Isolation Monday Reads: Updates from The Hunger Games

Image result for images cartoons Fauci

Good Day Sky Dancers!

I actually hate to amplify the measured, knowledgeable, and experienced voice of Dr. Anthony Fauci in fear that the last vestige of truth available to us in the Trump Presser/Rallies will join the heap of ex Government officials. I can only imagine if we actually did silence Trump’s pressers and he had no way to cosplay president with cosplay stooges around him.  It would be wonderful but I have a feeling that he’d find an even deeper end of his pool of toxic narcissism and even more of us will eventually be harmed in some way.

Science Magazine actually features a conversation with Fauci which is probably good place for it because I doubt Trump even knows there is such a publication.  The title of today’s feature there is “‘I’m going to keep pushing.’ Anthony Fauci tries to make the White House listen to facts of the pandemic”.  It basically boils down to a shorter version of  ‘I’m doing the best I can given the circumstances’.  The circumstances are basically Trump’s incessant need to be right at all costs while feeding every narcissistic bone in his body.

Here’s an excerpt of the interview by Jon Cohen with Dr. Fauci.  It’s notable Fauci was absent from Sunday’s presser/rally.

Q: How are you managing to not get fired?

A: Well, that’s pretty interesting because to his [Trump’s] credit, even though we disagree on some things, he listens. He goes his own way. He has his own style. But on substantive issues, he does listen to what I say.

Q: You’ve been in press conferences where things are happening that you disagree with, is that fair to say?

A: Well, I don’t disagree in the substance. It is expressed in a way that I would not express it, because it could lead to some misunderstanding about what the facts are about a given subject.

Q: You stood nearby while President Trump was in the Rose Garden shaking hands with people. You’re a doctor. You must have had a reaction like, ‘Sir, please don’t do that.’

A: Yes, I say that to the task force. I say that to the staff. We should not be doing that. Not only that—we should be physically separating a bit more on those press conferences. To his credit, the vice president [Mike Pence] is really pushing for physical separation of the task force [during meetings]. He keeps people out of the room—as soon as the room gets like more than 10 people or so, it’s, ‘Out, everybody else out, go to a different room.’ So with regard to the task force, the vice president is really a bear in making sure that we don’t crowd 30 people into the Situation Room, which is always crowded. So he’s definitely adhering to that. The situation on stage [for the press briefings] is a bit more problematic. I keep saying, is there any way we can get a virtual press conference. Thus far, no. But when you’re dealing with the White House, sometimes you have to say things one, two, three, four times, and then it happens. So I’m going to keep pushing.

Q: You’re standing there saying nobody should gather with more than 10 people and there are almost 10 people with you on the stage. And there are certainly more than 10 journalists in the audience.

A: I know that. I’m trying my best. I cannot do the impossible.

Q: What about the travel restrictions? President Trump keeps saying that the travel ban for China, which began 2 February, had a big impact [on slowing the spread of the virus to the United States] and that he wishes China would have told us 3 to 4 months earlier and that they were “very secretive.” [China did not immediately reveal the discovery of a new coronavirus in late December 2019, but by 10 January, Chinese researchers made the sequence of the virus public.]  It just doesn’t comport with facts.

A:  I know, but what do you want me to do? I mean, seriously Jon, let’s get real, what do you want me to do?

Image result for images cartoons Fauci

An entire nation and world waits for the answer to that question as we dance around in place while hoping it distracts him enough that we all don’t die in the process.  Buddhists consider ignorance to be a poison.  It’s a weapon of mass destruction in the hands of Donald J Trump.

There are very few people left in our decimated Federal Government that know what they’re doing since Trump and his cronies took over.  Today, we learn this from Reuters’ Marissa Taylor: “Exclusive: U.S. axed CDC expert job in China months before virus outbreak”  There are two things Republicans stand for.  The first is giving tax breaks to every wealthy person and huge corporation while the folks with businesses on Main Street that live on Oak Street are ignored.  Wall Street gets billions in bail outs. The deficit only matters when you don’t want to feed hungry children.  Tax Cuts are the Apple Cider Vinegar used for the economy.  It’s obvious that Hopes and Prayers are used for everything that’s not related to the economy.

