Saturday, March 28, 2020

So How's The Battle Against The Pandemic Going So Far?


Die For Him Grampa by Nancy Ohanian

Yesterday ALG Research e-mailed subscribers with the results of their own tracking of the pandemic. They wrote that the U.S. currently has a patchwork of restrictions in place [a highly ineffective way to deal with the pandemic]. The whole country has to be shut down-- and really shut down-- for this to work. Right now, Democratic governors who have taken at least some action in that direction are in these states:

Washington, Oregon, California, Hawaii, Colorado, New Mexico, Minnesota, Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan, Louisiana, Delaware, New Jersey, New York and Connecticut. Three Republican governors in blue states have also ordered shutdowns-- New Hampshire, Vermont and Massachusetts-- and 5 Republican governor in red states have also taken action-- Ohio, West Virginia, Indiana, Idaho and Alaska.

Do shutdowns work? Yes, if they retreated seriously. Statistical proof.

Local governments are also taking action in states with governors who are part of the Republican Party death cult-- like Birmingham in Alabama and all over Texas and Florida. Meanwhile "school closures have impacted 55 million students, more people are working from home or furloughed, unemployment claims have skyrocketed, and news covering the virus has completely captured the attention of the American public. According to Gallup two-thirds of Americans say that coronavirus has disrupted their lives either a great deal (30%) or a fair amount (36%), and more than half expect things to remain this way for a few more months.

In terms of behavior, polling done by Ipsos in partnership with Axios has found that as weeks go by, more people are under self-quarantine, have stopped attending large gatherings, have cancelled travel and have stopped going out to eat and visiting friends. (This poll is part of a weekly tracking survey fielded on the Ipsos KnowledgePanel, and will be useful in following changes in daily life (and emotional state) that we need to be on the lookout for.)

The latest numbers from a Washington Post-ABC News poll show that roughly 9 in 10 say they are staying home "as much as possible" and say they have stopped going to bars and restaurants. About 6 in 10 say they have stockpiled food and household supplies at home. Their poll was conducted March 22-25, just after the Ipsos poll, so we're able to see how people's personal activities and behaviors continue to change, seemingly overnight, as fears grow.

An Emerson College/Nexstar National Poll finds a large majority of respondents (70%) are somewhat or very worried that they or an immediate family member may catch coronavirus.

Americans' are even more concerned about their personal finances. A plurality (42%) are very concerned about their personal finances, 36% are somewhat concerned, with 33% not so concerned.

Navigator Research found that 58% of respondents under 45 know someone who has lost their job, and 20% of Americans' now say they are dipping into their savings.

According to the Ipsos/Axios poll mentioned earlier, sharply increased numbers of Americans report worsening mental health (35% worse vs 22% last week) and emotional well-being (43% from 29%).

...FiveThirtyEight's polling average today has Trump's approval rating at 45.8%, with disapproval at 49.6%. According to a recent CBS News poll, a majority say President Trump is doing a good job handling the outbreak (53%), and 54% are optimistic about his administration's ability to handle it from here.

Trump has experienced a rise in popularity-- with some polling giving him 49% approval, the highest of his presidency-- which some attribute to a "presidential approval rally effect." Per Gallup, presidential job approval has historically increased when the country is faced by a national threat. Every president from Franklin Roosevelt (World War 2) through George W. Bush (9/11, +35 point bump) saw their approval rating rocket at least 10 points after a significant national event of this kind.

New York Magazine has a story called Trump's Approval Ratings Are Up, But for How Long? that speculates on how the pandemic and the corresponding economic fallout could impact Trump's hopes for re-election. It's impossible to predict what will happen in November, but this story looks at data and trends and is an interesting read.

Most Americans (57%) say the nation's efforts to combat the coronavirus are going badly right now, and most see a months-long process before it is contained.

Gallup conducted polling on the coronavirus response and found that state governments (i.e., Governors) are the real leaders on responding to the Coronavirus. They receive an 82% approval rating-- 22 points higher than the President.

In Michigan, Governor Gretchen Whitmer (60% pos/22% neg job rating) is outperforming Trump (45% pos/45% neg job rating) in a statewide poll. And in North Carolina, Governor Roy Cooper (63% pos/19% neg job rating) is also outperforming Trump (49% pos/45% neg job rating).

The Gallup chart below shows that the partisan divide is small when looking at approval ratings for hospitals and state governments, but a huge gap exists when looking at Trump, Pence and the news media.

And while most people consider this pandemic to be a crisis, CBS News found that Americans' are optimistic about a few things: scientists' ability to find a vaccine or a cure (82%), their local hospitals' ability to handle an outbreak (65%), as well as in Americans' ability to do what's needed to stop the spread of the virus (59%).

No one knows for sure how things will look in the coming weeks and months. Trump said that he wants to re-open America at Easter, and the New York Times has a piece on what would happen if we did.
Remember, the voices most opposed to the shutdowns, like the U.S. Chamber of Commerce and the Koch network, will always choose lucre over lives. Lee Fang wrote for The Intercept this week that "Americans for Prosperity, the pro-corporate pressure group founded and funded by billionaire industrialist Charles Koch, wants employees to return to work despite desperate pleas from public health officials that people should stay home as much as possible to help contain the spread of the coronavirus. As states began to order nonessential businesses to shut down last week, AFP released a statement calling for all businesses to remain open. 'Rather than blanket shutdowns, the government should allow businesses to continue to adapt and innovate to produce the goods and services Americans need, while continuing to do everything they can to protect the public health,' said Emily Seidel, chief executive of AFP, in a press release.
AFP’s position, which directly contradicts the advice of medical experts who say that social isolation is essential to curbing the spread of the coronavirus, comes after the group lobbied the Trump administration in 2018 to rescind $1 billion from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Much of AFP’s recommended cuts to government programs, which included CDC money for infectious disease control and global health, became part of the official White House budget request, though most were not adopted by Congress.

The cuts, AFP argued, would “relieve the burden overspending is placing on all taxpayers.” The CDC is now one of the front-line organizations dealing with the coronavirus pandemic, which has impacted nearly 70,000 people in the United States and has claimed over 1,000 lives.

The libertarian advocacy network has spent tens of millions of dollars lobbying for corporate tax cuts, deregulation, and reductions to social welfare programs, particularly state Medicaid programs. This aggressive advocacy record has come into focus in recent days as Americans confront the coronavirus pandemic. Medicaid funding is seen as a critical tool for treating sick patients, and many are now questioning the wisdom of reductions to the CDC’s funding and staff.

Internal memos from AFP reveal the size and scope of the organization, which employed 650 staff members during the 2016 election and has successfully worked to block Medicaid expansion in at least four states. During the 2016 election, the group also aired negative advertising sharply criticizing Hillary Clinton and Senate Democrats, an electioneering push that dramatically shaped the current balance of power in Washington, D.C.

The group has since used its government influence to slash environmental rules, retreat from the Paris Climate Accord, and demand cuts to federal programs. It also helped secure $1.5 trillion in tax cuts as part of President Donald Trump’s 2017 tax overhaul.
Let's go back, for a moment to the findings about how Americans trust governors on COVID-19 far more than they trust the dysfunctional narcissistic excuse for a president. The same appears to be true in Brazil, where neo-fascist Trump crony, Jair Bolsonaro, is doing virtually nothing to combat the pandemic threatening his country. Governors to the rescue-- "defying his call to reopen schools and businesses, dismissing his argument that the cure of widespread shutdowns to contain the spread of the new coronavirus is worse than the disease," something Bolsonaro picked up from Señor Trumpanzee.

Like Trump, "Bolsonaro contends that the clampdown already ordered by many governors will deeply wound the already beleaguered economy and spark social unrest. In a nationally televised address Tuesday night, he urged governors to limit isolation only to high-risk people and lift the strict anti-virus measures they have imposed in their regions... he country’s governors protested on Wednesday that his instructions run counter to health experts’ recommendations and endanger Latin America’s largest population. They said they would continue with their strict measures and, in a joint letter, nearly all of them begged the federal government join forces with states. The rebellion even included traditional allies of Brazil’s president."

This week Sasha Abramsky noted a similar pattern here in the U.S.-- governors acting while Trump dawdles on TV and twitter. The entirely incompetent Trumpist Regime "appears frozen in its tracks. With no universal health care system," she wrote, "it is flailing as to how to contain an epidemic when containment strategies rely on early identification of virus carriers. It has struggled to coordinate a national strategy for securing medical supplies. It has shown a shocking inability to even get test kits out to the states. It has no guaranteed paid sick leave-- let alone the concept of guaranteeing wages in exchange for temporarily shuttered companies not firing their workers... Trump, who only reluctantly, and extremely late in the day, was forced to recognize the severity of the pandemic, has dithered and put out scientifically untenable statements, resisted national standards for how to enforce social distancing and expressed his disdain for the notion of stay-home orders and bans on large gatherings. In his public appearances, including an interview on Fox on Tuesday in which he advocated reopening the U.S. for business by Easter, he routinely seems more concerned about the stock market and his own political standing than he is about people’s lives. As a result, it has fallen to state governors and city mayors to try to craft their own responses in order to flatten their local infection curves."

Labels: , , ,


At 8:31 AM, Blogger orangelion03 said...

Masks. Yes. For a N95 mask to be effective, it can only be used once and for a few hours. I found three N95s in a garage cabinet, leftover from when my wife was briefly home from cancer treatment (she passed away a month later). My wife is a nurse at a local hospital, preparing for the situation. All their PPE is in lockdown (they cad a case of masks go missing two weeks ago). Where are the masks going to come from? There are not enough currently available to cover the needs of medical personnel, there sure as shit isnt enough to provide even a fraction of the US population one mask, let alone the dozen they may need each to last a couple weeks. And the monster in the White House wont release the DPA because it will cut into corporations profits.

At 9:42 AM, Blogger orangelion03 said...

Clarity: My late wife passed away in 2015. My nurse bride and I were married last weekend, with friends, family, and officiants participating via FaceTime.

At 10:24 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Americans' are even more concerned about their personal finances. A plurality (42%) are very concerned about their personal finances, 36% are somewhat concerned, with 33% not so concerned."

Oh, come on you selfish humans! You KNOW that corporations need money far more than you do! They need to throw you out of your homes, take away your cars, eliminate any savings you have, and leave you destitute in the street to reduce the surplus impoverished population. How can the True Elites EVER be safe if you unwashed masses continue to clutter up the landscape with your filthy carcassees? Get sick AND die quick! It's for the good of the greater assets!



Post a Comment

<< Home