Why Calls For A “National Quarantine” May Be More Rhetorical Than Legal

Below is my column in the Hill on how the calls for a “national quarantine” ignore both the historical and legal foundations for such orders. While the President can reduce travel at transportation hubs and certainly call for a national quarantine as “an aspirational” matter, the legal authority to enforce a national quarantine is far from obvious.

Here is the column:

In Chicago, residents are being told they will face jail if found exercising outdoors. In Washington, residents are also being threatened with jail for violating lockdown orders. In Rhode Island, officials are looking for New Yorkers to forcibly quarantine them. While President Trump has shelved his consideration of an enforceable quarantine of New York, there have been new calls for him to order a national quarantine of the country. For his part, Governor Andrew Cuomo declared that any national quarantine of his state would be a “federal declaration of war on states.”

Such rhetoric on both sides outstrips the legal realities of government options to contain a contagious outbreak. While Supreme Court Justice Robert Jackson famously declared “the Constitution is not a suicide pact,” it is also not carte blanche for the federal government to bar the exercise of rights during a pandemic. Quarantines have a controversial history in the United States, with numerous lingering legal questions.

The term “quarantine” is often used loosely by politicians and pundits who refer to widely different government actions. What some had described as quarantine orders during previous outbreaks were really isolation orders limiting people with known or suspected contagious conditions. Isolation orders have existed for centuries and present less of a legal challenge, as the individual who is infected is deemed a public health risk.

The need for isolation orders is personified in the case of Mary Mallon, or the infamous Typhoid Mary. She was a dangerous combination of amoral and asymptomatic. Despite deaths and illnesses occurring in households where she worked as a cook, Mallon refused to accept or address the fact that she was a toxic “super spreader” of the disease. She was forcibly isolated twice by New York authorities. The first time she was confined for three years until she agreed not to work as a cook.

But she soon grew unhappy working for lower wages as a laundress and returned to cooking under the name Mary Brown. For five more years, she spread typhoid with a vengeance until again put into forced confinement, where she remained until her death with typhoid bacteria still evident in her body. So Mallon is the ultimate justification for involuntary isolation orders. She not only refused to yield to authorities but, when she was apprehended the last time, was delivering food to a friend.

Isolation orders have been used throughout history to battle contagions, from the Spanish flu to tuberculosis. Only six years ago, Kaci Hickox, a nurse who worked with Ebola patients in Sierra Leone, was ordered into a mandatory quarantine by New Jersey officials. She sued the state, and the complaint was dropped in a settlement in which the state agreed to use such powers only when medically necessary. But in contrast, quarantines involve the confinement of large numbers of people through lockdowns and travel bans. It derives from “cordon sanitaire,” a term associated with a 19th century order by the Duke of Richelieu blocking Spaniards from entering France during a yellow fever outbreak.

Unquestionably, Trump issued the same type of directive as the Duke of Richelieu by barring entry from countries like China. Presidents have enhanced authority over our borders, and such limits on international travel are specifically contemplated in laws and regulations governing pandemics. What Cuomo described as a “civil war kind of discussion” is the notion of a federal quarantine line around a state, as opposed to around the country. The analogy is more apt than one might think, since an outbreak like the coronavirus can create a type of warfare between the states. The Rhode Island hunt for fleeing New Yorkers reflects the fears of other states like Florida of a wider outbreak spread by a line of Mary Mallons caravaning from New York.

The federal government has a great deal of authority to order increased production of materials and other measures supporting the states during a pandemic. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has the express authority to quarantine suspected carriers of a disease or virus. Yet federal regulations contain highly generalized and untested language for action. One rule entitled “Measure in Event of Inadequate Local Control,” reserves the right of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention “to take such measures to prevent such spread of the diseases” deemed reasonably necessary.

But there is no express authority for domestic quarantines on the federal level. The federal government has long claimed the authority to order quarantines as part of its jurisdiction over interstate commerce, and a president can cite national security authority for some public health measures. Thus, the national transportation system, including the interstate and railway systems, can be used as chokepoints to restrict travel between the states.

Indeed, the federal government can effectively shut down interstates by simply creating checkpoints for medical examinations. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director has authority to quarantine anyone “reasonably believed to be infected with a quarantinable communicable disease in a qualifying stage and is moving or about to move from a state into another state.” A white jacketed official from the agency with a thermometer at a tollbooth can do wonders in slowing traffic.

The problem is that a national or regional quarantine is designed to confine people who do not have symptoms, a fact that would lead to immediate challenges. Yet as shown in the Hickox case, any legal challenges would likely take longer than the period of the quarantine. On a practical level, quarantines are most successful for limited areas and limited periods. States and cities have greater authority to impose and enforce lockdown orders, as the Constitution leaves public health powers largely in their hands. Indeed, the model pandemic plans reaffirm that governors, not the president, hold the primary authority and responsibility to prepare for and address health emergencies.

Yet even state orders can contravene liberties ranging from the right to travel, the right to association, and the right to due process. None are absolute, but contravening such rights requires high burdens that often involve compelling interests, which are easy in a pandemic, and narrow tailoring of government actions, which is more difficult with a blanket ban on travel. A man was arrested last week for holding a “coronavirus party” in violation of the New Jersey Emergency and Temporary Acts. Such actions are likely to be upheld as long as the state can show an immediate danger to the public from viral transmissions.

Such state interests can even trounce religious exercise. New York Mayor Bill De Blasio warned the Jewish community to stop holding minyanim, a gathering of worshipers for prayers, as a threat to public health. The problem is personified by Tony Spell, a pastor in Louisian who defied authorities by holding services with 1,000 followers of his Life Tabernacle Church. Spell, who has claimed to cure such things as cancer, questioned why Walmart can stay open but not his church. The answer is obvious. Walmart cannot get food to people through the internet, but churches can hold online services in emergencies.

There are, however, striking contradictions under the Constitution. The federal government can stop televangelist Jim Bakker from selling a “silver sol liquid” as a coronavirus cure, but it cannot stop a minister promising that faith alone will heal or protect followers, even though such assurances can discourage people from seeking medical help or engaging in preventive measures.

The courts are likely to be highly deferential to quarantine orders by state authorities and even limited orders by federal authorities. There is room at the elbows in the Constitution to deal with emergencies, but the countervailing demands of such rights as association and religious exercise grow quickly with time. More importantly, the efficacy of such orders depends greatly on the cooperation of virtually everyone in a population. Not even the federal government can keep a large population in effective lockdown unless people are willing to stay in lockdown. That means the key to containment is persuasion rather than coercion.

Jonathan Turley is the Shapiro Professor of Public Interest Law at George Washington University. You can find his updates online @JonathanTurley.

