Monday, August 3, 2020

'The virus is everywhere' - double the current number of deaths likely by year end

Heather Cox Richardson (Letters from an American) reports horrifying statistics.

Today’s most important story comes from Dr. Deborah Birx, the doctor advising the White House on the coronavirus. She warns that we are entering a “new phase” of the pandemic, when *the virus is everywhere and is spreading at such a pace that we could see more than 300,000 deaths by the end of the year. On Saturday, the national daily death toll from Covid–19 reached 1,198, exceeding 1000 for the sixth day in a row.

As a benchmark, consider that the number of deaths from the atomic bomb dropped on Hiroshima was about 135000.

All that is a grim reminder of how the Golfer-in-Chief has failed the nation. But It’s not just Trump at fault here. Read on.

Birx implores people to wear masks and stay apart… but it is an argument falling on deaf ears among those who continue to believe that Covid–19 is a hoax. Texas is apparently not reporting a number of its cases; Mississippi is so overwhelmed officials don’t actually know what the numbers are, but they are storing bodies in refrigerated storage units. Ignoring the virus, more than 250,000 people are expected to show up next week to the Sturgis, South Dakota, motorcycle rally, which business leaders pressured the City Council to hold despite the objections of more than 60% of Sturgis residents, who fear their town will become a hot spot.

The Texas Idiocracy

Charlie Sykes (July 30 thebulwark) provides more examples of the sheer stupidity of our fellow citizens - at least from the ones in thrall to King Donald. Here are bits and pieces.

With the news that Representative Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) has tested positive for the cororovirus, there is a temptation to be less than gracious.

I intend to give in to that temptation.

But let’s be clear: the incident does not show us that Gohmert is the dumbest member of Congress, because that is known. To be fair, he is not alone; there was a Democratic representative who once publicly warned that the island of Guam might tip over if the population got too large.

Even in this environment, Gohmert has distinguished himself as a super-spreader of stupidity and mean-spiritedness. During this pandemic, he has also been both an anti-mask bully and a role model of reckless crackpottery.

… we’re talking about Louie Gohmert here, a guy who once argued against gun control because gay marriage leads to sex with animals, or something. He once suggested that foreign mothers had babies in the United states so they could turn them into terrorists and said that a approving a gay secretary of the Army could be seen as an endorsement of child rape. Gohmert also warned that gays in the military might spend so much time massaging each other that they would be too relaxed to win a war.

I could go on… so I will.

In 2013, he warned: “We know Al Qaeda has camps on the Mexican border. We have people that are trained to act Hispanic when they are radical Islamists.” He repeatedly claimed that the Obama Administration was filled with members of the Muslim Brotherhood. And who could forget his deep thoughts about caribou mating and warm oil pipelines? “So when [caribou] want to go on a date, they invite each other to head over to the pipeline. … So my real concern now [is] if oil stops running through the pipeline … do we need a study to see how adversely the caribou would be affected if that warm oil ever quit flowing?”

Texas voters have elected him to congress eight times.

It turns out that a nation that sends Louie Gohmert to Congress was fully capable of sending Donald Trump to the White House. So, this is a reminder that the dysfunction in our body politic was a pre-existing condition and that it won’t go away with the departure of Trump.

We will be living with this Idiocracy for a very long time.

Exit take: Perhaps not coincidentally, Texas has also given us its lieutenant governor, Dan Patrick, who has argued against aggressive measures to fight the pandemic by arguing that “there are more important things than living.” Earlier this month, right before Texas experienced a surge in the pandemic Patrick lashed out at Dr. Anthony Fauci, claiming that the nation’s leading expert on infectious diseases, “doesn’t know what he is talking about.”

As of today, there have been 6,831 deaths from COVID–19 in Texas.

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