Nel's New Day

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 24, 2020

Week 174 – Some Good News, Voting Squabbles

A federal judge overturned a new Florida law requiring felons to pay court fines and fees before they can register to vote, as permitted by an initiative passed in 2018 by 65 percent of the voters. The constitutional amendment expanded voting rights for those who completed “all terms of their sentence including probation and parole.” Judge Robert L. Hinkle compared the state law to a tax, unconstitutionally illegal.

In addition to using security agents as servants, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had them pack household goods and move his mother-in-law into a retirement home. Pompeo also ordered state Department officials to fabricate a justification for the emergency authorization to force an $8 billion arms deal without congressional approval and then hide it. To keep from firing Pompeo, DDT is trying to persuade him to run for Kansas senator. June 1 is the deadline for filing for candidacy.

Rachel Maddow is off the hook, at least temporarily, for a $10 million defamation lawsuit by One America News Network (OANN) after she said a writer for the right-leaning channel publishes the same material for Russia’s state propaganda network. On July 22, 2019, Maddow cited a Daily Beast article on her show, saying it reported OANN “has a full-time on-air reporter who covers U.S. politics, who is also simultaneously on the payroll of the Kremlin.” Maddow added, “The most obsequiously pro-Trump right wing news outlet in America really literally is paid Russian propaganda.” OANN plans to appeal the lawsuit’s dismissal.

Two Democratic FCC commissioners claim a $48 million fine with no admission of guilt for Sinclair is insufficient punishment for the conservative network’s violations of regulations and asked for harsher punishments and greater scrutiny into whether Sinclair should be allowed to own any television stations.  Sinclair lied for an FCC review in its attempt to buy Tribune Media, causing the merger to collapse; didn’t report its providing accounting services to TV stations it didn’t own to the FCC; and aired sponsored programming 1,723 times without telling viewers the content was paid by a hospital group and not news.

The EPA admitted ignoring serious problems with rolling back the regulation to reduce automobile pollution through mileage standards. The agency had not seen about two-thirds of the 1,000-page document that Transportation Department staffers gave the White House as justification for the changes, and the top EPA official said that the Transportation had not addressed over 250 comments from EPA experts. Documents about objections from EPA staff may create legal problems for the rule mandating an improvement of average fuel efficiency because of the rules that the EPA broke. In the margins of the new regulation, agency staff wrote:

“The action revising the [greenhouse gas] standards will result in increased climate impacts and air pollution emissions compared to the existing standards.”

Sen. Thomas R. Carper (D-DE) wrote that the EPA failed to enter document into the public record, changed the rule after it was signed, and didn’t follow it obligation to write part of the mileage rule:

“The result is a policy that fails to protect public health, fails to save money, fails to result in safer vehicles and will, ultimately and undoubtedly, fail in court.”

Even without protection from DDT’s EPA, scientists say that the worldwide drop in carbon emissions from coronavirus shutdowns could be the largest in recorded history. The 17-percent decrease from the same month last year is the same as emission levels in 2006, according to an analysis of the 69 countries responsible for 97 percent of global carbon dioxide emissions. Forty-three percent of the decrease came from reduced surface transportation.

DDT is launching the latest phase of his pre-election smear campaign against Democrats, and faithful loyalist Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI), chair of Senate Homeland Security Committee, wants to help him. He declassified an email former White House National Security Advisor Susan Rice wrote herself as a reminder immediately before DDT’s inauguration about a discussion with President Obama and his team concerning Michael Flynn. Rice’s email states:

“[President Obama] stressed that he is not asking about, initiating or instructing anything from a law enforcement perspective. He reiterated that our law enforcement team needs to proceed as it normally would by the book.”

Rice – 1; Johnson – 0. And Flynn – 0. 

Rice called on DDT to release the transcripts of phone calls between Flynn and the Russian ambassador during the transition while Barack Obama was president. Flynn pled guilty—twice—to his private conversations with a foreign country with the goal of undermining his own country’s foreign policy. No release is impending.

Watching judicial decisions regarding Texas absentee voting is like watching a ping-pong game. The state’s AG, Ken Paxton, has fought to keep from expanding the extremely narrow parameters for absentee voters, even if people are in danger of being infected and dying from COVID-19. With no evidence, his excuse is “fraud.” The latest ruling from a Texas federal judge permits absentee ballots for voters afraid of catching the virus, applying the law to all registered voters who “lack immunity from Covid-19 and fear infection at polling places.” This ruling supersedes the decision from the state Supreme Court stopping five counties from issuing mail-in ballots. The next Texas election is July 14, and July 2 is the last day to apply for an absentee ballot. Paxton filed an appeal.

COVID-19 caused almost 30 states to change rules or practices for this year’s primaries or the general election, affecting roughly 86.6 million registered voters and more than 40 million people who now have the temporary right to cast an absentee ballot. Over a dozen states postponed primaries because of the virus, and 11 states requiring an excuse to vote by mail may use the virus for a reason. Another 12 states and the District of Columbia are proactively sending absentee ballot applications or request forms to voters specifically because of the coronavirus. Roughly 34.7 million people will receive the forms. Maryland, Montana, Nevada, and New Jersey sending absentee ballots for the primaries to approximately 11.3 million voters joined five other states that already mailed ballots to voters. In the 34 states that already do not require an excuse to vote absentee or by mail, the number of requests have shot up by ten times over 2016. Before the onset of the virus, Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, Washington, and Utah already conduct elections by mail. Only Kentucky made voting more onerous by requiring government-issued photo IDs. ID-issuing offices are closed in the state.

With no evidence, DDT told reporters that mail-in ballots lead to “forgeries” and “thousands and thousands of fake ballots.” He added a diatribe about people printing “fraudulent ballots” and said “a lot of things can happen.” “To really vote, and without fraud, you have to go and you have to vote at the polling place,”  said DDT, the man who voted by mail from an address that Florida says he can’t have as a legal residential address. Previously, he said that Republicans need to block mail-in ballots to keep electing Republicans. DDT’s family also votes by mail.

DDT is so desperate to keep blue states from voting by mail that he threatened to block funding to Michigan and Nevada because he was under the impression that the states were mailing ballots. In fact, the states mailed applications for absentee ballots. GOP-led states such as Nebraska, West Virginia and Georgia made similar plans to offer applications for absentee ballots, but DDT has no comments about these red states. Interference with elections is unconstitutional.

Colorado, the third state after Washington and Oregon to legislate complete vote by mail, found the practice popular and relatively free of fraud—only 0.0027 percent out of 2.5 million ballots. In 2018, the state had the second highest turnout rate in the country after a 9.4 percent increase among registered voters. In April, 79 percent of Democrats and 65 percent of Republicans supported mail-in ballots for 2020. Yet the RNC and DDT’s re-election campaign are paying $20 million to fight voting changes in battleground states. Many Colorado Republicans advocate mail voting, and supporters say it’s safe because of paper ballots, signature verifications, a risk-limiting audit, and voter list checks make it safe. Research shows that neither party benefited from the mail-in system.

Vote by mail is also safer health wise. Wisconsin’s in-person primaries on April 7, mandated by the state Supreme Court and the GOP legislators, led to a “large” spread of coronavirus, according to a study.  

DDT may think that he can postpone the November election, mandated by the U.S. Constitution. About postponement, DDT’s son-in-law, Jared Kushner, said, “I’m not sure I can commit one way or the other, but right now that’s the plan.” Backlash forced Kushner to backtrack to the media: 

“I have not been involved in, nor am I aware of any discussions about trying to change the date of the Presidential election.”   [photo – Kushner]

A  federal judge allowed a federal lawsuit against DDT, his three oldest children, and his company of collaboration with a fraudulent marketing scheme to prey on investors. The case involves an exchange of “secret” payments for use of DDT’s former reality TV show The Celebrity Apprentice and other promotional events to boost ACN Opportunity, a telecommunications marketing company linked to a nonprofit that used Trump’s brand to appeal to teens. According to the lawsuit, the Trumps profited off the poor and vulnerable by “systematically defrauding economically marginalized people.”

