Health Bureaucrats Botched the Response to Coronavirus. Trump Made It Even Worse.

How broken bureaucracy and poor political leadership combined to botch the rollout of COVID-19 testing


The single most important failure of the U.S. response to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has been the slow rollout of testing. This was an abject failure of bureaucracy. But it was also a failure of presidential leadership. 

The countries that have had the most success in containing the outbreak, such as South Korea and Singapore, have done so through early, rapid, and widespread testing and contact tracing, followed by targeted quarantines. South Korea and the United States discovered initial cases of the coronavirus on the same day in January. Since then, some 290,000 people in South Korea have been tested and new daily cases have fallen from 909 to just 93. Despite a much larger population, the United States, tested just 60,000 people in the same period of time. 

South Korea saw the problem and took steps to stop it. The U.S. was flying blind. 

Much of the failure to make mass testing available lies with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA). As a Wall Street Journal report makes clear, the CDC, which managed the development of the initial test kits, botched the job in just about every possible way: The CDC not only produced a faulty test that had to be retracted but adopted narrow testing criteria that meant many people with symptoms simply couldn't be tested. 

Perhaps most disastrously, as The Washington Post reports, federal health agencies initially declined to certify tests produced by private companies that were better suited for rapid mass testing anyway. This is despite the fact that experts, including the former head of the FDA, were publicly recommending that they do so as early as February 2. 

The CDC was following its usual protocols, developing initial diagnostic tests on its own in order to maintain quality control, as it usually does. But that's exactly the problem. 

This was a catastrophe of top-down, slow-moving, centrally managed government bureaucracy, bound by outdated rules and practices, unable to swiftly adapt to an emergency. It will almost certainly cost American lives and livelihoods. The virus has likely already spread far and wide undetected. One reason restrictive social distancing measures have been adopted across the country is that public officials have little visibility into its scale and spread. 

But this was also a failure of political leadership, most notably from President Donald Trump. For weeks, Trump and senior White House officials actively downplayed the threat of the virus. 

As late as February 25, National Economic Council adviser Larry Kudlow was offering assurances that the coronavirus was "contained" and that it was "pretty close to airtight." Trump treated the virus with similar breeziness, suggesting that the virus was "going to disappear" and that while it might get worse, "nobody really knows."   

The stock market, needless to say, does not look very good today. 

As concern grew about the spread of the coronavirus, Trump continued to insist that all was well, telling Americans to remain calm. "Anyone who wants a test can get a test," he falsely claimed early in March. (Two weeks later, it remains difficult to get tested in many parts of the country.) Trump emphasized that confirmed case counts in the U.S. were low—which was true, but only because testing was so limited. White House officials later had to clarify Trump's statement

The problem here is obvious: Trump, who as the head of the executive branch oversees federal agencies such as the FDA, did not view the virus as a serious problem—and did not want others to view it that way either. That, in turn, translated into a downstream lack of urgency, which meant that critical aspects of the response were not prioritized.  According to The Wall Street Journal, health officials who have examined the testing calamity have concluded that it was a result of both bureaucratic bumbling and a "broader failure of imagination," in which Trump and other administration officials "appeared unable or unwilling to envision a crisis of the scale that has now emerged."

The job of a president is to make decisions, set priorities, and convey clear information to both the public and the staff of the executive branch. This is especially important in a moment of crisis, when the executive is in charge of acting both quickly and with sound judgment. In this outbreak, Trump has failed on every count. Not only did he fail to see the threat even when it was apparent to experts, but he actively undermined preparedness by downplaying its significance far long after the problem was apparent, and by providing false and misleading information as the mitigation effort proceeded. 

Trump has also repeatedly mischaracterized his own administration's responses to the crisis, saying, for example, that his 30-day ban on European travel would include cargo—a mistake he later blamed on the teleprompter. As New York's Jonathan Chait writes, there is now reason to worry that Trump is similarly failing to prepare for the expected wave of hospitalizations as more people become infected, by declining to expand the stock of critical supplies. 

The federal health bureaucracy deserves much of the blame for America's faltering response to the coronavirus outbreak. But the president has made the fiasco worse. 

The bureaucracy reports up to an executive, who is tasked with setting priorities and ensuring performance—and for taking responsibility when there are failures. Instead, Trump has inaccurately blamed the Obama administration for failures that occurred on Trump's watch. (Indeed, under Barack Obama, diagnostic tests for swine flu were designed and approved in less than two weeks.) Asked whether any of this is his fault, the president rejected the idea, saying, "I don't take responsibility at all." Trump's refusal to admit failures makes it more likely that he will repeat them, and that more Americans will pay the price.

NEXT: Sacramento County Releases Inmates Early To Curb Coronavirus Spread

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  1. So lack of testing is why it spread? Bullshit And how is America’s response faltering? They shut down half the damn country over this. If that is a “faltering response”, I shudder to think what Suderman would find an effective response. Welding people inside their homes?

    Right now 9,000 people out of a population of 300 million have this virus more than a month after the first people showed up from China with it. I know Suderman is paid to bitch and moan and blame everything on Trump, but it is a little hard to see how you can claim Trump botched controlling a virus as contagious as this when the numbers are that low this long into the outbreak.

    If reason wants to write an “Orange Man Bad” article, maybe it should claim that Trump allowed the media and the Democrats to goad him into overreacting and doing damage to the economy that wasn’t necessary. I am not sure that is true but it is at least plausible and does have the virtue of, if things go well, being impossible to falsify since successful containment efforts look just like it would if there had never been a threat in the first place.

    Sudderman can’t even attack the President properly. If your goal is to damage Trump, Suderman manages to fuck that up pretty well with this nonsense.

    1. Amen brother!

      1. Let’s also point out that early on, Suderman and his political cohorts were saying that “The President should listen to the scientists”. The CDC ARE the scientists. They are nothing but the scientists. He would have been pummeled for jumping in front of the science at the time and now is pummeled for following the science.

        It’s just kinda punk-ass policy to watch the rear view mirror, ready to pounce at anything that didn’t turn out as good as you can imagine it might have if your other guy was in charge… you know like the ones saying that it was racist to close the border to Chinese travelers as little as a couple of weeks ago.

        It’s also impossible to take Suderman’s ‘objective presidential action comparison’ seriously when he fails to note that under Obama, it took him 6 months to declare a national emergency, and only after 11000 people had died and over a quarter million had been hospitalized. Or when he fails to include that Trump has done in the first couple of months things that Obama NEVER did, or that Democrats were only interested in one thing the last half of last year and held it over through the first 5 weeks of this year. Surely they should take a LOT of the blame for the distraction???

    2. While I agree with the gist of your post, the numbers are low because the tests aren’t being made.
      Contact tracing works when numbers are low. 7 TSA agents at 3 different airports tested positive. OK, now trace the contacts of every passenger who may have had contact with those agents, everyone on their flights and everyone on everyone’s connecting flight. Good luck trying to contact trace the flu away.
      People shouldn’t need a test to tell them to stay home when they feel sick now.

      1. But we do know how many people have died or been hospitalized with it. So, even if the numbers are higher than we think, and clearly they are but who knows to what degree, that just means it is less deadly the higher the number of unknown cases.

        The fact remains that Suderman gives no justification for what Trump should have done differently or how more or quicker testing would have changed anything. The entire argument is a complete bullshit reach.

        1. Exactly. By the time people started showing up sick, the disease was already present. It was likely present long before anyone was even considering testing. That’s what makes coronavirus so insidious…it establishes itself long before it becomes apparent.

          Testing isn’t going to prevent that, because 1) people generally aren’t going to submit themselves to testing unless there’s a reason to believe they’re sick, 2) if everyone went to get tested before they were sick, it would overwhelm the health care system with trying to process the results, and 3) there’s no guarantee it would work anyway because a lot of testing gave false negatives to people who actually had the virus. Not to mention that there’s not an infinite supply of test kits to distribute and even fewer diagnostic personnel to test the results of those kits (which is where the real bottleneck is).

          This is just Monday morning quarterbacking from someone who doesn’t understand anything about the game being played.

          1. Those are all true.

            The use of testing on a broader scale is you can better understand the data. How the pool of virions is distributed geographically, demographically, and by biologic transmission. Then you can develop strategies to combat spread given limited resources.

