Dumb Bastards Are Killing Us

 Atlas, Trump's quack of the moment. Photo by Nicholas Kamm/AFP via Getty. Front photo AP

The horrors go on. With "Fat Elvis" having lost the narrative, he's wildly swinging like a schoolyard sociopath at his calmly competent opponent, calling him first a criminal, then a Mr. Rogers goody-goody who loves his son, and, the final insult, a guy who listens to scientists. This, while the superspreader event that is his presidency virtually abandons all pretext of doing anything to slow a "wildfire" of a pandemic now soaring in 48 of 50 states - though he's taken the time to mindlessly blast Fauci "and all these idiots" who know stuff and to furiously castigate CNN as "dumb bastards" for daring to cover the apocalypse he's caused. As a result, the U.S. now has over 8 million cases, still by far the most in the world, with 387,692 new cases in the last week, and our death toll is inexorably mounting toward 200,000 deaths. This week, Trump's failures prompted over 1,000 infectious disease experts at the CDC to write an open letter denouncing "the absence of national leadership on Covid-19 (as) unprecedented and dangerous." Astonishingly if not surprisingly, the lack of leadership is even worse behind the scenes. In a chilling look at the "Den of Dissent" that is the administration's coronavirus "task force," the Washington Post reveals an embattled, malfunctioning mess of "distrust, infighting and lethargy" just as experts predict cases could surge this winter to up to 400,000 deaths.

The so-called leader of this morass, and contributing mightily to it, is Trump's latest quack of the moment, a Fox News commentator and radiologist with no training in infectious disease mostly known for being wrong about COVID "early and often." Dr. Scott Atlas has been slammed by colleagues at Stanford Medical School for peddling "falsehoods and misrepresentations of science" on coronavirus; he's spewed such claptrap on Twitter - masks don't work - his posts were flagged as false and dangerous; and he's widely viewed by task force colleagues as "ill-informed, manipulative and at times dishonest." In March, he predicted the virus would be gone in weeks; in April, he urged widespread reopening to foster a widely debunked "herd immunity"; in May he argued “the curves have been flattened” and dismissed “sensationalistic modulations of a hypothetical projection model" to the contrary. On the task force, he's blocked attempts to expand testing - despite $9 billion available to do it -  challenged other doctors, including Fauci, by offering "junk science" like herd immunity and no social distancing, touted an early vaccine that doesn't exist, and prompted even the moderate Deborah Birx to call for his ouster. And still, the cases and deaths mount. Because God isn't dead and she has a dark sense of humor, Newsmax unwittingly told the grim tale when they showed Trump at his latest rally but failed to change the chyron from their originally planned programming on Hitler: "Rise of the Demon."

 

Oops. Newsmax forgot to change its chyron and programming notes

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