A Tale of Two Pandemics: The American Epidemic of Scientific Denial

There is a growing epidemic in America, and it’s repercussions are uniquely far-reaching, vastly understated, and potentially disastrous. The US has made a serious lapse. We have enabled a decades-long history of denying science, and produced a generation of scientific skeptics. This should be a national concern.

Amidst scientific concerns of global warming, we don’t heed the expert warnings, we hire new experts to give us answers more in-line with our political agenda. We selectively lend credence to biased data generated purposefully in line with cost effectivity. We hope it’s all part of a natural cycle. We pray that cycle will be forgiving.

By politically disabling fetal stem cell research, we have fallen to the global wayside in stem cell technology and application. We have dramatically fallen behind in areas of research including the synthesis of human organ tissue, spinal cord repair, and the stem cell repair of a wide spectrum of cardiovascular and pulmonary pathologies and circulatory dysfunction.

In considering the furthest reaches of this epidemic of nationwide scientific denial, I am compelled to consider our current controversy of whether or not to wear a mask during an epidemic of respiratory disease.

Can anyone actually produce a responsible, current scientific argument with peer reviewed data that refutes the benefit of wearing a mask in public during a pandemic of respiratory disease?

I didn’t think so…because it doesn’t exist.

Pay close attention as the specter of a second wave of COVID looms on the Event Horizon of Election Day 2020. Trump would like to enjoin a huge GOP rally this month, despite a growing pandemic, despite the wisdom of pandemic response science, and despite the spate of warnings from a concerned public health community.

If we are going to continually deny the opinion of our public health officials, why do even continue to support their existence? In addition to defunding the police, should we also consider defunding our public health system? Why keep paying into a learned system of highly trained, highly educated experts we repeatedly choose to ignore? Like POTUS has effectively done to Dr Tony Fauci, perhaps we should simply delete the voice of public health opinion.

The dangers of ignoring scientific opinion are not new to us. Despite warnings from her personal physician, my Mom continued to smoke till she died of lung disease, and in the end, would even remove her life-giving oxygen cannula, just so she could light up. I have a neighbor in the same boat. Are they unique? I don’t think so. They are both undeniably victims of lifestyle choice, but also victims of the growing epidemic of scientific denial.

Evidence-based decisions are warranted. Just today, the FDA revoked the Emergency Use Authorization of hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) for treatment of COVID-19, despite weeks of POTUS extolling it’s virtues – and even giving it his personal endorsement. Why, you ask?

The answer should be as evident as the mask on your face when you go out in public: the science simply didn’t support HCQ to treat COVID-19. Never did, never will.

In today’s news is that Shasta County reported a new case of COVID-19, with ties to a large family gathering that appears likely to produce more COVID positives. Be careful out there.

Not only is SARS CoV2 lurking out there, opportunistically awaiting your lapse of caution. The national epidemic of scientific denial is also out there, effectively exacerbating the lack of precautionary behavior of a largely under-informed, but extremely verbal, increasingly adamant, and relentlessly growing segment of our population.

Taken in combination, these two epidemics should be of concern to all, as it constitutes a deadly mix of ignorance and a potent contagion.

Bill Vercammen
Cottonwood, Calif. 

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88 Responses

  1. Avatar CHRISTIAN Gardinier says:

    Bill, good juxtaposition. Clorox the Covid, his minority army of tRumpublicans and MAGA climate – Covid denying groupies, have done more damage to the environment via policy and law than anyone in recent history. His denial of Covid -19 mitigation and lack of response is not only negligent but based on faulty science that is fact check by his own administration daily.

    Same could be said about how they deny their racism… Why? Money, greed, power and authoritarianism of the minority over the majority.

    Vote Blue in November!

  2. Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

    Thanks, Christian.
    The recent spike in COVID cases here in Shasta County, though relatively small in number, is an apt and proportionate representation of the national case numbers. Not only is it a reminder that COVID definitely still lurks amongst us, but it wholly reinforces that we’re nowhere out of the woods, as POTUS suggests.

    Sadly, but notably, we are entering into a phase of the COVID pandemic that is almost assured to bring more death to America. The coming weeks are thought to bring us the lagging specter of a spiking death toll, this thesis is being supported by a national uptick in hospitalized cases of COVID, with 29 of 50 states reporting such increases.

    Importantly, we are still in the initial staging of COVID ; the first wave. The importance of this seemingly small detail will soon become painfully apparent, and should serve to remind us to listen to the science.

  3. Avatar Randy says:

    A cornerstone of conservative politics is to confuse, undermine and deny science and they all know their job from the top policy makers down to the bottom community mouth pieces.

  4. Frank Treadway Frank Treadway says:

    Trump’s personal investment in HCQ is a simple reason he promoted such. Let’s keep in mind that we live in a microcosm here in Shasta Co. and nearby counties. If you travel to Chico, SAC, SF you’ll see a world of difference with people wearing masks, keeping distance and getting tested. I’ve lived here most of my life I can only attribute the ‘denial syndrome’ to the water we drink, possibly the outcome of the vortex between Mt. Lassen and Mt. Shasta. Are you laughing yet ?
    The vax deniers are rampant, the lack of higher education is common and the belief in a cult all produce what we see at recent demonstrations for Black Lives Movement, local militia without masks that think they’re above the law.

    • Avatar Rob Belgeri says:

      . . . above the law and above (or existing apart from) science.

    • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

      Trump’s alchemist approach to politics proves out how vulnerable is the US to quackery. The recent Tulsa rally could have been a real gate buster, if only he’d made the promise of turning Sleepy Joe’s head into a lump of gold.

      I bet even Obama would’ve bought a ticket for that show.

    • Avatar J Minoletti says:

      I think, Franklin, if you remember, Redding wasn’t like that when we were kids. The whole country changed in the ’60s and in the reaction to the ’60s. But Redding? Ten times more — because Redding was maybe the main landing area for the White Flight out of Southern California. I remember things starting to turn when candidates like Dan Woolery and John Growney lost elections to the likes of Virgil O’Sullivan. Downhill.

