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Trump vs. history in the time of COVID-19

Just to get this out of the way, and in case you hadn’t already noticed, I hold a longstanding dim view of Donald Trump’s performance in his job as our Supreme Leader, and that certainly includes his performance during the current COVID-19 health crisis. He was slow to recognize the seriousness of the threat to our nation’s health and slow to mobilize the country’s defenses against it.

Because I still try to be fair, despite my dim view of his performance, I would stipulate that he didn’t cause the problem, and it’s probably not possible to estimate how much worse he made it by his long reluctance to recognize or mobilize against the pandemic.

It’s not unreasonable to suggest that the situation would be substantially better if the commander in chief had acknowledged and mobilized against the virus sooner and more aggressively. China, where the virus first appeared, has dramatically reduced the number of new cases per day, almost to zero, which is impressive.

Several other countries have seen a reduction in that key statistic, new infections per day. (Of course, it’s not a perfect measure, since many new cases go undetected for a period of time. The United States has done especially poorly on the task of testing and detecting new cases. But I’m not sure any national leader did anything quite as despicable as Trump, who tried to prevent allowing a cruise ship full of his own citizens from landing, or as stupid and political as Trump did in admitting that his thinking on that matter was influenced by the fact that once those Americans got off that ship, the U.S. numbers would rise.)

Trump minimized the threat for weeks, which also got in the way of mobilizing the nation to meet it. He shows no remorse for this nor for his denial/minimizing/fantasizing about a magic cure that would occur when the spring weather came and refusing to acknowledge the seriousness of the threat. This basic display of bad character is not surprising, coming from him, and he is now trying to brazen it out by denial.

So I pass along to you this devastating little video, compiled by The Recount, in which you can see all the days that went by with Trump dismissing and minimizing the threat. It’s quite impressive; it’s titled “Trump’s Coronavirus Calendar,” and it’s viewable right here.

Comments (87)

  1. Submitted by Jon Kingstad on 03/19/2020 - 02:52 pm.

    The Recount video is excellent in showing Trump’s abysmal failure of leadership at a critical time at the beginning of this crisis. There’s a been a lot of discussion about the failure of the CDC tests but not enough questions about why Trump and his administration refused to accept coronavirus test kits developed and offered by or under the auspices of the World Heath Organization. Was it really necessary that the US “reinvent the wheel” when China and Italy were already testing and confirming that tens of thousands of people in these countries were infected? Now in Minnesota we are learning as of today that the number of confirmed cases is already vastly underreported because of the lack of adequate testing capability. Trump is already pivoting to claim he’s been “on top of this” from the beginning. It’s never too soon to let his cult followers to see how badly they’ve been deceived by this fraud.

  2. Submitted by Edward Blaise on 03/19/2020 - 03:05 pm.

    And, actually trying to make sense of the US data is hopeless because of testing shortages, testing rules and reporting changes.

    It is amazing how far the rest of the world has surpassed us in the ability to respond to a crisis like this.

    It is clear to see we have reached the limits of the effectiveness of “Alternative Facts” and 40% of the voting public still are not capable of comprehending the value and existence of fact and truth. These folks can watch the video link and still rationalize that Trump did nothing wrong.

  3. Submitted by Bob Barnes on 03/19/2020 - 03:25 pm.

    Trump actually acted early by banning travel from China…something the left bashed him for at the time. This was 40 days before it was a pandemic. Trump stopping that cruise ship from docking was the right move. You NEVER allow infectious people into the nation until you have proven they are not or no longer contagious. Letting them dock would have spread the virus even more than we have now.

    The lengths the left go to bash Trump are astounding. If you want to bash him, do it over things he deserves…like dropping his plan to actually fix healthcare once he won the election. Or for signing big spending bills when he promised he wouldn’t. He has done a fine job of handling this virus issue. And many of the things you bash him for were in place before he became President. Do you bash Obama for preventing private companies from making test kits and from using their own labs for tests? His admin put those regulations in effect not Trump.

    • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 03/19/2020 - 03:44 pm.

      Let’s keep up with the class here: we have already been through this:

      SUBMITTED BY RB HOLBROOK ON 03/17/2020 – 12:00 PM.
      I just Googled the phrase “racist to ban travel from China.” The results showed that an editorialist in New Zealand called that country’s ban racist, and an Iranian statement that the US’s ban is racist. Otherwise, you get an article from the Federalist claiming that Joe Biden called the ban racist, but the only quotations they provided had him saying the ban is “xenophobic,” because it would slow, not stop, the virus. The article also parroted Mr. Smith’s claim that some on the left have called it racist, but provided no further specifics.

      It’s not a “foreign” virus any more. It’;s here, it’s making people sick, and it’s killing some of them. Getting our knickers in a twist about the Chinese isn’t helping anything, unless you want an excuse to yell at the people who run the local Cantonese buffet.

    • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 03/19/2020 - 03:52 pm.

      Breathtaking: You can watch that video and your first reaction is to find fault with Obama.

      Day after day of “not a problem”, “will just disappear”, “It’s a hoax”, “we have it contained” all finished up with “it’s a pandemic and I knew so along along”.

      Let me help here, repeat after me:

      “While I still support President Trump and his agenda, it is undeniable that his leadership during this crisis has been an abject failure and I believe his most recent statements indicate a new and more effective approach”

      Now, that’s not so hard, is it?

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 03/19/2020 - 05:09 pm.

      There is no serious question that Trump made a complete pig’s breakfast of the response to the virus. What can we expect from the “leader” whose initial response to the outbreak is that it was a plot by the liberal media to tank the stock market to make him look bad.

