Monday, March 23, 2020

Coronavirus/COVID-19 Pandemic (Ongoing Archive)


Good PBS Newshour on the last 24 hrs of protests.

Protests in 141 cities during that time. That is a massive movement of American citizens across the nation demanding justice.

President Trump has failed this country. Don't fall for his disinformation campaign that this is the work of outside agitators or his desperate photo ops trying to get us to think he is a good christian. On that last point check out Bishop Mariann Edgar Budde's comments around the 20 minute mark about Trump's photo-op in front of her church in which we can see a powerful message of what is important at this time and what a conscientious Christian is like.

Once again, this is a good snapshot of this period of time.




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"A Force Outside Myself: Citizens Over 60 Speak." McSweeney's (April 6, 2020) ["In the past few weeks, the voices and even the lives of older people have been marginalized, scapegoated, written off. Most recently, certain politicians have presented a false and horrifying choice — either we protect citizens over 60 or we save the economy. We thought it was time to hear their voices. They are living this anxious, troubled moment like no one else. Every day we will add more stories to this mosaic — some tragic, some wistful, some full of levity and hope. They will be at the top of this page every morning. Please add your voice. If you want to share your thoughts, or if you know a family member, neighbor, or friend who should be heard."]

Ali, Wajahat and Sarah Kureshi. "COVID-19 Q & A." In the Thick (March 25, 2020) ["Maria and Julio are joined by power couple husband and wife: ITT All-Star, Wajahat Ali, contributing Op-Ed writer with The New York Times and CNN commentator, and Dr. Sarah Kureshi, physician at Georgetown Family Medicine. They talk about the medical and economic impacts of COVID-19, how their family is approaching social distancing, and what we can do to play our part in containing this outbreak."]

Anderson, Warwick and Jim Yong Kim. "Public Health Across the Pacific." Open Source (April 30, 2020) ["There’s a shocking big truth in those coronavirus numbers – hidden in plain sight, as the saying goes. It comes down to this: China and various neighbors in East Asia beat the lethal virus to its knees months ago. It’s Europe and the US for the most part that inadvertently or not are pushing death tolls higher. Tabulate deaths per capita, and you see the new big picture: The New York State score so far would be 900 deaths per million New Yorkers; the Malaysia score would be 3. Massachusetts has lost 460 people per million; New Zealand 4. Connecticut has lost 600 people per million population. China: 3. First question to East Asia might be: why is your death-rate running roughly one percent of ours?"]

Atwood, Margaret. "It's the Best of Times, It's the Worst of Times. Make the Most of It." Time (April 16, 2020)

"Autonomous Groups Are Mobilizing Mutual Aid Initiatives To Combat The Coronavirus." It's Going Down (March 14, 2020)

Baker, Michael. "As New Zealand Eliminates COVID, Epidemiologist Says 'We Look at Trump’s Behavior & We’re Horrified.'" Democracy Now (March 26, 2020) ["To learn how New Zealand has largely eliminated COVID-19, we continue our extended interview with Michael Baker, an epidemiologist who is a member of the New Zealand Ministry of Health’s Technical Advisory Group and advising the government on its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He describes how the country’s response compares to the government actions in the United States and worldwide."]

Barker, Tim. "It Doesn't Have to Be a War." Dissent (March 20, 2020) ["The Trump administration appears ready to invoke the Defense Production Act to speed manufacture of essential goods like face masks. What if we didn’t have to resort to the analog of war?"]

Benton, Michael Dean. "COVID-19: April 15, 2020." Dialogic Cinephilia (April 15, 2020)

Berditchevskaia, Aleks and Kathy Peach. "Coronavirus: Seven ways collective intelligence is tackling the pandemic." The Conversation (March 12, 2020)

"Between Quarantine and Rebellion." This is America #109 (March 11, 2019)

Bevins, Vincent. "In Brazil, Bolsonaro Gambles on a Coronavirus Culture War." NYR Daily (March 23, 2020)

Bliss, Laura. "When the World Stops Moving." City Lab (March 19, 2020) ["Jarringly quiet highways and empty rail cars are signs of Covid-19’s profound economic and public health impacts. Perhaps leaders can also learn from them."]

Branford, Sue. "Evangelical Group to Contact Indigenous Peoples in Amazon Amid Coronavirus Pandemic." Earth Island Journal (March 18, 2020) ["A fundamentalist Christian organization has purchased a helicopter with plans to visit and convert isolated groups in remote Brazilian rainforest."]

Brown, Wendy. "A Neoliberal Pandemic." Economics & Beyond (June 18, 2020) ["UC Berkeley political theorist Wendy Brown talks to Rob Johnson about how the pandemic and protests against police brutality lay bare a crisis of neoliberalism."]

