My View: COVID Cases Reach 181,000 in a Day As President Trump Checks Out

By David M. Greenwald

One of my favorite conspiracies from people was the assertion from some that COVID will disappear on November 4.  The clear implication is that this was a manufactured crisis designed by some nefarious force and stoked by the media to get President Trump out of power and that, once he was safely gone, life would resume back to normal.

Instead, the latest surge that began toward the end of September when the number of cases had greatly declined has reached such heights as to dwarf the previous outbreak and, unlike the first or second waves which had hit selective states, this one is hammering the heartland—although the two coasts are moving slowly into the red as well.

Earlier this week, we had some good news with Pfizer’s vaccine showing strong potential to be effective.  They are hoping to be able to roll it out by the end of the year.

That prompted one commenter to write: “Thanks Trump for fast tracking and funding COVID vaccine research.”

While that part is good, we can debate over how much of a role the President played in it and whether another administration would have really been that different.  BUT, in the wait until we get a vaccine—if we do—we are getting hammered and it appears that the President has completely checked out on this issue.

This week the networks called the remaining states—Arizona and Georgia for Biden, with North Carolina going for Trump.  That pushes Biden up to 306 electoral votes with a 5 million vote lead in the popular vote (four years ago Trump had the same 306 electoral votes but a 2 million vote deficit in the popular vote).

Trump’s energy has been focused in challenges to the election that increasingly resemble tilting at windmills.  He has filed 18 lawsuits so far, with only one producing anything that could be called a win—it required Pennsylvania segregate late ballots, something they were doing anyway.

While Trump disengages from actual governing, it has been left to President-elect Biden to pick up the leadership, even though he won’t have formal power for another two months and a week.

The New York Times reports this morning, “President Trump broke his near-total silence on the coronavirus on Friday with an appearance in the Rose Garden in which he threatened to deny New York access to a vaccine.”

Biden called the federal response “woefully lacking” as yesterday saw 1300 more Americans dead and nearly 70,000 people hospitalized.

“I will not be president until next year,” Mr. Biden said. “The crisis does not respect dates on the calendar, it is accelerating right now. Urgent action is needed today, now, by the current administration—starting with an acknowledgment of how serious the current situation is.”

The President, for his part, hailed the news of the vaccine, but has so far vowed only not to order widespread lockdowns.

He also threatened to withhold the vaccine from New York because Governor Andrew Cuomo had said that the state would conduct its own review of the vaccine.

“He doesn’t trust the fact that it’s this White House, this administration, so we won’t be delivering it to New York until we have authorization to do so,” President Trump said.  “So the governor will let us know when he’s ready. He’s had some very bad editorials recently about this.”

I for one will not miss the confrontational press conferences and look forward to a President who views this nation as a partner, rather than divided into friends and adversaries.

From the start, the President has provided little leadership on this.  And, while it is true he pushed the election far closer than most expected at the end, he can owe the fact that he lost reelection to his failure to respond here.

A vaccine will prove to be a potential life saver, but, as we wait for that, the death toll is likely to set new records in the coming days and weeks, and federal resources are needed and are in short supply.

Governor Tony Evers of Wisconsin, for example, where new cases reached over 8000, said that whatever the President said right now “could not make up for his refusals to wear a mask and his embrace of large public gatherings, at campaign rallies and at the White House.”

Evers said the administration personnel “report to a president who, frankly, isn’t the most consistent one as it relates to the things that count: masks, and making sure you’re not in public gatherings with a whole bunch of people to spread the disease.

“They’re not going to play a huge political role here,” he added.

We want to celebrate a vaccine a few months off—fine—but we need help now.  The people dying today aren’t coming back at the end of the year when a vaccine comes out, if it does.

—David M. Greenwald reporting


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About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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21 Comments

  1. Keith Olsen

    That prompted one commenter to write: “Thanks Trump for fast tracking and funding COVID vaccine research.”

    What, did you archive that post because I’m pretty sure it was deleted.  And that leads to why you would now make it part of an article when it wasn’t worthy, for some reason, of being posted in the comment section?

    And yes, thank you Trump for putting policies in place to fast track a vaccine.  Most vaccines take several years, 10 to 15 years is not uncommon, but because of Trump’s push we’ll have a vaccine within a year.

     it has been left to President-elect Biden to pick up the leadership even though he won’t have formal power for another two months and a week.

    How so, he’s still hiding in his basement.

    I for one will not miss the confrontational press conferences and look forward to a President who views this nation as a partner rather than divided into friends and adversaries.

    The press conferences were made confrontational by the Trump hating media.  When Biden (46) is president we all know things will change as the press will be slobbering all over him with their softball questions.

