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March 13, 2020

Hal Brown, Mar. 11, 2020 to...

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This is a blog with my own opinion plus some of each day's stories that piqued my interest. I hope they interest you too.

Click on my photos to enlarge them. 

The photos are meant as moments of zen. They date back many years and many were taken when I lived in Massachusetts. 

Back to earlier in March

Mar. 31, 2020

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Trump’s narcissism has never been more dangerous, by Jennifer Rubin

She concludes:

Increasingly, the country seems to operate on two tracks. On one, groveling courtiers flatter Trump, try to soften his impulsive pronouncements and scramble to catch up after months of delay. As they cater to the president, exploring patently absurd ideas, they have less attention to devote to real issues that only the federal government can address. On the other track, governors have no time for bowing and scraping; they are dealing hands-on with hundreds of logistical challenges, made worse by the absence of coordinated purchasing and by lack of a comprehensive testing program. Thank goodness governors are actually doing their jobs, which increasingly entail navigating around Trump.

As coronavirus death toll rises, Trump focuses on a different set of numbers: TV ratings

The author is a Los Angeles attorney

How to make a non-medical face mask out of a cotton t-shirt

CDC considering recommending general public wear face coverings in public

Should we all be wearing masks? That simple question is under review by officials in the U.S. government and has sparked a grass-roots pro-mask movement. But there’s still no consensus on whether widespread use of facial coverings would make a significant difference, and some infectious disease experts worry that masks could lull people into a false sense of security and make them less disciplined about social distancing.

In recent days, more people have taken to covering their faces, although it remains a scattershot strategy driven by personal choice. The government does not recommend it.

That may change. Officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention are considering altering the official guidance to encourage people to take measures to cover their faces amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a federal official who spoke on the condition of anonymity because it is an ongoing matter of internal discussion and nothing has been finalized.

 I don't remember where I took this. It's from when I lived in Massachusetts.

Mar. 30, 2020

Why That ‘Woman In Michigan’ Keeps Drawing Donald Trump’s Wrath but Florida gov. get's Trump's love.


I modified this photo because, well, because I could



Smart move by AOC?


Eel Pond, Woods Hole, Cape Cod, Mass

Mar. 29, 2020

A leading South Korean doctor says Trump's 'pride' and 'ego' are putting the world's health at risk: Business Insider

Here' my complementary tweet to accompany the Daily Kos article:
Click image below to enlarge:


Mar. 28, 2020
There are so many articles about Trumps narcissism today that I only put a few on my blog. Here are the links:
Click to enlarge

Much of it is directly attributable to one dreadful fact: that Donald Trump is president of the United States. It's become a commonplace to note Trump's ...
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But beyond the narcissism, two other fundamental elements of Trump's character are likely shaping his response: his obsession with revenge and his ...
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Everything with Donald Trump is a transaction, whether it's sending military aid to a wartorn country like Ukraine (remember impeachment?) or ...
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Standing no more than fifty feet from the podium, I watched the big screen hovering above as Donald Trumpwas instead named the next president of the ...
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Trump's commitment to being seen as the conquering hero (while doing as little as possible) is a result of his bottomless narcissism, of course.
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Our first clue was Trump's malignant narcissism. Being consumed by self-interest and devoid of empathy, our presidential Narcissus as become a ...
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Trump's lies, delusions, greed, corruption and malignant narcissism have thrown the United States and the world into peril as this unstable president ...
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Heroism and selflessness, the terror of loneliness amid quarantine… and Donald Trump's grotesque and life-threatening narcissism.
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With Trump's clinical narcissism, there is no rational road map to his decision-making. There is merely the impulsiveness of his feelings, what he sees ...

Annals of Narcissism: Donald Trump demands his own signature be on coronavirus stimulus checks to every American

Potential Treatments Emerge

The treatment landscape for COVID-19, unfortunately, is bleak at this time. I strongly believe that any treatment should be done under the auspices of a randomized clinical trial so that we can get information to help a larger number of patients.
Remdesivir is the antiviral with the greatest promise, on the basis of studies both in vitro and in primates against MERS-CoV, a related coronavirus. It has already been used on a compassionate-use basis, and there are trials underway in China and elsewhere. Hopefully we'll have information by late April.
But like any antiviral—and we know this from influenza—the earlier you give treatment, the better. For example, oseltamivir is given for influenza virus. If you take it within 6 hours of onset of symptoms, you might abbreviate your duration of illness by 4 days. If you wait until 2 days of illness, it might only abbreviate it by a day. For any antiviral effect, it has to be taken early. Of course, we're using drugs now in hospitalized patients who have probably been infected for an average of 5 or 6 days, and perhaps symptomatic for 1 to 3 to 5 days. It is difficult to discern whether there will be an effect.
Related story above

Hydroxychloroquine -- 'Be Very Cautious'

The drugs that have been most popularized are chloroquine and its relative, hydroxychloroquine, which is more widely available here in the United States. It has been suggested that these antimalarials might have antiviral activity due to acidification of the phagolysosome that perhaps interrupts viral assembly.
Results from the French study suggest that a combination of azithromycin/hydroxychloroquine in six patients yielded a marked decrease in viral carriage, according to a post-hoc analysis. Results from this uncontrolled small trial of 36 patients suggest that those who received hydroxychloroquine exhibited reduced viral shedding.
The critiques to this study, unfortunately, are many. I realize that this was done in short order. However, I think anyone embracing these drugs must realize that this is a case series subject to some concerns. For example, patients who went to the ICU or died were excluded, so we're not really sure if that would have factored. Also, there was a lack of pairwise statistical analysis. And there is no clinical correlation, although one might think that a reduction in viral shedding might yield clinical changes. But if there are immunologic injuries, perhaps not.
In The Guardian

Excerpt from Mother Jones: Throughout the coronavirus crisis, critics of Donald Trump have repeatedly referenced his profound and outrageous narcissism. It was partly this pathology that led Trump to downplay the threat and resist widespread testing for weeks. An honest acknowledgement of the mounting problem and a rising number of positive tests would inconvenience his reelection prospects. For a narcissist, the most immediate personal need is the most important one. So Trump viewed the burgeoning crisis as a threat to him, not the nation, and he took the steps he usually does in so many circumstances: He denied the threat, claimed he knew better than the experts, and relied on bluster and BS. He did all that instead of adopting early measures that could have slowed the transmission of the virus. 

But beyond the narcissism, two other fundamental elements of Trump’s character are likely shaping his response: his obsession with revenge and his sense of fatalism. And both are exceedingly dangerous for the American public. 
Trump has long acknowledged his love affair with revenge. Before Trump ran for president, he often gave speeches sharing the supposed secrets to his success. At the top of that list was his devotion to retribution. In 2011, he told the National Achievers Congress in Sydney, Australia, that there were several lessons not taught in business school that successful people must know. And one of those lessons was this: “Get even with people. If they screw you, screw them back 10 times as hard. I really believe that.”

