Tuesday Reads: Coronavirus Deaths Mount as Evidence of Trump’s Pandemic Cover-up Emerges

Good Morning!!

U.S. deaths from Covid-19 in the past few months will soon surpass our casualties from the Vietnam war. Now Trump has upped his prediction of the total death toll to 70,000.

Real Clear Politics: Reporter to Trump: If A President Loses More Americans To Coronavirus Than Vietnam War, Do They Deserve To Be Reelected?

QUESTION: If an American president loses more Americans over the course of six weeks than died in the entirety of the Vietnam war does he deserve to be reelected?

TRUMP: So, yeah, we have lost a lot of people but if you look at what original projections were 2.2 million we are probably heading to 60,000, 70,000–it’s far too many. One person is too many for this and I think we made a lot of really good decisions. The big decision was closing the border or doing the band people coming in from China obviously other than American citizens which had to come in, can’t say you can’t come in, you can’t come back to your country. I think we have made a lot of good decisions. I think that Mike Pence and the task force have done a fantastic job. I think that everybody working on the ventilators you see what we have done there, have done unbelievable. The press doesn’t talk about ventilators anymore. They just don’t want to talk about them and that’s okay but they reason they don’t want to talk–that was the subject that nobody would get off of. They don’t want to talk about them.

We are in the same position on testing. We are lapping the world on testing and the world is coming to us as I said they are coming to us saying what are you doing, how do you do it and we are helping them. So, no, I think we have done a great job and one person I will say this, one person is too many. Thank you all very much. Thank you. Thank you.

As you can see, Trump didn’t answer the question, but he did increase his prediction for total deaths. Of course we’ll probably pass 70,000 in a couple more weeks, and then he’ll make excuses for that.

Michael Tomasky at The Daily Beast: America Is About to Blow Past the 60,000 Coronavirus Deaths Trump Said Would Be a Win.

As for where we may be headed, Michael Osterholm, an infectious disease expert who’s been warning about pandemics for more than a decade, told CNN’s Peter Bergen that he thinks the ultimate tally in the United States over the next 18 months or so will be around 800,000. You’re thinking, “Ah, no way”? Go read his reasoning and see what you think then.

Meanwhile, the Congressional Budget Office released a report last week making a few predictions on the economy. CBO sees a real GDP of -39.6 percent in the second quarter of this year (April, May, and June). Then it forecasts a good rebound, 23.5 percent in Q3 and 10.5 percent in Q4, but that still leaves us at -5.6 percent for the year. At the worst of the Great Recession, in 2009, it was -2.5 percent. Unemployment will be above 15 percent into the fall and above 10 percent all of this year—and next.

We’re in deep trouble, and the idiot President of the United States is telling people to drink Lysol, and idiot politicians like Brian Kemp and other governors are trying to make sure that Osterholm becomes a prophet, and idiot protesters are out there acting like common-sense public safety is a conspiracy against liberty, and idiot reactionaries like the Dorr brothers of Iowa are financing these protests because, well, you know, the libs suck. These Dorrs have launched Facebook pages in at least five states that abcnews.com calls a “hotbed of misinformation.”

It’s idiocy top to bottom, but it’s more than that, and it’s important that we understand this and never lose sight of this. It’s ideology.

Tomasky writes that Trump’s non-stop lying is not an anomaly among Republicans.

With a few laudable exceptions, Republicans lie about virtually everything. They have to—to advance their goals, which are both insanely unpopular (more tax cuts for rich people!) and completely fantastical (those tax cuts will lift all boats), they have to try to create a reality that is the opposite of real reality and then spend billions getting people to believe it.

They’ve been doing it for decades. That’s why Trump isn’t some accident. It was inevitable that eventually they’d nominate and fawn over someone who lies every time he opens his mouth.

Trump, though, it’s gotten to a scale I never thought we’d see in the United States. Trumpism is an ideology in which the only thing that matters, the only thing that is true, is what the leader believes and says at any given moment. Which is surreal, of course, because virtually everything he says is untrue. But objective truth is a lib trap. And the vast majority of Republicans endorse this.

Read more at the The Daily Beast.

More stories are coming out about Trump ignoring or covering up the seriousness of the building pandemic.

