On Ronna McDaniel’s (Still Undisclosed) Test Results

Update, 3/18: The Detroit Free Press just reported that McDaniel’s test (finally) came back negative. That’s both a relief — given who she interacted with before being tested — and a real testament to how long it still takes for (even powerful) people ot to get a test result.

On Friday night, RNC Chair Ronna [Romney] McDaniel got a test for COVID-19, the first high profile Republican tested based on the inadequate testing guidelines rolled out by the CDC rather than concerns arising just from exposure. That is, she had exposure and flu-like symptoms and tested negative for alternative explanations before she took the test.

I can find no follow-up report on the status of her test — though both Saturday and Sunday’s Michigan test reports included the description of a positive test for someone who could be her.

Oakland County, adult female with history of contact with someone with a confirmed case.


Oakland County, adult female with contact with a person with COVID-19.

Meanwhile, on Saturday NYT updated a story — first published Friday afternoon — on how Kimberly Guilfoyle’s birthday party a week ago exposed a number of high profile people to the illness. The update quoted aides bitching that McDaniel revealed that she had “publicly acknowledged her illness.”

The president has sought for weeks to play down the severity of the outbreak and been especially sensitive about giving the impression that he himself was at risk. Indeed, several advisers to Mr. Trump on Saturday privately expressed irritation at Ms. McDaniel for publicly acknowledging her illness.

This is not confirmation McDaniel tested positive. Rather, it’s silence and expressed “irritation” about McDaniel’s honesty where other prominent Republicans like Matt Gaetz and Mark Meadows — to say nothing of the President himself — have disclosed both taking the test and their negative results without similar irritation.

As such, it’s an indication that the White House no longer wants to talk about the multiple exposures people within the White House and top ranks of the government or the Republican Party have had, and probably would not tell us if someone who had been exposed tested positive.

Negative or positive, McDaniel is entitled to her privacy, and I wish her the best with whatever was causing her symptoms. But President Trump has a duty to convey the seriousness of this disease and explain how easily one can come in contact with a person who, at the time, appears healthy, but who nevertheless might be contagious.

He hasn’t done that. As of yesterday’s press conference, however, he exhibited a new sobriety about this disease.

In the days ahead, the number of positive cases in a number of states are going to spike, in part reflecting second generation infections, in part because for the first time testing is becoming more widely available. For its part, Michigan announced a new case reporting, covering what will sure to cover those spiking numbers today, that eliminates the kind of individualized information that would allow someone to track a known potential case.

Which suggests that at the moment where we’ll finally begin to track asymptomatic transmission, the public will have less information with which to do so.

That probably explains why governments across the country just got more serious about stopping transmission without such critical data.

94 replies
  1. Leu2500 says:

    The sooner Trump & Pence & that whole sorry lot of Republicans in Congress get it the better off this country will be.

    • chetnolian says:

      From a UK now in full disaster mode; it looks like we might be about a week ahead of the US, no it wouldn’t.

      Quite apart from the sheer cruelty of wishing a potentially fatal disease on any other human being, what you want is that the people in charge, and that for the moment does include Donald Trump, start to rely on the experts and accordingly recognise and say openly that this is a crisis of truly epic proportions.

      • Katherine M Williams says:

        You might change your opinion after 3+ years of Boris and his right wing government. This country has suffered horrible things under Trump.

    • Ed Walker says:

      It’s a widely held opinion here that Republicans don’t care about any disaster that doesn’t affect them personally or their families.

  2. tryggth says:

    I’m really surprised Fauci would agree to continue to work on the team without demanding exposed team members get tested.

    • Vicks says:

      I think Fauci is wisely choosing his battles.
      It appears his specialty is not just in the field of immunology, but dealing with egotistical fools that if triggered could easily throw out more serious obstacles to his mission.

      • dude says:

        He said himself in an interview:

        “I had the experience of all the differences on HIV/AIDS from Reagan to George H.W. Bush, who took a significant interest, to Clinton and George W. Bush and Obama. During the Reagan years, President Reagan didn’t speak hardly at all about HIV/AIDS, and so when people thought about the federal government and AIDS, they would think of me and Jim Curran (then the chief of the research branch of the Division of Sexually Transmitted Diseases at the CDC). So when the activists started to appropriately react to the rigidity of the clinical trials, for instance, they started storming the NIH and burning people like me in effigies, and Larry Kramer, now a close friend, was calling me a murderer.”

      • AndTheSlithyToves says:

        Unfortunately, I’m old enough to remember Anthony Fauci’s involvement in the AIDS epidemic, and his team’s being exposed for faking the discovery of the AIDs virus. (The French team was ultimately credited with identifying and confirming the AIDs virus.) If you haven’t seen the old TV Movie “And The Band Played On” starring Matthew Modine, it’s well worth watching.

        • Peterr says:

          I think you’re getting Fauci mixed up with Robert Gallo. Fauci was at NIAID, while Gallo was the lead US researcher who got into the competition with French researchers. This Reuters writeup when the French were awarded the Nobel Prize has some of the details.

          Fauci was not part of Gallo’s team, but doing his own AIDS-related work.

          • AndTheSlithyToves says:

            Bless you, Peterr!! You are absolutely correct. I’ve had them mixed up all these years. Mea culpa. I AM old.

          • harpie says:

            Oh! I’m so glad…I really like Anthony Fauci! …and I worry about him…he’s 79 years old. [also, though, I read that he runs 3.5 miles a day.]

          • Mart says:

            I worked at a company that moved an employee from France to Illinois. It was very strange for the time that he was openly gay. He had been diagnosed in France with the new disease. We watched him crumble and die in a short time. Dealt with usual fears in the office, if we go in his office will we get it? Strange times. Found the “let the gay people die as they deserve it” crowd really revolting after being a small part of such an undeserved death.

        • Kick the darkess says:

          Trying to think back….are you thinking about the completing claims for HIV discovery between the Gallo and Montagnier labs? Trying to remember how Fauci was involved in that; specifically don’t recall claims of faking data. But it sure has been awhile.

          • Kick the darkess says:

            Heh. See while I was typing others were thinking the same thing. But maybe worth clarifying: was it just about who did what first or were there shenanigans?

            • AndTheSlithyToves says:

              The article Peterr linked sums it up nicely–interestingly, it quotes F. Now that the issue of global pandemic has come back with a bang, I’m going to have to read Randy Shilts’ book on which the “ATBPLO” movie was based.

            • Kick the darkess says:

              Thanks for links on researchers from that time. There’s an argument that the Nobel prize thing is not really a good look for science.

              On walk got to thinking compare/contrast btween HIV/AIDS with COVID 19, the slow motion wave of a retrovirus, still rolling strong thru south Africa, for example, compared to a tsunami RNA virus. Which strategy is better?

              Seems like there should be some word play. Packaging retro and RNA. Asymptomatic infections and a testing delay. Still hard to believe something so small. “Has us waiting for the hammer to fall”.


  3. harpie says:

    As of yesterday’s press conference, however, he exhibited a new sobriety about this disease.

    …this made me wonder about Ivanka’s possible exposure the other day.

    [I’m re-posting this comment from the other post.]

    Via Laura Rozen, this is Politico WH reporter Meridith McGraw:
    11:32 PM · Mar 16, 2020

    I asked what changed WH thinking in the past 24 hours and Dr. Birx referred to a new model from the UK shared with the task force. @nytimes confirmed that @imperialcollege gave their projections to the WH this weekend. The findings are sobering: [NYT]

    “the potential health impacts were comparable to the devastating 1918 influenza outbreak, and would “kind of overwhelm health system capacity in any developed country, including the United States,” unless measures to reduce the spread of the virus were taken.”

    Here is the study:
    https://imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/medicine/sph/ide/gida-fellowships/Imperial-College-COVID19-NPI-modelling-16-03-2020.pdf []

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Trump can sometimes depart from his norm, which can be useful. But he usually resents the hell out of it, lets his resentment fester, and claws back any humanity he’s expressed through a return to petulant vindictiveness.

        • harpie says:

          9:40 AM · Mar 17, 2020

          Just before Trump attacked her, @GovWhitmer was on MSNBC saying that “the federal govt did not take this seriously early enough” & added, “to hear the leader of the federal govt tells us to work around the federal govt because it’s too slow is kind of mind-boggling, to be honest” [VIDEO]


      • Katherine M Williams says:

        From what I’ve read in the WaPo and heard elsewhere, there is a really great scapegoat: Kushner. The stories are that he was the one who told Trump the disease was not serious, to just try and PR it away. Then he was the one who wanted to financially benefit from sales of test kits and so held up the distribution, etc. Then Kushner actually wrote the disastrous Oval Office speech, and so on.

