THE DON JONES INDEX…

  

 NOTE: Consequences of the Coronavirus (disappearance or inaccuracy of data, internet inaccessibility etc.) mean that this index will not be appearing weekly but rather biweekly, or monthly, or not at all.  We hope such readers as we have remain healthy and/or, as the religionists say, “see you on the other side”.  After all, how much worse can Hell be than another Georgia summer?

 

GAINS POSTED in GREEN

LOSSES POSTED in RED

 

 

7/22/20…  13,466.26                 7/15/20…  13,500.00                 6/27/13…  15,000.00

 

 

(THE DOW JONES INDEX:  7/22/20…26,903.35; 7/15/20… 26,642.19; 6/27/13… 15,000.00)

 

LESSON for July 22, 2020 – GOOD TROUBLE?

 

The plague is still racking up victims, but here’s one for the good guys… professional baseball begins tomorrow.  Sort of, to be sure… no human beings in the stands, cardboard cutouts (and how long until some wag working in the clubhouse sticks a Hitler or a Trump or a Charlie Manson silhouette in the cheap seats along with the sex dolls that are showing up in certain arenas), piped-in crowd noises from games past and played out on ESPN, masked marvels in the outfield.  No spitballs, either, and no getting in the umpire’s face.  Still, it’ll be baseball, won’t it?  America’s game?  Just a glimmer of hope that this long, international nightmare will come to an end, some day…

But not the American partisanship.  Which is why the Washington Nationals will kick off the abbreviated (60 game) season by letting a real celebrity throw out the first ball… Dr. Anthony S. Fauci of the National Institute of Health.

“Tony”, for those who’ve been self-quarantining in their basements for the past ninety-some days, is the head of the National Institute of Health and an unlikely celebrity.  Fauci, who has worked under six US presidents from both parties and was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2008, has, according to CNN, emerged as “the most visible public health advocate during the pandemic” and surveys consistently find that he is more trusted than Trump. He's also emerged as something of a pop culture icon over the past few months, from being impersonated by Brad Pitt on "Saturday Night Live" to appearing on Instagram live chats about coronavirus with celebrities such as NBA star Steph Curry.

 

In Style, the ritzy magazine for glitzy social climbers profiled him in its most recent issue as a hipster in aviator shade, not afraid to wade into the swamp.  “With all due modesty,” he told Norah O’Donnell (Attachment Six) “I think I’m pretty effective. I certainly am energetic. And I think everybody thinks I’m doing more than an outstanding job. I have a wife with incredibly good judgment, who will probably give me the signal when it’s time to step down. But I don’t think we’re anywhere near that right now.”

 

 

But one place where the good doctor is not apparantly welcomed (despite his putative membership on the Vice President’s Coronavirus Task Force... in conjunction with Operation Warp Speed) is the White House.

The knives are out for Anthony S. Fauci inside the White House,” the liberal WashPost alleges in a series of exposes dating back months.  (See Attachment One A) Not only has Fauci found himself frozen out by President Trump in recent weeks, but Trump’s aides are circulating talking points (presumably of those knives) “attacking his past statements about the coronavirus pandemic.”

“Less attention has focused on how deranged it is that Fauci has become the enemy,” the Post editorialized (See Attachment One B)… “Fauci has become the enemy, of course, because he has prioritized his efforts to understand a pandemic that has killed nearly 135,000 Americans (as of a week ago Monday) and sickened millions over the imperative of protecting Trump politically at all costs.”

CNN (Attachment Two) reported that the policy dispute has become personal… “The tension between the two men -- who are no longer speaking, CNN reported last week -- has grown publicly as they have responded to one another through interviews and statements.”  Hopeful hopers hoped that the re-ignition of the Vice President’s (actually, Trump’s) task force but, in yesterday’s return from exile, Djonald Unmasked (but open to persuasion) did all of the talking while Fauci practiced his pitching and task forcer Dr. Deborah Birx was made to wait out in the hall, then told to go away.

Even Republicans are worried.  Trump sycophant Lindsay Graham, echoing those insurance customers besieged by the hair band Ratt, told Business Insider that "We don't have a Fauci problem," while White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany denied this week that the talking points are opposition research and insisted that Trump and Fauci have "a good working relationship."  (See Attachment Three)

For his part, the President has been largely leaving the knifeplay to surrogates.  He tweeted a scurrilous (but admittedly funny) cartoon drawn by artist and notorious anti-Semite Ben Garrison (whose work is adored by many alt-right “figures and trolls”) and posted by aide and former golf caddy Dan Scavino .  More recently, Trump let fellow game and reality show host Chuck Woolery handle the bladework (See Politico, Attachment Four).

An underreported problem (as if there weren’t plenty already) is the concern… well, dismay… well, face it, outright horror at the American charade by our friends overseas… what remains of them; our enemies are ecstatic at the dismal research security it has engendered with both Russian (Cozy Bear) and Chinese (Cozy Panda) military hackers feasting on American efforts to develop a vaccine, a cure, or both.

An administration at war with its own scientific and medical experts in the middle of a pandemic that is once again on the upswing,” warned the BBC’s Anthony Zurcher (See Attachments 5, A and B) “makes developing a cohesive strategy - one that the public trusts and will follow - challenging, to say the least.”

 

 

A career official, Dr Fauci has advised six presidents - Republican and Democratic - on health issues, including the HIV/AIDs epidemic.

He has been the director of the National Institutes of Health Allergy and Infectious Diseases division since 1984.

 

 

Dr. Fauci first came to the attention of this Index back around the first of March – when the plague count was 3 (one, two, three!) American deaths and most worried worriers worried that the plague might destroy (or at least disturb) the cruise ship industry, the Don’s “Health” index fell 16 points to 577.80 and Joe Biden was duking it out with Tom Steyer… remember him!... in South Carolina.  Already well into his Doctor Doom mode, Tony’s first New Normal prediction was that a vaccine wouldn’t be available for at least another year.

On the twelfth of March, Fauci first crossed swords with the current President when he called the Federal reaction to the plague “failing”… a rather mild epithet compared to Trump’s subsequent retorts.  (The next day, the Dow would “celebrate” Friday the 13th with yet another tumble to 21,636.73 and, as the Washington Monument, DisneyWorld and innumerable sports events shut down and Tom Hanks caught the coronavirus, he and the President would enjoy a rare moment of concord in banning travel to and from China (which venture would earn him the designation of “racist” from the politically correct who would soon become his most fervent (and fevered) adherents.

Within a week, however, the Doctor and the President would be feuding again… this time over Trump’s promise that all would be copasetic and America would have a grand re-opening by Easter.  A Rochester donut shop declared which side they were on by introducing the first of many Fauci tributes… his own donut.  A few days later, the President pushed his celebration day back to Mayday and Doctor Doom responded with a prediction of 100,000 to 200,000 deaths (which prediction seems rather mild, given present circumstances). 

March bowed out with a toll of 184,183 infected and 3,040 dead – the St. Louis Fed predicting an eventual 32% unemployment rate.  Our corresponding selection from the end of Part One of Camus’ “Le Peste” contained only one sentence…  “The telegram ran: Proclaim a state of plague stop Close the town.”

On April Fools’ Day, Johns Hopkins… which would become America’s leading chronicler of the dead and drying reported that cases had risen to 206,000, deaths to 4,633.  Fauci went back to his work, emerging only on April 12th, after the President proposed his “Opening Our Country” festival = countering with what he calls a “rolling re-entry”, perhaps beginning in May.  Or June.  Or later.  Experts disputed experts… CV originated with eating pangolins, or bats.  Or, said  MAGAmen, it was a Chinese military plot to destroy the West.  Incensed, Djonald Unchained proposed firing the Foush, but was talked out of it by staffers – already worried that a hard line anti-science stance would hurt his re-election prospects (and their continued employment). 

