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Old 04-19-2020, 11:17 AM
Happy Fun Ball is offline
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Why do Republicans want to end the corona virus restrictions?


The decision whether or not to have a lockdown should be a simple (or maybe not so simple) cost/benefit analysis; what are the factors that are leading Republicans to end lockdowns and stop social distancing? Help me understand their calculus.

Over the last week or so we have been seeing a lot of protests nationwide to reopen the economy and stop lockdowns combating the spread of the CoViD-19. These prostests have been organized and supported by right-wing organizations and individuals including the president and right wing pundits.

The CDC has done calculations showing that the R0 value, the contagiousness, for the corona virus may be as high as 5.7. The mortality rate data for the disease is still a little nebulous, but it looks like it is somewhere around 0.5-1% if it is properly treated (i.e. medical resources are not strained), but can be as high as 4% if medical care is not available or adequate (i.e. there are no ventilators available). These mortality rates are weighted against those with pre-existing conditions and the elderly. According to some numbers I have read, the average person younger than 40 has less than a 0.2% chance of dying while those older than 70 have roughly a 15% chance (I believe these numbers were assuming good health care). People suffering from obesity, diabetes, heart disease, and asthma have a much higher chance of dying. Again, the mortality numbers are still a bit uncertain, but these correlations are pretty clear.

Given this my friends and I were having a virtual happy hour and talking about how unhappy the right is with the current lockdowns. We just can't understand it; with an R0 this high, it is likely that >50% of the population will catch the disease in less than 3 months if we do not take active steps to reduce the spread. If 50% of the population gets the disease in a short time frame, it seems completely possible that 2 million or more people could easily die of this disease before the fall. Why would they want to risk that? (Note: 1% of 50% of the US population is 1.64 million)

One of my cynical friends pointed out that allowing this to happen would probably greatly reduce the Social Security and Medicare entitlements. Another said this is only true if everybody dies fast ("exactly!" exclaimed my friend). Another cynical friend pointed out that this disease preferentially kills off the Republican base (the elderly). Another said this was not totally true, as the corona virus is mostly a city disease and the Republican party gets most of its support from rural areas to which others said this was only true in the short term as the virus would spread.

We all agree that having lockdowns could lead to a serious recession, though it is unclear if it will be a U shaped recovery or a V shaped recovery. This event is so unprecedented that I don't think anybody can predict what the long term effects of a 2-3 month shutdown of our economy would be. Several of us argued that even if we kept the economy open, having a million people dying of a disease that put
another 10 million in the hospital would probably cause a recession that was just as bad and in some ways worse (we argued a lot about the this and how the different recessions would look in the long term - we were probably 2 drinks in at this point so I will spare you the details).

We also argued about universal basic income, with one of us thinking that a potential reason that Republicans want to end CoViD-19 restrictions is that as this goes on, business will find a way and automation will only grow and that some of the job losses will become permanent. When this happens, the US will have to increase the welfare state something that is anathema to the right. To which I thought maybe they just don't want people to have permanent job losses - something which I don't believe would happen; the economy always makes jobs.

Anyway, I know this is a rambling OP and much of it is probably garbage, but I do want to understand the calculus of those on the right around ending the lockdowns. How do they think this is going to benefit the US?
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Old 04-19-2020, 11:26 AM
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I'll jump in. Here's my quick and dirty, not well-thought out, gut response: they don't trust experts. Or science.

"Statisticians and scientists don't understand business. They just want to take over and tell us what to do. If they're so smart, how come *I'M* the one who's rich? R0? WTF kind of number is that and what does it have to do with my bank account and/or bottom line? THOSE are the numbers I know about and care about!"

I'm sure some smarter people will check in soon.

Last edited by ThelmaLou; 04-19-2020 at 11:26 AM.
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Old 04-19-2020, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by Happy Fun Ball View Post
One of my cynical friends pointed out that allowing this to happen would probably greatly reduce the Social Security and Medicare entitlements. Another said this is only true if everybody dies fast ("exactly!" exclaimed my friend). Another cynical friend pointed out that this disease preferentially kills off the Republican base (the elderly).
I don’t know if the following is more cynical or less cynical than what they’re figuring, but my cynical guess is this: Trump says, of the states, that, hey, it’s their call, but he’d sure urge them to reopen and save the economy...

...so when a state presumably keeps tight restrictions in place, he gets to shake his head sadly and say he would’ve made a different call, would’ve made the right call, knows how to get the economy motoring along but, dangit, a hothouse flower with all the wrong impulses cracks down on liberty for the citizenry while looking out for illegal aliens in sanctuary cities and suddenly he’s on to yet another topic...

...though if a state relaxes the restrictions and things get crazy-bad there, welp, Trump left it up to the Governor to make the right call, and she made the wrong call, she’s clearly an idiot and unfit to hold office; he’s up there expressing a preference about the country in general, sure, granted; but the buck stopped there when she proved too dumb to get it right for one state in particular, and, by the way, she seems to also consistently get it wrong about the Second Amendment, just like it’s now time to change the subject once again...

...so, yeah; just broadly go on about how What They’re Doing Is Wrong, to then see which way to go with the Magician’s Force reply; would that explain it?
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Old 04-19-2020, 12:09 PM
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Oh, I get the calculus for the rich. If I could stay home for the next 6-9 months without penalty, I can totally see how getting this to work through the population as quickly as possible is advantageous. Hell, my family can work from home and shelter in place at least until the school year starts in August without too much difficulty and there is a tiny little part of me that can see why this is attractive. The larger part of me is terrified the economy would collapse in this case due to everybody being too ill to work.

But most of the protesters and the Republican rank and file are not in this boat and can't stay home for 6 months. Right?
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Old 04-19-2020, 12:09 PM
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My thoughts: Trump's been crowing so long about the economy, and the assumption is that presidents win or lose re-election based on the strength of the economy, so Trump, his supporters and Republican politicians are eager to get the economy humming again, and if pockets of people get sick and die, so be it.

That being said, your rank-and-file Republican voters aren't as eager to lift restrictions as Trump and his stooges are.
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Old 04-19-2020, 12:11 PM
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Their masters and their constituents want things to re-open. Their masters are the rich and influential people who will lose the most money in this crisis, but don't think their own lives are at risk. Their constituents are often anti-science, anti-government, anti-liberal, anti-anything that they don't want, so they'll risk their own lives and the lives of others just to prove we ain't the boss of them. The politicians themselves don't believe in anything except serving those two groups and their reasoning is that people will be better off with a stronger economy even if a lot of people will die as a result. It's not like that reasoning hasn't won out time and again when it comes to war and pollution.
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Old 04-19-2020, 12:13 PM
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Because the freedom to rape, destroy, and plunder is a bedrock value to them. They say it differently, but that's what is at the bottom. They hate science for being about facts when what they care about is emotions, like guns make me feel safe, brown skinned people make me feel afraid, nobody is sick that I know, and that's all I have an interest in knowing about. Newspapers are fake news, the CDC is part of an international global conspiracy to take away our freedoms, see sentence #1.

