We Need To Talk About How Trump Is Trying To Kill Us With 'Herd Mentality'

Rachel Maddow had one of those segments Wednesday night where she tied together a bunch of things in the news in such a way that by the end she was spitting mad, and we were just sitting there going "Oh fuck" when we realized precisely what she had tied together. You know, typical Rachel Maddow. And when we woke up this morning, we were still going, "Oh fuck."

So we thought we'd dive a little deeper into the stories she tied together, to see if we can't make you go "Oh fuck" too! (Not afraid to be service-y!)

You ready?

Donald Trump is trying to kill us.

Or at least over a million of us. Maybe three million. Or seven! Depends on which experts you talk to.

No, for real.

Let's look at the evidence!

The other night we all laughed and laughed as Trump told George Snuffleupagus that coronavirus was going to just miraculously go away, maybe with a vaccine, but maybe also just with "herd mentality," you know, because those are English words! "It would go away without the vaccine, George, but it's going to go away a lot faster with it," explained Dr. Trump. "With time it goes away." An incredulous Snuffleupagus noted that it would also go away with MANY DEATHS, and that's when Trump explained how "herd mentality" works. "It's going to be herd-developed, and that's going to happen," said Dr. Trump.

So that's one thing in the news.

Meanwhile, also earlier this week, the Russia-loving noted dumbfuck Michael Caputo, who had been serving as the spox for the Department of Health and Human Services, went on an unhinged rant about how the CDC is going to kill him with the shadows on his ceiling, and ended up finally taking "medical leave" until after the election, to care for his "lymphatics." (And maybe his paranoid delusions. And to run away from the shadows on the ceiling.) When that was announced, it was also announced that Dr. Paul Alexander, the part-time assistant perfesser from Canada Caputo brought on as his own personal medical adviser — because spokespeople always need those — would also be leaving FOREVER, and not just to care for his lymphatics.

Here's the thing about Paul Alexander. He doesn't like testing for coronavirus, not at all. He doesn't believe kids can be little grubby disease vectors for coronavirus. According to his emails, he doesn't even like testing college kids. He doesn't like stinky scientific "research" into coronavirus treatments, because it sometimes shows that whatever snake oil Trump is selling that day, like his Hydroxybonercream Trump Steak Sauce, doesn't work to treat coronavirus.

Alexander's big job at HHS seems to have been telling Dr. Anthony Fauci what to say on TV, as Fauci tried to actually treat America's pandemic.

So that's another thing in the news.

Meanwhile, there's been another quack-ass dipfuck doctor in the White House lately, man by the name of Dr. Scott Atlas, and he is just really into "herd mentality," though he swears he totally isn't. Like Alexander, he doesn't think kids can spread coronavirus, because of how he is an infectious disease expert a radiologist Trump saw on Fox News.

"A man who has the respect of everybody — he's highly respected by me and anybody on this subject. He's just the expert," said Trump about a month ago during one of his corona-pressers. "Dr. Scott Atlas is here from Stanford, and he's been working with us for a period of time. And I thought it would be great — he was saying things to me the other day. I said it would be great if you could tell that to the media."

According to good reporting, Atlas's job is to blow smoke up Trump's ass about how coronavirus is just going to wash through the population, and then one day like a miracle, it will go away. He reportedly wants America to do the "herd mentality" thing Sweden did, before Sweden figured out that was an unmitigated disaster. He seems to think it's great when young people get coronavirus, because that just helps with "herd mentality"! Unfortunately, the Washington Postreported just today that because of limits in testing, we still don't know just how much it spreads among young kids, though we can be sure high school and college kids are "petri dishes of infection," according to George Rutherford, a pediatrician who teaches epidemiology at the University of California San Francisco.

Of course, World Health Organization chief scientist Soumya Swaminathan estimated somewhere between 65 and 70 percent of us would have to get infected to get to "herd mentality." At a one percent death rate, that could mean 2.1 million dead Americans, or more.

Also, we don't actually know if people who have had COVID-19 actually develop long-range immunity to it. That could mess up "herd mentality," possibly. And beyond immunity, we don't know ANYTHING about longterm effects of the disease, except that people who didn't even seem to have any symptoms are just getting heart infections and whatnot. Even Megan McArdle, libertarian butt of many liberals' jokes, is being not dumb about it!

Atlas SWEARS ON THE BIBLE that he has not pushed Trump to just do "herd mentality." (Also says he knows the Earth is not flat and that the Sun is the center of the solar system.) We guess it's just a coincidence that Trump is out there babbling about letting everybody die of "herd mentality" all the time now.

