Jesus christ, the man is an idiot

He’s never more stupid than when he pretends to be smart.

He thinks he’s got a “natural ability” at science. Jesus fucking christ.


  1. aronymous says

    I want a reporter to PLEASE ask him if the brilliant “germ” is smarter than he is. It would be impossible for him to say it is.

  2. Usernames! 🦑 says

    Dunning-Kruger meets the Peter Principle and 9 months later Murphy’s law is born.

  3. Akira MacKenzie says

    I’m can’t say anything about what I want to see happen to this man and his vice-president without inviting the unwanted attention of the U.S. Secret Service.

  4. John Morales says

    re the reference, it sure seems to me that, vague as Trump’s bloviation may be, he doesn’t get the difference between viruses and bacteria.

  5. says

    Reboot complete. COVID 19 is a virus, antibiotics are ineffective except in the case of secondary infection. How is it “very smart”? It’s a virus. It has no brain. Hold on, I got it. Trump watched Osmosis Jones last night and now he thinks he knows everything about the germ theory of disease.

    DAMN YOU CHRISS ROCK!!! Why must you be so funny and clever?

  6. says

    @11 But today is good Friday. Never really that happy for me. It was more “I have to go to mass twice this week, but why?”. But I imagine a lot of those folks who go to church to gossip and compare fashion choices with their neighbors celebrate it, but I never did. And I used to be Catholic.

  7. Elladan says

    He doesn’t sound much dumber than most any boss I’ve ever had. I mean, right down to the narcissism and the Dunning Kruger goodbrains science.

    What I’m saying is, it’s not just him. This is America’s professional oligarch class. These are the people running everything. The more effective ones are just better at lying.

  8. says

    Ray Ceeya @ #12:

    But I imagine a lot of those folks who go to church to gossip and compare fashion choices with their neighbors celebrate it,…

    Good Friday is not a happy holiday.

  9. chrislawson says


    This is a study of 9 patients admitted to a Munich hospital over a few days. These patients were chosen because they were known to have had contact with a specific index case, which made it easier to follow viral replication. The scientists collected samples of throat swabs, sputum, blood, urine, and stool during the hospital stays. They used an RNA PCR test to identify viral load, and when positive, tried to isolate the virus (that is, tried to get it replicate in cell culture); when the virus could be isolated, they sequenced its genome. They also tested blood for serology (i.e. the development of antibodies to COVID19).

    Important findings: in one patient, a different genome sequence was repeatedly found in nasal vs. sputum samples, suggesting that the virus was replicating independently in both lung and upper airways. This is important because a previous epidemic’s coronavirus SARS-CoV replicated in lung tissue but not upper airways. (This is probably why COVID19 is more infectious; it can create an infection from upper airway exposure, where SARS-CoV could only get a foothold if the patient inhaled it deep into the lungs.)

    The nasal PCR swab is very sensitive for the new COVID19 even in the prodromal phase, whereas it was not very sensitive for SARS-CoV. This is important because it means a positive swab test is a good indicator of infection. (By contrast, the PCR test for SARS-CoV only identified 40% of cases, again probably because it does not replicate well in the upper airways.)

    The patients were still shedding virus after they started to improve, and even at time of discharge. This is important because it indicates that isolation is required for some time after the patient is clinically improving. (Compare to chickenpox, where children can return to school before their rash has fully healed.)

    The patients developed antibodies earlier than with SARS-CoV. (I’m not sure how clinically relevant this will turn out to be.)

    Patients had very high viral loads in stool samples, due to swallowing of phlegm. However, the researchers never succeeded in isolating the virus from any stool sample. This implies that even if a patient is shedding virus in stool, it is probably not infectious via this route.

    There’s a lot more interesting stuff, including conjecture about the new viral spike configuration, but those are the key findings as I see them.

    Important limitations. It was only 9 patients, and they only had “comparatively mild courses”, by which I take to mean none of them needed ventilation. This is a bit of a shortcoming of the study. I’d like to have a little more detail on the patients’ clinical situations. Did they need oxygen? What were there O2 sats? How febrile were they? What were their white cell counts? It wouldn’t have taken much to add this, and although I don’t think it would change the essential findings, it would be very helpful for working out how widely applicable those findings are. A very different picture might emerge in the severely affected.

    The researchers did not go as far as proving replication with histopathology because they wanted to get the study into circulation before that time-consuming step. (A very good reason btw; histopathology confirmation is the icing on the cake rather than a critical shortcoming; I will be very surprised if the histopath contradicts the rest of the data.)

    Is that what you wanted, or was there a more specific question you had in mind?

