Jonathan Kraut | Why No. 2 Is More Important Than No. 1

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We understand that dealing with the spread of the coronavirus is going to be a prolonged process. The economy is beginning to gradually open up. Not because it is our right to party or congregate at a bar. Not because the spread of the coronavirus has ended. Not because there is a remedy. 

To put it simply, the American people, prodded by our buffoon-in-chief and members of his party, do not have the political will or discipline to follow strict measures that will save lives.

I guess it’s “throw up your hands, America, and let’s go back to making money.”

The social distancing measures we took were successful. We have flattened the curve. America stepped up as one. 

But President Donald Trump is willing to do no more. 

Trump refuses to continue asking for what has been proven effective. He won’t wear a mask, social distance, and even promotes rebellion against his own coronavirus guidelines.

It seems 1,500 deaths nationally per day is acceptable to Trump. This is a rate of about 10,000 deaths per week, 30,000 a month. COVID-19 mortality is now the leading cause of death in the U.S. This death rate may even grow higher as social distancing becomes just another catchphrase of the past.

We are still on track to lose half a million American souls, but instead of over six months as predicted if we do nothing, this loss of life will occur over 18 months because we are encouraged to do next to nothing.

Leading by example, taking responsibility, organizing the nation for a coordinated response, and forward thinking are not the characteristics Trump has chosen to embrace. To Trump it appears his reelection is what matters most. His actions demonstrate that the economy and his personal ratings are more important than the lives of your loved ones and even your own life.

It is clear Trump does not value the welfare of the hundreds of thousands who will die from the virus as we continue on this misguided path of reopening.

Australia, South Korea, Taiwan, China, New Zealand, and other countries have successfully used extensive testing, contact tracing, and cell phone alerts to control the virus threat within their borders. Their economies are being restored. Nevertheless, they are continuing the measures proven effective until there is a vaccine. 

In the U.S., however, we are tossing caution to the wind and spitting in the wind at the same time.

The president is no longer pretending to support processes that will save lives. 

Trump seems OK with perpetuating an immense death toll so his precious economy can rebuild. Now that viral transmission has essentially flattened and the number of new cases has stabilized, Trump is discounting the measures that created this benefit.

True, the last two months have allowed us to rebuild some medical stockpiles, activate more ventilators, produce more personal protection gear, ramp up testing and start diagnostic trials for new vaccines and treatments.

In exchange for an economy beginning to recover, Trump counts on votes. For Trump, it is a gamble. He knows only the living can vote. 

Trump infamously ignores his own presidential guidelines and fires officials who don’t support his narrative. 

In practices both inside the White House and on the road, Trump’s conduct and example promote viral spread. Testing the president and his staff every day won’t prevent transmission — only detect it. The virus is now inside the White House. Many will be infected.

Trump’s wanton misconduct is likely to lead to his contracting COVID-19. 

So why is the No. 2 more important than the No. 1?

For a heavier, out-of-shape, older man, Trump’s odds of virus survival are not good. I wonder who he will blame as he lies in the ICU on a ventilator — Hillary Clinton or Barack Obama?

Trump’s clumsy sentences and mispronounced words also signal cognitive degradation. Even if he escapes the ravages of COVID-19, his vice presidential running mate will likely take over even if he should win another term.

The same goes for Joltin’ Joe Biden. 

The Democratic nominee for president is one stroke, heart issue, or bump on the head from turning into Rickety Joe. Should Biden win the November election, he likely won’t serve his whole term, either.

Neither party’s candidate for president is likely to finish out a next full term. That is why No. 2, the VP pick, is more crucial to our nation’s future than No. 1. 

Regardless of which nominee wins, hopefully a better path for our nation to take is not far away. 

Jonathan Kraut directs a private investigations firm, is the CEO of a private security firm, is the COO of an acting conservatory, is a published author, and Democratic Party activist. His column reflects his own views and not necessarily those of The Signal or of other organizations.         

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