The GOP, coronavirus, and doubling down. Help me understand.

I put this here since the quarantine zone rules specify no politics. Please move if appropriate. Some of us have heard the Texas Lt. Governor, Dan Patrick, has made regarding the pandemic. Now Glen Beck has joined him in expressing similar sentiments.

Logically I suppose this is where the Republican strategy of doubling down leads to. The coronavirus is a media hoax? Maybe believable to someone in rural Louisiana when the only Americans who have it are in Seattle and New York. But then their neighbors start getting sick so that story gets to difficult to maintain. Next up? Try taking some chloroquine to prevent the illness. Oops, one of their own decided to take some without medical supervision and died. Next up? They have to face reality but on their terms. Let’s let the old people die as long as we can save the economy. And people still go along with them. The cluelessness of the Republican voters to keep falling for this never ceases to amaze me.

For anyone who would like to bust out the old “both sides do it” argument, imagine if Hillary was the current POTUS and making the same arguments. The Democratic base would be abandoning her like a hot potato. If Hillary was doing this she would be guaranteed to lose the 2020 election in a landslide. The red tsunami would be so huge it would make the 1994 and 2010 elections look like a ripple in a pond.

What is wrong with these people?

Benghazi tho

My take is that they genuinely believe that the media are blowing the scale of the epidemic out of proportion. Yeah, people die, but people die every day. People die of the flu by the tens of thousands each year.

Technically, they’re right.

What they legitimately don’t understand is that the health system has not factored a deadly pandemic into their equation. They can’t see that right now. Maybe they think that America’s health system will somehow magically, through Divine Providence, figure it out. Apple will donate masks. Tesle will donate breathing machine parts. Capitalism wins.

Except that it’s not that easy. Take a good look at what’s happening in Italy and Spain. Take a look at the images of people having to lie on the floor, gasping for air because the ICUs and even the emergency room gurneys are all fully occupied. The health system wasn’t prepared for this.

And Italy has socialized medicine, in which healthcare is much less rationed by the market than it is here. They have more beds per capita than we do. And they were completely overwhelmed within a matter of weeks.

“Okay but Italians are old and they smoke a lot.”

True but we’re not far behind, and we’re mighty damn obese. We have obesity. We have diabetes. We have heart disease, high blood pressure, and all of that. The United States is a ticking time bomb for something like this.

If we rush people back to work before this is sufficiently controlled, this will be extremely difficult to control going forward. The virus could easily mutate, which would make a vaccine - even two vaccines - potentially useless. It would potentially break the entire medical system. Not to mention, the economy with it.

It’s not an understatement to say that this could be a decision that is looked back on decades later as the beginning of the end of America as a modern global superpower. It’s not hyperbole to say that at all. It’s potentially that pivotal a decision.

You mean the people who elected a malignant narcissistic sociopath to the highest elective office in the country and have supported his transparently infantile lies about everything from the size of his inaugural audience to the amount of legislation his administration has been able to get through Congress. These people live in a fantasy world of their own creation bolstered by propaganda from Fox News, Alex Jones, and Trump himself.

At this point the legitimate news media should do the responsible thing and stop giving Trump any coverage. It was a ratings-boosting shit-show in the first couple of years of his term but he has now become a threat to public health and national security. There is literally no point to covering him except to fact check his continuum of lies, disinformation, and strings of gibberish that comes as a stream-of-barely-consciousness in what passes for his thinking.

Just stop airing his statements, stop asking him questions to which he has no sensible answers, and stop giving him a platform to reach out to people beyond dedicated Fox News viewers. Cut him off the way you should cut off a bad investment or a telemarketer. There is absolutely nothing to be gained by publicizing anything he has to say, and continuing to “fluff” him in hopes that he won’t have a temper tantrum is like feeding a five year old candy to prevent a meltdown. This isn’t hyperbole; he literally talks, acts, and even holds himself like a petulant, spoilt child, and we collectively need to start treating him in the same fashion.


To the first point, the only reason that it’s technically correct is because the flu has been at it for a lot longer. It would be like someone in the 15th century making the argument that guns are less deadly than knives because more people have been stabbed to death compared to those who have been killed by guns.

To the second point, it may be eve more pivotal than that. I fear it could be then end not only of our role as a global superpower, but as a free society. If the fall elections are postponed or if Trump wins, even in a fair election, I believe that the America we knew as of the end of Obama’s presidency will be dead forever.

To answer the OP: I see a lot of them posting memes on Facebook about how swine flu (H1N1) led to 60 million American infections and 12,000 American deaths during the Obama era, yet is almost entirely forgotten today, whereas the coronavirus has (so far) led to only far fewer American infections and deaths under the Trump era, but is hyped to the skies by the media.