Democrats quickly took up the anti-Fauci banner.  When the Doctor asserted that the plague could not be eradicated by: “turning on a light switch”, California’s. Gov. Newsome: one-upped the medicine man by proclaiming that the cure – when and what it would eventually be, was “not a light switch, it’s a dimmer.”  And after President Trump suddenly reversed course, devolving testing to the states,  Fauci boasted that the Feds were testing 1.5 to 2M per week, to which liberal pundint George Stephanopoulos retorted that we need 20M per week.

By now, Trump’s MAGAmen were deep in their conspiracy theories that the plague had been created by either the Chinese, or by liberals… George Soros frequently mentioned… to destroy America. Masks, testing, social distancing… all were a part and parcel of the Illuminati plot.  Some members of the Lunateriat… stage left… hailed the pandemic as a blessing because there were fewer cars on the road in places like Los Angeles, thus: worldwide pollution was down. 

By Earth Day, April 22nd, nearly fifty thousand Americans had died of the plague, and the President notched his first kill…  firing his Virology Czar, Dr. Rick Bright of BARDA (the Biometical Advanced Research and Development Authority) and promising to re-open National Parks.  HHS Sec. Azar replaced Bright with a Labradoodle breeder even as dog quarantines were proposed inasmuch as more lions, tigers and housecats sickened  Credentialed enemies, however, were popping up like whack-a-docs… CDC head Robert Redfield trumped Fauci by predicting a second wave of plague worse than the present in the winter, cohabiting with the flu and the President’s global nemesis (the now-defunded World Health Organization… WHO)  was defended by “Billionaire Bill” Gates, who went on television with a strange, white pulsing growth on his forehead and called a proposed vaccine “the final solution” (while denying a conspiracy of scientists and billionaires to cleanse the Earth and teturn it to the pastoral peace and calm of the Jurassic Age).

Brad Pitt played the good doctor on a SNL skit.

President Trump, for his part, suggested that concerned Americans drink bleach.

According to POTUS, Fauci and Nancy Pelosi go “dancing in the streets” of an unnamed Chinatown (in San Francisco?  New York?  China?) as the Doc states that Remdesivir is a better drug than Trump’s beloved Hydrochloroquin.

Mayday arrives.  Drs. Fauci (NIH), Redfield (CDC) and Hahn (FDA) all get it and, hereafter, are televised from quarantine… and that rather rarely when at all… except when Fauci warns that premature opening will lead to “suffering and death.”  Trump says Dr. Fauci “plays all sides” on school reopening and is probably a Democrat… other Republicans are split over Fauci – Mitt Romney fancies him, Rand Paul doesn’t. 

Emerging from his Quarantine Anon, the Doc says “football may not happen this year,” prompting President Trump to reply “Fauci has nothing to do with football.”  On June 23rd, with post-Floyd racial strife rivaling the plague as the topic of discussion and division, Dr. Fauci testifies before Congress – calling the next few weeks “critical”.  By the end of June, WHO says “the worst is yet to come,” the CDC denounces “wishful thinking” and Fauci predicts a rise to 100,000 new cases every day.  (So far, the toll has topped out at 77,000 last Friday.

July rolls in with the case count averaging around 50,000 and Dr. Fauci acquires a new sparring partner… when he says that it’s “a spike in cases beyond the worst spiking we’ve ever seen”, Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick (R-Tx) scoffs “We don’t have to listen to Fauci anymore.”  The plague declines to co-operate, and, with new cases topping 50K for the second straight day, Fauci raises the spectre of mutations.  The Fourth comes and goes without the glorious celebrations that POTUS had predicted… “We are still knee deep in the first wave of this,” Dr. Fauci decrees as cases climb to within a cough of three million.  President Trump pulls America out of the World Health Organization for predicting more diseases jumping from animals to people and issues Dire Predictions that wearing masks will save 50,000 lives… his Veep’s Operation Warp Speed picks a vaccine winner… Novovax… and commits $1.6 billion for 100 Million Doses.  

Last Wednesday, the American infection toll passed three million and a new controversy comes to the fore… whether or not to reopen the schools on time, on schedule… plague be damned.  And Don Jones and the little Joneses are damned too, if they do, or if they don’t.  Sending the children off to school probably won’t put too many of the little buggers at risk (although current medical dogma holds that children can and do get the plague) – the bulk of the risk is to the teachers who are justifiably reluctant to take a viral bullet for the team, the way that nurses and hospital janitors are doing.  Seen too much.  But online learning is rather risky as regards the preparation of our nation’s future to do the jobs of the future and, besides, an estimated quarter of public school families cannot afford the internet, and so will be left behind to grow up as ignorant as… well… some of the politicians who deny the reality.

On Friday, Fauci’s sometime-collaborator, sometime-competitor the Centers for Disease Control made a prediction of 160K dead by August first, which prediction seems likely to be off by ten thousand corpses or thereabouts.  The doctor himself remained in seclusion… which only seemed to bolster his reputation among Americans tired of the politicians and their lies: a horse trainer dubbed his favorite colt “Fauci” and the animal promptly won its maiden race in Kentucky.

Another week passed, as did more Americans, and the good doctor remained in seclusion – temporarily absent from the President’s now-nonexistant coronavirus conferences, meetings and media blitzes, unseen (if not unwanted) by the ravenous press.  But not, apparently, out of the fevered mind of the President, who continued to tweet a barrage of insults, the vilest (and funniest, because it was somebody else’s work) being Internet troll Danyel Scarvino’s poster (see the cartoon) calling out “Doctor Faucet”, for all his leaks to the left-wing media, a cowardly quack on the order of the mountebanks and fortune tellers DeFoe so despised. 

So, as the President walks back his Easter proclamation to Mayday… as we reported in last week’s Lesson… the ghost always at his side (even when being barred from his public appearances) remains Doctor Fauci, whose latest doomsay scenario is, well, doomsiful.

You see, the CV is one of those bugs that thrive in cold, damp weather and this has given rise to a number of politico-medical experts who say that it will pop in a cloud of dust come May (or June, July, whatever).  But Dr. Fauci has now laid upon Don Jones’ table the prospects that the plague will rage and ravage for a while, and then seem to go away… only to return in 2021, more lethal and plague-i-er than ever.  He calls this cycling… the Black Death endured over several years in several places, disappearing, then returning again and again.

It’s sort of like a bad winter storm that punches a locality hard, then moves on – but the tail of the swirling, spirular storm slaps back days or even weeks later in what meteorologists call the “wraparound effect”.  The viral equivalent is a disease that walks right in, does its business, then walks right out… usually proceeding to a less developed space.  Thus New York, formerly the epicenter of CV, is now relatively clean where the new hotspots are Miami, Phoenix and here and there in Texas.  And, as we noted some weeks ago,  rural America is getting it.  And then, say the rosy scenarists, it will be gone.

Or will it?  Just as the American hot zones are big, transit crossroads, the nations with the worst effects are those with people who went to China and returned.  An Italian coughed on a Spaniard, who sneezed on a Brit and so on through Europe. 

“To date,” we reiterate, “the CV has been a disease of the Northern Hemisphere.  This will not last.”  India has been inching up the the plague scoreboard… Africa, Latin America and the MidEast are all fertile territories for the little sphere with all the stickers to seek and stab more victims and the toll among the unprepared, the unrich and the unsanitary should be greater, even, than America’s.

And Anthony Fauci will always be with us, reminding us that things can… and will… get worse.

