For once, dogkiller dad Mike Huckabee has had a great idea. You know how even the broken clock is right twice a day, and so forth, well, this is Mike Huckabee’s moment in the sun. He’s come up with an original idea on how Donald Trump can singlehandedly get rid of the coronavirus, and Twitter is right there with him, endorsing it. Is there anyone left in politics who doesn’t live in their own personal fantasy world — Alex Murphy (@Dr_VanNostrin) February 28, 2020 Isn’t this great super hero imagery? This is better than Superman flying into outer space to reverse the spin of the planet, so that it would become yesterday, and Lois Lane wouldn’t die from too much dirt in her car. (You had to be there.) PENCE: Ok task force, ideas.FALWELL JR.: We could separate folks into different pools.PENCE: No more pools Jerry.WHITE: Those with virus will burn in hell!PENCE: Think containment Paula.HUCKABEE: I got a community spread joke.KIM DAVIS: Punish the gays?PENCE: Perfect! — Jeremy Newberger (@jeremynewberger) February 27, 2020 I'm with Huckabee on this one. Trump should absolutely try to personally suck the virus out of everyone and swim to the bottom of the sea.#SuckItTrump — Samantha Adams (@MsSamAdams) February 28, 2020 Rick Wilson says we absolutely do not want to access Mike Huckabee’s PornHub history and I concur. What kind of a mind thinks like that? Yes, I know, one that sought the GOP nomination for president in 2016. It was the reality TV actor or this imbecile. That was some talent on that bench. No wonder we’re where we are right now.
The central tenet of the entire Trump playbook is that if you don’t like a piece of news, it’s fake. Of all the topics that Trump has ever been reported on in relationship to, he and his minions really don’t like the coronavirus public health crisis. They don’t like it one little bit. Speaking at CPAC, Mick Mulvaney made it clear that the problem here is not so much the virus, itself, only the way the press is handling coverage of it. The Hill: He also accused the press of peddling a false narrative about the administration “scrambling” to contain the virus, saying he briefed Congress with other top health officials six weeks ago. He accused the media of ignoring the coronavirus until now because publications were too preoccupied with Trump’s impeachment before that, which he called a “hoax.” “Why didn’t you hear about it?” Mulvaney told an audience at the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) Friday morning in a discussion with Stephen Moore, an economic expert at the Heritage Foundation. “The press was covering their hoax of the day because they thought it would bring down the president.” Mulvaney claimed that the press is only covering the virus now because they believe doing so will “take down the president.” “Is it real? It absolutely is real,” Mulvaney said. “But you saw the president the other day — the flu is real.” “Are you going to see some schools shut down? Probably. May you see impacts on public transportation? Sure,” Mulvaney said, adding, “We know how to handle this.” And this dovetails beautifully with Don Jr. ranting on Fox News that Democrats hope the coronavirus “comes here and kills millions of people so that they can end Donald Trump’s streak of winning.” So there you have it, it’s all the fault of the media and the Democrats, nothing new to see here, move along. This is knee jerk Trumpworld flailing reaction. But what is noteworthy, is that the fear level is palpable. Don Jr., Mulvaney, and the rest of them know that they have a volatile situation here and they are clueless about what to do about it. Nobody believes Trump’s assertions that everything is just fine. And as the stock market continues to crater, Trump’s toadies realize that they better do some damage control and stat — and they don’t have a clue about that either. Only one thing is certain: Trump’s Wednesday fireside chat with the nation didn’t do squat to allay fears, all it did was prove up how clueless Trump really is.
