Posts Tagged ‘pandemic’

The Haunted Mansion

October 26, 2020

The Haunted Mansion

The White House had a children’s Halloween party last weekend. That’s pretty frightening given the rate of COVID-19 infection at the White House. Thanks to Donald Trump’s ineptitude, the Executive Mansion is now haunted by the souls of 230,000 dead Americans. The Biden Transition Team better have a skilled exorcist on board.

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Motorcycle Rally Drives Up Upper Midwest Coronavirus Cases

October 21, 2020

Motorcycle Rally Drives Up Upper Midwest Coronavirus Cases
Remember South Dakota’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally back in August, where 400,000 riders gathered without face masks or social distancing? Back then there was little COVID-19 in the Dakotas or surrounding states, but attendees brought the viral souvenir back to their Upper Midwest homes with them.

“Within weeks of the gathering, the Dakotas, along with Wyoming, Minnesota and Montana, were leading the nation in new coronavirus infections per capita. The surge was especially pronounced in North and South Dakota, where cases and hospitalization rates continued their juggernaut rise into October. Experts say they will never be able to determine how many of those cases originated at the 10-day rally, given the failure of state and local health officials to identify and monitor attendees returning home, or to trace chains of transmission after people got sick.”

“More than 330 coronavirus cases and one death were directly linked to the rally as of mid-September, according to a Washington Post survey of health departments in 23 states that provided information. But experts say that tally represents just the tip of the iceberg, since contact tracing often doesn’t capture the source of an infection, and asymptomatic spread goes unnoticed.”

–“How the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally may have spread coronavirus across the Upper Midwest,” Brittany Shammas and Lena H. Sun, Washington Post

More:

“Sturgis Motorcycle Rally was ‘superspreading event’ that cost public health $12.2 billion: analysis,” J. Edward Moreno, The Hill

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Image (“Disease Vector”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

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Trump Spreads Virus. Dr. Atlas Spreads ‘Pixie Dust & Pseudoscience.”

October 19, 2020
Coronavirus? Atlas Shrugs. Scott Atlas, MD.

Trump virus advisor Scott Atlas knows MRIs, not viruses.

Donald Trump found Dr. Scott Atlas on Fox News and put him on the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Dr. Atlas is not an epidemiologist or an infectious disease expert, he’s an expert in Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI). As far as we know, Dr. Atlas has not imaged the presidential noggin.

Scott Atlas is also a fellow at the Hoover Institution, a think tank devoted to the free-market bloviation used by the wealthy to justify an ugly economic Social Darwinism. True to form, Dr. Atlas hates face masks, and contact testing, wants to reopen schools, and bring about “herd immunity.”

Michael Osterholm, an actual infectious-disease expert, said on NBC’s “Meet the Press” yesterday that the “herd immunity” theory promoted by Dr. Atlas is “the most amazing combination of pixie dust and pseudo science I’ve ever seen.”

“Herd immunity” strategy failed in Sweden, and experts estimate it would require infection of up to 70% of the U.S. population and the deaths of 2 million Americans to achieve “herd immunity” in the U.S. without a vaccine. Biomedical researcher William A. Haseltine says “Herd immunity is another word for mass murder.”

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How COVID-19 Swept Across America

October 12, 2020

See in one minute how Covid-19 has torn across the U.S. since March in this one-minute video developed by Microsoft AI for Health, Brown School of Public Health, and Harvard Edmond J. Safra Center for Ethics.

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COVID-19: Trump Shares With Rich Pals at Bedminster

October 2, 2020

Trump Shares With Rich Pals at Bedminster

After learning that his close aide Hope Hicks had tested positive for COVID-19, President Donald Trump returned to the White House to begin 14 days of quarantine after testing positive.

But not before meeting — unmasked — with 100 rich supporters at Trump Bedminster golf club in New Jersey. Mr. Trump’s campaign got about $5 million from the event; in exchange, his wealthy supporters got photos with the president and exposure to the novel coronavirus.

Mr. Trump knew Ms. Hicks had COVID-19 before he went to Bedminster, just like he knew the virus was deadly and easily transmitted back in January, before he let 200,000 Americans die from it. Bedminster exhibits a truly nonpartisan callous indifference to human life.

More:

“Donald Trump Mingled Without a Mask at a New Jersey Fundraiser,” Russ Choma, Mother Jones

“Attendees of Trump fundraiser in Bedminster cautioned after president’s positive COVID-19 test,” Nick Muscavage, Bridgewater Courier News

“It’s OK to Be Furious at Trump About His Covid Diagnosis,” Michael Schaffer, Washingtonian

Updates:

“Trump Team Knew of Hicks’ Positive Test—but Went Ahead With Golf Club Fundraiser,”
Jamie Ross, Daily Beast

“Trump critics can’t believe he went to buffet fundraiser hours before his COVID-19 announcement,” Tim O’Donnell, The Week

“Trump Mingled Mask-Less at Golf Club Fundraiser,” Liz Landers, Vice News

“Trump’s New Jersey event showed perilous neglect for his staff, supporters – and himself,” Ed Pilkington, The Guardian

“Officials racing to contact 206 guests who attended Trump’s New Jersey fundraiser,” Sam Sutton, Politico

“NJ contacting Bedminster fundraiser staff, White House taking lead on donors for COVID exposures,” Ashley Balcerzak, NorthJersey.com

“Day after seeing Trump at Bedminster fundraiser, guests ‘flabbergasted’ to learn he was stricken,” Olivia Rubin, Matthew Mosk, Soo Rin Kim, and Will Steakin, ABC News

Related:

“Report: Trump kept quiet about 1st positive COVID-19 test,” Catherine Garcia, The Week

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

CDC: Halloween Has Been Canceled.

