What we've been talking about: In his ludicrous Sunday night fully televised pseudo-briefing, President Trump engaged, as he constantly does, in the gong-show of very large numbers.
The press corps simply lets this go. According to the White House transcript, here's part of what he said:
TRUMP (4/5/20): In the last seven days, FEMA has airlifted critical supplies and protective equipment from every corner of Earth. They’re coming from all over the planet, including from within the United States, where the equipment isn’t as necessary.Listen to that! Almost 8 million masks! That sounds like a very large number!
Since last Sunday, cargo planes have delivered almost—Listen to this!—300 million gloves, almost 8 million masks, and 3 million gowns. And many more fully loaded cargo planes are right now on the way. Three big ones landed today. And these supplies are being distributed directly to the hospitals and healthcare providers all across the nation so that that massive amount of material that we’re getting in is being delivered all over the country.
Eight million masks does sound like a lot. But in this morning's New York Times, we're told that Peter Navarro used a much larger very large number in a February 23 memo:
HABERMAN (4/7/20): Among other things, the memo called for an increase funding for the government to purchase personal protective equipment for health care workers, estimating they would need “at least a billion face masks” over a four-to-six-month period.How many face masks will our health care workers need? We have no idea.
We do know this. Within the ongoing context, it's meaningless to rattle off the number of items which have been supplied without making reference to the number of items which will likely be needed.
Trump stages this gong show every night. Our cable channels air it live. Our journalists sit there and watch him.
This is the way our species is wired. Or at least, that's what dozens of top anthropologists have convincingly said.