What We’re Up Against

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March 24, 2020 3:00 p.m.
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I grew up in the oil patch, so this email from TPM Reader DB resonated:

I wanted to write in with a different perspective than the one I’m seeing take hold among progressives. I work in oil and gas (yes; yes; I know. I’m sorry) and, as such, I interact with conservatives all the time. It’s interesting watching the conservative id coalesce as it does.

Initially, they have some diversity of opinion as new facts come to light and then they all eventually fall in line behind the command and control structure that is the conservative mind meld.

In the beginning, I saw a lot of what I think most people assumed was mainline conservative thinking: that the virus wasn’t a big deal; that it was just another H1N1 and we should just ignore it.

But, there was a second group that more closely aligned with this new Trump/Dan Patrick thinking. The comments I heard went something like this, “This is going to sound bad, but 2% really isn’t that many people and it’s mostly old people anyway. They’ve lived a good life. Overpopulation is a major problem and it will also help with social security.”

I’m writing in because I fear we are treating this as a more fringe idea than it actually is. I don’t think this is Trump reacting to his properties being forced to close or to a Fox News segment he saw. I think this has serious legs. …

It’s part Ebeenezer Scrooge morality; part inability/unwillingness to comprehend the scope of horror coronavirus is capable of inflicting on us. Of course, implicit in their thinking is that it won’t affect them.

We must be clear-eyed about what we’re up against. These people absolutely do not give a shit if 2.2 million people die. And they lack the imagination to understand what exceeding our hospital bed capacity by 30X looks like.

I really don’t think this is Trump sending out a trial balloon by himself. This is mainline Republican thinking and we should act accordingly.

Key Coronavirus Crisis Links

Josh Marshall’s Twitter List of Trusted Experts (Epidemiologists, Researchers, Clinicians, Journalists, Government Agencies) providing reliable real-time information on the COVID-19 Crisis.

COVID-19 Tracking Project (updated data on testing and infections in the U.S.).

IHME Projections Site (COVID-19 epidemic model which has become the canonical model for many states and hospitals.)

Johns Hopkins Global COVID-19 Survey (most up to date numbers globally and for countries around the world).

Worldometers.info (extensive source of information and data visualizations on COVID-19 Crisis — discussion of data here).

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