Sunday, March 29, 2020

17.8 Tons Of Medical Supplies...To China!

I'm not blaming Trump or anybody for the coronavirus. In fact, Trump and his administration weren't the only ones to fail to grasp the severity of the coming pandemic. Many in the corporate media downplayed the danger. Denial is a universal human defense mechanism.

An important difference is Trump was warned by intelligence officials in January. Afterwards he downplayed the threat.   

Whatever his reasons for denial, it was still perhaps just a fallibility of human nature. But that doesn't mean he isn't guilty of unconscionable lies and negligence.

How can any sane and compassionate American not be horrified at how this corrupt, impeached Republican president is botching the federal response to the coronavirus? 

We've heard his long string of dismissive lies, minimizing the danger of COVID-19, AFTER he was informed the pandemic would be here soon. In fact, it was already here at the time he was pushing his disinformation.

By January 29th cases were reported in 17 countries. In China, the outbreak surpassed that of SARS. Five cases were confirmed in the U.S. 

By February 2nd the death toll topped 300, including the first fatality outside China. The World Health Organization and U.S declared a public health emergency.

By this time everybody should have known the threat is real. 


On February 23rd he declared, “We have it very much under control in this country.” 

On February 26th he said, “And again, when you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.” 

And his behavior only got worse, even as he signs the stimulus.

Now he and his party are not just picking corporate "winners and losers", as the Right has projected so thoroughly on Democrats. His demented ego is playing personal grievances and favorites into matters of life and death in a national crisis with deadly consequences. 

We've witnessed his childish, vicious, and personal attacks on the governors of Washington and Michigan, and his reluctance to facilitate aid even to his native state.

He wasn't so reluctant at sending offers of help to Iran, North Korea and China, though. He never met a dictator he didn't like.

It's as if he is at war with Americans who dare question his imperious and vengeful rule. His vendetta towards governors who won't praise him is blackmail, bordering on genocide.

Apart from his vindictive self-centered nature, here's one other explanation why our "War President" has been punishing states with governors who fail to praise him. 

Note the date. It is weeks after he had been told we were going to be hit by the lethal coronavirus, and his cronies did this anyway.


The United States Announces Assistance To Combat the Novel Coronavirus

FEBRUARY 7, 2020

This week the State Department has facilitated the transportation of nearly 17.8 tons of donated medical supplies to the Chinese people, including masks, gowns, gauze, respirators, and other vital materials.  These donations are a testament to the generosity of the American people.
Today, the United States government is announcing it is prepared to spend up to $100 million in existing funds to assist China and other impacted countries, both directly and through multilateral organizations, to contain and combat the novel coronavirus.  This commitment – along with the hundreds of millions generously donated by the American private sector – demonstrates strong U.S. leadership in response to the outbreak.
This assistance only adds to what the United States has done to strengthen health security programs around the world.  For the last 20 years, the United States through USAID has invested over one billion dollars to strengthen the capacity of more than 25 countries to prevent, detect, and respond to existing and emerging infectious disease threats.  Since 2015, under our commitment to the Global Health Security Agenda (GHSA), this support has helped improve surveillance and laboratory systems, risk communication, outbreak response, and address the rising threat of anti-microbial resistance.
The United States is and will remain the world’s most generous donor. We encourage the rest of the world to match our commitment.  Working together, we can have a profound impact to contain this growing threat.
Even if this aid had been planned before the pandemic directly threatened us, maybe our leaders could have cared for the health and welfare of Americans enough to reconsider sending to China the supplies that we would so desperately need.

Tragically the president has decided "Let them die" is his policy towards millions of "disloyal" Americans.

Thursday, March 19, 2020


Remember the Democrats’ stimulus spending?

The Right howled. 

Now they want stimulus spending.

Remember when Socialists said, “We’re all in this together”?

The Right howled. 

Now they say, “We’re all in this together”.

Monday, March 16, 2020

In This Together

Everybody’s going to feel the effects of this one. No border wall could protect us from the Covid-19 corona virus pandemic.

It has finally arrived. We are in a crisis at a time the country is not in capable hands. We have a president who has openly refused to accept any responsibility and a Republican Party that loathes government intervention and public healthcare.

So far, Republicans are essentially obstructing legislation that provides for free coronavirus testing, paid emergency medical leave, extended unemployment insurance, food assistance, and help for health care workers.

Trump wants to cut funding for the CDC, and in his revenge-fueled obsession, did his best to destroy every measure undertaken by President Obama.

