Nel's New Day

April 7, 2020

Business Owners Not Suited to Govern

Filed under: Health Care — trp2011 @ 9:13 PM
Tags: , , , , ,

Today’s guest blog post is from my partner, Sue. If you are interested in more of her writings, check out her Facebook page. 


Considering the pandemic fiasco, Donald Trump is, after all, a businessman, not a politician. A politician’s purpose is to spend our tax dollars to support and create institutional systems of laws, regulations, and rules to serve and protect us such as our court systems, schools, police, infrastructure, etc., including preventing poor business practices that damage the world we live in. In other words, a politician’s mindset is in giving, to having our back.

A businessman, on the other hand, thrives in a competitive world of money—cash flow, sales, and revenue dealing with how to get the most profit with the least cost. For example, promoting profits in fossil fuel industries with no regard for harm to our health and environment. The idea of spending money that yields no return is abhorrent to the business mind. 

To businessmen, stockpiling, preparing for a future happening that may never occur, is simply stupid. The businessman’s mindset is to take and the GDP including people are financial commodities. The politician and the businessman are at polar odds, but our present form of capitalism requires both of them for success. What we don’t need is one of them unevenly in power over the other. One in control leads to fascism and the other to communism.

The difference in how Donald Trump and Barack Obama deal with pandemics is another example of the difference in mindset between the politician and the businessman. Eleven years ago, President Obama faced a pandemic just weeks after his first inauguration. Most of us have only vague memories of the H1N1 “swine flu” because it was swiftly handled. The first confirmed human infection in the U.S. was on April 15, and the first death on April 29, 2009, when a Mexican toddler died after he came for treatment at a Houston hospital.

In only two weeks after the confirmed case, CDC activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and began work on a vaccine, and the government declared a public health emergency. The CDC also recommended a seven-day dismissal of affected schools and childcare facilities. In the next two weeks, schools were closed, and CDC shipped tests. Following the clinical trials for the flu vaccine in late July, the FDA approved four vaccines—just five months after the first case. October celebrated vaccines with only 2,500 confirmed deaths to a possible 6,000 deaths from H1N1 in less than six months. On December 18, less than ten months after the first death, the first 100 million doses of vaccines were available, and anyone wanting a vaccination could get one by late December, eight months after the first death.

The last time the swine flu, also known as the Spanish flu, came through was in 1918. It was the world’s most deadly virus, killing 50 million people and sickening 40 percent of the world’s population. The rapid spread of the 1918 flu at that time was mostly blamed on public health officials refusing to impose quarantines. Sound familiar?

From the first death on February 28, 2020 Trump has imposed NOT ONE extreme measure on the states. Recommendations yes, but often conflicting. Not one mandate. Not even after he declared a national disaster. He first blew off any problems and then left all the decisions up to the states while he squabbled with them. He confiscated medical supplies the states had already ordered and took them for himself. But hey, the Donald “I’m not a supply clerk” Trump doesn’t intend to share unless its quid pro quo. As this pandemic moves from state to state because so many states have done little to nothing to stop it, just like the 1918 flu, this pandemic is expected to occur in three waves—this spring, next fall, and the following spring. Already in the 40 days since the first COVID-19 confirmed deaths, 12,854, is more than the total 12,469—including deaths assuming those caused by H1N1. The number of current deaths is sure to be far more because tests are not performed on many people who seem to die of COVID-19. 

A pandemic trigger is our need to eat animals, especially because of poor conditions in our factory farms and the likelihood that this can only worsen because of Trump’s profit-driven business approach toward governing the country. Outright lies are another problem allowing the virus to travel through the country, mostly through the Fox network and other state media that pushes conspiracy theories like COVID-19 is China’s bioweapon, only the common cold, and the fault of the homeless. For people who gather in churches, positive thinking will beat the virus, and God will protect them.

One of the first departments Trump axed was the National Security Council’s office on pandemics which was established for quick responses to viruses. Two months before the coronavirus began its march across China, Trump axed the two-million dollar pandemic early warning program in the department for Global Health Security and Biodefense which trained other countries for early-warning detection of threatening viruses before they could get to us. Trump’s reason? He said, “I don’t like having thousands of people around when you don’t need them.”  

Now Trump has finished gutting the Environmental Protection Agency so that our environment is no longer protected while he cuts fuel efficiency standards that increases fuel burning and costs people $11 billion.  An additional 1,400 deaths are predicted with the cut in coal plant pollution. By adding more than a billion tons of greenhouse emissions to the carbon dioxide from ice melt and clear-cutting of our rain forests, we are in a world of hurt.

Many viruses, only one of which is the present coronavirus, are defined as airborne infectious bronchitis virus. We have seven different types of air-borne viruses, and Most of us will be infected with the coronavirus, on of seven different types of these airborne viruses, at least once in our lifetime. This family of single-stranded RNA viruses, including MERS, SARS, and COVID-19, has a lipid envelope studded with club-shaped projections.

HIV/AIDS, one of the deadliest epidemics seen by most people alive today, is not nearly as easy to transmit from one person to another as the viruses that attack the respiratory system like COVID-19 or the flu. A worse pair of pandemics that determined the course of civilization was the smallpox, imported by Europeans that decimated Native Americans, and the Bubonic Plague that wiped out almost half of Europe in the Middle Ages. COVID-19 will certainly go down in history with the other major pandemics.

Previous pandemics were only a warning. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), up to 500,000 people worldwide will die from a virus in a typical flu season, and we make no plans to stop them. Clear cutting and global warming are releasing over a thousand new viruses. The AIDS virus originated from wild animals in African rainforests. In the U.S., over a dozen new viruses have appeared just within the last 25 years.  Bats apparently gave us this latest virus along with the 2012 MERS and 2014 SARS epidemics.

The 2014 Ebola outbreak killed 90 percent of infected people, and the 1967 Marburg virus grew to 80 percent fatalities until it was contained. Without treatment, rabies is 100 percent fatal. Many viruses found in wild animals have jumped to humans such as a new rabies-like virus in shrews. And many, many SARS-like viruses traveled around the world. The Argentine and Bolivian hemorrhagic fever came from poor farming practices. Hikungunya and Zika viruses came from mosquitoes. From the bubonic plague to smallpox, new viruses appear to infect us. Even our melting permafrost from global warming is releasing dangerous viruses we have not met before. Over twenty undiscovered viruses were found in fifteen-thousand-year-old glacial ice. As our world melts, how many unknown toxic substances and pathogens will turn up in our streams, rivers, and other waterways? Or gases and carbon dioxide, double what we find in our atmosphere, be released from our melting ice pack? 

Viruses are an interesting phenomenon, kind of like a computer virus, slithering and swishing around until everything crashes. Except we aren’t making them up. They’re just new to science. But not to the animals in the forest. Nor to the time when earth was formed and they were buried in the ice, an ideal place for viruses to remain alive millions of years. A part of our evolutionary history, viruses just evolved with us or morphed into stronger viruses. Every tree we fell, every misplaced wild animal looking for a new home, every old ice melt releases another dangerous virus. And we have no defense against them. No virus is new or ever dies; they just return or mutate.

Thanks, Sue!

Sources:  [visual of pandemic history]  [Image of COVID-19]

1 Comment »

  1. Wow.


    Comment by Lee Lynch — April 7, 2020 @ 11:55 PM | Reply

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