strokes

The Week in Doom: Don’t Drink The Bleach


That-Was-The-Week-That-W-That-Was-The-Week-473964From the keyboard of Surly1
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Originally published on the Doomstead Diner on April 26, 2020

"Americans who take any comfort from [Trump’s nightly briefings] were Trump-drunk long ago. The unbesotted see and hear the president for what he is: a tone-deaf showman who regards everything, even a mountain of corpses, as a stage."

 ― Frank Bruni  


This week an out-of-control American president made remarks about using sunlight and disinfectants topically, an improvised medicine show that prompted frantic health warnings from multiple quarters. Since the revisionist right is furiously trying to deny that this ever happened, or happened the way that it happened, let's reproduce Trump's statements word for word here:

“I see the disinfectant, where it knocks it out in a minute. One minute. And is there a way we can do something like that, by injection inside or almost a cleaning? Because you see it gets in the lungs, and it does a tremendous number on the lungs. So it would be interesting to check that.” 

“So, supposing we hit the body with a tremendous — whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light — and I think you said that that hasn’t been checked, but you’re going to test it [to Dr. Birx]. And then I said, supposing you brought the light inside the body.”

One wonders at the anatomical possibilities.

On Friday, Trump said he was speaking "sarcastically." So sarcastically that his administration had to dampen repeated outrage, face calls from poison control agencies nationwide, and endure cautionary calls from Lysol and other manufacturers as they had to issue dont-take-this-stuff denials. No one was buying it, after the aggressive pushback from all quarters. Making one pine for good old days when people merely ate Tide pods. 

Responding to the criticism from public health officials around the country, the president said he was playing a trick on reporters.

Vin Gupta, a global-health policy expert, told NBC News: “This notion of injecting or ingesting any type of cleansing product into the body is irresponsible and it’s dangerous. It’s a common method that people utilize when they want to kill themselves.”

Lysol and Dettol maker Reckitt Benckiser said Friday, “Under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route). As with all products, our disinfectant and hygiene products should only be used as intended and in line with usage guidelines.”

These are not responses to sarcasm. By week's end, amid leaked stories that aides and advisers were trying to get Trump to reel in his freewheeling, off-the-cuff self-indulgement-fests, Trump announced an end to his daily pressers. He blamed the media for being "fake news" and said they were a "waste of time."  Like dealing with an ex, Trump can reliably be counted upon to let you know that whatever happens is someone else's fault. By week's end, Dr. Deborah Birx sold off what remained of her own credibility in a Fox News interview. Asked if the media in this country had been fair during this pandemic, Birx replied,

“I think the media is very slicey and dicey with the way they put together sentences in order to create headlines.”

"Slicey and dicey." We'll just leave this here to ripen.


With just over four percent of the world’s population, the United States has about one-third of all global coronavirus cases and one-quarter of the fatalities. And the numbers are probably under-reported, since the US has tested only about 1.5 per cent of the population. There are also recording and testing inconsistencies or errors globally. One wonders how India, with 1.3 trillion people, has only recorded 25,000 cases and 780 deaths.

Now we learn that healthy people in their 30s and 40s are dying of covid-induced strokes. Once thought to primarily attack the lungs, the coronavirus has shown that it can affect nearly every major organ system in the body.

Many researchers suspect strokes in novel coronavirus patients may be a direct consequence of blood problems that are producing clots all over some people’s bodies.

Clots that form on vessel walls fly upward so one that started in the calves might migrate to the lungs, causing a blockage called a pulmonary embolism that arrests breathing – a known cause of death in covid-19 patients. Clots in or near the heart might lead to a heart attack, another common cause of death. Anything above that would likely go to the brain, leading to a stroke.

Counting on antibody tests to let you know if you can resume life as usual? Not so fast: WHO Warns You May Catch Coronavirus More Than Once

“There is currently no evidence that people who have recovered from Covid-19 and have antibodies are protected from a second infection,” the United Nations agency said in an April 24 statement.

The WHO guidance came after some governments suggested that people who have antibodies to the coronavirus could be issued an “immunity passport” or “risk-free certificate” that would allow them to travel or return to work, based on the assumption that they were safe from re-infection, according to the statement. 

The truth is that Trump Wants to Reopen the Economy Because He’s Panicking About Reelection Polls. He is running eight to ten points behind Biden in key states that he will need to secure re-election. Even with Joe Biden as good as being held in house arrest. No need for Joe to campaign, when Trump is doing such a good job of self-immolation.

