Skip navigation

Daily Archives: April 5th, 2020

We have heard the phrase ” did you get the memo?” in movies and real life  so I am sending this one out now and hopefully you get it!

The past three years of TOTUS’ administration has given us no reason to rejoice as the governing style has been shown erratic, dis jointed and totally with no real merit. Therefore on the net election day we need to get some new people in place from the Congress to the White House. It should be apparent that this administration has brought the country to an unprecedented low in production and world status. It is incumbent on the voters to correct this lean towards right or left. VOTE!.


Please Donate


N95 masks at a 3M laboratory
N95 masks at a 3M laboratory

A major US mask manufacturer, 3M, says the government has asked it to stop exporting US-made N95 respirator masks to Canada and Latin America.

The request had “significant humanitarian implications”, it warned, and could prompt other countries to act in kind.

On Thursday, the US invoked the Korean War-era Defence Production Act to demand that 3M provide more masks.

Canada’s prime minister said stopping 3M’s exports would be a “mistake”.

President Donald Trump said he had used the Defence Production Act to “hit 3M hard”, without providing additional details. The law dates back to 1950 and allows a president to force companies to make products for national defence.

In a statement on Friday, 3M said the government had invoked the act “to require 3M to prioritise orders from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (Fema) for our N95 respirators”, and had also requested that 3M import more respirators made in its overseas factories into the US. It said it supported both moves.

However, 3M added that the government also requested that it stop exporting respirators made in the US to Canada and Latin America.

“There are significant humanitarian implications of ceasing respirator supplies to healthcare workers in Canada and Latin America, where we are a critical supplier of respirators,” it said.

3M added that such a move “would likely cause other countries to retaliate and do the same”, which would lead to the overall number of respirators being made available to the US decreasing.

The company says it manufactures about 100 million N95 masks per month – about a third are made in the US, and the rest produced overseas.

The Trump administration has not provided details on its communications with 3M. On Thursday night, Mr Trump tweeted: “We hit 3M hard today after seeing what they were doing with their masks… Big surprise to many in government as to what they were doing – will have a big price to pay!”

Meanwhile, White House trade adviser Peter Navarro said on Thursday: “We’ve had issues making sure that all of the production that 3M does around the world, enough of it is coming back here.”

Canada does not manufacture any N95 masks domestically, and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau told reporters on Friday that “it would be a mistake to create blockages or reduce trade”.

“There are thousands of nurses in Windsor who work in Detroit every single day, and Americans depend on them. There are medical products and other essential goods that move across the border in both directions… these are things Americans rely on.


Please Donate

Matthew Walther
The Week

Those of you of a certain age will doubtless remember a time when it was universally acknowledged that wearing masks would not protect you or anyone else from the coronavirus pandemic. By “certain age” here I mean all living Americans born on or before April 1, 2020, which according to my notes is when it became possible to express a contrary position in polite society.

This was always nonsense. The White House is now suggesting that all of us should wear masks whenever we leave our houses. We are even stealing vast stockpiles of them from the Germans, who have been wearing them in public for around a month on the rather more numerous occasions when their leaders exempt them from house arrest. People who can’t get proper masks (apparently the kind people wear when they spray for bugs) are being encouraged to make their own. If nothing else, this has given tedious DIY addicts something else to be self satisfied about. No one cares how quaint and interesting you think the piece of cloth meant to protect you from a disease is, okay?

Whether the journalists and other apparent experts who enthusiastically spread this apparent lie about masks knew it was false is very much an open question. Some of us found it odd that the same people were also saying that masks should be reserved for use by medical professionals. If masks don’t do anything, why do doctors and nurses need them? Are they an ornamental part of a dress uniform? The mind reels.

Regardless of the personal honesty of those involved in it, this propaganda campaign should never have been conducted in the first place. It is one thing to debate what should be empirical questions, such as the efficacy of wearing protective equipment in an attempt to forestall the spread of viral infections; it is another for people to bang on about whatever the latest current corona wisdom is with the same tedious certainty that not long ago made us a nation of Logan Act scholars and experts on the non-existent criminal law implications of the emoluments clause. These manias do roughly as much for public health as those kids — there was at least one in every first-grade class — who relentlessly ssshh everyone else in line do to improve schoolyard behavior.

The 180-degree shift in acceptable public opinion about masks is in line with how the rest of this crisis has unfolded. Masks won’t help. Everyone needs a mask. It’s not worth shutting down travel to and from China over the virus, and Trump is just being a xenophobe here. Trump should have done more to prevent the virus from coming to these shores. It’s less dangerous than the flu; calling it less dangerous than the flu is a right-wing meme, perhaps even (one shudders) “misinformation.” Human beings can’t even transmit the virus directly to one another; it originated with animals in Chinese open-air “wet” food markets. Talking about the wet markets is racist, except when Dr. Fauci does it.

Can we please stop talking this way? As I write this our paper of record is all but publicly rooting for the failure of anti-malarial drugs that appear to have been successful in treating some coronavirus patients. It is not against “science,” whatever that may be, for the president or anyone else to observe that certain medicines or treatments have worked. It is not for science, either. It’s just a fact that may or may not have limited application depending upon what happens over the next few months. A bit more epistemic humility would be welcome all around.

As would more of I will bluntly call adult behavior. We must put an end to the idea that the best way to get through this crisis is to say things we know are not true in the hope of getting people to behave a certain way. This means not saying masks are useless when what you really mean is, “Masks are in short supply, please consider before you start hoarding them whether you really need them at present and if so how many.” Ditto the painfully relentless attempts to give young people the impression that they are horribly likely to die from the new virus. Even in Italy, the country with the worst measured fatality rate so far, around 86 percent of all the deceased have been aged 70 or older, and 50 percent were at least 80. We do not need to zero in on statistical anomalies or otherwise engage in scaremongering. It should be enough to say, “Even though you are very unlikely to die from coronavirus, remember that you could contract the disease and spread it to more vulnerable people without even experiencing symptoms, so please don’t revel with 5000 strangers at the beach and then run home to give Grandma a hug.”

This is how grown-ups talk to one another.


Please Donate

%d bloggers like this: