The coronavirus invades Trump country
May 22, 2020 4:11 PM   Subscribe

Axios reports that according to a recent poll, Republicans are less worried about the coronavirus than Democrats or independents, even as it spreads out from primarily urban areas into suburban and rural Republican-leaning areas.

Meanwhile, Politico reports that "a sudden shift in support for Donald Trump among religious conservatives is triggering alarm bells inside his reelection campaign, where top aides have long banked on expanding the president’s evangelical base as a key part of their strategy for victory this November," which appears related to his recent declaration that churches, mosques and synagogues are “essential services” and to his threat to override governors who refuse to reopen them this weekend – a power that The Guardian notes he does not possess.

In addition, The New York Times reports that Trump, "eager to reopen the economy, has begun questioning the official coronavirus death toll, suggesting the numbers, which have hobbled his approval ratings and harmed his re-election prospects, are inflated," while "[m]ost statisticians and public health experts say he is wrong; the death toll is probably far higher than what is publicly known."

In related news, WaPo columnist Monica Heese reviews ways that women on TikTok have cracked the code on how to satirize Trump, including Sarah Cooper, who has filmed a series of videos, including “How to Medical” — using Trump’s comments about injecting disinfectant to kill the virus — and “How to Obamagate.”
posted by katra (244 comments total) 55 users marked this as a favorite
 
Republicans are less worried about the coronavirus than Democrats or independents

Why are liberals more afraid of the coronavirus than conservatives?
posted by the man of twists and turns at 4:27 PM on May 22 [12 favorites]


Here's the trick to surviving a pandemic without learning anything:

1. If somebody you don't know dies it's just part of the "media".

2. If someone you know dies it's a tragedy and you can pray for them. Also they clearly made a mistake somewhere.

3. If you die there's no need for you to rationalize anything.
posted by selfnoise at 4:38 PM on May 22 [72 favorites]


There are plenty of conservatives who are afraid of the coronavirus, it's the Trumpians who are following their leader over the cliff.
posted by storybored at 4:44 PM on May 22 [7 favorites]


Baker has decided to toe the line here in MA and he’s letting churches reopen. We’re down half from our infection rate peak but that’s still 1000 infections a day and the decline has been arrested. I’m hoping beyond hope that it’s not an inflection point.

So many people are going to die unnecessarily. Watching the supposed followers of Jesus calling for blood for Mammon. It’s just utterly depressing.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 4:52 PM on May 22 [20 favorites]


...which appears related to his recent declaration that churches, mosques and synagogues are “essential services” and to his threat to override governors who refuse to reopen them this weekend – a power that The Guardian notes he does not possess.

Insert that one Catch-22 quote about "they can do anything that we can't stop them from doing" here.

Legally, there is no grounds for that override to be honored; you would have to ignore the 10th Amendment completely and put an extraordinary spin on the 1st (emphasis on "prohibiting the free exercise thereof (religion)" and "the right of the people peaceably to assemble," despite that (a) there is no such thing as a peaceable assembly that physically endangers hordes of innocent people, (b) it is not CONGRESS passing laws restricting these religious gatherings but individual state governors, and (c) prohibiting services temporarily in the name of public health is a FAR CRY from prohibiting a religion itself.)

Plus Matthew 6:6 with that whole "when thou prayest, pray in secret" bit indicating that The Boss remains just fine with religious worship that isn't open and ostentatious. Or Jesus's reflections upon "rendering under Caesar what is Caesar's." And that's just Christianity; we can bring in other religions that make it clear that maintaining one's health and safety outweighs adhering to ceremony, but that's heathen talk out there in the hinterlands.

In realpolitik, he can absolutely order it, because there are plenty of local authorities that will choose not to enforce stay-at-home orders against such places and will seize upon his "order" as sufficient justification to stand aside. And any place that does enforce the law will be front-page headlines as God-Hating Ivory Tower Elitists.

Or are we not already at a point where Trump's press secretary responds to reporters' questions about COVID safety with "Boy, it's interesting to be in a room that desperately wants to seem to see these houses of worship & churches stay closed"?

As for the growth in rural areas, there are many factors. Fewer medical facilities. Less wealth to pay for medical services, and hence more reluctance to seek them out. Fewer dissenting voices, less pushback from others to comply. And a clear reluctance to admit under any circumstances that Trump could be wrong -- even if that means avoiding behaviors like distancing and masks that could benefit them.
posted by delfin at 4:58 PM on May 22 [15 favorites]


New Fox News poll finds Biden with healthy lead, sends Trump into tailspinVox; Aaron Rupar; May 22, 2020 • 'The president is mad that Fox News isn’t rigging polls for him.'
But it’s notable that instead of reflecting on why his poll numbers are sliding ... the president attacks the messenger.
posted by ZeusHumms at 4:59 PM on May 22 [12 favorites]


The big orange idiot still polls at more than 40% approval. If nothing else, these past four years have really opened my eyes as to how terrible a significant amount of the american voting public really is.
posted by octothorpe at 5:04 PM on May 22 [128 favorites]


Wedding Planner, Caterer, “Brand Builder”: Trump’s Food Aid Program Is Paying $100+ Million to Unlicensed [and inexperienced] DealersProPublica; Isaac Arnsdorf; May 19, 2020 • 'Contractors with no experience in food distribution are looking for suppliers on Facebook while some food banks scramble to find desperately needed deliveries.'

Credit for the initiative has been claimed by President Trump and Ivanka Trump.
posted by ZeusHumms at 5:06 PM on May 22 [8 favorites]


> a power that The Guardian notes he does not possess.

Other powers Trump does not possess based on the way The Guardian is choosing to interpret "power" here:

* the power to obstruct an investigation into his own conduct
* the power to accept personal benefits from foreign governments
* the power to retain ownership in family business while holding office
* the power to withhold aid from other countries in order to advance political objectives
* the power to interfere with the freedom of the press

Thankfully, the framers built in safeguards to keep any of these things from happening.
posted by tonycpsu at 5:10 PM on May 22 [48 favorites]







There are plenty of conservatives who are afraid of the coronavirus, it's the Trumpians who are following their leader over the cliff


I'm assuming these are the same conservatives who huff and puff their "deep concerns" and "frustrations" about whatever nonsense the President is up to, provided they don't have to speak on the record or be identified.

In other words, while they might exist, for all practical purposes, they don't.
posted by nubs at 5:17 PM on May 22 [22 favorites]


Attorney: 1,200 California Pastors Agree To Reopen May 31 In Defiance Of Stay-At-Home Order (CBS SF / AP, May 21, 2020)
Newsom has gradually allowed some businesses to reopen as the state’s number of virus-related hospitalizations has flattened. But churches are still banned, along with hair salons and sporting events. Newsom said Monday churches could reopen in weeks, not months. But many churches are tired of waiting. Wednesday, a lawyer representing a church in Lodi that has sued Newsom said more than 1,200 pastors have signed a “declaration of essentiality” that announces their plan to reopen on May 31 while observing physical distancing and other precautions.

Attorney Robert Tyler said [...] [he] expects as many as 3,000 churches across California could have in-person services on May 31. “This letter was not sent for the purposes of asking for permission,” he said. The letter comes one day after the head of the U.S. Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division told Newsom in a letter that his stay-at-home order discriminates against churches and places an “unfair burden” on them. [...] A federal judge earlier this month sided with Newsom, saying he had the right to ban church services in the interest of public health. Tyler said the church has appealed the ruling.
Previously: 180 Exposed To Coronavirus During Mother’s Day Service At Defiant NorCal Church (CBS SF / CNN, May 18, 2020)
posted by katra at 5:19 PM on May 22 [13 favorites]


It's not possible to understate how neatly the increased clamor from conservatives to end restrictions coincided with the growing awareness that the communities hardest hit by COVID-19 in the US have disproportionately been people of color.
posted by theory at 5:19 PM on May 22 [100 favorites]


Conservatives like germophobia. Liberals like city nightlife and the sage pronouncements of Ezekiel "No One Needs to Live Past 75" Emanuel.

I would have predicted this to line up politically exactly the opposite of how it did.
posted by Ralston McTodd at 5:21 PM on May 22 [6 favorites]


Neel Kashkari: "Genuinely curious, Lloyd [Blankfein]: are you going back out to movie theaters, restaurants and commercial planes? Or are you sequestering until there's a vax since you are in high risk age group? The people will determine the lockdown based on their own sense of safety."
I hated reading the replies to that. The arc of the universe may bend toward justice but at the quantum level it is cold and indifferent. If there were some sort of universal justice it would be those who are the most callous and cruel having to roll their lives against the slimmest odds. Instead, the poorest and vulnerable must bear the brunt of the arrogance and hubris of those same uncaring ghouls.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 5:23 PM on May 22 [16 favorites]


The demand for reopening is only half the fun. The other half will be, once caseloads shoot upwards, the outcry when governors shift areas BACK from yellow-exercise-major-caution to red-stay-at-home.

And _then_ you're going to see talk of "sanctuary counties" and how anecdata "proves" that lockdowns are overblown.
posted by delfin at 5:24 PM on May 22 [10 favorites]


It's not possible to understate how neatly the increased clamor from conservatives to end restrictions coincided with the growing awareness that the communities hardest hit by COVID-19 in the US have disproportionately been people of color.
Remember that Atwater quote?
You're getting so abstract now [that] you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is [that] blacks get hurt worse than whites.
History sure as hell loves to rhyme.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 5:26 PM on May 22 [27 favorites]




>> I would have predicted this to line up politically exactly the opposite of how it did.

This is addressed in the Vox article linked by the man of twists and turns:
"But once a politician captures a party, other dynamics take over. For one thing, partisans trust their leaders and allied institutions. Very few of us have personally run experiments on the coronavirus, or gone around the world gathering surface temperature readings over the course of decades. We have to choose whom to believe, and once we do, we’re inclined to take their word when describing contested or faraway events."
Also any threat to the economy (or the stock market) is perceived as a threat to Trump's reelection and Republican control of the Senate. Everything going forward is going to be viewed through that lens.
posted by theory at 6:16 PM on May 22 [10 favorites]


Study estimates 24 states still have uncontrolled coronavirus spread (WaPo / MSN reprint)
The model, which has not been peer reviewed, shows that in the majority of states, a second wave looms if people abandon efforts to mitigate the viral spread. “There’s evidence that the U.S. is not under control, as an entire country,” said Samir Bhatt, a senior lecturer in geostatistics at Imperial College. The model shows potentially ominous scenarios if people move around as they did previously and do so without taking precautions. In California and Florida, the death rate could spike to roughly 1,000 a day by July without efforts to mitigate the spread, according to the report. Other models released in recent days captured a similarly mixed picture. The PolicyLab at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia used county-level forecasts that found much of the country was in decent shape for reopening, but worrisome areas remain, including Houston, Dallas, South Florida and Alabama.

[...] In Texas, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins said he consults with doctors and experts from area hospitals, “and what they tell us is that we’re reopening too fast, and we’re reopening in the wrong order.” Local jurisdictions in Texas do not have the authority to issue more stringent restrictions than the state, which began aggressively reopening this month. So Dallas has focused on messaging. The county has a daily “covid-19 risk level” that is currently red, for “stay home, stay safe.”
Parents Really Need a Break. But Is Summer Camp Too Risky? (NYT)
“Every medical professional we consulted said that for a camp that opens in this environment, it’s not a matter of if — it will be there,” said Bradley Solmsen, the executive director of the camp in Cold Spring, N.Y., about 55 miles north of New York City. “Even with testing, the likelihood of us having it if we opened was very, very high.” [...] Lauren Rutkowski, the owner and director of Camp IHC in Wayne, Pa., said that after speaking with distributors of tests for the virus, the camp decided it could not rely on their accuracy. Tests can produce up to 30 percent false negatives and research on the testing of children is limited. [...] Dr. David Cennimo, an infectious disease expert at Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, said keeping the virus out of camps would be challenging no matter what measures operators take.
posted by katra at 6:17 PM on May 22 [8 favorites]


I don't fear COVID-19 but I do respect it. And I will continue to give it a wide berth until there is a solid scientific reason not to. Others may do as they will and I wish them well...
posted by jim in austin at 6:24 PM on May 22 [8 favorites]


President Trump declined to wear a protective face mask in public Thursday during a visit to a Ford manufacturing plant in Michigan that is turning out ventilators and masks for use in the coronavirus pandemic, despite a request from the carmaker that he wear one and an executive order from the state’s Democratic governor requiring them. (Washington Post, May 21, 2020) Trump said he had worn a mask in another area of the plant, “where they preferred it,” but declined to wear one in view of the cameras. “I didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it,” Trump said. [...]

Trump had been noncommittal on wearing a mask as he spoke with reporters before leaving the White House. “Well, I don’t know. We’re gonna look at it,” he said. “A lot of people have asked me that question.” As reporters shouted to be heard above the roar of Marine One, parked on the lawn behind Trump, Trump asked one questioner to remove a mask so as to be heard. “I can’t hear you. You have your mask on, I can’t hear a word,” Trump said.
--
Before the visit, Michigan Attorney General Dana Nessel wrote this open letter, reminding Trump of Executive Orders 2020-91 (requiring manufacturing facilities "suspend all non-essential in-person visits, including tours") & 2020-92 ("any individual able to medically tolerate a facial covering wear one when in any enclosed space"); she summed up with "While my Department will not act to prevent you from touring Ford's plant, I ask that while you are on tour you respect the great efforts of the men and women at Ford — and across this State — by wearing a facial covering" as it's not just a Ford policy due to an executive order but "currently the law of this State."

After the visit, Nessel was interviewed on CNN: "Today's events were extremely disappointing and yet totally predictable. [...] He is a petulant child who refuses to follow the rules. This is not a joke.”
--
Of course, a picture of a masked Trump touring Ford is circulating anyway. The tour occurred shortly after this decision was announced: "Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer had the right to extend the state's stay-at-home order and extend the state of emergency, the Michigan Court of Claims ruled Thursday, rejecting a lawsuit filed by Republicans in the state legislature who challenged her emergency powers in response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The court ruled that the Democratic governor had operated under the "broad" powers within her executive authority to extend the state of emergency under the Emergency Powers of Governors Act (EPGA) from 1945. It also said that she had exceeded her power under the Emergency Management Act (EMA) of 1976, the other act that Whitmer cited in extending the state of emergency in April. That act requires the legislature to approve an extension to a state of emergency after 28 days. However, it appears that Whitmer would be able to extend a state of emergency under the 1945 act." (CBS, May 22, 2020)
posted by Iris Gambol at 6:27 PM on May 22 [13 favorites]


The whole church thing is such bullshit! WORSHIP can take place perfectly well via videoconferencing. We're doing it! It works fine! We have links for tithing, and music and prayer and all the rest! It's remarkably easy to broadcast a sermon, easier than it's ever been. There is no restriction on religion by keeping churches closed. God does not need you to be at a certain address.
posted by emjaybee at 6:52 PM on May 22 [36 favorites]


Others may do as they will and I wish them well...

gliberarian bullshit

"others may do as they wish with regard to dropping lit matches in a dry forest, and I wish them well"
posted by lalochezia at 6:52 PM on May 22 [19 favorites]


WORSHIP can take place perfectly well via videoconferencing.

Yes, but putting money in the offering plate is harder to do that way.
posted by Slothrup at 6:57 PM on May 22 [18 favorites]


PayPal says hello. :)

There are few obstacles in this modern world except for those that some insist on maintaining.
posted by delfin at 6:59 PM on May 22 [12 favorites]


Real news report from my local station

The despondence of the deputy in that news segment!
posted by eviemath at 7:00 PM on May 22 [2 favorites]


The despondence of the deputy in that news segment!

Yeah, I got the impression he probably wishes dozens of times per day that he could literally arrest all of those idiots.
posted by axiom at 7:27 PM on May 22


gliberarian bullshit

Not really. I wish we had a responsible federal government but we don't and, outside of voting in November, there is literally nothing of substance I can do about it. I wish people made informed and sensible decisions based on evidence about this infection but, again, I am powerless since I seem to have mislaid my magic wand again. All I can do is keep myself and my family as safe as I can and wish the rest of humanity God's speed and hopefully a bit of insight...
posted by jim in austin at 7:31 PM on May 22 [11 favorites]


There are plenty of conservatives who are afraid of the coronavirus, it's the Trumpians who are following their leader over the cliff

The list of conservatives who are not Trumpians is very, very short.
posted by JackFlash at 7:39 PM on May 22 [15 favorites]


"[m]ost statisticians (New York Times) and public health experts say he is wrong; the death toll is probably far higher than what is publicly known."
... one standard approach to measure the impact of a pandemic like this is to look at “excess deaths,” meaning mortality greater than the average for a particular time period.

For example, for the seven weeks ending April 25 in the United States, about 70,000 more Americans died than is normal for those weeks (death is seasonal and normally declines over the course of spring and summer). That 70,000 figure for excess deaths does not include Connecticut, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, which were excluded because of missing or dubious data.

The official number of Covid-19 deaths in that period for the rest of the country was 49,100. That suggests an undercount of more than 20,000 coronavirus-related deaths as of April 25.

Add those 20,000 missed deaths to today’s total of 83,000, and you already get more than 100,000 pandemic-related deaths. But the undercount probably continued after April 25, albeit at a lower rate.
I heard of this method for considering "unrecognized" COVID-19 related deaths, but the graphs of "excess deaths" per state is interesting, and provides a level of detail I hadn't seen before.

How We Reopen Safely: COVID Exit Strategy (dot org)
May 21, 2020 - Note on CDC Guidance

Our team is processing the latest guidance from the CDC on how to calculate if a state meets each of the gating criteria and how they shift between phases. It is thoughtful and will take some time to incorporate. For the time being, our red, yellow, green scale will indicate how a state is trending on the key measures that are a part of the White House criteria.


May 20, 2020 - Alert-Level System & New Mexico

Using publicly available data we adapted the alert system from Resolve to Save Lives into a live dashboard. We shared a preview of this on May 20th. Thank you for the feedback. We'll be sharing an updated version next week.

Today, Michigan shifts to red because of an increase in cases (+8%).

New Mexico has met the criteria for 3 days in a row.

Iris Gambol: Trump said he had worn a mask in another area of the [Ford] plant, “where they preferred it,” but declined to wear one in view of the cameras. “I didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it,” Trump said.

For being touted as a strong man, he seems pretty damned fragile.
posted by filthy light thief at 8:05 PM on May 22 [22 favorites]


https://www.technologyreview.com/2020/05/21/1002105/covid-bot-twitter-accounts-push-to-reopen-america

More than half of the Tweets promoting the opening of America are from bots. I can't tell the Russians from the Corporate interests at this point. Why aren't there progressive bot armies?
posted by mecran01 at 8:16 PM on May 22 [18 favorites]


The Federal-State dynamic is also playing out right now in Brazil. The city of Manaus is one geography weenies know about because it cannot be reached by car from the rest of South America. You must either fly or get a ferry on the Amazon River. The city is in the heart of indigenous country ( indigenous people who've been "contacted" to a pulp for some time, but indigenous nonetheless), and it's been overwhelmed by the virus. The mayor has lost his composure on live television more than once, and publicly asked Greta Thunberg to use her megaphone on behalf of his constituents.

She obliged.

2020, man.
posted by ocschwar at 8:19 PM on May 22 [14 favorites]


I heard of this method for considering "unrecognized" COVID-19 related deaths, but the graphs of "excess deaths" per state is interesting, and provides a level of detail I hadn't seen before.
I think it's potentially the only reliable source of data. There's too much gray in the numbers. When boffins are looking back through the data and weighing details, that delta on overall deaths will be hard to miss.

To imagine an example— If you badly break your arm, but due to fear of exposure when heading to A&E, you Youtube a couple of wilderness survival videos and end up dying from sepsis. To me, that's a Covid related death‐ something that wouldn't have occurred (assuming a country with reliable free health care) if it wasn't around.

There are more direct examples, people dying of pneumonia at nursing homes but never tested, etc. However you slice the cake, it's harder to hide 'X people died this month' — and that increase in deaths over the period is the number that needs to be addressed. If Covid '23 comes a'running, you better hope we've learned the lessons, so we can address the primary and secondary effects.

The rapidly reducing rum and coke by my side could be considered an indication of how many lessons I believe certain leaders will learn.
posted by Static Vagabond at 9:08 PM on May 22 [10 favorites]


Also note that during shelter in place the number of automobile fatalities should have gone way down. The delta is probably a minima in most places.
posted by benzenedream at 9:44 PM on May 22 [14 favorites]


Minnesota graduation ceremony may have spread the coronavirus, officials say (WaPo live blog)
Minnesota health officials say that a graduation ceremony may have facilitated the spread of new coronavirus cases in the state after participants and organizers failed to adhere to recently published guidelines, according to local media. Kris Ehresmann, director of the Minnesota Department of Health’s infectious-disease division, told KARE-TV that someone who help set up the stage before the ceremony began experiencing covid-19 symptoms and tested positive for the novel coronavirus afterward.

[...] Separately, in North Carolina, school officials say a Thomasville High School student went to a graduation event involving small groups of 10 and found out afterward he had tested positive for the coronavirus, according to WFMY-TV.
Hairstylist with COVID-19 served 84 clients while symptomatic, Missouri officials say (Kansas City Star)
Missouri state leaders allowed these businesses to reopen May 4. “I’m very frustrated to be up here,” Springfield-Greene County Health Department Director Clay Goddard said. “And maybe more so, I’m disappointed.” [...] The health department director said the incident does not affect the community’s “recovery plan” but warned of similar scenarios as the reopening phases turn from mandates to personal responsibility.

