Government determines COVID-19 outcomes, so Congress will work on impeachment

Government action determines the death rate from/with COVID-19. With the right laws, and/or female leadership, we could have a death rate of 0 (see Cambodia), in fact. We’re at the height of Plague Wave #2. Californians donned the hijab and observed the sacraments of the Church of Shutdown, yet still the God of Corona was not appeased (NYT):

Plainly we need some different laws. Is Congress right now fully engaged in passing those new laws that would save hundreds of thousands of American lives? “House Democrats plan to vote Wednesday to impeach Trump” (CNN):

House Democrats plan to vote Wednesday to impeach President Donald Trump, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer told Democrats on a caucus call Monday, setting up an impeachment vote one week after rioters incited by Trump overran Capitol police and breached some of the most secure areas of the US Capitol.

The House will vote Tuesday evening on a resolution urging Vice President Mike Pence to invoke the 25th Amendment to remove Trump from power, and then plan to vote Wednesday at 9 a.m. ET on the impeachment resolution, Hoyer said.

Democrats formally introduced their impeachment resolution Monday, charging Trump with “incitement of insurrection” as they race toward making him the first president in history to be impeached twice.

In other words, rather than beat COVID-19 with muscular government action, Congress will devote full time to impeaching a president who is already effectively gone (as far as anyone without a Chinese IP address can determine).

Related:

  • “Democrats were for occupying capitols before they were against it” (Washington Post): “Thousands of protesters rushed to the … Capitol Wednesday night, forcing their way through doors, crawling through windows and jamming corridors.” That is how one newspaper described the storming of the Capitol — not the one in Washington last week, but the state Capitol in Madison, Wis., a decade ago. Back then, thousands of pro-union activists — many bused in from out of state — rampaged through the historic building in an effort to stop a vote on collective bargaining reform legislation. … House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) praised the occupiers for an “impressive show of democracy in action” and tweeted as they assaulted the Capitol that she continued “to stand in solidarity” with the union activists. In other words, Democrats were for occupying capitols before they were against it.

16 thoughts on “Government determines COVID-19 outcomes, so Congress will work on impeachment

  1. I do not get the feeling that double impeachment will make Trump supporters any more satisfied with those in the swamp.

  2. Liberals are going to pull a Damnatio Memoriae on Trump the likes of which haven’t been seen since Ancient Egypt! Or actually, the likes of which haven’t been seen since Stalin’s Great Purge, which is unfortunately probably going to end up a better parallel.

    There may be no reason to the impeachment, it may be just Pelosi venting off some steam. I see little chance of the Senate convicting. But I can think of two possible reasons. The first is to prevent Trump from pulling a Grover Cleveland and running again in 2024. I personally think that’s a pretty big long shot, but maybe to them the risk of a 2024 Trump Presidency (basically the end of the world) is worth addressing however small the odds.

    The second reason I can think of is for 2022. They will spend the next 2 years further vilifying Trump and removing any opportunity he has to connect with people (e.g. by kicking him off of social media). By the time the 2022 midterm elections come around, I think that they think they can make any connection to him a real political liability. Forcing Republicans currently in Congress to publicly side with Trump by voting against impeachment might come back to bite them in 2022. Again I think this is a long shot since the first impeachment didn’t seem to hurt Republicans in Congress at all, but maybe with two more years they can finally convince everyone of just how evil Trump is. In any case, Democrats may feel like they should jump on any opportunity they can to hurt Congressional Republicans because they have almost no chance of keeping the House or the Senate in 2022. Not even the much-more-popular-than-Biden-or-Harris Obama could maintain Congress in his midterm elections. Pelosi lost seats during the 2020 Blue Wave, for cryin out loud, how is she going to keep the majority in the midterms? Maybe this is how…

  3. When you say ‘Californians donned the hijab and observed the sacraments of the Church of Shutdown’, what’s the compliance rate (as data, not anecdotes)?

    • How is the ‘observed’ observed? last time I checked any measurement comes with an error, where’s that? So many words to say — I think that data on mask compliance and travel is utter bollox. If it is true (it might!), it is by chance.

    • Federico: Having just been in California, the compliance rate that I observed was close to 100% for indoor masking. I think the compliance rate for shutdown is also 100% since the U.S. now has a large and highly effective police force. I don’t think it would be practical to keep a shop or restaurant open in defiance of the law. School systems, of course, are delighted to comply with governors’ orders to stay shut. Where Americans seem to be non-compliant with the orders from their overlords is with respect to outdoor masking in uncrowded situations, e.g., walking around suburban neighborhoods in the evening or walking on a trail in the woods.

    • Good theory, but you also have to consider that the U.S. has a large population of very old very sick people that are dependent on machines for survival. Nobody in the U.S. can be allowed to die so long as there is any possibility of billing Medicare (the government-run healthcare program for those over 65) for an additional procedure. When a disease comes along for which no medical treatment is available, it is therefore inevitable that the U.S. will have a higher death rate than countries that don’t maintain a large population of the vulnerable. (Flu also can kill a fair number of elderly Americans every year, for the same reason.)

  4. Unless if you are someone who already made your mind about Trump, than he is guilty no matter what he does. However, in the Capital Hill riot case, for which the democrats want to impeach him for “inciting” the riot and therefore the violence that follows, Trump is not guilty [1].

    “The president didn’t mention violence on Wednesday, much less provoke or incite it. He said, ‘I know that everyone here will soon be marching over to the Capitol building to peacefully and patriotically make your voices heard.’ ”

    But hey, who cares, our politician, media and public are more interested in drama than real issues our country needs actions on.

    [1] https://www.wsj.com/articles/no-trump-isnt-guilty-of-incitement-11610303966

  5. > Government action determines the death rate from/with COVID-19.

    It certainly determines the speed of the vaccine rollout, at least. I just watched Azar’s press conference on Operation Warp Speed and Vaccine Distribution. There was a lot of heat, and a good deal of self-congratulation, but not a lot of light. Thus far MA has distributed 29% of its initial allocation, NJ has distributed 28%, etc. What’s the hold up?

    https://time.com/collection/coronavirus-vaccines-updates/

    Azar says this is because of various states (which he did not name) micromanaging the schedule. The Army says they’ve hit 99.9999% of their targets as far as getting the vaccine to the places the states have told them they wanted it to go. Redfield says there are “deep dives” going on to look at the distribution statistics and everyone agrees that there are problems with states reporting data.

    https://www.c-span.org/video/?507916-1/hhs-secretary-azar-announces-covid-19-vaccination-guidelines

    Meanwhile, my theory is panning out. CBS News is framing it as a Trump Administration failure, with Joe Biden’s “aspirational goal” of 100 million doses in 100 days (it was a pledge last week, on NPR, not an “aspirational goal”!) coming online very soon now to get those shots into people’s arms with a newly motivated “air traffic control system.”

    https://www.cbsnews.com/news/operation-warp-speed-covid-19-vaccine-watch-live-stream-today-2021-01-12/

    “Osterholm echoed Gottlieb’s criticism, but said that state and local health departments, which he called the “air traffic control towers” of distribution, ***will be newly engaged under the Biden administration.*** “I think you’re going to see that all changing in the days ahead, and all I can say is we have to change it,” he said.”

    In other words, the mere fact that a new President is nominated is going to totally transform the motivation and practices of our state and local health departments.

    The official narrative is shaping up the way I predicted: the slow rollout up until Jan. 20 is because the Trump Administration failed to get vaccine distributed quickly. After Biden came to power, he cleared the air, got the Air Traffic Control up and running again, and saved everyone from the Plague.

    • Also I enjoy that CBS article because Osterholm is already walking back Biden’s pledge from last week, or rather, he’s nuancing the meaning. Softening up the ground where the goalposts are anchored, in case they have to be moved.

      https://www.npr.org/2021/01/08/955005344/biden-vows-to-distribute-100-million-covid-19-vaccine-doses-in-his-first-100-day

      Now it’s not so much a “Vow.” According to Osterholm, it’s an “aspirational goal.” It’s a win-win for the Biden Administration and Osterholm. It was too bold for Biden (through his proxy, Dr. Atul Gawande) to “Vow” that level of acceleration — particularly to NPR, the preferred news network of American academe. I’ll bet there were a lot of emails that went back and forth about that in the past few days.

      Osterholm gets that, so now it’s an “aspirational goal.” Either way, they’re certainly breathing new life into the vaccine rollout. And the biggest imperative is establishing the Bright Clear Line in the public’s mind about who really saved the United States from the Plague.

    • 100 millions in 100 days? For the country of 330 million that spends 20% of GDP on health – related staff this is a lazy C- goal. It means that we are good for another half of year of lock-downs until it gets real hot in July and virus starts spread slower again. By than we will switch to fighting global annual warming that is known as the summer under brave swift boat leadership of John Kerry.

  6. > Government action determines the death rate from/with COVID-19.

    More on Government Action. Here’s some additional detail on where the $9 billion “new reasons for Massachusetts to be happy” from the latest stimulus package are going:

    https://patch.com/massachusetts/medford/s/hdsxa/ma-getting-9-billion-in-stimulus-bill-heres-where-its-going

    “It’s a whole lot more than just the $600 stimulus checks…

    — $814.9 million through the Elementary and Secondary School Emergency Relief Fund;
    — $471.8 million through the Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund;
    — $459 million for rental assistance;
    — $452.1 million for testing, tracing and COVID-19 mitigation efforts;
    *** — $88.9 million for vaccine distribution; ***
    — $46.5 million for the Governor’s Emergency Education Fund;
    — $37.2 million through a substance abuse prevention and treatment block grant;”

    So MA is getting more than $1.2 billion for primary, secondary and higher education emergency relief, but a pipsqeak $88.9 million for vaccine distribution. The schools and universities, in other words, are getting 14.47 times more money than vaccine distribution. How does this make sense? Isn’t the most important determining factor in getting schools, colleges and universities back to “normal” how quickly we achieve herd immunity through vaccination?

    Biden’s inauguration can’t come quickly enough! It’s clear that in order to have the kind of “muscular government action” needed to achieve herd immunity and distribute 100 million doses in the first 100 days, a lot more money is going to have to flow from Washington.

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