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Trump Announces Plan To Reopen America, SPOILER! There Is No F*cking Plan
Hey, anybody want to talk about coronavirus TESTING?
The Trump administration decided Thursday was the day it was going to release a list of helpful suggestions for how states should proceed in opening back up. We say "helpful suggestions," because that was all it was. After doing his lie-brags, Trump did a ribbon-cutting for the series of PowerPoint slides he was about to bequeath to the nation's governors:
TRUMP: Therefore, my administration is issuing new federal guidelines that will allow governors to take a phased and deliberate approach to reopening their individual states.
One thing that was notably absent in Trump's presentation was (most of) the language he's been using all week, about how he is the boss of the governors and he is the king of the world, and not one blade of grass moves in US America lest Donald Trump first commands it.
Like, there was a little of that language, of course:
TRUMP: Governors will be empowered to tailor an approach that meets the diverse circumstances of their own states. Every state is very different. They're all beautiful. We love them all, but they're very different.If they need to remain closed, we will allow them to do that.
LOL, OK, governors, you're "allowed." Stop doing jerkoff motions right now, American governors, that is very rude!
What's really happening with this list of helpful suggestions is that Trump is saying the federal government does not have your back, does not have a plan, and Trump is going to keep shirking his responsibility as president of the United States during a worldwide pandemic. But don't worry, if he starts feeling threatened again, he'll bring back the dictator talk TOOT SWEET.
Until then, you're on your own, governors, have fun!
Trump's guidelines, which were actually developed by the doctor experts Deborah Birx and Anthony Fauci and their team, offer three phases for reopening. The document says that in all phases, people should continue to wash their hands a lot and stop touching their fucking face, and if you're sick, don't be gallivantin' around.
Phase onewould continue social distancing and avoiding non-essential travel, still no Strip Jenga parties with more than 10 people, folks should keep trying to work from home, keep the schools and the bars closed, and so on. However, gyms, restaurants and "large venues" like churches and arenas could reopen, if they can do "strict physical distancing."
Phase twokeeps social distancing but adds non-essential travel as an allowed task. Schools can come back, gyms and restaurants and sporting arenas can stay open with "moderate" social distancing, and bars can reopen with "diminished standing room occupancy."
Phase threeis ROCK OUT WITH YOUR COCK OUT.
To even start this, Dr. Fauci said states should have to meet specific "gating" requirements to show they're ready to reopen, including a "downward trajectory" of new cases. And a lot of it has to do with being able to do robust TESTING, both of symptomatic and asymptomatic people, both the "Do I Have Coronas Now" tests and supposedly forthcoming antibody tests to see if you've had it in the past, which could start telling us about herd immunity with COVID-19.
POP QUIZ, AMERICA: Do we have those testing capabilities, or is the Trump administration full of shit? You know the answer.
MORE POP QUIZ, AMERICA: Does Trump's "plan" even have a testing plan? Hahahahahahahaha no. That is for the states to figure out! The Washington Post reports:
Senior administration officials said that although the federal government will try to facilitate access to tests, states and localities will be responsible for developing and administering their own testing programs.
Uh huh sounds great.
Here is what Trump said about testing in a call Thursday with America's governors, which was leaked to the Post :
"Testing is very interesting," Trump said, according to the audio recording obtained by The Post. "There are some states where I think you can do with a lot less testing than other people are suggesting."
Cool, there is no fucking plan.
Literally every public health and epidemiological expert says the only way societies can reopen is if they have a serious testing regime in place, to find and isolate the virus where it's found. What are all the CEOs Trump wants to pretend are part of his Yooge Classy Committee To Reopen America Bigly Task Force demanding? Testing! We need to be doing millions of tests per week. We are doing ... not that.
Here are two indicators of things we might learn more about if we did some fucking testing, beyond whatever piddly-ass thing we are doing now:
Firstly, did you know that on the USS Theodore Roosevelt , the aircraft carrier where the captain got fired for caring too much whether his people lived or died, fully 60 percent of the sailors tested so far who have pinged positive for COVID-19 are fully asymptomatic? Reuters reports that the Roosevelt is about 94 percent finished testing its 4,800 sailors, 600 or so have tested positive, and again, fully 60 percent are asymptomatic. And that's just among people who are currently testing positive for the virus, like right now. It says nothing about past exposure or the possibility of herd immunity forming.
We are not a scientific epidemiologist, but it seems like that tells us something about COVID-19.
The surgeon general of the Navy seems to agree:
"With regard to COVID-19, we're learning that stealth in the form of asymptomatic transmission is this adversary's secret power," said Rear Admiral Bruce Gillingham, surgeon general of the Navy.
Here's the second. In a Brooklyn hospital, they decided to test all the women delivering babies over the course of a couple weeks, to see if they had the coronas. Over 200 women were tested. The results? "Among the 33 patients who tested positive, 29 of them had no symptoms."
We are still not a scientific epidemiologist, but it seems like that also tells us something about COVID-19.
What it tells us is that a hell of a lot more people are getting this than people realize, it's more widespread than any of us possibly have any idea of, we still don't really know why certain people get sick and die while others slide right by, and we still have zero fucking clue where the virus really is.
Here is an actual expert on pandemics, Laurie Garrett, telling MSNBC host Lawrence O'Donnell about how much bullshit the White House's guidelines are. You should really watch it and follow her on Twitter, if you like things like THE COLD HARD TRUTH.
But sure, Donald Trump, cool helpful suggestions for re-opening America, five stars, would read that PowerPoint again and again, TREMENDOUS.
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