Regarding “If disaster is what you’re looking for, Trump and Parson have a plan” (July 20): This editorial asks, “On what planet are these two politicians living?” as they demand schools reopen despite the clear danger to the health of students, teachers and parents. The answer: Planet Money.
President Donald Trump’s wealth was immediately threatened by the coronavirus. His real estate developments are dependent on people traveling and spending freely. His financial losses from the economic downturn must be driving him nuts. Hence his persistent self-serving attempts to deny science, minimize the virus and demand the reopening of the economy. For Trump, schools must reopen so parents can return to work to feed the economy that profits him.
For Gov. Mike Parson and other Republican officeholders, reopening schools is also about energizing the economy — their economy, the one that has enriched them and their wealthy donors and corporate contributors. Their economy was built through union busting, deregulation and tax breaks for the rich. Their economy has radically diverted wealth from the middle class to the top 1%, and they’re not about to let a pandemic slow down their gravy train.
But despite Trump’s and the Republicans’ denials, the pandemic is real and getting worse. How much damage it inflicts will depend on whether we allow them to dictate the nation’s response to it for their benefit, or whether we instead insist that sacrifices be shared, with the great resources in this country used wisely and equitably to see us safely through this perilous time.
Dan Sherburne • Bel-Nor
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