Tag Archives: Covid 19

Abbott performs stunning reversal

“COVID-19 is not going away. In fact, it’s getting worse. Now, more than ever, action by everyone is needed until treatments are available for COVID-19.”

That comment comes from Texas Gov. Greg Abbott, who today performed an astonishing public policy about face with regard to the pandemic that is raging out of control once again in many areas across the land.

Abbott issued an executive order requiring residents who live in Texas counties with 20 or more COVID cases to wear face masks in public.

This is astonishing … but it is welcome in our household. Collin County, where my wife and I reside, has become a bit of a hot spot for new infections. Our masks are at the ready. We will wear them when we go outdoors.

Why the astonishment? Let me count the ways.

Abbott has resisted issuing such an order. He has prohibited counties from stepping beyond the state mandates. Now he’s sounding very much like the county judges with whom he had tussled.

Then we have the blathering of the bloward lieutenant governor, Dan Patrick, who this week said that Dr. Anthony Fauci — the nation’s leading infectious disease expert — “doesn’t know what he’s talking about.” Patrick, who obviously does not possess a medical degree, said “No thank you, Dr. Fauci” when making policy decisions on how to handle the pandemic.

Except that Abbott’s statements today sound pretty damn Faucian in discussing the seriousness of the problem facing Texans.

Look, I do not think Gov. Abbott has handled this crisis with the steady hand it requires. However, I am heartened to hear him turn up the volume on the danger that this pandemic is posing to Texans. It now is up to all of us to heed the warning he has delivered. We need to wear masks and to stay the heck away from everyone else.

We also need to ignore the ignorant happy talk coming from the White House as well as the mindless blathering from the lieutenant governor.

Lt. Gov. Patrick needs to shut … up

I can state with a high degree of confidence that Dr. Anthony Fauci doesn’t need a chump like me to defend him against the idiotic rant of a partisan hack like Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick.

But I am going to defend him anyway.

Pay attention, Dan Patrick. I will say this slowly: You need to shut … your … know-nothing … fly trap yapper. 

Patrick went on Fox News this week to tell us that Dr. Fauci, the nation’s pre-eminent infectious disease expert, “doesn’t know what he’s talking about.”

What drew Patrick’s moronic ire happens to be the dire assessment by Fauci over Texas’s big spike in COVID-19 infection and hospitalization. Fauci serves on the White House coronavirus pandemic response team and told U.S. senators that the nation could see 100,000 daily infections if we don’t corral this virus immediately.

Fauci singled out some problem states, Texas among them. Patrick objected. According to The Hill newspaper:

“Fauci said that he’s concerned about states like Texas that skipped over certain things. He doesn’t know what he’s talking about,” Patrick said on Fox News after Fauci testified before a Senate committee about the U.S. response to the coronavirus outbreak. “We haven’t skipped over anything.”

“The only thing I’m skipping over is listening to him,” Patrick added. “He has been wrong every time, on every issue. I don’t need his advice anymore. We’ll listen to a lot of science, we’ll listen to a lot of doctors, and [Gov. Greg Abbott (R)], myself and other state leaders will make the decision. No thank you, Dr. Fauci.”

I think I’ll stand with Dr. Fauci’s advice, relying on a learned medical heavyweight instead of a political hatchet man.

Dan Patrick needs to stick with what he knows best, which involves blathering right-wing dogma.

Happy talk isn’t stemming the COVID tide

Donald Trump’s monstrously deceptive happy talk about the coronavirus pandemic has filled too many Americans with some idiotic notion that our national “strategy” is working.

It isn’t.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the infectious disease expert who signed on to the president’s coronavirus task force, laid bare what he thinks might be in store, which is that the national daily infection rate might hit 100,000 soon. The number is exploding.

And yet, there was Trump’s top-tier suck-up, Mike Pence, coming to Texas to declare that we have reason to cheer the national response to the killer virus.

Good grief, man!

At the very moment Pence was telling the world that “all 50 states” had turned the corner on the virus, more than half of our United States reported record numbers of infections. Texas — where Pence delivered his ignorant blather — is leading that pack of states.

Look, I don’t have any answers here. I’m just a chump blogger who is taking this threat very seriously. I fear for my family and want them to remain holed up to the extent they can.

What’s more I am sick and tired of listening to Trump and Pence lie to us about the “fantastic” job they say they are doing. They are failing us in this effort.

The United States contains less than 5 percent of the world’s population, but we are registering 20 percent of the world’s infection from COVID-19 and 20 percent of the deaths from the virus.

That’s success? No! It is failure! I want the president to give this crisis the seriousness it deserves.

Face masks … everyone’s wearing ’em!

