Nel's New Day

May 22, 2020

Give Me Liberty Or Give Me Somebody Else’s Death

Protesters paid by far-right organizations have been carrying their assault rifles across the nation and encouraging people to infect others. A study using cellphones show they may be successful as they travel hundreds of miles to events and take infections back home. A Denver event showed participants heading back to neighboring states such as Wyoming, Nebraska, Oklahoma, New Mexico, and Utah.

Shutdown orders crossed the nation on March 15, beginning with Illinois, Ohio, and New York City. Starting social distancing just one week earlier—while DDT was still denying COVID-19 was any problem—could have prevented 36,000 deaths, over 36 percent of fatalities reported today. Two weeks earlier, these measures could have saved 54,000 lives. Other than banning some travel from China on January 28 and from Europe on March 13, DDT took no steps to prevent the spread of the virus. Researchers said the U.S. needs to remember this lesson for the future because DDT says he will not be closing down the nation even with a resurgence of COVID-19. A CDC official said the agency was “muzzled.”

Other dangers to human life continue from the federal government. The federal government—including Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin—fought against giving Native American tribes the money allotted by Congress. He finally gave the tribes the money instead of to related organizations, but Native Americans still get substandard treatment. DDT’s former chief of staff Zach Fuentes got a contract to sell masks to the government just days after registering his company and bought possibly faulty masks from China. Navajo hospitals got $3 million of these respirator masks; 247,000 of the masks, valued at $800,000, are perhaps unsuitable for medical use. Another 130,400, worth about $422,000, are not the kind specified in the order. Fuentes charged the Navajo Nation $3.24 per mask, compared to the $1.31 he charged the Bureau of Prisons. Pre-pandemic cost per mask was $1. As of today, the Navajo Nation reported 4,434 COVID-19 cases and 147 death—a higher rate than New York’s worst rate.

The government’s incompetence also lets people go hungry. The Northeast, hardest hit by COVID-19, received $46 million, the second-lowest funding of any region, from DDT’s $1.2 billion fresh food aid program. The Southwest, including Texas, received over five times as much money as the Northeast for one-fourth as many coronavirus cases. In short, the Northeast has 10 percent of the country’s population, 33 percent of COVID-19 cases, and 4 percent of food relief dollars. The USDA claimed one rejected Maine distributor was missing a signature, but the distributor said signature was present when he rechecked his paperwork. Food bank demand in Maine increased 35 percent, but USDA blocked Maine’s growers from selling their fresh produce to the program. The USDA also refused both bids from Alaska, meaning the state could not take part in the program until Food Bank found one way to get a winning bidder for fruits and vegetables. Shipments, however, can’t go outside Anchorage, and no meat or dairy is included.

Instead of using the three largest food distribution companies and nonprofits with long histories of feeding the poor on a large scale, USDA hired inexperienced private contractors–$107 million to a San Antonio event planner, an avocado mail-order company, a health-and-wellness airport kiosk company, and a trade finance corporation. The only criterion on where the food was distributed was who won the bids, some of them companies with no USDA license. California Avocados Direct, which received $40 million, can’t start until it pages a road to its facility, buy three cargo containers, and hire 130 people.

DDT plans to keep what he calls his “badge of honor” for a high number of COVID-19 cases and deaths if the virus returns this fall. When illegally touring a Michigan Ford Motor factory making masks without wearing a mask, he announced he would keep the nation open. DDT also attacked the Michigan Attorney General who had asked him to wear a mask, citing a “legal responsibility” under state law and a “social and moral responsibility.” He excused his refusal by saying, “I didn’t want to give the press the pleasure of seeing it.” In a tweet, DDT called the female AG, Dana Nessel, “The Wacky Do Nothing Attorney General of Michigan” and gave himself credit for bringing back auto companies to Michigan. Ford Motor closed two U.S. assembly plants because COVID-19 has not been contained.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, DDT’s virus expert, said a second wave would be “inevitable.” CDC Director Robert Redfield said any decision on shelter-in-place would be “data-driven.” ER physician Megan Ranney, researcher at Brown University, testified before Congress the U.S. is not “currently prepared for a second wave” because of lack of financial support and adequate science. An NPR/PBS NewsHour/Marist poll cited 77 percent saying they worry about a second wave of coronavirus happening as more businesses across the country reopen.

