Let’s inject disinfectant into the lungs

Apr 23rd, 2020 4:47 pm | By

Oh christ here’s the clip. Why has the 25th amendment not been invoked yet??! This is beyond belief!

And then I said – suppose you brought the light inside the body – which you can do – either through the skin or in some other way. Aaaand [turning to look at Birx] I think you said you’re gunna test that too. Sounds intresting.

He thinks for a couple of seconds then turns to look at Birx again.

And then I see the disinfectant, that knocks it out in a minute – one minute – aaand is there a way [turns to look at her again] we can do something like that. Byyyy injection inside [swirly gesture with hand] or almost a cleaning [flap of the hand] coz you see it gets in the lungs and does a tremendous number on the lungs so it would be interesting to check that.

He’s thinking that because disinfectants get rid of the virus on surfaces that therefore you can spritz some into the lungs and it will get rid of the virus there too, and the lungs will take a deep clean breath and everyone will sing The Donald Trump Song.

HE’S STANDING THERE AT A PRESS BRIEFING TELLING DOCTOR BIRX WE SHOULD TRY PUTTING DISINFECTANT IN PATIENTS’ LUNGS.

Next morning: updating to add closeup of Dr Birx as Trump drivels. She keeps her face as stony as she can, which is not 100%. When he says “by injection” she flinches, and from then on she is blinking rapidly, probably displacement behavior so that she won’t scream expletives.



Inject disinfectants

Apr 23rd, 2020 4:23 pm | By

The Guardian has more notes on Trump’s accelerating mental decay:

Maybe we should insert some cleaning products in people?

“Supposing you brought the light inside the body – either through the skin or some other way,” Trump wondered. He also mused about ways to use disinfectants on people, “by injections inside or almost a cleaning.”

“It’d be interesting to check that,” the president said. “You’d have to use medical doctors.”

That would be interesting. That would be very interesting. Let’s try it on Trump. Let’s inject some disinfectants inside Trump, starting with his brain. We’d have to use medical doctors. Can we start now?

The DHS’s Bryan is asked about the president’s suggestions that disinfectants be injected into a person.

“We don’t do that within our lab,” Bryan said.

Party-poopers.

“Maybe it works, maybe it doesn’t work,” Trump interjected — but disinfectants like isopropyl alcohol definitely has an effect on “stationary objects.”

Great, get a firm grip on Trump and shove it right on in there.

“Medical doctors,” should see “if there any way to apply light and heat to cure”, the president said. He asked Dr Deborah Birx if that’s possible.

Fevers are the body’s way of apply heat to treat itself, but she hasn’t heard of it being used as a treatment, she responded.

“It’s just a suggestion,” Trump said. “If heat is good and if sunlight is good, that’s a great thing as far as I’m concerned.”

He’s right. Sunlight is good and heat is good – the more the better. We should think about moving the earth a lot closer to the sun to take advantage of the benefits of sunlight. We should also put people who have the virus in very hot rooms in front of windows facing south, and heat the virus out of them. Trump is very science.



Let’s try sunlamps

Apr 23rd, 2020 4:11 pm | By

Today’s coronarally is on, and Trump has been giving suggestions about how to fix the virus – heat and light, he says, apply heat and light.

Rucker points out that people are looking for real advice, not random brain-hiccups about getting a sunburn.

He says he told Kemp you do what you want to do, and without pause he re-enacts how he shouted at him and then tells us all he’s not happy with BRIAN KEMP that’s BRIAN KEMP.

He’s so weird. How do all these people keep a straight face for all these hours? I’ve known difficult people, eccentric people, temperamental people, but I’ve never known anyone as flamingly bizarre and off-piste and just fucking nuts as Trump.



Guest post: It can’t be blocked by call display

Apr 23rd, 2020 2:35 pm | By

Originally a comment by Your Name’s not Bruce? on Largely in a lot of parts of the world.

“It’s overhyped,” she said.

