West Point Military Academy, America’s oldest military academy, changed its graduation this year because of the coronavirus epidemic. Instead of an in-person event, the academy decided to have a virtual commencement with Vice President Mike Pence as its speaker.
But the day before the virtual event, President Donald Trump “abruptly announced that he would, in fact, be speaking at West Point,” according to The New York Times. So now the academy is “summoning 1,000 cadets scattered across the country to return to campus in New York, the state that is the center of the outbreak.” to hear Trump speak there in-person on Saturday, June 13.
Keep in mind: West Point is located 60 miles north of New York City, and New York is the nation’s number one coronavirus hotspot with over 263,000 confirmed cases and 15,740 deaths so far.
While the seniors were going to have to return to campus at some point in order to “take final exams, pack up their belongings and out-process,” getting them back to campus will involve a lot of precautions and logistical planning.
Defense Secretary Mark T. Esper has had to request waivers for the graduating cadets to allow them to fly despite a national ban on travel for military personnel that continues through June 30. It’s unclear whether the graduates’ parents will be allowed to attend.
West Point superintendent Lt. Gen. Darryl A. Williams says seniors will be tested for coronavirus off-campus beforehand, and negative seniors will report to campus for 14 more days of monitoring before the graduation. Each senior will have their own dorm room to avoid contact with others, will have to wear face masks in public, and will be segregated in the mess hall when they eat.
Although a White House spokesperson has said that Trump or the academy could always reschedule or reassess his decision as June 13 creeps closer, especially if the epidemic worsens, Trump has said that he “did not like the look of a socially distanced graduation and that he hoped the ‘look’ of the ceremony would be ‘nice and tight.'”
But in order to keep everyone as safe as possible (after traveling cross-country on airplanes), the 1,000 graduating cadets and their instructors will need to sit six-feet apart from one another. It’s much ado just to so the president can address a military academy.
We really need to be clear about this: Trump is endangering an entire class of West Point graduates and supporting personnel and all their families specifically for his own vanity. This isn't about the Class of 2020. This is about Trump's ego. It is a reckless abuse of power.
— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) April 25, 2020
We should be very concerned that @realDonaldTrump is forcing a campaign rally on West Point graduates.
Here is something for the military to think about.
There are 6,213 soldiers w/covid19 & 26 have died.
He hasn't said a word about them except to fire the Capt protecting them.
— Pussy Footing Around 🏳️🌈 (@PussyFootinBlog) April 25, 2020
He needs a rally. No matter the cost, no matter the consequences. Clearly, he can’t impart words of wisdom, no leadership skills, and as a draft dodger, no military experience. What could he possibly say to these men and women? @realDonaldTrump https://t.co/a18O2ctuwj
— RETIRED MASTER CHIEF⚓️ (@CMCRET) April 25, 2020
They're going to have to get on planes, and then trains up to West Point, then gather in close quarters to each other. This is totally unnecessary and endangers everyone involved, all to give Trump a platform to campaign and rant. https://t.co/J0LMNsE9rL
— Don Friedman (@drf55) April 24, 2020
The Cadet Honor Code at @WestPoint_USMA is “A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal, or tolerate those who do.” How will the cadets be able to tolerate @realDonaldTrump, the biggest liar in history? #Hypocrisy #WestPoint https://t.co/X8HTBn2Cn0
— P.S. Urquidi (@psurquidi) April 24, 2020
hey @WestPoint_USMA crawl out of trump's ass and don't endanger your own cadets just to appease this maniacal, dangerous lunatic. Ya gonna inject them with lysol next, just to make Trump happy?? https://t.co/Bqri5GbrIT
— JenniferLA_NY (@LanyJennifer) April 24, 2020
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The White House Stopped the CDC From Requiring Face Masks on Public Transit
Last month, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) drafted an order that would’ve required passengers and employees to wear face masks on all buses, trains, subways, planes, stations and airports, but the White House blocked it, according to two anonymous federal health officials who spoke with The New York Times.
