Ceding My Post Today To Snopes

Given yesterdays stock market debacle and the Coronavirus panic that produced it, I am turning today’s post over to Snopes.


Amid warnings from public health officials that a 2020 outbreak of a new coronavirus could soon become a pandemic involving the U.S., alarmed readers asked Snopes to verify a rumor that U.S. President Donald Trump had “fired the entire pandemic response team two years ago and then didn’t replace them.”

The claim came from a series of tweets posted by Judd Legum, who runs Popular Information, a newsletter he describes as being about “politics and power.” Legum’s commentary was representative of sharp criticism from Democratic legislators (and some Republicans) that the Trump administration had ill-prepared the country for a pandemic even as one was looming on the horizon.

Legum outlined a series of cost-cutting decisions made by the Trump administration in preceding years that had gutted the nation’s infectious disease defense infrastructure. The “pandemic response team” firing claim referred to news accounts from Spring 2018 reporting that White House officials tasked with directing a national response to a pandemic had been ousted.

Rear Adm. Timothy Ziemer abruptly departed from his post leading the global health security team on the National Security Council in May 2018 amid a reorganization of the council by then-National Security Advisor John Bolton, and Ziemer’s team was disbanded. Tom Bossert, whom the Washington Post reported “had called for a comprehensive biodefense strategy against pandemics and biological attacks,” had been fired one month prior.

It’s thus true that the Trump administration axed the executive branch team responsible for coordinating a response to a pandemic and did not replace it, eliminating Ziemer’s position and reassigning others, although Bolton was the executive at the top of the National Security Council chain of command at the time.

Legum stated in a follow-up tweet that “Trump also cut funding for the CDC, forcing the CDC to cancel its efforts to help countries prevent infectious-disease threats from becoming epidemics in 39 of 49 countries in 2018. Among the countries abandoned? China.” That was partly true, according to 2018 news reports stating that funding for the CDC’s global disease outbreak prevention efforts had been reduced by 80%, including funding for the agency’s efforts in China. But that was the result of the anticipated depletion of previously allotted funding, not a direct cut by the Trump administration.

On Feb. 24, 2020, the Trump administration requested $2.5 billion to address the coronavirus outbreak, an outlay critics asserted might not have been necessary if the previous program cuts had not taken place. Fortune reported of the issue that:

The cuts could be especially problematic as COVID-19 continues to spread. Health officials are now warning the U.S. is unlikely to be spared, even though cases are minimal here so far.

“It’s not so much of a question of if this will happen in this country any more but a question of when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illness,” Dr. Nancy Messonnier, the director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said during a press call [on Feb. 25].

The coronavirus was first detected in Wuhan, China, in the winter of 2019, and cases spread around the globe. The U.S. had 57 confirmed cases as of this writing, while globally, roughly 80,000 patients had been sickened with the virus and 3,000 had died. As of yet, no vaccine or pharmaceutical treatment for the new coronavirus. Data from China suggests the coronavirus has a higher fatality rate than the seasonal flu, although outcomes depend on factors such as the age and underlying health of the patient.


  1. Thanks Prof. The piece state 57 cases at the time of their writing. Already on 3-10:

    (CNN)State governments are working to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus in the US, as federal officials say more testing will likely see the number of known cases continue to increase.

    There were at least 728 cases and 26 deaths in the United States across 36 states and the District of Columbia as of 1 a.m. ET on March 10. That national figure includes 658 people diagnosed through the US public health system and 70 people repatriated to the US — 46 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship, 21 on the Grand Princess cruise ship and three from China.

  2. That makes me furious again as I think about the people who support such an unspeakable, ignorant person who chooses to do such things. and has the power to do it. “He gets things done.” Is what I was told by one of his supporters.

