Does spray tanning cause brain damage? Asking for a suspiciously orange White House press secretary who just claimed the coronavirus pandemic has reached the stage of mere "embers that need to be put out" in the United States.

OH, YES SHE DID.

Here on Planet Earth, large swaths of the South and West are in the throes of a major COVID outbreak with tens of thousands of new infections being diagnosed every day. Like Vice President Mike Pence, McEnany touted the greater number of young people being diagnosed now that asymptomatic people can finally access tests, from which she infers that no one will ever die from COVID again. And leaving aside the inane assumption that young people can never infect their parents, grandparents, teachers, or people sitting next to them in restaurants, this is a debilitating virus with lots of other bad outcomes besides death. Remember March 11 when Utah Jazz player Rudy Gobert was diagnosed with coronavirus, the league canceled the entire season, and the country realized that OH, SHIT, THIS WILL BE BAD? Three months later, that guy still hasn't fully recovered.

Alright, let's run down those corona "embers," shall we? Maybe roast a marshmallow or two over the last flickers as we congratulate ourselves on a job well done?

Or ... maybe not?


Texas: On Fire

This weekend GOP Governor Greg Abbott acknowledged the obvious, that his state is in the middle of a "massive outbreak," with upwards of 5,000 new cases being diagnosed daily and a seven-day positivity rate of 14 percent. For comparison, the CDC says a positive test rate under five percent indicates successful containment efforts.

Abbott ordered bars to close and restaurants to limit capacity to 50 percent, and the University of Texas laid out a vastly modified plan for school to open in August. Anti-mask demonstrators paraded through the streets of Austin.

Dr. Deborah Birx shed the last remains of her credibility by commending the state on its "safe opening plan."

Really? REALLY?

Meanwhile, Houston's Texas Medical Center removed data from its website showing it was dangerously close to hitting ICU capacity for, uh, reasons. This is fine!

Arizona: On Fire

I got no jokes about Arizona, whose Republican governor Doug Ducey just conceded that perhaps local jurisdictions could mandate masks without running afoul of state law after all. Arizona had a seven-day positivity rate of 24 percent. There's nothing funny here, so let's move on to Florida, which is always hilarious.

Florida: On Fire

Oh, GOP Governor Ron DeSantis, you do not disappoint! While Kayleigh McHootenany is celebrating the nation's kids for taking up that viral load, Florida's governor is blaming them for his state's 15 percent positivity rate.

"You can't control ... they're younger people. They're going to do what they're going to do," he said yesterday. The governor also blamed Black Lives Matters protestors (of course!), complaining that "all of a sudden the social distancing took a back seat to social justice." Which ignores the fact that the spikes are occurring in places that rushed to reopen their bars, not places where thousands of people masked up and took to the streets to protest police violence. But, anyway, you tried!

And while DeSantis claims to be unable to control those crazy kids, he's not above nudging them in the right direction. Not by admitting his reopening strategy is a disaster and walking back his inane statements in May about having kicked COVID's ass, unlike those heathen libruls 1,200 miles up I-95. Don't be silly!

And he's not shutting down bars, either. He's just banning the sale of alcohol for on-premises consumption, which is completely different. Enjoy your frosty milkshakes down at the local malt shop, kids!

Not everyone in the Sunshine State has lost their damn mind, though. The city of Jacksonville just mandated masks for all public, indoor activities.

Hey, remember two weeks ago when Donald Trump stomped off in a huff after Democratic North Carolina Governor Roy Cooper refused to guarantee the RNC could hold a mask-free convention in a packed hall? Looks like President Superspreader might face the same problem in Florida. Because facts—and viruses!—don't care about your feelings!

Republicans are beyond parody. Mask up, assholes. The end.

[JHU Daily State-by-State Testing Trends]

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Liz Dye

Liz Dye lives in Baltimore with her wonderful husband and a houseful of teenagers. When she isn't being mad about a thing on the internet, she's hiding in plain sight in the carpool line. She's the one wearing yoga pants glaring at her phone.

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