Denier-in-chief: Trump, COVID and climate change
It is a tale of two worlds. In Real World, the COVID scourge continues to inflict massive human suffering and economic costs on the American people. More than 177,000 Americans have died. More than 5.7 million have been infected. These are by far the largest tolls in the world. No wonder the U.S. economy is now a basket case.
More than 22 million jobs were lost in April alone, and many more in March and May, yet only 42% of those jobs have returned. Even with so many jobless Americans waiting to go back to work, job growth has slowed with July employment less than half that of June, and August looking weaker still.
This is the worst job market since the Great Depression. Yet after more than almost nine months, the Trump administration still does not have a coherent or effective national COVID-19 strategy, and Senate Republicans went on vacation rather than pass unemployment extensions for millions of jobless Americans.
But as his convention continues, the president seems to reside in Trump World, a land of alternative facts where everything appears fine. Late last week, Trump called his presidency the “most successful period of time in the history of our country, from every standard” and said his administration has “demonstrated over the last four years the extraordinary gains that are possible.”
Meanwhile, this week heatwaves, wildfires and hurricanes, all made much worse by climate change, are devastating communities and making life unbearable for tens of millions of Americans across the country.
In California, a massive heatwave scientists say is exacerbated by climate change has led to 600 separate fires, including the second and third largest in state history, which have killed seven people thus far. More than one million acres have burned, three times the annual average, just in the last nine days. More than 100,000 people have been evacuated. Even as the coronavirus pandemic increases respiratory illness, air quality has been fouled for tens of millions across the West.
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