Thursday’s Forum

More chances to talk about a day in the life of the the corona times.

FILED UNDER: Open Forum
Steven L. Taylor
About Steven L. Taylor
Steven L. Taylor is Professor of Political Science and Dean of the College of Arts and Sciences at Troy University. His main areas of expertise include parties, elections, and the institutional design of democracies. His most recent book is the co-authored A Different Democracy: American Government in a 31-Country Perspective. He earned his Ph.D. from the University of Texas and his BA from the University of California, Irvine. He has been blogging since 2003 (originally at the now defunct Poliblog). Follow Steven on Twitter

Comments

  1. Bill says:
  2. Bill says:

    The Florida headline of the day-

    Florida will start lifting stay-at-home orders on Monday, Gov. Ron DeSantis says

    Palm Beach, where I live, plus Miami-Dade and Broward, are still under stay at home orders.

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  3. steve says:

    Every third night we pick up stuff form one of our three favorite restaurants to help support them. Last night as I was waiting to have the food brought out I pulled on my mask then looked over at my wife and said, “You know if we had done this a year ago someone would have called the police.” Going to be like this for months.

    Steve

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  4. Scott says:

    @Bill: Speaking of Florida, do you think they are cooking the books?

    Florida medical examiners were releasing coronavirus death data. The state made them stop.

    State officials have stopped releasing the list of coronavirus deaths being compiled by Florida’s medical examiners, which has at times shown a higher death toll than the state’s published count.

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  5. Scott says:

    VA adds nearly 1,000 new coronavirus cases in two days, 100 deaths in a week

    Veterans Affairs hospitals have added nearly 1,000 new coronavirus cases in the last two days, an increase of more than 14 percent that pushes the total number of virus patients to nearly 8,000 across 140 department sites.

    In addition to the 7,903 VA patients diagnosed with coronavirus, at least 2,153 department employees have also tested positive. That’s an increase of about 14 percent from one week ago

    Besides having a lot of in patients, VA facilities have very active outpatient operations. A lot of coming and going. Big potential for COVID-19 spread.

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  6. Scott says:

    Pentagon’s ‘Willingness to Kiss the President’s Ass’ Worries Top Lawmaker

    ‘I am worried about a culture developing,’ says House Armed Services Committee Chairman Adam Smith, D-Wash., after the latest delay in Navy captain’s fate. Senior defense officials are making decisions based out of fear they will upset President Donald Trump, exposing a growing culture problem at the Department of Defense, a top Democratic lawmaker and others allege.

    The charge comes as a senior Trump administration official at the Pentagon on Wednesday sent back the Navy’s recommendation on the fate of Capt. Brett Crozier, demanding a deeper investigation into his dismissal from command of the coronavirus-stricken USS Theodore Roosevelt.

    The problem, critics say, is not that Trump is interfering in the chain of command — exerting what’s known as “undue command influence” on decisions that are meant to be adjudicated within a strict military hierarchy — but that military officials are acting based out of fear that he will.

    Undue Command Influence. How can that happen, you say? Well…

    Trump Says Fired Navy Captain ‘Wanted to Be Ernest Hemingway’ in Warning Letter

    President Donald Trump again commented on the embattled case of Capt. Brett Crozier on Wednesday, saying the ousted commanding officer and former Navy secretary who fired him would “be seeing me at a certain point.”

    “And then he wanted to be Ernest Hemingway,” the president added, comparing Crozier to the famous writer. “… He started writing these long memos, and you can’t do that when you’re the captain of a ship.”

    Nope. No undue command influence here.

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  7. MarkedMan says:

    Re: my comments on Wednesday’s forum about Remdesivir. I found more information about the study on a Gizmodo, of all places. Ed Cara, who covers the Health beat there, seems to be punching above the site’s weight.

    Any way, bottom line is the NIH study showed a decrease in average hospitalization time (15 days to 11) for those who survived, and although there was a decrease in death rate, it was inside the rather large error bars given the small size.

    Cara also reported on a similar Chinese controlled study that found no benefits to the drug.

    So some hope for a reduction in suffering and perhaps a decrease in the death rate, but no miracles.

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  8. Kylopod says:

    Meanwhile….

    President Donald Trump erupted at his top political advisers last week when they presented him with worrisome polling data that showed his support eroding in a series of battleground states as his response to the coronavirus comes under criticism…..

