Fox News Has Decided to Kill Off Its Viewers

There’s nothing new about Fox News spreading lies. For years they’ve lied about climate change, immigration, crime, and guns with sometimes lethal consequences, but this is different. Aunt Edna knows she won’t be around to see her Florida vacation home swamped by rising seas. She probably won’t be killed by a deranged white guy with an AR-15. She won’t be herded into a concentration camp on the border. Since she has Medicare, she was never going to suffer from a dysfunctional for-profit health insurance system. Over the years, Fox News has made a living lying to its viewers about matters that would kill other people. Until now.

Fox News enjoys the oldest, whitest viewer base in television news. Only 1 in 5 Fox News viewers are under 50. More than half the network’s audience is over 65. If you’re looking for a place to pitch gold coins, reverse mortgages, or useless protections against cybercrime, there’s no better audience on television.

Take a close look at the mortality statistics from the COVID-19 outbreak in Italy, the only nation outside China yet to experience an extended period of uncontained spread:

Credit: Global Data

So far, 75% of confirmed cases in Italy have been in patients over the age of 50. As of March 13, 2020, almost 90% of deaths from COVID-19 in Italy have been in patients over 70. With almost 18,000 confirmed cases so far in Italy and more than a thousand fatalities, no one under 40 has died.

One might expect that a TV network built on its appeal to aging white people would be very concerned about this virus. Here’s the catch. Every cult eventually faces a conflict rising from its dissonance with reality. At some point, its commitment to a leader or to an imaginary vision of the world, forces it into tension with the reality. It must either abandon course, or let its followers get terribly damaged. Cults almost always sacrifice their followers to protect their leader.

Imagine for a moment what might happen if you blindfolded yourself and decided to drive your car guided only by The Force. For a brief, magical moment, it might seem like it’s working, but persist a little longer and the bill would come due.

Fox News has been able to stay in business because their blindfolded viewers mostly aren’t driving their own car. They’ve had their pale shaky hands on our collective political steering wheel while everyone else struggles to keep them from driving us off a bridge. Fox has survived because the impact of their disinformation has fallen disproportionately on non-viewers. The Fox News cult has been able to roll on, despite the rising toll of damage around them, because its aging white viewers, holed up in their deteriorating provincial backwaters, experienced precious little of the damage they caused. That’s about to change.

COVID-19 placed Fox in their version of the Trolley Problem. They could tell the truth about the outbreak and send that trolley car barreling into Donald Trump, perhaps damaging his re-election hopes. Or they could protect Trump and his Republican enablers by sending that death machine hurtling toward their vulnerable, elderly viewers. Fox decided to kill its viewers to save Trump. Tax cuts uber alles.

Here’s a little sample of what you’ll learn about COVID-19 from watching Fox News.

Fox host Ainsley Earhardt urged people to disregard warnings about travel. “It’s actually the safest time to fly.”

“It’s just their next attempt to get Trump,” Jerry “pool-boy” Falwell explained on Fox. He then pivoted to speculate that this virus was created by North Korea and China.

Trish Reagan summed up the Fox News line, opening her show Monday with the bananas headline: “CORONAVIRUS IMPEACHMENT SCAM.” She then explained “This is yet another attempt to impeach the President.”

An illness is a health problem. A pandemic is a political problem. No one dies from typhus, cholera or tuberculosis in a healthy political system. Germany has seen only 8 COVID-19 deaths in almost 4000 confirmed cases. South Korea is approaching 10,000 cases with only 72 deaths. Singapore, Taiwan and Hong Kong have millions of people packed in close quarters, in intensive contact with China. Yet they’ve only had a few hundred total cases with a tiny mortality rate, while adopting minimal restrictions on travel on large events. Life has carried on more or less as normal there, thanks to politics.

At the beginning of February, there had been only 70 COVID-19 cases in the US, all of which were connected with overseas travel. As of March 14, there were more than 2000 confirmed cases, spread across 49 states, driven by weeks of uncontrolled and unmeasured local transmission. By yesterday, when our federal government took its first semi-coherent measures to contain the disease, our window to halt local transmission had long closed. Our leaders made choices that placed us on Italy’s trajectory rather than Singapore’s or Taiwan’s. We wouldn’t have had these corrupt incompetent leaders without the overwhelming, enthusiastic support of Fox New viewers.

Fox News viewers made the choice that would transform a minor infection into a pandemic back in November 2016. The man they elected appointed an incompetent grifter to head the CDC in 2017. He replaced her with a religious nut in 2018. Trump fired the CDC’s pandemic response team in 2018. He waited two years to even select a White House Science Advisor. Obama’s last Science Advisor was a physicist trained at MIT. Trump’s new one is weatherman from Oklahoma who is already downplaying the importance of federal research funding. Disease is personal. Plague is politics.

