Ryan: Donald Trump’s genuine hyperbole

Photo by Jim Dale

Part One. Part Two.

Trump rallies officially begin with a prayer, spoken by some local clergyman. That day, the pastor seemed giddy and nervous as he strolled down the long long red-carpeted walkway. By the time he introduced himself, he had found composure.

As the prayer was about to begin, a man on the south side of the arena shouted, "Don't forget about Jesus."

He said it with conviction, as if didn't realize the entire arena was about to join in prayer, an act that signifies the intentional remembrance of Jesus. Either way, I assume that made the Good Lord happy.

NOTE: All pictures are from the Shreveport-Bossier City rally that took place the following week. Jim Dale, the photographer, will run an account of his experience.Photo by Jim DalePhoto by Jim Dale

Then, the prayer, a dialogue with God and Jesus, and the Holy Spirit also. So I bowed my head. And in the breathy pauses between words, in each brief, perfect, angelic silence, I could hear journalists clacking at their MacBooks.

Good thing they didn't accept me as one of their own, or else I would sever all ties with those blasphemers.

*

The arena was cozy and drab like a decaying small-town gymnasium. It had that sweat odor buried in the walls. Wrestling tournaments. Basketball. Today would not be its first circus. Conventions. Trade shows. Conferences. The stench of past-due.The kind of place that had clearly held tons of indoor rodeos, so add the smell of dirt and livestock.

And third-rate sports teams nobody actually cares for, also known as the Bayou Beast indoor football team, since you really have to know. And probably some no-name musicians. And if I had to guess, the odd wedding or high school prom or reunion or mayor's funeral.

NOTE: All pictures are from the Shreveport-Bossier City rally that took place the following week. Jim Dale, the photographer, will run an account of his experience.Photo by Jim DalePhoto by Jim Dale

Capacity of 7,600, and every seat would soon be taken.

Before the rally, I spoke with a dramatically pregnant Kayleigh McEnany, National Press Secretary for Trump's 2020 campaign.

She had a D.C. sharpness. Well used to appearances on network TV.

Photo by Jim Dale

Consensus was, Louisiana was in the bag. All of it was. All in the bag.

Much noise had been made those past weeks and months about the Governor, John Bel Edwards, a Democrat, about how he had to go. Louisianans felt conflicted. Same as they have since the end of the Civil War. Bel Edwards supported Hillary in 2016, but he is the son of a Sheriff, and, if you judged by his policies, he'd be a Republican in most other states.

Trump had come to Monroe endorse Bel Edward's opponent, Eddie Rispone, 70 years old, rich as hell, a construction contractor from Baton Rouge, and a Republican, first and foremost. Who, when he's not campaigning, shovels dirt and lays cement and, in hotter months, he'll do some tiling or even fire a nailgun into a roof. That week, he'd been digging up the concrete below a Murphy USA station.

As one Trump supporter told me, off-the-record, because they may or may not have been a member of law enforcement, "Eddie is loyal to our President and our borders and beholden to God as we know and believe him." Then the gentleman said something I cannot put in writing and remain baffled by.

An arena full of Trump rally-goers does the "Y.M.C.A."Photo by Jim Dale

A month earlier, in October, John Bel Edwards and Eddie Rispone faced off, and nobody's too sure what happened, only that Louisiana sure does live up to its reputation as a never-ending source of corruption. Now it's November, round two of the gubernatorial runoff, and the President of the United States is flying in to straighten the kinks.

It was almost enough to make Louisianans forget about the devilishly high murder rate, number one in the nation. For 30 years in a row. Thirty years with the highest murder rate in the country! No challengers, every single year since 1989, when that poor space shuttle exploded.

Second highest incarceration rate in the nation. Barely. With 719 per 100,000 residents locked up. Unemployment is 3rd highest. Earlier, outside, people had nodded to a little-known Lynyrd Skynyrd song titled "Heaven or Hell."

Will it be Hell or Heaven on earth the choice is up to you
Look to the sky, the answer is clear
Are you gonna live life for all it's worth
Choose Hell, or Heaven on earth
If you live it right, there's nothing to fear'
Cause you'll find Heaven right here

*

The Duck Dynasty crew shuffled to the podium like a biker gang on vacation. Think Hawaiian shirts designed by gun aficionados and ripped jeans from American Eagle circa 2003. Hometown heroes, no doubt. There to endorse Eddie Rispone. And theirs is a hell of an endorsement in the Pelican State.

I'm not being funny, but it was hard to differentiate the Duck Dynasty lads from much of the crowd, a few of whom had hints of camouflage paint on their faces as Cee-Lo's "Crazy" blared from the massive speakers.

Jade and I rambled about "the idea of extinctions." Told her that I got real big into mass extinctions a few months ago, around the time my wife and I learned we'd be parents. As I yapped about the timeline of snails, "Live and Let Die" came on.

Photo by Jim Dale

Yes, it was an animal moment. Full of animal sweetness. And for that instant, blessed by the ghost of Axl Rose, wailing and snakelike, I believed that none of us would ever go extinct.