May 24: COVID-19 deaths are 99,300—just 700 short of 100,000.

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.”   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.


May 20, 2020

DDT Plays Doctor, Goes Goofy

Filed under: Health Care — trp2011 @ 10:44 PM
Tags: , , , ,

President Trump told reporters on Monday that he has been taking hydroxychloroquine for about a week and a half and that the White House physician knows he is taking the anti-malaria drug despite the fact he continues to test negative for the coronavirus. No one knows if he’s taking the drug or just lying. His doctor’s memo of May 18, 2020, merely said that that he had discussed the issue with DDT, and they “concluded the potential benefit from treatment outweighed the relative risks.” Even without saying that he had prescribed the drug, the doctor helps persuade vulnerable and gullible people to take a drug that can kill them. Fox’s Neil Cavuto made that very clear by tweeting:

“If you are in a risky population here, and you are taking this as a preventative treatment … it will kill you. I cannot stress enough. This will kill you.”

DDT made his fury at Cavuto and Fox very clear in a tweet barrage last Monday. One of DDT’s retweets showed that he missed the black humor from the tweeter:

Neil Cavuto: It’ll kill you!!!

Laura Ingraham: Take it! Take it! Take it!

Fox has had a reputation for attacking Dr. Anthony Fauci, who disagrees with DDT about the efficacy of a dangerous unapproved drug for COVID-19.  The GOP website Bulwark compared medical expert Fauci with DDT and asked, “To whom would you go if you get sick?” But DDT needs to get rid of 29 million dosages that he’s stockpiled.

DDT’s claims seems to be just another simple assertion that he’s right, no matter what, and that he needs to distract people from his weekly firing of an inspector general.

Sidney Blumenthal, a former senior adviser to President Bill Clinton, has some questions for the doctor who wrote a memo indicating approval of DDT taking hydroxychloroquine. He has these questions:

Is DDT’s “statement that he is taking the drug … true?” Prominent pundits think not.

“If it is not true that Trump is taking the drug, why has Dr. Conley lied in violation of (Food and Drug Administration) guidelines, medical standards, ethics and professionalism? Who instructed or encouraged him to lie?” (It should be noted that the FDA is covering for Conley by softening the guidelines in prescribing the drug.)

“The 25th Amendment was passed, in part, because the White House physician for President Franklin D. Roosevelt covered up his debilitating heart disease. Is Dr. Conley violating the spirit of that constitutional amendment?”

Will Conley’s actions “be reviewed and held to account by the Department of Defense given that he is a military officer?”

Could the drug have an affect on DDT’s mental health?  Blumenthal wrote, “Medical researchers have concluded that hydroxychloroquine may cause neuropsychiatric symptoms, ‘including agitation, insomnia, confusion, mania, hallucinations, paranoia, depression, catatonia, psychosis and suicidal ideation. Has Dr. Conley properly assessed his patient, President Trump, for his susceptibility to these symptoms? Since Trump has been taking the drug, has Dr. Conley observed that it has produced or exacerbated any of these symptoms in President Trump?”

DDT’s campaign manager Brad Parscale, frantically trying to keep his job after DDT’s re-election polls keep dropping, approves of DDT’s taking the drug because the Association of American Physicians and Surgeons endorses hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19. Anyone who hears that also needs to know that the 2,500-member organization doesn’t believe in the connection between AIDS and HIV, considered “scientifically conclusive” since 1988 by the National Academy of Sciences. Judd Legum also reported the AAPS published an article in 2008 claiming Jewish people were hypnotized to vote for Barack Obama and his campaign logo “resembles a crystal ball, a favorite of hypnotists.” According to AAPS, nicotine is not addictive, and Michael L. Marlow’s paper criticizes “government efforts to encourage people to stop smoking as costly and ineffective”—research financed by Philip Morris.”

If DDT is truly taking a dangerous drug, it’s his problem. VP Mike Pence is waiting in the wings. But millions of people see DDT as a leader; some of them even swallowed bleach after his deadly advice. DDT’s vigorously push of hydroxychloroquine for COVID-19 leads to a public health hazard when he reassures his audiences that the drug “doesn’t harm you.”

According to research, seriously adverse side effects include heart problems, an issue for DDT because of his medical history, leading to death. Yet DDT refuses to accept any problems from hydroxychloroquine: this week he called the research from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs a “Trump enemy statement.” He accused VA scientists of conspiring against him, also claiming at a Cabinet meeting, “That study was a phony study put out by the VA.” Far from being “political,” as DDT claimed, the research has no evidence of VA researchers involved in a political conspiracy. Mental problems caused by taking hydroxychloroquine include sudden bouts of anger, depression, and even suicidal impulses. White House officials have reported that DDT has recently been have severe changes in mood. He became worse after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) referred to him as “morbidly obese.”

DDT may be behaving even more strangely these days. During his unveiling of a $19 billion COVID-19 agricultural aid package covering farmers’ losses of over five percent, he declared:

“We’re going after Virginia, with your crazy governor. They want to take your Second Amendment away. You’ll have nobody guarding your potatoes.”

Virginia has the smallest potato crop of any state, and there have been no reports of anyone attacking potatoes in the state.

Meanwhile, the number of deaths from COVID-19 is still rising although several states are hiding their data. As of May 20, the U.S. has almost 95,000 deaths in almost 1.6 million cases; the world just topped 5 million.              

April 24, 2020

Killing: From Drugs to Bleach

The inaction of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) and his suggestion that people take deadly, unrecommended drugs without authentic medical advice has killed tens of thousands of people during the past two months because of DDT’s incompetency and selfishness. In protest, “funeral processions” drive by his hotels in both New York and Washington, D.C., and people drop off home-made body bags as a symbol of his refusal to protect the people of the United States.  Yesterday, he hit a new low in ignorance and stupidity at his press briefing (aka campaign rally).

DO NOT TAKE DDT’S ADVICE! By now, most people have probably heard about his yesterday’s recommendation that people get injections of disinfectant (the Clorox cure?) and beam ultraviolet light “inside the body” (maybe by cracking ribs?) or looking straight at the light (like DDT did with the sun before the eclipse). [Note: he’s not the only idiot. Before a fraud was stopped, people bought “miracle” UV “sanitizer” lights from Facebook from ads promising “a proven impact on COVID-19” and the “most effective way to kill viruses” from Facebook. In March, the World Health Organization warned that “UV lamps should not be used to sterilize hands or other areas of skin as UV radiation can cause skin irritation.”]

Today, DDT claimed that his comment was “sarcastic” but not until he was defended by conservative media and officials. This video of reactions from Dr. Deborah Birx to DDT’s statements prove no sarcasm in the deadly recommendation. The White House even had to issue a correction to its false transcript after the first one read Birx agreeing “that is a treatment” to DDT’s question, “Deborah, have you ever heard of that? The heat and the light, relative to certain viruses, yes, but relative to this virus?” The new transcript reads, “Not as a treatment.”

About DDT’s recommendation for an injection into the lungs with Lysol or another disinfectant, Breitbart lied:

“Trump was speaking generally about new information about sunlight, heat, and disinfectant killing the virus. Trump used the word ‘inject,’ but what he meant was using a process—which he left ‘medical doctors to define—in which patients’ lungs might be cleared of the virus, given new knowledge about its response to light and other factors.”

