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Archive for December 24th, 2021|Daily archive page

DOWN WITH SCIENCE! GIVE ME DEATH!

In Bureaucracy, History, Law, Law Enforcement, Medical, Politics, Social commentary on December 24, 2021 at 12:14 am

On April 17, 2020, more than 100 protesters converged on Huntington Beach, California, in a demonstration against the state’s Coronavirus stay-at-home order.

It was part of a series of national demonstrations organized by Right-wing groups.

Many of the protesters carried Donald Trump banners and American flags. Most were not wearing masks or practicing social distancing—keeping themselves at least six feet apart from others. And they defied scientific findings and medical experts’ warnings, as if daring the virus to “come and get me.” 

“I don’t think there’s any reason for us to be on lockdown now,” said 62-year-old Paula Doyle. “We didn’t have any dangers; we have no danger in our hospitals now of overflowing.” 

That’s because California’s quick closure of businesses and its order that residents stay home had temporarily prevented Coronavirus from reaching epic proportions in the state. Many hospitals had been left largely empty, waiting for a surge that had yet to come.

On April 18, when more than 31,000 Americans lay dead of the Coronavirus, and more than 90% of the country was under stay-at-home orders. demonstrations erupted across the United States.

Ohio protesters, 20 April 20

Anti-lockdown demonstration at the Ohio Statehouse 

Becker1999 from Grove City, OH, CC BY 2.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0&gt;, via Wikimedia Commons

More than 250 people showed up at Austin, Texas. Other protests occurred at the capitols of Minnesota, Michigan and Virginia. An estimated 400 people gathered in Concord, New Hampshire. A rally outside Maryland’s statehouse in Annapolis drew about 200 protesters. 

President Donald Trump had been the primary instigator of such protests. He said he favored a quick return to normal practices and the reopening of businesses across the country.

But what he favored most of all was a return to his Nuremberg-like political rallies, where he could bask in the worship of his fanatical base and hurl slanders at virtually everyone he hated. And he couldn’t do that so long as mass demonstrations were banned—and people must stand at least six feet apart.

There are two factors to these protests that are truly astounding.

First, many of the protesters attacked the governors who had issued stay-at-home orders as fascists. This is a hallmark of Right-wing politics—accusing their opponents of being what they are themselves.

One protester at the Huntington Beach demonstration carried a sign that read: “Defy Fascist Lockdown.”

COVID-19 | CDC Online Newsroom | CDC

COVID-19 virus

And Michigan Democratic Governor Gretchen Whitmer, who had defied the Republican legislature by extending her stay-at-home order, was denounced as a Nazi, with protesters displaying signs like “Heil Whitmer.”  

Second, the protesters utterly rejected the rising death-toll caused by the virus. At that time, this stood at 80,574. 

Medical experts universally warned that stopping the chain of transmission to avoid overwhelming medical systems was the only way to buy time while treatments and vaccines could be developed.

Yet for these protesters, it’s as if the rising body count wasn’t happening. 

Some of the rallies were being pushed by Republican-allied groups in battleground states with Democratic governors.

The April 30 protest at the Michigan Capitol Building featured treasonous Confederate flags and hangman’s nooses. Some signs displayed swastikas. Many of the demonstrators were armed with AK-47s.

That protest was organized by the Michigan Conservative Coalition, a group co-founded by a GOP state representative and his wife, who was on the advisory board for an official Trump campaign group called Women for Trump and was the co-founder of Michigan Trump Republicans.

Another of the event’s promoters, Greg McNeilly, was a longtime political adviser to the wealthy DeVos family, which included then-Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos and her brother, Erik Prince, founder of the notorious Blackwater mercenary group. 

On May 1, 2020, Trump tweeted in support of the Michigan demonstrators. “These are very good people, but they are angry. They want their lives back again, safely! See them, talk to them, make a deal.”

Republicans’ disdain for education in general—and science in particular—has led to the following: In March, 2020, an NBC News poll found that only 30% of Republicans said that they would actually listen to the advice of doctors to stay away from large, crowded areas to avoid Coronavirus.

These are the same people who get their version of reality from Right-wing sources like Fox News Network and Rush Limbaugh. 

Rush Limbaugh

On his March 27 show, Limbaugh dismissed Coronavirus as “the common cold,” then added: “We didn’t elect a president to defer to a bunch of health experts that we don’t know

“And how do we know they’re even health experts? Well, they wear white lab coats, and they’ve been in the job for a while, and they’re at the CDC [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and they’re at the NIH [National Institutes of Health] and they’re up, well—yeah, they’ve been there, and they are there.”

In 2015, Limbaugh said: “Firsthand smoke takes 50 years to kill people, if it does. Not everybody that smokes gets cancer. Now, it’s true that everybody who smokes dies, but so does everyone who eats carrots.”

Five years later, on February 17, 2021, Limbaugh—a longtime and heavy cigar smoker—died of Stage Four lung cancer.

And today, thanks to the legacy of Trump and his Republican allies, more than 800,000 Americans are dead of COVID.

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