 

Inasmuch as the other boiling-hot topic... American race relations... drew more reflection upon the death of Congressman and former Freedom Marcher John Lewis, whose long and distinguished career earned him medals and plaudits – and over forty arrests, which encounters with the law he called “good trouble”.  By contrast, Tony Fauci may be having himself a whale of a good, troubling time with his celebrity ballplaying and glossy magazine notoriety... he’s been married for years but, hey, it would seem that Kim Kardashian is going to be available once Kanye moves to either the White House or Bug House, and how about those sexy selfies from 78 year old ex-con Martha Stewart... but for America (and the world) the trouble between Doctor and Dictator... er, President... is not good.

It is bad trouble.  If personal hatred so infests and infects Mister Trump than he cannot work with Dr. Fauci, he should fire him from the joke of a task force and find some other sawbones with access to the same information and disseminate it in a bland, robotic monotone, so as to dampen the suicidal, homicidal and germicidal enthusiasm of his base, which is bollixing up both our economic and medical recovery process with its mask-burnings and teenage pool parties as thoroughly as the more depraved and desperate Londoners did three centuries back when Daniel deFoe penned his “Journal” or further back to 1666, when they had to contend with not only the bubonic plague, but war, a royal deposition and, soon thereafter, fire by succoring a plague of fortune tellers and conspiracy theorists who, the author of Crusoe and Moll Flanders does note, had all disappeared by the winding-down of the disease.

Flash forward to the Kentucky couple enjoying their fifteen seconds of fame during house arrest after Hubby contacted the plague but insisted on resuming his old habit of hitting the bars and coughing in the faces of neighbors, strangers and old people.

      He:    “There is no pandemic.”  (it’s just a little... cough cough... ticklish feeling)

    She:    “I can’t  put my life on hold because you’re scared.”

(She was holding, by the way, an infant... presumably theirs.)

If nothing else, can the President be made aware that the more of his base that dies off, the more likely old Basement Joe will be running the country for the next four years (or, quite likely, whichever angry black woman he chooses to replace Pence).

And Jack Parnell’s recommendation on how to bring the partying and the plague to a screeching halt is to deliver this message to the parents of America…

“Take away their #*@%$ keys!

With another two weeks before we can return to Camus let’s hold on to deFoe’s “Journal of the Plague Year” and, in particular, his reaction to the plague, masking and social distancing denialists of 1666… the fortune tellers, soothsayers and quacks who remain ever among us, even today, waging a fierce (although apparently losing, with the President’s capitulation to muskiness) battled with science and medicine and the values upheld by Dr. Fauci, by the CDC and even despised WHO.

Mask and social distance “denialists” have been, increasingly, mirroring some of the fortune tellers and soothsayers that deFoe decried in his “Journal”.  (The New Yorker compared CV denialism to the Balkan wars and Bill Gates denied he plans to exploit the plague to insert mind control chips in victims.)

 

 

JULY 15 – 21, 2020

 

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

 

   Infected: 3,495, 596

            Dead: 137,106

         Dow:  26,870.10

 

A glimmer of hope amid the darkness… Moderna’s new vaccine  Still, CDC’s Dr. Redfield warns that the rest of 2020 will be bad.  Trump’s travels: he defends the Confederate flat and white couple defending their home with guns, says white people are also shot by police.  He also recruits trade Czar Peter Navarro to attack Dr. Fauci and fires his campaign manager Brad Parscale, but backs off on deporting online foreign students.

 “It was now mid-July,, and the plague, which had chiefly raged at the other end of the town and, as I said before, in the parishes of St. Giles, St. Anrew’s, Holborn, and towards Westminster, began to now come eastward towards the part where I lived… the apprehensions of the people were likewise strangely increased by the error of the times in which, I think, the people, from what principle I cannot imagine, were more addicted to prophecies and astrological conjurations, dreams and old wives’ tales than ever they were before or since”

Thursday, July 16, 2020

 

   Infected: 3,495, 596

            Dead: 137,106

         Dow:  26,870.10

     

Running for re-election, Sen. David Perdue alleges that his opponent wants to destroy the “American Dream” while his Governor, therein, Brian Kemp sues city of Atlanta and Mayor Bottoms over mandatory masking: “We don’t need mandates to make people do right.”  You Tube celebrity Jake Paul hosts a Covid party at which a boy toy says: “I’m, young, I’m reckless, I do what I want.”  New hotspots include Alabama and Arkansas and Amazon’s best selling book continues to be Mary Trump’s expose of old Uncle Donald – along with John Bolton’s “Room” and, soon, a hit piece on Melania.

“…(B)ooks frighted them terribly, such as Lilly’s Almanack, Cadbury’s Astrological Predictions, Poor Robin’s Almanack, and the like, also several pretended religious books, one entitled, Come out of her, my People, lest you be Partaker of her Plagues; another called Fair Warning, another Britain’s Remembrancer; and many such, all, or most part of which, foretold, directly or covertly, the ruin of the city.”

Friday, July 17, 2020

 

 

    Infected: 3,627,057

            Dead: 137,106

         Dow:  26,870.10

    New Cases: 77,000

 

 

 

Thursday’s one day toll of 77,000 new cases smashes July 10th record of 67,000.  India slithers (like a cobra?) up to third place in the Plague Poll, behind only America and Brazil… Russia, apparently busy with hacking American virologists to steal technology they’re too stupid to create, falls out of the top three.  Domestically, the new spikespots are Idaho, Montana and Oklahoma (the latter perhaps as a result of Tulsa’s not-so-massive, but almost wholly unmasked Trump rally back in the day) and doctors are urging the Red Zone (mostly red) States across the southern tier of America from California to Florida (New Mexico excepted) to de-reopen.   Twenty vaccines have now entered the human testing Derby… Oxford UK and Moderna, US.

“Some endeavours were used to suppress the printing of such books as terrified the people, and to drighten the dispersers of them, some of whom were taken up, but nothing was done in it, as I am informed, the Government being unwilling to exasperate the people, who were, as I may say, all out of their wits already.”

Saturday, July 18, 2020

 

 Infected: 3,700,000 m/l

            Dead: 140,103

        

   

Covid cases reported up 20% in just one week.  Gov. Ron deSantis (R-Fl) defends school reopening by asserting children can’t get it while, in Texas, 80 infants get it.  Mystery post-Covid syndrome strikes “long haulers”… truckers who still have symptoms months after alleged “cure”.  Anti-maskers rally (and cough) in Ohio while long-time teachers are quitting both physical (plague fear) and online (“I miss the kids”) schools.  Friends, enemies and strangers pay tribute to Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga), remembering the violent days of the Freedom Marches and comparing them to the current strife in Portland and elsewhere.

“It was, indeed, a time of very unhappy breaches among us in matters of religion.  Innumerable sects, and divisions, and separate opinions prevailed among the people.  The Church of England was restored, indeed, with the restoration of the monarchy about four years before, but the ministers and preachers of the Presbyterians and Independents, and of all other sorts of professions, had begun to gather separate societies and erect altar against altar, and all those had their meetings for worship apart, as they have now, but not so many then, the Dissenters being not formed thoroughly into a body as they are since; and those congregation which were thus gathered together were yet but few.  And even those that were, the Government did not allow, but endeavored to suppress them and shut up their meetings.”

 

Sunday, July 19, 2020

 

            Dead: 140,395

CDCs Dr. Redfield advocates mask mandates in 19 red zone (and mostly red) states.  A Football Doctor avers that if everybody wears masks, there will be a downturn by September and a normal season… MLB begins exhibition games; Mets and Yankees play to cardboard cutouts and recorded crowd noise.  President Trump threatens to defund CDC and tells Fox’s Chris Wallace young people only get the “sniffles”.  Then he denounces the crooked, liberal polls, hints he may not accept defeat in November and says “(the plague) is going to disappear and I’ll be right,” and Wallace visibly laughs.

“One mischief always introduces another.  These terrors and apprehensions of the people led them into a thousand weak, foolish and wicked things, which they wanted not a sort of people really wicked to encourage them to: and this was running about to fortune-tellers, cunning-men, and astrologers to know their fortune or, as it is vulgarly expressed, to have their fortunes told them, their nativities calculated, and the like; and this folly presently made the town swarm with a wicked generation of pretenders to magic; to the black art, as they called it, and I know now what; nay, to a thousand worse dealings with the devil than they were really guilty of.”

Monday, July 20, 2020

 

    Infected: 3,825,153

            Dead: 140,935

         Dow:  26,628.73

   

Oxford’s Astra Zeneca takes a lead over Moderna in 23 vaccine field.  ADPH (Alabana Department of Public Health) ranks the states for positive testings.  President Trump, apparently renouncing the drinking of bleach, dons a “patriotic” mask in photo op, calls the Confederate flag a “proud symbol of the South” and then pivots on plague, vowing to resume daily task force meetings while Surgeon General Jerome Adams denies some of the more outlandish anti-mask conspiracies.  “If children get it,” says Governor Mike Parsons (R-Mo), “they will go home and get over it.”  Kentucky and S. Carolina become the latest spikestates – Texas improves a smidgen, Florida not at all.

“…so they were as mad as running after quacks and mountebanks and every old woman, for medicines and remedies; storing themselves with such multitudes of pills, potions and preservatives, as they were called, that they not only spent their money but even poisoned themselves before hand for fear of the poison of the infection; and prepared their bodies for the platue, instead of preserving them against it.”

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

 

    Infected: 3,858,686

            Dead: 141,426

         Dow:  26,840.40

    New Cases: 57,666

While conspiracy cringers dominate polls revealing that only 57% of Americans would take a safe vaccine, the national media is awash in tributes to the late Congressman Lewis and puzzlement perks over the strange antics of newly minted Presidential contender Kanye West, a few brave Pollyannas note the drop in new cases from the horrific toll of the previous week (the CDC reiterates its contention that infections are being underreported by a factor of at least ten) and America commits $1.2B to its new vaccine of choice… the Astra Zeneca injections being developed over the pond at Oxford.  Doctors fingered a new villain – air conditioners that spread the plague through homes and workplaces and, as the West burned and triple digit temperatures afflicted the East, relief seemed far, far away.  Even President Trump, reconvening his CV task force with few tasks and less force (Dr. Fauci would say that he’d not been invited) admits that masks might be a “patriotic” thing to wear for those who cannot… for whatever reason… practice social distancing.  Governors mull re-closing bars, restaurants, shops and such, but it’s time to “Play Ball!” in America and Fauci will throw out the first pitch.

(Forward to September, 1665): “One thing I cannot omit here, and indeed I thought it was extraordinary, at least it seemed a reasonable hand of divine justice, viz. that all the predictors, astrologers, fortune-tellers and what they called cunning-men, conjurors and the like calculators of nativities and dreamers of dreams, and such people were gone and vanished; not one of them was to be found… I never heard of one of them that ever appeared after the calamity was over.”

Trump’s one-man Task Force press conference was notable for the perversely probable poll-driven POTUS pivot on masks… Djonald Unmasked (but ambivalent, if not amiable) stating repeatedly that America would put down the “China Virus” whereupon China gave the beleaguered incumbent a boost by an inept attempt at stealing medical secrets and then holding a bonfire at their Houston embassy before being escorted off the premises and dispatched onto a (presumably slow) boat home.

 

With our “Health” category sinking almost into oblivion (67.65 on July 8 before a suspension last week) as a result of the plague, a correction had to be made to preserve the integrity of the Index (such as it is) and what it was was to time travel back to January 1, 2020 when the Health Index was 509.31 (down, over the years from 600 due to the myriad unhealthy habits of Don Jones).  Given that the July 15th Index would probably have fallen at least another 20%, what we did was to set an arbitrary closeout value of 59.31 which, subtracted from the January 1st figure, resulted in a manageable sum of Plus 450 for “Health”, Minus 450 for a (hopefully temporary) new category, “Plague”.  Hereafter, Health will consider only non-statistical developments in the field, Plague will take the infection and death rates and measure them against a non-apocalyptic standard for long as the coronavirus continues to hold sway over the human populations of America and the world.  When it inevitably starts to decline… whether on Labor Day, Christmas, 2021 or 2025 or later, we’ll tweak again.  The important thing is that the Don, liberated from the albatross of infection, will continue to take the temperature of the nation without smashing the thermometers.

Our analytics of new cases and deaths will remain the same.

Given the incremental, but welcome, decrease in unemployment and the continued robust braggadocio of the Dow… critics calling Wall Street profiteering “almost indecent”, we’re going to leave our economic categories be to see what develops over the coming weeks.

As to the developments this week, there was at least a glimmer of optimism yesterday and today as the new infection rates, while still soaring, were not soaring as high as a week ago.  Deaths, however, are up – and can be expected to climb as they lag an average of two weeks (but sometimes up to two months) behind new infections.  Partisans continue to assert that the reason for the climbing is the increase in testing, and that may be so, but local officials are still rolling back their rollback of social distancing… closing bars, mandating masks, ratcheting up the criminal penalties.  (It will be interesting to see what happens when the Mask Police try to break up street parties in angry, gang-infested low-income black and Latino neighborhoods, and who will be taking potshots at whom.)

 

THE DON JONES INDEX

 

 

                CHART of CATEGORIES w/VALUE ADDED to EQUAL BASELINE of 15,000

 

                                (REFLECTING… approximately… DOW JONES INDEX of June 27, 2013)

 

                                                          See a further explanation of categories here                       

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                                                 ECONOMIC INDICES (60%)

 

 

DON JONES’ PERSONAL ECONOMIC INDEX (45% of TOTAL INDEX POINTS)

 

 

CATEGORY

VALUE

BASE

 

RESULTS

 

SCORE

SCORE

      OUR SOURCE(S) and COMMENT

 

  INCOME

(24%)

6/27/13

LAST

CHANGE

NEXT

7/15/20

 7/22/20

                             SOURCE

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Wages (hourly, per capita)

9%

1350 pts.

7/15/20

nc

7/29/20

1,402.63

1,402.63

http://www.tradingeconomics.com/united-states/wages  24.74

 

Median Income (yearly)

4%

600

7/15/20

+0.16%

7/29/20

626.80

626.80

debtclock.org/    33,203

 

Unempl. (BLS – in millions

4%

600

7/15/20

 -2.78%

7/29/20

180.67

180.67

http://data.bls.gov/timeseries/LNS14000000   11.1%

 

Official (DC – in millions)

2%

300

7/15/20

-0.14%

7/29/20

219.01

219.32

http://www.usdebtclock.org/ 17,685

 

Total. (DC – in millions)

2%

300

7/15/20

-0.17%

7/29/20

197.44

197.78

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    28,662

 

Workforce Participation

Number (in millions)

Percentage (DC)

2%

300

7/15/20

 

+0.28%

+0.01%

7/29/20

301.14

301.11

In 142,283  Out 100,410 Total: 242,693

http://www.usdebtclock.org/  58.63

 

WP Percentage (ycharts)*

1%

150

7/15/20

+1.15%

7/29/20

151.96

151.96

http://ycharts.com/indicators/labor_force_participation_rate  61.50

 

OUTGO

(15%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Total Inflation

7%

1050

7/15/20

+0.6%

7/29/20

1038.33

1038.33

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     +0.6

 

Food

2%

300

7/15/20

+0.6%

7/29/20

283.56

283.56

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     +0.6

 

Gasoline

2%

300

7/15/20

+12.3%

7/29/20

401.94

401.94

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     +12.3

 

