Day: May 24, 2020

Background Briefing: May 24, 2020


Questioning Trump’s Sanity and Half the Country’s Too

We begin with an article in The Atlantic warning of a coming mental health crisis as the coronavirus has laid bare the failings of American heath care and public health. Dr. Allen Frances, a Professor Emeritus and former Chair of Psychiatry and Behavioral Science at Duke University whose latest book is Twilight of American Sanity: A Psychiatrist Analyzes the Age of Trump, joins us to discuss the collective madness of a country not obeying the doctor’s orders while people flock to the beaches as Trump panders to the evangelicals ordering the country’s churches opened. We explore the growing divide in America between Reality TV and reality itself as our make-believe president who watches TV most of the working day, finds himself in a desperate war against the truth as the bodies mount in a very real crisis he has utterly failed to handle in violation his oath to protect and defend the United States. Yet in spite of his increasingly outrageous claims and more and more blatant lies, much of the country chooses to share in the hucksterism of Trump’s magical thinking and blame-shifting as the buck is passed to everyone but the hollow man in charge who only cares about himself and his manufactured tabloid image which is crumbling before our eyes. Without television there would be no Donald Trump, but with the country and its citizens at the mercy of Trump’s sanity failing the test of reality, we are left to question the sanity of as many as 40% of our fellow Americans who voted for this man and might vote for him again in November.

While 40 Million Lose Jobs, 1.6 Million Get Covid and 100,000 Die, Billionaires’ Profits Are Up 15%

Then while is seems we are all on this sinking ship of fools, a few are drinking champagne in the lifeboats having profited obscenely from Trump misrule as the nation’s billionaires see their net worth shoot up by $434 billion between March 18 and May 19. Frank Clemente, Executive Director and co-founder of Americans For Tax Fairness who is the lead author of their new study “Tale of Two Crises: Billionaires Gain as Workers Feel Pandemic Pain“, joins us to discuss the data from Forbes showing how the net worth of the U.S.’s 600 billionaires rose 15% during the same period when almost 40 million Americans lost jobs and over a million and half got Covid with over 100,000 dying from it.


The Rise of Global Activism and the Covid-19 Global Solidarity Manifesto

Then finally we examine the Covid-19 Global Solidarity Manifesto announced yesterday with one of its signatories Peter Kuznick, Professor of History and Director of the Nuclear Studies Institute at American University. He joins us to discuss the rise of global activism and the manifesto which states, “In a world where the gap between rich and poor is obscene, with the world’s richest one percent having more than twice the wealth of the 6.9 billion people, a fundamental redistribution of wealth and power globally and within nations is imperative. Every human being must have the opportunity to live a healthy, creative, and fulfilling life, free from the ravages of poverty, exploitation, and domination.”