For this degree of media and institutional attention, she was expecting a lot more deaths. This? Pfft! This is just weak sauce. Should be tucked in under the horoscopes.

“And I don’t wish anybody ill will. You know I don’t wish that…

But we don’t know that, do we? There’s a strong whiff of the other, like, you know that sentence you just uttered in regards to a pandemic that, in less than four months, has come within spitting distance of killing more Americans than the Vietnam war, in which you thought that it has been “overhyped?” Besides, is it a good idea to “underhype” a pandemic?

but I think it hurts certain ages in certain places and largely in a lot of parts of the world.

Problem is, given the correct circumstances, you could end up being one of those people of a certain age, in a certain place. The virus doesn’t issue invitations which you can decline, it doesn’t announce its presence, it can’t be blocked by call display. It would only take a single slip-up or mistake amongst the security people* of your gated community, or amongst your household staff** (assuming you haven’t cut them off from the outside world) and you might very well be our next contestant.

* I bet they’re well equipped with PPE, and using social distancing protocols to keep you safe.

** See *above.

“In the country it’s not as rampant as the press would have you make it.”

It’s certainly more rampant than you’d want to be in the midst of, though, isn’t it? Because of the combination of woeful, criminal lack of testing, and asymptomatic spread, there’s no way to know just how rampant it is. And opening businesses prematurely will only make it MORE RAMPANT.



Make friends with water

Apr 23rd, 2020 12:11 pm | By

Another reason we’ll be needing to get those express flights to Mars up and running:

The number of people harmed by floods will double worldwide by 2030, according to a new analysis.

The World Resources Institute, a global research group, found that 147 million people will be hit by floods from rivers and coasts annually by the end of the decade, compared with 72 million people just 10 years ago.

By 2050 the numbers will be catastrophic.

Floods are getting worse because of the climate crisis, decisions to populate high-risk areas and land sinkage from the overuse of groundwater.

And because we’re not doing much about any of them.

The worst flooding will come in south and south-east Asia, including in Bangladesh, Vietnam, India, Indonesia and China, where large populations are vulnerable.

Much of Bangladesh is one huge delta.

The effects will be less dire but still increasingly serious in the US, where the risk is highest for coastal flooding. The US ranks third among countries with the most to lose from urban coastal flooding in the next 10 years, after China and Indonesia.

Just ignore it, maybe it will go away.



Largely in a lot of parts of the world

Apr 23rd, 2020 11:29 am | By

The Guardian talks to one of Trump’s billionaire fans about this whole business of billionaire Trump fans having a big influence on whether or not we get to survive the pandemic:

One of Donald Trump’s most fervent billionaire donors is lobbying against strict stay-at-home rules in the election battleground state of Wisconsin, raising troubling new questions about how the president’s rightwing financial supporters may influence the US response to the pandemic.

Liz Uihlein, the billionaire behind Wisconsin’s Uline shipping and packaging company – who with her husband, Richard, has been dubbed the most “powerful conservative couple you’ve never heard of” – is using her clout to try to force Wisconsin’s Democratic governor to relax stay-at-home rules, claiming that the crisis has been “overhyped” by the media.

I don’t think having a shipping and packaging company gives a person the right to put millions of other people at risk from a pandemic. An eccentric view, I know, but I seem to be stuck with it.

Health experts have warned that premature reopening of the US economy could risk US efforts to control the virus, ensuring that it surges in places where rules on lockdowns are relaxed. Trump, who still appears in daily press conferences with a team of public health experts such as Dr Anthony Fauci, has wavered on the issue. He has urged protesters to “liberate” several Democratic states from their lockdowns and usually appears keen for a swift reopening, but he has also criticized the Republican governor of Georgia for reopening too early.

Oh come on now. That’s not Trump “wavering” on an “issue” – it’s Trump saying whatever pops into his echoingly empty head at any given moment, without the slightest attention to whether or not it’s consistent with what he said 30 seconds before.