In anticipation of Trump's arrival, men and women and children in American-flag regalia tossed a MAGA hat around like it was a beach ball. Like in Brazil when the shoeless kids play soccer with balled-up trash bags.

Later, Trump would describe the crowd as "proud, hard-working, freedom-loving American patriots." He would nod, say, "that's what you are."

Photo by Jim Dale

Thirty minutes before Trump took stage, people rose to their feet, gasping every time a song ended, and gyrated to Michael Jackson's "Beat It." An anxiety intensified with each song that ended and Trump still wasn't there.

Is private ritual possible? For Freud, private ritual meant neurosis. A lot of the time, people don't mean what they're saying.

*

On the other side of the media pen barricade, a larger man in a heavy-fonted t-shirt that read "GOD. GUNS. AND TRUMP," with "TRUMP" in the form of an American flag. In another part of the arena, a woman had the same shirt, tucked into spangled black jeans held up by rhinestone clippies.

A 20-something with a pouched lip strutted the floor, holding a SURGE bottle full of Skoal spit. He was hunting, a predator with no threats.

Section 226 was especially rowdy. They needed Trump. It meant everything. They writhed under a sign for "Johnny's Pizza House."

Trump 2020 Campaign Manager tosses MAGA hats to rally-goers in Shreveport, LA.Photo by Jim Dale

All the other media had planted themselves on the risers, safely inside the media pen. CNN and CSPAN and FoxNews and MSNBC and all the other important networks, cameras trained on Trump's podium. And all the camera operators, expressionless. Some of them stared ahead like veterans occasionally do. Others rolled their eyes.

*

"Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the 45th President of the United States. President Donald. J. Trump," then his entrance track, that Lee Greenwood song.

President Trump emerged like an apparition. The entire crowd thrust their phone in the air, all the red blinks of recording. Chants of "four more years."

Every person in the place had their eyes trained on him.

Look, it doesn't matter what your politics are, this was the President of the United States of America. Every citizen of any country ought to see their leader in person. Without any interference. Without the pollution of someone else's account.

Photo by Jim Dale

I cannot tell you how captivating it is to feel tens of thousands of people, including yourself, including the media who pretend that Trump is a monster, involuntarily surge forward all at once, darting their heads around like Santa Claus is real again, and there he is, there he is, just down there, there he is, it is actually him.

He gripped the podium, mouthed "Thank you," tilted his head, then told them, "Wow do you have spirit."

*

It was beastly hot in that arena. Beastly hot, almost tropical. At one point, Trump joked that it had to be 100 degrees, so yes, a little hot. He joked that it was so hot, he'd lost about nine pounds.

But hot as it was, Trump still beamed. "Is there any place you'd rather be than a Trump rally, on a beautiful, wonderful evening in Louisiana?"

You know darn well how they responded!

Photo by Jim Dale

Then he asked would they rather be here at this Trump rally, or at the upcoming football game between their own Louisiana State University and their loathsome rival, Alabama Crimson Tide?

It was clearly a jocular statement, a softball hypothetical that most people would realize was not an actual question. Yet, as you can hear on the footage of the rally, much of the audience was truly baffled it, almost troubled. Perplexed, stricken, eyes bulging and hands limp and voices yodeling in uncertainty.

They did not know how to answer.

Three days later, Trump would attend the game, to a standing ovation.

Donald Trump given huge ovation at Alabama. Both teams entered the game undefeated, with 8 wins and somebody had to lose. And, would you believe it, LSU won. 46 to 41.

Meaning, the solution to the Trump-LSU dilemma was much like so many other Trump dilemmas. Somehow, Trump wound up the winner either way. Depending on the metrics.

Because Eddie Rispone, the man Trump traveled to Louisiana three times to endorse, would lose.

*

From the back, section 203, a man screamed "We love you Trump." Followed by a group of women on the second tier shouting "We love you Trump."

He used the "the status quo isn't working" approach, and it landed every time.

Photo by Jim Dale

Without prompt, a lady on the first level yelled "Democrats suck!"

Step into his diorama. His world made of gold and tinted glass, where the embattled billionaire fights for a civilization that has fallen. Listen carefully to his dialectic game, gaze at his sideshow of power, his postmodern kingdom. A televised empire, where high culture and low culture fornicate like germs.

Look at the horizon of skyscraping condos, five times the size of the Statue of Liberty. His face superimposed onto Mt. Rushmore, which turns out to be a Las Vegas replica. Who cares! A trophy is a trophy!

All flash and capital. And now, the White House. The United States of America. The people of Earth. With Trump at the helm, gripping the steering wheel the way rappers in videos do, still calling people losers like Triumph the Insult Comic Dog.

*

In his book "Art of the Deal, he writes,

[W]hen people treat me badly or unfairly or try to take advantage of me, my general attitude, all my life, has been to fight back very hard. The risk is you'll make a bad situation worse, and I certainly don't recommend this approach to everyone. But my experience is that if you're fighting for something you believe in — even if it means alienating some people along the way — things usually work out for the best in the end.He describes the importance of thinking big.

