Friday, October 23, 2020

Trump, Guilty Of Negligent Homicide, Has Succeeded In Spreading The Pandemic Into Rural America



On Tuesday, a dozen countries reported over 10,000 new cases. The U.S. led the way with 63,663. COVID-19 has found a very welcoming environment in Trumpistan. Rural America paid attention to Trump's self-serving bullshit and gaslighting-- and now they're starting to pay the price. The pandemic spread into rural America at what the Daily Yonder called "a record-breaking pace again last week, adding 160 counties to the red-zone list and bringing the total number of rural Americans who have tested positive for the coronavirus to more than 1 million. Nearly 70% of the nation’s 1,976 rural (nonmetropolitan) counties are now in the red zone, a term used by the White House Coronavirus Task Force to designate localities where the spread of the virus is out of control. Red-zone counties have a rate of at least 100 new infections per 100,000 in population. Rural America had 82,188 new infections last week, a 16% increase and the fourth consecutive week of record-breaking levels of new cases. With last week’s cases, the total number of rural residents who have tested positive for the coronavirus broke 1 million (1,068,949), according to data compiled by the nonprofit USA Facts."

That's Trumpistan: the Dakotas and all the states bordering on them that South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem-- homicidal maniac-- infected: Iowa, Nebraska Minnesota, Wyoming, Montana, Colorado.

Every single rural county in Wisconsin-- there are 46-- is in the COVID red zone now, In South Dakota 57 rural counties (out of a total of 58) are in the red zone, as are 58 of Minnesota's 60 rural counties, 75 of Iowa's 78 rural counties, 45 of North Dakota's 47 rural counties, 75 of Nebraska's 80 rural counties, 58 if Illinois' 62 rural counties, 49 of Tennessee's 53 rural counties, 54 of Oklahoma's 59 rural counties, 46 of Montana's 51 rural counties and 73 of Missouri's 81 rural counties. Those are the states where over 90% of the rural counties are in the COVID red zone, meaning the pandemic is out of control.

These were counties that voted, overwhelmingly for Trump in 2016 and will vote for him again a week from Tuesday. Rural Florence County, Wisconsin went for Trump with 71.6% of it's vote. Taylor County, Wisconsin went for Trump 70.0% to 25.5%. Haakon, Campbell, Perkins, Jones, Potter and Douglas counties in South Dakota went for Trump with over 80% of their votes in 2016. Harding County gave him a 90.2% to 4.9% win. These counties are where COVID is reaping a gruesome toll today. Sioux County was the Trumpiest in Iowa (82,1% to 12.7%) in 2016. In 2018, Sioux County, performing as an R+48 constituency gave Nazi congressman Steve King his biggest win. Two years later no one believed in masks or social distancing, just in Donald Trump.

The National Center for Disaster Preparedness at Columbia University released a paper that the folks in Sioux County, Iowa and the rural counties across America should turn off Fox and read. The paper is about COVID deaths and why most of them were avoidable. Between 130,000 and 210,000 peopler re dead now because of Trump and his Republican enablers. "With more than 217,000 lives lost," the 4 doctors who penned the report wrote, "and a proportional mortality rate twice that of neighboring Canada and more than fifty times that of Japan-- a country with a much older population than the U.S.-- the United States has turned a global crisis into a devastating tragedy... [T]he abject failures of U.S. government policies and crisis messaging persist. U.S. fatalities have remained disproportionately high throughout the pandemic when compared to even other high-mortality countries. The inability of the U.S. to mitigate the pandemic is especially stark when contrasted with the response of high- income nations, such as South Korea, Japan, Australia, Germany, France, and Canada, as well as low- and middle-income countries as varied as Thailand, Pakistan, Honduras, and Malaysia. All of these nations have had greater success in protecting their populations from the impact of the coronavirus.

Over the past nine months, the United States has witnessed an alarming jolt of vulnerability and anguish, as the novel coronavirus pandemic has wrought immense suffering and confusion in a country that only last year topped an international ranking of epidemic preparedness. This year, American exceptionalism has manifested in the worst way: 217,000 Americans have lost their lives to COVID-19, the highest gross numerical toll of any country by more 65,000. Over eight million Americans have tested positive for SARS-CoV-2, and millions more have been clinically diagnosed with COVID-19, without test confirmation.

Many of the underlying factors amplifying the pandemic’s deadly impact have existed long before the novel coronavirus first arrived in Washington state on January 20th-- a fractured healthcare system, inequitable access to care, and immense health, social and racial disparities among America’s most vulnerable groups. Compounding this is an Administration that has publicly denigrated its own public health officials-- and science more generally-- thereby hamstringing efforts by its vaunted public health service to curb the pandemic’s spread.

The result has been a tragedy: for a country with just 4% of the world’s population, U.S. citizens make up 20% of all global cases. More than 217,000 U.S. residents have lost their lives, accounting for one-fifth of all COVID-19 deaths worldwide.

