COVID-19 continues to spread, despite the best (foolish) efforts of the deniers

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Just read this on Twitter, from Travis Allen: “Nothing makes Trump supporters angrier than when you directly quote something he has said.”

Social media meme

Many of us have had that experience, multiple times, like just a few days ago, when a Trump supporter (in my Facebook friends list no less) posted the bullshit meme that says “If you actually think that Trump was talking about injecting a household disinfectant … you are a part of the problem.” The person added her own comment, starting with, “Do you really think ANYONE would tell you this, especially our President?”

So I replied that Donald Trump is the only person who would suggest injecting disinfectant into ourselves. To which she replied, “Did YOU personally hear those words come out of his mouth and take that into that context?”

That of course blew my mind because millions of people heard — and saw — Trump say those exact words in real time, on television, during Trump’s coronavirus press rally of April 23. So I posted the C-Span video of the press rally, the entire, meandering, crazy show so we could get all the “context” of his remarks, pointing out where in the video Trump suggested injecting disinfectant (minute 28) and then of course to underscore he wasn’t being sarcastic, or speaking to anyone else, Trump asked Dr. Birx if they were looking into doing that.

The lesson from that exchange, which included one saying she can be a junk yard dog and the other (me) saying there are remedies for junk yard dogs … anyway, the lesson from all this: Don’t reply to Facebook posts I don’t agree with. It really devolved.

From Jason Hawes’ Facebook page. He is a co-founder of TAPS and star of the “Ghost Hunters” series

The other lesson, one I had read about but never really witnessed personally, is that pro-Trumpers really are not in touch with reality, they don’t consume actual news, just the nonsense they see and hear on very specific programs on Fox News. They don’t want to hear from the straight shooters like Brett Baer and Chris Wallace, both of whom are very much conservatives, but not Kool-Aid drinking Trumpers.

The Trump faithful listen to: Sean Hannity, Lou Dobbs, Laura Ingraham, and Tucker Carlson, primarily. Then there’s Jesse Waters and the Fox and Friends crew, but not so much the latter anymore because they had the temerity to question some of what the president was spewing.

For the Trumper crowd, their Dear Leader can do or say no wrong. He is at once the avenging angel and the aggrieved victim. It’s a vast conspiracy, don’tca know, by the Deep State, those faceless, trench-coated bureaucrats wandering the dark basement hallways in the State and Defense departments, most especially in the underground bunkers of the intelligence community.

Every time the Dear Leader, President Trump, says something profound and helpful, like suggesting we inject disinfectant into our bodies to fight the coronavirus, the Deep State gets together with their co-conspirators in the Mainstream Media and reports what the president said! Without the proper context.

So the people that voted for Trump because he means what he says, try to convince us he didn’t mean what he just said.

As a result, Trump decided he wasn’t going to do anymore press rallies after he was (shockingly) peppered with questions by the White House press pool concerning his statements about injecting ultraviolet light and disinfectant into our bodies. It was obviously a Deep State, Lamesstream media conspiracy

Social media meme

Even with his twitter thumbs a knock-knock-knocking on his phone all day long, the Trumpster can’t live without the TV cameras trained on his orange-dyed face and bleach blonde hair.

Someone on Facebook, and no doubt other social media platforms, said that someone in that White House press pool should get a Pulitzer prize just for standing up and calling Trump a liar to his face.

Sadly, most White House reporters are known for their calm, objective demeanor and let Trump’s attacks roll of their backs, refusing to take the bait. Instead they (usually) ask substantive questions about the federal government’s plans to fight COVID-19, as if there is a plan somewhere.

  • So far Trump has done very little, telling governors it is their responsibility to do the heavy lifting when it comes to procuring enough equipment and testing.

On the one hand he claimed, “When somebody is president of the United States, your authority is total.” On the other he claimed, just weeks earlier, “I don’t take responsibility at all.”

A protestor’s car in Connecticut (Facebook)

Clearly, Trump is irresponsible — and dangerous. When the Coronavirus Response Coordinator Dr. Deborah Birx has to tell the press he didn’t mean what he said, when major companies like the makers of Lysol have to release a statement that says, “As a global leader in health and hygiene products, we must be clear that under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route.” When governors tell us their health departments are getting a large number of calls asking if they can ingest disinfectants … we know the president not only said something stupid and irresponsible, he is extremely dangerous.

Yet his most ardent supporters are on social media telling us he didn’t mean what he said. That also want us to believe this pandemic is overblown, that the death toll isn’t really as high as it is (now the experts are telling us it’s probably much higher), that it is fact a hoax.

Which makes the news that a prominent E.R. doctor in New York City took her own life after months of treating COVID patients and being taken off the floor due to her own COVID-19 diagnosis more distressing. Were Dr. Lorna Breen and her family and friends/co-workers crisis actors?

That was the verdict when someone posted a message about an interview Anderson Cooper did with a woman who lost her 33-year-old husband to the disease. Both Cooper and the woman cried during the interview and that was seen as a moment of mainstream media manipulation, trying to frighten people into believing the coronavirus pandemic is worse than it really is. A plot by the Deep State and the media so they can exert maximum control over the populace.

The CDC has all kinds of scientific evidence for continuing Stay-At-Home orders,
Tucker Carlson (YouTube)

Trump TV, aka Fox News, is pushing the narrative that the novel coronavirus is not as severe as the experts tell us it is. Tucker Carlson just said San Francisco — you know that ultra-liberal pro-LGBTQ, tree-huggin’, bark-eatin’, anti-gasoline, electric car–driving, Nancy Pelosi-lovin’ city — has extended the Stay-At-Home order until the end of May without any scientific evidence to support the decision. That the flattening of the curve in California, and San Francisco in particular, had little to do with the stringent Stay-At-Home and social distancing rules. When in reality, the flattening of the curve was due exactly to the state’s early response to the pandemic.