     

    1. David Greenwald

      Had no idea it was removed. I didn’t do it. And yes, I think thanking Trump for creating something that could help down the line, if it happens is foolhardy when he is allowing the situation to blow up. My brother in law is not coming back. Neither are the people who die in the time between now and when the vaccine rolls out. Trump doesn’t care. It appears you don’t much either.

        1. David Greenwald

          What good does it do to have a vaccine in a few months if he allows the situation to spin out of control and we end up with more than a million cases a week? I’m pissed and you are defending utter incompetence.

        2. Keith Olsen

          All I’ve said here is Trump’s policies helped fast track a vaccine.

          How is that defending incompetence?

          Reading your out of line and inappropriate responses it’s obvious you’re pissed.

           

      1. Bill Marshall

        Actually, the POTUS is behaving like Nixon in’74-75… ‘bunker mentality’… or ‘basement’, or ‘spider-hole’… choose your metaphor…

        But, he has a 6-3 majority in the SCOTUS, has replaced folk highup in the Defense Dept/Military, so popular/electoral college results may not matter… we have yet to see the “end-game”… and, worst case, he can either pardon himself, or resign an hour before noon, Jan 20, 2021, and have Pence do it… he is not going quietly into the good night… for reals…

        Narcissist to the end…

    2. Alan Miller

      What, did you archive that post because I’m pretty sure it was deleted.  And that leads to why you would now make it part of an article when it wasn’t worthy, for some reason, of being posted in the comment section?

      That’s rich . . .

  2. Don Shor

    70 cases reported in Yolo County yesterday. The good news, more or less, is that only 10 of them were in Davis. That continues the pattern in which Davis — with the highest population in Yolo County — has the lowest number of cases. But unfortunately, Yolo is almost certain to move back into the purple tier with significant restrictions on businesses (without federal funding) and continued restrictions on social gatherings. And while the county could target those actions toward areas which have high infection rates (Woodland, West Sac), they are likely to implement them county-wide.

    That raises the question: if Davis was a county, which tier would it be in? If the county supervisors have data that shows them where the outbreaks are occurring, are they acting promptly and effectively to provide contact tracing, expand testing in those areas? Have they considered more carefully targeted measures that could be more effective? And in the absence of federal funds, does the county intend to help businesses pay their employees and their rent, help renters get relief, and possibly delay the upcoming property tax payment that is due Dec. 10? Otherwise, any tighter restrictions are likely to cause significant economic harm.

    The governors of CA, Oregon, and Washington have issued a joint travel advisory: 
    https://www.gov.ca.gov/2020/11/13/california-oregon-washington-issue-travel-advisories/

    The travel advisories urge against non-essential out-of-state travel, ask people to self-quarantine for 14 days after arriving from another state or country and encourage residents to stay local.”

     

  3. Eric Gelber

    Trump has acted as if there are only two alternatives to address the pandemic while a vaccine is being developed—either a complete lockdown or doing nothing. He has chosen the latter. As a result of the failure to take any interim action, there have been nearly a quarter million deaths, and counting, in the U.S. Trump has failed miserably.

  4. David Greenwald

    Nov. 1: 76,771

    Nov. 2: 86,589

    Nov. 3: 91,910

    Nov. 4: 104,296

    Nov. 5: 121,289

    Nov. 6: 126,731

    Nov. 7: 125,100

    Nov. 8: 109,177

    Nov. 9: 133,819

    Nov. 10: 131,990

    Nov. 11: 148,302

    Nov. 12: 161,651

    Nov. 13: 176,309

  5. Keith Olsen

    “He doesn’t trust the fact that it’s this White House, this administration, so we won’t be delivering it to New York until we have authorization to do so,” President Trump said.  “So the governor will let us know when he’s ready. He’s had some very bad editorials recently about this.”

    Apparently Cuomo sounds “pissed” because the announcement of the vaccine didn’t wait until Biden was president.

    It’s probably the lowest thing Gov Cuomo has ever done, and that’s saying something. On Monday morning, when everyone else was celebrating the spectacular news that Pfizer’s vaccine for COVID-19 looks 90 percent effective, Cuomo, as is typical, reverted to politics.

    https://nypost.com/2020/11/09/gov-cuomo-hits-new-low-with-covid-vaccine-comments/

     

    1. David Greenwald

      It kind of reminds me of a war – you announce that in two months you might have a peace treaty, in the meantime, your casualties are going up. You keep saying, we have a peace treaty coming, and others will focus on the fact that people are dying and probably going to be dying in record numbers within the week.

