It Didn’t Go Away: COVID, COVID, COVID

Remember Trump’s gaslighting the American public, telling them COVID would simply go away after the election because it was just a hoax?


It’s still here. By Thanksgiving COVID will have taken more than a quarter million American lives if it continues to kill at a rate of 1,000 more per day.

This is the real hoax, playing out in front of use: Donald Trump is not a leader but a killer who has persistently tried to persuade us we’re imagining these deaths as anything more than a campaign ploy.

The campaign’s over and the cases and deaths are still mounting.

Fortunately we have a president-elect who is taking the pandemic seriously. Biden-Harris transition team has already issued a plan for combating COVID:

While the plan is more of an executive summary at this point, work is already beginning on details:

Doctors Rick Bright, Atul Gawande, Luciana Borio, and Michael Osterholm are expected to be named advisers for Biden’s COVID-19 team.

This is what leadership and competency looks like when American lives are on the line. If nothing is done between now and Inauguration Day, at least another 73,000 Americans will die from COVID. It looks like Biden-Harris are taking this seriously and not treating it like a hoax.

There’s one big wrinkle, though, not of Biden-Harris’s making.

A single person at the General Services Administration is holding up the formal transition process — a Trump appointee who has previously refused to answer the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee’s questions regarding Trump’s D.C. hotel which operates out of the old U.S. Post Office building.

States are going to suffer for the foot dragging by this lone obstructionist, GSA administrator Emily Murphy, protecting Trump. Red states will be hurt in particular since they are suffering the greatest proportional numbers of COVID cases, in part due to Trump’s campaign rallies. These ten states currently lead in number of cases per million residents:

North Dakota — 79408 cases per million
South Dakota — 67231
Iowa — 49899
Wisconsin — 49356
Utah — 47075
Idaho — 46191
Nebraska — 44716
Florida — 44281
Tennessee — 42816
Mississippi — 42534

When weighed against each states’ population, some of these numbers are obscene. South Dakota’s Gov. Kristi Noem’s weak-sauce advocacy for personal responsibility in lieu of a mask mandate in the face of the Sturgis Motor Cycle Rally during August demonstrated she isn’t capable of leading and protecting her state.

Utah announced Sunday night it’s implementing new restrictions including mandatory masks Monday:

Whether Utahns comply may depend on whether they believe what they are being told by both the state and federal government. At least Gov. Herbert sees ‘masks optional’ or personal responsibility doesn’t work.

For their sakes and their lives, let’s hope Utahns don’t wait for GSA’s Emily Murphy to do her goddamned job. Right now she’s endangering American lives.

31 replies
  1. Hika says:

    (Apologies for this comment going sideways from your serious discussion of the most serious issue for America.)
    “States are going to suffer for the foot dragging by this *loan* [+lone] obstructionist …”
    Trump sure will suffer when his creditors play “loan obstructionist” by refusing to give the soon-to-be-ex-President a sweetheart rollover deal when his existing debts come due. I don’t think the Trump Never Ending Campaign Tour will drum up enough coin to cover what he’s already bitten off. And distressed sellers just about never get full value when they have to cash in assets to cover overdue debts.
    Back on topic: The U-turn in Utah shows just how culpable almost all elected Republicans have been in supporting Trump’s fictions while hoping for an electoral advantage at the cost of lives lost and lives damaged by Covid. As an atheist, I can’t wish them a hot time in an afterlife, so I just hope enough people who had supported them eventually come to realise the full horror of what was done in support of the vanity of a very sick man.

    • Rayne says:

      Thanks, Hika, fixed. Invariably I have typos or grammar errors when I wrap up work after midnight.

      I’d like to see Trump’s creditors grab him by the short hairs to shake him down, but I think they’ll be worried they’ll tip off their role in criminality and are more likely to take a write down. So frustrating that this tangerine hellbeast is never held to account in any way that matters.

