On Sunday, Donald Trump said “our country has to go back to being our country again. . . We have to go back to work.”
He also said, “You have people who are not going to stand for this and I understand that very well.” By which he meant “If you kill someone who is trying to keep you from your job, preventing you from eating at Old Country Buffet, or forcing you to wear a face mask, I will call you a very fine person and may even pay your legal bills.”
We’re all being asked –forced– to go back to work long before we’re ready, after having spent over 2 months staying at home to protect ourselves and others from a virus for which there is still no cure and no vaccine, and can be transmitted by people with absolutely no symptoms. But in true American fashion, no one has offered us any tools to keep us safe. I guess we’re supposed to forget everything we’ve spent the last two months learning about the virus’ transmission so we can get that economy moving in time for Trump’s re-election in November.
Going back to work without comprehensive testing and contract tracing is like walking into a minefield wearing a blindfold (maybe even your homemade face mask that you’ve pulled up over your eyes).
Also on Sunday, we were told that after two people who work closely with the president and his VP have fallen ill and many others in the president’s circle have tested positive, members of the White House staff are now getting tested daily (up from their previous weekly testing), are being encouraged to work from home where possible, and are undergoing rigorous contact tracing.
With absolutely NO SENSE OF IRONY and as if to caption what we’re all feeling these days, White House senior adviser Kevin Hassett has been quoted as saying “It’s scary to go to work.” To which the rest of us can only reply “Amen.”