Monday, March 23, 2020

Last Call For Trump's Race To The Bottom, Con't

Yuanyuan Zhu was walking to her gym in San Francisco on March 9, thinking the workout could be her last for a while, when she noticed that a man was shouting at her. He was yelling an expletive about China. Then a bus passed, she recalled, and he screamed after it, “Run them over.”

She tried to keep her distance, but when the light changed, she was stuck waiting with him at the crosswalk. She could feel him staring at her. And then, suddenly, she felt it: his saliva hitting her face and her favorite sweater.

In shock, Ms. Zhu, who is 26 and moved to the United States from China five years ago, hurried the rest of the way to the gym. She found a corner where no one could see her, and she cried quietly.

“That person didn’t look strange or angry or anything, you know?” she said of her tormentor. “He just looked like a normal person.”

As the coronavirus upends American life, Chinese-Americans face a double threat. Not only are they grappling like everyone else with how to avoid the virus itself, they are also contending with growing racism in the form of verbal and physical attacks. Other Asian-Americans — with families from Korea, Vietnam, the Philippines, Myanmar and other places — are facing threats, too, lumped together with Chinese-Americans by a bigotry that does not know the difference.

In interviews over the past week, nearly two dozen Asian-Americans across the country said they were afraid — to go grocery shopping, to travel alone on subways or buses, to let their children go outside. Many described being yelled at in public — a sudden spasm of hate that is reminiscent of the kind faced by American Muslims and other Arabs and South Asians after the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001.

But unlike in 2001, when President George W. Bush urged tolerance of American Muslims, this time President Trump is using language that Asian-Americans say is inciting racist attacks.

Mr. Trump and his Republican allies are intent on calling the coronavirus “the Chinese virus,” rejecting the World Health Organization’s guidance against using geographic locations when naming illnesses, since past names have provoked a backlash.

Mr. Trump told reporters on Tuesday that he was calling the virus “Chinese” to combat a disinformation campaign by Beijing officials saying the American military was the source of the outbreak. He dismissed concerns that his language would lead to any harm.

On Monday evening, Mr. Trump tweeted, “It is very important that we totally protect our Asian American community in the United States.” He added they should not be blamed for the pandemic.

“If they keep using these terms, the kids are going to pick it up,” said Tony Du, an epidemiologist in Howard County, Md., who fears for his son, Larry. “They are going to call my 8-year-old son a Chinese virus. It’s serious.”

If it's not "Mexican rapists" or "The Blacks" or "Jewish globalists" it's now the "Chinese virus" among us who are the enemy we should hate in order to distract the people from Trump and the GOP literally looting the US Treasury.

After all, the White House position is that Americans are going to have to be sacrificed to the almighty Capitalist Mammon Machine.

Officials have said that the initial 15-day period for social distancing — limiting close contact between people by banning gatherings, closing schools and offices, encouraging remote work and urging people to maintain a six-foot distance from one another — is vital to slowing the spread of the virus, for which more than 30,000 people in the United States have tested positive. The 15-day period would end Monday.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, an infectious diseases expert and a member of the White House coronavirus task force, has said in interviews that he believed that it would take several more weeks until people can start going about their lives in a more normal fashion. Other infectious disease experts suggest even harsher measures than social distancing are required to truly beat back the outbreaks in the United States.

But at the White House, in recent days, there has been a growing sentiment that medical experts were allowed to set policy that has hurt the economy, and there has been a push to find ways to let people start returning to work. Some Republican lawmakers have also pleaded with the White House to find ways to restart the economy, as financial markets continue to slide and job losses for April could be in the millions.
Vice President Mike Pence indicated on Sunday at a White House briefing about the virus that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention would issue new guidelines on Monday, allowing some people who have been exposed to the coronavirus to resume working outside their homes if they wear masks.

The move could set the stage for states with relatively low numbers of cases to begin to unfreeze their economies, while large states like California and New York — where there are more cases and where state officials have ordered nonessential businesses to close for the time being — could continue remaining in a holding pattern.

The assumption that there are states with "small numbers of cases" means the Trump regime is more than ready to feed their corpses to the economy, and they already have their scapegoat to blame, the evil Chinese among us who "brought in this plague".

It's racism that's literally going to kill people.

Trump Goes Viral, Con't

There's nothing in the big stimulus "phase 3" bill to protect the nation's 40 million rental households, and nothing really being discussed, and whole hell of a lot of people are going to get evicted come middle of April.
As millions of Americans are being told to stay inside their homes, eviction notices are still being issued by landlords across the country.

President Trump on Wednesday declared that the Department of Housing and Urban Development would be “providing immediate relief to renters and homeowners by suspending all foreclosures and evictions until the end of April."

But Trump misstated what is actually occurring.

The federal actions announced last week would protect more than 30 million homeowners from eviction, but they do not cover the nation’s 40 million renters. HUD issued a 60-day moratorium on evictions for homeowners who are unable to pay their federally backed mortgages. The Federal Housing Finance Agency also granted relief to homeowners with loans backed by two government-controlled companies, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

Some public housing authorities, including New York, the largest in the nation, also imposed moratoriums on evictions, but that reprieve only applies to tenants in federally subsidized apartments.