September 29, 2020

CDC: Halloween Has Been Canceled.

Kids, candy manufacturers, and sugar addicts across the country are feeling cursed. First, due to COVID-19, we had an Easter without jellybeans, Peeps, or chocolate bunnies. Now, thanks to the pandemic, the CDC has canceled Halloween parties, indoor haunted houses, and trick-or-treating. Scary. Las fiestas del Día de los Muertos también. ¡Ay, caramba!

Another frightening thought: Halloween is a big, boozy, binge-drinking holiday, and alcohol sales are up already due to the pandemic. That’s not conducive to responsible social distancing.

More:

“CDC’s Halloween Guidelines Warn Against Typical Trick-Or-Treating,” Laurel Wamsley, NPR

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Image (“The Witches of CVS”) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

A Coronavirus Prayer

September 24, 2020

“A Coronavirus Prayer,” by James Parker. Read it here.

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USPS Was Ready for COVID-19 In April. Trump Was Not.

September 18, 2020

USPS Was Ready for COVID-19 In April. Trump Was Not.

In April, as the coronavirus pandemic was killing thousands of Americans, the United States Postal Service planned to distribute 650 million masks, five per U.S. household. and even drafted a press release. about it. The White House knew of the COVID-19 threat but was still “downplaying” it, and blocked the plan. Thousands more died.

More:

“White House reportedly scrapped plan to send masks to every American because it wanted to avoid ‘panic,'” Kathryn Krawczyk, The Week

“Newly revealed USPS documents show an agency struggling to manage Trump, Amazon and the pandemic,” Tony Romm, Jacob Bogage and Lena H. Sun, Washington Post

“Of Course Trump Nixed a Masks Plan That Could’ve Eradicated COVID-19 in April,” Bess Levin, Vanity Fair

Update:

“Trump administration scrapped plan to send every American a mask in April, email shows,” Laura Strickler and Geoff Bennett, NBC News

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Image (after Howard Wilcox and Joe Lawrence) by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Coronavirus? Atlas Shrugs. Scott Atlas, MD.

September 9, 2020

Coronavirus? Atlas Shrugs. Scott Atlas, MD.
Donald Trump is accustomed to finding doctors who agree with him and, when it comes to dealing with the Coronavirus pandemic, he’s found one he likes even more than Dr. Stella Immanuel. Dr. Scott Atlas is new Special Advisor to the President and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force. The president introduced him at an August 10th press briefing:

“Scott is a very famous man who’s also very highly respected — Stanford. And he’s working with us and will be working with us on the coronavirus. And he has many great ideas. And he thinks what we’ve done is really good, and now we’ll take it to a new level. And so it’s great to have Scott working along with us.”

But Dr. Atlas is not an epidemiologist or an infectious disease expert, he’s a renowned expert in neuroradiology, specifically Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI), and was Chief of Neuroradiology at Stanford University Medical Center from 1998 to 2012. As far as we know, Dr. Atlas has not imaged the presidential noggin.

You may be wondering why someone with no pandemic expertise is now the president’s go-to guy on COVID-19. It’s because Scott Atlas is a fellow in Health Care Policy at the Hoover Institution, a conservative think tank devoted to free-market bloviation and a direct pipeline to the Fox News Channel, where Mr. Trump caught Dr. Atlas’ act. When it comes to coronavirus, Dr. Atlas isn’t keen on face masks or testing, and he wants to reopen schools and let lots of young people get the virus to bring about “herd immunity.” That strategy failed in Sweden, and experts estimate it would require the deaths of 2 million Americans to achieve “herd immunity” in the U.S. without a vaccine.

More:

“A New Coronavirus Adviser Roils the White House With Unorthodox Ideas,” Noah Weiland, Sheryl Gay Stolberg, Michael D. Shear and Jim Tankersley, New York Times

“New Trump pandemic adviser pushes controversial ‘herd immunity’ strategy, worrying public health officials,” Yasmeen Abutaleb and Josh Dawsey, Washington Post

“President Trump’s New COVID-19 Adviser Is Making Public Health Experts Nervous,” Geoff Brumfiel and Tamara Keith, NPR News

“Herd Immunity Is Not a Strategy,” James Hamblin, M.D., The Atlantic

Updates:

“Redfield voices alarm over influence of Trump’s new coronavirus task force adviser,” Monica Alba, NBC News

“Even Fox’s ‘Hard News’ Shows Don’t Want to Book Trump’s Favorite New COVID Adviser,” Asawin Suebsaeng and Maxwell Tani, Daily Beast

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Image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht, NotionsCapital.com

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

Motorcycle Rally Linked to 250,000+ Coronavirus Cases

September 8, 2020

Motorcycle Rally Linked to 250,000+ Coronavirus Cases

“The inevitable fallout from last month’s Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, an annual event that packed nearly 500,000 people into a small town in South Dakota, is becoming clear, and the emerging picture is grim.

According to a new study, which tracked anonymized cellphone data from the rally, over 250,000 coronavirus cases have now been tied to the 10-day event, one of the largest to be held since the start of the pandemic. It drew motorcycle enthusiasts from around the country, many of whom were seen without face coverings inside crowded bars, restaurants, and other indoor establishments.

The explosion in cases, the study from the Germany-based IZA Institute of Labor Economics finds, is expected to reach $12 billion in public health costs.”

— “Sturgis Motorcycle Rally Is Now Linked to More Than 250,000 Coronavirus Cases,” Inae Oh, Mother Jones

More:

“Sturgis Motorcycle Rally was ‘superspreading event’ that cost public health $12.2 billion: analysis,” J. Edward Moreno, The Hill

“Sturgis Motorcyle Rally linked to more than 265,000 cases of COVID-19 costing $12 billion: report,” Nancy Dillon, NY Daily News

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