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Trump, putting Profit Motive and Reelection over Public Health, Undermining Coronavirus Social Distancing Strategy

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Another important issue is that the cases and deaths we're seeing now reflect the infections of two weeks ago. Things are not settling down, and won't the exponential growth is already baked in.

Some 12 percent of those who are infected seem to need to go hospital, and in the exponential model nearly a million Americans would need a ventilator over the course of the outbreak. There are about 170,000 ventilators in the US, so the only hope those million Americans have is not to all get sick at once.

Not having everyone get sick at once is the point of social isolation or South Korea-style contact tracing, which slows down the doubling rate of the exponential progression.

So if Trump is so antsy to get people back to work, he should look into the South Korea model and quickly and vastly ramp up the production and distribution of test kits so we can figure out who has been exposed and just have them do the quarantine. Of course it is rather late for that, but better late than never.

But I have a sinking feeling that Trump is going to do nothing about ramping up test kit production. Some allege he wants to make sure the Kushners' firm makes the test kits and earns the money off them, hence the delays.

Certainly, the cure is not worse than the disease, in the sense that a deep economic recession such as we had in 2008 is not worse that losing two million dead (the upper end estimate of some medical modellers). But I also have a sinking feeling that the billionaires have crunched the numbers and decided that the loss of 2 million elderly Americans would be worth it for their bottom line.

I think they are wrong about this, because you can't have a normal economy if the pandemic is running wild, anyway. But they are used to getting what they want, and are contemptuous of the lives of the little people which is why they have striven so hard to destroy Obamacare so as to save themselves from having to pay taxes for it.

Trump, in other words, combines in himself the worst dimensions of plutocracy and looniness, and the American people will rue the day they decided to give him the levers of power for the whole country.

Bonus video:

Trump Fact-Checked By Top Doctor: Virus Cases Rising For Weeks To Come | The Beat With Ari | MSNBC

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Juan Cole is an American academic and commentator on the modern Middle East and South Asia.  He is Richard P. Mitchell Collegiate Professor of History at the University of Michigan. Since 2002, he has written a weblog, Informed Comment (more...)

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2 people are discussing this page, with 2 comments  Post Comment

Charles Homer

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Here is an article that examines death statistics from normal seasonal influenza:

click here

Governments around the world are using a faulty and incomplete data set to suspend the rights of their citizens to freedom of movement, engineering a "health crisis" to justify their control over all of us through the coercive use of fear.

Submitted on Wednesday, Mar 25, 2020 at 12:23:00 PM

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Marta Steele

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He's just trying to thin out the population, but unfortunately the virus is class-blind. Bonny Prince Charlie reportedly just came down with it.

Unfortunately, it's not just seniors being infected. And how dispensable are we really? A study should be done, beyond entitlements, which are lifelong earnings.

Thank you for a great contribution!

Submitted on Wednesday, Mar 25, 2020 at 4:19:19 PM

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