“It’s overhyped,” she said. “And I don’t wish anybody ill will. You know I don’t wish that, but I think it hurts certain ages in certain places and largely in a lot of parts of the world. In the country it’s not as rampant as the press would have you make it.”

Ah there it is – the not very veiled hint that the virus infects only Those Other People Over There, and not good clean rich white people like ourselves.

The company, which has remained open because it is considered an essential business, has come under fire for allegedly adopting lax safety practices in the face of the pandemic, including initially discouraging employees from working at home and not providing enough space to the non-warehouse employees who did come to work.

Well, come on now. Warehouse employees are obviously in the Those Other People Over There category, as are the non-warehouse employees. Only employERS count as real people.



A blank check to states and local governments

Apr 23rd, 2020 10:24 am | By

Mitch McConnell to states (that aren’t Kentucky): you’re on your own.

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Wednesday he would rather let state governments declare bankruptcy during the coronavirus pandemic than receive more federal funding. He suggested Republicans should oppose additional aid for state and local governments in future coronavirus relief bills.

McConnell alleged that local governments would use federal funds to simply bail out pensions, which he pinned as the source of most of their financial trouble. He also said Congress would not “just send a blank check down to states and local governments to spend any way they choose to.”

“We all have governors, regardless of party, who would love to have free money,” the Kentucky Republican said. He said lawmakers were “going to push the pause button here, because I think this whole business of additional assistance for state and local governments needs to be thoroughly evaluated.”

So Andrew Cuomo points out an inconvenient fact.

New York state puts 116 billion dollars more into the “federal pot” than it takes out. Kentucky? Mitch McConnell’s state Kentucky? It takes out 148 billion more than it puts in.

How about Mitch McConnell declares intellectual and moral bankruptcy.



Why women are blamed for everything

Apr 23rd, 2020 9:56 am | By

How dare a woman write a book.

This book – which I need to read.



Erm…

Apr 22nd, 2020 7:13 pm | By

Terry Gross did a pretty interesting conversation with Mark O’Connell about his book on apocalypse preppers, but there was this one area where…how shall I say, everyone was missing something. I can’t find a transcript but there’s a summary.

On how some doomsday preppers see Mars as a backup planet

Mars is almost like the next step up from New Zealand. If New Zealand is kind of the safest retreat on this planet, then, if — everything goes wrong here and the planet gets hit by an asteroid or whatever — the term that is used amongst Mars enthusiasts would be we need a “backup planet.”

That already gets my back up, because Mars can’t be a “backup planet” (and neither can any other planet). To take all the stuff humans would need to survive would take an impossible amount of fuel; just to take some humans would take an impossible amount of fuel, and why would that be available after a civilization-ending catastrophe? Colonizing Mars is not feasible, it’s a fantasy. But that’s not even the thing; it gets worse. O’Connell expands on the idea (about 20 minutes in) (my quick transcription, with some “kind of”s omitted):

You know, things like climate change, an asteroid strike, anything that could sort of present an existential threat. The idea is that even on, you know, a long-term scale, the sun is going to burn out eventually, and the idea is that we need to sort of insure the future of humanity and so we need a sort of second place, to form a backup for civilization, for the species.

Because the sun will burn out eventually, so we damn well better get to Mars so that we can have a backup.

Terry Gross says she doesn’t know much about space travel but wouldn’t Elon Musk and the other people planning this be dead by then?

Good point but there’s a rather more basic one…

He goes on:

It’s about having a backup planet […] it’s not really about the individuals, it’s about you know preserving the species, it’s about if an asteroid hits earth or the sun explodes or whatever you want to have a backup planet for humanity.

And that will be Mars. A solar planet.

Neither of them noticed.

Meme: "Wut" - All Templates - Meme-arsenal.com


Difficult v devastating

Apr 22nd, 2020 5:08 pm | By

The embarrassing shameful bit where Trump stands there like a palooka who doesn’t know where his arms go, watching Redfield explain what he said to the Post.