CNN’s Kaitlan Collins gave an excellent putdown of the conservative spin:

“So after there was criticism from the doctors, and as you [anchor Brianna Keilar] noted, Lysol had to put out a statement saying not to pursue this route, the White House put out a statement saying that reporters were taking the president out of context, and he said that people should consult with doctors before pursuing treatment. What that statement did not say was that the president was being sarcastic, which is now what he was arguing as he did in the Oval Office not long ago.

“I was in the room. The president was not asking that question to reporters, he was turning to the officials to his right, Dr. Birx and this official from the DHS about, it works on surfaces and in the air, and the president suggested that doctors should look into this, noting that he himself was not a doctor so we should note that as well.”

DDT needed a new plan for curing COVID-19 after his “game-changer” drugs, hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine, were solidly debunked. Because of his stock ownership and donor demands, DDT touted a drug, currently prescribed for lupus, malaria, and rheumatoid arthritis, as the miracle treatment for the virus.  On March 18, the German drug manufacturer Bayer offered millions of doses of a chloroquine drug called Resochin to the U.S. The FDA ignored its own safeguards about taking the drugs from an uninspected plan in Karachi (Pakistan), and Bayer announced it was “working with appropriate agencies on an Emergency Use Authorization for the drug’s use in the U.S.,” and Fox started promoting the drug. Three days later, DDT made his first reference to hydroxychloroquine during his campaign rally, citing its “very, very encouraging early results. And we’re going to be able to make that drug available almost immediately.”

While people sickened and died from coronavirus, DDT used his daily campaign rallies to press people to use chloroquine, even those who weren’t sick. On March 24, the government’s top clinicians and scientists at HHS recommended its use in only controlled, hospital-based clinical trials because of “potential risks.” Yet 11 days later, Brett Giroir, HHS assistant secretary for health, emailed a group “to flood Ny and NJ with [chloroquine] treatment courses… Millions per week?”

Four weeks after Giroir’s email, DDT fired Rick Bright, head of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), a small HHS agency with private scientific ventures to create vaccines, drugs, and diagnostics. Bright said that the reason was his opposition “to fund potentially dangerous drugs promoted by those with political connections.” DDT’s political appointees exerted great pressure on career health officials, and they sought the help of billionaire Larry Ellison, founder of technology company, to build an app tracking responses to experimental treatments and make chloroquine drugs available through pharmacies with no plan for physician oversight or monitoring. By late March, FDA issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) to allow chloroquine drugs from the Strategic National Stockpile to be administered to hospitalized COVID-19 patients who could not access clinical trials.

Since the onset of DDT’s propaganda, studies and other reports have cast gloom on the success of chloroquine for COVID-19. The National Institutes of Health issued guidelines about “insufficient clinical data to recommend either for or against using chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine for the treatment of COVID-19.” The agency cautioned careful monitoring for adverse effects, including cardiac risks. Two Maine licensing boards governing Maine doctors warn that prescribing DDT’s touted drugs for themselves or for family members is considered “unprofessional conduct.” The tipping point was a study of 368 patients at veterans’ hospitals: 28 percent of patients treated with hydroxychloroquine died compared with 11 percent of those who didn’t take the medication. (The Department of Veterans Affairs plans to continue use of the drug despite the warning that it doesn’t work and could cause deadly side effects.)

Today, the FDA warned consumers against taking hydroxychloroquine outside a hospital or formal clinical trial because of deaths and poisonings although it is still recommended as prescribed for approved reasons. The peer-reviewed Journal of the American Medical Association also released a new study reporting that researchers cut short a study testing chloroquine as a potential treatment for Covid-19 over safety concerns, citing a “primary outcome” of death. Nearly two dozen patients died, and some developed irregular heart rates after taking daily doses of the drug.

A new study shows that Sean Hannity may also be responsible for spreading COVID-19. Fox consistently downplayed the danger of coronavirus until the middle of March when DDT seemed to catch on to the potential infections and deaths. Economists Leonardo Bursztyn, Aakaash Rao, Christopher Roth, and David Yanagizawa-Drott used data from Fox network programming in February and early March when Hannity’s show ignored or downplayed the virus while Tucker Carlson warned viewers about the disease’s risk in another prime-time Fox show. Hannity viewers were more likely than Carlson viewers to ignore social distancing rules and had higher local rates of infection and death—“approximately 30 percent more cases on March 14 and 21 percent more deaths on March 18.”

The study’s rigorous findings support wide research that media consumption and Fox viewership has a powerful effect on individual behavior. A survey of 1,045 Republicans 55 and older indicated that Hannity watchers “changed their behavior five days later than viewers of other shows [while] viewers of Tucker Carlson Tonight changed their behavior three days earlier than viewers of other shows.” Greater Hannity viewership also meant more virus cases and more deaths, but the relationship weakened after Hannity’s reference of the disease’s danger in mid-March. The researchers know that the findings must be taken with caution, but general research finds that the virus response has been greatly affect by partisan attitudes: Republicans are far less likely to practice social distancing than Democrats. Fox also has a great influence on politic behavior, and television affects people’s decisions about health.

One source of the Clorox Cure may be a letter from Mark Grenon, leader of Florida’a profit-making Genesis II Church of Health & Healing in which he wrote that lethal industrial bleach can be a “miracle cure” for the virus. Grenon’s “church” is the largest producer and distributor of chlorine dioxide bleach as a “miracle cure” in the U.S. that he brands MMS, “miracle mineral solution.” He also fraudulently claims that his product can cure 99 percent of all illnesses including HIV/AIDS and cancer as well as autism. His prescription—DON’T DO THIS!—is for anyone, including children to mix three to six drops of bleach in water and drink it. Grenon said that 30 of his supporters had also written DDT about the cure and posted on his Facebook page that he had sent his MMS to the White House: “Lord help others to see the Truth!” Former GOP presidential candidate has also promoted MMS on his online TV show. DDT’s FDA has obtained a federal court order banning Genesis II from selling “an unproven and potentially harmful treatment for Covid-19.” Last summer, the FDA issued a warning that drinking MMS can lead to death. “What do you have to lose?”

As more negative studies about hydroxychloroquine are published, DDT refuses to address problems about his drug of choice for COVID-19 treatment. “I don’t know of the report,” he said. When asked yesterday, the day that he suggested disinfectant injections, about why he no longer promotes his favorite drug, he said, “I haven’t at all.” But he has. Today, he abruptly left the press briefing before reporters could ask any question.

DDT may lose his daily campaign rallies if his advisers have their way with changing the format. He gets bad press from his combative approach toward reporters, and yesterday’s disaster may have been the last straw. Today’s presentation had no health experts. When two reporters were told to change seats at the press briefings, putting the CNN reporter farther back, the reporters refused. Tomorrow will tell.

April 20, 2020

Governments Starve, People Die

For over two decades, Republicans have fought to shrink the government. Published on April 10, 2020 is “When You Drown the Government in the Bathtub, People Die” from respected middle-of-the-road Washington Post columnist Dana Milbank:

I had been expecting this for 21 years.

“It’s not a matter of ‘if,’ but ‘when,’” the legendary epidemiologist D.A. Henderson told me in 1999 when we discussed the likelihood of a biological event causing mass destruction.

In 2001, I wrote about experts urging a “medical Manhattan Project” for new vaccines, antibiotics and antivirals.

Reporting on a congressional briefing in 2005, I quoted public health experts predicting a pandemic that would overwhelm hospitals and exhaust respirator supplies. “I want to emphasize the certainty that a pandemic will occur,” the Mayo Clinic’s Gregory Poland said.

In 2009, during the swine flu scare, I relayed warnings about “the nation’s patchwork of a public health system” and the need for better “vaccine and public-health infrastructure before a more severe pandemic comes along.”

