Trump’s responsibility for the vicious January 6 insurrection is unmistakable. The Senate must convict Donald Trump… and disqualify him from ever holding federal office again. Trump perpetrated a “grievous betrayal of his oath of office” when he “incited a violent mob to attack the United States Capitol” while Congress was convening on January 6 to count the electoral votes confirming Joe Biden’s victory in the 2020 presidential election.
Trump “summoned a mob to Washington, exhorted them into a frenzy, and aimed them like a loaded cannon down Pennsylvania Avenue.” “As it stormed the Capitol, the mob yelled out ‘Trump Sent Us,’ ‘Hang Mike Pence,’ and ‘Traitor Traitor Traitor,”
We will all remember January 6, 2021—and Trump’s singular responsibility for that tragedy. It is impossible to imagine the events of January 6 occurring without Trump creating a powder keg, striking a match, and then seeking personal advantage from the ensuing havoc.
Instead of immediately telling his supporters who were overrunning the Capitol to stand down and condemning their attack, Trump was “delighted” and publicly told the insurrectionists that they were “special” and “loved.”
All these Senate Republican/Russian enablers must stand trial for aiding and abetting Trump in all of his seditious and insurrectionist actions
Barrasso, John (R-WY) Blackburn, Marsha (R-TN) Blunt, Roy (R-MO) Boozman, John (R-AR) Braun, Mike (R-IN) Burr, Richard (R-NC) Capito, Shelley Moore (R-WV) Cassidy, Bill (R-LA) Cornyn, John (R-TX) Cotton, Tom (R-AR) Cramer, Kevin (R-ND) Crapo, Mike (R-ID) Cruz, Ted (R-TX) Daines, Steve (R-MT) Ernst, Joni (R-IA) Fischer, Deb (R-NE) Graham, Lindsey (R-SC) Grassley, Chuck (R-IA) Hagerty, Bill (R-TN) Hawley, Josh (R-MO) Hoeven, John (R-ND) Hyde-Smith, Cindy (R-MS) Inhofe, James M. (R-OK) Johnson, Ron (R-WI) Kennedy, John (R-LA) Lankford, James (R-OK) Lee, Mike (R-UT) Lummis, Cynthia M. (R-WY) Marshall, Roger, M.D. (R-KS) McConnell, Mitch (R-KY) Moran, Jerry (R-KS) Paul, Rand (R-KY) Portman, Rob (R-OH) Rounds, Mike (R-SD) Rubio, Marco (R-FL) Scott, Rick (R-FL) Scott, Tim (R-SC) Shelby, Richard C. (R-AL) Sullivan, Dan (R-AK) Thune, John (R-SD) Tillis, Thom (R-NC) Toomey, Patrick J. (R-PA) Tuberville, Tommy (R-AL) Wicker, Roger F. (R-MS) Young, Todd (R-IN)
We have made the comparison between Jim Jones’s Peoples Temple Cult and Trump’s MAGA cult before, it’s looking like even that comparison falls short of describing how totally lost these MAGA members are. Take the example of an emergency room nurse in South Dakota, Jodi Doering, who was overwhelmed Saturday night. Her patients were dying of covid-19, yet were still in denial about the pandemic’s existence. “It’s like a “horror movie that never ends,” Doering said.
Her anxiety and despair are shared by many health-care workers who are facing a dramatic surge in covid-19 patients. But some front-line workers, like Doering, also face the emotional toll of treating patients who, despite being severely ill, are reluctant to acknowledge that they have been infected with a virus that dear leader Trump has said will simply disappear.
Doering said she has covid-19 patients who need 100-percent-oxygen breathing assistance and who will also swear they don’t have the illness that has ended the lives of nearly a quarter-million people in the United States since February.
“I think the hardest thing to watch is that people are still looking for something else and a magic answer and they do not want to believe COVID-19 is real,” Doering told CNN in an interview Monday.