Medical Costs

2%

300

7/15/20

+0.5%

7/29/20

290.82

290.82

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     +0.5

 

Shelter

2%

300

7/15/20

+0.1%

7/29/20

296.70

296.70

http://www.bls.gov/news.release/cpi.nr0.htm     +0.1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WEALTH

(6%)

 

 

Dow Jones Index

2%

300

7/15/20

+0.98%

7/29/20

287.61

290.42

https://quotes.wsj.com/index/DJIA  26,903.35

 

 

Sales (homes)

Valuation (homes)

1%

1%

150

150

6/25/20

+ 20.72%

+ 3.76%

7/29/20

   109.62                

154.48                   

   132.33                

160.29                   

http://www.realtor.org/research-and-statistics

     Sales (M):  4.72 Valuations (K):  295.3

 

Debt (Personal)

2%

300

7/15/20

-0.63%

7/29/20

292.23

290.40

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    62,226

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

             AMERICAN ECONOMIC INDEX (15% of TOTAL INDEX POINTS)

 

 

NATIONAL

(10%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Revenues (in trillions)

2%

300

7/15/20

  -7.10%

7/29/20

222.31

206.51

debtclock.org/       2,380

 

Expenditures (in tr.)

2%

300

7/15/20

 -3.76%

7/29/20

276.11

286.48

debtclock.org/       5,166

 

National Debt (tr.)

3%

450

7/15/20

+11.07%

7/29/20

393.54

349.98

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    26,555

 

Aggregate Debt (tr.)

3%

450

7/15/20

- 0.28%

7/29/20

414.72

413.56

http://www.usdebtclock.org/    80,392

 

 

GLOBAL

 

(5%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Foreign Debt (tr.)

2%

300

7/15/20

- 1.07%

7/29/20

    303.06               

    299.81               

http://www.usdebtclock.org/   6,909

 

Exports (in billions – bl.)

1%

150

7/15/20

- 4.42%

7/29/20

121.66               

121.66               

https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/Press-Release/  144.5

 

Imports (bl.)

1%

150

7/15/20

 -0.80%

7/29/20

171.29               

171.29               

https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/Press-Release/  199.1

 

Trade Deficit (bl.)

1%

150

7/15/20

  - 9.52%

7/29/20

122.34               

122.34               

https://www.census.gov/foreign-trade/Press-Release/  54.6

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

SOCIAL INDICES (40%)  

 

 

ACTS of MAN

(12%)

 

 

  World Peace

3%

450

7/15/20

-0.1%

7/29/20

419.35

418.95

Canada tells MLB’s Blue Jays not to come back to Toronto.  Bahamas tells American tourists to go back to America.

 

Terrorism

2%

300

7/15/20

+0.5%

7/29/20

283.27

281.85

Insurrections rampant in Seattle and Portland where mysterious authorities haul protesters & bystanders off in unmarked vans to unknown destinations.  Acting DHS Secretary Chad Wolf re-promises “domination”, Trump promises to invade more leftish cities (like Chicago) no matter what the Mayors and Governors say.  The question arises: “Who are the terrorists?” Army v. National Guard shootouts on tap?  Portland Mayor accuses Trump of igniting violence as a campaign ploy, Moms confront secret police and a “Naked Athena” flounces in the street before being shot in the feet.

 

Politics

3%

450

7/15/20

0.1%

7/29/20

450.31        

450.76         

Mary’s Book (7/15 DJI) is #1 on Amazon w/1M in sales while Uncle Don tells Campaign Mgr. Parscale: “You’re fired!” and Fox’s Chris Wallace that he may not accept the results of 2020 election.  Uncle Joe replies that he will “escort trespassers from the White House” while Kanye makes the ballot in Oklahoma and out-Yangs Andrew Yang by promising each new American baby one million dollars.  With replacement Bill Stepian stepping in, POTUS invokes the silent majority maxim that Real Americans lie to pollsters.  Premiere Pence ad touts America’s “comeback” as plague comes back.  Candidates 2020: White House Dr. Ronny (Candyman) Jackson, Kanye, ex-coach Tommy Tuberville.

 

Economics

3%

450

7/15/20

-0.5%

7/29/20

403.89

401.87

Fed says the economy is up “in most regions” (as is China’s).  But American Airlines lays off 24,000.  Arizona resumes evictions.  Gov. Hogan (R-Md) defies his party bro by declaring “No Shirt, No Shoes, No Mask – No Service!”  Empire State Building reopens Monday at 20% capacity.  Briggs and Stratton lawnmower engines go bankrupt.

 

Crime

1%

150

7/15/20

+0.4%

7/29/20

278.77

277.65

Ohio statehouse Speaker accused in $60M bribery scheme.  Oklahoma cops, as if to validate Trump (above) taser a white man fifty times until he dies.  “Personal assistant” accused of dismembering tech CEO… Ft. Bragg soldier disappears on camping trip, also found dismembered, and three fishermen killed in Polk County, Fl. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

ACTS of GOD

(6%)

(with, in some cases, a little… or lots of… help from men, and a few women)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Environment/Weather

3%

450

7/15/20

-0.3%

7/29/20

456.30

454.93

Trump’s plan to sunset environmental regulations called planet-poisoning.  Heat wave bakes US with Western wildfires and Eastern triple digit temperatures. 

 

Natural/Unnatural Disaster

3%

450

7/15/20

-0.1%

7/29/20

432.23

432.66

Local officials decry plague paranoia leading to Census undercount (and less gumment bling).  Local cop saves child from shark attack in Florida.

 

 

LIFESTYLE/JUSTICE INDEX   (15%)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Science, Tech, Education

4%

600

7/15/20

-0.3%

7/29/20

632.35

631.09

Uncle Joe promises 100% clean energy.  Social media sites for Obama, Biden and more hacked by scammers scamming “donations”, Russian hack-cult Cozy Bear trying to steal vaccine recipes as is rival Chinese nerd farm (Cozy Panda?).  Djonald Unmasked warns that a mysterious “1619 Project” (denying 1492) teaches schoolkids to “hate America.”

 

 

Equality (econ./social)

4%

600

7/15/20

+0.2%

7/29/20

568.31

569.45

Black jester Nick Cannon fired for anti-Semitism.   Hyper-white, hyper-right ardoned Roger Stone calls black radio host a bad word.  Unfamous other right wing vandals at work deface BLM murals in front of Trump Tower (3rd time) and in Cincinnati while leftists behead a Columbus statue.  Atop its race debacle, Washington Redskins hit with various sexual no-nos.  Blacktivists rassle over renaming Edmund Pettus bridge for Rep. Lewis – some defend it on grounds of “irony” – while  Mitch McConnell calls racial voter suppression “nonsense” in WSJ op-ed, ABC/Disney sacks “insensitive” Barbara Fedida, two women accuse Fox icons Ed Henry, Sean Hannity and Tucker Carlson of Ailes-like conduct and the good people accuse Trader Joe’s of racism.

 

 

Health

 

4%

600

7/15/20

+0.1%

7/29/20

   509.31

+450.00

509.82

CDC bans sea cruises until October first.  Oxford researchers hopeful that their Astra Zeneca vaccine will prove effective… by 2021.

 

Plague

-0.2%

 -450.00

  -450.90

Oklahoma Mayor/Tulsa MAGArallier gets it.  So do golfer Jack Nicklaus, 72 NFL players, a quarter of the population of Arizona and Chuck Woolery’s son.  National Nurses’ union memorializes plague-killed healthcare workers with 164 pairs of white shoes, while RIP to 13 nuns in Detroit convent.

