Donald Trump’s visit to the CDC

I’ve got a long post I want to write about COVID-19, but I just don’t have the time right now. While you’re waiting for it, though, here’s something to reflect on. The following two quotes are both from the President of the United States. Both are taken from his speech yesterday at the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) in Atlanta, where scientists are frantically attempting to get a handle the strain of the coronavirus, which has, as of right now, already taken the lives of 19 American citizens. I defy anyone in the audience to reconcile these two statements.

QUOTE 1:I like this stuff. I really get it… Every one of these doctors said, ‘How do you know so much about this?’ Maybe I have a natural ability.

QUOTE 2:I didn’t know people died from the flu.

It is difficult to overestimate just how much danger we are in as a nation right now. Donald Trump’s unique combination of egomaniacal narcissism, paranoia, jaw-dropping stupidity and cruelty, is the antithesis of what we need at this moment in our nation’s history. The situation that we are facing demands honesty, intellectual curiosity, collaboration, compassion and a respect for science, and instead we have a Commander-in-Chief who wears a campaign hat into the CDC, admits to making decisions based on public perception over public health, demands to be publicly praised by his appointees, cuts off virologists with false statements, and then takes the opportunity to say that our nation’s most gifted scientists are shocked by just how bright he is. It is absolutely, fucking insane.

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38 Comments

  1. iRobert
    Posted March 7, 2020 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

    EOS, HW & FF, how do you explain these Trump statements?

  2. Anonymous
    Posted March 7, 2020 at 9:56 pm | Permalink

    While we wait for EOS, HW and FF, check out the face of the guy at the CDC as Trump talks.

    https://twitter.com/jfreewright/status/1236282192826859521?s=20

  3. Nobody
    Posted March 7, 2020 at 9:58 pm | Permalink

    “You cannot solve the problem if you do not properly know the scope”

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ow5bhEi6EdY

    Seattle area is at 98 confirmed and growing. I have a friend that works in the ER at the UW Hospital and she said they don’t have enough test kits to test everyone… including the hospital workers on the front line of this mess. She is frustrated. China is testing 1.6 million a week and we have only tested 1,900 to date in the whole country? And we had 3 months advanced notice? People are dying out here. Schools and businesses are closing with no idea when they will reopen. We have no idea how many people are infected and what we are dealing with.

    What really sucks is this just exposed another level of nastiness in income inequality. Facebook, Salesforce, Amazon, Microsoft, and other tech firms are asking their employees to work from home with no pay interruption, but the janitors still need to clean the buildings.. The baristas still need to serve coffee. The bus drivers / Uber drivers still need to cart people around. The grocery store workers still need to stock and bag and check out. And they have to because they cannot afford not to.

  4. Anonymous
    Posted March 7, 2020 at 9:59 pm | Permalink

    Also, the flu of 1918 killed Donald Trump’s grandfather, Friedrich Trump, so he should have know that “people die from the flu”.

  5. Nobody
    Posted March 7, 2020 at 10:09 pm | Permalink

    iRobert –

    I’ll respond for EOS, HW, and FF. The answer is “3.6”.

  6. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 1:56 am | Permalink

    He assumes you have the maturity to understand that there is a certain scale implied. Obviously he knows some people die of the flu. He never would have believed the NUMBERS that he found that die of it. It’s hyperbole. He uses it to draw attention to something because he knows idiots will take it literally. He’s been using the same technique all along.

    https://twitter.com/Breaking911/status/1236461844132499458?s=09

  7. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 2:59 am | Permalink

    NPR took a dubious tone to Trump’s travel restrictions in the early days of the outbreak.

    https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/01/31/801686524/trump-declares-coronavirus-a-public-health-emergency-and-restricts-travel-from-c

    U.S. officials also tried to explain their reasoning for an intense focus on this outbreak, which so far has not led to any deaths in the U.S., though it has led to more than 250 in China.

  8. iRobert
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 6:59 am | Permalink

    It’s astonishing to me that you perceive it that way. It really seems impossible to me that you or anybody would.

  9. Sad
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 7:52 am | Permalink

    HW there have been deaths in America.

    What’s the delay for actual facts to make it through Q to the adherents? Four hours? A day?
    Three days?

    In other news I predict that Bernie will win Washtenaw county.

  10. EOS
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    I would need to see the context. Based on past experience with Mark’s posts, I wouldn’t assume that two sentences accurately convey the full meaning.

  11. iRobert
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:21 am | Permalink

    EOS, will you check into the context and explain to us how it is that we shouldn’t take the statements he made as meaning what they apparently do on first look?

    Sad,
    I predict Biden wins Michigan.

