The Price of Willful Ignorance

First, let me preface this by saying I wish the President and First Lady a speedy recovery. I wish this for all people affected by this virus. But as the President, Mr. Trump owed a duty of responsibility to the American People to lead them in times of crisis, and he has failed in this.

He had a responsibility to protect this country and to do what needed to be done. Still, the evidence of failure is right before our eyes. He couldn’t, or more troubling, wouldn’t even protect himself.

How Bayesian methods embody Occam's razor | by Felix Laumann | NeuralSpace  | Medium

I take no stock in the nonsense of fate, or karma, or even poetic justice as an explanation for Mr. Trump being infected by the virus. Like Occcam’s razor, the answer is always simpler than that, and it is based on science. Something that has become an anathema to many Americans.

Mr. Trump contracted the virus because he ignored the straightforward guidelines of wearing a mask in public, maintaining social distance, avoiding large crowds, and minimizing physical contact with others.

But more egregious than placing himself and those around him at risk, he is pandering to the conspiracy lunatics who see political motivations in any criticisms of Mr. Trump handling the pandemic or the jingoistic malcontents who take pleasure in blaming China while ignoring the evidence right before their eyes.

Suppose one were to review the list of the most popular shows on TV in America. In that case, it goes a long way to explain many Americans’ warped perceptions of reality. These “reality” shows are anything but real, but they are telling.

Two things are infinite: the universe and human stupidity; and I’m not sure about the universe. 

Albert Einstein

One of the most tragic ironies in Mr. Trump disparaging the CDC and other agencies that recommended these precautions based on science is his complete faith in the rapid development of a vaccine. When such a vaccine becomes available, and we all hope it is sooner rather than later, it will come from long-established scientific methodology not Presidential directives or boastful claims.

Though some believe they might master the virus simply by the contempt of it, willful ignorance is nothing but an analgesic for the scientific reality of viral pathogens and how we should be dealing with it. They drank the Kool-aid offered by Mr. Trump and now can’t understand why the world doesn’t blindly follow this foolish course of self-deception.

Mr. Trump failed. He ignored common sense, and he is now suffering the consequences. More importantly, his actions have directly placed more than American lives at risk. He has put the entire government of the United States at risk by his careless actions.

Mr. Trump had a golden opportunity in February to get out in front of the pandemic. It would still have taken lives and livelihoods but at a much lower cost. Instead, he placed the false rhetoric of his “economic success” over the long-term health of a nation at the cost of 200,000 American lives.

The real irony lies with him in Walter Reed Hospital. There, Mr. Trump benefits from the best medical care in the world. Something he and those in Congress (who also have such access) would deny to most Americans in the pursuit of repealing the Affordable Care Act.

Perhaps the knowledge he would be whisked by helicopter to such a facility at the moment of any medical crisis made ignoring the risk much easier.

As I said in the beginning, I wish Mr. Trump and the First Lady a speedy recovery. I do not wish him ill; I wish him gone from the position he holds. I hope he recovers and finds it within himself to act Presidential at least once in his time in office and peacefully hand over power to the next President on January 20, 2021.

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