Having suffered the highest death toll in Europe, more than 27,000, and still in Phase One, total lockdown, Italy is moving gingerly toward Phase Two, slowly opening.
“Phase 3 is going to be the criminalization of the contagion,” journalist Nicola Mirenzi wrote on the news website Linkiesta. “The pandemic is going to turn into a big collective trial.” That was reported by the New York Times.
CNN has reported the survivors of the dead organizing on Facebook groups to demand answers and accountability, including from China.
Some 45,000 have joined NOI Denunceremo (“We Will Denounce You”), which believes not enough was done to save their relatives, many of whom died simply because of a lack of hospital space or ventilators.
Many stories were written about tragic triages doctors had to make, basically deciding who would live and die because of medical shortages.
Prosecutors have begun investigating whether errors made by authorities contributed to Italy’s deadliest clusters and liberal members of Parliament have accused the conservative government in the Lombardy region, where the country’s outbreak first appeared, of failure to protect citizens.
Well, if it happens in Italy, it is going to happen here.
In fact, assignment of blame is already happening. Guess who is on the bullseye.
Out of nowhere it seems, without actually campaigning, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has seized the lead in four battleground polls — Pennsylvania, Florida, Michigan and Wisconsin. If Trump loses all four, he will join George H.W. Bush and Jimmy Carter on the humiliating list of recent one-term presidents.
We know that President Donald J. Trump doesn’t believe the polls (unless they favor him), but they seem to suggest that a lot of Americans are blaming him for the ever-rising number of deaths in the homeland.
This may not be fair, but what does fair have to do with it?
Trump inherited a rapidly recovering economy from President Barack Obama and repeatedly has taken sole credit for its climb.
That’s the way it always works — the guy sitting at what Trump calls “the beautiful Resolute desk” gets the credit or the blame for the overall performance of the country.
Preside over boom and you are re-elected. Preside over bust and you aren’t. That’s the general reality. Asking for “fair” is like asking a snake to tap dance.
But will holding Trump responsible to the electorate be enough?
If the Democrats felt they had enough for impeachment, will they let this opportunity slide? I can hear Adam Schiff smacking his lips, and climbing into his Wile E, Coyote costume. After the Road Runner!
Let’s say Trump loses the White House and the Senate. That may be unlikely, but certainly possible.
What would prevent the Democrats from appointing a commission, like the 911 Commission, to assign blame for the catastrophe that struck the U.S.? If Republicans retain control of the Senate no such analysis would be permitted. Am I wrong?
It’s generally conceded — except among Trump’s dead-ender base — that he reacted too slowly once we knew the disease storm was coming. Does this make him complicit in thousands of deaths, as some Democrats already charge?
He can’t be brought to trial, of course, unless the Democrats want to charge him with treason. That would be a fool’s errand. But Trump’s actions and motives can be brought to trial and that might be enough to destroy his legacy forever.