Illustration of the morphology of coronaviruses; the club-shaped viral spike peplomers, coloured red, create the look of a corona surrounding the virion, when viewed electron microscopically (from here (

Overnight President Donald Trump tweeted.

“Tonight, (at)FLOTUS and I tested positive for COVID-19. We will begin our quarantine and recovery process immediately,” Trump tweeted just before 1 a.m. “We will get through this TOGETHER!” (from here (

This was sort of inevitable. The White House did its best to keep the virsus out, but COVID-19 is extremely contagious, and therein is the problem. The people in the White House exist to interact with other people. We all exist to interact with other people. So everyone who can be infected by the virus will eventually be infected until they are just too few people for the virus to infect.

Fortunately, our president and his lady are healthy. So, they will most likely get over the virus without much trouble. That is an eventually we can all hope and pray for.


  1. I’d like to say a word in defense of “virtue signaling” as long as it’s actual virtue that is being signaled. For example, Trump violently clearing out Lafayette Park so as to hold up a Bible (upside down) that he has obviously never read and that he doesn’t especially believe in in front of a church that he does not go to and who’s leaders don’t want him there, now that is only signaling virtues as hollow shibboleths. In comparison, unselfishly wearing a mask to protect others and model that good behavior, even when such mask wearing is inconvenient or overly cautious, is the good kind of virtue signaling.

    Social psychologists have found that groups where individuals model actual unselfish behavior, such as sharing and caring, actually encourage greater automatic unselfish behavior amongst the other group members. In other words, such virtue signaling Is contagious.

    Imagine if we had a President who did not get COVID-19 and give COVID-19 to others because he modeled mask wearing? Imagine if we had a President who did not mock his opponent for simply trying to model such unselfish behavior? Imagine how many lives such a President might save? Imagine that one of those live might even have beem his own.

    1. It’s been mentioned often that the virus knows no political borders, no geographic terrain, no skin color, no religion, no political party. As of this reply there’s ten Republicans testing positive with likely more to come… but not because the virus distinguishes by party but rather because of the arrogance and ignorance of Trump Republicans. Their political infection was avoidable… as was their vulnerability to catching the virus.
      Let’s see how many people from either party start thinking of the nation over their ideology in the coming weeks.

    2. You realize a piece of cloth held to one’s mouth gets saturated with fluid?
      Not only one’s own fluids but the fluids of others.
      On the day to day, without washing (and no one washes these things often enough, they wear them for hygiene theater).
      This is almost the science level of balancing “humors”, and keeping away bad smells to starve off evil spirits.
      Now…fresh masks, all the time, with continuous changing them out when one is in a different environment? Sure. But that isn’t happening.
      So let’s not pretend it’s a thing.

      Next: the president doesn’t have to wear a mask during press conferences to either protect himself or others. He is far enough away when he is speaking (and everyone else should be too). He and his subordinates should be getting tested regularly.

      Next: This is pretty far into the game for the president to get the virus. He doesn’t have the option to sit in his basement. Nor do most of the rest of us.
      Anyone here who hasn’t left their home since February? Anyone who hasn’t had any interactions with family/friends at all without wearing a new, fresh mask?
      That’s a rhetorical question. If the answer is yes I won’t think you are responsible, I will just feel sorry for you. Likely you were a social outcast before march of 2020.

      Next: Trump apparently got the disease from a debate prep team member. So did everyone else.

      1. Truly the most interesting thing about the current social phenomenon around this disease….the more we learn the less deadly it seems. Which should make everyone feel better. But in the face of these facts the scare theater has quintupled.

        Remember way back when China was shut down and we were seeing people placed in extreme confinement and we had no idea what to expect? There were articles about being careful not to make people with diseases feel isolated. Wouldn’t want to stop travel. Look at Bishop (whomever) and how he tended to the plague victims every day before serving mass to 50 choirboys. And so forth.

      2. Hmmm . . . So Liz, are you saying that, if risk cannot be perfectly avoided, then we should not even try at all to avoid or mitigate risk?

        Let’s not make perfection the enemy of better. The idea seems to be to lower the spread rate and thus save lives, right? As the head of the CDC recently said in testimony (testimony that the President immediately criticized him for), wearing masks and social distancing could be the most efficacious mitigation that most Americans can take to lower spread rates and prevent infections. Mask wearing may even be more effective than a vaccine, when one is available.

