The Ignorant Cranks Behind Trump’s Hydroxychloroquine Push


A guy Jared Kushner found on Amazon, a quack, and Rudy Giuliani. What could go wrong?

On a Sunday night, during his 928,365th televised coronavirus briefing, Donald Trump made an extremely hard sell for the anti-malarial drug hydroxychloroquine, whose effectiveness against COVID-19 is still virtually unknown. “What do you have to lose?” the president asked of taking a drug for which there is very little data, as though he was talking about trying a new flavor of Laffy Taffy or experimenting with two-ply versus four-ply toilet paper. “I really think they should take it,” he said of ill patients. “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.”

In fact, as health experts and actual doctors have stressed, there is a lot patients could lose by trying hydroxychloroquine just for yucks, given that the drug can cause a heart arrhythmia that could lead to cardiac arrest, for starters. “It causes psychiatric symptoms, cardiac problems and a host of other bad side effects,” Megan Ranney, an emergency physician at Brown University told the New York Times, noting that she had never seen an elected official hype a drug as a miracle cure the way Trump has. “There may be a role for it for some people,” she said, “but to tell Americans ‘you don’t have anything to lose,’ that’s not true.”…

RTFA. The gory details aren’t anything unusual in the smog of incompetency that surrounds the Fake President like miasma of a stage-fart. Worth knowing to offer to that silly breed of American apparently still dazzled by the porcelain smile of a reality TV “star”.

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.

Pandemic in the Solid South

…So far, about one in 10 deaths in the United States from COVID-19 has occurred in the four-state arc of Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Georgia, according to data assembled by the COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer collaboration incubated at The Atlantic. New Orleans is on pace to become the next global epicenter of the pandemic. The virus has a foothold in southwestern Georgia, and threatens to overwhelm hospitals in the Atlanta metropolitan area. The coronavirus is advancing quickly across the American South. And in the American South, significant numbers of younger people are battling health conditions that make coronavirus outbreaks more perilous…

All data in this stage of the pandemic are provisional and incomplete, and all conclusions are subject to change. But a review of the international evidence shows that, as far as we know, the outbreaks currently expanding in the American South are unique—and mainly because of how many people in their working prime are dying…

…In each state, older people are the majority of the people considered to be at risk of complications. But the Deep South and mid-South form a solid bloc of states where younger adults are much more at risk. In Arkansas, Alabama, Kentucky, Tennessee, Louisiana, and Mississippi, relatively young people make up more than a quarter of the vulnerable population. Compare that with the coronavirus’s beachhead in Washington State, where younger adults make up only about 19 percent of the risk group.

You can read on, examine the discussion, cause and effect…education, healthcare, cultural backwardness. Say they’ll learn from experience? They voted for George Wallace, and they voted for Richard Nixon and they voted for Shit-for-Brains-Trump! Ignorance breeds ill-health and all the rest. Frankly, the folks in charge of the Solid South work best and hardest at not improving at anything.