The fact that H1N1 and Covid-19 are quite different diseases in terms of their ramifications doesn’t matter to them so much as the fact that they perceive it as a blatantly unfair media double standard. That, and yes, the fact that tens of thousands of Americans die from “normal” flu every year.

The GOP is a white nationalist party controlled by Evangelicals convinced these are the End Times and Trump was put forth by God to hasten the destruction of all they consider unpure.

Jared Yates Sexton has written quite a bit on this, his experiences in the white evangelical movement, and how the GOP has evolved into an apocalyptic party, ready to sacrifice millions to their vision. The link below is a tweet thread, one of many, which goes into how we got into this situation:

If Hillary were saying anything similar to what these ass clowns are spouting, the right would be screaming about death panels.

During any of those outbreaks, was the healthcare system of an entire country, as in today’s Italy, overwhelmed to the point that retired gynecologists are being called in to manage ICU patients on ventilators? I just don’t get how they can think them both equally worthy of not being worried about. They may perceive it to be a blatantly unfair media standard, but it isn’t. **The reality is that this illness is a lot worse. ** The coronavirus doesn’t care about offending their precious little snowflake feelings, it’s just going to keep doing it’s thing unless we take steps to stop it.

It’s quite simple; a few must die so that others may shop.

“Haha! <cough> Su*<cough cough>suck it, li<cough cough cough>libs!<cough cough COUGH HACK cough WHEEZE gasp CROAK>*”

This made me laugh, but it’s not far from the truth. To the GOP faithful, anything good that happens gets accrued to Trump and the Party, while anything bad that happens is caused by Democrats and the Clintons. It’s really that simple.

It is in some sense the trolley problem, mixed with political optics.

On the one side of the track you have doing nothing, which results in hundreds of thousands of people dying. On the other side you have taking drastic action in which tens of thousands of people die, and hundreds of thousands of people lose their jobs.

Now obviously objectively the second option is better. But in the first scenario all of the deaths can be blamed on the virus. The lord giveth and and lord taketh away. In the second scenario those hundreds of thousands of people who lost their jobs, lost their jobs as a direct result of the drastic actions, and even with those actions tens of thousands of people died, so the politician gets blamed for all of the bad things that happened.

So from the point of view of the “buck stops somewhere else crowd” its a no brainer, steady on full speed ahead.

Once this is over, Trump, Pence, and everyone else responsible for delaying the public health response to the pandemic needs to be held liable for criminal negligence.

This isn’t an accident, or a simple miscalculation, and there aren’t experts “on both sides” debating back and forth about what action should be taken or what the consequences of inaction would be. Even if there was no way to stop an epidemic from spreading across the population (which I think we’ll find to be likely in a post hoc epidemiological analysis) there were practical things that the president and his Cabinet could have done in terms of educating the public, encouraging personal hygiene and social distancing, getting test kits out to local authorities promptly to track the spread, preparing to shore up businesses with loan guarantees, assure employment, food, and habitation security during the crisis, allow the NIAID to provide unfettered guidance to state and local officials, and drop the fucking tariffs with China so hospitals can get needed supplies of medical equipment and PPE!

Instead, this administration did worse than nothing; they literally blocked effective public health measures while Trump used an all-too-compliant media platform to tell the public that there was no crisis and that it would all be gone in a few weeks or summer at the latest in direct contradiction to the infectious disease and public health experts trying to advise him, and is still impeding federal assistance to state and local governments.

If a Republican Congress can spend millions of dollars for seven investigations of Hillary Clinton’s alleged responsibility for the Benghazi attack, then we can have an investigation of the criminal negligence of responding to a public health crisis with indifference, obstructionism, and misinformation.


No, not true- but the plutocrats and real Conservatives are letting the racists and Evangelicals run the party and speak for them.

There are still quite a few real Republicans. Look at Mitt Romney, who voted to impeach trump.

It’s just that they are letting the assholes speak for them, because they want those asshole’s votes.

Harsh but basically true, sadly enough.

How the GOP became a white nationalist death cult.

Well, at least someone is thinking. Washington Post: “NPR member station wisely bails on live coronavirus briefings”

Let’s hope other news stations and networks follow suit. If no one can or will impeach or remove Trump, at least marginalize the daughter****er.


Because regardless of what Trump does, or what happens, Foxnews watchers will rate Trump’s response as, at the very least, “very good”.

Dobbs is an idiot toady, but real polls show Trump at his highest approval level ever and his daily briefings are ratings gold.

It’s noteworthy that his highest approval level ever is still not over 50%. That’s jaw-dropping to any political historian.