        This is and has been a no brainer for a while now Liz, and the fact the Trump has become an example of someone who has become foisted on his own petard because he has downplayed and ridiculed mask wearing should indeed serve as a karmic wake up call for him, his supporters and the whole nation.

        Will this stigmatize people who take unnecessary risks with other people’s lives by their own selfish behavior? Anything can go too far, but we are in an international war against a deadly virus that is also fundamentally testing, In terms of equality, our American sense of economic, racial and class justice. And yet we have a President who, rather than dousing fires and bringing us together I. this war, is actually stoking the fires of selfish division, even on something as simple and medically uncontroversial as the efficacy of mask wearing. At this point, even with Trump serving as a warning to his own stupidity, we are actually debating this. It’s like during his plague ignoring masquerade party Propero takes off his mask to reveal the Red Death, and then his supporters immediately start equivocating Prospero’s selfish decadence and tragic disregard for his subjects. Even Poe couldn’t imagine how sureal reality could get in the Trump era.

        1. @tsalmon

          You spend every opportunity telling us how much you hate Trump, but you still want to give the government more power.


          Any choice we make involves tradeoffs. That is why shutting down much of the economy for an extended time was unwise, the costs outweighed the benefits. Even wearing a mask involves tradeoffs.

          For the most part we are better off when we let each other make own decisions. Will we each always make the right decision? No, but the consequences are far more severe when government “experts” force a bad decision upon everybody. In the extreme, that includes decisions like genocide and slavery.

          PolitIcians are just people. Their “experts” are just people. People make imperfect decisions. So, we should be reluctant to give our government any more power than absolutely necessary, but busybodies do love being busybodies.

          1. Tom,

            We already understand that this is the only trick that the Trumper’s poor, tired pony knows. Why don’t you teach it to wear a mask and do the social distance dance? Now, that would be something useful. Might even save 100,000 lives by the end of the year. Now that would be a real culture of life.

            Do you even see the tragic irony of someone being affronted by being told that he should simply and properly wear a mask to save lives while he is lecturing women on what they can and cannot do with their own bodies in order to save an unborn life? I guess that people should make their own decisions . . . accept when they shouldn’t? Right . . . .

          2. @tsalmon

            You are getting ready to vote for someone cynical enough to blame all of the COVID19 deaths on Trump. He thinks you that stupid, and it looks like he is right.

          3. Oh no, I disagree. Trump will not get the blame for ALL the COVID deaths as a result of his mismanagement of the Pandemic, just the majority of the deaths. For the sake of the country, let’s just pray that Trump’s own death isn’t one of them that he caused. Even after Trump’s incompetence caused his own sickness and a super spreader event at the White House, you still think Trump is your “highly stable genius”. Trump has figured out that he can’t con a virus, but you, you brother he can apparently con until the cows come home. I may not be that smart, but at least I’m smarter than a germ. 😉

        2. Here, TSalmon, from the AAPS (American academy of physicians and surgeons), everything anyone could ever want to know about the science of mask wearing, in one link:

          Of particular importance are the human studies under real life conditions.
          I’ll take the one with Australian healthcare workers:

          Cloth masks resulted in significantly higher rates of infection than medical masks, and also performed worse than the control arm who wore nothing.
          The virus may survive on the surface of the face masks
          Self-contamination through repeated use and improper doffing is possible. A contaminated cloth mask may transfer pathogen from the mask to the bare hands of the wearer.
          Moisture retention, reuse of cloth masks, and poor filtration may result in increased risk of infection.
          Cloth masks should not be recommended for health care workers, particularly in high-risk situations.

          This bares repeating: These were healthcare workers. Not laypeople who wear a mask without washing it for three weeks at a time, stuffed into their pockets/purses and pulled out again and again to be used in the day to day.
          The point is, improper wearing of cloth masks might not only amount to hygiene theater…it can be actively harmful. This is why so many health organizations have changed their mind so many times on the mask issue.

          1. Liz,

            All you’ve proven here is that I probably shouldn’t wear my cloth mask all day long when I treat COVID patients. This is like arguing that standard seatbelts don’t work as well as professional grade shoulder harnesses in a head on, high impact collision so, because race car drivers don’t wear regular automobile seatbelts, no one should have to. If I made an argument like that for my client in a wheels case, I’d be laughed out of Court.

