There are five days left until Election Day.
More than 228,000 Americans have died of COVID-19 to date. Most of these deaths were wholly preventable had the Trump administration responded appropriately to the pandemic back in January-February.
But there is an additional excess of deaths — persons who didn’t die of COVID-19 but who would not have died had there not been such a lousy national response to the pandemic.
My sibling may have been one of those excess deaths eight weeks ago.
Please, no condolences are necessary. I’d rather not chew up comment space with them and my sibling would be annoyed.
What I would much rather see is a discussion about the additional burdens on Americans the Trump administration has placed on them because Trump didn’t want to spook the market ahead of the election.
And because the Trump administration thanks to Trump’s monstrous hack of a son-in-law Jared Kushner decided that issuing federal aid to blue states wouldn’t help Trump’s re-election odds.
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I wrote in August about the additional hassle the pandemic and Trump’s governance failures have caused my family because every health care activity requires more effort, more resources.
My father’s situation took nearly a month longer to resolve than necessary and with increased risks from complications. We were lucky his condition resolved with very little intervention after months of therapy and monitoring.
He had insurance to cover the majority of expenses and adequate savings to handle out-of-pocket expenses. But this is not the case for far too many Americans who’ve lost their jobs because of the uncontrolled pandemic. They will be digging themselves out of financial holes for too long if they happen to need health care this year or next.
All because Trump couldn’t be the president this country needed.
All because Trump is a malignant narcissist who is only worried about his own skin and his enablers are only worried about their own.
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The insult added to injury is that COVID patients die alone. Their families can’t be with them in COVID ICU.
The Lincoln Project made a short effective ad which comes close to conveying the heartbreak of not being able to be with a loved one during their health crisis, but surprisingly the otherwise aggressive team pulled their punches by not making it absolutely clear death comes without the solace of familial touch.
And again, it’s not just COVID patients affected. My sibling died without their family around them because they couldn’t have visitors who may bring COVID into the ICU.
One family member per day could go in during limited visiting hours. One family member could tell them what we felt for them and tell them it was okay to go.
They died alone because of goddamned Donald fucking Trump.
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My sibling was one of the excess deaths we don’t talk enough about as unnecessary collateral damage.
They had a health condition which under normal circumstances was and had been manageable.
But because of COVID they were extremely worried about contracting the virus in public spaces. They didn’t seek their regular health care as they would have had there not been an uncontrolled pandemic. Living in a red state which adopted Trumpian COVID denialism exacerbated the situation.
They died for lack of adequate health care about twenty years too soon.
All because of useless and corrupt Donald fucking Trump.
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Listening with gritted teeth to yet another of Trump’s wretched displays of poor temperament for the office of the presidency, I thought of a Biblical quote. It’s been popularized in Spider-Man comics as the Peter Parker principle; the character is cautioned by his Uncle Ben with a paraphrase of Luke 12:48:
To whomever much is given, of him will much be required; and to whom much was entrusted, of him more will be asked.
Donald Trump has had so much opportunity given to him because of his privilege as a white man of European descent with accumulated family wealth, even if ill-gotten. He pissed it all away. Even if it was merely converted through laundering from immediate wealth to untouchable wealth, it was turned from treasure to trash.
He’s done the same with this country’s treasure — its relationships with other countries, its economy, its aspirations from founding to become a better country, the light of the world, a city on a hill.
He’s converted whatever he could grab with his stubby little fingers into personal wealth which has disappeared into the same corrupt ratholes more than a billion dollars of personal wealth has vanished.
He’s gathered around him a cabinet and executive staff who are just as corrupt.
In spite of all the trust they have been given, access to our blood and treasure, they have frittered it away.
If it were only economic damage they wreaked they would eventually be forgotten and their conservative enablers would find a way to forgive their wretchedness.
But they are stealing from us what cannot be measured in dollars or hours of labor.
They are stealing and destroying the most precious moments we have, the ones when nothing else on earth matters.
And while roughly a million Americans mourn loved ones lost to wholly preventable spread of COVID, Donald fucking Trump gaslighted all of us about the disease:
Covid, Covid, Covid is the unified chant of the Fake News Lamestream Media. They will talk about nothing else until November 4th., when the Election will be (hopefully!) over. Then the talk will be how low the death rate is, plenty of hospital rooms, & many tests of young people.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 28, 2020
The body count doesn’t lie, you miserable slack-assed excuse for an executive.
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I will come to terms with the loss of my sibling as will the rest of my family. This month we’ll muddle through the first awkward and painful holiday with one too many plates, a few too many beers, and one too many empty chairs.
But I will never be able to get over the anger I have over the loss of those last minutes we could have shared with my sibling saying goodbye.
I will never forgive the hundreds of thousands of farewells which American friends and families could only make by phone if at all.
Call me bitter, I don’t fucking care. But I hope when time has its inevitable way as it does with us all, that Donald fucking Trump dies alone and he’s aware enough to know it as darkness falls.
Until then I will settle for his ass being kicked to the curb at the polls.
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If you’ve already voted, thank you. If can help others vote, please do so.