Butler, Judith. "Capitalism Has Its Limits." Verso (March 20, 2020) ["One reason I voted for Sanders in the California primary along with a majority of registered Democrats is that he, along with Warren, opened up a way to re-imagine our world as if it were ordered by a collective desire for radical equality, a world in which we came together to insist that the materials that are required for life, including medical care, would be equally available no matter who we are or whether we have financial means. That policy would have established solidarity with other countries that are committed to universal health care, and so would have established a transnational health care policy committed to realizing the ideals of equality. The new polls emerge that narrow the national choice to Trump and Biden precisely as the pandemic shuts down everyday life, intensifying the precarity of the homeless, the uninsured, and the poor. The idea that we might become a people who wishes to see a world in which health policy is equally committed to all lives, to dismantling the market’s hold on health care that distinguishes among the worthy and those who can be easily abandoned to illness and death, was briefly alive. We came to understand ourselves differently as Sanders and Warren held out this other possibility. We understood that we might start to think and value outside the terms that capitalism sets for us. Even though Warren is no longer a candidate, and Sanders is unlikely to recover his momentum, we must still ask, especially now, why are we as a people still opposed to treating all lives as if they were of equal value? Why do some still thrill at the idea that Trump would seek to secure a vaccine that would safeguard American lives (as he defines them) before all others? The proposition of universal and public health reinvigorated a socialist imaginary in the US, one that must now wait to become realized as social policy and public commitment in this country. Unfortunately, in the time of the pandemic, none of us can wait. The ideal must now be kept alive in the social movements that are riveted less on the presidential campaign than the long term struggle that lies ahead of us. These courageous and compassionate visions mocked and rejected by capitalist “realists” had enough air time, compelled enough attention, to let increasing numbers – some for the first time – desire a changed world. Hopefully we can keep that desire alive, especially now when Trump proposes on Easter to lift constraints on public life and businesses and set the virus free. He wagers that the potential financial gains for the few will compensate for the increase in the number of deaths that are clearly predicted, which he accepts, and refuses to stop – in the name of national health. So now those with a social vision of universal health care have to struggle against both a moral and viral illness working in lethal tandem with one another."]

Cho, Joshua. "Corporate Looting as ‘Rescue Plan,’ Robber Barons as ‘Saviors.'" FAIR (May 1, 2020)

Chomsky, Noam. "On Trump’s Disastrous Coronavirus Response, Bernie Sanders & What Gives Him Hope." Democracy Now (April 10, 2020) ["How did the United States — the richest country in the world — become the worldwide epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, with one person dying of COVID-19 every 47 seconds? We spend the hour with Noam Chomsky, the world-renowned political dissident, linguist and author, discussing this unprecedented moment in history, and its political implications, as Senator Bernie Sanders announces he is suspending his campaign for the presidency. Chomsky also describes how frontline medical workers and progressive organizing are giving him hope."]

Colón-Ramos, Daniel. "This Is Nothing We’ve Ever Seen Before." Latino Rebels (March 22, 2020) ["The COVID-19 outbreak is unprecedented. How do we begin to process what we are all experiencing? On this episode of Latino Rebels Radio, we welcome Daniel Colón-Ramos, professor of cellular neuroscience at Yale and co-founder of Ciencia PR, to talk about what the science is saying and what we can learn about the pandemic."]

Cook, Jonathan. "A Lesson Coronavirus is About to Teach the World." Consortium (March 19, 2020)

---. "Our Leaders are Terrified. Not of the Virus – of Us." Counterpunch (March 26, 2020)

Coppins, McKay. "Pandemic Propaganda." On the Media (March 13, 2020) ["After weeks of downplaying the COVID-19 outbreak and overstating his administration's response, President Trump shifted to a more serious tone in Wednesday's national address. Over the past week, the president claimed that health officials were prepared to deploy millions of tests, and that his White House wasted no time in slowing the spread of the virus. If only. South Korea, which discovered its first COVID-19 patient around the same time as the US, is testing 10,000 people a day, roughly the same number of people tested in the US total since mid-January. Meanwhile, there are widespread reports of tests delayed and denied because of shortages of kits and personnel. And, accounts by unnamed sources close to the President say he resisted offers by domestic labs to produce virus tests — because he didn’t like the “optics” of "national emergency" that steeply rising numbers would imply. These discrepancies and contradictions between what the president, his media allies, critical journalists, and other high-ranking officials say is a tiresome pattern that has defined Trump's time in office. According to McKay Coppins, staff writer at The Atlantic, our current state of information overload is called "censorship through noise": a propaganda strategy that has largely protected the president from accountability, but one that leaves us deeply vulnerable during our current public health crisis. Coppins and Brooke discuss the partisan distrust in COVID-19 news and the empty rhetoric from the White House."]

"Coronavirus." Issues in Science and Technology (Ongoing archive of articles)

"Coronavirus Readings: The Politics of COVID-19." The Syllabus (Ongoing Archive)

Cullen, Art. "Editorial." Storm Lake Times (April 17, 2020) [On the desperate conditions of exploited workers in the meat processing plants in Iowa during the Coronavirus/COVID-19 epidemic.]

David, John. "Civilization Ruffled by Another Perfect Epidemiological Storm." Counterpunch (March 19, 2020)

Davis, Mike. "On Coronavirus in a Plague Year." Jacobin (March 14, 2020) ["As coronavirus spreads rapidly around the world, outpacing our capacity for testing let alone treatment, the long-anticipated monster is finally at the door. And with global capitalism so impotent in the face of this biological crisis, our demands must be for properly international public-health infrastructure."]

---. "Social Distancing, Not Home Arrest." Haymarket Books Blog (March 18, 2020)

Delgado, David Dee. "Millions of Essential Workers Are Being Left Out of COVID-19 Safety Protections." TruthOut (April 20, 2020)

Dixon, Wheeler Winston. "The 21st Century Plague: Cinema in the Age of COVID-19." Senses of Cinema #94 (April 2020)

Dowd, Sarah. "One Mask for Five 12-Hour Shifts: Harlem Hospital Nurses Demand Better Protection Amid Pandemic." Democracy Now (April 6, 2020) ["As New York state’s death toll from coronavirus passes 4,000, nurses and medical workers on the frontlines in New York City are protesting for better protections. We go to a demonstration outside Harlem Hospital to speak with Sarah Dowd, a registered nurse who works in its medical/surgical unit and has been treating COVID-19-positive patients. She is a member of the New York State Nurses Association union. “This is not a time for people to be sitting on the sidelines,” Dowd says. “We need to make big demands of the system.”"]

Duhigg, Charles. "A Tale of Two Cities." On the Media (May 15, 2020) ["Opacity, we know, is antithetical to public health in a pandemic. But there are more ways to undermine public trust and cooperation than suppressing bad news. Because when news is bad — or simply uncertain — human behavior can go in all the wrong directions.  Fortunately, public health authorities have been through this before. From polio in the 1950s through H1N1 in 2009 and Ebola from 2014 to 2016, their experience has coalesced into a compendium of best practices for informing the public: a literal playbook published by the CDC’s Epidemic Intelligence Service. It’s dedicated to the dos — and the please, please, please don’ts — of pandemic communications. In a recent New Yorker article, Charles Duhigg, host of the podcast How To! With Charles Duhigg, wrote the tale of two cities, Seattle and New York, struck back to back with coronavirus outbreaks. One city’s leaders followed the CDC guidelines to the letter. The other’s... did not. Duhigg and Bob discuss the cities' experiences, and the lessons they offer as the virus continues to spread."]

Estes, Nick.  "Indigenous Historian Nick Estes on Toppling Statues, Racist Team Names & COVID-19 in Indian Country." Democracy Now (July 6, 2020) ["President Trump’s visit to Mount Rushmore comes after months of escalating coronavirus infections in Native communities, but Indigenous scholar and activist Nick Estes says South Dakota Governor Kristi Noem, like many of her Republican counterparts across the U.S., has taken a “hallucination-based approach to the COVID-19 pandemic,” and notes she refused to enforce social distancing at this weekend’s event that attracted thousands of people. He also reacts to growing pressure on the Washington Redskins and Cleveland Indians to change their racist names." Part 1: "'He Wasn’t Invited': How Trump’s Racist Mt. Rushmore Celebration Violated Indigenous Sovereignty.".]

Farooqi, Salik, et al. "The Pandemics Social and Psychic Context." Trotsky and the Wild Orchids #36 (June 2, 2020) ["Salik Farooqi comes on the show to discuss the pandemic from the perspective of political sociology. For this episode we read: An Organic Crisis is upon UsOn the Concept of HistoryGooseberriesPandemic’s Lesson: Global Capitalism is Uneven and Dangerously ParticularisticThe Myth of Sisyphus; and the Wiki on total football."]

Field, Matt. "Assessing Trump’s coronavirus approach: a Q&A with public health expert Saskia Popescu." Bulletin of the Atomic Scientists (March 13, 2020)

Finnegan, William, et al. "A City at the Peak of Crisis." The New Yorker Radio Hour (April 24, 2020) ["Experts predicted that Wednesday, April 15th would be a peak of the COVID-19 pandemic in New York City, its epicenter. On that day, a crew of New Yorker writers talked with people all over the city, in every circumstance and walk of life, to form a portrait of a city in crisis. A group-station manager for the subway talks about keeping the transit system running for those who can’t live without it; a respiratory therapist copes with break-time conversations about death and dying; a graduating class of medical students get up the courage to confront the worst crisis in generations; and a new mother talks about giving birth on a day marked by tragedy for so many families. The hour includes contributions from writers including William Finnegan, Helen Rosner, Jia Tolentino, Kelefa Sanneh, and Adam Gopnik, who says, “One never knows whether to applaud the human insistence on continuing with some form of normal life, or look aghast at the human insistence on continuing with some form of normal life. That's the mystery of the pandemic.”"]

