Reason Roundup

Trump Was Warned in January and February That Covid-19 Could Kill Millions, Cost Trillions

Plus: Trump's rumored stake in hydroxychloroquine, Supreme Court "destroys Fourth Amendment jurisprudence," the 21st century crisis case for libertarianism, and more...


"There is an increasing probability of a full-blown COVID-19 pandemic that could infect as many as 100 million Americans, with a loss of life of as many as 1-2 million souls," trade adviser Peter Navarro warned in a memo to President Donald Trump way back on February 23. The next morning, Trump told Americans "the coronavirus is very much under control in the USA."

Navarro's February memo followed up on one from January 29. In the earlier memo, Navarro wrote that the economic cost of doing nothing could be as high as $5.7 trillion and suggested that more than half a million Americans could be killed by COVID-19.

A little more than a week after this memo, the Trump administration gave "nearly 18 tons of donated respirator masks, surgical masks, gowns and other medical supplies to China." And throughout the next few weeks, Trump continued to downplay the seriousness of the COVID-19 threat.

Navarro was persistent. In his February memo, he expressed an urgent need for at least $3 billion in appropriations to help prevent, contain, and treat the coronavirus. He said now was not the time to be worried about costs but to start stocking up on ventilators, personal protective equipment for health care providers, and other pandemic-related supplies.

"We can expect to need at least a billion face masks, 200,000 Tyvek suits, and 11,000 ventilator circuits, and 25,000 PAPRs (powered air-purifying respirators)," Navarro wrote.

It would be around another three weeks before federal agencies started stocking up.

Read Navarro's memos in full on Axios.


The Department of Veterans Affairs and the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) have been buying hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malarial drug that Trump has been pushing as a COVID-19 cure despite a lack of evidence for its efficacy.

"It appears to be the first time that the BOP has purchased the drug," reports The Daily Beast's Lachlan Markay. He points out "the use of taxpayer money on hydroxychloroquine by the two agencies came in spite of a heated debate among policymakers and medical professionals about the drug's effectiveness in treating the virus, and the possibility that a sudden surge in demand for the drug could diminish the supply for those who use it to treat other ailments such as malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis."

In the midst of this, rumors about Trump's alleged financial stake in hydroxychloroquine have started swirling, with help from Ian Sams, Kamala Harris's former communications director. "Trump himself has a financial stake in the French company that makes the brand-name version of hydroxychloroquine," Sams tweeted last night, citing The New York Times as his source.

The Times article stated that "Trump himself has a small personal financial interest in [drug maker] Sanofi," which sells hydroxychloroquine under the brand name Plaquenil.

Both the Times and Sam use vague language and omit specifics, making the matter sound potentially nefarious. It turns out that one of the many mutual funds that the president's family trusts invests in holds significant stock from Sanofi.

"The suggestion that this is significant is a huge stretch," tweeted lawyer and vocal Trump critic George Conway, husband of Kellyanne Conway, a Trump adviser.

Mutual funds consist of diverse securities packaged together and managed by a fund adviser; it's not as if Trump owns stock in Sanofi directly. What's more, Sanofi makes a lot of different drugs, and its patent on Plaquenil has run out. That means hydroxychloroquine is hardly a big money-maker for the company, and there are abundant other sources where one can get versions of the same drug.


SCOTUS sides against due process. A Supreme Court decision yesterday on police and traffic stops "destroys Fourth Amendment jurisprudence that requires individualized suspicion," wrote Justice Sonia Sotomayor in the court's only dissent. More here on the case and ruling, from Reason's Damon Root.


From 9/11 to COVID-19, 21st century crises keep making the case for libertarianism. "Over the past month, we have seen a torrent of governmental incompetence that is breathtaking in scale," Scott Sumner writes at The Library of Economics and Liberty. "In contrast, the private sector has reacted fairly well, and has been far ahead of the government in most areas."

Sumner's post comes in response to a Financial Times article which suggested that with 9/11, the Great Recession, and now this new coronavirus outbreak, "one need not be of the left to interpret the century so far as a vindication of the state."

Ha! But, alas, the Times piece is not meant to be funny. And so, Sumner offers a rebuttal:

The US government largely botched the response to both 9/11 and the 2008 banking crisis. After 9/11, they created counterproductive agencies such as the TSA and the department of Homeland Security, and of course they also invaded Iraq. These actions did far more harm than 9/11 itself. They responded to the banking crisis of 2008 with an ultra-tight monetary policy that caused NGDP to fall at the sharpest rate in 60 years, which caused far more harm than the banking crisis itself. These are not the examples to cite if you are trying to discredit libertarianism.

This time around the failures have largely revolved around regulations and trade policies that have greatly slowed the rollout of much needed testing, and also reduced the availability of personal protective equipment (PPE). Adequate testing and PPE are viewed by experts as the two key factors in controlling the epidemic (beyond social distancing). Governments can play a useful role in pandemics, but in this case our government failed to do so. They did not encourage social distancing until it was too late. They disbanded the federal department aimed at addressing pandemics. They failed to stockpile needed equipment such as surgical masks. Then they banned the importation of such masks (until just a few days ago), and put tariffs on needed parts for ventilators. They inhibited the domestic manufacture of needed equipment. They fought against price gouging, which actually helps during a crisis. They prevented private sector actors from doing much needed testing for coronavirus. They had numerous burdensome regulations than deprived the health care industry of needed labor, or prevented it from shifting to needed locations. They spread misinformation and outright lies, even as they (correctly) criticized China's government for doing the same.

(All bold from the original post.)

Read the whole thing here.


NEXT: Pennsylvania Has Made It Both Difficult and Dangerous to Buy Liquor

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  1. The next morning, Trump told Americans “the coronavirus is very much under control in the USA.”

    The rubes didn’t know then they should already be panicking.

    1. Hello.

      You know, I’m tired of this finger pointing during a pandemic.

      Talk about unproductive and unhelpful.

      1. Look on the bright side, Rufus.

        When people are pointing fingers they’re not “touching their face”.

        1. Pointing one’s finger is an inherent part of the process of picking one’s nose.

        2. Phew!

        3. Man, unreason sure is pissed. Creating so many sock trolls bots to track me.

          1. Don’t flatter your pathetic self.

    2. ENB is a fucking hack. Navarro doesnt head the CDC. Even through early February Fauci was saying everything was fine, the travel ban was all that was needed. But because someone else told Trump differently, he should have preciently known to trust the trade advisor over the CDC.

      1. Yep. At the same time, the World Health Organization was reporting that the virus wasn’t being transmitted from human to human, in mid-January, thanks to malinformation from China.

    3. These shitheads apparently don’t realize it’s barely killed half as many people as this season’s flu.

      1. Trump Was Warned in January and February That Covid-19 Could Kill Millions, Cost Trillions

        Whoever warned him about the death toll was full of shit. Our Betters contracting a severe case of the Screaming Meemees, panicking and shutting down the economy will cost a lot, so the headline is half right.

        1. Exactly. Trump did what he should have, ignore them.

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  2. He said now was not the time to be worried about costs but to start stocking up on ventilators, personal protective equipment for health care providers, and other pandemic-related supplies.


    1. Navarro is an idiot – Trump appointed him, doesn’t he know who he is dealing with? He should have take a different approach and said: “Congratulations, great job! Please turn those shipments of ventilators and medical equipment to China around.”

