Reason Roundup

The Executive Order on Meat Processing Doesn't Compel Companies With Sick Workers to Stay Open

Plus: Justin Amash seeking L.P. nomination, pandemic hasn't halted FDA war on vaping, and more

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No forced slaughterhouse openings. Early reports about President Donald Trump and meat processing plants seem to have overstated the scope of the president's latest executive order. Despite what was reported yesterday, the order doesn't compel chicken, beef, and pork processing plants to stay open despite having a sick workforce. It does say that open plants must prioritize federal contracts and orders, and is being interpreted by bureaucrats to mean that state authorities can't order these businesses closed.

News that Trump would force meat production companies to stay open despite COVID-19 outbreaks could be found all over the place yesterday. "Trump Orders Meat Plants to Stay Open in Move Slammed by Union," declared Bloomberg News, on a piece that says the order "compels slaughterhouses to remain open." "Trump orders meat and poultry processing plants to stay open during coronavirus," echoed USA Today. "Trump to order meat-processing plants to continue operating amid pandemic," reported The Guardian.

"Trump invoked the Defense Production Act to classify meat plants as essential infrastructure that must remain open … according to a person familiar with the action who spoke about the order before it was signed by the president," said The Washington Post. "The person was not authorized to disclose details of the order."

Well, details of the order are now public. And nowhere does it seem to declare that meat processors wishing to close must remain open or that those which have already closed must open back up.

The order classifies meat processing plants as critical infrastructure, meaning Trump can invoke the Defense Production Act (DPA) in matters related to their output and operation. The part of the DPA that Trump does invoke relates to contracts and orders, specifying:

The President is hereby authorized (1) to require that performance under contracts or orders (other than contracts of employment) which he deems necessary or appropriate to promote the national defense shall take priority over performance under any other contract or order, and, for the purpose of assuring such priority, to require acceptance and performance of such contracts or orders in preference to other contracts or orders by any person he finds to be capable of their performance, and (2) to allocate materials, services, and facilities in such manner, upon such conditions, and to such extent as he shall deem necessary or appropriate to promote the national defense.

[…] The powers granted in this section shall not be used to control the general distribution of any material in the civilian market unless the President finds (1) that such material is a scarce and critical material essential to the national defense, and (2) that the requirements of the national defense for such material cannot otherwise be met without creating a significant dislocation of the normal distribution of such material in the civilian market to such a degree as to create appreciable hardship.

Under Trump's new executive order, "the Secretary of Agriculture shall take all appropriate action under that section to ensure that meat and poultry processors continue operations consistent with the guidance for their operations jointly issued by" the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA).

So what does all that mean? Probably not as much as was feared.

"Nothing in the text of the Order claims any power to force plants to 'stay open,' and nothing in the statutory sections on which the Order purports to rely delegates such authority," University of Texas law professor Steve Vladeck noted on Twitter yesterday.

The main part of the DPA that Trump invokes "is just about allocation of federal resources and priority for federal contracts," Vladeck points out.

There's something of a troubling "to be sure" here:

Still, this looks like another instance of hype about a Trump action not matching the reality of that action.

"Once again, we're buying into how the White House is *describing* the President's actions rather than carefully parsing the actions *themselves,*" tweets Vladeck. "Putting aside the sensational and alarming headlines, this EO actually seems fairly uncontroversial."

As far as the president enforcing compliance (whatever that would look like), that can happen only if federal courts sign off on it.

"OSHA has issued enforcement guidance indicating the agency will use enforcement discretion for employers adhering to appropriate guidance," said U.S. Solicitor of Labor Kate S. O'Scannlain and OSHA Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary Loren Sweatt in a Tuesday evening statement. "OSHA does not anticipate citing employers that adhere to the Joint Meat Processing Guidance."

Here's the CDC/OSHA guidance on safe operation of meat processing plants that they and the Trump order refer to. It states near the top:

Meat and poultry processing facilities are a component of the critical infrastructure within the Food and Agriculture Sector. CDC's Critical Infrastructure Guidance advises that critical infrastructure workers may be permitted to continue work following potential exposure to COVID-19, provided they remain asymptomatic and additional precautions are implemented to protect them and the community.

The CDC/OSHA guidance continues:

All meat and poultry processing facilities developing plans for continuing operations in the setting of COVID-19 occurring among workers or in the surrounding community should (1) work directly with appropriate state and local public health officials and occupational safety and health professionals; (2) incorporate relevant aspects of CDC guidance, including but not limited to this document and the CDC's Critical Infrastructure Guidance; and (3) incorporate guidance from other authoritative sources or regulatory bodies as needed.

In their Tuesday statement, O'Scannlain and Sweatt say "it is vitally important that employers in this critical industry adhere to the Joint Meat Processing Guidance to protect their workers from the risk of COVID-19 infection."

"Additionally, because of the President's invocation of the DPA, no part of the Joint Meat Processing Guidance should be construed to indicate that state and local authorities may direct a meat and poultry processing facility to close, to remain closed, or to operate in accordance with procedures other than those provided for in this Guidance," they add.

So, the president can't force particular meat processing plants open under this order. But states can't force any meat processing plants closed, eitheror at least that's how Labor Department reps have interpreted it for now.

The big deal in the executive order and interpretations of it may be about meat processing plant liability for employee exposure. From O'Scannlain and Sweatt's statement:

Courts often consider compliance with OSHA standards and guidance as evidence in an employer's favor in litigation. Where a meat, pork, or poultry processing employer operating pursuant to the President's invocation of the DPA has demonstrated good faith attempts to comply with the Joint Meat Processing Guidance and is sued for alleged workplace exposures, the Department of Labor will consider a request to participate in that litigation in support of the employer's compliance program. Likewise, the Department of Labor will consider similar requests by workers if their employer has not taken steps in good faith to follow the Joint Meat Processing Guidance.


ELECTION 2020 

Rep. Justin Amash, who represented Michigan in Congress as a libertarian-leaning Republican before switching his designation to independent last year, will be running for president as a Libertarian. "More than three years after first seriously contemplating it, one year after coming out in favor of impeachment proceedings against President Donald Trump, nine months after leaving the Republican Party, two months after hitting pause on his congressional reelection campaign, and just 22 days before the Libertarian Party (L.P.) is scheduled to select its own nominee, Rep. Justin Amash of Michigan, the most libertarian member of Congress, has decided to form an exploratory committee about running for president," writes Reason's Matt Welch. More:

The 40-year-old son of Middle Eastern immigrants (mom is from Syria, dad a Palestinian refugee) now seeks to become the limited-government standard-bearer against septuagenarian big-government competitors Donald Trump and Joe Biden. He would certainly be the most high-profile presidential candidate, and the first to concurrently hold elected office, in the Libertarian Party's half-century of existence.

More from Welch here. See also: other L.P. candidates react to the Amash announcement.


FREE MARKETS

What, let a little thing like a global plague come in the way of the war on vaping? Not the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)! This week, the agency that helped massively screw up America's early COVID-19 response is threatening companies that sell various vaping products. The FDA told makers of backpacks and sweatshirts with e-cigarette pockets that they must stop selling such products. It also sent warning letters to makers of vaping products that look like watches or video games, vaping packages that feature cartoon characters, and vaping packaging deemed to look too much like candy.


COVID-19 BEHIND BARS

In Ohio, prison-linked coronavirus cases in the outside community are widespread. By now, "more than 80% of Marion Correctional Institution's prison population has tested positive for COVID-19 … along with more than 160 corrections officers and other staff who live in Marion and surrounding counties," reports the Marion Star, according to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction. The Marion Public Health department says there are at least 112 cases of COVID-19 in Marion County and about 59 percent are tied to the prison outbreak.

Yesterday, the Bureau of Prisons reported the first COVID-19 death in federal custody:


QUICK HITS

  • "Three Texas lawsuits claiming Facebook is a breeding ground for sex traffickers, brought by women who say as juveniles they were coerced into prostitution by men who contacted them on Facebook and Instagram, survived a motion to dismiss by the social media company," notes Courthouse News.
  • An Alaska school board voted to remove I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Catch-22, The Great Gatsby, The Things They Carried, and Invisible Man from a list of books teachers are allowed to include in coursework.
  • YouTube is getting in on the tech-companies-as-arbiters-of-truth game.
  • "The coronavirus pandemic is catapulting demand for telemedicine abortion to a new level," reports The New York Times.
  • Vice President Mike Pence refused to wear a mask while touring the Mayo Clinic.

