If Donald Trump really wants to reopen America to business, he needs to stop inciting people with guns to “liberate” their states, and focus instead of keeping his word to expand testing

Our new White House Press Secretary, Kayleigh McEnany, said earlier this weekend that, “thanks to the leadership of President Donald Trump,” the United States had now conducted significantly more coronavirus tests than any other other nation. And, yes, if the name sounds familiar, this is the same Kayleigh McEnany, who, back in February, said on Fox News, “(Donald Trump) will always protect American citizens. We will not see diseases like the coronavirus come here.” Well, she was wrong then, and she’s attempting to mislead the American people now. While it’s true that that we’ve conducted a reported 3,838,321 tests so far in America, ours is a nation of over 328 million people, so we’re only testing about 11,596 out of every million. And that actually puts us pretty far down on the list of so-called developed nations. Iceland, for instance, as of today, has tested 120,416 out of ever million citizens. Norway is at 26,224. Switzerland is at 25,566. Italy is at 22,436. Germany is at 20,629. Spain is at 19,896. And Hong Kong is at 17,579. In fact, we’re not even in the top 40 countries when it comes to per capita testing. So, yes, while we might be getting close to 4 million, it’s a drop in the bucket relative to our population. And, for what it’s worth, it’s no where near what Donald Trump promised.

The White House promised that we’d have 27 million tests by the end of March, which was well over two weeks ago now. Here, if you don’t believe me, is the headline from the ever-trustworthy Fox News. [For those having trouble following along, 4 million is 23 million less that 27 million.]

It’s also worth noting that, while we’ve done far less testing per capita than almost any other developed nation, we also have several times as many infected citizens. As of right now, we have 761,379 confirmed COVID-19 cases here in the United States, whereas Italy, the next country on the list, has 178,972. [We don’t have good numbers from China, but we know many cases our allies have, and we’re blowing them all away. And, guess what? We just reopened the beaches in Florida yesterday! So we’ll likely be in the lead for a long, long time.]

But, in the fantasy world we live in, things apparently look rosy. Donald Trump said today that, under his leadership, we’ve produced “better health outcomes than any other country, with the possible exception of Germany.” I just checked, and, as of today, 40,419 Americans have lost their lives to COVID-19. Most people, I would think, would consider over 40,000 people dead a pretty bad health outcome, but maybe Donald Trump’s “health outcome” formula doesn’t take death into account.

In Trump’s defense, when you factor in the size of our country, there are others doing worse, but there are a lot doing better. Germany, as Trump hinted at, it outperforming us significantly. For every 1 million people in Germany, 55 have died from COVID-19. Here, in the United States, the number is more than double that. We’ve already lost 122 out of every million people. But it’s not just Germany outperforming us. Canada, for instance, has only lost 42 out of every million. So, no, it’s not true that we’re seeing “better health outcomes than any other country, with the possible exception of Germany.”

While we’re on the subject of Donald Trump’s outrageous lies, it’s also worth nothing that, during yesterday press conference, he claimed that, because of the swift action of his administration, the lives of billions had been saved. “It could have been billions of people if we had not done what we did,” he said.

Again, as I noted earlier, the United States has a population of approximately 328 million, or about one-third of one billion. So, for “billions” to have been saved, he would have had to have saved the life of every American six times over.

Before I let you go, I want to reiterate once again that, as much as people talk about wanting to reopen society, it’s not something that we can responsibly do until we have a system for comprehensive testing in place. And the fact that we’ve now almost completed 4 million tests doesn’t even begin to come close. In fact, according to the most recent projections I’ve read, we need to at least triple our testing before we can think about reopening our communities safely. Instead of increasing our testing, however, we’ve seen our number plateau over the past week, as you can see in the following New York Times graphic.

As for why testing is plateauing, it could have something to do with the administration’s refusal to enact the Defense Production Act, help coordinate the national supply chain, or, for that matter, just stop bidding against the individual states for materials.

And, like I noted above, we can’t reopen society, like Donald Trump so desperately wants, until we first get testing figured out. And, here in Michigan, according to Governor Gretchen Whitmer, total daily testing has dropped by approximately 1,000 tests per day over the last week. According to her, we just don’t have the supplies (like swabs) necessary to take samples and conduct tests. Here she is today, again asking Donald Trump to get involved, and not just walk away from this.

