What Donald Trump knew about COVID-19, when he knew it, and how his administration made the pandemic much worse

Not too long ago, I shared a timeline here of Donald Trump’s various lie-filled statements concerning the coronavirus outbreak, starting with, “We have it totally under control,” which he said on January 22, 2020. In that post, as you may recall, I not only included quotes from Donald Trump, but, where possible, I added other facts, in order to provide the appropriate context. For instance, when I noted that Donald Trump, on March 2, said, “I’ve heard very quick numbers (for a vaccine), that of months,” I was also sure to add that, a week before, on February 26, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said that a useable vaccine was “about a year to a year and a half” away. Well, in the three weeks since I posted that timeline, we’ve come to know a lot more about what the President actually knew about the coronavirus outbreak, and when he knew it. So, I thought that I’d mark today — the day that the United States overtook Italy as the country with the most official COVID-19 deaths — by filling in a few more details on our timeline. What follows is by no means complete. Hopefully, however, it’ll at least give you a little to chew on while we wait for the inevitable congressional commission to start its investigation.

Donald Tump has made it clear that he accepts no responsibility at all for what’s happened. He’s actually come right out and said, “I don’t take responsibility at all.” The truth is, however, that his administration not only failed miserably in the response to COVID-19, but started laying the groundwork for the pandemic years before the first case was discovered in China. Most notably, as we’ve discussed in the past, the Trump administration, in the Spring of 2018, disbanded the pandemic response team within the National Security Council that had been established during the Obama administration. This was done over the warnings of our public health and national security communities, and politicians like Senator Sherrod Brown, who wrote to the President on May 18, 2018, asking him to reconsider the decision.

In October of 2019, just over a month before the coronavirus outbreak was to start spreading through Wuhan, the Trump administration shut down the Predict program, an initiative started under our second president Bush, and continued under Obama. The mission of the program, according to USAID, was the “detection and discovery of zoonotic diseases at the wildlife-human interface.” [Zoonotic diseases are those like COVID-19 that jump from animals to humans.] According to Senator Chris Murphy, Predict, which had been “actively working in China” at the time that it was shut down by Trump, “had found 1,200 viruses (and 160 coronaviruses) in 10 years.” So, we had zoonotic disease researchers on the ground in China in October — scientists who had been able to effectively identify 160 different coronaviruses over the previous decade — and the Trump administration shut the program down.

It’s unclear as to whether or not it ever made its way to the desk of Donald Trump, but it’s looking as though our U.S. spy agencies had raw intelligence data as early as November indicating that there was an outbreak of some kind in Wuhan, China. According to NBC News, this information came “in the form of communications intercepts and overhead images showing increased activity at health facilities.” This information apparently made its way to some federal public health officials in late November in the form of what’s called a “situation report.” But, for some reason, this information never found its way into formal intelligence reports until December. As for when the situation in Wuhan was first brought to the attention of the Pentagon, here’s Defense Secretary Mark Esper saying that he doesn’t recall. [One hopes he can come up with a better response by the time the investigations begin.]

According to reporting by the New York Times, the National Security Council “received intelligence reports in early January predicting the spread of the virus to the United States.” And we know that, by January, this information had made its way into the President’s intelligence briefings. Reporting on this subject, however, is always clear to point out that we have no way of knowing whether or not Donald Trump, who is known to prefer Fox News to real intelligence, actually read these reports. What we do know, however, is that, on January 18, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar called Donald Trump to brief him on the seriousness of the outbreak. Two days later, we would have the first confirmed case in the United States. And, as we know now, there was talk inside the government at this time about “shutting down cities the size of Chicago.” In spite of this, Donald Trump said publicly on January 22, “We have it totally under control.” And he wouldn’t get behind those plans to shut cities down until March, only after U.S. governors had stepped in to issue shelter-in-place orders.

You could argue, as other have, that Donald Trump didn’t hear what Alex Azar had told him on the phone on January 18, and that he hadn’t read his intelligence briefings. We know, however, that, by January 29, he was fully aware of the seriousness of the situation. We now this because, on January 29, Trump trade adviser, Peter Navarro, submitted a memo to the President saying that as many as 500,000 Americans could die as a result of COVID-19, and that our economy could see trillions of dollars in losses. And we know that Trump read the memo, which said, “The lack of immune protection or an existing cure or vaccine would leave Americans defenseless in the case of a full-blown coronavirus outbreak on U.S. soil.” Navarro went on to write, “This lack of protection elevates the risk of the coronavirus evolving into a full-blown pandemic, imperiling the lives of millions of Americans.”

It’s also worth noting that, at roughly the same time that the above is happening, emails are swirling through the federal government about the magnitude of what we’re likely facing. “Any way you cut it, this is going to be bad,” wrote Dr. Carter Mecher, a senior medical adviser at the Department of Veterans Affairs, in an email to a group of public health experts on January 28. “The projected size of the outbreak already seems hard to believe.” Here’s one of the notes in that chain of emails, which were sent under the title “Red Dawn,” in reference to the 1984 film about an unsuspecting United States being overrun by an army of foreign invaders.

