Patterico's Pontifications


White House Issues Stronger Guidelines To Limit Spread of Coronavirus

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:14 pm

[guest post by Dana]

This morning, President Trump issued updated guidelines to limit the spread of coronavirus:

“My administration is recommending that all Americans, including the young and healthy, work to engage in schooling from home when possible, avoid gathering in groups of more than ten people, avoid discretionary travel and avoid eating and drinking in bars, restaurants, and public food courts,” Trump said. “If everyone makes this change or these critical changes and sacrifices now, we will rally together as one nation and we will defeat the virus, and we are going to have a big celebration altogether. With several weeks of focused action, we can turn the corner and turn it quickly — a lot of progress has been made.”


“It’s important for the young and healthy people to understand that while they may experience milder symptoms, they can easily spread this virus and they will spread it indeed, putting countless others in harm’s way,” Trump said.

Asked by a reporter how long it would last, Trump replied, “people are talking about July, August, something like that.” He said he likes to say it “washes through” but “other people don’t like that term.”


The guidelines say that “In states with evidence of community transmission, bars, restaurants, food courts, gyms, and other indoor and outdoor venues where groups of people congregate should be closed.”

Dr. Anthony Fauci stepped in to clarify that the new guidelines pertain to a 15 day trial period:

‘The guidelines are over a 15 day-trial guideline,’ Fauci said and then will be reconsidered. ‘The president was saying that the trajectory of the outbreak may go until then, make sure you don’t think that it’s solid in stone until July’ for the guidelines.

Trump also addressed questions about quarantines and a nationwide lockdown:

President Trump said a nationwide quarantine was not being considered “at this point.”

But he said “we may look at certain areas, certain hot spots, as they call them.”

Asked “Are you considering instituting a nationwide lockdown, a nationwide quarantine? There are still some questions about that,’ Trump then responded: “At this point, not nationwide. But there are some, you know, places in our nation that are not very effective at all but we may, we may look at certain areas, certain hot spots as they call them. We’ll be looking at that. But, at this moment, no we are not.”

Yesterday, the CDC issued new guidelines, including but not limited to:

Large events and mass gatherings can contribute to the spread of COVID-19 in the United States via travelers who attend these events and introduce the virus to new communities. Examples of large events and mass gatherings include conferences, festivals, parades, concerts, sporting events, weddings, and other types of assemblies. These events can be planned not only by organizations and communities but also by individuals.

Therefore, CDC, in accordance with its guidance for large events and mass gatherings, recommends that for the next 8 weeks, organizers (whether groups or individuals) cancel or postpone in-person events that consist of 50 people or more throughout the United States.

Events of any size should only be continued if they can be carried out with adherence to guidelines for protecting vulnerable populations, hand hygiene, and social distancing. When feasible, organizers could modify events to be virtual.

This recommendation does not apply to the day to day operation of organizations such as schools, institutes of higher learning, or businesses. This recommendation is made in an attempt to reduce introduction of the virus into new communities and to slow the spread of infection in communities already affected by the virus. This recommendation is not intended to supersede the advice of local public health officials.

Also, here is an round-up of coronovirus news throughout the world.

Several states have primaries tomorrow. Ohio’s governor is now calling to extend the state’s primary elections scheduled for Tuesday to June 2. Illinois State Board of Elections announced that the state was “proceeding with plans for tomorrow’s primary as scheduled.” No word yet from Arizona and Florida, who also have primary voting schduled for tomorrow.

Bottom line:


The Bernie Moment

Filed under: General — JVW @ 1:12 pm

[guest post by JVW]

During the final days of World War II when the Nazis had been defeated and final preparations were being made for the Battle of Japan, Great Britain held an election. Prime Minister Winston Churchill had been in office since the first year of the war, and his Conservative Party held 385 of the 640 seats. His own approval rating stood at an incredible 83%, unthinkable by modern standards. Confident that his government’s management of the war would be rewarded, he departed for the Potsdam Conference of Allied nations as voting commenced across the kingdom.

