Twenty-four hour "Trump's the worst" service!

WEDNESDAY, MAY 20, 2020

Anthropology all the way down:
Don't get us wrong! Although we've long recommended pity, we regard Donald J. Trump as being badly disordered.

In that sense, we basically regard Trump as the worst.

With that point established, please consider the very first thing we read today at Slate. It follows a fully predictable theme:

We have the most covid deaths in the world! That proves that Trump is the worst:
HANNON (5/20/20): The U.S. has far and away the highest number of confirmed coronavirus cases in the world, topping 1.5 million infections, more than the next six largest country outbreaks combined. That is, of course, a bad thing. As a result, the U.S. also leads the world in coronavirus deaths with more than 90,000. No matter where the virus originated or how it first hopscotched across the planet, topping the charts in confirmed cases months later represents a failure of national leadership to protect Americans. Even worse, it’s emblematic of an incoherent federal response that failed to equip Americans with the tools and information to protect themselves. But there’s no number Donald Trump can’t invert, no truth he can’t unwind and repurpose...
So it goes, again and again, and then again and again.

The United States leads the world in deaths, proving what a failure Trump is! This is the basic tribal messaging with which we liberals now get relentlessly pleasured.

That said, does the United States lead the world in coronavirus deaths? Only because we have a much larger population than other affected nations!

With that in mind, if our number of deaths represents a giant failure of leadership, just think how bad the failures must be in these other lands:
Coronavirus deaths per million population, as of May 20:
Belgium: 790
Spain: 596
Italy: 535
United Kingdom: 526
France: 431
Sweden: 380
The Netherlands: 336
Ireland: 319
United States: 285
Some of those numbers have risen since this morning, when we published similar data. But the statistically illiterate tribal messaging just keeps rolling along!

If our number of covid deaths represents a failure of leadership, just think how bad the failure has been in such nations at Belgium, Spain, Italy, France!

That said, in the current tribal environment, our tribal sachems won't mention such countries. They want to please us by suggesting that nothing could ever be worse than whatever it is Trump has done.

People who tabulate deaths in this way aren't in their right mind, Kevin Drum has said. Still, we liberals will be pleasured this way again and again and again.

This is an anthropology lesson. We humans, rational animals all, are wired to function like this.

Concerning the larger point: Concerning the larger point in Elliot Hannon's post, there's a basic element of truth to this ridiculous thing Trump said.

If we had conducted fewer tests, we would have recorded fewer covid cases. We wouldn't actually have fewer cases, but our reported number would be lower.

Given the way such matters are tabulated, we might even have a lower number of reported deaths. This would make our situation look better on international tabulations, though our actual situation might be exactly the same.

As with everything he discusses, Trump turned this into a wholly ridiculous circus act. Our own sachems do something similar when they wipe countries like France off the map to swear that our situation is worst.

We humans were wired to function this way. As history has proven again and again, we're built like this all the way down.

46 comments:

  1. "So it goes, again and again, and then again and again."

    Why, yes, of course. Your liberal zombie media does exactly what they learned from Goebbels.

    Invent a Big Lie, and repeat, repeat, repeat.

    This is, by my count, your cult's third Big Lie in the last few years.

    It works. For a while.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Note that Somerby always cuts off the list of countries after the US. Which large countries are below is in death rates? China for one. That's not because China has fewer people, but because China presumably controlled the spread of the virus, preventing it from infecting the entire country. There are reasons to suspect China's reporting, and also reasons why they can prevent people from spreading the virus more effectively than we can. But it illustrates the information to be gained from looking at the second half of the list, the countries below the USA's death rate.

    Somerby never does that. Why? It might be instructive to consider why so many countries larger than the US have lower death rates. And that is exactly the point that Somerby doesn't want to think about -- what could Trump have done differently that might have spared the lives of citizens here? How did Trump mess up?

    Somerby tells us that Trump is disordered, but he never wants to discuss how Trump is dysfunctional. Trump is a horrible president and he deserves to face the consequences of his inaction in this pandemic. Slate is trying to hold Trump accountable. Somerby pretends they are trying to manipulate us in tribal ways. But it is Somerby who routinely withholds the rest of the list, so we don't get to see how much Trump has screwed up.