Trump won't mourn for those suffering and dying from the virus, but he'll accept the sympathies of the fawning suck-asses he surrounds himself with at the daily thank-a-thon that substitutes for the rallies he can no longer hold. 
"Thanks to your leadership, Mr. President," Vice President Mike Pence will typically begin, as he rolls out a list of dubious statistics for masks delivered or ventilators suddenly discovered hidden away in some warehouse. "Thank you, Mr. President … we all thank you … the nation thanks you," another toady will parrot, likely some "acting" department head or secretary-of-something-or-another Trump's thinking about going through the motions of nominating so he can keep another former lobbyist at the top of another important government agency. 
Trump stands there, eyes unfocused, looking like he'd rather be on the 13th tee at Bedminster as he soaks in the praise. All of that praise is due him, he told said at the Wednesday thank-a-thon, because "we're the ones that gave the great response, and we're the ones that kept China out of here, and if I didn't do it, you'd have thousands and thousands of people died — who would have died that are now living and happy." The Wednesday thank-a-thon was filled with self-congratulation and chest-pounding, but it was no different from Tuesday's, or Thursday's for that matter. Trump spent 25 percent of the time he spoke in self-congratulation or blaming others for the difficulties he has faced, or the obstacles he has overcome, according to a study of his Wednesday remarks by the Washington Post. "These passages constituted about 25 percent of all the words Trump spoke — more than 1,500 words out of about 6,000 spoken. That is more time than he spent conveying details about the coronavirus response," the Post reported.
When he wasn't congratulating himself or accepting the thanks of the Suck-Ass Chorus, Trump was on Twitter lamenting the slings and arrows he suffers daily from his "nasty" enemies in the "media." "The LameStream Media is the dominant force in trying to get me to keep our Country closed as long as possible in the hope that it will be detrimental to MY election success," he tweeted. "The real people want to get back to work ASAP. We will be stronger than ever before!"

 Mar. 27, 2020

This is one reason why I think Fauci and Birx must threaten to quit if Trump keeps doing this: Epidemiologists forced to adjust pandemic spread models to account for Trump misinformation Here's another reason for taking such a drastic step to shut Trump up: Why COVID-trutherism is so popular on the right

It’s a tragic paradox: Pandemic denialism won’t survive widespread outbreaks in conservative communities, but it all but guarantees that they will suffer widespread infection in the coming weeks and months. But this is what happens when a political movement eschews expertise and dismisses science–and rallies around a leader who cares deeply about his political prospects but seems unconcerned about the health and well-being of his supporters.

An still another reason:

Today's pinned tweet has both hashtags and a link to my Daily Kos story.

Political prophet Allan Lichtman: Trump is more likely to lose because of coronavirus

Allan Lichtman has a record of predicting presidential elections — and he thinks pandemic could doom Trump

Lichtman's analysis is based on the fact that Republicans lost control of the House of Representatives in the 2018 midterms; that Trump has faced a number of scandals during his presidency, including one that led to his impeachment; has had no major military or foreign policy successes; and is neither a military hero nor "charismatic," a term Lichtman defines to mean a candidate who appeals to large groups of voters outside of his or her party's usual coalition. Trump's approval rating has been stuck in the 40s throughout his term and, according to Lichtman, "You can't call a candidate stuck in that range, appealing only to a minority, a charismatic candidate." 
The coronavirus pandemic, however, may have significantly worsened Trump's re-election chances, at least according to Lichtman's analytics.

Buzzfeed: "A Single Republican Is Forcing Hundreds Of Members To Come Back To Washington For The Coronavirus Aid Vote" prompting Trump to make his first appropriate negative tweet.

Mar. 26, 2020

You MUST watch this:

On another subject:
Noticing how often Trump retweets from Breitbart I decided to look at the website and saw this: 
I think it is a thinly veiled attack on Dr. Fauci but once again there is irony. Consider:
Real Clear Politics reporter Philip Wegmann questioned Fauci whether the World Health Organization led by Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus was too deferential to China.
“Tedros, outstanding person,” Fauci said, noting that he had known him for a long time.
Fauci said that for many years, the WHO had experienced problems, but that the current General Secretary was doing a good job.
“Obviously over the years, anyone who says that the WHO has not had problems has not been watching the WHO,” Fauci said. “But I think that under his leadership, they’ve done very well. He has been all over this.”
But when Wegmann repeated his question about the WHO praising China for its transparency, Fauci grew irritated.
“I can’t comment on that because I don’t have a viewpoint into it, I don’t even know what your question is,” he snapped, and walked away from the briefing podium.
“Welcome to the club,” President Donald Trump grinned.
Later Fauci returned to the podium to address his conversation with the WHO and apologized to the reporter.
“I want to apologize for my curt response to you when you asked about the China deal,” Fauci said. “I shouldn’t have done that, that’s not my style.”
Dr. Fauci apologized. He appoligized for making “a curt response” TO A REPORTER!
Trump has never, probably in his entire life, ever apologized for anything.

Trump said “welcome to the club” as if Dr. Fauci had originally answered a question he thought was “nasty” while that was absolutely not true. 
Yes, the virus can be detected on some surfaces for up to a day, but the reality is that the levels drop off quickly. For example, the article shows that the virus’s half-life on stainless steel and plastic was 5.6 hours and 6.8 hours, respectively.

Now, let’s examine the full causal chain...

In the case of the Amazon package, the driver would have to be infected and still working despite limited symptoms... Let’s say they wipe their nose, don’t wash their hands and then transfer some virus to your package.

Even then, there would be a time lag from when they transferred the virus until you picked up the package at your door, with the virus degrading all the while. In the worst-case scenario, a visibly sick driver picks up your package from the truck, walks to your front door and sneezes into their hands or directly on the package immediately before handing it to you.

Even in that highly unlikely scenario, you can break this causal chain.

In the epidemiological world, we have a helpful way to think about it: the “Sufficient-Component Cause model.” Think of this model as pieces of a pie. For disease to happen, all of the pieces of the pie have to be there...

In this model, the virus on the package is a necessary component, but it alone is not sufficient  to get you sick. Many other pieces of the pie would have to be in place.

So this is what you can do to disassemble the pie — to cut the chain.

You can leave that cardboard package at your door for a few hours — or bring it inside and leave it right inside your door, then wash your hands again. If you’re still concerned there was any virus on the package, you could wipe down the exterior with a disinfectant, or open it outdoors and put the packaging in the recycling can. (Then wash your hands again.)

What about going to the grocery store? The same approach applies.

Shop when you need to (keeping six feet from other customers) and load items into your cart or basket. Keep your hands away from your face while shopping, and wash them as soon as you’re home. Put away your groceries, and then wash your hands again. If you wait even a few hours before using anything you just purchased, most of the virus that was on any package will be significantly reduced. If you need to use something immediately, and want to take extra precautions, wipe the package down with a disinfectant. Last, wash all fruits and vegetables as you normally would.

