Whatever It Is, It’s Getting Worse

The New York Times reports that covid-19 testing sites are overwhelmed, especially in the West and South.

Coronavirus testing sites in Arizona, Florida and Texas have become a source of tension and risk, with numerous residents waiting in long lines, and others being turned away as sites reached capacity. Crowding is raising the risk of infection as people rush to the front of the line at some centers.

Residents of these and other hard-hit U.S. states are turning out in droves to get tested as the virus continues its surge across the South and West, threatening to overwhelm areas that until recently were spared the worst of the pandemic.

“Pushing, yelling, ZERO social distancing enforced,” one Houston resident wrote on Twitter. Two testing sites at Houston stadiums reached capacity just hours after opening on Saturday, according to the local health department. The city’s mayor, Sylvester Turner, has said that intensive care units there are nearly at capacity.

Elsewhere in Texas, Stefano West drove more than an hour from Killeen to Austin to find a testing site, noting that few were available closer to him. He said he then waited about four and a half hours in his car at the site.

Oh, and there’s this:

Nationwide, coronavirus cases have risen 65 percent over the past two weeks.

On Thursday, Trump was in Wisconsin bragging about how great the testing is.

“We have the greatest testing program in the world,” said President Trump. “We’ve developed it over a period of time and we’re up to almost 30-million tests. That means we’re going to have more cases. Deaths are down. We have one of the lowest mortality rates. We’ve done an incredible, historic job.”

That same day, some GOP senators pushed back on the Trump administration plan to end support for testing sites. So, apparently, that really was the plan, even though Trump himself vacillated all last week between saying yes, he wanted to close sites and no, he was just kidding. More recently Trump agreed to extend federal support for testing sites, in Texas. Elsewhere, who knows?

He’s still claiming that there are more cases only because there are more tests, notice. There has been an increase in the percentage of tests coming back positive, meaning that the real number of cases is going up, not just that more cases we wouldn’t have known about are being diagnosed.

I hate to say it, but it’s entirely possible that in a month or two we’re all be back in shelter-in-place mode. Some of us never left, of course.

The one decisive thing Trump did last week to address the pandemic was to suspend work visas, stopping foreigners from entering the country to take or seek jobs. (See: Barn, horse out of.)  He’s still thinking in terms of the virus being a foreign thing that can be locked out.

Meanwhile, a number of other news outlets have confirmed the story about Russia paying bounties to the Taliban to kill U.S. troops. Trump denies that he was ever briefed. People who have worked for previous administrations say of course he was briefed. It’s always possible that Trump was briefed but wasn’t paying attention, or that the people who do the briefing have just plain given up trying to tell him anything and just show him cartoons.

On the other hand, Juan Cole writes that it doesn’t make a lot of sense for Russia to pay the Taliban to kill American soldiers, considering that Russia wants the U.S. to stay in Afghanistan. And that Trump has already pledged to leave Afghanistan. Professor Cole speculates that Russia wanted to piss off Americans so they would stay in Afghanistan.


8 thoughts on “Whatever It Is, It’s Getting Worse

  1. (See: Barn, horse out of.)

    LMAO! That's like a military nomenclature.

    Have you seen the video of Ron Desantis taking his covid-19 victory lap? Talk about getting some egg on your face. If things get any worse here in Florida they'll soon be wheeling carts through the streets and calling out…Bring out your dead!

  2. Bill Maher figured out a great way to get tRUMP to wear masks on his face:

    Get masks that look like Putin's ass!


  3. One more yuck-yuck for luck:

    A young woman works for tRUMP at the White House, and this one day, when she shows-up for work, she sees the president*, and says to him:

    "Oh, Mr. President, I had this great dream last night.  The best, the best one I ever had – and you were in it – so I wanted to tell you about it! 