“Their last dying words are, ‘This can’t be happening. It’s not real,’” Doering said, adding that some patients prefer to believe that they have pneumonia or other diseases rather than covid-19, despite seeing their positive test results.
Also, just as tragic is the patients who expect to get the same level of treatment that their beloved leader got at the White House. They want the same antibody cocktail that Trump got. Sadly, even if it was available to them, they couldn’t afford it.
The Trump cult “dead enders” will never accept that their beloved ruler lost his re-election bid because they are not psychologically capable of letting go of their deeply held beliefs.
Trump has spent the last four years distorting reality to serve his own ends and his rabid followers have lapped up his lies because they comport with their own beliefs and cognitive dissonance rules their world.
It seems to us that most human beings will do just about anything to resolve contradictions between thier deeply held beliefs about the world and the reality of the world itself. Cognitive dissonance is so unpleasant, so disordering and catastrophic for the ego, that no amount of absurd, tortured reasoning is worse than reality contradicting a deeply held belief. All of us try to resolve cognitive dissonance, but the Trump Cult has been a years-long exercise in it. Election denial is its latest manifestation. But before that came COVID denial, science denial, climate denial, ‘alternative facts,’ the inability of Trump’s most devoted fans to see him for the obvious con man that he is, and, at the movement’s very core, denial of the social and demographic changes that are transforming America.
Supporters of Trump who have been buffeted by reality are increasingly reaching for even more far-fetched conspiracy theories which helped along groups like QAnon.
Cognitive dissonance is also a primary reason that people resort to conspiracy theories, which Trumpworld increasingly resembles, not only in fringe manifestations like QAnon but in the allegation of widespread fraud in the presidential election, which, of course, has no factual basis whatsoever and is, at this point, simply a conspiracy theory writ large,” he explained. “In this light, QAnon isn’t some weird, fringe phenomenon with no connection to populist politics. It’s a logical extension of the populist worldview. If ‘the people’ are actually the majority, then a sinister minority—Jews, ‘coastal elites’, the media, the Satanic pedophiles, whoever—is actually in control. It’s a short jump from that to full-blown conspiracy madness. And when the anointed messenger of ‘the people’ turns out to be a buffoon chiefly interested in his own enrichment, well, that must all be a ruse. Or a media conspiracy. Or whatever.”
Edited from Jay Michaelson column in the Daily Beast
On Friday, the COVID Tracking Project reported that the number of positive coronavirus infections in the last day had reached 170,000, the highest record ever and a number that was, just a few months ago, hard to imagine. It’s now our daily reality, and it’s likely to only get worse.
Other figures are just as frightening. Hospitalizations — one of the clearest signs of the seriousness of the outbreak —have reached a new high at 69,000, according to the project. Deaths are at a disturbing 1,300, though that rate is almost certain to spike in recent weeks following the more recent spike in cases. And as the newest and largest wave yet engulfs the country, reports have begun to appear of hospitals being overwhelmed with patients, which is almost certainly a precursor to a spike in the case fatality rate.
It’s our horrifying new status quo, and one that experts and observers have been warning would unfold this fall for months. But the mind-boggling truth is that for the Trump administration, everything is pretty much going as planned.
Ever since the first wave in the spring, Donald Trump has seemed increasingly drawn to the so-called (and, indeed, misleadingly named) “herd immunity” approach to the pandemic. On this approach, you reject government restrictions meant to stop people from getting the virus. What advocates of this strategy believe is that it’s best that more people get the virus, because eventually, enough people will have had it, they’ll immune, and life will return to normal.
Trump brought on Dr. Scott Atlas, a radiologist and Fox News guest, to the White House team, because he advocated this approach and opposed restrictions. His views were at odds with the approach favored by the bulk of the health experts in the administration, but Trump liked his ideas, so they have won the day.
The White House has occasionally denied or talked around the idea that it’s intentionally carrying out a “herd immunity” strategy, but reporting has made clear the plan the administration has adopted. Per the New York Times:
The White House has embraced a declaration by a group of scientists arguing that authorities should allow the coronavirus to spread among young healthy people while protecting the elderly and the vulnerable — an approach that would rely on arriving at “herd immunity” through infections rather than a vaccine.