Freeman, Chas and Jeffrey Sachs. "COVID's Cold War." Open Source (May 7, 2020) ["The coronavirus may have arrived just in time to punctuate a 50 year turn in the grand tide of events. It could mark, that is, a fresh fixation in American minds on an external enemy. It could become the opening round even of a new Cold War, with China this time. But at what price? The hybrid giant “Chi-Merica” was the name of a partnership as well as a rivalry that grew out of Richard Nixon’s first visit to China in 1972. It was the combination that made China the workshop of the world, for better and worse. In the last decade Chi-Merica has driven a huge portion of global growth. But it’s at risk suddenly in the poisoned fallout of a pandemic. Between the pandemic still spreading, and the presidential campaign taking shape, this is tryout time in the blame game. President Trump’s contentious diplomat, Mike Pompeo, has walked back his accusation that the killer virus came out of a Chinese lab at Wuhan. Probably because US intelligence wouldn’t back him up, the Secretary of State now says there’s evidence on the point, but no certainty. Senator Tom Cotton of Arkansas is still the point man among “Blame China” Republicans. This week, he said the Chinese Communist Party is responsible for every death, every job lost, every retirement nest egg cracked by COVID-19, and he said that Xi Jinping and his comrades must be made to pay the price. Between Donald Trump and Democrat Joe Biden, meantime, the campaign videos for both sides argue the same point: that the Other Guy was chummier with China and said sweeter things about the Chinese leadership in happier times."]

Garrett, Laurie. "As Trump Claims 'Fantastic Job' on COVID, Reporter Laurie Garrett Warns Pandemic May Last 36+ Months." Democracy Now (May 6, 2020)

Gates, Bill. "Vision for Life Beyond the Coronavirus." The Ezra Klein Show (April 27, 2020)

Glasser, Susan B. "The Coronavirus Election." The New Yorker Radio Hour (March 27, 2020) ["It’s been just over a month since Donald Trump tweeted for the first time about the coronavirus—saying, in essence, that the virus did not pose a substantial threat to the United States. Why did he so dramatically underplay the risks of COVID-19? “With Trump, sometimes the answer is pretty transparent,” The New Yorker’s Washington correspondent, Susan B. Glasser, told David Remnick, “and, in this case, I think the answer is pretty transparent. He didn’t want anything to interrupt his reëlection campaign plan, which entirely hinged on the strength of the U.S. economy.” Even as the virus spreads, Trump has criticized widespread self-isolation orders and made overtures toward reopening businesses to revitalize the economy. Meanwhile, Joe Biden, Trump’s likely Democratic Presidential opponent, has refrained from openly antagonizing the President. Glasser weighs this tactic: “Do you attack Trump right now, or do you just sort of stand out of the way and let him shoot himself in the foot?”"]

Gonzalez, Juan. “'Make No Mistake: This Country Is Edging Closer to Neo-Fascist Authoritarianism.'” Democracy Now (March 21, 2020) ["We get an update from Democracy Now! co-host Juan González about his mother and wife, who were infected with COVID-19, and discuss how right-wing Trump supporters are brandishing automatic weapons at protests to demand an end to coronavirus shutdowns and are being egged on by the president. “We should make no mistake, that this country is edging closer and closer to neo-fascist authoritarianism,” says González, expressing concern these actions will become normalized in the lead-up to a bitter national election in November."]

Gostin, Lawrence. "WHO Adviser on Meat Plants: If We’re at War, the Weapons We Need Are Tests and PPE, Not Pork." Democracy Now (April 30, 2020) ["As President Trump invokes the Defense Production Act to bar local governments from closing meatpacking plants around the United States, we get response from a longtime adviser to the World Health Organization. “When Congress passed that act, it certainly did not have in mind that the president has the power or the right to put workers’ lives and health at risk,” says Lawrence Gostin, professor of global health law at Georgetown University and director of the World Health Organization Center on National and Global Health Law. Gostin also discusses why he joined 40 leading center directors in a declaration this week that urges Trump and Congress to restore and increase WHO funding."]

Gottlieb, Scott. "On how, and when, to end social distancing." The Ezra Klein Show (April 14, 2020) ["The former FDA commissioner doesn’t think the US is going to return to normal anytime soon."]

Greenberg, Michael, George Packer and Nathan Robinson. "Questions of Leadership." Open Source (April 23, 2020) ["The Andrew Cuomo Daily Show has become the high ground of coronavirus talk: all kinds of numbers, trend lines, and family feeling, too. The Donald Trump Show has typically been a carnival of rage, boasting, and misinformation: some of his own people want to shut it down. Where else for light and truth? The Congress, you’d expect. But the people’s branch of government has turned its own lights out for the duration. The members have gone home. Joe Biden has a TV studio at home, but the lustre has faded some around the last Democrat standing in the presidential race when it got rained out, virused out, after Super Tuesday."]

Haiven, Max. "The Fight When Spring Comes." This is Hell! #1150 (March 25, 2020) ["Writer Max Haiven on the world mid-crisis, the struggle to come, and his essay "No return to normal: for a post-pandemic liberation" for ROAR Magazine."]

Hamblin, James. "What Will You Do If You Start Coughing: 'Stay Home' Is Not a Sufficient Plan." The Atlantic (March 11, 2020)

Head, Billy, Claire Perkins and Julia Vassilieva. "Tuning into COVID-19: How the pandemic has changed screen content and viewing practices." Lens (July 8, 2020) ["Our experience of the coronavirus pandemic has been filtered through screens of various sizes – TV screens, computer screens, mobile phone screens. Working alongside each other, broadcast media, social media, citizen science and individually-produced footage rapidly established a distinctive "visual economy" for screen representations of COVID-19 – a set of representational norms that has blurred the boundaries between documentary, news, amateur filmmaking, and surveillance and automated images. These norms will be instrumental in how the pandemic is archived and remembered in the future. It includes a vocabulary of iconic images on our screens, the circulation of which has imbued them with highly charged affective and symbolic values."]

