Why Trump started calling the coronavirus the “Chinese Virus.”

73fb17b1 8b1f 4571 b769 5ca005ee8252Lili Loofbourow writing in Slate:

‘People familiar with Trump’s limited but effective toolbox will recognize by now that the turn to racism is a sign of Trumpian distress. It means that Trump—who hasn’t been able to hold rallies amid his adoring fans—is feeling not just insecure but trapped. He thought the coronavirus was one more narrative he could control. He couldn’t. And so, perhaps sometime around March 16, when he first used the phrase “Chinese Virus” on Twitter himself, it became clear that the president was ready to embrace an ugly construction Mike Pompeo and others had earlier tried to mainstream….’

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Can dogs get coronavirus? Medical experts say probably not

UnknownMolly Hanson writing in Big Think:

‘Here’s one less coronavirus worry: Your pets are likely safe from the virus according to medical experts.

Last month, a dog was quarantined in Hong Kong after having tested a “weak positive” for the novel coronavirus igniting public worry about the possibility of pets becoming infected.

Medical experts are saying that there is no evidence that the virus that causes COVID-19 can infect pets, which have different cell receptors….’

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Donald Trump’s Cult of Personality Did This

Original

Adam Serwer writing in The Atlantic:

’The president of the United States is a menace to public health.

I don’t mean that I disagree with him on policy, although I do. I don’t mean that I abhor the president’s expressed bigotry toward religious and ethnic minorities, although that is also true. I am not referring to Donald Trump’s efforts to corrupt the Justice Department, shield his criminal associates from legal peril, or funnel taxpayer money to his tacky hotels and golf courses, although all of these things are reason enough to oppose the president.

What I am referring to is the fact that, soon after the coronavirus outbreak emerged in China, the rest of the world began to regard it as a threat to public health, while Trump has seen it as a public-relations problem. Trump’s primary method of dealing with public-relations problems is to exert the full force of the authoritarian cult of personality that surrounds him to deny that a problem even exists. This approach has paid political dividends for the Republican Party, in the form of judicial appointments, tax cuts for the wealthy, and a rapid erosion of the rule of law. But applied to the deadly pandemic now sweeping the planet, all it has done is exacerbate the inevitable public-health crisis, while leaving both the federal government and the entire swath of the country that hangs on his every word unprepared for the catastrophe now unfolding in the United States. The cardinal belief of Trumpism is that loyalty to Trump is loyalty to the country, and that equation leaves no room for the public interest….’

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