Worldwide we are approaching 3M cases reported. In the US we approaching one million cases with no end in sight, and with minimal testing,  are adding 100K every 3 days. But how good are the official numbers? Since we have tested only about 1.5 percent of the American population, as the federal government has sent a steady, unbroken supply of excuses to the states' governors, the resulting numbers may be less than reliable.  A recent Antibody Study Suggests Coronavirus Far More Widespread Than Thought

A new study in California has found the number of people infected with coronavirus may be tens of times higher than previously thought. The study from Stanford University, which was released Friday and has yet to be peer reviewed, tested samples from 3,330 people in Santa Clara county and found the virus was 50 to 85 times more common than official figures indicated.

The study illustrates how little we really know about the virus. It may be far more widespread and far less deadly than we think. Meanwhile, if that news isn't bad enough, 

UN World Food Program reports that the "Risk of hunger pandemic as COVID-19 set to almost double acute hunger by end of 2020." While poor and working class people in the third world may starve, in the US people are having a hard time finding frozen french fries in  supermarkets because of demand disruption and supply chain issues. 


“Please don't call them protesters… they're terrorists. Protesters don't carry AK47s, wave swastika flags, or block ambulances.”

 ― Daniel Staniforth  

Last week Trump claimed "complete authority" to open the country. The following day, he punted responsibility to the states. He said he was going to close Congress based on some mystical Article 2 power,  Which he can't. Deciding that wasn't good enough, he tweeted: "Liberate Virginia!" "Liberate Michigan" "Liberate Minnesota!" in support of astroturfed right wing protest efforts. And a number of Americans have flocked to answer the call.

Anyone scoring at home knows that absent testing, there is little responsible way for larger and more afflicted states to re-open. But Trump's fans aren't moved by science or evidence. They seem to be moved by oppositional defiance disorder.

These folks are demonstrating in favor of the "herd immunity" stratagem rejected in the UK once Boris Johnson put pencil to paper and calculated the casualties. So members of this death cult are out on the streets in favor of sustaining as many deaths as necessary to restore business as usual. Given that the disease culls the elderly and infirm first,  say goodbye to Granny and Grandpa. Thanks for everything, and you've been great, but we have the quarter to think about and stock portfolios to protect.

These people have always been with us. During the Revolution, they supported the King, and fled to Canada and the Eastern Shore to avoid the insurrection. In the 1840s they emerged as the nativist Know-Nothings who emerged to fight the influx of Irish immigrants fleeing famine. 

During the Civil War, while  secessionists want to war to preserve their "peculiar institution," outrages against American Blacks occurred on both sides of the Mason-Dixon line.  There were "anti-Negro" race riots in New York city such that gunboats and federal troops were needed to restore order. After Reconstruction, southerners were able to deny generations of Blacks the legal status afforded in law by a combination of Jim Crow laws and a program of domestic terror via the Klan.. During the same period, we closed the frontier and made the world safe for railroad capitalists by embracing the motto "the only good indian is a dead indian," executing a war of extermination on both native Americans and the buffalo who roamed the plains. Within living memory, as Richard Nixon boarded the helicopter for his one way trip to disgrace, he maintained a 24 percent approval rating.

#Covidiots answered Dear Leader's call to "Liberate" three states with Democrat governors. Overwhelmingly white, they are eager to take credit for an unearned accident of birth and based on an erroneous social construct. Trump rewarded them with an executive order ceasing immigration to the US.

Perhaps even more distressing is Fat Orange's casual capacity for summoning his Bund into the streets, the better to block hospital entrances to ambulances. Look for more of this as the election approaches and Trump continues to sag in the polls.

Ironies abound regarding the flap over social distancing. For the past 15 years, we''ve watched as people became completely disengaged from their partners, families, friends, and children so they could stare raptly into their phones. Now, when social distancing can save countless lives, you can't get people to stay the fuck at home and stare at said phones. They want to die for the right to a haircut. They are, however, a distinct minority.

The Kaiser Family Foundation reports in a recent survey,

most Americans (80%) say strict shelter-in-place measures are worth it in order to protect people and limit the spread of coronavirus. Fewer (19%) say the strict shelter-in-place measures are placing unnecessary burdens on people and the economy and causing more harm than good.

Lots of good, recent polling information in this study. Worth a read, while you're sheltering in place.


banksy 07-flower-thrower-wallpaperSurly1 is an administrator and contributing author to Doomstead Diner. He is the author of numerous rants, screeds and spittle-flecked invective here and elsewhere. He lives a quiet domestic existence in Southeastern Virginia with his wife Contrary. Descended from a long line of people to whom one could never tell anything, all opinions are his and his alone, because he paid full retail for everything he has managed to learn.

Knarf plays the Doomer Blues

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