Most people think small because they are afraid of success, afraid of making decisions, afraid of winning.Trump speaks the superlative language of competition. Of winning and losers. Of records and embarrassments and pitiful upsets. Of heroes and — what's an ugly word for douchebags? Of a nation in peril, desperate for a savior, but he is here so don't worry.

Photo by Jim Dale

It's a matter of playing the game, which Trump describes in "Art of the Deal" as "the real excitement." The game is what he loves. Money, he writes, is only useful because it's a way to keep score.

This might explain how and why he has repeatedly commodified objects, events, and people that we hadn't realized could be price-tagged, let alone sold for a whopping profit.

He shields himself with provocation, flamethrower style. He uses tactical hyperbole to win followers and agitate enemies. And he has weaponized the media in his favor.

Photo by Jim Dale

Combine all of these elements and you have the shoddy blueprint of Trump's strategy for the game.

A man who uses combat and grandiosity and the intoxication of fantasy to succeed. So of course it was only a matter of time before he tackled politics. And, in accordance with his doctrine of going as big as possible, it had to be President.

Which is part of his non-performer performance style, like an unforced cool that took years to choreograph.

Yours truly in the media penPhoto by Jim Dale

I did not fully understand this until I saw Trump in person, especially at his rallies. He plays what's most likely a version of himself, same as anyone famous or powerful. The suave, brash New York who-knows-how-rich-llionaire who has a penchant for the spotlight and a colorful history which is tragic in parts, and often ridiculous, and unbelievably ostentatious, and oh so full of beautiful women, literally the most beautiful women in the universe.

And now he'd made it into the White House, the first President — ever — to be elected to the office without a single day of formal experience. His debut to politics was the Presidency, the most unattainable job in politics. A position that men and women have spent lifetimes vying for, often unable to make it past the local or state levels.

If that's not proof that politics is a game, I don't know what is.

*

Trump's influence on large groups is sociological in complexity. He literally fills arenas. A human tsunami, a comet that could wipe us out, but it could also deepen the oceans and that's a good thing, right?

He says "Yes."

He says a lot of things.

In Art of the Deal, he wrote

The final key to the way I promote is bravado. I play to people's fantasies. People may not always think big themselves, but they can still get very excited by those who do. That's why a little hyperbole never hurts. People want to believe that something is the biggest and the greatest and the most spectacular. I call it truthful hyperbole. It's an innocent form of exaggeration, and a very effective form of promotion.

I can think of no single quote that better explains Donald Trump. It's the best quote, maybe of all time. Maybe Ever.

This is why his followers hear themselves in much of what he says. Maybe because that's what he believes, or maybe because he uses an innocent form of exaggeration to say what they want to hear, or just the way they want to hear it.

Same goes for the people who hate him. Do they hate him for who he is, or because they see hating him as their only option? But, in their hatred, are they actually promoting him?

Is this love or hatred a measurement of Donald Trump, as President or person? Or a reflection of ourselves in relation to Trump's ability to harness power, insight into what we admire or despise about ourselves? And does anyone care about this distinction anymore?

*

At rallies, one of Trump's routines is to pull a sheet of paper from his inside blazer pocket, then wiggle it in the air like a mystical artifact. Then confide in his audience. This was important stuff he had, did they want to hear about it?

Extend that offer to anyone, all mysterious like that, and their ears will perk. But entice a group of people who love the man with great pride and have waited all day to see him? He wins them over every time.

Photo by Jim Dale

And when Trump waved the paper around, I automatically needed to follow it, like a cat trained on the red dot of a laser. This was the work of a magician. Didn't matter what was on the paper.

But if you looked close enough, Trump resembled the "yellow cake" routine on Chappelle's Show.

To get to the White House, he needed to play the game with more intensity than ever before. This meant building an army.

*

Humans can't live in a wasteland for long, even if it's only the perception of a wasteland. And the cleverest person will spark the revolution and off we go in the opposite direction.

In Monroe, Trump thrived with the drama of this maneuver.

"And here's the story," he told the penitent crowd, "we're winning."


That. I think I understood. It wasn't just about winning, not for the people in the audience. It was about not losing any more. They latched onto Trump's each word and superimposed their own values. Facilitated their willingness to help him however they could.

When Trump talked about guns and abortion and fake news and Democrats and AntiFa and climate change and socialism, it stirred the crowd. A nifty provocation. But maybe what they really heard were incantations of meaning. Words of affirmation. Phrases that validated them and their beliefs and their hopes and futures, acknowledged their existence in a place that most of the country has forgotten, or never even cared about to begin with.

Maybe that's why many of Trump's followers don't mind his contradictions. His tactical hyperbole.