      There was an interesting article on the Wall Street Journal* site today about how the administration botched something as relatively non-controversial as expanding testing. We know that Trump did not want more testing, because it would show more cases and make him look even worse. Of course, more testing may have done a lot to contain the outbreak (see, e.g. South Korea) and perhaps mitigate the impact. Then again, we’ll never know.

      *Great balls of covfefe! Has Rupert Murdoch turned against our beloved leader?

    • Submitted by Mike Chrun on 03/19/2020 - 06:03 pm.

      Bob, surprised you didn’t describe the job as “perfect” rather than just “fine.” Here’re some of his quotes when he was focused on the stock market at the outbreak. His continuous downplaying the danger delayed measures that could have saved lives. The shortage of tests is on his watch, not Obama’s. (Remember we blame Obama only for lying that people could keep their own doctors. Save it for negating the 16,000+ lies. Don’t get sidetracked.)

      Didn’t even get into the quotes from March since it would have read like a novella.

      Jan. 22: “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. We have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.”

      Jan. 30: “But we’re working very closely with China and other countries, and we think it’s going to have a very good ending for us … that I can assure you.”

      Feb. 10: “Now, the virus that we’re talking about having to do — you know, a lot of people think that goes away in April with the heat — as the heat comes in. Typically, that will go away in April. We’re in great shape though.”

      Feb. 14: “There’s a theory that, in April, when it gets warm — historically, that has been able to kill the virus. So we don’t know yet; we’re not sure yet. But that’s around the corner.”

      Feb. 23: “We have it very much under control in this country.”

      Feb. 24: “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. ”

      Feb. 26: “So we’re at the low level. As they get better, we take them off the list, so that we’re going to be pretty soon at only five people.”

      Feb. 26: “And again, when you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.”

      Feb. 27: “It’s going to disappear. One day — it’s like a miracle — it will disappear.”

      Yes, he’s really done well. Just recently he claimed their were enough masks. Today the story went out that health care workers in some areas have been told to reuse masks, or, if nothing else, use a bandana.

      As for the cruise ship passengers set loose to spread the virus, you must have missed the videos of people crammed together for hours at airports waiting to get through customs. They were subjecting each other to danger because the federal government didn’t plan for this early. That’s mainly because your great leader surprised eveyone with the travel ban from Europe, giving people or officials no time to prepare. “You NEVER allow infectious people into the nation until you have proven they are not or no longer contagious.” Pretty sure one airport alone let in way more infectious people than were on that cruise ship.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 03/20/2020 - 10:59 am.

      It’s funny, simply compile a record of Trump’s own words… and you’re “bashing” him.

      Trump has yet to even establish a coordinated team to respond to this pandemic, meanwhile every day he assault us with more bad information and childish behavior instead of leadership. Anyone who was really paying attention already knew this but- as far as he’s concerned at the end of the day this isn’t really his problem.

      Eric is correct, it’s hard to tell at THIS point how many lives have jeopardized by Trump’s incompetence, but that will become clearer as the infection spreads, and the death count rises.

      • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 03/20/2020 - 01:01 pm.

        “It’s funny, simply compile a record of Trump’s own words… and you’re “bashing” him.”

        It’s an interesting insight into his followers, isn’t it? It shows that they recognize what a horrendous excuse for a President he is, because repeating his own words accurately, and correctly attributing them to him, is regarded as an attack. It also shows how willfully blind they are to his manifest flaws, so much so that they consider the truth to be an attack.

  4. Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 03/19/2020 - 04:44 pm.

    Well suspect, anything that came across the bow was fake science or fake news. The information was at his finger tips, perhaps in front of his face, before he went golfing last August! Priorities, priorities!. So what’s new right? Can’t have rationale conversations with irrational people. I’m sure the Trumpies will be out; show me proof that the information was actually delivered too him and he acknowledged it, that will be tough, (I don’t watch FAUX or surf any right wing media propaganda, conspiracy theory sites) and suspect Trumps ability to read an comprehend anything that isn’t spoon fed (and not disrupt his perfect world) is close to a 4 maybe 10 year old on a good day. You know that really doesn’t say much for the minions, much less the Republican dominated Senate!

  5. Submitted by Roy Everson on 03/19/2020 - 05:00 pm.

    He just might have known it was a pandemic all along, like he says, but only chose to lie about it as he usually does. By coming in late he can be “heroic”. He figured being proactive might have hurt him politically.

    • Submitted by Barry Tungseth on 03/20/2020 - 09:24 am.

      You need to understand….
      Trump had a very important golf game to get to. So he had to lie. Obama made him do it!

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 03/20/2020 - 11:00 am.

      I think it’s more likely he just wasn’t paying attention to it… because who knew viruses kill people?

  6. Submitted by William Hunter Duncan on 03/20/2020 - 08:21 am.

    Trump is an easy target. No one here should be surprised by his treatment of this crisis.

    The bigger story is how the greatest, most innovative, most dynamic country in the history of the world turned it’s Health Care system into a profiteering racket for the inflating of investment portfolios the last 30 years, which protfolios are crashing and burning, at the same time testing lags behind the rest of the world because the profiteers turn out to be inept at delivering proper, timely, cost efficient care in a time of crisis. That is systemic, going far beyond this administration. Trump did not invent corruption in Health Care. He has exacerbated it….just as Obama’s ACA has done.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 03/20/2020 - 11:01 am.

      Hear Hear! William.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 03/20/2020 - 11:32 am.

      It’s called capitalism.
      Health care should be a public service; nationalized.
      As long as people run it there will be goniffs in the fuel supply, but fewer oopportunities than in the current for-profit system.
      And yes I know that Minnesota’s health care is supposedly nonprofit, but there are still plenty of opportunities for individual gain built intpo it (see Executive Salaries).

    • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 03/20/2020 - 01:42 pm.

      My favorite nabbering nabob of negativity strikes again. Lots of problems, no solutions.

      You want MFA? Bernie’s failure to generate even left side majority support shows we are not going to go from 0 to 100 in 1 step.

      The ACA was a start in the right direction.

      It was popularly opposed initially and moved to popular acceptance over a few years.

      Do the same in ACA 2 with a lowered Medicare eligibility age with a buy in.

      Once that is accepted move to ACA 3 with an open buy in for all.

      The leap from there to Bernie’s MFA is a realistic leap.

      4-8 Years per step, MFA in 10 years or a little more.

      Or we can just have the MFA now crowd howl at the moon for the next 20 years with nothing changing…

      • Submitted by Solly Johnson on 03/20/2020 - 03:41 pm.

        Exit polls taken in primaries held to this date have shown that 60-70% approved of MFA, including the southern states that have been conservative for decades. Also, Medicare in the 1960’s was implemented quickly during a time without computers and could be done now, but it is the will of the corporate owned politicians, not the public, that have held it back.
        The ACA has not stopped rapidly escalating costs in the medical system, since it is an idea out of the Heritage Foundation that puts a major emphasis on private profit, not quality medical care.

        • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 03/20/2020 - 08:51 pm.

          “Exit polls taken in primaries held to this date have shown that 60-70% approved of MFA”

          As evidenced by the strong support for Warren and Sanders as they march towards one winning the nomination.

          I am for MFA.

          Warren was my first choice.

          It did not work out so well.

          0 To 100 on MFA also means 100 to 0 for the insurance industry.

          Medicare and the insurance industry have achieved a certain equilibrium through supplement programs. That will spread to MFA too.

          And if we had MFA tomorrow and the insurance industry still existed you and William would continue to rail.

          • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 03/21/2020 - 11:13 am.

            Edward, the battle for MFA isn’t over. Most of us who’ve supporting single payer for decades realize this is a long game. Even if Sander’s had got into the White House few of us would expect to see MFA within months. We’re getting there, and we’ll get there sooner rather than later, but this was never going to be an over-night victory.

            • Submitted by Pat Terry on 03/23/2020 - 12:43 pm.

              I would agree that its a long-term project. We may get there, but its going to be the dirty word of incrementalism that gets us there. Pass the public option – Medicare for everyone who wants it. If it works, people will choose it over private health care and we’ll eventually get to or close to Medicare for all.

              • Submitted by Solly Johnson on 03/23/2020 - 06:07 pm.

                During a crisis we often see changes occurring quickly. The President of the Federal Reserve in St. Louis predicts unemployment reaching 30% in the second quarter, which is 5% more than we experienced at the depth of the Great Depression. Because of the virus, some economists and political analysts are predicting major upheavals that will require drastic action, not incrementalism.

        • Submitted by Pat Terry on 03/23/2020 - 12:31 pm.

          The problem is that when MFA is explained – that people will have to replace their employer insurance with government insurance – support for MFA craters. And that is before billions get spent attacking it.

      • Submitted by William Hunter Duncan on 03/21/2020 - 09:16 am.

        “My favorite nabbering nabob of negativity strikes again.”

        It was “nattering”, and I find it interesting that you use a quote from the fabulously corrupt republican VP of Nixon, Spiro Agnew, to criticize my critique of the fabulously corrupt Health Care system, in which I justly spread around the blame instead of hyper-negatively dumping all of the corruption that ever happened in Trump’s lap.

        The ACA was a republican plan that Obama, in the style of Clinton, triangulated into being, offering health care to the otherwise uninsurable, while turning Health Care insurance into a mining operation for tens of millions of other Americans, bleeding them until they are dead (they used to bleed you dry for any ailment, now the leaches are Insurance Companies, Pharma, Device Makers and Private Equity surprise billing, no profiteering/racketeering limited or checked in the ACA.)

        But hey, thinking positively, this Corona thing could wipe out a lot of bloodsucking in the corporate management of Health Care, and we Americans can start thinking seriously about what health means and how we might change the system so that it is actually about care for people and not care for stratospheric profits for executives and shareholders.

        • Submitted by Pat Terry on 03/23/2020 - 12:38 pm.

          For millions of Americans the ACA was a lifesaver. That you would describe it that way demonstrates the outsized sense of privilege and entitlement in your views.

          • Submitted by William Hunter Duncan on 03/23/2020 - 02:27 pm.

            Priveleged and entitled?

            I would call that a rhetorical misuse of those words, woke style, to demonize all that I say, without any detailed explanation as to why my critique of corruption in both parties is “privileged and entitled”. I would think those appelations do fit fine for the leadership of both parties.

            Of course it is a good thing that millions of uninsured got insurance through the ACA. Am I entitled and privileged, because I point out how the ACA did nothing to prevent price gouging in every aspect of health care, building a bloated bureaucracy protecting that corrpution, making for roughly 80 million Americans under-insured with high cost, high deductible plans, and private equity takeover of so much health care, with racketeering in the billing process? Especially as my entitled self has not had access to health care since 2012-14? And not for 4 years before that? And not for 15 years before that?

            Privileged and entitled is an American, corporate health care system that still can’t widely test for corona virus, while much of the rest of the world esp South Korea can.

    • Submitted by Tom Crain on 03/24/2020 - 09:49 am.

      Well said Mr. Duncan.

      People have been duped into thinking the ACA is an incremental step toward a better system. What it does (some would say was designed to do) is prop up and entrench the current for profit system.

