The simplest rebuttal in human history!


What are the chances you'll see it?:
Speaking with Jonathan Swan of Axios, Donald J. Trump went on and on about his success at controlling the virus.

No, it won't make any difference. But here's the main thing Trump said:
TRUMP (8/3/20): Under the circumstances right now, I think [the virus] is under control. I’ll tell you what—

SWAN: How? A thousand Americans are dying a day.

TRUMP: They are dying. That’s true. And it is what it is. But that doesn’t mean we aren’t doing everything we can. It’s under control as much as you can control it. This is a horrible plague that beset us.
"It’s under control as much as you can control it." Thus spake Donald J. Trump!

Almost surely, that was Trump's most remarkable statement about the virus during his session with Swan. It's also the simplest statement to rebut in the whole of human history.

Do we have the virus under control as much as you can control it? All a journalist or news org has to do—and they ought to do it—is respond with this:
Deaths from coronavirus in the past seven days,
as of August 5:

United States: 7,550

Germany: 40
Japan: 22
South Korea: 2
Germany's population is one-fourth of ours, Japan's a bit more than one-third.

That's a blindingly simple rebuttal. For that reason, you'll never see an upper-end journalist make it. In most cases, they've spent their whole day in wardrobe, make-up and hair, not to mention the showmanship lessons.

Our species' upper-end braynes donnt reely werk reel gudd! Anthropologists say that basic fact is undeniably true, but it's so counterintuitive that there's really no point in stating it.

It's true, these despondent experts all say. But we humans aren't built to believe it!

You'll never see that rebuttal made. We flounder ahead in the dark.

Responses to tear your hair by: For Linda Qiu's fact-check, just click here. Be sure to dress for high weeds.

As for Swan, his next statement was this:
SWAN: You really think this is as much as we can control it? A thousand deaths a day?
The bafflegab continued from there. As we've told you many times, it's all anthropology now!


  1. The purpose of an interview the The President of the United States of America is not to pin him down and embarrass him. It is to present to the public what and how the president thinks about important issues. Swan did follow up on Trump's remark. Somerby quotes him: "You really think this is as much as we can control it?" It is a question that invites Trump to evaluate his own progress, not one that tries to contradict him with another statistic. Somerby calls what Trump said next "bafflegab" but so would be any statistics that Swan or Trump batted around. Taking Swan's approach, the public got to see Trump flounder around and say nothing about how we can decrease those deaths, actually control the virus. The public got to see that Trump has given up on controlling it. Somerby's way, the public hears different sets of numbers without knowing which are correct. In real life, the public chooses who to believe -- they aren't convinced by Swan's competing numbers if they already support Trump.

    This has nothing to do with anthropology. It has to do with real people dying horrible deaths each day. Some of us know someone who is dying or who has died. That makes this very real to us, and that is the reason why a substantial portion of Trump's base (8% out of about 38%) has abandoned him (more or fewer in different parts of the country). It has taken this pandemic to get people to shake loose from him. But it isn't the statistics -- it is because of the people we know who are sick and dying.

  2. When something is blindingly obvious and yet a trained, experienced interviewer chooses not to do it, that suggests that it isn't a good idea to do.

  3. Who considers that under control? I have never heard any public health official call it that. Smallpox is under control.

  4. "As we've told you many times, it's all anthropology now!"

    Way, way, WAY too many times.

  5. In fact, Swan said:
    “Well, look at South Korea, for example. 51 million population, 300 deaths. It’s like, it’s crazy compared to-“

    Trump interrupted him.

    Here’s what Trump said:

    “You don’t know that.”

    (Swan was right.)

  6. If you think "South Korea: 2" constitutes a rebuttal, then your condition is worse than I thought, dear Bob. It's not just stupid, it's mental.

    Without understanding all the variables: genetics, mandatory childhood vaccinations, cultural, political, patterns of international and domestic travels, migrations, and who knows what else - your comparisons ain't worth a dime, dear Bob.

    It's rantings of a grumpy old man at best; dembottery at worst. Sad.

    ...incidentally, if we were to follow your logic, what's the meaning of these stats:

    Deaths/1M pop
    New Jersey: 1,793
    Hawaii: 19

  7. “The simplest rebuttal in human history!”

    Does Somerby believe there is anything any reporter can say that will get Trump to say “Oh, damn, you're right. My bad.?”

    That is delusional.

    1. Straw man argument.

    2. 9:25
      I made no argument. I asked a question.

    3. You asked and responded to it as if it were true, forming an argument, a straw man argument. No shame in it. At least be honest with yourself.

  8. Influenza deaths have ranged from 12,000-61,000 over the last decade.

    Except they haven't, influenza deaths are estimates, only children deaths are actually counted, which range from 0-100.

    Influenza deaths, whatever they are, occur without masks, social distancing, or lockdowns. Covid 19 deaths, if counted with the same methodology and without masks, social distancing, and lockdowns would likely be over a million already, in only half a year.

    Democrats want to help those in need. Republicans do not care about anybody but themselves, they are so wrapped up in their tiny lives.

  9. I think it means NJ got hit bad first and Hawaii looking at what was going on shutdown, you know like different from Texas. its a pretty simple or did I miss the trick question?

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