      1. While we could agree that Navarro is an idiot, it is interesting that he could see the problem that President Trump missed. Could we conclude that the President is less well informed that an idiot?

        1. Do you know what a monday morning quarterback is?

          1. Do you know what a cop out that is?

            1. Do you know what cherry picking is? One advisor (a trade one at that) gave a warning. Another, the head of the CDC have different advise (as was the WHO at the time). But Trump is wrong for listening to medical advisors as opposed to a trade advisor?

              1. Reminds me of the memo “Bin Laden determined to strike the US” that never said a single damn word about airplanes.

          2. Do you know we’d all be partially deaf from the squealing you’d be doing if the president was a democrat?

            1. Assertions are not proof.

    2. What’s interesting is that the media is finally starting to notice that it doesn’t matter if you have a million ventilators in stock and they all work great–if you don’t have the technicians who are trained to operate them, they’re basically $30K paperweights. They aren’t magic medical devices where a nurse just jams a tube down someone’s throat and flips a switch, providing a few days of relative comfort before the patient expires from whatever pre-existing condition they have.

      1. And 85% of COVID-19 patients who are put on ventilators can never come off of them.

        1. Probably more accurate to say they don’t ever come off of them because they die anyway.

          1. Not all die from the disease. When you are put on a ventilator you have your diaphragm paralyzed and the ventilator changes the morphology of your lungs tissue. COVID-19 causes lung tissue to become inflamed, if it is serious enough for ventilation it requires extremely high pressure and oxygen, which damages the lung tissues. They are finding even with people who have cleared the virus that the rate of success in weaning them from a ventilator is extremely low. So the choice is to either unplug them and allow them to die or keep them on a ventilator indefinitely.

  3. …a sudden surge in demand for the drug could diminish the supply for those who use it to treat other ailments such as malaria, lupus, and rheumatoid arthritis.

    Last I check lupus isn’t on track to kill 9 billion people.

    1. Some of us gonna get killed twice?

    2. Last I checked Hydroxychloroquinedoesn’t cure COVID-19. So why divert it to tilt at windmills when it could be used to actually save lives. Hint, malaria DOES kill.

      You’re so eager to excuse the Trump at any cost that you plumb forgot and left your brain at home.

      1. Nobody cares about your opinion, brandy

        1. The correct answer.

      2. Holy fucking shit are some of you dumb. It hasnt been proven 100%, but far more studies show a benefit then not. The drug is relatively not harmful if it even doesnt work. But sure, keep up with those studies at the FDA until 100% certain.

      3. Last I checked, this drug combined with a Z-pak is actually helping people get over this illness within a week. Considering most people are in the hospital getting treated for this for up to 3 weeks, it’s the height of stupidity to bitch about this when it’s already off-patent and can be manufactured in mass quantities.

        Now sit the fuck down and shut the fuck up before you embarrass yourself further.

      4. Nothing cures virus. We can slow their reproduction in some cases until the immune system can eliminate them (or more often suppress them completely). When treating viruses the aim is to mitigate damage from your own immune system and prevent secondary infections. Hydroxychloroquinine is an antipyretic. It reduces damage from out of control fevers. It is also an anti-inflammatory, decreasing inflammation from infections. Z-packs help prevent secondary bacterial infections and also have some anti-inflammatory properties. Prior to the development of aspirin quinine was the most used antipyretic utilized since the Porteguese and Spanish brought it back to Europe from South America. It was so widely used that wars were fought over control of it’s production. Countries like England smuggled the trees out of South America so they could create their own supply of the drug. Learn some fucking history and basic immunology before making an ass of yourself next time.

    3. What is?

  4. “The suggestion that this is significant is a huge stretch,” tweeted lawyer and vocal Trump critic George Conway…

    Kellyanne threatened to shake his ungloved hand if he didn’t make that tweet.

  5. “The suggestion that this is significant is a huge stretch,”

    “huge stretch” is an understatement. It’s an outright ridiculous accusation. And the MSM wonders why their screams of “TRUST US!” are met with such scorn.

    1. They were banking on most people not knowing what a mutual fund is.

  6. “There is an increasing probability of a full-blown COVID-19 pandemic that could infect as many as 100 million Americans, with a loss of life of as many as 1-2 million souls,”

    Uh, no.
    Sorry Pete, you are once again, way off the mark.

    1. To be fair, he’d been informed by models that have now been proven to be utterly worthless.

      1. To be fair, he’d been informed by models that have now been proven to be utterly worthless.

        That’s not fair. Worthless models would be ignored and discarded. At this point, the models are somewhere between dangerously and catastrophically wrong.

    2. That model assumed no quarantine. You guys are suffer from innumeracy and Dunning-Kruger.

      1. A group of statisticians did a study a couple years back comparing pandemic modeling to actual evidence. They found absolutely no correlation between modeling and actual data. What they did find is that the modeling was always way overestimating the extent of an outbreak as well as mortality. This even proved true when the controlled for mitigation efforts. The model Nauvo quoted was always overstating the possible outcome (even with out mitigation) the author basically admitted as much several weeks later. He vastly over modeled transmission and CFR. He admitted as much. You can scream all you want about the model was if no quarantine was taken (hell it didn’t even take into account people doing as simple of measures as washing their hands more or gathering voluntarily in groups less). The author at the time even said that the model was the least likely outcome because people would adjust their lifestyles even without the government interference. It was never a realistic model, according to the models damn author. It was never, let me repeat this, even close to a realistic assessment and the author said as much at the time of it’s publishing.

      2. Bullshit. The IHME (which is in your neck of the woods and a pet project of Bill Gates) explicitly said that their models assumed social distancing measures through May 2020. Here’s their numbers for the entire US for April 4th that were visible the morning of 5 April:

        All beds needed (projected): 164,745
        ICU beds needed (projected): 31,057
        Invasive ventilators needed (projected): 24,848

        Here’s what they said for the same date, 4 April, after they made an update at 11:50 pm on 5 April:
        All beds needed (projected): 80,843
        ICU beds needed (projected): 16,076
        Invasive ventilators needed (projected): 13,664

        They not only changed the projection, they retroactively ramped back what they had previously predicted by 50%, and then memory-holed the previous estimate they made for that day, rather than be transparent and let it stand on its own.

        Incidentally, IHME notably doesn’t provide the data from ANY their previous estimates on their site, just the most current one they publish. You don’t find it rather odd that an organization whose models have driven this “SHUT IT DOWN” hysteria blatantly memory-holed the fact that their medical resource requirement predictions were off by 50%?

        1. DOL caught DOLying.

        2. Just for fun, here’s what IHME predicted my home state of Colorado would need on 5 April, before they “updated” their estimate:

          Projected beds needed: 4,507
          ICU beds needed: 863
          Invasive ventilators needed: 690
          Deaths: 193

          The State of Colorado had these numbers that same day:
          4,950 cases
          924 hospitalized
          140 deaths
          37 outbreaks at residential and non-hospital health care facilities (nursing homes)

          The delta between “projected” total beds–not even ICU, ALL beds–and hospitalizations was wrong by a factor of 5. Someone at IHME must have figured out their model projections were completely off, and they scrambled to change all the data across the board, not just for future projections, but for “projections” on days that had already passed. Once they made their “update,” guess what the “estimates” showed for 5 April? Cut by 84% on “projected beds”:

          Projected beds needed: 739
          ICU beds needed: 137
          Invasive ventilators needed: 116

          In what universe is that not fucking fraud? You’re really going to come on here and sling this line of bullshit that “the models didn’t account for the quarantine”? They most assuredly fucking did, and they’ve been driving policy for the last month and a half. And all we did was fuck up the economy, add another $2 trillion to the national debt, and implement draconian shelter-in-place orders that virtually place entire state populations on house arrest.

