Patterico's Pontifications

12/16/2020

Pandemic Continues To Bring Out The Best And The Worst In Americans

Filed under: General — Dana @ 11:36 am



[guest post by Dana]

As the U.S. surpassed 300,000 virus-related deaths, Covid-19 vaccines rolled out this week:

The vaccinations started after the F.D.A.’s emergency authorization of the Pfizer-BioNTech vaccine on Friday night. On Sunday, trucks and cargo planes packed with the first of nearly three million doses of coronavirus vaccine had fanned out across the country, as hospitals in all 50 states rushed to set up injection sites and their anxious workers tracked each shipment hour by hour…145 sites were set to receive the vaccine on Monday, 425 on Tuesday and 66 on Wednesday.

A majority of the first injections given on Monday are expected to go to high-risk health care workers. In many cases, this first, limited delivery would not supply nearly enough doses to inoculate all of the doctors, nurses, security guards, receptionists and other workers who risk being exposed to the virus every day. Because the vaccines can cause side effects including fevers and aches, hospitals say they will stagger vaccination schedules among workers.

Meanwhile, many Americans, who recognize that they are fortunate to still be able to bring home a paycheck, find themselves having to maneuver in risky environments. Texas Monthly has published a disturbing report about the tricky balancing act that a wedding photographer must continually strike, and what happens when the virus-ignorant take the cake:

The wedding photographer had already spent an hour or two inside with the unmasked wedding party when one of the bridesmaids approached her. The woman thanked her for still showing up, considering “everything that’s going on with the groom.”

When the photographer asked what she meant by that, the bridesmaid said the groom had tested positive for COVID-19 the day before. “She was looking for me to be like, ‘Oh, that’s crazy,’ like I was going to agree with her that it was fine,” the photographer recalls. “So I was like, ‘What are you talking about?’ And she was like, ‘Oh no no no, don’t freak out. He doesn’t have symptoms. He’s fine.’”

The photographer, who has asthma and three kids, left with her assistant…Her exit was tense. The wedding planner said it was the most unprofessional thing she’d ever seen. Bridesmaids accused her of heartlessly ruining an innocent woman’s wedding day. She recalls one bridesmaid telling her, “I’m a teacher, I have fourteen students. If I’m willing to risk it, why aren’t you?” Another said everyone was going to get COVID eventually, so what was the big deal? The friend of the bride who’d spilled the beans cried about being the “worst bridesmaid ever.”

After the photographer left, she canceled her Thanksgiving plans with family, sent her kids to relatives’ houses so they wouldn’t get sick, and informed the brides of her upcoming weddings that she’d be subcontracting to other shooters. A few days later she started to feel sick, and sure enough, tested positive for COVID-19. She informed the couple. “But they didn’t care,” she says. They didn’t offer to compensate her for the test, nor did they apologize for getting her sick.

The photographer who got sick after shooting the COVID-positive groom said her experiences throughout the pandemic have left her a little depressed. She recalled one conversation from that wedding, before she left the reception. “I have children,” she told a bridesmaid, “What if my children die?” The bridesmaid responded, “I understand, but this is her wedding day.”

The report goes on to note that wedding photographers double-up their safety precautions by wearing face shields over their masks. They also have hand sanitizer on them as well. Unfortunately, the nature of the beast is that, although guests may adhere to local mask mandates at the beginning of the event, once the alcohol starts flowing, caution is thrown to the wind.

Unbelievably, the pesky debate over *wearing a mask continues to be a part of the American conversation. But given the ignorance and denial about the virus by so many, it’s unsurprising. I realize it’s anecdotal, but in my personal experience, trying to convince virus-deniers that 300,000 deaths in less than a year really weren’t the result of car accidents is right up there with trying to convince Trumpers that he really did lose the election.

Unfortunately, there also continues to be some awful reactions when local leaders support mask mandates – even in towns that have meat-packing plants that employ thousands of people:

A western Kansas mayor announced her immediate resignation Tuesday because of threats she has received after publicly supporting a mask mandate.

Dodge City Mayor Joyce Warshaw said she was concerned about her safety after encountering aggression, including threats via phone and email, after she was quoted in a USA Today article Friday supporting a mask mandate, The Dodge City Globe reported.

“I understand people are under a lot of pressure from various things that are happening around society like the pandemic, the politics, the economy, so on and so forth, but I also believe that during these times people are acting not as they normally would,” Warshaw said.

The commission voted 4-1 on Nov. 16 to impose a mask mandate, with several exceptions.

Ford County, where Dodge City is located, has recorded 4,914 cases of COVID-19 since the pandemic began, according to the state health department. The county has about 33,600 residents.

–Dana

102 Responses to “Pandemic Continues To Bring Out The Best And The Worst In Americans”

  1. Pre-emptive strike: There is a reasonable framework for wearing masks. And reasonable officials are asking for just that. Your civil liberties are not being denied you when asked to wear a mask when indoors in public places with those not from your own household. It’s not the end of your life to comply for the sake of others, and yourself.

    Dana (cc9481)

  2. ‘We want them infected’: Trump appointee demanded ‘herd immunity’ strategy, emails reveal
    ……
    “There is no other way, we need to establish herd, and it only comes about allowing the non-high risk groups expose themselves to the virus. PERIOD,” then-science adviser Paul Alexander wrote on July 4 to his boss, Health and Human Services assistant secretary for public affairs Michael Caputo, and six other senior officials.

    “Infants, kids, teens, young people, young adults, middle aged with no conditions etc. have zero to little risk….so we use them to develop herd…we want them infected…” Alexander added.

    “[I]t may be that it will be best if we open up and flood the zone and let the kids and young folk get infected” in order to get “natural immunity…natural exposure,” Alexander wrote on July 24 to Food and Drug Administration Commissioner Stephen Hahn, Caputo and eight other senior officials. Caputo subsequently asked Alexander to research the idea, according to emails obtained by the House Oversight Committee’s select subcommittee on coronavirus.

    Alexander also argued that colleges should stay open to allow Covid-19 infections to spread, lamenting in a July 27 email to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention Director Robert Redfield that “we essentially took off the battlefield the most potent weapon we had…younger healthy people, children, teens, young people who we needed to fastly [sic] infect themselves, spread it around, develop immunity, and help stop the spread.”
    ……
    Senior Trump officials have repeatedly denied that herd immunity — a concept advocated by some conservatives as a tactic to control Covid-19 by deliberately exposing less vulnerable populations in hopes of re-opening the economy — was under consideration or shaped the White House’s approach to the pandemic. “Herd immunity is not the strategy of the U.S. government with regard to coronavirus,” HHS Secretary Alex Azar testified in a hearing before the House coronavirus subcommittee on Oct. 2.
    …..
    “So the bottom line is if it is more infectiouness [sic] now, the issue is who cares?” Alexander wrote in a July 3 email to the health department’s top communications officials. “If it is causing more cases in young, my word is who cares…as long as we make sensible decisions, and protect the elderely [sic] and nursing homes, we must go on with life….who cares if we test more and get more positive tests.”
    ……

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  3. The Moderna vaccine was actually developed…in January.

