Lion of the Blogosphere

Friday morning pandemic update

I tweeted yesterday that we should give Mike Pence a chance, but upon more reflection and more information, it looks like the purpose of Mike Pence is to get the CDC to shut up and stop doing their own press releases and press briefings. Trump thinks the virus is a propaganda problem and not an actual health problem. I hate to agree with the MSM when they attack Trump, but indeed Trump is acting more like China and Iran than democratic countries like South Korea or Italy. Immediately adding Larry Kudlow and Steve Mnuchin to the virus task force is another bad first move, indicating that the administration is more worried about the economy than saving lives. Mike Pence has not publicly addressed the issue of why we can’t test anyone and what he’s doing to fix the problem.

Japan also has a problem testing people, but at least they are acknowledging that there might be a serious problem. They’ve shut down all schools, and called off all sporting events, theme parks and other tourist attractions are shutting down. We’re not doing these things in the United States because the government is pretending the virus isn’t here, which they can’t possibly know because they aren’t doing any testing at all for community transmission.

Regarding countries with larger outbreaks, South Korea now reports 2,337 confirmed cases and Italy 655 confirmed cases. But with Italy, it seems that a whole bunch of travelers from Italy have tested positive in other countries, indicating that Italy has a bigger problem than just 655 people infected.

A week ago today, I wrote that “people will remember that while this crisis is brewing, Trump is going to campaign rallies and saying stupid stuff about who won the Academy Award for Best Picture. When it’s all over, it’s not going to look very good for Trump.” I’ve heard the term “Trump’s Katrina” today on Bloomberg radio, but it’s going to be worse than that for Trump, it will also be like Herbert Hoover having no chance of winning re-election because the stock market crashed on his watch.

There are a lot of stories now appearing in mainstream media condemning Trump’s response to the virus. And it’s about time too. The fakestream media was ignoring this virus for too long, because they thought that talking about the virus would spark racism and xenophobia against Chinese people. As I, sadly, also predicted, the virus would only become the number one story in the media after it became an anti-Trump story. And now we see that happening. Yesterday I tuned into CNN, the virus was the #1 story.

Also, I may add that the market futures are down again this morning. I predicted this back on February 6th. I said sell sell sell. I took a lot of shit for this. Commenters said crap like “you cant time the markets,” “just the flu, bro,” “when you say to sell, that’s when we should buy.” Well looks like those people were wrong. And I say the market can only get worse. In a few days we will verify that there’s widespread community transmission in the United States, and we will close schools and shut down stuff like they are doing in other countries, and that will push down the market a lot more. The market is still in denial.

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Japan’s public news service now has a chart that shows you have many cases they have although it seems to have fewer cases than the BNO News tracker.

There are total of 12 new cases in Hokkaido for a total of 66 cases. That seems disproportionate relative to Hokkaido’s population, so maybe this is evidence that the virus spreads more in colder weather. But at this point, the weather connection is just hopeful thinking, not a proven deal.

* * *

Commenter Maciano writes:

I can’t stand in Trump’s shoes and the weight he carries is unimaginable for me, however I would have taken this epidemic way more seriously and I would not have commented until I knew the facts.

I wouldn’t tweet about stock prices or push my economic advisor into a pandemic workgroup for obviously selfish reasons.

Written by Lion of the Blogosphere

February 28, 2020 at 7:25 AM

40 Responses

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  1. Excellent rant, Lion. I agree 100%.

    I love Trump, but he just blew his chances for re-election. I can’t even blame people for being disappointed, he’s letting his constituents down.


    February 28, 2020 at 7:55 AM

    • Take it from an Israeli – it’s not a crisis until somebody has died. And it’s not a serious crisis until many people have died.


      February 28, 2020 at 8:26 AM

    • What could he possibly do that the media wouldn’t spin against him? Crack down too hard and you’re a racist dictator. Don’t do enough and you put American lives at risk because you “only care about the corporations.” There is no way for Trump to win this thing. The stock market tumble is outside his control as well, but of course will be blamed on him.

      I agree it’s making Trump’s re-election chances more difficult, but it will really only impact him if people start losing their jobs. And from now on we’re going to hear about every single person that loses a job so it can be blamed on Trump and the virus, whether or not that has anything to do with it.


      February 28, 2020 at 8:26 AM

      • I agree. Trump has acted appropriatly as far as I can tell. The CDC has had some problem with the tests, but why is that Trump’s fault? Hopefully that will soon be sorted.

        Lion do you really think Trump should be closing schools at this stage? If he did that the MSM would say he was a crazy fear monger. You should be thankful you don’t have plane loads of people from Iran and China flying in everday the way Canada does. Canada has a weak, foolish leader who won’t close the borders the way Trump has. As of yesterday Canada has had 3 cased of an infected person ariving from Iran.


        February 28, 2020 at 10:06 AM

      • “The CDC has had some problem with the tests, but why is that Trump’s fault?”


        Lion of the Blogosphere

        February 28, 2020 at 10:20 AM

      • I can’t stand in Trump’s shoes and the weight he carries is unimaginable for me, however I would have taken this epidemic way more seriously and I would not have commented until I knew the facts.

        I wouldn’t tweet about stock prices or push my economic advisor into a pandemic workgroup for obviously selfish reasons.


        February 28, 2020 at 10:12 AM

      • “Lion do you really think Trump should be closing schools at this stage? If he did that the MSM would say he was a crazy fear monger”

        Yeah I can’t figure out what Lion is wanting Trump to do, just he’s not doing enough. I mean, close schools, ban all large gatherings, shut down all air and bus travel, soldiers on the streets, rationing…what does he want?

        Mike Street Station

        February 29, 2020 at 7:55 AM

      • Japan has closed schools. We seem to be only a week behind Japan as far as how this virus is spreading. So yes, maybe closing schools now to prevent catastrophe later isn’t such a bad idea.

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        February 29, 2020 at 9:39 AM

      • OK, at this point, where not a single American has died from this, closing schools seems a crazy overreaction. I realize you have a crazy love for the Japanese, but not every decision they make is the correct or logical one.

        Mike Street Station

        February 29, 2020 at 12:33 PM

      • You’re comment is already incorrect, first U.S. death has been reported:

        Lion of the Blogosphere

        February 29, 2020 at 1:06 PM

      • Hmmm it wasn’t incorrect when I made the comment.

        Mike Street Station

        February 29, 2020 at 6:39 PM

    • Perhaps God sent the Corona virus to punish members of the Silent and Boomer generations. They so richly deserve it.

      If Trump has to lose reelection, for divine justice to fall on other members of his generation, I accept His justice.


      February 28, 2020 at 9:08 AM

      • Why does the Silent and boomer generation richly deserve corona virus?


        February 28, 2020 at 10:09 AM

  2. Is it really practical for the federal government of such a large country like the US to handle this in the way you seem to be expecting? Maybe you should be taking a closer look at what the states are doing.


    February 28, 2020 at 8:21 AM

    • The states can’t do any testing because they are prohibited by federal law from making their own tests.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      February 28, 2020 at 8:27 AM

  3. I still wonder about Italy. Who is really dying? I looked at several stories and not one included the name of anyone dead. How many might be Chinese? People may not realize it, but Italy has been flooded with Chinese who work in the Italian fashion industry. They work crammed together in sweat shops, perfect for transmission. And note the following. Map of Italian fashion industry employment:

    Then map of hardest hit coronavirus areas of Italy:

    They align quite well.

    Without Salvini in power, Italy is just another uber cucked European nation that would likely take great pains to hide the fact that mostly Chinese are dying if that were the case.


    February 28, 2020 at 8:21 AM

    • Italy has been releasing the ages of the dead, and you must have brain fog if you think the Italian sweatshops have been bringing in 80 year old illegal/undocumented Chinese workers to sew bags.


      February 28, 2020 at 10:49 AM

      • Well yeah, because one thing Chinese NEVER do is get established somewhere and then bring in their old parents to live off the system.


        February 28, 2020 at 1:31 PM

  4. I for one took your advice and sold off a large portion of my portfolio with some follow up buy-&-sell on the bounce to fund limited speculative buying in biotech and pharma stocks to profit on the “x has announced development of Y coronavirus drug” and the like.

    Unfortunately this virus is the real deal, I think, an unholy amalgam combining the transmissibility of the common cold and symptoms and lethality perhaps worse than influenza.

    One positive note is that there perhaps might be a link between fatalities and smoking— apparently something like half of Chinese men smoke habitually, and well, you’re not going to fend off a novel respiratory virus with tarred-up lungs. So that’s good news for the US where only 15% of adults smoke. Perhaps along with kneecapping Trump’s presidency, it’ll lead to a further decrease in smoking. Another reason to short tobacco stocks.

    Keep up the great Corona Coverage, LOTB, it’s my first glance every morning. And please examine more in depth about how the USA’s current healthcare system is likely to make the pandemic worse than it need be. Personally, I think this could lead to a big change in attitudes about healthcare as average Republicans wake up and finally figure out that it just might be in their interests to have their fellow countrymen insured to decrease pathogen transmission and disruption to the wider economy. Bernie is going to make that argument and Trump has no response, having created the situation where a man —with insurance— gets charged $3200 for his prudence in getting tested. Its a disaster in the making.

    Also, look for alcohol delivery services to boom as the restaurant/bar/nightlife segment is annihilated. Blackberry brandy is a popular home remedy for a variety of ailments, so it couldn’t hurt to keep some in your prep kit for when Manhattan is walled off to contain the plague. Godspeed!

    Jack R

    February 28, 2020 at 8:55 AM

    • “One positive note is that there perhaps might be a link between fatalities and smoking”

      Yes, I agree. Advice for anyone who smokes, quit doing that ASAP. The longer you go without smoking before you catch the virus, the more time you give the cilia in your lungs time to heal.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      February 28, 2020 at 9:44 AM

      • “Yes, I agree. Advice for anyone who smokes, quit doing that ASAP. The longer you go without smoking before you catch the virus, the more time you give the cilia in your lungs time to heal.

        Although you seem to think your advice is mocked and ignored, I reflected on what you were saying about the virus and quit smoking three weeks ago this Sunday. As you say, I figured that a month of two of not smoking is a lot better than nothing.

        prolier than thou

        February 28, 2020 at 2:02 PM

  5. Election is a still a long way off, lots can happen between now and then. Lion is hoping for sensational event with many deaths here, but might not happen.


    February 28, 2020 at 9:15 AM

    • I’m not hoping for that.

      I continue to give advice for how to prevent that from happening, but Trump is more worried about the stock market than about the seriousness of the virus.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      February 28, 2020 at 9:44 AM

  6. Apparent vaccine breakthrough in Israel:

    But after scientists sequenced the DNA of the novel coronavirus causing the current worldwide outbreak, the MIGAL researchers examined it and found that the poultry coronavirus has high genetic similarity to the human one, and that it uses the same infection mechanism, which increases the likelihood of achieving an effective human vaccine in a very short period of time.


    Keep your fingers crossed.

    Black Death

    February 28, 2020 at 9:34 AM

  7. do u think the selling will continue next week, Lion?


    February 28, 2020 at 9:39 AM

    • Bad news over the weekend will cause more selling. I think the that the market hasn’t fully priced in the inevitable, and we still don’t fully understand how the inevitable will destroy future profits and lower the velocity of money.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      February 28, 2020 at 9:46 AM

  8. I hope he’s smart enough not to go golfing this weekend. Yesterday, he spent an hour with Diamond & Silk (ugh) and two D-list actors from the 90’s.


    February 28, 2020 at 10:24 AM

  9. Based on his actions, I think Trump should have a plaque on his desk that says “Pass the Buck.” No Truman he, and in my estimation Truman was a pretty bad president.


    February 28, 2020 at 10:24 AM

  10. And how it seems the Nasdaq is already green. You cannot time the markets.


    February 28, 2020 at 11:44 AM

  11. Yeah, looks like the sell-off might continue, and good call a few weeks back. I did not fully listen, but then again I have a fairly small stock portfolio, mostly I sit in bonds. Pretty sure Trump will lose, not that he had a good chance even before the outbreak. Also, our current for-profit healthcare system is really the worst case scenario for such a pandemic. But it is too late to change it now – look for a lot of horror stories about people getting bankrupted by the treatment. China is actually gradually returning to normal and their stock market has been fairly stable so far, as opposed to NYSE.


    February 28, 2020 at 11:48 AM

  12. I must say in fairness since I have criticised his predictions in the past that Mr Lion has got the stock market dip 100% correct.


    February 28, 2020 at 12:24 PM

  13. All my life the fakestream media have peddled fake news about The Big One (in California), the killer Africanized bee invasion, acid rain, AIDS, the ozone hole, global warming, SARS, swine flu, bird flu, H1N1, climate change, Ebola, climate crisis, and now bat flu. The fakestream media were wrong Every. Single. Time. No exceptions. Neither I nor anyone I know got harmed by any of these manufactured bogeymen.

    The reigning philosophy of the Democratic Party is “Never let a good crisis go to waste.” Especially a manufactured crisis. The bat flu is yet another manufactured crisis of the fakestream media and Democratic Party. Don’t participate in these manufactured crises.

    My prediction: the bat flu will be LESS deadly than the typical annual flu in America.


    February 28, 2020 at 12:31 PM

    • But fakestream media actually IGNORED this for a long time while I was writing about it daily for two weeks. In that sense, I was right and the fakestream media was wrong.

      Lion of the Blogosphere

      February 28, 2020 at 12:47 PM

    • Mainstream media hyped the previous pandemic threats because there wasn’t risk. Those were hyped by government regulators and public health establishment to gain budgets and funding.

      This hasn’t been hyped until the last 48 hours. They DIDN’T hype this, so right there we should be suspicious of their veracity now.

      Again, they only started hyping it because various dem politicians started hyping it, and they only started hyping because they are all oligarchs and realized they were losing money on stocks. And since they all have Trump Derangement Syndrome they decided he must be to blame for it, because they have all been expecting the markers to crash since the 2016 election.

      I dont know what reality you are in that the threat was “hyped.” Weinstein, stupid democratic primaries, imaginary Trump crimes, and local missing person cases etc routinely were lead stories for months, not the coronavirus story, even as china shut down, etc.

      So, the relative LACK of hype for c-virus versus the other incidents should be of enormous concern to us.

      Paul Rise

      February 28, 2020 at 1:32 PM

  14. The administration knows more about the actual situation in China than they have let on. This is certainly to protect whatever intelligence networks they have there.

    I think it’s very probable that they know that the number of dead chinese and the failures of their own public health system that contributed to it.

    The admin is banking that our better healthcare system and different civic practices (ie, covering our mouths when we sneeze because it has not been an common belief in western countries for centuries that if you do that, the evil spirit in your body will not be able to flee) will limit the spread here.

    Whatever the reality or political cost, the admins confused news conference and mixed messages has mobilized the lamestream media who were just parroting whatever nonsense the Chinese were pushing to actual do reporting on it and inform people that there is a problem here.

    I suspect by chance they have saved thousands of lives. Recall less than a week ago the same media pillorying trump was telling everyone NOT to worry about coronavirus – worry about the flu and get a flu vaccine. What corrupt morons.

    And the irony of the wash post “discoveting” the crisis. I truly hope this bankrupts Amazon.

    Paul Rise

    February 28, 2020 at 12:50 PM

  15. And Nasdaq ended today in green.
    At least markets don’t believe coronavirus is a big issue. Yesterday was just a panic.


    February 28, 2020 at 4:03 PM

  16. Some IQ 115-129 bozo isn’t good enough for the cognitive demands this type of job. What America wants is an IQ 140+ person who doesn’t surround themselves with religious nuts.

    That’s all I want in a leader: IQ 140+, not a religious nut, doesn’t hang out with religious nuts. I don’t care if they are progressive or conservative. I just want a smarter leader. Mike Pence is smart, and probably has an IQ in the high 130s but he’s a Bible thumper. He thinks you can pray away things like homosexuality, HIV, and coronavirus.


    February 28, 2020 at 6:42 PM

  17. MEH 0910

    February 28, 2020 at 11:20 PM

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