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. Trump Rails At I.G. Report On Hospitals

    President Trump on Monday claimed that an inspector general report finding “severe” shortages of supplies at hospitals to fight the novel coronavirus is “just wrong.”

    Trump did not provide evidence for why the conclusions of the 34-page report are wrong.

    He implied that he is mistrustful of inspectors general more broadly. He recently fired the inspector general of the intelligence community, which has drawn outrage from Democrats.

    “Did I hear the word inspector general?” Trump said in response to the reporter’s question about the findings.

    “It’s just wrong,” Trump said of the report.

    The inspector general report, released earlier Monday, was based on a survey of 323 randomly selected hospitals across the country.

    It found “severe” shortages of tests and wait times as long as seven days for hospitals. It also found “widespread” shortfalls of protective equipment such as masks for health workers, something that doctors and nurses have also noted for weeks.

    “The level of anxiety among staff is like nothing I’ve ever seen,” one hospital administrator said in the report.

    Trump asked who the inspector general of the Department of Health and Human Services is.

    “Where did he come from, the inspector general?” Trump said, adding, “What’s his name?”

    The office is currently led by Christi Grimm, the principal deputy inspector general. According to her online biography, Grimm joined the inspector general’s office in 1999.

    Trump said the U.S. has now done more testing than any other country. “We are doing an incredible job on testing,” he said.

    Trump also berated the reporter asking the question, saying testing has been a success.

    “You should say, ‘Congratulations. Great job’ instead of being so horrid,” Trump said.

    The American Hospital Association (AHA) on Monday said the inspector general report was accurate.

    The report “accurately captures the crisis that hospitals and health systems, physicians and nurses on the front lines face of not having enough personal protective equipment (PPE), medical supplies and equipment in their fight against COVID-19,” the AHA said.

    Edited From: “Trump Says I.G. Report Finding Hospital Shortages Is ‘Just Wrong'”

    Today’s The Hill

    1. “Trump did not provide evidence for why the conclusions of the 34-page report are wrong.”

      Trump didn’t but the General or Admiral did. Apparently the report was from the 23 of March or thereabouts, not April 6 the day of the report being reported. Things had changed drastically from then but the reporter didn’t consider that. The General also said that he would have liked to have been notified of such a report and not find out about it on the news at 8AM in the morning 2 weeks later.

      The news reporters demonstrated their typical attempts to obscure the details and didn’t even know the name of the IG. The President realed that lack of depth of the reporters by asking the name of the IG which they couldn’t provide. Later after being given the name he asked who appointed the IG. The news reporter smugly responded your Administration in another attempt at a gotcha. It was then revealed that the IG was actually an Obama appointee who under the Trump administration was moved to that position.

      All this episode demonstrated was that a lot of the news reporters are low and very partisan willing to manipulate the facts while not knowing much of what they are reporting. The truth was that the news article represented a mistruth with regard to the days briefing and that the reporter purposely tried to deceive the President.

      Paint Chips thrives off of news that is not accurate with regard to the week and month of the year. Most of them would be fired for incompetence if the news organizations they served were really trying to provide real news.

      1. I find it amazing that IG investigations, which have been so glacial during this administration, are undertaken so rapidly when it suits the permanent government. (I was under the impression as well that the purpose of the IG was to investigate misconduct, not to undertake quick-and-dirty performance audits).

      2. It is the job of reporters to ask tough questions, not answer them, and hers was completely legitimate and serious. The report was produced by Trump’s and the Admiral’s government, not hers. Why didn’t they already know about it? That’s their job.

        Trump doesn’t like IG’s because he doesn’t want any independent oversight and so far the congressional GOP is facilitating that stance in complete opposition to the intent of IG statutes. At his pep rally yesterday he rhetorically asked why the IG he fired “had not come to me”, as if as the subject of a WB complaint, he was due that obeisance. He further stated “he’s not a Trump fan”, as if that was a consideration for people in positions requiring scrupulous objectivity and non-partisan action.

        People like Allan unmask themselves as stooges for whatever corrupt and unscrupulous behavior Trump exhibits and which proves his unfitness for office in a democracy run by law rather than by the whim and selfish interests of the president. That he’s blind to his own degradation is doubly disturbing.

        1. “It is the job of reporters to ask tough questions,”

          Tough questions is the job of reporters and sometimes I hear the President remarking that a particular question was tough but fair. Then the President answers the questions.

          Unfortunately the question asked by this particular female reporter was pure spin. It was known and discussed that testing wasn’t as good as desired in the latter half of March. That had been discussed. If the IG had a problem she could have notified the Admiral instead of the press at the time it was occurring and when it was being dealt with. She didn’t.

          The reporter obscured the date that had already been discussed so essentially she lied. The reporter also was unaware of the circumstances and didn’t even know the IG’s name. She then reported that the IG was from the Trump administration when the IG was initially hired under Obama. A series of intentional commissions and omisions by the reporter and the newmedia. That is known as junk news and when a story is created it is known as a hoax.

          “Why didn’t they already know about it? That’s their job.”

          They did know about it but they thought she was talking about April 6 when she was talking about ~March 23. The problems we had in March were well documented and discussed by the President. Only a fool would make the comment you just made with all the evidence out there.

          “Trump doesn’t like IG’s”

          Trump doesn’t like people that aren’t truthful. He would intensely dislike you. There are loads of people overseeing all of the things being done but if we need a new overseer then that overseer has to look at the actions of Pelosi, Schiff as well. What you are looking for is another liar to lie just like the reporter and another IG that doesn’t report the facts to a superior rather reports to the news media weeks later after the problems are solved so the news media can pretend the problem is ongoing.

          1. The IG by statute is not tasked with giving head ups to administrators (or admirals). They are IG’s.

            Christi Grimm, the IG, has been in the IG office since 1999, meaning more years under Republicans than Democrats. IGs are governed by an objective and non-partisan code by staute.