NEXT: Alaskan School District Gets Rid of The Great Gatsby, 4 Other 'Controversial' Books

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  1. Today, I launched an exploratory committee to seek the @LPNational’s nomination for president of the United States.

    I support anyone laying the groundwork for a book deal.

    1. Hello.

      We’re so fucked it’s not even funny.

      I would love for a massive class action lawsuit, I mean the biggest, to be launched against youtube.

      And that CEO is a cunt.

    2. I might be voting this election after all

    3. An Alaska school board voted to remove I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, Catch-22, The Great Gatsby, The Things They Carried, and Invisible Man from a list of books teachers are allowed to include in coursework.

      eliminate government-run schools. Problem solved.

    4. ITT, De Oppresso Liber, who I call Lying Jeffy because he lies all the time and is probably Jeff, says that Hunter Walker was correct and Trump was wrong on testing per capita compared to South Korea. Even after Hunter Walker himself admitted he was wrong!

      He lies so much, that he lies on behalf of somebody who already admitted he was wrong. A true sociopath.

  2. Three Texas lawsuits claiming Facebook is a breeding ground for sex traffickers, brought by women who say as juveniles they were coerced into prostitution by men who contacted them on Facebook and Instagram, survived a motion to dismiss by the social media company…

    Facebook is on the internet. SUE THE INTERNET.

    1. Those bastards!

    2. Would this make them publishers?

      Facebook is Spending Millions to Plant Radical Activists in Local Newspaper

      https://www.frontpagemag.com/fpm/2020/04/facebook-spending-millions-plant-radical-activists-daniel-greenfield/

  3. YouTube is getting in on the tech-companies-as-arbiters-of-truth game.

    …three years ago.

    1. Ya know, after that Iranian vegan shot up their headquarters, you would have thought they’d have figured out it wasn’t a popular position, and that fucking with people’s money is usually a bad idea.

      1. No, even though 99% of the employees were ever at risk, they will take that event as a sign that they are righteous martyrs doing gods’ work.

        1. If there was another viable platform, the majority of Youtube’s creators would drop Youtube like the trash it is. They’ve pissed alot of people off both from the stress they cause with ad revenue, and with how large corporations get special treatment to the point that the overly abusive rules only matter to the little people.

  4. The coronavirus pandemic is catapulting demand for telemedicine abortion to a new level…

    Frankly if abortion advocates can’t get the lockdown lifted, I don’t know who can.

  5. Vice President Mike Pence refused to wear a mask while touring the Mayo Clinic.

    It would have been the health equivalent of kneeling for the Star Spangled Banner.

    1. This is gonna be the Next Big Thing “proving” that republicans don’t really care about lives. Never mind that as the VP, Pence is probably tested every other day, and being in his 50s he’s probably taking more of a risk going in there then any patient is from him being there without a mask.

      1. I agree but I am also tired of top men threatening to arrest me and my fellow citizens over the same behavior that they themselves don’t observe. So fuck Mike Pence, he should be thrown in county lockup.

        #InThisTogetherIsBullshit

        1. That’s a fair take. I’m getting pretty tired of it too, funny how the cops never seem to have masks or gloves if they’re so important.

          1. Their aviator shades and epic ‘staches are all the protection they need.

        2. Mike Pence and the feds are not the one threatening to arrest you for disobeying them.

          Cuomo and De Blasio should have a mask stapled to their face 24/7/

          1. No they have other sins on their hands. Where did I say them specifically. Point is, I don’t see an officers hassling Mike Pence. Oh because he’s a top man he gets away with it. Equality under the law my ass.

  6. (3) In this interview with Imperial College modeler Neil Ferguson https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6cYjjEB3Ev8 (yes, the one with the “two million million will die” model, that later got revised drastically downward) he seems to take a more nuanced position than some of his acolytes, sees continued lockdown as unrealistic “and causing excess mortality from other causes” (!), expects a second wave (he’s not alone in that), and favors a South Korean-style test, track & trace approach. Defends himself as “as a nation, we acted in time to prevent a breakdown of medical services”.

    1. https://townhall.com/columnists/douglasmackinnon/2020/04/28/the-most-tragic-case-of-governmental-medical-and-media-malpractice-in-the-history-of-the-world-n2567752

      This same doctor I spoke with also stressed to me that the “experts” our nation and the world relied upon to shut it down, could not answer one simple question. That being: Is COVID-19 less or more lethal than the Hong Kong flu pandemic (H3N2) of 1968? A pandemic that mirrored COVID-19 in that it was highly infectious and was primarily lethal to those over 65 with pre-existing conditions. A pandemic that infected millions of Americans and killed approximately 100,000 out of a then population of about 200 million. A pandemic which worldwide, killed upwards of 4 million people.

      As of this writing, worldwide, there have been approximately 210,000 deaths. And does anyone else find it troubling and highly suspicious that the United States alone is responsible for slightly more than one-quarter of all deaths worldwide?

      How could we possibly account for one-quarter of all the COVID-19 deaths in the entire world?

      Easy, if say, you start counting pianos falling out windows and dropping on people as COVID-19 related deaths.

      1. “As of this writing, worldwide, there have been approximately 210,000 deaths. And does anyone else find it troubling and highly suspicious that the United States alone is responsible for slightly more than one-quarter of all deaths worldwide?

        How could we possibly account for one-quarter of all the COVID-19 deaths in the entire world?”

        This. With the megacities extant in the 3rd World, and their accompanying poor public health care systems, it’s baffling that the US is the country that—officially—is the one most getting kicked in the nuts by this.

        1. The US needs to justify its governors’ totalitarianism.
          Other countries apparently don’t need to work so hard on excuses

          1. Most of those other countries were already totalitarian to begin with so this is nothing new to their citizens.

        2. I don’t think that is because we are exaggerating our deaths from it. I think that is because we are the only country outside of Europe, Japan and South Korea that is being honest about the number of deaths. In the places you describe, the death rate is likely high enough normally that no one really has noticed this.

          Also, there seems to be pretty good evidence that this stuff doesn’t spread well in warm climates. It seems to have hit the mid latitudes almost exclusively. And most of the third world is also in the tropics.

          1. But we aren’t being honest. As soon as they switched the metric from Covid to Covid Related it became obvious they would try to fix the numbers to at least reach the lower estimates from the various pandemic models they pushed. To them the worst outcome for this is for the models to be shown to be false, because the next time a pandemic comes nobody will listen.

            We are figuratively living in the story of the boy who cried wolf.

            1. Is that raising the toll some? Sure. But it is not raising it so much that I think it is some kind of conspiracy. If they wanted to do that, they would be reporting a lot more deaths than they are. The death rate is about 2,000 a day and has been for a while. I think it is pretty accurate. If someone gets the shit and drops dead of a heart attack while they are in the hospital, was that caused by the virus? Who knows. But they are just as reasonable to say it was as you are to say it wasn’t. We will never know for sure. So, I don’t think classifying people who had this stuff and died from while they were under treatment from some other health problem is unreasonable.

              1. The way we will know is in a year when we can look back at excess deaths. Even now when you look at excess deaths, the numbers are wildly inflated because older people who would have died next flu season are dying now. But after a year, they will probably be able to look at the total number of excess deaths overall.

                By the way, this happened with Swine flu. At first the CDC was giving enormous death rates. And only a year or two later, it was reduced to what is on the record now.

                1. Excess deaths are not necessarily indicitive. The problem is that we shut down society. So that means fewer deaths from bar fights, gang shootings, car wrecks and the rest. Also, that presumably kept people from getting other forms of flu that would have in some cases killed them. So, the overall death rate says nothing about how many people died of this. I don’t think it is a bad assumption to say that anyone who has this stuff and is suffering symptoms and then dies, died because of this. Is it possible that people who were going to say die of a heart attack or whatever anyway happened to die when they had this? Sure. But those numbers are pretty small and unknowable anyway.

                  Moreover, most serious illnesses do not directly cause your death. For example, people who die of cancer often die of some other sickness like pneumonia or kidney failure that is either caused by the cancer or the treatment for the cancer. By your logic, the government shouldn’t count those deaths as cancer deaths either. And that is not reasonable.

