People are pointing out the problem with celebrating having ‘survived’ the Trump administration

Isobel van Hagen
Sunday 31 January 2021 11:30
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Donald Trump hace un gesto mientras él y la primera dama Melania Trump salen de la Casa Blanca para abordar el Marine One(REUTERS)

The majority of Americans and people around the world let out a sigh of relief when Donald Trump left office.

 Democrats dubbed the end of his presidency as “return to normalcy”, others cried of happiness at the prospect of having Kamala Harris as vice president.

The internet was full of Inauguration Day memes ceremony and people celebrating the end of a – to put it mildly – tumultuous four years.

On Tuesday, the day before the transition, Twitter user @chuckietoyou commemorated the moment saying, “Trump’s last day is tomorrow y’all....we really survived”. The tweet received more than 122 thousands likes, if that gives a sense of how excited people were.

#TrumpsLastDay and #ByeFelicia trended throughout the day, and a flurry of tweets, Instagram posts and TikToks made clear how happy people were to have made it through.

Although, the idea that “we really survived” sparked a debate as Biden was set to take office, as some people were careful to acknowledge that, in fact, many did not in fact survive his presidency: “the way hundreds of thousands of ppl did NOT”. 

“Unfortunately not all of us could be here to see the glorious day he leaves office over 300k Americans lost their life due to his incompetence,” one person commented. Another wrote that their relatives had died from Covid, and had not made it through a presidency that took few precautions against preventable deaths.

Despite insisting the coronavirus pandemic was “totally under control” last January, under the Trump administration more than 400,000 people in the US have died of the coronavirus (and loss of life is accelerating). The website “TrumpDeathClock” estimates more than half of those deaths were “due to POTUS inaction”. 

This is compounded by conservatives refusing to wear masks on many occasions, Trump holding unsafe rallies, ignoring health expert advice, and his base falsely claiming the virus is a “hoax”.

Journalist Aaron Rupar also acknowledged this issue, writing, “Here's to folks who didn't make it through. May we never do this to ourselves again.”

Beyond that, there are also people who died in ICE custody and at the border under Trump immigration law, as well as those who were executed on death row in the final days of his presidency.

While some debated that “people die every day”, an exceptional and horrendous number of people died in the US in the last year.

Congresswoman Cori Bush helped to put things into perspective. She said:

"The relief we may feel with Trump’s departure from office must be paired with reflection and collective mourning for all of the loved ones lost under his 4 years of negligence and destruction."

More: Looking to the future: Joe Biden's inaugural address was everything I expected it to be

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