After the New York Times reported on Vice President Mike Pence telling America's governors to lie about why coronavirus is running rampant in their states with no end in sight — say it's just because our testing is SO TREMENDOUS! — Pence penned an op-ed in the Wall Street Journal. And even if he didn't mean for it to be, the headline is indeed truthful.

Y'all, he's right. There is no "second wave." Because our "first wave" is still very much going on, and growing!


NBC News talked to an expert:

"We never made it out of the first wave," said Dr. David Weber, medical director of hospital epidemiology at the University of North Carolina Medical Center in Chapel Hill.

Weber likened waves of infectious disease to ocean waves. "When you're 10 feet up on the shore and the wave hits you, it recedes all the way back," he said. "Now you're on dry land with no puddle beneath."

But with COVID-19, he said, "we still got a big puddle there."

It's not a complicated analogy, what with how we have been referring to outbreaks of the virus as "waves" this whole entire time. Did your feet go under the water, Mike Pence? Are they still under the water, Mike Pence? Then the fucking wave hasn't gone away!

But we don't even need to go as far as NBC News to get a second opinion, we can just go to the same damn Wall Street Journal that let Pence publish his crap, because they also published an interview with Dr. Anthony Fauci yesterday, the same day as the Pence op-ed:

"People keep talking about a second wave," he added. "We're still in a first wave."

And, Dr. Fauci, are the maddening daily case numbers happening because of all our tremendous testing?

While more testing does result in more cases, Dr. Fauci said, higher percentages of positive tests in many states "cannot be explained by increased testing."

If you want to play with coronavirus trackers on the internet, there are approximately seven million of them, but here's a graphic from the Guardian that shows America's curve of new confirmed daily cases since the beginning of the pandemic:

And here's Italy, where we watched in horror several months ago, as locked down Italians tried to warn America about what was coming:

You don't need to even embiggen those to see the specific numbers, because you can see the shape of the graph. If America has "flattened the curve" like Mike Pence says, then we have been interpreting this whole "flatten the curve" thing very, very wrong. We weren't supposed to go up to a peak and then fucking stay there!

But that's what we've done. Or rather that's what the Trump administration's shitty, incompetent, possibly malevolent response to the pandemic has done.

You don't need to read Pence's op-ed or anything. It's full of shit 'n' lies, and Pence's nose is way up Donald Trump's ass in that way we've all come to expect from him, with phrases like "with the leadership of President Trump" and "winning the fight against the invisible enemy." He says there's going to be a vaccine this fall, which is absolute bullshit.

He says Trump "rallied the American people to embrace social-distancing guidelines," which decidedly did not happen, unless the president's abject refusal to wear a mask or enforce social distancing counts. Hell, right this very second, he's pushing forward with a super-spreader Hitler rally in Tulsa, where the epidemic is worse than it's ever been, and asking his idiot followers to sign waivers stating they won't hold him accountable if they all get sick and die. (By the way, Dr. Fauci also spoke to the Daily Beast yesterday, and said "Of course not" when asked if he'd personally be willing to attend Trump's COVID-fest in Tulsa. He's in a high-risk category. And he's not a fucking idiot.)

Politico reports that Pence has become something of a COVID truther in the past couple weeks, not that we think he had that idea himself. He lives to serve his orange Daddy, and Daddy has decided there's no pandemic anymore, so Pence has decided there's no pandemic anymore.

Simple. As. That.

Meanwhile Back In The Real World ...

Shit is bad.

Some cities are finally passing mask ordinances to try to protect people, though. Memphis and Raleigh did it yesterday. Montgomery, Alabama, where the epidemic is reaching terrifying proportions, tried last night, but failed, "in a 4-4 tie, mostly along racial lines." You should really read the Montgomery Advertiser's coverage of that vote, because it'll show you just exactly what we're up against, if we want to keep people alive:

Jackson Hospital pulmonologist William Saliski cleared his throat as he started describing the dire situation created by the coronavirus pandemic in Montgomery to its City Council before they voted on a mandatory mask ordinance. "It's been a long day, I apologize," he said.

"The units are full with critically-ill COVID patients," Saliski said. About 90% of them are Black. He said hospitals are able to manage for now, but it's not sustainable. "This mask slows that down, 95% protection from something as easy as cloth. ... If this continues the way it's going, we will be overrun."

More doctors followed him to the microphone, describing the dead being carried out within 30 minutes of each other, and doctors being disturbed when people on the street ask them if the media is lying about the pandemic as part of a political ploy.

And then there was this guy:

William Boyd, one of several people who spoke in favor of the ordinance, said he's lost six family members to COVID-19.

"The question on the table is whether Black lives matter," Boyd said before the vote.

Did they listen to the doctors? Nah. Did they listen to that guy, who's buried SIX FAMILY MEMBERS? Nah. One white councilmember voted with three black members for the ordinance. Four white members voted against.

A trio of doctors, who had waited hours to speak, got up and left the chamber in disgust. "Unbelievable," Saliski said.

You know, at some point, considering which communities this pandemic is hitting the hardest, we're going to have to start talking out loud about whether the negligent response to the pandemic from white Republicans, from Donald Trump on down, is the point, just like their cruelty.

"Negligent genocide," if you will.

[NBC News / Wall Street Journal / Montgomery Advertiser]

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Evan Hurst

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