The Washington Post: President’s intelligence briefing book repeatedly cited virus threat.

U.S. intelligence agencies issued warnings about the novel coronavirus in more than a dozen classified briefings prepared for President Trump in January and February, months during which he continued to play down the threat, according to current and former U.S. officials.

The repeated warnings were conveyed in issues of the President’s Daily Brief, a sensitive report that is produced before dawn each day and designed to call the president’s attention to the most significant global developments and security threats.

For weeks, the PDB — as the report is known — traced the virus’s spread around the globe, made clear that China was suppressing information about the contagion’s transmissibility and lethal toll, and raised the prospect of dire political and economic consequences.

But the alarms appear to have failed to register with the president, who routinely skips reading the PDB and has at times shown little patience for even the oral summary he takes two or three times per week, according to the officials, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss classified material.

The advisories being relayed by U.S. spy agencies were part of a broader collection of worrisome signals that came during a period now regarded by many public health officials and other experts as a squandered opportunity to contain the outbreak.

Ryan Goodman and How Trump and His Team Covered Up the Coronavirus in Five Days.

…Over the last five days of February, President Trump and senior officials….engaged in a cover-up.

A look at this window of time gives insight into how several members of the president’s team were willing to manipulate Americans even when so many lives were at stake.

The recent reports that the president wanted to fire the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s top expert on viral respiratory diseases, Dr. Nancy Messonnier, during this period helps put the pieces of the puzzle together….

In a conference call with reporters on the final Tuesday of the month, Dr. Messonnier spoke frankly. “We want to make sure the American public is prepared,” she said, then put it in personal terms by saying what she told her children that morning: “We as a family ought to be preparing for significant disruption to our lives.”

At the time, senior officials knew the coronavirus was an extreme threat to Americans. Thanks to information streaming in from U.S. intelligence agencies for months, officials reportedly believed that a “cataclysmic” disease could infect 100 million Americans and discussed lockdown plans. The warnings were given to Mr. Trump in his daily brief by the intelligence community; in calls from Alex Azar, the secretary of health; and in memos from his economic adviser Peter Navarro.

The same day that Dr. Messonnier spoke, the military’s National Center for Medical Intelligence raised the warning level inside the government to WATCHCON1, concluding that the coronavirus was imminently likely to develop into a full-blown pandemic.

But the White House did not want the American public to know.

Read the rest at the NYT.

Trump has dominated his so-called “coronavirus briefings” and given experts minimal time to speak. Now he is reportedly planning to silence them even further, according Eric Lutz at Vanity Fair: Trump In Talks to Sideline Fauci, Birx During Coronavirus Briefings.

With the coronavirus crisis still spinning out of control in the United States, Donald Trump appears to be training the White House’s focus away from public health and toward reigniting the economy. According to Axios, Trump is expected to sideline public health officials Anthony Fauci and Deborah Birx, shifting attention to business “success stories” and to governors and local leaders who heed the president’s calls to reopen their states. “[Fauci and Birx] will continue,” a White House official told the outlet, “but will take a back seat to the forward-looking, ‘what’s next’ message.”

Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany acknowledged Monday on Fox News that briefings later this week “may have a different look,” though declined to outline specific changes. Fauci and other public health experts have cautioned against attempting a premature return to normal, warning that social distancing guidelines cannot safely be lifted without increased testing that the Trump administration has so far failed to adequately provide. “You don’t make the timeline,” Fauci said late last month, as Trump first began floating plans to reopen the country. “The virus makes the timeline.” But the president, concerned the plunging economy and escalating unemployment due to the pandemic could stand in the way of his reelection, has insisted that the government has provided states with sufficient resources to combat the deadly virus and openly grown impatient with the social distancing measures that have only just begun to show promise in slowing its spread. “Remember,” Trump tweeted Saturday, “the Cure can’t be worse than the problem itself.”

Having wasted months downplaying the COVID threat, he has desperately grasped for a miracle cure that could make the problem go away without him needing to do any real work—first by promoting the unproven off-label use of an anti-malarial to treat the disease, then by ludicrously suggesting toxic cleaning products and/or “very powerful” light could be injected into the human body as a possible cure. Those bizarre remarks drew widespread mockery, condemnation, and disbelief, as well as warnings from supporters that his rambling performances at the daily coronavirus briefings are hurting him politically. “It’s not helping him,” one adviser said recently.

