Weekend Update

From Margaret Lyons [one of my favorite TV critics]…

Well the good news is, we all have a lot more TV watching time on our hands. The bad news is … basically everything else. Sports are mostly canceled or postponed — except for the Iditarod dog sled race, which I am following closely again this year. Theaters are dark, museums are closed, and it looks as if it might be this way for a bit. My streaming subscriptions are about to get a real workout.

Have a hygienic weekend.

I’ll second that emotion.

Oh…the Julia Child pic? To remind me I’m moving baking my weekly loaf of bread from Monday to Saturday. No special reason, whatsoever.

6 thoughts on “Weekend Update

  1. Commentator says:

    “Trump is finally taking coronavirus seriously. Let’s just hope it isn’t too late” (Washington Examiner) https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/opinion/trumps-tone-has-improved-on-coronavirus-lets-just-hope-it-isnt-too-late “After weeks of trying to boast about the relatively small number of cases in the United States, Trump declared a national emergency.”
    At the same time the President refused to accept any responsibility for the slow rate of coronavirus testing in the United States and sought to shift the blame onto Barack Obama. https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/13/coronavirus-trump-says-i-dont-take-responsibility-at-all-for-lack-of-tests.html – this after previously blaming Americans for not getting Coronavirus tests that don’t exist https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2020/03/donald-trump-coronavirus-testing
    But wait: “Great News: Jared Kushner Doesn’t Think the Coronavirus Is a “Health Reality” https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2020/03/jared-kushner-coronavirus-no-biggie
    …In case you missed it, at his father-in-law’s direction Jared Kushner has paused his efforts to solve the opioid crisis, bring peace to the Middle East, and “reinventing the entire government” to work on the administration’s response to the crisis.
    Last but not least: “JPMorgan officially forecasts a coronavirus-driven recession will rock the US and Europe by July” https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/coronavirus-fuel-recession-forecast-us-europe-economic-july-market-jpmorgan-2020-3-1028994637

    “The President–whoever he is–has to decide. He can’t pass the buck to anybody. No one else can do the deciding for him. That’s his job.” Harry S. Truman, 33rd President of the United Statesfarewell address to the American people, January 15, 1953.

    • Münchhausen trilemma says:

      “During today’s press conference in which he declared the new coronavirus to be a national emergency, President Trump announced that Google was developing software that would be central to the US’ containment strategy. Trump, along with Dr. Deborah Birx, a key official in the administration’s Coronavirus Response Coordinator, said that Google’s Web portal would be central to the process of helping US residents take advantage of a promised expansion of the country’s testing capacity.
      Two hours later, however, Google communications felt compelled to issue a statement saying that nearly everything about this is either not quite right or badly mistaken. The portal is being done by a different company, and isn’t even ready for testing in the single location it’s planned for: California’s Bay Area.
      Google’s role in the process was mentioned twice, first by Trump himself, who said, “Google is helping to develop a website. It’s going to be very quickly done—unlike websites of the past—to determine whether a test is warranted, and to facilitate testing at a nearby convenient location.” He went on to claim that Google currently had 1,700 engineers working on the project right now.” https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/03/google-contradicts-trump-claims-its-not-working-on-a-coronavirus-portal/

  2. Weakened says:

    US Assistant Secretary of State David Stilwell summoned China’s ambassador in Washington to the State Department Friday morning, hours after a prominent Chinese official suggested that the US military may have been responsible for bringing the coronavirus to Wuhan, the epicenter of the global pandemic.
    That claim was publicly promoted by China’s Foreign Ministry spokesman Zhao Lijian on Thursday, who pointed to remarks made by Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Robert Redfield as proof of a growing conspiracy theory that the coronavirus did not originate in central China, as previously thought, and may have been brought there by the US Army.
    https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/13/politics/state-department-chinese-ambassador-coronavirus/index.html
    See also “Coronavirus conspiracy theory that Covid-19 originated in US spreading in China” (includes link to video of CDC Director’s remarks cited by Zhao Lijian) https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/coronavirus-start-originate-conspiracy-china-us-wuhan-cdc-robert-redfield-a9398711.html and (March 10) CDC Director Condemns Trump’s ‘China Virus’ Tweet https://www.thedailybeast.com/cdc-director-robert-redfield-condemns-trumps-china-virus-tweet
    “Rep. Katie Porter (D-CA) had one question for CDC Director Robert Redfield at a congressional hearing on Thursday: Would he commit to using an obscure federal statute to make coronavirus testing free for every American?” See https://www.vox.com/2020/3/13/21178045/katie-porter-cdc-director-robert-redfield-questions

  3. Cassandra says:

    Trump responds to Reporter Yamiche Alcindor (PBS News hour) asking him about disbanding the pandemic response team on the National Security Council in light of the coronavirus outbreak in the US. https://www.cnn.com/videos/politics/2020/03/13/trump-coronavirus-press-conference-pbs-yamiche-alcindor-question-sot-vpx.cnn Includes response by Beth Cameron, Former senior director for global health security and biodefense on the White House National Security Council. See also “I ran the White House pandemic office. Trump closed it.” By Beth Cameron (Washington Post 3/13/20) https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/nsc-pandemic-office-trump-closed/2020/03/13/a70de09c-6491-11ea-acca-80c22bbee96f_story.html
    “As a lethal virus sweeps the globe, U.S. national security officials are closely monitoring how the disease is affecting closed societies like China, Iran and North Korea, trying to gauge to what extent officials in those countries have been covering up the extent of the outbreak.
    Many of these efforts have been coordinated through the National Security Council, which has been holding regular meetings on the response strategy since mid-January, according to an administration official. But former officials who worked on the Ebola and H1N1 responses worry that the steady downsizing of the NSC and the elimination of a unit charged with global health and security has further hindered a government response that was bungled early on by confusion and mismanagement.” https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/12/america-national-security-viral-threat-126574
    The evaluations from the intelligence community are also included in the President’s Daily Brief and likely the intelligence Vice President Mike Pence gets as he leads the coronavirus task force.
    One of the few ways these agencies communicate with the public about their priorities and analysis is through an annual unclassified report called the Worldwide Threat Assessment.
    Last January, the report warned that “the United States and the world will remain vulnerable to the next flu pandemic or large scale outbreak of a contagious disease that could lead to massive rates of death and disability, severely affect the world economy, strain international resources, and increase calls on the United States for support.” https://www.dni.gov/files/ODNI/documents/2019-ATA-SFR—SSCI.pdf “Now, with the pandemic gripping the globe, the 2020 edition of the report has yet to come out and the intelligence community has pushed back on holding the open hearings that would traditionally accompany it before the House and Senate intelligence committees. After last year’s hearing angered the President and he tweeted that his intelligence chiefs should “go back to school,” there has been no appetite among intelligence officials to do anything that could make them and their work a target for the president.
    It also comes amid turmoil at the top of the community, with President Donald Trump installing his inexperienced ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, as his acting Director of National Intelligence. On Thursday, ODNI announced that Grenell is reviewing staffing and initiating a hiring freeze, reviving fears he plans to rid its upper ranks of intelligence professionals deemed insufficiently loyal to the president.” https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/12/politics/grenell-dni-hiring-freeze/index.html

  4. Geezer says:

    The death rates from coronavirus go up to 14.8% for people older than 80 years, according to an early study conducted by the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention that looked at the records of 72,314 patients in China. High smoking rates in the region may have an impact on death rates, which would also be effected by the unknown number of people who had the virus but weren’t tested.

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