And, on January 30, we know that that Health and Human Services secretary Alex Azar talked with Donald Trump a second time, and this time “directly warned” the president that we might have a pandemic on our hands. And we know that Trump heard him this time, as it’s been reported that the president “responded that Mr. Azar was being (an) alarmist.”

So we can be relatively certain that, when Donald Trump said on January 30, “We think we have it very well under control,” he knew that wasn’t the case. He had, by this point, been warned of a pandemic by Azar, told to expect as many as 500,000 deaths by Navarro, and received numerous intelligence briefings… the contents of which, we can be certain, will eventually come out. But yet, on January 30, he said that we had it all “under control.”

The very next day, by the way, Azar would declare a Public Health Emergency (PHE) for the United States.

And in spite of all of this, Donald Trump not only lied to the American people about the severity of what lay ahead, but refused to act. As Donald Trump’s failure to take action on the part of the American people has been well-documented, I won’t get into it here, but I would like to share this clip from Fox News, as I suspect it might carry a little more weight with some of the more heavily brainwashed Trump cultists. [For those of you who like real news, I’d suggest reading, “The U.S. was beset by denial and dysfunction as the coronavirus raged,” in the Washington Post, which is all about the 70 days that were wasted by the Trump administration.]

In early 2017, members of the Obama administration public health team met with 30 Trump officials, to walk them through a number of pandemic scenarios and discuss the federal government’s pandemic flu playbook, which had been in existence, and evolving, since 2005. For those of you who are unaware of the “playbook,” here’s an excerpt from Politico.

“…(E)ven as the coronavirus threat arrived this January, the National Security Council set aside a step-by-step playbook carefully crafted by the Obama administration and career officials – based on their own sometimes rocky experiences dealing with H1N1 and Ebola — for an ad hoc process that’s left the White House running consistently days or weeks behind on its response.

…But the Obama-era warnings were largely ignored, forgotten or abandoned. Two-thirds of the Trump appointees who attended the 2017 pandemic transition exercise would end up leaving the administration before the coronavirus outbreak arrived this year. The pandemic playbook — which specifically warned of the high lethality of a coronavirus — was set aside.

…In the White House, Tom Bossert, a Bush administration veteran, was tapped as Trump’s first homeland security adviser where he was enthusiastic about the pandemic playbook prepared by his predecessors, advocated for readiness and began devising what became the 2018 National Biodefense Strategy.

….Bossert was already long gone (though). The pandemic-preparedness advocate had been dismissed in the spring of 2018 and the new national security adviser, John Bolton, dissolved the White House’s pandemic office and shifted the staffers into a broader National Security Council team. That meant Bossert was left trying to warn his former colleagues about coronavirus via Twitter and on TV, urging the administration to move faster to stop an outbreak that he predicted could kill hundreds of thousands of Americans…

So, essentially, there was a book that explained, in incredible detail, what had to happen at every point along the way, but no one in the Trump administration consulted it. If they had, the would have started acquiring personal protective equipment for America’s front-line health care workers three months ago. But they didn’t. And people are dying as a result… Here’s more background on the pandemic playbook.

As for when the Trump administration started procuring PPE, it wasn’t until mid-March. If you don’t believe me, here’s a quote from the Associated Press: “A review of federal purchasing contracts by the AP shows federal agencies largely waited until mid-March to begin placing bulk orders of N95 respirator masks, mechanical ventilators and other equipment needed by front-line health care workers.” And not just were they not acquiring PPE, they were actually allowing PPE to be exported. Just think about that the next time you see a photo of a nurse wearing a garbage bag.

So, when Donald Trump says, as he often does, that “Nobody could have predicted something like this,” he’s lying. People did predict this happening. They predicted exactly this. And they warned him repeatedly. They even gave him a playbook explaining what needed to be done, step by step, when the time came. But he chose not to listen. Instead, he fired the scientists and scrapped the playbook. And, as a result, 22,033 Americans are dead today, and there are mass graves in New York.

There’s more that I could say. There’s a lot more. There’s the fact that Fauci and deputy NSC adviser Matt Pottinger wanted to ban travel to Europe in early February, but Mnuchin and Trump, fearful of what it might do to the economy, overruled them. There’s the fact that Trump could have ramped up testing earlier, but chose not to as he thought that the results could hurt his reelection campaign. There’s the golfing and the rallies. There’s the blaming of Obama instead of taking responsibility… This list is endless… I’m going to have to end here for now, though. Good night, my invisible friends. Stay well. We’re going to need to in the fight.

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  1. iRobert
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 10:32 pm | Permalink

    The timeline of the administration’s idiocy and utter incompetence continues at this moment. The excuse machine is running at full tilt.

  2. Sad
    Posted April 12, 2020 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

    Bye – bye Dr, Fauci.

    You had a good run.


  3. Sad
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 12:43 am | Permalink

    Let’s go Blue!


  4. John Brown
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:30 am | Permalink

    Agent orange had done exactly as shitty as any sane person would have easily anticipated. When we eventually see his taxes and all the evidence of “beholden to foreign powers”, the conclusion that a traitorous ruskie stooge was foisted on us by an ignorant minority will be forever enshrined in history. We must defend the truth against these enemies of the Constitution and America.

