‘Business lives matter’ is GOP’s mantra
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John Meredith, of Huntsville, is a former Capitol Hill lobbyist who was recognized as one of the country’s 100 most influential Black Republicans.

How many times have people been told by some government official, “If it saves just one life, then it is worth it?”

With pandemic related deaths in nearly every state, how is it possible for those same government officials to declare over 50,000 American deaths are suddenly acceptable … as long as we reopen the economy.

When POTUS calls for the liberation of states putting lives above profits, he is not only disingenuous but potentially cataclysmic with regard to public health. In his disregard for our lives, POTUS has told folks to cure themselves with an untested drug he is rumored to have a financial interest in. He later told us the suffering could cure themselves with an injection of disinfectant. Completing the trifecta of ignorance was his suggestion that UV light shined internally could also cure coronavirus.

The fact there is not even a documented plan toward peer reviewed medical or scientific metrics of incremental successes toward control or containment of the virus indicates the Administration’s hubris towards its citizenry. Despite what POTUS claims, there is no statistically significant testing being conducted in the U.S. for either diagnostic or antibody determination. With Jared Kushner misusing federal authority to confiscate PPE for the national stockpile, aka “his” personal determination, there is even less sufficient PPE available for first responders, healthcare professionals and yes, morticians.

John Meredith
John Meredith is a contributing columnist for AL.com. John Meredith

The shortage of PPE highlights just how little the GOP values human life. If a hospital can’t get an ample supply of protective masks, how on Earth can government expect a business owner to get them and in enough quantities for all their employees as well as all their customers?

Over a month ago I ordered masks from three different online sources, not one order has made it to my doorstep. I have answered local business advertisements saying they had masks but none have panned out. Without a universal distribution mechanism, just how does an individual citizen get a mask for compliance with the most important Coronavirus mandate issued by the Center for Disease Control?

Add the fact we don’t definitively know whether someone can be reinfected with COVID-19, and it is plain to see that today’s GOP has substituted the one life rule for the one business rule. They have unilaterally decided that you and your family’s safe pursuit of happiness is not as important as the large contribution a single business can now legally give them.

In exchange for those campaign altering donations, Republicans in Congress and some occupying governors mansions have willingly gaslit constituents into believing “our whole country will be lost” if businesses, proven to be non-essential, are somehow not allowed unrestricted access to consumer wallets. According to the Institute of Policy Studies, between March 18 and April 22 America’s billionaires saw their net worths increase over 10% while more than 26 million people lost their livelihoods.

This statistic proves the American economy is doing just fine with folks obeying government stay at home orders. Reopening America is not about the economy. It is about Republicans declaring the rights of business supersedes those of people. They truly don’t care whose grandmother or grandchildren die from an unnecessary COVID exposure because people no longer fund their re-election bids, businesses do.

For that reason, the GOP has abandoned any pretense of being pro-life. A party respecting life would never put the lives of others at risk by disobeying a legal order to stay at home. They would never encourage thugs to illegally gather at state houses armed with not only handguns but weapons of war. Nor would that party suggest protestors surround themselves with confederate relics emphasizing a way of life that dehumanized an entire race to show their contempt at being held to the same rules as everybody else, like today’s GOP.

A pro-life party understands the Constitution ensures a person’s pursuit of happiness not a business’s path to profit. That party would enact legislation that puts money directly in hands of people during this time of uncertainty, not businesses. And that party would fund state and local governments devastated by liabilities incurred providing public health and economic assistance to citizens previously delivered by federal sources.

One life or 50,000, the number doesn’t matter. Republicans will happily step over any number of dead bodies, if it means saving just one business.

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