  10. publicola says

    @13: Correct, with a very few exceptions. @12 & 14: but it says “Good” Friday– it MUST be happy. Trump probably thinks the deity exists to serve him.

  11. says

    @#14, SC (Salty Current)

    Good Friday is not a happy holiday.

    I never got that. You can’t have a resurrection unless your character — or, uh, whatever — dies first. Surely Christians should be glad at the thought Jesus was crucified. Being sad about Good Friday implies that you think things would be better otherwise, but they’ve been very clear all along that without the crucifiction — excuse me, crucifixion, that was a genuine typo but I’m letting it stand — their god would have to hate us all for all eternity and send us all to hell. The implication that it was not actually necessary, and therefore something to be celebrated, is that their god could have just chosen to forgive everybody, all along, and deliberately refused to do so, which would make him some kind of monster.

  12. nomdeplume says

    I’m thinking that while most people have a small gap between how smart they think they are and how smart they actually are, this gap appears bigger in Trump than in anyone else I have ever heard of or known.

  13. says

    @16 Look at you with your science! Ha! If those “scientists” were so smart, how come they never owned casinos or golf courses, huh? Did any of those “scientists” ever even write a crunchy rock anthem about how school is for fools? I didn’t think so!


  14. nomdeplume says

    I’m also thinking that Trump knows less about life, the universe and everything than any other human being on the planet. Quite ordinary bits of information, like the difference between bacteria and viruses, have totally escaped his notice. I guess this is what you would get if you conducted an experiment where a man was never permitted to read a book or a newspaper, have a hobby, be exposed to museums, art galleries, concert halls, watch any tv or movies that didn’t feature himself sacking someone, or have any friends who weren’t businessmen.

  15. vucodlak says

    Seconding SC (Salty Current): “Happy Good Friday” misses the spirit by a mile.

    The head pastor of the church I grew up in always ended the Good Friday service by wailing “Eli Eli, lama sabachthani?” and slamming the Bible shut. All the lights were turned out, timed perfectly with the closing of the book, and people filed out in complete silence (they turned up the lights along the paths out just enough to see the way out).

    Scared the hell out of me the first time he did it- they rigged it up so that the closing of the book was loud as a shot, the sudden darkness, the way he screamed the last words… I didn’t like church, didn’t care for that pastor, and I hated Easter, but I did come to appreciate the dramatic effort on Good Friday.

    @ The Vicar (via Freethoughtblogs), #19
    It’s a commemoration of the day we murdered God. Specifically, we murdered the feed-the-hungry, heel-the-sick, give-your-wealth-to-the-poor version of God. The nice God.

    Good Friday was one of the few church holidays I could kind of feel. To really get into the spirit, you have to first think of Jesus as representing the light, all that’s good in the universe. Then you have to put yourself in the place of “What if he doesn’t come back?” Basically, you have to put resurrection out of your mind, and imagine that evil might have won, forever.

  16. unclefrogy says

    no I think he is very ordinary at least from my experience most working class people I know only know there job and their “outside interests” he just has this big job that he knows how to pretend he is doing, he can just make decisions and pretend he knows what he is doing and because he offers gain he gets the greedy, the desperate and the sycophants to go along. He also has this anti-reality field he cultivates around him which he is desperate to convince you is real. It works for some permanently it seems.
    no he is his bluster that keeps him saying these things out loud. there is sometimes this almost innocence in the way he says things. he truly sounds like he believes it and thinks it is right and good, any question and the rage monster comes out. he really seems like a very sick man who is way over his head and things are out of control. He is failing again!
    will he last till november? will we?
    uncle frogy

  17. ajbjasus says

    #21 Susan – am I correct in thinking that he once claimed that dodging paying tax showed how smart he was?

    #10 Ray, I’m a Brit, so I’m probably missing something, but why don’t the people in the room, hold him to account about things like that? It would just take “Sir, Covid Is a virus, antibiotics don’t work”. Is it that nobody knows that, or that you would just get booted out?

    Lastly, I’m amused by his technique of saying “ You know the answer to that” when he reaches the end of his knowledge, or ability to explain something.

  18. chriss says

    Can you imagine what the real scientists were thinking who were on stage with him were thinking? They probably wanted to jump up there and grab the microphone out of his hands…

  19. cartomancer says

    ajbjasus, #25

    I was thinking that, too. There’s no way Boris or Gove or any of our lot would be allowed to live that one down. It’d be over BBC news and all the papers for a week. Secondary school science teachers would be using the clip for decades to come as an example of public stupidity to avoid.

