Daily Archives: March 24, 2020

Coronavirus: What this crisis reveals about US – and its president – BBC News


Nick Bryant New York correspondent @NickBryantNY

There are no fresh flowers at the 9/11 Memorial any more. An American altar usually decorated with roses, carnations and postcard-sized Stars and Stripes is sequestered behind a makeshift plastic railing. Broadway, the “Great White Way”, is dark. The subway system is a ghost train. Staten Island ferries keep cutting through the choppy waters of New York harbour, passing Lady Liberty on the way in and out of Lower Manhattan, but hardly any passengers are on board. Times Square, normally such a roiling mass, is almost devoid of people.

In the midst of this planetary pandemic, nobody wants to meet any more at the “Crossroads of the World”. A city known for its infectious energy, a city that likes to boast it never even has to sleep, has been forced into hibernation. With more cases than any other American conurbation, this city is once again Ground Zero, a term no New Yorker ever wanted applied here again. With manic suddenness, our world has been turned upside down, just as it was on September 11th.

Nations, like individuals, reveal themselves at times of crisis. In emergencies of this immense magnitude, it soon becomes evident whether a sitting president is equal to the moment. So what have we learnt about the United States as it confronts this national and global catastrophe? Will lawmakers on Capitol Hill, who have been in a form of legislative lockdown for years now, a paralysis borne of partisanship, rise to the challenge? And what of the man who now sits behind the Resolute Desk in the Oval Office, who has cloaked himself in the mantle of “wartime president”?

Of the three questions, the last one is the least interesting, largely because Donald Trump’s response has been so predictable. He has not changed. He has not grown. He has not admitted errors. He has shown little humility.

Instead, all the hallmarks of his presidency have been on agitated display. The ridiculous boasts – he has awarded himself a 10 out of 10 for his handling of the crisis. The politicisation of what should be the apolitical – he toured the Centers for Disease Control wearing a campaign cap emblazoned with the slogan “Keep America Great”.

..(read more).


Commonwealth Club

Streamed live 3 hours ago

Join us virtually for a conversation about the pervasive impact Enlightenment ideas had on early American culture and how that changed the ways Americans pursued happiness in their New World. Caroline Winterer specializes in early American reactions to scientific ideas and Enlightenment attitudes, which raised new questions about plants, animals and rocks but also about politics and religion. It is hard to overestimate the influence of Americans’ newly conceived relationship between the present and the past as it spurred far-flung conversations about a better future for all of humanity

‘The Virus Doesn’t Care If You’re a Democrat or Republican:’ Global Health Expert | All In | MSNBC


Published on Mar 24, 2020

Dr. Ashish Jha, the director of the Global Health Institute at Harvard University, discusses the problem with reopening the economy: “The virus doesn’t care if you’re a Democrat or Republican. The virus is going to run rampant.” Aired on 3/24/20.

Rep. Ocasio-Cortez On Coronavirus Rescue Bill | All In | MSNBC


Published on Mar 24, 2020
Rep. Ocasio-Cortez on the coronavirus relief package: “We really need to make sure that the dollars and dimes actually make sense and add up for a working family’s expenses for a month.” Aired on 3/24/20

U.S. could become coronavirus epicentre as Trump talks economy

CBC News: The National

Published on Mar 24, 2020

U.S. President Donald Trump was talking about how soon people could go back to work and restart the economy while the WHO warned the U.S. was likely to become the epicentre of the coronavirus pandemic.

Ezra Klein: Trump’s Economic View Of Coronavirus A ‘False Choice’ | The Last Word | MSNBC


Published on Mar 25, 2020

Ezra Klein, co-founder of Vox, tells Lawrence O’Donnell that President Trump fails to understand the enormity of the economic consequences of the coronavirus pandemic. Ezra says economists tell him this is “what happens if you mix a recession, a financial crisis, a natural disaster and a war.”

Lawrence: Trump’s ‘Deadly Nonsense’ On Re-Opening The Country | The Last Word | MSNBC



Published on Mar 25, 2020

Lawrence O’Donnell explains why governors and doctors are in charge of combating the coronavirus pandemic and not listening to Donald Trump’s timeline for opening businesses again in the United States.

Jeffrey Sachs: Trump’s incompetence is “endangering the American people” during COVID-19

Democracy Now!

Published on Mar 24, 2020

The coronavirus pandemic is “doubly terrifying” because the U.S. has “a complete nitwit as president who understands nothing, listens to nothing, judges nothing except by the stock market and is endangering the American people,” says leading economist Jeffrey Sachs, director of the Center for Sustainable Development at Columbia University. Sachs also led the WHO’s Commission on Macroeconomics and Health from 2000 to 2001 and played a key role in conceiving and establishing the Global Fund to Fight AIDS, Tuberculosis and Malaria, which helped distribute new medicines to fight infectious diseases.

Amid Outbreak, Trump Wants Americans to Get Back to Work

VOA News

Published on Mar 24, 2020

President Donald Trump on Tuesday told Americans that “we have to go back to work” and said he wants to open up the country by April 12th. Meanwhile the World Health Organization has warned that the United States could become the next epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak. White House Correspondent Patsy Widakuswara has the story.

“Humanitarian Solidarity”: Even Under U.S. Sanctions, Cuba Sends Doctor Brigade to Italy and More

Democracy Now!

Published on Mar 24, 2020

As Italy’s death toll soars past 6,000, Cuba has sent medical brigades to combat COVID-19. Cuba has also deployed doctors to Venezuela, Nicaragua, Jamaica, Suriname and Grenada. “The arrival of a medical brigade from Cuba to Italy is pretty historic. You have a leading European nation accepting support in the form of a medical team from a small Caribbean island,” says our guest, Peter Kornbluh, director of the Cuba Documentation Project at the National Security Archive at George Washington University. “It just goes to the history of Cuba’s deep and long-lasting commitment to humanitarian solidarity with other countries.” Kornbluh covers Cuba for The Nation magazine.