Fake news, says Trump, keep buying stuff and don’t worry
Washington governor Jay Inslee has announced a state of emergency, noting that other cases have been admitted to care, with more expected.
Like several recent cases, the deceased had no history of travel to China or any other country affected by the epidemic, nor any reported contact with someone who had. This is a result of community transmission, meaning the virus is live and active within the American community.
Not my fault, says Don Trump
Trump has tweeted a clip from Fox News, captioned “Media Weaponizes Coronavirus Panic against Trump”.
This is the administration position, apparently. It has nothing to do with the government, it’s all a media beat-up, if we just calm down, it will “miraculously vanish”. Other Trump apologists have said that it’s just the common cold, folks.
In a bizarre fantasy, apologist Mike Huckabee revealed an alarming lack of knowledge of medical procedures:
Trump “could personally suck the virus out of every one of the 60,000 people in the world, and suck it out of their lungs, swim to the bottom of the ocean and spit it out, and he would be accused of pollution for messing up the ocean if he did that.” — former governor Mike Huckabee
Get real, America!
This sort of twaddle helps nobody. The bottom line is that Americans are dying and the response of the federal government is to put a lid on it, insisting that all official statements be cleared by vice-president Mike Pence, who presumably will only allow anodyne media releases blaming the Democrats, the media, gays, and possibly inadequate presidential suckage.
Not that Pence himself is an expert on public health matters. In a statement that now seems to have been dusted off for reuse, he said, “Despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, smoking doesn’t kill.” Pence also oversaw a bungled response to an outbreak of HIV in Indiana.
What America needs is widespread, highly visible testing, treatment, and containment policies. Otherwise, as sickness and deaths increase, there will be panic, and it will get worse.
Despite the hysteria from the political class and the media, Coronavirus doesn’t kill. — tomorrow’s White House announcement?
Viruses don’t vote
Attempts to spin the Covid-19 epidemic as some sort of political conflict are pointless. The virus has no registered political affiliation, it spreads through contact and airborne droplets, it is highly contagious, and it kills.
Country after country has fallen victim to the virus. What works is swift, practical, and transparent measures.
What doesn’t work — Hello, Iran! — is denial, coverup, and conspiracy.
Which way will America go?
The stock market is tanking, and it’s not a media beatup
Something that Don Trump really cares about is the stock market. He has spent years claiming credit for the bull run that began under Barack Obama but now says that the record losses of recent days have nothing to do with him. Yeah, right.
What is affecting the market is coronavirus. After China slowed down its production sector in an effort to contain the infection, the inevitable result will be that many American industries will run dry of spare parts and components, and straight-out goods to sell in short order.
If the containerships have nothing to load, they aren’t going to be leaving port. Simple as that. And if American industry runs out of the things they need to sell to make a profit, the outlook is bleak.
Not to mention the downturn in travel and related sectors. Slapping travel bans on more and more countries means that aviation stocks are going to sink, the tourist industry will slow, and that’s another effect on the market.
Investors aren’t reliably stupid. They depend for their money on making good and timely choices. Falling for administration claims that it’s okay folks, buy now and make a profit as the market climbs tomorrow is not a prudent strategy when day after day the thing sinks.
Do no harm
What is increasingly apparent is that America is in for a struggle. I think the globe as a whole is in for a tough time, but this is where good government makes a world of difference.
Public health officials and doctors are pledged to do no harm, and in most nations, they have procedures in place and ready for action. It’s not as if we haven’t had pandemics before. A reasoned, transparent, scientific and apolitical response is what works best.
Sadly, that goes against Don Trump’s instincts which is what he, no doctor, is using to direct his actions. He doesn’t listen to scientists, or those who are paid good money to formulate and implement government policy.
Coronavirus is the Democrats’ “new hoax,” — Don Trump
So far, the most reliable indicator of Trump’s response to any given crisis is to ask, “What would Obama do?” and then watch him do the exact opposite.
America and Australia are linked, not just by ties of longstanding alliance, but by commerce and air travel across the Pacific. Australia is putting effective health measures into place, and warning people that more is to come, but if America turns into a cesspool of infection, a few are going to want to escape to Australia, and that puts me, my family, my friends, and my whole nation at risk.
I’m not looking forward to the coming months and the fast-approaching winter with any great optimism.
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