Saturday, March 28th, 2020
Today I heard the term flimflamery. The context was our President – that his flimflamery was colliding with empirical reality, a term I have not heard in a long time.
President Trump complained about President Obama, saying that Obama left the cupboard bare referring to medical supplies, though Trump has been in charge for more than three years. The 2018 Health and Human Services four-year strategic plan was abandoned by Trump. A test for Covid-19 was offered to the US by the World Health Organization, but the administration rejected it saying they had something better.
Running, I was again drawn towards Calatrava’s “oculus”, an odd moniker for an enormous spiny skylight. I followed its gently curved southern flank at the latitude of Dey Street. Peering into the staggeringly large open space below street level, I saw 3 or 4 people, one was working as a cleaner.
Further uptown and throughout the boroughs, hospitals are nearly full. The governor called the situation “dire.” A term I do not recall many politicians using. He said the state needs medical staff, hospital beds, and ventilators. The city is 21 days from the apex.
In NYC 1,500 people are in intensive care and more than 200 people died yesterday. On a typical busy day 9-1-1 gets 4,000 calls, 5,000 on New Year’s day. In the last few days it has been 6,500 – the highest since 9/11/2001.
The baseball season would have started this week, but like other sports, nothing is happening. They are hoping for mid-May.
The president said he was considering imposing a quarantine in and around the northeast, perhaps to contain infected New Yorkers. I heard him say “I will decide very quickly, very shortly.” I wonder if he speaks that way for his supporters who might not understand one of those words, or to re-emphasis his point, or because he has nothing else to say.