            You know what Liz? Front line workers with greater possible exposure should probably be supplied with enough N95 masks, along with the training on how to use them. That is not an tough ask when we are trying to fight the spread of a deadly virus in a pandemic emergency. The POTUS should also definitely be protected at this level as well, both by wearing such masks and by having everyone around him wear such masks. Unfortunately, we have to make due with the idiot we have leading us, not the smart people we would want.

          2. I feel much better now. The President hasn’t given a damn about the deaths of 200,000 plus Americans by downplaying the pandemic and bumming up any sort of cohesive national response in 8 full months… but now that he’s had a bit of a “tickle” of the disease he wants to come back fighting. How appallingly incompetent and narcissistic. Covid didn’t matter until he got it… and even then we don’t know for sure. Let’s take a joyride for the base!
            But mask wearing is still optional and discouraged.

          3. Ok Tom, if you ever have a surgeon cut on you, then you tell the surgical team not to bother with masks and other PPE because they don’t work. Personally, because I don’t want to survive the operation just to die of a highly preventable staff infection, I’ll go with the standard, time proven germ mitigation protocol.

            When it comes to slowing the spread rate of COVID 19 and taking relatively simple, cost effective, tried and true precautions in order to save lives, I think I’ll vote for the candidates who believe in science and the lead scientists.

            I can’t believe that we are even arguing about this. Trump must have somehow lowered the IQ scores of the whole Republican Party by 20 points. Maybe this sort of Trump cult worship is like teenagers falling in love – it makes them forget they actually have a brain.

          4. All you’ve proven here is that I probably shouldn’t wear my cloth mask all day long when I treat COVID patients.

            You must not have bothered to read the link.
            There were a great number of studies, not exclusive to healthcare providers only.
            I must conclude you don’t care as much as your….shall we say “enthusiasm” would indicate. Or you would have read it.

          5. Trump must have somehow lowered the IQ scores of the whole Republican Party by 20 points.

            My IQ probably has been impacted by watching our son forced into solitary confinement for weeks. Solitary confinement of that sort would be considered inhumane in a prison. We would literally have grounds to sue the state for this, were he a criminal. Instead we made Ivy League level payments so he could be tortured.

          6. Liz,

            AAPS is a very small (according to their own accounts 5,000 of the million or so of the nation’s doctors are members) and kooky Right Wing political fringe group, not a serious source for apolitical scientific data. Here is a link to an article on them:


            That’s my level of honest interest in anything those hacks have to say.

            I’m sorry about what your son is going through. A mother wants the best for her son and I’m sure Pandemic life was not on that agenda. The struggles we go through as we are growing up do define us for the rest of our lives. I pray that this extra struggle tempers him like fine hardened steal and makes him soft for the struggles of other like pure gold is soft but enduring. Sounds like he has a great Mom on his side to give him every opportunity to make sure that happens. I also pray for his sake that he never feels entitled to anythingbut especially you – you are a blessing not every child going through this is fortunate enough to have fighting for him. He will gain something better than IQ points if he comes to appreciate that.

          7. The AAPS has been around since 1943. I do not see anything on their site that would indicate they are a “kooky right wing fringe group” as you describe.
            Whatever they are, the masses of studies cited are real, and very comprehensive.
            I have seen that level of comprehensive data (this data comes from numerous reputable medical journals) nowhere else.
            They also do not all point to a single answer. I do not see how anyone can look at this data and simply dismiss it all as “right wing kookism”. It shows the mountain of data, not selective data.
            But then I can’t understand the assertion that while wearing a dirty rag over one’s face at the hospital is a bad idea, wearing a dirty rag over one’s face everywhere else is a great idea. The data would indicate same. But everything is political now.

            I’m sorry about what your son is going through.

            Thank you.

          8. Liz,

            Do you ever wonder why you can only find a small, blatantly biased organization with a known fringe political agenda rather than simply looking to credible scientific organizations? Could it be that you only want to confirm your existing political biases, this even though there is so much other credible information from reliable scientific sources and it is so so readily available?

