Science Finally Begins To Define Our Response To Covid-19.

              Yesterday the government agency which has to approve any medicine that will be used to treat the Covid-19 virus took a big step forward to begin acting like a scientific organization rather than like a PR company promoting Donald Trump. The Food and Drug Administration, known as the FDA, fired their head of public relations, Emily Miller, who had been on the job exactly 11 days.

              She was fired because the FDA began promoting a totally unproven idea about the benefits of plasma treatments which Trump then began touting as having saved thousands of lives. In fact, the plasma treatment experiment didn’t necessarily save anyone’s life, and even the researchers who worked on this study didn’t know who had ever said that the plasma represented any kind of life-saving therapy at all.

              So for once, science has actually managed to rear its ugly head and push back against Trump’s continued effort to lie, distort, and fabricate anything and everything having to do with Covid-19.

              What caught my attention most of all about this episode was the name of the ousted PR lady, Emily Miller, because I actually wrote a review of a gun book she published back in 2013, when she was a reporter for The Washington Times and later did a TV gig for Fox News. She also appeared frequently at pro-gun rallies and was interviewed and promoted by the NRA.

              According to Emily, she decided to apply for a pistol license in D.C. after having been the victim of a home invasion when she came back from walking her dog and found a guy inside the house robbing the place. In a re-enactment of the scene for NRA-TV, the event allegedly took place at night, which made the invasion all the more dangerous and scary for dear Emily.

              Emily’s book is basically a long kvetch about how she tried again and again to get the DC Police to approve her application to become an armed citizen, along with anecdotes about how this brave, gun-toting person and that brave, gun-toting person saved themselves and others because they had access to guns. The book represents a piece of investigative journalism about as much as my local pizza take-out menu represents a 5-star restaurant in the Michelin guide.

              I wish I could find the link but you’ll just have to take my word for what I’m about to say. Which is that when Emily’s book came out, they had a publishing party at a hotel in DC and one of the invitees at the party who not only showed up but said something positive about the book was none other than Donald Trump. I recall reading about the party and actually wondering why Trump was cozying up to all those pro-gun types.  Now I know.

              Obviously, Emily Miller was put into her job at the FDA as part of Trump’s strategy to pretend that the pandemic is under control. But in her case, we not only have someone who is responding to a directive from the White House; her hiring was also a directive from – God! Think I’m being overly sarcastic about Emily’s direction and goals? Here’s what she put on her Facebook page after getting the White House call: “In May, the White House called me ask asked if I would consider a high level communication role at the FDA. I knew God was directing my path, and I had to come back to DC to work.”

              And how did Emily describe her approach to her new job? Try this from the same Facebook page: “For as long as I’m in this role, I will work nonstop to get information on COVID-19 treatments and the vaccine process communicated to people as accurately and quickly as possible.”

              One small victory for science, one small defeat for Trump. Sooner or later, the playing-field will always tilt back to the way it should.

It’s Stupidity That’s Spreading The Virus And The Stupidity Has To Stop.

              The picture above was taken last night during the speech given at Fort McHenry by Mike Pence. Note how many people are wearing masks. Note how they are all sitting 6 feet away from each other. In other words, note how the GOP is now dealing with the pandemic which is still killing nearly 1,000 Americans every day. 

              Maybe there was a pandemic at some point, and maybe it was just awful when it occurred. But to paraphrase Larry Kudlow, the Administration’s chief TV-spieler turned economist, that was then and this is now. And now is when the pandemic is over and finished, so why bother to keep your distance from others or wear a mask?

              Predictably, the descent of the GOP into never-never land when it comes to the talking about the virus has become grist for the mill of our liberal media friends. Take our friend Nick Kristof whose op-ed in today’s (failing) New York Times starts off with the following question: “So why does the United States have 4 percent of the world’s population and 22 percent of coronavirus deaths?” He then goes on to quote this expert and that expert to explain for the umpteenth time why the Trump Administration’s response to the virus was way too little and way too late. Fine. That’s just great.

              And the reason I’m being sarcastic about the endless cavalcade of liberal denunciations of Trump’s handling of the virus is because these opinion pieces don’t do anything to help us get past this horrific mess. I don’t need yet another reminder of how and why Trump is the most anti-science President of all time; folks who read The (failing) New York Times don’t need more lessons about the fact that we are still facing what could be an even worse health situation once the real flu season arrives.

              This morning I walked into the Town Hall where I live to vote early for the primary election which is scheduled for next week. As I walked into the Town Clerk’s office, she and another woman hastily put on their masks. When I asked them why they weren’t wearing the masks before I walked in, nor were they sitting 6 feet apart, the Clerk brightly said to me, “Oh, we are only required to wear the mask when someone from outside the office comes in.”

              So here we have two women who are making sure that they don’t behave in a proper way during a pandemic because they aren’t ‘required’ to behave that way. Of course they both know ‘for a fact’ that neither of them might have picked up the virus in the last couple of days. And since they aren’t ‘required’ to wear masks because they certainly wouldn’t infect each other, they can just put on their masks when someone like me walks through the door.

              These two women are simply dumb. And yet their stupidity seems to be shared by a lot of Americans who also know ‘for a fact’ that they don’t need to be immunized because those shots don’t do anything for you at all. In fact, the immunization may make you sick.

The numbers may not be exact, but in 2019 roughly half of adults in this country said they didn’t need to be immunized against the flu. That’s the same percentage of people who said in June that they didn’t need to be immunized against Covid-19. Another poll in August found that ‘only’ one-third of respondents said they wouldn’t get an anti-virus shot.

              How do you deal with such errant stupidity? If you’re Donald Trump you can take advantage of that collective brain dump to promote the idea that science is nothing more than a Democrat-Socialist-Deep State plot. If you’re a liberal editorialist writing for The (failing) New York Times, you can ignore this exercise in mass ignorance even if such views only serve to make the pandemic much worse.

              Please do me a favor. Please read Nick’s column (here it is again) and then do what I did this morning, which was to write him a note saying that he and his editorial colleagues would be doing us all a very important task by figuring out how to explain to the average American the dangers of not doing everything possible to reduce the Covid-19 threat.

              Thank you in advance for your help in this respect.

Trump’s Wartime Report: “It Is What It Is.”

A week after Pearl Harbor, President Roosevelt held a meeting with a group of close associates. He was now Commander in Chief of a war effort that would have to defeat both the Germans and the Japanese. So he needed to know whether he could count on his current military leadership, given how they had screwed up the intelligence which allowed the Japanese to wreck our Pacific fleet.

Now imagine what would have happened if Roosevelt hadn’t reviewed the report a month later, immediately cashiered the entire military general staff, and replaced them with a brilliant group of commanders – Marshall, King, Eisenhower, Arnold – who organized and won a worldwide, two-front war. Imagine if a year after Pearl Harbor we hadn’t already defeated the Japanese at Midway; imagine if we weren’t about to land at North Africa, and imagine if Roosevelt had been asked by a reporter to assess the war’s progress and had said, “It is what it is.”

Let’s remember that back in March, Trump considered himself to be a ‘wartime President.’ I didn’t say that – he did. So when he was asked last week to tell us how the war was going, the best he could come up with was: “It is what it is.” This is how you give the American public an assessment of how well we are fighting a war?

Back in 2016, a story began floating around that Trump had told People Magazine in 1998 that if he ran for President he would run as a Republican, because  “Republicans are the dumbest voters in the country. They believe anything on Fox News.”

The story has been debunked numerous times, but when Trump describes his Covid-19 effort as ‘it is what it is,’ he must believe that his supporters are as dumb as they come. He must. Nobody could say something that stupid in the midst of a political campaign.

Or maybe it isn’t the Trump ‘base’ which is so friggin’ dumb. Maybe it’s Trump who speaks up to his base rather than down. But wait a minute – you can’t be that stupid and yet build a fairly-successful Manhattan real estate business featuring luxury condos and five-star hotels.

On the other hand, let’s not forget that Trump wasn’t exactly someone who had any kind of connection or previous experience with anything having to do with planning or fighting a war. The last President who actually saw combat action was George H. W. Bush, and he didn’t do a bad job of planning Desert Storm. If anything, he was more successful fighting Saddam Hussein in 1990 than fighting Bill Clinton in 1992.

And this is exactly the reason why Trump has been such a miserable failure when it comes to his non-response to Covid-19. Because from the day we first learned about the virus, Trump has been dealing with it as a political problem, as if this is just another part of his Presidential campaign.

