Trump’s War on the Environment and Its Inhabitants – By Melvin Goodman (Counterpunch) / July 29 2020
There are no limits to the pernicious ugliness of Donald Trump and his administration. We have examples of personal ugliness toward the late Senator John McCain and his family as well as the treatment of the Gold Star family during the 2016 presidential campaign. There is policy ugliness in the racist Muslim travel ban, which the Supreme Court upheld, and the cruel separation of families at the U.S.-Mexican border, with children held in isolation from their parents. The use of federal forces against peaceful protestors in Washington, D.C. in June and in Portland in July are fascist in their intent. The director of the Federation of American Scientists’ Government Secrecy Project, Steven Aftergood, remarked that the “use of military aircraft in a domestic operation should set off all kinds of alarm bells.”
Trump’s lack of responsibility for the dangers and deaths of the pandemic should ensure his defeat in the 2020 presidential election, but there are no certainties in American politics. Trump’s ignorance and indifference toward the novel coronavirus, which is causing tens of thousands of additional deaths, is ironic, given his attacks on Barack Obama for the Ebola outbreak in 2014. Trump proclaimed that “President Obama has a personal responsibility to visit & embrace all people in the US who contract Ebola.”
The most loathsome aspect of Trump’s pathological behavior is related to the pandemic. Covid-19 is an infectious disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). And yet Trump continues his attack on bedrock environmental regulations established over the past fifty years. During the 2015-2016 presidential campaign, Trump promised to dismantle most of the key climate and environmental policies that were in place. He has been enormously successful, according to the New York Times, with more than sixty environmental rules and regulations officially reversed, revoked or otherwise rolled back. An additional 34 rollbacks are in progress even during the pandemic.