Coronavirus

The President and Governors Alike Botched the Pandemic Response

Competent responses to the crisis have come from people and organizations voluntarily helping each other and themselves.

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Last week, four Republican senators co-sponsored legislation "to let states approve and distribute diagnostic tests when the state or federal government has declared a public health emergency" becausein the words of their press release"our federal bureaucracy simply has not moved fast enough during this crisis." It was an explicit rebuke to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for botching COVID-19 testing and for standing in the way of state governments, universities, and private labs that were willing and able to do the job.

Implicitly, it was a shot from the president's own party at the Trump administration's incompetent handling of the pandemic. The senators could easily have broadened the targets of their bill; this year has seen the president, governors, and government officials of all types go out of the way to turn a health crisis into a larger catastrophe through bungling, malice, and overreach.

That the CDC dropped the ball is no secret. Early testing kits produced by the agency were contaminated by bad procedures and then bureaucratic delays hampered efforts to fix the problem. Amidst ample evidence of in-house incompetence, the feds then tried to make sure nobody else could show them up.

"Agencies within the Department of Health and Human Services not only failed to make early use of the hundreds of labs across the United States, they enforced regulatory roadblocks that prevented non-government labs from assisting," CNN noted last month.

Was the CDC's incompetence and obstructionism a result of inadequate resources? Nope. "The CDC's budget has ballooned from $590 million in 1987 to more than $8 billion last year. If the agency had grown with inflation since 1987, it would have a budget of about $1.3 billion today," Reason's Eric Boehm reported. The agency has all the money it needs for good or illand it's done ill in spades.

Perhaps inspired by the CDC's example, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has also done its best to impede pandemic response by stealing medical supplies before they can reach hospitals and clinics. FEMA "is quietly seizing orders, leaving medical providers across the country in the dark about where the material is going and how they can get what they need to deal with the coronavirus pandemic," the Los Angeles Times reported back in April. Desperate state officials and medical providers turned to smuggling shipments to avoid federal hijacking.

The blustering, authoritarian, and confused tone set by the man in the White House may explain the problem. Trump uses much of his time in pandemic-related news briefings to snipe at political rivalsan analysis by Britain's The Independent found he spent 27 times longer attacking enemies than expressing sympathy for victims of the virus. Trump also touts dubious miracle cures for COVID-19, going so far as to apparently self-medicate himself with hydroxychloroquine (a drug useful for treating malaria and other ailments, but with serious side effects and offering no proven benefit in the treatment of COVID-19).

The vast, powerful, and incredibly intrusive federal bureaucracy is headed by Trump, who also petulantly invokes the Defense Production Act to forcibly reshape the production and distribution of goods in ways that are already underway, or else that make no sense and threaten to do more harm than good. No wonder lower-ranking federal officials feel obliged to get in everybody else's way. Federal seat-warmer see, federal seat-warmer do.

In an understandable search for a more-competent counterpart to the president, journalists and pundits have, less understandably, turned to state governors. In particular, they developed something of a shared crush on Andrew Cuomo. The New York governor and Democrat has become "the appointed darling to step into the ring and serve as pugilist against Trump in this crisis," as DePauw University communications professor Jeffrey McCall put it. CNN even indulges cringe-worthy "interviews" of the governor by his brother that would be considered clumsy even at Pravda-style media operations.

But while many journalists may prefer Cuomo's political affiliation and semi-coherent presentations over those of Trump, the governor has his own significant failings. To applaud Cuomo's handling of the pandemic is to praise his personal approach to snatching medical supplies and his proven ability at killing granny.

When COVID-19 settled in, Cuomo threatened to strip ventilators and personal protective equipment from upstate hospitals and ship them to hard-hit New York City. Presented as an example of tough decision-making, the moveput off when upstaters pushed back hardis better viewed as the governor taking care of city residents who vote for him at the expense of those in northern and western counties who don't.

New Yorkers who won't ever again vote for anybody include nursing home residents who died of COVID-19 as a result of the state's arrogance-fueled venture into inadvertent biological warfare. "More than 4,500 recovering coronavirus patients were sent to New York's already vulnerable nursing homes under a controversial state directive that was ultimately scrapped amid criticisms it was accelerating the nation's deadliest outbreaks," the AP reported last week.

That revelation prompted the governor to back off his earlier vow to investigate nursing home conduct and penalize those that had put the elderly at risk. After all, the investigation threatened to implicate its instigatorsespecially since nursing home operators had warned that his policy was deadly.

"Multiple states are considering adopting an order similar to what was issued in New York that requires every nursing home to admit hospital patients who have not been tested for COVID-19 and to admit patients who have tested positive," cautioned the American Health Care Association on March 28. "This approach will introduce the highly contagious virus into more nursing homes. There will be more hospitalizations for nursing home residents who need ventilator care and ultimately, a higher number of deaths."

Sure enough, as of May 23, close to 6,000 people in New York nursing homes were confirmed or presumed dead due to Covid-19, according to state figuresabout one-fifth of the state's total dead from the pandemic.

If Trump is a walking, talking disaster as executive leaders of crisis responses go, and if Cuomo offers only a more crowd-pleasing brand of bungling, where do we look for competence? As is often the case when leaders seem determined to guide their followers over a cliff, wisdom can best be found among those who reject such leadership and set out to do things on their own, in voluntary cooperation with others.

Helen Chu, director of the Seattle Flu Study, ignored federal rules to identify the presence of the novel coronavirus in Washington state.

Businesses and hobbyists donated personal protective equipment to medical providers to make up the shortfall (my son's school used its otherwise idled 3D printers to produce hundreds of face shields for medical providers).

Individuals started social-distancing well before any government officials told them to do soand then eased back into regular patterns of life according to their own judgment, ahead of official permission.

Companies, such as Apple and Google, raced to develop contact-tracing technology that couldn't be used by governments for surveillance.

Parents and students explored learning at home when schools shut downand many decided they like it and might continue in the future.

And so much more …

Throughout this pandemic, competent and responsible responses have come not from presidents and governors, but from people and organizations taking the initiative to help each other and themselves. Absent political officials to boss us around and lead us down blind alleys, it turns out that we do pretty well. We might do even better if presidents, governors, and other officials would stay out of the way.

NEXT: Liberals Have Rediscovered the 10th Amendment's Value During the Coronavirus Pandemic

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  1. The gov failed at every level, 2/3 of all covid deaths came from Michigan and the Northeast(PA/NJ/NY/MA corinder the rest of the entire country is responsible for the other 1/3 maybe we should focus on what those people did wrong. Oh wait they had a policy of sticking sick nursing home patients in quarantined nursing homes in conjunction with being densly populated.

    1. this has always been a localized problem and should have been treated as such instead it was treated as a national one which was frankly a retarded disastourous poliy decision that’s on the hyperbolic media fanning the flames of doom making not shutting down politically untenable.

      1. And uncourageous/incompenten/malevelent political actors but I would expect nothing less from that class of useless bag of farts.

        1. Ordering infected old people to be stuck in homes for sick old people was the worst thing to do. They not only killed grandma, but by killing grandma they made the problem look worse than it actually was. Everybody’s dying and nobody knows why!

          But this reminds me of when the AIDS epidemic struck and they (“they” would include one of the nation’s top AIDS researcher, one Dr. Anthony Fauci) insisted that everybody was at risk, not just gays and drug users and the people who had sex with gays and drug users. Hundreds of millions will die unless we find a cure for AIDS!

          As it turns out, the coronavirus is not some superkiller any more than AIDS or killer bees or open 5-gallon buckets half-full of water. It’s mostly a threat to a certain class of persons, everybody else can be cautious but carry on.

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      2. Why are we the only ones to see this? I said 2 months ago this is not a pandemic, it’s a bunch of epidemics.

        1. It doesn’t matter history will remember this as a massive success story of smart governance.

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      3. “this has always been a localized problem and should have been treated as such instead it was treated as a national one ”

        See also: every other “problem” the federal government has ever attempted to “fix”

        1. In all honesty correct. But it’s important to remember that while the CDC issued guidelines it’s the Gov that decided to embrace this retarded lockdown on a state by state level.

          1. Also the feds fucked this up in many way’s so this in no way absolves them but the ways they fucked up were not nearly as damaging as the lockdowns.

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            2. Anything Trump did would have bee treated as the worst thing possible, no matter what, by the media. That didn’t help.

      4. I agree that it is mostly a local problem, but there is some role that the federal government needed to play like the ban on flights from China.

    2. NY had a lot of nursing home deaths due to stupid policy. But they’ve also had a lot of non nursing home deaths (about 2/3rds of their totals.)

      Keeping the subways running and not cleaning them while shutting most everything else down was beyond stupid.

      1. Agreed on all counts. New York I think will also be found to have juiced that stats considerably before this is all over.

      2. Didn’t they reduce the hours for the subways? forcing more people on to each train.

        1. I had not heard that.

          Sounds sadly plausible.

      3. They also don’t count nursing home patients that die at the hospital. So, they are likely undercounting by QUITE a lot.

    3. Why Michigan? I wonder why

  2. Always humorous to read a so called libertarian magazine promoting better government action.

    1. Should they be promoting worse government action? Most of them aren’t anarchists. Did you read the last paragraph?

      1. You don’t have to be an anarchist to want the government to fuck off.

      2. Did you read the last paragraph?

        What, actually read the article instead of just assuming the content and jumping straight into the comments with fully engorged rage boners? What website do you think this is?

      3. Oh shit you’ve upset Zeb again.

      4. “Should they be promoting worse government action?”

        Because those are the only two options you stupid fucking asshole.

      5. I did read the last graph. Although, I suppose that, if you are not a crypto-collectivist, it might not sound so positive.

        We might do even better if presidents, governors, and other officials would stay out of the way.

        Might? And exactly who decides what is ‘better.’ Sounds damned Utilitarian to me.

        Who the fuck gives a rat’s ass whether it would be ‘better’ or ‘worse’ if they stayed out of our way? They should stay the Hell out of our way precisely because they should not be getting in our way in the first place.

    2. Thank you.

      I don’t believe in the 427 Covid stories written at this website, anyone at REASON has stated: People should be able to do whatever the fuck they want to do.

    3. In fairness doing absolutley nothing would have been the best solution. We had multiple tests coming online in febuary the CDC and FDA sidelined. We have food supply shortages due to unnecessary regulation. We have roughly 50% of all victims deaths directly attributed to a nursing home policy mandated by gov. We have I’d say a 30% economic decline due to mandated shutdowns which would still be bad if we did nothing but not as bad. It’s just top to bottom failure. Nothing is always the best solution when gov is involved.

      1. My favorite libertarian slogan:

        “Don’t just do something, stand there!”

        1. Nice!

    4. “The vast, powerful, and incredibly intrusive federal bureaucracy is headed by Trump”

      The #DeepState that has been in open Coup against the man who ran with the slogan to #DrainTheDeepState?

      The Left has *no* cause to complain of Trump letting the medical #DeepState call most of the shots.

      *I* have a right to complain about Trump letting the medical #DeepState call the shots, because I’ve consistently advocated for leaving us *free* to buy medicine and medical services from whom we please.

      When has Reason come out in favor of *systematic* health care freedom? Have they come out in favor of letting *me* decide whether I take HCQ? Not that I’ve seen.

      Instead they’re shilling for CCP and WHO (same thing) studies pooh poohing HCQ.

      Now they’re just Orange Man Badding that Trump isn’t a good enough Progressive for them, that Trump didn’t turn the #DeepState rebelling against him into a perfectly efficient instrument of the public good.

      1. “Now they’re just Orange Man Badding…”

        Orange Man bad?!? He BAD, all right! He SOOO BAD, He be GOOD! He be GREAT! He Make America Great Again!

        We KNOW He can Make America Great Again, because, as a bad-ass businessman, He Made Himself and His Family Great Again! He Pussy Grabber in Chief!

        See The Atlantic article by using the below search-string in quotes:
        “The Many Scandals of Donald Trump: A Cheat Sheet” or this one…

        https://reason.com/2019/09/02/republicans-choose-trumpism-over-property-rights-and-the-rule-of-law/

        He pussy-grab His creditors in 7 bankruptcies, His illegal sub-human workers ripped off of pay on His building projects, and His “students” in His fake Get-Rich-like-Me realty schools, and so on. So, He has a GREAT record of ripping others off! So SURELY He can rip off other nations, other ethnic groups, etc., in trade wars and border wars, for the benefit of ALL of us!!!

        All Hail to THE Pussy Grabber in Chief!!!

        Most of all, HAIL the Chief, for having revoked karma! What comes around, will no longer go around!!! The Donald has figured out that all of the un-Americans are SOOO stupid, that we can pussy-grab them all day, every day, and they will NEVER think of pussy-grabbing us right back!

        Orange Man Bad-Ass Pussy-Grabber all right!

        We CAN grab all the pussy, all the time, and NONE will be smart enough to EVER grab our pussies right back!

        These voters simply cannot or will not recognize the central illusion of politics… You can pussy-grab all of the people some of the time, and you can pussy-grab some of the people all of the time, but you cannot pussy-grab all of the people all of the time! Sooner or later, karma catches up, and the others will pussy-grab you right back!

        1. Aren’t you dead yet? Suicide is the best thing for you, really. Your comments are going nowhere.

  3. Absent political officials to boss us around and lead us down blind alleys, it turns out that we do pretty well. We might do even better if presidents, governors, and other officials would stay out of the way.

    I generally agree with the first sentence. But see no reason whatsoever why the second is anything more than using an emergency to hype your own long-existing hobby horse. I can do that that too. We might do even better if we (meanly mostly DeRps) held prez/gov/bureaucrats accountable – including when it goes against our own partisan DeRptiness

    1. Stuff your PANIC!!! flag up your ass, stick first and sit on it.

      1. Everyone take note! Sevo is on the rag AGAIN today!

        If Sevo had efficiency in mind, perhaps Sevo would consider THIS idea: It would be MUCH easier for Sevo simply to let us know when Sevo is ***NOT*** on the rag-rage!

        1. Maybe douse yourself with gasoline and set your self on fire. Have you even tried?

          Do I have to think of everything?

    2. What practical difference do you see between the two sentences? The first says we do pretty good without politicians getting in the way. The second tells politicians to get out of the way.

      The only real objection is that the two sentences say the same thing in different words, and that seeing how you have willfully misconstrued them, a third tie-breaking redundant sentence may have been called for.

      1. I’m not an anarchist. Nor do I think that the fatalist impulse of anarchism – which imo underlies that second sentence – leads anywhere good. It is certainly counterproductive when used to limit govt because it denies all valid reasons for govt to exist. And because it is useless for that purpose it is also useless as a counter to those (read DeRps) who find all sorts of reasons why THEIR particular grandiosities of what govt should accomplish are valid. So it remains the purview of irrelevant two-year olds throwing temper tantrums about the world.

        There is a HUGE difference between acknowledging that people will on their own make huge strides in solving whatever problem pops up – and just shitting on every possible effort as a society/group to even anticipate those areas (an epidemic is one – because a virus doesn’t give a shit about your philosophy) where what a free society offers to the individual is much more than what he would be able to do if only he were free (Hayek)

        1. An analogy would be the difference between:

          Arguing that we shouldn’t get involved in WW2 (for whatever reason absent direct Axis sympathy)

          Arguing that the Axis can’t possibly be a threat to us – and even if we do get involved there is no reason to be competent about it because that’s not possible.

  4. “our federal bureaucracy simply has not moved fast enough during this crisis.”

    We don’t have a process for that.

    1. They don’t have a process, but they have a budget. A big one. The process will come after you increase the budget. And after the tragedy has already hit.

      1. The process will come after additional bureaucracy is developed, and then only when they have to justify their existence. Until then, the process will be discussed by the process development committee, once it’s put together, meetings scheduled, agendas approved, etc.

        1. Don’t forget securing lifetime pensions and healthcare for the bureaucracy before it’s process and mission is developed.

      2. When days count, the FDA and CDC are only weeks away from the solution.

    2. To be fair, it could be due to the toilet paper shortage.

    3. The author implies that the federal bureaucracy should have moved. I question that assertion. For the most part, Trump left it up to the states. Some did well, others not so much. So we get different approaches and each state can decide if they like New York or California or Texas or whatever. Do you really want the feds to control this? Who among us was smart enough to know that the CDC was not up to the task? Before you answer, remember that you now know some stuff that you didn’t know in February. Either the Chinese case fatality rate was wrong or Western supportive treatment was better than China or the virus mutated to become less dangerous or our lockdown or other control measures helped. If I was Trump, I would have trusted the CDC until I knew better. I hear y’all say, “only 100,000 dead, we didn’t need a lockdown!” Uh-huh, how many dead without the lockdown? When making your prediction, think about long division problem in elementary school and show your work. Be sure to look over your shoulder at Italy and Brazil.

      1. That’s right we need more stringent lock-downs… If it saves even one life it’s worth it. Pay no nevermind to the fact that the highest death rates were in the locations with the most severe lockdowns. Noem BAD! Cuomo and Whitmer GOOD!

        #OrangeManBad

      2. Who among us was smart enough to know that the CDC was not up to the task?

        I knew they were no capable when they weighed in on guns=medical issue

  5. New Yorkers who won’t ever again vote for anybody include nursing home residents who died of COVID-19

    They can still vote by mail, baby!

    1. Here in Pittsburgh there’s stories going around in the news of vote by mail recipients receiving not one, not two, BUT THREE identical ballots in the mail! They say each has a barcode assigned to the voter so duplicates won’t be counted…

      Let’s say that’s true…

      What’s to stop someone from stealing and filling in one of the 2 extra ballots before you get yours mailed in? Or what stops someone from sending in all 3 and hoping they get counted? Who is keeping track of duplicate ballots and who is verifying the info and signatures in them?

      1. You’re just being paranoid. Voter fraud is so rare that’s not even worth discussing. You must be an evil racist.

        #OrangeManBad

  6. “botch” is harsh on any side – we’re lower on the food chain than viruses. mankind was gonna take a hit no matter who was in charge

    1. The hubris is the most shocking aspect of the whole situation. People discuss the ability to control a virus like it’s a forgone conclusion that putting the right people in charge will prevent an airborne illness from spreading. Next time there’s a hurricane they’re going to act like it could have been prevented if only they had the right governor of Florida controlling the doomsday weather machine. The media knows full well that their claims are falsifiable so they get to declare victory or condemn failure on essentially a whim. It’s really something to watch. At the heart of it all is the underlying implication that if it weren’t for the great an powerful government, the earth itself would fly right off it’s axis.

      1. like it’s a forgone conclusion that putting the right people in charge will prevent an airborne illness from spreading

        Not with the churches closed.

        #jesustakethecentrifuge

  7. New Yorkers who won’t ever again vote for anybody include nursing home residents who died of COVID-19

    Oh they’ll still vote. Don’t you worry about that.

  8. BOTH SIDES GUYS!

    BOTH SIDES.

    1. They are desperate to portray it that way for sure.

      1. Entirely obvious that, absent the fiascoes in Democrat strongholds Reason would place the entire blame on Trump.

        Weeks now and still nothing of any substance on the Flynn case and the rather unique actions of the judge.

        1. Without the fiascoes in Democrat strongholds, we’d have a death count under a bad flu season. And even more egg on the faces of the lockdown artists like JFree.

          1. Indeed. So far in Spokane, no spikes since we’ve been opened up.

    2. “The president and governors alike have botched the pandemic response”

      “Liberals rediscover the 10th amendment”

      “Ron Wyden wants the government to stop spying on you”

      “Conservatives hate you and freedom because some state rep in bumblefuck Wyoming said something”

      Reason loves to bash “both sides” when the left fucks up

      1. “Liberals rediscover the 10th amendment”

        Strange isn’t it? Reason would never think to state ‘liberal’s response to Trump statement demonstrates their 10th Amendment hypocrisy.’

        Even though that is a much more accurate statement given that none of this will cause the left will not rethink their attitude towards the 10th (or the 9th) as regards any other issue. And they would surely tar any non-leftist for such a convenient flip-flop.

        But, that won’t happen because it’s not in the Reason stylebook.

        1. … given that the left will not rethink…

          PIMF

  9. The US is currently 9th in the world in per capita death rates from this virus. If, however, you consider downstate New York to be it’s own country, the nation of Downstate New York would have a reported death rate of 1772 per one million people, which is nearly twice the second place nation. The US without Downstate New York would fall to tenth in per capita death rate at 233 per one million.

    https://pjmedia.com/news-and-politics/matt-margolis/2020/05/24/the-united-states-still-doesnt-lead-the-world-in-coronavirus-deaths-n423763

    No, “governors” didn’t screw this up. Trump did not screw this up. A few governors and one in particular, the governor of New York, screwed it up so badly that their actions could fairly be called negligent homicide or manslaughter. This country came through this just fine except for New York and a few other states who used the force of law to put sick people in nursing homes and in New York’s case also refused to clean the subway.

    1. He murdered old people. Straight up murder.

      1. No mens rea.

    2. Trump screwed this up because he allowed the dumb science bitches at the CDC run their wet dream scenario without much pushback. If he had gone with his instincts and put this all on the governors repeadidly and played cheerleader it would have been fine. But he was blinded because the media was castrating anyone who disagreed with team lockdown and New York(his home) getting crushed by this. He fucked up by not following through on his instincts and taking the arrows in the short term for long term gain.

      1. I think that is a fair criticism. Trump screwed up in that he listened to idiots like Faluci too long. But, reason screamed that he didn’t do that enough. And even if he had ignored them, that still would not have prevented the governors from going nuts and locking everyone in their homes. So, Trump’s responsibility for that is at best as an accessory. It is not like he did it. And he is doing what he can to get them to stop it now.

        1. I largely agree but he didn’t stay on message at all. He was all over the place but than again that’s who he largely is so not unexpected.

        2. This is the legitimate criticism of Trump’s handling of the outbreak.

          He should have said fuck the Deep State, they’re too incompetent and corrupt to trust our health to during a pandemic.

          Actual libertarians are in a position to make that criticism. The Left is not. They would have gone apoplectic if Trump had ignored The Top Men, as would have most Republicans.

      2. It would’ve been best if Trump had stuck to his original “this too shall pass… no need to panic” response.
        But the media completely controlled the message and were aided by the public health “experts” in whipping up a pan(dem)ic frenzy. Politically, not sure he had a choice.
        Would’ve been nice if we’d had someone of authority, and if FoxNews hadn’t gone full MSM, really talking about the numbers and publicizing context to a much greater degree.
        As it is, here we are. Trump could’ve handled it better, but I’m glad he was in charge during this rather than anybody else.
        Can you imagine another president’s actions given the same coverage?
        A D wouldve gone full totalitarian at the federal level and a R wouldve completely caved to the panic mongers.
        Trump has straddled both sides (nothing special vs apocalyptic plague) about as well as I can imagine possible.
        I wouldve preferred he stick to the “nothing special” perspective, but I just don’t think it would’ve worked

        1. I wish he would have as well. But, the problem was thanks to China no one knew just how serious this was. Trump was left to guess and he guessed wrong. And like you said, the media and the bureaucracy panicked made it almost impossible to guess any other way.

    3. Doesn’t really matter what issue it is – COVID, the Flynn Fiasco, etc. Reason’s inability to call a spade a spade is wholly predictable.

    4. You can add Phailing Phil Murphy, governor of NJ to that list.

      Phailing Phil did exactly the same thing as Cuomo. Phil phucked up. Phailed Phil mandated nursing homes take covid-19 patients. And his decision killed a lot of elderly nursing home residents, and not a few VA nursing home residents.

      The son of a bitch should be drawn and quartered. It is that simple.

      1. They all should be. And the worst part of it is that they will never be held accountable for it and know it. Neither Murphy nor Cuomo give a flying fuck that those people died. They only care to the extent that they fear it might cost them politically. But, they sure as hell don’t feel bad about it or feel any kind of regret or conscience the way a decent human being would feel.

        1. Making the most egregious government actors pay a price should be the libertarian approach.

          But no enemies to the left is the operative rule at Reason.

          1. You would think the government forcing unwilling nursing homes to take sick people who then infected and killed the residents would be kind of a big deal. Gee, seems like there might be a libertarian angle to a story about government regulation resulting in the deaths of thousands of people. Yet, Reason rarely mentions it. It is just a “local story” I guess or something.

            1. Instead Tuccille specifically describes their actions and effects as ‘alike.’

              As if it was Trump equally guilty of killing thousands of nursing home residents. There is a vast gulf between nursing home outcomes in New York and Florida. Cuomo clearly botched it more than Desantis, but Tuccille wants to lump Orange Man in with the more negative. Any wonder why?

      2. Fuck off SQLSRY

      3. his decision killed a lot of elderly nursing home residents

        the virus. The virus killed a lot of elderly nursing home residents

    5. Nonsense. If Andrew Cuomo had really screwed up, surely Chris Cuomo would have asked him hard questions about his mistakes. Negligent homicide feels harsh. He was trying his best! If CNN doesn’t think there’s a problem, I don’t see any reason to get worked up about it.

      1. He meant well and with that son of a bitch Trump in the White House things just got out of hand.

        1. things just got out of hand

          Actually it was the opposite. They moved the elderly to homes in an effort to free up beds for children and their parents who are so ungrateful they don’t even show symptoms.

          If more children would just die, these Governors would be heroes. The Proggies will now do their best to manufacture an October surprise of thousands of dead kids. Anything to get rid of Trump!

          1. Every progressive I know is certain that come fall, another lockdown will be “necessary.” I’ve even been shocked that my ultra conservative mother-in-law who has been a nurse for 40 years thinks it’s okay to yell at people in grocery stores for not wearing masks. I won’t lower myself to watching these 24 hour news networks to see how they’re reporting, but is what most people see really that decontextualized? They really aren’t seeing that deaths for people under 50 without preexisting condition basically constitute a rounding error? As long as you’re not criminally mismanaging where and how the elderly are placed, there’s no reason to think that this won’t just pass through the working population slowly like a cold causing minimal damage, right?

            1. I know a couple of conservatives like that who believe not wearing a mask is akin to punching them in the nose, therefore assault and where your rights end. Even a few libertarians too.

              1. It’s the strangest thing. If you’re wearing a mask, why should it even matter if I’m wearing a mask. I’ve never been to a doctor’s office, even in the height of flu season and been asked to put on a mask. The nurses and doctors do it and that seems to have always been sufficient. If there’s a doctor here and I’m misunderstanding this, I would genuinely like it explained to me.

              2. “Even a few libertarians too.”

                You can think that way and certainly still be a conservative – much depends on exactly what you think you are seeking to conserve. But there is really no way to square that attitude with libertarianism.

        2. “It’s just this war pandemic, and that lying son of a bitch Johnson Trump!”

    6. The democrats are looking at Cuomo as a possible replacement for Biden, or maybe a 2024 nominee. Which is really ducking scary. Their party is pure dogshit.

  10. The blustering, authoritarian, and confused tone set by the man in the White House may explain the problem.

    Eh, probably not. I think what a lot of the bureaucratic bungling shows is that the federal bureaucracy has become to large and unwieldy for anyone to manage properly. I doubt that there’s anyone, especially anyone in the political class, that has the managerial competency to adequately manage the executive branch. Hell, it’s unlikely that anyone is competent enough to manage even a single department much less the entire executive. The reason they fucked up has nothing to do with who the president is or isn’t, but everything to do with the fact that fucking up is literally all they’re capable of doing.

    1. You can’t manage the bureaucracy because the President really doesn’t have the power to do so. Yeah, he can order them to do things and they will do it but the President doesn’t have time to manage everything and when he is not looking, they just ignore him.

      This is becomes even worse when the President is a Republican and the bureaucracy knows they can defy the President and run to the media for a friendly reception. Suppose Trump has told Faluci to get bent and ignored everything coming out of the NIH and CDC. The media would have crucified him and the public very well might have believed them. Worse, reason would have destroyed Trump for that but now criticizes him for not controlling the bureaucracy.

      1. I would think being president would have to be the worst job in the world, especially if you have the wrong letter after your name. Your entire job is to basically be a human port-o-pottie – you just catch shit all day. Anything that goes wrong is automatically your fault, and anything that goes well is automatically in spite of you, not because of anything you did. I would think whatever rush one gets from being the “MFIC” would go stale after about the 10th time of catching shit for something that wasn’t your fault. I would probably resign after about 2 months, but then again I wouldn’t want the job in the first place.

      2. Trump was the one who personally took supplies from hospital don’t you know or at the least must have been direct orders to FEMA to conscript supplies meant for other hospitals. Still trying to figure out who decided that was a good idea. People do need to be fired not just policy changes and new procedures. i guess more rules are needed

      3. Why hasn’t Trump chopped off some heads???

        THAT is disappointing, as he has canned critics, so why not the incompetents??

      4. There is no version of events where any of those people would ever give Trump the benefit of the doubt.

    2. Blaming a pandemic on Trump’s tone is peak #TDS.

  11. The reality is that Government Bureaucracy failed. Politicians from both major parties are pretty much the same. It is true that Trump is loud, but the opposition is as well.

    The media always tries to spin that the bureaucrats change out when a new president is elected. The truth is that the various government agencies are largely the same minus a few appointed leaders who are largely ignored by the long term bureaucrats who feel that they have the power set policy and politicians should be expected to let them.

    Funny how in times of crises the government suspends a lot of rules because the rules are obstructing resolving the crises. We should learn that the bureaucracy heavy government, both federal and state need to be seriously reduced.

    1. There are three centers of power in Washington; the President and his party, the opposition party, and the media. For the bureaucracy to care and actually get anything done, two of those three have to be up its ass. Without that, it just grinds along at its own past no matter what the President says or does.

      1. The #DeepState is the true center of rule, and it’s largely an arm of the Democratic Party. Or the Democratic Party is an arm of the #DeepState. As is the media.

        A little bit of the #DeepState is being turned by judicial appointments. A little progress is made at the top with a changing of political appointees. Another Trump term will make remake the judiciary. It’s a big deal, but the civil service marches on, and Trump appointees will be converged over time.

        We need systematic reform of the #DeepState.
        Term limits.
        Dispersal throughout the country.

        The DeepState is District 1. They work together, live together, send their kids to the same schools, they intermarry, then take their place in the bureaucracy. The #DeepState is not merely a class, but increasingly an hereditary geographic tribe.

  12. This is another article attempting to spread the blame for the COVID-19 mess. The responsibility needs to stop right at President Trump, because whether he believed it or not the “buck stops there”. Yes the bureaucracy and governors had problems, but you can not sort out what was their individual problems from the larger lack of leadership by the President. It is fair to say that government does not do the best job solving problems, but there is a big difference between the problems with a well led government and the disaster you get with a poorly led government.

    1. Bullshit. The President has very little room to actually lead these vast bureaucracies. And any attempt he has made has been met by your side calling him a dictator (because removing regulations is so dictatorial). The process to remove regulations is extremely cumbersome. Even EO’s get caught up in endless lawsuits. The problem lies solely with the creation of a plethora of alphabet soup agencies.

      1. “The President has very little room to actually lead these vast bureaucracies. ”

        It does not matter if this statement is true or not, because President Trump does not really lead at all.

        1. That isn’t his job. We don’t elect leaders or rulers. The fact that you want to be led shows what is wrong with this country.

    2. there is a big difference between the problems with a well led government and the disaster you get with a poorly led government

      No there isn’t. Governments eat people and grow.

    3. Goddamn, you’re so full of shit.

  13. What’s to blame is the theory of extreme social distancing that was codified as the national plan to deal with a pandemic. Social distancing is not some tested, well-established method of dealing with respiratory infections. It was concocted very recently, in 2006, by non-epidemiologists and based in part on a high school science project. However, its proponents gained influence in the circles of power and the plan to respond to an epidemic with social distancing was put in place in 2017. The coronavirus pandemic is the first time this plan was ever used. Because of the widespread panic in March everything in the plan had to be dialed to 11 right away.

  14. 8 governors did the right thing, that is did not lockdown.

    Trump didn’t order a lockdown.

    The virus is irrelevant now. It is and was the lockdown that is the problem.

  15. The Democrats and their media allies are going to bitch about anything Trump does, no matter what it is.

    They bitched that the ban on travel from China was racist, and then bitched that it didn’t go far enough and ban U.S. citizens in China from returning.

    They bitched that he didn’t declare a nationwide lockdown during the middle of his impeachment, then bitched that he didn’t have the authority to order a nationwide reopening.

    They bitch that he doesn’t wear a mask. If he were to start tomorrow, they would bitch that he was using a mask that should go to a doctor or a nurse.

    Instead of ‘Democracy Dies In Darkness’, the Washington Post should have made their motto ‘Bitch, Bitch, Bitch’. That goes for all the rest of them, too.

  16. “…officials played down the dangers, arguing that the Russian influenza represented a particularly mild strain. Some officials denied that it had arrived at all and insisted that patients merely had the common cold or a more typical, seasonal flu.”

    “Druggists throughout the country noted an unusually high demand for quinine, which some health authorities had suggested as a possible remedy—though medical journals warned against the dangers…”

    https://www.history.com/news/1889-russian-flu-pandemic-in-america

    The lessons were not learned. Those snippets are about the 1889 Russian Flu that, then, swept the world and is, now, thought to have, also actually, been a Corona Virus. Trump and company, like the politicians and bureaucrats of 1889 and 1918, first hid or minimized the pandemics’ risks for petty political purposes. Then once it was too late or too hard to do anything real the worst of them hawked the same old quinine or derivative snake-oils either in simple panic or as a desperate dodge of blame.

    1. Cower in fear of a cold, hihn

  17. “The President and Governors Alike Botched the Pandemic Response”’

    I am very surprised, the Government both Federal and States are usually so efficient. LOL LOL LOL LOL

  18. Trump Grippe.

    Even if we mayn’t learn the lessons of the past to lessen pandemics; maybe, we could at least learn to call them as well. The flu pandemic of the 1840’s that Tyler botched, Tyler like Trump botched a lot, was called Tyler Grippe.

    “Tyler was called ‘His Accidency,’ the ‘Executive Ass,’ and had ‘Tyler Grippe’ named after him. There was an attempt to impeach him and there were threats on his life. The Virginia Whigs formally expelled him from the party, and his entire cabinet resigned except for Webster, who was tied up in delicate foreign negotiations with Great Britain.”
    http://www.sayersnet.com/~dusty/history/aptiptye.htm

    It needs to be noted that Americans and Tyler’s Cabinet hadn’t the protections of the 25th Amendment, so can’t be blamed for not riding themselves of that ‘Executive Ass.’