  5. Avatar Pamela Robinson McCurdy says:

    Bill, a thoughtful and well supported thesis about the dumbing down of America. It seems to me that all goes pretty well in elementary school, begins to weaken in middle school, and by high school hormones have overtaken rational though. As adults, continuing education for many is replaced with work to survive. The time to contemplate or ponder the world is non existent and information is received via media on the run, the power pulpit, or more uninformed friends, family and neighbors in the same situation. Reading? No time. Thinking critically? Kaput. There’s an economic component in there somewhere that is divisive. P.s. It’s its not it’s.

  6. Avatar Ed Beier says:

    Last Sunday, early, I was in Redding’s Raleys and Safeway – despite store signs requiring masks it appeared that more than half the customers were without masks. I then traveled to Oroville on Monday and noted that mask wearing was nearly 100% at their Raleys. It was especially heartenincag to see young men and women getting out of their cars and immediately putting on a mDoeask as they walked to the store.

    Does Oroville have a sense of community that we lack?

    • Avatar Randy says:

      Maybe Oroville has more informed leadership. I know they signed a climate emergency declaration while Redding has been rejecting such a declaration for a decade or more.

  7. Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

    “Does Oroville have a sense of community that we lack?”

    If not a sense of community, at least a sense of solidarity. Somehow Shastafarians have lost the capacity to simultaneously read off the same script. It’s a conundrum of concern.

    Dr Ramstrom says no large events, Magrini says yay rodeo. Newsom says shelter in place, Les Baugh says it’s time for a manly haircut. Magrini says “I did not invite the militia”, the militia insists otherwise. Big Mo had the great misfortune to suffer a psychological crisis in a community that is already in the midst of it’s own crisis of neighborly concern.

    There is a large disconnect with reality in Shasta County that has nothing to do with the pandemic. JMO, but I suspect a clash of egos to be the underlying issue. Hopefully, appeasing those egos won’t result in a bunch more deaths along the “Road to Recovery”. Time’ll tell…

  8. Avatar Patrecia Barrett says:

    Trump just held a rally in Phoenix, which is the #1 city where the coronavirus is surging and hospitals are overwhelmed with critically ill patients. Per photos of this event, there was not a mask in sight. The Phoenix City Council passed an ordinance requiring masks at public events such as this. I don’t understand why the City didn’t have people stationed outside that event handing out the requisite $250.00 fines, and demanding that all these people be tested (by force, if necessary).

    Local governments need to get serious about enforcing local and state laws. If there are no consequences these mask-less morons will just continue to blithely infect their communities.

  9. Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

    Early on the Covid19 was especially worrisome to those over 60 or folks with health issues like diabetes, heart or breathing conditions.
    Today we know it is attacking all age groups. Is attacking all people regardless of existing conditions.

    When will everyone recognize the simple use of a mask can be an important deterrent to the virus?

    I’m certain face mask use would increase dramatically if trump would simply wear one.
    But NO. He continues to stoke the anti science, the head in the sand encouragement of denial.

    If the 25th amendment is not appropriate today why is it even a law?

    People need to remember this lack of leadership, this shining light of ignorance even among our local leaders has a simple resolution.

    Vote Blue in November.

  10. Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

    Patrecia, I think the key element in the “mask crisis” is the apparently dysfunctional disconnect between our public health system and our law enforcement agencies. My thought is that the argument should not be one of a philosophical bent, but one which addresses the need for adherence and enforcement of evidence-based guidelines, a notion that is really only pertinent during times of public health crisis, but that definition of circumstance would most certainly apply now. It actually makes a good argument for creating a fourth branch of government – The Scientific Branch.

    To my knowledge, these are relatively untested waters, and I find no published precedent that creates publicly enforceable policy based upon public health opinion. Nor can I find evidence that there exists an “essential minimum list” of qualifications that might determine whether an LEO can determine which policies he or she might choose to enforce, might elect not to enforce, and what penalties might apply if that decision bites us in the butt. It’s really problematic, and never more so than in today’s attempt at return to normalcy.

    If today’s case numbers and death toll aren’t enough to inspire interest in this mask enforcement issue, what numbers would be pertinent? Will we finally agree that masks are mandatory after the death toll passes 500K?…1M? Where is that limit drawn, and who draws it, and will it prove any more enforceable in the wake of endless civil disobedience supporting a contrarian negation of mask use?

    • Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

      Pence concluded his COVID briefing, the first briefing in a long time, my not mentioning masks.
      His briefing was devoid of the most important element, the simplest action anyone can take.
      Wear a mask. Pence is now part of trumps delusional anti science , group of liars. I don’t think Mother is happy knowing her husband is nothing more than another denier, lying piece of despicable crap.
      While he encouraged people to follow the recommendations of local health experts he had zero to say about his reverend leader flaunting those same local regulations.


      • Avatar Anita Brady says:

        I predict that Trump will drop Pence soon, saying that his failure at controlling the pandemic in America.

        • Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

          Agreed. Trump will throw anyone under the bus to facilitate his goals.
          As soon as the going gets worse, if that is even possible, pence will be the sacrificial lamb.
          He will suck it up like the good boy Mother wants him to be.

          So who will fill the shoes as VP?

    • Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

      I support Gov Newsom and perhaps the only way our local yahoos will get the message is to withhold state funding when they refuse to comply with state requirements.
      It will certainly hurt those who reside in these parts but is there a better way get conformance for the simple things to fight this pandemic.
      Come on Les, what say you?

    • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

      “How ‘bout a statement from Lester Baugh…”

      Of course, you knew right along that this mask argument would come down to money.

