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Reading: Contrary to Trump’s claim, Google is not building a nationwide coronavirus screening website – The Verge

From Contrary to Trump’s claim, Google is not building a nationwide coronavirus screening website – The Verge

Google is not working with the US government in building a nationwide website to help people determine whether and how to get a novel coronavirus test, despite what President Donald Trump said in the course of issuing an emergency declaration for the coronavirus pandemic. Instead, a much smaller trial website made by another division of Alphabet, Google’s parent company, is going up. It will only be able to direct people to testing facilities in the Bay Area.

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Reading: After deregulatory blitz, FCC scrambles to prevent ISP abuse during pandemic

From After deregulatory blitz, FCC scrambles to prevent ISP abuse during pandemic

And on the same note of incompetence and ideological deregulation, we now risk having access to the non-existent coronavirus testing triage site.

Under pressure from the Federal Communications Commission, Internet service providers today pledged to waive late fees and keep customers connected when they miss payments due to the coronavirus pandemic. FCC Chairman Ajit Pai announced that many ISPs signed his “Keep Americans Connected Pledge.” But while the pledge prevents disconnections and late fees, Pai was unwilling or unable to convince ISPs to waive data caps during the pandemic.

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Reading: Google contradicts Trump claims: it’s not working on a coronavirus portal

From Google contradicts Trump claims: it’s not working on a coronavirus portal

FFS. The national emergency- two big words for Trump – is Trump and his admin as much as the coronavirus.

Problems start with the fact that Google isn’t involved in this. Instead, a different Alphabet company, Verily, is working on a portal. This makes more sense, given that Verily is focused on medical-oriented computing, both in terms of analyzing data for large healthcare providers, and in terms of providing services and hardware for individual patients. And it at least has the same corporate parent as Google, which presumably explains the confusion about who’s building the software.

But the Verily statement (which was issued by Google communications) indicates that there are a number of other issues in the plans presented by the administration today.

The website is not even ready for use for a single region in one state, much less ready to become a central part of the government’s strategy of allocating the millions of tests it announced would be available in the near future.

Trump’s dog and pony show emphasis was on New! and Exciting! when it needs to be placed on accurate and prompt. Yet another coronavirus debacle.

As of this report, the administration had not not clarified what its actual plan is. Given that key figures in devising said plan were acting as if this portal were ready for use just a few hours ago, it may take them some time to develop one.

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Reading: Trump Declares National Emergency—but Also ‘I Don’t Take Responsibility’ | WIRED

From Trump Declares National Emergency—but Also ‘I Don’t Take Responsibility’ | WIRED

Just a little bookmark to remind us all down the line:

A key purpose of today’s press conference was to convince you that none of this is the administration’s fault. “I don’t take responsibility at all,” Trump said in response to a question about the lack of tests. “Because we were given a set of circumstances and we were given rules, regulations, and specifications from a different time.” After weeks denying that there even was a testing shortage, this is apparently Trump’s new line: that excessive red tape, not the administration’s own fecklessness, has hampered US testing capabilities.

Yep. /waiting for Target tests/

But for a dialectic, try this. It’s not about the virus; it’s about who’s on first. https://ift.tt/2TN2B3j

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Reading: Peter Wehner: The Trump Presidency Is Over – The Atlantic

From Peter Wehner: The Trump Presidency Is Over – The Atlantic

Yes, Wehner makes an ad hominem argument, but he supports it by actions that demonstrate a problem with character. He couldn’t make the argument if Trump had acted otherwise. And Wehner places the argument in a larger social context in which character matters. This is not vituperation. It’s epideictic for a time of reflection.

Taken together, this is a massive failure in leadership that stems from a massive defect in character. Trump is such a habitual liar that he is incapable of being honest, even when being honest would serve his interests. He is so impulsive, shortsighted, and undisciplined that he is unable to plan or even think beyond the moment. He is such a divisive and polarizing figure that he long ago lost the ability to unite the nation under any circumstances and for any cause. And he is so narcissistic and unreflective that he is completely incapable of learning from his mistakes. The president’s disordered personality makes him as ill-equipped to deal with a crisis as any president has ever been. With few exceptions, what Trump has said is not just useless; it is downright injurious.

The nation is recognizing this, treating him as a bystander “as school superintendents, sports commissioners, college presidents, governors and business owners across the country take it upon themselves to shut down much of American life without clear guidance from the president,” in the words of Peter Baker and Maggie Haberman of The New York Times.

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Reading: Donald Trump’s scapegoating coronavirus speech shows he just doesn’t get it – CNNPolitics

From Donald Trump’s scapegoating coronavirus speech shows he just doesn’t get it – CNNPolitics

Er … how is blame helping? Just a blip in time?

The truth is that Trump’s attempt to act as though everything is totally normal and there is no need to alter our routines has failed. The only way the virus has been slowed in other countries is through real changes in daily lives — up to and including bans on any large gatherings.

Like it or not, that is how we will get through the coronavirus epidemic. Not by scapegoating other countries and patting ourselves on the back. The time for those political machinations has passed. The problem is that the President of the United States doesn’t seem to realize that.

Staying home means more time to consider what happens next.

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Reading: Trump Says ‘People Have to Remain Calm’ Amid Coronavirus Outbreak – The New York Times

From Trump Says ‘People Have to Remain Calm’ Amid Coronavirus Outbreak – The New York Times

Um, Illness and PR: PR wins. Trump stands down by passing the decision on to Them.

“They would like to have the people come off,” he said. “I would like to have the people stay. I told them to make the final decision. I would rather because I like the numbers being where they are. I don’t need to have the numbers double because of one ship that wasn’t our fault. And it wasn’t the fault of the people on the ship either. OK? It wasn’t their fault, either. And they are mostly Americans.”

“So, I can live either way with it,” he added. “I would rather have them stay on, personally. But I fully understand if they want to take them off. I gave them the authority to make the decision.”

You’ve been sold.

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Reading: Trump Officials Scared To Tell the Truth About Coronavirus

From Trump Officials Scared To Tell the Truth About Coronavirus

Trump can claim transparency because no one in his circuit will call him.

Trump’s incentive, as always, is absolutely transparent, like watching a simple machine encased in glass. He is perfectly amoral and projects his amorality onto others. Under the Obama administration, he wildly and recklessly hyped the Ebola threat to discredit the administration for political gain, and has assumed his own opponents will naturally do the same to him. He has therefore focused on minimizing the coronavirus threat and demanded his administration do the same.

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Reading: Trump has exposed a huge weakness. Democrats should pounce. – The Washington Post

From Trump has exposed a huge weakness. Democrats should pounce. – The Washington Post

it’s only a short leap to making the point that a major impediment to achieving this is Trump’s pathological need to cast everything on his watch as smashingly marvelous. …

This criticism will stand even if officials do ultimately manage coronavirus effectively. That’s because such an eventuality will effectively take place behind Trump’s back — officials will be succeeding despite the obstacles created by his pathologies.

That’s a case Democrats should not shy away from making, despite screams that they must not “politicize” the outbreak. This is exactly the debate the country needs right now — even or especially in the very political context of the presidential race.