In Political Tribes, Amy Chua writes

What elites don't see is that Trump, in terms of taste, sensibilities, and values, actually is similar to the white working class. The tribal instinct is all about identification, and Trump's base identifies with him at a gut level: with the way he talks (locker-room), dresses, shoots from the hip, gets caught making mistakes, and gets attacked over and over by the liberal media for not being politically correct, for not being feminist enough, for not reading enough books. His enemies, they feel, are their enemies.

There in Monroe, I could consider theories about them all day and it wouldn't change the world that they called their own. Like how, in real life, in person, kids see a hundred different Santa Clauses — outside WalMarts, at malls, on TV, in books — yet they still believe in Santa. It doesn't occur to them that there can only be one. And, clearly, there are a lot of them, so maybe it's mom who buys the bike and dad who eats the cookies.

Photo by Jim Dale

On the other side of the media pen barricade, a man in tattered clothes was fanning a young girl in tattered clothes as she hacked a loose cough and snugged into his neck. She looked feverish and anxious and miserable, deathly ill. Noosed confetti glued to her sweat-damp face. Night over. Last laugh had. You're the punchline, kid.

Or, worse, the discarded set-up.

Somebody wins, but not you.

Air Force One, just up the street. Ten times the size of your house and it's not even where the MAGA Guy lives. Existence itself conspired against you and now, here in northern Louisiana, the audience is clapping and all you want is home.

Why had this father brought his sick child to a Trump rally? Why take her anywhere that wasn't a doctor's office, maybe even a hospital? We all know that the only place to take a sick child is somewhere with a cure. Was that how the father saw this? Not as an elaborate game, but a cure? Was that how the whole arena felt?

Everyone deserves the terror and joy of knowing that you matter.

The final two installments of the Trump Louisiana Saga will come out Wednesday and Thursday. Then it's on to Iowa. Check out my Twitter. Email me at kryan@blazemedia.com NOTE: All pictures are from the Shreveport-Bossier City rally that took place the following week. Jim Dale, the photographer, will run an account of his experience.

Glenn gives the latest coronavirus numbers, updating YOU on everything needed to know as Americans and officials monitor China's new COVID-19 virus:

Daily Stats as of 5:30 AM CT (from John's Hopkins)

