Thursday was a tale of two press conferences.
First, Governor Cuomo came out swinging at Senate Leader McConnell, who suggested it might be best to let states go bankrupt rather than give them federal dollars to shore up massive coronavirus expenses. McConnell made a subsequent remark about “blue state bailouts” and suggested that most of the economic damage was in democrat cities. Cuomo called McConnell’s politicization of the coronavirus “ugly” and later tweeted that it was “one of the really dumb ideas of all time”, noting that New York State contributes $116 billion more to the federal government that it gets back while McConnell’s home state of Kentucky takes in $148 billion more from the feds than it gives. It will be interesting to see if and how McConnell responds, but this fight is a prelude to the uphill battle Democrats in Congress are going to have in the seeking the next round of stimulus. Many states, red and blue, are going to be financially devastated and will need federal dollars to keep vital services going in face of lost tax revenues. The US Treasury can print money, but the states cannot–they must balance their budgets every year. So in a time of crisis and tremendous deflation (gas prices, commodity prices, wages, etc. dropping) it is crucial that the feds increase the money supply and give massive support to the states. But scumbags like McConnell, who gave trillions in tax breaks to big business, don’t want to support states, especially those who don’t vote Republican. They want to put politics above people and screw the blue states to keep their shrinking, resentful base happy. It’s nice that Cuomo is punching back.
In yesterday’s other presser, Trump completely embarrassed himself in front of the cameras, letting thoughts and musing gurgle out of his mouth unfiltered. Trump pondered that since disinfectant and sunlight (UV light) can kill Covid-19, perhaps the doctors standing behind him could spend some energy looking into a way that we could blast powerful UV light into the body, or deliver disinfectant into the body or lungs to kill the virus! Has anybody looked into this?? Yes, he really is that stupid.
First of all, sunlight is not strong enough to kill Covid-19. It would take very strong and concentrated UV light to damage the virus, and this of course could not be used internally. And to suggest that we might inject bleach or Lysol into our veins betrays how utterly ignorant and thoughtless Trump is. He has not one iota of self-assessment. But is anyone surprised? This is the same ridiculous man who crucially didn’t know the difference between a virus and a bacteria. If the consequences of his idiocy weren’t so tragic, his statements would be laughable. And his “performance” begs the question, why the hell do some networks continue to broadcast his useless pressers?
The House did manage yesterday to pass the fourth coronavirus aid bill, which funds the SBA small business loan program, gives financial support to hospitals, and will fund more badly-needed testing. The bill will now go to Trump’s desk. This happened hours after the weekly jobless claim report showed another 4.4 million Americans seeking unemployment benefits, bringing the five-week pandemic total to a historic and unprecedented 26 million unemployed. It’s hard to imagine that his economic calamity is going to cease anytime soon. Even if every state allowed businesses to reopen, millions of consumers would continue to stay home. Few people are going to run out to retail stores and start browsing, much less visit a restaurant or a theater or a stadium. Consumer confidence will only return when we either have a vaccine or an effective treatment. Widespread testing and contract tracing can only take us a short distance back to normalcy.
It should be noted that the national Covid death toll will pass 50,000 today. Just last Monday Trump claimed that his models suggested the national total would probably top out at “50 or 60 thousand” but it looks like he was sadly wrong–by a long shot. It was also reported yesterday that preliminary random testing in New York State reveals the the virus is more widespread than previously thought, with 1-in-5 New York City residents testing positive for coronavirus antibodies.
Finally, Rep Antonio Delgado’s tele-town-hall was rescheduled for this afternoon at 4:30pm. You can join the call by dialing this number: 1-855-905-3295
Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”
Have a safe a restful weekend.