It was bad enough and deadly for President Trump to ignore the threatened coronavirus outbreak for two months. Then he went on a campaign to tell everyone it’s not so bad, for the flu kills more. Now he is back to that because all he really cares about is protecting big business and himself from its effects. He now says he is considering prematurely ending the isolation efforts, which are the only proven way of dealing with an epidemic. While harsh, China did it and is now, after not having any new outbreaks except for foreigners bringing it in with them, beginning to get back to normal.
The Republicans in Congress are trying to get a huge bailout package for big corporations. They would give great discretion to the Trump administration as to who gets a piece of the half a trillion-dollar slush fund they want to create. Even Trump would qualify for relief, and he declined to say he would forego it, and according to the first draft of the bill it will be a secretly given out. The Senate Democrats and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi want more money allocated to pay for a more generous unemployment benefit, which will directly aid working-class people.
Now Trump is announcing that he can’t let the cure be worse than the problem and is considering ending the isolation period, which health care experts warn will lead to many more deaths. And who is going to die, working-class people while the rich wait it out in their multimillion-dollar Hampton beach houses. Recent reports of exploding sales of wine and Champaign in the Hamptons tell you all you need to know.
In the meantime, the working class in essential industries is already risking their health working to keep us provisioned and able to get quality health care. Many of Cary Kane’s clients are Teamsters locals, and with rare exceptions, their members are working. One significant exception is the Jacob Javits Convention Center has canceled all its exhibitions. Now Teamsters are volunteering to work to put the materials in place for converting it to a 2,000-bed hospital to handle the overflow that is coming from the continuing spread of the infection.
The workers sacrifice to hold society together and fight this virus. But that seems to be the way it always is; the working class takes personal risks for the security of our nation, and the rich, like Trump, worry about lost profits.
*Larry Cary, Esq. is a partner in the NYC labor law firm of Cary Kane LLP. Its attorneys are working from home in order to minimize the risk to themselves and their families while continuing to serve the needs of our clients.