During the past two weeks, a series of books have been published on the Trump era by Joy-Ann Reid, The Man Who Sold America, Michal Cohen, Disloyal and Bob Woodward, Rage. They add to the many others that reveal the sinister nature of the man who holds the most powerful office in the world. These books, drawing on empirical evidence, investigative journalism and personal knowledge portray President Trump as narcissistic, a pathological liar, racist, and promoter of white supremacy, among others. They also surmise that the cumulative effect of his mismanagement on foreign relations has contrived to transform the image of the “great” America, into the "pity" of the world. In essence, the various narratives in these books confirm the revelatory authoritative portrait of Donald J Trump by his niece, Mary Trump, in her book, Too Much and never Enough: How My Family Created The World’s most Dangerous Man (July 2020). In it, she illustrates, based on her training as a psycho pathologist and a developmental psychologist how her wealthy grandfather, “Fred Trump both instilled and fortified his middle son’s worst qualities — Donald’s bullying, disrespect, lack of empathy, insecurity and relentless self-aggrandizement — while lavishing on him every opportunity and financing every mistake, to the point that both men came to believe the myths they had created.” See Review | The real villain of Mary Trump’s family tell-all isn’t Donald. It’s Fred.
What Mary Trump said of Fred Trump is essentially true of the President’s enablers, members of his cult and the prevailing Trump Tribalism effectively endorsed by Republicans in Congress and the Senate and what has been transformed into the Trump Republican Party. Nowhere is this more vividly demonstrated than in the way Mr. Trump and many of his supporters and political allies downplay the severity of the coronavirus pandemic and criticize public health measures deployed to prevent its spread. As a result, the coronavirus has spread faster and sickened or killed more people in the United States than in any of its peer nations. At the time of writing, the Center of Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Tracker for COVID-19 for the US (September 9) shows 6,310,663 total cases; 189,147 deaths and 262,971 cases in the last 7 days.
Drawing on evidence from Bob Woodward’s book, Rage, released yesterday, the New York Times editorial (September 10, 2020) aptly puts it: “Mr. Trump’s lack of leadership almost certainly made the nation’s suffering greater, its death toll higher and its economic costs more severe in the long term. When the President dithered on testing and contact tracing, when he failed to make or execute a clear and effective plan for securing personal protective equipment, when he repeatedly belittled and dismissed mask mandates and other social distancing edicts, Mr. Trump knew the virus was deadly and airborne. He knew that millions of people could get sick, and many would die”
Trump’s America at odds with the World
It is interesting to note that while the Trump administration has confirmed its withdrawal from the World Health Organization (WHO), the UN agency has established a Review Committee of the International Health Regulations with membership drawn from renowned scientists to recommend changes it believes are necessary to enhance the world’s capability for dealing with the next pandemic. In his press conference ahead of the UN General Assembly beginning September 15, 2020, where COVID-19 is high on the agenda, Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, WHO Director General stated that the concerns will include establishing firm commitments from UN member states to build back better. But to do so means investments in public health for a healthier and safer future. He referred to the many examples of countries that have done well because they learned lessons from previous outbreaks of SARS, MERS, measles, polio, Ebola, flu and other diseases. Among them and in advance of other subregions of the world, the Caribbean Community(CARICOM) was the first to eliminate polio, measles, and rubella through functional cooperation under the umbrella of the Caribbean Cooperation in Health. At the same time, the Trump administration disregarded the scientific warning scenario on emerging pandemics provided by the Obama administration https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/16/trump-inauguration-warning-scenario-pandemic-132797
As the World prepares for the UN General Assembly next week, the emphasis on multilateralism is the hallmark of the United Nations’ 75th Anniversary Initiative (UN75). The data, gathered from hundreds of conversations, and an online survey involving some 186 countries launched in January 2020, is the largest exercise mounted by the Organization to gather public opinion and crowdsource solutions to global challenges. The results show that around 95 percent of respondents – across all age groups and education levels – agree that countries need to work together to manage global issues. According to the UN report this almost unanimous response saw a noticeable uptick from the end of February onwards, as the spread of COVID-19began to cause major upheaval to health systems, the economy, and social norms. Prof. Cecila Cannon, Academic Advisor to the UN75 Team offers a sanguine view: “COVID-19 is a preview of the global catastrophe we are marching headlong into if we don’t find better ways of working together”. It is clear that the Trump administration has a divergent view. It has opted out of the global coronavirus vaccine initiative coordinated by WHO in favour of its own device. Then, contrary to the collective statement by the pharmaceutical companies, Trump is advocating the possible release of a COVID-19 vaccine prior to the November elections, even without the required scientific phase 3 trial. That glaringly is playing politics with peoples' lives.
Conclusions: Variations in Elections Outcomes during COVID 19
Several elections continue to take place around the world. The goal has been to address both the practical and legal questions around holding elections while also decreasing the potential for spreading the virus in a pandemic. Examples from various sources show varying results. In the Republic of Korea that voted on April 15, where measures were implemented to ensure voter participation in the election without safety concerns, the turnout of more than 66% was the highest in the last three decades. France cancelled its second round of local elections which was due to be held on 29 March, after the turnout in the first round on March 22 was much lower than in previous elections. In Jamaica, which held elections on September 3, the voter turnout at 37.5 percent was the lowest ever. In Trinidad and Tobago, whose elections were on August 12, 2020, voter turnout at 58% was down from 66.8% in the 2015 elections and as with Jamaica, there were reports of a spike in the virus and a reversal of phased opening of businesses due to events related to the respective electoral campaigns. In the US, 14 states postponed their primaries: Alaska, Connecticut, Delaware, Georgia, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maryland, New York, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Wyoming, as well as Puerto Rico.
The Presidential Elections will take place in the US in 53 days. Seven (7) individual polls show Biden’s approval ratings over Trump’s ranging from 2-15 %. However Trump’s ratings on the accumulative 358 (September 8) poll is 53.1%disapprove to 42.7%approve. Even more important is the fact that 35.1% of voters are very worried about being infected; 32.9% somewhat worried; 18.6 % not very worried and 12.0% not worried. While Trump’s ratings for handling COVID-19 is at 56.5% disapprove and 39.2% approve - the partisan nature of political cleavages is fully illustrated by 81.1% Republicans, 34.1% Independents and 8.2% Democrats believing he is doing a good job.
Notwithstanding these polling trends, the Youtube presentation of Woodward’s book in the link, more than any analysis we could provide, illumines Mr. Trump’s contribution to the human tragedy in the USA and beyond.
Please see link: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HJkVOs0s3mw
Edward and Auriol Greene Directors, GOFAD.