To be fair, for once Trump does have a ghost of a point: Redfield said one thing in the interview and the Post said another thing in the headline. Redfield says the interview was accurate and the headline wasn’t. That happens a lot: the reporters don’t write the headlines, and the people who do write them don’t always bother with accuracy. It has annoyed me often. Redfield said the next wave would be more difficult, the headline said more devastating. Not the same thing.

But the only reason Trump cares is because he thinks the headline makes him look bad – him, Donald Trump, the only person who matters.

And then when Redfield finishes Trump shouts at him urgently “But we may not even have corona coming back, just so you underst -” – which is bullshit.

Do look at the way he’s standing. He does it to hide his gut, but the result is his arms dangle awkwardly in front of his body, and his bum sticks out in back. He looks ridiculous, and doesn’t even realize it.

That would make a good headline.



Science, not politics or cronyism, has to lead

Apr 22nd, 2020 3:44 pm | By

We can read the whole thing.

Reporters had better grill Trump hard at today’s government-funded campaign rally.



The worst and dimmest

Apr 22nd, 2020 3:17 pm | By

How to deal with a pandemic if you’re Donald Trump:

The director of the office involved in developing a coronavirus vaccine says he was abruptly dismissed from his post in part because he resisted efforts to widen the availability of a coronavirus treatment pushed by President Donald Trump.

Dr. Rick Bright had led BARDA, the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, since 2016 until Tuesday, when was reassigned to a narrower position.

Brilliant. Let one festering shit’s vanity and spite decide who leads vaccine development at the height of an emergency in which the vaccine will save thousands of lives. What do people’s lives matter in comparison to Donald Trump’s ego?

He also announced he will file a whistleblower complaint with the Department of Health and Human Services’ inspector general.

“I believe this transfer was in response to my insistence that the government invest the billions of dollars allocated by Congress to address the Covid-19 pandemic into safe and scientifically vetted solutions, and not in drugs, vaccines and other technologies that lack scientific merit,” Bright said in a lengthy statement issued Wednesday. “I am speaking out because to combat this deadly virus, science — not politics or cronyism — has to lead the way.”

He cited “clashes with political leadership” as a reason for his sidelining, as well as his resistance to “efforts to fund potentially dangerous drugs promoted by those with political connections.”

This is failed state territory. This is scandalous and criminal. Trump should be removed from the White House in shackles.



Like a third world country

Apr 22nd, 2020 12:32 pm | By

For such a rich country we sure do a wretched job of making sure everyone is ok. Some economists notice.

In a withering attack on the president, Joseph Stiglitz said millions of people were turning to food banks, turning up for work due to a lack of sick pay, and dying because of health inequalities.

The Nobel prize-winning economist said: “The numbers turning to food banks are just enormous and beyond the capacity of them to supply. It is like a third world country. The public social safety net is not working.”

That’s because there isn’t one. We’re all about making rich people ever richer, while ensuring poor people stay poor, and that in emergencies they die. That’s our one steadfast core value, as far as I can tell.

“We have a safety net that is inadequate. The inequality in the US is so large. This disease has targeted those with the poorest health. In the advanced world, the US is one of the countries with the poorest health overall and the greatest health inequality.”

And highest infant and maternal mortality, and largest gap between richest and poorest, and a number of other ugly markers.

Stiglitz said Republicans had opposed proposals to give those affected by coronavirus 10 days’ sick leave, meaning many employees were going to work even while infected. “The Republicans said no because they said it would set a bad precedent. It is literally unbelievable.”

A bad precedent of not encouraging a pandemic to spread and not forcing workers to choose between death by virus and death by poverty.

During an interview with the Guardian to mark the paperback publication of his book People, Power, and Profits, Stiglitz was asked whether the US might be heading for a second Great Depression.

“Yes is the answer in short,” he said. “If you leave it to Donald Trump and Mitch McConnell [the Republican Senate majority leader] we will have a Great Depression. If we had the right policy structure in place we could avoid it easily.”

But it will be great. It says so right in the title.



International waters

Apr 22nd, 2020 11:38 am | By

I wish NPR would not clean up Trump’s blurts to make them sound less deranged. That’s not their job.

NPR:

President Trump says the U.S. Navy should fire on Iranian boats if they continue to harass U.S. warships in the Gulf, a move that raises the prospect of open hostilities between the two rivals.

What Trump actually said:

He didn’t say “the Navy should,” he said he has instructed the Navy to. He didn’t say “fire on,” he said “shoot down and destroy.” He didn’t say “on Iranian boats,” he said “any and all Iranian gunboats.”

It’s a journalistic convention, I guess, to re-word/paraphrase things people say and then give the direct quote, but the convention shouldn’t be to clean up after a dangerous lunatic.

Apparently Iran and the US have been playing You Are No YOU Are for weeks (and for years, at various levels of intensity).

Last week, U.S. military ships were in the northern Persian Gulf for exercises. The U.S. warships were in international waters, though relatively close to Iran.

In other words standing just outside the fence going “Nyah nyah.”

Iran sent small boats, known as “fast boats,” toward the American warships, with one coming as close as 10 yards, according to the Navy, which released a video. The Pentagon accused Iran of sending 11 fast boats to make “dangerous and harassing approaches” to six American warships.

Who are there just minding their own business, “relatively close to Iran.” (Relative to what? NPR doesn’t say.)

These kinds of standoffs in the Gulf have been taking place for many years. The U.S. and Iran usually observe unwritten rules and the confrontations rarely escalate into actual hostilities, with occasional exceptions.

All very intelligent and productive I’m sure – but Trump is bored with that so he’s putting a foot over the line. I’m sure he’ll make an excellent wartime president.



He will be putting out a statement

Apr 22nd, 2020 11:09 am | By

It will get worse.

Even as states move ahead with plans to reopen their economies, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Tuesday that a second wave of the novel coronavirus will be far more deadly because it is likely to coincide with the start of flu season.

“There’s a possibility that the assault of the virus on our nation next winter will actually be even more difficult than the one we just went through,” CDC Director Robert Redfield said in an interview with The Washington Post. “And when I’ve said this to others, they kind of put their head back, they don’t understand what I mean.”

CNN reported what Redfield said. The tyrant wasn’t having that.

We’re still waiting for “the statement” the tyrant so confidently said Redfield would be putting out. Meanwhile the tyrant’s propagandist supplied a version.

Lying for the boss always looks good on the resumé .



Strong to the right, weak to the left

Apr 22nd, 2020 8:27 am | By

At least it’s honest.

A woman protesting Tennessee’s COVID-19 lockdown this week carried a startling sign that recommended sacrificing “weak” people to reopen the state’s economy.

Local news station News Channel 9 has captured a photo of the sign, which read, “Sacrifice the weak — reopen TN [Tennessee].”

It was a small protest, with “dozens” of people.

The station also reports that many of the people at the rally were not practicing social distancing and were not wearing protective face masks, as has been recommended by public health officials as a way to slow down the spread of the disease.

So I guess they’re sacrificing themselves. Maybe that’s what the sign meant?



A hammer blow for millions

Apr 21st, 2020 4:39 pm | By

Oh and by the way – also famine.

The world is at risk of widespread famines “of biblical proportions” caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the UN has warned.

David Beasley, head of the World Food Programme (WFP), said urgent action was needed to avoid a catastrophe.

A report estimates that the number suffering from hunger could go from 135 million to more than 250 million.

Those most at risk are in 10 countries affected by conflict, economic crisis and climate change, the WFP says.

The fourth annual Global Report on Food Crises highlights Yemen, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Afghanistan, Venezuela, Ethiopia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Nigeria and Haiti.

The East African countries are already faced with the locust invasion.

The WFP’s senior economist, Arif Husain, said the economic impact of the pandemic was potentially catastrophic for millions “who are already hanging by a thread”.

