Wednesday, March 11, 2020

Trump On The Coronavirus | Lefsetz Letter

What are we supposed to do?

I went to the hospital today, UCLA, the waiting room was nearly empty, what normally takes three hours took seventy five minutes, what was going on? THE CORONAVIRUS!

The phlebotomist told me there’d been a patient in the hospital, that they’d closed the entire floor.

The hematologist just heard they were closing his kids’ school. But didn’t that expert in the “New York Times” say that young kids aren’t getting it and this makes no sense?

I’m getting e-mail from people holding tickets to canceled/postponed concerts.

Everybody thinks that by the fall we’ll be back to normal, BUT WHO KNOWS?

Should I fly or not?

Should I touch door handles or not?

Should I stay at home or not?

What places do I avoid?

Do I stop going to the doctor because I might get sick as a result of the visit?

This is the conversation, and no one has any facts, because facts have been discredited, by Trump and the right wing, by the anti-vaxxers, people who are convinced they’re right because it feels good to them or they find bogus, discredited info online or because they’re trying to manipulate the populace. Trump tells us to come together? IT’S EVERY PERSON FOR THEMSELVES!

This is where we’ve ended up.

We couldn’t be protected because it costs too much. And we no longer care about what happens outside our borders. Who cares if the rest of the world is sick, WE’RE THE UNITED STATES!

Trump laid the blame on Europe.

Yup, China and the rest of Asia may get a pass, but those bad people in Europe, they let the virus foster.

Meanwhile, I’ve heard from a source in Italy that the reason the numbers are so high there is because they’ve tested so many people. And they’re taking strict measures to prevent further infections. How many people have been tested in the U.S? How many people have got it? I mean if someone at CPAC had it, what are the odds I’ll encounter a patient at Ralphs?

I only watched Trump’s “speech” because I wanted to see him go off-script, like he always does, exhibit emotions, ramble, but they wrote a script and he stuck to it, reading it like a hostage, as Frank Rich said on Twitter.

It was a political speech. We have the greatest economy, even though the stock market is in bear territory. We’ve got the greatest health system, even though the uninsured infected are wary of seeking care because of the cost. Did you hear that? Insurers will wave copays, but what about the uninsured?

And the focus on small businesses. As if they’re the only ones in America. Trump was preaching to his base, and telling us it’ll be all right, as believable as that guy in the Isuzu commercials.

And my point is not to beat up on Trump, even though it’s so damn easy, but to point out that Trump did not assess the situation for us, did not tell us what to do, he didn’t make us feel at ease.

Read some of the stories. They don’t know the percentage of deaths because they don’t know the percentage of infected. One expert postulated the death rate could be TEN TIMES what has been bandied about.

And, if the virus is already here…sure, keeping foreigners out might help, but how much quarantining should we do in America?

And the quarantining makes no sense. College after college is closing, like my alma mater in Vermont, but I’d posit the students would be safer isolated in Middlebury than they will be in their own hometowns, almost all with a greater population, never mind the flights/trips home.

But it’s about liability. No one wants to be on the hook. And if you shut down, you’re cool.

And businesses… I work at home, but then I realized I go to the SiriusXM studios every week, do you know how many people pass through there, from all over the world?

I’m not paranoid, I’m not gonna stop going unless they tell everybody not to, but…

You could have a plan, like Italy, shut everything down and wait for the cases to burn out.

But in America we have no plan, to discover who has got the virus and how to contain it. Americans are very willing to get together for the greater good if a leader convinces them so, but tonight I’m just convinced that I need to take my own counsel.

But then there are those who get their news from Fox. My friend John Dick at Civic Science did a poll and found out that Fox viewers were less concerned with the coronavirus, less worried about it…BECAUSE THEY’RE PRIVY TO DISINFORMATION!

I don’t care if you’re left or right. I just need to know, do we go into the bunker or not?

And in Italy, it can take six days for food to be delivered from the grocery store. Forget people being a month away from bankruptcy, how much food do you have in the house, were the survivalists right?

And this is a crisis unlike any we’ve experienced. None of the traditional solutions work. It’s not about money, it’s not about partisan politics and it’s not about Wall Street.

As sophisticated as we’ve become, it’s no different from primitive times.

And isn’t it funny that the anti-vaxxers believe a coronavirus vaccine will appear soon but they won’t let their kids get measles shots, so measles is rampant while smallpox has been eviscerated.

Ain’t that America, the land of disinformation.

It’s uncontrollable, but almost no one is taking responsibility.

Margaret Sullivan in the WaPo told Murdoch to tell his troops at Fox to lay off the falsehoods, for the good of the country. This is a guy who needs to be shamed.

As for the anti-vaxxers… They’re like anti-abortion advocates when their kids get pregnant, then an abortion is all right. When it happens to you, it’s different.

But the coronavirus is not threatened by military attack, all that money poured into the Pentagon is useless.

Only two things can combat it, science and leadership.

Meanwhile, science is out the window, we’re all running on feel. There are cold days, so climate change cannot be happening. The elites are always the problem, and to a degree they deserve this reputation, so we can’t hand the reins to a qualified person. Mike Pence? You can’t fight the coronavirus with religion!

America is a dumb nation. With smart people in it. We fight over everything but the real thing. Mexican immigrants did not deliver the coronavirus. Gay people did not deliver the coronavirus. Everybody’s waiting for a bogeyman when the truth is we only have ourselves to blame.

You got it. Those who voted for Trump. (Oh, don’t shake your fist at me, he got rid of the pandemic response team.)

Those who believe if they just accumulate enough money they’ll be immune.

Those who believe taxes are bad and the government wastes money so it must be drowned.

If everybody needs to stay home for a month TELL US, WE’LL DO IT!

But we don’t want to live our lives normally only to find out in thirty days it’s worse.

But it looks like that’s what’s gonna happen.


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