It’s time once again for news and views that you can peruse. It’s time once again for your Weekly Reader! Got some hot links, blog posts, or articles from a local paper you’d like to share? Head over to the comments and let us know. The more news, the better.
COVID-19 Can’t Be Gaslighted, but Republicans Can Be (from Love Joy Feminism via Patheos): “How is it possible that Republicans were less likely to believe COVID-19 was a threat in the midst of ballooning case numbers and increasingly dire public health measures than they had been six weeks before, when we had only a handful of imported cases, each located, identified, and handled? How can this be?”
The Trump Presidency Is Over (from The Atlantic): “That said, the president and his administration are responsible for grave, costly errors, most especially the epic manufacturing failures in diagnostic testing, the decision to test too few people, the delay in expanding testing to labs outside the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and problems in the supply chain. These mistakes have left us blind and badly behind the curve, and, for a few crucial weeks, they created a false sense of security. What we now know is that the coronavirus silently spread for several weeks, without us being aware of it and while we were doing nothing to stop it. Containment and mitigation efforts could have significantly slowed its spread at an early, critical point, but we frittered away that opportunity.”
The Worst Outcome (from The Atlantic): “Trump’s Oval Office speech of March 11 was the worst action yet in a string of bad actions.
Here are the things the president did not do in that speech.
He offered no guidance or policy on how to prevent the spread of the disease inside the United States. Should your town cancel its St. Patrick’s Day parade? What about theatrical productions and sporting events? Classes at schools and colleges? Nothing.
He offered no explanation of what went wrong with the U.S. testing system, nor any assurance of when testing would become more widely available. His own previous promises of testing for anyone who needs it have been exploded as false. So what is true? Nothing.”
We’re not going back to normal (from Technology Review): “And what if we decided to be brutal: set the threshold number of ICU admissions for triggering social distancing much higher, accepting that many more patients would die? Turns out it makes little difference. Even in the least restrictive of the Imperial College scenarios, we’re shut in more than half the time.
This isn’t a temporary disruption. It’s the start of a completely different way of life.”
ANTI-GAY LAWMAKER VOTED AGAINST CORONAVIRUS BILL BECAUSE IT “REDEFINED FAMILY” BY PROVIDING SICK LEAVE TO DOMESTIC PARTNERS (from The Intercept): “Other lawmakers objected to the bill because of its costs and the rushed nature of the legislation. Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga., for instance, told reporters that lawmakers “were not given the opportunity to even read the legislation before [House Speaker Nancy] Pelosi forced a vote, and no cost estimate had been prepared.”
During the Family Research Council program, Biggs claimed that he also opposed the coronavirus stimulus bill provisions relating to abortion, claiming falsely that the bill contained measures to repeal the so-called Hyde Amendment, which prevents federal funding to abortion procedures. The bill has no such legislative text.”
The Coronavirus Called America’s Bluff (from The Atlantic): “And why not? Once again, no officials from the Chinese Communist Party instructed anyone in the United States not to carry out testing. Nobody prevented American public officials from ordering the immediate production of a massive number of tests. Nevertheless, they did not. We don’t know all the details yet, but one element of the situation cannot be denied: The president himself did not want the disease talked of too widely, did not want knowledge of it to spread, and, above all, did not want the numbers of those infected to appear too high. He said so himself, while explaining why he didn’t want a cruise ship full of infected Americans to dock in California. “I like the numbers being where they are,” he said. “I don’t need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn’t our fault.””
“There’s No Boogeyman He Can Attack”: Angry at Kushner, Trump Awakens to the COVID-19 Danger (from Vanity Fair): “Every hour seems to bring about a future that would have been unimaginable only days ago. Ohio might be postponing Tuesday’s primary. Would Trump try to delay the election? In another news conference on Monday afternoon, he announced federal guidelines banning gatherings of 10 or more people, auguring the rumored national lockdown. Republicans fear a lockdown could compound the crisis if Trump is cooped up in the White House with nothing to watch but the news. “What’s he going to do, watch reruns of the Masters from 2017? He’s just going to watch TV and tweet and it’s going to get worse,” the former official said.”
Trump finds his MAGA movement fracturing over coronavirus (from Politico): “While the MAGA movement is divided over how seriously to take the coronavirus threat or how to tackle it, the message among his supporters is increasingly unanimous: If Trump fails to control the virus, prevent its spread and prove his leadership, much less save the economy, he will lose the election and cripple his movement.
Trump’s supporters elected him because they considered him a “wartime leader” who could fight against the swamp and the elites, so they expect the same against a truly invisible threat, said War Room host and former Breitbart editor Raheem Kassam. “If, for a second, people think that he doesn’t have that strength, or he doesn’t have that fortitude, then it will become a problem,” he said.”
Trump ‘offers large sums’ for exclusive US access to coronavirus vaccine (from The Guardian): “The German health minister Jens Spahn said that a takeover of the CureVac company by the Trump administration was “off the table”. CureVac would only develop vaccine “for the whole world”, Spahn said, “not for individual countries”.”
What is and isn’t allowed during a ‘shelter-in-place’ order (from CNN): “The purpose of such an order is to enforce social distancing, or to keep people away from each other to limit the spread of the virus. There is nothing inherently dangerous about going outside. The danger is in being close to other people who are infected, whether they know it or not.”
Facebook is flagging some coronavirus news posts as spam (from Vox): “The issue at Facebook serves as a reminder that any type of automated system can still screw up, and that fact might become more apparent as more companies, including Twitter and YouTube, depend on automated content moderation during the coronavirus pandemic. The companies say they’re doing so to comply with social distancing, as many of their employees are forced to work from home. This week, they also warned users that, because of the increase in automated moderation, more posts could get taken down in error.”
Japanese flu drug ‘clearly effective’ in treating coronavirus, says China (from The Guardian): “Patients who were given the medicine in Shenzhen turned negative for the virus after a median of four days after becoming positive, compared with a median of 11 days for those who were not treated with the drug, public broadcaster NHK said.”
Scientists warn we may need to live with social distancing for a year or more (from Vox): “How long, then, until we’re no longer behind and are winning the fight against the novel coronavirus? The hard truth is that it may keep infecting people and causing outbreaks until there’s a vaccine or treatment to stop it.”
That’s all for now. Stay safe out there and I’ll see you again next week.