Monday, April 6, 2020

A Czech Friend's Message Of Concern At Trump's American Carnage In This Crisis - And Janice's Reply

"I'm a WARTIME president and  I'm gonna stamp out all you loser, corona -carrying bats before this is over! Y-y- you h-hear me,  M-m-mister B--b-bat? Now, excuse me while I sic Jared on ya!"

NewsflashTwo months before the novel coronavirus is thought to have begun its deadly advance in Wuhan, China, the Trump administration ended a $200-million pandemic early-warning program aimed at training scientists in China and other countries to detect and respond to such a threat.  The project, launched by the U.S. Agency for International Development in 2009, identified 1,200 viruses that had the potential to erupt into pandemics, including more than 160 novel coronaviruses. The initiative, called PREDICT, also trained and supported staff in 60 foreign laboratories — including the Wuhan lab that identified SARS-CoV-2, the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19.

"I'm okay with rallying round the flag but let's not rally around the guy that missed all the red flags. Yeah, America has been slow and inefficient in responding to this crisis - and yet our leader's approval rating is up.  Because that's what we do. In times of crisis our leaders get a bump in the polls whether it's justified or not.  Because a crisis is no time to think. So rallying around this president is just another of those irrational things we do in a crisis, like hoarding Charmin... or praying.  

Especially if a president says he's a wartime leader.....If this is a war, Trump lost it in January.  He is not FDR, or JFK. He's LOL. So it's more than a little disturbing he's getting a bump in the polls from all this. Which tells us we're once more rallying around the guy that made it worse.   Let's stop doing this thing of lionizing someone just because they were there when the shit hit the fan. "  - Bill Maher, on Real Time, April 3rd

"Sharing an integrated market with a much larger and more powerful bully of a country will always have downsides, especially when that country elects a leader with an “America First” agenda. You might wake up one morning to tariffs on steel, for instance, and be suddenly forced to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement. Irritating? Sure. Economically damaging? A bit. But being cut off from life-saving supplies during the worst pandemic in living memory? That could be utterly catastrophic."  - Toronto Star,  "Trump Blocking Exports Of Medical Equipment Puts Canada's Trust In U.S. To Potentially Deadly Test'

"In Trump’s White House, certain symptoms remain: a president who governs as if producing and starring in a reality television show, with each day a new episode and each news cycle his own creation, a successive installment to be conquered.  ...The pattern reveals a commander in chief unsure of how to defeat 'the silent enemy' as he has labeled it... It might never be known how many thousands of deaths, or millions of infections, might have been prevented with a response that was more coherent, more urgent and effective."  - ' Denial, Dysfunction, Delays:  Tracing The Trump Administration's Failures Over The First 70 Days Of The Virus Fight',   The Washington Post, April 4

"A better leader would curb his baser instincts in the face of this crisis. Since Mr. Trump is not wired that way, it falls to the media to serve the public interest by no longer airing his briefings live."  - Michelle  Cottle, 'Drop The Curtain On The Trump Follies', NY Times

"I wouldn't originally have believed sixty percent of Americans could be conned so easily, as these Gallup and other polls seem to show. Especially by a  brash bully and carnival barker who's never accomplished anything constructive in his  entire life. But then I realized I was using an IQ standard from a parliamentary democracy like Barbados.  I should have been using the IQ standard from an online 'college' offering degrees in collecting dog poop."  Janice, after learning Trump's approval continues to bump upward in polls

The chaotic, reckless, belligerent and  incompetent American response to the coronavirus pandemic has sparked  outrage from Canada to Germany and from Brazil to China  (now sending much needed ventilators, masks to desperate U.S. cities).  It has also unmasked Trump as a despotic,  narcissist traitor who really ought to be impeached again and hung this time.  E.g.
Especially after bellowing that doctors and nurses are "taking more supplies than they need", i.e. pilfering PPEs.  Even as these genuine heroes are crying out and pleading every day for protective equipment.

Incredibly, sane citizens have shuddered as they've beheld Dotard's  poll approval numbers climb even in the face of this  mega-failure embodying a confounding  absence of leadership as well as grifting in the midst of it.  The latter has manifested in sabotaging states' efforts to get hold of PPEs by having FEMA swoop in to outbid them -  then sell to private clients.  And in the midst of this we see assorted ignorant twits and morons  write twaddle such as the Denver Post letter below -  beseeching us all to decline "partisan"  attacks:

This asswit  Zang  - clearly in the lower IQ realm Janice has repeatedly cited (bumping Trump's poll numbers) -  expects the rest of us who see what's going on and to refrain from calling out the culprit behind this clusterfuck.  But to quote Bill Maher from the end of his 'New Rules' segment Friday night: "Please spare us your non-partisan virtue signaling!"  Indeed. And while you're at it spare us the transparent idiocy.  Bill was perhaps thinking of a recent piece by Ian Silverii of Progress Now, who'd written:

"Your chance of exposure or survival could very well depend on the partisanship of your governor,  i.e. on whether or not he was nice enough to Donald Trump. Which is as un-American as it is terrifying."

