By Robert A. Vella

The number of confirmed COVID-19 infections in the U.S. reached another milestone today surpassing 400,000.  This figure dwarfs that of every other nation in the world as the following bar chart illustrates.

Bernie Sanders dropped out of the Democratic Party presidential race today by officially suspending his campaign.  Joe Biden is now the presumptive nominee.

Yesterday, Wisconsin held its controversial presidential primary, statewide, and local elections.  We won’t know the results until Monday due to last Friday’s court orders by U.S. District Judge William Conley.  In a blatantly partisan ruling (to help reelect a sitting Republican state supreme court judge, see:  Madison mayor says voter turnout seems low, calls election a ‘travesty’), the U.S. Supreme Court overruled Conley’s order to extend the absentee ballot deadline by one week (which would have eased the burden on voters impacted by the coronavirus pandemic) but it took no action on Conley’s order to delay the reporting of results.

Although there is still seven months before the general election and we don’t know how it will be affected by the pandemic or possibly by other events, GOP leaders are worrying behind closed doors.  Conservative pundit, former RNC chairman, and former Maryland lieutenant governor, Michael Steele cited today internal analysis by both political parties which show Democrats holding a solid 280 Electoral College vote majority.  Numerous opinion polls confirm that analysis in regards to the presidential contest, congressional races, Donald Trump‘s approval ratings, and right-track/wrong-track views (see:  Latest Sentiment Polls).  As I’ve examined previously on this blog, the political dynamics of 2020 are quite different from 2016.  Joe Biden is not being weighed down by the high un-favorability which cost Hillary Clinton four years ago, and his relationship with progressive rival Bernie Sanders is much more positive.  Also, Trump is no longer the outsider running in an anti-establishment populist climate.  Now, after three and ⅓ tumultuous years as president, he is running in an environment in which Americans will chose whether or not to reelect him.  In other words, this election will be a national referendum on Trump himself… and, most people just don’t like him.

We’ll also take a look at public opinion on mail-in voting (which Trump says he opposes even though he voted by mail this year) and the ongoing toilet paper shortage resulting from consumer hoarding, stay-at-home orders, and just-in-time supply chain management (a.k.a. “lean manufacturing” or “Toyoda production system”).

From:  Even as deaths mount, officials see signs pandemic’s toll may not match worst fears

U.S. authorities on Tuesday reported 30,700 more people infected with the novel coronavirus and over 1,800 more deaths — the highest daily death toll so far.

But amid the grim data, some officials said they saw grounds for hope that the pandemic’s devastation would at least not be as bad as the direst projections.

New York, the state hit hardest by the virus, reported its highest daily death toll: 731. But Democratic Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said the number of new patients admitted to hospitals appeared to be trending downward.


Instead of roughly 94,000 deaths as estimated a week ago, the University of Washington model now predicts about 82,000 by late summer.

By Wednesday morning, the model had been revised even more dramatically downward. It now predicts a total of 60,400 U.S. deaths by August and forecasts the peak of those deaths arriving in just four days on April 12, instead of April 16 as previously projected. Experts, however, have noted that this particular model’s numbers and projections — while used widely — have been consistently lower than those of other models.

From:  Intelligence report warned of coronavirus crisis as early as November: Sources

As far back as late November, U.S. intelligence officials were warning that a contagion was sweeping through China’s Wuhan region, changing the patterns of life and business and posing a threat to the population, according to four sources briefed on the secret reporting.

Concerns about what is now known to be the novel coronavirus pandemic were detailed in a November intelligence report by the military’s National Center for Medical Intelligence (NCMI), according to two officials familiar with the document’s contents.

The report was the result of analysis of wire and computer intercepts, coupled with satellite images. It raised alarms because an out-of-control disease would pose a serious threat to U.S. forces in Asia — forces that depend on the NCMI’s work. And it paints a picture of an American government that could have ramped up mitigation and containment efforts far earlier to prepare for a crisis poised to come home.

