On what planet, in which galaxy, in whose cosmos does the leader of a nation pat himself on the back with both hands for his handling of a pandemic virus that has caused more than 140,500 deaths in the United States (as of July 20), that is spiking across large swaths of our country, and that shows no signs of letting up anytime soon, much less fading away as he once claimed it would by now?

Hospitals in some places are approaching the breaking point, as hospitals did in the spring. Personal protective equipment is again in short supply, as PPE was in the spring. The testing that states are doing (the federal government has been largely AWOL) is still woefully inadequate, as it was in the spring. Some states that reopened, like Texas and California and Florida, are starting to close down again, as they did in the spring.

Great is an overused word these days, but the number of coronavirus cases in America is great indeed: 3.7 million and rising rapidly. That number is the greatest of all the nations on the planet. It is greater than all of Europe, greater than Russia, greater than India, way greater than China, greater even than the combined cases in China, Russia and India added together. America has nearly twice as many cases as the total in those three populous countries.

Let’s do the math, shall we? America has 327 million people; those three nations have a total of nearly 3 billion people, or almost nine times as many as the good old US of A. Yet we have almost twice as many cases. Small wonder that the European Union recently banned American travelers from crossing the pond.

How great is that? We’re number one and no one is going to dethrone us as long as that gang of know-nothings and do-nothings inhabits the White House. No doubt about it, he’s put America first.

So who is this mask-less man who has made us so great in a few short months? I find his name grating so I am going to omit it here. But I think you can figure it out.

And how did he accomplish such surpassing greatness?

Well, first he ignored the virus. In February he said the 15 confirmed cases in the United States were going to be down to zero in no time. Then he tried to wish it away. He is great at that. He said it would disappear with the warm weather, presto, like a genie slinking back into his lamp.

Then he blamed China, calling it the Chinese virus and the “kung flu” (ha, ha, great joke). Here’s another knee-slapper for you, President Pandemic: based on how the Chinese government has addressed the virus versus your administration, COVID-19 should be called the Red, White and Blue Flu.

Then our mask-less man blamed all that testing (which, in fact, has not been close to enough) for finding all those pesky cases of COVID-19. Testing bad; makes president look like a nitwit. Ignorance good; helps spread virus. Important thing is reelection.

Now our viral prez is treating the disease like it’s a political opponent, calling it names, like the hoax, as if it were Hilary Clinton or Joe Biden. “What’s the 19?” and “That’s an odd name,” mused our great mystified leader. Perhaps one of his crack staff members has clued him by now: the number refers to the year it was identified, 2019.

Recently he said 99 percent of COVID-19 cases were benign, no biggie, which is a great big fat lie, big even by his standards. Four months before a national election and we’re knee-deep in great.

With apologies to Simon and Garfunkel, “Where have you gone, Dr. Fauci? Our nation turns its lonely eyes to you, woo, woo woo.

David Holahan is a freelance writer from East Haddam.

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