    Everything since then has been clinical trials and production.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/12/15/health/covid-moderna-vaccine.html

    After China released the genetic sequence of the new virus in early January, scientists at Moderna and the National Institutes of Health were able to zero in on the design for a vaccine in just two days

    Not all vaccines were equally good.

    Now they have a worry that it won’t stop transmission. This is treating all examples of “asymptomatic” transmission identically. Actually I think the WHO almost said, as stands to reason, asymptomatic transmission does not exist or can be ignored. The problem is pre-symptomatic transmission (the 24-36 hours before an infection is recognized)

    There’s a lot of a posture of deliberate ignorance here combined with non evidence based certainty about other matters.

    Sammy Finkelman (ab7073)

  4. People Thought Covid-19 Was Relatively Harmless for Younger Adults. They Were Wrong.
    …..
    Young adults are dying at historic rates. In research published on Wednesday in the Journal of the American Medical Association, we found that among U.S. adults ages 25 to 44, from March through the end of July, there were almost 12,000 more deaths than were expected based on historical norms.

    In fact, July appears to have been the deadliest month among this age group in modern American history. Over the past 20 years, an average of 11,000 young American adults died each July. This year that number swelled to over 16,000.

    The trends continued this fall. Based on prior trends, around 154,000 in this demographic had been projected to die in 2020. We surpassed that total in mid-November. Even if death rates suddenly return to normal in December — and we know they have not — we would anticipate well over 170,000 deaths among U.S. adults in this demographic by the end of 2020.

    ……Covid-19 is the driving force behind these excess deaths. Consider New York State. In April and May, Covid-19 killed 1,081 adults ages 20 to 49, according to statistics we gathered from the New York State Health Department. Remarkably, this figure towers over the state’s usual leading cause of death in that age group — unintentional accidents including drug overdoses and road accidents — which combined to cause 495 deaths in this demographic during April and May of 2018, the most recent year for which data are available to the public.
    …..
    I guess Paul Alexander was wrong.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  5. Murdock,

    I saw that article in Politico. In the other thread there’s a discussion that perhaps one should ignore the actual detestable character of many Republican leaders and focus on their policies. And yet that is one of the policies – getting everybody infected was a seriously considered proposal at the Trump White House.

    Victor (a225f9)

  6. These new-style vaccines are easily developed given the genetic coding of the virus. Much has been done to speed development, yet the approval process is still stuck in the mid-twentieth century.

    Ignoring for a moment who was in charge, a proper response to a pandemic that has killed millions world wide is “hurry the F up!” Like in lifeboats, what might be unethical in a normal situation might be ethical here. Risk vs reward.

    There were problems especially with people in institutions who were absolutely dependent on the personal habits of those controlling their environment. Prisoners, nursing-home patients and the like. To the point where prisoners were being released into the communities, adding to the dangers there in several ways.

    A better plan:
    1. Determine that the vaccine is not harmful through animal testing.
    2. Offer death row prisoners a commutation to life if they volunteer for Phase I testing.
    3. After that shows a lack of harm, offer the vaccine to all prisoners along iwth a sentence reduction.
    4. After that shows still no harm, give the vaccine to all nursing home patients.

    You now have all the data you need. Maybe by June or July.

    Is this unethical? What is ethical in a lifeboat?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  7. In any event, we need a testing regime that does not take a whole year. Considering that we can get a solid vaccine developed in a month, it is irresponsible to let 300,000 Americans die (and the economy to crater) because we treat this emergency the same was we’d treat a new weight-loss medicine.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  8. @4-
    Given the inaction and watering down of recommendations, it was pretty obvious the Trump Administration viewed herd immunity as a low economic cost strategy to deal with the pandemic.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  9. Part of expecting personal responsibility in others is displaying personal responsibility in your own life. IMO there are too many people in “the party of personal responsibility” that believe in responsibility for thee, but not for me.

    Nic (896fdf)

  10. Considering that we can get a solid vaccine developed in a month….

    When did that happen? The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, while developed in record times, have been under development since March.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  11. And yet that is one of the policies – getting everybody infected was a seriously considered proposal at the Trump White House.

    Seemingly reinforced by Trump’s mockery of mask wearers, and his own pre-Covid refusal to wear one.

    Dana (cc9481)

  12. 11,

    Yeah, the party of personal responsibility is all that it purports to be. Starting with the titular head of the party.

    Dana (cc9481)


  13. …..it is irresponsible to let 300,000 Americans die (and the economy to crater) because we treat this emergency the same was we’d treat a new weight-loss medicine.

    That certainly is true, but who fought (and is still fighting) against common sense public health measures? Had the recommendations from the CDC and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases been followed by the general public, total deaths would have been far fewer.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  14. @4

    Murdock,

    I saw that article in Politico. In the other thread there’s a discussion that perhaps one should ignore the actual detestable character of many Republican leaders and focus on their policies. And yet that is one of the policies – getting everybody infected was a seriously considered proposal at the Trump White House.

    Victor (a225f9) — 12/16/2020 @ 1:37 pm

    You’re talking about my post in this regard…

    …and yet, this is fair game. I hesitate that Politico has gotten this exactly right, but it is a disturbing story nonethanless.

    whembly (c30c83)

  15. Should we include the American Medical Association (AMA)??

    Published November 2020 (ie, after the elections):
    https://www.ama-assn.org/system/files/2020-10/nov20-handbook-addendum.pdf

    Check out pages 16-18…

    The AMA’s objection earlier this year to using Hydroxychloriqine in early infection stage of COVID is now ‘rescinded’.

    whembly (c30c83)

  16. Vice President Pence to receive televised vaccine shot
    Vice President Mike Pence plans to receive his coronavirus vaccine shot on camera Friday morning at the White House to build “vaccine confidence” among the American people, according to an administration official with direct knowledge of the plans.

    Details are still being worked out, but Pence wants the TV networks to carry the moment live in the morning, the source said, to maximize the audience for the vaccination.

    The vice president will be joined by second lady Karen Pence and Surgeon General Jerome Adams.
    ……
    The 2024 campaign begins.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  17. Biden expected to get coronavirus vaccination early next week
    President-elect Joe Biden is expected to get his first Covid-19 vaccination early next week, CNN has learned, and plans to get his shot in public.

    “I don’t want to get ahead of the line, but I want to make sure we demonstrate to the American people that it is safe to take,” Biden told reporters Wednesday in Wilmington, Delaware.

