3/16/2020 update starts here
March 11-15, 2020
The 40 GOP members of the House of Representatives who voted against the Coronavirus Relief Bill. (3/15/2020)
GET ME REWRITE: Trump proposes corporate bailouts while local and state public health departments starve. (3/15/2020)
Coronavirus point/counterpoint, starring a clueless Donald Trump. (3/15/2020)
What's the matter with Ted Cruz? (3/14/2020)
Coronavirus notwithstanding, 4 a.m. DNC bar time still a priority for Wisconsin state legislature. (3/13/2020)
GET ME REWRITE: 2 Trump fanboys (and Freedom Caucus crazies) reinforce the notion of white male privilege. (3/11/2020)
Stacking up responses to the coronavirus pandemic (the political rallies edition). (3/11/2020)
March 6-10, 2020
The White House burns, a 'raging' fire, while Mike Pence fiddles. (3/10/2020)
Worldometer (and others) track the Coronavirus. (3/10/2020)
Presenting Donald Trump, star of The Coronavirus Show. (3/9/2020)
Trump coronavirus point-counterpoint (stock market edition). (3/9/2020)
Channeling Bloody Mary: White House economic adviser Larry Kudlow on the Coronavirus. (3/9/2020)
GET ME REWRITE: Sean Duffy's daughter ridiculed for parroting inane GOP talking point. (3/9/2020)
Dear New York Times, It's called bullying. It's an act of aggression. It has nothing to do with strength of character. Best, Retiring Guy. (3/9/2020)
March 1-5, 2020
Dear Mike Pence, How's that coronavirus messaging stacking up? Best, Retiring Guy. (3/5/2020)
GET ME REWRITE: To combat the coronavirus epidemic, Iran's leaders choose a terrible idea. (3/4/2020)
GET ME REWRITE: Trump fumes as coronavirus tanks stock market, sends re-election campaign strategy off a cliff. (3/2/2020)
GET ME REWRITE: Pence offers disturbing example of White House's disciplined approach to coronavirus messaging. (3/2/2020
The company he keeps: the Alex Azar connections. (2/28/2020)
Meet Russell Vought, the 'acting' GOP hack that Trump installed at OMB. (2/25/2020)
Dear Trump loyalists Richard Shelby and Bradley Byrne, There's this other kind of flu goin' round. Best, Retiring Guy. (2/24/2020)
3/13/2020 update starts here
3/10/2020 update starts here.
The most concerning statistic: The number of cases worldwide has increased at least 10% in each of the past 3-day periods.
The number of cases outside China is approaching 30% of the total.
3/9/2020 update starts here
Related reading:Coronavirus Live Updates: U.S. Outbreak Spreads as East Coast Sees Its First Deaths. (The New York Times, 3/7/2020)
The West Coast has borne the brunt of the toll in the United States. Washington State has recorded the most coronavirus cases, more than 80, and the highest number of deaths, 14. Most of the fatal cases emerged from a Seattle-area nursing home. Officials in King County, Wash., said 15 residents of the facility, Life Care Center, had been taken to hospitals over the past 24 hours.
There is nothing investors hate more than uncertainty.
Right now, that is all there is. Uncertainty about the severity and duration of the coronavirus outbreak, ripping around the world at something like light speed. Uncertainty about how the global economy will fare as factories, airports, stores, schools, entire cities shut down. Uncertainty about the ability of governments to contain the disease and the power of central banks to counter its economic fallout. Uncertainty about how long all this uncertainty will last.
3/4/2020 update starts here
Source: The New York Times
What's notable with this update is how the coronavirus has spread outside of China. The number of cases diagnosesd in other countries is up 77%. The number of deathts is up 92%.
Related reading:U.S. Will Drop Limits on Virus Testing, Pence Says. (The New York Times, 3/3/2020)
The federal government has promised to significantly ramp up testing, after drawing criticism for strictly limiting testing in the first weeks of the outbreak. But health care supply companies and public health officials have cast doubt on the government’s assurances, as complaints continue that the need for testing remains far greater than the capacity.Tim Cook and Apple Bet Everything on China. Then Coronavirus Hit. (The Wall Street Journal, 3/3/2020)
Apple’s reliance on China has long frustrated staff—and more recently unnerved investors. The coronavirus represents Apple’s third major setback there in as many years, including the fallout from tensions with the U.S. that included tariffs and slower-than-expected iPhone sales in the country.
3/1/2020 update starts here
Related reading:When an Epidemic Looms, Gagging Scientists Is a Terrible Idea. (The New York Times, 2/28/2020)
This week’s efforts to reorganize the Trump administration’s chaotic response to the coronavirus outbreak risk falling into that pattern. The White House will coordinate all messaging, the public was told, and scientists in government employ will not be popping up on television talk shows, saying whatever they think. That may not be a winning strategy, experts warned. The stock market reacts to rumors, and the Federal Reserve Bank may succumb to political pressure. But pathogens, like hurricanes and tsunamis, are immune to spin.As New Coronavirus Cases Slow In China, Factories Start Reopening. (NPR, 2/29/2020)
Strict quarantine measures designed to stop the spread of the new coronavirus prevented nearly 300 million migrant workers from returning to their jobs, shutting down one of the largest economies in the world for nearly three weeks and paralyzing global supply chains.
Now the government is advising local officials to balance seemingly contradictory mandates: use all methods possible to limit the further spread of a deadly new virus while meeting annual economic growth target.
2/27/2020 update starts here
Related reading:Wisconsin state lab still can't test in-house for coronavirus as CDC scrambles to fix faulty test kits. (Appleton Post-Crescent, 2/26/2020)
The virus is still causing panic across the globe [see below], as the number of cases has climbed over 80,000, with 2,700 deaths, and spread to 33 countries, according to the World Health Organization.Spread of coronavirus in U.S. could close schools, shut down public gatherings, force people to work remotely. (Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2/25/2020)
Although the World Health Organization determined Monday that the term pandemic "did not fit the facts," experts said it very soon could.
Health experts in the U.S. said the top priority should be protecting health care workers from becoming overwhelmed with patients and infected themselves.
The Coronavirus and carbon emissions. (The New York Times, 2/27/2020)
The coronavirus outbreak in China, which has sickened at least 80,000 people, has shut down factories, refineries and flights across the country as officials order people to stay home. As a result, China’s carbon dioxide emissions over the past three weeks have been about 25 percent lower than during the same period last year, according to calculations by Lauri Myllyvirta, an analyst at the Center for Research on Energy and Clean Air.
China is such a huge industrial polluter that even a temporary dip like this is significant: The three-week decline is roughly equal to the amount of carbon dioxide that the state of New York puts out in a full year (about 150 million metric tons) Mr. Myllyvirta estimated.
The numbers offer a sobering reminder of how deeply the modern economy still depends on fossil fuels
2/26/2020 update starts here
Source: Worldometer Coronavirus (bottom 2)
It's been overshadowed by the new coronavirus outbreak in China, but this year's flu season could be near its peak after surging throughout the United States for months.
At least 14,000 people have died and 250,000 have already been hospitalized during the 2019-2020 flu season, according to estimates from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More than 26 million Americans have fallen ill with flu-like symptoms.
"There is a deadly respiratory virus that is circulating throughout the United States, and it is at its peak. It is not novel coronavirus," said Dr. Pritish Tosh, an infectious disease specialist with the Mayo Clinic, in Rochester, Minn.
This flu season has come in two waves and has been particularly hard on children, the experts said.
The season started early, in October, with an unusual wave of influenza B virus.
2/24/2020 update starts here.
Related reading:We’re in a Petri Dish’: How a Coronavirus Ravaged a Cruise Ship. (The New York Times, 2.22.2020)
As the music played on, passengers were potentially exposed to the virus. In all, it took Japanese officials more than 72 hours to impose a lockdown after they were first notified about the case connected to the ship.
The delay by the Japanese government, along with slapdash and ineffective containment measures during the two-week isolation period, would help turn the Diamond Princess into a floating epidemiological disaster.Europe Confronts Coronavirus as Italy Battles an Eruption of Cases. (The New York Times, 2/23/2020)
If the virus spreads, the fundamental principle of open borders within much of Europe — so central to the identity of the bloc — will undergo a stress test, as will the vaunted but strained European public health systems, especially in countries that have undergone austerity measures.
Already, a new nervousness has pervaded Europe.
In Italy’s Lombardy region, 10 towns were locked down after a cluster of cases suddenly emerged in Codogno, southeast of Milan.
2/21/2020 update statts here
Source: CDC (locations with confirmed COVID-19 cases)
Related reading:11 of 13 travelers who came to Omaha from cruise ship test positive for coronavirus, quarantined at UNMC. (Omaha World-Herald, 2/20/2020)
Three of the American travelers are being housed in the Nebraska Biocontainment Unit, and 10 are lodging in the separate National Quarantine Unit. Both are also on the UNMC campus. .
In a City Under Lockdown, Hope Arrives by Motorbike. (The New York Times, 2/20/2020)
Each household can send someone out for necessities just once every three days. Many residents do not venture outside at all, for fear of infection. Of the more than 2,200 deaths and 75,000 infections linked to the new virus, the majority have been in Wuhan.
But people still have to eat — which is why Mr. Zhang and legions of delivery drivers find themselves on the street each day. As Wuhan and the rest of the China hunkers down, they have become the country’s vital arteries, keeping fresh meat, vegetables and other supplies flowing to those who need them.
2/18/2020 update starts here.
In Coronavirus Fight, China Sidelines an Ally: Its Own People. (The New York Times, 2/18/2020)
The outbreak has exposed the powerlessness of private charities, civic groups and others who could help the effort but who the Communist Party considers rivals.Cambodia’s Coronavirus Complacency May Exact a Global Toll. (The New York Times, 2/27/2020)
After a cruise ship docked in Cambodia, passengers streamed off the ship, maskless, and fears are rising that the country could become a vector of transmission.
2/15/2020 update starts here
Related reading:Boston officials reach out to Chinatown to quell coronavirus fears, misinformation. (Boston Globe, 2/13/2020)
"Because of the high-tech technology right now, like WeChat and everything, [our senior clients] receive a lot of information, but whether that is correct or incorrect, they receive it,” said Megan Cheung, associate and clinical director of the Greater Boston Chinese Golden Age Center in Chinatown. "We want to make sure they understand what’s going on here so they don’t have to be panicked.”
2/12/2020 update starts here
2/10/2020 update starts here
Monday, February 10, 2020
In a tweet on Sunday from Geneva, WHO Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said the "spread outside #China appears to be slow, but could accelerate."
"The detection of a small number of cases may indicate more widespread transmission in other countries; in short, we may only be seeing the tip of the iceberg," he wrote, adding, "Containment remains our objective, but all countries must use the window of opportunity created by the containment strategy to prepare for the virus' possible arrival."
Saturday, February 8, 2020
Thursday, February 6, 2020