Highlights from today's New York Times or, as I like to call it, 'Today in Trumpland'
The United States is falling further behind and, without urgent action, could be overwhelmed by the Covid-19 virus. Closing our southern border to all but essential traffic might be the very best thing our federal government has achieved so far.
Even if the country cuts its rate of transmission in half — a tall order — some 650,000 people might become infected in the next two months.
The growth is driven by Americans with mild symptoms who are carrying and spreading the virus without being aware that they have it, the researchers say. The number of undetected cases — 11 times more than has been officially reported, they estimate — reflects how far behind the United States has fallen in testing for the virus.Trump falls back on rightwing ideology. Won't use emergency powers to mobilize industry to fight the corona virus.
President Trump and his advisers are resisting calls from congressional Democrats and a growing number of governors to use a federal law to mobilize industry to provide badly needed resources to help halt the spread of the coronavirus, days after the president said he would consider using that authority.Pandemic profiteering. NYT editorial board wants all members of Congress barred from stock deals.
Some of the president’s advisers have privately said they share conservatives’ longstanding opposition of government intervention and oppose using the law, and the president again suggested his own ambivalence toward using it.
The NYT panel is too little, too late. The stock trading horse has left the barn. Action, however, is needed. Someone should investigate each member's major donors to see how many of them unloaded their portfolios while Trump and Congressional Republicans were misleading the American people with claims they had the virus under control. We know that the Senate intelligence chairman, Richard Burr, tipped off his major donors about the coronavirus even as he was giving contrary, false assurances to the public.
Trump is off to Mar-a-Lardo this weekend. He'll have the place to himself.
In recent days, the Trump Organization cut staff from hotels in New York and Washington, halted new reservations at a hotel overlooking the Las Vegas Strip and closed golf courses in Los Angeles and the Miami area, according to people with knowledge of the matter. It also closed the Mar-a-Lago club in Florida, which normally would be at a peak right now, with regular seasonal visits by Mr. Trump himself.When grave threats emerge, the most common response is complacency, not panic, according to Dr. Ido Erev, an Israeli professor of behavioural science.
Everyone tends to overreact somewhat at the beginning. But then, a little experience reverses that sense in most people, and they begin to believe that “it won’t happen to me.”
A minority of people — 10 to 30 percent, depending on the situation — continues to overestimate the risk and behave more hysterically, or overreact. These are the people who are causing much of the rush on supplies like toilet paper and emptying the shelves. This is a problem, of course, because it can prompt the same kind of behavior in others. But the important point is that this is a minority. Most people have the opposite problem."Never Trumpers" knew he would be a disaster for America in an emergency.
NeverTrumpers feared that Mr. Trump’s own cruelty, narcissism and sexual incontinence would make the job of remoralizing the country that much harder, a goal they prioritized over tax cuts, deregulation and judicial nominations. As the controversial conservative social scientist Charles Murray told us in the summer of 2019: “You can’t have a successful limited government unless you have a population that itself is virtuous. And so, that means character in the leaders is important, not just so they can perform a job effectively. It’s extremely important as an emblem of what the country’s all about.”
Many NeverTrumpers who held important positions in previous Republican administrations agreed. These conservative critics of Mr. Trump recognized — if only in outline — that the president’s personal pathologies that would lead to something like his disastrous management of the Covid-19 crisis. While most Republicans focused on Mr. Trump as an ideological and cultural bludgeon with which to pummel their enemies, NeverTrumpers foresaw that his character and governing instincts would have unpredictable and terrifying consequences.