Monday, April 13, 2020

Crimes Against Humanity: Fox Disinformation, Unsocial Irresponsibility and Trump

Coronavirus cell (courtesy of the website)
When does a lie matter? Why should the truth and the facts be told? How about when you are up against a pandemic, a global plague like Covid 19?

China lied about their number of dead revealed through cancelled cell phone accounts that American Intel discovered recently and are currently attempting to verify without much help from China. Does it make a difference if over 1 million Chinese have died from Covid 19 as opposed to 4000 Chinese? Does it make a difference if the facts about how the virus spreads are ignored and the severity of its communicability and virulence are downplayed?

Ask the hundreds of families across the United States that are behind the 23,370 death toll for April 13, 2020. What if one of the dead, just one believed President Trump's message repeated on Fox News that the coronavirus was a "Democratic hoax?" What if they didn't take precautions to avoid transmission, didn't take the virus seriously, didn't wash their hands? What if they touched a droplet loaded with the virus, touched their face and unwittingly inhaled it, and ended up in the ICU because of pre-existing conditions where they took a turn for the worse, ended up on a ventilator and never came off it? Can that possibility NOT be taken into consideration when delivering false facts, on fake Fox news segments, for example when Trump stated that the coronavirus was under control and cases would go to zero?

Trish Regan at Fox who was fired (courtesy of the website)
It wasn't under control; nor was it going to zero! Covid 19 was engaging in massive community spread at that point in time. How many believed Fox, went out into crowds or went on Spring Break vacations, flew to Florida or went on cruises, free from fear? Out of those unalerted, how many did the virus secretly, silently, invisibly latch onto, shed by an asymptomatic who stood next to them? And when these unwitting took it home to infect others, how many of those infections were asymptomatic? How many of those infected ended up drowning in their own liquids on a respirator, dying of organ failure?

Here we are. Every state in the US has Covid 19 cases and their numbers, despite folks on Fox implying it is a NYC disease, a metropolitan disease, are spreading in rural areas. These rural areas are ill equipped. They do not have high tech hospitals to handle the complexities of treatment, let alone ventilators.

Willful negligence to make a profit and to provide support for candidate/president Trump are not a justification for wrongful death, and criminal, negligent homicide. Out of the 23,370 dead across the nation, tell me that not one of them believed Fox News disinformation. If even one died because they listened to Fox News' misinformation, believing Donald Trump's persistent, demeaning commentary about the virus being less dangerous than the flu, that is one death too many. If the one who died was confused about who gets it and why, and just threw their hands up in the air reassuring themselves mainstream media was overreacting about Covid 19, that is one too many deaths.

Covid 19 molecule (courtesy of the CDC)
That one death is cause for a wrongful death lawsuit. If you multiply the number of deaths and parallel them with the NYT chronicle about Trump's dilatory actions waiting until March 15 to suggest mitigation in the country, which his own health officials have said was delinquent, then you are looking at a runaway train called crimes against humanity. Add to this the slow closings of Fox News watching red states around the country, and the exponentially increasing number of deaths which will surely follow in the South and Midwest as a result of dilatory actions, this is "megadeath." Indeed, Covid 19 is a bullet train of negligent criminal homicides leaving megadeath in its slipstream wake of contagion.

Experts have warned the time to attack such communicability of a novel virus is the first two weeks. Without due diligence, the virus will gain community spread and then it becomes very difficult to contain. Check out both Sweden's and the UK's reaction/response to Covid 19. Both miscalculated with slow closures. They are now paying for their negligence with high death rates. Also check out what the city of Vo, Italy did (see previous posts on The Fat and the Skinny).

Most probably governors in red states based their policies on Trump/Fox news disinformation to please Trump and to remain loyal to the GOP. How many in that number 23,000 + have died because they based their lifestyle information on Fox? How many died because they based their lifestyle on their red state governor's policies and Trump's initially cavalier, craven and unscientific assessment of Covid 19 as a flu; this, after he was forced to acknowledge it might be a world-wide pandemic?

Tragically, these deaths were unnecessary. The pandemic would have been preventable if someone else were in office. Obama faced three potential pandemics: we didn't even realize it because his presidency was prepared. Even George Bush was apprised of the terrible nature of pandemics and was prepared, though not as much as he should have been. Instead, Hurricane Katrina happened on his watch and that debacle closed down the GOP for the next 8 years.

Worse, this world-wide disaster threatens to close down the US as we knew it. Already, we are realizing that the old US is disappearing into a mirror of the recent past suggesting a new normal of masks, gloves and antibody testing. Unless immediate expansive action to fight this war using the powers of the DPA to assist in overcoming this national security threat of Covid 19, Trump's catastrophic failures to act and his missteps when he did act will never get the nation back to a shadow of its former self. Trump's unction to stop the mitigation and follow billionaires advisement to re-open the country without consideration of the health and protection of all who brave the pandemic is magical thinking.

