Republicans are doubling down on death as a political strategy, a process Trump began the week of April 7, 2020.

If Meadows’ book is right and Trump was willing to infect then-77-year-old Biden at the debate, we have one more data point in the evil Trump/GOP Death Cult’s plan to leverage the COVID pandemic as a political weapon.

And now they’re accusing Dr. Fauci of behaving like the notorious Nazi death camp doctor, Josef Mengele. Seriously: former “real news” reporter Lara Logan laid out that unhinged rant on Fox News this week using the old “people are saying” rhetorical trick propagandists so love.

“This is what people say to me,” Logan told an audience of millions, “that he doesn’t represent science to them. He represents Joseph Mengele, the Nazi doctor who did experiments on Jews during the Second World War and in the concentration camps. And I am talking about people all across the world are saying this…”

Over 800,000 Americans are now dead from COVID, as we track daily at

Multiple studies suggest as many as a third of the roughly 50 million Americans who’ve contracted COVID are now disabled by having had the disease, many for life. These mostly unvaccinated people are now crippled with “long COVID” conditions ranging from chronic exhaustion to dementia to life-shortening heart and kidney disease, which can’t be helping the labor shortages across key sectors of our economy.

Dr. Fauci has been working for two years to try to reduce that death toll, and on Fox they are calling him Dr. Mengele? As the Auschwitz Memorial museum tweeted after Logan’s comments:

“Exploiting the tragedy of people who became victims of criminal pseudo-medical experiments in Auschwitz in a debate about vaccines, pandemic and people who fight for saving human lives is shameful. It is disrespectful to victims and a sad symptom of moral and intellectual decline.”

It is also a huge distraction from a very real tragedy that could largely have been avoided if Trump had merely encouraged people to wear masks and social distance before the vaccine was available, and pushed his followers hard to get inoculated after the vaccine was available.

But the GOP math is simple. When economies sag, voters choose the other party to take over: it’s worked that way for 200+ years in American politics. So in 2020 Trump pushed Americans to ignore the virus and keep things “normal,” leading to tens of millions of infections.

Trump was apparently even willing to infect his 77-year-old opponent in the 2020 election: his Chief of Staff, Mark Meadows, writes in his new book that Trump tested positive for COVID three days before his debate with Joe Biden and lied about it after getting a second, negative test. Thankfully, Biden kept his distance from Trump throughout the debate, as Trump would be in the hospital with COVID within two weeks.

When that did not work, Biden survived, and Trump lost anyway, starting the week that Biden was inaugurated Trump and his followers began discouraging people from getting vaccinated. And that’s their strategy now: if they can keep America sick and on-edge, that’ll keep the economy soft, which will work to Democrats’ disadvantage in the 2022 and 2024 elections.

While Democrats treat public health emergencies as serious issues, Republicans see them as a way to gain political advantage. Remember when President Obama let an American with Ebola into the country to receive treatment? The GOP went totally hysterical, some even calling for his impeachment.

One conservative commentator wrote, “Today, his ambition to be a hero to Africa is undermining common sense approaches to protecting Americans from the Ebola virus.” Republican Senator Joni Ernst called for Obama’s impeachment for behaving like a “dictator” and railed against him over Ebola.

My old debating opponent, Phyllis Schlafly, proclaimed:

“That was the purpose of Ellis Island — to have a waiting place where it was decided whether people were healthy enough or responsible enough to come into our country. The idea that anybody can just walk in and carry this disease with them is just an outrage, and it is Obama’s fault because he’s responsible for doing it.”

And now, as Mark Sumner reports at Daily Kos, four Trump-appointed federal judges have put a hold on President Biden’s July efforts to make sure even hospital workers are fully vaccinated through OSHA workplace mandates:

In July, President Joe Biden issued a series of rules requiring that federal workers, and workers at companies that receive federal contracts, must be vaccinated. That included health care workers who work for hospitals that receive Medicare or Medicaid payments.

However, earlier this month, a three-judge panel in Texas blocked the implementation of the mandate for many large companies. Now, as The Washington Post reports, a federal district judge in Missouri has acted to block even the mandate for health care workers.

All are Trump judges, and the most recent decision from Trump-appointed District Court Judge Matthew Schelp quotes extensively from lies told almost daily on Fox and other rightwing media. His decision claimed that there’s such widespread opposition to vaccination that: “The loss of [vaccine-refusing hospital] staffing in many instances will result in no care at all, as some facilities will be forced to close altogether.”

It is another lie, designed to keep the pandemic going in America. It completely ignores the success that vaccine mandates have had from United Airlines to the New York Police Department to the largest hospital chain in Houston. In every case, a tiny minority of people yelled and squealed and then got vaccinated.

As a result of these GOP lies and a steady campaign in rightwing media and among Republican politicians casting doubt on vaccines, however, we have the worst COVID numbers and the highest COVID death toll in the developed world.

And we are all forced to interact with 60 million people who refuse to get vaccinated or even wear masks, because they either are willing to lay down their lives and health to help the GOP or were simply suckered into false beliefs by “friends” on social media.

As David Leonhardt documents at The New York Times:

“In October [2021], 25 out of every 100,000 residents of heavily Trump counties died from COVID, more than three times higher than the rate in heavily Biden counties (7.8 per 100,000). October was the fifth consecutive month that the percentage gap between the death rates in Trump counties and Biden counties widened.”

Every one of those deaths was a loss to a family, a human tragedy. And the majority of them were preventable — if only Republican politicians had decided that human lives were more important than political power. Instead, they chose the classic tactic of tyrants throughout history: lie to the people no matter how many die as a result.

The White House

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The Milwaukee Independent began reporting on what was then referred to as the mysterious “Wuhan Virus” in January 2020. Other local media did not picked-up on the story until many weeks later. Our early features focused on the economic impact, social issues, and health concerns long before other Milwaukee news organizations even mentioned the coronavirus. Over the following year, we have published hundreds of articles about the pandemic and how it has affected the lives of Milwaukee residents. This extensive body of work can be found on our COVID-19 Special Report page, a chronological index of links by month. Our editorial voice remains dedicated to informing the public about this health crisis for as long as it persists.
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