Patterico's Pontifications

3/24/2020

Respite 2

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:53 pm



Two days ago, Dana posted a lovely post about hiking in nearby nature, with beautiful photos. They are a hard act to follow, so I let a couple of days pass before posting my own photos from “house arrest” here in sunny Southern California.

Over the weekend, I spent some time with Mrs. P. at Malibu Creek State Park. (Yes, Internet Scolds, it’s perfectly legal and consistent with the Governor’s order. Save your carping.) Just a one-hour drive during Shelter at Home (usual drive time: 1.5 hours). Here are some photos from our walk:

Goat Butte

Pretty Creek

Creek

On the way back, we stopped at the C&O Trattoria, a restaurant we used to frequent when we lived in Marina del Rey, and picked up takeout. (Also legal, Internet Scolds!) At the C&O, they play the song “That’s Amore” and the waiters come around and clink your wine glass whenever Dean sings those words. So we put it on YouTube at home and clinked our own glasses, in a clear violation of all social distancing rules.

The next day, I took the dogs on a stroll through the local nature preserve. From my house, it’s 10-15 minute stroll around the corner and up the hill to the entrance. From there, you can go as far as you like, but the best basic hike is a one-hour loop around the preserve, during which I took these photos:

Cactus JPEG

Catalina JPEG

All in all, house arrest is not too bad.

Also, Leviticus sent some recent photos of his adorable daughter, for whom Patterico readers contributed a nice little introductory bump to a 529 fund a little over two years ago. (Her February 11, 2018 birth was announced here, and Leviticus thanked us and sent photos of the newborn here.) My, how she has grown in two years!

Screen Shot 2020-03-24 at 8.12.04 PM

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Adorable.

Life under the evil coronavirus can still be good. At least until it kills us and everyone we love. So let’s pull together.

Trump: I’d Love To Have The Economy Raring To Go By Easter

Filed under: General — Dana @ 3:41 pm



[guest post by Dana]

President Trump claimed today that there “would be suicides by the thousands” if Americans weren’t allowed to return to work:

“We have to put the country to work,’ he said on Fox News. “You are going to lose a number of people to the flu, but you are going to lose more people by putting the country in a massive recession or depression.”

“You are going to lose people. You are going to have suicides by the thousands,” he continued. “You can’t just come in and say, ‘Let’s close up the United States of America.'”

Following his claim, Trump said that he would like to see the economy up and running by Easter:

Trump…doubled down on his push to reopen businesses in a matter of weeks in order to reinvigorate an economy stunned by the growing pandemic.

“You can destroy a country this way, by closing it down, where it literally goes from being the most prosperous,” Trump said.

“I’d love to have it open by Easter,” Trump said. “I would love to have that. It’s such an important day for other reasons, but I’ll make it an important day for this too. I would love to have the country opened up and just raring to go by Easter.” Easter falls on April 12 this year.

More:

Asked whether that was feasible, Trump said it’s not only possible but necessary to soon lift the current social-isolation measures that have sent the economy into a spiral.

“Again, this cure is worse than the problem,” Trump said. “Many people, in my opinion more people, are going to die if we allow this to continue. We have to get back to work.’’

Trump’s frustration about the slowed economy became more apparent as he challenged the less-than-supportive reponse to his plan by his Coronavirus Task Force:

Surgeon General Jerome Adams said: “We will assess at the end of the 14 days and we’ll figure out the most appropriate thing to do…”

[Dr.]Birx urged Americans to continue following the White House guidelines designed to slow the spread of the virus, which were released on March 16 and provided for 15 days of action. “Every American needs to continue the president’s guidelines for these next six days or seven days. We have to have them following those guidelines,” she said… Trump then broke in to say that his thinking had changed once it appeared that the mortality rate of COVID-19 was lower than the worst case estimates. (There is no way to know the true mortality rate since testing has been so limited in the United States.)

“Excuse me just one second,” Trump said. “You can’t compare this to 1918 where close to 100 million people died,” he said, referring to the 1918 flu pandemic. “If you got it, you had a 50/50 chance, or very close, of dying. I think we’re substantially under 1%, because the people that get better are not reporting,” he said. “When they came into my office, don’t forget — they said 3%, 4%, 5% — there’s a very big difference. No – we have to put our country back to work.”