 

Freedom and Justice

3%

450

7/15/20

-0.2%

7/29/20

446.78

445.89

Florida imposes $100 fine for masklessness. Mask mockers elsewhere sentenced   to house arrest with ankle bracelets.  St. Louis couple charged with waving guns to save their house from invaders; Gov. Parsons promises pardons.  Churches sue California for its ban on singing in public places.  Gunman, an “anti-feminist lawyer” executes son and shoots husband of Federal Judge in Epstein case (then, also suspected in similar California case, kills himself, too), 

 

 

MISCELLANEOUS and TRANSIENT INDEX        (7%)

 

 

 

 -0.3%

 

 

 

 

Cultural incidents

3%

450

7/15/20

-0.3%

7/29/20

470.22

468.81

Canceled: Rose Parade, Del Mar racetrack season (after fifteen jockeys get it).   Eagles limit stadium capacity to 20%; Patriots to zero.  MLB plays “preseason” games in empty stadiums with cardboard cutouts in the bleachers and recorded crowd noises.  Mike Tyson returns to fight… a shark!

 

 

Miscellaneous incidents

4%

450

7/15/20

nc

7/29/20

456.87                

456.87                

RBG’s liver cancer is back – Trump sends well wishes.  RIP to Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga) – Trump sends condolences.  (See above)   RIP, too, to Lewis cohort in Good Trouble, Freedom Riding Rev. Vivian.  Fugitive kangaroo recaptured in Fort Lauderdale. 

 

 

 

 

             

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

From the conclusion of Albert Camus’ “Le Peste” (“The Plague”)… which disease was of the bubonic sort, transmitted by rats (like those now overrunning New Orleans) and their fleas…

“…the plague bacillus never dies nor disappears for good; (it) can lie dormant for years and years in furniture and linen chests; that it bides its time in bedrooms, cellars, trunks and bookshelves; and that perhaps the day would come when, for the bane and the enlightening of men, it would rouse up its rats again and send them forth to die in a happy city.”

 

 

      * HEALTH – In light of the spread of the coronavirus, making an objective (or even subjective) determination of its effect on Don Jones becomes a very dubious prospect; literally an all-or-nothing proposition where the prospects of the unfortunate sink to zero.  Then, there is the collateral damage to those sickened, but not terminated, by the virus, the friends and families of the deceased, the police, fire, EMT and medical workers laboring with what even President Trump now admits are inadequate protection, those who lose their jobs, businesses who lose their customers and have to shut down and a public deprived of social assemblies and ritual gatherings from holiday, arts and sporting events (today’s latest casualty, Wimbledon).  Taking these into account would decimate almost the entirety of the Social index.  So here is our compromise.

       Coronavirus impact will not be factored into the individual social indices.  Moreover, health will be given a “no change” rank for the duration.  However, a more or less general VC levy, a tax if you will, will be imposed on the entire Index at this category, although not deducted from the score until a reckoning of some sort, some time into the future.  This “tax” will consist of two factors only… a rough case penalty of one percent for every 100,000 confirmed American victims and another one percent “tax” on every one thousand deaths.  In this Index, that amounts to a deduction of two percent (on 200,000 cases, more or less) plus four percent (on an estimated four thousand deaths, as of today).  This total of six percent will be taken from the most recent Health value of 571.44, leading to an April 1st score of 537.19,  (Doing a little math, the CV penalty almost equals the drop in the entire Index, due to the late reporting of collateral effects like unemployment and inflation statistics.)  However, to prevent a CV overloading (or, rather, diminution) of this category, its fall will be capped at 500.00 (down from a January 1st value of 600) after which further deductions will be made from the total, but not Health,

     

 

The Don Jones Index for the week of July 15th through July 21, 2020 was DOWN 34.74 points.

 

The Don Jones Index is sponsored by the Coalition for a New Consensus: retired Congressman and Independent Presidential candidate Jack “Catfish” Parnell, Chairman; Brian Doohan, Administrator/Editor.  The CNC denies, emphatically, allegations that the organization, as well as any of its officers (including former Congressman Parnell, environmentalist/America-Firster Austin Tillerman and cosmetics CEO Rayna Finch) and references to Parnell’s works, “Entropy and Renaissance” and “The Coming Kill-Off” are fictitious or, at best, mere pawns in the web-serial “Black Helicopters” – and promise swift, effective legal action against parties promulgating this and/or other such slanders.

Comments, complaints, donations (especially SUPERPAC donations) always welcome at feedme@generisis.com or: speak@donjonesindex.com

 

 

 

 

BACK

 

See further indicators at Economist https://www.economist.com/economic-and inancialndicators/2019/02/02/economic-data-commodities-and-markets    

 

 

ATTACHMENT ONE (A) – from the Washington Post

 

The White House’s maligning of Anthony Fauci, annotated

 

By Aaron Blake

July 13, 2020 at 7:28 a.m. PDT

 

The knives are out for Anthony S. Fauci inside the White House. Not only has Fauci found himself frozen out by President Trump in recent weeks, as The Washington Post’s Yasmeen Abutaleb, Josh Dawsey and Laurie McGinley reported this weekend, but aides are circulating talking points attacking his past statements about the coronavirus pandemic.

The White House’s case against Fauci is most remarkable when you consider what it’s attacking him for: not being dire enough about the coronavirus — even as the president continues to play down the outbreak’s severity. At one point, Trump predicted a death toll less than half of what we’ve already seen; he played up a drug as a “game-changer” that has proved anything but; and over the weekend he reversed himself on masks after recently suggesting that they might actually be harmful. Trump said all of these things long after health officials were saying much the opposite. If aides are looking for people who got it wrong, they might want to start at the top.

It’s one thing to cast stones from a glass house, but that doesn’t mean others are necessarily without fault. So do the attacks on Fauci hold water?

Below, we look at the Fauci quotes highlighted in the White House document, comparing them to 1) what was known at the time, 2) what the White House omitted from his comments and 3) what Trump has said.

It’s important to emphasize that the White House has repeatedly declined to say who is responsible for these talking points, but White House economic adviser Peter Navarro this weekend echoed some of the points included.

 

NOT A MAJOR THREAT

·         Newsmax in early January: “Bottom line, we don’t have to worry about this one, right?”

·         Fauci: Well, you know, obviously we need to take it seriously and do the kinds of things that the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] and the Department of Homeland Security are doing. But this is not a major threat for the people in the U.S., and this is not something that the citizens of the U.S. right now should be worried about.”

Even the quote as relayed in these talking points includes caveats. Although Fauci said people shouldn’t be worried, he also qualified that with “right now” and said “obviously we need to take it seriously."

Also note the nonspecific date. It says the interview occurred in early January. That’s not true, because the interview was conducted on Jan. 21 — a notable flub in a memo that purports to be concerned about accuracy. But even considering that later date, this was the date on which we first learned that the coronavirus had made its way to American shores.

Relatively little was known about the virus at that point, in large part because — as Trump will remind you — China wasn’t exactly forthcoming with information. Saying this was “not a major threat” to Americans was perhaps more understandable when we knew little about how the virus spreads.

Fauci was asked in a similar question in a Jan. 26 interview. When asked whether people should be scared, he said, “I don’t think so. The American people should not be worried or frightened by this. It’s a very, very low risk to the United States, but it’s something we, as public health officials, need to take very seriously."

Again, Fauci says this should be taken “seriously” — even “very seriously” — while indicating that people shouldn’t yet be overly concerned. You could say Fauci might have allowed for more potential danger. But it’s also worth noting that nearly two months after his Newsmax interview, Trump was still saying, “It’s going to go away” (March 12), “I doubt we’ll need anywhere near” 5 million tests (March 13) and that the virus was “something that we have tremendous control over” (March 15). That was decidedly not what officials like Fauci were saying at that point.

 

NO ASYMPTOMATIC SPREAD

 

Fauci on Jan. 28: “Even if there’s a rare asymptomatic person that might transmit, an epidemic is not driven by asymptomatic carriers.”

