Twitter video screenshot

After Donald Trump's COVID-19 whisperer Scott Atlas called this weekend for people in Michigan to "rise up" against new public health orders put in place by Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, the Washington Post published an editorial yesterday calling for Atlas to be fired, because the man poses a direct threat to Americans' lives: "As President Trump's leading adviser on the coronavirus pandemic, he continues to make statements that will cause more illness and death. He ought to be fired immediately."

It wasn't only the call for people to "rise up" against Whitmer, which Atlas later insisted he meant only in terms of voting (Whitmer isn't up for reelection until 2021) and "peaceful protest," not another kidnapping and murder plot. It's also that Atlas appears to have already convinced Trump that doing nothing to contain the virus counts as a "policy": Let's just let everyone get it, and after a couple million or so die, then we'll have some kind of immunity. Oh, yes, we'll protect "the vulnerable," remember to protect the vulnerable, sure. (We aren't doing that, either.)


Says WaPo,

So, while the governor was desperately trying to save lives by slowing the virus transmission, Dr. Atlas was urging people to disobey and revolt. This is incendiary talk. [...]

His message was that people should ignore the governor and resist the pandemic restrictions, as Mr. Trump did with his "LIBERATE" tweets in April. If Dr. Atlas's advice is followed, more people will get sick and die. The nation is engulfed in coronavirus infections; the spread is extremely alarming, with more than 100,000 new cases every day since Nov. 4. The tidal wave of disease is stressing hospital systems to their limit and all but ensures that deaths will be increasing in the weeks to come.

Then again masks are tyranny, so maybe the editorial should have considered that.

Also not in any mood to put up with nonsense is President-elect Joe Biden, who said yesterday that Donald Trump's refusal to recognize that the election is over is "more embarrassing for the country than debilitating for my ability to get started," with one notable exception, which is the handling of the pandemic. "More people may die," Biden said, "if we don't coordinate."

How do we get over 300 million Americans vaccinated? What's the game plan? It's a huge, huge undertaking. [...] They say they have this Warp Speed program that dealt with not only getting vaccines, but how to distribute this. If we have to wait until January 20 to start that planning, it puts us behind, over a month and a half.

That's not exactly warp speed. Hell, that's not even impulse power, and in our century, Dr. McCoy can't just whip up a vaccine and make everything better in the last few minutes before he and Spock exchange witticisms and the end credits tell us it was all filmed at DesiLu studios.

Biden noted that even without the added chaos of Trump's refusal to let the transition go forward, "We're going into a very dark winter. Things are going to get much tougher before they get easier."

"That requires sparing no effort to fight COVID. So that we can open our businesses safely, resume our lives and put this pandemic behind us. It's going to be difficult, but it can be done," he continued, criticizing Trump for withholding valuable health information that he said would better inform the incoming administration on how to combat the pandemic. The virus has so far killed more than 240,000 Americans.

"There's so much we can do. The only way we do any of this is if we work together. I know we can do this."

As for Scott Atlas's call for people to "resist" following basic public health measures, Biden dismissed him as a crank. After praising governors, including Republicans like Mike DeWine of Ohio, who have instituted mask mandates, Biden said he just couldn't see why anyone would be that willfully stupid.

The idea that the president's now — existing, remaining on COVID is saying that they should resist ... What the hell is the matter with these guys?

Noting that actual experts — doctors and researchers who, unlike Atlas, have experience in infectious disease and public health — agree that we could save 100,000 lives in the next couple months by wearing masks, Biden called Atlas's comments, and Trump's inaction, "totally irresponsible." Biden stopped short of calling for Atlas to be fired, so consider him the "STFU" portion of our headline.

Biden also called for the passage of a new economic stimulus package to help with the economic fallout of the pandemic, and we're sure Mitch McConnell will respond by confirming as many rightwing federal judges as humanly possible during the lame duck session.

[WaPo / AP / NPR]

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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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