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Reading: Hydroxychloroquine: how an unproven drug became Trump’s coronavirus ‘miracle cure’

From Hydroxychloroquine: how an unproven drug became Trump’s coronavirus ‘miracle cure’

Julia Carrie Wong in The Guardian traces the movement of the promotion of hydroxychloroquine as a cure/treatment covid-19, and by whom, and for what: to attempt to hold on to legitimacy.

Aaron Shakow, a research associate at Harvard Medical School and historian of medicine, the chief physician of the emperor Nero circulated a recipe for an old miracle cure.

“It was an attempt by Nero to sustain his legitimacy in the midst of this catastrophic event,” Shakow said. “Epidemics are dangerous to rulers.”

Trump’s admin – along with Fox – is setting guesses against expertise; they want a miracle cure that will demonstrate that their power is legitimate. Trump: “But we don’t have time to go and say, ‘Gee, let’s take a couple of years and test it out, and let’s go and test with the test tubes and the laboratories.’” More to the measure: the admin doesn’t have the knowledge or skill to manage a cure.

Instead, Trump helps create a meme to fight a pandemic virus. Fox helps, anti-vaxxers and the right jumps in, and

An 85-year-old medication was well on its way to becoming a Covid-19 meme.

A meme is not a cure.

Dr Anthony Fauci, the country’s top infectious disease doctor, has repeatedly warned that there is no conclusive evidence to support using the drug. Asked whether it should be considered a treatment for Covid-19, he said on 24 March: “The answer is no.”

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Reading: When Will Coronavirus Crisis and Stay-at-Home Orders End?

From When Will Coronavirus Crisis and Stay-at-Home Orders End?

Boris is in intensive care and we’re still seeing willing ignorance.

Neither Jared Kushner nor Donald Trump seem to understand what it means for the federal government to act as a backstop, or what the purposes of a federal medical-supply stockpile could be (given the comparatively tiny size of that government), and how few medical supplies could ever be required by its workforce.

“The notion of the federal stockpile was, it’s supposed to be our stockpile,” Kushner said Thursday. “It’s not supposed to be states’ stockpile, which they can then use.”

The more troubling interpretation of that statement is that it isn’t ignorant but strategic and sadistic. The continued messaging from the White House is that at every stage of this pandemic, states and governors will be left to do their own work rather than rely on federal support and — critically — guidance.

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Reading: US edits National Stockpile website after Kushner claims it’s not for states

From US edits National Stockpile website after Kushner claims it’s not for states

Ars Technica reports on business as usual:

The Trump administration changed the Strategic National Stockpile website’s description of the program yesterday after White House adviser Jared Kushner falsely claimed that the medical-supply stockpile is not meant to be used to help states. The description was changed to minimize the stockpile’s role in helping states through crises like the current pandemic, but other portions of the official website still make it clear that Kushner was wrong.

I doubt that the website declares the actual policy – that would be in official government docs – so the change in the site is an attempt at covering Kushner’s tracks. But it’s not the action of responsible leaders.

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Reading: Trump signals growing weariness with coronavirus social distancing as he grows concerned about the economy – The Washington Post

From Trump signals growing weariness with coronavirus social distancing as he grows concerned about the economy – The Washington Post

A fool by any measure. Let ‘em eat cake.

President Trump on Monday said he is considering scaling back steps to constrain the spread of the coronavirus in the next week or two due to concerns that the impact on the economy has become too severe.

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Reading: Short-term thinking plagues Trump’s coronavirus response

From Short-term thinking plagues Trump’s coronavirus response

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Reading: Trump coronavirus press conference: Despite dire warnings, the president wants everyone to “relax” – Vox

From Trump coronavirus press conference: Despite dire warnings, the president wants everyone to “relax” – Vox

Let’s get this right, because anyone could be infected or infect others, there is no wide-spread test and no vax yet:

[o]n CNN’s State of the Union Sunday, Fauci explained why — even though the coronavirus is believed to be more severe in older people and those with underlying health conditions — young and relatively healthy people should still take steps to limit their exposure.

“The virus is not a mathematical formula,” Fauci said. “There are going to be people who are young who are going to wind up getting seriously ill. So, protect yourself.”

He added that young people can also carry the virus without being seriously affected, infecting those for whom the virus could mean serious health risks. But Trump failed to convey that message, instead making the risk among younger Americans seem slight.

“I think very important — the young people, people of good health, and [these] groups of people are just not strongly affected,” Trump said. “Elderly people that are not well or not well in certain respects are really a very dangerous group. We have to watch them, we have to protect them very much.”

These sorts of statements from the president have become par for the course in this pandemic, but that doesn’t make them any less dangerous. It is true that there are administration officials out there like Fauci who are providing sound, balanced information — but it is also true that they do not speak with the weight and authority of the office of the president of the United States.

So when Trump tells younger Americans they are “not strongly affected” without providing any context, or when he says “it’s a very contagious virus, it’s incredible, but it’s something we have tremendous control of,” which is not true, he is doing more than giving bad advice or indulging in a little self-aggrandizement: He is putting lives at risk.

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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