Flynn Lied…….He Admitted it in Court

Here’s the tell. The Justice Department’s new position isn’t that Mr. Flynn didn’t lie — that couldn’t be its position, because he did lie, and he admitted in federal court that he lied. Instead, the new filing argues that it was wrong for the F.B.I. to interview him in the first place. Look carefully at who the villain becomes in that narrative: not Mr. Flynn for lying, but the F.B.I. for asking the questions to which he lied in response.”

“And there’s a second tell. If the goal was just to shield Mr. Flynn, Mr. Trump could simply have pardoned him. That would have been a regrettable abuse of the pardon power — but at least it would have left Mr. Trump owning the decision and would have spared the Justice Department of the patent, destructive corruption that its new filing represents. But that didn’t happen — because institutional destruction isn’t collateral damage for Mr. Trump. It’s the very goal.”

Medicynical note: Lying to a federal investigator is a crime. Flynn lied and even apologized in court for doing it.

But then lying is standard procedure for this administration. Barr’s actions are appalling but not surprising.

It’s not one Epidemic

And yet, forecasters are projecting even more deaths on the horizon. A leaked document obtained by The New York Timesprojected more than 3,000 people could die each day by the end of May. Another historically conservative model, favored by the Trump administration, just doubled its projected death toll, too.”

“The tail-end of the national epidemic is not materializing.”

Medicynical note: Interesting set of curves explain the status of the coved-19 epidemic in the U.S. it’s not one epidemic. Read the article!

Hobson’s Choice: No Organization vs Dis-organization

“Trump administration officials are telling members and staff of the coronavirus task force that the White House plans to wind down the operation in coming weeks despite growing evidence that the crisis is raging on, Maggie Haberman reports.”

“It is not clear whether any other group might replace the task force. But its gradual demise, which officials said might never be formally announced, would only intensify the questions about whether the administration is adequately organized to address the complex, life-and-death decisions related to the virus and giving adequate voice to scientists and public health experts in making policy.”

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Medicynical note:  He’s running it like his bankrupt businesses.  Declaring his great successes (sic) while killing off his stockholders. 

With the Federal Government in Trumpian truth deprived disorganization, there is not going to be much difference in the already disastrous outcome.

Ignorance is no Excuse

Nancy Messonnier a CDC infectious disease expert stated on February 25: “We are asking the American public to work with us to prepare in the expectation that this could be bad.”

She went on to say: “Ultimately, we expect we will see community spread in this country. It’s not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but rather more a question of exactly when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illness.”

Trump not only ignored the warning but removed her from her spokesperson duties. He refused to believe science.

President Trump’s motivation in dismissing for the longest time the severity of the virus was not religiosity, it was political — wanting to be re-elected. But his denial of scientific facts was even more shocking. On March 12, in a meeting with the Irish Prime Minister, Trump bragged: “I mean, think of it: the United States, because of what I did and what the administration did with China, we have 32 deaths at this point. Other countries that are smaller countries have many, many deaths. Thirty-two is a lot. Thirty-two is too many. But when you look at the kind of numbers that you’re seeing coming out of other countries, it’s pretty amazing when you think of it.””

Medicynical note: And now even Donald is predicting 100,000 or so deaths in the U.S. and implying that he was heroic somehow. This in the face of his blatant negligence and politization of the event.

And by the way it was not a media hoax or somehow a democratic plot. It’s a real disaster, aggravated by a science denying wanna-be despot.

Trump’s Goal– Increase Shipping Costs for Consumers and Businesses

With the Postal Service reeling from the financial impactof the coronavirus pandemic, the Trump administration last week set an ultimatum for the agency to hike its package and shipping prices before it receives a $10 billion loan guaranteed under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES Act).”

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Medicynical Note:  The Trump/Bezos vendetta has the potential to affect the jobs of 600,000 voting employees of the postal service.    Add a couple of  voting dependents and relatives for each of these threatened employees and you have almost 2 million Biden voters.  It might even approach 3 million people whose vote is affected by Trump’s animosity towards the vital services offered by the U.S. Postal Service.

Consider, as well, that the average citizen uses any number of on-line merchants for vital goods and medications.  All of their shipping costs…..and prices will be forced up by Trump.  Thats another million or two Biden voters there.  Good work Donald, keep it up, we’re counting on you. 

 

We Were Warned

And the Trump administration has gone further—not only underfunding these efforts but also proposing steep spending cuts year after year to institutions, such as the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, that are tasked with handling outbreaks. Congress has resisted these efforts in the bills Trump has ultimately signed, but the president’s requests have nevertheless spoken to his priorities. His budget proposal for fiscal year 2021, released in February when the coronavirus outbreak had already reached the United States, called for the CDC’s overall funding to be slashed by hundreds of millions of dollars. The administration did suggest more resources for certain subsets of the CDC’s work relevant to the current crisis. Each of those increases, however, is less than the Trump administration devoted in its 2021 budget proposal to counter Chinese and Russian propaganda and disinformation, and a small fraction of the additional $459 million the administration wished to pour into offensive hypersonic weapons. (But what’s $459 million when you’re spending billions on them already?)”

Medicynical note: Read the entire piece, it’s a good summary.

Denial is part of some disease processes. But in this case the denial was manifested by our lack of preparation for a inevitable event. The U.S. Government, once a force in world health over the years minimized, to itself, the risk of a serious outbreak. We decimated our resources through ignorance and budget cuts and lost influence in the world over several presidential administrations. Neither party is without blame but the republicans have taken the lead in both congress and the executive branches, in gutting expertise.

I’m unsure whether a democratic administration would have resulted in fewer deaths. But at least if they were running the show their would have been fewer and perhaps more clever falsehoods and certainly more reliance on science.

Vaccine in a Year? A Long Shot

There are more than 70 COVID-19 vaccine efforts globally, at least; with so many, it’s reasonable to be optimistic that we will have a vaccine in somekind of record time frame. There are even a few that are posed to break the record: one from a company called Moderna that began trials in humans in March (this is the one that Fauci is referring to in his estimates), one from a group at Oxford that claims it could even have doses available by fall. Yes, it says it might even have some doses by the fall.”

“”The thing to note with the timeline is people often caveat it with a statement, ‘if everything goes perfectly,’ ” says Matthew Watson, an analyst at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. “I think that’s really important to pay attention to. Things rarely go perfectly.””

Medicynical note: it’s an unprecedented effort but a lot can go wrong.