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Bipartisan breakthrough? Pols unveil 'Back to Work' plan for reopening economy, with mass testing

Just a bit of encouraging news to start the week....
After spending weeks diving into coronavirus issues over video conferencing,a bipartisan group of 50 House members has crafted a plan for what's needed to reopen the economy safely and help businesses recover from crippling mandatory shutdowns.


  • edited April 2020
    While we're at it hopefully someone will find a cure for fox news. This explains the testing problem more clearly:

    "Coronavirus testing in the U.S., which lags other regions and is considered a linchpin to restarting the economy, has been mired with troubles since the onset of the pandemic — issues that are still a long way from being addressed.

    As the White House pushes for a phased reopening in parts of the country, shortages of reagents and swabs— largely from China and Italy — are still an acute concern. The Centers for Disease Control was faulted early on for pushing faulty testing kits that contributed to the U.S.’s sluggish response to COVID-19, which has infected over 700,000 Americans and killed nearly 40,000.

    The private sector is considered crucial to manufacturing the kits, but each company’s instrument has specific needs. Those barriers are creating stiff challenges to ramping up testing — particularly in New York, the epicenter of the U.S. outbreak.

    “Testing is the single most important topic for us to understand, I think,” Gov. Andrew Cuomo said on Saturday, adding that labs continue to run into shortages of necessary supplies.

    “We could actually be doing more if [companies] would give us the reagents,” Cuomo said, but supply chain woes in China have blocked efforts to scale quickly. “That's the logjam that we are in.”

    Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease, said recently that “testing important part of a multi-faceted way that we are going to control and ultimately end this outbreak,” but far from the only factor."

    ^ This was in an article which I can't link you to without giving away personal info. Search for this title "Here's what's gone wrong with US coronavirus testing, and how the 'logjam' can be broken.

    Anjalee Khemlani
    Senior Reporter
    Yahoo FinanceApril 19, 2020
  • The cure for Fox News is for Bezos, Steyer or Bloomberg to buy it, fire all the staff except Shepard Smith, and realign it to compete against CNN !
  • edited April 2020
    I found it encouraging that 50 members of congress have come up with a fairly comprehensive, detailed, and forward looking bipartisan plan this quickly. Here is some of the issues it addresses: the top of the list for bipartisan lawmakers' checklist is the importance of rapid mass COVID-19 testing -- at a scale that could be upwards of five times greater than what's currently happening. The Problem Solvers Caucus checklist calls for establishing a federal contact tracing database, similar to how the federal government already tracks measles.

    The plan calls for real-time reporting mechanisms to share data on hospital capacity and supplies, coordinating regional and national health care workers for deployment to hot zones, shoring up supplies needed for a vaccine and therapeutic treatments and more federal money for the healthcare sector, states and local governments.

    ...the supply chain for personal protective gear also needs to ramp up to cover workers in all essential sectors, from food service to schools.

    Operating under the principle that a vaccine likely won't be available for at least another year, lawmakers say they needed to look at establishing a "new normal" in American society of regularly wearing protective gear as regions and states slowly get back to work. business layouts for social distancing, ramping up cleaning and sanitizing public spaces and workplaces, and adopting data-driving benchmarks that will trigger the Department of Homeland Security to implement travel restrictions to and from infected countries.

    ... the federal government will need to pass a substantial stimulus plan to restart the economy that should include a “historic investment in our nation’s infrastructure.”

    "What this proposal is doing is really trying to lay some groundwork. We need to do a better job of looking over the horizon and around the corners," Reed said.

    Here is a link to the article @Mark referred to:

    (About Fox news. It has a large and devoted following. It helps to shape and reflects the thinking of a significant segment of the population. That's just the way it is. But, their website does seem to be including more articles that challenge their dominant viewpoint. I find that to be encouraging....)
  • While I have to agree with your statement that fox news "has a large and devoted following. It helps to shape and reflects the thinking of a significant segment of the population." my issue is that what they promulgate has been to a large degree damaging misinformation which feeds a lot of dissension toward finding common ground. Current case in point - their backing of the demonstrations against certain governors attempts to keep their states closed to reopening until it is demonstrably safe to reopen. To me that's dangerous and irresponsible. Granted YMMV.
  • @Mark,
    True, plus one and all that, but you are being much, much too kind. They are a destructive, evil force, and have been from the getgo.
  • Howdy folks,