                  1. “Excess deaths”

                    I think the preferred nomenclature is “non-essential deaths”.

                    Also, it’s not “Chinaman”, it’s “Asian American”.

                  2. “fewer deaths from bar fights, gang shootings, car wrecks and the rest. ”

                    This is statistical noise outside of car wrecks. And you can isolate that number.

                    Plus you’re already going to get a natural increase from nobody being allowed to go to the hospital for preventative care.

              2. ” I think it is pretty accurate. ” This is a bare assumption not based on anything in reality. We have front line doctors claiming that they are being pressured to put Covid on death certificates. We have NYC data dumps showing them writing Covid on patient death certificates without any tests. We actually know the total count for it, so assuming 2000 seems right is just that, an assumption.

                ” So, I don’t think classifying people who had this stuff and died from while they were under treatment from some other health problem is unreasonable.”

                Why? We don’t do this with other cases especially with the near death elderly populations. We don’t list cause of death as cold related because they may have had fluid in the lungs from a mild case of Pneumonia, the doctors instead list the cause of death as fluid in the lungs. With no other disease do we list “related” as a cause of death. So no, this is not reasonable.

                1. It is based on the reality that these people had a very serious virus when they died. That is a pretty strong reality. Your claim is based on the assumption that even though they had the virus, they just happened to have it at the time they died of something unrelated. Sorry, but while that is possible, it is not very likely and impossible to know anyway.

                  Why? We don’t do this with other cases especially with the near death elderly populations.

                  Yes we do. My mother for example died of cancer. But the actual cause of her death was kidney failure caused by the chemotherapy she was taking. The actual cancer didn’t kill her. My grandmother died of pneumonia in the hospital after suffering a very large stroke. Is she a stroke victim or a pneumonia victim? She was called a stroke victim because the stroke made what would have normally been an ordinary chest cold into a killer illness.

                  These things are not anything like as clear cut as you are pretending. When you get a serious illness like this it breaks down your immune system and weakens your body such that your existing health conditions become more deadly and you are more susceptible to other illness. That is why it kills people with “comorbidities”. It isn’t the virus that is killing most of those people. It is their existing conditions that are killing them because the virus as so weakened their bodies. So all of your assumptions about this are just wrong.

                  1. “Sorry, but while that is possible, it is not very likely and impossible to know anyway. ”

                    Make up your mind. If it is impossible to know, you have no idea how likely it is.

                    1. It is impossible to know with certainty. If you want to claim this stuff is not responsible for any of them, fine. The point is that the people who are claiming it is are engaging in just as reasonable a conclusion as you are and are not exaggerating anything.

                  2. They also had very serious coborbidities. But even the claim that this is a very serious virus is wrong as the vast majority of people are asymptomatic. The virus often complicates already existing complications. The virus in isolation is often not the cause of the death of the patient, it is only in the presence of a comorbidity that it exacerbates itself to death. Very few, under 10% of patients, who have died did not have a serious underlying comorbidity (I linked to the data from UK below).

                    Again, you are treating this virus differently than we have classified causes of deaths prior.

                  3. The problem John is what these numbers are being used for.

                    If you are over 80, you have a 10% chance of dying each year. That Coronavirus got you earlier than the flu in October is unfortunate, but should be taken in context. This is why excess deaths are so important to understand vs just deaths overall.

                    If locking down the country reduced Covid deaths by 80% but only excess deaths by 5% then it is far less valuable than if the lock down reduced covid deaths by 80% and excess deaths by 80%.

                    1. I don’t disagree with you about that. But the way to respond to that is to point out how they are overplaying the risk. I don’t think it is helpful in that to claim there is no risk and the whole thing is just some big conspiracy.

              3. I think they’re inflating it somewhere between 2- and 4-fold. Worst example I know of is one of the 2 deaths in Wayne County, Penna.: 81 YO fell down the stairs and broke his neck. Never had respiratory symptoms, but corpse tested Covid-19 RNA +. I don’t know the details of the other death.

                1. That is one example of an absurd attribution. I have no doubt some of that is going on. But, I see no proof of it happening so often that the death toll is exaggerated by four times.

                  1. Are you so familiar with that data that you can say whether or not there is proof?

                  2. Except we have data from NYC that shows a significant percentage of deaths related to Covid were never tested. you’re assuming evidence that is not present.

                    1. When you have a firm conclusion, you don’t need much else.

                  3. It is absolutely a fact that in New York, the majority of people who died at home are being marked as coronavirus and are NOT being tested.

                    It is also absolutely a fact that there is a 5x increase in people dying at home, which people are using as proof that coronavirus obviously is causing the deaths.

                    It is further, absolutely a fact that people went from spending 20% of their waking hours to 90% of their waking ours at home, so we would expect to see more people dying at home, regardless of COVID.

            2. We are figuratively living in the story of the boyss who cried wolf.

              FTFY.

        3. See the YouTube video (oh wait they removed it) of the two Doctors from California discussing how they are pressured to write off all deaths as Covid related.

          1. You guys will really grasp for any straw you can.

            1. Oh hey, there you are. Can you link us more Politico articles you have fallen for the last few days?

            2. Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, let the lying begin!

              And yes, such a video exists. I watched it. And YouTube has deleted it because it does not go along with the official government narrative. And nobody is surprised that you don’t care about that.

        4. “How could we possibly account for one-quarter of all the COVID-19 deaths in the entire world?””

          To be fair, other than India and China, the US is the largest population polity being tracked. If you compared the US to Europe as a whole, which is similar in size (US 330MM, EU 420MM), the absolute numbers would be comparable. The EU currently has around 127,000 deaths, or 60% of the total.

          1. It’s a lot shorter to say the USA has 5% of the world’s population.

        5. With the megacities extant in the 3rd World, and their accompanying poor public health care systems, it’s baffling that the US is the country that—officially—is the one most getting kicked in the nuts by this.

          They’re more than likely under counting their numbers of deaths (China sure as hell is) either because their healthcare systems are shit and therefore they’re not capable of keeping accurate numbers, their governments are highly authoritarian and need to keep up the appearance of omnipotence in order to keep their people in line, or both. Meanwhile we’re most likely over counting in order to keep people in a constant state of fear to justify the authoritarian measures our governments have adopted at all levels (fearful people are easier to control, after all).

          1. As John pointed out, the tropics don’t seem to get that hammered by this. At least, that they’re admitting. Which takes care of the Jakartas, Lagos, Kinshasas of the World. But why aren’t Karachi or Mexico City getting leveled by this? Or are they, and no ones reporting it?

            Buenos Aires, Sao Paulo, Montevideo all need to watch their ass. Countries that are built up enough to actually report public health problems, densely populated enough in those cities that transmission will be a problem, and a healthcare system reminiscent of Italy. I hope red meat and Malbec helps you avoid catching this thing…

            1. When this started it was summer down there.

              1. Exactly. Flu season is just about to begin for them. I said about a month ago that it should be fairly unpleasant for BA, given their lack of social distancing and how densely populated that town is. Plus, competence and Argentinians don’t really belong in the same sentence. We’ll see.

                But the megalopolises I was originally wondering about, were ones like Karachi, the several in India, Cairo, Lagos, Lahore. Northern Hemisphere, albeit tropical for some, densely packed, and ramshackle on a good day. Maybe there is something to the observation that Malaria-affected populations handle this bug better?

        6. I’d wager incentives play a roll. 3rd world countries hospitals are probably told to under report to make the government look good and to not scare away potential investors. 1st world countries’ hospitals are probably over reporting to get CV-19 checks from the central authorities.

          1. role the dice.

          2. Is Medicare still paying more on a claim with Covid than a similarly situated claim without it? If true, that’s a gigantic thumb on the scale towards Covid death classification.

            1. The CARES act allows the 20% DRG payment for the duration of the emergency. So yes.

              https://www.aha.org/special-bulletin/2020-03-26-senate-passes-coronavirus-aid-relief-and-economic-security-cares-act

      2. re: “How could [the US] account for one-quarter of all the COVID-19 deaths” when we only constitute about 5% of the total population?

