NY Times:

Marooned at Mar-a-Lago, Trump Still Has Iron Grip on Republicans

The vilification of Liz Cheney and a bizarre vote recount in Arizona showed the damage from his assault on a bedrock of democracy: election integrity.

The churning dramas cast into sharp relief the extent to which the nation, six months after the election, is still struggling with the consequences of an unprecedented assault by a losing presidential candidate on a bedrock principle of American democracy: that the nation’s elections are legitimate.

Molly Jong-Fast/Daily Beast:

Tucker Carlson May Be America’s Biggest Public Health Problem

Carlson knows anti-vaxxers have become a big part of Trump’s Republican Party and that they are easy marks as he hustles to up the ante and amp up the outrage.

One of the biggest problems for public health in America is that newly promoted and horribly ubiquitous Fox News host Tucker Carlson is smart, much smarter than his peers in Rupert Murdoch’s personal propaganda network. And Carlson keeps telling his vast viewership just how dangerous he suspects not the coronavirus, but the vaccine against it, is to their health.


Pradheep J. Shanker/NRO:

Tucker Carlson’s Faulty Complaint about Coronavirus Vaccines

Social media have been a source of fabulous exchanges of data, ideas, and suggestions during this coronavirus pandemic, which otherwise has prevented us from communicating directly with other experts in the medical field. Early on in the pandemic, the ability to exchange ideas on a minute-to-minute basis likely saved many lives, especially as medical professionals struggled with dealing with this previously unseen and unpredictable disease.

But data, like social media, can be and often are misused. There are those in the media who have either failed to understand what the evidence and data meant, and then those who appear to be purposefully distorting the evidence for their own questionable ends.

Fox News host Tucker Carlson falls into this latter group.

Andrew Joseph/STAT:

As the Covid-19 crisis ebbs in the U.S., experts brace for some to experience psychological fallout

As the pandemic set in last March, the percentage of people reporting they felt anxious or depressed spiked and has remained elevated since, according to survey data. Experts have also highlighted increases in sleeping problems and alcohol and other substance misuse, and point to clear causes: Uncertainty and fear about the coronavirus itself; job loss and housing and food insecurity; juggling working from home while dealing with cooped-up kids; grief and a loss of social cohesion as a result of restrictions.

The question is what comes next. During emergencies, some people take on the mentality of just needing to get through it. When they have, though, the full weight of what they’ve been through can hit.

NY Times:

The virus is an airborne threat, the C.D.C. acknowledges.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention now states explicitly — in large, bold lettering — that airborne virus can be inhaled even when one is more than six feet away from an infected individual. The new language, posted online, is a change from the agency’s previous position that most infections were acquired through “close contact, not airborne transmission.”

They’ve been wrong about that for a long time.

Zeynep Tufekci/NY Times:

Why Did It Take So Long to Accept the Facts About Covid?

If the importance of aerosol transmission had been accepted early, we would have been told from the beginning that it was much safer outdoors, where these small particles disperse more easily, as long as you avoid close, prolonged contact with others. We would have tried to make sure indoor spaces were well ventilated, with air filtered as necessary. Instead of blanket rules on gatherings, we would have targeted conditions that can produce superspreading events: people in poorly ventilated indoor spaces, especially if engaged over time in activities that increase aerosol production, like shouting and singing. We would have started using masks more quickly, and we would have paid more attention to their fit, too. And we would have been less obsessed with cleaning surfaces.

Our mitigations would have been much more effective, sparing us a great deal of suffering and anxiety.

Since the pandemic is far from over, with countries like India facing devastating surges, we need to understand both why this took so long to come about and what it will mean.


Marcy Wheeler:


Eventually, I want to do a post quantifying all the damage to national security Billy Barr did by thwarting an influence-peddling investigation into Rudy Giuliani in 2019. But first, I want to quantify four ways that Barr is known to have obstructed the investigation into Rudy, effectively stalling the investigation for over 500 days.

The effort is helped by Rudy lawyer Robert Costello’s public claim that DOJ obtained a search warrant on Rudy’s iCloud account sometime in late 2019. That indicates that the investigation into Rudy’s ties to Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman (whether Rudy was the primary target or their business, Fraud Guarantee) already showed probable cause that a crime had been committed before Barr took repeated steps to undermine the investigation.

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