  3. Reminds me of the ol’ saying about Republicans…they know the price of everything and the value of nothing.

  4. ill leave my post from yesterdays,3/9/20 in reading, (1:43 pm)i asked a question,, took some time off to catch up on my need to knows and came across my answer,(5:25 pm) by chance.. the article in the intercept,3/6/20 with regards to covid19 and the wall street goons,,,seems my morbid answer,to my morbid question was there..by Jon Schwarz. now,if this virus runs its path,the white house and wall street can gain credit for a capitalistic holocaust…hitler has met his modern day buddies..

  5. Trump has already demonstrated in his poor leadership during the wildfires in CA and the hurricane in Puerto Rico. He cannot manage simple tasks, so international disasters are not his strong point for sure.

    Again, what frightens me the most is the ignorance of his supporters. The middle-school teacher/GOP official on Facebook yesterday posted a whiteboard that was supposedly written by a doctor with the word “FACTS” on the top. It implied that all previous viruses were responses to USA elections, and the coronavirus was no exception.

    Over two dozen followers liked it and shared it, and once again, I corrected her post with this link from the CDC with these words, which indicates our slow response to diagnosing the virus:

    “In addition to CDC, many public health laboratories are now testing for the virus that causes COVID-19. With this increase in testing, more and more states are reporting cases of COVID-19 to CDC.”


    My sister called from Florida and said the grocery stores are already rationing supplies like hand sanitizer and toilet paper.

    While Trump’s mental capacity is problematic, what I find even more problematic are the millions of Americans who support this buffoon as POTUS.

    And speaking of buffoons, Patrick Martin writes this of Joe Biden:

    “Former Vice President Biden is the personification of the decrepit and right-wing character of the Democratic Party. In the past 10 days alone, Biden has declared himself a candidate for the US Senate, rather than president, confused his wife and his sister as they stood on either side of him, called himself an “Obiden Bama Democrat,” and declared that 150 million Americans died in gun violence over the past decade. This is not just a matter of Biden’s declining mental state: it is the Democratic Party, not just its presidential frontrunner, that is verging on political senility.”

    Sad. State. Of. Affairs.

  6. America’s love of euphemisms is almost as disturbing as its distrust of science. Your little doggie didn’t go to the farm. He died. There is no such thing as an alternative fact. It’s called a lie. While I can understand and agree with the first euphemism, since children are generally the recipients of the information, I really fail to see why the media haven’t been calling a lie a lie, since grown-ups are largely on the receiving end. NO MORE SUGAR-COATING.

  7. There isn’t much more to be said about the utter incompetence of a gangster organization that couldn’t manage a keg party inside a brewery.

    His absurdities are substituted for actual thought by his drooling acolytes, so there’s no sense in beating that horse either. It died on 11/7/16.

    Work to defeat all Republicans. Work to replace Trump with an actual human with a brain that isn’t pathological.

  8. No reason to worry folks – 45 says he has a special talent for things like this, that he instinctively understands it better than anyone else and he has it all under control.

    I feel so much more at ease about Covid 19 now…..

  9. It’s clear many people have been Trumpatized and or Trumpnotized!

    This is Stockholm syndrome on a grand scale!

    Marv was correct in this being like a virus of the mind. And the book with the same name is a very revealing read.

    Late last evening, we were told that our place of worship had been shut down for several weeks because an individual with the coronavirus attended a service. Now this is something that was not unexpected, but it’s obviously an indication of how widespread this virus is! A relative who works for the government was made aware of individuals that are working for said government that are infected with the virus. They brought it with them from overseas duty. Needless to say, it’s supposed to be hush-hush!

    So it’s obvious that this virus is much more widespread than anyone was led to believe initially. I personally do not desire to be self quarantined but it is the appropriate thing to do! After all, isn’t that what loving your neighbor is all about? It’s not always easy to think about others rather than yourself, but if you have a strong belief system and faith to back it up, and inconvenience or hardship shouldn’t matter.

    A prime example of this is during Black history month, the Trump hangers on, those who are always out there pining for him, (Stockholm syndrome) had a quite spectacular prayer service where they all laid hands on him, LOL! Needless to say, Spike Lee was not happy about it, but he had a hard time explaining it! He just showed a lot of irreverence towards what was happening.