Edinburgh, Scotland

Mar. 25, 2020

This is by far a tweet record for me and I didn't use any hashtags.

Image augmented by Hal Brown
The minister who hosts a weekly bible study session for President Trump’s Cabinet has an opinion about the origins of the coronavirus. According to Ralph Drollinger, it’s just another form of God’s wrath in response to an increasingly progressive nation.

“Relative to the coronavirus pandemic crisis, this is not God’s abandonment wrath nor His cataclysmic wrath, rather it is sowing and reaping wrath,” Drollinger wrote in a series of posts. “A biblically astute evaluation of the situation strongly suggests that America and other countries of the world are reaping what China has sown due to their leaders’ recklessness and lack of candor and transparency.”

As The Intercept points out, Drollinger also railed against the “religion of environmentalism” and people who express a “proclivity toward lesbianism and homosexuality,” who he claims have  infiltrated “high positions in our government, our educational system, our media and our entertainment industry” and “are largely responsible for God’s consequential wrath on our nation.”

Among the participants in Drollinger’s bible studies are Mike Pompeo, Housing and Urban Development Secretary Ben Carson, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, and Health Secretary Alex Azar (who, along with Carson, are members of the coronavirus task force). Other participants include 52 GOP lawmakers.

“The evangelical lessons are carefully catered to conservative ideology, with a focus on interpreting current events through a partisan lens,” writes The Intercept’s Lee Fang. “Drollinger’s study guides have provided Biblical justification for the Trump administration’s undocumented immigrant child separation policies and arguments in favor of lower taxes on the wealthy.”

“I watched Gov. Cuomo [today] and he was very nice,” the president said of the man steering the state hardest hit by the virus. Cuomo had, moments earlier, conducted a press conference in which he scoffed at how insufficient the administration’s help in procuring ventilators had been. 
“He had a choice… He refused to order 15,000 ventilators,” Trump said, referencing a recent column by Betsy McCaughey, a hardened Trump supporter and longtime health-care policy crusader on the right. “It says that he didn’t buy the ventilators in 2015 for a pandemic, established death panels and lotteries instead.” 
Trump would go on to insist he was not blaming Cuomo. But the magnanimity was short-lived. “It’s a two-way street,” Trump said of having the feds help states with a coronavirus response policy. “They have to treat us well, too.” 
Under normal circumstances, such a screed would be cast aside as a classic bit of Trumpian shit-talking and thin-skinness. But these aren’t normal times. And Trump’s comment resonated not only for how callous it seemed but also for how manufactured the evidence was that he was citing.  

Mar. 24, 2020:  ..Opinion Today..

My evening photoshop:


On Amazon,
 if you 
missed it
I tweeted the image below:
 with this:
#MAGA believers and #COVIDIDIOTS 
trust #PresidentTrump
to pilot in a crisis,
whose skin is as thin
as an easily burstable
helium balloon, a 
selfish narcissistic who 
only cares about winning
in Nov. no matter
how many people 
suffer with #COVID19 
Image put together by Hal Brown

Related story: 

‘Restart the Economy’ is a prayer to a conservative God who demands human sacrifice

Hillary has the tweet of the day:

"Even this far into his term, it is still a bit of a shock to be reminded that the single most potent force for misinforming the American public is the current president of the United States," NYU journalism professor Jay Rosen wrote over the weekend. "On everything that involves the coronavirus Donald Trump's public statements have been unreliable."

It is difficult to give a president less attention in a moment of national crisis, but that might be required. With the federal government shirking the task, the action of saving America from COVID-19 is taking place at the state and local levels, anyway. That's where journalists should focus their attention.

Trump illustrated the depth of the problem Sunday, when he was asked if he had thought about contacting previous presidents to get their help and advice on managing the coronavirus threat.

No, the president said. "I don't think I'm going to learn much."

That's the problem of course. We have the worst possible president for this crisis. He is making it worse, not better. So it couldn't be more clear: Winning the "war" on coronavirus will happen despite Trump, not because of him.


The truth of the matter is that President Donald Trump does not have the mental capability to “discharge the powers and duties of his office.” Amid an unprecedented political, economic, and public health crisis, the commander-in-chief is unwell — and unfit.

You know this. On Friday, you were standing next to the president in the White House briefing room when NBC correspondent Peter Alexander asked him what he had to say to Americans who “are scared right now” because of the coronavirus pandemic. Trump responded with inexplicable rage, denouncing Alexander as a “terrible reporter” for asking a “nasty” question, and then mocking the owners of NBC — telecom giant Comcast — as “Con-cast.”

It was an insane response to the simplest of simple questions, but don’t take my word for it. “These are psychiatric symptoms, not simply boorish behaviors,” tweeted John Talmadge, clinical professor of psychiatry at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center. “Trump is mentally ill, cognitively compromised, brain impaired. He can’t even recognize a softball tossed his way.”

The president, bizarrely, inexcusably, outrageously, does not. He is off in his own demented, fact-free, navel-gazing, alternative universe. Again, don’t take my word for it. Listen to Bandy X. Lee, clinical professor of psychiatry at the Yale School of Medicine. Trump “dangerously lacks mental capacity,” she told me, “which he exhibits through his inability to take in information and advice, to process critical information, or to consider consequences before making impulsive, unstable, and irrational decisions that are not based in reality but fight reality.” At press conferences, she added, he pushes “delusional-level distortion and misinformation” because he is “disconnected from reality.” His leadership, she concluded, is “more harmful than if we had no president.”

This is a president who rambles, rants, and raves; who spent weeks downplaying the spread of the novel coronavirus and ignoring warnings from his own intelligence agencies; who claimed to be unaware that Americans who need tests are unable to get them; who uses press briefings not to inform the public but to regularly attack the press; who went golfing while health professionals begged for resources and equipment; who has repeatedly contradicted his own top scientists by pushing unproven drugs as a treatment for Covid-19; who tried to buy a vaccine from Germany but only for “exclusive” use in the United States; who took a break from crisis management to go on Twitter and complain about Hillary Clinton’s emails and Benghazi.
Remember: The framers of the 25th Amendment deliberately decided against providing a definition of the “unable to discharge” phrase. However, the late Birch Bayh, the senator from your state of Indiana who sponsored the 25th Amendment, made it clear that it related to mental, as well as physical, inability. “It is conceivable,” Bayh said, “that a President might be able to walk, for example, and thus, by the definition of some people, might be physically able, but at the same time he might not possess the mental capacity to make a decision and perform the powers and duties of his office.”

Excerpt: took the cake. Even with all of the years of covering Trump, I have not seen such a weak, pathetic, whiny, infantile, self indulgent, pissy fit of temper since my grandson turned two years old. It was like watching Baby Herman when his cigar fell out of the pram in Who Framed Roger Rabbit. If Mike Pence weren’t such a pathetic, invertebrate little toad himself, he’d be running from door to door collecting cabinet signatures on his 25th amendment petition, like a kid running for class president.