            Until then, in the epidemiological sense, there is very limited ability to counteract the infection or give advice. Until then then it is only a reactive response.

            That is where we are today. It is ramping up in terms of diagnostics and therapeutic clinical trials.

            1. Yup.

              And the safest bet to contain the damage the disease can do is to just assume that it’s everywhere already, get people to modify their behavior to limit the speed of the spread, and focus on treatment.

              Testing is probably just going to tell us at this point that the disease is everywhere. That’ll be of value to people looking to study its spread later, I suspect, but for dealing with the problem now it’s not really going to fix anything. That horse already left the barn, probably a couple of weeks ago.

          2. This is just Monday morning quarterbacking from someone who doesn’t understand anything about the game being played.

            I notice there’s a lot of this. Not just this article and not just “Left” or “Right”. It’s a behavior that is extremely bipartisan in nature.

        2. I agree with you John. I don’t know what people want more to be done. Worse, they’re egging on something be done but with no end.

          The very definition of Un-reason.

          Even Cuomo and the SG have had enough of this stuff.

        3. Did you read what he wrote? South Korea, Singapore, Japan and China have effectively curtained spread of the virus by a) rapid testing; and b) quarantining those exposed. Trump dithered for a month after being told that was what was needed here. We still don’t have tests for people reporting sick. That’s why we’ve had to move to the drastic measures of social distancing, cancelling events, schools, etc. I thought readers of this website had theability to Reason.

          1. Keep in mind most all the countries you mentioned have highly homonegenus populations as compared to the US.

            The comparison is not as simple as saying “But, but, but it worked for them!”

            1. Never mind that China wasn’t forthright with information.

            2. What the hell does having a “homogeneous population” have to do with anything?

              Successes in Asia won’t work here because . . . we have too many brown and black people?

              Singapore, actually, FYI, is pretty multi-cultural (Chinese, Indian, and Malay).

              The fact that Singapore, Hong Kong, and Taiwan are small may play very well to their advantage . . . though it sure as hell didn’t during SARS.

              They learned lessons and established effective public health (i.e. the “g” word (“government”)) plans and procedures.

          2. Did you read what he read?!

            Before the tds kicked in even suderman admitted The blame for the dithering falls on the fda and cdc.

            It’s amazing to watch democrats clamor for more and more centralization as trump tries to empower the states and cities to make their own decisions based on their needs.

            Like 3 months ago they claimed trump WAS a dictator. Now when he’s giving individuals power, they’re acting like they WANT a dictator…

            Liberals really need to just croak so the adults can move along.

          3. No, what happened is the Wuhan virus isn’t that big of a deal.

    3. Amen, John. Suderman leaves out the most important part – South Korea, Singapore, and (eventually) China started treating people who DID test positive with chloroquine fairly quickly. Meanwhile, The CDC and FDA (and their Euorpean counterparts) dawdled on that because the bureaucracies’ never-ending thirst for “more data” before making a decision about letting the drug be administered for “off-label” uses. So we have people testing positive and the only treatment is “self-quarantine” because God forbid chloroquine only be 85% effective instead of 99% effective.

      1. That is a great point. And that is something that the government including Trump should be excoriated over, if it turns out that that is an effective treatment. Trump has a bit of an excuse in that his authority to wave the tyranny of the FDA is absurdly limited even as President. But, that doesn’t excuse the laws or the FDA.

        1. Actually, he just waived those requirements today for prescribing those drugs. The problem with the drugs was that chloroquine has some fairly harsh side effects and they didn’t know how it would interact with other drugs used in the treatment. China’s government doesn’t care about that because they don’t give a crap if they kill their own people, so they’re happy to use them as guinea pigs. They’ve also been hiding so much information about the disease in their country that it was impossible to know what to believe coming from them.

          I don’t think there’s anything to excoriate Trump over. Fatalities are low, when the doctors recommended he waive FDA regs about prescriptions he waived them, he’s using a whole of government approach to the problem and looking for innovative ways to tackle the issue. He’s doing exactly what a responsible leader should…he’s just not a god, so he can’t make the virus disappear with a snap of his fingers and he (like everyone else) doesn’t have the benefit of omniscience.

    4. Look, South Korea is atypical. They did some amazing work in a short time. They also had a lot going for them. 50% of the population lives in Seoul. Two or three other cities account for another 30% or so. That helps immensely in tracking and supply distribution. Additionally, their initial outbreak was concentrated in a more insular religious sect. (Interestingly, I read yesterday that they are seeing outbreaks from the general population…it will be interesting to see if they can keep this contained).

      Meanwhile, in the rest of the world, the infection curves all look basically the same. If Trump “botched” things, then pretty much every single country has botched things. Germany, Italy, UK, etc. All those countries have infection rates on par or worse than the US. Is Trump to blame for that?

      I am happy to say that we should look at South Korea for lessons. But when the entire world is tracking similar to the US, we should stop expecting perfection from the rest of the world.

      1. I will add that S. Korea does annual Foal Eagle and other exercises that are focused on handling catastrophic biological, nuclear, chemical and conventional attacks by North Korea.

        They have dedicated their government to exactly this and have pre-positioned and well conditioned citizens.

      2. All those countries have infection rates on par or worse than the US.

        The infection curves for most other countries is far worse than the US. That is an objective fact.

        The US has 330MM people, and roughly ~15K infected (as of 3/20/20 @ 0500).
        Germany has 80MM people, and roughly the same number of cases.
        Spain has ~50MM people, and roughly 20% more cases.

        Relative to the rest of the world, the US compares very favorably on that infection curve. Why? Because a very astute decision was made by POTUS Trump in late January to stop travel from China – the epicenter. This decision saved many lives.

        We can be informed by other data (south korea), but we now have our own data, with known reliability and veracity.

    5. Idiots like you deserve to be those who get sick and die because the hospitals can’t handle the influx of critical patients.

      If you had an iota of fucking sense in your brain, and a minimal understanding of the health care system, you wouldn’t advertise your stupidity to the planet.

      But no, someone’s rightfully pointing out the shitshow of a response by the President – who AS RECENTLY AS SUNDAY was speaking a different fucking tune, and for that you have to pull your head out of your ass to complain.

      Go lick some doorknobs and die.

      1. Facts and logic just were not in the talking points they gave you today where they Jason. Sorry but your emoting isn’t going to persuade anyone.

      2. meds, dude. you’re an hour late.

      3. Speaking of advertising stupidity to the planet, you’re lit up like Las Vegas.

        Serious question. How do you manage to move being so full of shit?

      5. Idiots like you deserve to be those who get sick and die because the hospitals can’t handle the influx of critical patients.

        Idiots like you and your family members deserve to be lined up against a wall and shot so you don’t further infect the gene pool.

        1. naw man, ammo’s expensive, ropes are reusable. You won’t hear me say this often, but go green on this one /sarc

      6. Your a 100% right. This is not the regular flu, this not something to be ignored. This is something absolutely destroying companies who dont react correctly or prepare. “Overreacting” from the gitgo before it spreads like fire is the only way to stop and who knows if that will actually end of working.

        1. Overreacting is what caused people to crowd into packed supermarkets, that were more crowded than normal because of panic-buying, leading to more social contacts — and more chance of spreading the virus — than would have occurred otherwise.

          No medical professionals think the virus can be contained at this point; the goal at this point is just to slow down the spread.

    6. Right now 9,000 people out of a population of 300 million…

      Until someone makes a point about the fatality of the virus. And then it will be

      John – ‘everyone has this virus and there’s only 150 deaths’

      Good thing we’re not gonna test and figure this out one way or the other. Ignorance is bliss

      1. We know who the fatalities are. So, yes, if true, the claims that the disease is more widespread necessarily reduce its morality rate. So if the number of infected is wildly wrong, the upside of that is the claims about the mortality rate are equally wrong. No shit.

        What you think that has to do with anything is a mystery known only to you.

        1. Except we are seeing what happens when it spread right now in italy and how it wuhan…it is not pretty and a lot of people are going to die.

          1. But still less than the flu!!! It’s not that big of a deal!!

      2. “Good thing we’re not gonna test and figure this out one way or the other”

        What are you talking about? The US has administered 60,000+ tests. They are working on bringing out more tests.