299 thoughts on “Why Calls For A “National Quarantine” May Be More Rhetorical Than Legal”

  1. This President didn’t create this virus, but he ignored it, denied it, minimized it, joked about it, weaponized it, politicized it, and exacerbated it. He is culpable for the chaos and the unnecessary illness, and yes, the preventable deaths because of it. And his supporters are too. This is the human cost of the MAGA cult delusion, and we’re all paying for it now equally.

  2. Pentagon Predicted Pandemic In 2017

    Despite President Trump’s repeated assertions that the Covid-19 epidemic was “unforeseen” and “came out of nowhere,” the Pentagon was well aware of not just the threat of a novel influenza, but even anticipated the consequent scarcity of ventilators, face masks, and hospital beds, according to a 2017 Pentagon plan obtained by The Nation.

    “The most likely and significant threat is a novel respiratory disease, particularly a novel influenza disease,” the military plan states. Covid-19 is a respiratory disease caused by the novel (meaning new to humans) coronavirus. The document specifically references coronavirus on several occasions, in one instance saying, “Coronavirus infections [are] common around the world.”

    The plan represents an update to an earlier Department of Defense pandemic influenza response plan, noting that it “incorporates insights from several recent outbreaks including…2012 Middle Eastern Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus.”

    Titled “USNORTHCOM Branch Plan 3560: Pandemic Influenza and Infectious Disease Response,” the draft plan is marked for official use only and dated January 6, 2017. The plan was provided to The Nation by a Pentagon official who requested anonymity to avoid professional reprisal.

    Edited from: “The Military Knew Years Ago That A Coronavirus Was Coming”

    The Nation, 4/1/20

  3. “Trump was ahead of the curve when one places all the important parties against one another.”

    Agreed — sort of. I would rather phrase it that he was the least worst. Where is Biden screaming for in-home tests and telling the FDA to get out of the way. I don’t see any of that. Of course you’d have to write it down on a notecard for him. But nobody’s done that either.

    1. ” least worst.”

      Perfection is the enemy of good.

      Steve, I can’t think of any public figure that could have done a better job. All doctors are lousy doctors if your illness cannot be cured. I guess the least worst doctor would be the one that could you alive and happy for an extra ten years.

      1. I suspect a Rand Paul may have. There should be no surprise about the CDC and FDA in this matter. And hopefully, people will develop a more realistic view of these entities.

        1. Steve, the CDC and FDA have in place rules that are well developed and based on safety – mixed with law suit threats from – cough, cough, – “plaintiffs” lawyers. It takes the authority of the President in an emergency to overrule those safeguards and ours was too busy doing the happy dance and pretending it was almost over to act.

          You’re wrong about your accusations.

          1. The CDC and FDA have in place excessive regulations built up over decades. It is reasonable to speculate on weather they would allow the sale of aspirin today. I will give them some, and only some, slack in that they have tort lovers like Turley looking over their backs.

            The regulatory process is inherently biased against approval because the adverse effects of wrongfully banning something are undetectable, while the consequences of “mistakenly” approving something are highly publicized and that therefore the FDA will take the action that will result in the least public condemnation of the FDA regardless of the health consequences.
            Milton Friedman

              1. If you are claiming that independent labs and other private entities need to stop kowtowing to this bureaucracy, and that the consumer should view this bureaucracy’s actions more critically, you are correct.

                When has Biden said this? And if Trump stops kowtowing, what would Biden say? Let me guess. He would say that Trump is being “irresponsible”. That he’s grasping for a magic cure. I don’t here Biden out there claiming Trump put too much faith in the FDA.

        2. “I suspect a Rand Paul may have.”

          Good one Steve. Rand Paul might have. He’s a physician so he has some understanding of infectious diseases and how unprepared our hospitals are. In some areas of the country we are even unprepared for a bad Influenza season. Obamacare didn’t help. It hurt our preparedness for such a problem and Rand Paul probably recognized that as well. He is a smart cookie even when I don’t agree with him. I think he gets along well with the President.

  4. Corona made me an expat who do I sue?

    However down south of the border the well stocked systems of moving food north and a few other things and manufactured items such as lysol spray south and of course the masks so bandanas are used instead are keeping the odds in our favor. No food shortages but the smaller stores and the very crowded part of down town is shut down. half the population are laid off but the last news from the border was no tariffs being collected to keep prices down. Whoops there goes the wall money again.

    The large chain stores are rolling in their big truck fleets non stop Walmart, Sams, Costco and big chain markets and going back with produce for the folks north of the border. One source said a billion and half a day counting both directions. but priceless in terms of cooperation and of course Mexico has no Pelosis,Schiffs, or Schumers to put up with delaying and driving up the costs,.

    No ones seen the 1200 yet that’s still in the pipeline but the main thing is the delivery of fuel from the refineries of Texas are non stop and that’s what makes the distribution work.

    Mexico has no refineries just half of that big SW Texas oil strike people like Ocasio are trying to shut down.

    Most restaurants are shut down and a few on limited hours. and the sailing and power boat fleets all went to the small tucked away coves So in the marinas it’s automatic spread out.

    Current big project is helping one or two families with everyone laid off with a bit of food.along with the big stores keeping the prices waaaaayyy down,

    We laughed a bit when the thought came., When this is over it’s hurricane season and then the hot summer. Life is good! Long as the AC is running

    Enjoy up there will rejoin when …… I have to.

  5. That was very informative, thank you Professor Turley.

    Some elected officials have such a poor understanding of how their own government works, it’s astounding.

    1. Some elected officials have such a poor understanding of how their own government works, it’s astounding.

      I would’ve agreed with you, but it stopped being astounding when I understood the civics incompetence of the voter base that put them there. Sadly, actual slaves had a better understanding of rights, management and leadership than the average citizen.

      1. OLLY, I’m always surprised to see anyone on youtube, twitter, wherever with even a basic knowledge of civics or American history. I was watching someone the other day trying to guess when the Declaration of Independence was written “… 1904?” Who was the first American president? “…George Bush?”

        It would help if our “schools” weren’t actively promulgating anti-civics.

        I have to admit, I’m guilty of knowing less than I should, too. Professor Turley’s been very helpful, and the events of the past few months have encouraged me to get off my butt.

        1. I have to admit, I’m guilty of knowing less than I should, too.

          em, Admitting that is a good thing. It’s when we believe we know enough that gets us into trouble. I spent the majority of my life not knowing that I didn’t know anything about US civics. It took me about 3 years of regular study to set the foundation and the last 9 years has built upon that. Damn, there’s so much to know. Following this blog has been a great experience. And it’s not difficult to identify the willfully ignorant and the unwitting pawns. They are the sky is falling because Trump is President hoard.

  6. The progressive response to this is all too predictable. It’s going to be that federal government departments would efficiently handle a health care problem under a different President.

