“This is a death cult. The Texas GOP. Only they want you to do the dying.”
— Former presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke with MSNBC host Ari Velshi.
By Dan Peak
Commoner Call (7/23/20)
Dear Fellow Readers,
Rep. Ted Yoho (R-FL) sort of apologized to Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (R-NY) after calling her “disgusting” and a “fu**ing bitch”, citing his religion and his passion, saying he did not care for her linking increased crime to pandemic driven financial hardship. Just one more challenge while watching the needless deaths caused by Trump’s ignoring a pandemic against the backdrop of using his troops to teargas Moms peacefully protesting in Portland.
Beto’s remark almost captures my own thought; edit out ‘Texas’ and we’re there — ‘This is a death cult. Only the GOP want you to do the dying’. The deaths of our elders are of no concern to Trumpsters, they are dismissed as irrelevant. Essential workers are ‘warriors’, which may be the closest thing to respect offered by Trumpsters to persons of color being coerced to return to work in meatpacking plants so we’re not inconvenienced. But don’t take my word for it, take it from a true Trumpster.
“These kids have got to get back to school,” Parson told Cox. “They’re at the lowest risk possible. And if they do get COVID-19, which they will — and they will when they go to school — they’re not going to the hospitals. They’re not going to have to sit in doctor’s offices. They’re going to go home and they’re going to get over it.”
Such ignorance and indifference to the potential life-altering long-term effects from coronavirus, ignoring young children as vectors who can expose their parents, grandparents, or ignorance of children age 10-19 being equally susceptible to contracting coronavirus.
Much like Trump is commanding states and municipalities to reopen schools, having now commanded hospitals to report coronavirus statistics bypassing the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) creating confusion and lapses in reporting, he is now coercing hospitals by threatening to withhold supplies of therapeutic drug remdesivir. Remdesivir, developed to combat Ebola, has proven effective in speeding coronavirus recovery; now it is a weapon for Trump to bend behavior to his will.
Trump’s commands and coercion benefit his image while putting our lives at risk. The Good Trumpsters defend or go quietly hoping to avoid the shitshow du jour.
Is A Vaccine The Coronavirus Silver Bullet?
The US reported 1,127 coronavirus deaths for July 21, the highest daily count since June 9th; the 7-day average has increased to 811 from 471 on July 5th. In other words, the huge increase in daily new cases, setting a record on July 5th at 75,643 has led to increased deaths as all knew. But Trumpsters parroted a refrain about lower deaths even while cases were increasing from a 7-day average of 19,129 on June 14th, more than tripling to 66,414 on July 21st.
Trump repeated the other Trump shameless lie that increased testing is the cause for the increased number of reported cases. But amongst many Trump lies deflated by Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace, “Testing is up 37% but cases are up 194%”.
Can we get past this? Some scientists believe we live with coronavirus open-ended without a vaccine. Hope for a vaccine is supported by some encouraging signs.
An Oxford Univeristy-AstraZeneca trial showed all participants developing antibodies. AstraZeneca is targeting production of two billion doses as early as the end of the year. The US committed $1 billion for 300 million doses in May.
The US is also spending $2 billion for a Pfizer-BionNTech partnership for distribution of millions of doses as early as December.
US based Moderna has already conducted favorable early tests with Phase 3 testing targeted for July.
A Chinese company, CanSino has tested a vaccine showing promise; older participants did require a second dose to boost weaker immune responses. Canada signed an agreement to scale production at a government facility in Montreal.
The US is one of several governments making commitments with as many as two dozen different groups. As an example, the UK has ordered 30 million doses from BioNTech, 60 million doses from French company Valneva and is targeting between eight and twelve vaccine commitments. BioNTech is also working towards equitable distribution through Gavi (Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovations) and the World Health Organization.
There is also promise from a therapeutic treatment from Synairgen targeting stimulating the patient’s immune response and limiting the need for a ventilator. Early results show a 79% reduction for ventilation and an improved rate of recovery. Such a drug would join Dexamethasone which is showing similar benefits.
China does have a vaccine in development; Russia claims they will be one of a handful of countries to develop a vaccine and are reporting an unusual trial:
“Scores of Russia’s business and political elite have been given early access to an experimental vaccine against COVID-19, according to people familiar with the effort, as the country races to be among the first to develop an inoculation.”
As is typical, Russia, along with China, stands accused by multiple countries of hacking coronavirus vaccine programs. And Russia lectures and warns the rest of the world over ‘political biases’ in vaccine access in spite of plans for AstraZeneca production in Russia.
One final note for now on how Trumpsters are hurting us. Back to the opening of today’s column. Ocasio-Cortez was accosted by Yoho because she dared link an increase in crime to financial challenges because of the pandemic. Yet while hundreds camp out in an unemployment line in Oklahoma the GOP fights amongst themselves over extending stimulus checks to citizens, a move already approved by the Democratic-led House. Trumpsters also argue to link federal funding for schools to reopening though they have stopped threatening cuts to coronavirus testing funding.
Trumpster corruption and coercion is dangerous. Trump is all about his appearances, and he appears scary.