      3. Testing is the best short term hope, for sure. Because we either find out that it is far more widespread than we thought, so tons of people have it and have no or very mild symptoms, and the fatality rate is extremely low. Or we find that it is not widespread and asymptomatic, we can test anyone who shows any symptoms, know for sure whether they have it or not, and control it. I’m guessing the former is more likely, but either one gets us on the path to having an actual gameplan for how to rationally approach it. But a lot of people seem to act like getting the virus is itself the big deal- all I hear about are “OMG XXXX NUMBER OF NEW CASES TODAY, IT’S SPREADING, I’M SCARED I’M GONNA GET IT!!!” I’m like, well who the fuck cares how many people have it? The ONLY thing that matters is what proportion of those get seriously ill and/or die. It is really not an issue if 300 million people get a cough, if that’s the most it is for most people. But as usual, folks lose sight of what matters. They don’t think about what the chances of getting AND HAVING SERIOUS COMPLICATIONS are, they think about the chances of getting it and then act like contracting the virus is a death sentence.

        1. Except even taking into account the lack of information, use Korea and italy as your worst best. With Korea’s crazy testing, it looks like 15% to 20% of infections need hospitalization. Most young people on ventilators will live. A lot of old people die regardless. Dont have the healthcare support and a lot more people die ie Italy. Currently doing worse than freaking China did. That means if we dont control spread, the mortality rate skyrockets. If you do a good job, it’s still got a crazy death rate 7 times higher than the flu. Let’s not act like theirs no data entirely, South Korea has all the fucking data. The have tested like crazy and no the extant. Their crazy healthcare system has been able to contain and respond….and it was still 7 times deadlier than the flu! And that’s only because its contained. Second wave infections occur and it gets dark even for South Korea.

          The only way to respond is by extreme measure because half ass response lead to Italy’s nearly 8% death rate. (Yes this might have under reporting issues but it has a long way to drop while still being fucked up)

          1. Almost all of Italy’s citizens who have died from this disease had underlying health problems. The average age of the victims is over 80, just like in America.

          2. South Korea’s testing shows only 4% of those tested are infected. It doesnt spread as fast as some want to claim.

            1. No, no, we have to destroy the world economy to stop this horrific plague. Which of itself certainly won’t end up killing millions.

    7. Weren’t Sudderman and his buddies the ones saying that Trump was overreacting when he put a travel ban on the Wuhan province back in the beginning of February? There is literally no pleasing these fucks.

      1. That’s what I’m not getting. The reaction to Trump’s initial travel restrictions and exceedingly light quarantine was “The racist Trumps hates the Chinese”. The only consistent part of this is “Trump is always wrong”.

        1. Also, what’s wrong with hating the Chineese?

          1. Exactly. It’s no worse than hating the Irish.

            1. I smell a sassenach… But as for the Chinese, I’ll care about “racism” against them around the same time they stop doing the 21st century’s best impression of the Nazis with their treatment of their Muslim minority and anyone who commits wrongthink. They got concentration camps, slave labor, and organ harvesting going on and I’m supposed to care that they aren’t happy that people in other countries talking about how the virus started in China? They can blow my green Irish cock.

              1. All you need to know that China is a backwards thinking shithole is that Chinese people call other people “dogs” as an insult. Literally everywhere else in the world dogs are loved. But in China they are hated, and sometimes literally eaten.

                That’s all you need to know. They’re the pond scum of humanity.

            2. There’s only two things I hate in this world. People who are intolerant of other people’s cultures and the Dutch.

      2. Yes.
        And as always he’s racing again to the bottom to see how many JournoList talking points (lies) he can squeeze into the article.

        Just look at today’s fuck-ups. I don’t have the time right now to copypaste and html, but read his statements about Trump in the article above and then click on the NYT and WSJ links he uses as cities. Do you see how he’s twisted shit?
        Now look at the NYT and WSJ’s cites… they were twisting shit too. Suderman’s assertions don’t bear even the faintest similarity to the original statements now.

        Hey Pete Suderman, how does it feel being a dishonest fuck like this? Do you enjoy being a giant hack?
        Your so lucky you have a job were you’re not fired for making shit up.

        1. Why do you read and comment on this site? You seem to have a lot of hate against their reporting. You would be a lot happier just not coming around any more. Sincerely.

          1. Stossel, Robbie, Volk and the occasional Brickbats.

            And when I see a magazine I used to enjoy allowing someone like Suderman to just make shit up without practicing actual, you know, journalism, it pisses me off.
            It’s interesting too that you’re ignoring the fact here that he is blatantly lying, and instead trying to make it seem that visiting websites is about team affiliation.

            So in that case, why are you here?
            Wouldn’t be a lot happier circle-jerking with the other lefties at Salon or Vox instead of policing the Reason comments?

            1. Reasons editors would be happier there.

          2. What they do isnt reporting

    8. Why not blame Trump? How can you blame this on Democrats or Socialists or deep staters?

      He gets credit for the damnedest things that happen on his watch. He damn well gets to take the blame occasionally too.

      The election night miracle of beating Hillary doesn’t make him a saint.

      1. “Isn’t anyone gonna help those people”?

        “That’s not important right now, Stanley. The important thing is figuring out who to blame”.

        – randy marsh.

      2. The CDC and FDA are part of the deep state. I don’t think they are particularly political, just incompetent and tied up in red tape – often of their own making.

      3. Yes sqrsly, trump has never been blamed for anything. Keep fighting that fight.

    9. Damn I did not realize this was another left wing cnn affiliate website …you just lost another patriot.

    10. So lack of testing is why it spread? Bullshit

      I’ll TRY dumbing it down to your level.
      1) No testing means people don’t know they’re infected,
      2) WHY DID TED CRUZ (and so many others) SELF-QUARANTINE? Huh.
      4) So … if a hypothetical 1,000 infected people are never tested,
      they never know they’re infected!
      Still with me?

      There’s more, which may explode your brain.
      On average, each infected person infects to others. Do the math
      1,000 becomes 3,000.
      3,000 becomes 9,000.
      9,000 becomes 27,000

      As of yesterday. how many Americans had been tested?

      That’s all. NOW do you get it?

      1. This just in: if you feel sick during an outbreak, you should lick people’s eyeballs until you get tested.

      2. Hihn, I can only hope this virus ends you.

      3. No i dont get it. Can you explain it in all bold font, not just 90% bold font.

        Your message gets lost when you switch typefaces.

    11. While Trump the chump didn’t think it was anything serious, the Russians reacted as far back as January. Trump is now reacting 3 months later. My daughter is a PA in a hospital, she says they are running out of stuff. And were is Trump going to get all the necessary stuff to fight this pandemic when it is all made in communist China or India. The US does not even make its own pennecillin. Trump is just a pompous bag of hot air living in denial. If I were him, I would watch what he says about China, they can totally stop sending all that medical stuff over here. Then we will have to build factories to make that stuff, it will take forever.
      The Chinese claim it was the US military that spread it. With 1000 bases around the globe and the traffic back and forth supplying these bases, it is plausible it augmented the rapid spread. Italy, a small country, with a population of 60.5 million, has more deaths than China, a country with a population of 1.4 billion and the country where it originated. How is that even possible? Italy does have 113 US military bases and installations.

      1. Ehh the chinese crazh over the top response with building of a ton of temp hospitals probably helped a ton. Italy sat on its hand longer than China and here they are. That’s my guess at least. I certainly dont buy the USA did. Expectionally when so few us military personal have it. Sounds like the conspiracies that China designed this.

        1. Ok Winnie the Flu.

      2. There is a lot of Chinese textile workers in Northern Italy probably paid like slaves. During the Chinese New Year there was a lot of travel back and forth. This was when the CCP was pushing the hug a chinaman on the street. They have been lying about it from the beginning. The Italians know this and are pissed.

        1. I have nearly 30 very close Italian friends from work and college…and this is all true. they’re very pissed at China and they’re very disappointed at their own government for caving to China and not cutting off travel sooner. They were still allowing flights from china like 2 weeks ago. All those dirty chinamen need their gucci bags

      3. Dear Victor
        Where have you been since Nixon? This is when the political hacks started selling out America to the Chinese. The reason we have exported so much industry to China starting during the 70s was due to the “sellout mentality” of past administrations… especially in the 90s under Slick Willy. Trump announced he might run for president some day as far back as the 80s… do you have a clue as to why? No… because you are just another political hack that listens to CNN and MSDNC to get your opinion about what to think. Thank God the buck stopped with Trump… the Chinese are playing the long game to keep good on their declaration made in 1947… do you know what it was? No… because you are ignorant. The Chicoms said they would rule the world in a 100 years starting in 1947… well… guess what… they just fired another shot after 3 years of political mayhem to remove the president has failed. Why don’t you move to China so you can join the 700,000 Muslims imprisoned by the Chinese that are available for organ donation… yes… go ahead and see if you can fact check that secret… besides… that way you could make yourself useful instead of spewing political nonsense from your media gurus of mis information.

