Planning the Re-Opening

A coyote looks over the water during a visit to a mostly deserted Kirby Cove on the Marin County side of the Golden Gate Bridge. Photographer Scott Oller captured the moment on April 9, 2020.. (Photo courtesy of Scott Oller.) Photo: Scott Oller/Special To SFGATE

Journaling the coronavirus  April 21, 2020:  re-opening, the king of ventilators, bipartisan testing, coyotes at the gate


In San Francisco, the coyotes sing in the middle of night-quiet streets. The San Francisco Pride parade and celebration scheduled for June 27-28 has been cancelled. The annual downhill mountain biking race my husband rides in Downieville is slated for early August; we don’t know if it will go forward, but the h is out the door each day for an hourlong training ride up the Marin headlands.  I ‘ride’ with him in our living room, my bike on a flywheel. He carries a walkie talkie and radios me from the top so that I can peer at him through our living room window with binoculars, his tiny orange-jacketed figure waving.

There is a certain sameness to every briefing the White House coronavirus task force holds, much like there is, I”m sure, a certain sameness to every rally the president holds, probably because even though these events have a vastly different purpose, they have the same agenda. At each event, the president spiels a highlights reel of crowd-pleasing comments: thus far in 2020 there is no chart topper to beat the undisputed hit of 2016, “lock her up” and that’s no surprise, as “lock her up” reached heights of achievement few slogans can hope to equal. It’s right up there with “This Bud’s For You”, “Just Do It” and “Where’s The Beef?” The nostalgia for it is evident; in Michigan angry citizens are once again chanting it – again, at a woman politician the president doesn’t like –  as they march for the the right to freely infect anyone in their vicinity.

This sameness is such that journaling daily is unnecessary; no new information is forthcoming, as this CNN reporter’s excellent summary of Sunday’s briefing proves; each new episode of the president’s pandemic reality show is the same mix of “score-settling, blame-shifting and reporter-bullying” as he aptly puts it.  He’s not wrong; on several occasions, I’ve had to check the date of the broadcast, sure I was watching a previous episode, such is the clang of familiar lines delivered. Therefore, I’ll be moving to a schedule of journaling every 3rd of 4th day.

I often feel sorry for the reporters as I listen to the president drone out the same updates on the same PPE equipment arriving sometime in the weeks ahead. Some of them, surely, are dreaming of a president insisting “I closed China! I closed Europe!” Covering the daily briefing must be like being assigned to cover a horse race where the horses are given free rein to gallop all over the place until everyone gets tired of watching and goes home.

The numbers:  In the US we’re nearing 800,000 infections, the death toll is more than 42,000 and continues to increase at a rate of about 2,000 per day.  There are signs that the mitigation efforts – sheltering in place, social distancing, travel bans and business closures  – have had the desired effect: we are flattening the curve, there are fewer new hospitalizations, fewer intubations. The daily death rate in New York, which hovered around 900 a day at its peak, is now less than half that (today, 478)  and has been steadily declining in the last few days.

The high cost of delaying
According to scientists, an estimated 90% FEWER people in the U.S. would have died from COVID-19 if the Trump White House had put social distancing policies in effect 2 weeks earlier than it did.  Had officials acted one week earlier, some 60% of U.S. deaths from the virus would have been prevented. If you have any doubt about this, just look at San Francisco, the only city with shelter in place orders on March 16th, and where the number of cases (~1200) and deaths (~20) remain much lower than other densely populous hot spots emerging.

“Are you concerned downplaying the virus hurt people?” a reporter asks, and the president replies “A lot of people LOVE Trump.” which I guess is a No.

“In January we put on a ban with China, and Europe, so how can you say I wasn’t taking it seriously, I put on a ban before anyone died!” the president warms to his tone of grievance. “People should say I acted early, it was a very hard thing to do…Nancy Pelosi wanted to have a street party in Chinatown in the month of February!” he claims, which as a San Franciscan standing five feet away from the Speaker as she toured the economically hard-hit San Francisco Chinatown, I can assure you is poppycock (except poppycock tastes good).

But you were holding rallies, a reporter reminds him.

“Did i hold a rally?” the president looks around to his team for confirmation but they are probably not rally attenders even in non-pandemic times, they are no help. “OK I’m sorry I held a raaaaaaally,” he says. “There were virtually no cases and no deaths so how could I not?” Not one person shouted Now THERE’S a question for you,  more’s the pity.

