New York —

Maribel Hastings is Executive Advisor to America’s Voice and David Torres is Spanish Media Advisor to America’s Voice

Maribel Hastings and David Torres
| May 13, 2020

If anything was demonstrated at the end of last week, it is that the Covid-19 does not discriminate, although the officials in charge of dealing with the pandemic do. It is an almost natural practice of those who have power and, for that fact, think or feel that they are immune to everything, including a deadly virus that has wreaked havoc around the world.

While the Trump administration, White House officials and advisers have gone out of their way to make immigrants scapegoats for their failed response to the virus, or have used the pandemic to push its anti-immigrant and racist policies, they have been some of those same officials affected by the coronavirus.

In effect, they exposed themselves so much believing in the presidential protective halo, that they were harmed in their health, just like all those other officials, today in disgrace, who believed in the supremacist speech of the president, but who in the end, when being discarded from the Cabinet for no longer agreeing to the plans of the White House, fell out of favor, without his reputation going to recover in the short, medium or long terms. They were forever marked.

Thus, presidential adviser Stephen Miller, architect of Trump’s anti-immigrant policies and who has used Covid-19 as an excuse to restrict even documented migration to the United States, was the center of attention when it was revealed that his wife, Katie Miller, secretary of Vice President Mike Pence’s press tested positive for the coronavirus.

While Mrs. Miller, like her boss Pence, attended all parties and meetings without even wearing a mask, it turns out that she carried the virus. Which immigrant will they blame now, that even the director of the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), Robert Redfield, and epidemiologist Anthony Fauci have had to be placed in voluntary quarantine for possible exposure to the virus?

Trump says that he is tested for the Covid-19 every day and that it is negative, but he has been very close to all those officials, without being ordered to isolate himself by national security. The question is: how many people could such a president infect?

For his part, Alex Azar, Health Secretary, affirmed this week that it has been the “lifestyle” of the meat packers’ employees, most of them migrants and minorities, which has unleashed the spread of the virus in these business; But it does not mention the irresponsibility of employers who have forced employees to go to work sick to fulfill the designs of a Trump who wants to revive the economy on the shoulders of almost 80,000 dead.

In this way, the economic system has a litmus test right now, which will define it forever, depending on the model it chooses to overcome this crisis. And you have to choose between humanizing your practices, knowing that the workforce is what sustains the companies; or, to return to its wild stage in which the maximum profit was above the life and dignity of the workers.

So, as much as they blame migrants for trying to cover up their own incompetence in handling this crisis, they are seen in the seam. And its Machiavellian scheme does not flourish either because it is these immigrants or their descendants who are represented at all levels: among those killed by the virus, among doctors, nurses, paramedics and other health personnel who day by day fight the pandemic; among those who pick, distribute, cook and distribute the food that we continue to obtain, even in the midst of the crisis, and in so many other essential tasks.

You must understand it at once: the “new normal” after the pandemic has to take into account the vital importance that each element has in the gear of the new societies that will give life and shape to this century that has barely passed its second decade. If something must be clear, it is also that at least this nation must tend towards its social or socio-economic evolution, and not towards its involution.

But what can be expected if the head of state is unable to show an iota of empathy towards the relatives of the dead and is only mishandling the response to the pandemic based on what is convenient for him personally and politically. Using migrants as scapegoats is peccata minuta. But the virus that does not discriminate, Covid-19, has already entered the White House, where another virus, that of xenophobia, continues to infect our public policy.