          1. I thought something was fishy when my wife (RN at the teaching university of the state) shared the IMHE site with me and told me that all of the hospital makers and policy makers were going there for guidance.

            I began recording their data for a handful of states I give a shit about, like, for instance TN, where my frail, octogenarian parents live.

            As of April 1st, they were projecting:
            4985 TOTAL DEATHS By August 4th
            2318 Vents Needed
            2269 ICU Bed Shortage

            I will admit, that startled and scared me.
            But Then,

            As of April 6th, projecting
            587 Total Deaths
            208 Vents needed
            384 ICU Bed SURPLUS !!

            And this is typical of most of the States I have been tracking with the exception of IL, NJ, and Mass. But fuck those states anyway.

            So yeah, this bullshit was all built on a lie.

            1. Yeah, Tennessee had a massive rampback, too. The IHME model is total bullshit and any leader using it should be defenestrated.

              Make screenshots of all those charts, because they’re going to continue to get “revised” with bullshit data and no one will believe it because they deliberately hide their previous projections.

              1. You know Red, it could be the case that social distance is working as it was intended to work – reducing mortality dramatically. Would you concede this is a valid reason for what we see?

                1. No. IHME’s models already took social distancing into account when they made their way-too-high projections on resource needs. IHME said as much on their website long before they made that update on 5 April. A model that is off by 50% in its claims, when those practices are assumed from the beginning, was a faulty one to begin with, clearly driven more by fear and wishcasting than a realistic assessment of the virus’s potency or lethality.

                  Because the models are fraudulent, it just confirms my suspicion that any claims on the efficacy of social distancing is little more than circular reasoning. This is a virus that the “experts” were claiming could kill millions if the country wasn’t put on virtual house arrest. Fauci said that we couldn’t end those policies until we had “essentially no new cases, no deaths,” which is idiocy on a grand scale.

                  Instead, the virus has largely claimed nursing home residents, the elderly in general, and fatties. That wasn’t worth everything that transpired in the wake of this. We should have followed the Swedish model and let people make up their own minds as to what was best for their safety.

                2. I should say, the model was more than just “off” in its predictions–IHME flat-out just changed their “projected” numbers for days that had already passed, and then made it impossible to compare their new “projections” to what they had made before, unless you made screenshots prior to the update.

                  That shows the model is just a plunk-and-crank type that goes haywire if the numbers from previous estimates are introduced.

  7. “From 9/11 to COVID-19, 21st century crises keep making the case for libertarianism.”

    Precisely. The Koch / Reason libertarian policy of unlimited, unrestricted immigration — which was already gaining popularity — looks better than ever in the age of the #TrumpVirus.


  8. No, the U.S. does not get 80 percent of its prescription drugs from China.

    The tariffs are working.

  9. San Francisco, the first city to ban the use of single-use plastic bags, is now banning the use of reusable bags that customers bring from home.

    Sounds like it would be easier just to ban people.

    1. I wonder when we will start to read opinion pieces in the New York Times telling us that the San Francisco politicians who voted to ban single use grocery bags have the blood of coronavirus victims on their hands. Because you know darn well that’s exactly what we be reading if the ban had been a Republican initiative.

  10. …with 9/11, the Great Recession, and now this new coronavirus outbreak, “one need not be of the left to interpret the century so far as a vindication of the state.”

    Sadly, this statement is likely true.

  11. Ok barristers; think back to first year torts, proximate cause: trace the injury and negligence back to it’s source.

    “The coronavirus outbreak began in Wuhan, China, sometime in the autumn, perhaps as early as November. It accelerated in December. Caixin Global reported that Chinese labs had sequenced the coronavirus genome by the end of December but were ordered by Chinese officials to destroy samples and not publish their findings. On Dec. 30 Dr. Li Wenliang warned Chinese doctors about the virus, and several days later local authorities accused him of lies that “severely disturbed the social order.”

    “Taiwanese officials warned WHO on Dec. 31 that they had seen evidence that the virus could be transmitted human-to-human. But the agency, bowing to Beijing, doesn’t have a normal relationship with Taiwan. On Jan. 14 WHO tweeted, “Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission.” The agency took another week to reverse that misinformation.”

    On Jan. 22-23 a WHO emergency committee debated whether to declare Covid-19 a “public health emergency of international concern.” The virus already had spread to several countries, and making such a declaration would have better prepared the world. It should have been an easy decision, despite Beijing’s objections. Yet director-general Tedros Ghebreyesus declined and instead traveled to China.

    “He finally made the declaration on Jan. 30—losing a week of precious time—and his rhetoric suggests the trip to Beijing was more about politics than public health. “The Chinese government is to be congratulated for the extraordinary measures it has taken,” he said. “I left in absolutely no doubt about China’s commitment to transparency.”

    A University of Southampton study suggests the number of coronavirus cases could have been reduced by 95% had China moved to contain the virus three weeks sooner. Yet Dr. Tedros gushed that Beijing had set “a new standard for outbreak response.” He also praised the speed with which China “sequenced the genome and shared it with WHO and the world.” China didn’t do so until Jan. 12.
    On Jan. 30 Dr. Tedros also said that “WHO doesn’t recommend limiting trade and movement.” President Trump ignored the advice and announced travel restrictions on China the following day, slowing the spread of the virus. U.S. progressive elites echoed WHO and criticized Mr. Trump. WHO didn’t declare the coronavirus a pandemic until March 11. [WSJ, April 6, 2020]

    1. Or FFS – tons of countries implemented some form of travel restrictions on China at almost the exact same time the US did. WTF are you looking for – a participation award for coming in 15th place in the Kindergarten relay race?

      Countries that failed are the ones that followed that action with nothing at all and pretended that that action was all that was needed. Countries that succeeded are the ones that used that as a window of opportunity to buy time to roll out their public health measures to deal with a disease outbreak

      1. Almost all the countries in that list were after the US dumbfuck.

        1. You R’s really are just fucking stupid aren’t you. You’re right – there is absolutely no point whatsoever in distinguishing countries that did this right (eg Singapore, south Korea, Taiwan, Australia, New Zealand) from countries that screwed up (Iran, Italy) because the only thing that can possibly matter is when they cut off travel from china. Nothing else matters.

          1. You’ve been wrong on every part of this from the beginning. Shut up now.

      2. I mean, did you even read the fucking list? Half were mid February or later.

      3. No I am not looking for a “participation award;” my point is to indicate “WHO” is responsible for the global cluster fuck in the first place, and what they actively did to make it much much worse. It could have been far greater contained, but when one plays by the “Chernobyl playbook” that doesn’t happen.

        Now do yourself a favor and stop listening to Chinese propaganda.

      4. Look at all those racist, anti-Chinese xenophobes…

  12. Wait for the trumpflakes to come defend him. He did everything right, no one could’ve known, his investments in the experimental drug have nothing to do with him pushing it, etc.

    All is right in the world of mass delusion for them. Heaven forbid anyone criticize their dear leaders with, gasp, facts.

