Tower of Obstruction

November 16, 2020

Unsurprising, but shitty-scary anyway.
COVID-19 has gotten so bad here in Califoria, today 41 of all 58 counties were demoted down into the most-restrictive level of the fight against the virus, into the dreaded status of purple.*
Gov. Gavin Newsom made the announcement, even insinuating a curfew may be coming.

(Illustration found here).

California currently operates under a four-tier color-coded system called the “Blueprint for a Safer Economy” — in severity from purple — the most restrictive for businesses — to red, orange and yellow — the most flexible, and the new shift will effect about 37 million people. Just last week, only 13 counties were purple.

Here in the Central Valley, we’ve all gone purple. In Merced County, where I reside, a total of 68,554 tests have been performed with 10,374 positive results, and we’ve been leaning toward restrictions for awhile.

Newsom’s declaration was a day early due to the crisis level — changes in status are usually issued on Tuesdays. (Via NPR):

“We are sounding the alarm,” the governor said, acknowledging the move will have a detrimental impact on businesses.

“California is experiencing the fastest increase in cases we have seen yet — faster than what we experienced at the outset of the pandemic or even this summer,” Newsom said.
“The spread of COVID-19, if left unchecked, could quickly overwhelm our health care system and lead to catastrophic outcomes.”

Newsom, who has come under fire for attending a birthday party in Napa on Nov. 6, that exceeded the statewide gathering limit, apologized for his actions.

“I made a bad mistake,” Newsom said. “I should have stood up and … got back in my car and drove back to my house.

“The spirit of what I’m preaching all the time was contradicted,” he added. “I need to preach and practice, not just preach … You should expect nothing less from me.”

Gavin, Gavin, there’s a shitload of people in your category, and there’s also an even-bigger shitload of people who don’t give a shit, and are doing nothing to help control this diseased beast of a virus.
And it starts at the top — (h/t Susie):

Yesterday, Dr. Anthony Fauci painted the picture (Daily Beast):

CNN anchor Jake Tapper then turned the conversation to our current political reality, which is the Trump administration still refusing to acknowledge the outcome of the presidential election and, therefore, blocking the transition process with the incoming Biden administration.
“How problematic is it for the fight against the coronavirus if the [National Institutes of Health] and your agency and other government experts are not able to begin communicating with President-elect Biden’s team, which, as you know, has its own expertise in fighting pandemics?” Tapper wondered aloud.

The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases likened the smooth transition between administrations to “passing a baton in a race,” noting that “you don’t want to stop and then give it to somebody” but to “essentially keep going” forward.

“So it certainly would make things more smoothly if we could do that,” he said, adding that “it would be better if we could start working with” the Biden-Harris team immediately.

“How problematic is it for the fight against the coronavirus if the [National Institutes of Health] and your agency and other government experts are not able to begin communicating with President-elect Biden’s team, which, as you know, has its own expertise in fighting pandemics?” Tapper wondered aloud.

The director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases likened the smooth transition between administrations to “passing a baton in a race,” noting that “you don’t want to stop and then give it to somebody” but to “essentially keep going” forward.

“So it certainly would make things more smoothly if we could do that,” he said, adding that “it would be better if we could start working with” the Biden-Harris team immediately.

Fauci also praised the president-elect for selecting Ron Klain as his chief of staff, lauding Klain’s work as the Obama administration’s czar in dealing with the 2014 Ebola outbreak.

“He never liked the word czar,” Fauci recollected.
“He was the coordinator but he was absolutely terrific at the Ebola situation where we had a very successful, ultimate endgame with ebola. We developed therapies. We put out the outbreak — you know, it was a terrible outbreak, obviously. But we, ultimately, were very successful but that is how I got to know Ron.”

Details in the ‘passing a baton in a race‘ topic:

“I’ve been through multiple transitions now, having served six presidents for 36 years…And it’s very clear that that transition process that we go through, that time, the period that measured in several weeks, to months is really important in a smooth handing over of the information as well as it’s almost like passing the baton in a race. You don’t want to stop and then give it to somebody, you want to just essentially keep going and that’s what transition is, so it certainly would make things more smoothly if we could do that.”

Telling…

*(Counties in the purple category are reporting more than seven new daily cases per 100,000 residents and have positivity rates above 8-percent. For a county to move into the red tier, it must report fewer than seven daily cases per 100,000 residents and a test positivity under 8-percent for 14 consecutive days. The orange tier requires fewer than 3.9 cases per 100,000 and a test positivity under 4.9-percent and the yellow less than one case per 100,000 and lower than 2-percent positivity).

(Illustration: ‘Tower of Babel, 1928 woodcut by MC Escher, found here).

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