Nel's New Day

December 11, 2020

Biden Appoints, DDT Rants

Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) continues to light fires for the destruction of democracy, and President-elect Biden continues to annoy GOP congressional members with new appointments.

White House Domestic Policy Council: Susan Rice, formerly President Obama’s national security adviser.

Secretary of Veterans Affairs: Denis McDonough, formerly President Obama’s chief of staff. A concern comes from McDonough’s never having served in the military.

HUD Secretary: Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-IL), two years ago considered for House Speaker.

Agriculture Secretary: former Iowa Gov. Tom Vilsack with the same position for both President Obama’s terms.  

U.S. Trade Representative: Katherine Tai, chief trade counsel on the House Ways and Means Committee who spent seven years as a U.S. trade representative (USTR) attorney specializing in enforcing trade agreements with China.

Possibilities for Attorney General: Sen. Doug Jones (D-AL) who lost his election in November, former Massachusetts governor Deval Patrick, former deputy attorney general Sally Yates fired by DDT soon after his inauguration, and federal appeals court judge Merrick Garland appointed for the Supreme Court in early 2016 but ignored to keep the job open for a DDT appointment.

Biden and his transition team are prioritizing collaboration with Congress, thus far reaching out to over 300 House members and almost everyone in the Senate. The first crucial act for Biden’s legislative team is ensuring rapid consideration of nominations in the Senate.

Hearings for DDT’s nominees started on January 3, 2017—17 days before he was inaugurated. Biden’s nominees are already meeting virtually with senators, but GOP senators plan to delay Biden’s appointment confirmations. In the past, 95 percent of Cabinet nominees had hearings before the inauguration, and 84 percent of those were confirmed within three days. Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) said confirmation of Neera Tanden for Office of Management and Budget has a “zero chance” because of her negative tweets about some Republicans. He also disapproves of Xavier Becerra, California AG who sat on the House committee overseeing health issues for 24 years, because Cornyn doesn’t “know what his Health and Human Services credentials are.” Credentials for current HHS Secretary Alex Azar are his work for big pharma company Eli Lily in the decade before he was hired as a DDT loyalist.

DDT’s people are planted into every discussion with Biden’s transition team, sometimes blocking conversations. The team was finally permitted into the National Security Agency, but the parent of Voice of America, the U.S. Agency for Global Media, won’t allow any involvement with Biden’s group. DDT doesn’t permit the usual practice of using unpolitical and knowledgeable career employees to manage the transitions. A former official said DDT’s actions are “the equivalent of having the opposing coach sitting in the room as you’re developing your team’s strategy.”

While Biden sets up his administration in the midst of obstruction, DDT took time out of his busy schedule destroying democracy to hold his “vaccine summit” on Tuesday. DDT promoted the death-causing tactic of “herd immunity,” infecting as many people as possible. “I hear we’re close to 15 percent… That’s terrific,” he said about the number of virus infections. (It’s actually over 15 million, not 15 percent; “herd immunity” requires over 70 percent.) DDT took credit for the “miracle” of the virus before he launched into his typical rants about winning the election, conspiracy theories about fraud, and demands for Republicans to find the “courage to do what everybody in this country knows is right”—awarding him a second term.

Neither Pfizer nor Moderna attended the summit, and no one from Biden’s team was invited. DDT said:

“We’re gonna have to see who the next administration is. Hopefully the next administration will be the Trump administration, a continuation.”

DDT signed a murky executive order about providing the U.S. with vaccine. It doesn’t increase vaccine production or order more doses. DDT already lost his chance to get more supplies from Pfizer until the middle of summer while Pfizer is sending hundreds of millions of doses to the UK. After explanations for the need for a vaccine, the order assigns an official to “coordinate development of an interagency strategy [until] there exists a sufficient supply of COVID-19 vaccine doses for all Americans who choose to be vaccinated.”

While DDT passed disinformation, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) did the same thing at his committee hearing, promoting unproven treatments and comparing the virus to the regular flu. MSNBC host Chris Hayes pointed out 130 Americans died during Johnson’s hearing. One GOP senator skipped the meeting: referring to the list of witnesses recommending fake remedies and opposing vaccines, Mitt Romney (UT) said, “I think it’s nuts to bring that into the Senate.”

The Thanksgiving coronavirus surge has begun with averages of new daily cases at 200,000+ and deaths rising above 3,000—more than those who died on 9/11 and in the attack on Pearl Harbor almost 80 years ago putting the U.S. into World War II. Alabama and Georgia each saw a 50-percent increase this past week. Fewer people admitted to hospitals may mean they are sending sick people home. Projections of deaths are another 265,000 people by April 1. Today, the 217,779 new cases in the U.S. brought the total to over 16 million and 2,974 deaths come to 308 under 300,000 in fewer than ten months.

Tuesday also began the vaccinations in Britain. The second dose comes 21 or 28 days after the first one, depending on whether they are Pfizer or Moderna. People are supposedly 95 percent immune within seven to ten days after the second dose. It is still unclear how long the immunity provided by the vaccine lasts for, or whether those who have had it can still transmit coronavirus to other people. The detailed distribution plan has 50 vaccination hubs in hospitals across England and dozens more in Wales and Scotland.

Thursday, an FDA advisory panel recommended approval of the Pfizer vaccine for people over 16 years of age. The agency may grant emergency authorization on Saturday, and the initial shipment of 6.4 million doses could leave warehouses within 24 hours. Pfizer said the research had no reactions of anaphylactic shock their vaccine produced in two British subjects because they ruled out people with allergic reactions. The FDA panel will determine authorization for Moderna next week on December 17. Unlike Britain, the U.S.’s general distribution plans rely on each state’s organization. Links to each state’s plan here.

In Florida, ten state law enforcement burst into the house of former public health data scientist, Rebekah Jones, with guns drawn to take her computer equipment. Gov. Ron DeSantis fired her earlier this year because she refused to falsify data for him to open schools and businesses. After her termination, she continued to collect the data and put it onto a website she developed. Agents claimed she had hacked into the state computer system and emailed a message to members of the state emergency team, urging them to “speak up before another 17,000 people are dead.” Jones denied the accusation.

The agents ordered Jones out of the house and pointed guns at her husband and two young children. Using a warrant signed by a DeSantis-appointed judge sworn in last month, the agents took Jones “hardware and tech” containing names of her sources. Ron Filipkowski, a Marine veteran and Republican lawyer appointed three times to Florida’s Judicial Nominating Commission, resigned from his position because the action was so “reckless and irresponsible.” The former prosecutor said, “What’s the crime? The crime is hacking into an email server to tell people the truth?”

Cyber security and digital rights experts called the IP justification for the search warrant “thin” and “fishy.” An expert said IP addresses are unreliable personal identifiers, commonly misused or misunderstood by police and the courts. He said his undergraduate students can easily make an IP address appear to come from elsewhere. Agents didn’t report any other evidence for probable cause. The username and password for Jones’ system are on a publicly available document at a Department of Health site and was still available there three days after the search.

The warrant information also fails to indicate any damage caused by the email. The statute used for the warrant is typically used for identity or money theft, server crashes, or other similar harms, according to Filipkowski. Taking Jones’ thumb drives and memory cards shows a search beyond violation of the statute, indicating the warrant was a fishing expedition.

Charges are not yet filed. Jones has raised than $200,000 on a GoFundMe page. She plans to use the money for her legal defense and for “moving expenses so my family can get out of the Governor’s reach.”

DeSantis’ new COVID-19 data analyst is Kyle Lamb, an Ohio blogger and Uber driver who disseminates conspiracy theories against wearing masks and lockdowns. He compares the virus to the flu and calls the virus a part of Chinese “biowar” while promoting hydroxychloroquine. And more.

Only 40 days left for DDT, but DeSantis is staying.

November 21, 2020

DDT: Week 200 – Can’t Avoid COVID-19

This past week, Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK) attacked Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) for asking Sullivan to wear a mask while speaking. The Senate was debating the confirmation of another completely unprepared judicial candidate. On Twitter, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) called Brown a “complete ass.” Last month, two GOP senators tested positive for COVID-19, Tom Tillis (NC) and Mike Lee (UT), and this week, two more came down with the coronavirus—Chuck Grassley (IA) last Tuesday and Rick Scott (FL) yesterday. Scott spend last week traveling around Georgia while campaigning for GOP Sens. Kelly Loeffler and David Perdue. (Grassley displays the GOP mask-wearing technique.)

Grassley’s announced illness came the day after Iowa’s GOP Gov. Kim Reynolds mandated mask wearing. She had ridiculed masks for months and consistently claimed she “trusts” its residents to do the right thing. Iowa now has the third highest number of cases per capita, just behind both Dakotas. Thirteen state governors refuse to issue mask mandates.

Grassley’s missed votes last Tuesday were his first since 1993 when floods in his state kept him from Washington. One vote regarded Judy Shelton. Previously, the GOP Senate considered her inappropriate for the Federal Reserve, but Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) is pushing through all breathing nominees in case he doesn’t have a Senate majority next year.

