Nearly 30% of Americans Think COVID-19 Came From a Lab

The correlations are exactly what you would expect, too

Republicans and Republican-leaners believe it was lab-created more than any other group. This should come as no surprise as it is likely the same group that also listens to sensational ‘news’ (Fox, etc) and is subjected to conspiracy theories. The fact that Trump himself subscribes to those theories isn’t useful either.

Republicans and Republican-leaning independents are more likely than Democrats and Democratic leaners to say the coronavirus was created in a lab (37% vs. 21%). About four-in-ten conservative Republicans say this (39%), the largest share of any ideological group.

Pew Research Center (source URL under graphic below)

There’s also a correlation between education level and belief in where the virus came from as well. Consider too that higher education tends to mean more liberal – a correlation that is really not surprising at all. Correlation != causation, but it is an interesting datapoint is all.


Trump’s ABC Mantra: Always Be Conning

Even during COVID-19 which is killing people, Trump is finding a way to ensure himself and his political donors benefit. Because of course he is.

Sanofi is a French pharmaceutical company that makes the drug hydroxychloroquine (aka Plaquenil – not sold in the U.S.) – a drug Trump has been touting as a cure for COVID-19 despite warnings from any valid medical official to the contrary, and despite that the FDA hasn’t approved it (or any drug) for the treatment of COVID-19 (only testing).

Trump even blocked Dr. Fauci from answering questions regarding the efficacy of the drug. Seems weird that he’d be so adamant about that, eh?

Trump’s three family trusts have investments in a Dodge & Cox mutual fund, with Sanofi as the largest holding, according to the Times

Surprise! Nah, you shouldn’t be. Remember, anytime something comes out of left field with Trump one of the most viable options is that he’s making money off of it, or someone else is – typically a donor or a supporter. Oh – guess what – while Trump is estimated to have only about $3,000 in Sanofi…should come as no surprise:

Billionaire Ken Fisher, a major Republican donor (including to Trump) is one of Sanofi’s largest shareholders, while Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross used to run a fund that invested in Sanofi, the Times reported.

SURPRISE! What is it with that pesky ethics clause in the Constitution anyways. What a hinderance!

General News Public Safety

Save Masks for the Medical Staff

So I guess yesterday, Trump in his usual ‘management’ style of ‘whichever way the window blows’ or ‘many people are saying’ mulled over whether making everyone wear masks in public was something he wanted to do.

This is is despite guidance from CDC and WHO that wearing masks for the general public is not necessary and provides little benefit; instead focusing on the need to wear a mask only if you are the sick person, or work around sick people (such as medical staff). Other countries have made mask wearing compulsory, even in the face of dubious benefits.

Note the absence (at this time) in either guideline above of the suggestion to wearing mask out in general public, unless you’re ill

Considering the shortage, one would think it would be prudent that perhaps we should save it for medical staff who are in much riskier situations and are consistently exposed before we suggest that all the Karens wear a mask when she goes to the store. If masks were plentiful – and currently they are not – and they provide an ounce of prevention – then sure, draw attention to yourself and wear a mask.

Mask shortage is medical industry’s fault?

Trump also suggested that mask shortages are due to hospitals and staff hoarding them, and even had the gall to suggest they were being sold. Yes, really. This man is a piece of shit – if he really thinks that maybe that would be the time to keep it to yourself and not state it on a podium.

“We have some healthcare workers, some hospitals … hoarding equipment including ventilators,” Trump said at the White House following a meeting with corporate executives, including from U.S. Medical Group.

The man just makes stuff up as he goes without regard for the impact of what he says. As infuriating as it is normally, with the crisis going on now it’s downright dangerous.

General Military News

Only In America…

…can a man who avoided his compulsory duty to the nation order those who voluntarily completed their duty to the nation, out of retirement and back onto active duty to help fix the COVID-19 response he bungled for weeks.

Trump has authorized the DoD to recall some Guard and Reservists, as well as some from the IRR, should the DoD feel the need to do so. Only slightly ironic, considering Trump dodged the draft for ‘bone spurs.’ Dodging the draft during the Vietnam War was apparently pretty easy for people with money. Remember those bone spurs when you watch Trump waddle around the golf course.

