by JC Dufresne
for the “Progressive Views” column, Boerne Star, March 20, 2020
I’m amazed by the contradictions inherent in people’s reactions to threats. I have trouble understanding how conservatives don’t accept climate change as an existential threat but I know that obfuscation by fossil fuel companies and think tanks and politicians funded by them plays a role. The conservative response to COVID-19 though is just hard for me to explain. Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases was quoted last weekend projecting 100,000 to 200,000 deaths from COVID 19. Most of those deaths will likely be in those older than 60 — Trump’s base — so you’d think he and they would take it really seriously.
Republican governors, such as Tate Reeves in Mississippi, have overridden local mayors who had issued stay-at-home orders put in place to protect their citizens. Some evangelical pastors, like Rev. Tony Spell in Louisiana, are violating local government orders banning large gatherings leading to outbreaks in their flocks. Jerry Falwell, Jr’s Liberty University welcomed its students back from Spring Break, unlike many public schools, only to find several students infected.
Governor Abbott talks out of both sides of his mouth saying that Texas is taking necessary steps to prepare but failing to issue statewide stay-at-home orders like governors in states that really are taking action with statewide stay-at-home orders. This weekend he announced that “the number of Texans hospitalized with COVID-19 is less than 2% of the available hospital bed capacity.” According to state health officials there were 2552 confirmed cases in Texas out of 25,483 tested so Abbott claimed 90% tested negative. That’s nice except that there are over 29 million people in Texas so that means less than one tenth of one percent have even been tested. Let’s not forget that even if you’ve been tested and found to be virus free that doesn’t mean you can’t contract the illness a week or a month later. In addition, 37 new cases were found last weekend in Bexar County alone. There’s not nearly enough testing going on in Texas to actually know how we’re doing. On the positive side Abbott did call up three National Guard units to assist with drive-through testing and expansion of hospital bed capacity.
Of course you won’t be surprised to learn that the National Rifle Association’s response to the pandemic is to warn that everyone should buy a gun. They’re not suggesting doing so will reduce the spread of the virus; they’re proposition is that the virus will cause a breakdown in society like the Zombie Apocalypse or the Mad Max scenario.
All this and Trump’s latest conspiracy theory is his response to demands from doctors and nurses that more masks and eye protection be made available in which he claims that those same medical professionals who are doing all they can to protect us and care for our ill family and friends just want to steal the masks and eye protection. It’s beyond me how people such as Trump, Abbott, and Reeves are selected by voters to lead us. November 3rd can’t come soon enough.
From the Kendall County Democratic Party
The Kendall County Democratic Party (KCDP) and Boerne Area Democrats (BAD) are complying with current emergency protocols, so our meetings are temporarily suspended. (The next scheduled meeting of the Boerne Area Democrats on April 9 is cancelled.) Our joint office at 518 E. Blanco, Suite 103, is also closed until further notice.
KCDP and BAD wish to thank all the first responders and healthcare workers who are doing so much to protect us. We also wish to thank Mayor Tim Handren for his leadership during this situation and all the city and county workers, store clerks and restaurant staff, and other employees who are working in essential businesses during this time of social distancing.
We encourage everyone to stay abreast of the latest developments on the City of Boerne website, www.ci.boerne.tx.us/1822/COVID-19, and in the pages of this newspaper.