Sunday Ethics Warm-Up, 3/22/2020: Fighting The Good Fight Against The Virus That Ate Ethics


(That’s what “Good morning!” sounds like when you’re wearing a mask. At least when you’re wearing my mask: we couldn’t find any of the regular kind, so the best I can do is my “Zombie Werewolf” mask (the above picture is the closest I could find). My wife swears she’ll divorce me if i wear it outside…)

1. Undermine the leader, at all costs. Despite growing evidence that non-deranged Americans are, as they usually do, rallying behind their elected leader in a national crisis (because it is only sensible and patriotic to do so), the mainstream media, all-in as it has been since November 2016 in its effort to damage faith and trust in the President and assist the Democratic party in regaining power, continues to follow the game plan.

For example, in today’s Sunday Times, we have the headline “In This Crisis, U.S. Sheds Its Role As Global Leader,” complaining that even as it promises billions of dollars in aid to Americans as they are trapped at home and locked out of their jobs, businesses, and income, the U.S. should be financing the response to the Wuhan virus around the world. (The next critical piece will be about how the President allowed the debt to explode.) On the front page, we have the mocking headline (over an article by perpetual anti-Trump reporter Maggie Haberman, “Trump Is Faced With Crisis Too Big for Big Talk.” The news in  page 11 story is apparently Republican hypocrisy: “GOP, Once United Against Social Programs, Mobilizes to Push for Cash Relief,” as if urgent, once in a century emergency measures constitute a change in philosophy rather than responsible and responsive leadership. On the op-ed pages we get this despicable headline: “America, Not Trump, Will Save America,” continuing the theme of Democratic rejection and denial of the fact that the President is America, and they work together, or they don’t work. This is, of course, necessary preparation for the mews media’s future narrative that if (when) the United States emerges from the current crisis strong and vital, it will be in spite of the President’s efforts, not because of them. These people are willing to weaken our community when it i most important that we be united, because they believe that destroying the Trump Presidency is the prime directive.

These are terrible, unethical people, not because of what they believe, but because of what they are doing, and have been doing.

2. Speaking of terrible people: I will never tire of reminding my Trump-Deranged Facebook friends that they were willing, even eager, to embrace autocratic, sexist, civil rights debasing Mike Bloomberg as the Great Rich Hope to run against President Trump. Talk about flunking an integrity test, a hypocrisy test, a gullibility test and a critical thinking test in one fell swoop.

We now have learned that Bloomberg is reneging on his promise  to form a new super PAC for the presidential campaign and employ his campaign organizers through November. He has given $18 million to the Democratic National Committee, and has fired the  field workers he had assembled across the country, in the middle of a pandemic when their prospects of employment are grim.  When the ex-NYC mayor and multi-billionaire  withdrew  from the nomination race earlier this month, Bloomberg officials told the workers that Bloomberg would continue to employ some of his campaign’s field staff through an independent campaign organization.

Nope. In a conference call about 1,500 former campaign staff were informed of the change in plans  and encouraged to apply to work for the DNC, though they were advised that, should they be hired, their compensation and benefits would be less.

In other news, records show that Bloomberg’s futile and embarrassing advertising blitz campaign for the nomination cost closer to a billion dollars than the the 500 million estimated earlier.

3. After the pandemic dust clears, picking the stupidest response to the Wuhan virus outbreak will be a daunting task, but this will have to be one of the top contenders.

Dr. Giorgio Palù, a professor of virology and microbiology of the University of Padova and the former head of the European and Italian Society for Virology, revealed that “There was a proposal in Italy to isolate people coming from China.” However, he told CNN that the Italian government balked at the idea of singling out travelers coming from China out of concern it could be construed as “racist.” You know, like calling a virus that originated in China a Chinese virus. Racism.  So the  mayor of Florence launched “Hug a Chinese” Day shortly after President Trump and Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte announced travel restrictions on China.  Beijing applauded  “Hug a Chinese Day”  and promoted it through Communist Party organs  CGTN and Global Times.

Hug a Chinese Day! Why can’t Americans get behind inclusive and and tolerant things like that?

4. On the bright side, isn’t it nice that the younger generations aren’t the only ones behaving irresponsibly and irrationally in the face of the pandemic? No, wait, that can’t be right…anyway, look at this:

Yes, tourists and residents are really willing to risk getting sick and spreading a contagion in order to see some damn flowers.  It should not be necessary to explain why this is unwise.

32 thoughts on “Sunday Ethics Warm-Up, 3/22/2020: Fighting The Good Fight Against The Virus That Ate Ethics

  1. 1. Isn’t it reasonable to ask if these people are doing unethical deeds BECAUSE of what they believe. I.e. the America they want is nearly entirely unrelated to its founding and Constitution. This is a similar thought to my disagreement with our host regarding the patriotism or lack thereof of former President Obama.

