COVID-19, the medications he’s taking, or some combination could be impairing President Trump’s judgment. But how could we tell? Being prone to hyperbole, omission, and pathological lying is one thing. Tweeting, “Don’t be afraid of COVID. Don’t let it dominate your life,” is at a minimum, gross negligence. His ability to beat back the virus quickly (another unproven fact at this point) is the impetus for this statement. The medical attention he received will not be the treatment you will receive. A course of care costing taxpayers millions of dollars for a man who believes paying $750 in federal taxes was too much. Millions of Americans continue to lose health insurance due to the pandemic. Many will receive little or no care when not if they contract the virus.
His sycophants continue to ignore reasonable precautions to prevent the spread of a deadly virus. The COVID-19 outbreak amongst Republican lawmakers and the White House, in particular, is evidence of a conspiracy. A group of people who agreed at their peril to disregard the best medical advice. The problem is their words and actions endanger the rest of us. COVID-19 is a terminal illness.
COVID-19 is a highly contagious virus and may be consistently mutating to become more so. Reliable prognosticator, The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation at the University of Washington, projects 427,000 possible deaths in the United States by the end of 2020. Worldwide, deaths may be as high as 2.5 million.
Heart disease kills roughly 650,000 people a year. The heart is a vital organ, and heart failure will lead to severe problems and even death. Most people go to some lengths to protect this lifeline and ensure their longevity. At a minimum, COVID-19 will kill half as many people as heart disease this year.
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Next up is cancer at 600,000 deaths per year. Mortally afraid of cancer, the United States has almost doubled spending on cancer treatments over five years from $26 billion to $42 billion. In 2018 the US Government allocated $45 billion for cancer research. These figures don’t include the billions raised privately to stop the spread of the disease. The billions spent on preventive medical exams and treatment. Finally, people adjust their diets, habits, and lifestyles all out of fear of cancer. But there is no need to wear a mask or social distance in fear of a disease that is over sixty-percent as likely to kill you? COVID-19 will kill more people than stroke (146,000), diabetes (86,000), and the flu and pneumonia (55,000) combined. All diseases we approach with trepidation.
Think a vaccine is around the corner as the President has also repeatedly promised? Rare things happen rarely. Today, Moderna and Pfizer, two of the leading candidates, announced serious side-effects in their clinical trials. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced proper safety protocols that will likely delay any approval. A policy the White House, with its combined zero years of scientific or medical expertise, opposes. Even when a vaccine is approved, the efficacy rate may be as low as fifty percent. Not to mention the logistics involved in vaccinating 300 million people. COVID-19 is here for a while and will continue killing at exponentially higher rates as it spreads.
Due to the numerous variables, the chances of contracting COVID are not presently calculable. But they are much higher than winning the lottery, which most people play out of fear of financial insecurity. The White House had every resource at its disposal to prevent COVID. Yet the lack of intelligence, common sense, fear, and respect for the disease proved incapacitating and may still prove deadly.
Mild to moderate symptoms include fever, extreme fatigue, and difficulty breathing. Who is afraid of being unable to move or breathe? Since both are life-sustaining, everyone. One in five patients, twenty percent, require hospitalization. Most people are rightly frightened to visit hospitals, much less be admitted. One in twenty patients requires ventilation. Ventilation not only increases the morbidity rate but has life-altering mental and physical consequences.
If you are unafraid and, like the President, continue to disregard medical and scientific guidelines, you will contract the disease. True, there is only a twenty percent chance you will fall so ill as to require hospitalization. Even less likely, you will die. But those numbers are higher then every unnecessary risk we guard against, COVID-19 is not any different.
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