Hospitals Know What’s Coming
“We are on an absolutely catastrophic path,” said a COVID-19 doctor at America’s best-prepared hospital
Perhaps no hospital in the United States was better prepared for a pandemic than the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha.
After the SARS outbreak of 2003, its staff began specifically preparing for emerging infections. The center has the nation’s only federal quarantine facility and its largest biocontainment unit, which cared for airlifted Ebola patients in 2014. The people on staff had detailed pandemic plans. They ran drills. Ron Klain, who was President Barack Obama’s “Ebola czar” and will be Joe Biden’s chief of staff in the White House, once told me that UNMC is “arguably the best in the country” at handling dangerous and unusual diseases. There’s a reason many of the Americans who were airlifted from the Diamond Princess cruise ship in February were sent to UNMC.
In the past two weeks, the hospital had to convert an entire building into a COVID-19 tower, from the top down. It now has 10 COVID-19 units, each taking up an entire hospital floor. Three of the units provide intensive care to the very sickest people, several of whom die every day. One unit solely provides “comfort care” to COVID-19 patients who are certain to die. “We’ve never had to do anything like this,” Angela Hewlett, the infectious-disease specialist who directs the hospital’s COVID-19 team, told me. “We are on an absolutely catastrophic path.”
Diana Falzone/Vanity Fair:
“It’s the Trump Bubble”: The Right Has Created a Wave of COVID Patients Who Don’t Believe It’s Real
A Texas nurse had a patient in a COVID ICU tell her the virus is “fake news.” A California nurse was mocked for wearing a mask. As a new wave of COVID-19 sweeps the country, health care workers are grappling with the consequences of the president’s misinformation machine. “This is insane,” says one. “I have never seen anything like it.”
Talia Lavin/The Cut:
The Future of the GOP
Madison Cawthorn is 25, far-right, and already faces accusations of racism and sexual misconduct. And he’s headed to Congress.
Despite his youth, inexperience, and a campaign plagued by scandal after scandal, Cawthorn trounced his Democratic opponent by 12 points. He’s part of a young, insurgent generation of GOP politicos forged in the heat of MAGA and the slimy crucible of its culture wars. Like any number of college Young Republicans roiling their campuses nationwide with increasingly radicalized rhetoric, Cawthorn is a young man who’s demonstrated racist views and been accused of misogynist behavior — and hasn’t let either stop him in his quest for power. Add in a photogenic set of cheekbones and a marked tendency to pose with girth-y rifles, and you arrive at the message the GOP has imprinted on its rising stars: one of instinctual cruelty and little else. It’s hard not to arrive at the conclusion that this is the future of the Republican Party, and the main of what it has to offer.
A GOP civil war rattles Georgia Republicans at inconvenient time
Now, a state party already riven by the rivalry between U.S. Sen. Kelly Loeffler and U.S. Rep. Doug Collins for much of the year is plunged into deeper infighting ahead of Jan. 5 runoffs to decide control of the U.S. Senate.
This conflict has bloodied the state’s top elections official, who has gone from a low-profile GOP figure whose name most Georgians could hardly pronounce a few weeks ago to a human litmus test on politics in the Trump-era.
To some, Secretary of State Brad Raffensperger is a hero for defending the integrity of a vote that featured no widespread fraud. To others who believe Trump’s claims, he’s an easy target of derision, the man who allowed the election to be rigged for Democrat Joe Biden in Georgia.
The crackpot factor: Why the GOP is worried about turning out the vote after Trump
Future GOP candidates lack Trump’s secret sauce for attracting new voters — his appeal with Crank-Americans
It’s all over but the grifting, which will likely continue as long as Trump keeps getting people to give him money for his “legal defense” — money that is being funneled through a PAC and likely straight into Trump’s pocket.
Yet the Republican establishment is still tiptoeing around Trump, coddling his fragile ego by refusing to admit he lost the election. Some are going a step further, such as South Carolina’s Sen. Lindsey Graham, who has been exerting pressure on state officials to toss out legally-cast ballots. Why are all these Republicans so afraid of Trump, who will no longer be president in 63 days?
The main reason appears to be that Republicans really are worried about their electoral prospects after Trump. The record Democratic turnout in the 2020 election — President-elect Joe Biden turned out 14 million more voters than Hillary Clinton in 2016 — caused many Republicans down-ballot from Trump to sweat their re-election prospects. Luckily for them, however, Trump also turned out an eye-popping 10 million new voters, which was enough to save the skins of many GOP candidates, even as Trump lost by slender margins in swing states.
Sad, but that guy is not GOP loyal.
Doing our part here in sleepy Connecticut.
Trumpism will be the new “lost cause”
Yesterday in my Pennsylvania History class we were talking about the role that monuments have played at the Gettysburg National Military Park. We are reading Jim Weeks’s excellent book Gettysburg: Memory, Market, and an American Shrine.
I gave a brief lecture on the connection between Confederate monuments at Gettysburg (and elsewhere) and the so-called “Lost Cause” of the Confederacy. In her entry in the Encyclopedia of Virginia, University of Virginia Civil War historian Caroline Janney describes six central tenets of the “Lost Cause”:
The Lost Cause interpretation of the Civil War typically includes the following six assertions:
1. Secession, not slavery, caused the Civil War.
2. African Americans were “faithful slaves,” loyal to their masters and the Confederate cause and unprepared for the responsibilities of freedom.
3. The Confederacy was defeated militarily only because of the Union’s overwhelming advantages in men and resources.
4. Confederate soldiers were heroic and saintly.
5. The most heroic and saintly of all Confederates, perhaps of all Americans, was Robert E. Lee.
6. Southern women were loyal to the Confederate cause and sanctified by the sacrifice of their loved ones.
The Lost Cause is an interpretation of the American Civil War (1861–1865) that seeks to present the war, from the perspective of Confederates, in the best possible terms. Developed by white Southerners, many of them former Confederate generals, in a postwar climate of economic, racial, and social uncertainty, the Lost Cause created and romanticized the “Old South” and the Confederate war effort, often distorting history in the process. For this reason, many historians have labeled the Lost Cause a myth or a legend. It is certainly an important example of public memory, one in which nostalgia for the Confederate past is accompanied by a collective forgetting of the horrors of slavery. Providing a sense of relief to white Southerners who feared being dishonored by defeat, the Lost Cause was largely accepted in the years following the war by white Americans who found it to be a useful tool in reconciling North and South. The Lost Cause has lost much of its academic support but continues to be an important part of how the Civil War is commemorated in the South and remembered in American popular culture.