    People could be buying quality in-home tests by now from a number of producers if it were not for the veto of the FDA. My Dad was a McGovern democrat. He was also a biochemist. I got the sense that his attitude towards this beloved government department was one of exasperation.

    1. Steve, is it too much to ask for a competent leader who wasn’t pumping sunshine while admiring his own gaze in the mirror? I think we’d have noticed differences. Among them would have been a recognition of the bottle jamb at the CDC and FDA by worthy if conservative safe guards best dispensed during a crisis. That would require recognizing a crisis instead of purposefully ignoring and soft selling it and the authority which only a president has to override things like FDA regs. The FDA didn’t FU, but they don’t have the authority. Should they have alerted someone? Yeah, and maybe they did – how would we know with clown and his Happy Times messaging being enforced?

  7. We are reaching a point where the Lockdowns will be IGNORED, seeing more and more people out, doubt police will really try to enforce, politicians such as Mayors and Governors will be thrown out of office if they do not follow the will of the people.

    This applies globally. In the UK, weather is good and people are out, refer to reports and pictures, many are doing social distancing.

    Trump is right and the IDIOT TRUMP HATING MEDIA and unelected technocrats are wrong. If you watch the Trump news briefings the TRUMP HATIN KEDIA is having a heart attack on getting the country back to work, they hate Trump so much, they rather see this country and economy sink.

      1. Cleary you don’t understand the Electoral College.

        You and Ridgecrest of the Stalinist Democrats are the problem.

      2. @bythebook…winning the electoral college means you won the election. That’s the rule, bud. That’s the way it has always been and I don’t foresee it changing.

        1. Anonymous, Electoral College doesnt mean Popular Vote. Instead Electoral College is a scheme to give small states more influence at the expense of bigger states.

            1. slavery, which was abolished under the 13th amendment about exactly 155 years ago, april 8 1865

              so apparently Americans have seen a proper role for it ever since in spite of a lot of complaining

              1. The EC is in the Constitution. What is not in the constitution, nor was it the way most states figured it originally, is the winner take all system which all but 2 states (Maine and Nebraska) use and which leads to unrepresentative election results – twice in the last 5 elections the loser was put in office. The reason for this is it increases the potential importance of each state even though it is sucks on the national level. We could still maintain the constitutionally mandated and archaic EC without further damage if they were made representative within each state.

                1. Book, it’s worth noting that at the time this country was founded, our smallest states had actually broken off from larger states during either the Colonial era or Revolution.

                  Rhode Island was originally linked to Massachusetts. Vermont and New Hampshire were part of New York. And Delaware was originally part of Pennsylvania.

  8. “Not even the federal government can keep a large population in effective lockdown unless people are willing to stay in lockdown. That means the key to containment is persuasion rather than coercion.”
    *****************
    I’m not convinced the states can either. there is no * in the BIll of Rights that says “except in time of pandemic.”

    1. Mespo,
      I am inclined to agree with you. Though I am perturbed at the ‘orders’ by the governor to be in lockdown (did my state’s legislature vote on such a thing???), how does #10 answer the lockdown issue with ‘by the states and the people, respectively’?

  9. As if Trump’s dithering while selling happy talk never happened. He’s still doing it. We have the tapes.

    The feds only ordered masks & ventilators in bulk in mid-March.

    “WASHINGTON (AP) — After the first alarms sounded in early January that an outbreak of a novel coronavirus in China might ignite a global pandemic, the Trump administration squandered nearly two months that could have been used to bolster the federal stockpile of critically needed medical supplies and equipment.

    A review of federal purchasing contracts by The Associated Press shows federal agencies largely waited until mid-March to begin placing bulk orders of N95 respirator masks, mechanical ventilators and other equipment needed by front-line health care workers….”

    https://apnews.com/090600c299a8cf07f5b44d92534856bc

    1. A review of federal purchasing contracts by The Associated Press shows federal agencies largely waited until mid-March to begin placing bulk orders of N95 respirator masks, mechanical ventilators and other equipment needed by front-line health care workers….”

      Do hospital administrators and local public health officials have to order their equipment through federal agencies? And if not, what is the point of this complaint?

      1. Under normal circumstances, hospitals administrators handle PPE.

        In a pandemic the Feds are supposed to have a maintained national stockpile and we are supposed to have a leader.

        1. The stockpile was depleted during the previous administration.

          Now, I actually would not have expected Trump or Obama to have known anything about that. Proper inventory maintenance is the job of people many layers distant from either man. The person who made the decision to restock will not be revealed, because the media didn’t do that sort of thing when they were amply staffed, which they aren’t anymore. And as now all they are is a mouthpiece for the DNC, they have no motive to find the name of the official in question.

          One thing this crisis has revealed is that there are problems with the institutional culture of the FDA and the CDC. The responsibility for that is first and foremost with the people who work there, next with the congressional committees who have supposedly been holding oversight hearings over them, next with the parade of HHS secretaries who have come and gone over the years.

          1. Trump’s ignoring of intelligence reports in late December, and his PDB’s detailing the threat of Covid 19 while concurrently not ramping up generation of medical supplies will go down as one of the single greatest bungling of homeland security events in the history of the nation.

            1. You have a problem. Trump was ahead of the curve when one places all the important parties against one another.

              Trump would be at the top or near top.
              Nancy Pelosi would be at the near bottom or the bottom.

              No matter what alias you choose to use you have to have the facts to back you up.

              The most prominent person to take action in the US against Covid-19 was President Trump. He did so while Nancy Pelosi was focused entirely on impeachment, while Fauci was saying the virus was of low risk and while you were banging on the rails of your crib.

              1. Seems my problem lies with a delusional cyber stalker trying to foist false information my direction. I agree with your assessment on that.

                1. Seems you make those claims over and over again but when faced with the facts you run away.

                  Go ahead and address the Post above. You can’t. You will make utterances over and over again until you run away. Here is the post again.

                  You have a problem. Trump was ahead of the curve when one places all the important parties against one another.

                  Trump would be at the top or near top.
                  Nancy Pelosi would be at the near bottom or the bottom.

                  No matter what alias you choose to use you have to have the facts to back you up.

                  The most prominent person to take action in the US against Covid-19 was President Trump. He did so while Nancy Pelosi was focused entirely on impeachment, while Fauci was saying the virus was of low risk and while you were banging on the rails of your crib.

                  1. “The most prominent person to take action in the US against Covid-19 was President Trump. He did so while Nancy Pelosi was focused entirely on impeachment, while Fauci was saying the virus was of low risk and while you were banging on the rails of your crib.”

                    Lies, one after another.

                    Fauci took action long before Trump. In fact, what has Trump done other than pressers where, at first, he was in denial and downplayed even the mere existence of 19?