Given that my wife and I don’t get out much these days — that worldwide coronavirus pandemic is keeping us close to the house — I am left to comment on fascinating sights I see running routine errands, such as to the grocery store.

Here’s what I saw today at the supermarket where my wife and I do the bulk of our food shopping: face masks! All the store employees are wearing them. Although I didn’t count them all, my best guess is that of the customers who were there, fully 75 percent of them were covering their faces behind masks.

Why is that a big deal worthy of a comment? We live in Princeton, Texas, which is in Collin County, which borders Dallas County, which is undergoing a surge in COVID-19 infections. Gov. Greg Abbott has shut down bars and ordered restaurants to seat no more than 50 percent of capacity.

This mask-wearing matter has become a political talking point, if you can believe it. So help me I don’t understand why it has become such, but it has. Those who identify themselves as Republicans are dismissing the masks; those who ID as Democrats are buying into the notion of wearing masks.

Collin County is at the epicenter of Donald Trump Country. Trump is the nation’s leading Republican and his Trumpkin Corps has bought into the hare-brained notion that face masks aren’t as critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 as others — such as medical doctors — say they are.

I know this is purely anecdotal, but based on what I witnessed at the supermarket today, even those who live in Trump Country are adhering more to the advice of medical experts than to the yammering of GOP politicians.

That is my idea of good news.

Just the bars, governor?

“If I could go back and redo anything, it probably would have been to slow down the opening of bars, now seeing in the aftermath of how quickly the coronavirus spread in the bar setting.”

So said Texas Gov. Greg Abbott about the state’s plan to jump start the economy that had been shut down by the coronavirus pandemic.

Well, I have another regret or two for Abbott to consider.

He shouldn’t have allowed beaches to reopen fully in the manner he allowed, either. You’ve seen the pictures from South Padre Island, or from Mustang Island, or from Galveston. Texans were packed on the beach, declining or just plain forgetting to observe “social distancing.”

Doesn’t that bother the governor as well? If not, it should.

I get that Abbott regrets the opening of bars. He has shut them down a second time in selected large Texas counties. He ought to expand the executive order to include bars in all of Texas’ 254 counties.

The state has botched its reopening strategy. Counties are seeking guidance from the governor. Now his message is becoming practically as jumbled as the mangled messages coming from the Donald Trump administration.

Texas now is staking claim to a standing it clearly doesn’t want: No. 1 state in the country in the rate of infection from COVID-19.

We’re paying Gov. Abbott the big bucks to make tough decisions. At this stage of the crisis, though, they’re all difficult. Shutting down bars clearly qualifies as one that gives Abbott heartburn. An upset stomach and a bit of pain in the gut is the price he has to pay for making a mess of the pandemic response.

Judge tells it straight: Knock off the gripes about masks

“I wear a mask not because I am afraid but because it is one way of showing that I care about my neighbors. There is a lot we don’t know about COVID-19, but all the evidence suggests that wearing a mask helps to prevent the spread of the virus.”

That is the comment of a smart man, an elected official in Texas, who is fed up with the griping about orders to wear face masks to combat the COVID-19 virus.

I refer to Jefferson County Judge Jeff Branick, a lawyer who understands that health value should override convenience and comfort.

Branick is following the lead established by Dr. Anthony Fauci, one of the health experts who have joined Donald Trump’s coronavirus pandemic White House response team. Fauci said this week that Americans have to become “part of the process” that officials hope will eliminate the pandemic, hopefully sooner rather than later.

I happen to agree with Judge Branick. As the Beaumont Enterprise reported: In a strongly worded open letter to the community, he acknowledged that he expected some pushback when he announced the new ordinance on Tuesday. “What I didn’t expect was the level of pure hatred and profanity laden messages that would make a sailor blush,” he wrote. 

I hope the open letter that Branick issued is taken to heart, taken seriously and that Texans who read it or hear about it understand that mask-wearing mandates aren’t intended to deal with people’s comfort or convenience. They are intended to protect human lives. What in the name of medical caution is wrong with that?

Partisan divide involves wearing of masks

I never in a zillion years would have imagine mask-wearing becoming a political wedge issue, something to divide Americans along partisan lines.

Who knew?

The world is caught in the grip of a pandemic that has killed 125,000 Americans. More of us are going to die and many more than that are going to get sick. Medical experts advising Donald Trump keep telling us to wear surgical masks to protect ourselves and, more importantly, others around us.

Still, Republicans have lined up on the side that hates the masks. Democrats line up against them, saying that masks are necessary to help keep us safe.

No flash here, but I am siding with Democrats.

