Tag Archives: COVID

Trump’s words in February, 2020. Perhaps he’s not so stupid after all.

Earlier this week, CNN released some of Bob Woodward’s tapes from his interviews with Trump.  People all over the web and airways are paying special attention to a conversation with Trump on February 7, 2020 in which Trump clearly states he is aware of the deadly nature of the COVID19 coronavirus.  He explains that danger to Woodward using clear, non-scientific terms.

Then, in March, 2020, Trump told Woodward that it’s not just old people who are vulnerable to the virus, but young people too “plenty of young people.” Donald J. Trump said this IN MARCH OF 2020. Think about that.

I confess that my assessment of Trump has been largely that he is self-interested and intellectually inept.  I’ve imagined that there are lots of people behind the scenes (in this country and in Russia) pulling his strings and that he is, first and foremost, a poster boy for and puppet of, moneyed interests.

What these recordings (and yes, I’ve listened to Trump’s own voice) indicate is something far more sinister.  

Trump has never hesitated to show his true colors to anyone who was watching.

Trump is indeed self-interested. Trump definitely lacks moral compass and compassion. HOWEVER, Trump is not as intellectually inept as I had previously thought.  He is able to hear scientific information and understand the gravity of it.  In this case, he clearly understood the dangers of COVID — AND HE CHOSE NOT TO LEAD (or even HELP) THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

What this shows me is that Trump’s “salesman” persona most definitely includes intentionally playing the buffoon, so he can escape responsibility or disguise his true intent. (This is even more obvious in his attempts to obfuscate the truth as he has been questioned about his statements).

More importantly it shows that his basic nature and way of being in the world moves beyond narcissistic self-interest to outright maliciousness and flagrant disregard for the people he has sworn to serve.

He has been (and still is) willing to sacrifice tens of thousands of American lives so he and his buddies can squeeze a bit more opportunistic cash out of the stock market before the inevitable belly-up happens.  It is perfectly clear that the panic he wishes to avoid is stock market panic – not the panic and worry of most people in the United States.

He has shown himself willing to delay mask orders and restrictions in public spaces to have yet another rally –damn the deaths, damn the hunger, damn the evictions. 

Trump has chosen: NOT to invoke the Defense Production Act in order to produce more PPE for domestic use. NOT to encourage strategic testing so we can understand where the virus is and make efforts to contain it. to actively DISCOURAGE mask use. to encourage school openings but NOT assure financial resources to protect teachers and students.

Trump has shown his true colors again and again.  These tapes from the Woodward interviews serve as a magnifying glass to clarify what we thought he was saying.

And knowing he’s less stupid makes it perfectly clear that he is more evil.

The best comparison I’ve found so far of what Trump knew and said privately with what he said publicly is here at FactCheck.org.

We CAN ALL survive a year without in-person school

It won’t be comfortable.
It won’t be what we are used to.
It will NOT be perfect.

We need to think creatively about how to quickly cobble together a  system that allows working parents (particularly essential workers) to care for their children and help them learn and progress during this time. 

In terms of ‘formal education,’ 2020 will likely be a “do-over” year for many.

WE CAN DO THIS. It won’t be perfect, but if we practice love for our neighbors and community responsibility, it will be perfectly survivable.  Anyone who tells you we can’t is up to something other than caring for our kids.

COVID gap year – it is now

Many Americans are still worried & torn about whether to send their kids to school (if the schools in their area are open for in-person attendance). Many school districts are still wringing their hands about how to keep everyone safe and keep their funding.*

I understand the intricate connection of dilemmas here:

  • We recognize that the children are our future and we want what is best for them.
  • We, as a society, have a commitment to educate our children for leadership and citizenship.
  • We, as members of a free and democratic republic, want to prepare our children for life.  We want them to learn crucial social and communication skills.
  • We recognize that many households do not have a stay-at-home parent who can supervise remote learning — of particular concern for earlier grades and kids with learning or emotional challenges.
  • We want to ‘get back to normal’ as soon as possible in as many ways as possible.
  • We want to protect the health and well-being of students, teachers, and staff as much as we possibly can.


  • In every state of the Union, COVID case incidence, hospitalizations, and/or deaths are on the rise. 
  • There is evidence from other countries (particularly ample press from Israel) and from some U.S. school districts (Cherokee County, Georgia, and others) that have opened up already, that positive cases among students show up quickly and that students, particularly those without symptoms, readily transmit the virus to adults in their worlds.
  • In terms of success stories, schools in other nations that have managed to avoid spreading the disease practice strict discipline, universal masking, social distancing, and other activities. Due to decades of repetitive reductions in funding for public education, most U.S. school districts do not have resources to implement these kinds of robust measures – at least not in the short term.
  • WE KNOW that individuals of ANY AGE can carry and transmit the virus without manifesting symptoms of any sort.
  • WE KNOW that individuals can transmit the virus BEFORE they test positive.

SO – WHAT TO DO (for the majority of us who do not live in COVID-free zones) ??

This is not rocket science.  

Until we have a vaccine, we must set up education to work remotely.   

Opening schools and universities for universal in-person learning is the equivalent of daily sending everyone involved into a combat zone.  DAILY.   

In these COVID battle zones, students and staff will, of necessity, focus huge parts of their attention on how to stay safe.  The logistics of following protocols and hygiene practices are DEFINITELY going to interfere with everyone’s abilities to focus on learning and teaching.

If learning anything other than how to keep your hands clean is on the agenda — everyone should STOP right this minute.  STOP wasting energy trying to return to some semblance of normal.  

POSTPONE the start of school if you don’t have a COMPLETELY SAFE local action plan in place.

START leveraging all allies in your school district & community to figure out how to provide remote education – at least in part – to all students.

EVERY School District:  Decide NOW to do everything you possibly can remotely.  This includes instruction, interaction, collaboration, food distribution, internet connectivity, technology, evaluation, mediation for challenges, and so forth.  


  • Yes, it will NOT be ideal for most people.
  • Yes, it will be DIFFICULT to accomplish.
  • Yes, there will be hiccups.
  • Yes, everyone has a great deal to learn.
  • But that’s the thing – it’s a great moment for EDUCATION.  This moment in history is exactly the kind of scenario we are, ultimately, training our children for.



THERE IS NO REASON to send students, teachers, staff – and by extension all of their parents, children, and relatives – into a COVID infection zone every day.

We CAN do this.

*Protecting the health and safety of our children and their teachers is our number one priority – beyond the education that might be missed and need to be made up.  Any government entity that withholds school funding based on local decisions re: the safest way to open is NOT SERVING ITS PEOPLE. Make a note and prepare to remove those leaders from office at your earliest opportunity.  Call up your local communities to work together to compensate in terms of resources and meeting needs of all kinds.
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