Hudson, David. "Coping." Current (July 14, 2020) ["Kaufman sees mental well-being “as a site of sanctity that must be tended to and preserved,” especially when the news is “an infinite scroll of death, devastation, and disappointing leadership, while our ongoing state of social distancing means there are scant opportunities ‘for the simple harbor of a hug’ (words from the poet Grace Nichols). The temptation can be to languish in hysterical despair and to deny the opportunity for relief because it feels like a gross indulgence, but who does it serve when you make yourself an invisible martyr to the ills of the world?” Art “valorizes the quiet stirrings we have to live by bolder instincts.”"]

---. "The Virus and the Movies." The Daily (March 17, 2020)

Jayaraman, Saru and Damani Varnado."Facing Mass Layoffs, Restaurant Workers Living 'Tip to Mouth' Demand Living Wage & Paid Sick Leave." Democracy Now (March 18, 2020) ["Mass shutdowns and layoffs due to the spread of COVID-19 are affecting millions of restaurant workers across the U.S., with bars and restaurants closing for the foreseeable future. Servers, bartenders, kitchen staff and more have been left in the lurch, many without paid sick leave, paid time off or benefits. One study estimated 4 million restaurant workers in the U.S. are at risk of losing their jobs in a matter of weeks. For more on the impacts on service workers, we speak with Saru Jayaraman, the co-founder of the Food Labor Research Center at the University of California, Berkeley, and president of One Fair Wage, which has launched an emergency fund to support workers during this time. We also speak with Damani Varnado, a restaurant worker who has worked in catering, fine dining and cocktailing for the past 20 years in New York City. He was working at the restaurant Tiny’s & The Bar Upstairs when the whole staff was let go during the coronavirus pandemic. The coronavirus outbreak is a “devastating” blow to an industry that had “severe structural inequality problems that existed long before this crisis,” Saru Jayaraman."]

Kaba, Mariame. "We Need a People's Bailout to Combat Coronavirus." The Intercept (March 19, 2020)

Kay, Jonathan and Toby Young. "On COVID Superspreaders." Quillette #88 (April 29, 2020)

Kelly, Sharon. "Meet the Climate Science Deniers Who Downplayed COVID-19 Risks." Desmog (March 16, 2020)

Klein, Naomi. "'Coronavirus Capitalism': Naomi Klein’s Case for Transformative Change Amid Coronavirus Pandemic." Democracy Now (March 19, 2020) ["Author, activist and journalist Naomi Klein says the coronavirus crisis, like earlier ones, could be a catalyst to shower aid on the wealthiest interests in society, including those most responsible for our current vulnerabilities, while offering next to nothing to most workers and small businesses. In 2007, Klein wrote “The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism.” Now she argues President Trump’s plan is a pandemic shock doctrine. In a new video for The Intercept, where she is a senior correspondent, Klein argues it’s vital for people to fight for the kind of transformative change that can not only curb the worst effects of the current crisis but also set society on a more just path."]

Klein, Naomi and Jeremy Scahill. "Discuss Coronavirus, the Election, and Solidarity in the Midst of a Pandemic." Intercepted (March 17, 2020)

Krekó, Péter and Patrik Szicherle. "Gone Viral: Covid-19 in the disinformation ecosystem." Eurozine (March 17, 2020)

Kriss, Sam. "Love in the Time of Coronavirus." Idiot Joy Shadowland (March 12, 2020)

Lennard, Natasha.  "After the Quarantine, The Flood." Commune (March 14, 2020)

Leonhardt, Dave. "A Complete List of Trump's Attempts to Downplay Coronavirus." The New York Times (March 15, 2020)

Levey, Noam. "Keeping Eyes on the Supply Chain." On the Media (April 10, 2020) ["Since the outbreak of COVID-19, the agencies and organizations tasked with facing decisions between expediency and transparency have sometimes chosen the former. Cities in California, and now Chicago, have asked their states for relief from sunshine law deadlines. Hospitals have instructed their employees to refrain from speaking to the media; some have even recommended avoiding social media altogether. And as FEMA ferries medical supplies to hot spots across the country, journalists such as Los Angeles Times national healthcare reporter Noam Levey are having a hard time getting answers to questions about its plans and practices. On April 2nd, White House advisor Peter Navarro — standing on a podium with the president, the president's son-in-law, the vice president, and others — assured Americans: "These guys up here are doing a heckuva job organizing the supply chain." But as Levey explains to Brooke in this segment, that would be news to many of the medical providers and producers that he's spoken with in recent weeks. "]

Mallett, Kandist. "The Coronavirus Pandemic Demonstrates the Failures of Capitalism." Teen Vogue (March 24, 2020) ["This op-ed argues that the coronavirus outbreak has shown us how little capitalism has done for so many people in the U.S. — and that other ways of living and working are possible."]