  12. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    You’ll catch up, iRob.

    Not sure what you are trying to ask, Sad.

  13. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:25 am | Permalink

    As of 1/31 there hadn’t been any deaths and NPR was wondering why Trump was making such a big deal. Doesn’t fit the ‘incompetent’ narrative.

  14. Sad
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Let’s make a bet iRobert. Whoever wins gets to name HW and he has to use it.

    I say Bernie wins Michigan repeating his upset from 2016.

  15. iRobert
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:37 am | Permalink

    Ok, it’s a bet, Sad.

    Do we have to announce our new names for HW now?

  16. iRobert
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    We could also ask HW to come up with the terms of our bet. What do you think we should wager on this, HW?

  17. Sad
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:48 am | Permalink

    I need to think about it.

    Don’t bring HW into this, it has nothing to do with him. Except he’ll get a new name.

  18. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    You’ll be calling me The Ultimate Warlord by the time we are through.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-2IfF6o-fro

  19. Jean Henry
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 12:28 pm | Permalink

    John Mulaney is the only prophet worth paying attention to.
    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JhkZMxgPxXU

  20. iRobert
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

    It’s a shame the virus kills people with weak immunity systems rather than killing those with weak minds.

  21. iRobert
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Fiona Hill is on 60 Minutes. I wanted to warn FF, EOS and HW not to watch.

  22. Jean Henry
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    i robert– where do you think you fall on the weak minds scale?

  23. Jean Henry
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 6:45 pm | Permalink

    Do you have a death wish?

  24. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    First quarantine in fifty years

  25. iRobert
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    I have a pretty weak mind, Jean. But I Know the difference between a logical argument and an attempt to misrepresent.

  26. Jean Henry
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 7:25 pm | Permalink

    iRobert– how often does someone say something is logical with which you disagree? Do you think they don’t believe what they are saying is both factual and logical? Do you really believe they intend to misrepresent? If not, then one must conclude that they believe what they are saying. Is it more common/easy for us to fool ourselves or fool others? Is it possible that our belief in the reliability of logic (especially our own logic) is in fact the seat of most cognitive bias?

    You don’t ‘know the difference;’ you think you do.

    That’s a powerful delusion but your assessment of truth is subjective until it is stress-tested by people with whom you disagree.

    It doesn’t matter how beautiful and elegant the logical framework is around your thinking. Resilience is the test of durable strength.

  27. iRobert
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

    You don’t seem to know what is meant by “logic,” Jean. A person’s thinking isn’t logic. Would you like me to get the definition for you?

    Your misrepresentations of other people’s positions is a tactic. It is also likely that you think that is a meaningful way to debate. It isn’t.

    The reason you are so frustrated with logic is because you learned to push your narrative by other means. It’s why you are so often proven to be wrong by a number of individuals here and on a number of topics.

  28. iRobert
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 7:52 pm | Permalink

    JH: “iRobert– how often does someone say something is logical with which you disagree?”

    Very rarely. People who make illogical arguments rarely make reference to “logic” itself.

    JH: “Do you think they don’t believe what they are saying is both factual and logical?”

    They may assume that, but I’m confident they rarely have actually examined their perspective from a logical framework.

    JH: “Do you really believe they intend to misrepresent?”

    Yes, I do. I think it is learned behavior. Misrepresenting is in their mind a legitimate way to influence others opinions.

    JH: “If not, then one must conclude that they believe what they are saying.”

    One can conclude that either way. But as I say, they do intend to misrepresent. They don’t see it as logical. They see it as within the bounds of what is appropriate behavior.

    JH: “Is it more common/easy for us to fool ourselves or fool others?”

    Ourselves, obviously.

    JH: “Is it possible that our belief in the reliability of logic (especially our own logic) is in fact the seat of most cognitive bias?”

    Logic, by the strict definition, is not something that is our own. You seem to slip back and forth between the strict definition and the definition which refers to a person’s general manner of thinking.

    JH: “You don’t ‘know the difference;’ you think you do.”

    I clearly do understand. You are slipping back and forth between a strict and a broad, general use of the word. That is easy to see, and understand.

    JH: “That’s a powerful delusion but your assessment of truth is subjective until it is stress-tested by people with whom you disagree.”

    I’ve never accused a friend of mine of asking my daughter inappropriate questions, and then have it turn out I was the one who submitted the questions. That’s delusional far beyond anything I’ve experienced in my life. So you might be projecting a bit when you call other delusional. You might want to consider that.

    JH: “It doesn’t matter how beautiful and elegant the logical framework is around your thinking. Resilience is the test of durable strength.”