Other medical experts have also pushed back on Trump’s tentative goal of Easter: Dr. Tom Inglesby, director of the Center for Health Security of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, issued a warning about any effort to ease up on social distancing measures at this juncture:

“Anyone advising the end of social distancing now, needs to fully understand what the country will look like if we do that,” he tweeted. “COVID would spread widely, rapidly, terribly, could kill potentially millions in the yr ahead with huge social and economic impact across the country.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci, who was not present during today’s townhall, said on Face the Nataion this past Sunday:

“The things that we’re seeing in this country, this physical separation at the same time as we’re preventing an influx of cases coming in, I think that’s going to go a long way to preventing us from becoming another Italy.”

More responses from health officials to the president’s projected Easter date:

Arthur Caplan, a professor of bioethics at NYU Langone Medical Center, told the New York Times, “You can’t call off the best weapon we have, which is social isolation, even out of economic desperation, unless you’re willing to be responsible for a mountain of deaths.”

Caplan added 30 days of restrictions “makes more sense than 15 days.” “Can’t we try to put people’s lives first for at least a month?” he said.

Howard Koh, a Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health professor and former Obama administration public health official, told Politico it’s “way too early to even consider rolling back any guidelines.”

“With cases and deaths rising by the day, the country must double down, not lighten up, on social distancing and related measures,” he added.

Scott Gottlieb, former Food and Drug Administration Commissioner, said in a Twitter thread, “There’s a strong and understandable desire to return to better times and a functioning economy. But it should not be lost on anyone that there’s no such thing as a functioning economy and society so long as covid-19 continues to spread uncontrolled in our biggest cities.

Ignoring the advisement of health officials, Trump seems prepared to base a critical decision that has the potential to dangerously impact untold numbers of Americans, on his continued belief that the cure is worse than the problem.

–Dana

Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick: Lots Of Seniors Willing To Risk Their Lives To Save Economy

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:57 am



[guest post by Dana]

The Texas Lt. Gov. suggests grandparents would be willing to risk their survivial so their grandchildren and great-grandchildren wouldn’t have to endure the collapse of the economy:

“I don’t pretend to be speaking for everyone 70-plus,” Patrick’s text read. “But I think there are lots of grandparents out there who would agree with me that I want my grandchildren to live in the America I did.”

“I want them to have a shot at the American Dream but right now there’s a virus which all the experts say that 98 percent of all people will survive… is killing our country in another way,” the text continued. “It could bring about a total economic collapse and potentially a collapse of our society. So I say let’s give this a few more days or weeks but after that, let’s go back to work and go back to living. Those we want to shelter in place can still do so but we can’t live with uncertainty.”

Patrick claims that his greatest fears isn’t that he’s in the high risk pool, but rather how the country is being impacted:

“No one reached out to me and said as a senior citizen, ‘Are you willing to take a chance on your survival in exchange for keeping the America that all America loves for your children and grandchildren?’” Patrick declared. “And if that is the exchange, I’m all in.”

Adding that “there are lots of grandparents” who would make the same choice because “they don’t want the whole country sacrificed,” Patrick said that, as a small businessman, his “heart is lifted” by the president’s recent pivot.

Patrick concluded by insisting that the “biggest gift” grandparents can give their grandkids is “the legacy of our country,” all while wondering why we need to “shut down the whole country” since the “mortality rate is so low.”

While Patrick doesn’t say exactly how many sacrificed lives it would take to save the economy, no one’s life should be considered expendable. Not the elderly, the infirmed (whether mentally or physically), and certainly not because they’ve managed to live for 70 years. And while Patrick claims he is speaking for himself, it’s disturbing that an elected official chose to tout this idea in a public forum. This is an awful take.

None of our family member’s lives are expendable:

“My mother is not expendable, your mother is not expendable and our brothers and sisters are not expendable, and we’re not going to accept the premise that human life is disposable, and we’re not going to put a dollar figure on human life. The first order of business is to save lives, period. Whatever it costs,”

–Dana


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