Evidence is also emerging that deaths from the coronavirus may be far more than the official totals.

The Washington Post: U.S. deaths soared in early weeks of pandemic, far exceeding number attributed to covid-19.

In the early weeks of the coronavirus epidemic, the United States recorded an estimated 15,400 excess deaths, nearly two times as many as were publicly attributed to covid-19 at the time, according to an analysis of federal data conducted for The Washington Post by a research team led by the Yale School of Public Health.

The excess deaths — the number beyond what would normally be expected for that time of year — occurred during March and through April 4, a time when 8,128 coronavirus deaths were reported.

The excess deaths are not necessarily attributable directly to covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. They could include people who died because of the epidemic but not from the disease, such as those who were afraid to seek medical treatment for unrelated illnesses, as well as some number of deaths that are part of the ordinary variation in the death rate. The count is also affected by increases or decreases in other categories of deaths, such as suicides, homicides and motor vehicle accidents.

But in any pandemic, higher-than-normal mortality is a starting point for scientists seeking to understand the full impact of the disease.

The Yale analysis for the first time estimates excess deaths, both nationally and in each state, in those five weeks. Relying on data that the National Center for Health Statistics (NCHS) released Friday, the analysis paints a picture of unusually high mortality that will come into sharper view as more data becomes available.

Keep on staying home as much as possible and take care of yourselves physically, emotionally, and spiritually. We will get through this together Sky Dancers!


34 Comments on “Tuesday Reads: Coronavirus Deaths Mount as Evidence of Trump’s Pandemic Cover-up Emerges”

  1. bostonboomer says:
  2. dakinikat says:

    • dakinikat says:

      • quixote says:

        This is in a class with the cruise ship study where they found particles of the virus on surfaces even 17 days later. Particles are just identifiable bits of the virus, they’re not infectious. In both studies it was identifiable genetic segments. You need the whole virus for it to be infectious.

        It’s one more bit of data saying that aerosols *are* a factor in the spread of this virus and need to be studied.

        But it’s not telling you that there’s a miasma of infection hanging over the whole town.

  3. dakinikat says:

    • bostonboomer says:

      She is beginning to get on my nerves.

      • Enheduanna says:

        I have to agree. What happened to “not running for second place”?

        And could the media ignore Biden harder? Aren’t he and Kamala doing a town hall today?

      • Peg says:

        “As a young black woman, growing up in Mississippi, I learned that if you don’t raise your hand, people won’t see you, and they won’t give you attention,” she (Stacey Abrams) recently told CNN.

      • NW Luna says:

        This, and her tweet on NY not having a Dem primary. I’m quite disappointed in her.

  4. dakinikat says:

  5. bostonboomer says:

    Deaths over 20 years vs. deaths over 3 months.

  6. bostonboomer says:

    Politico: Trump cuts U.S. research on bat-human virus transmission over China ties

    The Trump administration abruptly cut off funding for a project studying how coronaviruses spread from bats to people after reports linked the work to a lab in Wuhan, China, at the center of conspiracy theories about the Covid-19 pandemic’s origins.

    The National Institutes of Health on Friday told EcoHealth Alliance, the study’s sponsor for the past five years, that all future funding was cut. The agency also demanded that the New York-based research nonprofit stop spending the $369,819 remaining from its 2020 grant, according to emails obtained by POLITICO….

    Meanwhile, the NIH’s strategic plan for studying the novel coronavirus, released Thursday, lays out four key priorities — including understanding its origin and transmission, in line with the EcoHealth alliance’s broader investigation of bat coronaviruses. The agency did not respond to a request for comment on its decision to terminate the group’s funding.

    In a statement, the EcoHealth Alliance said it wanted to know more about the NIH’s reasoning. “For the past 20 years our organization has been investigating the sources of emerging diseases such as COVID-19,” the group said. “We work in the United States and in over 25 countries with institutions that have been pre-approved by federal funding agencies to do scientific research critical to preventing pandemics. We are planning to talk with NIH to understand the rationale behind their decision.”

