“They’re dying … it is what it is”

What is the difference between an Elephant and a Swan?

Is this something that Trump think’s he has aced, on his dementia test? Yes, he can point at an elephant but in his Axios interview with Jonathan Swan, he demonstrated that he is prepared to filter statistics to tell a story to show how good he is. As if shuffling bits of paper with simplified big block graphics that prove to the President that he is responsible for the USA having ‘the lowest’ of the percentage of cases resulting in death, ‘better than the World!’ as he put it. That is not what it means.

Disingenuous. Stupid. Not his achievement!

His statement: “They’re dying, it is what it is.” That is his actual achievement.

The percentage of deaths in the USA from diagnosed Covid is a measure of the quality of care, the level of technology available and you would expect wealthy countries to have invested in better medical equipment. Trump ordered the USA to buy up equipment and drugs and wants any vaccine to be available to the USA exclusively. So this trends of USA having better treatment options than The Republic of Congo may continue, however is the USA the best in the world at research and keeping the suffering alive, at least, until the election? Probably. But that has absolutely nothing to do with Trump, and a lot more to do with how Obama widened medical care to more population before Trump started to limit access by repealing this. It is just that contracts and laws take time to unwind.

What statistic measures Trump’s performance in controlling the virus? The percentage of deaths per capita is one, that measures how quickly the government reacted. Or the number of cases per capita. Or the number of cases now compared to peak of the curve. The Government of the USA has really been awful, perhaps only exceeded in causing uncessary death by Brazil and the UK whose governments have been lamentable, also.

Let’s look at what it means: The USA has recorded nearly 5 million cases, and 160 thousand deaths. Of these five million cases 2,276,450 are still classed as ‘active’. How many of these are actually dead? It is not logical that half the cases in the USA were recorded in the three weeks, is it? It also has the highest number of serious/critical cases at 18,407. How many of the 2.276 million active cases are actually serious enough that they will add to the death statistic?

Yes, the USA has tested more people than most, and therefore has identified more cases, that is true. but what do they do? It takes over a week to get a result. There is no way to control the virus spread.

The tests per capita – the USA is the 18th in the world. Even the UK is ahead at 14th. As is Denmark, Singapore and the UAE. It is not statistically significant that Monaco has the best testing rate, with a population of 39,268. Ranking comparisons like these are misleading. What is more meaningful is that with all the testing (60 million tests, second to China with 90 million) they have managed to not arrest the curve of infection. It is a reflection of the push to open up too soon, of a President in denial, leading a culture of not wearing masks and even holding a rally in Oklahoma that has resulted in a massive surge in cases there, of a government clearly patting itself on the back while actually doing very little to stem the tide of an infection pool (that encourages the virus to mutate) far larger and unconstrained than anywhere else in the world. Compared to China, the USA has done a terrible job.

Trump has reversed the Regan trope – this time capitalism lost against the great totalitarian communist state controlled socialism. And he has lost his trade war by damaging productivity. The US economy has turned into a betting shop with 5 trillion dollars of slush fund propping up a vulnerable market. It already crashed once as investors were spooked by the Covid crisis. Why confidence has restored when the premature opening up of the economy will in fact damage it long term is a reason for investors to be nervous that their wealth is simply an excess of capital supporting a massive contraction in activity and uncertainty of the very survival of entire sectors. Who will wake up and blink first?

If the USA re-elects this Government it is only logical that it will suffer a terrible fate, starting with the collapse of the stock market bubble, the virus killing another half million and the number of cases being measured in the tens of millions. I do not think that the USA is that stupid or ridiculous but it is also possible that their electoral system has been infiltrated. It is inherently logical that Trump is more than a useful idiot for Putin. He is an unconvicted criminal who mistreats women, exacerbates racism, abuses power and has brought the USA to its knees with his terrifying record of mismanagement. It seems probable that the Russian influence that got him elected has not slept through his enablement. Does he oppose mail votes as the Russian infiltration machine can not influence it?

Biden is actually exactly what the USA needs. A New Deal for the eradication of the virus (a three week shutdown is what it would take). It also needs to repair its social coherence and end this pretence that it is doing okay when it is in fact in a terrible state, propped up by a confidence that is increasingly vapour, the breath of a con-man manipulating statistics to prove his point, statistics that when analysed show how terrible he is.

Trump is an anathema to the Republicans, he has ensured that his empire will crumble. The Republicans should reopen and enact the impeachment and remove him from office. Then run with Lindsay Graham who at least speaks truth.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.