Sunday, May 31, 2020

COVID-19 and the Unmasking of Donald Trump

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

COVID-19 and the Unmasking of Donald Trump

The pandemic proves once and for all that this president is the enemy of the people.

Then Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump holds a mask of himself which he picked up from supporter during a rally in the Robarts Arena of the Sarasota Fairgrounds on November 7, 2016 in Sarasota, Florida. (Photo illustration: Common Dreams/ Photo by Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images)

I keep fantasizing about a moment in Washington like the one at the end of The Wizard of Oz when Dorothy accidentally throws water on the Wicked Witch of the West. The witch melts and suddenly the evil spell she’s cast on all her creepy guardsmen and flying monkeys is broken. They snap out of it and come to their senses.

  Obviously, that not going to happen in DC—at least not until Election Day. Even then, there’s a good chance that even in defeat the spell cast over an all-too-significant percentage of the American public and its politicians won’t be completely undone. But throwing out of office the miscreants and their egregious, burnt orange overseer will be a fine start. Too many have suffered death, illness or economic ruin in part because of their arrogant and selfish rule.
Admittedly, when it comes to this pandemic, I’m fortunate. I work from home anyway, so for me, that part hasn’t been much different.  I continue to keep my social distance, wear a mask when I infrequently venture out, wash my hands.

  For now, thank God, I’m healthy, and I’m in one of the prosperous cosseted neighborhoods of Manhattan—downtown’s West Village—where an estimated forty percent of the population or more has fled to friends and relations out of town or to their own country and weekend homes. The fatality rate here is as much as six times less than other parts of the city. We are, in a word, privileged, and not exposed to the conditions of poverty and overcrowding that have caused others so much needless suffering.

Nonetheless, friends have been deathly ill, friends of friends have died. At 7 pm, we cheer and yell and bang pots and applaud our frontline workers but where I live, too many of the white and entitled, especially over the holiday weekend, ignored the warnings and got up close and personal in parks and at the local bars and restaurants that for now serve booze—and some food—from their open storefronts. In some places, they crowded the sidewalks and streets.

  It was worse elsewhere. Meagan Flynn at The Washington Post reported, “At a flashy club in Houston, dozens splashed around the pool and sipped on drinks on the patio. In rural North Carolina, thousands packed the stands shoulder to shoulder at Ace Speedway on its opening night, where face masks were the exception. And in Daytona Beach, Fla., even after an event called ‘Orlando Invades Daytona’ was canceled, hundreds still danced in the street and on top of cars near the boardwalk.”

  It got so bad in Lake of the Ozarks, Missouri, that St. Louis County put out a travel advisory, describing the flouting of recommendations as an “international example of bad judgment.” County Executive Sam Page, a doctor, said, “This reckless behavior endangers countless people and risks setting us back substantially from the progress we have made in slowing the spread of COVID-19.”

  Meanwhile, CNN reported Tuesday morning that the number of new cases of the virus continues to rise in 18 states “including Georgia, Arkansas, California and Alabama.”  In a couple of weeks, we should have a better idea of how much damage was done during the three-day weekend, of whether or not we’ve significantly been set back in the fight against this contagion. So far, in just twelve weeks or so, more than 1,690,000 Americans have been infected and 100,000 have died. Given the vast confusion over testing results and reporting, it seems probable that the real numbers are much higher.

None of us want America held back any longer by this awful disease. We all want it returned to normal and maybe even better than it was. But as Elie Mystal at The Nation notes, “Quite simply: It’s the people who are most vocal about wanting the country to reopen who are making it too dangerous to reopen the country. It’s the people who are least concerned about their own health who are putting everybody else’s health at risk…

“We can’t manage the crisis, because too many people have decided to be unmanageable. We are slowly beginning to understand how to protect ourselves from the virus. But we have no clue how to protect ourselves from the virulent people who insist on spreading the virus because they’ve determined they can live with other people dying. A person walking around without a mask isn’t telegraphing that they don’t care about their own life; they’re shouting that they don’t care about yours. They’re willing to be the one who kills you, because they don’t value anybody’s life but their own.”

