Tuesday, June 30, 2020


We know that the right has concluded it needs a new message on the coronavirus pandemic when they're talking up mask-wearing on Fox News.
“Fox and Friends” co-host Steve Doocy implored President Donald Trump on Tuesday morning to start wearing a mask in public, marking another instance in which a conservative pushed back on Trump’s refusal to do so.

During an interview with Republican National Committee Chair Ronna McDaniel, Doocy asserted that Trump, who more likely than not was watching “Fox and Friends” at that very moment, would “set a good example” by wearing a mask.

“He’d be a good role model,” the Fox News host said. “I don’t see any downside to the President wearing a mask in public.”

Doocy emphasized his point again near the end of the interview.

“I think by wearing masks, you can keep the economy open,” Doocy said. “And closing things are the last thing anybody wants to do.”

“MAGA should now stand for ‘Masks Are Great Again,'” he joked.
And a Fox doctor is also reading off the new script, if somewhat reluctantly (he prefers social distancing).

I said last night that Republicans fear an electoral bloodbath because older voters see the party as reckless (and literally life-threatening for them) on the subject of the virus. But there's also this:
A federal face mask mandate would not only cut the daily growth rate of new confirmed cases of Covid-19, but could also save the U.S. economy from taking a 5% GDP hit in lieu of additional lockdowns, according to Goldman Sachs.

Jan Hatzius, Goldman’s chief economist, said his team investigated the link between face masks and Covid-19 health and economic outcomes and found that facial coverings are associated with sizable and statistically significant results.

“We find that face masks are associated with significantly better coronavirus outcomes,” Hatzius wrote in a note to clients. “Our baseline estimate is that a national mandate could raise the percentage of people who wear masks by 15 (percentage points) and cut the daily growth rate of confirmed cases by 1.0 (percentage point) to 0.6%.”
The plutocrats thought they could compel a premature economic reopening all across the country and the public would simply live with the consequences (or quietly die with them). They thought the money would roll back in and they could move the Overton window so no one would ever talk about lockdowns again. But the virus in raging in California, Arizona, Texas, Florida, and other states. Hospitals are filling up. Elected officials are reversing course on reopening. Much of the country is still justifiably terrified. And the evil tax-and-spend Democrats might sweep the elctions in November. What's a plutocrat to do?

We told these idiots from Day One that the economy would do better in the long run if the lockdowns persisited until caseloads were very low, and until testing and tracing were robust. But that message was ignored.

Goldman prefers to push masks rather than a serious testing/tracing infrastructure or more cash outlays to idle workers -- goodness gracious, we can't spend any more tax money fighting this, can we?

But masks are good. Unfortunately, it's too late -- the angriest right-wingers are dug in on the idea that mask requirements are an anti-American form of subjugation.

For years now, the plutocrats could have seen danger coming from the right's tolerance of conspiratorialism, but they missed the signals. Now we have much of the GOP base believing insane theories and a conspiracy-monger in the White House. Now America is a global pariah state -- which also isn't economic advantageous for the rich. Heckuva job, plutocracy.

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