COVID-19 is not like the seasonal flu, among other things. The above chart should end all comments about it being “just like the flu”. Remember that 0.6% of the US population has been tested for COVID-19.

 And Howard Dean is the first to announce that he’ll not go on MSNBC as long as they keep broadcasting the daily Trump COVID briefing / shtick-fest.

So many lies, so many reasons for fact-checking. Most of them obvious and refutable by the press in real time, the only difference between his comments and a campaign rally speech.

Often Trump simply refuses to answer because he somehow knows he’ll be lying. He says he doesn’t want to trade people for GDP, but the GOP would sacrifice people for it as yesterday’s Wisconsin vote demonstrated.

Even as the Trump administration slowly finds its footing in the war against Covid-19, one high-profile element of its response remains stubbornly awful: President Trump’s performance in the daily news briefings on the pandemic.

‘I’m a Cheerleader for the Country’

Early on, Mr. Trump discovered that he could use the briefings to satisfy his need for everything to be all about him. As the death toll rises, that imperative has not changed. Most nights, he comes before an uneasy public, typically for an hour or more, to spew a thick fog of self-congratulation, political attacks, misinformation and nonsense.


For those who have managed to avoid these nightly spectacles, it is hard to convey their tragic absurdity. Mr. Trump typically starts by reading a somber statement that he seems to have never seen before. Next come remarks from other administration officials or corporate executives involved in the relief effort, generally laden with praise for the president’s peerless leadership. Vice President Mike Pence is particularly gifted at this.

After the testimonials comes the Q. and A., which is where the president lets his id off the leash. His constant goal seems to be to stress that he is in no way responsible for this nightmare — including any glitches in his administration’s response. All failures he assigns to past administrations, Democrats, governors, the media and so on.


If the cameras were taken away, perhaps Mr. Trump would worry less about putting on a show. Better still, perhaps he would leave the briefings to the officials who have useful information to impart. The daily briefings should be covered — consistently, aggressively and accurately. But coverage is not the same as running a live, raw feed of Mr. Trump disgorging whatever he feels in the moment. The events could continue to air on a public service channel, such as C-SPAN, to alleviate concerns about censorship or transparency.

In using his platform to mislead the public, the president is not serving any interest but his own. In facilitating this farce, neither is the media.


Most sobering, deaths from COVID alone were 40% higher in New York last week than the total number of deaths from all causes in an average week in late March from 2015 to 2019.

At a national level, COVID deaths are exceeding season flu deaths. The bulk of those deaths are in New York, but the rest of the country is quickly approaching weekly flu deaths even if you subtract New York.

COVID deaths have also greatly exceeded peak seasonal flu deaths in New Jersey, Louisiana, and Michigan. Georgia and other states will almost certainly experience the same this week.

Notes on Sources:


“in uncertain times like these,” it’s important to protect yourself against “looting hordes from Atlanta”


Because that’s what cowards say:


“The point of modern propaganda isn’t only to misinform or push an agenda. It is to exhaust your critical thinking, to annihilate truth.”–Garry Kasparov

And Tom Friedman’s “national unity cabinet” will last one Friedman unit:


There’s a potential political time bomb ticking for President Donald Trump in the public reaction to his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

Polls now consistently show that almost exactly half of Americans approve of how Trump is handling the outbreak. That’s a strikingly solid showing for him given the enormous toll on American life and the widespread and urgent complaints from front-line public health and medical personnel about critical shortages in tests and equipment.
Yet surveys simultaneously show that a lopsided majority of Americans believe he mishandled the outbreak’s early stages and failed to mobilize quickly enough against the threat.
Those paradoxical twin verdicts leave Trump standing on a cracked political foundation when it comes to his re-election. Republicans hope that if the outbreak recedes by this fall, the public will credit Trump with steering the country through the most dangerous waters and reward him in November with another term in office. But many experts believe even if the worst has passed by Election Day, the sense that Trump mishandled the outbreak’s initial stages could leave him vulnerable to a judgment that he compounded the problem.
Washington (CNN)


President Donald Trump has falsely claimed four times since last week that he inherited a faulty coronavirus test — which was, in reality, developed this year.

In March, Trump initially made a debatable claim that he had inherited a flawed testing “system.” By the final days of March and the first days of April, however, he was making a demonstrably inaccurate claim about inheriting the actual tests.
  • “We inherited a broken test — the whole thing was broken,” Trump said on the Fox News morning show “Fox and Friends” on March 30.
  • “And remember this: We inherited — the word is we inherited bad tests. We really inherited bad tests. These are horrible tests. And it was broken. It was all broken. And we fixed it,” Trump said at the White House briefing on April 1.
  • “The original test — the ones we inherited, Jim, as an example, they were — they were broken. They were obsolete. They were not good tests. And that’s what we got stuck with,” he said at the April 3 briefing.
  • “Initially speaking, the tests were old, obsolete, and not really prepared,” he said at the April 6 briefing.
Trump’s clear suggestion was that the flawed test had been left to him by President Barack Obama’s administration.
Facts FirstThe faulty initial test for the coronavirus was created during Trump’s administration, in early 2020, by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Since this is a new virus that was first identified this year, the tests couldn’t possibly be “old” or “obsolete.”
“He is lying. He is lying 100%. He is lying because he is trying to shift blame to others, even if the attempt is totally nonsensical,” said Gregg Gonsalves, an assistant professor in the Department of Epidemiology of Microbial Diseases at the Yale School of Public Health.
The claim “doesn’t make sense because it is false,” said Tara Smith, an epidemiology professor at Kent State University. “This a new virus.”
  • April 8, 2020