Live blog again if only to see what disinformation and outright lies will be presented, even if the MSM needs to not broadcast these live or should only replay the factual elements such as expert announcements. Otherwise they’ve become mini-MAGA rallies.
Considering the usual tardiness, this 5pm announcement means the actual event will probably be late, often up to 90 minutes late. It now has a familiar pattern: Trump has a written speech with a few announcements, he ad libs and takes a couple of questions, but flees before tough questions happen. Then actual experts field questions after Mike Pence holds up a prop. Each day/week has had “progress” reports about hospital ships that have yet to arrive.
The usual questions about this stunt-fest will be whether Fauci is present, whether Pence will hold up a prop, and whether Trump will pick a fight with a media member, although RW press plants have been called on to allow Trump to spout campaign talking points. Also, will Trump walk back his “beautiful Easter timeline” where there would be mass church attendance on Easter in a sop to evangelicals.
“[W]e've done more testing than South Korea,” the American president said this week. “Now, you're not going to read that in the newspapers because they don't like to write things like that. But I'd love you to say that one more time because that's a big number. We've done more than South Korea in a short period of time. We're doing more now than South Korea, by a lot.”
At a briefing yesterday, Trump repeated the boast, adding that South Korean officials actually called the White House to say that U.S. testing procedures “are amazing.”
It's possible that this call is real, but it seems unlikely. The Republican has an unsettling habit of describing conversations that only occurred in his mind and presenting them to the public as if they were real. He also loves to point to “anonymous validators” who mysteriously tell him how right he is.
But the most important reason it's so difficult to believe that Seoul would call the White House to celebrate American testing procedures is that our system pales in comparison. The New York Times published a good report this week on South Korea's successes, which noted a highly relevant detail:
- South Korea has tested far more people for the coronavirus than any other country, enabling it to isolate and treat many people soon after they are infected. The country has conducted over 300,000 tests, for a per-capita rate more than 40 times that of the United States.
For the White House, the raw numbers of tests are what matters — and should serve as the basis for boasts. But on a per-capita basis, South Korea has not only done far more testing than us — the country has roughly one-sixth the population of the United States — it also began its aggressive testing process much sooner.
With Reflexive Control, Russia changes its opponent’s view of the world, so he is tricked into making the self-defeating decisions Russia wants without even knowing it. Russia achieves this by creating a simulacrum, or “virtual reality.” This simulacrum influences the decision-making centers of the object of manipulation. As he now thinks that the simulacrum constructed by the manipulator constitutes reality, he will make decisions that correspond to the construct.
By meticulously studying its objects, the manipulator comes to know their vision of the world and what prompts their decision-making. In Timothy Thomas’ terms, this is called gaining “reflex.” In a conflict where reflexive control is used, the adversary with the highest degree of reflex wins, as he can out-manipulate the other.
Russia’s active measures that employ reflexive control target both decisionmakers and the general population. They aim to prompt political decisions made in Russia’s favor or to sow paralysis and confusion which weaken societies. According to the Russian S. Komov, the basic elements of reflexive control include:
- Information overload
Part 1: Propaganda prepares Russia for war
Part 2: Whataboutism
Part 3: Rapid fire conspiracy theories
Part 4: Russian propaganda operates by law of war