      It is telling how something as basic but critical as PPE (masks and gowns) shortages is such a problem already. Stockpiled PPE is a lifesaver for front-line health care and their patients but is just a detriment- an under utilized asset – to a profit driven healthcare system.

  7. Submitted by Neal Rovick on 03/20/2020 - 08:29 am.

    Two possible ways to move forward–effective mass treatment or vaccine.

    The only way of limping forward was, is and will be testing.

    because of testing and drastic quarantine, China was able to confine it to one province–but we have it in all 50 states. There is nowhere to draw a fire-break.

    The continued testing fiasco is criminal.

    What is even more dangerous at this point is the lack of PPE for medical personnel. How are you going to fight this with ill/contagious medical staff?

    The outrageous lies continue–10’s of thousand of ventilators have been identified? Where? What are they that they need to be be modified–vacuum cleaners behind the old Hoover factory?

    Remisiver? Never approved for anything, not available in volume, only administered via IV. The anti-malarial? Where is it made, how much is there, is there a US company making high volumes of this right now? When would they become really available?

    And the stupidest thing of all of this are the press conferences–all of the “top” people in this fight collect on the world’s tiniest stage using a single microphone to grab and use. That gives you the true idea how incompetent these people are.

  8. Submitted by Ron Gotzman on 03/20/2020 - 08:50 am.

    Of course there is yet another side to the story with video as well.

    “When a few weeks ago President Trump acted to impose travel restrictions on China as a consequence of its abysmal handling of the Wuhan coronavirus, Biden was right there and ready to act as Beijing’s lawyer, slamming the policy as “hysterical xenophobia.” Now, even the New York Times concedes that these measures bought the United States valuable time to prepare for an epidemic.”

    • Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 03/20/2020 - 10:30 am.

      Actually, Trump’s banning travel from China was akin to closing the barn door after the cows were out.

      The virus was ALREADY in the US at that point,…

      and would soon start spreading rapidly,…

      and he and his advisors surely had experts at the time who were trying to tell them exactly that.

      He should have gone to massive test production or purchase and a massive testing program, as other nations have done,…

      in order to locate hot spots and keep it contained in those areas,…

      but instead he did whatever he and his political advisors thought was necessary to minimize the situation,…

      and keep Trump looking as good as possible.

      Of course the trouble with believing you can create your own reality,…

      which Trump and his advisors are still trying to do,…

      is that eventually ACTUAL reality rears its, by that time very ugly head,…

      and bites you very, very hard.

      With Trump, his response to the Novel Corona Virus was and is what his responses always are,…

      completely selfish and self-serving,…

      about nothing and no one but Trump,…

      serving only Trump’s interests,…

      trying to protect Trump from political damage,…

      and the rest of the US,…

      even his most devoted followers,…

      can take the fast train to perdition.

      We will never have an adequate response to this pandemic in the US,…

      because that type of response would cause too much political damage to President Trump.

      He and his advisors simply lack the ego strength to do what those who actually know what they’re talking about,…

      are telling them they need to do.

      As to Trump’s devoted followers,…

      I’ve known and worked with people such as this,…

      people who’s ego strength is so damaged that they can’t ever admit they were wrong about a current situation,…

      no matter how glaring their error in judgment has become,…

      because to admit error now means they must have been wrong before, too.

      To admit they were wrong feels as if it would cause their entire sense of what’s dependable and stable,…

      and their right to tell other people what’s what, and what to do,…

      to collapse into rubble.

      They’re just not strong enough to take that risk,…

      a deep weakness they always paper over with a facade of loud strength, bluster, anger and rage (even violence).

      If they ever do change their minds, they will only do so quietly in the dark,…

      and hope no one notices.

      Any comment to them about how they seem to have changed their minds at that point will drive them back to their previous position,…

      and likely leave them clinging to it even harder than they were before.

      In the end, Trump is going to get a lot of us killed,…

      and he, himself, will be responsible,…

      as surely as if each of those dead people was shot directly by him on 5th Avenue,…

      because when this crisis arose,…

      and it was clear he was in water a thousand miles deep,…

      way over his head,…

      he didn’t step aside and allow the response to be devised and managed by people who could navigate such waters,…

      but instead insisted on trying to be the hero he never was,…

      and was never going to be able to grow into being.

      He could have chosen to save thousands of lives.

      Instead he chose to try to save only himself,…

      no matter how many other people he killed in the process.

      • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 03/20/2020 - 11:33 am.

        What he effectively banned was competent and timely diagnosis and treatment.

      • Submitted by Charles Holtman on 03/20/2020 - 05:16 pm.

        Eloquently stated. The nation – at least as a nation that aspires to a basic set of humane values – will perish for the flailing attempt of one man to gain an ego his father denied him, and the craven cowardice of the party of charlatans and the mainstream media that have enabled him at every step.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 03/20/2020 - 11:34 am.

      Trump promulgated the travel ban from most of China (excepting Hong Kong and Macau) on January 31. The first confirmed case in the US was announced on January 21.

      In case you hadn’t heard, the virus has continued to spread even without new cases coming in. It’s how viruses work.

    • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 03/20/2020 - 11:36 am.

      Incidentally, Mr. Gotzman, you should tell us whom you’re quoting.

  9. Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 03/20/2020 - 11:12 am.

    Actually, I’m convinced that Trump et al suppressed testing in order to support his continued claims that infection rates were low and under control in the US. The testing fiasco we’ve seen here just doesn’t make sense- we have the labs, the scientists, and the resources to match or exceed testing anywhere in the world and yet we’re STILL way way behind in testing and testing capacity.

    The only reason Trump was able to make all those false claims about US infection rates is we didn’t have the test results to contradict him, is that a coincidence?