    At first I thought it was sheer incompetence at FEMA but now I've decided it's deliberate reallocating all supplies, particularly PPE and testing equipment to states where they're already opening things up. FEMA has been intercepting shipments already under contract to other states that apparently don't have the right kind of governors.

    and so it goes,

    peace and flatten the curve,

  • edited April 2020
    I think about two groups of Fox news "followers" when I consider this topic. First, several (probably most) of our neighbors in the gulf coast Florida neighborhood where my wife and I owned a winter home for several years. Second, most of my wife's relatives and most of the people who volunteer beside her at a local American Legion Post in the small western Oregon town (her home town) where we currently live full time. We have fairly strong political differences with both of those groups of people. But, those political differences don't dominate our relationships with them.

    I also think about this comment from Hillary Clinton during her failed presidential campaign. "You know, to just be grossly generalistic, you could put half of Trump's supporters into what I call the basket of deplorables. Right? The racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic — you name it." That comment was so condescending and so disconnected from my overall opinion of most of the Trump supporters I knew (and know) that she lost me as soon as she said it.

    I also think about how the Fox news followers I know would react to hearing someone say Fox is "a destructive, evil force, and have been from the getgo." Probably not too well. In fact, it would probably tend to alienate them from the person making the statement fairly quickly.

    I scan the Fox news online website most days. Most of what I read I disagree with. But, sometimes I find they pick up on useful news stories that sources like the Washington Post and New York Times miss. And, sometimes they offer reasonable counter arguments to the view points those sources offer.

    It is water under the bridge for me to think about a world where Fox had not come into existence. Its more constructive for me to view Fox's perspective an exaggerated expression of an underlying frustration many feel concerning adverse changes that have impacted them over the past quarter century. Anyway, that's the overall takeaway message I get from most of the Trump and Fox supporters I know.

  • @davfor- You make some very good points there. I also winced when Hillary made her condescending "deplorables" remark, even though I understood what she was trying to express, and actually agreed with it to some extent. To have a supposedly professional politician say something so dismissive of potential voters was unbelievable.

    I was particularly taken with your observation that "Its more constructive for me to view Fox's perspective an exaggerated expression of an underlying frustration many feel concerning adverse changes that have impacted them over the past quarter century."

    I think that's pretty accurate, and perhaps somewhat comparable to the disruptions to "normal life" in the 18th/19th century as work and income moved from family-centered work environments to the new factory complexes, with the attendant major disruptions to family life, income, and work environment. Lots of unrest and unhappiness there too, as humans tried, with varying levels of success, to adjust to the "new normal". I'm pretty sure that the conversations at the local taverns then would have sounded very similar to the opinions camouflaged as "news" that is the specialty of Fox.

  • @davfor - you seem to be confusing my disgust with the fox news organization with those that listen and believe in what they say. Big difference! FWIW I just spent the last 6 months in the gulf coast area and unfortunately most of the residents fall smack dab in the middle of that "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic" camp and are still blistering over the fact that that n***** was elected president and all the rest of the stuff they're angry about. Now I'm willing to admit that maybe I just ran into all the wrong people but I have to tell you that in this day and age I find it very disturbing and discouraging. It's definitely not what I signed up for when I chose to defend the country of my birth. To have a questionably and supposedly 'news organization' feed those biases and beliefs without regard or responsibility is beyond reprehensible.
  • edited April 2020
    Wow that's rich.... Trump supporters thinking Hillary using deplorable is offensive. Do they listen to what Trump says almost everyday?

    add: here is a link some think is the best description of Trump:
  • @Mark There are at minimum economic, racial, cultural, and religious aspects to this (politics gets layered on top of the mix). What I have encountered on the racial and cultural side has included a less pervasive version of what you described. Until a generation or so ago, rural Oregon was close to 100% white -- some life long residents still view the world though that lens. And the small town gulf coast town I lived in still included a few who flew confederate flags in their yards and attached them to their pick up trucks. Economic challenges tend to amplify these stereotypical dividers. Its my goal to have encounters with others that reduce these divisions.

