The number of Covid-19 cases continued to rise in New York City and State yesterday, a daily confirmation that we are about 10 days behind Italy in the number of cases we can expect. In response, NYC Mayor de Blasio hinted yesterday that he may require stronger “shelter in place” restrictions for New York City to keep people from gathering, asking all but essential workers to stay at home except for food buying and solitary exercise. San Francisco just instituted a similar policy.
Trump yesterday admitted for the first time that we were in the midst of a crisis that will require huge government support, and his Treasury czar Mnuchin admitted that the unemployment rate could rise as high as 20% before the crisis begins to ebb if the government doesn’t act quickly and decisively. The Trump regime was suggesting an $850 billion initial stimulus including direct payments to citizens, but additional rounds of stimulus would almost certainly be needed. The stock market rallied on the news, but was trending down again in overnight markets.
Trump continues to deny that he knew anything about the dissolution of the White House pandemic team in 2018, but a video surfaced yesterday of Trump at a press briefing in 2018 explaining that he was getting rid of the pandemic unit because they sat around and cost money while doing nothing, and if something happened, he knew who they were and could call them. It was a grotesquely irresponsible blunder. There was also reporting yesterday that Trump’s slow response was, in part, due to advise he got from Jared Kushner, who believed that the coronavirus threat was being unfairly hyped by the “liberal” media.
Meanwhile, we are still waiting for the delivery and proliferation of test kits, and supplies like masks and gloves are in short supply on the medical front lines. We need a WWII-style initiative to ramp up production of essentials and we can only hope that the right people in the right places are mobilizing.
Yesterday was also a primary day in three states, and Joe Biden was again the big winner. Biden won all three–Illinois, Arizona, Florida–emerging with a strong delegate count advantage over Bernie Sanders. TV pundits last night suggested that the rest of the primary process will likely be a formality and Biden will be the nominee, his dual challenge now to court Sanders voters while attacking Trump.
Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his [incompetent] ass out of office.”