Would the billionaires, Trump's cronies, kill all who would be killed and allow others to recover following the 80/20 ratio of  typical viruses (without accepting that this is NOVEL)? Good idea if that is what will happen. We don't know. Covid 19 is a radically new virus that is able to morph, seemingly at will. It clocks in with various symptoms that suggest it cannot be pinned down to "one size fits all." Immune today? Dead tomorrow. For how long is one immune and at what strength of antibodies?

Herd immunity may be another branch of magical thinking. There is not enough information from data to reveal that it deals with every person the same way. Only until recently, did doctors begin to accept that people shed it without symptoms as it cleverly sounds no alarm bells. This becomes tragic when attempting to protect the most vulnerable which too, has become an uncertainty. Just who are the vulnerable? Only the elderly? Young people are dying, not just the old and infirm, not just the fifty-somethings with co-morbidities. What is the relationship? Scientists don't know.

Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar (courtesy of Wikipedia)
Does Trump, does Fox News care to get these facts out to the public repeatedly and accurately? Apparently not. Look at his behavior six months ago. First, Trump refused to acknowledge President Obama's efforts toward the national security threat of bio-terrorism. Even today during his Covid 19 campaign rallies, he continually shoots the former president with claims that Obama handled the swine flu badly. Lies! Meanwhile, Trump ignored Obama's January 2017 briefings on pandemics during his transition into the presidency. He closed the pandemic office and threw away the pandemic guidebook in 2018. He removed personnel from that office who could have helped identify that Covid 19 was a disaster to prepare for. Instead of focusing on the growing threat in China of the virus spread in December 2019, he ignored that and ignored US intel in January 2020, pushing off Secretary of HHS Azar's warnings.

However, according to Trump he banned China flights, though 40,000 Chinese came back into the country in the first three months of the year after enjoying family celebrations for the Chinese New Year. No efforts were made to stop them. Instead, Trump played golf over the holidays and enjoyed himself, something he has repeatedly done throughout his presidency, charging US taxpayers the high bills at his resorts for secret service rooms and meals. Fox does not hold him to account on any of this. Investigative journalism? No. Magical "news," the unfree press, the unsocial, irresponsible network.

Fox News logo (courtesy of the Fox News)
Trump lies about his own performance responding to Covid 19 which he repeats is "great." Unfortunately, we are stuck with a liar. And Trump's behavior starting from when he took over the office of the presidency was negligent and incompetent. Rather than to admit fault, he has gotten away with his behavior by finding an appropriate scapegoat to blame, firing them. However, when one is incompetent and negligent about a pandemic that has a direct cost in American lives and those deaths correlate to the Stock Market and impact the economy, one cannot ignore the financial fallout or shift the blame that easily.

There is blood on Trump's hands the Pulitzer Prize-winning Boston Globe stated. And the negligent, incompetent behavior which Trump covers up with self-praise that Fox News parrots continues to this day. Why hasn't he taken charge of the full force and power of the federal government in this time of war by using the DPA (Defense Production Act) to scale up supplies, equipment, tests in the billions? If you listen to Trump's self-aggrandizement, he has done it. That is a lie; he has not when the governors across the nation and FEMA (the government) are all bidding against each other for supplies. Indeed, if he had ramped up production, FEMA wouldn't have to steal supplies from state governor's orders to fill its stockpile to say it is giving supplies to various states. (as reported on the Rachel Maddow Show on MSNBC, April 13th)

Trump is continuing his misinformation campaign about his Covid 19 response using the mainstream media to spread more lies, a further irony. He has proclaimed mainstream media the fake media. If it's so fake, then why have briefings television by all the media? Caught in his own spin, Trump makes the truth dance to his own fantasies. This is not credibility in the making; it is further proof of his gyrating unfitness to handle this plague. Indeed, with his lengthy Covid rallies, he is convincing the taxpayers he is more obsessed about his and his friends' bank accounts than bringing the nation back to health and wholeness. No wonder why he is concerned about the economy and the stock market which has been trailing the number of Covid deaths in a weird, phantasmagorical irony.

Always, Trump and Fox defend and justify their mendacity by projecting their lies on the media instead of attempting to DISPROVE that their lies are not lies. Disproving Trump's lies is impossible, because video tape doesn't lie. News organizations now fact check Trump and toadying Fox. They play videos of his falsehoods with his back pedaling contradictory statements. They chronicle what Trump says and when he says it and he often has to pile fabrication upon illusion to justify or change what he said.  Fox News then must provide cover and sort out the deceit with distracting palaver by Hannity and other dim minds.

