As we continue into uncharted times with the COVID-19 pandemic, we must change our focus to how we can combat this virus and support one another during this crisis. This global pandemic affects each and every one of us. Unfortunately, not everyone believes in science and nor is taking it seriously. Too many people are going against the suggestions of medical professionals and scientists, putting all of us at risk. Estimates now are that due to a lack of proper preparation to accept tests offered by WHO, as well as masks, alcohol wipes, and ventilators from suppliers, 100,000 – 240,000 Americans might die due to this virus, potentially millions. There is currently NO national shelter in place order with specific guidelines for essential people and services, which must continue. Things are being organized state by state. Epidemiologists state the virus does not respect artificial boundaries.

Until recently, President Trump downplayed the seriousness of this virus, even calling it a hoax. CNN Politics fact-checked how Trump tried to erase the memory of him downplaying the coronavirus and shared his actual quotes:

From January until last week, Trump consistently minimized the risk the coronavirus posed to the country. He claimed to have the virus under “control,” that the number of US cases would go “down, not up,” that the virus might “disappear” through a “miracle” or something of the sort, that the virus might well vanish by April with the warmer weather, that the media and Democrats were overhyping the situation, and that “this is their new hoax,” leaving it unclear whether he was calling the virus itself a hoax., Steve Bannon

Additionally, religious leaders are using fear of the End Times to manipulate members. (I wrote about this last week, here.) And others refuse to stop meeting as a congregation, claiming they are essential and trust in God to protect them. One such example is a megachurch in Louisiana. Texas Pastors are asking for a religious exemption to the stay at home order.

Even more disturbing is Ralph Drollinger, who runs a weekly Bible study for Trump administration Cabinet officials and other politicians, suggested the coronavirus pandemic is due to God’s wrath over homosexuality and environmentalism. I wrote about Drollinger, the Christian Right, and the influence they have on today’s political administration, in my book, The Cult of Trump.

Katherine Stewart, author of The Power Worshippers: Inside the Dangerous Rise of Religious Nationalism, wrote an Op-Ed that discusses this issue: “The Religious Right’s Hostility to Science Is Crippling Our Coronavirus Response. Trump’s response to the pandemic has been haunted by the science denialism of his ultraconservative religious allies.” Anne Nelson very much recommends, as I do, Stewart’s book, The Power Worshippers. Anne Nelson introduced me to the work of attorney Jennifer Kohn, who wrote this essential article, on the corruption of American’s electronic voting machines and wrote in December 2017 that “The Council for National Policy (to which Kellyanne Conway, Steve Bannon, the Mercers, Michael Pence, Ken Blackwell, and the two men whose families funded the largest voting machine vendor in the U.S.) has set a deadline of 202 for restoring “religion and economic freedom and Judeo-Christian values” under the Constitution.” I recently watched the HBO documentary: Kill Chain: The Cyber War on America’s Elections. The trailer is here.

This brings me to this week, where I had a chance to interview the award-winning author and media analyst, Anne Nelson. I learned much by reading her book, Shadow Network, and it largely validated a lot of what I wrote about in The Cult of Trump. Her research and insights are invaluable into the network and 501C-3 Council for National Policy.

About Anne Nelson

Anne Nelson is an award-winning author and playwright who has written extensively about human rights and the defiance of totalitarian regimes. Her most recent work is Shadow Network: Media, Money, and the Secret Hub of the Radical Right. Her previous book, Suzanne’s Children: A Daring Rescue in Nazi Paris, a finalist for the National Jewish Book Award, was published in eight countries. Red Orchestra: The Story of the Berlin Underground and the Circle of Friends Who Resisted Hitler (2009) was named Editor’s Choice by the New York Times Book Review. She is also the author of “Murder Under Two Flags: The US, Puerto Rico, and the Cerro Maravilla Cover-up.”

Her play “The Guys,” which premiered in 2001 with Sigourney Weaver and Bill Murray, has been produced in all 50 states and 15 countries.

Nelson’s writing has been published in The New York Times, Los Angeles Times, Harper’s, and she has appeared on CBS “Sunday Morning” and The PBS “Newshour,” as well as the BBC, CBC, and NPR. She has received the Livingston Award for International Journalism, a Guggenheim Fellowship, and a Bellagio Fellowship. Nelson is a graduate of Yale University and a member of the Council on Foreign Relations. She is a research fellow at the Columbia School of International and Public Affairs in New York City.

Nelson lectures frequently on human rights, authoritarian regimes, and the role of the media.

She begins our conversation by discussing her background and her new book, Shadow Network. She has always had a strong interest in both human and civil rights and the role of media in society. We talk about the 2016 election, the secret organization that has been exercising influence in DC, and what that means for us during this pandemic.

It is important to understand the nuances of the election process along with those in power that could sway the outcome. Swing states, social media and misinformation play a huge role. And the most important thing the public can do is learn about the election process, the secret Authorities in DC, along with this virus and ways to stay healthy. Visit reputable sites from the CDC and WHO. Avoid sharing rumors and unvalidated information. One person worth mentioning is Laurie Garrett, a leading expert on public health policy. You can follow her on Twitter.

The Trump administration cannot be blamed for the virus itself. But America and the world are very much to blame for its improper responses, from downplaying the risk to not mandating scientific experts advice to have a national policy to address the current situation. Trump’s administration is to blame for lack of planning and funding of those offices whose job is to prepare for pandemics. And Trump, from day one, has declared war against necessary federal agencies claiming they were a waste. But this included those that study global health and medical experts. He also cut needed budgets. All of this has left the American people ill-prepared, potentially increasing the number of casualties.

Again, educate yourself which is empowering and even life-saving, especially during this crisis.

Please take the time to watch my interview with Anne, below. Her insights and analysis of our current situation are extremely helpful. And please read Shadow Network. By understanding the very real threat to our government and species, we can all have a hand in preventing any further risks to our health and rights.


Video Discussion with Anne Nelson

About The Author