  5. Jean Henry
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    Harbaugh was always an asshole. Everyone knew it. Brady was less of a dick, which says a lot. I don’t understand why he gathers so much praise. It’s not about his religiosity; it’s about his conceit.

  6. bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 9:33 am | Permalink

    Aloha, just some details on the November intelligence. Before China had the C-19 outbreak, they had a flareup of pneumonia bubonic plague ( it also is transmitted through respiration). It occasionally occurs in inner-Mongolia. Several individuals brought the plague to Wuhan. It was dealing with suppressing this outbreak that was partially responsible for the relatively slow recognition that they were dealing with something new when C-19 broke put.
    I remember reading about the plague outbreak around Thanksgiving.


  7. Bob
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 9:53 am | Permalink

    The other takeaway is Sherrod Brown was always the candidate we should be going at Trump with.

  8. bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:17 am | Permalink

    Aloha for all the Republican grifteers apologist and Trump hero worshippers (hw) we know how things could have been.


  9. bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    Aloha, then there is Trump using his office to promote his families investments based on bad science


  10. iRobert
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 11:11 am | Permalink


  11. Bob
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 11:39 am | Permalink

    I’m not a real sports expert like you Jean. Explain to me exactly how “Harbaugh was always an asshole and everyone knew it?”
    I don’t agree with him on abortion in any way but that is really a typical Jean Henry scorched Earth overstatement.

  12. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    How could it be “worse” when we are so far below the best-case projections let alone worst case?

  13. Posted April 13, 2020 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

    HW, I know your biases are blinding you to the facts here and that is probably why you are completely unable to view Trump in any kind of realistic light but let me explain a pretty common customer service concept. It is called “Under Promise, Over Deliver” Basically, if your experts are telling you that there could be 50,000 deaths, you release inflated projections of say 200,000 deaths. Then, when the death toll comes in at 50,000, it looks like you did a much better job than you actually did. Trump is good at this technique. He is also good at just ignoring things and saying that he did a good job and people like you who aren’t really all that great at critical thinking will soak it up without question.

    There is blood on the hands of anyone who didn’t vote for HRC last time.

  14. Jean Henry
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:14 pm | Permalink

    Bob– I’m the same age as Harbaugh and went to UM when he did. I served him food. Several times. Regularly even. Servers can tell you which customer is an asshole pretty easily. Most aren’t. He was literally 1 out of 100 asshole. Granted he was the big man on campus then. But he also went to primary school in Ann Arbor and I’ve heard he was an asshole then too. I’m not impressed much has changed. But you know, Jesus can work wonders.

  15. Jean Henry
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Bob– Are you under the impression that you don’t engage in ‘scorched earth overstatements” yourself?

    Should a remind you of some of your posts?

  16. Jean Henry
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:19 pm | Permalink

    Hyperbolic bitter statement + personal insult + profanity – substantiation = Standard Bob post

  17. Jean Henry
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    We’re all going to die:

  18. iRobert
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:35 pm | Permalink

    Lynne and HW,

    There have been 23,000 COVID-19 deaths confirmed in the US so far. More than 2,000 died Friday, and well over 1,000 have died Saturday and then again Sunday.

    This virus will continue to run its course over at least a period of another 14 months. Anyone who thinks fewer than 100,000 people will die in that time has major mental malfunction.

  19. iRobert
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:40 pm | Permalink

    Someone needs to tell Trump how loyal HW, FF and EOS are, so he can appoint them to his committee to re-open America. I’m certain they’d do a better job than Ivanka and Jared, and they’ve proven here that they’ll stick by Trump no matter how ridiculous it is to do so.

  20. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    No substance, iRobert. You don’t even say what you think is ridiculous. 23,000 deaths (accurate reporting of cause of death) is above or below the projected rate? When other leaders were telling people to behave normally and you were missing out if you didn’t go to Chinese New Year and should hit the bars and everything, the President banned travel, correct? Fauci was telling people there is no problem way late. I don’t understand the anti-Trump hysteria.

  21. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:04 pm | Permalink

    I think anyone who thinks they know how many will die from it and how long it will last must have the malfunction. How do you think you know?

  22. iRobert
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:05 pm | Permalink

    I could write continuously without end on what I think is ridiculous, HW.

    For starters, Trump’s interactions with other people are all ridiculous. The way Trump talks about himself is ridiculous. The way Trump demonstrates publicly his incredibly limited knowledge of very basic things is ridiculous.

    Do you personally know anyone who behaves like Trump does? Do you know anyone who talks about himself in the manner that Trump does?

  23. iRobert
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

    Viruses of varying characteristics are always running their course through the global population. Most have a much lower kill rate than this virus. Most don’t spread anywhere near as easily and quickly as this one. This one is carried by many people without showing symptoms.

    However, in regard to the way viruses spread through the global population, there are many predictable dynamics. They never disappear in a rapture one day. They always run their course. That process can be slowed down by a whole host of variables, but once the virus has spread as widely as this one did early on, there is no stopping it completely. There is only the possibility of slowing it through extraordinary measures.

  24. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:20 pm | Permalink

    Slippery Lynne talking crazy….She is claiming Trump purposefully inflated the projected severity of Corona to make himself look good? She is claiming experts actually believed best case would be 50k dead? Experts thought deatb tolls better than a bad flu season?