There are people who died because they didn’t take it seriously, because their trusted media sources and institutions and leaders told them not to take it seriously.  People will continue to die unnecessarily, if mitigation efforts are discontinued too soon. But what’s too soon?

The Re-Opening
Most of the talk now is about “re-opening”, a term that makes me think of those restaurants celebrity chef Gordon Ramsay remodels and reshapes overnight in the show 24 Hours To Hell and Back. It’s an apt comparison; most of the restaurants, like America itself, look ok from the front of the house. But then you accompany Gordon to the back of the house, looking for the processes, tools, and experts needed to run a shipshape establishment and you find chaos, broken and missing equipment, and inexperienced people so deeply mired in denial you wonder how any of them find the motivation to get out of bed and go to work every day.

Most of them are just collecting a paycheck and waiting for the end. Gordon’s arrival isn’t telling them anything they don’t already know – that the place is a disaster held together by string, the glue of rat guano, and wishful thinking. But how to get back on track? As with most problems, the people causing it are unlikely to be the ones who solve it; that requires a person with a talent for execution. In our pandemic scenario, the role of Gordon Ramsay is played by Governor Andrew Cuomo.

“There’s a sanity quotient to this.”

~Governor Andrew Cuomo

Governor Cuomo is presiding over the hellish eye of the hurricane. In his briefing, he frankly tells us, We don’t know how long mitigation will last. It’s going to happen, he assures us; for now we must stay the course, so that someday we can be on the right side of history, looking back, and say “We went through hell and look how much we learned and how much better we made this place.”

News reports show Georgia Governor Kemp will be authorizing the resumption of many businesses by Friday, April 24. Similarly, Governor Bill Lee said a “vast majority” of businesses in Tennessee would reopen by the end of next week. The first reporter question in Monday’s briefing is the $64,000 one: if a city or state is not past a 14-day downward trajectory of the key indices (hospitalizations, intubations, deaths) is not met, shouldn’t we not be opening stores?  The answer of course is yes, but the answer given was “Each of the governors can decide.”

Dr. Birx directs us to check out each of the states’ Department of Health websites, where citizens and journalists alike can track how many cases per day are being reported. In Jacksonville, for example, there are less than 20 cases per day. “When you inform the public and give them the information they need, and they can make the decisions themselves,” she asserts but there is no discussion of how the fact that just 275,000 tests have been conducted in the state should figure into that decision. If there isn’t widespread testing, it can’t be said there isn’t widespread infection, or won’t soon be with the Grand Re-Opening underway.

gttweetThe planning for the Re-Opening of America is accompanied by protests reportedly astro-turfed by conservative groups. I don’t know about that but I can say some of the signs carried by protesters are downright puzzling; for example, “my body, my choice” a slogan for the pro choice movement, has been adopted by people who don’t want to wear face masks, though it’s proven COVID-19 spreads from person to person through droplets.  Nearby someone carries a sign that says “Texas will not take the mark of the beast” – I’m not sure what beast they are talking about or what it has to do with getting the disease COVID-19 but as a horror writer I can’t help but be intrigued.

choice and masksIn one demonstration, Sandy Hook denier Alex Jones rides in an open para-military looking truck with a loudspeaker yelling, and the audience yells back and it’s so chaotic you can’t really hear anything being said but that doesn’t seem to be the point, I think any understanding people have, they brought with them, everything now is about boosting the signal with noise. (Also, I remain shocked that a man who vehemently attempted to increase the pain of people who lost their children in a mass school shooting would have anything to say that anyone would want to hear, much less over a loudspeaker).

When I see these videos of protesters jammed against each other aerosolizing their grievances, I feel sadness and anxiety for the people demonstrating and anger for the fomenters. We don’t know enough about the spread of the virus; these actions could end up literally – as in actually – killing thousands.  Those fomenters remind me of the sequence The Sorcerer’s Apprentice in Fantasia, where Mickey gets the broomsticks going and then doesn’t know how to get them to stop, even as they nearly destroy the him. Mickey has a moment of premature ‘whew, lesson learned’ before the sh*t really hits the fan, as what started out as a bit of fun rapidly becomes a matter of survival. Luckily, a grownup shows up and fixes everything. I guess Democrats are hoping that will be Joe Biden.

