Trump surrenders to coronavirus, says it can’t be controlled
Taking off the mask: The Trump administration this weekend dropped any pretension of trying to control the spread of coronavirus, essentially surrendering to its spread and the inevitable sickness and death that will follow. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows, left, said the administration 'is not going to control' the virus and will just focus on vaccine and treatement development. Vice President Mike Pence, right, ignored quarantine guidelines this weekend and continues to travel to super-spreader rallies despite a sizeable chunk of his staff having tested positive. President Trump, meanwhile, seemed to wish the virus into non-existence Sunday, telling supporters, 'we just want to go back to normal.' He offters no plan to do so. | AP photos

Eight days before the election, White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows on Sunday told CNN, “We’re not going to control the virus because it is an infectious disease like the flu.” He said the Trump administration would focus instead on therapeutics and a vaccine.

Meadows admitted what the nation already knew: Trump has no plan and no intention to curb the spiraling infection and death rates, averaging now more than 1,000 people dead per day. Instead, he has decided to surrender to the virus.

As the coronavirus crisis worsened this weekend, much of Vice President Pence’s top staff joined the ranks of dozens of White House officials infected with the virus. Pence and Trump nevertheless continued to hold killer super-spreader rallies even as the vice president’s own staff fell ill.

Ignoring the worst surge of infections since the pandemic began, GOP senators, led by Republican Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, continued to block the Heroes Act relief bill passed by the Democratic House and instead rushed ahead with the confirmation of right-winger Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court in the hope that, just days after the election, she will cast the decisive vote on the Court to kill the Affordable Care Act.

The bitter fruits of their action will be that at the height of the pandemic many millions will lose their health insurance, among them people with pre-existing conditions and young people now insured under their parents’ plans until they reach the age of 26.

Fear that they will lose the election is among the reasons the GOP is pushing on the Court issue now. They hope that control of the Supreme Court will allow them to protect their agenda regardless of what the voters decide and they hope to do this for many years after the election next week.

Pence, who is in charge of the Coronavirus Task Force charged with protecting the American people against the disease, has shown now his inability to protect even his own staff.

People everywhere, including those in the reddest of red states, are suffering.

Idaho, a previously so-called “safe” state, is transferring COVID victims out of state for treatment because it lacks the hospital space to care for them.

Nationally, more than 8 million have been infected and more than 226,000 have died.

The arrival now of the feared COVID-driven “dark winter” is almost a guarantee that anyone who has not yet voted will have the pandemic and health care in mind as their top concern when they vote.

This reality, unfortunately for Trump, is nullifying his attempts to hide his failure on dealing with the pandemic by raising diversionary issues like Biden laptops and Hillary Clinton emails. The idiotic ramblings of discredited sycophants like Rudy Giuliani ring hollow with voters fighting for their very lives.

With the new surge in the virus taking hold everywhere, and the infection now of Pence aides, the coronavirus is even more of an election issue than it was in last week’s second presidential debate. No one in the country is unaffected by this plague.

Millions agree Joe Biden was correct in that second debate by warning, “We’re about to go into a dark winter…. And he (Trump) has no clear plan, and there’s no prospect that there’s going to be a vaccine available for the majority of the American people before the middle of next year.”

A public art project, titled ‘In America, How Could This Happen,’ conceptualized by D.C.-area artist Suzanne Brennan Firstenberg, has seen the installation of over 200,000 small white flags on the D.C. Armory Parade Ground to memorialize the U.S. victims of COVID-19. The Trump administration has put up a white flag of its own, signaling it will surrender to the spread of the coronavirus. | via Twitter

Trump’s pitiful response: “I don’t know if we’re going to have a dark winter at all. We’re opening up our country. We’ve learned and studied and understand the disease, which we didn’t at the beginning.”

And now, only days after he said that, his chief of staff admits, “We’re not going to control the virus.” The surrender by Meadows was seconded later on Sunday by Trump’s declaration that coronavirus was “ending anyway.” At a rally in New Hampshire, he repeated the lie that the country was “rounding the turn,” even as it saw two days in a row of 83,000+ cases each.

“We want normal life to resume. Normal life. We just want normal, normal life,” Trump told his supporters, as if the coronavirus could just be wished out of existence.

As the United States enters both the last week of the election and the beginning of the feared dark winter, both deaths and case numbers are going up. Health experts say the country could be hitting a record of 100,000 cases per day by Election Day.

According to a weekly update from the COVID Tracking Project, daily death tolls are topping numbers not seen since late September. On the current trajectory, the country could soon see 2,000 deaths a day.

More than the voter opinion polls, the rapidly escalating coronavirus toll may be the most accurate predictor of what will happen when the voting is done and the counting is completed. There is no more important reason to vote Nov. 3 to defeat Trump and the GOP senators than the need to save our own lives.

As we go to vote, the dark winter will already be upon us but winter is followed by spring. We the people have the power to hasten its arrival.

ELECTION 2020: Everything you need to know to vote in your state

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John Wojcik
John Wojcik

John Wojcik is Editor-in-Chief of People's World. He joined the staff as Labor Editor in May 2007 after working as a union meat cutter in northern New Jersey. There, he served as a shop steward and a member of a UFCW contract negotiating committee. In the 1970s and '80s, he was a political action reporter for the Daily World, this newspaper's predecessor, and was active in electoral politics in Brooklyn, New York.