      After all, this is America, and Les considers himself a staunch American, so he’ll likely insist that a published mandate for masks be announced PDQ. In the meanwhile, Shasta County is being held hostage under threat of withholding state funding. What a surprise…

      In addition, Baugh will probably insist it was his idea, and use it as his re-election platform, enlisting Magrini as his primary enforcement tool. I can see the re-election posters now:
      “Les Baugh invents COVID masks: insists on proper use. Vote Les!!!!!”
      I call BS big time…

  11. Avatar Richard Christoph says:

    Per Worldometer, these are the reported new cases in the past 24 hours:

    Florida: 8942

    Georgia: 1900

    Arizona: 3428

    N. Carolina: 1433

    Louisiana: 1310

    Texas and California can also be expected to have high tallies by day’s end.

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      But how many deaths? If the number of positive cases continue to rise, but the death rate continues to fall…what does that mean?

      • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

        Doug, please read past comments regarding the phenomenon of the lagging death toll. Nothing new, scientifically speaking, and it has been observed since the beginning of this – and many other – pandemics of respiratory disease. In a nutshell, people get infected, take some time getting sick, get hospitalized, get intubated, and lie in wait for a successful immune response. On average, the death lag is 3-4 weeks.
        It’s the inevitable price of disregarding the science.

        On an upward note, there have been research indications that COVID acuity may be in a diminishing phase, which essentially means that MAYBE – just maybe – COVID severity is decreasing. This is a relatively recent observation, and should not be used to inform policy decision till validated.

        • Avatar Matthew Meyer says:

          It’s true that the death toll lags by a few weeks. Hospitalizations increase somewhat sooner. But an important instant metric is the percentage of tests that come back positive; when that rate goes up, it can’t be just because you’re doing more testing.

          Here’s how Anthony Fauci put it: “Clearly, if you do more tests, you will pick up more cases that you would not have picked up if you don’t do the tests,” he told The Atlantic. “But—and this is a big but—what you look at is what percentage of the tests are positive. If the percentage of any given amount of tests in one week—take an arbitrary number, [if] 3 percent [are positive]—and the following week it’s 4 percent, and the week after that, it’s 5 percent: That can’t be explained by doing more tests. That can only be explained by more infections.”

      • Avatar Richard Christoph says:


        You are a well-informed individual and know quite well what a massive increase in new cases means. First, the death rate lags new cases by 3-6 weeks. And, because the median age of those now becoming infected is much younger, they are less likely to die, though many may subsequently have long-term health problems. And of course since many will be asymptomatic, they will continue to infect others, many of whom may be far more vulnerable to the virus. But of course you knew all that, as well as the fact that both POTUS and Pence are derelict in their leadership responsibilities and continue to aid and abet the spread of Covid by refusing to set an example re mask usage and by having rallies where their loyal adherents and supporters are packed together, mostly mask-less, in areas exhibiting marked increases in Covid cases.

        Perhaps you might advise following the advice of experts in the field of epidemiology and view this pandemic as a public health issue rather than through the lens of partisan politics?

        BTW, the VA is now reporting 418 new cases, the U.S. Military 965, and my home state of Tennessee 1,410.

      • Avatar Randy says:

        “Death rates tell nothing about the current spread of the virus and only offer a snapshot of where the country was roughly three weeks ago. If the caseloads in states like Texas, Arizona and Florida are any indication, the U.S. will almost certainly see a spike in deaths in July that could undermine the entire nationwide reopening effort.”


      • Avatar Jist Cuz says:



      • Avatar Dan Buck says:

        Why is it that every time i read doug’s comments they are in Goofy’s voice in my head?

  12. Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

    In attempting to reach Suervisor Baugh and Sheriff Magrini for comment on Newsom’s withholding state funding for communities determined non-compliant to executive pandemic policy, I was sent the following e-mail:

    “Supervisor Baugh will be available for comment after he attends a specially-designed mask fitting session that will not only safeguard against COVID infection; but to hide the effusively splattered egg on his face, and also to prevent the inadvertent ingestion of the endless stream of BS that he relentlessly spouts during the course of his daily duty. Have no fear, a masked Les will soon be here to offer guidance and dynamic leadership by example during these trying pandemic times. Thank you for your inquiry, and don’t forget to vote Les!”

    Sheriff Magrini offered no comment.

  13. Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

    Sheriff Magrini’s office just weighed in on Newsom’s threat to withhold county funding:

    “As of this morning, the Sheriff’s Office has definitely NOT – I repeat, definitely NOT – enlisted the assistance of the Cottonwood Militia to enforce Shasta County mask policy. Wink, wink… I repeat, NOT…no way that was me on the phone, got it?
    …wink, wink…”

    I guess now we will see optimal compliance and enforcement at gunpoint, probably hafta euthanize a few citizens just to set the example…we can just add ‘em to the list of COVID-related deaths.
    After all, Les and Eric are slated for Governor’s League state finals competition in tag team Naked Twister. Can’t afford to miss that…

    Sometimes, ya just can’t win for losing…

  14. Avatar Jist Cuz says:


  15. Avatar Jist Cuz says:


  16. Avatar Jist Cuz says:


  17. Avatar Candace says:

    I watched the “White House , not at the White House ” Coronavirus press briefing this morning. Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx were both straightforward with their assessments of the facts regarding the concerning spikes of virus spread in Calif. and other states. Dr. Fauci went so far as to give an emotional plea as to people of all ages ( especially the age groups in the 20 to 30 range who are testing positive in growing numbers) to recognize their responsibility as members of society as a whole in helping to stop the spread of the virus by practicing recommended social distancing, mask wearing, etc. I initially thought “Finally, A unified, fact based message coming from top down!”. Enter VP Pence, the head of the task force saying people should follow the guidelines of their individual states, cities, counties. Pence himself does not wear a mask during the entire briefing and is asked twice how he can stand there while he and his team are telling us we all need to socially distance, wear masks, etc while he and our un-masked president have large indoor rallies with most participants not masked and in close proximity to one another for hours on end. His answer both times was to remind us of the importance of the right to free speech in our country. Huh? What? A mask doesn’t prevent one from practicing free speech; neither does social distancing. This is why I stopped watching the WH press briefings a long time ago; before they stopped having them. It makes me crazy; I want the experts to stand up to Pence and Trump and say “No! You’re wrong! Stop saying that shit! People will die because of you!”. But they never do. Meanwhile, here, in Shasta County our governor gives a mandate to wear masks in public spaces such as grocery stores, restaurants, etc. and soon thereafter our police chief is quoted in our local newspaper saying he won’t be enforcing the mandate. Huge green light to those in our county who are already not doing so. I have my groceries delivered but on a whim I called three grocery stores yesterday to see if they were following the governor’s mask-wearing mandate for both their employees and customers. Two were doing so and one was “recommending” to their customers that they wear masks while in the store. So, LE won’t enforce mask wearing here and neither will our Health Dept. and yet cases continue to climb. It’s not that we don’t have leadership here it’s that leadership kowtows to those folks who cry “don’t tread on me” while treading on the rights of others individual right to choose as to whether or not they live or die. That and I think the well is so poisoned by shallow expertise and catastrophizing in the media that people are no longer capable of telling what is actually serious and until it kills a friend or family member.

    • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

      It’ll be interesting to hear from local law enforcement regarding masks. I am not intimately familiar with the Shasta County need for state funding, but it is assuredly in peril of being withheld. Surely someone at the helm is paying attention now.

      It’s unfortunate that it has come to this – but the eternal problem with big, dumb, top heavy, political mokes has always been that they don’t recognize that they are big, dumb, top heavy, political mokes till you hit ‘em in the wallet. Threaten them with compliance, or accept their resignation. Such as it is, such as it has always been, such as it shall forever be.

      I expect they’ll be singing a whole new tune moving forward.

      • Avatar Jist Cuz says:

        Moty has made recent statements as to the state withholding funds. For liking the limelight as much as he does we have nada word from our Sheriff lately? There is an incubation of covid19 in all the prisons and neighboring jails and a custody officer for Shasta County dead of illness just days ago, WTF? Transparency Not- par for the course. What scandelous skeletons are we masking today while we’re not masking for Covid19, Hummmm? ITS A QUESTION +!+

    • Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

      Whenever I shop or visit a store I give them my thanks for following mask policy.
      It is important we recognize stores that I force the mask policy.
      Rally’s is doing well.
      Trader Joe’s is doing well.

      Home Depot is a joke. I have stopped shopping there.
      Damburger is doing well.
      Majority of doctors offices are doing well. Even right wing doctors are wearing masks.

      Trump could turn the mask issue into a win win.
      If we wore a mask and encouraged use I’m positive even the cottonwood milita would mask up.

      • Avatar Semi-Retired says:

        Ralley’s is not doing well, better but not well, some of the clerks pull their mask down to their neck or leave their nose exposed. More shoppers are masking up but some are not. I’m looking for stores where everyone is masked.
        It makes my anxiety levels rise and I have to fight the urge to tell non maskers to eff off and leave the store.

      • Avatar Candace says:

        Chad, I thanked the stores who said they were complying (I’ve not been in these stores so was taking them at their word). One store who said they were complying was Winco; the other was Raleys. The store that said they’re requiring their employees to wear masks but not customers is Grocery Outlet on Eureka Way. Yesterday I had to go to my doctor for the first time in months and their office is following all social distancing precautions including staff wearing masks and requiring patients to do so as well. My doctor is part of Redding Family Medical Group located on Airpark Dr.

  18. Avatar Rick Zeller says:

    Thank you Bill, for spreading some truth. And for being from Cottonwood. Not all of us here attended the rodeo or drink the koolaid.

  19. Steve DuBois Steve DuBois says:

    Candace…I watched the press briefing this morning. However, when Pence started talking about free speech, I had to turn it off.

    A neighbor told me this morning that he agrees with another neighbor. They both believe that if it happens to them, then it happens to them. If so, they believe that’s the way it’s supposed to be. What an ignorant argument. I told him, “It’s easy to say that now when you’re not sick and feeling okay. But if you get the virus, get sick, and you’re dying–you’ll be wishing you’d made a different decision.” I also told him, that if a family member or friend gets sick, it’ll bring it home and he’ll start thinking differently. He just looked off quietly with a focused stare.

    Your last two sentences tell the whole story. I’m gobsmacked.

    • Avatar Randy says:

      Of course if your neighbors do get sick they will just stay home and ride it out without public assistance, right? I read about a guy from Washington who beat Covid-19 and was later handed a bill close to $1,000,000.

  20. Avatar Rebecca N says:

    My friend recently introduced me to this website anewscafe.com and I have to say it is refreshing to read and hear from like minded people. I moved here to Redding 3 years ago and am often dismayed by the Trumpers, science deniers and narrow mindedness. My work place is especially frustrating. You cant have reasonable discussions with people who are unwilling to hear anything that challenges their own beliefs. Thanks for the article and all the responses. It’s nice to know I’m not all alone in Shasta County….

    I’m also dismayed by the lack of masks. In Humboldt you dont get in a store if you dont have one on. One employer at Auto Zone here in Redding made a comment about a “Marxist” state and I asked if he felt the same way about seatbelts? He was stumped but finally responded that at least seatbelts are proven to work….. to which I replied that they are not guaranteed to save all lives. Same with masks, they wont save all lives but they will save some. Isn’t that enough to wear one?

    • Avatar Candace says:

      Rebecca N,
      Only 3 years in? RUN!
      (kidding…not kidding)

    • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

      Thanks for joining the conversation, Rebecca.
      The mask controversy has been discussed at great length on ANC for several weeks now, and with the state of CA finally anted up with a threat of fiscal withholding, maybe we’ll actually see some local compliance.

      It’s a compliance that’s long overdue, however, and has likely cost Shasta by supporting the community spread of the SARS-CoV2 contagion to an unknown and unquantifiable degree, due to the many weeks to now with little to no compliance, open refute of well-intended pandemic control measures, and total denial of need for an evidence-based pandemic response, as supported by our own public health officials.