    Why is Spain so high on the list? They held a soccer match in a crowded stadium which became a focal point for spreading virus. Why is Sweden there? They didn't enact any lockdown measures. Why is Belgium there? Aside from being a hub for EU traffic in Europe, they count deaths more inclusively than anyone else. What did Trump do wrong that lead us to be higher than other countries with very large populations? Why didn't he contain the virus to NYC? Those questions are important and deserve to be answered. It isn't enough to pity Trump without considering his malfeasance.

    Our situation is demonstrably worst among large nations. It didn't have to be that way. Unless Somerby can admit that Trump screwed up, his admission to pity is worthless.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. "Only because we have a much larger population than other affected nations!"

      He even makes a false statement in his argument. China not only has a MUCH larger population, but was the first to deal with it. They managed to keep numbers low without prior knowledge.

      Delete
    2. Excepting microstates, in cases per million the US is rapidly closing in on second place among all countries. The rising case rate shows that US efforts to control the spread are failing. Cases per million will drive up the death rate.

      Spain: 5979
      Ireland: 4931
      Belgium: 4855
      United States: 4832
      Italy: 3760
      United Kingdom: 3698
      Sweden: 3188
      The Netherlands: 2609
      France: 1794
      Canada 2136
      Germany 2133
      Australia 278
      South Korea 217
      Japan 130
      India 83
      China 58
      Taiwan 19

      Delete
    3. All it shows, dembot, is that the US does a lot of testing.

      Delete
    4. I don’t blame the press for skewing the numbers to make a point when the Very Stable Genius himself does the same. He himself said it is not a good job unless we are close to zero. He didn’t maga for the 95,256 Americans who have died since this bit of self-congratulation:

      “When you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that's a pretty good job we've done.”
      --Feb. 26

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    5. Mao: Spain, Ireland and Belgium have all done more testing per million than the US.

      Delete
    6. US is 32nd in the world in tests per million.

      Delete
    7. yes, dembot, I know. Falkland Islands is number 7 with 426 tests.

      Delete
    8. Mao, MAGA-land is 12th from the bottom out of 215 countries in deaths/cases per million. Didn't you expect your favorite "Very Stable Genius" to do better than all but a handful of Pinko-Euro countries?

      Delete
    9. Schadenfreude much, dembot?

      Happy about many a deaths and despair, as the golden opportunity for your Orange Man Bad mantra?

      No wonder your zombie-controlled states are responsible for the lion's share of it.

      Enjoy, dembot, but remember: karma's a bitch.

      Delete
    10. I'm hearing a Non-Orange-Man-Voting-States-Bad mantra outta you. So if states are on their own, did you blame the governor and mayor of New York for not shooting down those planes that hit the twin towers back in 2001? Why do they get a pass? Oh, they were Repubs, as was the Pres. Nevermind.

      Delete
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      Delete
  3. "How did Trump mess up?"

    Arguably, Our Beloved Commander messed up by not taking NY, NJ, CT, and MA (and perhaps a few more zombie-controlled states) under direct federal control.

    Tsk. Yes, that'd make a hell of a difference.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Trump didn't take California under federal control, yet the death rate there is way lower than NYC. Trump could have worked with the Governors and helped coordinate resources in that region, but he instead pretended there wasn't any virus, that it would go away or be 0 deaths. China limited virus to Wuhan because of shutdown, but also because it did testing and contact tracing, as it is doing now to keep the virus from coming back. We didn't do any of that here.

      Delete
    2. If Trump been president in 1941, he and the TrumpLickers would have blamed the governor of Hawaii for letting Pearl Harbor get attacked.

      Delete
  4. No matter how you cut and slice and dice it, the USA has approximately 5% of the world's population, and about 30% of the reported deaths from the Coronavirus.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. True. They should say that then. They should focus on his broad array of reprehensible mistakes, incompetence and misconduct and the destruction and agony it has brought the country and will bring the country for decades if not centuries, especially in the next 9 months.

      One of the points may be it gives Trump ammunition to call out the news media as fake when established journalists make that technical misstatement. Why give Trump a way to accurately criticize the media? It's another huge gift to Trump from people that claim to despise him.

