Mike Pompeo Wants To Talk About Who Botched The Coronavirus Response? OH, REALLY?
In lieu of an in-person meeting scheduled in Pittsburgh this week, the leaders of the G-7 had a conference call this morning to discuss the coronavirus pandemic. But don't look for a joint statement on the global lethal threat, because Secretary of State Mike Pompeo torpedoed it by insisting that the group use the Trump administration's preferred racist nomenclature, labeling it "the Wuhan virus" in any communique. Because you may be home trying to bury your anxiety under a bag of potato chips, but the Trump Administration is still plugging away to promote bigotry and racism to the world! Don't it make ya proud to be an Amurikan?
As Germany's Der Spiegel reports, the other G-7 nations rejected Pompeo's label of COVID-19 as "the Wuhan virus." No medical organization on earth calls it the "Wuhan" or "China" virus, but still the White House is adamant that the world stick with its racist nickname. Next, we'll be offering resolutions at the UN sanctioning Little Rocket Man for his irresponsible missile provocations. Probably.
The US didn't even see the point of issuing a joint statement in the first place, only acceding to the call after being persuaded by France and Germany that a taking a unified stance in the face of a pandemic that is, after all, global, might be something of value. But then the US sabotaged the effort because the rest of the world refuses to prioritize blame, not to mention racism, over solutions when hundreds of thousands of people are sick and dying.
"We've wanted to work with the Chinese Communist Party throughout this crisis — this crisis that began in Wuhan, China," Pompeo said at a press conference today. "We tried, you'll remember, from the opening days to get our scientists, our experts on the ground there so that we could begin to assist in the global response to what began there in China, but we weren't able to do that. The Chinese Communist Party wouldn't permit that to happen."
UH HUH. Well, that's not the song Donald Trump himself was singing on January 24.
A week later, he was still touting China's marvelous cooperation to keep Americans safe.
But more to the point, here on Planet Earth, the Trump administration had an American medical epidemiologist embedded in China's disease control agency, but it eliminated the position, and no one's been there since July. If we had an embed, she might have been able to give the NSC's pandemic response team a heads up about the new virus. Well, she could have, if Trump hadn't disbanded it.
And while it's entirely legitimate to fault the Chinese government for covering up the virus in the beginning, renaming a disease to tar and feather a political opponent is hardly productive. Particularly in light of the gross failures of the Trump administration, which was warned about the virus in January and did fuck all to prepare for it.
"It's one person coming in from China, and we have it under control," Trump said on January 22. "It's going to be just fine." It wasn't.
"The risk of infection for Americans remains low, and all agencies are working aggressively to monitor this continuously evolving situation and to keep the public informed," HHS said on January 29. They weren't.
On February 23, when there were 35 confirmed cases and no one could get a test because the CDC refused to allow states to develop their own diagnostics, Trump told reporters, "We had 12, at one point. And now they've gotten very much better. Many of them are fully recovered." They hadn't.
On February 8, Trump promised, "It's going to disappear. One day it's like a miracle, it will disappear." It won't.
As late as March, that lunatic in the White House was likening this deadly disease to the seasonal flu. It isn't.
And this week he's talking about sending everyone back to work "by Easter," let the chips — and bodies — fall where they may.
So maybe, just maybe, if we're naming diseases after the people who utterly fucking botched the response, PEOPLE WHO LIVE IN GLASS WHITE HOUSES SHOULDN'T BE THROWING STONES.
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Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.