McConnell voted “no” in order to bring Shelton’s vote back to the floor, but the Senate is running out of time. It doesn’t return from recess until November 30, giving them only 15 days in session until the end of 2020. Without a budget passed, the government shuts down on December 11. On November 30, Arizona certifies its votes, immediately flipping the GOP seat of Martha McSally to Democratic Mark Kelly. The question is how far McConnell will go to protect DDT who has only 60 days left in office.

In a delusionary state, “journalist” Geraldo Rivera wants the new vaccine named “Trump” because, he believes, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) is definitely the prime architect of this operation Warp Speed.” Rivera said people can say “Yeah, I got my Trump, I’m fine.” DDT’s only “architecture” was to claim researchers would develop a vaccine before Election Day. Pfizer stated the company didn’t take money from the U.S. government and wasn’t part of Warp Speed. Now “The Trump” is smearing Pfizer because they didn’t announce the vaccine until he lost the election.

Moderna, with what may be a successful vaccine, received government funds and seems to have a more viable product with easier storage and more transparent testing data. DDT donated no personal funds to either company, but country singer Dolly Parton gave $1 million to Moderna for its research. How about “Yeah, I got my Dolly, I’m fine.”  

Another woman, this one a real journalist, may save lives too. On her MSNBC show, Rachel Maddow (right) has presented information about the dangers of COVID-19 and the importance of following CDC guidance like only small gatherings, mask-wearing, and social distancing. After she quarantined for contact with a coronavirus survivor, she started doing her show from her home office. On her first night back, she announced that the survivor was her partner of 21 years, Susan Mikula. In her explanation, Maddow said:

“My relationship with Susan is the only thing, at the end of the day, that I would kill or die for without hesitation. And Susan has been sick with COVID these past couple of weeks. At one point, we really thought that there was a possibility that it might kill her, and that’s why I’ve been away. [Susan’s] not only been positive over this time, she’s gotten sicker and sicker while I tried to care for her while still staying physically apart from her.”

She urged people to be careful, if not for themselves then for the people they love:

“What you need to know is that whoever is the most important person in your life, whoever you most love and most care for and most cherish in the world, that’s the person who you may lose.”

Twitter filled with messages from people writing they changed their holiday plans because of Maddow’s plea. This represents many of the tweets:

  “Your plea for us to think about the people whom we love brought me to my senses.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo, constantly denigrated by DDT, will receive an International Emmy Founders Award for his “leadership during the COVID-19 pandemic” and “his masterful use of TV to inform and calm people around the world,” according to the International Emmys. In the early weeks of the coronavirus, while DDT ignored the virus and then blocked help for states needing it, Cuomo gave daily press conferences with information of statistics, successes, and failures.

Litigation against Customs and Border Protection (CBP) reveals how the agency detained more Iranian-Americans at the Canadian border than previously known before deliberately try to cover up its illegal and discriminatory behavior. Acting CBP Commissioner Mark Morgan and other officers lied in a public statement about how Iranian-Americans were not refused permission to return home in the U.S. In fact, U.S. officials were ordered to single out and detail people of Iranian descent after the U.S. killed a top Iranian military official in early January of this year. Of the over 250 people sent to secondary inspection, over 80 were U.S. citizens and detained at least three to four hours—up to nine hours.

After DDT separated over 5,400 children from their parents and guardians, his racist advisor Stephen Miller pushed DOJ to refuse a 2019 settlement connecting reunified families with mental health care. The pro bono public interest firm Public Counsel reached an agreement for the government paying $8 million (fewer than three of DDT’s trips to Mar-a-Lago) for traumatized migrant families. DDT’s six-month delay left children exhibiting “fear, feelings of abandonment, and post-traumatic stress” and parents suffering “elevated levels of mental distress.” The courts’ refusal to ignore the need for mental counseling led to the government paying $14 million (an extra two Mar-a-Lago trips). Many families couldn’t receive care because DDT had deported them during negotiations.

Two independent inquiries, one criminal and one civil, into DDT’s businesses have embroiled his daughter Ivanka. DDT dropped his taxes by deducting $26 million to unidentified consultants, some of the money to Ivanka Trump at her personal consulting business while she was identified as an executive of the Trump Organization. In a meltdown, Ivanka railed against “NYC democrats … 100% motivated by politics, publicity and rage.” DDT cannot pardon himself or his family or anyone else for state convictions.

Militias throughout the states are recruiting to “take back the country,” by armed violence if they choose, with those in Michigan the most visible after threatening to kidnap and kill Gov. Gretchen Whitmer. According to the FBI, the group also planned to publicly execute other public officials, including Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam and Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker. Other plans were capturing lawmakers from the Michigan state capitol and televise their executions. Another plan was to lock them inside the capitol and burn it down. Enter neuroradiologist Scott Atlas, DDT’s coronavirus whisperer. To slow the virus spread, Whitmer put in new restrictions for three weeks. Atlas responded:

 “The only way this stops is if people rise up. You get what you accept. #FreedomMatters #StepUp.”

Complaints led him to tweet:

“Hey. I NEVER was talking at all about violence… NEVER would I endorse or incite violence. NEVER!!”

Whitmer said she won’t be bullied, but every message like this from DDT or Atlas results in “a surge of vicious attacks sent [Whitmer’s] way. Good of Atlas to say something like “I didn’t mean for you to burn the house down, but gasoline can help.”

Secretary of State Mike Pompeo’s visit to a winery on land taken from Palestinian residents marks the first time a top American diplomat visited an illegal Israeli settlement. It also hypes Pompeo’s standing with evangelicals and other supporters of the illegal settlements. The Florida Falic family, a major investor in the winery, donated at least $5.6 million to settler groups in the West Bank and occupied East Jerusalem over the past decade as well as at least $1.7 million since 2000 to pro-Israel politicians in the U.S., including DDT. Over 680,000 Israelis have illegally settled on Palestinian land.

Jewish peace activists protested the visit and Pompeo’s declaration that the peaceful Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) movement for Palestinian human rights is “anti-Semitic.” Pompeo’s statements at his visit were two weeks after the Israelis bulldozed a Bedouin village in the Jordan Valley in a storm, an act called a war crime by the UN. Of the scores of homeless Palestinians, over 40 were children.

If DDT opens his 2024 presidential campaign on the day of Biden’s inauguration, he’ll need to build up his campaign team. Everyone is getting fired except those in legal. He may not need less staff at the White House: he’s not doing anything except ranting and tweeting. This morning he called into the G20 Summit but didn’t deliver any message and no one participated in the pandemic conference. He did need help playing golf later at his Virginia course. He’s scheduled to make a virtual appearance to the summit again tomorrow morning before he plays golf. Since the election, he’s had 12 days with no public events, with the few listed being brief.

COVID-19 has made many appearances yesterday in the U.S.—172,839 cases and 1,460 deaths. Several states are also not reporting their statistics.

October 28, 2020

DDT, GOP Lie about the COVID-19 Surge, Voting Rights

Filed under: Health Care,Voting — trp2011 @ 12:28 AM
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Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) is crossing the nation, spreading COVID-19 among his campaign rallies and telling his audiences COVID-19 is “rounding the turn” and no longer a problem. He says any cases come from all the testing.

The “turn” evidently means far more coronavirus cases. In many regions—the Upper Midwest, the Mountain West, the Southwest, and the heart of Appalachia—hospitals have record levels of people infected by coronavirus. Over 42,000 people were hospitalized in the U.S. just yesterday, a number nearing the midsummer peak. The result is a nightmare on the horizon–triaging patients to pick which ones will get care and putting younger ones over the older. The 83,000+ cases of last Saturday, a single-day record, set up the motion the COVID-19 pattern: spiking diagnoses, hospitalizations, and then deaths. 

Johns Hopkins University has reported increases of 20 percent in new cases, 13 percent in hospitalizations, and 11 percent in daily death. Nineteen states announced more cases in the past seven days than any other seven-day period of the epidemic, and dozens of states have a seven-day average of over 100 new daily cases per 100,000 people with over 700 per 100,000 in North Dakota, five times the U.S. average. El Paso (TX) hit 100-percent hospital capacity Sunday and moved patients to field hospitals. Tulsa (OK) said the soaring number of hospitalizations “is not sustainable.” North Dakota has only 25 ICU staffed beds remaining in the entire state.

North and South Dakota are the poster states of bad leadership and dramatic surges of COVID-19. Earlier, they bragged about having no problem. North and South Dakota report the highest and second-highest rates of hospitalizations and deaths. South Dakota is second only to North Dakota in the number of virus cases per 100,000 people for all 50 states while North Dakota reduced testing by 2 percent. In South Dakota, the testing average rose by 11 percent, but cases increased by 20 percent over the previous week. South Dakota’s tests have 40 percent positives.

