Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt, who has aggressively pushed to reopen his state and flouted experts’ health recommendations, announced Wednesday that he is the first governor to test positive for coronavirus.
Stitt, a Republican, said at a press conference that he was tested on Tuesday and that he feels “fine,” other than being a “little bit achy.” He said he’ll be quarantining and working from home, and that he was “pretty shocked” to be the first governor to get the virus. He added that he would isolating away from his family, whom he said tested negative.
Gov. Stitt welcomes you to Oklacovid!
From Esquire, by Jack Homes:
As his staffers smear the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases in the press, the president is sharing public-health expertise from a fellow game-show host.
Chuck Woolery, the new expert in town.
“Ninety-nine percent of [the Covid cases revealed by testing] are totally harmless.”
“We’ll be happy to debate the efficacy of masks with you when this is all over and you come in to sell your dead grandmother’s clothes. Masks required.”
— sign in vintage clothing shop in Phoenix
“Masks will not be mandatory for the event, which will be attended by President Trump. PEOPLE ARE FED UP!”
— Herman Cain, tweeting about the Mt. Rushmore celebration, hours before going into the hospital with COVID-19
Rep. Andy Biggs, chair of the conservative House Freedom Caucus, on Thursday called on the White House to shutter its coronavirus task force, claiming the nation’s top public health experts were undermining President Donald Trump.
“As our economy is restored, it is imperative that President Trump is not undermined in his mission to return our economy to greatness,” the Arizona Republican said in a statement released after the Labor Department reported the U.S. economy had added 4.8 million jobs in June and the unemployment rate had fallen to 11.1 percent.
Biggs went on to assert that Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, and Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, “continue to contradict many of President Trump’s stated goals and actions for returning to normalcy as we know more about” the highly infectious outbreak.
The demand from a leading Republican lawmaker and fierce ally of the president comes after the U.S. reported a record number of new Covid-19 infections Wednesday, surpassing 50,000 cases for the first time.
Biggs’ own home state of Arizona is among those across the South and West contributing to the precipitous climbs in caseloads.
Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) admitted Friday that he reopened bars too soon in the state as cases continue to surge.
“If I could go back and redo anything, it probably would have been to slow down the opening of bars now seeing the aftermath of how quickly the coronavirus spreads in the bar setting,” Abbott said in an evening interview with KVIA in El Paso.
The lesson Abbott said he learned is that “a bar setting in reality just doesn’t work with a pandemic.”
Cartoon by Barry Blitt, for The New Yorker:
From Esquire, by Charles P. Pierce:
“I thought it would be a good opportunity for me to be here, to be able to speak to these researchers, these incredible health care personnel, and look them in the eye and say thank you.“—Mike Pence at the Mayo Clinic
Yes, that is the vice president* of the United States, and the White House point man on the greatest public-health crisis in a century, admitting that he doesn’t know the difference between a mask and a blindfold. It makes a public mockery of everything Pence and his task force allegedly are doing. It makes a mockery of all the people who have upended their lives on his advice.
OK, so Mike Pence is a bag of hammers. We’ve known that for years. But it’s hard not to conclude that his boneheaded recklessness on Tuesday was prompted by Pence’s desire to prove to the president*, who’s already said he won’t wear a mask because it poses a danger to his perpetually threatened manhood, that Pence is on the team. In other words, Pence didn’t have the simple decency to appear masked in a hospital clinic in the middle of a pandemic because, in this administration*, simple decency is an act of courage beyond Mike Pence’s capabilities. He has the gallows in one eye and Nikki Haley in the other.
From the New Yorker:
“WHO CARES WHAT IT IS? I’M JUST HAPPY WE STILL GET DELIVERY.”