            1. IG’s do not report to newspapers. They report to Congress and to those in the Executive Branch. They especially don’t report data to the newspapers when the 2 week old data has already been corrected as discussed openly over the 2 week period. The only reason to release and run a 2 week old story that was known and corrected was to make believe there was a problem when there wasn’t. We have a crisis and people like you and them add to the confusion without a care that the confusion created can cause a loss of life. It’s just plain stupid and anti social.

        2. the tough question was like most other stupid reporter questions, a FALSE PREMISE question

          Trump not being a lawyer is not quick to spot these

          He reacted against the false premise that it’s all his fault which is how the irresponsible third rate reporter phrased it

          the underlying information that there are shortages is factual

          the conclusion which was the false premise in how the question was phrased that its all his fault is patently false

          similar to the long rambling pro CCP comment that the Chinese reporter working for the Hong Kong Newspapaer which is 65% owned by the PRC government, was making a speech with multiple false premises that barely had any coherent question tacked on to the end of it. Trump cut through the garbage by asking her if she worked for the Chinese government the answer of which today we know is YES even though she lied and said no

          Hoover calls Pheonix “quasi official” news


          The PRC is smart for doing these kinds of sneaky things; Trump is smart for spotting it; the US media suckers are dumb for not catching on.

          1. Kurtz, you’re making that up. The reporter asked about what she accurately called the number one complaint of hospitals which was on the shortage of testing supplies. She did not ask or say who’s fault that was.

            It was legitimate and serious question based on hard data which a leader would have answered respectfully and truthfully.

            1. i heard her and it is what we call “IMPLICIT” it was in her annoying tone and cutesy head bob and fake facial expression. The question given to him “when can hospitals expect [whatever] about testing.” trump said the feds dont do the testing. the hospitals do the testing and the states do the testing. A perfectly valid response. Shows that it was her false premise– what, is the federal government is supposed to send out the army or something to go do tests?

              So no, I am not making that up. You just don’t like me explaining it.
              Because it identifies more precisely just what made the question poorly phrased and delivered.

              I have to say this is almost always the way the sorry pathetic journalists do it.

              They act like a pack of lawyers asking a hostile witness leading questions. Leading questions are ok, sometimes, but if you are supposedly not biased then you start with a more open question.

              We know they’re biased. You know that, I do, we all know that. They hate Trump, if it rained they would ask him a question that implied it was his fault it was not a sunny day.

              So it’s a daily grilling for Trump. Who, strangely, seems to relish it. I can’t fathom his personality, I just know I’m glad he’s willing to do the job.

              1. Here’s the video. Kurtz is making it up.


                A competent leader would answer the question respectfully but otherwise however he wanted without insulting the reporter, the report, and the IG who he knew nothing about. He’s not a competent leader and he’s not doing the job. I exercise daily at the time he does these, so I have heard a half dozen of them at least. He is running a self congratulatory pep rally for 30 minutes then insults the reporters doing their job for about 5 minutes and thankfully lets others to the podium. The real question is why anyone shows up at these anymore.

                1. well I guess a disrespectful question elicits a disrespectful response

                  the tone of her delivery was the worst aspect; the content one could argue was legit. likewise the tone of his reply was not nice; but the content was arguably a legit reply

                  anyways, the reason people show up, is revealed by your own statement. he gives a pep rally and then hands it over to others. which is a smart way of doing it.

                  it’s often the job of leadership to give a pep talk. what do you think coaches do to players who are sure to lose? tell them to sit down and quit trying? good for Trump if he’s giving pep talks. we will need a lot more going forwards, too, because it’s all getting worse and when this lifts there will be a severe economic disaster to sort out as well

                2. Kurtz, did you note that was only part of the exchange? Did you notice how Trump said the General would answer that question and she continued with her question in a disrespectful tone ? Did you note that she was describing the shortage as present day but after the tape stops it is discovered that she is talking about a report that is 2 weeks old? Did you notice how shallow the reporter was? Did you note that she didn’t even know the name of the inspector general. Did you note that later she gave the name and when asked who appointed her she said Trump did. Did you notice that was later corrected to Obama.

                  The fact is everything about that report was discussed at length in previous press conferences, but this low level reporter acted as if the 2 week old report was today’s news.

                  This is the problem with Anon. He is either stupid and doesn’t know what was said after the tape or he is a liar and promotes a tape he knows doesn’t represent the facts. Either way he is not one to be trusted and shouldn’t be posting on a blog where the intellectual needs are far higher than anything he has ever had.

                    1. btb – the problem is that things are moving so fast Mar 27 was 10 years ago.

                    2. Paul, the problem is Trump is too busy avoiding responsibility to behave in the nations best interest and his supporters will promote any falsehood to protect him, including the lie that the report was held up or so old it was irrelevant.

                    3. That would mean some of the information preceded March 24. How many days earlier is unknown but that leaves a wide berth of time during which time the shortfalls were addressed as demonstrated on the charts shown before the question. The question was asked as if the report represented the facts of the day which it didn’t. It was BS.

                      You probably have a lot of trouble with math so I don’t know if you can get your brain to comptently look at the data.

                  1. I noticed that she flipped her hair a few times which indicates that she believes she is cute

                    and she is; but that does not mean that she needs to have a snarky annoying tone

                    although that’s in fashion for young ladies these days. it does not suit them well but they persist. seems like a lot of bad habits are au courant

          1. Tough questions come with the job and that’s the way smart people want it. Trump’s not up to the job.

            1. Trump actually answers questions very well. He said he doesn’t mind tough questions. Gotcha questions and stupid things asked and answered are repulsive. We see that daily at the press conferences and we see that daily on the blog. You are the prime purveyor of this nonsense.

        1. But her report had to do with what was being corrected 2 weeks ago when the feds were ramping up production. Today the problem that might be occurring has to do with particular states that have the needed stuff but their management teams may not be up to the job. It’s sort of similar to the past event where Cuomo complained he didn’t get the ventilators from the federal government but they were sitting in a warehouse in NJ owned by the state of NY.