    When I first looked at the clip I thought “hmm, well, he could be talking about antibiotic resistance in general, rather than coronavirus in particular”, in which case this is just a dotty old man blathering off-topic. But then he ties it back to coronavirus at the end, leaving us in no doubt that he is, in fact, an idiot.

    It was porphyria last time, but you Americans really ought to do something about taking power away from your current mentally unstable king.

  20. davidc1 says

    At least the snatch snatcher believes in germs ,and doesn’t blame the big sky daddy .

  21. JoeBuddha says

    @chrislawson: Awesome! That’s exactly what I wanted. I get bogged down and lose the thread here when I try to read the actual abstract (Long-time computer pro with no degree here) amid the cites and such. Mind if I steal it?

  22. says

    @#23, vucodlak

    It’s a commemoration of the day we murdered God. Specifically, we murdered the feed-the-hungry, heel-the-sick, give-your-wealth-to-the-poor version of God. The nice God.

    That doesn’t make any sense either.

    In the first place, no matter how you spin things, we didn’t murder God, some people who lived a couple of millennia ago did. The whole point of individual judgement is that we are guilty of the things we do, not the things other people do — and that’s if you think it was such a big deal to kill somebody who makes a full recovery from it after 3 days. I take longer than that to get over a head cold — and I don’t insist that somebody believe that I got over a head cold before I’m willing to forgive them for unintentionally harming me.

    And if you believe in what Christians claim about Jesus, then he could have just… forgiven everybody. He didn’t even need to incarnate in the first place, even if he felt we needed direction he could have just arranged for everyone to have the same dream one night, or a vision — visions are canonically acceptable substitutes for experience, just ask Paul. The whole tricking-everybody-into-thinking-they’ve-killed-me-to-make-a-point thing is the act of somebody with psychological problems, if you ask me.

    And Jesus isn’t “the nice God”, he spent his time on earth — if you believe the Wholly Babble — threatening people with eternal damnation, cursing trees for failing to bear fruit unnaturally out of season, and telling people who were scrupulously following what he in his alter ego told them to do, to the letter, that they were all wrong. That’s some more nightmare psychological issues right there. If he were a parent doing that to children, you’d call CPS. If he were a boss doing that to employees, he’d show up on some kind of cable show about nightmare workplaces.

    Good Friday was one of the few church holidays I could kind of feel. To really get into the spirit, you have to first think of Jesus as representing the light, all that’s good in the universe. Then you have to put yourself in the place of “What if he doesn’t come back?” Basically, you have to put resurrection out of your mind, and imagine that evil might have won, forever.

    In other words: imagine that God was lying all along about being all-powerful, and that he deliberately created us in a horrifying universe that is basically evil, and lied to us about his abilities and plans? Yeah, that sounds like a really beneficent being.

    (I’m not trying to pick a fight with you over this, I just can’t talk about this kind of nonsense without getting dismissive. It makes no sense, and the response whenever that’s pointed out is always to stop thinking about it at all.)

  23. microraptor says

    @25: Basically it’s because A) saying something like that would get them booted out, and B) in the political arena especially the media has by broad consensus just taken a stance of “report what someone said and never bother to fact-check.” So the president stands up on national TV and says things that most people learned weren’t real in elementary school and nobody is willing to say anything.

  24. Ridana says

    I want some reporter to go back through all his daily update speeches (it’s not like they’re doing anything else, like fact-checking) and count the number of times he’s said, “I think we’re doing very well” and all its variants. At this point it’s like he’s trying to convince himself more than his critics.

  25. stroppy says

    @ 25

    Ha. Holding Trump to account. Sorting out Trump’s pathology is like trying to drink diarrhea blasting from a fire hose.

    You try it.

    And of course it’s not just Trump, it’s a berserk army of trolls, propagandists, kooks, psychopaths, scammers, mobsters, and foil hat nutters.

  26. says

    @25 Yeah, and as no one likes paying taxes, that probably got him the most points. It’s always struck me as odd that our culture exalts the “bad boys” as heroes and some of us still think that saying “Trump is bad because he doesn’t follow the rules!” will have any helpful effect.

