(NOTE, although the White House has taken a few positive steps on COVID, many U.S. state governors have moved far beyond what the Federal Govt. is doing or recommending. This comparison story is still accurate.)
Today the United States is like a bus full of grandparents where the driver lost control and they are teetering on the edge of a cliff, much as the entire country is facing COVID-19.
With the bus in danger of going over the cliff the driver is jumping off while yelling, “I didn’t do it, it was that black mechanic’s fault three years ago.”
Then, standing outside on solid ground yelling into the bus, “Everyone stay in your seats, everything is fine, all will be excellent, just wait till Summer and the ground will dry out.”
Half of the Republicans on the bus stay seated or move to the front over the edge of the cliff.
Meanwhile, a fireman driving by stops and starts telling everyone to move quietly to the back of the bus and slowly exit the bus.
Now reporters show up to cover the rescue/potential disaster and they interview the driver who keeps saying things are terrific, excellent, and he is doing great while ignoring questions about the risk to the old people on the bus which is starting to tilt slowly toward the cliff as the edge begins to crumble.
The driver then starts a rambling story about how the rival bus company was actually just faking the accident and, “there is nothing to see here, it is all a hoax started by the competitors.”
No Outside Help Wanted?
Then a tow truck sees the situation and offers to hook a cable to the back of the bus to stabilize it and begin to drag it back onto safe ground.
But the tow truck is from another county and the driver says no thanks, our company rescue truck will be by in a day or two but he is beginning to look a bit worried and the company lawyer is whispering in his ear that he is starting to look bad and the company may terminate his contract if he doesn’t start making sense.
Now the driver is getting very nervous and starts saying what a great job he had been doing but that there might be a minor problem with the bus where it is right now.
Twenty-six of the old people fall to their deaths out of the bus’s front door which is actually already over the side of the cliff but we can’t even tell how many are in the bus.
That’s where we are right now. Two months AFTER the World Health Organization contacted the CDC and offered to supply test kits for the coronavirus the President is still saying there all the tests we need and another million or two will be ready tomorrow.
That is essentially what he has been saying for two weeks as the country keeps waiting and people are beginning to panic.
President Trump brags that he saved the country by shutting down the borders but the only state which isn’t reporting patients with COVID-19 is West Virginia which, having had a very old and very conservative Republican Senator is now very poor and has a very limited public health system which hasn’t reported any laboratory-confirmed coronavirus cases but also hasn’t reported having given any tests.
The President also denied any knowledge of the White House Pandemic Preparedness group which President Obama organized as part of the National Security Office because of the SARS (another coronavirus) scare. He went on to say he also wasn’t aware that this White House group had been terminated by his National Security Chief three years ago, just after saying there was no way anyone could have seen the current threat coming.
Everyone is Ahead of the White House
After three states canceled school, multiple universities told students to go home and telelearn, NASCAR, the NHL, the NBA, and college March Madness all canceled along with all Disney properties, President Trump finally declared a national emergency, following days after many States had declared local emergencies.
At a press conference, reporters questioned President Trump about why he wasn’t following CDC guidelines to distance yourself from others and avoid handshakes. They also asked him repeatedly if he had been or was going to be tested, which he said he might do but had to coordinate the test, which for the patient consists of a thirty-second mouth and nasal swab.
Friday evening the White House physician who is in direct charge of the health of POTUS, said there was no need to test President Trump because he hadn’t had close contact with the Brazilian officials who sat next to him at dinner and attended his son’s birthday party.
There are photos of the infected person standing closer to President Trump than Vice President Pence.
(The Republican Senators who had been to President Trump’s Florida resort with the President and the Brazilian president and finance minister, self-quarantined themselves to protect their staff.)
To Test or Not to Test, That Was The Question
Saturday the President was asked again about whether he should be standing so close to so many people after he had been exposed to several people later shown to have COVID-19 and he said he had been tested on Friday evening – apparently without the knowledge of the White House doctor. Either that or one of them was telling a major fib.
That’s where we are Saturday evening.
Stores are out of hand sanitizers, bread, frozen food, face masks and bottled water.
Hospitals and medical workers are having to reuse face masks because of shortages.
The United States actually has absolutely no idea how many people are infected because, despite the President’s repeated assurance, there is a dangerous, horrendously dangerous shortage of tests, so no health agency knows who or how many might have the disease, only that it spreads very quickly and easily with every infected person infecting between 2 and 4 others on average.
The President continues to make misleading and often completely false statements about the coronavirus and our state of preparedness, while the White House continues to follow behind him issuing denials and corrections at a furious pace. This is so confusing that a survey on Friday found that 52 percent of Republicans still think COVID-19 is something between a hoax and nothing more than a mild cold.
When asked, the doctor who is based on Capital Hill and who is in charge of medical services to Congress, stated that he expects between 70 and 140 million Americans to eventually catch COVID-19 which has a mortality rate between 1 and 3 percent, at a minimum 10 times higher than that of the yearly flu which kills tens of thousands each year. It also appears to be much easier to catch than the yearly flu.
Another Falsehood, Is He Just Making it All Up?
Finally, when President Trump announced a public/private program with Google and thousands of software engineers to quickly provide a web site that would help people decide if they should get tested and then direct them to a test site.
Unfortunately, he seems to have heard about this project in a dream because Google immediately announced that the company had no idea what he was talking about, although it was working on a small very local pilot project developing a public health web site for the San Francisco area.
If all that weren’t bad enough, when asked by a reporter if he personally took ANY responsibility for the slow reaction to this deadly pandemic, President Trump, of course, said “NO,” it was a complex situation he was left with and he was making a complete overhaul of all the procedures.
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