COVID Update January 8: Words I have learned to never say again: "It can never happen in this country."

It can if we let it. 1/
A devastating public health emergency-- never.
An racist, nationalist, fascist president-- not us.
A coup attempt-- not in the US.
Indifference at the death of hundreds of thousands-- not here. 2/
Viruses are for Africa and Asia; nationalist candidates are in France; Coup attempts South America. You know, only the shithole countries. 3/
Not only can it happen here-- which I will come back to-- but we have a uniquely American version.

Only here is the coup attempt where once inside, they make off with a podium giggling like school children, shocking selfie-taking security because they are well, white. 4/
Only here does a deadly virus seem to be met by more than fatigue but complete disbelief, conspiracy theory, a cultish need to laugh at public health precautions & a fable that deaths aren't real and if they are then they aren't preventable anyway. 5/
Yes the same things that can happen in the rest of the world don't spare the U.S. And not only that, but when they do, we invite it right in and ask it to slowdance which we take a selfie. 6/
And let's make sure we say this-- not only CAN Hitler happen here, we ALREADY HAVE created internment camps, treated immigrants as sub-human, & enslaved people for 100s of years.

And we should admit that many in this country to this day see nothing wrong with any of it. 7/
This isn't an anti-American screed. I love this country. And most of the world has been dealing with these realities for a long time.

This is an anti-"we're better" screed and a warning I feel dearly. 8/
The warning I feel is what will it look like when the democracy and society ends?

Anti-science, pro-conspiracy, high inequality, pro-strongman, high-rumor societies don't usually end well. And they don't self-correct. 9/
I have a character trait I am aware is a problem. I tend to believe that the effort to win everyone over, to listen to them, is worth making.

While true for most people, I've suckered myself into not seeing how much evil is in our own country. 10/
I've bought this American exceptionalism brand too in my own way.

But I know better. Racists aren't "misguided" or "poorly raised." They're evil.
Corruption isn't "power gone bad." It's evil. 11/
It is a natural mistake to think of the people in the Capitol Wednesday as a joke. But these events often condition us to reduce the shock value, just like school shootings did.

First one horrible, second one bad, fifth one doesn't even make the news. 12/
We've conditioned ourselves to get used to a lot of things-- 4000 dying each day. Kids in cages. School shootings. Attempts to kidnap the governor.

So what if they're morons who can't make a plan. What if they could? 13/
It would be a nicer world if others' ignorance only impacted them, wouldn't it?

But a rapidly evolving virus & a public which chooses not to take the vaccine in high percentages-- well, that's kind of a recipe for a special kind of clash, isn't it? 14/
In the "news it would have been nice to hear years ago category," letting large splits occur in society might come back to bite you.

Low taxes, selfishness & no good safety net turns out to be a problem. Who could have predicted that. 15/
Even after Wednesday 70 million Americans would still vote for him. 60 million might vote for someone named Q they've never met. 16/
And with that mindset, they see Wednesday as a complete victory. Remember there is no greater plan than getting more attention & chaos. It hasn't been thought out beyond a game of capture the podium. 17/
So the maskless set and the "stand back, stand by set" think they're just getting started. They fantasize they will be in exile with their dear leader. They have the sense they have gotten away with something. 18/
They believe the message of defiance to public health experts & their perceived enemies, whoever they are, is working. 19/
Empires are all built on sand. And I'm imagining now that the moment that has been forgotten is the moment they are actually beginning to crumble. 20/
But as an optimist, I still see the upside in all of this. The more evil makes itself plain to more people, the easier the response & the less the nuance.

If it breaks the law, bring it to justice.
If it rears its head, defeat it.

Oh, and never let it tweet again.


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More from @ASlavitt

8 Jan
COVID Update January 7: We have become the virus country. Of hate, of racism, of denial, of enablers.
They didn’t show up yesterday.

The odds we face in COVID & in our country are often long, but only because we make them long. 1/
Yesterday was despite what I heard from many not a particularly special day in the legacy of the Trump Administration. It was just televised and wearing a t-shirt. 2/
If you’re telling the country that people aren’t dying when they are— or that they are but there’s nothing you can do about it, or separating small children from their parents...breaking windows in the US Capitol isn’t your worst day. 3/
Read 20 tweets
5 Jan
COVID Update January 4: I talkedvto 15 scientists, including Anthony Fauci, @larrybrilliant, @EricTopol, @ashishkjha, @T_Inglesby & @DrLeanaWen & asked them to spell out how 2021 will play out.

I will release their answer Wednesday. But the answer depends heavily on Tuesday.1/
The Senate elections in Georgia have a lot to say about whether we will successfully combat COVID-19.

I'm not talking about my own personal or political feelings. I'm talking about a cut & dry analysis of our ability to fight off a life threatening menace.2/
Trump's assault on our response to the pandemic is gratefully, almost over. Last embarrassing, corrupt efforts aside, the Trump/Meadows/Atlas deniers & liars are soon gone.

But his enablers remain at large. Now would be a good time to make a change. 3/
Read 16 tweets
3 Jan
COVID Update January 3: Tonight a thread I’ve been working on for a week. The best we know about the impact of the South African strain.

And the impact on the vaccine from lots of conversations.

Follow here if interested. 1/
To begin with we are back to assuming a modest humble position that there is now a plot we don’t know just like we were early in the virus. 2/
When we are in the “there’s a lot we don’t know” stage, I like to air on the side of caution. Risking being wrong is no reason not to act. Acting wisely with the best we know to save the most lives. 3/
Read 23 tweets
31 Dec 20
COVID Update Year End, 2020: 2020 is what happens when a society reaps what it has sown for many years.

2021 we have the opportunity to begin a painfully slow build back.

WARNING: Last 2020 thread: not all fun & games. But neither was 2020. 1/
Look around. If you see much at all, you might see closed store fronts, it’s angry people, it’s worried & lonely and frustrated friends & neighbors. And it’s millions in a deeper kind of lonely mourning. 2/
Look around. If you look, you might see a soaring stock market, the lowest taxes in memory, billions in new wealth, excessive gifts & advantages to those who don’t need them. 3/
Read 25 tweets
30 Dec 20
COVID Update: What we’re still doing wrong that must be fixed.

And I think people who care need to see this. And I will explain this graph. 1/
We have vaccinated 10-20% of the people we committed to vaccinating.

This is absolutely below normal error levels and nothing tells me Trump or team cares enough to fix it. #PromisesNeverKept 2/
There’s a new strain of the virus everywhere. You discover this by sequencing the virus. The UK has sequenced 78,000 samples. The US— 400.

This is dismal. It’s here & has been for a time. And we failed. 3/
Read 19 tweets
26 Dec 20
COVID Update December 26: The wind is invisible too, but you can feel it change.

Not with COVID where the stillness is deceptive. And deadly. 1/
I talked to a friend this morning who last week told me with joy and relief that her grandmother was in a nursing home in CA that had zero cases.

“They’re being sooo good,” she said. 2/
I talked with her this morning & her grandmother & 7 other of the 14 people in the facility have COVID now.

“They were so safe up until now,” she told me. She was shaken and scared. 3/
Read 25 tweets

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