US dystopia rolls into 2021 amid political rancor as 160 die every hour from Covid-19 – Times of India

WASHINGTON: Roughly 160 Americans are dying every hour from Covid-19 and related causes as the year of profound mistrust and suffering drew to a close on Thursday, with the US racking up new records for infections, hospitalizations, and deaths from the coronavirus pandemic. Vaccination rates are behind the expected curve, many people are partying like there is no tomorrow, and indeed, for some, there isn’t.
Deaths are expected to tick over 4000 per day in January given the holiday partying end December, and while the many young can’t wait to leap into 2021, some of the old are dying alone in hospitals and nursing home. Their stories don’t make the headlines beyond bald statistics – unless they are rich and famous. Official data on 2020 deaths will likely not be released until early 2022, but it is estimated more Americans have died in 2020 than any other year in history, with the coronavirus bumping it up to over 3 million for the first time.
America’s dystopia is aggravated by a rancorous time in Washington DC. With 20 days to go for a newly-elected President and vice-president to be sworn on January 20, 2021, the element of distrust is so great in the political arena that the incoming leadership is changing its security detail with suspicion worthy of a fratricidal monarchy, and the outgoing dispensation is accusing the country’s highest court of being part of a death cult. A happy new year it will not be for the United — or divided — States of America. At least not in the first week or three.
The country’s defeated and divisive President Donald Trump cut short his holiday in Florida — during which he golfed every day — and returned to the capital after tweeting in all-caps “JANUARY SIXTH, SEE YOU IN DC!, a reference to the last ditch effort he and his surrogates are expected to make to subvert the election result which they have questioned with a relentless campaign of lies, falsehoods, and mendacity. Even most Republican lawmakers and the rightwing media acknowledge Trump and his cohorts failed to make the case that there was widespread fraud in the election, but the President seems intent on torching established traditions and precedents before he is turfed out of the White House.
Typical of the crazy conspiratorial people the President has now surrounded himself with, a a prominent pro-Trump lawyer tossed a flew of Twitter grenades on Thursday at the country Chief Justice John Roberts, a conservative who happens to have voted against causes dear to Trump’s MAGA faithfuls. “You are recorded discussing Justice Scalia’s successor before date of his sudden death. How did you know Scalia was going to die?” the attorney, Lin Wood asked Roberts in one tweet, adding: “Are you a member of any club or cabal requiring minor children as initiation fee?”
The mistrust and misgiving that has infected American politics was illustrated again on Thursday by reports that incoming President Joe Biden is changing his Secret Service detail to filter out elements his team believes are Trump loyalists. One senior Secret Service personnel, who are expected to be non-partisan, joined the White House as a political advisers and there have been instances of other uniformed personnel canvassing for Trump.
Trump has repeatedly praised and talked up law enforcement personnel and men and women in uniform in course of his presidency and there is sense among liberals and progressives that this has emboldened racists and white supremacists among uniformed personnel.
The rancor and bitterness in the political arena is expected to climax on January 6 when a joint session of Congress meets to formally endorse the electoral votes and declare the election of the new President and vice-president. But what was widely thought to be a formality is now expected to turn into a spectacle with a handful of Trump loyalists forcing a showdown and even a formal vote — even if it means breaking the Grand Old Party, whose Congressional leadership has acknowledged Joe Biden as the winner.
In nomenclature familiar to political party splits in India, lawmakers such as Josh Hawley (R-Trump), who plans to challenged the January 6 process, are being referred to as Trump Republicans.

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