    Learn the difference between the two definitions you are confusing, and then maybe you’ll make some progress.

  29. Jean Henry
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 8:56 pm | Permalink

    “People who make illogical arguments rarely make reference to “logic” itself.” — HAhahaha

    Cant get past the first line. Whoa. Try saying that to any woman over 30. Mansplainers always lean on their supposed logic.

    Oh this is funny. Before you tell me ‘mansplainers’ isn’t a thing, let me tell you a quick story. I used the term ‘mansplaining’ to a senior HR professional, a woman with 30+ years experienc. She asked me to explain the term, when I did she laughed for 30 minutes straight. And then every time she saw me for a few weeks. Not because it was a ridiculous term but because the behavior was so familiar to her but had never been named before.

    Oh boy do they lean on the term logic too.

    Oh my iRobert. You are something.

  30. Jean Henry
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:04 pm | Permalink

    iRobert please define the two versions of ‘logic’ that you believe I am employing. Because I’m fairly certain I’m only employing one. And I’m doing so because the more strict and rigorous version is not one I ever see applied on MM.com

    It could be tht we are arguing at cross puposes because we are employing to different definitions, but I assure you I do not believe I have ever seen you use logic in the strict sense ever. I do see you employ a range of bullying tactics intended to shame people into submission. You for sure employ broad statements of certainty about subjects that are for sure subjective and at minimum are missing necessary information.

    Your core belief that memory is reliable and that anyone whose memory fails is ‘delusional’ is also demonstrably untrue. The entire premise is false.
    What would the rules of logic say follows from a counterfactual premise?

    The Buddhists agree with you re delusions but they are universally applied. They understoofd a great deal about the failures of human perception, especially when distorted by ego.

  31. Jean Henry
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:13 pm | Permalink

    Happy International Women’s Day Everyone! Some #facts here based on #logic about women– an enduring mystery.

    “LISTS
    WOMAN FACTS
    by SANDRA NEWMAN

    A woman is born with all the exclamation points she will use in her lifetime.

    – – –
    When cornered by a predator, a woman can swell to three times her normal size, but won’t because it is unladylike.

    – – –
    In pre-modern times, sightings of women by sailors gave rise to myths about mermaids. In fact, the woman is not even a fish.

    – – –
    Behind men’s backs, all women speak French.

    – – –
    The “period” is a myth devised by the 1810 Ladies’ Secret Conclave. Tampons actually serve to prevent the genie from escaping.

    – – –
    If you stare at a woman for over a minute without protective lenses, you will go insane.

    – – –
    Whenever a man leaves a room full of women, all the women sigh dramatically and mutter, “Not man enough!”

    – – –
    You can sometimes find tiny, luminous women growing under rotting logs. In the South, these are called “Huckabee wives.”

    – – –
    Take a woman onto your palm. Blow gently on her feathers and she will uncurl and show you her belly. If it has a pink plus sign, she is pregnant.

    – – –
    You may think the woman is invincible. No: If you steal a woman’s earrings, she becomes as helpless as a man.

    – – –
    It is unlucky to bring a woman on board a ship unless you ask her politely not to sing to the kraken.

    – – –
    In Norway, it is considered bad luck to kill a woman that is found in the home. Instead, in a ritual originating in pre-Christian times, the family will bake her a “woman-cake” and marry her to their household spider.

    – – –
    Contrary to urban legend, the woman is not interested in hearing about your day.

    – – –
    When it is time for a woman to lay her egg, she separates herself from the coven and heads off into the wilderness alone. Making her way across hundreds of miles of forbidding territory, she finally comes to the ocean, where she digs a hole at the water’s edge. Here she burns all the photographs of the lying prick who made her pregnant.

    – – –
    Once women who lived unconventional lives were seized as witches and burned. Now people just say to them, “You look tired.”

    – – –
    Large numbers of women can be caught by baiting a trap with a crying infant. Though only one woman may fall into the trap, hundreds of others will gather to criticize everything she does with the child.

    – – –
    If you are concerned you may be a woman, take off your clothes and stand in front of a mirror. If you see a penis and testicles, you could be a man. If the ghost of a giant on horseback forms behind you, you are a woman.

    https://www.mcsweeneys.net/articles/woman-facts

  32. iRobert
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:20 pm | Permalink

    Mansplainers and Ma’am-splainers don’t bother with logic. They’re usually just explaining the obvious as though it isn’t obvious. That’s the experience that women are referring to when using that term.

    That isn’t what’s usually happening in your communications. With you, people are almost always just trying to reestablish some sense of reason or logic. You lump you’re experience in with women’s genuine experience of mansplaining so as not to have to face what it actually is.