On a call convened Monday by the White House, two senior administration officials, both speaking anonymously because they were not authorized to give their names, cited an October 4 petition titled The Great Barrington Declaration, which argues against lockdowns and calls for a reopening of businesses and schools.
“Current lockdown policies are producing devastating effects on short and long-term public health,” the declaration states, adding, “The most compassionate approach that balances the risks and benefits of reaching herd immunity, is to allow those who are at minimal risk of death to live their lives normally to build up immunity to the virus through natural infection, while better protecting those who are at highest risk. We call this Focused Protection.”
The problem with this approach — the reason it’s rejected by most of the public health community — is that it will lead to mass suffering and death. That’s what the increase in hospitalizations is telling us. Medical researcher Dr. Atul Gawande made the point in a recent tweet:
But there’s another important point. One crucial part of the “herd immunity strategy,” in theory, is protecting the vulnerable. Since COVID-19 poses the most significant mortality risk to the elderly and people with other health conditions, advocates argue, this population needs to be kept safe while the virus spreads and creates immunity among the rest of the people.
As people like Alex Tabarrok argued early on, though, this tactic has little hope of success. You can’t meaningfully isolate elderly people from the rest of society. What do you do with the grandmother living in a home with parents who are essential workers and kids who are back at school? What do you do with the workers a nursing homes, who have lives outside of work? Who will pay for people with chronic health conditions to stay home from their jobs for months on end?
It’s untenable. And at the same time, the White House hasn’t actually done anything to meaningfully protect vulnerable from the wave of the virus crashing over the country.
Trump has touted vaccines and therapeutics, including therapeutics that may have saved his own life when he was hospitalized with the infection. But there aren’t nearly enough therapeutics for all the patients in need — nor the top-notch care Trump received — and the vaccines won’t be ready for full distribution into well into 2021. On Friday, Trump announced that the vaccines will be available in April, though he had previously said it could be distributed last month, in October, which never happened. And right now, the administration has no plan to stop surging virus. Most Republicans are following his lead, and even Democratic governors who might prefer to take a more aggressive approach are hamstrung by a lack of federal resources.
There is no plan to stop the virus. The federal government just intends to let it spread through all of us. It’s a plan for mass death, because they don’t care enough to stop it.
This contest has not been a nail biting, back-and-forth affair with wild swings in tallies, and that the winner truly remains in doubt. It’s not, and the coverage reflects that as analysts go over the votes, the math, the projections and essentially tell voters that Trump can’t win. The race is stuck in neutral because the corporate media is terrified of the Trump Cult
The networks bowing to Trump bullying, as he and his cult fill the indecision vacuum with outrageous, fitful claims of the election being rigged! His television appearance from the White House this week where Trump lied nonstop about the U.S election process was a truly dangerous low point for his presidency, as his supporters feed off his lies and take to streets screaming about the election being “stolen.”
After four years, are major news organizations still tip toeing around Trump in hopes of not becoming the target of his wrath? It sure feels that way.
The Trump cult went ballistic when Fox News on Election Night called Arizona for Biden, waging an ugly smear campaign against the network. Fox has stood by the call and four days later, Biden has a lead of nearly 30,000 votes. Yet other networks still won’t call it for Biden.
In Nevada where virtually all the counting is done, Biden leads by nearly two percentage points. That’s an advantage far larger than what Decision Desks usually need to make a pronouncement, when so few votes remain uncounted. If that race had the exact same vote count but were a Nevada contest for the U.S. Senate, instead of a state race that could seal Trump’s defeat, that election call likely would’ve been made 24 hours ago.
Meanwhile, for Fox News to call Arizona early, to correctly stand by it, and today refuse to call Nevada makes no sense. If Fox were to call Nevada for Biden, they’d have to announce him the winner, with 270 electoral votes. At the same time, what does Fox News know about Arizona that the other networks don’t, as they refuse to award the state to Biden?