        I don’t know if this is true, its the impression I’m getting of the latest WH explanation. Trump would naturally be cheerful if he has someone to blame for everything, tho I would think trying to explain how & why Kushner was running things would be impossible for most Administrations.

        • P J Evans says:

          Most administrations wouldn’t have Kushner involved in *anything*, because obvious nepotism and lack of relevant knowledge.

      • BobCon says:

        He definitely filters everything through his Id. I lean toward the reason for his more sober tone being a personal contact getting infected over any study.

        What has me worried is that fear is a big piece of his Id to go with resentment, and that adds to the reptilian impulses.

    • emptywheel says:

      Yeah, I saw that. I’m not sure they’d be able to keep an Ivanka Dx secret. McDaniel, sick or well and quarantining in MI, is another matter, at least for now.

      • Desider says:

        Hard to say – so many sycophants and enablers who’d shut down anyone who deviated from the script…
        Yeah, I’m almost willing to bet Trump heard some very bad news about himself or someone close, which knocked him off his usual pedestal for a sec. Doubt he’d be troubled about McDaniel.

          • e.a.f. says:

            My impression of the “serious/somber” routine is, they told him to look that way or the stock market would fall even further. its an acting job, its not real. Its not just what is on his face, its how he walks, his whole body language and he still isn’t serious and he still doesn’t care about the American people. Its just all about the stock market and his personal wealth. Oh,. I know how they got him to look “somber”, they told him his resorts might have to close.

    • harpie says:

      Here’s Josh Michaud @joshmich with a summary of this, and one other new paper. [He’s Associate Director Global Health @KFF. @SAISHopkins Prof. U.S. & International Health Policy, Health Security, Infectious Disease Epidemiology]

      9:17 PM · Mar 16, 2020

      Quite a one-two-punch from 2 #COVID19 papers released today. […]

  4. Rapier says:

    They long for reports of mild cases among the breather that have left the victims unscathed. They live in terror of a fatality. The odds are in their favor but ones or twos or three deaths among people with clout, with connections, and known by many in the party is going to be a disaster for them.

  5. Willis J Warren says:

    Whatever happened yesterday has had a big effect on the way they’re talking about the virus spread, though. I’ve been scared shitless for almost two months. Everyone should be

    • Tom says:

      I’m old enough to remember the Cuban Missile Crisis and, so far at least, the COVID-19 pandemic does not measure up to those 13 days in October ’62 on the Scared Shitless Scale. But we may get there yet. I’ve been trying to persuade my son and daughter to postpone the trip to Paris they have planned for late August, but they seem to think things will be back to normal, or at least will be manageable, by then.

        • earlofhuntingdon says:

          What I’ve read predicts the peak is months away, June or July. Two weeks seems improbable, given that so few tests are available or been administered. If those tests become available, the numbers, once tracked, will rise tremendously.

          • Mooser says:

            With the lack of testing, organization, ICU beds, etc. the most cautious ‘flatten-the-curve’ approach is the only sensible course.
            But if the virus turns out to be less lethal or less transmissible than projected, the righties the Trumpists, will never understand or acknowledge that it has to be this way.

          • Rayne says:

            Peak will not be *months* away. It’s weeks away. Like 6 weeks when the second wave related to exposures from this weekend’s debacle in airports hits.

            • P J Evans says:

              The chemo people sent an automated phone call this morning asking people to call and make arrangements beforehand if they have any of the symptoms of the virus. (None here so far.)
              The supermarket has shortened its hours and is limiting the number of customers inside at one time – and also sanitizing checkstands between customers. (They’re out of a lot of the less-expensive stuff. And some produce.)

              • Rayne says:

                Every single patient should arrive wearing a mask. A pity our system probably doesn’t have enough to send masks to every patient.

        • e.a.f. says:

          Remember those days very clearly, Russian ships sailing for Cuba and even as kids we knew this was going to be awful if things didn’t work out well. Ya, you’re right that was scarier than this right now.

      • Kate Freedman says:

        Tom, I remember those “scared shitless” days. I wonder how hiding under our desks at school in case of nuclear war has affected our psyches.

        • P J Evans says:

          I wonder, too – I’ve dreamed about dying in a nuke explosion, and it didn’t scare me as much as you’d expect. Maybe because I also got raised with the idea that we were going to be a target.

