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.

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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.

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We Must Stop Republicans from Helping Trump "Poison the Wells" and "Salt the Fields" of America.

Thom plus logo Donald Trump's treason extends far beyond his efforts to damage Americans belief in our form of government, our elected democratic republic, that Trump's oligarch buddies in Saudi Arabia, Russia and China also regularly disparage.

Trump's also actively damaging the ability of the incoming Biden administration to aid Americans during the Trump Depression, and to get the virus in check. In this, he has help from Steve Mnuchin and Mitch McConnell.
From Unequal Protection, 2nd Edition:
"If you wonder why and when giant corporations got the power to reign supreme over us, here’s the story."
Jim Hightower, national radio commentator and author of Swim Against the Current
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:
"I think many of us recognize that for all but the wealthiest, life in America is getting increasingly hard. Screwed explores why, showing how this is no accidental process, but rather the product of conscious political choices, choices we can change with enough courage and commitment. Like all of Thom’s great work, it helps show us the way forward."
Paul Loeb, author of Soul of a Citizen and The Impossible Will Take a Little While