I repeat these things not to pretend I was prescient but to show that the nation’s top scientists and public health experts were shouting these warnings from the rooftops—deafeningly, unanimously, and consistently. In the years after the 2001 terrorist attacks, the Bush and Obama administrations seemed to be listening.

But then came the tea party, the anti-government conservatism that infected the Republican Party in 2010 and triumphed with President Trump’s election. Perhaps the best articulation of its ideology came from the anti-tax activist Grover Norquist, who once said: “I don’t want to abolish government. I simply want to reduce it to the size where I can drag it into the bathroom and drown it in the bathtub.”

They got their wish. What you see today is your government, drowning—a government that couldn’t produce a rudimentary test for coronavirus, that couldn’t contain the pandemic as other countries have done, that couldn’t produce enough ventilators for the sick or even enough face masks and gowns for health-care workers.

Now it is time to drown this disastrous philosophy in the bathtub—and with it the poisonous attitude that the government is a harmful “beast” that must be “starved.” It is not an exaggeration to say that this ideology caused the current debacle with a deliberate strategy to sabotage government.

Overall, entitlement programs continued to grow, and the Pentagon’s many friends protected its budget. And Trump has abandoned responsible budgeting. But in one area, the tea party types, with their sequesters, debt-limit standoffs and other austerity schemes, did all too well. Between 2011 and 2018, nondefense discretionary spending fell by 12 percent—and, with it, the government’s already iffy ability to prevent and ameliorate public health emergencies unraveled.

John Auerbach, president of Trust for America’s Health, described for me the fallout: Over a dozen years, the Public Health Emergency Preparedness grants to state and local public health departments were cut by a third and the Hospital Preparedness Program cut in half, 60,000 jobs were lost at state and local public health departments, and similarly severe cuts were made to laboratories. A $15 billion grant program under the 2010 Affordable Care Act, the Prevention and Public Health Fund, was plundered for other purposes.

Now Americans are paying for this with their lives—and their livelihoods.

If the United States had more public health capacity, it “absolutely” would have been on par with Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan, which have far fewer cases, Auerbach said. South Korea has had 4 deaths per 1 million people, Singapore 1 death per million, and Taiwan 0.2 deaths per million. The United States: 39 per million—and rising fast.

To have mitigated the virus the way Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan did would have required spending about $4.5 billion a year on public health, Auerbach estimates. Instead, we’re spending trillions to rescue the economy.

Democrats aren’t blameless in pandemic preparedness. And some Republicans tried to be responsible–but the starve-the-beast crowd wouldn’t hear of it.

After Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) voted for the 2009 stimulus bill because he secured $10 billion for the National Institutes of Health, he was essentially forced out of the GOP. Rising in the party were people such as Rep. Jim Jordan (Ohio), whose far-right Republican Study Committee in 2011 proposed a plan, applauded by GOP leadership, to cut NIH funding by 40 percent.

In 2014, NIH chief Francis Collins said there likely would have been a vaccine for the Ebola outbreak if not for a 10 percent cut in NIH funding between 2010 and 2014 that included halving Ebola vaccine research. Republicans jeered.

In 2016, when President Barack Obama requested $1.9 billion to fight the Zika virus, Republicans in Congress sat on the request for seven months and then cut it nearly in half.

Since then, Trump has proposed cuts to the NIH and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention so severe even congressional Republicans rejected them. And last month they fed the “beast” a $2.2 trillion feast to fight the pandemic.

Now they know: When you drown the government in the bathtub, people die.

Jonathan Chait points out that Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) is starving state government in a blackmail scheme to force them to open their states.  He told his aides to develop economic plans allowing him to take credit for successes while creating flexibility for him to blame others for any failures. DDT’s task force gives him cover, and DDT’s allies are coordinating flag-waving protests to open the country through open violence, protests that DDT supports.

The last piece of DDT’s plan bringing states to heel starving them with no additional funding in the current disaster relief plan. According to DDT’s officials, any funding for these governments might keep them opening up their economies. Public health officials and business leaders want testing to find COVID-19 hot zones before opening other areas, and even DDT’s newest plan says that testing is the gate to all his amorphous ideas. Governors may be forced to omit testing to restart the economy because DDT wants to “starve the beast.” Public officials are concerned with long-term health of people; DDT needs success for only six months to get re-elected.

In defiance of health officials and subservience to DDT, some GOP governors are starting to lift restrictions:

  • Florida’s Jon DeSantis had already declared wrestling as “essential” and then opened the beaches under restricted hours, assuming that the virus can tell time as well as know how to stop at state borders. [The scene at Jacksonville two days ago.]
  • In Georgia, Brian Kemp opened such really important businesses as body art studios and massage therapy establishments along with their beaches. Kemp’s declaration has brought criticism because “it doesn’t meet the most basic guidelines,” according to Dr. Sanjay Gupta.
  • Tennessee and South Carolina followed Kemp’s example, including South Carolina’s beaches, although it doesn’t meet the White House criteria for doing so.
  • Oklahoma is now permitting elective surgery although the state has enough PPE for only ten percent needed for the virus.
  • Oklahoma elective surgeries but has only 10 percent of PPE it needs for the virus.
  • Texas has opened the parks and elective surgeries.
  • Nebraska is opening up a giant mall outside Omaha.  
  • Other states such as Alabama plan to meet DDT’s May Day deadline to open up their businesses.
  • States across the Midwest plan to keep its meat plants open.   

Even Democratic governors of Illinois and Louisiana, fourth in the nation for its rate of deaths from the virus, said that parts of their states might reopen.

DDT is getting antsy about being the White House for “months” and can’t remember his campaign rallies in February and March. Instead of working on more testing, he decided that he’ll lower the COVID-19 rate in the U.S. by banning immigration while opening businesses. At today’s briefing, DDT blamed calls for testing from states as a way to politically damage him. Concerns about lifting restrictions with no testing come from both GOP and Democratic states.

On April 20, the U.S. has 792,913 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 42,517 deaths. Fifty-eight percent of people polled are more concerned about rapid re-opening of the than how stay-at-home orders affect the country’s economy. Only 10 percent say people “should stop social distancing to stimulate the economy, even if it means increasing the spread of coronavirus.” Large majorities of both Republicans and Democrats disagree with this statement.  

April 13, 2020

DDT’s COVID-19 Strategy Gets Worse

Filed under: Health Care — trp2011 @ 10:40 PM
Tags: , , ,

As more than more media outlets publish the failure of Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) at handling the COVID-19 crisis from the very beginning, he becomes more and more angry. Today his fury at the press briefing rose as the deaths from the virus continued to rise as reporters asked him about the disaster’s timeline. “Everything we did was right,” claimed DDT in his long rants about the media coverage.

In another false claim, he maintained that he has absolute control over governors’ orders within separate states. Contradicting the U.S. Constitution, he asserted:

“When somebody is president of the United States, your authority is total.”

Stanford University law professor Bernadette Meyler said, “There’s no statutory authority for the president to do that, and there’s definitely no inherent constitutional authority.” She added, “The quarantine power is one of the states’ oldest powers.” Forty-two states have state-ordered lockdown, and three others have with partial stay-at-home measures. Meyler also said that a president has no authority to order governors, mayors, and other local officials to lift their emergency orders. Conservative legal expert at South Texas College of Law Houston, Josh Blackman, said, “I don’t know what it means for the president to ‘open up the states.'” He explained that “the president cannot order the governors to do anything.” New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said:

“The governors had to close the economy, which was not politically easy to do. But now the federal government can open it? Well, why didn’t you close it if you can open it?”