    1. Somebody doesn’t know what mutual funds are. Poor thing.

      1. Also doesn’t know what “experimental drugs” are.

        1. those are the best kind.

    2. Dude, I loathe the trumpflakes, especially loveconstitution1789, who is the biggest Trump ass kisser that ever lived.

      Having said that, it was so obviously a hit piece to make it sound like Trump is pushing hydroxychloroquine because he has a secret financial interest when the reality is it’s part of a mutual fund investment.

      Perhaps, worse hit pieces were the articles yesterday that said that Jared Kushner is working “with” Republican donors on distribution of emergency supplies. It was obvious they wanted the stories to be misread as “Kushner is distributing supplies to Republican donors”, when the actual story is that he was consulting with them about how to distribute supplies.

      1. Well look who got red pilled!

      2. Pay attention conspiratarians, this is what a real chemjeff sock looks like (I’m guessing.)

        1. Ahahahah you mean your post right hahahahah

    3. Hey, idiot, hydroxychloroquine isn’t an “experimental drug.” It’s been used for so long that the patent has run out on it, and anyone can manufacture and mass-distribute it now. A full 10-day round costs about $100, and that’s without insurance.

      You know what IS expensive? A single company manufacturing a brand-new, patented vaccine in an environment of global demand and hysteria. Funny how you proglydytes don’t seem to have taken that into account.

      1. Even if it were an ‘experimental’ drug, there’s no time like the present to collect real world data on how effective it is in treating aggressive corona viruses.

        Informed consent should be all that’s needed. If the patient wants it and the doctor tells them that: 1) Its not guaranteed to be effective and 2) There may be some serious side effects, then the patient should get it.

        Its odd that the left thinks “my body, my choice” only applies when it comes to women’s “reproductive rights.” In every other case, the FDA has ultimate power…

    4. Okay, just to make it clear what a total fucking moron you are:

      Yes, Sanofi makes the drug (among dozens of others), the Trump family trusts own shares in mutual funds that own shares of Sanofi (among hundreds of other companies), so Trump owns several hundred dollars worth of Sanofi and thus manufacturing this drug.

      Similarly, AT&T owns CNN (among many other things), the Trump Family trusts own shares in mutual funds that own shares in AT&T (among hundreds of other companies), so Trump owns several thousand dollars of AT&T and thus CNN.

      So, of course, Trump’s constantly pushing CNN, talking up what a good job it does, and trying to get everyone to watch it, right?

  13. Trump Was Warned in January and February That Covid-19 Could Kill Millions,

    The “warning” was complete and total horseshit then, and it’s complete and total horseshit now.

    Cost Trillions

    It’s only costing us trillions because of the actions of scum like you.

    1. Amen.

    2. It’s interesting to note what Navarro meant by “could” here.

      His 29 January memo expressly notes that a 1% probability of a Covid breakout in the US would be, in terms of expected values, sufficient to justify cutting air links with China. Which Trump did, two days later.

      So when we’re discussing what couda shoulda woulda been done, it is not the case that on 29 Jan Navarro implied that a Covid breakout in the US was probable, in the sense of a 50%+, or even 20% plus probability. He was simply indicating that on an expected value calculation even a very low probability justified cutting air links.

      A strike by a very large meteorite on Earth is, fortunately, very very low risk, at any time in the next, say 100,000 years. But its consequences would be rather unpleasant if it did happen. If its probability shot up to 1% in the next ten years, it would still remain very unlikely, but on expected value terms, still worth spending a lot of money trying to avert it.

      1. an expected value calculation

        Ah, yes. There’s the rub.

      2. It’s interesting to note what Navarro meant by “could” here.

        It reminds me of the case against Bush’s “mismanagement” of Katrina. Bush was essentially looking for a reason to override the governor and send in Federal forces and relief workers, arguably violating The Constitution. The leading expert said that there was a chance the storm surge *could* top the levies and the best the meteorologist could do was tell him that it might save some lives. By the time anyone knew with any certainty that the storm would top the levies, the governor was already too late in asking for federal help.

      3. You’re trying to explain EV calculations to a woman who dreams of giving up writing to sell her pussy.

  14. LOL, Biden critics are really getting desperate. Realizing that their “cognitive decline” argument didn’t work, they’re now attempting to use a dubious sexual assault allegation to derail his campaign. Actress and activist Alyssa Milano explains how it’s not at all inappropriate to simultaneously endorse #BelieveWomen and #TeamBiden.

    I explained my silence on the allegations against Joe Biden in this clip. I am still endorsing @JoeBiden. Listen to this clip to find out why.


    1. And Rose McGowan ripped her a new one over it. Witch Fight!

      1. While Rose McGowan doesn’t seem exactly ‘stable’ in every sense, she has been incredibly principled and consistent in terms of the #MeToo activism. It’s really refreshing to see someone who isn’t a total political hack or hypocritical climate doomsayer…

  15. “”There is an increasing probability of a full-blown COVID-19 pandemic that could infect as many as 100 million Americans, with a loss of life of as many as 1-2 million souls,” trade adviser Peter Navarro warned in a memo to President Donald Trump way back on February 23…”

    Oh, gee, one guy told Trump something!!! And sent a memo which apparently wasn’t read the minute it arrived!!!
    Pathetic straw-grasping .

    1. Oh, come on. Let’s all admit that Trump’s complete ignoring of any staff advice, briefings, or memos goes beyond “wasn’t read the minute it arrived.” Or you can keep telling yourself stories where Trump is a heroic, wise leader, if that’s what you need to believe for some sick reason.

      1. Your TDS ate your cites; seek help.

        1. Don’t worry, there will be lots of anonymous sources coming soon to cite.

      2. Hey dummy… go read the Fauci statements from late January and early feb.

        1. You are not too good at logical thinking, are ya.

    2. Jesus Fucking Christ, you moron – it was his trade advisor warning him about the coming pandemic! Why the hell would Trump listen to the WHO or the CDC or epidemiologists or medical experts when there’s an economist right there to advise him? That would be as stupid as visiting a dentist for an impacted wisdom tooth when your next-door neighbor is a stock broker. And why the hell would you defend that moron Trump for his stupidity in listening to experts instead of taking medical advice from somebody who knows nothing about medicine the way he should have?

      1. Considering the WHO was parroting Chink propaganda about the virus all the way up until it reached pandemic proportions, I’d say ignoring them should be SOP for Presidents from now on.

        Fauci has said we shouldn’t end these house arrest orders until we’re down to “essentially no new cases and no deaths,” so why should we listen to him on anything going forward, given that stupidity?

        As for the “medical experts,” they’ve employed models that have been revised well after the fact and their previous projections memory-holed, so their credibility is shit, too.

        I understand the criticism that a President should listen to people who know what they’re talking about, but what happens when it turns out those people are either hacks for a hostile foreign power, or pushing fraudulent data to portray Bill Gates as some aspie prophet?

        1. As President Trump is going to get lots of memos often with contradicting information. It’s not helpful (with hindsight) to look back and pick one memo in particular and say that action should have been taken based on the contents. What about the dozens of memos the President was receiving saying the opposite.
          Also I’d like to point out that even if all the memos the President received were saying this was going to be a clusterfuck, the best course of action is to prepare behind the scenes and outwardly display a calm and professional demeanour.
          For the wrong way to react: New York Governor response.

        2. In late Jan and early feb Fauci said the pandemic would be a bad flu an travel restrictions were likely enough.

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    1. Silly bugger. You actually think because no new deaths were reported in China, that no new deaths actually happened in China.

