I'm a New Yorker, always have been, and will always be, even if I leave the Empire State, which I don't plan to do on any long-term basis. Sure, I'm an American, but New York has never disappointed me like America has, so my True Blue New York heart is stronger than my... uhhhhh... blood red American... uhhhhh... blood. This is why this story infuriates me. Amid the tale of contaminated tests sourced from sketchy, connected companies and an incoherent patchwork of pandemic response plans comes this bombshell:
The plan 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. It also proposed lifting contract restrictions on where doctors and hospitals send tests, allowing any laboratory with capacity to test any sample. It proposed a massive scale-up of antibody testing to facilitate a return to work. 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 it proposed establishing “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.”
By early April, some who worked on the plan were given the strong impression that it would soon be shared with President Trump and announced by the White House. The plan, though imperfect, was a starting point. Simply working together as a nation on it “would have put us in a fundamentally different place,” said the participant.
But the effort ran headlong into shifting sentiment at the White House. Trusting his vaunted political instincts, President Trump had been downplaying concerns about the virus and spreading misinformation about it—efforts that were soon amplified by Republican elected officials and right-wing media figures. Worried about the stock market and his reelection prospects, Trump also feared that more testing would only lead to higher case counts and more bad publicity. Meanwhile, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, was reportedly sharing models with senior staff that optimistically—and erroneously, it would turn out—predicted the virus would soon fade away.
Against that background, the prospect of launching a large-scale national plan was losing favor, said one public health expert in frequent contact with the White House’s official coronavirus task force.
Most troubling of all, perhaps, was a sentiment the expert 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. “The political folks believed that because it was going to be relegated to Democratic states, that they could blame those governors, and that would be an effective political strategy,” said the expert.
Yeah, you read that right, because the pandemic was supposed to be relegated to Democratic states, a push to distribute test kits was not considered necessary. Let that sink in... and consider that the founding of this country was pretty much predicated on a genocide via biological agents. At what point can we call the pandemic response, botched because the novel coronavirus was perceived as affecting 'Democratic areas' and minority populations, be considered a genocide? The problem, though, is that it is in the nature of biological agents to spread, there's no way to contain them... now, the pandemic is raging through swing-state Florida and traditionally red state Arizona- what was once seen as 'Democide' is now hitting MAGAmerica. The death toll, a mere 150K at the beginning of the week, now stands above 157K, even as the White House manipulates the statistics. At what point do we consider this a genocide?