Patterico's Pontifications


White House Winding Down Coronavirus Task Force

Filed under: General — Dana @ 5:17 pm

[guest post by Dana]

The New York Times reports:

President Trump said on Tuesday that the White House’s coronavirus task force would be shut down and replaced with “something in a different form” as the country moved into what he called Phase 2 of a response to a pandemic that has killed nearly 70,000 Americans.

“We will have something in a different form,” Mr. Trump told reporters as he toured a Honeywell mask manufacturing plant in Arizona, where he wore safety goggles but no mask. The president praised the work of the task force, led by Vice President Mike Pence, but said it was time to focus on safety and reopening the country.

“I think we are looking at Phase 2, and we’re looking at other phases,” Mr. Trump said after he was asked whether it was a good idea to shut down the task force while the virus was still spreading through the country. He said that Dr. Deborah L. Birx, the virus response coordinator for the task force, and other top public officials would still be involved in the efforts to address the pandemic after the task force disbanded.

“They will be, and so will other doctors, and so will other experts in the field,” he said, adding, “We are bringing our country back.”

Why not keep the task force intact and simply remove Trump from the equation? The medical experts are continually dominated by the president at the press conferences, and have to waste precious time countering his challenges, correcting his inaccurate claims, and shutting down his promotion of drugs and treatments for coronavirus that we have all been cautioned about. Trump is little more than a constant distraction who wastes the valuable time of professionals tasked with the near-impossible – which doesn’t include being the president’s clean-up crew.

And unfortunately, it appears that the White House forgot to mention the impending shutdown of the task force to the very face of the pandemic response, Dr. Fauci himself:

Is it possible that Trump has devised a way to be rid of the one who has disagreed with him publicly, corrected him on occasion, and could barely contain an eyeroll upon hearing the next unbelievable claim come out of the president’s mouth?

FYI, here is a look at current cases of coronavirus in America:

More than a month has passed since there was a day with fewer than 1,000 deaths from the virus. Almost every day, at least 25,000 new coronavirus cases are identified, meaning that the total in the United States — which has the highest number of known cases in the world with more than a million — is expanding by between 2 and 4 percent daily.

In light of New York’s recent decline in new cases, we are reminded by Andrew Noymer, an associate professor of public health at the University of California, Irvine:

If you include New York, it looks like a plateau moving down. If you exclude New York, it’s a plateau slowly moving up.



Israel’s Defense Minister Claims Scientists Have Developed Virus Antibody

Filed under: General — Dana @ 1:16 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Hoping for the best:

Israel has isolated a key coronavirus antibody at its main biological research laboratory, the Israeli defence minister said on Monday, calling the step a “significant breakthrough” toward a possible treatment for the COVID-19 pandemic.

The “monoclonal neutralising antibody” developed at the Israel Institute for Biological Research (IIBR) “can neutralise it (the disease-causing coronavirus) inside carriers’ bodies,” Defence Minister Naftali Bennett said in a statement.

The statement added that Bennett visited the IIBR on Monday where he was briefed “on a significant breakthrough in finding an antidote for the coronavirus”.

It quoted IIBR Director Shmuel Shapira as saying that the antibody formula was being patented, after which an international manufacturer would be sought to mass-produce it.


The antibody reported as having been isolated at the IIBR is monoclonal, meaning it was derived from a single recovered cell and is thus potentially of more potent value in yielding a treatment.

Elsewhere, there have been coronavirus treatments developed from antibodies that are polyclonal, or derived from two or more cells of different ancestry, the magazine Science Direct reported in its May issue.

It is unknown whether human trials have been conducted.


New Political Ad: Mourning In America

Filed under: General — Dana @ 9:07 am

[guest post by Dana]

I have been posting current political ads from various campaigns and political groups. I don’t know to what degree they actually influence voters, but the good ones tap into the mood of America, whether a righteous anger, or providing a needed dose of hope. Today’s ad is from The Lincoln Project:

In 1984 Ronald Reagan’s campaign launched an iconic and memorable political ad called “Morning in America.” ‘Morning’ highlighted the positive impact of a first term Reagan presidency and presented an optimistic vision of an America that was prosperous and peaceful. Under Donald Trump, we instead face “Mourning in America.”

Here is President Trump’s reaction to the ad:

A group of RINO Republicans who failed badly 12 years ago, then again 8 years ago, and then got BADLY beaten by me, a political first timer, 4 years ago, have copied (no imagination) the concept of an ad from Ronald Reagan, “Morning in America”, doing everything possible to get even for all of their many failures. You see, these loser types don’t care about 252 new Federal Judges, 2 great Supreme Court Justices, a rebuilt military, a protected 2nd Amendment, biggest EVER Tax & Regulation cuts, and much more. I didn’t use any of them because they don’t know how to win, and their so-called Lincoln Project is a disgrace to Honest Abe. I don’t know what Kellyanne did to her deranged loser of a husband, Moonface, but it must have been really bad. John Weaver lost big for Kasich (to me). Crazed Rick Wilson lost for Evan “McMuffin” McMullin (to me). Steve Schmidt & Reed Galvin lost for John McCain, Romney’s campaign manager (?) lost big to “O”, & Jennifer Horn got thrown out of the New Hampshire Republican Party. They’re all LOSERS, but Abe Lincoln, Republican, is all smiles!


Yay: Scientists Report Discovery of New, More Contagious Strain of Coronavirus

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am

Dog Trainer:

Scientists have identified a new strain of the coronavirus that has become dominant worldwide and appears to be more contagious than the versions that spread in the early days of the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new study led by scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory.

The new strain appeared in February in Europe, migrated quickly to the East Coast of the United States and has been the dominant strain across the world since mid-March, the scientists wrote.

In addition to spreading faster, it may make people vulnerable to a second infection after a first bout with the disease, the report warned.

Let’s see how long it takes for this news to somehow become a partisan football. I have no idea which way it bounces but I’m sure we’ll find out.

In the meantime, in the real world where partisan politics does not rule everything, it’s not great news, is it? Especially as everyone seems intent on “reopening” regardless of whether infection rates are dropping (the theoretical requirement of Phase One of the Opening Up America Again guidelines) … well, you know where I’m coming from and it’s no fun reading the rants of a pessimist every day. Not good, is all I’m saying.

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