Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Don't Take Trump's Advice

Trump is literally killing people, and there's no way to stop him:
US President Donald Trump claimed at a White House briefing last week that the Food and Drug Administration had approved the "very powerful" drug chloroquine to treat coronavirus.
"It's shown very encouraging -- very, very encouraging early results. And we're going to be able to make that drug available almost immediately. And that's where the FDA has been so great. They -- they've gone through the approval process; it's been approved. And they did it -- they took it down from many, many months to immediate. So we're going to be able to make that drug available by prescription or states," Trump said.
He added: "Normally the FDA would take a long time to approve something like that, and it's -- it was approved very, very quickly and it's now approved, by prescription."
However, the FDA after the briefing issued a statement saying it had not approved the drug for use against Covid-19 and is still studying its effectiveness against the disease.
We all know that there was a man in Washington State who died after using it, and his wife is in critical condition. Did you know that it's now sold out on some websites that carry the drug?

Part of the problem is, there are no warnings about how the drug should be used and the old marketing language is still up, likely misleading people:

Thanks to Trump, people are going to be injured or even die from using something that he has been hyping. Welcome to the Idiocracy.

Wednesday, March 18, 2020

America Faces a Shortage of Hospital Beds

As news filters in about the use of the Army Corps of Engineers to build out the capacity for more hospital beds in regions that are likely to face shortages, it's worth noting that we have tremendous shortages all over the country:
In most scenarios, “vast communities in America are not prepared to take care of the COVID-19 patients showing up,” said Dr. Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, who led a team of researchers that developed the analysis.
Under the researchers’ best-case scenario, Americans will act quickly to slow the spread of the virus through social distancing, and the infection rate among adults will remain relatively low at 20%, or 49.4 million people over the age of 18, less than twice the number of people who get the flu each year.
We're talking about the entire country:
For hospitals with fewer resources, there are measures that can be taken to counter bed shortages. Hospitals can limit elective surgeries and discharge healthier patients earlier. Hospitals can also screen patients before they enter the hospital to decrease the risk of spreading the disease. Critically, staffers also need to stay healthy, so they can continue to treat patients instead of taking up the needed beds themselves.
The experts and health workers that ProPublica spoke with fear that the U.S. is only two weeks behind Italy’s infection rate and will be faced with the same tough decisions. A paper published in the Lancet last week highlighted Italy’s Lombardy region, where a flood of patients is overwhelming the intensive care system.
“I can't imagine being in that position, and none of us want to be in that position,” said UCSF’s Raven. “The reality is that you can't create unlimited hospital beds and ventilators. We have what we have, so we really have to hope that it's enough, and that we're prepared enough.”
When all of this is over, we should plan accordingly and fund efforts to expand our capacity to deal with the next pandemic or natural disaster.

Thursday, March 12, 2020

Trump is a Failure at Everything

Whatever you do, don't look at your 401K or cash it out:
U.S. stocks recovered some of their steep losses on Thursday after the Federal Reserve announced extraordinary funding actions to ease strained capital markets in the wake of the coronavirus sell-off.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average traded 826 points lower, or 3.5% after plummeting more than 9% for its worst drop since the 1987 market crash. It was on pace for the sixth-worst decline for the Dow in history, according to FactSet. Even the worst one-day drop of 2008 financial crisis did not reach this magnitude.

The S&P 500 traded down 4.4%, joining the Dow in a bear market on Thursday. The main U.S. stock benchmark is now down 22% from its record set just last month. At one point, however, the S&P 500 was down more than 9%. The Nasdaq Composite recovered slightly, trading about 4.5% lower after plummeting more than 7%.
One of the reasons why I supported Senator Elizabeth Warren for president was her avowed interest in fixing the rigged casino game that is the modern stock market. Trump's horrible tax cuts for the rich and his equally horrible fiscal policies are setting us up for disaster, and Warren knows what that looks like because this is how every Republican governs in the modern era. They cut taxes, fudge the numbers, let Wall Street run wild, and leave the Democrats to pick up the pieces, cut spending, and fix everything they've broken.

I don't have much hope for Joe Biden, beyond being a decent human being who will surround himself with smart people. But one thing he could do to break this cycle is to throw a lot of people in prison for insider trading, most of whom are currently working for Trump. That would be a big help.

Saturday, March 7, 2020

The Last Days of Pompeii

The Trump Regime is the city of Pompeii. Coronavirus is Mt. Vesuvius.

There, I said it.

Friday, March 6, 2020

Republicans Will Threaten to Shoot Anyone

They're not even bothering to hide it anymore.

Today's GOP is completely out of control and unhinged. Chances are, you're like me and you had no idea that there even was a Representative Ken Buck from Colorado's Fourth District. I can't even remember writing about this guy before today, what with all the other batshit crazy nut jobs currently serving in Congress.

Here, you have an American politician who has been alive for the last fifty years or so and he's threatening the former Vice President of the United States of America and a former member of the House of Representatives with gun violence. I would hope someone has taken note of this and is moving accordingly to protect them from this lunatic. He seems to be a danger to the people around him.

Buck represents Eastern Colorado, the flat part, mostly, and hasn't had a real challenger since 2010. If I were a part of the Democratic Party out there, I would be helping to send Buck home.

You see, both sides don't threaten to shoot each other. The Republicans do that. The Democrats simply organize themselves and throw you out of office on Election Day. That's how that works.

UPDATE: Yes, the rifle in Congressman Buck's office is "inoperable." Through an agreement with Capitol Police, he has a trigger lock on it and the bolt assembly is back in his home state.

As we know from watching Raising Arizona, that outdated adage "It ain't armed robbery if the gun ain't loaded" does not apply here. A threat with a weapon, inoperable or not, is still a threat.

Tuesday, March 3, 2020

What Deadly Weather Can Do

The Nashville area has been devastated by a tornado:
The storms left numerous homes and other buildings in ruins across several counties, and left tens of thousands of people without power and hundreds at least temporarily looking for another place to live.

In Nashville, 48 buildings collapsed, others were damaged and about 150 people have been taken to hospitals because of the storm, Mayor John Cooper said.

In Nashville's Germantown area alone, parts of apartment and other multi-story buildings were ripped open, with bricks, roofing material and glass strewn about, images from CNN affiliate WTVF show.

"As tragic as this is -- and our hearts are broken -- we are certain that we'll surround these folks and we'll do what is necessary" to recover, Gov. Bill Lee said.
Incidents like this make me wonder if people really understand the link between funding for first responders, keeping hospitals in business, and whether we have the capacity to deal with natural disasters. The impact of coronavirus is about to be felt in every region of the country--hospitals are going to be inundated with patients on respirators if this thing blows up.

Now add to that the impact of a single tornado sending 150 people to the hospital. Are we prepared for such a thing? What happens when it affects an area where the local hospital has been shut down or when a state has enacted draconian budget cuts to disaster relief?

We currently don't have much of a functioning Federal response to anything right now. Their response to coronavirus has engendered panic. Add to that the Trump regime's horrible response to any natural disaster--flooding, hurricanes, tornadoes and the like--and you have all the makings for a mass panic and unnecessary fatalities.