Patterico's Pontifications


U.S. Covid Update

Filed under: General — Dana @ 2:46 pm

[guest post by Dana]

A retweet from the President of the United States:

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Sure, tell that to the families of the 137,000 people who have died from the coronavirus. I’m sure they’ll get behind your insane campaign that everyone is lying about the pandemic. Trump re-tweeted this crap because he believes it’s true. Is it no wonder that we have not had the leadership necessary to meet this crisis? These nimrods are too dim to realize that it is possible to hold two thoughts in one’s head at the same time: A very real disease, which can be fatal to some people is spreading across the nation, and, both sides of the political aisle are made up of some very corrupt individuals who may, unfortunately, try to use the pandemic to further their political causes or themselves with their bases. (See: Donald J. Trump refusing to wear a mask.) But the point has never changed: who is in charge of the nation right here and right now, and is therefore the one with whom the buck stops? A responsible leader sees the pandemic for what it is and works 24/7 to stem the tide and provide the leadership, materials, directives and responses necessary to help the states and the nation push it back. A wackadoodle toddler-in-chief though, spends his time pushing lies about the pandemic, and throws regular tantrums because a helluva lot of Americans are justifiably mad at him FOR NOT DOING HIS DAMN JOB.

Meanwhile, with regard to Covid-19, this is California today – based on current local data, testing, contact tracing, infection control, emergency supplies, containment measures:

Effective July 13, 2020, ALL counties must close indoor operations in these sectors:

Dine-in restaurants
Wineries and tasting rooms
Movie theaters
Family entertainment centers (for example: bowling alleys, miniature golf, batting cages and arcades)
Zoos and museums
Additionally, bars, brewpubs, breweries, and pubs must close all operations both indoor and outdoor statewide.

Counties that have remained on the *County Monitoring List for 3 consecutive days will be required to shut down the following industries or activities unless they can be modified to operate outside or by pick-up.

Fitness centers
Worship services
Offices for non-essential sectors
Personal care services, like nail salons, body waxing and tattoo parlors
Hair salons and barbershops

*includes 30 state counties.

Florida :

Florida reported another 12,624 coronavirus cases Monday bringing the statewide total to 282,435. Another 35 fatalities were also reported bringing the death toll to 4,277

The numbers mark a single-day decrease from the record shattering 15,300 new cases Florida had reported on Sunday, but it is still the second-highest single day increase in the state since the pandemic began.


Arizona is reporting all-time highs in its use of ventilators and beds in intensive care units for coronavirus patients.

The state Department of Health Services posted that 671 COVID-19 patients were on ventilators and 936 were occupying ICUs as of Sunday. Hospitals were hovering around 90% capacity.

Health officials report another 1,357 confirmed COVID-19 cases and eight additional deaths. Arizona has seen 123,824 cases and 2,245 deaths. However, the number of infections is thought to be far higher because many people have not been tested, and studies suggest people can be infected with the virus without feeling sick.


More than 258,100 cases have been reported in the state, and more than 3,100 people in Texas have died, according to the Texas Department of State Health Services. More than 132,600 people have recovered.

Central Texas counties:
Travis County: Over 14,700 cases have been reported and at least 169 people have died. At least 11,268 people have recovered from the virus.

Hays County: Over 3,500 confirmed cases have been reported and at least 11 people have died. At least 655 people have recovered from the virus.

Williamson County: More than 3,800 cases have been reported in the county and at least 54 people have died. More than 970 people have recovered from the virus.

Dallas County:

Dallas County is reporting six more COVID-19 related deaths and 1,114 new confirmed cases of the infection Monday…”We continue to see over 1,000 new positive COVID-19 cases each day and we know there is still rampant community spread of this virus.”

From the NYT:

More than 100,000 new cases were identified. Seven states set daily case records. Florida added more cases on Sunday than any state had previously been known to, and on Monday, the state reported more than 12,600 additional cases, its second-highest total recorded for a single day in the pandemic.

And that was just over the past few days.

The U.S. outbreak — once centered in the densely packed northeastern hubs of New York and New Jersey — is now growing across 39 states, from the worsening hot spots in the South and West to those emerging in the Midwest. Restrictions on business operations and mass gatherings, along with mask wearing, have become debate fodder in an increasingly polarized election year.

As a new week begins, the country’s outlook is exceptionally grim. Case numbers are rising in all but a handful of states. Hospitals are running out of beds. And some of the country’s biggest urban centers — Atlanta, Dallas, Los Angeles, Miami, Phoenix, Jacksonville, Fla. — have seen out-of-control growth with few concrete signs of progress.

The bigger picture:

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Gosh, if only there were something individual citizens could do to help stem the tide…


Washington Redskins Officially Retiring Team Name and Logo

Filed under: General — Dana @ 12:39 pm

[guest post by Dana]

Having been under increased pressure to change the name of the Washington Redskins, the announcement of the team’s impending name change came this morning:

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Over at the football team’s official Twitter page, these seem to be the most popular suggestions for a new team name: Washington Warriors, Washington Generals, Washington Redwolves, Washington Redtails.

Here is a brief entry about the origins of the term “redskins”:

Redskin is a slang term for Native Americans in the United States and First Nations in Canada. The term “redskin” underwent pejoration through the 19th to early 20th centuries[1] and in contemporary dictionaries of American English it is labeled “usually offensive”,[2] “disparaging”,[3][4] “insulting”,[5] or “taboo”.[6]

The origin of the choice of “red” to describe Native Americans in English is debated. While related terms were used in anthropological literature as early as the 17th century, labels based on skin-color entered everyday speech around the middle of the 18th century. “At the start of the eighteenth century, Indians and Europeans rarely mentioned the color of each other’s skins. By midcentury, remarks about skin color and the categorization of peoples by simple color-coded labels (red, white, black) had become commonplace.”[7]

Documents from the colonial period indicate that the use of “red” as an identifier by Native Americans for themselves emerged in the context of Indian-European diplomacy in the southeastern region of North America, before later being adopted by Europeans and becoming a generic label for all Native Americans.[10]:627–28

Linguistic evidence indicates that, while some tribes may have used red to refer to themselves during the Pre-Columbian era based upon their origin stories,[10]:634 the general use of the term was in response to meeting people who called themselves “white” and their slaves “black”.[10]:629 The choice of red rather than other colors may have been due to cultural associations, rather than skin color.[10]:632 Red and white were a dichotomy that had pervasive symbolic meanings in southeastern Native cultures which was less prevalent among northern tribes.[10]:632 While there was occasional use of “red” in Indian-European diplomacy in the northeast, it was still rare there even after it had become common in the southeast. Instead, “Indian” was translated into the native languages there as “men”, “real people”, or “original people”.[10]:629–30 Usage in the northeast region by Europeans may have been largely limited to descriptions of tribes such as the Beothuk of Newfoundland, whose practice of painting their bodies and possessions with red ochre led Europeans to refer to them as “Red Indians”.[11]

Early ethnographic writers used a variety of terms; olivastre (olive) by François Bernier (1684),[12] rufus (reddish, ruddy) by Linnaeus (1758)[13] kupferroth (“copper-red”) by Blumenbach (1779),[14] and eventually simply “red” by René Lesson (1847).[15]

Early explorers and later Anglo-Americans termed Native Americans “light-skinned”, “brown”, “tawny”, or “russet”, but not “red” prior to the 19th century;[16]

In the modern debate over sports teams with the name, it is sometimes asserted that Oklahoma translates from Choctaw as “red people” (okla, people + humma, red).[17] However, “humma” has a number of possible meanings in Choctaw, one of which is “humma, an addition to a man’s name which gives him some distinction, calling on him for courage and honor.”[18] The alternative meaning of Oklahoma becomes “honorable/courageous nation” or “a brave people”.[19]

As with any group, however, views about the name “Redskins” run the gamut:

The best-known survey is likely a 2016 Washington Post poll that found 9 out 10 Native Americans don’t find the “Redskins” name offensive.

The poll asked a random national sample of 504 Native American adults and was conducted via phone interviews. The margin of error was 5.5 percentage points.

According to The Post, the 2016 poll found similar results to a 2004 poll conducted by Annenberg Public Policy Center.

A more recent survey, conducted by “market research organization” Wolvereye in 2019, along with “two other prominent research companies,” interviewed 500 people who self-identified as Native American. The method of interviewing and margins of error were not disclosed.

Perhaps this is the question that should be asked:

Even if groups of self-identified Native Americans don’t find the term offensive, “redskins” is still racist on its face. Of the 12 profiled by WaPo, there was at least one authentic Native pointing to the fact that Natives often use the term “skins” to describe one another. This is similar to black communities reclaiming the n-word, but, likewise, not every Native person uses this word.

Should a team representing the capital of the United States really be embracing a racial slur? Washington DC is the historic gathering place for calls to action and protest centre of policy in America. The dictionary defines the term “redskins” as a racial slur, which should shut down any debate. Several Native organizations and tribes have petitioned the Washington Redskins to change their name.

I have mixed feelings about this. On one hand, the team can do whatever it wants. They can keep the name and risk getting hit with boycotts and a loss of sponsors, or they can concede that pejorative terms and/or racial slurs should be avoided. While we don’t have an exact number of how many Natives are offended by it, we do know that there are indeed those who are offended. Would the country be fine with professional sports teams being named the “Yellowskins” or “Blackskins” or “Brownskins”? I don’t think so. So why not choose a name that doesn’t risk offense? Exactly who will be hurt by having a team name that reflects a greater awareness of how the current name impacts members of the specific group to which it refers?

The Redskins adopted the name in 1933. That was just 9 years after Congress formally granted U.S. citizenship to all Native Americans. My Native maternal grandmother and her people were born well before the Indian Citizenship Act, and one of my parents was born just a few years after it was signed. With that, here’s my own informal survey of six Native Americans (ages 30 – 90) and their take on the name “Redskins”: three are personally offended by it, and believe it is derogatory and should have been gone like yesterday. Period. Two are not particularly offended by it, yet can see why it offends their fellow travelers. They believe that changing the outdated name to something that is not a pejorative term would go a long way. One clarified: It [“Redskins” team name] never bothered me. Maybe I’m not that tuned in because I didn’t think it was an insult. But if someone called me a “redskin,” I wouldn’t ignore it. I would look at them and ask, “Who are you calling redskin?” And yet another surveyed said they were not offended by the team name, but said they would be offended if they changed the name. Following that, a white male explained to me that, ever since he was a kid and onward to adulthood, he felt that the Washington “Redskins” name paid tribute to a group of people that he believed were truly “badass tough”. And he wasn’t referring to the football players.

I’ll update the post when the new team name (and logo) is announced.


Paper of Record Fails to Probe Details of Death Caused by an Alleged COVID Party

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 8:29 am

New York Times:

A 30-year-old man who believed the coronavirus was a hoax and attended a “Covid party” died after being infected with the virus, according to a Texas hospital.

The man had attended a gathering with an infected person to test whether the coronavirus was real, said Dr. Jane Appleby, chief medical officer at Methodist Hospital in San Antonio, where the man died.

. . . .Dr. Appleby said the man had told his nurse that he attended a Covid party. Just before he died, she said the patient told his nurse: “I think I made a mistake. I thought this was a hoax, but it’s not.”

That sounds bad. What are the details? Where did the party take place? How many people attended? How long after the event was the man hospitalized with COVID-19?

She did not say when the party took place, how many people attended or how long after the event was the man hospitalized with Covid-19, the disease caused by the coronavirus. The man was not publicly identified.

Oh. Well, it’s not like we’ve had questionable reports of COVID parties before, so I’m sure this is solid.

Some health experts and public officials have cast doubt over whether or to what extent “Covid parties” are really happening. County health officials in southeastern Washington State reported in May that they had evidence that at least two coronavirus cases were linked to one or more so-called Covid-19 parties, then quickly reversed themselves, saying that the parties may have been more innocent gatherings.

. . . .

In Alabama, reports that students were gathering to bet on who could get infected with the virus first — with the sickened winner taking home a pot of money — led to warnings from the University of Alabama to students about the parties’ risks, though the events could not be confirmed by state health officials.

A COVID party would be stupid. Don’t hold one. Don’t attend one. If such things exist.

But do they? Really?

Can’t we hear from the nurse directly instead of playing this game of telephone? If such a party really happened, and an attendee died, one would think that principles of “contact tracing” would cause the hospital to make every attempt to follow up with other attendees to warn them and get them tested. Or ask authorities to do so. But there is no hint of any such activity in the article. Indeed, there is no hint that the reporter bothered to ask these questions — or press for the details that Dr. Appleby did not volunteer, such as how many people had attended the party and when it had happened. There is no indication that an editor bothered to wonder why these questions had not been asked.

When I started reading the first couple of paragraphs of this article, I assumed it was true.

I think I made a mistake. I thought this wasn’t a hoax, but maybe it is.

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