“Hopes & Prayers” is even more insipid than the “Thoughts & Prayers” bromide that Republican politicians typically tweet out after the latest mass shooting, but five months into the pandemic that’s ravaging the U.S. that’s about all the Trump White House has to offer Americans.
As I noted in a June 21 post, after plateauing in the 150,000 range for several weeks, the U.S. case count increased sharply in the June 14-21 period to 181,010. That trend continued last week, with the case load jumping to 277,801 from June 21-28.
Daily case counts now exceed 50,000, and with infection rates soaring in heavily populated southern and western states such as Florida, Texas, California, Georgia and Arizona, Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, warned on June 30 that if the U.S. doesn’t get its shit together they could soon see 100,000 cases a day.
That came on the heels of a pandemic response team press conference four days earlier where vice-president Mike Pence, desperate to push the Trump administration’s aggressive re-open the economy agenda, had tried to downplay the severity of the pandemic by saying the U.S. was “in a much better place” today than it was two months ago.
Statistics say otherwise, but whatever. Then Pence concluded by saying:
“I just encourage every American to continue to pray. Pray for all the families that have lost loved ones. Pray for our health care workers on the front lines. And just continue to pray that,by God’s grace, every single day we’ll each do our part to heal our land.”
Pence’s Pollyanna take on the pandemic was followed on July 1 when the commander-in-chief himself sat down for an interview with Fox Business to pimp the same pro-business message. You can read more about Trump’s delusional yammerings here, but at one point he said:
“I think we’re gonna be very good with the coronavirus, I think at some point that’s going to sort of just disappear, I hope.”
So there you have it. Five months into the pandemic, with case totals skyrocketing, and the death toll set to follow, all the Trump White House and its Republican enablers have to offer the American people is “Hopes & Prayers”. Meanwhile, with the first wave of the pandemic diminishing in places such as the European Union and Canada, Americans will remain under a travel ban for the foreseeable future.
A MESSAGE TO OUR READERS The coronavirus pandemic is a moment of reckoning for our community. We’re all hurting. It’s no different at Prairie Dog, where COVID-19 has wiped out advertisements for events, businesses and restaurants as Regina and Saskatchewan hunker down in quarantine. As an ad-supported newspaper already struggling in a destabilized media landscape, this is devastating. We’re hoping you, our loyal readers, can help fill in the gap so Prairie Dog can not only continue to exist but even expand our coverage — both in print and online. Please consider donating, either one-time or, even better, on a monthly basis.
We believe Prairie Dog‘s unique voice is needed, now more than ever. For 27 years, this newspaper has been a critical part of Regina’s social, cultural and democratic infrastructure. Don’t let us fade away. There’s only one Prairie Dog. If it’s destroyed, it’s never coming back.