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The Timeline: The Only Exhibit

 

December 31: Reports emerge that the Chinese government is investigating "outbreak of respiratory illness in the central city of Wuhan."

January 6-8: CDC issues a series of warnings and alerts.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issues travel warnings for Americans wishing to go to China to take extra precautions. It also says it is closely monitoring the virus, but there are no known cases in the US. 

January 16: CDC says US will screen passengers arriving from Wuhan

January 21: First US case confirmed.

The first case is confirmed from a traveler who had recently visited China and returned to Washington state.

January 22: “We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China. We have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.” — President Trump in a CNBC interview.

January 24: China has been working very hard to contain the Coronavirus. The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency. It will all work out well. In particular, on behalf of the American People, I want to thank President Xi!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 24, 2020

January 29: US coronavirus taskforce created.

The White House starts its coronavirus response taskforce, headed by Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar. 

Dr Anthony Fauci, the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is appointed to the taskforce. 

January 30: “We think we have it very well under control. We have very little problem in this country at this moment — five — and those people are all recuperating successfully. But we’re working very closely with China and other countries, and we think it’s going to have a very good ending for us … that I can assure you.” — President Trump in a speech in Michigan.

January 31: President Trump blocks travel from China.

President Trump issues an executive order blocking entry to the US from anyone who has been in China in the last 14 days. It does not apply to US residents and family members or spouses of US residents or citizens. The order becomes effective on February 2.

Azar declares the coronavirus a public health emergency.

February 10: “Now, the virus that we’re talking about having to do — you know, a lot of people think that goes away in April with the heat — as the heat comes in. Typically, that will go away in April. We’re in great shape though. We have 12 cases — 11 cases, and many of them are in good shape now.” — President Trump.

February 14: “There’s a theory that, in April, when it gets warm — historically, that has been able to kill the virus.  So we don’t know yet; we’re not sure yet. But that’s around the corner.” — Trump in speaking to National Border Patrol Council members.

February 23: “We have it very much under control in this country.” — Trump in speaking to reporters.

February 24: “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!” — President Trump in a tweet.

February 24: Stock market tumbles, President Trump asks for a $1.25bn in emergency aid after the Dow Jones tumbles 1,000 points on coronavirus fears. 

February 26: “So we’re at the low level. As they get better, we take them off the list, so that we’re going to be pretty soon at only five people. And we could be at just one or two people over the next short period of time. So we’ve had very good luck.” — President Trump at a White House briefing.

February 26: “And again, when you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.” — President Trump at a press conference.

February 26: “I think every aspect of our society should be prepared. I don’t think it’s going to come to that, especially with the fact that we’re going down, not up. We’re going very substantially down, not up.” — President Trump at a press conference, when asked if “U.S. schools should be preparing for a coronavirus spreading.”

February 26: First community spread case documented 

A person in California is confirmed to have coronavirus without documented travel to hot spots or contact with another infected person. The unknown source of the infection confirms that "community spread" of the virus is taking place in the US.

President Trump says at a news conference that the US is "really prepared." Vice President Mike Pence in named head of the White House taskforce and Dr Deborah Dix is named response coordinator. 

February 27: “It’s going to disappear. One day — it’s like a miracle — it will disappear.”

President Trump at a White House meeting with African American leaders.

February 28: During a campaign rally in South Carolina, President Trump likened the Democrats' criticism of his administration's response to the new coronavirus outbreak to their efforts to impeach him, saying "this is their new hoax." During the speech he also seemed to downplay the severity of the outbreak, comparing it to the common flu.

February 29: FDA eases guidelines on testing.

Testing supplies remain a concern for the US as countries with higher case rates, like China and South Korea, are able to test at higher rates. 

Trump claims the US is leading in testing, though reports show only a few thousand tests had been administered by February 28. 

February 29: “And I’ve gotten to know these professionals. They’re incredible. And everything is under control. I mean, they’re very, very cool. They’ve done it, and they’ve done it well. Everything is really under control.” President Trump in a speech at the CPAC conference outside Washington, D.C.

March 4: “[W]e have a very small number of people in this country [infected]. We have a big country. The biggest impact we had was when we took the 40-plus people [from a cruise ship]. … We brought them back. We immediately quarantined them. But you add that to the numbers. But if you don’t add that to the numbers, we’re talking about very small numbers in the United States.” — President Trump at a White House meeting with airline CEOs.

March 4: “Well, I think the 3.4% is really a false number.” — President Trump in an interview on Fox News, referring to the percentage of diagnosed COVID-19 patients worldwide who had died, as reported by the World Health Organization.

