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Nevada Today

Nevada Today is a nonpartisan, independently owned and operated site dedicated to providing up-to-date news and smart analysis on the issues that impact Nevada's communities and businesses.

2020 ElectionCOVID-19HealthNews and informationThe Economy

This Week in Corona Scams: Not Up for Debate

Donald Trump, COVID-19, Corona Scams, This Week in Corona Scams

This Week in Corona Scams, Donald Trump said more weird stuff about COVID-19. Also, did you know Donald Trump and three of his adult children used to promote a MLM and run a MLM of their own? No really, that happened too!

And if that’s not exciting enough, let’s also examine why “the happiest place on earth” is not all that happy any more.

WARNING: Because that debate was such a dumpster fire, I’m in no mood to censor myself (again). Beware my foul language. Reader discretion is advised.
If it’s a day that ends in -y, Donald Trump is lying about COVID-19.

Because so much shit went down at Tuesday night’s presidential debate from hell, we need to unravel more of that clusterfuck. Don’t blame me. Thank Chris Wallace.

As we’ve already covered on these very pages, Donald Trump amplified false claims that people can treat their own COVID-19 by drinking and/or injecting bleach. Donald Trump violated Nevada state health rules and jeopardized attendees’ safety with his Minden and Henderson rallies last month. And as we discussed last week, Donald Trump wants to release a vaccine on “warp speed” despite ample evidence that no vaccine will be ready for safe and wide distribution any time this year. (Just yesterday, Moderna’s own CEO told The Financial Times that he’s expecting their vaccine to be released for public distribution some time next year.)

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#debate #godblessamerica #byedon2020

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In case all of that isn’t shitty enough, Trump also mocked masks (again) and tried to dispute the scientific evidence on the efficacy of face coverings. And despite all Trump’s promises to “make America safe again”, over 200,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 because Trump chose to control the message rather than contain the SARS-CoV-2 coronavirus.

On top of all that, Trump sneered at 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden, “You know what, Joe? You never could have done the job we did.” This may be the most potent endorsement that Joe Biden has ever received.

If it’s a high-risk zone for infection, is it really the “happiest place on earth”?

In the last six months, we’ve become accustomed to not only Donald Trump calling on state and local officials to “LIBERATE!” COVID-19 rather than stop its spread, but also “business leaders” and other corporate flaks blaming elected officials and public health authorities for shutting businesses down and denying them profits. We see it with the nonstop far-right attacks on Governor Steve Sisolak (D), even when Sisolak allows for more businesses to reopen, and we’re seeing it with Disney blaming California Governor Gavin Newsom (D) for their company’s layoffs as state health officials have recommended that theme parks like their Disneyland complex in Anaheim remain closed.

According to Covid Act Now, Nevada’s COVID-19 infection rate has edged down slightly to 1.11, but that’s still a troublingly high infection rate. California’s overall infection rate (0.96) and Orange County’s infection rate (0.97) are lower, but California also suffered a spike in infections, hospitalizations, and deaths after Newsom began to roll back health safety rules and allow for a broad swath of reopenings early in the summer. California’s COVID-19 stats improved again later in the summer, only for state officials to sound the alarms on another potential rebound. Does this sound eerily familiar yet?

For all the corporate lobbyists’ complaints about past shutdowns and current health safety rules, keep in mind that Trump’s “LIBERATE!” campaign has not resulted in better health or economic conditions. Despite the easing of restrictions earlier this year, analysis from the Economic Policy Institute shows that over 31 million Americans are either receiving unemployment income or awaiting a decision after applying for unemployment aid. As economists Raj Chetty and Mark Zandi explained in July, business reopenings are not sustainable absent sufficient action to protect public health by containing COVID-19.