“I’m going to be honest with you. We can’t have many more of these. We can’t make this a regular habit or our capability as a community will be strained and we will have to re-evaluate what things look like going forward,” Goddard said. “Each of us owns just how this will go forward in our community.”
Memorial Day tempts Americans outdoors, raising virus fears (AP)
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that people stay home, avoid crowds and connect with family and friends by phone or video chat. [...] Data and consulting firm Tourism Economics projects travelers will spend $4.2 billion on Memorial Day weekend, compared with $12.3 billion last year.
posted by katra at 9:48 PM on May 22 [4 favorites]


So 66% of us are curtailing our activities? Not terrible.
posted by Windopaene at 9:55 PM on May 22 [4 favorites]


We’re retreating to a new strategy on covid-19. Let’s call it what it is. (Leana S. Wen, WaPo Opinion, May 13, 2020)
A switch to harm reduction doesn’t mean the Trump administration is off the hook on testing and tracing. Regular, rapid testing will make it much safer for employees and students to return to work and school. Of course, there is also a fundamental difference between this new iteration of societal harm reduction and what I know as the standard public health practice of individual harm reduction — this disease risk is being forced upon the many Americans who would not have chosen it for themselves and their loved ones. That’s a real tragedy.
posted by katra at 10:14 PM on May 22 [6 favorites]


I want to choke everyone time someone says "reopen safely." That's just bullshit. Leaving the house at all isn't safe. If you're trying to be safer, sure, but this is a terrible time to reopen and I just lose it every time in my head. Also it just seems way too easy to just fall back into old habits of sitting next to people, attending church, what have you if you try to do anything semi-normal, if you try to "relax," what have you.

Harm reduction, indeed.
posted by jenfullmoon at 10:16 PM on May 22 [6 favorites]


Plus Matthew 6:6 with that whole "when thou prayest, pray in secret" bit indicating that The Boss remains just fine with religious worship that isn't open and ostentatious.

Watching the supposed followers of Jesus calling for blood for Mammon. It’s just utterly depressing.

Revelations 18, Christians. Do you speak it:
"2 Babylon the great is fallen, is fallen, and is become the habitation of devils, and the hold of every foul spirit

3 For all nations have drunk of the wine of the wrath of her fornication, and the kings of the earth have committed fornication with her, and the merchants of the earth are waxed rich through the abundance of her delicacies.

4 And I heard another voice from heaven, saying, Come out of her, my people, that ye be not partakers of her sins, and that ye receive not of her plagues."
OK but what even is Babylon tho':
"10... that great city Babylon, that mighty city!

11 ... the merchants of the earth shall weep and mourn over her; for no man buyeth their merchandise any more:

12 The merchandise of gold, and silver, and precious stones, and of pearls, and fine linen, and purple, and silk, and scarlet, and all thyine wood, and all manner vessels of ivory, and all manner vessels of most precious wood, and of brass, and iron, and marble,

13 And cinnamon, and odours, and ointments, and frankincense, and wine, and oil, and fine flour, and wheat, and beasts, and sheep, and horses, and chariots, and slaves, and souls of men."

So Babylon is a great society, lots of trade in all kinds of material goods, especially luxury goods, but you know, good smelling stuff, good tasting stuff. Also bodies and souls.

Standard market economy, really.

And this chapter, there's an honest-to-God angel telling God's people to come out of this situation so they aren't partakers in the coming plagues. And merchants freaking out because the economy isn't open.

I really don't think market economies themselves are *necessarily* Babylon. They're good tools for solving certain problems and creating prosperity. But when you have no other institutions for coordinating activity between members of society and taking care of each other, to the point where civil authorities can't break off the tryst -- when you can't bear to shut down -- and *especially* when bodies and souls are just other commodities to buy and sell, then... yeah. You're living in Babylon.

And I can't think of one Christian voice I've seen invoke this passage or talk about it, in spite of how chillingly it matches up with the matters of the moment.

Maybe nobody has time to read the Bible? OK. Americans love movies and conservatives love Charlton Heston. Maybe we can invoke that scene in The Ten Commandments where the taskmaster is gonna keep the wheels of industry MOVING even if it gets an old woman get crushed because she's probably just going to die soon anyway.
posted by weston at 11:19 PM on May 22 [27 favorites]


[One deleted. Churches of most or all denominations and ethnic compositions have been opening / are re-opening, so a comment focusing on a single African-American church to make a lot of snide comments about weight, age, makes of car, bad decision-making, etc., just sounds racist. ]
posted by taz (staff) at 5:08 AM on May 23 [17 favorites]


I don't fear COVID-19 but I do respect it.

This. I am really, really tired of taking precautions being framed as "fear," and I think the more we accept that language the more we acquiesce to harmful and distracting rhetoric. "Fear" is not the issue. What emotions someone may or may not experience is irrelevant to the basic question of "what is the right course of action for the public health?" If you let it become commonly accepted that people who stay home or wear masks are "afraid," then the whole discourse becomes cowards versus warriors--exactly where Trump wants it to be. The actual situation, though, is "people who assess the evidence and take appropriate precautions out of concern for others" vs "impatient people who don't care if their actions spread a serious contagion." That take a lot longer to say, so maybe "wise" versus "foolhardy" will do.

I've been home except for essential shopping and outdoor hikes far from anyone else for a month and a half now. It's not easy. But in all that time, I've never experienced a feeling of fear. But I do know how to read data and choose appropriate courses of action.
posted by Pater Aletheias at 5:35 AM on May 23 [64 favorites]


im North Carolina, school officials say a Thomasville High School student went to a graduation event involving small groups of 10 and found out afterward he had tested positive for the coronavirus

I'm on the school board here and we voted this week to go with a virtual graduation plus drive-up get your diploma (with the plan to hold an in person... something at a later point tbd).

We were presented with a plan for a socially distanced in person graduation that we decided would be unworkable with 300+ seniors and got a lottttt of push back for "not trying hard enough to make it work for the kids" (this was after a week of meetings with students, the lawyers, the town police, you name it).

I am super glad we made the decision we did now.
posted by damayanti at 5:50 AM on May 23 [21 favorites]


But in all that time, I've never experienced a feeling of fear. But I do know how to read data and choose appropriate courses of action.

At the front end of the crisis where health systems were in serious danger of being overloaded while the virus spread freely I was terrified that if my wife did get sick and the health system had to ration care, a'la Italy, that she would get triaged out of the system.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 5:56 AM on May 23 [16 favorites]


The list of conservatives who are not Trumpians is very, very short.

Let's see--Justin Amash isn't running for president, Bill Weld and Joe Walsh also dropped out. John McCain's dead, and Mitt Romney seems to be taking the Susan Collins strategy of only voting against Trump when it doesn't matter. You'd think Rand Paul might have some libertarian principles now and again, but he has to get reelected in Kentucky, and he might need Russian money to do it. George Conway and his crowd have a little money and even less power, and people like Rick Wilson and Max Boot don't even have that.

Conservatism, at this point, is not an internally consistent ideology. Strong defense? Not as strong as it was before we sold Saudi Arabia $8 billion worth of weapons. Limited government, personal autonomy? Not if you want to bake a gay wedding cake for an abortion clinic. Fiscal austerity? Tell it to a $1200 Trumpvirus check.

From where I'm standing, the list of conservatives who are not Trumpians is effectively zero.
posted by box at 6:55 AM on May 23 [15 favorites]


I am really, really tired of taking precautions being framed as "fear," and I think the more we accept that language the more we acquiesce to harmful and distracting rhetoric. "Fear" is not the issue. What emotions someone may or may not experience is irrelevant to the basic question of "what is the right course of action for the public health?"

This more or less sums up the psychological divide for me, which is not a simple dichotomy between reckless liberals and risk-averse conservatives. An open mindset is no less averse to risk, it's just more likely to process new information about those risks, weigh them up, and take action based on the knowledge available. Whereas an authoritarian mindset is more concerned with upholding the norms and traditions of the community. Fears are directed towards established taboos, hazards are faced by banding together, and misfortune is blamed on sinners and outsiders.

Hence, the playing field is exactly as I expected it, and no surprises there.
posted by Elizabeth the Thirteenth at 7:42 AM on May 23 [8 favorites]


George Conway and his crowd have a little money and even less power, and people like Rick Wilson and Max Boot don't even have that.

There's a gulf of difference between the grifters and the actually skilled, though. They managed to piss Trump off by running a certain ad during Hannity. A single ad buy created on a shoestring budget managed to needle Trump so badly he couldn't stop ranting about them for a week.

It's one of those "I'm glad they're on our side this time" moments.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 7:51 AM on May 23 [15 favorites]


Oh dear Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III was up late rage tweeting at his ex.

@jeffsessions
.
@realdonaldtrump
Look, I know your anger, but recusal was required by law. I did my duty & you're damn fortunate I did. It protected the rule of law & resulted in your exoneration. Your personal feelings don't dictate who Alabama picks as their senator, the people of Alabama do. https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1263970567838932993
posted by bluesky43 at 7:55 AM on May 23 [8 favorites]


I am really, really tired of taking precautions being framed as "fear," and I think the more we accept that language the more we acquiesce to harmful and distracting rhetoric. "Fear" is not the issue.

Well said.

I was diagnosed with COVID-19 two weeks ago. My wife caught it from me during the time I was asymptomatic but still shedding, before I quarantined in a room. We've both been sick as dogs, but in the long run we'll be fine--we're both reasonably healthy adults, and it's basically like having the flu. However, as a precautionary measure, we've both stopped leaving the house for any reason, even with masks on and keeping our distance from everyone. Why? Because I don't want to be responsible for infecting someone who WON'T be fine in the long run. If Fox News wants to label that reaction as "fear," then fuck them and anyone who listens to their bullshit. It's part of the social contract. Let's drop the "fearmongering" rhetoric, and call people who want to reopen everything exactly what they are: sociopaths who are happy killing your grandma if it means they can make a few extra bucks.
posted by Mayor West at 9:14 AM on May 23 [68 favorites]


Oh dear Jefferson Beauregard Sessions III was up late rage tweeting at his ex.


It's fun to watch Lawful Evil and Chaotic Evil duke it out.

From a safe distance.
posted by delfin at 9:44 AM on May 23 [4 favorites]


It protected the rule of law & resulted in your exoneration

hey jeff, i'm not sure those words mean what you think they mean
posted by kokaku at 9:48 AM on May 23 [10 favorites]


Fox News wants to label that reaction as "fear," then fuck them and anyone who listens to their bullshit.

In Trumpland, firefighters let smoldering buildings catch fire and then charge in while fully ablaze "for the optics".
posted by benzenedream at 10:17 AM on May 23 [3 favorites]


Yeah, I’m not “afraid” of the coronavirus when I wear a mask, any more than I’m “afraid” of a miter saw when I wear safety goggles. I’m just an adult with enough common sense not to do dumb shit.
posted by snowmentality at 10:23 AM on May 23 [26 favorites]


Out-of-towners encouraged to stay away from a handful of coastal regions (WaPo live blog, May 22, 2020)
The governors of Oregon and New Hampshire have discouraged out-of-towners from visiting their picturesque regions, telling them to stay home as a way to avoid large gatherings. [...] While beaches are open in New Jersey, Point Pleasant Beach Mayor Paul Kanitra told CNN that social distancing must be practiced. [...] On the other side of the country, Oregon Gov. Kate Brown (D) released a letter signed by 26 mayors urging Oregonians to “keep it local” during the holiday weekend.

“If you love the coast, stay home for now and plan your trip this summer. If you love the Columbia Gorge, keep it local this weekend and visit later on. If you love Central Oregon, it’ll still be there in a few weeks. Please keep it local for now,” the letter read in part.
GOP governor offers emotional plea to the anti-mask crowd: Stop this senseless culture war (Aaron Blake, WaPo Analysis)
As states across the country have gradually pushed forward with reopening in recent weeks, protesters representing a small but apparently growing movement — especially within the Republican Party — have continued to push for it to go faster. And one very visible thing has somehow turned into a perceived political statement: wearing a mask. A reporter at a Minnesota news station — one who happens to be an old college friend of mine — was even harassed this week for wearing a mask while covering these protests. Across the border in North Dakota, though, GOP Gov. Doug Burgum on Friday offered a plea to stop the madness. [...]

In a tearful speech, Gov. @DougBurgum (R-ND) asks residents to skip the “ideological and political” debate on face masks. pic.twitter.com/BkTEDWxuYg — The Recount (@therecount) May 22, 2020
AP FACT CHECK: Trump trashing virus science he doesn’t like (AP)
When President Donald Trump doesn’t like the message, he shoots the messenger. So it was this past week when he took very personally a scientific study that should give pause to anyone thinking of following Trump’s lead and ingesting a potentially risky drug for the coronavirus. He branded the study’s researchers, financed in part by his own administration, his “enemy.”
posted by katra at 10:29 AM on May 23 [10 favorites]


PayPal says hello. :)

Yea, but what's the point if nobody sees me drop a hundo into the collection plate? How will my lessers know who they are?
posted by pwnguin at 10:33 AM on May 23 [5 favorites]


I'm not afraid of the virus, I'm not afraid of death.
No - I have a fucking heart and don't want people who aren't afraid of death to not deal with it.

I am also aware that it isn't just death, that there appear to be long term health consequences far beyond death. Cellular damage in ways that go beyond mere pneumonia. People are suffering even if they don't die. This shit is brutal, and we're finding new horrific ways this thing is affecting people every week, we find new things.

But these covidiots running around demanding to open are so bound up in this bourgeois "Freedom" that their social obligations (and even conception that there IS such an obligation) are completely abandoned.

It's gotten to the point I've been unfriending even long term friends from school when I see them refusing to call out commenters who push BS on their wall. I no longer can stomach even debating or trying to "prove" because I really feel this is a clear cut case of 1) bad faith actors 2) people digging into their beliefs harder than ever when confronted with evidence.

The religious side of things especially. I get so angry about this because it's clear the Bible even says that praying in public and making a big deal about it is an "act" (be not like the hypocrites... but when you pray, go into your closet...) So the so called Christians who make a big stink about this are not worth even debating, they can't even follow their own religion, but rather stroke their egos.

Which let's admit, is all this is. It's narcissism and ego write large, as if the laws of physics don't apply to them, as if they have divine protection.

The worst part of this is, precisely because it's socially communicable and not just affecting those who make the choice, we can't just say "fine then, go get the 'Rona".

And that's the bind socially responsible people who understand the nature of this are in.
posted by symbioid at 10:47 AM on May 23 [15 favorites]


Also - re: tourism - I grew up in Door County WI, which is basically a tourist location for rich Chicagoans (we have another acronym for them ;)), and some in state people. A guy who lived behind our family friend (one country block over) died of COVID. It's weird to think about this tiny place who really has no resources (any real hospital stuff beyond broken bones and birthing seem to require a drive 45 mins away to Green Bay)... To think of the selfishness of tourists who think they deserve to come into this community and potentially infect people. Seeing it other places too. (The Hamptons had their issues, for example) and it seems like the county leadership (business and political) are trying to do the right thing, thankfully, in terms of not just 'opening up' (unlike some water park town in this state (cough Wisconsin Dells cough).

It's sad because I was planning to go up with my lady friend to show her where I grew up, but I'd rather respect the local's needs and not open myself up to such exposure as well...
(Shutting up now, promise).
posted by symbioid at 10:56 AM on May 23 [6 favorites]


America isn't being reopened, it's being ripped apart by propaganda using the 2016 Russian playbookDaily Kos; Mark Sumner; 05/23/2020
[...] A new study shows that when it comes to forcing workers to go back into offices, stores, and factories, almost half the online voices shouting for the “reopening of America” were, and are, bot accounts. Of the accounts that have tweeted most on this topic, more than half are bots. Of the most influential, almost all are bots. And behind the bots … is someone still unknown.

The report comes out of Carnegie Mellon University. Digging through over 200 million tweets discussing COVID-19 or the novel coronavirus, researchers focused in on the most influential accounts—those most active, most retweeted, and most liked. Out of the top 1,000 accounts, 62% are bots. Perhaps even more amazing: of the 50 most influential accounts on this topic, 82% are bots.

The bots may be numerous, but their message isn’t varied. [...] In addition to pushing false cures [...] and spreading general false information about the dangers of COVID-19, there’s one point where bots are driving the whole of social media. According to the report, they are “dominating conversations about ending stay-at-home orders and ‘reopening America.’”
The bots may be even more numerous than usual. Also, I wonder how often Trump has retweeted a bot instead of a real person.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:04 AM on May 23 [31 favorites]


Of course I don't want to unknowingly spread the virus if (when?) I do catch it. But I'm not offended by being labeled 'afraid' by Fox news. I am afraid. Very. Of the virus. Of death. Of MAGA people making a big show of venturing out, guns blazing, getting freedom haircuts, shedding virus everywhere--of the fourth of July, of the future in general ...
posted by marimeko at 11:06 AM on May 23 [9 favorites]


Groups of 10 people can now gather anywhere in New York for any reason. (NYT live blog)
In an unexpected executive order issued Friday night, Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo of New York slightly loosened coronavirus restrictions, saying that gatherings of up to 10 people would be allowed “for any lawful purpose or reason” anywhere in the state — including New York City — provided that social-distance protocols were followed. Cuomo issued the order after the New York Civil Liberties Union filed a suit that objected to Mr. Cuomo’s order on Thursday allowing groups of 10 people or less to gather for religious services or for Memorial Day celebrations. Mr. Cuomo’s order on Friday night modified the previous order.

The revision was swiftly condemned by Councilman Mark D. Levine, who represents Upper Manhattan and is chairman of the City Council’s health committee. He stressed that the order had not been made by health professionals. “This shocking order, forced by a lawsuit, changes nothing about the risks associated with group gatherings — especially those held indoors,” he said in tweets posted about 8:45 p.m. “No one should interpret this as advice to change their behavior,” he added. [...] At his daily briefing on Saturday, Mr. Cuomo said he had not been aware of the civil liberties union’s lawsuit.
posted by katra at 11:21 AM on May 23


But these covidiots running around demanding to open are so bound up in this bourgeois "Freedom" that their social obligations (and even conception that there IS such an obligation) are completely abandoned.

To paraphrase Tom Nichols, it's a toddler level understanding of freedom that focuses on rights and none of the responsibilities.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 11:38 AM on May 23 [24 favorites]


Holiday amid pandemic: Americans divided on how to respond (AP)
In California, where many businesses and recreational activities are reopening, officials in Los Angeles County said they would maintain tight restrictions until July 4. Some religious leaders took issue with Trump’s declaration that houses of worship are “essential” and should resume in-person services this weekend. “Being at the epicenter of this pandemic and in order to protect our flock, we advise that congregations remain closed until more accurate and uniform information is provided,” said Bishop Paul Egensteiner, who oversees the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America’s congregations in the hard-hit New York City region.

[...] However, Trump visited one of his private golf clubs for the first time during the pandemic — the Trump National Golf Club in northern Virginia. He has been pushing for state and local leaders to fully reopen after months after closures and tight restrictions. [...] Mindful of evangelical Christians who are key to his base of support ahead of November’s election, Trump on Friday labeled houses of worship as “essential” and urged governors to let them reopen this weekend. However, leaders of many denominations have said they plan to move gradually and cautiously.
posted by katra at 11:47 AM on May 23 [4 favorites]


Why Are the States Reopening? (David A. Graham, Atlantic)
Politicians seldom take major, risky steps without knowing that public opinion is behind them, and that makes the decisions by governors to reopen all the stranger. As I have written, public opinion is astonishingly united behind social-distancing measures. Across party lines and geographic regions, Americans think that caution is prudent and restrictions are smart. They believe wearing a face mask is more about public health than personal choice. And they hold these views even, or especially, when it means personal sacrifice.

It is true that the partisan divide on anti-coronavirus measures has been growing in recent days. Yet what this polling suggests is not the typical Democrats-versus-Republicans split, but instead a difference of opinion within the Republican Party. And even then, governors of both parties are, in many specific instances, embracing a minority opinion within their party. The haste to reopen, in defiance of medical expertise, economic data, and public opinion, is thus peculiar. The most obvious possibility is that it is a testament to the power of the presidential bully pulpit and intense media coverage. [...] On Thursday, during a visit to Michigan, Trump was asked about the prospect of a second wave, and he allowed that it might happen but said mass closures wouldn’t be necessary. “We’re not going to close the country; we’re going to put out the fires,” he said. “Whether it’s an ember or a flame, we’re going to put it out. But we’re not closing our country.” One of the lessons of the past few years, in firefighting and politics alike, is that once the conflagration has been set, it doesn’t always behave the way people want or expect.
posted by katra at 12:11 PM on May 23 [8 favorites]


I think the most heartbreaking thing is that if they suspended the grift for just a little bit, they could have had their cake, eaten it too, and looked like fucking heroes during the entire process. But no, that requires work, competency, integrity, and various other qualities this administration lacks completely.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 12:29 PM on May 23 [24 favorites]


I've found it odd how much Trump held onto his one model for winning reelection, no matter what. And telling how inflexible and unopen to any kind of change he is.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:35 PM on May 23 [4 favorites]


filthy light thief > For being touted as a strong man, he seems pretty damned fragile.

6 months on, Trump hasn't completed his physical. The White House won't say why. Six months after saying he started the process, Trump hasn’t completed his annual 2020 physical., NBC News, Geoff Bennett & Monica Alba; 5/22/2020:
WASHINGTON — It’s been more than six months since President Donald Trump claimed to have started his annual physical at Walter Reed hospital [on November 16, 2019] but the White House is declining to explain why he has yet to complete the yearly doctor’s examination.