Donald Trump is their enabler-in-chief.

A new study from the University of Hong Kong, not yet peer reviewed, calculates that the transmission of coronavirus via respiratory droplets or airborne particles goes down by as much as a whopping 75% when masks are worn. But who won’t wear such protection, despite the advice of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and his own surgeon general? Donald Trump thinks the word “mask” is short for “emasculation” and mocks those who wear them as “politically correct.”

Way too many of the president’s supporters follow his lead. “If he’s not wearing a mask, I’m not going to wear a mask,” a man told CNN’s Gary Tuchman. “If he’s not worried, I’m not worried.”

  Oh, for God’s sake, worry. But in the face of those 100,000 US fatalities, Trump’s response?  “When we have a lot of cases, I don’t look at that as a bad thing,” he said. “I look at that in a certain respect as being a good thing, because it means our testing is much better. So if we were testing a million people instead of 14 million people, it would have far few cases, right? So I view it as a badge of honor. Really, it’s a badge of honor.” Really?

  As the weeks have gone by, here in my well-off neighborhood, I’ve noticed an evolution in the facemasks worn by those who heed the warnings of public health officials. From the familiar medical and industrial masks to jury-rigged and handmade versions, we seem to be moving toward commercially sold masks that feature designs, animal faces, emojis, and even promotional versions promoting companies and products—I just saw one with the Nike swoosh.

  “The Mask Era has inspired creativity, but is shaped by deprivation,” culture reporter Maura Judkis writes. “It has united people in the feeling of being muzzled; we have rallied to make that experience slightly less depressing”—not only with ingenuity but also because the majority of us know that it must be done to keep ourselves and everyone around us safe. Yet Trump campaign manager Bard Parscale brought to a meeting prototypes for Trump-Pence 2020 facemasks. Because it’s a joke, get it? Laugh ‘til you die.

  If we’ve learned anything from our ongoing coronavirus calamity, once and for all we’ve finally seen in its totality that this administration cannot administrate, that from the top down its lack of leadership and compassion, its incompetence and myopia make it unable and unfit to govern. Especially when faced with a problem that requires knowhow, one which can’t be covered up by lies and distractions. And at its head, an aimless, reckless wizard of self: self-pity, self-aggrandizement, self-indulgence.

  According to White House doctors, Donald Trump is testing negative for COVID. But he’s a carrier of a different contagion, one of deceit, sleaze and corruption that has thoroughly infected our republic. However, for that disease, there's a vaccine that becomes available Tuesday, November 3. Spread the cure. Vote to break the spell.
Michael Winship is the Schumann Senior Writing Fellow for Common Dreams. Previously, he was the Emmy Award-winning senior writer for Moyers & Company and, a past senior writing fellow at the policy and advocacy group Demos, and former president of the Writers Guild of America East. Follow him on Twitter: @MichaelWinship
Our work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License. Feel free to republish and share widely.

Donations can be sent to Max Obuszewski, Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 431 Notre Dame Lane, Apt. 206, Baltimore, MD 21212.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] 

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs

Baltimore Activist Alert – May 31 – June 2, 2020

Baltimore Activist Alert – May 31 – June 2, 2020

"I speak as an American to the leaders of my own nation. The great initiative in this war is ours. The initiative to stop it must be ours." -Martin Luther King Jr.

Friends, this list and other email documents which I send out are done under the auspices of the Baltimore Nonviolence Center.  Go to  If you appreciate this information and would like to make a donation, send contributions to Max Obuszewski, BNC, 431 Notre Dame Lane, Apt. 206, Baltimore, MD 21212.  Max Obuszewski can be reached at 410-323-1607 or mobuszewski2001 [at]

1] Books, buttons and stickers
2] Web site for info on federal legislation
3] Get involved with NCNR   
4]The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks”
5] Bill Marker is running for the seat in District 10 for Baltimore City Council.  
6] ACTC Food Drive – May 31
7] Takoma Park Farmer's Market – May 31
8] Baltimore Ethical Society closed -- May 31
9] “Fragility in My Story” – May 31
10] Sanctioned Countries will Denounce New U.S. Military Threats – May 31
11] Fight Police Brutality – May 31
12] "How to Be an Antiracist" – May 31
13] Ceremony honoring Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and others – May 31
14] Emergency Healthcare Town Hall – May 31
15] Causes of the current pandemic – May 31
16] A Call for Racial Justice – May 31
17] Phonebank for Brandon Scott for Mayor – May 31 – June 2
18] Ditch Mitch – May 31
19] Pentagon Peace Vigil – June 1
20] Express support for healthcare workers in Palestine. June 1
21] Cancel the Rent Town Hall – June 1
22] "The Intersection of Human Rights and Environmental Activism" – June 1
23] Exit from Hegemony – June 1
24] Food Truck Mondays June 1
25] Make America Gilded Again?  – June 1
26] Get Money Out – Maryland call June 1
27] Monthly Meeting, Amnesty International – June 1
28] Outside Bread for the Journey Soup Kitchen – June 2
29] Support of Black Lives -- June 2
30] Vigil against JHU drone research – June 2
31] Sunrise Movement Baltimore meeting – June 2
32] Film “We Cried Power” – June 2
1] – Buttons, bumperstickers and books are available.  “God Bless the Whole World, No Exceptions” stickers are in stock. Call Max at 410-323-1607.

2] – To obtain information how your federal legislators voted on particular bills, go to  Congressional toll-free numbers are 888-818-6641, 888-355-3588 or 800-426-8073. The White House Comment Email is accessible at

3] – THE ORGANIZING LIST will be the primary decision-making mechanism of the National Campaign of Nonviolent Resistance [NCNR].  It will be augmented by conference calls and possibly in-person meetings as needed.  It will consist of 1 or 2 representatives from each local, regional, or national organization (not coalitions) that wishes to actively work to carry out the NCNR campaign of facilitating and organizing nonviolent resistance to U.S. wars.

To join the ORGANIZING List, please send your name, group affiliation, city and email address to mobuszewski2001 at Comcast dot net.  Different local chapters of a national organization are encouraged to subscribe.  

4] – Courtesy of the National Park Service and Google Arts & Culture, you can do a Virtual Tour of Five National Parks Online. ”The Hidden Worlds of the National Parks” is a satisfying escape. Whether you spend five minutes on the site or an hour, it’s an important reminder that the world is still beautiful and wonderful and weird, even in uncertain times.  Learn more about how you can take a digital adventure into your national parks:

5] – Bill Marker is running for the seat in District 10 for Baltimore City Council. He is deeply committed to the community and promises great constituent service, better city government, community building and bold ideas.   You can speak to him at 443-827-6669 or email him at

6] – On Sun., May 31 from 6 AM to 6 PM, get involved with the ACTC Food Drive at Havenwood Presbyterian Church, 100 E Ridgely Road, Lutherville 21093. Havenwood Presbyterian Church is a collection center for ACTC. There are two coolers outside the main office door for drop offs. These are collected daily, brought inside for safe keeping, and delivered on a weekly basis to ACTC for distribution. May is traditionally the Month when Havenwood hosts a Stock the Pantry drive - helping ACTC with specific needs. While all donations are welcomed, and needed. ACTC has asked Havenwood to provide mac and cheese and diced tomatoes - as they have an extreme shortage of these items right now.

The Assistance Center of Towson Churches (ACTC), formed in 1985, is an ecumenical consortium of 50 congregations (Havenwood is a founding member) joined to efficiently and effectively reach out with help for the needy in communities.  ACTC is open Monday to Friday from 10 AM to 2 PM to provide fresh and non-perishable food to neighbors in need.