      • Katherine M Williams says:

        I was in High School during the 1968-69 Swine Flu epidemic. I was really sick, probably pneumonia, but didn’t get good care, as the whole family -6 kids and 2 adults- were sick at the same time. I remember sleeping sitting up for about 4 months afterward, evening fevers, and such. As the saying goes “Sucks to be Poor”.

      • Old Antarctic Explorer says:

        Tom, I remember those days vividly too, although I wasn’t in a target area. I was wintering over in the Antarctic. The Navy radiomen couldn’t tell us what the classified messages contained that they were forwarding around the globe as part of the Navy Communications Network, but they could tell us that the Defense Dept. was ramped up for war and that we should be VERY concerned about our friends and relatives stateside.

        The Officer-in-Charge said we had over two years of fuel and food even without rationing. With that information thinking divided into two camps: one wanted to hunker down and wait for help, the other wanted to get the Cats and Sno-Cats up and running and make a run for McMurdo (800 miles), which is next to Scott Base, the New Zealand base. We figured either the Kiwis or the Aussies would want to rescue their teams and would pick up anyone at McMurdo too. Fortunately we didn’t have to do either.

        But for this situation we are at ground zero, like the rest of the world. My wife and I are in the vulnerable class, because of age, and she has pre-existing conditions that make her even more vulnerable. So we’re hunkering down; the neighbors are volunteering to pick up groceries for us. Good luck to all of you too! And Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

    • Ed Walker says:

      The problem is that Bubblebutt refused to start testing immediately, and then dug in his heels to avoid testing. We are panicked because we don’t know the extent of the problem. That fathead greedbox wrecked the market to cover his failure.

    • it's complicated says:

      Almost two months here, too. Being in Germany but reading media from Korea, which made me worried a few weeks ahead of most people here.
      Been screaming from my local rooftops here that we have to do a Korea, nothing less, and fast. They are treating it as the threat it is. We’ve started responding late because that’s in our DNA and slow because of federalism. I fear that will turn out to worsen matters considerably.

      On a lighter note, this one really made me weep: https://edition.cnn.com/2020/03/16/opinions/south-korea-italy-coronavirus-survivability-sepkowitz/index.html
      That guy is an MD and even “infection control expert” at a hospital?
      He probably never heard about Shincheonji and the fact that most if not all of 240000 members of that cult were tested, many of them young women.

  6. BobCon says:

    Stephanie Grisham is said to be working at home too, with the official reason being contact with the Brazilian delegation from Bolsinaro at Mar a Lago.

    The fact is that so many people in the President’s orbit are possible vectors that naming a single source is impossible.

    The other thing that has me really concerned is that while it is certainly possible the Brazilians were infected in the US, it is also very possible the virus is spreading rapidly in Brazil. They have reported very few cases, which is not possible. Bolsinaro has the same coverup instincts as Trump, and weaker opposition institutions to force the truth out.

    Brazil has the dense urban centers and thin public health system that can be a deadly combination, plus extensive foreign trade with Europe, the US and Asia.

    There are already prison riots and escapes over Coronavirus fears, and sooner or later when the truth can’t be smothered it is going to be an awful situation.

  7. Fran of the North says:


    What did your governor do that pissed El Presidente off today? It appears that she is failing, and needs to be more proactive. Or so the tweet stream reads.

    To both Rayne and Katherine (others too, just can’t place): my sympathies on your reduced lung capacity and the elevated risk that entails. About a week ago, on a work call an anesthetist mentioned that while not the equivalent of ventilators, anesthetists use respirators in the OR and while less automatic than a purpose built ventilator, they can be used in a similar fashion. So the potential numbers are higher than just available ventilators.

    As they used to say on Hill Street Blues: “Let’s be careful out there.”

    • Katherine M Williams says:

      Well, I started taking vitamin D along with a good multi-vitamin last week, and was surprised to have the cough ease up quite a bit. I’ve always been skeptical of vitamins, but figured it wouldn’t hurt. Got that idea from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W5yVGmfivAk&t=4s
      I’d read 10 years ago in Consumer Reports that Costco sold vitamins which were actually vitamins, not flour or cornstarch and such. So that’s where I got my vitamins.

  8. FL Resistor says:

    I am glad you brought this up. I too have been looking every day for further news of Ronna Romney McDaniel’s test results. So far everything is three days old.
    They’re all so used to lying about everything that they appear not to know when to tell the truth.
    So be it. We’re handling the cards we’re dealt.
    My hope is that we turn to national, hard paper copies to handle the upcoming presidential election so that everyone in every state can mail in a ballot. And also that we have people from both sides of the aisle carefully monitoring the counting of votes.

      • NickinNJ says:

        Drum roll… and cymbal crash! Happy St Patty’s Day everyone! Hope everyone can keep it together drinking at home with family. What could possibly go wrong…

        • Philip Webster says:

          Thank you. I’ll drink to that listening to the tune of the millennials singing That’s CORONA to the tune of that wonderful old drunk Deano. I love the Irish as well as all the other drunks everywhere unless they are assholes.

      • Krisy Gosney says:

        Thanks for the LOL. I’ve been feeling scared this morning and the laugh snapped me out of a little.

  9. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Another lying press conference from Trump. We’re united and working together very well! The best. He hovers around his Covid-19 task force presser like the Wicked Witch of the West commanding her army of flying monkeys.

    Mnuchin is focused only on keeping the markets open. He dodges questions, like how much money will go to whom, by saying he has to get back to work. FYI, keeping the public informed is part of his work.

    For some reason, Seema Verma continues to have high visibility, more so than her boss at HHS. She is a long-time lobbyist who has vowed to rid the country of the very Medicare and Medicaid she’s now in charge of administering. Not very reassuring.

  10. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Dr. Birx is saying that “foreign” tests were not as reliable as the American ones that the private sector is now generating – which remain largely unavailable. Sounds like horse puckey to me, confirmed by her later paean to the simply mahvelus private sector. JFC. Her point seems to be to distract from how the administration is mishandling this crisis.

    • Rugger9 says:

      The thing about a claim like that is that the tests will have validation data which will be available.

      The data is there in spite of Dr. Birx’s assertion that the test quality data were not submitted to FDA and therefore suspect for that reason alone. WHO might not agree, since actual science and accurate data analysis are facts that are stubborn things.

      ADM Giroir says no tests were rejected, in that the tests were not approved for use as they were experimental. DJT says that 1) no rejections and 2) the tests were crap anyway (paraphrasing); and with that the presser is done.

      • Rugger9 says:

        That also of course assumes that the FDA was funded and alerted to the need to review these tests in an environment where the pandemic team was disbanded by DJT two years ago.

        Birx could actually get sued for what she’s saying here if she’s not careful because the validation done prior to any human testing even in the PRC will have proof of safety and effectiveness.

        • P J Evans says:

          And WHO is far more competent than the current US administration’s top officials, the ones who are supposed to be in charge.

    • Peterr says:

      Qiagen, the maker of that “foreign” test used by the WHO, is owned by Thermo Fisher, a big US health science corporation. The only thing foreign about it is that it was made by their German-based subsidiary.

      So yes, it’s horse puckey.

      • TomVet says:

        I saw this after Trump’s presser with all the pharma execs.

        While name checking Roche for their newly approved diagnostics, Trump casually threw out the name Thermo Franklin (without any context). Surely many people thought, “What? Who?”

        Thermo Franklin is a competitor company awaiting impending approval for their Covid 19 diagnostic equipment AND…according to his 2018/19 financial disclosure Trump has several hundred thousand dollars* in Thermo Franklin stock… Of course. Nothing corrupt there.

        *those financial disclosure forms are notoriously vague about how much

        And an update-


        Overnight, Thermo Fisher got their approval (sorry for the typo above, it’s Fisher not Franklin, I don’t know why I did that). Anyway, the US could have been using the WHO approved Qiagen system deployed throughout Europe for the past month, but we had to wait for this system (from which Trump will profit).


        Both of which were in this article at Jezebel. The article itself isn’t very substantial, but it was a commenter, Jerry-Netherland, who posted this.

        (Hope this all works, as I didn’t get the composing toolbar, nor a preview button in my comment block this time around.)

        Success! Also article link:

  11. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Trump’s continues with his litany of mixed messages. Specialists laud Trump, then explain their point, then laud Trump and the private sector. Trump then reinterprets their message as, “I’m great. We’re great. We’ve done the best evuh. Don’t change what you’re doing. Everything will soon be back to normal.”