Donald Trump is a germophobe and that character quirk extends to everything he says or does. He honestly believes that keeping bad people out, and away from “good” people — of which he is a specimen, one presumes (?) — is the way to handle things, including the public health crisis which is upon us right now. Trump actually took to Twitter, both his comfort and his consort in times of trouble, and repeated how he’s found the answer to the coronavirus. Only problem is — it’s totally wrong and completely batshit as well. Does Trump think he closed the borders? One of these situations where you’re left to wonder if this is dishonesty or confusion. https://t.co/VCtJHrHiSQ — Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) February 28, 2020 Yes, friends, Donald Trump is doing a victory lap around the coronavirus. Incredible, but then what isn’t when you start out a sentence with the words “Donald Trump?” And nobody else can believe it either, that 1. Maybe he thinks the borders are closed? 2. If they were, what would that matter, when you have a virulent strain which respects no borders? Geographical ones, in all events. Gaslighting: psychological manipulation seeking to sow seeds of doubt, makes victims question their own memory, perception, and sanity. It uses persistent denial, misdirection, contradiction, and lying. It attempts to destabilize the victim and delegitimize the victim's belief. https://t.co/74JhrEWJ3i — Navy Mom 🆘 🌊 Impeached Forever 🌊 (@USNavyMomPA) February 28, 2020 Donald, the responsibility for keeping the country safe falls to you and your administration. So look: Closing the Mexico border (not boarder, you ignoramus) would have done nothing to stop the spread of this virus. If this is actually what you're thinking about, God help us all. https://t.co/EkoDw1Zcum — George Takei (@GeorgeTakei) February 28, 2020 Maybe we should close off the Canadian border, too, ya think? Or, here’s a good one, maybe we close off the Big Boarder [sic] In The Sky, and declare that nobody from other planets can land here anymore, including meteorites with cooties and such. Too Andromeda Strain for you? I just thought that if we got Space Force on it, it couldn’t hurt. Last I knew Mike Pence was the spokesman for them as well, so he won’t know if he’s talking on behalf of Space Force or Covid-19, and frankly, the way that this matter has been handled so far — it won’t matter. I leave you with Trump’s classic Quote of the Day: “When somebody sneezes — I mean, I try and bail out as much as possible when there’s sneezing.” — Donald Trump
If you’re wondering how Mike Pence of all people came to be appointed the coronavirus czar, although that’s not his title, it’s strictly because Trump thinks he can do a PR spin that will be to his liking more than anybody else — or at least that is Trump’s hope and if Pence doesn’t pull it off, goodbye 2020 ticket. Covid-19 has Trump freaking out like no other thing. He can’t tweet at the virus, it doesn’t care. He can’t have the complicit GOP stack the deck for him against the virus, they’re powerless. It’s like nothing else Trump has ever dealt with before. He can’t buy the virus off. So he’s doing the next best thing and filtering what information about the virus gets out and how. Like everything else, this is all about Donald Trump. Bess Levin, Vanity Fair: On the darkest of dark sides, we also learned Thursday about a new gag rule requiring all government officials to get Pence’s approval before making statements about the virus that could make the president look bad: The White House moved on Thursday to tighten control of coronavirus messaging by government health officials and scientists, directing them to coordinate all statements and public appearance with the office of Vice President Mike Pence, according to several officials familiar with the new approach…. Mr. Pence was scheduled to lead a meeting of the government’s coronavirus task force on Thursday. The vice president’s first move appeared to be aimed at preventing the kind of contradictory statements from White House officials and top government health officials that have plagued the administration’s response. Even during his news conference on Wednesday, Mr. Trump rejected the assessment from a top health official that it was inevitable that the coronavirus would spread more broadly inside the United States. According to the New York Times, administration officials are unsurprisingly saying that “the goal is not to control the content of what subject-matter experts and other officials are saying, but to make sure their efforts are being coordinated,” and they’ve definitely, 100% never given us a reason not to believe them. Their goal is to control the content, make no mistake about that. Trump is freaked out over the markets crashing and that’s what he seeks to get a handle on, not the virus. He doesn’t give jack about the virus, except as insofar as it poses an obstacle to him controlling his economic narrative, which is basically his entire pitch going into reelection mode. Trump is in bunker mode now and needs to surround himself with his most devoted toadies so as to feel secure. There is no other reason to explain why Larry Kudlow, of all people, has also been named to this commission that Pence is heading up. Kudlow is worthless in his own field and has zero credentials in medicine or infectious disease — but he is a Fox News alumnus, so that gives him credibility in Trumpworld, where it counts. Kudlow is there because he can play Trump’s favorite game, spin the narrative. it will be interesting to see how this develops, a health care crisis, being dealt with as a PR inconvenience. As Max Boot pointed out, Trump can’t even spell coronavirus — but maybe we’ll get lucky and it will spell doom for him.