Senior administration officials did not immediately respond to NBC News’ request for comment about the delay — despite Trump announcing this week he was taking an unproven and potentially dangerous drug [hydroxychloroquine] after being exposed to an aide who tested positive for coronavirus. Asked in early March about when he would complete his physical, the president told reporters, “I’m going probably over the next 90 days. I’m so busy, I can’t do it.”...
The Poor Donald, 73 (74 on June 14 14th) and newly released from the White House, is apparently still too busy:
Trump visits one of his private golf courses for first time in 75 days — The president's visit to Trump National Golf Club in Virginia comes as the White House is pushing states to lift stay-at-home orders and for the economy to reopen, NBC News, Monica Alba & Lauren Egan, 5/23/2020:

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump kicked off his Memorial Day weekend by visiting his club in Virginia, marking the president's first time back at one of his private golf courses in 75 days, the longest stretch of his administration without spending time at one. He was seen leaving the White House on Saturday morning wearing a white hat, white shirt and no mask as his motorcade made its way to the Trump National Golf Club in Sterling, Virginia.

Trump last visited his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida the weekend of March 6 where he hosted several Brazilian officials, one of whom tested positive for the coronavirus shortly after the trip. The president spent most of the rest of March locked down at the White House...
Meanwhile, in Brazil, the Imperial Donald's BFF in happier days isn't mincing any words: 'Horror show': critics hope Bolsonaro's foul tirade could end rule, The Guardian; Tom Phillips, Rio de Janeiro; 5/23/2020.
posted by cenoxo at 12:45 PM on May 23 [7 favorites]


I've found it odd how much Trump held onto his one model for winning reelection, no matter what. And telling how inflexible and unopen to any kind of change he is.

There's only six months of campaign performance time left, and he's not going to break character now. Trump's lies, hyperbole, exaggerations, fake facts, baseless personal attacks, and promises of anything to anyone worked before: he's only going to get worse.
posted by cenoxo at 12:57 PM on May 23 [9 favorites]


One final viral infusion: Trump’s move to block travel from Europe triggered chaos and a surge of passengers from the outbreak’s center (alt MSN link) • Washington Post; Greg Miller, Josh Dawsey, Aaron Davis; May 23 2020
The images [of crowded flights and airports] showed how a policy intended to block the pathogen’s entry into the United States instead delivered one final viral infusion. As those exposed travelers fanned out into U.S. cities and suburbs, they became part of an influx from Europe that went unchecked for weeks and helped to seal the country’s coronavirus fate.

Epidemiologists contend the U.S. outbreak was driven overwhelmingly by viral strains from Europe rather than China. More than 1.8 million travelers entered the United States from Europe in February alone as that continent became the center of the pandemic. Infections reached critical mass in New York and other cities well before the White House took action, according to studies mapping the virus’s spread. The crush of travelers triggered by Trump’s announcement only added to that viral load.
Typical Trump - all bluster, no detail.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:57 PM on May 23 [14 favorites]


I have never in my life wanted somebody to get what's coming to them more than I want Trump to get what's coming to him
posted by captain afab at 2:56 PM on May 23 [42 favorites]



I am really, really tired of taking precautions being framed as "fear," and I think the more we accept that language the more we acquiesce to harmful and distracting rhetoric. "Fear" is not the issue. What emotions someone may or may not experience is irrelevant to the basic question of "what is the right course of action for the public health?"

“No, I can live with it. Everybody has to live with it and I'm no exception. I do the most aggression against the virus by hunkering down. Which sounds like a paradox, because hunkering down is defensive. But we have to starve the fucker.”

-Werner Herzog
posted by the duck by the oboe at 2:57 PM on May 23 [37 favorites]


[One deleted - the Ed Yong article on the patchwork pandemic has its own post, so better to keep discussion of that article over in that thread.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 2:58 PM on May 23 [2 favorites]


Trump Needs to Win Michigan. So Why Is He Dumping on the State?Washington Monthly; Martin Longman; May 22, 2020 • 'Pushing unpopular responses to COVID-19 and threatening federal aid isn’t exactly a winning strategy.'
It’s probably safe to say that Trump didn’t help his chances of winning Michigan on Thursday [when he toured the Ford plant maskless], but that’s not the only self-injurious thing he did this week. He also chose the day that two dams broke and inundated whole communities to threaten to withhold all federal aid from the state.
posted by ZeusHumms at 4:10 PM on May 23 [5 favorites]


I just don't understand how Trump isn't being beaten up by his - and his entire family's - history of voting by mail. I've seen it brought up multiple times, but it seems to just fizzle. I would expect every report of his latest tweet on the subject to include a mention, but I haven't seen it once. Hopefully, I'm just not consuming the right media, and the story is getting out there...
posted by Anoplura at 4:53 PM on May 23 [3 favorites]


any more than I’m “afraid” of a miter saw when I wear safety goggles

Exactly. And now that you mention it, this fragile ego posturing bullshit is also why it's takes so much effort constantly watching and threats to get (usually younger male) workers to wear their goddamn ppe in our industrial area at work. See, I'm not "afraid" of that rotating machinery. I'm not "afraid" of immense crane loads. I'm not "afraid" of people working overhead.

Not being "afraid" doesn't make a dropped tool or fastener split your skull open any less, and a hard hat works just as well whether you're "afraid" or not.
posted by ctmf at 4:58 PM on May 23 [11 favorites]


Well, I fear covid19. Scared of it, flat out. Scared of getting it, scared of giving it to someone else. I say that with no reservations and don't care if it makes me look like a weakling or lesser person or something. Because to me, fear of something like that is standard, in the same way I fear great white sharks or falling off the edge of a cliff. Not fearing it doesn't make any sense to me, so when I hear someone saying or implying they don't fear covid19, I think they are either lying or a damn fool.
posted by zardoz at 5:13 PM on May 23 [16 favorites]




NYT front page, Sunday May 24, 2020

Very sobering. Thanks.
posted by ZeusHumms at 5:51 PM on May 23 [1 favorite]


Pete Souza, who was Obama's photographer, tweeted out that front page, and it's...a gut punch, I think.
posted by wenestvedt at 5:51 PM on May 23 [5 favorites]


“I refuse to live in fear” — people who use unseasoned tomato sauce in their lasagna and who take their stupid guns with them everywhere they go
posted by armeowda at 5:54 PM on May 23 [12 favorites]


For a visual, Texas Memorial Stadium seats just over 100,000 people.
posted by kirkaracha at 6:24 PM on May 23 [10 favorites]


NYT front page, Sunday May 24, 2020

Made an FPP around this. "They Were Not Simply Names on a List. They Were Us."
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:30 PM on May 23 [7 favorites]


Memorial Day weekend draws big crowds to some outdoor destinations (WaPo live blog)
Memorial Day weekend festivities played out very differently around the country Saturday as Americans looked to open the summer season outside. [...] New Mexico Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) urged people to spend the weekend at home and avoid gatherings, while others warned against large groups but seemed to accept that many would head outside and called for social distancing. [...] Some embraced public events. Florida state Rep. Dane Eagle (R), for example, took part in celebrations and touted a boat parade in southwest Florida where flags supporting President Trump flew from watercraft.

And some venues drew crowds. Video posted by a CBS Baltimore reporter captured an Ocean City, Md., boardwalk thick with visitors in close proximity, most not wearing masks. [...] A beach on the reopened Jersey Shore was packed with people sunbathing and frolicking in the water in video showed by MSNBC, with varying levels of social distancing. [...] And traffic was backed up for miles in Corpus Christi, Tex., as people traveled to Padre Island’s beaches. [...] Big Rivers Waterpark in New Caney, Tex., opened Saturday with long lines despite orders that water parks remain closed, according to local news reports. Social distancing appeared minimal in the lines shown in a Facebook post by ABC13 Houston.
Reopening reality check: Georgia's jobs aren’t flooding back (Politico, May 21, 2020)
Georgia, which began pushing to resume economic activity on April 24, presents an early reality check as the White House amps up pressure on governors to lift shutdown orders and President Donald Trump’s economic advisers predict jobless claims will nosedive after the reopening. The state’s persistent unemployment numbers suggest that government restrictions aren’t the only cause of skyrocketing layoffs and furloughs — and that the economy might not fully recover until consumers feel safe. [...] Nearly two-thirds of Georgia residents in a recent Washington Post-Ipsos poll said they felt their state was lifting restrictions too quickly, and only 39 percent said they approved of Kemp’s handling of the outbreak.
posted by katra at 8:24 PM on May 23 [7 favorites]


Trump was never going to have a yearly physical after last fall's emergency visit to the hospital. The fact that he may be taking hydro, well.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 9:08 PM on May 23 [3 favorites]


Exclusive: State Department makes bid for US global pandemic response powersDevEx; Michael Igoe; 22 May 2020
The U.S. Department of State has circulated a document proposing a major new global health security initiative called the President’s Response to Outbreaks [PRO], which would consolidate international pandemic preparedness under a new State Department coordinator and establish a new central fund to fight pandemics.
Ultimately, congressional approval would be needed for the programs under this initiative.

Trump administration might consolidate pandemic response at State DepartmentPolitico; Gabby Orr and Nahal Toosi; 05/22/2020
The proposal, discussed during a National Security Council deputies committee meeting on Thursday, already has set off a turf battle between the State Department and the U.S. Agency for International Development. USAID officials were surprised and perplexed by the idea, which could lead them to lose control of significant funds and authorities.

People familiar with the issue say Dr. Deborah Birx, a top official handling the administration’s response to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, is likely to wind up in charge of the new unit if it becomes a reality. The proposal also could, to some degree, establish an alternative mechanism to some of the work done by the World Health Organization, whose U.S. funding Trump has threatened to permanently end.
Trump planning to strip pandemic response from health officials, and give it to State DepartmentDaily Kos; Mark Sumner; 05/23/2020
[...] With Trump threatening to pull the United States out of the World Health Organization “permanently,” this new operation would form a sort of home-grown alternative. Only this version would be completely under the thumb of Pompeo and Trump. It would be this new faux WHO that determined the distribution of vaccines, and managed the response to any outbreak.
And it could be staffed with anyone.
posted by ZeusHumms at 9:22 PM on May 23 [9 favorites]


Reopening reality check: Georgia's jobs aren’t flooding back (Politico, May 21, 2020)

This is why I'm so annoyed by people who glibly ask how many livelihoods a life is worth. Asshole, even if shit is reopening most of the people aren't coming back. It's not a case of build it and they will come. If 80% of your customers are polling "I'm not fucking going out there" then reopening is just going to cause the pain to go on longer. It's not a case of "Republicans are in power, therefore the populace has to go back out again if they say it's safe". No. It doesn't work like that. Not only will the recovery not happen, the disease will take longer to clear, and people will distrust the next opening since everyone in power fucking lied about the first reopening in order to get economic activity going again.

This isn't going to be something we can bluster our way through. We need to take a good hard look at the society we've created and use this time to rebuild it into something more fairer and resilient. Whether that actually happens is up to us I guess.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 9:30 PM on May 23 [32 favorites]


Why do I feel like the main mission of this agency will be a way to 'prove' the virus is a Chinese creation?
posted by lesbiassparrow at 9:32 PM on May 23 [10 favorites]


The government has spent decades studying what a life is worth. It hasn’t made a difference in the covid-19 crisis. (WaPo / Seattle Times reprint)
When President Trump said in late March he didn’t think the economic devastation from stay-at-home orders was a good trade off for avoiding covid-19 deaths, tweeting, “WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF,” economists across the country already were busy working on the exact kind of cost-benefit analysis implied by the president. They reached a very different conclusion from Trump. Economists at the University of Wyoming estimated the economic benefits from lives saved by efforts to “flatten the curve” outweighed the projected massive hit to the nation’s economy by a staggering $5.2 trillion. Another study by two University of Chicago economists estimated the savings from social distancing could be so huge, “it is difficult to think of any intervention with such large potential benefits to American citizens.” In other words, the economists are saying, “the cure” doesn’t come at a cost at all when factoring in the economic value of the lives saved.

What these academics are doing — and what Trump’s tweet is getting at — is measuring how the extreme efforts to avoid covid-19 deaths compare to the devastating economic fallout. They do this by putting a price tag on the deaths avoided. It’s something the federal government does all the time when deciding whether to require carmakers to install new safety features or drugmakers to add new warning labels. And it’s required by law for big-ticket new regulations, such as road safety laws and pollution controls. But this kind of approach has been missing from the debate about how to respond to the covid-19 pandemic, which has killed almost 100,000 Americans and fueled historic unemployment rates. The calculation — known as Value of a Statistical Life or VSL — is the amount people are willing to spend to cut risk enough to save one life. The VSL at most federal agencies, developed over several decades, is about $10 million. If a new regulation is estimated to avoid one death a year, it can cost up to $10 million and still make economic sense. The debate over letting the economy reopen or protecting more lives has become one of the many political fights dividing the nation. But a cost-benefit analysis using VSL, while far from perfect, would force policymakers to confront the reality of their decisions in a much more precise way. Without it, they are left to gut feelings, educated guesses or political arguments.
posted by katra at 9:48 PM on May 23 [22 favorites]


Trump was never going to have a yearly physical after last fall's emergency visit to the hospital. The fact that he may be taking hydro, well.

He is taking it, perhaps for six months or longer (since he began but hasn't completed his annual physical).

Side effects of hydroxychloroquine include (per the following FDA PDF download): Fact Sheet for Patients and Parent/Caregivers: EUA of Hydroxychloroquine Sulfate for Treatment of COVID-19 in Certain Hospitalized Patients:
...WHAT ARE THE IMPORTANT POSSIBLE SIDE EFFECTS OF HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE SULFATE?

The most common side effects reported are stomach pain, nausea, vomiting, and headache. These side effects can often be lessened by taking hydroxychloroquine sulfate with food. Hydroxychloroquine sulfate may also cause itching in some people.

All medicines may have some side effects. Minor side effects, such as nausea, occasional vomiting, or diarrhea, usually do not require stopping the drug. If you cannot tolerate hydroxychloroquine sulfate, or experience irregular heartbeats, fainting or low blood sugar, convulsions or seizures, yellowing of the eyes, seeing light flashes or streaks, blurred vision, difficulty hearing, ringing in ears, muscle weakness, bleeding or bruising of the skin, mood or mental changes, or hives, talk with your health care provider immediately....
Note also the multiple warnings throughout the Fact Sheet:
  • There is no U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved product available to treat COVID-19...
  • Hydroxychloroquine sulfate has not been approved for the treatment of COVID-19. It has been used experimentally to treat certain people with COVID-19, including hospitalized patients.
  • There is limited information known about the safety and effectiveness (whether this will make you better) of using hydroxychloroquine sulfate for hospitalized patients with COVID-19.
  • The best dose of hydroxychloroquine sulfate to treat COVID-19 is not known.
  • Chloroquine phosphate is not approved by FDA to treat COVID-19.
  • The benefit of hydroxychloroquine sulfate in treatment of COVID-19 has not been proven. Even if you take hydroxychloroquine sulfate exactly as directed to treat COVID-19, there is still a chance you may get sicker or die.
In addition to not completing his physical and not choosing to wear a mask, The Imperial Donald's deliberate disregard of hydroxychloroquine risks show how little he truly values the office of the Presidency.
posted by cenoxo at 10:34 PM on May 23 [6 favorites]


Dr. Trump and assistants at the operating table — Barry Blitt’s Natural Ability” cover (larger image) for the May 25, 2020 issue of the The New Yorker, Françoise Mouly, 5/18/2020.
posted by cenoxo at 10:58 PM on May 23 [4 favorites]


It's not possible to understate how neatly the increased clamor from conservatives to end restrictions coincided with the growing awareness that the communities hardest hit by COVID-19 in the US have disproportionately been people of color.

The insane part of this is the very reason for disproportionate hit on people of color is the lockdown which predominantly benefits well-off white people who can more effectively isolate.

They are attacking the very cause of their own better outcomes. All for their bosses.

Late June and July are going to be a hell of temper tantrum when these adult-infants have to be told NO while their bosses start really trying to crack the whip by stepping up the firing and threats.
posted by srboisvert at 1:37 AM on May 24 [6 favorites]




Seth Meyers: "President Trump says he's taking an unproven anti-malarial drug [hydroxychloroquine] as an 'additional level of safety.' … Side effects can potentially include agitation, insomnia, confusion, mania, hallucinations, paranoia, as well as lasting psychiatric and neurological symptoms. So either Trump’s lying about taking it, or he’s been taking it for 73 years.”
posted by JackFlash at 7:56 AM on May 24 [22 favorites]


irregular heartbeats, fainting or low blood sugar, convulsions or seizures, yellowing of the eyes, seeing light flashes or streaks, blurred vision, difficulty hearing, ringing in ears, muscle weakness, bleeding or bruising of the skin, mood or mental changes

Seth Meyers has a point. How would anyone know the difference? This is just a description of a normal day for trump.
posted by mrgoat at 8:49 AM on May 24 [3 favorites]


A deadly ‘checkerboard’: Covid-19′s new surge across rural America (WaPo / SFGate reprint)
The pandemic that first struck in major metropolises is now increasingly finding its front line in the country’s rural areas; counties with acres of farmland, cramped meatpacking plants, out-of-the-way prisons and few hospital beds. [...] In these areas, where 60 million Americans live, populations are poorer, older and more prone to health problems such as diabetes and obesity than those of urban areas. They include immigrants and the undocumented — the “essential” workers who have kept the country’s sprawling food industry running, but who rarely have the luxury of taking time off for illness.

Many of these communities are isolated and hard to reach. They were largely spared from the disease shutting down their states — until, suddenly, they weren’t. Rural counties now have some of the highest rates of covid-19 cases and deaths in the country, topping even the hardest-hit New York City boroughs and signaling a new phase of the pandemic — one of halting, scattered outbreaks that could devastate still more of America’s most vulnerable towns as states lift stay-at-home orders. [...] In many of those places, where the health-care system is already stretched thin, even a minor surge in patients is enough to overwhelm. [...] A University of Texas study found last month that in counties with no reported cases, there’s about a 10 percent chance the virus is spreading undetected. Elsewhere, it may only be a matter of time. [...] Infection has raced through immigrant worker communities, where poverty or immigration status prevent some of the sick from seeking care and language barriers hinder access to information. It has taken hold in counties where residents flout social distancing guidelines or believe the pandemic to be exaggerated, the virus’s lethality a myth spread by President Trump’s political foes and a liberal media.
posted by katra at 10:37 AM on May 24 [7 favorites]


High school pool party spurs cluster of positive cases amid ‘second peak,’ Arkansas governor says (WaPo live blog)
A cluster of people who attended a high school pool party tested positive for the novel coronavirus as Arkansas faces a “second peak” of cases, the state’s governor said Saturday. “A high school swim party that I’m sure everybody thought was harmless,” Asa Hutchinson (R) said during a briefing. [...] He also didn’t say how residents in his state should ensure they don’t spread the virus, but in a morning interview on Fox News Sunday, Hutchinson didn’t stress staying home. “We have to manage the risk,” he said.” “We take the virus very seriously, it’s a risk, it causes death, but you can’t cloister yourself at home, that is just contrary to the American spirit.” Hutchinson never issued a statewide stay-home directive, and at a White House meeting with President Trump on Wednesday, the governor emphasized Arkansas is “at work” and businesses are open.
A second stylist at a Missouri hair salon worked while symptomatic, potentially exposing 56 more clients (WaPo live blog, May 23, 2020)
On Saturday, the Springfield-Greene Health Department announced a second confirmed case from the salon. The stylist performed work while displaying “mild” but “infectious” symptoms, according to the department, over a span of five days during which they saw 56 clients. [...] On May 4, all Missouri businesses — including hair salons, barber shops and gyms — were allowed to reopen under the introductory phase of the state’s “Show Me Strong Recovery Plan.”
posted by katra at 10:55 AM on May 24 [9 favorites]


As the U.S. death toll from COVID nears 100,000, this is how people spent Saturday at Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri.

Some knucklehead chided me that my fears about this are unfounded "because they're standing in chlorinated water."

And breathing it in and out, too?
posted by delfin at 11:35 AM on May 24 [5 favorites]


Relying too much on inadequate masks without social distancing is dangerous. From How U.S. Cities Tried to Halt the Spread of the 1918 Spanish Flu, History.com, Dave Roos, 3/27/2020:
...In San Francisco, health officials put their full faith behind gauze masks. California governor William Stephens declared [*] that it was the “patriotic duty of every American citizen” to wear a mask and San Francisco eventually made it the law. Citizens caught in public without a mask or wearing it improperly were arrested, charged with “disturbing the peace” and fined $5.

In his book, Jacobs says that the gauze masks city officials claimed were “99 percent proof against influenza” were in reality hardly effective at all. San Francisco’s relatively low infection rates in October [1918] were probably due to well-organized campaigns to quarantine all naval installations before the flu arrived, plus early efforts to close schools, ban social gatherings and close all places of “public amusement.”
...
But San Francisco’s luck ran out when the third wave of the Spanish flu struck in January 1919. Believing masks were what saved them the first time, businesses and theater owners fought back against public gathering orders. As a result, San Francisco ended up suffering some of the highest death rates from Spanish flu nationwide. The 2007 analysis [link] found that if San Francisco had kept all of its anti-flu protections in place through the spring of 1919, it could have reduced deaths by 90 percent....
Note also the related 'Read More' articles listed below this article.

