Day: April 15, 2020

Background Briefing: April 15, 2020


Trump’s Phony Reality TV Move Against the WHO to Obscure His Record

We begin with Trump’s attempt to shift the blame onto the WHO, the World Health Organization, away from his own reckless endangerment of the American people due to his ignoring of warnings from his intelligence briefers and the WHO whose funding he ordered cut although Trump has no authority to do so and Congress will overrule him. Joining us is Lawrence Gostin, University Professor and Founding Chair in Global Health Law and Director of the O’Neill Institute for National and Global Health Law and the World Health Organization Collaborating Center on National and Global Health at Georgetown University. We discuss how Trump again is throwing a nativist bone to his base while keeping the press distracted with rabbit-hole headlines in order to cloud the damning record of his detrimental dithering for almost two months as the self-obsessed narcissist remained fixated on the impact of the growing crisis on his reelection chances rather than stepping up to lead the nation in preparation for a pandemic. But while the true record of his criminal incompetence which is costing the lives of thousands of our fellow citizens is unlikely to penetrate the Fox News bubble, at the end of the day Trump may not be able to continue to claim total authority while accepting no responsibility.


Pro-Trump Civil Unrest to Shift Blame From the Virus to Democratic Governors

Then we look into the Astro-turf movement Trump and his diehard followers have manufactured to troll state authorities like Michigan’s Governor Whitmer whose stay-at-home orders are being challenged by Q-Anon and Trumpster demonstrators waving Confederate flags. Trump is mobilizing the populist right to blunt the real popular discontent of unemployed Americans running out of money and food, angry at his government’s failure to help them while eagerly heaping money on Wall Street. Amanda Marcotte, the author of Troll Nation: How The Right Became Trump-Worshipping Monsters Set on Rat-F*cking Liberals, America, and Truth Itself and a politics writer for Salon where she has an article “Trump says his ‘authority is total’ – while he blames everyone else for his failures”, joins us. We discuss Trump’s strategy to create civil unrest ahead of his plan to open up the economy on May first by shifting the blame from the virus onto Democratic governors who have ordered the lockdowns.

Why Putin Called Off His War Against America’s Shale-oil Producers

Then finally we get an an analysis of what is behind the truce in the Saudi/Russia oil war which the president is taking credit for and why the public, the press and environmentalists are not pillorying Trump for forcing consumers to pay more for gas when for once they are getting a break at the pump. Michael Greenberger, the former director of the Division of Trading and Markets at the Commodity Futures Trading Commission who is now the Director of the Center for Health and Homeland Security at the University of Maryland, joins us to discuss why Putin called off his war against America’s shale oil producers.