Covid Covid Covid…

Hopes are high that we will see a  COVID-19 vaccine soon. But it will be a long time before America recovers from the Trump administration’s monumental mismanagement of the pandemic, and its efforts to evade responsibility for that mismanagement.

Those efforts included Trump’s attacks on the news media leading up to the election and his bizarre (and patently unconstitutional) insistence that there should be a law to keep the media from focusing on the COVID pandemic.

It is certainly true that stories about the pandemic have occupied significant space in the national conversation, but despite general condemnation of the administration’s lack of leadership, I’ve seen few detailed explanations of the mechanics of that mismanagement.

It can be hard to help the public understand how obscure bureaucratic decisions have undermined the national response. One of the many such moves was described by Heather Cox Richardson in one of her Letters from an American:

The administration’s changes to the reporting system for coronavirus have hampered our ability to combat it. In July, the administration shifted the way hospital data is collected, taking the project away from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and giving it to a private contractor. CDC experts no longer check and analyze the data. Information on hospitalizations is no longer publicly available, so states cannot see what is happening elsewhere. This hides the picture of what is happening nationally, making it impossible for public health officials to plan for spikes.

Multiply this sort of thing by dozens if not hundreds of difficult-to-detect decisions, and then add the utter lack of visible national leadership, the administration’s repeated assertions that a national–nay, international–pandemic was somehow a state-level problem that they couldn’t be bothered addressing, and you have…Covid, Covid, Covid, and thousands of unnecessary deaths.

Many of those deaths could have been avoided, had Trump just not turned mask-wearing into a political litmus test.

And of course, there were the dangerous quack “cures” Trump promoted. Bleach. Hydroxychloroquine.

The White House decision to set aside the mandatory safety controls put in place by the Food and Drug Administration fueled one of the most disputed initiatives in the administration’s response to the pandemic: the distribution of millions of ineffective, potentially dangerous pills from a federally controlled cache of drugs called the Strategic National Stockpile.

The House of Representatives recently issued a blistering report on the administrative failures involved, labeling them “among the worst failures of leadership in American history” and an “American fiasco.”

The report, by the House select subcommittee on the coronavirus crisis, says the administration has consistently misled the country about the severity of the pandemic and that its lack of a national plan has hampered the ability to track, test for, treat and contain the virus. Efforts to provide economic support to Americans have been stymied by a lack of safeguards and policies that favored corporations over small business owners and failed to ensure that workers kept their jobs, the report says.

“President Trump’s decision to mislead the public about the severity of the crisis, his failure to listen to scientists about how to keep Americans healthy, and his refusal to implement a coordinated national plan to stop the coronavirus have all contributed to devastating results: more than 227,000 Americans dead, more than 8.8 million Americans infected, and a dangerous virus that continues to spread out of control nine months after it reached our nation’s shores,” the report’s introduction reads.

If we have learned anything over the past four horrible years, it is that national leadership matters. Expertise matters. Experience in and understanding of the government you are elected to administer matters. And needless to say, character, honesty, mental health and intellectual capacity matter.

That said, on November 4th, we learned that to a shocking number of Americans, none of those things matter as much as their animus to minorities and their desire to “own the libs.”

And as for their fury over the duty to don a mask to protect others–well, I couldn’t say it better than this… 


  1. To be unable to learn from one’s mistakes define DJT. Now as a thousand people die each day and millions of lives are disrupted and cast into turmoil thanks to this terrible pandemic; Trump’s response? Throw and endless hissy fit about losing the election. It is just to distract from all of the reasons he has lost it. Number one the gross mismanagement of the fight against Covid 19. Such simple a thing; to not turn mask wearing into a culture war weapon. Unfortunately whatever politics we have won’t keep us well. A whole lot of people are becoming aware of this now in the most visceral way possible. So sad

  2. Today is November 11th, VETERANS DAY! Are our veterans receiving proper testing and treatment for “Covid Covid Covid…”

    CNN report this morning; EU is contracting with Pfizer for 300 MILLION doses of their vaccine. Do American health care systems have to “contract” with this company to get in line for the vaccine and who will be first in line?

    SCOTUS is hearing the case against the ACA; Justice John Roberts has stated that it might be best to remove the mandate and let the rest of ACA stand. BUT…which way will he vote? Gorsuch, Kavanaugh and Barrett can be counted along with Thomas to end ACA, that is 4 out of 9 so Justice Roberts will probably be the deciding vote. Indiana is of course one of the states who filed to end ACA; Gov. Holcomb has been slow in acting to set any protective precautions so we are now one of the nation’s “Hot Spots” for rising case and death numbers. A Pandemic is an epidemic disease which has spread world-wide and requires national leadership to provide regulations for survival; NOT local politicians.

    “If we have learned anything over the past four horrible years, it is that national leadership matters. Expertise matters. Experience in and understanding of the government you are elected to administer matters. And needless to say, character, honesty, mental health and intellectual capacity matter.”

  3. Interestingly, people have been trying to figure out why the GOP wants to eliminate the affordable Care act all together? Well, those individuals who are the predominant users of the affordable Care act are either the poor whites or brown, black and Asian folks. Why wouldn’t you want a roiling epidemic to wreak havoc on your political enemy?

    The GOP and Trump were very well aware that he won the election by a few thousand votes. So, if you can bump off 100 or 200,000 of your political enemy, you stand a better chance of winning the election!

    Fascism at its finest? No doubt! And, you can’t tell me that this is perfectly normal and legal because of perceived protections that members of Congress supposedly have.

    You’ve got to quit being so nice, when someone stomps on your toes punch them in the chops. There needs to be penalties for murderous and treasonous conduct! It doesn’t matter if there are perceived protections or not, there needs to be political and legal penalties levied on these clowns who are allowing Americans to die at a wholesale rate!

  4. Trump was well aware of winning the 2016 election by a few thousand votes!

    So an infection wreaking havoc on your political opponents, would give you a better chance of winning the current election! Murderous and treasonous!

    You have to excuse me this morning I broke my leg yesterday and I’m in the twilight zone.

  5. Jo Ann, you left Justice Alito out of the list of ones likely to vote to toss out the Affordable Care Act. So, even without Justice Roberts, there could be a five vote majority to do it. But at the hearings yesterday, Justice Kavanaugh’s questions implied that he is comfortable with keeping the law, so if Roberts feels the same way, it may not be scrapped.

  6. Well, first the Trump administration threw out everything the Obama administration did to prepare for the NEXT pandemic. So, when COVID hit, it had to become political, because Trump and most Republicans have no intention of governing at all… for any reason.

    Next, Republicans hate the ACA because it takes money out of the pockets of their employers. Oh, and it’s another Obama initiative. Notice that they haven’t come up with an alternate plan in the 8+ years since the ACA came into being.

    The craven “philosophy” of Republican politics is based on doing anything to win and retain power. Power? Yes, power over the money that their employers want more of. This is the modern scenario that Marx prophesied in the mid-19th century. I remember the infamous Karl Rove whining about North Carolina in 2009. He voiced an idea that if they could thwart one in five votes from blacks and other minorities, they win. Guess what? Voter suppression is now among the top 5 items on Republican election efforts.

    There have been several lists of the things the Trump administration could have done instead of allowing a psychopath to hog the spotlight while pouring bullshit into the daily dose of media coverage. Where was the Defense Production Act that would have produced the necessary and desperately needed PPE for the health care workers? Where were the mask and distancing mandates? Where were the lockdown orders? Where was the needed eviction moratoriums? There are a host of others, some of which Mitch McConnell has sitting on his desk.

    And Obama had it perfectly correct when he said that Trump is jealous of the air time COVID receives when it should always been about himself all the time. Psychopath.

  7. John,

    Sorry about your leg. You’ve just gotta give up your trapeze act. Hope you heal quickly.

  8. Trump didn’t care, and he doesn’t care. But when he gets into court in NY, he’s going to care. Absolutely the worst President in our history in every way…by far.

  9. I have been angry about the Trump response to the virus since March. Trump was preparing to fail this test two years before when he started dismantling all the US pandemic response teams.

    Sorry, but I have to repeat some of what I posted yesterday;

    The “virus is a hoax” is just another “big lie” and the pattern should be easily recognizable now. If you tell a big lie, and get enough people to go along with it, echo it enough in right wing media, then tell every one else main stream media is “fake news”, then you are going to get thousands of angry voters out there to vote. Politicians just have to go all in and act like their version of the truth is really the truth. Everyone telling the lie knows it’s a lie, but now you have half the country believing it and no way to change their minds.