    “I am not f—-ing losing to Joe Biden,” he repeated in a series of heated conference calls with his top campaign officials, according to five people with knowledge of the conversations. They spoke on condition of anonymity because they were not authorized to speak publicly about private discussions.

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  9. Tyrell says:

    “NYC mayor blasted after criticizing Jewish funeral” (Yahoo News)
    Another Big Bill boo boo.
    Threatening to arrest people going to a funeral, yet crowds gather to watch military jet flyover, and regular crowds in parks.

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  10. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @MarkedMan: Some drug maybe, far more likely a course of treatment will be found that reduces the CFR, but it is way too soon to be attaching hope to anything, least of all a “magic bullet” that will save us all. Which is what Republicans (not you) keep ranting about (Hydroxychloroquine! Remdesivir! Bulpukisvan!) because sacrifice for the greater good is just too hard.

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  11. Bill says:

    @Scott:

    Speaking of Florida, do you think they are cooking the books?

    What’s the old saying? Figures don’t lie but Liars can figure. I can believe the numbers are off.

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  12. Jen says:

    @Scott:

    He started writing these long memos,

    Just goes to show how little he understands Hemingway, who is known for his brevity and short, carefully constructed sentences…

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  13. Kylopod says:

    @Tyrell: De Blasio’s comments on “the Jewish community” were ill-advised, but he’s absolutely right that the public funeral with thousands gathered in one area shouldn’t have taken place, and most Jews, including most Orthodox Jews, agree with him.

    Judaism has always taught that a person’s physical health is more important than any single ritual law, and it’s considered a grave sin not to violate a ritual law when someone’s life is in danger. That’s why, for example, Jews who normally don’t use the phone on Shabbat will immediately call 911 if someone has a medical emergency. In fact there are Orthodox doctors who regularly use phones, get in cars, etc. on Shabbat simply because their profession involves saving people. There was a famous rabbi in the 19th century who, during a cholera outbreak, ordered his community not to fast on Yom Kippur, and he even ate and drank in public view, just to make sure they got the point. Similarly, in the current crisis rabbis from all across the religious spectrum have ordered people to stay home from synagogue and, yes, funerals, and have even canceled some very fundamental rituals (such as the burning of chometz before Passover) due to the public health risk.

    The problem here isn’t the principle of being willing to sacrifice certain rituals to protect people’s health, it’s that certain portions of the Hasidic and Haredi communities have developed hostility toward the outside world, including science, so that they don’t listen to medical experts who tell them of the great risks they’re taking. Even before this crisis, anti-vax views have been pervasive in many of these communities. They’re going out to funerals not because they think they’re more important than health, but because they don’t believe the health risks are real. They’re in denial of what’s happening, and that’s the real crisis.

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  14. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kylopod:

    Even before this crisis, anti-vax views have been pervasive in many of these communities.

    I have read of 2 or 3 recent measles outbreaks that were traced to Orthodox Jews returning from abroad.

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  15. Kathy says:

    Maybe Pence is incapable of infecting anyone with the SARS-COV2 virus because he has a cup of bleach every day at breakfast with his plain toast and water.

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  16. OzarkHillbilly says:

    Car Crashes Plummet As The US Sees What It’s Like To Shut Down

    History’s biggest social experiment is starting to yield weird results. One is that the frequency of car accidents — and deaths and injuries associated with them — has plummeted across the U.S. as the country’s workforce stays home.
    …………………………
    The New York City data records nearly 31,500 car accidents from March 1 to April 24, in 2019. Over the same time period in 2020 the number was slightly less than half: 14,014.

    The amount of people injured while driving in NYC also dropped accordingly — from 8,546 over the same timeframe in 2019, to 4,106 in 2020. Road deaths decreased year-by-year with 34 over the same time period in 2019, to 14 in 2020.

    So the next time somebody says the increased death rate isn’t all Covid related, you can reply that you agree, it very well could be even more. I also read that air pollution deaths are down as well.

    Harris noted that as the frequency of car trips have gone down, speeding has dramatically increased as drivers face empty streets.

    “If the number deaths have declined in comparison to what they were, speeding is up significantly,” Harris said. “We’re seeing a significant reduction in traffic and we’re seeing that camera violations are double what they were a month ago.”

    And every silver cloud has a lining of idiocy.

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  17. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Kathy: Maybe Pence is incapable of infecting anyone with the SARS-COV2 virus because he’s not human?