  • Total Confirmed Cases Worldwide: 1,030,324 (up from 950,638 Yesterday)
  • Total Confirmed Deaths Worldwide: 54,226 (up from 48,289 Yesterday)
  • Total Confirmed Recovered Worldwide: 219,896 (up from 202,631 Yesterday)
  • 5% of Active Cases are considered serious (requiring hospitalization) Steady from 5% Yesterday, but down from 19% high back in February
  • Note that 12% of US Confirmed Cases require Hospitalization, roughly on par with Italy at 12% requiring hospitalization and lower than Spain, where 18% of patients require hospitalization.
  • US has 245,380 Confirmed Cases and 6,095 Deaths, up from 215,344 cases and 5,112 deaths yesterday
  • The US currently has 228,874 Active Cases of COVID-19, with about 1% of the US Population tested
  • 15% of Americans who have been tested have been diagnosed with COVID-19
White House to Recommend All Americans Wear Face Masks in Public https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/04/02/coronavirus-facemasks-policyreversal/
  • The White House is poised to urge Americans to wear cloth masks or face coverings in public to help prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, in a reversal of earlier advice.
  • President Trump said Thursday at a coronavirus task force briefing that "a recommendation is coming out," but "I don't think it will be mandatory. If people want to wear them, they can."
  • Later, however, a White House official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to relate internal discussions, said that the guidance being considered is "narrowly targeted to areas with high community transmission" and that the matter remains under discussion.
  • A new Memo from the CDC states: "In light of new data, along with evidence of widespread transmission in communities across the country, CDC recommends the community use of cloth masks as an additional public health measure people can take to prevent the spread of the virus to those around them."
  • The recommendations represent a major change in CDC guidance that healthy people don't need masks or face coverings.
  • The news comes as Laredo, TX joins more than a dozen American cities or Counties that have mandated the use of face masks for all persons in public spaces such as grocery stores or shopping centers. Violaters without a facemask risk up to a $1000 fine. https://www.foxnews.com/us/texas-city-fine-people-who-dont-cover-faces-outside-coronavirus
  • Similar provisions are being considered for the entire State of California, according to Governor Gavin Newsom's office.
Anti-body Tests Getting Accelerated Availability https://news.yahoo.com/antibody-tests-key-ending-covid-19-lockdowns-162305617.html
  • Unlike Vaccine testing and production which could take months or years, SARS-CoV-2 Antibody tests could be available in the US in a few weeks.
  • Such tests could be key in enabling the partial lifting of lockdown and shelter-in-place orders, as authorities could determine who might already have immunity to the virus and could return to work.
  • "If we can determine someone's already had the virus and now has immunity and is no longer contagious to others, that's what we're looking for here," said Anthony Fauci in Thursday's White House COVID-19 Task Force update.
  • However, it should be noted that researchers have yet to determine if anti-body production renders people permanently or only temporarily immune to the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19.
  • While some Virus immunities, such as Chicken Pox, are generally permanent immunities, others, such as SARS-1 and Rhinovirus (the common cold) grant only short-term, multi-month immunity...which is why people can get a cold each year.
  • Most known Coronavirus immunities in humans are not permanent, researchers have noted. Influenza, for example, grants only seasonal immunity and can be caught again only a few months later.
Lord Have Mercy...Hospital Ships Sit Empty https://www.nytimes.com/2020/04/02/nyregion/ny-coronavirus-usns-comfort.html
  • The much-touted Navy Hospital Ships in New York and Los Angeles sit 95% empty as of Thursday evening.
  • In New York, The USNS Comfort's 1,000 beds are largely unused, its 1,200-member crew mostly idle. "We're waiting for patients," one nurse was quoted by the New York Times.
  • Only 20 patients had been transferred to the ship, officials said, even as New York hospitals struggled to find space for the thousands infected with the coronavirus.
  • Another Navy hospital ship, the USNS Mercy, docked in Los Angeles, has had a total of 15 patients, officials said.
  • "If I'm blunt about it, it's a joke," said Michael Dowling, the head of Northwell Health, New York's largest hospital system. "Everyone can say, 'Thank you for putting up these wonderful places and opening up these cavernous halls.' But we're in a crisis here, we're in a battlefield."
  • What's the issue? In classic government style: Red Tape.
  • On top of its strict rules preventing people infected with the virus from coming on board, the Navy is also refusing to treat a host of other conditions. Guidelines disseminated to hospitals included a list of 49 medical conditions that would exclude a patient from admittance to the ship.
  • Ambulances cannot take patients directly to the Comfort; they must first deliver patients to a city hospital for a lengthy evaluation — including a test for the virus — and then pick them up again for transport to the ship. With 911 call centers already massively over-capacity, ambulances aren't available to take non-infected persons to each ship.
  • Meanwhile, across New York hospitals are overrun. Patients have died in hallways before they could even be hooked up to one of the few available ventilators in New York. Doctors and nurses, who have had to use the same protective gear, again and again, are getting sick.
  • "So many people are dying that the city is running low on body bags," Dowling said. "The Coroner's office told our administrator to start double-wrapping bodies in sheets for the time being."
In Hopeful Sign, University of Pittsburgh Researchers May Have Found COVID-19 Vaccine https://nypost.com/2020/04/02/scientists-believe-they-found-potential-coronavirus-vaccine/
  • Scientists at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine believe that they've found a potential vaccine for the new coronavirus.
  • The researchers announced their findings Thursday and believe the vaccine could be rolled out quickly enough to "significantly impact the spread of disease," according to their study published in EBioMedicine.
  • The vaccine would be delivered on a small, fingertip-sized patch. When tested on mice, the vaccine produced enough antibodies believed to successfully counteract the virus.
