The Washington Post won't confront Donald Trump!

TUESDAY, JULY 28, 2020

Not on his mental condition, not on his craziest claims:
What has kept President Trump from fully confronting the virus?

In this morning's Washington Post, Parker and Rucker attempt to consider that question. In paragraph 5, they offer this portrait of the way the commander's head works:
PARKER AND RUCKER (7/28/20): People close to Trump, many speaking on the condition of anonymity to share candid discussions and impressions, say the president’s inability to wholly address the crisis is due to his almost pathological unwillingness to admit error; a positive feedback loop of overly rosy assessments and data from advisers and Fox News; and a penchant for magical thinking that prevented him from fully engaging with the pandemic.
Yikes! According to the Post's reporters, Trump has one important tendency which is "almost pathological." Another part of the mental mix is "a penchant for magical thinking."

Let's be fair! The two reporters may have been speaking metaphorically when they penned those assessments. It may not have occurred to them that they were discussing traits which might call for analysis from medical or psychological experts.

You'll admit that we're being fair! Elsewhere, though, the Post's Michael Kranish interviews Mary Trump and steers around her semi-diagnoses of her uncle's possible pathologies. It seems to us that Kranish is playing by the traditional rules, in which you can't discuss the psychiatric state of a major pol, even of a major pol who plainly seems to have one.

The press is never going to consult with medical specialists about Donald Trump's mental condition. Then too, we note the way Parker and Rucker fail to confront his latest crazy claims—the crazy claims about the way our mortality rate is declining and is also the best in the world.

Parker and Rucker still aren't ready to deal with these ludicrous claims. The problem begins with this passage:
PARKER AND RUCKER: White House spokeswoman Sarah Matthews defended the president’s handling of the [coronavirus] crisis, saying he acted “early and decisively.”

“The president has also led an historic, whole-of-America coronavirus response — resulting in 100,000 ventilators procured, sourcing critical PPE for our front-line heroes, and a robust testing regime resulting in more than double the number of tests than any other country in the world,” Matthews said in an email statement. “His message has been consistent and his strong leadership will continue as we safely reopen the economy, expedite vaccine and therapeutics developments, and continue to see an encouraging decline in the U.S. mortality rate.”

For some, however, the additional effort is too little and far too late.
Sad! In fact, there is no decline, encouraging or otherwise, in the U.S. mortality rate. If we're using that term in the way any normal person would, the U.S. mortality rate has been rocketing upwards over the past four weeks.

Presumably, Matthews is referring to the "case fatality rate," a somewhat abstruse statistic which has little utility in the current general discussion.

Parker and Rucker simply accept her grossly inaccurate statement. They don't ask her what she's talking about, or challenge what she has said. Post readers may well assume that our mortality rate is declining.

Later, the reporters tackle the commander's utterly crazy claim, his claim that our mortality rate in the lowest in the world. They do assert that this claim is wrong, but that's as far as they get:
PARKER AND RUCKER: White House staffers have long made upbeat assessments and projections in an effort to satisfy the president. This, in turn, makes Trump further distrustful of the presentations of scientists and reports in the mainstream news media, according to his advisers and other people familiar with the president’s approach.

This dynamic was on display during an in-depth interview with “Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace that aired July 19.
After the president claimed the United States had one of the lowest coronavirus mortality rates in the world, Wallace interjected to fact-check him: “It’s not true, sir.”

Agitated by Wallace’s persistence, Trump turned off-camera to call for White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany. “Can you please get me the mortality rates?” he asked. Turning to Wallace, he said, “Kayleigh’s right here. I heard we have one of the lowest, maybe the lowest mortality rate anywhere in the world.”

Trump, relying on cherry-picked White House data, insisted that the United States was “number one low mortality fatality rates.”

Fox then interrupted the taped interview to air a voice-over from Wallace explaining that the White House chart showed Italy and Spain doing worse than the United States but countries like Brazil and South Korea doing better
—and other countries that are doing better, including Russia, were not included on the White House chart. By contrast, worldwide data compiled by Johns Hopkins University shows the U.S. mortality rate is far from the lowest.
Truly, that's astonishing. We're left with nothing but anthropology when a pair of high-end journos from Yale and Penn, one of them a Pulitzer winner, can't do better than that.

