News about a trump Tower resident who died when his apartment went up in flames has nothing to do with Trump; yet, in a rather direct way, it has everything to do with him. And in a circular way, the killer blaze also ties to the president's EPA pick, Scott Pruitt.

Risky business

The two-way connection to the fire begins, as it should, with facts. The burnt-out apartment, which was valued at $2.5 million in 2015, had a smoke detector, but no sprinkler system. None of the living spaces in Trump's luxury building has. And the thing is, there should have been if New York had its way.

Nearly two decades ago Trump, along with other real estate developers, balked when the city council recommended residential towers built without sprinklers to get retro-fitted with them. Too expensive, said Trump and his colleagues. And the city, led by Mayor Rudy Giuliani, let them off the hook.

On shaky ground

Putting profit ahead of people's safety is a running theme in this story and the president's Tweet about the deadly fire makes the point: “Fire at Trump Tower is out. Very confined (well-built building)...” Do you see what he did there? Ever the salesman, he used the tragedy to hawk his building, ignoring the possibility that death by fire may have been prevented if he had installed a Sprinkler System.

The billionaire businessman treated his luxury building like a tenement.

Abbreviating the E.P.A

Pruitt also puts money ahead of public health, rolling back some 22 regulations that kept people safe from contaminated food, water, and air. And he's slow to enforce the laws that remain, levying fewer fines on polluters than any EPA director in the last three administrations.

He treats the agency as a protectorate for big business. And to ensure that polluters get away with their dastardly deeds, he cut staff so that toxic chemicals and environmental hazards are less likely to be monitored.

Poisoning the public

Christine Todd Whitman, the former EPA administrator in the Bush presidency, told the news site VOX, “People will get sick and die.

It's that simple. Some 230,000 Americans already die each year due to hazardous chemical exposure. You stop enforcing those regulations and that number will go way up.” And a coldly colored image of Hell in the third panel of Hieronymus Bosch's triptych “ Garden of Earthly Delights.” A world in perpetual night on fire with beasts feeding on human flesh. You don't know if the red glow on a waterway is from flames or from bleeding corpses. There's more to see in this painting, but it's too loathsome to describe - like the abuses of Trump and Pruitt. Greed is good, said Gordon Gekko, the villain in the 1987 film “Wall Street,” and you know how he ended up.