      Hopefully, we will now see some degree of county enforcement behind the weight of the Governor’s threatened axing of the county budget. Some folks seem to go through life ignoring the steam whistle till the train runs over the top of them. Cheers…

    • Avatar Joanne Snyder says:

      Great response to the “Marxist” comment Rebecca.

    • Avatar Richard Christoph says:

      Welcome, Rebecca,

      The seatbelt/airbag analogy is a good one, but I prefer to use the example of laws against driving under the influence since a DUI affects not only the driver, but those that the driver might injure or kill.

  21. Avatar Alice Bell says:

    Raley’s has a notice outside the entrance stating that masks are required however, many (perhaps 30%) of the customers weren’t wearing masks when I was there yesterday. Raley’s has been my #1 destination for grocery shopping since it’s closest to where I live. Even as I stood in a socially distanced line to pick up medication at the pharmacy, there were folks in line without masks. In the future, I plan to take advantage of their bringing medicine out to my car and I will likely be shopping at other grocery stores that are more proactive in assuring that their customers are wearing masks. Trader Joe’s seems to have nearly 100% compliance. Wearing a mask has been mandated by our governor, it’s proven to dramatically reduce transmission of the virus, it’s a health aid and it’s a no-brainer. Wearing a seat belt is mandated by law, it proven to save lives and I would guess that there’s at least a 95% compliance rate. What’s the difference? You get cited if you’re caught without your seatbelt on. There’s no enforcement in Shasta County of the mandate to wear masks.

    • Avatar Anita Brady says:

      Raley’s curbside delivery is great. Used it twice in last few weeks. Only had two substitutions and they were fine.

      I am hoping that the businesses will develop a spine and stand up to customers that are putting other’s lives in danger (including their staff). Sadly, we are not going to be able to count on law enforcement to do their jobs and enforce mask wearing.

  22. Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

    “There’s no enforcement in Shasta County of the mandate to wear masks.”

    Thanks for joining in the conversation, Alice.
    Things are bound to get better from here.

  23. Avatar Jist Cuz says:


    We’re soon to find out how much intelligence exists within the local Black Robes society… HUH (?) +!+

  24. Avatar Joanne Snyder says:

    Thanks for a well crafted article Bill Vercammen. A meme on Facebook shows a rugged Viking and says….” ‘I can’t go out because of the virus’ sounds weak, whiney and boring. Try this instead ‘I’ve sworn an oath of solitude until this pestilence is purged from the lands!’ That sounds more principled, valiant and heroic- and people might even think you are carrying a sword.” Because so many people are not really listening to the logic and science behind recommended precautions we should appeal to the hero in everyone….in a big and dramatic way. Again, thank you.

  25. Avatar Gary Tull says:

    — in Tulsa.

  26. Avatar CHRISTIAN Gardinier says:

    Hey Doug Cook,

    What it means is thanks to the incompetent, negligent and selfishness of your president, Clorox the Criminal Idiot, and his closest political tRumpublican enablers, over 2,524,800 people in the United States have been officially infected with the coronavirus but in reality, “may be 10 times as high as according to the head of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” and at least 125,500 have died. but hey, may be 10 higher? Hell, we have only just begun, let’s have another campaign rally quick; we have to celebrate!

    Heck, we don’t need no stinking masks or social distancing, after all, it’s fake propaganda from the Democrats and as Clorox says, Americans are wearing masks amid the Covid-19 pandemic to show their disapproval of him… while Clorox’s campaign peals off social distancing stickers and discourages people not to wear PPE in the Anointed One’s presence. Cool eh?

    What does it all mean? It means, Clorox, the ” You have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero…” Idiot should have NEVER been president! He’s a floundering, dangerous, lying, cheating, unethical, immoral, incompetent fool, and the current leaders of the Republican Party,like Moscow Mitch and the flunkies like Doug, water boy LaMalfa, and many of the hard core tRumpublican voters that are supporting him and helping Clorox do his dirty work, are, well, they might be real nice, ya all come back now ya hear folks, but… a vote for Clorox indicates they’re fools as well.

    What’s it all about Alfie? We’ll it’s about throwing Clorox and all his Senate his enablers out on their ass in November. Covid – 19 is just one of the symptoms of the disease called tRump. As Clorox himself said the other day, Biden “is going to be president because some people don’t love me.” No kidding Sherlock.

    Let’s disinfect the lilly white – white house and Senate while we’re at it. Vote Blue In 2020!

    • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

      “Idiot should have NEVER been president! He’s a floundering, dangerous, lying, cheating, unethical, immoral, incompetent fool…”

      To a large degree, I attribute the enablement of the Trump presidency to a notable vulnerability of the American electorate to political quackery. As a nation, we have become a sad, shallow, antithetical reflection of our forebears.

      We – as a nation – go about our Reality TV-driven daily affairs Naked & Afraid, hoarding endless reams of Chinese-manufactured junk, and lamenting the complacencies of our collective 600lb lives…bloated, decaying relicts of a civilization whose postage has become past due.

      In a world where we were collectively paying attention, it could never have come to this impasse. The Donald’s penchant for business, bankruptcy, and ballyhoo with busty porn stars would never have been interpreted by anyone – for any purpose, at any time, under any circumstance – as anywhere near adequate pre-qualification for presidency.

      America has painted itself into a corner. We elected an experienced bankruptcy technician to do the job of a national leader, and it has bit us on the butt royally. Any truthful historical accounting of the generational handoff from Babyboomer to Millenial is certain to be one that highlights the cautions of having the wrong captain at the helm come a Perfect Storm.

      • Avatar Doug Cook says:

        Then the best thing you all can do is to nominate the best person out there to beat him in the upcoming election…Oh, wait…you nominated Joe Biden, never mind.

        “…To a large degree, I attribute the enablement of the Trump presidency to a notable vulnerability of the American electorate to political quackery. As a nation, we have become a sad, shallow, antithetical reflection of our forebears.”