    Why would they do this? It keeps the politicians in power and the media companies make lots of money from clicks and views.

    The pattern is familiar; “You suffered under Obama”, “Immigrants are raping and killing your daughters”, “The election was fraudulent”, etc… Americans are not divided so much on ideology as we are divided on who we choose to believe is telling the truth. It worked for everything else right up until people started dying, so this one got to be hard to lie about. The sad thing is there are still so many people that think the President is doing a good job and that it is just not that serious.

    In long run it will not matter if Trump is right or wrong, what he wants is that roughly 50% of the population; that believes main stream media is fake news, that Fox and Breitbart are really news, that PragerU is a really about education, that believe and react to extremes meme and tweets, so that people will be angry and hurt and motivated to go out and vote.

  10. All the surface noise created by Trump to draw attention to himself has distracted the media from the real issues within the federal government and abroad. The takeover of Hong Kong just died under Trump’s watch, and Biden will most likely discover all the damage done in the four years by GOP operatives.

    One of the GOP’s backers’ motives is to demonstrate to the people that the government can’t be trusted and is ineffective at everything. Don’t forget; their largest donor wants to eliminate the federal government and replace it with the free market. The Koch’s were even against voting. They’ve always contended that the government was a failure at doing anything, so it should all be privatized.

    Who do you think ushered in Neoliberalism under Reagan?

    While Trump may be narcissistic enough to believe he can pull off a coup to save his ego from admitting a loss, the major reason for all this distraction is to show the state governments cannot handle the election process. They “made a mess of it.”

    Create a disaster and then gaslight the hell out of it. The people will soon believe the Koch’s are correct about the government.

    p.s. Meanwhile, while COVID smacks us with a third deadly wave, the “leader” of the pandemic squad has gone on vacation. Pence is owned by the Koch family and is probably the architect of most of Trump’s disastrous actions. Trump was a useful idiot.

  11. Pascal; fingers crossed. The Indiana health care system, which applicants must be denied coverage by every company before they are allowed to apply to ACA, is a costly situation. Monthly premiums, annual deductibles and co-pays provide no actual health care coverage for families. I won’t repeat my daughter-in-law’s lengthy attempts to apply to this system which held up reporting their application status till June which left them with no health care. She was fined $900 for not having coverage that year and the $900 was deducted from her IRS refund. Republican states want to end ACA to force people into their state systems; a denial of civil rights.

  12. About the Defense Production Act, I went online trying to buy some N95 masks a few weeks ago. As a private citizen, I can buy them, but it would cost me $175 to buy five of them. I could buy KN95 masks fairly cheaply, so I took some time to figure out what the heck those were. It turns out that a KN95 mask is the Chinese equivalent of the US N95 standard. Then a few days later I read an article in the NY Times that the US is still has a mask shortage because there is a no manufacture in the US that is willing to risk investing millions of dollars in equipment to make non-woven fabric because as soon as a vaccine is available demand will dry up and they will be stuck with the loses. Non-woven fabric is what N95 masks are made of. This was 9 months into a worldwide pandemic and the US is still failing!

    We should have had the government investing heavily in testing and PPE, instead the only real thing the Trump administration did was make sure we had enough ventilators. I guess it looks bad when people actually start dying.

    I AM MAD AS HELL, but there is still half the country that thinks things are OK because Trump, all the Republicans, and the right wing media machine are still selling another “big lie”.

    PS. John, so sorry about your leg.

  13. So what will we say the next time we have a “businessman” candidate? Has it sunk in yet that it takes a different skill set to run a government and sociopaths generally don’t do well in government work? Since we do such a poor job of learning from history, I’m betting we’ll see this again way too soon.

    Sorry about your leg, John. Take care.

  14. Thanks Vernon, Dan, and Peggy!

    I think my circus days are going to end as suddenly as they started, lol!

  15. Dan; did you order the KN95 masks or any masks? I am trying to buy three masks for my son who is a brick mason, my daughter-in-law and grandson who repeatedly clean and sanitize a local Catholic church and school with K-8 classes.