The process is creating confusion, and real appearance that the media’s bowing down to Trump. Again.
Today, the election coverage continues to walk itself around in a “Groundhog Day” circle, as TV pundits all point to the obvious: Biden’s going to win, but claim they’re just waiting for the announcement. All the while, ironic “BREAKING NEWS” announcements fill the TV screens.
It’s a final absurdist ending to bully Trump’s absurd and radical four years.
Tuesday’s election is looking good for Joe Biden while there’s mounting dread about how Wannabe Dictator Trump will behave after a defeat. After all, Trump is a sociopathic narcissist with no emotional control and he lives in mortal terror of being viewed as a loser. He’s already made clear that he will refuse to concede, no matter what, and he’s grasping desperately for any way to get legal ballots thrown out so he can steal the election.
No wonder people are afraid Trump will go completely apeshit if his efforts to steal this fail and he actually loses. Psychologists worry that the narcissistic injury to Trump will result in him lashing out in his vindictive rage to punish an America which he may believe has consigned him to ‘loser’ status.
Some two dozen officials and aides, several of whom are still serving in the Trump administration, are worried that Trump could use the power of the government to lash out at enemies, try to steal the election or otherwise wreak havoc on the nation.
Trump could do real damage to the country, his successor or presidential traditions, there’s reason to wonder if a Trump transition might actually be the start of the wildest chapter of an already controversial presidency. We May Need the Twenty-Fifth Amendment if Trump Loses,” blares a headline at the New Yorker.
Of course, we should be worried that Trump, a vindictive man whose only true pleasures come from sadism, will abuse his power to punish Americans if he loses.
But let’s be honest: He’s also going to do that even if he wins.
‘Standing by sir’: Proud Boys praise Trump’s comment telling them to ‘stand by’ during first presidential debate
Shedding all semblance of decency, let alone public civility, a desperate Trump turned Tuesday’s presidential debate not only into a brawl but also a national embarrassment. Behaving like a petulant teenager, Trump rolled his eyes, constantly interrupted, hectored, tried to pick fights, and generally made a fool of himself as more than 80 million Americans tuned in, most of whom were likely thinking, ‘What have we become as a nation?’
It was clearly the worst presidential debate in American history, as Fox News moderator Chris Wallace got completely steamrolled by Trump’s bullying ways. And it was a debacle that Trump pre-planned. Allergic to debate prep and still seething about the blockbuster revelation about his massive tax evasion practices, Trump arrived with one goal — to make sure the debate was incomprehensible and that viewers learned as little as possible.
That’s why it’s time to call off the next two debates. Tuesday’s car wreck was a complete waste of time.
Months ago, I urged the Biden campaign to not show up for any of the debates this election season because I didn’t see the benefit of sharing the stage with a madman for 90 minutes. There’s no upside to normalizing his behavior with a presidential debate and the legitimacy it provides. Now everyone sees the results. Biden held his own last night, there’s no question, telling Trump more than once to “shut up,” which in the past would have been unthinkable for a Democrat to utter on a debate stage. And it was exactly what was called for.
But there’s no need to repeat the fiasco. There’s no need for Biden to show up again so Trump can smear Biden family members, make a mockery out of public discourse, and lie relentlessly about every topic discussed during the forums. Running for president is serious business, and Trump is a child.
And yes, the 2020 debates are already so much worse than the 2016 debates, when, in retrospect, Trump at least pretended to occasionally follow some of the norms of public behavior. But all of that is gone now. Lost in the authoritarian power that he craves in the White House, Trump deems it beneath him to share the stage, and the spotlight, with another politician.
Another reason for Biden to politely bow out is because while the press is going to correctly portray the Tuesday debate as a stunning failure, they’re going to couch it in Both Sides language, suggesting Biden was somehow at all responsible for the national embarrassment when it was entirely Trump’s doing.
That was apparent in real-time last night. From Politico: “The first Trump-Biden debate: A trainwreck.” New York Times: “Sharp Personal Attacks and Name-Calling in Chaotic First Debate.” CNN: “Pure Chaos at First Debate.” The Washington Post: “First Trump-Biden meeting marked by constant interruptions by Trump.” Technically those headlines were accurate, but all the news outlets presented the story as if both sides were to blame for the televised disintegration.
There’s also the simple fact that unless the Commission on Presidential Debates allows moderators to cut off Trump’s mic for the next two forums, it’s not possible for any moderator to keep control of the event. Wallace was completely humiliated by Trump, who ran over the Fox News anchor at every turn, making it impossible for there to be anything remotely resembling a revealing or intelligent debate.
Comically, Wallace told the New York Times he wanted to be “invisible” during the debate, meaning it was up to the candidates to engage each other. Commission officials actually thought Wallace would act as a “facilitator,” gently walking Trump through the evening’s topics. That makes sense if you think Trump is a rational, sane person. But Trump’s a nihilistic actor. And the Beltway’s refusal to acknowledge that — to think that protocols like presidential debates could still be adhered to — fueled last night’s disaster.
It also lends credence to canceling the next two debates, because it’s not possible to stage a two-person debate when one of them is a sociopath. The debate Commission can act quickly to try to save this format, by allowing Trump’s mic to be cut. But anything short of that would be a waste of time. It would be a waste of Biden’s time, and a waste of Americans’ time.
Trump has torn up so many norms and traditions with his radical behavior. So let’s add another one to the list — let’s cancel the next two debates. Nobody will miss them.
We’re in a terrifying and confusing pandemic, with new and sometimes conflicting information about COVID-19 emerging all the time. In the early days, a lot of public health advice was based on what we knew about previous disease outbreaks. But this new coronavirus behaves in unexpected ways, and it’s hard to keep up. What’s more, people tend to remember the first things they learn about a new subject, a phenomenon called “anchoring bias,” and it’s psychologically challenging to replace old information with new knowledge. Here are nine of the most important things we’ve learned about SARS-CoV-2 in the past seven months and why we didn’t fully understand or appreciate them at first.
Outbreaks of COVID-19 can happen anywhere. There was a lot of wishful thinking and othering (as in it’s those other people’s problem) in the first months of the pandemic: Chinese people got it because of where they buy their groceries. Italian people got it because they greet each other with kisses on the cheeks. People on cruise ships got it because of the buffets. People in nursing homes got it because they are frail. People in New York got it because the city is crowded. Now we know that outbreaks can happen in urban areas, rural areas, suburbs, and any culture around the world.
COVID-19 can sicken and kill anyone. The first victims of the pandemic were disproportionately older or had existing health conditions. Age and frailty are still risk factors for serious disease and death, but we now know the disease can kill young and healthy people. It can kill young adults. It can kill teenagers. It can kill children.
Contaminated surfaces are not the main danger. Early on, public health experts advised people to wash their hands frequently (while singing “Happy Birthday” twice), disinfect surfaces, and avoid touching their faces. This was based on studies of how other diseases spread, such as norovirus and viruses that cause the common cold. It’s still a good idea to wash your hands regularly (and avoid handshakes), but now we know that surfaces aren’t the main vector for SARS-CoV-2.
It is in the air. At first, experts thought the virus was spread primarily through globs of mucus and saliva expelled when people cough or sneeze. They thought these droplets were heavy enough to drop out of the air fairly quickly. Based on early cases of hospital spread, the virus seemed to be aerosolized—that is, lofted into the air in particles small enough to float—only by certain medical procedures such as placing someone on a ventilator. But we now know that the virus is expelled in a range of droplet sizes, with some particles small enough to persist in the air, especially in indoor, poorly ventilated spaces.