South Dakota’s Gov. Kristi Noem started big outbreaks by forcing infected people to continue working in the state’s meat processing plants, and she thinks the state still has no problems.  Last week she wrote in an op-ed, “Our trust in the data and in each other has been rewarded.” The “data” shows South Dakota reported over 1,100 new cases, 95 cases per 100,000 and a single-day record after the record of 973 the day before. Of the ten hottest spots for coronavirus in the nation, six are South Dakota cities. Nearly half the 3,138 inmates in South Dakota’s prison system tested positive as of Monday. About masks, Noem wrote that people should make “informed decisions” about wearing them because people “question” their effectiveness. The state has no limit at gatherings; last summer’s Sturgis biker event drew almost one-half million people who spread the virus to thousands of people throughout the nation. DDT held another superspreader event at Mt. Rushmore on July 3. Noem sounds like DDT and wants his position in four years: she’s traveled to at least 11 other states as a DDT surrogate for his campaign.

Noem is wrong: masks do work. Last summer after a stay-at-home order expired, Arizona’s COVID-19 daily cases spiked 151 percent for weeks, putting the state with more capita numbers than almost all countries in the world. After the governor lifted his ban on local mask mandates, the number of cases dropped 75 percent later in the summer. Loosening of safety measures, however, are causing another spike in the number of the states’ cases and hospitalizations, matching the June spike. Numbers could be even worse because Arizona includes only electronically-reported test results. By October 28, Arizona almost doubled the number of counties with moderate levels of community transmission (26 percent to 37 percent of counties) and high levels of community transmission, 7 percent to 13 percent. According to an estimate, 7,405 lives would have been saved with a universal mask mandate. With a mask mandate for over five months, Oregon has over five times lower death rate.

A University of Kansas study of counties in the states with and without mask mandates also discovered orders to wear face masks cuts back on the number of COVID-19 cases. The 21 counties adopting rules of wearing masks and distancing six feet from others reported an average of seven fewer cases per 100,000 compared to the spike of up to 40 average daily cases per 100,000 in the other 80 counties. The report concluded a saving of 130,000 lives of the predicted 510,000 deaths in the next four months if 95 percent followed these guidelines.

In his campaign rallies, DDT urges his audience to ignore the surging number of cases. Like a tsunami, each COVID-19 wave is higher than the last one. The first wave reached 9.7 cases per 100,000 on April 7 and dropped before increasing to 20.5 cases per 100,000 on July 19. The latest one rose to 23 cases per 100,000 on October 24 and may not have stopped. DDT’s chief of staff Mark Meadows said the White House planned to do nothing to stop the cases, the hospitalizations, and the deaths. 

DDT actually has a few plans. After he gave farmers $46 billion in welfare to cover his disastrous tariffs, he is in federal court to stop emergency food stamps to 700,000 people during the virus crisis. He has already kept $480 million out of Pennsylvania, a state with extraordinarily high unemployment and a swing state DDT wants to win. The emergency funding is $2 per meal for a person. A federal judge has accused the USDA of “egregious disobedience” for not following congressional mandates. With no backup plan, DDT also wants to rid the country of the Affordable Healthcare Act, leaving tens of millions of people without health insurance. In another idea, DDT said he wants to make reporting about the coronavirus illegal. It “should be an election law violation,” he ranted.

Republicans and conservative judges are trying to infect more people by forcing them to the polls. Virus cases are rising in Texas again, but people fearful of infection who want to avoid exposure cannot cast ballots by mail because of GOP restrictions. The governor, Greg Abbott, has shot down every plan to make voting safer and more accessible. Indiana, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Tennessee are going along with strict restrictions on absentee ballots. All states also have strict voter ID requirements, and Mississippi limited early in-person voting. Anyone not working for an elections office in Tennessee and handing someone an application for absentee voting faces one to six years in prison. These conditions discriminate against less privileged groups such as people of color and those made vulnerable by medical conditions. Louisiana, Mississippi, Tennessee and Texas have some of the country’s highest rates of poverty and chronic health conditions.

One recent cheery piece of news comes from a federal judge order for South Carolina counties to stop rejecting absentee ballots over mismatched signatures and a review of ballots eliminated for that reason. County election boards wanting to have that procedure must get court approval and give voters the chance to correct any mismatches. Ten of the state’s 46 counties, some of them highly populated, were using “signature matching.”

Voter suppression, however, seems to be failing. A week before Election Day, the number of early voters equals about half the total number of people voting in November 2016. Even in restrictive Texas, almost half the registered voters have submitted ballots a week before Election Day, exceeding last year’s complete early votes by over three million and almost equaling the entire number of votes cast in Texas four years ago.

An outstanding occurrence in the current election comes from the large number of young people voting. Both parties have long said that more voters, especially young ones, benefit the Democrat party. For that reason, Republicans have tried to suppress the vote for decades.  

As DDT travels the country negating the disaster he has caused by mismanaging the COVID-19 crisis, health officials and scientists on DDT’s coronavirus task force are offended by the announcement from the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy that DDT has successfully ended the pandemic. The group called the lying statement to be one of DDT’s major first term accomplishments. The lie explains it “has taken decisive actions to engage scientists and health professionals in academia, industry, and government to understand, treat, and defeat the disease.” In the conservative Hill, Nathaniel Weixel writes:

“The rosy outlook flies in the face of reality, and underscores the efforts of Trump to continuously try to downplay the severity of the pandemic that continues to rage nearly uncontrolled across the country.”

On October 27, one week before the election, COVID-19 shows no sign of abating in the U.S. Total cases: 9,038,030. New cases during last 24 hours: 75,072. Total deaths: 232,084. Deaths during last 24 hours: 1,039. With under five percent of the world’s population, the U.S. has provided planet with over 20 percent of cases and deaths from coronavirus.

October 6, 2020

Take a Virus for DDT: All People in U.S. at Risk

Showman Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) departed Walter Reed hospital Monday evening to return to the White House in Marine One, landing just feet from the White House steps. DDT puffed his way up to the balcony and ripped off his mask to enter the building where aides milled around in the Blue Room with no face coverings. DDT reinforced his complete lack of caring when he claimed he could be “immune“: he’s still able to infect others. The term “quarantine” for DDT is also false because it’s used on exposed people “Isolation” is the requirement for infected people although DDT ignores both. DDT has at least five days to complete the mandated time period of ten days isolation. Following his return to the White House, DDT reenacted his arrival for a campaign video.

Two people complicit in COVID-19 deaths and infections: DDT himself and his doctor who avoids hard questions and covers for DDT. Sean Conley, an osteopath and not an infectious disease expert, cherry-picks what he shares, presents a rosy picture of DDT’s health, and uses the term “privacy” to hide the severity of DDT’s illness. Medical experts agree DDT’s leaving the hospital makes “zero sense.”

The doctor cheerfully said, “He’s up and back to his old self,” and DDT tweeted he felt “better than I did 20 years ago.” The video of him climbing a few steps, however, showed him struggling. Daniel Kaul, infectious-diseases expert at the University of Michigan, said people of DDT’s age with similar severity of illness “usually have a pretty slow recovery, with weeks and sometimes months of cognitive difficulties, shortness of breath, severe fatigue.”

“I’m not going to go into the specific of what’s he’s on,” said the doctor, refusing to answer questions about evidence of pneumonia. About DDT’s last negative test, Conley said, “I don’t want to go backwards.” People exposed to DDT’s positive diagnosis might disagree. DDT’s “super-spreader” Supreme Court nominee announcement, nicknamed by staff “The Rose Garden Massacre,” will be worse because the White House refuses contact tracing. Thus far, at least 11 people at the event, including press secretary Kayleigh McEnany with two junior communications state and megachurch pastor Greg Laurie, have tested positive for the coronavirus. Two White House housekeeping staff also tested positive.

Former FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb said he had not been contacted by tracers as did journalist Michael Shear, who believes he was infected at the ceremony. Photojournalist Al Drago posted on Instagram he was infected, and CBS White House correspondent Paula Reid is quarantining after “proximity to two maskless, now COVID positive, White House staffers” Thursday night last week. A White House staffer said he learned about DDT’s and Melania Trump’s illness from a news report.

The RNC sent the state’s Department of Health a list of 206 guests, supposedly for tracing, but included only names and email address—no phone numbers, cities, or states. No Bedminster staff member was listed. Yet the White House spokesman claimed a full contact tracing was done.

Sunday, Conley admitted he had lied about DDT’s serious prognosis the day before, saying DDT did have oxygen, both at the White House and in the hospital, and that he had a high fever. Yet he avoided specifics about the times of DDT’s last negative test and first positive one, his oxygen levels, test results from chest scans, information about cardiac testing, and reasons for the heavy dosage of medications for DDT. (Conley’s report on Sunday). 

