A milestone: Over one million COVID-19 cases

Oops. It appears I forgot to publish this last night. And at least as of this particular ungodly hour, there’s nothing much new.


Pandemic

FireShot Capture 123 - COVID-19 Map - Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center_ - coronavirus.jhu.edu
Fig. 1. The Johns Hopkins COVID-19 map shows that there have now been over one million cases, with something approaching a quarter of those in the U.S. Screenshot as of 9:10 pm.[1]

There were two new blog posts yesterday:

  1. The first, from that morning, was entitled, “The worst of times and the worst of humanity.
  2. The second, from last evening, is entitled, “When ‘good’ news might not be so good. This is in response to Philip Bump’s article,[2] and it turns out there are lots of questions about the White House models and projections.[3] he described.[4]

Philip Bump, “Decoding the graphs that may have saved millions of American lives,” Washington Post, April 1, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/04/01/decoding-graphs-that-may-have-saved-millions-american-lives/

William Wan et al., “Experts and Trump’s advisers doubt White House’s 240,000 coronavirus deaths estimate,” Washington Post, April 2, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/04/02/experts-trumps-advisers-doubt-white-houses-240000-coronavirus-deaths-estimate/


  1. [1]Center for Systems Science and Engineering, “Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases,” April 1, 2020, Johns Hopkins Universityhttps://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html
  2. [2]Philip Bump, “Decoding the graphs that may have saved millions of American lives,” Washington Post, April 1, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/04/01/decoding-graphs-that-may-have-saved-millions-american-lives/
  3. [3]William Wan et al., “Experts and Trump’s advisers doubt White House’s 240,000 coronavirus deaths estimate,” Washington Post, April 2, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/04/02/experts-trumps-advisers-doubt-white-houses-240000-coronavirus-deaths-estimate/
  4. [4]Philip Bump, “Decoding the graphs that may have saved millions of American lives,” Washington Post, April 1, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/04/01/decoding-graphs-that-may-have-saved-millions-american-lives/

How long, really, can this go on?

Recession

There is a new blog post entitled, “The worst of times and the worst of humanity.”

Dylan Matthews, “Coronavirus could lead to the highest unemployment levels since the Great Depression,” Vox, April 1, 2020, https://www.vox.com/future-perfect/2020/4/1/21201700/coronavirus-covid-19-unemployment-rate

Heather Long, “Over 10 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits in March as economy collapsed,” Washington Post, April 2, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/04/02/jobless-march-coronavirus/

Kara Seymour, “PA Unemployment Explodes, 1M File For Benefits Amid Coronavirus,” Patch, April 2, 2020, https://patch.com/pennsylvania/baldwin-whitehall/s/h2ig9/pa-unemployment-explodes-1m-file-for-benefits-amid-coronavirus


Pandemic

It’s the neoliberal mantra: Workers must be treated as expendable and as infinitely replaceable. They cannot be allowed to matter. They are mere means to rich people’s ends.

We’re seeing that even with medical workers even in a pandemic as hospitals resist workers compensation claims for COVID-19 exposure on their jobs and pretend that they are keeping their workers and patients safe.[1] So it’s little surprise when “essential” workers at the bottom end of the economy are treated this way.[2]

Meanwhile, there is a rather large problem with reliability even with the tests for coronavirus we have now,[3] let alone those yet to be developed,[4] that means a large proportion, probably something like 30 percent, of people are being told they don’t have COVID-19 when, in fact, they do.[5] This is easily a high enough false-negative rate that I would have to say, unless you have symptoms or a very good reason to believe you have been exposed (probably better even than I have as a Lyft and Uber driver in an area with a large number of infections[6]), you should not seek out testing. And even then, you should not trust a negative result. This completely undermines any hope soon of “reopening the U.S.” by dividing the country between those people who have been exposed and cleared the virus and those who have not.[7]

At the same time, as the economic situation deteriorates,[8] I don’t know how this lockdown can be sustained.

Jason Pohl, Ryan Sabalow, and Dale Kasler, “Medical employees say they’re getting COVID-19 on the job. Here’s why hospitals push back,” Sacramento Bee, April 2, 2020, https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/health-and-medicine/article241692061.html

Christopher Weaver, “Questions About Accuracy of Coronavirus Tests Sow Worry,” Wall Street Journal, April 2, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/questions-about-accuracy-of-coronavirus-tests-sow-worry-11585836001