        To me Bill, it is much simpler than that. The Democrats nominated the only person that could have possibly lost to Donald Trump…Hillary Clinton. Trump didn’t win the election, Clinton lost it. Who out there was enthused about a Clinton presidency?

        So did the Democrats learn their lesson? Nope…you now have a candidate that has to hide out in his bunker. His handlers are keeping him from interviews. His mental acuity is being questioned to the point that the VP nominee is becoming more important as there is doubt he can last 4 years. Do the Democrats then insist on nominating the best VP candidate? No…the candidate simply has to check off the appropriate boxes…woman, minority.

        If you lose in November…are you really going to be surprised? As much as the Dems screwed up this election?

        • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

          Have another dose of hydroxychloroquine, Doug.
          Wash it down with some of that good Republican Clorox-flavored KoolAid.
          Everything’s gonna be OK. Your fearless leader’s gonna take you to the Promised Land where one day. You’ll wake up – “and just like that, just like a miracle, COVID will disappear.”
          Enjoy your KoolAid…

          • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

            “So did the democrats learn their lesson?

            You see, Doug, you keep wanting to pursue the pandemic as a partisan issue. It’s a disease, Doug. It has no partisan bent. It seeks hosts. It infects. It kills. Democrat, Republican, Liberal, Conservative…
            It don’t matter. It don’t care. It reproduces. It spreads.
            It is stalking you now.

            If we cannot come to terms of enjoining unity during a pandemic mandate of universal cooperation by necessity, this nation is doomed. The greatest fault of the Republican Party is that they have failed to grasp the gravity of the greatest biologic assault on America that has ever been witnessed. Trump has virtually denied the existence of the danger since the pandemic inception. “It’s one guy in Washington State. We have it totally under control”. “It’s only 15 people, and soon those 15 people will be zero.” There are an endless parade of quotes belying that Trump exists in a separate reality, fires anyone that disagrees with that view of reality, and history will not be kind wrt his psychotic departure from the reality most of us witness. It reeks of psychotic neglect.

            Grasp at all the straws you will. Your chosen hero is a Bozo.
            A psychotic Bozo…

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            Bill. You probably missed my post last week where I declared that I am not inclined to support Trump for reelection..so no, he is not my ‘chosen hero.

            Do you honestly believe that the Democtsts have not politicized the Covid crisis? You can’t actually believe that, can you?

            “…It’s one guy in Washington State. We have it totally under control” Funny how you always leave out what Dr Fauci was saying at the same time. You know. That expert who had advised numerous presidents. At the same time Fauci was saying the risk to Americans was minimal. That there is no need to worry. So why are you beating up Trump for listening to his advisers?

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            Here is Fauci’s statements early on from an interview in early Feb

            ““What can you tell the American people about what’s been going on? Should they be scared?”

            “I don’t think so,” Fauci said. “The American people should not be worried or frightened by this. It’s a very, very low risk to the United States, but it’s something we, as public health officials, need to take very seriously.” He went on to say, “It isn’t something the American people need to worry about or be frightened about because, it was centered in China and the U.S. could screen travelers from that nation.” And in April Fauci said he “saw no immediate need for social distancing”

            What did Fauci say about masks early on? “…The only people who need masks are those who are already infected to keep from exposing others. The masks sold at drugstores aren’t even good enough to truly protect anyone”

            Was Dr Fauci lying? Or just using the latest information that was available at the time? It certainly is easy to use your 20-20 hindsight, isn’t it? Here you are politicizing the Covid pandemic, exactly what you accuse me of doing.

            Just imagine the response of the left would have been if his experts were saying there is no danger from the virus, and Trump didn’t listen to them and say as an example mandated masks be worn. You don’t think he would have been called a fascist? Look at the names he was called for instituting travel restrictions from China, against the advice of his experts… “Hysterical”, Xenophobic”, “Racist”.

            Sorry, Bill…you can’t use your 20-20 hindsight to politicize the federal governments response to the virus. In late February, in the 2 Democrat debates, there was one question asked about Covid, lasted 90 seconds. So don’t sit there and tell me that it was only Trump not concerned about the virus early on. Nobody was taking it seriously. Impeachment was the #1 story dominating the news.

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      Yeah, I get it Christian, you hate the president and everything is his fault…Yawn.

  27. Avatar bruce vojtecky says:

    Hastings, Nebraska is very happy with the “Clorox” President Trump.

  28. Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

    “So why are you beating up Trump for listening to his advisers?“
    Doug asks the most ludicrous question of the day.

    Really, trump listens to his advisors?
    The great decider really listens to his advisors!

    I guess that explains why so many of his advisors have thrown their arms up and resigned . Because trump listens to his advisors. My god man where does this delusion come from?

    For someone to to unquestionably support this pos in nearly every action he takes, in very disgusting comment he makes you are not going to vote for trump??

    Somehow the word hypocrite shines brightly over your persona Doug.

  29. Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

    If trump really listens to his advisors why has no action been taken against Russian for offering up a bounty on the heads of American soldiers?

    Because the pos parading around as the leader of the free world does not listen to his advisors.
    Trumps allegiance with Putin is nothing short than treasonous.

    While another impeachment hearing Is not going to happen, how can republicans of nay persuasion allow this to go unanswered?

  30. Avatar Richard Christoph says:

    Doug writes:

    “Here is Fauci’s statements early on from an interview in early Feb…”

    And therein lies the key, Doug. Because this is a “novel” virus, Dr. Fauci and others were giving advice on what was known (mask wearing aside) about Covid-19 AT THAT TIME. As an inveterate consumer of information, you are well aware of how very much has been learned during the 4 1/2 months since the “early February” interview which you cite.

    Rather than listening to and heeding the now-known science-based advice of Drs. Birx, Fauci, Osterholm, Hahn, Redfield, Friedman, Collins, Inglesby, Bromage, and countless others, POTUS and Pence continue to flout their own CDC guidelines and place their supporters and staff at significant risk by staging indoor, largely mask-less rallies, in areas of record new outbreaks under the guise of Constitutional rights of speech and assembly.

