Tuesday’s news links – March 24, 2020


As world battles virus, Trump battles blame CGTN

Fauci: Trump’s accusation about China’s late COVID-19 report not fact-based CGTN

China urges U.S. to stop politicizing COVID-19 Xinhua

Trump govt’s three big lies hurt Americans Global Times

First, the “Chinese virus” lie. Since March 16, Trump and some US government officials have repeatedly used this racist term…

The second big lie is the “China cover-up.” …

The third lie centers on US “donations” to China. The Trump administration said it would offer up to $100 million to assist China and other countries. China has yet to receive a penny from the US government.

White House Pushes U.S. Officials to Criticize China For Coronavirus ‘Cover-Up’ Daily Beast (the propaganda war against China, that all major U.S. media insist on repeating, is directed by the White House’s National Security Council)

Exclusive: U.S. axed CDC expert job in China months before virus outbreak Reuters

Spit On, Yelled At, Attacked: Chinese-Americans Fear For Their Safety New York Times

Washington under fire for labeling coronavirus China Daily

Marines Plan to Retool to Meet China Threat WSJ

The Marine Corps is undertaking its most sweeping transformation in decades, pivoting from a focus on fighting insurgents in the Middle East to developing the ability to hop from island to island in the western Pacific to bottle up the Chinese fleet.

Volvo back to ‘normal’ in China as it shuts EU and US car plants Financial Times

More than 500 Cinemas Reopen in China as New Virus Cases Near Zero Caixin

No, China Didn’t Cover Up The Covid-19 Outbreak: An Analysis Asia Review

Covid-19 coronavirus

Don’t Put More People in New York’s Jails During a Pandemic NYTimes

Trump Won’t Order Vital Coronavirus Supplies Because Corporate CEOs Asked Him Not To Vanity Fair

The Danger We’re Facing: A Grocery Worker Speaks Out Labor Notes

Fox News Stars Begin Pushing Trump to End Coronavirus Restrictions

Trump, in Tweet, Says He’s Considering Plan that Would Kill a Lot of People Rolling Stone

Older people would rather die than let Covid-19 harm US economy – Texas official Guardian

Images of Cuban Doctors Helping Italy Go Viral, Burst Media Narrative MPN

Coronavirus – How To Lift Lockdowns And Why We Should All Wear Masks

While the U.S. president continues to blame China there are more signs that the outbreak started elsewhere:

Some question why Italy was caught off guard when the virus outbreak was revealed on Feb. 21.Remuzzi says he is now hearing information about it from general practitioners. “They remember having seen very strange pneumonia, very severe, particularly in old people in December and even November,” he says. “This means that the virus was circulating, at least in [the northern region of] Lombardy and before we were aware of this outbreak occurring in China.” …

A current paper published in Lancet argues that everyone should wear a mask:

Evidence that face masks can provide effective protection against respiratory infections in the community is scarce, as acknowledged in recommendations from the UK and Germany.However, face masks are widely used by medical workers as part of droplet precautions when caring for patients with respiratory infections. It would be reasonable to suggest vulnerable individuals avoid crowded areas and use surgical face masks rationally when exposed to high-risk areas. As evidence suggests COVID-19 could be transmitted before symptom onset, community transmission might be reduced if everyone, including people who have been infected but are asymptomatic and contagious, wear face masks.

Wearing a mask helps with protecting oneself but even more importantly helps to protect others. One might be carrying and spreading the disease without knowing it. We all release fine droplets when we speak, sneeze or cough. Masks prevent ones droplets from spreading out.

The viruses are quite small and could slip through the pores of a mask. But the droplets they are carried with are larger and are less likely to come through. There are also suggestions that one virus alone is less likely to do harm and that a significant load of viruses is required to start the disease.

There are some cultural consideration that support the call for everyone to wear a mask:

The contrast between face mask use as hygienic practice (ie, in many Asian countries) or as something only people who are unwell do (ie, in European and North American countries) has induced stigmatisation and racial aggravations, for which further public education is needed. One advantage of universal use of face masks is that it prevents discrimination of individuals who wear masks when unwell because everybody is wearing a mask.

There is currently a shortage of professional masks and those that are still available are needed in our hospitals.

But one can also use a scarf, sew oneself a mask or make ones own masks from household items. Neither will be as good as a professional masks but all will help to keep the number of cases down.

COVID-19: Prepared for the Wrong War Consortium News

COVID-19: protecting health-care workers The Lancet

Capitalist crisis

The Real Reason Oil Prices Crashed

U.S. oil, and U.S. shale oil, in particular, has been blamed—or praised, depending on the perspective—for the change in the balance of oil power in the world over the last couple of years. U.S. shale is now a force to be reckoned with, boasting daily production of over 13 million bpd per the latest EIA weekly petroleum report.

This has turned the United States into the world’s largest producer of crude oil and has significantly increased its previously non-existent presence on international oil markets.

Oil industry faces biggest crisis in 100 years FT

The COVID-19 debt deluge Jayati Ghosh

Socioeconomic status in the U.S. harder to change than any time in past 150 years Penn

PG&E pleads guilty to 84 counts of involuntary manslaughter over Camp fire LA Times

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