The Toddler in Chief pissed me off early and often today. He started almost immediately, prefacing some “new numbers” with a petulant little snit about the stock market. He whined like a jet engine about how tremendous the stock market was doing until this stupid virus came along. I swear to God, if you watch it, you can almost see his lower lip stick out as he cries about how his reelection chances are going into the shitter.

But Donnie Depends was just getting warmed up. After a little more introductory pissing and moaning, he started to get warmed up. He decided to give us a crib note course on the origin and development of the crisis, which went something very much like this:

This crisis started a few weeks ago, and it was something that nobody saw coming. But it started out as a purely medical crisis, and is turning into a financial crisis. It started out as a purely medical crisis, and now it’s turning into a financial crisis. And we can’t let that happen. I won’t let that happen.

Sweet Jesus, Mary, and Joseph.

My comment:

As a therapist and one of the first members of the Duty to Warn group I hate to say it but unless and until Trump shows blatant and indisputable symptoms of having an acute psychotic episode which Pence cannot explain away this will not happen. For example he will have to demonstrate a total break with reality: talking literal gibberish, obviously hallucinating by talking to people only he can see or responding to voices only he can hear, spouting paranoid delusions about not just the fake news out to get him but say, for example, an alien (outer space version) plot to destroy him he will persist on the borderline between what is commonly called sanity and insanity. 

If this happens don't be sanguine that once removed it will be permanent. Psychiatric anti-psychotic medications are very effective in alleviating such symptoms. He could be hospitalized and return with a psychiatric clean bill of health, as in fact most people who undergo acute psychotic breaks do. 

My comment: I agree with everything that Bandy Lee writes however the solution to dealing with Trump is political, not clinical.

The Republicans who were open to learning about Trump's psychopathology have already informed themselves. I bet Mitt Romney has actua
lly read The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump and may be the only Republican member of Congress to have done so.

Those mental health professionals with access to the media consumed by Republicans in the states where GOP Senators and Representatives should try to educate those voters. 

I think going on Fox News is futile. Their viewers tend to be highly suspicious of mental health professionals, and many may hold them in distain or consider psychology fake science. I think they should try to get interviewed on local news stations.

Two excerpts:

“It cost me billions of dollars to become president,” he said at a White House briefing Sunday evening that was, ostensibly, about the coronavirus response. He felt so proud of the sacrifice he’d gladly and selflessly made that he repeated the sentiment four more times. “I will say that it cost me billions of dollars to be president and especially with all the money I could have made for the last three, four years.”

Trump had been asked whether he sold investments before the market crash, as several senators did. He responded with self-pity. “Look at my legal costs!” he went on. Calling it “very hard for rich people to run for office,” he noted that George Washington was “supposedly” rich but didn’t suffer as Trump has for his wealth. “I got elected as a rich person, but nobody complained until I came along.”

This soliloquy of self, at a briefing to the nation about desperate hospitals and scarce medical supplies, displayed the utter absence of empathy in the man. In a perverse twist on Bill Clinton’s famous phrase*, the nation reels, and Trump cries out: I feel my pain.

Previously, Trump’s narcissistic tendencies caused eye rolls, as when he told Gold Star parents about his own sacrifices, said avoiding STDs was his “personal Vietnam,” and claimed no president “has been treated worse or more unfairly.”


When Deborah Birx, coordinator of the coronavirus response, said at Monday evening’s briefing that she had a low-grade fever over the weekend, Trump, standing next to her, spoke a theatrical “uh-oh” and took a step away. When she said she tested negative for the virus, he gave an exaggerated “phew.” 
But then, this is a president who, when asked what he would “say to Americans who are watching you right now who are scared,” replies: “I say that you’re a terrible reporter.”

There is no empathy inside this broken man — nor in his feeble response to this disaster.

* Bill Clinton: I feel your pain, I feel your pain, but if you want to attack me personally you're no better than Jerry Brown and all the rest of these people who say whatever sounds good at the moment. If you want something to be done, you ask me a question and you listen. If you don't agree with me, go support somebody else for President but quit talking to me like that. This is not a matter of personal attack; it's a matter of human wrong.

Mar. 23, 2020

Trump Is in a Frenzy Over the Economy—Not So Much the Virus (Really, frenzy is over the election)

Mar. 22, 2020

Breaking News:

‘Why was Dr. (and Senator) Rand Paul going to the Senate gym in the middle of a pandemic’: Ex-federal prosecutor demands answers  and the Internet responds.

New York City Made A Guide To Safe Sex During The Coronavirus Outbreak And People Are Getting A Kick Out Of It

Is it spelled f*ck or f**k? Either way a Google News search comes up with lots of titles.

You can easily come up with thought bubbles for these photos.

Mar. 21, 2020

That deep sense of dread you’re experiencing? That’s how Fox News fans feel all the time

"The Real Reason Trump Started Calling the Virus 'Chinese' " is a well written expose  The author Lili Loofbourow is a writer and media critic. Her work has appeared in outlets including the New Republic, Salon, Boston Review, the Awl, the Hairpin and the Los Angeles Review of Books.

Trump can fuck this up and still win in November: Here's how to stop him. His performance with his “task force” is an act. He isn’t presidential. He’s the same psychotic monster as always. Lucian Truscott, Salon

But if there is one thing we have learned about Trump in the last four years, it's that he's a human earthworm: Every time he gets cut in half, he grows another tail using lies, cheating, and thievery.  What Trump does to manipulate the fight against coronavirus will make you long for the innocent days of Russiagate. The virus we caught isn't corona, it's Trump, and the only vaccine we've got against him is the November election.

 He repeatedly brags that he's doing things that "have never been done before." Lie. He says over and over again that he's done "more than anyone" to fight the virus. Lie. This is Trump's disinformation campaign writ large, and it's working. A new ABC/Ipsos poll found 55 percent approving of Trump's leadership in the crisis, versus 43 percent disapproving, an about-face from last week's numbers.

There's no sense in trying to catalogue the rank gibberish emitting from Donald Trump's cakehole every day, because he's better at lying than we are at keeping up with him. On Friday morning, NBC reporter Peter Alexander tried to ask a question about the wisdom of Trump's pushing the malaria drug chloroquine, and his misleading claim that it has been approved by the FDA for use against coronavirus when it hasn't. "What do you say to the Americans who are watching you right now who are scared?" he asked. "I say you're a terrible reporter," Trump said, pointing an accusing finger at Alexander, who to his credit kept trying to question him.

Trump isn't bothering with running against Joe Biden. He's running against Peter Alexander and the rest of the press, and he's running against China, for having lowered the "China virus" on us. "I know fake news very well because I deal with it every day," Trump bellowed from the White House podium. He swept his arm, indicating the entire room full of reporters. "There is a lot of fake news right here."

