It is easy during this pandemic to feel very rattled and unsettled. I got that sensation on Monday when I saw the Tánaiste being interviewed by Claire Byrne. I thought that it looked like he threw Tony Holohan under a bus. Taking the country to Level 5 was “ not thought through” and as far as the government was concerned they “ can see a bigger picture”. The short sharp strict lockdown or “circuit break” was an experiment which has not been tried in Europe. However, in truth we should look further afield. They have tried it in Melbourne and it has worked. I have a good friend who happens to be a retired doctor living there who can attest to its success but it was a controversial move. This is not an easy one and I can’t claim to have studied the data but my instinct tells me that we are heading for Level 5, so we should get on with it and the government should then move to create a suitable range of economic supports. The Tánaiste rightly said that the government’s capacity to borrow at low interest rates have never been better. Thinking should now revolve around the fact that an end is within sight. Yes, I really do think that mass vaccination should be entered into the equation. This enables us to see everything from a different perspective. The crucial thing in the intervening months is to make sure that the Health Service is not over-whelmed and that we drive down the numbers of those contracting this killer disease. However, have no illusion, this is going to be a very rough winter.
Now for that nut job in the White House. Where does one begin. This guy has the disease, he is infectious. He should be in isolation. Surely his behaviour is nothing short of reckless endangerment. He has absolutely no regard for the health and safety of others. He now regards his contracting the disease as a “blessing in disguise”. He is saying that he is going to make the cocktail of drugs he is being treated with available to all Americans. This, of course, ignores all known protocols and the central question as to whether the drugs work or are safe. The White House itself remains “ One of the most dangerous places in the country” according to the Speaker of the House, Nancy Pelosi, and she said she would “not go anywhere near it”.
There is another aspect to Trump that is equally disturbing. For sometime I have found the activities of militia groups, particularly those on the Right, very worrisome. Recently there was a photograph of such a group clad in black and carrying some serious weaponry which was widely published. The fact that it was taken in Lexington, Kentucky, a place with which I am familiar, struck a discordant note. Then Trump in the Presidential Debate refused to condemn White Supremacists saying “Stand back and stand by”. Then in a most alarming development on Thursday 6 men were charged in an alleged plot to kidnap the Democratic Governor of Michigan, Gretchen Whitmer. The plot also planned to overthrow several State governments which they believed were violating the U.S. Constitution . Whitmer called out Trump in “hate groups heard the President’s words not as a rebuke but as a rallying cry, as a call to action. When our leaders speak their words matter. They carry weight””
I tend to agree with her. America is deeply divided and this latest development whilst dramatic has been coming down the tracks.