” First Joint Interview with President-elect Biden and VP-elect Kamala Harris – Biden-Harris Team Good as New ” – December 3, 2020.
Biden-Harris team, set to occupy the great American throne on January 20, 2021, with 80 million plus strong American voters thronging to see their new act unfolding in the nation nonpareil for the next four years at the minimum represents the new found freedom, enthusiasm, and confidence now.
Jake Tapper of CNN is the interviewer.
These are the crux of their answers :
1. Follow ‘National Standards’ to fight Coronavirus aligning with Governors and Mayors.
2. Guidance and financial resources are key to combat the Coronavirus. ” Senate has to do its job genuinely”. His emphasis on the role of Kamala Harris, and her duty as VP in fulfilling this could not have been more clear.
3. I’ll take the vaccine when Dr Fauci says that the vaccine to be rolled out is safe and effective. He is in tune with what Barack Obama, Bill Clinton, and George W Bush earlier averred that they will take the vaccine in public view to embolden the confidence of citizens and to dispel the skepticism if any.
4. Doctors, nurses, nursing home personnel, minorities, and people who have been most affected will be the first priority in vaccination.
5. Biden’s cabinet will look like the country with every major group represented.
6. Fulfilment of the commitments made and making right decisions will constitute the two strong pillars of his administration.
7. ” COVID, Economy, Race, and Climate Change ” are the four major aspects of immediate consideration for him.
8. He made clear that Iran should not be allowed to have nuclear weapons. Playing by International rules and norms will be the yardstick. Support of allies will be key to tackle any wrongdoing.
9. DoJ will act independently in his administration and there will be no interference in their investigations.
10. He stands for peaceful transition of power, end of chaos, and for elevation of the image of America in the eyes of the world.
11. He is ‘determined and confident’ to unite the country and to honour the decency, respect, and honesty of the nation.
12. Emphasised the importance of attracting Green Jobs to the nation that can give employment to 18.6 million people and raise GDP by $ 1 trillion.
13. “Clock is ticking rapidly” on the Climate Crisis, said VP elect, Kamala Harris emphatically.
My Observations :
Biden-Harris star combination probably spells a new era in the history of American Administration.
In this short interview they gave an insight into their “new book” consisting of (a) new way of doing things ; (b) new experiences to be delivered ; and (c) new systems to be invoked.
The winter this time will start the ‘buds’ shaping and pausing possibly still spring to be a ‘full flower’.
” Dieu avec nous “
Friday, December 4, 2020 – 9.11 a.m. (IST)
Tidbit : ” I have not made a single decision without Kamala Harris’s input so far ” – Joe Biden.
If your vaccine is 90% effective, our vaccine is 94.5% effective, says Moderna with a challenging look and statement , just a week after Pfizer announced its Vaccine ;
If your vaccine needs -70°C freezers for storage, our vaccine needs just -20°C (normal frigerators) to keep the vaccines safe for upto 30 days , says Moderna ;
If your vaccine had 44000 individuals for experimentation, our vaccine will do with full representative sampling consisting of just 30000 individuals now and more soon, says Moderna.
The announcement sets the bar high for standards of safety and efficacy, and medical interventions.
More than 94.5% efficacy ; more individual participation ; more number of individuals developing antibodies successfully without side effects ; general feeling of trust, passion, and confidence among individuals participating in the trials – will need to be highlighted by the pharma companies engaged in 3rd phase or otherwise of clinical trials now.
First mover advantage has shifted to Moderna from Pfizer at this juncture. Will Astra Zeneca, Johnson and Johnson, Novaxin, Bharat Biotech and others can surpass the safety and efficacy data already achieved by Moderna and Pfizer with better accuracy will be eagerly watched.
Mid/late December is the critical period in the US when the Political and Pandemic moment of decision will shape their end(s) of journey(s), the moment people will be waiting for. This will also mark the time when trends of the competing pharma companies will get their preliminary results of ‘who each one is ?’ ; ‘how each one will progress ?’ ; and ‘what authority can each leverage in implementing the process ?’.
Here’s a risk. If people will be revelling in joy during the Thanksgiving and Christmas holidays outside, COVID-19 will not lag behind to revel in disrelishing them instantly.
Vaccine race continues now. Smaller companies are in training for the big race against Moderna and Pfizer.
” Dieu avec nous”
Tuesday, November 17, 2020 – 12.19 p.m. (IST).
Tidbit : ” Another Vaccine just announced. This time by Moderna, 95% effective. For those great ‘historians’, please remember that these great discoveries which will end the China Plague, all took place under my watch”. – President Donald Trump.
” Auf Wiedersehen to COVID-19 – Pfizer’s First Move to Begin Competitive Marketing ” – November 11, 2020.
If Corona’s stellar role steered the public conversation away from the accomplishments of President Donald Trump during his Election campaign and even earlier denying a second term for him, the Vaccine developed by Pfizer/BioNTech announced just 6 days after the Election Day can help steer Joe Biden’s team to victory in controlling the pandemic while reviving the Economy and International travel.
President, Donald Trump, in fact, handed this to the Democrats on a silver platter even if they did not expect it.