  6. Tia Will

    thank you Trump for putting policies in place to fast track a vaccine. “

    One more time. Trump’s Warp Speed was not what allowed for the rapid development of Pfizer’s vaccine which was developed in Germany by German & Turkish leads. His use of American money to fund the effort is not the same thing as initiating a program and I certainly wish people would stop repeating this misconception. Trump was not a leader of this initiative although the US was a funder. However, who gets credit pales in comparison to why we are not being successful.

    The virus is the enemy. It is currently our most dangerous enemy. This should not be political. The virus wants only the opportunity to spread. And this is what we have not denied it. You have all heard me say this before, but I will repeat. Prevention is all we have available to us at the present. In our city, county, our state, and across the country, we need to be staying home except for essentials. We need to be masked and distanced when we must go out. Nationally we need to be providing people who have lost their income with a stipend that provides the essentials. We need to be providing a moratorium on rents and mortgages. We need to be providing free testing and COVID care. If this means we increase taxes on those making more than $400K or cut nonessential military spending ( Space Force as one example), or stop all work on “the wall”, then so be it. We are dying, both physically and economically, IMO, because we are unwilling to adopt the flexibility and vision to fight back consistently and persistently in ways that have been demonstrated effective by other countries.

    1. Keith Olsen

      This is from Pfizer’s own website:

      PFIZER AND BIONTECH ANNOUNCE AN AGREEMENT WITH U.S. GOVERNMENT FOR UP TO 600 MILLION DOSES OF MRNA-BASED VACCINE CANDIDATE AGAINST SARS-COV-2
      July 22, 2020

      U.S. government placed an initial order of 100 million doses for $1.95 billion and can acquire up to 500 million additional doses
      Americans to receive the vaccine for free consistent with U.S. government’s commitment for free access for COVID-19 vaccines
      Pfizer and BioNTech remain on track to begin an anticipated Phase 2b/3 safety and efficacy trial later this month, seek regulatory review as early as October 2020, and manufacture globally up to 100 million doses by the end of 2020 and potentially more than 1.3 billion doses by the end of 2021
      Pfizer Inc. (NYSE: PFE) and BioNTech SE (Nasdaq: BNTX) today announced the execution of an agreement with the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Defense to meet the U.S. government’s Operation Warp Speed program goal to begin delivering 300 million doses of a vaccine for COVID-19 in 2021. 

      https://investors.pfizer.com/investor-news/press-release-details/2020/Pfizer-and-BioNTech-Announce-an-Agreement-with-U.S.-Government-for-up-to-600-Million-Doses-of-mRNA-based-Vaccine-Candidate-Against-SARS-CoV-2/default.aspx?linkId=94692381&fbclid=IwAR2hXEPQxyNsg-nuwQUSvwMcFyvv6NUJ_ixOFAbv2S3Z_Avy92U_-bqoffw

  7. Tia Will

    Keith

    U.S. government placed an initial order of 100 million doses for $1.95 billion and can acquire up to 500 million additional doses

    Americans to receive the vaccine for free consistent with U.S. government’s commitment for free access for COVID-19 vaccines”

    As I said, “placed an initial order of…” Not initiated or commissioned the research. Not named the research team. Not fully funded the initial research. Not came up with the idea for.

    Repeat, “placed an initial order”. Am I a pioneer, leader, innovator if I place an order for a cashmere sweater for my daughter for Christmas? No. Does your tax money support the real innovators? Yes. But that is all.

    Now how about addressing the second paragraph of my post? You know. The part that really matters.

     

    1. Keith Olsen

      Trump’s administration dangled $2 billion in front of Pfizer if they could come up with a safe and effective COVID vaccine.  You don’t think that played a role in Pfyzer’s plans to develop a vaccine?

       

  8. Tia Will

    Keith

    I have already told you where I believe the credit should go and why. Yes, Trump had a role in it. The same way I have a role in Planned Parenthood ( where I have never worked nor set policy in any way) when I make my annual donation.

    Also, other companies capable of vaccine development have proceeded without Trump’s contribution. So I find it impossible to answer the question of what Pfizer would have done if Trump had not singled them out.

  9. Ron Oertel

    To paraphrase Trump: 

    “People on both sides, wasting their time and energy on stupid sh*t” – see article below.  (I’ll withhold judgement regarding “good” vs. “bad”.)

    (Actually, that might be a good description of what occurs on here, as well. No, I’m not precluding myself from that “judgement”.)

    https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/us/thousands-of-maskless-trump-supporters-rally-in-dc-falsely-claiming-president-won-election/ar-BB1b0swK?li=BBnb7Kz

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