      Those incinerators in Wuhan aren’t burning coal.

      1. Let’s not forget China didn’t report any deaths in Tianamin Square either.

  17. And we need to establish a space force to eliminate the threat of asteroid strikes…
    What about preparing for the inevitable Ebola Type 14 pandemic?
    What are we doing to prepare for the hurricane season of 2027?
    This is a bit like counting up the sort of apocalyptic predictions Ambrose Evans-Prichard makes every few days. Eventually he will hit on something that actually happens. A person in Trump’s circle who had zero science background did.
    Schwarzenegger and the California legislature created a pandemic stockpile after the SARs scare (scare is right) but Jerry Brown gave it away in 2011. This saved an annual cost about the size of the Governor’s PR budget. Now, that’s worth looking at.

    1. No joke; the SF Chron ran a scare-piece a couple of weeks ago regarding their concerns if a major quake hit while we have the current PANIC going on.
      I didn’t read it.

    2. What is your complaint, exactly? A global coronavirus pandemic was a foreseeable event. (As Nassem Taleb has pointed out, it is not a “black swan” at all). More preparation could have been made and someone in the American intelligence community could have realized that the Chinese lie about such matters.

      1. “A global coronavirus pandemic was a foreseeable event.”

        Yes, so is a depression.
        Now, tell us *when* if you’d like to be considered other than a scare-monger.

        1. Dumbshit, that something is foreseeable doesn’t necessarily mean you know WHEN it will happen.

      2. Yeah. So why didn’t cuomo heed the advice of the 2015 new York health department report that stated newe york would be roughly 15K ventilators short in a flu pandemic?

        Not only did he refused to by ventilators, he asked the depart mentioned to devise a plan to ration the existing ventilators.

        Then they dropped a half billion dollars into 2 failed solar projects that ended up costing new York taxpayers dearly.

        1. Why are you talking about Cuomo?

      3. What do you do with that excess equipment while waiting for the next pandemic? You know that equipment has a shelf life. The electrical equipment has to be maintained. The sterile equipment expires. I was a bio-med NCO in a CSH. I actually had to keep track of stored medical equipment and make sure it was serviced regularly and hadn’t expired. It doesn’t just sit in a warehouse until needed. Also, how do you plan for a pandemic, do you know the nature of what type of illness you will have? How much good will a million excess ventilators do if the next pandemic is gastrointestinal or hemoraghic? What if it is a form of hepatitis? Or malarial? Or a new strain of yellow fever? Etc. How many warehouses of perishable medical supplies do we need to have?

        1. Yet we can have an aircraft carrier where it costs hundreds of thousands to clean the toilets because they don’t flush properly. Seems that preparing for a pandemic would be higher priority than more military equipment to get entangled in more foreign messes.

          1. We design aircraft carriers for a specific set of goals. They also are in use on a frequent basis and maintained by a trained staff (e.g. the Navy). Preparing for the next pandemic is a shot in the dark because the type and size of supplies needed to combat a pulmonary outbreak are different than a digestive, integumentary, a hemorrhagic etc. Not to mention that that equipment expires (much more quickly then an aircraft carrier, which are designed for decades of use) and need to be maintained by trained personal. They also are bulky and require adequate warehousing, that is often environmentally controlled, often require electricity etc. The logistics of maintaining adequate supplies for any possible pandemic is different than the logistics of maintaining a Navy. Also, transmissions of different pandemics vary so much that simple PPE may be adequate for Corona but not for Ebola, and definitely not for a insect vector outbreak.

  18. The Department of Veterans Affairs and the federal Bureau of Prisons (BOP) have been buying hydroxychloroquine, the anti-malarial drug that Trump has been pushing as a COVID-19 cure despite a lack of evidence for its efficacy.

    Pelosi calls for investigation into Trump connection with VA and BOP in 3, 2, 1, ….

    1. Pelosi is back home with her constituency…shitting in the streets.

      1. Paging Remy….

    2. But what does Peter Navarro think of the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine? That’s the guy we need to be listening to.

  19. BTW, CA’s death CA-19 toll has totaled approximately 400 people as of last month last night.
    Newsom has shut down what amounts to the 4th-largest economy in the world over a disease which has caused 400 deaths.
    By comparison, CA suffers 300 auto-related deaths per month.

    1. Shut down cars now!

      1. Following Newsom’s reasoning, California should establish a state-wide 20mph speed limit. The economic cost is justified by the lives saved.

      2. They will soon enough…just waiting for the high-speed LA to SF rail line to finish!

  20. The Swedish model is attractive:

    “Sweden is developing herd immunity by refusing to panic. By not requiring social isolation, Sweden’s young people spread the virus, mostly asymptomatically, as is supposed to happen in a normal flu season. They will generate protective antibodies that make it harder and harder for the Wuhan virus to reach and infect the frail and elderly who have serious underlying conditions. For perspective, the current COVID-19 death rate in Sweden (40 deaths per million of population) is substantially lower than the Swedish death rate in a normal flu season (in 2018, for instance, about 80 per million of population).”

    1. Anything besides a complete totalitarian lockdown and the testing of literally every man, woman, child, and zirs, is going to result in millions of deaths.

      Watch. A month from now literally everyone in Sweden will be dead.

    2. “The Swedish model is attractive:”

      Uh, is she in the bikini dancing unit?

    3. But take a look at the numbers…Specifically in deaths, Sweden is running about 4x the number of deaths per million than neighboring Norway (59 v 15), where they locked shit down. Norway is a little bit less urban, and a little bit less old, but by and large they are close.

      So it is clear that locking shit down has a pretty substantial impact. However, as indicated in the article, the question is whether lowering it down that much really is worth the pain.

      Also, it is noteworthy that Sweden is actually losing its nerve. Their parliament is currently passing legislation that will allow it to perform targeted lockdowns. And their economy is still being substantially hurt as people voluntarily self isolate.

      1. (My point is that while I too am very attracted to the Swedish model, there is another side to the argument, and it is important to understand those nuances)

        1. I get Sweden’s death rate as 40/million (stated in article but also by the math). Still almost 3x higher than Norway, but the article does note that Norway has much higher ICU admissions. (I didn’t look for those specific numbers.)

  21. “There is an increasing probability of a full-blown COVID-19 pandemic that could infect as many as 100 million Americans, with a loss of life of as many as 1-2 million souls,”

    What’s the timeframe he’s looking at? That is, in one month? Six months? One year from now?

    Maybe I’m a rube, but I look at Italy. Here’s a country that got blindsided and took a massive hit. It slowly got its act together (when all is settled wouldn’t surprise me if we begin to think they did a better job than first though all things considered) and we’re seeing the numbers top and as of now the number of cases stand at around 135k.

    How does it figure the USA with all its advantages and knowing it was coming (even if later rather than sooner – and it would have been sooner had the Chinese not lied (and quite frankly this is where we should keep the focus on), will see 100 million affected?

    If USA is roughly five times Italy’s population, if we’re to just pro rate the numbers we’re looking at 600k. Let’s be kind and say 1 million.

    How they heck do you arrive at 100 million? On this models they have?

    1. top off

    2. You arrive at 100 million by losing your shit and selling panic. That’s what panic merchants do. They have one commodity to sell: panic. Panic in a predictive model acts as a multiplier. So, multiply every negative prediction by 100.

