What Now?! – April 2, 2020

Boston Globe editorial said that President Trump has “blood on his hands” due to his actions during the coronavirus pandemic.

“While the spread of the novel coronavirus has been aggressive around the world, much of the profound impact it will have here in the United States was preventable. As the American public braces itself for the worst of this crisis, it’s worth remembering that the reach of the virus here is not attributable to an act of God or a foreign invasion, but a colossal failure of leadership…”

“Many pivotal decision points in this crisis are past us, but more are still to come. For our own sake, every American should be hoping for a miraculous turnaround — and that the too-little, too-late strategy of the White House task force will henceforth at least prevent contagion and economic ruin of the grandest scale. But come November, there must be a reckoning for the lives lost, and for the vast, avoidable suffering about to ensue under the president’s watch.”

Ashish Jha,  director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, told CNN that if earlier coronavirus testing and lockdowns had taken place in the United States, “we clearly would have had a different situation.”

Said Jha: “I don’t know any public health expert who does not believe that if we had gotten our testing together, if we had gotten our hospitals ready… and gotten a lot of our lockdown orders going much earlier, we clearly would have had a different situation.”

President Trump’s public health advisers project that the coronavirus could kill 100,000 to 240,000 Americans — even with strict social distancing guidelines in place, Axios reports.

Meanwhile, Andy Slavitt reports “numbers floating around the White House are 400,000 and some think that requires optimism.”

“White House economists published a study last September that warned a pandemic disease could kill a half million Americans and devastate the economy,” the New York Times reports.

“It went unheeded inside the administration.”

“The existence of that warning undermines administration officials’ contentions in recent weeks that no one could have seen the virus damaging the economy as it has. The study’s lead author, who has since left the White House, now says it would make sense for the administration to effectively shut down most economic activity for two to eight months to slow the virus.”

This public health crisis isn’t limited to the United States. Looking over the latest Johns Hopkins data on coronavirus cases around the world uncovers a powder keg waiting to explode.

Here are five high-population countries with relatively low confirmed cases:

  • India: population 1.3 billion; 1,637 confirmed cases
  • Indonesia: population 268 million; 1,677 confirmed cases
  • Pakistan: population 212 million; 2,071 confirmed cases
  • Brazil: population 209 million; 5,916 confirmed cases
  • Nigeria: population 205 million; 151 confirmed cases

Perhaps there’s something about this virus that doesn’t target developing countries.

More likely, these countries simply lack the testing capacity to see the problem they are facing. Worse, they lack the health care infrastructure of more industrialized countries.

If and when, the coronavirus hits the developing world — and in all likelihood it already has — the death toll will make the United States seem lucky.

“I don’t believe the president has ever belittled the threat of the coronavirus.” — Vice President Mike Pence, in a CNN interview.

When asked when did President Trump know that 100,000 Americans dying from the coronavirus was the best case scenario, Vice President Mike Pence told CNN: “We have been working to given the president best projections. Italy may be most comparable area to the United States.”

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) announced “that he would sign an executive order limiting all activity in Florida to essential services only for the next 30 days to try to limit the spread of the novel coronavirus,” the Miami Herald reports.

Unable to find a port willing to accept them, a cruise ship with more than 1,400 passengers “has been stuck in a holding pattern for nearly two weeks as it desperately goes from country to country,” NBC News reports.

“So far they have been rejected by Chile, Peru and Argentina, which all sealed their ports amid the coronavirus outbreak. They are now charting a hope-filled course for the United States, namely Fort Lauderdale, Florida.”

“Four people have died on the ship, at least two from the coronavirus, nine others have tested positive and 179 others are experiencing flu-like symptoms.”

But Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) told Fox News his state does not have the resources to take them: “We cannot afford to have people who are not even Floridians dumped into South Florida using up those valuable resources.”

President Trump on Twitter: “Upon information and belief, Iran or its proxies are planning a sneak attack on U.S. troops and/or assets in Iraq. If this happens, Iran will pay a very heavy price, indeed!”

President Trump said that he would not have acted faster or differently in addressing the coronavirus if he weren’t impeached by the Democrat-controlled House, The Hill reports.

Said Trump: “I don’t think I would have done any better if I had not been impeached. I don’t think I would have acted any differently, or I don’t think I would have acted any faster.”

Earlier today, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell blamed impeachment for the Trump administration’s slow response.

“China has concealed the extent of the coronavirus outbreak in its country, under-reporting both total cases and deaths it’s suffered from the disease, the U.S. intelligence community concluded in a classified report to the White House,” Bloomberg reports.