How are we supposed to feel about this tragedy looming over the Fox News crowd? The epicenter of the COVID-19 outbreak in the US was a nursing home in the Seattle area, where the mortality rate has thus far reached almost 40%. Nursing homes are particularly vulnerable and containing the spread there is critical.

A Washington Post story this week summed up the danger and denial at the heart of this disaster. After a new case was discovered at another Seattle area nursing home, a reporter documented this interaction with a resident.

On Tuesday morning a pipe-smoking resident rolled his motorized wheelchair down one of the compound’s paved, tree-shaded paths. He said he did not believe covid-19 was there, and that restrictions were “overblown.”

“They’re having residents not have their meals [together] and gather in large groups. I think it’s already been blown out of proportion,” said the man, who declined to identify himself as he steered toward a crosswalk, adding that he “was heading out.” The man zoomed off to a congested strip of shops, cafes and restaurants in the Seattle suburb.

Fox News has reached its Kool Aid moment, and their viewers have made their choice. Their deliberately ill-informed audience is slurping their poison and heading off to endanger others.

Similar anecdotes are emerging elsewhere. Ask a Fox News viewer about this pandemic and you’re likely to hear bizarre talking points comparing COVID-19 inaccurately to the seasonal flu or blaming the Obama Administration for the outbreak. Then you run across incidents like this one described in a tweet from Rod Dreher:

How are we supposed to feel about this tragedy? Probably much like how we felt watching once-respected friends and relatives embrace our version of Fascism. How does it feel, after all, to look at footage of Berlin or Dresden in 1945?

Fox News has decided that risking the lives of their viewers is a better business decision than alienating their political masters or compromising their cult beliefs. Fox News’ viewers may perhaps dodge this bullet, this time, but we will not escape the rising toll of political dysfunction forever. Elections do, indeed, have consequences.

72 Comments

  1. And I am sure the election being delayed/cancelled is not part of these plans at all. To be fair, the Spanish fly epidemic ran for close to 3 years, and any serious talk about a vaccine is in the 10-18 month timeline. I talked about the tyrant wanting this thing to have started later. From the last few days of global updates, it won’t matter.

    But hey, you folks keep on believing that a sense of duty to uphold the laws of the land exists in the regime, the Senate, and the judiciary.

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/18/politics/contingency-planning-18-months-coronavirus/index.html

      1. Oh, I am well aware of the economic devastation that this is causing. My investments have lost a third of their value.

        And how about YOU give a thought to all the non-Americans who are also losing their jobs. The last 24 hours we have now heard the phrase “12-18 months”. Do you seriously believe that the economic powers that be will go along with that? Whoever you deem in control of the levers of the economy, and politics, are realizing that the cure is worse than the disease.

        One of the Repub senators Johnson voiced that yesterday.

        And circling back to what I said before, you seriously believe the tyrant will not use this hysteria for his political advantage?

      2. Do I think he won’t use it for his political advantage? Dins, Trump would say otters aren’t all that cute if he felt he could get an edge out of it. Let’s agree not to waste time on pointless questions here, shall we?

        At any rate, that isn’t even the key issue. The Dear Leader’s in a box and he knows it, and so do you. America’s freefalling into an economic Ice Age, with potentially millions of our fellow citizens ending up 6 ft under along with it. You can’t bullshit your way out of that one.

        But what about Trump’s “press conferences” and a few polls here and there saying Americans increasingly approve of his handling of the coronavirus crisis, you might say? Well first of all, plenty of polls show more Americans disapproving than approving of Trump (quite a feat given how much people tend to want to rally around the president in difficult times), so there’s that.

        https://www.politico.com/news/2020/03/17/poll-americans-lack-trust-in-trump-on-coronavirus-information-133576

        https://www.ibtimes.com/trump-approval-rating-49-americans-disapprove-potus-coronavirus-response-2937004

        For the sake of argument, let’s split the diff and say it’s 50/50 though. How do you think F***face von Clownstick fares as the economy tumbles into calamity, jobs are lost by the millions and our fellow citizens are dropping dead by the hundreds (thousands?) every week?

        And of course that was rhetorical. I did say we should avoid asking pointless questions after all. We both know the answer.

      3. I believe that we are actually arguing the same point.

        Yes, we agree that water is wet, and the tyrant will do everything in his power to spin this to his advantage.