        A couple things to remember:
        1. China, which represents almost 20% of the world population, has almost certainly under-reported their cases on a massive scale. If you exclude China both from the numerator and denominator, the US percentage is still high but less out-of-whack.
        2. Despite all the hype, rebuttals and general confusion about quinine and related meds, there is decent epidemiological evidence that something about malaria and/or anti-malarial agents offers some kind of protection against COVID-19. Maybe it’s something as simple as “malaria already killed off most of the vulnerable population”. Don’t have a clue about causation. But there’s clearly something in the data. Populations traditionally associated with malaria seem to be less affected by this.
        3. Reporting bias. Especially since the CDC changed the guidance to “anything that might possibly be related should be reported as coronavirus”.

  7. The FDA told makers of backpacks and sweatshirts with e-cigarette pockets that they must stop selling such products.

    Um, what?

    1. Let the lawsuits begin.

    2. To be fair, people at the FDA and other government agencies not involved with pandemic policy just want to get in on that sweet, sweet authoritarian over-reach.

      1. Hey, why should their colleagues get to have all the fun?

    3. call it a pen holder or flash light pocket etc and be done with it.

    4. To call this a free country is insane. They can ban pockets.

    5. Need to dig out my Joe Cool shirt from college

  8. But, but, but….. YouTube is silencing people the government wants silenced VOLUNTARILY. They must be protected at all costs.

    https://twitter.com/AlexBerenson/status/1255306879951163393

    Alex Berenson
    @AlexBerenson
    This. Is. Censorship. On what is arguably the most important media platform in the United States.

    Bayan Wang
    @bayanwang
    · 14h
    YOUTUBE’S RESPONSE: YouTube says they removed our video of #Bakersfield doctor Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi, because their viewpoint disputed local health authority social distancing guidance, which may lead people to act against that guidance.

    1. We know what’s best for you. Now hush.

      1. Cambodia is using the prospect of “fake news” to crack down on critics of the government.

        Same here, evidently.

      2. Slavery is for their own good.

    2. But yea, I’m sure something else will stop this trend and that there’s absolutely no need for violence…

    3. But no… YouTube is totally not a publisher. They let any and all voices on.

    4. On what is arguably the most important media platform in the United States.

      You mean it’s not Twitter? Facebook? Instagram? Are they publishers? Is everyone allowed on everyone’s playground?

  9. It also sent warning letters to makers of vaping products that look like watches or video games, vaping packages that feature cartoon characters, and vaping packaging deemed to look too much like candy.

    If only the FDA would have rid us of season 2 of True Detective.

    1. Can you still buy candy cigarettes?

      1. Sure, just need to take a trip to Tijuana, the land of the free and home of the brave (we lost that designation, thanks Trump).

        1. Thank God. I used to have to go all the way to Somalia.

      2. Yes, but be careful. They often make quite a mess when you light them.

      3. No loosies.

      4. How about the little plastic smoking monkeys? I used to have one of those. (no, the money cigarettes never got you high)

      5. “”Can you still buy candy cigarettes?””

        Or bubblegum cigars?

    2. has the FDA been informed yet that many Americans consider it non-essential, and that it shouldn’t reopen when the rest of the economy does?

  10. Andrea Circle Bear, 30, was pregnant and had just gone to prison on a 2-year drug sentence. Her baby survived.

    The child is, of course, serving the remainder of its mother’s sentence.

    1. In a way this is true, if the baby ends up in foster care. Well done, state!

  11. Every fascist eventually starts rounding up the Jews.

    https://twitter.com/NYCMayor/status/1255309615883063297

    Mayor Bill de Blasio
    @NYCMayor
    My message to the Jewish community, and all communities, is this simple: the time for warnings has passed. I have instructed the NYPD to proceed immediately to summons or even arrest those who gather in large groups. This is about stopping this disease and saving lives. Period.

    1. “We are instituting our new “Gold Star “ program.”

    2. I think my favorite comment was the one sarcastically asking him whether they should call the cops or whether there’s a special unit to handle the jews…

      1. It is too late for social distancing. It all just theater at this point. The time for social distancing was at the begining of the outbreak when there still hope for it to be contained. That was back when DiBlasio was telling people to go out to Chinese New Year and calling anyone who worried about this virus a racist. Now that the city is suffering the consequences of that, DiBlasio blames the Jews. Some things really do never change.

        1. The Orthodox Jews that were part of the funeral are saying de Blasio’s office approved it beforehand. None of this is a good look for him.

    3. “And, of course, we will be especially targeting Bat Mitzvahs.”

  12. https://amgreatness.com/2020/04/28/covid-19-exacerbates-public-sector-union-attacks-on-private-property-in-california/

    A look at who funds these Democratic politicians yields unambiguous results. The money trail works like this: California’s citizens pay taxes, which fund state and local government payroll departments, from which—paycheck after paycheck—money automatically pours into the coffers of public-sector unions. These unions use that money to buy the allegiance of politicians via campaign contributions.

    The three primary sponsors of AB 828 are Assemblymembers Phil Ting (D-San Francisco), Ash Kalra (D-Silicon Valley), and Mike Gipson (D-Los Angeles). Using data from FollowTheMoney.org, if you view the “Top Donors” for Ting, Kalra, and Gipson, you will see that nearly all their money comes from unions, and nearly all of these unions are public-sector unions.

    Phil Ting’s top 15 donors, for example, are all unions; his No. 1 donor is the powerful California Teachers Association. Ash Kalra’s top 28 donors are unions with only one exception, the “Consumer Attorneys of California” at No. 10. Mike Gipson’s slightly more diverse assortment of donors includes the California Dental Association at No. 3, the California Association of Realtors at No. 8, a casino, and Chevron at positions 12 and 13, Anheuser-Busch at No. 18 and the California Beer & Beverage Distributors at No. 20. This leaves fourteen of Gipson’s top 20 donors that are, you guessed it, unions.

    A 2018 California Policy Center analysis estimated that California’s government unions collect and spend over $800 million per year. Not per election cycle. Per year. About one-third of the money goes to political campaigns and lobbying efforts (that would be roughly half-a-billion per election cycle) with a substantial share of the rest used to fund “nonpolitical” activities including “public information campaigns” and get-out-the-vote efforts.

    1. Why do unions care about AB828? I mean I agree with the general point that this state has been co-opted by Unions, but unless there is some reason why unions would care about this bill, doesn’t it actually provide evidence AGAINST the narrative that these reps are just puppets of the Unions?

      1. Are the service industries of CA unionized? I can see where they would be for it and then of course their union brethren in the public sector unions would stand in solidarity for it. Or maybe its a way to get private sector union membership up by showing how unions looked after the little guy during this crisis.

  13. Despite what was reported yesterday, the order doesn’t compel chicken, beef, and pork processing plants to stay open despite having a sick workforce.

    So many ICE warriors in full battle gear have a sad today.

    1. Trump not the tyrant he was yesterday?

      1. It is actually two days in a row ENB decided she had enough time on her hands to look at primary sources instead of just Tweets or Vox. 2 fair articles in a row.

  14. But healthy people still have to be under house arrest:

    https://nypost.com/2020/04/28/more-blood-on-gov-cuomos-hands-amid-nursing-home-coronavirus-crisis-goodwin/

    The Department of Health order, dated March 25, decreed that nursing homes and rehab centers could not use a positive COVID-19 test as the sole basis for rejecting a patient being referred from hospitals. Fearing state regulators, many facility executives say they accepted the transfers even though they believed the order was a death sentence for some existing patients and staff.

    Luxor officials say they took 25 to 30 infected transfers under the mandate. Porteus said the Luxor nurse told her they didn’t have any tests to find out if her father was positive for the virus, but they treated him as if he were. Soon, his fever dropped and he seemed to have recovered.

    Then, as with so many other victims, the fever returned days later. Soon he was near death, and Porteus and her brother, dressed in protective gowns and masks, were allowed end-of-life visits.

    “Every time he tried to breathe, it was like firecrackers going off in his body,” she said, sobbing. “I didn’t understand how this could happen so fast.”

    Her father, an auto mechanic who owned his own business, had been in Luxor for three years. He had dementia but was otherwise in sound physical condition. “I know in my heart he wasn’t supposed to die now,” Porteus said.

    1. Blue State Governors Lied, Thousands of Nursing Home Residents Died

      http://sultanknish.blogspot.com/2020/04/blue-state-governors-lied-thousands-of.html

      Even though the first coronavirus outbreak in this country took place in a nursing home in Washington, and killed 43 people, the CDC failed to track the spread of the virus to nursing homes nationwide.