  • The scientists say they were able to act fast because they had already done research on the similar coronaviruses SARS and MERS.
  • The Trump Administration ordered the FDA to fast-track the next phase of Animal trials for the experimental vaccine.
  • Officials did warn that even if successful, human trials and ultimate production could still be as many as 12-18 months away.
  • "It's early, but this is a very positive result," the lead scientist said in an interview. "We're well on our way."
Vermont, Maryland Make Buying Seeds to Grow Food Illegal https://www.eagletimes.com/covid_19/large-retailers-stop-in-person-sales-of-nonessential-items-in-vermont/article_c1d0e43c-7432-11ea-8ca9-a30ed891d9fd.htmlimage.png Canada's Farmers Warn of Food Supply Impact Due to Non-Essential Designation https://ipolitics.ca/2020/04/02/the-sprout-canadian-farmers-worry-for-food-supply/, https://business.financialpost.com/commodities/agriculture/agriculture-sector-scrambling-to-offset-consequences-of-covid-19-crisis
  • Canada's government issues a list of industries and jobs it deemed essential, including food delivery, shipping & logistics, medical care, energy production & delivery.
  • One industry that was glaringly absent: agricultural production.
  • Like the US, Canada's agricultural industry relies on migrant and seasonal workers to plant and harvest foods, especially key fruits and vegetables that must be picked by hand.
  • Industry representatives have begun to petition the government to include Ag production an essential service so travel restrictions can be relaxed to allow workers to travel into Canada and use of public transportation systems to get to where planting activities must occur soon to allow for Fall food harvests.
  • Canada's Federation of Independent Grocers also extended a warning to the Government that it projects food costs in Canada could rise by as much as 90% in the coming months due to COVID-19 related disruptions. https://nationvalleynews.com/2020/04/01/grocers-group-warns-rising-food-costs-come/
Industry Expert Warns Illness Among Agricultural Workers Could Threaten US Food Supplies https://www.msn.com/en-us/finance/markets/an-outbreak-among-farm-workers-would-be-catastrophic/ar-BB1257dl
  • Much of the US food supply chain is staffed by low-wage workers, many of them undocumented immigrants with limited ties to health services.
  • The Pew Research Center has estimated that about one-quarter of U.S. farmworkers are undocumented.
  • A 2019 U.S. Department of Labor survey estimated that the share of field workers who are undocumented is closer to half of all farmworkers.
  • The food processing industry also has high numbers of undocumented workers, as do many of the nation's smaller grocers and fast-food restaurants.
  • Immigrant farming communities are often close-knit, with laborers living and working in close proximity, with workers sharing hotel rooms and even make-shift Tents with cots, to save on costs.
  • As the California-based Western Growers Association states, "Social distancing is difficult or perhaps impossible in certain settings such as harvesting, transport (of workers) and housing."
  • One California grower told National Public Radio that if the coronavirus penetrates the agricultural community, "it will spread like wildfire."
  • The news comes as Mexico only recently restricted movements and travel, issuing shelter-in-place orders for 90% of the country.
  • The Trump Administration recently eased restrictions on H-2a Ag Worker visas, but industry experts warned many workers planned to stay in Mexico or other Central American countries due to travel restrictions now in effect in those countries. https://www.latimes.com/business/story/2020-03-27/state-department-eases-requirements-for-h2a-visa
  • The Western Growers Association currently estimates a 30% reduction in labor force this year, which may be further impacted if COVID-19 spreads among workers who live and work in tight close quarters.
LA Mayor: "Snitches Get Rewards" https://losangeles.cbslocal.com/2020/03/31/coronavirus-los-angeles-eric-garcetti-snitches-get-rewards/
  • Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced new guidelines for construction sites that continue to operate during the coronavirus pandemic while encouraging the community to report businesses that violate the Safer at Home order.
  • Garcetti said that since the stay at home order was put in place, the city has been told about construction sites that have not been following the guidelines set out in that order.
  • "You know the old expression about snitches, well in this case snitches get rewards," Garcetti said. "We want to thank you for turning folks in and making sure we are all safe."
  • As of Tuesday afternoon, Garcetti said "business ambassadors" from the city had visited 540 businesses that had not complied with the Safer at Home order. Of those, 144 were visited by officers with the Los Angeles Police Department to ensure compliance with the order.
  • So far, Four businesses have been referred to the city attorney's office for misdemeanor filings.
  • The story comes as business owners across the US have been cited and even arrested for violating House Arrest orders, many turned in by way of anonymous calls to police departments. https://apnews.com/343ed4a8e95dfc8f8dda87b9e450ca57
In Germany, Hundreds of Citations Handed Out Based on Anonymous Reports and Emails to Police Departments https://news.trust.org/item/20200402160625-8y12u
  • (Headline Bloomberg News) Germans snitch on neighbors flouting virus rules, in an echo of the Stasi past
  • Law-abiding Germans are zealously helping police crackdown on people flouting new social distancing rules aimed at slowing the spread of the coronavirus by reporting on strangers, neighbors and friends.
  • In a country where denunciation was commonplace under the Communists in East Germany and Hitler's Nazis, police forces across the country are getting tip-offs on anything from "corona parties" to people driving to weekend cottages.
  • Rules introduced in March forcing restaurants, pubs and sports facilities to shut and banning gatherings of people have given police plenty of work. With the number of corona cases and deaths climbing fast, there is no sign of easing enforcement.
  • Since March 14, police in the German capital have ordered 830 pubs, shisha bars and other establishments to shut and recorded 898 crimes.
  • "We are getting tip-offs from the public about open restaurants or large gatherings of people in parks," said a spokeswoman, adding officers were, as always, ready to deal with information from the public.
  • Forces around Germany are in a similar situation. Munich police took up to 150 calls every day last week from citizens reporting alleged breaches of corona rules, according to Spiegel Online.