    Now Kushner is in charge of the testing and all he’s focusing on is getting three drive-though sites up and running. As if three sites will prove something about the magic of the private sector, or turn the tide on the transmission rates. They’re just obviously not taking this seriously but is that neglect simply incompetent or deliberate?

  10. Submitted by Charles Holtman on 03/20/2020 - 11:13 am.

    What is most surprising is that Mr Black and other commenters, except for Mr Novick, speak of the abysmal failure of the federal government in the past tense. We are advised by all serious epidemiologists that protective equipment for medical workers, hospital beds, ventilators and so forth is in very short supply, and that this poses the greatest threat to mortality and morbidity. The federal government should have invoked its unique powers several months ago to mobilize public and private production capacity for these needs in the strongest possible way. Yet to this moment it appears that the fed govt remains AWOL while the witless Trump dismisses the notion that he should get out of his bathrobe with the addled rejoinder that his administration is “not a shipping clerk” and Republican Senators are occupied with selling their stocks ahead of the drop.

  11. Submitted by Brian Simon on 03/20/2020 - 12:51 pm.

    The larger issue than the president’s actions is how this reflects that the free market is not always going to provide solutions to problems. The market works wonderfully when there’s demand, but it does not handle the unpredictable well. For example, experts have long predicted that we’d be faced with this kind of global pandemic. But there’s no incentive for the market to prepare for an unknown threat on an unknown timeframe. The right has long been dismantling goverment agencies and disparaging government solutions in favor of free market solutions. This is the result. We need to remember that there are places where it is vital for government to step into voids the free market does not fill. Planning for high risk but infrequent events is one of them.

    • Submitted by Dennis Wagner on 03/20/2020 - 01:31 pm.

      Well Brian, you are advocating for a deep state, that gets it vs our present transition to a dumb state that is cliuless!

  12. Submitted by Patricia McDonald on 03/20/2020 - 01:15 pm.

    As Pres Babble announced, while smiling, “Just stay home and enjoy your living rooms,” my young granddaughter, home from work with children home from school, was posting, “It’s 9:28 a.m., they have been fighting since breakfast, one is upstairs pouting and the toddler wants to go outside, and it’s only 9:28 a.m. and THIS IS JUST DAY ONE!” I could hear the baby wailing. I posted, “Just enjoy your living room, Katherine!” HA!

  13. Submitted by Tim Smith on 03/20/2020 - 01:42 pm.

    He met with a task force in January and the response was that the panel was not inclusive enough. Not sure a pandemic cares. Dems were in middle of impeachment parade at the time.

    We were first to ban china travel, dem response was that it was racist and xenophobic and took China’s side.Ended up being a good idea and eu punished for not doing same.

    EU travel ban was ripped too, ended up being a good idea too. It looks like we are faring far better than most EU and western nations.

    • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 03/20/2020 - 03:26 pm.

      Wishful thinking.

      Data shows that we are possibly the worst performing nation of all that are collecting data.

      The link below shows the number of new cases after the 100th case was recorded. The indicating factor is the number of days for new cases to double. We are dead last as of today.

      Time will show that Trump’s initial efforts to hold down testing and his persistent “this will magically go away” is the root of our worst in the world results.

      Third world folks can now call us a “S Hole country” thanks to the leadership of DJT.

      • Submitted by Tim Smith on 03/21/2020 - 01:16 pm.

        You need to compare us to eu population and number of cases, Ed. The left need to decide if the president does too much, too little, too fast or too cant have it all ways.

        • Submitted by Karen Sandness on 03/22/2020 - 12:11 pm.

          I vote for “does things that are ineffective.”

        • Submitted by Edward Blaise on 03/23/2020 - 09:53 am.

          The point of the chart is the slope of the growth curve.

          Analyzing the slope allows one to compare China to Brazil if you wished: Population is irrelevant.

          Defend Trump as you will: time and truth will prove what the New York Time’s Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman said this weekend:

          “Mr. Trump is no stranger to crisis. He has spent a lifetime grappling with bankruptcy, fending off creditors, evading tax collectors, defending lawsuits, deflecting regulators, spinning reporters and dueling with estranged wives, usually coming out ahead, at least as he defines it. But these were crises of his own creation involving human adversaries he knew how to confront. Nothing in his background in business, entertainment or multiple marriages prepared him for the coronavirus pandemic now threatening America’s health and wealth.

          Mr. Trump’s performance on the national stage in recent weeks has put on display the traits that Democrats and some Republicans consider so jarring — the profound need for personal praise, the propensity to blame others, the lack of human empathy, the penchant for rewriting history, the disregard for expertise, the distortion of facts, the impatience with scrutiny or criticism. For years, skeptics expressed concern about how he would handle a genuine crisis threatening the nation, and now they know.”

          • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 03/23/2020 - 11:51 am.

            Trump’s stock-in-trade has always been the -appearance- of running a successful business, even though he never has. He’s now in a situation where there are hard numbers that disprove his self-promoting nonsense.

    • Submitted by BK Anderson on 03/21/2020 - 09:00 am.

      Trumpites keep trumpeting these air travel restrictions (however early) as though they accomplished something. But the virus is here, the “border closures” didn’t stop its entry into the US.

      So that means the most the travel ban(s) could accomplish was to buy the government some time to respond or get ready for the COVID onslaught. But by virtually all accounts, nothing of note was done by the Trump admin with the time that we supposedly “bought”; in fact we seem to be behind every affected country in terms of tests per million. The time was squandered, to put it simply.

      So the Trump Bans did absolutely nothing for us, Tim, other than to give his True Believers a lame talking point on the internet forums…

      • Submitted by Tim Smith on 03/21/2020 - 01:13 pm.

