COVID-19: Part 32

June 3, 2020 6:02 pm
  • Quarantine Day 79
  • County Curfew Day 3
  • Livermore cases: 55
  • Alameda County cases: 3,450; deaths: 96
  • U.S. cases: 1,827,000+; deaths: 106,000+

On Monday evening, after my post that day, Trump made some televised remarks and then ordered police and National Guard troops to forcibly remove--with tear gas, batons, and rubber bullets--a lawfully and peacefully assembled group of protestors so that he could walk across the street, stand in front of a church, hold up a Bible, and take a picture. Which was then promptly turned into a campaign video.

American citizens, American journalists, and foreign journalists were all caught in the violence. One in particular was an Australian news crew that was broadcasting live when police officers attacked them with riot shield and baton; they were also hit with rubber bullets as they tried to clear the area. Australia is pissed.

The publicity stunt was denounced by the bishop of the church in front of which he stood. The county, which had provided additional officers to the city for crowd control, denounced the stunt and pulled their officers out of the city. And it was denounced throughout the country and around the world.

Today, in response to these events, former Secretary of Defense (for Trump) James Mattis issued a stunning excoriation of the president.

Some selected quotes:

We must reject any thinking of our cities as a “battlespace” that our uniformed military is called upon to “dominate.”

Instructions given by the military departments to our troops before the Normandy invasion reminded soldiers that “The Nazi slogan for destroying us…was ‘Divide and Conquer.’ Our American answer is ‘In Union there is Strength.’”

Donald Trump is the first president in my lifetime who does not try to unite the American people—does not even pretend to try. Instead he tries to divide us. We are witnessing the consequences of three years of this deliberate effort. We are witnessing the consequences of three years without mature leadership. We can unite without him, drawing on the strengths inherent in our civil society.

We know that we are better than the abuse of executive authority that we witnessed in Lafayette Square. We must reject and hold accountable those in office who would make a mockery of our Constitution.

I found it pretty stunning that a former Secretary of Defense would publish something against the president they served calling for the country to unify without the president and for accountability for abuse of executive authority & making a mockery of the Constitution.

Not only has Trump done nothing thus far to attempt to deescalate the anger or address the serious grievances, but instead has repeatedly used racially charged language to threaten protestors.

There have been daily protests in all 50 states and every major city and many minor cities. Given that there are tens of millions of people unemployed due to COVID-19 I don't see how this starts getting better until an actual leader steps up. And within a few weeks we'll be dealing with a massive second wave of COVID-19 infections due to protestors being in close quarters for extended periods time.

The summer is looking a bit bleak right now.

On the bright side, a bunch of racist monuments throughout the South that civil-rights activists have been trying to get removed for years are now coming down--with or without the cooperation of the local governments.

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Today we had a "drive by ceremony" for Corinne's preschool. She was really excited to get to see her teachers again (and to be in the van going somewhere for the first time since March). Sadly, we were the only people wearing face masks that we saw. I don't understand why people don't "get it" about epidemiological reality.

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