Monday’s briefing spotlighted the Army Corps of Engineers. The accomplishments of this organization are clear – they ought to be, since the president and vice president repeat them on a daily basis. The repetition doesn’t make the accomplishments any less laudable, but it’s frustrating to listen through all the same information waiting for a new nugget that isn’t forthcoming.  It is more interesting, at least, to hear the information from Commander Todd Samonite, who gets right down to business reviewing the mobile/temporary hospital sites designed, executed, and pending. “I’m going to show you some real simple pictures here,”  he said, and showed us pictures that reveal the Javitz center has nurse stations and oxygen stations. I’m not sure what the purpose of this guest appearance is…there is no new information given, the data and facts are all well-covered territory, though we learn some interesting factoids, for example some of the hospitals being built have required six miles of pipe to be installed. I enjoy listening to engineers talk; they have flawless bullshit detectors and have a way of cutting to the chase that is especially refreshing when too much marketing and not enough substance are on the language menu.

The president implies that by asking him ‘hostile’ and ‘negative’ questions about his administration’s lack of preparedness, reporters are doing a disservice to the team of people who are working everyday to address the healthcare and economic crises America’s deliberate lack of preparedness for this virus has revealed. If this is true, Dr. Fauci is clearly an exception; Zogby reports Dr. Fauci has a 70% approval rating; Governor Cuomo’s is 66%, and the president’s is 49%.

“This is a noble calling to be able to step up and save American lives,” Commander Samonite concludes, then takes a few reporter questions, from which we learn that requests to build extra hospital capacity are still coming in – six in the past 4-5 days, in smaller and more remote areas. That’s a sobering thing to hear. The story of the virus is moving from the edges of the country, where I live, to the middle of the country, where most of my family resides. Every person I see hollering, unmasked, to “open up” sends a thrill of anxiety through me – my parents are in their eighties, and I pray they didn’t successfully navigate their way to old age only to be taken down by an idiot with a cough, or a political agenda.

From the sidelines the president interjects “We want to build 450 miles of the wall, give them an update.” Samonite tells us construction is going very very smooth, 164 miles are built and they have a good path to reach the goal by the end of December. “Its power to stop people from coming over, talk about that” urges the president. The commander is a very intelligent man and this is not his first political rodeo; his answer is elliptical, talking about the importance achieving a balance “while meeting the administration’s directive and making sure everyone gets a vote and gets a fair shake.”

After the commander leaves the podium the president in fond tones tells us “He’s a terrific gentleman, we have a lot of great people doing that kind of thing and deserve recognition for what they are doing. The Javitz 2,900 beds was incredible, we haven’t had to use too many of them though, and that’s ok!” (ding! a dig at Cuomo)

Testing and the King of Ventilators
The testing situation in the US remains dire; we’re not testing enough to really know how widespread infections are, but there are clues: in the Marion Correctional Institution, an Ohio prison, 1,828 inmates — almost three-quarters of the prison population — tested positive.

The president reads from his binder the now-familiar refrain that “We’ve conducted millions more tests than any other country, a number nobody thought possible, and we’ll be doubling if the governors bring their states on line.”  This is a reference to what I’ve come to think of as Schrodinger’s machines, which are sitting unused in labs across the country and contain locked within them sufficient capacity to double the current rate of diagnostic testing and contact tracing. They think.

He brandishes a sheaf of papers binder clipped together, and  fans them with this thumb, telling us, “That’s a lot of locations!”

The Vice President reminds us of two different calls held with the governors – calls the president continues to suggest the reporters are eavesdropping in on. Per the sheaf of papers President Trump was waving, the governors have now been provided with a memorandum and a map where all the labs are, physically, where the unused testing equipment is sitting, waiting to help governors double their testing capacity.

“We spoke about Gavin Newsom’s high capacity testing hubs with UC Davis,” the Vice President reports. Here in San Francisco every Tom, Dick, Harry and Sally still can’t get a test, but there is a big testing project underway in the Mission this Thursday which will give us the first good read of community spread over and above hospital admissions statistics.

“We are leaving no stone unturned,” the vice president assures us. “We have enough testing capacity for every state in America to go to phase one of the re-opening.”

Dr. Birx’s scarf today is a pretty melange of Moroccan colors, tied girl scout leader style, her hair in a chic chignon. It’s funny that there has been so much focus on her scarves when no one ever talks about the ties of the men in the room. Being the only woman to take the podium day after day makes Dr. Birx a sartorial torch-bearer of sorts, and it’s easy to project on to her choices…but that doesn’t mean the color, pattern or knottage of her scarf reflects anything about her mood. Still, it’s fun to think so.

