I watched the press conference today; NBC cut away from it when Barr started speaking after Trump. NBC is calling out Trump for implying that he’s going to end keeping people away from work. He’s repeating the line that “The cure shouldn't be worse than the disease.”
Trump droned through the ‘briefing’ like a zombie. He issued lie after lie, and stuff that was frightening. Here’s a sample.
- Nobody could have predicted anything like this. (Wrong)
- Plenty of supplies are on the way. (Nope)
- Vaccines will be here Real Soon Now… (Sure they will)
- He called this a medical problem, doesn’t want it to become an economic problem.
- Promised the government will go after hoarding and price gouging.
- He was talking as though he plans to lift the social distancing — shelter in place guidelines at the end of the 15 days.
- He’s still pushing the drugs as ready to go right now.
There was so much disinformation and Trump phrasing (Incredible!) it was hard to watch.
(Is it a coincidence that the timing on this had the Network cutting away before anyone could start asking questions?)
It looked like Trump was accompanied by just these people: AG Barr, VP Pence, Birx, and possibly the Surgeon General (just off screen.)
Missing: Dr. Anthony Fauci — that alone should set off alarms
The lead story on the NBC nightly news immediately following was that the critical medical supplies are running out.
Unemployment surges was next.
The fight for a relief bill on Capitol Hill was next. They do mention the secret slush fund the GOP tried to slip in for Mnuchin. Also Rand Paul being an asshole…
First story after the break: The U.K. is on lock-down and things are bad in Spain and Italy… China is worried about recontagion from outside.
Oh, and Charlie Pierce picks up on the other reason it’s scary to see Barr standing there.
It was announced in the middle of Monday afternoon that Attorney General William Barr would be attending the Monday meeting of the Coronavirus SuperFriends. Undoubtedly, this was in response to a major scoop by Betsy Woodruff Swan over the weekend in Politico.
Documents reviewed by POLITICO detail the department’s requests to lawmakers on a host of topics, including the statute of limitations, asylum and the way court hearings are conducted. POLITICO also reviewed and previously reported on documents seeking the authority to extend deadlines on merger reviews and prosecutions...In one of the documents, the department proposed that Congress grant the attorney general power to ask the chief judge of any district court to pause court proceedings “whenever the district court is fully or partially closed by virtue of any natural disaster, civil disobedience, or other emergency situation.”
The proposal would also grant those top judges broad authority to pause court proceedings during emergencies. It would apply to “any statutes or rules of procedure otherwise affecting pre-arrest, post-arrest, pre-trial, trial, and post-trial procedures in criminal and juvenile proceedings and all civil process and proceedings,” according to draft legislative language the department shared with Congress. In making the case for the change, the DOJ wrote that individual judges can currently pause proceedings during emergencies but that their proposal would make sure all judges in any particular district could handle emergencies “in a consistent manner.”
Essentially, habeas corpus is over for the duration of the emergency if this goes through. Someone can be arrested and held indefinitely without trial.
If we don’t get rid of these people ASAP, we’re screwed. They really need to stop covering these — they’re worse than useless.
Update 2: What Digby Sez
Digby: If I’m reading the tea leaves correctly it appears Trump plans to announce that he has personally cured the virus with hydroxychloroquine, the epidemic is pretty much over and everything can now go back to normal. Because he wants that to be true:
.@KaitlanCollins: “You said it’s likely going to be weeks, not months, before you suggest easing these guidelines...Have any of the doctors on your team told you that’s the right path to pursue?”
TRUMP: “If it were up to the doctors, they would say let’s keep it shut down.”
Me: IF IT WERE UP TO THE DOCTORS?!?!??? WTF!!!
Read the Whole Thing.
Oh, and Texas Lt. Governor Dan Patrick is calling on Grandma and Grandpa to be willing to die to save the economy for Trump. This is one way the GOP can cut Social Security and Medicare — by going after “the demand side.” It’s a Two-For.
Update 3: Listening to Trump can get you killed.
An Arizona man has died and his wife is in intensive care after attempting to self-medicate with chloroquine phosphate in an effort to protect themselves from the novel coronavirus, NBC News reported on Monday.
The woman who survived told NBC News that the couple got the idea to take chloroquine phosphate—also known simply as chloroquine—from President Donald Trump’s televised coronavirus task force briefings, in which he has touted the potential benefits of the drug in the fight against the coronavirus. Although epidemiologist and coronavirus task force member Anthony Fauci clarified to journalists that the evidence for chloroquine’s efficacy was “anecdotal,” Trump’s endorsement has already caused serious problems. Since he mentioned the drug, there has been a run on pharmaceutical supplies and two overdoses in Nigeria. Chloroquine phosphate is also used as a treatment for fish, and the Arizona couple had it on hand because they once had koi.
Update 4: I can’t keep up! The entire conservative movement has now seized on the idea that “The cure shouldn’t be worse than the disease” and they are calling for human sacrifice to save their stock portfolios. The GOP is a death cult. Charlie Pierce documents the atrocities.
You can see it glowing in the fried dough of his face. Not only does El Caudillo del Mar-a-Lago want to “reopen the country,” as he put it in his Fauci-less meeting of the Coronavirus SuperFriends on Monday night, he wants to do it with parades and banners and buntings and fireworks, the whole ceremony celebrating himself, the Wartime President who apparently is adapting George Aiken’s solution for Vietnam to the current pandemic crisis. He wants to declare victory and get out.
However, it’s not just the president*. Over the past couple of days, the response in certain quarters has turned ghoulish. Quite simply, it is becoming a kind of revealed wisdom on the right that we’re going to have to take some casualties—especially among we Olds—to get the economy moving again. The editorial page of The Wall Street Journal pointed the way, as it has on so many soulless conservative projects since the Reagan days, gently hinting that some sort of balance has to be struck between public health and the health of the economy. This is not an unreasonable discussion for reasonable people to have at some point. Unfortunately, it engaged that spark-gap in the presidential* cortex that makes him glom onto any passing idea and ransack it for something that will make him look good. (See also: chloroquin). And once the president* started sharing this view, the other, lesser maniacs in the ranks of Republican politicians threw open the afterburners.
More at the link, if you can get past the paywall.
Tuesday, Mar 24, 2020 · 7:10:47 PM +00:00
Update 5: (Yeah, I’m getting tired of changing the headline.) Two Party Opera has a devastating take on Trump’s Town Hall press conference. It’s a large graphic, not something I can quote from. Here’s the link: www.twopartyopera.com/…
Here’s what the author/artist Brian Carroll has to say:
Thanks to everyone for your patience on the comics – I went right from the end of the campaign right into COVID-19 response through my role as President of the Studio City Neighborhood Council, so this comic is basically most of the jokes I’ve been writing about this thing to keep me sane.