Many people are infectious without being sick. Other respiratory diseases make people cough and sneeze. The original SARS outbreak made people so sick, so quickly, that most of them went to the hospital. Temperature checks and telling sick people to stay home can stop symptomatic diseases from spreading, and in the first months of the pandemic, many countries started screening people at their borders to detect these cases. But the biggest challenge for stopping SARS-CoV-2 is that many apparently healthy people spread the disease without symptoms or before symptoms start, simply through talking and breathing.
Warm summer weather will not stop the virus. Influenza is a seasonal respiratory disease that peaks in the winter and some experts hoped the spread of COVID-19 would show a similar pattern and slow in the Northern Hemisphere during the spring and summer. Now we know that people’s behavior, regardless of season, is the strongest predictor of whether the disease will spread.
Masks work. When the pandemic began, experts worried that mass mask-buying could exacerbate shortages of personal protective equipment for health care workers and others who needed them. They also warned that masks might make people complacent about social distancing and that cloth or paper masks (unlike N95 surgical masks) can’t stop the smallest aerosolized viral particles. Now we know that masks can greatly reduce the amount of virus that people expel into the air while speaking and that masks protect people who are wearing them—not perfectly, but enough to reduce transmission of the disease.
Racism, not race, is a risk factor. The pandemic should put an end to the common misconception that race, a social construct, is a biological explanation for health disparities. COVID-19 has disproportionately killed people of color in the United States. This is not because of genetic differences but because of systemic racism that has isolated and impoverished many Native American people and made Black and Latinx people more likely to have “essential” jobs that expose them to infection, a greater burden of stress, and less access to high-quality health care.
Misinformation kills. The (so-called) president of the United States, other politicians, anti-vaccine activists, and members of the right-wing media, to their everlasting shame, have used the pandemic to stoke racism, spread misinformation, and amplify conspiracy theories. Their followers have threatened health officials, including Tony Fauci and his family; refused to wear masks; refused to cooperate with contact tracers; and rejected proven basic public health advice about social distancing. Representative Louie Gohmert, who refused to wear a mask in the Capitol and reportedly discouraged his staff and interns from wearing masks, tested positive for SARS-CoV-2 and is being treated with hydroxychloroquine, a drug that Trump has endorsed but that has failed in clinical trials. Trump supporter Herman Cain died of COVID-19 on July 30, weeks after attending a rally in Tulsa without a mask. Calls to poison-control centers spiked after Trump speculated that injecting or ingesting disinfectants could protect against the coronavirus. Early evidence suggests people who watched Fox News were more likely to downplay the pandemic, worsening the spread. The most important public health measure during a pandemic of a disease with no cure or vaccine—as many countries around the world that have controlled the virus have shown—is to help experts share clear, trustworthy, accurate, actionable information based on the best evidence. Spreading lies has spread this disease.
For months incompetent and unqualified White House Senior Advisor Jared Kushner and his team of friends, financiers, and billionaires, worked to create a national coronavirus testing plan. They finally came up with an actual halfway decent plan, after reaching out to public health experts. But the plan was killed because they thought the deadly pandemic was going to do them a big political favor by hitting blue states worst, and magically would not spread to red states!
As the nationwide plan to test widely for coronavirus, a plan that included contact tracing was finalized, Kushner decided it did not help his daddy in-law Donald Trump politically, and so it was scrapped. As one person who worked closely on the project revealed, the plan “just went poof into thin air.”
A public health expert in “frequent contact” with the White House Coronavirus Task Force “said a member of Kushner’s team expressed: that because the virus had hit blue states hardest, a national plan was unnecessary and would not make sense politically.”
These despicable Trumpies believed that because it was going to be relegated to Democratic states, that they could blame those Democratic governors, and that would be somehow an effective political strategy. It is very clear that Jared was ultimately the decision-maker on killing the plan along with thousands of Americans
The plan was massive and was the minimum of what everyone expected to be done.
It would have established “a national Sentinel Surveillance System” with real-time intelligence capabilities to understand leading indicators where hot spots are arising and where the risks are high vs. where people can get back to work, It called for the federal government to coordinate distribution of test kits, so they could be surged to heavily affected areas, and oversee a national contact-tracing infrastructure. But thanks to Jared that never happened.
