COVID-19 Update: What is it, Friday?

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

I did not do an update yesterday: heavy fatigue. Yeah, I was concerned it was COVID-19 creeping up on me. But it was more likely a few nights of rough sleep.

But in essence, nothing changed. The rates of COVID19 cases in the world and the U.S. grew exponentially. Here’s where we are now.

Here’s some of the bullshit from the White House yesterday:

“If you spent less time on your ridiculous impeachment hoax, which went haplessly on forever and ended up going nowhere, and instead focused on helping the people of New York, then New York would not have been so completely unprepared…”

And so it goes….

Updates as needed.

That map above shows where people ignored the mitigation guidelines for weeks. It’s pretty stunning.

And this man should be removed from office for malfeasance. Immediately:

After resisting a statewide stay-at-home order for days, Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R) succumbed to the pressure and issued one on Wednesday. Part of the reason, he said, was that he had just learned some new information.

Kemp said he was “finding out that this virus is now transmitting before people see signs.”

“Those individuals could have been infecting people before they ever felt bad, but we didn’t know that until the last 24 hours,” he said. He added that the state’s top doctor told him that “this is a game-changer.”

It may have been a game-changer, but it was a game-changer weeks or even months ago. That’s when health officials started emphasizing that asymptomatic people are transmitting the coronavirus. The idea that Kemp didn’t know this is striking. But he’s merely the latest top politician to indicate that he’s unfamiliar with the science even as he’s making life-or-death decisions for his constituents.

It’s unbelievable that he would attempt to excuse his irredemably bad judgment by admitting that he can’t even read the papers. But then he is a big Trump guy.

The Governors who refused to listen to the experts have bood on their hands. And it’s at least partly political. (It’s also that these people are, apparently, immoral and ignorant, which also explains their loyalty to Donald Trump.)

Kemp’s decision to shut down the state — and his unsettlingly late realization of a known fact about the virus — came on the same day that his neighbor to the south — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis — also issued a shelter-in-place directive for his state.

DeSantis had faced heavy criticism for weeks for his unwillingness to take more charge of the situation; he deferred to local officials to make decisions about closures — which led to, among other things, scenes of spring breakers partying on Florida’s beaches even as the virus was beginning to rage across the country.

So, what changed DeSantis’ mind? “When you see the President up there and his demeanor the last couple of days, that’s not necessarily how he always is,” explained DeSantis on Wednesday.

Yes, really. The governor of Florida — a massively populated state with a huge elderly population — decided to, finally, issue a shelter-in-place order because he saw the President’s “demeanor” had changed this week. (Presumably, DeSantis watched Trump’s coronavirus press conference on Tuesday, when the President acknowledged the long-known reality that the death toll from coronavirus in the US was likely to be over 100,000.)

Kemp and DeSantis — and their decidedly questionable reasons for finally shutting down their states amid the coronavirus pandemic — are prime examples of what unquestioning adherence to the President produces, particularly when the President has been, until very recently, a fount of misinformation and underplaying of the threat posed by coronavirus.

“The fact that so many GOP big state governors — in TX, FL & GA — all tightened statewide restrictions immediately after Trump finally let his advisers frame the full risk from the WH podium underscores how much his earlier minimizing contributed to the critical delays in those states,” tweeted Ron Brownstein, a senior editor at The Atlantic and a CNN contributor. (On Thursday morning, Texas Gov. Greg Abbott joined DeSantis and Kemp as his shelter-in-place order went into effect.)

This is fanatical Trumpism at its most lethal. They will follow him over the cliff no matter what. And as it always the case with these fanatical cults, they drag a bunch of innocent people with them.

In a new survey from the Pew Research Center, 79 percent of Fox viewers say the media is exaggerating the risks of the coronavirus pandemic. And there’s more: 39 percent believe the virus was developed in a lab—presumably a Chinese bioweapons lab.

Fox viewers aren’t the only ones who are misinformed or prone to conspiracy theories, but they sure are the most likely. This is hardly a surprise from the network that brought you Benghazi and her emails, but it’s been astonishing to see just how far they’ll go to turn nearly anything into a partisan issue.

UPDATE: The federal Public Health Services website has been changed so that it jibes with what Kushner said yesterday. They thought nobody would notice.



This is eye-opening. Jobless claims in historical perspective:

Huh. Look at this:

COVID-19 press briefing:

Trump conveys CDC that people where masks, but says he won’t wear one himself. Leader? No.

When asked about a national stay-home-from-work, Trump says he is leaving it to the governors because some states don[‘t have much of a problem. Fauci, who is not there, would disagree. Those states WILL have a problem.

I think when he says “federal government”, he means the federal government employees, because he said we have a lot of people. That was NOT what the strategic reserve was created for.

Here’s the law as it was written:

Well, now he is saying “our” means “the states”, so what Jared said… makes no sense.