To protect their residents, governors on both coasts are forming regional pacts to develop strategies for reopening stay-at-home orders. The coalition on the East Coast composed of New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Pennsylvania, Delaware, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts will have a public health and economic official from each state as well as the governors’ chiefs of staff. The group will study data research and existing experience for “guidelines and parameters to go forward.” The three West Coast states—California, Oregon, and Washington—will also join forces to preempt DDT’s announcements supposedly coming tomorrow from his “Opening the Country” economic task force. Both groups will operate on decisions driven by facts and science from public health professionals, not politicians. All states are welcome to join these pacts.

Thus far, DDT has given May 1 as the date for reopening the country after his Easter deadline idea, but he has no strategy. He also has not addressed the testing problems varying from state to state with the false assertion that the U.S. testing is better than any in the world. Over the weekend, DDT continued to blame governors for faulty testing although CDC didn’t send states test kits and would let them use any other tests for weeks. Minnesota Gov. Tim Walz has talked with Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer and Wisconsin Gov. Tony Evers about planning together. Walz said that states can open only with widespread testing.

Michigan is launching a huge test for antibodies to determine whether people have been infected with COVID-19. The purpose uses hope that these people will be immune after they recover although South Korea reports that people can be reinfected. Beaumont Health is starting with blood samples from its 38,000 employees plus thousands of additional physicians and affiliates. Michigan has the third-highest number of confirmed COVID-19 cases of any U.S. state.

Some of DDT’s rage comes from Dr. Anthony Fauci’s statements yesterday that the U.S. “could have saved lives” with earlier actions to stop COVID-19. Recently, Fauci said that he takes a scientific approach and DDT has a “hope, layperson standpoint.” DDT retweeted a post from former GOP congressional wannabe Deanna Lorraine:

“Fauci was telling people on February 29th that there was nothing to worry about and it posed no threat to the US public at large, Time to #FireFauci…”

Asked whether he plans to fire Fauci, DDT denied the message of the retweet, calling Fauci “a trusted adviser.” Fauci, however, has disagreed—sometimes in very political language—with DDT about reopening the country all at one time on an arbitrary timeline that ignores scientific evidence.

DDT-supporters are calling for Fauci’s removal because he is concerned with virus health issues above economic problems. Last weekend, DDT called friends to complain about recent media coverage about his lack of leadership and accused Fauci and HHS Secretary Alex Azar of “trying to make themselves look good.” A source said that DDT has “been fretting about Fauci for a while,” asking why Fauci isn’t “saying nice things about me.”

Defensive and combative in his campaign rally, DDT insulted reporters for asking questions, couldn’t find anything he had done to protect people from COVID-19 except his “Chinese travel ban” which allowed almost 500,000 people into the U.S., and claimed that President Obama’s response to the 2009 H1N1 virus was a failure. DDT’s “leadership” during the health crisis has allowed more people to die in ten days than the 2009 flu killed in over a year. He also aired a doctored three-minute promotional video (aka campaign ad) of the past three months omitting events in February except for the CDC shipping testing kits. In his attempt to prove that he was on top of the crisis, he skipped the flaws in the testing kits, lack of supplies, downplaying the seriousness of the virus, and all his other inept actions. The video, paid for and aired at the cost of taxpayers, also attacked the media. 

Asked by CBS Paul Reid what he did other than the “Chinese ban,” DDT had a classic meltdown and finally sputtered “a lot” before he insulted her.

The results of last week’s Wisconsin election gave Republicans and DDT a big loss: progressive Wisconsin state Supreme Court challenger Jill Karofsky defeated conservative Justice Daniel Kelly. Republican state and U.S. Supreme Courts had supported DDT in forcing people to endanger their lives by going to the polls in order to cast their votes, hoping that Republicans would elect Kelly to rig the state election districts. Karofsky’s election puts the state Supreme Court’s conservative majority at 4-3.

DDT’s “me me me” approach toward the COVID-19 crisis took up most of the news this weekend, but the world had other disasters:

One of the sailors on the USS Theodore Roosevelt died, and another almost 600 have confirmed COVID-19 cases. The government fired the captain of the ship because he made the infections public after the Defense Department ignored his concerns for over a week. 

At least 60 tornadoes and other storms swept across the South from Texas and Arkansas through Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, Georgia into the Carolinas and Tennessee. Thus far, 32 people have died, 1.2 million homes and businesses were without power, and hundreds of homes and businesses were destroyed.

Elevated radiation readings coming from the wildfires at Chernobyl shifted toward the Ukrainian capital of Kyiv after blowing toward Russia and Belarus for most of a week.

Ash and lava shot from Indonesia’s Anak Krakatau volcano, an offspring of the Krakatau volcano that caused a period of global cooling from its eruption in 1883.

A second wave of locusts, 20 times the size of the first, are arriving in Somalia as seasonal rains have brought fresh vegetation.

Brazil stopped a small study of 81 patients using DDT’s COVID-19 drug of choice, chloroquine, because they developed irregular heart rates. France reported dozens of heart incidents linked to DDT’s drug, hydroxychloroquine, because of 43 cases of heart incidents; experimental drugs in France for the virus have been tied to 100 recorded health incidents and four fatalities split roughly evenly between hydroxychloroquine and HIV antivirals lopinavir-ritonavir. Swedish hospitals have been warned against using DDT’s drug when used for people with existing cardiovascular disease.  DDT is stockpiling millions of dosages of hydroxychloroquine purchased with taxpayer money.

DDT’s new coronavirus task force to force the country open on May Day:

  • DDT’s daughter Ivanka Trump;
  • Ivanka’s husband Jared Kushner;
  • Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue who wanted to kick 700,000 people on food stamps two weeks ago and whose brother bought lots of stocks in PPE manufacturing companies after a Senate briefing;Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s (R-KY) wife who has been investigated on ethics charges;
  • Energy Secretary Dan Brouillette who defended the coal bailout;
  • Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia who created policies to keep most unemployed people from getting unemployment;
  • HUD Secretary Ben Carson who works to keep anyone except native whites out of public housing and said that “poverty is a state of mind”;
  • Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross who praised COVID-19 for bringing jobs back to the U.S. and keeps the public from discovering the contents of DDT’s financial affairs when he isn’t sleeping
  • Acting OMB Director Russell Vought who defended DDT for withholding military aid from Ukraine;
  • Acting CEA Chair Tomas Philipson, health researcher who opposes health insurance for all;
  • Mark Meadows, DDT’s fourth chief of staff who started the conservative House Freedom Caucus;
  • National Economic Council chairman Larry Kudlow, who claimed in July 2008 that the U.S. housing market was healthy as a horse;
  • U.S. Trade Representative Robert Lighthizer, of trade-war fame;
  • Secretary Steven Mnuchin, who previously ran a company that foreclosed on a 90-year-old woman over 27 cents;
  • White House advisors Chris Liddell, who owns millions in pharmaceutical shares, and Peter Navarro, who lost big time yesterday on 60 Minutes.

No health experts. Not even anyone in the medical profession. Hang on. It’s going to be a bumpy ride.

On April 13, the U.S. has 587,155 confirmed COVID-19 cases and 23,644 deaths, about 20 percent of the 119,718 deaths in the world, as well as countless other identified cases and deaths. DDT wants restrictions lifted, making the number of hospitalizations and deaths skyrocket. 

April 8, 2020

‘What Do You Have to Lose?’ Your Life

“What do you have to lose?” is the rationale expressed by Dictator Donald Trump (DDT) in persuading people to take a drug for COVID-19 that can make people extremely ill. In a press briefing, he repeated:

“I’ll say it again: What do you have to lose? Take it. I really think they should take it. But it’s their choice and it’s their doctor’s choice, or the doctors in the hospital. But hydroxychloroquine—try it, if you’d like.” 

