Trump Cures COVID With $250M Happytalk Propaganda Campaign
Feeling gloomy about, you know, everything? Don't despair! Doctor Donald's little helper is on the way, and soon you'll be feeling right as rain.
Adderall for everyone!
No, not really. But the Department of Health and Human Services is soliciting bids on a $250 million project to turn America's COVID frown upside down. Politico reports that HHS has approached a bevy of communications firms to develop a plan to "defeat despair and inspire hope, sharing best practices for businesses to operate in the new normal and instill confidence to return to work and restart the economy." Because what better use for your tax dollars than to put them to work convincing you that everything is fine, just fine in the middle of a pandemic that is currently killing about 6,000 Americans every week?
Hey, remember when the GOP lost their shit because Michelle Obama tried to make school lunches a little less gross and unhealthy? Remember when they spent eight years pretending that four Americans dead in an attack on a Libyan embassy was somehow an indictment of Hillary Clinton for all time?
Well! Now the nanny state would like to supply us with a quarter billion dollars of happytime propaganda to prove that it's totally fine to go back to work and school with 183,000 Americans dead and the virus raging out of control.
"By harnessing the power of traditional, digital and social media, the sports and entertainment industries, public health associations, and other creative partners to deliver important public health and economic information the administration can defeat despair, inspire hope and achieve national recovery," Politico quotes from the HHS tender.
Worse still, the CDC and FDA have set fire to decades of accumulated credibility by refusing to issue real guidelines for social distancing at work, issuing emergency authorizations for quack cures like hydroxychloroquine at the behest of the White House, lying about the efficacy of convalescent plasma, and taking advantage of Dr. Fauci's absence to hype Trump's batshit claims that you can "test too much." We're at a point when the former head of the NIH is writing an op-ed in the New York Times titled "It Has Come to This: Ignore the C.D.C." Is it any wonder that 1 in 5 Americans are saying they're not touching whatever homebrew vaccine the Trump administration pulls out of its ass as an October surprise?
Meanwhile, HHS won't even go on the record to defend this massive propaganda campaign timed to be spent before year-end, but not in an illegal campaign subsidy kind of way, obviously.
"In the run-up to a vaccine that's going to save American lives, there is a lot of amount of public health information that we need to get out there and it includes how to live your lives, run your offices and businesses in the time of Covid, but it's also about the flu vaccine and the Covid vaccine, and all of this is fundamentally important," an unnamed senior HHS official told Politico. "Defeating the mental health challenges of the coronavirus, the despair, is nearly as important as defeating the physical dangers of the virus."
We have nothing to fear but fear itself. And also a nasty, highly contagious virus. And a government that touts quack cures in a desperate attempt to get re-elected. And an economy teetering on the brink of hundreds of thousands of small business failures and evictions.
But other than that, smooth sailing!
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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.