The Trump-Virus continues unabated. World-wide 10M people are infected and 500,000 have died. The US, with 4% of the world’s population has 2.5M of those infected and 125,000 of those dead, which works out to about 25%.
So you know, hooray for us.
From Tiger Beat’s morning email thingie there are a few glimmers that the mask culture war might be playing out:
MASK OFF — With the country experiencing an alarming spike in coronavirus cases, lawmakers and top officials — including some Republicans — are pleading with the public to wear masks, even as President Donald Trump and some GOP lawmakers still refuse to wear one.
Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who required members to wear face coverings during committee hearings, said a national mask mandate is “long overdue.” “My understanding is that the Centers for Disease Control has recommended the use of masks but not required it because they don’t want to offend the president,” Pelosi said Sunday on ABC’s “This Week.”
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), who chairs the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor and Pensions, directlyimplored Trump to wear a mask. “It would help if from time to time the president would wear one to help us get rid of this political debate that says if you’re for Trump, you don’t wear a mask, if you’re against Trump, you do,” Alexander told CNN’s “Inside Politics.”
Rep. Liz Cheney (R-Wyo.), who chairs the House GOP Conference, didn’t call out Trump or anyone by name, but she did tweet out a photo of her dad wearing a mask with the caption: “Dick Cheney says WEAR A MASK. #realmenwearmasks” — the same phrase that Pelosi has been saying as a dig at Trump.
And even Vice President Mike Pence encouraged Texans to wear masks while he was visiting the state, which has seen a significant surge in new cases. “We encourage everyone to wear a mask in the affected areas,” Pence said. “Where you can’t maintain social distancing, wearing a mask is just a good idea, especially young people.”
Adding to the growing sense of alarm, HHS Secretary Alex Azar issued a dire warning on Sunday, saying the “window is closing” to contain the spread of the virus. “We have to act, and people as individuals have to act responsibly,” he told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “We need to social distance. We need to wear our face coverings if we’re in settings where we can’t social distance, particularly in these hot zones.”
And there are some signs that Possum Hollar is retreating: Texas is tightening some of the pre-mature loosening (bars in particular), but I’m not sure about other red states.