If Donald Trump really wants to reopen America to business, he needs to stop inciting people with guns to “liberate” their states, and focus instead of keeping his word to expand testing. It’s that simple.

update: Now three months into this, Donald Trump has finally agreed to invoke the Defense Production Act to produce swabs by over 20 million per month in order to address the problems with testing. Thanks are owed to Gretchen Whitmer, Andrew Cuomo, and every other elected official who pushed him on this issue.

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20 Comments

  1. John Brown
    Posted April 20, 2020 at 4:51 am | Permalink

    We ought to liberate Agent Oranges head from his neck, after a quick trial….

  2. bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted April 20, 2020 at 6:34 am | Permalink

    Aloha, the statute of limitations on the Flint City mass murderers is April 24. Rick “yhe killer” Snyder and his murdering henchmen are about to get away with the deaths and disabilities they have willfully inflicted on the people of Flint.
    Our Democratic Attorney General dropped all prosecutions and has failed to bring any of these criminals to justice.
    To express your outrage, and to call on Nasal to do her duty.
    https://www.michigan.gov/ag/0,4534,7-359-82100—,00.html

  3. bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted April 20, 2020 at 6:41 am | Permalink

    Aloha, recent article on what Rick “the killer” knew and when he knew it.

    https://www.vice.com/en_us/article/z3bdp9/michigans-ex-gov-rick-snyder-knew-about-flints-toxic-waterand-lied-about-it

  4. Posted April 20, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    We need better testing and we need to have proper PPE at our hospitals before we can really reopen things. Interesting how those protestors were only protesting Whitmer and not Trump whose failures are the reason why the state had to take the actions such as the shut down. Hmmmm. I am sure it isn’t because they are horrible sexist assholes or anything.

  5. Pedro da Costa by proxy
    Posted April 20, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    “China did not allow Wuhan, Nanjing or other cities to reopen until intensive surveillance found zero new cases for 14 straight days, the virus’s incubation period. Compared with China or Italy, the United States is still a playground.”

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/18/health/coronavirus-america-future.html

  6. Bob
    Posted April 20, 2020 at 11:40 am | Permalink

    You have an obsession with labeling everything sexism. It borders on being a clinical disorder. Hating Whitmer for her lady parts is probably the bottom of a long list of reasons they are doing this. Get a fucking grip.

  7. Posted April 20, 2020 at 2:11 pm | Permalink

    Bob, just because you are yourself too sexist to see sexism in our culture, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t there. It is there. Those protesters would have had a much smaller turnout much less press coverage if the governor was male. And come on, we are talking about mostly Trump voters. They are ALL sexist (even the women) in that they were ok with voting for a man who routinely treats women like garbage. This is a man who very recently has butted heads with Whitmer and called her “That woman from Michigan” as if her name holds no importance. I am sure that factored into the minds of the protesters.

    On a side note, I have been watching that Hillary documentary on Hulu. It makes me love her even more than I did and I can see even more clearly the mistake I made in 2016 in voting for Bernie Sanders, who btw is himself a bit sexist. You can really see what a hero HRC is in that documentary and how very unfairly she has been treated. Oh well, she has done so much! It is sad that Trump caused the democrats to back down and pick yet another old white man for the nominee but that just means that there is more work to be done. There is always a next time

  8. Posted April 20, 2020 at 2:13 pm | Permalink

    Anyhow, Bob, you can make a case to me that sexism isn’t a factor after we have had 45 female presidents in a row and 200 years or so of an all-female congress and SCOTUS. That would be equality would it not?

  9. Jean Henry
    Posted April 20, 2020 at 2:39 pm | Permalink

    “It borders on being a clinical disorder. ”
    AKA “Bitch be crazy”
    If so there are a whole lot of us lately…

    I’m not sure why men of my generation find this new evolution of outspoken and very broad based feminism so hard to handle. The clearly feel called out. But a comprehensive view of sexism or any social ill, reveals that most of it in structurally determined and then simply re-enforced by social norms that we then internalize. ALL of us. It’s actually not the sexism that upsets (sexism is the norm) so much as the anger and nastiness that emerges in defense of it. Like all movements, the metoo movement is imperfect and evolving and getting smarter, but does anyone really deny it was necessary? Really? The operative question for sensible progressive people is not what harm is the movement creating but how does that harm stack up against the harm it addresses?

    Anyway, women have been emboldened by both an increasing awareness that our individual and very personal traumas and obstacles are broadly shared ones. We know we have power in numbers. And we also know we aren’t a monolith and we’re going to have to learn a lot from one another while still maintaining the unity needed.

    I don’t know why men feel shunted aside by the movement. 1 in 6 men are sexually assaulted before they are 24 according to some studies. And usually by men. We know men experience violence at the hands of other men too. I don’t know why men want to protect the patriarchy. It really only serves their insecurities and feelings of inadequacy and the kind of chest thumping bravado (easily read as and expression of insecurity) often on display here.

    I can say that there are plenty of men out there who don’t behave like Bob or iRobert. Usually it’s other men who tell me men like that ‘just can’t handle’ a woman with string opinions. They say it very knowingly. That seems simplistic. At any rate, I know that sexism isn’t all your guys are. We’re not reducing you when we talk about the sexism regularly on display here. And e aren’t saying it’s intentional. We’re pointing up a cultural phenomenon. And we’re telling you how it feels to us, having lived with this shit our whole lives. Your inability to listen is going to limit the seriousness with which we take anything you all say.

    So I guess we should really just leave it to this; the feeling is mutual. We don’t take each other seriously because of our mutually distinct views on sexism and how it manifests. Can we just stop talking about it now? Its so fucking boring. Just don’t expect to be taken seriously and we can call a truce.

  10. bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted April 20, 2020 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    Aloha, preliminary study by Chinese scientists on rapid mutation of the Sars Cov 2 virus raises real questions about vaccines and ever generating “herd immunity”.
    Also helps explains variance in lethality between outbreak in NY and California.

    https://www.scmp.com/news/china/science/article/3080771/coronavirus-mutations-affect-deadliness-strains-chinese-study

  11. Posted April 20, 2020 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    On the plus side of rapid mutation is that often viruses like this mutate to become less lethal as the more lethal strains kill their hosts.

  12. iRobert
    Posted April 21, 2020 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    Trumpanzees should all move to Georgia where they can live free. Is being liberated this week!

  13. Jean Henry
    Posted April 21, 2020 at 11:21 am | Permalink

    My 85 y/o dad’s latest Covid limerick. Part of a series:

    When doing a virus forecast,
    one thing we have learned from the past:
    It’s only the beginning, and not the ninth inning,
    and Mother Nature bats last.

  14. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 21, 2020 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

    Bats last

  15. Jean Henry
    Posted April 21, 2020 at 12:51 pm | Permalink

    Yep.
    Pretty, pretty, pretty good.

  16. iRobert
    Posted April 21, 2020 at 1:14 pm | Permalink

    I think I oppose holding up the stimulus bill in order to get any sort of political initiative forwarded. It’s bad strategy.

  17. bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted April 21, 2020 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    Aloha Lynne, the problem with the lethality burning through its host is the highly infectious nature of this virus. SARS 1 is horribly lethal, but far less infectious same with Enbola as a result we have been able contain these viruses.
    This one you are infectious for days before experiencing symptoms.

  18. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 21, 2020 at 3:51 pm | Permalink

    iRobert: You need to learn how to put yourself in other peoples BlackRock leather n rich polished boot-type-boot-shoes.

  19. iRobert
    Posted April 26, 2020 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Not really, FF. I was just doing the “love it or leave it” routine. I wanted to remind people in Michigan that they could have a moron for a governor, like the folks in Georgia.

  20. Posted July 14, 2020 at 11:26 am | Permalink

    Michigan man killed after stabbing customer during mask argument, pulling knife on deputy, MSP says

    https://www.clickondetroit.com/news/local/2020/07/14/michigan-man-killed-after-stabbing-customer-during-mask-argument-pulling-knife-on-deputy-msp-says/

    (From ClickOnDeteoit.com)

4 Trackbacks

  1. […] this probably explains why he’s spending so much time attacking our Democratic governor and urging his supporters to “liberate Michigan”. It’s also probably why he’s visiting Michigan to speak with auto workers tomorrow. And […]

  2. By Mark’s Covid Diary… May 25, 2020 on May 26, 2020 at 10:44 am

    […] leadership, but he’s been fighting on behalf of the virus, by insisting that states be “liberated” and businesses be […]

  3. […] of all, though, he decided to play games with people’s lives by encouraging his supporters to “liberate” their states from leaders enacting public health-informed policies on social …, and politicizing the wearing of masks, leading to shit like […]

  4. By We are the shithole nation on June 25, 2020 at 6:31 am

    […] fought against public health experts, defying the CDC, encouraging conservative activists to “liberate” their states, slowing down testing, and even going so far as to politicize the wearing of […]

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