Europe was central to the spread of Covid-19

One of the features of the current pandemic is that the more developed countries especially in Europe seem to have been hit the hardest in terms of the current number of cases. Joe Penney writes that Europe was also the hub from which cases spread to the rest of the world.

As Covid-19 cripples the U.S. and ravages many countries in the world, politicians are battling to craft a narrative of who is to blame for its damage. The virus started in China, of course, but narratives of how it went from epidemic to global pandemic often leave out a crucial element: the role of Europe.
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There is no vaccine or cure for willful ignorance and stupidity

The New York Times has published a map based on cell phone tracking data that shows how different regions compare in terms of the daily distance traveled during this period of people being asked to stay at home as much as possible. The overall average has dropped from five miles per day to less than a mile a day, which is a huge drop. But the drop has not been uniform. At a casual glance it looks like the southern regions have people traveling more.
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Life in China during the quarantine

Peter Hessler is an American with a wife and two young children who has been living in China for a few decades as a college teacher of English. In a very long article in The New Yorker, he describes his experience with how the Chinese authorities reacted after realizing the danger of what was going on, and what measures were put in place during 45 days of the lockdown that is still in place, though it is being relaxed. It was a massive operation that depended on many people implementing and monitoring the measures as well as a high level of compliance by the general public.
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Just what we need, religious crackpots influencing coronavirus policy

The presence and influence of religious nutcases at the highest levels of government is reaching alarming levels. Lee Fang writes about a minister who has the ear of top government officials.

RALPH DROLLINGER, a minister who leads a weekly Bible study group for President Donald Trump’s cabinet, released a new interpretation of the coronavirus pandemic this week, arguing that the crisis represents an act of God’s judgment.

The Drollinger-led Bible study meets every Wednesday morning with members of Trump’s cabinet, including Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and Health Secretary Alex Azar. Carson and Azar, notably, are members of the coronavirus task force guiding the federal government response to the pandemic.

At least 52 GOP lawmakers also participate in a Capitol Hill version of Drollinger’s Bible study, which meets on Tuesdays and Thursdays. Sponsors of the event include House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., and Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., the second-ranking GOP lawmaker in the Senate.

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Idiot preacher arrested and charged for violating distancing guidelines

A Florida evangelical church leader who still held services in his church despite being told not to has been arrested.

A Florida pastor who refused to stop holding crowded church services was arrested after officials said he flouted emergency orders against public gatherings to stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Florida officials said they had repeatedly reached out to Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne and staff at the River at Tampa Bay Church, asking them not to hold in-person services for fear it could expose parishioners to the virus. But the pastor continued to hold services Sunday.

“His reckless disregard for human life put hundreds of people in his congregation at risk, and thousands of residents who interact with them this week in danger,” Hillsborough County Sheriff Chad Chronister said at a press conference.
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China is sending medical supplies to the US

China has started shipping planeloads of medical equipment to the US to help cope with the pandemic. That country has created new factories to produce these supplies even as their domestic needs wane.

“China has abundant protective equipment now, and the rest of the world has a huge shortage,” said James McGregor, the chairman of greater China for APCO Worldwide.

The White House is arranging for air transport to help expedite the shipping of personal protective equipment purchased by these companies overseas, the spokesman said, adding that both FEMA and the State Department were helping support the effort.
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Seth Meyers talks to Bernie Sanders

Sanders is the first guest that Meyers has had since the show went into its new production mode with no audience and people working from home. Sanders explains why his proposal of Medicare For All would have made a world of difference to how the country would have responded to this pandemic.

Dammit, when I hear Sanders speak so clearly about the problems and how they should be addressed and compare that to the wishy-washy responses of Joe Biden, I am depressed that Biden is in the lead for the Democratic nomination to take on the ignorant self-serving Donald Trump.