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It is no longer just Trump’s incompetence that has led to an out-of-control pandemic. White House Chief of Staff Mark Meadows said: “We’re not going to control the pandemic.” Later, the White House put our a press release touting its number one “achievement” in science and technology: “Ending The COVID-19 Pandemic.” Trump’s denial and lying persist.
However, the pandemic has clobbered America: 9 million-plus cases, including over 225,000 in Wisconsin; over 230,000 deaths nationally, including 2,000 plus in Wisconsin.

Wisconsin Democratic Governor Tony Evers is spot-on: “There is no way to sugarcoat it.” But the White House had a PR scheme to “defeat despair and inspire hope”. It offered priority vaccine access to the Fraternal Order of Real Bearded Santas for their endorsement and participation. The $250 million nonsense imploded in ridicule.

Nonetheless, a desperate Trump seeking reelection, continues superspreader rallies in Wisconsin. On October 27, as Wisconsin hit horrific daily records of 5,262 cases and 64 deaths, Trump held a rally in La Crosse County. David Wasserman, Cook Political Report, said: “The president’s decision to downplay the severity of COVID at multiple late October rallies in Wisconsin might be the biggest display of tone-deafness I’ve ever seen … .” Wisconsin doctors condemned the large rallies where most are unmasked with no social distancing. Moreover, the American Medical Association said: “The assault (by Trump) on physicians and science must end … (including) highly offensive claims that physicians are inflating the number of COVID-19 cases to increase our incomes.”

Joe Biden also came to Wisconsin. Speaking at a small gathering (with mask-wearing and social distancing) Friday in Milwaukee, Biden said: “This isn’t a political statement of us wearing these masks. For God’s sake, it’s a patriotic duty.” And, he expressed thanks to Monica Watry, a Milwaukee ICU nurse: “So many people, over a thousand Monicas, have given their lives trying to save other lives.” Biden stressed strengthening the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Remember, a week post-election the Supreme Court will hear a case where the Trump administration is seeking to have the entire ACA declared unconstitutional. Coverage for over 20 million and protections for 54 million with preexisting conditions would end. Supreme Court Justice Amy Coney Barrett was disingenuous at her confirmation hearing: “Senator, so far as I know, the case … is not a challenge to preexisting conditions coverage or to the (ACA ban on) lifetime (and annual) cap(s).” A President Biden will save the ACA and beat COVID-19.

Finally, Biden emphasized protecting manufacturing jobs, ending the Wisconsin farm crisis, supporting and enforcing civil rights and helping retirees. Biden knows that if elected he would confront a national crisis like FDR. Earlier, in Warm Springs, Georgia, where FDR was treated for polio (another virus), Biden said: “Warm Springs is a reminder that though broken, each of us can be healed. That as a people and a country, we can overcome a devastating virus. … That yes, we can restore our soul and save our country.”

Vote Joe Biden-Kamala Harris for change.

– Kaplan wrote a guest column from Washington, D.C., for the Wisconsin State Journal from 1995 – 2009.

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