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A Valiant Ford

August 27, 2020

This will wake you up. CNN:

White House Coronavirus Task Force member Dr. Anthony Fauci said he was undergoing surgery and not in the August 20 task force meeting for the discussion on updated US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidelines that suggest asymptomatic people may not need to be tested for Covid-19, even if they’ve been in close contact with an infected person. “I was under general anesthesia in the operating room and was not part of any discussion or deliberation regarding the new testing recommendations” at that meeting.

Gov. Cuomo says he’s going to ignore the CDC on testing guidelines and New York will follow its own.

One thing the CDC is probably right about: It’s not worth it for store employees to get into heated arguments with anti-maskers (or, as I prefer, “antimaxxkers”).

Vox has an explainer on COVID-19 superspreading.

Here’s something you don’t see every day: a Trump administration official admitting he was wrong. FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn: “I have been criticized for remarks I made Sunday night about the benefits of convalescent plasma. The criticism is entirely justified.”

USA Today: The Plandemic sequel is false. I await Plandemic 3: USA Today is Written by Aliens.

About a quarter of Canadians don’t think they need a COVID-19 vaccine, according to a new survey, and 10 percent say they don’t believe in vaccines anyway.

Abby Ohlheiser at the MIT Technology Review (which I just realized is actually “The Massachusetts Institute for Technology Technology Review”—yeesh!) explores why QAnon beliefs are so compelling to evangelicals:

Without [church] gatherings, … churchgoers had turned instead to Facebook, podcasts, and viral memes for guidance. And QAnon, a movement with its own equivalents of scripture, prophecies, and clergy, was there waiting for them.

Your Ouroboros for the day: Marianne Williamson attempts to diagnose the illness that gave America the QAnon infection.

GOP/QAnon candidate for the U.S. Senate in Oregon, Jo Rae Perkins, says that while staying in a hotel in Arizona, God told her to run for Senate. Remember when Michele Bachmann was the craziest one? Ah, the good old days.

Mike Pence said stuff last night. I’m sure mother approved.

Former acting director of national intelligence Richard Grenell says in a video that Trump is “the most pro-gay president in American history.” So I’m wondering if we just heard that wrong. I looked for some homonyms of pro-gay, and I found preau gué, French for “valiant ford.” Saying Trump is a valiant ford makes no sense, of course, but it’s still more accurate than saying Trump is pro-gay. So let’s go with that. Grenell says Trump is the most valiant ford of any president in history.

The Dilbert guy has totally lost it. Biden’s name is really “666 Identity,” you see.

I think I may be influencing Hemant Mehta too much. In a post about Jim Bakker, Hemant says, “Everything is awful all the time! It can’t get worse, can it?” I’m sorry if I did this to you, Hemant.

But yes, it totally can get worse.

Islamist outrage, hateful trolling, and accusations of blasphemy are surging online in Pakistan, where internet use has jumped 50 percent since the start of the pandemic. The government of Pakistan wants your blasphemy-reporting experience to be as convenient as possible.

Something from earlier this month that might be of interest: The Guardian looks at the near-disappearance of Zoroastrianism.

TONIGHT: Carol Tavris talks about cognitive dissonance in the pandemic era on Skeptical Inquirer Presents.

We’re keeping track of COVID-19 pseudoscience, snake oil, fake cures, and more at CFI’s Coronavirus Resource Center. Separate fact from fiction and inoculate yourself from misinformation at

Linking to a story or webpage does not imply endorsement by Paul or CFI. Not every use of quotation marks is ironic or sarcastic, but it often is.