Simpler: they are evil idiots, the blight of planet earth. That's the rational, reasonable answer.
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Old 04-19-2020, 12:26 PM
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It's a case of Appeal to Consequences. "The coronavirus is causing severe restrictions that are damaging the economy and everyone's livelihood. This damage is unacceptably severe; ergo, we must lift the restrictions." The fallacy lies in that they don't consider the consequences of re-opening, only the consequences of remaining closed.
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Old 04-19-2020, 12:27 PM
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I don’t know if the following is more cynical or less cynical than what they’re figuring, but my cynical guess is this: Trump says, of the states, that, hey, it’s their call, but he’d sure urge them to reopen and save the economy...

...so when a state presumably keeps tight restrictions in place, he gets to shake his head sadly and say he would’ve made a different call, would’ve made the right call, knows how to get the economy motoring along but, dangit, a hothouse flower with all the wrong impulses cracks down on liberty for the citizenry while looking out for illegal aliens in sanctuary cities and suddenly he’s on to yet another topic...

...though if a state relaxes the restrictions and things get crazy-bad there, welp, Trump left it up to the Governor to make the right call, and she made the wrong call, she’s clearly an idiot and unfit to hold office; he’s up there expressing a preference about the country in general, sure, granted; but the buck stopped there when she proved too dumb to get it right for one state in particular, and, by the way, she seems to also consistently get it wrong about the Second Amendment, just like it’s now time to change the subject once again...

...so, yeah; just broadly go on about how What They’re Doing Is Wrong, to then see which way to go with the Magician’s Force reply; would that explain it?
I'm with you on this one. They (figureheaded by the President) want to have it both ways. Say they have a plan to get things going again safely and quickly, and then if it doesn't happen for one reason or the other or it even fails and backfires, say it's the fault of the responsible decisionmakers that you are still suffering/sufferign worse.

As to why they want that, see TriPolar's post. The top plutocrats feel they are pretty well insulated personally but stand to lose a lot, and the grasroots Useful Fools at the protest marches are buying into a call to be "...anti-anything that they don't want, so they'll risk their own lives and the lives of others just to prove we ain't the boss of them."

Last edited by JRDelirious; 04-19-2020 at 12:28 PM.
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Old 04-19-2020, 12:46 PM
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It's a case of Appeal to Consequences. "The coronavirus is causing severe restrictions that are damaging the economy and everyone's livelihood. This damage is unacceptably severe; ergo, we must lift the restrictions." The fallacy lies in that they don't consider the consequences of re-opening, only the consequences of remaining closed.
And the ironic part of this is, if the situation is dealt with succesfully, then the only thing a lot of the country will have felt directly in their lives will have been the economic disruption. They'll be propagandized to the effect of, it was never going to be that bad, the eggheads made your shop go bankrupt and your retirement fund fall by half for nothing.

(As to the hotspots... well, what would you expect from filthy overcrowded corrupt places where of course things would go bad, you know how dirty and irresponsible Those People are and what inept leaders they elect.)

Last edited by JRDelirious; 04-19-2020 at 12:50 PM.
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Old 04-19-2020, 01:07 PM
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There isn't any one answer to this; Republicans have a number of different constituencies.

On the top, the major Republican players like Trump, his immediate minions, governors and incumbent Senators mostly just want the stock market to recover and rudimentary economic figures to bounce back. That accomplishes two things; it means their portfolios will improve, and it improves their chances of re-election. They know people will die but don't care.

Below them, you have a very wide array of Trumpist and QAnon conspiracy theorists, Fox news junkies, and Christian fanatics. Decades of anti-intellectualism and science denial have made them reflexively distrust truth and educated people, so when faced with the stress of the lockdown versus safety, they just assume whatever doctors and scientists say must be a liberal lie.

In between you have the Trumpist media, like Fox News, conservative talk radio, and OAN and crap like that. They get viewers, clicks and support by playing to both the top's greed and bottom's fear and hatred.
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Old 04-19-2020, 01:10 PM
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I don't think anyone in the Republican party consciously planned this out (I think it's far more likely that Trump is pushing for reopening everything because he doesn't want to be a recession president and doesn't have a very good grasp of the tradeoffs and probable consequences, and everybody else just followed along), but I wonder if they've stumbled into a weirdly, diabolically, brilliant strategy from a purely politics-and-messaging perspective.

Sooner or later, ending restrictions will be the right thing to do. At some point, possibly before it's the right thing to do and possibly concurrently, it will become a more-popular-than-not thing to do. There will be dissenters. There will be people who are calling for stricter restrictions than are possible in practice or are warranted by evidence (heck, this is the case right now).

From a Republican point of view, if you maneuver the political discourse so that "we need more and stricter lockdowns that go on longer" becomes the default left-wing position and "open everything up right now" becomes the default right-wing position ... you won't have been right all along, but you are going to be right last. And "last" is what people will remember, particularly if there's an extended period of time before things open up when people are really sick of following the rules and desperate for it all to end.

(From a Democratic point of view, the way to defeat this strategy is to make your default position not "we need more and stricter lockdowns that go on longer" but "listen to the people who have been researching and studying this, and do what they recommend," but I'm starting to see some worrying signs on social media that we're drifting toward the former, particularly among risk-averse, upper-middle-class professionals who can work from home more or less indefinitely.)
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Old 04-19-2020, 02:23 PM
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Or, you know, people are losing their jobs and businesses, have no savings, are struggljng to feed themselves and their kids, and in large parts of the country they live in places where they aren't seeing much impact from the virus.

I know Orange Man Bad, but this is a global phenomenon. Governments around the world are facing immense pressure to ease restrictions, because these restrictions are incredibly hard on a lot of people.

Of course, in the U.S. you have the unique problem that evil Republicans are involved, and they like eating babies and enslaving everyone in their sweatshops while bathing in their tears. At least, that's the impression I get reading this thread.
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Old 04-19-2020, 02:40 PM
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My thoughts: Trump's been crowing so long about the economy, and the assumption is that presidents win or lose re-election based on the strength of the economy, so Trump, his supporters and Republican politicians are eager to get the economy humming again, and if pockets of people get sick and die, so be it.