        The virus was inevitably coming here, as it has to virtually every country on the planet, no matter who is President and precisely when they did what.

        • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 03/21/2020 - 06:58 pm.

          Compare its spread in S. Korea with the rate of spread here.
          Shows what we should have done.

          • Submitted by Tim Smith on 03/22/2020 - 09:57 am.

            You are right and the reason is that s korea had experienced this many times and has a national infrastructure in place to quickly handle it. Pretty much the rest of world was not as prepared as them. You are condemning all those leaders too, right?

            • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 03/22/2020 - 01:28 pm.

              We’re behind most of the rest of the world.
              And we still haven’t caught up with what South Korea was doing a month ago.

            • Submitted by RB Holbrook on 03/23/2020 - 11:11 am.

              How about we, as citizens of the United States, focus on what leaders of the United States are or aren’t doing. Criticizing Italy may make some of us feel better, but it doesn’t negate the fact that the Trump administration’s response to the pandemic has been almost good enough to be called a fiasco (the correct term would, no doubt, be blocked by the moderators, but it starts with “cluster,” and ends with a reason for a payoff to a porn star).

              Or aren’t we supposed to be doing better than the rest of the world?

            • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 03/24/2020 - 08:40 am.

              The US testing regime is far behind any other developed nation, not just S. Korea. This effectively restricted our recognition of the infection and it’s transmission within he country for weeks. By the time Trump reacted to the international threat, he needed to be focusing on the transmission rates inside the US. Implementing internal restrictions based on testing data would have been far more effective at reducing and containing transmission than international travel bans at that point.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 03/21/2020 - 11:23 am.

      Tim, one of the problems the test fiasco created was a failure to recognize the true extent of infection rates within our borders. By the time Trump started issuing international travel bans and restrictions he needed to be focusing on transmission of CORONA within the US, it was too late to keep it out. By focusing on foreign transmission for weeks and suppressing US testing while bragging about low infection rates, he actually promoted transmission inside the country. Did you really think the virus spread to ALL 50 states in a matter of days? Dude, it was spreading for weeks undetected.

      • Submitted by Tim Smith on 03/22/2020 - 10:00 am.

        No one repressed testing , cdc was on it for a while and botched the initial test kits. When all said and done lets compare per capita cases and tests.

        • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 03/22/2020 - 01:29 pm.

          But the EU had test kits perfected.
          The political decision was to go to a ‘made in the USA’ product rather than purchase one that was already available.

        • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 03/22/2020 - 08:39 pm.

          Tim, the US is still far behind many other nations, on any measure regarding the testing we’re doing. By the way you don’t use “per captia” calculations to measure targeted responses directed at specific individuals for specific reasons.

          The testing response has absolutely been suppressed, and it’s not just a matter of delays caused by CDC and FDA early mistakes. We’ve had weeks to ramp up testing and it just isn’t happening. The delays are primarily caused by a shortage of supplies such as reagents and swabs. Sample are piling up and being frozen, backlogs are piling up every day. This is why every State is still restricting testing. Trump and his “team” haven’t even recognized the problem much less tried to push out more supplies. Kushner is supposed to be in charge of testing, but all he’s working on is getting three drive through testing station (which aren’t a good idea in the first place) up and running.

  14. Submitted by BK Anderson on 03/20/2020 - 02:22 pm.

    The Grand Imbecile and his (mostly) preening courtiers standing on the daily Covid-19 stage and singing Trump’s praises will not be able to avoid the Judgment of History, but that’s a long, long time in the future now. And Trump will have much more to answer for than his (utterly expected) inability to have the federal government competently respond to a pandemic flu virus strain. His destruction of the people any longer having any hope in the future may be his greatest crime. Throw COVID on the pile of failure.

    But, for the moment, we can now treat ourselves to the spectacle of massive insider trading by corrupt (mostly Repub) senators saving their fortunes, while letting Trump blather nonsense about how minimal the threat was. And how now (via wishful thinking) there are some new treatments a-coming. But as much as the Great Liar bleats and blats from the podium, somehow he just can’t inspire too much confidence—for some inexplicable reason!

    As the American economy marches towards a Great Recession level meltdown, this time around we see Repub senators and congressmen being perfectly willing to throw $1 trillion at the problem from month one, including “free stuff” (i.e. money), while when the Kenyan socialist Obama sought to combat the Great Recession with $850 billion in Gub’mint spending in 2009, that was universally derided by “conservatives” as the waste-filled “Porkulus” (and voted against en masse.) Curious how “conservative” economic policy changes 180 degrees depending on who is holding the WH, isn’t it? And on who’s trying to hold the senate, eh Mitch?

    Trump’s COVID Pivot will convince the usual suspects and cultists, while being lamely reported without much pushback by the worthless corporate media. As far as the Judgment of History goes, this attempt by Trump to revise his past 2 months of presidential boobery will not be highly successful, but by that point it will not be of much consequence to those reading Minnpost today.

    Another 5 days of national shutdown and the social distancing regime will ignominiously collapse and it will be every person for themselves. When the great majority of folks can’t cover a month of expenses out of savings and small businesses haven’t a week of cash reserves, there’s frankly no other choice.

    The modern world and pandemics do not mix. All we can do is thank goodness that COVID-19 is not a disease on the order of the Black Death of the 14th Century. As far as we can see (so far)…

  15. Submitted by Frank Phelan on 03/20/2020 - 05:50 pm.

    When Republicans are in charge, and there is an economic downturn, wait..I repeated myself.

    When Republicans are in charge, they become Keynesians, suddenly forgetting about debt, deficits, and their rhetoric about government being the problem, not the solution.