The White House tries to justify adequate care for DDT with its two medical clinics and a team of doctors on call for 24-hour monitoring, yet DDT was airlifted to a hospital less than a day after DDT announced the positive testing results. In serious cases, even the larger clinic is used to stabilize patients before transfer to a hospital. The purpose of the larger one is to stabilize patients before transfer to a hospital. A health official from a previous administration called DDT’s return “inefficient and risky compared to being on site in a hospital” with Walter Reed’s capability.

The doctor said DDTs “vitals will be getting checked at least every day or every couple times a day in order to make sure nothing is happening,” but he needs more than that. His blood should be tested several times a day for signs of coagulation or inflammation which would indicate a higher risk of clotting or a dangerous “cytokine storm” requiring serious intervention. Another important check, an echocardiogram for his heart, looks for hardening of the walls, a common issue with the virus. He should also be observed for medication side effects such as mania, depression and difficulty of attention. COVID-19 complications with no warning include strokes or heart failure from microclots or a pulmonary embolism moving to the lungs.

White House spokesman Judd Deere also failed to give specific answers about DDT’s care and only emailed that they were taking “every precaution necessary.” Earlier, he had the same thing about preventing any virus infections within the facility. He promised the use of personal protective equipment, but DDT isn’t even wearing a mask inside the White House.

“I get it,” DDT said about contacting the disease. He brags about going back to work because he’s a “leader.” He said, “I know there’s a risk, there’s a danger. That’s OK.” 

What’s not “OK” is endangering the lives of everyone in the United States. “Don’t be afraid of Covid. Don’t let it dominate your life,” he tweeted before he moved back to the White House to infect more people. Ignoring the tens of millions of people who don’t have medical insurance for treatment, he added, “We have developed, under the Trump Administration, some really great drugs & knowledge.” These drugs are experimental treatments unavailable to most people in the U.S. has included experimental treatments unavailable to most Americans.   

A large percentage of people hospitalized or otherwise treated for COVID-19 are over 65 years of age. New laws require insurance to pay for virus issues but not complications from the virus. Of the 62.7 million people receiving Medicare, 60 percent have only the basic coverage with no supplemental policies, requiring them to pay the $1,408 Part A deductible upon admission to the hospital. After the first 60 days, daily copays of $352 apply for the next 30 days. Beyond that, daily charges are $704, and patients moved to a nursing facility have no copays for the first 20 days. After that, it’s $176 daily. Part B has a $198 deductible and pays 20 percent of services. Even with Part D for medications, the cost, not counting the deductible can be up to $435. Both supplemental and prescription policies (Parts C and D) charge premiums.

Despite a law mandating free testing, loopholes allow insurance companies to charge thousands of dollars per test. People and the country are going bankrupt while DDT tells them to not worry about the pandemic because of treatment—for the wealthier.

Over half of agricultural workers are uninsured, and 130,000 contracted the virus. One-fourth of  restaurant, construction, and home care workers lack insurance as does ten percent of meatpacking and nursing home employees who have tens of thousands of virus cases. Grocery works, with over 11,000 cases, have an uninsured rate of over 12 percent. Most of them pay more taxes than DDT does. Receiving state-of-the-art medical treatment in his home housing a medical clinic, DDT paid only $1,500 in taxes for at least 12 years—an average of $125 a year.

DDT supposedly has not had a fever for 72 hours, but the steroids he takes suppress fever. Questions include how long he’ll take the meds and if the disease comes back. Herman Cain died 25 days after his diagnosis, only two days after he said he felt “better.” After effects can go on for months—fatigue, body aches, shortness of breath, low-grade fever, and mental fogginess, according to John Mellors, chief of the division of infectious diseases at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine.

Thus far, DDT’s three experimental medications are used only for severe cases of COVID-19—dexamethasone steroids, remdesivir, and the antibody therapy from Regeneron. In a public statement, Conley misspelled Regeneron and gave a description for it that the company denied. The steroid can give a feeling of well-being but also cause cataracts, glaucoma, and diabetes. Other side effects can be mood swings, memory issues, confusion. or irritation. DDT has close ties to Regenron, and its shares are skyrocketing.

Instead of being isolated in the hospital, DDT said he talked with wounded warriors and first responders in the hospital. To alleviate his boredom, his joy ride Sunday afternoon in his “hermetically sealed” SUV accompanied by Secret Service agents and a driver added to the numbers of people he has deliberately endangered—photographers, videographers, drivers, Secret Service agents, etc. They should all be quarantined, but none is regularly tested. Attending physician at Walter Reed hospital James Phillips, also doctor of emergency medicine at George Washington University, called DDT’s surprise drive-by visit outside the hospital “insanity.” There is no public record on the number of infected Secret Service agents, but VP Mike Pence’s trip to Arizona was postponed last summer because of the shortage of agents who are beginning to privately express their anger. [visual – covid progression]

Because of the questionable treatment and uncertain answers about DDT’s conditions, Phillips wondered about whether DDT was giving doctors orders about his treatment, especially his trip outside the hospital on Sunday. Phillips notes no other patient would be permitted this violation of care and asked: 

“At what point does the physician-patient relationship end, and does the commander in chief and subordinate relationship begin, and were those doctors ordered to allow this to happen? When I first saw this, I thought, maybe he was being transported to another hospital.”

A new News-Ipsos found 72 percent of people in the U.S. think DDT was not seriously enough concerned about the risk of contract COVID-19. https://www.cnn.com/2020/10/05/politics/cnn-poll-coronavirus-trump/index.html  In another poll, 69 percent said they didn’t trust most of White House reports on DDT’s health; only 12 percent believed most of it. DDT’s approval rating has dropped to 40 percent, and disapproval is up four points to 47 percent from early September.  

Sen. John Cornyn (R-TX) stated DDT had “let his guard down” to show that the country was moving beyond the virus and created “confusion” about how to stay safe. DDT is willing to kill anyone and jeopardize national security to give up the power.

October 2, 2020

The GOP in Quarantine—or Should Be

Less than 24 hours since Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) announced that he and his wife, Melania Trump, have tested positive for COVID-19, he was been airlifted to Walter Reid hospital and is being given experimental drugs for his deteriorating condition. Officials said he has a low-grade fever, chills, cough, and nasal congestion along with other symptoms. Wearing a mask, DDT was seen walking to the helicopter. Doctors said DDT will be hospitalized “for the next few days.” Before he left the White House, he filmed an upbeat 18-second video but seemed concerned about his health in private. Congressional leaders have not been briefed about DDT’s health.

Three journalists in the White House press corps, including New York Times correspondent Michael D. Shear, tested positive for the coronavirus on Friday. The White House will test all journalists on Monday. Also testing positive thus far is a White House staff member and 11 Cleveland media members and organizers responsible for pre-planning the debate.

The president of the University of Notre Dame tested positive for the virus after attending DDT’s ceremony [above] on September 26 announcing Amy Coney Barrett as his new Supreme Court nominee. At the announcement, he shook hands and didn’t wear a mask, meaning he may have infected others. He had tested negative for the event with a rapid testing process known for a high percentage of false results. 

Another attendee at last Saturday’s event, Kellyanne Conway, reportedly tested positive for coronavirus after her daughter posted videos to TikTok about her mother “coughing all around the house.” Conway was photographed talking with AG Bill Barr.

Two Republicans on the Senate Judiciary Committee testing positive are Mike Lee (UT) and Thom Tillis (NC). After testing positive, Lee said he felt symptoms while attending the Judiciary Committee, the first step in the Supreme Court justice confirmation process. He failed to wear a mask for at least part of the 90-minute meeting attended by most of the other 12 Republicans and ten Democrats. Committee members are to be tested now and in five days. Tillis was not present at the meeting. Also absent were two other Republicans, John Kennedy (LA) and Ben Sasse, (NE) as well as Democrat Kamala Harris (CA). The two diagnosed Republicans leaves committee membership at 10-10 of each political party. Both Lee and Tillis attended Barrett’s ceremony, and Lee was seen hugging people.

Earlier, it was believed DDT might have contracted the disease from Hope Hicks, announced positive for the virus on Thursday, but people connected to the White House within the past day indicate that Barrett’s ceremony may have been the cause for the spread. Barrett contacted coronavirus was diagnosed with COVID-19 last summer.

RNC chair Ronna McDaniel announced she had tested positive two days ago. She was with DDT on September 25 at a fundraiser and received a positive test five days later. DDT’s campaign manager, Bill Stepien, has also been diagnosed with coronavirus. The former manager is in the hospital with mental problems. 

Frequently, people claim they won’t wear masks because they don’t worry about contracting the coronavirus. Typically, cloth masks are used to protect others from contracting the disease, not the wearer. An infection takes five to seven days before detection, a time when people can be highly infectious. The rapid tests regularly used in White House for COVID-19 can have a high level of inaccuracy. Chris Wallace, who moderated Tuesday’s debate and sat about ten feet from the unmasked DDT, broke with Fox network policy when he said on Fox & Friends:

“I know I’m going to get a lot of pushback for this … Listen to people like Anthony Fauci and people like Deborah Birx who have been largely cut off, listen to the independent people who don’t have a political ax to grind. I frankly don’t think Scott Atlas [DDT’s new evidence-free guru] is one of those people…  Wear the damn mask and follow the science.”

