Once again, let me get this out of my system, a dump of recent reactions to coronavirus news. Then I can just set it aside and think about more cheerful things for the rest of my day.
- I am not at all a fan of Max Boot, who I consider an unpleasant warmonger with blood on his hands, but at least he gets one thing right: Trump is the worst president ever.
So I have written, as I did on March 12, that Trump is the worst president in modern times — not of all time. That left open the possibility that James Buchanan, Andrew Johnson, Franklin Pierce, Warren Harding or some other nonentity would be judged more harshly. But in the past month, we have seen enough to take away the qualifier “in modern times.” With his catastrophic mishandling of the coronavirus, Trump has established himself as the worst president in U.S. history.
Then he catalogs Trump’s lethally disastrous policies and errors.
You want more reasons? Do you need them? Where have you been? Just watch this nauseating performance.
Will someone please save us from this insane motherfucker pic.twitter.com/w5iMwQb5f7
— D’Ag due (@ag_due) April 4, 2020
I’ve seen this before: the guy who hasn’t done the readings or the homework, called on to explain something, who then tries to fake it with a lot of oozing faux-sincerity and praise for the importance of the question, but who can’t actually say one word of substance.
- How badly has Donald Trump fucked us over?
Beyond the suffering in store for thousands of victims and their families, the outcome has altered the international standing of the United States, damaging and diminishing its reputation as a global leader in times of extraordinary adversity.
“This has been a real blow to the sense that America was competent,” said Gregory F. Treverton, a former chairman of the National Intelligence Council, the government’s senior-most provider of intelligence analysis. He stepped down from the NIC in January 2017 and now teaches at the University of Southern California. “That was part of our global role. Traditional friends and allies looked to us because they thought we could be competently called upon to work with them in a crisis. This has been the opposite of that.”
This article, which retraces the failures over the first 70 days of the coronavirus crisis, is based on 47 interviews with administration officials, public health experts, intelligence officers and others involved in fighting the pandemic. Many spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss sensitive information and decisions.
You’ve got to read the whole long article to get a sense of how catastrophic this presidency has been.
Unfortunately, one of the major contributors to the ongoing clusterfuck is the pseudo-objective “he-said-she-said” style of journalism that has been perfected by the New York Times. Here’s a perfect example of a NYT headline.
Look at that. The presidential authority figure says testing is fine, but everyone else is saying he’s wrong…so let’s lead with the ass-in-chief lying and make it a story about “he-said-they-all-said” and not offend any Republicans. Even when scientists chime in to point out that Trump is all wet, the reporters stick their nose in the air and ignore the facts.
Let’s just move on to Yale epidemiologist/infectious disease researcher Gregg Gonsalves kicking the Times’s ass, which sorely offended one of the Times writers so!
“Move along,” said the pompously wrong New York Times reporter to the infectious disease specialist from Yale.
Newspapers have responsibilities to the truth. When the NYT ceases to respect that, it’s time to disrespect the NYT.
- Guess who’s advising the administration on the pandemic? That quack, Dr Oz. Enough said.
You may have seen a map going around that plots the distance people travel in a day, showing that southern states in particular were particularly bad at limiting their isolation. There’s a reason for that, and it isn’t that Southerners are stupid.
But there’s another reason that the red states are also “red states” when it comes to their travel distance. As former Obama White House official Christopher Hale points out, these maps correspond closely to areas that are “food deserts,” where the nearest grocery story requires making an extended trip. “Food deserts” is a term that is often applied to urban neighborhoods where good nutrition is outside of walking range, but these are counties where it takes an extended auto trip to find any kind of nutrition, even bad nutrition. Why? The simple answer is Walmart. These areas represent locations where big box retailers like Walmart have annihilated local grocers, and where the quest for an apple or a box of Pop-Tarts means crossing the county to a store that also sells tires, televisions, and potting soil.
I’ve lived in one of these “deserts” where you can’t do anything without getting in a car and driving, only it wasn’t the south — it was in a Philadelphia suburb. We had the nice middle-class home in the development, surrounded by lots of other nice middle-class homes, and after we settled in, we realized that there’s absolutely nothing there but middle-class homes. You want groceries, or a movie theater, or a pharmacy, or even a nice walk in the park, you’ve gotta drive.
This was a bit of a shock. I grew up in a small town where a kid could find everything he wanted in a short walk or a bicycle ride. We had just moved from Salt Lake City, and say what you want about Mormon Town, the city actually was extraordinarily livable and offered a variety of things in walking distance. These horrid suburbs…nope. Worst of everything. They’re designed around cars, and Walmart has taken advantage of that destructive car culture.
Now I live in a small town again, and it is actually a pleasant environment. You need a car to get away from the town, but all your day-to-day needs are conveniently close. We don’t have a Walmart. I hope we never do.
- Here’s Elon Musk a month ago.
The coronavirus panic is dumb
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) March 6, 2020
He got a lot of pushback on that, which crimped his ego, so he rushed to be the ever-helpful billionaire, you know, like the Elon Musk who threw together an impractical submarine to help rescue boys trapped in a flooding cave…that is, he made noise to make it sound like he was a good philanthropist. He promised to put his engineers to work making over a thousand ventilators that he would donate free to hospitals.
Reality is less impressive. He instead bought a bunch of devices from another company, slapped a “Tesla” label on them, and handed them out…but they’re the wrong kind of ventilator. They’re not totally useless, but they’re also not an appropriate response to a need.
The tweet features a photo of the “40 ventilators” Musk donated still in boxes labeled with ventilator company ResMed’s logo. Those 40 devices represent a portion of the more-than 1,000 Musk purchased from the San Diego-based ventilator maker.
A closer look at the photo, however, reveals a device that is not the kind of ventilator hospitals are struggling to find. The American Association for Respiratory Care confirmed to FOX Business that the device is a “bi-level machine” traditionally used to help people with sleep apnea. In particular, the photo shows ResMed’s non-invasive, five-year-old S9 bi-level model.
Is anyone surprised? This is another example of a billionaire posturing to get attention, but only delivering the goods that salve his ego, rather than what people actually need.
- You probably don’t want to read this last link. A doctor describes the intubation procedure he has to routinely do to save lives.
Usually, before this, patients would be on a vent for three to five days. Now we’re seeing 14 to 21. Most of these people have acute respiratory distress syndrome. There’s inflammation, scar tissue, and fluid building up in the lungs, so oxygen can’t diffuse easily. No matter how much oxygen you give them, it can’t get through. It’s never enough. Organs are very sensitive to low oxygen. First comes kidney failure, then liver failure, and then brain tissue becomes compromised. Immune systems stop working. There’s a look most people get, called mottling, where the skin turns red and patchy when you only have a few hours left. We have a few at that point. Some have been converted to “do not resuscitate.”
I don’t want to get sick. I don’t want to get sick. I don’t want to get sick. I don’t want to get sick. I don’t want to get sick. I don’t want to get sick. I don’t want to get sick.