Editor’s Note: DCReport will be posting this staff blog about the impact of the pandemic each day for the duration. You can follow us here or at RawStory.com
Trump Creditor Woes
Coronavirus is panicking Wall Street, but it’s got investors in Donald Trump’s second-biggest creditor terrified. They should be. Their entire investment may be flushed down the financial toilet if Trump can’t pay his debts on his heavily leveraged golf resorts, hotels and restaurants.
LADR shares lost 54% of their value. That’s double the drop in the Dow Jones Industrial Average. Shares of Trump’s biggest creditor, the large Deutsche Bank, are down 43% in the same period.
—David Cay Johnston
Test Numbers a Mystery
In turning over production and distribution of testing kits to private contractors, there was still no provision for reporting about how many tests are being distributed or actually given. There are no requirements that private labs feed that information to the Centers of Disease Control.
It may be that CVS or Walmart will know how many tests they are giving out once they finally receive them, but there is no centralized CDC collection of this information by the Centers of Disease Control – though officials now say they want to fix that.
Without such information, we cannot expect to know the patterns of spread or other traits – race, age, gender, location, details of contagion contact — about disease spread. We are only collecting the number of hits. How are we going to know whether there are more or fewer self-referring test requests as Spring temperatures rise?
—Terry H. Schwadron
Wall Street Rescue
A Corona-panicked market has the U.S. Treasury pumping billions of taxpayer dollars into the financial system. Yet taxpayers have no idea how the banks’ credit measures up. Banks’ credit and liquidity ratings are off-limits to the taxpayers who bail them out. It’s time Fed regulators opened the banks’ books.
—Maureen Nevin Duffy
McConnell Makes a Move
Looks like Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) fears catching a coronavirus-related condition – losing his job to a blue wave in November.
McConnell has been caught personally soliciting resignations from federal judges appointed by the two Bushes and Ronald Reagan. If they retire, Trump can appoint younger men and women. McConnell can then hustle their confirmation through the Senate, but only until year’s end.
Letting some 400 House-passed bills languish in his Capitol Hill desk will make it easier for the 78-year-old champion of the rich and powerful to concentrate on his real job.
The job: Ensuring for decades to come a federal judiciary friendly to Corporate America, monopolists, polluters and, especially, zealous Confederacy lovers.
Trump has already named one out of five federal district court judges and a quarter of the federal appellate judges, many appointed to long-vacant seats that McConnell would not allow Barack Obama to fill.
And to think that just four years ago McConnell magically invented a new clause in our Constitution to justify blocking a highly qualified middle of the road judge, Merrick Garland, from the Supreme Court. Such a principled man, that Mitch McConnell.
Trump to Governors: ‘You Do It’
Donald Trump told governors Monday that they should not wait for the federal government to find hospital ventilators that will be needed for the coronavirus surge. Find your own, he said.
Later, Trump said he was allowing states to act more quickly by seeking their own sources rather than sogging through U.S. bureaucracy. It is exactly the kind of mixed messages decried by governors like Andrew Cuomo of New York and Jay Inslee of Washington State.
The number of surplus federal ventilators is estimated to be about 30,000 for a projected virus population that could reach millions. In Italy, hospitals are giving younger people first access to ventilators.
“Respirators, ventilators, all of the equipment — try getting it yourselves,” Trump was heard to tell governors in a recording of a call. “We will be backing you, but try getting it yourselves. Point of sales, much better, much more direct if you can get it yourself.”
It’s the ‘Chinese Virus’ Now
From the Racist-in-Chief:
A Warning About Trump and His Followers
Three years ago, pre-eminent psychiatrists decided to come out publicly and warn that the president was a danger to public health and safety, including to public mental health. The reason was mental impairments. This led to our public-service book, The Dangerous Case of Donald Trump: 37 Psychiatrists and Mental Health Experts Assess a President.
Our warnings went unheeded. Now we are facing one of the greatest dangers. A president who is detached from reality and fights reality for psychologically disordered reasons is in charge of leading the nation through a deadly pandemic.
He depleted the nation’s global pandemic response capability—as would be expected since science-based, preventive measures are usually the last to be deemed necessary to a person in denial of reality. Worse, he obfuscated critical information and disastrously minimized the emergency, going as far as calling it a “Democratic hoax.”
Now, the people are paying for the president’s impairments with their lives. As denial and a desire to “keep the numbers down” in the early stages delayed testing and kept the public in the dark, the new coronavirus raged on at the speed that would be expected of an unchecked infectious disease.
Now, after a dire report that lack of action could lead to as many as 2.2 million deaths from COVID-19, sweeping new federal recommendations have emerged.. The difficult question is, will Trump followers, hypnotized and programmed to believe the president over “what you’re seeing and what you’re reading,” be able to adjust and protect themselves?
As Trump continues appearing in crowds, denies responsibility, defiantly shakes hands and touches surfaces even more, will the people get the needed message? Or will they continue in risky behaviors that endanger all and could contribute to greater panic later. Will they wake up to reality at all? It depends on the public’s own state of mental health.
—Bandy X. Lee