    Slippery because slime-y.

  25. iRobert
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:28 pm | Permalink

    The reason tens of thousands of Americans die every year from common flu is because we do not have the means to stop them from running their course.

    This virus is killing more than a thousand Americans per day. If it only continues to do that for another two to three months, it will exceed 100,000 in kills. It’s going to be slowed down by the stay-at-home orders, but those are not sustainable for more than a couple months. As conditions shift back toward normalcy, the virus will resurge.

    It’s not rocket science.

  26. iRobert
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:39 pm | Permalink

    It’s pretty clear the 100,000 to 240,000 estimate was an honest one. If the country can keep the total number of fatalities to the lower end of that estimate, we will have done an exceptional job at dampening the impact. I expect we’ll be at the high end by this time next year.

  27. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    But “he’s ridiculous” is another no-substance complaint. You can call anyone who disagrees ridiculous but again: no substance. It’s just your personal like/dislike. I think the President has absolutely wasted countless fools on the dem/media side and done it hilariously. Why does he always come out on top no matter what they do?

    Internationally he has received high honors I have not seen other presidents get. The Sword Dance, entering the Forbidden City, the queen stepping out of his way so he could be in front as they walked…Pretty fuckin’ badass shit I’d say.

  28. Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

    iRobert, I don’t think anyone knows what the final death total will be. I certainly have not claimed that. I was just giving a hypothetical example but I can see that wasn’t clear. I should have used some made-up concept like “widgets” to make my example.

    At any rate, there is really no data or facts that can legitimately be spun into “Trump is doing a good job”. He is obviously doing a terrible job. I think HW and FF just don’t want to admit that they have blood on their hands for voting for the guy.

  29. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:10 pm | Permalink

    Your idol, Biliary Blinton dreams of an American Union with open borders. You have explicitly advocated for the elimination of borders yourself. You think we’d be doing a lot better in the age of CV-19 if you had your way? You are ill, Lynne. I promise you. Chronic TDS to the nth degree.

  30. iRobert
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

    HW: (But “he’s ridiculous” is another no-substance complaint.)

    The manner in which Trump communicates with other people is ridiculous. It is ridiculous to demand praise. It’s pathological. It’s ridiculous for a man in his 70s to react to criticism as a child would. That’s ridiculous and pathological. It’s ridiculous that he can’t fill cabinet positions. It’s r rediculous that he thought there were 15 cases of COVID-19 infection in the US and that there would soon be zero. That was mind-numbingly stupid. It is ridiculous that Trump’s response to being asked what the metrics would be for the decision to “re-open the country” was to point at his head. It’s ridiculous that Trump doesn’t realize he can’t “re-open the country.” It’s ridiculous that he said that he really likes this stuff and that he really gets it, the way a child would say.

    I keep asking you and FF to tell me how much of Trumpian behavior you experience from people in your personal life. I don’t get an answer on that.

    I also wonder if you yourself, in your personal life, ever say or do the strange things that Trump does. Do you praise yourselves in your personal lives. Do you react to criticism the way Trump does? If you don’t, why do you see it as normal that Trump does?

  31. Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:23 pm | Permalink

    HW, FWIW, I suspect that HRC would have required screening and testing of those crossing our international borders and may have closed them outright considering that this is a special case. Wanting more open borders and better immigration laws during regular times is not the same as advocating for them during a pandemic.

    iRobert, some people have trouble seeing shades of grey in others. They see people as all good or all evil. That combined with their racism/sexism allows them to blame everything on Obama and Hillary. Even Trump’s clearly horrible inept response to this virus.

  32. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:26 pm | Permalink

    I think the critique has been ridiculous. If you intentionally, continually falsely accuse the President of treason for one colossal example I think you deserve a bit of an ass-kicking. Your media and dem leaders have behaved like babies. Lying, scheming, evil demon babies from hell.


  33. iRobert
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

    Lynne: “iRobert, I don’t think anyone knows what the final death total will be. I certainly have not claimed that.”

    Of course nobody can predict exactly what the final death toll will be. But we can predict with great certainty that due to the vast spread already, this virus will not be stopped from eventually running it’s course. We will be able to flatten the curve, but we cannot do much about the volume represented in the curve.

    Common flu viruses kill tens of thousands of Americans every year. That’s not because everything is done to minimize it, within reason. No flu is stopped from running it’s course. It’s only reduced to the best of our capacity.

    What a virus does early on is very predictive of what it will ultimately do through its full run. That’s how the CDC estimated the 100,000 to 240,000. They didn’t just pull that number out of their ass as you’ve inagined.

  34. iRobert
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:30 pm | Permalink

    It’s interesting that you, HW, and FF will not answer my questions. I think that says more than anything either of us could ever say in endless writing.

    I don’t fear any questions. I will be happy to answer any questions you or FF may have. I don’t see honesty and openness as a thing to fear or dodge. There is a very good reason I don’t.

  35. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:31 pm | Permalink

    Would she cough up an instant test for each traveller like those green golf balls she hacked up into her water and then played it off by trying a little taste? Ahahahaha!


  36. iRobert
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    Trump is a man in his 70s who behaves like an insecure and learning disabled child. It’s ridiculous to see a personality like that in the Oval Office.

    When I say something to make fun of EOS or FF, they generally don’t respond the way a emotionally troubled child would. You generally don’t either. That’s why I’m curious as to why none of you acknowledge Trump’s behavior as such. You all clearly see some value in behaving something like adults, and that’s as anonymous commenters on a blog with few readers. I’d imagine the three of you would be even more thoughtful about your conduct if you were a public figure.

  37. Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    I never th0ught they pulled the numbers out of thin air, just that Trump may have inflated them.

  38. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:48 pm | Permalink

    I don’t think your questions are very insightful. I have never met anyone I would think of as like Donald Trump. He has exceptional courage, fortitude and talent.

    He is undertaking perhaps the most dangerous and important operation of all time by rooting out and destroying pedophile networks worldwide. Think of it: the Windsors, who survived scrutiny of their close association with the nightmarish character Jimmy Savile are falling apart now. FBI wants to talk with Prince Andrew about old Jeffy Jeff?!

    Huh! It’s almost…juuust like…exactly the kind of things I have been talking about for years and have withstood tremendous abuse about. I think it’s going to unite the country actually; all this elite pedo shit being in the people’s face.

  39. iRobert
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:54 pm | Permalink

    Well, you won’t get anything but enthusiasm from me if rich and powerful pedophiles start getting arrested. But as long as it’s just talk, I’m not holding my breath.

    I was happy to see Epstein arrested. Wasn’t so impressed with the inability to anticipate him getting a hit put out on him.

  40. Sad
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 6:55 pm | Permalink

    HW you’re the only one who has Trump confused with The Vivian Girls.

    But whatever.

    Trump might pull through this.

    But I still like Dr. Fauci better. That dude fucking rocks!

  41. iRobert
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:03 pm | Permalink

    By the way, I believe Virginia Giuffre.

    Everyone in Epstein’s “client list” should be in prison by now, or hit like Epstein.

  42. iRobert
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:18 pm | Permalink

    The number of confirmed COVID-19 cases worldwide has just passed 2 million. The US accounts for 29% of that.

  43. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:23 pm | Permalink

    It starts with FISA declassification. I have been saying that for years and now there are rumblings about declassifying Horowitz’s damning footnotes. There are multiple Grand Juries convening now. There is a massive criminal investigation that will restore equal justice and lead to much more. It’s what I have said all along and it kind of looks like it is happening.

  44. Sad
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 7:24 pm | Permalink

    Imagine if Trump hadn’t listened to Dr. Fauci?

    It’s got to be hard to shut down the whole economy.

    Look what hard time Governor Whitmer is having.

    And Trumpndid speak favorably of Michigan’s efforts tonight.

  45. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Fauci said it was nothing to worry about in January.


  46. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:14 pm | Permalink

    March 9th he said it’s okay to go on cruises. Don’t be a doofus.

  47. Sad
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

    Are you really that unable to comprehend things you watch?

  48. iRobert
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 10:59 pm | Permalink

    Russia, a country with a population of 144,500,000, is reporting fewer confirmed cases of COVID-19 than are being reported in the metropolitan Detroit area.

    The number of reported COVID-19 deaths in metro Detroit is approximately ten times the number of deaths Russia has reported.

    Maybe Trump should ask his hero Putin what’s his secret is.

  49. Jean Henry
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 11:12 pm | Permalink

    “When I say something to make fun of EOS or FF, they generally don’t respond the way a emotionally troubled child would. You generally don’t either.”

    iRobeet— do you really believe that HW and FF don’t respond to criticism in ‘the way an emotionally troubled child would?’

    Does anyone else here by that (other than those named)?

    Truly curious.

    I would proviso only that FF responds “like an emotionally troubled child’ with a lot of words, maybe even a manic need to speak rapidly and in excess.

  50. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 13, 2020 at 11:56 pm | Permalink


    Sorry, I did not respond. I just feel like I am a broken record…I love the way Trump talks to the fake news media. I also like how he calls out his political rivals. There is no nice way to deal with smear artists and bullshitters.There were a few times he has overstepped and I have thought he should issue an apology but generally I think he is doing a great job. I know that is annoying to hear…Sorry…But those are my genuine opinions.

  51. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 12:23 am | Permalink

    Regarding: “learning disabled child.” I have wondered if Trump has some sort of learning disability…But a person can still be very intelligent and have a learning disability.

  52. iRobert
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 3:03 am | Permalink

    Do you know people personally who behave like Trump does? Do you have insulting nicknames you add to the actual names of people you know? Do you know other people who do that? Do you compliment yourself frequently? Do you personally know people that do that?

    I don’t think you, HW, or EOS have answered when I’ve asked those questions.

  53. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:24 am | Permalink

    No, not to the same extent.

    But there are a million different ways to say “fuck you”. People are essentially saying “fuck you”, in veiled ways, to each other all day long,everyday, in the realm of politics.

    Against his enemies, he is in a constant state of war. You might find it gross but I usually find it courageous. The people that attack him are almost always frauds who will do anything to grab power. I usually like the nicknames he gives to people. “10% Joe”, “Shifty Schiff”, “Pocahontas”—he is, more often than not, capturing the essence of these people. Why do you ask? Is there a specific instance that you are especially concerned about?

  54. iRobert
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:21 am | Permalink

    I ask because I am wondering why Trump supporters don’t feel comfortable doing the things he does. I am under the impression it is because they have a higher standard for themselves than for the President.

  55. Bob
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 8:41 am | Permalink

    Is there nothing Jean Henry isn’t an authority on? Queen bullshitter.

  56. Jean Henry
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 9:09 am | Permalink

    Bob— I speak to areas about which I have some knowledge. Tell me why don’t you attack Mark for speaking from his areas of knowledge and personal experience. Or anyone else here?

    Also you just proved my Bob-comment equation accurate. To repeat:
    Hyperbolic bitter statement + personal insult + profanity – substantiation = Standard Bob post

  57. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 11:05 am | Permalink


    Whether or not we need a gladiator president greatly depends on the Dems. I don’t know if you have noticed but they are equally viscous if not more veiled. What is necessary is never wrong. Hitting back is always ok and Trump always hits back.

  58. Bob
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 11:27 am | Permalink

    But Jean, Mark doesn’t post one long winded blab after another. Ofen with such urgent fury that it’s filled with spelling and grammar mistakes. He also cites his sources when he isn’t obviously just giving his own opinion. Say what you will about my posts, my thoughts are my own. There is such an obvious pattern with your desperate need to react immediately to every turd droplet that drips out of your enemies (everyone) brains. We can practically hear you furiously googling some trivial article that counterpoints something HW says with facts you pretend you had in your memory all along. The cut and paste master. You’re fooling nobody. Have you ever sought therapy to examine why you feel the need to pretend you’re so much more informed than you actually are? Or why you constantly need to remind us that you grew up privileged and rejected (not failed) that bourgeois life? So quick to label others and so easily rankled by anyone who judges you.

    The Harbaugh thing is just so…weird. you served him some chicken sammiches at the student union twenty-five years ago so you dismiss an accomplished persons life with such authority? It says way more about you than it does him. And fuck you for making me defend a jockstrap like Jim Harbaugh.

    My only regret with this one is you probably flatter yourself that I spent a lot of time thinking about you. I didn’t. Freshman level psych is enough to figure you out. You aren’t nearly as complicated as you like to believe you are.

  59. Jean Henry
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    I served him at a diner Bob. They’re intimate. Like being a bartender. But please continue to demonstrate how disinterested you are in me.

  60. iRobert
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 12:04 pm | Permalink

    Did you think Trump’s video was a good use of his time and of the time of everyone in the room? In my universe it was ridiculous to put it together and play it at a White House briefing. I perceive it as being a display of desperation and an inability to focus or establish a command over the situation.

    By the way, do you have any questions for me? I don’t want to seem like I’m always on the attack. I can answer any questions about my perceptions as well, if that would be helpful at all to understanding people who share my perceptions.

    I really am just astonished that you, HW and EOS say the things you do about Trump, the way he talks, and the things he does. It really is bewildering from my perspective. It truly amazes me that anyone could perceive him as effective or strong. If I worked for him I’d be almost dying of embarrassment.

    I’m not wound up and wanting to insult you guys. I don’t really feel like fighting about any of it. I don’t feel the impulse to call you guys names, as others here seem to feel. I don’t wish anybody any stress or anxiety. It really is just an extraordinary curiosity to me. I feel I should make that clear, because when communicating through text it’s not easy to gauge a person’s attitude. Also, I’m very comfortable with watching how this all will play out. From my perspective, I fully expect Trump supporters will be under increasing pressure to explain their perceptions in a way that makes sense to themselves. I think it will be increasingly difficult to do that in a way that allows for holding on to the perceptions that Trump is competent or capable at all.

  61. Jean Henry
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 12:06 pm | Permalink

    Ps I did t dismiss his life. I said he was an asshole. Not the same thing. I regularly call myself an ‘asshole on the internet’ because I am, because that space, which brings out the worst in people, especially grossly sexist and bigoted biases, requires assholery of those committed to the integrity of their own speech.

    I can’t tell if you are upset about the cuts and pastes of things I feel important or relevant (many of whichMark also uses) or when I express an Opinion. What’s clear is you’d rather not hear from me, so I suggest you just skip my comments and spare yourself the frustration.

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


    Trump should show those babies more videos. Maybe they will learn something. Have you noticed how ridiculous some of the reporters are? I feel like you don’t like how improper Trump is but look at all of the dishonest joker journalist partisans he needs to deal with.

  63. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 12:18 pm | Permalink


    I don’t know if other people feel this way but I feel Trump has done a lot better than I was expecting. I feel zero internal need to justify my support. Zero.

    Small sample but in my conversations with others I think other Trump supporters feel the exact same way—but I might be wrong.

  64. iRobert
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Yes, FF, I do notice how ridiculous some of the reporters are. On that, you and I are probably perceiving things much more similarly.

    I am disgusted by how ridiculous the major news sources have become, especially television networks. The industry has fallen dramatically since the days of Walter Cronkite. But most of the obvious gotcha questions White House press ask could be easily handled by a person who doesn’t have Trump’s issues. It’s always easy to imagine the responses Trump could give which would actually give him the benefit and advantage of having been asked those questions. Instead, he always responds like an emotionally stunted child. It’s good embarrassing.

  65. iRobert
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    I don’t know why that came out as “It’s good embarrassing” but my failure to proofread and correct that was definitely good embarrassing.

  66. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 1:30 pm | Permalink

    I can understand how his personality might rub some people the wrong way. It does not bother me at all though. I just see his rough (hit back) style as a feature of his personality. Nothing surprising at all. America voted for the guy who Trump is. I don’t think he should be somebody he is not.

    I guess vote for Biden :)

  67. Jean Henry
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 2:18 pm | Permalink

    Bob— Have you sought therapy about your anger issues and your obsessive resentment (‘rumination’) about people you choose to expose yourself to regularly?

  68. Sad
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 2:49 pm | Permalink

    FF – I will begrudgingly admit you are very, very right.

    Amongst people who support him and some independents, his handling of this crisis is top notch.

    But this is a long way from over.

  69. Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:16 pm | Permalink

    Jean, I think the reason Bob goes after y0u while leaving Mark alone is pretty obvious. He doesn’t like women with opinions. In that sense, he is like many of the other men who comment here.

  70. Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:18 pm | Permalink

    On a side note, I have a friend who lived in the same dorm as Harbaugh during his time at UofM and he has mentioned to me that he thinks Harbaugh is an asshole. Just another data point I know but there you go, now you have two.

  71. Jean Henry
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 4:51 pm | Permalink

    I know the guy is famous but he grew up here and went to UM. It’s not like he’s unfamiliar to any people here. And I’m the same age. Bob’s conclusions were straight up bizarre.

  72. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 5:27 pm | Permalink

    But Cassandra, most of the people who regularly ridicule Mark are also the same people who you say are obviously sexist.

  73. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

    Harbaugh seems like an ass to me too. Am I not sexist now? Keep me updated on my status, ok?

  74. Jean Henry
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 5:47 pm | Permalink

    FF– Rest assured your opinions on Harbaugh or anyone’s opinion on Harbaugh is irrelevant to the determination of sexism.

  75. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    Just keep me updated. I realize it is more of an intuition with you but Cassandra has a formula. How many times do I need to ridicule Mark until not sexist, Cassandra? Is it a ratio?

  76. Jean Henry
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:11 pm | Permalink

    Also not how it works.

  77. Jean Henry
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

    Does it appear to you FF that all the dudes here who have been called sexist pricks (and I admit it is a lot relative to the general population) have the same political point of view? Ot are at all alike except in that they regularly dismiss the perspective of the women here as [apply x, y or z sexist stereotype here].

  78. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Tell that to Cassandra. She seems to have a formula.

  79. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:28 pm | Permalink


    Have you noticed you and I have the same political point of view. I just found out.

  80. Jean Henry
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 6:32 pm | Permalink

    FF— also not what I said. Read again. I asked you if it seemed like the sexist pricks on this site had the same point of view? If they don’t (correct!) then what formula would one apply to determine sexism? And what sure agreeing with Mark have you do with it?

  81. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:16 pm | Permalink

    “Jean, I think the reason Bob goes after y0u while leaving Mark alone is pretty obvious. He doesn’t like women with opinions. In that sense, he is like many of the other men who comment here.“—Cassandra

    I think I agree with what you are saying. Cassandra was wrong when she was using Bob’s failure to attack to attack Mark as a piece of evidence that Bob is sexist. Do you want to tell Cassandra she was wrong? I think it would be better if you explained it to Cassandra because you are not sexist. And vagina.

  82. Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:26 pm | Permalink

    FF, being critical of women while allowing the same behavior in men is a measure of sexism for sure. That you occasionally also are critical of men doesn’t necessarily mean much except that you may also have a bias based on political leanings. Another way to determine if someone is sexist is if they support politicians who are sexist such as how you overlook so much of Trump’s policy. Don’t worry though, I don’t expect you to be able to comprehend this sort of nuance.

    It does always crack me up when you think you’ve got some kind of “gotcha” but really you are just showing us that you aren’t that bright.

  83. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

    “FF, being critical of women while allowing the same behavior in men is a measure of sexism for sure.”

    [gap added for emphasis]

    “That you occasionally also are critical of men doesn’t necessarily mean much except that you may also have a bias based on political leanings.”

  84. iRobert
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 8:03 pm | Permalink

    Nobody could possibly have a problem with Lynne or Jean personally. It has to be that they have a problem with all women on the planet.

  85. Jean Henry
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

    None of you know me personally iRobert. You know me in the internet. Are you the same on the internet as in regular life. I certainly hope not.

    It’s fine that you dislike me. Bring a target for repeated attacks from Bob who has little else to say seems a bit revealing though.

    Do you imagine you, FF, Wobblie etc are less annoying than Lynne or I?

    What makes us such worthy targets for scorn? Did we call you names? Did we accuse you of bias?
    Haven’t all of you done the same?

  86. Jean Henry
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 8:49 pm | Permalink

    And please don’t go Into that who did it first defensive posture. That’s HW’s excuse. It’s enough like 7th grade around here already.

    Oh I forgot you think HW is polite.

    You need to go back and read his comments.

    Double standards abound.