Dr. Birx has a poetic way of expressing herself i.e. “mosaic of machines” and “web of understanding” that I found creeping into my own language the other day when I referred to a ‘mosaic of methods’, reminding me that repetition has powerful effects that we’re often not even aware of, something good to keep in mind as we watch protesters gather to shout “Let us work!”  wtf is wrong with people, fumes a scientist friend of mine. But I know. The protesters aren’t thinking vulnerable folks in nursing homes have anything to do with them eating out at a restaurant this weekend; the connection isn’t clear to them. There are smart folks trying to make that connection clear (see this video) but they are no match for the repetition of other, louder, stronger messages from the president, not to mention his failure to ever be seen wearing a mask.

“I will be signing an Executive Order to temporarily suspend immigration into the United States!”

Dr. Birx’s idea for a sentinel surveillance system that focuses on nursing homes and indigenous reflects the problem of unknown penetrance: when people are sick it’s easy to contact trace, but when people are asymptomatic – as they are with the coronavirus – contact tracing becomes much more difficult. It’s a credit to her successful management of her relationship with the president that she issues warnings to the public that continually emphasize what we don’t know is potentially more disastrous than what we do:

“This is a highly contagious virus. We don’t know by looking at someone if they have pre-existing conditions. We want to make sure when you’re  asymptomatic you don’t pass the virus to others.”  Fans of President Trump have recently been fanning the flames to #FireFauci; it will be interesting to see if Dr. Birx can evade their fickle, feral wrath.

The America First campaign theme has begun creeping into these updates, as when the president notes that “fenders and screws should not be made somewhere else, I like making it right here in the USA.”  There is a point to be made here, that the dangers of a just-in-time global supply chain that values cost over all other considerations can make us uniquely vulnerable to unexpected situations in which the supplier can’t operate – natural disasters like hurricanes, manmade disasters like nuclear reactor meltdowns or building collapses, and of course pandemics. To wit: before this pandemic, the main supplier of swabs was in Italy, and the main supplier of masks was in Wuhan, China.

This is the calculus behind the creation of the National Strategic Stockpile, of course – to prevent an interruption to hospital supply chains in the event critical resources cannot be bought or built quickly enough in the face of an emergency. The value to the country is not measured in annual ROI, but perennial readiness.

“We are ready to enter phase one, and we will be absolutely over-prepared for phase two.”    ~Admiral Giroir

The most chilling moment in the briefing comes during the scrum with reporters when the president opines that not everyone believes we should do so much testing. “You don’t need so much,” he says, without defining “much”.

“The reason the Democrats want the maximum is because they want to criticize.”   ~President Trump

Highlights reel:

  • “It was ventilators, ventilators, ventilators and now it’s testing, testing, testing.”
  • “It was all ventilators, they said there is no way he’ll ever be able to catch this one, and now I’m the king of ventilators, that didn’t play well, so we’ll get him on testing.”
  • “We’re delivering a number no one in the world is delivering.”
  • “We have tremendous testing, tremendous testing capability, we’ve tested more than any other country in the world by far.”

Admiral Brett Giroir, the federal official overseeing coronavirus testing efforts, gave an update. He faces a historic task, one that will be examined from all angles as it happens and afterward. To his credit he knows it;  the Wall Street Journal reported he once said that his vaccine effort is so vital that “the fate of 50 million people will rely on us getting this done.” It’s going to take a tremendous talent for execution and teamwork. 

The Admiral talks for awhile about supply chain management and the multi-disciplinary team of medical, laboratory, high tech, logistics, and operations experts brought together to focus on every piece of the supply chain with regards to testing. In heist movies, a multi-disciplinary team is called a posse, or a crew. Rick and Morty’s epic “One Crew Over the Crewcoo’s’ episode, is a paean to the process of assembling the ultimate crew.  I’m not saying a heist is under way (though you might want to read this) but it would be interesting to be treated to the meetings and memos flying around deciding who to invite to be on the crew. Being fired from your last job for self-promotion is not a stopper.

A young man named Brad takes the podium, and I am rooting for him because he looks young and like this might be one of his first outings with the administration and/or the press. He is the exact picture of what one of my bosses used to call “Jimmy Junior Guy” – not unkindly, just a funny recognition of a person presenting way above their pay grade.  Brad goes deep into the minutiae  of the supply chain, reviewing machines and their different levels of processing throughput. We learn Q-tips are not swabs, but Q-tip makers are becoming swab makers and 30 million swabs are going to be available “over the next handful of weeks”, which is just a different way of saying soon/not yet.  There is a lot of detail about extraction kits and PCR tests and millions of both are going to be produced in public-private partnerships that will be producing 3-6 million a month, soon.

