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Duncan Grant

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Hometown: Northern California
Member since: 2003 before July 6th
Number of posts: 7,895

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Protest song - worthy of Bette Midler. (NSFW: NC-17)

The Coronavirus Called America's Bluff (The Atlantic)

The Coronavirus Called America’s Bluff
Like Japan in the mid-1800s, the United States now faces a crisis that disproves everything the country believes about itself.
-Anne Applebaum

The United States, long accustomed to thinking of itself as the best, most efficient, and most technologically advanced society in the world, is about to be proved an unclothed emperor. When human life is in peril, we are not as good as Singapore, as South Korea, as Germany. And the problem is not that we are behind technologically, as the Japanese were in 1853. The problem is that American bureaucracies, and the antiquated, hidebound, unloved federal government of which they are part, are no longer up to the job of coping with the kinds of challenges that face us in the 21st century. Global pandemics, cyberwarfare, information warfare—these are threats that require highly motivated, highly educated bureaucrats; a national health-care system that covers the entire population; public schools that train students to think both deeply and flexibly; and much more.

The failures of the moment can be partly ascribed to the loyalty culture that Trump himself has spent three years building in Washington. Only two weeks ago, he named his 29-year-old former bodyguard, a man who was previously fired from the White House for financial shenanigans, to head up a new personnel-vetting team. Its role is to ensure that only people certifiably loyal are allowed to work for the president. Trump also fired, ostentatiously, the officials who testified honestly during the impeachment hearings, an action that sends a signal to others about the danger of truth-telling...

As a nation, we are not good at long-term planning, and no wonder: Our political system insists that every president be allowed to appoint thousands of new officials, including the kinds of officials who think about pandemics. Why is that necessary? Why can’t expertise be allowed to accumulate at the highest levels of agencies such as the CDC? I’ve written before about the problem of discontinuity in foreign policy: New presidents arrive and think they can have a “reset” with other nations, as if other nations are going to forget everything that happened before their arrival—as if we can cheerfully start all relationships from scratch. But the same is true on health, the environment, and other policy issues. Of course there should be new Cabinet members every four or eight years. But should all their deputies change? And their deputies’ deputies? And their deputies’ deputies’ deputies? Because that’s often how it works right now.

All of this happens on top of all the other familiar pathologies: the profound polarization; the merger of politics and entertainment; the loss of faith in democratic institutions; the blind eyes turned to corruption, white-collar crime, and money laundering; the growth of inequality; the conversion of social media and a part of the news media into for-profit vectors of disinformation. These are all part of the deep background to this crisis too.


New CDC guidance says older adults should 'stay at home as much as possible' due to coronavirus

Source: CNN Health

Amid a coronavirus outbreak in the United States, the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is encouraging older people and people with severe chronic medical conditions to "stay at home as much as possible."

This advice is on a CDC website that was posted Thursday, according to a CDC spokeswoman.
Early data suggests older people are twice as likely to have serious illness from the novel coronavirus, according to the CDC.

A Trump administration official tells CNN that the US Department of Health and Human Services "is in the process of doing targeted outreach to the elderly community and those that have serious underlying health conditions."

The CDC guidance comes as two top infectious disease experts with ties to the federal government have advised people over 60 and those with underlying health problems to strongly consider avoiding activities that involve large crowds, such as traveling by airplane, going to movie theaters or concerts, attending family events, shopping at crowded malls, and going to religious services.

Read more: https://www.cnn.com/2020/03/06/health/coronavirus-older-people-social-distancing/index.html
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