  1. [1]Jason Pohl, Ryan Sabalow, and Dale Kasler, “Medical employees say they’re getting COVID-19 on the job. Here’s why hospitals push back,” Sacramento Bee, April 2, 2020, https://www.sacbee.com/news/local/health-and-medicine/article241692061.html
  2. [2]Mike Snider, “Work strikes at Amazon, Instacart and Whole Foods show essential workers’ safety concerns,” USA Today, March 30, 2020, https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2020/03/30/coronavirus-safety-drives-strikes-amazon-instacart-and-whole-foods/5086135002/
  3. [3]Christopher Weaver, “Questions About Accuracy of Coronavirus Tests Sow Worry,” Wall Street Journal, April 2, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/questions-about-accuracy-of-coronavirus-tests-sow-worry-11585836001
  4. [4]Carolyn Y. Johnson, “Testing coronavirus survivors’ blood could help reopen U.S.,” Washington Post, March 31, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/03/31/coronavirus-serology-blood-tests/
  5. [5]Christopher Weaver, “Questions About Accuracy of Coronavirus Tests Sow Worry,” Wall Street Journal, April 2, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/questions-about-accuracy-of-coronavirus-tests-sow-worry-11585836001
  6. [6]Justin Heinze, “12 More Die In Pennsylvania From Coronavirus, 500 New Cases Found,” Patch, March 28, 2020, https://patch.com/pennsylvania/baldwin-whitehall/s/h2bmx/12-more-die-in-pennsylvania-from-coronavirus-500-new-cases-found; Eric Heyl, “Allegheny County Coronavirus Cases Continue To Surge,” Patch, March 27, 2020, https://patch.com/pennsylvania/baldwin-whitehall/s/h2aqu/allegheny-county-coronavirus-cases-continue-to-surge; Eric Heyl, “Allegheny County Coronavirus Cases: Another Large Increase,” Patch, March 28, 2020, https://patch.com/pennsylvania/baldwin-whitehall/s/h2bkm/allegheny-county-coronavirus-cases-another-large-increase
  7. [7]Carolyn Y. Johnson, “Testing coronavirus survivors’ blood could help reopen U.S.,” Washington Post, March 31, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/03/31/coronavirus-serology-blood-tests/
  8. [8]Heather Long, “Over 10 million Americans applied for unemployment benefits in March as economy collapsed,” Washington Post, April 2, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/04/02/jobless-march-coronavirus/

No April Fools jokes this year

91569052_10158228713643899_14866
Fig. 1. Foxtrot cartoon by Bill Amend from April 1, 1989, downloaded from Facebook, fair use.

I just realized I got through the entire day without seeing a single April Fools prank. Until I saw Bill Amend’s cartoon. Okay, he got me.


Pandemic

Megan Guza, “Gov. Wolf orders all of Pennsylvania to stay at home,” TribLive, April 1, 2020, https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/gov-wolf-orders-all-of-pennsylvania-to-stay-at-home/

Eric Levitz, “Coronavirus Creates an Opening for Progressivism — Also Barbarism,” New York, April 1, 2020, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/04/coronavirus-undocumented-nationalism-socialism-climate-progressives.html


The neoliberal party


Not (yet) anywhere near ‘flattening the curve’

Pandemic

I started exploring around the Johns Hopkins map of COVID-19 cases (figure 1) a bit. If you click on “Admin1” at left, it reveals that the confirmed cases in New York City now exceeds those in Hubei, China by a considerable margin.[1]
FireShot Capture 115 - COVID-19 Map - Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center_ - coronavirus.jhu.edu
Fig. 1. Screenshot (so when I say click, don’t click on this image, but rather here, then click where I say) of map from Johns Hopkins University as of 5:38 am, April 1.[2]

In the chaos of New York City, where coronavirus deaths are mounting so quickly that freezer trucks have been set up as makeshift morgues, several hospitals have taken the unprecedented step of allowing doctors not to resuscitate people with covid-19 to avoid exposing health-care workers to the highly contagious virus.[3]

We are also not yet “flattening the curve,” at least globally, by any stretch of the imagination, as can be seen at lower right (figure 1). The only way you see any flattening is by clicking on “logarithmic” on lower right, which means only that the spread of confirmed cases—remember that testing has lagged in many places, including the United States—is no longer growing any more exponentially than it was. At best, this is only the barest beginning of a “flattening of the curve,” and everything we know here is heavily affected by a measurement bias in that we have not tested representative samples of the population, but rather only some people who’ve developed symptoms that weren’t mistaken for something else.[4]

This is where anybody who knows anything about this stuff has to be having, well . . . .
startrek-picard-facepalm-700x341
Fig. 2. Captain Jean-Luc Picard, played by Patrick Stewart, in a facepalm moment, downloaded from an article by Ethan Anderton in Film posted on May 9, 2019.[5] I think he’s using it under fair use; so am I.