          This is no difference than you blaming me for you running out of Maxi Pads because you didn’t open the box right next to your mailbox.

    2. Trump’s reacting not against the conclusion that there are shortages, which is factual, but the conclusion that it’s all somehow his fault, which is precisely what the irresponsible reporter suggested.

      You guys move the goalposts constantly so that your favorite object of opprobrium can do no right.

      1. You guys move the goalposts constantly so that your favorite object of opprobrium can do no right.

        It is really fascinating to watch how they do that. If you stop to think about it, it’s superficially brilliant. You can never be wrong. How liberating is that? Imagine going into a debate where the only thing you need to prove is what you feel, or how you interpret the truth. Facts, evidence. Ha. If they don’t support your truth, then the facts and evidence are immediately suspect. That’s how you get comments demanding citations from recognized sources. Then, when hypocrisy is evident, well that’s because that was then and this is now. Once again, how can anyone ever be a hypocrite if they have no standards? These people are nucking futs.

  2. Allan, FEMA could have hired the for-hire coaches from all over the lower 48 states and used those. Those would be far more suitable for intercity travel than the city buses.

    Please don’t be obtuse.

    1. David Benson is the God Emperor of Making Stuff Up and owes me forty-three citations (one from the OED, one from the town ordinances and two from the Old Testament), an equation and the source of a quotation, after seventy weeks, and needs to cite all his work from now on. – you are subsuming that the buses are available.

    2. They needed the buses to take people out of areas that would be devastated. That would mean the act had to take place before the hurricane hit, not afterwards. I don’t have the slightest idea where you are coming from.

  3. Allan, then there was also Heck-of-a-job Brownie who didn’t have FEMA hire busses to get the people out.

    Plenty of blame to go around…

    — David B Benson

  4. Republican Admin Prepped for Pandemic, Dems Squandered Prep
    April 6, 2020
    Daniel Greenfield

    On the one hand, this is the usual “Rehabilitate Bush to bash Trump” media angle. But what it really does is make the case that a Republican administration prepped for a pandemic, while a Democrat admin squandered its efforts.

    And there’s overlap between Bush era and Trump era personnel and advisers.

    In the summer of 2005, President George W. Bush was on vacation at his ranch in Crawford, Texas, when he began flipping through an advance reading copy of a new book about the 1918 flu pandemic. He couldn’t put it down.

    Thus was born the nation’s most comprehensive pandemic plan — a playbook that included diagrams for a global early warning system, funding to develop new, rapid vaccine technology, and a robust national stockpile of critical supplies, such as face masks and ventilators, Townsend said.

    That was the supply that the Obama admin gave away and never replaced.

    But elements of that effort have formed the foundation for the national response to the coronavirus pandemic underway right now.

    Translation, whatever framework we have comes courtesy of Republicans, not Democrats.

    “There was a realization that it’s no longer fantastical to raise scenarios about planes falling from the sky, or anthrax arriving in the mail,” said Tom Bossert, who worked in the Bush White House and went on to serve as a homeland security adviser in the Trump administration.

    According to Bossert, who is now an ABC News contributor, Bush did not just insist on preparation for a pandemic. He was obsessed with it.

    “He was completely taken by the reality that that was going to happen,” Bossert said.

    This ought to silence the Obama admin people scuttling around and insisting that their guy would have been on it or that Hillary Clinton would be handling it better.

    It was a Democrat administration, their administration, that trashed out pandemic preparedness.

        1. Bush Jr. had lived through 9/11. And been caught unprepared for Katrina but eventually put a good officer in charge of a rebuilding response. He’d been initiated and had desire to help the country — at least with pandemic response and unforseen emergency.

          Obama had been through H1N1 and Ebola. And ditto on the desire to be prepared.

          The difference between both of them and Trump is that they gave a damn and could see the bigger picture enough to put politics aside for the greater good.

          1. I suppose what you remember happened in Louisiana with a Democratic governor and a Democratic mayor who didn’t even use the buses to get people out. The press was harsh on Bush like they are with all Republicans because Bush didn’t immediately fix the problems created by the Democratic leaders but he had to wait until he had a request from the governor who was asleep at the wheel.

            Trump has done an excellent job and anyone listening to the news conferences that aren’t cut can see how the media is trying to get gotcha points instead of reporting the news. The answers provided generally expose an overall terrible group of media folk that don’t even know the subject matter about the questions they ask.

          2. Bush Jr was not responsible for weather. Nor was he responsible for overdevelopment in coastal areas like NOLA.

            If the Army corps of engineers failed to maintain dikes or levees or waterways in their jurisdiction, then he was responsible for that.

            FEMA is also supposed to be prepared to do certain things up to a point. That is a program funded by Congress, but, run by the executive branch

            There was plenty of blame to go around before during and after. I don’t think I can sort it out from memory or did they ever sort it out at all. But to suggest it was all on Bush is historically inaccurate. Most of all, it was on the hurricane.

            There are things beyond human control and it is perhaps a vain exercise to try and blame every emergency on “lack of preparedness.” There are risks in all human endeavor. nothing is safe in the end. One has to weight the costs of preparation and safety versus the gains of whatever human activity

            I would like to ask have the hospital executives earned their massive pay over the past few decades? have they failed to prepare for an emergent coronavirus? it was understood full well the past 5 years this exact thing could and probably would happen again. It was modeled by the WHO in a simulation back in Octobor 19! Did the health care execs bother to lay back more masks, a simple prophylactic well understood from the sars epidemic to be a necessity for preparedness?

            Dont always blame the president for what ten thousand other executives should have been doing all along. This is intellectual laziness. I have seen this sort of thing from Republicans who blamed Clinton or Obama for every little thing and I remember it on Bush and now I see it on Trump. hey remember this one: “It takes a village! “

  5. No, All The World Is ‘Not’ Using Malaria Drug For Covid 19.  Drug Remains Unproven Everywhere 

    Chloroquine, and a related derivative, hydroxychloroquine, have gained attention – despite the World Health Organization (WHO) saying there is no definitive evidence they work.

