The COVID-19 news is coming hot and heavy and deadly, so let's all put on our Plague Doctor masks and listen to the latest hot pop music craze, the one the kids call EDM, for Electronic Danse Macabre. Or maybe it's Charnel House Music; I can never tell the difference.


Louie, Louie, A-You Gotta Go Now — Into Quarantine

Confirmed non-mask-wearer and overall idiot Rep. Louie Gohmert (R-Texas) has tested positive for COVID-19. Politico reports Gohmert had been scheduled to fly to Texas with Donald Trump on Air Force One this morning, but was found to be infected when he was tested as part of a pre-trip screening at the White House. Gohmert — who doesn't do science, never has, never willexplained to CNN in June that he feels free to walk around Congress without a mask, and without practicing social distancing, because he was regularly tested for the virus. CNN took pains to point out that everything Gohmert said "defied the science and the recommendations of leading public health experts":

"I don't have the coronavirus, turns out as of yesterday I've never had it. But if I get it, you'll never see me without a mask," the conservative Texan told CNN Friday.

Told that health experts say that people who don't have symptoms may be carrying the virus and can unknowingly spread it to others, Gohmert responded: "But I keep being tested and I don't have it. So I'm not afraid of you, but if I get it I'll wear a mask."

That's the beauty of rightwing thinking: You can have the facts pointed out to you and continue being dead wrong. Gohmert has been saying since at least May that he doesn't need no mask because he thinks only people who've tested positive have to wear them, and implying, incorrectly, that the main reason to wear a mask is to avoid becoming infected.

Gohmert was one of several Republicans not wearing masks at yesterday's House Judiciary Committee hearing with Bill Barr, and was seen walking without a mask next to Barr (also not wearing a mask) as Barr prepared to enter the hearing room. While wearing masks is a recommendation, not a requirement, in the hallways of the House, Speaker Nancy Pelosi has asked committee chairs to enforce decorum rules that do require masks during committee meetings.

Yr Wonkette would remind you that our commenting rules remain in effect. You don't have to say anything nice about the science-denying asshole, but you are also not allowed to wish harm on him or anyone else, you barbarians. You certainly can wonder if Gohmert has obtained any of the German miracle powder he was yammering on about in April.

Also too, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer said the House is looking into mandatory testing for all members, and compared Gohmert's walking around the halls of Congress without a mask on to Rand Paul's having gone to the Senate gym after he'd been exposed to the virus. Fact check: Please disregard an earlier garbled report that made it sound like Gohmert had been in any gym, ever in his life, before or after testing positive.

UPDATE: Holy forking shirtballs.

UPDATED UPDATE ALSO TOO: Holy mortar-forking shirtballs! Stimpy, you bloated eeeediot.



FEMA Says Death Toll 'Surging'

ABC News reports it has obtained an "internal FEMA memo" saying that while new cases of COVID-19 are beginning to decline, deaths are "surging":

In the seven days ending Monday, new cases nationwide have decreased 0.6% from the previous week but that time period also saw a 30.1% increase in deaths from the disease and deaths have been increasing steadily in recent days.

That's probably not the surge Donald Trump wanted to hear about. Maybe unidentified federal cops can be sent into the streets to beat up the virus and drag it away in an unmarked van.

Oh Don't Worry Only Old People Get It

KVUE-TV reports that in Austin, Texas, the highest positivity rate for COVID-19 (the percentage of positive cases out of all tests given) over the past two weeks has been among patients aged 10 to 19 years old. Austin Interim Health Authority Dr. Mark Escott said the high positive test results among young people is a concern, what with schools still looking to reopen, and attributed the high infection rate to kids interacting with each other socially after the state's lockdown ended. However, Escott also explained that the high positivity rate for that age bracket might result from the relatively low number of people in that age cohort being tested.

It's almost as if more damn tests are needed before we really know how widespread the virus is among different groups, huh?

When only the past week (July 21-27) is tallied, Escott told a Travis County Commissioners meeting yesterday, the 20- to 29-year-old age bracket accounted for 20 percent of all new infections in the county.

Coronavirus, In Illinois, I Think It Was The Fourth Of July

A cluster of 73 cases of COVID-19 in Lake Zurich, Illinois, has been traced to several Fourth of July parties, local health officials say.

The outbreak was first detected in a group of Lake Zurich High School students earlier in July. Lake County, Illinois, health officials said contact tracing has now led them to believe the infections stem from multiple July 4 parties, and was not the result of a super spreader event.

The outbreak was discovered during health screenings for an athletic camp, which was subsequently cancelled. Hannah Goering, of the Lake County Health Department, said that at least half those infected were students at Lake Zurich High School, while others were parents, other family members, and others in the community.

And isn't this a fun side effect of the national distrust of expertise and the government?

County officials said during this process they've had some trouble with contact tracing, as many people have either ignored messages, delayed responding, or simply didn't pick up the phone. They said they really need anyone who is contacted by a tracer because of possible exposure to COVID-19 to take the call seriously and get themselves tested as soon as possible.

Just imagine all those mouth-holes spewing droplets as people rave about Liberty and Tyranny and Big Government oppressing them. This is part of what you get in a political culture where rightwing heroes bravely threaten to greet Census workers with a shotgun.

Peter Navarro Still Sitting On Huge Stash Of Hydroxy, Needs You To Buy It

On CNN yesterday Donald Trump's trade dude Peter Navarro bashed Anthony Fauci some more, sang the praises of hydroxychloroquine, and said he'd never heard of Donald Trump's new favorite medical expert, Dr. Demon Semen. Along the way, Navarro accused CNN and other liberals (like the FDA) of preventing thousands of Americans from getting the worthless miracle cure that he just knows will save everyone, based on results from a methodologically-iffy study from Detroit in which doctors selected the patients who'd be getting the malaria medicine (and the positive results may have been from other medicines, or just the fact that the patients got early intervention).

Navarro remains bullish on the drug despite the FDA's having said it's not helpful, saying, "I stand by it [...] I'm sitting on millions of doses of it," which we assume may be uncomfortable. In a later interview with ABC News, Navarro clarified he was "sitting on 63 million doses of hydroxychloroquine at the FEMA stockpile and that would save — that's enough for four million Americans."

Like, if it worked, at least.

Navarro also got into a cute shouting match with CNN's John Berman over calling COVID-19 the "China Virus" because while it doesn't do a damn thing for public health, it makes Donald Trump happy, and Asian Americans don't have to worry that the phrase causes discrimination because Navarro loves the Chinese people in China who are "hard workers" but are oppressed by their government.

The US death toll from COVID-19 has now passed 150,000 and the Trump administration is giggling about making sure you use the right racist name for the virus.

Let's be careful out there.

[ABC News / Texas Tribune / Politico / KVUE-TV / Mediaite / NYT]

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Doktor Zoom

Doktor Zoom's real name is Marty Kelley, and he lives in the wilds of Boise, Idaho. He is not a medical doctor, but does have a real PhD in Rhetoric. You should definitely donate some money to this little mommyblog where he has finally found acceptance and cat pictures. He is on maternity leave until 2033. Here is his Twitter, also. His quest to avoid prolixity is not going so great.

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