Trump, Daines and friends say it’s all China’s fault

We know where the buck doesn’t stop: with the president, Trump appointees and GOP members of Congress. The delayed response in the U.S. to the COVID-19 pandemic? It’s the damn Chinese. Not enough testing kits, masks, gloves or ventilators? Blame China.

Here’s an email blast today from Trump-nominated former ambassador Nikki Haley:

This was the wake-up call we needed. American dependency on China MUST end. 

They lied to all of us in the midst of a global public health crisis that has killed THOUSANDS and devastated MILLIONS.

Now, Americans must stop fooling ourselves about China and the threat they pose to our safety and security.

It’s hard to believe Haley was actually in the diplomatic corps, serving as U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations. Before that, she was governor of South Carolina. Haley has even been mentioned as a replacement for VP Pence in Trump’s 2020 presidential bid. She continues, in boldface:

The Chinese government has shown its true colors during this crisis. Now it’s time for us to let them know we want accountability.

To stand for America right now, we must STAND AGAINST CHINA.   

Then Steve Daines, Montana’s junior senator who is up for election in 2020, piles on with this email:

Americans are suffering from the effects of the China virus. The Chinese Communist Party had an opportunity to warn the world about this deadly outbreak and instead they remained silent and engaged in a cover-up.

Friend, I’m an America First guy and I need your support to keep this nation great so we don’t end up dependent on a corrupt and lying Communist China.

One of the ironies here is that Daines got his start in business marketing Proctor and Gamble products in China. He and his family lived there for six years. Selling American goods in China is fine but selling Chinese products in America… Daines continues:

Giving China any sort of influence over our medical and drug supply chains is unacceptable and it’s why we absolutely need to bring manufacturing back home.

President Trump is the unwavering leader we need – he is doing everything in his power to keep our country safe and healthy. We must remember who is responsible for the China virus – CHINA.

This is, of course, Trump trickle down messaging as the president ramps up attacks on China. From CNN:

Donald Trump has blamed China for the huge impact the coronavirus is having around the world, saying that numerous other countries are “paying a very big price” for the decisions of the Chinese government.

(Trump is also attacking the World Health Organization and threatening to cut off funding, according to Politico. “The W.H.O. really blew it. For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China centric. We will be giving that a good look,” Trump tweeted Tuesday morning. )

Apparently, all determinations in battling coronavirus rest with Trump, as he stated yesterday, “Well, I have the ultimate authority” to lift quarantines and reopen businesses. But he bears none of the responsibility as COVID-19 reaches over 600,000 in the U.S. Just a month ago, he was praising China for “its efforts and transparency.” Now it’s all China’s fault, “They knew they had a problem earlier. I wish they could have said that.”

GOP lawmakers are falling in line, targeting China for our pandemic woes (and then asking for campaign donations) while praising Trump’s leadership. Yet there’s nothing but silence from Daines, and GOP leadership nationally and in Montana, over Trump’s stated “total authority.”

The U.S. makes up 4.25% of the world population. It has 30% of all the COVID-19 cases. And according to Republicans, all the blame rests with China.

If you appreciate an independent voice holding Montana politicians accountable and informing voters, and you can throw a few dollars a month our way, we would certainly appreciate it.

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About the author

Pete Talbot

'Papa’ Pete Talbot is first and foremost a grandfather to five wonderful grandchildren. Like many Montanans, he has held numerous jobs over the years: film and video producer, a partner in a marketing and advertising firm, a builder and a property manager. He’s served on local and statewide Democratic Party boards. Pete has also been blogging at various sites for over a decade. Ping-pong and skiing are his favorite diversions. He enjoys bourbon.


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  • Taking some facts and putting them together leads one to believe that Trump and Daines really either do not know what is happening, or more significantly, do not want to know.
    First, the CIA publishes a World Fact Book with frequent updates. The book is unclassified and can be purchased from the Government Printing Office. The book provides economic information about each country in the world.
    Secondly, in the book “Code Girls”, the US hired thousands of women to function as code breakers at Arlington Hall and the Naval Annex. Not only did they work tirelessly to crack the Japanese and German military codes, but they also worked to crack the commercial codes discussing manufacturing and transportation activities.
    Third, Wuhan is an economic hub in China.
    Now, one would expect that as the virus hit in likely late November, that the decrease in economic activity in Wuhan would have been picked up. This decrease would have lead Government agencies to try to ascertain what was happening to cause this economic activity decrease. Memos would have been written and attempted to be passed up the chain of command. But, since we have a president that does like to hear facts that are contrary to his gut feelings. (After all, he claims to be the smartest individual in the room. Of course this is true, after everyone else leaves.)
    So it is very likely that the Administration was told about the virus in either late November or early December, but chose to do nothing. In this way attempting to blame the Chinese and/or WHO is deflection from their own failures and nothing else.

  • I am thrilled to know that this type of awareness and action is taking place in Montana, a place I’ve only driven through once, about 60 years ago. I want to help spread your consciousness and knowledge, and I’ll try. Thank you for the great newsletter.

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