      4. Lmao then why don’t you move to China with your daughter fuckface?

    12. I agree, Suderman has such hardcore TDS he’s crying because the state didn’t do enough on a supposedly libertarian news site. Reason needs to fire clowns like Suderman before they lose what little credibility they have left.

    13. Well said, John. This biased clown also failed to mention that Trump’s immediate shutdown of flights from China, called racists by the lunatics, was smart, proactive, and likely prevented us from Italy’s situation (has more cases now than China).

    14. Absolutely! It’s as if Reason journalists are forbidden from writing articles without pulverizing Trump.

    15. Reason Writers Botched the Response to Trump. Suderman Made It Even Worse.

    16. Why the hell is some jerk like this writing for Reason? Don’t tell me – Suderman got fired from the NY Times? Go back there and sweep the floors, & get your head out of your ass.

    17. Agreed Bluwater- Suderman is the typical Monday morning quarterback, that never made a team. Are we too believe that Trump is to blame – what a worn out political talking point. Let’s start with the Chinese CCP disinformation, and all those corporate titans so certain and happy to offshore all critical manufacturing the past 3 decades. Really Suderman? God help you and us.

    18. It’s interesting what NOT is being tracked — such as the increased number of HEART ATTACKS due to the panic-induced lack of exercise.

      People are creatures of habit — and when you FORCE people to change, people DIE!

      A walk each morning and afternoon (for some) means, well…

      Before my “friend” (wink, wink) was pushing 270 pound, had a blood pressure of 165/140 and could barely walk.

      After buying a rescue dog (who FORCES him to take him for a walk at least twice a day — otherwise he’ll poop on the carpet), his BP is now “normal” (120/80) and he’s under 200 pounds.

      He now won’t leave the house — even to walk his dog. So his weight has increased by a whopping 5 pounds since his protest of the “new normal” started. But his BP has literally skyrocketed (as he’s been survived cancer twice — as he now has a very compromised immune system — so stress is off the charts.

      Me? I’m waiting for the “more equal” martial law-like declarations to where, yes, the Colorado Ski Areas have re-opened — BUT ONLY FOR THOSE UNDER 60!

      If you’re young, ski all you want.

      If old, well, you need to be protected from yourself! So stay away from all those asymmetric (sp?) youngsters who, well, are just “more equal” than you…


  2. The federal health bureaucracy deserves much of the blame for America’s faltering response to the coronavirus outbreak.

    If only Congress had given it more funding!

    1. Oh they’ll get it now. Failure is how you get budget increases in government.

  3. The whole thing is a fiasco.

    1. Perhaps, come eventual Election Day, the American people will step up and vote out every incumbent.

      1. I get it Rich!
        When Nunez and Jordan aligned themselves with Shiff and Nadler the other day regarding FISA reforms / Patriot Act and other freedom encroaching legislation I knew I had been duped by those 2 Pubs that are really Rinos in disguise… until now anyway.

    2. Really? I don’t see how. Look at what is happening in Italy or China. That is a fiasco. Here, not so much. If you want to argue it is a fiasco, you better argue that it is one because they overreacted not because they didn’t do enough. The numbers of actual infections disproves any claim that they didn’t do enough or enough quickly enough.

      1. No one knows the number of infections since in most people it’s mild or asymptomatic.

        1. Which is exactly why the response is far worse than the problem.

          1. PAY ATTENTION.

            Anything else?


              Then you get what you fucking deserve?

            2. I told you, when you switch typeface mid-stream it screws up your message. It’s like you pinch of the pee too early and give yourself blue balls.

      2. They had two options that were apparent with the information available when they had to make their decisions:

        1) Go the China/South Korea route of aggressively isolating people to prevent the spread of the disease and hopefully squash it before it kills a lot of people and possibly overwhelms the health care system.

        2) Go the Italy route of less restrictive measures in the hopes of preserving the economy and hope it doesn’t spiral out of control, kill a lot of people and overwhelm the health care system (which is exactly what happened in Italy).

        They chose option one because they felt it was better to err on the side of trying to protect lives. And the consequences appear far less destructive to us than they were to China over the same timeframe, and certainly less than most of the rest of the world is experiencing. Which is pretty goddamned impressive, considering just how much information China’s government hid from the rest of the world to try to cover their asses.

        1. And I’ll say it…my preferred option was to go with less restrictive measures than Italy had, and I believe now that would have been the wrong approach and would have been a disaster.

          Extraordinary situations sometimes call for extraordinary measures by leaders. I certainly don’t want this to become the norm, but I also think the administration’s behaved extremely responsibly and shockingly effectively for a federal bureaucracy of that size. And that’s mostly due to the leadership in the White House.


            And I’ll say it…my preferred option was to go with less restrictive measures than Italy had, and I believe now that would have been the wrong approach and would have been a disaster.


            1. Do your family a favor and go lick a doorknob so you can croak, Hihn. Stay off my threads.

              1. I took a long break from Reason because they became a bunch of unreasonable children.

                Now Im poking in again hoping things have returned to Reason. I was wrong.

                Hihn is still around, lol?

                1. Sadly yes. He has like four socks now too, so he can pretend to have friends.

                  1. And they all sound exactly the same.

            2. But Italy tested. How can they have deaths if they tested??

              Welcome to reality-optional Reason.

        2. “2) Go the Italy route of less restrictive measures in the hopes of preserving the economy and hope it doesn’t spiral out of control,”

          What are you talking about? Italy had quarantined towns with road blocks within the first days of people testing positive. The problem is that the virus was already in the general population at that point.

          1. Was that after the mayor of Florence’s “Hug-a-Chinese-person” social media campaign?

            1. Yeah, that was pretty classic…Trump took the route of cracking down on the Chinese tourists so they weren’t running around hugging people to feed Chinese government propaganda.

          2. They took awhile before expanding that to the rest of the country and didn’t get aggressive with locking down social interactions outside of that until the disease was well under way. That’s what nailed them. Most states in the U.S. started implementing shutdowns well before the virus became established in their areas.

            Although a lot of Italy’s issues can also be traced to their crappy medical sector and highest average age in Europe demographics.

          3. And I’d bet it’s here too.

            I’d guess for every confirmed case, there are 7 or 8 unconfirmed, just like how it happened in China.

            The entire response if a farce. It’s economic suicide based on no information.

            1. The building where I work had 18 people quarantined for it over the last two weeks. None of them got tested because they were all in the low-risk category. I got sick last Friday and was down for the weekend, then came back to work 24 hours after my symptoms disappeared (as recommended). I never got tested for it because I’m in the low-risk category. None of us are going to show up in the official stats because none of us were ever given the official test…but I had all the symptoms and I’m pretty sure I had it.

              They’re saying over 80% of cases aren’t being diagnosed. I’d say they’re probably right. And they’re behaving as if the cases are being massively underreported, which is the prudent course of action if you’re trying to contain spread to vulnerable populations.

      3. The infection count is low because we don’t have enough tests. We don’t have enough tests because the government bungled the test rollout. Because they bungled the test rollout we can barely test anyone so the infection count is low. Since the infection count is low there’s no problem so they can’t have bungled anything.

        Truly incredible logic there. You might even call it “Trumpian”

      4. Really? I don’t see how. Look at what is happening in Italy or China. That is a fiasco. Here, not so much.

        WE DID NOT (only 8,500 as of yesterday)


        How many Americans were infected, John?
        “I don’t know.”

        1. And if you don’t know you’re infected, the question remains why it’s such a big fucking deal.

        2. In the middle of January China told WHO that there was no evidence of human to human spread. That was a flat out lie. They suppressed doctors and destroyed lab samples and test results in December.