  12. Rugger9 says:

    Trump lied about being concerned about the pandemic possibility long before anyone else. Uh-huh. Now it’s all about covering for the market with pent up energy leaping forward once we beat the virus. Just now, “Anthony Birx, he’s…” when it’s a lady. Good grief. McConnell and Kevin cited for getting things done (She-who-shall-not-be-named still is getting no credit, even when he’s claiming she “attacked” him).

    The thing about Ronna is that the infection clearly points to Mar-A-Lago as a hot spot given all of the ones (i.e. the Brazilian delegation) who were positive. The property (like almost all of the other Trump Org properties) loses money when the US government is not in town, and this is the kind of thing that would kill the value (think of Typhoid Mary).

  13. Frank Probst says:

    “…for the first time testing is becoming more widely available.”

    Sadly, I have to say that I won’t believe this until I see it. I can’t understand how the testing HASN’T become widely available by now. If you had a group of James Bond villains all working together to hold up CORVID-19 testing, we’d STILL have testing that’s widely available by now.

    • CapeCodFisher says:

      They really danced around the kit availability issue today. Fauci claimed, to paraphrase, “ whatever, we need to prevent the spread whether tests are available yet or not”… true, but still doesn’t address the fact that the tests are already late and still not yet available, hence no idea how far the spread is, OR ISN’T…

      • OmAli says:

        I want someone to zero in on the claims that ventilators have been ordered. I want to know: how many were ordered, when exactly they were ordered, and from whom they were ordered. Hang on like a tick until we get a verifiable answer. Would also be good to know when we should expect them.

      • Pajaro says:

        NM is testing far more than AZ, though AZ has 10x more people. NM tested 1300 so far, AZ 221. Suggests tests unevenly distributed or ???. Also, NM governor and state-house Democrats, AZ gov. Repub.

    • thomasa says:

      More widely available? Perhaps. But labs also need the capacity to analyze.

      A four-year-old in a neighboring household is ill with corona-like symptoms. Grandma, a retired pediatrician, got him tested last Friday. Today I heard that results won’t be available for at least five more days. UW lab is overwhelmed.

      80 YO man in rural Quincy WA was in hospital in Wenatchee WA five days until he died. Test came back positive the day he died. Per Seattle Times today.

      Credible anecdotal evidence does not even remotely square with what we hear coming out of D.C. West Coast governors and health officials appear to be doing all they can and from what I can tell are getting cooperation from citizens.

      Young musician (31) whom I was to practice with yesterday cancelled saying it was too dangerous to me for her to visit. Brass horns drip condensate constantly despite water keys. We will chat on the patio when the weather warms later this week, she says.

      • Peterr says:

        The three big medical testing labs – Quest, LabCorp, and Viracor – each have a test that they make available through the hospitals, medical practices, and public health departments that contract with them. The local folks collect the samples, which are then sent to one of these labs for processing. Going from memory on what I saw over the weekend when I went looking at each lab’s website, Viracor’s test has about a 6-8 hour turnaround time, and the other two labs are in 18-36 hour range, plus whatever time it takes to get the sample from the doctor’s office to the processing facility. (Note: while all these tests measure the same thing, each of them uses a different procedure to get a result, thus the different lengths of time needed.)

        The bottleneck now, from what I understand, is for each of these labs to get the primers and reagents needed to run the analysis. So far, the suppliers of these materials are keeping up with things, as each lab ramps up the number of kits they can test — but it’s very very close.

        Oh, and let’s hope the lab technicians involved don’t get sick themselves. The labs can’t just bring in new techs off the street, set them in front of a machine, and tell them to get to work. Each tech has to be trained in the specific test being run, the specific machine on which it is run, then tested alongside an already certified person, before being allowed to run samples on their own – a process that takes time that is already in short supply.

  14. CapeCodFisher says:

    Another press conference where Trumps whole team of advisors runs off the stage at Trumps command. WTF is wrong with these people? Is there a reason why they can’t stay and answer all the questions? They all have to be somewhere? Shouldn’t someone be staying behind answering questions or is this public health situation not important enough to require answers? What a poor example of public service. I must be the only person who notices that questions are not being addressed. Otherwise you’d think someone would change that.

    • Katherine M Williams says:

      I don’t think they have any answers. Or the ones they have would enrage Trumpsterfire.

  15. foggycoast says:

    not sure i quite agree with EW’s statement: “Negative or positive, McDaniel is entitled to her privacy”. this is not a game of chicken. nor should people who contract it thought of as having some kind of moral flaw. people should be expected to self-identify as having the virus if they are positive so that others that may have come in contact will know that they should be immediately tested even if they do not have symptoms.

