As you have noticed, National Compass has been on the Coronavirus story since virtually the inception of it is a public health issue emerging from China.
The news related to it, now multiplies almost as fast as the transmission rate. We’ve discussed the mishandling of this epidemic by the president and his administration from day one.
A few common threads have been identified. Trump and his supporters are making anyone who reports facts – political enemies. Secondly, Trump and his milieu somehow believe that if they can make the case to his voters that there is nothing to see, Trump will be immunized from the political symptoms of COVID-19.
On the first count, while we thought we’d seen the outer boundaries of the crass nature of Trumpland, we just were proven wrong. Very wrong. CNBC’s daytime host on the markets and according to some, the original impetus behind what eventually became the ‘Tea Party‘ movement, Rick Santelli, made an incredible statement on his broadcast on Thursday.
Santelli, in a conversation, told “The Exchange” anchor Kelly Evans, in response to her question about the catalyst behind the extreme volatility of the markets, “The catalyst? Just watch your local news. There’s your catalyst,” Santelli said, referring to prominent coverage of COVID-19.
He should have stopped there. He could have stopped there. But he didn’t.
And then there was this:
World Health Organization Director-General Tedros Adhanom in a statement to international news reporters Tuesday that COVID-19 has killed 3.4% of those with reported cases, compared with the seasonal flu’s mortality rate of far below 1%.
If – as fanciful and absurd, Santelli’s suggestion was, this course of action was taken and all 329 million Americans were infected at once, there would, based on the established mortality rate, be 11 million deaths and several times that many more, who would suffer a range of symptoms from mild to extreme.
Suppose the mortality rate was only half – we’d still be looking at over 5 million casualties.
.@CNBC please fire this man. Besides the inhumanity & stupidity of the remark, consider that with time we will develop vaccines & treatments and many won't have to die. But Rick Santelli thinks dead grandparents are a good price to pay for short term stable markets. #Trumpstupid https://t.co/YLH50iMkGv
— Diane Sloan (@NaniSloan) March 5, 2020
What accounts for this insanity? Santelli is an example of a mentality that exists with a lot of people who support Donald Trump – social Darwinism, informed by its sibling, predatory capitalism.
The iteration of social Darwinism that is most in vogue with the oligarch / kleptocracy class that benefit from (for example, Trump’s trickle up tax avoidance bill, masquerading as “reform”), is the sort that push the poor and the working class out to the margins, into more poverty, inferior educational outcomes, forced relocation via foreclosures, healthcare costs that break a family’s finances and ultimately homelessness.
Santelli may apologize for his comments yesterday, but one doesn’t have to possess super powers of discernment to realize that he is just trying to put out the fire he started and save his lucrative media job, where he dog whistles resentment and loathing about anyone who proposes working people might be entitled to a living wage.
by Richard Cameron