For starters, the reporters somehow managed to misquote Trump's most significant statement. When McEnany handed him the data in question, he actually said this, as you can see on this tape at the 2:30 mark:
TRUMP: Number— Number one low mortality rate.
It's hard to misreport something so basic, but the Post was up to the task. For the full transcript, click here.

Beyond that, Parker and Rucker settled for the standard mumbo-jumbo about Trump's lunatic claim.

They said the White House data were "cherry-picked," failing to explain or document their claim. They said that data from Johns Hopkins show that our mortality rate "is far from the lowest" in the world.

That's true, but they left it at that. How far from the lowest is our rate? They didn't bother to say.

How far from the lowest is our mortality rate? So far from the lowest that Trump's claim is insane. Here are the hottest new data:
Total deaths from coronavirus in the past week
As of July 28:

United States: 7,105
Canada: 43
Germany: 32
France: 44
Spain: 12
Austria: 3
Japan: 8
South Korea: 4
Taiwan: 0
In terms of population, Japan is more than one-third our size; Germany is almost exactly one-fourth. In fact, our mortality rate is so far from the lowest that you can't see the lowest from here!

Trump's ridiculous statement wasn't just wrong—it was batsh*t crazy, "this man must be insane" wrong. But nine days after that interview, star reporters like Parker and Rucker still don't know how to let readers understand that fact.

In this, we continue to see the mental state of our nation's top reporters. Despondent anthropologists mordantly tell us this:

Facts play almost no role in their world. Simply put, our floundering species just wasn't wired that way.

Also note this: According to Wallace, Italy and Spain "are doing worse than the United States."

We know what he may have meant. But go ahead—take a look at the data we've posted!

Wallace is a Harvard man. According to the early Dylan, it's one of "the finest schools!"


  1. I hear on the Moon the mortality rate is so low it's negative, dear Bob.

    And back here on Earth, the US of A is doing fine in terms of the case mortality rate, apparently.

    Except for a few eastern states, controlled by you liberals, where your liberal VIPs thought it would be a great idea to send infected people to nursing homes.

    Can we be done with this bullshit now, dear Bob?

    1. ma0 ma0 * ,!, ,!,

    2. Speaking of fertilizer spreaders:

  2. “According to Wallace, Italy and Spain "are doing worse than the United States."

    That isn’t what Wallace said.

    From the Post story: “a voice-over from Wallace explaining that the White House chart showed Italy and Spain doing worse than the United States.

    The White House chart showed case fatality rate, which currently looks like this:

    Italy 14.3
    Spain 10.2
    US 3.4

    A lower number is presumably better.

    But it’s also true that the US has far from the lowest CFR.

  3. Any deep thoughts on obamagate and how it's presented by your goebbelsian media clowns, dear Bob? Using government security services to smear political opponents, and then to overthrow a duly elected president, and all that?

    No chance, right, dear Bob? Not interested? Listening to the voices of future anthropologists inside your head while playing a psychiatrist is so much more exciting.

    1. Dearest Mao,

      Dreary, predictable deflection, bogus as ever. You're a marvel -- how do you keep doing it?

      Yours, Dembot

    2. Speaking of using Russian government security services to smear the political opponent of a grotesque orange clown in the 2016 US presidential election:

    3. Мао нюхает свои пуки

  4. Successful Vaccine = October Surprise = Trump victory

    1. It will take more than that.

    2. Keep suckin down that kool-aid, 6:14.

  5. From Erik Loomis at Lawyers Guns & Money blog:

    "But even with the best case scenario, 35% of the nation hates caring about any other person but themselves so much that they will respond to massacres of first graders by pushing for more pro-gun regulations. They will cough in your face during a pandemic for a laugh. They will chuckle at immigrants dying in the desert. They will cheer for one of their own running over and murdering Black Lives Matter protestors.