    President Trump has frequently referred to the potential of hydroxychloroquine in White House briefings. At a recent press conference, he referred to it and said: “What do you have to lose? Take it.”

    Tablets containing chloroquine have long been used in the treatment of malaria to reduce fever and inflammation, and the hope is that they can also inhibit the virus that causes Covid-19.

    “Chloroquine seems to block the coronavirus in lab studies. There’s some anecdotal evidence from doctors saying it has appeared to help,” says James Gallagher, BBC health correspondent.

    There is insufficient evidence at the moment from current trials as to their effective use in treatment of patients with Covid-19, and the results from one early French study suggest it is not effective at all.

    There are also risks of serious side effects, including renal and liver damage.

    “We need larger, high-quality randomised clinical trials in order to better evaluate their effectiveness,” says University of Oxford ‘s Kome Gbinigie, author of a report on anti-malarial testing for Covid-19.

    More than 20 trials are being carried out, including in the US, UK, Spain and China.

    Cabinet Office Minister Michael Gove says the UK is “conducting rapid clinical trials on anti-malarials” to assess if they are able to reduce the impact of Covid-19 on those affected.

    In the US, various trials are under way for a combination of drugs including chloroquine, hydroxychloroquine and an antibiotic called Zithromax, for treating Covid-19 patients.

    The US Food and Drugs Administration (FDA), the body in charge of licensing medicines in America, has granted “emergency use” authorisation for these drugs in the treatment of Covid-19 for a limited number of hospitalised cases.

    That does not mean the FDA is saying they definitely work. But it does mean that in specific circumstances, hospitals can request and use the medicines from government stockpiles for use in Covid-19 treatment.

    Edited From: “Coronavirus And Chloroquine: Is There Evidence It Works?”

    Today’s BBC


    1. More On Malaria Drug From BBC

      Many virologists and infectious disease experts have cautioned that the excitement over hydroxychloroquine is premature.

      “Chloroquine seems to block the coronavirus in lab studies. There’s some anecdotal evidence from doctors saying it has appeared to help,” James Gallagher, BBC health correspondent, explained.

      But crucially there have been no complete clinical trials which are important to show how the drug behaves in actual patients, although they are under way in China, the US, UK and Spain.

      Even so, some are sceptical about how successful they will prove to be.

      “If it truly has a dramatic effect on the clinical course of Covid-19 we would already have evidence for that. We don’t, which tells us that hydroxychloroquine, if it even works at all, will likely be shown to have modest effects at best,” Dr Joyeeta Basu, a senior consultant physician told the BBC.

      Raman R Gangakhedkar, a senior scientist with the Indian Council of Medical Research, said the policy at the moment is that the drug is not to be used by everyone.

      “It is being given to doctors and contacts of lab confirmed cases. When their data will be complied only then a call can be taken whether it should be recommended to everyone,” he told reporters last week.

      Despite the fact trials are yet to conclude, people have begun to self-medicate – with sometimes disastrous consequences.

      There have been multiple reports in Nigeria of people being poisoned from overdoses after people were reportedly inspired by Mr Trump’s enthusiastic endorsement of the drug.

      An article in the Lancet medical journal also warns hydroxychloroquine can have dangerous side-effects if the dose is not carefully controlled.

      This lack of certainty has prompted social media sites like Facebook and Twitter to delete posts that tout it as a cure – even when they are made by world leaders.

      Edited From: “Hydroxychloroquine: Can India Help Trump With Unproven Corona Drug?”

      Today’s BBC

      1. well seth peter at least one Democrat politician thinks it saved her life


        i got news for you doctors are using it in NYC now a lot. and it’s working, if not for people on their last leg, but when they start it early enough. someone with comorbidities on a ventilator is perhaps too far gone, the death rates are very high for them

        thats the information related by an esteemed physician from NYC

        1. Kurtz, this is from your link:

          Whitsett said she was familiar with “the wonders” of hydroxychloroquine from an earlier bout with Lyme disease, but does not believe she would have thought to ask for it, or her doctor would have prescribed it, had Trump not been touting it as a possible treatment for COVID-19.

          This is important to note. This woman had used the drug before and knew she’d have no adverse side effects.

          1. it will take time to organize proper trials to verify that the observed therapeutic effect is statistically signficant but right now doctors in New York and Detroit are not listening to BBC and are using it widely on patients who are not too far gone already.

            the drugs do have dangerous side effects so again scientific verification and all that takes time. in the meantime people are under the care of doctors who see real gains and so you guys in the peanut gallery should hop down off the political grandstand and let them do their thing

            1. “the drugs do have dangerous side effects so again scientific verification and all that takes time.”

              So does aspirin. It’s not formally approved. Should we ban the sale of aspirin? Many people have died from aspirin.

              The off label use of hydroxychloroquine should be up to the doctors at the bedside. By the time the studies are completed everyone that might or might not have benefited will be long gone from the hospital or dead. The drug is safer than many other drugs frequently used and its adverse affects can be considered on a case by case basis.

    2. there are big testing regimes being set up for its use in Detroit, below i have linked the result from a Democrat politician who received the treatment and says it was good for her

      try and not overly politicize ad promising therapy ok? you strain too hard to make your daily tally of anti-Trump messages

    3. The British are not aware perhaps that it’s being broadly perscribed in New York City and Detroit. In Detroit they are organizing proper clinical trials. In New York it is catch as catch can.

      Chlroroquinine plus zpac plus transfusions

      the information is out there …. results for patients who are not-too-far are promising; of course it takes time to verify the statistical relevance of anecdotally observed outcomes


      LANSING – A Democratic state representative from Detroit is crediting hydroxychloroquine — and Republican President Donald Trump who touted the drug — for saving her in her battle with the coronavirus.

      State Rep. Karen Whitsett, who learned Monday she has tested positive for COVID-19, said she started taking hydroxychloroquine on March 31, prescribed by her doctor, after both she and her husband sought treatment for a range of symptoms on March 18.

      “It was less than two hours” before she started to feel relief, said Whitsett, who had experienced shortness of breath, swollen lymph nodes, and what felt like a sinus infection. She is still experiencing headaches, she said.

      Rep. Karen Whitsett
      Rep. Karen Whitsett (Photo: Michigan House of Representatives)

      Whitsett said she was familiar with “the wonders” of hydroxychloroquine from an earlier bout with Lyme disease, but does not believe she would have thought to ask for it, or her doctor would have prescribed it, had Trump not been touting it as a possible treatment for COVID-19.

      Trump, at his daily coronavirus briefings, has repeatedly touted the drug in combination with the antibiotic azithromycin, despite criticism from health professionals that it is unproven and potentially dangerous. There have also been complaints that Trump’s remarks have resulted in a shortage of the drug for those people who normally use it for its recommended purposes.

      But Whitsett said Trump’s comments helped in her case.

      “It has a lot to do with the president … bringing it up,” Whitsett said. “He is the only person who has the power to make it a priority.”

      1. The thing about politicizing research as is being done around hydroxychloroquine is that it treats medical science as if it’s populated by idiots>> markedly not true. Researchers try anything within their domain to come up with a treatment. Anything. Any combination within drug therapy will be tested…, especially in NY. Don’t believe for a second Sloan Kettering, and Yale, and Columbia, etc. aren’t all over this.

        But it’s entertaining watching everyone jump in like this. Kind of a Romper Room exercise.

  6. General Secretary, Comrade Franklin Delano Roosevelt created a “Great Depression” and America is stuck with Social Security, Medicare and the continuously burgeoning communist welfare state to this day.

    Whatever will the communists dream up to keep in this current communist induced “Great Depression II, The Sequel?”

    The indestructible “dictatorship of the proletariat” will reign infinitely – until people discover the value of freedom after it’s too late.

    1. General Secretary, Comrade Franklin Delano Roosevelt created a “Great Depression”
      According to GfeotgeFDR the magician fooled all those people into believing they werein a depression

      1. How the hell did FDR cause the great depression when he was not elected until 1932? Today’s question is who was the Presidents in the 1920’s? There’s a thing called the internet tubes that could answer the question.

  7. Darren Smith, these “pingbacks” are not accretive to the Turley Blog and may violate the civility rules.

  8. White House Trying To Marginalize Fauci On Malaria Drug

    White House trade adviser Peter Navarro on Monday questioned the experience and medical judgment of Dr. Anthony Fauci — dragging his reported dispute with the nation’s top infectious diseases expert out of the White House Situation Room and onto cable news.

    In a fiery interview on CNN’s “New Day,” Navarro appeared to confirm media accounts of his altercation with Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, during a meeting of the White House coronavirus task force Saturday. The clash focused on the efficacy of hydroxychloroquine, a controversial potential treatment for the coronavirus that President Donald Trump has promoted despite limited clinical evidence. 

    The president and his allies, however, have continued to champion the decades-old malaria drug as a possible medical remedy for Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, while senior health officials have warned repeatedly that the medicine requires further trials.

    “The data are really just, at best, suggestive,” Fauci told CBS’ “Face the Nation” on Sunday. “There have been cases that show there may be an effect, and there are others to show there’s no effect. So I think, in terms of science, I don’t think we could definitively say it works.”

    Responding to that assessment Monday, Navarro said he would let Fauci “speak for himself,” but added, “I would have two words for you: second opinion.

    Edited from: “Doctors Disagree All The Time.  Navarro Drags Fauci Fued Into Open”

    Today’s Politico 

    1. What drug are the doctors on the frontlines using across the globe to treat their patients? Chloroquine. That’s quite the inconvenient fact for the Trump haters.

      1. Ivan, show me a mainstream news story that says doctors around the world are using the malaria drug. And if indeed that is the case, why wouldn’t Dr Fauci get that memo? It makes no sense.

        1. Ivan, show me a mainstream news story that says doctors around the world are using the malaria drug. And if indeed that is the case, why wouldn’t Dr Fauci get that memo?

          Fauci has said he is aware that doctors around the world are using the malaria drug. He has also said he has not seen conclusive results. In some cases have had good results and others have not

        2. Fauci’s remarks are eliciting too dramatic remarks on either side.

          The therapy in question is being used widely in New York city., Maybe the doctors there have been too busy to help convince journalists that what they are doing is news.

          Dr. William Grace, oncologist at Lenox Hill hospital in New York City. has been in the news explaining that it is being widely used in NYC and why.

          it will take time to verify results and evaluate whether the side effects were worth the uses or not. these kinds of studies take time. time that patients who are dying at excess of 50% once they go on respirators, don’t have

          anyhow its hydroxychloroquinolone plus zpac plus blood transfusions, that’s what’s happening the last time I heard it explained

          there is another pathologist out there Chris Martenson that has covered this and explained it since the first study came out of Marseille

          we will see how effective it is but don’t exaggerate Fauci’s remarks and accuse Trump of self dealing.
          of course it’s all anecdotal until a thorough careful long term study is done. that doesnt mean it is wrong
          to say something is anecdotal may sound dismissive but its not; it’s just a statement about where the therapy is along the range of medical proof and testing for long term social use

          in an emergency there are a lot of things that are proven which can be dusted off and re-purposed.

          maggot therapy ever heard of that? not suggesting it’s use for covid-19 but it is an example of an old method which has found new use. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2771513/

          UV blood irradiation is another old cure for various things which might have new uses. it ALWAYS starts “anecdotally.,”
          ie one by one and then if enough interest is shown the scientists organize proper long term tests.