    Doug, you are a bright guy and I admire your persistence in providing a conservative voice to this largely left-of-center readership. But at times the claims you make are downright embarrassing, and citing Dr. Fauci’s early February interview as support for your claims is certainly one of those times. If you value any semblance of credibility, you can and must do better than that.

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      Richard, I was responding specifically to Bill’s comment where he said:

      “…Trump has virtually denied the existence of the danger since the pandemic inception. “It’s one guy in Washington State. We have it totally under control”. “It’s only 15 people, and soon those 15 people will be zero.”

      You are correct in that the advice the president was getting early on is what we knew AT THAT TIME as you stated. Then don’t you think it is unfair of Bill to accuse the president of denying the existence of danger AT THAT TIME? His advisors believed there wasn’t much danger…why should the president think otherwise?

      My comments were specifically addressing the early stages of the pandemic and the thinking while using 20-20 hindsight that Trump should have known better back then, That is patently unfair.

      Do I think the administration has done a good job with messaging? No they haven’t. A lot of it is the politicization of the virus from both the left and right. The Democrats want to push the worst case scenarios to damage the president in the election. The right wants to minimize the impact of the virus to show they have been effective. Both sides are wrong. I understand the president’s desire to be positive, we are in dire need of positive news, and I understand the president’s wish to reopen the economy, our current situation is unsustainable.

      To clarify. My comments to Bill was entirely related to the early response to the virus. That was his criticism…the the president didn’t do enough early on. We can of course have a discussion on what the administrations response has been lately…a response that I have many difficulties with, but that wasn’t my focus on this thread.

      • Avatar CHRISTIAN Gardinier says:

        “I understand the president wants to be positive…” What a frigging joke. How’d you like the Neo-Nazi tweet he posted this morning? Positive? Wow. Clorox denied covid 19 from the very start li ed obfuscated and then ended up doing pretty much nothing leaving the rest up to the states and to Dr Fisie. Got bad information…. right. How about Dave bad information line through his teeth all the from the start to now. Clorox a criminal idiot is about the worst thing that’s happened to this nation in many years. The detrimental effects and results of Covid 19 here in the United States of America is the symptom of the disease called Trump and his Trumpublican supporters.

  31. Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

    “Was Dr Fauci lying?”

    We had PPE crisis, at the time if that commentary. Fauci was voicing the opinion of the administration of that time. Essentially, masks were unnecessary for the general population. What wasn’t being let on at the time, was that the consensus of official opinion was twisted to enable the PPE to be redirected toward frontline COVID response teams.

    From the onset through every step of interpretation, Trump has been a the helm, pulling all the strings, and allowing to be released only the information that aligned with his own agenda; his own self-imposed protocols.

    Fauci let America know early on that Trump was out of control. His “behind the scenes” grimacing at misguided presidential presentation, his quote “What can I do? I can’t step I front of the microphone…”

    In hindsight, Fauci should have hogtied Trump, stuffed a sock in his mouth, and carried on with a truthful overture that might have convinced a dubious nation that science might necessarily prevail, but only with swift, decisive action that would necessarily run counter to Trump’s spin n reality. We’d have had a very different outcome, if only Trump recognized his limited embrace of the science, and left a pandemic response up to the scientists.

    In the end, the onus for the bungled response lies entirely with Trump – his separation of biological reality from his politically-spun COVID reality, his continued embrace of his own mistruths, and the failure of his own henchmen to tackle him early on and exercise the 25th Amendment.

    Never in US history has a standing president so desperately needed to be usurped from duty. Derelict, delinquent, and dumb beyond reproach – your president has continually shown he cannot lead. An opportunity missed is an opportunity lost. He shoulda gone down last year – shoulda gone beck to being a bankruptcy clerk, or a golf caddy, or whatever he was doing before you put him on a pedestal.

    In the simplest of terms, the feller is a few eggs shy of an Easter basket, so is the whole GOP, and so are you. But, I’ll give you this, you are one loyal fool.

  32. Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

    In the larger sense, the core problem is one of intelligence. The US – as a nation – does not follow the advice of it’s intelligence agency leadership, and Trump’s lack of intelligence has served to compound that problem by many magnitudes.

    In a nutshell, the US doesn’t want intelligence, and the Oval Office is devoid of intelligence.
    Sounds like a match made in Heaven…


  33. Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

    Doug says:

    “Do I think the administration has done a good job with messaging? No they haven’t. A lot of it is the politicization of the virus from both the left and right. The Democrats want to push the worst case scenarios to damage the president in the election. The right wants to minimize the impact of the virus to show they have been effective. Both sides are wrong. I understand the president’s desire to be positive, we are in dire need of positive news, and I understand the president’s wish to reopen the economy, our current situation is unsustainable”

    Well, it’s certainly a mess, with no real solution apparent.
    I have some experience with the whole process of bringing a drug to market, and I can attest that many designer treatments can take years to marketable fruition. And, though I realize that under current emergency regulation, all promising therapies are being expedited beyond all recognition of any sense of “business as usual”…

    What if I we’re relate to you the very real possibility that a vaccine may not EVER be proven effective for COVID-19? Trump has insisted that “a vaccine is very, very close” and offered assurances that treatments are just “around the corner” so many times that the general public is at saturation level with promises of “any day now”

    This unsupported false positivity – of itself – is a national concern. It has created a citizenry quagmired in the depths of pandemic fatigue, desperately grasping at straws, and dedicated to a dubious reopening process – with the presidential overture playing in the background, pounding a reassuring “atta-boy, go get ’em!!” Reopening, my ass.

    This is sick and wrong, and it should have been discussed at length long before here and now, on a goofy little rural message board addressing perhaps a few dozen liberals and one conservative.

    That’d be you, Doug…

    A simple historical review of the conventional wisdom in the world of curative drugs is very revealing, and it suggests a vaccine is years away – if ever available at all. Ever. Yet Trump persists.
    I tell you outright – it may not happen. End of story. Period.