From:  Acting secretary of the Navy has submitted his resignation after calling ousted aircraft carrier captain ‘stupid’

Acting Navy Secretary Thomas Modly resigned on Tuesday, a day after leaked audio revealed he called the ousted commander of the USS Theodore Roosevelt “stupid” in an address to the ship’s crew, according to a US official and a former senior military official.

The Navy and Department of Defense did not respond to a request for comment. Undersecretary of the Army James McPherson has been tapped to succeed Modly, a US official and a defense official tells CNN. McPherson is a retired rear admiral and was the former judge advocate general of the Navy.

From:  Most Americans, unlike Trump, want mail-in ballots for November if coronavirus threatens: Reuters/Ipsos poll

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Most Americans, including a majority of Republicans, want the government to require mail-in ballots for the Nov. 3 presidential election if the coronavirus outbreak still threatens the public this autumn, a Reuters/Ipsos poll found.

President Donald Trump, who is seeking re-election this year, has been trying with other Republicans to discourage efforts to expand voting by mail…

But the poll conducted on Monday and Tuesday found that 72% of all U.S. adults, including 79% of Democrats and 65% of Republicans, supported a requirement for mail-in ballots as a way to protect voters in case of a continued spread of the respiratory disease later this year.

From:  Flushing out the true cause of the global toilet paper shortage amid coronavirus pandemic

It’s a three-part problem, Baker said. Part One, hoarding: “We have actual situations across the country where people are buying an entire case,” he said. “Demand became unprecedented and still is.”


Part Two, displacement. The same number of people have the same need for toilet paper. But the industry is not set up for a wholesale move from work and school to home; home TP is softer, packaged in smaller rolls and is made and distributed by different companies than are the jumbo rolls seen in offices, institutional settings and public restrooms.

Part Three, adapting on the fly. Baker said the industry is changing, fast. Manufacturers have added hours at the factories and last week, the companies that make the industrial stuff made a deal with the country’s big food distributors to get their product into grocery stores.

From:  U.S. appeals court hands win to Trump plan to resume federal executions

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Trump administration’s effort to resume federal executions got a boost on Tuesday from a U.S. appeals court, which tossed a district judge’s injunction that blocked four death penalty sentences from being carried out.

The 2-1 ruling by a three judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit could pave the way to the Justice Department carrying out the first execution of federal death row inmates since 2003, although other issues remain to be litigated.

The two judges in the majority, Greg Katsas and Neomi Rao, were both appointed to the bench by Republican President Donald Trump. The dissenting judge, David Tatel, was appointed by Democratic President Bill Clinton.

29 thoughts on “U.S. coronavirus cases surpass 400,000 dwarfing every other country

  1. Robert I hope you are keeping safe and well.
    Thank you for this update.
    I was reading some paper today that argue the total cases reported so far worldwide do not represent the true figures since mass testing hasn’t been carried out.

    Liked by 2 people

    • Thanks, you too. Yes, the actual numbers are definitely under-reported. I cannot get tested unless my symptoms become severe. Also, some governments are trying to conceal the true number of coronavirus infections and deaths for obvious reasons.

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yeah, I think China wants things to look as normal as it can. Russia wants the same thing and many other places don’t just have the means to test their populations.

        Liked by 1 person

    • Yeah, I saw that. I try to steer away from finger-pointing, however. COVID-19 appears to have originated in China, but it isn’t a “Chinese” virus. There’s a lot of international travel to and from Europe, but that’s only because it is a highly developed region with a huge population of about 750 million. Coronavirus is a global problem.

      Liked by 3 people

  2. The number of coronavirus cases is horrifying–and even more so when you think that without extensive testing we don’t know how many cases there are. I follow British news more closely than American and the reported deaths here count only those that happened in hospitals. Those who die at home or in nursing homes? They’re statistically invisible. And we have no testing in the community, so we haven’t got a clue how many cases there are.

    Liked by 1 person

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