Smart people and instinct

The drunk child in a bear suit thinks he, and he alone, gets to shout “OPEN IT UP!!” and we all have to obey.

On Saturday night, Trump said a decision to open up the economy was one he alone would make, and would be “the biggest” of his presidency. He has targeted 1 May as the date when the country may begin a return to normalcy, and in a tweet on Sunday morning cited a drop in hospitalisations as “a very good sign”.

He’s wrong on his facts though. The decision is not his alone to make, and in fact it’s not his to make at all. He’s permanently confused about this, with his talk of having “the absolute right” to do things he has no such absolute right to do. It’s a tad embarrassing that he’s never bothered to learn a damn thing about this job he’s pretending to do.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the nation’s leading infectious diseases expert, stressed any such move should come only when it was safe and as a gradual process. He also warned of the danger of a resurgence of Covid-19 cases later in the year if things reopened too soon.

“If you just say, ‘OK, it’s whatever, 1 May, click, turn the switch on,’ obviously, if you do it in an all-or-none way, there’s an extraordinary risk of there being a rebound,” he told CNN’s State of the Union. “That could be a real problem. And everybody knows that.”

Well not quite everybody knows that. Trump doesn’t know that.

“When one starts to relax some of those restrictions, we know that there will be people who will be getting infected. That is just reality. The critical issue is to be able to, in real time, identify, isolate and contact trace.

“Obviously, New York, [which] is going through a terrible ordeal, is going to be very different from Arkansas, and very different maybe from some places on the west coast, like Washington state, which have been successfully able to prevent that big spike. I think it’s going to have to be something that is not one size fits all.”

We’ve been able to prevent that big spike? Good on us.

Trump’s Sunday tweet appeared to indicate he was still keen to reopen the country sooner than later, having told Fox News on Saturday night he would seek advice from “very smart people”. Last week, Trump announced he would establish a bipartisan “Opening Our Country Council”.

Nonsense. He seeks advice from very agree-with-trump people. He wouldn’t know a very smart person from a potato on a sunny afternoon.

“A lot of very smart people, a lot of professionals, doctors and business leaders are a lot of things that go into a decision like that,” he said. “And it’s going to be based on a lot of facts and a lot of instinct also. Whether we like it or not, there is a certain instinct to it.”

See? That’s not a smart-people thing to say. That’s a dumb-people assertion. That’s his escape clause. “We’re going to ask some rich guys what they think and then we’re going to do whatever I want us to do, and that will be instinct.”

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