With careless bravado, DDT has wandered the country, telling people he doesn’t worry about contracting COVID-19 and claiming the pandemic is over. Some of his rallies were outside, but others were in an enclosed area. His supporters at Tuesday night’s debate clustered together without masks, in spite of the requirements for using the facility, and DDT ridiculed Joe Biden for wearing “the biggest mask I’ve ever seen.” Even after his close aide Hope Hicks tested positive for the virus, DDT kept up his schedule of seeing people.

DDT’s current status of being positive for the coronavirus leaves a number of questions. With his age, obesity, high cholesterol, elevated blood pressure, and possibly more health problems, DDT is at heightened risk for serious effects. A light case can still leave permanent problems: having contacted COVID-19 is determined a pre-existing condition. With the deadline for voting in only 32 days, DDT has no political events “for the foreseeable future,” according to his staff. His casual attitude toward the pandemic can now be questioned after he irresponsibly failed to protect himself from infection while he was selected to lead the country and run for another term. 

DDT’s protection-optional events for the past week while he was infectious:

October 1: Travel to his Bedminster (NJ) golf resort for a fundraising committee reception and roundtable with supporters. (White House knew of Hope Hicks’ positive diagnosis before his trip.)

September 30: Speaking to reporters on South Lawn before campaigning in Minnesota with several politicians, a private fundraising event, and a campaign rally attended by about 3,000 people where he tossed MAGA hats into the audience.

September 29: His first debate after traveling to Cleveland with a large entourage

September 28: An outdoor event in Ohio and close to trade adviser Peter Navarro, Rep. Mike Turner (R-OH), Sen. Rob Portman (R-OH), and Lordstown Motors CEO Steve Burns among others with no masks plus news conference in Rose Garden.

September 27: Golfing at his course in Virginia before news conference in White House briefing room and reception for Gold Star families.

September 26: The ceremony of 150 people to nominate Barrett with 150 people followed a rally in Pennsylvania.

September 25: A roundtable event at his Miami Doral resort with over 100 people before another event in Atlanta. 

September 24: Healthcare speech in Charlotte (NC) before a campaign rally in Jacksonville (FL).

In typical DDT MO, he blames others. The man who wants to look strong can’t even tell people to keep their distance in a health crisis:

“It’s very hard when you’re with soldiers, when you are with airmen, when you’re with the Marines, and the police officers, I’m with them so much. And when they come over to you, it’s hard to say, ‘Stay back, stay back.’”

According to a Cornell University study, DDT is “the driver” of almost 38 percent of COVID-19 misinformation in 38 million media articles published in English around the world between January 1 and May 26. Misinformation includes “miracle cures,” the “deep state,” the virus as a Democratic hoax, the conspiracy theory about coronavirus originating in a Wuhan (China) lab, Bill Gates’ involvement with vaccines, the falsehood about 5G acting as part of the virus spread, and other anti-Semitic and population control conspiracy theories.

Melania Trump may be grateful for sequestration after news broke about videos showing her disregard for her position as First Lady and for children separated at the border.

Donald Trump Jr’s girlfriend and DDT’s campaign finance chair, Kimberly Guilfoyle, who yelled her speech at DDT’s nomination convention,  is also the focus of Jane Mayer’s article in The New Yorker. Mayer reported about Guilfoyle’s former assistant at Fox who filed a complaint concerning a requirement she frequently “work at Guilfoyle’s New York apartment while the Fox host displayed herself naked, and was shown photographs of the genitalia of men with whom Guilfoyle had had sexual relations. According to the assistant, Guilfoyle constantly talked luridly about her sex life and once demanded a massage of her bare thighs. Guilfoyle also forced the assistant to critique Guilfoyle’s naked body, required her to share a room on business trips, ordered her to have sex with a Fox employee, and urged her to sleep with powerful men. As Fox looked into the complaint, Guilfoyle tried to shut up the assistant with threats and bribes. Fox paid the assistant over $4 million and fired Guilfoyle.

For this coming week’s vice-presidential debate between VP Mike Pence and Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA), DDT’s campaign consented to a greater distance between the two candidates—12 feet—after DDT’s diagnosis. Yet they balked at the Biden campaign’s request that both candidates stand. The 61-year-old Pence may not be able to stand for 90 minutes, but he’ll likely be far more civil than DDT was last Tuesday.  

While DDT claims COVID-19 “affects virtually nobody,” an Arizona woman may be more accurate. About her father’s death from COVID-19, she said, “His only pre-existing condition was believing Donald Trump.”

August 4, 2020

Bad Leadership Worsens COVID-19 in U.S.

“It is what it is.” That’s the comment last night from Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) about the 150,000+ deaths from COVID-19 in the past five months. A few days ago, Axios’ Jonathan Swan pressed DDT about such issues as his not talking to Vladimir Putin about paying the Taliban to kill U.S. troops; yesterday, Swan’s 37-minute interview elicited DDT’s casual attitude toward people dying in the U.S.  [visual – Trump Swan]

The cumulative number of deaths from COVID-19 since the first identified one in February:

  • End of February: 2 deaths
  • End of March: 4,780 deaths
  • End of April: 64,943 deaths
  • End of May: 105,165 deaths
  • End of June: 128,062 deaths
  • End of July: 154,360 deaths

About these deaths, DDT says, “It is what it is.” With a daily average of 1,000, the number of deaths will rise to 300,000.

The Guardian’s John Crace described DDT’s “performance” as “a full torrent of subconsciousness. Incoherent, deluded, out of his depth. An object lesson in unchecked, X-rated narcissism. The only wonder was that Swan managed to keep a reasonably straight face throughout the best part of 40 minutes.”  Some jarring statements by DDT in Swan’s interview:

“You can’t do that!” DDT told Swan when he corrected DDT about his system of determining percentage of deaths in the U.S. DDT wants to use statistics of death as a proportion of cases—which makes the number seem fewer—instead of death as a proportion of the population used by most major scientists. 

“I don’t know John Lewis.” Swan had asked DDT how he thought history would memorialize the famous civil rights activist. DDT complained Lewis had not come to his inauguration ceremony. 

“Yeah, I wish her well.” DDT repeated his warmth for Ghislaine Maxwell, a predatory who provided under-age girls to Jeffrey Epstein in his child-trafficking operation. “I wish a lot of people well,” DDT continued although these people have not been women.

And more

“We had the highest rating in the history of Fox television.” Swan asked him about the Tulsa (OK) rally and health concerns. DDT also lied about the number of people who attended. It was 6,000—not 12,000. 

“You can test too much.” Asked who said that, DDT answered, “Read the manuals, read the books,” but he had no specifics.

“When I took over, we didn’t have a test.” DDT ignored Swan’s comment there was also no virus to be tested.

“I’ve done more for the black community than anybody, with the possible exception of Abraham Lincoln.” Swan asked if DDT “did not than Lyndon Johnson, who passed the Civil Rights Act.” DDT said, “Yeah” before he questioned whether the law was “working out.”

Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (D-AZ) tested positive for COVID-19 after DDT insisted that the hearing about clearing protesters from Lafayette Square be held in person instead of with video. A staunch anti-mask committee member attended the hearing, Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX), who tested positive earlier when he wanted to fly on Air Force One with DDT. Grijalva commented on the members of Congress who “routinely strut around the Capitol without a mask to selfishly make a political statement at the expense of their colleagues, staff, and their families.”

DDT called Dr. Deborah Birx “pathetic” after she publicly warned that the virus is “extraordinarily widespread,” worse than in the spring. She also argued against reopening schools at this time.

Gilead backed down in March from a monopoly on remdesivir after the drug showed promise as a COVID-19 treatment. Now, an investigation discovered that Gilead and HHS ignored a similar drug, GS-441524, which could be a better option. Gilead’s patent for GS-441524 expires several years before the one on remdesivir, making the latter drug much more profitable for Gilead even it is shown to be less effective for the virus. Gilead’s revenue of $22 billion last year equals $100,000 a day for over 600 years.

DDT and his Republicans want to cut off employment funds in the midst of the pandemic, but DDT gave a $2.1 billion contract for developing a COVID-19 vaccine to French drugmaker Sanofi and its British partner GlaxoSmithKline (GSK). Former GSK executive Dr. Moncef Slaoui, DDT’s “Coronavirus Czar,” is exempted from federal conflict of interest rules with a $1 million contract. Slaoui has kept all his GSK stock acquired during the past 29 years at the company. Concerned about DDT faking a vaccine to get reelected, people cite Slaoui’s history at GSK misrepresenting scientific research on Avandia, a diabetes drug increasing risks of heart attacks and deaths in tens of thousands of patients.

