Black people account for a disproportionate number of COVID cases and deaths.
As if it didn't have enough flaws, COVID-19 is also racist. This virus isn't an “equalizer." It kills black people at a disproportionately higher rate. In Cook County, Illinois, black residents make up 23 percent of the population but account for 58 percent of coronavirus deaths. And in Chicago itself, 61 of the 86 recorded coronavirus deaths were black. That's around 70 percent and we're just 29 percent of the windy city's population.
Ninety miles away in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, black people are about half of the county's 945 cases and 81% of its 27 deaths. Milwaukee's population is just 26 percent black. Meanwhile, in Michigan, which does not have the best track record regarding black people's health, black people were a reported 35 percent of cases and 40 percent of deaths as of Friday. The state's population is just 14 percent black. Detroit, which is majority black, has emerged as a COVID-19 “hot spot" with 47 percent of Michigan's total cases. Forty percent of Louisiana's deaths have taken place in Orleans Parish, where most residents are black.
Michael Atkinson has a few more things he'd like to say!
Friday night, in a late news dump, we learned that Donald Trump fired Michael Atkinson, the intelligence community inspector general, because we guess he was having a little shithole authoritarian temper tantrum and that was the only thing that would make him feel better. Yes, Trump did this in the middle of a pandemic that he is so serious about that he's obsessively trying to make Americans ingest an unproven drug that may or may not be effective.
Atkinson's sin, obviously, is that he protected the whistleblower who made America aware that Trump was trying to steal another election by actively extorting Ukraine to announce fake investigations into Joe Biden in exchange for military aid that Congress had already appropriated and was desperately needed by Ukraine in its hot war with Russia. Atkinson also made Congress aware of the whistleblower complaint, which is what he was supposed to do according to the law. And yes, that includes Adam Schiff, because he is the chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.
In other words, Trump fired Atkinson for doing his job, exactly as we'd expect an un-American barely elected president with authoritarian tendencies to do.
Atkinson has responded to being fired, and it's quite a statement, albeit an extremely professional one:
It is hard not to think that the President's loss of confidence in me derives from my having faithfully discharged my legal obligations as an independent and impartial Inspector General, and from my commitment to continue to do so.
Yep, that's what happened! Here is the full statement:
Queen Elizabeth II addresses the UK about the coronavirus pandemic.
Queen Elizabeth II is living history, and on Sunday Britain's longest-serving monarch made history again when she directly addressed the nation in a pre-recorded televised message. She rarely does this outside of her annual Christmas hangout, but these are not normal times. She spoke about the coronavirus pandemic, and for a moment, it felt like a scene from The Crown that inspires you to Google the actual historical event they're dramatizing. But we don't have the benefit of historical distance right now. We are separated from our friends but not from the threat of the coronavirus.
THE QUEEN: I am speaking to you at what I know is an increasingly challenging time. A time of disruption in the life of our country: a disruption that has brought grief to some, financial difficulties to many, and enormous changes to the daily lives of us all.
That's so charmingly English. We're experiencing a “disruption," a little spot of bother, but the Queen isn't dismissive of the challenges. She's personifying that legendary “stiff upper lip." Just few months ago, the biggest issues facing the UK were Brexit and, on a more personal level, the departure of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle from “full-time royal duties." Now, the world is under assault by a relentless enemy, one that's attacked her own son, but the Queen is unfazed. She's been there before.
It's your Sunday show rundown!
The US Surgeon General, Vice Admiral Jerome Adams, made dual appearances on NBC's "Meet The Press" and "Fox News Sunday" to inform the American people of the newest recommendations from the CDC.
On "Meet The Press":
ADAMS: Here's what's changed. We now know that about 25%, in some studies even more, of COVID-19 is transmitted when you are asymptomatic or presymptomatic. And so the CDC has now recommended that people wear cloth face coverings when they're going to be out in public and they can't be more than six feet away from each other.
ADAMS: Well, the reason why we're saying, "Make a homemade one," is because that's effective in protecting you from me. Remember, I'm wearing a mask to protect you, Chuck, and you're a wearing a mask to protect me. That is what you need. We want to make sure we're saving the medical masks for the health care workers, and we still wouldn't recommend that people wear an N95 even if we had enough.
Oh ok, I get it! The wearer of the mask does it to protect others, in case they are asymptomatic to COVID-19, rather than to protect themselves. Well, as long as WE ALL take part everything is gonna be...
We're fucked. Not just from the incompetence of leadership from the top, but the sycophants of this idiotic narcissist who will follow his lead. Currently there are nine states STILL refusing to issue "stay-at-home" orders and they all have a common theme: They all have Republican governors. So while we all need to do our Rosie The Riveter part, as Vice Admiral Adams has said, the failure of Trump to put out a national order puts us ALL at risk.
Why do evangelicals worship such an asshole?
Whenever there's a natural disaster, very stupid people will argue that it's a deliberate act of murder and mayhem from a homicidal and petulant God we should still worship for some reason. Rightwing fundamentalists can't imagine a God with the sense to just drop a large boulder on an abortion clinic or a gay wedding. No, this so-called “supreme being" prefers to express His pique with an elephant gun.
Evangelical leader and rightwing hack (but I'm repeating myself) Franklin Graham was a guest on “Justice with Judge Jeanine" Saturday and, boy, if there were ever two less-qualified people to discuss something as serious as the coronavirus, they'd be on another Fox News show.
Jeanine Pirro posed Graham the remedial Sunday school question, “Why does God allow bad things to happen?" The typical Sunday school answer is “SHUT UP!" but if you've actually read the Bible, the obvious answer is that God is a petty, vindictive asshole who literally tortures people to prove how much they love Him despite all the torture. People who are confused by God's motivations probably also scratch their heads after watching The Godfather and wonder why a nice man like Don Corleone put a dismembered horse in someone's bed.
Don’t pull this crap in Atlanta unless you want a fight.
So, I guess we've gotta talk about that burning cross in Erick Erickson's yard. It's not a literal burning cross, and if it was, it's not the sort of thing you'd put up in your own yard, unless it's yet another one of Candace Owens's desperate cries for help.
It's important to point out that this was seemingly a well-intentioned, decent act that Erickson utterly ruined. His kids' classmates built some crosses and sold them to other God-adoring people ahead of Palm Sunday, which I always forget is a thing. Yet it is! They're using the proceeds to support local hospitals fighting the coronavirus pandemic. Erickson lives in Georgia, a state that has Brian Kemp as a governor and could use all the help it can get right now. I'm not going to knock the kids' efforts. It's just unfortunate that Erickson, the apparent star of “My Sitcom Dad's A Moron," thought he could improve on the kids' work: “I added the lights." Then the genius posted photographic evidence of his cluelessness on Instagram and Twitter. This — and Erickson's general obnoxiousness — is probably why his black neighbors don't invite him to their cookouts.
They have a 50/50 chance! Hooray!
Fox News "medical expert" and expert terrible person, Dr. Nicole Saphier, phoned her “Fox & Friends" Sunday from the comfort of her self-quarantined home studio where she has a copy of Gray's Anatomy prominently displayed on a shelf because she's apparently a doctor. Dr. Saphier suggested a couple months ago that universal health care makes everyone less healthy because they can see doctors whenever they want, which as we all know is so much fun you just can't stand it. Now she's arguing that medical care turns sick people into leeches, sucking up oxygen from ventilators as if they're suffering from some insidious upper respiratory disease.
Dr. Saphier told the "Fox & Friends" panel that we're going to see more coronavirus deaths next week, which is terrible news, but the bright side, she insists, is that the rate of hospitalizations is decreasing. OK, that's marginally better news in a time where good news is scarce, but we probably shouldn't gloss over all the deaths or just record them all as fatalities from the previous quarter in the fiscal year.
Dr. Saphier explained that the death count is going to spike because of COVID-19 patients who've been on ventilators for several weeks. Their free oxygen train is ending.
DR. SAPHIER: At some point, they will have to come off the ventilators.
Uh ... why? Can't we just pretend they're all Terri Schiavo and keep them hooked up indefinitely?
Oh hey yo it's tabs.
This is the big story of Sunday and I have not read it because I have a headache and watched TV all afternoon (it is Sunday). Anyway! How Trump Fucked Up Everything By The Fake News Washington Post.
Washington state group WASHLITE suing Fox News under the state's consumer protection act for "falsely and deceptively disseminating 'News' via cable news contracts that the coronavirus was a 'hoax,' and that it was otherwise not a danger to public health and safety." I ain't crying. (Times of San Diego)
First to secede, last to shelter in place isn’t the best bumper sticker.
South Carolina is where I was born and raised, but don't hold that against the otherwise charming state. Please also don't be the kind of liberal who trash-talks South Carolina as full of backwards rednecks and klansmen who somehow deserve their fate. My family, who is black, lives there. A lot of black people live in South Carolina, as Bernie Sanders, Pete Buttigieg, and Amy Klobuchar apparently discovered the day before the state's Democratic primary. I also grew up with a lot of so-called “rednecks," who are often grossly called “trailer trash" because many self-proclaimed liberals still hate poor people. Yeah, some of those folks were racist and unpleasant, but so were a lot of the country club bigots I met outside the South. There are a lot of really great people of all races and income levels in my home state, and they are currently at the mercy of idiots.
Despite COVID-19 getting its General Sherman on throughout the southeast, South Carolina is the only state that doesn't have a stay-at-home order in place, which is strange because it was the first Southern state to issue a stay-at-home order for its enslaved residents before the Civil War. Gov. Henry McMaster argues that the state is “unique," and I agree. That's why I don't want everyone choking to death in the streets like in The Omega Man.
It is the first one, duh obvs.
Hello! Welcome to Saturday if you did not know it was Saturday, and why would you? We hope you're keeping safe, and as always, if you need a hand, email me at rebecca at wonkette dot com, and let us know what we can do for you. That includes cash money, if you need it! Or if you need an ear, like our Wonk pal whose husband, a contractor, could not get home from the Middle East and then this week HE GOT HOME FROM THE MIDDLE EAST!!!1! oh where was this sentence going, RIGHT, if you need an ear, I GOT TWO OF EM.
Oh, she wrote such a beautiful letter, keening with hope and grief, and NOW SHE IS BETTER! How happy I am!
Now, as we do around these parts on Saturdays (really I am typing on Friday night, and if it is Saturday, which it is, I am off for the day except for bookkeeping and thank you notes, and just Robyn is in charge and mining away in the wonk mines for terrible stories to delight and outrage you), we count down the TOP 10 WONKETTE STORIES OF THE WEEK! We do this so you will have something to comment near, actually. Did you know in the Before Days Wonkette didn't exist on weekends? That is a true thing I just remembered.
MOVE YOUR ASS.
Coronavirus is trying to fuck with my looks, and that is not cool.
not just being vain just being vain, but I have to tell you something. After the election of Donald Trump, with the added stress of that, and with the sedentary nature of this job, and also with my own unhealthy choices, I gained some WEIGHT. Enough that I ended up with high blood pressure and was just generally #fat and #malaise. So I got on BookFace and scored multiple referrals to the celebrity doctor for celebrities here in town, and he's been kicking my ass and helping me fix it ever since. To date, I've hired a personal trainer, lost 40 pounds, gained a shit ton of muscle, and I am wearing clothes I have not worn since I was a young twinky gay boy who needed to eat a sandwich. Also my blood pressure is perfect.
And I've done this in the most boring-ass disappointing way possible: diet and exercise! (And no, there will be no before-and-after nakey pictures, fuck off.)
Anyway, then the gym closed because of the corona and oh my god, I have come too far to let some little pissant pandemic ruin all my hard work, fuck that.
Maybe you are in a similar situation. Maybe you exercised/worked out a lot! Maybe you exercised/worked out sometimes. Maybe you exercised/worked out not at all, but you've been totally thinking it would be a good idea to one day think about getting on YouTube and doing some searches for workout-type things you might want to do someday but not today.
NO JUDGY WUDGY! Wherever you are, I have been in the exact same place. And I am still new enough in my process that I find it literally fucking hilarious that I am the one writing you this article right now.
But I would encourage you to find time during this to move your ass. Because lemme tell you two other things I've struggled with in my life: sleep and depression. Guess what I do not struggle with anymore, for the most part? That stuff. I am pretty sure move your ass is a big part of why I'm doing OK on those fronts.
So, after a few or 96 weeks of quarantine, I lost count, I am going to tell you what I've found to replace what I was doing at the gym before (two sessions a week with the trainer, an extra strength training session on my own, and about three cumulative hours of hard cardio). You could get on the internet and buy a bunch of shit -- my best friend took the opportunity to set up an entire home gym in his spare bedroom -- but I ain't doin' that, at least not yet. All of my recs are for stuff you can do with little to no equipment at all.
I'm trying to do each of the following things about three times a week. My schedule isn't exact yet, but I'm sure after another 167 weeks of corn'tine, I'll have it perfect.
Jobless Floridians Will Starve Because Rick Scott Spent $77 Million On A Crappy Unemployment Website
It’s a shame lynch mobs violate social distancing guidelines.
Donald Trump's re-election prospects are grim and growing grimmer. He absolutely must win Florida and the state's 29 electoral votes to remain in the White House, stinking up the joint. That's hard to do when his bungling response to the coronavirus is leaving a pile of bodies across the sunshine state.
Florida currently has 9,585 confirmed coronavirus cases with 1,215 people hospitalized and 163 people dead. Republicans consider that a big problem because Republicans run the state. Gov. Ron DeSantis was trying to depict the virus as a New York problem just last week. But New York liberals didn't make him refuse to close the state's beaches or futz around before finally putting a stay-at-home order in effect Friday. That was his own dumb ass.
Unemployment is also hitting Florida hard, and thousands of jobless workers are struggling to apply for help through what passes for Florida's system. In fairness, this is an unprecedented surge in jobless claims that would tax even the most competent system, but Florida's system is grossly inadequate by design. An adviser to the governor calls it a “shit sandwich," and former Republican governor, Rick Scott, now their senator, is the turd chef.
And then the murders began.
"Fox & Friends" has been trending on Twitter today, as it often does. Usually we don't pay that much attention, because we figure Brian Kilmeade probably just somehow managed to accidentally get an opossum glued to his penis or something, and ain't nobody got time for that.
But today, it was because Dr. Anthony Fauci went on for an interview with the idiot couch, and oh boy, did he make them uncomfortable.
Fox News idiots have been pushing the malaria drug hydroxychloroquine as a miracle cure for the novel coronavirus for a while now, because Donald Trump has been pushing it as a miracle cure, while acknowledging that maybe it won't work. This led a couple in Arizona to eat fish tank cleaner with a similar name, and the husband died. The FDA has approved hydroxychloroquine and chloroquine to treat coronavirus, but not in the "this is the cure!" kind of way. What they approved was prescribing it "off label," which means it's a drug that's approved for something else (in this case it's an anti-malarial that's already been proven effective for rheumatoid arthritis and lupus), but they're saying it's OK for doctors to try it to treat coronavirus.
Which brings us to this morning's "Fox & Friends." The "Steve Doocy" dipshit referenced a "worldwide study" that found "37 percent of doctors" believed hydroxychloroquine was "THE most effective treatment against COVID-19." And just an hour ago, Doocy said, Dr. Oz was on "Fox & Friends," and let's play a clip of known World's Best Doctor Dr. Oz asking Dr. Fauci to say his opinion about a Chinese study on the wonder drug!
Fauci asked with a straight face, "You want my response to that?" OH YES HE DID. Because really, you want Dr. Fauci to respond to a medical question from Dr. Oz? Goddamn.
And then the murders began.
Trump can't do anything right or decently.
Presidential historians will likely agree that Donald Trump did fine work taunting his political enemies on Twitter, but he was less successful at the whole “leading the country" part of his job. The president's response to the coronavirus outbreak has only generated more chaos, a chief export of the Trump administration.
Governors are begging the federal government for much-needed help, and while Trump gets off on the begging, he's useless on the follow through. He thinks the states should fend for themselves. Instead of “The Buck Stops Here," his presidential motto is “Get Your Own Damn Ventilator."
From the New York Times:
"Respirators, ventilators, all of the equipment — try getting it yourselves," Mr. Trump told the governors during the conference call, a recording of which was shared with The New York Times. "We will be backing you, but try getting it yourselves. Point of sales, much better, much more direct if you can get it yourself."
That is not more direct. This is a national public health crisis, and it requires a coordinated response from the federal government. Forcing governors to mud wrestle for vital supplies isn't ideal. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo described the situation as "being on eBay with 50 other states, bidding on a ventilator."
And now CBS says it's worse than we knew.
GOP Missouri Gov. Will Protect Your God-Given Right To Shoot At Coronavirus, With Your Hidden Penis-Gun!
He's not gonna make you stay at home either.
Today, let's visit with Missouri Governor Mike Parson, who just does not think he should tell the state's residents to stay at home and try not to die of coronavirus:
Republican Gov. Mike Parson said he was not inclined to "make a blanket policy," adding, "It's going to come down to individual responsibilities."
Pull yourself up by your bootstraps and take some individual responsibility! What, you cannot do the bootstraps thing because you are coughing too hard of coronavirus? Oh well, hopefully some healing will trickle down upon you! Mike Parson does not fuckin' care.
The Missouri State Medical Association has been pleading with Parson for a statewide stay-at-home order. The pediatricians have been pleading. The nurses have been pleading. The mayors of the large cities have been pleading. But no dice yet. (They're reviewin' it, though! Maybe he will announce one late this afternoon at his briefing?)
On Thursday, Governor Parson did issue an executive order related to coronavirus. He just wanted to make sure that if your concealed-carry permit expires during this harrowing time, you will not get a fine for failing to renew it in a timely manner.
And people say GOP governors ain't on top of this!
Rollout of ‘Paycheck Protection Program’ expected to be a disaster.
Small businesses struggling to survive during the current economic crisis were promised relief through a $350 billion lending program, but like all promises that come from the Trump administration, you really need to check the fine print. Poor, put-upon banks are already sounding alarms that the "Paycheck Protection Program" (or is it the "Payroll Protection Program"?) is not dressed for success. The brain trust surrounding Donald Trump haven't come through with clear guidelines for the program and have set loan requirements that are simply “unworkable." (Having read the 31 pages of "guidance" from the SBA: They're actually not. All banks have to do, at the outside, is verify payroll reports for companies that have them, or revenues and expenses for sole proprietorships or self-employed people who don't. That's it. And they stand to make a killing.)
Ami Kassar, CEO of small business loan advisory firm MultiFunding, told CNBC Thursday that the banks just aren't ready for the program's launch on April 3, which is today.
KASSAR: I think it's going to be a mess for weeks.
JP Morgan Chase already informed customers Thursday that the bank "will most likely not be able to start accepting applications" on Friday. Get lost, deadbeats!
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