USA

Abbreviated Pundit Roundup: The pandemic still dominates everything

It isn't just Trump, it's the enablers in the Republican Party. Anticipate the virus, predict the politics. It’s not that hard unless you pretend the virus will just go away.

Several things are coming together this week:

We’ll cover them all, but check out this “must read” from Sarah Longwell/Bulwark:

What Women Want

Here’s what women who voted for Trump in 2016 are saying about him now.

Many observers were doubly confused because they had expected Hillary Clinton, as the first major party female nominee, to be especially strong with women. And she wasn’t. Trump did poorly with African-American and Hispanic women, because he did poorly with all African-Americans and Hispanics. But he managed to actually win a narrow plurality among white women.

But that mystery has been easy to solve. Over the last three years I conducted dozens of focus groups with both college-educated and non-college-educated female Trump voters. And the answer given most commonly for why they voted for Donald Trump is “I didn’t vote for Donald Trump. I voted against Hillary Clinton.”

In 2016, Democrats understood that Hillary Clinton was a deeply polarizing candidate. But even they didn’t grasp the full magnitude of it. Right-leaning and Republican female voters had spent more than a decade hating both Clintons, and they didn’t stop just because Hillary’s opponent was an unrepentant misogynist.

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Postponed on account of whether [whether or not anyone was going to show].

WaPo:

CDC feels pressure from Trump as rift grows over coronavirus response

As the country enters a frightening phase of the pandemic with new daily cases surpassing 57,000 on Thursday, the CDC, the nation’s top public health agency, is coming under intense pressure from President Trump and his allies, who are downplaying the dangers in a bid to revive the economy ahead of the Nov. 3 presidential election. In a White House guided by the president’s instincts, rather than by evidence-based policy, the CDC finds itself forced constantly to backtrack or sidelined from pivotal decisions.

One of the biggest failures of the pandemic has come from the CDC. 

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And lest you think that’s a one-off:

Trump approval on coronavirus
Trump coronavirus approval even among Republicans is dropping

Benjamin Linas/Vox:

I’m an epidemiologist and a dad. Here’s why I think schools should reopen.

Six questions about the safety of kids, teachers, and families, answered.

I have a first-row seat to the coronavirus pandemic, both as a parent and as a professional. In both of those roles, I hear the same questions, repeated with mounting urgency: “Are our kids going to be safe?” “Are our teachers going to be safe?” “Will kids bring Covid-19 home to our family?” “Will opening schools lead to a second wave and lockdown?” “What are the risks of not reopening?”

I have spent time reviewing the data and seeking answers to the challenging questions we face. Having the knowledge to make your own assessment, however, need not be a position of professional privilege. With this short primer, I hope you can add your voice to the debate and advocate for yourself, your family, and your community. The good news is, we can hope to send kids back to school in the fall, but there is a lot of work to do.

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Wear your masks. Over your nose, even.

CNN:

New WHO report says airborne coronavirus transmission 'cannot be ruled out' in outbreaks in some indoor settings

"Airborne transmission of the virus can occur in health care settings where specific medical procedures, called aerosol generating procedures, generate very small droplets called aerosols. Some outbreak reports related to indoor crowded spaces have suggested the possibility of aerosol transmission, combined with droplet transmission, for example, during choir practice, in restaurants or in fitness classes," the new WHO report said about the coronavirus, named SARS-CoV-2

What does this change? Not much, really, but opening up bars and choirs is nuts. Wearing a face shield makes sense (it protects your eyes). And avoid indoor crowds. 

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NY Times:

‘Big Mess’ Looms if Schools Don’t Get Billions to Reopen Safely

As President Trump and others push to get students back in the classroom this fall, educators say they need more support and clearer guidelines.

Bus monitors to screen students for symptoms in Marietta, Ga.: $640,000. Protective gear and classroom cleaning equipment for a small district in rural Michigan: $100,000. Disinfecting school buildings and hiring extra nurses and educators in San Diego: $90 million.

As the White House, the nation’s pediatricians and many worn-down, economically strapped parents push for school doors to swing open this fall, local education officials say they are being crushed by the costs of getting students and teachers back in classrooms safely.

President Trump threatened this week to cut off federal funding to districts that do not reopen, though he controls only a sliver of money for schools. But administrators say they are already struggling to cover the head-spinning logistical and financial challenges of retrofitting buildings, adding staff members and protective gear, and providing students with the academic and emotional support that many will need after a traumatic disruption to their lives.

It’s not just Roger Stone, sentence commuted:

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WaPo: 

Trump’s commutation of Roger Stone’s sentence is an unforgivable betrayal of his office

The United States is supposed to be a place in which laws apply equally to all. And while it never has — and never will — live up to that ideal in full, no modern president before Mr. Trump has so clearly renounced it. The president seems to be doing his best, within the confines of the U.S. constitutional system, to emulate the gangster leadership of Russian President Vladimir Putin, a man whose ruinous reign Mr. Trump has always admired. If the country needed any more evidence, Friday confirmed that the greatest threat to the Republic is the president himself.

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AJC:

Behind the WNBA fight that Kelly Loeffler sought

It is important to remember that the outrage over Loeffler’s letter was welcomed -- and in large part generated -- by her campaign as she faces a formidable challenge from Republican Doug Collins, a four-term congressman.

Click to see entire obit. There’s more to read in it.

Zeynep Tufecki/Atlantic:

The Tragic Loss of Coronavirus Patients’ Final Words

It takes a special kind of inattention to human suffering to not notice how unfortunate it is that people have been left to face death alone.

Of all the wrongdoings of this pandemic, the one that haunts me most is how people are left to die alone. Health-care workers have been heroic throughout all this, but they do not replace the loved ones whom the dying need to be with, and speak with, even if only one last time.

A hallmark of COVID-19 has been the speed with which some patients have crashed, going from feeling only a little sick to being unable to breathe, sometimes in the space of a few hours. Such a crash often necessitates intubation, a process that then renders one incapable of speaking. Many people on ventilators are also heavily sedated and unconscious, to keep them from pulling out the invasive tubes going down their throat. Thus, sometimes with little warning, all communication is lost, and more often than not, a patient is without family or loved ones when this happens.

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As you all know, this has been my thinking since March. Anticipate the virus, predict the politics. It’s not that hard unless you pretend the virus will just go away.

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Looking for Coronavirus Tracking sites? Try Worldometer, Covid tracking project, or 91divoc.com.

Football news:

Adebayor on Ronaldo: real know what they lost by letting him go. These players appear once every 200 years
At 3 o'clock in the morning, Vasya wrote: Elvin, this is pathetic, monstrous. I am wildly disappointed. Kerimov on criticism from Utkin
Zidane is the best club coach in the world. He beat Klopp and Guardiola (L'équipe)
Manchester United presented their home form for the 2020/21 season
Kolo Toure: Van Dijk is an incredible player, but playing one - on – one is his weakness
Lewandowski on his favorite coach: Klopp. He has like two faces – for the players, he is like a father and a coach
Kevin-Prince Boateng has returned to Fiorentina from a loan spell at Besiktas and wants to finish his career at Hertha