The U.S. Has Officially Unflattened the Curve With Its Worst Day of the Coronavirus Pandemic Yet

Yeah, let’s take a moment to say a big “fuck you” to everyone who didn’t vote for Hillary Clinton in 2016. Yeah, she wasn’t perfect by any means, but I can guarantee you that she would have done a much better job leading us through this catastrophe. George W. Bush would have done a better job getting us through this mess. Hell, my damn cat would have made less bad decisions then the dude who bankrupted casinos. You know, the businesses where people bad at math line up to give you their money.

On April 7, less than a month after reported cases of COVID-19 began to rise in the United States, the rate of new infections reached a peak: an average of 31,630 new cases per day, meaning close to 10 in every 100,000 Americans were testing positive daily. For months, that figure stood as the worst day in the pandemic’s spread at the national level.

Until now. The latest data show that, on Tuesday and Wednesday of this week (June 23 and June 24), the U.S. surpassed that high-water mark, at more than 31,700 infections per day. The state of the pandemic in this country is officially worse than it has ever been.

What is particularly troubling about this trend is that the country as a whole was on the right track through the end of May (unlike a number of states, such as North Carolina, which never flattened or showed extended signs of progress) even if it wasn’t out of the woods entirely. The fact that those positive signs all flipped in polarity suggest that, whatever combination of factors led to this resurgence, one thing is clear: the nation did not adapt to changing circumstances.

Assigning causes and effects to peaks and valleys in a dataset as complex as this one is a dangerous business. But as my colleague Tara Law and I reported last week, greater availability of testing is very unlikely to explain the surge in cases. And one cannot ignore the fact that many states began cautiously reopening public spaces around Memorial Day, about two weeks before the numbers in the U.S. took off. That’s about COVID-19’s typical incubation time.

The Coronavirus Surge

Axios’ headline isn’t quite correct. Yet. The northeast is (was) doing an amazing job. We locked down fairly early, don’t seem to have as many anti-mask idiots running around, and have socially distanced fairly well. What does this mean for the long term? I’m guessing it has just bought us a little breathing room before we get hit again. Here in Massachusetts, they just opened up restaurants for dining inside. Given that we’re also not really sealed off from visitors from less-disciplined states, and that even here, people are bored with covid-safety, I suspect that we’ll start seeing some spikes by mid July. And then it’s off to the races again.

Everything that we had done the past few months to keep the curve down was to buy time for there to be track and trace methods implemented to keep the spread down. Absolutely nothing was done to do this. To the contrary, Trump is doing everything to stop testing which I can’t decide is the most evil, insane, or stupidest decision ever taken by a president in my lifetime. It’s a safe assumption that it’s all three.

Public Health Department warns of fake face covering exemption cards

MAGAts are printing fake mask exemption cards from Facebook so that they can be free to get and spread covid as much as they like.

The SLO County Public Health Department is warning residents that various cards claiming to exempt the holder from California’s face covering ordinance are fraudulent and not endorsed by the U.S. Department of Justice.

In a “rumor alert” posted to the department’s Facebook page on June 22, county staff linked to a recent press release posted by the U.S. Department of Justice, which says that various printouts of face covering exemption cards, many of which include the U.S. Department of Justice seal, are floating around the internet.

“These postings were not issued by the department and are not endorsed by the department,” the press release reads. “The department urges the public not to rely on the information contained in these postings and to visit ada.gov for ADA [Americans with Disabilities Act] information issued by the Department.”

Printouts like these have circulated through SLO County Facebook groups in recent weeks. Bob Gannage recently posted such a face mask exempt card to the Facebook group “Reopen San Luis Obispo County,” which includes the U.S. Department of Justice seal and the department’s ADA violation reporting number.

Trump Administration Moving To Close Federally Funded COVID Testing Sites

Trump has found a way to get the Covid numbers down:

The Trump administration is defending plans to close 13 federally run coronavirus testing sites in five states at the end of the month.

The testing sites are located in Colorado, Pennsylvania, Illinois, New Jersey and Texas. They are the last of 41 federally operated testing sites.

Federal officials say the sites have been closing or transferring to state or local control because it’s more efficient to run testing that way. In other instances they argue there are readily available testing sites nearby.

The move comes as President Trump has repeatedly blamed the rise in coronavirus cases on the expansion of testing, despite evidence that the virus is spreading rapidly in many parts of the country and leading to increased hospitalizations.

In a tweet Tuesday, the president said, “Cases are going up in the U.S. because we are testing far more than any other country, and ever expanding. With smaller testing we would show fewer cases!”