Why Is America Not Holding the COVID Hitman Accountable?

Thom plus logo Greg Abbot thinks he can get away with murder because Trump did — At least so far…

Normally when over a half-million people die from something entirely preventable somebody is held accountable. So far, that hasn't happened in the United States.

In Taiwan, population 24 million, 10 people have died of Covid in the 14 months since the beginning of the pandemic. Ten.

In Vietnam, population 97 million, it's 35; Thailand, population 70 million, has seen 85 people die, while Australia, at 25 million people, has lost 909 people to the disease.

South Korea, with a population of 51 million, has seen 1634 people die and Canada, with 38 million people has lost 22,000. (Stats here.)

Those countries populations total a bit over 305 million, about the same as the US, and in total they've lost 24,663 people to this disease. The United States has lost over 530,000.

That's a hell of a difference.

In every one of those countries public health officials and senior government leadership (presidents, prime ministers) required or heavily promoted normal pandemic public health measures like wearing masks, avoiding crowded indoor venues and hand-washing.

Here in America, Donald Trump — thinking the virus was a threat to his reelection — told his 70 million followers and the rest of America it was "just like the flu," "nothing to fear," "no big deal" and would "miraculously disappear."

No need for anybody to do anything except go to work and enjoy shopping to keep the stock market cranked up because, he lied, the disease was "totally under control."

Since Bob Woodward published his book Rage, we know that back in January of last year Trump knew that the coronavirus was "deadly stuff" and at least "five times more deadly" than the flu. He knew this a full year and two months ago. But he lied to you and me, and his followers believed him then and continue to.

So now a half-million-plus Americans are dead. One in more than every 670 Americans.

More Americans have died from the virus that Trump let rage through America — hell, he encouraged it raging through America — than from every war we've fought since the beginning of the last century.

Virtually all of these deaths in America are the result of Donald Trump refusing to do anything serious or consequential about the virus, and lying through his teeth to the American people over and over and over again.

He even lied about how sick Covid made him, and he lied by omission when he and his wife got secretly vaccinated while he was still president and hid that fact from the American public.

And now multiple Republican governors around the country are following in his footsteps, promoting their own statewide versions of Trump's death cult.

Greg Abbott's decision to open Texas up, for example, will inevitably lead to thousands of deaths and tens or perhaps even hundreds of thousands of permanent disabilities. He has blood on his hands, just like Trump.

Similarly, a handful of rightwing activist groups that are heavily funded by business lobbying organizations and rightwing billionaires are pushing hard to get vulnerable people back to work and juice their profits.

They, too, are intentionally taking actions that will lead to disease, death and disability just for their own personal benefit and profit.

Sweden tried this for a short while, listening to a deluded rightwing economist, but they figured out that it was killing their people and was stupid policy…and they stopped.

Here in America, these Republicans have not only doubled down on deadly policy, but they and their rightwing "news" outlets continue to encourage people to engage in risky behavior that is killing Americans.

In the largest sense, this is nothing new. Almost to a person, these same people have been denying that burning fossil fuels are altering our planet's atmosphere leading to wildfires, floods, droughts and other extreme weather events that also are killing people.

It's like the Republican Party has become a death cult. Except that they're not doing these things because they revel in people dying; they're doing it because it makes them and their donors money.

Normally, when people take money to kill other people, we put them in prison for the rest of their lives.

We do that in large part to prevent future people from thinking that making a profit by being hit men, arsonists, or killing people in other ways in exchange for money or power is acceptable behavior.

We even have a slightly less severe category of penalty, "negligent homicide," for people who don't directly take actions that they intended to kill people, but screw up in ways that have that effect anyway. Like texting while driving, leading to a deadly car accident.

Today Americans are dying at the rate of around 2000 a day, and nobody has yet held Donald Trump accountable in any consequential way for his actions that killed over a half-million human beings.

There's no discussion in the media about, "How do we hold him accountable?"

There's no debate about what the penalty should be, how long he should be in jail, how much the families of the victims of this pandemic should be able to sue him for damages.

And, because there's no accountability for Trump's murderous lies and behaviors, political hustlers like Greg Abbott feel that it's just fine to take huge contributions from rightwing billionaires and business groups who want them to "re-open the economy," which will lead directly to thousands more dead Americans. Abbot didn't even bother consulting his science advisors, according to press reports, before making the decision and the announcement.

Dead parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, friends and coworkers, children. By almost any definition, the people responsible for the actions that led to these deaths are killers.

And they're not only getting away from it; they're profiting from it.

Average Americans are believing these politicians, so in Idaho we see children burning masks, and all across America people are regularly confronted by fools who refuse to wear masks and are gleefully spreading disease because they believe idiotic conspiracy theories suggesting it's all a hoax.

If half the states in America stopped enforcing their laws against shoplifting, the result is fairly predictable. Nobody would be stupid enough to even suggest that.