        Here is where we differ:
        His cult following will not be swayed. If fox started spreading stories about this being a plan hatched by the dems and Chinese to wipe out repubs in order for a dem-led military coup to take over the country, at least 43% of the population would believe it. All he needs is 46-47% of the electorate, for the reasons I have stated before.

        Besides, you are well aware of the memory and attention span of the electorate. 8 months from now, the particulars of the past 6 weeks will be long forgotten, no matter how many dead, and no matter if this virus is still raging. Now, the loser party could bring it all back by running ad after ad showing the tyrant stating this is under control, a hoax, and all the other lies he spouted. But they are the loser party for a reason. Such ads would be considered in incredibly poor taste, and the dem’s are above such tactics.

        Oh, two more things:

        1. Don’t think the tyrant is not noticing what is happening in Hungary and Israel, real-time. A perfect template for what he wants to do.
        2. This is the one that brings down the real wrath of all on me: I am stating the obvious here. No economy, regional, national, or global, can withstand anything more than 2-3 months of shutdown. That is regardless if the support package is 1 trillion or 2 trillion. And that subsequent depression is far far worse than having even 100,000 die. And yeah, before you attack me on that statement, have a look at the link below. 135,000 U.S. citizens are projected to die of lung cancer in 2020, the vast majority from smoking. Yet we do not ban smoking. (Which we should). So let’s gain some perspective on the amount of deaths versus the irreversible damage this will do in the short and medium term to EVERYONE ON THE PLANET if we shut down the economy globally.

        https://www.cancer.org/cancer/lung-cancer/about/key-statistics.html

  2. We need an FDR for big, bold problem solving and a John Maynard Keynes to direct our economic planning and recovery.

    Two excellent WaPo articles today take inspiration from these two great thinkers to lift our country out of this crisis. Of course, there will always be the Rand Pauls and Mitch McConnells to sully the process, but it’s all about leadership.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/2020/03/18/three-ways-that-washington-could-ease-coming-coronavirus-crisis/

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/outlook/sending-1000-checks-the-lessons-of-john-maynard-keynes/2020/03/18/cae8f6e6-68bf-11ea-b313-df458622c2cc_story.html

  3. I talked yesterday to a guy who told me what a great job Trump was doing. “He got right on this virus stuff!” And, all this is being pushed by the media to hurt Trump! I pointed out this “virus stuff’ has been in the news for weeks! I asked him where he gets his info. He said Facebook and Fox News! He is 79 years old and has all sorts of health problems. I asked him to send me a picture because he will not be around too long!!

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/…/trump-learns-pitfalls…/
    Opinion | Trump’s late conversion to reality leaves out his supporters
    washingtonpost.com
    Opinion | Trump’s late conversion to reality leaves out his supporters

  4. Watching the primary returns from Florida. Seem to be a big turnout. And Black and non college educated whites are voting for Joe. No break down of Hispanic vote yet. I think Florida is in play this fall. The felon voting right return is a real game changer. If even a few hundred thousand of the over a million felons release vote Florida will elect the Democratic nominee.

  5. EJ

    Genuinely amazing things are happening in the UK right now. The government is handling the crisis so badly that it’s created room for the Left to step in on a grassroots level, not the sclerotic bureaucratic party-machine Left but the genuine revolutionaries. We are organising mutual-aid groups across the big cities to handle distribution of food and cleaning products to the old and infirm.

    Over the past four days, anarchist networks have multiplied faster than COVID-19 cases. This is not hyperbole: I do statistics for a living and this is the mathematical truth. We have had to divide our Whatsapp groups over and over because of how many people are coming forward and asking to help. My phone is full of messages eighteen hours a day, and when I wake there are more.

    Aggravatingly, the party machines and local hierarchies are trying to take control of it, happy to slow down the pace of organisation if it means retaining control. In a few places they’ve succeeded and the rot sets in. In others we continue to do great things. Some groups have helped, acting in good faith: Mormon, Quaker and Jewish congregations in particular have helped my local.

    When coronavirus comes to your town – and it will – hierarchies will fall away. The police will have nobody they can send to answer a call. Your money will not be able to buy anything when the shelves are empty. Low-paid insecure workers will no longer be available, so every new tech app that relies on them behind the scenes will cease to be relevant. All that we will have is each other. Organise. We can do great things. I believe in you.

    1. We have always been at war with Eastasia!!

      “ Just 37% of Americans now say they had a good amount or a great deal of trust in what they’re hearing from the president.”

      Just 37%????!!!!?!?!? The mere fact that it is not 0% after all the lies upon lies on top of more lies on a foundation of lies is absolutely gobsmacking.

      Can one buy futures in cult deprogrammer businesses?? I see much growth potential.

    2. What I hate about it is that his dishonesty spreads to all government civil servants. Who, exactly, is trustworthy?

      In three different civil service environments, I found mostly straight arrows with a keen appreciation of taxpayer money and a deep desire to do the right thing. (Only a sergeant major in DoD was a complete ass about pilfering. How embarrassing for him.)

      But ‘government is bad’ is what many choose to believe, all soldiers are heroes, and 45’s antics amp up disbelief for both those who like him and those who don’t.

  6. Chris, do I have to remind you that cockroaches are able to survive nuclear winters? Fox News viewers are a hardy folk.

    While I agree with you in general, this isn’t the first time Fox has been willing to kill off their viewers. That 1/5 under 40 viewer has a high chance of needing Obamacare to save his life. After 2016 there were plenty of schadenfreude-filled news articles about conservatives voting in Governors and legislators to kill obamacare who were then surprised when that left them without insurance. Most of those governors and legislators, however, continue to get re-elected.

    Furthermore, every scam promoted by advertisers on their site helps siphon off their viewers’ money, in some cases leading all the way to bankruptcy. They know this. They don’t care. Caring is for commies.

    I also agree with Aaron: the most rabidly pro-Fox News elderly are rural who already practice social isolation. That’s what allows them to go off the rails to begin with. The percentages lessen in blue urban places, which is where most of the spread will likely be.

    There is only one way in which this epidemic might affect rural Fox News viewers (of any age) more disproportionately than urban folk: most of our health care resources, especially expensive stuff like ICUs and ECMO machines, are located in the cities. And when they start to fill up with local patients, they’ll start refusing transfers from distant sites.

    Will rural people fare better than urban? I don’t know. I suspect it will depend on the interplay of those two factors: easier social distancing in rural areas balanced against higher health resources in urban areas. If you ask me, I suspect rural areas will actually come out ahead, as they have in every country so far. In which case, Fox News wins again…

    1. Don’t underestimate the relative connectedness of Fox’s viewers out in the provinces. They attend big churches. They go to the WalMart and the Tractor Supply. They love a buffet. When they take a vacation, and they do take vacations, they love cruise ships and Disney. And the people providing all the labor to support all of these institutions are largely from elsewhere, usually immigrants and often illegal – always beyond the reach of the healthcare system and any quarantine.

      Here’s an image of the crowds of doughy white people exchanging genetic material at Disney World just three days ago.

      https://www.disneyfoodblog.com/2020/03/13/photos-see-disney-world-crowd-levels-today-as-park-closure-approaches-due-to-coronavirus-concerns/

      And Nashville last night.

      https://www.knoxnews.com/story/news/2020/03/15/packed-nashville-honky-tonk-video-sparks-backlash-before-broadway-closed/5054686002/

      I’m not sure these folks have the resilience of cockroaches. Or the intelligence, for that matter. Crackers gone crack.

      1. It’s a great time to go to disneyworld! No lines for Space Mountain! No wait to get a picture with Mickey! Only libtards would be scared of an itty bitty little virus!

        In all seriousness, I’m surprised Disneyworld didn’t shut down sooner. They understand the long term damage that even a single case of coronavirus will cause to their brand. It would be far worse than the measles outbreaks.

  7. I remember one quip from one of Chris’s old writings that comes to mind:

    https://www.politicalorphans.com/collapse-of-the-third-republic/

    > Consider the most painful failures of George W. Bush’s Administration. Now imagine Trump and his collection of reality TV minions facing challenges even more complex. It is difficult to map out any credible end to the Trump era that does not place a sad new national holiday on the calendar to remember those we lost.

  8. As I mentioned last time, I do find it compelling that the Boomer pandemic spreading through Boomer infrastructure in a Boomer-globalized world seemingly only kills Boomers. It’s actually pretty shocking that it doesn’t seem to affect children much. Rather than dig in on the “poetic justice” (I don’t like wishing death on identities. Old people need support and protection, not dismissal), I am just super eager for studies to figure out why it may be that children are either asymptomatic (probably) or immune (how?).

    U am not sure this will really kill off Fox News viewers particularly. They already live under social distancing — it’s their isolation that drives much of their cultiness in the first place. Their communities are already dying deaths of desperation and being emptied of young people sick of their shit (I always laugh when right-wing Boomers say that coastal liberals don’t know what their community is like. The coastal liberals are FROM conservative small town America, and decided that place sucked because it was full of mean, thoughtless people).

    So, with a lot of distance between people and already a high death rate from an aging, impoverished population, even if COVID-19 culls the population it probably won’t be noticed. The Trump administration policy of Don’t Test, Don’t Tell means the deaths probably won’t be counted as COVID-19 based.