That being said, your rank-and-file Republican voters aren't as eager to lift restrictions as Trump and his stooges are.
This

And the fact that, to date, most of the casualties have been people in urban areas. The big news story last week was that minorities are disproportionately affected. This story had an unintended consequence.

They don’t really care if the people in the groups being infected live or die and they are outraged that they are expected to take an economic hit in order to protect THOSE people.

And the President is deliberately sabotaging the messaging of his own Task Force. Don’t you think that by now that his followers know to ignore anything he says in that sing-song monotone reading from the teleprompter with a gun to his head voice? He’s assiduously refused to endorse or lend any encouragement to his own Stop The Spread guidelines all along, and now he’s moved into encouraging his followers to ignore them.
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Old 04-19-2020, 02:54 PM
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Of course, in the U.S. you have the unique problem that evil Republicans are involved, and they like eating babies and enslaving everyone in their sweatshops while bathing in their tears. At least, that's the impression I get reading this thread.
You should read the posts in a thread before responding. Nobody is saying the Republicans eat babies or enslave people. They're saying the Republicans are generally the party that's calling for an end to lockdown policies.

If you want to dispute that position, go ahead. If you want to defend that position, go ahead. But don't bring your strawmen into the argument.
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Old 04-19-2020, 02:55 PM
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Or, you know, people are losing their jobs and businesses, have no savings, are struggljng to feed themselves and their kids, and in large parts of the country they live in places where they aren't seeing much impact from the virus.

I know Orange Man Bad, but this is a global phenomenon. Governments around the world are facing immense pressure to ease restrictions, because these restrictions are incredibly hard on a lot of people.

Of course, in the U.S. you have the unique problem that evil Republicans are involved, and they like eating babies and enslaving everyone in their sweatshops while bathing in their tears. At least, that's the impression I get reading this thread.
Hi Sam, thanks for joining the thread!

I know you are Canadian and do not have the evil Republicans like we do here , but maybe you can give us some more insight.

First let me say I do not believe for a second that Republicans are evil. I understand a lot of their motivations and believe they are coming from a place where they believe they are doing good. I don't think the "Orange Man" is very competent (with CoVid or anything else), I believe he and his policies are damaging to the US in a way that we have never seen before, and I don't understand why the Republican party supports him as I don't really think he is all that conservative. But this is a topic for another thread; what I hope we talk about now is the reasoning of a large fraction of Republicans believing that the steps we have taken to slow down the spread of CoViD-19 should not have been taken.

You seem to imply in your first paragraph that it is rational self interest combined with what I view as shortsightedness. They are struggling, the shut down is hurting them economically, and they see no evidence the virus is harming them or their neighbors. Does this mean that they don't believe the doctors and scientists at the CDC and WHO? Or do they believe the numbers but just think that having 1 to 2 out of every 50 of us dying is preferable to accepting a little socialism for a couple of months? Or do they maybe believe that it won't effect them because it hasn't spread to Flyover, USA yet? Or is there something else?

Last edited by Happy Fun Ball; 04-19-2020 at 02:57 PM.
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Old 04-19-2020, 03:00 PM
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My thoughts: Trump's been crowing so long about the economy, and the assumption is that presidents win or lose re-election based on the strength of the economy, so Trump, his supporters and Republican politicians are eager to get the economy humming again, and if pockets of people get sick and die, so be it. ..
Yes, this is pure election strategy. Bidens most effective ads is slamming trump for his errors and lies.

And of course, a good economy means the incumbent will usually get re-elected.
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Old 04-19-2020, 03:04 PM
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From a Republican point of view, if you maneuver the political discourse so that "we need more and stricter lockdowns that go on longer" becomes the default left-wing position and "open everything up right now" becomes the default right-wing position ... you won't have been right all along, but you are going to be right last. And "last" is what people will remember, particularly if there's an extended period of time before things open up when people are really sick of following the rules and desperate for it all to end.
I think the problem is simpler than this. I think some Republicans, including Trump, have just become too locked into the principle of arguing. They can't stop even when it's an issue where they should be agreeing.

When the terrorists attacked on 9/11, everyone was in agreement that it was a bad thing and we should fight the terrorists. It was a universal opinion held by Democrats and Republicans, conservatives and liberals. And Bush was smart enough to see this and just take the leadership of the consensus.

But Trump and his loyalists don't have the ability to do this. They see everything as "I'm right and you're wrong" - so they feel compelled to argue against the Democrats even when the Democrats are saying something that's undeniably sensible.
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Old 04-19-2020, 03:38 PM
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Or, you know, people are losing their jobs and businesses, have no savings, are struggljng to feed themselves and their kids, and in large parts of the country they live in places where they aren't seeing much impact from the virus.
You're right, and those reasons are valid. Even Cuomo's one-size-fits-all-counties lockdown exhibits the fact the impact of the virus is inconsequential in certain areas of NY. There's also the feeling by some that stand in place orders for the entire "non-essential" population is unlawful or unnecessary. It'll be interesting to see how Sweden's unique / anti-authoritarian 'gamble at your own risk' approach turns out.

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Old 04-19-2020, 03:43 PM
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I think the calculation is fairly simple to want to reopen the economy. About 20% of the population is currently unemployed, at worst about 20% of the population would be hospitalized with COVID. This lockdown is going to have to go for 12-18 months so is being unemployed for a year as bad as being in the hospital for a couple of weeks?

I know several people that have decided that getting COVID isn't as bad as being unemployed and have gotten jobs at the grocery stores. They hate their new job and would much rather be bartenders and waiters so they would prefer the economy be reopened. I'm gainfully employed at home so its easy for me to opine but most of the people I know who are worried about paying their rent next month would rather be working and they aren't all republicans.
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Old 04-19-2020, 03:47 PM
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I would add that a lot of the public anger at the lockdown may not necessarily be over the lockdown itself, but the way it is communicated. Fairly or unfairly, it has come across to many people as, "Who cares if you lose your jobs or go bankrupt, you need to be locked down for the good of society overall. Suck it up and deal with it."
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Old 04-19-2020, 03:49 PM
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Because their orange leader wants it.
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Old 04-19-2020, 03:50 PM
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I would add that a lot of the public anger at the lockdown may not necessarily be over the lockdown itself, but the way it is communicated. Fairly or unfairly, it has come across to many people as, "Who cares if you lose your jobs or go bankrupt, you need to be locked down for the good of society overall. Suck it up and deal with it."
Who said that?
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Old 04-19-2020, 03:57 PM
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"Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence."

In a way, I would feel much more comfortable if I could attribute this to some kind of grand master 4D chess where Republican leaders are cynically killing off the poors to pad their bank account.

