Quo Vadis?  Where are you going? This is the title of a 1951 mega production film probably the first post war block buster precursor of the Ben Hur, Lawrence of Arabia etc.  It relates the last period of the reign of Nero and his circle of sycophants where a victorious general progressively understands the failings of the regime and switches side.

In many ways it is a reminder of the atmosphere that prevails in the White House and in general in the ruling corridors of the Republican party. Where are we going? For more than a week we have seen the refusal to concede by a President that not only has unambiguously lost the electoral vote but is already more than 5.5 million behind in the total presidential votes. This self-centered President only thoughts are how, in an attempt to usurp a second mandate, to try to find ways to invalidate votes in the swing states where he has lost. Meanwhile the virus whose threat  he so much  chose to underestimate that had in the first wave overwhelmed  the populous coastal states, the derided democrat ,is ravaging  the Southern and Midwest states that through the  dishonest incantations of their leaders,  had  prided themselves in their invulnerability.

The stock-market and the world are rejoicing as the first third phase trial tests for the Covid vaccines have been announced. There is indeed cause for hope. Thanks to the new Mrna technology the results have come ahead of more traditional vaccination approaches. Although the manufacturing capability is very rapid there must be some question marks as to when and how easy will be the distributing especially with the Pfizer vaccine that requires to be maintained at – 75 degrees centigrade or minus 103 degrees Fahrenheit.  How many hospitals in the US have such freeing capacity? In view of the difficulties of effecting a relatively simple Covid testing, how long will take to inoculate the whole population? When will there be more traditional vaccines available? These questions deserve a long discussion that is for another article. The problem is what do we do now and how do we convince the unbridled population to adopt a safer conduct. We must first establish where are the most vulnerable centers and then find ways to persuade the most vulnerable areas to change their ways, listen to science and forget the politization of the virus.

The map below is the illustration of the results of the 2016 elections

Quo Vadis

The red states are those one by Trump and the Blue ones, the ones won by Clinton. The grey dots are the states where there is a Republican Governor. In addition, one can notice in addition different coloured dots in different states. They reflect the intensity of the cases per unit population in function of the general average number of cases per 100,000. Any concentration above 150% is marked with a yellow dot circled by blue, concentrations between 150 and 110% are marked in green dots, those between 110 and 90 % are marked with a white dot circled by blue and the remainder are in  light blue dots. 

The states with a grey dot are all controlled by Republican governors that, in the main, have been following trump part lines i.e. not encouraging the mask. The average no of cases for the whole of the US is 34,859 cases per 1,000,000 inhabitants, and only two states, Ohio and West Virginia are at 75% or below of the national average. Not unsurprisingly governors de Wine and Justice have conducted much more appropriate policies including encouraging the wearing of a mask. Of the five states (blue-yellow dot) with cases above 150% above the national average all are red states controlled by Republican governors except for Wisconsin. In the class of  20 states with between 150 and 110 % violet dot) cases  above the national average most are red states  controlled by Republican governors except for three red states, controlled by Democrat governors,  (Michigan, Louisiana and Minnesota) and four blue states( Nevada, Rhode Island, Illinois  and Montana). In the category of States within 10% of the national average, (white dot in blue circle) five are Republican governed (Texas Florida Indiana, Arizona, Alaska) only one is a blue state governed by a Democrat. All other states whether red or blue that belong to the below 90% of case class (light blue dot) controlled by democratic governors except previously mentioned Ohio and West Virginia.

It must be evident by now that not only the epidemic as reported in the media is rampaging the southern and Midwest states but that these are in large proportion red states controlled by Republican governors that have done nothing for encouraging the wearing of mass, social distancing  and limiting some activities. The incredibly sad irony is that these affected people represent the solid core of the Trump electorate and that they are becoming victims of their unfailing credulity in their idol who does not care about their fate.

It is no longer a time for politics. In face of the inaction of this lame-duck president more concerned to erase the pain of his crushing defeat and taking revenge against his enemies  than caring for the business of running the country, the incoming  administration transition team must convince all governors to cooperate and stem the progress of this virus. Otherwise severe paralysis of the economy, unnecessary deaths will occur. This is a time of war against a common enemy, no longer a politics partisan guerilla warfare. The country must unite.

By Digenis 19 November 2020

Read also: The Unmaking of a President

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