7] – On Sun., May 31 from 10 AM to 2 PM, enjoy the Takoma Park Farmer's Market hosted by Purple Mountain Organics, 7120 Carroll Ave., Takoma Park 20912.  Get freshly processed grains, flours, beans and seasonal produce. Go to

8] -  Usually, the Baltimore Ethical Society, 2521 St. Paul St., Baltimore 21218, meets on Sundays, and generally there is a speaker and discussion at 10:30 AM.  However, the meeting on Sun., May 24 seems to be cancelled.  Email Visit

9] – On Sun., May 31 from 10:30 to 11:30 AM, get over to the Sunday Service, hosted by the First Unitarian Church, 10 W. Franklin St., Baltimore 21201.  “Fragility in My Story (yes!), and in Our Story (maybe)” will be presented by the Rev. David Carl Olson. The congregation is preparing to join other UU congregations in promoting adding language to the constitutional bylaws of the UUA to specifically advocate building Beloved Community by addressing the racism in ourselves and in our institutions. To prepare for this service, people are encouraged to read Robin Diangelo’s “White Fragility: why it’s so hard for White people to talk about Racism.” To receive a link to the Zoom Room, email Check out

10] – Sanctioned Countries will Denounce New U.S. Military Threats on Sun., May 31 at 1 PM EST. Representatives from many sanctioned countries will speak. See

11] – On Sun., May 31 from 1 to 3 PM, there is a Town Hall with Local Law Enforcement Leaders & Del. Mark Levine.  Offer questions about what is being done, and can be done, at the state and local levels to fight police brutality and systemic racism.  RSVP at  You will be sent a link to join the Zoom conference. Visit

12] – On Sun., May 31 from 2 to 3 PM, check out a Book Club Kickoff, hosted by the Sunrise Movement Baltimore.  Do you like books? Do you want to find ways to bring genuine equity, inclusion, diversity, and social and economic justice into the fight for a Green New Deal and climate justice? Sign up to join the new book club:  Read Ibram X. Kendi's "How to Be an Antiracist." To receive the zoom link, sign up here: Go to

13] – On Sun., May 31 from 2:30 to 4 PM, get over to the Ceremony honoring Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and others, hosted by Racial Justice NOW at  Pilgrim Hills Park, 1615 E Randolph Rd., Silver Spring 20904.  Many Black parents and families are mourning over this tragic loss in combination with the challenges of the Coronavirus pandemic. Look at

14] – RSVP to Mike Fox at for the Progressive Democrats of America Emergency Healthcare Town Hall on Sun., May 31 at 4 PM ET. Dr. Bill Honigman and special guests will answer your questions and discuss your concerns.  

15] – On Sun., May 31 from 5 to 7 PM, examine the Public Health/Coronavirus, hosted by Progressive Labor Party. This is a conversation about the causes of the current pandemic. Capitalism which relies on racism and poverty to keep the profit system going is the underlying cause of all the hardship caused by the pandemic. Register here: See

16] – On Sun., May 31 from 5:30 to 6:30 PM, check out A Call for Racial Justice, hosted by Grace Episcopal Church and Wade in the Water, a Ministry for Racial Justice. The church is at 1607 Grace Church Road, Silver Spring 20910. Gather along Georgia Avenue for a peaceful, socially-distanced protest.  Go to

17] – On Sun., May 31, Mon., June 1 and Tues., June 2 from 6 to 8 PM, phone bank for Brandon Scott for Mayor. There will always be a Bern Unit member on the PB call to provide training and support, and folks can punch on to the call any time during the window that works for them!  If you have any questions or technical issues that crop up, feel free to touch base with Jake at 443-808-3221. Go to

18] – On Sun., May 31 from 8 to 9:30 PM, get with Indivisible Ditch Mitch Monthly Call. Join Indivisible groups across the country ready to take down the biggest political machine in US history. Learn more about #DitchMitch and what Kentucky Indivisible groups need. Join the monthly call led by Kentucky Indivisible groups to get in this fight. Register at  See

