Sunday, July 19th, 2020


The Untouchables

"There are tests, but no one willing to run them — you are too sick, and you have never cleared the virus. No one would ever want to be what you are now: a hazard, a threat, a frightening object on the edge of death. We try not to touch you. We construct our plans for saving you around staying as far away from you as possible." Dr. Anna DeForest in The New England Journal of Medicine with a must-read on the human side of the Covid-19 story. The New Stability. "The morning you die, I don't want to be there — like most mornings now, when I rise against my whole will and crawl dejectedly into scrubs. I don't want to be a plague doctor or a hero on TV. Now on the news, White men hold guns and signs that say 'live free or die' to protest the lockdown. I imagine what they will look like dying on vents in ICUs staffed by doctors lacking sleep and proper training, soaked in moral fatigue."


Knock ‘Em Dead, Kid

"Children younger than 10 transmit to others much less often than adults do, but the risk is not zero. And those between the ages of 10 and 19 can spread the virus at least as well as adults do." A study of nearly 65,000 people in South Korea found some concerning results. NYT: Older Children Spread the Coronavirus Just as Much as Adults, Large Study Finds.


The Inessential Worker

"Dr. Birx's belief that the United States would mirror Italy turned out to be disastrously wrong. The Italians had been almost entirely compliant with stay-at-home orders and social distancing, squelching new infections to negligible levels before the country slowly reopened. Americans, by contrast, began backing away by late April from what social distancing efforts they had been making, egged on by Mr. Trump." Remarkable reporting from the NYT that takes you Inside Trump's Failure: The Rush to Abandon Leadership Role on the Virus. "Their ultimate goal was to shift responsibility for leading the fight against the pandemic from the White House to the states. They referred to this as 'state authority handoff,' and it was at the heart of what would become at once a catastrophic policy blunder and an attempt to escape blame for a crisis that had engulfed the country — perhaps one of the greatest failures of presidential leadership in generations."


Eventually I’ll Be Right

The Chris Wallace interview with the president was like watching the DSM in video form. When pressed on his claims since January that Covid is going to just disappear and go away, Trump explained: "I'll be right eventually. I will be right eventually. You know I said, ‘It's going to disappear.' I'll say it again." The president explained that he's not ready to commit to election results if he loses and argued that he's not losing because all of the polls are fake. He also said a lot of wrong things about a lot of other issues. If you can stomach it for that long, here's a four minute version of the interview.

+ WaPo: Biden leads by double digits as coronavirus takes a toll on the president. (It's actually not that coronavirus has taken a toll on the president. It's that the president's response to coronavirus has increased the death toll for Americans.)


Building a Better Mouse Trap

"The monthlong StopHateforProfit boycott organized by a coalition of civil rights organizations including the Anti-Defamation League, the NAACP, Color of Change, and Sleeping Giants kicked off July 1st and includes companies like Hershey, Honda, Ben & Jerry's, and Verizon." And now, Facebook's biggest advertiser, Disney, has reportedly paused its spending on Facebook ads. (Readers of the site and newsletter will note that Stop Hate For Profit is the latest NextDraft gratis sponsor. I'm happy to support the effort.)


Are They Ready for Some Football

"Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees, Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson and Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt were among the players who discussed the challenges." Mahomes, Brees and More Tweet on NFL Not Following COVID-19 Safety Guidelines. (I just don't see how you can socially distance while smashing into each other.)

+ Ann Killion: Coronavirus will be the only winner in this 2020 baseball season.


In (Ex)plain View

Axios: "China's ambassador to the U.K., Liu Xiaoming, struggled on Sunday to explain drone footage from the region of Xinjiang that appears to show prisoners with shaved heads shackled, blindfolded and being led to trains."


Bus Fair

"Mr. Lewis, a Georgia Democrat, was among the original 13 Freedom Riders who rode buses across the South in 1961 to challenge segregation in public transportation. The riders were attacked and beaten, and one of their buses was firebombed, but the rides changed the way people traveled and set the stage for the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and the Voting Rights Act of 1965." NYT: Who Were the Freedom Riders?

+ Slate: Do Not Call John Lewis a "Hero" if You Stood in His Way.


Bird is the Word

An group of federal police officers in Portland struck a protester with batons, and used pepper spray outside courthouse in Portland. It didn't seem to bother the guy much.


Bottom of the News

"I always told myself that if Kings Island ever built a B&M giga-coaster that I would have to ride it no matter what. The day that they announced Orion was the day in which I said to myself, 'I will lose this weight.' I went and I bought a scale, I weighed myself that day and I was 430 pounds." Ride of a lifetime: Ohio man loses nearly 200 pounds to ride new roller coaster. (I once lost 200 pounds immediately after riding a roller coaster.)

+ Chipmunks, fattened up on acorns, are driving people nuts.

+ This 'Die Hard' Fan Built An Art Installation That Makes It Look Like Bruce Willis Is Crawling Inside His Vent.