DDT’s pitch sounds like the TV ad when two boys try to convince Mikey to eat a cereal by claiming, “Try it. You’ll like it.” Except the drug hydroxychloroquine isn’t a benign cereal.

Three weeks ago, DDT started pushing the use of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine as a treatment for COVID-19 despite no evidence it would be successful. The drugs are approved for malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis, but no clinical studies have shown any success for the coronavirus. Since that time, DDT has stressed its use so much that his followers have started to take it on their own. One man in Arizona died from taking it, and his wife went to the hospital in critical condition.

DDT is so convinced that this drug is a “game changer” for people with COVID-19 that he is forcing the government to stockpile tens of millions of dosages, using taxpayer money. People who need hydroxychloroquine for its approved purpose can no longer get it. Because India needs the drug for its own people, the country had stopped shipping it to the U.S. DDT threatened India with retaliation if they didn’t immediately send large quantities of the drug to the U.S.  

After downplaying the coronavirus as a hoax engineered by mainstream media and Democrats, Fox host, “Dr. Hannity,” as he calls himself, wrote that New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is “creating a much bigger crisis” by limiting people’s ability to access the drug. Along with Fox’s Tucker Carlson and Laura Ingraham, Sean Hannity constantly evangelizes hydroxychloroquine, especially to older patients with laudatory segments on the Fox network 109 times over three days in late March. Once again, Fox depicts knowledgeable experts, including Dr. Anthony Fauci, as part of a liberal ploy to remake society.

DDT’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani, who has no medical background, says he spends his days on the phone with doctors, patients, and hospital administrators pushing hydroxychloroquine as well as a stem cell treatment, which Giuliani describes as removing “placenta killer cells.” Giuliani’s information comes from a former pharmacist who pled guilty to conspiring to extort the actor Steven Seagal.

Medical experts disagree with DDT, his trade adviser Peter Navarro, and Fox network hucksters about the medication’s efficacy. With no random trials, experts have serious doubts that a drug, with serious toxic problems and a lack of evidence, should be prescribed for seriously ill patients. The CDC, often forced to agree with DDT’s wacky ideas, has changed its statement about dosages of the drug being anecdotal by “some U.S. clinicians” to this warning:

“There are no drugs or other therapeutics approved by the US Food and Drug Administration to prevent or treat COVID-19.”

WebMD, a highly credible medical source, lists the side effects of hydroxychloroquine: nausea, vomiting, loss of appetite, diarrhea, dizziness, or headache. The use of this drug can cause heart arrhythmia and other symptoms of heart failure—shortness of breath, swelling ankles/feet, extreme fatigue, unusual/sudden weight gain. Then there’s mental/mood changes such as anxiety, depression, suicidal thoughts, hallucinations along with hearing changes (loss of hearing or ringing), easy bruising/bleeding, and infections such as sore throats or fever. Other people may suffer signs of liver disease (severe stomach/abdominal pain, yellowing eyes/skin, and dark urine), muscle weakness, uncontrolled twitching including tongue and face, hair loss, and hair/skin color changes. The medication is problematic for diabetics because of low blood sugar symptoms such as sudden sweating, shaking, hunger, blurred vision, dizziness, or tingling hands and feet. Other vision problems include sensitivity to light, light flashes and streaks, difficulty reading, and missing areas of vision. People taking this medication can even suffer seizures. In Sweden, hospitals stopped giving chloroquine to coronavirus patients following reports of adverse side effects such as vision loss, cramping, and headaches “that felt like stepping into a high voltage plant.”

The Mayo Clinic issued guidelines that hydroxychloroquine can cause “the heart’s rhythm [to] generate into dangerous erratic heart beats, resulting ultimately in sudden cardiac death.” according to the Mayo Clinic. Mark Gladwin, chairman of the Department of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, describes the heart problems. Hydroxychloroquine lengthens the “QT interval,” the time for the heart’s electrical system to reset between contractions, which push blood into the vascular system and around the body. Resulting irregular heartbeats can be fatal. Doctors may not have time for an electrocardiogram or find out what other drugs the patient is taking. Without research, doctors cannot know the appropriate dosage, if any, especially because people metabolize dosages very differently. And COVID-19 causes a heart infection, myocarditis, in some of the most seriously ill patients.

DDT’s former FDA commissioner, Scott Gottlieb, said the data on hydroxychloroquine is “very preliminary” and the drug has been used widely in the United States and Europe without “any obvious benefit.”

DDT found another hydroxychloroquine supporter in television celebrity Dr. Mehmet Oz, also a Fox regular appearing at least 21 times in two weeks after March 24 and eight times on Fox & Friends, DDT’ favorite show. Other doctors dub Oz a “quack” for pushing phony weight-loss remedies and claiming that Umckaloabo Root Extract is a cure for the common cold. Three Mayo Clinic scientists published a piece in the AMA Journal of Ethics about how Oz is “visibly out of step with his profession.”

With Fox and loyalist quacks behind him, DDT used a press briefing to contradict his own expert, Dr. Fauci, about the lack of efficacy by DDT’s drug of choice. The next day, DDT tweeted,  “HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE & AZITHROMYCIN, taken together, have a real chance ….”

Rising Pharmaceuticals, a U.S.-based drug corporation, doubled the cost of chloroquine because of DDT’s “enthusiasm.” The company has a record of price fixing and forced to pay $3 million in fines and restitution after a lawsuit in 2019.

Bayer invented the medicine chloroquine in 1934, and hydroxychloroquine was invented during World War II to provide an alternative with fewer side effects. The drugs are synthetic variations of quinine, an herbal remedy derived from the bark of the cinchona tree. A small French study combined hydroxychloroquine with the antibiotic azithromycin that showed benefit in six patients. Another similar French study in 11 patients showed no evidence the drugs worked. A Chinese study also showed no benefit over the standard course of treatment. Indiscriminately using Z paks with both these drugs and no indication of a bacterial infection adds to the proliferation of superbugs that is rapidly occurring. By promoting unsuccessful drugs, however, DDT tries to persuade his followers that he’s taking action in his “war.”

Because DDT gets upset with negative information, DDT’s aides give him only happy news. About COVID-19, White House officials hand him only news articles about people who said that hydroxychloroquine helped them. Last Monday, they emailed a piece from KABC in Los Angeles: “CORONAVIRUS FLAG: LA doctor seeing success with hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19.” The election is coming, and DDT is desperate to find that silver bullet to cover for all his mistake in handling the health crisis.

DDT has a history of conning people about magical ways to make money. Ideal Health, a multi-level-marketing company (aka pyramid scheme), sold personalized vitamin supplements based on the results of a fake urine test. People lost all their money from investing in the company and filed complaints. Ideal Health settled a lawsuit over its false claims that one of their products “cured cancer” and paid DDT to lease his name, calling the business The Trump Network. The company then sold miracle pills for diet, skin care, and energy. DDT promised people who bought these products “a new dream” but dropped the lease in 2011. FTC complaints led to a 2018 RICO lawsuit that stated DDT “deliberately defrauded” vulnerable people.

DDT also has a financial investment in the company that manufactures Plaquenil, the brand name for hydroxychloroquine. How much no one knows because he refuses to release his financials. 

“What can you lose?” A lot, according to a large number of respected doctors and other health specialists. Instead of listening to them, however, DDT wants only people who agree with him. That’s why he frequently calls for “my Peter,” referring to Navarro who Kushner picked for trade adviser from because he wrote an anti-China book. A description of Navarro’s meltdown when Dr. Fauci, who does have medical knowledge, disagreed with him.

Other than killing people and creating permanent damage in others who take the unapproved medication, DDT’s obsession with hydroxychloroquine could stop research in more viable cures. DDT’s “interest” in a miracle cure—in which he has financially invested—could ultimately kill far more people. But … “What do you have to lose?”