Thanks to DDT’s new system of using a private company instead of CDC to collect COVID-19 statistics, states don’t know how many people are hospitalized with the virus and capacity for bed and intensive care capacity. The private website hasn’t been updated since July 23. HHS has also told hospitals to stop reporting the total number of deaths since January 2, the total number of COVID-19 deaths, and the total number of COVID-19 admissions. As Texas experienced a peak in virus hospitalizations, the state department of health was “reporting incomplete hospitalization numbers.” HHS stated it is “pleased with the progress.” Unknown is which hospitals did not report, how large they are, whether the reported data is representative, and if the information is accurate. The new system reports only one-third of people current hospitalized in New York and few than half in Louisiana.

DDT spent $500 million on ventilators that won’t arrive until 2022 after repeatedly delaying an order by President Obama in 2014 for 10,000 ventilators to be delivered in June 2019. The delay led to DDT paying five times the cost as President Obama’s price, partly because DDT didn’t even bother to negotiate the cost.

Canada has upped its border patrols to prevent “caravans of Americans” from crossing over—reminiscent of DDT’s opposition to those “caravans” headed for his southern border during 1918 election campaigning. Eight in 10 Canadians want the U.S. border to stay closed due to the coronavirus. Thirty-two other countries have barred people crossing their borders from the U.S.

Iowa’s GOP Gov. Kim Reynolds threatened students with not receiving credit if they attended schools not providing at least 50 percent in-person instruction. Schools in at least three different states opening for in-person education have already sent home hundreds of people either infected or exposed to infected people. 

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) blames Democrats for the delay in passing a COVID-19 bill while he ignores the bill already passed in the House last May.

Charlie Kirk, a DDT youth co-founder in the collegiate alt-right racist organization Turning Point USA, is erasing tweets ridiculing COVID-19 on his social media after his friend and TPUSA co-founder Bill Montgomery died of the virus last week. Suddenly the pandemic became more serious—and personal—to Kirk. He had attended DDT’s campaign rally in an Arizona church resulting in a virus outbreak among Secret Service and organizers, including Donald Trump Jr’s girlfriend, Kimberly Guilfoyle. Arizona has the second-highest rate of COVID-19 in the U.S. which has the highest rate of critical cases in the world.

Churches throughout the U.S. have flaunted the need for masks and social distancing, sometimes suing governments to let them gather during the pandemic. Several weeks ago, one of them set off a surge of COVID-19 in a small Oregon county, infecting hundreds of people in the community. Following the biblical verse “you reap what you sow,” at least 60 more people were infected in three separate churches last week, and the number is expected to climb. Thus far, only one minister has apologized for sickening his congregation, but the remainder follow conspiracy theorist DeAnna Lorraine who claims that she will “prefer to have faith.” Her type of faith caused 100 guests secretly attending a wedding in San Francisco to take the virus home with them. The Andrew Wommack Ministries’ conference already infected 22 people, despite warnings from health authorities. The same thing happened from a week-long revival in Alabama’s Warrior Creek Missionary Baptist Church.

According to a new NPR/IPSOS poll, 65 percent of in the U.S. think the nation is handling the pandemic worse than other countries, and almost 60 percent support a nationwide order to stay home for two weeks although DDT rejects any lockdown. Ten days ago, 73 percent agreed the coronavirus situation is getting worse, and 83 percent believed it will disrupt their lives through at least the end of 2020. Satisfaction with how things are going in the U.S. is down seven points to 13 percent from early June and 32 points lower than February’s 45 percent. It’s the lowest “satisfied” since November 2011 and just six points above the all-time low in 2008.

August 4: USA virus infections – 4,918,420; deaths – 160,290. (The number of COVID-19 cases will hit 5 million in two days. But “it is what it is.”)

July 22, 2020

DDT’s ‘Law & Order’ Tries to Distract from the Real Crisis–Public Health, Economy

On the website Bulwark, Jonathan Last pointed out the problems of DDT’s latest ad. Brad Parscale was fired as DDT’s campaign manager after advertising about DDT protecting a statue of Jesus—in Rio de Janeiro. Parscale’s replacement, Bill Stepien, has this ad on Facebook promoting DDT as the “law and order” candidate.”

Problems with this image of protesters beating up a police officer:

The photo comes from 2014.

In Ukrainian.

As the protesters are pro-democracy. Beating up a member of the riot police protecting the authoritarian president Viktor Yanukovych who tried to use extralegal means in his attempt to make Ukraine a one-party state.

Worse, Yanukovych used a specialized federal internal police force answering only to him and used to assault his political opponents and tamper with elections. Yanukovych locked up his opponent, former Prime Minister Yulia V. Tymoshenko.

Worst. The photo was taken eight days before 338 of 447 Parliament members voted to remove Yanukovych from office. Three days later Yanukovych sought asylum in Moscow because he was Vladimir Putin’s puppet. The Ukrainian people filled charges of treason against Yanukovych and convicted him in absentia of “high treason.” Ten years earlier, Yanukovych had employed Paul Manafort to help his party.

The Bulwark may classify itself a Republican center-right publication, but it’s got lots of interesting stuff! Like this article by Mona Charen. She writes about how DDT is correct about a current crisis—injured people, property damage in the millions, fear, lack of control, a need for federal response because local governments can’t handle the situation, desecration of sacred things, a psychological cost, a toll on the national spirit. Charen’s point: “If it requires the full mobilization of federal forces to deal with the crisis, that’s what we should do.”

The crisis Charen describes is an emergency requiring “sustained attention, comprehension, and teamwork”—public health and the economy. DDT has done nothing for the economy and damaged the former. His economy was merely an extension of the expansion beginning in 2009: the average annual GOP growth rate for DDT’s first three years was only 0.2 percent higher than that of President Obama which includes the last few months of his inherited Great Recession.

“Stewardship of the economy requires more than signing a tax cut bill and discouraging over-regulation. It requires peering out over the bow and spinning the wheel hard when you see an enormous iceberg. Trump saw the iceberg. Or at least he should have: It was included in his security briefings for weeks. His first officer was mumbling nervously about it. But Trump refused to take action to save the ship. He told the crew it wasn’t an iceberg, just an ice floe. He said it would go away.”

The only two actions DDT can cite for his COVID-19 solution are restricting travel to and from China and to and from Europe. Even those bans didn’t include everyone. Otherwise, DDT ignored the pandemic, discouraged a systematic departmental/agency approach, and said governors had to fix the problem. At the same time, he stole their medical supplies before blaming them for the shortages. Several months later, DDT repeats testing is responsible for the huge number of infections.

DDT is responsible for the mask politicizing, convincing his voting base rejecting mask-wearing and social-distancing is masculine and brave. By the time the CDC got around to adding mask guidelines for staying healthier, DDT had convinced most Republicans to not protect themselves and others. To the GOP brain, “freedom” is getting physically close to everyone and avoiding masks.

As a distraction, DDT sends unidentified goons to cities, beginning with Portland (OR) where protesters sprayed graffiti, started fires, and three objects at policy. His personal unidentified militia beats people, shoots them, and snatches them off the street with no provocation. DDT claims, “We’re not going to let this happen to our country.” At the same time, over 4 million people have contracted COVID-19 and almost 150,000 people, probably far more, have died of the disease, and he lets “this happen to our country.”

Gregg Hurwitz followed Charen’s piece with “Income Injustice: The problem isn’t creeping socialism. It’s creeping oligarchy.”

“When Democrats rail against income inequality, that doesn’t mean they believe all incomes should be equal, in spite of what Trump and some Republicans want you to think. No Democrat—not Nancy Pelosi, not AOC, not any of them—believes that. What they are talking about is income injustice. They’re talking about:

  • “Wage growth for workers at the bottom of the income ladder growing 1 percent in the last 40 years, while income for the top earners rose by 347 percent.
  • “The 40 percent of Americans today who could not handle a $400 emergency.
  • “The 1-in-6 Americans who experience food insecurity daily—which amounts to 49 million of our fellow citizens, including over 16 million kids.
  • “All while Trump and his Senate enablers give a $1 trillion to the richest Americans in a tax cut; while Trump bails out a private jet company owned by one of his donors to the tune of $27 million; while the deficit reaches the highest percent of GDP since World War II; while Trump charges the American people hundreds of thousands of dollars to hold events at his private properties.

“None of this represents a free market. None of this has anything to do with the American values of innovation, hard work, and competition. It is simply a transfer of wealth: from the poor and middle-class to the rich. And the transfer happened not because the rich worked harder or created more value, but because they had more money to give to lobbyists and politicians.

“Every time a corporation gets bailed out with American tax dollars and uses it for stock buybacks or corporate bonuses, we are watching the market become less free, and capitalism continue its slide into oligarchy.