We hold people accountable for behavior that harms others in order to stop that kind of behavior from spreading.

Today, a behavior far more deadly than shoplifting is spreading across America like wildfire, leaving hundreds of thousands of dead bodies in its wake.

So far, prosecutors and personal injury lawyers have left the realm of consequences to politics, assuming that politicians who make decisions as craven and deadly as those Trump made will be dealt with at the ballot box.

But that's not working, and these vile politicians are continuing to encourage people to do things that directly lead to the deaths of innocent others.

America and our media must start a conversation about accountability that goes way beyond just attacking the Governor of New York State for juicing his nursing home death numbers.

We need real accountability, and we need it now.


Originally posted on thomhartmann.medium.com.


deepspace's picture
deepspace 1 year 47 weeks ago

The same people (Trump's cult of traitors and dead-enders) howling the loudest about the economy and schools being shut down "by Democrats" are (go figure) the same people largely responsible for the spread of an out-of-control pandemic that caused the economy and schools to be shut down in the first place by refusing to wear masks and social distance. And you can bet, many of these same blithering idiots will also refuse the vaccines.

May their innocent victims -- family, friends, coworkers, and random strangers -- rest in eternal peace. As for themselves? Not so much.

Freedumb! Trump! Cognitive dissonance!

DrRichard 1 year 47 weeks ago

A video I saw yesterday said it all. A big crowd in Boise, Idaho, were burning their masks in a garbage can, encouraging kids to help. A sign in the background disparaged the "Wu Flu." People were all excited about execising their rights not to be told what to do.

Guess what: Idaho never had a statewide mask mandate. Some cities and counties did, and now the state legislature is considering a bill to take away their power to do so. According to US News, State Representative Karey Hanks said she had done research “on the physical and emotional and even mental injuries to our bodies, and possibly even our souls, as healthy individuals are required to wear these masks.”

Enough said.

jollyjaws's picture
jollyjaws 1 year 47 weeks ago

It is idiotic to tell others what to do and call them idiots and stupid and conspiracy theorists.
No one knows where this virus came from.
The first thing that is controlled in a country going fascist or communist is the media it's the few telling the many what's going on.
Because you're propagandized every single day in this country you will be told to wear a mask and to give away your civil liberties. Because you believe what the media tells you and the authorities you will believe what you're told.
You won't investigate and you will fall prey to a government gone mad with taking away our freedoms.
Because I know a little bit more from Reading I know that this is a pandemic. There are Cameron trails they are fooling us they are diseasing us. just because you can't comprehend it and you have cognitive dissonance does not make it so.
if the government itself has created this virus like they planned 9/11 for us then you can be leave that it is to destroy us. Make people afraid and they will bash their neighbor just like they did in Germany because of their own selfishness.
When we think we have a pat answer that the government gives us we have no clue. You might start reading.
Our government plan 9/11. they are not passed creating a virus and keeping that virus going to fear people into bending over for them and taking away freedom after freedom after freedom. Wake up the whole country is asleep and letting this virus own them. Because for centuries this group of elitists have been moving us toward world order everyone thinks that they can believe everything they're told.
Look up operation paper clip. Look up anything that says this is an absolutely bizarre what's happening in this country and the world. Wake up you're being made slaves and those who don't get the vaccine will be forced to have no food and those who get it because this is going to continue with the variance are going to be having to get a card to get food to have a place to stay or anything this is where they're moving us. It's amazing how we are fooled so easily. Why wouldn't these demons with their technology keep a virus going and in the air and even kill people on purpose when they're in the hospital with this with anything. Maybe autopsy should be done. There are nurses who have been told to lie about their statistics. Really. We are marching to death by our government and the elitists that control them. You can't even talk to another person about anything how convenient for the powers that be to manipulate it to our deaths and us just jump on board for it. Stupidity.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 1 year 47 weeks ago

Yes, "It's amazing how we are fooled so easily." And you are "Reading" ...what exactly?


rostasi 1 year 47 weeks ago


bobbler's picture
bobbler 1 year 47 weeks ago

Thom’s one page essay expresses it very well. 3000 people died on 911, and we have songs, monuments, and the never forget slogan. 500,000 people dead and.. nothing. Considering the stark difference in death in other countries, it’s obvious unmasking has killed hundreds of thousands of Americans. Still nothing, even though the leader of the unmasking movement is known.

alis volat's picture
alis volat 1 year 47 weeks ago

Sixteen years ago Abbott was all about the Ten Commandments. It would be good if he reread numbers 6 & 9. Now he is about deflecting the results of bungling the energy crisis during the big freeze. His approval rating was dropping, so let's see if this "100% Open" gets him back over 50%. I want to like Texas; one of my ancestors was born there. They had one of the greats, Governor Ann Richards.