But malice wouldn't explain why Rand Paul thinks he got it and then went and worked out in the Congressional Gym while waiting for test results. Malice wouldn't explain how Boris Johnson managed to get infected and got put into the ICU. Malice wouldn't explain why top US officials refuse to social distance themselves in public scenarios that are blatantly unsafe given what we know about presymptomatic spread.

The simple, parsimonious answer is that Republicans are living in a world of alternative facts because the conservative media had a vested interested to make the virus "an attack on the president" and now can't go back on their original party line.
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Old 04-19-2020, 04:09 PM
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"Never attribute to malice that which can be adequately explained by incompetence."

In a way, I would feel much more comfortable if I could attribute this to some kind of grand master 4D chess where Republican leaders are cynically killing off the poors to pad their bank account.

But malice wouldn't explain why Rand Paul thinks he got it and then went and worked out in the Congressional Gym while waiting for test results. Malice wouldn't explain how Boris Johnson managed to get infected and got put into the ICU. Malice wouldn't explain why top US officials refuse to social distance themselves in public scenarios that are blatantly unsafe given what we know about presymptomatic spread.

The simple, parsimonious answer is that Republicans are living in a world of alternative facts because the conservative media had a vested interested to make the virus "an attack on the president" and now can't go back on their original party line.
I said all of that two posts before yours using only six words. Now that's parsimonious.
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Old 04-19-2020, 04:12 PM
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Who said that?
Read through Fucking idiot coronavirus-loving rednecks in Michigan and you'll see it paraphrased numerous ways.
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Old 04-19-2020, 04:19 PM
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I think the calculation is fairly simple to want to reopen the economy. About 20% of the population is currently unemployed, at worst about 20% of the population would be hospitalized with COVID. This lockdown is going to have to go for 12-18 months so is being unemployed for a year as bad as being in the hospital for a couple of weeks?

I know several people that have decided that getting COVID isn't as bad as being unemployed and have gotten jobs at the grocery stores. They hate their new job and would much rather be bartenders and waiters so they would prefer the economy be reopened. I'm gainfully employed at home so its easy for me to opine but most of the people I know who are worried about paying their rent next month would rather be working and they aren't all republicans.
Fair enough.
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Old 04-19-2020, 04:22 PM
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Read through Fucking idiot coronavirus-loving rednecks in Michigan and you'll see it paraphrased numerous ways.
How much of the public has seen that Pit thread? I haven't heard any of the governors who have impose the lock downs conveying that message. If it's coming across that way to the public then it's coming from dishonest sources or they aren't listening at all.

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Old 04-19-2020, 04:23 PM
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This is anastroturfed movement that basically proves that it's trivially easy to get the republican base to do anything you want if you feed them outrage. Liberals are for keeping people safe, liberals hate freedom, you have to be unsafe to have freedom, go block off a fucking hospital and cough on everyone you see just to own the libs.

If one of these astroturf groups told them that liberals secretly put something in the water to make all young children permanently liberal they'd strangle their own kids. If you told them liberals were pro-buildings they'd burn down their own house. That's all they are now. Outrage and spite.

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Old 04-19-2020, 04:27 PM
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They are struggling, the shut down is hurting them economically, and they see no evidence the virus is harming them or their neighbors. Does this mean that they don't believe the doctors and scientists at the CDC and WHO? Or do they believe the numbers but just think that having 1 to 2 out of every 50 of us dying is preferable to accepting a little socialism for a couple of months? Or do they maybe believe that it won't effect them because it hasn't spread to Flyover, USA yet? Or is there something else?
Any or all. But indeed that is at the core, like I said before: the distress they are feeling is the economic distress. They can feel, see, touch THAT.

Many of them simply may be thinking "I can't believe this supposedly most advanced society in history can't control this health scare without costing me my job. I demand they do."

Also in some of the RW cultural circles there has for a long time been a certain "what's the matter do you want to live forever?" attitude about mandatory cautionary measures, it's not something brand new to our day.


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Originally Posted by Little Nemo View Post
But Trump and his loyalists don't have the ability to do this. They see everything as "I'm right and you're wrong" - so they feel compelled to argue against the Democrats even when the Democrats are saying something that's undeniably sensible.
Which seems to be at work in many of the cases where the President seems to speak against what he said the day before -- if the other side doesn't immediately slam it, there must be something wrong with it!

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Originally Posted by Velocity View Post
I would add that a lot of the public anger at the lockdown may not necessarily be over the lockdown itself, but the way it is communicated. Fairly or unfairly, it has come across to many people as, "Who cares if you lose your jobs or go bankrupt, you need to be locked down for the good of society overall. Suck it up and deal with it."
Who said that?
Nobody but it is what they are feeling and perceiving. Regardless if it has been engineered to make it so.

Last edited by JRDelirious; 04-19-2020 at 04:30 PM.
  #31  
Old 04-19-2020, 04:29 PM
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Nobody but it is what they are feeling and perceiving.
You've seen my opinion of their feelings and perceptions. We have to make sure the result is put on them.
  #32  
Old 04-19-2020, 04:32 PM
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Or, you know, people are losing their jobs and businesses, have no savings, are struggljng to feed themselves and their kids, and in large parts of the country they live in places where they aren't seeing much impact from the virus.

I know Orange Man Bad, but this is a global phenomenon. Governments around the world are facing immense pressure to ease restrictions, because these restrictions are incredibly hard on a lot of people.
This is true, but you can't seriously deny that Republicans in the USA

1. Lead the Western world in wanting to end lockdowns early, and
2. Seem to be buttressed by a lot of conspiracy theory.
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  #33  
Old 04-19-2020, 04:47 PM
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You should read the posts in a thread before responding. Nobody is saying the Republicans eat babies or enslave people. They're saying the Republicans are generally the party that's calling for an end to lockdown policies.

If you want to dispute that position, go ahead. If you want to defend that position, go ahead. But don't bring your strawmen into the argument.
Tilting at strawmen of his own manufacture is Sam Stone’s métier.

As for the question of the o.p. and responses so far, I don’t see evidence of must long term thinking among Republicans, or indeed, from most elected officials in general. Republicans (who are pretty much ideologically neoconservative by definition at this point) want “a return to normalcy” where they can go to church, watch professional sports, et cetera, and believe that the COVID-19 pandemic has been exaggerated to prevent this. Of course, other, non-Republican people want a return so some kind of normal life as well, but Republicans in particular have been conditioned by their leaders to ignore reality in favor of Fox News propaganda and “alternative facts”, a worldview you can thank John Ehrlichman, Lee Atwater, Elliott Abrams, Newt Gingrich, Karl Rove, et al. In their view, reality is something that you choose to believe, or in the words of Karl Rove:
That's not the way the world really works anymore...We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality. And while you're studying that reality—judiciously, as you will—we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out.
This has worked well enough in geopolitics, where one can “create other new realities” by feeding an all-too-gullible press incorrect facts and claims (which administrations both Republican and Democrat have done as a matter of course) but that strategy doesn’t work so well against a foe that isn’t in some remote part of the world and over which you have no control. The people who have promoted and are accepting this notion that we should just get back to work, let the “corona virus” situation work its way out as God intends, and everything will just go back to “normal”. That this is essentially magical thinking is not a difficulty for them because they are already well acquainted with the idea of ignoring facts.

I do have to admit, however, in the dark places that my mind goes during every-more-frequent bouts of insomnia, that the reason countries like Japan were so lax about responding to the pandemic was that it helps to reduce their top heavy demographics in which retirees are going to outnumber working citizens. I would like to believe that is not a part of the calculus (especially since it is clear now that while this virus attacks older people with greater incidence it also affects much younger and healthier people as well) but you rarely go wrong betting with cynics because they know to bet with the house.

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  #34  
Old 04-19-2020, 04:48 PM
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You're right, and those reasons are valid. Even Cuomo's one-size-fits-all-counties lockdown exhibits the fact the impact of the virus is inconsequential in certain areas of NY.
That mentality is the wrong one for dealing with this crisis. This is not a problem you can react to. The best way to address it is before it happens. So the governor was correct in locking down counties that didn't have any known cases. If he waited until a county had a consequential amount of cases, it would mean having people die unnecessarily. And ironically, if his policy is a success, the county will avoid having a major outbreak because of the lockdown and then some people will argue that the lockdown wasn't necessary.
  #35  
Old 04-19-2020, 04:51 PM
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The short, short and overly generalized answer is that the left has a positive view of government. It is a tool to achieve social equality and do good.

The right generally views government with suspicion as a tool that oppresses unless it is kept at a bare minimum.

It's pretty scary to me that the government has claimed the power to force you to stay in your home, unable to assemble or to go to church.
  #36  
Old 04-19-2020, 05:02 PM
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The short, short and overly generalized answer is that the left has a positive view of government. It is a tool to achieve social equality and do good.

The right generally views government with suspicion as a tool that oppresses unless it is kept at a bare minimum.

It's pretty scary to me that the government has claimed the power to force you to stay in your home, unable to assemble or to go to church.
Your right to throw a punchassemble/go to church ends at my nose fucking lungs.
Does that make it fucking clear?
  #37  
Old 04-19-2020, 05:18 PM
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To answer the OP, it might help to look at Brazil's Bolsonaro, who up to early April had taken a rather globally extreme line of denial about the hazards of coronavirus (asserting for instance, "that Brazilians are resistant to infectious diseases and said that those who are athletes, like him, will be fine.")

From the New York Times:
Quote:
While Mr. Bolsonaro’s conduct may appear politically self-destructive, he is probably making a calculated bet...“Governors are taking action, effectively ensuring isolation practices, while Bolsonaro can continue to preach that the federal government is focused on promoting economic growth,” Ms. Gatto said. That positions the president to “reap the benefits,” she added, of lockdown measures while publicly portraying himself as a champion of Brazilians who are out of work.
And from the Wall Street Journal:
Quote:
Analysts who have been closely following Mr. Bolsonaro’s policies said he is calculating that, with the economy sinking, voters will remember that he fought to keep people working while other politicians pushed for a quarantine. He hopes that his advocacy for workers—tens of millions of whom labor in an informal economy, with no unemployment insurance—will win him converts.

“In the future, he can say, ‘The fall in the economy killed many people. Don’t denounce me, denounce the governors. I’m not responsible for the economic and social crises.’”
  #38  
Old 04-19-2020, 05:18 PM
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Your right to throw a punchassemble/go to church ends at my nose fucking lungs.
Does that make it fucking clear?
Oh this tired argument again. These rights are fundamental. The core of these rights are not subject to balancing tests.
  #39  
Old 04-19-2020, 05:20 PM
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That mentality is the wrong one for dealing with this crisis. This is not a problem you can react to. The best way to address it is before it happens. So the governor was correct in locking down counties that didn't have any known cases. If he waited until a county had a consequential amount of cases, it would mean having people die unnecessarily. And ironically, if his policy is a success, the county will avoid having a major outbreak because of the lockdown and then some people will argue that the lockdown wasn't necessary.
If he had waited until there were a “consequential amount of cases”, then the reality is that there would be an order of magnitude or more number of cases given the general lack of availability of antigen testing and the large number of asymptomatic or presymptomatic cases.

Quote:
Originally Posted by UltraVires View Post
The short, short and overly generalized answer is that the left has a positive view of government. It is a tool to achieve social equality and do good.

The right generally views government with suspicion as a tool that oppresses unless it is kept at a bare minimum.

It's pretty scary to me that the government has claimed the power to force you to stay in your home, unable to assemble or to go to church.
Well, that is an ideological fear. But what about the fact that a large assemblage of people, at church or elsewhere, can result in a local outbreak of infections which could then be spread back to households or other assemblies.

In other words, the pathogen doesn’t give a good whore’s fuck about your ideology, or your religious faith, or your need to hang out with friends. It will infect whomever it can come into contact with, and because so many ignorant people believe that they are somehow uniquely immune to being infected and passing on the pathogen, either by the grace of whatever god they worship or just because they are too narcissistic to believe that a virus can infect them just as it will everyone else, it is necessary for governors and municipal leaders to issue what are largely voluntary “stay-at-home” orders. If people weren’t so ignorant and would willingly take the recommended steps to minimize the potential for transmission, and if we were better able to protect people in critical roles who cannot work from home, this epidemic would be put paid to in a few weeks. But because self-absorbed assholes and conspiracy-swallowing idiots decide that they need to go to mass congregations and out to the beach, we’re going to be living with waves of epidemics for many months.

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  #40  
Old 04-19-2020, 05:28 PM
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I think the calculation is fairly simple to want to reopen the economy. About 20% of the population is currently unemployed, at worst about 20% of the population would be hospitalized with COVID. This lockdown is going to have to go for 12-18 months so is being unemployed for a year as bad as being in the hospital for a couple of weeks?
That equation fails to take into account that after that several weeks in the hospital some percentage of people will be left with permanent damage to their lungs and possibly other organs including heart, liver, and kidneys.

Would you rather be unemployed for a year, or left with permanent body damage for the rest of your life?
  #41  
Old 04-19-2020, 05:51 PM
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Well, that is an ideological fear. But what about the fact that a large assemblage of people, at church or elsewhere, can result in a local outbreak of infections which could then be spread back to households or other assemblies.

In other words, the pathogen doesn’t give a good whore’s fuck about your ideology, or your religious faith, or your need to hang out with friends. It will infect whomever it can come into contact with, and because so many ignorant people believe that they are somehow uniquely immune to being infected and passing on the pathogen, either by the grace of whatever god they worship or just because they are too narcissistic to believe that a virus can infect them just as it will everyone else, it is necessary for governors and municipal leaders to issue what are largely voluntary “stay-at-home” orders. If people weren’t so ignorant and would willingly take the recommended steps to minimize the potential for transmission, and if we were better able to protect people in critical roles who cannot work from home, this epidemic would be put paid to in a few weeks. But because self-absorbed assholes and conspiracy-swallowing idiots decide that they need to go to mass congregations and out to the beach, we’re going to be living with waves of epidemics for many months.

Stranger
Please don't think that I disagree with your underlying points. I agree that people should stay home and participate in church online. I'm 100% for that.

But my issue, for the reasons I have stated in other threads, is that it is a very dangerous precedent to be able to label this a *special circumstance to proscribe rights. Every tinpot dictator can label something "special." What it means in the end is that freedom keeps getting chipped away at. This virus will pass but this precedent will not.

I would rather leave my daughter with a just as free or freer society than the one I grew up in, even if this virus kills me (or a terrorist kills me, or a DUI driver kills me, or whatever the demon du jour is). I am not a conspiracy theorist. This shit is real. But a precedent for restrictions on freedom is even more real and longer lasting.
  #42  
Old 04-19-2020, 06:05 PM
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That equation fails to take into account that after that several weeks in the hospital some percentage of people will be left with permanent damage to their lungs and possibly other organs including heart, liver, and kidneys.

Would you rather be unemployed for a year, or left with permanent body damage for the rest of your life?
Like I said; I'm not in a good position to opine. I've made more money since my state was locked down then I had the rest of this year. I couldn't dream of a better working environment for myself except I wish my kids could go to school. I also know that for my friends who were a banquet manager at a hotel, a bartender, a waiter, and a facilities manager at a bar this question wasn't theoretical and when faced with staying home unemployed or risking getting the virus every one of them got jobs are grocery stores.

Let's put the question to you. Why haven't you quit your job rather than risking getting the virus? If I remember other threads correctly you work in a grocery store. It seems you're ok risking permanant disability rather than unempolyment.

Last edited by Oredigger77; 04-19-2020 at 06:05 PM.
  #43  
Old 04-19-2020, 06:08 PM
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I would rather leave my daughter with a just as free or freer society than the one I grew up in, even if this virus kills me (or a terrorist kills me, or a DUI driver kills me, or whatever the demon du jour is). I am not a conspiracy theorist. This shit is real. But a precedent for restrictions on freedom is even more real and longer lasting.
Except this is not a new precedent. Governors have had the power to enforce curfews, require that people shelter or evacuate, et cetera, in response to natural disasters. These are normally restricted to specific areas and for a shorter duration, but this isn’t some kind of novel power that governors have suddenly claimed ex nihilo. And as a general principle there is long standing legal precedent for the restriction of Constitutional rights where there is a large scale public threat in place as long as those restrictions are specific to the nature of the threat and limited in scope.

The people protesting to lift restrictions are, ironically, making things worse, not only because they are likely to spread the contagion among themselves, but the more prolonged the epidemic is and the lest time governments have to prepared for additional waves, the harder it is going to be to “restart” the economy. And as for what they are achieving, other than civil disobedience for the sake of making a political statement, I don’t know. It isn’t as if their demonstrations are going to in any way affect the progression of the epidemic other than to extend it.

There is an argument to be made that the federal government should get out of the way of individual groups and states deploying tests so as to facilitate being able to lift restrictions, and of course state governments should be working with employers in crucial industries to find ways that employees can continue to work with protections. But the reality is that many people believe that “the corona” is somebody else’s problem to deal with, and ideology about the merits of individuality aside, the only way to effectively mobilize all of society to take some measure of responsibility is by imposing isolation and lockdown measures.

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  #44  
Old 04-19-2020, 06:43 PM
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This is anastroturfed movement that basically proves that it's trivially easy to get the republican base to do anything you want if you feed them outrage. Liberals are for keeping people safe, liberals hate freedom, you have to be unsafe to have freedom, go block off a fucking hospital and cough on everyone you see just to own the libs.

If one of these astroturf groups told them that liberals secretly put something in the water to make all young children permanently liberal they'd strangle their own kids. If you told them liberals were pro-buildings they'd burn down their own house. That's all they are now. Outrage and spite.
I was going to mention this astroturfing. I only recently became aware of it--basically a fake grassroots movement.

Some people may just want to stir up trouble. From this link:

Quote:
stanley_leverlock
It's nuts, I joined the ReOpen Maryland Facebook group just to see what it was all about. It's a bunch of circlejerking "patriots" who have convinced themselves that the lockdown is all a mass population control tactic to enslave America. They're whipping themselves up into a hysterical frenzy over this situation.

It's riddled with gems like this: The biggest problem every Country has is government. In this Country it was not set up this way. We turned a blind eye to it while being lied to by the media, Hollywood, musicians and “education”.
...

Dr Midnight
There's an imperial ton of astroturfing going on, and it's quite visible in how those groups popped up literally overnight (hint-hint). The thing is that they targeted groups who were... how does one say... more receptive to the message who wouldn't be inclined to look any deeper into what they were joining.

As an example, right now, this is happening in Orange County, CA.

Now, here's a screenshot of the description of the "Operation Gridlock Los Angeles" group when it was first spotted by Buzzfeed News.

Concurrently, here's a screenshot of the description of the "Operation Gridlock Tennessee" group.

But, hey... it's Buzzfeed News right? Cool-cool-cool-cool-cool...

Here's a link to the group "Pennsylvanians Against Excessive Quarantine" - sitting 55,281 members deep at the time of this post.

Okay...

Now here's a link to the group "Minnesotans Against Excessive Quarantine" - presently with 18,938 members.

Why do these groups have the exact same description?

Let's not stop there. Following their own links: one is from the "Pennsylvania Firearms Association", and the other is from the group "Minnesota Gun Rights" - both with the exact same layout.

Both of these domains are registered with the same registrar and were registered on the exact same day at the same time.
URL to the reopen groups are in the post. The screenshots of the FaceBook group code is basically identical with different group names.

Also, remember Trump could possibly be prosecuted by a Democratic admin for obstruction of justice as detailed in the Mueller report once he out of office, so that may contribute his desperation about re-election because of that being on his mind.
  #45  
Old 04-19-2020, 06:46 PM
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Also, remember Trump could possibly be prosecuted by a Democratic admin for obstruction of justice as detailed in the Mueller report
Isn’t that what pardons are for?
  #46  
Old 04-19-2020, 06:53 PM
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Isn’t that what pardons are for?
Can Trump pardon himself before he leaves office? He'd probably try. If Biden wins, there's no Barr to cover for him.
  #47  
Old 04-19-2020, 07:30 PM
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Maybe there is a God after all:
https://weather.com/safety/tornado/n...nds-large-hail
Dangerous Severe Storms with Strong Tornadoes, Damaging Winds and Flooding Rain Expected in the South

And He is not happy with Southern evangelists.
  #48  
Old 04-19-2020, 07:43 PM
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Hi Sam, thanks for joining the thread!

I know you are Canadian and do not have the evil Republicans like we do here , but maybe you can give us some more insight.

First let me say I do not believe for a second that Republicans are evil. I understand a lot of their motivations and believe they are coming from a place where they believe they are doing good.
That's good to hear. I read and participate in message boards on both the right and the left, and I see both sides claiming that the other side are the ones who are irrational and screwing up. The truth is, people are people. There are assholes and idiots everywhere, and great people everywhere.

Quote:
I don't think the "Orange Man" is very competent (with CoVid or anything else)
I don't think he's competent either, but then I don't think very many people are competent to deal with a once in 100 years pandemic. Shall we go through the failures of the World Health Organization, the CDC, or the FDA? Obama and Bush both failed to replenish the strategic PPE stockpile. DeBlasio said incredibly stupid and damaging things long after he should have known better. People called Trump a racist for closing flights from China earlier than other countries. Nany Pelosi implored her constituents to go out and celebrate in Chinatown long after other places started lockdown orders.

On the other hand, Andrew Cuomo has done a good job. Other Democratic governors have done a good job, and so have many Republican governors.

This is an unprecedented event, and everyone is winging it. It doesn't help when all the decision-makers know there are partisans just waiting to jump on them when a prediction goes wrong or a seemingly reasonable decision turns out not to be. The middle of a pandemic is a terrible time for sneering and finger pointing, although I accept that it's probably inevitable in a time of stress.

Quote:
I believe he and his policies are damaging to the US in a way that we have never seen before, and I don't understand why the Republican party supports him as I don't really think he is all that conservative.
I think this may be the effect of being in a bubble. Because I can easily tell you what Republicans like about his policies. First, his initial response was to de-regulate parts of the economy that needed to move faster, rather than institute even more new regulations as past presidents have done in crises.

The dilemma Republicans have is that many of them think Trump is personally an ass, and they cringe when he speaks, but they actually like his policies. The 'Never Trumpers' are the ones who can't get past the personality flaws (I'm probably one of them), but even they like his judicial appointments, tax cuts, deregulation, etc. I understand that those on the left have the opposite opinion of those policies, but that's why they're on the left. We're never going to agree on that stuff.

Quote:
But this is a topic for another thread; what I hope we talk about now is the reasoning of a large fraction of Republicans believing that the steps we have taken to slow down the spread of CoViD-19 should not have been taken.
I don't see many saying that the steps should never have been taken, but rather that this is the time to start easing back, because the pain is too high and getting worse.

But I think you are fooling yourself if you think this is just a Republican thing. Unless you think Sweden and Hokkaido are full of Republicans.

Here's what I see some Republicans saying:

1. The lockdown required for a place like New York City, which is indeed suffering under this greatly, should not necessarily be applied to say, Knoxville Tennessee which has 34 active cases.

Here in Edmonton we are still in complete lockdown, yet we have only had two or three new cases in the past week and only have had 37 people go into the ICU in the entire province. If the goal was to 'flatten the curve' just so that we don't overwhelm the healthcare system, it's not hard to start thinking that maybe we went too far. On the other hand, Calgary, which seems to not have restricted as much, is still on an exponential curve and now has something like 1800 cases.

2. Another point they make is that the 'movers and shakers' making decisions about when to open up are generally in a position where the lockdown doesn't really hurt them that much. If you're a keyboard warrior in your spare time and a government office worker, chances are you're still getting your salary and you're still doing the same things you did before the lockdown. If you're a media person or a politician you can generally keep working. To these people, the cost/benefit of a lockdown looks a lot different than someone in, say Texas with four unruly kids in the house, a mortgage payment due, no money for food, and everything you do for fun and relaxation involves being outdoors. Then they go out to a park with their kid and get fined $800, despite the fact that they don't know anyone who is sick and their whole community only has a handful of cases.

The bottom line is that Republicans tend to live in places that aren't that hard hit, and where they maybe COULD go with fewer restrictions without serious problems. But they are stuck being restricted just as if they lived in a dense city where every step outdoors carries risk to you or others. If you live in a town of 500 people and no one is sick, that's a hard pill to swallow.

Add in to that the fact that Democrats tend to see government as a force for good and want the government controlling certain things even in the best of times, while Republicans tend to see the government as a problem that makes things worse as often as it makes it better, so they are inherently more skeptical. And this too makes sense, since Republicans tend to live in places where they can maintain strong families and be more self-reliant, whereas Democrats tend to be more in the big cities where everyone is in everyone else's back pocket and government regulations are seen as a safety net against the vagaries of life.

I'm not saying Republican attitudes are correct: I'm saying they are understandable without resorting to 'Republicans are stupid and/or evil'.

Quote:
You seem to imply in your first paragraph that it is rational self interest combined with what I view as shortsightedness. They are struggling, the shut down is hurting them economically, and they see no evidence the virus is harming them or their neighbors.
Aside from a few yahoos, I'm not seeing such simplistic arguments. Instead, I see arguments like, 'Wait.. If we are just doing this to prevent the ICUs from being flooded, why can't we ease off just a bit when our ICU use hasn't even hit 10% of capacity? Or, "how do you know it's better for us to be completely locked down like this, or whether it would be better for most of us to go back to work, so long as we maintain social distancing and wear masks and gloves? How do we know that won't work? Didn't that work in Taiwan? Isn't Sweden still claiming that's the right thing to do? Are they dumber than we are?"

Quote:
Does this mean that they don't believe the doctors and scientists at the CDC and WHO?
No they don't, and why should they? Let's not forget that the WHO first told us that the virus was contained in China. They then said there was no evidence of person-to-person transmission, several weeks after they knew there was. After China closed internal air travel from Wuhan, Trump also stoped air travel from Wuhan. The WHO responded that there was no evidence of pandemic spread and no reason to shut down international air travel at all.

