As do normalization, indifference: Even after the apparent suspension of the commander's nightly "briefings," the crazily inaccurate statements continue.
Yesterday, the commander did a press avail with New Jersey's governor, Phil Murphy. Luckily, it wasn't nationally televised during prime time, with millions of people listening to wildly inaccurate statements.
That said, the Q-and-A was still highly disordered. Once the brief Q-and-A began, the commander launched his trademark Ventilator Monologue.
Here's how the nonsense began:
TRUMP (4/30/20): I think our whole group has been spectacular. We had ventilators; we didn’t have any. We built them. We have thousands—tens of thousands are right now under construction. And we’ve given—as Phil said, you got, I think, more ventilators than anybody in the United States.According to President Trump, now that we don't actually need them, we have tens of thousands of additional ventilators under construction. Also, we now have so many masks, we don't know what to do with them!
MURPHY: I believe that’s correct.
TRUMP: New Jersey needed them very badly.
TRUMP: And there was never a person that needed a ventilator that didn’t get one in any state. Not one person that needed a ventilator. So we didn’t say, “He didn’t get a ventilator and somebody passed away. Somebody didn’t make it.”
Now, we had a mask problem. Now we have so many masks we don’t know what to do with them. We had a big problem. And you have to understand: When we took over, the cupboards were bare.
Is that second statement accurate? We ask for the following reason:
Roughly one month ago, the upper-end press corps spilled with reports about shortages of personal protection equipment for our heath care workers. That included shortages of various kinds of masks, including N-95 masks.
According to the commander, we now have so many masks that we don't know what to do with them. But is that claim accurate?
For ourselves, we have no idea. In our experience, our big news orgs dropped this topic weeks ago, never to go there again.
Last night, we saw several medical workers on cable news shows referring to ongoing shortages of PPE. Do widespread shortages still exist? The topic was hot a month ago, but it has largely disappeared from cable news and from our major newspapers.
We're left with the things we hear from Trump—and yesterday, as he continued, he was soon saying this:
TRUMP (continuing from above): And you have to understand: When we took over, the cupboards were bare. And the thing that—frankly, it’s not as tough as the ventilator situation. We’re the king of ventilators. But what we have done is—on testing, we’re doing numbers the likes of which nobody has ever seen before.Again, the president repeated the bogus claim about our doing more tests than the rest of the world combined. This drew an instant "Pants on Fire" from PolitiFact, but it was rated as "Officially Normalized" by our major news orgs, who no longer treat repeated obvious groaning misstatements as significant news events.
And I told you, the president of South Korea, President Moon, called me to congratulate me on testing. And we did more tests than any other country anywhere in the world. And I think they told me yesterday a number—if you add up the rest of the world, we’ve done more testing. And it’s a higher quality test.
The president wasn't done. Before another question could be asked, he returned to this:
TRUMP: Let me just tell you, we have—we started off with empty cupboards. The last administration left us nothing. We started off with bad, broken tests and obsolete tests.A bit of towel-snapping repartee ensued. But Trump's claim about the empty cupboard and the broken tests triggered the day's second question.
What we’ve come up with, between the Abbott Laboratories, where you have the five-minute test. Did they test you today?
MURPHY: They did test me.
TRUMP: Good. Now I feel better. (Laughter.)
A reporter asked a very familiar question. See if you can find an actual answer to the highlighted part of his query:
REPORTER: But the Obama administration—people from the Obama administration would disagree on your assessment that the cupboards were bare. They said that there was equipment in the national stockpile—Did Trump really mean that Obama had left him a "broken test" for the coronavirus? His endless statements about "broken tests" have never quite seemed to make sense.
TRUMP: Well—well— I know, Jim. Let me just tell you—I—that’s fine.
REPORTER: —and as for, you say, "broken tests," it’s a new virus. So how could the test be broken when you needed a new test?
TRUMP: We had a broken—Jim, we had broken tests. We had tests that were obsolete. We had tests that didn’t take care of people.
Yesterday, a reporter actually asked! What you see was Trump's complete answer to the rather obvious question about the "broken tests" for the virus which didn't yet exist. He simply repeated what he had said. "Jim, we had broken tests!"
Things continued on from there during the relatively short Q-and-A session. In some ways, things got worse.
Luckily, this wasn't televised for two solid hours during prime time, exposing millions of people to all sorts of bogus assertions as the nation's major news orgs normalized this manifestly crazy behavior.