Donald Trump didn’t fool a living soul at his coronavirus presser Wednesday. He set out to minimize the issue, saying there were “maybe ten” cases of coronavirus in the U.S. and “soon there would be five.” Where he got those figures, only he knows, because the people whose job it is to know, are quoting sixty known cases of covid-19 at this time, and one, in Sacramento County, California, is the first case which is community spread, not the result of direct contact with a victim or travel in a foreign country. That is a sobering development. Conservative columnist Max Boot apparently reached the end of his tether when it came to Trump’s attempted whitewash, because he really let him have it. Boot’s lede sentence cuts right to the heart of the matter in this brutal take down in the Washington Post: Diseases, far more than any human enemy, ruthlessly expose and exploit the weaknesses of their victims. Now the coronavirus outbreak is laying bare the pathologies of the Trump administration — which include compulsive lying, pandering to dictators, ideological aversion to “globalism,” inveterate hostility toward experts and expertise, and (in a related development) sheer incompetence. Yep, pretty powerful stuff. Now bear in mind, Boot is a respected columnist and rightfully so. His pieces are articulate, compactly structured and well developed. He doesn’t rant — or at least he didn’t used to, but as you can tell from the lede, he’s had it with Trump and he’s giving El Caudillo de Mar-a-Lago a piece of his mind. And it’s a beaut. Globalism isn’t something you can be for or against; it’s simply a fact of life. But Trump’s whole presidency is built on denying basic realities such as global warming and Russian attacks on our politics. Rather than focus on real threats such as pandemics, climate change and Russian aggression, the administration is fixated on politically convenient boogeymen such as “criminal aliens” and Nigerian immigrants. The administration’s latest budget calls for a $3 billion cut for global health programs, including a 53 percent cut in funding for the World Health Organization. This comes on top of earlier budget cuts that forced the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to downsize its global health security initiative in 39 out of 49 countries. Then Boot delivers the coup de grace. It’s all about undoing any and everything that Barack Obama ever wrought. That is how black and white, how simple and stupid, and how totally sick Trump’s entire political “philosophy” is, from the top to the bottom. Seeking to undo everything that his predecessor had done, Trump dismantled the epidemic-fighting infrastructure the Obama administration had built up at the National Security Council and the Department of Homeland Security. One of John Bolton’s first acts upon becoming national security adviser in 2018 was to dismiss the NSC’s global health team led by Rear Adm. Timothy Ziemer, a widely respected public-health expert. These moves are emblematic of the president’s contempt for apolitical civil servants who know what they are doing. He prefers unqualified political hacks whose only loyalty is to him rather than to the country. Many top administration posts are already filled by “acting” placeholders while further purges are being launched by the new head of presidential personnel, the president’s 29-year-old former “body man” (i.e., gofer), John McEntee, with the assistance of a 23-year-old […]
This is a breaking story in the New York Times as of 5:15 p.m. Pacific today: A person in California who was not exposed to anyone with the coronavirus and had not traveled to countries in which the virus is circulating has tested positive for the new coronavirus, representing what may be the first case of community spread here in the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said on Wednesday. “At this point, the patient’s exposure is unknown,” a C.D.C. statement said. “The case was detected through the U.S. public health system and picked up by astute clinicians.” This story comes within an hour of Donald Trump’s blathering press conference wherein he minimized the outbreak of the coronavirus and basically said he expected it to disappear — especially with Mike Pence on board, spearheading the effort. Pence was responsible for an outbreak of HIV in Indiana due to his repressive policies, God help us all with him in charge of a pandemic that no one knows anything about. As you undoubtedly heard, if you listened to Trump’s presser, Trump expects a little old flu shot just anytime now and the experts are talking about a vaccine in 18 months — and not calling the coronavirus the flu. Trump has no remote clue what he’s dealing with, but then you knew that. UPDATE at 6:35 p.m. Pacific Time, KCRA says that a patient in Sacramento may be first community-spread case of coronavirus: “At this time, the patient’s exposure is unknown,” CDC said. “It’s possible this could be an instance of community spread of COVID-19, which would be the first time this has happened in the United States.” “This would be the first known instance of person-to-person transmission in the general public in the United States,” CDPH said in a statement. “Previously known instances of person-to-person transmission in the United States include one instance in Chicago, Illinois, and one in San Benito County, California. Both cases were after close, prolonged interaction with a family member who returned from Wuhan, China and had tested positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by novel coronavirus. As of today, including this case, California has had 7 travel-related cases, one close contact case, and now one community transmission.” Germany also confirmed it’s first case of community spread coronavirus on Wednesday.
