The National  Memo Logo

Smart. Sharp. Funny. Fearless.

Monday, December 09, 2019 {{ new Date().getDay() }}

Tag: pandemic

The Pandemic Is A National Test That We’ve Failed

Over the past century, there have been times when Americans showed they can unite to overcome formidable challenges: winning World II, sending men to the moon, bringing down Soviet communism. The coronavirus pandemic will not be remembered as one of them.

It's fair to say that we have done many things right, individually and collectively. Most Americans, most of the time, have abided by the counsel of public health experts that we wear masks, socially distance and avoid large indoor gatherings. Most governors and mayors have taken prudent steps to curb transmission of the virus. In all, we've done pretty well.

Read Now Show less

The Pandemic Is Already Cooling The Planet — Will It Do More?

Some say the pandemic has become a permanent ally in the fight against climate catastrophe. It has jump-started a drop in the burning of fossil fuels, and that will continue. Others say this is short-term thinking: The public may abandon its concerns over global warming as it tries to climb out of the economic hole left by the COVID-19 lockdowns. Let's accentuate the positive.

First off, the government-mandated social distancing and its freezing of much industrial activity has already cut greenhouse gas emissions, certainly for the time being. The International Energy Agency predicts that global carbon emissions will have fallen about eight percent this year from 2019's level. That would be the biggest annual decline ever.

Read Now Show less

In This Pandemic, The Rich Are Making Out Like Bandits

Reprinted with permission from DCReport

Tens of millions of Americans are cashless, many desperate to feed their children. Meanwhile the richest Americans merrily float on a rapidly rising tide of money thanks mainly to Trump & Co.

My analysis of Federal Reserve data shows a record flow of greenbacks let the corporate rich pour trillions of dollars into their accounts as they fired tens of millions.

Read Now Show less

Trump Explains Pandemic Failures: ‘I Have A Lot Going On”

Reprinted with permission from Alternet

In an interview with ABC News' David Muir, President Donald Trump admitted Tuesday that he didn't do enough to prepare for a pandemic before the outbreak of COVID-19, claiming he was distracted by the investigations into his conduct.

Muir, reacting to Trump's repeated false claims that the Obama administration left the stockpile shelves bare of equipment that is needed during a pandemic, asked why the president didn't fill those shelves.

Read Now Show less

This Chart Tells All About Trump’s Pandemic Depression

Reprinted with permission from DCReport

The jobs market carnage is shown in sharp focus in the graphic below from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center in Washington.

In just four weeks we have seen at least 22 million jobs disappear. That's a huge number, the equivalent of the combined workforces of Georgia, Illinois, Maryland and Pennsylvania. A Federal Reserve study suggests we will reach a 32 percent unemployment, far worse than in the depths of the 1930s Great Depression, when the rate was just shy of 25 percent.

Read Now Show less

The Big Changes Coming To A Post-Globalized World

This article was produced by Economy for All, a project of the Independent Media Institute.

The coronavirus pandemic has upended the global economic system, and just as importantly, cast out 40 years of neoliberal orthodoxy that dominated the industrialized world.

Forget about the "new world order." Offshoring and global supply chains are out; regional and local production is in. Market fundamentalism is passé; regulation is the norm. Public health is now more valuable than just-in-time supply systems. Stockpiling and industrial capacity suddenly make more sense, which may have future implications in the recently revived antitrust debate in the U.S.

Read Now Show less

Covering Up For Trump, Fox News Returns To Pandemic Denial

Reprinted with permission from MediaMatters

The New York Times released a devastating report on Saturday which found that President Donald Trump had failed to respond to warnings from medical experts, intelligence agencies, and his own trusted adviser on trade issues over the dangers presented by COVID-19, losing valuable time to contain the pandemic as a result. Now, Fox News is scrambling to spin the report's damaging fallout in favor of Trump.

The Times' April 11 report said:

Read Now Show less

How Panic Buying Strains Vital Food Banks

Reprinted with permission from ProPublica.

For Carlos Rodriguez, CEO of the Community FoodBank of New Jersey, the spike in demand has been as dramatic as the arrival of the coronavirus. In a normal year, Rodriguez's organization provides food for some 50 million meals through a network of 1,000 pantries, food kitchens and other affiliates. But the pandemic meant that some of his bigger food pantries saw 50 percent more traffic almost overnight. And people who had previously donated food were now, for the first time in their lives, asking for help feeding their families.

The disaster-like level of need is only one problem. Panic shopping by consumers has left grocery stores with little left over to donate, Rodriguez said, leaving the Community FoodBank without its most reliable supply of provisions. To keep feeding its clients, he said, his organization has been forced to vie with national grocery chains to buy basic items, paying 15 percent more than only a month or so ago.

Read Now Show less