      • Rugger9 says:

        There are still the state prosecutions, and as Hika noted I would agree that DJT will not be able to cover his debts even if he sells his towers and golf courses. I’m pretty sure there are silent partners involved in fronting the cash for Turnberry, for example (it’s being looked at by the Scottish government on an Unexplained Wealth Order) who will not like losing their investment. It could be that DJT will be broke and looking over his shoulder every day.

        Let’s also consider what Melania can get out of him (while he still has cash) in a divorce.

        • Mitch Neher says:

          Do you mean to tell me that Trump’s real creditors already are the real owners of Trump’s assets??

          I’m not sure I want to know what the real collateral was, unless you think I can handle it.

          • Rugger9 says:

            If you consider that the “real creditors” do not appear on the ownership docs their legal options to directly interfere with a sale are somewhat limited. However, I would agree that DJT and his organization are well aware of what they owe and to whom. For example, I’m sure Vlad / MbS / the Emiratis are all consulted before anything moves.

          • Nehoa says:

            My guess is that the party who really financed the golf course acquisitions will be able to transfer control to themselves or a designated third party.

    • Mitch Neher says:

      Hika wrote, “As an atheist, I can’t wish them a hot time in an afterlife . . . ”

      But of course you can. You don’t have to believe in immortality in order to curse someone else to hell.

      Only the accursed person has to believe in immortality in order to be cursed to hell.

  2. harpie says:

    Just saw this from Kate Shaw linking to WaPo, via Leah Litman:
    1:07 AM · Nov 9, 2020

    GSA Administrator won’t yet make the “ascertainment” required to trigger next phase of Biden transition. Also– piece doesn’t mention this,

    but looks like Trump Administration installed a new GC of GSA–directly from the WH Counsel’s Office–ten days ago: /

    Trent J. Benishek Appointed GSA General Counsel
    October 29, 2020

    • Rugger9 says:

      Sour grapes all the way, but let’s remember that Biden was there in the administration 4 years ago, so he does know what should be getting done in the transition and he already is setting up for Day 1, and he is under no illusion that DJT will help him in any way at all.

      That limits the mischief somewhat, because of Biden’s experience.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Trump doesn’t think of these things, Meadows is sick and too ignorant, so it’s probably Stephen Miller’s doing. A willing executioner by delaying the transition and an improved national Covid response.

        • Spencer Dawkins says:

          I’m willing to consider the possibility that Stephen Miller has been co-president since January 2017. The guy who couldn’t come up with a Muslim ban that the Supremes wouldn’t overturn until the third try showed exactly the level of competence that we’ve expected ever since then from the Trump administration.

          I’m thankful that they didn’t recruit Tom Cotton … people with military experience are more likely to consider reality when they’re scheming.

  3. BobCon says:

    Like a lot of people, I am worried about how the authorization of a vaccine feeds into the broader antivax movement.

    On the other hand, I think the departments of health in most states, even red states, have a lot of professionals who will do a lot more on COVID once they no longer have the federal government fighting them every step of the way, and most of them are very good at rolling out vaccination plans.

  4. graham firchlis says:

    As fearful as we should be about the things Trump might do, what he and Republicans don’t do could be more catastrophic.

    IHME projections, cited below, show that simply continuing current practices will further accelerate Covid spread. Total Covid ascribed deaths are forecast to reach 515,000 by end January, with excess deaths reaching 600 000.

    Our health care system will be at or near collapse, with many local resources overwhelmed by mid-December including Utah. Experts there are planning now to deal with looming inadequate levels of staff, facilities and PPE.

    Gov. Herbert delayed restrictions far too long, in spite of panicked calls for stern restrictions since June from local health care leadership. The Mormon owned arch conservative Deseret News has had enough:

    “Utah’s numbers no longer portent a curve – just a line headed north.”

    [The LDS are now led by my old colleague Dr. Russell Nelson, President, Prophet and Seer. Russ is devout, but not blind or deliberately cruel. He is also a gifted and caring physician, and led his church in voluntary restrictions on religious gatherings. The rational comprehensive article cited below would not have been published without deliberate encouragement from top level church authorities.]

