Why I have No Sympathy for Trump
The President of the United States, the First Lady and many of those in their inner circle have tested positive for the deadly COVID-19 virus. Judging by his schedule and the lack of PPE used at events he attended, it appears that Trump was a super spreader of the disease. Whether they are able to survive the ravages of this virus or not, the journey is a painful and oftentimes a long one that no human should have to endure. God forbid they should become “long-haulers,” those persons who continue to suffer long after, perhaps for the rest of their lives.
While I do not wish the president and his family any harm, I cannot say that I have sympathy for them or their supporters. This is the man and the administration who allowed more than 4,000 Americans living in Puerto Rico to die from Hurricane Maria, who separated over 5,400 children from their families at the border for requesting asylum, who allowed ICE and CBP to hold over 600 children in hotels violating the Flores Agreement requirements so they could be quickly and quietly deported with no due process. This is the president who created a fake border crisis and crammed thousands of asylum seeking families into spaces for weeks and months at a time, where they eventually became sick with scabies, the flu and other ailments, sleeping on concrete floors in freezing temperatures, with bright lights on 24/7. This is the administration who had an unprecedented 6 children die in their custody from easily preventable causes like the flu and dehydration and simple neglect.
In less than a year, COVID-19 has killed over 1 million people world-wide and over 200,000 people in the United States. From the beginning, Trump played the disease off as a flu, a cold. From the people’s house he claimed again and again that it would soon “disappear,” and that we “would all forget about it.” He made fun of people wearing masks, and refused to wear one in all but a few instances. He held rallies cramming mask-less supporters together and held press conferences with mask-less government leaders while demanding reporters remove their masks if they wanted to ask a question.
Reportedly, the president was not concerned about the spread of the virus in the first few months because he believed it would affect Blue (democrat) states more than red (republican) ones. His son-in-law failed to produce a nation-wide testing plan because of this. They did not care when they learned that the disease was spreading faster and killed more people of color than it did whites because that was not their base of voters. They did not blink an eye when those in our jails and prisons became infected except to use it as an excuse to get their friends paroled, while those in immigration detention began dying.
It’s not fair or accurate to say that the president and his cartel did nothing in response to COVID-19. The administration did have a response, they did change policy around the destruction the virus left. Trump activated the national emergency powers under Title 42 of the U.S. Code to justify the shut down of the asylum system and immigration courts. He claimed this would slow the spread of the virus, but they knew it would result in further spreading of the virus, something immigration advocates warned would happen. Thousands of asylum seeking families are now stuck in Mexico, catching COVID-19 and dying because they have no means of social distancing and no healthcare. ICE has been rapidly deporting asylum seekers who were infected with the virus to those countries they previously fled resulting in further spreading the virus to those populations. This was intentional, not accidental.
Trump and his administration are classic abusers in that they demand civility and sympathy when they are down. They request a timeout, a pause in the abuse as if we were at half-time in this game of life, something they would never give to any of us. They are the murderers who beg for a life sentence, the rapists who claim a harsh penalty would damage their future careers, the thieves who claim they knew not of what they did, the ones who excuse the beating of women and suggest they deserved it, those who stand behind police as they kill unarmed Black men and women, the people who laugh and cheer at children in cages. When abusers insist on civility and sympathy from their victims, they are simply continuing with their abusive behavior. When others demand sympathy and civility from victims, they are abusers too.
Trump and his supporters are not asking for forgiveness, are not saying they will change. None of us owe them sympathy in their time of need. I have little left to give, and it certainly will not be given to this brutal administration. Whatever is left in me is reserved for his victims. Trump is reaping what he has sewn.