Senator Chris Murphy (D-CT) made the following observations yesterday about Trump and the coronavirus. Trump has put no one in charge of Coronavirus. He is pushing cuts to the budgets of all the agencies that fight pandemics. He shut down 37 of 47 global anti-pandemic programs. Trump made a choice to make us vulnerable…to this pandemic and the next one and the next one. — Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) February 25, 2020 It has been rumored that Trump is going to appoint a Coronavirus Czar as Obama appointed an Ebola Czar back in the day. Your guess is as good as anybody else’s with respect to who that person might be. Right now speculation includes everybody from Jared Kushner, who is Trump’s knee jerk go-to person, no matter what the occasion (and regardless of how unqualified Kushner is, which is uniformly, no matter what the proposed position is.) White House considers appointing coronavirus czar – Will it be Judge Jeannie? Or maybe Tucker Carlson? Well whomever is picked it will be because they are LOYAL to Trump not because good for Americans https://t.co/AkUEuarr6V via @politico — (((DeanObeidallah))) (@DeanObeidallah) February 26, 2020 Now, in addition to all the cutbacks to necessary programs that Senator Murphy pointed out, Trump is on the warpath against Nancy Messonier, Director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, and all she did was state the obvious. I’m told the president’s anger about the CDC briefing yesterday is focused on Dr. Nancy Messonnier, who said it’s not whether, it’s when the virus will hit the US. “She never should have said that,” a senior administration official told me. “it’s bad.” — Eamon Javers (@EamonJavers) February 26, 2020 Rush Limbaugh and right-wing fringe sites are attacking Dr. Nancy Messonnier, a top CDC official handling the coronavirus response, because she is Rod Rosenstein's sister. They're spreading the lie that she's part of the deep state and trying to tank the markets to weaken Trump. — Marshall Cohen (@MarshallCohen) February 26, 2020 As to the appointment of a coronavirus czar, nobody in Trumpworld knows, everybody is flying blind, per usual. Politico: “I don’t anticipate one,” [HHS Secretary Alex] Azar said, when asked whether he foresees the eventual appointment of a coronavirus czar. “This is working extremely well. If it doesn’t work or if there’s a change, that’s for the president to decide.” Following Azar’s session with lawmakers Wednesday, [Rep. Rosa] DeLauro scolded the secretary for his comments and suggested the president’s preoccupation with the state of the economy could influence his deliberation over a potential czar. “It doesn’t pay to be flip in this environment we have today on these issues,” she said, adding: “Maybe the president’s concern with the Dow is pushing him to think we should have a czar. Who knows what lurks in the heart of the president?” Oklahoma Rep. Tom Cole, a top Republican on the House Appropriations Committee, expressed some interest in a White House-appointed coronavirus czar, but cautioned against putting someone with a political background in the role. “I’m not sure I like the idea of bringing in a political guy. If you want to bring in a health care professional, that makes sense,” Cole said. “When you’re in a war, you listen to your generals, and when you’re in a biomedical crisis, you […]
“A lot of people are freaking out over the coronavirus,” Marco Rubio breathlessly intones — and he wouldn’t want you to think he’s one of them. Oh, no Sir, he’s just fine. He always squats in his office under the picture of Jesus and glances sideways furtively, while making black and white videos for Twitter. (WTF makes black and white videos for Twitter?!?) Maybe the black and white disguises deathly pallor better? We’re told it makes chocolate syrup look like blood, is that next? On #CoronavirusOutbreak #COVIDー19 its not a time to panic. But it is a time to take it serious and get it right. pic.twitter.com/vZf1KzbSxy — Marco Rubio (@marcorubio) February 26, 2020 The Intelligencer did a great riff on this, which has been getting reblogged everywhere. Marco Rubio on Wednesday urged Americans not to panic over the coronavirus in a video that looks like it was recorded in his doomsday bunker. “A lot of people freaking out this morning about coronavirus,” the Florida senator says at the start of the video, as his eyes nervously dart around a small room. He goes on to list all the reasons why it’s “not a time to panic.” Rubio’s words might project confidence, but the black-and-white footage, camera angle, and paranoid glances suggest coronavirus-infected zombies are seconds away from breaking down his door and devouring him. Never lose sight of the fact that Rubio doesn’t exactly handle himself well in times of crisis. One of his most celebrated gaffes was when he was running for reelection in October, 2016, when Hurricane Matthew was beating down on Florida shores. All other politicians were on the airwaves urging their constituents to leave and leave now. Rubio was on the air saying there was still plenty of time to contribute to his reelection campaign. You’re always on Rubio’s mind, Florida, just not the way you think.