19] – There is a weekly Pentagon Peace Vigil from 7 to 8 AM on Mondays, since 1987, outside the Pentagon Metro stop.  The next vigil is June 1, and it is sponsored by the Dorothy Day Catholic Worker.  Email or call 202-882-9649.  The vigil will be outside the Pentagon's south Metro entrance and in the designated "protest zone" behind bicycle fences across from the entrance to the Metro.  By Metro, take Yellow Line and get out at the "Pentagon" stop. Do not go to the Pentagon City stop! Go up south escalators and turn left and walk across to protest area. By car from D.C. area, take 395 South and get off at Exit 8A-Pentagon South Parking. Take slight right onto S. Rotary Rd. at end of ramp and right on S. Fern St. Then take left onto Army Navy Dr. You can "pay to park" on Army Navy Dr.,  and there is meter parking one block on right on Eads St. Payment for both of these spots begin at 8 AM.  No cameras are allowed on Pentagon grounds. Restrooms are located inside Marriott Residence Inn on corner of S. Fern and Army Navy Dr.  

20] – The American Friends Service Committee (AFSC) in taking part in the global online campaign on Mon., June 1 between 9 AM and 9:30 PM ET. Express support for healthcare workers in Palestine. Sign in at

June 1 was chosen since it's the second anniversary of the killing of Razan al-Najjar, a selfless young EMT whom the Israelis shot dead while, clothed in fully recognizable EMT garb, she was helping evacuate casualties from Gaza's Great March of Return In their campaign.

21] – On Mon., May 31 from 10 to 11 AM, check out Governor Larry Hogan, Cancel the Rent Town Hall, hosted by CASA and Progressive Maryland. With rising unemployment and exclusion from government relief, tenants unable to pay rent will highlight the eviction threats and late payment charges with Governor Larry Hogan. Raise the alarms of the rent crisis created by the COVID pandemic.  Ask Governor Hogan for relief in this town hall. Look at

22] – Combatants for Peace is stronger than ever. This is a movement of former fighters: former Israeli combat soldiers working alongside former Palestinian prisoners. Together, they have put down their weapons and are building a movement that will change the world.  In Israel and Palestine, society is beginning to reopen after the virus. After three concurrent Israeli elections, a coalition government has finally been formed. In July, a vote is scheduled to decide upon the annexation of much of the West Bank, including the Jordan Valley. This message has never been more urgent. Do not give up until we achieve freedom, peace and equality for all. Join a Webinar: "The Intersection of Human Rights and Environmental Activism" on Mon., June 1 at 1 PM ET. Register with

23] – On Mon., June 1 from 2 to 3 PM, get with Exit from Hegemony: The Unraveling of the American Global Order, hosted by The SETA Foundation. To get involved with the online event, see Many believe that Donald Trump's presidency marks the end of liberal international order-the very system of global institutions, rules, and values that shaped the American international system since the end of World War II. Trump's repeated rejection of liberal order, criticisms of long-term allies of the US, and affinity for authoritarian leaders certainly undermines the American international system, but the truth is that liberal international order has been quietly eroding for at least 15 years. "In Exit from Hegemony: The Unraveling of the American Global Order," Alexander Cooley and Daniel Nexon develop a new, integrated approach to understanding the rise and decline of hegemonic orders. Tune into the webinar:

24] – On Mondays from June 1 through June 22 from 5 to 8 PM, get with Food Truck Mondays at Mt. Zion, 1643 E. Churchville Road, Bel Air 21015. Each week will feature a few different local food trucks. Proceeds will benefit Children of Zion Village in Namibia. Weekly food truck lineups coming soon! Each event will be held rain or shine... indoor seating will be available in inclement weather. Skip cooking and come have dinner to support a great cause. Look at

