COVID-19 Update: Trump Learns About This Thing Called “Projections”

Ken AshfordEbola/Zika/COVID-19 Viruses, Election 2020, Trump & AdministrationLeave a Comment

North Carolina: 1,167 cases and 5 deaths in the state as of Sunday. State-wide lockdown starts effective today.

Forsyth County has 35 positive coronavirus case

The numbers are still rising exponentially. We seem to have a working model from University of Washington.

So that national peak appears to be April 15 with a total projected death total of 82,121; the NC peak seems to be a week later with a total projected death total of 1,721.

Trump still holds his daily fiasco press briefings, although the one yesterday showed him to be more fearful than in the past. He seemed to have a grasp of the models and the severity of what we are facing – a 1 million to 2.2 million person death toll in the United States… if we do nothing. Fortunately, we as a society are not “doing nothing”.

One exception: Awful news about the students who followed Falwell’s utterly insane decision to re-open Liberty University and returned to school:

…Mr. Falwell — a staunch ally of President Trump and an influential voice in the evangelical world — reopened [Liberty University] last week, igniting a firestorm. As of Friday, Dr. Eppes said, nearly a dozen Liberty students were sick with symptoms that suggest Covid-19, the disease caused by the virus. Three were referred to local hospital centers for testing. Another eight were told to self-isolate.

I am at a loss for words and sick to my stomach over this. I can only hope and pray that these poor kids recover. And that somehow, Falwell and Trump are held accountable.

Darwin’s theory shows itself elsewhere.

Religious Ignorance Kills: Landon Spradlin, a Virginia pastor who claimed the “mass hysteria” around the coronavirus pandemic was part of a media plot against Trump, has died from the virus.

ABC News reports:

 Landon Spradlin’s family never got to say goodbye.

The 66-year-old father and husband from Virginia died due to complications from COVID-19 on Wednesday morning in North Carolina.

While on the way home from a mission trip, Spradlin collapsed and was taken to a hospital in Concord, North Carolina. He was eventually put on a ventilator as his condition worsened.

According to reports, Spradlin, a 66-year-old Christian “musical evangelist,” fell ill while on a missionary trip to New Orleans with his wife. 

Friendly Atheist reports Spradlin went to New Orleans to “wash it from its Sin and debauchery.”

On his Facebook page Spradlin shared a misleading meme attempting to minimize COVID-19, comparing the virus to the swine flu, and suggesting that the response to the coronavirus pandemic was media created “mass hysteria” to damage Trump.

But, less than a week after speculating that we may be over this by Easter, Trump recommended that restrictions extend to the end of April.

Trump said the Easter target date was “just an aspiration” and said he expects “great things to be happening” by June 1. Instead, Trump said he believes Easter will mark “the peak number, and it should start coming down, hopefully very substantially at that point.”

Still, there were many lies in the briefing.

Trump falsely denied that he claimed governors from certain states are asking for equipment they don’t need. At Sunday’s briefing, Alcindor, Newshour’s White House Correspondent, asked the President whether he felt his comments and belief “that some of the equipment that governors are requesting they don’t actually need” would have an impact on the federal distribution of ventilators and other medical resources. As Alcindor attempted to finish her question, the President interjected, “I didn’t say that,” before going on to say it wouldn’t have an impact.

But he did say that. On March 26 during a Fox News interview with Sean Hannity, Trump said, “a lot of equipment’s being asked for that I don’t think they’ll need” specifically in reference to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, and following a tirade against Washington state Gov. Jay Inslee and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. Trump later said he felt Cuomo was requesting an unnecessary number of ventilators. “I have a feeling that a lot of the numbers that are being said in some areas are just bigger than they are going to be,” Trump said. “I don’t believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators.”When Alcindor noted that she was quoting from the President’s interview with Hannity, Trump said: “Take a look at my interview. What I want to do is if there is something wrong, we have to get to the bottom of it.”