    The science simply isn’t in place to support the notion of a vaccine – or a cure – at this time.
    Any discussion to the contrary is pure speculation.

  34. Avatar Doug Cook says:

    “…A simple historical review of the conventional wisdom in the world of curative drugs is very revealing, and it suggests a vaccine is years away – if ever available at all. Ever. Yet Trump persists.
    I tell you outright – it may not happen. End of story. Period.”

    You may be correct, we still don’t have a HIV vaccine. However let’s look at Trump’s comments about a vaccine. He said this in May, “…We’re looking to — when I say “quickly,” we’re looking to get it (a vaccine) by the end of the year, if we can. Maybe before. We’re doing tremendously well.”

    About the same time, Dr Fauci said this about a vaccine. In an inteview he was talking about the different companies working on a vaccine and the different phases completed. Dr Fauci then said, “…If you’re already manufacturing doses, by December and January, if you’re lucky and if in fact it is effective, you can have a significant number of doses available by the end of the year, the beginning of 2021. So I think it’s aspirational, but it’s certainly doable.”

    My point being is that Trump did not pull that out of thin air. Dr Fauci said himself that a vaccine by the end of the year is ‘doable’. So maybe if you have a bone to pick with the possibility of a vaccine by the end of the year, take it up with Fauci, the president’s advisor…not the president.

    • Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

      Doug, you continue to miss the point.
      It’s not any one particular point of false positivity…
      It’s the aggregate of false positivity. It has groomed a “return to normalcy” pace urgency that is completely unrealistic, and the Donald continually reinforces this unrealistic approach to reopening. Is a 2020 reopening worth another 500K US deaths?
      Because that’s where this mess is headed…

      Here’s the thing: no one rewards caution.
      The president himself displays endless recklessness, much of which flies in the face of good science. No mask. No worries. Social distancing. Who cares? Unapproved, virtually untried drug against COVID (HCQ) What, no evidence to suggest it works? The Hell with it, Gimme another dose…. Vaccine. No problem, we’re making good progress. Any day now…

      But Mr President, what about the uptick in cases and concurrent hospitalizations. No worries. Let’s have another rally w/o masks, and schedule it rightin the thick of the highest uptick of COVID you can find. But, Mr President, what about…. You’re fired, get out!

      Time and again, Trump trumps the science, making himself appear the fool. It’s really about a scientific approach to resolution, Doug, and a Trump simply doesn’t have the aptitude, the temperament, or the credentials to come across as anything other than a Putz.

      It wouldn’t be so very bad, if he were only a good liar, but he’s terrible at it and steps on his own dick ritually. It’s an absurd reality of American Politics that such a serial idiot can possibly be anything other than a night watchman at Chucky Cheese, let alone POTUS.

      But there you have it. He’s all yours, and you are quite welcome to my share of his good advice.
      I won’t be needing it.

  35. Avatar CHRISTIAN Gardinier says:

    It’s time to look into the mirror and tell the truth.

    Most of America knows Clorox is a liar. https://www.thehill.com/homenews/administration/385779-nearly-two-thirds-of-americans-say-trump-is-dishonest-poll

    Most of America knows Clorox is lying when he says just about anything about Covid -19. https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/03/17/new-poll-shows-trumps-magical-lying-powers-are-failing-him/ Only 37 percent of Americans have trust in the information Trump tells them about Covid 19. By contrast, 60 percent have little to no trust.

    Another Clorox whopper came out this morning after a day of golf when he said he didn’t know that his good buddy Vladimir had put a bounty for American soldiers. Wow! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kiDkTOKI7Ro In fact, American intelligence officials told the president about the findings in March and offered a number of options for reprimanding Russia, including escalating sanctions or issuing diplomatic complaints. But Trump didn’t choose to retaliate at all! Instead, Clorox apparently just ignored what intelligence suggested. Russia is attacking US troops… and all Clorox does is lie about it?

    Clorox’s lying is systemic. I would say pathological but that would take a face-to-face interview as mandated by my professional ethics. Clorox’s racism is well known. Clorox’s bigoted sexism is well known. In fact, there is something very wrong with him and his administration and it will take years to fully understand the damage he and his administration have done. But, you know what? I’m done. Clorox isn’t the problem.

    Howling and throwing a fit about Clorox’s multitude of daily damage to our nation is like yelling at a three year old for pulling down his paints and taking a big crap in the middle of the kitchen floor, I mean what good does it do, he does it daily? After all, Clorox is but a 3 year old.

    The howling and complaining must really be directed to the objects that put Clorox The White Racist Nationalist Authoritarian in power, and works diligently, trying their best to keep him there. This includes people planning to vote for Clorox in November, the current tRumpublican Party Political hacks and his administration, his personal attorney Bill Barr, and the all everyday Clorox apologists that continue to defend and spin alternative realities for this three year old, who lies persistently, inflicts cruelty on people and throws tantrums daily, while defecating on, and then smearing his fecal matter all over civil rights and the United States Constitution.

    Sorry tRump apologists, you choose to eat his lying, bigoted racist – sexist, and classist food for your nourishment… and his food becomes part of you, as you are part of him. Now you’re going to apologize for yourself and accept you are a part of and complicit in the White Nationalist minority disease that is Trump, or who knows, maybe you eat so much of his crap it makes you sick and you denounce and purge.

    Clorox’s tripe has made our great nation sick! Hopefully we will purge Trump and his Trumpublican politicians on November 03, 2020.

  36. Avatar Bill Vercammen says:

    Jair Bolsonaro has been presented to the US, not only as the El Presidente of Brazio, but also as a personal friend of POTUS. I find it an interesting side note to the COVID story that both nations have become embroiled in chloroquine politics amidst disputes over science data:


    The experiences with chloroquine-based drugs by both the US and Brazil should serve to remind that confirmation bias can be a very dangerous posturing tool in the hands of a desperate politician.

  37. Avatar Dale says:

    Here’s a classic example of ‘scientific denial’ and deception from none other than Anthony Fauci-



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