    This passage in Scripture actually shows how far the Trumpnotized have fallen!

    1st Timothy 5:21, 22, 24, 25 which reads; “I solemnly charge you before God and Christ Jesus and the chosen Angels to observe these instructions without any prejudice or partiality. Never lay your hands hastily on any man; neither become a sharer in sins of others; keep yourself chaste.”

    “The sins of some men are publicly known, leading directly to judgment, but those of other men become evident later. In the same way also, the fine works are publicly known and those that are otherwise cannot be hidden.”

    So, by laying hands on POTUS, these so-called faithful have become complicit in his sins, not just some, but all of his unjust and sinful activity.

    Not only does stupidity rise to the top like sweet cream, so does hypocrisy.

    With the dismantling of all things Obama, he has put the country at risk! Many who might get CorVID 19 are some of the poorest in this country, and those who are working cannot take time off to stay home so they go to work even if they are sick. And if they are sick, they might not be able to get medical care because of the shenanigans the GOP has been playing with the ACA! So if you can’t self quarantine, you spread the virus and then die? Everyone should just take a step back and look at the hypocrisy of the GOP narrative at the beginning of this, now that some might be infected, the tune starts to change. Of course if they end up not being sick, and will be back to the same old thing!

    It really doesn’t matter, because the Trumpholm syndrome is strong it presents an alternate reality that even though it’s life-threatening, is appealing because of the sheer ignorance of it! Just another example of man’s inhumanity to man, and man being too ignorant to notice!

  10. Looks like (TDS) Trump Derangement Syndrome is active and on the move. I hope it’s not lethal.
    John, for your sake, don’t forget what happens to “false teachers.”

  11. I am caught in a glitch in my I.U. Health Care coverage and cannot get a flu shot; they stopped paying lab fees at the medical clinic where my primary physician is located. CVS and Kroger contacted the clinic and I was denied coverage for flu shot which is provided in their lab. I now use the lab facilities at the Methodist Medical Center for testing where my former doctor is located, he removed me from his service after 19 years over a misunderstanding he never spoke directly to me about. While at the lab for tests yesterday I asked to get a flu shot but was told they are only given in my former doctor’s office where I am denied treatment.

    But; even without the above glitch, both CVS and Kroger were out of the strongest shot required due to my age. This is our annual flu season and year after year there is a lack of the vaccines which manufacturers are aware will be needed by millions. This lack of vaccines has been a problem yearly; long before the numerous strains of coronavirus and other known viruses began infecting millions globally. Meanwhile; Big Pharma continues to manufacture life and death medications which are priced out of reach of all but high-income Americans. Meanwhile the number of diagnosed cases here in Trump’s “tightly contained” nation continues to rise…as does the number of deaths.

    John Sorg; my “place of worship” is never closed, it is wherever I am at the time I need or want to pray.

  12. There is plenty of room to criticize The Trump Regime. Not so oddly enough the Defense Budget was lavished with new funding and we still spend billions in the Middle East for War.

    The elephant in the room in the USA is our pathetic and inadequate “Health Care System”. Latest numbers show nearly 28 Million Americans are uninsured. There is also the High Deductibles and C0-Pays anyone that is Insured will have to pay.

    Will there be “Free Testing” or will you have to pay for it?? If you test positive then what??? Self-Quarantine, OK now you cannot go to work – Who pays your bills?? What if the Schools shut down, go to work and leave your children “Home Alone” or do not go to work and not get paid, then you are back to Who Pays your Bills?? Family Leave – Shiver me timbers we cannot have that Socialist type of Program here in America.

    H.R.1384 – Medicare for All Act of 2019 has currently 118 Co-Sponsors. All are Democrats as you can tell not all Democrats support Medicare for All.

    Oh, I know let’s keep Capitalism as the only way to deliver Health Care in the USA. Cannot afford it -Too Bad, So Sad – Go home and Die and as Scrooge said reduce the surplus population.

