President Trump and First Lady Have Coronavirus

The inevitable has happened.

President Donald J. Trump and First Lady Melania Trump walk from the Oval Office to board Marine One Thursday, April 18, 2019, at the White House. (Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks)
Official White House Photo by Andrea Hanks

Not long before turning in last night, my phone was buzzing with news alerts that presidential advisor Hope Hicks had tested positive for COVID-19. Overnight, the other shoe had dropped.

NYT (“Trump Tests Positive for the Coronavirus“):

President Trump revealed early Friday morning that he and the first lady, Melania Trump, had tested positive for the coronavirus, throwing the nation’s leadership into uncertainty and escalating the crisis posed by a pandemic that has already killed more than 207,000 Americans and devastated the economy.

Mr. Trump, who for months has played down the seriousness of the virus and hours earlier on Thursday night told an audience that “the end of the pandemic is in sight,” will quarantine in the White House for an unspecified period of time, forcing him to withdraw at least temporarily from the campaign trail only 32 days before the election on Nov. 3.

The dramatic disclosure came in a Twitter message just before 1 a.m. after a suspenseful evening following reports that Mr. Trump’s close adviser Hope Hicks had tested positive. In her own tweet about 30 minutes later, Mrs. Trump wrote that the first couple were “feeling good,” but the White House did not say whether they were experiencing symptoms. The president’s physician said he could carry out his duties “without disruption” from the Executive Mansion.

Mr. Trump’s positive test result posed immediate challenges for the future of his campaign against former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., the Democratic nominee, with barely a month until Election Day. Even if Mr. Trump, 74, remains asymptomatic, he will lose much of his remaining time on the campaign trail. If he becomes sick, it could raise questions about whether he should remain on the ballot at all.

WaPo (“Trump says he and first lady have tested positive for coronavirus“):

President Trump and his wife, Melania, have contracted the novel coronavirus, he announced early Friday, after months in which he has often played down a pandemic that has killed more than 205,000 Americans and sickened millions more.

Trump, 74, was diagnosed hours after it became publicly known that Hope Hicks, a top Trump aide who traveled with him on Air Force One and Marine One this week, tested positive Thursday morning.

The president’s physician, Sean P. Conley, wrote minutes later that Trump and his wife “are both well at this time, and they plan to remain at home within the White House during their convalescence.”

The president is expected to conduct official and political events from the residence — including a call on Friday with senior citizens about the coronavirus.

The diagnosis is a jolt for the country’s leadership and had some advisers early Friday discussing the continuity of government should the president’s condition grow worse. The vice president was not known to be infected.

Trump’s early-morning announcement marked an extraordinary turn for the first family, coming little more than a month before Election Day and as Trump has escalated his campaign pace in an effort to catch Democratic nominee Joe Biden, who leads in national and key state polls. Trump, aides and voters say, trails largely because of his handling of the virus, which has dominated voters’ attention along with the economic collapse caused by pandemic shutdowns.

CNN (“Trump’s positive Covid-19 test throws country into fresh upheaval”):

A country already unnerved by a devastating health catastrophe and a turbulent political season faced fresh upheaval Friday as Americans awoke to news President Donald Trump had contracted coronavirus.

The President made the announcement on Twitter at nearly 1 a.m. ET on Friday and the development — after months of debilitating losses, set against a badly mismanaged federal response overseen by a commander-in-chief who repeatedly downplayed the crisis — threw fresh turmoil into the country’s leadership at a moment of deep national strain.

In his announcement, Trump insisted: “We will get through this TOGETHER!” His wife, who also tested positive, wrote, “We are feeling good.”

But the optimistic outlook could hardly veil the pervading sense of destabilization setting in as the country struggles to emerge from a generation-defining crisis just as its politics seem to deteriorate to new lows. Stock market futures tumbled. Inside the White House, aides described a sense of panic as they worked to determine who else may have contracted the disease and whether the President — who falls squarely within the highest risk category for serious complications and who has been guarded about revealing details of his health — was displaying symptoms.

Questions remained about why the President proceeded with his schedule on Thursday, including flying to attend a fundraiser in New Jersey, despite being in close contact with an aide, Hope Hicks, who was known by a small group of aides to have tested positive.

Only hours before announcing his diagnosis, Trump told a virtual audience the pandemic was nearing an end.

This is both surprising and utterly predictable. No people on the planet should be safer, given their 24/7/365 access to the world’s top scientists and medical professionals. But, as all of the reports rightly note, Trump has downplayed the virus and ostentatiously refused to wear a mask, observe social distancing, other otherwise observe protocols.

As with British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who tested positive along with his health minister back in March, there’s a sense of schadenfreude. Like Trump, Johnson publicly downplayed the dangers of the virus, resisted the measures most of the developed world took to contain it, and got far more of his countrymen killed as a result.

But it’s even harder to have sympathy for Trump, who failed to learn not only from Johnson’s example but another six months of hard evidence. A million people worldwide—more than a fifth of them in his own country—have died and yet he was still making fun of Joe Biden for wearing a mask in Tuesday night’s debate.

Maybe this is what it will take to make his followers wake up.

As to the election, I haven’t the foggiest idea of what the impact will be. Presuming Trump remains asymptomatic, likely nil. If he gets sick and survives, he might get a sympathy spike. If he dies, of course, the entire enterprise is upended. And that depends very much on the timing.

FILED UNDER: Campaign 2020, COVID-19, Donald Trump, US Politics
James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Moosebreath says:

    Happy Alanis Morrisette Day!

    21
  2. PJ says:

    I am extending my heartful well wishes to the coronavirus inside Trump. May you live long and prosper, finding no other hosts.

    10
  3. Scott says:

    My wife and I like to think we are good people. Our main concern right now is dealing with the shame of what we are thinking.

    38
  4. Scott says:

    @Scott: This quote spontaneously popped into my head:

    Almira Gulch, just because you own half the county doesn’t mean you have the power to run the rest of us. For twenty-three years, I’ve been dying to tell you what I thought of you. And now, well, being a Christian woman, I can’t say it!

    10
  5. Jax says:

    @Scott: Same.

    3
  6. MarkedMan says:

    I think there is a not insignificant chance this is a fake perpetrated by Trump. If I’m right, he will remain asymptomatic, be strong and vigorous throughout, and then in 10 days announce that it was really nothing.

    16
  7. James Joyner says:

    @MarkedMan: Honestly, that thought occurred to me as well. It’s noteworthy that WaPo’s headline made the least conclusive claim: merely that Trump “says” he’s tested positive.

    7
  8. BugManDan says:

    @MarkedMan: If he is half as smart as he thinks we are, he will make it a cool 14 days and skip the 2nd debate.

    3
  9. Paine says:

    I’m sure this will bring all those conservatives who had grave concerns about Clinton’s health problems in 2016 into the Biden camp. Or maybe not…

    9
  10. Slugger says:

    Good opportunity for him to wear a mask at all times to protect other people.

    7
  11. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:
    It would demonstrate what he always maintained: that the virus is no big deal.

    6
  12. Blue Galangal says:

    @CSK: And it certainly gets the news cycle off all his manifest failures.

    3
  13. BugManDan says:

    @Blue Galangal: Except the giant virus response failure.

    6
  14. @MarkedMan:
    @James Joyner:

    merely that Trump “says” he’s tested positive.

    The actual test results are being withheld until the audit is complete.

    30
  15. Frankly, I don’t believe anything that Trump or this white House says.
    That being said, I hope the fat orange fuq-wad suffers bigly.
    210,000 dead, up to 70% of them directly attributable to his incompetence.
    Karma; it’s pronounced “HA!”

    9
  16. wr says:

    @MarkedMan: “I think there is a not insignificant chance this is a fake perpetrated by Trump.”

    I can’t see it. First, they apparently tried to cover up Hicks’ positives. And while I’m sure he’s looking for a way out of the debates and maybe even the campaign, saying he’s sick to him equals saying he’s weak, and that’s the last thing he would do.

    12
  17. CSK says:

    @wr:
    Not if his mighty physique and robust health overcome the virus. And he gets the additional opportunity to prove how harmless it really is.

    7
  18. MarkedMan says:

    @MarkedMan: Evidence against this being a Trump fake: Bloomberg’s Jennifer Jacobs reports that the White House is saying that Trump will not speak today. This kind of goes to either he is already symptomatic and looking and sounding bad or, more likely, he’s completely collapsed into hysteria.

    6
  19. Kylopod says:

    @Scott:

    @Scott: This quote spontaneously popped into my head:

    Almira Gulch, just because you own half the county doesn’t mean you have the power to run the rest of us. For twenty-three years, I’ve been dying to tell you what I thought of you. And now, well, being a Christian woman, I can’t say it!

    I remember watching the movie as a kid, and as I got older I increasingly wondered what language she was implying she had in mind in this G-rated classic. I suspect it included something that rhymes with what her character’s Oz counterpart is.

    6
  20. Blue Galangal says:

    @wr: I believe Hope Hicks has it. I’m of two minds on whether or not her positive test is being used by Trump to bow out of the debates and garner sympathy, etc. It’s possible he’s faking it and her test was a good excuse. It’s also possible he has tested positive.

    2
  21. KM says:

    My immediate thought was “damnit, with our luck he’s gonna be asymptotic and start using himself as an example of how it’s NBD!!” Unless he get dramatically ill quickly, he’s going to use himself and his staff to further push his narrative that this disease isn’t a threat.

    Second thought was “how are the COVID-is-fake MAGAts gonna square this circle?” It’s a real part of their mythos now – COVID denial and rejection is rapidly becoming a Republican tenet of faith. Even if Trump’s lying to pull off Stunt #1, that means officially admitting COVID is a thing that Trump can’t walk back from. Can’t get infected by a hoax – so if you don’t believe it exists but Trump says he’s got it, what’s your cognitive dissonance come up with?

    10
  22. Mister Bluster says:

    I do not see any evidence for a god so I shall not pray.
    Even if I did believe I could not presume to tell god what to do.

    Between 2001 and 2008 I witnessed the death of my father, my mother and my best friend. My parents went with minimal suffering in their ’80s. My friend Joe died at 54 within weeks of a stage 4 lung cancer diagnosis. It was not pretty.
    As vile a creature that I believe Donald Trump to be I can not wish this deadly disease on anyone.

    16
  23. Mikey says:

    @MarkedMan: Jacobs also reported some close to Trump were concerned on Wednesday that he had COVID-19, because he was showing the extreme fatigue that is an early symptom.

    2
  24. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    As vile a creature that I believe Donald Trump to be I can not wish this deadly disease on anyone.

    I can.

    15
  25. Kathy says:

    Worst case scenario (for America and the world) is he has an asymptomatic course. That allows him, and his fanatical base, to claim it’s really no big deal, no worse than the flu, etc. And/or to claim the hydroxychloroquine tablets he’s sure to gobble like cheeseburgers kept him “healthy.”

    That last goes for the next worse scenario: Trump recovers after suffering symptoms and even requiring hospitalization. Now, no doubt he’ll get the best care, and all measures will be taken. Remedesvir, that steroid I can never recall the name of, convalescent plasma, etc. Maybe he’ll even get shot of all the vaccines (it’s rare, but some vaccines prevent a disease after infection, by making the immune response stronger or faster than the infection elicits).

    Next, Trump dies. For the pandemic, that would be the best outcome. Maybe now 40+% of the US will take it seriously. Then again, the first primal scream from the base will be “He was murdered!!11!!!” No doubt by Hillary, or the Deep State, or Biden, or the Chinese, or someone.

    Of course, this complicates the electoral dynamics terribly,

    Whatever happens, I’d urge the never-Trump Republicans to keep to their stance. After all, Trump got COVID-19 in huge part because he did so little to prevent the spread of the virus in the US, not even backing common sense, cheap measures like masks or even distancing. He made America hospitable to the virus, and provided a huge pool of infection. He has himself to blame. Don’t let him do the same to the rest of the country.

