Problem Solvers release plan

PelosiWe’re working hard to get immediate relief to the American people during this Coronavirus outbreak…–Rep. Tom Reed


The Problem Solvers Caucus’ proposed recommendations include:

  1.  Economic Response for Businesses, Employees and the Self-Employed
  • Immediate, Direct Financial Payments to IndividualsLimited only to the crisis, significantly increase unemployment insurance benefits, including payment amounts, for hourly and salaried workers, under a certain income threshold. This relief should focus on mid-to-low-income workers and furloughed workers. Provisions to be made for freelancers and the self-employed to ensure the same relief.
  • Bridge Loans to Help Keep Businesses in Business: Low-or-zero-interest loans to businesses of all sizes willing to keep their employees (furlough, but preserving benefits) in their positions during the coronavirus crisis.  Must include long-term repayment options, and not exclude any industries.
  • Allow Individuals and Businesses to Defer Mortgage Payments and RentDuring the national crisis, stay all foreclosure and evictions proceedings.
  • Contract and Insurance Protections for Existing Contract and Business Insurance PoliciesLegislatively declare the coronavirus a public health crisis, and, as such, a qualifying event for all existing force majeure contract provisions and business interruption insurance policies.
  • Loan Deferral and Forbearance: Develop and allow loan deference, modification, and forbearance mechanisms for individuals and businesses of all sizes, during the crisis (e.g. mortgages, lines of credits, student loans, and other qualifying loans).
  • Refundable Tax Credit to Employers for Employee RetentionDuring the crisis, provide immediately advanceable, refundable tax credits for employee retention by employers — including maintaining employment status or providing benefits for furloughed employees.


  1.  Health Care & Food Security Needs
  • Speed Testing to Market: Provide additional regulatory relief at FDA and CDC for market-based testing solutions and essential supplies (e.g. testing kits, ventilators, PPEs, reagent supply, and hospital conversion).
  • Childcare Enhancement: Reflecting new work and school environment, enact childcare assistance policies and regulatory relief to provide childcare coverage during term of crisis.
  • Price GougingEnact applicable measures to strictly enforce anti-price gouging measures.
  • Medical Personnel and Supplies:  Where available, deploy federal government excess medical personnel and equipment capacity, including military sources (e.g. vents), to affected areas needing service.
  • GI Benefits: Correct the technical glitch, so that, during this time of crisis, veterans can utilize GI benefits for online learning.


  1. Infrastructure Investment: Passage of a significant infrastructure package which would stimulate job growth and allow for borrowing at historically-low interest rates.

These seem reasonable; I wonder how many will be enacted? Support for Hospitals and people who must work–doctors, nurses, pharmacists, public servants, grocery clerks–should be considered. We need somehow to stop those who endanger themselves and others with indifference. What else was missed?

About whungerford

* Contributor at where we discuss the politics, economics, and events of the New New York 23rd Congressional District (Allegany, Cattaraugus, Chautauqua, Chemung, (Eastern) Ontario, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben,Tioga, Tompkins, and Yates Counties) Please visit and comment on whatever strikes your fancy.
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42 Responses to Problem Solvers release plan

  1. Athos says:

    What else was missed??
    How about empathy? Not a word of sympathy to anyone effected. That’s all of us, folks.

    There is nothing concrete addressing the health care emergency we are in.

    Soft promises, nothing concrete. Worried about business, not people.
    Feel good stuff,
    Typical Tom.

    Look to Cuomo for help. Not Tom and certainly not Trump.

    Be sure to catch the governor’s briefings. They are factual, informative, objective and uplifting.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Athos says:

    At this time, it might be instructive to remember Reed’s actions since he was first elected.

    He has constantly attacked the safety net protecting our most vulnerable.
    He has constantly supported big business at the expense of his constituents. The latest example was the ridiculously named Tax Cuts and Jobs Act which shunted billions to corporations while giving peanuts to taxpayers. How was that money used? To buy back stock!
    I’ve been at town hall meetings where people would present informed opinions about health care, global warming, education etc. When pressed, he would NEVER change his mind. He would NEVER offer to look into it. His reply..’I am not a doctor’, ‘I am not a scientist’, ‘I am not a teacher’
    And his constant fallback….’Let’s agree to disagree’

    He has voted with Trump over 95% of the time. That would be Trump who disdains scientists, who has fired experts, who says his ‘gut’ is great.

    Does anyone think that we would be in this mess if Trump listened to scientists (who have been predicting this pandemic AND CONSEQUENCES for years.
    Does anyone thing that things would be this bad if Trump had listened to HIS OWN PEOPLE in December and January and February?
    Reed is solidly loyal to Trump.
    And that is all you need to know. You don’t need to spend any time discussing specious bills issuing from Reed or Trump.
    Oh, and btw, the senate is locked up providing relief. Why?? McConnell is trying to get money to corporations, while Democrats are trying to get money to people.
    That’s the team that Reed plays for.


  3. D'Artagnan says:

    how social distancing works or fails


  4. Porthos says:

    The senate bill calls for bailouts to airlines, cruise ships and the hotel industry.
    What would Tom Reed have to say about that?


  5. whungerford says:

    Porthos, most likely Tom Reed would say nothing. Contradictions between the Problem Solvers proposal and McConnell’s ideas are not something he would acknowledge. If the Senate agrees on a bill, most likely Reed would back it. When and if the House votes, I expect a party line vote.


  6. whungerford says:

    The Problem Solvers proposals are inconsistent with McConnell’s ideas:

    As Senate Democrats went to the floor Sunday night to vote — the first time they’d been there in days — they had one thing on their minds: a secret “slush fund” for Corporate America.

    That’s what Democrats are calling a $500 billion “Exchange Stabilization Fund” included in the massive Senate GOP proposal to rescue the U.S. economy from the coronavirus crisis. The fund, which would come under the control of Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, is designed to aid distressed industries. It includes $58 billion for U.S. airline and air cargo companies, a source of significant controversy during the last three days of closed-door talks between senators of both parties and the White House.


  7. Richelieu says:

    This is a medical emergency first. An economic emergency second. Had the Trump people acted that way, we would have had an economic problem, but not this total meltdown.
    Purging experts from positions of responsibility, denigrating science, removing the CDC epedemiologist from China last July, ignoring warnings given in January 2020 and January 2020 and o so many other antisocial actions in pursuit of a rising stock market….ALL led us to where we are today.
    The Problem Solvers proposal fails to take even a proper start at improving the health of the American people.
    And, let’s call a spade a spade here, the so-called Problem Solvers never solve anything. They are a group of republicans and democrats seeking political cover in saying they reach across the aisle. Reed votes 95% republican, and his votes and town halls prove he is absolutely uninterested in the interests of all of his constituents. He’s often said he represents the majority that voted for him.
    Problem Solvers proposals are simply political propaganda and undeserving of any serious consideration.

    While Reed and the rest of the Trumpers angle for even MORE money to be given to corporations and special interests, let us hope that Pelosi sticks to her guns and gets relief for the average american citizen. It’s time and past to try ‘trickle up’

    Reported cumulative coronavirus deaths today — 458
    Reported cumulative coronavirus cases — 35075

    IT’s possible to use the available data to get an approximation of ACTUAL cases in the USA today.
    Calculations show that the number is probably higher than the reported cases. By a factor of 10.

    This pandemic is going to get way worse. One prediction is that at least a million will die.


  8. Athos says:

    Given that Reed’s district is predominately rural….
    Given that the hospitals in this predominately rural area were experiencing various degrees of financial stress BEFORE the coronavirus,…
    Given that these hospital have had to postpone elective surgeries to prepare for the coronavirus…
    Given that elective surgeries provide a HUGE portion of hospital revenues….
    It is fair to say that hospitals in NY23 will all be bankrupt. Soon.

    Wouldn’t it be nice if Reed and the Trump’s addressed this, rather than shoveling money towards hotels (trump owns a LOT of hotels), cruise lines (Trump friends and allies) , and airlines (MORE Trump friends and allies), the Trumpers sent money to help improve ACTUAL health care to ALL of their constituents?

    It would be nice if some readers of this blog and their friends would call tom reed and share this view.

    I already have.
    Many times


  9. whungerford says:

    Surprisingly, as Richelieu notes, under “Health Care & Food Security Needs,” there is little if anything that addresses health care or food security.


  10. D'Artagnan says:

    just got off the phone with Reed’s office.
    Staffer assured me that Reed was addressing health care issues. I asked for specifics. Got none. She got argumentative.

    She shunted the discussion to the senate bill. Was unable to answer me about the 500 billion dollar Mnunchkin slush fund. Rushed to get me off of the phone.


    Liked by 1 person

  11. Richelieu says:

    The Fed is printing money so fast the printing presses are overheating.

    Traditionally, rampant inflation occurs after such an event.

    Something to look forward to if we live through the botched coronavirus response.



  12. Porthos says:

    126 new deaths today. Cumulative confirmed deaths — 545 in USA
    9903 new cases today. Cumulative reported cases – 43449 in USA

    Back calculating – ACTUAL cases in USA today — over 1/2 million. And that is probably a very low figure.


  13. whungerford says:

    No doubt the number of actual cases is greater than the number of reported cases, but I don’t understand what is meant by back calculating. Please explain this.


  14. Richelieu says:

    This article explains the concept.
    View at
    Let me know if you still have trouble.


  15. Aramis says:

    A few of things today….
    Note well: Trump and Trump Republicans care more about money than they do about lives. Trump is seriously suggesting relaxing social distancing so that the country can get back to work. This would put EVERYONE at risk, but particularly senior citizens and people with underlying conditions.

    Apparently a few million deaths would be an acceptable price for his reelection.

    Trump has compared the coronavirus to the seasonal flu. Well, let’s do that. The seasonal flu kills ~50,000 to 70,000 people. The coronavirus is 10 times as lethal (at least). That means, if I can do third grade math correctly, that the BEST CASE for the coronavirus is 10 x 50,000 OR half a MILLION fatalities. And this would be if we do everything right. Which we have not even come close to, yet.

    If Trump succeeds in relaxing the mitigation measures recommended by his own health team, 10 million fatalities would not be an unreasonable estimate.

    Is anybody calling Tom Reed yet?


  16. whungerford says:

    The Medium article cited doesn’t answer the question. How could one determine that the actual number of cases in USA on March 23 was over 1/2 million? As teachers say: “show your work.”


  17. Richelieu says:

    I beg to differ. Everything is there to be used.

    But let’s take a real world example….using some of the figures in the Medium piece..
    Mortality rate 1% (actual mortality rate seems to be a little higher)
    Time virus takes from infection to death ~17.3 days.

    Fatality reports vary wildly, though it can be assumed that the virus is increasing in a linear manner daily. Reported deaths do NOT follow a linear progression. It is hard to get consistent data. For our purposes, let’s use this:
    Number of reported new deaths on 3/20 = 64
    Number of reported new deaths on 3/23 = 134.
    So it appears that the virus is doubling approximately every 3 days. Let’s take 4 to be conservative and recognize that variations exist throughout the country. Note, though, that they KNOW that the virus numbers are doubling every 2 days in NYC.

    So here is what we can do with what we know….

    The virus kills after approximately 17 days of infection. Assume that 1 % of infections result in fatalities. Therefore, if there are 222 deaths today (as there are on 3/24) then 17 days ago, there were at least ~22200 new infections.
    Now, the virus is doubling infections ~ every 4 days as we determined above.
    day 0 22200 new cases (222 deaths today / .01)
    day 1 27750 new cases
    day 2 33300new cases
    day 3 38850new cases
    day 4 44400 new cases
    day 8 88800…
    day 12 177600…
    day 16 355200…

    Using an excel worksheet that I have been maintaining, I was expecting 174 deaths nationwide today. Sadly, there were 222 as I write this. —————-And the number is advancing quickly in real time. I have revised this piece and its data 4 times so far!

    The method is not as precise as I would like. Due to the variation of cases doubling at 4 days, give or take, a 1% mortality rate (probably a little higher, and problems with reporting new cases, geographic differences….and so on. Still, it gets into the ballpark, if not into the infield.

    The REPORTED number of new cases 17 days ago (3/7/2020) was 159. 159 * .01 = 1.6 deaths predicted for today. Actual coronavirus deaths today — 222. Something seems to be wrong.

    The REPORTED number of new cases today is 11074. Which would mean that with a mortality rate of 1%, we could expect ~ 110 deaths in 17 days. The actual figure for coronavirus deaths TODAY was 222. Something seems to be very wrong.

    To recap….we have two data sets from which we can make predictions.

    First way.– using official figures–. Which means that the 222 new deaths today show that the virus has a kill rate of 139 % (222 deaths / 159 reported new cases 3/7/2020) !!!!!
    Second way….explained above. Which is a lot closer.

    Let’s use the first way to predict tomorrow….
    On March 8, there were 286 new cases reported. With a 1% mortality rate, that means 286 *.01=
    2 or 3 deaths tomorrow. Seems unlikely.

    Now let’s use the second way…
    Adjusting for previous wiggle in the algorithm, let’s say 27750 new cases (most unreported) on March 8, 2020. 27750 * .01 = 278
    This algorithm predicts approximately ~278 coranovirus fatalities tomorrow.

    Very, Very unpleasant to do this exercise.
    I hope that you find it satisfactory.

    One final note….if the method I have demonstrated is indeed accurate, then there are many, many unreported cases of infectious coronavirus. As I previously stated. I will leave the determination of that number as an exercise for the student.


  18. whungerford says:

    Physicist Richard Feynman told a story about meeting a painter in a bar who claimed he could make yellow by mixing red and white paint. Feynman didn’t think this was possible, but a painter should know; it would be interesting, if true. They made a bet. Feynman went out and bought red and white paint. The painter tried but failed to make yellow; Feynman won the bet. When something seems wrong, it probably is wrong.


  19. Richelieu says:

    I appreciate the backhanded endorsement of my work.


  20. Richelieu says:

    Nice article in the NYT today. It’s interactive!!

    Social Distancing for 14 days ……. 128 Million Coronavirus infections. 128,000,000
    Social Distancing for 2 months…… 14 million total infections 1,400,000

    Given that the virus has a mortality rate of 1%, ending social distancing early will kill quite a few people. The student is welcome to do the arithmetic.

    Guess that’s the cost of getting the economy going again. The pro-life party doesn’t mind killing people to make a few bucks.


  21. Athos says:

    My estimate of 278 new deaths for 3/25 was understated and a day early.
    New deaths for 3/26/2020 numbered 349.

    Likewise, my 3/23 comment that the number of unreported fatalities was over 1/2 million. I was off by a week. New data indicate that that milestone will occur somewhere around April 1.
    And extrapolating from new data, the total number of unreported cases on April 10, just before Easter, should be in the neighborhood of 2 million.

    One can use the method demonstrated effectively and accurately in a previous post to verify that number.

    I leave it to the reader to determine if that is a good idea.


  22. Richelieu says:

    This week’s fantasy mailer from Tom Reed and my reply
    Dear Neighbor,

    Congress took action recently to pass Phase 3 of the Coronavirus response– this bill offers tremendous relief to the American people and small businesses all across the nation. We have worked together as Republicans and Democrats to make this happen, and I am proud of that fact.

    In the district, we are continuing that important work by remaining in constant contact with our local health officials, county executives and mayors to hear their needs. It is important to keep the lines of communication open during this health crisis so we can be ready to help when needed.

    Now that we have gotten relief to the people and small businesses who need it, we need to start thinking of a way to move forward. The fundamentals of our economy are strong, and we will get through this difficult time together. We are looking ahead and working on a Phase 4 of the stimulus plan to help get people and businesses back to work when it is safe. Getting America back to work is a priority. For more on these efforts, please read this piece by Problem Solver Co-Chair Josh Gottheimer and myself here:

    As always, we are here if you need us – reach out to us at for assistance and information. Please also visit our Facebook page at Rep. Tom Reed for daily posts, periodic live streams and information on our upcoming tele-town halls.

    Until next time,

    Paragraph 1 – no mention of people’s health. Victory lap for you for getting money.
    Paragraph 2 – no mention of people’s health. Victory lap for you
    Paragraph 3 – no mention of people’s health. All about the economy.
    Paragraph 4 – no mention of people’s health. Advertising for you.

    No mention of what people are going through, no empathy, no concern for people’s lives. Just a pitch for the economy, like the rest of your so-called pro-lif party —- that doesn’t care if people succumb as long as the economy is saved.

    Your priorities are screwed up. Lives first, then jobs. You know, the country that successfully beats this virus will be in a position to get its economy going before anyone else. Right now, that looks to be China. Getting people out and about early will be a tremendous mistake, causing much more sickness and death, and delaying a jump start of our economy. Perhaps for months. An early forced return is short sighted. Stupid.

    ‘Now that we have gotten relief to the people…who need it…’ ?????????? What planet are you on? It takes time to spool something like this up. I’ll be one of the first, since the government has my direct deposit information. I don’t expect it for weeks. I certainly have not gotten it.
    The Federal Government has failed to provide NY with the equipment we need to save people’s lives. What are you doing about that?

    This bill of which you are so proud, makes corporations wards of the state. You’ve railed against socialism forever. Now you don’t mind so much, do you? We’ll be reminding you of this when you pivot back to your holy grail of gutting the social safety net.

    In the billions and billions of dollars showered on special interests, NYS received very little money for government and revenue lost in this pandemic. Your fault. Shame.

    Keep these letters coming, though. It reminds me how bad you are.


  23. Aramis says:

    Good news….and bad news….worse news.
    Good news first. The virus appears to be killing at a 1.5% rate, skewing predictions about unreported cases lower by about 1/4.

    The bad news. The virus appears to be killing at a 1.5% rate. Known cases in the USA are 112,560. Cumulative deaths = 1878. Daily additions to these are climbing at an exponential rate, known cases every 4 days, deaths roughly every 4 days. We are looking at millions of known cases, and thousands of deaths in the not too distant future.

    Worse news…the peak in NYS is at least 3 weeks away. And we don’t have enough equipment or people.

    Which will make things worse than if we had been prepared. Or even reacted in a timely manner.


  24. whungerford says:

    Tom Reed has claimed repeatedly that the fundamentals of our economy are strong. The fundamentals of our economy aren’t strong when we have record unemployment, the budget deficit is exploding and no action is taken to pay the bills? An economy that relies on deficit spending, quantitative easing and near zero interest rates is on life support.


  25. Athos says:

    A surging stock market is no indicator of a strong economy. Maybe we will learn that lesson THIS time. HAH. Sure we will….

    A couple of related pieces

    And maybe, just maybe, this disaster will reframe the very real need for Universal Health Care


  26. Rickelieu says:

    I put this together for my brother, and believe it is good information for everyone:

    I’m keeping an excel spreadsheet populated with an algorithm I scarfed from Medium. The algorithm is pretty accurate and strongly indicates that the number of reported cases is only 1 / 10 of the total. An order of magnitude low. Means that today, there are probably more that 3/4 million unreported coronavirus cases in the country.

    I have based my behavior during the crisis based on the following:

    1. Since the number of cases is increasing, excursions are more dangerous today than yesterday. Excursions tomorrow are more dangerous than today.

    2. How much more dangerous? The only metric that is certain is confirmed deaths. The number of Deaths is doubling every 4 days. If deaths are doubling every 4 days, then so are all cases. So today is 25 % more dangerous than yesterday. Tomorrow is 50 % more dangerous. And 4 days from now will be twice as dangerous as today.

    3. The only time that risk will decrease is after the peak, when the virus starts to burn itself out. When will that be?

    4. Cuomo tells us the peak will occur in 14 to 21 days. Until then, we need to consider this: In 14 days, cases will double 3 times. So an excursion then will be 2 * 2 * 2 OR 8 times as risky as an excursion today. An excursion in 21 days will be 2 * 2 * 2 * 2 * 2 OR 32 times as dangerous as an excursion today.

    5. The virus reliably dies after 14 – 17 days.

    6. Risk will diminish quickly after the peak.

    7. I will to stay put for the next 28 – 38 days. If I have to go out, I will take MASSIVE PRECAUTIONS. Even after the peak, risk will remain high, but will decrease as fast as it increased.

    Hope someone finds this useful.


  27. whungerford says:

    Richelieu, thanks for you comment. I don’t think the virus will disappear after 14, 17, 20 or any currently predictable number of days. It will diminish when each infected person passes it on to fewer than one other on average. Even if we know (I don’t believe we do) how many are infected today, we don’t know how effective self-isolation is at preventing new infections. When the number of infected persons in a region begins to decline, it will be some time before the disease dies out. Even then, there will be breakouts.


  28. Richelieu says:

    Richelieu, thanks for you comment.
    –You are very welcome. Thank you for yours. It informed me just how much needs to be done to correct common misconceptions. Which today can be fatal.

    I don’t think the virus will disappear
    –There are quite a few things that happen to viruses. Many things too numerous to discuss here. But viruses don’t disappear. Ever. They are with us forever. The experts do not predict the end of the virus. They predict the end of the pandemic.
    –Because viruses don’t disappear, we can expect a second wave in the Fall. And if our luck is very bad, more waves after that.

    after 14, 17, 20 or any currently predictable number of days.
    –I have always believed in people with demonstrated successful track records such as Governor Cuomo and the experts he consults, including Dr Fauci. Therefore I believe that they are able to predict the course of the pandemic. The experts are well educated, experienced and knowledgeable in germs of all types and they have worked before, many times, in pandemic mitigation. Successfully. You don’t share my belief. No further discussion needed here.

    It will diminish when each infected person passes it on to fewer than one other on average.
    –Your statement simply describes what happens as a pandemic ends. It doesn’t answer the questions of WHY fewer people get infected. The answer to that question is what allows the experts to predict what happens during a pandemic and to inform our government officials so they can react properly.

    Even if we know (I don’t believe we do) how many are infected today,
    –I am sorry that I failed to convince you that we can determine how many are infected today. More and more accurately as time goes on. Again, you disagree with experts. No further discussion needed here.
    –Allowing that you don’t believe in my method, current ongoing testing allows us to identify who has the coronavirus today. So your statement is incorrect. The number of today’s infections is known. In addition to knowing EXACTLY how many have tested positive (at this hour, the number is 122,273) we know the number of people who have succumbed. That number is 440. Which shows a mortality rate of .36%. Other countries with better record keeping indicate a mortality rate of 1.3% to 1.5 %, so we know that known cases are under reported. But I digress….
    Both known positives and fatalities are doubling every four days. Get out your calculator and figure out how many known positives we will have in a month. WAIT, I will save you the trouble.
    Today’s KNOWN cases —- 122273. 4 days before that…66048…four days before that…33546 ….before that … 16000 ….demonstrated doubling of KNOWN CASES every 4 days.
    28 days in a month. 28 / 4 = 7 doublings.
    122273 KNOWN POSITIVE CASES TODAY * 2 * 2 * 2 * 2 * 2 * 2 * 2 = No, go get your calculator! I’m not going to do ALL the work! It will be a surprise!
    Of course, you could argue that past performance is no predictor. The experts would disagree. So would I. No further discussion needed here.

    we don’t know how effective self-isolation is at preventing new infections.
    –Self isolation is simply extreme social distancing. Social distancing is being prescribed by the experts (Fauci, Birx and many other esteemed epidemiologists) as a way to prevent many new infections and slow the spread of the disease. Do you disagree with them? I don’t. Simply put, if a person is not contaminated, the person does not get sick. In other words, social distancing prevents infection. So does self isolation. It is 100% effective. No further discussion needed here, either.

    When the number of infected persons in a region begins to decline, it will be some time before the disease dies out. Even then, there will be breakouts.
    –Again, incorrect. The virus will not die out. Ever. The pandemic may ebb and flow, but the virus is with us. Forever. And we will see it again, at least, and I sincerely hope for the last time, in the Fall.

    If you have a very strong stomach and wish to research the history of the last great killer pandemic, I recommend The Great Influenza by John Barry. It is quite instructive. And horrifying. People in the prime of life sometimes literally exploded mere hours after being infected.

    Have you ever heard of Philadelphia’s Liberty Bond Parade held on Sept. 28, 1918. If not, you should look into it. And the aftermath.
    Again, thanks for the opportunity to gather my thoughts.
    Stay well.

    Liked by 1 person

  29. Aramis says:

    Some recent Trump actions:
    He’ll force the country to reopen! (How, since the states are the ones that closed nonessential business?)
    He is actually going to quarantine three states! (That doesn’t sound like he is poised to fill the churches by Easter.) That evening, he says he will not quarantine three states
    He insists there is no need for 30,000 ventilators; the very next day, he says he is ordering General Motors to produce them.
    Trump complains that governors who want more help need to show more appreciation, Jay Inslee, Washington Governor says,“I don’t recall, in the oath of office, saying, ‘I’ll do my job to protect the citizens of Washington state as long as I get enough love.’ ”
    His actions produce constant confusion that feeds the fear that is Trump’s fuel.

    Meanwhile, it falls to the governors of states to do the actual work of protecting their citizens. Andrew Cuomo is doing a great job. Catch his daily news conference if you would like to see true presidential leadership.

    Today, Nancy Pelosi correctly said, ‘As the president fiddles, people are dying’. Unfortunately, this is the case.

    Trump and Trump’s toady Reed don’t give a tinker’s damn about our lives. I hope people are paying attention.


  30. D'Artagnan says:

    the state of the coronavirus pandemic per Johns Hopkins 3/29/2020:

    Total Confirmed Global Cases: 704095
    Total confirmed deaths: 33509
    Global Mortality Rate: 4.7 %

    US confirmed cases: 132637
    US Total confirmed deaths: 2363
    US Mortality Rate: 1.78 %

    Any way you look at those figures, it’s bad news.
    To the 3 readers of this blog…Take Care of Yourselves

    Liked by 1 person

  31. whungerford says:

    Thanks for the information and expression of concern. When readers prefer to remain anonymous, I can’t tell if there are many or one using multiple personas. I would only note that the 1.78% figure is an upper bound–because the number of people infected is surely greater than the number of those known to be infected, the actual mortality rate is surely less than 1.78.


  32. Porthos says:

    Trump has today tweeted:
    not once, not twice, not thrice, but FOUR TIMES

    about the incredibly high ratings that his daily coronavirus briefings receive.

    words fail.

    Liked by 1 person

  33. Athos says:

    Just watched Trump’s press conference.
    Who knew the president could wax so eloquent describing packed occupied black body bags stacked in freezers outside of Elmhurst hospital?

    Apparently epidemiology experts Fauci and Birx think that there is benefit to be had in self isolation and social distancing, and that such measures will mitigate the pandemic’s effects.
    Also epidemiology experts Fauci and Birx are confident enough to predict that the peak of the pandemic will occur somewhere around 20 days from now.
    Finally, epidemiology experts Fauci and Birx were able to provide high and low death estimates.
    They were able to make such predictions using current data about current infections.

    And somehow, in someway, Trump was persuaded that it would be a good idea to extend his 15 day guidelines for another 30 days.

    Even a broken clock gets the time right twice a day.


  34. Aramis says:

    Coronavirus Update:
    New Confirmed Cases: 21,475
    Total Confirmed Cases: 163,479
    Total Fatalities: 3148
    New Fatalities: 664 (doubling every 4 days)


  35. Aramis says:

    What kind of person calls 100,000-plus dead a ‘very good job’?

    On Sunday, Trump’s public health advisers said that even with strict countermeasures, deaths from the coronavirus in the United States could be between 100,000 and 200,000 — worse than even the worst-case scenarios just a month ago, and a spectacular failure of leadership for a president who claimed “we have it totally under control.” By comparison, about 3,000 people died in the Sept. 11 attacks and about 58,000 Americans died in Vietnam

    But Trump reasoned that, because 2.2 million Americans could die without any attempt at controlling the virus, “if we can hold that down, as we’re saying, to 100,000 — it’s a horrible number — maybe even less, but to 100,000, so, we have between 100,000 and 200,000, we all together have done a very good job.”

    How does a human being use the phrase “a very good job” in contemplation of the deaths of 100,000 to 200,000 souls?


  36. Athos says:

    Some people have expressed skepticism that social distancing and self isolation slow the spread of the coronavirus.

    This NYT article indicates that the skepticism is not warranted. It seems that social distancing is very effective in slowing the disease’s spread.


  37. whungerford says:

    It would be astonishing if social distancing weren’t effective, as we are investing trillions in that plan.


  38. Aramis says:

    Sarcasm I now see to be, in general, the language of the devil; for which reason I have long since as good as renounced it. —– Thomas Carlyle


  39. whungerford says:

    Sarcasm, can you give an example?


  40. Athos says:

    We haven’t got the equipment needed to fight the coronavirus outbreak. Over 3000 Americans dead already, and this thing is JUST BEGINNING. PPE (masks, gowns, goggles), test kits, ventilators, lab capacity, medical staff…on and no and on…all insufficient numbers to fight the virus.

    Now Trump lies and says there is no problem with testing. He lies and says we have enough ventilators. He lies saying his administration was not aware of the problem. His lies kill.

    If Trump had not gutted the agencies that Obama had put in place to protect us, we would have had very early warning. In any event, his administration knew in February.

    Now Trump is saying we will have tons and tons of equipment in a month. We need it now.
    Imagine if we had prepared for this emergency in Feb when they were informed… We’d have had the stuff we needed a few weeks ago, and the 3000 dead would still be alive. And we wouldn’t be talking of a good job being 100 k to 200 k additional casualties.

    Trump spent weeks downplaying the emergency instead of preparing for it.
    His negligence will cost hundreds of thousands of American lives.


  41. Athos says:


    More sarcasm!


  42. Athos says:

    Trump’s telling us he is doing a great job.
    Better than Italy, China, South Korea, Spain….

    This graph tells a different story.

    The Trump administration blames the graph on increased testing. Governors are complaining that they don’t have enough test kits. Trump denies this.

    HONESTY is needed in any health emergency. Without truthfulness, people cannot reac. With dishonesty, people will panic.

    The American public is not getting honesty, and something they will begin to realize over the next few weeks.


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