Little Tucker didn’t mention that the disease is surging in Los Angeles right now. The county just passed 1,000 coronavirus deaths. Mayor Eric Garcetti has been criticized for making the wearing of face coverings mandatory and for his stance about keeping the beaches and other public places closed. Yet, study after study shows the measures are working, slowing the rate of infection.

Like many other places in America, people in low income areas are hit the hardest. Blacks more than Latinos, but both more than white people. Not just older people either.

Today I read the article in the Washington Post about CNN anchor Brooke Baldwin’s battle with COVID-19. She’s in her early 40’s and survived without having to go to a hospital. Her descriptions of the effects were severe, but then she counts herself as one of the lucky ones because she didn’t experience any of the more severe lung problems that require hospitalization.

Now imagine what it’s like for people that are not well off celebrities like Baldwin. People in the lower income strata of America, like the people found in certain areas of Los Angeles. The Washington Post isn’t going to profile all of them. Instead, they are noted in the statistics of the city and state. A news organization might profile a family that has been hit hard by the virus, explaining why a family can lose five or more members to COVID-19.

Some of us cannot afford to quarantine. Some people are forced by economic situation to live in crowded buildings, crowded apartments and houses. I live with one other person and I’ve been keeping my distance as much as possible, although we share a kitchen. Plus, there are two dogs running between us. They’re young dogs so they like to run.

So I can imagine how it must be to live in the same size place with three or four more people. If one gets infected, all get infected.

California Governor Gavin Newsom during a Facebook Live press conference

Governor Newsom and Mayor Garcetti are not perfect. Newsome has been criticized — by members of his own party and other supporters — for doing too much unilaterally, without enough transparency and input from the legislators. It’s the state’s money that’s being spent on this pandemic after all.

One of the most welcome new actions is the opening of about 80 new testing stations around the state. Currently there are 25 testing sites around Los Angeles County. Click on this link to make an appointment at a test site near you. There’s an online form to fill out, but be patient and get it done. It could be the most important decision you make during this pandemic.

The fatality rate in Los Angeles County is an alarming 4.77%, according to Johns Hopkins University, the gold standard for all data related to the coronavirus. The state has a 4.04% fatality rate. There are 20,996 confirmed cases in the county with 1,002 deaths.

As of Tuesday President Trump has used the Defense Production Act to force meat packing plants to stay open, despite the the fact that 20 have closed because of outbreaks of COVID-19 at these facilities. The employees say neither the government, through OSHA, or the companies are doing enough to insure their safety. The CDC issued voluntary guidelines that the companies can follow, if possible. Rachel Maddow has been covering this thoroughly in recent days so if you get MSNBC you should watch her show.

People, possibly your friends and neighbors, are being coerced into showing up for work in what is a highly contagious environment, in some cases even if they are sick. There are three meat packing plants in the Los Angeles area, all in East Los Angeles. Which means their employees are assuredly low income and primarily minority — the hardest hit demographic.

If you work in one of these facilities there’s a good chance you will be tested for a fever, but it would be a good idea to get tested for the virus. That includes anyone that lives with someone working in the meat packing industry.

Some stores are stocked with produce
(Claudia Gestro)

On Tuesday the governor’s office released an “Update on California’s Pandemic Roadmap,” saying the state is just weeks away from a limited opening of state businesses. Newsom said the decision to lift restrictions will be based on science and facts, not politics and public pressure. Roughly 70% of Americans believe the Stay-At-Home orders are working and want them to remain in place, so the governor has public support behind him.

The easing of California’s economy will come in four stages. It is presented in a very easy to read document here. Concerts and live action sports are in the final stage. Man, we were all looking forward to an NBA Finals showdown between the Lakers and the Milwaukee Bucks, or maybe the Clippers and the Bucks. Many analysts were saying this was going to be the Lakers’ year. Will we ever find out?

Plus, many of us are missing baseball. Opening Day, well that came and went. The NFL says there might be training camp in Mid-July and other sports are taking notice of that date. Everyone is hopeful we can get back to some kind of normalcy, but the CDC and other experts are telling us to be very careful about opening up the economy because a second wave of the coronavirus will coincide with the flu season.

Los Angeles Lakers (Claudia Gestro)

You can bet we are missing our sports reports from Claudia Gestro. You can review what she has from Spring Training, plus the NBA and NHL seasons before the coronavirus shut everything down. Click on our YouTube channel and be sure to subscribe.

Sadly, on Tuesday the coronavirus surpassed two grim milestones: More Americans have died from COVID-19 than were killed in the Vietnam War and there are now more than a million confirmed cases in the U.S — a full third of the world’s confirmed cases, even though we make up less than 5% of the world’s population. As of this morning (April 29): 1.06 million confirmed cases and 60,823 people have perished. Both numbers continue to climb.

I remember, less than two months ago, people telling us we need to keep this in perspective, comparing it to last year’s flu season. What’s the perspective now?

No one likes these lifestyle restrictions, but none of us want to die an excruciating death either. So, we wait in our homes, get tested if possible and look forward to the day we can take an unencumbered walk on the beach or sit at Dodger Stadium or Staples Center for a game. I’m willing to wait, are you?

You can read my series on the coronavirus by clicking here.

Top photo is a YouTube screenshot of Vice President Mike Pence visiting the Mayor Clinic in what has to be the biggest example of Trump Administration hubris: he refused to wear a mask despite the clinic’s rules requiring all people in the clinic to wear them.