The news keeps coming at us. Thursday was a busy day.
Trump yesterday visited another mask maker, this time in Allentown, PA, and of course didn’t wear a mask. But he did address the crowd and prattle, claiming that America only has a lot of Covid cases because we are doing a lot of tests. If we didn’t test, we wouldn’t have cases. Yes, his inane comment set off a storm of ridicule and criticism, and left people convinced that Trump only cares about keeping the numbers down. Fewer reported cases mean the stock market won’t go down as far, etc.
The recently demoted virus vaccine specialist from the CDC, Doctor Bright, testified before Congress and gave a sobering and grim report, concerned that we are not bending the curve and will likely have further rounds of outbreak and shutdown. He said we are not taking the proper steps to contain the virus and could see many more deaths, making 2020 one of the worst years in our history. Republicans on the committee embarrassed themselves by spending their time asking snarky questions about hydroxycholorquine, which made them look even more ignorant and ridiculous than usual. Trump tweeted that he didn’t know Dr. Bright was “people said” he was an angry and disgruntled employee (though he was mostly calm and thoughtful) who wasn’t good at this job. Which means that Trump is angry and disgruntled and isn’t good at his job, since every criticism he makes is really an admission about himself.
Doctor bright suggested that the USA could have done a better job, adding to the increasingly clear sense of many Americans that the White House failed badly to prepare for and respond to the pandemic, and we still don’t have a federally coordinated effort to test and trace in an effective and comprehensive way. Asking each state to do their own thing is like asking each state to put together it’s own military and intelligence community. It’s highly inefficient and expensive–which is why we have a federal government in the first place. Trump may talk about new task forces and testing programs, but they are all fig leafs. We are still far, far away from the kind of effort needed to stem the tide of death that is certain to continue.
A federal court yesterday reversed a lower court ruling on the Emoluments Clause, saying that Trump’s acceptance of money from foreigners was, indeed, a concern covered by the clause and must be looked into. The reversal was a blow to the President and his businesses.
Democrats in the House have been putting together a new massive stimulus package dubbed the Hero Act that will include badly needed help for frontline workers and the states. The bill might be voted on today. Local and state treasuries are running out of money from the dual blows of 1) increased medical and healthcare costs from Covid plus 2) dramatically lower tax and fee revenue from minimal business activity and commerce. States can’t run deficits so shortfalls will reduce the budgets of essential services like schools, police, fire and infrastructure unless Congress authorizes a relief package in similar fashion to the way it bailed out so many giant corporations. The House bill will probably be dead on arrival in the Senate, since neither Moscow Mitch nor Trump give a damn about the states and secretly want them to lay off all their workers and go bust. But Democrats hope to use the bill as a cudgel to beat the GOP in the court of public opinion, and at least force the Senate to submit an alternative.
Have a safe and restful weekend. Keep resisting Trump and keep working to “vote his ass out of office.”