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WHYYYYYYY do they keep letting Donald Trump do these press briefings? Are they deliberately trying to tank the stock market? Because if they are, they're doing a bang-up job of it! Once again, while Donald Trump was flapping his racist yap, the stock market plummeted, sending the S&P down another seven percent, which triggered the automatic circuit breaker to halt trading for 15 minutes. AGAIN.

The entire presser was a gigantic shitshow, previewed early this morning by President Exclusion Act.

Flanked by several coronavirus task force members standing shoulder-to-shoulder, the president opened his daily Yellow Peril briefing by promising "important developments in our war against the Chinese virus." First up, he'll be invoking the Defense Production Act, which was originally intended to allow the president to conscript private industry in wartime.

"In other words — I think you all know what it is. And it can do a lot of good things if we need it. And we will have it all completed, signing it in just a little while," garbled a person who very clearly has no goddamn idea what the Defense Production Act is.


Presumably the government intends to lean on American manufacturers to bail them out after months of pretending COVID-19 was just like the seasonal flu by ramping up production of ventilators and masks right fucking now. So ... good!

And while his big mouth was writing checks the federal government is no position to cash, Trump promised to deploy two "big white ships with the red cross on the sides," by which he means the USNS Comfort and USNS Mercy, naval hospital vessels.

While Secretary of Defense Mark Esper told reporters on Tuesday that he'd ordered the Navy "to lean forward in terms of getting them ready to deploy," there's no indication that they're "in top-top shape" or adequately staffed right now. Nor will they function as coronavirus isolation hospitals, because as Esper told Politico, "Our capabilities are focused on trauma. ... They don't have necessarily the segregated spaces that you need to deal with infectious diseases." So, while the vessels might relieve some of the pressure on local hospitals to treat gun shot wounds or broken legs, the ships won't be able to provide treatment for a wave of COVID-19 sufferers.

Then it was on to bitching about the coronavirus test, which is "not very, uh, nice to do. I can tell you, because I did it." Poor baby!

After announcing a moratorium on evictions by HUD — ALSO GOOD! — Trump's coronavirus coordinator, Dr. Deborah Birx, made platitudes about the wonderful private sector solutions to this problem. Because, in a pandemic, who can you trust if not a ruthless corporation beholden only to its shareholders, amirite?

Plus, whatever this was.

Wait so Trump was talking out his ass when he said only old and frail people get sick? HOW SHOCKING.

Then Esper and Mike Pence promised to magically find eleventy million masks and ventilators from the government "stockpile." Which is the same promise they've been making for weeks about coronavirus tests. Spoiler Alert: They are LYING. Also Spoiler Alert: It's not enough.

On to question time!

Hey, so is it racist to keep calling it the China Virus and the Kung Flu while Asian Americans are being targeted for harassment?

Awesome! Also awesome: The border with Canada is now closed to non-essential traffic, so, if you were thinking of making a run for it to a country with a rational healthcare system, looks like you're shit out of luck. But not as SOL as asylum seekers, who are now going to be excluded from the United States based on spurious fears that they might transmit coronavirus, although they are much more likely to catch it here than in Guatemala.

Looks like Stephen and Katie Miller are getting that last item on their wedding registry after all!

There were the usual lies about his "95 percent" approval rating with Republicans and "Sleepy Joe Biden's" vulnerability in Florida, then a hearty shrug about rich, well-connected people getting tested for coronavirus while desperate, scared citizens are being refused tests despite known exposure to sick people.

"That's just the story of life," Trump said with a grin. EL. OH. EL.

And finally, who is to blame for this looming disaster?

And the nation, she was SAVED.

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.

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