    3. Pelosi is back home with her constituency…shitting in the streets.How they heck do you arrive at 100 million? On this models they have?

      Easy, ENB is a hack.

      1. Fucking squirrels.

    4. How does it figure the USA with all its advantages and knowing it was coming (even if later rather than sooner – and it would have been sooner had the Chinese not lied (and quite frankly this is where we should keep the focus on), will see 100 million affected?

      I haven’t read the memos, so take this with a grain of salt and all that, but I suspect the 100 million infected/ 1-2 million dead estimates were probably a worst case scenario based on some really high assumptions about the transmission rate and CFR. Which is probably why Trump “ignored” it. It’s not because he doesn’t care if a third of the country gets sick and 1-2 million people die. It wasn’t a realistic projection and the media is quoting it out of context and hoping we’re all dumb enough to believe it.

  22. Navarro wrote that the economic cost of doing nothing could be as high as $5.7 trillion

    I wonder how that compares to the economic cost of practically shutting down the economy for two or more months?

    “We can expect to need at least a billion face masks, 200,000 Tyvek suits, and 11,000 ventilator circuits, and 25,000 PAPRs (powered air-purifying respirators),” Navarro wrote.

    It would be around another three weeks before federal agencies started stocking up.

    Based on my experience with federal government procurement timelines, three weeks from the time they were told they’d need to buy shit and actually buying shit is pretty fast for them. This isn’t intended as a defense of the fed’s, more an indictment for how slow they typically respond.

    1. I wonder how that compares to the economic cost of practically shutting down the economy for two or more months?

      $2 trillion so far; will be interesting to see how much tax revenue has been lost with so many people not working and the travel industry virtually shut down.

  23. Navarro, a trade adviser was giving Trump information.

    Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, was giving probably giving Trump information.

    Who do you listen to when you have questions about diseases and viruses?

    By the way, in January, Fauci was saying that the virus wasn’t a major threat to the U.S.

    So Trump is fucked no matter what he does. Listen to Navarro and the media says he isn’t listening to an expert like Fauci. Listen to Fauci and the media says he isn’t listening to the guy that knew the whole time.

    Let’s see how close Navarro’s predictions are at the end of this.

    ENB is in a win-win. She can blame him for everything all the time. At this point, I really believe she does this for the clicks.

    1. ” I really believe she does this for the clicks.”

      She has openly admitted it in the comments.

      1. Which is pretty exceptional, considering the Roundup posts get the bulk of the comments anyway when Dumbfuck Hihnsano isn’t going through one of his manic pants-shitting episodes.

  24. For starters, the drug is off-patent and it’s being manufactured by lots of companies. Sanofi isn’t going to make much money on it. But don’t believe us, here’s George Conway:

    George Conway
    Yep. And can’t imagine Sanofi could make that much on a drug that’s not patented.

    The Hoarse Whisperer
    Replying to @gtconway3d @IanSams
    “As of last year, Mr. Trump reported that his three family trusts each had investments in a Dodge & Cox mutual fund, whose largest holding was in Sanofi.”

    Jesus, that’s beyond a stretch. Like Trump actually knows the individual equities in his mutual funds.

    10:39 PM – Apr 6, 2020 · Washington, DC
    Twitter Ads info and privacy
    369 people are talking about this
    And secondly, the “small personal financial interest” is a mutual fund that’s owned by a family trust and this means this revelation is one gigantic nothingburger. Again, don’t believe us. Here’s Trump-critic Walter Shaub saying “don’t get excited about this finding”:

    Walter Shaub

    Don’t get excited about this finding. If Trump were a regular executive branch employee covered by the conflict of interest law, the remedy for a conflict of interest would be to buy diversified mutual funds because they’re exempt from the law. That’s the asset this refers to.

    1. Also notice that Trump always calls it by the generic name (hydroxychloroquine) and not bye the brand named that Sanofi produces (Plaquenil).

      If he were really after profits from his mutual fund, don’t you think he would be advertising for the only form of the drug that would make him money?

  25. China’s efforts to rebrand itself as a global leader focused on humanitarian relief amid the coronavirus outbreak has hit a major snag and perhaps revealed Beijing’s true intentions behind their public relations blitz.

    After telling the world that it would donate masks, face guards and testing equipment to Italy, China quietly backtracked and sold the Mediterranean country desperately-needed medical equipment, according to a report.

    What’s worse is that the personal protective equipment (PPE) China forced Italy to buy was actually the same PPE Italy donated to China before coronavirus rushed its own shores and killed nearly 16,000 people.

    1. Nuke China today.

  26. Leading US manufacturers of medical safety gear told the White House that China prohibited them from exporting their products from the country as the coronavirus pandemic mounted — even as Beijing was trying to “corner the world market” in personal protective equipment, The Post has learned.

    Now, the Trump administration is weighing legal action against China over its alleged actions, a lawyer for President Trump said Sunday.

    “In criminal law, compare this to the levels that we have for murder,” said Jenna Ellis, a senior legal adviser to Trump’s re-election campaign.

    “People are dying. When you have intentional, cold-blooded, premeditated action like you have with China, this would be considered first-degree murder.”

    Ellis said the options under consideration include filing a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights or working “through the United Nations.”

    Executives from 3M and Honeywell told US officials that the Chinese government in January began blocking exports of N95 respirators, booties, gloves and other supplies produced by their factories in China, according to a senior White House official.

    China paid the manufacturers their standard wholesale rates, but prohibited the vital items from being sold to anyone else, the official said.

    1. Ellis said the options under consideration include filing a complaint with the European Court of Human Rights or working “through the United Nations.”

      Yeah, good luck with that.

      1. Indias justicell department has filed a mutlitrillion dollar lawsuit with the u.n. alleging the virus broke containment from one of the labs in wuhan. The lawsuit is also cosigned by nearlynevery member of indias bar organization. They provide a lot of evidence, as India has been leading the investigation and suspicion of those labs.

        So theres already precident.

        1. It definitely came from a lab.
          Only question now is if there was intent

  27. There is a well recognized logical fallacy in cherry-picking predictions based on hindsight, given that six months ago, somebody somewhere made a statement that at least partially resembles something that happened yesterday.

    Of course, this is a common “tool” in economics and finance (used by self-proclaimed geniuses who predicted the latest market crash or stock surge) and a scam in magic shows (where the magician plants a variety of messages in sealed envelopes hidden around the room, and reveals the one that best matches some revelation from the audience).

    So what do we call this when journalists indulge the fallacy?

    1. Mathematical models from credentialed experts:

      1. pick the worst one now to scare people into supporting government action

      2. pick the most accurate one years later to prove accuracy of modelling.

      1. That’s the nice thing about standards: There are so many to choose from!


    Thinking about the top 5 US policy failures ever (yes, this is how I spend my time):

    1 Slavery/failure to end peacefully
    2 Failure of Reconstruction
    3 Pro-cyclical fiscal policies in Great Depression
    4 Vietnam War
    5 #COVID response (impressive, it makes the list in 2 months)…

    Know what 3, 4, and 5 have in common? They were all led by Washington technocrat types (Hoover was an engineer, McNamara ran the World Bank) who insisted their models and theories could outsmart reality, while ignoring what the data was telling them in real time.

    1. I fail to see how the US response to COVID-19 has been a failure (or at least, a unique failure).

      Of the major, modernized countries of North America and Europe, the only countries who have a lower mortality rate are Germany and Canada (both about 40% lower), Austria (about 25% lower), Poland is almost equivalent, and Norway (about half ours).

