But how many people will die?: Last evening, starting at 8 PM Eastern, we had a chance to observe the angriest dog in the world.
Some readers may yelp in surprise. They may recall "The Angriest Dog in the World" as the comic strip created and drawn by a younger version of director David Lynch.
Fair enough! According to the leading authority on the subject, "the strip was conceived by Lynch in 1973 during a period when he was experiencing feelings of great anger. First published in the LA Reader, the strip ran from 1983 until 1992."
We recall The Angriest Dog from its days in Baltimore's City Paper. Today, though, the angriest dog has moved on. Last night, he was hosting on CNN, a so-called "cable news" channel.
We'd avoided the angriest dog for the past several weeks. We'd become appalled by his carnival act—by his posing, his endless pretense.
Last night, due to a bit of a misunderstanding, we went back and watched him again. The angriest dog was snapping and growling as he came rushing out into the yard:
COOPER (7/6/20): And good evening. Thanks for being with us.The angriest dog was very angry, and he was highly sarcastic.
If divisive inflammatory racist words could kill the coronavirus, the president of the United States would be heading to Stockholm right now to pick up his Nobel Prize in Medicine.
Instead, tonight, the same as every night, he is safe inside his biological bunker surrounded by people wearing masks and frequently getting tested. And from the safety of his biological bunker, he is encouraging the rest of us not to follow the best scientific advice.
He is trying to persuade the country that the virus is simply vanishing. Or if that won't work, he is trying to divert people's attention elsewhere to smearing a black NASCAR driver, supporting the Confederate flag and statues of traitors, which he claims is part of our proud heritage.
So, knowing it's a diversion, we begin tonight where attention ought to be, on the facts that we all have to face right now. Or as White House Task Force member Dr. Anthony Fauci put it today, quote, "We are still knee-deep in the first wave of this."
Today, the country crossed another milestone—130,000 lives lost. By tomorrow or Wednesday, it will surpass another three million known COVID cases, that milestone. Those are facts. So is this:
We now have more cases than any other country on Earth and more fatalities, again, than any other country on Earth. We're number one for cases and for deaths. America is first...
Dogs like these still don't bother adjusting for size of population. As with Trump, so too here—any bow to intellectual regularity would be viewer as a sign of weakness.
Very frankly, we were sad to see the angriest dog this way. We think of what Elliott said to ET: "Look what they've done to you."
We remember how gentle the angriest dog used to be. Back in 2016, for example, when he twice rolled over for Candidate Trump, letting his stomach be rubbed.
(Candidate Trump was good for ratings. A certain remarkably well-trained dog seemed willing to sit and stay.)
Today, the angriest dog is full of antiracism. It's quite a change from the complete disinterest he and his "cable news" channel have displayed with respect to such topics in the past.
That said, the corporate showboats of cable news are all reciting these days. The angriest dog is visibly angry, and he wants you to know he (now) cares.
Last evening, the angriest dog never abandoned his sarcasm. At one point, he showed us tape of the man for whom he once played pool boy as that man spoke at Mount Rushmore.
He said the president had delivered his comments at Rushmore "by the gaslight's blue glare." The angriest dog is endlessly on the prowl these days, unlike the way he played fetch back then.
After watching the angriest dog, we stuck around for Cuomo. In our view, his work has been weirdly unskilled of late.
Last night, we watched him mansplain his way through an interview about parenting during the time of coronavirus. He delivered his speeches to Keisha Lance Bottoms, who strikes us as roughly a thousand times more competent, sane and disciplined than this cable host is.
Mayor Bottoms listened politely. So it went on CNN as consumers were handed the news.
Late in the evening, on MSNBC, we actually saw Dr. Nahid Bhadelia deliver a significant assessment. This is the way it went down:
Bhadelia spoke as one part of Brian Williams' three-pundit opening panel. Williams maintains this three-pundit procedure to ensure that the attention span of no consumer will ever be taxed or strained.
In this instance, the fact that Williams was discussing three or four different topics with three different guests meant that Bhadelia only spoke twice in the 21-minute opening segment. This is what "discussion" looks like on our cable "news" channels now.
The second time Dr. Bhadelia spoke, she spoke to a very important issue. How many people are likely to die in future weeks, given the nation's sudden increase in (confirmed/reported) coronavirus cases?
How many people are likely to die? As a general matter, cable hosts are too scattered, and perhaps too savvy, to zero in on such questions. On her second and final chance to speak, here's part of what Bhadelia said:
BHADELIA (7/6/20): The trouble is not the current numbers. What we're seeing is, hospitalizations generally are followed by deaths.(If MSNBC ever posts a transcript, it will show up here. Under the corporate channel's apparent new slow-walk procedures, you might check back next year.)
From a CDC surveillance from the end of May, what we know is that, of the people who were diagnosed, 14 percent got hospitalized, five percent died.
And maybe that's half of that now. Hopefully, we've done better. That's still a lot of people of that number that we're seeing hospitalized that are going to follow and may unfortunately pass away.
In that statement, Bhadelia seemed to say that something like 2.5 percent of our growing number of new "cases" may end up dying of Covid-19.
Plainly, that was only a rough assessment. But it was a start.
Is Bhadelia's assessment reasonably sensible? We have no way of saying. Needless to say, Brian—he was discussing three topics at once—didn't attempt to clarify, ask or assess.
Nor will he ever ask anyone else. Homey don't play it that way!
Bhadelia was offering a very rough assessment. But if her assessment is accurate, it means that we'll soon be returning to the days of more than one thousand deaths per day.
(As of this morning, our seven-day rolling average stands at 463.7 deaths per day.)
If Dr. Fauci's earlier unexplained assessment is correct—his assessment that we may soon be recording 100,000 new cases per day—Bhadelia's assessment would mean that we'll be experiencing roughly 2500 deaths per day. That would be a higher average than we ever attained in the bad old days of April and May.
Is that the actual shape of our "America carnage" to come? Are we headed for that level of daily deaths?
We have no idea, and it's unlikely that anyone will ever ask. Last night, we saw a snapping dog and some ardent mansplaining, but we saw no real discussions. On cable, it pretty much isn't done.
Williams jumped around among three opening guests, discussing three opening topics. Bhadelia got to speak just twice. He didn't follow up.
Ever since the visitations started, we've been forced to offer sour reports like this.
The visitations, of course, are from the experts who come to us late at night, advising us through the nocturnal submissions the haters refer to as dreams.
These experts keep saying that our species isn't built for real discussion. Scanning the globe in the past few days, we found ourselves forced to admit that these highly credentialed anthropologists may have the germ of a point.
Tomorrow: The Washington Post lets a college grad (class of 2019!) pretend to discuss public schools
Coming later: Cable stars, and everyone else, pretend to discuss police shootings