It’d help if we even had an idea what proportion of the population is immune:

The theory is that such [serology] testing could be used to divide the world into people who’ve had it and aren’t at risk anymore — and those who are. Health-care workers with immunity could return to the front lines. Large employers could test their workers to find out who could return to work first. Health insurers might use the tests to tell members whether it is risky to go out into the world. People who know they have a level of immunity could help others. In the Ebola outbreak in Congo, survivors played a special role in providing care — and much-needed human contact — to people who were sick.

“This is going to be a very valuable portion of the population,” said Gigi Gronvall, a senior scholar at the Center for Health Security. “They are people who are presumably protected, and can volunteer. They can have important roles if they have jobs that are critical — they can have that job, they can declare they’re not going to suddenly come down with coronavirus.”[6]

But developing such a test is easier said than done. And researchers have to make sure the test actually says something like what it purports to say.[7] Which is all to say we don’t know jack shit about the spread of this contagion.

It’s also worth clicking on “Admin0” at left in that Johns Hopkins map (figure 1). and wishing for per capita numbers nationally.[8] I think, per capita, some European countries might have it worse than the U.S.

I know I said it was going to be bad. I don’t think I came anywhere close to realizing how bad.

Because this is still a worsening picture, there is still a considerable risk that I have not in fact been exposed and might yet be or might have been exposed and still in the incubation period.[9] But the longer this goes on—I have lots of public exposure in a place with a fair number of cases[10]—the more I think, especially given my history of generally not coming down with this shit, I may indeed be immune. Which should matter.[11] But nobody wants me anyway,[12] so I guess it doesn’t matter.

There is a new blog post entitled, “COVID-19 and the trolley problem.”

Ariana Eunjung Cha et al., “Faced with a crush of patients, besieged NYC hospitals struggle with life-or-death decisions,” Washington Post, March 31, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/03/31/new-york-city-hospitals-coronavirus/

Carolyn Y. Johnson, “Testing coronavirus survivors’ blood could help reopen U.S.,” Washington Post, March 31, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/03/31/coronavirus-serology-blood-tests/

Amber Phillips, “What you really need to know from Tuesday’s White House coronavirus briefing,” Washington Post, March 31, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2020/03/31/trump-coronavirus-briefing-takeaways/


  1. [1]Center for Systems Science and Engineering, “Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases,” April 1, 2020, Johns Hopkins Universityhttps://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html
  2. [2]Center for Systems Science and Engineering, “Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases,” April 1, 2020, Johns Hopkins Universityhttps://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html
  3. [3]Ariana Eunjung Cha et al., “Faced with a crush of patients, besieged NYC hospitals struggle with life-or-death decisions,” Washington Post, March 31, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/03/31/new-york-city-hospitals-coronavirus/
  4. [4]Carolyn Y. Johnson, “Testing coronavirus survivors’ blood could help reopen U.S.,” Washington Post, March 31, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/03/31/coronavirus-serology-blood-tests/
  5. [5]Ethan Anderton, “Cool Stuff: ‘Star Trek’ Captain Picard Facepalm Meme Becomes an Elegant Bronze Bust Statue,” Film, May 9, 2019, https://www.slashfilm.com/captain-picard-facepalm-bust/
  6. [6]Carolyn Y. Johnson, “Testing coronavirus survivors’ blood could help reopen U.S.,” Washington Post, March 31, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/03/31/coronavirus-serology-blood-tests/
  7. [7]Carolyn Y. Johnson, “Testing coronavirus survivors’ blood could help reopen U.S.,” Washington Post, March 31, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/03/31/coronavirus-serology-blood-tests/
  8. [8]Center for Systems Science and Engineering, “Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases,” April 1, 2020, Johns Hopkins Universityhttps://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html
  9. [9]This probably averages five days but there have been reports that the incubation period has exceeded a month in some cases: Alexander Freund, “How long is the coronavirus incubation period?” Deutschewelle, February 28, 2020, https://www.dw.com/en/how-long-is-the-coronavirus-incubation-period/a-52569944; Rich Haridy, “Study affirms average Covid-19 incubation period is 5 days,” New Atlas, March 9, 2020, https://newatlas.com/health-wellbeing/covid-19-coronavirus-incubation-five-days-study-average/
  10. [10]Justin Heinze, “12 More Die In Pennsylvania From Coronavirus, 500 New Cases Found,” Patch, March 28, 2020, https://patch.com/pennsylvania/baldwin-whitehall/s/h2bmx/12-more-die-in-pennsylvania-from-coronavirus-500-new-cases-found; Eric Heyl, “Allegheny County Coronavirus Cases Continue To Surge,” Patch, March 27, 2020, https://patch.com/pennsylvania/baldwin-whitehall/s/h2aqu/allegheny-county-coronavirus-cases-continue-to-surge; Eric Heyl, “Allegheny County Coronavirus Cases: Another Large Increase,” Patch, March 28, 2020, https://patch.com/pennsylvania/baldwin-whitehall/s/h2bkm/allegheny-county-coronavirus-cases-another-large-increase
  11. [11]Carolyn Y. Johnson, “Testing coronavirus survivors’ blood could help reopen U.S.,” Washington Post, March 31, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/03/31/coronavirus-serology-blood-tests/
  12. [12]David Benfell, “About my job hunt,” Not Housebroken, n.d., https://disunitedstates.org/about-my-job-hunt/

