An April 29th letter from American Airlines to its Advantage Gold Card members announced, “Caring for Your is Our Priority.” I’m so touched. The Airline wrote that it would “begin to distribute sanitizing wipes or gel and face masks to passengers, as supplies allow. Our flight attendants will be required to wear face masks on all flights, beginning May 1.” May 1? Folks, we’ve been in quarantine for 7 1/2 weeks. We’re supposed to be impressed by this “caring?”
Air quality of planes has long been suspect, despite airlines’ protestations to the contrary. Clearly there are more steps that could be taken if the companies deigned to make the investment.
In the weeks ahead, American Airlines said, they’d expand their cleaning by “wiping down customer high-touch surfaces (seat belts, armrests, window shades and seat-back screens) before every flight.” Heck, we did that ourselves when we flew back from Florida nearly two months ago. What rock have they been hiding under?
Speaking of hiding under rocks, our reptilian Vice President, Mike Pence, showed himself for the sycophant he is when he visited the Mayo Clinic Tuesday without wearing a protective mask, in clear violation of the hospital’s policy. As a sign of fealty, I suppose, to the President, Pence sent a horrible message to millions who are heeding public health experts and wearing masks. The Vice President’s office had even told reporters they’d have to wear masks during the visit. Pence defended his action by claiming he didn’t wear one because he wanted to visit the front-line health workers, ”look them in the eye and say thank you.” Does he really think a mask is supposed to cover his eyes?
New definition of chutzpah: Mitch McConnell’s support for the idea of giving states the right to go bankrupt. (Forty-nine states are required to balance their budget, most by their Constitutions and four by state statute.) McConnell sees help for cities and towns as a “blue state bailout” and asserts that those with the greatest COVID-19 burdens are unworthy of federal help in the next stimulus. The hell with ’em, he’s saying in effect. He doesn’t bother to say that every year his home state of Kentucky takes tens of billions more from Washington than it pays into the federal government. And where does Kentucky’s federal bailout money come from? Every year it’s from the same blue states that are now desperate for federal assistance to defray coronavirus-related expenses, especially costs related to health care providers. As New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said of McConnell’s remarks, “That’s one of the really dumb ideas of all time.”
It’s also worth noting that, as Nobel-winning economist Paul Krugman said this morning on MSNBC, the high-income states like New York and California will not lose their economic footing as precipitously as red states like Texas and Florida, which depend on sales tax revenues instead of the income taxes that under-gird wealthier blue state budgets.
I’d put McConnell’s remark right up there next to Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick’s comment in March that he’d rather die than see the state’s economy crushed by keeping businesses closed any longer. “There are more important things than living, and that’s saving this country.” He called on those 70 years old or older to be willing to die in order to get the country back to work !!*!**##
Narrow-mindedness isn’t limited to government officials. Tesla CEO Elon Musk, whose company still managed to show a profit of $16 million in the first quarter, decried stay-at-home mandates as “fascist.” He has been tweeting “Free America Now.“
Selfish, stupid, dangerous and deadly responses abound, perhaps few as bad as Trump’s deceptions and inappropriate action regarding testing. But the responses of large corporations trying to game SBA loans to the detriment of legitimately small businesses in great need warrant condemnation and sanctions.
I’d list more of these outrages, but everyone knows stress raises cortisol levels, which raises blood pressure and compromises the immune response. You’re welcome to share your most disturbing COVID-19 response outrages.
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