Let’s talk the COVID crisis! (and a couple of other medical links)

It’s almost surreal for me to read about how bad it’s getting. Working from home as I always have, it feels like nothing’s changed, even though I know it has. Reading links like these reminds me how crazy it is, and how shitty Republicans have been.

Pfizer has the vaccine and it works, safely. If we can inoculate 100 million people, it’ll make a real difference in the pandemic’s spread We’re getting 100 million doses — it takes two per person — but the Trump administration passed up an option to buy twice as much. Pfizer says it can’t provide more until the summer.

For Mitch McConnell, the key action the government has to take in this crisis is to protect businesses that throw away employee lives.

Some state governors are as bad in handling the Trump Virus as Trump (though Democratic officials who take a tough line, then break their own rules, are bad too). Even with medical professionals begging them to Do Something. Ron deSantis in Florida has a solution: silence the professionals. But at least the failures of some states to govern the virus has given us the opportunity for an experiment: guess what, masks work! I’m fine with an anti-mask activist doctor losing his state license.

Conservatives claimed 9/11 was such a tragedy it justified invading Iraq and reducing it to rubble. But they’re unwilling to act against Covid rates equivalent to a 9/11 a day. They’re fine with setting up the TSA and requiring us all to take off our shoes, but not with mask mandates.

Right-wing slime Candace Owens compares getting vaccinated against the pandemic to slavery. I’ve heard other people compare it to rape which is an equally appalling and incorrect metaphor. Republicans are inviting a prominent anti-vaxxer to testify before Congress. Blame Wyoming Sen. Ron Johnson for embracing the anti-vaxxers; while he talks about protecting the vulnerable, he’s already on the record saying if 3.4 percent of Americans die to protect the value of his stock portfolio (okay, that’s my interpretation of his “save the economy” argument) he’s okay with it. Small Wonder that Steve M. glumly but plausibly predicts right-wing anti-vaxxers will leave us grappling with Covid long after other nations get back to normal. Case in point, preacher Guillermo Maldonado warning his flock that the vaccine is the mark of the beast.

In other medical news:

A consultant firm working with Purdue Pharma proposed paying pharmacies rebates based on the number of oxycontin overdoses they caused. And Sen. David Purdue may have found a way to make stock market money off the crisis.

And what ancient bacteria will Arctic warming unleash upon the world?

Erik Loomis wonders if the rapid development of the Covid vaccine suggests we could fight other diseases as quickly.

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Filed under economics, Politics

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