The Vice President starts his remarks with a recognition of the team he has assembled (“I share your admiration for this remarkable team!”) and I appreciate that thanking your colleagues is always right and good… and yet, it seems with every speaker we get a little further away from the reality of the situation on the ground, which is that people are still dying at a rate of 2,000 a day, and we’re getting ready to enter a scary phase, re-opening the country before we have widespread testing. Will social distancing and masks be enough to keep us safe from a second devastating spike of infections and deaths?  One would expect a mood of caution and conservatism, but as each person takes the lectern it’s all smiles and jovial thanks and congratulatory remarks. There is a strong theme of “the worst is over, now it’s back to work” throughout that is only ameliorated when one of the doctors takes the stand.

Reader you could call me out on this opinion, I don’t mind. It’s a feeling I’m reporting, not a fact. The fact is, the Vice President started his remarks with a brief overview of the situation as it stands. There is nothing lacking in the pastiche of sentences, as you can see/hear for yourself. Maybe I’m listening for something else that isn’t there and doesn’t need to be.

“Our hearts grieve for the 41,000 Americans who lost their lives,” he says, but he doesn’t say “needlessly” or remark on how this death toll is as much a reflection of a bungled response as it is of the virus itself.  “But as we stand here today we are slowing the spread, seeing fewer cases and lower hospitalizations across the country” is also true, but it nests, like those dolls, inside a larger truth, that we are still unclear what the penetrance of the virus is overall. “We are preserving our hospital capacity. At the president’s direction we’ve built a great number of hospitals but we have not had to use them which as the president says is very good news. We thank the governors for taking decisive action.”  (ding! dig at Cuomo)

US crude futures on Monday went negative, which prompted some remarks from the president (“No one’s ever heard of negative oil before, but it’s for the short term”) , who sees it less an indicator of industry health and more a result of short sellers. “A lot of people got caught, and are not too happy, if you look at it, it’s more of a financial situation than an oil situation, a financial squeeze,” he tells us. Meanwhile a friend filled me in on this fun fact: Monday April 20th, the price for one barrel of West Texas Intermediate crude oil was $11.56, which is $0.92 less than a 12 pack of Quilted Northern toilet paper at Walmart, making toilet paper is now more expensive than a barrel of crude oil.

Who’s being stimulated
Although the president repeatedly calls the stimulus a great success, the headlines are full of stories of the inability of small businesses to get any of the $350 billion rescue funds intended for them – after biggies like Ruth’s Chris, Harvard and Shake Shack each scored $10 million, the fund came up dry for the little guy.  While those mammoth companies have already received their funds, the nonprofit I work for waits worriedly for an update from the bank on where we are in the process.  There is no way to be proactive – the banks provide no information on their websites and no information in their emails. Your only option is to wait and see.

A reporter mentions he received an email from the owner of a small business  who says he can’t get a PPE loan; the reporter wonders if it is fair that big companies like Ruth’s Chris have received $20 million in funds, while the little guy gets nothing. It turns out that at least 94 companies that disclosed receiving aid are publicly traded, some with market values north of $100 million. One in four warned investors well before the pandemic, during “the greatest economy the world has ever known” that “their ability to remain viable was in question.” These  businesses collected COVID funds when in fact, they were already failing, and they are using the opportunity (opportunism?) COVID presents to bolster their coffers.

The president assures us that the loans are being handled “by great professionals, it’s what they do, if we think it’s inappropriate w’ll get it back.” He goes on to ask the reporter for the name of his correspondent, saying “I’ll look into it, John”. While I’m glad for the anonymous business owner it’s not exactly revealing for the rest of the suffering small business community. Too bad we can’t all write that reporter and get presidential backroom deals.

Who is liable for re-starting the spread?
“What if these companies open and employees come back to work and get sick, will the companies be liable?” asks one reporter. The president says “I’ll get you a legal opinion on that”, but that in general “we’re trying to take liability away.” But didn’t you figure that part out BEFORE you developed your guidelines for the grand re-opening, asks the reporter, to which he the president, “We haven’t talked about it but we will now.”