However, the issue for my wife and me isn’t that Democrats favor wearing masks. The issue rests squarely on the effectiveness of mask-wearing. I believe Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx, two of the infectious disease gurus advising Donald Trump, who tell us masks are an essential part of the overall strategy to fight COVID-19.

The nimrods out there who side with Donald Trump aren’t having it. They say they don’t care about the risks to themselves. What about the risk to others? What the hell kind of message are they sending to the rest of the nation? That they don’t care about anyone else, either?

The upshot of this, I suppose, is that it speaks directly and distinctly to the hideous political divide that has infected so much of our life these days … even those matters that should remain way above and beyond partisan politics.

Terminate ACA … now? Heartless!

Is it possible that there is a more heartless, inhumane or incompetent governmental administration than the one that runs the executive branch of the United States government? I have trouble thinking of one.

The Donald Trump administration, which is losing its fight against the coronavirus pandemic, has asked the U.S. Supreme Court to toss out the Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.

Think of the ramifications here. Donald “The Imbecile in Chief” Trump has no replacement lined up to succeed the ACA, the legislation that has brought tens of millions of Americans into the realm of those covered by health insurance. Dismantling the ACA would push about 20 million Americans back into the world of the uninsured. Meanwhile, the nation is fighting the pandemic and, to my eyes, is losing the fight.

This is just one more example of Donald Trump seeking to eliminate all vestiges of his immediate presidential predecessor, Barack H. Obama. The reasons why remain somewhat of a mystery to me, except that Trump simply cannot stomach the notion of the country’s first African-American president accomplishing anything of significance.

This is yet again a fundamental demonstration of Trump’s petulance.

Why in the world he continues to insist that the ACA is a “failure” is another mystery to me. Is the ACA perfect? No, it isn’t. However, President Obama has said many times during his time in office and afterward that he would welcome changes to improve the standing law. That doesn’t fly with Donald Trump and his fellow Republicans.

And now he is asking the high court to strip away the ACA while the nation is engaging in this fight against an “invisible enemy” that is sickening and killing thousands of Americans every day.


Pence continues the Trump lie about COVID-19 fight

Vice President Mike Pence stood before the nation … and lied through his pearly whites.

It was edifying and instructive that he had some medical experts on the podium with him to set the record straight about the condition of the nation that is fighting the coronavirus pandemic.

Pence – filling in for the Liar in Chief – had the brass to tell us the pandemic is under control, that states have corralled the killer virus, “thanks to the leadership” of Donald J. Trump. It was the first “briefing” from the coronavirus task force in two months and to be candid we didn’t need to hear the nonsense that Pence spewed forth.

He uttered the lie on the same day that Texas Gov. Greg Abbott issued an executive order shutting down bars, ordering restaurants to operate at 50 percent of capacity and pushing local authorities to insist on stricter enforcement of social distancing. That’s how Pence defines “under control”?

Meanwhile, Drs. Anthony Fauci, Deborah Birx and Robert Redfield – the nation’s top medical pros fighting this pandemic – had to the good sense to issue much more dire warnings about what lurks ahead of us. They didn’t contradict Pence directly, but they certainly cast the peril in more, um, accurate terms … at least the way I see the trend developing.

I was struck, too, by the vapid response Pence gave to reporters who asked him to explain how Donald Trump’s campaign rally in Tulsa, Okla. – which went forward with thousands of Trumpkins sitting shoulder to shoulder without face masks – isn’t contributing to the spike in infection we are seeing. His answer? The people’s right to assemble peaceably “is enshrined in the Constitution” and “we have an election coming up.” He said that medical emergencies do not negate people’s civil liberties. Well, actually they should if people’s very lives are endangered by irresponsible behavior at campaign rallies.

So, the charade continues, even without the Carnival Barker in Chief. His No. 1 sycophant showed once again that he is fully capable of parroting Donald Trump’s lies.


U.S. reaches dubious milestone

The United States of America has just logged the most sickening milestone in the current COVID-19 pandemic: the most cases of infection during a single day.

Here we are. Months into the pandemic and with Donald Trump continuing to bellow what a “fantastic” job he has done we are setting dubious records in medical futility. Vice President Mike Pence said that every day brings us closer to whipping the coronavirus pandemic. Really, Mr. VP? The numbers say something quite different.

Oh, and then the Veep said, “That’s leadership!” Sure it is, dude. Donald Trump is leading us into some form of medical oblivion.

Texas is now leading the way into the nation’s hideous and tragic response to the COVID-19 crisis. I heard something today that suggests that Houston — the state’s largest city — might become the most COVID-infected city in the world!

That is success? That is how Donald Trump defines the “fantastic” job he and his COVID response team — chaired by Mike Pence — are doing while fighting this disease?

Oh, my. God help us.