By Tom Burke / Herald columnist
I’ve used the term “terminal stupidity” as a bit of tongue-in-cheek sarcasm for things deathly dumb; like walking up to an elk at Yellowstone National Park to get a close look (“Isn’t it just toooo cute?”) or tossing a tuna sandwich to a bear at a Mount Rainier. (“Hey, let’s feed ‘Yogi,’ the smarter-than-the-average-bear, and apparently smarter than some pick-in-ick-ers.)
But “terminally stupid” has taken on a whole new meaning these days.
It ain’t a joke no more.
I’m talking about masks, vaccines, covid’s delta variant, and those who refuse to take the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Covid is real; real people are really dying; vaccines work; and vaccine resistance is hardening, especially along political lines with polling data showing 47 percent of Republicans saying they are unlikely to get a shot (compared with only 6 percent of Democrats).
What are you people thinking? Lies such as:
Donald Trump’s assertion that covid will “Just disappear?” That the anti-vaxxers actually know what they’re talking about? That it’s a Bill Gates plot? That there are micro-chips embedded that can trace your whereabouts or turn you into a zombie at the flick of a Joe-Biden-controlled switch? That the vaccines are unproven? That they cause covid variants? That it makes you Bluetooth-connected? That vaccines cause autism? That it rewrites your DNA? That it doesn’t work? That it wasn’t “approved?” That it makes you magnetic or a cellphone tower? That it’s made from fetal tissue? That “faith” (and apparently only Christian faith) will protect you? That it’s none of anyone’s business? That you’re young and healthy and covid ain’t a threat to you? That it’s part of some government cabal? That it’s an abridgement of your “freedom”? That it hasn’t been endorsed by “Q”? That Joe Biden wants you to have it?
Here the truth:
• 99.5% of Americans dying from covid are unvaccinated;
• And the Delta variant spreads faster and gets you sicker.
About 612,000 have died from covid in the U.S.; more people than U.S. combat soldiers killed in World War I, World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War combined.
Donald Trump and his stooges are big-time responsible for most of those deaths (as recent accounts of his incompetence are proving).
And there’s a ton of statistics showing Red states — those resisting closures, mandatory masks, and other preventive measures — are the states where the virus is dangerously spreading and where variants are now infecting a whole new population (kids and younger adults). It’s as historian Steven Beschloss says, “We are living in a country in which tens of millions are continuing participants of a death cult committed to a sociopathic conman who occupied the White House to enrich himself and feed his broken ego.”
And it’s all so needless, so costly, so tragic. And so simple to fix.
Get the shots. Mask up.
Some other stuff:
• In a recent speech, Trump said he appointed the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Mark Milley, because two of Trump’s generals didn’t want Milley in the spot.
Trump said, “(Milley) got his job only because the world’s most overrated general, James Mattis, (the man he appointed Secretary of Defense and praised to the heavens) would not recommend him.”
Are you freaking kidding me? He appointed our Top Soldier, the person responsible for the lives of our troops and the person who defends us against nukes from North Korea, like a kid at grammar-school recess?
You MAGAs out there, your “guy,” the leader of your party, picked the JCS boss out of spite, out of “naa, na, naa, na, naa.”
Trump went on, “I often act counter to people’s advice who I don’t respect.”
That’s just great. He acted counter to people like his coronavirus advisers Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, and we have 600,000-plus dead. He rejected Attorney General Bill Barr’s assessment of no voter fraud and we got the Big Lie. And Trump rejected Joe Biden’s clear, legal, overwhelming election victory, attempted a coup, and is now being compared to Hitler, and his movement to the (Nazi) Brown shirts and the Reichstag fire.
• Trump’s tax returns are being turned over to Congress, and that does not bode well for the “former guy.”
• Finally, more evidence about Trump’s effort to overturn a fair and honest election: according to Justice Department-released notes, the acting attorney general Jeffrey Rosen told Trump the Justice Department “can’t + won’t snap its fingers + change the outcome of the election.”
The president replied that he understood that, but wanted the agency to “just say the election was corrupt + leave the rest to me and the R. Congressmen,” according to notes taken by another senior Justice Department official, Richard Donoghue.
So how did that work out? Ask the Capitol police who testified last week. Or mourn Ashli Babbitt who died for Donald Trump and the Big Lie. (My God!)
Stay safe; mask up. Again.
Tom Burke’s email address is email@example.com.