Several months before the coronavirus pandemic began, the Trump administration eliminated a key American public health position in Beijing intended to help detect disease outbreaks in China, Reuters has learned.

The American disease expert, a medical epidemiologist embedded in China’s disease control agency, left her post in July, according to four sources with knowledge of the issue. The first cases of the new coronavirus may have emerged as early as November, and as cases exploded, the Trump administration in February chastised China for censoring information about the outbreak and keeping U.S. experts from entering the country to help.

“It was heartbreaking to watch,” said Bao-Ping Zhu, a Chinese American who served in that role, which was funded by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, between 2007 and 2011. “If someone had been there, public health officials and governments across the world could have moved much faster.”

Zhu and the other sources said the American expert, Dr. Linda Quick, was a trainer of Chinese field epidemiologists who were deployed to the epicenter of outbreaks to help track, investigate and contain diseases.

As an American CDC employee, they said, Quick was in an ideal position to be the eyes and ears on the ground for the United States and other countries on the coronavirus outbreak, and might have alerted them to the growing threat weeks earlier.

No other foreign disease experts were embedded to lead the program after Quick left in July, according to the sources. Zhu said an embedded expert can often get word of outbreaks early, after forming close relationships with Chinese counterparts.

Zhu and the other sources said Quick could have provided real-time information to U.S. and other officials around the world during the first weeks of the outbreak, when they said the Chinese government tamped down on the release of information and provided erroneous assessments.

Quick left amid a bitter U.S. trade dispute with China when she learned her federally funded post, officially known as resident adviser to the U.S. Field Epidemiology Training Program in China, would be discontinued as of September, the sources said. The U.S. CDC said it first learned of a “cluster of 27 cases of pneumonia” of unexplained origin in Wuhan, China, on Dec. 31.

Image result for images cartoons Fauci

Yes. Our health was sacrificed on the altar of Trump’s bad Trade Policies.  Trump’s attempt to demonize the Chinese has been working successfully when it comes to naming COVID 19 the “Chinese” virus.  His need to set up an enemy and to sic his cult on them is probably the most revolting thing about him in a long list of many revolting things.  From Today’s NYT: Spit On, Yelled At, Attacked: Chinese-Americans Fear for Their Safety. As bigots blame them for the coronavirus and President Trump labels it the “Chinese virus,” many Chinese-Americans say they are terrified of what could come next.”  Anti-Chinese sentiment is so very 19th century.

As the coronavirus upends American life, Chinese-Americans face a double threat. Not only are they grappling like everyone else with how to avoid the virus itself, they are also contending with growing racism in the form of verbal and physical attacks. Other Asian-Americans — with families from Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, Myanmar and other places — are facing threats, too, lumped together with Chinese-Americans by a bigotry that does not know the difference.

In interviews over the past week, nearly two dozen Asian-Americans across the country said they were afraid — to go grocery shopping, to travel alone on subways or buses, to let their children go outside. Many described being yelled at in public — a sudden spasm of hate that is reminiscent of the kind faced by Muslim-Americans after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

But unlike 2001, when President George W. Bush urged tolerance of Muslim-Americans, this time President Trump is using language that Asian-Americans say is inciting racist attacks.

Mr. Trump and his Republican allies are intent on calling the coronavirus “the Chinese virus,” rejecting the World Health Organization’s guidance against using geographic locations when naming illnesses, since past names have provoked a backlash.


Image result for images cartoons FauciThe Federal Response to the Pandemic has been appalling. WAPO reports the view from state level: “Governors and mayors in growing uproar over Trump’s lagging coronavirus response”.

President Trump’s response to the coronavirus pandemic sparked uproar and alarm among governors and mayors on Sunday as Trump and his administration’s top advisers continued to make confusing statements about the federal government’s scramble to confront the crisis, including whether he will force private industry to mass produce needed medical items.