And make no mistake, this behavior has been normalized by our high-end orgs. Cable channels scrambled to broadcast this manifest lunacy every night for more than a month. Major orgs like the Post and the Times have long since come to ignore the president's endless array of misstatements.
In fairness, it would take a substantial amount of effort to record and report his many misstatements on a daily basis. That said, no president in American history has ever behaved this strangely.
Our big news orgs, and our major journalists, have never cared a whole lot about facts. But should they care if our sitting president seems to be out of his mind?
Our question, and it's important:
Is it true? Do we now have so many protective masks for our health care workers that we don't know what to do with them? Have our various PPE problems actually been resolved?
That's what the commander-in-chief seemed to tell a bunch of reporters. Was his statement true?
For ourselves, we don't have the slightest idea whether the statement was true or false. The topic in question has run its course. Does anyone actually care?
In our experience, our big news orgs dropped this topic [the masks shortage] weeks ago, never to go there again.ReplyDelete
Trump has repeatedly made the point that the media focuses only on problems, never on achievements. The media stopped reporting on the mask shortage, because the problem was fixed it. They never reported on Trump's success in producing and distributing masks. Similarly, the media report on ventilators only when there was shortage. They dropped the topic when, thanks to the Administration, the problem was more than solved
We will be able to tell that tests are no longer a problem when that topic is no longer covered, according to Trump's theory.
When did Trump first order ventilators and why then? That's a good news story.Delete
He becomes president with a bare cupboard of ventilators.
Being being so smart and such a great leader, he must have known this in early 2017. Yet he did nothing about it. Why? Then in January 2020, after wasting three years to restore the empty cupboard he is warned that a pandemic is coming that could kill hundreds of thousands of Americans. And being a brilliant genius and unflappable visionary leader, surely he would right away get on to finally restore the empty cupboard he was left with. But he didn't do anything to replenish the empty cupboard. Instead, he held rallies around the country for months where he didn't even mention the coming pandemic or the empty cupboard. Why? For months he downplayed the severity of the threat and even called it a hoax that was far less consequential than the flu. Why did he say that? He must have actually believed it. That is why he didn't feel it necessary to restore the empty cup board. I guess. That's what makes it such an interesting news story. March came and people started dying. He was still holding rallies. Why? He was still making light of it and telling people not to worry about it. Why? He was still doing nothing about the empty cup board he was left with. Why?
Inquiring minds want to know.
After all, he's so smart and such a great leader. What explains that lack of cupboard restoration? It doesn't make sense. Inquiring minds want to know. Families of the tens of thousands of dead want to know.
If the mask shortage is fixed, why can't anyone buy a PN or P95 mask at Amazon? It isn't fixed. The public is walking around in cloth designer masks that won't stop a flea.Delete
I just watched the new Press Secretary say that in an average year, the US uses 25 million N95 masks. In this short time, the Administration had already delivered 75 million N95 masks -- 3 years worth. I would bet that these figures will not be reported by the mainstream media.Delete
As Somerby has noted, increasing the number three-fold is not an accomplishments if the pandemic has increased the need way beyond the supply.Delete
In a normal ICU, only a few patients with infections require that staff use protective equipment. Now we are talking about expanded ICUs (or whole hospital wards) with every patient requiring such measures. People don't understand that the PPEs are taken off and discarded every time you leave one patient and go to see another. ICU Nurses who used to be responsible for two or three patients are now responsible for 5-7. And they all require that PPEs be changed as you go from one room to another in response to patient calls or to do required procedures. And it isn't just nurses but all the other support staff, delivering meals from the kitchen, cleaning the rooms, turning the patients so they don't get bed sores, doing respiratory treatments, taking x-rays, and so on. That is a lot more PPE's needed, way beyond normal use.
So who cares that Trump triples the number of masks if it is still not nearly enough?
Ask David how Donald J Chickenshit, Acting President, managed to have some shady middlemen gouge the VA for N95 masks at 5 to 10 times the normal price. DinC is an insufferable little troll.Delete
AnonymousMay 1, 2020 at 7:16 PM - check your arithmetic. The Adminstration produced 3 years worth in a month. That not tripling; it's thirty-six times as much.Delete
Trump-hater begin with an unshakable conviction that nothing Trump does is good. So, they give him no credit for producing masks at 36 times the rate of 36,000 times they rate.
Most of the media write their reports following that same pattern.
David, three years in a month? What month was that? April? Why didn't he start that in March or February? He could have produced 108 months worth.Delete
Why wasn't he producing masks in February and March?
Why wasn't he producing masks in February and March?