    Fox deals with this from a reporting and political perspective as do the Washington Post, the New York Times, and others. Fox often blurs the line between news reporting and expressing opinions. But, I encounter biases in both the headlines and the ways in which stories are presented in the Post and the Times too (again among others).

    Its my impression that recent changes at the top at Fox have caused them to become somewhat less divisive in the way they report the news (I steer totally clear of their video opinion shows as I have cringed too much for comfort in the past when watching them). I hope the constructive changes proceed substantially further in the future. I just scanned the current Fox website page headlines down to the Features and Faces section and just don't get the sense those headlines are feeding "racist, sexist, homophobic, xenophobic, Islamophobic" biases in a clearly one sided manner. Fox exists and probably will for some time into the future. So, it makes sense to hope it continues to evolve in a positive way. (It will be interesting to see how it charts it future course if Trump does not get reelected this fall.)
  • edited April 2020
    "(It will be interesting to see how it charts it(s) future course if Trump does not get reelected this fall.)"

    Fox "News" is what it is. It panders to the semi-educated and racist, xenophobic elements. Can anyone really imagine that they will change their stripes? I can't watch it at all. My head explodes. It hurts too much. I still have at least ONE friend (and colleague!) who watches it as his go-to "news" source. Given the Orange Abortion's connection to Fox "News," I'm not surprised by that. Yet I am appalled by the fact that this guy is a Trump voter and actually PAYS ATTENTION and swallows the junk that the likes of Rush Limbaugh spews. Why am I so appalled? Because the guy is an ordained PASTOR. And yes, he's evangelical. Which points to a big-time split within and among the churches--- probably no less than during antebellum and Civil War days. But that conversation is for a different website. But speaking politically, evangelicals overwhelmingly support The Trumpster. Stands to reason the Orange Fart is popular in the rural South, which is full of evangelicals. I like it fine where I am these days. In the old family home (where I grew up) I'd been a crime victim 3 times in 3 years. Nobody needs that shit. So, we accelerated our plan and left that pit of criminals to deal with each other. On the other hand: 99% of the crime reported on the news back there was done by people with Hispanic names. Is it racist to observe a fact like that? No way. And the police just can't keep up. So far, the biggest problem here is the fireworks on some particular days. Anyone who needs to make noise for the sake of making noise is a f*****g idiot.
  • @Crash Yes. Our first New Years Eve in a condo in downtown Lihue, Kauai in 1984 was a night we will never forget. The decibel level became almost unbearable as midnight approached! Fortunately, we had moved into a small house we built in the hills above Kapaa before the next New Year's eve arrived.
  • Boy, I'm glad for you. THAT was a very smart move!
  • They blew them off a carton at a time (with perhaps a thousand or more firecrackers per carton). And several cartons going off at once. It was amazing!
  • davfor said:

    They blew them off a carton at a time (with perhaps a thousand or more firecrackers per carton). And several cartons going off at once. It was amazing!

    ....... And you forgot your GUN that night? Dontcha just hate that? ;)
  • edited April 2020

    Do you think now that HRC overstated things, in hindsight, 4y on? She said 'half'. Do you find it condescending and disconnected now? Do you know anyone like what she was describing? I did not really think, given her qualifiers, that she was so at the time she said it.

    Sure, there is a whole half that simply loves the guy for other reasons, and they will be loud in telling any reporter visiting a Midwestern or NWestern diner that they are not at all racist, sexist, xenophobic, homophobic, Islamophobic, they are just resentful and misunderstood.

    Or they think their jobs went overseas, seriously. As if iPhones and cheap flatscreens and laptops would be made here for the price, or a bit more.

    Or they think immigrants are doing something or other. Or fetuses are persons. Or religion is threatened, seriously. Or 2A rights are under threat. Seriously.

    Or something.

    But when you try to engage them substantively, or talk reasonable policy, then what?

    I am not saying it wasn't a stupid-ass thing for a candidate to say aloud.

    But people who feel marginalized or whatever it is they like to experience themselves as, even if they happen to be successful realtors or truckers, will often seek resentment, endless reasons to feel condescended to, and all that, and that they are the true snowflakes in a rough & tumble world is lost on them.