Donald Trump keeps on grifting

Pandemic


Capitalism

Thomas Heath and Jacob Bogage, “Dow caps worst-ever first quarter with a more than 400-point slide,” Washington Post, March 31, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/business/2020/03/31/stocks-markets-today-coronavirus/


American Indians

It seems the Mashpee Wampanoag people planned a casino that would compete with casinos in Rhode Island that have “strong Trump links.” So now the Trump administration is withdrawing tribal recognition and taking away their reservation.[1]

Nick Martin, “This Is Crisis Colonization,” New Republic, March 30, 2020, https://newrepublic.com/article/157091/crisis-colonization


  1. [1]Nick Martin, “This Is Crisis Colonization,” New Republic, March 30, 2020, https://newrepublic.com/article/157091/crisis-colonization

Richly deserved self-criticism as a means to preservation?

Pandemic

The headline attached to a New York article by Sarah Jones is woefully inadequate—look at the URL and you’ll see a better (probably earlier, maybe even chosen by Jones herself) one. It isn’t just that rich people are hoarding things, but that they’re hoarding badly needed medical equipment and supplies and expect to jump to the head of the queue for a vaccine when and if one is ever developed. And it isn’t just that they’re hoarding, but that their mistreatment of workers extends to failure to provide protective equipment and to being chintzy about sick leave. And it isn’t just all that but that they’re fleeing to places that lack the medical infrastructure to deal with the virus they’re bringing with them and that the rich folks in Congress are doing such an inadequate job of responding to the economic pain of the shutdown.[1]

I have to say this article[2] is causing me pause—and not on the merits of the article itself. Though I didn’t actually use any New York articles for discourse historical analysis in my dissertation, I classified New York as a functionalist conservative publication in my dissertation work. Functionalist conservatism is all about preserving the privileges of the rich and powerful against everyone else.[3] So no, I’m not expecting a screed against the rich and powerful such as Jones’[4] to appear there unless some richly deserved self-criticism is a means to preservation.

I hadn’t thought things had reached that point, but then I’m not in New York City.[5]

Then there’s the, oh, so special case of Liberty University. Some Christians handle snakes as a demonstration of their faith; when they get bitten it isn’t because they were playing with snakes but because they didn’t have enough faith! Jerry Falwell, Jr., on the other hand, decided to invite students back to Liberty University in defiance of the governor’s “stay at home” order. Eleven students now exhibit symptoms of COVID-19, one has it.[6] Which of course means a bunch of them likely do. But we’ll just say they lacked faith!

Katherine Mangan, “As Liberty University Reports First Covid-19 Case, Students and Parents Grapple With Conflicting Information,” Chronicle of Higher Education, March 30, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/As-Liberty-University-Reports/248382/

Sarah Jones, “Dear Rich People: Please Stop Hoarding Things,” New York, March 30, 2020, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/03/things-are-bad-and-rich-people-arent-helping.html


  1. [1]Sarah Jones, “Dear Rich People: Please Stop Hoarding Things,” New York, March 30, 2020, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/03/things-are-bad-and-rich-people-arent-helping.html
  2. [2]Sarah Jones, “Dear Rich People: Please Stop Hoarding Things,” New York, March 30, 2020, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/03/things-are-bad-and-rich-people-arent-helping.html
  3. [3]David Benfell, “Conservative Views on Undocumented Migration” (doctoral dissertation, Saybrook, 2016). ProQuest (1765416126).
  4. [4]Sarah Jones, “Dear Rich People: Please Stop Hoarding Things,” New York, March 30, 2020, https://nymag.com/intelligencer/2020/03/things-are-bad-and-rich-people-arent-helping.html
  5. [5]David Benfell, “‘Bodies piling up. Refrigerator trucks for corpses,’” Irregular Bullshit, March 28, 2020, https://disunitedstates.com/2020/03/28/bodies-piling-up-refrigerator-trucks-for-corpses/
  6. [6]Katherine Mangan, “As Liberty University Reports First Covid-19 Case, Students and Parents Grapple With Conflicting Information,” Chronicle of Higher Education, March 30, 2020, https://www.chronicle.com/article/As-Liberty-University-Reports/248382/

We aren’t human when we’re like this

Pandemic

Yesterday (Sunday), the wind was blowing fiercely, but as I was driving around, the temperature was up to 79° F, which is awfully warm, even after a ridiculously mild winter.