The entirety of Trump's re-election campaign is being televised as he appears every day with his "task force" in the White House press room. He stands there backed up by a panoply of simpering, sold-out, suck-up enablers who may as well be wearing MAGA hats and waving "Trump-Pence" placards. The "task force" briefings are Trump's new rallies. They're televised by all the major cable networks without commercial interruption. They run Trump's lies without real-time corrections. Every day he has said that he "inherited a broken, old testing system, and we've fixed that system." Lie. He has implied that somehow the Obama administration did something to limit the number of tests they could have been running. Lie. He repeatedly brags that he's doing things that "have never been done before." Lie. He says over and over again that he's done "more than anyone" to fight the virus. Lie. 

When you have a google News search for narcissism this is what you find, and the article even used the term malignant narcissism:
Kelly normally fixates on critical matters, like Santa's ethnicity, but Trump's bungling of the coronavirus crisis, through a lethal combination of incompetence and malignant narcissism, is also important. If real news bothers her so much, Kelly can just unplug and spend the next few weeks perfecting her blackface performance art show.

Washington Post Editorial Board Issues Sharp Rebuke Of Donald Trump’s Coronavirus Response - HUFFPOST Summary

The Washington Post editorial board on Friday followed its counterpart at The New York Times in calling for President Donald Trump to address the coronavirus pandemic as if the country was at war.

Mar. 20, 2020

Trump Responds To Question About Coronavirus Fears By Bashing The Media

Social kissing in Italy and Spain may have led to large numbers of infection transmissions.

  • Excerpt 1) As the book opens, an air of eerie normality reigns. The town’s inhabitants lead busy money-centered and denatured lives. Then, with the pacing of a thriller, the horror begins. The narrator, Dr. Rieux, comes across a dead rat. Then another and another. Soon an epidemic seizes Oran, the disease transmitting itself from citizen to citizen, spreading panic in every street.
  • Hal Brown 2) He was drawn to his theme because he believed that the actual historical incidents we call plagues are merely concentrations of a universal precondition, dramatic instances of a perpetual rule: that all human beings are vulnerable to being randomly exterminated at any time, by a virus, an accident or the actions of our fellow man.
  • Hal Brown 3) This is what Camus meant when he talked about the “absurdity” of life. Recognizing this absurdity should lead us not to despair but to a tragicomic redemption, a softening of the heart, a turning away from judgment and moralizing to joy and gratitude.

    “The Plague” isn’t trying to panic us, because panic suggests a response to a dangerous but short-term condition from which we can eventually find safety. But there can never be safety — and that is why, for Camus, we need to love our fellow damned humans and work without hope or despair for the amelioration of suffering. Life is a hospice, never a hospital.
Camus speaks to us in our own times not because he was a magical seer who could intimate what the best epidemiologists could not, but because he correctly sized up human nature. He knew, as we do not, that “everyone has it inside himself, this plague, because no one in the world, no one, is immune.”
Cape Cod Canal

Mar. 19, 2020
Twitter search for "Where is Dr. Fauci?" a trending question.

Trump explodes at reporters during virus briefing: ‘The only thing we weren’t prepared for was the media’

Below: FREE Coverage from

From The Progressive -- Unequal Justice: Where Are Impeachment and the 25th Amendment When We Need Them?

Cape Cod

Mar. 18, 2020
Evening tweet:

I was watching MSNBC and wanted to see if Fox News was covering this. They were.
Not a link

Right after Cuomo, Trump went on beginning by calling it the Chinese virus. He reads, as usual, as if he doesn't care - and is just playing a role.

Above: Includes video

Trump’s changing tone on coronavirus - hold the phone, it's not a "tone" it's the liar list (from Politico)

Below: Click image to enlarge

This is a link: The UK abandoned its coronavirus plan after realising it would have resulted in 'hundreds of thousands of deaths'


I didn't know what Facebook was doing to my posts and why were doing it.
These were all posts which have links to articles in websites like Politico with a brief comment or excerpt. Since Facebook is doing this I am suggesting that people who have been following my Facebook page to read articles I think are interesting switch and look at this blog instead.
Now I have what appears to be the answer:

Hong Kong confirms 14 new Coronavirus cases: highest in single day and all except one brought in from overseas

    Mar. 17, 2020

    During a White House briefing on the COVID-19 pandemic, Birx insisted that the United States had not acquired World Health Organization tests because they were faulty.

    “What’s unfortunate — they did mention, the first tests, the W.H.O. tests, as inaccurate,” Fair (doctor on MSNBC) said following the press conference. “That’s actually the opposite of what happened.”

    “The reason the W.H.O didn’t offer us the test is because they only offer them for free to impoverished nations,” he explained. “We have to buy them. And the tests that were out, that were inaccurate and [showed] false positives and false negatives as Dr. Birx mentioned were actually the CDC tests, not the commercial tests.”

    “So, that’s the opposite of actually what happened,” Fair said.

    Excerpt from above story: Despite this, it is wrong to place all, or even most, of the blame on Trump. The president is simply acting the only way he knows. He is responding to this real crisis the way he has approached every day of his presidency, and perhaps his whole life. For this reason, we cannot be surprised when he seems utterly unable to accept responsibility, express empathy for those who are suffering or see the problem through any prism other than how it affects him personally.
    Throughout his presidency, the enablers and apologists for Donald Trump have been complicit in all that he has done. The Coronavirus pandemic is the latest and most deadly example of this. In this case, the people at Fox News as well as other right wing media outlets and pundits have demonstrated that their fealty to Donald Trump is more important than anything else, including saving lives. Fox covered the initial days of the Coronaviruslargely by repeating Trump’s line that it was either not a big deal or a hoax. In doing this, they put their listeners directly in harm’s way. Given that Fox’s viewers skew older, the danger they face is quite severe. To be clear, Fox and others knowingly misinformed their own viewers and significantly increased those people’s risk of contracting a potentially deadly disease, because they wanted to keep Trump happy. Fox has not been a legitimate news outlet for years, but this kind of activity is shameful even for a propaganda network.
    Every day of Trump’s presidency is a reminder of the breakdown of democratic mores and the rule of law in the US, but as the Coronavirus crisis deepens, the immediate need for the Trump administration to end, or at the very least for the president himself to be shunted aside in favor of people who know what they are doing, has never been more apparent. Instead virtually everybody around the President, beginning with Mike Pence, but including most of Trump’s cabinet and the Republican congress, have again committed themselves for covering up for Trump, and again propaganda outlets like Fox, but also Infowars and others, have gone along with this.

    My reply to this article
    It's impossible to select merely a few excerpts from the DeVega interview to convey the gist of this interview. Here's just one:

    When I look at Trump's budget and the priorities and policies of the Republican Party more generally, it is clear to me that they want to "kill the useless eaters." As a historian, is that framing appropriate?

