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Date: 2024-02-28 Page is: DBtxt001.php txt00018630

The Trump Saga
What A Day: Vote or die, or both

What A Day: Vote or die, or both ... The official U.S. coronavirus death toll has surpassed 10,000, the real death toll is probably much higher, and a centralized federal effort to distribute medical supplies has yet to materialize.

Burgess COMMENTARY

Peter Burgess
What A Day: Vote or die, or both

Sarah (Crooked) whataday@crooked.com via gmail.mcsv.net

8:29 PM (2 hours ago) to me

-Donald Trump, on taking a drug that might kill you

The official U.S. coronavirus death toll has surpassed 10,000, the real death toll is probably much higher, and a centralized federal effort to distribute medical supplies has yet to materialize.

Surgeon General Jerome Adams warned that this week would be the most difficult in most Americans’ lives: “This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment.” Several governors noted on Sunday, with varying degrees of forced politeness, that their states are still struggling to access medical supplies in the absence of any coordinated national strategy. Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA) put the chaos in context: “To say, ‘we’re a backup’—I mean, the surgeon general alluded to Pearl Harbor. Can you imagine if Franklin Delano Roosevelt said, ‘I’ll be right behind you, Connecticut. Good luck building those battleships’?”

The true U.S. coronavirus death toll is likely much higher than we know, as a result of inconsistent protocols, coroners who don’t have the tests they need, and differences in reporting standards between jurisdictions. The death toll is certainly higher than it would have been if the Trump administration hadn’t waited until mid-March to start placing bulk orders of N95 masks, ventilators, and other critical supplies. Many of those supplies are now sitting in boxes, unshipped, because Trump has refused to use the Defense Production Act to coordinate their distribution. Manufacturers who have scaled up production haven’t been given any clear direction on where to send the product. We are not doctors, but getting the medical supplies into hospitals seems like an important step.

Trump has quadrupled down on touting the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine as an unproven COVID-19 treatment, and yesterday blocked Dr. Anthony Fauci from answering a question about its efficacy. The issue has become the biggest point of contention between Trump and health experts. Trump’s economic advisor Peter Navarro reportedly blew up at Fauci in a Situation Room meeting on Saturday, when Fauci pushed back on his claim that hydroxychloroquine had shown a “clear therapeutic efficacy” overseas, and stressed that there was only anecdotal evidence that hydroxychloroquine does any good. Trump has ignored Fauci’s fact-based position in favor of advice from distinguished scientist Rudy Guiliani, who found out what “social distancing” means on March 17. Trump has also been lobbied to promote hydroxychloroquine by a pharmaceutical industry-funded group founded by one of his top donors. Again, not doctors here, but it appears the president might have some non-medical reasons for telling Americans to take a potentially dangerous drug.

Fauci has also publicly disagreed with Trump on the necessity of a nationwide stay-at-home order, which would be less necessary if some Republican governors were not profoundly whiffing it.

Nine GOP governors in the south and midwest have still refused to issue lockdown orders, citing their belief in small government, which viruses are known to respect. Gov. Brian Kemp (R-GA), a Russian nesting doll of coronavirus fuck-ups, issued a stay-at-home order that also forced the reopening of Georgia’s beaches, infuriating local officials who are now begging visitors to stay away voluntarily.

The White House announced late on Friday night that Trump plans to nominate White House lawyer Brian Miller to serve as the inspector general overseeing the Treasury’s implementation of $2 trillion in coronavirus funds. Everyone can now stop worrying about how the Trump administration will misuse that money—the Trump administration is keeping a close eye on it.

Democrats have said that the House’s new coronavirus committee will concern itself only with overseeing the distribution of coronavirus-relief funds, and look forward rather than investigating Trump’s failed response. But, considering the cornucopia of incompetence and corruption outlined above, we can only hope they will start raising hell accordingly.