    “When I do it, I’ll do it publicly, so you can all witness my getting it done,” the President-elect said.
    …….

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  18. @15 @16
    Good.

    whembly (c30c83)

  19. Whembly, I appreciate the acknowledgment and concession. I admit that there are times I get strident in my views and take potshots, and you’ve taken it in good grace.

    Victor (a225f9)

  20. This week, there was a rally downtown where I live, put on by local business owners and others who are angry about the shutdowns and how Covid protocols are impacting their businesses/livelihoods. While their frustration, fear, and push to fully open up local businesses is understandable*, it was ironic that the vast majority of the rally attendees, all crowded together, were not wearing masks. It’s like there is this absolute inability or refusal to put two and two together.

    *The inconsistency when choosing which businesses can remain open, which businesses must close, which businesses have to maintain less than 25% occupancy, etc., is frustrating for everyone. County leaders, city mayors, and governors would have had far more compliance from business owners and the public had they used common sense and been consistent in their guidelines/mandates. As it is, they look like they’ve run out of ideas to stem the tide as the virus keeps spreading, so they’re throwing the baby out with the bathwater in an effort to appear to be *doing something*. And yet, would we even be at this point if everyone, including business owners and patrons, had consistently worn a mask?

    Dana (cc9481)

  21. Hundreds of invitees skip Mike Pompeo’s indoor holiday party at State Department
    Only a tiny fraction of the more than 900 guests invited to an indoor holiday party hosted by Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his wife Susan showed up on Tuesday following an outcry from public health officials and U.S. lawmakers warning that the reception bore all the hallmarks of a superspreader event, said two U.S. officials familiar with the event.

    Pompeo, whose name was on the invitation and who was scheduled to speak at the event, canceled his speech and tapped a substitute speaker, said the two officials. The event was dedicated to the family members of diplomats serving overseas in dangerous postings that require them to leave their spouses and children behind, such as in Iraq or Afghanistan.
    …….
    About 70 people RSVP’d for the event as of Monday night and even fewer showed up as the Trump administration’s own health officials warned Americans to limit travel and avoid large indoor gatherings amid a coronavirus pandemic that has killed more than 300,000 Americans.

    The event featured drinks, boxed meals and a masked Santa who walked around from table to table to chitchat with adults and children, according to the two officials and photographs taken during the event obtained by The Washington Post.
    ……
    Two invitees expressed disappointment about the event, saying it put at risk diplomats, their families and the staff involved in putting on the event. One spouse of a diplomat said she declined the invitation because her husband was serving abroad and if she had attended and gotten sick, no one would have been able to take care of their children.

    “It was a completely irresponsible party to throw,” said the woman.

    In past years, the event has drawn crowds of 200 to 300 people. ……
    ……..

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  22. Follow up:
    Pompeo cancels final holiday party after he comes into contact with coronavirus
    ………
    Given his obesity, Pompeo is certainly at risk for a serious COVID-19 episode if he becomes infected.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  23. Somewhere there are a some “Menendez brothers”, this time with a plan that might work.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  24. Given his obesity, Pompeo is certainly at risk for a serious COVID-19 episode if he becomes infected.

    I cannot figure out Pompeo. He’s not an idiot — he graduated first in class at West Point. Yet he serves Trump with gusto.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  25. All the pezzonovantes recover in three days, Rip, where have you been? They have the treatments that we don’t. Titrated dexamethasone, remdesivir, monoclonal antibodies. Try and get those at your local ER, and may Asclepius be with you; they have us mentally masturbating over hydroxychloroquine, and zinc, and Vitamin D.

    nk (1d9030)

  26. When did that happen? The Pfizer and Moderna vaccines, while developed in record times, have been under development since March.

    https://www.businessinsider.com/moderna-designed-coronavirus-vaccine-in-2-days-2020-11

    But perhaps more remarkable is that Moderna designed its vaccine in just two days in January, before some people had even heard of the coronavirus.

    That wouldn’t have been possible without the technology Moderna has bet on since its founding: messenger RNA (mRNA) vaccines.

    The synthesis and production plan took longer, but they had the design as soon as they had the genome.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  27. There’s a $1 gets you $10 scenario that Pompeo gets sworn in as President on January 20, if the Elect “fail to qualify” and Pelosi and Grassley are content to remain where they are if they know what’s good for them. Power and ambition, Mr. M, power and ambition.

    nk (1d9030)

  28. The point being that vaccine science is in the 21st century and testing and approval hasn’t chang3ed much since thalidomide.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  29. if the Elect “fail to qualify”

    Hunh? And they say QAnon has some crazy theories.

    Although Pompeo would be a MUCH better president than Trump.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  30. In New Mexico, the governor had ordered reduced occupancy in retail stores. “25% of capacity or 75 people. whichever was smaller.”

    This had people in line clear around the side and back of the local Walmart (a good 500,000 sf) while 75 people max shopped inside. It is winter here, with the highs the last week in the 30’s.

    People were pissed, and of course they blamed Walmart.

    After a couple weeks of this the governor relented, and set it at 25% regardless.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  31. It’s a shame the wedding photographer has no legal recourse in that the bride and groom did not disclose to her that he had Covid before showed up for the job. It seems like there should be some recourse available. Especially has she ended up with Covid after the wedding.

    Dana (cc9481)

  32. County leaders, city mayors, and governors would have had far more compliance from business owners and the public had they used common sense and been consistent in their guidelines/mandates.

    I agree. It also would have helped if the government as a whole, Fauci especially, had not lied from the beginning about masks. From not needing masks and them not being necessary morphing into you’re too stupid to know how to wear a mask, to we lied because we didn’t have enough for the medical personnel, then it became make your own masks and finally wear a mask all the time. When the government and it’s spokesmen lie purposefully to me and treat me like I’m unable to reason and be responsible they lose all credibility in my eyes. Had they started out with a statement of homemade masks would help prevent the spread of Covid and gave simple instructions as well as historical anecdotes of perhaps the Flu pandemic of 1918 people might be more willing to listen to them.

    I wear a mask where I am required to. I do not put my trust either in a mask or in the government.

    Marci (405d43)

  33. When the government and it’s spokesmen lie purposefully to me and treat me like I’m unable to reason and be responsible they lose all credibility in my eyes.

    Even Trump?

    DRJ (aede82)

  34. Nobody lied about the Covid more than Trump, he, his own self, personally, and he forced his lies on both his underlings and allies.

    nk (1d9030)

  35. Come on, Mike Seaver, WTH…

    http://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/kirk-cameron-backlash-large-caroling-protest-event-covid19-cases-surge-182731961.html

    …and my handle has not a damn thing to do with his book and film series.

    urbanleftbehind (a89df8)

  36. Marci,

    While it’s true that Fauci changed as more data became available, it wasn’t hard to figure that common sense would dictate that, if a highly-contagious disease is transmitted via spittle and aerosols, then any barrier between sources of possible transmission would be a good thing. This is what aggravated me so much with Trump: Not only did he have the world’s experts telling him to wear a damn mask, he refused to use plain old common sense.