McCarthy, Tom and Ed Pilkington. "The Missing Six Weeks: How Trump Failed the Biggest Test of His Life." The Guardian (March 28, 2020)

McCausland, Phil. "Mixed Messages in the Heartland." On the Media (May 15, 2020) ["During Monday's White House press briefing, President Trump asserted that, "All throughout the country, the numbers are coming down rapidly." However, the White House's own data, collected by the Coronavirus Task Force's Data and Analytics Unit, paints a drastically different picture. According to an unreleased May 7 report obtained by NBC News, infections and deaths are skyrocketing around the United States, particularly in areas of the American heartland. But the keyword here is "unreleased" — the task force has been keeping its data close to the vest, releasing it in dribs and drabs. Consequently, it's up to often under-resourced state and municipal leaders to draw their own conclusions. Phil McCausland, an NBC News reporter covering rural issues, was one of the journalists who broke the hidden-data story. He tells Bob that, absent federal data and directives, civilians in rural communities are left largely in the dark about the severity of their circumstances."]

McCrimmon, Ryan and Catherine Boudreau. "No need to hoard: There’s plenty of food in the system." Politico (March 18, 2020) ["Industries adjust to pared-back hours and shoppers cause unexpected surges, but numbers point to plenty of supply."]

McNeil, Jr., Donald G. "The Coronavirus in America: The Year Ahead."  The New York Times (April 18, 2020)

Milanovic, Branko. "The Real Pandemic Danger Is Social Collapse." Foreign Affairs (March 19, 2020)

Monbiot, George. "The horror films got it wrong. This virus has turned us into caring neighbours." The Guardian (March 30, 2020)

Moss, Candida. "Trump and the Christian Persecution Complex." On the Media (June 3, 2020) ["On Monday, President Trump stood outside St. John's Episcopal Church, which had caught fire the day prior in protests for racial justice. When he brandished a Bible before photographers, Trump knew exactly what message he was sending: Christianity is under siege and the president is the defender of the faith. Never mind the fact that peaceful protesters, clergy among them, were driven from the area minutes before with tear gas to make way for the photoshoot. The narrative of Christianity under attack is a familiar one. Just a few weeks ago, Trump declared that houses of worship should open amid the pandemic on the grounds of religious liberty — despite the public health risk. But it turns out, the myth of Christian persecution can be traced far further back than the Culture Wars. In fact, according to Candida Moss, Christian historians coined the idea that to be persecuted was to be righteous in the 4th Century and they exaggerated claims that Christians were persecuted in the first place. Moss is a professor of theology and religion at Birmingham University in the U.K., and author of The Myth of Persecution: How Early Christians Invented a Story of Martyrdom. Moss spoke to Bob just after Trump has announced his call for churches to open. In this week's Pod Extra she explains how Christian history has been revised for political means, from the early church to present day."]

Mull, Amanda. "The Art of Disastertising." On the Media (April 29, 2020) ["Want to do your part in this pandemic? Why don't you try becoming a Couch Potatotriot, someone who stays home to save lives, but also eats Burger King? It's part of the company's brand pivot — one of many that companies have performed in order to keep their goods and services relevant. Another trend? Lots of somber piano music.  Despite the fact that most people are stuck at home watching Netflix, advertisers are still vying for their bucks — promising that consumers can buy what they’re selling without winding up on a ventilator. This stark change in tone and approach is what Amanda Mull, staff writer at The Atlantic, dubbed "disaster-tising" in her recent piece, "How to Advertise In a Pandemic.""]

Packer, George. "We Are Living in a Failed State." The Atlantic (June 2020) ["The coronavirus didn’t break America. It revealed what was already broken."]

Pak, Samantha. "Local media and COVID-19—the canary in the coalmine." Columbia Journalism Review (March 12, 2020)

Parmet, Wendy and Jay Stanley. "COVID-19 Virus And History of Quarantine; COVID-19: Public Health Experts Urge US Government To Ensure Scientifically Based Response Plan." Law and Disorder Radio (March 9, 2020)

Pinsker, Joe and Kelly Weill. "What to Say When a Loved One Spreads Disinfo." On the Media (May 15, 2020)  ["Last month, law enforcement across Western Europe reported a slew of arson attacks on 5G towers. The vandalization spree is likely tied to a bizarre conspiracy theory that claims the enormous uptick in deaths has been caused by nascent 5G technology, not the Covid-19 virus. Meanwhile, Americans have been exposed to a flurry of pandemic disinformation. According to a recent Pew study, nearly one third of Americans believe an unsubstantiated theory that the virus was concocted in a lab, a claim repeated by President Trump himself. Earlier this month, a highly-produced anti-vax video called "Plandemic" found an unusually high degree of traction on the internet. According to Daily Beast reporter Kelly Weill, this video and other forms of Covid-19 disinformation may be leading some Americans to other dangerous conspiracy theories like QAnon. She and Bob discuss what makes such outlandish fake media so effective. Then, Bob speaks with Atlantic staff writer Joe Pinsker, who crafted a set of guidelines for cautiously confronting friends and family who may be in the early stages of a conspiracy theory kick."]