March 4: House passes $8.3bn emergency bill. President Trump will sign the law on March 6.

He is also facing increasing criticism for his administration's response to the virus. The president criticizes the previous administration in an interview with Fox News, saying the Obama administration "didn't do anything about" swine flu.

Note: Politifact rated the claim false, citing two emergency declarations and billions in spending from the Obama administration. 

March 7: “No, I’m not concerned at all. No, we’ve done a great job with it.” — President Trump, when asked by reporters if he was concerned about the arrival of the coronavirus in the Washington, D.C., area. 

March 9: “So last year 37,000 Americans died from the common Flu. It averages between 27,000 and 70,000 per year. Nothing is shut down, life & the economy go on. At this moment there are 546 confirmed cases of CoronaVirus, with 22 deaths. Think about that!” — President Trump in a tweet.

March 10: “And we’re prepared, and we’re doing a great job with it. And it will go away. Just stay calm. It will go away.” — President Trump after meeting with Republican senators.

March 11: The WHO declared the global outbreak a pandemic. Trump bans travel from Europe.

The ban does not apply to US citizens. The ban only includes the Schengen countries. The UK and Ireland are not included and US citizens are exempt.  Less than a week later officials announced that the ban would be expanded to the UK and Ireland

President Trump also states during the address that health insurance providers promised to waive all co-pays for coronavirus treatment. In reality, only testing would be free. 

March 13: President Trump declares a national emergency, granting access to $50bn in funding for US states and territories. The move allows for waivers for doctors and hospitals in their response to the virus. He says the US will increase testing capacity but warns against those without symptoms being tested. "It's totally unnecessary," He said. "This will pass."

March 17: During a news conference President Trump asks "everyone to work at home, if possible, postpone unnecessary travel, and limit social gatherings to no more than 10 people."

That same day, he states he has "always known this is a real, this is a pandemic. I've felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic."

March 22: Fauci says he can't 'jump in front' of President Trump. As weariness of unverifiable claims continued, Fauci tells Science in an interview that he "can't jump in front of the microphone and push him down. OK, he said it. Let's try and get it corrected for the next time."

When asked how he's avoiding being fired, Fauci says that even those he disagrees with President Trump "on some things, he listens. He goes his own way."

March 24: President Trump says he wants country to open by April 12

After tweeting that the "cure" can't be "worse than the problem itself" as the US economy dropped, President Trump says on Fox News he would "love to have the country opened up, and just raring to go by Easter".

March 26: "I don't believe you need 40,000 or 30,000 ventilators," President Trump said, referring to New York, where Cuomo has appealed to the federal government for help procuring the devices. "You go into major hospitals sometimes, and they'll have two ventilators. And now all of a sudden they're saying, 'Can we order 30,000 ventilators?'"

March 27: President Trump signs $2.2 trillion emergency spending bill 

The House and Senate pass the largest bill in US history that is then signed by the President.

March 27: President Trump invokes the Defense Production Act on GM to Make more ventilators. "We thought we had a deal for 40,000 ventilators and all of a sudden the 40,000 came down to 6,000 and then they talked about a higher price than we were discussing so I didn't like it," President Trump said during a signing event for the $2 trillion stimulus package. "So we did activate it with respect to General Motors, and hopefully maybe we won't need the full activation, we'll find out. But we need the ventilators."

March 30: President Trump says administration inherited 'broken test' as cases soar.

Confirmed cases of the coronavirus top 160,000 by the end of March. Healthcare workers and authorities across the country bemoan the lack of testing. 
President Trump falsely tells Fox News his administration "inherited a broken test" for COVID-19.

Note: The DNA sequence for the novel coronavirus was not shared by China until January 7, 2020, almost three years after he was inaugurated. 

Tests created in the US shipped during the early days of the crisis in the country were with tainted reagents, a component added to tests to create chemical reaction. 

President Trump tells nation to prepare for "hard days". 

April 2: 6.6 million workers file for unemployment.

The US sets a record for single-week unemployment benefits claim as the economy continues to sour.

There is a briefing with Jared Kushner who is heading another White House Taskforce: “We’ve done things that the federal government has never done before, quicker than they’ve ever done it before,” Kushner said of the task force’s work in the 13 days since Polowczyk joined the federal efforts to address the coronavirus. “We found a lot of supplies in the country. We’ve been distributing them where we anticipate there will be needs.” 

April 3: Cloth masks recommended.

President Trump announces that his administration is recommending people wear non-medical cloth masks to help contain spread of the virus, contradicting weeks of claims from administration officials that masks may not help. 