  16. Thanks, Sheila, for the link to the video — very funny. Too bad they can’t turn it into a PSA. Why doesn’t Bloomberg or Tom Steyer use some of their gazillions of $$$ and do this, I wonder?

  17. Many of those who refuse to wear a mask, I believe, are those who are staunch supporters of the 2nd amendment.

    You can’t kill a virus with a gun. You can only contain it with a mask and disarm it with a vaccine.

    I think FDR could have motivated Americans to wear a mask. But then, he did not have the attitude that Trump infects people with. You know,
    the”universe revolves around me “attitude. How dare you bits of the universe ask me to do anything!

    John, I hope you heal in mind, body and spirit.

  18. From the Guardian:

    Texas has become the first US state with more than 1 million confirmed Covid-19 cases, according to data from Johns Hopkins University.

    Nationally, yesterday the US recorded 136,325 new cases. It is the highest ever national daily figure, and the eighth consecutive day that more than 100,000 new cases have been recorded.

    Repeatedly before the election president Donald Trump claimed that the country was turning the corner on the pandemic, and that you wouldn’t hear anything from the media about corona virus after 4 November. He was wrong on both counts.

    By election day, more than 230,000 Americans had lost their lives to Covid-19. Yet when those who voted for Trump were asked in exit polls whether they thought the virus was a cause for concern, a staggeringly low 5% said it was – they had drunk his Kool-Aid.

    The Trumpet may not be physically down in the Bunker, mentally he is. I am loathe to compare The Trumpet to Hitler however, in this case like Hitler when he was trapped in his bunker by Soviet Troops, Hitler continued to issue orders for phantom armies to attack.

    The Trumpet issues chaotic orders and tweets concerning fraud. His regime of stooges lines up behind him. GOP elected officials terrified of the Kool-Aid drinking Trump Cult fails to finally say by words and deeds – Enough is Enough. The Cowardice of The Trumpet enablers is mind numbing.

  19. His statement saying COVID wouldn’t be covered by news media after the election shows just how out of touch he is with reality. He truly believes they were covering it just to make him look bad.

  20. Frank Figluzzi described, yesterday, the scenario of the “barricaded suspect”. Trump, like Hitler in HIS bunker, demonstrate that perfectly. Both Trump and Hitler share psychopathic traits. Both lash out at the delusional enemies and resources they don’t have. The tragic difference with Trump, though, is that he still is in charge of the nuclear codes.

    Will he try to suck Iran into a confrontation so he can launch? Will he just fire everyone and have some wretch like Stephen Miller take charge of everything else? As Esper said in his interview, “God help us!”

  21. Now that we have President Elect Biden and Vice President Elect Harris, we also have His Potential Majesty Un-Elect Trump and his Man in Waiting Un-Elect Pence.

    It was mentioned on MSNBC the other day that Trump’s entire life has been trying to fulfill a desperate, desperate need for relevance for which his hostile takeover of the GOP and questionable election to President he thought would finally satisfy. But, it turns out, even that position is limited in power though with a very loud bully pulpit that Trump mistook for relevance.

    The fact is that nowhere near enough of America was fooled into given his pretend life a second act.

    Now we have a desperate, desperate shadow in search of blame. The King of the Authoritarian Conservatives and his loyal followers are as naked as jaybirds.

  22. Well, Trump is getting away with it. In the same way that he dog whisles deplorable bow-wow idiots into skirmishes of violence, he is attempting to induce them into outright rebellion, without actually telling them to rebel.

    As soon as some militia or motorcycle gang (what’s the difference?) responds with an ambush of a legislature or school or courthouse or church or scout meeting, Trump will indicate his approval–minus (again) actually saying he approves–and the war will be on.

    So, we see, treason and sedition are “legal” so long as they are ordered through coded messages. And we–citizens and Justice Department–play along by naively acceding to “No direct order in plain English, no foul”.

    My conclusion: The naive deserve a bloody dictator.

    Hell, a poor independent plumbing contractor has to operate under stricter rules than do independent militias and churches and asshole presidents.