I noticed that traffic seemed a bit heavier and that more people were out on the streets socializing despite Tom Wolf’s order.[1] It led me to doubt how long that order can really hold, especially with uncertainty about how long, really, all this is going to last.

So today, Bill Peduto’s office announced new measures affecting recreation in Pittsburgh.[2] And sadly but unsurprisingly, Wolf today extended the “stay at home” order, now covering 26 counties including Allegheny and all the counties surrounding it, through at least April 30.[3]

It’s all certainly terrifying. I stopped in to Giant Eagle today to buy some frozen entrees and as I went to pay, I had to wait behind a line while the cashier finished with the previous customer and until she motioned me forward. There was a plastic barrier set up to try to limit transmission and the little credit card machine had been moved to the left of that barrier to extend the distance between customers and the cashier. They don’t let you use reusable bags anymore and there remains one point of vulnerability as the cashier hands you your bags and the receipt with her gloved hand.

And indeed, there is certainly another side to the story as work stoppages by workers concerned about their health at Amazon, Instacart, and Whole Foods show.[4] This is the fearful side of the balance.

On one side, you have a question: If I didn’t do the crime, why am I doing the time, especially on an indefinite[5] sentence? On the other, this is a truly terrifying virus that could kill millions.[6]

I still have no idea how all this plays out.

Megan Guza, “Gov. Wolf closes Pa. schools and businesses indefinitely, extends stay-at-home order,” TribLive, March 30, 2020, https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/gov-wolf-closes-pa-schools-and-businesses-indefinitely-extends-stay-at-home-order/

Kara Seymour, “PA Coronavirus: Stay-At-Home Extended, Schools Shut Indefinitely,” Patch, March 30, 2020, https://patch.com/pennsylvania/baldwin-whitehall/s/h2eya/pa-stay-at-home-extended-schools-closed-indefinitely

Mike Snider, “Work strikes at Amazon, Instacart and Whole Foods show essential workers’ safety concerns,” USA Today, March 30, 2020, https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2020/03/30/coronavirus-safety-drives-strikes-amazon-instacart-and-whole-foods/5086135002/

WTAE, “City of Pittsburgh announces new social distancing restrictions,” March 30, 2020, https://www.wtae.com/article/pittsburgh-new-social-distancing-restrictions-coronavirus/31978041


  1. [1]WTAE, “Stay-at-home order to begin tonight for several Pa. counties, including Allegheny,” March 23, 2020, https://www.wtae.com/article/stay-at-home-order-to-begin-tonight-for-several-pa-counties-including-allegheny/31900786
  2. [2]WTAE, “City of Pittsburgh announces new social distancing restrictions,” March 30, 2020, https://www.wtae.com/article/pittsburgh-new-social-distancing-restrictions-coronavirus/31978041
  3. [3]Megan Guza, “Gov. Wolf closes Pa. schools and businesses indefinitely, extends stay-at-home order,” TribLive, March 30, 2020, https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/gov-wolf-closes-pa-schools-and-businesses-indefinitely-extends-stay-at-home-order/; Kara Seymour, “PA Coronavirus: Stay-At-Home Extended, Schools Shut Indefinitely,” Patch, March 30, 2020, https://patch.com/pennsylvania/baldwin-whitehall/s/h2eya/pa-stay-at-home-extended-schools-closed-indefinitely
  4. [4]Mike Snider, “Work strikes at Amazon, Instacart and Whole Foods show essential workers’ safety concerns,” USA Today, March 30, 2020, https://www.usatoday.com/story/money/business/2020/03/30/coronavirus-safety-drives-strikes-amazon-instacart-and-whole-foods/5086135002/
  5. [5]Megan Guza, “Gov. Wolf closes Pa. schools and businesses indefinitely, extends stay-at-home order,” TribLive, March 30, 2020, https://triblive.com/news/pennsylvania/gov-wolf-closes-pa-schools-and-businesses-indefinitely-extends-stay-at-home-order/
  6. [6]Ed Yong, “How the Pandemic Will End,” Atlantic, March 25, 2020, https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/03/how-will-coronavirus-end/608719/

Such a surprise: Joe Biden is a rapist

Joe Biden

So I’ve been seeing tweets about this and finally chased down a story:

A former aide [Tara Reade] to Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said this week that he sexually assaulted her in 1993, her most detailed account to date of his alleged inappropriate behavior.[1]

It should say something about power over others that it so often expresses itself in the form of rape and sexual assault, that is, the very way that vegetarian ecofeminism predicts.[2] At the same time, we should note that the entire presumption of an authoritarian system of social organization is that a centralized authority is necessary to protect us from each other, as if that centralized authority would be more moral than any of us. Methinks we’ve been conned.