For weeks now, our political leaders and the media have been repeating the World Health Organization's claim that non-medical-grade face masks don't work when it comes to preventing the spread of COVID-19. So, why are infectious disease experts now reconsidering their guidelines?

According to the New York Times, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Robert Redfield, said the guidance on wearing non-medical masks is "being critically re-reviewed, to see if there's potential additional value for individuals that are infected or individuals that may be asymptomatically infected."

In actuality, they didn't trust the American people to do the right thing and prioritize healthcare workers to receive masks first, opined Glenn Beck on the radio program Thursday. But they do work, and "if we're going to open the country up, we are going to all have to wear face masks," he said.

Listen to the clip to hear more details:

CORONAVIRUS UPDATE: Face Masks DO Work, US Cases Per Capita, and WHO Lies for Communist China youtu.be

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William "Bill" Kelly is 95-year-old World War II veteran from Oregon. He lived through the Great Depression.
He served in the South Pacific during World War II. And now he has just fought the coronavirus -- and won.

Bill joined Glenn Beck on the radio program Thursday to share his experience and a hopeful message about why the younger generations can overcome this crisis.

"I want to tell the people, it wasn't pleasant, but on the other hand, you know, if you do what you're supposed to do, and you have some loved ones around you, and do a lot of praying, why, you'll come through okay. We [American's] have been through a lot. We've been through Pearl Harbor. We've been through the Great Depression, and who knows what else. We're tough. We'll get through it. Hang in there," Bill said.

"You know, it's just -- it's in our American blood," he added. "We're that type of people. We take care of each other, and we are not going to break down. We're going to make it through, every time. Every time."

"There are people that don't think we are those people anymore. That it was the greatest generation -- your generation -- that did it, but now we're not the same people. Do you agree with that? Glenn asked.

"No," asserted Bill. "And the reason I say that is because I remember when I was a young kid, you know, and people, the older people, said 'all those young kids are soft' ... but when we were attacked at Pearl Harbor -- sneak attack, you know -- it's surprising how those so-called goofy kids turned into mighty fine fighting people. And they're very loyal. I have lots of faith in them ... no, I don't have any problems with this new generation. They'll take care of us. We're Americans."

Watch the video below to catch more of the conversation:

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Glenn gives the latest coronavirus numbers, updating YOU on everything needed to know as Americans and officials monitor China's new COVID-19 virus:

Daily Stats as of 5:30 AM CT (from John's Hopkins)

