Incompetence Leads to Excess Death

By suddenly halting travel from Europe, the Trump administration ignored a timeless lesson of human migration: slamming borders shut usually has the opposite of the intended effect. Rather than ending cross-border movement, sudden immigration bans or caps create large and often unmanageable rushes of people hoping to make it across the border before it is too late. These surges occur immediately after bans are announced, when returning travelers rush to meet real or imagined deadlines, and often in the days and weeks beforehand, in anticipation of expected announcements. And when some of the people rushing to cross the border are carrying a potentially deadly virus, the result can be catastrophic.

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The US government has screwed up every bit of the response, and the worst part instead of learning and adjusting they have doubled down on the crazy.

A History of Pandemics and Institutional Racism

In the United States, that pandemic did nothing to blunt structural racism. “The 1918 pandemic revealed the racial inequalities and fault lines in health care,” Gamble says. At the time, black doctors and nurses hoped it would prompt improvements. “But nothing changed. After the pandemic there were no major public health efforts to address the health care of African Americans.”

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An unreal and sobering read that goes into detail on the history of pandemics.

They Are Bringing Back the Dead

President Donald Trump and members of his coronavirus task force are pushing officials at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to change how the agency works with states to count coronavirus-related deaths. And they’re pushing for revisions that could lead to far fewer deaths being counted than originally reported, according to five administration officials working on the government’s response to the pandemic

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Everything is a vanity project for this administration. We already know there are thousands in NYC alone who died with COVID like symptoms before they got tested. The state of Florida has blocked medical examiners from releasing data. None of this matters to the Trump administration though. They are a propaganda machine and believe if they can falsely make up lower numbers, those new numbers become reality.

Remember the Heroes

On the ward that she oversaw at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center, a man with COVID-19 had stopped breathing. Marcos’ face was covered only with a thin surgical mask, and obtaining a more protective N95 mask before entering his room would have wasted valuable time, her colleagues say.

The 61-year-old charge nurse knew the chest compressions and other breathing treatments the patient needed would likely spew dangerous virus particles into the air that could land on her face and clothing. She would be at high risk of catching the coronavirus.

Marcos raced into the room. Fourteen days later, she was dead.

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Every paper in the country has stories like this. Remember their names, remember their stories, and make sure others do the same.

Well Said Chris Hayes

Isaac, I literally can’t get over it. I spend huge portions of my day just with this feeling of being hit in the chest by watching the utter blitheness and disregard, and casualness, and sociopathic casualness, about the vast losses. They’re not far from me. Family members of our staff. A neighbor of ours. People I know who’ve gotten very sick. It’s not some abstract thing. It’s a tangible thing, very real, and, to watch this utter disregard for it by some people, from the President on down, it is so shocking to me, and horrifying, and enraging, and almost insanity-inducing.

I keep thinking about if you went around on TV or in New York City after 9/11, and you were showing up at house parties, or on interviews, being, like, “Uh, guys, you know sixty thousand people here die from the flu. I’m not quite sure what the big deal is here.” You would have sounded like a sociopath, and you probably would have gotten punched in the face. You certainly would have gotten fired from TV. It’s not like any of that would have been the correct response, but it would have been sociopathic. What sort of maniac would you be?

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The whole interview is worth reading. Between Facebook, Twitter, and the President himself it’s a sinking reality that a large percentage of the population is so easily believing crazy conspiracy theories while denying fact and science.

There are legitimate discussions to have around stay at home orders and the best way forward. They need to start with at least the basic understanding that the virus exists. That almost seems impossible right now.

The Economics of Covid

Stacey on IoT | COVID is the cure for bad IoT

When times get tough, it becomes easy to see which ideas make economic sense and which don’t. It also becomes clear which products provide users value and which don’t. I know I’ve already gone through every one of my business and personal subscriptions to figure out where I can cut costs. Company managers are doing the same thing, while at the same time having to justify their investments in technology and future product lines.


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A Government Catastrophy

Where’s the Beef? Republicans Don’t Understand Critical Infrastructure and Supply Chains | emptywheel

If we were a sane nation, focused on the public good rather than bottom line dollars, we would have spent the five weeks of national shut-down figuring out how to protect critical workers and implementing those systems wherever workplaces had not shut down. We would have used that time to test the system and build up stocks of PPE and test kits needed to replicate the system in other, less essential work places. We would have perfected systems for keeping workers safe in the time of COVID, so we could learn how to do it while it was relatively easy, giving us something to replicate when the economy reopened.


For the most part the people of the United States have been putting in the work to stop the spread. During this time however the federal government has decided to waste every moment it had in preparing for the next steps, and now we are stuck.

  • Leadership matters
  • Trusting the experts matters
  • Competence matters
  • Sanity matters
  • Elections matter

Sunday’s Must Read

34 days of pandemic: Inside Trump?s desperate attempts to reopen America – The Washington Post

This story documenting Trump’s month-long struggle to reopen America is based on interviews with 82 administration officials, outside advisers and experts with detailed knowledge of the White House’s handling of the pandemic. Many of them spoke on the condition of anonymity to recount internal discussions or share candid assessments without risk of retribution.


Five bylines are on this story!