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January 23, 2020

Two significant things happened on this day in January.

1.) Adam Schiff delivered an emotional closing argument to the Senate during the impeachment trial. This looks very prophetic.

2.) The city of Wuhan, a city of 11 million in Hubei province, China was shut down and quarantine measures went into effect due to Coronavirus.

Now, there are some people who will tell you that the impeachment trial competed with Trump’s attention regarding Coronavirus. It distracted him from doing his job. But by this date in history, the first case was already in the state of Washington. Closing the borders to China only slowed it down. It was already with us.

In fact, Trump was already having meetings about Coronavirus in mid-January and he classified those meetings:

The White House ordered meetings where officials discussed the coronavirus to be classified, which barred information and delayed the government’s response, four Trump administration officials told Reuters.

Federal health officials were directed to keep dozens of meetings that started in mid-January, including discussions on the scope of infections, quarantines and travel restrictions confidential, Reuters reported Wednesday.

According to the sources, those without security clearances were not permitted in the high-security room, typically used for military and intelligence operations, at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), where the meetings took place.

“We had some very critical people who did not have security clearances who could not go,” one official told Reuters. “These should not be classified meetings. It was unnecessary.”

Was Schiff at these meetings as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee? Probably not. He was probably one of those critical people who should have been there but wasn’t.

But Schiff is a pretty capable guy. Is it possible that he knew about the coming pandemic and that he had his sources? Well, at that time, the spread of the disease in Wuhan was happening rapidly. Epidemiologists were already pulling the alarm that the virus was on the loose. They thought back then that only heroic and miraculous measures could keep it contained in China.

It makes you wonder if the message in Schiff’s video was meant to send a bigger message: Trump can’t be trusted to do anything that is not in his self-interest, he’s dangerous to Americans and we don’t have time to wait until November to remove him from office.

He might have been referring to a replay of Ukraine. But in that closing argument, you can replace Rudy Giuliani with Larry Kudlow and Christopher Wray with Anthony Fauci and it takes on a whole new meaning.

While Schiff and the House Managers were making their case with their hair on fire and begging and pleading with the Senate to say “enough!”, what did Trump do? Was he taking action on Coronavirus?

No, he was tweeting stuff like this:

It was all about the ratings.

This makes a twisted sort of sense

Yeah, because if everyone is back at work, he won’t have to worry about a bailout package for workers with the size and details that the event requires. So, minimize the advice from the experts, put everyone back to work and, voilé! The Republican bailout package will make perfect sense.

(They seem maniacally determined to avoid a multiplier effect from the ground up. Why is that??)

The only problem with this strategy is that nature doesn’t GAF about the airline or hotel industry. It might be tempered by unemployment insurance and cash payments.

Whatever. Nature will have the last word on the situation.

A stitch in time saves nine.

Penny wise and pound foolish.

An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.

Covid-19 PSA: loss of smell and taste

For those of you who want to be alert to early signs of Coronavirus symptoms, a recent post in the NYT says to pay attention to your ability to smell and taste. Loss of smell and taste are being seen as the first signs of infection. Some people are asymptomatic otherwise but a high number of patients who develop more serious symptoms experience a loss of taste and smell. The effect is temporary. Once the virus is cleared from the body, taste and smell return to normal within a couple of weeks.

It might be a good way to isolate the infected who are otherwise asymptomatic.

Something soothing.

It’s spring. Don’t forget.