          1. It’s stunning at what these folks will bitch about. If they or their loved ones end up coming down with Covid-19, they should say generally that they do not want any treatment protocols approved by this President. Specifically, they should tell them if President Trump has in any way rated a protocol positively, they don’t want it; and that includes any variation of hydroxychloroquinolone. Problem solved. President Trump should speak positively about water, oxygen, restful sleep, any food products. Of course he should put a ban on licking metal surfaces in any area where people are still moving about.

    2. In order to make themselves relevant the media has a tendency to hype everything. A car has an accelerator and a brake. You need both to operate it successfully. Fauci is a brake and Navarro an accelerator. Both are right but that type of understanding is beyond the intellectual ability of Paint Chips. Doctors disagree all the time and non doctors do the same.

      NYC is mostly Democrat and one can assume that most doctors in NYC are Democrats as well. I don’t know how many patients are being given hydroxychloroquine but my bet is a lot and it is given by doctors who are Democrats and Republicans. They are not listening to the President’s medical advice rather they are hearing opinions that might be different than that of the NYTImes. The doctor is the one that determines when to use a drug for an off label use unless a law or rule says otherwise. We talk alot about Lupus and this drug but I think the use of this drug in Lupus is off label. Should we stop? Viagra has a use but most people use Viagra et al for an off label use and you might even be using it in that fashion. There is no on label use for women for the drug Viagra. Maxi Pads are generally associated with women but men might also use them.

      You want to show discord. Thank goodness there is discord because that means that multiple opinions are presented before decisions are made. In your Stalinist type of world there is only one decision for the others are dead. That is the world you want to live in and that means you are crazy or the wannabe leader.

      1. Diaper Man, Navorro is not a doctor. Medicine is not his field of expertise. He’s just a Trump loyalist providing support for Trump.

        1. Paint Chips, even though you are unable to understand this type of decision making, other people whether doctors or not do. Off label use of drugs is common so if the drug is deemed safe and the disease is a killer it’s a good idea for the physician to consider using an off label drug in an attempt to save lives. I don’t know what makes it so hard for you to understand such a simple idea.

          It is my understanding that Fauci didn’t agree with the necessity of the Travel Ban. He does now and I think he said so. Would you have preferred the President not to use the Travel Ban? We know you and your ilk didn’t like it but of course you realize that if the Travel Ban never occurred there would be a lot more dead people.

          1. What side of the flat earth do you live on? Better check your alternative facts on the travel ban. Just be careful that you don’t get to close to the edge.

            1. If you wish to call someone else dumb first check your own IQ and then tell us that you opposed the Chinese Travel Ban explaining why. That requires thought so I don’t expect to hear from you.

      2. In order to make themselves relevant the media has a tendency to hype everything
        You are describing allan not the media

        1. It seems your aren’t very swift so I will let you live in your own dream world and instead respond to your other aliases.

    3. actually what is happening is Fauci is downplaying the enthusiasm that clinicians are showing for this. i can understand his perspective given his career experience which is impressive and historic.

      nonetheless at this time his cautionary remarks are being leveraged by you people into a false scandal. fake news in short. you want to grasp at any straw to defame trump. sad

        1. book, people attributing ill intent behind the president sharing information about this experimental therapy, are just behind the curve. it very much is a valid idea and doctors and their own patients may decide…..surely you’ve heard of the notion yes?


          “Medical group endorses hydroxychloroquine for ‘sufficiently severe’ coronavirus patients”

          1. Kurtz, unlike you apparently, I can go to the State Fair and not come back broke and missing a shoe.

            The validity or not of the drug is a matter for doctors and labs, not salesmen selling us a line.

            1. I didn’t quite follow your first sentence. Maybe this is some folk saying I can learn? please elaborate.

              Anyhow I just supplied proof that this is a valid therapy. You are calling Trump names and your point has been refuted. You should be pleased by this information that the therapy is promising and that Trump was not just playing sales rep for whomever. Or are you disappointed that your fears were unwarranted?

              1. “Promising” is not the same as a confirmed and safe option, since there are disputes among doctors about it’s effectiveness and safety. That makes it’s minor news, not the game changer Trump – and you – are claiming.

                1. you can’t prove a new drug therapy is safe and effective without the usual regime of testing which takes many months to arrange and execute. in the meantime, if it is worth a try, it may save lives. and its up to people and their doctors to give it a try or not

                  this is the usual song and dance about any experimental therapy. it may or may not work and it may or may not have whatever risks. medicine is not just science however it is also art. because time flies and people die and sometimes they might as well roll the dice. something might actually work before the FDA has fully approved of an off label use.

                  here there are reasons to believe that it may work for some patients,. you can read the doctors on the subject. i am not a doctor./

                2. i never used the words game changer., you’re putting words in my mouth. i said promising about ten times. and it is. i gave you the citation, explore it on your own and tell me tomorrow if I was exagerrating. promising is not even close to “game changer”

              1. Kurtz, why would I do that? I’m not a doctor and they disagree on it’s effectiveness and safety. You faulted the press for “politicizing” this issue, but are doing so yourself and are happy with Trump using it politically.

                Make up your mind.

                1. not at all. you have the resources that Seth was demanding earlier. proof essentially that it was being seriously considered and used by doctors as a therapy to treat covid. i supplied the proof. now you guys can just say thanks and take a look at it and tell me in all honesty I am wrong or not. promising experimental use is how i have described it and I am not selling anything for Sanofi or whomever the hell makes the stuff.

            2. The validity or not of the drug is a matter for doctors and labs, not salesmen selling us a line.

              I missed the event where President Trump told, suggested, implied, hinted, opined, or otherwise communicated any medical protocol not personally endorsed by him is not available for treatment. For a President that you would enjoy seeing tarred, feathered and run out on a rail, you certainly place a lot of stock in whatever says or does.

              Personally, I believe all of you at odds with whatever this President likes, should eliminate that from your potential treatment protocols. This would make certain your doctor is not prescribing a treatment plan that was influenced by President Trump.

              Now go out and lick some public metal. Show this President you know best.

      1. ” false scandal. fake news in short”

        Kurtz, that is all they have been doing for the past 3+ years. They are uncivil and do not believe in the Constitution or America.

