On the afternoon of 9/11, Rudy Giuliani told a shell-shocked country that “the number of casualties will be more than any of us can bear, ultimately.”
Rather than dwelling on what the death toll would be, Rudy said “the effort now has to be to save as many people as possible.”
Those words are still ingrained in my mind, nearly twenty years later. And they apply equally well to this slow-motion attack from an invisible terror.
April 2020 will be the cruelest month. President Trump tried to prepare Americans on Tuesday by saying “hard days” lie ahead. “We’re going to go through a very tough two weeks,” he said during a 131-minute WH briefing, the longest of his presidency.
We have to hold hands as a country even though we can’t touch. We have to lift up our health care heroes. And we have to hold our leaders accountable for all that they’ve done and all that they haven’t done.
The new narrative
The staggering projections are not new. They’ve been known for weeks. They’ve been reported for weeks. They just haven’t been publicly accepted and shared by the White House until now. That’s why Tuesday’s briefing was vital — but it was heart-wrenching to think about all the time that was wasted by POTUS.
I’m sure that reporters will keep pointing out the federal government’s early failures and problems… But will the news coverage resonate? Or will partisanship win out, even during a pandemic?
— Jay Rosen: “Anyone who says he now soberly accepts the reality of the pandemic. No. He switched claims. From we’re doing a fantastic job, the virus is like 15 people to we’re doing a fantastic job, if we did nothing it would be millions dead. Those calling him sober are the marks…”
— Bill Grueskin: Sean Hannity “is in Reality Mode tonight. Warning that new cases will sharply rise, young people can get sick, quoting Fauci that 100k+ deaths is entirely possible. Something really did change today…”
“The U.S. needs to know what went wrong”
There’s more and more talk about the need for a 9/11-style bipartisan commission, and more and more concern that the country is too fractured to support one.
Chris Cuomo’s new fight
On Tuesday morning CNN anchor Chris Cuomo found out that he tested positive for the virus. He announced the diagnosis just as his brother Gov. Andrew Cuomo began New York state’s daily briefing.
Chris is feeling fine and working from home while quarantining in his basement. He said on Tuesday night’s “Cuomo Prime Time” that his biggest concern is for his family. He fears that he might have infected his wife and children. “That is hurting me way more than anything the virus can do,” he said.