Decisions made using a shoot from the hip mentality is a Republican trait. No scientists consulted--no surprise. They also don't do nuance. Placing a capacity percentage on businesses and venues must be driving conservatives nuts. Expecting them to differentiate during the ups and downs of the statistics used to determine policy isn't realistic. Mask--no mask. Open--closed. That is how they are wired and want things. They certainly won't think the results of their management style are murder.

Abbott is a creepy bastard working for voter suppression and against LGBTQ rights. His middle name is law-suit, and he wants to continue to kill the environment with fossil fuels. So, why would he give a crap about somebody with a deadly virus? He really should listen to his Pope about these issues.

The mask war is going to get uglier. So many people have put their lives on the line, got sick, or died while caring for our health and providing our necessities. And now two thirds of the way through the crisis and with only 10% vaccinated, this is the thanks they get from the far right Republicans.

Legend 1 year 47 weeks ago

What will really sell you on masks is knowing someone that has had the virus. A good dose of it. A friend of mine was very sick for 3 weeks. Much worse than any case of the flu. Months later he cannot walk a block without complete fatique. The virus has long term effects that you do not want. One effect is ED. That alone should wake up Republicans, but it does not. There is a lot that they do not know yet about this virus.

How mask wearing became a Democrat vs Republican thing is the fault of Trump. Unfortunately I do not know of a way to pin it on him legally. But, we are number 1 in Covid because of Republican stupidity.

george RAMOS's picture
george RAMOS 1 year 47 weeks ago

Jollyjaws, so you're saying that Bush and Cheney planned 9/11 for political and/or financian gain and Trump "created" Covid 19 for similar reasons? I guess when we consider that reagan committed treason with Iran it's not too far fetched to think thet the republican party would continue all these years down that nefarious path...

you may be on to something

cuz's picture
cuz 1 year 47 weeks ago

Good read Thom. We now know those dead and sick numbers could have been reduced significantly with a bit of common sense from Governor Cuomo of NY and Walz of MN among others.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 1 year 47 weeks ago

Who are the others? Or are you just naming Democrats? What happened to bothsidesism?

irene fowler's picture
irene fowler 1 year 47 weeks ago

Whether tyrannical leaders cause mass targeted deaths, within their respective populations, by perpetrating ethnic cleansing, or genocide, and do so by acts of commission or omission; the outcomes fall into the same category i.e. "crimes against humanity." Widespread death does not have to be meted out publicly or savagely, to make it any less criminal. Malice, hatred, power-lust and a reckless disregard for human life, are the common denominators.
The actions of the Trump Administration, should be investigated to determine whether they amount to "genocide" or "crimes against humanity." The world waits. I make a prima facie case supporting the foregoing asssertion in my oped news article.


irene fowler's picture
irene fowler 1 year 47 weeks ago

Whether tyrannical leaders cause mass targeted deaths, within their respective populations, by perpetrating ethnic cleansing, or genocide, and do so by acts of commission or omission; the outcomes fall into the same category i.e. "crimes against humanity." Widespread death does not have to be meted out publicly or savagely, to make it any less criminal. Malice, hatred, power-lust and a reckless disregard for human life, are the common denominators.
The actions of the Trump Administration, should be investigated to determine whether they amount to "genocide" or "crimes against humanity." The world waits. I make a prima facie case supporting the foregoing asssertion in my oped news article.


Thom -Talk 1 year 47 weeks ago

Trump's son was home for many months, because his Maryland School was closed, while Trump was insisting that schools open. I never once heard him try to force the Maryland school to open.

The real danger of not curtailing the pandemic, in any method available, including vaccinations, is that these wide open states provide”incubation" for the mutation of the virus, creating more and different variants.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 1 year 47 weeks ago

The white-privileged elite can afford to hire home tutors for their spoiled brats. The rest of us can eat shit and die.

Thom -Talk 1 year 47 weeks ago

People in every state should sue Trump, Governors and the Republican Party, for the deaths of friends and loved ones, due to the lies and refusal to issue restrictions based on the science recommended by the CDC and many other research medical institutions.

The governor of our state has been sued multiple times for trying to enforce restrictions that have been proven to be effective. I guess that's what you get when you try to save lives.

Even Restaurants and bars have sued to stop restrictions. Why does it seem lucrative to kill your constituents and customers???

When this is behind us (????), I will never attend these businesses that have failed to care about their customer, EVER. I also have emailed them stating this fact, even though I have frequented them previously!

I feel that what Trump and others have done to kill over 500,000+ citizens, amounts to genocide, just as if they were marched to a gas chamber, and also died a horrific death.

Many will never recover, and will suffer the rest of their lives, unable to work and face ever increasing medical bills.

deepspace's picture
deepspace 1 year 47 weeks ago

Right on. I too have been informing uncaring businesses cavalier about the potential sickness and death of their customers that I will N-E-V-E-R patronize them again. Trump and the Republican Party's genocide will go down as a major inflection point in the history of the American experiment. Have we reached the bottom? God, let's hope so!

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