  13. TRUST your own instincts and fundamental knowledge of personal hygiene as the only antidote right now to protect yourself from the reported pandemic. Tune in to authentic authority. Healthy skepticism of everything else.

  14. As usual there are so many aspects of all subjects, however, the main thing I have taken from the behavior of our leaders over the past couple of decades: This country is no longer for, or by the people. It’s all about the leaders. Public service is a distant memory. I watched Al Franken’s interview on Cuomo’s show the other night and I still cringe when I think of bad behavior but bad behavior on the Republican side seems to be expected and even tolerated. How (too late) ironic that now those who were screaming “off with his head” are now wishing they had at least allowed Al due process. My point is that those who truly have the “public service” chip within their make up are becoming very very few and far between. Now, if the emphasis was indeed on ‘public service’ there would be no question about how to go forward into this disease abyss regarding the public. They would get all the help they need in order to ensure the greater good. Whether that’s helping people with no insurance, helping people keep their jobs, making sure everyone is tested. My God, even South Korea is testing on a large scale. I’m so sick of our willingness to tolerate anything else and to continue to allow the mess we have allowed since 2016. What is wrong with us? We sure talk a good show but action? None

  15. ML,

    Yes, our friend in Italy is very fearful right now! But, she can actually stay home because she is a wealthy lady. But those who are not wealthy can also stay home because they will not lose their healthcare as it’s provided, they also will not lose pay from their jobs because that is covered, they will be paid anyway. In Italy, they actually shut down business for about a month so everyone can recharge. So, the infrastructure is already there when they tell folks to stay home, they can still get their medical care and still get their paycheck! How novel!

    Gail, LOL,

    Really? Are you saying that the Stockholm err the Trumpholm syndrome is not real? Nero J Trump has been fiddling for 3 years! Anything that contradicts trumps alternate reality is met with Trumpnotized resistance! Are you walking like a duck yet? Are you barking like a dog yet? Do you take pride in telling untruths? Do you take pride in making your fellow man uncomfortable or worse? It seems, there are about 4 yeses there. I think it’s hilarious that POTUS is claiming to maybe rollback some payroll taxes to stimulate the economy! This sounds familiar. When they passed the GOP corporate tax welfare law, they changed the IRS withholding formula for the average working man/woman. It looked like they were getting a tax break when essentially they were withdrawing money from their own bank accounts. So all of those who figured they were going to get a 3 or $4000 refund, ended up having to pay 2 or $3000! But, here we go again, memory is short. When folks got a check during the Obama administration it did very little to stimulate the economy.

    Someone who has lies run out of their mouth like an open storm sewer every time it’s open, is someone to put a lot of faith in! When do the lies become reality? When should a person believe a lie and spurn the truth? Spare me your false teacher narrative, if you want to get into that, you’re probably going to embarrass yourself.


    There is a reason for meeting together, that is for the Association of fellow congregants. One can always pray and worship in private, but, fellowship and association let friends help other friends. That is important when we talk about loving your neighbor or loving God. As Jesus Christ said, the whole law hangs on that. But, that is no substitute for prayer and supplication.

    Luke 22:44 “But he was in such AGONY that he kept praying more earnestly; and his sweat became as drops of blood falling to the ground”.

    The scripture informs us of his actions “HE KEPT PRAYING MORE EARNESTLY” This sort of intense prayer is a SUPPLICATION and as we know…ALL SUPPLICATION IS PRAYER BUT NOT ALL PRAYER IS SUPPLICATION.

    Jesus supplicated so intensely until his perspiration mixed with blood fell to the ground. This happened right before his arrest and eventual execution. Also read Romans 5:12 and Isaiah 43:27.

  16. John,

    “Marv was correct in this being like a virus of the mind. And the book with the same name is a very revealing read.”

    You’re right. We’re dealing with a triple threat that is now moving in tandem: A sociopathic President; A mutating virus of the mind which has been circulating since the early ’80s; and the deadly Coronavirus pandemic.