                    Actually, the House Managers were focused on impeachment, Pelosi, while certainly in an overseeing role of the House hearings, was handled by the managers in the Senate trial and Adam Goldman’s team. Either way, as established before, so what? Trump had done his work by extorting Ukraine, everything that came after was just establishing the factual reality of it. No excuse for his ignoring late December intelligence reports about where Covid 19 was headed, as well as daily PDB’s re-alerting him to it.

                    And of course you can actually produce a written *quote* or *tape* of Fauci saying Covid 19 was of low risk??? That’s just a straight lie on your part and the only thing that can prove it isn’t would be for you to produce evidence. That evidence being an actual quote.

                    There. I dealt with your post. Anything you post going forward from here is just you not liking what I said.

                    And I love pounding the rails of my crib. In fact, my crib is where I take a certain someone where we discuss — and role play — the act of rail-ing. It’s fun, yo. At least previous to social distancing.

                    1. “Fauci took action long before Trump.”

                      Tell us what Fauci did to stop Chinese Tourists from interring. I have no beef with Fauci but 5 days before the EO was written he said the virus was of low risk.

                      Tell us what Pelosi did to stop the virus from spreading. I can tell you what she did to help the virus spread,

                      “And of course you can actually produce a written *quote* or *tape* of Fauci saying Covid 19 was of low risk???”

                      I already did. Look it up and you can find the video yourself.

                      “Lies, one after another.”

                      That is what you do and when your lies run out you run away.

              2. Yes, Elvis and the cohort s/he represents certainly does have a problem: TDS. Their rage-filled hatred allows the normal population to see just how deranged they truly are. If they are ever gain more, or are returned to, power it will be scary. Currently, though, it is simply sad to behold.

                The leftists view those with whom they disagree in utter personal contempt.
                Rightests view those with whom they disagree as…those with whom they disagree.

                1. You are absolutely correct but aside from being incompetent they are cowards. Elvis will soon run away.

                  1. Actually I do get censored off this blog quite regularly. Allan is the coward however with his shoddy dialectical understanding of scientific method and confusion over what constitutes good journalism. He’s beyond education as far as those go. Although it’s fun watching him attempt to navigate a subject like he’s got the least bit of factual understanding of it. Just stand back and watch Allan talk himself into a corner and when he doesn’t know what else to do, he’ll accuse me of running away.

                    Let’s see if this actually posts…

                    1. “Actually I do get censored off this blog quite regularly. ”

                      Another excuse in a long line of excuses. Why would you be censored. Let’s see, foul language which isn’t permissible in most places. Another reason is inadvertant posting of too many Internet addresses, only two are permitted.

                      But your attitude is the same ‘poor you’, a crybaby instead of one that fixes the problem. I have had posts lost many times. Sometimes it is a rejection of too many addresses that I didn’t realize were there so I became more careful rather than being a crybaby. Sometimes it was a proper word in the dictionary interpreted by the digital censor to be off limits so I changed the word and sometimes it was just a foul up by the program running this cite. You, however, are a baby and have to blame someone else.

                      Despite the number of posts that didn’t make it my name remains the same and when I find that I have to temporarily change the name or whatever until the program fixes itself I identify myself and try not to leave any doubt. No such stuff from your end which is typical of people that run away whenever faced with a problem.

                    2. “Allan is the coward however with his shoddy dialectical understanding of scientific method and confusion over what constitutes good journalism.”

                      That is why you are recognized by your back running away. I’ve responded point by point but you can’t handle that because your abillities barely reach one level deep. We can go back and repost my responses to you that were left unanswered while you retreated to moma’s basement.

                      You can take anything I say, quote it and then provide your response. That would be a discussion. What you are doing is a lowlife cop-out.

          2. “After using up the swine flu emergency funds, the Obama administration tried to replenish the stockpile in 2011 by asking Congress to provide $655 million, up from the previous year’s budget of less than $600 million….

            Republicans took over the House of Representatives in the 2010 midterms on the Tea Party wave ..Congressional Republicans, led by Mitch McConnell in the Senate and House Speaker John Boehner, leveraged the debt ceiling — a limit on the government’s borrowing ability that had to be raised — to insist that the Obama administration accept federal spending curbs. The compromise, codified in the 2011 Budget Control Act, required a bipartisan “super committee” to find additional ways to reduce the deficit, or else it would trigger automatic across-the-board cuts known as “sequestration.”

            In the bill’s final version, Congress allocated a compromise $534 million for the 2012 fiscal year, a 10% budget cut from the prior year and $121 million less than the Obama administration had requested…..

            During the Trump administration, the White House has consistently proposed cutting the CDC and the HHS Office of the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response, which took over stockpile management from the CDC. Congress approved more stockpile funding than Trump’s budget requested in every year of his administration, for a combined $1.93 billion instead of $1.77 billion, according to budget documents….”

            https://www.propublica.org/article/us-emergency-medical-stockpile-funding-unprepared-coronavirus

            1. That is not the truth but what does one expect from Pro Publica.

              What a wonderful information source for the hateful and those with oppositional defiant disorder. They think America is a white racist nation and they dislike free-market capitalism. Slate.com has accused Pro Publica partisanship rather than news reporting. According to Pro Publica China is the good guy and America the bad guy.

              They don’t just have an alternate opinion. They just hate America.

              1. ProPublica has partnered with more than 90 different news organizations, and it has won five Pulitzer Prizes.

                These are facts you can look up:

                the Obama administration tried to replenish the stockpile in 2011 by asking Congress to provide $655 million, up from the previous year’s budget of less than $600 million….

                Republicans took over the House of Representatives in the 2010 midterms on the Tea Party wave

                In the bill’s final version, Congress allocated a compromise $534 million for the 2012 fiscal year, a 10% budget cut from the prior year and $121 million less than the Obama administration had requested…..

                1. “ProPublica has partnered with more than 90 different news organizations, and it has won five Pulitzer Prizes.”

                  That doesn’t change who they are. One of a pack of wolves is still a wolf. Pro Publica is just a little worse than many of the others and so bad that other media sites noted they were a black mark on everyone. Pro Publica I don’t think started out this bad. I think it degenerated. You can check that out.

                  Obama depleted the stockpile and had sufficient political power to restock it and make the stockpile even greater. Don’t blame everyone else for Obama’s faults and your own. That lack of a stockpile of relatively inexpensive material is now costing the nation Trillions of dollars. He used his telephone and pen a lot for a bunch of cr-p that shines another type of Peace Prize on himself but he didn’t care about America. He spent his time weaponizing the bureaucracy to push his agenda forward even though that was against the American spirit.