[*] For additional historical information, see the University of Michigan's Influenza Encyclopedia — The American Influenza Epidemic of 1918-1919. Among other resources, they have an index of essays, timelines, and images for 50 U.S. Cities and Their Stories.
posted by cenoxo at 12:14 PM on May 24 [8 favorites]


How White Backlash Controls American Progress (Lawrence Glickman, Atlantic, May 21, 2020)
The backlashers have been out in force at recent anti-social-distancing protests, which have been dominated by white people proclaiming that public-health measures to prevent the spread of COVID-19 are robbing them of their birthright of liberty. Making the connection to prior backlashes explicit, some protesters have waved Confederate flags and held signs that read GIVE ME LIBERTY OR GIVE ME DEATH. While in some ways laughable, given their complaints about being unable to get a haircut or having to “get two iced teas in the drive thru,” some of the protesters also incite fear, with their ostentatious weapon-wielding and threats of violence, to say nothing of their willingness to potentially infect others with the coronavirus. Drawing upon the template of the backlashes of earlier historic moments, these protesters, too, combine the paranoia and insecurity that have long warped our political culture with acclamations of freedom for some at the expense of freedom for all. As during Reconstruction and the civil-rights era, we face once again the danger that a politics of freedom and equality may be eclipsed by the psychology of white resentment.
posted by katra at 12:20 PM on May 24 [11 favorites]


"President Trump says he's taking an unproven anti-malarial drug [hydroxychloroquine] as an 'additional level of safety.' … Side effects can potentially include agitation, insomnia, confusion, mania, hallucinations, paranoia, as well as lasting psychiatric and neurological symptoms. So either Trump’s lying about taking it, or he’s been taking it for 73 years.”

If Trump is Cheeto Hitler, this would make hydroxychloroquine Cheeto Pervitin.
posted by acb at 1:55 PM on May 24




Holy shit I agree with Ann Coulter on something.
posted by computech_apolloniajames at 3:11 PM on May 24 [5 favorites]


Spike in D.C. numbers, crowds at Maryland, Virginia beaches and boardwalks renew coronavirus concerns (WaPo)
A church in Anne Arundel County defied a ban on indoor worship services with more than 10 attendees. Chesapeake Christian Fellowship, a nondenominational church in Davidsonville, hosted three 45-minute services and said it would allow up to 120 attendees at each service. The church announced rules: No children under 11 were allowed; worshipers had to sit six feet apart from each other and were required to wear masks; and every person’s temperature was checked at the door. No one could use church-owned Bibles or drink from the water fountains, and only two people at a time could use the restroom. Staff and volunteers were to let people in and then dismiss them again at a distance from each other. Pews were to be cleaned between each service.

Still, all the protocols did not meet county rules. Rev. James “Pat” Packett spoke in his sermon at the 11 a.m. service of Trump’s “executive order” and made it clear he believed that it carried the force of law. “Sadly, our county executive has refused to recognize those orders of the president,” Packett said. Trump issued no such executive order. “We who are Christians, I believe, have been unfairly discriminated against by governmental mandates that have abrogated or tried to abrogate our First Amendment rights,” Packett said, though the orders in Maryland and in all states apply equally to houses of worship of any faith. County Executive Steuart Pittman (D) said the health department had been trying to reach the church’s leaders to discuss the risks. “We’re not going to arrest people for going to church,” Pittman said, but he wanted to make sure the pastor knew that the church risked lawsuits from its members or others if new cases of the virus can be traced to the services. “When they willfully neglect to follow the health rules and the consequences are illness and death, they’re going to have some issues with people who decide to file lawsuits against them,” he said. [...] “This is an unusual case where the pastor has decided that the president’s statement authorizes him to hold services,” Pittman said about Packett. “The president does not have that authority in our state.”
posted by katra at 4:55 PM on May 24 [7 favorites]


Some knucklehead chided me that my fears about this are unfounded "because they're standing in chlorinated water."

Huh, that's a new one on me..chlorinating an entire lake. Maybe the water where I used to live in northwest Arkansas would taste better if they did that instead of waiting to add the chlorine until after they pumped it out of the lake.

It would be totally possible to have reasonably safe lake recreation. Lake of the Ozarks (like all the substantial man-made lakes in the region) is big, with lots of remote arms giving it hundreds of miles of shoreline. Everybody all crowding into one small swimming area where people are almost certainly shouting is not that.

Ironically, people in that part of the country are normally quite protective of their personal space, especially regarding people they don't live with. It wouldn't do to be mistaken for some soft hippie type. Yet all of a sudden they feel the need to be all up in each other's business rather than maintaining a respectable distance. If there is one thing Trump has done well at, it has been to get the bible humpers to take off the mask of hospitality that normally hides their pathology from certain people.

I very much mean respectable, not respectful. One is about how you appear to others in the community. The other is about kindness to people you don't know.
posted by wierdo at 5:37 PM on May 24 [5 favorites]


The people weren't in the lake. They were in party pools at facilities on the lake shore. Water park bars, from the looks of it.
posted by Windopaene at 5:58 PM on May 24 [3 favorites]


Ok. That makes them (and whoever allowed the facility to open) no less idiotic nor does it make the behavior any less bizarre in the normal social context of the region and how the lakes are typically used.
posted by wierdo at 6:25 PM on May 24


Trump suspends travel from Brazil as coronavirus pandemic worsens in South America, CNBC, Spencer Kimball, 5/24/2020:
  • The president’s order, published Sunday, denies entry to “all aliens” who were in Brazil two weeks prior to their attempted entry into the United States.
  • The order takes effect May 28 at 11:59 pm ET.
  • Brazil has rapidly become one of the hardest hit countries in the world as the World Health Organization warns that the epicenter of the pandemic has shifted from Europe and the U.S. to South America.
Brazil has more than 347,000 confirmed cases of the virus and at least 22,013 people have died, according to data from Johns Hopkins University (see currrent JHU COVID-19 Map). At this point only the United States is harder hit in terms of total positive cases.

Waiting for Bolsonaro's denial and subsequent criticism of his former friend Donald.
posted by cenoxo at 7:03 PM on May 24 [7 favorites]


Russia is at #3 now, in terms of cases. Are they prohibited under the Europe ban?
posted by Windopaene at 7:36 PM on May 24


Some googling suggests no. Wonder what's up with that?
posted by Windopaene at 8:56 PM on May 24 [1 favorite]


Holy shit I agree with Ann Coulter on something.


When the rats leave a sinking ship, one can celebrate and one should not be suspected of inviting them over to one's own vessel.
posted by ocschwar at 9:21 PM on May 24 [3 favorites]


Trump says he's finished hydroxychloroquine regimen to ward off COVID-19, USA Today, Courtney Subramanian, 5/24/2020:
WASHINGTON – President Donald Trump said he's finished taking his regimen of hydroxychloroquine, a controversial drug he's promoted as a treatment for the coronavirus despite warnings from his own U.S. Food and Drug Administration and medical professionals about its effectiveness and potentially dangerous side effects. "Finished, just finished," Trump said in an interview with Sinclair Broadcast's program Full Measure With Sharyl Attkisson [video interview with transcript, *] that aired on Sunday. "And by the way, I'm still here. To the best of my knowledge, here I am."

The president has promoted hydroxychloroquine, an FDA-approved drug used to treat malaria as well as autoimmune conditions such as lupus and rheumatoid arthritis, as a "game-changer." There is little evidence that hydroxychloroquine has been effective to treat or prevent the coronavirus. The FDA has cautioned against the use of hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, a related drug, for COVID-19 treatment outside of hospitals or clinical trials due to the risk of life-threatening heart problems....
In the Full Measure interview, Trump states he was on a two-week regimen:
"I believe in it enough that I took a program because I had two people in the White House that tested positive. I figured maybe it's a good thing to take a program. You know, we take a little bit of a period of time, I think it was two weeks."
WRT the FDA's warnings about hydroxychloroquine risks, see my previous comment.

*More at WP about the conservative Sinclair Broadcast Group and their Full Measure program.
posted by cenoxo at 10:12 PM on May 24 [1 favorite]


Some knucklehead chided me that my fears about this are unfounded "because they're standing in chlorinated water."

Even if that was effective I bet the free chlorine drops to near zero when there are that many drunk idiots packed into those pools.
posted by Mitheral at 12:31 AM on May 25 [1 favorite]


Meanwhile, some Trumpers are now not merely refusing to wear masks themselves, but if they own a business prohibiting masks in their business. This may or may not be legal depending on your city/state/county/whatever, but it is a definite expression of the sort of belligerent anti-safety attitude that Trump has been encouraging his followers to adopt.

A photo of one sign banning masks via reddit.

Given that national numbers are only trending downward because NYC is finally getting a handle on things, and that numbers are now increasing in Trump country, this does not bode well for the future.
posted by sotonohito at 6:39 AM on May 25 [8 favorites]


The CEO of the company I work for has actively expressed distaste and distrust for work from home situations like we are in now, and said in a company-wide meeting he looks forwards to us all being on-site again by July. Meanwhile my department, customer support, which has easily identifiable and quantifiable metrics, is kicking ass and taking names and not slowing down.

The department head reached out to all of us to ask if we had a good reason to not come back yet, at the CEO’s request. He wants 90% compliance in all departments at least, and has verbally told people that really, 100% is the only acceptable option.

I showed her my kit and revealed - before this, it would have been almost unthinkable to do so - that I'm a diabetic, and my wife is too, and she’s also a severe asthmatic. My manager’s reply was “I guess he’s going to be disappointed.”

Meanwhile we see pictures of people not wearing masks this weekend, and not social distancing, and I’m marking June 8 on my calendar for the next big NYC upswing and wondering about my pay cut.

(They put us on four day work weeks, but we’re getting paid for all the days... but we need to burn PTO days for it... and that can’t last forever. I’m thinking about what I can do as a side gig to make up for it.)
posted by mephron at 6:51 AM on May 25 [12 favorites]


The pandemic that first struck in major metropolises is now increasingly finding its front line in the country’s rural areas; counties with acres of farmland, cramped meatpacking plants, out-of-the-way prisons and few hospital beds. [...]

If you want to use a war metaphor use the correct one. What we are currently seeing is not the virus finding a new front line. It is a completely overrunning the front-line, what is commonly known as a rout. I'd also say it is a case of desertion by the leadership.
posted by srboisvert at 9:19 AM on May 25 [14 favorites]


> I've found it odd how much Trump held onto his one model for winning reelection, no matter what. And telling how inflexible and unopen to any kind of change he is.

It does seem telling when the alternative could be a massive shift towards policies that create sustainable fortifications by addressing structural inequalities, e.g. "Imagine if the energy that went into debating the merits of hydroxychloroquine went into ensuring hazard pay, or if the president, instead of wondering out loud if disinfectant could be injected into the body, advocated for health care for all?"

We could be focused on policies that protect people and vulnerable institutions, and how to better prepare for a long haul, because e.g., "“We have decades of social-science research that tells us these things work,” says Courtney Boen, a sociologist at the University of Pennsylvania." Instead, the "data-driven" (Dr. Birx quote, Guardian, May 24, 2020) 'reopening' seems to be about reopening 'safely' enough to keep rates of infection manageable for hospitals, without additional stimulus payments, expanded UI, and robust workplace safety protections (Mitch McConnell quotes, CNBC, May 21, 2020) that could help save lives.

And as noted today in the Guardian:
According to the Penn Wharton Budget Model, even if US states reopen with social distancing rules in place, an additional 233,000 deaths could result from the outbreak. [...] Majority black counties already account for more than half of all coronavirus cases in the US and nearly 60% of deaths. African Americans are also disproportionately on the frontlines of life during the pandemic.

[...] For many, it’s no coincidence, then, that a shift in tone from keeping all Americans safe to reopening businesses at all costs occurred after data confirmed blacks and Latinos are primarily contracting the virus. “The lives of disproportionately black and brown workers are being sacrificed to fuel the engine of a faltering economy, by a president who disdains them,” the Atlantic’s Adam Sewer wrote.
posted by katra at 11:20 AM on May 25 [24 favorites]


The Feds Gave a Former White House Official $3 Million to Supply Masks to Navajo Hospitals. Some May Not Work (ProPublica, May 22, 2020) Zach Fuentes, President Donald Trump’s former deputy chief of staff, secured the deal with the Indian Health Service with limited competitive bidding and no prior federal contracting experience. The IHS told ProPublica it has found that 247,000 of the masks delivered by Fuentes’ company — at a cost of roughly $800,000 — may be unsuitable for medical use. An additional 130,400, worth about $422,000, are not the type specified in the procurement data, the agency said.

Trump threatens to pull Republican convention out of North Carolina (CNN, May 25, 2020) President Donald Trump began a solemn Memorial Day railing against North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper, a Democrat, ahead of the 2020 Republican National Convention, threatening to pull it out of Charlotte, where the convention is expected to be held August 24 to 27. Trump contended that Cooper is "unable to guarantee" that the arena can be filled to capacity. [...]The President's calls for a "guarantee" from North Carolina officials overlooks the uncertainty surrounding the summertime levels of the coronavirus and the challenges of hosting a political convention -- or any large event -- in the middle of an ongoing public health crisis.[...]

In an interview last week, Cooper said that data and science will guide his decisions on whether the state can hold large gatherings like the convention. He said the Republican convention, which he supported bringing to Charlotte, will be treated like any other event. "This is not political. This is not emotional. This is based on health experts, data and science and that's it for everybody to see," Cooper told CNN. "No one is being favored or disfavored over the other."
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:01 PM on May 25 [4 favorites]


Trump contended that Cooper is "unable to guarantee" that the arena can be filled to capacity

Trump's setting the Governor up. Regardless of whether Cooper relents Trump we'll lead with 'We wanted to fill this place up but weren't allowed' And his base will cheer.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 3:31 PM on May 25 [5 favorites]


In which a wild Joe Biden appears: Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden on Monday laid a wreath at a veterans park near his Delaware home, the first time in more than two months he has left his neighborhood. (WaPo, May 25, 2020) Dr. Biden accompanied him; both wore black face masks; Biden kept the mask on during a brief Q&A with reporters; today's appearance was "Biden’s first in public since he started receiving Secret Service protection in mid-March." Article continues:
Some Democrats have privately grown anxious about his physical absence from the campaign trail, even as many public opinion polls show him leading Trump nationally and in several swing states. Trump has resumed some official travel under narrow circumstances and has indicated he wants to resume holding giant rallies, but none has been scheduled. Federal health officials have asked Americans not to take part in mass gatherings.

It is also unclear whether Democrats will gather in person for their national convention in Milwaukee in August. They pushed back initial plans to hold it in July, but uncertainty about the future of the pandemic has led them to consider contingency plans.
Article links to this Friday piece on the Democratic National Convention, already changed from mid-July to Aug. 17, & those contingency plans: Democrats consider satellite events as local concerns grow about big party conventions amid coronavirus outbreak. "Democrats have begun to discuss expanding the footprint of their August nominating convention with multiple satellite events held across the presidential battleground map, an option reflecting stepped-up local warnings about holding traditional mass gatherings amid an ongoing pandemic.

"One alternative under consideration, according to two Democrats familiar with the talks, envisions several smaller regional events for delegates and party leaders that would accompany a minimized main event in Milwaukee, which the presumptive nominee Joe Biden would probably attend. Spreading the events across several locations would dilute the traditional pageantry of the convention — and limit the masses of delegates and onlookers who flock to the events. But it would allow the party to target specific areas where it hopes to turn voters its way in November, according to the two Democrats, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss private planning."
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:37 PM on May 25 [2 favorites]


WHO Halts Trial Of Trump’s Anti-Malaria Drug After Study Finds Higher Mortality Rate In COVID Cases, TPM, Cristina Cabrera, 5/25/2020:
World Health Organization (WHO) Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesu announced on Monday that the organization is temporarily suspending its drug trial of hydroxychloroquine, an anti-malaria drug President Donald Trump has persistently claimed to treat COVID-19 despite having no scientific evidence.

Ghebreyesu said during a press briefing that researchers heading the WHO’s Solidarity Trial will stop the trial to hold a review after the Lancet’s sweeping study on hydroxychloroquine found that not only did the drug fail to yield any benefits in the 96,000 COVID-19 cases in the study, it actually caused an increased mortality rate among hospitalized patients.

“The review will consider data collected so far in the Solidarity Trial and in particular robust randomised available data, to adequately evaluate the potential benefits and harms from this drug,” the WHO leader said. “The Executive Group has implemented a temporary pause of the hydroxychloroquine arm within the Solidarity Trial while the safety data is reviewed by the Data Safety Monitoring Board,” he continued....
Looks like the Donald chose a good time to quit taking it.
posted by cenoxo at 3:40 PM on May 25 [2 favorites]


1st deadlines for laid-off workers to get health insurance (AP)
Many laid-off workers who lost health insurance in the coronavirus shutdown soon face the first deadlines to qualify for fallback coverage under the Affordable Care Act. Taxpayer-subsidized health insurance is available for a modest cost — sometimes even free — across the country, but industry officials and independent researchers say few people seem to know how to find it. For those who lost their health insurance as layoffs mounted in late March, a 60-day “special enrollment” period for individual coverage under the ACA closes at the end of May in most states.

[...] There are several options, not easy to sort through. Some have application deadlines; others do not. And the Trump administration, which still plans to ask the Supreme Court later this summer to declare “Obamacare” unconstitutional, is doing little to promote the health law’s coverage. [...] [Joan Alker, director of the Center for Children and Families at Georgetown University,] said insurance protection has been neglected in the pandemic. “Having health insurance has never been more important,” she said. “We need a national commitment to make these newly uninsured people aware of their options.”
The AP article includes an overview of subsidized private health insurance, Medicaid for adults, children's health insurance, and COBRA.
posted by katra at 3:53 PM on May 25 [2 favorites]


ocschwar > When the rats leave a sinking ship...

Or when they have nowhere else to go: CDC warns of aggressive cannibal rats facing shortage of garbage to eat — Officials say rats have resorted to open warfare and eating their young as closures reduce edible waste, The Guardian, Edward Helmore, 5/25/2020.

Remember the starving macaque monkeys in Thailand?
posted by cenoxo at 4:16 PM on May 25


‘This Is Not the Hunger Games’: National Testing Strategy Draws Concerns (NYT / MSN reprint)
The Trump administration’s new testing strategy, released Sunday to Congress, holds individual states responsible for planning and carrying out all coronavirus testing, while planning to provide some supplies needed for the tests. The proposal also says existing testing capacity, if properly targeted, is sufficient to contain the outbreak. But epidemiologists say that amount of testing is orders of magnitude lower than many of them believe the country needs.

[...] “On the face of it, the idea that 300,000 tests a day is enough for America is absurd,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute. He offered a quick rundown of the numbers to illustrate the estimate’s inadequacy. Most hospitals nationwide now test everyone who is admitted for any reason, roughly 100,000 tests each day, fearing that they may be asymptomatic and yet still spreading the virus. Testing the 1.6 million residents of nursing homes — known to be at high risk of coronavirus infection — and workers every two weeks would require 150,000 more tests each day. Add high-risk places like meatpacking plants that need regular testing, and the numbers rapidly build. [...] And 300,000 daily tests would be insufficient even for mitigation, Dr. Jha said, estimating that would require at least 900,000 tests per day.
posted by katra at 4:18 PM on May 25 [3 favorites]


So the United States — the self-proclaimed 'greatest country in the world' with the best medical care — faces its deadliest health threat in over 100 years with ineffective federal leadership telling each state to test however they think best. Is this providing operational flexibility for the states, or is the Trump Administration trying to shift blame onto the states if/when things fall apart?

May I be wrong, but inaction like this makes me wonder if the COVID-19 pandemic will be much worse than we think. The administration realizes this, they know they can't stop it, and are giving token resistance until COVID-19 can run its course.
posted by cenoxo at 5:00 PM on May 25 [7 favorites]


May I be wrong, but inaction like this makes me wonder if the COVID-19 pandemic will be much worse than we think. The administration realizes this, they know they can't stop it, and are giving token resistance until COVID-19 can run its course.

Trump doesn't care. He has declared himself not responsible for anything. He has declared the states are responsible for everything. No matter how it turns out, Trump is not to blame.
posted by JackFlash at 5:14 PM on May 25 [3 favorites]


[...] However, Trump visited one of his private golf clubs for the first time during the pandemic — the Trump National Golf Club in northern Virginia. He has been pushing for state and local leaders to fully reopen after months after closures and tight restrictions. [...] Mindful of evangelical Christians who are key to his base of support ahead of November’s election, Trump on Friday labeled houses of worship as “essential” and urged governors to let them reopen this weekend. However, leaders of many denominations have said they plan to move gradually and cautiously.

So after demanding that churches reopen, he spent Sunday playing golf.
posted by adept256 at 5:28 PM on May 25 [8 favorites]


Trump threatens to pull Republican convention out of North Carolina

Well, here's a thought: there are plenty of cruise ships waiting at sea, ready to be occupied because passengers are staying away in droves. Why not host the RNC convention on a cruise ship? The attendees will love it! Best of all, the rest of us can keep the RNC attendees in quarantine for a few weeks until we're sure it's safe for the survivors to return!
posted by SPrintF at 6:39 PM on May 25 [22 favorites]


Trump Economic Advisor Reduces Workers to ‘Human Capital Stock’ (Rolling Stone, May 25, 2020) Senior White House Economic Adviser Kevin Hassett made the wildly insensitive remark, first flagged by Aaron Rupar on Twitter, on Sunday after CNN’s Dana Bash asked whether unemployment numbers would remain in double digits come November. “Our capital stock hasn’t been destroyed, our human capital stock is ready to get back to work, and so there are lots of reasons to believe that we can get going way faster than we have in previous crises,” Hassett said. [...]