    10
  26. Mister Bluster says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:..Karma; it’s pronounced “HA!”
    Why did Karma (whatever that means) wait for one million people including 200,000+ in the United States to die before striking Donald Trump?

    6
  27. gVOR08 says:

    Best I can find quickly, the fatality rate at his age, once infected, is something like 5 to 10 percent. Joking about low income aside, AFIK he has no risk factors except age and obesity. However it’s well established that his doctors lie, so for all I know he has COPD. There’s also a possibility of false positive. And, as noted by others, that this is all fabricated. On the other hand, I read somewhere that Hicks is showing symptoms. All in all, odds are he’ll survive.

    I’ll not pretend any sympathy for him. He has, after all, been running on pretending the virus isn’t real. My hopes and prayers will be directed toward this making the threat more real and red state types, like the WH staff, suddenly masking.

    2
  28. Mister Bluster says:

    @Michael Reynolds:..I can.

    I believe you.

    6
  29. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Kathy:

    You forgot bleach. Any word on cases of Clorox being delivered to the WH?

    4
  30. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Consider my Fruede to be thoroughly schadened.

    4
  31. MarkedMan says:

    @KM:

    what’s your cognitive dissonance come up with?

    This is not going to be a problem. The whole point of cognitive dissonance is that you can hold two or more mutually exclusive beliefs at the same time. Trumpers thrive on this.

    3
  32. J. Foobar says:

    Thoughts and prayers.

    10
  33. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Read somewhere just a little bit ago that he is exhibiting mild symptoms (cold like). We’ll see how it developes.

    1
  34. CSK says:

    Last spring, didn’t he claim to be taking hydroxychloroquine as a preventative?

    By the way, I have my doubts he was actually ingesting HCL. Barbara Res, who worked for him for years, claimed he’d never, ever put an untested and unproven substance in his mouth. I believe her.

    4
  35. CSK says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:
    I read that he’s “extremely fatigued.”

    2
  36. BugManDan says:

    @Kathy: There is a possibility of more than one of your scenarios happening if you include Melania & Hicks.

    1
  37. charon says:

    Since late Tuesday, Trump has appeared with thousands at a rally in Minnesota, debated Biden onstage and has interacted with a coterie of aides and political advisers at the White House. There was no immediate answer from Biden’s camp as to whether he had been tested.

    After White House officials learned of Hicks’s symptoms, Trump and his entourage flew Thursday to New Jersey, where he attended a fundraiser at his golf club in Bedminster and delivered a speech. Trump was in close contact with dozens of other people, including campaign supporters, at a roundtable event.

    The president did not wear a mask Thursday, including at the events at his golf course and on the plane, officials said. He was tested after he returned to the White House, but he also appeared on Sean Hannity’s TV show from the residence by telephone.
    Two people who spent time with him said he did not show noticeable symptoms although he seemed tired and acknowledged to other aides later Thursday that Hicks was ill. During his fundraiser in New Jersey, “he said the things he usually says on TV,” said an attendee.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/hope-hicks-close-trump-aide-tests-positive-for-coronavirus/2020/10/01/af238f7c-0444-11eb-897d-3a6201d6643f_story.html

    2
  38. MarkedMan says:

    Food for thought: Did Trump know he was positive and deliberately go ahead with the debate in order to infect Joe Biden? A little evidence to support that tin foil theory.

    2
  39. Not the IT Dept. says:

    It’s not a fake, I believe he has it. I commented in a thread a couple of weeks ago that I was surprised he hadn’t caught it by now.

    Now take a few minutes to consider the plight of the nurses who have to keep watch over a raging man-baby who is a paranoid germaphobe for two weeks. Thoughts and prayers!

    5
  40. Mikey says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    @Mister Bluster:

    As vile a creature that I believe Donald Trump to be I can not wish this deadly disease on anyone.

    I can.

    I am that guy.

    5
  41. Michael Reynolds says:

    I think the odds of this being a ploy are very low.

    Since I am not superstitious and don’t think I’ll anger the gods or the furies or whoever, and because I’m not a hypocrite, I hope this racist, misogynist, fascist POS who has caused the deaths of tens of thousands of Americans for no reason but to advance his own political agenda, has a long, brutal bout of Covid 19. I’d prefer shattered to dead, because I’d like him to live with it, to never fully recover. I have all the sympathy for him that I felt when Saddam stretched a rope or Gaddafi had his impromptu anal probe.

    I don’t weep for evil men.

    25
  42. Sleeping Dog says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Hicks didn’t feel ill till Wednesday, that blows a big hole in the get Joe sick on Tuesday theory.

  43. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Mikey:
    I need more Expanse. Love that show, and Amos is a great character.

    13
  44. Kingdaddy says:

    My fear: sympathy vote.

    8
  45. Jen says:

    I thought everyone in close contact with the president was being tested daily?

  46. Kingdaddy says:

    From the WaPo article, about halfway through:

    After White House officials learned of Hicks’s symptoms, Trump and his entourage flew Thursday to New Jersey, where he attended a fundraiser at his golf club in Bedminster and delivered a speech. Trump was in close contact with dozens of other people, including campaign supporters, at a roundtable event.
The president did not wear a mask Thursday, including at the events at his golf course and on the plane, officials said. He was tested after he returned to the White House, but he also appeared on Sean Hannity’s TV show from the residence by telephone.

    3
  47. charon says:

    https://twitter.com/anniekarni/status/1312004154399825927

    Now, people at the WH are wearing masks. No one who traveled with POTUS — which was everyone — did this week.

    //By Thurs, it was clear something unusual was happening at the WH. Several staff members who have avoided masks were suddenly wearing them.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/02/us/politics/trump-positive-coronavirus-test.html

    3
  48. EddieInCA says:

    Most of you are better human beings that I am. When I heard the news, and it was early yesterday when I heard it, I danced a jig. Literally. I got up and danced.

    Eff him and his cult. May he die a long, slow, horrible death on a ventilator.

    15
  49. Kathy says:

    As I was leaving for work, news on CNN was that Biden would get tested today.

    I hope he’s negative.

    FWIW, my understanding is that while asymptomatic transmission does happen, it’s most likely shortly before the onset of symptoms. This bodes well for Bidden, Wallace, and everyone else at the debate. On the other hand, I take it Hicks was there, spreading the Trump virus.

    We’ll just have to wait and see.

    9
  50. Mikey says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Wes Chatham said yesterday The Expanse Season 5 is “coming soon.”

    Also Season 6 of Schitt’s Creek is coming to Netflix next week. 😀 😀 😀

    5
  51. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @CSK: “Fatigued” too was what I read. Not sure what to make of any of this at this point in time.

    1
  52. Scott F. says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I’d prefer shattered to dead, because I’d like him to live with it…”

    It would be more fateful for him to have feel how much harder it is on the body than the typical flu, but then I want him around to watch how this will cement his downfall.

    4
  53. charon says:

    Trump is a quitter. Historically, he bails when things go south (as, typically, they usually do).

    Here is his perfect pretext to bail.

    12
  54. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kingdaddy: From who? His voters who all think it’s a hoax? From the rest of us who hope he has a long and painful illness? Did I miss anybody?

    5
  55. Scott F. says:

    @Kingdaddy: Sincere question: Sympathy votes from whom?

    3
  56. charon says:

    @CSK:

    If I recall correctly, you monitor Lucianne.com, Gateway Pundit etc. for the comments.

    I would love to know how the MAGA’s are handling this without slogging thru the dreck myself.

    6
  57. Kingdaddy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: Undecided voters who might otherwise have been alienated from him. Weakly motivated, philosophically aligned people who might not have made the effort to vote otherwise. Previous Trump voters who were disappointed with him and might not have voted.

    8
  58. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Kingdaddy:
    Any slight sympathy will be canceled out by weakness. Trump is superhuman, sent by Jesus himself. The culties follow the strong horse, not the shivering, gasping, wheezing horse.

    9
  59. JohnSF says:

    @Blue Galangal:
    One big sign this is not a fake.
    Tim Hogan on Twitter 5:19 AM · Oct 2, 2020:

    There’s an E-6B Mercury off the east coast near DC. I looked because I would expect them to pop up if he tests positive.

    another E6-B that just popped up visible on MLAT on the west coast. IMO Stratcom wants them to be seen.

    E-6B Mercury = “Looking Glass” United States Strategic Command airborne command post aka “the Doomsday Plane”

    7
  60. Tony w says:

    @MarkedMan:
    Exactly
    He’s lying, as usual.

    It’s a distraction from the Guilfoyle and Melania news. It’s a distraction from the WH Christmas decorations story. It’s a distraction from the $750 tax return news. It’s a distraction from his ridiculous performance at the debate.

    He is changing the subject.

    The polls have him losing, and his internal polling is probably much worse than what we’re seeing.

    He doesn’t want to debate anymore.

    Two weeks from now, he will be cured. It will be a miracle. Hydroxychloroquine works!

    Maybe I’ll be proven wrong. Maybe the 25th Amendment will come into play. But probably not.

    4
  61. Erik says:

    @Kingdaddy: or that some people who were thinking “I want to, but just can’t vote for Trump” are now adding “but Pence, now he would make a good president.” I hope Trump lives until Nov 4.

    2
  62. Mikey says:

    @JohnSF: I read about that just a little while ago too. Basically a “don’t you dare fuck with us” signal.

    1
  63. Tony W says:

    Also – the more Republicans that get tested “positive” – then cured miraculously in two weeks’ time, the more evidence they have to show more and more evidence that COVID is no big deal, and Trump’s handling of it was appropriate.

    This is a big “Hail Mary”

    4
  64. Kingdaddy says:

    The analogy that comes to mind for this situation is the drunken father. He kept putting other people in danger, harming them through his negligence and intoxicated rages. Now, he has harmed himself. All discussions of whether he deserves our sympathy, he was in a position of responsibility, and now he cannot live up to that duty, due to his recklessness. The emotional responses that situation usually inspires are anger, disappointment, and disgust. Maybe despair that the person will probably not change.

    10
  65. CSK says:

    @charon:
    Generally I just check Lucianne.com, since they aggregate all the crapola from the Gateway Pundit, Breitbart, the Conservative Treehouse, etc.

    One leading theory appears to be that a Democratic plant breathed on Hope Hicks so she’d contract the virus and infect Trump. It’s a deep state plot, you know.

    They seem to have forgotten that yesterday they claimed to believe the virus was no biggie. That was before Trump contracted it.

    13
  66. J. Foobar says:

    Ronna McDaniel, chairwoman of the R.N.C., tests positive for the coronavirus:

    https://www.nytimes.com/live/2020/10/02/us/trump-vs-biden#ronna-mcdaniel-chairwoman-of-the-rnc-tests-positive-for-the-coronavirus

    She was last with Trump a week ago but it doesn’t say when she was last with Hicks.

    5
  67. EddieInCA says:

    Several outlets are reporting that Trump is definitely symptomatic. If he was asymptomatic he’d be doing radio or appearing on Fox via phone. The fact that his campaign has gone 100% silent tells me that it’s serious. They don’t want him sneezing, wheezing, or coughing during interviews.

    The man can’t stay away from media. He just can’t. So that he is now staying away from media tells you what you need to know.

    15
  68. JohnSF says:

    Comparison point:
    Boris Johnson had Covid-19.
    He recovered, and is still functioning as PM.
    But he required intensive care and some reporting suggests he is still not fully recovered; reports of tiredness, inability to concentrate, problems with eyesight etc.
    And Johnson, albeit somewhat overweight, is probably overall in better condition than Trump, not least being good deal younger at 56.

    9
  69. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kingdaddy: You left off Sasquatch and Nessie. 😉

    Seriously, I don’t think there are enough of those folks who are persuadable by sympathy to make a difference. Least of all, the Weakly motivated, philosophically aligned people because that presumes they are capable of sympathy which trump’s philosophy is totally lacking in. As to Previous Trump voters who were disappointed with him, they are going to be less disappointed because he got it?

