Trump changes his tone. The rest of us try to keep from dying.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday insisted that he had never underestimated or underappreciated the seriousness of coronavirus. But for two months, he and some members of his administration downplayed the global threat even as world events and government and outside experts made clear that the health and economic impacts of this disease would be dire.

Here are some of those comments.

JAN 22
“We have it totally under control. … It’s going to be just fine.”
— Donald Trump

The CDC confirmed the first person-to-person transmission in the United States. CDC Director Robert Redfield says “the immediate risk to the American public is low.”

FEB 24
“The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. … Stock market starting to look very good to me”
— Donald Trump

You get the idea. RTFA. Please. Trump is criminally ignorant. He refuses to examine the science behind a serious fightback to this coronavirus. It doesn’t matter whether he’s ignorant or stupid. He is going to keep on killing Americans with his absurd policies. He is not going to change.

The American Medical Association is the least offensive body I can suggest to you to check in with on a daily basis for what you should be doing. Please listen to someone, anyone, who is a serious scientist, an epidemiologist. And ignore that political quack in the White House.

Pentagon warned Trump about shortages of ventilators, face masks, and hospital beds in 2017

– TRUMP DID NOTHING.

Despite President Trump’s repeated assertions that the Covid-19 epidemic was “unforeseen” and “came out of nowhere,” the Pentagon was not just well aware of the threat of a novel influenza but even anticipated the consequent scarcity of ventilators, face masks, and hospital beds, according to a 2017 Pentagon plan obtained by The Nation.

“The most likely and significant threat is a novel respiratory disease, particularly a novel influenza disease,” the military plan states. Covid-19 is a respiratory disease caused by the novel (meaning new to humans) coronavirus. The document specifically refers to coronaviruses on several occasions, in one instance saying, “Coronavirus infections [are] common around the world.”…

Titled “USNORTHCOM Branch Plan 3560: Pandemic Influenza and Infectious Disease Response,” the draft plan is marked for official use only and dated January 6, 2017. The plan was provided to The Nation by a Pentagon official who requested anonymity to avoid professional reprisal.

Golly, gee, Skipper. I thought we heard Fearless Leader say he knew nothing of the threat from coronavirus plague. No one in US Intelligence had ever suggested such a concern.

Hmmm?

The coronavirus is killing more men than women in the US

Kaedrea Jackson has noticed something peculiar during her shifts inside the emergency department at Mount Sinai Morningside hospital…“It seems there are more men coming in with really severe illness,” said Jackson, an emergency physician. “In general, I’ve seen more male patients. And when they do come in, they are at a sicker state.”

Coronavirus data reported by more than a dozen states and the nation’s largest city support Jackson’s experience. In most states, slightly more women are getting infected than men. But of more than 3,600 deaths in 13 states and New York City that report fatalities by gender, the majority of victims are men.

The disproportionate toll of the virus appears to have deep biological roots. An emerging body of research has revealed that women’s bodies are better at fighting off infection, thanks to the hormones in their systems and the genes on their two X chromosomes.

Scientists say these differences may partly explain why men have been hit hardest by the covid-19 pandemic. And they may provide a vital clue in the search for a cure.

RTFA for more detail. Some of which just adds more variables, obscuring a conclusion. Some is useful – in my mind’s eye, anyway.

My first reaction flows strictly from evolution. Women are mothers, the final resource of our species. I would hope that nature succeeds at keeping us around, healthy, in secure numbers. Even if we seem to be spending much of recent history trying to wipe ourselves out.

Social distancing management with Republicans in charge


Click to enlargeAustin Boschen/AP
Waiting to go through customs at Dallas Fort Worth Airport

The Trump administration needs to “get its shit together” in dealing with the coronavirus outbreak, the governor of Illinois said on Saturday, as travelers returning to the US at Chicago’s O’Hare international airport waited more than four hours for required medical screenings…

On Saturday night, Illinois governor JB Pritzker tweeted directly at Trump and Pence, noting that the customs process is under federal jurisdiction and demanding they take action to ease the crowding at O’Hare.

“The crowds and lines … are unacceptable and need to be addressed immediately,” Pritzker wrote.

“Since this is the only communication medium you pay attention to – you need to do something NOW. These crowds are waiting to get through customs which is under federal jurisdiction…

“The federal government needs to get its s@#t together. NOW.”…

“I’m less concerned about having to stand here for the amount of time that I am, and more concerned about where the people are traveling from that are around me and what they may or may not have been exposed to,” one traveler, Dorothy Lowe, told WFAA-TV at Dallas/Fort Worth international airport, where some waits stretched to three hours…

“We have not reached our peak,” said Dr Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health at the same White House briefing. “We will see more cases, and we will see more suffering and death.”…

Regular readers will know I haven’t much respect for either of the two old political parties conventionally allowed in the United States. Those in charge range in practice from quasi-fascists to unimaginative incompetents. Regardless of either party’s history, their elemental function, nowadays, is to grease the wheels of short-term commerce. And today’s lackeys do a piss-poor job of that, as well.

There is no essential concern for the needs of the nation, the people who constitute the body of citizens – or their families. The self-serving creeps-in-charge have a single agenda: Take the money and run.

Do I generally support Democrats? Of course. They are “the best of a bad lot”. That’s not saying a lot for our future.

Yet Another Monday in Pandemic…by Om Malik


My work desk: iPad Pro w/KeyChron K2 keyboard & Apple TrackPad

On the news, on social media, and in personal communication apps, there seems to seems to be a continuous end-of-the-world vibe. Given that none of us can do much about the way things are going, except self isolating and pay attention to the needs of each others, you get the sense that much of this is misery porn. I can’t help but join writer Dan Samorodinitsky’s plea for “no more coronavirus takes.” What the hell does anyone know? Even the news is just a wash, rinse, and repeat of the same old stuff. Enough already!

For me, today is Day 38 of self-isolation. It is the start of another work week, and I am doing what I would normally do on any given Monday. I get up, go for a walk, come back home, and make a cup of tea before starting in on my list of things I need to do today. I am checking in with some of the founders I work with and figuring out if they need anything. There is a backlog of emails from the weekend, including newsletters that have piled up in my newsletter folder. In many ways, I am going to do exactly what I always do.

My partner Jon Callaghan sent a weekend email to the team, and he shared a slide that posed this question: Who do I want to be during COVID-19? (See Below)

I have emerged from the dark blue zone, and I am now in the growth zone. If anything, after a month of being alone with my thoughts, I have started to make notes about what could possibly be different. I think there is a better-than-good chance that our behaviors change as a result of this pandemic.

In recent days, I have had a series of conversations around the changes with many of my friends, and some shapes have started to emerge. Every time there is a shock to the system, things change — some for better, and some for worse. I am currently creating a ledger and thinking about opportunities, not just for innovation, but for a better humanity.

This dropped into my email box, this morning. A post at Om Malik’s personal website. Professional writer, reflective, subtle photographer – in my mind. A deeply caring human being involved with our species on a global scale. I suggest you spend time wandering through this and other sites he’s part of. He’s a creative voice in more than this; but, it’s how I know him best over the years.