      Instead, the CDC has been relying on “informal outreach” to track the spread and has not updated its numbers since March.

      The CDC’s estimate of 400 nursing homes is only about 10% of the national total.

      The Trump administration took an important step by ordering nursing homes to report coronavirus deaths to the CDC, and to the residents and their families. This move puts an end to the state stonewalling that covered up coronavirus cases and their own malfeasance.

      It’s the beginning. Not the end.

      Coronavirus disproportionately affects the elderly and the ill. Securing nursing home facilities would cost a fraction of the money we have lost by shutting down the economy and passing massive bailouts. And as death tolls remain a major barrier to reopening the economy, saving lives in nursing homes will also save the economy. It’s the right thing to do for our parents, grandparents, and for our country.

    1. LOL Joe Biden’s campaign put Hillary Clinton on mute before today’s town hall ended.
      https://twitter.com/FrancisBrennan/status/1255226092320849923

      1. On the news here they showed the feed like they were actually going to broadcast it, but then it seems like they changed their mind and cut away with a generic Biden comment.

    2. I’m beginning to think that Democrats know Biden sucks and making him run is their way of punishing him

  15. US GDP shrank 4.8% in the first quarter amid biggest contraction since the financial crisis

    https://www.cnbc.com/2020/04/29/us-gdp-q1-2020-first-reading.html

    ELECT THE DOTARD AND WE WILL GET 6% GDP EVER YEAR!

    1. Yeah because nothing external happened or anything. Of course you now crawl out of your whole. What, did you finally make bail on those child porn charges or did they just release you early because of the Chinese virus?

      And whatever the terms of your release, I guarantee you that you are not supposed to be on the internet.

      1. Mr. Buttplug is the most knowledgeable economics expert in this comment section. From the beginning he predicted the Drumpf economy would end up exactly like this. You should have listened to him.

        1. S/he predicted the economy would be hijacked by scaremongering media hacks?

  16. https://kywnewsradio.radio.com/articles/radiocom/handling-your-kids-vaccinations-during-coronavirus-pandemic

    According to the American Academy of Pediatrics, it is reported that 80 percent of children throughout the country are not seeing their doctors during this global outbreak.

    Along with missing their doctor’s appointments, children are also not receiving their vaccines.

    Data from PPC, a company that develops electronic records for pediatricians, reported that vaccines for whooping cough, HPV, mumps, and measles dropped at least 40 percent during the week of April 5.

    1. Up next: Autism rates drop 40%.

      1. And after that: Autism rates skyrocket after mandatory COVID vaccine.

        1. Could be a good thing. After all, autism is social distancing taken to the limit, right?

          1. How dare you!

    2. The missing Doctors’ visits does not concern me as much as missing vaccinations, the wellness checkups are for the most part just a money maker but the vaccinations are needed, especially now.

  17. https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/apr/28/coronavirus-shutdown-skeptics-challenge-establishm/

    When Stanford University School of Medicine professor John Ioannidis warned on March 17 that the rush to implement sweeping coronavirus lockdowns could be “a once-in-a-century evidence fiasco,” his was a lone voice amid the rising pandemic panic.

    He and others increasingly have cited the business-as-usual approach adopted by Sweden, which has isolated its elderly and vulnerable and limited gatherings to 50 or fewer, but kept open elementary schools, restaurants and shops.

    The result is that Sweden’s cases and deaths are higher than those in neighboring Denmark, Finland and Norway but lower than those in Spain and Italy, the most devastated European countries.

    1. I hate the smooth brains comparing Sweden RIGHT NOW to Denmark RIGHT NOW. Sweden’s claim/plan is that the pain will be up front, but less overall and over sooner.

      1. Their overall arc isn’t much different from any other country’s; what will be the real test is when the next spike hits. Something like this should be expected when a country is trying to achieve herd immunity, but if the second spike is far worse for them than the first one despite the greater exposure levels, we’ll know for sure that it was a failure.

        They’re simply practicing the other side of the Precautionary Principle, and acting on the presumption that strangling their economy isn’t better for them in the long run than the short-term spike in deaths from a coronavirus.

        1. acting on the presumption that strangling their economy isn’t better for them in the long run than the short-term spike in deaths from a coronavirus.

          Otherwise known as: what everyone should have done.

    2. but lower than those in Spain and Italy, the most devastated European countries.

      In Sweden’s case, you have a country as large as the western seaboard of the United States with a total population the size of Chicagoland area. Spain has 46 million people in a smaller area.

  18. Early reports about President Donald Trump and meat processing plants seem to have overstated the scope of the president’s latest executive order.

    In other words, ENB breathlessly reported lies on Unreason. Typical.

    1. Commenter_XY… Whether in this universe, or maybe in some parallel universe, I’m not sure… Was reported as saying “Hitler told a LOT of lies about Jews”.

      Now I must say! In reaction to that…

      “In other words, Commenter_XY breathlessly repeated and reported lies about Jews coming from the very lips of Hitler. Typical.”

  19. Does anyone know what’s Reason’s official stance on the shut down? It’s pretty telling when a libertarian magazine sends mixed signals on this. ENB seems to lean it’s ok but I don’t want to misrepresent her.

    1. Why do you care if you misrepresent her, based off of her reporting she’s obviously ok with misrepresenting everyone else.

    2. Reason doesn’t have an editorial section where consensus opinions are expressed, like many newspapers.

      Reason has a bunch of ideologically similar authors who are regularly offering hot takes. I think it is pretty clear that ENB is one of the least libertarian of the authors. If sex work were decriminalized, I doubt she would have any problem with a state that regulates and redistributes many other sources of wealth.

      The funny thing is that Nick is the one who has usually enraged me the most in the past with his nit-picking. But throughout this crisis, he is the only one who hasn’t been looking at this as an opportunity to vilify one group.

  20. AZ Woman Who Blamed Trump for Chloroquine Ingestion Now Subject of Homicide Investigation

    https://townhall.com/tipsheet/mattvespa/2020/04/29/az-woman-who-blamed-trump-for-chloroquine-ingestion-now-subject-of-homicide-inves-n2567839

    In their effort to attack the Trump administration as it battles the Wuhan coronavirus outbreak in the US, the anti-Trump opposition press has peddled Chinese propaganda and now it looks like they’ve rallied around someone who is now under a homicide investigation. Remember that Arizona couple who ingested chloroquine phosphate because they thought it could ward off the virus? Wanda Lenius and her husband, Gary, ingested the fish tank cleaner with soda and the effects were dire. The husband died, while it left Wanda in critical condition. Now, she’s being investigated for homicide. Alana Goodman of the Washington Free Beacon has the scoop. One thing that struck friends of the late Gary Lenius as odd was this notion that this retired engineer would just take poison willingly.

    1. Wow. Guess the jokes at the time might’ve been true.

      1. It turns out the guy was a retired engineer for John Deer and was very level headed and smart. His wife in contrast was a clinical depressive who had threatened to divorce him several times and has some pretty serious issues. So, the guy dies from drinking this stuff and the only witness to it happening was the wife. Her story is that he drank a soda poisoned with aquarium cleaner because Trump told him it would keep him from getting the Chinese virus. That is a story that only a journalist could believe.

        1. Poisoning is the go to murder weapon for angry wives.

          1. Yes. And until the turn of the 20th Century, they usually got away with it. Before toxicology and in the days when dying of the flu or strep was common, it was the golden age of murder by poisoning.

            1. I heard this guy had a long history of poisoning himself to death.

            2. No wonder it reminded me of a modern day Agatha Christie story. Where is Poirot when you need him?

              1. *seemed like a

        2. That, and apparently she’d been investigated for spousal abuse a few years ago as well.

          Feel bad for the guy for having such an unbalanced nutbag for a wife, but at the same time, if you know you’re married to an unbalanced nutbag and don’t attempt to extricate yourself from that, it’s a risk you’re clearly willing to take.

          1. Just another Covid death.

      2. They’re jokes in the same way that “Epstein didn’t kill himself” is a joke. Everyone knows it to be true, and they also know the chances of it being properly investigated are close to zip

        1. I was one of the people who thought it seemed suspicious as I learned more about the story. Like she was a Democrat who took the stuff because Trump said to? Yeah, that makes sense.

    2. Haha, so the commenter on Reason were right. Nice to see the locals aren’t nearly as dumb as the media.

  21. Been hearing rumours that already people are angling to make voluntary social distancing rules mandatory?

    Anyone hear this too?

    Looks like I’ll be getting arrested and fined in the future.

    1. Karen’s Law?

      1. +1 Internet for the day

      2. Nah, Karen’s Law is the one that’ll make it mandatory to snitch on your neighbors if you see them violating the social distancing law or leaving their house without a mask on.

  22. https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/matt-margolis/2020/04/28/trump-gets-apology-from-reporter-for-asking-question-with-bogus-statistic-n386319

    “Mr. President, overall, South Korea has done five times more tests than the U.S. per capita,” Yahoo News reporter Hunter Walker asked the president.

    “I don’t think that’s true,” Trump responded.

    “That is true,” Walker insisted.

    Dr. Deborah Birx later provided the correct statistic.

    “South Korea’s testing was 11 per 100,000 [people], and we are at 17 per 100,000,” Birx noted.

    “Are you going to apologize, Yahoo?” Trump asked.

    “If that’s correct—” Walker started to say, but Trump kept going.

    “That’s why you’re Yahoo and nobody knows who the hell you are. That’s why nobody knows who you are, including me,” Trump said. “You ought to get your facts right.”

    Hunter Walker later looked into the statistics and found that Trump was, indeed, correct, and unlike most in the media, did the right thing and apologized.

    “We have passed South Korea in the number of tests conducted per capita. I misread the mobile version of this chart and am sorry about that @realDonaldTrump.” Walker tweeted

    1. You know PJ media is a far right rag that has put out a bunch of false reporting? Not biased reporting, whole cloth made up bullshit.

      No wonder you guys come in here with these looney tunes ideas.

      1. False reporting… like Chinese loans to Trump?

      2. I mean, he literally just posted the transcript of a live Television event along with a subsequent tweet from the reporter that everyone can see….

        And you imply it is false reporting. How dumb are you? Honest question.

      3. Yeah, um, wtf is going on with you, Liber?

        This isn’t even opinion. It is a fact. Why would you imply it is fake news when it clearly happened and can be seen in numerous areas?

        1. The implication from people asking “Why did we fail so bad compared to South Korea” is that we should have gone to the extremes they did on a mass scale.

          It’s a blazing hot take the deliberately ignores the unique socio-cultural differences between SK and the US, particularly from a privacy standpoint. Even commenters who are nominally supportive of the kinds of GPS/data tracking that SK implemented have at least acknowledged the difficulty of doing the same thing here due to the privacy concerns alone.

        2. He’s a sociopath.

      4. Haha, what a damn fool you are! Once again, I was actually watching live when it happened, and was like, “wtf is this guy talking about?”

        But but but, PJ Media! He literally admitted he was wrong, and your lying ass NEEDS him to be right!

        You’re reaching caricature levels of yourself at this point.

  23. Well, details of the order are now public.

    Well, as with Obamacare, the NDAA, etc., the busy public depends on the media to provide the gist.

  24. Can’t imagine why the State would want the crisis to continue:

    https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/tyler-o-neil/2020/04/28/hillary-clinton-on-coronavirus-and-universal-health-care-this-would-be-a-terrible-crisis-to-waste-n386273

    Hillary Clinton on Coronavirus and Universal Health Care: ‘This Would Be a Terrible Crisis to Waste’

    1. I never thought she was stupid, just evil.

  25. “News that Trump would force meat production companies to stay open despite COVID-19 outbreaks could be found all over the place yesterday. . . . “

    I suspect most of America has learned to take everything we get from the news media with a grain of salt by now. The news is basically reality TV–all of which we know is mostly staged and heavily edited for effect.

    The news media is sort of like people who think WWE fans don’t know that wrestling is staged. We hang stockings up on our mantles for Christmas eve, so they think we think Santa Claus is real. The joke is on them.

    The news media may be taken slightly more seriously than Kylie Jenner but they’re not as influential as Kylie Jenner. If Kylie Jenner told us how to cure COVID-19, a certain number of people would take her seriously, most of us would chuckle at them, and the news media would report on her like what they have to say about Kylie Jenner really matters to us.

    The news media is a psychotic joke, and what they say about President Trump’s meat production order mostly only matters to them.

    1. what strange is many in the media and some people in general have demanded Trump take over with DPA’s yet when he does in the most mildest of ways they scream. Of course I think they have been saying that to prove their initial claims that Hitler would take over everything.

      other point the DPA order may be very minor but with this can’t the local governors then call in the national guard to actually complete the meat packing orders. Newsom has the NG filling boxes of food for the needy why can’t they process meat

      1. I can’t help but wonder whether a lot of the meat processing issue isn’t really about prices falling because so many restaurants are closed. Restaurants aren’t paying premium prices for beef, for instance, because they’re closed down, so, I’m sure, cattle ranchers are more reluctant to send their cattle to slaughter, and the volume at the meat processing plant is probably way down without that demand from restaurants and the premium prices they pay.

        No doubt, sick workers would be a legitimate concern regardless of whether the restaurants were open, but if the demand and the volume were there, meat processors would have a whole lot more incentive to keep their facilities open. The ultimate solution may be as much about getting the restaurants open again as about what to do with sick workers or ordering the meat processors to stay open.

  26. http://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/eu-self-censors-chinas-global-intimidation-campaign-grows

    The European Union has caved in to pressure from China and has watered down a report on Chinese efforts to deflect blame for the coronavirus pandemic. Officials in Beijing reportedly threatened to block the export of medical supplies to Europe if the report was published in its original form.

    The revelations come as Chinese diplomats around the world are waging an aggressive disinformation campaign — described as a “Wolf Warrior” style of diplomacy, named after a Chinese nationalist action film series — aimed at controlling the narrative about the origins of the coronavirus.

    Chinese envoys have been especially aggressive on Twitter, which they are using to attack, intimidate and silence Western journalists, lawmakers and think tank scholars — essentially anyone who contradicts China’s official version of events.

    1. China is a textbook case of why you don’t do appeasement, they take it as weakness and proceed to walk all over you. The EU is weak, they should have countered with a threat to seize all chinese assets in the EU or something similar if China cut off medical supplies.

      It was stupid for them (and us) to allow China to have the medicinal manufacturing capability, but giving in to them and ignoring their part in this is not an option.

    1. After screwing up education, Gates is moving on to healthcare.

      1. Central planning had only succeeded in destroying most of public education. There were still functioning pockets of it left. So, Obama and Gates decided to bomb the rubble and destroy those as well.

  27. RCI provides a timeline and evidence of the NYT participating overtly with FusionGPS and in turn the Hillary Campaign to push the bogus Trump/Russia collusion story. Very in depth article worth the read.

    https://www.realclearinvestigations.com/articles/2020/04/29/the_ny_times_used_to_correct_its_whoppers_but_not_these_two_heres_why_123118.html

    1. The FBI and the Intelligence community along with the major media and likely the KGB cooked up a phony story in an attempt to overturn an election. Make no mistake, the media was an active and knowing participant in the hoax and acted as a propaganda agent for the IC against a lawfully elected President.

      Forget enemies of the people. They are enemies of humanity.

    2. Since this was never reported at Reason: https://www.politico.com/news/2020/04/21/senate-intel-report-confirms-russia-aimed-to-help-trump-in-2016-198171

      Yet another report confirming what we all knew. Funny how Trump seems to be the only person still denying this.

      1. God you’re pathetic. Do you really need me to list all the problems with the Senate Intel Report. Here’s a hint, stop relying on Politico. You should have realized that with the story you posted just a few days ago.

      2. Tell us DOL, was it the third man on the grassy knoll who touched you?
        Pathetic piece of lefty shit…

  28. “In a small number of cases, it was not possible to confirm if a patient did or did not have an underlying health condition. But for those where it was, 95% were found to have serious pre-existing issues. In patients over 80-years-old this figure was 96%, 60-79-years-old 95%, 40-59-years-old 88% and 20-39-years-old 82%.”

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/sky-news-95-of-england-covid-19-victims-had-underlying-conditions

    LOCK IT ALL DOWN.

  29. North Dakota is slowly winning my heart, and largely ignored by the Media and NY/DC libertarians (such as Reason):

    “Does this mean I no longer have to stay at home?” The document answers, “South Dakota never issued a ‘stay at home’ or ‘shelter in place’ order. South Dakotans are encouraged to use common sense and practice good hygiene and reasonable physical distancing.”

