Recent data — eight straight days of declining new daily infections — and a recent decline in deaths, we hit a six day low yesterday, accompanied by a prolonged weekly plateau in deaths as well, suggest we have reached the peak of the coronavirus outbreak in this country.
The story of America’s response to the coronavirus offers a wealth of story lines that will be examined for weeks, months and years to come. In fact, a part of me wants to write an entire book on this story looking at this from every possible angle.
But that will be for the future.
For the day after Easter I decided to catalog the seven deadly sins of our coronavirus response with a deep dive into where we are right now and how we got here. (If you’re interested in everything I’ve written on Outkick about the coronavirus, you can read that here.)
So here we go.
1. China (and the World Health Organization) failed the world.
If we want to place blame — and essentially the Internet is one large blame factory — the most blame clearly lies at the feet of China. The virus started in Wuhan, China and if the Chinese government had responded adequately the virus could have been stopped there with minimal loss of life.
Instead China, in conjunction with doctors at the WHO who helped to cover up the seriousness of the virus, consistently minimized the danger from the coronavirus. Instead of stopping the virus spread back in December, China allowed it to spread around the world. Worse than that, they lied about the number of infected people and deaths, creating a false sense of security around the world.
Instead of there being 80,000 infections and three thousand deaths — as China and most in the media have reported day after day for months — it seems likely there were hundreds of thousands of infections, and potentially millions of infections, resulting in tens of thousands of deaths.
If the world had known tens of thousands of people had died from this virus in China back in December and January, I suspect the worldwide loss of life would have been tiny.
Why do I think that?
South Korea, Japan, Sinagpore and Hong Kong all stopped the spread of the coronavirus with limited loss of life. As I write this South Korea has 214 deaths, Japan has 108 deaths, Singapore has eight deaths, and Hong Kong has four deaths from the coronavirus. (All four of these countries, unlike China, provide much more trustworthy numbers).
Why did all of these Asian countries succeed in stopping the spread of the coronavirus? Because they didn’t trust the numbers from China.
Unfortunately, I did trust the numbers from China. And in conjunction with reviewing the data from the limited loss of life in these other Asian countries I wrote this on Outkick back on March 6th:
“China has been through the worst of the virus and emerged on the other side. And the worst of the virus appears to have cost them about 3,000 lives. Given that their country has over triple our country’s population, I’d put the likely coronavirus death total at around 1,000 people in the United States, almost all of them elderly and already ill. To be sure this isn’t ideal, especially since I hate death more than everyone in the country, but we’re talking about the coronavirus killing far fewer people in our country than the seasonal flu does on a yearly basis.”
If I’d known tens of thousands of people had died from this virus in China, I wouldn’t have said a thousand people were likely to die in the United States. (Having said that, my paragraph prediction above wasn’t all wrong, the coronavirus is likely to kill far fewer people in the United States than the flu did two years ago or even the flu did this year. So even with China’s lies the rest of the data from Asia appears to have been reliable). But if China hadn’t lied the potential danger would have appeared much more pronounced to the United States, the major European countries, and others, including Dr. Fauci, who was saying this in late January as late as the final day in February.
I yield to no one in admiration of Dr. Fauci. But this comment from January 21 should be kept in mind by those accusing anyone in the U.S. of failing to act in time against Covid 19. Watch it all the way through: pic.twitter.com/wCBHT1wfdr
— Brit Hume (@brithume) April 3, 2020
This was from February 29 pic.twitter.com/RL45poVmS8
— Steph (@steph93065) April 3, 2020
I’m not trying to belittle Dr. Fauci by sharing these clips, I’m merely pointing out that one of the reasons he made these comments was because China, aided by the WHO, was dishonest, allowing a false sense of security to exist in the United States and Europe.
It wasn’t that this virus was impossible to contain or to beat into submission, it was just that it required completely distrusting China’s numbers in order to do so. Something that no one was doing. (Remember Donald Trump was called racist for shutting down the border with China in late January. Can you imagine if he’d tried to tell the entire country to shut down in February? Heck Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi was traveling to Chinatown at the end of February to try and make Trump look racist for shutting down the border. New York City mayor Bill de Blasio, went to his gym on March 15th just before all gyms closed and told New Yorkers to go to their favorite bars for one last drink before he closed bars on March 16th. Meanwhile Governor Andrew Cuomo was going on television as late as early March telling New York City residents they had nothing to fear from the coronavirus and they should continue with their normal activities.