Sean Hannity of Fox News (courtesy of Wikipedia)
Importantly, it is what Trump's lies tell us about Trump and what Fox News' lies tell us about Fox and its supporters: the Federalist Society, the GOP and bottom feeder pilot fish. Lies are guilty coverups for 1)wrongdoing, 2)powerlessness 3)fear 4)cowardice. From such a muddled position, one cannot build a strong foundation of governance. From such confusion how is one able to make decisions? From such changeable, shifting falsehoods how is one to be believed as credible in a time of crisis like a pandemic? Ultimately, upon such mendacity, one cannot lead or feel competent to lead. One cannot take responsibility for one's lies, nor be accountable for one's actions.

Is it any wonder that Trump refuses to take responsibility for his decisions made during this terrible Covid 19 pandemic? He is insecure; his leadership is grounded on shifting sands as he looks for someone else to blame for what he's done. And Fox is his second on the way downhill into the abyss of destruction, financial debacle and death. They are supporting him to his demise so that recovery seems a quaint, fanciful notion.

(courtesy of the Fox News website)
Lars are all about saving face, not about helping the ones they lie to. Trump must save face or die. Fox must support Trump or perish. The Covid 19 virus is the petard that they have hoisted themselves upon, the sword that is slicing through their prevarications to reveal their naked, exposed, wicked amorality, for enabling Covid 19's death-trap on a scale that is augmenting as each tragic day passes. And these liars have so believed their own lies, they refuse to acknowledge they are naked and debilitated. As they continue to stand exposed before the public, the falsehoods dissolve their power and presence. Sadly, all who follow dissolve into a black hole of invisibility with them.

How do we now confront this national security threat, Covid 19, that we and our neighbors perpetuate like terrorists when the federal government has become an absence of superficiality? How do we regain our peace of mind, our regularity of rhythms stolen by a disease enabled by federal, presidential negligence? How do we fight the uncertainty, of an ill-defined, shifting monster bringing illness and misery that stymies caregivers and researchers with its simple structure and complex function and operation?

How do we get out of quarantine, where we are fearful for our lives, suspicious that our neighbors are asymptomatic, deadly carriers?

We stop lying to ourselves and stop accepting lies from Fox and from Trump. We recognize his failed leadership and demand that he turn it around. He must earn our respect as Governor Andrew Cuomo has earned our respect and love managing our health system to save our lives. We think, read, research, examine, question media, both conservative and liberal, then we conclude if we want to continue on the road to death for four more years.

Fox doesn't care about decency, ethics or morality. It prevaricates for money and ratings in a self-made hell of viral greed. Murdock and sons with the aid of now deceased head of Fox, rapist and sexual predator Roger Ailes, spread conservative disinformation. They muscled their way to the top of cable new ratings with supportive propaganda for the Federalist Society conservatives and GOP agenda. Theirs is a totally partisan, anti-journalistic spin. For decades they increasingly have twisted the generosity of liberals to make them appear sick, elitist and evil. Continuous smears sullied trust in Obama's excellence, the ACA and the Democratic Party. Fox never left off defaming Obama's presidency. Just a presentation of his face on "defiled mainstream media" is enough to set them like rabid, starving, deranged dogs after Obama as if he were raw meat.

To assist Trump's campaign, the excoriations, smears, zombie-like character assassinations against Hillary ramped up 24/7 live on Fox and on Social Media with the help of Putin's military intel (FSB, SVR, GRU). Read the Mueller Report to discover how Trump/Federalist Society/Uber Right Wing journals like Breitbart and now defunct Cambridge Analytica with Fox assistance warred against her campaign and candidacy. After Hillary lost, to deflect from Trump's incredible mismanagement-style, they led the charge calling for her arrest. Even today they manage to ridicule Hillary Clinton. .

The Pentagon (courtesy of the website)
When Trump took office, the groveling loyalty of lies and alternate "facts" became Fox's fog machine of mammoth, propagandistic proportions. The uber right wing media (Breitbart, Alex Jones, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, RT, Sputnik, etc.) led by Fox became a de facto arm of Trump's corrupt administration.

For its money making motives alone, sacrificing the truth for fraud, the antithesis of investigative journalism, Fox must not be listened to. For its genuflecting, slavish support of Trump and GOP partisanship refusing to cover any negative news about him, Fox should be ignored.

Before Covid 19, here are a few examples out of the thousands that have occurred showing how Fox dealt with negative news about Trump over a three year period. They ignored reporting lawsuits by women stating in interviews that he raped them or sexually preyed upon them. They refused to fact check Trump's 17,000 + lies. They didn't cover Trump's continuous nullification of the rule of law and obviation of the constitution. Nor did they examine his unreasonable explanations for firing anyone who countermanded his "judgment" (the various whistleblowers in non-partisan career positions). The non -existent coverage of the Parkland shooting and march in protest by millions afterward Fox ignored; it didn't exist in their AR-15 toting universe. Their non- coverage of Women's Marches around the world in direct protest of Trump's presidency the day after his inauguration, was woefully missing as was the in-depth, cogent, reasoned analysis of his impeachment and the Mueller Investigation.

All the president's men (courtesy of the website)
Like robots Fox News hosts with the exception of the glorious Shep Smith (until he left) clicked in to support everything the president said and did. With regard to the pandemic, Fox News was in lockstep with Trump exposing themselves to the liability of spreading false information that was the proximate cause of not taking precautions to avoid transmission. They supported him about Covid 19 throughout this period of it's "being less dangerous than the flu," a position he's recently reversed (perhaps) with the death of a friend. And they support him with the push to open the government to stop the financial debacle sure to happen with a lengthy closing down of the country's cities (except for essential workers) especially the economic engine of the country, New York City.

Trump wants to open the nation for his billionaire friends and to save his hotel and resort business. Great. But who is going to go to his hotels if his workers or guests catch the virus or die there? Who is going to go to work on a packed subway, albeit disinfected against Covid 19, not knowing who is asymptomatic and who isn't. If a twenty-something Wall Street broker is asymptomatic, goes into the office and infects the other brokers, is the company ready  to pay for sick leave and costly healthcare? The discussion about only letting the young people go to work is unsound. They also catch the disease and die.

We don't know the triggers; we don't understand the blood types or genetic underpinnings of vulnerability. We don't know why the 100 year-old woman survived, why the 95 year old nonna in Italy made it and why the 21 year old my friend saw carried out in a body bag didn't.

2017 Women's March in NYC, a crowd that today would spread Covid 19 like gasoline on fire (Carole Di Tosti
But by all means, Trump, open up the country by the end of April.

Logically, this involves perspicacity and planning. Who is going to reopen up their sit-in restaurant without testing the entire staff for antibodies, a test which is in scarce supply? And how are you going to figure out if patrons of restaurants, theater, movies, sports events are Covid 19 free and for how long? What if the weeks prior to attending an event they are negative and the day they attend, unbeknownst to them they are positive asymptomatic? An antibody test is inconclusive and complex. How long will the antibodies last to give immunity: for a month, 6 months, a year? The questions are innumerable at this point.

The key one is, if you want to get the economy going, can you do it by forcing people to go in to work? Or will you just have to shut it down again because even more people get sick as the virus morphs into more virulent strains to save itself? We don't even know why it morphs. Is it because it adapts to kill regardless of the genetic fingerprint of the individual? Is it geographically motivated or is this a feature of its unique MO as a killer?

So many questions, so little time before people start to starve. The money given in checks by the federal government simply isn't enough. Google the amounts given by European countries and Canada, including the payment of their medical bills. There is surely a way, but Trump and the GOP are incompetent to find it and those who have secured a place around him to give him advice are more incompetent than he.

Maybe the billionaires like Robert Mercer who Trump and the GOP gave tax breaks to in the millions can donate that money back? Well, those liars supported Trump knowing full well his corruptibility. Did they understand the power of his incompetence and negligent unfitness to commit genocide against American citizens and to destroy the financial fabric of the nation upon which billionaires depend? Perhaps they did. Trump, like the virus, is a perfect destroyer.

(courtesy of the website)
Opening up before the right time will be a disaster. This is a war. The Defense Production Act must be employed to create massive testing and supply capacity with effective distribution centers set up so that all Americans can be tested and given protective gear to wear. US industry must be set up in networks around the nation with adequate, timely supply chains to produce: supplies, reagents, chemicals for the tests, etc. Ramping up production and putting people to work in essential industries to fight this pandemic to produce the supplies needed to function and stay safe is an imperative. The military must be involved, and wise counsel listened to.

Such counsel resides in the governors who closed their states down to only allow essential workers to move in their cities. These decisions were based on logic, statistics, data charting the disease path. Is Trump going to open the country because he feels it is a good time to do so? It's not happening. Even the upper crust exotics will not want to venture into NYC, the city they fled to go to the Hamptons. Unless there are guarantees, these elites will not be infected and end up on a respirator by risking a return to NYC.

So here's a Fox News type lie. We need to open up the nation to save the economy. This lie is courtesy of Fox mantras and Breitbart mantras and right-wing mantras. And then there are the uber liars like Covid 19 Truthers who say the bodies are not piling up at hospitals. And here's another: Trump is doing a fabulous job.

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