  • Total Confirmed Cases Worldwide: 950,638 (up from 872,891 Yesterday)
  • Total Deaths Worldwide: 48,289 (up from 43,271 Yesterday)
  • Total Confirmed Recovered Worldwide: 202,631 (up from 184,588 Yesterday)
  • 5% of Active Cases are considered serious (requiring hospitalization) Steady from 5% Yesterday, but down from 19% high back in February
  • Note that 12% of US Confirmed Cases require Hospitalization, roughly on par with Italy at 12% requiring hospitalization
  • US has 215,344 Confirmed Cases and 5,112 Deaths, up from 188,592 cases and 4,056 deaths yesterday
  • COVID-19 is now the 3rd leading cause of death in the US, behind Heart Disease and Cancer (based on daily fatalities per 1,000 people)
  • The United States of America now leads the world in total confirmed cases, with 115,000 more cases than Italy (although Italy leads the world in Deaths with 13,155 officially dead)
  • US is 25th in Total Confirmed Cases per 1 Million Population, with 651 cases per 1 Million people. Spain has 2,583 Cases per 1 Million people.
  • US is 23rd in Total Confirmed Dead per 1 Million Population, with 15 Dead per 1 Million citizens. Italy has 218 Dead per 1 Million.
  • US has 5,112 Dead vs 8,878 Recovered and 5,075 in Critical Condition
  • The US currently has 201,354 Active Cases of COVID-19, with still less than 1% of the total US population tested.
  • 17% of Americans who have been tested have been diagnosed with COVID-19
COVID-19 Now Killing Victims Who Don't Have COVID-19 https://nypost.com/2020/04/02/coronavirus-nyc-emts-stop-taking-cardiac-arrest-patients-to-hospitals/
  • EMTs in New York have been given a directive not to transport heart-attack victims to hospitals if they cannot be revived at the scene.
  • Prior cardiac arrest victims would have been transported to hospitals for further life-saving procedures, but with hospitals being overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients, heart attack victims are solely in the hands of local EMTs. If EMTs cannot restore a pulse at the scene, victims are to be left there to die.
  • "Artificial ventilation and/or compressions must not be delayed," the memo states, adding that chest "compressions must begin as soon as it is determined the patient does not have a pulse."
  • But the guidelines change if the patient cannot be revived before arriving at a hospital.
  • "In the event a resuscitation is terminated, and the body is in public view, the body can be left in the custody of the NYPD."
China Lied, People Died Trending on Social Media https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-04-01/china-concealed-extent-of-virus-outbreak-u-s-intelligence-says
  • US Intelligence Services has concluded what the Internet has known since January: The Chinese Communist Party lied about total infected and total deaths due to Coronavirus.
  • Citing a report provided to the White House last week, officials confirmed that US Intelligence concludes 'gross' underreporting of total cases and total deaths, especially from Hubei Province.
  • Many have speculated that numbers coming out of China, Iran, North Korea, Russia and other totalitarian countries have been dramatically underreported, by as much as a factor of 10 according to official British Intelligence reports.
  • The early misrepresentation of data by the CCP may have lead some Western Politicians and epidemiologists to underestimate the seriousness of COVID-19 and delayed response in Italy, Spain, the UK and the US.
  • Though why anybody would have believed anything the Chinese Communist Party had to say remains an open question...
Italy's Death Toll Far Higher Than Reported https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/italys-coronavirus-death-toll-is-far-higher-than-reported/ar-BB122vvc
  • In the town of Coccaglio, an hour's drive east of here, the local nursing home lost over a third of its residents in March. None of the 24 people who died there were tested for the new coronavirus. Nor were the 38 people who died in another nursing home in the nearby town of Lodi.
  • These aren't isolated incidents. Italy's official death toll from the virus stands at 13,155, the most of any country in the world. But that number tells only part of the story because many people who die from the virus don't make it to the hospital and are never tested, therefore they aren't included in official numbers.
  • "They were all sick, they all had flu-like symptoms and difficulty breathing," stated a nurse from one of the nursing homes. "We had no ambulance to get them to Milan."
  • In the areas worst hit by the pandemic, Italy is undercounting thousands of deaths caused by the virus, a Wall Street Journal analysis shows, indicating that the pandemic's human toll may end up being much greater, and infections far more widespread, than official data indicate.
  • As stretched and sometimes overwhelmed hospitals fight to save their patients, many other people die unseen and uncounted, including elderly people in out-of-the-way locations.
  • In addition, the health-care crisis can lead to a surge of deaths from other causes that would normally be treatable.
  • "There are many more dead from the virus than are officially declared... People died and they were never tested because time and resources are limited," Eugenio Fossati, deputy mayor of Coccaglio, says of deaths caused by the virus.
More Numbers Hard to Trust as Bodies Left On The Streets in Ecuador https://www.scmp.com/news/world/americas/article/3078077/coronavirus-bodies-are-being-left-streets-ecuador
  • Coronavirus: bodies are being left on the streets in Ecuador.
  • 'They fall in front of hospitals or in back street alleys, or in small villages…no one wants to recover them,' says the mayor of Ecuador's largest city.
  • The army is placing unclaimed bodies in refrigerated cargo containers at the port while authorities pursue plans for a new cemetery.
  • The corpses have been overwhelming Guayaquil, a port city of 2.8 million at the epicenter of the coronavirus crisis in Ecuador.
  • Over the last few days, several were wrapped in plastic and left on the streets. Others have lain unclaimed in hospitals and clinics that have been overwhelmed by infections. The city morgue is full.
  • The majority of the dead are believed to be victims of the virus, but nobody can say for sure how many. There has been little testing.
  • The country has confirmed 2,700 infections and 93 deaths - 60 of them in Guayaquil and its immediate surroundings. But municipal officials there said they have recovered at least 400 bodies in the last 3 days.
  • Mayor Cynthia Viteri, who announced that she has also tested positive for the virus, said the national government should be responsible for collecting the corpses.
  • "They're leaving them in the villages, they are stacked in front of hospitals," she said in a Twitter video message to residents late last week.
  • Many local villages in Ecuador are simply burying the dead in unmarked graves, which will make official counting of COVID-19 victims impossible in the weeks ahead.
50% of Viral Spread Comes from People With No Symptoms https://www.cnn.com/2020/04/01/health/us-coronavirus-updates-wednesday/index.html
  • Researchers in Iceland have confirmed earlier reports from Hong Kong that a significant amount of viral spread is caused by carriers who have no symptoms.
  • In the US, Doctors at the CDC have confirmed asymptomatic spread, but estimate a number of about 25%.
  • If true, then the case for all persons to wear masks, even those who don't have symptoms, becomes much stronger.
  • To prevent further spread, the top infectious disease expert in the US says health officials are reconsidering guidance on face masks.
  • Dr. Anthony Fauci said he would "lean towards" recommending that the general public wear face masks "if we do not have the problem of taking away masks from the health care workers who need them. The public can stay home to avoid infection, but health care workers cannot," he said.
  • "We're not there yet, but I think we're close to coming to some determination," Fauci said.
Ship vs Train... Ship Wins https://abc7.com/usns-mercy-coronavirus-train-crash-derailment/6069395/
  • A Locomotive Engineer in Los Angeles has been charged with 1 Count of "Train Wrecking", a Class A Felony under Federal Law, after purposely derailing his freight train while attempting to sink the US Hospital ship Mercy.
  • Eduardo Moreno, 44, intended to hit the ship, saying he thought it was "suspicious" and did not believe "the ship is what they say it's for.'"
  • Moreno admitted to crashing the train intentionally but said he did not plan it out in advance. It is believed that he acted alone.
  • He allegedly made statements to a CHP officer that included "You only get this chance once. The whole world is watching. I had to. People don't know what's going on here. Now they will."
  • Officials say video from inside the train's cab shows Moreno holding a lighted flare during the incident.
Biggest Issue With COVID-19 in Malaysia: Nagging Wives https://www.npr.org/2020/04/01/825051317/dont-nag-your-husband-during-lock-down-malaysias-government-advises-women
  • Malaysia has the largest number of COVID-19 cases in Southeast Asia with more than 2,900 and counting.
  • This week, Malaysia's government also had a serious public relations issue after an ill-conceived plan went online.
  • Malaysia's Ministry for Women, Family and Community Development issued a series of online posters on Facebook and Instagram with the hashtag #WomenPreventCOVID19. It advised the nation's women to help with the country's partial lockdown by not nagging their husbands.
  • The ministry also advised women to refrain from being "sarcastic" if they asked for help with household chores.
  • Additionally, the Ministry urged women working from home to dress up and wear makeup.
  • After some negative response on social media, the public service messages have been removed from the Ministry's Facebook page.