The skein of language is stretched thin attempting to define a microscopic, unknown, fast-replicating lethal virus and how to bring it under control — the science and mathematics are separate and distinct languages, undecipherable in ordinary speech.
And so, the anthropomorphic–metaphoric leaps take over, as in Governor Andrew Cuomo’s challenge to “kick coronavirus ass.” All well and good; however, the only ass on this virus is Donald J. Trump. And we have a very long wait in virus-time before we kick him out in November. It will be left to science and mathematics to calculate how many people died as a result of his incoherent, pathological incompetence. And will he be held to account?
John Piazza, in his letter [“History Will Judge,” Letters, April 2], leaves it to history to judge him, certain that he will be held to “no blame.” He then anticipates history by repeating the Trump propaganda that no one could have known, etc., and Trump was simply trying to “find ways to protect the people.” (Who was it again, in the face of scientific warnings, who lolled around saying: “It’s a hoax by the Democrats”? ) The judgments of history are best evoked in a backward look and not anticipated as a future hedge against criminality.
Mr. Piazza also wonders what his critics would have done. Why wonder? By checking history, recent and past, there is no need to be willfully ignorant. Foremost among Trump’s critics are scientists, who have long predicted, on record, the onset of biological dangers in a rapidly altering world; doctors and scientists now risking their lives to stanch the consequences of his callous mistakes; and legions of competent people whose work he continues to impede with his swaggering stupidity.
Further, Mr. Piazza, assuming all things and people being equal, asserts that any and all presidents would be “trying to get a handle on … an invisible enemy,” as Mr. Trump is doing. The historical record of past presidents in times of crisis is an open book. Read it!
Nowhere in the history of this country has there ever been a president elected to office who slid out from the hindquarters of Reality TV and the bowels of Studio 54, enriched by the ill-gotten gains and banking malfeasance, emboldened by gaming the system, and aided by Russia. He stands alone, and he stands for nothing: corrupt, self-serving, self-adoring, self-enriching — a moronic, illiterate thug whose stain is the hallmark of Republican politics.
Ed Surgan, whose support of Trump is predictable and limitless, also weighs in with: “Democrats are guilty of the politics of destruction” [“My Reasoned Voice,” Letters, March 5]. This while his idol and his Republican henchmen are guilty of implementing the policy of ultimate destruction: death to unthinkable numbers.
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One fine body…