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Thursday, November 19, 2020

Grandma must die

Trump's coronavirus chief urges Americans to gather for 'their last Thanksgiving' -- not making this up

Mark Sumner, Daily Kos Staff

AP Photo/ Evan Vucci
For retired radiologist Scott Atlas, this is the best of times. 

For months, the federal government has not just done nothing, it’s done less than nothing to halt the advance of the pandemic that has so far killed more than a quarter of a million Americans.

 With Atlas helming Donald Trump’s “coronavirus task force” and everyone who knows even the slightest bit about infectious disease pushed to the sidelines, the task force has become a clearinghouse for misinformation and attacks on states still trying to show they give a damn about the lives of citizens.

Atlas has to be smiling as the number of daily COVID-19 cases rockets upward, even as Republican governors across the country continue to quiver in fear—not because thousands of people in their state will die, but because Trump might say something … unkind about the level of loyalty they’ve displayed to his policies. 

After all, Trump imposed a partial travel ban on China in February, don’t you know, and that solved everything. 

Now Atlas can smile as he fully engages in his dream of infecting hundreds of millions of Americans. 

Not only is he encouraging revolts against governors who make even limited rules to protect citizens, Atlas has some very special holiday advice: Families should hold big, festive thanksgivings, says Atlas, because “for many people this is their last Thanksgiving.”

As Media Matters reports, Atlas made his statement on Fox News. Once again beating his chest over the horrors of attempting to save people’s lives, Atlas insisted that it was more important to get together over that turkey than it was to keep elderly people safe. 

Atlas, who has been pushing for America to reach “herd immunity” by infecting a large percentage of the population with the coronavirus, apparently didn’t get the note that he’s also supposed to say “while keeping the elderly safe.” Because he’s obviously wanting to make sure that every generation joins in the infection fun.

Don’t think of it as a holiday. Think of it as a culling of the weak. And pass the cranberries, please.

There are some Republican governors who are starting to realize that maybe following Trump’s less-than-nothing policy isn’t the best idea. 

Unfortunately, they’re achieving this revelation as the hospitals in their states overflow. And most are still mouthing phrases like “acting with caution” that should have been discarded nine months ago. 

There’s little doubt that this Tuesday will bring 30,000 to 40,000 more cases of COVID-19 than the previous week. The new barriers that states are now rushing into place won’t have an impact on the raging national outbreak for at least another week, if not two.

Meanwhile, the percentage of Americans who have tested positive for COVID-19 is all the way up to 3.4%. Meaning that the United States has made essentially no progress toward achieving herd immunity despite 11 million cases, 252,000 dead, and record levels of hospitalization pushing the healthcare system to the edge across the country. 

Herd immunity cannot be achieved, not without digging literally millions dead. And with at least two effective vaccines just months away, there’s no reason anyone should be pushing this idea at all.

This is the home stretch. The time when hunkering down should get the most … hunkery. And it’s definitely the time when every family should be skipping the big gathering.

When vaccines are widely available and families can gather with relative safety, we can all celebrate another Thanksgiving in March or April. In fact, a new national holiday to commemorate a new hope at the end of this international nightmare seems entirely appropriate.