    I do not put my trust either in a mask or in the government.

    I agree: we should not put our trust in the mask or in the government. Frankly, no one is asking you to do so. One is a tool that we are able to easily use to keep others and ourselves safe. The other is, well, just a big tool.

    Dana (cc9481)

  37. Had they started out with a statement of homemade masks would help prevent the spread of Covid and gave simple instructions as well as historical anecdotes of perhaps the Flu pandemic of 1918 people might be more willing to listen to them.

    And yet all of us had knowledge of the 1918 pandemic, and the use of masks to prevent the spread of infection. It’s not as if we were utterly clueless. In fact, some were ahead of the government in wearing masks early on. Some Americans didn’t need to wait for the government to learn about the historical anecdotes or the last pandemic that swept through our nation.

    Dana (cc9481)

  38. and treat me like I’m unable to reason and be responsible

    Unfortunately, as we’ve seen, too many Americans have proven themselves unable to reason and act responsibly by wearing a mask when in close proximity to others. Like President Trump. And that, unfortunately, often has a disastrous impact on those around them. (See: bride and groom in wedding photographer story in post.)

    Dana (cc9481)

  39. @32 @33

    Of course even Trump, but the difference is Trump is not a doctor. He never presented himself as one. He had his doubts, questions, ideas, idiotic statements… And you all seem to think that anyone that voted for Trump is unable to think for themselves accepting every work the man said as gospel. That is far from the truth. I never accepted Trumps words as medical truth and certainly didn’t depend upon him to determine my medical health. I depend upon my personal physician for that.

    But Fauci…. presented himself as an expert. He presented himself as a doctor who treated people despite the fact that he has in reality been a researcher and a government bureaucrat for most of his career, not a practicing physician. Fauci was the medical spokesman, not Trump. AND he did not speak the words Trump wanted him. He and Trump were and continue to be at odds over much concerning Covid. The lying about masks is on Fauci, not Trump. Trump may not have worn a mask but he at least was consistent in his opinion of them.

    @35 Fauci didn’t just change his tune as data became evident he admitted he lied. HE LIED because he didn’t think American people would do the right thing. I have no confidence in a man who will lie and then not understand why people don’t trust him when he admits it. He didn’t just change his tune when data became evident, they knew from the beginning that masks might help but lied about it.
    He felt justified lying because of his elitist attitude toward the American public. It was disgusting.

    Early in the pandemic I had to go to the doctor for a different reason. We discussed Covid and I trusted his words on it. He had actually treated some people with Covid and had success with the treatment. I would take his word and actual experience over the paper pusher and government any day. Why anyone thinks that Trump, Biden, or the government should direct, or be responsible for their medical care is a mystery to me.

    Marci (405d43)

  40. @23 Smart in school, dumb in life.

    @31 How is only wearing a mask when required by the government an example of being responsible? It seems to me that it would be responsible to wear your mask any time you were around non-household people regardless of whether or not the government requires it. How are they wrong to treat you as irresponsible if you will only be responsible when they force you to be?

    Nic (896fdf)

  41. And yet, would we even be at this point if everyone, including business owners and patrons, had consistently worn a mask?

    Dana (cc9481) — 12/16/2020 @ 4:13 pm

    Have restaurants and bars been significant sources of outbreaks? Because in Colorado alone, over the last 3 months, these have been the cumulative figures for the entire year:

    –Nursing homes: 6,990 to 18,117
    –Prisons: 3,600 to 12,117
    –Camps/Education/Childcare: 593 to 8,548 (Note: The NYT dug further into the numbers and found that most of these were on college campuses. There’s a link to the spreadsheets under “Additional Resources” when you go to the states COVID website)
    –Restaurants/Bars/Entertainment: 504 to 1,401 (Typically, these have been 10-11% of all outbreaks)
    –Small Gatherings: 284 to 626

    It’s pretty obvious, based on this rather significant sample size (Colorado is a state of 5.8 million and growing by the month), that the virus spreads primarily through populations of cloistered individuals, especially ones that already have significant health problems. Family gatherings are not super-spreaders. Neither are restaurants.

    Nursing homes. Prisons. College dorms. That’s where the bulk of the infections happen. That’s where the engagement should have been focused, and that’s why these governors, mayors, and public health officials flailed around this fall like an army in the field that just got its flank rolled up.

    And where is this evidence that mask wearing hasn’t been a common occurrence? I hear lots of anecdotes, but little real data that this is the case. A CDC survey in June found that 89% of adults said they wore masks. I haven’t seen any evidence that this dropped to a level in the last three months that would directly cause a spike in cases, especially during a time of year when upper respiratory illnesses tend to rise regardless.

    Factory Working Orphan (89bce5)

  42. @39

    How is only wearing a mask when required by the government an example of being responsible?

    You have zero information about my life and I don’t need to justify myself but to put your petty mind at ease the only times I am around people other than my family are in situations where masks are required. Restaurants. Check. Stores. Check. Church. Check. I pretty much do t go anywhere else. Walking in open air with my husband no mask. But today when I took a gift to a dear friend we wore masks because we were standing close. The guidance says masks when 6 feet can’t be maintained. Fine. I follow that. I do not wear a mask around my family period. We all agree that if someone is exposed we will notify and quarantine. Irresponsible? I think not so take a deep breath. This lady from Texas won’t be hanging around your neighborhood lbreathing your air.

    Marci (405d43)

  43. @41 I have the information you gave, which was that you wore a mask because you were required to do so, not because you were a responsible human being, but because the government required you to do it. If you are wearing it whenever you think there is a danger, even if the government hasn’t required it, then I’m glad you are taking responsibility, but otherwise my question stands.

    Nic (896fdf)

  44. From what I read Newsom is being widely ignored. I should think that the GOP in CA might even have a chance next time. But they’ll probably pick an anti-abortion immigrant-basher.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  45. I very much doubt that restaurants that practice wide spacing and don’t allow large parties are a problem.

    The most likely places are

    1. Prisons, care homes and other places where people are help;ess;y exposed to the results of other people’s behavior.

    2. Large gatherings where there is little or no control over attendees.

    3. Public transportation

    4. Any other situation where individuals are subject to close contact with random people.

    But a family outing at a restaurant, 20 feet from the next table? Way down on the list.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  46. That being said, I wouldn’t be too keen on sushi.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  47. When the government and it’s spokesmen lie purposefully to me and treat me like I’m unable to reason and be responsible they lose all credibility in my eyes.

    They all lie. Some lie more than others. LBJ might have lied more than Trump.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  48. Kevin M,

    This is who is running for governor on the right side of the aisle. You can read what he’s for and against at the link. I think that a lot of Californians are pretty angry with Newsom these days but I really can’t see the momentum turn toward a Republican governor. This guy or any other Republican.

    Dana (cc9481)

  49. I think this is the guy who a lot of people expect to be the “establishment” GOP candidate for governor. I suppose it makes sense for him to wait until after we inaugurate a new President to make the announcement that he plans to run, but I would expect that this spring would be a good time for him to start making the case against Governor Hair-Gel.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  50. I didn’t realize he was considering a run, JVW. Do you think the majority of Californians are that angry with Newsom?

    Dana (cc9481)

  51. Do you think the majority of Californians are that angry with Newsom?

    Lord, I hope so. I can’t stand the guy.

    JVW (ee64e4)

  52. Early in the pandemic I had to go to the doctor for a different reason. We discussed Covid and I trusted his words on it. He had actually treated some people with Covid and had success with the treatment. I would take his word and actual experience over the paper pusher and government any day. Why anyone thinks that Trump, Biden, or the government should direct, or be responsible for their medical care is a mystery to me.

    Was everybody supposed to run to his/her GP early on and ask what to do, when most doctors had probably not actually treated Covid patients, and would have a limited understanding of it? And the issue isn’t just medical care for individuals who are already sick; it’s how to limit the number of people who get sick and may have lingering effects even if they survive. Doctors don’t get their knowledge of how the virus actually spreads through the population by treating individual patients. It’s epidemiologists who study that, and then offer advice to the government and the public for minimizing risk to the whole population. It’s unrealistic to think it could all be best handled by having everyone just ask a personal doctor what to do.

    When the government and it’s spokesmen lie purposefully to me and treat me like I’m unable to reason and be responsible they lose all credibility in my eyes.

    Problem is that a lot of the people following the “don’t tell me what to do” principle have made decisions that damaged the health of other people and sometimes took lives. Some have done so because they attached credibility to media personalities who imagined that their own reasoning power was superior to the knowledge gathered by specialists in infectious diseases.
    We have speed limits because a lot of people in fact don’t make responsible decisions about how fast they can drive without great risk of doing harm to others. Temporary restrictions during a pandemic aren’t a lot different in principle.

    Radegunda (b6cc34)

  53. I think if the political landscape in California was the same as 2003, when Gray Davis was recalled, then maybe a competent GOP candidate would give a serious challenge to Newsom. CA was already a blue state, but not too far gone yet. Bush 43 lost California by 11.8 percent in 2000 and 9.95 percent in 2004. But with GOP POTUS candidates(Trump) losing by 29-30 points twice, and Orange County now blue, it is just too lopsided at this point. CA would have to shift very far to the right from where it is now for even a decent GOP candidate such as Kevin Faulconer to have a reasonable chance of winning.

    HCI (92ea66)

  54. They all lie. Some lie more than others. LBJ might have lied more than Trump.

    LBJ was a prolific liar, but no. Not even close.

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  55. How is only wearing a mask when required by the government an example of being responsible?

    Yes
    I’m somehow irresponsible or setting a bad example because I follow the law?

    Marci (405d43)

  56. Late at night
    When the bottle gets low
    And people pass the reefer among themselves
    These threads can get kind of wonky, Marci.

    You could be talking about me when you describe your mask-wearing habits. I wear a mask when and where I would want the other people around me to be wearing a mask, as well as when the rules of the place I’m at require it.

    And I’ve been doing it from the very beginning. I did not listen to Fauci or the other “experts”. I already knew what masks can and cannot do. I was already using them for households chores and projects. Surgical gloves too. My first ones were a box of Grease Monkey mechanics’ gloves that I already had.

    I don’t place much stock in hand wipes and hand sanitizers. Hydrogen peroxide or rubbing alcohol on a paper towel. I know what they can do too.

    nk (1d9030)

  57. The problem is that the attacks on Fauci’s integrity were and are being launched by the very same White House that has serious questions about its own response, reckless statements, and reticence to adopt and encourage mask wearing. With this administration it’s always deflect and find some scape goat to blame….and spin to try and retain power. There was either a real concern about a shortage of PPE in February/March or there wasn’t. There was either a deep understanding of how the infection was spread by asymptomatics in February or that understanding actually evolved over time. Was Fauci lying or was he acting in good faith? This was a dynamic situation, so it’s troubling for someone to leap to the conclusion that why of course Fauci lied and poor Trump was…once again….served badly. Masks, sanitizing, and intelligent distancing make sense with what we know….not only because the government says it….but because it’s common sense

    AJ_Liberty (a4ff25)

  58. Mirrors on the ceiling
    The pink champagne on ice
    And she said: “We are all just prisoners here of our own device”

    Strip clubs in San Diego exempt from California restrictions, judge says

    Strip clubs in San Diego are exempt from California’s restrictive stay-at-home order, a San Diego Superior Court judge ruled Wednesday, a decision that has made the local restaurant industry cautiously optimistic that the exemption applies to their businesses, too.

    […]

    Two local strip clubs were hit with a cease-and-desist order from the state after they continued to operate in defiance of the shutdown order and fought it on First Amendment grounds, arguing that the government was trying to curb protected free expression.

    San Diego Superior Court Judge Joel Wohlfeil determined that the clubs had established their own covid-19 protocols and that the state would probably be unable to prove that the clubs’ ongoing operation was contributing to the ICU bed shortage in the area.

    The vagueness of the ruling has restaurants, the county and the state scrambling to understand how widely it extends and whether it would enable area restaurants to resume on-site dining.

    Chad Cline, co-owner of the Waterfront Bar & Grill in Little Italy and other nightlife venues in the area, told the San Diego Union-Tribune that he needed clarity on the ruling but was hopeful he could reopen his businesses.

    “It kind of says that restaurants can reopen but the caveat there may be that someone has to be stripping, which seems so wild to me,” Cline said. “If that’s what it takes for us to reopen our businesses — taking off our clothes, I’ll do it.”

    Dave (1bb933)

  59. Once again the leaders believe they are exempt from their own dictates. Just like they enjoy the divine right of kings. Governor Gina Raimondo (D) bans bars and other establishments, but gets around them and goes maskless, partying like she’s exempt from her own rules.

    https://www.mrctv.org/blog/people-lefty-ri-gov-issues-lockdown-order-breaks-it-week-wine-tasting

    There are better pictures out there if you choose to look.

    NJRob (eb56c3)

  60. When the government and it’s spokesmen lie purposefully to me and treat me like I’m unable to reason and be responsible they lose all credibility in my eyes.

    ROFLMAOPIP Ike and the U2; LBJ and the Gulf of Tonkin… the Landslide Lyndon and The Big Dick w/t Pentagon Papers; Watergate; Pappy’s ‘read his lips; no new taxes’; Reagan and Iran-Contra… Bubba and the intern; Dubya’s WMD; The Big O’s ‘keep your doctor’… and the Bible’s ‘sun stood still in the sky.’

    “Reality. What a concept.” – Robin Williams

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  61. They all lie. Some lie more than others. LBJ might have lied more than Trump.

    Yes. Only that lyin’ Texan conscripted and sent thousands of Americans to their deaths because of it and The Big Dick followed suit.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  62. Dubya’s WMD

    Numerous investigations found no evidence that anyone in the Bush administration lied about WMD.

    Dave (1bb933)

  63. This is who is running for governor on the right side of the aisle.

    Not one word about traffic, high density mandates or defending the gig economy.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  64. Falconer looks like a moderate Republican from San Diego (that’s a thing). Not one word though about issues other than COVID. I imagine he’s pretty much a right-of-center statist. Maybe that’s the best they can elect right now.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  65. The Big Dick followed suit.

    There is inertia in government.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  66. They didn’t offer to compensate her for the test, nor did they apologize for getting her sick.

    Did she get sick? Or did she just get Covid?

    Since they don’t say, it presumably means she didn’t get sick. But it is strong evidence that she was right to leave because she limited her exposure that way and dosage maters.

    What happened with the other people at the wedding?

    Sammy Finkelman (ab7073)

  67. Do you think the majority of Californians are that angry with Newsom?

    What else do they have to think about in their 2-hour drive to work?

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  68. LBJ was a prolific liar, but no. Not even close.

    LBJ sent 500,000 men, mostly drafted, to fight a jungle war that he knew — going in — we could not win. Then lied every day about that war.

    Trump may have lied more, but not that big, or about something that important.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  69. The last recall of a California governor worked out really well.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  70. 63. Dave (1bb933) — 12/17/2020 @ 10:04 am

    Numerous investigations found no evidence that anyone in the Bush administration lied about WMD.

    And they did find chemicals later, although not ready to use. But, by that time, the Bush Administration kept it a secret.

    New York Times, October 14, 2014:

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2014/10/14/world/middleeast/us-casualties-of-iraq-chemical-weapons.html

    The Secret Casualties of Iraq’s Abandoned Chemical Weapons

    …From 2004 to 2011, American and American-trained Iraqi troops repeatedly encountered, and on at least six occasions were wounded by, chemical weapons remaining from years earlier in Saddam Hussein’s rule.

    In all, American troops secretly reported finding roughly 5,000 chemical warheads, shells or aviation bombs, according to interviews with dozens of participants, Iraqi and American officials, and heavily redacted intelligence documents obtained under the Freedom of Information Act.

    New York Times, Nov. 6, 2014:

    https://www.nytimes.com/2014/11/07/world/middleeast/-more-than-600-reported-chemical-weapons-exposure-in-iraq-pentagon-acknowledges.html

    ….The Times initially disclosed 17 cases of American service members who were injured by sarin or a sulfur mustard agent. And since the report was published last month, more service members have come forward, pushing the number who were exposed to chemical agents to more than 25. But an internal review of Pentagon records ordered by Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel has now uncovered that hundreds of troops told the military they believe they were exposed, officials said…

    ….The American government withheld word about its discoveries even from troops it sent into harm’s way and from military doctors…

    …Congress, too, was only partly informed, while troops and officers were instructed to be silent or give deceptive accounts of what they had found. “ ’Nothing of significance’ is what I was ordered to say,” said Jarrod Lampier, a recently retired Army major who was present for the largest chemical weapons discovery of the war: more than 2,400 nerve-agent rockets unearthed in 2006 at a former Republican Guard compound.

    Jarrod L. Taylor, a former Army sergeant on hand for the destruction of mustard shells that burned two soldiers in his infantry company, joked of “wounds that never happened” from “that stuff that didn’t exist.” The public, he said, was misled for a decade. “I love it when I hear, ‘Oh there weren’t any chemical weapons in Iraq,’ ” he said. “There were plenty.” …

    Saddam Hussein wanted George W. Bush and Donald Rumsfeld to believe there were chemical weapons in Iraq (I don;t think the target of his disinformation was Iran) because he thought it would cause Bush to cancel the invasion after the Turkish Parliament pulled the rug under from the U.S. invasion plans at the last minute. (Saddam did not believe that WMD was Bush’s reason.) But Bush went ahead anyway, invading only from the south, from Kuwait. Turkey was included as a staging area more for political reasons than for military reasons.

    Sammy Finkelman (ab7073)

  71. 57. AJ_Liberty (a4ff25) — 12/17/2020 @ 7:30 am

    There was either a deep understanding of how the infection was spread by asymptomatics in February or that understanding actually evolved over time.

    There isn’t a good understanding of that now except that the disease appears to spread invisibly, or at least without anybody involved coming to medical attention before they’ve spread it. Maybe there can be a whole chain before somebody gets noticeably sick.

    The only thing that’s changed is that the window of opportunity is smaller than they thought originally, but the recommendations have changed very little.

    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/08/asymptomatic-coronavirus-patients-arent-spreading-new-infections-who-says.html

    World Health Organization officials on Tuesday walked back the comments below that were made on Monday after drawing criticism from epidemiologists across the world. Dr. Maria Van Kerkhove, head of the WHO’s emerging diseases and zoonosis unit, said Tuesday that asymptomatic spread is a “really complex question” and much is still unknown. “We don’t actually have that answer yet,” she said.

    The groom in Texas almost certainly had symptoms. That’s why the bridemaid knew, that’s probably why he got tested, that’s why she spoke of “everythingg that’s going on” with him. But you didn’t need to be within 6 feet of him to get infected.

    Sammy Finkelman (ab7073)

  72. JVW @51-

    Rather than focusing on a long shot gubernatorial recall, those of us living in Los Angeles County should focus on recalling DA George Gascon, the cop killer’s friend.

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  73. 69. You’re moving the goalposts, Kevin. You said “LBJ might have lied more than Trump,” not “LBJ’s lies were more consequential than Trump’s.” The the latter is arguable, the former incontestably false.

    Even on your new terms, 37,000 Americans died on LBJ’s watch in a war he lied about. 300,000 Americans, and counting, have died on Trump’s watch from a disease he lied about. So depending on how you assess causation, there’s a fair argument that, dead-body-wise, Trump’s lies were more consequential. Moreover, Trump has lied countless times on countless other subjects, e.g., the integrity of our elections, lies which may not have a body count, but threaten the viability of our constitutional republic. So in the aggregate, the case that Trump’s lies are more consequential looks pretty strong. But as I said, that’s arguable, and wasn’t my point to being with.

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  74. Numerous investigations found no evidence that anyone in the Bush administration lied about WMD.
    Dave (1bb933) — 12/17/2020 @ 10:04 am

    Which investigations? The only ones I remember were Robb-Silberman, which was prohibited from considering that question, and a later Senate Intel Committee report, which IIRC strongly suggested the Bush administration did lie, if narrowly, about the certainty of WMD intel.

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  75. 69. You’re moving the goalposts, Kevin.

    To paraphrase Mr Bill, it depends on what the meaning of “more” is.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  76. Sammy is right that Saddam wanted everyone (Bush, his generals, his people) to think that he had lots of chemical weapons and would use them. The fact is, though, that the second time he was made to destroy them all, he actually did, or at least all that mattered. Then he used his history of cheating to make everyone think he was still cheating, as a deterrent.

    After we invaded, his generals were astounded that Saddam did not release the weapons — their plans relied upon them.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  77. @63. Numerous investigations found no evidence that anyone in the Bush administration lied about WMD.

    =sigh= Wrong.

    http://www.mprnews.org/story/2006/10/02/powellum

    Former Secretary of State Colin Powell said Tuesday in Minneapolis the United States was, “dead wrong,” when the government said Saddam Hussein was stockpiling weapons of mass destruction. MPR News

    https://www.salon.com/2015/05/20/george_w_bushs_cia_briefer_admits_iraq_wmd_intelligence_was_a_lie/

    Morell “wanted to apologize” to Powell about WMD evidence

    http://www.cbsnews.com/news/michael-morell-apologizes...

    We were wrong on all three of those,” he[Michael Morell, Bush CIA briefer] said. Almost a year after he made the United States’ case for war to the world, Powell said he was not sure he would have supported the invasion of Iraq…

    Lay off that eggnog, Davey.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  78. OT: So, Deb Haaland is going to be Interior Secretary. She’s currently the Congresswoman for most of ABQ, but not quite reaching to where I live.

    Her mother was a member of the Laguna Pueblo people, and she is quite distinctly Native American. A leftist, of course. Now in charge of Indian Affairs. Should be interesting to see how she proceeds.

    (While this takes a Democrat away from Pelosi’s slim majority, I have no doubt that another Democrat will be elected; her district is D+7.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  79. “dead wrong” does not equal “lied”

    Not one thing in your post, DC, indicates anyone said that anyone “lied.”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  80. Most Western intelligence agencies were also “dead wrong.”

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  81. @66. No. There’s lying. Apologists for The Big Dick get no points for ‘covering up’ guilt; he knew. He had the PPs. Roughly half the American dead in Vietnam were on his watch. He made it Nixon’s war on his own.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  82. @80. Not one thing in your post, DC, indicates anyone said that anyone “lied.”

    That’s a “lie,” Kevin. READ:

    https://www.salon.com/2015/05/20/george_w_bushs_cia_briefer_admits_iraq_wmd_intelligence_was_a_lie/

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  83. @74. Even on your new terms, 37,000 Americans died on LBJ’s watch in a war he lied about. 300,000 Americans, and counting, have died on Trump’s watch from a disease he lied about.

    Gee, lurker, don’t recall any Covid victims getting DRAFT NOTICES to go battle the bug. ‘Course they all could just used common sense and applied for Covid deferments or better still, FLED TO CANADA but the pandemic bug may have got’em there.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  84. To paraphrase Mr Bill, it depends on what the meaning of “more” is.
    Kevin M (ab1c11) — 12/17/2020 @ 12:23 pm

    If you’re saying that’s a Clintonian answer, we agree.

    lurker (d8c5bc)

  85. @65.Falconer looks like a moderate Republican from San Diego (that’s a thing).

    He’s an empty suit, as any ex-San Diego Charger fan can tell you.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  86. @73.Yeah, that was an odd choice. No doubt our host has few choice, ‘kind’ words regarding that fresh office holder.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  87. @57.The problem is that the attacks on Fauci’s integrity were and are being launched by the very same White House that has serious questions about its own response, reckless statements, and reticence to adopt and encourage mask wearing.

    This is a media fueled thing w/Fauci. They’re all searching for one guy/gal to be the go-to person on this. Jake and Anderson crave one guy to call; who needs multiple experts and opinions; and who has lost credibility and needs Fauci-anybody- to be a whipping by; a sole expert on all things Covid to praise or blame? The media.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)

  88. @87-
    It didn’t help Lacey’s campaign when her husband pulled a gun on protestors outside their home, no matter how richly deserved (they were trespassing).

    Rip Murdock (d2a2a8)

  89. Fauci is the Lance Ito of Covid-19. Trump is the court jester.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  90. no matter how richly deserved (they were trespassing).

    Before sunrise.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  91. 83. It’s the CIA that lied. Remember, when Vice President Dick Cheney wanted the CIA to double check one particular report, they sent Joe Wilson on a mission to Niger to report that no uranium had been shipped to Iraq – but that wasn’t the question. The question was did Saddam Hussein attempt to purchase uranium (which actually would have meant his program was back to square one) and Joe Wilson said nothing about that and so Bush and Colin Powell repeated the wrong information.

    Joe Wilson later, in July, 2003, claimed he had reported back that that was unfounded. He had not. Then, as people in the Bush Administration began to ask questions, they created a whole tumult about a leak about who his wife was – supposedly in retaliation for the article Joe Wilson wrote while in actuality it was the CIA’s cover story within the U.S. government about why Joe Wilson had been sent which a few people repeated to members of the press. Joe Wilson’s wife had nothing to do with him getting that assignment. It was to avoid the CIA having to retract that particular bit of intelligence.

    Sammy Finkelman (ab7073)

  92. 73.

    Sammy is right that Saddam wanted everyone (Bush, his generals, his people) to think that he had lots of chemical weapons and would use them.

    Not everyone.

    He wanted the other countries in Bush’s “coalition of the willing” to think he did not.

    The fact is, though, that the second time he was made to destroy them all, he actually did, or at least all that mattered.

    The reason he did that, in the 1990s, is that he didn’t want to risk them being discovered by the inspectors and the only way to make sure they wouldn’t be discovered was not to have them. At least in usable form. He is believed to have sent some of it to Syria in 2002-3.

    Then he used his history of cheating to make everyone think he was still cheating, as a deterrent.

    To make Bush, the decisionmaker t think so, while to makke all the other countries think he did not so that Bush would postpone his decision to go to the war till the last minute – till April, when it would get too ht foor U.S. soldiers to wear chemical weapons protection gear.

    His ace in the hole, as I said, was the Turkish Parliament. Which would withdraw its OK because maybe he had bribed them.

    After we invaded, his generals were astounded that Saddam did not release the weapons — their plans relied upon them.

    They all thought some other general did. Saddam made plans that involved non-existent chemical weapons because he counted on Bush cancelling the war because the U.S. plans wee upended by Turkey at the last minute but he needed something to satisfy the generals so they wouldn’t rush to surrender or overthrow him. Only he didn’t know that an invasion from Turkey wasn’t really needed.

    The Twin Peaks twist is that he really did have old chemical weapons and U.S. soldiers stumbled across them starting in 2004 but that was kept secret because the U.S. military didn’t want Al Qaeda in Iraq looking for them too, and possibly because some people in the military feared they might be held responsible for some U.S. soldiers getting harmed by the chemical weapons and decided to cover it up.

    Sammy Finkelman (ab7073)

  93. Vice President Mike Pence, one of the few people working on the ground floor of the West wing who didn’t test positive will get vaccinated tomorrow on television along with his wife, and Joe Biden will likewise get vaccinated on television next week.

    To build confidence in the vaccine.

    Someone among them will probably run a fever.

    Sammy Finkelman (ab7073)

  94. It’s the CIA that lied.

    The CIA was being run by George Tenet, a Clintonista holdover.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  95. and George Tenet told I think, George Bush, that the case was a “slam dunk.”

    George Tenet used to regularly meet with Prince Bandar.(the then Saudi Arabian Ambassador) From the New Yorker:

    SECTION: FACT; Content; Pg. 48
    LENGTH: 12287 words
    HEADLINE: THE PRINCE; How the Saudi Ambassador became Washington’s indispensable operator.

    BYLINE: ELSA WALSH

    ….On the night that we met in McLean, George Tenet, the director of the C.I.A., stopped by for a quick meeting, and when I visited Bandar last month he received a telephone call from Condoleezza Rice, Bush’s national-security adviser. Rice was checking on Saudi efforts to persuade the French to support a second U.N. resolution calling on Iraq to disarm. Some think that Bandar exaggerates his influence and his presence, but his name shows up repeatedly in any recounting of the political
    events of the past twenty years-in particular as a fixer of problems that cannot be solved in the open….

    ….
    A few months after September 11th, Bandar went to Aspen, where he has a thirty-two-room mansion. A major part of his success, one foreign leader told me, was that Bandar could be trusted to convey King Fahd’s private views when they differed from his public statements. Bandar had gone to Aspen to relax, but also to do a little housecleaning in a place that has fewer diversions than
    Washington. He had brought with him sixteen of thirty or so locked attache cases that he keeps in McLean.

    [I now suspect that they contain money – it’s more logical to have that in there. Records you’d keep somewhere else. So he’s still telling the same story about the briefcases.]

    They contain evidence of the covert operations and secret agreements that Bandar coordinated at the behest of King Fahd and the United States, mostly during the Reagan era-such as records of a Swiss bank account that Bandar had personally set up for the Nicaraguan Contras. In the nineties, Bandar helped persuade the Libyan leader Muammar Qaddafi to turn over two suspects in the 1988 bombing of Pan Am Flight 103. (Privately, Bandar has called Qaddafi “a Jerry Lewis trying to be a Churchill.”) In the late nineties, in appreciation for Saudi help in resolving the Pan Am Flight 103 case, the Libyans made an extraordinary offer: to share information with the United States about Osama bin Laden, whom the Saudis had stripped of citizenship five years earlier. (By one account, the Libyans actually offered to assassinate bin Laden, which made Tenet particularly uneasy. A spokesman for former President Clinton says that the Administration was unaware of that offer, but he acknowledged that the Libyans had provided intelligence help.) Libya was the first country to seek an international arrest warrant for bin Laden, because of terrorist activity there.

    Most of the details of these operations were known to only three people: Bandar, Fahd (who was incapacitated by a series of strokes in 1995), and William Casey, the former C.I.A. director, who died in 1987.

    [Probably more lies here. Casey didn’t know anything about anything like this. Also, casey is now [2003] a long time ago.]

    Sammy Finkelman (3915d0)

  96. I’m fine with someone advocating herd immunity having a voice in an administration decision.
    Its not quackery or malpractice.
    I think herd immunity in people under 25 is inevitable, a good thing and relatively risk free to the U-25.

    Dodge City houses a lot of Hispanic meat packing workers. My guess are that many of the workers are related by family and by town of origin, so if they are Hispanic, they are going to congregate after hours in large numbers at home, for kids birthdays etc. At their lunch break, they will demask and hang out in the lunch room and since they are masked up all day, do not want to wear masks in their off hours

    Questions are asked as to why so many masked, face shield, gloved and gowned meat packing workers having Covid rip through their plants. Dress out time to begin shift before hitting the floor. Break and lunch and clothes change at end of shift are all chances to spread..
    The big spread events come at home with large extended families crammed into a small house or apt to save money.

    People are smarter than they are given credit for. Most people are well aware that you need 10-15 minute length of exposure within a 6 foot radius for transference of another persons viral load. So they know they are not going to get infected while out walking the dog, they will wear a mask in the store, they know eating outside in the winter in Dodge City is more dangerous than Covid. They don’t need a mask ordinance on all people at all times when outside home or vehicle. You ask businesses like the grocery store or Walmart to require a mask for entry. You ask restaurants to have servers, cooks wear mask and gloves

    steveg (43b7a5)

  97. > People are smarter than they are given credit for

    If that were true we wouldn’t be losing 3000+ people a day to this thing.

    People have been underestimating the risk and making incresaingly risky choices over time.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  98. People have been underestimating the risk and making incresaingly risky choices over time.

    Some have. The problem is that some feel immune, but the people the infect aren’t. It wasn’t the invalids in the old folks’ home that were taking risks.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  99. I think herd immunity in people under 25 is inevitable, a good thing and relatively risk free to the U-25.

    Yes. They should all be herded into camps for a few weeks. Otherwise they will go visit grandma.

    Kevin M (ab1c11)

  100. Kevin M, at 99: yeah, i agree. There are people who *cannot* stay home because their livelihood depends on it. The rest of us should be staying home whenever we can, because avoiding each other slows the velocity of the virus through the population and therefore reduces the number of infections (and hospitalizations and deaths).

    But the people who held large gatherings for Thanksgiving, or who are planning to do so for Christmas, are making unwise risky choices. And the people doing so *specifically because* they want to prove that nobody can tell them what to do are being borderline sociopaths.

    aphrael (4c4719)

  101. Pelosi and McConnell receive Covid vaccine as shots are reserved for senior U.S. officials

    CNBC 12/18/20: The vaccine likely won’t be available to the general public for months as Pfizer ramps up production of the vaccine.

    DCSCA (f4c5e5)


Powered by WordPress.

Page loaded in: 0.2274 secs.