The flux of recent events in our nation prompted  a message I thought I'd share (on What's App) from our Czech friend Martin.   We had last seen Martin (and his then gf Gabriella) in Prague in Sept. 2015, for dinner at one of the city's outdoor bistros.  Now  teaching English with his wife in Doha, Qatar,  he's appalled like many outside the U.S. at what's going on under the deranged Trump.  Also that the traitor's poll approval numbers have actually gone up.  He also worries our exponential increase in cases, deaths can have horrific consequences for the rest of the world.  His message follows:

"Hi, Phil and Janice,  just checking in to see how everyone is holding up. Without enhancing panic, I'm really concerned with how the U.S. is handling this issue and therefore concerned for you, as well as your extended family in the U.S., Canada, Trinidad and Barbados.  Panic never helps but with the wrong leader directing the most powerful nation on Earth it is close to being justified.. I know that the two of you (like the rest of us) will do your best to stay safe, but it's your compatriots who I'm most concerned with. It's beyond comprehension to know that there are still people in the U.S. who think this is all a hoax or some partisan trick to try to get Trump. . And for that reason, I worry for all of you in the States. The U.S. is far off from 'flattening the curve'. 

Here in Doha, the entire country, with the exception of the front line employees (grocery, pharmacy, emergency services, medical staff), is under quarantine and lockdown. The border is completely closed, no person in or out, regardless of status. No Qatari nationals in or out, no residents, simply nobody through the border. There are only two places to go in Doha, the grocery store or the hospital. 16 people were arrested the other day for violating quarantine, they needed to get out of the house and decided to go for a drive, they were all arrested. The government here is not taking any chances. 

Not sure of how this is being handled in Barbados or Trinidad. Someone  mentioned that a state of emergency was now in effect in T&T. These are difficult and challenging times, we will get through this in the long run. Please look after yourselves and use whatever means are at your disposal to remain safe and out of harms way. Here, for example. I set out to pick up some items from the grocery store, but drove away when I saw how busy the grocery store actually was; even here people are still having difficulty with the concept of social distancing, despite the governments efforts. 

Your safety, to a great extent, is in your hands. Please be proactive, don't wait for your elected officials to look out for your best interests, look into what you can do to protect yourselves. We're all in different situations, some of us still have to go to work, some can work from home, others fortunate to be retired.. Just know what your options are and take the necessary precautions. Having the choice to stay home or not should not be a mental decision anymore, if you have the option, choose to stay home."

Janice responded in her own Whats App message a day later:

Well said indeed,  Martin.  The fact that there are still some in this country that believe the coronavirus pandemic is a hoax, started by the Democrats to try to bring Trump down,  is just a result of the dumbing down of the population by the frighteningly large cult following of the orange- hued 'Dear Leader'. 

It's hard for a democracy to survive when such a president comes into power,  has a loyal propaganda arm (Fox) which practically runs the government and poisons the public mind against mainstream media, appoints a loyal  lackey as Attorney General that carries out his authoritarian wishes and taps into a pool of racists  who believe the country belongs to them alone. 

This former TV personality, arrested mental development or not,  is a master manipulator, as evidenced by rising poll numbers despite the disastrous lack of real leadership in this crisis. I fear for us too, now and in the future.  

In Colorado,  though,  we are in a shutdown, where we are asked to stay at home and only go out only to the grocery,  pharmacy,  medical providers and restaurant take-out windows. We can walk outside with social  distancing. Some people,  especially the young,  ignore the directives,  but there will probably soon be penalties for that.  We are being  careful, and protecting ourselves as well as we can.  You're right,  the US is so far away from flattening the curve that we know we're are in for a long and difficult journey.  What exactly that will entail,  with the "leadership" we currently have is anybody's guess.  I know this is a very dire view,  but it's the way I feel.

On a positive note, we both were elated to learn that a team of 100 Cuban nurses arrived in Barbados yesterday to assist with COVID-19 patients.  Take that, Mary Anastasia O'Grady!  See  e.g.

Cuban medical team arrives

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