  87. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 8:53 pm | Permalink

    I think Cassandra and I can agree that double standards are tarable. Just tarable. Don’t worry Cassandra it isn’t indicative of much beyond a little underlying political bias. No biggie.

  88. Frosted Flakes
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 9:00 pm | Permalink


  89. Jean Henry
    Posted April 14, 2020 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    Here’s a link actually relevant to the post. Crazy I know:

    It says blaming Black behavior as the reason for disparate outcomes in this pandemic is utter bullshit And yeah racist. Ok well it mostly implies so nicely so you are more likely to get the drift and less likely to start crying about how some feminist was mean to you on the internet.

  90. iRobert
    Posted April 15, 2020 at 2:32 am | Permalink

    You use social conflicts to excuse criticisms of you personally. I was just mocking that.

  91. iRobert
    Posted April 15, 2020 at 2:55 am | Permalink

    It appears that it’s comforting to you to imagine that other people’s reactions to you don’t have anything to do with you personally.

  92. iRobert
    Posted April 15, 2020 at 3:17 am | Permalink

    Jean, you and Lynne are always attacking FF just because you hate breakfast cereals. Admit it.

  93. iRobert
    Posted April 15, 2020 at 6:58 am | Permalink

    I’ll confess. I’m still just mad at Lynne for not being black.

  94. Jean Henry
    Posted April 15, 2020 at 7:41 am | Permalink

    IRobert— do you imagine yourself to have a charming personality?
    Why would I care what you think of me?
    I don’t. I care about gender bias though.

    Let’s be clear. No one here was gung ho to criticize me or Lynne until we talked about gender bias and racism or when we criticized Bernie Sanders here. So I don’t think criticism of who and how we are can be divorced from discomfort with those opinions. And we both poo point inter up how that discomfort expresses itself in ways that reflected Other tropes if gender bias. You all just can’t help yourself.

    But please keep going. Being a target for attack here has been super revealing.

    I know you want me to be upset when you say I’m not a nice person iRobert but I’m not alone in considering the source when considering criticism. I assure you there are people whose opinions I value and whose criticisms I consider deeply. You will never be one of those people. I’d have to be an idiot masochist to give you that kind of authority.

  95. bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted April 15, 2020 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    Aloha Jean, wrong again. Ive found lots of other of your believes to be critical of. Your inability to see that you are a parrot of failed neo-liberal politics combined with your support of neo-conservative “humanitarean” wars is plenty to disagree with.
    I do agree with some of your ideas around sexism and gender rights, but you seem to be unable to recognize that the economic and foreign. policies you support are antithetical to equality.

  96. Jean Henry
    Posted April 15, 2020 at 8:40 am | Permalink

    Wobblie— I disagree with you that more statism and isolationism will lead to better treatment of women and people of color. Where in the world or in history can you show me that is/was the case?

    I never meant to suggest that we all agree otherwise. But good on you for finding an opportunity to point up your areas of disagreement again. You forgot to mention nuclear energy and fracking…
    Any area of social ill will disproportionately impact marginalized sectors of the population.

  97. Posted April 28, 2020 at 6:47 am | Permalink

  98. bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 7:47 am | Permalink

    Aloha JB, assume you are celebrating. JH how is that fracking industry you love doing.


  99. Jean Henry
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    I don’t know Wobblie. Haven’t checked. How’s that sexism and racism you love doing? /s

  100. bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    Aloha JH, you explicitly have mentioned supporting the Obama energy stategy which included massive support to the fracking industry. Have you forgotten?
    Please point to any specific acts of sexism I have engaged in, I am always willing to address mu faults. Please find one racist comment I have made.
    To save the fracking industry we may have to go to war to drive oil prices back up to profitable levels.

  101. Jean Henry
    Posted April 28, 2020 at 1:09 pm | Permalink

    Being ok with fracking as a transitional fuel while objecting to the atmosphere of deregulation in both the Bush and Obama administrations is not the same as ‘celebrating’ or ‘loving’ the industry.

    Please note my sarcasm indication on my comment, Wobblie.

    And I do remember you doubling down on Michael Moore’s poor white working class narrative (racist) and dismissing the force of sexism against HRC.

    So I think we’re on equal ground there except I’m acknowledging the hyperbole.

    There are two docs you could be watching instead of miststating my positions over and over:

    The HRC doc. Many parts; excellent.

    Or Michael Moore’s new doc attacking environmental orgs and giving a pass to fossil fuel industry.

    Let me guess which you’ll choose:


  102. Posted May 12, 2020 at 8:33 am | Permalink

    WATCH LIVE: Fauci, CDC director testify in Senate hearing on how to safely return to work and school


  103. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted May 12, 2020 at 9:02 am | Permalink

    Redpill78 talks you down from the ledge and lets you know it’s going to be okay


  104. Posted May 12, 2020 at 9:05 am | Permalink

    LISTEN LIVE: Supreme Court hears arguments by phone – May 12, 2020


    Trump v. Deutsche Bank AG

  105. Posted September 9, 2020 at 9:22 pm | Permalink

    Thanks to Bob Woodward, we now know.

    From CNN:

    ‘Play it down’: Trump admits to concealing the true threat of coronavirus in new Woodward book


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