On today, April 8, 435,128 people in the U.S. have confirmed COVID-19 cases, and 14,795 of them have died. The world has 1,528,773 confirmed cases and 88,505 deaths. 

[Note: thanks to the former nurse who suggested that I write more about the dangers of DDT’s hydroxychloroquine cocktail.]

April 7, 2020

Business Owners Not Suited to Govern

Filed under: Health Care — trp2011 @ 9:13 PM
Tags: , , , , ,

Today’s guest blog post is from my partner, Sue. If you are interested in more of her writings, check out her Facebook page. 


Considering the pandemic fiasco, Donald Trump is, after all, a businessman, not a politician. A politician’s purpose is to spend our tax dollars to support and create institutional systems of laws, regulations, and rules to serve and protect us such as our court systems, schools, police, infrastructure, etc., including preventing poor business practices that damage the world we live in. In other words, a politician’s mindset is in giving, to having our back.

A businessman, on the other hand, thrives in a competitive world of money—cash flow, sales, and revenue dealing with how to get the most profit with the least cost. For example, promoting profits in fossil fuel industries with no regard for harm to our health and environment. The idea of spending money that yields no return is abhorrent to the business mind. 

To businessmen, stockpiling, preparing for a future happening that may never occur, is simply stupid. The businessman’s mindset is to take and the GDP including people are financial commodities. The politician and the businessman are at polar odds, but our present form of capitalism requires both of them for success. What we don’t need is one of them unevenly in power over the other. One in control leads to fascism and the other to communism.

The difference in how Donald Trump and Barack Obama deal with pandemics is another example of the difference in mindset between the politician and the businessman. Eleven years ago, President Obama faced a pandemic just weeks after his first inauguration. Most of us have only vague memories of the H1N1 “swine flu” because it was swiftly handled. The first confirmed human infection in the U.S. was on April 15, and the first death on April 29, 2009, when a Mexican toddler died after he came for treatment at a Houston hospital.

In only two weeks after the confirmed case, CDC activated its Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and began work on a vaccine, and the government declared a public health emergency. The CDC also recommended a seven-day dismissal of affected schools and childcare facilities. In the next two weeks, schools were closed, and CDC shipped tests. Following the clinical trials for the flu vaccine in late July, the FDA approved four vaccines—just five months after the first case. October celebrated vaccines with only 2,500 confirmed deaths to a possible 6,000 deaths from H1N1 in less than six months. On December 18, less than ten months after the first death, the first 100 million doses of vaccines were available, and anyone wanting a vaccination could get one by late December, eight months after the first death.

The last time the swine flu, also known as the Spanish flu, came through was in 1918. It was the world’s most deadly virus, killing 50 million people and sickening 40 percent of the world’s population. The rapid spread of the 1918 flu at that time was mostly blamed on public health officials refusing to impose quarantines. Sound familiar?

From the first death on February 28, 2020 Trump has imposed NOT ONE extreme measure on the states. Recommendations yes, but often conflicting. Not one mandate. Not even after he declared a national disaster. He first blew off any problems and then left all the decisions up to the states while he squabbled with them. He confiscated medical supplies the states had already ordered and took them for himself. But hey, the Donald “I’m not a supply clerk” Trump doesn’t intend to share unless its quid pro quo. As this pandemic moves from state to state because so many states have done little to nothing to stop it, just like the 1918 flu, this pandemic is expected to occur in three waves—this spring, next fall, and the following spring. Already in the 40 days since the first COVID-19 confirmed deaths, 12,854, is more than the total 12,469—including deaths assuming those caused by H1N1. The number of current deaths is sure to be far more because tests are not performed on many people who seem to die of COVID-19. 

A pandemic trigger is our need to eat animals, especially because of poor conditions in our factory farms and the likelihood that this can only worsen because of Trump’s profit-driven business approach toward governing the country. Outright lies are another problem allowing the virus to travel through the country, mostly through the Fox network and other state media that pushes conspiracy theories like COVID-19 is China’s bioweapon, only the common cold, and the fault of the homeless. For people who gather in churches, positive thinking will beat the virus, and God will protect them.

One of the first departments Trump axed was the National Security Council’s office on pandemics which was established for quick responses to viruses. Two months before the coronavirus began its march across China, Trump axed the two-million dollar pandemic early warning program in the department for Global Health Security and Biodefense which trained other countries for early-warning detection of threatening viruses before they could get to us. Trump’s reason? He said, “I don’t like having thousands of people around when you don’t need them.”  

Now Trump has finished gutting the Environmental Protection Agency so that our environment is no longer protected while he cuts fuel efficiency standards that increases fuel burning and costs people $11 billion.  An additional 1,400 deaths are predicted with the cut in coal plant pollution. By adding more than a billion tons of greenhouse emissions to the carbon dioxide from ice melt and clear-cutting of our rain forests, we are in a world of hurt.

Many viruses, only one of which is the present coronavirus, are defined as airborne infectious bronchitis virus. We have seven different types of air-borne viruses, and Most of us will be infected with the coronavirus, on of seven different types of these airborne viruses, at least once in our lifetime. This family of single-stranded RNA viruses, including MERS, SARS, and COVID-19, has a lipid envelope studded with club-shaped projections.

HIV/AIDS, one of the deadliest epidemics seen by most people alive today, is not nearly as easy to transmit from one person to another as the viruses that attack the respiratory system like COVID-19 or the flu. A worse pair of pandemics that determined the course of civilization was the smallpox, imported by Europeans that decimated Native Americans, and the Bubonic Plague that wiped out almost half of Europe in the Middle Ages. COVID-19 will certainly go down in history with the other major pandemics.

Previous pandemics were only a warning. According to the World Health Organization (WHO), up to 500,000 people worldwide will die from a virus in a typical flu season, and we make no plans to stop them. Clear cutting and global warming are releasing over a thousand new viruses. The AIDS virus originated from wild animals in African rainforests. In the U.S., over a dozen new viruses have appeared just within the last 25 years.  Bats apparently gave us this latest virus along with the 2012 MERS and 2014 SARS epidemics.

The 2014 Ebola outbreak killed 90 percent of infected people, and the 1967 Marburg virus grew to 80 percent fatalities until it was contained. Without treatment, rabies is 100 percent fatal. Many viruses found in wild animals have jumped to humans such as a new rabies-like virus in shrews. And many, many SARS-like viruses traveled around the world. The Argentine and Bolivian hemorrhagic fever came from poor farming practices. Hikungunya and Zika viruses came from mosquitoes. From the bubonic plague to smallpox, new viruses appear to infect us. Even our melting permafrost from global warming is releasing dangerous viruses we have not met before. Over twenty undiscovered viruses were found in fifteen-thousand-year-old glacial ice. As our world melts, how many unknown toxic substances and pathogens will turn up in our streams, rivers, and other waterways? Or gases and carbon dioxide, double what we find in our atmosphere, be released from our melting ice pack? 

Viruses are an interesting phenomenon, kind of like a computer virus, slithering and swishing around until everything crashes. Except we aren’t making them up. They’re just new to science. But not to the animals in the forest. Nor to the time when earth was formed and they were buried in the ice, an ideal place for viruses to remain alive millions of years. A part of our evolutionary history, viruses just evolved with us or morphed into stronger viruses. Every tree we fell, every misplaced wild animal looking for a new home, every old ice melt releases another dangerous virus. And we have no defense against them. No virus is new or ever dies; they just return or mutate.

Thanks, Sue!

