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”.

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?

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.

Breakin’ the law, Breakin’ the law!

KUSHNER’S SHADOW TASK FORCE VIOLATES MULTIPLE LAWS

Jared Kushner’s shadow coronavirus task force appears to be violating both the Presidential Records Act (PRA) and Federal Advisory Committee Act (FACA) by using private email accounts with no assurance their communications are being preserved and by meeting in secret, according to a letter sent today by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW). The failure of the White House to comply with any of the PRA and FACA requirements leaves the public in the dark about the work the shadow task force has done and the influence of private industries on the administration’s response to the coronavirus pandemic…

“If there was ever a time we need records and transparency, this is it. As the seriousness of this pandemic continues to grow, the public needs to understand who in the White House is making policy decisions, who from private industry is influencing those decisions, and how decisions to address this pandemic are being made,” said CREW Executive Director Noah Bookbinder. “After this crisis has passed, we will need to be able to look back at how this administration responded to the situation and have the full picture of what was going on behind closed doors in order to understand what we could do better in the future.”

Yes, that will require a Congress with backbone, brains, integrity and a willingness to stand up for Constitutional standards. All qualities currently missing in action.

Trumplets edit National Stockpile website after they’re caught claiming it’s not for states


The Trump administration changed the Strategic National Stockpile website’s description of the program yesterday after White House adviser Jared Kushner falsely claimed that the medical-supply stockpile is not meant to be used to help states. The description was changed to minimize the stockpile’s role in helping states through crises like the current pandemic, but other portions of the official website still make it clear that Kushner was wrong.

We have an appropriate historical guest comment, this morning:

“Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.”

George Orwell, 1984