Trump has moved ahead with attempts to cut food stamps during the crisis while Republicans in Congress have balked at passing a second stimulus package and are looking to phase out coronavirus-related unemployment benefits. Hassett was also asked about increasing funding for food stamps and said he hadn’t raised the topic with Trump, saying, “I have not discussed with the president.” Hassert also called the requests for additional funding coming from states “absurd” and “radical.”
posted by Iris Gambol at 6:45 PM on May 25 [8 favorites]


May I be wrong, but inaction like this makes me wonder if the COVID-19 pandemic will be much worse than we think. The administration realizes this, they know they can't stop it, and are giving token resistance until COVID-19 can run its course.

We're 1.6 million official infections in with 100,000 deaths. If we assume the undercount is 10:1 (i.e. 16 million people have had it and have been either mild enough to not show up in official figures or just asymptomatic) that means we're only 1/20th of the way through. Assuming the virus starts to die out at 60%ish herd immunity that's probably still over a million dead. Even if the undercount is 20:1 we've still got half a million deaths left to go.

That's fairly conservative back of the napkin math. The numbers are absolutely staggering. "Greatest country in the world" right here, people.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 6:46 PM on May 25 [2 favorites]


The Brutal Clarity of the Trump-McConnell Plan to Protect Businesses (Will Wilkinson, NYT Opinion)
Unsurprisingly, the president agrees with Mr. McConnell that any federal cash to states must be conditioned on “lawsuit indemnification,” as he indicated in a tweet. Democrats adamantly oppose removing a critical incentive for businesses to prevent workplace contagion and keep employees and communities safe. [...] The ruling Republican approach to the economic crisis of mass social distancing seems to be to simply to cut it short, force a hasty reboot of the economy and recklessly gamble on penniless states and municipalities muddling through without creating too much politically inconvenient carnage. [...] Steadfast federal inaction will suffice to starve workers back into the yoke and compel governors and mayors fearing fiscal ruin and popular uprising to reopen.

[...] You’ll notice that the Republican call for liability protection amounts to a frank admission that in hurrying back to shops and offices, factories and showrooms, Americans might die. The wariness of business owners to expose themselves to the legal peril of reopening during an uncontained epidemic isn’t a problem. It’s a market signal telling us that for now, the risks of rushing to reopen might outweigh the rewards. If it were generally safe to reopen, Republicans wouldn’t need to shut this signal down.
posted by katra at 6:53 PM on May 25 [11 favorites]


Steadfast federal inaction will suffice to starve workers back into the yoke and compel governors and mayors fearing fiscal ruin and popular uprising to reopen.
White House adviser Kevin Hassett: "Our human capital stock is ready to go back to work."

They don't even pretend anymore. They don't even have to say the quiet part quietly.
posted by Your Childhood Pet Rock at 6:56 PM on May 25 [10 favorites]


That's fairly conservative back of the napkin math. The numbers are absolutely staggering. "Greatest country in the world" right here, people.

Everyone who can do basic math and isn't willfully blind can see that reopenings, without a massive increase in proactive testing that the federal government seems completely disinterested in, will result in 500K-1M deaths this year, and will destroy what's left of the economy since multiple waves will mean everyone with a brain will stay away from mass gatherings no matter what the Trumpists say. All this because the admin was too stupid to ramp up testing early on because it might spook the stock market, and is incapable of admitting error because the Federal government has been bent around one manchild's ego.
posted by benzenedream at 12:06 AM on May 26 [6 favorites]


You’ll notice that the Republican call for liability protection amounts to a frank admission that in hurrying back to shops and offices, factories and showrooms, Americans might die.

It's also something they've been calling for for quite a while. They're not above doing using a public emergency to call for things they've always wanted that also harm the American public.
posted by ZeusHumms at 7:24 AM on May 26 [3 favorites]


Ex-FDA commissioner cites reopening as likely cause of uptick in hospitalizations (WaPo live blog)
“We now see a trend in an uptick in hospitalizations. It’s a small uptick, but it is an uptick, and it is unmistakable, and it is probably a result of reopening,” [former Food and Drug Administration commissioner Scott Gottlieb] said Tuesday morning in an interview on CNBC. “We expected cases to go up and hospitalizations to bump up when we reopened.”
The Coronavirus Is Deadliest Where Democrats Live (NYT, May 25, 2020)
Beyond perception and ideology, there are starkly different realities for red and blue America right now.
In the country as a whole, outbreaks in conservative rural counties are rising, but not on a scale that would close the gap in the virus’s impact on red and blue counties. Over all, the infection rate is 1.7 times as high in the most urban areas of the country compared with nearby suburbs, and 2.3 times as high in the suburbs as in exurban and rural areas. [...] Over all, African-Americans and Latinos have had higher infection and death rates from the virus, and are far more likely to identify as Democrats than as Republicans.

Several companies have studied social distancing metrics based on anonymized cellphone location data, including the mobility research firms Unacast and Descartes Labs. While the companies do not break down findings by political party, the underlying data they collect shows less social distancing in counties that supported Mr. Trump than in those that supported Hillary Clinton. Rural and exurban county residents, who tend to favor Republicans, do have to travel more for essential services and are less likely to have jobs that allow for working from home. Yet even in more densely populated suburban areas, there was less evidence of social distancing in counties that voted for Mr. Trump. [...] Interviews with dozens of Republicans in southeast Texas and other parts of the country over the past month found a pervasive it’s-not-coming-for-my-neighborhood attitude, with many seeing themselves as a world apart from the regions that have been overwhelmed by the virus. They are enthusiastic backers of rolling back restrictions not just as a way to spur the economy, but also based on the belief that individuals should make their own decisions about risk.
posted by katra at 7:52 AM on May 26 [2 favorites]


If you're into tabletop gaming at all, this is a big deal: GenCon is cancelled this year.

As with many game conventions, there will be some kind of virtual gaming sessions happening, but here in Indianapolis, there will be an economic impact in the tens of millions of dollars.

I'm glad they cancelled, though, so I didn't have to decide not to attend. I can't think of any way of making that event safe to attend.
posted by Gelatin at 8:14 AM on May 26 [5 favorites]


About a dozen states are reporting upticks in new cases, even as the national picture improves. (NYT live blog)
About a dozen states are seeing an uptick in new coronavirus cases, even as all 50 states move to reopen in some way. States that reopened earlier — or never fully shut down — are among those showing signs of further spread. Alabama, Florida, Georgia, North Carolina and Tennessee are among the states that have had recent growth in newly reported new cases, several weeks after moving to reopen. Arkansas and North Dakota, two states that shut down businesses but did not issue formal stay-at-home orders, are also reporting an increase in cases.

The Washington D.C., region, which has been locked down for weeks, also saw a jump in new cases as the city approaches a planned reopening on Friday. The new numbers could reflect increased testing capacity in some places, though it is also an indication that the virus’s grip on the country is far from over. Experts have warned that opening too early could lead to a second wave.
Why Native Americans took Covid-19 seriously: 'It's our reality' (Guardian)
The infection rate among the Navajo Nation has now surpassed the state of New York, the centre of the pandemic in the US, and on Monday stood at 2,680 cases per 100,000 people compared with 1,890 in New York. The data emerging from some smaller tribes is even worse. By mid-May, the known infection rate in the Pueblo of Zia, which has a population of 934 people, was 3,319 per 100,000 – ten times the rate of New Mexico where the tribe is situated, and almost double the rate of New Jersey – the second worst hit US state. The nearby Pueblo of San Felipe, population 3,544, is also badly affected with 3,301 known cases per 100,000. Reporting lags mean the actual infection rate for both tribes could be significantly higher.

[...] “More than any other population in the country, the shared experience of surviving a pandemic is in our blood, it’s not historic, it’s current for American Indians, it’s our reality. We took it seriously because we had to,” said Desi Rodriguez-Lonebear, a social demographer at the University of Arizona and citizen of the Northern Cheyenne tribe in Montana. [...] The disproportionately high Covid-19 infection rates in Indian Country are attributed to chronic structural and economic inequalities such as overcrowded housing, understaffed hospitals, lack of running water and limited internet access – resulting from the US government’s failure to comply with treaty obligations which agreed adequate funding for basic services in exchange for vast amounts of tribal land. [...] in Arizona, the death rate for indigenous people is 42.8 per 100,000 – almost six times higher than for white people. In Mississippi, they are dying from Covid-19 at 10 times the rate of whites, according to analysis published last week by APM Research Lab. [...] In fact, the situation is likely worse as the data currently available is extremely patchy.
posted by katra at 8:16 AM on May 26 [8 favorites]


In the country as a whole, outbreaks in conservative rural counties are rising, but not on a scale that would close the gap in the virus’s impact on red and blue counties. Over all, the infection rate is 1.7 times as high in the most urban areas of the country compared with nearby suburbs, and 2.3 times as high in the suburbs as in exurban and rural areas.

I wish people we could ban people who do not understand exponential growth from talking about pandemic statistics.

On an exponential scale, a factor of two is not very much at all. It is a single doubling time. For urban places that had no measures in place, it was less than three days. Even if there's enough less person to person contact that the virus grows more slowly in rural areas, much slower probably means a doubling time of a few days to maybe two weeks on the high end. I'm sure epidemiologists with better data could give a range, but regardless of the specific growth rate It still means you have an imminent problem with maybe a couple more weeks to respond.

And if that growth rate is on the faster end and a community is conducting business as usual, well it takes some time to present symptoms and go in to get tested. It takes a day at least to gather the statistics, a day to look at them and publish your article. That's plenty enough time for the outbreak to double in size.

The per-capita death count here in Yakima county her in Washington is already about matched with that of King County due to outbreaks in meat packing and agriculture. And that's with the state government being fairly firm on distancing measures. If that's what it's like in a state that got hit a couple weeks earlier than many others and responded reasonably well, what is it going to be like in two weeks in those other states who are just going to let this thing spread as freely as their most irresponsible citizens want?

If a report about this pandemic is giving you death and infection numbers at one point in time without talking about trends and the actual shape of the curve, it is telling you almost nothing about the future danger, or possibly even the present situation as it is on the ground.
posted by Zalzidrax at 9:49 AM on May 26 [11 favorites]


Interviews with dozens of Republicans in southeast Texas and other parts of the country over the past month found a pervasive it’s-not-coming-for-my-neighborhood attitude, with many seeing themselves as a world apart from the regions that have been overwhelmed by the virus. They are enthusiastic backers of rolling back restrictions not just as a way to spur the economy, but also based on the belief that individuals should make their own decisions about risk.

Holiday revelers flouted social distancing. Now, Missouri officials are urging them to quarantine. (Politico)
St. Louis County’s public health department issued a travel advisory: “Any person who has traveled and engaged in this behavior should self-quarantine for 14 days or until they receive a negative test result for COVID-19.” County Executive Sam Page called the behavior “reckless” and dangerous for others. The mayor of St. Louis (which is distinct from St. Louis County) issued a similar quarantine advisory. And Kansas City’s health director deployed the hashtag #COVIDIDIOTS, tweeting, “Anyone who didn’t practice CDC, DHSS, and KCMO Health Department social distancing guidance should self quarantine for 14 days if they have any compassion for others.”
posted by katra at 9:52 AM on May 26 [7 favorites]


This is the way the world ends
Not with a bang but with a 'should'
posted by RolandOfEld at 10:34 AM on May 26 [6 favorites]


'If they have any compassion for others'?

That's... kind of the problem.
posted by box at 11:57 AM on May 26 [21 favorites]


I would be interested to know what machination of law would allow a county sheriff to enforce a curfew or "residents-only" restrictions commonly imposed (and enforced) by emergency order after natural disasters and other declared emergencies but not allow them to enforce social distancing rules imposed with the same kind of emergency order.
posted by wierdo at 12:08 PM on May 26


Is it possible that we won't see major outbreaks in the countryside, and that there will be loss of life but nothing approaching what we saw in Italy or NYC?
posted by chaz at 12:09 PM on May 26 [1 favorite]


Trump Team Killed Rule Designed To Protect Health Workers From Pandemic Like COVID-19 • National Public Radio; Brian Mann; May 26, 2020
When President Trump took office in 2017, his team stopped work on new federal regulations that would have forced the healthcare industry to prepare for an airborne infectious disease pandemic like COVID-19. That decision is documented in federal records reviewed by NPR. [...]

[...] making a new infectious disease regulation, affecting much of the American healthcare system, is time-consuming and contentious. It requires lengthy consultation with scientists, doctors, other state and federal regulatory agencies, as well as the nursing and hospital industries that would be forced to implement the standard.

Federal records reviewed by NPR show OSHA went step-by-step through that process for six years and by early 2016 the new infectious disease rule was ready. The Obama White House formally added it to a list of regulations scheduled to be implemented in 2017.
The Trump administration simply looked at it as a regulation to be cut.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:18 PM on May 26 [15 favorites]


Trump’s Food Aid Program Gives Little Funding to the Northeast, Where Coronavirus Hit Hardest New York and New England have the most COVID-19 cases but received the second-lowest funding of any region. Maine can’t get any shipments because none of the selected contractors serve the state. (ProPublica, May 22, 2020) Out of $1.2 billion in the program’s first round, just $46 million is going to the Northeast. The region, which encompasses New York and New England, has the most coronavirus cases but received the least money of any region except the Mountain Plains, which has almost half as many people. By contrast, the Southwest (including Texas) is getting more than five times as much money even though it has only about 50% more people and a quarter as many coronavirus cases.

Put another way, the Northeast has 10% of the country’s population and 33% of COVID-19 cases but is receiving only 4% of food relief dollars, according to ProPublica’s analysis of data from the USDA, the Census Bureau and Johns Hopkins University.
posted by Iris Gambol at 12:50 PM on May 26 [8 favorites]


GenCon is cancelled this year.

All of the DC-area cons I was planning to attend or exhibit at so far this year have been canceled or postponed.
Awesomecon postponed to December, Blerdcon and con.txt to next summer, Balticon canceled outright. Most of the September/October cons are still planning to go ahead but have made memberships refundable, and I wouldn't be surprised if SPX announces a cancellation any day now.

Dragoncon in Atlanta is supposedly still on for Labor Day weekend, but if it happens at all I can't imagine it'll have even a fraction of the normal (80,000+) attendance.

This might be the first year since.... 2008? I think? that I don't go to a single con. And who knows when people will feel safe enough to start going again.
posted by nonasuch at 1:23 PM on May 26 [2 favorites]


Is it possible that we won't see major outbreaks in the countryside, and that there will be loss of life but nothing approaching what we saw in Italy or NYC?

> “The major message that I wish to convey … is the danger of trying to open the country prematurely,” Fauci told the paper on Monday night. “If we skip over the checkpoints in the guidelines then we risk the danger of multiple outbreaks throughout the country. This will not only result in needless suffering and death, but would actually set us back on our quest to return to normal.” (Guardian, May 12, 2020)

Coronavirus outbreak spreading farther into rural America (The Hill / MSN, May 1, 2020)
Epidemiologists worry that significant spread into rural areas will bring with it challenges that only the hardest-hit metropolitan areas faced. Those rural areas have older populations with higher instances of underlying conditions that lead to worse health outcomes for those who contract the coronavirus, and their health systems have less capacity to deal with a substantial surge. Rural residents are also likely to suffer higher rates of poverty, and they are less likely to have health insurance or guaranteed access to quality care.
Small towns and rural hospitals brace for their coronavirus peak, which could be weeks away (CNBC, May 3, 2020)
Dr. Andrew Pavia, pediatric infectious diseases chief at the University of Utah Health, said [...] health disparities between rural and urban communities could cause a longer, more sustained outbreak in less-densely populated areas rather than a sudden peak, or the increase in the daily rate of new infections as seen in big cities. “That means that we’re going to be fighting this for weeks and months to come,” Pavia said. “It’s also going to make reopening much more challenging in these areas.”
'I'm looking for the truth': States face criticism for COVID-19 data cover-ups (NBC News, May 25, 2020)
As states ramp up their reopenings, some are coming under criticism for making public misleading statistics or concealing information related to the coronavirus outbreak. [...] Such data has been the basis for how quickly states are beginning to open up and return to a sense of normalcy. But government officials in a number of states are facing questions about how open and honest they're being about how the virus is impacting their state.
posted by katra at 1:28 PM on May 26 [2 favorites]


Put another way, the Northeast has 10% of the country’s population and 33% of COVID-19 cases but is receiving only 4% of food relief dollars,

This is one of those indicators that makes me feel like America is no longer a country in anything but name and habit, especially if he is re-elected and the GOP continues to own the Senate. The politicization of this crisis is absolutely shameful (like whatever did happen to all those PPE the federal government confiscated after telling states they're on their own?).
posted by kokaku at 2:53 PM on May 26 [4 favorites]


WaPo: Twitter labels Trump’s tweets with a fact-check for the first time

Mango Unchained's online excretions are going to be 🔥 tonight.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:16 PM on May 26 [16 favorites]


Timothy Klausutis requested that the "horrifying" lies Trump was spreading about his wife's 2001 death be deleted, not fact-checked. From his letter to Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey: “The president’s tweet that suggests that Lori was murdered – without any evidence (and contrary to the official autopsy) – is a violation of Twitter’s community rules and terms of service. An ordinary user like me would be banished from the platform for such a tweet, but I am only asking that these tweets be removed." (The Guardian, May 26, 2020)
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:25 PM on May 26 [13 favorites]


Yes, but that would require Twitter to take a side, which they only do in defense of Nazis.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:30 PM on May 26 [10 favorites]


[...] Klausutis’ letter was not enough to move Twitter or Trump. Twitter will not be removing the posts at this time, according to a company spokesperson. “We are deeply sorry about the pain these statements, and the attention they are drawing, are causing the family,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “We’ve been working to expand existing product features and policies so we can more effectively address things like this going forward, and we hope to have those changes in place shortly.” (Politico, May 26, 2020)
--
Trump kept up the tweets after the Times published the letter (in which Mr. Klausutis "also wrote of the enduring pain his wife’s loved ones feel over her early death, and how the conspiracy theories have made it harder for them to move on") and there was public backlash in several places, including Twitter; in the WH briefing room today, spokesperson Kayleigh McEnany brushed off reporters' questions, said the onus was on Joe Scarborough (to address these supposedly unresolved issues surrounding Lori Klausutis' death), couldn't confirm that Trump had seen the letter, wouldn't speculate as to his motives for these tweets, but was sure to add, "Our hearts are with Lori's family."
posted by Iris Gambol at 3:57 PM on May 26 [4 favorites]


Facing death threats and no pay, mayors are the front-line commanders of the coronavirus pandemic (USA Today)
Mayors didn’t come up with the "locally executed, state managed and federally supported” approach that President Donald Trump has adopted for combating the coronavirus. But they’re the front-line commanders. [...] Some have faced death threats and racist attacks for their stay-at-home orders, making life and death decisions that might go against actions taken by their governors or state supreme courts.

[...] "You're a counselor. You're a helper. You're a healer. ... You're a visionary," said Bryan Barnett, mayor of Rochester Hills, Michigan, and president of the U.S. Conference of Mayors. “There's so much emotion and uncertainty in our communities right now. And the one tremendous advantage that mayors have is that they have the public's trust more so than any level of government.” A recent poll backs him up. Seventy-two percent of voters surveyed this month by the Harris Poll say they trust statements from their mayors about the spread of coronavirus. That’s slightly higher than the 68% who trust statements from their governor and far higher than the 44% who trust what Trump says.
Republicans Still Skeptical of COVID-19 Lethality (Gallup)
The surveys were fielded March 17-29 and April 14-20, 2020, as part of Knight Foundation's Trust, Media and Democracy initiative. [...] Two possible explanations exist for this enduring misperception. First, Republican respondents may know the correct answer but provide the incorrect answer to demonstrate their support for the Trump administration or because they just tend to view national conditions more positively when a Republican is president. In survey research, this is called expressive responding or partisan cheerleading. The other explanation is that debunking misinformation is difficult once believed. The results captured in these Gallup/Knight surveys cannot distinguish between the two possibilities, but the implication of either explanation underscores the power of partisanship and politics even as the public health emergency has unfolded.
posted by katra at 4:26 PM on May 26 [4 favorites]


There's only one way out of this mess

When will reporters ask the administration and senators nothing but 'why doesn't this country have more thorough testing and higher quality tests?' ?
posted by kokaku at 6:59 PM on May 26 [10 favorites]


All this because the admin was too stupid to ramp up testing early on because it might spook the stock market, and is incapable of admitting error because the Federal government has been bent around one manchild's ego.

At this point, we can't rule out the possibility that this isn't just about Trump's ego, we are actually seeing something like the political moves the kind of garbage that make up the Republican party would actually prefer.

The likes of McConnell aren't talking about no liability for employers just because Trump would force them to. And they do not see Trump's chaos and pandemic suffering as problems to be addressed but tools that are actually useful to the cause of drowning public institutions of all sorts in the bathtubs of oligarchy.
posted by wildblueyonder at 5:50 AM on May 27 [4 favorites]


Twitter has finally started fact-checking Trump • Vox; Shirin Ghaffary; May 26, 2020 • 'After the president tweeted misleading information about mail-in ballots, Twitter applied a warning label to Trump’s tweets for the first time.'

Twitter should probably apply the fact-checking label ("Get the facts ...") to Trump's tweets protesting the fact-checking label.
posted by ZeusHumms at 6:07 AM on May 27 [3 favorites]


(While I'm not volunteering to do it, I think that the Twitter fact-checking Trump thing might be worthy of its own post.)
posted by box at 6:15 AM on May 27 [2 favorites]


More than half of the Tweets promoting the opening of America are from bots. I can't tell the Russians from the Corporate interests at this point.