You history buffs know what happened: Labour defied all prognosticators and won an incredible 393 seats, reducing the Conservative numbers to fewer than 200. The Labour Party, who had largely helped bring Churchill to power by refusing to serve in a coalition government under Neville Chamberlain, had seized upon the moment of victory to argue that a socialist platform of government rationing and central planning, under which Great Britain was presently living due to the necessities of war, would provide an equitable and humane method of post-war rebuilding. Writing to her father shortly before the election, Sarah Churchill had warned that Labour’s arguments were striking a chord with war-weary Britons:

Socialism as practiced in the war did no one any harm and quite a lot of people good. The children of this country have never been so well fed or healthy, what milk there was, was shared equally, the rich didn’t die because their meat ration was no larger than the poor; and there is no doubt that this common sharing and feeling of sacrifice was one of the strongest bonds that unified us. So why, they say, cannot this common sharing and feeling of sacrifice be made to work as effectively in peace?

The new government under Clement Attlee would continue rationing into the next decade and would implement nationalized health care, pensions, sick leave, public housing, and universal basic income for families with children. They would nationalize banks, railways, aviation, energy, steel, timber, and mines, and labor unions were of course given unheard of influence in setting policy. Though unemployment was low, the government’s management of wages and its high taxes would mean that British society continued to be highly stratified between the wealthy and influential families and the rest of the country. And Labour’s desire to quickly divest the United Kingdom of its worldwide colonies would have the effect of throwing remote parts of the world into chaos and sowing decades of war and strife, problems which persist into today.

What does that have to do with the subject line of the post? Though the circumstances are entirely different here than they were in the British election of 1945, the challenges that are going to be presented by the COVID-19 outbreak might give American socialists their best opportunity yet to convince their countrymen and countrywomen that a socialist program — or at the very least a huge and all-encompassing regulatory state — is the answer to our problems. Let’s forget the Republican Party and various unaffiliated conservatives for a moment and think only of Democrats. Just three weeks ago, it appeared that the Green Mountain Gramsci was in the catbird seat for the party nomination. Then the party regulars — long-time devoted interest groups such as African-Americans and public employee union members — seem to have sounded the alarm and rallied around a long-time party operative who has almost nothing of interest to offer but manages to serve up in his own disjointed and confused way the bland orthodoxies that they have grown comfortable with through the years. And so, up until this past week, it seemed pretty likely that the Dems had at last settled upon the relatively safe and familiar figure and had put an end to the elderly crypto-Marxist and his burned-out aging radical talk of revolution.

But might this be the opportune moment for the Sandersnistas to advance an argument that only socialism can lead us through these difficult times? After all, at this point they only have to appeal to other Democrats, not yet to the nation as a whole. And despite all the punditry announcing that Joe Biden had pretty much closed the deal, the fact remains that he still has fewer than half of the delegates needed to clinch the nomination. Senator Sanders does indeed appear to be promoting the idea that only his brand of socialism can save us, calling yet again for single-payer healthcare and other government delivered goodies to tide us over during what could be a prolonged economic slump. His opponent is now lurching in that direction too, adopting Elizabeth Warren’s debt forgiveness plans and musing aloud about “free” college. Tomorrow’s primary locations seem to favor the former Vice-President. Arizona and Florida are home to lots of older retirees, and Cuban-American Democrats in the Sunshine State might not be too warm to Senator Stalin’s endorsement of Fidel Castro’s literacy programs. Ohio and Illinois both have a solid share of black voters on the Democrat side which ought to work in Slow Joe’s favor, though who knows but that former Chicagoan-turned-DC-resident Jesse Jackson’s endorsement of Bolshevik Bernie (and former Chicagoan-turned-DC-resident Barack Obama’s curious reluctance to come to his loyal VP’s aid) might help the spread the irascible old commie’s appeal beyond left-wing whites and low-participation millennial minorities. The hour is getting late for the Bern Feelers, and tomorrow might be the last gasp to turn the tide this year before they go back to the meticulous process of taking over the national party.

Labour’s run in Britain lasted until the Conservatives under Sir Winston returned to power in 1951, but Churchill’s ability to undo the entire Labour agenda was limited. Certainly many of the items such as housing, public assistance, and perhaps employment and wage policies would have been implemented in some form or other by a Conservative government, but the nationalization of many British industries lasted until the Thatcher Era and nationalized health care lives on today. If this is to be America’s socialist moment, we can’t count on it to be a passing fancy but should understand that aspects of it will be here to stay.


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