  27. blf says

    Apropos of possibly nothing much, impeached quack hair furor is a self-admitted germaphobe. As one example, “He’s Definitely Melting Down Over This”: Trump, Germaphobe in Chief, Struggles to Control the Covid-19 Story (9-March-2020):

    Publicly, he sees it as yet another (Fake News) media war; privately, he worries about virus-carrying journalists on Air Force One. […]


    As Trump pushes a nothing-to-see-here message in public, sources said he’s privately terrified about getting the virus. “Donald is a famous germaphobe. He hates it if someone is eating nachos and dips a chip back in after taking a bite. He calls them double dippers,” a prominent Republican said. Former Trump aide Sam Nunberg recalled Trump’s response to the last major outbreak in 2014. “When I worked for Trump, he was obsessed with Ebola,” Nunberg told me. […]

    Stories about Trump’s coronavirus fears have spread through the White House. Last week Trump told aides he’s afraid journalists will try to purposefully contract coronavirus to give it to him on Air Force One, a person close to the administration told me. The source also said Trump has asked the Secret Service to set up a screening program and bar anyone who has a cough from the White House grounds. “He’s definitely melting down over this,” the source said.


  28. Ed Seedhouse says

    None of the Xtian holy days make rational sense, They aren’t meant to! They are designed to make emotional sense and for that they are quite effective for most people. Easter is an emotional re-living of the “Easter Story” and Black Friday services are meant to make people feel guilt, that it is they who have done this terrible thing and now they are all alone and destitute. Oh woe! Then Easter comes as a joyful experience, their god did not die! He is alive! He forgives me for all the terrible things I have done. Oh joy!!

    Of course logically it doesn’t make a lick of sense. It wasn’t ever meant to. It’s about manipulating people’s emotions. Also it’s designed to be a good show so the rubes keep coming back for more. And it’s amazingly effective and has been for around two millenia.

  29. Mark says

    Jerry Lewis couldn’t have performed it any better. “And the big germs… huge worldwide germs… they’re everywhere… brainy bugs… scary stuff… the smart tiny things that make us feel not so good… they’re brilliant…we bomb them with the antibiotics.. but.they’re hidden and smart… and we can’t keep up.” When the president sounds like an unfunny stand-up comic.

  30. PaulBC says


    Yup Prof. Frink would sound more coherent: the coronavirus with the little spikes… and the dry cough… and the contagion!

    (I assume Frink is based on a Jerry Lewis character, but I am not as familiar with the original.)

  31. ajbjasus says

    #32. I know hey might get booted but so what?

    Eventually it starts to sound like “ just obeying orders”.

    Perhaps, just perhaps, a well judged intervention might get the attention it deserves. Sometimes there are those pivotal moments.

  32. Walter Solomon says


    He’s based on Jerry Lewis’s version of The Nutty Professor.

  33. microraptor says

    @42: You may have noticed that US politics is quite devoid of the concept of speaking truth to power?

  34. bassmanpete says


    Well, I never thought I’d agree with Trump on anything. Double dippers are frowned upon here in Oz. The only exception is when using raw carrot, celery or the like. Hold it in the middle, dip one end in and bite it off, then dip the other end.

    I believe Howard Hughes too was a bit freakish when it came to germs. It seems only one was a genuine billionaire though.

  35. blf says

    bassmanpete@47, Yeah, I’m not too keen on them either when using a communal dip bowel. What I do — a habit I believe I acquired yonks ago from a good friend — is spoon out a helping of the dip(s) onto my plate, and then double-dip or whatever else takes my fancy using those heaps… of course, some people might be dipping into the communal bowl, so it’s not exactly foolproof. (By admittedly random observation, my habit is also what is commonly done here in France, albeit I could be mistaken and admit to not knowing the local etiquette on this point.)

  36. brightmoon says

    I’m actually scared to watch those . I’ve never liked Trump and thought he was a selfish jerk when he first came to my attention back in the 80s .

  37. lucifersbike says

    Akira MacKenzie@7. I feel your pain; if I really said what I really think about the person who is unfortunately the Prime Minister of my country, I’d risk my clearance for work (even though it has nothing to do with security or the military).
    ajbjasus,@25 and cartomancer@28. As a fellow Brit I really don’t think we can or should point the nostril of scorn at Americans because of Trump. Remember when the BBC used to trot out Nigel “I don’t know about climate science, but I know what I like” Lawson as balance every time they interviewed a real climate scientist about AGW? What about our Foreign Secretary, who didn’t know that the sea routefrom Dover to Calais was “so important for our trade”? How often has Johnson lied on TV and not been called out by the likes of Kuensberg and Peston?
    Trump is an ignorant, stupid, vulgarian ass. So are most of the leading lights (rhyming slang) of the Conservative and Unionist Party.

  38. A. Noyd says

    lucifersbike (#51)

    if I really said what I really think about the person who is unfortunately the Prime Minister of my country, I’d risk my clearance for work

    One nice thing about working in Japan is that my coworkers just find it amusing when I smack-talk the belligerent kumquat currently sacrificing my fellow Americans to his ego. I do hesitate to share opinions of PM Abe, but at least there’s much less of a cult of personality surrounding him.