          Trump closed down travel from China on Jan 31, before any other health body recommended and before any other nation acted. Progressive libertines like you and Reason lost their shit over that. That one act alone was the single biggest factor in slowing the spread no matter how much you want to distract with MUH TESTS!

          If asshats like you were listened to there would already be far more than 150 Americans dead.

  4. “The single most important failure of the U.S. response to COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, has been the slow rollout of testing”

    Bullshit. But some people just have to shake their fist to make themselves feel good. Maybe that’s why it’s called a sock puppet

    1. Strictly speaking, Suderman is right. The slow roll out probably is the worst thing they did. Suderman doesn’t seem to understand that that fact says good things about the response not bad things.

      1. Well, Trump screwed up if you believe the best thing to do in a crisis is to panic first so you can go ahead and get that out of your system and then you can calm down and get on with the business of dealing with the problem. See, Trump’s problem is that he wasted so much time urging people to remain calm and carry on that now his frenzied panicking just makes it look like he’s late to the party.

        Notice that Suderman is deriding Trump for not responding to this crisis in the manner appropriate for tens of millions of starving, diseased zombies frantically roaming the streets littered with the corpses of the hundreds of thousands of the dead, the total breakdown of society and the concomitant social taboos against cannibalism, murder, theft, rape, and mimes – and yet none of that has actually happened yet and is a worst-case scenario besides. Jesus Christ, get a grip. You’re faulting Trump as if we are being attacked by sentient Black Plague viruses and the end of the world is nigh. If we’re going to whip ourselves into a self-destructive frenzy over this thing we might as well have gone ahead and passed the Green New Deal and destroyed our civilization over something bigger than a virus.

        1. I’m comparing this to the green new deal. the government can’t fix either but will destroy everything to try and fix the unfixable. viruses need to play out. slowing the curve may help but its possible we’ve already been in it for to long already



      Limited testing has blinded Americans to the scale of the outbreak so far, impeding the nation’s ability to fight the virus through isolating the sick and their contacts … As of early Wednesday, about 6,500 people in the U.S. had tested positive,… but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had reported only about 32,000 tests conducted at its facilities and other public-health labs.

      Limited testing is also keeping patients like Justin LaBor in the dark, despite recent improvements. Mr. LaBor, 36 years old, said he went to the emergency room at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Pomona, N.J., Monday with a fever and dry cough, symptoms typical in a coronavirus infection. Doctors admitted him, but he hasn’t been tested for the virus, he said Tuesday, gasping for breath over the phone.
      “Everyone just told me there were no tests and I didn’t check all the boxes for the state,”
      said Mr. LaBor, a social-media marketer from Elwood, N.J., referring to the criteria that state labs require patients to meet before running tests. A New Jersey health-department spokeswoman said the state “has sufficient lab capacity to test those who meet the testing criteria.” An AtlantiCare spokeswoman said the hospital system “is not testing patients in a widespread manner for coronavirus”

      None are so blind as those who REFUSE to see.

      1. Even if tests are unavailable you can rule out other sources of the symptoms: flu and other coronaviruses. If those come back negative then you are… presumptive positive

        Jesus, when did the supposed mouthpiece of libertarianism become populated with nothing but kids off the short bus?

  5. Trump was acquitted by the Republican-controlled Senate on two counts of Impeachment on February 5, 2020. If he hadn’t been dealing with this all winter, perhaps he might have been able to do a few other things?

    And do you honestly think that he really has control over the CDC — which itself was more interested in promoting gun control than controlling diseases….

    1. Suderman is an idiot who has never worked in government nor really done anything except get paid to talk out of his ass. So, yes Suderman actually thinks that “Top Men” in the White House exert such complete and perfect control over the executive that they are responsible when the executive doesn’t execute something perfectly or up to Suderman’s standards.

      He has absolutely no idea how these things actually work. Worse, he seems to think that developing an effective test against a novel virus and manufacturing such a test by the tens of millions is an easy task such that the failure to accomplish in a few days can only be attributed to incompetence.

      The country is going to be awash in tests within a week or two. When you think about what is actually involved in accomplishing that, it is really astounding. Thanks to the Chinese lying and destroying the evidence, no one in the West even knew what this thing was at the beginning of the year. And now three months later there will be millions of test kids available for it.

      1. There’s a weird undercurrent attitude that I describe as “the government should be the uber-prepper so I don’t ever have to think about it.” It’s especially weird when it comes from a so-called libertarian publication.

        “there will be millions of test kids”

        Classic John-o. Don’t get mad, John. I like you, just got a laugh from that typo.

        1. Is there a more libertarian solution to a pandemic than using orphans as human test kits for the virus?

          That is a good typo. Even I have to admit that.

          1. Biden approves of your test kids and would like to order a dozen.

            1. And please be sure to include a variety of hairstyles.

              1. I feel like he’s the sort of old person who’d ask that John “makes sure there aren’t any coloreds”

        2. Test kids would work in a primitive sort of way. Came in contact with the kids? You have it.

  6. “The stock market, needless to say, does not look very good today. ”

    Which market is he watching? Today has been the first semi-normal price action day in weeks. Of course it happened on options/futures expiration day, which is usually a more volatile day, making it somewhat unusual.

    …I’m not sure what he’s trying to say about the market reaction.

    1. Uh, that it’s down about 1000 points in a month?

      1. I guess I’m used to more precise language when it comes to market reporting.

        Market not looking good today = today’s movements are not looking good.

        1. I was thinking the same thing DOL, it wasn’t just you.

        2. Have you ever seen “more precise language” from Trump?

  7. MSM: “Trump Cures Cancer. Thousands of medical researchers lose their jobs.”

    1. Trump forces Cancer charities for kids to shut down

      1. Trump singlehandedly negates the value of billions of dollars of cancer research

      2. Trump infringes on the rights of tumors, commits tumor genocide. Literally worse than Hitler.

  8. Reason: “Government is inherently inefficient and ineffective and that’s why it’s impossible for any elected leader to fix major complex problems.”

    Also Reason: “Trump is personally responsible for not killing a global pandemic instantly because the government he’s elected to run is behaving inefficiently and ineffectively.”

    1. I’m not exactly a Trump fan (nor do I hate him – I judge him like every other president), and yes. This is definitely a problem at Reason right now.

      They’re conflating Trump with government. Government is always a fucking mess, and they know it. It’s the entire reason for the existence of the magazine and the ideology it (supposedly) represents. But they just can’t help themselves.

      1. I don’t think the Reason writers see it as a problem. They just know where their paychecks come from and what they need to say if they want to stay employed in the dying industry of journalism.

      2. I’m not exactly a Trump fan (nor do I hate him – I judge him like every other president)

        I think this is the fair and reasonable approach to take. I have a lot of areas on policy where I agree with Trump and a few where I don’t (shockingly few, though, considering how quickly I tend to sour on politicians). I don’t think any politician is infallible and all will make mistakes. I’m a Trump fan because he seems to make far fewer than most of the politicians I’ve seen in D.C., but if his areas of policy disagreement significantly diverged from my preferences, I wouldn’t remain a Trump fan.

        Although I’ve also found that he’s done an impressive job of making his case on issues where I disagree with him, so even on those areas I find his positions often have merit. Kind of a bizarre position to find myself in, having a president who I agree with as often as Trump…even more bizarre because I just loathed the guy for so long before he became a politician. He’s definitely an agent of change in a lot of ways.

        1. Here’s the PROOF, whiny pussies

          (Ad by the Lincoln Project, a new Super-PAC for GOP conservatives, co-founded by George Conway. Apparently, they want to deny even Trump’s re-nomination. Wise.)

          GOP Super-PAC launches attack ad – replays two years of Trump’s delays, denials and lies on coronavirus.

          Lying is nothing new from Donald Trump. Apparently, his INSANE bullshit that he knew it was a pandemic before anyone else did was a bridge too far, for many. There are nearly a dozen new video compilations, all showing him lying and denying … all proving his guilt. Well beyond a reasonable doubt. They’ll all be campaign ads. Trump’s ass is grass. And no amount of screeching can change that,
          He allowed people to do. Because tiny ego.

          1. Trump’s going to win in a landslide, and if coronavirus doesn’t kill you, Hihn, maybe the election will.

            Everyone is looking forward to it.

