The coronavirus rages on. The number of new cases in New York City exploded from 814 on Tuesday to 1,871 on Wednesday. Senior citizens have been the most at risk but younger people make up a surprisingly large number of cases, so young people should not ignore or dismiss the potentially severe consequences of infection. Also, two members of congress yesterday announced they had tested positive for Covid-19. European virus epicenter Italy experienced a record 475 deaths yesterday. Experts suggest we could be two weeks behind Italy, especially if we don’t adhere to strict social distancing. The most critical issue facing America now is medical equipment. We know we will likely have thousands of critically ill people in America within two weeks, and particularly in New York, yet our hospitals are already running out of masks and protective gear. Some hospitals are sending people to hardware and hobby stores to try to cobble together make-shift protective equipment in the absence of new supplies. The shortage is an outrage, and it’s due in part to the late response by our federal government to this crisis. We should have mobilized these resources a month ago, but Trump was too busy trying to look good and “own the libs” by dismissing the risks and calling the virus a hoax.
Meanwhile, the financial markets continue to go down. The DJIA dropped another 6.3% yesterday as investors tried to grasp the longer-term consequences of an economic shutdown. The market is now at a lower level than when Trump took office, three years of gains erased. The Senate passed the House’s initial coronavirus aid package, sending it to Trump for a signature. Another package is already being discussed in Congress. Meanwhile, the European Central Bank announced a 850-billion Euro support package, which was welcome news. This pandemic is clearly going to be extremely painful for the many Americans who live paycheck to paycheck, as well as small business owners whose income will suddenly stop. We need to keep pressure on our leaders to find ways to support our financially devastated neighbors.
On the political front it was rumored yesterday that Bernie Sanders was considering ending his bid for the presidency, but his spokespeople denied the rumor. Reporters noticed, however, that the “donate” button had been removed from his campaign website, which suggested to them that he was just waiting for the right moment to bow out.
Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”