U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams was asked by NBC News about governors, like Florida’s Ron DeSantis (R), who have not yet issued statewide “stay at home” orders.

Said Adams: “My advice to America would be that these guidelines are a national stay-at-home order.”

New York Times: “As many as 25 percent of people infected with the new coronavirus may not show symptoms, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warns — a startlingly high number that complicates efforts to predict the pandemic’s course and strategies to mitigate its spread.”

“In particular, the high level of symptom-free cases is leading the C.D.C. to consider broadening its guidelines on who should wear masks.”

“Researchers do not know precisely how many people are infected without feeling ill, or if some of them are simply presymptomatic. But since the new coronavirus surfaced in December, they have spotted unsettling anecdotes of apparently healthy people who were unwitting spreaders.”

Just one month ago, the New York Times reported on how President Trump blamed the media and Democrats for exaggerating the coronavirus outbreak. It’s destined to be an important document when historians look back at the 2020 pandemic.

Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) stated that it is “overkill” for schools in his home state of Califonia to be closed in light of the coronavirus pandemic on Fox News late Tuesday night – further downplaying the severity of COVID-19.

Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin told CNBC that he is part of ongoing discussions with congressional lawmakers about a potential infrastructure bill that would be designed to help boost the U.S. economy as it struggles to cope with the fallout from the coronavirus outbreak.

Right-wing evangelist Jonathan Shuttlesworth — a close friend of Rodney Howard-Browne, the Florida megachurch pastor who was arrested after violating coronavirus lockdown orders — told his followers that he intends to hold a large Woodstock-like Christian gathering in defiance of stay-at-home orders.

Meanwhile, CBS News reports over 1,200 people attended services at a Louisiana church, again defying the governor’s coronavirus ban against more than 50 people gathering.

“As states across the country have pleaded for critical medical equipment from a key national stockpile, Florida has promptly received 100 percent of its first two requests — with President Trump and Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis both touting their close relationship,” the Washington Postreports.

“States including Oklahoma and Kentucky have received more of some equipment than they requested, while others such as Illinois, Massachusetts and Maine have secured only a fraction of their requests.”

“It’s a disparity that has caused frustration and confusion in governors’ offices across the country, with some officials wondering whether politics is playing a role in the response.”

“Italian authorities believe the country’s coronavirus epidemic, the world’s deadliest, is slowing down appreciably after three weeks of national lockdown, a hopeful sign for other Western countries that are following approaches similar to Italy’s with a time lag,” the Wall Street Journal reports.

“But Italian officials and health experts said it will take until after Easter to cut new infections enough to begin loosening the lockdown and reopen parts of Italy’s economy.”

“Across Asia, countries and cities that seemed to have brought the coronavirus epidemic under control are suddenly tightening their borders and imposing stricter containment measures, fearful about a wave of new infections imported from elsewhere,” the New York Times reports.

“The moves portend a worrisome sign for the United States, Europe and the rest of the world still battling a surging outbreak: Any country’s success with containment could be tenuous, and the world could remain on a kind of indefinite lockdown.​”

A Russian military plane loaded with medical equipment took off from outside of Moscow Wednesday after President Vladimir Putin offered Donald Trump help for the U.S. battle with coronavirus, Bloombergreports.

Said a Kremlin spokesperson: “The Russian side offered assistance amid the dire epidemiological situation in America. Trump gratefully accepted this humanitarian aid.”

The Trump administration has frozen all overseas shipments of USAID’s stockpiles of protective medical gear following mass confusion over which resources are needed inside the United States, Politico reports.

The moratorium was brought in following an embarrassing mix-up in Thailand. A Trump official asked the Thais if they could send protective gear to the U.S., only to told by them that a U.S. shipment of the same supplies was already on its way to Bangkok—the second of two such deliveries.

Delaware politics from a liberal, progressive and Democratic perspective. Keep Delaware Blue.

1 comment on “What Now?! – April 2, 2020

  1. bamboozer

    Florida once again begs for trouble, the Stay At Home order has an exemption for “religious gatherings” and you can bet the churches will push it to the limit, including Jesus Jam 2020. Old people are going to die like the proverbial flies down there. That and I knew that at some point the holy rollers would go with the famed “Religious Freedom” game the supreme court gifted us with, may just get interesting if the court is forced to defend it’s Hobby Lobby decision as it boils down to choosing between public safety and death.

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