News & Analylis

March 31

 The next time someone says to you that Trump has been doing a great job, show them this story.

This interview with David Plouffe, Obama's former campaign manager, about the challenges facing the Biden campaign (they're enormous) is behind a paywall, so I've created a pdf. link.

March 30

An amazing interview in The New Yorker with the conservative thinker who is having a major influence on White House  policy. What is so impressive is how the writer and the magazine uses experts to correct Epstein's comments as they appear.

Jay Carney of Amazon went on CNN yesterday to say that the health of its employees was the company's highest priority. Today, workers at an Amazon warehouse in Staten Island are walking off the job in protest over unsafe conditions.

March 29

While the Trump administration says they were on top the virus from the beginning, this major New York Times investigation shows how testing was delayed until it became too late.

Liberty University is now paying for Falwell, Jr. idiocy
as students who were told to return are now getting sick. This goes hand and hand with this devastating critique of how the Trump administration's war on science is dooming so many Americans.

Why all of this could have been prevented, an NPR interview with Max Brooks

March 27 

The Times takes notice that Dr. Deborah Birx has become a partisan mouthpiece for Trump. Her comments about ventilators is a strong indication that she can no longer be trusted to offer nonpartisan, science-based information. 

Remember when Trump lined up all those big corporate CEOs in the Rose Garden and they promised to use their parking lots for testing? No surprise, that turned out to be a lie.

Trump continues to threaten to withhold aid to states whose governors are not nice to him. It would be nice if a reporter reminded him of the phrase, "if you can't stand the heat, get out of the kitchen." The Post writes:

"In discussing the federal government’s assistance to the states, Trump said he advises Pence not to call governors who aren’t appreciative of what the administration is doing in its response to the coronavirus.
“Mike, don’t call the governor of Washington. You’re wasting your time,” Trump said during the White House media briefing. “Don’t call the woman in Michigan. . . . You know what I say: ‘If they don’t treat you right, I don’t call.’ ”
Asked what he wanted from the two governors he referenced — Jay Inslee of Washington and Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan — Trump said, All I want them to do, very simple, I want them to be appreciative. I don’t want them to say things that aren’t true. I want them to be appreciative.”
Trump, who often measures people by their praise of him, listed the governors who had been complimentary but said, “You know, a couple people aren’t. We have done a hell of a job. The federal government has really stepped up.”
Later Friday evening, Inslee — who has sparred with the president online and in person before — tweeted a response to Trump’s criticism.
“I’m not going to let personal attacks from the president distract me from what matters: beating this virus and keeping Washingtonians healthy,” he wrote.
Then, shortly after 9 p.m., Trump derided Whitmer as “way in over her [head]” while deploying an insulting nickname.
“Likes blaming everyone for her own ineptitude!” he wrote.
Earlier Friday evening, Whitmer had emphasized in a video posted to Twitter that her state needs more medical equipment, calling Michigan a “hot spot” for the virus.
“It’s on all of us to lock arms and to meet this challenge and to remember the enemy is covid-19,” she urged."

The problem for Trump will be when the governors of Nebraska and Iowa start to complain. If he withholds aid from them as well, he can kiss those electoral votes goodbye.

March 26

Trump on Thursday, shocking even for him:
"In a phoner with Sean Hannity, Trump talked about New York state's scientific projections of the spread of the virus with astonishment and even some doubt. Regarding ventilators, he said officials like New York Governor Andrew Cuomo "say we want 30,000 of them. 30,000! Think of this. You go to hospitals, they'll have one in a hospital, and now all of a sudden everybody's asking for these vast numbers."

Cuomo's pleas are based on best-in-class modeling and medical expertise. And Trump repeatedly said he has a good relationship with Cuomo... but he still expressed skepticism about the scale of the crisis. He said later, "I have a feeling that a lot of the numbers that are being said in some areas are just bigger than they're going to be. I don't believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators."
— CNN's "Reliable Sources"

According to the Times, Deborah L. Birx, aka the scarf lady, said the same thing, in support of Trump's decision not to make ventilators because basically he doesn't like to pay for anything:

As the United States became the global epicenter of the pandemic, state and local leaders urged President Trump to take more aggressive steps to mobilize the production of critically needed supplies. Instead, the White House suddenly called off a venture to produce as many as 80,000 ventilators, out of concern that the estimated $1 billion price tag would be prohibitive.
In a White House briefing, Deborah L. Birx, the administration’s coronavirus response coordinator, insisted that talk of ventilator and hospital bed shortages was overwrought, but she warned of new hot spots developing in and around Chicago and Detroit."

Does Deborah Birx have any credibility left as a scientist/physician? When was the last time she visited an ER or ICU? When was the last time Trump did? If they bothered to do so, they might have seen what Dr. Colleen Smith has been seeing in the ER at Elmhurst Hospital in Queens and then repeated in a video for the Times. This is must-see stuff.


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