I have previously characterized Joe Biden as a touchy feely misogynist racist.[3] This background should make clear that rape would not be out of character for Biden any more than it was for Bill Clinton.[4] And the lack of attention paid to these allegations,[5] which I shall presume to be true, is yet another example of the morality of polarization.[6] And oh yeah, tell me how I’m supposed to choose between rapists in November.

Alanna Vagianos, “Joe Biden Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Senate Aide In 1993,” HuffPost, March 29, 2020, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/joe-biden-sexual-assault-tara-reade_n_5e7e69c8c5b6256a7a2a88f2


Elon Musk

It appears that Elon Musk has at least partly kept his word.[7] I have updated my blog post accordingly.

Steve Hanley, “Tesla Cuts Jobs In Nevada, Sends Ventilators To New York,” Clean Technica, March 29, 2020, https://cleantechnica.com/2020/03/29/tesla-cuts-jobs-in-nevada-sends-ventilators-to-new-york/


  1. [1]Alanna Vagianos, “Joe Biden Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Senate Aide In 1993,” HuffPost, March 29, 2020, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/joe-biden-sexual-assault-tara-reade_n_5e7e69c8c5b6256a7a2a88f2
  2. [2]Greta Gaard, “Vegetarian Ecofeminism: A Review Essay,” Frontiers 23, no. 3 (2002): 117-146.
  3. [3]Mark Z. Barabak, “Seven takeaways from Democratic debate Night 2: Sparks from Biden and Harris, honesty from Buttigieg,” Los Angeles Times, June 27, 2019, https://www.latimes.com/politics/la-na-pol-2020-democratic-debate-miami-takeaways-20190627-story.html; David Benfell, “Joe Biden blows his #MeToo moment,” Not Housebroken, April 5, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/04/05/joe-biden-blows-his-metoo-moment/; Stephen Collinson, “Joe Biden gets in his own way on race,” CNN, June 20, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/20/politics/joe-biden-race-2020-election/index.html; Stephen Collinson, “Joe Biden throws own campaign into turmoil after Harris attacks his record on race,” CNN, June 28, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/28/politics/first-democratic-debate-night-2-analysis/index.html; Scott Detrow, “Democrats Blast Biden For Recalling ‘Civil’ Relationship With Segregationists,” CNN, June 19, 2019, https://www.npr.org/2019/06/19/734103488/democrats-blast-biden-for-recalling-civil-relationship-with-segregationists; Maeve Reston, “Harris’ attack on Joe Biden steals spotlight at Democratic primary debate,” CNN, June 28, 2019, https://www.cnn.com/2019/06/27/politics/democratic-primary-debate-night-two-joe-biden-bernie-sanders-kamala-harris/index.html; Brett Samuels, “Biden: ‘I’m not sorry for anything that I have ever done,’” Hill, April 5, 2019, https://thehill.com/homenews/administration/437582-biden-im-not-sorry-for-anything-that-i-have-ever-done; Greg Sargent, “Joe Biden is badly undermining his ability to challenge Trump,” Washington Post, June 20, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2019/06/20/joe-biden-is-badly-undermining-his-case-against-trump/; Elise Viebeck, “Joe Biden was in charge of the Anita Hill hearing. Even he says it wasn’t fair,” Washington Post, April 26, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/joe-biden-was-in-charge-of-the-anita-hill-hearing-even-he-says-it-wasnt-fair/2019/04/26/a9a6f384-6500-11e9-82ba-fcfeff232e8f_story.html; Matt Viser and Sean Sullivan, “Biden faces backlash over comments about the ‘civility’ of his past work with racist senators,” Washington Post, June 19, 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/biden-faces-backlash-over-comments-about-the-civility-of-his-past-work-with-racist-senators/2019/06/19/c0375d2a-92a8-11e9-b58a-a6a9afaa0e3e_story.html
  4. [4]David Benfell, “Yes, Hillary Clinton must answer for Bill Clinton’s sexual assaults,” Not Housebroken, October 10, 2016, https://disunitedstates.org/2016/10/10/yes-hillary-clinton-must-answer-for-bill-clintons-sexual-assaults/
  5. [5]Alanna Vagianos, “Joe Biden Accused Of Sexually Assaulting Senate Aide In 1993,” HuffPost, March 29, 2020, https://www.huffpost.com/entry/joe-biden-sexual-assault-tara-reade_n_5e7e69c8c5b6256a7a2a88f2
  6. [6]David Benfell, “The morality of polarization,” Not Housebroken, September 21, 2018, https://disunitedstates.org/2018/09/21/the-morality-of-polarization/; David Benfell, “The theory of the morality of polarization,” Not Housebroken, December 23, 2019, https://disunitedstates.org/2019/12/23/the-theory-of-the-morality-of-polarization/
  7. [7]Sydney Brownstone and Brendan Kiley, “50,000 N95 masks delivered to UW researcher’s home thanks to Elon Musk, Tesla,” Seattle Times, March 22, 2020, https://www.seattletimes.com/seattle-news/health/truckload-of-50000-n95-masks-headed-to-uw-researchers-home-thanks-to-elon-musk-tesla/; Steve Hanley, “Tesla Cuts Jobs In Nevada, Sends Ventilators To New York,” Clean Technica, March 29, 2020, https://cleantechnica.com/2020/03/29/tesla-cuts-jobs-in-nevada-sends-ventilators-to-new-york/; Zachary Shahan, “Elon Musk: Should Have 1000 Ventilators Next Week, + 250,000 N95 Masks For Hospitals Tomorrow,” CleanTechnica, March 21, 2020, https://cleantechnica.com/2020/03/21/elon-musk-should-have-1000-ventilators-next-week-250k-n95-masks-for-hospitals-tomorrow-cleantechnica-exclusive/

