Starting back in July 2020, I hosted a weekly podcast where I was joined by Neil “Keego” Keegan and we chatted about the run-in to the 2020 US Presidential Election while also looking at explanations of all the different mechanisms involved.
Supposing we hit the body with a tremendous, whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful, light and I think you said that hasn’t been checked and you’re going to test it. and then I said suppose you bring the light inside the body which you can do either through the skin or in some other way and I think you said you’re going to test that too. sounds interesting (doctor says something). then I see the disinfectant knocks out in a minute and there is a way we can do something like that by injection inside or almost a cleaning because as you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs it would be interesting to check that use medical doctors but it sounds interesting to me….
… I once mentioned that maybe it does go away with heat and light and people don’t like that statement very much because the fake news didn’t like it at all I just threw it out as a suggestion and it seems like that’s the casePresident Donald Trump
There is loads of data available and I know by posting what I have below, I’m open to accusations of “cherry picking”, but these are metrics I consider to be significant. If we must insist on comparing countries on handling of the COVID19 crisis then IMO, morbid a task though it may be, the most important thing to do is level off the death figures by population of country.
First of all I felt it important to exclude the teeny tiny countries like San Marino and Andorra so I drew the line at countries with a minimum of 1000 reported cases.
As you can see, among over 200 countries, Spain and Italy, the most notorious for their handling of the situation, are at or near the top, though it is interesting to see Belgium between them. France and UK round out the top 5 and the entire top 10 are all in Europe.
The reason I included population density (people per square km) on the chart is that many have claimed it to be a factor in relative growth among nations. For me, this theory is disproved by the numbers since so many in the top 20 in the world are ranked 100th or lower on the planet in density.
Finally the second graphic shows a statistic I feel isn’t being highlighted anywhere near enough. Apparently there have been over half a million reported cases of COVID19 around the world which have reached a conclusion, and of these, 79% have recovered. This number has remained steady over the past couple of weeks. For me this gives us a general (if extremely basic) idea of what kind of outcome to expect from a diagnosis.
Of course I appreciate the caveats involved with this information, not least of which is the fact that most countries vary in the way they report their data. For example, apparently the US has only been reporting deaths from hospitals, Ireland is well behind on testing so there may be COVID deaths left out, and as for China’s figures, well, who knows.
But it’s important we remain engaged with information as much as we can, if not too much throughout the day as we try to get through the lockdown. JLP
|Country||Total deaths*||Deaths per 1m pop*||Density rank**|
* = source = https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries (note – countries have been excluded with less than 1000 reported cases, eg San Marino, Andorra, etc)
** = source = https://worldpopulationreview.com/countries/countries-by-density/
ALL STATS WERE TAKEN AT 10AM ON WEDNESDAY, APRIL 15
“Trump’s flattery….was part of a coordinated White House charm offensive designed to persuade the ageing justice – for years, the court’s pivotal swing vote – that it was safe to retire, even with an unpredictable man in the Oval Office.”Book reveals Trump effort to persuade Justice Kennedy to step aside for Kavanaugh
Julian Borger – The Guardian
These are unprecedented times. Our worlds have been turned upside down and we have absolutely no idea what comes next.
I have been periodically blogging on this site for almost four years, and I have never made a secret of the fact that I believe in a Progressive government for Ireland. This of course means the parties which have always represented the status quo such as Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have never gotten my vote. I also have little faith in other parties purporting to be “left” such as Sinn Féin and Labour.
Yet when faced with a situation like COVID-19, I do not believe that a radical change to the face of our government is what is needed, even when it comes as it did right after a general election. Leo Varadkar and Fine Gael were in power when it was time to lock the country down and particularly in the most relevant departments like those of An Taoiseach and Health, we need continuity and stability so regardless of political hue I think the correct course would be for them to remain for now.
Now I’m hoping that my established premise will be remembered as I voice some concerns over the current situation. In his address to the nation on St Patrick’s Day, Leo Varadkar literally referenced Winston Churchill.
“This is the calm before the storm – before the surge. And when it comes – and it will come – never will so many ask so much of so few.”Address by An Taoiseach, Leo Varadkar 17th March
For the life of me I cannot fathom why there was not more of a backlash to this. I am absolutely no fan of Sinn Féin but am I the only one who sees the irony in the fact that they would be lambasted for any kind of Nationalist references at this time yet our Taoiseach, one who has often expressed a liking for the leadership of one conservative UK leader in Thatcher, gets a free pass after throwing a nod to another?
This point is one of semantics and cosmetics I know, but I make it first because of the levels of reaction I have seen on social media ever since. Of course we need to stick together as much as possible during these times, and given the original nature of the crisis there should be much leeway afforded to our government, yet the levels of praise for his leadership have been, in many, many cases, “Churchillian”, and this concerns, nay frightens me.
Strong opposition and challenging media are important ingredients to any democracy. If a day ever came when Ireland had Progressives seated around the Cabinet table, I would expect nothing less than for them to have their feet held to the fire where possible, and we all know that would be the case.
And while the Green Party did not get my vote at the last election either, I cannot understand why they are being vilified for not unconditionally joining FF and FG in government. They claim to have offered three options to the “Civil War” parties, all of which have been rejected…
“I think the idea that FG and FF would present this narrow option to the people of the two of them in power with one of the smaller parties propping them up is very self-serving. It has the coincidental effect of giving them the most amount of power, for the most amount of time with the least amount of oversight.”Green TD Neasa Hourigan
Why are politicians so reluctant to form a government?
Justin McCarthy – RTÉ.ie
…and the backlash appears to be “shut up and get on board”. Whatever your levels of respect were for them before, surely they would be lowered should they accept those terms. But this post is not just about the Green Party. It’s for the type of representative body we want the Dáil to be when it comes to acting as a check on our Government.
Then there is the Irish mainstream media, one that already had a reputation for being more stenographers than challengers. And that was even before this particular Taoiseach came to power, one who sought in virtually his first act to set up a media arm with the sinister title of the “Strategic Communications Unit“.
Below are just some areas where I would like to ask questions of Leo Varadkar and his government, in no particular order:
- What exactly happened with those orders from China which arrived with inadequate supplies?
- If Opposition parties should feel shame for insisting that the Dáil convenes due to risk of social distancing among civil servants, have any measures been discussed to allow for some kind of COVID-19 friendly Dáil sittings until the crisis is over?
- COVID-19 tests – they are in limited supply. Is there any transparency as to how they are allocated? And I have heard stories that the testing itself can take over two weeks to produce results – why is that, is anything being done to speed up the process and is this fact reflected in the numbers we are being given?
- We have all has been adversely affected by this crisis, but that does not mean we will all be struggling by its end. When everyone’s assets have been reduced, the priority of Government care should be those who are left with little or nothing. So what exactly do you mean by “tough decisions” that have to be made once this crisis is over? Is there to be a period of austerity similar to that affected by the banking crisis or will the burden at very least shared regardless of wealth if not borne by the 1% at the top?
I am happy for Leo and Simon to remain in their jobs. I am delighted that Leo is rolling up his sleeves to pitch in as a GP. That’s all great. But if a republic values its democratic principles, no government should go unchecked, and we certainly shouldn’t assume everything is rosy on these shores based on a comparison to the leadership of the blond buffoons either side of us. All I’m asking is that we be mindful of this. JLP
UPDATE : As you can see by the quote below, I wasn’t the only one to notice what Warren was up to…
“And it’s a particular problem with Sanders supporters?” Maddow asked.Rachel Maddow and Elizabeth Warren Spent 7 Solid Minutes Dragging Bernie Over Abusive Supporters
“It is, and I mean it just is. It’s just a factual question, and it is,” Warren replied, emphatically.
Tommy Christopher – Mediaite.com
Here’s part of the Rachel Maddow interview with Bernie I mentioned…
…and here’s Lawrence O’Donnell letting Amy Klobuchar pick away at the interview…
[Since recording this article appeared : “Leo Varadkar and Micheál Martin agree to exploratory talks“.]
Bloomberg? Hindenberg more like.
Having bought his way on to the stage, the former New York mayor was somehow unable to pay his own brain to come up with the right answers to the absolute thrashing he was given by the other candidates, particularly Elizabeth Warren, in Nevada on Wednesday night.
Yet his money has also bought him a TV station, so I had to laugh at the way his employees cobbled together a series of clips that came under the title “highlights”.
First and foremost, it has to be the only place you’ll find Bloomberg using a line which I have to assume he thought would win him the debate hands down. Check it out for yourself, it comes first in the above clip. In fairness, the package does include some attacks on him, but definitely not the most hard-hitting ones. Nothing about stop and frisk, nothing about refusing to release his employees from their Non Disclosure Agreements, nothing about his reported misogyny.
Personally, I reckon Bernie Sanders was the winner on the night. Warren definitely had a good night attacking those around her but I reckon she’s so far behind in the polls that her performance may have helped Sanders more than herself.
I think Bernie did really well to dodge the blows thrown at him – the usual ones on Medicare for All were harmless enough, but since he has pulled away as the front runner there are some new modes of attack, both of which are ambiguous yet well supported by the corporate media.
One such line of questioning is over the release of his medical records. A spokesperson for his campaign said this narrative was similar to Birtherism and she’s right. He has released letters from three different doctors with plenty of information following his heart attack last year. If he releases more, will that be enough to stop the media from pursuing the whole “what’s he hiding?” narrative?
Then there’s the so-called “Bernie Bro’s”. Apparently not only does Sanders have to take ownership of all the negative comments posted online by his “supporters”, he is also the only one with this problem. Both points are complete nonsense, yet the MSNBCs and CNNs of this world persist in highlighting them. Aren’t these the same people who went on about Russians creating fake account to stoke division in US politics?
It will be very interesting to see how the Nevada caucuses turn out this weekend. Assuming they do work out, that is, given what happened in Iowa. JLP