In an attempt to regain his voting base, DDT said he will “override” governors to open churches this Sunday. He lacks the power to do so but declared houses of worship as “essential places that provide essential services.” At least two reopened churches in Georgia and Texas closed because of attendees testing positive for COVID-19, and three dozen cases spread by a pastor and his wife after a March opening in a rural Arkansas church also killed three people thus far. DDT also indicated he was ordering CDC to make churches essential because he thinks the “timeline that I think is right.” DDT’s desperation comes from his dropping polls with white evangelicals (-11 percent), white Catholics (-12 percent), and white mainline Protestants (-18 percent).

DDT also panics about his re-election because it may require a good economy. Even Larry Kudlow, top economic official, said any economic rebound numbers “are downright bad in most cases” because of the virus’ unpredictability. Another 2.4 million people filed jobless claims last week, bringing the total to almost 39 million in less than two months. months. Mortgage delinquencies skyrocketed to 6.45 percent in April, three times the previous single-month record of 2008, and over double that of 3.06 percent in March. Only 21 percent of the 4.75 million homeowners in forbearance made their May payments. DDT is still claiming the stock market comeback at a “V,” but forecasters are predicting a “Nike swoosh” taking well into 2021 or beyond.

New guidance from CDC states one-third of infections are asymptomatic, and 40 percent of transmission occurs before people feel sick. Its “best estimate” is 0.4 percent of people who show symptoms and have COVID-19 will die, but estimates are based on data collected almost a month ago. Carl Bergstrom of the University of Washington called the projected mortality rate “optimistic,” “way out of line” with estimates of numbers infected in places such as New York City and don’t reflect “behavioral changes, social distancing, or other interventions.”

Counties with DDT’s base are the new hot zones of COVID-19. During the past four weeks, counties who voted for DDT in 2016 are more likely to show a high prevalence of the virus—100 or more cases per 100,000 people. From May 10 to May 17, 176 new counties joined the list of hundreds of counties in that category. All the new ones voted for DDT by a 12 percent margin in 2016, and he won 151 of them outright.

An analysis determining where people are most at risk for COVID-19 looked at above-average rates of heart disease, diabetes, high cholesterol, high blood pressure, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) and obesity. Risks on this map go from lowest (white) to highest (darkest purple).  [visual COVID-19 risk]

Six months ago, DDT claimed his unscheduled visit to Walter Reed hospital and staying out of public view for two days was a head start on his annual physical. No report on the results was ever made, and DDT hasn’t completed his mandatory annual examination. In early March, he said he was “so busy, I can’t do it” when asked when he would complete the physical. Since that time, he has dodged reporters’ questions about the timing. His 2018 physical showed heart disease common for men in his age group. Normal presidents have this examination at the beginning of a new year.

According to a new study of 96,000 people, Covid-19 patients who took hydroxychloroquine, DDT’s drug of choice he claims to be taking, showed no special improvement and were significantly more likely to develop dangerous heart conditions.

The Merriam-Webster word-of-the-day for yesterday, “per capita,” was defined as “per unit of population; by or for each person” and “equally to each individual.” https://www.alternet.org/2020/05/he-aint-bright-trump-brutally-mocked-for-nonsensically-insisting-there-are-many-per-capitas/   Earlier, DDT tried to explain almost 100,000 deaths in the U.S. from COVID-19 aren’t too bad in response to researchers at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore statistics that the U.S. has the ninth highest coronavirus death rate, per capita, in the world and the highest numbers of coronavirus deaths period:

“And, you know, when you say “per capita,” there’s many per capitas. It’s, like, per capita relative to what? But you can look at just about any category, and we’re really at the top, meaning positive on a per capita basis, too. They’ve done a great job.

On May 22, the U.S. had 1,645,094 COVID-19 cases and 97,647 deaths with some states lying to lower the numbers. Florida fired the person in charge of COVID-19 data because she wouldn’t doctor it to get the state opened. An analysis of deaths for five weeks ending April 25 show 1,358 to 1,831 unexpected deaths, suggesting that the epidemic death toll could be 17 percent to 58 percent higher.

 

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