Friday, March 27, 2020

No Red or Blue Just America

When Barack Obama spoke at the 2004 Democratic Convention he was attributed as saying:  "Not 'red states' or 'blue states,' but the United States of America."  Well not quite true as legends have a way of reinventing themselves but this article in the The Atlantic explains how that phrase actually played out.

As we faced many health crisis during Obama's time including HINI, SARS, Ebola, Zika and several other serious Measles and Whooping Cough outbreaks that harbored on pandemics in some communities there is no question that his calming nature when speaking lended a sense of authority, direction and purpose that he had this.  We have now Crazy Dopey Grandpa or CDG who sees a microphone as a tool in which to wield hate speech disguised as Presidential guidance.  The bat signals, the dog whistles are never more clear during any of these nightly propaganda talks that harken back to Mussolini or any other dictator over time, present time NOT excepted, who uses media to rally the troops and scare the shit out of anyone else.  So to that I say Okay, then!

I just had a conversation which is again reminding me why I will going silent once this crisis over from my Concierge over Corvid and he informed me that it is a blood borne illness. What the fuck ar they teaching him at this supposed college he is going to that he is learning to be a Physicians Assistant!??  He is confusing this with AIDS but sure.  Again he was planning a trip to Florida until that was not going to happen so I am not sure what to say except okay, then! And that is why I agreed with him that the endless conversations about the Corona Virus was exhausting. I used the word bored to describe my frustration and he said no he was not bored he was "over it." Same thing just again this is a Millennial for you, they know it all, they have it all under control and know nothing about something so Okay, then, Boomer!

And once again being the Boomer I am I have spent a great deal of time asking clearly rhetorical questions, looking as much information I can to understand the trajectory of when this began to better understand when this is going to end and I am pretty sure I have predicted that Trump will declare Victory/Winning around the end of June and by the 4th of July the celebration of freedom will take on new meaning and of course rally the great Trumpland to strut proudly before the flag therefore charging forward to the polls to keep CDG in power.  And absolute power corrupts absolutely and we are fucked if that happens and so if you don't vote this is what you deserve. Okay, then!

Again why Trump wanted this "quarantine" ended by Easter was to assuage the Evangelical right to open the doors to the churches and pray for a cure and collect the trays of money they will used to push their agenda of oppression and conservatism forward.    Well I have written about what has happened to their mega churches who refused to accept the Government' directive and we know have a Church in Arkansas with half the congregation infected and another mega church the Pastor has floated to meet the great Jesus in the sky right after contracting it during the new hot zone - Mardi Gras.  And speaking of Louisiana well that God's wrath thing might be telling you something and this is again not surprising - Spell says if anyone in his congregation contracts COVID-19 he will heal them through God.   Okay, then!

But one of the most significant issues is how the blue states versus the red states handled the pandemic and the leadership that has emerged with Governor Cuomo the seeming figure head in the country despite the fact that it was Washington State that started the alarm, Jay Inslee is not the stellar communicator as such as indicated by his failed attempt as a Democratic Candidate for President; Then there is Gavin Newsom who was already facing a larger issue across the state as San Francisco was the first city to literally shut down starting that domino fall across the more liberal cities.  Now again the true first responder to this was Ohio's Governor Mike DeWine but he is so uncharismatic and dogmatic he was truly using this as an opportunity to fulfill a secondary agenda, Ohio was hardly on the Covid top 10 and still is not but he can claim his pragmatism is why or that in fact no one really goes to Cleveland or Cincinnati and his state is well white and the virus if had traction would have since they were also an early primary state you would think with all those hands shook it would have so no.  But this is less about America then about politics and the role of the professional Politician. 

But most of Trump country was adamant about keeping doors open and windows too as the virus could just fly in and out which is why it is called flyover country as apparently no disease or trauma happens there, just ask Tennessee that only a week prior had a Tornado; Had said tornado come a week later that Corvid would have been blown right out of town in wave of honky tonk songs.  But nowhere was as stupid as where wind comes sweeping down the plain, Oklahoma.  Let's just say that there again is where the Mayors, the new power brokers in politics, are stepping up.  I can tell you that the dick off here in Jersey has been fun to watch between Hoboken, Jersey City and Newark and who is the toughest biggest dick in the state.  Where is Chris Christie when you need him?  He would bloviate that virus right out of the country! Again, flu virus, airborne not blood borne. And while saliva is listed as a transmission of said virus (aka blood borne)  that is how it is transferred by contact of droplets on contact surfaces via say sneezing, coughing or spitting.  Then it lands or the sick person comes into contact with someone and unlike flu this can go not just from 1 to 1 as flu transmits but 1 to 2.5. But is not a "blood born" disease, is not Aids or Hep C.  But then I am not a nursing student. Go figure.   This is the CDC page with info and shit.. useful.

From a statistical health standpoint the irony that red states have more health related problems overall, are more prone to addiction issues and have often refused to expand their Medicaid program with the Affordable Care Act.  So tell me who//where/how/when you are going to fix or solve this? Oh through prayer.  Okay, then!

Disunited states of America: responses to coronavirus shaped by hyper-partisan politics
Democratic states have tended to be more proactive while some Republican governors followed Trump in downplaying the crisis

Tom McCarthy
The Guardian
Sun 29 Mar 2020

It was a tale of two beaches. On Florida’s Atlantic coast, at the height of spring break season, the sand was deserted in the cities of Miami Beach and Fort Lauderdale, where Democratic mayors had imposed closures to fight the spread of coronavirus.

