This is terrifying. We use that word too much, because when you see this, you realize that most things are just terrifying to democracy, not necessarily your life:
Secretary Wilbur Ross says coronavirus will be good for [checks notes] American jobs: "I think it will help to accelerate the return of jobs to North America." pic.twitter.com/Y4SbDIcTi4 
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) January 30, 2020 
Global pandemics are a thing, and we’re long overdue. In 1918, a flu pandemic infected one-third of the world: Per History.com 
The Spanish flu pandemic of 1918, the deadliest in history, infected an estimated 500 million people worldwide—about one-third of the planet’s population—and killed an estimated 20 million to 50 million victims, including some 675,000 Americans.
Or more, depending on who you ask :
The global death toll for the Spanish flu is thought to be 50 million people, but it might have been as high as 100 million. In other words, between 3% and 5% of the world’s population died. In the United States, 675,000 people died. One third of the population became infected.
In case you think that one-hundred years of medical progress will prevent a world-wide pandemic, you are wrong. It will certainly help decrease the chances, and treat the symptoms, because society learns a lot of lessons in 100 years. One of those lessons is to take these damned seriously and start acting, now. Because if you’ve had the actual flu – not a bad “cold” that everyone calls “flu,” but the actual influenza A or B – you will know that A) it can’t be cured, and B) even this normal flu will knock you on your ass for 10 days and can kill, especially the real young or real old.
I had the flu four years ago, I was sick as a dog for 11 days. I could see how one who was weaker could die. I was then assured that even a fit 45 year old man like me could die from it in certain cases.
Don’t fck around with the flu, and Coronavirus is a descendent of “normal flu.”
Let’s also all agree on another thing. There is no “rule” that this virus has to be less bad because of one-hundred years of medical progress. Per the rules of nature, it is just as possible that this virus happens to be worse.
I just dropped my daughter off for school. NPR is reporting that markets around the world were dropping because movement of goods and people in and out of China will be dropping, and could literally be shut-off for … no one knows how long. That is precisely why a business channel asked the American Secretary of Commerce what impact the coronavirus could have on the United States.
Instead of answering the question seriously from both a health and economic perspective, a typical Trump administration official gave a typical Trump administration answer: It will be perfect, of course, because Trump is president. America will be greater because of the coronavirus.
I could use eight four-letter words in fury, instead I’ll just say that is a dangerous answer.
It is dangerous because it cannot possibly be “good” for American business. Stopping the flow of goods from the biggest economic power in the world so quickly and with no warning can only be extremely bad, possibly catastrophic.
That is just from an economic perspective.
Now the real danger.
How do you like the idea of Trump in charge when a real crises hits? He cannot handle a hurricane properly. How about something that can actually kill off a million Americans? (Or more. Remember the rule, the virus doesn’t have to check the calendar and follow our rules). Obama moved immediately to hammer the Ebola virus using the exact principles the CDC recommended – not the ones Republicans recommended. Ebola didn’t spread through the United States because it was taken so seriously and not called an American “opportunity.”
This is exponentially more dangerous precisely because it is airbone, and there is so much trade and commerce in and out of China. It is also more dangerous because we have an absolute moron in charge. The current moron is consumed by his own reelection, his own fortune and his own needs. He cannot be bothered to lead in the best of times.
It is just so easy as Americans to sit back and think that nothing halfway around the world can pose a threat to us, we’re Americans. That is why we are not in charge of pandemics, the physicians who study viral pandemics take it very seriously. But nothing can ever be discussed with seriousness in the Trump administration, because only “good things” happen under Trump, and that’s why the coronavirus will be so good for America.
I feel so much better. Don’t you?
When the stupidity and deep corruption of this administration infuriates us, it threatens only democracy, which is scary enough. But we hope we can control that danger in November. When that same corruption and stupidity starts to threaten millions of lives (or less, or more, we don’t know), and we know that the virus won’t check the calendar, then it’s dangerous to my child this year, not in the decades to come. In other words, it’s that much more dangerous.
The world is way overdue for an airborne viral pandemic and public health experts have been saying it for quite a while. Oh, it is also important to note that we cannot “cure” this virus if it hits. We can only treat some symptoms and immunize. Immunization against a new virus will take a year, minimum, under the best of circumstances. Under someone like Trump? Who knows?
Last thing, the Spanish flu is still out there, infecting people, just fyi.
Answering those questions is important because genes from the Spanish flu continue to circulate in human and pig populations to this day. Some of these genes are direct descendants of the 1918 virus; others have reassorted with other pandemic viruses , such as the 1968 Hong Kong flu and the hybrid H1N1 virus responsible for the 2009 swine flu pandemic. As Taubenberger puts it: “[The outbreak of] 1918 set up a very successful introduction of a bird-like virus in humans that has never gone away in 100 years. It really was the mother of all pandemics.’
Don’t worry. It’ll be good for America.
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