Couldn't be that these two cockfucks Paul Alexander and Scott "Fox News Doctor" Atlas, two of the current biggest medical jokes in all of North America, are setting official American coronavirus policy or anything.

Except for how it looks like it IS policy now!

"Herd mentality." It's going to be "herd-developed." Everything will be FINE!

It'd be one thing if this was just Trump blowing out sounds with his mouth while actual experts were doing the actual work. But Democratic Rep. James Clyburn, who leads the House Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus, released some findings from his committee that show the Trump administration is literally telling states — states where coronavirus rates are going absolutely apeshit — to just keep calm and die of COVID-19.

On Wednesday, Clyburn sent a letter to Mike Pence and Dr. Deborah Birx, who apparently control the White House Coronavirus Task Force that maybe still exists, "raising concerns that the Task Force has weakened or retracted previous science-based recommendations in numerous states still in the 'red zone,' including states that failed to comply with previous Task Force recommendations."

Indeed, the administration:

  • Told Nebraska to do a statewide mask mandate on August 23. Changed its mind on September 6, the same day its own Task Force report found that Nebraska has the highest rate of new COVID-19 infections in the country.
  • Also dropped the mask recommendations for South Dakota and North Dakota, where coronavirus is going apeshit.

Masks? Who needs 'em! Definitely not states where the virus is running most rampant.

They just need some HERD MENTALITY. That's the snake oil Drs. Alexander and Atlas seem to have been selling, despite how Atlas is pounding his chest about NO HE NEVER!

We don't know her.

But wait! Aren't these two VERY ESTEEMED DOCTORS from very important places like Stanford and "some place in Canada"? Doesn't Atlas have "the respect of everybody," as Trump exclaimed? Is it possible they know a thing we don't?

Not likely.

As Maddow noted, both Stanford and McMaster universities have released statements or open letters in the past week, to clarify that WE DON'T KNOW HER.

Here's McMaster, commenting on Paul Alexander:

McMaster issued a statement Monday saying Paul Alexander graduated with a PhD in health research methodologies in 2015, but he's not on the payroll right now.

"He is not currently teaching and he is not paid by the university for his contract role as a part-time assistant professor," spokesperson Susan Emigh said in a statement.

"As a consultant, he is not speaking on behalf of McMaster University or the Department of Health Research Methods, Evidence and Impact." [...]

Lionel Mandell, professor emeritus in McMaster's division of infectious diseases, says he doesn't know Alexander and had never heard of him until American colleagues asked about him.

"He's not an infectious disease clinician or physician," Mandell said. "Certainly, if some of the comments attributed to him are in fact true, I think they are inappropriate."

Well then. "Yeah, um, we think he went to school here? Kinda lost track of him after that ... "

Meanwhile, Stanford doctors and researchers signed an open letter condemning Scott Atlas, which reads, in part:

To prevent harm to the public's health, we [...] have both a moral and an ethical responsibility to call attention to the falsehoods and misrepresentations of science recently fostered by Dr. Scott Atlas, a former Stanford Medical School colleague and current senior fellow at the Hoover Institute at Stanford University. Many of his opinions and statements run counter to established science and, by doing so, undermine public-health authorities and the credible science that guides effective public health policy.

And the letter goes on to confirm exactly what the science does say about coronavirus. Read it all, but the short version is that real doctors don't sit with that quack in the lunchroom.

In response to that Stanford open letter, former Trump lawyer Marc Kasowitz fired off a VERY MEAN lawyer letter accusing the Stanford folks of BESMIRCH STATEMENTS.

It's a good rule of thumb that when Donald Trump says somebody is "respected." It usually means the person is a double-digit IQ clownfucking loser he saw on TV, respected by no one.

Trump is trying to kill us.

No, for real.

We don't know if he actively desires to kill us, but we know he doesn't care if millions of Americans die, especially if they didn't vote for him. He says coronavirus will miraculously wash away like a miracle. The fact that it might miraculously wash away 2.1 million American human beings with it, well, Trump just doesn't give a shit unless it affects his own personal bottom line, because everything is about him. Plus, he thinks American soldiers who die in battle are loser sucker pussies, so he probably thinks the same of people who die of coronavirus, like a bunch of losers.

This is where we are.

Watch your Rachel:

[CBC / Stanford]

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the managing editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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