25] – On Mon., June 1 from 7 to 8:30 PM, get with Profs & Pints Online: Make America Gilded Again?  See  This is a look at America’s “Gilded Age” and how it compares to our current time, with Allen Pietrobon, assistant professor of Global Affairs at Trinity Washington University and former professorial lecturer of history at American University.  Crippling economic crisis. Fears related to immigration and disease. Income inequality. Corporate monopolies. Technological disruption. Corporate money unduly influencing politics. Sound like 2020? Actually, here we’re talking about America from 1875 to 1900. Known as “The Gilded Age,” it was a crucial era of industrialization, political turmoil, and social change that set the United States on the path to becoming the most economically powerful country in the world. Expansive new factories needed unskilled workers, who arrived via the largest wave of immigration in American history. New arrivals from Europe and Asia poured into rapidly expanding major cities, places many Americans saw as rife with corruption and infested with squalor—certainly not the “real” America. As mass immigration transformed the country, some Americans formed “progressive” community groups that sought to preserve American values by teaching immigrants not to cook their seemingly revolting ethnic foods like hamburgers and spaghetti.
Join award-winning professor Allen Pietrobon as he describes this tumultuous period and explores why this all sounds so familiar to us today. Among the questions he’ll answer: How did this period draw to a close? Might ours have a similar end? Tickets are $12. A recorded version of this talk will remain available online. Go to

26] – Join the Get Money Out of Maryland Teleconference on Mon., June 1 from 8:30 to 9:30 PM.  There are two ways to join the conference: Dial 1 929 205 6099, and then use meeting ID: 512 862 260. Or Click on your device if you have downloaded the app from Zoom. The focus will be on organizational sign-ups, public relations, and logistics for lobbying in Annapolis.

27] – On Mon., June 1 from 8:30 to 9:30 PM, there is a Monthly Meeting, hosted by Amnesty International USA Group 297: Takoma Park/Silver Spring at 8541 Georgia Ave., Silver Spring 20910. Check out

28] – On Tues., June 2 from  1:30 to 2 PM, check out Outside Bread for the Journey Soup Kitchen individual lunches given out by Amazing Grace Lutheran Church in Baltimore.  This Tuesday soup kitchen will until Dec. 1. The church is at 2424 McElderry St., Baltimore 21205.  Visit

29] – On Tues., June 2 from 4 to 5:30 PM, join with Hoco For Justice- Vigil & March In Support of Black Lives, hosted by Sarah Fishkind.  Be at the Columbia Mall AMC theater parking lot. This is a march against white supremacy and a vigil to honor George Floyd and all the victims of police brutality. Keep social distance protocol and request that all participates wear a mask.  Visit

30] – There is a Vigil to say "No Drone Research at JHU" at 33rd and N. Charles Sts. on Tuesdays from 5 to 6 PM. Contact Max at mobuszewski2001 at Comcast dot net or 410-323-1607.  You may consider contacting President Ron Daniels and telling him that the university should reject all military contracts, including those for killer drone and nuclear weapons research.  The president’s mailing address is Office of the President, 242 Garland Hall, The Johns Hopkins University, 3400 N. Charles St., Baltimore, Maryland 21218.  You can also reach his office by Phone: (410) 516-8068, Fax: (410) 516-6097 or email:

31] – Sunrise Movement Baltimore will be meeting on Tues., June 2 at 6:30 PM! Email  Visit

32] – United for Peace and Justice invites you to find inspiration and motivation in a screening of “We Cried Power” on Tues., June 2 from 8 to 9:30 PM EDT. Watch and discuss this documentary about the Poor People’s Campaign’s 40 Days of Moral Action in Summer 2018. Visit And catch up on organizing for the mass Poor People’s Digital Assembly on June 20.   

To be continued.

Donations can be sent to Max Obuszewski, Baltimore Nonviolence Center, 431 Notre Dame Lane, Baltimore, MD 21212.  Ph: 410-323-1607; Email: mobuszewski2001 [at] Go to

"The master class has always declared the wars; the subject class has always fought the battles. The master class has had all to gain and nothing to lose, while the subject class has had nothing to gain and everything to lose--especially their lives." Eugene Victor Debs