    Donald Trump's and the Republican Party's 2021 budget is going to kill people. There are people dying in cages right now. I am not sure if the Trump administration wants to kill off the "useless eaters" but they are for sure going to kill people. Certainly, since Reagan if not Goldwater, there's been a narrative in America — especially among the right — of the "useless poor" versus the "worthy poor." Of course that narrative involves race. The so-called deserving poor are white rural people. Black urban people are not deserving of assistance. Latino immigrant communities are also not deserving of help. 

    The Republican Party under Trump is going all-in on ethnic cleansing. Trump and the Republicans want to create a whiter America where white people are the majority and forever remain in power. Trump and the Republicans can accomplish that goal by incarcerating nonwhite people and then not letting them vote, but still counting them for the census. The goal of a white America can also be accomplished by deporting nonwhite people. It can happen by scaring nonwhite people into silence. It can be made real by impoverishing people so that they cannot be engaged in civic life. That includes marginalized groups in general, such as disabled people who rely on federal intervention for basic support.  

    "Ethnic cleansing" is a language that we as Americans should be using more. When I talk about ethnic cleansing and Trump and the Republicans and the right wing more generally, people tell me I am being too shrill, that there are no forced marches and the other horrors commonly associated with ethnic cleansing. In response, I tell those naysayers, "Well, not yet."

    Old Montgomery Ward building, Portland

    Mar. 16, 2020


    Trump’s escalating attacks

    This is part of a larger pattern that has escalated during this crisis. Early on, Trump raged at the media for supposedly hyping coronavirus to rattle the markets and hurt him politically. Here, too, Trump told the American people not to believe the press even as it accurately informed them about a severe public danger about which Trump himself was busy misleading them.
    Then, on Friday, Trump unloaded in a fury at PBS reporter Yamiche Alcindor. What triggered (dare we say it?) Trump was a perfectly reasonable question about whether he takes responsibility for the 2018 disbanding on his watch of the White House pandemic office.
    “It’s a nasty question,” Trump sneered, before declining any responsibility for what his own officials do and heaping extensive praise on his own response.
    Trump rages at accountability
    As it happens, Trump has repeatedly lashed out at reporters for the very same transgression — trying to hold him accountable for his own words and deeds.
    In late 2018, Trump blasted Alcindor for asking if his rhetoric emboldened white nationalism, fumingthat it was a “racist question.” But it was a perfectly reasonable one. Indeed, since then, some white nationalists themselves have rejoiced that Trump pushes their messages in coded form.

    Mar. 15, 2020

    Who knew? The US Public Health Service is one of eight uniformed services of the United States. Along with the NOAA Commissioned Officer Corps, the Public Health Service Commissioned Corps is one of two uniformed services that consist only of commissioned officers and has no enlisted or warrant officer ranks, although warrant officers have been authorized for use within the service.

    I wondered about this when I saw a four star admiral with the service on TV today. He is Brett P. Giroir (born November 4, 1960), an American pediatrician and a four-star admiral in the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, who currently serves as the Assistant Secretary for Health under the Trump administration. He concurrently serves as the Secretary's principal public health and science adviser, senior adviser for HRSA, CDC, and SAMHSA and chief opioid policy adviser. As of March 2020, he concurrently serves as the director of the U.S. coronavirus diagnostic testing.[2] He also served as the Acting Commissioner of Food and Drugs in November and December 2019, while Stephen Hahn's nomination was pending in the Senate.[3] Giroir has also been nominated by the President to serve the additional role of the representative of the United States on the executive board of the World Health Organization. Read more about him here. 

    Another member of the task force is Dr. Deborah Birx. You can read about her. here.

    Dr. Fauci trying to figure out if he can keep working with a  pathological liar.

    Add caption

    Trump Is Running a Pandemic Response Like a Business, With Disastrous Results - Washington Monthly 

    Much has already been said about how Donald Trump’s personality flaws and questionable policy obsessions have hampered America’s response to the growing pandemic. His narcissism leaves him unable to consider anything but his own political fortunes; his racism makes him treat an international medical problem like a clash-of-civilizations and border control problem; his incuriosity makes him unable to digest new information and respond with flexibility, must less act foresight to head off problems. Whole books could be—and likely will be—written about how the convergent moral failings of the president and his favorite conservative infotainment networks have contributed to a ruinously incompetent response to the burgeoning pandemic crisis.
    Donald Trump’s own personal brand of narcissism, pathological lying, and blunt ignorance is just an extra dollop of dangerously cruel incompetence. Outside of Trump, the conservative movement’s reaction to coronavirus reveals an ideology that has not been fit to deal with inconvenient problems for decades—whether it be climate change, the costs of education, healthcare and housing, or even other epidemics like the AIDS outbreak in the Reagan era.
    The perfect photo


    Paging Proust. For me, this is the week when memories rush back from childhood: watching my parents get gussied up for St. Patrick’s Day parades and banquets, green carnations pinned to their lapels; the family’s annual excursion to the Tidal Basin to catch the fleeting pink splendor of the cherry blossoms.

    Washington’s most beautiful season is blooming outside while we get herded inside, making the dread and decay feel particularly disorienting.

    The landscape is flourishing while a scary plague — and the fumbling response to it by Donald Trump and parts of the federal government — is infecting our nation, causing it to wilt and contract.


    He can’t cover up his lack of empathy, his instinct to mislead, his refusal to do his homework and his blame-shifting. And the idea that Trump could soothe a nation went out the window a long time ago.
    He can’t cover up the fact that he is not interested in public policy fixes or ending his juvenile sniping across the aisle. After he woodenly said in his national address Wednesday that “we must put politics aside, stop the partisanship and unify together as one nation and one family,” he jumped back on Twitter to trash Barack Obama and Joe Biden, this time criticizing their response to the swine flu virus.

    Trump is only interested in spinning public appearances to create the impression that he’s in charge. As always, such forums offer a fantastic floor to show just how low Mike Pence will limbo. By now, Trump is surely jealous of Pence’s good reviews and requires extra obeisance.

    Trump’s Discordant Display of Nativism in a Pandemic

    Trump won the Presidency while pledging to wall America off from the world. 
    The COVID-19 crisis has reinforced his deep-seated belief in this impossibility. EXCERPTS: In late July, 2014, near Monrovia, Liberia, two Americans, Kent Brantly and Nancy Writebol, contracted Ebola. They had been working in a missionary hospital, trying to ameliorate an outbreak then racing across West Africa. The Obama Administration dispatched an air ambulance to carry them home, swathed in white protective gear, for treatment at Emory University Hospital, in Atlanta, and this touched off a media spectacle. The chyron story line was: Ebola comes to America. (Brantly and Writebol soon recovered.) Donald Trump, who was then less than a year away from announcing his run for the Presidency, weighed in on Twitter: “Stop the EBOLA patients from entering the U.S. . . . THE UNITED STATES HAS ENOUGH PROBLEMS!” He tweeted about the epidemic dozens of times during the next months, and called for a ban on travel from West Africa (“STOP THE FLIGHTS!”). The White House’s Office of Digital Strategy later concluded that one of Trump’s tweets, to the two and a half million followers he had at the time, was a “crystallizing moment” in the Ebola crisis, as Amy Pope, Obama’s deputy homeland-security adviser, put it, and that Trump had “created a level of anxiety in the country.”