      Also, isn't being accurate, technically or otherwise, the fun of it?

      Delete
    2. Tsk. NY state, ruled by your zombie cult, has only 2.5% of the US population -- and 25% of the US deaths!

      Horrible, innit, dear Hillary?

      Delete
    3. Only liberals believe in "United" States.

      Delete
    4. Lots of Presidents might lose a fight with a pathogen, but being a pathogen is Trump's strongest suit. If he can't be successful in that fight, he's useless.

      Delete
    5. Mario's son isn't screwing over the country's National Guard members and, unsurprisingly, Mao hates him for it.

      Delete
    6. mm: Putin's bitch is at it again:

      https://apnews.com/773c5e6b7fb92f5e6d0e4b8fddf1665e

      Delete
    7. NY is among the leading contributors to GDP along with other blue states. And blue state GDP is growing while the red state's GDP is flat or declining. No wonder there is cultural resentment towards blue states as economic shifts leave red states behind.

      Blue states pay more in federal taxes than they receive, helping subsidize their federally dependent, red state counterparts who take more from big government than they pay.

      But that doesn't really doesn't tell the full story of the economy that has developed from our obsession with banking and free trade. It has created two economies not based in geography but economics. One group of winners at the top reaping most of the rewards while the other is stuck basically on a treadmill to nowhere no matter what state they call home or what party's ballot they punch.

      Delete
    8. Putin's bitch is at it again

      He never stopped being Putin's bitch, Bracket.

      Delete
    9. "NY state, ruled by your zombie cult, has only 2.5% of the US population -- and 25% of the US deaths!"

      Sorry, a miscalculation, not 25% of the US deaths.

      28,758/95,496; that's 30% of all US deaths.

      Mario's Son is responsible for full 30% of all US deaths.

      Mario The Father would've been so proud, I'm sure.

      Delete
    10. Bracket says:

      "One group of winners at the top reaping most of the rewards while the other is stuck basically on a treadmill to nowhere no matter what state they call home or what party's ballot they punch."

      This also breaks out along the lines of education, especially in technical fields (STEM). Those with a high school education or less are being relegated to low paying jobs as robotics and other technology eliminate jobs they might have done in previous decades. Those who go to college and major in tech subjects are finding jobs that pay well and offer upward mobility. Unfortunately, US students are avoiding graduate study, so top universities find their grad programs full of international students because American students avoid math and anything difficult, again relegating them to deadend jobs with low pay.

      So, that technological divide predicted in the late 2000's is being realized. Now, the pandemic is being used as an excuse to replace more workers with tech, such as the ordering screens in fast food places or the robots used by online retailers.

      Our neglect of education is disadvantaging American students in the race to prepare for a high paying job, shutting them out of the middle and upper classes because they have no skills in today's job market. All the while Republicans tell students that college isn't necessary and guys like Somerby mock higher ed (and those who train students, the professors).

      Delete
    11. Obviously expecting significant numbers of lower and middle class people to move through college and graduate school and into high paying STEM careers is unrealistic. There is a lot to criticize with our current higher education system. It's pretty easy to make the argument that higher education is another one of our broken systems.

      And actually, American business is moving as fast as they can to save labor costs by automating everything, pandemic or no.

      Delete
  5. “We have the most covid deaths in the world! That proves that Trump is the worst:”

    Hannon says the statistics are “emblematic of an incoherent federal response that failed to equip Americans with the tools and information to protect themselves” and they represent a “failure of national leadership to protect Americans.”

    He does not say they mean “Trump is the worst!”

    If we had no other information but the statistics, perhaps it would be invalid to infer that the US (or Trump) is the worst, at least if you agree with Somerby that the death rate is the statistic one must use for comparison. (It should be noted that our number of active cases per million is higher than any of the other countries on Somerby’s list; maybe that is a statistic worth looking at.)

    But we do have all of the information reported in the media about Trump’s lying, denying, incompetence and malevolence to render Hannon’s judgment sound, not tribal, that the numbers do represent a failure of federal leadership. No one can disagree that the numbers are higher than they should have been.