This is to be expected. Donald Trump lives in a complete dream world and naturally, the coronavirus will be treated accordingly, as something that isn’t very real either and that would in fact be just fine, if only his enemies would stop talking about it. After all, Trump doesn’t have the virus, so who cares about anybody else? In any event, Trump would have you know that right now, as we speak, and since the virus broke out, he’s been doing his usual stellar job. ….Democrats talking point is that we are doing badly. If the virus disappeared tomorrow, they would say we did a really poor, and even incompetent, job. Not fair, but it is what it is. So far, by the way, we have not had one death. Let’s keep it that way! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 26, 2020 This is what the New York Times says you need to know: Coronavirus pushes across Europe and Middle East, while U.S. prepares for outbreak. Brazil confirms coronavirus infection, the first in Latin America. As new cases soar in South Korea, a U.S. soldier there tests positive. European officials struggle to present a unified response. President Trump plans to hold a news conference with health officials. The bottom line is that the number of infections outside China has outpaced those inside of it, which leads to the common sense conclusion that it is a world wide matter and not localized in China. Trump was claiming that a vaccine was on it’s way a few days ago in India. And what might that be? Love potion number nine? Let’s see what he says at his press conference this afternoon. That should be illuminating.
The coronavirus has been the elephant in the room the past several weeks. Everybody is terrified to go near it, they’re trying to shut their eyes and tell themselves it’s not there — and meanwhile, it just won’t go away. It keeps getting worse, in fact. Donald Trump and his number one sycophant, Rush Limbaugh, have knocked themselves out saying that everything is just fine with respect to the coronavirus. Nobody believes them — which isn’t surprising, neither one of them is exactly a high credibility figure, and this, unfortunately, is a matter of life and death. Right-wing fantasy dogma just isn’t going to cut it, as the market drops further for yet the second day. New York Times: A day after its worst one-day slide in two years, the S&P 500 closed down 3 percent on Tuesday, a decline that put the index deeper in the red for 2020. […] Since the outbreak first emerged in January, the primary concern among economists and investors has been how a temporary paralysis of the Chinese economy — the world’s second largest — would affect global supply chains. For weeks, American investors paid little mind: As recently as last Wednesday, the S&P 500 was at a record high. […] The sell-off accelerated after the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Americans that they should brace for the likelihood that the coronavirus will spread to communities in the United States. “It’s not so much of a question of if this will happen in this country anymore, but a question of when this will happen,” said Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases. “We are asking the American public to prepare for the expectation that this might be bad.” That’s what the New York Times says. Now, let’s hear what Rush Limbaugh told his listeners on Monday, courtesy of Bess Levin: “It looks like the coronavirus is being weaponized as yet another element to bring down Donald Trump.“ He added: “Now, I want to tell you the truth about the coronavirus…The coronavirus is the common cold, folks. The Drive-By Media hype of this thing as a pandemic, as the Andromeda strain, as, ‘Oh, my God, if you get it, you’re dead’…I think the survival rate is 98%. Ninety-eight percent of people get the coronavirus survive. It’s a respiratory system virus. It probably is a ChiCom laboratory experiment that is in the process of being weaponized…. I believe the way it’s being weaponized is by virtue of the media, and I think that it is an effort to bring down Trump, and one of the ways it’s being used to do this is to scare the investors, to scare people in business. It’s to scare people into not buying Treasury bills at auctions. It’s to scare people into leaving, cashing out of the stock market—and sure enough, as the show began today, the stock market—the Dow Jones Industrial Average—was down about 900 points, supposedly because of the latest news about the spread of the coronavirus.” The Trump administration is like a juvenile delinquent that has gotten away with everything so far, and in this case, it’s being asked to grow up and take responsibility. The coronavirus is a big deal. This is much bigger than impeachment. So far, if what we’ve seen is […]