This quote lops off a very important part of what Fauci said. Immediately before the above quote, he said: “But the one thing historically that people need to realize [is] that even if there [is] some asymptomatic transmission, in all the history of respiratory-borne viruses of any type, asymptomatic transmission has never been the driver of outbreaks. The driver of outbreaks is always a symptomatic person."

In other words, Fauci was talking about what was known about previous outbreaks, not necessarily weighing in specifically on this novel coronavirus — which, again, we knew very little about because of China.

Even in those comments, Fauci prefaced this by saying “we would really like to see the data” from China, which had said there was asymptomatic transmission but wasn’t cooperating with American scientists.

Fauci offered similar comments to The Post’s Joel Achenbach around this time.

“We really need to know what is the scientific basis of saying the virus is spread by someone who doesn’t have any symptoms,” Fauci said. “That was a major potential game-changer that gets spoken to us in a press briefing. We should have seen the data.”

Even if you accept, again, that Fauci was not warning people strongly enough, there continues to be strong debate about whether a major driver is indeed asymptomatic transmission (people who never have symptoms passing it along) or pre-symptomatic transmission (people who haven’t yet had symptoms passing it along).

A World Health Organization official recently got in hot water for saying that asymptomatic transmission was “very rare," when in fact she seemed to be differentiating that from pre-symptomatic transmission. As The Post reported then:

While asymptomatic transmission does occur, no one knows for sure how frequently it happens. Studies and models have suggested many of those infected never show symptoms. And it remains an open question whether they are a large force driving transmission.

So even if Fauci was talking about this specific outbreak, it was still very early, we didn’t know much and we still don’t know how wrong he allegedly was, because it’s not totally clear how much of a driver asymptomatic transmission is.

 

DON’T CHANGE YOUR LIFE

·         NBC’s Peter Alexander: “It’s Saturday morning in America, people are waking up right now with real concerns about this; they want to go to malls, and movies, maybe the gym, as well. Should we be changing our habits, and if so, how?

·         Fauci on Feb. 29: No. Right now at this moment, there is no need to change anything that you’re doing on a day-by-day basis.

Yet again, the White House is lopping off a vital portion of Fauci’s comments. In the very next sentence, he went on, “Right now the risk is still low, but this could change. ... You’ve got to watch out because although the risk is low now, you don’t need to change anything you’re doing, when you start to see community spread, this could change and force you to become much more attentive to doing things that would protect you from spread.”

Fauci was stating what was then the administration-wide line at that point, with huge caveats. The administration wouldn’t announce strict measures until March 16.

We’ve since learned that, even just before these comments from Fauci, health officials privately decided that tougher countermeasures were needed, and they prepared to bring them to Trump. But then Trump blew up after a CDC official, Nancy Messonnier, said publicly on Feb. 25 that the spread of the virus was “inevitable" and that people would see “significant disruption in our lives." After that, the officials reportedly backed off on bringing him the recommendations.

It’s not clear precisely what Fauci was saying privately at that point, but it’s also evident that the president wasn’t terribly interested in people like Fauci echoing Messonnier’s message. And Fauci was saying something that pretty much everyone else was.

 

MINUSCULE COMPARED TO FLU

·         USA Today on Feb. 17: “Fauci doesn’t want people to worry about coronavirus, the danger of which is “just minuscule.” But he does want them to take precautions against the “influenza outbreak, which is having its second wave.”

·         Q. “Is the seasonal flu a bigger concern?”

·         Fauci: “So right now, at the same time people are worrying about going to a Chinese restaurant, the threat is that what we have in this country, we’re having a pretty bad influenza season, particularly dangerous for our children.”

Again, Fauci couches this with “right now.” On Feb. 17, we had seen only about a dozen confirmed coronavirus cases total, compared to what was indeed a bad flu season. And in the weeks to follow, as the outbreak gradually grew, Fauci would be out front in shunning flu comparisons.

AD

At a March 11 congressional hearing, he said, “I mean, people always say, ‘Well, the flu does this, the flu does that.’ The flu has a mortality of 0.1 percent. (A few really old timers who remember 1918 might disagree – DJI) This has a mortality rate of 10 times that. That’s the reason I want to emphasize we have to stay ahead of the game in preventing this.”

Among those who made the kind of flu comparisons Fauci was rebuking? Trump. Many people around the time of Fauci’s initial comments were saying the flu was a bigger problem, because exponentially more people had the flu. Health officials gradually changed their tune as the outbreak grew, but Trump held out significantly longer. Even as late as late March — two weeks after Fauci’s testimony rebuking the flu comparisons — Trump was still comparing the coronavirus to the flu.

 

MASKS

·         Fauci on CBS, March 8: Right now in the United States, people should not be walking around with masks. … When you’re in the middle of an outbreak, wearing a mask might make people feel a little bit better and it might even block a droplet, but it’s not providing the perfect protection that people think that it is. And, often, there are unintended consequences — people keep fiddling with the mask and they keep touching their face.

The masks issue is one on which there has been plenty of criticism of health officials, and understandably so. They discouraged their use early, and now they’re just about unanimously saying how vital they are. Even Fauci has recently admitted that a significant reason they were discouraged was because there was concern that we wouldn’t have enough for the people who needed them most: medical professionals.

Fauci has maintained that, despite that, people weren’t deliberately misled. “Actually, the circumstances have changed,” he said. “That’s the reason why.”

Indeed, when Fauci made these comments, the World Health Organization’s guidance was that only people caring for those who had contracted the virus needed to wear masks.

Should health officials have recognized the efficacy of masks earlier? Perhaps. But Fauci wasn’t out on a limb here. And in fact, if you look at his comments, he was merely saying they didn’t provide “perfect protection.” If he had told people that masks work but that they should leave them for health officials, would people have listened? Or would they have bought up the masks and created an even bigger problem?

One thing that’s also relevant here: The White House is criticizing Fauci for a quote in which he warned that masks might lead people to be “fiddling with the mask and they keep touching their face.” But long after health officials concluded almost unanimously that masks were a good idea, someone was still trotting out that argument: Trump.

Masks are a double-edged sword,” Trump told the Wall Street Journal in late June. “People touch them. And they grab them and I see it all the time. They come in, they take the mask. Now they’re holding it now in their fingers. And they drop it on the desk and then they touch their eye and they touch their nose. No, I think a mask is a — it’s a double-edged sword.”

So if this kind of comment is so bad, why was Trump still saying it just a few weeks ago?

President Trump told reporters April 3 that he did not plan to take a new Centers for Disease Control advisement that Americans wear non-medical face coverings. (The Washington Post)

 

FLIP-FLOPPED ON CURE CAN’T BE WORSE THAN DISEASE

·         Fauci in April: I know it’s difficult. We’re having a lot of suffering and a lot of death. This is inconvenient from an economic and a personal standpoint, but we just have to do it.

·         Fauci in May: “We can’t stay locked down for such a considerable period of time that you might do irreparable damage and have unintended consequences, including consequences for health. And it’s for that reason why the guidelines are being put forth so that the states and the cities can start to reenter and reopen.”

It’s not clear where the implied contradiction is here. Fauci has conceded repeatedly that economic and other impacts need to be measured against the threat of the virus — and that his job is merely to provide health advice.

Even before his comment in April, here’s what he said in late March: “What the president is trying to do is to balance the public health issues with the fact that this is having an enormous impact on the economy of the country, which may actually indirectly even cause a considerable amount of harm and difficulty — even health-wise."

He added: “No, I don’t consider the balancing act. … The president has the awesome responsibility of considering every aspect of this. I just give public health advice completely clean, unconnected with anything else. He has to factor in other things.”