Purkayastha, Prabir. "Why the Coronavirus Pandemic Poses Fundamental Challenges to All Societies." Independent Media Institute (March 25, 2020)


"Respect Rights in COVID-19 Response: Recommendations for Governments in Addressing Pandemic." Human Rights Watch (March 19, 2020)

Robinson, Nathan J. "Where is Joe?" Current Affairs (March 22, 2020) ["Biden has failed completely to show leadership during a crisis. There is no excuse for it."]

Rushkoff, Douglas. "Coronavirus Is Making Me Believe in the Power of the Internet Again." Medium (March 16, 2020) ["Online resources provide a much better tool for understanding COVID-19 than broadcast news."]

"Safer Sex and COVID-19." NYC Health (June 8, 2020)

Salas, Angelica and John Sandweg. "Former ICE Director: Release Immigrants from Detention or COVID-19 Will Spread Like Wildfire Inside." Democracy Now (March 23, 2020) ["Alarm is growing about the safety of more than 37,000 people held in immigrant detention centers and private jails that contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, where it is nearly impossible for them to avoid close contact to stop the spread of the coronavirus. Nearly half of those detained by ICE are accused of no crime other than civil immigration violations. Immigrants at three jails in New Jersey are now on hunger strikes over unsanitary conditions that put them at high risk during the pandemic. We hear from a detained person on hunger strike and speak with John Sandweg, former acting director of ICE during the Obama administration, who is calling for ICE to release thousands from detention, and Angelica Salas, executive director of the Coalition for Humane Immigrant Rights of Los Angeles, or CHIRLA, which just led a national effort to stop immigration enforcement actions."]

Sanderson, Catherine. "Getting Through a Crisis." Harvard University Press Blog (March 19, 2020)

Schwartz, Leo. "Disinformation Meets the Coronavirus." Columbia Journalism Review (March 19, 2020)

Seller, Bakari. "'My Vanishing Country': Mass Protests Rise from 400 Years of Systemic Racism." Democracy Now (June 1, 2020) ["As mass unrest engulfs the U.S., we speak with attorney and political commentator Bakari Sellers, whose new memoir “My Vanishing Country” was just published. One of the central moments in the book is the Orangeburg massacre of 1968, when police opened fire on a crowd of students gathered on the campus of South Carolina State University to protest segregation at Orangeburg’s only bowling alley. When the shooting stopped, three Black students were dead, 28 students were wounded. The nine officers who opened fire that day were all acquitted. The only person convicted of wrongdoing was Bakari Sellers’s father, Cleveland Sellers, a member of the Student Nonviolent Coordinating Committee, known as SNCC. He was convicted of a riot charge and spent seven months behind bars. He was pardoned in 1993. We speak with Bakari Sellers about Orangeburg, 2020 and “400 years of systemic racism” in the U.S."]

Sierra, Natalia. "An Opportunity to Twist Human History." Pressenza (March 25, 2020)

Soboroff, Jacob. "'Release Is Only Way to Save Lives': Migrant Families Face Separation as COVID Spreads in ICE Jails." Democracy Now (July 14, 2020)

Stover, Dawn. "Coronavirus and climate change: 6 ways the Trump administration has botched responses to both." Bulletin of Atomic Scientists (March 11, 2020)

Sturgeon, Jonathon. "Care Package." The Baffler #51 (April 2020) ["Our fear now in social isolation, the alienation and frustration that comes from being unable to touch someone or care for them, is an accelerated version of the selfsame alienation so often written about in modern life."]

Suarez, Francis. "Miami Mayor Francis Suarez on his Approach to Flattening the Curve." The Takeaway (July 2, 2020) ["Today, we go to one of the hardest-hit states for the virus, Florida, where differences between Governor Ron DeSantis and local leaders are leaving Floridians stuck in the middle. On Wednesday, Florida recorded 6,500 new cases of COVID-19, bringing the state’s total to nearly 160,000 since the pandemic began. More than 3,500 people have died. But Governor DeSantis has refused to take any more steps to close businesses or put in place any stay-at-home orders to mitigate the spread of the coronavirus. The City of Miami has begun taking emergency measures to slow the spread of the virus, by requiring all residents to wear masks, or face coverings. The City of Miami also enacted a mandatory 10-day closure for businesses that don’t comply with the emergency guidelines. As part of our series with local leaders, we speak to Mayor Francis Suarez about the recent uptick and his plans to contain the virus further, as well as his own experience with the coronavirus: he had it in March."]

"Surviving the Virus an Anarchist's Guide." Crimethinc. (March 18, 2020)

"Syndicalist unions and Covid-era resistance: A CIT roundup." Freedom (April 22, 2020) ["The anarcho-syndicalist international, founded in 2018, looks at workplace struggle in its branches worldwide and calls for the building of new forms of solidarity amid the lockdowns.]

