The news this week has been absolutely bonkers, to the point where hyperventilating has now just become a precursor to opening up your social media feed. Trump, for example, is tweeting support for armed protestors that oppose stay at home orders, despite his own administration suggesting guidelines that states only reopen after a 14-day downward trajectory of cases.
This, like many other of his actions, are so shockingly contradictory and terrifying that all we can do is throw up our thrice-washed hands and ask, "what in the hell is going on right now?"
We don't have an answer for you, but we're beyond shit hitting the fan and more like shoveling dump trucks of manure into a wind turbine. Here's a piece reporting that Trump is pushing spy agencies to find links between Wuhan labs and the novel coronavirus. It's the type of thing that echo's George W. Bush's claims of "Weapons of Mass Destruction," but even if coronavirus was a Chinese lab experiment gone wrong (or right depending on what strain of conspiracy theory glue you're huffing) is now the time for this? We're still square in the middle of the epidemic. Do we really want to tease war with China while we can't even leave our homes?
Also, goddamnit, are we headed to war with China? US warships have sailed into disputed water in the South China Sea. Trump is also renewing threats over a possible trade war. So much is happening so quickly that even to process, it makes us feel like we're stuck in a Fallout loading screen. The only hope is that we don't end up in an actual fallout.
Even if the China stuff is all bluster, as Trump's political motivations to shift blame are apparent, we're still facing a terrifying and confusing response at home. There is a deluge of news stories where the federal government is sparring with states over how to handle the coronavirus outbreak effectively. Stories that range from the infuriating, like this piece on Trump calling Personal Protective Equipment shortages "fake news," to the plain bizarre, like the Governor of Maryland using the National Guard to hide COVID-19 tests.
Trump has primarily placed the burden of hunting down PPE on the states themselves, while at the same time, according to some states, "seizing shipments of protective equipment to redistribute to another region." The government then allocates those resources based on Trump's personal whims.
"There's growing evidence that Trump and his aides are using his authority over both the contracting and allocation processes for political gain. It's easy to chalk that up to partisanship, but the record suggests that while Trump favors GOP allies the most, he is more interested in bringing politicians and businesses into his fold than in following the straight axis of the Republican-Democratic divide."
It partly explains why the Republican Governor of Maryland is hiding shipments of supplies from the feds like they're blocks of cocaine.
America is being pitted in battle against China, against our health care workers, and ourselves. The whole combination has created for mass confusion and a big dose of panic as the news stories continue to pile up. Unfortunately, there's little we can do but to stay inside and scream, "What the fuck?!"
Top Image: The White House