      Spain, Belgium, The Netherlands, France, the UK, are all at least 3x higher, Italy is 4x, Switzerland is 20% higher, Sweden is more than 2x higher.

      They all have higher infection rates (ours stands at .11% of the population) again, except Canada (about half of ours) and Germany (which is VERY close to ours at .12%). Norway’s infection rate is basically equivalent to ours. Austria’s infection rate is actually higher, so their treatment of the disease is apparently superior given the relationship between infection rate and mortality rate.

      New Zealand, Australia, Taiwan, and South Korea are special cases since they don’t share any land borders (yes, RoK does, but not a lot of people cross it…) so their control efforts are FAR more effective than anyone else’s.

  29. “There is an increasing probability of a full-blown COVID-19 pandemic that could infect as many as 100 million Americans, with a loss of life of as many as 1-2 million souls,” trade adviser Peter Navarro warned in a memo to President Donald Trump way back on February 23. The next morning, Trump told Americans “the coronavirus is very much under control in the USA.”

    I guess ENB imagines that back when she wasn’t paying any attention to this story, no one else was either. What she apparently doesn’t realize is that we were discussing the coronavirus here in comments long before virus concerns were discussed by Reason staff. In fact, one of the things we were arguing about was whether the virus represented more of an investment risk or more of buying opportunity. And the reason that was still a legitimate topic of discussion was because it hadn’t really impacted the stock market yet. Once coronavirus concerns became the dominant consideration and the market started crashing, that wasn’t much of a topic anymore. Instead, the question became how bad it was about to get and how long it would last.

    Anyway, look at the performance of the S&P 500, and you can see the market starting to crash (the S&P 500 falling below its moving average) on February 21st, a Friday–two days before the February 23rd secret warning President Trump supposedly ignored.

    This is to say that the secret warning President Trump received in this memo was so secret that the stock market, the bond market, and the world were already reacting to the same information, which could have been found just as easily by anyone watching Bloomberg, CNBC, reading the New York Times, the Washington Post, or, indeed, reading the comment section here in Reason Roundup.

    1. I should add that claiming that President Trump or anyone else in the government should have anticipated the severity of the coronavirus before and better than the markets did is to completely expose yourself as a non-libertarian non-capitalist. The idea that the president should anticipate problems before the markets react to them–and act accordingly regardless of whether the market thinks it’s important–is the opposite of libertarian capitalism. It’s progressivism.

      In her mind, experts in the government knew better–and Trump should have spent big on preventative measures, listening to government bureaucrats rather than waiting for the markets to react.

      I don’t see another explanation.

      If she didn’t know the markets were already reacting to the news in that memo on the date of the memo, that just underscores the point that she thinks good government is when our politicians do what’s in the best interests of the country–regardless of what’s happening in the markets. If she didn’t know the markets were already reacting to this, and she thinks that President Trump should be castigated for not ignoring the markets and pushing the panic button anyway, then she thinks the government is better at evaluating risks and costs than the market.

      That is not libertarian capitalism–by anyone’s definition.

      There are journalists who write about cars, but that doesn’t mean they’re automobiles; and there are journalists who write about libertarian capitalism, but that doesn’t mean they’re . . .


    1/ Now California is sending back extra ventilators too… As I mentioned a couple weeks ago, any new ventilators we build at this point will likely be very expensive furniture. We don’t have the docs and nurses to run them and we don’t need them anyway:

    2/ One would think the fact all three West Coast states have decided they don’t need more of the most crucial piece of equipment in treating serious #CV cases would lead reporters to ask hard questions about the projected course of the epidemic – and lockdowns. One would think.

    1. “One would think the fact all three West Coast states have decided they don’t need more of the most crucial piece of equipment in treating serious #CV cases would lead reporters to ask hard questions about the projected course of the epidemic – and lockdowns.”

      As far as Oregon, as of a couple of days ago, there were 31 people on ventilators, with a State-wide inventory of over 700. So even if the number of folks on ventilators increased 20-fold, Oregon is well-situated. So they sent them to NY.

      1. and NY still hasn’t even started to use their 2000 stockpiled ventilators.
        Makes you wonder if this is all theater to keep the sheeple confused while there is a real covid-19 outbreak that is so far milder than the flu.

    2. We are forcing non ventilator manufacturers to make ventilators for a questionable demand. The people who actually make ventilators for a living are manufacturing them at an accelerated rate. We will have a glut of ventilators in their near future. This will drive down demand after this crisis has abated, likely for years. This will severely damage the livelihood of the ventilator manufacturers for years to come. And it is increasingly looking like this will be for a need that never develops. My guess is that Tesla, Ford, GM etc ventilators will likely end up in landfills in the not to distant future. Hospitals had what they needed for normal usage and some extra already. We had a small, but increasingly apparent adequate supply in reserve.

      1. The real problem with this is that by damaging the main ventilator manufacturers’ income now, the manufacturers may not survive until the next crisis when they truly are needed in huge quantities…

        1. Exactly.

  31. Captain Elizabeth Nolan Ahab really wants to get that Orange Whale.

    Peter Navarro, the bete noire of Reason for his economic policies, is now cool again. Like John Bolton, there is no one Reason will not lovingly embrace once they believe he can politically damage that nasty uncouth Trump.

    1. Who writes the first “The Libertarian Case for Biden’s Socialist VP Pick” article?

      1. The one thats married to a tboy

        1. Welch’s wife?

  32. The UK government’s new testing chief has admitted that none of the 3.5 million antibody tests ordered from China are fit for widespread use.

    Professor John Newton, who was appointed by health secretary Matt Hancock to oversee testing, reportedly said the tests were only able to identify immunity in people who had been severely sick with coronavirus.

    The tests did not pass the evaluation stage, and he was quoted by The Times as saying they were “not good enough to be worth rolling out in very large scale”.

    1. Did you see that Australia stoped several shipments of mask from China because they were useless as well. keep trusting that stuff from China the nation whose own people will not buy baby food processed in that country because they know it will kill their babies

  33. Not the Trump’s fault! Navarro should have used a bigger font on his memo! Yes, the Trump has the greatest eyesight, fantastic eyesight, but without 18pt bold font, how was he to know it was an important memo?!?!

    All hail Trump, the wisest of us.

    1. It’s fun that you insist on continually demonstrating the lack of value in your words

      1. Brandy has been emotional bc a friend is infected.

      2. He continually demonstrates he is an idiot as well.

    2. But what about governor Cuomo ignoring warnings from his own states health department that it wouod be roughly 15K ventilators short?

      I guess they should have types that memo in the form of a pop-up book so cuomo could understand it.

    3. Navarro should have used a bigger font on his memo!

      So according to progressives, Trump should have heeded the medical advice of his trade advisor over the medical advice of Dr. Fauci, the CDC, and the WHO? That’s the hill you want to die on? In particular, since Navarro’s predictions turned out to be wrong?

      Trump listened carefully to the advice from the experts, and took some additional precautionary measures (travel restrictions, etc.) that were not recommended by the experts but weren’t very costly. I think he did quite well.

  34. “”There is an increasing probability of a full-blown COVID-19 pandemic that could infect as many as 100 million Americans, with a loss of life of as many as 1-2 million souls,” trade adviser Peter Navarro warned in a memo to President Donald Trump way back on February 23.”

