Monday, July 13, 2020

The President, and COVID-19

For some time, it is clear, President Trump has been pretty much done with COVID.

On June 17th, he said that the coronavirus was "dying out."

Nine days before, on June 8th, he said: "We may have some embers or some ashes, or we may have some flames coming, but we'll put them out.  We'll stomp them out.  We understand this now. We'll stomp them out and we'll stomp them out very, very powerfully."

On July 2nd--his impersonal locution, I think, was interesting; it was suggestive, perhaps, of his own remove from the issue--he said: "The crisis is being handled." 
Two days later, during a July 4th address, he sought to minimize the virus's severity.  He said that "we have tested over 40 million people. By so doing, we show cases, 99% of which are totally harmless."

My previous post was written June 22nd. At that time, more than 120,000 Americans had died as a result of the virus. 

As of today--three weeks later--there have been approximately 15,000 additional American deaths.

Monday, June 22, 2020

Our era

This has been a staggering, harrowing time.  

First, the cataclysm that is the pandemic.  Near the end of May, 100,000 Americans had died due to the virus.  Less than a month later, there have been more than 20,000 additional deaths.  By October, it is now estimated, more than 200,000 Americans will have died.

And then, on May 25th, there was the world-shifting death--hideous, chilling, and heartbreaking--of George Floyd. 

It is a time of enormous consequence--as regards the health catastrophe, and the issues of race, bigotry, inequity. Yet the President--a remarkably hollow man--has shown, routinely, that he is fully incapable of helping to heal the country.

Friday, June 19, 2020


Offering good wishes to everyone who is observing, and honoring, the Juneteenth holiday.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Barry Blitt illustration, The New Yorker

Barry Blitt is an outstanding artist/satirist/humorist. His work is featured regularly in The New Yorker; it appears often, notably, on the magazine's cover. This month, Mr. Blitt was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for Editorial Cartooning.

His cover for the magazine's latest issue, published on Monday, is titled "Natural Ability."

The title (as noted in a New Yorker story, below) comes from remarks President Trump made in early March, during his coronavirus-related visit to the CDC, in Atlanta.

Mr. Trump said to reporters, at the time: "People are really surprised I understand this stuff.  Every one of these doctors said, 'How do you know so much about this?'  Maybe I have a natural ability."

The new issue of The New Yorker was published, as it happens, the same day Mr. Trump announced that he has, for more than a week, been taking hydroxychloroquine, the drug he has promoted for some time. 

Here is a brief interview with Barry Blitt, conducted by Fran├žoise Mouly, the art editor of The New Yorker; the interview appeared yesterday, on the magazine's website:

Friday, May 8, 2020

A 1954 picture

This has always been one of my favorite photographs. It is from a Boston newspaper article, early 1954, and is of my mother holding my brother, Jed (the first of my parents' two children). At the time, he was seven months old. 

My mother died in 2001 (nineteen years ago today), at age 73.

Sunday, April 19, 2020

April, 1995

In the midst of the terrible pandemic, one remembers, with great sadness, the devastation of April 19, 1995 (twenty-five years ago today): the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal Building, in Oklahoma City.