I’m not sharing this data to try and make any of these politicians look bad, but merely to show you that Democrats, Republicans and doctors all believed the coronavirus wasn’t particularly dangerous. Why did they believe that? Because China lied.
And, significantly, because China lied and because four Asian countries — South Korea, Japan, Sinapore and Hong Kong — which seem to have reliable data and oversight, had shut down the virus in their country as well. Indeed, these four countries have lost only 334 lives combined as of today’s writing. So China’s numbers didn’t appear that out of sorts if you put them in conjunction with the other Asian countries. That created a recipe for responsive disaster in the rest of the world.
Indeed what China’s lies did was allow Europe and the United States — and politicians of all different persuasions from liberal to conservative — to relax their guard against this virus. If China’s numbers were correct then we were talking about a virus that had killed less than 4,000 people in China, South Korea, Japan, Singapore and Hong Kong combined before it was effectively squashed out.
Given that China had allowed the virus to spread widely before shutting it down, what I wrote on March 6th was eminently reasonable. And so were the relatively relaxed responses to the virus from all these politicians in the United States and Europe. The worst case scenario just didn’t seem that bad and having people panic was a far worse result than urging calm.
If China had adequately controlled the spread of the coronavirus it would have never become a pandemic. Even if they had failed to control the spread of the coronavirus if China — or the WHO — had merely shared adequate factual data about their deaths and infections it’s unlikely Europe and the United States would have had a significant loss of life because those countries would have been prepared to act aggressively at the start.
Don’t believe me?
Australia and Canada, two democracies that were fortunate to be able to see the outbreaks in the United States and Europe before the virus arrived on their shores in large numbers, instituted aggressive protections in their countries to stop the spread of the virus once they knew the potential danger. Their loss of life? In Australia they have had 59 deaths. In Canada they’ve had 674 deaths and look likely to end up with about a third of the per capita deaths as the United States. Yes, both countries are much smaller than the United States and are still at earlier stages of their outbreak, but the coronavirus was eminently stoppable with a relatively minimal loss of life if we’d had the right data.
To be fair, while many in the media have focused on the total numbers of deaths, the United States has actually done much better per capita than most of the European countries, which were hit with the outbreak before we were.
Per capita coronavirus death rate: comparing United States and major European countries. pic.twitter.com/GSblqBflSC
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) April 13, 2020
The first deadly sin that both Europe and the United States fell victim to in their coronavirus response was trusting China and the WHO.
Even with this trust of China, however, the next great sin in the coronavirus response was trusting the “experts” and their models of the coronavirus.
2. The coronavirus models failed us.
Okay, so we missed the opportunity to stop the coronavirus with minimal loss of life in both Europe and the United States.
What happens next?
Well, as the coronavirus began to spread in Europe and the United States reasonable and rational reporting gave way to fear porn. We swung from the idea that there was no danger to the idea that everyone was going to die in the space of about 24 hours.
What is fear porn? A tendency in the media to lead with the absolute worst case scenario. Why does the media do this? Ratings. The more dangerous a situation seems the more people watch coverage of that situation. Generally speaking that leads to increased ratings which leads to increased revenue.
The kick in the teeth here was the media’s embrace of fear porn was so successful it ended up (nearly) destroying their entire business and the United States economy. That is, despite the ratings surging the media is reliant upon companies being in good enough financial shape to buy advertising on their programs. The fear porn was so overpowering in this case that the media destroyed their own business. (And much of the advanced world’s economy as well).
How did the media justify their fear porn? By embracing the worst and most dangerous models forecast in the world.
And the worst case of the worst case scenarios was the model from the Imperial College in England. A scientist there forecast that if the United States did nothing over two million people would die and over 500,000 would die in England.
While it received massive attention, the model appears to have no basis whatsoever in reliable forecasting.
After all, as Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci would later say in White House press conferences, there has never been any factual data on the ground to support the idea that millions of people were going to die anywhere from the coronavirus. In fact, it’s highly improbable that even a million people will die with all the world’s coronavirus cases combined. (As I write there are 115,000 coronavirus deaths, not including whatever the real number is in China, around the world).
The biggest flaw of all of these models was that we didn’t have reliable data about the coronavirus, making all input data broken from the start.
The second biggest flaw was every fear porn model presumed nothing would change and the virus would continue unchecked forever. That is, the models completely overlooked the fact that as risk increases people change their behaviors. A major defect of every coronavirus model is the assumption that nothing changes.