          2. Lincoln project. The one which has rick wilson as a member. Let me laugh harder.

  9. The bureaucratic response was slow because just this ONE time the alphabet soup of bureaucracies actually followed Trump’s lead despite regularly ignoring him/fighting him on every other front.

    Not buying that bullshit, Suderman.

    1. I would even go as far as saying Trump downplayed the threat BECAUSE the CDC and FDA downplayed it.

      1. And I believe our health agencies were influenced by the WHO and their downplaying and water-carrying for the Chinese situation.

      2. I would actually support Trump’s downplaying. It was a smart move. During the delay, people who could see the writing on the wall (myself included) gradually went and stocked up on necessities. When they finally gave the “you can panic now” order, a substantial fraction of the country was already fully prepared, lightening the rush considerably. As you can see, while the first few days were full of shortages, stores are back in stock of almost everything. This is because everyone who paid attention bought what they needed in February

        1. eh, the grocery stores where I live are pretty bare right now with some of the essentials (bread, laundry detergent, TP, etc). I’m in TN south of Nashville, suburban, not too rural. I don’t disagree with your premise that Trump’s downplaying helped, but I wouldn’t say that the stores are back in stock with everything. That being said, no one’s gonna starve any time soon, they just gonna have to be more flexible in their diet.

  10. This article is complete bullshit. Any shortcomings with testing fall at the feet of the cdc and FDA. Full stop. In any event trumps leadership in this crisis has been very good. Suderman is an idiot.

    1. Dunno if he’s an idiot, but he’s certainly a shill.

  11. trying to fight a virus is much like trying to change the weather. this is Trumps green new deal only for viruses and like the green new deal will destroy teh economy with it. we should recover quicker depending on how long this goes.

    BTW Trump was right to downplay it but now he has been convinced to do something and it still won’t be enough for those who want magic unicorns to solve our problems

    1. That last bit is what really concerns me. Over the last few days I’ve seen several articles expressing astonishment over Cuomo, CNN and the NYT actually saying nice things (albeit begrudgingly) about Trump and the speculation that Trump’s enemies might be coming around to the idea that maybe Trump’s not so bad.

      NO! If the Democrats and the MSM (BIRM) are saying nice things about you you’re doing something wrong! I think with this thing Trump is in over his head and his utter failure to drain the swamp or even to see that “draining the swamp” entailed getting rid of huge swaths of the bureaucratic state is now biting him in the ass. Trump deliberately surrounded himself with incompetent ass-kissers and suck-ups and sycophants because he believes he’s the smartest man in all of human history, the world’s foremost expert on absolutely everything and anything he doesn’t know isn’t worth knowing so why the hell would he need any advisors or trusted aides when he can easily run the entire government all by himself? And now that he’s realizing that he doesn’t know what he’s doing, he has nobody to turn to and he’s having to rely on “the experts” he should have gotten rid of long ago and judging the soundness of his actions by the reactions of the people who hate his guts and are doing their best to destroy him.

    2. You think Trump was right when he was downplaying this virus? Do you not realize how dangerous it is? There’s almost 10,000 CONFIRMED cases now in the United States, as well as 155 deaths, and it’s only going to continue to increase for the foreseeable future.

      1. There were 45 million CONFIRMED cases of Influenza with 79,000 deaths for 2017-2018 season.

        Get back to me when we are close to those numbers.

        1. Get back to me when we are close to those numbers.


          MOAR ridicule of the extreme alt-right, who keep WHINING the threat is not all that severe


          Limited testing has blinded Americans to the scale of the outbreak so far, impeding the nation’s ability to fight the virus through isolating the sick and their contacts … As of early Wednesday, about 6,500 people in the U.S. had tested positive,… but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had reported only about 32,000 tests conducted at its facilities and other public-health labs.

          Limited testing is also keeping patients like Justin LaBor in the dark, despite recent improvements. Mr. LaBor, 36 years old, said he went to the emergency room at AtlantiCare Regional Medical Center in Pomona, N.J., Monday with a fever and dry cough, symptoms typical in a coronavirus infection. Doctors admitted him, but he hasn’t been tested for the virus, he said Tuesday, gasping for breath over the phone.
          “Everyone just told me there were no tests and I didn’t check all the boxes for the state,”
          said Mr. LaBor, a social-media marketer from Elwood, N.J., referring to the criteria that state labs require patients to meet before running tests. A New Jersey health-department spokeswoman said the state “has sufficient lab capacity to test those who meet the testing criteria.” An AtlantiCare spokeswoman said the hospital system “is not testing patients in a widespread manner for coronavirus”

          Non-stop barbarity.
          Hey Donald! How many have you killed today?

          1. I had no idea that it was worth fucking over the U.S. economy in order to get better statistics on a disease we already know isn’t that lethal. I mean, that is your argument here right?

            Actually, never mind. I shouldn’t feed the Hihn.

          2. I was unaware a test for death is necessary.

  12. Testing. Lol.

  13. A brief observation:

    1980: Big Pharma has the cure for cancer, they’re just keeping it secret.
    2000: Big Pharma has the cure for diabetes, they’re just keeping it secret.
    2020: Big Pharma has the cure for coronavirus, they’re just…

    1. I love this post!

  14. Perhaps, and stay with me here, President Trump was publicly downplaying the threat and privately urging things to be done. Even if the latter isn’t true, it’s likely that the former was done specifically to avoid a freaking panic and a run on grocery stores. Just a thought.

    Also, when does Suderman report to the CDC for his FDA approved TDS test?

    1. Literally the next article to this one is reason explaining the damage caused by a public panic over this. Yet, Trump was incompetent for not starting such a panic according to Suderman.

  15. First of all, I prefer the term Wuhan virus or China virus to piss people off.

    Second, which song suits Covid-19 better?

    ‘Hey, Nineteen’ or ‘Come on Eileen’?

    1. 19, by Paul Hardcastle?

    2. Co-vid-nine-teen has 4 syllables, same as the latter but not the former. But if you’re looking strictly at the meter rather than the rhyme, “Bell Bottom Blues” has 4 syllables as well and has the necessary plaintive soulfulness both of your suggestions lack. And you don’t even really have to change the words.

      Covid-19, you made me cry.

      I don’t wanna lose this feeling.

      And if I could choose a place to die,

      It would be in your arms.

      Do you wanna see me crawl across the floor for you?

      Do you wanna hear me beg you to take me back?

      I’d gladly do it,

      ‘Cause I don’t want to fade away.

      1. There is no pain, you are receding
        A distant ship smoke on the horizon
        You are only coming through in waves
        Your lips move but I can’t hear what you’re saying
        When I was a child I had a fever
        My hands felt just like two balloons
        Now I’ve got that feeling once again
        I can’t explain, you would not understand
        This is not how I am
        I have it now co-vid-nine-teen.

    3. “Kung-Flu” and “Wu-Flu” are both more fun to say AND irk the hypersensitive idiots.

      And the answer is “Come on Eileen,” though I agree with Jerry (below), it fits almost perfectly with “Bell Bottom Blues.”

  16. Reason serves collectivist interests by blaming specific public figures instead of recognizing the consequences of bureaucracy as a concept. It’s like arguing that Venezuela’s problems are due to Maduro, not socialism.

    Reason should be focusing on the fact that bureaucracy should never be expected to have any result besides the one it did.

    1. While I see some value in Reason pointing out the worse offenders, your point is the most basic and important one.

      Government’s only competency is in incompetency, and government’s only efficiency is in inefficiency.


      Don Lemon says Trump is gaslighting you and rolls the tape.
      Lemon is usually too snarky for me, but this is SOLID … on 2 months of false claims, lies, diversions and delays.

      MANY videos like this. Most tracing to Trump’s INSANE LIE that he knew it was a pandemic before anyone else. Yes, he is THAT crazy.

      The delay, if you haven’t seen it explained:
      On average, each infected person infects two more. So the longer we don’t avoid crowds, stores, workplaces, the more the virus expands exponentially, where each one infection becomes 3 … each 3 becomes 9 … each 9 becomes 27, etc. . And one can be a carrier, UNKNOWN (no symptoms) for up to 14 days.

      I couldn’t find any average time frame, but it seems self-evident that depends how many people any infected person is close to … or sneezes on a doorknob.

      This from a different source.
      Dr. Sonjay Gupta says we’re escalating at the same rate as Italy, but 10 days behind. Italy now has more deaths than CHINA. (But their rate skyrocketed yesterday, with 475 deaths that day alone)
      Italy was/is on full lockdown.