April 4, 5: President Trump pushes hydroxychloroquine.

Trump says in two successive press briefings over the weekend that US citizens should try an unproven anti-malaria drug, hydroxychloroquine, to treat COVID-19. 

"Take it. What do you have to lose?" Trump asks on Saturday, suggesting he might do so himself after asking "my doctors".

Trump says the following day there's no time "to take a couple years" to test the drug's potency against COVID-19.

Fauci tells CBS that "In terms of science, I don't think we can definitively say it works."

"The data are really just at best suggestive. There have been cases that show there may be an effect and there are others to show there's no effect."

Note: Testing now is confirming that the drug does not work and may actually have harmful side-effects.

April 7: President Trump claims testing increase.

"We have now done 1,790,000 tests nationwide," President Trump says during a press briefing.

"That's more than any other country in the world, hence, we have more cases. And that number is growing by nearly 125,000 people per day. Think of that one. So, it's growing by 125,000 people per day."

April 13: President Trump claims 'total' authority over governors on openings.

“…It is the decision of the President, and for many good reasons. With that being said, the Administration and I are working closely with the Governors, and this will continue. A decision by me, in conjunction with the Governors and input from others, will be made shortly!”

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 13, 2020
 
And this is as far as you need to go because our opportunity for a different response is lost in time. President Trump’s strategy for the virus has been to let the States set their own priorities on closings and testing. There has been no National Mandates set, only suggestions. Some of us will not get to see how good this strategy turns out to be, but most of us will and can make our opinion known when the time comes in November.
 
At the Exit:
 
The Museum recommends everyone read (or re-read) the Tandra Notes for April 19th, 2020. Hanther ties it all up in a tidy little conspiratorial package here. It doesn’t get any better than this.

Part The Second:

I am not trying to monetize things here. This is still just one museum (pay accordingly if you must). There was just so much material
 
Supplement to the Museum:
 
Highlights from an excellent piece in Balloon Juice, by download my app in the app store mistermix|  March 13, 2020  (Note: gotta love that byline)

It’s often said that Trump is a businessman, but he’s really a salesman. I’ve worked for a couple of companies run by salesmen, and they really are the worst at dealing with the complexities of running an organization.

The sales bro culture is one where negativity just isn’t tolerated. Salespeople are relentlessly positive because the whole goal of the kind of persuasion they practice is to present only the good side of whatever they’re selling.

Do they lie? Does the sunshine and the wind blow?  All the time.
 
It’s just reflexive with them to try to achieve their goal by convincing you that whatever you believe isn’t quite right if it’s at odds with their impression of the situation (no matter if it isn’t factual).
 
Salesmen are also oddly susceptible to being sold bullshit, as long as it is sold well.
 
They’re intellectually lazy – they believe that a good salesman can sell anything, so why bother learning the details?
 
All politicians need to have to utilize some of the tools of sales, but when a politician is a dyed-in-the-wool salesman, you have a recipe for disaster when they actually have to govern.
 
In conclusion, coffee is for closers and you’re all fired.
 
March 23,2020
I wrote about Trump essentially being a salesman, and ticked off a few of the attributes of a lot of salesmen (#notallsalesmen, of course) a few days ago. I forgot one that is surfacing now — they have no patience, and can’t stick to anything:

President Trump appears to be growing tired of his own plan to combat the coronavirus.

We’re seven days into Trump’s 15-day social distancing plan and the President is reportedly not only having second thoughts about efforts to tamp down the spread of the virus, but also appears to be more concerned about the impact his initial plan will have on the economy. Bloomburg
 
You can find and read the whole piece for yourself at Balloon Juice if you so choose.

https://www.balloon-juice.com/2020/03/13/second-prize-is-steak-knives/
Doctor: America's for-profit health system 'just does not work' in a pandemic
Adriana Belmonte Associate Editor

Yahoo Finance April 13, 2020, 4:05 PM CDT

According to Dr. Abdul El-Sayed, an epidemiologist and former health director of the city of Detroit, “a for-profit health care system does not work when we’re dealing with a global pandemic.”