    Where is the treatment for the MUTATING VIRUS OF THE MIND? Nowhere to be found. It’s potentially more dangerous than the Coronavirus. The Guardian, for the first time, a few months ago, ran an article covering its development. Better late than never. I attempted to warn the Editor of the danger about it, 3 years ago, but she refused to reply.

  17. John thanks for the facts on Italy @ 10:36 am.

    Yet, we still have the Never Trumper Republicans and the Reagan Corporate Democrats fanatically resisting Medicare For All. Oh they are sooooo afraid of Socialism, but hey they trust Wall Street.

  18. The next President will face two kinds of challenges on top of all that the future brings.

    1. Those brought about by the US not having a functional Executive Branch over the previous four years.

    2. Those brought about by steps Trumpence took that drove the country backwards by enhancing the country’s biggest problem, extreme wealth distribution.

    It’s not clear to me how much actual progress we can expect in addition to addressing those two kinds of challenges.

  19. You know people don’t like to get outside of their comfort zone! Just like Trump’s followers, they were out of their comfort zone for a long time, now they think they’re back in the saddle again. That virus of the mind is just like someone floating along in the current, following the beat of their drummer, enjoying the moment, and not noticing the rapids ahead and the falls beyond that. Why go against the flow? Even if going against the flow is more advantageous, everyone else’s floating in the opposite direction, JFK said he wanted to go to the moon and do the other things, not because they were easy but because they were hard, that probably had a hand in his death, the same with MLK, and the millennia of Jewish martyrs celebrated by Yom HaZikaron, they all paid the ultimate price for going against the current.


    The (Ferragosto) is the start of August , of course during the summers there is always that the Italian siestas (Riposo), although they don’t practice it as much in the touristy areas, because tourists need to spend their money. That usually is between 12:00 PM to 4:00 PM. Then everything opens up till around 7 or 8:00 PM. It’s a little bit different in the South than the north, but they’re all fairly similar. The closing down in the month of August doesn’t affect the touristy areas, again, the tourists have to spend their money. So the infrastructure is in place, the healthcare is not a worry and neither is the pay, everyone gets paid whether they stay home or not. What a novel idea! I believe many of the other European Union countries have similar customs, Aaaaaah Yeeeess the evils of socialism!

  20. The famous gesture of Pontius Pilate … backstage far right, just wash your hands.

  21. john,

    “Why go against the flow? Even if going against the flow is more advantageous, everyone else’s floating in the opposite direction,”

    One good reason for going against the flow would be an ACCURATE PICTURE of the “treacherous rapids” and “hidden falls” that lies ahead.

    “A PICTURE is worth a thousand words.” So is sonar.

  22. Yeah Marv it’s like a scene from a bad movie, except it’s not a movie, just the prevailing alternate reality.

  23. john,

    “…..just the prevailing alternate reality.”

    Unfortunately, you’re absolutely right.

    “The world of human culture may be described in the words of this Babylonian legend. It could not arise until the darkness of myth was fought and overcome. But the mythical MONSTERS were not entirely destroyed. They were used for the creation of a new universe, and they still survive in this universe. [Nazism]. The powers of myth were checked and subdued by superior forces. As long as these forces, INTELLECTUAL, ETHICAL, AND ARTISTIC, are in full strength, myth is tamed and subdued. But once they begin to lose their strength chaos is come again. Mythical thought then starts to rise anew and to pervade the whole of man’s cultural and social life.”

    “The Myth of the State” by Ernst Cassirer author of AN ESSAY ON MAN (Doubleday Anchor Books, New York, 1955) p. 375.

    Here we are again, with a new MONSTER in the form of Donald Trump. So what do we do now?

  24. Very well put Marv!

    Anyway, it’s been a long time since I’ve read any of the old Babylonian myth tales, but they seem to parallel certain aspects of history.

    There’s always the hero and his antithetical counterpart, it’s like an eternal battle. And it’s obvious good doesn’t always win in these antithetical battles, because it just keeps repeating itself over and over and over again in an unending war.

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