  16. Rugger9 says:

    OT sort of…

    About 850 B$ is being thrown at this effort, we’ll see how efficiently and effectively as we go forward. However, what inevitably happens with the GOP in charge is the demand to pay for this by going after the “entitlements” which we pay for through FICA (Social Security) and Medicare tax. When that demand comes will be the only variable I see.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      That’s an early number, and woefully inadequate. Of it, only $100 billion is earmarked for individuals rather than industries. I think it was Krugman who noted that the US spends about $150 billion in wages every week. So $100 billion for a months’ long crisis of employment isn’t even a decent tip.

  17. BobCon says:

    No surprise, but the NY Times continues its track record of bad political reporting.

    Today’s article by Maggie Haberman and Noah Weiland starts out somewhat better than before, possibly due to the absence of Peter Baker, but it falls apart before too long.


    In the first half, the article does a reasonable job of assigning blame to Trump for the mess and poor decisions. But the second half falls apart. It lumps Robert Redfield at CDC as one of the experts with decades of government experience. Redfield is in fact a major mistake as head of CDC with limited serious public management experience.

    The article faults Alex Azar for limiting the role of Stephen Hahn at FDA and Seema Verma of Medicare, when both are ideologues. Verma has a notable track record attacking public health policies and Hahn has an extremely thin resume in terms of government management.

    Pence is given positive reviews, which hints that his staff is the main source for this article — the article’s unwarranted support for Verma and Surgeon General Adams, both from Pence’s Indiana days, backs this likelihood.

    The article suggests Kushner was in over his head as he attempted to run the show, but is maddeningly soft on details. It mentions that Kushner wanted to bring on Hope Hicks, without mentioning her complete lack of qualifications. It mentions Kushner’s endorsement of the European travel ban, without discussing the fiasco it became.

    I suppose we should be glad to see some tonal shift in a politics desk article, but the major slants and misrepresentations in the details are troubling.

  18. earlofhuntingdon says:

    Moscow Mitch seems to be bored and is looking for things to do besides pay attention to 400 plus bills from the House sitsting on his desk, or a health crisis relief bill to get through the Senate.

    In a fit of boredom, he’s decided to tell Republican federal judges – I don’t know who those are, Chief Justice Roberts says the feds only employ “judges” – who are old enough that they should retire or take senior status before the November election. He wants to fill their slots with recent graduates from the FedSoc kindergarten. But it’s the Dems who are politiciing this health crisis.

    Citing the NYT: https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/16/us/politics/mcconnell-judges-republicans.htm

    I can’t decide whether that’s Mitch squeezing blood from a stone, or an admission that his and Trump’s re-election prospects – and his Senate GOP majority – are dismal.

  19. Matthew Harris says:

    On the subject of Mar-a-Lago…

    One thing that I haven’t heard reference to, but which seems relevant:
    Trump’s money, such as it is, comes primarily from the hospitality industry. Although the estimates vary, I think hotels are taking a 50% dip in bookings. How much money is Trump losing personally?

    • Ed Walker says:

      One can only think his recent turn-about on COVI-19 was caused by a recent financial report from Trump Org.

  20. Dat says:

    Fran, the ambu bag is squeezed manually while it is attached to patient’s endotracheal tube. This works fine when anesthesia is reversed, patient taken off the ventilator, and wheeled to the recovery room. It’s also okay if patient needs their breathing supplemented before waking completely. Another appropriate use is during travel in an ambulance. I know of instances of it being done for several hours during a by ambulance patient transfer. It is in no way a substitute for a ventilator.

    • Fran of the North says:


      Thx for the clarification. Not a medical professional at all – I got the impression that the equipment in the OR was more ‘mechanical’ in nature than a manually administered thing. Perhaps he was referring to permanently installed equipment vs a mobile unit that could be brought to the patients room. We were discussing the possibility of using OR’s as makeshipf patient areas.

  21. Fran of the North says:


    Thx for the clarification. Not a medical professional at all – I got the impression that the equipment in the OR was more ‘mechanical’ in nature than a manually administered thing. Perhaps he was referring to permanently installed equipment vs a mobile unit that could be brought to the patients room. We were discussing the possibility of using OR’s as makeshipf patient areas.

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