For all Disney’s blaming of Gavin Newsom and California’s health safety rules for its 28,000 layoffs, attendance at the Orlando area Disney World remains below earlier projections despite Florida Governor Ron DeSantis (R) allowing Disney World to reopen in July. In addition, Disney lobbied for and received support from the CARES Act’s corporate relief fund (aka, the “$4.5 trillion money cannon of a bailout”), so it’s not like the company didn’t get help that the federal government claimed would ultimately go to workers. Please keep all of this in mind next time Donald Trump, NV-03 Republican nominee Dan Rodimer, perennial candidate in training Adam Laxalt (R), or anyone else condemns rules, restrictions, and regulations that are designed to protect the public’s health and safety.

If the “boss babe” life is so lucrative, why are they always scrambling?

Whoa, this has been extra heavy today. How about we change it up and check up on our favorite “small businesses”? Ever since that first wave of shutdowns in March and April, we’ve seen social media messages proclaiming “work from home” solutions that not only deliver big money, but also “free cars” and “free vacations”.

There’s a reason why I continue to warn against multi-level marketing (MLM) companies: They’re not what they claim to be. Despite the constant Instagram videos portraying endless “abundance” for their “entrepreneurs”, 99% of participants lose money in MLM’s. MLM company spokespeople and higher-level uplines love to explain it away by claiming that those who don’t succeed just “signed up as discount coaches” or “didn’t put in the effort”. 

But really, what would we think about companies that claim that the 99% of their workers who not only earn less than minimum wage, but actually lose money, lose money because “they don’t hustle hard enough”? And how would we make sense of “small business owners” who have no say in which products they sell, no say in pricing such products, and no say in determining compensation for themselves and their workers? Is this really a “small business”, or is it just… this?

If he offered you a “tremendous business opportunity”, would you take it?

If something sounds too good to be true, it typically is. And yet, all it takes is some slick marketing to get us to forget about that and “chase the dream” because it’s full of hot beaches and hot bodies. And really, is anyone surprised that even Donald Trump got in on this with his promotion of MLM company ACN and his efforts to make the Trump MLM happen?

While most media pundits continue to talk about Trump only paying $750 in federal income tax in 2016 and 2017 (and for very good reasons!), let’s also remember that four people are suing Donald Trump, Donald Trump Jr., Ivanka Trump, and Eric Trump for claiming from 2005-2015 that for only a small “start-up fee” (such as $499 for ACN’s “starter kit”), they and many others could “start their own businesses!” with ACN. In addition to promoting ACN on their NBC shows The Apprentice and Celebrity Apprentice, the Trumps also launched their own MLM: the Trump Network. Needless to say, the vast majority of people who paid to join the Trump Network also lost money on that “once-in-a-lifetime business opportunity”.

Even since Trump moved into the White House, his love for “network marketing” has not abated. Not only is Amway heir and U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos one of Trump’s longest serving cabinet members, but HUD Secretary Ben Carson got into the “network marketing business” with his promotion of the MLM company Mannatech. In addition the Trump-linked “activist investor” (and former major Caesars Entertainment stakeholder) Carl Icahn initially invested in MLM Herbalife in 2013 to screw over rival billionaire hedge fund manager Bill Ackman, then scored an extra $600 million+ when he sold his Herbalife stock this year thanks to the Federal Reserve pumping $6 trillion into U.S. equity markets this past spring.

Yes, I know Donald Trump is not the only politician who has ties to MLM’s and other shady “businesses”. I just hope this better illustrates why not only the Trump administration refused to treat COVID-19 as a public health crisis, but also why the “economic philosophy” behind Trump’s businesses and his government is so inherently scammy.

If you’re in need of medical treatment, contact your primary health care provider first. If you fear you can’t afford treatment from a hospital or doctor’s office, check with the Southern Nevada Health DistrictWashoe County Health DistrictCarson City Health and Human Services, or the Nevada Department of Health and Human Services for resources in your area. For additional aid, check the Nevada Current’s and Battle Born Progress’ resource guides. If you can afford proper treatment and you are fortunate enough to help others in need, please donate to larger operations like Direct Relief and Mutual Aid Disaster Relief, and to local groups like Three Square.

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