  16. Submitted by Tom Wilson on 03/20/2020 - 10:08 pm.

    Trump is a combination of outrageous over confidence and over the top self doubt. It is the way he has survived for his 70 plus years….it explains his performance in this crisis.

  17. Submitted by Henry Johnson on 03/20/2020 - 11:06 pm.

    I have been following for 2 days now claims made by no less than 3 companies in the US, along with one company based in the UK, and another in Korea.

    These companies are indicating with press releases and in articles written about them that they have a finger-prick blood test or covid-19, that can tell with 90% to 97% accuracy whether someone has been infected by covid-19 – IN 10 MINUTES!

    Just key in “10 minute tests for covid-19” into your favorite search engine, or look at some of the links below.

    Apparently these tests use a completely different method than the ones in use currently, which I believe rely on chemical reagents that are in short supply.

    So hopefully, this new type of test could mass produced quickly, and we could be doing what China has done to stop covid-19 practically in it’s tracks – namely:

    1. Run MILLIONS of tests to see who’s infected and get infected people into quarantine and treatment.

    2. Implement social distancing and work from home, etc to stop the spread of active cases not yet detected by testing.

    Doing isolation and social distancing but with just a minor amount of testing which is the path we’re on is the primitive Pete way of trying to control something like this – YOU NEED WIDESCALE TESTING IN ADDITION TO SOCIAL ISOLATION.

    The test by the California company Biomerica claims it can detect if a person is infected, EVEN IF THEY ARE NOT SYMPTOMATIC.

    This is huge, because we now know that probably 50% or more of transmission is from people who aren’t even symptomatic.

    This means employers could setup an on-site office and run the test on each employee before the start of each work day.

    This would ensure that infected people are treated quickly, both for their benefit and so they don’t walk around infecting the rest of the employees.

    Employees now show up for work, because they know it’s safe to be around their co-workers.

    Mobile units could go thru neighborhood by neighborhood and test everyone for covid-19, and find out who has it and who doesn’t – instead of requiring EVERYONE to stay home – which is devastating the world economy.

    My confusion is that I haven’t heard a word about these 10 minute tests from our government, or from most of the media (except in the types of articles linked to below).

    I am hoping that that these 5 or more manufacturers really DO have a 10 minute test that works, and it is not some kind of false claim.

    If it is a false claim, certainly investors in at least one of the companies, namely Biomerica, symbol BMRA, have been fooled by the claim, since the stock price has soared from about $4 to $20 since this press release came out –

    Why is the government not “all over” this new test?

    If it indeed is “for real”, and I were president, I would use the defense production act to have the production of the best of these tests ramped up ASAP, and get them into mass, wide-scale use.

    The current pathetically low testing rate per million (the lowest of all developed countries) has condemned us to the mess we’re in now, and we need to change that, AND QUICKLY to prevent our healthcare system and our economy from breaking down.

    If anyone reading this has any ‘contacts’ with anyone in government (state, federal, city), please pass this on to them to investigate if this 10 minute test is in fact “for real”, and if it is, why the hell the government is not jumping on getting these tests rolled out with world war II emergency mobilization speed.

    Here’s a few links to other companies indicating they have a similar 10 minute (or less) test for covid-19 –

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 03/21/2020 - 11:29 am.

      Henry, you need learn how to locate reliable information. Yes, all kinds of claims are being made all over by all kinds of people, but testing for viruses and treating the illness they cause is a complex medical and biological process. We’re way past buying elixirs from hucksters in wagons.

      These “finger prick” claims are dime a dozen and simply do not emerge from credible laboratories.

      • Submitted by Henry Johnson on 03/21/2020 - 11:48 pm.

        Well, I’m sure there are some hucksters out there, but I doubt that you’re enough of a medical expert, nor am I, to determine which biomedical companies are very competent and serious entities, and which aren’t Paul.

        That’s why I was calling for these companies and their claims to be investigated to see if the products and the claims were “for real”.

        I’d appreciate your not putting words in my mouth by pretending I said these companies and their products were definitely worthwhile, the products may be excellent or poor, I don’t know one way or the other, AND NEITHER DO YOU!

        There was however just an announcement today that the FDA has a approved a test which gives results in 45 minutes, and there are lots of other biochemical blood tests for various diseases or substances that run very quickly.

        So a 10 minute finger-prick test is perhaps a possibility and may be a reality in the testing lab right now, or it may not be… (again, I don’t know if that’s true or not, and neither do you).

        Given the strong, strong need for the mass production and use of tests, I do think though that we’re “way past” just smugly deciding as you have here, without any credentials in medical research, which biomedical companies have a very promising test, and which don’t.

        My point is, and I think you’d at least agree with me on this – the glacial pace of testing in the US to this point is hugely disappointing and dangerous to both the health and the economy of the country – so we need fast, mass-produced tests from some source, and quickly.

        For those interested in interesting possibilities instead of petty sniping, here’s the announcement regarding FDA approval of a 45 minute test for covid-19 –

        One thing is for sure in my mind, we need to have the federal government use the Defense production act or whatever it takes to get a test distributed and out there in the millions of units, and the faster and more accurate the results the better obviously.

        It’s extremely frustrating hearing promises week after week that “next week” there will be huge numbers of tests available, and then when “next week” comes, there is still a strong shortage and scarcity of tests, in fact they are being ‘rationed’, and 3 to 7 day delays to get results for the relatively small number of tests that are given.

        Hopefully very soon, the government will settle on some test that can be mass-produced, is reliable (the original CDC test was not), that is not dependent on reagents that can’t be easily obtained, etc, etc, and get it distributed in the millions of units.

