US Politics : Withdrawal symptoms

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A governor who reads dense medical academic papers...impressive.

One Sunday afternoon in September, 2020, Jay Bhattacharya, an epidemiologist at Stanford University, was at home in Los Altos when he got an unexpected call. It was Ron DeSantis, the governor of Florida, and he wanted to talk about the coronavirus. In the early months of the pandemic, Bhattacharya had established himself as an outlier among public-health experts. He is one of three scientists who drafted the Great Barrington Declaration, which argued that many governments were doing more harm than good by shutting down economies and schools. The only practical approach, they said, would be to protect the most vulnerable—mainly by isolating the elderly—and allow everyone else to go about their lives until vaccines and herd immunity neutralized the disease. With COVID-19 killing hundreds of Americans every day, the signers of the declaration became pariahs in their profession. “I’ve lost friends,” Bhattacharya told me. “I’m lucky to have tenure.”

DeSantis, young and aggressively confident, was similarly convinced that he could find a better way to handle the virus. Talking with him, Bhattacharya was surprised by his command of the research. “He’d read all the medical literature—all of it, not just the abstracts,” he told me. The science, though, remained unclear—Did the virus linger on surfaces? Did it travel in droplets or in a fog?—and many politicians found that the most appealing solutions were the ones that fit their ideology. For DeSantis, who espouses a libertarian vision of small government and personal freedom, the ideas in the Great Barrington Declaration resonated. In his view, the government, apart from protecting the elderly and making treatments available, should do almost nothing.

De Santis has an excellent grasp of the enemy:

From the main stage, DeSantis flashed a smile and tossed baseball caps into the crowd. In a twenty-minute speech, he described an America under assault by left-wing élites, who “want to delegitimize our founding institutions.” His job as governor, he said, was to fight the horsemen of the left: critical race theory, “Faucian dystopia,” uncontrolled immigration, Big Tech, “left-wing oligarchs,” “Soros-funded prosecutors,” transgender athletes, and the “corporate media.” In Florida, he said, he had created a “citadel of freedom” that had become a beacon for people “chafing under authoritarian rule”; he cited disgruntled citizens of Australia, Canada, and Europe. (He didn’t mention the Russian invasion of Ukraine.) “We’re not letting Florida cities burn down,” DeSantis told the crowd. “In Florida, you’re not going to get a slap on the wrist. You are getting the inside of a jail cell.” He offered no new policies, though he did mention that he was requiring high-school seniors to pass a civics exam.

But while Trump, with his lazy, Barnumesque persona, projects a fundamental lack of seriousness, DeSantis has an intense work ethic, a formidable intelligence, and a granular understanding of policy. Articulate and fast on his feet, he has been described as Trump with a brain.
 

cerebus

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That can't be right

188f4d34ab2bac21aa28266ad0e91ecb.jpg
 

ponder

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That can't be right

188f4d34ab2bac21aa28266ad0e91ecb.jpg

Those two idiots won't be able to manage a zimmer frame, the one is a cnut while the other is an ineffectual senile egit.

What's the next option? Same thing we have to ask ourselves post Cyril...
 
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