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  18. CSK says:

    @Jen:
    Hemingway is probably the only American writer Trump’s ever heard of other than Judith Krantz.

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  19. Kathy says:

    @Jen:

    Yeah, but did you read that dynamite long memo he got the Noble Prize for? I think it was “On Injuries to Beasts and Men at Pamplona As a Result of The Running of the Bulls.”

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  20. JohnMcC says:

    @Kathy: Terrific!

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  21. Mikey says:

    @OzarkHillbilly:

    Which is what Republicans (not you) keep ranting about (Hydroxychloroquine! Remdesivir! Bulpukisvan!) because sacrifice for the greater good is just too hard.

    They want a “magic bullet” miracle cure to rescue Trump from the utter disaster of deaths his inaction and lying has caused.

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  22. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @Mikey: That too.

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  23. Kathy says:

    @MarkedMan:

    It’s a good idea to temper expectations. Another big expectation is a vaccine. I remind everyone there is no AIDS vaccine even after all these years.

    Viruses are peculiar entities. There is much debate whether they should be even considered to be alive. IMO, they are more alive than DNA and RNA, but less than bacteria and single-cell organisms. They reproduce, but they have no metabolism. On the other hand, they can be killed by being rendered incapable of reproduction, either by interfering with the mechanism or by destroying parts of the virus (as happens when you wash your hands).

    Bacteria, infectious and not, reproduce by mitosis. This means they divide into two distinct life forms. Our cells, those that reproduce, do it the same way. Viruses reproduce by invading a cell and hijacking its processes to make copies of the virus. This also makes it tricky to get at them.

    Vaccine testing for effectiveness, though, can be accelerated by using a model known as human challenge. Typically you give the vaccine, when it’s known to be safe, to a large population at risk for infection(*), and then see what the infection rate is. In the human challenge model, you recruit volunteers, inoculate them, and then expose them to the infectious agent, in this case the SARS-COV2, and then measure the infection rate.

    As we’ve seen the pandemic progress, we have found out all kinds of group of people are at a high risk of death from this virus. Therefore testing vaccines this way is, literally, deathly dangerous for the volunteers.

    (*) Regular trials also involve a placebo. So any and all preventive measures have to continue during the trial. This would not be the case in a human challenge one.

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  24. wr says:

    @CSK: “Hemingway is probably the only American writer Trump’s ever heard of other than Judith Krantz.:

    And whichever founding father wrote the bible…

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  25. OzarkHillbilly says:

    @wr: Not that he’s ever actually read any of them.

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  26. Michael Reynolds says:

    @Kathy:
    You are a fascinating person.

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  27. CSK says:

    @wr:
    I think that might have been one of the two Corinthians.

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  28. Scott says:

    @Kathy:

    As we’ve seen the pandemic progress, we have found out all kinds of group of people are at a high risk of death from this virus.

    My Tea Party congressman has been banging on about how we have to get the economy working again while protecting the vulnerable/elderly, etc. While I’m 66, I don’t consider myself elderly or vulnerable mainly because I’m fairly financially comfortable, etc and can afford to stay out of harm’s way. It occurs to me, however, that the true vulnerable people are the elderly poor who have to continue working even when they are on Social Security and Medicare. And they will be working primarily in the service trades like retail and restaurants, just waiting for this virus to pick them off. It is going to be pretty gruesome.

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  29. Michael Reynolds says:

    US GDP per capita (nominal) is about $65,000. Posit a Covid-19 economic contraction that cuts GDP by 30%, giving us a per capita GDP of $45,000. That’s a hair under Germany’s and Canada’s per cap GDP, and well above the UK, France and Japan.

    Not saying that’s a good thing, but if it were fairly distributed it’s not exactly Bangladesh, is it? The French seem to have pretty good lives. The point being that we can survive a Covid contraction quite nicely without bread lines or hobos needing to ride the rails, if we have a mechanism to ensure that money doesn’t all get drawn to the 1% like iron filings to a magnet. We are a very rich country with some very poor people.

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  30. Kathy says:

    @Michael Reynolds:

    I just read a lot, and have an interest in science. Right now, that’s a relevant combination.

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  31. Kingdaddy says:

    @Scott: Yes, of course they are.

    I would not be surprised if we saw that there was a spike in “unexplained” deaths in counties with a high senior population. Either retirement communities like The Villages, or areas with a high senior population like Naples, have been extraordinarily lucky, or there’s something fishy about the numbers.

    De Santis thinks his political future depends on staying good with the Trump crowd. He is willing to sacrifice Floridian lives to re-open quickly. Playing with the numbers would seem like a small price for the former, and a lesser sin compared to the latter.

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  32. Kathy says:

    Signs of the times:

    At the apartment building, there was a container of hand sanitizer precariously perched on the elevator’s decorative railing. Now a dispenser has been installed in each elevator. The cleaning staff that pick up trash and clean the common areas, now wear masks, plastic face shields, and gloves. All visitors have their temperature checked, plus they mush apply hand sanitizer and wear a mask, or they are refused entry. Packages brought in by visitors or arriving through the mail or courier services, are sprayed with some kind of sanitizer.

    At the office, masks are mandatory, temps are taken of everyone coming in, the janitorial staff wear face shields as well, and there are hand sanitizer dispensers all over. As of today, they spray some sort of sanitizing fluid in every office space twice a day (last week two cases of COVID-19 were detected in the tax department, which fortunately I’ve had no reason to visit in the past year).

    Sometimes I think our descendants will be asking “Is it true there was a time when only doctors and nurses wore surgical masks? And people didn’t have to wash their hands often?”

    Oh, we’ll be done with masks by next year (I hope). Hand washing will persist for a while, too, before it fades. All outbreaks and epidemics eventually burn out. either the target population builds up enough immunity, and/or the pathogen runs out of targets. Then they recede.

    One thing. Every day I wash my hands upon waking, when I reach the office, when I get home, and before I go to bed (and many times in between). I expect that habit will persist for a long time.

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  33. MarkedMan says:

    @CSK: Trump will have the most Corinthians! Three, maybe four or even five! Some people say, “Sir, I believe it will be ten!”

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  34. MarkedMan says:

    I think I only now realize how much I have allergies. I used to attribute most of my spring/fall scratchy throat and sneezing to colds, but I assume I’m not getting those now.

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  35. CSK says:

    @MarkedMan:
    Well, the Bible is his favorite book, you know. He even said so.

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  36. DrDaveT says:

    @steve:

    Last night as I was waiting to have the food brought out I pulled on my mask then looked over at my wife and said, “You know if we had done this a year ago someone would have called the police.”

    To mail my tax return a month ago, I walked into a US Post Office wearing a bandana over my face. Not something I had ever expected to do.

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  37. Mister Bluster says:

    In 1 Corinthians, Paul refers to a still earlier letter he had written to the men of that city:

    1 Corinthians 5:9. I wrote unto you in an epistle not to company with fornicators. *

    This early letter (which we might call “o Corinthians”) is not, however, necessarily lost. Parts of it may have been combined by later editors with the two epistles we do have.
    This very first letter, o Corinthians, which is not preserved separately in the canon, apparently elicited some sort of response, and a letter was brought to Paul in Ephesus by some of the leading men of the Corinthian church. At least Paul alludes to their coming:

    1 Corinthians 16:17. I am glad of the coming of Stephanus and Fortunatus and Achaicus . . .

    There are no other Biblical references to Fortunatus and Achaicus,
    but the fact that they are Corinthians seems evident from a reference made by Paul earlier in the epistle to people in Corinth whom he had personally baptized:

    1 Corinthians 1:16. . . . I baptized also the household of Stepha- nas. . .

    Azimov’s Guide to the Bible

    *Clearly Trump is unaware of this Scripture.

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  38. gVOR08 says:

    To follow up on yesterday’s Justim Amash post, Anne Laurie has a good post at Balloon Juice. Ever wonder how someone like Amash can get elected to Congress? DeVos money. He represents the modern incarnation of libertarianism, the freedom of any billionaire to fwck over the country as a hobby.

    As a former amateur observer of Michigan politics, I’d describe Justin Amash as ‘Rand Paul with a working forebrain.’ Which of course is why, given the recent attention he drew for his ‘principled’ stance against RINO Donald Trump, he couldn’t resist the eternal libertarian impulse to make the most dangerous election of our lifetimes ALL ABOUT HIMSELF. (The deVos family can afford to buy the best jagoffs available on the open market — and they do.)

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  39. Kathy says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    His edition doesn’t say that. It’s a great edition. a beautiful edition. the greatest edition of the Bible ever. Lost of people say that. it has more Corinthians that any other edition. The Jonesonian wants to preserve it in the Dead Sea Scrolls museum. It’s better than the Gutenberd edition. Did I mention it’s mine?

    @CSK:

    Oh, in that case coloring the Bible is no longer sacrilegious.

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  40. Monala says:

    @Michael Reynolds: I agree! Kathy can comment knowledgeably about many science topics, ancient Roman history, and countless other topics.

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  41. Kathy says:

    @Monala:

    If you guys keep this up, I’ll become an expert on swollen heads. 🙂

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  42. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    @Mister Bluster:

    *Clearly Trump is unaware of this Scripture.

    Just as clearly, so are many Evangelical pastors and church leaders.

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  43. Kingdaddy says:

    The New York Times’ continued efforts to treat this regime as a normal presidency is really pissing me off. The latest example is this article:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/29/us/politics/trump-kushner-coronavirus-revisionist-history.html?action=click&module=Spotlight&pgtype=Homepage

    The headline is, “ Trump and Kushner Engage in Revisionist History in Boasting of Success Over Virus.” The phrase revisionist history doesn’t quite capture the fountain of lies about what happened earlier this year. The comparisons with Bush (“Mission Accomplished”) and Obama (“America’s war in Iraq will be over”) are not only ridiculous, but an insult to the intelligence of the reader.

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  44. Sleeping Dog says:

    The golden age of Jared Kushner
    President’s son-in-law embodies everything that is wrong with America’s coronavirus response

    The world is dealing with a different America than the one it knew. Foreign leaders — and US governors — that want to influence the president must go through his family. This includes China, which sees Mr Kushner as its “point of interest”.

    Such lines of communication used to be the rule book only in places such as sub-Saharan Africa. Covid-19 has crystallised Washington’s descent into patrimonialism. The word of the ruling family holds more weight than science. For now America must live with government of the Trumps, by the Trumps and for the Trumps. 

    It was bad enough for the US to be referred to as a banana republic, now we’re being compared to sub-Saharan Africa. And the Africans look good by comparison.

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  45. Sleeping Dog says:

    We’re all hoping for a vaccine, it’ll be awhile.

    How Long Will a Vaccine Really Take?

    The logistics of manufacturing and distribution are mind boggling

    In the end, the United States will have the capacity to mass-produce only two or three vaccines, said Vijay Samant, the former head of vaccine manufacturing at Merck.

    “The manufacturing task is insurmountable,” Mr. Samant said. “I get sleepless nights thinking about it.”

    Consider just one seemingly simple step: putting the vaccine into vials. Manufacturers need to procure billions of vials, and billions of stoppers to seal them. Sophisticated machines are needed to fill them precisely, and each vial is inspected on a high-speed line. Then vials are stored, shipped and released to the public using a chain of temperature-controlled facilities and trucks. At each of these stages, producers are already stretched to meet existing demands, Mr. Samant said.

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  46. Teve says:

    “The only reason to visit Florida is to identify your daughter’s dead body…Florida is all alphas. Men women gay straight black white jews cubans they’re all alphas and they’re all fighting for dominance.” -Patton Oswalt

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  47. Mike says:

    @Sleeping Dog:I often think if only we put together the greatest minds in business, consumer advocates, health experts economists and professors. Mayors, logisticians etc on task forces to coordinate response in this country with others. We had thousands of DOD planners working around the clock to invade Iraq We have Kushner. I’m sure it will be fine.

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  48. MarkedMan says:

    I feel like I’m usually on here squashing hope by pointing out that there are no miracles in the queue at the moment no matter what the Bleach Drinkers claim, so I’m happy to point to some solidly good news. The Korea Herald is reporting that there are no confirmed cases of reinfections. Korea has a real health care system and state of the art technology and their government reacted swiftly in ramping up testing and contact tracing. At this point they have enough tests that they are regularly testing people that have recovered, so they have good data.

    This is huge news. If it behaved like some other flu, someone could catch it every year, and eventually it would be severe, perhaps even fatal. This seems to show that those who have recovered have immunity, which puts them and their family and other contacts in better shape, and speaks to how we can gradually reopen the economy.

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  49. Jen says:

    Meanwhile, looks like we’re on the road to punishing China, with an additional side helping of pressure to manufacture evidence.

    This is such a bad idea. China absolutely should pay some kind of price for their blatant lies and attempts to hide the reality of the virus, but we need to be careful HOW that is done. A virus can come from anywhere, including from a farm somewhere in the US. Establishing a precedent of reneging on trade agreements isn’t wise. And the notion that the administration is actively pushing the Wuhan lab theory is not good.

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  50. MarkedMan says:

    Crazy, gun toting right wingers have invaded the Michigan Legislature. No, this is not made up. They forced their way past the guards waving Confederate flags and swastikas. I have zero problem with these moronic, testosterone-poisoned assholes being tracked down, arrested and put away for a long time for armed assault. And if they so much as reach for a pocket while they are being arrested, well, I hope the authorities give them exactly as much leeway as they would a black teenager.

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  51. KM says:

    @Jen:
    At this point all we can hope for is that China understands this regime is on its last legs and that November will bring a return to sanity. Hell, who’s to say they won’t pull a Russia to try and ensure it? It’s really in their best interests for Trump to not be President anymore – whatever benefits they were getting from having a bribe-able Administration are gone.

    We don’t have a secure voting system, something the GOP seems to think will benefit them. However, Russia’s not the only game in town and if Trump keeps pissing countries off, they may decide to see what they can get away with…..

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  52. Liberal Capitalist says:

    @MarkedMan:

    Michigan… the Florida of the north.

    (yes, I am an ex-Michigander… why do you ask?)

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  53. Mister Bluster says:

    @KM:..We don’t have a secure voting system, something the GOP seems to think will benefit them. However, Russia’s not the only game in town and if Trump keeps pissing countries off, they may decide to see what they can get away with…..

    You are not advocating that The United States should be subjected to foreign interference in our elections to affect the outcome to favor any political party are you?

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  54. KM says:

    @Mister Bluster:
    Nope. I’m pointing out the GOP can easily be hoist by their own petard like most idiots who think they’re clever are. China can do what Russia does and they are becoming increasingly invested in him losing.

    If you don’t guard the hen house, foxes *and* wolves can sneak in. It’s the chickens who are still screwed in the end…..

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  55. Mister Bluster says:

    @MarkedMan:..Crazy, gun toting right wingers have invaded the Michigan Legislature.

    Fifty three years ago almost to the day. May 2 1967.
    From the pages of The Bee, 1967: Armed Black Panthers invade Capitol
    Two dozen armed Negroes entered the state Capitol at noon today and 10 made their way to the back of the Assembly Chamber before they were disarmed and marched away by the state police.

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  56. wr says:

    @Jen: “This is such a bad idea. China absolutely should pay some kind of price for their blatant lies and attempts to hide the reality of the virus, but we need to be careful HOW that is done.”

    We’ve got to be a little careful here. It’s not like our government’s hands are clean of blatant lies and attempts to hide the reality of the virus. Should we be punished as well? And what kind of punishment is worse than President Jared?

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  57. Gustopher says:

    @Scott:

    “And then he wanted to be Ernest Hemingway,” the president added, comparing Crozier to the famous writer. “… He started writing these long memos, and you can’t do that when you’re the captain of a ship.”

    Papa Crozier is a fine man, and the running of the bulls through the aircraft carrier proved to be an excellent boost to morale. And Captain Crozier’s letter read nothing like Hemingway.

    If he had his way he would die like a man. Not from a virus, but facing an enemy. Looking him in the eye, and seeing him fire. The sound of the gun would come after the impact. And he would collapse on the deck, to be pecked apart by gulls. Not a virus.

    Bonus terrible Hemingway content: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eTq38ND-K28

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  58. Kathy says:

    @Jen:

    OMFG! Cancelling US debt obligations? This means not paying off interest and principal on US Treasury bonds held by China and/or Chinese citizens or corporations. That would be the worst of ideas. I can’t think of a parallel as bad, not in economics.

    It would mean bankrupting the US, which finances its deficit with debt. China holds a lot of that debt, as do many other governments and financial institutions in other countries. They’d all dump those investments in a minute if El PITO does as he threatens (which, BTW, he mentioned as a possibility in his campaign as well).

    This should be so obviously self-destructive, that one would think the rest of the GOP would stop it. but these days, who the hell knows.

    Doug used to say Trump achieved what the Soviet Union never could: drive a wedge between the US and her NATO allies. Now he’s about to achieve something else the Soviets never managed: utterly devastate the US economy for a generation.

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  59. 95 South says:

    @MarkedMan: Pics of the swastikas?

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  60. SC_Birdflyte says:

    @Kathy: Yes, Donald Sr. has never read Hemingway, but Donald Jr. told him about this great novel, The Son Also Rises.

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  61. PJ says:

    Today I finally watched Der Undergang/Downfall, now I’m looking forward to the sequel starring Donald Trump, ending in a bunker at the Trump International Golf Club.

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  62. Teve says:

    Crazy, gun toting right wingers have invaded the Michigan Legislature. No, this is not made up. They forced their way past the guards waving Confederate flags and swastikas

    Why were the Michigan Legislature wearing confederate flags and swastikas and such?

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  63. 95 South says:

    @Teve: The guards were waving the flags.

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  64. Kathy says:

    @SC_Birdflyte:

    And Ivanka pointed out the best Hemingway is called The Son In Law Rises Higher.

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  65. mattbernius says:

    @95 South:

    Pics of the swastikas?

    See these photos from the scene:
    https://statenews.com/gallery/capitol-protest-4-30-2020

    3/13 has a Battle Flag in it.
    4/13 has the swastikas.

    Countdown to “but those swastikas are being used in an ironic fashion to make a point about the Governor being a Nazi so I don’t understand what anyone is upset about” in 3… 2…

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  66. mattbernius says:

    @Guarneri:

    Flynn was set up by the FBI

    And again, you demonstrate that you don’t understand jack and shit about law enforcement. And also I’d love your explanation about how the Trump administration did Michael Flynn wrong by firing him for lying to them about his background.

    BTW, how’s the COVID-19 isn’t worse than the flu shit and the death rate is inflated bullshit you were peddling just a few weeks ago holding up dude?

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  67. 95 South says:

    @mattbernius:

    but those swastikas are being used in an ironic fashion to make a point about the Governor being a Nazi so I don’t understand what anyone is upset about

    I’m more surprised someone spotted the swastikas, but also what you said. “Ironic” is the wrong word though. “Pointed”.

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  68. Kathy says:

    @mattbernius:

    remember your trumpish:

    “Set up by the FBI” means “When a Republican is arrested and prosecuted for real crimes.”

    I wonder what the term for “when Trump is arrested and prosecuted for real crimes” will be.

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  69. MarkedMan says:

    @95 South: Look, I for one am done engaging in the “we have to pretend there is no history of white nationalism with these gun nuts and start the look for proof afresh with each incident” BS. People trotting around with guns have a high percentage of white nationalists, Neo-nazis, and various other scum. You can pretend the “Jews will not replace us” marches never happened, or that every time a reporter visits a gun show they don’t find “The Turner Diaries” prominently displayed for sale, or that the militias and the clan aren’t hand in glove, despite decades of incidents. If you take that position you are either playing games or willfully ignorant.

    All I can say is that if one of these losers comes near my wife’s place of work and tries to intimidate her by screaming their spittle flecked ravings and waving their manhood-substitute about, well, if I get the chance to bash their head in a with a pipe I’ll certainly take it. You come at me carrying a gun and screaming and I’m not going to risk my life a crazed lunatic like that isn’t going to decide to go Las Vegas on the crowd.

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  70. Jen says:

    @wr: Exactly my point. This sort of retribution BS can backfire, big-time. @Kathy: hit the nail on the head of what jumped out at me. If they are seriously considering these types of retaliatory measures, we’re going to be in deep trouble fairly quickly.

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  71. mattbernius says:

    @95 South:

    I’m more surprised someone spotted the swastikas,

    Quick, let’s do the minimization dance. Well there were only four Swastikas in a single picture… So NBD… But it’s better than “That person clearly is a plant or not representative of the protesters.” so I’ll take that as some progress.

    “Ironic” is the wrong word though. “Pointed”.

    I guess that would be the case if you actually believed that a state-issued shelter in place order was in any way akin to Nazism (you know death camps and ethnic cleansing and war on Neighboring countries).

    I was simply hoping the person was smart enough to understand how stupid and frankly insulting that comparison is.

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  72. Kingdaddy says:

    The only reason to bring a firearm to the state legislature is to intimidate the legislators.