            2. let’s just say that is true as presented

              what then stopped the private health care medical system from adequately stockpiling sufficient PPE on their own? in their own storage facilities, if only by stocking a deeper shelf of masks and such?

              nothing except bean counter mentality which suffises the corrupt executive administrators of nearly every large American institution, bureaucracy, and even to some extent businesses

              let’s spread some of the blame around to the pigs at the front of the trough and not accept our politicians all blaming trump or obama, neither of which should shoulder the blame for these incompetent hospital adminstrators

              I say a few of them should hang along with some top bankers who skirted punishment during the tenure of eric holder,, some top overpaid and incompetent university deans, and let’s get some of those top overpaid health care system admins swinging in the breeze too

          3. Absurd, under GW Bush, the Federal Government developed a pandemic response plan that was passed on to Obama’s White House. The Obama White House felt the the Bush plan was well-thought out. So they took care in passing that plan onto the Trump people.

            The problem is that Trump came into office with an open disdain for Government professionals. Trump’s disdain for Science and fact-based arguments has essentially defined his presidency.

            So when a pandemic response gets off to a slow, confusing start under a president disdainful of Science, people connect the two.

            To put it in another context, let’s say this president came to office praising foreign dictators. Let’s say, for the sake of argument that Trump called on Vladimir Putin to interfere in our election. Any soundbite of such a utterance would be considered a smoking gun. Half the country would think that Trump was really a stooge.

            The point is, that public statements and attitudes have a huge impact in how the public perceives the president.

            1. wrong and irrelevant

              hospital executives are in charge of their supply closets not the POTUS not Trump nor Obama nor whomever

          4. thank you TIA. Well said. This is not on Trump nor Obama. It is on incompetent bean counting health care executives who have responsibility for stocking their own supply closets.

            what happened? they’re too cheap, want to wring every penny of profit out to justify their own bonuses, so they went to JIT inventory methods for PPE when they should have been stockpiling it.

            don’t blame government for every little thing that the failed private bureaucracies did not do

            not that there arent a lot of incompetents infesting they many layers of government bureaucracy too

            1. Kurtz, I know it’s a lot of work trying to shift blame from the lying incompetent preening idiot in charge,but take a break. He’s not worth it.

        2. You mean the federal bureaucracy, aka the administrative state, has once again failed to live up to the progressive nanny-state dream? Is there a federal regulation preventing state and local agencies from taking initiative and preparing for natural disasters? For instance, in congested cities like NYC, did the mayor and governor ever receive reports recommending they stockpile certain PPE in preparation for a pandemic? Isn’t Cuomo on his third term? Where has his leadership been in preparing his own state?

          1. The CDC has about 9,700 f/t employees. That would translate into 25 or 30 field employees for a commuter belt with a population like that of New Orleans’. Pretty modest corps. You have state and local health departments. There should be some well-understood division of labor there.

            1. There should be some well-understood division of labor there.

              There is, but it requires a well-understood division of responsibility and accountability. This pandemic is a perfect opportunity to educate people about our federalist system. It’s designed to be run from the micro to the macro; from the local to the county, to the state, to the federal. What we’re seeing here is the failure that comes from the unconstitutional expansion of the administrative state. The executive branch was never intended to manage intra-state affairs. Governors were never intended to manage the affairs at the county and local level. We need to be looking at what processes are in place that restrict local government from effectively managing their processes. Same with the county government, same with the sate and so on. Get rid of this dependency model and get back to the constitutionally-limited design. By the way, that same dependency model is also how we approach foreign policy. This President is doing something positive about that as well.

          2. Olly, we might note, that the 2017 Republican tax cutting bill prohibited residents of large Blue States from writing off state taxes on Federal returns. The objective of that change was to quite literally sabotage the big blue states so they would have to cut taxes or alienate residents. But the truth is that big states have far more expenses than the small states.

            So it’s hypocrisy when Republicans like you chide New York for lack of preparation

            1. oh it’s not the feds and its not the state government too

              actually a big unspoken part of this is the total INCOMPETENCE of PRIVATE MEDICAL PROVIDERS– THE BIGGER THE WORSER

              including the vaunted “nonprofit” hospitals that arent run all the much differently than the for profit ones

              nearly all of them run by a bunch of losers in suits.,

              let’s pull a name out of the hat.

              “David S. Wichmann
              Chief Executive Officer, UnitedHealth Group
              David Wichmann became chief executive officer, UnitedHealth Group, on September 1, 2017. He is responsible for the strategic direction and overall performance of the enterprise and its long-term growth agenda. He is also a member of the board of directors. Previously, Wichmann served as president, UnitedHealth Group, beginning in November 2014, with oversight responsibility for all of UnitedHealthcare’s domestic and international businesses, and for overall UnitedHealth Group performance. Wichmann also served as chief financial officer of the enterprise from 2011 until mid-2016…. Prior to joining UnitedHealth Group in 1998, Wichmann was a partner with Arthur Andersen”

              H’ES A BEAN COUNTER NOT A DOCTOR

              BEAN COUNTER SAYS, THIN UP OUR INVENTORY OF MASKS AND GOWNS, THAT STUFF ISN’T MAKING ANY PROFIT!

              IF THERE’S A PLAGUE WE’LL JUST BLAME THE PRESIDENT

              1. BEAN COUNTER SAYS, THIN UP OUR INVENTORY OF MASKS AND GOWNS, THAT STUFF ISN’T MAKING ANY PROFIT!

                I tell you Kurtz, we have people on this blog that post as if they are experts on every topic Turley posts. Yet, what they prove is a lack of the basic common sense that produces comments like yours. They fail at basic business management and leadership practices, basic economics, law and rights. They remind me of the FNG (f’ing New Guy) junior officer that would arrive onboard our ship, straight out of the academy. ROTC’s weren’t as bad, but both were worse than the enlisted new guy. Those butterbars from the academy were stubborn, they lacked basic knowledge of shipboard life and they usually learned hard lessons before they broke down and humbled themselves.

                1. yes olly we see this dynamic in America how the vaunted elites of the previous generation usually just produce more incompetents to fill their shoes once retired

                  our educational system selects people not based on intelligence, not creativity, not even work ethic, mostly just TRACTABILITY that is to say the ability to quickly detect what your immediate boss wants you to do to polish his or her apple and then get busy licking the boots quickly

                  the bigger the bureaucracies the more such types are attracted like flies to manure

                  lack of accountability for results is a poison in any organization.

                  the antidote is accountability

                  but it should go not just at the tippy top but across the whole organizational chart

                  one of the silver linings of “war” over the ages is that accountability for results often takes the shape of incompetent leadership actually dying and getting replaced from below… and some of the most superb officers in American history were battlefield commissions, or they used to call them in England, rankers.

                  one name immediately comes to mind, a man that had tons of combat experience and many battlefield commissions, and wrote a big fat book detailing decades of bureaucratic incompetence in the army.