    And that the media dote on the wisdom of the supposed flyover working-class noncollege-educated worthies while ignoring the equal or larger numbers of coastal non-elites just fans today's flames.

    If this sort of comment of hers makes someone check her off as a candidate, as you say, while ignoring everything else she said, policy or empathic or whatever, well, that makes it impossible to run for office and speak your mind. (Duh.) It's lazy and easy and facile and makes it possible to eliminate all candidates who have the slightest streak of frankness. Even Mittens.

    The deplorables she was talking about have gotten ever more deplorable. Understanding them has not worked out for anyone. (And the notion that Trump is their authentic policy or other advocate is laughable.) You do not have to be an overeducated upper-class East Coast progtard like me to know that. Everyone conservative --- perhaps like your friends --- whom I keep in touch with in my home area of southern Ohio knows that too. Knows that it is essential to defeat Trump, even more than 4y ago, and is dismayed that the lines have been so drawn by deplorables and their media homies, abetted, enhanced, flame-fanned by Fox.
  • @davidrmoran It makes little sense to me to label 1/2 of Trump supporters as being deplorable human beings -- even if they may harbor one or more of a shopping list of prejudices (let he who is without sin cast the first stone). That is what I thought and still think she was doing when she made that "frank" comment while she was talking among "her peers". That comment spoke to me about who she was. I was unenthusiastic about her candidacy from that point forward -- even though I still voted for her due to some of the positive attributes you noted above about her and because of my concern about what would happen if Trump became president.

    Life instructs each of us in different ways. And, we are all works in progress. Many of the Trump (and Fox) supporters I know to some degree harbor one or more of her shopping list of prejudices (life keeps periodically demonstrating to me that I do too). There are a variety of reasons these prejudices exist in people. What I am suggesting is that it is helpful for a leader to accept that all people come with baggage and to consistently focus on seeking common ground.

    I agree that the political commentators on Fox TV tend to play on people prejudices (even though I find it difficult to watch them for very long and so have a limited current basis for making that comment). What I am suggesting is that the "front page" of the Fox newspaper (its website) appears to be increasingly presenting news stories in an even handed way. And, sometimes they choose as being newsworthy interesting stories that I don't see on the Times, the Post, or Reuters on my daily perusal of headlines. The headline story for this post was an example of such a story. I am still somewhat surprised that the story itself became overwhelmed by a discussion of its source. Perhaps nothing from that source can be deemed to be newsworthy here?
  • I'm just a kid who grew up with the likes of Cronkite, Murrow, Chancellor, Sevareid and so on who I believed represented professional journalism at it's finest. They exuded competence, fairness, integrity, believability as though they had a Standard that their profession lived up to and they were proud in the fact that that's how they presented themselves and how they were seen by the public. Can we get back to that?
  • Yes, I should have responded to your OP.
    I was skeptical, and not only because Fox was touting it. There is smelly history:

    but I should study its nominal successes:

    (Opposing Pelosi is and was not gonna work.)

    It appears chiefly rules- and procedures-based in the past:

    As for deplorables, that was tactically stupid, and senseless, yes, even if not morally unfair (the 'we are all sinners' etc. argument).

    It is dismaying that it had such a lasting impact on someone as thoughtful and considered as yourself, and heartening that it did not affect your vote.

    As for

    >> to consistently focus on seeking common ground.

    you did watch enough HRC (who was probably also reacting to decades of the most personal and ugliest smears from deplorable types) to see her do this seeking, I trust, again and again and again, every chance she got.

    @Mark, you do watch CNN and MSNBC, right? Also the BBC. I see lots of high standards and smart guest exchanges and interviews than anyone Olympian in the past had.
  • edited April 2020
    @Mark I hope so too. Actually, I think Norah O'Donnell has been doing a good job now that she has settled in at the CBS Evening News.

    @davidrmoran I wondered about the background of Problem Solvers group. But, the list of ideas made sense to me so decided to post the article.

  • @davidrmoran & @davfor- no, mainly because I do not have cable, streaming or satellite. What I do watch is CBS w/ Norah O'Donnell, NPR and BBC.
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