It also proposed a massive scale-up of antibody testing to facilitate a return to work.
But again, thanks to Jared that never happened.
It called for mandating that all COVID-19 test results from any kind of testing, taken anywhere, be reported to a national repository as well as to state and local health departments.
And of course, that never happened.
as of 9am PDT 7/31/20:
United States Coronavirus Cases: 4,652,993
Information from Worldometer, Raw Story and Vanity Fair
The Trump-enabled COVID-nightmare reality continues!
We are totally screwed now, thanks to all the COVidiots everywhere
California sees two deadliest days since the pandemic began as Covid-19 cases rise The State has now reported 296,500 infections and 6,700 deaths, and Gov. Newsom said seven-day average topped 8,000 new cases a day
California has experienced one of its toughest weeks yet in the battle against coronavirus, with the state chalking up its two deadliest days since the start of the pandemic as cases continue to rise. On Wednesday the state topped its previous single-day death toll, reporting 149 fatalities. That was followed a day later by the second-deadliest day when the state tallied 137 fatalities.
California has now reported 296,500 coronavirus cases and 6,700 deaths, according to public health data. The governor, Gavin Newsom, said on Thursday the state’s seven-day average had topped 8,000 new cases a day, its highest yet. Meanwhile, new infections, hospitalizations, and admissions to ICUs have all increased steadily, landing half of California’s 58 counties on the state’s “watchlist”, where public health officials closely monitor metrics such as infections, deaths, and hospital capacity.
The reopening has also been stalled on several fronts. Counties on the state’s watchlist for three consecutive days are required to close bars and dine-in restaurants for at least three weeks. On Friday, San Francisco announced it would not be opening many businesses on Monday as planned – including barbershops, hair salons, and gyms – on account of the surge.
Infections and hospitalizations ballooned after Memorial Day weekend when thousands of residents marched in protest of police brutality; outbreaks emerged from family gatherings and as loosened restrictions in counties saw the openings of bars and dine-in restaurants. Since the holiday weekend, hospitalizations more than doubled in southern California’s Riverside, Ventura and Orange counties. Orange County has emerged as a seat of organized resistance to mandatory mask orders.
In Los Angeles County, where officials say one in 140 people are probably carrying the disease unknowingly, Barbara Ferrer, the public health director, told the Los Angeles Times that people who are fatigued by extended stay-at-home orders and have prematurely tried to return to pre-pandemic life contributed to the wave of new cases.
As the number of cases and deaths booms, so have the lines of people waiting to get tested.
The state is conducting more tests than ever, but that hasn’t prevented facilities from becoming overwhelmed, worrying health officials that demand has outpaced capacity.
In San Bernardino, where cases have tripled since Memorial Day, health officials have had to cancel hundreds of appointments for coronavirus tests, citing a shortage of materials. All testing appointments in Los Angeles county were booked throughout the week, the Associated Press reported. Sacramento closed testing clinics because labs ran out of supplies. In San Diego, residents waited 10 days for tests. Christina Ghaly, the county’s director of health services, said that just two weeks ago thousands of testing slots went unused, but that changed after the Fourth of July weekend as people raced to facilities to find out if they were infected. The backlog will probably continue, she said. “It’s very likely that in the days and weeks to come, testing access will continue to be insufficient to meet the demands,” Ghaly said.
“As more states begin to scale their testing capabilities, new constraints are materializing within the supply chain. Simultaneously, laboratories are becoming overwhelmed with high numbers of specimens.” That has led public health officials in Los Angeles county to shift guidance and prioritize testing for those showing symptoms, working in a high-risk environment, or have had contact with COVID-positive patients.
California is entering peak wildfire season just as coronavirus cases and fatalities reach record highs. The conditions create a two-sided battlefront that will tax resources, stretch the state’s capacity to provide medical care, and pose new challenges should residents need to seek shelter if wildfires lay waste to their communities.