    • quixote says:

      Why? Why, why, why? This laser-like focus on getting rid of anything that could ever possibly help anyone is downright bizarre.

      It’s not only disease, although that’s the biggest deal right now. It’s also economics, or child care, or building codes, or *anything*.

      It’s enough to make you start believing in possession by the devil!

  7. dakinikat says:

    Dysfunction in the oil market intensified Tuesday, sending the most popularly traded U.S. oil benchmark at one point to its lowest level since at least 1986 before it recovered somewhat. The world is awash with too much oil at a time when coronavirus lockdowns on driving, flying and industrial activity has all but eliminated the need for the stuff. June futures contracts for West Texas Intermediate—the main U.S. bellwether—dropped nearly 20% and touched $10.24 a barrel before regaining ground to around $11.50 a barrel, down 10% on the day. Brent crude was down 0.2% at $23.03 a barrel. WTI traded at a massive difference to its European counterpart because of severe bottlenecks in storing oil in Cushing, Okla., where WTI contracts are settled. The drop in WTI briefly put it on track for the lowest closing level for an actively traded contract since at least 1986, according to data provider FactSet. WTI has only ever settled the day below $11 on six occasions, according to FactSet records, which stretch back to 1986. The last time was in 1998. The all-time low was March 31, 1986, when oil traded for $10.42.

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/oil-prices-drop-to-lowest-level-since-1986-11588066453?fbclid=IwAR0l2T8XlWu04RVlI0BinAvXCKLEh2ZDRMuL-mUfyW29oT7V2APNMlLYXUA

    U.S. Oil Prices Swing as Investors Weigh States’ Reopening Against Historic Oversupply
    Investors and index funds rush out of near-term futures contracts

  8. Enheduanna says:

    We’re lapping the world? We’ve done unbelievable?

    Can’t wait to hear him lecture the West Point grads he’s forcing out of social distancing to provide a non-critical (by force) audience.

    Not that I plan on listening to it.

  9. dakinikat says:

  10. Pat Johnson says:

    Our governor here in MA, Charlie Baker, is extending the ban until May 18th. Pain in the ass that it is for most of us he is being cautious and most of us are listening to him. Not so the Moron in Chief.

    He has done little to ease the burden. He should be front and center assuring people that the government is ready to ease their worries over lost income. Mortgages, rent, taxes, electric and gas bills, food supplies, health insurance, day care costs, anything and everything the federal government can do on behalf of a nation overwhelmed by a pandemic they had nothing to do with. This is what a leader and the government he manages is supposed to do.

    But we have an idiot at the helm. Passing on the responsibilities to others so he can weasel out of the responsibility written into his oath of office. He could care less. He has no clue as to what the job entails outside of the power and glory of the title.

    By ignoring the warnings he owns much of this mess we are currently living through. Yet he still manages to wiggle out of accepting what it is he has the power to initiate.

    I may sound like a broken record but this would never have been this bad under Hillary Clinton. She had been around government her entire life and knew what works.

    Instead we suffer under this unfit boob who only understands that “reaching out” entails merely helping himself to the last donut on the plate.

  11. dakinikat says:

    he’s going to kill a lot more people …

  12. NW Luna says:

    • dakinikat says:

      And yet, he doesn’t seem to understand those folks doing that are mostly black and brown immigrants … what a disaster of a human being.

    • dakinikat says:

      The one nice thing about being down here is there are feral chickens every where in the streets and I’m about 2 blocks from the Mississippi and there are catfish. We’ve got wild berry bushes every where too this time of year. Give that and a good green garden the only thing you lack really is bread which I really really love when it’s yeasty and fresh from the oven.

  13. NW Luna says:

    This should be illegal.

    The U.S. plans to lend $500 billion to large companies. It won’t require them to preserve jobs or limit executive pay.

    The Fed’s coronavirus aid program lacks restrictions Congress placed on companies seeking financial help under other programs.

    The corporate debt purchases by the Fed stand in stark contrast with other portions of the federal aid for U.S. businesses that come with requirements to protect jobs or limit spending. The Paycheck Protection Program, which offers $659 billion for small businesses, requires companies to certify that the money will be used to “retain workers and maintain payroll or make mortgage payments, lease payments, and utility payments.”

  14. NW Luna says: