COVID Update November 19: Here’s the idea. It’s a 3 pronged patriotic appeal here for Americans: #BarBonds.

Buy bonds. Save lives. Save businesses. (And eat and drink.)1/
We are at a watershed moment in the response to COVID-19. 1900 deaths
175,000 cases

Per day & worsening

Alarming rates. Winter months are coming. Holidays. Fatigue. Hospitals are nearing the point in many places where caring for patients will be difficult. 2/
Belatedly, state governors are beginning to act. Those that are acting consistently are in much better shape.

They are beginning to take actions on everything from small gatherings to mask mandates to limiting bars & restaurants. Often late. Reluctantly. 3/

Source @nytimes
Bars, restaurants & gyms are a major source of outbreaks. Little ventilation, higher propensity 4 people with COVID, loud talking, exhaling, difficulty keeping masks on.

These are some of our favorite places. (I could do without the gym TBH). No one wants them out of business.4/
Germany is covering the losses of bars while they are forced to be closed. Sounds logical. So of course, that would happen here...5/…
This has been Congress’s job. But their interest has long-expired. Mitch McConnell & the GOP have decided no help for renters, students, nurses, small business owners, bars & restaurants, or schools.

Not our finest national moment. 6/
Here’s the idea. Maybe simple. Maybe crazy. So when Congress fails to act, we need to act on our own.

States would issue Bar Bonds. Bonds in small enough denominations that the public could buy them. The money would go to small biz designated by the state health commissioner. 7/
The buyer would get a typical interest rate & as a kicker a 15% discount at all the effected bars, restaurants & gyms when the emergency is declared over. 8/
States can issue “I bought bar bonds” bumper stickers & masks. That may sound frivolous, but so many people want to contribute & inspire others to contribute. 9/
I’ve spent the last week talking to bond issuers, state budget officers, state legislatures, and governors. Each state has different bonding rules and bonding authority.

This would take the governor calling the legislature to grant special bonding authority. 10/
Because it would take a while to put into action, legislatures would grant governors immediate ability to deficit spend with the bonds as a back stop.11/
As governors announce these temporary restrictions, it’s not possible to protect everyone. But small business owners should not carry the burden of the pandemic without help. 12/
Governors should dare their legislatures to support this on a bipartisan basis. Pro health? Support #BarBonds. Pro business? Support #BarBonds. Pro-country? Support #BarBonds. 13/
Bigger picture the country won’t get where we need to get by continue to have us constantly against things.

Anti-contact tracing

This idea won’t change the world but it does connect to some important points. 14/
People have a hard time relating to big national numbers but people care a lot about our local communities/establishments.
One way to address loneliness & depression is to be part of the process of helping. Like buying war bonds, this helps everyone participate. 15/
And our local establishments need every bit of support the airline or shipping industries want. But this isn’t a bailout. This is an act of community. 16/
We CANNOT just sit back and watch these businesses die any more than should be sitting back & watching friends or neighbors die. Time for governors to step up. Time for legislatures to stand up and say where they stand. 17/
I’m sure there are other better ideas. But let’s stop waiting on Congress. Call your legislatures to special session. Let’s try to do something positive.

When we get through this, we will be picking up the pieces of a much better country with more of us ready for business./end

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More from @ASlavitt

21 Nov
In less than 2 months, he will have no access to call local officials
no access to a justice department
no cabinet
no access to the Lincoln bedroom
no access to intelligence briefings
no ability to direct ICE
no ability to obstruct a COVID response
no authority to build a wall
no government funds or airplane to pay to fly him to rallies
no reason for people looking for government favors to use his hotels
no way to appoint his family to powerful positions
no way to fire government workers for doing their jobs
no military parades
no one saluting him
no pomp or circumstance
no presidential legal protection
no Rose Garden access
no ability to intimidate the press
no ability to appoint a judge

So while he tries to manipulate our democracy, he has the sad awareness that soon all he will be is a legally-troubled Twitter troll.
Read 4 tweets
21 Nov
South Dakota vs Vermont: 2 small states w big differences
-SD: heartless/headless— governor & Hosp ceo say masks are just symbols, no actions
-VT: heart & head— found hotels for homeless, pay low income ppl to isolate Image
SD: Sturgis rally — infected 10s of thousands or more across country, Gov would do it again
VT: Hazard pay to essential workers who make less than $25/hour
SD— headless & heartless: dismissed meatpacking outbreak. Picked fight with SD tribes for trying to stay safe
VT— head & heart: acted immediately in March, one of slowest times reopen, tests frequently
Read 4 tweets
21 Nov
COVID Update November 21: There is a big ugly COVID divide in this country.

Plus some fascinating distractions. Anyway...1/
On one side of the divide, you work in the service sector, & are a renter, this is COVID:

-You were forced to work,
-12 million job losses
-no paid medical leave
-Student loans, eviction, unemployment protections— all disappearing
-multiples higher death rates 2/
At the end of the year all those protections disappear. Likewise, if you are an independent contractor, you lose access to unemployment— unless Congress acts. 3/
Read 19 tweets
20 Nov
It is simply more dangerous out there than it was a few weeks ago.

At the beginning of October, 5% of people tested were positive. Now it’s 12.3%. Activities that were safer then aren’t any longer. 1/
34 states are now above 10% test positive. 22 above 15%. Mostly north, central and west but including AZ & FL.

1.4 million new tests/day and it’s clear we’re not close to scratching the surface.
In North Dakota, 2/3 of tests come back positive. Hospitals in Iowa, Wyoming, Kansas, Nebraska, and the Dakotas are growing fairly rapidly. Mitigation efforts in these states are weak.
Read 5 tweets
18 Nov
If the state you live in is adding restrictions on holidays, gatherings, or dining— believe me when I tell you, it’s the last thing they wanted to do. Most are even too late and many will reverse it too early. 1/
Just because something is legal and still allowed doesn’t make it smart.

There are no helmet laws where I live. But the government can’t make me not where a helmet. 2/
Politicians by and large are the worst arbiters here. They want you to like them. So by the time they do this, it’s bad. 3/
Read 13 tweets
17 Nov
COVID Update November 18: With 20% of hospitals, mostly in rural America, well beyond staff capacity, many without spare beds, Americans are enjoying their gift of freedom. 1/
The freedom to show our faces, enter bars, dine in restaurants, avoid taking tests, not notifying acquaintances, continuing to travel when exposed are being upheld. 2/
These specific tests of our freedom were not seen as important by, say, our founding fathers to do much as hint at specifically— despite a plague in Philadelphia during their day. 3/
Read 21 tweets

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