As deaths climbed and ahead of a potentially dire week, Trump — who has sought to cast himself as a wartime leader — reacted to criticism that his administration has blundered with a torrent of soaring boasts and searing grievances. He tweeted that Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D) and others “shouldn’t be blaming the Federal Government for their own shortcomings. We are there to back you up should you fail, and always will be!”


Again, there’s been calls from all over asking the press to amplify the experts.  This would be a natural occurence under any administration not headed by a toxic narcissist on the scale of Trump.  Jeff Jarvis argues this viewpoint: Time for Experts.  Media must amplify authority over pols and pontificators”.

In this novel crisis, we in media and online need to shift much of our attention away from trying to eradicate disinformation (and how’s that going?) to spend more of our time and resources once again finding and amplifying good information — authoritative information from experts.

That is why I am maintaining and immersing myself in my COVID Twitter list of 500 epidemiologists, virologists, physicians, researchers, NGOs, and selected specialist journalists. I have been taking in their conversations with each other and the public, learning every hour, privileged to be able to ask questions, witnessing science in action; it’s that and only that that gives me hope. Through those experts I get a better view of our new reality versus any bro’s contrarian thumbsucking in blog posts or New York Times columns or in mindless TV location shots in front of poke bars that — guess what? — have no business. More on all that in a minute.

Of course, I’m not suggesting an end to fact-checking and fighting disinformation. First DraftStoryfulfact-checkers worldwide, and news organizations aplenty have that well in hand, or as well as anyone can these days. But the flavor of disinformation has changed; the target has shifted; the enemy is different. As First Draft’s founder and my leader in all such things, Dr. Claire Wardle, said in a video conference with journalists the other day, much disinformation these days comes not from malicious actors but from the well-meaning ignorant. Ignorance is our foe.

That is why we need the experts. That is why we need to put our effort behind finding them, listening to them, learning from them, and amplifying what they have to say. That is media’s job № 1.

Cable TV news is doing a decent job, I think, of getting experts on air to answer questions — authorities such as Dr. Caitlin Rivers, a professor at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security; Dr. Peter Hotez, professor at Baylor; Dr. Ashish Jha of Harvard; Dr. Ezekiel Emanuel of Penn; Dr. Irwin Redlener, director of the National Center for Disaster Preparedness; Andy Slavitt, former Obama ACA head. My primary complaint is that, TV being TV, they fill too much time with meaningless, repetitive location shots, coming back to an empty deli or Times Square a dozen times in a day or standing in front of the soon-to-be mass hospital at Javits Center where there’s no reporting to be done. Stop.

I want to see that time filled instead with more voices of science.

In that spirit,  JJ has started a new feature here which you may find at the top of the third, right hand column,  It’s a list of credible, scientific sources you may use to get actual information on the outbreak.  Please, give us some more suggestions if we have missed any.

Be safe!  Stay indoors unless it’s necessary to go out or you can take a walk in relative isolation!  It’s okay to walk with Mother Nature! Wash your Hands!  Know I love you all!

What’s on your reading and blogging list today?


82 Comments on “Isolation Monday Reads: Updates from The Hunger Games”

  1. dakinikat says:

    New Orleans appears to be the Nation’ hot spot. I’m staying home. Take Care!

  2. dakinikat says:

    Amy’s husband John has the virus. He’s been hospitalized.

  3. bostonboomer says:

    I’m more convinced than ever that I already had Covid-19 now that studies reveal that digestive symptoms occur in about half of people who get it. That is how my “flu” started. I had severe digestive symptoms, including painful stomach cramps and lack of appetite.

    • bostonboomer says:

      • bostonboomer says:

    • NW Luna says:

      Glad you’re over and done with this, BB!

      Good that the GI symptom info is getting better known. Lack of appetite is common in most illnesses, so that doesn’t differentiate covid-19 from, say, the common cold, but certainly the diarrhea would.

      • bostonboomer says:

        It was the stomach cramps that were the worst. I couldn’t eat anything except toast and crackers for a long time.

        • Minkoff Minx says:

          If you already went through it, I’m glad you made it…

          I don’t know what is going to happen. Our buyer dropped out from the contract…and it doesn’t look good that anyone is going to purchase our house now. We couldn’t afford the payment before all this shit. It is frightening.

