbial dustbin of history, where it belongs

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