Mid-Day Ethics Stimulus, 3/31/2020: Dunces, Heroes, Hacks And More

I’m stimulated!

And you?

1. Maybe not the wisest move, but ethical… Rep. Tim Burchett (R-Tenn) shared  his cell phone number on Twitter for anyone who needed to discuss their fears about the impact of the Wuhan virus. “If [you’re] feeling overwhelmed or scared and just want to talk to somebody give me a call,”  said. “We will get through this together.”

He added, “I know everybody’s under a lot of pressure with what’s going on with the Coronavirus. If you’re feeling all that pressure and it’s getting to you…I know in the last little bit here we’ve had nine people in our community taking their life. That’s a horrible, horrible thing, somebody taking their own life. If you feel like you’re going to hurt yourself or maybe hurt somebody around you, why don’t ya’ll just call me. Let’s talk.”

2.  I know this is an unpopular position, but it’s not the first time I’ve explained it. CNN’s Brooke Baldwin was overcome with emotion as  she interviewed a woman who’ had been unable to say goodbye to her mother in person before she died of the Wuhan Virus. Baldwin is an unprofessional hack. In recent years, alleged professional journalists, especially on CNN, have allowed their emotions to influence their reporting. This results in a form of editorializing, and the practice demonstrates how much today’s journalists see themselves as performers rather than objective communicators of information.

Admittedly, this kind of interview is designed to bring out the Kleenex,  but CNN lets its hosts display grief when a favorite candidate loses (like Hillary Clinton), glee, when a figure they don’t like is abused (Carol Costello chuckling at a recording of Sarah Palin’s daughter breaking down)  or anger when a political figure  doesn’t toe the progressive line. (Don Lemon, more or less constantly.) It’s hackery.

3. And today’s Covidiot is...Pastor Rodney Howard-Browne of The River Church in Tampa, a so-called “mega church” that held a service over the weekend in which over a thousand worshipers  were “squeezed in like sardines,” as one reporter described it. Howard-Browne had said that he would defy the restrictions imposed by the state and county to stem the threat of the  worldwide pandemic. “We are not stopping anything. I’ve got news for you, this church will never close. The only time the church will close is when the Rapture is taking place,” the reverend said.

Following the service, a warrant for his arrest was issued. He is now in custody.

4.  Hmmmm...Here are Governor Ralph Northam’s exceptions to his “order” regarding the stay-at-home restrictions in Virginia:

a. Obtaining food, beverages, goods, or services as permitted in Executive
Order 53;

b. Seeking medical attention, essential social services, governmental
services, assistance from law enforcement, or emergency services;

c. Taking care of other individuals, animals, or visiting the home of a family

d. Traveling required by court order or to facilitate child custody, visitation,
or child care;

e. Engaging in outdoor activity, including exercise, provided individuals
comply with social distancing requirements;

f. Traveling to and from one’s residence, place of worship, or work;

g. Traveling to and from an educational institution;

h. Volunteering with organizations that provide charitable or social services; and

i. Leaving one’s residence due to a reasonable fear for health or safety, at the direction of law enforcement, or at the direction of another government agency.

Aside from the fact that some of this would be vulnerable to constitutional challenges—those will come later—why is traveling to and from churches permitted, if church services are per se prohibited? Why is traveling to and from schools an exception, if all schools have been ordered to close? Why is visiting a relative permitted, but not a close friend? A best friend? Your only friend? Do only blood relatives count? In-laws? Seventh cousins twice removed?

The order seems arbitrary and hastily composed. Laws that infringe on civil rights cannot afford to be like that, if they want to withstand eventual court challenges, or even if they just want to be coherent.

5. Ugh. Mike Lindell, the My Pillow infomercial hustler whose TV ads have been banned at my house, was a guest at the White House Task Force press briefing yesterday.  He explained that his company was  devoting 75% of its manufacturing capacity into making face masks. Then he asked if he could add something, and President Trump said “Okay.”

Well, what choice did he have? The guy has volunteered to do a public service. He has cultivated the image of a nice person. If the President had said, “No, Mike. Sorry. We’re moving on,” he would have looked ungrateful. However that is exactly what Trump should have said. It’s not worth the risk.