  33. iRobert
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:34 pm | Permalink

    You use the term “logic” in reference to a person’s personal manner of thinking. It’s not wrong to say that is their personal logic, but it allows you to slip between two very different definitions.

    You can find the strict definition of logic in any dictionary.

  34. iRobert
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:40 pm | Permalink

    I’m sure you’ve observed at one time or another, a crazy person claiming to be victimized and using particular language so as to lump their own more unusual experience in with a mass of people who genuinely are victimized. It apparently provides the individual some comfort to believe they are simply being victimized as part of a group, and not because their behavior is bringing on a response.

  35. iRobert
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    A person being kept in psychiatric care, for example, will often claim they are being persecuted. There certainly are people being persecuted. But the individual in psychiatric care isn’t necessarily. They are having difficulty seeing how their own behavior is a genuaine problem for them.

  36. Jean Henry
    Posted March 8, 2020 at 10:36 pm | Permalink

    I don’t feel victimized Robert. I think you all are hysterical. My feeling is that your acute defensiveness displays your own weakness not mine. I state my peace her and people can judge that as they will.

    Your accusations of madness and delusion and irreality on my part are truly odd. I don’t think they have much to do with me, sorry to say. If someone who actually knew me said those things, I would pay attention. But I have a rich life, full of lovely and supportive friends and family and so far none of them have claimed I’m nuts– at least not for my incapacity to reason.

    Kee digging around into why it is I bug you so. I’m sure an answer will come.

  37. Frosted Flakes
    Posted March 9, 2020 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    I defy anyone in the audience to reconcile these two statements.

    QUOTE 1: “I like this stuff. I really get it… Every one of these doctors said, ‘How do you know so much about this?’ Maybe I have a natural ability.“

    QUOTE 2: “I didn’t know people died from the flu.“

    ………………………………………………………………..

    Context and chronology ColuMbo.

    The chronological order of the quotes are reversed. And out of context (obviously!).

    Everybody already knows that Trump’s communication style involves exaggeration and bragging. It’s a part of his personality. Duh! Trumps communication style is part of the context from which we ought to derive meaning.

    Trump, who is well know for hyperbole and bragging, was trying to 1)put Corona virus into context against the flu; and 2) reassure Americans that he is not anti-science.

    First, Corona virus is bad but probably similar (in terms of fatality rate) to something else that is also bad (the flu) but which does not instill panic/ fear because we have somewhat accepted it and because it is a known thing. The “I did not know the flu killed people” comment occurred within the context of Trump explaining that the fatality rate of Corona virus might be similar to the flu after we figure out how many people actually have Corona. He was trying to say that HE HAS RECENTLY LEARNED THROUGH HIS CONVERSATIONS WITH HEALTH PROFESSIONALS/EXPERTS THAT HE HAD BEEN UNDERESTIMATING THE EFFECTS OF FLU, so he was using the flu as a way to contextualize the seriousness of Corona virus to help his audience put the dangers into some kind of perspective. Trump, immediately around his hyperbolic statement, gave accurate figures regarding flu deaths this year, in average years, in historically bad years. Trump was accurate with his figures. Trump was trying to communicate that he has been learning about the Corona virus from the scientists and what he was learning is that flu is more serious than he thought and that it is possible that the Corona virus is similarly serious but not something to completely freak out about. He was not taking it lightly but he was saying that similar precautions ought to be taken as the precautions we ought to be taking against flu. And Trump admitted his ignorance about just how serious the flu is, as part of the little story he was telling “America” about how he had been learning so many new things from scientists. Boots on the ground….

    Second, Trump was trying to say that he appreciates the hard work of the scientists. He has experienced their greatness first hand. The scientists helped him understand the threat better. He then went on to start bragging about how good of a student he has been, how science might be in his blood, how he appreciates scientists, how in an alternate universe he may have been a scientist…. Who cares? It is part of his personality…duh! IMO he is doing it because he is a braggart but he is also bragging about his potential abilities as a scientist as a counterbalance to the narrative that Trump is not to be trusted as our president, when we have Corona virus outbreak, because he is supposedly anti-science generally.

    IMO, attempting to stoke fears, for purely political reasons, in the midst of a health crisis, is divisive, counter-productive, dangerous and highly dickish. Not Private-detective type dickish-ness because willingness to stoke those fears requires a high degree of willful obtuseness.

    Context and chronology ColuMbo.

  38. iRobert
    Posted March 9, 2020 at 3:14 pm | Permalink

    Jekyll/Hyde walks into a psychiatrist’s office wearing only a cellophane suit.

    The doctor says, “I can clearly see yer nuts!”

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