    1. And what of Tippecanoe?

  19. I wonder what would have happened had Mr. Trump actually thumbed his nose at “The Experts.” He caught holy hell by doing everything they recommended. Many shoes to drop before thisis over! Imagine a virus that can come to the grocery store with you, on the bags you bring from home, but the same viruses don’t come on the clothes you brought from home…… SMART because the virus only likes old grocery bags and not clothing.
    A virus so smart it will only attack people in non essential businesses and waits until a group is 10 or more…….and then it strikes. If there is a group of nine it waits for the 10th to enter….and then the attack begins.
    A virus unable to attack in liquor stores but will definitely kill everyone at the gym. Imagine a virus so deadly that it can be killed with soap and water.
    Imagine a virus that can’t jump 3 feet over glass at the grocery store but could kill everyone at the fitness club…..but will in no way kill anyone buying booze, smokes, weed or fast food.
    Imagine a virus that doesn’t infect children but does infect old people because it can think and obviously can assess age before it strikes. Imagine a virus that can kill at less than 6 feet, not 7, not 8….6.
    Imagine a virus infecting everyone on TV but infecting no one you know personally……unless you’re on Facebook and then someone you don’t know, knows another person you don’t know, who knows a friend of Aunt Betty, who had the virus.
    Imagine a virus so deadly, hospitals are laying off nurses and closing entire floors…just to stay open.
    Imagine a virus so smart that it knows not to infect government officials as they’re signing government legislation regarding the virus killing everyone instantly at distances closer than 6 feet.
    Imagine a virus understanding that it can only kill the public and not the politicians who huddle together shoulder to shoulder in front of the cameras. Kill the public and leave the people in government alone.
    Imagine a virus that only infects non communist countries because it can see borders with its special glasses. This virus is really something.
    Imagine a virus that’s supposed to be airborne but doesn’t come out the sides of any mask because the mask is magic like that. The virus being so smart it knows to stay inside the mask and not leak out the sides of the mask with the rest of the air.
    And if the masks work at blocking the virus, why can’t we go back to work wearing masks and if they don’t work….why are we wearing them?
    Imagine a virus so smart that it will kill you instantly at the park, beach or on the bike path as you exercise (with no one else around you for miles) but will leave you alone at all essential businesses. Like pot shops….
    This is just a personal observation: Our grocery checkers (all of them) never have worn masks. They got plastic Shields about two weeks after the lock-down. True, our area of Oregon has been very lightly affected BUT these women and men are not among our very few infected (symptomatic and/or hospitalized) as far as I know.

    1. Well done

  20. Cuomo pushed through nursing home immunity provisions.
    The nursing homes will still be sued..and may face bankruptcy. The officials and directors may be spared.

  21. As usual JD you tells less than half the story, so he might focus on his agenda of blaming government. I quess because it feeds the ungrateful gadflies that circle reason.com. I know that had the president done his job everyone else, the governors and their respective states would have been better able to deal. How about you talk about the health system in this country which will not survive unless the
    gop and the federal government gets serious about their jobs: “to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquillity, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.” Coumo did more towards that end than Trump. And, you guys at reason.com think only of “liberty” without thinking about any of the other stuff. I would like to see you guys and girls engage in some self apprasial instead of blaming “government” for all of our problems for once.

    1. Get your tongue a little deeper in Cuomo’s ass there, buddy. I would just as soon anyone with as low an opinion of liberty as you die of e-coli as COVID.

      By the way, it says ‘promote the general welfare’, not ‘protect douchebags who refuse to take personal responsibility for their own health from people just trying to breath the public air’.

      1. Well the problem is that the air is public and free. It leads to people breathing too much. The direct cause of covid. If the air had been privatized and sold to the market, then people would be more efficient about their breathing.

        There is no covid in countries that have privatized their air. Only in countries where the air is socialized. Not a coincidence.

  22. This is a terrible take, wrapped in reasonable language.

    There is no case for “both sides” here.

    Cuomo and DeBlasio are the Typhoid Mary here. They are the “bunglers”. New York City did not require masks on the subway until April 17.

    I get that New York is kind of unique in the population density and use of public transit. So they had more urgent challenges than other areas.

    But this is a New York issue, not an everywhere else issue. Everywhere connected to New York is where the disaster is… except maybe Michigan and New Orleans.

    Governors all over the country handled things properly – closing down areas that needed closing, leaving others less restricted.

    But since everything is about partisan politics, the narrative is that those stupid rubes in the south and all those republican governors botched everything.

    They didn’t. There is zero evidence to back that up. In fact, the evidence is entirely to the contrary.

    1. The continued lockdowns are designed to distract from the disastrous decisions taken by those governors.

      It truly is an outrage.

      The second it becomes clear the lockdowns were causing more harm than good, these goof ball incompetents should have LIFTED them if they had a shred of decency in their souls.

      Instead, these sociopaths DOUBLED-DOWN.

      Whtmore is some kind of piece of work and she may get re-elected.

  23. Failures in this order:

    1) CDC and Health Canada: YOU HAD ONE JOB AND YOU FAILED.
    2) Governors and Premiers: YOU HAD ONE JOB (plus not panic) and yet many of you acted like supreme dicks. See Ford, Whimore, Cuomo, Newson, and Murphy.
    3) The President and Prime Minister: YOU HAD ONE JOB. LEAD. But instead, like the Gov. and Prem. you hid behind medical bureaucrats.
    4) Jews. Always da Jews.

  24. It is sad to see this article repeating the myth that hydroxychloroquine is not an effective treatment for COVID-19. A recent French study involving over 1,000 patients, found that the drug had a success rate of over 90% when used in the early stages of the body’s hyperinflammation reaction, and a 35% success rate even when used in the late stages of infection. And the study found that serious side effects were very rare. It all depends on when the drug is used and what dosage is used.

    https://video.foxnews.com/v/6152490232001?playlist_id=5622526903001#sp=show-clips

  25. what a jack ass headline. As if a state has the laws, rules , regulations or resources to manage a pandemic.

    whereas Trump and MCConnles’ federal government has all including trial runs and guidance from the world’s best.

  26. Hindsight is always 20/20: More than 4,500 recovering coronavirus patients were sent to New York’s already vulnerable nursing homes. odessa electricians

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