chomsky

U.S. President Donald Trump is culpable for thousands of deaths in the U.S. and beyond due to his Covid-19 pandemic response, from making states deal with the crisis individually to cutting the World Health Organization (WHO) funding, Professor Noam Chomsky has said.

The radical intellectual has said: Donald Trump has done it to boost his electoral prospects and line the pockets of big business.

The progressive activist and author is less than pleased with the U.S. president’s coronavirus response, and insists his small government attitude and slashing of healthcare and research funds has put the U.S. in a poor position to handle a pandemic.

“That’s something that Trump has been doing every year of his term, cutting it back more. So [his plan is] let’s continue to cut it back, let’s continue to make sure that the population is as vulnerable as we can make it, that it can suffer as much as possible, but will of course increase profits for his primary constituents in wealth and corporate power,” Chomsky told The Guardian in an interview promoting the launch of Progressive International, a group “for the world’s progressive forces, with a mission to make solidarity more than a slogan.” The interview has been published on May 11, 2020.

Chomsky argued the U.S. president was stabbing average Americans in the back while pretending to be the country’s savior during the worst health crisis in at least a century.

The “Manufacturing Consent” author Chomsky has accused the president of actually causing deaths, both through his insistence that state governors be separately put in charge of Covid-19 responses, and his pulling of funds from the WHO.

Trump relying on state governors to individually deal with the pandemic is “a great strategy for killing a lot of people,” Chomsky said, adding that Trump has taken this approach because it may improve “electoral politics.”

There are currently over 1.3 million confirmed cases of the coronavirus in the U.S., as well as nearly 80,000 deaths.

On the president defunding the WHO following criticism of their response to the coronavirus, the author says this will lead to deaths in other nations that rely more on the group, such as Yemen and across the Africa continent.

“It’s much worse than that,” the progressive said after being asked if the president is “culpable” for the deaths of Americans, “because the same is true internationally. To try and cover up his criminal attacks against the American people, which have been going on all of this time, he’s flailing about to try and find scapegoats.”

He said Trump, who will seek re-election later this year, had cut government funding for healthcare and research into infectious disease for the benefit of wealthy corporations.

Progressive International

The Progressive International was first convened by Bernie Sanders, the Vermont senator, and Yanis Varoufakis, the former Greek finance minister.

It aims to mount a fightback against the increasing rise of rightwing populist movements around the globe.

Other members of the newly launched organization include Katrín Jakobsdóttir, the Icelandic prime minister, former Labour shadow chancellor John McDonnell, the authors Naomi Klein and Arundhati Roy, and Rafael Correa, the former president of Ecuador. In September, pandemic permitting, the council will convene for an inaugural summit in Reykjavik.

Varoufakis

Also speaking in an interview to mark the launch, Varoufakis said articles he and Sanders wrote in the Guardian two years ago were among catalysts for launching the Progressive International.

Varoufakis said: “It’s been urgent for quite a while now. If anything, I’m worried that we’re coming to the party too late. I hope not.”

Expressing anger at the EU response to the pandemic as a “very sad dereliction of duty,” he said the crisis could tear apart the euro single currency bloc. “I don’t think the eurozone can survive it. But it can survive long enough to deplete huge amounts of wealth and social capital. Europe is rich enough, it can pretend and extend.”


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