    This is simply the reality of what we face. Trump is the symptom of this malignancy, but he is not the tumor. Until we face what it is going to take to cut this out, we are going to be caught unawares when Republicans nominate and perhaps win with a fascist who is actually competent and intelligent in 2024."

    This is a version of, yes Trump is crazy but how do you explain all of his supporters?

    1. Crazy is the wrong word for the discussion. It's either vernacular (and thus just an epithet to be hurled) or it's a synonym for insane, which is best left to professionals to diagnose. I think it's safe to say that Trump is psychologically dysfunctional -- a combination of towering self-regard (what others call malignant narcissism), abyssal depths of ignorance, hypersensitvity (aka, borderline paranoia), reflexive bullying (i.e., inappropriate aggression), misogyny, compulsive lying, and habitual grifting. And thank goodness a comically frightening (or is it a frighentingly comic?) level of incompetence.

      The neat thing about this list is that no one has to consult the DSM-V. Just read the news. Abyssal ignorance? How about bleach injections to get rid of COVID-2 infection?

      So how does Trump explain his supporters? He doesn't. Trump's support hardly wavers from the $40% approval mark. Even at the end of June, Gallup clocked him at 38%, which isn't even his historic low. As painful as it is to realize, two out of five of our fellow citizens merely walk amongst as human. Below the mask lies the face of christofascism, repressed sexual aggression, science denial, fear of difference, willful ignorance, and a dread of change supposedly driven by imaginary and malevolent forces.

      What Trump does explain is the freedom that a portion of feral Trumpers feel to peel back the mask and let their Trump flag fly. Have our fellow citizens changed so much in five years? I think that's doubtful. The change is that some of these folks have Trump's permission to be themselves in public.

    2. Who asked how does Trump explain his supporters? What an odd question to ask of Trump, who could possibly be interested in his answer?

      Those opposed to Trump do not need to worry about his supporters, they have been around since the dawn of civilization, they are not going anywhere. The correct strategy is to focus on voter turn out.

      I would say his supporters are motivated by economic interests like tax cuts and deregulation, and by cultural interests like racism and abortion.

      We live in Lee Atwater's world, he described what he set in motion:

      "You start out in 1954 by saying, "Nigger, nigger, nigger". By 1968 you can't say "nigger"—that hurts you. Backfires. So you say stuff like forced busing, states' rights and all that stuff. You're getting so abstract now you're talking about cutting taxes, and all these things you're talking about are totally economic things and a byproduct of them is blacks get hurt worse than whites."

      Blacks get hurt worse than whites, this is what motivates Republicans.

  6. Based on the current number of new cases on Worldometer, it looks like the running 7 days average may now be trending down. If that downward trend continues, then the virus will be a smaller campaign issue by November.

    1. The people who died because of Trump’s negligence won’t miraculously reanimate by then.

    2. Hopefully it will diminish enough so the real story isn't buried: that Socialist Joe Biden wants to defund 911 calls and leave granny to fend for herself in her worst time of need. So it would be better to vote for an administration whose response to a predicted and preventable worldwide health crisis was to deny it was even happening and encourage people to go about spreading it, a mistake in judgment which resulted in half as many deaths in four month than America had in all of World War II.

    3. It would be great if Covid just fades away; however, it would not diminish it's impact electorally, as the amount of death and suffering is staggering, and no one will forget how impactful Trump's failure to respond has been.

      Cases are still at near highs, only a few days have surpassed yesterday's count of 64,729. As the Trump administration tries to hide Covid data, we may see a drop in the numbers; however, yesterday saw the highest number of deaths since May 27, and we are just now seeing the impact of the beginning of the spike as deaths lag cases by 2-6 weeks, we have yet to see the impact from the more recent spike of 60k-70k+ cases.

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  8. Do all right-wingers who rant about freedom, while cheering along federal agents kidnaping protesters, have a mental condition, or is it just Trump?

    1. Ben Shapiro says empathy is bad for politics.

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