          • bostonboomer says:

            I don’t have any way of knowing for sure. I’m just speculating. I’m not going to take any chances.

            I’m sorry to hear that JJ. I didn’t know you were trying to sell your house. It is really terrifying and we need the government to step in like FDR did.

          • quixote says:

            Oh no, JJ. You only just moved in recently. And now you have to move again? That’s the worst on top of all the massive money and health uncertainty.

          • NW Luna says:

            I’m so sorry to hear this, JJ.

          • roofingbird says:

            If you had an FHA loan, they might hold off on the payments long enough for you to get out.

  4. dakinikat says:

  5. Pat Johnson says:

    It’s as if America made a choice in 2016 to elect the most unfit and incompetent idiot ever to seek the presidency. And they did it by “electing” Trump.

    I’ve never seen anything like this in my lifetime. A lying vindictive, incompetent bully without an ounce of integrity occupying the highest office in the land. A man you wouldn’t trust to walk the dog let alone “govern” a nation.

    I refuse to listen to him. There is nothing he can say or do that would change my opinion. The man is a boastful idiot with an unconscionable interior. He could not care less about the public or its needs.

    A perpetual whiner lacking substance. A mean spirited conman devoid of humanity. A lying treacherous fool who ruins everything he touches.

    The worst “virus” ever to occupy the Oval Office who would even go so far as to jeopardize the lives of others for his own aggrandizement.

    A complete disgrace on all levels.

    • quixote says:

      There’s only one thing wrong with your comment. “who would even go so far as to jeopardize the lives of others”

      We went past “would” and “jeopardize” quite a while ago. He *has* taken the lives of others in increasing numbers.

      And if only two other Repubs had followed Romney and impeached the slime, we would have had Pence.

      (Dear God. Four-years-ago me would have laughed uncontrollably at the thought of Pence, Pence, as some kind of useful option.)

    • palhart says:

      And his Republican approval rate has long remained steady at 92%. The US has lost its world prominence, plus its heart and soul. Democrats, scientists and experts in their fields, are Trump’s enemies, not Putin and his autocrat/dictator friends. As my mother would say, “I’ve lived too long.”.

      • Sweet Sue says:

        My mother would have said that, too. I’m glad she didn’t live to see the Trump presidency and its dire consequences.

  6. NW Luna says:

    The Virtual Choir singing “Down to the River” is inspiring!

  7. NW Luna says:

    Stable Genius POTUS* has attention span problem.

    Trump signals growing weariness with social distancing and other steps advocated by health officials

    • palhart says:

      Oh, gee, even with restrictions, the U.S. is advancing (slowly) on Italy’s 2nd most-confirmed-cases spot. He’ll side with the economy, leaving death and ruin in his wake.

      • quixote says:

        I’m sure way too many people would side with him on that, except that it’s obvious to the meanest intelligence (he has zero, so not part of that group) that death and ruin are not good for any economy.

    • NW Luna says:

  8. NW Luna says:

    The man who discovered that unwashed hands could kill — and was ridiculed for it

    In the ward that was staffed by physicians and medical students, 13 to 18 percent of new mothers were dying of a mysterious illness known as the childbed fever, or puerperal fever, according to a BMJ article summarizing his research. By comparison, in the ward staffed by midwives, about 2 percent of women died of the fever. No one knew what explained the extreme discrepancy.
    The physicians, Semmelweis realized, had been dissecting infected cadavers with their bare hands. Then, with those same contaminated hands, they were delivering babies.

    • NW Luna says:

      Florence Nightingale was another leader in public health. The soldiers revered her not because of being a sweet lady with a lamp and a soft hand on a fevered brow, but because she helped save lives.

      Nightingale reduced the death rate from 42% to 2%, either by making improvements in hygiene herself, or by calling for the Sanitary Commission. For example, Nightingale implemented handwashing and other hygiene practices in the war hospital in which she worked.

