Inconceivable. Horrifying. Infuriating.

Nineteen years ago, we woke up to news that passenger planes had been hijacked and flown into the World Trade Center, the Pentagon, a field in Pennsylvania. It was inconceivable. It was horrifying. It was infuriating. Nearly 3,000 people died in those attacks. We mourned the senseless loss of life then and we’ve mourned every year since. And yet, today we experience a loss of life equivalent to the 9/11 terror attacks every other day in America. We are well on our way to 200,000 deaths. That number could double by the end of this year.

It is inconceivable. It is horrifying. It is infuriating.

Other countries have taken effective measures to mitigate the death toll from Covid-19. We know it can be done. We refuse to do it. Our president lied to the American people about the seriousness of the virus and actively worked to convince us not to trust the medical experts. He promoted bogus cures. He mocked the use of masks. He stood in front of news cameras and declared the virus was nothing more than a bad flu, said it would disappear in warmer weather, said his administration had it under control. And now, we have him on tape from a conversation in February (FEBRUARY!), acknowledging that he lied. He continues to lie.

It is inconceivable. It is horrifying. It is infuriating.

“I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot somebody and I wouldn’t lose voters.” Donald Trump

And his followers don’t care. Trump once said he could stand in the middle of Fifth Avenue and shoot someone, and his followers wouldn’t stop supporting him. He is not right about much, but he is right about that. His lies, his incompetency, his callous disregard for anyone but himself, has made him responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans and he’s just getting started. His followers don’t mind a bit.

As we observe the anniversary of 9/11 today, we should take stock of what our country has become. When those terrible attacks happened 19 years ago, we swore we’d come back stronger, more united, and better than ever. For a while, it looked like we might. But then we elected Donald Trump and we were exposed as a weak and divided nation. Trump and his followers haven’t made us great, they’ve made us pitiable. They’ve made us weak.

In the aftermath of 9/11, we entered into an ill-conceived war. We built a memorial to honor the dead. We swore we’d never forget. So, what are we going to do in the aftermath of Donald Trump? Because far more deadly than any foreign-born terrorist. To do nothing would be inconceivable, horrifying, and infuriating.

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Tiffany Quay Tyson