    So that leaves us with two possible outcomes: the libtards effectively contain the spread and the MAGAs gloat the problem was not that bad… Or the libtards fail and big city elderly care centers are decimated while the MAGAs believe their communities only suffer ‘natural deaths’ and them big city folk are just hotspots of foreign diseases.

    Considering that calculation, Fox News has nothing to lose by lying. It’s run by people who have full healthcare coverage, so what do they care who dies?

    1. I have to agree with your depressing analysis. It seems to be a win-win for Fox News no matter what happens.

      Re: why this affects old people and not young people, it’s easy: just about *everything* affects old people more than young people. As Dr. Fauci said in the press conference when he was asked that question, the elderly are less resilient and have weaker immune systems as a baseline, which means they’re more likely to catch the disease, and have less reserves to fight it. The only young people who are in the same category are extremely young people i.e. infants, who haven’t yet developed a full immune system and therefore need to be protected just like the elderly.

      1. Turns out this caution about avoiding anti inflammatory medications has not been validated. There is support for caution, especially when older people contract Coronavirus, but normally they are already advised to use aecetomenophen meds.

  9. I avoid posting here for various reasons. Some readers will know why. However, since the nation is in a national crisis due to COVID-19 and I live Central Seattle near the nexus of of the US epidemic, I will make an exception.

    Today, Saturday, March 14, the Seattle Times published a good article regarding the difficulties Washington has had in conducting adequate testing. The link is:

    https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/scarcity-of-coronavirus-testing-continues-to-stymie-washington-as-disease-spreads/

    The Seattle area has top priority for testing kits, and has a premiere medical research university is located – University of Washington. No effort is being spared in getting the testing done. But there is lack of capacity and that is not for lack of effort or money. If we are having this much difficulty, I hate to think of the difficulties the rest of the nation has. Also below is a chart that was published today showing the status of COVID-19 testing capacity as of March 12.

    COVID-19 Testing Capacity as of March 12, 2020
    Public Health Lab
    • Testing done in Shoreline; no backlog
    • Turnaround time: 48 hours after receipt of specimen
    • Current capacity: 300
    • Capacity in five days: up to 400 within two weeks

    University of Washington
    • Testing done in Seattle
    • Turnaround time: 24 hours after receipt of specimen
    • Current capacity: 2,200 a day
    • Capacity in five days: 3,000 a day

    Quest
    • Testing done in California
    • Turnaround time: 24 hours after receipt of specimen
    • Current capacity: 1,2001 300 per day
    • Capacity in five days: Quest will establish additional labs in other parts of the country in the near future

    LabCorp
    • Started testing on March 5; testing done in North Carolina
    • Turnaround time: 24-48 hours after receipt of specimen
    • Current capacity: several hundred tests per day and is working to create additional capacity
    • Capacity in five days: thousands per day in a couple of weeks

    Gates Foundation Home Test
    • They have developed a home collection testing kit but it has not yet been approved by FDA.

    As is obvious from the article and the above information, at present testing is a huge bottleneck. The lack of data is handicapping the State of Washington and the King County Governments in tracking the infection rates and in developing suitable strategies for controlling the spread. I assure you, extraordinary efforts are being made. The area has been largely shut down for close to 1 1/2 to 2 weeks now. Social distancing is being carefully practiced for the most part. Where possible people are working from home. Most activities have been cancelled and many people are self isolating. Myself and my partner are being very careful and are only going out as required. This time of year, I am normally out on Audubon birding trips 3-4 times per week. They have all been cancelled, because the groups are 10-12 people and carpooling is frequently required. When I do go out, it is as an individual or in a small group. The colleges and universities in the area are all closed, with classes and final exams being conducted online. The Seattle School System is closed and means of distributing meals to the students that depend on the school system for breakfast and lunch are being developed. Of course all large gatherings have been cancelled. Quarantine facilities are being developed and deployed as rapidly as possible. Unfortunately, up until now we have had to depend on people cooperating. For the most part they are, but there are always a few people who have no consideration, as was mentioned in this blog. To a large extent the entire metropolitan area is self isolating and social distancing is being practiced. As an example my wife and I went to a followup appointment with neurosurgeon who treated her burst brain aneurysm two years ago. We were screened prior to entering the hospital and social distancing was practiced. No contact was required or done. So far most of the fatalities have been associated with a few nursing homes. The legislature has passed emergency legislation appropriated over 200 million dollars to deal with the situation. Basically the people are cooperating, and the governmental agencies are being proactive. I think and hope, we will be able to ‘flatten the curve’ and get past this in a few weeks in the Puget Sound Area, but some stronger measures may yet be required.

