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Bob Dunning: Trump’s call for unity negated by divisive words

HOPE OR FEAR?365体育投注 … when the president opened Sunday’s “health update” press conference with his Coronavirus Task Force and began to talk eloquently about all Americans pulling together to defeat this invisible enemy, I was all in … he may not be my favorite politician, but when the president — any president — appeals to Americans to be united during a time of grave crisis that has dramatically upset our daily lives, I owe him the benefit of the doubt and then some …

But then, several times at the podium, with emphasis, the president decided to once again call it the “Chinese Virus,” knowing full well that those words are divisive, are hurtful to a great number of those same Americans he is urging to pull together in a common cause, and serves as a clear dog whistle to every two-bit racist in this country …

365体育投注You can love this president or loathe him, but for me, he just negated his beautiful words about American unity … interestingly and tellingly, every other member of the task force, when it came to his turn to speak, called it the “coronavirus” … this virus that knows no boundaries now affects people in 148 countries … throughout the world, it is known as the coronavirus or Covid-19 …

President Trump can claim he just wants to be “accurate” or he wants everyone to know it wasn’t his fault or America’s fault or a million other excuses, but he knows full well how divisive and hurtful those words are … he is way too clever to not know exactly what he was saying or how those words would play with his base …

365体育投注So, Mr. President, in the name of that same national unity that you rightly say is so important right now, please be kind enough and accurate enough and decent enough to use the same name that everyone else in your task force uses … that name is coronavirus … it’s a small thing to ask, but if you truly want us all rowing the same boat in the same direction, swallow hard and say “coronavirus” every time the subject comes up … I guarantee we’ll all be better for it …

GAME OVER … at his Monday press conference, the president insisted that the economy was more important than the lives of senior citizens, declaring that “We cannot let the cure be worse than the problem” … he pointed out that American deaths from the coronavirus are fewer than 500 at this point, then claimed that the common flu is likely to take 50,000 American lives this year, so the coronavirus is no big deal … interestingly, he did not offer any plan for all those potential flu victims …

The economy, of course, is important, but to call off these virus-driven restrictions on our daily activities at this point is foolhardy … I’m not a doctor, and neither is the president, but common sense tells me this thing is going to get worse before it gets better … even as the president was telling the nation that he plans to cancel the government’s crisis response “very soon,” his own hand-picked surgeon general was saying “I want America to understand this week it’s going to get bad” …

365体育投注I suspect he won’t be surgeon general for long …

— Reach Bob Dunning at [email protected]

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