  9. In spite of reports to the contrary, there are currently no reliable in-home diagnostic tests nor reliable PCR diagnostic tests for SARS-CoV-2. Anyone reporting that these are available, or might have been available had the CDC or FDA done “x, y or z” not following the science.

    Follow the science, not the news conglomerates driven for revenue


    Serologic Tests for SARS-CoV-2: First Steps on a Long Road

    March 31, 2020
    NEJM Watch

    Serologic tests being developed may aid diagnosis and management of COVID-19 and provide insights into the kinetics of the immune response.

    Three teams of investigators are developing serologic tests to answer key questions about SARS-CoV-2. Guo and colleagues looked at the kinetics of immunoglobulin M, (IgM), IgA, and IgG antibody response in infected patients using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA) based on SARS-CoV-2 viral nucleocapsid protein. The researchers assessed 208 plasma samples from 82 confirmed and 58 probable COVID-19 cases.

    Antibodies were found as early as 1 day after the onset of symptoms. IgM ELISA detected more cases than polymerase chain reaction (PCR) on day 5.5 of illness. The combination of IgM ELISA plus PCR detected 98.6% of cases versus 51.9% with a single PCR. During the first 5.5 days, PCR had higher positivity rate than IgM; the reverse was true after day 5.5. No cross reactivity was found with common coronaviruses that cause upper respiratory infections. In a family cluster, PCR-negative family contacts of COVID-19 cases had positive serologic assay, confirming the presence of antibodies in asymptomatic infection.

    Zhao and colleagues assessed total antibody, IgM antibody, and IgG antibody against SARS-CoV-2 on serial blood samples collected from 173 patients (median age, 48 years) with PCR-confirmed COVID-19 in Shenzhen, China. Plasma samples were tested using ELISA kits supplied by Beijing Wantai Biological Pharmacy Enterprise Co., Ltd., Beijing, China.

    In samples collected during the first 7 days after illness onset, positive rates were 66.7% for PCR and 38.3% for antibody assays. During the second week after illness onset, positive rates were 54.0% for PCR and 89.6% for antibody assays. The combined use of PCR and antibody testing improved identification of positivity through various phases of illness. Increases in antibody levels were not associated with RNA clearance, including in three patients with critical illness. A strong correlation was found between clinical severity and antibody titer more than 2 weeks after illness onset. Total antibody was more sensitive than IgM or IgG antibody.

    Li and colleagues developed a lateral flow immunoassay that detects IgM and IgG antibodies simultaneously and can test finger-prick blood, serum, and plasma. The point-of-care test provides results within 15 minutes and requires no special equipment. The assay was tested in six provinces in China on blood samples from 397 PCR-confirmed COVID-19 patients and on 128 negative patients.

    Overall sensitivity was 88.7%, and specificity was 90.6%. Several authors were affiliated with the company that developed the test (Jiangsu Medomics Medical Technology Co., Ltd., Nanjing, China).

  10. In the case of the “Wuhan Flu” Invasion, Congress may suspend Habeas Corpus, under which a requirement for authority to quarantine will be moot.

    The constitutional rights of individuals will be violated, individuals will be incarcerated and individuals will obtain no adjudication.

    Article 1, Section 9

    The Privilege of the Writ of Habeas Corpus shall not be suspended, unless when in Cases of Rebellion or Invasion the public Safety may require it.

  11. In the spirit of education and sharing (and, as it relates to Professor Turley’s post: especially as an encouragement towards civics and history education), I share the following:

    “Committed to the idea that education must “pay more attention, indeed the main intention, to the building of character, with emphasis on moral and ethical values,” he established schools and centers for education, service, and spiritual growth on college campuses and in communities across our Nation and around the world. His legacy and enduring commitment to young people continue as examples of selfless service and devotion for all who know the story of his purposeful life.

    Knowledge inspired by unwavering virtue and commitment to faith were central to the Lubavitcher Rebbe’s life and mission. When put into practice, these values empower people of all ages to fulfill their unique purpose, and in turn to enhance and enrich our great Nation. On this day, let us acknowledge that each person has a unique purpose that can be unleashed through an individual, whole-of-person approach to education, and let us renew our commitment to supporting education as a means by which individuals may grow their gifts, develop their talents, and fulfill their God-given potential. May we work to shape a brighter future by preserving these foundations of freedom and fellowship for generations to come.”

    I like to check out Chabad now and again and was surprised to find this link off their main page:



    1. Can’t join in on this one Rose. The Lubavitchers are a repressive sect trying to live a 19th century life and specialize in repressing women and isolating their members from outside influences, good or bad. I suggest you watch “One of Us” on Netflix for a look at the damage done to some young members. A long time ago a good friend’s father became a member and left his wife and family – lovely people – for their lack of purity. Abstractions like God were bigger than his flesh and blood.

      1. Oy vey book cut the chasidim some slack. there is little doubt that the Jewish people would have continued to exist at all over 3000 years since the babylonians destroyed the Temple without a strict focus on the Mosaic law and keeping the jots and tittles of it.

        I recommend a book from many years ago written by a secular Jew Alan Dershowitz which elaborates the topic of how the observance of the jewish religion is integral to the success of the Jewish Diaspora in purely material terms

        1. Fine, but real people are damaged by this movement and they represent a small segment of Jews worldwide who have managed to succeed, excel, lead, and live ethical and moral lives without the repression. They have a right to exist, but their beliefs and practices are odious, as are many other true believing religious extremists.

            1. Thanks Kurtz, I’ll read the article later. I’m a goy as well, but married into the community (not Hasidic)

          1. but real people are damaged by this movemen

            Real people are damaged in every sort of subculture and cultural system. You wouldn’t notice if you did not object a priori.

            1. Real people are damaged in many, but not “every” subculture. This particular one was brought up by someone else and I have a personal experience as well as particular knowledge confirming it’s damage to innocents.