    The testing difficulties are largely due to the slowness in the CDC developing a suitable testing protocol rather than using the WHO protocol. Why they chose to do so,I do not know. All other nations in the world are using the WHO protocol. Several days ago Secretary of Defense Esper conducted a teleconference with the military commanders and instructed them to clear all actions with him. General Abrams, the Commander in S. Korea, replied that in an urgent situation he would do what was required to protect his troops. As you are aware S. Korea has been hard hit, and I am fairly confident that he was using the WHO test to screen his troops. Gen Abrams is the son of General Abrams, who took over for Westmoreland in Vietnam and for whom the M1 tank is named.

    IMO, all the talk at the WH Press Conference on Friday, was just so much happy talk, designed to reassure Wall Street and the public. The website Google is Supposedly developing is nowhere near as fantastic as was described and is likely weeks away from effective deployment. The site is being developed by a subsidiary of Alphabet, Google’s parent company and they do not have the number of engineers working on it that Trump described.
    Also the availability of adequate testing is likely weeks away as well.

    My main question is why the CDC chose to develop a separate test protocol? Whenever, the Administration is asked that question, it is dodged. I have my suspicions in that it was done at the request of the Pharmaceutical Industry and because of the incompetents that have been appointed to head the CDC, by Trump. There may have been some other considerations involved that would not be well received by the public, if exposed.

    This may be regarded as a rant, but it is the way I see the situation at ‘Ground Zero’ and I am closely following it.

    BTW, for those who are interested – as of 4:25 PM, March 14, Biden was leading Sanders by 29,157 votes and a margin of 2%. Washington is a vote by mail state, and all ballots postmarked on or before March 10, will be counted until the election is certified in approximately 1-2 weeks. At this point, the vast majority of the votes have been delivered to the County Election Offices and have been counted. Any remaining changes will be small. So effectively the Biden can be considered to have earned the majority of the delegates from WA. One can also be sure that WA will vote for the Democratic nominee in November, who will likely be Biden. NBC did a survey of the states that have held primaries and found that WA has the highest hatred for Trump of any state they surveyed.

    1. Thankyou EJ & Flypusher. We are doing well, are carefully following the guidelines and are Largely self-isolating. I am cautiously hopeful the curve will be flattened and we will get through this with a limited number of fatalities. So far the fatalities are mainly restricted to the nursing homes. The infections seem to be spreading from home to home by workers who work in more than one home and by vendors who serve several homes. All that is now being eliminated and controlled. It appears that the infection was introduced to the Kirkland home by a man who came back from China and then visited a relative in that home. This was early on before China had taken action and the word generally got out. This is all anecdotal; at this stage we have little confirmed information. The Kirkland home is owned and operated by a national for profit corporation and has been found not to be in compliance with regulations in the past.

      I hope all of you are doing well as well. EJ, I believe you are in Europe (UK?), which has been hit hard. You no doubt have more experience with the disruption than anyone in the US. Anyway, this is really going to disrupt everyone’s life before it runs its course. It has mine, and we are well positioned to cope with it. The comparison with the Spanish Flu in 1918 is not far fetched.

      In today’s NY Times there was a guest opinion by NY Governor Andrew Cuomo. The link is:

      https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/15/opinion/andrew-cuomo-coronavirus-trump.html

      Pay special attention to the 2nd & 3rd paragraphs in the Testing Section. I have quoted them below:

      “On Friday, you said that your administration had agreed to allow New York State’s public health department to authorize local labs to perform the state’s approved coronavirus test — a good first step. Your administration also approved high-volume automated testing by the Swiss diagnostics maker Roche.

      But these moves are insufficient. Because of the high demand for testing kits nationwide, many labs with Roche machines will be unable to obtain enough of the company’s testing kits for weeks or even months. There are other labs that can do high-volume coronavirus tests that do not use Roche kits. But these machines cannot be used without further F.D.A. approvals, of the sort Roche received on Friday.”

      Just curious, but why are the only high capacity testing methods dependent on Roche machines? Could this be a clue to the reason the CDC developed a separate test and did not use the WHO testing protocol. To me getting to the bottom of this testing issue is a subject for a House of Representatives investigation. We know the Senate will do nothing. It seems like something questionable that the Trump Administration wants to be kept quiet could well have occurred here.

  10. All irrelevant.

    These cult members are just that, cult members.
    Nothing will shake their loyalty to the tyrant.
    Even if 500,000 people die (I am betting more like 5,000), the Dem’s will be blamed by the tyrant, and his followers will eat that up.