    Another question: “Are businesses, including outdoor venues and events, allowed to reopen?” Answer: “No business was ever required to close. Businesses are encouraged to consider these guidelines as they resume normal operations, and also must adhere to any local restrictions.”

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/south-dakota-governor-refused-to-implement-stay-sat-home-orders-her-citizens-throw-her-a-parade

    1. Yo…That governor of SD seems like a very level-headed person.

    2. she’s the Anti-Karen

  30. While crediting every death that is Covid related to Trump, Media largely ignores NYC’s rule requiring nursing homes to accept all patients, even those diagnosed with Covid.

    https://thefederalist.com/2020/04/29/media-doesnt-care-that-people-died-because-cuomo-put-coronavirus-patients-in-nursing-homes/

    No second guessing of Cuomo allowed, we’ve already assigned blame to the rightful party.

  31. The Doj abuse of Flynn is getting clearer and clearer with new evidence of Brady releases last Friday. It includes Flynn’s own lawyers being forced to research their files for Flynn related material after information was released on Friday by the judge overseeing the case.

    https://thefederalist.com/2020/04/28/grassley-demands-doj-release-all-exculpatory-information-on-michael-flynn/

  32. After starting WWIII with Iran to distract us from impeachment, it would be funny if next January Trump is still there and the Iranian regime is not.

    Will the Iranian Regime Survive the Coronavirus Outbreak?

    https://pjmedia.com/columns/hamid-enayat/2020/04/28/will-the-iranian-regime-survive-the-coronavirus-outbreak-n385916

    Successive uprisings since late 2017 echoed widely in the “death to the dictator” slogan show it’s quite obvious that the regime’s supreme leader has got the message loud and clear. He is struggling to survive amid uprisings of the rebellious youths and the hammer of sanctions. He sees the sword of Damocles hanging over his head and feeling the wind of change.

    All these explain why the supreme leader succumbed to a major and unprecedented catastrophe and refrained from reporting the outbreak of the coronavirus in a bid to encourage people to go to the ballot boxes in the parliamentary elections, which they expected would help regain the regime’s lost legitimacy. Hence, they hid the start of the coronavirus outbreak, which is leading to one of the greatest tragedies in the history of the country.

  33. Speaking of jokes and who they’re on, Justin Amash winning the Libertarian Party nomination may be more likely to hurt Joe Biden than President Trump.

    There are only two camps that really matter in a reelection campaign–the pro-Trump camp and the anti-Trump camp. If Justin Amash is taking anti-Trump voters away from Joe Biden, that just helps President Trump.

    Conversely, I suspect there are relatively few people who were planning to vote for Trump but will vote for Amash now that he’s on the ballot. Rather, most of Amash’s voters will either be anti-Trump people who were planning to vote Libertarian anyway or people who had no intention of voting at all without Amash in the race. Drawing from either of those groups doesn’t hurt President Trump. Drawing from the anti-Trump population, however, does hurt Biden.

    1. This might cost Trump my vote. Washington is going blue no matter what, but I was going to vote Trump because the Democrats are terrible and need to be taught a lesson. That’s still true, but now I’m leaning to voting Amash unless the idiot Ds in our state keep being idiots. At this point I’d say maybe 60/40 I vote Amash/Trump.

      Then again, if my state was in play I would be voting Trump nearly 100%.

  34. News that Trump would force meat production companies to stay open despite COVID-19 outbreaks could be found all over the place yesterday.

    The big deal in the executive order and interpretations of it may be about meat processing plant liability for employee exposure.

    I saw one of those breathless articles on my phone’s homepage yesterday so I clicked on it and read it. Trump, when talking about the EO, specifically talked about the liability protection so I suspect that was the main thing that the order was for (he also spoke about how the CEO of Tyson foods was in favor of the order, which also lends credence to the idea of the order mostly being about protecting meat processing plants operators from potential liability should a worker be diagnosed with COVID).

    On a somewhat related note, then I decided for some reason to look at some of comments that were left on the article. Big mistake. Apparently, according to one commenter, this EO puts Trump in the same league as “Jack the Ripper” because “they’re both mass murderers” and there were several others along a similar vein. Yep, that’s right, an executive order that basically just says to prioritize federal orders and prevents state governments from ordering meat processing plants closed by classifying them as critical national infrastructure and shores up liability concerns makes Trump literally a mass murderer according to those morons. I’ll try and remember this the next time I start to get annoyed with some of more idiotic commenters here. It could be worse. A lot worse.

    1. I think the one thing that would get us back to normal faster than about anything else would be some sort of order (EO? Not sure how it would work) freeing business from liability due to contracting coronavirus on their property. Because I’m afraid even after the state orders go mostly away, the heavily risk-averse corporations (and small businesses who are likely to follow their lead if for no other reason than liability protection) are likely to maintain stupid policies because “if it prevents just one death” for them becomes “if it prevents just one lawsuit.” So something to at least give them the FEELING that they can relax a little, stop counting people coming in and out, take the fucking tape off the floor telling you where to stand, and not make everyone wear masks, would probably go a long way. I’m not even sure something like that would stand up to court scrutiny (or maybe it’s not even needed due to precedent), but even if it was the perceived law of the land temporarily I think it would mentally help get businesses back in the habit of acting more like rational operators than obsessive germaphobes. And once businesses started acting more normally, individuals would probably start letting their guard down and getting over this hysteria as well.

      1. I think the one thing that would get us back to normal faster than about anything else would be some sort of order (EO? Not sure how it would work) freeing business from liability due to contracting coronavirus on their property.

        I don’t know if the president has the authority but maybe Congress could pass a law to that effect (the Dems would never go for it – they would claim that the R’s are just trying to protect the EVUL KKKORPORAYSHUNZ). I’m not sure how or if it would pass constitutional muster. Maybe the tried and true “because commerce clause” excuse?

        1. I think food processing plants definitely fall under interstate commerce. Bars and restaurants don’t.

  35. https://pjmedia.com/columns/david-solway-2/2020/04/28/is-canadas-response-to-covid-19-led-by-china-sympathizers-n385914

    The controversy over Canada’s Public Chief Health Officer Theresa Tam continues to fester. Her lack of consistency, credibility, and competence—the three Cs of responsible authority—is a matter of public record. As I wrote previously, Tam has become the face of the anti-COVID task force. But she remains something of an enigma, including her date of birth, her actual place of birth and the dates of her degrees.

    What do we know? We know that she initially downplayed the scope of the disease. We know that she is intimately associated with the World Health Organization as one of seven physicians who sit on its oversight committee. We know that the WHO operates as an arm of the People’s Republic and that its Director-General Tedros Adhanon Ghebreyesus has no medical expertise, is an ardent lifelong Marxist, and is a loyal defender of China.

    1. But she remains something of an enigma, including her date of birth, her actual place of birth and the dates of her degrees.

      Can you imagine the shitshow if this was a Trump appointment?

    1. The dipshit leftist group who brought that suit knew that would happened and were fine with it. And these are the same people who want to make it illegal of you to own a gun. It is not an exaggeration to say leftists want to use criminals to prey on and terrorize the rest of society. How else can you explain their positions?

    2. 5-4 WA Supreme Court order denying mandamus is here: http://www.courts.wa.gov/content/publicUpload/Supreme%20Court%20Orders/983178PublicOrder042320.pdf

      The original relief requested—among other things, immediate release of prisoners 50 and over, regardless of criminal history—was pretty bad. I can see the logic behind the dissent: they want the WA DoC to show that they’re doing as far as infectious disease control, and that some of the individual petitioner prisoners might have a point, as regarding their individual situations.

      The case is styled Colvin v. Inslee, FWIW. Columbia Legal Services, counsel for Petitioners, has a bunch of the relevant filings at their website.

    1. “I feel like..”
      The most important metric of all.