    And since all trade advisors must have a Doctorate in Epidemiology, there should have been no question about his prediction.

  35. Wait it is bad when Trump allowed medical equipment to go to countries that needed it and yesterday it was bad when he prevented medical equipment from going to a country that needs it.

    Make up your mind Reason, just like the Pandemic we keep getting contradictory information from everyone including specialist we should listen to or not listen to.

    1. Reason: “Trump did X. X was morally wrong and irrational.”

      Fill in any X, it really doesn’t matter.


  37. So no one can know or do anything unless Trump tells them? That’s some power.

  38. Dear Reason,

    Regarding efficacy the of hydroxychloroquine.
    This is one nasty bug. It is not viral pneumonia.

    Share this with your doctor, today.

  39. Hundreds of thousands of people have been saying for decades that a pandemic is going to strike one of these days. So I guess you’re saying Navarro’s crystal ball was sooooooo much clearer than everyone else’s? Stupid.

    Why don’t you back up and show all the people that said that SARS & MERS were going to spread the same way? Predicting pandemics is like predicting earthquakes, somebody’s always screaming, ‘Here it comes!’. Eventually it does.

    1. It wasn’t clear at all. Where are the millions dead?

      1. TDS requires sooomeboooody…aaanyyyybody must be found that warned him, but he ignored. Small details like millions didn’t die are irrelevant.

  40. the numbers haven’t lied yet. numbers don’t lie.

  41. Trump “asleep at the switch”? You be the judge.

    Here’s the timeline of what happened (all of this BEFORE we had even one death in the US):

    1/6 CDC issues travel advisory for Wuhan.
    1/11 CDC tweets about corona related “pneumonia outbreak in China”
    1/14 WHO tweets that there is no evidence of human to human transmission.
    1/17 CDC started doing health screenings at 3 airports of travelers from China.
    1/21 First case in US for someone who traveled directly from Wuhan to WA State.
    1/21 NIH Director Dr. Anthony Fauci states, “This is not a major threat to the people of the United States and this is not something that the citizens of the United States should be worried about right now,”
    1/23 WHO again says no human to human transmission outside of China.
    1/23 Dr. Fauci continues to downplay the virus’ potential impact on the U.S., but notes that all five cases here were travelers from China and said due to limited testing in China, the number of infections was likely much higher than their official counts, meaning that the death rate of the virus was likely much lower than feared.
    1/24 Senate is briefed on COVID-19 situation. Dr. Fauci says a travel ban is not on the table.
    1/24 Former head of WHO’s response to SARS virus said unlike SARS, the coronavirus “looks like it doesn’t transmit through the air very easily and probably transmits through close contact” in contrast with recent guidance that it could spread simply through breathing.
    1/24 Dr. Fauci says other coronaviruses such as SARS and MERS could not sustain person-to-person spread like the flu and that such viruses “maybe never will.”
    1/24 WHO notes that no person-to-person transmission of COVID-19 reported outside of China and that all of the deaths had been limited to that country.
    1/27 WHO raises alert level but still says China has it contained.
    1/28 CDC states “While CDC considers covid-19 a serious situation and is taking preparedness measures, the immediate risk in the US is considered LOW.”
    (Note: On this date Trump DID NOT call the virus a hoax. He called Democrat party’s efforts to politicize the virus “… their latest hoax”.
    1/28 Trump expands screening to 20 airports.
    1/29 Trump announces creation of Coronavirus Task Force. (Note: This despite WHO continuing to downplay virus threat.)
    1/31 Trump bans travel from China.
    2/1 Media and Democrat spokespersons slam Trump’s action calling it racist and xenophobic. Trump continues to verbally downplay the threat based on CDC, WHO, and Coronavirus Task Force positions.
    (2/5 Trump acquitted of impeachment charges.)
    2/5 Chuck Schumer in a tweet continues to call Trumps’ travel ban from China “premature.”
    2/7 White House’s Coronavirus Task Force gives press briefing.
    2/9 White House Coronavirus Task Force meets with all governors regarding virus.
    2/12 CDC waiting for approval from Chinese for CDC team to travel to China.
    2/13 Trump declares “national emergency.”
    2/18 Dr. Fauci states the hypothetical danger of coronavirus to America was “just minuscule” compared to the “real and present danger” of the seasonal flu.
    2/18 Trump echos Dr. Fauci and Coronavirus Task Force.
    2/18 HHS announces partnership to develop vaccine.
    2/21 Italy identifies its very first case in their country.
    2/21 CDC tweets that it is working with States for preparedness.
    2/24 Trump sends letter to Congress asking for $25B for covid-19 virus effort.
    2/24 Nancy Pelosi made a stop in Chinatown and encouraged people to “please come and visit and enjoy Chinatown.”
    2/25 CDC Tweets there is still no reported community spread in the US
    2/27 First community transmission in US.
    2/27 Trump appoints Pence to coordinate efforts.
    2/29 FIRST reported Covid19 death in US.

    It is helpful to look at the timeline. All of this happened while China stopped counting deaths, reported unverifiable statistics and BEFORE the 1st death in the US. Trump’s actions went against WHO’s recommendations of inaction and its praise for China’s efforts. Trump’s critics continue to deride him for not listening to Fauci, they still blame him for not taking action soon enough and berate him for not taking the situation seriously enough while ignoring that Dr. Fauci and Task Force advisors were downplaying the virus’ severety. Instead of looking at what he actually DID in incrementally stronger ways, they continue to mock him for his delivery style and saying things like, “it’s under control”, “this will end” and “we’re doing a great job”. Fine… Whatever.

    1. Plus, Trump has been trying to have policy in place to restriction non-Americans from certain countries for safety reasons. He was fought every step of the way.

      The Executive could have easily tightened restrictions on non-Americans coming from Wuhan, China, Asia, and then outside North America to slow down travelers bringing the KungFlu with them.

      All travelers spending 14-21 days in quarantine would have been much cheaper and more controlled than what has happened.
      In the end, most Americans being exposed to Wuhanvirus will make us stronger as a herd.

      1. Oh, yes, Trump is such a wise leader. Oh, why don’t we listen to his raging xenophobia?

        1. Oh fuck off.

  42. Rasmussen poll released today show the majority of people are worried about the economic impacts of the pandemic. While the poll shows people are still somewhat supporting the measures, it shows increasing discomfort and questioning of the quarantines. It also shows that health issues are the main worry for only 4% of those polled. Boredom and isolation is 23% of the main worries of those polled. How much longer until we have widespread social unrest?

    1. If this goes on, expect an increase in crime and rioting by first week of May. A population with no income and nothing to look forward to has nothing to lose.

  43. Hmm…HyR blogger implicitly endorses government agencies stocking up on health-related equipment rather than leaving it to the market. Interesting.

  44. Trump Was Warned in January and February That Covid-19 Could Kill Millions,

    Yes, a warning that has turned out to be complete b.s.

    I hope that when the dust settles, we can have a reckoning and accounting of all the people who pushed COVID hysteria and wrecked our economy.

  45. “SCOTUS sides against due process. A Supreme Court decision yesterday on police and traffic stops ‘destroys Fourth Amendment jurisprudence that requires individualized suspicion,’ wrote Justice Sonia Sotomayor in the court’s only dissent.“

    ENB: The Fourth Amendment covers unreasonable searches and seizures, not due process. That’s the Fifth.

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