            This is from the CDC:


            This is an excerpt from an editorial in JAMA:

            Covering mouths and noses with filtering materials serves 2 purposes: personal protection against inhalation of harmful pathogens and particulates, and source control to prevent exposing others to infectious microbes that may be expelled during respiration. When asked to wear face coverings, many people think in terms of personal protection. But face coverings are also widely and routinely used as source control. For instance, if given the choice between having surgery performed by a team not wearing some covering over their mouths and noses vs a team that does, almost all patients would reject the former. This option seems absurd because it is known that use of face coverings under these circumstances reduces the risk of surgical site infection caused by microbes generated during the surgical team’s conversations or breathing. Face coverings do the same in blocking transmission of SARS-CoV-2.

            Early in the pandemic, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommended that anyone symptomatic for suspected coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) should wear a face covering during transport to medical care and prior to isolation to reduce the spread of respiratory droplets.5 After emerging data documented transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from persons without symptoms, the recommendation was expanded to the general community, with an emphasis on cloth face coverings that could be made more widely available in the community than surgical masks and to preserve personal protective equipment such as N95 respirators to the highest-risk exposures in health care settings. Now, there is ample evidence that persons without symptoms spread infection6 and may be the critical driver needed to maintain epidemic momentum.7

            While community use of face coverings has increased substantially, particularly in jurisdictions with mandatory orders, resistance continues. Some have raised concerns that homemade face coverings made from household fabrics may be inferior compared with commercially manufactured products. Cloth face coverings can substantially limit forward dispersion of exhaled respirations that contain potentially infectious respiratory particles in the 1- to 10-μm range that includes aerosol-sized particles,8 and recent research of household textiles’ performance when used as source control suggests cloth face coverings may be able to do so with acceptable efficiency and breathability.9,10 Others may think it is premature to promote community masking until research has been completed that measures the effectiveness of cloth face coverings to prevent exposure specifically to SARS-CoV-2. Laboratory studies will be difficult and costly because they require capacity to safely manage this biosafety level 3 pathogen. Any type of community-based randomized trial will be complex to deploy in the right setting (a community with active infection) at the right time (when infections are increasing) to produce actionable results quickly. In the absence of such data, it has been persuasively argued the precautionary principle be applied to promote community masking because there is little to lose and potentially much to be gained.11 In this regard, the report by Wang et al provides practical, timely, and compelling evidence that community-wide face covering is another means to help control the national COVID-19 crisis.

            Data from a large health care system may be generalizable to the greater community insofar as the findings represent the contribution of masking when individuals are physically close to one another and social distancing is not possible. Like herd immunity with vaccines, the more individuals wear cloth face coverings in public places where they may be close together, the more the entire community is protected. Community-level protection afforded by use of cloth face coverings can reduce the number of new infections and facilitate cautious easing of more societally disruptive community interventions such as stay-at-home orders and business closings.

            Two reports published this week in Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report provide additional new data about face coverings. One report indicates that use of face coverings increased following the April 3, 2020, announcement by the White House Coronavirus Task Force and the CDC that recommended their adoption in public to slow the spread of COVID-19. In an internet-based survey among 503 adults during April 7-9, 2020, and a similar survey among another sample of 502 adults during May 11-13, 2020, the self-reported prevalence of use of cloth face coverings among those who reported leaving their homes within the previous week increased from 61.9% to 76.4%.12 Another report from investigators in Missouri found that adherence to universal masking for source control as mandated by city ordinance and company policy helped prevent transmission of SARS-CoV-2 from 2 symptomatically infected stylists at a hair salon in Springfield, Missouri. Before they were diagnosed as having COVID-19, the hair stylists had served 139 clients but had been required to wear masks at all times while working with them. After public health contact tracing with the hair salon clients and after 2 weeks of follow-up, no symptoms of COVID-19 were identified among the exposed clients or their secondary contacts. Among 104 interviewed clients, 102 (98%) reported wearing face coverings for their entire appointment.13 In addition, another analysis published by Goldman Sachs Research suggests that expanding community masking by 15% could prevent the need to bring back stay-at-home orders that would otherwise cost an estimated 5% of gross domestic product, or a projected cost of $1 trillion.

            JAMA explains the theory of how cloth face masks prevent micro droplet spread and weighs the counter arguments that you describe. JAMA also weighs the risks/benefits of going ahead with universal cloth face mask wearing while awaiting difficult and more conclusive testing data. The entire article is found here:


          9. Anyone do those experiments in high school or college microbiology classes where you take a swab of different things, like the water fountain, the toilet, things around the bathroom and so forth?
            Usually the water fountain is the dirtiest.
            I suspect the current cloth masks that the average person is wearing right up to their mouths and noses are among the dirtiest, most germ filled items around. Probably worse than the average pair of used underwear.