The first thing he did was spend a month going after the Chinese ‘thugs,’ the same way he went after ‘Hillary the crook.’ He then said the problem could be solved by keeping people from China out of the United States, just another riff on how that now-forgotten Mexican wall would keep us safe. Then he put together a ‘task force’ led by none other than the renowned medical expert Jared Kushner, whose work in helping Trump get elected the first time around guaranteed that he would quickly develop and implement a plan to defeat the virus in its tracks.

In other words, Trump did everything except the one thing he should have done. He should have gotten the best and the brightest experts on fighting pandemics together, told them to come up with a plan and then use this plan to tell the American people what they all needed to do.

This is what Franklin Roosevelt did in 1941. This is the reason we won World War II. This is what Trump is unable to do which is why we now have a virus killing 1,000 people every day which is what it is.

On November 3rd: Vote Early, Vote Often.

Now That Trump Has Solved The Covid-19 Crisis, He Can Deal With Crime.

              Yesterday the President kicked off the latest version of his 2020 Presidential campaign by holding two campaign events dressed up as press conferences which Fox News obligingly broadcast for free. To the credit of the other TV networks, they kept their regular programming going, but being obsessively interested in politics, I tuned into Fox to watch the performance of Donald Trump.

              The first press conference was held in a large room somewhere in the White House and was attended by what appeared to be staffers from the various federal law-enforcement agencies – FBI, DEA, ATF, DHS – who are easily identified because the men all have short hair and wear ugly shoes.

              This first event was called to kick off a new program called Operation Legend, named after a 4-year-old boy killed in Kansas City while asleep in his bed.  There has been a serious surge in urban violence over the last several months, with the issue being politicized by both sides.  The anti-Trump forces are saying that because Trump screwed up the response to Covid-19, people are out of work, locked in their homes, pissed off, depressed, all the usual theories for increases in violent crime. Trump, on the other hand, made a point of saying that the violence was occurring in ‘sanctuary’ cities run by Democrats who want to let ‘illegals’ wander around urban neighborhoods and also want to defund the police.

              Of course the moment the words ‘we are sending federal agents’ popped out of his mouth, Trump realized that he got it wrong. He will send these agents to various cities if and when he is invited to do so by those corrupt Democratic regimes. But details don’t really matter when you’re making a campaign speech. The bottom line is that having solved the Covid-19 pandemic by being interviewed by Chris Wallace last week, Trump can now deal with the really important issues which Americans are concerned about and will define his campaign. Look at it this way. When was the last time any politician lost votes by being ‘tough’ on crime?

              The problem is that unless all the polls are screwy (and they might be) the pandemic is still defining priorities for most Americans, particularly the residents of the states whose electoral votes Trump needs to keep in his W column or he can go chub en drerd. That’s a Yiddish expression which mean you can stick it you know where; in this case the ‘it’ being the results of November 3rd.

              Take a look at the national Covid-19 infection map in The New York Times. The only part of the country where the spread seems to be under control is the Northeast, and Trump won’t see a single, electoral vote from those states even in the best of times. What he needs is a solid South, which happens to be where the incidence of the virus is at its worst.

              Yesterday Trump appeared by himself to take questions about the virus, n event in the briefing room which is normally jammed if the President himself is going to show up. The first thing I noticed was all the empty seats.  If there were 20 of the 250 seats occupied yesterday, it was a lot.

              What did Trump have to say about the virus?  Nothing, other than repeating yet another false claim that young children aren’t going to transmit the germ to their parents or their friends. And I noticed, by the way, that Trump’s threat last week to withhold federal aid from school systems that don’t reopen next month has now disappeared. Which is hardly surprising when one of his chief gubernatorial toady’s, Florida’s Ron DeSantis, just announced that parents will be allowed to decide when and if their children should return to school. He’s now referring to in-class schooling as an ‘option,’ okay?

              Over the past several months, urban violence in corrupt, Democratic-led cities has claimed somewhere around 200 to 300 lives. Over that same period, the corona virus has killed more than 100,000 Americans, including more than 500 men and women who were providing front-line medical coverage to persons infected by Covid-19.

              Remember what I said yesterday. On November 3rd, genug.