It would appear, that Doctor Strangelove is about to be back in the White House. For the non classical film buffs, this was a comedy about the cold war degenerating into an atomic cataclysm through a sequence of events that could not be controlled. Dr Strangelove interpreted by Peter Sellers was the tactical advisor to the President.

We have just been advised that the Coronavirus task force, a group of eminent scientists chaired by the relatively amiable Mike Pence is about to be disbanded. It will be replaced by an existing stealth task force chaired by none other than the faithful Jared Kushner, stayed by an economic team made of Steven Mnuchin, the Treasury Secretary, and the White House advisers Larry Kudlow and Kevin Hassett. This team will oversee the development of a vaccine and therapeutic treatments and mastermind the expansion of testing. They will be now assigned with the role of supporting the President in communication and press conferences

It is obvious that the President daily press conferences, were hampered by the tactful rebuttals from his scientific advisers. Polls have revealed that, in particular Dr Fauci’ s medical views are much more respected than those of the President. As Potus hates being surpassed or contradicted, we have seen that over the weeks the advisers have been sitting on the side or even on the front row formerly reserved for the press, so as to preserve the lime light for the commander in chief. He has forbidden Fauci to testify in Congress preferring questions from the Senate which he perceives as more friendly. Fauci will therefore be side lined and therefore less in the news. This may be a double-edged sword that might come back to haunt him. Dr Fauci relieved from his task, may be even more in demand now that he is no longer within the team. As for Deborah L. Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator she is imbedded to the White House team and will be reduced to a less visible role.

As unemployment figures are escalating and casualties mount, it is evident that in his mind health of the economy has overtaken that of the people.

Rick Bright former director of the US health department’s  Barda the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a senior US government doctor who worked on the search for a coronavirus vaccine has claimed he was fired after resisting Donald Trump’s push to use the unproven drug hydroxychloroquine as  a treatment and has filed a whistle blower complaint. But this is routine as he regularly fires any official that crosses his plans. I am sure you remember the case of  Michael Atkinson, the former inspector general for the intelligence community, who drew the president’s ire last year after he received a  whistle blower complaint from an intelligence community official accusing the president of abusing his power over foreign policy to coerce Ukraine’s government into announcing investigations that could deliver him personal political benefits.  And what was the name of the marine officer that testified at the impeachment trial? Of course, Alexander Vindman and in biblical terms another Vindman, whose only fault was that he was the brother of the other one was fired. Sondland, who was he? how about James Comey or Andrew Mc Cabe from the FBI. He even tried to sac Mueller, but he could not succeed. As for his cabinet, except for his economic team, it has been musical chairs all the way.

But more seriously, he has in the middle of the most serious pandemic stopped financing WHO, the World Health Organisation which is the essential bridge between nations to combat this common enemy. Further, Trump was absent from a G20 virtual meeting where Global leaders have pledged to accelerate cooperation on a coronavirus vaccine and to share research, treatment and medicines between all nations, pledging that wealthy countries will not keep the results of research from developing countries. As a result of Trump’s short-term policies, far from becoming isolated, China’s power is reinforced and WHO, the united nations health body is internationally endorsed. But, he does not care. We have already forgotten that more than two years ago he decided to quit UNESCO, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization created in 1945 with a mission to celebrate cultural diversity and foster intellectual cooperation and the free flow of ideas among the world’s nations. His cries of “making America great again” are just rallying cries to assemble the conservative rural minority that shares his disdain for the rest of the world. Whatever he does is rarely in US interests but always motivated to a personal angle to secure his re-election. (see “Home Alone” and a “Bridge Too Far” both in January 2020)

As unemployment figures are escalating and casualties mount, it is evident that in his mind health of the economy has overtaken that of the people. As he is afraid his ratings have fallen in certain key states, he has decided to force the reopening of the economy at any cost. He has crossed the Rubicon and future will tell whether his bet that the joy of economic benefits will outweigh the pain of increased deaths.

Most of the pundits are in accordance to pronounce it is too early and that the infections that are still increasing at a rate of over 20,000 a day may start to rebound dramatically engendering a second wave that would overwhelm system and accelerate the death rate. It is too early to tell as it will depend on the behaviour of the many people that seem afraid to restart a normal life. He could be lucky, and we will see the results in 2 to 3 weeks. Meanwhile, Koumoundouros is watching daily the increase in infections in the District of Columbia where in relative terms the number of infections per inhabitant is where New York State was less than a moth ago. A crisis could explode right in view of the whole of Washington and even Fox News could not ignore it.

We may have reached the point where Potus has become Dr Strangelove himself and his advisers are just there to sanctify his impulsions. We reproduce below two photos. The one on the left is that of the original film of the Bomber commander Major T. J. Kong riding the bomb down. The other one is a doctored photo of the same clip where the head of Trump has been substituted. Both were found on the internet. Was the faker prescient? It remains to see what kind of surprise bomb or bombs expect us.   Bombs with detergents, ultra-violets or may be Pr Montagnier’s magnetic waves. They will be the best bombs in the world ! Enjoy the film!

By Digenis7th May 2020

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