Tuesday, April 21, 2020

Trump Is Making Executive Decisions Based On His Chats With Tucker Carlson

Donald Trump announced yesterday that he was temporarily suspending immigration to the United States, following the suggestion of Fox News host Tucker Carlson.

Former Trump strategist Steve Bannon describes Carlson as Trump's "most influential national security adviser", a terrifying thought and further indictment of Trump's rapidly deteriorating mental state.
In light of the attack from the Invisible Enemy, as well as the need to protect the jobs of our GREAT American Citizens, I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!"
The Visible Enemy offered no more details, probably because he has no clue about which programs exist or what legal grounds (if any) he has to suspend them. There are also more than 22 million fewer great American jobs that need protection, thanks in no small part to Trump's bungled response to this crisis over the last five months (and counting).

Only a few weeks ago, Trump expressed support for visas for agricultural workers as part of a promise to American farmers: "We're not closing the border so that we can't get any of those people to come in. ... They're going to continue to come, or we're not going to have any farmers."

It's unclear if this is yet another case of Trump's opinion being twisted by the last person he has spoken to or merely a racist attempt to shore up support among his Fox-watching cult members. (When Trump (or any other conservative or bully, really) is in trouble, he or she will invariably blame people who cannot fight back, those with no public voice or political power.)

Charanya Krishnaswami, the Americas advocacy director for Amnesty International USA, tweeted:
When you're a xenophobe, bans on migration are the only tired, failed, hateful solution you can think of. Suspending immigration won't make the US — which currently leads among COVID cases worldwide — safe. Our policies need to be grounded in public health, not bigotry.
Rep. Joaquin Castro, D-Texas, the chairman of the House Hispanic Caucus, accused Trump of using the health crisis to advance his anti-immigrant agenda:
This action is not only an attempt to divert attention away from Trump's failure to stop the spread of the coronavirus and save lives, but an authoritarian-like move to take advantage of a crisis ...
Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, agreed, saying Trump was hoping to distract Americans from his deadly non-actions by blaming immigrants:
The truth is many immigrants are on our front lines, protecting us as doctors, nurses, health aides, farmworkers, and restaurant workers.
Rep. Pramila Jayapal, , D-Wash., the co-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, tweeted:
This is beyond belief. Immigrants have always made America great. Suspending immigration & giving into racism & xenophobia won't solve our problems. Instead it will have a catastrophic impact on our health care, food supply & the systems we are relying upon during this crisis.
Salon's Igor Derysh reports:
Carlson has had an outsized influence in the Trump White House, convincing the president to take the coronavirus seriously [and] turning him on to the anti-malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a potential (but unproven) coronavirus treatment ...

Carlson was joined in his effort by former Attorney General Jeff Sessions, who has regularly drawn Trump's scorn but has long pushed the anti-immigration policies Trump and adviser Stephen Miller, a former Sessions aide, have enacted.
Before Trump suddenly stopped mentioning hydroxychloroquine in his daily Two Hours Hate, he used taxpayers dollars to purchase 29 million doses. That decision (a subject of furious infighting among the Coronavirus Task Force) also put money in his own pocket. Trump has a financial stake in Sanofi, the French company that produces hydroxychloroquine.

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