Wingnut Update

QAnon Is More Important Than You Think

‘QAnon is emblematic of modern America’s susceptibility to conspiracy theories, and its enthusiasm for them. But it is also already much more than a loose collection of conspiracy-minded chat-room inhabitants. It is a movement united in mass rejection of reason, objectivity, and other Enlightenment values. And we are likely closer to the beginning of its story than the end. The group harnesses paranoia to fervent hope and a deep sense of belonging. The way it breathes life into an ancient preoccupation with end-times is also radically new. To look at QAnon is to see not just a conspiracy theory but the birth of a new religion….’

— Via The Atlantic

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Wingnuts’ Latest

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More than 40% of Republicans think Bill Gates will use COVID-19 vaccine to implant microchips, survey says:

‘A survey from Yahoo News and YouGov finds that the conspiracy theory is popular among Fox News viewers, Republicans and Trump voters.

— Ian Sherr writing on CNET

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Brazil: The coronavirus is hitting indigenous communities hard

‘The mortality rate is double that of the rest of Brazil’s population, according to advocacy group Articulation of Indigenous Peoples of Brazil (APIB) which tracks the number of cases and deaths among the country’s 900,000 indigenous people.
APIB has recorded more than 980 officially confirmed cases of coronavirus and at least 125 deaths, which suggests a mortality rate of 12.6 percent — compared to the national rate of 6.4 percent….’

— Via CNN

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6 months on, Trump hasn’t completed his physical. The White House won’t say why.

‘In November 2019 — six months ago this week — Trump began what the White House described as “portions” of his third physical during a two-hour examination at Walter Reed National Military Medical Center.

That visit to Walter Reed was unannounced and remained shrouded in secrecy for two days as the president remained out of public view and as the White House declined to answer questions about it.

The president’s physician, Dr. Sean Conley, later wrote in a memo released by the White House that Trump’s “interim checkup” had been “routine.” Conley at the time said a “more comprehensive” examination would occur this year and that the president’s labs and exam results would be released in a corresponding report.

At 73, Trump is the oldest person to be sworn in for his first term as president.

Questions about Trump’s health are newly relevant, given his announcement this week that he is taking hydroxychloroquine to ward against contracting the coronavirus. The president described it as a “two-week regimen,” which ends today. Trump has repeatedly promoted the anti-malarial drug as a coronavirus treatment despite multiple warnings about its dangers….

A president’s annual physical typically occurs at the beginning of a new year. Trump’s 2019 exam was conducted in February, and his 2018 physical was conducted in January. It is uncommon for a president to complete a routine physical exam months apart and in multiple stages.

“As a part of granting a president as much power as we do, he has the obligation to demonstrate that he is well or, if he is not, to let us know exactly what is amiss,” said presidential historian Michael Beschloss…’

 

— Via NBC News

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A doctor shares steps he’ll review to decide when and where it’s safe to go out and about

William Petri, immunologist and professor of medicine at the University of Virginia reminds us that our individual behavior affects not only our own health, but that of others. These are just careful common sense, in a sense they shouldn’t even have to be stated:

— correlate level of risk-taking to data on incidence of new COVID-19 infections in the community

— extra caution if you or those with whom you will visit have risk factors for severe infection, such as age >65 or serious medical conditions

— attentiveness to knowledge about the virus’ modes of transmission

— mask-wearing, avoidance of touching surfaces, avoidance of touching face, frequent handwashing

— staying outdoors, limiting time indoors with others, social distancing

— mask wearing, avoidance of venturing out and risking infecting others if experiencing fever, cough or other symptoms of a viral syndrome

— Via The Conversation

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The Dream of “Disconnected Psychology”

‘A thought-provoking paper proposes a way to advance psychology: by encouraging researchers to ignore previous work in the field.

The piece is called Unburdening the Shoulders of Giants: A Quest for Disconnected Academic Psychology and it appeared in Perspectives on Psychological Science.

According to author Dario Krpan, academic psychology is failing to fully explore the space of possible theories. In other words, it is stuck in an intellectual rut (or ruts)….’

— Via Discover

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Is America too libertarian to deal with the coronavirus?

Is America too libertarian to deal with the coronavirus? – Vox:

‘Keith Humphreys, a Stanford University professor who works on addiction and public health policy, argued in a viral Twitter thread last week… that a lot of his public health colleagues weren’t thinking seriously enough about the cultural obstacles that might undercut the country’s efforts to test, trace, and isolate Americans. He later penned a Washington Post column drawing out his arguments in a little more detail.

Humphreys’s basic claim is that any plan we adopt, no matter how wise, is useless without “widespread political consent” from American citizens. And the obsession with individual liberties in America, coupled with a general distrust of government, poses an enormous challenge to even the best conceivable plan….’

— Via Vox

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