“When Bolton became Trump’s national security adviser in 2018, he quickly moved to disband the White House National Security Council’s Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense, which President Barack Obama set up after the 2014-2016 Ebola outbreak to lead federal coordination and preparation for disease outbreaks.

In April 2018, Bolton fired Tom Bossert, then the homeland security adviser, who, the Washington Post reported, “had called for a comprehensive biodefense strategy against pandemics and biological attacks.” Then, that May, Bolton let go the head of pandemic response, Rear Adm. Timothy Ziemer, and his global health security team. The team, the Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense, was never replaced.”

How did our "not-racist", “Disaster President” respond when questioned about this by a woman of color?

PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor asked Trump if he took any responsibility for dismantling a key pandemics response team in 2018.

Trump: "I just think it's a nasty question ... I didn't do it. We have a group of people ... You say we did that, I don't know anything about it."

Sadly, this pattern of lies, irresponsibility and incompetence has been the norm.

Trump Feb. 26: Vaccine "sooner than expected"
Dr. Fauci Feb. 26: Vaccine a year out
Trump Feb 27: "The 15, within a couple of days, is going to be down to close to zero"
Public health authorities ten days later: 550 US cases in 34 states and DC
Trump March 4: According to his “hunch”, the World Health Organization mortality rate is a “false number”.
Dr. Fauci March 4: Mortality rate higher than the flu
Pence March 5: Not enough tests
Trump March 6: "Anybody that needs a test gets a test"
Trump: “I don’t take responsibility at all,” for the administration’s lag in rolling out coronavirus tests.

The World Health Organization developed a coronavirus test protocol that the Trump Administration declined, offering no explanation. This resulted in delays.

(Meanwhile, South Korea, which discovered its first case around the same time as the United States, has reported having the capacity to test roughly 10,000 people a day since late February.)

The Disaster President didn’t want infected cruise ship passengers to come ashore because he didn’t want the “numbers” of confirmed cases to go up.

Politico reporter Dan Diamond told NPR host Terry Gross that, based on his own reporting, Trump “did not push to do aggressive additional testing in recent weeks, and that’s partly because more testing might have led to more cases being discovered of coronavirus outbreak, and the president had made clear — the lower the numbers on coronavirus, the better for the president, the better for his potential re-election this fall.”

His March 11th Oval Office address to the nation was a sedated muddled mess, needing retractions and changes. The next day the Dow Jones took a 10% deep dive and nobody was reassured all was in good hands.

And still we are told. "It's a very contagious virus, it's incredible, but it's something we have tremendous control of." 

No, we don't. Mar-A-Lago has become a viral relay center.

This is not the time to let the Fool decide.

Being of the age that puts me in the most threatened demographic, I tend to be somewhat philosophical about this COVID-19 pandemic. While I'm not living in fear, I want to live. And I know what we can do about it. We can mitigate the rapid spread of the virus so it doesn't become a "Coronapocalypse".

We need to put forth our best efforts to wash our hands, avoid crowds and shaking hands, and keep a safe personal distance when possible. Social distancing is not social isolation. Call friends and family. 

Keep up with physical activities including exercise and routine household chores. Find pleasant distractions for entertainment. We found a jigsaw puzzle can be a nicer alternative than focusing on TV news. Catch up on books, movies, and music. Keeping positive and embracing humor are important psychological and physical defenses.

I'm lucky to have had a job that practiced sensible precautions with transmittable diseases. I volunteered to tend to AIDS patients when others got spooked.

But this virus is far more contagious. As we are increasingly aware, the effects will be felt by all of us, whether we contract it or not.

This viral pandemic needs to be seen as a wake-up call. Modern societies and many of their leaders have largely grown comfortable, arrogant and complacent. 

We will lose people. Many more will die. Our social lives will be disrupted. Our economy will take a severe blow and a lot of people will lose jobs and livelihoods. It is that serious. We need government, and we need honesty, competence, and accountability.

Maybe this mess will prompt us to learn the lessons of a crises that few of us in our part of the world have experienced.

One change immediately visible is the progressive motto, “We’re all in this together” is being uttered, even in the Trump White House. Welcome to socialism, boys. 

One thing is certain. Capitalism is not going to save us. The sacred every-man-for-himself delusion of the almighty “free market” will fail, or make things worse. Already we have jerks price gouging hand sanitizer and disinfectant materials.

I'm hoping the silver lining to this crisis will be a more open attitude, respecting science, and understanding the need for socialized public health. Mother Nature is showing us she can cull the herd anytime. That is reality. Global warming is also a reality, and will likely be our next catastrophic event.

The warning bell is ringing, we all need to take responsibility, and we ARE in this together.