...By contrasting the U.S. proportional mortality rate with that of six other high-income countries, this report highlights the stark reality that is the United States’ continued mismanagement of the pandemic response. Particularly, it is the inability or unwillingness of U.S. officials to adapt or improve the federal response over the course of the pandemic that has strongly contributed to the nation’s uniquely high Covid-19 fatality rate. The U.S. should have-- and could have-- done better to protect the nation, and particularly its most vulnerable populations, from a threat that was identified and recognized early in 2020.

The failure of the federal government to (a) create a rigorous national strategy for testing and contact tracing, (b) coordinate data collection and coordination among U.S. states, or (c) recognize the scientific validity of non-pharmaceutical interventions like face coverings and social distancing reflect a deeply inadequate national response when contrasted to other high-income countries. Our comparative analysis estimates that somewhere between 130,000 and 210,000 American deaths to date could have been avoided.

The weight of this enormous failure ultimately falls to the leadership at the White House-- and among a number of state governments-- which consistently undercut the efforts of top officials at the CDC and HHS. Further, there is little evidence to suggest that science-based policies will prevail going forward with DonaldTrump as President given his continued attacks on science and government scientists. A pandemic is not a time for a decentralized and combative national response. It requires strong leadership and coordination across states towards a common purpose of defeating the threat with the might of the whole nation. The cases of South Korea, Japan, Australia, Canada, Germany, and France demonstrate that the scope of the crisis and suffering did not need to reach the levels seen in the U.S.
Since the report was written, U.S. deaths from COVID have continued to rise exponentially. As of yesterday, U.S. deaths were closing in on 230,000, pushed higher by rapid growth in Texas, Florida, Georgia and Arizona, all states that Trump won in 2016 but all states that are reconsidering for 2020. Are the rural counties in Wisconsin, South Dakota and Iowa reconsidering? Maybe some people but the polling indicates that the worst-stricken COVID counties in rural America are sticking with the man who has infected their small towns.

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At 6:16 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The failure of the federal government to..."

get your terms correct. It isn't that they failed, which implies they tried. They refused.

you know, like obamanation didn't try to put criminals in jail (bank fraud, torture...). He (via holder) refused. didn't even try.

that correction noted, you still must give the lion's share of the credit to the colossally stupid people who refused (not failed) to adopt the simple, common-sense methods to prevent spread.

You can blame trump, maybe, for personally spreading covid to some other idiots. But you cannot blame him or any governor for spreading it to idiots they never met, especially in rural areas they've never visited. You have to blame the idiots.

At 7:55 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

As I used to visit Wisconsin a lot before I moved to CA, I watched how the Cheeseheads boasted that they were too strong and resilient to worry about wearing masks and other such lib'rul wimpiness. I tried to look for linkable articles for a comment I made a week or so ago, and couldn't locate one.

I'm saddened that a state once I enjoyed visiting has descended into the swamp because they bought into the macho bullshit and turned off their brains. Other than that, I hope they enjoy hell, because they are already in the alcove.

At 12:20 PM, Blogger Knockout Zed said...

We really need "like" or upvote buttons here, when nothing more needs to be said. I love most of the comments here.

At 12:30 PM, Blogger Cugel said...

We have to be clear about WHY this happened: Fox News. The entire right wing noise machine is all they hear. Right wing talk radio spews poisonous lies in an alternative fascist universe of deceit. It is literally driving America insane. I talked to a man yesterday who has pre-cancer, and wasn't going to vote for Trump because of his failure to do anything about COVID, which endangers his life-- but after listening to FOX News blather about Biden "coming for our guns" -- NRA propaganda, he's going to vote for Trump again.

Nothing will ever get really better in America until we re-establish something like the Fairness Doctrine and force the right-wing media to stop peddling only lies. And force social media outlets to stop the spread of dangerous conspiracy theories on Facebook and Twitter that are getting people killed. There's freedom of speech, and then there's shouting "Fire!" in a crowded theater.

At 2:03 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

cugel, fox news is a symptom of so goddamn many idiots in the nation, not the reverse.

anyone not an idiot or nazi to begin with would never watch fox or oan or breitbart in the first place.

I could add ditto for all who vote for democraps after slick willie's admins.

At 2:49 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Did you know there are NO FOX outlets in Canada? Do you know WHY there are NO FOX outlets in Canada?

Because in Canada, if you are reporting news, you must BY LAW ALWAYS be truthful and verifiable.

FOX is rarely either.

At 7:57 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

we used to have the 'fairness' and 'equal time' doctrines here. but those went poof under reagan in 1981 and have never been reinstituted by democraps nor have they been anything voters care about since.

the difference between a nation and a shithole.

At 8:34 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Said doctrines are mere policies easily dismissed with the wave of an Executive Order. A law such as Canada's is a much more significant effort dedicated to the desired result - and far more durable.

At 2:43 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I would normally agree, 8:34. But I always hold up Sherman, the Vienna accords on torture and various finance fraud statutes (impeachment, emoluments, the 4th amendment...) up to contrast.

Were it a law HERE, neither party; no DOJ, AG or admin; and most importantly, ZERO voters would think it important to enforce such a law (see the list above of other statutes that nobody has enforced in decades). So enforcement never happens and, ergo, it is repealed by bipartisan popular indifference.

thus the difference between a nation and a shithole. Oh, I already said that. my bad.


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