El-Sayed, appearing on Yahoo Finance’s The Ticker, explained that most hospitals are “run as a business” and make the most money “on elective procedures. When you’re facing a global pandemic, you cancel those elective procedures.” And this can cause a problem for hospitals that rely on funding from elective procedures in order to pay staff and maintain day-to-day operations. Some hospitals are already laying off staff even as coronavirus strains hospital systems.
“Now we have hospitals that are both battling COVID-19 in a fight for their lives and also battling bankruptcy because they don’t know how they’re going to pay their bills tomorrow,” El-Sayed said. 
From the Left:

kos (The Daily Kos)

Tuesday March 24, 2020 · 2:20 PM CDT

Republicans are suddenly eager to enact death panels in service to their Wall Street gods, literally arguing for the death of an untold number of seniors (and other immunocompromised individuals) after just days of social distancing, 

Trump is talking about the number of flu deaths. "We don't turn the country off" because of that, he says. He then invokes car accidents; he says we didn't tell car companies "stop making cars."

— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) March 24, 2020

As the Republican Death Cult doubles down on their “save Wall Street at the expense of humans” strategy, the craziest part is this: Republicans are advocating for the death of their own core base!
 
The Partisan Take

Senator Murphy (D - Connecticut) on Trump’s pandemic response (detwitterized);

April 1st:

Hear me out: If you’re criticizing Trump’s Coronavirus response as ineffective, you’re doing it wrong. The problem is – for all practical purposes – there has been NO RESPONSE. The Administration has effectively declared surrender. And 200,000 might die because of this.

All the school, business, and beach closures have been carried out by states and cities, not Trump. At the very least, Trump could incentivize non-compliant or complacent states to enact emergency measures. But he does nothing, except provide weak, intermittent guidance.

The only way to solve mask, test, and ventilator shortages is for the feds to organize production. Trump has this power, but he chooses not to use it. His minimalist actions have barely made a dent. And day after day, the shortages continue, and Trump does nothing.

The supply chain for these same supplies has completely broken down into chaos. States and hospitals bid against each other, driving prices up. Supplies don’t get to areas of greatest need. Trump could solve this by federalizing the supply chain, but he does nothing.

Every legislative action to fund the public health response and save the economy from total ruin has been driven by Congress. Trump has no legislative agenda. He asks for no new authorities or new funding. In fact, his negotiators mostly argue for less money.

Trump has no actual plan to contain the virus. The virus will grow unless there is a national plan to TEST, ISOLATE, TRACK, AND QUARANTINE. But this takes a massive public health infrastructure that doesn’t exist now. Trump has no plan, and no interest, in building it.
You cannot beat Coronavirus with a state-by-state, city-by-city response, with thousands of conflicting strategies. Only a national plan will work. And the problem isn’t that Trump’s doing the wrong things. The problem is he’s effectively doing nothing.
 
The Faux News Press

“When Peter Navarro did circulate those memos, you were still downplaying the threat of coronavirus in the US,” the reporter said. “You were saying things like, ‘I think it’s a problem that is going to go away within a couple of days —’”

“Which I’m right about,” Trump interjected.

The reporter continued: “You said ‘within a couple of days the cases will be down to zero.’”

Given the current magnitude of coronavirus cases in the US, you might think Trump’s comment about coronavirus going away on its own would be too much even for him to try and defend. You’d be wrong.

“Well, the cases really didn’t build up for a while,” Trump replied.
 
For anyone still talking about the H1N1 epidemic, we just passed the U.S. death toll of that entire epidemic, which took place over the space of an entire year. Please move your talking points back to 1918.
— Mark Sumner (@Devilstower) April 7, 2020
 
From the Pulpit

Gerald O. Glenn, a Virginia bishop who defied his state’s social distancing recommendations and boasted about his church’s packed pews amid the coronavirus pandemic, died over the weekend of complications from the virus, his church announced on Facebook on Sunday.

From the Medical Establishment:
David Lilienfeld:
As an epidemiologist, I'm amazed that the only thing that's discussed about Covid-19 and the lockdown is mortality. It's not just mortality, though. 
A 25% pulmonary function deficit that takes 15-20 years to heal, some sort of coagulopathy present in ⅓ of patients (long term implications not clear), neurological deficits (do you really think that only smell and taste are affected?). 

Joint inflammations (now being investigated), and liver damage--all of these aren't exactly appealing. Everyone talks about death--I think we physicians blew that one. 

We know that kids are infected. It seems relatively benign. Do they have any alterations in their neurobehavioral development? Growth? 

The comparison is oft made to the flu. The flu is not neurotoxic, and it isn't hepatoxic either. And while there are some pulmonary consequences, they're pretty rare. 

Talking about mortality with Covid-19 is like talking about the failure of Fannie Mae or AIG in 2008. Significant, but hardly the whole story. 


Unkwil

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Uncle Willie loves to have feedback from both readers who appreciate his point of view as well as from miss-guided souls who disagree.