            I also pray for his sake that he never feels entitled to anythingbut especially you – you are a blessing not every child going through this is fortunate enough to have fighting for him. He will gain something better than IQ points if he comes to appreciate that.
            Thank you, again. 🙂

          10. Liz,

            Here is an article from Lancet:


            Here is another Lancet article that talks about how face masks are just one tool for preventing spread and how they may not be appropriate in all situations, but that, until more data is available, they should still be used in many settings:


            Remember Liz. this is a war of sorts, a developing war with imperfect information and many, many unknowns. Because the Axis powers never staged significant attacks against the US mainland, requiring blackout curtains for all residents might seem like overkill in hindsight, but it’s just as possible that the curtains could have discouraged smaller attacks by making targeting not worth the cost. Also, the blackout curtains inherently raised awareness of the threat and helped build esprit d’corps in the general population that we were all working together against a common enemy. This alone may have had a benefit that outweighed the small cost.

            Like blackout curtains, cloth face masks should not give the wearer or those near him a sense of invulnerability against this enemy, and should not be a substitute for all the other hygienic recommendations of actual experts, but given that they could be highly effective, and if used properly, highly unlikely to cause harm, it seems like a no-brainer to make masking the subject of strong recommendation and limited mandate, at least until we know more in this war. They should be a rallying flag in common cause against a common enemy. Unfortunately, our President doesn’t know how to rally and unite, only divide, and has instead made face masks of all types a political scarlet letter amongst his cult followers, followers who will drink whatever snake oil or koolaid Trump gives them.

            Why do you feel the need to find obscure sources with an obvious political slant on an issue that, considering what we and the world are going through, and the amount of death and economic destruction the virus is causing, should be ridiculously uncontroversial? It’s just a hygienic mask, not mind control by the Big Brother Deep State.

            Thank God the nation didn’t have Trump leasing us when Pearl Harbor was attacked, or his paranoid cult of govmint haters would have rebelled against blackout curtains, rationing and metal drives. Man did we get the wrong guy at the wrong time, but I think we are not the same people anymore either, and in that way, Trump is as much of our national mental sickness as he is an instigator.

          11. Why do you feel the need to find obscure sources with an obvious political slant on an issue that, considering what we and the world are going through, and the amount of death and economic destruction the virus is causing, should be ridiculously uncontroversial?

            The two sources you cite here, I supplied in that link. They were among the many studies cited.

  2. Reminds me of a bumper sticker that I once saw:

    “My dogma got run over by my karma.”

    1. @tsalmon


      The White House is a command center with people going in an out all the time. To keep from getting sick, Trump would have to stop doing his job. That’s as dumb as shutting down the country. We don’t do that for the flu, and we should not do it for COVID-19. The tradeoffs don’t make sense.

  3. Most Australians and possibly most of the planet are now saying your President has been bitten on his proverbial arse(butt). If he still claims taking hydroxychloroquine to treat COVID-19 is safe and effective or that the virus will disappear one day “like a miracle” and 99% of COVID-19 cases are “totally harmless” he is either taking drugs or is a blinder fool than ever.

    I do however hope he recovers well, however I do not think his health is that good and he may be in for a tough time finding out the truth about COVID-19.

    1. You know a great deal more about what Trump said than I do.
      As I recall, he said hydroxychloroquine taken with zinc and a Z pack “might be a game changer” and “people are dying, so please hurry”
      Stuff like that.
      Probably left out on the CNN channel in Oz.

      At any rate, time will tell…if he has been taking the drug prophylactically and it actually works (I’m not convinced, I just notice medical providers take it prophylactically which would indicate to me they are under the impression it might work), he should recover more quickly than expected. We shall see.

  4. We shall simply lift them up prayer! At this stage in the game, even for his age group, this virus has at minimum a 99.05% recovery rate. They are both pretty healthy people, they may even skate through asymptomatic or with mild symptoms.

    1. I fear, you are overly optimistic. AFAIK, estimates of the infection fatality ratio for people in their 70s are in the range of 4% to 6%. So one in 25 to one in 15 dies, if they catch Covid-19. For 85 years it goes up to about 14%, as I recall.

