Far-left pundit and economist Paul Krugman declared that a "deranged and irrational" President Donald Trump — even if he lasts only one term in office — "will have caused, directly or indirectly, the premature deaths of a large number of Americans."
In his New York Time's op-ed Thursday — not surprisingly titled "Donald Trump is trying to kill you" — Krugman detailed exactly how the Republican commander in chief is preparing the way for this mass offing of humans.
'Right-wing, white nationalist extremists'
"Some of those deaths will come at the hands of right-wing, white nationalist extremists, who are a rapidly growing threat, partly because they feel empowered by a president who calls them 'very fine people,'" he explained, presumably referring to the discredited mainstream media claim that Trump called the Charlottesville neo-Nazis "very fine people."
'Failures of governance'
"Some will come from failures of governance, like the inadequate response to Hurricane Maria, which surely contributed to the high death toll in Puerto Rico," Krugman added. "(Reminder: Puerto Ricans are U.S. citizens.)"
'Efforts to sabotage Obamacare'
He noted that the Trump administration's "continuing efforts to sabotage Obamacare, which have failed to kill health reform but have stalled the decline in the number of uninsured, meaning that many people still aren't getting the health care they need" will add to the death toll. "Of course, if Trump gets his way and eliminates Obamacare altogether, things on this front will get much, much worse," he added.
Krugman argued that the "biggest death toll is likely to come from Trump's agenda of deregulation — or maybe we should call it 'deregulation,' because his administration is curiously selective about which industries it wants to leave alone."
He noted two events to illustrate "the deadly strangeness of what's going on":
One is the administration's plan for hog plants to take over much of the federal responsibility for food safety inspections. And why not? It's not as if we've seen safety problems arise from self-regulation in, say, the aircraft industry, have we? Or as if we ever experience major outbreaks of food-borne illness? Or as if there was a reason the U.S. government stepped in to regulate meatpacking in the first place?
Now, you could see the Trump administration's willingness to trust the meat industry to keep our meat safe as part of an overall attack on government regulation, a willingness to trust profit-making businesses to do the right thing and let the market rule. And there's something to that, but it's not the whole story, as illustrated by another event: Trump's declaration the other day that wind turbines cause cancer.
Now, you could put this down to personal derangement: Trump has had an irrational hatred for wind power ever since he failed to prevent construction of a wind farm near his Scottish golf course. And Trump seems deranged and irrational on so many issues that one more bizarre claim hardly seems to matter.
'Follow the money'
Krugman said one way of figuring out what's going on is to "follow the money. Political contributions from the meat-processing industry overwhelmingly favor Republicans. Coal mining supports the G.O.P. almost exclusively. Alternative energy, on the other hand, generally favors Democrats."
Further slamming Republicans — a "party that wishes we could go back to the 1950s (but without the 91 percent top tax rate)" — he said they will "have a hard time accepting the reality that hippie-dippy, unmanly things like wind and solar power are becoming ever more cost-competitive."
Whatever the drivers of Trump policy, the fact, as I said, is that it will kill people. Wind turbines don't cause cancer, but coal-burning power plants do — along with many other ailments. The Trump administration's own estimates indicate that its relaxation of coal pollution rules will kill more than 1,000 Americans every year. If the administration gets to implement its full agenda — not just deregulation of many industries, but discrimination against industries it doesn't like, such as renewable energy — the toll will be much higher.
So if you eat meat — or, for that matter, drink water or breathe air — there's a real sense in which Donald Trump is trying to kill you. And even if he's turned out of office next year, for many Americans it will be too late.
What else has Krugman said?
- Krugman in January said the Republican Party is full of "know-nothings" who are "for bigotry and against education."
- White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders in December 2018 awarded the "worst prediction for the year" prize to Krugman for saying Trump's presidency would sink the American economy to such a low point that it would never recover.
- Krugman slammed Trump in September 2017 after it was reported that cholera emerged in Puerto Rico in the wake of Hurricane Maria. Krugman issued a correction after reports were found to be false, although his original tweet slamming Trump was widely liked and retweeted.
- In January 2017 he tweeted that Trump "was obviously mentally ill the moment he took office."
- Krugman suggested on Twitter in December 2016 that Trump will intentionally allow terrorists to attack Americans during his presidency, arguing that he has "incentives" to do so.
- He also argued before the 2016 election that "sexual predation" exists exclusively in the GOP but cited only three examples.