NYT asks: How badly is America doing?

When can schools safely reopen? When will the economy really start recovering? And when will you next eat in a restaurant, go to a movie, watch pro sports or hang out at a friend’s house?

All of these are, in fact, versions of the same question: When will the United States finally start to get the coronavirus under control?

And the answer appears to be: not any time soon.

The U.S. looks ever more like an outlier. Over the weekend, President Trump again played down the coronavirus as a serious threat, falsely claiming 99 percent of cases are harmless…

Much of the rest of the world is taking a very different approach. It is slowly moving back toward more normal functioning, without setting off major new outbreaks.

Trump is an idiot who spent most of his life looking for a village of hs peers to take him in. Unfortunately, the GOP did a skillful enough job at manipulating our out-of-date electoral system to give him a whole country to screw up.

Sooner than predicted, parts of the world already too hot for humans


Streetside cooling station

Global warming has already made parts of the world hotter than the human body can withstand, decades earlier than climate models expected this to happen.

Jacobabad in Pakistan and Ras al Khaimah in the United Arab Emirates have both repeatedly crossed a deadly threshold for one or two hours at a time, an analysis of weather station data found.

Wet bulb temperature (TW) is a measure of heat and humidity, taken from a thermometer covered in a water-soaked cloth. Beyond a threshold of 35°C TW the body is unable to cool itself by sweating, but lower levels can still be deadly, as was seen in the 2003 European heatwave that killed thousands without passing 28°C TW.

A US-UK team analysed weather station data across the world, and found that the frequency of wet bulb temperatures exceeding temperatures between 27°C TW and 35°C TW had all doubled since 1979. Though 35°C TW is thought of as a key threshold, harm and even death is possible at lower temperatures, so the team included these in their analysis.

Fat cats in their kool-aid kastles and kars ain’t going to be worrying about themselves. Not likely to worry about the rest of us. Question remains the usual: can we, will we, build a movement that threatens political gigs more than the dollar$ that keep politicians in office?

COVID-19 deaths won’t peak in most states for weeks

The model, which uses data from cellphones to determine the impact of social distancing, provides a daily estimate of fatalities from COVID-19 in the United States for the coming weeks.

The findings indicate the number of deaths almost certainly has not yet peaked and is not likely to peak in many states until after May 1, a finding in contrast to one of the most frequently cited models.

The new model, from the University of Texas at Austin…uses data from the US to estimate the impact of recent social distancing measures within each state…

“On average, there seems to be a three-to-four week lag between when someone gets infected with COVID-19 and when they’re at risk of death,” says Lauren Ancel Meyers, who leads the University of Texas at Austin COVID-19 Modeling Consortium.

“That means we’re just beginning to see the life-saving benefits — and the clear signal in the data — of social distancing that began in mid- to late March.”…

In addition to using local movement data from individual US states to make projections rather than drawing on patterns observed in other countries, another difference in the new model is that it accounts for greater uncertainty further in the future.

Not that our Fake President and his 19th Century advisors pay much attention to models based on scientific studies. Good sense tells us to minimize deaths from this plague. Fearless Leader is more concerned with fund-raising for the next presidential election.

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.