Across the narrow neck of the state, the Gulf coast beaches in Clearwater were a world apart. There the Republican mayor had declined to impose a closure, and photos that would circle the world captured the result: thousands of carefree sunbathers lining the sand and mingling in the water.

The public health risk from such large gatherings was not a secret. A day earlier the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) had advised against gatherings of more than 50 people, and New York’s governor, Andrew Cuomo, a Democrat, warned the coronavirus “has already spread much more than you know”.

But at the time Florida’s governor, Ron DeSantis, like most of his 25 Republican peers across the country, did not see cause for alarm, and he has still not closed non-essential businesses statewide, despite warnings by medical professionals that coronavirus cases there could “explode”.

Hundreds of US counties and all 50 states now have confirmed coronavirus cases – despite a widespread lack of testing – underscoring the indifference of the virus to the familiar political boundaries separating red states, dominated by Republicans, and blue ones, dominated by Democrats.

But while the virus does not select for party affiliation, contrasting emergency responses at the state and local levels have split dramatically along partisan lines.

States with Democratic governors have been quicker to declare emergencies, close schools, shutter non-essential businesses and impose limits on bars and restaurants, according to data collected by the Kaiser Foundation. Fifteen of 21 states to have issued stay-at-home orders have Democratic governors.

States with Republican governors, meanwhile, have been less eager to ask businesses to close, and more likely to downplay the threat. “Go to the grocery stores. For crying out loud, go to the grocery stores,” Governor Jim Justice of West Virginia told residents on 16 March. “If you want to go to Bob Evans and eat, go to Bob Evans and eat.”
Kevin Stitt, Oklahoma’s Republican governor, declared a state of emergency on 16 March, the day after posting a picture of himself and his two sons in a packed restaurant.

The night before, Oklahoma’s Governor Kevin Stitt tweeted a picture of himself and his two sons at a restaurant, boasting: “It’s packed tonight.” The tweet was later deleted.

The divergence in state responses to coronavirus does not cleanly split along the red-blue line, with Republican governors in states such as Ohio and Maryland among the most proactive in responding to the threat, said University of Southern California professor Manuel Pastor.

“It’s more like the rational states versus the Trump Republican states,” Pastor said.

All partisan disagreements in the United States in 2020 seem to emanate from or end with Donald Trump. But the president has encouraged a partisan divide on the coronavirus threat, analysts said, pitting state governors against each other and setting off bidding wars for medical equipment.

While states and localities have primary responsibilities for public health under the American system of federalism, the president has an important role in focusing the national attention on the emergency and channeling the massive resources of the federal government to the states most in need, said Lawrence O Gostin, a professor of public health at the Johns Hopkins University.

“This is something that’s really unprecedented and clearly American federalism is not well equipped to do it. You need every oar to work together. We have fragmentation, name-calling and wildly different responses,” Gostin said.

Because past disasters were locally confined, states were able to help each other, by sending firefighters to combat wildfires in California, by sending first responders to help in New York after September 11, or by accepting refugees from Hurricane Katrina.

“This is almost like we have a hurricane,” Maryland’s governor, Larry Hogan, a Republican who has moved aggressively on coronavirus, said on the radio show of the former New Jersey governor on Thursday. “But it’s hitting every single state in the country at the same time, and it’s been hitting them for 21 days, at least in our state.”

Citizens judge the viral threat according to their politics, polling indicates. More Democrats than Republicans have told pollsters they were “extremely concerned” about coronavirus by a 20-point margin. A poll released on Friday showed that viewers of conservative Fox News, which spent weeks downplaying and dismissing the virus, were much less likely to take the pandemic seriously.

“The idea that states can decide particular local issues on a wide range of things allows for such variation,” said Pastor. “That’s, of course, kind of stupid, in the context of the pandemic, because when one state has lax standards, then you wind up maintaining the infection in another location.”

The partisan divide over the pandemic probably stems in part from personal experience, with the worst-hit states so far, including New York, California and Washington, being coastal with large cities and a lot of Democrats. As of Thursday, counties that voted for Trump in 2016 accounted for 45% of the US population but just 19% of all US coronavirus deaths, according to analysis by Dave Wasserman of the Cook Political Report.

That picture is likely to change in the coming weeks, however. Governors in some non-coastal states have taken aggressive action against the virus, including Kentucky’s Andrew Beshear, a Democrat, and Ohio’s Mike DeWine, a Republican.

While Kentucky was quick to set up lab testing for the virus and declared a state of emergency on 6 March, the governor nextdoor, Republican Bill Lee of Tennessee, waited a week longer to declare a state of emergency.

In Ohio, DeWine became one of the first governors in the country to order bars and restaurants to close and limit large gatherings, while the Democratic governor of neighboring Michigan was slower to issue restrictions. As of last week, Ohio had recorded 351 cases, compared with 1,035 for Michigan – although variations in testing obscure the picture.

“I think it’s impossible to talk about a Covid epidemic in the United States,” said Gostin. “We’d have to say it’s Covid epidemics. Because the epidemics will vary state by state, and the response will vary state by state.”

It is “crucially urgent” for the Trump administration to coordinate aid for the states and for the president to use his bully pulpit to focus the national attention, said Gostin.

“That should have been happening several weeks ago,” he said. “The longer we wait without having a properly coordinated national approach the worse the disaster will unfold in the United States.”

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