I’ve read dozens of coronavirus pieces in the last 2-3 days and today I share the best along with an important video from Naomi Klein. We hear from the GOP leader & a piece on Trump trying to secure a vaccine for the US only.
Today: We’ve got brief summaries to four posts about Trump and/or the coronavirus, one of which outlines what would happen if Trump were to cancel the 2020 election for any reason. We also include two extraordinary poems from Lynn Unger: “Pandemic” and “Breathe” both of which I suspect will resonate strongly. And perhaps most importantly, I share a link to YUCCA’s Mutual Aid Network that they’ve established. Check it out…. and stay healthy. At the end of the post, an important 8-minute video from Naomi Klein calling for a movement against our failing capitalist system.
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Need Help? Can You Offer Help? YUCCA Is Connecting Those in Need with Those Who Can Help
Youth United for Climate Crisis Action (YUCCA) has organized a Mutual Aid Network for identifying people who could use some help with shopping, a ride, cash or other things and connecting them with those folks who have time and can safely offer that help. Much thanks to YUCCA for launching this.This is how communities support each other in this time of crisis.Anything you can do to help would be appreciated. Click here to register if you need help, if you can offer help or if you can contribute to this effort.
To date, there are more than 91 folks already signed up with offers & requests for support. The network includes grocery/prescription pickup for those who are home bound and need to self-quarantine, food & rent support, a phone tree system for weekly wellness checks, and a neighborhood organizing and resource distribution model.Not everyone can make a generous contribution or volunteer, but if you can, it is time to step up and demonstrate that our community sticks together. Click here to donate to the Food and Rent Relief Fund. Thanks
Trump Almost Can’t Sink Any Lower
I am going to try to write about something other than the virus on Saturday. Indeed, I had hoped to do so today, but there were a few pretty interesting insights and perspectives.I am not going to summarize each of the following articles in any depth but merely leave you with a brief intro and let you decide where you want to immerse yourself. But whatever you do, don’t skip Naomi Klein’s video at the bottom of the post or the two poems that precede the video.
Politico Offers Trump Statements from COVID-19 Day One To March 17
This is a short article that begins with Trump’s Jan 22 statement “We have it totally under control…Its going to be fine,” following one denial of the seriousness of the situation and the finger pointing at everyone but himself, until March 17’s statement: “I’ve always known this is real — this is a pandemic. I felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.” We all lived through his crushingly inappropriate comments, but to see them one after another is knee-buckling. Click here to read the Politico report.
Trump Seeks Exclusive “US Only” Vaccine Deal
The next article is from Truthout. It outlines Trump’s effort to finagle an “exclusive” deal with the pharma company developing the COVID-19 vaccine so that the US would get all the vaccine it needed before anyone else in the world would get it. Nice guy. Click to read Germany’s predictable response, a diplomatic “WTF!” It also did not go over well on Twitter.
This is depraved. The German government confirms that Trump apparently tried to bribe German scientists into giving him exclusive rights to the Covid-19 vaccine they were working on developing. He wanted it “for the US only.” How many new lows will he set for the United States? “Brian Klass
Trump Presidency Declared “Over” by GOP Leader
Trump is working so hard to do all he can to make him look like he is fighting for all of us, but it transparent that he is really fighting for himself, has no human instincts and as a result, his support among his base is beginning to wither. Trump’s approach hasn’t worked with this GOP leader who had warned the GOP when it was coalescing around Trump in 2015-16, but now he has declared Trump’s candidacy over with an excoriating op-ed in The Atlantic Click here for more on the Atlantic article
The Atlantic does a good job at outlining why at least this Republican has found Trump’s mismanagement of the coronavirus.
An Uplifting Report: An Italian Firm Created 10 3-D Ventilator Valves that Will Save Scores of Lives
An Italian businessman decided he had to do something. He took his 3-D printer to an Italian hospital that had run out of ventilator valves and used his 3-D printer to produce one. They tested it, it worked and so now he has produced ten of the valves and has committed to continue to do this work for free.That is what sticking together looks like. His efforts will save many lives.. Click here for more on the 3-D printer valves.
Compare this to the staged press conference of retail executives at the White House behaving as if they were making huge sacrifices for the American people by valiantly keeping the supply of toilet paper and food coming to a panicked America….It is their retail workers who are valiant; they are merely the beneficiaries of huge profits from the US stocking up for lock down.
The Best News of the Day: What Happens if Trump Cancels the November Election?
I’ve been worried about this for some time, even before the coronavirus. But as this LA Times article makes clear, the Constitution is very clear about what would happen should Trump attempt this kind of coup: Enter the 46th President of the US, Nancy Pelosi. Click here to read the LA Times report.
Two Remarkable Poems, So Appropriate to Our Times
One of the members of Roxanne’s writing group shared the first poem below, appropriately entitled “Pandemic” by Lynn Unger. I wrote to her to ask permission to republish it and while on her website saw a second poem that also felt right for the times. Lynn offered her ok and noted that she had written it immediately after the Eric Garner murder by police. She hadn’t seen it as relevant to the pandemic until I wrote to her.
What if you thought of it
as the Jews consider the Sabbath—
the most sacred of times?
Cease from travel.
Cease from buying and selling.
Give up, just for now,
on trying to make the world
different than it is.
Sing. Pray. Touch only those
to whom you commit your life.
And when your body has become still,
reach out with your heart.
Know that we are connected
in ways that are terrifying and beautiful.
(You could hardly deny it now.)
Know that our lives
are in one another’s hands.
(Surely, that has come clear.)
Do not reach out your hands.
Reach out your heart.
Reach out your words.
Reach out all the tendrils
of compassion that move, invisibly,
where we cannot touch.
Promise this world your love–
for better or for worse,
in sickness and in health,
so long as we all shall live.
–Lynn Ungar 3/11/20
Breathe, said the wind
How can I breathe at a time like this,
when the air is full of the smoke
of burning tires, burning lives?
Just breathe, the wind insisted.
Easy for you to say, if the weight of
injustice is not wrapped around your throat,
cutting off all air.
I need you to breathe.
I need you to breathe.
Don’t tell me to be calm
when there are so many reasons
to be angry, so much cause for despair!
I didn’t say to be calm, said the wind,
I said to breathe.
We’re going to need a lot of air
to make this hurricane together.
Lynn Unger For more from Lynn Unger click here.
We clearly need a hurricane of voices and actions to transform our political and economic systems that breed profit for some but sow poverty, death and destruction for the rest of us. Thank you, Lynn, for allowing Retake to republish these powerful pieces.
Below, Naomi Klein calls for the hurricane.
Naomi Klein: Spot on about the coronavirus & our need for systemic change and a movement to push for it
Always able to connect dots, Klein harkens back to her best-seller of ten years ago: Shock Doctrine to analyze how catastrophes and crises breed opportunities for dramatic change and that those changes can be either good or bad. She describes how it is up to all of us to take this crisis as a signal from the earth that she can no longer bear our avarice and that we need to aggressively seek a different path. Klein does an excellent job of tying together dots. She did so in this video.
Paul & Roxanne