Patterico's Pontifications


David Lat, 44, Is on a Ventilator

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:05 pm

In 2015, Mrs. P. and I were invited by Alex Kozinski to the Richard H. Chambers Courthouse in Pasadena (the Pasadena courthouse where the Ninth Circuit houses several judges), to attend a talk by David Lat (formerly of Above the Law) about his then-new novel Supreme Ambitions. David signed my copy of the book with some very kind words, and we exchanged emails later that year after I finished the book, in which emails he was (again) very kind to me.

Today, he is in critical condition on a ventilator in a Manhattan hospital with COVID-19. He s 44 years old.

David Lat is in critical condition and has been has been put on a ventilator at NYU Langone Hospital in Manhattan, where his fight with the coronavirus has taken a turn for the worse, according to his husband, Zachary Baron Shemtob.

In a phone interview on Saturday evening, Shemtob said that at some point late Friday night or early Saturday morning, Lat, founder of the legal blog Above the Law and now a widely recognized legal recruiter, was put on a ventilator after “his oxygen levels dropped.”

“He’s not doing great,” Shemtob said, adding that the NYU Langone doctors and other staff “are really attending to him. They’re taking it hour by hour, day by day.”

. . . .

Shemtob, a former clerk for U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit Judge Robert Sack and a former associate at Cooley, echoed a message that Lat himself delivered during a phone interview on Wednesday night. “I just want people to know how serious this can be,” Shemtob said.

Does Lat have a pre-existing condition? Well, yes, but … he has been quite a healthy person for someone with a condition:

In Lat’s Wednesday interview and in Twitter posts and threads he posted last week from his hospital bed, he said that he’s generally been a very healthy person. He’s run two New York City marathons and until recently did intense interval training each week and walked about 25 miles a week, as well.

Lat said that he does have exercise-induced asthma. Shemtob on Saturday said the asthma may be making it harder for Lat to deal with COVID-19, which affects the respiratory system.

“It’s scary. It’s scary to be a mostly healthy person who now can’t even walk 5 feet,” Lat said on Wednesday.

If you have been going around thinking you are invincible, untouchable by the coronavirus because you are under 60 years of age, think again. This is serious stuff.

I’ll be praying for David to pull through. I think he will. But as he said: it’s scary.

Recession? Or Depression?

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 9:55 am

It may be time to recognize that we are likely not headed for a mere recession. The utter implosion of the world economy and the deaths that will follow are likely to put us in a depression. GDP will obviously plummet. You could easily see unemployment exceeding 20%. This is going to last a while.

We’re gonna have to pull together because this is going to be ugly.

Weekend Open Thread

Filed under: General — Dana @ 7:48 am

[guest post by Dana]

Feel free to talk about anything you think is newsworthy or might interest readers.

I’ll start.

First news item

Drive-through testing cancelled because of neighbor complaints:


In partnership with Murphy Medical Associates, the Town of Darien is pleased to announce the establishment of a drive-through COVID-19 test site in the lower parking lot at Darien Town Hall, located at 2 Renshaw Road…You do not have to be a Darien resident.

“We think it is a really important service to provide to our local community,” First Selectman Jayme Stevenson said.


Darien’s drive-through testing has been canceled, according to a tweet from First Selectman Jayme Stevenson. The testing was to start Thursday. Some neighbors expressed complaints with the location of testing so close to their home on social media.

Second news item

Self-proclaimed smart guy pushes back against learned Dr. Fauci:

After Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said at a Friday briefing that there’s no evidence a decades-old anti-malarial drug would be effective against the novel coronavirus, President Trump again insisted he has a good feeling about it. “I feel good about it. Just a feeling. I am a smart guy, we’ll see soon enough and we have certainly big samples of people,” he claimed. Moments earlier, Fauci was adamant that there’s no evidence chloroquine—which has yet to be approved by the Food and Drug Administration—will work against the deadly virus. “The evidence you are talking about is anecdotal evidence,” he told reporters. “The information you are referring to is anecdotal, so you can’t make a definitive statement about it.”

Third news item

Nation-wide two week quarantine ahead?:

President Trump, moving with haste to slow the spread of the coronavirus, is preparing a plan to mobilize the National Guard to help enforce a two-week quarantine of the public if his tough-love efforts so far fail.

The unprecedented action would require everyone to “stay at home,” according to a source knowledgeable of the evolving plan.

The effort, which is still being mulled and wouldn’t be announced until early next week if needed, would urge that all businesses, except grocery stores and pharmacies, be closed.

It comes on the heels of other insider reports that the president is considering grounding all U.S. passenger flights to force a halt in people interacting and moving around the country.

Fourth news item

Test shortage compels L.A. County to move away from containing coronavirus outbreak:

Los Angeles County health officials advised doctors to give up on testing patients in the hope of containing the coronavirus outbreak, instructing them to test patients only if a positive result could change how they would be treated.

The guidance, sent by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health to doctors on Thursday, was prompted by a crush of patients and shortage of tests, and could make it difficult to ever know precisely how many people in L.A. County contracted the virus.

The department “is shifting from a strategy of case containment to slowing disease transmission and averting excess morbidity and mortality,” according to the letter. Doctors should test symptomatic patients only when “a diagnostic result will change clinical management or inform public health response.”

Fifth news item

NOTE: Here are various links that will give you leads on how help others who are hurting during the outbreak:

How you can help – Washington Post

How to help – Today Show

Regional help ideas (but would translate to other regions)

Helping small, local businesses.

Help for food service workers.

Helping your local businesses – Market Watch

Don’t forget to check your local food banks, shelters, churches with outreaches, as well as your city/town’s websites for leads on how to help locally. My neighborhood has a lot of elderly residents, so we’ve made concerted efforts to check in daily to see if they need anything. It’s a small thing, but it’s another way to help.

Also, given that most of us are spending a lot of time at home, please tell us what you’ve been reading and how you have been occupying yourselves during this surreal time. (I’m almost done with “American Dirt,” which I picked up specifically because of the brouhaha surrounding it. It’s a beautifully told, wholly terrifying (fictional) story about a woman and her little son attempting to flee to el norte after her family has been murdered by a cartel.) I’ve also been walking/hiking every day. Thankfully I live a few houses away from a massive, wooded park, as well as being a stone’s throw away from miles of trails in a nearby canyon. Anything but staying indoors and eating. Tell us what you’re up to.

Also, has anyone been tested yet or shown any symptoms? If so, please let us know so we can say prayers for you. Also let us know how easy or difficult it was for you to get tested, what the procedure was like, and what you experienced. We all need to learn as much as we can.


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