It's just Skynet trying to get us to reopen so there's less work for the computer overlords to do.

Regarding the excess deaths, the excess deaths should absolutely be treated as a minimum. The social distancing and other stay-at-home orders have reduced not only the spread of Covid, but also the seasonal flu and other infectious diseases (primarily risky for older folks), reduced car accidents (as mentioned above, and is the major cause of ), also reduced murders, probably some drug overdoses, and some drownings too. 1/6 of the year had lower deaths from many of the top causes of death. So yeah, these excess deaths are a good gauge to see if we are undercounting Covid deaths (which we are), but should definitely be taken as a minimum. I am very interested to see when the cause of death studies come out for 2020.
posted by LizBoBiz at 6:40 AM on May 27 [4 favorites]


Waiting for Bolsonaro's denial and subsequent criticism of his former friend Donald.

Brazil Coronavirus Cases Quadruple in May as Jair Bolsonaro Plays Down U.S. Travel Restrictions, Newsweek, Chantal Da Silva, 5/25/2020:
...Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro appeared to play down concerns around the U.S.'s new travel restrictions on Brazil on Sunday, as the number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the South American country soared past 360,000 [+391,222 on current JHU Covid-19 Map]. COVID-19 cases in Brazil have risen exponentially in the wake of the country's initial outbreak, with the South American nation now having the second highest number of cases globally. ...Bolsonaro...appeared to play down the severity of the new restrictions, retweeting a Twitter thread from his international advisor Filipe G. Martins saying the ban was similar to measures being taken by countries "worldwide."

...Martins appeared to dismiss the fact that the restrictions were aimed specifically at Brazil, saying the U.S. measures were similar to the country's own prior restrictions barring entry to all foreigners, except residents and immediate family members of Brazilian citizens. Further...countries around the world have taken similar action to shut down their borders to foreign nationals. ...The president's advisor appeared also determined to shut down any concerns that the new travel restrictions could suggest friction between the U.S. and Brazil. The U.S.'s decision, Martins said, was in no way discriminatory against Brazil....
Deny, deny, deny (but no public criticism of the Imperial Donald).
posted by cenoxo at 7:35 AM on May 27 [1 favorite]


Trump to sign executive order on social media amid Twitter furor

Kayleigh McEnany told reporters aboard Air Force One that the order is “pertaining to social media” but shared no additional details on what it will do.
That Politico link mentions that last year the Trump admin was working on an executive order aimed at social media companies — CNN managed to learn some details in August:
... according to the summary, the White House draft order asks the FCC to restrict the government's view of the good-faith provision [of the CDA]. Under the draft proposal, the FCC will be asked to find that social media sites do not qualify for the good-faith immunity if they remove or suppress content without notifying the user who posted the material, or if the decision is proven to be evidence of anticompetitive, unfair or deceptive practices.
Tomorrow's supposed executive order may be something other than this proposal from last year, although a two-day interval for writing a new executive order since Twitter's note seems unlikely.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:27 PM on May 27 [1 favorite]


If "removal or suppression" are the criteria, then what Twitter did to Trump's tweets arguably wouldn't qualify. Twitter didn't remove stuff; they met speech with more speech.

The fact that Trump is butthurt about it shows that what he desires isn't freedom of speech; it's freedom from challenge, or from having to account for his speech.

And really, no one should be surprised, because that kind of privilege-for-us and the power to abuse everyone else is the idol at the center of the GOP.
posted by wildblueyonder at 5:59 PM on May 27 [11 favorites]


It's going to be kinda weird if the Twitter President gets Twitter shut down.
posted by Mitheral at 6:02 PM on May 27 [1 favorite]


Can I wish that they destroy each other in this fight?
posted by nubs at 6:39 PM on May 27 [12 favorites]


Might as well wish that Facebook gets immolated too.
posted by benzenedream at 6:41 PM on May 27 [3 favorites]


Must it be said that the Imperial Donald doesn’t care a fractional Planck length for anyone else’s “FREE SPEECH”, except his own "right” to say anything about anyone without correction or criticism?

Trump never spoke truer words when he said (shortly before his 2016 election): "In this journey, I will never lie to you. I will never tell you something I do not believe." We should take him at his word.
posted by cenoxo at 6:48 PM on May 27


Lawfare‘s take on this issue: COVID-19 and Social Media Content Moderation, Evelyn Douek, 3/5/2020:
... Content moderation during this pandemic is an exaggerated version of content moderation all the time: Platforms are balancing various interests when they write their rules, and they are making consequential choices about error preference when they enforce them. Platforms’ uncharacteristic (if still too limited) transparency around these choices in the context of the pandemic should be welcomed—but needs to be expanded on in the future. These kinds of choices should not be made in the shadows. Most importantly, platforms should be forced to earn the kudos they are getting for their handling of the pandemic by preserving data about what they are doing and opening it up for research instead of selective disclosure.

One thing is certain: With enormous numbers of people locked inside, spending more time online and hungry for information, the actions taken by platforms will have significant consequences. They may well emerge from this more powerful than ever. Right now the public is asking tech platforms to step up, but we also need to keep thinking about how to rein them in.
Trump’s blustering won’t resolve this with an executive order.
posted by cenoxo at 7:11 PM on May 27 [1 favorite]


Zuckerberg Says Twitter Is Wrong to Fact-Check Trump (Newsweek, May 27, 2020) "We have a different policy, I think, than Twitter on this," Zuckerberg told Dana Perino, host of the Fox News show The Daily Briefing, in an interview clip. The full interview is expected to air on Thursday. "I just believe strongly that Facebook shouldn't be the arbiter of truth of everything that people say online. In general, private companies probably shouldn't be, especially these platform companies, shouldn't be in the position of doing that," Zuckerberg added.

Pelosi blasts Trump's insistence that Republican convention occur (NBC, May 27, 2020) "I don't think there's anyone who would say at this point that tens of thousands of people should come together for a political convention, no matter how great an ego trip it is for somebody,” Pelosi, D-Calif., said during a news conference with other Democratic House leaders.

The GOP convention is currently scheduled for Aug. 24-27 in a state that recently reported its highest number of new cases in a single day. North Carolina entered the second phase of its reopening last week, but gatherings of groups over 10 people indoors, and 25 people outdoors, are still prohibited. After Trump threatened to move the RNC, several other states, including Georgia and Florida, offered themselves as alternatives.
posted by Iris Gambol at 7:23 PM on May 27 [1 favorite]


The U.S. death toll has reached 100,000. (WaPo)
“We’re living in a moment when national sentimentality and displays of compassion are muted because the government doesn’t conceive itself as a first responder,” said Lauren Berlant, a University of Chicago professor whose work focuses on compassion. “There is empathy, but it’s been localized — it’s in the states and cities and neighborhoods.” Despite a death toll that has overwhelmed hospitals and funeral homes, it remains early in the course of the epidemic. There has been as yet no national requiem, no moment that captured the collective sense of loss, no president standing atop the ruins, rallying the nation through a bullhorn.
US death toll from coronavirus surges past 100,000 people (AP)
The true death toll from the virus, which emerged in China late last year and was first reported in the U.S. in January, is widely believed to be significantly higher, with experts saying many victims died of COVID-19 without ever being tested for it.

Early on, President Donald Trump downplayed the severity of the coronavirus, likening it to the flu, and predicted the U.S. wouldn’t reach 100,000 deaths. [...] “The experience of other countries shows that death at that scale was preventable,” said [Josh Michaud, associate director of global health policy with the Kaiser Family Foundation in Washington]. [...] Countries with low death rates suppressed the virus “through lots of testing, contact tracing and policies to support isolation and quarantine of people at risk,” Michaud said. Dr. Wafaa El-Sadr, director of ICAP, a global health center at Columbia University, called the U.S. death rate shocking. “It reflects the fact that we have neglected basic fundamentals for health,” El-Sadr said. “So, now we are in this shameful situation. It is the most vulnerable people in our midst — the elderly, the poor, members of racial/ethnic minority groups — who are the ones disproportionately getting sick and dying.”
For a numbers-obsessed Trump, there’s one he has tried to ignore: 100,000 dead (WaPo)
Trump last week ordered flags flown at half-staff through Memorial Day weekend to commemorate the Americans who have died of the coronavirus. [...] Internally, there are no substantive plans for any additional event to mark the 100,000 milestone, said a senior administration official, speaking on the condition of anonymity to share candid details of private conversations. White House officials are hesitant to plan anything that could be perceived as Trump declaring “mission accomplished,” this official said. [...] The president has focused much of his time in recent days on matters other than the coronavirus. He spent the Memorial Day weekend golfing Saturday and Sunday — the first time he has done so since early in the pandemic — and attacking rivals in deeply personal and at times sexist terms.
posted by katra at 9:31 PM on May 27 [4 favorites]


Zuckerberg Says Twitter Is Wrong to Fact-Check Trump (Newsweek, May 27, 2020)

There are people who are passively bad -- they don't mean badly, they just don't care enough, or know enough, to do the right thing. Zuckerberg is actively bad -- he has figured out the ways he and Facebook benefit from bad actors and is doing what he can to enable them. I don't like to wish ill on people, but he might be an exception.
posted by Dip Flash at 9:39 PM on May 27 [21 favorites]


After Trump threatened to move the RNC, several other states, including Georgia and Florida, offered themselves as alternatives.

The reason (aside from him having his mouth sewn onto. Trump's anus) Ron DeSantis is happy to offer up Florida is that he is confident he can evade the visible consequences since any resultant infections will either not show up until the event is over and gone or won't be counted in the statistics reported by the media since Florida explicitly excludes people who can't be shown to be full time residents of the state from the topline COVID-19 numbers reported by the media and shown on various tracking websites. Diagnoses of nonresidents and part time residents are recorded, but are less widely reported and not included in the total.

If someone comes here to work for a month, gets sick, and dies won't be reflected on "his" scorecard so he gives no fucks. The only place it might show up is in a number that continues to be hidden at the state level: the number of currently hospitalized COVID-19 patients, and that only temporarily.

And for him (or more correctly, his donors), there's a huge upside: It projects confidence to those who are unaware of the scam that it is safe for tourists to descend upon the state once again. That's pretty much job one for him now that Disney and Universal have decided to reopen their theme parks. They seem confident enough in their plans that it's obvious they think that either current state law is enough to protect them or that the Republican-controlled Legislature will pass a liability limitation bill in their next session, before anyone can get a judgement against them in court for their reckless acts toward employees and guests.

It fits together quite neatly with the strategy he has pursued so far with COVID-19, the mind boggling number of sick and dead in ALFs across the state, the almost non-functional unemployment system, and everything else that has been exposed as a result of the crisis. Minimize, claim something is being done, and then call anyone who says the problem isn't solved a liar.
posted by wierdo at 10:28 PM on May 27 [8 favorites]


Can someone tell me what the current status of Trump's tweets are? I mean, official documents or not in legal/Congressional committee/Presidential library terms. I recall this question being raised long ago but never answered.
posted by CCBC at 3:27 AM on May 28


Given twitter's nature I think the best physical medium to preserve them in the library would be a kind of scroll. Preferably two-ply quilted.
posted by adept256 at 4:18 AM on May 28 [5 favorites]


The Philadelphia Inquirer: Pa. House Democrats say they were in the dark for a week about Republican’s positive coronavirus test (via)
HARRISBURG — A Republican state lawmaker from Central Pennsylvania confirmed Wednesday that he tested positive for the coronavirus earlier this month, leading at least one of his House colleagues to self-quarantine.

The admission immediately ignited outrage among Democrats in the chamber, who said they were recklessly left in the dark for nearly a week about the lawmaker’s condition.
@BrianSimsPA (thread):
RESIGN: Today we learned that House Speaker @MikeTurzai has known that Republican Members have either tested positive, or been quarantined, and withheld this information from Democrats including those of us who serve on the committees with those members! Members in this room have small children, elderly family members that they care for, spouses with autoimmune diseases, and lives that constantly put us at risk of inter acting with others. For me, my story wasn’t supposed to be told, but here goes...

In late January I secretly donated a kidney to a person who lives about 10 blocks from me in the City. He was dying of renal failure and I turned out to be a near perfect match. I spent several days in the hospital and several days with fifth a friend before returning home. My recipient began to improve almost immediately and his long term prognosis is strong, and none of this was ever supposed to be public. People are cynical, especially about politics. And so I decided to share the donation with only my friends, staff, and family. Now, months later, in the middle of a global pandemic, I’ve discovered that my Republican colleagues exposed me, and my Democratic colleagues to Covid-19! They covered that information up because they were simultaneously arguing that the risk was low, or non-existent. They lied.
If the name Turzai sounds familiar to you, it might be due to his "saying the quiet parts loud" moment in 2012 when he admitted that Voter ID was designed to elect Mitt Romney. He's been one of the more prominent members of the PA Covidiot caucus, spreading COVID-19 disinformation since the pandemic came to Pennsylvania. But several PA media outlets just can't bring themselves to tell the story outside of a "both sides" frame. (via)
posted by tonycpsu at 7:03 AM on May 28 [21 favorites]


Can someone tell me what the current status of Trump's tweets are? I mean, official documents or not in legal/Congressional committee/Presidential library terms. I recall this question being raised long ago but never answered.

As President Trump Tweets And Deletes, The Historical Record Takes Shape (NPR, Oct. 25, 2019)
Rep. Mike Quigley, D-Ill., introduced the COVFEFE Act — an acronym drawn from one of Trump's most well-known, ultimately-deleted tweets — in 2017, which would explicitly include the term "social media" in the Records Act.
And more recently: Trump retweets video declaring 'the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat' (The Week)
The Cowboys for Trump tweet comes in response to a Daily Beast article covering Griffin's rally at a New Mexico church, which he held to defy the state's COVID-19 social distancing orders.
And in related Twitter news: Trump continues to claim broad powers he doesn’t have (AP)
While Congress could pass legislation further regulating social media platforms, Trump “has no such authority,” said former federal judge Michael McConnell, who now directs Stanford Law School’s Constitutional Law Center. “He is just venting.”

“There is absolutely no First Amendment issue with Twitter adding a label to the president’s tweets,” added Jameel Jaffer, executive director at the Knight First Amendment Institute at Columbia University, who won the case that prevents Trump from banning his critics from his Twitter feed. “The only First Amendment issue here arises from the president’s threat to punish Twitter in some way for fact-checking his statements.”
posted by katra at 12:18 PM on May 28 [3 favorites]


> There are people who are passively bad -- they don't mean badly, they just don't care enough, or know enough, to do the right thing. Zuckerberg is actively bad -- he has figured out the ways he and Facebook benefit from bad actors and is doing what he can to enable them. I don't like to wish ill on people, but he might be an exception.

Mark Zuckerberg is a hypocrite and a TrumpistThe Facebook CEO knew what he was doing wading into the president’s latest tantrum
Zuckerberg is not being duped by the right-wing; he’s part of it.

It’s telling that Zuckerberg’s first instinct was to side with Trump in his latest Twitter tirade and run to Fox News to defend the decision. It’s not surprising, but it’s telling all the same.

Fox News is where Trump will be sure to see him, and Zuckerberg is pandering to his audience of one.
posted by tonycpsu at 12:38 PM on May 28 [11 favorites]


Trump signs social media executive order (The Guardian, May 28, 2020) The president, appearing alongside attorney general William Barr, said the executive order would look to modify Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which grants liability protections to social media companies. Trump said Barr would also work with states to establish their own regulations and the administration would develop policies to prevent companies that “suppress free speech” from receiving taxpayer dollars.

“We’re here today to defend free speech from one of the greatest dangers,” Trump said, slamming social media companies as a “monopoly.” When asked why he had not deleted his Twitter account if he thinks the platform is biased, Trump blamed the media. “If we had fair press in this country I would do that in a heartbeat,” Trump said. [...] Even as Trump signed his social media executive order, he acknowledged it could be vulnerable to legal challenges. “I guess it’s going to be challenged in court, but what isn’t?”
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:47 PM on May 28


Anyone want to fund my kickstarter/GoFundMe to buy ad space that makes Trump look bad on Fox News? It costs about 10 grand per 30 seconds of prime time; off prime way cheaper. I figure we can either prevent Fox from receiving government subsidies and sue them for damages when they don't air the ads or the The Cheeto's head explodes when they do and either way it's a win.
posted by Mitheral at 2:25 PM on May 28 [4 favorites]


the executive order would look to modify Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act, which grants liability protections to social media companies.

I literally do not understand what he thinks he's doing. If he's saying Twitter should be MORE subject to lawsuits over what they allow to be posted, then if you're Twitter doesn't that make you MORE aggressive in flagging and removing fraudulent and libelous content? Y'know, like promoting false medical cures, accusing TV journalists of murder... Or is he trying to dare Twitter to do exactly that so he can claim they're oppressing him?
posted by dnash at 2:44 PM on May 28 [3 favorites]


Trump Tweets Video Declaring That ‘The Only Good Democrat Is A Dead Democrat’

“I’ve come to a place where I’ve come to a conclusion where the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat,” Griffin said as the crowd cheered.

The Trump supporter insisted he wasn’t talking “in a physical sense.”


They need to kill his account, in a political sense.
posted by adept256 at 2:52 PM on May 28 [6 favorites]


Keep in mind that there are two sections of interest in Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.

Trump is only interested in changing one of them.

Section 230(c)(1) prevents a service provider from liability for posting content from other content providers. A service provider can't be sued if someone else posts something libelous or offensive on their platform.

Section 230(c)(2) prevents a service provider from liability for refusing to post content from other content providers. A service provider can't be sued if it refuses to post something they deem libelous or offensive on their platform.

Trump is challenging the second.
posted by JackFlash at 3:33 PM on May 28 [2 favorites]


This afternoon Trump said, "I just got back from India, right? I just beat COVID."

Trump returned from his trip to India on February 25th. At that time there were 2 cases of COVID in India. Two weeks later there would be 39 cases and still zero deaths, in a country of 1.2 billion.

He came back to the U.S. which on February 25th had 15 cases. In two weeks it would be 497 cases and 21 deaths.

Trump always thinks the problem is somewhere else.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 3:43 PM on May 28 [4 favorites]


Trump is challenging the second.

AH. Thank you. I get it now.
posted by dnash at 4:46 PM on May 28


“I’ve come to a place where I’ve come to a conclusion where the only good Democrat is a dead Democrat,” Griffin said as the crowd cheered.

Let's be aware that however this sentiment is justly suppressed, it is already too common, and it is spreading (and in some cases, infects the ranks of law enforcement and other authorities). I hate to say this, but I think we're years past the point where it may be important for *most* progressives to become familiar with firearms and organized in local ways that could function as self-defense leagues in a pinch. The brownshirts have already claimed some lives and I don't trust myself to recognize the moment within a month or so when what Trump and the GOP are pouring into the water supersaturates into an effective militia/SS on their behalf. *Especially* when they have the authority to tell the military to stand aside and do nothing.
posted by wildblueyonder at 4:54 PM on May 28 [3 favorites]


Full text of Executive Order on Preventing Online Censorship at whitehouse.gov. It's a legal document, and it's an embarrassment. Excerpted at the Guardian:

"Twitter now selectively decides to place a warning label on certain tweets in a manner that clearly reflects political bias. As has been reported, Twitter seems never to have placed such a label on another politician’s tweet. As recently as last week, Representative Adam Schiff was continuing to mislead his followers by peddling the long-disproved Russian Collusion Hoax, and Twitter did not flag those tweets. Unsurprisingly, its officer in charge of so-called ‘Site Integrity’ has flaunted his political bias in his own tweets."
--
Bolding mine. Then there's some China ax-grinding. Also:

Sec. 7. Definition. For purposes of this order, the term “online platform” means any website or application that allows users to create and share content or engage in social networking, or any general search engine.
--
In response to the president’s executive order, the US Chamber of Commerce issued a rather pointed statement: "We believe that free speech and the right to engage in commerce are foundational to the American free enterprise system. Regardless of the circumstances that led up to this, this is not how public policy is made in the United States. An executive order cannot be properly used to change federal law.” (The Guardian, May 28, 2020)
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:09 PM on May 28 [8 favorites]


Huh. If Trump's team sued Twitter for (accurately) not labeling something about Russian election interference as a hoax, how much of the redacted details from the Mueller Report or similar investigations could end up more public than before?
posted by eviemath at 7:57 PM on May 28 [6 favorites]


We just hit 100000 and we're talking about a twitter feud. This has always been his strategy, just throw a smoke bomb to distract from the big thing.

100000 and he's playing golf.
100000 and he's accusing someone of murder.
100000 and he's retweeting violent threats.
100000 and he's cracking down on social media.
100000 and he's done everything but acknowledge that number.

Those are all things worthy of discussion. By design, designed to distract us from the fact his fuck ups have killed 100000 Americans. He still hasn't made any remark about that. Not one word.
posted by adept256 at 8:41 PM on May 28 [9 favorites]


There was a tweet about it early this morning: "We have just reached a very sad milestone with the coronavirus pandemic deaths reaching 100,000. To all of the families & friends of those who have passed, I want to extend my heartfelt sympathy & love for everything that these great people stood for & represent. God be with you!"

[It's 100K confirmed as of today, thanks to under-testing, misdiagnoses, false reporting, etc.]
posted by Iris Gambol at 8:55 PM on May 28


"God be with you!"