CNN’s Jeremy Diamond began a question to Trump as follows: “I’d also like to ask you about some comments you made on Friday. You were talking about governors of different states and you said, ‘I want them to be appreciative.’ You also said, ‘if they don’t treat you right, I don’t call.'” After Diamond said the words “if they don’t treat you right,” Trump said, “But I didn’t say that.” When Diamond finished the sentence, Trump said “I didn’t say that” once more.

But Trump did say what he claimed he didn’t. As Diamond told Trump, Diamond was reading direct quotes from Trump’s Friday briefing. Trump went on to argue Sunday that he was being taken out of context, noting that on Friday he had also said of his “I want them to be appreciative” comment, that he was talking about people other than himself.

Trump had said Friday: “I’m not talking about me. I’m talking about Mike Pence, the task force; I’m talking about FEMA, the Army Corps of Engineers.” Trump is within his rights to urge media outlets to play the full clip, but those additional comments do not change the fact that he had said exactly what Diamond said he did.

Then there was this fucked-up accusation:

That’s a pretty horrible (and unfounded) accusation against heroes.

Other updates and musings to follow, as needed.

This is grim:

FEMA is sending refrigerated trucks to New York City to serve as temporary morgues as the death toll from the coronavirus grows.

There is a “desperate need” for morgue space in Queens in particular, FEMA regional administrator Thomas Von Essen said Monday. The borough has the most coronavirus cases in the city, and Elmhurst hospital has been swamped with gravely ill patients.

“We are going to have an awful lot of folks that aren’t going to make it,” Von Essen said at a press conference with Mayor Bill de Blasio, as they welcomed the hospital ship USNS Comfort to the city.

As of Monday morning, 790 people have died in the city from the coronavirus. There are 36,221 confirmed cases.

Whatever happened to those senators who sold stock after learning of COVID-19? A little over a week ago, we found out that a group of senators (like North Carolina Republican Richard Burr and appointed Georgia Republican Kelly Loeffler) cashed out of the market after receiving a classified briefing on the severity of the looming coronavirus pandemic. Then they went out and told the public that everything was fine and the impeached president had it all under control. Loeffler even bought stock on a teleconferencing company. 

It’s been rough going for those two since the revelations, and it’s gotten worse for them (and potentially several others) now that the Justice Department, in coordination with the Securities Exchange Commission, has announced an investigation into the stock transactions—all of which could have a real impact on this November’s Senate picture. 

Democrats are currently a 53-47 minority in the U.S. Senate. Given the expected loss of our Alabama seat (a lucky special-election rental), that means we need to pick up four seats to get to a 50-50 tie, which would hopefully be broken in our favor by future Vice President Kamala Harris, Stacey Abrams, or Elizabeth Warren. Ideally we’d win more than that, not just to give Democrats some breathing room (let’s not forget that conservative Democratic Sens. Joe Manchin and Kyrsten Sinema will be regularly voting against us), but also to ensure control if Trump managed to win reelection, which is still a real possibility. 

We are almost guaranteed a pickup in Colorado. Republicans have all but surrendered that seat. We are narrowly favored in Arizona and Maine. No guarantees! But we look good. We also look pretty good in North Carolina, which kinda surprises me, but it’s legit. Montana sneaks into the top tier given the Democrats’ recruitment coup of Democratic Gov. Steve Bullock, but it’s a tough state at the federal level, so that one likely leans slightly red. 

Then we get to the second-tier Senate races—two in Georgia and Iowa … pickings start getting slim. In the third tier, we have long-shot races in Kansas, Kentucky, and Texas—races we wouldn’t win in a normal political climate, but nothing is normal about today’s climate. 

Daily press conference now at 5:30 — it’s like an infomercial. All these business executives congratulating themselves.

OMG. The My Pillow guy.

Trump tells of a friend who is “unconscious” and “in a coma”. That might explain while this is no longer abstract to him.

Presser is over… and now Trump is tweeting… Rachel Maddow?

Oh… he’s spoofing her. But she was right. He was wrong.