                  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Hackworth

                  you might like his book “about face”

                  https://www.amazon.com/About-Face-Odyssey-American-Warrior/dp/0671526928/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1586200395&sr=1-1

                  1. Nice fantasy there Kurtz, especially coming from a guy who admires a Daddy’s boy who never had a job in his life.

                    I’m sure you know our federal bureaucracies are filled with civil servants on a merit basis and many of those positions – especially the upper ones you are describing are highly competitive and hard to earn. They aren’t handed out. Perhaps you prefer those jobs be filled by party patronage and nepotism like in the old days and that’s what Trump tends to. The “experts” he’s been blasting and firing are all that will save his sorry a.s

                    1. I’m sure you know our federal bureaucracies are filled with civil servants on a merit basis and many of those positions – especially the upper ones you are describing are highly competitive and hard to earn.

                      It’s not a question of being merit based. The question is what is the merit that is measured? I’ve done strategic planning for federal agencies. I’ve done Activity-based Costing for Federal agencies. I’ve done budgeting for federal agencies. I’ve done business process management consulting for federal agencies. To get to the executive level in federal agencies requires successful increases in budgets. Acquisition of new strategic projects and the funds in excess to support them. Successful completion of projects, not necessarily within the original budget estimates, but within the final approved budget. The number of employees under their direct control is another measure. If there were one thing not of concern to federal agencies and the executives that run them, that would be efficiency. Cutting budgets/cutting costs, that’s the problem ineffective leaders have to deal with when they fail in the above areas. If you’ve ever had a federal contract, you’d know that system isn’t really about the lowest bidder. It’s about pretending to be the lowest bidder, knowing your profit comes from the modifications.

                    2. oh boy more trolling me on trump. he doesnt need my help defending himself against a an overbroad generation or rather specious lie like that. never had a job in his life?

                      and “patronage.”: wow. what’s wrong with that? show me any democratic system without a degree of it.

                      as for the merit based civil service mostly they are bean counters who can do their homework when told as told. that’s their key characteristic of any bureaucracy.

                      patronage is less harmful than it’s cracked up to be. for example the biglaw mayor of chicago lori lightfoot just hired some guy from texas to be the new chicago police chief. what, nobody in Chicago is qualified?

                      patronage is preferable than having a bunch of pathetic slugs — with only the illusion of superior qualifications– but in reality just lacking real social connection to the community shuffling around from one executive slot to another

                      if you think this general trend has anything special to do with trump or party affiliation, well, it’s waaaay deeper than that but feel free to keep up with whatever you theme was before I intruded with my remarks

            2. we might note

              You and that big, fat rat in your pocket sure do a lot we’ing. Prove what those large states have as actual spending needs to justify their ridiculous tax rates. Don’t forget to add in the pet projects budgeted, spent and failed. Until then, your we, can GFY.

              So it’s hypocrisy when Republicans like you chide New York for lack of preparation.

              And for the umpteenth time you paint chip eating dolt, I’m registered Independent.

            3. “2017 Republican tax cutting bill prohibited residents of large Blue States from writing off state taxes on Federal returns.”

              Paint Chips always has his hands out for someone else to pay the bill. Don’t split a check over dinner with him.

              I so happen to be adversely affected by that tax law. I have expensive homes in more than one place (one in mid manhattan) so I pay plenty more in taxes because of the law but the law is correct. Why should anyone paying taxes have to help me out so I can have more than one home?

              Paint Chips only cares about himself. He is selfish.

              1. Paint Chips always has his hands out for someone else to pay the bill.

                His lack of self-reliance, like so many, make for a sorry and pathetic batch of whiners, blaming everyone else for their problems.

                  1. Diaper Man, are you pretending to be a war hero again?? You’ve pulled this crap before, liar.

                    1. Paint Chips, I never discussed my personal relationship with the military on this blog so you are a liar. I don’t know what you may have done or not done but I can guess that you would be a hazard to your fellow man. The best they could provide for you would be latrine duty.

                      By the way your Maxi Pads are in the mail.

                  2. Not for long. I’ve never been able to tolerate whiners. He and book are no different than the 5 foot nothing, ring knocker ensign that barely graduated. They know everything that doesn’t matter and nothing of what does. Fortunately here, that can’t do much harm.

              2. Diaper Man pretends the costs of operating New York City are no different than Omaha or Wichita.

                1. Try buying a nice apartment in mid Manhattan Paint Chips and then look at the taxes one has to pay. Yes, there is a big difference in costs. I don’t know how your comment relates to you always having your hand out.

        3. the incompetent health care executives, who according to news I linked last week, 90% who gave to hillary, want to hang this all on Trump

          but the fact is THEY Have been in charge of their own money and their own massive budgets, charging patients and insurance companies and the government programs up the wazoo ever since, skimming off huge salaries and ever more bigger buildings and overstuffed bureacracies,

          failing to stockpile gowns and masks– which these some overpaid and incompetent admins claim is all trump’s fault

          which takes us back to line 1. 90% donated to hillary

          why is that? is it because they are so smart? if they were smart then they could have laid back more than a month’s over supply.

          no, they are greedy. they, the investment bankers who took the bailouts and nary a one big fish went to jail under eric holder; the same overapid and overrich “nonprofit” university admisntrators and deans; this country is run by a bunch of bureaucratic CNTZ who should hang

          Trump’s biggest mistake was not firing more incompetent bureaucrat types early and often and then rounding up a sufficient number of bad apples to hang right off the bat

          next time no more mister nice guy!

          You lame Hillary loving Democrats who pretend to care about the common man are mostly in practice protecting incompetent bureaucracies and the fat cats who sit atop of them

          and now you’re all uniting behind faded star of a guy who can barely string a coherent sentence together anymore? wow

          You’re shilling for these guys today:

          https://www.modernhealthcare.com/article/20161029/MAGAZINE/310299989/healthcare-leaders-send-cash-to-hillary-clinton-shun-donald-trump

          loser executives who make gobs of money by pinching pennies out of the hospital budgets by under-stocking masks and gloves and gowns. pathetic!

          1. Take a pill Kurtz. Preparing for a pandemic is not in the job or mission description of most hospitals or private companies of any kind who are mostly operating on tight margins or losing money. We have a system for this and it involves, intelligence, national stockpiles, the Defense Production Act and other emergency powers granted the President, and the people electing competent leaders. All that was in place and functioning, including the elction part but the EC thwarted the will of the people for the 2nd time in the last 5 elections.

            By the way, of course most of those in positions of high authority voted for Hillary. They’re not dummies.

            1. they are manifestly and quite obviously incompetents and scoundrels.

              Just listen to yourself:

              “Preparing for a pandemic is not in the job or mission description of most hospitals or private companies of any kind”

              OH PLEASE! seriously? it’s not the job of doctors and hospitals to plan for pandemics? think about that a little more carefully please

              1. Yes, Kurtz, seriously. Do you understand the pressures large hospitals are under to just stay afloat? They have mandates they must meet with indigineous patients and the under insured. The brunt of this is being felt by the urban teaching hospitals, not the privates in the suburbs.