  17. hk fortunes : i think lockdown have big chance, but inside must have more and more extra for take down corona.

  18. Honest question: Is there an expiration date for this particular type of article? I mean, the “yes the bureaucracy was terrible, but Trump was also terrible” story line is really getting played out at this point. I know that people need to write articles to make money and it is easy to just keep regurgitating the same substance so no work really has to be put into the article, but at some point don’t editors starting saying enough is enough?

    1. Yes, there is. It’s January 20th, 2025.

  19. And seriously, am I the only one who feels like everyone is trying to play the Monday morning quarterback all while it is still Sunday afternoon?

  20. In my circle of friends a couple have completely lost it. Social distance for real.

    Now the rumour going around that Martial Law is next.

    Some group called QAnon – conspiracy.

    I just can’t believe based on a mild virus and the numbers at moment ML is even being considered.


    1. I suspect martial law is always being considered. The Pentagon I think game-plays scenarios enough to think of the question of what happens when the civilian authorities issue curfews and lock-downs and shelter-in-place and mandatory quarantine orders and after about a week of nothing much happening a bunch of red-necks wake up, realize they’re sober and they’re out of Copenhagen, and say fuck this shit, imma head down to the beer store, you riding shotgun, Bubba? And Bubba takes riding shotgun very seriously.

      1. Martial Law ain’t gonna happen and the USA remain together.

        1. The way certain municipalities are responding to forced business closure violations, we’re about halfway there.

          The issue isn’t that the COVID-19 situation is bad, it’s that people’s REACTIONS to it are bad. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy. See: the toilet paper people.

          I don’t think that martial lay will be declared federally, but I can imagine governors in NY, IL, CA or the like instituting it to keep their bustling metropolises under control. People are starting the run on banks. Why? Don’t know, but people are scared and that scares the Top Men who have to show everyone that they are in charge…

          I give at least state-level martial law a 50/50 chance, federal-level gets a 5% chance, but those odds climb with every additional stupid thing that happens and with every week this goes on without showing marked improvement.

      2. Fuckin red necks. Always fuckin shit up.

    2. Realtor I’m working a deal with told me yesterday his sister’s friend (so, reliable, right?) works at Unicare (insurance company) and that they are hearing FEMA is going to come in soon and close all grocery stores and start rationing food. If that’s not conspiracy theory, I don’t know what is.

      1. We should collect all of them and re-read them in a poetry class.

    3. Just type M into your search bar and see what comes up. Yikes!

    4. QAnon is a bunch of conspiracy nuts that even Robert Anton Wilson wouldn’t have the heart to make fun of.

      A lot of steps have to be taken before the Feds can activate and move out the various National Guard units. You’ll hear about it—mostly through bitching about so and so being activated—before it happens.

      Now, state Governors feeling their oats and telling businesses to close, or else? That’s definitely going to happen. Already has in CA and PA.

  21. Two words: hydro-chloroquine. Coming to your nearby CVS, if not already there.

    1. It comes with some serious side effects. Not sure how much of a silver bullet it is going to be.

      1. Me either. Just passing along some fairly decent “hope.”

        I’m no expert. And it’s hydroxychloroquine.

        1. I’m thinking of hypochlorous acid.

          1. Google it. Some good early data.

      2. Side effects…silver bullet…

        It’s going to send you to Katmandu?

        1. If I ever get out of here, that’s what I’m gonna do.

        2. Beats drowning in your own phlegm.

          But yeah, you shouldn’t be taking chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine absent a pretty damned good reason.

      3. The products I heard about (from a doctor’s presentation on YouTube), such as the brand Nixall, are safe and effective. They kill C-diff, Mersa, etc. — and unlike bleach, won’t harm human skin. You can even put it on food safely – and eat it.

      4. Death vs Side effects….hmmmm

        80 year old might just choose the 50/50 chance to live with some side effects rather than die a coughing painful death.

        1. Bingo.

        2. I see the point went right over your head in order for you to take an extremist approach. The point is yeah, an 80-year old suffering from coronoavirus will opt for the side effects. Tons of millennials running out to take it because it is a “cure” might really want to reassess whether it is worth the potentially permanent side effects like neurological damage and inconvenient side effects like wicked vomiting versus just enduring the virus.

          1. And more bullshit.

      5. Bullshit. It is well tolerated in the general population and you literally have to be a therapeutic dose for years before side effects become an issue.

      6. The all-knowing “medical professionals” frequently prescribe medications with as bad or worse side effects and never bother explaining them to their patients…

        As someone who experienced a significantly less severe reaction to the same drug (not for bi-polar), the discontinuation effects are also incredibly unpleasant. Doctors and pharmacists don’t seem to care, except if there’s actually knowledge held by the peasantry to deny them their iron grasp on drug information…hell, most of them ONLY know the brand names, rather than the generic/trade name of the drugs they prescribe…

    2. Such as the brand Nixall? I learned today that it and similar products, which have been available for a while, are indeed excellent (if that’s what you’re talking about).

  22. Even for Suderman…..this was low. Pathetic. Says much more about what he feels is important (Orange Man Bad and is totally to blame) as opposed to what IS actually important (how bureaucratic hurdles were set aside in response to this crisis).

    1. Agreed. I’m new here, so I don’t know the sheep from the goats. But the writer is a serious loser.

    2. The Propagandists in the media are just that Americans might just recover from this cough due to cold and the economy bounce back by Election 2020.

  23. Trump is America’s broken clock. Too many continue to ignore the 1338 minutes a day of Trump being wildly wrong to cheer for the two that he is almost right.

    1. You misspelled “Reason.”

  24. This was a catastrophe of top-down, slow-moving, centrally managed government bureaucracy, bound by outdated rules and practices, unable to swiftly adapt to an emergency. It will almost certainly cost American lives and livelihoods.

    That’s why we need single payer!


    1. Single Payer will make a situation like this worse. The Veterans Administration ( VA ) health system was a single payer system for a long long time and sucked really really bad. Any big government system using others peoples money to pay for things for other people always end up worse for the people actually getting the end product. Italy has Socialized medicine and they are now deciding on who gets to die because they don’t have enough resources. Do your research. Someone like Bernie would have had to wait for his heart surgery and most likely died in a country with single payer socialized medicine. Talk to anybody who lived in any old Communist country, China, Cuba, USSR, Venezuela, Any Eastern Europe Communist controlled country. They will all tell you the same thing that it is better under a free market system.

      1. I think you missed the /s at the end that indicates BigT’s comment was sarcastic.

  25. This article is pointing a lot of fingers without many actual facts. The bureaucracy mentioned in this was the result of the obamanation administration if you actually look at what happened. The Trump administration got rid of that red tape and things started moving much smoother. Facts matter.
    If this article was being accurate it would be telling the truth that this whole Wuhan Corona Virus is the fault of the Chinese government. Their lying and cover up allowed it to unnecessarily spread. The Chinese government could have prevented 95% of the cases worldwide if they would have been honest instead of not telling their people and the world right away. It is unfortunately one the hallmarks of any totalitarian leadership regimes. The same hiding of the facts happened during Chernobyl under their communist government.
    We will get thru this and their will be many unnecessary deaths because of The Chinese government. The least impacted in The United States will be the teenagers and early 20 year olds who have been practicing social distancing their whole lives with their smart phones. All of us older folks who are used to actually talking to people face to face our whole lives will be the most impacted and we are the least prepared for something like this.

    1. This article is pointing a lot of fingers without many actual facts.

      Key facts are in the Wall Street Journal report he linked to. WHY DIDN’T YOU READ IT BEFORE WHINING?


  26. Totally off topic and FWIW. Chloroquine can be obtained at those India-owned pharmacies that sell generic viagra. It is extremely inexpensive and plentiful in India (naturally), and there’s probably lots of info on the net as to dosages. i only mention it on the off-chance that things go sideways, and i certainly am not recommending it.

  27. One of the many libertarian conundrums, it’s all fun and games to scream: Freedom no matter what until you are brought back to reality by something like a pandemic…

  28. Suderman absence of understanding and logic shows im to be another of many seditious Flibbertigibbets posing as writers pushing their Trump Derangement Syndrome anyway they can. Seeing there is no hope for the left in the coming election Suderman prefers to push for strifew, uncertainty and civil war rather than advances of any kind that will be attributed to Trumps leadership.

