Fueled by an increasingly acrimonious election year, chronic lock-downs, and rising COVID-19 deaths and unemployment numbers; the U.S. may soon find itself at the type of precarious breaking point that could spur social unrest and civil uprisings. The Federal money and human patience with COVID-19 have to run out eventually. States are desperate for commerce, cash, and tax revenue. As they push workers back into the work force at their own peril, the threat of another spike in coronavirus cases is the proverbial white elephant in the room that no one wants to talk about or publicly admit. After all, as the Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R) called for the reopening of his state and the country in early May, he alluded we can’t be paralyzed worrying about the cost in human lives because there are “more important things than living.”
Texas, which began to open its businesses at the beginning of May, has already reported more than 1,000 new cases of COVID-19 for five consecutive days, as the state struggles to curb the coronavirus pandemic. –The Hill
While lock-downs in the U.S. have slowed the progression of the disease to a crawl in many parts of the country, they have also become a rallying cry for fringe elements of the far right. Protesters and armed militias alike are both calling for an end to the lock-downs citing them as being unconstitutional. In some cases, healthcare workers and politicians have been harassed and threatened by protesters and dissenters.
Right-wing militia groups in Michigan plan to rally at the state capitol building on May 14 to protest Democratic governor Gretchen Whitmer’s stay-at-home orders that she put in place to slow the deadly spread of the coronavirus pandemic. The latest demonstration will be the latest in a series of protests that started as a demonstration against the lock-down policy but are now generating fears of an eruption of political violence. The state is currently investigating what the Michigan attorney general, Dana Nessel, characterized on Monday as “credible threats” against state Democratic politicians. Her comments followed a report of threats of violence on right-wing social media pages.
Residents posting in the Michiganders Against Excessive Quarantine Facebook page called for Whitmer’s assassination. “Wonder how long till she’s hit with a shotgun blast,” one wrote. Another said they hope Thursday’s protesters are “armed to the teeth” because “voting is too late.” Dramatic images from a 30 April protest showed militia members carrying assault rifles while glaring and shouting from the galleries of the state legislature as an emotional debate over extending a stay-at-home order took place. In response, a black lawmaker last week came to Michigan’s capitol with an escort of armed black citizens. –Yahoo News
Other ominous warnings about America’s grim future in this pandemic have been sounded by some of the nation’s leading scientists and epidemiologists. These professionals attest the Trump Administration fell asleep at the wheel, down-played the coronavirus threat from the onset, and responded too little and too late to avert a national health crisis that is now approaching 90,000 deaths. America faces the “darkest winter in modern history” unless leaders act decisively to prevent a rebound of the coronavirus, says a government whistle-blower who alleges he was ousted from his job after warning the Trump administration to prepare for the pandemic.
Immunologist Dr. Rick Bright makes his sobering prediction in testimony prepared for his appearance Thursday before the House Energy and Commerce Committee. Aspects of his complaint about early administration handling of the crisis are expected to be backed up by testimony from an executive of a company that manufactures, respirator masks. “Our window of opportunity is closing,” Bright says in his prepared testimony posted on the House committee website. “If we fail to develop a national coordinated response, based in science, I fear the pandemic will get far worse and be prolonged, causing unprecedented illness and fatalities.” –AP News
If federal deficits rising to near unsustainable levels, declining state tax revenue, rising unemployment, a shortage of COVID-19 test and PPE equipment at U.S. hospitals, the back-lash against face masks and lock-downs, increasing racial tension, rising drug use and record gun sales, the threat of a deadlier second peak, dwindling food-supply chains, and the highest coronavirus death toll in the world is not enough to sink a nation into anarchy and civil war; I don’t know what is. Unless we put aside our differences and come together as a country to fight COVID-19, we will defeat ourselves long before the virus ever has a chance to.