“When Representative Katie Porter’s face appears on my laptop screen, backdropped by the marigold walls of her kitchen, I can instantly tell she’s having a day. She’s overwhelmed, weary, pulsating with the frantic energy of a person doing too much. It’s April 9, or day 21 since Porter more or less locked herself inside like much of the rest of the country, and yes, we are Zooming. Never in my wildest dreams did I think I’d speak with a member of Congress while unshowered, makeup-free, and in sweatpants, but here we are. And for a moment, we are not reporter and politician, but two women who find themselves in the middle of an unprecedented global pandemic, and one of us clearly needs a minute.
“Like many, Porter is exhausted from all the digital demands. “One’s a call, one’s a Zoom, one requires me to be dressed up, another might require me to, God forbid, have my hair done.…” And frankly, she’s a bit miffed with staffers who schedule back-to-back meetings, failing to recognize that even Porter—a woman whose colleagues call her a superwoman, who has made drowsy congressional hearings must-see TV, and who so expertly spars with witnesses that you can almost see them quiver—also needs a break to pee sometimes.”
We have more cases because we have tested far more than any other country, 60,000,000. If we tested less, there would be less cases,” the president added.
Shocking that Trump is still pushing this ridiculous argument. Normally, politicians abandon a position when it’s met with public ridicule, as this one has been. Especially when trailing badly in every poll on the eve of an election.
Sure, Trump’s continued insistence that the U.S. has so many infections only because of the number of tests is laughable. But don’t let that sideshow distract you. Trump’s continued commitment to this flawed logic implies that he might actually believe it. (At the very least, he publicly claims to believe it.)
And if he believes it, that means he sees no difference between an unreported case and a healthy person. If he really believes that an unconfirmed case is not a case at all, he isn’t thinking about these cases as people. People who can’t get tested don’t know they’re infected until the disease progresses, and therefore treatment is delayed, with potentially tragic consequences.
But maybe Trump doesn’t believe it. Maybe he’s just a politician trying to polish the historic turd that is his record. Maybe he understands that people can be infected even if they are never tested. Maybe he doesn’t believe the test causes infection. (Imagine your position is so flawed that “He’s lying, he doesn’t really believe that,” is the charitable possibility.)
Either way, this proclaimed belief is behind the administration’s decision to end federal support for testing. Either way, he’s making it harder for people to get tested so that infection statistics look less bad for him.
Scientists have warned of an October surprise, in which, despite insufficient data, the president could instruct the FDA to issue an Emergency Use Authorization, circumventing the normal approval process for vaccines for the sake of political expediency. https://t.co/ZwNtGxdjUi