Stay Alive! Stop Accepting Trump’s Failed COVID Policies

While watching the videos of people traveling home for Thanksgiving I heard experts say spikes in cases and deaths have happened after every major holiday since the pandemic started. They also pointed to increases in cases and deaths after the Sturgis Rally and Trump’s rallies.

I wondered, why doesn’t someone use the hard data from previous holidays to put pressure on Governors in states like South Dakota and Nebraska to make changes NOW?

And since data isn’t enough for some people, why doesn’t someone shoot videos of coffins and ICU wards to play on TV every night and social media during the day?

It’s because too many people don’t want to believe that there are people who are willfully and maliciously spreading misinformation which leads to sickness and death.

People who are doing public health communications believe in the model that “good speech drives out bad speech” that is partially correct, but what is also correct is that there needs to be campaigns and methods to deal with the people who are willful spreading dangerous misinformation. It is a threat to the health and safety of Americans. It constitutes threatening speech and threatening speech is NOT protected speech.

I listened to a GREAT Mother Jones podcast with science communication expert Jessica Malaty Rivera At 10:33 senior editor Kiera Butler asked if there are pieces of misinformation that won’t go away. Rivera called one example an “unfortunate misunderstanding of data.” She was frustrated that people were “misreading charts” that were very simple. Yes, there are people who have good faith misunderstandings of data. The communicators are right to want to educate them.

There needs to be multiple ways to reach people in different demographics using multiple techniques. There also needs to be strategic pressure on specific people who can enact changes.


For example, someone could use the tragic, predictable and avoidable deaths from Thanksgiving travel and gatherings to pressure Governors like Kristi Noem and Pete Ricketts to make policy cages before Christmas travel.

We could get the Lincoln Project people to make some ads about the dead piling up in South Dakota, (since apparently only former Republicans are allowed to go on the attack for dismal Republican policy failures.)

That tugs the heartstrings, but what about the purse strings?

Here is a list of the 100 largest companies in South Dakota. Here’s the top 6: Note that 4 are health care and 2 are senior care.
The CEOs of these companies can make calls to a Governor who isn’t acting to save the lives of their employees and clients. If the CEOs won’t make the call maybe the top shareholders should remind them that dead customers are bad for repeat business. 

  1. Sanford Health
  2. The Good Samaritan Society
  3. Good Shepherd Retirement
  4. Regional Health
  5. Rapid City Regional Hospital
  6. Avera Health

What about businesses from out of state that employ lots of people?
HR people at retail operations can demand and push nationwide mask mandates in all their stores.  Why is this important? See headline from yesterday:

South Dakota’s governor encouraged people to go shopping the same day the state reported its highest single-day COVID-19 death total (Business Insider)

My experience using financial leverage to drive change in right wing media taught me that corporations will take steps to avoid tainting their brand, as long as the revenue keeps coming in. Associating with deadly governors is bad for their brands.

Then of course there is the labor force. Maybe you’ve seen the video of the Omaha nurse from the University of Nebraska Medical Center talking about the tragic experiences of dealing with patients dying.

Nurse Daphne Newton died November 24th in Omaha Nebraska. She worked on the COVID-19 pandemic frontlines, treating patients at CHI Health Immanuel Hospital.

Last Tuesday Omaha nurse Daphne Newton caught the virus and died. She had spent the past eight months on the COVID-19 pandemic frontlines, treating patients at CHI Health Immanuel Hospital.

What kind of pressure can nurses put on Governors like Ricketts who haven’t pushed mask mandates? 

My work with activists attempting to stop gun violence and the proliferation of guns everywhere has shown me that we need more than just good messages to sway public opinion. We need to organize to pressure politicians politically, financially and in the public eye.

We were admonishment not to “politicize the tragedy.” Those calls often came from the NRA, whose policies and actions enabled the tragedies in the first place. They know that when a tragedy is fresh in the public’s eye that’s when the change is possible.

Prepare for the Thanksgiving death surge then use it to enact policies now, before Biden’s inaugurated.

What else can we do now? Get CDC & DHHS professionals to talk. If they get fired by Trump they can be hired back later.

Why are we accepting another 40k unnecessary deaths until January 20th? Like in a war, the number of deaths that were seen as horrific in the early days now seem normal. I was thinking of a way to talk about this when I found this piece in The Association for Psychological Science.

This distortion of perception applies to speeding in a car, but also when people watch fast videos for awhile and then normal speed ones.

It’s happens in freeway driving. You leave a highway to take an off-ramp, the fast speeds seem more normal than slower ones, and going the legal limit seems especially slow.

What can we do NOW to prevent MORE deaths?

Hammer ALL Governors to push mask mandates other public health actions
People are dying! Stop waiting for Biden to be President! 

Hammer GOP officials at the state level for allowing Trump policies to remain these next two months.
My friends in Indivisible groups around the country know how to do this. Call now! Protest at home offices!

Ask the questions the Media won’t to pressure politicians
The media is still stymied by the GOP politicians running from questions. You could be the constituent who is in pain because of COVID-19 problems who has questions for them! Remember the elevator scene during the Kavanaugh hearings?

Catch them in their home districts on the way to their fundraising dinners.
It will make news. If their answers are especially inane it will get picked up by the Late Night comedy shows and that is how you reach people who aren’t on Twitter.

Look, I totally get why we are all waiting for Biden, my understanding of which actions work or don’t work–but are still necessary to take–has also been broken by this administration and the GOP. But look at your personal connections to the various groups I’ve listed. Then think about what your one strategic call, email, post or tweet can do. You might be the snowflake that starts the avalanche.

These days all I want to do is watch music videos of Annie Lennox, especially, There Must Be An Angel, but I do NOT want people to die so I can talk to them as angels!

You all know the old saying, “When all you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail.” Sometimes we need hammers.

Nail the malicious misinformers and obstructors now, so we’ll use fewer coffin nails later!

#WearAMask so you will LLAP

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