“It is a hammer blow for millions more who can only eat if they earn a wage,” he said in a statement.

“Lockdowns and global economic recession have already decimated their nest eggs. It only takes one more shock – like Covid-19 – to push them over the edge. We must collectively act now to mitigate the impact of this global catastrophe.”

We’re never going back to the way it was.



He didn’t have a single word

Apr 21st, 2020 3:35 pm | By

Trump’s alternative world:

More than 1,500 people in the US died from the coronavirus on Monday, bringing America’s death toll to nearly 43,000, according to the Johns Hopkins coronavirus tracker. But you wouldn’t know that from looking at President Donald Trump’s tweets Tuesday morning.

In a string of posts that began a bit after 6 am Eastern time, Trump lambasted MSNBC in particular, and the “Lamestream Media” in general, ghoulishly bragged about his “great ‘ratings’” during daily press briefings ostensibly about a pandemic, fudged polling numbers to inflate his popularity, and promised to bail out the US energy industry. To close out the morning, he retweeted posts from someone with the handle @SexCounseling.

It’s interesting that he doesn’t even have the self-interested smarts to realize that his preening vanity at this moment in history doesn’t look great. He has no censor, no filter, no inner inspector who checks his thoughts before he spits them out.

The president’s only reference to the coronavirus was to brag in passing about the purportedly great job he’s doing handling it. He didn’t have a single word to say to Americans with loved ones who are ill or who have died, or who are worried about getting sick themselves.

He never does. I suppose if he tried we wouldn’t believe him…but all the same it’s disgusting that he doesn’t try. Disgusting and weird and unfathomable.

Trump’s tweets are certainly not reflective of a well-adjusted adult operating with a basic sense of empathy for others. They’re ugly, and it’s tempting to ignore them. It’d be easier to do that if there [were] a presidency going on beyond the tweets. But in Trump’s case there really isn’t.

There isn’t a presidency and there isn’t even a decent human being – there’s only a kind of howling tornado of vanity and rage.



Barr the liberator

Apr 21st, 2020 10:38 am | By

Via Bloomberg:

The Justice Department will consider taking legal action against governors who continue to impose stringent rules for dealing with the coronavirus that infringe on constitutional rights once the crisis subsides in their states, Attorney General William Barr said.

“We have to give businesses more freedom to operate in a way that’s reasonably safe,” Barr said. “To the extent that governors don’t and impinge on either civil rights or on the national commerce — our common market that we have here — then we’ll have to address that.”

Trump tweeted over the weekend that his supporters should “liberate” Minnesota, Michigan and Virginia — three states with Democratic governors and strict stay-at-home orders.

And now here’s Barr backing him up, in less inflammatory language.

“These are very, very burdensome impingements on liberty, and we adopted them, we have to remember, for the limited purpose of slowing down the spread, that is bending the curve,” Barr said. “We didn’t adopt them as the comprehensive way of dealing with this disease.”

They are very burdensome impingements on liberty, but you know what else is a very burdensome impingement on liberty? Death. You know another very burdensome impingement on liberty? Being on a ventilator. You know another? Reduced lung capacity, which is one outcome of the virus.

I dislike Barr quite a lot.



Pandemic news

Apr 21st, 2020 9:17 am | By

There’s a pandemic raging, and what is the president of the US thinking about? Himself. Himself, his glory, his fame, his awesomeitude, his adoring fans who adore him.

Such hatred and contempt, shouts Donald Trump, who spits hatred and contempt at everyone who doesn’t grovel to him, including the person he just called Morning Psycho. His mind is shot, shouts Donald Trump, who barely has a mind at all.

No, it’s because way too many people like the kind of evil he is. The more evil he is the more they like him. They vote for him because he’s a mean bully.

He doesn’t care about ratings, and that’s why he cites a New York Times article about his ratings from three weeks ago, during a raging pandemic.

If only it did. No, it just means the Republican Party is trying to be as evil as Trump is.

His most recent Twitter action is retweeting this charming item: