33 thoughts on “News/Politics 4-17-20

  1. Some good news.


    “Early peek at data on Gilead coronavirus drug suggests patients are responding to treatment”

    “AChicago hospital treating severe Covid-19 patients with Gilead Sciences’ antiviral medicine remdesivir in a closely watched clinical trial is seeing rapid recoveries in fever and respiratory symptoms, with nearly all patients discharged in less than a week, STAT has learned.

    Remdesivir was one of the first medicines identified as having the potential to impact SARS-CoV-2, the novel coronavirus that causes Covid-19, in lab tests. The entire world has been waiting for results from Gilead’s clinical trials, and positive results would likely lead to fast approvals by the Food and Drug Administration and other regulatory agencies. If safe and effective, it could become the first approved treatment against the disease.

    The University of Chicago Medicine recruited 125 people with Covid-19 into Gilead’s two Phase 3 clinical trials. Of those people, 113 had severe disease. All the patients have been treated with daily infusions of remdesivir.

    “The best news is that most of our patients have already been discharged, which is great. We’ve only had two patients perish,” said Kathleen Mullane, the University of Chicago infectious disease specialist overseeing the remdesivir studies for the hospital.

    Her comments were made this week during a video discussion about the trial results with other University of Chicago faculty members. The discussion was recorded and STAT obtained a copy of the video.

    The outcomes offer only a snapshot of remdesivir’s effectiveness. The same trials are being run concurrently at other institutions, and it’s impossible to determine the full study results with any certainty. Still, no other clinical data from the Gilead studies have been released to date, and excitement is high. Last month, President Trump touted the potential for remdesivir — as he has for many still-unproven treatments — and said it “seems to have a very good result.””


  2. And bad news.



    “House Speaker Nancy Pelosi has left Americans trying to save their small businesses and the jobs of millions of employees high and dry.

    She beat it out of town to San Francisco and the House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD) said they wouldn’t be back in session until May 4, “absent an emergency.”

    But they left town after blocking the refunding of the Paycheck Protection Program which is helping tide over small businesses to keep their employees in the face of the governmental shutdowns.

    Pelosi actually bragged about Democrats blocking it from her home in California.

    Now the program has just ran out of money on Wednesday and isn’t taking any more applications because the Democrats have refused to pass more funding for it.

    People are absolutely furious and Pelosi and the Democrats, they’re getting blasted big time on social media.

    Even the person who headed the Small Business Administration under Barack Obama, Karen G. Mills, is telling Democrats to cut out the nonsense and fund the program immediately, refund the Paycheck Protection Program’s coffers now and ask questions later.

    From Roll Call:
    The SBA program, established as part of the $2.3 trillion COVID-19 aid package to help battered small businesses, ran out of cash to make new loans on Thursday morning, barely two weeks after it began taking applications.

    “Congress has to act as soon as possible,” Mills told CQ Roll Call in an interview Thursday, adding that she’s spoken recently with Democratic senators and Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s office. “What I’m saying is: Number one, get the money replenished.” [….]

    On Thursday, the Federal Reserve released a paper estimating that 18 million Americans have lost their jobs through April 4. Small businesses employed 47.5 percent of Americans before the crisis, and according to a 2019 study by the JP Morgan Institute, about half of small businesses couldn’t survive more than two weeks without revenues.

    While Pelosi is out of D.C., back in San Francisco trying to decide which of her designer ice cream flavors to eat after stiffing Americans, C-Span did have a question and answer session during which they had her on and asked about why she had done what justification did Democrats have for blocking the refunding of the program.

    Her answer was classic avoiding the question Pelosi. Talk about the inability to give an honest answer, the incoherence and failure to give an answer is something to behold.”


  3. Really, is anyone shocked?

    Didn’t think so.



    The video in question.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. First the Democrats say Trump is a danger to America, then they left town and ceded all power to him.

    Now they say he’s a dictator.

    But I don’t think they know what the word even means.