  2. In my opinion, limited in knowledge as it is, I believe some of the people are going about their lives and not staying home because the request that they do so has NO definitive end date. Some say two weeks others say as many as 10 weeks.

    I am willing to quarantine myself for a fixed period of time but to ask me to stay home except for doing what someone else deems essential indefinitely is a bridge too far.

    The doctors say that you can be asymptomatic and communicate the disease which expands the threat. Well, that encompasses everyone not showing signs of illness does it not? Why should it matter if I go out and avoid close contact with others.? At what point does my mental well being take precedence over a possible threat I might fall victim to the contagion?

    The fact that none of the experts can say definitively how long this stay at home requirement will be necessary is why some will say enough already, I am going out.

    The media is making a mint from this as so many are under metaphorica house arrest. What else to do except watch the Coronavirus updates that try to make you believe the grim reaper is on your block.

    I really wish we had had a massive snowmagedden to give the talking heads a different drama to report. At least we know when the snow stops in a few days we will be back to normal.

    • CM, there are times I think if I were still in college I’d be down in Miami Beach drinking tons of beer, something I never did in college even thought I was from Miami.

      • I am not sure I would. Spring break vacation is something of an event that could be postponed which is unlike the time lost experiencing everyday life.

        It cannot hurt for these kids to learn to delay gratification for a larger purpose.

        I can’t take issue with someone or a couple walking on the beach during this as long as they distance themselves from others. But, engaging in drinking contests and other activities in which bodily fluids are sometimes exchanged is too frivolous given the circumstances.

        I do believe the shortages of products we are experiencing is a direct result of the indefiniteness of these directives.

    • I just saw an episode of “The Office” in which Jim and Pam are having problems because Jim is away starting a business in Philadelphia and Pam is home wrangling the kids herself. Jim tells Toby the HR guy that, if Pam can hold off a little while longer, things will be better. Toby asks Jim how much longer and explains it’s hard for Pam to sign up to be unhappy when she doesn’t know how long it will last.

      I think your comment certainly explains some of this phenomenon. Americans are okay for sacrificing, but you’ve got to give them an idea of how long it’s necessary.

    • There are two aspects to this situation: 1) the situation itself, a real pandemic of consequence, and 2) what our governments will do with this event. These have to be separated. Different governments will do different things. By that I mean extend their reach and power by taking advantage of this pandemic.

      I have listened to a British doctor — a man who seems highly reasonable and logical — who believes that in a year 3 billion people will contract this virus eventually in 2020. His message is that one — we — either take it seriously or fail to be responsible, and the consequences for irresponsibility are vast.

      But the reason for the ‘lock-down’ — we in Colombia are on a stay-at-home lockdown through this 3-day weekend and which may then be extended into early April — and the reason for lock-downs generally is only to inhibit the rapid spread of the disease that will overwhelm the health system. This makes definite sense here because the health-system is inadequate.

      If what he says is true it will happen that many many millions of people catch the disease, and he literally says half of the 7.5 billion people on the planet. (Myself, I have no idea, but given the skyrocket spread, and the consequences for physically weak people and sick people, the math leads to a very tragic picture).

        • One source I have — a British doctor — says that he believes that 1/2 of the Earth’s population, over the next year, will become infected.

          The way to understand the gravity, is to look at a country in which the mistakes were made (Italy) and not to repeat them (or to cease doing them).

          And the way to grasp the importance of taking the necessary measures is to look at those countries that have limited infection.

  3. 1. “These people are willing to weaken our community when it is most important that we be united, because they believe that destroying the Trump Presidency is the prime directive.”

    Jack, Jack, Jack! “Community?” Really? Don’t you know you can’t use that word? “Community” is the exclusive property of all aggrieved, well, communities! The transgender community. The LBTQ community. The immigrant community. The Islamic community. The physically challenged community. The academic community. The scientific community. To use “community” to include a group that might include white people, taxpayers, people not from the coasts, straight people, duly employed people is just verboten. They’re not part of any community that’s allowed to call themselves such a vaunted thing as “community.” Sheesh. Next thing you’ll be talking about the investment banking community or the Defense Department Community. But, come to think of it, isn’t it interesting that the “Intelligence community” is an okay term? Hmmm.

    • But on February 7, something changed. “The number of new infections started to drop linearly and did not stop,” Levitt said. “A week later, the same happened with the number of the deaths. This dramatic change in the curve marked the median point and enabled better prediction of when the pandemic will end. Based on that, I concluded that the situation in all of China will improve within two weeks. And, indeed, now there are very few new infection cases.”

      That article is not taking into account the draconian measures of physical isolation that were taken and which are still being taken (I assume) in China. It is the drastic intervention that stopped the rapid spread (according to the people I have been listening to).

      In each country where rapid and drastic measures were taken the spread seems to have been stopped.

      But what is still concerning is what will happen when the restrictions are lifted and people begin mingling again?

  4. 1. Well Jack, we must not forget to engage in our daily dose of Two Minutes Hate, courtesy of the ‘Resistance’.

  5. The virus didn’t eat ethics. People’s ethics aren’t built, they are revealed. The Democratic Party hasn’t had ethics since the days they defended Bill Clinton and said that character didn’t count, after all, “it’s the economy, stupid.” If they had even a little left over after Clinton, they lost it after their massive victory in 2008, when they got unlimited power for about a year. They want that unlimited power back so badly that they can taste it, and they thought it was within their grasp in 2016, as Trump was going to not only crash and burn but destroy the GOP down ticket and hand them Congress, so they could make permanent everything that happened under Obama. They were dancing with glee, icing champagne, inflating pink “It’s a girl” balloons, and rigging up a huge glass ceiling for Hillary to walk through at the Javits Center. The mood among them was like a kid anticipating the greatest toy in the world under the tree on Christmas morning, and assured it would be there. Finally it was time to get up, he ran to the tree, and found…a lame looking sweater two sizes too small. Sorry kid, daddy’s boss was building his shore house this year and didn’t give the promised bonus, so this was the best Santa could do. Be good and maybe you’ll have better luck next year. In the meantime this is a teachable moment about dealing with disappointment, being grateful for the things you do have, how family is more important than stuff, and all that jazz. So zip it and let’s go down to breakfast, make sure you eat your prunes.

    Except, like bratty kids who did not get what they wanted, the Democratic Part, the media, and the left generally have been making everyone else miserable. Instead of sticking out their tongues, they write ceaseless nasty editorials and articles. Instead of sulking, they turn every good thing the other side does into a failure and magnify its every mistake. Instead of lying about chores, they tell the Big Lies. They are determined to destroy Trump, just like a disappointed kid breaking mom’s favorite vase. Yes, they are rotten people, but, just like you can’t really change a bratty kid, you can’t change them.

    • I guess I have to be more specific in my metaphors. The virus has indeed eaten ethics in the single sense that IT IS ALMOST IMPOSSIBLE TO FIND AN ETHICS RELATED STORY ANYWHERE THAT DOESN’T RELATE TO THE DAMN PANDEMIC!!!

      That’s all. But I enjoyed the rant.

  6. Reality.

    I wish it were not so.

    It doesn’t matter now if you come to the belated conclusion that Trump is spectacularly unfit, that apart from one or two good moves, he’s blundered and conginues to blunder from one screw up to another. It doesn’t matter if you still give him 10 out of 10 for his perfect performance in all things, as he does himself , and that he, and only he, will save the nation. The golden moment has passed.

    I really, really wish it were not so now.

    • The argument that the US response to the virus has been negligent is simply unsustainable, handsight bias at best, outright dishonesty at worst. When Trump cut off travel from China, the media and the Democrats said he was acting precipitously and perhaps out of xenophobia. It’s a matter of record, and they are stopped from making the accusations they are now.

      I’m curious how much of the false narrative you’ve been led to believe. I’m hoping none. It has been a disinformation campaign. Trump was not undermining scientific analysis when he downplayed the mortality rate of the Wuhan virus from the 3.5% mortality rate being publicized. He was, in fact, correct that the real rate was probably more like 1%, and it was prudent to say so. Trump did not‘dissolve’ the pandemic response office. He moved its function elsewhere. Anyone who isn’t naive about how the various agencies work would immediately know that there were many such bodies scattered around the executive branch, including the CDC. It was always a cheap shot.
      launched by Elizabeth Cameron, who ran the White House pandemic office under Obama.

      . “Officials out of power want back into power after November. But the middle of a worldwide health emergency is not the time to be making tendentious accusations.” Trump did not “fail to take action that might have slowed the spread of the pathogen.”

      The administration fast-tracked the use of testing kits (which was foiled by a manufacturing snafu), and implemented a travel ban with China weeks before WHO declared the Wuhan virus a pandemic. Trump did NOT cut funding to the CDC and NIH, and I am still reading that lie, which was flogged by Biden and others in the Democratic candidate debates. The New York Times claimed that the Trump administration had “muzzled” Dr. Fauci. Obviously false, and Fauci, who is as close to fire-proof as anyone in the government, said so.
      Trump never turned down testing kits from WHO, and he never called the virus “a hoax”
      It’s been one lie after another, designed to undermine the President’s leadership at a time when public trust is critical. Nobody knows what “the best” attack on the virus is or would be, and we will never know. All we will know is what happens. Criticizing the response now is as irresponsible and as wrong as I can imagine.