    He was just getting started, as we now know too well. 


     The hope that Trump might someday grow into the dignity and gravity of his office was never realistic, but in this speech he put his narcissism and his reflexive nativism on exceptionally discordant display. “The virus will not have a chance against us,” he said, promising that he had put in place “the most aggressive and comprehensive effort to confront a foreign virus in modern history”—as if diseases had nationalities. He declared that “testing and testing capabilities are expanding rapidly,” only to be contradicted the next day by Anthony Fauci, the respected director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, who told a House hearing, “The system is really not geared to what we need right now. . . . It is a failing. Let’s admit it.” (Last week, South Korea, with less than a sixth of the population of the United States, administered at least ten thousand novel-coronavirus tests a day, while in this country, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, only some thirteen thousand tests had been administered since January.) On Wednesday, Trump advised the “vast majority” of Americans that the risk they faced was “very, very low.” Fauci had already testified, however, that “it’s going to get worse,” and that, if the response proved to be inadequate, “many, many millions” could be affected.

    Trump won the Presidency while pledging to wall America off from the world; the covid-19 pandemic has reinforced his deep-seated belief in this impossibility. Quarantines and travel restrictions are a necessary part of a science-led approach to containing such outbreaks, because they can delay the spread of a dangerous virus, protecting hospitals from crippling surges of patients and buying time for researchers to develop treatments and vaccines. Trump often praises himself for his decision, announced on January 31st, to limit travel from China, a policy that public-health officials had recommended.

    Live virus updates for free on Washington Post


    Don't cry me Trumpatina: Trump World Descended on Mar-a-Lago as It Became a Coronavirus Petri Dish

    Devin Nunes leveled for his latest lawsuit aimed at silencing critics — raising his demands to $1 billion in damages

    In a column for Washington Post that is both sarcastic and scathing, Dana Milbank mocked Rep. Devin Nunes (R-CA) for spending more time filing lawsuits against his critics then doing the job voters sent him to Washington D.C. to do.
    Under a headline stating, “Raise your hand if you have not been sued by Devin Nunes, ” the columnist writes that his own paper has now been served with papers by the California congressman — joining an extensive list that also includes a Twitter “cow.”

    “In these grim times — pandemic spreading, markets crashing, society shutting down — it seems there is nowhere we can turn for good news. But there is! Devin Nunes, bless his heart, is still filing lawsuits. The top Republican on the House Intelligence Committee has aided by a lawyer with a colorful past and a flair for invective, sued just about everybody who criticizes him,” Milbank wrote with tongue in cheek.

    As he notes, the list of those who have been served or threatened is quite large.
    “To be specific, Nunes has sued: McClatchyCNNHearst Magazines. Fusion GPS. Republican strategist Liz Mair. A watchdog group, Campaign for Accountability. An organic fruit farmer who called Nunes a “fake farmer.” Twitter. A parody Twitter account called “Devin Nunes’ Mom.” A fictitious bovine on Twitter called “Devin Nunes’ Cow.” (“Like Devin Nunes’ Mom, Devin Nunes’ Cow engaged in a defamation campaign,” he alleged in court),” he wrote.

    He then added, “Nunes has, through his lawyer, also sent a menacing legal letter to a Fresno County, Calif., deputy district attorney who previously ran against Nunes to cease his support for ‘the @DevinCow Twitter account.’ And he has threatened to sue fellow Rep. Ted Lieu (D-Calif.). Lieu’s reply: ‘Take your letter and shove it.'”

    We still have a Democratic primary: ‘It Was Like Pulling Teeth’: AOC Backed Away from Sanders Campaign after Joe Rogan Endorsement 

    Society - sociology, social psychology: America Is a Sham

    Policy changes in reaction to the coronavirus reveal how absurd so many of our rules are to begin with.

    Mar. 14, 2020

    My photo:

    Hey Trump, how embarrassing is this? Not only is there a good chance Chinese doctors will be the first to come up with a treatment or vaccine for coronavirus but look what Jack Ma did.

    'They know how to keep people alive': Why China's coronavirus response is better than you think

    If God has an ear and is listening, is all powerful, and gives a shit about the human race, let's hope He hears Lucian Truscott IV: (Trump's) re-election campaign is in the emergency room waiting to see a doctor, but they're all busy treating the people who are sick or dying from his criminal negligence, cruelty, ignorance and shame. It's only March, and Trump already needs a respirator. He's finished. He's a dead man stumbling toward a certain political grave — and the brutal judgment of history that he is the worst president this nation has ever had. From Salon "We need to quarantine Donald Trump: He's confused, ignorant and afraid"

    What if both Pence
    and Trump get sick?

    Now Trump Really Needs to Talk About the 25th Amendment

    If the president gets seriously ill, the Constitution has a plan for that. But what if the president stands in the way?

    Psychiatrist Bandy Lee weighs in on this question.
    At 73 years old, President Donald Trump is a prime target for a contagious disease that falls hard on the elderly. Multiple people in the Trump orbit are infected. Trump posed for a picture alongside an aide to Brazilian President Jair Bolsonaro who has tested positive. (Bolsonaro, who is in the same picture, denies reports that he’s positive.) The president spoke at the CPAC conference earlier this month where, as was later reported, an attendee carrying a gold-plated VIP ticket was later diagnosed as virus-positive. Other attendees of the conference, including incoming chief of staff Rep. Mark Meadows (R-N.C.), Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.), Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), and Rep. Doug Collins (R-Ga.) exercised medical caution with self-quarantineSen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.),who was at Mar-a-Lago at the same time as the Brazilian visitors, is also self-quarantining. And both Attorney General William Barr and Trump’s daughter Ivanka Trump recently spent time with an Australian minister who subsequently tested positive. It’s almost as if the virus has circled Trump.
    At this point, it’s not morbid, just good planning, to say the administration has no excuse not to start making plans for the chance that the virus might incapacitate Trump. The White House has not exactly been transparent about whether Trump has been tested. But his age and his clinical obesity mean that his system would be fighting an infection from a trench: It can put older patients on ventilators, sometimes for four weeks, even if they do recover.
    Related to the story about what Trump will do without his crowds, he'll arrive in a hermetically sealed Trumpmobile and stand in a bulletproof glass cage if he has to. This is my tweet from March 8th:

    Whose the  administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services standing behind Trump?
    In March 2019, Politico reported that in her role as CMS administrator, Verma approved communications subcontracts worth more than two million dollars of taxpayer funds on Republican-connected communications consultants and other expenses to boost her visibility and public image. Included in the consultants' work were proposals to have Verma featured in magazines like Glamour and have her invited to prestigious events like the Kennedy honors to increase her public persona.
    Politico reported that Verma clashed with Acting HHS Secretary Alex Azar over which plans will replace Obamacare and who will get credit for those efforts, according to anonymous administration officials. 
    Reportedly, this was not the first clash Verma had with her superiors as Politico reports that Verma hired a lawyer to file a claim of a "hostile work environment" against Secretary Tom Price
    On August 20, 2018, Verma filed a claim requesting that taxpayers reimburse her for jewelry that was allegedly stolen on a work-related trip to San Francisco. Although she requested $47,000, including a $325 claim for moisturizer and a $5,900 Ivanka Trump-brand pendant, she ultimately received $2,852.40 in reimbursement. Wikipedia

    Add to list

    Why wouldn’t Trump get tested for the coronavirus? WASH POST $

    How U.S. continuity-of-government plans might deal with a pandemic.