    But maybe it’s just me. I have never been persuaded by sympathy to vote for anyone and can’t imagine how anyone else could be. I recognize that in theory they might exist just as flying saucers are theoretically possible.

    2
  70. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Erik: “I want to, but just can’t vote for Trump” are now adding “but Pence, now he would make a good president.”

    I’m pretty sure the number of people who follow that thinking are more than outweighed by the number who decide it just isn’t worth the bother if they can’t vote for their lord and savior.

    3
  71. MarkedMan says:

    As I said, I don’t wish anyone suffering, but nonetheless it would be pure BS for me to say I wish Trump a speedy recovery. I don’t hate Trump (I don’t actually think of Trump as a fully functioning human being, so really can’t hate him) but recognize that he is responsible for the death of hundreds of Americans every single day. Getting him off the scene as quickly as possible will reduce those deaths. Think I’m exaggerating? Take a look at which states have the highest Covid death rate right now. You have to get to #14 (MA) before you find a state that isn’t Red or Reddish-Purple. Then next one doesn’t show up until CA at 21. The most reliably blue states are clustered in the Botton third of the list. and the differences are significant. The current per capita daily death rate in NY is less than 1 in 2 million. The per capita death rate in ND is 1 in 125,000. 20:1 difference. And ND is going up steeply

    2
  72. Kingdaddy says:

    @OzarkHillbilly: I hear you. I’m stating a hypothesis, not a prediction. I do not know how the electorate in 2020 responds to stimuli, which is kind of my point. We should be aware of possible outcomes other than the ones we assume.

    9
  73. MarkedMan says:

    @Kingdaddy: Consider this additional upvotes

    4
  74. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @KM: I see them squaring the circle by claiming that Trump’s infection shows that the disease isn’t a big deal–not even really even the flu. All the people who died simply were not a healthy as they thought they were and would have died of something.

    And if Trump really gets sick, a cruise on de Nile is always nice in the fall.

    2
  75. R. Dave says:

    @Kingdaddy: My fear: sympathy vote.

    … [from] [u]ndecided voters who might otherwise have been alienated from him. Weakly motivated, philosophically aligned people who might not have made the effort to vote otherwise. Previous Trump voters who were disappointed with him and might not have voted.

    This is my fear as well. Johnson and Bolsanaro both got popularity boosts when they were infected. And you just know that many on the Left are going to say a bunch of nasty things about how happy they are Trump is sick, hoping he dies, etc., and Republicans will use that to juice their own base’s negative partisanship and convince the undecideds and soft Republican leaners that the Trump nastiness they dislike is really a “both sides” issue and so should be discounted.

    6
  76. Scott F. says:

    @Tony w: I think we’ve debunked the idea that Trump can pull off 11th dimensional chess. I just don’t see the play for this being fake.

    Claim infection to change the subject? No matter how ugly the Melania and tax return news is, the pandemic remains the worst possible subject to have the focus over the coming weeks. Every place I’ve checked this morning, Trump’s condition is being juxtaposed with the latest numbers on hospitalizations and death.

    Claim infection to get out of the debates? Trumpster Fire 2.0 can’t be worse than giving the stage to wall-to-wall coverage of COVID-19 for the next few weeks.

    The polls have him losing, and his internal polling is probably much worse than what we’re seeing.

    That said, I could easily see this being real and Trump using his infection as an excuse to quit to avoid embarrassing defeat, then potentially avoid jail.

    2
  77. JohnSF says:

    If I were a certain senator from Kentucky whose name rhymed with Snitch McMammal, I would right now be frantically trying to get focus group polling data for a Mike Pence run, and trying to figure how best to persuade a poorly POTUS to resign.

    5
  78. inhumans99 says:

    I love how the one of the first reactions was that this is a ploy to get out of the next debate, or get a sympathy vote spike (lol). I think even if he actually has Covid with the level of care he receives it may only very mildly effect President Trump. Still, this should be a wake-up call to his acolytes to wear the damn masks and stop crowding each other at rallies, etc..

    As loathsome as Trump is I hope he will be just fine. It is weird, in my head I have probably wished he would just die but now that he may actually have Covid I find myself hoping he gets well as I am just not that kind of person. Sometimes some very brutal thoughts go through my head but if you met me and I laid out some of my inner thoughts you would quickly realize that is where they shall stay, inside my psyche not to be acted upon….because, y’know, I am not actually a sociopath.

    It is the Ted Bundy’s and other creeps that usually act out what should stay inside their head, that is just not who I actually am.

    6
  79. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kingdaddy: I have been hearing a lot of “the sky is falling” doomsaying ever since 2016. I understand it, I feel it more often than I like, but I refuse to succumb to it. If I am disappointed on Nov 4th, I’ll live with it.

    Besides, I’m far more likely to die from the covid than I am to see trump reelected.

    1
  80. Michael Reynolds says:

    Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, confirms Trump has ‘mild symptoms.’

    4
  81. Not the IT Dept. says:

    My fear: the D campaign doesn’t know how to go after a man who might be sick and wastes time waffling while Trump gets two free weeks. On the other hand, if the WH is admitting that he has “mild symptoms”, he might be dead by next Wednesday.

    My hope: they go after the R governors who are doing their best to keep people from voting. They’re largely below the national radar but that needs to change. Fight back with the biggest GOTV effort in American history!

    I read today on social media that Q followers are swooning with joy because IT’S FINALLY COMING DOWN NO FOOLING THIS IS REALLY REALLY REAL THIS TIME NOT LIKE EVERY OTHER TIME IT WASN’T REALLY REAL.

    Because Covid is fake and quarantine is spelled with a Q and so it’s a really really real super secret signal to Qers to get ready and Hilary is finally going to jail and it’s all a big power ploy to turn the Deep State’s phony illness against the Deep State.

    Or something. I’m actually surprised that they’re not claiming he was deliberately infected by his enemies.

    Edited to add: where does that leave Mike Pence? He’s definitely been physically close to many of the same people Trump has.

    3
  82. @Michael Reynolds:
    I know that you know…nothing they say, nothing, can be taken for the truth.
    If Meadows is saying mild symptoms, the fat orange fuq could already be on a respirator, or it could all be a ruse.
    But it’s almost certain he doesn’t have mild symptoms.

    2
  83. MarkedMan says:

    @Scott F.:

    Trump using his infection as an excuse to quit

    There’s something to that. For a couple of years now I’ve thought the only possibility of Trump bowing out early is if he cuts a deal with Pence to pardon him and his family. Once he accepted the nomination I thought we were passed that window, but maybe not. Pence would do it in a heartbeat.

    3
  84. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:
    Oh, you’re such a cynic! Meadows says Trump’s first question upon waking was about the economy and the recovery and the stimulus bill, and totally not, am I gonna die? I can’t die! Do it to Melania, do it to Melania!

    You don’t believe that?

    7
  85. Mikey says:

    @Not the IT Dept.:

    My fear: the D campaign doesn’t know how to go after a man who might be sick and wastes time waffling while Trump gets two free weeks.

    Yeah, but two “free weeks” doing what? He can’t go anywhere, can’t do any campaign events, none of his precious ego-feeding rallies, what’s he going to do? I suppose if he’s in any condition to do so, he could livestream some campaign stuff from the White House (which would be illegal but since when has he given a shit).

    And while the White House has acknowledged “mild symptoms,” there’s no guarantee they will stay mild. Someone upthread mentioned how Boris Johnson was still working for the first few days after his diagnosis, and then took a sudden downturn and ended up in the ICU. And Johnson is almost 20 years younger and probably 80 pounds lower on the obesity scale than Trump.

    There is no positive in this for the Trump campaign.

    4
  86. Things this “test result” is currently distracting from:
    Not particularly great jobs report showing that the economic recovery is continuing it’s slowdown.
    Don Jr’s girlfriend’s sexual harassment troubles.
    Melania’s audio tape.
    Donnie’s terrible/pitiful debate performance.
    Donnie’s taxes and whether he is a terrible businessman or just a tax cheat.
    I’m sure there is more.
    This also throws a huge monkey wrench into Biden’s campaign plans…I’m sure that camp is scrambling to figure out how to proceed.

    4
  87. Paine says:

    Mark Meadows looked pretty shaken. I think they are hiding something…

    4
  88. @Mikey:

    Yeah, but two “free weeks” doing what? He can’t go anywhere, can’t do any campaign events, none of his precious ego-feeding rallies, what’s he going to do?

    I promise you that he will concoct some way to profit from this…that’s what grifters do.

  89. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Everyone who’s died of COVID-19 began with mild symptoms.

    9
  90. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Scott F.: The only Melania news that I’ve seen recently is a report that Melania was heard using coarse language. Am I missing something? That “news” strikes me as a “dog craps on sidewalk” story.

    2
  91. Scott F. says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:
    All those distractions together (otherwise known as a typical week in Trumpland), don’t outweigh increased scrutiny on the coronavirus 24/7 for the next several days.

    His infection puts to lie all of Trump’s most useful diversions from his pandemic responses failures – it’s a hoax, it’s a blue city/state problem, it affects virtually nobody.

    Add to that the fact that claiming infection, even if he is truly only “mildly” symptomatic, severely undermines the strong guy, alpha male image protection that is so important to his base.

    If this is a fake, it’s a massive own goal. I just don’t see it.

    5
  92. Kingdaddy says:

    From a continuity of government perspective, this is more than a little appalling. The contact tracing trail quickly leads from Trump to his chief of staff and other White House officials. Mark Meadows met with McConnell recently, so leadership of the Senate is at risk. All those White House officials undoubtedly have met with other executive branch leaders. I don’t know what efforts there have been to compartmentalize people to prevent the pandemic from decapitating the federal government, but the Meadows/McConnell meeting suggests they might not have been very good. Other evidence — the lack of distancing and masking at meetings and the RNC Convention, the rejection of the pandemic playbook — would point in that direction.

    But I don’t know. If someone on this thread can point to information about measures in place to prevent catastrophic discontinuity, I’d be grateful for it.

    4
  93. Kylopod says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Trump’s chief of staff, Mark Meadows, confirms Trump has ‘mild symptoms.’

    They said the same thing about Boris Johnson when it was first reported he tested positive. He ended up nearly dying.

    3
  94. Not the IT Dept. says:

    @Mikey:

    There’s no positive in this for anybody – except, of course, the virus itself.

    We’re used to thinking in terms of up/down: someone benefits, someone loses. But this situation threatens both of them with their own base voters. Trump voters don’t care that Biden keeps up his attack but Biden’s voters will; they’re decent people and decent people don’t do that kind of thing when a man is sick. Biden tweeted out his best wishes for a swift and complete recovery a few hours ago, so he knows what his base expects. Trump looks weak in front of his base voters who think Covid isn’t real and now have to adjust, maybe even consider wearing masks.

    And “two free weeks” doing nothing means he’s not spewing outrage after outrage every hour. Trump is his own worst enemy: the more you’re exposed to his vitriol and stupidity, the more you are repulsed by him. If you can’t hear or see him, the repulsion might fade. And if Pence has to step up the campaign, his normality might bring 2016 Trumpers back in. Also hard to see the militias getting excited about Pence so they might stick a sock in it for a while too and stop scaring voters.

    This is genuinely uncharted territory for Americans. We should legitimately be worried about how we’ll handle it.

    7
  95. @MarkedMan:

    I think there is a not insignificant chance this is a fake perpetrated by Trump

    The thing is that what he loves the most are his rallies. This takes those away.

    13
  96. Jen says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    This also throws a huge monkey wrench into Biden’s campaign plans…I’m sure that camp is scrambling to figure out how to proceed.

    They had better have already gamed this out, and I’m being serious. Campaigns do this work all of the time. There’s a reason my “what’s the worst thing that can happen–plus all other scenarios” brain was pretty decent at campaign work (and PR, for that matter).

    My .02, they go on a charm offensive. Pull the negative ads, focus solely on Biden’s work over the years, his service, his family, his faith. You win no points attacking a sick opponent, but that doesn’t mean you sit on your hands and do nothing. Soften up the speeches a bit. Don’t disappear but don’t be on the attack.

    If they haven’t already thought this through, I’ll be incredibly disappointed.

    9
  97. Scott F. says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:
    That’s the only Melania news I know of as well. The Kimberly Guilfoyle story Tony W cites is also “dog craps” in news terms.

    Of all the recent Trump bad news, only the tax story strikes me as big enough to have a lasting effect on the Donald’s election prospects. It’s all the same old, same old. Trump’s positive test for COVID distracts by putting the focus on Trump’s greatest vulnerability. It makes no sense as a political ploy for the campaign.

    Trump could take advantage as an out from his failing campaign and there’s maybe a scenario where this could be used to delegitimize the election results. But there’s no way this helps him win the election.

  98. wr says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I’m still wishing Limbaugh’s horrible cancer on Trump, but I’ll make room for this.

    4
  99. KM says:

    @Kathy:

    Everyone who’s died of COVID-19 began with mild symptoms.

    Add in that Trump’s potentially had one or more mini-strokes in the last few years and he claims to have taken hydroxychloroquine and god knows what else outside a doctor’s care in the last few months, Trump’s looking at a bad time. He’s got a ton of preexisting conditions that would make him high-risk and generally lives a poor lifestyle that would rob him of any margin of error healthwise. “Mild” is the best he can hope for but there’s a very good chance he’s looking at hospitalization or worse.

    The WH has to be FREAKING OUT right now.

    4
  100. Scott F. says:

    @Kingdaddy:
    Speaking of continuity and chain of succession, could Acting President Pelosi withdraw Amy Coney Barrett’s nomination to SCOTUS??

    Inquiring minds want to know.

    4
  101. wr says:

    @Kingdaddy: “My fear: sympathy vote.”

    Typhoid Mary didn’t get a lot of sympathy…

    If Biden or Fauci got it, they’d get huge sympathy from most people. But the guy who’s been running around without a mask telling everyone it’s no big deal? Not a chance.

    3
  102. dmichael says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: Why? The obvious response from the Biden campaign is to immediately issue a sympathetic statement wishing Trump and Melania and Hope Hicks a speedy recovery along with a earnest request that everyone wear masks in public and comply with social distancing.

    2
  103. @Scott F.:

    No matter how ugly the Melania and tax return news is, the pandemic remains the worst possible subject to have the focus over the coming weeks.

    Agreed. This not only brings the worst story for Trump’s campaign, COVID, to the forefront it does so in a way that makes the story automatically about his failures related to the pandemic.

    8
  104. KM says:

    @Scott F.:
    IANAL but I would say no. I don’t think she could withdraw it but could likely table it. In fact, I would imagine that would be the proper thing to do since you don’t want the opposite party Acting head to countermand the wishes of the actual Office holder so any plans would get put on hiatus. McConnell would be smart to float that balloon ASAP.

    2
  105. @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    This also throws a huge monkey wrench into Biden’s campaign plans…

    Does it? Doesn’t it illustrate, almost without Biden having to say it, Trump’s ineptitude in managing this crisis?

    Trump just made fun of Biden for wearing a mask on Tuesday and is then confirmed to have COVID by Thursday night.

    14
  106. Scott says:
  107. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Scott F.: For me, the Guilfoyle story carries an additional “dog’s owner quickly drops leash and walks away” feel, but I can’t explain why. It may be from all the years I was in Korea, where she looked like she was coated in plastic on Hi-Def TVs there, but the level of dissipation I sense seeing her makes the story more pathetic than outraging to me.

    ETA: WA! I got a “click to edit” button without even asking for one. I feel so lucky! 😀

    1
  108. Paine says:

    Mediaite has a clip of some reporter suggesting Biden put his campaign on hold, based on precedent from some other crises that occurred during a campaign season. GTFO was the immediate (and proper) response.

    2
  109. @Steven L. Taylor:

    Does it?

    Apparently you are correct, and I was overthinking it.
    The Biden camp has announced there would be no changes.

    4
  110. Kathy says:

    @Steven L. Taylor:

    Agreed. This not only brings the worst story for Trump’s campaign, COVID, to the forefront it does so in a way that makes the story automatically about his failures related to the pandemic.

    While masks offer the wearer some protection*, they are most effective at limiting the spread of virus from those who are infected. That’s why it’s best when everyone wears them.

    I say this because it’s my understanding that not only did Trump not wear a mask often, but that few in the WH staff and his inner circle did either, apparently because trump thought it looked “bad.”

    Well, Donnie, this looks worse, don’t it?

    *the famous N95 respirators do work better at protecting the wearer, so long as they fit properly. as I understand, the blue or white cone-like ones with loops for the ears don’t offer that level of protection, but do protect more than other types of masks, including hospital-grade surgical masks. And of course they also prevent infected people from spreading SARS-CoV-2.

    Ironically enough, the first I ever heard of N95 respirators was in 2019, when they were recommended as protection from particulates from last year’s wildfires.

    3
  111. Monala says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker: It wasn’t just the coarse language… it was what she was saying “f*ck it” to — children in cages at the border, and having to decorate the White House for Christmas. The former shows her callous indifference to kids who are suffering, and the latter gives lie to the “defending Christmas” BS Trump has been claiming. (It may also explain why the decorations she chose were so ugly and un-cheery).

    As Adam Serwer of the Atlantic said on Twitter: “Turns out the First Lady with a ‘whitey’ tape was actually Melania.”

    6
  112. @Kathy:

    Well, Donnie, this looks worse, don’t it?

    Exactly.

    5
  113. Mikey says:

    @Not the IT Dept.: Your points are well-made, certainly. They could all figure into how this mess eventually shakes out.

    At the same time, though, the overriding factor is that in the last month of a Presidential campaign, one of the candidates has been rendered–for the time being, anyway–unable to actually campaign. His opponent–assuming he hasn’t also caught the virus–has no such limitation.

    This is genuinely uncharted territory for Americans. We should legitimately be worried about how we’ll handle it.

    All too true, and all too true.

  114. Kathy says:

    BTW, the aviation blogs are pretty much consistent in saying commercial aircraft are relatively safe, as indoor spaces go, from COVID-19 contagion.

    There’s something to it. Passengers and crew were masks (so-called medical exceptions have been eliminated), planes are very well ventilated with outside air drawn through the engines’ compressors, and the ventilation system uses HEPA filters. Also most airlines spray disinfectant in the cabins and lavatories between flights.

    If all this is so, and Trump then went on and caught SARS-CoV-2 on Air Force One, then irony beats Karma any day of the week.

    3
  115. Kathy says:

    Early reports are coming in that Biden tested NEGATIVE for COVID-19.

    3
  116. EddieInCA says:

    Mike Lee, Senator from Utah, has confirmed he has it, too.

    Many more are going to get it in the President’s inner circle.

    5
  117. Mikey says:

    Breaking: Joe Biden has tested negative for the coronavirus.

    9
  118. Blue Galangal says:

    I agree that it is likely he has it. It’s just a question, isn’t it? Because we’ve seen him lie for 5+ years and play the whiny victim for longer than that. No one believes him.

    I see McConnell is still trying to fast track ACB. He’s clearly not worried.

    1
  119. Liberal Capitalist says:

    The Thoughts and Prayers train has rolled in…

    “Jill and I send our thoughts to President Trump and First Lady Melania Trump for a swift recovery,” Mr. Biden tweeted Friday morning, his first remarks on the matter. “We will continue to pray for the health and safety of the president and his family.”

    And I have to say, Biden prolly meant it sincerely.

    But I have seen the picture of a truckload of thoughts and prayers… and I wouldn’t even offer as much.

    https://makeameme.org/meme/sending-a-truckload

    1
  120. flat earth luddite says:

    @Scott:
    Scott, fortunately for people like you, your wife, and Auntie Em, there are people like me out there to think these thoughts for you. Go placidly in peace, my children.

    3
  121. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @Mikey:

    Breaking: Joe Biden has tested negative for the coronavirus.

    Let’s give credit to that” big mask” that Trump criticized Biden for always wearing!!!

    Considering what we all collectively, globally, have decided to call a shitshow of a debate… THAT criticism really pissed me off the most.

    It’s like 10th grade, and the bully is picking on you for your choice of shirt.

    What sweet schadenfrude THAT comment is now. 🙂

    10
  122. Kathy says:

    @KM:

    Oh, I also wouldn’t make much of Trump’s mood as reported by assorted GOP politicos. Reagan joked with the medical staff when they were about to operate on him after he was shot.

    Mood’s of limited use in assessing health, and of none for a prognosis.

  123. Gustopher says:

    @Not the IT Dept.:

    There’s no positive in this for anybody – except, of course, the virus itself.

    If it boosts the sales of MAGA masks, and people wear them, that would be nice. Lots of potential for good here.

    2
  124. Bill says:

    @Blue Galangal:

    I see McConnell is still trying to fast track ACB. He’s clearly not worried.

    Which reminds me of the 1962 movie, Advise and Consent’s ending

    A senate vote is being taken on a controversial Sec of State nomination. The vote is close and likely to end in a tie. During the vote, the ailing President drops dead. The VP learns of this as the vote ends in a tie. He declines to break it saying he preferred to make his own nomination.

    4
  125. MarkedMan says:

    @Kathy: I’m not sure what you mean by “cone like ones” but if a mask is rated N95 and it’s not a fake it stops at least 95% of particles of a certain size when tightly fitted. (They tend to be tested centered around 195 nm and the virus is half that size so YMMV). Surgeons mask, which by construction cannot be tightly fitted, are mostly about stopping particles ranging from tiny droplets to splashes of body fluids.

    1
  126. Does anyone know if it is legal to send bleach, thru the mail, to the White House?

    4
  127. KM says:

    @Kathy:
    My bad – meant the mood of the White House in general.

    Normally I would think there’d be a plan for what happens should POTUS be severely sickened in a pandemic, above and beyond the standard OMG contingency planning. I trust the government as a whole will still run because smarter people then theses idiots gamed it out a long time ago. This WH, though? Not a chance. WTF are they gonna do if Trump ends up on a ventilator? What’s the messaging, what’s the plan? What’s “fake news”, what do they feed the QAnoners and Proud Boys and MAGAts desperate for news of their Lord and Savior? Can you imagine the panicked spinning that will happen if things go south?

    Hell, even if he’s only got a fever and the coughs, they can’t let him be seen like this. Who’s job is it to hide Trump’s phone? Who’s desperately trying to hide the remote or change the channel so he doesn’t see how pleased the world is karma’s come home? Who’s getting screamed at because he’s feeling shitty and angry they dare wear a mask to protect themselves from? They’re probably quarantined too so there’s 14 days of misery with the world’s worst patient. Thoughts and prayer to the WH staff – finally catching fleas from napping with the dog still sucks.

    7
  128. CSK says:

    Question: If Trump has to be hospitalized, will he be taken to Walter Reed? Or will his handlers try to set something up in the White House (which is well-equipped for it) to deal with the situation and try to keep it a secret as long as possible?

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:
    You can’t mail a bottle of bleach anywhere.

  129. inhumans99 says:

    I know reposts from a different site are usually not cool, but a site I hang out at that is usually just to chat about film and tv has an active Politics sub-section and this what I posted there (please note Paul is a regular contributor in the Politics section on this pop culture site):

    “I see that Paul and others are concerned that Trump will get a popularity bounce like Boris Johnson did in the U.K., but my understanding is that say what you will about Boris Johnson…the man is nowhere near as loathed by the general public as Trump is.

    Naw, this is a debacle for the GOP, seriously, yikes…the GOP from the top down is experiencing some very bad news today, you have the guy at the top getting Covid, the President himself, GOP Senators are now reporting they may have Covid, wealthy GOP donors are now stressed they were in close proximity to someone with Covid (and I bet a lot of them are high risk old folks), and you still have Covid as a major issue in Red States…this is not a case where as they say (or used to say) in Hollywood that bad news is still good news because it gets the public interested in an actor and an upcoming film, this is just straight up bad news.

    On top of that the Tax issue is still fresh, Melania just said she hates Christmas (and she is on the team that always says Liberals are declaring a war on Christmas), the unemployment #s were meh at best, and they show wage stagnation, Biden made Trump look weak by telling him to shut up on stage and Trump really did not push back (weakens his Alpha Male image), and the post debate polls are starting to come out and at least one reputable poll as noted by Politico earlier this week shows Biden continues to pull ahead of Trump.

    Naw, the idiots at Gateway Pundit and other wackadoodle right wing sites can spin this anyway they want all day long but anyone with a lick of sense is aware the GOP must be feeling today like a boxer who was pummeled by Tyson in his prime and barely survived to talk about the experience.

    ETA: Forgot to note, just days after Florida is in the news for opening up the entire state the President drops this bombshell on Ron DeSantis, I bet right about now the elderly GOP voters in FL are a wee bit skittish about taking advantage of the state easing their Covid restrictions. The timing of FL opening up the state could have been better.

    The White House is probably going to end up back in Democratic hands but there is still a good chance the Senate still retains a GOP majority but McConnell’s job to keep the Senate just became three times harder than it was just 24hrs earlier.”

    So yeah…I really should get back to work. Happy Friday folks.

    6
  130. Bill says:

    @CSK:

    If Trump has to be hospitalized, will he be taken to Walter Reed? Or will his handlers try to set something up in the White House (which is well-equipped for it) to deal with the situation and try to keep it a secret as long as possible?

    Time for another movie comment.

    Are we talking about a Operation Weekend at Bernie’s?

    4
  131. Kathy says:

    @KM:

    It was a general comment, not responding to anything you said.

    This, though:

    WTF are they gonna do if Trump ends up on a ventilator?

    Well, he can still watch TV, can’t he? And Pence can go out golfing. That takes care of 99% of Trump’s “governing.”

    7
  132. Kathy says:

    @Bill:

    Are we talking about a Operation Weekend at Bernie’s?

    They could have pulled a “Dave” if Trump had held off on Twitter, and they’d had Alec Baldwin on retainer.

    4
  133. @Daryl and his brother Darryl:
    In my list I forgot to mention Republican operative Jacob Wohl who was charged with 4 felony counts yesterday, in a scheme to suppress voting in Michigan.

    4
  134. keef says:

    I dropped by to see the classy commentary. Not surprisingly, I saw almost none.

    But this made me laugh:

    “No people on the planet should be safer, given their 24/7/365 access to the world’s top scientists and medical professionals. But, as all of the reports rightly note, Trump has downplayed the virus and ostentatiously refused to wear a mask, observe social distancing, other otherwise observe protocols.”

    All of the masking, lockdowns etc have proven remarkably ineffective. The virus is pretty much going to do what it is going to do. You have 60% “essential” workers and a whole slew of non-compliers. These prophylactic actions have really only had the effect of delaying matters. Hence double spikes and such.

    The best strategy here, or anywhere, is and was for the most vulnerable groups to take responsibility and make their own decisions for their own health. Self isolate. Wear a mask if it provides some placebo comfort. Social distance if you like. Sweden did this and they are essentially done with the virus. The only mistake they made was the same one Cuomo and the NJ guv did: expose the elderly intensive institutions, like nursing homes, to their boneheaded dictates.

    2
  135. Bill says:

    @Kathy:

    They could have pulled a “Dave” if Trump had held off on Twitter, and they’d had Alec Baldwin on retainer.

    I forgot all about Dave.

    Talking about Dave. Dear wife and I watched it on HBO the same night as the infamous OJ Simpson Bronco chase. We knew nothing about it till we got up the next morning.

    1
  136. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    I’m not sure what you mean by “cone like ones” but if a mask is rated N95 and it’s not a fake it stops at least 95% of particles of a certain size when tightly fitted.

    To me they seem conical.

    The ones I see being worn here and there don’t seem to fit that well. Mostly that’s how people misuses them, even if they cover all they should cover. But I see that with regular surgical-type masks too.

  137. gVOR08 says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    It’s (Trump making fun of Biden for masking) like 10th grade, and the bully is picking on you for your choice of shirt.

    I’d say more like making fun of him for doing his homework. And I hope CNN puts that bit on endless loop.

    2
  138. Michael Reynolds says:

    @KM:

    Can you imagine the panicked spinning that will happen if things go south?

    I can. It may be why I woke up this morning with this song going round and round in my head. And I don’t even like musicals.

    The corn is as high as an elephant’s eye….

    1
  139. senyordave says:

    I told my wife a few months ago that in a just world Trump would get Covid, and end up dying because he went on a faulty ventilator that was procured by a shell company owned by Jared Kushner. I actually have changed things up. I still want him to suffer and end up on a ventilator, but I want a complete recovery. Have him lose in November and be healthy enough to face charges from New York State. I want this piece of filth disgraced. So disgraced r=that some of the less batshit crazy cultists turn on him, or at least accept the possibility that he is a crook.
    As for Melania, who gives a shite!

    4
  140. EddieInCA says:

    Notre Dame President Reverend John Jenkins has tested positive for Covid. He was at the White House for the announcement of Amy Coney-Barrett as SC Justice nominee.

    7
  141. Michael Reynolds says:

    @EddieInCA:
    It’s almost like God isn’t really on-board with Cult45.

    5
  142. Michael Reynolds says:

    @senyordave:
    I really don’t care. Do U?

    11
  143. EddieInCA says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    Seen on my wife’s social media feed:

    “RBG won her first case before God”.

    16
  144. Mikey says:

    @keef: Here is the only suitable response to any of the fatuous twaddle you post.

    https://youtu.be/5hfYJsQAhl0

    4
  145. Monala says:

    My mom made a very good point: there’s been no word yet about Trump’s kids in all this.

  146. Michael Reynolds says:

    @keef:
    A Trumpie talking about ‘class’. Gotta love it.

    12
  147. Liberal Capitalist says:

    So on Marketwatch, there was this:

    Trump’s ‘positive for COVID-19’ tweet is his most ‘liked’ post ever
    Published: Oct. 2, 2020 at 12:56 p.m. ET
    By Nicole Lyn Pesce
    The tweet has been liked and shared more than any of his previous Twitter posts

    Imagine if he tweeted that he was dead… That would be some retweeting and likes. Likely a record. The best!

    Bang! Zoom! To the Moon, Alice! To the moon!

    2
  148. Kathy says:

    @Monala:

    The live updates on the news are hard to keep up with, but I think so far they’ve all tested negative, including Barron.

    1
  149. gVOR08 says:

    @MarkedMan: From my vast knowledge of filtration (one WIKI article) filters are not like sieves. They stop particles smaller than their openings. They have an efficiency curve which shows percentage of particles caught as a function of size The curve typically has a low spot at some particle size, for particles bigger or smaller it’s more effective. They’re rated at the low point, which is to say virus particles, which are smaller, are caught by an N95 at better than the 95%. N95 fibers have an activated surface that traps the small particles.

    You may remember early in the game the crew at a mask material plant locked themselves in and worked, isolated, for a month or so. That’s what they were making.

  150. inhumans99 says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    That really is rich, it is like getting a lecture from Ted Bundy on how to treat a lady. Make sure you take her out for a nice dinner, and get her flowers before you smash her head into the corner of a kitchen table and hang around for a few minutes to make sure she is actually dead, because it is really bad form if she does not get to experience the pleasure of a good meal before you send her to meet her maker.

    Anyway, moving on to a different topic…as I type this I see folks are asking about Trump’s kids and it sounds like they are okay which makes sense. For the most part Melania keeps herself and her kids away from Trump and his MAGA rallies so they would be less likely to be exposed and their age helps keep them out of the high risk category.

    1
  151. gVOR08 says:

    @KM:

    Hell, even if he’s only got a fever and the coughs, they can’t let him be seen like this.

    One picture of Trump on a ventilator would do wonders for public health.

    3
  152. Just Another Ex-Republican says:

    I find this interesting: Supreme Court nominee Amy Coney Barrett is reported to have tested positive for Covid-19 this past summer and has recovered. But I wonder if she is somehow still contagious? The Notre Dame president who was at her nominee announcement is now sick, as is one of the few Senators (Mike Lee) to meet with her in person so far. And with Hicks, Trump, and Melania all testing positive within a few hours of each other all 3 of them were exposed around the same time (Hicks couldn’t have gotten it then passed it to them–timing is wrong), and they would have all been heavily involved in meeting her as well. As if this whole situation wasn’t ironic enough, if the vector that infected them all was their mad rush to replace RBG…

    11
  153. gVOR08 says:

    @inhumans99:

    Forgot to note, just days after Florida is in the news for opening up the entire state the President drops this bombshell on Ron DeSantis

    DeUseless has been copying everything Trump does. We’ll see how far he takes it.

    2
  154. Teve says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Things this “test result” is currently distracting from:
    Not particularly great jobs report showing that the economic recovery is continuing it’s slowdown.
    Don Jr’s girlfriend’s sexual harassment troubles.
    Melania’s audio tape.
    Donnie’s terrible/pitiful debate performance.
    Donnie’s taxes and whether he is a terrible businessman or just a tax cheat.
    I’m sure there is more.
    This also throws a huge monkey wrench into Biden’s campaign plans…I’m sure that camp is scrambling to figure out how to proceed.

    the problem with claiming that new event x is intentionally distracting from previous event y is that there’s a new event x every other day. ‘He’s doing it as a distraction’ isn’t a falsifiable claim, because it’s indistinguishable from ‘he does a bunch of shady things all the time.’

    7
  155. An Interested Party says:

    All of the masking, lockdowns etc have proven remarkably ineffective.

    Oh really? Tell us how many less deaths there would have been without these measures…

    The best strategy here, or anywhere, is and was for the most vulnerable groups to take responsibility and make their own decisions for their own health.

    Oh, would that be like the Trump rallies held indoors with most people not wearing masks nor practicing social distancing? Or maybe that would be like all the college kids attending Super Spreader frat parties?

    Obviously Trumpists aren’t the best authorities to rely on when it relates to information about the pandemic…and I especially love reading at NRO and other places all the comments about how no one should say any mean things about Trump and how horrible people for doing that…so rich coming from people defending the man who mocked taking precautions to prevent an illness he now has…the poor dear…

    4
  156. MarkedMan says:

    @gVOR08: Not bad for one WIKI article! FWIW, I’ve been working with the equipment that tests N95 masks and other filtering masks for the past year and could talk your ear off about Most Penetrating Particle Size and the difference between mean particle size count and mean particle size mass… but I won’t. You are absolutely correct in that most filters show dip in efficiency at a specific size and then get better on either side. If the mask is typical that low spot is well above the size of the virus. However the masks are not tested at that low spot but rather tested to a standard which allows a fairly wide range of peak particle sizes (165 to 205 nm) and in practice the most popular equipment usually falls around 195 nm, well to the other side of that low spot.

  157. mattbernius says:

    “Every lie we tell incurs a debt to the truth. Sooner or later, the debt is paid.”

    6
  158. grumpy realist says:

    @gVOR08: there’s also the surface effects of the fibres that make up the mask. Stretched polypropylene fibres end up with a charge on their surface, which has an effect on attracting small particles to them notwithstanding the pore size.

    ….one reason why you want to add non-woven fabrics to your masks, by the way.

    1
  159. Jen says:

    @keef:

    The best strategy here, or anywhere, is and was for the most vulnerable groups to take responsibility and make their own decisions for their own health. Self isolate. Wear a mask if it provides some placebo comfort. Social distance if you like. Sweden did this and they are essentially done with the virus.

    There is a LOT of oversimplification and erroneous information here.

    Vulnerable groups can take the utmost of precautions, but that’s not enough. First, “vulnerable” people aren’t the only ones being negatively affected, and anyone following this story even remotely should know that by now. Second, vulnerable people count on everyone else to slow the spread.

    Next, this stupid statement: “Wear a mask if it provides some placebo comfort.” While wearing a mask is generally more effective at preventing a sick person from spreading disease to others, there is increasing evidence that it also protects the wearer from contracting infection. See, for example, the Starbucks in South Korea where a sick customer spread covid to 27 other customers, but none of the employees, who are required to wear masks, contracted the disease. Is it 100% protection? No. Is it merely “placebo”? Nope.

    “Social distance if you like.” LOL. Sure, “if you like”–but that’s literally the best way to slow the spread of this disease.

    “Sweden is essentially done with the virus.” Sweden yesterday reported they had their highest number of cases since JUNE.

    18
  160. Sleeping Dog says:

    If Trump dies, an opportunity to short circuit Barrett?

    Regardless of the election outcome, R’s will want a VP in place to forestall the possibility of Nancy becoming Prez. McConnell will need to decide which is more important.

  161. JohnSF says:

    @Blue Galangal:

    I see McConnell is still trying to fast track ACB

    Well, of course he is.
    A opening on the Court is proof to McConnell that the lord really does love him after all.
    It’s possibly the only way he can salvage anything from this turd tornado.

  162. CSK says:

    @Bill:
    Not a Weekend at Bernie’s scenario. I was thinking more along the lines of Trump getting seriously ill. Would his handlers try to hide it as long as they could? I realize this would be impossible after a certain point, but up until that point, they might try to pretend that he was fine–though still in quarantine.

    2
  163. JohnSF says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    McConnell will need to decide which is more important.

    Does one necessarily rule out the other?
    (Genuine question from a Brit; might it have something to do with Senate rule arcana? Or lack of time to do both? If time related, can’t the majority force the pace?)

  164. Min says:

    The NYT’s article about Trump is saying:
    “increasingly it looked like a possible source of the spread may have been the ceremony in the White House Rose Garden last Saturday when Mr. Trump announced his nomination of Judge Barrett, an event where few wore masks or kept socially distant. ”

    Looks like Trump might have infected Hicks and not the other way around.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/10/02/us/politics/trump-infected-what-we-know.html

  165. steve says:

    “Wear a mask if it provides some placebo comfort. Social distance if you like. Sweden did this and they are essentially done with the virus. The only mistake they made was the same one Cuomo and the NJ guv did: expose the elderly intensive institutions, like nursing homes, to their boneheaded dictates.”

    I do this for a living. Masks work. Sweden did lockdown lite barring large gatherings and closing schools for oder kids, limiting activities at bars. I hire people from NYC, ICU docs, and it is largely untrue that they sent patients with active Covid back to nursing homes. There is actual data on this, not that someone like you would care and also some real studies. If anyone cares, and I have time, glad to link to them.

    6
  166. Lounsbury says:

    @keef: The science supports mask impact directly by reduction of exposure to viral load even where transmission is not stopped and by collective impact downwards on transmission (both at source – the sick person – and at reception, the exposed person), it is not a placebo you dim troll.

    https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2020/06/417906/still-confused-about-masks-heres-science-behind-how-face-masks-prevent
    https://www.ucsf.edu/news/2020/07/418181/one-more-reason-wear-mask-youll-get-less-sick-covid-19

    12
  167. DeD says:

    @BugManDan:
    Dude, if Trump was half as smart as I think he is, he’d be a drooling eggplant.

    3
  168. JohnSF says:

    @keef:
    My word.
    Do you really believe that nonsense you just wrote?

    Dealing with CV depends critically upon controlling the spread rate (aka reproduction rate aka R number)
    For a disease with this degree of infectiousness and prolonged asymtomaticism, masking and distancing are critical in doing so.
    This is trivially demonstrated by examining the global patterns in response to restrictions imposed.

    Additionally, it seem fairly clear that case severity is related to viral load. Hence the higher numbers of otherwise healthy medical personnel who have suffered severe infection or died.
    Severe infection is best avoided as it seems to cause long term debilitation in a lot of cases.

    It is also unclear whether infection does in fact confer persistent immunity.

    You forget, or omit, that discharging to care homes was being done because hospitals were desperate to free space for CV intensive care.
    And 100% sheltering of vulnerable persons is impossible in any case; if community prevalance becomes high enough the vulnerable WILL be infected.

    Combining masking/distancing and other measures with a testing/tracing system of scale and rapidity needed can contain.
    It can even eliminate: see New Zealand.

    Your approach is the herd immunity one.
    Herd immunity is for the cattle and the sheep.

    10
  169. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Monala: Still doesn’t surprise me at all. I work from the assumption that stable marriages–even when one party or the other is to be considered a “trophy spouse”–evolve out of the parties sharing something of a common world view.

    And I don’t happen to see either party in that couple as any kind of trophy or prize but have noted the term used about her for some reason.

    ETA: WA! Two “Click to Edit” buttons is two posts! Has the function been fixed? But I digress… I for got to thank you, Monala, for your observation and it’s addition to how I understand what I’m missing (or in this case, not as much).—–

    1
  170. Gustopher says:

    @keef:

    All of the masking, lockdowns etc have proven remarkably ineffective. The virus is pretty much going to do what it is going to do. You have 60% “essential” workers and a whole slew of non-compliers. These prophylactic actions have really only had the effect of delaying matters. Hence double spikes and such.

    If you look at recent cases in the US, the worst states are all red-to-purple. The places where more people have listened to President Trump, Worst of His Name, King of the Covid, Cuck l’Orange, etc., as he spewed his anti-mask rhetoric.

    Trump made a gamble that if everyone would pretend things were normal, he could skate through the election and face the mess afterwards (or not, depending on whether he would bother). It was a bad gamble, and I’m glad he’s got some skin in the game now. Helps prevent a moral hazard and all that.

    As much as I want him to suffer, I also want him to be the poster boy for Covid suffering. He can do a lot of good there. Sometimes our role in life is to serve as a warning to others.

    As for Melania, I hope she recovers and is then put in a cage at the border. But, I don’t really care, do you?

    7
  171. Kathy says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    @JohnSF:

    the way I see it is:

    If Trump dies, Pence can then withdraw the nomination and put up his own. that would give the Democrats a much stronger argument, as Pence was never elected president and therefore should not be the one to nominate a Justice under a month before the election.

    What he does depends on how he sees his chances of retaining the presidency past this term, which is not certain by any means even if the TP ticket were ahead in the polls (spoiler alert: it’s not). He may prefer to second the nomination, then. It may also be the GOP establishment, such as it is, will demand he let Judge Doom stay nominated and be confirmed, as the price for supporting Pence for the election, or for any future endeavors he may engage in.

    I think Biden would have a better argument for packing the court, too, but that’s another matter.

    related, if Trump dies and Biden wins the election, he has the golden opportunity to investigate and prosecute any of Trump’s cabinet who abused their position for whatever reason, namely Barr. After all, he would no longer go after a former “president,” just his cabinet.

    We can assume they would all blame Trump at trial. It may even work. Regardless, they’d be dragging Trump’s name through the muck to get free. That helps also.

    1
  172. Gustopher says:

    @Kathy: @Mikey: It is worth noting that Covid can take a while to show up, and that there are a lot of false negative tests.

    Under normal guidelines, unless they have changed, he should still self-isolate for two weeks from potential exposure. He will probably get multiple tests, which cuts the risk of a false negative, so normal guidelines may not apply.

    But, he’s not out of the woods yet. Risk is merely down a lot. Fewer trees.

    2
  173. @keef:

    Sweden did this and they are essentially done with the virus.

    And they had 10x the death rate of their neighbors you twit.
    This guy is like J-enos…but with better grammar.

    11
  174. Kathy says:

    The White House Spin Machine, which seems to be running better without a Trump at the helm, keeps stressing trump’s symptoms are “mild” and “moderate.”

    So let’s see what the CDC says:

    Clinical Progression
    Among patients who developed severe disease, the median time to dyspnea from the onset of illness or symptoms ranged from 5 to 8 days, the median time to acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) from the onset of illness or symptoms ranged from 8 to 12 days, and the median time to ICU admission from the onset of illness or symptoms ranged from 10 to 12 days.

    At most, the King of the Covidiots has been ill for two days. By Monday he may be gasping for breath, or not. It’s impossible to predict.

    So, to quote Solon: count no man happy until he’s dead.

    2
  175. @Kathy:

    If Trump dies

    Oh gawd, no. He should suffer bigly, with ongoing complications after recovery.
    But I want to see that fat fuqer in handcuffs and an orange onsey.
    Nothing else will do…death is too good for him.

    2
  176. Kurtz says:

    @keef:

    I googled “lockdowns ineffective,” and got mostly articles and ‘studies’ by economists.

    I’ll tell you what, next time you need to see a doctor, make an appointment with Peter Navarro or call the Cato Institute’s emergency line. I’m sure they have all the healthcare expertise you need.

    13
  177. Lounsbury says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl: There is no reason to credit his idiotic assertion “they are essentially done with the virus” either as this is not in the least true.

    1
  178. Jen says:

    As I’ve repeatedly noted here, “mild” cases aren’t a guarantee that you’re in the clear either.

    I have two friends, both of whom had what were clinically defined as mild cases. Neither was ever hospitalized. Both recovered at home without any medical intervention beyond televisits with their doctors.

    One has had serious long-term health issues since recovering from covid. She now has an oxygen tank at home to help with serious and frequent drops in her blood oxygen levels, and has what she says are “embarrassing” GI issues. She contracted covid back in *March.*

    The other friend used to run and hike, was very “outdoorsy.” She now has such reduced lung capacity that she can barely make it around the block at a slow pace.

    Downplaying this disease is stupid. No one really knows what the long-term ramifications are. Again, both of these women had “mild” cases.

    10
  179. inhumans99 says:

    @Lounsbury:

    Yup, anyone who asserts that country X did so and so and is now done with the virus deserves to be ignored as they are not arguing in good faith. Hello, look at the news and you will find that countries like France are right at this moment debating whether to implement another nationwide lockdown due to the 2nd wave of Covid that has hit places like France and Spain. Kevin Drum says Argentina is basically a sheetshow as the virus is out of control at the present time.

    1
  180. Kathy says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:

    Oh gawd, no.

    SARS-CoV-2 does as it does, not as we want it to do.

    1
  181. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @DeD: Shouldn’t that be if Trump were twice as smart? Your choice, of course.

    1
  182. Paine says:

    Hearing reports Turmp is being treated with an “experimental drug” which doesn’t sound like something they would do for routine, low-level concerns.

    2
  183. gVOR08 says:

    As I see it, Chuckles Koch does not want to miss the opportunity to get an insurance Federalist Society drone on the court, even if it means losing the R Senate. Roberts could have an attack of integrity. Pence is reputed to be a creature of Koch even more than Scott Walker was. Unless Pence and Trump both die, and too quickly to finagle in a new veep, Pence and McConnell will bum’s rush Barrett through any way they can.

    1
  184. de stijl says:

    It is what it is.

    Herd immunity. The old, obese, and infirm must sacrifice.

    I hope the poor man gets a bleach injection soon or at least an internal application of UV rays.

    A mega dose of hydroxychloroquine.

    It’s going to disappear.

    3
  185. Monala says:

    @Paine: So why no HCQ plus zpak and zinc? I thought that was the magic formula. /s

    1
  186. Kathy says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    If Trump were half as smart as he thinks he is, he’d be twice as smart as he really is.

    @de stijl:

    I hope the poor man gets a bleach injection soon

    If he wants one, who are we to deny him?

    1
  187. Erik says:

    @Paine: it’s probably REGN-COV2. Basically synthetic antibodies mostly useful if a patient isn’t mounting their own immune response. It’s experimental in the sense that it isn’t approved by the FDA yet but it is in clinical trials.