White House and CDC remove coronavirus warnings about choirs in faith guidance (WaPo)
Last Friday, the administration released pandemic guidance for faith communities after weeks of debate flared between the White House and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Those guidelines posted on the CDC website included recommendations that religious communities “consider suspending or at least decreasing use of choir/musical ensembles and congregant singing, chanting, or reciting during services or other programming, if appropriate within the faith tradition.” [...] By Saturday, that version was replaced by updated guidance that no longer includes any reference to choirs or congregant singing and the risk for spreading virus. The altered guidance also deleted a reference to “shared cups” among items, including hymnals and worship rugs, that should not be shared. The updated guidelines also added language that said the guidance “is not intended to infringe on rights protected by the First Amendment.”

Two White House officials said the first version posted by the CDC was not approved by the White House. Once West Wing officials saw it, they asked the CDC to post a different cleared document without the choir references and other parts. The officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk about policy discussions, said there have long been concerns within the White House that there were too many restrictions on choirs. [...] Earlier this month, the CDC issued a report warning about “superspreader” events where the coronavirus might be “highly transmissible in certain settings, including group singing events.” That report described a choir practice in Washington state in March at which one person ended up infecting 52 other people, including two who died. [...] Some restrictions imposed by state governments have become a point of contention for conservative religious leaders, an important constituency in President Trump’s political base. [...] An outbreak at an Arkansas church killed three and infected dozens, according to a CDC report. The outbreak began after a pastor at the church and his wife attended church events during six days in early March and spread the virus.
posted by katra at 9:34 PM on May 28 [9 favorites]


How coronavirus spread from one member to 87% of the singers at a Washington choir practice (CNN, May 13, 2020) Authorities interviewed all 122 members of the Skagit Valley Chorale, which met every Tuesday for 2.5 hours before the outbreak. They focused on two rehearsals held March 3 and March 10 in Mount Vernon, Washington. [...] Attendees developed symptoms between one day to 12 days after the March 10 practice, the report said. Most of the singers were women (84%) and their median age was 69.
posted by Iris Gambol at 9:45 PM on May 28 [9 favorites]


Coronavirus still has a foothold in the South (Axios)
Ten states have not seen a single week of significant improvement — their caseloads have either gotten worse or have held steady all month. Most of them are in the South: Alabama, Mississippi, North Carolina, South Carolina and Virginia. But a handful of other, more populous states —California, Minnesota and Wisconsin — also stand out for their consistently lagging progress. Maine and Utah also have not reported a single week of significant improvement. Neither has Puerto Rico.
As Hot Spots Shift, Pandemic Enters a New Phase (NYT live blog)
[...] infections and deaths are rising in more than a dozen states, as they are in countries around the world, an ominous sign that the pandemic may be entering a new phase. Wisconsin saw its highest single-day increase in confirmed cases and deaths this week, two weeks after the state’s highest court overturned a stay-at-home order. Cases are also on the rise in Alabama, Arkansas, California and North Carolina, which on Thursday reported some of the state’s highest numbers of hospitalizations and reported deaths since the crisis began. In metropolitan areas like Fayetteville, Ark.; Yuma, Ariz.; and Roanoke and Charlottesville, Va., data show new highs may be only days or weeks away.
White House punts economic update as election draws near (AP)
The White House has taken the unusual step of deciding not to release an updated economic forecast as planned this year, a fresh sign of the administration’s anxiety about how the coronavirus has ravaged the nation just months before the election.
posted by katra at 10:07 PM on May 28 [4 favorites]


The White House is monitoring and approving every word from the CDC, and with 100,000 dead they are worried about choirs.

Number of dead in Mongolia: 0
Number of dead in Taiwan: 7
Number of dead in Vietnam: 0
Number of dead in USA: 103,330

The only reason Trump has even a fig leaf of coverage for his massacre is that Sweden, Brazil, and the UK are also led by reality denying idiots.
posted by benzenedream at 10:15 PM on May 28 [4 favorites]


The only reason Trump has even a fig leaf of coverage

Relief programs are set to run out, severing an economic lifeline. (NYT live blog)
The lending program that helped millions of small businesses keep workers on the payroll will wind down if Congress does not extend it. Eviction moratoriums that kept people in their homes are expiring in many cities. And the $600 per week in extra unemployment benefits that have allowed tens of millions of laid-off workers to pay rent and buy groceries will expire at the end of July. [...] The multitrillion-dollar patchwork of federal and state programs has not kept bills from piling up or prevented long lines at food banks, but it has mitigated the damage. Now the expiration of those programs represents a cliff that individuals — and the broader economy — are hurtling toward. “The CARES Act was massive, but it was a very short-term offset to what is likely to be a long-term problem,” said Aneta Markowska, the chief financial economist for the investment bank Jefferies, referring to the legislative centerpiece of the federal rescue. “This economy is clearly going to need more support.” Even the possibility that the programs will be allowed to expire could have economic consequences, Ms. Markowska said, as consumers and businesses brace for the loss of federal assistance.

President Trump and other Republicans have played down the need for more spending, saying the solution is for states to reopen businesses and allow companies to bring people back to work. So despite pleas from economists across the political spectrum — including Jerome H. Powell, the Federal Reserve chairman — any federal action is likely to be limited.
posted by katra at 10:33 PM on May 28 [4 favorites]


Twitter labels Trump tweet as ‘glorifying violence’ (Politico)
The battle between Donald Trump and Twitter reignited Friday after the social media giant ran a warning label on a tweet by the president. The social media giant said that the president's tweet — which addressed protests in Minneapolis and said that "when the looting starts, the shooting starts" — violated the company's policies on "glorifying violence."

The company also barred individuals from retweeting Trump's post but only after it had been shared more than 23,000 times. “We’ve taken action in the interest of preventing others from being inspired to commit violent acts, but have kept the tweets on Twitter because it is important that the public still be able to see the tweet given its relevance to ongoing matters of public importance,” the company said in a post.
posted by katra at 8:55 AM on May 29 [5 favorites]


There is no restriction on religion by keeping churches closed. God does not need you to be at a certain address.

There are several aspects to this:

1 - The community-building and -supporting aspects of church are missing a lot of parts when you switch them online. Elderly people who aren't used to the internet, people with disabilities that make internet meetings difficult or impossible, families with small children - none of these are getting a good church experience right now. This is the part they're going to focus on, and it's real and deserves more attention.

2 - Because of Point 1, it's substantially harder to convince, coerce, and gaslight people online. The most vulnerable populations have been told for decades that any information received from a screen is suspect.

3 - It's harder to gather money, both because of technical barriers and because the impulse of "reach into your pocket and drop a twenty in the basket" does not translate well to "reach to your mouse, click on donate button, open [payment service] in another tab (and hope you have a large enough screen to keep the preacher visible while you do that), log in, check various confirmation boxes, and click the 'confirm' button." The people susceptible to "just set up an automatic payment every month!" have already been suckered in by that. They're now trying to extract money from people whose approach is, "if I like the sermon, I'll donate."
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 9:54 AM on May 29 [6 favorites]


house select subcommittee on coronavirus hearing featuring several notable mayors was interesting if overshadowed by police brutality related events. some of your usual partisan stuff. a couple interesting exchanges:
a representative alluded to polling showing a high percentage of some population as unwilling to take a vaccine and asked witness mayor, in the event a vaccine is created, how they would address that population's concerns.
another representative walked through the cdc guidance issued about vocal groups at, say, churches, in light of the transmission risk of group singing, and its retraction and reissuance with such concerns cut.
interesting juxtaposition in that traditional antivaxer concerns used to be easily rebuttable by reference to public health scientists working at places like cdc. but, over the past 5 months or so, cdc has demonstrated itself as susceptible to permitting political concerns to diminish expression (and, who knows, pursuit?) of their best science-based public health concerns. you too, fda.
i'm no antivaxer, but to whom should i look for information concerning any "vaccine" that may be developed and promoted by public health authorities, now that i can no longer accept what cdc says as probably the best information available (or sure to contain citations to same)?
anyway, most notable was rep. clyburn closing the hearing with a reading of langston hughes' "a dream deferred" (at 2:11:02): potent.
posted by 20 year lurk at 12:28 PM on May 29 [2 favorites]


May I suggest the Canadian health authorities? Or any other stable nation's health agencies where the language barrier is not insurmountable.
posted by Harald74 at 1:25 PM on May 29 [5 favorites]


Supreme Court considers churches’ demands that states lift pandemic restrictions (WaPo / Stars & Stripes reprint)
A panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, by a 2-to-1 vote, denied the church’s petition. “We’re dealing here with a highly contagious and often fatal disease for which there presently is no known cure,” the court said. “In the words of Justice Robert Jackson, if a ‘court does not temper its doctrinaire logic with a little practical wisdom, it will convert the constitutional Bill of Rights into a suicide pact.’ ”
posted by katra at 1:49 PM on May 29 [13 favorites]


VA says it’ll stop almost all use of unproven drug on vets for coronavirus, Military Times, Hope Yen (Associated Press), 5/28/2020:
Veterans Affairs Secretary Robert Wilkie said Thursday that his department has all but stopped use of an unproven malaria drug on veterans with COVID-19.

At a House hearing, he defended initial use of hydroxychloroquine on coronavirus patients as justified “to give them hope,” given few treatment options at the time. But Wilkie said that government-run VA hospitals have “ratcheted it down” — to just three prescriptions in the last week — as studies pointed to possible dangers and other possible treatments were brought online. “I expect that trend to continue in the future,” he added.

President Donald Trump has heavily pitched the drug — even saying in recent days he had been taking it to prevent coronavirus infection — without scientific evidence of its effectiveness. “We are all learning as we go in this crisis,” Wilkie told a House appropriations subcommittee. “Our mission is to preserve and protect life.”
The department, which is the nation’s largest hospital system, has recently been turning to remdesivir. Preliminary results from a major study found reduced recovery time, as well as convalescent plasma.
posted by cenoxo at 2:32 PM on May 29 [2 favorites]


Speaking of remdesivir: Administration initially dispensed scarce covid-19 drug to some hospitals that didn’t need it (WaPo, May 28, 2020) The first tranche of 607,000 vials of the antiviral medication remdesivir, donated to the government by drugmaker Gilead Sciences, was distributed in early May — in some cases to the wrong hospitals, to hospitals with no intensive care units and therefore no eligible patients, and to facilities without the needed refrigeration to store it, meaning some had to be returned to the government, said the officials familiar with the distribution effort.
posted by Iris Gambol at 2:44 PM on May 29 [3 favorites]


US President Donald Trump has announced that he is terminating the country's relationship with the World Health Organization (WHO). (BBC, May 29, 2020) "China has total control over the World Health Organization," the president said while announcing measures aimed at punishing Beijing. Washington will redirect funds to other bodies, he said.

The US is the global health agency's largest single contributor, providing more than $400m (£324m; €360m) in 2019.
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:00 PM on May 29 [1 favorite]


Inside an Extraordinary G.O.P. Event: ‘Pressing Flesh and Kissing Babies’ Again (NYT)
At the South Carolina event, attended by Senators Lindsey Graham and Tim Scott, there were few masks and no social distancing — and that was the point.
The outdoor gathering here on Thursday was a send-off event for Cleo Steele, a longtime Republican Party operative [...] Speakers shared the same microphone. Local and state political candidates greeted voters with handshakes and squeezed tight for pictures. Of all the people gathered outside the county Republican office — many of them senior citizens — fewer than a dozen wore masks. “Social distancing guidelines are recommended,” the invitation had said. “Hand sanitizer and face masks will be available.” In reality, according to interviews with more than a dozen attendees, the event was an active rejection of behavior that the hyper-conservative crowd has come to associate with liberal enemies in recent months — wearing masks and gloves, staying six feet away from other people, avoiding physical touch. To treat the coronavirus as something to be feared, they said, was a political act incongruous with their values.

Dwayne “Duke” Buckner, who is challenging Mr. Graham in the Republican Senate primary next month and came to the event to meet voters, said he had recently stopped adhering to public health guidelines, which he described as overly burdensome. “You can quote me on this,” Mr. Buckner said. “When the good Lord calls you home, a mask ain’t going to stop it.”
The pandemic isn’t over. But America sure seems over it. (WaPo)
“I think everybody is kind of over it, you know what I mean?” says a realtor named Toni Mock, on the phone from Jacksonville, Fla. She wants that roaring Trump economy back. One thing that helped her get over it was the “boaters for Trump” flotilla May 16. She hopped in a friend’s 40-foot sportfishing boat with some chicken wings and Corona beers (lol) and joined a fleet of vessels in the Intracoastal Waterway. The sun, the breeze, the “Trump 2020” and “Stop the Bulls---” flags, the kayaks and Jet Skis, the boats dubbed with carefree puns like “Knot to Worry” — it was “almost biblical,” according to Mock. [...] “I have God in my heart, so God could take me out any day,” Mock says. “He can take me out in any way he wants to. And if it’s my time to go, it’s my time to go. I don’t think anyone I know is personally concerned. None of us are afraid, because we have God in our souls and God in our hearts. And we don’t watch CNN.”

[...] If you render a pandemic in hyperlocal statistics, it can look like nothing. It can look like it’s time to get over it. If you meet a pandemic head-on in a hospital, it can look like everything. [...] A few weeks ago, at St. Vincent Hospital in Worcester, Mass., a nurse named Marlena Pellegrino donned her protective gear to check on a 100-year-old covid-19 patient, who had been alone in a room for too long because of a staffing shortage. [...] “People out in these states at water parks and beaches and boardwalks without masks on, gathering 200 people in a pool — to nurses, that’s like, ‘What do these people not understand?’ ” says Pellegrino, walking in a park Thursday in Worcester, Mass., before her 3-to-midnight shift at St. Vincent. “This is about protecting community, protecting society. People are just discarding what is still a major health-care crisis. A pandemic means we need to be safeguarding one another. We’re going to be needing to protect ourselves for months — if not years — to come.”
posted by katra at 5:42 PM on May 29 [7 favorites]


The potential loss of life from the sheer blatant arrogance of their blessed belief of privilege...it honestly makes me feel faint.
posted by tiny frying pan at 5:47 PM on May 29 [7 favorites]


Evangelism has become a death cult. Apparently it now offends God to try to keep yourself and your community healthy.
posted by wierdo at 6:16 PM on May 29 [6 favorites]


The outdoor gathering here on Thursday was a send-off event for Cleo Steele, a longtime Republican Party operative in Horry County, who is retiring to Ohio. Speakers shared the same microphone. Local and state political candidates greeted voters with handshakes and squeezed tight for pictures.

South Carolina confirmed cases: 11,131; confirmed deaths: 483
Ohio confirmed cases: 34,566; confirmed deaths: 2,131

Another digusting thing is all this "God is my shield" bleating means they believe the dead had it coming somehow.
posted by Iris Gambol at 6:29 PM on May 29 [5 favorites]


This virus seems expressly adapted to use overconfident evangelicals as replication sources. Unfortunately they'll take a lot of innocent people with them. Trump will restart rallies in 3... 2... 1...
posted by benzenedream at 6:36 PM on May 29 [1 favorite]


Trump Schedules in-Person Fundraisers in June, Defying Pandemic (Bloomberg)
On June 11, Trump will attend an event in Dallas in a private home with approximately 25 attendees. The price for admission is $580,600 per couple, according to an official with the Republican National Committee. On June 13, he’ll attend an event at the Trump National Golf Club in Bedminster, New Jersey. That event has a price tag of $250,000 price per person, and will have roughly the same number of guests as the event in Dallas.
Trump schedules in-person fundraisers as shackles come off (Politico)
Trump is also dead set on holding the GOP’s August national convention in Charlotte, even as North Carolina officials are raising concerns about safety. The Charlotte area has seen an uptick in coronavirus cases in recent days. Trump has also been itching to resume his trademark rallies, his primary method of connecting with supporters and broadcasting his message. [...] The president has left the confines of the White House over the past few weeks to hold ostensibly official events in swing states like Arizona and Michigan, where polls have shown him trailing presumptive Democratic nominee Joe Biden. The events have sometimes had the feel of a rally, complete with walk-out music.
posted by katra at 7:02 PM on May 29 [6 favorites]


Of course he has to push "Coronavirus is no big deal", otherwise no one would attend his rallies, and Donnie would have a sad.
posted by Windopaene at 8:11 PM on May 29 [2 favorites]


The White House sets conditions on testifying before Congress as the virus’s partisan divide widens. (NYT live blog)
Administration officials will only testify before Congress if committee leaders agree to conduct the hearings in person, the White House informed Congress on Friday. The decision amounted to a direct challenge to new House rules that allow committees and lawmakers to conduct their work remotely during the coronavirus pandemic, but it was also symbolic of a growing partisan divide about how to conduct political business in an era of concerns about public health. [...] “The Administration is willing to make accommodations, but only when Congress is similarly willing to make accommodations, including agreeing to appear in person,” the White House said, according to a notice sent to congressional staff members. The notice acknowledged exceptions could be made in instances in which a witness needed to quarantine.
Merkel rebuffs Trump invitation to G-7 summit (Politico)
German Chancellor Angela Merkel has rebuffed Donald Trump’s invitation to attend a G-7 summit, which the president is keen to portray as a symbol of a return to normality from the upheaval of the coronavirus crisis. "The federal chancellor thanks President Trump for his invitation to the G-7 summit at the end of June in Washington. As of today, considering the overall pandemic situation, she cannot agree to her personal participation, to a journey to Washington," German government spokesman Steffen Seibert told POLITICO on Friday.

[...] Merkel, who is a research scientist by professional training, has said she believes June is still too soon to hold large gatherings given that the virus is still circulating and experts are urging continued vigilance and social distancing, even as economies begin to open up again. Officials aware of the transatlantic discussions said Trump was furious over Merkel's reluctance to attend the summit, and on Thursday he phoned French President Emmanuel Macron in a pique. [...] Officials aware of recent transatlantic discussions said Merkel had voiced similar opposition to European Union leaders gathering in person for a summit in Brussels on June 19, and said face-to-face talks should not resume until July. [...] one official familiar with the situation said that other EU leaders would support Merkel and would not attend Trump's summit if Merkel thought it was a bad idea.
posted by katra at 8:33 PM on May 29 [8 favorites]


Leader of the Free World right there.
posted by Windopaene at 8:57 PM on May 29 [3 favorites]


He'll probably try and have an alternative G-7 inviting random leaders he can lean on to come. Or with the mypillow guy.
posted by lesbiassparrow at 9:15 PM on May 29 [5 favorites]


Someone who was partying at the Lake of the Ozarks both Saturday and Sunday the 23rd and 24th has tested positive for COVID-19. How will Missouri notify hundreds, if not thousands, of people who were there when this person was?
posted by droplet at 10:13 PM on May 29 [3 favorites]


Well, they posted the persons whereabouts. As posted in the non-trump thread, looks like an epic day/night of drinking. Breakfast at Buffalo Wild Wings at 1pm the next day.
posted by Windopaene at 10:16 PM on May 29


To treat the coronavirus as something to be feared, they said, was a political act incongruous with their values.

Dwayne “Duke” Buckner, who is challenging Mr. Graham in the Republican Senate primary next month and came to the event to meet voters, said he had recently stopped adhering to public health guidelines, which he described as overly burdensome. “You can quote me on this,” Mr. Buckner said. “When the good Lord calls you home, a mask ain’t going to stop it.”


If the Duke cannot fear (or even respect) something that has killed over 100,000 people worldwide irregardless of their birthplace, color, age, class, education, intelligence, religion, or politics, why should anyone want his poor decision-making abilities in the Senate?

Perhaps Duke has forgotten what Jesus replied when Satan asked him to jump off the Temple (and be caught by angels): "Thou shalt not tempt the Lord thy God.", Matthew 4:7 (in context).
posted by cenoxo at 10:19 PM on May 29 [8 favorites]


Make that over 100,000 killed in the United States and over 365,000 dead worldwide: all the more reasons to conclude that no one person (or country) is exceptional.
posted by cenoxo at 5:49 AM on May 30


Supreme Court, in 5-4 Decision, Rejects Church’s Challenge to Shutdown Order (NYT)
The Supreme Court on Friday turned away a request from a church in California to block enforcement of state restrictions on attendance at religious services. [...] “Although California’s guidelines place restrictions on places of worship, those restrictions appear consistent with the free exercise clause of the First Amendment,” Chief Justice Roberts wrote in an opinion concurring in the unsigned ruling.

“Similar or more severe restrictions apply to comparable secular gatherings, including lectures, concerts, movie showings, spectator sports and theatrical performances, where large groups of people gather in close proximity for extended periods of time,” the chief justice wrote. “And the order exempts or treats more leniently only dissimilar activities, such as operating grocery stores, banks and laundromats, in which people neither congregate in large groups nor remain in close proximity for extended periods.”
Roberts joins court's liberals to deny California church's lockdown challenge (Politico)
In a three-page opinion issued just before the stroke of midnight Washington time, Roberts said it would be unwise for the court to intervene on an emergency basis as state officials try to grapple with the ebb and flow of a pandemic caused by a highly infectious and sometimes deadly virus. "The precise question of when restrictions on particular social activities should be lifted during the pandemic is a dynamic and fact-intensive matter subject to reasonable disagreement," Roberts wrote. [...] "Where those broad limits are not exceeded, they should not be subject to second-guessing by an 'unelected federal judiciary,' which lacks the background, competence, and expertise to assess public health and is not accountable to the people," Roberts wrote.
Supreme Court, in rare late-night ruling, says California may enforce certain restrictions on religious gatherings (WaPo)
The state contends that there are good reasons, though, for extending restrictions. Its expert testified that there “have been multiple reports of sizable to large gatherings such as religious services, choir practices, funerals, and parties resulting in significant spread of COVID-19.” Included: “a worship service in Sacramento tied to 71 COVID-19 cases; a choir practice in Seattle linked to 32 cases; a Kentucky church revival tied to 28 cases; and a religious service in South Korea where over 5,000 cases were traced back to a single infected individual in attendance.”
posted by katra at 9:04 AM on May 30 [15 favorites]


The church agitating for large gatherings is in Chula Vista, which has over a thousand confirmed cases; the county of San Diego overall has nearly 7K confirmed cases. Meanwhile, Lassen County, in Northern California, is halting its re-opening plans -- in a community of 30K there were no confirmed cases when lockdown first started, but this past month, as the county slowly eased strictures, five people tested positive.