    • palhart says:

      Not only ridiculed, but Semmelweis was denied university positions and his publications were rejected by the medical community. He eventually suffered a nervous breakdown and was committed to an asylum, where he died 14 days later at the age of 47. Semmelweis has quite an impressive legacy.

  9. bostonboomer says:

  10. bostonboomer says:

    • jslat says:

      👍 I wish that they would break this bill into two bills. One for aiding people (unemployment changes, direct payments), hospitals, state & local governments, etc. One for the large corporate stimulus needed (with appropriate safe-guards.) I think the first would and needs to move right now. The corporate package can then be debated on its merits.

    • dakinikat says:

      You know the bill is dung when Manchin calls it out.

  11. Mary Brown says:

    So now Rand Paul is infected, and apparently used the Senate gym and pool right before announcing. Besides the obvious questions about him cavalierly risking infecting others, I have to ask: the Senate gym is open??!! Our local gyms have been closed for over a week by order of the governor.

    Stay in and stay well everyone!

    • jslat says:

      They will move faster than the Senate. If McConnell wants the power, he better move more quickly before the House bill appears on his desk!

    • jslat says:

      Wonder if House will pass that and have it on McConnell’s desk before the Senate can work out their problems. Give the problem to a woman if you want action.😊

  12. Enheduanna says:

    People are already fed up with social distancing and some congresscritters are calling for it to end. Dump seems to like that idea:

    My own sister, who got laid off LAST NIGHT and is only being paid through Friday (last) is even saying stuff like – “it’s like the flu”. I keep telling her how vulnerable men are so I think that scares her as she is dependent (and of course loves) her partner of 15+ years.

    Also seeing lots of online comments on news articles from people who think we should just let the virus run its course and kill who it will because wrecking the economy is worse.

    Like I said – we are doomed.

    • quixote says:

      Like I keep shrieking, it’s the stupidity that’s the worst.

      Hello? Mental earwigs? Do you think the economy will be fine if millions die?

      Even if they care about nobody, nobody at all, can’t they see that? Their argument doesn’t even hold up on its own awful merits.

      • NW Luna says:

        Hard for consumers to go back to spending money when they’re dead.

        • bostonboomer says:

          Good point!

          • MsMass says:

            From a tweet by some guy named Scott a. Mcmillan: to paraphrase : is it worth it to save 2.5 % of the population rather than tank the economy because they ( the 2.5 %) are expensive to maintain and and not productive.
            I don’t know how to link a tweet.

            And Trump talking about ending restrictions soon- this is sure to be a RW talking point.

            And now I am really getting anxious. It was bad enough contemplating the coming tsunami of cases even with restrictions. This would cause complete chaos, truly unimaginable.

          • quixote says:

            If the Spraytanned Dump really does that, the only hope is going to be more enlightened governors who refuse to go down Dump’s road.

            And then, eventually, they’ll have fewer deaths and the people from the plague spots will migrate to the safer places, making them unsafe again if they’re infectious.

            What an utter nightmare.

            I think it’s time for a military takeover on national security grounds!

  13. dakinikat says:

  14. NW Luna says:

    Unintentional oversight, hmmmm?

  15. bostonboomer says:

  16. NW Luna says:

    While we’re self-quarantining:

  17. dakinikat says:

  18. bostonboomer says:

  19. NW Luna says:

  20. NW Luna says:

    Quite a long list of “essential” services/workers who are exempt from closure.

    Click to access EssentialCriticalInfrastructureWorkers.pdf

  21. roofingbird says:

    Ohio, Texas shutting down “abortion” clinics because, COVID. Actually we got some truthful info today.. Gavin Newsom presented an energetic managerial ballet of details, transparent timelines; including a possible 8-12 weeks to peak transmission for CA. From Dr Birx, we heard discussion of three waves of the disease extending into 2022. We also saw her try very hard to avoid taking drumf’s bait, when he asked her if they would have to permanently reduce and spread out the media gaggle and get rid of the “bad” ones because of COVID. I could just see his reptilian brain working. He knew she was gaining presence in the room and needed to show us that he held her chain while laughing about it with his buddy, Barr.