The CDC's models were completely wrong. The CDC told us that wearing masks did no good, and we shouldn't bother. The FDA refused to allow any existent COVID-19 testing, wanting to use their own test - which they then screwed up through poor lab safety protocols. This delayed the start of testing in the U.S. by weeks. The PPE stockpile they were supposed to maintain was depleted during the Swine Flu epidemic, and neither the Obama administration or the Trump administration bothered to refill it.

None of the 'professional' agencies have covered themselves in glory over this. ON the contrary, the crisis has exposed the fact that the WHO is in the pocket of the Chinese Communist Party, the CDC was too busy worrying about obesity, racism and playground safety to properly focus on actual disease, and the FDA has become a victim of its own bureaucracy and dysfunction. I don't blame Republicans at all for not believing what they are saying now. They probably should, but their skepticism is well founded, and that's on the CDC, WHO, and FDA.

[/quote] Or do they believe the numbers but just think that having 1 to 2 out of every 50 of us dying is preferable to accepting a little socialism for a couple of months? Or do they maybe believe that it won't effect them because it hasn't spread to Flyover, USA yet? Or is there something else?[/QUOTE]

It's a combination of a lot of things. There are reasonable arguments on both sides. For example, our premier (relying on models from the CDC) said that we could expect 800,000 infections, even with social distancing, and that the whole point to this wasn't to reduce the number of people who ultimately get COVID-19, but to 'bend the curve' so that the peaks don't overwhelm the health care system.

All well and good, and everyone accepted that. Except, at our peak we only had a total of 37 ICUY admissions, with a provincial capacity of 600-700. A logical argument could be made that goes like this: "If the object is to get through this and develop herd immunity as fast as possible while not overwhelming the healthcare system, isn't the fact that we are only at 5% capacity in our ICUs while the peak seems to have passed a sign that we went too far?

What if the future is that each time we ease the lockdown the number of cases start to rise, and that continues until we develop herd immunity? In that case, the best solution would be to lockdown and use PPE just enough to keep the system from failing us, which would be the fastest way to get to the point where we can get back to normal. If we lock down to the point where each lockdown period only results in another .5%-1% of the population being infected, and our hospitals are still mostly empty, then we're doing it too slowly and by the time we've reached herd immunity we'll have economic devastation on our hands.

That's a reasonable argument. It's not the only argument, and there are plenty on the other side, but the people who believe this are not crazy, immoral, or even necessarily Republican. But I think you're more likely to buy this if you live in Knoxville than if you're in New York City in the thick of it. That biases such beliefs towards Republicans, but only through correlation. The real factor is where they live and what they do for a living and how wealthy they are.
  #49  
Old 04-19-2020, 08:00 PM
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I don't think he's competent either, but then I don't think very many people are competent to deal with a once in 100 years pandemic. Shall we go through the failures of the World Health Organization, the CDC, or the FDA? Obama and Bush both failed to replenish the strategic PPE stockpile.
Shall we?

https://www.propublica.org/article/u...ed-coronavirus
Quote:
How Tea Party Budget Battles Left the National Emergency Medical Stockpile Unprepared for Coronavirus

Fiscal restraints imposed by Republicans in Congress in the early years of the Obama administration left the U.S. less prepared to respond to the coronavirus pandemic today.
Quote:
Republicans took over the House of Representatives in the 2010 midterms on the Tea Party wave of opposition to the landmark 2010 health care reform law, the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The new House majority was intent on curbing government spending, especially at HHS, which administered Obamacare.

Congressional Republicans, led by Mitch McConnell in the Senate and House Speaker John Boehner, leveraged the debt ceiling — a limit on the government’s borrowing ability that had to be raised — to insist that the Obama administration accept federal spending curbs. The compromise, codified in the 2011 Budget Control Act, required a bipartisan “super committee” to find additional ways to reduce the deficit, or else it would trigger automatic across-the-board cuts known as “sequestration.”

Even in the aftermath of the swine flu pandemic, the stockpile wasn’t a priority then. Without a full committee markup, Rehberg introduced a bill that provided $522.5 million to the stockpile, about 12% less than the previous year and $132 million less than the administration wanted. “Nobody got everything they wanted,” Rehberg said.
Quote:
The stockpile’s mission has steadily expanded as it confronts new public health emergencies. With limited resources, officials in charge of the stockpile tend to focus on buying lifesaving drugs from small biotechnology firms that would, in the absence of a government buyer, have no other market for their products, experts said. Masks and other protective equipment are in normal times widely available and thus may not have been prioritized for purchase, they said.

“It just was never funded at the level that was needed to purchase new products, to replace expiring products and to invest in what we now know are the really necessary ancillary products,” said Dara Lieberman, director of government relations at the Trust for America’s Health, a nonpartisan public health advocacy and research group.

The sequestration and strict budget caps ended with budget deals in 2018 and 2019 — a bipartisan rebuke to the earlier restraints. “It’s a burden off our shoulders,” Senate Appropriations Chairman Richard Shelby, R-Ala., told reporters at the time. “In a troubled world, I think that was the wrong message.”

Yet non-defense spending still hasn’t fully recovered.

“One of the things that happened to public health preparedness was just the result of the general budget stringency we had,” said David Reich, a consultant working on federal appropriations issues for the Center on Budget and Policy Priorities. “We’re still seeing the results of that.”

During the Trump administration, the White House has consistently proposed cutting the CDC and the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, which took over stockpile management from the CDC. Congress approved more stockpile funding than Trump’s budget requested in every year of his administration, for a combined $1.93 billion instead of $1.77 billion, according to budget documents.

The White House budget request for 2021, delivered in February as officials were already warning about the dangerous new coronavirus, proposed holding the stockpile’s funding flat at $705 million and cutting resources for the office that oversees it.
  #50  
Old 04-19-2020, 08:06 PM
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People called Trump a racist for closing flights from China earlier than other countries.
https://www.statesman.com/news/20200...l-restrictions
Quote:
Our ruling

Speaking of his restriction on travel from China, Trump said, “I had Biden calling me xenophobic. ... . He called me a racist, because of the fact that he felt it was a racist thing to stop people from China coming in.”

Biden has not directly said that the restrictions were xenophobic. Around the time the Trump administration announced the travel restriction, Biden said that Trump had a “record of hysteria, xenophobia, and fear-mongering.” Biden used the phrase “xenophobic” in reply to a Trump tweet about limiting entry to travelers from China and in which he described the coronavirus as the “Chinese virus.” Biden did not spell out which part of Trump’s tweet was xenophobic.

Trump’s statement contains an element of truth but ignores critical facts that would give a different impression. We rate it Mostly False.
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