The Washington Post has a columnist this morning touting the great job Republican governors are doing handling their outbreaks of covid, and as proof he offers the death rates from “blue states” in April versus the current death rates from “red states” now.
This is called cherry-picking information, and while all of us do this to some extent, it seems pretty irresponsible, even in an opinion column, to ignore something as basic as a timeline.
There appear to be several factors for fewer deaths now (although they are still ratcheting up at an appalling rate), including a better understanding of this “novel” virus and the part where the spread now seems to be among younger populations, populations that while still susceptible are not as vulnerable as elders. Although a healthy 9-year-old recently died of the virus in Florida, the state’s youngest victim to date.
But when it comes to cherry-picking, this columnist has nothing on his hero, the alleged president of the United States.
I know; I took the president to task yesterday. But it was either complain about my latest attempt to support local restaurants, which I think I just need to give up on, or share my bemusement at the readiness of the leader of what used to be the world’s lone superpower to reach for the biggest quacks around.
[All right, since you didn’t ask: I decided I wanted hamburgers for dinner, and because Lynn had gone back to work until late, I suggested getting them at the Gunnison Pizza Company. Yes, I said that: the best burger in town belongs to a pizza joint.
Gunnison Pizza now even offers a very slick on-line ordering system that worked flawlessly, and the burgers, as always, were quite tasty. But in between those points I had to go get the food. No one was masked, including the counter clerk; there were none of the required signs posted, requiring masks and social distancing; I didn’t go look, but I’ll bet there’s no log o’ cleanliness posted near the restrooms. I’m not going back, and if the Sanitization Squad shows up to inspect Pat’s, I’m going to respectfully suggest there are bigger fish to fry.]
Ask a stupid question: yesterday, before he walked out of his own news conference because his feelings got hurt yet once again, the alleged “commander in chief” wanted to know why Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx are more popular than he is.
Forget everything else about this presidency, and all the names and ages ascribed to this pretender: in the middle of a raging, uncontrolled pandemic, where even places worldwide that had it under control are starting to see upticks; with the city of Portland waiting for one final match to explode it and the attorney general doubling down on justifications for attacking fellow Americans, but not the Americans who show up to protests with automatic weaponry making threats against duly-elected politicians; with hurricanes and tropical storms bearing down on all sorts of coasts — he wants to know why he’s not as popular as the cool kids.
Does that really sound mentally healthy to you? Especially when the answer should be painfully obvious? He eventually answered his own question: “It can only be my personality.”
Or, there’s this remote possibility: since Corona came to this country, Dr. Fauci has been giving the American people information to the best of his knowledge, which comes from a basis of science and medicine, and a lifetime of experience in this field. Dr. Birx, who initially liked to say we could learn from this experience and be better prepared for “the next time,” eventually dropped her efforts to please a man who can’t be pleased and has ever since been asking the American people to adopt behaviors that will help mitigate the virus.
Let’s contrast that with someone who just isn’t interested in this virus at all and makes no effort to hide this tiny fact, despite his prominence on the national stage. Some might argue it is his duty to look after the American people and “promote the general welfare,” but he seems to regard the office as something to offer him big parades and high ratings. which is probably the only reason Dr. Fauci hasn’t yet been fired: he draws “big ratings.”
What this small mind can’t comprehend is there are ratings for newsworthy events, and then there are the train wrecks you can’t look away from, spectacle so absurd you wonder, “How did we ever sink this low?”
Last week, right after he denied there was a problem, campaign manager Brad Parscale was replaced at the top of the re-relection campaign by Bill Stepien. Between the new guy and KellyAnne Conway, who successfully won the presidency in 2016, they decided more gravitas toward the virus was needed.
So they fired up the daily presidential briefings on the virus once again. While they got “good ratings” the first time around, they also allowed the American public acute insight to the president’s lack of interest in this nationwide crisis, along with the very stable jenius’ (J stands for Jenius, remember) medical assertions, like we should all drink bleach and shine lights into our alimentary canals from one end or the other.
Eventually, it sunk in to the pebble-sized presidential brain that people were laughing at him and while maybe ratings were high, poll numbers weren’t so good, so the briefings stopped.
Somehow, though, new campaign people reasoned, IF they could keep the president on their script (written probably much as every term paper ever done on behalf of the man who would never grow up but somehow became president), he would sound concerned about this virus and encourage his fellow citizens to take necessary precautions to mitigate it.
This might have worked, had the world stopped on Friday. But it didn’t, and the president was left alone too long with social media feeds and his phone. Into the breach walked Stella Immanuel.
Apparently she’s a licensed pediatrician in Houston, not that I would ever encourage anyone to take their kids to see her, and she has a side gig as a minister, not of any mainstream church.
At a guess, the president stopped listening as soon as he heard her, a presumed medical person because she was wearing a white doctor’s coat, call hydroxychloroquine “a cure” for covid. And maybe because she doesn’t like masks any more than he does. But he missed the part about diseases of the reproductive organs being caused by “sexy dreams” which are really visitations by incubi or succubi. Or the part where her fellow medical professionals use alien DNA in their pharmaceuticals (but not hydroxycholorquine, I’ll bet).
So one minute at his press conference the president is touting how respected this doctor is as she floats his favorite cure-all — and then the next minute he is leaving abruptly after a reporter asks about the alien DNA. Which is a shame, because that’s when the conversation could have gotten interesting.
“I know nothing about her,” he said of the woman who a mere minute before was a “highly respected doctor.”
Here’s what Anderson Cooper had to say: “Kind of makes you miss Chuck Woolery, doesn’t it?”
Yeah, I just have no idea at all why people would favor Drs. Fauci and Birx over someone who turns on every dime he steps on. Just no idea at all.