        Large scale testing (along with quarantine/isolation) was a key to putting the brakes on covid-19 in China, and it seems to me that’s a key factor world wide, and something we’ve been coming up short on here in the states.

        • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 03/22/2020 - 09:26 am.

          “That’s why I was calling for these companies and their claims to be investigated to see if the products and the claims were “for real”.

          Henry, you’re calling for a regime that already exists and does what you describe on a daily basis… it’s called “science”. It’s a waste of resources to have real scientists test every crank claim made in the world, better to have them focused on solving the problem rather than proving that amateur elixirs don’t work. We want our scientists focused on working the problem, not chasing other peoples work.

          This isn’t about free markets and entrepreneurialism. Problems like this require extremely specialized knowledge and equipment that makes anything Bill Gates did in his garage look like child’s play, this isn’t about business models and “innovation”.

          Real deal scientists HAVE developed a rapid test kit, FDA approved, that is going into service right now. That’s how we need to focus our resources.

          And everyone should know that people who are working these problems, know far far far more about what’s going on and what’s in the pipeline than anything you’re going to read about in any media accounts. This isn’t because anyone’s being secretive, it’s about the fact that these things are moving sooooo rapidly that the media can’t keep up, and the people working the problems are focused on working the problems, not reading the media in as quickly as possible. So while your reading about finger prick tests some guy came up with somewhere, the FDA is certifying a legitimate test you haven’t heard about yet.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 03/21/2020 - 11:59 am.

      It’s not enough to develop a test that in the lab with a limited number of subjects appears to be an effective predictor.
      It must then be validated by systematic testing with large random numbers of subjects given the test, existing tests, and a no treatment control, then evaluated over (typically) a year of systematic data collection.
      So these putative tests are many months away from practical large scale use.

      • Submitted by Henry Johnson on 03/21/2020 - 11:57 pm.

        I don’t think we have a year to evaluate a test for covid-19 – a year from now the crisis may well have passed and be over or close to over, leaving thousands for sure and maybe millions dead in it’s path.

        As you probably know, there is a ‘fast track’ process in times like these to get things to market faster than would be the case using normal protocols, and some type of fast track process would probably be use on any test, because the need is so urgent.

        We’ll see if any of the 10 minute tests I posted links to turn out to be effective or not and get the approval the biomedical companies say they are in the process of seeking.

        I did see however today an article talking about how a test that gives results in 45 minutes just got FDA approval, and since this crisis hasn’t been around a year, I assume that approval was in fact fast-tracked –

        • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 03/22/2020 - 09:35 am.

          Henry, a test that doesn’t work is worse than useless. You have to test the test, this isn’t a business problem, you can’t just throw tests out and wait to see which one works… that gets’ people killed.

          No one is saying that we have to wait a year for new tests or rapid tests, but you have to focus your resources and priorities scientifically and intelligently. You want your best scientists working the problem, not testing garbage they find on the web.

    • Submitted by Pat Berg since 2011 on 03/22/2020 - 06:59 am.

      Here’s one for you – FDA approved. It may not be 10 minutes, but 45 minutes ain’t bad:

  18. Submitted by Pedro San Pablo on 03/21/2020 - 05:31 pm.

    Blame is never part of the solution.

    • Submitted by Paul Udstrand on 03/22/2020 - 10:50 am.

      Platitudes are are never part of the solution either. This isn’t about blaming, it’s about recognizing mistakes so we correct our course enforce some accountability. If you don’t recognize the mistakes that have been made and trace to them back to the those who made those mistakes, you leave yourself exposed to dangerous and ongoing incompetence.

    • Submitted by Pat Terry on 03/23/2020 - 12:35 pm.

      I could not disagree more. I would use the word accountability. We elected a con man who squandered his inheritance and failed in every business he ever ran, and now his gross incompetence is going to result in a lot of people dying.

      • Submitted by Charles Holtman on 03/23/2020 - 04:56 pm.

        I would chide you gently for standing for accountability and then surrendering your position in the next sentence. “We” did not elect a con man. Some of us, failing profoundly in our civic obligation to the rest of us, elected a con man.

  19. Submitted by Dave Paulson on 03/22/2020 - 09:58 am.

    Eric I think you have phrased trump’s damage backwards.
    What is unreasonable is to state his malfeasance has not made the effect much worse.

    Any review of exponential transmission rates and the historic and until 2020 universal acceptance of the Federal response as lead in the USA shows some % of the damage is due to the lack of test kits:In both treatment of infected individuals and surveillance (which also needed the Executive leadership to make it a priority – or at least not slow it down).

    The notion that because we can only estimate (guess is the wrong term) the specific result does not mean we should accept that it is possibly not true. Expertise will put this reality in a range, and real people will die and sustain damage otherwise.

    And if only 1% of the damage can be laid directly at trumps feet, that still justifies my term “much worse”. There is no countervailing benefit to his incompetence.

  20. Submitted by Steve Roth on 03/23/2020 - 09:59 am.

    I’ve long wondered at what point that the GOP and at least some Trump supporters would stop defending the indefensible. Apparently we’re STILL not there yet.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 03/23/2020 - 11:55 am.

      Well, Mike Pence has been acting more and more presidential.
      He appears to be the designated ‘adult in the room’. Aand it’s not easy to make Pence look competent!

  21. Submitted by Solly Johnson on 03/23/2020 - 05:43 pm.

    Meanwhile, Trump’s approval rating for handling the covid-19 crisis has risen to 55% over a few weeks, one reason being Joe Biden missing from the public eye. At a time that he should be coordinating a response with Pelosi and Schumer, the Democratic establishment is keeping him hidden, perhaps because he rambles and is incoherent at times as was evident in a recent livestream.

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