  36. Woman running her own business taking it in the shorts while Newsom, fiddling, suffers not at all, tells Newsom enough’s enough:

    “Vacaville Salon Reopens Despite Stay-at-Home Order”
    […]
    “Lia Rivera, the woman who runs Hairendipity, said she understands the seriousness of defying the order, but she is willing to take the risk of a $1,000 fine. What she said she’s not willing to do is continue to stay at home while her business loses thousands of dollars.
    “It’s a survival tactic at this point,” Rivera said….”
    https://www.nbcbayarea.com/news/local/vacaville-salon-reopens-despite-stay-at-home-order/2280820/

    1. Here’s a link to her web page. I left a VM asking she set up some sort of fund; she’ll get some bucks from me:
      https://hairendipityvacaville.com/covid-19

    2. poor lady. Fuck Newsom and the jackass he rode in on

    3. Could she just liquidate to stop her losses? Or is $1,000 just a worthwhile cost of doing business? Can they get an injunction against her if she keeps operating despite the fines?

      1. I’m going to guess yes. Or they’ll just straight up use force and arrest her.

      2. How would you liquidate a business closed by government fiat with no re-opening scheduled?

  37. YouTube is getting in on the tech-companies-as-arbiters-of-truth game.

    OK, fine. But they’re no longer just a neutral platform provider so they better not start crying when they’re regulated like a publisher.

  38. I love how I can get all my news from the comment section, cause you guys are willing to link the stories Reason and the rest of the media doesn’t want you to hear about

    1. Yep. The day that Reason axes the comments is the day I never return.

  39. In the last 3 months or so, has anyone seen (just once) any ‘libertarian’ writer make the case that there should be no Federally mandated or funded CDC or WHO?

  40. So, yeah, GDP contracted at an annualized rate of 4.8% in the first quarter, and next quarter is likely to be far worse because the first quarter included months when things weren’t so virusy.

    The greater concern is reports like this:

    “General Electric shares rose 0.6% after the company said it was cutting $2 billion in costs to offset falling sales and profits. Boeing rose 4.9% after the aircraft manufacturer said it planned to cut jetliner production and 10% of its workforce.”

    https://www.wsj.com/articles/global-stock-markets-dow-update-04-29-2020-11588137391?

    Sometimes the market rewards companies for their expansion plans. It happens a lot with technology companies that need expansion to justify their lofty p/e ratios, but it does that with large, fully mature companies when the time is right, too. Right now is not one of those times. The market is rewarding them for cutting costs.

    This is always a tough spot for the economy, where the best interests of publicly traded companies and the value of their share prices is in direct opposition to the apparent best interests of working Americans. It’s the difference between Wall Street and Main Street. If laying off 50,000 people makes your share prices go up–and is exactly what you should do under the circumstances–that does nothing for the 50,000 people who lost their jobs or the communities in which they live.

    The question is, how do we go from an environment where the market is rewarding companies for slashing costs to an environment where the market is rewarding companies for expanding? We’re really talking about the forces that drive the economic cycle. There may be a number of good answers to that question, but I don’t think any of them say that we’re likely to see the market stop rewarding companies for cost cutting behavior after it’s reported that the economy contracted even further in the second quarter of 2020.

    Running the economy for the short term best interests of entrenched labor is stupid for the same reasons that socialism and communism are stupid. It is regularly in the bests interests of industry to lay off millions of people at this point in the economic cycle, and we should expect millions more layoffs amid soaring stock prices in the months to come. Shielding workers at this point will only hurt the recovery. This is happening because it needs to happen.

    The one thing we could do is lift the lock-down orders. Seeing the governors of California and New York lock-down their economies in the face of an impending recession is the stupidest thing I’ve ever seen anybody in a position of authority do. The sooner those restrictions are lifted, the better it will be for the workers in those states, but no one should imagine that the next six months will be better than they are now because the virus peters off.

    The virus is no longer the issue. The issue is where we are in the economic cycle, not how we got here, and where we are in the economic cycle is that companies are competing with each other in terms of how much costs they can cut relative to their competitors. That isn’t going away Q2 2020. That trend is likely to accelerate as the economy continues to contract.

    1. “…The question is, how do we go from an environment where the market is rewarding companies for slashing costs to an environment where the market is rewarding companies for expanding?..”

      Like any planned economy, we ask the Top Men to make us rich! They then flip that switch from “off” to “on”, and according to shitstains like Newsom, we’re all back in business!
      All this to make sure JFree et all didn’t catch a cold….

      1. Well, yeah, this is when we need the government to step in and protect workers from market forces!

        . . . never mind that market forces are people making choices, and you have to shit all over people’s freedom to make choices in order to protect workers from market forces.

        This stuff is central to Marxism. In a nutshell, this is why Marx thought socialism was inevitable and capitalism was doomed.

        We are a prosperous society on a huge scale that was unimaginable in the past in no small part because highly cyclical companies like Boeing can lay off half the population of Seattle when that’s what they should do. You want a culture of individualism and self-sufficiency to maintain them through those spots in the economic cycle.

        Meanwhile, the alternative to letting companies like Boeing lay off however many people they need, is to see them stagnate and die. The reason the Russians don’t have a competitive commercial airline manufacturing industry isn’t because they don’t understand the principles of jet engine design. It’s in no small part because they protected their workers from the throes of market forces for so long at the expense of industry that they no long have anything that could pass for the infrastructure necessary to maintain that industry.

        The 90% of Boeing workers who aren’t being laid off would not be better off if the company were prohibited from laying off workers and neither would the rest of the economy who depend on the consumer activity of those 90%.

  41. Cambodia is using the prospect of “fake news” to crack down on critics of the government.

    This is in fact the end-game of ‘cracking down on fake news’

    1. Dalmia often claims that India, for instance, is emulating President Trump’s misbehavior, when they do things against immigrants, etc.

      I think it’s more about how everybody in the world is subject to the same technological and economic forces at pretty much the same time–everywhere in the world. We imagine that our circumstances are unique to our own history and culture, but economic forces and the forces of technology are not unique to any particular country.

      It’s nothing new.

      The Revolutions of 1848 happened not just all over Europe for more or less the same reasons but also all over the world. There were revolutionary movements in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and the Yucatan. The protest movements circa 1968 happened all over the world, too. We think of it as being about Vietnam, but in other countries that weren’t at war in Vietnam, that wasn’t what it was about. The Mexican Movement of 1968 was not about Vietnam.

      We all think we’re doing things for our own reasons, but other people in other countries are driven by the same economic, technological, and social changes as we are. The populist movements that hit circa 2016 may have been interpreted locally, but the forces that drove populist support for Modi in India, Dutere in the Philippines, Brexit in the UK, Marine Le Pen and the Yellow Jacket Movement in France, and Alternative for Germany against Merkel were not unique to any of those countries. And the forces that drove President Trump to power weren’t unique to the USA either.

      It shouldn’t be a surprise to see “fake news” become an issue everywhere else in the world–not when social media is an issue pretty much everywhere. It’s really important to read international news to keep our own issues in perspective, actually. It’s easy to imagine that our problems are unique to our own history, but that isn’t the case. If you read Australian coverage of minority issues in that country, you’ll find that they minorities and the liberals who defend them say a lot of the same things in the same way as they do here in the United States–without our history of slavery, our civil rights movement, etc.

      If the things those people are saying are the same as the things people are saying here–despite our radically different histories–then the things they’re saying probably aren’t driven by historical forces. The things they’re saying are driven by social, economic, and technological forces that we’re both being battered by today.

      It’s probably the same story with “fake news” everywhere in the world.

  42. War!

    “A single death is a tragedy; a million deaths is a statistic.” -attributed to Josef Stalin

    As Uncle, a character in the novel, Inescapable Consequences, might characterize the current plague, “It’s all in your point of view.” There, he would agree with Stalin. From President Trump’s point of view, we’re at war against SARS-CoV-19. In war, combatants die.

    As in the novel, let’s look at the matter topographically:
    Context: A plague puny by historical standards.
    Antecedent: Some workers in meat-processing plants test positive for having had contact with the offending virus.
    Behavior: Closing the plants.
    Consequence: Disruption of the national food-chain.

    Now, let’s look at the matter functionally:
    Problem: A voluntary behavioral deficit in meat-processing in a time of “war”.
    Goal: To have returned the supply-chain to nearly normal.
    Plan: To prohibit governors from closing meat-processing plants.
    Measurement: Unknown.

    So, the question becomes, Is our response rational? The answer is, No! The government cannot deprive the population of food without severely adverse consequences.

    Is there a more rational way? Yes. What? A description begins with looking at basic factors, including looking at ourselves as a nation.

    See “Who? What? Where?” at …
    https://www.nationonfire.com/sciencepolitics/ .

  43. Catch-22 is to be feared wtf?

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