    Not sure what it’s use signifies here. Could be that he is very sick and is getting worse or that no chances are being taken and they are just throwing everything they can at the illness. He does like unproven treatments you know

    2
  188. Paine says:

    Quite certain Moscow Mitch would pull a Frank Underwood on his own wife if she stood in the way of a senate confirmation for ACB.

  189. Kurtz says:

    Seen on a 538 comment thread:

    “I like presidents who don’t get Covid-19.”

    8
  190. Breaking…Trump going to Walter Reed.
    I think fatso is sicker than they are letting on.

    6
  191. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:
    See, he can’t get the doctors to do house calls.

    1
  192. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: You’re very mean. And I meant that in the nicest possible way. 😉

  193. keef says:

    @Jen:

    Cite your spot statistics if it makes you feel better. The trends are very, very clear. This Holy Grail of “defeating the virus” is a fool’s errand. And it has proven so globally.

    Its a nasty virus, on par with the late 60’s virus. But you don’t shut down the world. Its a totally ridiculous cost benefit tradeoff. Just as the immunocompromised cancer patient, or 82 year old COPD or diabetic, should take precautions during any normal flu season, so should they now. This is just common sense. And then it got politicized.

    Trumps chances of dying, despite the classless bilge I’ve seen here, are about 3%. If he was 50 it would be .5%. You just don’t bring an entire world to its knees under these statistics. If you believe we should, tell me about driving autos, eating red meat or pizza, flying airplanes, or any number of other risk elevating events. Any other of your fears you want to impose on society?

    2
  194. Mister Bluster says:
  195. Erik says:

    @Michael Reynolds: probably just the second half of his physical. Or perhaps he is getting a colonoscopy with the ultra bright light

    1
  196. wr says:

    They keep saying Trump is in “good spirits” as he’s working, first from the WH now from Walter Reed.

    Both are obvious lies. When was the last time Trump was in good spirits? Or working?

    And if he’s feeling so good… where are the tweets telling us it’s a walk in the park?

    7
  197. Kathy says:

    @Daryl and his brother Darryl:
    @Mister Bluster:

    That has to be fake news. Why would Trump want to be treated by losers and suckers?

  198. JohnSF says:

    @keef:

    And then it got politicized

    Didn’t it just.
    And here you are to prove it.

    6
  199. CSK says:

    Trump is being taken to Walter Reed in what the WH describes as a precautionary measure.

    2
  200. Sleeping Dog says:

    @JohnSF:

    No they don’t necessarily mean both can’t be done, but both will be hugely time consuming and McConnell is running out of time. Getting a new VP should be the priority.

    1
  201. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Kathy:

    Barrett would be acceptable to Pence, so he wouldn’t withdraw her.

  202. Min says:

    “Nancy Pelosi has just been contacted by the White House on the protocols of continuity of government, according to MSNBC.”

    1
  203. de stijl says:

    Per USA Today, Trump is going to Walter Reed for several days “to recover”.

    1
  204. Min says:

    Jim Acosta tweets:

    “No transfer of power to Pence, WH says. “Absolutely not” according to WH spokesman”

    It’s looking like this is not a “mild” case of COVID.

  205. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Mean?

    I am suggesting courses of treatment Trump himself touted.

    How is that mean?

    1
  206. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Min:

    Trump’s afraid they won’t give him back his rattle.

    1
  207. Min says:

    Cnn is saying that Joe Biden’s campaign is pulling all negative ads today, going all positive after President Trump was diagnosed with COVID-19. Apparently this decision was made before knowing that Trump was going to Walter Reed.

    I still hope this isn’t all a ploy.

    2
  208. Teve says:

    What’s the fuss about?

    A) it’s just a democrat hoax
    B) no worse than the flu
    C) Hydroxychloroquine’s a cure!

    6
  209. keef says:

    @JohnSF:

    Sigh. This blog is so uninspiring.

    Trump sucks……..sucks……sucks…..sucks….

    Yeah!……Yeah!……..Yeah………Yeah!…

  210. JohnSF says:

    @Sleeping Dog:

    out of time… new VP should be the priority

    Thanks. So it’s time/capacity issue.

    But although the VP post should take precedence, if my name were Evil McTurtle I’d be sore tempted to say, “Screw it, it’s just a couple of months, and openings for a Supreme Court don’t come around once a week. Let’s grab it while the grabbin’s good.”

    As it seems odd-on the Trump flameout is going to take down the GOP in Executive, House and Senate, the Court is the last gem glinting in the rubble..

    1
  211. Jen says:

    @keef: Again, you’re looking at this through a ridiculously narrow lens.

    Death is certainly the most final potential ramification of contracting covid. However, even healthy people who recover are showing signs of heart and lung damage–possibly permanent.

    There’s a reason other countries, now facing a second wave, are considering additional lock down measures.

    Any other of your fears you want to impose on society?

    Aren’t you charming. You think health insurers want us to behave as though nothing is wrong?

    Anyone who has recovered from cancer is at risk. Anyone with high blood pressure. Anyone with Type 1 or Type 2 diabetes. Anyone with a BMI over 28. Anyone with an existing lung issue. Anyone who has ever had a transplant. And on, and on.

    The list is far longer than you think. It’s been kept under some control–if that’s what you call 207,000+ deaths–because those with risk factors typically know it and do precisely what they need to in order to keep themselves safe, while reckless idiots behave as though nothing is going on.

    We can have low numbers and open businesses, we here in New England have been doing quite well, thanks.

    10
  212. Kathy says:

    James, once more we need a downvote option.

    4
  213. Mister Bluster says:

    @Erik:..Or perhaps he is getting a colonoscopy with the ultra bright light…

    Reminds me of the time when I got into the room where I was to get a colonoscopy. Sitting on the counter next to all the shiny probes was a 6 pack of beer.
    “What’s that for?” I asked the doctor as the anesthetic was taking effect.
    The last thing I heard the doctor say was “NO NO Nurse! I said Butt Light!

    3
  214. mattbernius says:

    @keef:
    And yet you can’t seem to quit us, my sweet baboo.

    I for one, appreciate apparently living rent free in your head. It’s cozy in here with all the John Solomon articles you file the attribution off of then post and “Why are you not talking about the death toll from the flu” bad takes.

    But hey, at least you were smart enough to steer clear of defending the Proud Boys. So you haven’t graduated to that level of trolling yet.

    Hugs and kisses. Keep on keeping on! And I cannot wait to hear your witty reply to this… I’m sure it’s going to go something like “I just keep coming back to see if any of you grew a brain you big librul DEMONCRAT meanies!”

    7
  215. JohnSF says:

    @keef:
    Non sequitur.
    Do better.

    I didn’t mention Trump in this context.
    But if that’s the association that automatically comes to your mind…

    2
  216. inhumans99 says:

    I just asked this question on another site, but why has Pence not been sworn in as a temporary President? Who cares what Kayleigh says about Trump working from the hospital, no one believes her anyway.

    This seems like exactly the type of scenario under which Pence should be sworn in, we have a President who has contracted a lethal disease, is confirmed to be in the hospital, and probably not going to be discharged until at least 3 days have passed.

    So for all intents and purposes the U.S. will not have an acting President over the weekend and if a crisis flares up I do not feel that any response to an attack or something like that should come from the Presidents flunkies like Barr, any decision on how to proceed in a crisis should come from our acting President Mike Pence.

    Am I wrong, this seems like a big deal and Pence needs to be sworn in today…maybe this question/concern of mine deserves its own post.

    ETA: Googled, people are asking the question but it just feels off that we have not had Pence sworn in already. After all, it will only be temporary unless heaven forbid he has take the reins for the foreseeable future. We should not be waiting to have him sworn in, it will send a message to the world we are still strong even if our President is temporarily incapacitated.

    2
  217. de stijl says:

    @keef:

    Tell us why Trump doesn’t suck.

    Tell us how Trump did not say this was all going to disappear.

    Tell us how Trump did not go all in on “the hydroxy”.

    Tell us how Trump did not gasbag his way into telling people that internal use of bleach and UV light might work.

    Tell us how Trump is not the most prominent and cited source of misinformation about Covid-19?

    Tell us how Trump’s lackeys did not stifle and stymie the CDC.

    Tell us how labelling Covid-19 the Chinese virus, or Kung Flu was in any helpful and not racist.

    Tell us why Trump does not aggressively suck.

    4
  218. Gustopher says:

    @keef: You really don’t know what you’re talking about.

    There is lung damage, heart damage and long term consequences in those with symptoms, even the young people. The cost of this disease, long term, in years-of-life lost is staggering.

    And there is very mixed evidence that infection provides long term immunity. So, here immunity may not be a viable option.

    It can also overwhelm the health system. Which kills people who don’t have covid at all.

    Suppressing the spread through mandatory mask orders, social distancing and lockdowns gives us time to prepare our medical system (an opportunity that was largely wasted by this administration), get supplies (again largely wasted), develop good contact tracing protocols (again…) and then safely reopen targeted sections of the economy that will have the most benefit (here the story is different, less wasting and more thwarting).

    We should be opening schools, not bars and restaurants. It would be cheaper to just pay off the bars and restaurants for lost business than to pick up the tab for the health care costs. But… since states can’t borrow states have to open what generates the most taxes first. And no federal aid to the states.

    If Covid is like the Black Plague in the Middle Ages — destined to become endemic, and beyond the medical capabilities of the time — then we might as well throw covid parties and just wipe out the chunk of the population most susceptible.

    At this point it is clear the virus is going to be endemic. Global supply chains left huge opportunities to spread, even with the weak ban on flights from China, plus the rest of the world has it too.

    But there’s no reason to assume that it is beyond our medical capabilities. We are already developing better drugs and treatment protocols. President Trump will benefit from that. May he have a full enough recovery and a long life so he can serve out the entirety of his pending prison terms.

    And again, it’s not 1-3% affected. The long term consequences are felt by 30-50%.

    10
  219. Sleeping Dog says:

    @JohnSF:

    The risk is that something happens to Pence and then Nancy Pelosi becomes president till Biden (if he wins) is inaugurated. The system really doesn’t define a process for selecting a prez under the circumstances of the death of both the sitting prez/vp and the opposing party candidate doesn’t win.

    The election would likely get thrown to the House with each state getting one vote, but beyond that there is no process.

    2
  220. Sleeping Dog says:
  221. CSK says:

    I just saw the video on CNN of Marine One landing at Walter Reed. Trump walked from the helicopter to an SUV.

    2
  222. JohnSF says:

    @Sleeping Dog:
    Very interesting. Thanks.
    So, maybe the question is, is Mitch a gamblin’ man?
    Me, I think I’d roll the dice.

  223. Teve says:

    @maxwelltani

    Greg Gutfeld is on Fox News saying Trump got coronavirus because he’s brave and he was “doing it for us.” Gutfeld says Trump “didn’t hide from the virus” because he didn’t “want America to hide from the virus.”

    4
  224. CSK says:

    @Teve:
    Yeah? So? He got sick. How does that help America? Does it mean we should all run out and catch Covid in solidarity? To show we’re brave?

    2
  225. inhumans99 says:

    @Teve:

    Is Greg a moron, enquiring minds want to know. Fox should honestly be embarrassed by Greg and ask him to stop talking.

    2
  226. Lounsbury says:

    @Sleeping Dog: That is massively overly dramatic. Trump has hardl progressed into serious illness yet. Get a grip. He may not even get more than sniffles (or he could go to death’s door, Covid19 lottery results pending).

    4
  227. wr says:

    @gVOR08: “Pence and McConnell will bum’s rush Barrett through any way they can.”

    Sure. But what if Republican members of the judiciary committee start getting sick? They’ve been glad-handing with the prez all week, and Mike Lee has tested positive, although he is apparently asymptomatic. Anything that slows down this train is a good thing.

    2
  228. Kathy says:

    @Teve:

    Hm. he just called Trump a Covidiot, and urges others to be Covidiots.

    Why does FOX News hate America?

