“This is Trump’s world now: scattered, incoherent, unscientific, nationalist. Not a word of compassion does he have for America’s stricken Italian ally (instead the United States quietly asks Italy for nasal swabs flown into Memphis by the U.S. Air Force) … I have experienced physical shock in recent weeks watching leaders like Angela Merkel in Germany, Justin Trudeau in Canada and Emmanuel Macron in France speak about the pandemic. We Americans do not grasp how insidiously Trump has accustomed us to malignancy. A germophobe, he has spread the germ of untruth. That self-satisfied, nasal and plaintive presidential voice has become a norm. And so merely to hear a sane, caring, scientific response to the virus from other leaders is riveting and reorienting.” Roger Cohen with a great essay in the NYT: A Silent Spring Is Saying Something. “I don’t blame Trump entirely for America’s unpreparedness. The American health care system has long been a colossal study in waste. But I do blame Trump for wasting a couple of months in denialism.”

+ “The US response will be studied for generations as a textbook example of a disastrous, failed effort. What’s happened in Washington has been a fiasco of incredible proportions.” The Guardian: The missing six weeks.

+ The most recent uncertainty out of Washington was the call for, and then the calling off, of a potential forced quarantine across three northeastern states. Opposition among experts and administration insiders was unanimous, but more time was wasted and more confusion sown. As Andrew Cuomo explained: “If you start walling off areas all across the country, it would just be totally bizarre, counterproductive, anti-American, antisocial.” Here’s the latest from the NYT.

+ While one can understand the motivation behind a forced quarantine, I came up with an alternate plan that could be ever more effective. Tell the F–king Truth. My mom often tells me that swearing is a sign of weak writing. She was right until Trump and this crisis. Thankfully, I showed pretty good restraint by only using one swear word in this piece. (But I used it eighteen times.)