    For the ever cautious Deseret News, the following stark treatment is extraordinary:

  5. harpie says:

    3:11 PM · Nov 9, 2020

    This is absolutely bonkers.

    Georgia’s two Republican U.S. Senators are calling on the Republican Secretary of State to resign because they believe – without evidence – that he “failed to deliver honest and transparent elections.” #gapol [screenshot]


  6. P J Evans says:

    COVID is so much going away that everyone *inside* the hospital where I spent the morning was masked. (I got my IV port removed. Minor surgery, done in radiology, with local anesthetic.)

    • vvv says:

      Congrats on that.

      I am currently self-administering local anaesthetic in the form of boxed white wine, necessitated by the BS transition obstruction, news that our 75F days are at an end (10lb. ham on the smoker may be the last this year), and the C19 stats.

      My own daughter (23, lives with me) is now in covid protocol as she learned that 7 others at the medical facility where she works and who, like her, had negative rapid tests, are now established as positive by the 3-day wait tests. She took the other test yesterday with 3 others and is off work and staying in her room.

      And the job apparently just HIPAA’d themselves to hell by publishing names and addresses, etc., of the covid-positive and covid-pending, by email to all employees.


      • Rayne says:

        Oh god, I feel your frustration. My 23-year-old’s test came back “not detected” but now the fallout at their employer’s place has made them wish they’d had a positive test. Small enough employer that they all knew who had a negative or positive test without HIPAA violating emails, and were able to pinpoint the customer who was Patient 0.

        My next step: figuring out if the Patient 0 was somehow infected directly/indirectly because of one of Trump’s campaign rallies.

        The thought of this makes me reach for my own bottle of anesthetic. Best of luck to you and yours.

        • vvv says:

          Thanks, and good luck with yours.

          Mine got a call a cuppla hours ago that another eight (8!) in the facility are infected. She is an aid in a short-term residential facility for young women (12-18) with various disorders. A psych major, this is her chosen area of work (altho’ she ultimately wants to work as a LEO with kids at risk). Between patients and staff there are at least 15 infections out of about 70 persons total, and I’m listening to her coughing at the other end of the house.

          And here I thought one could relax when they become adults.

          • Eureka says:

            oh gosh. Thinking of you and yours vvv, don’t know what else to say…

            …well, I mean beside I hope yer stocked up on the wine and accoutrements.

  7. greengiant says:

    Covid on the fall/winter upswing everywhere except the countries that crushed it.
    Reminder of 11 million without papers and their families who have been thrown under the Trump virus bus with no Federal aid.
    Tens of millions of people with no rent money and using food banks for food.
    In some places the eviction moratoriums and rent postponements will be extended. Kicking the can down the road.
    Capitalism grinding the poor and unemployed with their business models. People end up with no bank accounts, evictions and bad debts on credit reports and then pay premium rents in the high risk market or live on the street.
    It is not the shutdowns that put businesses bankrupt. It is the GOP lack of Federal aid to support them in the virus economy where like Fauci a whole lot of people are not taking airplane rides or dining in.

    • P J Evans says:

      It’s the real end of chemo. (Three years of port in shoulder.) They let me see it before it got sent off to the path lab for checking over. I was a little surprised at how big it was, but I think it’s made to be sutured in place.

      • Eureka says:

        I’ll take your presence as a positive sign, hope the rest of your results come out OK. Thinking of you, PJ.

  8. Eureka says:

    Oxygen lines in Italy (holy shit):

    Irish Times Video: “► VIDEO: Covid-19 patients recorded queuing in their cars – with some administered oxygen – as they await admittance to hospital in Naples, Italy [vid]”
    3:05 AM · Nov 10, 2020

    [saw this on ABC News, credit there (via bug) was to La Stampa]

    Daily Double:

    ian bremmer: “Oct 2020. % who would get a covid vaccine if it were available India 87% China 85% S Korea 83% Brazil 81% Australia 79% UK 79% Mexico 78% Canada 76% Germany 69% Japan 69% Italy 65% Spain 64% US 64% France 54% -Ipsos”

    Not sure what’s up in outlier France — par for the course? events? error?

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