                It is not the job of doctors or struggling hospitals to plan for pandemics. We have the federal government for that: Intelligence gathering – check, National Stockpile – check Defense Production Act and other Emergency posers – check. Competent leadership …………

                1. I understand a lot of overpaid and vaunted bean counters do a poor job of it and make a lot of money way more than a small town lawyer like me who knows how to stock supplies in my own supply closet and be responsible if I run out of copy paper and printer ink and not blame the POTUS

                  it IS the job of DOCTORS TO PLAN FOR PANDEMICS.

                  it is called EPIDEMIOLOGY DEFINED AS:

                  “the branch of medicine which deals with the incidence, distribution, and possible control of diseases and other factors relating to health.”

                  that is not the job of ACCOUNTANTS

                  let the accountants and commercial bankers who are resource managers LISTEN TO DOCTORS and help stock the supplies PROPERLY

                  don’t just throw this massive social failure all on one guy Trump or you miss the opportunity to be a part of a larger correction

                  1. Tried to help you out Kurtz, but if you’re going to hang your hat on the supposed powerlessness of the most powerful man in the world, the one with intelligence, national stockpile, and emergency power and try to shift it to beleaguered urban hospitals and bottom line businesses – gee, why didn’t they have a safe room in that double wide? Because they couldn’t afford it? – who fiddled while the virus spread – we have the tapes – no one can stop you. What makes you think this flabby mind, lacking curiosity or seriousness about anything but his own ass is worthy of your time, let alone 1st vote is a real mystery. You’re not stupid. He is.

                    1. you cant troll me about Trump. I don’t need to defend him. I am making a serious point about bureaucratic incompetence. that anybody could understand if they werent all sucked into some partisan habit like you are.

                      you’re just as blind as the fools who turn around and say the same erroneous thing about obama

                      it’s not the POTUS job to tell hospitals how many masks to keep in their supply closet. it’s the job of doctors and resource managers for these private institutions

                      now if we were just talking about the VA system, striclty speaking, inclusive of all military medical supply, then YES that alone is the POTUS final responsibility. outside of that the PRIMARY SUPPLY OF MEDICAL SUPPLY IS MEDICAL HEALTH CARE PROVIDERS

                      so all these incompetents will now scurry to tell their friends in mass media to blame trump. and the republicans will fire up their counter-reactionary forces to say the same stupid thing in reverse.

                      emerge from the fog!

                  2. Kurtz, you can throw a lot of blame on Obama for loads of things including not stocking for federal pandemic needs, revamping our vaccination research, centralizing healthcare into less and less hospitals based more on accountants and less on doctors, reducing the number of hospitals and beds, making doctors into 9-5 employees, etc.

                    1. Sure you can throw a lot on Obama but STOCKING THE SUPPLY CLOSET WITH GOWNS AND MASKS AND HOW MANY is not one of them. Applies to Obama and TRUMP

                      blame the incompetent health care company executives for once, let them take the bitter criticism along with their massive salaries

                    2. Kurtz when Obama emptied the closet he had the obligation to fill it up again. That is called pandemic preparedness. Bush did a good job on that score.

      2. In his second childhood Anon is cursed with oppositional defiant disorder.

        Often loses temper
        Is often touchy or easily annoyed
        Is often angry and resentful
        Often argues with authority figures or for children and adolescents, with adults
        Often actively defies or refuses to comply with requests from authority figures or with rules
        Often deliberately annoys others
        Often blames others for his or her mistakes or misbehavior
        Has been spiteful or vindictive at least twice within the past 6 months.

    2. btb:

      I guess your philosophy is that if you repeat the lie enough times, eventually some poor sap will believe you. Carry on with the drug up Obama era flaks and the hit pieces from “Pravada on The Potomac.” Those of us who know your shtick await even more shameless prevaricating we can tell our grandchildren about. I can’t wait until November when Sleepy Joe goes to his inevitable defeat and you get to make up even more lies about why Trump didn’t really win.

      1. Mespo, you’re free to challenge the facts surrounding the issues, but obviously incapable of it. It’s a chronic condition in your case but really common with Trump supporters here – a predictable result given the zombie like trance required to maintain that position,

      2. I guess your philosophy is that if you repeat the lie enough times, eventually some poor sap will believe you.

        Him and Natacha. None of the rest of them have the audacity to do that.

        1. You too TIA. Step up to the plate. Somehow you are unable to counter what you call “lies” except by calling me names. I’d be embarrassed if that’s all I had, but then again I could never admit admiring a lying, bragging, lowlife like your cult leader.

          1. btb:

            “You too TIA. Step up to the plate.”
            ************************
            You aren’t a pitcher; you’re Max Patkin. Look you have no credibility with either of us. You are habitually wrong, wrong-headed and have No — repeat No — intellectual integrity. You don’t merit a substantive reply and hence – from me anyhow — you won’t get one.

            1. Oooh, what a loss. I won’t be getting any tax tips from Wesley Snipes either, and for the same reason.

    3. Trump has said the next 2 weeks will be brutal? Do you consider that happy talk? Do you watch the press conference in its entirety or do you snippets that are handpicked for people like you?

  10. I live in a county in CA that requires everyone wear a mask. I have a hard time with this. Certain stores wont allow you in without them and the city has threatened a 1000 fine if you dont comply….So people are making them, wearing scarfs and buying them. Masks are supposed to be a one time use and then they are supposed to be discarded. .Are people doing this or walking around with dirty infected masks. This false sense of security is not good.

    1. Make a set of masks and wash each after use, drawing from your (washed) inventory when you need to go out.

      The point isn’t to have perfect performance. It’s just to have better performance than baseline. This isn’t that difficult.

  11. Hmmm. Little ol’ preppers like me don’t have to worry about going out! Plenty of food and drink, and cat supplies. Lots of books to read and music to listen to. I am fine for a minimum of 3 more months. I even have enough toilet paper.

    Remember when some of you guys teased me about prepping?

    Squeeky Fromm
    Girl Reporter

    1. I BOUGHT A BOX OF N95 MASKS IN 2004 AFTER SARS

      I have been passing them out to my peoples here. still have some left

      I guess I’m smarter tha whatever CNTZ have been running all the hospitals and such

      a bunch of bean counters. UnitedHealth care is run by a guy who’s basically a glorified CPA, not even a doctor

      don’t blame Trump or Obama for the simple failure to stockpile masks, gowns, gloves, and the nifty respirator machines

      but just in case anybody is wondering, a majority of them were Hillary donors in the last cycle

      a pack of self dealing weasels who are nothing more than vaunted bean counters doing jobs as incompetent admins is what’s ruining America, not any particular ideology.

      canings and hangings can set his country right. canings of petty criminals and hangings of the big ones in suits

      under proper legislation and due process trials first, of course!

