I check President Trump’s public schedule every single (week) day. Sometimes you notice trends.
I didn’t know Larry Kramer. So my memories of him are public ones and not unique to me. But one memory has and will always stand out for me. It was an evening live network TV interview. Perhaps it was Nightline or maybe it was some show on CNN. It was an interview via satellite hook-up rather than in-studio. It was at the earliest in the late 90s, probably in the first decade of this century. The key is that Kramer was already a relatively old man and it was after the point when HIV/AIDS had become, at least in the United States, a largely manageable chronic disease rather than a near-term death sentence.
Take a moment to read this article in Science magazine about COVID19, aerosol transmission and masks. It’s not a study. It’s published as a “perspective”, more a review of the current science and an argument about the implications of the data. The upshot is a strong argument for universal mask wearing as long as COVID19 remain prevalent in the population and we have no vaccines or effective treatments. The more specific assertions are these.
Joe Biden commemorates the 100,000 and counting American victims of COVID-19:
Conventional wisdom and the balance of the public health community seems to have come round decisively in favor of masks as a key way to reduce transmission of COVID during the pandemic. In an interview with CNN, Anthony Fauci said that he wears a mask “when I’m in the public for the reasons that I want to protect myself and protect others, and also because I want to make it be a symbol for people to see that’s the kind of thing you should be doing.”
This is a good opportunity to revisit the mask as symbol, which is distinct from its immediate public health value but of course related to it.
If President Trump had his way, mask-wearing would play a crucial role in whatever us-versus-them narrative he attempts to spin for his reelection.
There’s a growing body of clinical evidence that hydroxychloroquine (alone or with an accompanying antibiotic) not only has no therapeutic effect for COVID but can increase substantially the risk of death for those with advanced disease. President Trump has been pushing it for months, for reasons which are not altogether clear. What is weird and fascinating in its own right, however, is that what we might call hydroxy-mania seems to be a common feature of right-wing nationalism across the globe. The biggest example beside President Trump is his ally President Bolsonaro of Brazil, who similarly is presiding over an out-of-control epidemic with an extreme scarcity of testing.
But what could possibly be the connection between rightist-populist nationalism and this until-recently relatively obscure anti-malarial drug? Does the drug itself have some ideological valence? That can’t be the case.
String together coverage of COVID-19 “stay-at-home” orders in The Federalist, the conservative website, and it begins to resemble an ode to death itself.
Is it May already? Does time mean anything anymore?
Yes, it’s disappointing that we’re all still stuck inside our homes with summer right around the corner. We know this is made especially difficult if you’re a parent with children who are trying to finish off the school year online. With that in mind, TPM is sharing some recommendations of children’s books that might help your little ones — or you — pass the time. No, this will not just be a page listing the Harry Potter books in order of best to very best. (I actually have not read the Harry Potter series, but that’s a discussion for another time. Bring on the roasting in the comments.)