Code Blue America: Citizens Dying On Trump’s Lazy Learning Curve

The nation craves a plan, not hunches.

—  Thomas Friedman, New York Times (3/26/20


“We don’t need a backup. We need a Tom Brady.

— Washington Gov. Jay Inslee (D-WA) criticizing Trump’s “backup” role (3/26/20)


“I’ve asked repeatedly and respectfully for help. We need it. No more political attacks, just PPEs, ventilators, N95 masks, test kits.”

“You said you stand with Michigan — prove it.”

— Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer (D-MI) responding to Trump questioning if the “young, a woman governor…knows what’s going on”.

By Dan Peak
Commoner Call (3/30/20)

Dear Fellow Readers,

It’s important to note that Governors Inslee (D-WA) and Whitmer (D-MI) both were subjected to ridicule and criticism by Trump for commenting on how his bumbling COVID-19 response is affecting their states. Trump’s response has been slow, poor and defensive, putting people at risk and he compensates by lashing out at critics and journalists asking questions.

Two metrics that suggest we are still on an upward trajectory: 1) COVID-19 deaths in the US surpassed 2,000 on Saturday, a doubling in two days, and ;2) New York state represents half of the US deaths and is currently the hottest hot spot in the world. It makes me wonder if we aren’t still early in the exercise of coming to terms with COVID-19.

Politico offers: Two better ways to chart the spread of coronavirus 

The sad news presented is that the US is reporting one new confirmed case of COVID-19 every 8 seconds compared to Spain at 12 seconds and Italy at 17 seconds.

There is a case to be made Trump’s failure to act has exacerbated the risk. The Guardian offers this headline:

The coronavirus is the worst intelligence failure in US history

A week ago I reported the Washington Post article that quoted a US official, “the system was blinking red”.

The article points out that multiple people and agencies sounding the alarm could not get Trump’s attention, but also Trump surrounds himself with people who thinks like he does so any Trump “incorrect assumption or statement” results in poor policy and delays.

Similarly, a Politico headline offers:

Inside the White House during ’15 Days to Slow the Spread’

The first COVID-19 case in the US was confirmed on January 26. On February 24 Trump tweeted his assurance “the Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. … Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”

The Politico article walks through the confusion from the White House once they finally decided to take the virus seriously – and even then, not until mid-March.

The New York Times shares a similar review:

The Lost Month: How a Failure to Test Blinded the U.S. to Covid-19

I’ll leave this with the sub-head: “Aggressive screening might have helped contain the coronavirus in the United States. But technical flaws, regulatory hurdles and lapse in leadership let it spread undetected for weeks.”

Or more directly from the Guardian:

The missing six weeks: how Trump failed the biggest test of his life

You get the point; but there are models of excellence, presented here, crediting global examples:

A global guide to combating the coronavirus

Sadly, this Huffpost article makes the case that authoritarians like Trump are

‘The Worst Type Of Leader To Have In A Crisis’

The sub-head is a perfect summary: Historian Ruth Ben-Ghiat has an urgent message during the coronavirus crisis: Authoritarians like Trump don’t care about human life. They care about power.

And sure enough, after Congress passes a massive economic stimulus package that is already tremendously skewed to trillion dollar giveaway corporate bailouts over worker protections, we get this from Trump:

Trump Announces Plan to Refuse Congressional Oversight of Corporate Bailout

To quote Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY), Trump issues a signing statement where “the Congressional oversight provisions for the 1/2 TRILLION dollar Wall St slush fund (which were *already* too weak) are tossed away the day the bill is signed.


This past week we learned 3.3 million people filed for unemployment benefits, something not seen since 2015. Yet GOP Senators delayed passage of the stimulus package because they falsely — and insultingly — said it might cause a nurse earning $25 an hour risking life on the front line of the pandemic emergency to quit and stay home.

For more on what this filing of 3.3 million new cases might signal:

The New Unemployment Report Makes It Clear: We’re Staring Disaster in the Face

Spoiler: It’s just the beginning.

Billions for corporate bailouts while Trump ignores oversight but a concern over a fictitious nurse who might scam the system for a few bucks – Ronald Reagan would be proud.

Trump blew our early advantage. So much so, here is an ad he is trying to keep off the air through the courts:

Here’s the damning ad Donald Trump is desperately trying to get pulled off of television

You’ll see the video and a following one that is equally damning from the Joe Biden campaign.

Time to switch gears.


Some additional resources that may be of use:

The CDC has added a selection of videos on Covid-19, here.

Watch a doctor demonstrate how to safely bring groceries home during the coronavirus crisis

The Vernon Party Dems have highlighted some local and state resources:

  • For unemployment benefits contact the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development if you have lost your job or had your hours reduced due to the coronavirus outbreak. Apply online for a faster response. Or call (608) 266-3131.


  • Mental Health Resources at Vernon County Department of Human Services can be reached at 608-637-5210. After hours support is available at 608-637-7007.


  • Child Care Wisconsin Department of Children and Families has information on assistance with child care.


  • Domestic Abuse Hotline Vernon County Domestic Abuse Project – Viroqua 855-444-6818 (24⁄7) Toll Free – Home isn’t always the safest place for some. A safety plan can focus on how to stay safe in the relationship, how to plan to leave or what to do after leaving. Call above number for more info. 


I received a note from a reader about mutation of COVID-19 and what that might mean for development of a vaccine. The headline of the article I used offered that the virus “isn’t mutating quickly”.

But I followed this with sloppy wording of “this lack of mutation”.

COVID-19 is an RNA virus and it is and will mutate but more slowly than influenza. The reader provided this link, which describes a mitigation gamble “that the virus won’t mutate too much.”

Thank you. The path to a vaccine is months away – but either way, the goal is for accurate information. The answer right now – there is not enough information.


We are now seeing reports of COVID-19 victims. A few can be instructive for early symptoms and cautions over our own beliefs about whether we are at risk.

A possible infection leads to a serious case for a “29 yr old healthy boyfriend who got really sick. 13 days later…”

And this local story from The La Crosse Tribune of the grief and challenges after a loved one dies:

A different angle, but University Health Services-Madison is reporting the return of students from spring break testing positive. Here’s an article that used cell phone tracking to demonstrate the point across the eastern United States.

Boston reports 150 hospital employees from 4 hospitals have tested positive.

And Britain Prime Minister Boris Johnson, also slow to emphasize risk and more than willing in recent weeks to flout social distancing recommendations from health experts has tested positive for the virus.


There are many of these, but this is video clip of people in Manhattan cheering health care workers from the #1 hotspot in the entire world gives encouragement and a sense of the solidarity we will need to pull through this emergency in the absence of rational national leadership.


For a fascinating in-depth review of origins and path of coronavirus into our daily lives check out this excellent article from the New YorkerFrom Bats to Human Lungs, the Evolution of a Coronavirus


And as a final act and in refreshing stark contrast to all above – a few points of humor:

I nominate this song as sure-fire for the eventual COVID-19 Greatest Hits compilation.

And my favorite – English sportscaster Nick Heath turns his talents to commentating on the mundane. Click on his feed to find many more. My favorite is Chocolate and Vanilla in the part.

And for the single best video clip you will find on the Trumpandemic, click HERE for godsake!