    Nothing has changed. Only way Dem’s win in November is if enough fascists die in Florida to actually tip the voting, and that would have to be at least 25,000, given the voter suppression that has already occurred in Florida. Same goes for Wisconsin, to name another key state.

    And that is assuming there is actually an election. Like I said before, the tyrant is seething this did not happen 3 months from now, so he could push back/cancel the election.

    The true irony is that if the sane people do actually prevail, and flatten the infection rate curve, this thing could actually linger for many months, and the tyrant then does get to push back the election.

      1. Flypusher, how many norms, and who knows how many laws, have been shattered by this regime, with the backing of the Senate and judiciary.

        Do you seriously believe that if this thing is still roaring along in late Sept the spin will not be that for public health reasons the election must be delayed. The Senate will back that completely, as well as all the typical media sites. You can bet it will happen.

    1. Dins-
      You state that the only way Florida could turn democratic is by killing off at least 25,000 trump voters. As if that’s the only solution….

      Let’s take your assumption that we need 25,000 less Republican votes / 25,000 more Dem votes to win. You do know that in 2018, thanks to the hard work of organizing, voter turnout, etc, i.e. the type of political engagement that you decry as useless, Florida voters voted to allow felons to vote. This makes 1.4 million Floridians now eligible to vote. Many of them are minorities who are expected to vote Democratic.

      IOW, those very political organizers that you dismiss as naive, useless, ineffective, blah blah blah, worked the system to provide *far* more Democratic votes (most likely) than the 25,000 you think necessary to turn the state. And they did it by increasing voter turnout rather than the macabre option of killing off your political opponents, which you keep saying is the only option, despite numerous examples everyone keeps giving you of nonviolent efforts that have succeeded.

      Tell me, do you at least concede that the hard work of organizers in Florida in 2018 will likely pay off with many more than 25,000 new Democratic voters in 2020? And that by extension, your fervent hope that 25,000 Floridians die from coronavirus is not just morally execrable, but politically less effective than good ole political engagement?

      1. Sure WX….except for one little fact…the vast vast majority of those 1.4 million won’t be voting, because the fascists running the state of Florida ensured that:

        https://www.orlandosentinel.com/politics/os-ne-florida-senate-felon-voting-20190503-story.html

        So I stand by my statement. Voter suppression is at its highest levels, and Florida is lost already. Same for Wisconsin. Run the math assuming that. For the loser party to prevail, they would then have to take Michigan, Penn, and then one of the red states. Michigan and Penn may come back, but a red state to flip…nope.

      2. Sure Dins… except two little facts. Those restrictions were deemed unconstitutional by an appeals court:
        https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/02/19/florida-felon-voting-rights-explained/

        Also, regardless of how that court ruling ends up, the large Democratic counties are forgiving the debts of felons en masse, so that the law doesn’t apply to them anymore:
        https://www.npr.org/2020/01/08/794089324/florida-faces-a-rocky-rollout-to-restore-voting-rights-after-felony-convictions

        So regardless, there will be thousands of new Democratic voters on Florida’s rolls for this election, likely more than the 25,000 you say are required to win the state. Rather than wishing death on people, perhaps you might wish to join the battle to turn Florida blue? Or do you avoid any effort that doesn’t entail violence, no matter how effective it may be?

      1. If there were five Fox viewers, your reference would be to one of them—a singular subject. In your sentence, however, “one in five” does not mean one individual. Rather, it means one-fifth of Fox viewers, which means the subject is plural.

  11. Some notes on response from San Francisco: https://medium.com/@LondonBreed/san-franciscos-preparations-and-response-to-covid-19-ongoing-cdae77318015

    Emergency activation on January 27th. At this point, I saw the news, but little change in the city. March 12th was probably the watershed order to lock down.

    March 6th: two cases.
    March 7th: all nonessential gatherings in city facilities halted.
    March 10th: identification of quarantine facilities.
    March 11th: order to discontinue all 1,000 person gatherings.
    March 12th: public schools suspended through spring break.
    March 13th: order to discontinue all 100 person gatherings. There are 23 confirmed cases at that time.

    Hospitals are taking emergency measures: https://www.dailykos.com/stories/2020/3/13/1927193/-UCSF-COVID-19-Panel-Notes

    There are also a series of economic measures: grants, eviction moratoriums, re-purposing of closed libraries for day care for health care workers and low income children, lunch replacement stations for needy children who can’t go to school, etc.

    Grocery delivery is booked up days or week in advance. Inventory of common items are patchy.