The third massive flaw is the huge range in potential outcomes. The media only focuses on the worst case scenario, doing a poor job of explaining probabilities to the larger American public.
Every model, at least every model I’ve seen from an epidemiologist that has received substantial media attention, has consistently erred on the side of worst case scenarios.
Just look at this report from New York state. Do you remember all the fear porn about New York running out of ventilators and hospital beds? Based on expert predictions New York expected they would need over 140,000 hospital beds at the peak of the coronavirus outbreak. The actual number at the peak? 18,500 hospital beds.
Experts said New York would need 140,000 hospital beds at the peak of the coronavirus. They actually needed 18,500. https://t.co/UJNoVownS8
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) April 11, 2020
The convention center hospital and Navy ship that was brought in to New York City to handle the overflow of patients? Both were mostly unnecessary and are likely to be discontinued in the days ahead.
But at least they were used.
In Seattle they built an army field hospital to handle overflow hospital patients and then took it down without treating a single patient there.
All based on flawed models.
After it became clear that the Imperial College forecast of millions of deaths was patently absurd — an endorsement that came from the forecaster himself when he testified in Britain that the actual death total, thanks to mitigation which hadn’t even begun before it became clear his model was crap, was likely to be under 20,000 deaths — a new forecast emerged from IMHE, at the University of Washington.
That forecast predicted 100,000 to 240,000 deaths in America and was the justification for the president locking down the country for the entire month of April.
That forecast now predicts 60,000 total deaths and will likely continue to be revised downwards in the days and weeks ahead. Significantly, the numbers have moved all the way down to 60,000 deaths before the impact of the April stay at home order has actually been implemented in the numbers. (We tend to run about two weeks behind in our data, meaning the first day of our stay at home order from April hasn’t yet been factored into the true data).
Many people will defend these forecasts by saying it’s better to err on the side of caution and be wildly inaccurate than to be too optimistic, but I disagree with this completely.
It’s better to be right.
Because without reliable forecasts of potential consequences we can’t implement smart public policy.
Some people get angry at this analogy, but we balance life and death in our public policy all the time with the way we respond to car accident deaths. Every year in America 40,000 people die of car accidents. If we wanted to drive car accident deaths down to zero in this country we could; we could ban every American from driving and insist every person stay inside their homes for an entire year.
In a year’s time the economy would have collapsed and the national death rate would have skyrocketed from people dying of starvation, but we could eliminate deaths from cars.
Similarly, we could restrict the speed limit to five miles an hour. It would be virtually impossible for anyone to die while driving a car at five miles an hour, but it would also be virtually impossible to get anywhere in any reasonable amount of time.
Rather than do either of these things we accept 40,000 deaths a year from car accidents to allow our economy to function.
Some will respond, “But car accidents don’t grow exponentially!” Or “Car accidents aren’t contagious!” No, but they do grow consistently for as far into the future as you can see. Unless we suddenly come up with self driving cars that take the rate of death in cars down much lower, we are likely to see a million people die of car accidents in this country over the next 20-25 years.
We are willing to accept, as a society, a million deaths from car accidents in this country over the next generation with almost no public policy debate. That’s because we accept a certain level of automobile deaths in order for our economy to function.
Rational public policy does not allow us to abandon our lives in order to prevent a relatively small number of deaths.
But rational public policy requires reliable forecasts.
And our forecast models were absolute crap.
So the second deadly sin of the coronavirus outbreak was disastrous forecasts.
3. We made huge decisions without reliable data.
Why were our models so bad?
Because we still don’t have reliable data about the coronavirus.
Unless we know the number of infected people everything we do is impossible to quantify.
It’s possible tens of millions of people in the United States have had the coronavirus. If that’s true it would mean this virus spreads very easily, but isn’t very deadly at all.
It’s also possible, albeit unlikely based on the data, that this virus spreads very poorly, but is very deadly.
The reason every model has been crap so far? Because the input data is crap.
We needed — and still need — randomized antibody testing of all Americans to determine the prevalence of this virus.
We still don’t have that data.
You don’t have to be a brilliant scientist to know that every model is only as good as the data input into the model. If we don’t know how many people have the virus then any prediction is complete crap.
Our third deadly sin was, and remains, the fact that we have no idea how many people have the coronavirus.
4. The media coverage was awful.
Rather than focus on things like ensuring we got reliable information on the prevalence of the virus — which is still the single most important question we don’t know the answer to — most media coverage was obsessed with gotcha elements of the story.
Who knew what about the coronavirus and when did they know it? This is the Watergate mantra that has influenced all journalism for nearly fifty years in this country. That form of journalism presumes all politicians are lying and trying to cover up blockbuster stories. While it’s sometimes true, it’s often not. Most politicians are like you and me, sometimes good, sometimes bad, but generally trying to do their best on a day-to-day basis.
Who knew what and when they knew it is a future story that might make good reading.
But why does it matter at all in the middle of an outbreak?
To use a sports analogy for you, the Washington media started writing their game story about who was to blame before we even knew what the final score of the game was going to be. This wasn’t Monday Morning Quarterbacking, this was assessing blame in the first quarter, before we even knew what the result of the game was going to be.
All of the media’s blame-focused reporting is secondary when actual danger is afoot. What the American public needed was for the media to coolly and reasonably focus on the things that matter in a time of crisis, the life and death information that can make our country function smartly.
I’ve watched almost every White House press conference and the quality of the questions is, in a word, abysmal. Theoretically the people covering the White House are the most talented journalists in the country. And if that’s the case, yikes.
All you come away with is this consistent truth: the media hates Donald Trump. (Not every media member, but most of them.)
I mean, legitimately hates him more than any president I’ve ever seen in my lifetime. I’m not even sure who the second most hated president is in my lifetime — maybe Bill Clinton? — but he’s not even remotely close to the same level of hate as Trump.
That reflexive hate creates an antagonistic perspective that doesn’t benefit the country. Especially not in times of crisis. Instead the hate pollutes and corrodes good journalism.
The media hates Trump so much that they refuse to believe anything that he says, even when he turns out to be correct. I’ll give you a good example here — Trump — as well as Dr. Birx — regularly said they believed the country would have enough ventilators and hospital beds. But I bet Trump was asked ten times a day in press conferences about a ventilator shortage. The clear intent with all of these questions was to label Trump — and his team — as incompetent.
The end result?
Trump was right, the nation has plenty of ventilators.
Will anyone in the media actually write this story? Of course not.
Rather than focus on the factors that really mattered — again, hello, why don’t we have adequate data on this virus? — the media consistently got lost on stories that didn’t matter.
Another good example?
What do we call the virus?
In the middle of a global pandemic, the media decided it was racist to call the virus the Chinese virus.
Indeed, amazingly, there has been more media criticism of Donald Trump calling this a Chinese virus than there has been of all of China’s lies about the coronavirus.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) April 11, 2020
How about the complete failure of the media to cover much beyond New York City? Yes, we know, the situation in New York and its bedroom communities has been dire, but why is New York such an outlier? California, Texas and Florida all three have massive populations and have not seen any viral spread in large numbers. That’s despite the response of Florida being much different than California. Heck, Seattle’s outbreak started far before New York’s and began in a nursing home yet that outbreak didn’t go anywhere after the state of Washington’s aggressive response. Is this a function of density, public transit, bad luck, communal generational living, why has New York been so much worse than the rest of the country? And why has the rest of the country, and the positive results there, received so little coverage compared to the bad news in New York? On Sunday 38 states and the District of Columbia all had 11 or fewer fatalities. I bet many of you are stunned to hear those numbers are so tiny because the rest of the country, aside from generalized criticism of red state idiots, has received almost no attention. Why have all these places succeeded while New York failed? That’s the single biggest question about the viral outbreak so far, and we’ve barely seen anyone in the media explore it.
If they weren’t getting distracted by bright, shiny and inconsequential story lines, they were asking the president about what someone else said, making them essentially errand boys and girls for other politicians.
The end result?
The story was too big and too important and the media was too picayune for the moment.
Finally, and I believe this is significant, most in the media aren’t very good at science or math. This is a generalization — and there are certainly exceptions — but most journalists gravitate towards the written word, not math and science. So the coronavirus exposed a glaring lack of knowledge when it came to a national crisis predicated on science. (I’ll get to this a bit more in a moment, but the end result was an over reliance on “experts.”)
5. Social media demanded uniformity of opinion.
While I’ve pointed out the massive failures of the media and the modeling, another big failure was social media, which demanded a uniformity of opinion akin to the response I saw in the wake of 9/11.
There were plenty of brilliant epidemiologists at Harvard, Stanford, Oxford and other top institutions challenging the conventional wisdom of the fear porn models predicting millions of deaths, but they were shouted down by the coronabros on social media, who insisted if you advocated anything other than a complete shut down of the country that you didn’t care at all about people dying.
In so doing we saw an eerie echo of 9/11.
For those of you who are too young to remember our national response to 9/11, anyone who suggested it might not be the smartest decision to go to the Middle East and begin a never-ending war was shouted down as unpatriotic. This was the time when Bill Maher lost his job on ABC for saying the terrorists weren’t cowards on his Politically Incorrect television show. (He didn’t argue the terrorists were good people, just that they didn’t fit the dictionary definition of cowards. He was correct. But he still lost his job.)
Social media mobs ran rampant online, policing anyone who dared question any element of conventional wisdom.
Just like after 9/11 we stumbled into a trillion-dollar response with remarkably little debate.
The only thing that has truly grown exponentially in this country is the unemployment rate. Yet we shut down the entire country with almost no one daring to argue it was a bad idea. Why didn’t any politician step up to at least engage in a true debate about the wisdom of this decision? Because they were all afraid of being shouted down by the online mobs.
Look, regardless of your politics, aren’t we all able to acknowledge that no one is pro-death?!
Not on social media.
Any time you shared anything other than a doom and gloom forecast you were roundly criticized by coronabros and the blue checkmark brigade on Twitter. Social media’s fuel isn’t reason or logic, it’s emotion. And emotion, especially in times of crisis, is often the worst leader of all.
As if that weren’t enough social media also requires an oversimplified Disneyfied sense of right and wrong, good and evil. No one in real life is all good or all evil, on social media everyone is, all day long, every day. Social media is, in may ways, the absolute worst invention for times of crisis because it encourages rapid emotional response and discourages deep thinking and reason.
Remember the Medium post that went viral calmly analyzing all the data surrounding the coronavirus? Medium took it down after blue checkmarks lost their minds because the discussion wasn’t laden with enough fear porn. That’s even though much of that post now appears to be true.
As a first amendment absolutist, I find this absolutely terrifying.
Smart public policy requires robust and uninhibited public debate on all issues. We saw none of it at all when it came to the coronavirus. As a result our public policy hasn’t been as good as it could have been. Despite the fact that our knowledge of this virus remains spartan, anyone who challenged any of the conventional wisdom was shouted down.
Our fifth cardinal sin was social media’s policing of dissenting thought.
6. Experts are notoriously unreliable in all fields; we treated them as if they were infallible.
One of my favorite analogies from law school came on the day I graduated. One of the speakers got up and said this, “Before you started law school if someone asked you a legal question, you could stare them straight in the face and say, without a bit of shame, “I don’t know.”
Now after three years of rigorous law school study and preparation to become newly minted lawyers you’re likely going to all be getting legal questions from friends and family for the rest of your life. And now when someone asks you a legal question you can look them right in the face and say, “Well, that depends.”
It’s amazing how much truth there is in this story.
Lawyers, uniquely, are aware of how much we don’t know and how much a subtle alteration of a fact pattern can mean. We spend most of our lives training for future cases by reviewing all the precedents from the past, but we aren’t always sure how the fact patterns of the past will apply to present realities. That’s why given virtually any legal dispute you can find two lawyers who disagree. The law is complex, facts matter a great deal, and the adversarial system of the law means that we believe truth is most often found not via consensus, but via mental combat.
Maybe more so than most, I’m skeptical of experts in all fields.
Not because I believe experts intentionally attempt to get things wrong — far from it — but because studies have consistently shown us that experts are notoriously bad at predicting future outcomes in their fields of expertise.
Over the weekend I finished an interesting book called “Range: Why Generalists Triumph In a Specialized World” by David Epstein.
A chapter in that book featured a discussion about experts and how often they are wrong. I took a picture of one page in that chapter, which is reproduced here.
— Clay Travis (@ClayTravis) April 12, 2020
Experts can be good at analyzing what has already happened, but they are generally atrocious at telling us what is likely to happen in the future.
So when this entire story began, I was terrified of how many people treated epidemiologists as if they were able to see the future. Science has shown us time after time that experts in fields are often worse than smart members of the general public at predicting that’s going to happen.
I’m not only skeptical of experts, I’m also skeptical of anyone who predicts something that hasn’t happened in hundreds of years. What the Imperial College expert was projecting from the coronavirus — millions of deaths — wasn’t just utterly unfounded by any existing data anywhere else in the world, it was suggesting something that had never happened in the history of the United States, an epidemic that would kill millions of people. (Prior epidemics featuring Old World diseases in the New World have certainly killed millions, but they predated America’s founding).
Yet if you dared question any doom and gloom model propounded by an epidemiologist the immediate response you got was to ask where you got your epidemiology doctorate.
But here’s the deal, it’s often the case that smart people without advanced and expert degrees are more likely to see the flaws inherent in a particular form of modeling specifically because they are outside that field of expertise. In other words, far from being a hindrance, this is a perfect example of outside the (epidemiological) box thinking.
My forecast from looking at Asian virus results and projecting an outcome in America was far more accurate than the modeling done by the Imperial College of London. No, I don’t have an advanced degree in epidemiology, but I’m smart enough to analogize viral situations across national borders. If South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong and Singapore, four countries with a combined population of nearly 200 million, were able to keep their death total under 500 people, why was the United States, with a population of 327 million, going to have over two million deaths? And, heck, why was England, with a population one-fourth as large as those Asian countries going to have a death toll of over 500,000?
I don’t need to have an advanced epidemiology degree to recognize that these numbers made zero sense. I couldn’t have been the only person with these thoughts, yet why was I one of the only people willing to point this out?
Because I believe in a panicked state, driven to high levels of anxiety by the media’s embrace of fear porn, many people rush to assume the worst and abandoned all rational thought. They put their faith in an expert opinion, even when it has been shown, time after time, and in study after study, that expert opinion is actually much less trustworthy than rational thought from collections of intelligent non-experts.
Far from making it better, social media made things worse because the blue checkmarks on social media, who are overwhelmingly over represented in the mainstream media, insisted on a uniform agreement, all dissent was policed with an iron fist.
We didn’t have a marketplace of ideas, we had a totalitarian regime.
Our sixth original sin was social media’s policing of opinions and insisting that everyone embrace the most dire consequences imaginable.
7. The left wing’s distrust and hate for Donald Trump needlessly politicized a national emergency and the right wing’s reflective protection of Donald Trump further politicized a national emergency.
I feel like I’m in a very unique spot because I don’t love or hate Donald Trump.
I think he’s neither the best nor the worst president of my lifetime.
But I’m rooting for him to do well and I’m open to voting for him in 2020 even thought I didn’t vote for him in 2016.
What percentage of the American public can say all three of these things? Ten percent, maybe lower?
They won’t admit it, but many people on the left wing saw the coronavirus as their last, best chance to get Donald Trump. Sure, collusion and Russia was a huge swing and a miss and so was impeachment and so were so many of the other scandals that had fueled them for the past three plus years, but they finally saw the coronavirus as the Trump destroyer. This was it, the viral asteroid that was hurtling towards the country and would finally wipe out the bad orange man once and for all!
The left wing in this country reflexively sees everything Trump touches as toxic so they refused to believe he could be competent in responding to this issue at all.
Yet again they abandoned all logic and rational thought to embrace the worst possible scenarios. Millions of deaths? Of course! Abundant failures throughout the White House? Of course! The scandal that would finally end Trump once and for all? At last!
Only, just like with Russia and collusion and impeachment, it isn’t going to happen.
The toxicity surrounding Donald Trump on the left wing — and the corresponding defense of Trump on the right wing — immediately politicized an issue that shouldn’t have been political at all. Rather than all come together and root for America to defeat the virus, we immediately undertook a battle over the 2020 election.
And come summer we’re going to be right where we have been for the past four years, a 50-50 nation with the election coming down to what happens in Michigan, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Trump won these three states by a combined 77,000 votes, less than the number of people who will attend football games this fall at Michigan, Penn State and Wisconsin. (Yes, I think we’ll have college and pro football come September.)
Our seventh deadly sin?
While some may argue this is a reflection of Trump, I suspect it’s merely a function of hyper politicization. Put it this way, does anyone think the right wing would have trusted Hillary Clinton? Of course not.
Despite everything that happened with the coronavirus, we’re going to emerge from this crisis in the exact same place we were when we entered it, with 45% of the nation convinced Donald Trump can do no wrong and with 45% of the American public convinced Donald Trump can only do wrong. The most amazing thing about the coronavirus? Even after it’s gone our national conversation is going to return to right where it was before the coronavirus hit. My suspicion is we will spend the next six months arguing, fruitlessly, over who was to blame for all of this happening.
Meaning ultimately everything has changed and nothing has changed at all.