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  73. Jax says:

    @mattbernius: If Guarneri drinks out of the same kool-aid bowl as my local friends, there’s been some goalpost moving and they’ve decided it’s no big deal because cancer kills more people in a year, at 10 million. I’m not sure where the goalpost will be placed if, God forbid, COVID ends up killing more than 10 million.

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  74. Just nutha ignint cracker says:

    I’ll take that as some progress.

    Except that there’s no progress to be made. What 95 South does in concern troll about the honesty and motives of others for the purpose of toting Trump’s water bucket disguised as an “honest dealer.” It’s a variation on Pearce’s “contrarian principled seeker” schtick. It’s all bull.

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  75. Monala says:

    @mattbernius: There is also a “Tyrants get the rope” sign in 6/13, and a noose in 8/13.

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  76. Mikey says:

    @Liberal Capitalist:

    Michigan… the Florida of the north.

    As a fellow former Michigander, I can confirm.

    The big difference is the second-deadliest terrorist attack in American history didn’t have its genesis in a house in Florida.

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  77. 95 South says:

    @mattbernius: I spent a half an hour looking at pictures from the different “liberate” rallies. They confirmed what I suspeccted, no one else has a sign that reads anything like “Sacrifice the Weak”. If there are other signs like that, please show them to me. Otherwise I’ll think of it as a one-off crazy or a troll.

    As for the swastikas at the Michigan protest, what do you think they mean? They’re on a sign that reads “Heil Whitler”. Do you think they’re pro-nazi? Is the protester a fan of both Nazis and Whitmer? Is that why they’re protesting against Whitmer? Is “Whitler” is a compliment? I’d love it if people were smart enough to not always go for the Hitler analogy, but if your last name is Whitmer, it’s going to happen and it’s never going to be a sign of praise. So don’t even pretend there was anything pro-Nazi about that sign.

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  78. 95 South says:

    @Just nutha ignint cracker:

    What 95 South does in concern troll about the honesty and motives of others

    Aren’t you concern trolling about my honesty and motives?

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  79. Mikey says:

    @95 South: I agree. That sign is not pro-Nazi. It’s just drooling idiocy equating a temporary reduction in freedom of movement that has saved tens of thousands of lives with actions taken by one of the most repressive and murderous regimes in human history.

    Hell, the swastikas aren’t even Nazi swastikas. They’re backward…like the morons who created the sign.

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  80. 95 South says:

    @Mikey: I’d like to see a reasoned debate about the restrictions. There’s not going to be one with someone comparing Whitmer to Nazis. Nor will there be a productive debate with MarkedMan, if he’s comparing the sign-holder with Nazis.

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  81. Mister Bluster says:

    Anyone who states:
    “I’m not a Trumpist.” and
    “I’m not s (sic) Trump supporter.”
    And then claims:
    “Republicans will do what is morally right without regard to party.”

    is not acquainted with reason.

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  82. Monala says:

    @95 South: “Sacrifice the weak” – a public official comes out and says it.

    In a long post April 23 on Facebook, commission Chairman Ken Turnage II compared the spread of COVID-19 to a forest fire that burns off all the “old trees, fallen brush and scrub-shrub sucklings” that drain resources. The nation and planet “would strengthen when this is all settled,” he surmised.

    “We would have significant loss of life, we would lose many elderly, that would reduce burdens in our defunct Social Security System, health care cost (once the wave subsided), make jobs available for others and it would also free up housing in which we are in dire need of,” Turnage wrote. “We would lose a large portion of the people with immune and other health complications. I know it would be loved ones as well. But that would once again reduce our impact on medical, jobs, and housing.”

    I tried to look for what party he is a part of. He apparently ran as an independent. From an article in 2016:

    He says he has no affiliations with anybody that can be considered “special interest” and is an independent in every sense of the word which he says will allow for honest conversation and apply decision making skills with what is best for the city and community as a whole.

    Earlier this year, Turnage was awarded the Citizen of the Year (Most Impact) for 2015 by the Antioch Chamber of Commerce due to his effort in helping the community. Turnage serves on the Antioch Economic Development Commission, is a member of the Antioch Rotary Club, supports and participates in the many events and activities of the Antioch Chamber of Commerce, and is a strong supporter Antioch Police Activities League (PAL) and the Leo Fontana Family Foundation.

    I suspect from his affiliations, and some of the comments when he ran (one commenter said Turnage would “turn Antioch around from Ghetto Town”) that he’d be a Republican if he didn’t live in California.

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