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To the editor:
I am addressing this letter to Governor Kim Reynolds who has acted with prudence and determination to enact programs to protect Iowans and yet keep essential businesses, about 80% of Iowa’s businesses, open to continue to serve all of us.
Her daily press conferences keeps us informed, assured that her decisions are carefully considered [not hunches] and data driven. For the past several weeks, she has informed us “for the purpose of providing updates on the health of our state’s citizens, what steps must be taken to slow the spread of the virus and what our government is doing to help.”
She does not try to sugar coat it as just a seasonal flu that will miraculously disappear, make claims about unproven drugs to combat the virus, nor does she inflate her role in dealing with the crisis. She gives a briefing, followed by a question and answer session with local media.
Contrast Governor Reynolds’s press conferences to that of Trump’s, a monologue sometimes lasting over two hours touting his accomplishments, interspersed with fights with the media, often accused of fake news. So, Governor could you please send a tutorial to the White House?
The United States now leads the world in COVID-19 cases with 712,184 testing positive and 34,386 deaths but Trump has found a silver lining. His press conference ratings have never been better. He has been fixated on the number of people who have been watching his daily press conferences.
On a Twitter tear, he quoted a New York Times article that notes 8.5 million viewers–about the equivalent of this year’s season finale of The Bachelor. Viewer ship might be explained, not by his so-called charisma or his unique draw as a TV figure, or whatever else he may attribute it to in his head, like just plain narcissism, but because nervous Americans are simply trying to learn how much the deadly virus has spread.
And, these press conferences from a President who repeatedly has said in every crisis or mistake, “I am not responsible,” the “buck never stops” on his desk, gives him an opportunity to play the blame game, something I suspect he has done since childhood. Among those blamed are the media, the World Health Organization, the Democrats and President Obama.
The blame game works, this is how, according to Matt Hunter, in the Harlan Coben book, The Innocent, who advised a Senior Partner in his law firm, “ We blame whoever, we can, We’re looking to confuse. You blame enough people, nothing sticks.”
The “big lie,” a propaganda technique perfected by Hitler and his propaganda minister Josef Goebbels involves telling the lie and repeating it over and over until people “in their primitive simplicity,” will believe it.
Today, the “big lie” is used by the crazy conspiracy theorists who believe the number of people who have died from the virus is “media hype.” It is not an effective technique to combat a world wide pandemic, in fact it is dangerous.