    So everyone in DC was having this huge party.   People were all over!  There were decorations and streamers on the streets.  And there were bands all over!  Free food and drinks!  And the people – black, white, brown, and, well… All of them!  They were all smiling, laughing, cheering!  There were children dancing in the streets – and adults too!  The kids had balloons! Oh, it was great!"

     tRUMP:  " And you say I was there?"

     "Oh YES!, Mr. President!"

     tRUMP:  "So how did I look?  How'd my hair look?"

     "I don"t know.  It was a closed-casket."


    I'll be here all…  Well, with this tRUMP Plague…  I'll be here until, well… Whenever…  So, tell your friends!

    Don't forget to tip!

    And try the T-bone!!!!!



    • Lincoln had a dream in which he saw himself in a casket shortly before his death. 

      Wonder if Trump dreams or has nightmares.

  4. My shrink always asks, "Its news to you that there are lots of creeps and idiots?"

    People talk about privilege and it occurs to me that I've had that, I've never been tyrannized in such an essential way, where my personal safety, along with the possibility of economic devastation, feels so immediately dependent upon the arbitrary whims of so many mixed up people.  And I say that as a gay man born in the 50s.

    So many people are hurting economically, emotionally, from the lock down, and yeah, many of us haven't really left it, because people are fighting the symbolism of empathy and wholesomeness.  Ouch, ouch, ouch.

  5. Trump's response to the Coronavirus pandemic reminds me of a sign that my dentist had posted on his office wall.. Are your teeth bothering you? Just ignore them and they'll go away. That's the same mentality that Trump is trying to convince the American public to believe about the pandemic. According to his logic it's just going to go away and disappear.. Which makes sense in some respects. Like what ever happened to the Bubonic plague? As far as I know it just magically disappeared.*

    * well, maybe not, I see it still likes to make the rounds every so often.


  6. So I read in reports this morning that Trump is accusing Biden of false ads.  The classic case of the pot calling the kettle black as we once could say but now should avoid just because it sounds racist.  We need a new replacement so I suggest it is like Trump calling Biden a liar or perhaps Trump calling the Pope a paragon of immorality.

    Let us take Trump's quote about Covid -19 testing.  What a whopper.   The big lie of propaganda theory, which to the hoi polloi is misjudged as a lesser lie than a little lie or at least a more believable one.  Is it not possible that the big lie theory is a big lie itself?  It is in my world.

    “We have the greatest testing program in the world,” said President Trump.  This is a conclusion not a stand alone statement.  To be a complete thought it must contain more information.  When it comes from the mouth  of a pathological liar it needs to be rated immediately as a highly suspect statement.  It presumes the one stating the opinion knows all other testing programs in the world.  This is the guy who claims he did not know about the bounty on our troops in Afghanistan.  Oh!, the cognitive dissonance that should generate.  Would you believe that he was so busy studying all the world testing programs he missed that data point?  Not quite that gullible, you say, we all hope.

    The truth is, of  course, that testing in the U.S. is seriously flawed and has been from day one.  First it was late, really late.  Then it was full of problems, problems in both reliability and validity.  Cost and availability have always and remain as chronic problems.  It is difficult to administer, and results are slow.  These well publicized facts.  Facts that do not support Trump's stand alone statement of our 'greatest in the world' testing program.  You hear with your brain not your ears.  Hearing aids do not improve a defective brain in acquisition, retention, or processing of information, especially information one does not want to hear.  Nor does it know if one's senses have ever been or not been exposed to information contrary to it's rabbit hole mentality.  That is just the inner world of the cerebrally challenged.  

  7. Its pretty much dawned on all of them, from Trump to Hannity to McConnell, our own Axis of Evil, that the Fuhrer is on track to lose in November.  Shutting down testing, allowing Putin to put bounties on our soldiers in Afghanistan without response, invalidating the ACA at a time when health care is needed by more people, all of it sounds like part of a scorched earth approach, that if we can't win we're going to leave "them" e.g. the rest of us, as bad off as possible.

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