Day: December 3, 2020

Background Briefing: December 3, 2020


Record-Breaking Grim Statistics of an Out-of-Control Pandemic

We begin with the grimmest statistics so far from the out-of-control pandemic which has now claimed 275,000 American lives with Wednesday’s daily death toll of 2,777 close to the deaths on 9/11, along with the record-breaking daily total of 205,000 new cases of Covid 19. Joining us is Dr. Amesh Adalja, a Senior Scholar at the Johns Hopkins University Center for Health Services whose work focuses on emerging infectious disease, pandemic preparedness and biosecurity. We examine the current crisis as a self-inflicted wound rather than an attack by a foreign enemy and one caused largely by ignorant and incompetent leadership made worse by the lies and disinformation disseminated to cover up Trump’s bungling and idiocy. With no national leadership and states running out of resources, we asses what can be done to avoid the 450,000 deaths the head of the CDC is predicting by February by which time the Biden Administration will be trying to clean up the mess left behind by Trump who is likely to be continuing to undermine Biden’s authority to contain the virus and encourage vaccination.


The Key Link in Our Defense Are Nurses on the Front Line of a Losing Battle

Then with California’s governor ordering a stay-at-home order due to hospital and ICU capacity reaching a breaking point, we discuss the vulnerability of a key link in our chain of defense, the nurses who are still not getting the PPE they need with over 10,000 medical workers having already died from the virus. Dr. Dawn Garzon, associate professor at the University of Portland who was a clinical professor at the Washington State College of Nursing and is the past President of the National Association of Pediatric Nurse Practitioners, joins us to discuss the stress and exhaustion among these nurses on the front lines of what looks like a losing battle. 


Plutocratic Populism Now Rules the GOP and With Trump Gone, American Democracy is Still Sick

Then finally we speak with Jacob Hacker, a Professor of Political Science at Yale University and the co-author of Let Them Eat Tweets: How the Right Rules in an Age of Extreme Inequality about the removal of the tumor of Trump which has left behind an American democracy that is still very sick. We discuss the phenomenon of plutocratic populism that defines the current Republican party and what can be done to break the power of a selfish plutocracy that has bought a party that gives them tax breaks while distracting the voters they are shafting with dog whistles and divisive single issues politics.