Standard Chartered CEO says UK/US politicos decided their response to the coronavirus “too late”

Standard Chartered Plc Chief Executive Officer Bill Winters said the authorities in London and Washington have been too slow in ordering the type of lockdown that China used to control the Covid-19 outbreak.

Speaking on Bloomberg Television, Winters became one of the highest-profile CEOs to criticize the Western response to the pandemic, saying the U.S. and U.K. had acted “too late.”

“I find it interesting to listen to the debate now that we in the West, or in the U.K., or in the U.S., couldn’t have done what the Chinese did because we don’t have that kind of society,” Winters said. “Well, we are doing what the Chinese did; we’re just doing it too late.”

Say it, again, Bill. Say it, again. The thousands who are dying for the mistakes of our politicians have no voice in this discussion…anymore.

Some Republicans really don’t care if millions of Americans die

Republican Senator Ron Johnson told the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, “I’m not denying what a nasty disease COVID-19 can be, and how it’s obviously devastating to somewhere between 1 and 3.4 percent of the population. But that means 97 to 99 percent will get through this and develop immunities and will be able to move beyond this. But we don’t shut down our economy because tens of thousands of people die on the highways. It’s a risk we accept so we can move about. We don’t shut down our economies because tens of thousands of people die from the common flu.”

He added that coronavirus has a far higher fatality rate than the seasonal flu, but said, “getting coronavirus is not a death sentence except for maybe no more than 3.4 percent of our population (and) I think probably far less…”

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there are currently over 329 million Americans. If, to use the senator’s phrasing, the coronavirus were to kill “maybe no more than 3.4 percent of our population,” that would mean the death of over 9 million Americans. If the 3.4 percent figure is high, and it turns out that the virus is fatal to 1 percent of the population, that’s still over 3 million American deaths.

Just in case you were missing out on the essential Republican concern over national disasters.

New Mexico’s most dangerous border – is with Texas


“Is there a time to call it? A time to say, ‘They won,’ and we just leave?”
Jon Shapley/Houston Chronicle

❝ CARLSBAD, N.M. — Texas’ most dangerous and unchecked border doesn’t lie to the south along the Rio Grande, but rather to the west, where the Permian Basin oil boom is expanding along narrow and deadly roads into rural New Mexico, driving breakneck growth with little oversight and not nearly enough highways, housing, health care and environmental air monitoring.

❝ The Midland-Odessa area in West Texas remains the hub for the prolific oil field with about 350,000 people and some of the fastest economic growth in the country, but even greater change is occurring 150 miles away in this boomtown, where the population has nearly doubled to 75,000 people from 40,000 just a few years ago. Even as lackluster oil prices slow drilling and lower rig counts in Texas by 20 percent over the past year, New Mexico drillers have never been busier, increasing the number of operating rigs in the state by nearly 15 percent to 113…

❝ John Waters, Carlsbad’s executive director of economic development, admits the rapid growth has strained the region’s capacity to accommodate it. The roads have become more dangerous, scary even, and housing is in short supply and far from getting built fast enough to keep up with the influx of people…

The whole caption for the photo up top

❝ “Is there a time to call it? A time to say, ‘They won,’ and we just leave?” asked Dee George in Carlsbad, as a well was being drilled directly across the street from his home. George is a special education teacher in Carlsbad, and he said his family has owned the land his trailer sits on since he was 9 years old. He described birds dying in his yard after flying over another nearby well, and he said he has smelled gas in his house multiple times.

RTFA. Great piece of journalism – describing profit at any human and environmental cost – the heart and soul of the oil industry. Nothing new, except where.

I’ve told the story before – of going to a Friday night high school football game in Odessa, Texas. Players took the field after the bands played, cheerleaders paraded, the big lights came on to light everything up. And not a single insect appeared to cluster around the lights. And if they had, there weren’t any birds to feed on them.

I asked the guy who brought me to see his local team, “what’s that smell?”

He said, “We call that the smell of money around here.”

Ethics-challenged judges added to opioid deaths…and more


Click to enlarge

❝ For years, they sealed evidence about the risks as the body count mounted. And as a Reuters analysis found, it’s only one of many big product-liability cases in which judges have countenanced a lethal and often unlawful secrecy.

❝ In an unprecedented analysis, Reuters found that over the past 20 years, judges sealed evidence relevant to public health and safety in about half of the 115 biggest defective-product cases consolidated before federal judges in so-called multidistrict litigation, or MDLs. Those cases comprised nearly 250,000 individual death and injury lawsuits, involving dozens of products used by millions of consumers: drugs, cars, medical devices and other products. And the numbers don’t convey the full extent of information locked away because they don’t include thousands of product-liability cases heard in state courts.

Frankly, they need to be indicted and tried in something more than the court of public opinion. However, I doubt there is any appropriate body in American jurisprudence or politics with sufficient courage – or dedication to the common good – to do so.