Cheryl Cook: The disappearing act |

Cheryl Cook: The disappearing act

In the middle of July, when COVID-19 cases and deaths hit our highest daily numbers, our president struck a wide grin behind cans of Mexican beans on his Oval Office desk, then appeared at a Blue Truck/Red Truck circus stunt on the White House lawn meant to highlight the division in a country suffering under a pandemic that knows no political affiliation.

What most people don’t know is that while Trump orchestrated these clownish distractions, a payment of close to $400,000 to the Trump properties showed up on second quarter filings. Payment had been made to Trump properties for a GOP donor “retreat” at Mar a Lago, ostensibly held to allay the fears of RNC members regarding Trump’s handling of the pandemic.

When the COVID-19 death rate in the United States climbed to 140,000 American deaths, the president used the growing concern in his mishandling of the pandemic … to turn a profit.

In fact, Trump has accrued more than $17 million from the campaign and Republican National Committee for similar events at Trump properties since 2016.

On July 17, the CDC National Data Tracker showed 3,555,877 total cases logged for the United States. There had been 137,864 American deaths .

On that day, the United States had again shattered the daily case record with 77,255 new cases of coronavirus in a single day.

But that website is about to disappear because this president has decided that the CDC will no longer tract the case numbers. He has picked billionaire, Peter Thiel, a lukewarm Trump supporter and co-owner of Palantir, a data-mining firm, to be granted yet another government contract. Palantir will partner with the Department of Health and Human Services to create a new data platform to track coronavirus data.

Federal prosecutors disappear. Inspectors general disappear. The Roger Stone case disappears. CDC Director Robert Redfield disappears from testifying before Congress. Dr. Fauci disappears from Coronavirus Task Force briefings. And the COVID-19 statistics are about to disappear.

Trump may not wear a mask, but he is truly the masker of cover ups.

Instead of America leading the world in fighting this pandemic, our Conspiracy Commander in Chief downplays the pandemic. Politicizes the pandemic. Profits from the pandemic. Divides the country during a pandemic.

That is why we lead the world in coronavirus cases.

We are in the fifth month of the pandemic and the numbers are soaring while Americans are still arguing about whether or not to wear a mask.

The Republican governor of Georgia is suing the Democratic mayor of Atlanta for mandating wearing of masks in public.

Three California pastors are suing Gov. Newsom for a ban on singing in an enclosed church.

The pillars of our American foundations are being shaken to the core by the sheer pettiness of political parties. And this president is the prime instigator because he chooses cheap one-act political theater over federal oversight of long-term solutions.

If you are mesmerized by Trump swinging the weighty socialism pendulum before your eyes while murmuring, “Counter culture… Voter fraud …” Snap out of it!

Corporate welfare and billionaire welfare is rampant with tax credits, tax cuts, COVID-19 stimulus, lucrative government contracts, kickbacks, and corruption. There is no one left to guard the Trump trough. And if Trump is re-elected, he will not come for your guns, he will come for your health care.

Betsy DeVos has no guidelines for schools to reopen, but encourages parents to pursue private and charter schools if they aren’t confident in public school reopenings.

Trump is in favor of privatizing mail delivery and has placed yet another “acting director” in the post office where mail delivery has slowed to a crawl. He calls mail-in ballots a trick to rig the election.

Trump refuses to provide a national strategy to coronavirus-ridden cities across the country, but he will send rogue bands of uninvited Homeland Security agents to roam cities, pick up peaceful protestors, and photograph and release them without charges. Acting Director of Homeland Security Chad Wolf says that the officers are protecting and preserving government property and monuments that preserve our history. But Trump has yet to honor our first Black president by simply hanging his formal portrait in the White House.

The statistics may be hidden. The truth tellers may be fired. The reality remains.

The unity of this nation is being tested during a time when we should be all pulling together, not apart. Our system of government, our judicial system and rule of law, our economy, and our standing in the world have all been weakened.

But coronavirus has been canceled for this election season. Use that unworn mask to cover your eyes to the next 30,000 Americans expected to die by Aug. 8. Because like Trump promised repeatedly, “One day, like a miracle, it will disappear.”

And it will, at least during this election cycle.

Cheryl Cook lives in Penn Valley.

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