No, that's changed again? Now Lassen's back to its original plan, Phase 2.5: "The first California county to backpedal on its reopening plan has reversed itself again and decided to allow dining in restaurants and shopping in stores after determining it successfully mitigated its first small outbreak of coronavirus cases. Lassen County issued the new order late Thursday, allowing cafes and stores that previously won approval to reopen again and allowing churches, salons and barbershops to submit plans to resume their services."

That's lunacy. One person traveled outside the county, and swiftly infected four other people; that was discovered on Friday, May 22. Other residents were tested (after initial disinterest), a total of 910, and 308 of those results are still pending. The brakes were applied on Tuesday afternoon; Thursday night, TPTB decided brakes were superfluous to the capitalist machine. Susanville is the county seat -- two hours to Chico, Redding, or Reno. Trump Enjoys Strong Support in Lassen County, California (VOA News, Dec. 20, 2017) because of course he does; the article is like peering into an alternate dimension where people believe he's kept his campaign promises and are gratified he hasn't just quit over all the mean-spirited criticism. Also:

"Humboldt County on California’s North Coast was one of the first to get approval to open restaurants and is now taking a more cautious approach after a spike in cases and its first deaths. Sonoma County said on Wednesday it would slow its reopening after a recent surge in cases."

Sonoma County, yesterday: “I’m not following this f--king health order, and my original statement that we’re done on June 1 stands until [County Health Officer] Dr. Mase is able to provide me with enough information that we’re on the right path,” [Sonoma County Sheriff Mark] Essick said. (Press Democrat; reaffirmed at Sonoma News)
posted by Iris Gambol at 1:42 PM on May 30 [2 favorites]


"How will Missouri notify hundreds, if not thousands, of people who were there when this person was?"

I'm in Missouri. I viewed the reports last weekend from Lake of the Ozarks with worry. But, so far, globally there's not been even one reported outdoors supercluster—and there have been numerous opportunities. Time will tell; but as of now there's a lot of evidence pointing toward it being not quite that easily spread. The numerous indoor superclusters make clear, though, the potential for trouble.
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 5:48 PM on May 30 [1 favorite]


There have been. San Siro Stadium in Milan, the Cheltenham horse races in England...
posted by Windopaene at 6:19 PM on May 30 [4 favorites]


But, so far, globally there's not been even one reported outdoors supercluster—and there have been numerous opportunities. Time will tell

Guardian: "Concern has been raised by many people that the demonstrations seen around the US could help spread Covid-19. Many protesters have been seen without masks in packed crowds. New York City mayor Bill de Blasio agreed such scenes were worrying, particularly in a city with tens of thousands of deaths from the virus." Previously: US anti-lockdown rallies could cause surge in Covid-19 cases, experts warn (Guardian, Apr. 20, 2020)

George Floyd: as protests rage across US, Trump comments inflame tensions (Guardian)
[Washington, DC Mayor Muriel] Bowser, a Democrat, said that she stood with peaceful protesters while Trump “hides behind his fence”. “To make a reference to vicious dogs is no subtle reminder to African Americans of segregationists who let dogs out on women, children and innocent people in the south,” Bowser said. She added: “There are no vicious dogs & ominous weapons. There is just a scared man. Afraid/alone.”
Trump threatens to unleash gunfire on Minnesota protesters (Politico, May 29, 2020)
Trump’s warning Friday that “when the looting starts, the shooting starts” echoed a more infamous historical predicate: Miami Police Chief Walter Headley reportedly uttered the same phrase at a December 1967 news conference. A federal task force later concluded Headley’s words had contributed to the escalated local tensions that resulted in a deadly, three-day riot the following summer, which coincided with the 1968 Republican National Convention in Miami Beach — where former Vice President Richard Nixon was nominated as the party’s candidate for president.
posted by katra at 6:32 PM on May 30 [2 favorites]


"There have been. San Siro Stadium in Milan, the Cheltenham horse races in England..."

Yeah, I was just double-checking that. Probably also Mardi Gras in New Orleans.

There still does seem to be a big difference between inside crowding and outside crowding. I just read that during the Spanish Flu, outdoor hospitals helped limit contagion. (Also easier to increase distance outside, too, though.)
posted by Ivan Fyodorovich at 6:36 PM on May 30 [1 favorite]


Much of the spread in Milan may have occurred outside the stadium as fans partied in bars after the game. Similarly, the Mardi Gras super spreader event may have been more due to people in bars and restaurants, and the streets during are much more jammed than what was seen in the Lake of the Ozarks event. (Not familiar enough with Cheltham Horse races to opine.)

Still, even a few new infections from Lake of the Ozarks could lead to many more among the households of those who have the misfortune contracting the virus.
posted by haiku warrior at 6:51 PM on May 30 [2 favorites]


Attention business owners: be advised if I get covid-19 I will be naming all the businesses I was in for the last couple of weeks who did not require people to follow the state-ordered limitations. I think that would at least be willful negligence. Knew and intentionally disregarded.

Rogue sheriff and non-enforcement promise or no, I'm holding you responsible.
posted by ctmf at 9:48 PM on May 30 [3 favorites]


So why don't you just leave? Of course, but the damage may have already been done.
posted by ctmf at 9:50 PM on May 30


Social distancing strictures fall away as crowds gather to party and protest (WaPo)
“We are still in the middle of a pandemic,” Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz (D) reminded demonstrators in a news conference where he announced the full mobilization of the state National Guard to control the violent unrest. Warning that hospitals were “on the verge of being overrun,” Walz said “demonstrators should wear masks and try to practice social distancing.”

Far from the demonstrations, highways were gridlocked and beaches and roadsides were crowded around Cape Canaveral, Fla., as thousands gathered to view the launch of the SpaceX capsule carrying NASA astronauts to the International Space Station. In some spots, the waterfront was crammed with no social distancing, even as beachside restaurants took temperatures and spaced tables far apart. President Trump, Vice President Pence and their official parties who gathered with other VIPs to watch the launch at the Kennedy Space Center were not seen wearing face masks.
Trump exults in rocket launch as chaos unfolds around the country (Politico)
But once the capsule launched and Trump found himself back in front of a large crowd, he returned to campaign mode: singling out his GOP allies at the NASA event, making blustery comments about China and the origins of the novel coronavirus and using a nonpartisan moment to advance his reelection message.
Guardian: "Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi has appeared on ABC News’s This Week with George Stephanopoulos and opened by urging unity [...]
Pelosi also described the death of George Floyd as an execution after she was asked if all four officers present at his death should be held responsible (so far only one officer has been charged with a crime). “I said right from the start that it was murder. We saw an execution of a person on TV. We saw it happened, a knee to the neck,” she said. There are others there who witnessed it who were – would be considered in other circumstance accomplices to it.” [...] “The president of the United States should bring dignity to the office that he serves. He should be a unifying force in our country. We have seen that with Democratic and Republican presidents all along. They have seen their responsibility to be the president of the United States, to unify our country, and not to fuel the flame, not to fuel the flame. Not to fuel the flame,” she said. “And I think to take his bait time and time again is just a gift to him because he always wants to divert attention from what the cause of the response was rather than to describe it in his own terms, sadly.”

Pelosi ended by saying that injustices faced by black people in American are not limited to police brutality. “This is happening at a time of other injustices. The fact is that the coronavirus has taken undue [toll] among people of color. This again is an injustice,” she said. “...Why should there have been more disproportionate deaths among people of color? Because we’re not really testing in those communities to treat and save lives.”
posted by katra at 9:47 AM on May 31 [9 favorites]


Trump fled to bunker as protests over George Floyd raged outside White House (Guardian)
As protesters converged on the White House on Friday, the New York Times reports, “Secret Service agents abruptly rushed the president to the underground bunker used in the past during terrorist attacks.” [...] The president has spoken to George Floyd’s grieving family, but according to Floyd’s brother, Philonise Floyd, the conversation was brief. “He didn’t give me an opportunity to even speak,” Floyd told MSNBC.
As Protests and Violence Spill Over, Trump Shrinks Back (NYT)
Mr. Trump remained cloistered inside, periodically sending out Twitter messages like “LAW & ORDER.” While some aides urged him to keep off Twitter, Mr. Trump could not resist blasting out a string of messages through the day berating Democrats for not being tough enough and attributing the turmoil to radical leftists. [...] Some in the president’s circle see the escalations as a political boon, much in the way Richard M. Nixon won the presidency on a law-and-order platform after the 1968 riots.

One adviser to Mr. Trump, who insisted on anonymity to describe private conversations, said images of widespread destruction across the country could be helpful to the law-and-order message that Mr. Trump has tried to project since his 2016 campaign. The adviser said that it could particularly appeal to older women at a time when Mr. Trump’s support among seniors has eroded amid the coronavirus pandemic, which has disproportionately affected them. The risk, this adviser added, is that people are worn out by the president’s behavior.
'Policing and Racism Are Public Health Problems.' How Minneapolis Protesters Contend With COVID-19 (TIME, May 30, 2020)
Also at Tuesday’s protest was Marjaan Sirdar, a longtime community organizer and activist for racial equity. “I’m deeply concerned about the spread of COVID-19 in this community,” Sirdar tells TIME. “I’m deeply concerned that we will not have warriors to continue this struggle a month from now because we will lose them to the disease.”
posted by katra at 7:13 PM on May 31 [5 favorites]


He didn’t give me an opportunity to even speak That's so on-brand for Trump it hurts.
posted by 922257033c4a0f3cecdbd819a46d626999d1af4a at 7:23 PM on May 31 [9 favorites]


“Secret Service agents abruptly rushed the president to the underground bunker used in the past during terrorist attacks.”

If we keep showing him the footage from different cities, can we get him to stay inside the bunker for the next several months?

"I'm sorry, Mr. President, but it's not safe to leave yet. There's still angry protesters surrounding the White House. No, you can't fly to Mar a Lago; there's protesters there, too. No, sorry, no Twitter in the bunker; it has to be sealed against electronic attacks. We have some DVDs, though. Would you like to watch Finding Dory again?"
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 10:21 PM on May 31 [2 favorites]


As an observer of US politics (lived in Canada 1972-80 when Watergate was AMAZING) and a participant in local politics wherever I lived - I was not that familiar with some of the more"granular" incidents in US history.

I knew the Tammany Hall motto - "Vote early; vote often"; I studied the muckraker movement of journalism against the Gilded Age - so had some awareness. But the "Red Summer of 1919" - that has been my introduction to the intersectionality of what seems to be happening now.
posted by Barbara Spitzer at 1:55 AM on June 1 [2 favorites]


I just got my daily email from the USPS showing me what mail to expect today. There is a letter from the IRS. Slightly concerned I saw on the picture of the envelope Notice 1444 written there. So I looked it up on internet. It appears that Notice 1444 is a signed letter from the Orange Slime saying I got my stimulus check. And everybody will be getting these. As it’s from the IRS so we paid for this letter. Given its contents, it’s campaign material. Welcome to America 2020.
posted by njohnson23 at 8:50 AM on June 1 [5 favorites]


...and (for me at least) Drumpf's announcement letter came in the mail a full month after the actual check arrived.
posted by HyperBlue at 9:22 AM on June 1 [4 favorites]


ripping that letter to shreds did give me a modest amount of pleasure that I am assuming is roughly commensurate with what it cost me to produce, fwiw.
posted by One Thousand and One at 10:15 AM on June 1 [7 favorites]


Despite widespread economic toll, most Americans still favor controlling outbreak over restarting economy, Post-ABC poll finds (WaPo)
Nearly 6 in 10 Americans say the coronavirus outbreak has exacted a severe economic toll on their communities, but a majority of a divided country still says controlling the virus’s spread is more important than trying to restart the economy, according to a Washington Post-ABC News poll. [...] In the starkest split, 57 percent of Americans overall and 81 percent of Democrats say trying to control the spread of the coronavirus is most important right now, even if it hurts the economy. A far smaller 27 percent of Republicans agree, while 66 percent of them say restarting the economy is more important, even if it hurts efforts to control the virus. Nearly 6 in 10 independents say their priority is trying to control the virus’s spread. There are sizable gender and racial gaps on this issue, too. Women, by more than 2 to 1, say controlling the spread of the virus should be the higher priority, while men are evenly split. Additionally, black Americans, who have suffered disproportionately from the virus, overwhelmingly favor controlling its spread, with about 3 in 4 citing this as their priority.

[...] The Post-ABC poll was conducted May 25 to 28 by phone among a random national sample of 1,001 adults, with 75 percent of interviews conducted by cellphone and the rest on landline. The margin of sampling error for overall results is plus or minus 3.5 percentage points.
posted by katra at 10:51 AM on June 1 [2 favorites]


Congress Should Investigate the Trump Administration’s Coronavirus Response (Charlie Martel, Lawfare)
Congressional investigations can make a world of difference in humanitarian crises. In 2008-2009, I led the staff of a bipartisan Senate investigation of the federal government’s response to Hurricane Katrina, probing the government’s failure to provide for the needs of those displaced. Our nearly 300-page report described in detail what had gone wrong and why, and concluded with extensive recommendations on reform of law, policy, practice and personnel to fix what was broken. [...] Many lessons the congressional staff learned during our work on Katrina echo hauntingly today. Carefully developed crisis planning was ignored, replaced by ad hoc decisions. Federal responses were poorly coordinated, inadequate and confused. The crisis and response hurt black and low-income citizens the most. There was no federal strategy, a stark failure our committee conducted a hearing about and corrected with oversight.

Today, there are worrying signs that all of this may be happening again. Having apparently discarded the careful pandemic planning it inherited, the Trump administration has no evident strategy guiding its response to the complex crises created by the coronavirus. Administration statements and decisions have been impulsive, contradictory and in some instances dangerous. Congressional oversight is necessary to review the federal response and correct it where necessary. [...] Lawmakers may worry that such an investigation will inevitably be attacked by the administration as politicized and partisan. This should not block Congress from doing its job. For one, congressional oversight is constitutionally mandated—the president cannot exercise unchecked power, even in emergencies. There is abundant evidence that the president’s response is flawed and that this is deepening the crisis. Congress can and should exercise its authority.
posted by katra at 11:39 AM on June 1 [7 favorites]


The American Nightmare (Ibram X. Kendi, Atlantic)
To be black and conscious of anti-black racism is to stare into the mirror of your own extinction. Ask the souls of the 10,000 black victims of COVID-19 who might still be living if they had been white. Ask the souls of those who were told the pandemic was the “great equalizer.” Ask the souls of those forced to choose between their low-wage jobs and their treasured life. Ask the souls of those blamed for their own death. Ask the souls of those who disproportionately lost their jobs and then their life as others disproportionately raged about losing their freedom to infect us all. Ask the souls of those ignored by the governors reopening their states. [...]

History ignored you. Hoffman ignored you. Racist America ignored you. The state did not want you to breathe. But your loved ones did not ignore you. They did not ignore your nightmare. They share the same nightmare. Enraged, they took to the streets and nonviolently rallied. Some violently rebelled, burning and snatching property that the state protected instead of your life. And then they heard over America’s loudspeaker, “When the looting starts, the shooting starts.” Your loved ones are protesting your murder, and the president calls for their murder, calls them “THUGS,” calls them “OUT OF STATE” agitators. [...] Mayors issue curfews. Governors rattle their sabers. The National Guard arrives to protect property and police. Where was the National Guard when you faced violent police officers, violent white terrorists, the violence of racial health disparities, the violence of COVID-19—all the racist power and policy and ideas that kept the black experience in the American nightmare for 400 years?
posted by katra at 12:47 PM on June 1 [13 favorites]


[A few comments deleted; folks this is a coronavirus thread not a general all-trump-news thread.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 10:25 AM on June 2 [3 favorites]


Where the Virus Is Growing Most: Countries With ‘Illiberal Populist’ Leaders (David Leonhardt and Lauren Leatherby, NYT)
The four large countries where coronavirus cases have recently been increasing fastest are Brazil, the United States, Russia and Britain. And they have something in common. They are all run by populist male leaders who cast themselves as anti-elite and anti-establishment. The four leaders — Jair Bolsonaro, Donald J. Trump, Vladimir V. Putin and Boris Johnson — also have a lot of differences, of course, as do their countries. Yet all four subscribe to versions of what Daniel Ziblatt, a government professor at Harvard and co-author of the book “How Democracies Die,” calls “radical right illiberal populism.”

This pattern isn’t a coincidence, many political scientists believe. Illiberal populists tend to reject the opinions of scientists and promote conspiracy theories. “Very often they rail against intellectuals and experts of nearly all types,” Steven Levitsky, Mr. Ziblatt’s co-author, said. The leaders, he said, “claim to have a kind of common-sense wisdom that the experts lack. This doesn’t work very well versus Covid-19.” [...] An academic effort to track countries’ responses to the virus has shown that a delay in government reaction allows the virus to spread much faster, said Thomas Hale of the Blavatnik School of Government at Oxford University, who is leading the effort. Many of the countries seeing bad outbreaks now share a “late recognition of the urgency of the crisis,” Mr. Hale said. [...] “There’s this false tension that exists between public health and economic health,” said Wafaa El-Sadr, an epidemiologist at Columbia University.
posted by katra at 11:01 AM on June 2 [11 favorites]


Contractors for Trump’s Controversial $3 Billion Food Aid Program Have Hired a Longtime Lobbyist to Tout Their WorkProPublica; Isaac Arnsdorf; June 2 2020
Lawmakers are asking why some federal contractors in Trump’s food aid program apparently lack qualifications to deliver the goods. Companies hired a consultant to tell positive stories.

“We’re working to take the stories of the impact this is having on farmers, processors, distributors and end users and making sure some positive aspects of the program, from both the economic and social standpoints, are out there too,” said the lobbyist and industry consultant, Dale Apley, who reached out to ProPublica on behalf of the contractors. “It’s not all just certain stories about certain companies that maybe shouldn’t have been awarded contracts.”
I'm speechless.
posted by ZeusHumms at 12:16 PM on June 2 [4 favorites]


It's grifters all the way down...
posted by Windopaene at 1:06 PM on June 2 [3 favorites]


It appears that Notice 1444 is a signed letter from the Orange Slime saying I got my stimulus check. everybody will be getting these.

If it makes you feel any better, I don't think I'm getting either a check or the Notice. But if I can capitalize on local rent drops somehow, I think I'll get by just fine =)
posted by pwnguin at 2:17 PM on June 2 [1 favorite]


Anyone want to fund my kickstarter/GoFundMe to buy ad space that makes Trump look bad on Fox News?

Republican Voters Against Trump Step up: @BillKristol
NEW: "This November, End Trump's American Carnage."

The ad, from Republican Voters Against Trump, is airing on Fox News and is being promoted digitally in key states.
posted by Mitheral at 8:05 PM on June 2 [3 favorites]


CIA veterans who monitored crackdowns abroad see troubling parallels in Trump’s handling of protests (WaPo, Greg Miller / MSN reprint)
The scenes have been disturbingly familiar to CIA analysts accustomed to monitoring scenes of societal unraveling abroad — the massing of protesters, the ensuing crackdowns and the awkwardly staged displays of strength by a leader determined to project authority. In interviews and posts on social media in recent days, current and former U.S. intelligence officials have expressed dismay at the similarity between events at home and the signs of decline or democratic regression they were trained to detect in other nations. “I’ve seen this kind of violence,” said Gail Helt, a former CIA analyst responsible for tracking developments in China and Southeast Asia. “This is what autocrats do. This is what happens in countries before a collapse. It really does unnerve me.”

[...] Former intelligence officials said the unrest and the administration’s militaristic response are among many measures of decay they would flag if writing assessments about the United States for another country’s intelligence service. They cited the country’s struggle to contain the novel coronavirus, the president’s attempt to pressure Ukraine for political favors, his attacks on the news media and the increasingly polarized political climate as other signs of dysfunction.
posted by katra at 8:43 PM on June 2 [14 favorites]


Again, this is not the trump hate thread. This is the trump fails at the coronavirus thread...
posted by Windopaene at 11:44 PM on June 2 [6 favorites]


This is the trump fails at the Coronavirus thread.

True, but the Donald is nothing if not consistent in all of his dealings. It’s not hate to point out that each of his failures follows another because of who he is: "I will never lie to you. I will never tell you something I do not believe." As the Imperial Donald has spoken and his actions have demonstrated time after time, his core beliefs are antithetical to the U.S. Constitution, our government, and the office of the President. The only thing he believes in is himself.
posted by cenoxo at 5:24 AM on June 3 [1 favorite]


[But seriously, this is a thread about the administration's coronavirus response.]
posted by LobsterMitten (staff) at 7:38 AM on June 3 [4 favorites]


Related to ZeusHumms's ProPublica link above: Coronavirus Contracts, Tracking Federal Purchases to Fight the Coronavirus (a ProPublica project with a treasure-trove searchable database; sort contracts by state, federal agency, size, vendor, etc.; $20.7 million to Alchem Labs for a hydroxychloroquine study) last updated June 3, 2020.
posted by Iris Gambol at 5:19 PM on June 3


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