Sources:  [visual of pandemic history]  [Image of COVID-19]

April 6, 2020

Health Crisis Highlights DDT’s Leadership Style

Medical experts told DDT about the danger of touting the unproved drug hydroxychloroquine as a cure for COVID-19. Although approved for such disorders as malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis, the drug is known for highly toxic side effects, including heart and vision damage. Claiming that his Ph.D. and background as a social scientist, Peter Navarro, DDT’s trade policy adviser who wanted tariffs and has no medical background, claimed superiority over the knowledge of Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984. Fauci extensively researched ways to prevent, diagnose, and treat established infectious diseases such as HIV/AIDS, respiratory infections, diarrheal diseases, tuberculosis and malaria as well as emerging diseases such as Ebola and Zika. He advised six presidents on domestic and global health issues. Navarro also angrily accused Fauci, a proponent of DDT’s quasi-travel ban regarding China, of opposing the restrictions. DDT wouldn’t let Fauci answer CNN’s question about the efficacy of the drug, but Fauci is appearing on the media to give a medical opinion about it.

Axios described the big fight in the task force meeting last Saturday afternoon. Highlights:

  • Navarro: The studies (mostly overseas) show “clear therapeutic efficacy.”
  • Fauci: They’re purely anecdotal; more data is necessary to have a conclusion.
  • Researchers: Studies out of France and China don’t have control groups.
  • Navarro: “That’s science, not anecdote” and raised his voice.
  • Kushner: “Peter, take yes for an answer” because the non-experts in the room wanted to surge the drug to hot zones.
  • Sean Hannity and DDT’s personal lawyer Rudy Giuliani is pushing the drug for COVID-19, and DDT obviously sides with them.

With no evidence, DDT called hydroxychloroquine a “great” and “powerful” anti-malaria drug at a press briefing and added “there are signs that it works on this [virus], some very strong signs.” He said that he was considering taking the drug himself. Then DDT said to add the antibiotic azithromycin to hydroxychloroquine with azithromycin because azithromycin “will kill certain things that you don’t want living within your body.” The curative powers of the combination also have no evidence. He recommended that healthy people take the antibiotic. Superbugs have developed because people take antibiotics for viruses such as the cold although antibiotics are successful only for bacterial diseases. DDT lied about the FDA giving hydroxychloroquine rapid approval: the FDA has not approved the drug for COVID-19.

“I’m not a doctor,” DDT said before he told his medical expert that he was wrong and shut him up. DDT said that he had answered the question about the drugs curative ability “15 times” and the doctor didn’t need to answer. The current shortage of medication for malaria and lumps may come from the government stockpiling 29 million doses of hydroxychloroquine. Jared Kushner may save the lives of people who believe DDT because Kushner maintains states can’t get federal supplies. “What do you have to lose,” DDT said about the drug that kills and sickens people. One small study in China found that a small number of people with mild COVID-19 cases may have recovered faster, but side effects of the drug include headaches and nausea. Problems with DDT’s “game-changing” drug.

DDT’s former “fixer” lawyer Michael Cohen had a contract with the hydroxychloroquine manufacturer, Novartis, and paid Cohen $100,000 a month starting in February 2017 for access to DDT. The money went into the account of the shell company that paid off Stormy Daniels to stay quiet about DDT’s affair with her. Payments were made for the year of the contract. No one knows if DDT has personal investments in Novartis.

DDT’s style of COVID-19 leadership:

March 16: DDT gave social-distancing guidelines because COVID-19 is an “invisible enemy” after saying that it is no worse than ordinary flu. DDT’s position on March 23 – He plans to open the country on Easter, a “beautiful day.” DDT’s new position after bad polling for the idea – Easter won’t work; shelter-in-place until April 30.

March 21: Asked if DDT’s favorite drug can be used to treat COVID-19, Dr. Anthony Fauci said, “The answer is no.”

March 23: An Arizona man died of taking chloroquine phosphate after DDT recommended it. 

April 3: The administration announced new guidelines for everyone to wear masks out in public. DDT’s position – Some people may not want to wear masks, and I don’t plan to do it. DDT’s new position after bad polling for the idea – Easter won’t work; shelter-in-place until April 30.

April 4: Dr. Anthony Fauci stressed social distancing to help stop COVID-19, saying that the U.S. and other countries have seen mitigation work. DDT’s position – Mitigation works, but “we’re not going to destroy out country. We have to get back.” He repeated “the cure cannot be worse than the problem” three times.

April 5: Fauci didn’t say anything about DDT’s favorite unapproved drug for a COVID-19 cure. DDT behaved like a TV barker to recommend that everyone use the drug.

April 6: DDT’s bragging – “They’re doing … very strong tests [on airlines] for getting on, getting off.” Airlines don’t know what DDT is talking about. CNN’s Daniel Dale pointed out about DDT’s claim of screening:

“[S]creening — which can require as little as filling out a form — is not the same as a test to determine if someone has been infected. And most US passengers are not being screened in any way upon disembarking.”

April 6: DDT’s earlier position on testing: We have enough tests for everyone. DDT’s statement today about lack of testing:

“States are supposed to be doing testing. Hospitals are supposed to be doing testing. Do you understand that? We’re the federal government, listen, we’re the federal government. We’re not supposed to stand on street corners doing testing.”

The federal government didn’t allow anyone else to do testing for the first two and a half months after the U.S. learned about the novel coronavirus.

The official number of deaths in the U.S. today is 10,941, but no one will ever know the exact number, much greater that this figure. CDC requires a positive laboratory COVID-19 test to count in the total, and the widespread lack of testing, even now, means a vast undercount. Some officials say that testing the dead misuses scarce resources to be preserved for the living, and health officials refused to test people with strict eligibility criteria. At this time, Wyoming has supplies to test only five people. Many infected people also test negative. Scientists who analyze mortality statistics state that recorded deaths in a disease with common symptoms represent only a fraction of the total. The CDC count last Saturday was about 4,500 under other record-keeping although it recognized that death certificates listed another 1,150.

Everything DDT does is a ruse based on incompetence, lack of planning, and corruption. On March 18, DDT announced that the hospital ship USNS Comfort would be sent to New York, but the ship wasn’t deployed for another 12 days. Once it arrived in the New York harbor, the 1,000-bed facility had only 20 patients; DDT said no one with COVID-19 could be on the ship because of the effort required to disinfect it. Last Friday, however, 19 infected patients were accidentally transferred onto the ship, and today a crew member tested positive. Public concern about lack of hospital facilities for virus cases in New York finally caused DDT to relent and allow virus patients on the ship. That’s DDT’s leadership style.

Instead of Google developing a testing website, as presented by DDT and Dr. Deborah Birx in one of the many press briefings, Jared Kushner’s family business was assigned the project. The company has dumped the project although numbers of infected people and casualties spike even without sufficient testing.

While DDT tries to stiff Palm Beach County for leases on the land for his golf course, people in Florida can’t apply for unemployment because the website crashed under the creation of former governor Rick Scott, now a GOP senator.

DDT calls himself a wartime president, but he says that governors are responsible for fighting the war. Sort of like making New York, Pennsylvania, and Washington, D.C. responsible for all the aftermath of 9/11 because those were the locations of the attacks. DDT is finally helping out New York because he has a friend there in a hospital with COVID-19. If DDT had more friends, states might get more help.

About the RNC, DDT said, “We have no contingency plan.” That’s his leadership style.

DDT should take a lesson from Queen Elizabeth II and her speech, only the fifth in her 62-year reign, three others also in a time of tragedy:

“I hope in the years to come, everyone will be able to take pride in how they responded to this challenge.”

Maybe the American Revolution was a mistake.

Today, April 6, the world has 1,347,625 confirmed cases and 74,782 deaths from COVID-19. The number of confirmed cases–low as it is–comes to 367,650, over 27 percent of the world’s cases in 4 percent of the world’s population. 


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