The price of a pandemic

Recession

There is a new blog post entitled, “When nothing happened next.”

David Blanchflower, “Pandemic Economics: ‘Much Worse, Very Quickly,” New York Review of Books, March 26, 2020, https://www.nybooks.com/daily/2020/03/26/pandemic-economics-much-worse-very-quickly/

Benjamin Fearnow, “Biden, Sanders demand 3-month freeze on rent payments, eviction of tenants across U.S.,” Newsweek, March 28, 2020, https://www.newsweek.com/biden-sanders-demand-3-month-freeze-rent-payments-eviction-tenants-across-us-1494839


Pandemic


‘Bodies piling up. Refrigerator trucks for corpses.’

Pandemic

The situation with the coronavirus pandemic has become surreal. The United States is number one in the world for COVID-19 cases.[1]

Rudderless, blindsided, lethargic, and uncoordinated, America has mishandled the COVID-19 crisis to a substantially worse degree than what every health expert I’ve spoken with had feared. “Much worse,” said Ron Klain, who coordinated the U.S. response to the West African Ebola outbreak in 2014. “Beyond any expectations we had,” said Lauren Sauer, who works on disaster preparedness at Johns Hopkins Medicine. “As an American, I’m horrified,” said Seth Berkley, who heads Gavi, the Vaccine Alliance. “The U.S. may end up with the worst outbreak in the industrialized world.”[2]

Thanks, Republicans, for your self-serving response.[3] Thanks, Democrats,  for your even slower one.[4] It’s so fitting that malpractice does not exist for politicians. But thanks also to a few other folks . . .

It isn’t clear which Elmhurst hospital Ilana Esther refers to, but I presume it is one in or near New York City. Meanwhile:

Laura Kalmes argues that neoliberal education has taught young people to distrust government—the same government that has eviscerated the social safety net and refused to react to gun violence or the climate crisis. So it now doesn’t work for government to tell young people to stay home rather than party.[5] It is certainly true that if government wants to be trusted, it needs to stop behaving in reprehensible ways. The trouble is that this problem is inherent to an authoritarian system of social organization, inherent to the very idea that some people can be trusted with power over others.

It continues to get worse in Pennsylvania.[6] Butler, Westmoreland, and seven other Pennsylvania counties have been added to the list affected by Tom Wolf’s “stay at home” order.[7] Butler is directly to the north of Pittsburgh, which is in Allegheny County, already covered by the initial version of Tom Wolf’s “stay at home” order.[8] Westmoreland is roughly to the east. I live in Allegheny County, not far from Washington County. The latter county, to Pittsburgh’s southwest, and Beaver County, to the northwest, are apparently still unaffected but the obvious question will be, for how long?

And what would a crisis be without Human Resources department assholes?