Why wasn't he producing masks in February and March?
Why was he holding rallys in March and not producing masks?
Do you know why?
Meanwhile, I still cannot buy an effective mask on Amazon. Employers want to give their employees masks so they can open their businesses. Where are their masks? If Trump cannot supply hospitals how can he supply all the employers and their employees across the nation? How can people go out and walk their dogs when a mask is required in many states. How many people with dogs are there in this country.Delete
You do the math, Trump supporters.
Poor dembot can't buy an effective mask on Amazon.Delete
Tsk. Surely there can only be one reason for this unfortunate dembot's horrible trials and tribulations:
Orange Man Bad.
Thanks for the laughs, dembot.
Trump's success in producing and distributing masks.Delete
Yesterday, a letter published by the New England Journal of Medicine highlighted the extraordinary measures that had to be taken to secure the delivery into Massachusetts of equipment that had been bought and paid for. The NEJM, which featured the letter in its COVID-19 Notes series, is far from a platform of partisan alarm or hysteria — it is among the most sober and high-minded professional journals in the country. It’s worth reading the correspondence, written by an executive running a small health system, at some length:
Our supply-chain group has worked around the clock to secure gowns, gloves, face masks, goggles, face shields, and N95 respirators. These employees have adapted to a new normal, exploring every lead, no matter how unusual. Deals, some bizarre and convoluted, and many involving large sums of money, have dissolved at the last minute when we were outbid or outmuscled, sometimes by the federal government. Then we got lucky, but getting the supplies was not easy.
Those measures do not seem unusual, horrifyingly enough. Last month, 3 million masks ordered by the state of Massachusetts were seized by the federal government. Last week, the Chicago Sun-Times reported that the governor of Illinois, J.B. Pritzker, was arranging secret chartered flights of supplies as a way of outmaneuvering federal interference. “The governor has clearly outlined the challenges this administration has faced as we’ve worked around the clock to purchase PPE for our health-care workers and first responders,” a spokesperson for the governor told the paper. “The supply chain has been likened to the Wild West, and once you have purchased supplies, ensuring they get to the state is another Herculean feat,” he continued. “These flights are carrying millions of masks and gloves our workers need. They’re scheduled to land in Illinois in the coming weeks and the state is working to ensure these much-needed supplies are protected and ready for distribution around the state.” A source “knowledgeable about the flights” told the paper that the governor didn’t want to be more open about the shipments “because we’ve heard reports of Trump trying to take PPE in China and when it gets to the United States.”
David, you're a goddam fool. Put down your pompoms now.
Orange Man wants to fuck his own daughter.Delete
If Orange man can sucker her into believing he's not a dead-beat business failure, like he suckered his supporters, Orange Man has a shot.
David is excited Trump ordered a lot of masks in April which like being excited your team scored 21 points in the second half after getting shutout 50-0 in the first.Delete
David is excited that Trump has Made America no less worse than Europe (except Germany). (tm)Delete
Yes, look how many people haven't died.ReplyDelete
"According to the commander, we now have so many masks that we don't know what to do with them. But is that claim accurate?ReplyDelete
For ourselves, we have no idea."
But of course you do, dear Bob.
You know perfectly well that if there was even the slightest hint of a shortage - somewhere in Puerto Rico or Alaskan wilderness - then your goebbelsian zombie media would've already had their usual goebbelsian hate-mongering campaign in full swing.
And if they haven't, then the answer is clear. Okay? Is this so complicated?
ma0 ma0 *Delete
Ladlad 3: An Anthology of Philippine Gay WritingDelete
“Oh, but of course you do, dear."
One day Somerby is urging us to call Trump crazy. The next day he is referring to him as The Commander.ReplyDelete
When you fire all of your competent staff, simply because they used to work for Obama, what you wind up with is bad, broken tests.ReplyDelete
Unfortunately Trump wasted all of February and now has wasted all of April putting us so far behind. God knows what he was doing in February. He certainly wasn't replenishing any stock piles. Then he spent all of April desperately scrambling to make up for what he didn't do in February and embarrassingly bragging about it on television, which to his credit, did fool his hapless supporters. But here we are with April gone, the virus still with us and no plan at all to come out of this and move the country forward to recovery. Trump is by far the most inept and dumbest leader in our history. The guy is a demented fool.ReplyDelete
"For ourselves, we don't have the slightest idea whether the statement was true or false. "ReplyDelete
I think this is Somerby's problem, not the press. They write their little hearts out.
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