Wednesday, March 25, 2020

Trump's handling of Covid-19 up to a C+

Let me start this post by telling a short story.

Thanksgiving, 1996, my grandmother had fallen at the nursing home and was scheduled for emergency surgery. The surgeon informed us that the surgery was a complete success. Three days later, my grandmother died of complications from the surgery.

From the veiwpoint of the surgeons' silo, she was completely right. Granny did not die during the surgery and the surgeon had been able to screw together all of the tinkertoys and reconnect all the plumbing.

President Trump and Dr. Fauci do not appear to see eye-to-eye on the quarantine/economic shutdown.

Some of the tension is because Trump, by inclination and job description is a generalist. Fauci is a specialist.

Another axis of chaos is that it came to light that Fauci is a great admirer of Hillary Clinton and (inappropriately) fan-boyed her Here and Here

While Fauci's fawning admiration of Trump's competitor probably does not direct his advice, it does create a wedge in the trust between the two men. That is the definition of unprofessional behavior, any behavior that reduces your ability to do your job.

FDR was President through most of the Great Depression and WWII. He become notorious, in retrospect, of giving different minions conflicting orders and creating chaos.

Decades later, we even have a name for that mathematical method for optimizing a solution. It is called Simulated Annealing. It is similar to throwing a bunch of dominoes in an oatmeal canister and then shaking it to settle the dominoes so more can be fit in.

From a purely Covid-19 standpoint, Trump could be doing a better job. Trump's challenge is that he is responsible for the rest of the United States as well and he appears committed to adhering to the US Constitution.

I have a Sister-in-Law who strongly dislikes Trump and her heart palpitates whenever he talks about cushioning Wall Street's steep glide path. "People are dying and all he worries about are the damned millionaires"

Public pension funds are heavily invested in public equities, That is, two-thirds of the typical public pension fund is invested in the stock market. The median public pension fund is approximately 60% funded. When the S&P 500 lost 30% of its value those pension funds became 42% funded.

Without Trump jaw-boning the economy, pension funds will be swirling the drain in 60 days. The vast majority of people collecting pensions are NOT millionaires. Rather, the are among the nation's must vulnerable because, in many cases, we are not fit enough to go back to work.

So...I am operating under the assumption that Trump's words are 80% jaw-boning and 20% "in case a miracle appears".

As always, follow several different news sources. Confer with experts when available. Use your best judgement. Miracles do occur, but even Jesus needed an hour or so to feed 5000. Like a rose, this will unfold in its own time.


  1. Excellent points, and take ANYTHING the MSM says with a pound or so of salt...

  2. Trump is about the deal. You can't deal with the virus. So, he has to create a deal.


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