April 5, 2020 10:35 am -

George W. Bush – yes, 43 – knew it would happen.

In the summer of 2005, President George W. Bush was on vacation at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, when he began flipping through an advanced copy of a new book about the 1918 flu pandemic. He couldn’t put it down.

When he returned to Washington, he called his top homeland security adviser into the Oval Office and gave her the galley of historian John M. Barry’s “The Great Influenza,” which told the chilling tale of the mysterious plague that “would kill more people than the outbreak of any other disease in human history.”

“You’ve got to read this,” Fran Townsend remembers the president telling her. “He said, ‘Look, this happens every 100 years. We need a national strategy.'”

Thus was born the nation’s most comprehensive pandemic plan — a playbook that included diagrams for a global early warning system, funding to develop new, rapid vaccine technology, and a robust national stockpile of critical supplies, such as face masks and ventilators, Townsend said.

Obama built on Dubya’s insightful move to establish an early response plan. Trump tore it all apart because, well, Obama. Read the full article here, because this is likely to be a week – or more – of horror worse than Pearl Harbor plus 9/11.

The US surgeon general said this week is going to be the “hardest and the saddest” for “most Americans’ lives,” describing the upcoming grim period of the coronavirus pandemic in the United States as a “Pearl Harbor moment” and a “9/11 moment.”

“I want Americans to understand that as hard as this week is going to be, there is a light at the end of the tunnel,” Vice Admiral Jerome Adams said on “Fox News Sunday.”

The majority of the blame for the magnitude of the disaster lays squarely in Mr. Trump’s lap

Trump has failed a million times over to provide the proper medical equipment needed so badly by hospitals across the country, with the shortage presently being felt most acutely in New York. Medical workers have been forced to protest for this life-saving medical gear even as Trump simultaneously accused them of stealing the materials this week. Trump has also refused to use the power of the federal government to centralize both the production and distribution of this material, which has left states and counties bidding against each other—and even the federal government—to obtain the precious resources. …

New York-based disaster preparedness expert Dr. Irwin Redlener was almost speechless Friday while trying to explain the scale of the ineptitude we are witnessing. “I can’t understand why we got so incompetent,” said Dr. Redlener, whose son works as an ER doctor in New York and has already lost colleagues close to him. Redlener said he had been reviewing the impeachment articles that were passed by the House and acquitted by the Senate. “They seem naive compared to the incompetence we’re seeing in this pandemic crisis, it’s shocking,” he said, adding, “it did not need to be like this.”

No, it did not. Competence matters. Government matters. Public service matters. Integrity matters. Humanity matters. Life matters.

Trump doesn’t value a single one of those things as they relate to anyone but himself. Not one. Our country will be paying the price exacted by his hideousness for years if not decades to come, not to mention the incalculable toll on each and every one of us individually.

… and, if you happen to live in the reality-based world, his lies are actually being called out as the “lamestream” media finds a backbone.

Using clips of the president’s ever-evolving excuses and contradictions, [CNN’s Victor Blackwell] took apart Trump’s blame-spreading.

… “Hospitals across the country are desperate to find the gowns and the gloves and the face shields. And some states have received millions of pieces of that personal protective equipment and the N95 masks from the federal government, but now President Trump says that the strategic national stockpile is nearly depleted of those supplies.”

“A few weeks into what doctors say could be a months-long crisis, but as far back as 2015 the National Institutes of Health acknowledged that in a pandemic, assuming to 20 percent to 30 percent of the population would become ill 1.7 to 3.5 billion respirators would be needed,” he said before repeating, ” 1.7 to 3.5 billion.”

With that he shared a clip of Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar stating in February, the country had “30 million N95 respirators” in hand.

“Consider that the 2015 government report that I referenced concluded that for pandemics with a lower attack rate and fewer cases, the number of respirators needed would be higher because the pandemic would have longer duration,” he explained before emphasizing, “30 million at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic. President Trump has consistently blamed one person for the insufficient supply, his predecessor, former President Barack Obama.”

“Now at the start of the Trump administration the repository shelves were not empty,” he elaborated. “The strategic national stockpile has maintained a multi-billion dollar inventory across several administrations including tens of millions of pieces of that protective gear. It is true that experts have warned that the supplies, specifically of the N95 masks has been precariously low since the H1N1 outbreak in 2009. Until the coronavirus outbreak the H1N1 response was largest deployment in the histories of the stockpile .”


D.B. Hirsch
D.B. Hirsch is a political activist, news junkie, and retired ad copy writer and spin doctor. He lives in Brooklyn, New York.