A reporter points out that on March 24 “you promised 24 million tests by the end of the month” and wants to know what happened? We are told the information the team was getting was accurate about the number of tests in the marketplace, but we have an end to end problem in the supply chain which is a strange way to frame it compared to the much simpler and more accurate “We were wrong.” We are reminded that if the Schrodinger’s machines had been utilized we’d have a lot of those millions already done.

A reporter asks, Why is the Governor of Maryland buying 500,000 tests from South Korea and the Admiral says he doesn’t know given the excess lab capacity in the US.  The Vice President says he’ll follow up to find out why, but says “I don’t begrudge him for ordering tests.” The president later contradicts this, sayingThe governor of Maryland could have saved a lot of money, he didn’t need to go to South Korea, he needed to get a little KNOWLEDGE.”

There is some talk about what South Korea owes us after defending them for many, many decades. “The relationship is great but it’s just not a fair relationship, and we have to be treated equitably and fairly,” the president laments, mentioning that it’s Hillary’s fault. (no, really).

“Our allies have treated us worse than our enemies,” the president asserts, and I wince at the word enemies in the context of a briefing about a global pandemic.  “In many cases we don’t have a contract! China took $250 billion a year out of our hides…then the plague hit us.”  I sometimes picture the conference room where Chinese analysts are beavering away putting together into some coherence the insults, threats and claims made in these briefings.  Does President Xi Jinping review them daily? More or less often? One can almost feel sorry for him, but then again, it’s a fitting occupation for an authoritarian, to be frustrated by the disinformation a authoritarian-wannbe keeps spreading that means your own disinformation now has a competitor.

Why should we defend a nation for free? the president demands to know, his tone suggesting everyone knows what a ripoff that would be, and I think of Rudy Giuliani who defends the president for free. Where is Mr. Giuliani these days, anyway?

The president repeats his desire for an infrastructure works project with zero percent interest loans, “We spent $8 trillion in the Middle East but if you have a pothole in the highway someplace they don’t want you to fix it, how stupid have we been in this country, how stupid have we been?” he fumes.

Why is Governor Cuomo coming to Washington, a reporter wants to know, and the president seems honestly puzzled. “Believe it or not we get along,” he says. “I don’t understand when I see polling and approval ratings for the job, this group (he gestures at the task force) should get a 95.”  His frustration at getting along with governors by phone but hearing them say they have unmet needs is evident. He gripes “It was all about ventilators, why don’t you ask about those? Now we’re providing them to other countries, it takes YEARS to make these.”

The media
Anger with the press is ever-present; it must rankle the president to stand day after day before the audience he hates more than any other, reporters.  He tells them his administration has achieved “a scientific mobilization of colossal size and scale, some day they’ll be able to write the true story, the fake news refuses to cover it.”  You catch more flies with honey than vinegar might be true, but why should the flies enjoy their last meal is also true, if you harbor a personal hatred for flies.

“I cannot tell a lie.”   ~President Trump

The PBS News Hour reporter says, “You seem to think talking about testing is a personal attack, but there is a bipartisan outcry there isn’t enough, why do you think it’s an attack on you?”

Because it’s not bi-partisan, it’s mostly partisan, it’s incorrect,” says the president. “We have tests coming out perhaps over the next two weeks that will blow the industry away.”  I note the perhaps, as you should too.

“No matter what I do, wherever we go, no matter how well we do …if i came up with a tablet (that cures the plague) they’d say Trump did a terrible job, because that’s their political soundbite. They know the great job we’ve done.”

~President Trump

Things are happening that are very good and the people are coming together, the president tells the reporters. “I think the media foments anger. I’ll be asked a tremendously hostile question, and I’ll answer in a hostile way which is appropriate, I can’t just walk off the stage and bow my head,” he tells us, making me wonder not for the first time why we don’t just do away with war altogether and put world leaders in a kind of diplomatic cage match where they fight with light sabers.

“I built it once I’ll build it a second time.”  ~President Trump

Nancy Pelosi continues to take up space rent free in the president’s head, the price of impeachment appears to be blame for the pandemic, to wit “Nancy Pelosi is very nasty, she wasted time on an impeachment hoax,” says the President. “I understand that’s the game. They wasted a year, we could have bene doing things that were great for our country, they could have been looking into China!”  Sentences like this feels like the campaign is throwing spaghetti against the refrigerator  – it will be interesting to see if anyone can make this stick.

Good News: Governor Cuomo asked for federal aid to use for 50 percent bonuses to front-line workers who by the way are disproportionately women and from households with lower incomes.

See past entries in Coronavirus Event

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