It was an address to remember, and there wasn’t a dry seat in the house:
(Read the transcript here. I don’t blame anyone for not wanting to hear the crazy man’s voice.)
The speech was written by his pocket Nazi Stephan Miller and had all of his usual clumsiness and xenophobia, and the treacly maudlin finale that was so middle tier I would have sent the author back to composition class. And while the lies were rampant, the comfort was missing as a probably drugged Lord Damp Nut droned on, mispronounced common words, and vainly squinted into the teleprompter with dead piggy eyes, he made the viewer wonder: DOES HE HAVE THE VIRUS?!
my teenage daughter edited together a version of trump’s address with only heavy breathing moments and I honestly don’t think I’ve ever been prouder of her
— ǝpᴉuɥɔs (@schnd) March 12, 2020
And then, there was the grace note at the end:
Yeah, he took it seriously! https://t.co/SxL1j7E7IU
— Tengrain (@Tengrain) March 12, 2020
Politico’s morning email thingie goes long on the shock to America, and describes Lord Damp Nut’s dithering thusly:
— THE PRESIDENT went on television Wednesday night to explain his new policy for restricting travelers from overseas, but he didn’t announce any new measures to mitigate the spread of the virus among Americans already living here. The general outlines of the restrictions are: Foreign nationals cannot travel to the U.S. if they’ve been in the EU’s Schengen Area within the last 14 days, companies will have new access to SBA loans, and Americans can defer tax payments without interest or penalties.
BUT TRUMP mistakenly said that cargo from Europe would not be allowed into the U.S., and officials scrambled to clarify what he meant. He didn’t explain why the U.K. was exempted from these strict rules — London Heathrow is the largest European aviation gateway. And he wrongly said that health insurers had “agreed to waive all copayments for coronavirus treatments,” when they had actually agreed only to do so for testing. The president called for a payroll tax holiday, which leading members of both parties have already rejected. Gabby Orr on the address … The text of the president’s executive order … The transcript of his remarks
And while it was going on, other news scrolled by (Axios email thingie):
- The NBA suspended its season “until further notice” after the Utah Jazz’s Rudy Gobert tested positive. (ESPN)
- Tom Hanks confirmed via Instagram that he and his wife, Rita Wilson, had both tested positive for the virus.
- From Savannah to Scranton, St. Patrick’s Day parades have been postponed across the country, including New York City’s massive gathering.
- Italy shut down all commercial activities, except grocery stores and pharmacies, in a bid to stop the spread. (BBC)
- German Chancellor Angela Merkel warned that up to 70% of the country’s population could ultimately be infected. (CNBC)
- Congress’ in-house doctor told Capitol Hill staffers at a closed-door meeting that he expects 70 to 150 million people in the U.S. — roughly a third of the country — to contract the virus.
- A bear market set in for the Dow Jones, as the index plunged 20% from its record high in February.
Because Lord Damp Nut did not give us anything useful, we turn to the MIT email thingie for their round-up of useful links:
What you need to know about coronavirus
We’ve rounded up the latest, most significant, stories about the outbreak.
+ This is exactly how coronavirus infects you. (NYT $)
+ How do we decide what to attend, and what to cancel? (Vice)
+ China’s coronavirus epicenter has seen single-digit infections for the first time. (Reuters)
+ What it means to contain and mitigate the virus. (The New Yorker $)
+ Congress’ in-house doctor said he expects about a third of Americans to contract coronavirus. (Axios)
Here’s how long the coronavirus can live in the air and on packages
The contagious coronavirus can survive on a cardboard delivery box for at least a day and lives even longer on steel and plastic.
New research: A big question is how the germ that causes coronavirus moves so easily between people. To help find an answer, US researchers tried spritzing the virus on seven materials commonly found in homes and hospitals, to see how long it remained infectious. The germ survived longest on plastic and stainless steel, where it clung for as long as three days.
However: So far there is no definitive proof the virus is actually spread via inanimate objects. Read the full story.
So, take comfort fellow citizens. The king hisself has shown us he has no clothes.
*Lord Damp Nut was trying to say “Avoid large gatherings,” but to me and others, it sounded like “Avoid large Catherines.”