Wisconsin’s GOP-dominated supreme court has blocked an executive order from Gov. Tony Evers (D-WI) to halt in-person voting in Wisconsin tomorrow, and postpone the state elections and primary until June 9. Wisconsin has been barreling towards a shitshow, after the Republican legislature ignored Evers’s request to delay the election and make it completely vote by mail. Thousands of poll workers said they wouldn’t show up, and Milwaukee reduced its planned number of polling sites from 180 to five.

Wisconsin Republicans are previewing a slate of voter suppression efforts that much of the country may face in November: They blocked any changes to allow easier voting during a pandemic, and appealed a federal-court decision allowing for absentee ballots to be counted through April 13, which the Supreme Court then reversed. The Wisconsin statewide election is high stakes: A state supreme court race will determine whether Trump allies succeed in purging hundreds of thousands of voters from the rolls, which in turn could swing the presidential election. Republicans are suppressing turnout to win at the cost of voters' lives, and they'll do it on a national scale if Democrats don't fight for vote-by-mail right now.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been moved to the intensive-care unit, after his coronavirus symptoms worsened. Johnson was hospitalized on Sunday night, shortly after Queen Elizabeth II gave a rare televised speech urging national unity and resolve.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D-NY) said there are signs the coronavirus-infection curve is flattening in New York, but that the city’s health-care system and morgues are under enormous strain. A city councilman tweeted that the city could soon start using parks for temporary burials—the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner said that’s a scenario in its disaster plan, but not something that’s currently being considered.

Capt. Brett Crozier, who was removed from his command of the USS Theodore Roosevelt for raising the alarm about a coronavirus outbreak aboard the ship, has tested positive. Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modley railed against Crozier over the ship’s intercom this morning, in a speech that outraged sailors seemingly recorded and leaked, saying he was “too naive or too stupid” to be in command.

Sen. Kelly Loeffler (R-GA) and her husband bet on the stock market going up in a few months at the same time as they dumped investments in industries about to be hit hard by coronavirus—and after Loeffler had received a private briefing on the risk of a U.S. epidemic. Their joint actions make the timing of their investment decisions look all the more suspicious.

The State Department will designate the Russian Imperial Movement as a terrorist organization, marking the first time the U.S. has applied the label to a white-supremacist group.

Lawmakers are pushing back against the EPA as it rolls back pollution regulations under the cover of plague conditions. Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Ed Markey (D-MA) have asked the EPA to answer questions about the rationale for the new policy, which lobbyists weighed in on, and how it will be implemented.

U.S. data shows that COVID-19 kills more American men than women, which is consistent with global trends. The differences between how men’s and women’s bodies fight off viral infections may provide a clue to scientists as they research therapies and vaccines.

A tiger at the Bronx zoo has tested positive for coronavirus. In better zoo news, two pandas in Hong Kong have gotten busy for the first time in almost 10 years.

Quibi has arriv-oop! Look at that, we’re all out of time.

President Trump fired Michael Atkinson in the dead of night on Friday as retribution for his role in impeachment. Atkinson is the intelligence community inspector general who deemed the whistleblower complaint about Trump’s Ukraine scheme to be credible, meaning it had to be disclosed to Congress. His firing is, obviously, jaw-droppingly corrupt. Trump didn’t even pretend to have a legitimate cause to dismiss Atkinson, who put out a statement on Sunday urging whistleblowers to continue coming forward: “The American people deserve an honest and effective government. They are counting on you to use authorized channels to bravely speak up—there is no disgrace for doing so.”

Xerox plans to mass produce low-cost, disposable ventilators, up to a million devices in the next few months.

Washington, Oregon, and California have committed to sending ventilators to New York.

New York City is providing free meals to anyone who needs them during the coronavirus crisis at over 400 hubs across the city.

Lady Gaga helped raise $35 million in a partnership with WHO and Global Citizen, to benefit the COVID-19 Solidarity Response Fund.

Phoebe Waller-Bridge has made the stage version of Fleabag available for streaming, with proceeds going towards coronavirus-related charities.

Headspace has opened up free access to some of its mindfulness exercises and meditations.
. . . . . .
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