Friday, May 01, 2020


A gloomy new report on the pandemic has just been released. CNN reports:
The new coronavirus is likely to keep spreading for at least another 18 months to two years—until 60% to 70% of the population has been infected, a team of longstanding pandemic experts predicted in a report released Thursday.

They recommended that the US prepare for a worst-case scenario that includes a second big wave of coronavirus infections in the fall and winter. Even in a best-case scenario, people will continue to die from the virus, they predicted.

"This thing's not going to stop until it infects 60 to 70 percent of people," Mike Osterholm, who directs the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy (CIDRAP) at the University of Minnesota, told CNN.

"The idea that this is going to be done soon defies microbiology."
I bring this up not to ruin your morning, but to call attention to a quote near the end of the story. It's from Marc Lipitsch, a Harvard School of Public Health epidemiologist who's one of the authors of the report.
Lipsitch and Osterholm both said they are surprised by the decisions many states are making to lift restrictions aimed at controlling the spread of the virus.

"I think it's an experiment. It's an experiment that likely will cost lives, especially in places that do it without careful controls to try to figure out when to try to slow things down again," Lipsitch said.

Plus, he said, some states are choosing to lift restrictions when they have more new infections than they had when they decided to impose the restrictions.

"It is hard to even understand the rationale," Lipsitch said.
If you pay attention to politics, it's not hard at all to understand the rationale. This is being done on behalf of a sociopathic plutocrat class that has no qualms about sacrificing thousands of American lives for increased profits. It's being embraced by most of the officeholders and other officials of one political party, the Republican Party, who have now demonstrated that they're willing to kill ordinary Americans if the result is that the rich get richer and the libs are owned. The rank-and-file of the Republican Party enthusiastically supports the ending of lockdowns because it increasingly embraces crackpot theories about the virus, gleaned not just from fringe websites, but from Fox News and from the president of the United States.

To us, all this is obvious. But to much of America, it's invisible.

If a Democratic officeholder does something that offends some voters, Republicans immediately place the action in the context of a carefully maintained narrative of ongoing liberal/Democratic treachery. This narrative is in the foreground of every American conversation about what Democrats do.

But when Republicans act, much of America sees what they do as just the work of individuals. It's not seen as being connected to a movement or an ideology. The next Republican will be trusted even if the last dozen acted in ways that offended much of the country.

We need to make it easier for Americans who aren't politically engaged to "understand the rationale." It's Republicanism. And it's dangerous.

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