Greetings, humans. The WHO estimates that about 10 percent of your species has been infected by the coronavirus. That’s approximately 760 million humans.
The President of the United States came back to
his palace the White House and told his subjects the American people not to be afraid of COVID, not to let it dominate their lives, and that he now feels better than he did 20 years ago.
Chris Cuomo on CNN: “What a bunch of bullshit”:
If you want to know the reality, the truth, okay, the virus is the truth. The virus doesn’t care about left and right. The virus does what’s reasonable. You give me a chance I will spread. You keep away from me, you don’t give me a chance. I run out of hosts. I die. I’m the truth.
Former head of USAID disaster relief Jeremy Konyndyk on Trump’s message: “this may prove to be the single most damaging thing he’s ever said about COVID.”
FiveThirtyEight: Don’t listen to Trump, please keep being afraid of COVID-19.
Bob Smietana at RNS: Trump’s statements are right in line with Norman Vincent Peale/prosperity gospel doctrine. Religious scholar Kate Bowler: “Trump’s implicit and explicit beliefs in a gospel of health and wealth and victory will make it very difficult for him to admit loss or illness of any kind.”
Many of the religious bigwigs at the recent Barrett announcement superspeader event are continuing to flout COVID-19 precautions, despite exposure.
Politico: While Trump was still at Walter Reed, “MAGA Country had gathered to celebrate and pray for its leader — an impromptu festival-meets-vigil for its venerated, living saint.”
Jennifer Senior at NYT on how Fox News folks process the president’s illness: “People will do a great deal to justify their belief systems, even if it means tolerating a thousand tiny inconsistencies. And Fox News is especially adept at giving people scripts they can use to minimize their discomfort with bothersome, disconfirming facts.”
MJ Banias at Vice: “Conspiracy theorists on the extreme fringe … suspect that Trump—who they believe might be an immortal alien—might have contracted coronavirus in an attempt to shed his mortal flesh and shapeshift into something else.” Well I hope he gets it over with already.
The White House is blocking the FDA’s stricter guidelines on emergency release of an eventual COVID-19 vaccine, so the FDA is trying to around the White House. NYT: “The hope is that the [outside] committee will enforce the guidelines, regardless of the White House’s reaction.”
A Trump public affairs official successfully pressured the CDC to change its report on COVID’s impact on kids and schools, removing mentions of, you know, kids.
Turns out the CDC now says that the coronavirus can be spread through particles in the air that hang around “for minutes or even hours,” regardless of staying six feet apart.
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 centerforinquiry.org/coronavirus.
The Supreme Court declines to hear a religious-exemption case from anti-gay county clerk Kim Davis, but then Justices Thomas and Alito showed their eagerness to overturn marriage equality:
[T]his petition provides a stark reminder of the consequences of Obergefell. By choosing to privilege a novel constitutional right over the religious liberty interests explicitly protected in the First Amendment, and by doing so undemocratically, the court has created a problem that only it can fix.
While everyone else is freaking out about things like COVID, Betsy DeVos is out there working to undermine public education under the radar.
Socioanalítica releases survey results on secular Americans and their attitudes toward religion and politics. I think the biggest news is that 23 percent of those surveyed still identify with the term “Bright.”
Phil Zuckerman on atheists’ challenges in running for office: “Although the rivers of anti-atheism run deep throughout the American political landscape, they are starting to thin.”
Bhavya Dore at RNS: Hindu nationalists in India see jihad everywhere. “The idea that Muslims are encroaching on Hindu-dominated cultural and economic spheres would be laughable, if it were not so dangerous.”
Hey they gave out the Nobel Prize in Medicine, and it had nothing to do with COVID. Remember hepatitis C?
Ars Technica: “One of the things archaeology consistently teaches us is that humanity is remarkably resilient in the face of crisis. Another is that poop is forever.” Hey, you do you.
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