When word comes out that six campaign staff have tested positive, Trump is irate — because word leaked out. The New York Times reported, “Mr. Trump, made aware of the sick campaign aides before departing for the rally, was incensed the news was made public, according to two people familiar with his reaction.” If Trump does not care enough about the lives of thousands of rally-goers (or the tens of thousands they may infect) to defer a rally, or about the attendees of the Republican convention now planned for Jacksonville, Fla., to require masks or shift to a virtual mode, or about the senior citizens of Florida who may become infected when his RNC circus comes to their state, he surely is not going to care about the health of six campaign workers.
The Republican Party, in its blind devotion to a man of such inhuman indifference to life (so much for the pro-life party), has succeeded in creating a culture war over unarguably effective health precautions. Protect yourself and your community or venerate Trump. Republicans choose the latter. A sea of white, unmasked faces showed up to flaunt their disdain for science and for human life. We already know the consequences of such conduct. (Trump weirdly boasted he had ordered testing to slow down, presumably to have fewer recorded cases. His team later claimed he was “kidding,” his all-purpose excuse when he says dumb things.)
In a slew of red states that reopened prematurely, where mask-rejecting Republicans remain intent on risking infection, incidents of coronavirus are soaring. “The United States reported more than 30,000 new infections on Friday, its highest total since May 1, with cases rising in 19 states across the South, West and Midwest,” the New York Times reported. “Florida reported 4,049 new cases on Saturday, breaking Friday’s record (3,822) and Thursday’s record (3,207). The state now has had 93,797 cases and 3,144 deaths. South Carolina also broke its record for the third day in a row, with 1,155 new cases.”
This is not the conduct of a rational, normal leader, nor of a responsible party. Republicans are not only willing to commit political suicide in following Trump over the cliff in November; they also seem copacetic with the illness and death that their Trump idolatry spreads.
Whether Trump’s Tulsa rally leads to more sickness and death (as did Wisconsin’s refusal to delay primary and local voting in April) is unknown. What is certain is that revering Trump requires extreme recklessness, if not contempt for the well-being of fellow Americans. For Trump, no lives matter other than his own.