by Thom Hartmann
May 21, 2020

Several new studies and models suggest that if Donald Trump had simply declared a state of national emergency, largely shutting down the country, a few weeks earlier than he did, tens of thousands of people who are dead right now would still be alive.

He certainly had the information available to him. We now know that he was receiving classified briefings in December and January warning about the virus coming, and Peter Navarro had written a memo to him explicitly warning of exactly what is happening right now.

The problem is that Donald Trump doesn’t read. He doesn’t read his classified briefings, he doesn’t read memos from his senior staff, he doesn’t read his speeches before he gives them; he apparently doesn’t read anything at all except Twitter.

Defend democracy. Click to invest in courageous progressive journalism today.

While Trump may have some natural skills as a huckster, salesman and grifter, most the evidence – including statements by his previous teachers and professors – indicate he otherwise has a mediocre or even poor intellect.


So here’s how banal our crisis is: our president is a man who is not particularly smart and doesn’t read.

He gets all his news from billionaire Rupert Murdoch‘s propaganda channel, Fox News, which is famously filled with lies and scams.

Meanwhile, billionaires like Betsy DeVos are funding groups pushing defiance of stay-at-home orders or mask-wearing that save lives.

The feedback loop between Fox, groups funded by right wing billionaires, and Trump has produced policies that have led tens of thousands of Americans to die unnecessarily.

Putting a billionaire in the White House, while other billionaires are funding misinformation and disinformation groups, and another billionaire is running a national television propaganda channel, may lead to as many as a quarter million dead Americans by the end of the year.

History will not be kind to these oligarchs.

Add comment

Login or register to post comments

Will America Recover from the Rightwing Billionaire's War Against Us?

Thom plus logo This morning on CNN a physician in Texas talked about having 10 young people with COVID-19 who needed immediate hospitalization and only having three beds left. He had to decide who is going to get treatment and who was going to be turned away from the hospital.
From Cracking the Code:
"No one communicates more thoughtfully or effectively on the radio airwaves than Thom Hartmann. He gets inside the arguments and helps people to think them through—to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."
to understand how to respond when they’re talking about public issues with coworkers, neighbors, and friends. This book explores some of the key perspectives behind his approach, teaching us not just how to find the facts, but to talk about what they mean in a way that people will hear."
From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"Hartmann combines a remarkable piece of historical research with a brilliant literary style to tell the grand story of corporate corruption and its consequences for society with the force and readability of a great novel."
David C. Korten, author of When Corporations Rule the World and Agenda for A New Economy
From Screwed:
"The powers that be are running roughshod over the powers that OUGHT to be. Hartmann tells us what went wrong — and what you and I can do to help set American right again."
Jim Hightower, National Radio Commentator, Writer, Public Speaker, and author of the bestselling Thieves in High Places