In response to the Wuhan Coronavirus outbreak, President Trump holds daily press briefings in which he describes his administration’s efforts and spars with the media. He then hands the podium off to Vice President Mike Pence, chair of the Coronavirus Task Force. The former governor of Indiana comes across as cool, collected, and in-charge. Pence will probably be the Republican frontrunner in 2024. Last week, the press really focused on an important issue: is calling the virus the ‘China Virus’ racist? In true Trumpian manner, Trump scoffed. And so, he goaded the press into picking another fight that will make them look silly.
The Wuhan Coronavirus is sweeping through the New York Metropolitan area. As of this writing, New York State reports 10,356 confirmed Wuhan Coronavirus cases, the largest concentrations are in Westchester County (1,387 cases), bordering New York City in the north, and Nassau County (1,234) bordering the east. The city itself repots 8,115 cases. Mayor Bill de Blasio has ordered the city to ‘shelter in place’. President Trump has declared New York City a disaster area, making it eligible for emergency disaster funds and activated the National Guard. The navy is outfitting a hospital ship to assist New York City medical services.
In New Jersey, there are 2,844 confirmed cases and 20 deaths. Governor Phil Murphy has cancelled the state, ordered a general quarantine, social distancing, and the closure of all but essential businesses. There is an array of exceptions to the shutdown order including groceries and pharmacies, but also takeout restaurants and hardware stores. The state is getting drive-through testing centers up and running. This includes sites at Bergen County Community College, Kean College, and a large site at the PNC Bank Arts Center, more or less in the middle of the state. This author has seen many rock concerts there. Those wishing to be tested must show symptoms, including at least a 99.6 Fahrenheit fever (about 37.5 Celsius). The number of confirmed cases is now rising by a few hundred per day, as expected.
Here in Somerset County, about 30 minutes west of New York City, authorities report 73 confirmed Wuhan Coronavirus cases and nine in our town, including one death. Grocery shelves are stocked with essentials, though sanitizers and toilet paper are still hard to get. This part of New Jersey has not yet seen gas prices fall. Some speculate that the area had the Wuhan Coronavirus much earlier than believed, as many people report having suffered the worst flu of their lives in January and February. For now, there is only anecdotal evidence for that theory.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo, a vociferous critic of Trump, has praised the President, ‘I think the president was 100% sincere in saying he wanted to work together in partnership, in a spirit of cooperation. I can tell you the actions he has taken evidence that. His team has been on it.’ Over the weekend, the governor approved a trio of experimental drugs for treating the Wuhan Coronavirus. Holding daily press conferences, Cuomo has become something of a matinee star and has pundits wondering about his future in Democrat Party politics. Thirty years ago, the same pundits wondered about his father, Mario, liberal lion and three-term governor of New York State.
Failed Democrat presidential candidate, Bill de Blasio, pretends the city is receiving little help from the Federal Government. ‘President Trump isn’t doing enough to help the city, the lights are on but nobody’s home at the executive branch,’ de Blasio said on MSNBC, adding ‘a lot of people are going to die who don’t have to die.’ He blamed the president for the city’s lack of masks and ventilators. ‘The president is not acting like a Commander-in-Chief because he doesn’t know how,’ said De Blasio. His administration waited until 6 March to order masks and ventilators.
Also, in failed Democrat Presidential candidate news, former NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg donated $40 million dollars to help fight Wuhan Coronavirus in the city. Federal Election Commission filings show Bloomberg didn’t spent $500 million dollars on his three-month presidential campaign. No, Bloomberg spent nearly a billion dollars. Last week Bloomberg transferred $18 million dollars to the Democratic National Committee. Then he laid off his entire campaign staff. Michael Bloomberg is worth more than $50 billion.
Presumptive Democrat presidential nominee Joe Biden held a fake presidential news conference on Friday, in which he detailed what the nation should be doing and described what he would do as president. He held another on Monday. During the stream Biden’s teleprompter broke, he stopped talking and motioned for a staffer to bring him a copy of the speech. This observer believes that Joe Biden’s obvious cognitive difficulties are severe and he will step aside ‘for health reasons’ long before the Democrat convention. Last summer this observer used this space to imply that the eventual Democrat nominee would be either Elizabeth Warren or Kamala Harris. The hashtag #PresidentCuomo has trended on Twitter and dissatisfied Democrats have touted him as an alternative to Joe Biden. Maybe 2024.