The Deadliest Counties In The Deadliest States-- Welcome To Trump Country
Just before the Senate passed the hard infrastructure bill this morning, Trump was pointlessly fuming at McConnell-- who voted for it-- again: "Nobody will ever understand why Mitch McConnell allowed this non-infrastructure bill to be passed. He has given up all of his leverage for the big whopper of a bill that will follow," Trump wrote in a statement. "I have quietly said for years that Mitch McConnell is the most overrated man in politics-- now I don’t have to be quiet anymore. He is working so hard to give Biden a victory, now they’ll go for the big one, including the biggest tax increases in the history of our Country."
Trump is furious and jealous because he has unable to pass an infrastructure bill-- despite numerous "infrastructure weeks"-- in the 4 years he occupied the White House, probably because the only components of infrastructure that interested him were:
a- a racist wall to serve as a monument to himself
b- a giant graft operation to transfer billions of tax dollars into his and his cronies' and family members' pockets
Nothing like Trump has ever befallen this country before-- and it's continuing to befall us. He's turned the GOP into an entitled cutoff personality with a growing number of junior Trumps struggling around confidently, certain that if a facile imbecile like Trump could win over 74,216,154 voters, so could them... more so, in fact.
This morning, though, Washington Post columnist Greg Sargent pointed out that there's a growing rebellion against pro-Trump, anti-mask governors in red states, particularly in two red states that are trending swingy: Texas and Florida. "Greg Abbott and Ron DeSantis," wrote Sargent, run states that are "seeing some of the worst surges of covid in the nation, yet they are continuing to hamstring local officials from acting to protect their constituents." Those constituents seem to be noticing and local officials have started "defying limits on mask mandates, setting up direct conflicts with those governors."
Sargent claims it "will flush out into the open the truly twisted nature of what DeSantis and Abbott are doing." Both see themselves as 2024 presidential nominees and each "piously claims to be defending their constituents’ freedom from government mandates. But they are using their power to prevent local officials from implementing basic public health measures in a highly selective way that is plainly molded around the obsessions of former president Donald Trump and his movement, not anchored in any genuine public interest rationale. The derangement of this position is particularly clear in Texas. On Monday, Abbott announced that he is seeking the help of outside medical professionals to deal with the state’s covid surge. He is also asking hospitals to postpone all elective medical procedures as hospitals fill up. Amid all this, the Dallas schools superintendent has reasonably announced that students, visitors and staff will have to wear masks in schools. He noted that the decision is an 'urgent' matter of 'protecting' children, teachers and workers. Yet this directive required him to defy Abbott’s executive order barring mask mandates by government entities. To be clear, Abbott’s own actions amount to a stark admission that the state is in serious trouble-- yet he continues to ban localities from taking measures to protect public health."
Yesterday, Florida reported the most one day deaths in the nation and Texas reported the second most, a daily pattern. The NY Times reports that though Texas' statewide vaccination rate is decent (adults are 56% fully vaccinated), in the reddest, most Trumpified counties, the vaccination rates portend on-going disaster.
These were the dozen counties where Trump did best in 2020-- along with their vaccination rates:
Roberts Co.- 96.2% Trump (22% fully vaccinated)
Borden Co.- 95.4% Trump (24% fully vaccinated)
King Co.- 95.0% Trump (14% fully vaccinated)
Glasscock Co.- 93.6% Trump (32% fully vaccinated)
Armstrong Co.- 93.1% Trump (29% fully vaccinated)
Motley Co.- 92.6% Trump (21% fully vaccinated)
Wheeler Co.- 92.4% Trump (29% fully vaccinated)
Sterling Co.- 91.4% Trump (26% fully vaccinated)
Shackelford Co.- 91.1% Trump (28% fully vaccinated)
Loving Co.- 90.9% Trump (17% fully vaccinated)
Oldham Co.- 90.9% Trump (25% fully vaccinated)
Jack Co.- 90.4% Trump (28% fully vaccinated)
And these were the dozen counties in Florida where Trump did best in 2020-- along with their vaccination rates. (Statewide, the rate is 50%):
Holmes Co.- 89.0% Trump (22% fully vaccinated)
Lafayette Co.- 85.4% Trump (26% fully vaccinated)
Baker Co.- 84.6% Trump (21% fully vaccinated)
Dixie Co.- 82.7% Trump (24% fully vaccinated)
Union Co.- 82.1% Trump (23% fully vaccinated)
Gilchrist Co.- 81.4% Trump (25% fully vaccinated)
Calhoun Co.- 80.7% Trump (25% fully vaccinated)
Washington Co.- 80.1% Trump (23% fully vaccinated)
Liberty Co.- 79.8% Trump (25% fully vaccinated)
Suwannee Co.- 77.8% Trump (26% fully vaccinated)
Taylor Co.- 76.4% Trump (27% fully vaccinated)
Bradford Co.- 75.7% Trump (29% fully vaccinated)
These are the counties most likely to take their leads from irresponsible governors like Abbott and DeSantis. "The absurd result, as the New York Times reports, is that local officials are scouring legal codes to find ways to get around Abbott’s blockade on implementing public health measures. This isn’t how officials should have to spend time and resources during a public health emergency. Meanwhile, in Florida, the superintendent of Alachua County Public Schools is moving ahead with mandatory masking. This is in defiance of DeSantis’s recent executive order empowering the state to withhold funds to punish school boards who implement mask mandates. Incredibly, it appears DeSantis may make good on this threat. The superintendent, Carlee Simon, told Morning Joe on Tuesday that she’s received a letter from the state demanding justification for her move and essentially indicating that funding is at risk if she continues."
Parents are starting class action lawsuits. "[E]veryone knows," concluded Sargent, "the real reason DeSantis and Abbott are suddenly concerned with protecting people from public health mandates on covid in particular is that government officials eager to battle covid this way have become associated with assorted enemies of Trump and his following. Because Trump and his movement have required this adherence to covid exceptionalism, local officials are being hamstrung from carrying out their own official responsibilities to act in defense of public health. It’s hard to find the right language to describe the seething contempt for public service and the public good that’s truly on display here."
There is also pure evil in Kentucky's political class. Watch: