Shorter Dr. Fauci Senate COVID-19 Testimony: YIKES!
Dr. Anthony Fauci addressed the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee today, and it was a marathon of bad news. Americans have collectively bungled our response to the COVID-19 crisis, often in creatively stupid ways that alien civilizations will someday remark upon while exploring the ruins of a suburban Applebee's.
Americans might seem oblivious to our increasing peril like dinosaurs at the end of the Cretaceous Period, but Dr. Fauci is “very concerned," and not in the BS Susan Collins way. He's desperately trying to scare the stupid out of us.
DR. FAUCI: We are now having 40-plus-thousand new [COVID-19] cases a day. I would not be surprised if we go up to 100,000 a day if this does not turn around.
That's 3 million cases in just a month, and before you start throwing herd immunity pool parties, the current mortality rate is five percent. That's 150,000 people, which would exceed the 126,000 who've died already. Imagine the entire population of Bellevue, Washington, just vanishing in a single month. Now, maybe you don't like Bellevue, Washington. Maybe you care more about stocks and bonds than human lives, but you need to reconsider your economic theories if you think consumer confidence thrives during a death plague.
NEW: Dr. Fauci says he “would not be surprised” if the US has 100,000 new coronavirus cases a day “if this does not… https://t.co/2ObbKrRwBN— NBC News (@NBC News)1593534195.0
If you think we've made zero progress while stuck at home for the past four months, then you're overly optimistic. We've arguably made negative progress. Our contact tracing is for shit, because the Trump administration's resources are primarily devoted to getting the president to delete racist tweets. Recent case surges in Arizona, Florida, and Texas are evidence that those states reopened too soon, which jeopardizes the progress made in states with competent governors. People aren't following social distancing guidelines, and Dr. Fauci lamented video footage of people partying in large crowds, often without masks. Close gatherings in bars are especially stupid right now.
DR. FAUCI: What we saw were a lot of people who maybe felt that because they think they are invulnerable, and we know many young people are not because they're getting ... serious disease, that therefore they're getting infected has nothing at all to do with anyone else, when in fact it does.
It's not clear that Dr. Fauci is throwing shade on that malignant growth we call a president, but Trump is the guy who threw a big masks-optional hate rally in Tulsa, where no one social distanced worth a damn. Republicans and even Fox News hosts are starting to plead with the president to set an example and wear a damn mask. Tennessee Sen. Lamar Alexander opened the hearing with a desperate appeal to Trump's vanity.
ALEXANDER: The president has plenty of admirers ... They would follow his lead.
However, Kentucky Sen. Rand Paul, who actually had COVID-19 and passed it around the Senate, complained that Dr. Fauci was the worst dad ever: He just pushes us around! We never say anything! Well, Paul was going to take a stand.
Sen. Rand Paul accused Dr. Anthony Fauci and others of focusing too much on the risks at a Senate hearing on COVID-… https://t.co/V9hRotsdqW— NPR (@NPR)1593535751.0
PAUL: Every day, virtually every day, we seem to hear from you things we can't do ... All I hear, Dr. Fauci, is, "We can't do this. We can't do that. We can't play baseball."
The Constitution is clearly flawed because Paul said this out loud and is still a senator. The Founders screwed up when they didn't think to add a “too stupid to Senate" clause.
Dr. Fauci responded patiently to Paul's nonsense.
DR. FAUCI: I never said we can't play a certain sport. What happens is that people in the sports industry ask me opinions regarding certain facts about the spread of the virus, what the dynamics are. I give it and then it gets interpreted that I'm saying, "You can't play this sport." I agree with you. I am completely unqualified to tell you whether you can play a sport or not. The only thing I can do is, to the best of my ability, give you the facts and the evidence associated with what I know about this outbreak.
Yes, Dr. Fauci just told a Senate committee that America's looking at unprecedented numbers of civilian deaths in the coming weeks but he somehow got lectured about baseball.
There was some good news today. During his “Trump is killing us all" speech today, Joe Biden promised to keep Dr. Fauci on during his administration — and even listen to him! Biden should go ahead and just put Dr. Fauci on the ticket. There's room for three! Have you looked outside? We need all the help we can get.
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Stephen Robinson is a writer and social kibbitzer based in Portland, Oregon. He writes reviews for the A.V. Club and make believe for Cafe Nordo, an immersive theatre space in Seattle. He's also on the board of the Portland Playhouse theatre. His son describes him as a “play typer guy."