              1. ” I have a personal experience as well as particular knowledge confirming it’s damage to innocents.”

                Let’s hear about that personal experience and particular knowledge since you are claiming expertise.

                1. Allan doesn’t think anyone will notice he switched out the words ‘experience’ and ‘expertise’ because Perry Mason never got caught at it, so he’s all good.

                  1. Anon was using his experience as proof of superior knowledge or expertise.There is no way one could consider him an expert since he deals in annecdotes and never follows through with the evidence. You do exactly the same.

                    Now it is time for you to run away again.

                    1. My guess he was using his experience as his experience. You came in with the lame deflection visible from a mile away. Fastball with absolutely no movement.

                    2. “My guess he was using his experience as his experience.”

                      Buy a dictionary or get an education.

                      Better yet we can ” hear about that personal experience and particular knowledge since you are claiming expertise”.

                      Time for you to run away again.

                    3. “I’m really sprinting now. Bahahahaha.

                      To improve the accuracy of your words substitute stinking for sprinting.

              2. Real people are damaged in many, but not “every” subculture.

                Nope, pretty much every one. All you have to do is look around you. You don’t do that.

                1. Interesting theory one guesses has to do with original sin since we are all parts of “subcultures” of one kind or another, even The Beave.

        2. Anon hates anyone who doesn’t look or act like him and makes *broad* based decisions based on his anecdotes rather than reality. He doesn’t believe in free choice.

            1. You never had to put up with NYC either. People outside of the coastal metropolises seem to have more common sense. Anon lives outside of them so he is a bit of an outlier except for the fact that NYC’s tenticles reach far and wide.

              1. He lives in the burg River Phoenix and his family settled in when they returned from their peculiar sojourn in Latin America.

                Phoenix was a youth of considerable talent who died of multi-drug intoxication outside a West Hollywood nightclub. We won’t be hearing Gainesville enlarging on how damaging his various subcultures were to him. (The nightclub was called ‘The Viper Room’).

                1. Been to the Viper Room a few times in my late teens, early 20s, seedy joint. I think Depp was part owner. Maybe still is, who knows.

                2. ???

                  I don’t live in River Phoenix’s “burg”, but if I did that would not somehow make me responsible for accounting his experiences and failings.

              1. If you could read accurately you would note that he was talking about Anon.You are silently included but to understand how is something beyond your intellectual reach.

                Now you can run away again.

                1. Of course he was, but his grammar left it open, so why not take the opportunity to point out the description fit you. So in the interests of accuracy we might as well call it like it is.

                  1. “Of course he was, but his grammar left it open”

                    So in other words you take every opportunity to lie.

                    Run away again.

      2. Bythebook,
        Your good friend’s father made a mistake. He focused on the wrong kind of purity and seemed to have forgotten kindness. He shouldn’t have abandoned his family.

        I like the site because it does provide interesting articles on some elements of Torah study–I agree with some aspects and disagree with others.

        For example, I thought the discussion about whether or not a fridge water dispenser could be used during Passover was an example of purity going a bit too far. Requiring pots and pans either be specially cleaned, bought brand new, or only be used during Passover, I thought was a bit too far. It seemed out-of-balance. They have freedom of religion and if that is what speaks to their souls, fine. I think some ceremony is important for imbuing events with respect, dignity, honor, and importance, but too much drains the overall meaning.

        I guess that’s why I consider myself more-or-less but not quite Methodist.

        Thank you for the film recommendation. I will look into it.

        I included the link because I was surprised to find on this particular site an announcement about Education and Sharing Day rather than information on Hebrew school.

        People need to be reminded of their unique purposes. I liked both these concepts:

        “pay more attention, indeed the main intention, to the building of character, with emphasis on moral and ethical values”

        “On this day, let us acknowledge that each person has a unique purpose that can be unleashed through an individual, whole-of-person approach to education, and let us renew our commitment to supporting education as a means by which individuals may grow their gifts, develop their talents, and fulfill their God-given potential.”

        While schools still, in many ways aim to educate many facets of a person–reading (of Great Books), writing, ‘rithmatic, history, science, art, music, movement, there has become a burdensome focus on testing, testing, testing. President Trump would do well to encourage Congress to roll things back to before NCLB. Heck, I don’t know how much he could do himself, considering a lot of that garbage is housed in the Department of Education. Encourage excellence via the Renaissance Man model.

        1. Prairie, yes it was a mystery almost because my friends father was a very smart and personable guy – not a hermit – who we all liked and his wife was a saint – maybe that can be a problem. I think he made an effort to enlist them (2 kids in their late teen years, I was very young) and then that was it. He had to renounce his marriage and he was gone. My wife has a cousin who is a member and she periodically sends newsletters, though less frequently – I hope she is well and it is only because we weren’t responding.

          That film is very upsetting. One character is a young woman – in her 30s – with 7 kids and very pretty. She rebels against the restricted life she was brought up in though obviously a devoted and serious person and her husband with the organized aid of the community – they brag they can afford the best lawyers because they band together – face off with her in custody hearing.

          1. it may be that some Jewish people feel about the Chasidim, the way that some goys feel about Jewish people.

            Tight in group, religious identity, lots of rules, mutually self benefiting– this is how a lot of looser groups, feel about rival groups which are tighter.

            likewise other ethnic groups which have a sort of religious core, have a similar dynamic: people at the edges feel resentment towards a stricter core group, who seem privileged. bigotry is perceived flowing in both directions!

            there is an interesting topic both in social studies in general, that is to say, how groups form and compete against each other, in group and outgroup; and specifically as it relates to jewish people

            here is a book by an evolutionary psychologist who later in his life was actually accused of being an antisemite himself, although at the time the book was published it was well received. certainly the book is very well researched and yes i have read it carefully in an earlier time of my life when such specifics captivated me. right now, I am more indifferent.


            the same dynamics appear in a lot of different social circles. the key concept for my simplistic mind is that social life is full of resource competition. and much of it happens in very subtle ways

Leave a Reply