Ed Yong, “How the Pandemic Will End,” Atlantic, March 25, 2020, https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/03/how-will-coronavirus-end/608719/

Laura Kalmes, “It’s our fault young people refuse to stay home,” Ozy, March 26, 2020, https://www.ozy.com/news-and-politics/its-our-fault-young-people-refuse-to-stay-home/293136/

Prashant Gopal and Brian K. Sullivan, “Rhode Island Police to Hunt Down New Yorkers Seeking Refuge,” Bloomberg, March 27, 2020, https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-27/rhode-island-police-to-hunt-down-new-yorkers-seeking-refuge

Paul Guggenheimer, “Butler County added to growing list of areas under Gov. Tom Wolf’s stay-at-home order,” TribLive, March 27, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/regional/butler-county-added-to-growing-list-of-areas-under-gov-tom-wolfs-stay-at-home-order/

Eric Heyl, “Allegheny County Coronavirus Cases Continue To Surge,” Patch, March 27, 2020, https://patch.com/pennsylvania/baldwin-whitehall/s/h2aqu/allegheny-county-coronavirus-cases-continue-to-surge

Justin Heinze, “12 More Die In Pennsylvania From Coronavirus, 500 New Cases Found,” Patch, March 28, 2020, https://patch.com/pennsylvania/baldwin-whitehall/s/h2bmx/12-more-die-in-pennsylvania-from-coronavirus-500-new-cases-found

Eric Heyl, “Allegheny County Coronavirus Cases: Another Large Increase,” Patch, March 28, 2020, https://patch.com/pennsylvania/baldwin-whitehall/s/h2bkm/allegheny-county-coronavirus-cases-another-large-increase


  1. [1]Talal Ansari, Jennifer Calfas, and Chun Han Wong, “U.S. Coronavirus Cases Surpass Those of China, Italy,” Wall Street Journal, March 26, 2020, https://www.wsj.com/articles/governments-clamp-down-as-coronavirus-infections-surge-11585218656
  2. [2]Ed Yong, “How the Pandemic Will End,” Atlantic, March 25, 2020, https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/03/how-will-coronavirus-end/608719/
  3. [3]Adam Gaffney, “Trump sees the coronavirus as a threat to his self-interest – not to people,” Guardian, March 17, 2020, https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/mar/17/trump-sees-the-coronavirus-as-a-threat-to-his-self-interest-not-to-people; Susan B. Glasser, “A President Unequal to the Moment,” New Yorker, March 12, 2020, https://www.newyorker.com/news/letter-from-trumps-washington/a-president-unequal-to-the-moment; Dana Milbank, “For Trump, a reckoning has come,” Washington Post, February 28, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/02/28/trump-reckoning-has-come/; Ashley Parker, Yasmeen Abutaleb, and Lena H. Sun, “Squandered time: How the Trump administration lost control of the coronavirus crisis,” Washington Post, March 7, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/trump-coronavirus-response-squandered-time/2020/03/07/5c47d3d0-5fcb-11ea-9055-5fa12981bbbf_story.html; David Remnick, “How the Coronavirus Shattered Trump’s Serene Confidence,” New Yorker, March 22, 2020, https://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2020/03/30/how-the-coronavirus-shattered-trumps-serene-confidence; Paul Waldman, “How coronavirus has deeply flummoxed conservative media,” Washington Post, February 28, 2020, https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/02/28/how-coronavirus-has-deeply-flummuxed-conservative-media/; Kevin D. Williamson, “History Called — and Senator Burr Called His Broker,” National Review, March 20, 2020, https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/03/history-called-and-senator-burr-called-his-broker/
  4. [4]David Benfell, “Why do Republicans seem better prepared to present proposals on coronavirus relief than Democrats?” Irregular Bullshit, March 20, 2020, https://disunitedstates.com/2020/03/20/why-do-republicans-seem-better-prepared-to-present-proposals-on-coronavirus-relief-than-democrats/
  5. [5]Laura Kalmes, “It’s our fault young people refuse to stay home,” Ozy, March 26, 2020, https://www.ozy.com/news-and-politics/its-our-fault-young-people-refuse-to-stay-home/293136/
  6. [6]Justin Heinze, “12 More Die In Pennsylvania From Coronavirus, 500 New Cases Found,” Patch, March 28, 2020, https://patch.com/pennsylvania/baldwin-whitehall/s/h2bmx/12-more-die-in-pennsylvania-from-coronavirus-500-new-cases-found; Eric Heyl, “Allegheny County Coronavirus Cases: Another Large Increase,” Patch, March 28, 2020, https://patch.com/pennsylvania/baldwin-whitehall/s/h2bkm/allegheny-county-coronavirus-cases-another-large-increase
  7. [7]Paul Guggenheimer, “Butler County added to growing list of areas under Gov. Tom Wolf’s stay-at-home order,” TribLive, March 27, 2020, https://triblive.com/local/regional/butler-county-added-to-growing-list-of-areas-under-gov-tom-wolfs-stay-at-home-order/
  8. [8]WTAE, “Stay-at-home order to begin tonight for several Pa. counties, including Allegheny,” March 23, 2020, https://www.wtae.com/article/stay-at-home-order-to-begin-tonight-for-several-pa-counties-including-allegheny/31900786