Embodying a worst case scenario, Lindell said,

God gave us grace on November 8th, 2016, to change the course we were on. God had been taken out of our schools and lives. A nation had turned its back on God. And I encourage you: Use this time at home to get — home to get back in the Word, read our Bibles, and spend time with our families. Our President gave us so much hope where, just a few short months ago, we had the best economy, the lowest unemployment, and wages going up. It was amazing. With our great President, Vice President, and this administration and all the great people in this country praying daily, we will get through this and get back to a place that’s stronger and safer than ever.

Ethics foul. It was not Lindell’s place to engage in religious grandstanding and a political endoresment, however sincere it might be. This wasn’t a political rally, nor a time for religious proselytizing. It also, once again, painted a target on the President, who responded,

That’s very nice. Thank you very much. Thank you, Mike. Appreciate it…. I did not know he was going to do that, but he’s a friend of mine, and I do appreciate it. Thank you, Mike, very much.

At that point, I don’t know what else he could say.


27 thoughts on “Mid-Day Ethics Stimulus, 3/31/2020: Dunces, Heroes, Hacks And More

  1. 3. Nobody forced those people into that church regardless of how idiotic the pastor is. They should all be co-covidiots of the day.

  2. 4. The Guv graduated Virginia Military Institute (as did I). He has put the Commonwealth of Virginia on room confinement.

  3. > why is traveling to and from churches permitted, if church services are per se prohibited?

    Because churches are still open for private worship.

  4. 2. Hoda Kotb apparently did the same thing last week:


    5. Both MSNBC’s Chris Hayes and CNN’s Don Lemon both suggested that the President’s press briefings shouldn’t be covered because they’re just campaign rallies. One article I read mentioned that CNN cut away in the middle of the prayer while MSNBC played the whole thing. Apparently, both Hayes and Lemon think they should be the decision-makers as to what constitutes news.

    • “Apparently, both Hayes and Lemon think they should be the decision-makers as to what constitutes news.”

      They’re not alone!

      In an all too rare moment of extreme candor, a Mika Brzezinski blast from the past:

      (President Trump) can actually control, ah, exactly what people think, and that is the, THAT IS OUR JOB

      Oh my! Taken out of context?

    • The problem for the media, I think, is that it’s hard for them to distinguish between a Trump rally and just… positive news… at a presser, because positive news at a presser boosts his chances of re-election. This isn’t new, every president in the history of ever has taken responsibility for everything good to happen during their administration, and most have had between little to no issue attempting to deflect responsibility for things that went poorly, and they are more than willing to hold pressers to say so. The press has gone along with this for years, adding little nudges and spin cycles here and there, right up to Trump. And now because they have such a hostile relationship with Trump, business as usual for a presidency is all of a sudden a step too far, because anything that might bolster his reelection is unacceptable.

      As with so many other topics, Trump is not unusual, the response to him is.

      Lemon mused at the possibility of cutting out live coverage of the pressers and digesting them into snippets (and he wasn’t alone), but there’s a couple of problems with that….

      First off, it won’t work. If CNN or MSNBC doesn’t cover the pressers live, how long before Trump just boots them out of his pressers in favor of outlets that cover it live?

      Trump is the most available president in recent memory, particularly when juxtaposed with Obama (Obama barely gave the press any face time, instead choosing to wheel surrogates like Earnst out to spin for him… which was probably a mistake, because Obama was a better speaker, but maybe he didn’t want to many lies directly attributed to him.), his face is pure gold for viewership, even among the people who hate him, perhaps especially among the people who hate him, talk about cutting off your nose to spite your face.

      Second, I think we need to go back to the stimulus for this recent bout of outrage; An ex-con, self made millionaire, who basically embodies the American dream, was devoting 75% of his manufacturing capability to creating life-saving devices in a crisis, and made some religious overtures on stage.

      While people were furiously writing articles wondering if that violated the separation of church and state (it doesn’t, you idiots), Don Lemon, following musing cutting the pressers into snippets, also asked the questions (and I’m paraphrasing) “Why are we covering this? Why is this news? What has that guy done to get on National TV?”

      Well, Don, he devoted 75% of the production of a multi-million dollar business to manufacture face masks in a pandemic. That’s probably newsworthy in and of itself, or would be, if you weren’t too Trump-addled to see it, and while the religious proselytizing doesn’t look great, I don’t see how that makes it anything less than more newsworthy. What’s the more sensational headline: “Millionaire Gives Donation to Starving Kids” or “Crazy Millionaire Gives Donation to Starving Kids, Strips Naked, and Does the Macarena”?

      More, Mr. Lemon, the *hell* have you done recently? Aside from drinking yourself stupid for our viewing pleasure every new years, or breaking face and crying on air when you feel really strongly about something? I have no idea why you think your bobble-headed opinions are any more or less newsworthy than Lindell’s, and yet week after week we’re treated to your view of the world, as stunted as it is, while you hasn’t come up with anything a fraction as useful as a single mask in the history of ever.

  5. A reasonable thing that some of the bigger churches have done is hold their Sunday services outside in the church parking lot with some kind of a video display screen and an audio link to each car/truck. A much better solution than some ego centric minister manipulating them to sit closely together where they might be exposed to Coronavirus. I hope that minister thinks about what being your brother’s keeper really means while he’s in jail.

  6. The Church has had a solution to this since the earliest days: home groups.

    As long as the demand by the State for people to not gather is

    1) uniformly applied to ALL people and not, in practice or intent, focused on one set of people;

    2) is in reaction to a reasonably perceived immediate and catastrophic danger to the community

    Then, Churches *should* willingly comply along with the guidance put out by the authorities.

    Now, if either of those conditions aren’t met, and given that in #2, “reasonable”, “immediate” and “catastrophic” are all contentiously debated, I think such a blanket ban on citizens *freedom of assembly* should be seen as a threat to liberty.

    Are we there yet? Not sure.

  7. This sort of manifestation of popular sentiment interests me. For some people such a statement, even if they were to make it, would be said *without irony*. That is, there are many many millions of people in the country today who share, precisely, this sentiment and the belief that stands behind it.

    I could not make the same statement, not in that way, yet I could definitely make a statement as a *philosophical Christian*. It would be expressed in a more intellectual way.

    I have begun reading One Hundred Percent American: The Rebirth and Decline of the Klu Klux Klan in the 1920s (Thomas Pegram, 2011) There is a very obvious connection between the activism of the Second Klan in that decade and the events of our day with the election of Donald Trump, the man who overturned the established order, or seemed to.

    Though this Klan manifestation was destined to fail, for so many reasons not the least being a very bad internal organization, the reason people were drawn to it were very similar to the reasons rural and ‘deplorable’ America was drawn to Trump: the sense (the knowledge) that they are hamsters in a cage being manipulated by powerful player. Not powerful players *over there* somewhere else, but devious players who operate within the corrupt American system.

    So, those who signed up and participated in these Klan activities in the 1920s were not *bad* people, but they were people who understood that they were losing control over their own *reality*: their own social and cultural world. There is a whole complex of reasons. But the overall sense (at least the one that I have though this author also alludes to it) is the changing shape of the American world and the sharp increase in projects of ‘social engineering’. Those *average people* had average American, and also Protestant, concerns. Both the Jew and the Catholic made them uncomfortable, and for some decent reasons. A social war has been conducted, and in certain ways this ‘average Protestant American’ has been defeated, weakened. But these are the people who largely built this country.

    Though they had a difficult time attaining it, many of these men and women who joined this bizarre Invisible Society, were interested in ‘renovation’, in protecting institutions, especially education, from the radicals that were taking it over. But just like today these are people who ‘see the world through a glass and darkly’. They did not have the interpretive tools to make sense of what would soon be done to them: immense social engineering projects in which the American Citizen, like a hamster or perhaps more precisely put like a peasant, would be manipulated and molded by powerful players, by capital interests, by specific sectors within manufacture and industry, and by those in the revolving doors between government and monied interests.

    Today, what looks to be happening is a nearly fantastic, a literally almost unreal, usurpation of the people’s faith. When I say *people* I mean of course *the original demographic* (though I am aware that such a designation arouses discomfort in those reading). I am in the same boat as anyone else: I gaze at events through dark glass. Everything that has happened since 9/11 (and including 9/11!) can be seen through suspicious eyes as Master Manipulation. Everything that took place as a result of 9/11 (2 planes, 3 buildings) has not in any sense ‘benefitted America’. It seems to have resulted in the unraveling of America, the de-making of it. And what will be done, and what is being done with this Pandemic? Who has the lens to *see*? Who can *interpret*? There are some events that are just too large really. You simply cannot see them. Like an ant crawling along trying to visualize What is going on? as the herd of elephants stampedes overhead.

    The *let’s all pray to God* thing and get down on our humble knees . . . is not exactly the right use of conscious, god-aware energy though. Because by definition what is going on around us, and what in this sense has us in its power (or grip if you wish) is *no friend to us*. But haven’t people learned this lesson? There is no *ruling elite* within corrupted America that could serve the people in that Christian sense. Because it is those forces that have entwined themselves within structures of power, and certainly of education, who do not have an interest in a ‘free Republic’, nor in a morally capable individual.

    So, what do people do? What should people do? The nature of the time is not that of *beneficent lightness* and the raining down of Heavenly blessings*. It has rather the tone and scent of a dark, encroachingly dangerous assault.

  8. In response to Michael Erjecito’s post I wrote the following. I am reposting it here because it ties in better with number 4. I have significantly updated and edited the original for relevancy.

    “When this emergency ends, we will give back all powers, without exception.”

    I am beginning to believe this event is a dress rehearsal for government for a much more draconian event later on. One must test the limits of what the public is willing to endure from governmental decrees lest we see the people charging the statehouses with torches and pitchforks.

    Ok, enough of my melodrama. But the quote above is indicative of the risk of a different type of loss well after this virus disappears.

    I keep hearing that Trump ignores science or that he relies on hunches and not data to make quality decisions. Well at 8pm yesterday Maryland Governor Larry Hogan (R) issued the stay at home order or face fines of $5,000 and/or a year in jail. In that decree, there is absolutely no mention as to the scientific data that he used to trigger the order and thus there is no data to indicate when he would lift the order.

    (update:) There is also no specific data driven rationale for a Stay At Home order when all types of recreational activities are allowed as long as they are in groups of 10 or fewer. How exactly does the data suggest that grocery stores filled with hundreds of people crowding the aisles will cause less of a problem than a non-essential service like a mom and pop jewelry store or a scuba shop that usually have fewer than 10 people in it any given time? Why is it that the data supports Home Depot and Walmart being allowed to sell non-essential goods because they are allowed to stay open because they offer other essential goods such as repair items, food, and medicine but a comic book bike shop or video-store must shutter its business? My point is, that for all the claims that decisions are data driven I would wager most decisions are driven by political calculus not necessarily on epidemiological considerations.

    Furthermore, if we are to use data to drive decisions, that data must be understood by all in order to ensure that the people subject to the restrictions imposed will know if the government is abusing its governing powers. The terms of these orders should spell out specifically the triggers that cause regulatory restrictions and when those restrictions MUST be rescinded; these restrictions cannot be open ended and without definition.

    The only data that we hear is the 2.2 million deaths that could have occurred had nothing been done and Dr. Fauci’s equivocating statement that maybe as many as 200,000 might die – but don’t hold him to that. And, the ongoing death watch clocks prominently displayed on all the network news shows and web search engines. We never hear why this decision is made or why we are not doing something that some believe might be helpful. Tell me are the anti-malarial drugs something to be considered as a treatment or a prophylaxes; neither or both. I suppose drugs are worthwhile and can be used off label with some effectiveness so long as they are not suggested by Donald Trump.

    We cannot use infection growth rates as growth rates as a trigger because they may be much higher initially with low absolute numbers. Going from 10 cases to 30 cases an increase of 20 cases is a 300% increase but going from 100 cases to 120 cases is only a 20% increase. Then the issue is where are the cases occurring? Should a county with few infections be subject to the same restrictions as a highly populated hot spot?

    I do wish the media would stop confusing the public by switching between growth rates, absolute numbers and per capita values. When the press states that on a per capita basis the US lags other nations in testing, that suggests we are not doing enough even if we have tested three times the amount of others. Growth rates don’t mean beans if you don’t have a basis from which to measure. Growth rates and absolute values must be used in tandem to make them meaningful.

    Many in the media and some within our commentariat believe there has been an abysmal failure at the federal level to adequately plan for such a pandemic. NO, the Governors and legislatures of the respective states have been an abysmal failure at preparing for such an emergency. In my state, Maryland, we have the Office of Emergency Preparedness.


    How prepared is Maryland Governor Hogan?

    On the Resources page there is not one mention of the Covid-19 virus under infectious threats. We are still mentioning Middle East Respiratory Syndrome (MERS), Ebola, and Zika but all is quite on the Chinese Flu front.

    Is the reference to MERS a bigoted and racist term? I did not consider the others to have racist connotations because how many Americans know Ebola is named after a river in the sub-Saharan Africa and the others after other places in Africa.

    Our governor seems to be at odds with his own departments. We are prepared for any eventuality according to our state team. They say so!


    IS THE DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH PREPARED? Yes! The Department of Health Office of Preparedness and Response prepares in a variety of ways:
    • Maryland Influenza Plan and Pandemic Influenza Plan
    • Pandemic influenza exercises for emergency personnel
    • Partnering with local, state, federal, and private agencies to prepare for, prevent, and lessen the impact of a flu pandemic
    • Maintaining a stockpile of antiviral medications and medical supplies ( WHERE ARE THEY)

    From their web pages we find that their preparedness program is merely a funnel for federal funds.

    The mission of the Hospital Preparedness Program is to support and enhance the ability of hospitals and health care systems to provide effective care and save lives during emergencies. The Office of Preparedness and Response receives annual federal funding to advance these goals and objectives. The Maryland Department of Health awards these funds in the form of grants to our health care system partners across the state (including hospitals, free-standing emergency departments, emergency medical services, community health centers, and home care and hospice agencies). Health care system partners utilize the Hospital Preparedness Program funds to enhance their ability to prepare for, respond to, and recover from emergencies that pose a threat to the health and safety of the community.

    We should be asking Ms. Sherry Adams, as Director of Maryland’s Office of Emergency Preparedness why did you not seek to secure adequate resources for your Hospital Preparedness Program? Mr. Romanosky, as the Medical Director what responsibility do you bear in in adequate planning for this type of emergency? Why hasn’t Jim Acosta or Ms. Alcindor ask why Maryland’s Medical Countermeasures Program failed to have enough PPE’s on hand for such an emergency instead of asking the President idiotic gotcha questions.

    One thing we are not overstocked on in this office is personnel.


    My own Governor, Larry Hogan(R) joined with Gretchen Whitmire (D) Michigan to pen an op-ed this past weekend for the Washington Post pointing the finger at the Federal government because the states are now competing against one another for supplies and that the Federal government needs to do more to facilitate cooperation. The Feds cannot facilitate cooperation if the states themselves are unwilling to cooperate with the federal government. It is 50 competing state interests trying to get under the umbrella. It is not the umbrella’s fault that you are pushing each other around.

    I gather that their point is to follow Cuomo’s lead in saying that the Feds should step in and exploit its monopsony power to eliminate the potentiality for competitive price increases because of the current increase in demand. Are they really trying to get us to believe the federal government will get a better deal because they are the only buyer competing? Or, are they counting on the fact that, unlike states, it has virtually no limits on spending and because price is no object during this pandemic they can blame any shortfall on Trump’s lack of (fill in the blank). Holding the line on prices by being a single buyer is highly unlikely with a product that is both price inelastic and voter inelastic. These governors know that. They are not idiots but they do consider us a bunch of dolts.

    It is obvious to a thinking person that Governors Hogan and Whitmire are deflecting their own lack of planning oversight at the state level. Hogan obviously took Ms. Adams’ word that all was well. Maryland has chosen to prioritize spending countless resources through the AG’s office to sue the Trump administration numerous times. In fairness, in our state the governor is powerless against a virulently anti-Trump AG named Brian Frosh. Apparently, ensuring that states can choose what federal laws it will honor takes a higher priority than ensuring that all health facilities have ready access to all the supplies it needs in a statewide emergency. In my opinion, the feds should only backstop states in their quest to obtain resources; not supplant them – especially those states that have spent millions of state taxpayer dollars suing the current administration.

    Governor Hogan, take responsibility for the fact that our state, like so many others have Governors and legislatures that chose to spend its resources on something other than pandemic response. Acknowledge that you shifted the total responsibility for resourcing the response to the federal government. And, for god’s sake stop going on TV wearing that inane State Police ball cap and vest. You are not touring a disaster zone or working to hand out supplies. It looks put on and foolish.

    I don’t know which is worse VA Governor Northam’s 70 day stay at home demand or an open ended one like Governor Hogan’s. I am willing to comply with lawful orders but when do lawful orders such as this end and the Constitutional protections we enjoy are restored? Without this question being answered to our general satisfaction we cannot dismiss the possibility that we are being prepared for a significant restructuring of our Constitutional system of government by our government.

    Can you tell I’m pissed?

    • Without this question being answered to our general satisfaction we cannot dismiss the possibility that we are being prepared for a significant restructuring of our Constitutional system of government by our government.

      When one does not have enough information, and when one looks at something, one has no choice but to *interpret* it within the limits of one’s own possibilities. Think the Indians that first saw a locomotive. Or those that saw Cortez’s men on horses and interpreted them as dual beings.

      It was loooonnnggggg ago spelled out — the better word is divined or speculated — by those called *fanatics* and *conspiracy nuts* where governmental systems were going.

      What interests me is not so much if one interpretation is wrong or right, but that people are forced to make them.

      I think we are entering a period that will show almost psychotic/schizophrenic dimensions. Is it where *truth* and *real things* will be interpreted through a real lens? or where psychosis will interpret what is real through a deranged lens?

      Alex, what say you? 🙂

      [ https://youtu.be/IPzr7po-q0E ]

  9. I would like to take this opportunity to congratulate the Trump administration for their competent leadership, foresight, and effective action during this pandemic. Their willingness to listen to expert advice and act on recommendations from the scientific community, their willingness to accept the cold hard facts of the danger we face, and early actions putting public safety ahead of politics or immediate economic benefit has made America the envy of the world. We have demonstrated that the US system is second to none when it comes to dealing with protecting its people.

    Their early action had averted a preventable disaster

    Signed Wednesday, 1st April 2020.

    • It was Pelosi telling people to come and enjoy the new year in Chinatown in early March and DeBlasio telling NewYorkers to go to the movies and continue on with daily activities around the same time.

      When Trump invoked the travel bans from hot spot countrieshis opponents called it racist.

      Your snark is not helpful.

      • That is what I think is the most fascinating: that while there was all kind of confusion and dissonance going on within the US government, and around the world, that Divine Irony act so strongly and, effectively, up-end all tables: flip them into the air, thoroughly disrupt all plans, turn people back into them self, thwart them nearly absolutely. Now, everyone is a *victim of circumstance* and somewhat a prisoner.

        It was not hard to see, even one month ago, that the danger in this virus was in its communicability. But that if then the proper decisions would have been made they would have been taken as exaggerated and as dangerous over-reach. The Ethics Zugswang was evident then: you are damned if you do and you are damned if you do not. Still, the countries that will fair best here are those with the capability of acting *autocratically*. And those seem to be the countries that have been most successful in at least containing the outbreak to some degree.

        But what does that portend? There is another level of irony: just as it was happening that nations were retreating into their selves through nationalistic sentiment and *wall-building* of different sorts, the virus contagion both augments that shutting off from others while simultaneously demanding that all people, even those who disagree absolutely, cooperate and act in concert with each other. Now, if that is not an Existential Irony I do not know what one is!

        Odd in a way, at least from my personal perspective, that the *joke* connects to *the Joker* and to the King’s fool: the man who can say anything even if no one else can. The Loudmouth, the Quack, the lunatic bellowing on a freeway overpass:

        But in our strange present if a Joke is being perpetrated it really has the dimension of a Cosmic Joke. But like The Joker in the recent movie it turns out that laughing is really crying & crying is laughing in a very strange way.

        And here there is another level of Irony: the disaster unfolds in its own time, slowly, achingly, inexorably. The most rational minds *see where this is going*: to the impoverishment of the nation; the *destruction of the Middle Class*; the loss of stored-up wealth; the loss of *platform* as I say in all the senses: economic, social, and then of course in existential senses.

        The pandemic requires rational balance and sheer centeredness and simultaneously evokes psychosis and irrational response. There are many levels of irony there as well: we tend to wish that Life were *rational* but there is nothing at all rational about it! Rationality is a rudder and a very good one, but the sea the ship is sailing on has a mind of its own.

        How can one find meaning through the events of a Cosmic Irony? What does it mean?

        COME, be happy? — sit near me,
        Shadow-vested Misery! . . .
        All the wide world beside us
        Show like multitudinous
        Puppets passing from the scene;
        What but mockery can they mean,
        Where I am — where thou hast been?

    • This is beyond stupid, even for your commentary. I know you are trying to be funny, but all of us already know that regardless of how President Trump and his administration handled this…anywhere on the spectrum from do absolutely nothing on one end to turn America into a top-down dictatorship on the other end…you would be making stupid snark comments about how his handling was wrong.

      In alternate world 2, where Trump shuts down American travel and American commerce in January at the first sign of this disaster, on April 1st you’d stupidly be making this joke.

      In alternate world 3, where Trump assesses each region and population center and comes up with a customized approach to each in February when things started sort of looking concerning, on April 1st, you’d be here, stupidly making this joke.

      In alternate world 4, where Trump relies on local leadership to handle problems as best they can, while flexing federal resources as needed, on April 1st, you’d be stupidly making this joke.

      The only April Fool here is you.

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