Trump’s failure to protect the American people from the coronavirus


“Should Trump be impeached and removed from office NOW if it would save 100,000 lives? 200,000, The Trenchant Observer, July 15, 2020

The following article draws heavily on the July, 2020 article, but is revised to bring it up to date.

Trump’s Failure to Protect the American People from the Coronoavirus

Donald Trump has failed and continues to fail to protect the American people from the coronoavirus.

By mid-July, 137,000 people had died so far. Projections were that 224,000 people might die from Covid-19 by November 1, 2020. We are on pace to exceed that prediction.

The reason the cornoavirus has killed so many people and is raging out of control in the United States, when other countries (e.g., in Europe) have largely brought the virus under control, is that the U.S. government effort is led by President Donald Trump.

Trump has manifested an extraordinary hostility to science, and has sought to undercut the best scientific and epidemiological experts and their guidance on how to minimize the risks of contagion. He has used crude political pressures and threats to badger state politicians to open up their societies, their schools, and their businesses when it is unsafe to do so–indeed, when these have grossly failed to meet the minimal requirements for easing restrictions published by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).

He has the blood of tens of thousands of Covid-19 victims on his hands. There is no sign–or even the slightest hope–that he will change.

His government is lawless, as revealed was revealed again in July by the commutation of the sentence of Roger Stone. He has engaged in a constant pattern of obstruction of justice since he entered office. He has acted as a malicious wrecking ball in the international arena, intentionally tearing down institutions from the World Health Organization to the World Trade Organization, from the Climate Treaty to the Iran Nuclear Agreement. With no gains to show for it.

But let us put aside his other failings and concentrate only on his malicious and incompetent failure to manage the coronavirus pandemic in the United States. We need not make the case here. His failure, his incompetence, and his willfully malicious policies which fly in the face of science, and the experience of other countries, are so manifest and so obvious that only his Republican collaborators and those they have succeeded in confusing can fail to see and respond to the plain evidence that has accumulated, in full sight.

So, are Americans helpless?

Must we sit idly by while another 100,00 or 200,000 deaths from Covid-19 accumulate between now and January 21, 2021? Or a much higher number if Trump is reelected?

Are we powerless? Can citizens do nothing to protect ourselves against this lethal and malicious incompetence?

Can we do nothing to protect our own lives and those of our loved ones and fellow citizens against the dual plagues of the coronavirus pandemic, on the one hand, and the Trump Republican plague, on the other? The latter greatly magnifies the impact of the former in terms of numbers of victims and deaths.

There is only one thing that can be done: Remove Trump from the White House.

The last four months have demonstrated that appeals to Trump and his collaborators that are based on reason, and science, have no effect. They are directed to a sociopath and his collaborators, who have a shameful disregard for human life and health.

There is only one thing that can be done.

That one thing is the removal of Donald Trump from the White House, whether through the November 3 election or through impeachment should that become necessary.

As for the latter, the House of Representatives can impeach Trump again, for his lawlessness as well as his failure to defend the health and safety of the American people. The House can vote new articles of impeachment as soon as the 20 or so Republican votes necessary for removal show up in the Senate. If and when they show up, Trump can then be impeached by the House and removed from office by the Senate.

But the House should prepare for this possibility now, so that it will be in a position to act swiftly if and when those 20 votes appear. Getting into position to act swiftly on impeachment will also help deter Trump from trying to mess with the elections or delay a proper transfer of power in January, 2021.

Could 20 votes for removal turn up in the Senate? It depends on whether Republican Senators up for reelection want to save their seats in November, though the hour is late, and whether their colleagues want to save the Republican Party from oblivion. Other eventualities, such as the death of a Senator from Covid-19, could also produce such a shift.

Hans Christian Anderson’s tale, “The Emperor’s New Clothes”, is instructive here. See the translation of Hans Christian Andersen’s “Keiserens nye Klæder” by Jean Hersholt.

Especially after Trump’s super-spreading event at the White House ceremony announcing the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court and Trump’s reaction to his own Covid-19 hospitalization, a majority of the population now sees clearly that the Emperor has no clothes.

It is possible that the massive death and destruction to the economy in the last few months is enabling the rest of the population to see that the Emperor has no clothes. Such a development could help create those 20 votes in the Senate.

Everyone should work towards helping Republican Senators see that they are on a sinking ship, that all of the people will soon see that the Emperor has no clothes, and that now is the time for them to jump from that sinking ship. We should help them see that now is the time to separate themselves from the President, if not to save the Republic at least to save their own skins. And even the remnants of the Republican Party.

The pandemic and Covid-19 deaths in the United States will not be controlled until Trump is removed from office, one way or the other.

The Trenchant Observer

About the Author

James Rowles
"The Trenchant Observer" is edited and published by James Rowles (aka "The Observer"), an author and international lawyer who has taught International Law, Human Rights, and Comparative Law at major U.S. universities, including Harvard, Brandeis, the University of Pittsburgh, and the University of Kansas. Dr. Rowles is a former staff attorney at the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights (IACHR) of the Organization of American States OAS), in Wasington, D.C., , where he was in charge of Brazil, Haiti, Mexico and the United States, and also worked on complaints from and reports on other countries including Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, El Salvador, Nicaragua, and Guatemala. As an international development expert, he has worked on Rule of Law, Human Rights, and Judicial Reform in a number of countries in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa, the Middle East, South Asia, and the Russian Federation. In the private sector, Dr. Rowles has worked as an international attorney for a leading national law firm and major global companies, on joint ventures and other matters in a number of countries in Europe (including Russia and the Ukraine), throughout Latin America and the Caribbean, and in Australia, Indonesia, Vietnam, China and Japan. The Trenchant Observer blog provides an unfiltered international perspective for news and opinion on current events, in their historical context, drawing on a daily review of leading German, French, Spanish and English newspapers as well as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, and other American newspapers, and on sources in other countries relevant to issues being analyzed. Dr. Rowles speaks fluent English, French, German, Portuguese and Spanish, and also knows other languages. He holds an S.J.D. or Doctor of Juridical Science in International Law from Harvard University, and a Doctor of Law (J.D.) and a Master of the Science of Law (J.S.M.=LL.M.), from Stanford University. As an undergraduate, he received a Bachelor of Arts degree, also from Stanford, where he graduated “With Great Distinction” (summa cum laude) and received the James Birdsall Weter Prize for the best Senior Honors Thesis in History. In addition to having taught as a Lecturer on Law at Harvard Law School, Dr. Rowles has been a Visiting Scholar at Harvard University's Center for International Affairs (CFIA). His fellowships include a Stanford Postdoctoral Fellowship in Law and Development, the Rómulo Gallegos Fellowship in International Human Rights awarded by the Inter-American Commission on Human Rights, and a Harvard MacArthur Fellowship in International Peace and Security. Beyond his articles in The Trenchant Observer, he is the author of two books and numerous scholarly articles on subjects of international and comparative law. Currently he is working on a manuscript drawing on some the best articles that have appeared in the blog.