    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
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    ReplyDelete
  8. The Daily Howler wants you to be feel all depressed and scared that the world is in freefall, but then when that depression and fear manifests itself in sound byte stereotypes, he can't contain himself any longer, oh the irrationality of the human mind!

    ReplyDelete
  9. The Hill reports that a large percentage of the tweets and retweets about Corona virus are from bots instigating division among people, a "propaganda machine" most likely from Russia or China:

    https://thehill.com/policy/technology/498915-almost-half-of-accounts-sharing-coronavirus-tweets-likely-bots-researchers

    "More than 100 inaccurate COVID-19 narratives were found, including those about potential cures, but the likely bots are involved in discussions about reopening and ending stay-at-home order. Some of the accounts tweet about conspiracy theories, like hospitals being filled with mannequins or the coronavirus spreading through 5G wireless towers, which are both untrue."

    ReplyDelete
  10. If you're going to take into account total population, shouldn't you factor in population density. The U.S. has about 93 people per square mile while Belgium has close to 1000 people per square mile.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, thank you! No one has mentioned this much and it is important.

      Delete
    2. Something is going on with Belgium, but population density as an explanation seems suspect to me. The US may average 93 people per mi^2, but that means glossing over the fact that you’re aggregating Wyoming and New York City.

      NYC reports 15.8K dead from a confirmed case load of 196K. This gives a roughly 8% case fatality rate. Belgium’s is twice that. But NYC has a population density of 26.4K people per mi^2. The rich fled the city, but even if every rich person left, that wouldn’t bring NYC’s population density close to Belgium’s.

      It turns out that Belgium counts deaths in nursing homes as COVID-19 deaths when the death is suspected but not confirmed by test. As of three weeks ago, the BBC estimates that this accounted for 3500 of Belgium’s death toll. Without the 3500, Belgium’s fatality rate falls to about 10%, which is still somewhat higher than NYC’s, but not startling.

      Delete
  11. From the NY Times, so Somerby may dislike this report, but this is what we are stuck with in our country:

    “The president veers off on tangents and getting him back on topic is difficult, they said. He has a short attention span and rarely, if ever, reads intelligence reports, relying instead on conservative media and his friends for information. He is unashamed to interrupt intelligence officers and riff based on tips or gossip he hears from the former casino magnate Steve Wynn, the retired golfer Gary Player or Christopher Ruddy, the conservative media executive.”

    “Mr. Trump rarely absorbs information that he disagrees with or that runs counter to his worldview, the officials said. Briefing him has been so great a challenge compared with his predecessors that the intelligence agencies have hired outside consultants to study how better to present information to him.”

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Perhaps it's true, but if so, it's working.

      Delete
    2. "Mr. Trump rarely absorbs information that he disagrees with or that runs counter to his worldview"

      ...unlike zombie clown Barry The Demigod Obama, who was just following orders of the globalist establishment.

      Delete
    3. "Barry The Demigod Obama, who was just following orders of the globalist establishment."

      Obama was replaced by affirmative-action hire, Donald Trump, who can follow the orders of the globalist establishment while also being white.

      Delete
  12. Digby says:

    "Columbia University researchers estimate that moving even a week sooner to impose social distancing measures might have saved an additional 36,000 Americans their lives. Starting two weeks sooner could have saved 54,000 lives by the end of May, a reduction of 83%."

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Somerby of course works hard to discredit all professors because otherwise research findings like this might affect the way people think about Trump.

      Delete
    2. Trump's China and Europe bans saved millions of American lives, and all of those people would be dead if a Democrat were in office.

      Cuomo's killings account for a third of all American deaths and he will be held accountable.

      Delete
    3. Yeah. I distinctly remember Mario's Son Andrew pontificating endlessly about a possibility of "shelter-in-place", how it's completely unacceptable.

      Going on and on about it, and then eventually ordering exactly that, albeit using different words to describe it.

      What a clown.

      Delete
    4. Only Trump can fix it. This wouldn't be happening to our United States if trump were president.

      Delete
  13. Trump, Jun 22, 2016: I’m the only one who can fix our problems.

    Trump, Feb 26, 2020: the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero.

    Math-challened TrumpLickers think 1,619,760 additional cases is close to zero.


    ReplyDelete