    4
  229. wr says:

    @inhumans99: “Who cares what Kayleigh says about Trump working from the hospital, no one believes her anyway.”

    Oh, come on. You really think he’s doing less work now?

    1
  230. EddieInCA says:

    @keef:

    On behalf of the two aunts of mine who have passed from the virus: “Go Phuck Yourself.”

    On behalf of the 206,000+ American families who have lost someone to the virus: “Go Phuck Yourself”.

    On behalf of the

    9
  231. An Interested Party says:

    Trumps chances of dying, despite the classless bilge I’ve seen here…

    Ha! That’s rich coming from a Trump supporter…you would do better to pay attention to the classless bilge spouted by your sick hero…

  232. de stijl says:

    @EddieInCA:

    At 209,000, that is the equivalent population of Birmingham, AL dead since February.

    I am sorry about your aunts. I did not not know. Sometimes I get flippant in text and it could seem as if I do not care. I care deeply and I check the number of dead Americans daily. I meant no disrespect in previous comments that were cheeky.

    This is an on-going tragedy.

    1
  233. Monala says:

    The Qanon folks are struggling. They thought Trump’s tweet last night announcing he had tested positive, which ended with “We will get through this TOGETHER!” was a code telling them he was faking it. The final word in caps meant that he was doing this “To-Get-Her” – meaning to arrest Hillary Clinton.

    So the announcement that Trump is symptomatic and has been taken to Walter Reed is disturbing them. They’re trying to keep the faith, but it’s hard. Link

    4
  234. Northerner says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    As vile a creature that I believe Donald Trump to be I can not wish this deadly disease on anyone.

    When I was much younger I read “Lord of the Rings” for the first time (I’ve since re-read it — the book is much better than the movies). One scene in it has stuck with me for the rest of my life (the way a great book can) — its where Frodo says Gollum deserves death, and wishes Bilbo had killed him.

    Gandalf replies, “Deserves it! I daresay he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. For even the very wise cannot see all ends. I have not much hope that Gollum can be cured before he dies, but there is a chance of it.”

    Its why I’m against capital punishment, even for people who clearly deserve it. And I guess I’d apply it to Trump too. Though of course its very easy to hope he badly loses the election.

    12
  235. JohnSF says:

    Marina Hyde in The Guardian on the importance of decorum in regards to President Trump’s illness. Or not.

    “The very last thing Trump would wish to imply is that his life is worth any more than the lives of all those people who were dying when he was joking about masks, joking about Joe Biden and masks, joking about Biden being practically dead…”

    1
  236. Jax says:

    Trump can’t die until he gets his ass handed to him in the election. Then I do not care what happens to him. He may find it easier to give up his will to live (i.e, avoid prosecution) should he lose. I will not mourn his death, should that happen, he is a terrible human being and the world will be better off with his particular brand of poison gone.

    But he MUST live long enough to lose, first. 😉

    2
  237. Mister Bluster says:

    @Northerner:..Lord of the Rings

    I read the Trilogy (Fellowship, Towers and Return) 50 years ago. Then I started to read The Hobbit but I put it down after a few chapters and never picked it up again.
    I wish I could say I remember the passage you have cited but I cannot. Thank you for refreshing my memory.
    I have not seen any of the movies.
    I do recall that I once had a cat that I named Frodo. May he rest in peace.

    1
  238. Sleeping Dog says:

    @JohnSF:

    My thought is that Moscow Mitch will push Barrett as long as Trump is alive. After that, who knows.

  239. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Teve: Yeah. But Greg Gutfield is always saying stupid shit. Big deal!

  240. Sleeping Dog says:

    @Lounsbury:

    Gaming out scenarios, that’s all. If you don’t have an idea as to what will happen next, you’re a deer in the headlights.

    1
  241. de stijl says:

    I hope Trump lives long.

    Defeated, disgraced, dishonored. I want Trump to experience many years of being shunned and poor.

    3
  242. Kathy says:

    @Northerner:

    I’m old enough to know that saying “I wish they’d die” is an expression of hatred of a particular person. Just as saying “I hope they recover,” is an expression of support for a particular person. IN either case, there’s little to nothing we can do to affect the outcome.

    I cannot wish Trump well.

    1
  243. MarkedMan says:

    @Jen: All due respect Jen, but he’s a Trumper. You may as well try to reason with someone who believes they were anally probed by aliens, or that 5G is going to make their testicles fall off.

    4
  244. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Greg Gutfield is assertively stupid. And he thinks he is a big shit.

    I’d get better political commentary down at the bar if that was open.

  245. Jax says:

    @de stijl: If he is actually defeated, disgraced and dishonored, I’m fine with him living a long, miserable life, preferably in a jail cell.

    My biggest fear is that he will be allowed to continue on with his new media empire, continuing to spew his particular brand of poison into the atmosphere of the American psyche. Q Anon, the Proud Boys, they need to crawl back under their rocks, and they never will as long as Donald J. Trump lives to dog whistle them.

    2
  246. Kathy says:

    Via Twitter, unconfirmed report Trump is having trouble breathing.

  247. JohnSF says:

    Here’s a little something.
    Came across this on via a twitter thread, reported as trending with approval among some wilder Republican/Trumpian fringes this evening: “No, Nancy Pelosi Won’t Be President…”

    Arguing that the 1947 Presidential Succession Act is unconstitutional.

    It was back in December 2019 referring to the impeachment proceedings, but being recycled now, in the context of “what if Pence was also infected?”
    Hopefully just the idiot fringe at play.

    2
  248. EddieInCA says:

    Thom Tillis has tested positive as well. Like Trump, Notre Dame Pres, Melania, Hope Hicks, he was at the Saturday event for Amy Coney Barrett.

    As I said this morning, there are going to be more. Many more.

    2
  249. Northerner says:

    @Kathy:

    I’m pretty old too, though my experience is different than yours (perhaps not surprising, people really are very individual in their experiences). From what I’ve seen, most of the time when people say “I hope they die'” of someone they dislike, they mean just that (though of course that doesn’t imply they want to carry out the act themselves, they typically just want the universe to take care of it). And when people say “I hope they recover” of someone they dislike they generally mean they’ve known and loved people who’ve had that illness, and wouldn’t want anyone else to go through that pain, even if they want that person to fail in their other endeavors.

    Supporting, especially in the political sense you’re talking about, rarely comes into it in my experience. Its about a shared human experience (illness and death) that eventually comes to everyone, good or evil.

    I find it easy to wish someone well in some aspects of their lives, and hope they fail in others. For Trump I’d hope that he’ll be visited by three ghosts and wake up a new man. I know its extremely unlikely, but that’s an aspect of wishing him well I have no trouble conjuring up, even as I hope he loses in a massive landslide in the election.

    5
  250. Teve says:

    Kellyanne admitted that she has it. I think she did so after her daughter revealed it on Twitter, but don’t quote me on the timeline.

    3
  251. Teve says:

    Claudia Conway says her mom is “caughing all around the house”.

  252. de stijl says:

    @Jax:

    Beat Trump 55-45 at the polls and 2 to 1 in electoral college votes and the chesty vigilante types will fold. Mostly.

    Win the Senate. Expand the House.

    Most are paper tigers.

    We will never be free of dog whistles.

    Trump is too arrogant and dense to properly dog whistle. He is only capable of whistle whistling which turns off the decent majority both for the intent and the crass nature of the appeal.

    If Trump gets spanked hard election day and the R lose the Senate and lose more of the House, Trumpism is done.

    Ask a Republican whether he or she supported GW Bush. Support withers fast.

    6
  253. charon says:

    @Teve:

    KellyAnne at the ACB event too.

  254. Teve says:

    Tweet
    See new Tweets
    Conversation

    DeAnna Lorraine
    @DeAnna4Congress
    Could Trump catching COVID-19 technically be viewed as an assassination attempt on our President by the Chinese?

  255. de stijl says:

    @Teve:

    The new one McEnany confused being a Rhodes College student with being a Rhodes Scholar. Shamefully ignorant.

    Where do they find these idiots? Do they not have staff? Are they never briefed?

    Peter Navarro may be the most egregiously ignorant spokesperson in US history. Plus, pig-headed and belligerent.

    Tyr, save us!

  256. David S. says:

    @EddieInCA: Also Senator Mike Lee has tested positive. That’s two GOPers on the Judiciary Committee. McConnell’s already working to get around it, though.

    1
  257. Teve says:

    @nonlinear

    They tried to gaslight a virus

    1
  258. Teve says:

    Where do they find these idiots

    I bet they found Kaylee McEnany at PornHub.

    2
  259. Teve says:

    @Politicoalex

    BREAKING: Trump campaign manager Bill Stepien has tested positive for Covid-19

  260. Jim Brown 32 says:

    @Michael Reynolds: Im quite partial to the Ray Charles version– I play it often.

  261. de stijl says:

    @Teve:

    nonlinear stole my bit. I’ve been on that since March.

    “You cannot intimidate a virus. A virus needs a host to replicate.” is my super-serious jam. (I am actually a bit proud of that construction. Vanity… I know.)

    Dude stole my shit!

  262. de stijl says:

    @Teve:

    She can deliver stupendously ludicrous lines in a semblance of believability. I trust your judgment as to her background as per PH.

    The Rhodes Scholar gaffe made me laugh hard. Was she not briefed? I prefer that Presidential spokespeople are not *that* ignorant. Nice self own though, Kellyanne Jr.

  263. de stijl says:

    That “Free Melania” bs was in fact bs, because she speaks as if she were as sociopathic as her sham husband. She is crass and heartless.

    This couple, this man is held up to be godly by some RW Christians. It boggles my mind how anyone can accept that.

    Have they not read the New Testament?

    1
  264. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @de stijl: Doesn’t help to read The Bible if your go to position is that you need a 3rd party to tell you what it says. Had that conversation with my pastor when I was a teenager. He didn’t like that I was “one of those people who thinks he can just read The Bible and decide what it means for himself.”

    1
  265. de stijl says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    Any faith practice that requires me to agree with random guy’s take. As if. Nope.

    Ha ha. Nah! Never gonna happen.

  266. de stijl says:

    A President does not get choppered to Walter Reed if he has a mild case of anything.

    WH medical staff are there 24/7 to deal with mild anything.

    Trump is 74 and obese. Reports are that he was having difficulty breathing. This is a really big deal if this went from WH physician staff dealing with mild symptoms to airlift to Walter Reed. This ain’t no foolin’ around.

    Basically, this is the first time since Reagan got shot has a President been truly hospitalized.

    Presidents do not get hospitalized unless it is fairly dire. Sends a bad message domestically and internationally.

    2
  267. Collounsbury says:

    @de stijl:

    If Trump gets spanked hard election day and the R lose the Senate and lose more of the House, Trumpism is done

    I rather doubt that – Trump has merely revealed clearly sans plausible deniability a current of Southern USA based (but not uniquely located there) white-supremacist reaction that is fundamentally neo-fascist in nature that is feed by fear of ethnic change along-side of social change along-side for most white non-Uni educated, ever more fragile economic position. A toxic brew that is not going away and the US Left should think about addressing or you are going to have more moments like this, and God forbid now that it is so evidently clear your institutions are too dependent on easily broken “norms” without institutional controls on Presidential power.

    @de stijl: Says the fellow who has what precise knowledge of the protocols and decision trees used by the US services competent in this area?

    Yes everyone reasonable loathes Trump – there’s no reason for you lot to go all out on the Drama Queen reaction as of yet, although I know you do so adore doing that.

    It is entirely true that there is a large risk factor here, however by usual Covid19 evolution, mere day or several days into the illness, it is most likely that it is indeed very mild as of yet, but that at the same time the medical service, aware his health is not what he claims (as in he is likely in rather worse health than stated), is taking prophylactic measures.

    2
  268. de stijl says:

    @Collounsbury:

    Fuck off.

  269. Kurtz says:

    @de stijl:

    Have they not read the New Testament?

    Heh. That’s been pretty clear for a long time.