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Cheryl Cook: When you’re good to Mama

Other Voices
Cheryl Cook

Mama Nature has been annoyed with the kids running wild and undisciplined through the Earth house with dirty deregulations in their grubby, greedy hands. Inconsiderate, selfish, short-sighted kids.

Raising greenhouse gas levels that increase the Earth temperatures and pollute the air we breathe with emissions of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide. Trapping heat and dry conditions within our atmosphere that create fire inducing conditions. Contaminating our ground water aquifers, lakes, and rivers with chemical runoff.

But when Mama Nature caught the human species being infected by a killer virus originating in the careless handling of infected bats, and noticed the widening spread of the disease through human transmission, she slammed her foot down and sent us all to our separate rooms.

That precious umbilical balance between our basic needs and those of the natural world that sustains us … had been severed. There is a problem when a government’s relationship with the private sector that sustains a few, grows stronger than the bond to the environment that sustains us all. When it becomes a risk to the public’s health.

According to a New York Times May 6 article, “The Trump Administration is Reversing Nearly 100 Environmental Rules.” Trump has made eliminating federal regulations a priority. These regulations protect the health of the public and lift the penalty burden from oil, gas, and chemical companies.

Dr. Rick Bright, former director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, recently blew the whistle on how he was pressured to award contracts for the manufacture of drugs to Trump cronies. To put politics before science.

“I was pressured to ignore or dismiss expert and scientific recommendations and to let politics drive decisions over the best scientists we have in government,” he said.

Despite Trump statements that, “We never saw it coming,” Dr. Bright also reported that warnings were ignored regarding the seriousness and spread of the virus and the need to ramp up a medical supply production.

Dr. Bright and other staff also recall the president being more interested in removing the restrictions on the manufacturing of flavored vaping products by tobacco companies than COVID-19, tobacco companies that prey on the health of our youngest Americans.

Dr. Rick Bright was quietly transferred in the middle of a worldwide pandemic. Because you cant cross this president … even if you see that his actions are bat guano crazy.

Our capitalism has been rewarding the business sectors since the birth of this country when prosperity in the South was built on the backs of slaves. It continues to reward the business sector through tax cuts, stock buy-back schemes and a skewed tax system.

A judge recently dismissed a meat plant workers safety suit based on the President Trump’s order that infected meat plants remain open during the pandemic exploding within the industry. As if a worker in a company were as disposable as a used face mask.

President Trump continues to push quick fixes instead of a tested vaccine. He promoted as “one of the biggest game changers in the history of medicine.”

Until recently the hype was echoed loudly on Fox. Trump even asked a Mar-a-Lago friend to call Gov. Newsom and make a deal to purchase millions of hydroxychloroquine tablets. He now claims to be taking the drug without benefit of tested studies.

President Trump keeps rolling the loaded dice and taking risks with the lives of Americans. Like he said in a recent press conference, “And then I see where the disinfectant knocks out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that … by injection inside .. or almost a cleaning …”

In Trump’s theatrical world, the comedy is the tragedy.

Because of these and other actions, Americans no longer find Trump to be credible. He no longer razzles and his dazzle has definitely dimmed. We rightly question whether his basic motivations center on science to improve our health and safety, or on political-based optics, tweaking of stock portfolios, and the lining of his pals pockets.

Soon, pharmaceutical companies will again reap massive profits by selling back to taxpayers COVID-19 treatments and a vaccine product that was born of taxpayer funded money. U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar recently mused that it may not be affordable to all Americans.

The United States has invested and reinvested in taxpayer-funded research and not demanded sustainable growth and a reduced carbon footprint. Research that would benefit, not just the very rich, but all of us.

Donald Trump may not wear a COVID-19 mask, but he wears a mask of a different cut … a theatrical mask of amazing success in the fight against the COVID-19 virus. It’s a mask of false security that down plays the virus, the risk, and the death projections.

With 4.3% of the world’s population, the U.S. leads the world in owning 29% of the world’s COVID-19 deaths.

So venture out cautiously with your mask ready. Respect your distances with others. Watch the community signals for re-entry. Because we can no longer trust this administration for sane guidance.

With oil and gas production down and traffic decreased significantly, we are seeing air and waters clearing. Mama Earth has sent us penguins parading through the quiet streets of South Africa and beautiful dolphins swimming through the transparent canal waters of a sinking Venice. The message they bring with them is that we must live in a carefully balanced earth.

World carbon pollution has fallen 17% during the lock down. But the Environmental Protection Agency is now citing the pandemic as justification for rolling back all enforcement of pollution rules. The balance of life is precious. When Mama Earth is healthy, we all thrive. So, remember in November … when you’re good to Mama, Mama’s good to you.

Cheryl Cook lives in Penn Valley.


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