The media reports that The Lancet, one of the world's most prestigious medical journals, has published an editorial blasting Donald Trump for his "inconsistent and incoherent national response" to the coronavirus pandemic.and called for a new president. The editorial especially criticized Trump for "marginalizing and hobbling" the CDC See, The Hill, May 15:

https://thehill.com/homenews/media/498061-the-lancet-blasts-trump-says-voters-should-not-reelect-him

The journal's editorial also stated:

"The Administration is obsessed with magic bullets - vaccines, new medicines, or a hope that the virus will simply disappear."


But the deadly plague is not disappearing. The US death total has now passed 86,000, more than one third of the total world death toll of 300,000. Yet despite this horrendous figure, Trump and many of the Republican politicians who blindly follow him are pushing to "reopen" America for business - something that Trump hopes will gain him more votes in November. (That is if he doesn't use the mounting death toll from the pandemic as an excuse to cancel the election and rule by decree as a fascist dictator - as Viktor Orban has done in Hungary, for example.)

But aside from whatever election advantage Trump and the other GOP politicians supporting him may think they can gain from promoting a false, dangerous and delusional narrative, backed up by right wing -extremist violent anti-lockdown protests, that America can somehow "go back to normal" and coexist with Covid -19, there is another powerful motivation for Trump to aid and abet the spread of the pandemic - no matter how many hundreds of thousands of American lives this may ultimately cost.

This motivation is the opportunity to advance the Trump-Miller agenda of cutting off all nonwhite immigration into the United States and carrying out mass expulsion of immigrants who are already in this country. It is no secret that this has been Donald Trump's and Stephen Miller's objective since Day One of Trump's presidency. Now the chance to blame all immigrants, both with and without legal status for the Covid-19 plague, is too big an opportunity for Trump and Miller to miss.

Vox writer John Washington, who concentrates in immigration and border issues, describes this in his May 15 article:


Trump is using Covid-19 to target immigrants and asylum seekers

https://www.vox.com/the-highlight/trump-immigrants-refugee-asylum-covid-pandemic-detention-centers

Washington writes:


"Migrants are definitely not to blame for the pandemic...As the United States continues its immigration detention an deportation programs, we can now add anti-immigration policies to that list.

Foisting culpability for disease and contagion on migrants and asylum seekers remains a common cliche - one that has a long and vile history. Covid-19 has been a boon to the anti-immigrant agenda that President Trump - along with other nativist leaders - has been aching to implement ever since he took office wielding extraordinary executive powers to temporarily shutter the refugee resettlement program, lock down the US-Mexico border, suspend asylum processing and push children fleeing danger back into Mexico, invoking what he calls his 'magical authority'.


He continues:

"The administration is already moving to extend the [60-day visa suspension] indefinitely..."


But while the government is willing to suspend immigration laws meant to protect or welcome people arriving to the country, it is not willing to suspend ones that keep people dangerously locked up in detention centers where, as the coronavirus begins to creep in, it is almost certain to devastate...

Nor has the government suspended its expensive wall-building or, most dangerous of all, its deportation policies."


Writing about Trumps' deportations in the time of this deadly plague, Washington further writes:

"Deporting people from the United States, the global center of the the coronavirus crisis, is another gust of wind to a raging wildfire."


It is also, very arguably, a human rights violation amounting to a Crime Against Humanity which both Trump and Stephen Miller, his anti-immigrant Torquemada, who seems to delight in finding new ways to harass and torment nonwhite immigrants, should be put on trial for.at The Hague,

John Washington then goes on to recount the long history of scapegoating immigrants for bringing disease to America. Trump's border closings, deportations of Covid-19 positive immigrants and his latest worldwide ban on the entry of applicants for legal green cards in many different categories, using coronavirus as a pretext, are only the latest examples of this sorry tradition.

This leads to the question: Why is Trump so eager to endanger the lives of hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of Americans by beating the drums so loudly for America to "reopen", against the warnings of his own administration's top medical experts? Is this only to put the economy "back on track" to bolster his own reelection chances, according to the conventional wisdom among America's media commentators?

Or could there be another motive - seizing absolute power, using the coronavirus emergency as a pretext? But in order to do that, Trump needs a scapegoat for the emergency, in the style of dictators the world over.

And Trump has his scapegoats, ready and waiting for him, in the form of immigrants of every variety and from every part of the world. This includes not only the out-of-status immigrants whom he has been stirring up fear and hatred against ever since he began running for president five years ago,- but legal immigrants as well.

With both the crisis and the scapegoats in place, Trump could be well on the road to becoming America's fascist dictator. This will be discussed further in
Part 2 of this two-part comment.

Roger Algase
Attorney at Law