Taylor, Keeanga-Yamahtta. "A Class Rebellion: Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor on How Racism & Racial Terrorism Fueled Nationwide Anger." Democracy Now (June 1, 2020) ["In the largest nationwide uprising since the 1960s, protesters shut down cities across the United States over the weekend following the police killing of George Floyd, an African American man in Minneapolis. “These are not just repeats of past events,” says scholar Keeanga-Yamahtta Taylor. “These are the consequences of the failures of this government and the political establishment … to resolve these crises.”"]

Thompson, Derek. "America is Acting Like a Failed State." The Atlantic (March 14, 2020) ["Many businesses, local governments, and individuals are doing what is necessary to beat back the coronavirus—with little help from the White House."]

---. "The Post-Pandemic American Marketplace." On the Media (May 1, 2020) ["Coronavirus has prompted the shutdown of the American marketplace as we know it. Shops are boarded up, restaurants have shifted to a take-out only model, and tens of millions have been laid off. Eventually, some semblance of our economy will return — but what kind of economy will it be? Derek Thompson, staff writer at The Atlantic, expects that the pandemic will radically reshape American consumption — from the components of our diets to the composition of our cities."]

Wagner, Brigitta. "Women’s Cinematic Heights in Times of Covid: An Interview with Eliza Hittman." Senses of Cinema #94 (April 2020)

Walden, Daniel. "The Politics of Emergencies." Current Affairs (March 15, 2020)

Wen, Leanna. "'Hope is Not a Strategy': Emergency Doctor Asks, Where Are COVID-19 Tests? Where Is Protective Gear?" Democracy Now (December 23, 2020) ["As the number of confirmed cases of COVID-19 in the U.S. rises to more than 35,000, doctors are facing a desperate lack of supplies, and tests continue to lag. We speak with Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency physician and public health professor at George Washington University. She previously served as Baltimore’s health commissioner. She says healthcare workers are “putting their lives on the line every day” as they work in hazardous conditions with inadequate supplies, including N95 respirator masks. “First we’re going to run out of masks, and then we’re going to run out of doctors and nurses, because they’ll become sick,” Dr. Wen warns."]

Wilson, Jason. "The rightwing groups behind wave of protests against Covid-19 restrictions." The Guardian (April 17, 2020) ["Protesters in Michigan and other states claim to speak for ordinary citizens, but are also supported by street-fighting far-right groups."]

Wimbish, Whitney Curry. "Stepping Up." The Baffler (March 17, 2020) ["As government leaders bungle the coronavirus response, there’s hope in mutual aid."]

Winant, Gabriel. "Coronavirus and Chronopolitics: The Young are Trying to Save the Old." N+1 #37 (Spring 2020)

Yong, Ed. "How the Pandemic Defeated America: Ed Yong on How COVID-19 Humiliated Planet’s Most Powerful Nation." Democracy Now (August 11, 2020) ["As the world passes a grim milestone of 20 million coronavirus cases, we look at how the pandemic humbled and humiliated the world’s most powerful country. Over a quarter of the confirmed infections and deaths have been in the United States, which has less than 5% of the world’s population. Ed Yong, a science writer at The Atlantic who has been covering the pandemic extensively since March, says existing gaps in the U.S. social safety net and the Trump administration’s “devastatingly inept response” made for a deadly combination."]



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Last Sunday our president, Donald Trump, in a tweet threatened the chief scientist, Dr. Fauci, involved in the national sort-of-effort to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. In the tweet he gives thanks to relatively obscure One America News Network (OAN). You should familiarize yourself with this propaganda channel - here is Mr. Oliver, properly physical distancing, providing a look at the president's new, favorite fluffer, non-news network.






























COVID-19 Testing from Sellus Wilder on Vimeo.

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Bourbon County, KY, USA notes during a time of Coronavirus (I started physical distancing on March 13th and became very serious about it on March 17th):

March 22, 2020:
Things are quiet around here. It is in the 40s so that is cutting down on the walkers.

I've been trying to walk outside at least once a day (I'm an avid walker/hiker). As I left to head to the Paris cemetery yesterday I got near the entrance and a very sick looking (I would have thought junkie - and not being a bourgy asshole, I know what junkies actually look like), but these days who knows what was afflicting him. As I was walking toward him and was going to at least say hi (while keeping my distance) he spit on the ground........ I went home shortly after that.

Some rumors from the right libertarians in local social media that the military, national guard, lizard people, whatever, are poised to take over. Trying to talk some sense, but luckily they are a minority (of course my friend list is self-selective and there is really no way to tell).

Haven't been to a regular store in a week, but when I did I went to Costco they were still fairly full of essentials (except TP and sanitizers) and I appreciated they were putting limits to stop hoarders (for instance - I got two packages of bottled water in case we have water problems, that was all you were allowed to buy at a time).

I went to the neighborhood liquor store to get a six pack Friday night to accompany a fire in the backyard. The owner down talked concerns, while sanitizing his hands frequently, so I think I'm going to stop visiting that place. Probably better for me. Lots of hot tea for awhile. Clear heads need to prevail!

Over and out ;)

PS Grateful for Andy Beshear, it is a refreshing change to have such a clear communicator and intelligent person as our governor... how one acts as in a time of crisis says a lot about them. Of course his predecessor Bevin left a very low bar....

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