“The American Dream is about opportunity. It’s about making a fair wage that pays for food and medicine for your family, or having fair access to loans to create your own small business or sustain your family’s farm. The American Dream is a baseline of opportunity for all of us to have a shot to work hard and create a life for themselves and their families—which turns us into taxpayers and consumers, who in turn contribute to and benefit from our wonderful system of capitalism.

“It’s time to admit that the past 40 years has seen the system increasingly rigged and corrupted under both Republican and Democratic leadership. We can all agree on that, whether you’re a libertarian, a Bernie Bro, or a proud worker hoping to MAGA—whether you’re part of the white working class or a person of color struggling to get fair access to a loan or basic healthcare, whether you’re a suburban liberal or a country-club Republican.

“But it’s time to cut through the noise designed to distract and confuse you. There are no socialists in the 2020 election. Only people who want a fair version of capitalism, and oligarchs.”

Hurwitz’s statistics don’t take into account the impending huge disaster during the past couple of months—and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) finds the situation humorous. The $1,200 sent to millions of people is long gone: 12 million people didn’t even get the check although they were eligible. Unemployment for almost 30 million people runs out this week while DDT insists the elimination of payroll taxes be part of the bill and opposes an unemployment benefit extension. DDT wants the payroll tax eliminated to give more money to corporations and slash Social Security and Medicare benefits in the future. And the unemployed get nothing out of the deal. Republicans have been coasting on another stimulus bill since the House passed it in May. Asked if a bill will be passed to help the unemployed people to pay August’s rent, McConnell just laughed. And Congress vanishes for over a month beginning in early August.

Meanwhile, DDT wants to take the United States back two centuries to when the constitution had a “three-fifths clause,” making Blacks less than a full person. He wants to dehumanize undocumented immigrants by skipping them in the ten-year census population count, the basis for seats per state in the House of Representatives. This last week, DDT issued a “memorandum” announcing “the policy of the United States (aka DDT): not all people count. The Three-Fifths Clause was repealed by the 14th Amendment declaring the numbers of a state were “the whole number of persons in each state, excluding Indians not taxed.” The amendment also used the term “inhabitants.” DDT’s “policy” asserts undocumented immigrants are not “persons” under the 14th Amendment, instead equivalent to “visiting” diplomats, tourists, and businessmen. Immigrants, however, are members of their communities who established their presence in the U.S. DDT also argues a count of these immigrants will be “encouraging violations of Federal law.” As dictator, he believes he, personally, can determine who is a “person.”

The House may not accept DDT’s census count, and states can sue him. And DDT will avoid the real crisis—public health and economy.

June 25, 2020

COVID-19 Hits the News After Massive Increases in Infections

Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) has doggedly avoided the COVID-19 disaster while the pandemic worsens, especially in the United States. On June 24, the U.S. reportedly had its highest number of new infections—45,557 cases—which brings the total number in the nation to almost 2.5 million. The high daily count of over 9,000 more than the second highest number—25 percent more—was traced to southern and western states’ reopening businesses for Memorial Day.

By contrast, the Northeast demonstrated significant decreases in cases using social distancing and mask wearing. To keep the number of infections down, New York, New Jersey, and Connecticut require 14-day quarantines for travelers from eight states having spikes in their COVID-19 numbers. DDT plans to violate the new ruling when he goes to his Bedminster golf club this weekend after having gone to Arizona, one of the travel advisory states, earlier this week, where he also violated a city ordinance by not wearing a mask. He claims that he’s “not a civilian.” Only New York will punish violators, specifically with fines beginning at $2,000. The quarantine also applies travelers from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, North Carolina, South Carolina, Utah and Texas.

In northern Phoenix (AZ), Dream City megachurch, where DDT gave a speech to an audience of 3,000 seated closely together mostly without masks, bragged about the installation of a product killing “99.9% of COVID within 10 minutes. Created by some church members, the technology used bogus advertising: the analysis was on Coronavirus 229E—responsible for the common cold—in empty rooms, not with crowds of 3,000 in proximity shown in this photo. Dr. Philip Tierno, clinical professor of pathology at New York University, responded to the church’s claim:

“You will ABSOLUTELY NOT BE SAFE AND PROTECTED. When you are dealing with hundreds or thousands of people in an AUDITORIUM, some of whom will carry the virus you WILL NOT BE absolutely PROTECTED.”

Evangelical religion is still killing people, and Billy Graham’s son Franklin Graham is promoting these deaths. In an attack on Dr. Anthony Fauci, leading expert on COVID-19 in the U.S., Graham said,

Science isn’t truth. God is.”

Thanks to DDT, the COVID-19 crisis is so horrific in the U.S. that Europe is considering a travel ban from the U.S. this summer because it “has failed to control the scourge” along with visitors from Russia and Brazil.

DDT’s definition of “zero” seems to be 16,600, the number of ventilators “on the shelves” when he was inaugurated. Although DDT also complained how ventilators were obsolete, they couldn’t be used for the epidemic because DDT didn’t pay for their upkeep. Even VP Mike Pence wrote last week that the stockpile had 10,000 ventilators on hand.

States with high spikes are suffering from overwhelming hospital use. Florida, with the worst spike per capita, has only 21 percent for adult intensive care units, and only 12 percent of Arizona’s ICU beds are available.

According to CDC Director Robert Redfield, the number of COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is probably ten times higher than those reported. He added that the recent surge in the South and West is driven by young people. Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who has promoted the re-opening of his state, announced a pause in the process and suspended elective surgeries in four counties.

Sick workers can’t stay home because 40 percent of essential workers—69.4 million people—aren’t covered by the congressional paid sick leave law passed in March. The number includes 17.7 million healthcare workers. One-third of these healthcare workers are people of color, and 75 percent are women. Thus far, 40 percent of all COVID-19 related deaths—over 50,000—are nursing home residents and workers.

Larry Kudlow is still spreading misinformation by saying he doesn’t expect a second wave of the virus. People “just have to live with” the new hot spots across the country, he said. The day before, virus expert Dr. Anthony Fauci testified that the U.S. is still in the first wave and used the term “disturbing surge” for new cases in states such as Arizona, Florida, and Texas.

Meanwhile, DDT is still pushing the myth that the numbers increased because of “GREAT TESTING,” a theme at his Tulsa rally where he said he told his people to “slow down the testing.” Despite Republicans’ attempt to protect him by saying it was a joke, DDT said it wasn’t. He held up the $14 billion Congress allotted for testing three months ago and removed support from 13 testing sites in five states, including seven sites in Texas. Dr. Anthony Fauci also said the federal government abruptly canceled funding to important research on bat coronaviruses by the National Institutes of Health. The project collaborates with a virologist at the Wuhan Institute of Virology. In opposition to conspiracy theorists, scientists claim that the WIV is not the source of COVID-19.

Expert statistician Nate Silver tweeted the positive percentage of infections from testing went up to 5.3 percent on June 21, up from 4.4 percent a week earlier on June 14. Even GOP senators think that more testing is important.

Creative scammers are endangering the health of people in the U.S. For example, a Silicon investor and his business partner hired workers to take Chinese KN95 masks from packages labeled “MEDICAL USE PROHIBITED” and put them into packages without the warning which were then sold to Texas. Masks filter as little as 39 percent of particles, and China was blamed for sending faulty products. Details of the scam are here.

DDT’s determination to expand COVID-19 in Tulsa has been a success. Despite six DDT campaign staffers infected with COVID-19 pulled from attending the rally, another two infected people were in attendance. Now, dozens of Secret Service officers (the ones who DDT calls “SS) are in self-quarantine because of exposure. Two Secret Service agents were among the first six discovered with the virus among the advance staff and ordered to stay away. The day before their diagnosis, they met with dozens of other staff, and another two campaign staffers tested positive. When campaign spokesman said “no COVID-positive staffers or anyone in immediate contact will be at today’s rally or near attendees and elected officials,” he evidently didn’t consider a meeting to be “immediate contact.” Yesterday, four days after DDT’ campaign rally, Tulsa had a new record number of new infections. With no evidence, the city’s GOP mayor said the 259 newly infected people got it from “people going to weddings and funerals and family gatherings and bars and other things like that, that are causing this uptick.” Another week will provide more information.  

In a devastating turn of events for the unemployed and those on furlough, insurance companies don’t have to pay for COVID-19 test required to return to their jobs. DDT signed the Families first Coronavirus Response Act in March which mandates insurers and employer-provide plans cover “Covid-19 testing and related services without cost-sharing.” In April, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission stated employers are legally permitted to force employees to take Covid-19 viral tests to determine whether it is safe for them to return to the workplace. The administration’s guidance, however, maintains that the law covers only “medically appropriate” coronavirus screenings, not tests “conducted to screen for general workplace health and safety (such as employee ‘return to work’ programs).” Several states, including New York and New Jersey, require the hot spots of nursing homes to test employees, but these places tried to bill insurance companies because they couldn’t pay for the costs. Some insurance companies refuse.