Saying “we have to do it” doesn’t equal “we have to shut everything down and leave it shut down indefinitely.” And indeed, Fauci has been pretty consistent about that.

 

AND ALSO, from the Post, ATTACHMENT ONE (B)…

 

The White House’s maligning of Anthony Fauci, annotated

 

Trump’s rage at Fauci just boomeranged back on him

 

 

Opinion by Greg Sargent, Columnist

July 13, 2020 at 9:58 AM EDT

 

President Trump was probably thrilled when he learned that aides sent reporters opposition-research-style bullet points about Anthony S. Fauci. After all, we’re told, Trump is a “counter-puncher,” and Fauci has made him look bad, so Fauci must be punched back — never mind that Fauci is Trump’s own leading infectious-disease expert amid the most dire public health emergency in modern times.

Yet all this has really accomplished is to unleash intensified media scrutiny of the tortured relationship between Trump and Fauci. The result: a spate of fresh reporting on that relationship — reporting that only illustrates Trump’s pathologies with new depth and vividness.

Over the weekend, The Post reported that Fauci is now “directly in the president’s crosshairs.” The White House has “moved to sideline Fauci" and released a “lengthy list of the scientist’s comments from early in the outbreak." This was supposed to show that Fauci has been wrong and that his current urgency about spiking cases should be seen with skepticism.

Other news organizations have now followed up, with new reporting on what really drove that move. And it makes Trump look a whole lot worse.

Much of the discussion has been about how unusual it is that the White House would leak campaign-style oppo research about Trump’s own top health official. But less attention has focused on how deranged it is that Fauci has become the enemy — that is, the target for counter-punching — in the first place.

Fauci has become the enemy, of course, because he has prioritized his efforts to understand a pandemic that has killed nearly 135,000 Americans and sickened millions over the imperative of protecting Trump politically at all costs.

Fauci’s efforts may have been flawed at times, but by all appearances they were undertaken in good faith. And that’s the cardinal sin here: Since handling a public health emergency in good faith requires a sincere — if sometimes tactful — effort to inform the public about it, this has inevitably put him in Trump’s crosshairs, because it has reflected badly on Trump.

It is a form of poetic justice that all this is revealed with new clarity by none other than the intense scrutiny that this ham-handed attack on Fauci has itself produced.

Fauci dared to go on TV and contradict Trump

For instance, the New York Times offers a remarkable glimpse into what’s driving this new offensive:

Mr. Trump has long been dismissive of Dr. Fauci in private, according to White House officials, taking note of the amount of time he spent on television and of when the doctor contradicted him during press briefings.

The attentive reader will note that this expressly concedes that Fauci’s conduct is being evaluated mainly through the prism of how it reflects on Trump. Fauci is spending too much time on TV and contradicted Trump about the virus.

But Fauci did this to inform the public about the pandemic in a way that Trump himself would not. The very fact that this cannot be seen as an independent good itself underscores Trump’s megalomaniacal preoccupation with his own image — and with manipulating public perceptions — at a time when large numbers are again getting sickened and dying at alarming rates.

Meanwhile, the Times also reports that White House officials leaked the old Fauci quotes to undermine the idea that the administration should follow his advice, with one official claiming that Trump’s opponents have “given outsize value to Dr. Fauci’s voice.”

Yet again, the only discernible prism employed here is how Fauci’s conduct reflects on Trump. Yes, there is a vast gap in how Fauci and Trump have publicly treated the coronavirus: Fauci has seen it as a far more serious matter, and has relied far more heavily on science and empiricism in doing so.

But Fauci is Trump’s own top health official! That’s what he’s supposed to be doing! That’s exactly why his public statements continue to get attention!

In a universe where only Trump’s reelection matters, and where the decision has been made that only maximal minimization of the virus can facilitate this, attention to Fauci can’t possibly reflect a desire for actual expert information about this ongoing public health emergency. It can be seen only as either good or bad for Trump — in this case bad.

 

Attacks on Fauci backfire on Trump

 

Even the effort to cast doubt on the substantive accuracy and judgment behind Fauci’s statements boomerangs on Trump. For instance, the document circulated to reporters highlights a Feb. 29 statement from Fauci that “at this moment, there is no need to change anything you’re doing on a day-to-day basis.”

But the document left out Fauci’s subsequent comment in that interview that “this could change” if we “start to see community spread,” requiring far more action, and that the coronavirus could become “a major outbreak.” That’s exactly what did happen, and it’s precisely what Trump denied for so long.

We are interested in hearing about how the struggle to reopen amid the pandemic is affecting people's lives. Please tell us yours.

It’s insane that the White House is editing claims from Trump’s own top health official to create the deceptive impression that he has not actually been far more correct about the coronavirus than Trump has.

More to the point, Fauci admits he made mistakes early on. As The Post report details, he underestimated the virus’s spreadability and at first counseled against mask-wearing to preserve masks for health workers.

But if Fauci is now conceding that he, like many others, made early mistakes, and is trying to learn from them, why isn’t that a positive, particularly given that the virus is again surging across the country?

In drawing attention to all this, Trump’s advisers have reminded us that all these things — communicating with the public in good faith about an urgent matter; learning from new information even if it sheds unflattering light on earlier conduct; prioritizing public health over Trump’s perceived short-term political interests — are precisely what Trump himself will not do.

 

See also, from the Post, these…

 

James Downie: No wonder the Trump administration doesn’t want Anthony Fauci on TV

Jennifer Rubin: Anthony Fauci confirms Joe Biden’s central attack on Trump

Dana Milbank: Trump trots out his latest pandemic fall guy: Anthony Fauci

Jennifer Rubin: Trump’s covid-19 denial won’t fly

Robert Gebelhoff: Anthony Fauci did in five minutes what Trump has failed to do for weeks

Jennifer Rubin: Distinguished person of the week: Fauci finally breaks through

 

 

 

ATTACHMENT TWO – from CNN

 

White House takes aim at Fauci but Trump has no current plans to fire him, source says

 

By Kristen Holmes and Kaitlan Collins, CNN

Updated 6:03 PM ET, Mon July 13, 2020

 

Washington (CNN)  The White House is making a concerted effort to discredit Dr. Anthony Fauci as he becomes increasingly vocal about his concerns over reopening the country amid a national surge in coronavirus cases. The moves to undercut Fauci come just days after he gave an unvarnished look at his relationship with President Donald Trump, including that they have not spoken in weeks.

The tension between the two men -- who are no longer speaking, CNN reported last week -- has grown publicly as they have responded to one another through interviews and statements.

Trump does not plan to dismiss Fauci, and probably couldn't directly fire him if he wanted to, White House officials have determined. He insisted on Monday that his relationship with the doctor remains strong.

"I have a very good relationship with Dr. Fauci, I've had for a long time," Trump said at the White House during a roundtable event honoring police officers. "I find him to be a very nice person. I don't always agree with him."

But recent moves by the White House to publicly diminish the nation's top infectious disease expert amounts to a significant escalation as it seeks to divert attention from the government's failure to contain the coronavirus and instead push Trump's call to reopen the country. That effort continued Monday morning, when the President retweeted a baseless claim by game show host Chuck Woolery that "everyone is lying" about the coronavirus -- including the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

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In a statement Saturday, a White House official told CNN that "several White House officials are concerned about the number of times Dr. Fauci has been wrong on things." The official went on to provide a lengthy list of examples, citing Fauci's comments early in the pandemic and linking to past interviews.

These bullet points, which resembled opposition research on a political opponent, included Fauci downplaying the virus early on and a quote from March when Fauci said, "People should not be walking around with masks," among other comments. Not included were previous statements from the surgeon general urging people not to buy masks or an acknowledgment of the President's own false claims and misstatements about the virus.

Dangerous hotspot underscores one of the worst political calls in history</