  29. And we already have Democrat controlled cities screaming to empty the National Stockpile of ventilators claiming they are ‘going to need them.’
    The air force can deliver them to CONUS in less than 12 hours, and might even mage it to Hawaii and Alaska in that time frame.
    The places screaming for the machines DO NOT have patients needing them NOW.
    They are trying to grab them first because they MIGHT need them.
    Or maybe another city will have a more serious outbreak before them.
    Does anyone trust them to return machines they do not have patients for?
    You hold onto limited supplies until the threat has moved into a specific area.
    It was like the hurricane fiasco a while ago.
    You do not move rescue personnel into the hurricane impact area ahead of time.
    You hold them back in a safe location and start moving them in behind the storm.
    Most of this equipment is NOT going to survive being in the actual storm.
    Submerged heavy equipment is rarely all that functional until serviced.

  30. I am dumbfounded by this article. My many years of education, graduate degrees, and successful research career have left me completely unprepared to deal with nonsense and bullshit (in the sense of the philosopher HarryFrankfurt) of this magnitude. The author could be insane. But perhaps a more plausible explanation is the simple one given by Richard Mitchell (“Less Than Words Can Say”) – its a worm in the brain.

  31. In the scheme of things, this virus and the reaction to it is insane. When did everyone become willing to obey media fear-mongering propaganda? This disease has a mortality rate of under 1%. Many people who get it don’t know they have it because the symptoms are so mild. I’m waiting for some leftist hacks to come out and claim Trump caused this disease to save social security as it tends to only kill old people.

  32. Congress was full time busy impeaching Trump Much higher priority. Virus mitigation would have been called a Trump canard designed to detract from the impeachment

  33. This entire epidemic has shown just how facile and failed the libertine progressives at Reason have become. With one exception literally all of their pet projects: open borders, naive offshoring of strategic industries to underdeveloped and authoritarian regimes, and #RUSSIA #RUSSIA #RUSSIA have all exacerbated an epidemic which was eminently containable.

    If Trump had followed Reason’s “informed” opinion, many more Americans would already be sick and dead. When your glass house is sitting in shards around you, maybe it’s time to stop throwing stones.

  34. Are “health” bureaucrats smarter than other bureaucrats?

  35. From reports in the press, one would think the China virus is so fatal, the Diamond Princess should have drifted into that Japanese port like some ancient plague ship.

    What to make of the fact that out of 3711 passengers and crew, about 700 tested positive, and of those 7 died?

  36. First the CDC has been dithering around about “guns” as a national health issue instead of focusing on diseases. Second South Korea has very draconian immigration policy and like most other Asian countries does not want much to do with China. America had open borders for hundreds if not thousands of Chinese and others visiting China and bringing back the virus from China. Italy had similiar behavior. And we really now how effective the test is? I read one report that false negatives ran close to 50%..which means the numbers could be much higher. Not that is matters…like any cold or flu bug you only way to get immunity sans a vaccine is to get it. self quarantine high risk people or with flu symptoms, hospitalize those that have it and at high risk and let the rest of us go about our lives..

    As for Sunderman..a cosmo libertarian…I”m sure he will sing Obama or Clinton or hell Bush’s praises…pathetic

  37. Doesn’t Reason have anyone with the intelligence of Edith Efron? She’s gone, and I really miss her when I read garbage like this article.

  38. Sunderland displays the intellectual abilities and integrity of a journalist.

  39. as always.. why media always make something small to be BIG? it’s hard now to believe on media! Corona wasn’t something big from a start.. HAH!

  40. Peter Suderman is a jack ass! How are we faring compared to the rest of the world…pretty damn good! 150 deaths and several thousand cases. The testing problems are not on Trump. Suderman is a jack ass!

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  42. I started posting videos I found from China and people using VPN’s on my Facebook page – wait for this, in Mid December. Before the Chinese began arresting scientists trying to report it. Everyone back then was saying it was SARS in China ( though they said so in secret). Maybe I’m missing something, but what was the Democrats response?
    In January I contacted my Senator and alderman urging them to cancel the week long Chinese New year’s celebration. They refused. I Feb. I learned that in Europe and Asia, Chinese were blocked from travelling but they were being let in here. Where were the Democrats? Temperatures were being taken, but that meant nothing as it can take up to 30 or 40 days to show, and it starts being spread the 4th day. I predicted March 6th the press would change their reporting and we’d start seeing the numbers roll in. 2000 that weekend, 4000 the next and 8000 after that.
    I contacted my Democratic Senator and alderman and urged them to cancel the primary until a paper ballot system could be set up. They refused.
    Now the press is reporting this will be gone in a couple of months. Rubbish. Insanely dangerous to write that or have “experts” in media say it. People need to prepare for the next year. I don’t see any Democrats saying that.
    The night of the primary, a candidate running for alderman held a party at his home with over 200 people. I demand that be explained.
    The love affair 1/2 the libertarian party has for Hillary and Pelosi is disgusting. You support Democrats then you believe all art must be editorial. You have no problem with Antifa beating people in the streets for wearing a hat. If you want to play politics, you better learn that the person at the top has climbed a greasy pole. You want to be objectivists and have no impact on society and pontificate to yourself about the purest road, fine.
    We learned an important lesson from the Office of Wartime Information and author Paul Linebarger (akd science fiction author Cordwainer Smith) in his book Psychological Warfare when we were making The Great Speckled Bird newspaper in Atlanta. Do what the mainstream press refuses to do.
    Tell the truth. Before the atomic bombs were dropped on Japan ( sad since the Emperor had been trying to surrender for a year) OWI had chosen to only tell the truth in its propaganda. The Japanese people began to realize the flyers dropped on them were telling them what the press could not.
    History is our weapon. Tell people McCarthy gave no number at Wheeling. Tell people the CIA created a fake dossier to discredit him. Tell them about FDR’s Project M to break up Jewish communities. Tell them that Truman knew Japan wanted to surrender when he used the bombs. Tell them FDR refused to bomb the traintracks going to the death and work camps, refused to bomb the gas chambers. Become the voice of truth.
    And you will find as we did in the late 1960’s, your support will grow by legions.
    And get the buffoons out that support a party that has no free market wing. If you aren’t willing to vote for your party, why should anyone take you seriously?

  43. To the fucking author of this article: You cannot have it both ways and are not qualified to judge anyone or anything when you have a foot in two boats. You gotta choose one and live with it asshole. Did you ever get your clock cleaned because your acted like a twit? You think your judgement is sound and you can decide what is good and what right? Do they call you “doctor” or are just another hack in the fake news industry (which will breathe its last gasp shortly)? Do you media-tites ever read comments? Before saying someone failed you need to win a race first. Don’t bring a pen to a gunfight This county would have done well to drop nuclear devices on many countries not just Japan and then cut the tongues out of liars heads. A better world it would be but you botched it. Do not reproduce and throw out your scribblings daily. Many made your life possible. They regret it. Got me?

  44. “Testing” is kind of a red herring.

    Nobody’s getting tested (by and large) unless they show symptoms. And if they show symptoms they should isolate, regardless of whether the cause is this corona virus, one of the other four corona viruses that circulate in human populations, this year’s common flu or some other variant, or a common cold virus.

    But of course people particularly vulnerable (the elderly, the weak the immunosuppressed, etc) should hunker down, but the public panic and mass hysteria being created by government and the media and the ensuing economic damage, otoh, is likely to kill more people in the end than this particular corona virus does.

  45. Whatever do those tea leaves say that free market has accomplished in wrangling down that nasty virus, COVID-19?

  46. I see Sunderman has not returned to defend his idiocy. All I can say is many of you have performed a valuable service by separating truth from a smear campaign disguised as a news / opinion article.

  47. This situation is just the latest and most extreme of Trump’s ignorance and incompetence. He tried to ignore this situation away, even when it was apparent that it was only going to get worse. He has also placed incompetent cronies in position of authority throughout our government, especially the Executive Branch. When he should have been paying attention to things like the FDA and the CDC–which have not dome well either– all he was worried about was the markets. Now they have crashed, American lives are being lost, and we are in a recession. We had our chance to get rid of this idiot, and the Senate Republicans blew it.

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