Day: May 5, 2020

Background Briefing: May 5, 2020


Trump Prepares to Sacrifice American Lives to Get Re-elected

We begin, as mostly Republican governors reopen their states at the urging of the president against the advice of medical professionals, with the cynical calculation by Trump that in order for him to get re-elected many more Americans must die. By and large the 70,000 and counting who have died so far are not rich old white guys who play golf with him, but instead are disposable elderly in nursing home and black and latino workers in service industries, shipping, warehouses and meat-packing plants. With over a million Americans already infected with Covid-19, public health experts expect 25,000 new infections per day as this false choice dictated by one man’s interests alone, of sacrificing lives to save the great economy he alone built, goes ahead. Richard Parker, who teaches economics and public policy at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government and was a co-founder of Mother Jones magazine and serves on the editorial board of The Nation, joins us. We discuss how the press still falls for Trump’s Reality TV distractions as he encourages armed anti-lockdown demonstrations to take attention away from his catastrophic failure to protect and defend American lives, by making the reelection issue about him fighting for freedom and liberty while the Democrats want to imprison you in your homes and take away your rights.


The Origins of the Covid-19 Virus

Then we examine the origins of the Covid-19 virus behind the pandemic which began in China and has spread around the world. Rob Wallace, the author of Big Farms Make Big Flu: Dispatches on Influenza, Agribusiness, and the Nature of Science and an evolutionary epidemiologist who has consulted with the Food and Agriculture Organization and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is currently a Visiting Scholar at the Institute for Global Studies at the University of Minnesota, joins us to discuss his article at his Patreon page, “Midvinter-19: On the Origins of SARS-CoV-2″. While this outbreak was not caused by a lab accident and instead came as a result of a zoonotic leap from a recombinant of a bat and a Malaysian pangolin into humans, we explore how there is plenty of blame to go around.


Forcing Workers to Choose Between a Paycheck and a Death Sentence

Then finally we speak with Kim Cordova, President of the United Food and Commercial Workers Local 7 which represents 3000 workers in the JBS meat processing plant in Greeley, Colorado. She joins us to discuss how 3,500 workers in meatpacking facilities across the country have tested positive for the coronavirus and how in ordering workers to return to unsafe working conditions without requiring the owners to provide protection, Trump is handing her union members a death sentence.