The coronavirus continues to spread through all fifty states. The total confirmed cases are nearing 850,000 and the death toll now stands at 46,784 according to Johns Hopkins. New York City is finally seeing its number of daily hospitalizations decline, and Dutchess County is also seeing a decline in total hospitalizations–so physical distancing is working, at least in those states that choose to use it.
Anderson Cooper last night had a mind-blowing interview with Carolyn Goodman, the mayor of Las Vegas, whose idiocy was appalling. Here’s a link to the entire interview:
Mayor Goodman’s position was that everyone already has the virus, we’ve had viruses before, it’s no big deal, we know how to handle them, let’s open the casinos and get back to work if we can somehow follow social distancing guidelines. It was insane.
Vegas can open all the casinos they want but who the hell is going to come?? And if people were foolish enough to come (Trump supporters, perhaps) I hope Mayor Goodman would do another interview with Anderson Cooper once all of the local hospitals’ ICU units are under siege and need help. Her ignorance and arrogance were a sadly familiar reflection of our incompetent president.
In a very different interview last night, the Daily Show’s Trevor Noah interviewed New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and it was fascinating. I learned more about the path back to “normalcy” in those twenty minutes than I’ve learned from hours and hours of Trump’s bloviating promotion-pressers. According to Cuomo, in a few weeks we should see the infection rate settle to a low daily rate–call it the base shutdown rate–and that will tell us how much infection occurs under a social distancing regime that only involves people going to the store plus all the essential services that have continued (healthcare, police, transit, sanitation, power, deliveries, etc.). Using that base shutdown rate, we can begin widespread testing while slowly opening up a small part of the economy and watching how that base rate grows as a result of that opening. We open 1) the most essential and 2) the least risky parts of the economy first and build on that as long as we can stay close to the base rate by testing and contact tracing. If cases begin to mount, we stop opening. If cases don’t mount, we continue to slowly open.
Of course, re-opening requires widespread testing with quick results combined with a large contact tracing apparatus. At the moment we have neither since Trump has walked away from his duty to protect Americans by disavowing any role in a national testing effort, so it’s up to the states to cobble an effort together. So that’s apparently what Cuomo is going to try to do. At the same time, the top virus chief in the HHS, Rick Bright, is filing a whistleblower complaint alleging that he was demoted for speaking out against efforts by Trump’s people to “fund potentially dangerous drugs promoted by those with political connections,” specifically hydroxychoroquine, the drug Trump and Fox hosts have been raving about for weeks–and the drug that health experts recently concluded did more harm than good! This is just the latest chapter in the old book, “Trump Fires Anyone Who Disagrees With Him.” Disgusting and disgraceful.
Three important things are happening today.
- The House will vote on the Senate-approved coronavirus relief bill that funds new SBA loans, provides help for hospitals, and adds money for testing.
- The weekly jobless claim numbers will be reported this morning, and we could see many more millions of Americans unemployed.
- Rep Antonio Delgado is holding his sixth tele-town-hall at 4:20pm. Call this number at 4:20 to join: 1-855-905-3295
Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”