U.S. federal response to coronavirus a ‘fiasco,’ says global health expert

In almost every way, our response has been far less effective than every other major country in the world. It’s baffling, actually. We have, in the CDC, arguably the best public health agency in the world. All of us thought that the CDC was going to — was prepared and was going to help fight this virus. The federal response has been a fiasco.

PBS

Related:

Trump administration blocks states from using Medicaid to respond to coronavirus crisis

A President Unequal to the Moment

Excellent article chronicling Trump’s self-centered failures:

Crises clarify. The bigger the crisis, the more the clarity, which is why the incompetence, dishonesty, and sheer callousness of the Trump Presidency have been clearer in recent days than ever before. As the coronavirus, as of Wednesday an official pandemic, spreads, the lives of Americans depend on the decisions made—or not made, as the case may be—by a President uniquely ill-suited to command in this type of public-health catastrophe. In that sense, the last few weeks may well have been the most clarifying of Donald Trump’s Presidency.

The New Yorker

Related:

Trump Attacks Democrats Hours After Calling for Bipartisanship

When Right-Wing Media Poses a Threat to National Health and Well-Being

How Right-Wing Pundits Are Covering Coronavirus

Conservative media stars aren’t worried. Neither is President Trump.

“This sort of media spin poses a clear and present danger to public health,” said Charlie Sykes, a longtime conservative host and author who published a book, “How the Right Lost Its Mind,” in 2018. “If you have people out there who feel all of this is overblown, and feel the need to act out their lack of concern by not taking precautions, it could be exceptionally dangerous.

“That’s not just a problem for the right wing, that becomes a real threat to the general population,” added Mr. Sykes, who is also a contributor to MSNBC. “When people start dying, the entertainment value wears off.”

NY Times

Related: Watching Faux News makes you stupid.

The Graham-Blumenthal Bill Is an Attack on Online Speech and Security

Members of Congress have mounted a major threat to your freedom of speech and privacy online. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) recently introduced a bill that would undermine key protections for Internet speech in U.S. law. It would also expose providers of the private messaging services we all rely on to serious legal risk, potentially forcing them to undermine their tools’ security.

EFF

Google tracked his bike ride past a burglarized home. That made him a suspect.

“I was using an app to see how many miles I rode my bike and now it was putting me at the scene of the crime,” the man said.

[His lawyer] dug around and learned that the notice had been prompted by a “geofence warrant,” a police surveillance tool that casts a virtual dragnet over crime scenes, sweeping up Google location data — drawn from users’ GPS, Bluetooth, Wi-Fi and cellular connections — from everyone nearby.

NBC News

Coronavirus: Politics Trumps Public Health (and possibly life or death)

White House didn’t want to tell seniors not to fly.

The White House overruled health officials who wanted to recommend that elderly and physically fragile Americans be advised not to fly on commercial airlines because of the new coronavirus, a federal official told The Associated Press.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention submitted the plan this week as a way of trying to control the virus, but White House officials ordered the air travel recommendation be removed, said the official who had direct knowledge of the plan. Trump administration officials have since suggested certain people should consider not traveling, but they have stopped short of the stronger guidance sought by the CDC.

AP