Last night, DD’s administration filed a brief with the Supreme Court to invalidate the entire Affordable Care Act in an effort to leave more people without insurance. It’s another attempt to destroy health care during a surging pandemic.

For a second day, COVID-19 surged across the U.S. to 40,184 new coronavirus infections and a spike of 2,500 deaths. Texas, Alabama, Missouri and Nevada reported daily highs.

Sixty percent of Jacksonville (FL) residents don’t want DDT to bring the GOP convention there in late August, and 61 percent, including a majority of Republicans, believe that doing this will cause a new coronavirus outbreak. A newer poll from the University of North Florida surveying Duval County voters upped the concern to 71 percent who are “very or somewhat concerned” the convention would result in COVID-19 transmission.

Two months ago, VP Mike Pence, then head of the coronavirus task force, predicted that the epidemic will be “largely past” by Memorial Day weekend. It isn’t. Pence will lead the first press briefing in almost two months tomorrow afternoon at HHS. With the November election looming, DDT wants to distance himself as much as possible with his failure in managing the epidemic.

June 25: number of COVID-19 cases – 2,504,588; number of COVID-19 deaths – 126,780. Or more.

May 25, 2020

DDT Golfs, Spreads Hate during Time of Remembrance

On Memorial Day weekend, Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) celebrated the dead–both in wartime and in his COVID-19 disaster–by golfing on both Saturday and Sunday.

DDT’s furious Sunday tweets before Memorial Day also reflect his obsession with himself on the day set aside to honor the men and women who have died while serving in the military. Combat fatalities of over 432,000 since World War I may share with the almost 100,000 COVID-19 fatalities because DDT calls himself the “wartime president.” In addition to playing golf, however, DDT managed to tweet a large number of vicious statements against his perceived enemies and in favor of false conspiracy theories:

  • Mocked former Georgia gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams’s weight, tweeting she had “visited every buffet restaurant in the State” in a doctored retweet of Abrams.
  • Ridiculed the looks of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), retweeting a statement about using duct tape instead of PolyGrip: “she won’t be able to drink booze on the job as much.” (According to Pelosi’s office, she, like DDT, does not drink alcohol.)
  • Retweeted a message callins former Democratic presidential rival Hillary Clinton and Secretary of State a “skank.”
  • Insinuated through his repetition of the debunked conspiracy that MSNBC news host Joe Scarborough murdered a staff member after an affair with her.
  • Declared, with no evidence, that mail-in voting routinely stuffs the ballot box.
  • Claimed “tremendous rave reviews” for hydroxychloroquine, shown to be dangerous to life for COVID-19 patients and retweeted the day before hydroxychloroquine “Is Most Effective EARLY” for treating COVID-19—a completely false statement.
  • Blamed former AG Jeff Sessions, who he nominated, of having “no courage.”
  • Mandated the immediate opening of schools after hearing this request from Fox’s Steve Hilton, who also called social distancing rules “over-prescriptive” and “arbitrary.” DDT ignored social distance during his golf games. 
  • Lied about “cases, numbers and deaths … going down all over the country!” (This was the only tweet about the epidemic—no reference to people dying on his watch.)

Rural counties with some of the highest rates of covid-19 cases and deaths in the country are topping infection and death rates of even the hardest-hit New York City boroughs as states lift shelter-in-place mandates. Arkansas Gov. Asa Hutchinson reported a “second peak” in infections, and North Carolina had its biggest one-day increase of confirmed cases. Ohio’s number of deaths doubled on Saturday from Friday.  determined. Nine days ago, Texas, determined to be open, reported 1,801 new COVID-19 cases, the biggest single-day jump in cases since the pandemic began, from a growing outbreak in the Panhandle. Maryland hit a new high mark with 1,784 newly confirmed COVID-19 cases on one day, just four days after reopening its economy. The number was one-fourth of tests performed that day. Many of the cases were between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore.

Numbers of infections and deaths in the U.S. are higher than May 10-11

Four days ago, the coronavirus still spread at epidemic rates in 24 states, particularly in the South and Midwest and in states that had reopened. The model shows what happens if people move around as they did before the epidemic and fail to take precautions. Many of these place are depending on individual responsibility for actions. As one leader in western Iowa said, “Families need to make their own decisions.” Bad decisions created pockets of infections as this tourist spot in Missouri soon will provide 

I live in a popular tourist area on the Oregon coast. Over the weekend, I drove around to see what was happening since the county was granted Phase I permission to open lodging and restaurants. The Bayfront had many people not observing social distancing, and the parking lots were packed where people were launching their boats. No masks and no seeming concern—back to “normal” on a Memorial Day weekend.

Although DDT read a speech with no voice inflection this morning at Arlington Cemetery, he continued his threats and ranting throughout the day, four of them about moving the RNC from Charlotte if North Carolina Gov. Roy Cooper (D) tries to limit capacity at the August event through social distancing to protect workers and attendees from the virus. He tweeted if the arena can’t be “fully occupied,” the GOP will take “all of the jobs and economic development” someplace else. Social media has suggested that DDT may try to move the RNC to one of his resorts, even Mar-a-Lago, because he already suggested that the event can be held in “a hotel ballroom in Florida.” The RNC is considering limiting convention goers to delegates, leaving alternative delegates at home for the August 24-27 event.

After the DNC postponed its convention in Milwaukee (WI) from July to August 17-20, it plans to vote by mail to leave final convention decisions to a state and local team of health and elected officials. Five days ago, city health commissioner Jeanette Kowalik said she preferred a “more virtual” convention. An alternative might be smaller regional events for delegates and party leaders accompanying a minimized main event, preferably held in five or six battleground states. Several DNC-related venues have been canceled, and a large number of delegates report not attending

Another all-about-DDT event was his speech at Fort Henry after Maryland’s Gov. Larry Hogan and Baltimore’s mayor Bernard C. Young asked him not to come to the state during the health crisis. Republican Hogan did not attend the speech. Young said the city couldn’t afford the costs of his visit and DDT’s “deciding to pursue nonessential travel sends the wrong message to our residents.” DDT’s spokesman justified DDT’s presence at Fort Henry by comparing him to the military service members because he didn’t “stay home” just as they didn’t.

In an interview with ultra-conservative Sinclair before golfing, DDT called himself the victim—not the 100,000 dead people and the almost 1.7 million infected people—because a model shows that two weeks’ earlier action on stopping COVID-19 could have saved about half these lives. DDT complained that Fox is “doing nothing to help Republicans, and me, get re-elected on November 3rd.” He sees that as the responsibility of a news network that has claimed to be “fair and balanced” until three years ago. About Fox, Rolling Stone reported:

“The network, at its core, is a giant soundstage created to mimic the look and feel of a news operation, cleverly camouflaging political propaganda as independent journalism. The result is one of the most powerful political machines in American history. One that plays a leading role in defining Republican talking points and advancing the agenda of the far right.”

Gone is the builder of Fox, Roger Ailes, who was media consultant for Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and George H.W. Bush before he advised DDT’s 2016 campaign. DDT wants to switch to the king of conspiracy theories, OANN, especially after the family of Tommy Hicks, RNC co-chair and close friend of DDT’s son Donald Jr., is negotiating to buy the network.

CDC officials say that science is taking a back seat to politics, and DDT’s latest maneuver to put all COVID-19 decisions under his thumb in the State Department demonstrates the CDC complaint. Because Dr. Deborah Birx has been effective at agreeing with DDT about his outrageous comments and doesn’t argue against him, DDT may move the global pandemic response from an infectious expert, Dr. Anthony Fauci, and give it to Birx in a State Department health organization. That puts decisions under the control of far-right evangelical anti-science Mike Pompeo, the Secretary of State comfortable with lying to give DDT anything he wants. The World Health Organization would be gone, and the State Department would be in charge of COVID-19 treatment and vaccines. The new State Department authority on the virus even has a name—PRO, or President’s Response to Outbreaks. It just has no experts in epidemiology, health policy, and medical logistics. 

On May 25, 2020—Memorial Day—confirmed deaths from COVID-19 are just 195 short of 100,000 although the number is more because some states are lying to keep their numbers down and their reopening more possible. That’s an average of 1,111 a day since the first recorded death in the U.S. on February 26. Seven states hit hard by COVID-19 reported almost 50 percent higher total deaths—9,000 more—than normal between March 8 and April 11. That was almost seven weeks ago (another 15,000 extra deaths?) and before states like Florida, Georgia, and South Dakota were shown to be hiding some of their cases.  

Combat fatalities in Gulf Wars from both Bushes—5,818—averaged .75 each day. At an average of at least 1,111 fatalities per day during the past 90 days, the 100,000 in DDT’s “war” is higher than the under 87,000 combat fatalities in all the “conflicts” since 1950 in Korea, Vietnam, and the Middle East are under 87,000.

That’s the record for Memorial Day 2020. We have another year for hundreds of thousands of more deaths if DDT continues to value his stock market over people’s lives.

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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