(start at 3:30 for deep expression of concern over diet)
I did not watch the spectacle on Thursday because it makes me uncomfortable to see somebody behave like that in public.
It’s a behavioral problem the Trump family really should have dealt with when young Donald was acting out while at the Kew-Forest School and was exiled to military school.
Now it might be too late. But not too late for Republicans to open their eyes and realize what they have wrought.
Two months ago I wrote that I was putting my hopes on Sen. John McCain to mobilize his colleagues, as the patriotic act of a military hero.
The other day, the great Tim Weiner put his hopes on Sen. McCain as well as James Comey, the head of the F.B.I.
Comey. The name is familiar.
I also gave Trump 18 months in office before he got bored, or was forced out. The way it looks now, he will lose the Republicans in Congress, one by one. One can only imagine what the rational ones are saying in the corridors right now. Eventually, even moral ciphers like Mitch McConnell and Paul Ryan will catch up.
Then there's this: last weekend on the resurgent Saturday Night Live, Michael Che alluded to Trump’s junk-food jones:
“I’m starting to feel bad for Donald Trump . . . I hope he quits. Donald, is this really how you want to spend the last two years of your life?”
I did catch a few clips from Trump’s performance on Thursday. The man looks terrible – new lines on his face, new jowls, new twitches. He seemed to be sucking wind between his one-liners.
Dude, when you see McCain and Graham and a few others at the door for a little chat, they will be doing you a yooge favor.
Measuring Covid Deaths, by David Leonhardt. July 17, 2023. NYT online.
The United States has reached a milestone in the long struggle against Covid: The total number of Americans dying each day — from any cause — is no longer historically abnormal….
After three horrific years, in which Covid has killed more than one million Americans and transformed parts of daily life, the virus has turned into an ordinary illness.
The progress stems mostly from three factors:
First, about three-quarters of U.S. adults have received at least one vaccine shot.
Second, more than three-quarters of Americans have been infected with Covid, providing natural immunity from future symptoms. (About 97 percent of adults fall into at least one of those first two categories.)
Third, post-infection treatments like Paxlovid, which can reduce the severity of symptoms, became widely available last year.
“Nearly every death is preventable,” Dr. Ashish Jha, who was until recently President Biden’s top Covid adviser, told me. “We are at a point where almost everybody who’s up to date on their vaccines and gets treated if they have Covid, they rarely end up in the hospital, they almost never die.”
That is also true for most high-risk people, Jha pointed out, including older adults — like his parents, who are in their 80s — and people whose immune systems are compromised. “Even for most — not all but most —immuno-compromised people, vaccines are actually still quite effective at preventing against serious illness,” he said. “There has been a lot of bad information out there that somehow if you’re immuno-compromised that vaccines don’t work.”
That excess deaths have fallen close to zero helps make this point: If Covid were still a dire threat to large numbers of people, that would show up in the data.
One point of confusion, I think, has been the way that many Americans — including we in the media — have talked about the immuno-compromised. They are a more diverse group than casual discussion often imagines.
Most immuno-compromised people are at little additional risk from Covid — even people with serious conditions, such as multiple sclerosis or a history of many cancers. A much smaller group, such as people who have received kidney transplants or are undergoing active chemotherapy, face higher risks.
Covid’s toll, to be clear, has not fallen to zero. The C.D.C.’s main Covid webpage estimates that about 80 people per day have been dying from the virus in recent weeks, which is equal to about 1 percent of overall daily deaths.
The official number is probably an exaggeration because it includes some people who had virus when they died even though it was not the underlying cause of death. Other C.D.C. data suggests that almost one-third of official recent Covid deaths have fallen into this category. A study published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases came to similar conclusions.
Dr. Shira Doron, the chief infection control officer at Tufts Medicine in Massachusetts, told me that “age is clearly the most substantial risk factor.” Covid’s victims are both older and disproportionately unvaccinated. Given the politics of vaccination, the recent victims are also disproportionately
Republican and white.
Each of these deaths is a tragedy. The deaths that were preventable — because somebody had not received available vaccines and treatments — seem particularly tragic. (Here’s a Times guide to help you think about when to get your next booster shot.)
From the great Maureen Dowd:
As I write this, I’m in a deserted newsroom in The Times’s D.C. office. After working at home for two years during Covid, I was elated to get back, so I could wander around and pick up the latest scoop.
But in the last year, there has been only a smattering of people whenever I’m here, with row upon row of empty desks. Sometimes a larger group gets lured in for a meeting with a platter of bagels."
--- Dowd writes about the lost world of journalists clustered in newsrooms at all hours, smoking, drinking, gossipping, making phone calls, typing, editing.
"Putting out the paper," we called it.
Much more than nostalgia.