Sunday, May 10, 2020

Day 59 of Nat'l Emergency: Other Voices

Time for some voices other than mine, so here are a handful of quotes from news stories of the last 10 days.

Essential Business?: “I’m willing to go to jail for this,” Harrington said on reopening. “If they (police) come into my club, they’ll have to drag me out in handcuffs.”

That’s Shane Harrington, owner of Club Omaha (Omaha, Neb.), talking about his decision to reopen his adult entertainment venue on Thursday, May 14. Harrington is okay with COVID-19 precautions—his nude dancers will wear face masks and gloves (

Testing, Testing, 1, 2, 3: Apparently, and to no one’s real surprise, Donald Trump cannot keep a secret. He spilled the beans on which aide to Vice President Mike Pence tested positive for the coronavirus. Here’s how The New York Times reported his loose-lips-sink-ships moment:

“White House officials initially asked reporters not to identify Ms. Miller as the aide who tested positive, but Mr. Trump blew the secret when he identified her publicly during his meeting with the congressional Republicans as ‘Katie’ and ‘the press person’ for Mr. Pence.

“‘She tested very good for a long period of time. And then all of a sudden today, she tested positive,’ Mr. Trump said. ‘She hasn’t come into contact with me. She spends some time with the vice president.’” (

Are You Hungry?: Lots of people are because with no jobs bringing in a paycheck they lack sufficient cash to buy food, even as farms and dairies are killing off livestock, plowing under fields of grain and produce and poring milk down the drain because restaurants, hotels and schools are COVID-19 closed and not purchasing their production. 

“If the government were really interested in making sure that hungry people got fed and farmers were supported, they would figure out a way to do it,” Marion Nestle told The Times. Nestle is aptly named. She is a food studies professor at New York University. 

Did He Do It?: Tara Reade’s allegation that then senator Joe Biden sexually assaulted her some 30 years ago has left many wondering. Did he? Is she believable? Even if true, does it disqualify him from running for president given Donald Trump’s history of behavior toward women? 

Here’s one opinion expressed by Susan S. Sigalow in a letter to the editor of The Times: “As a female clinical psychologist with 40 years of experience, I can tell you that while it’s true that women who accuse men of sexual harassment should be given the benefit of the doubt, these women don’t always tell the truth. I never knew of a man who committed a sexual assault only once. It would be a pattern of behavior, repeated over time. 

“Joe Biden has a long history of public service. If he had been committing these kinds of behaviors there would be a trail of complaints, as there is around President Trump. There really are some men who tell the truth and do not commit crimes against women, and they also deserve the benefit of the doubt.”

What Price for a Human Life?: New York Governor Andrew Cuomo says it is “priceless.”
“There’s a conversation that is going on about reopening that we are not necessarily explicit about, but which is very important,” he said. “There’s a question that is being debated right under the surface and the decisions we make on reopening are really profound decisions.
“The fundamental question which were not articulating is how much is a human life worth? How much do we think a human life is worth?”
Cuomo said that “the faster we reopen, the lower the economic cost; but the higher the human cost because the more lives lost. That, my friends, is the decision we are really making. What is that balance? What is that trade-off? Because it is very real.”