      1. Well, right off the bat I notice the source of your information is “I fear” and “AFAIK.” All in good humor and grace here, but those two sources are about the most unreliable measures of objectivity known to man. 🙂

          1. The infection fatality rate for 70 and over in the link here is 5.4 percent.
            That’s an almost 95 percent recovery rate for ages 70 and above.
            Of course, that statistic is a bit misleading as a 70 year old has a much higher chance of recovery than a 90 year old.
            There is also a 100 percent chance of all causal death in this demographic.

          1. @insanitybytes22, please keep me informed, If you manage to find a better link than that landing page.

            The CDC planning sceniarios were updated at the beginning of September, relying on data up to early August. I do not think, that the mortality rates in the scenarios will have changed much since then.

            The US is currently at more than 200,000 Covid-19 deaths. You have 7 deteced million cases, probably another 7 million undetected, unsymptomatic cases. That’s more than 3 times the bodycount of the whole, bad 2017 flu season. And that’s with just less than 5% of the population having been infected at all. That’s not something I’d some up as “there have been some deaths”. Also keep in mind, “not dead” does not necessarily equal “recovered”, as long haulers can attest.

  5. Tom,

    I agree we need to pray.

    I posted the need for prayer and my opinion of this occurrence we might want to discern about this sad occurrence.

    Regards and goodwill blogging..

  6. Seems Pence and his wife are thus far testing negative for the virus. If Pence can stay clear (take the right precautions) we can at least retain a transfer of power under the 25th should Trump’s condition worsen.. until such time the Prez might recover. Regardless, this is going to make a mess of the election.

  7. There is a fifth point to my above reply…. we can fully expect the Right will formulate the conspiracy that the deep state weaponized Covid to get rid of Trump, which will just add to the crisis.

    1. @Doug

      In spite of the extraordinary efforts to protect him, I sort of thought it inevitable that Trump would get COVID-19. I don’t have that much confidence in masks. Mask provide a technique we can use to try to slow the spread of respiratory viruses, but something as contagious as COVID-19 is still going to spread.

  8. Four points.
    One.. for as much as I totally despise the man being President, he still is a human being and I don’t wish Covid on anyone. I hope he gets over it.
    Two… he is NOT healthy… he has high risk conditions with his obesity and some other issues. Statistically his not getting worse, or bad, is just as good as any of us not getting it bad. But he is far from any sort of “healthy”.
    Three.. he and any others who are or might be on the verge of getting this is all about the cavalier way they chose to avoid the masks and social distancing. They did not get this simply because the virus is persistent and that their getting it was some inevitable trade off given their jobs involve interacting with people. Trump brought this down onto the White House himself because he failed to even try to avoid it. Pretty much his political bias toward mask wearing was at fault. In that, yes, it was indeed a matter of time… and I am totally not surprised and even half expected this. Biden could even get this thing. For months I have been warning of events.. most Trump inspired… getting far worse for the country as we get into the election.. and beyond. This was one such event that has been quite probable to occur. The nation is getting worse.. politically and pandemically.
    Four.. I am surprised so far that the military is not on Defcon 4, if for nothing else but sending a message to the world that we can still defend ourselves. We are going into a situation that the White House never prepared for because of ignorance of leadership treating command and control terribly badly. Pence could easily get Covid and there will be confusion yet to come in the shifting of power. In other words.. the nation is vulnerable.

    I’ll bet mask wearing doesn’t look so political now, does it?

    1. I take it, it does not help that Pelosi is to step in, should temporarily both Trump and Pence be unfit for office duty. I agree with Doug, Trump’s decision to forgoe masks and social distancing (at least in most public venues) have made an infection much more likely than otherwise; it was a risk Trump deliberately took.

      And as I have expressed elsewhere on this blog already, best wishes for a speedy and full recovery to anyone infected.

      1. Masks are for others, not the user.
        That has been the paradigm, since it is obvious a saturated mask is an actual health risk to the wearer. But still, “worth it” the saying goes because….you’re helping others, though not yourself.
        Has this paradigm changed?

        1. Yes, the everyday masks are to protect others. Tell everybody masks and social distancing are voluntary and you, as a leader and role model, are not going to do it, then guess what, others will not protect you.

          1. @marmoewp

            When someone says something assuming things that are not true, there is a point where argument is pointless. Trump and the people have tried to explain what he thinks of mask wearing, but Liberal Democrats and their news media allies have no interest. Their narrative is all that matters.