    “White House Offers Reopening Guidelines as U.S. Deaths Surge

    “President Trump says he will defer to governors about lifting restrictions.”


  5. The fairest assessment I’ve read yet on who said what when about Covid 19, from politicians, to the media.

    Some have been more wrong than others. And some have been deleting, editing, and trying to re-write the history of what they said. (That would be the media)


    “As reporters looked on during a contentious White House briefing this week, President Trump stepped aside and played a brief video showing several media figures downplaying the coronavirus in January and February, including some personalities who now argue the president didn’t act quickly enough.

    Looking back, members of both parties have mud on their face for past predictions and assessments.

    A timeline compiled by Fox News of coronavirus statements from journalists, world bodies, politicians and their senior advisers from January to March offers insights into how fluid and unclear the situation was. For example, Biden’s top coronavirus adviser, Ron Klain, has variously praised and criticized China, and even encouraged travel to the country amid the outbreak.

    The timeline also underscores the extent to which President Trump’s rhetoric has changed, as he juggled a new trade deal with China and sought to project confidence even as the virus spread.

    Soon after the coronavirus infected its first human in late 2019, China’s government systematically hid key facts about the contagion and detained a doctor who tried to warn the public. The chronology begins here.

    Jan. 4: The head of the University of Hong Kong’s Centre for Infection warns that “the city should implement the strictest possible monitoring system for a mystery new viral pneumonia that has infected dozens of people on the mainland, as it is highly possible that the illness is spreading from human to human.”

    Jan. 6: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) issues a “level 1 travel watch — the lowest of its three levels — for China’s outbreak,” according to the University of Minnesota’s Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy. The CDC said the “cause and the transmission mode aren’t yet known, and it advised travelers to Wuhan to avoid living or dead animals, animal markets, and contact with sick people.” The CDC also offered to send a team to China, but China declined.

    Jan. 8: The World Health Organization (WHO) declares, “Preliminary identification of a novel virus in a short period of time is a notable achievement and demonstrates China’s increased capacity to manage new outbreaks.”

    Jan. 11: China reports its first coronavirus death.

    Jan. 14: The WHO announces, “Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in Wuhan, China.” Meanwhile, according to The Associated Press, internal Chinese documents show that government officials acknowledged likely human-to-human transmission of coronavirus, and said they were following orders from the president of China to keep it under wraps.

    Jan. 15: Trump and China sign “phase one” of a trade deal to rein in a historic and damaging trade war.

    Jan. 17: The CDC and the Department of Homeland Security announce that travelers into the U.S. from Wuhan will undergo new screening at several major airports.

    Jan. 19: The WHO hedges somewhat: “Not enough is known to draw definitive conclusions about how it is transmitted, the clinical features of the disease, the extent to which it has spread, or its source, which remains unknown.”

    Jan. 22: Trump responds to whether he’s concerned about a possible pandemic, “No. Not at all. And we have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.” Trump was referring to a resident from Snohomish County, Wash., who came back from China on Jan. 15 and was diagnosed with the coronavirus.

    Jan. 23: Vox publishes an article stating that travel bans to fight viruses “don’t work.” The article initially referred to the “Wuhan coronavirus,” before being edited weeks later. The article’s URL remains unchanged.

    China seals off Wuhan, canceling plane, train and bus travel.

    Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, says in a Journal of the American Medical Association podcast that the U.S. wouldn’t implement shutdowns of cities like what was occurring in China: “There’s no chance in the world that we could do that to Chicago or to New York or to San Francisco, but they’re doing it. So, let’s see what happens.””


  6. Being a traitor has it’s costs.


    “Sen. Mitt Romney was the only Republican senator left off the list of members of the White House coronavirus task force announced Thursday.

    Romney, a Utah Republican, was the only senator in the party not asked to join President Trump’s task force on reopening the U.S. economy as the coronavirus pandemic begins to subside. All other Republican senators and 12 Democratic senators were invited to join the team.

    The task force also includes a bipartisan slate of 32 representatives from the House, including 22 Republicans and 10 Democrats. Trump has touted his bipartisan efforts throughout the pandemic, including his positive relationship with Democratic governors, such as Gavin Newsom of California and John Bel Edwards of Louisiana.”


  7. ————-


  8. The stupid, it hurts…..


    “Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer: Abortion During Coronavirus ‘Is Life Sustaining’”

    “Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, discussed abortion in times of the coronavirus pandemic during David Axelrod’s Axe Files podcast posted Thursday. Whitmer, who has drawn criticism for the coronavirus restrictions she’s implemented, noted that while Michigan has put a hold on performing all elective surgeries, abortions can still be performed in the state and are considered essential.

    “We stopped elective surgeries here in Michigan,” she said. “Some people have tried to say that that type of a procedure is considered the same and that’s ridiculous,” she added, referring to abortion.

    “A woman’s healthcare, her whole future, her ability to decide if and when she starts a family is not an election, it is a fundamental to her life,” Whitmer said. “It is life sustaining and it’s something that government should not be getting in the middle of. ”


    Sure, because why should the govt ever to anything to protect the most vulnerable, right? 🙄

    And it sure isn’t life sustaining for the child.


  9. State and the federal govt’s talking past each other? What were the chances?…….


    “President Trump has come under attack this week for saying he has “absolute authority” to reopen the economy. He doesn’t—his authority is limited. But while the president can’t simply order the entire economy to reopen on his own signature, neither is the matter entirely up to states and their governors. The two sides of this debate are mostly talking past each other.

    The federal government’s powers are limited and enumerated and don’t include a “general police power” to regulate community health and welfare. That authority rests principally with the states and includes the power to impose coercive measures such as mandatory vaccination, as the Supreme Court held in Jacobson v. Massachusetts (1905). Nor may the federal government commandeer state personnel and resources to achieve its ends or otherwise coerce the states into a particular course of conduct. There is no dispute about these respective state and federal powers.

    In most federal-state disputes, the question is what happens when authorities at both levels exercise their legitimate constitutional powers at cross-purposes. Here, the president has the edge. The Constitution’s Supremacy Clause requires that when the federal government acts within its proper sphere of constitutional authority, state law and state officials must give way to the extent that federal requirements conflict with their own. Federal power encompasses a broad power to regulate the national economy. Thus although the president lacks plenary power to “restart” the economy, he has formidable authority to eliminate restraints states have imposed on certain types of critical commercial activity.

    Much of this authority was established by Congress in the Defense Production Act of 1950, which Mr. Trump has invoked on a limited basis to require American manufacturers to make personal protective equipment and ventilators. Most of his current critics lauded these actions and urged him to do more.

    The DPA was enacted principally to assure U.S. military preparedness. But it defines “national defense” broadly to include “emergency preparedness” and “critical infrastructure protection and restoration.” The law “provides the President with an array of authorities to shape national defense preparedness programs and to take appropriate steps to maintain and enhance the domestic industrial base.” It authorizes him to prioritize the production of certain products and to “allocate materials, services, and facilities in such a manner, upon such conditions, and to such extent as he shall deem necessary or appropriate to promote the national defense.”

    The DPA isn’t a blank check. The president cannot, for example, impose wage and price controls without additional congressional action, and he is often required to use carrots rather than sticks to achieve the law’s purposes. Nevertheless, because he is acting under an express congressional grant of authority, he is operating, as Justice Robert Jackson explained in his iconic concurring opinion in the “steel seizure” case Youngstown v. Sawyer (1952), at the apex of his legal and constitutional power.

    Any state restrictions on commerce or personal behavior would have to yield to the federal imperative. “The states have no power, by taxation or otherwise, to retard, impede, burden, or in any manner control, the operations of the constitutional laws enacted by congress to carry into execution the powers vested in the general government,” the Supreme Court explained in McCulloch v. Maryland (1819). States, whether acting alone or in coordination, would be barred, for example, from forbidding their residents to return to work in critical industries, or from restraining industrial, agricultural or transportation facilities in ways that impede the federal mandate.

    That said, even the most expansive interpretation of the DPA, and other federal statutes regulating interstate commerce, wouldn’t permit President Trump to reopen all aspects of the American economy on his own authority. The reopening of many local businesses, such as restaurants and nonessential retailers, would be up to the states.”


  10. Sure apologies are owed by many, but don’t hold your breathe.


    “Wuhan Virus Watch: Tucker Carlson Says MSM Owes Us ‘Apology for Dismissing Coronavirus Lab Theory’

    “Tonight, [Brian] Williams and all the robots just like him owe you an apology.””


    “Carlson pointed out that the Wuhan lab is located real close to a wet market where it “supposedly originated.” It’s a question worth asking, of course, but our mainstream media doesn’t care:

    Unfortunately we live in a political climate which asking questions is greatly discouraged and obedience is prized. Speculation about it remain privately, mostly online.

    In February, Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas said it out loud.

    Carlson played the clip of Cotton saying we should at least ask questions about the lab and the virus.

    The MSM and leftists slaughtered Cotton after the interview. Now they have to eat crow.

    Carlson said CNN’s Fareed “Zakaria compared Cotton’s entirely legitimate questions to Soviet disinformation from the 1980s that claimed the CIA created AIDs.”

    Don’t forget about the ever so truthful Brian Williams! He also lashed out at Cotton and insisted the virus came from the wet market. But the honest journalist forgot that the wet market did not have the type of bats that carry COVID-19:

    Tonight, Williams and all the robots just like him owe you an apology. Fox’s special reporters confirm that government sources with access to highly classified intelligence, informed people, believe this virus did in fact originate in the bio-lab in Wuhan.

    The first infected patient likely a lab employee who accidentally contracted the virus and spread it through the rest of the world.

    That wet market theory? It was just a cover. China pushed that story to Western media to deflect blame from itself and of course the press corps, as they always do, eat it up immediately.

    Carlson makes sure the viewers know that no one can say 100% that the virus came from the Wuhan lab, but the amount of evidence makes it hard to believe it came from the wet market.”


  11. Again, it hurts….


    “Nothing quite captures the smug elitism of petty tyranny better than this short clip of Gretchen Whitmer laughing off concerns about civil rights. Why should anyone care, Whitmer says, that she has taken a valid and exigent public-health emergency to arbitrarily infringe on activities that pose no threat — such as planting seeds on one’s own land to grow food, or traveling between their homes without coming into contact with others?

    It’s snowing, sillies! Americans don’t need their rights when it’s snowing, at least in Michigan:”

    “It’s true that governors and mayors have authority to order rights-infringing limits in emergencies. Even then, though, they have to find ways to service a legitimate government purpose by the least-intrusive method possible. It also helps if they sound somewhat reluctant to exercise that authority and acknowledge that they are indeed burdening people with those limitations. Whitmer here sounds positively giddy about it, while sneering at anyone who might object to her inane orders.

    What, pray tell, does forbidding planting and gardening on one’s own property have to do with stopping community transmission of a disease? Even a ban on landscaping someone else’s property stretches credulity as a rational policy to stop COVID-19, as long as proper social distancing takes place. Similarly, traveling from one house to another poses no threat, assuming that any stops are handled with the proper precautions for conducting essential business.”


  12. From yesterday,

    yes I would prefer “the disloyal, traitorous, rats?” Not entirely thrilled about it but much better than vermin. Here’s why

    from the link;
    “Dehumanising ape metaphors were commonly applied to Indigenous people during colonial wars and conquests. Disgust-based metaphors picturing people as vermin and cockroaches dominated the imagery of the Holocaust and the Rwandan genocide.”

    I’m not a young “woke” leftist — I’m old school labor. An abhorrence for the use of animal metaphors was instilled in me while I was young by my conservative father, especially the term vermin.


    Yes, free press. I consider FOX news to be bought and paid for by Murdoch and the corporate elite. Similarly, I think PostMedia Canada is bought and paid for by the Cdn corporate elite. However, I don’t think a president or a prime minister should yell, interrupt, and call them names. There’s no dignity left in their office when they do that. And its an attempt to intimidate the free press, a cornerstone of democracy. And yes that includes foreign press. Trump needs to grow a thicker skin or resign due to a lack of emotional fortitude.


  13. As my link yesterday pointed out, the PPP is overwhelmed and is barely getting the approved funds out. There’s no point approving new funds when the current funds aren’t moving. I am, however, amused how socialist the republican party is becoming — just giving away money and demanding more. No thought to revenue, debt and deficit. Essentially the state has become the paymaster of the nation but they missed a key element — they need control of the funds. There’s no accountability when you just give it away especially when you fired the IG responsible for oversight.

    Facebook is the private property of Mark Zuckerburg and other stock owners. They decide what gets posted. Isn’t capitalism wonderful! Besides Epoch Times is hardly a legitimate news source.

    Romney is a lot of things but he’s not a traitor. He just happens to have a different opinion. Its interesting for me that Romney disregarded party loyalty due to religious values. And now he is being punished for following his faith.


  14. Trump did claim as president he had absolute authority. He now know tells the states its their call to make. The contradiction is not surprising. Trump wants power but he doesn’t want responsibility. And ultimately as I am sure his advisers warned him, the governors would simply ignore him — a power struggle at this time and one he would lose is not the best idea.

    Gov. Whitmer is not infringing on people’s right to garden etc. She simply put an end to frivolous shopping. If you had seeds already at home, by all means plant to your hearts content. You have paint at home, paint the living room. Garden centers are closed in Ontario too but that doesn’t mean I can’t seed my grass with the grass seed I already have — but I am waiting for warmer weather. My Cdn brother normally landscapes and plants for people, he’s waiting both for the weather and the gov’t. Protesting these simple measures is advocating that your right to shop supersedes public health concerns. Its a selfish position as is protesting in your cars causing traffic problems near hospitals preventing medical staff from getting to work (all because as one woman put it she needed to get haircut and dye her hair). Its selfish and life threatening. Stay home and watch netflix — your grandfather stormed the beaches of Normandy and you can’t sit on your couch?


  15. How can we be sure there were no bats in the Wuhan wet markets — the types of animals, living or dead, change depending on the vendor and their supply. Its a pretty flimsy piece of evidence. Again not saying it could not have happened just there’s no real way to tell. Unless there was a foreign observer in the Chinese virus labs — but that program was cut, or “reorganized for efficiencies. ”


    A good offer is right. For America’s sake, hopefully that includes more oversight, revenue generation and perhaps some type of control. And since the current funds have yet to be distributed, they still have time.


  16. “As my link yesterday pointed out, the PPP is overwhelmed and is barely getting the approved funds out. There’s no point approving new funds when the current funds aren’t moving. ”


    Wrong as usual.

    Banks have 10 days to disburse the money once an employer is approved. Nearly all the initial $350 million has been approved. those banks disbursing it have 10 days to do so once approval happens. They aren’t just going to write checks until approval happens. It has for nearly all the money at this point, so disbursements have begun.


    “The SBA and Treasury Department have yet to release any formal statistics on total loan disbursements from banks to small business owners, with one senior administration official telling CNBC the information is not yet available, despite multiple requests. The SBA did release data showing the average loan size is just under $240,000.

    Business owners that have received loan approval numbers should start to get funds soon, as Treasury guidance states that “the lender must make the first disbursement of the loan no later than ten calendar days from the date of loan approval.”

    Several big banks reporting earnings this week offered a look into the amount of loans going out the door, with Wells Fargo saying it had received 370,000 indications of interest from customers through April 10. JP Morgan Chase, as of April 14, had 300,000 applications in varying stages for $37 billion in loans, with $9.3 billion already into the hands of small business owners. ”


    And there are other lifelines for employers.

    “Beyond just PPP loans, the CARES Act includes another important provision for small businesses that currently hold non-disaster loans through the SBA: the Small Business Debt Relief Program. This program provides for six months of payment relief on existing 7(a) and 504 loans for approximately 320,000 small businesses. It also includes those business owners who apply for new 504 or 7(a) loans not part of PPP.

    “These are some of our most vulnerable small businesses. Because you know, if they got an SBA loan, they probably had difficulty getting a traditional bank loan,” Sen. Chris Coons (D-DE), a member of the Senate Small Business & Entrepreneurship Committee says. “So these are exactly the companies we want to make sure know that for the next six months, they don’t need to do anything.”


    Determining eligibility and disbursement takes time. But you already knew that.


  17. “Its interesting for me that Romney disregarded party loyalty due to religious values. And now he is being punished for following his faith.”

    Yeah that tends to happen when you join a cult.

    He’s a traitor.


  18. Right so there’s still around 10 days before they run out of money. They can take new applications, approve them, and then wait til new money arrives. There’s no rush here. If I believe some your links Nancy Pelosi is causing bankruptcy this minute — even if they approved money today, the disbursements will continue in the same patterns as before approval.


    So you approve of punishing people for their faith?


    Trump tweeted support of the protesters — they are his base. But not sure encouraging rebellion against public health regulations is a good idea now. Then he also said he supported the governors. His inconsistencies and contradiction. Sometimes he reminds me of Biden — he just says stuff. I’m not sure if either one of them is healthy enough to be president, Vote for the VP, eventually he or she will be in charge.


  19. Oh — just curious, why are they using private banks to disburse and administer the funds and loans? Why not use the gov’t and cut out the middle man? What are their management fees? I’m used to gov’t agencies do this sort of work so I’m wondering why are private banks used.


  20. “There’s no rush here.”

    Tell that to the 20,000 small business employers and their thousands of employees waiting in the que.


    Dems have other priorities.


  21. “Oh — just curious, why are they using private banks to disburse and administer the funds and loans? ”

    Perhaps you could do your own research and look up the answer. It was agreed to by both Houses of Congress, was bi-partisan, and overwhelmingly approved by both parties. Ask them.


  22. Nervous Nancy is trying to re-write history again.


    But the internet is forever. 🙂


  23. Over 30 years ago I lived about an hour drive from Sioux Falls. It was companies like this that made me appreciate the gov’ts role in the health and welfare of the people and pushed me to the left of the political spectrum.

    The corporations and politicians involved in this mess have blood on their hands;


  24. I don’t care whether it was bi partisan etc. It seems strange that a government would use private banks to deliver its funds. Most OECD countries use a state agency — they avoid management fees. Is this the norm in the US?

    Currently the delay in PPP funds has nothing to do with Pelosi no matter what twitter tells you. The money is there but communication and interactions between the banks and government agencies is a mess and the money is only slowly being released. Hence my question — this is a puzzling way of doing things….it makes far more sense to hand out money in-house. Along with lower costs, there’s greater oversight and efficiency. The Germans have a similar programs and were able to get the money out in less than three days — no private banks were used. The stimulus and bailout appears to once more be a simple way for the swamp to profit take.


  25. Why would it be strange?

    Right now the IRS, the only agency big enough that could be used for so large an endeavor, has their hands full trying to process taxes and individual relief checks, all on a staff depleted by the virus and office closures because of it. If it was left to them things would be worse all the way around. Sure that would make liberals happy, just one more thing to blame Trump for, but it would be stupid. It makes sense to have banks helping.


  26. The Germans aren’t anywhere close to the number of applicants or the number of dollars involved. You comparing apples and raisins.


  27. The banks aren’t helping…I’m sure they are being well rewarded for their work.

    On a per capita basis, the Germans have just as much work. Its just a far better organised and efficient govt. Merkel knows how to run a govt and lead. And I’m not usually a big fan.of her….too conservative for my taste but i admire compentencd


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