The order applies to units and individual members in the National Guard and Reserves and certain Individual Ready Reserve members who are normally in an inactive status, according to Pentagon spokesperson Jonathan Hoffman. Members of the IRR can be involuntarily recalled during a national emergency.

When one joins the U.S. military you are obligated to complete eight (8) years of service – known as the Military Service Obligation (MSO). The MSO can be completed with a combination of active duty, reserve, guard – or more common for those that just do a single enlistment, the Inactive Ready Reserve (IRR).

I also had an 8 year MSO. However, I signed up in October of my senior year of high school, and that time also counted toward my MSO. My enlistment began 28 Jul 1997 with an initial 4 years active duty in the USAF, followed by 23 months extension to meet retainability requirements for a retraining (I went from maintenance to aircrew). When I left active duty, I had 5 yrs, 11 months and 29 days on active duty, plus my delayed enlistment time counting towards the 8 yr MSO. I had about two years or so in the Individual Ready Reserve (IRR) – it ended in October 2005 – eight years after I originally signed up in October 1997.

I think it’s pretty rich that a president who has no qualms about dodging the draft – and who accepts no responsibility for his actions – can call up or activate people who have already fulfilled their active duty or reserve obligation. We’re fortunate that most of those folks are more patriotic and dedicated to this country than the ‘elected’ Commander in Chief.


Dereliction of Duty

Trump states that federal response is dependent on whether state governors ‘show him appreciation’

Yes, you read that right. The President of the United States – yes, all of them, whether he likes it or not, and unfortunately, whether we like it or not (most of us do not) – has made clear that federal response and aid during a pandemic – which is killing people – is related to how appreciative a stricken state’s governor is.

The president mentioned Washington Gov. Jay Inslee and Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, both Democrats who have been critical of the White House’s actions to combat the deadly pandemic.

Trump said that Pence “calls all the governors. And I tell him, I’m a different type of person, and I say, ’Mike, don’t call the governor of Washington. You’re wasting your time with him.”

I wonder why they’re critical. I mean, it could be because everything Trump has done has been centered around what he wants and what he views as important – the economy, jobs. It wouldn’t be because he downplayed it, constantly exaggerates, misleads, and essentially delayed the response to the point that now there’s no way we could get ahead of it.

Thank goodness Gov. Inslee did something before waiting for that orange trashbag to do something. Who knows what state Washington would be in. I guess we can look to New York or the South – the latter of which largely dismissed and ignored what was coming – likely due to their lord and savior Trump’s downplaying.

If you’re not angry – you should be

I know it doesn’t often seem like it, but politicians are elected to represent and work for everyone in their respective districts, states, and countries – regardless of whether they voted for them, and regardless of whether they’re ‘nice’ to you. And the irony in Trump’s case is that he’s pretty nasty to anyone that does anything he doesn’t like. This man is a human piece of shit.

If Trump denies aid to any agency to which is is required to, then all those deaths are on him.


KUOW Won’t Air Trump Briefings

If you needed a reason to support public radio…

Citing false information and exaggeration – two of Trump’s hallmarks during his meandering bloviations – local station KUOW will no longer air Trump’s WH briefings live. They want to be able to fact check them, which is difficult to do live (and probably at the rate at which Trump lies).

KUOW stated it was not politically motivated, and they’d reevaluate the decision daily. Not sure what they expect to change, however.


Deadliest Day In U.S.

Today recorded 129 deaths related to COVID-19 so far today, as of 1445 Pacific time, according to CNN. Unfortunately, Trump began speaking during the newscast.

I would love to critique this as it went – and I tried to follow along – but within all the bloviating there was very little useful information (as per usual). First the usual 2-5 minutes of thanking everyone and their brother. Everything is tremendous, wonderful, great, fantastic. Large sections of the country will be open by Easter – which is arbitrary because Trump stated he ‘liked that time, it’s a beautiful time.’

Surprisingly, he thanked both houses of Congress for their work before departing abruptly, and he appeared sincere. I’d like to think it was truly sincere – but I think it has more to do with he wants the relief bill passed so the economy starts to do better (which will likely be short-lived) – ancillary benefit is that it gets the help to those that need it.

Fauci tap-danced around the random Easter time frame that I think Trump chose to appeal to his evangelical and conservative followers, and also to try to make the market less shitty. Fauci did say it would all depend on the data – but we all know (as does he) that the data will be shittier next week.