        1. Did he ever wholeheartedly recommend wearing masks? How about at his rallies? “Hey girls and guys, I am happy to see you. So many good Americans, incredible. But I am sorry, there is a good chance a couple of you have that China virus wihtout knowing. So, please think about wearing a mask. You don’t have to, but you’d do me a favor, if you wore a mask to play it safe. Thanks, do the patriotic thing.” Would that have been so hard to do? Is it virtue signalling, if you simply do the right thing?

    2. I’ll bet mask wearing doesn’t look so political now, does it?

      Not sure what makes you think that.
      Mask wearing (as currently employed, which is not how medical professionals do it) is most definitely political.

      1. Ok.. so.. it will be as political as your leader tells you it is.. when he gets out of medical care. Until then I’d not surrender your Constitutional freedom of “you can’t make me wear a mask” too soon.

        I’m surprised the Right hasn’t accused the Deep State of weaponizing Covid to get rid of Trump.

        1. Okay…so…what exactly are you talking about?
          Do you even know?
          If masks are to protect others, it’s an irrelevancy that Trump wore a mask (or not).
          Actually, he did wear masks from time to time but either way, the only thing that would matter is whether or not others wore them.

          This is unbelievably political. If it weren’t political and were only based on cost to gains health decisions, our son wouldn’t be coming home from college today to get away from dorm arrest in an area that barely has covid. If it were based on actual science, people at most risk would stay home and people with barely any risk would be free to go about their day to day. But no, quarantines for the 18 to 21 group.
          This is anything but science.

          1. Just to add.
            Every issue is a trade-off. Tariffs will protect local manufacturers, but they’ll make prices more expensive for consumers. The more we spend on high tech planes, the less money we have for military housing. The pros and cons of skilled migration are complex. And so forth.

            I read this elsewhere, recently (person currently working in Africa, not a US citizen).
            I think it is worth repeating.
            I do not always agree with him, but he is spot on here:

            People love criticizing government decisions. “But if they do A, [bad consequence]!” they scream. But B would have bad consequences, too.
            Less often, it goes the other way. People will praise A or B, whichever they support, while not acknowledging the scale of unfortunate trade-offs that have been made.
            I was speaking to a 67-year-old American. After ranting about how awful Trump is for an hour or two, and how Biden is ‘a man of integrity’, he complained about the teenagers playing beach volleyball and Frisbee football on the courts by the boulevard.
            He said they’re not wearing masks properly, they just like to hang around with their friends and be seen, it’s the cool thing to do. He was too afraid to walk there anymore because he might get Covid.
            Technically, the kids are not supposed to be there. However, local authorities have become more and more lax as the lockdown has dragged on. They’ve decided that keeping kids out of the sun and away from their friends for six months or more is either impossible or not worth the harm it would cause.
            Volleyball is good, clean fun. There are adults around, kids can watch their friends play between their own games and get cheap food from vendors, there’s never any trouble. It’s so popular that the government is expanding the sports area.
            I thought, how selfish that you want to lock kids up for a year or more so that you can go for a risk-free stroll along the boulevard.
            Up goes the cry: ‘You’re trying to kill old people!’ As though every available resource must be spent attempting to avert that possibility.
            We all want to protect old people, but what level of risk is tolerable, and at what cost?
            As noted previously, the CFR for Covid is around 15% for octogenarians. Is it worth placing a nation’s children under house arrest for 6-24 months to ensure that as few elderly as possible have their lives cut short by a few years?
            The question is brutal, but we must ask it.
            For the moment, disregard the fact that there may be little connection between kids playing volleyball and overall Covid death rates. Disregard also the fact that banning sports and social activities could cause less visible deaths through deteriorating mental health and lack of sunshine and physical activity.
            Just consider the pure, granny-killer argument: if children playing outdoor sports somewhat increased the infection rate and total deaths from Covid, should those sports be banned? If so, for how long? Is three months fair enough, to get past the initial spike? Six months? Two years? Forever, just in case?
            For that matter, consider all the businesses that have gone broke, the people who have lost their livelihoods, those who’ve declared bankruptcy, lost their homes; consider the secondary effects of family breakup, mental health problems, despair.
            Again, disregard the possibility of lockdown-related deaths for the sake of argument, together with the fact that limiting business might not suppress infections much anyway.
            What rate of unemployment equals, say, 10k elderly lives? 10%? 20%? 30%? If hurling the world into a recession or even depression would have a net positive effect on lives saved, should we do it?
            If so, why do we consider much younger lives so much more expendable every time we start a new Stupid War?
            Even aside from efficacy and potential fatalities elsewhere, ‘you’re literally killing people’ is not a sufficient argument against lockdown skeptics. Governments must weigh up many factors in making their decisions. Lives are one factor. The economy, the wellness of the living and societal fairness are other legitimate concerns.
            It is too easy to throw around arguments based on ‘selfishness’, especially hurled by the old at the young. These arguments could be hurled back the other way.
            If he wasn’t kindly giving me a lift, I would have asked my old American acquaintance: “You’ve had your youth. You told me how much you loved playing sport every day. How does a moderate risk to your health outweigh the right of all those kids to have a life worth living?”