      • You should do a list of ‘Big Lies’ in regards to the talking points and blatant lies being pushed in regards to the Wuhan Virus-that is if you haven’t already done so already!

  7. The thing speaks for itself: “This model is intended to help make fast decisions now, not predict the future.” Hell of a way to run a railroad.

    Why not just throw your hands up and shout, “We’re all doomed!” And, “We’d better elect a Democrat this time!”

  8. I am not a fan of how American governments have reacted to the Wuhan Virus so far. I believe that the measures taken, especially the ones limiting the amount of people allowed to gather in one place at a time, are overreaching, and unconstitutional at times. Given the s
    shutdown of many aspects of American’s lives, however, the federal response is the best that can be done. We’ll be paying for this extreme increase in the federal debt, but it very well might be the best option we have in the short term. I’ll go along with it, as long as we’re still able to call it as we see it.

  9. Please provide citations.

    The WHO had produced 250,000 testing kits by the beginning of February.
    Every country in the world adopted them – except for the US.

    ” One of my people came up to me and said, ‘Mr. President, they tried to beat you on Russia, Russia, Russia. That didn’t work out too well. They couldn’t do it. They tried the impeachment hoax. That was on a perfect conversation. They tried anything, they tried it over and over, they’ve been doing it since you got in. It’s all turning, they lost, it’s all turning. Think of it. Think of it. And this is their new hoax. But you know, we did something that’s been pretty amazing. We’re 15 people [cases of coronavirus infection] in this massive country. And because of the fact that we went early, we went early, we could have had a lot more than that.”

    Whether he called the virus itself a hoax, or the reports of its danger a hoax, is a distinction without a difference.

    • On the WHO lie: Politifact, which is a progressive mouthpiece and thus will do everything it can to bolster any propaganda from the resistance, rated this “Mostly False.”

      The WHO kits were explicitly for countries without high level health systems, not the US. WHO never offered to sell test kits to the United States. The CDC opted to develop its own Wuhan virus kit test and did not adopt or approve WHO’s protocols.
      Other developed countries with advanced research capabilities developed their own tests.

      Whether he called the virus itself a hoax, or the reports of its danger a hoax, is a distinction without a difference.

      But he didn’t do either, Zoe! I just published this on Saturday, but Big Lies never die: here’s the exact quote:

      Now the Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus. You know that, right? Coronavirus. They’re politicizing it. We did one of the great jobs. You say, ‘How’s President Trump doing?’ They go, ‘Oh, not good, not good.’ They have no clue. They don’t have any clue. They can’t even count their votes in Iowa, they can’t even count. No they can’t. They can’t count their votes.

      One of my people came up to me and said, ‘Mr. President, they tried to beat you on Russia, Russia, Russia. That didn’t work out too well. They couldn’t do it. They tried the impeachment hoax. That was on a perfect conversation. They tried anything, they tried it over and over, they’ve been doing it since you got in. It’s all turning, they lost, it’s all turning. Think of it. Think of it. And this is their new hoax….

      He’s saying, in what should be, by now, a familiar garbled way, that claiming that he is to blame for the crisis is a “hoax.” Not that there is no virus, and not that the virus is more dangerous than it is. He is right that the “resistance” has been manufacturing claims of malfeasance and misfeasance for three years. “Hoax” is a clumsy and inappropriate word for many of them, with the possible exceptiion of the Russian collusion scam, so some of the confusion is the fault of his own lexicon. Nonetheless, the meaning here was, if not clear, undeniable: the Democrats are again telling people that I’ve done something I haven’t, that something being worsening the pandemic.

      • This is the Resistance propaganda technique, circularly repeat lies and create multiple false citation sources by doing so. It’s very much akin to the climate crisis 97% of scientists agree mantra which is total crap. The more liars they induct into their echo chamber the more it appears to be true by the method described above. This is also the same methodology used with Christopher Steele Trump dossier.

        Just keep throwing it at the wall to see what sticks and can be covered 24/7 by the enemies of civilization.

    • From what I understand, the idea of a ‘kit’ is a misnomer. The WHO develops specs for how a test is performed and what’s needed and distributes them to governments. They would either manufacture or order the testing supplies. I don’t believe the WHO owns any pharmaceutical companies to manufacture such things.

      The CDC, in early February, sent out test kits to various states and laboratories. Apparently something was flawed — possibly one of the reagents used in the testing and it took time to get this corrected, which was a primary reason for the delay in testing availability in the U.S., since it took weeks to fix the problem. Blaming Trump for the scientists getting it wrong doesn’t seem reasonable.

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