The Republican National Convention is at this point one long propaganda festival so blatant in its misinformation, gaslighting, and Trump idol worshipping that Goebbels himself would applaud. We're passing 180,000 dead from COVID-19 and Trump is getting kudos for it.
The Republican National Convention put President Donald Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic front and center on opening night, depicting him as a decisive leader who marshaled resources, forcefully responded to the deadly threat, and “moved mountains” to save American lives.
What it didn’t say is that the United States, with more than 5 million cases and more than 175,000 dead, with schools and businesses still closed and millions unemployed, has had one of the worst records on the pandemic in the world. Or that Trump repeatedly downplayed the virus threat until it had already spread throughout the country unchecked, and that to this day he inexplicably asserts that it will one day magically disappear.
The virus — alongside some false assertions claiming that Democratic candidate Joe Biden planned to ban private insurance and introduce socialized medicine — set the tone for the evening, with a rural nurse, a doctor who himself had Covid-19, and front line workers praising Trump’s action to tame the disease.
A video recapped the statements Trump has made repeatedly at his press briefings — blaming China, the World Health Organization, and mistakes by scientists early on, as they worked to quickly learn about a virus none had ever seen before. The video also depicted Democratic governors like Gavin Newsom of California and Andrew Cuomo of New York either bumbling their own response or praising Trump for his.
“One leader took decisive action to save lives, President Donald Trump,” the narrator of the video said. “Banning travel from China and coronavirus epicenters, Biden charged xenophobia. But President Trump was right.”
But numerous public health experts, including top scientists whom Trump has diminished or contradicted, have said that the president failed, tragically, to mount a coordinated national response using the basic building blocks of public health, including a widespread, efficient and accessible national testing program.
That wasn’t the image at the convention.
One speaker, Amy Johnson Ford, a nurse from West Virginia, praised Trump for expanding telemedicine to rural areas like her own community. The Trump administration did use emergency powers so many more people could access telehealth, not only in rural areas. It’s one of the administration’s few pandemic policies that has received wide bipartisan approval.
“I can tell you without hesitation Donald Trump's quick action and leadership saved thousands of lives during Covid-19,” Ford said.
G.E. Ghali, an oral surgeon and chancellor of the LSU Health Sciences Center in Shreveport, La., praised Trump's response — despite the fact that hospitals, doctors and other health providers were pleading at that time with Washington to use all of its powers to get personal protective equipment like masks and gowns to hospitals. Without adequate PPE, hundreds of health care providers have died.
Ghali himself got the virus. He was able to get a rapid test, receiving the results in minutes and starting remdesivir treatment within hours, although the drug is in short supply. After that he got convalescent plasma — a treatment that is safe but not yet proven to be effective. Trump has championed it, and publicly pressured the FDA to grant an emergency use authorization for plasma, which it did on Sunday.
Ghali praised Trump for speeding up testing and supplies — the very things that many public health experts have cited as the administration’s biggest shortcomings. Testing in particular has been a chronic problem, allowing the virus to spread.
“As a physician, I've seen firsthand how these breakthroughs have saved countless lives. As a patient, I've benefited from the expedited therapies made possible by the swift action of this administration,” Ghali said. “President Trump truly moved mountains to save lives.”
There still remains no national strategy to fight COVID-19 other than "the states are dealing with it".
As I said earlier today, the strategy is to go after Suburban women with the fear card. But Trump's cavernous ego must be fed by State TV all the same.
When representatives from all the major TV networks visited the White House's South Lawn on Monday, part of what's known as a "walkthrough" to prepare for President Trump's Thursday night speech there, there was a surprise: A mystery anchor platform.
The platform hadn't been on any of the diagrams given to the networks for the prime time address Trump is slated to deliver at the end of the Republican National Convention. So calls were made. Emails were exchanged. And the network executives discovered that the platform was built for one of the president's biggest supporters: Sean Hannity.
That means Hannity, who's sometimes talked about as a "shadow chief of staff" for Trump, is getting special treatment from the Trump re-election campaign, according to multiple sources involved in the planning. It's the latest in a long line of examples of Trump favoring the Fox News personalities who promote him the most.
Hannity said on his Monday night program that he will be live from the White House Rose Garden on Tuesday ahead of First Lady Melania Trump's speech; live on Wednesday from Fort McHenry in Baltimore, where Vice President Mike Pence will be speaking; and live from the South Lawn on Thursday.
No other TV network has an anchor position along the South Lawn. On Tuesday, however, complaints lodged by other networks did lead to some small improvements in White House access.
The political conventions are high-stakes television shows where every production detail matters.
Understandably, given the network's extraordinarily cozy relationship with Trump, the people planning the GOP's convention want Fox front and center.
The conservative network scored the biggest TV audience during the 2016 Republican convention, and Monday's preliminary ratings confirmed that the same will almost certainly hold true this year.
It's all a pageant of cultism. Only Dear Leader can save you from the Horde. We need to elect Biden if only to get FOX News reigned in.