While some governors, mayors, city councils and judges are taking action, most state- and municipal-wide moratoriums on evictions last only a few weeks. The day after Ferguson received her eviction notice, a Milwaukee judge ordered that sheriff’s deputies stop serving eviction orders in the county, but only until April 9.

Without a national moratorium on evictions, housing advocates say, some of the country’s most vulnerable people will lose the homes that could keep them from contracting the virus. Black and Hispanic Americans, who are more likely to be renters and work low-wage jobs, would be disproportionately affected.

“It’s important that there be a uniform policy that gives everyone in America an assurance that we won’t lose our home in the midst of a public health emergency,” said Diane Yentel, president of the National Low Income Housing Coalition

It's almost assuredly not going to happen.  People are going to be tossed out into the street starting a few weeks from now, and the nation's big rental management companies, that own hundreds of properties and tens of thousands of units, are going to start tossing thousands, maybe millions into the streets.

Unless Congress and Trump do something about a national moratorium, you're going to have millions of people told to shelter in place with no shelter to be placed in, and they will start dying. Not all of them from COVID-19, either.

There will be no help from the GOP.  Increasingly the plan is to force states to end shelter-in-place and "restart the economy" at the end of the month.

President Trump and some of his senior officials are losing patience with the doctors’ orders.

The state of play: Amid dire predictions for jobs and the economy, the White House is beginning to send signals to business that there's light at the end of the tunnel — that the squeeze from nationwide social distancing won't be endless. 
Trump tweeted at 10 minutes to midnight: "WE CANNOT LET THE CURE BE WORSE THAN THE PROBLEM ITSELF. AT THE END OF THE 15 DAY PERIOD [which began a week ago, March 16], WE WILL MAKE A DECISION AS TO WHICH WAY WE WANT TO GO!" 
Vice President Pence, who heads the White House's Coronavirus Task Force, had signaled the change in tone earlier when he said the CDC will issue guidance today allowing people exposed to the coronavirus to return to work sooner by wearing a mask for a certain length of time.

Why it matters: Taken together, Trump’s tweet and Pence's comment supply the strongest public signals we've seen that the administration is looking for ways to get people out in the world again to fire up the economy — perhaps much sooner than Dr. Fauci would like. 
Trump is responding both to his own instincts and to messages that key outside allies have been sending for days. 
He retweeted a number of those outside allies echoing similar stances on Monday morning.

Between the lines: Senior Trump officials, including the president himself, have only limited patience for keeping the economy shut down. They are watching stocks tumble and unemployment skyrocket.

I fully expect Trump to make things extremely difficult for states that do not end emergency measures like school and work closures by April 1 at the latest, and he's going to make that clear this week, regardless of how many COVID-19 cases and deaths are evident by then.

Never mind that millions don't have jobs to go back to right now.  Rent's due, gotta pay up.

Get back to work during the pandemic, you lazy parasites.  We have profit to make!

Our Little Domestic Terrorist Problem, Con't

White supremacist terrorist groups in the US have been openly plotting using COVID-19 as a makeshift bioweapon, deliberately spreading the illness into black, Hispanic, and Asian communities with the intent of killing as many non-white people as possible.

White supremacists discussed plans to weaponize coronavirus via “saliva,” a “spray bottle” or “laced items,” according to a weekly intelligence brief distributed by a federal law enforcement division on Feb. 17.

Federal investigators appeared to be monitoring the white nationalists’ communications on Telegram, an encrypted messaging app that has become popular with neo-Nazis. In the conversations, the white supremacists suggested targeting law enforcement agents and “nonwhite” people with attacks designed to infect them with the coronavirus.

“Violent extremists continue to make bioterrorism a popular topic among themselves,” reads the intelligence brief written by the Federal Protective Service, which covered the week of Feb. 17-24. “White Racially Motivated Violent Extremists have recently commented on the coronavirus stating that it is an ‘OBLIGATION’ to spread it should any of them contract the virus.” 
The Federal Protective Service, part of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, is a law enforcement agency responsible for protecting buildings owned or leased by the federal government.

The intelligence brief, marked for official use only, noted the white supremacists “suggested targeting … law enforcement and minority communities, with some mention of public places in general.” According to the document, the extremists discussed a number of methods for coronavirus attacks, such spending time in public with perceived enemies, leaving “saliva on door handles” at local FBI offices, spitting on elevator buttons and spreading coronavirus germs in “nonwhite neighborhoods.” 
The February document appears to show that at least some white nationalists were already taking the threat of the coronavirus seriously at a time when some in government were downplaying the threat. On Feb. 26, President Trump said that he expected the cases to go down to zero in the United States in “a couple of days.” The Washington Post reported on Friday that intelligence agencies were issuing “ominous” warnings about the virus in January and February.

Three things:

One, feds took this seriously only because they were targets too.

Two, the feds took this seriously because they were targets and they didn't buy Donald Trump's lies. Intelligence agencies have been warning about a pandemic scenario for months and were ignored.  Now we know federal law enforcement treated the threat of COVID-19 seriously as well.

Three, feds sure didn't tell anyone in my neighborhood that neo-Nazis were trying to deliberately infect non-white folk in order to try to kill us.  This bulletin was five, six weeks ago.  You think anyone got a heads up?

I didn't.

Again, that was five weeks ago.

They knew.  They did nothing.


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