  23. Trump can’t be “pro-family” or “pro-life” when he’s responsible for over half the 200,000 COVID deaths in this country which have devastated so many families. He and his staff won’t even wear a mask around others at the White House. He encourages rallies and his campaign staff remove social distancing signs so that he can see supporters shoulder-to-shoulder. How many others besides Herman Cain have lost their lives to satisfy Donald Trump’s ego needs? How many have ingested disinfectants or taken Trump’s recommended medications that are not appropriate and even life-threatening for some?

    We have more than one public health threat. Unfortunately one of them is still in the White House til January 20.

  24. Through his mismanagement and inattention and disinformation, Trump has made an enormous contribution to the deaths of 230,000 people – so far. In a country where killing one person can easily result in a lifetime in jail, is there no penalty for what he has done? Do we lack penalties for hastening the deaths of so many people? Were a doctor to be found guilty of negligence resulting in death he would pay a stiff price. Do politicians play by different rules?

    Left to his mismanagement, at least seven million more people will be infected before he leaves office. This suggests that more than 70,000 more deaths will result from his lack of caring. Is there no way for a democracy to confront a madmen and prevent others from suffering because of his psychoses? These deaths are intentional, not accidental. They are so easily preventable using known techniques that his guilt is unarguable. The 25th Amendment must be invoked when a psychotic narcissist is needlessly killing our fellow Americans. We must find a way to block his homicidal rage or any one of us could be numbered among his victims.

    Hitler is often invoked to illustrate what evil this president is capable of. These are apt comparisons. Given another four years, he is easily capable of surpassing Hitler’s crimes. What potential atrocities motivate his firings at the Defense Department? “The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.”

  25. Thanks everyone for your concern, it’s always nice to know you have friends!

    Kurt, while it is true that I do have some exciting and extraordinary dancing skills, pole dancing wasn’t exactly one of them, at least nobody really knew about it, lol!

    And, thank you Robin!
    ( Read Ecclesiastes 9:11❤️)

  26. Joann, I gave up on the mask hunt. It just made me angry.

    According Trump it’s every man for himself. 🙁

  27. Last Spring when trump claimed he wasn’t responsible for Covid pandemic, and said it was a States issue I thought that was beyond professionally negligent. He was left a blueprint, and destroyed the tools, which cost valuable time against the virus. When State & hospital heads realized it was up to them, they scrambled working to find suppliers for desperately needed PPE. They had to bid in a life & death market with prices marked up accordingly. Why trump ordered some of those shipments confiscated to a Federal stockpile seems sadistic. Oh, I forgot he’s a business man that knows the art of the deal! John Sorg, sorry to hear of broken leg, hope you heal quickly.

  28. John: We are bipedal animals and I am sorry to hear one of your pedals is broken. Take care.

  29. Love the YouTube clip, Sheila

    I have been outraged since the pandemic started

    In April, in an article in the peer reviewed, prestigious journal, Science, Chinese scientists wrote about SARS-Cov-2 and suggested that the Chinese government did a good job of shutting down Wuhan — after the virus had spread to other parts of the country. More significant, they discussed asymptomatic carriers, that they estimated were responsible for 79% of the transmission of the virus

    Meanwhile, back on Earth2, we believed that a temperature check was prevention, and the news networks reported it as such. Sadly, our public health officials were thinking measles instead of SARS, but I do understand one problem – we ain’t Asia

    Dan, do you really need an N95 mask – Taiwan and New Zealand quelled the pandemic by the widespread use of simple cloth masks – Medical personnel need those N95s due to their situation. For most people, cloth masks work just fine. As Americans, we know that N95 is better, so we all want them — or we insist that nobody can tell us to wear a mask – “That’s socialism!”

    So far, I have done well with cloth masks and avoiding the Yahoos in Broad Ripple, strutting around unmasked and crowding around the doughnut shop (where the workers didn’t always wear masks – I quit going there, so I can’t say what goes on inside now)

    Trump’s tossing things back to the states, but mostly using his bully pulpit to tell lies has cost lives, inject bleach indeed – oh, the latest reports on remdesivir is “probably not that helpful”, Regeneron’s – monoclonal antibodies are more promising – the vaccines sound very promising

    We can be thankful that science (and most biomedical researchers) don’t care what Fearless Leader believes, they do their work – with Biden in charge, and good science, we may have this tamed within a year – it is a crime that so many died while waiting for a vaccine

    Meanwhile, wear a mask – cloth works – cover your mouth AND your nose

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