    We’ll find out what the polity and administration around can do, I guess.

  12. Not all seniors have drank the koolade. I canceled my cruise for me the wife and my brother in law next month. My brother in law has deeply drank the koolade. He is lucky I had some sense and he does not have a pot to urinate in. Other wise he would follow his beloved Fox News into possible death.

    My nephew on the wife side is young but he has swallowed the koolaid too. He is buying all the malarkey of the right wing propaganda machinery. I tried to warn him his grandparents and even his mom who has health issue are at risk. I am a liberal-tard according to him. Stupid and believing fake news.

    Well this dummy is going on a prolong stay-cation for awhile. Stocked up enough to stay home for awhile. Only doctor appointments and grocery shopping outings for now. And keeping them few and far between.

    I lift weights and hike 2 to 3 times a week 4 to 8 miles . I am in good shape and never smoked which is a major risk factor with this respiratory disease. I suspect I would do better than most seniors. Still do not want the risk.

    Honestly I do not think the hard core even if there is a large death toll will finally regain their sanity. They have sold out to the devil many thinking they are serving God. Yes this is a cult. I use to think cults were for the young. But now realize old dogs like me can fall for the same deceptions.

    If we are lucky we can damp down the infection curve and extend it out so our resources are not exhausted. I am so glad I live in a blue city in red Florida. My county mayor is taking steps to protect his community. Glad I voted for him. BTW he won overwhelmingly in my county. He is Black guy. But I like him a lot. We are a majority minority community. I suspect blue areas are going to have better outcomes. The business communities and governments are working together on this in my community. We will get though this together.

    I have several elderly widows, funny I used that term but they are older than me, I am looking out for. Made sure they have enough food so they do not have to venture out for awhile. Many are on a limited income. I was lucky and retired well. I am not taking a dime with me when I die. So might as well make someone else’s life better. Suggest to my fellow political orphans to find people in their community who need help and help them.

    I was doing cavasting in Orlando for Senator Warren the last few weeks. Blacks are piss and supporting Biden. Also suburban women are piss and will vote for any Democrat on the Ticket. Joe is going to win Florida in the primary. I think his chances to carry Florida in the general are very good. I am good at cavasting. I can get even Trump supporters to give a listen. And just seems everyone I meet is a long lost friend. Be sure to vote as if our Republic depended on it this fall. Because it does.

      1. Walked past. My grammar is not the best and my prose is less then I desire, that being said, how does any functioning thinking person follow or believe this cretin of a president is beyond me. My God (Or your God) what have we become. I am flummoxed of the people that are totally obtuse to the buffoon this man is. Is it me?

      2. Unfathomable, Texan. Willful ignorance on the part of his base – many of whom are family who were raised like we were, are well educated and successful. They think trump is funny – just what America has needed. There are no words to explain my complete disgust. Then there are the GOP sycophants in Congress whose complicity and gutless muckraking leaves me speechless. Why? This despicable man has allowed them to achieve all of their wildest dreams and they haven’t had to lift a finger.

        This 2020 election is truly the most important in our nation’s lifetime. I am not Confident the American people will turn out in large enough numbers to take both houses and the presidency.

  13. Long time reader, first time commenter.

    Thank you for putting into concise words the thoughts that have been swirling in my brain for a few weeks now.

    This was a REALLY bad move on the part of POTUS.

    You’d think his advisors would have explained that messaging that would kill off his base would affect his chances of reelection.

    There are just no words.

    1. Welcome to the forum! With that said, you’re wrong 🙂

      Trump stated that he could shoot someone in the middle of NYC and his voters would still vote for him. He was actually being modest. He could shoot *one of his own supporters* in the middle of NYC and the rest would still vote for him. He’s been proving it ever since.

      He shot farmers with his trade wars in China. They still vote for him.
      He shot rural opioid addicts by cutting drug treatment programs, medicaid, and public health budgets. They still vote for him.
      His tax cuts focused on big business, finance, etc. have powered a massive boom in urban, deep blue cities like NYC, SF, LA, Seattle, etc. while decimating the economic health of his rural base. They still vote for him.
      Even before coronavirus, Trump supporters (aging white men) have literally been dying at a higher rate than other groups. They still vote for him.

      Any trump supporter who dies of this virus, I can almost guarantee you, will find some twisted way to absolve Trump of his responsibility, and lay blame with Democrats. For many people, finding a solution to their problems is not nearly as satisfying as finding someone to blame for them. These people hunger for moral indignation and revenge more than they want survival and peace (a trait they share with their Taliban suicide bomber brethren). Trump is being very astute in feeding their inner rage rather than saving their lives.

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