          2. @Liz

            The funny thing about this whole COVID-19 is that Liberal Democrats are clearly trying to use the pandemic to run Trump out of office. They are not fooling most people, but that doesn’t stop them from claiming masks are not political. Whenever we force people to do anything, how can it not be political?

          3. This is what you get (what the author of that said) with lousy and ill-defined national health policy.. left to the whims of 50 different state governments… and allowing politics to pass judgement.

          4. @Doug

            Whenever there is a decision made by a group of people, there is going to be politics involved. Nature of the beast. What I find amazing is that you think a decision made by the Federal Government, with Trump in charge, will be less political.

          5. A true leader can provide focus, inspiration, and purpose to maximize decisive action and minimize the politics. Of course politics is in everything human. But more so when there’s chaos.

          6. I am talking about.. originally.. is that Trump seems to have gotten reckless and careless with his politicizing masks and all he did was threaten his own health… and the others who followed him like a bunch of lemmings over the cliff.
            Your leader put together a medical team of professionals that he of course ignores.. as you loyally do as well. He doesn’t like what Birx and Fauci say so he brings in an unqualified minion to make the narrative more palatable. I choose to listen to them simply because at some point there has to be a measure of faith in people who know far more medical science than I do. The results of what they have said about social distancing and mask wearing seems to have some effect. You choose to listen to Trump… and whatever contra-alt-scientists Conservative sites can dredge up. You can’t accept science without suspicion of deep state hanky-panky and have to dredge out calculators and stat sheets and “preferred” scientists to fit an alt-narrative.. that’s all up to you. But Trump and his “army” has indeed politicized mask wearing… and it bit him in the ass.

          7. @liz
            I am astounded, that people think it feasable to isolate the people at risk once the virus spreads through the younger population uninhibited. How do you live your life in the 65+ age bracket, if all services are provided by younger, likely infectuous people? Food delivery is great. How about medical care? How about help in daily life, when you are no longer able to take full care of your household? Let the virus roam free in one major part of the population, it’ll get the entirety until herd immunity is reached.

            I have run the numbers using the NBER model of mortality rates by age and the age structure of the USA, herd immunity at 70% gone though infection. I end up at 300,000 dead in the 64 years or less age bracket and another 2.3 million dead among those unproductive elderly people aged 65 and above. How is it going to impact the economy, if your country loses 1% of its population within a year or so? Those 300,000 will be just 0.2% of the labor force, so I guess that won’t be so bad and you’ll get rid of about 4% of the “unproductive” people.

            Oh, and as I stress time and again: This is only counting the dead, not a single surviving patient with long term effects like lung damage or chronic fatigue.

          8. @marmoewp

            You think it is easier to restrict the virus from the entire population than it is to restrict it from people who are largely retired?

            Your death counts are fantasy too.

          9. I am astounded, that people think it feasable to isolate the people at risk once the virus spreads through the younger population uninhibited.

            There are currently around 50 million or more US residents with conditions that either cause immunosuppression directly or indirectly (via the medications needed to control their conditions). What have those folks been doing all these years without the economy shutting down and government forcing mass isolation policies for non-immunocompromised people?

      2. @liz
        There are two types of masks. Medical professionals wear masks to protect themselves. They ought to have access to those N95 masks without having to reuse them. The everyday masks are there to protect others from people who are contagious without knowing it.

        And this here is an example, why you ought to wear a mask in close encounters:

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