100,000

From BBC News:

No country has had more deaths, more infections. Anywhere else, so far, is not even close.

Heartbreaking, embarrassing and infuriating. We deserve better.

Donald Trump’s move against Twitter factchecking could backfire 

From The Guardian:

But the regulation could backfire, at least in terms of creating the internet Trump desires. By barring social media companies from using the nuanced forms of moderation they currently employ, the executive order could force them to resort to heavy-handed actions: deleting posts, or blocking users, rather than simply factchecking or reducing the reach of the worst material.

Similarly, removing section 230 protections entirely from a technology firm would be unlikely to force it to act as a politically neutral “mere conduit”, since any moderation at all – even simply deleting the vast quantities of automated spam that hit platforms such as Facebook and Twitter each day – would then open them up to lawsuits about the content they had left up.

I feel like this kind of sums up Trump’s presidency. He’s been flailing from one self-induced blunder to the next with no real strategy in mind. Rather than, you know, acting presidential and posting ideas that are truthful, he’s getting emotional yet again and will potentially create a situation that compels social media to disallow or fully censor the sort of hate, lies and misinformation he’s so well known for.

To be clear, I don’t think that a more tightly regulated social media landscape is an overall good thing. However the irony of the President issuing an order that makes it more likely to have his posts outright deleted does bring me some joy.

When a Pandemic Meets a Personality Cult

From Paul Krugman:

So, here’s the response of the Trump team and its allies to the coronavirus, at least so far: It’s actually good for America. Also, it’s a hoax perpetrated by the news media and the Democrats. Besides, it’s no big deal, and people should buy stocks. Anyway, we’ll get it all under control under the leadership of a man who doesn’t believe in science.

We’ve been lucky to not have had any signifigant crises since Trump has taken office but this will be the first test … and boy, do I lack confidence in this administration. The 80% cut in CDC money a few years back in particular looks especially egregious right about now.