While Health and Human Services Secretary (HHS) Alex M. Azar II reportedly approved of the order, the White House Coronavirus Task Force, led by Vice President Mike Pence, said such an order should be left to states and cities to decide.
“Most public health officials believe that wearing masks is one of the most effective ways to protect against the spread of the virus,” the Times wrote, “particularly in crowded, poorly ventilated public places that attract people from all over, like transportation venues.”
Democratic Oregon Representative Peter A. DeFazio, chairman of the House committee on transportation and infrastructure, criticized the Trump Administration for declining the order and endangering the lives of transportation orders. The transportation trades department of the A.F.L.-C.I.O., which represents millions of transit workers, said the White House rejected their petition asking for a transportation mask mandate as well.
While enforcing mask use has been the biggest challenge for workers operating under such mandates, the Trump administration’s repeated politicization of face masks was one of the numerous grievances mentioned this week by The New England Journal of Medicine in its first-ever editorial published in its 208-year history.
The editorial, entitled “Dying in a Leadership Vacuum”, called the Trump Administration “dangerously incompetent” and accused it of undermining governors, politicizing both face masks and the vaccine, believing in “charlatans” and sidelining the CDC, the FDA and the National Institutes of Health in important decision making.
“Anyone else who recklessly squandered lives and money in this way would be suffering legal consequences,” the editorial stated.
Granted, this only marks the most recent time that the Trump administration has directly interfered with the CDC’s approach for controlling the ongoing pandemic which continues to infect over 40,000 Americans each day.
Three months ago, the Trump Administration forbade the head of the CDC from publicly discussing the danger of reopening schools, and last month it was revealed that Trump-appointed political officials in HHS had pressured the CDC to change its reports on COVID-19 to conform with Trump’s rosy public statements on the epidemic.
Fox News Displays Chart Showing That Killing Black People Is Good For The Stock Market
On Friday evening, Fox News displayed a bar graph showing how well the stock market performed after historical instances of attacking and killing Black people. It’s a somewhat ghoulish graphic to release following the murders of George Floyd and Jamel Floyd (no relation) by police and the nationwide protests that have received even more police violence.
“Historically there has been a disconnect between what investors focus on and what happens in the rest of the country,” the Fox News anchorwoman said of the graphic. “For instance in 1968, the week after the tragedy of Martin Luther King, the S&P 500 rose over two percent. Also, up the week of the Rodney King ruling.”
The chart’s data seems to have been taken from a Fortune article entitled, “The stock market has a long history of ignoring social upheaval” in which investment research CEO David Trainer said, “Social unrest issues have very little long-term impact on markets.” The article went on to say that the stock markets tend to look ahead to fiscal responses to international trade conditions and support from the federal government rather than immediate civil unrest.
Other news networks also discussed this week how stock markets react to traumatic news, but none had a graphic such as this. And while Fox News didn’t say it, many Twitter users seemed horrified of the graph’s implication that the stock market thrives off of Black death and the network displaying the graphic in the first place.
Someone THOUGHT of this
Someone RESEARCHED this
A graphics department MADE this
Not one person in this chain thought this was a problem????
— Nai Mei (@naimeiyao) June 5, 2020
So, from this report, I am drawing the conclusion that, throughout the history of the stock market rich people have reveled in the subjugation, denigration, and murder of People of Color. This makes me even more angry! pic.twitter.com/xw4JLmKrvr
— Mickey Rottinghaus (@GolfSoBad) June 6, 2020
African or Us their descendants or nothing but capitalism for White Supremacy…. they’re never care about our bodies or lives … just a mean to make money … it’s time they spoke the truth so we can witness… don’t become upset … just think them for their honestly. pic.twitter.com/BgYy4YmVby
— linda smith (@lindasm87705438) June 6, 2020
We're all just pawns in their game.
This is the real issue with looting and rioting: when it comes down to it, the 99% are the people who will pay to clean it up. The rich elite have insulated themselves. This doesn't affect them.
— UCF Hype (@UCF_Hype) June 6, 2020
‘Who Takes a Victory Lap on Piles of Corpses?’: Trump Blasted as ‘Sociopathic Monster’ for Bragging About 65,000 Deaths
President Donald Trump is being blasted for his apparent bragging about and celebrating “only” 60,000 to 65,000 coronavirus deaths. The actual number of Americans who have died so far is currently 37,095, but Trump is projecting a little less than twice that number will lose their lives to the virus he spent months ignoring until it was too late.
Friday evening Trump spent several minutes rattling off a long litany of numbers, comparing his projected coronavirus deaths to other possible horrific death projections, in a clear attempt to frame his disastrous mismanagement of the pandemic. As he did, many took to social media to slam the President’s callous lack of empathy.
“We’ve already built sufficient capacity nationwide so states can begin their re-openings. And I think you’ll be hearing a lot about re-openings in the coming weeks and months,” Trump told reporters during Friday’s coronavirus briefing.
“Most excitingly in the coming weeks I think you’re going to see some very, very dramatic steps taken – and very safely,” Trump bragged.
“When you look at the possible deaths at 2.2 million people – and it could have very well been that, it could have been more,” the president continued, as he continued to pat himself on the back. “Frankly I’ve been looking at numbers where it could have been higher than that. 2.2 million people dying. If you figure we lost 500,000, maybe 600,000 in the Civil War, 2.2 million people, a minimum if we did nothing would have been 1.6, if you cut that in half, you’re talking about 800,000 [to] 900,000 – a million people dying.”
“But we did a lot of work, and the people of this country were incredible, I have to say, I think we’re heading to the other category, that would be if we did work, and if it was successful they had between 100,000 and 220,000 to 240,000 on the upside, and I think we’ll be substantially, hopefully below the ‘100’ number, and I think right now we’re headed probably around ’60,’ maybe 65,000.”
Trump, amid all those numbers, was talking about human being dying from a virus he chose to ignore for months.
“I always say, ‘One is too many,'” Trump claimed. A Google search turns up no statement of Trump having ever said that.
“It’s a horrible thing that happened to our country,” he added, presumably referring to the coronavirus.
Trump says he now expects “around 60,000, maybe 65,000” American deaths from the coronavirus. He indicates he’ll proclaim any total under 100,000 as a reflection of what a great job his government did. pic.twitter.com/MV5YqNMtIW
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 17, 2020
The President was immediately taken to task for praising himself and celebrating.
Who takes a victory lap on piles of corpses? https://t.co/FpmzSsCZdY
— Ron Fournier (@ron_fournier) April 17, 2020
What happened to 15 cases, headed to 0?
— Keith Gaddie 🏴 (@GaddieWindage) April 17, 2020
60,000 give or take a 9/11
— Sarah Cooper (@sarahcpr) April 17, 2020
This is the behavior of a sociopathic monster. He thinks he deserves congratulations for negligently causing tens of thousands of deaths https://t.co/fRVRS5TzQp
— Daniel Gilmore (@gilmored85) April 17, 2020
He always starts with 1-2 million lives lost if we did nothing. Like that was actually an option.
— Art Moore (@Thanosart1) April 17, 2020
"Hey guys! Celebrate! Heckuva job! Only 65K Americans died because of our efforts!" https://t.co/G8z0R13vki
— Medico della Peste (@SaxonThegn) April 17, 2020
Trump believes he is playing with house money, and will try to get as close to 100k dead as possible without going over
— Wolverine Filled Moat Enthusiast (@rewegreatyet) April 17, 2020
He abdicated all responsibility yesterday but he’s going to claim victory for himself if he “only” kills off a hundred thousand of us.
— Screwjack (@Screwjack19) April 17, 2020
The man dances on corpses with glee.
— Marian Shuter (@shuter_marian) April 17, 2020
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