  12. Agreed that attraction, rather than promotion, is always a more resonant force.

    Have to step in and update some of your Rhode Island information though. Gina Raimondo went from pulling over and questioning of New Yorkers to keeping track of visitors from any state. I live on a small island off the coast of RI and policy has gravitated to this: if an island resident even so much as leaves on the ferry for the mainland for even just the day, it’s a mandatory 2 week quarantine on return. And an island resident was in NY, came back, ignored quarantine and went in the market a couple days in a row and then later tested Covid +…

    The next day, the store closed for the weekend with less than one day’s notice, essentially creating a disease vector as people rushed down to shop for the weekend and stood in sketchy social distance lines.

    Right now, Raimondo is mulling ankle bracelets as a possible way to monitor 2 week self quarantine ‘suggestions’. I wish humans weren’t so capable of lowest common denominator behavior but believe it is to be expected…, so those ankle bracelets are probably warranted.

    By and large, I approve of Raimondo’s actions during this crisis. Special times require special measures. My feeling is that in the States our strength is not in sticking with ideology during times of crisis, but rather to adapt the most successful tools to deal with an extraordinary circumstance — and then being willing to shift back to business as usual when the time warrants.

    Not that the world isn’t replete with examples of governments that moved in and didn’t revert back to normal…, probably the advent of the Patriot Act is an example of that here in the States. It does prove that no government is safe from abuse, although I’d venture to say that the Patriot Act in essence was already being utilized by the U.S. government previous to 9/11, just doing so behind the scenes.

  13. Kind of off topic. But. How much does a ventilator cost? how much do I pay each month for Medicare B? I can afford to buy a ventilator and keep it in my home can’t I?
    I guess I will go on Amazon and see if I can get one. Or. Call Cuomo.

  14. One difficulty we face is supply chain back ups. Japan seems to have benefited from the prevalence of protective equipment. If we could have general distribution of protective equipment and social distancing, we might be able to allow close-to-normal economic activity to resume among those under 50, have selective quarantine of those between 50 and 60, and a general quarantine of those over 60.

    1. DSS with such measures I don’t believe a general quarantine of those over 60 would be needed. Why do you think the opposite?

      There is a good chance this virus will be seasonal and so far though we see panic the models of hospital beds required vs those actually being used are leagues apart. We have a problem in certain dense areas with crammed in transport, lots of visitors and stupid administrators that encouraged close contact among citizens when social distancing was appropriate. NYC is the best example.

      1. As noted, Allan, our single best guess at this time is that the mortality rate for people over 60 with a symptomatic illness is about 4.5%. That’s reason enough to have the old shelter in place until we can get a better handle on this problem.

    2. Japan is a place where failed bureaucrats are actually ashamed of themselves and sometimes show their penitence by killing themselves—a worthy social custom if there ever was one! yes very un-Christian and yet shows their dramatic sense of social belonging and accountability. Very impressive in my mind!

      their bureaucracies function better than ours, private or public

      so they stocked more PPE. simple!

      we should hang some of the worst and most incompetent bureaucratic executives as a warning to the next who come to replace them, vacuuming up their massive salaries for doing poor work.

  15. For example, a competent President would have foreseen the probability that the CDC and FDA would be incompetent.

    Chuckles. (1) Find a professional who predicted in advance the precise trouble these agencies caused and (2) list the foreign heads of government who organized a demonstrably better response.

    1. It’s nice to see absurd sticking up for government bureaucracies — and these two federal bureaucracies in particular.

    2. South Korea and Germany’s leaders both have done a markedly better job. France and Canada join that group. A much smaller list would be which foreign leaders *haven’t* done a better job.

      1. 1. The ratio of deaths to total population is in France currently running at 4x ours, so your performance standards would appear to be … flexible.

        2. South Korea’s infection had a discrete source, one particular religious congregation on which contact tracing could be performed.

        3. Canada was a late-adopter of measures to which liberal frauds objected when Trump imposed them (travel restrictions).

        4. You complained about Trump, not about anyone else, because fraud.

        1. 1. Death to population ratio is a red herring. France has a smaller population and is further ahead on the curve nationally than the U.S. is. Apples to oranges.
          2. South Korea diagnostically tested in a the way the U.S. will absolutely have to in the next pandemic. They’d been through recent epidemics and knew what to do. Trump ignored his own intelligence and PDB’s, blew 2 months to ramp up diagnostic testing and pandemic response.
          3. Travel restrictions are a bare minimum of pandemic response. A response Trump got 1/3 right. He was relatively quick with Chinese travelers. Woefully slow with South Korea and Italy.
          4. You’re defending Trump, because fraud…

          But I am encouraged that you’ve shifted from denial of Trump’s awful response to now trying to make excuses for it. You’ve stepped up, Absurd. Taking your cues entirely from Trump on this as this is his M.O. in public relations crisis control, but hey it’s a step up either way.

        2. There was no opposition from major players to Trump’s partial ban on travel from China (40,000 have arrived since). That is the only think he did before February and much not until mid March.

          He sold happy talk,

          We have the tapes

          1. And those tapes will show, throughout history, an epic fail of pandemic response on the federal level, hard to fail in a bigger way short of getting the nation in a needless nuclear war…, but hey, give Trump time.

            Actually, I think he’s been neutralized to the degree it’s possible. He regularly takes L’s to Fauci and Birx on policy. While he’s still throwing sand in the gears wherever he can, and still can’t view Covid 19 as something other than an opportunity for financial profit, in the backroom policy battles he’s losing. His true damage has been slowing the response in a catastrophic way.

  16. (music)
    We can stay in complete lockdown.
    We don’t need no thought control.
    All in all it’s just another dip in the road
    After all we live under a toad.

  17. Might be better in that opening up is a decision not left to Trump who would be more likely to open prematurely based on his statements

  18. I think the only national policy available to Trump is a hands on approach in working with non-federal non-governmental entities, and strengthening their independence in the legal arena.

    For example, a competent President would have foreseen the probability that the CDC and FDA would be incompetent. He would have communicated with independent labs and hospitals who would actually provide the solution. He would have set about ensuring that the CDC and FDA did not interfere with those solutions, let alone add to the problem and make it worse.

    1. Steve J. my longer post never made it to the blog so I will make it shorter. I think in this post you went over the edge. Try focusing on real figures and what they would do.
      —-
      Trump was ahead of the curve when one places all the important parties against one another.

      Trump would be at the top or near top.
      Nancy Pelosi would be at the near bottom or the bottom.

      The most prominent person to take action in the US against Covid-19 was President Trump. He did so while Nancy Pelosi was focused entirely on impeachment and while Fauci was saying the virus was of low risk.

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