It was another busy weekend, with another killing of a black man by the police, this time in Atlanta, where angry residents took to the streets to protest. Large protests also continued across the globe, including London and Paris, as well as across the nation in cities like Seattle, Minnesota and New York City.
Trump gave a commencement speech at nearby West Point Military Academy on Saturday, forcing cadets to travel long distances to come to campus, and many are now required to quarantine. The speech itself was a lifeless and wooden recitation from the teleprompter, but Trump’s appearance was notable in the difficulty he had drinking a small glass of water–he couldn’t do it with one hand–as well as the difficulty he had in walking down a long ramp, looking very tentative and unsteady. Social media was buzzing with speculation that Trump seems to have some sort of neurological issue, but at this point it’s anyone’s guess.
Trump’s treatment of racial issues continues to get horrible marks, including his kickoff rally scheduled for Tulsa Oklahoma, site of the 1921 attack on black citizens that left hundreds dead and is called by many the single worst racial incident on the last century. He had originally scheduled the rally for June 19th–the anniversary of the emancipation proclamation celebrated as Juneteenth by many blacks and others–but Trump received so much blowback and criticism that he moved the date to June 20th. It seems certain that the event will be a celebration of “freedom” to break the protocols of Covid social distancing, and many supporters are vowing to pack themselves into the stadium without wearing masks, which is possibly the worst possible scenario for spread of the virus. It’s as if Trump’s cult are trying to win the Darwin Award. Here’s great coverage in the New York Times:
Meanwhile, the overseas stock markets are down roughly 2% from Friday’s close. Two opposing camps have emerged in the financial arena. The first camp thinks Covid will disappear soon and the economy will get back on solid ground by the end of the year with help from the government. The second camp thinks Covid will be with us for a while, and that the economic impacts will be catastrophic and take years to recover from, even with strong intervention by the Federal Reserve. After the initial market plunge when the lockdown started, the first group have been slowing buying the market up. But last week more and more investors seemed to be joining the second group and selling. If global GDP actually down eight percent this year, as some international economists are now predicting, it will prove that the second group was right to sell.
Cases of coronavirus continue to jump in several states that allowed big Memorial Day activities. New cases are increasing in at least 23 states and holding steady in 10. And it’s increasingly clear that mask wearing is crucial to stopping or at least slowing the spread of Covid. In Missouri two hairstylists who had coronavirus but wore masks saw 140 clients last month and so far none of the clients have contracted the virus. So please urge everyone to keep wearing a mask.
And please, keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”