    Any delay in testing Trump is clearly not because the Secret Service, White House medical personnel or the White House Military Office ignores biological threats; the White House actually is kept pressurized, so that it’s impossible for airborne biological or chemical threats to enter the building. Instead, the president’s seemingly laissez faire attitude toward testing most likely reflects both the difficult political environment he faces and a surprising truth about our government’s continuity planning.
    Assuming that the White House is telling the truth — which is never a safe assumption with an administration and a president that has turned outright lies into a daily art form — and Trump really hasn’t been tested, there are almost certainly at least four major factors figuring into the decision.
    First, despite being a renowned germophobe, Donald Trump clearly has had his head in the sand about the potential danger of the new coronavirus that’s sweeping the globe — to himself, the country or the world. He’s been so blasé about the pandemic that even his favorite Fox News host, Tucker Carlson, took him to task this week for playing down the severity of the threat. Why test for something you’re not worried about? As Trump said Thursday: “It’s going away. We want it to go away with very, very few deaths.”

    Above is the comment I posted.

    Arkansas and Florida senators suck up to  Trump by advertising in Ohio

    Mar. 13, 2020

    GOP delays coronavirus bill in part over complaints that it doesn't bar federal funds for abortion

    "Very on-brand for pro-lifers to refuse to save a whole bunch of lives," feminist writer Jill Filipovic says

    'As virus inches closer to Trump, questions swirl
    The president has so far declined to be tested for the virus or to limit his contact with others, professing no concern about potential exposure as his White House insisted they were following Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines. He told reporters on Thursday: “Let’s put it this way: I’m not concerned.”

    We know Trump has the sickness of malignant narcissism. Want more proof, look at this tweet.

    Back in the day—i.e., 2016—I always figured there were two big reasons to hope Donald Trump didn’t win the Republican nomination. The first and most important was his straight-up appeal to bigotry and xenophobia, which the other Republican nominees mostly didn’t share. The second was that he might nuke Denmark.
    That was the joke, anyway, but it was just shorthand for Trump screwing up some kind of foreign policy emergency, getting himself deeper and deeper into a hole, and then somehow ending up in a war that no one wanted. Nobody thought this was especially likely, but still, it was a 1 percent risk that the other candidates didn’t pose.
    Then Trump got elected and three years passed. No war. No real threat of a war, either. Maybe we were all wrong?

    Nope. “War,” it turned out, was itself shorthand for an emergency that Trump’s personality would cause him to mismanage. And the emergency turned out to be a pandemic. At first, Trump’s narcissism prevented him from believing that anything could be seriously wrong while he was in charge. Then his xenophobia caused him to address the problem solely by closing off a border, even though no one thought that would work. That eventually morphed into Trump’s bullheadedness preventing him from admitting he was mistaken and changing tack. And that, in turn, has caused him to close yet more borders.

    From Canada:
    Even when the president finally, reluctantly came to admit the seriousness of the situation and awkwardly read a script from a teleprompter in a national address from the oval office last night to announce a 30-day ban on most travel from continental Europe, he could not resist stretching the truth one more time, falsely asserting that "we're making antiviral treatments available in record time." Actually, no such approved treatments yet exist.
    In the face of a virus that the WHO has just declared a pandemic, Trump's brand of carnival show narcissism is deadly. It is a time when the world needs to believe its leaders and to be told the truth, particularly when you can find internet advice to drink bleach and when people like disgraced evangelist Jim Bakker (who served time in the slammer for fraud) are promotingunproven "cures."

    There are not many issues where an effective, believable communications strategy is a matter of life or death. COVID-19 is one. The president of the United States is failing the test.

    Mar. 12, 2020

    Two heroes:
    Rep. Katie Porter (watch this video!)
    and Dr. Anthony Fauci:

    How long will he last after this bluntly truthful testimony? ‘That’s really disturbing’: Dr. Fauci admits to Congress the administration’s ‘failing’ in the coronavirus response.

    This is how he should have concluded his address:

    Meghan McCain explodes on Trump as The View rips his coronavirus address: ‘This could be the silver bullet’ that takes him out

    The View’s Meghan Mccain blasted President Donald Trump for his mediocre attempt to calm the nation during the coronavirus outbreak.

    During the Thursday show, the co-hosts addressed the speech that was supposed to calm a fearful nation, but ultimately ended up being riddled with mistakes and inaccurate information.

    McCain said that it did little to calm her fears.

    “He does not inspire confidence. I could hear him breathing. could you?” said Behar. “Is there a microphone in his nostrils do you think? If he speaks of somebody who’s not in great health, and he’s been so exposed to a few people now who have had the coronavirus. He could come down with it.”

    “The problem is when I watched it live like we all did, is he’s a politician that inspires anger really well,” McCain said. “If you want to get riled up and angry, he’s a politician who does it well. The ‘I feel your pain and fear,’ incapable of it. He could have been reading the phonebook last night. He should have been saying, ‘I understand Americans are scared.’ Have a Ronald Reagan-esque moment.”

    (he began) … a new feature: the Spoiler Watch. It will track the campaign of vanity and self-aggrandizement the once-idealistic Sanders candidacy has now become. Everything Sanders does from this point on — until he eventually (hopefully) throws his support to Biden — will be to the benefit of a grateful President Trump.

    Trump won the presidency, in part, because disaffected Sanders voters never embraced Hillary Clinton after the Vermont independent’s scorched-earth campaign in the 2016 primary. Now, he’s poised to do it again. He must not be allowed to succeed.
    He goes on to write:
    Sanders could have declared victory Wednesday and dropped out of the race. He has succeeded in pushing the Democratic Party to the left, and his differences with Biden are less about ends than means. As Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.), a Sanders supporter, said this week: “Bernie Sanders won the idea primary.”

    Yet Sanders, instead, extends the fight.

    Only ugliness this way lies.

    There will be more of the suggestions from Sanders’s supporters that the gaffe-prone Biden is senile. There will be more conspiracy theories about the hidden hand of the establishment — not actual voters — powering Biden’s victory. And there will be more of what Elizabeth Warren called the “organized nastiness” from Sanders’s supporters.

    … and he concludes with writing that “every day Sanders delays the party’s healing is a contribution-in-kind to Trump.”