Dr Anthony Fauci, Infectious Disease Expert and Leader of the Coronavirus Task Force under Mike Pence/Donald Trump, calls the Pfizer breakthrough as “extraordinary”, “help is on the way”, ” it will be good even if it is 50% effective”, and ” the vaccine will be in use by the end of the year “, while he was pitching into those who promised a cure for COVID-19 by late November or early December citing efficacy and safety as not achievable within weeks. Encouraging words now, nevertheless, for those holding faith and belief in Science, Data, Experiments, and Trials .
Pfizer promises 50 million doses by the end of this year, and about 1.3 billion doses by 2021. There will, however, be a huge sense of relief for people all over the world now.
Pfizer says : ” Submission for Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) to the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) planned for soon after the required safety milestone is achieved which is currently expected to occur in the third week of November “. Pfizer has spent nearly $ 2 billion of its own for research and development without any Government funding or under the Operation Warp Speed Program.
Pfizer vaccine is a two shot one ; there has been no papers in Journals or reviews by peer researchers ; there is however a safety monitoring authority checking their progress and events. The vaccine is based on ‘mRNA’ technology by injecting a catalyst that can form spike proteins on human cells with ability to detect the virus and destroy it. The only other company following this route of attack is “Moderna” which has received $ 1 billion in funding from the US Government. Other prominent players in the race include Johnson and Johnson ; Astra Zeneca/Oxford Institute ; Nova-Vax ; Sanofi ; GlaxoSmithKline and other small players numbering about 40 candidates in all.
There are billions of individuals in the world requiring vaccination, US alone has 300 million and more.
Two factors need consideration from the management/marketing perspective : (1) Competition ; and (2) Pricing.
1. Competition : Vaccine production and use has reached a stage of marketing warfare now. Emergency Use Authorization to Pfizer will immediately spur others in the race to make claims for their share, fame, and name. FDA will be highly vigilant and stringent in verifying the claims ; supporting evidences ; trial successes ; and absence of side effects. I may be wrong, ‘ that there has not been a success more than 60% (and it is for flu shot) in any vaccine case earlier in history’. This fact may have prompted Dr Anthony Fauci to expect at least 50% success/efficacy for use. Also, the world needs billions of doses that cannot be satisfactorily produced, stored, and delivered by a single Company. Hence, the ventures of 40 or more candidates make the effort justifiable.
Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine is ‘mRNA’ based ; two shot vaccine ; the second shot administered 3 weeks after the first ; vaccine needs to be stored at -75°C for which freezers are not ready yet ; Pfizer itself is testing storage with dry ice for the benefit of people ; has an excellent record of global supply chain and logistics for delivery. Its deal is valued at $ 39 for a two shot course. Moderna is in the same category. Its deal is valued at $37 per dose. J and J’s deal indicates a price of $10 per dose. It is a one shot vaccine. It has to be administered intravenously. It doesn’t require storage at such freezing levels.
Eli Lilly had already obtained Emergency Use Authorization for its monoclonal antibody treatment from FDA (just yesterday). It is a therapeutic and not a vaccine. There are many in the pipeline from different companies in different places.
Hence, the factor of Competition playing a role in the ‘ marketing opportunity’ of all the vaccines and companies is real. Safety and Efficacy are the set parameters determining the ‘Competitive Value or Strength’ of the vaccine.
Pfizer’s statement that it is 90% effective is a reassurance that one cannot ignore even if it remains to be fully validated yet. Pfizer’s financial strength, staff and scientists strength, and know-how relating a to vaccines and other drugs makes it a big game player. BioNTech of Germany being a partner adds to the clout it can reap in Europe. Other companies mentioned above also have similar strengths and competitiveness.
If a 50% efficacy is set as the main requirement (as Dr Anthony Fauci has referenced in his Observations), then the number of companies achieving the target is expected to be in good numbers. To be in the race for a preferred vaccine manufacturer, distributor, and courier (delivery agent), the companies may resort to ‘Competitive Reactions’ in terms of price adjustments. More the competition, more will be the price cuts or discounts whether during the pandemic period or later. It will be important for the companies to note the fact that the demand for vaccine may be steady initially (as it is a public health issue requiring everyone to be vaccinated) but likely to become volatile later when it will become a choice.
The companies may also offer different prices for different regions depending on their perceptions of values in terms of fame, reputation, and service. There could be some innovations here.
2. Pricing : Pricing is critical in a Global Health Issue like this involving people of different nations ( developed, less developed, marginally efficient, poor ) with people of different financial abilities. Pfizer’s $ 39 for two doses ; Moderna’s $ 37 for two doses when compared with Astra Zeneca’s $ 3 per dose or Johnson and Johnson’s $ 10 for the only shot required are too high for any ordinary individual without a subsidy from the Government.
Companies engage in ‘pricing’ with the following considerations : Raw materials/basic ingredients for vaccine production ; research scientists’ term pay ; clinical trials ; and labour costs in production constitute the variable costs. Cost of equipment/tools ; laboratory infrastructure ; and other administrative costs constitute the fixed costs of vaccine production. Margin to meet the profit objective will be added to arrive at the selling price of the vaccine per unit.
Astra Zeneca/Oxford University has pledged not to profit off the COVID-19 shot during the pandemic. Its pricing indicates cost of manufacturing plus $ 1 billion for clinical trials ( or a 20 % of the cost of manufacturing to the vaccine’s price ). It has established Quality Assurance already. Deals for 100 million doses to UK ; 300 million doses to U.S.A., 400 million doses to EU ; 120 million doses to Japan ; and 100 million doses to China are promised already. It has also built a Global Supply Chain with ability to turn out 3 billion doses of vaccine. Astra Zeneca’s price per dose is just $ 3 to $ 5. It has also promised that low income countries will receive its vaccine on a cost basis ” in perpetuity “. It has a headstart in the marketing warfare already.
Administration of a vaccine is a Public Health Measure in which every individual – male/female ; young/old ; symptomatic/asymptomatic ; whites/blacks – participates. It is also the duty of any Government to contain the pandemic as a welfare measure. Individuals, every human being in the world, may not be willing to pay the same price for vaccination. These aspects make price setting a challenge while prompting companies to think in future in terms of alternate price levels. Moderna has declared that in the pandemic period, pricing considerations will follow traditional dynamics and market forces including vaccine efficacy and Competitive landscape.
It appears that the very emergency nature of the Disease may help the companies make hay as the sun shines ; and the pricing war will likely begin only after the emergency measures are relaxed. This is also quite in tune with what any Product Life Cycle teaches us during the period of growth when prices remain high and affordable for the top and special categories of people. Pfizer and Moderna may rule the roost initially (catering to the prioritised groups supported by concerned institutions and the Government in specially the well developed nations) while the likes of Johnson and Johnson, Astra Zeneca and others in the same pack will eke out their share in a different way in different countries with different population groups.
A clear picture will emerge only after the companies report their safety and efficacy data in public.
“Dieu avec nous “
Wednesday, November 11, 2020 – 2.19 p.m. (IST)
Tidbit : ” It is a great day for science and humanity “.
Joe Biden is now the American President-elect ; Kamala Harris is now the American Vice President- elect. (Saturday, November 7, 2020).
Third time lucky ; oldest to occupy the prestigious President-elect post ; highest number of votes secured by any Presidential contestant in the history of American Elections.
Joe Biden who championed the cause of health and safety won. Donald Trump who took the initiative to champion the cause of opening the Economy lost. Is this a victory for Health and Safety over reopening of the Economy will be the matter of debate from now.
What was achievable, believable, and expected had always been on the Election Horizon since the pandemic struck America forcing the attempts to embrace health and safety as the priority of Citizens.
It is also testimony to the changing intellect of voters and the novelty of their decision making amidst the pandemic struggle that brought smiles in the faces of not just the challenger (Joe Biden and his team) but also among a large section of people in this world.
The reasons for this are twofold :
1. Misjudgment of the Republicans : Strong misjudgment about the challenger (weak, frail, old, short of mental acuity, low energy) coupled with strong misjudgment of the situation. From the day of his inauguration on January 20, 2017, President Donald Trump was on fire with enthusiasm, passion, and obsessive zealousness to change the course of direction that Washington DC had taken in serving the people. This effectively drove him to adopt an unconventional strategy which centered on his deep conviction to change the order of plans, policies, programs, treaties, agreements in favour of only America and Americans. It was just a coincidence that many of those decisions came to represent a revenge on his political enemies. Ill-will was borne, nevertheless. It may be correct and proper to say that his “goal” or “mission” was right but the “path” or “means” taken with the accompanying rhetoric invoked anger and fear among the opponents spreading discontent and disapproval. And the fact that the perceptions and beliefs of Citizens while casting their votes were an expression of their positive and true assessment has been validated in the results. It favoured Joe Biden and dismissed Donald Trump.
2. Aggressive Campaigning in the last two weeks : President Donald Trump, himself suffering from COVID-19 ; getting admitted to Walter Reed Hospital for treatment ; coming out of the hospital in 2 days and resuming his task of campaigning through in-person rallies (with 3 to 5 rallies a day) ; drawing huge crowds against the Public Health dictum – all instead of amplifying the support for him seems to have amplified the force of opposition to Trump. But what was too little too late as the election results would show was enough to get the margins narrow, but not enough to surpass Biden’s challenge. Pandemic and Healthcare generally regarded as the defining factors for the voters’ choice in casting their votes prevailed. Alternately, Economy and Law and Order – greatly expected to play a significant role – which was less talked about, discussed, or emphasized by the media, analysts, and even people in the run up to this election have not lived upto their expectations. It effectively got submerged in the persistent and insistent din of health and safety. Minds of voters were more stimulated by the novel issue of the mismanagement of the pandemic, a rare election where an issue of this nature taking centre stage.
General Commonsense Observations : News of President Donald Trump’s early leads in many States must have come as a shock to many pollsters, analysts, party media, and to the Democratic Party Team. That Joe Biden will win in a landslide and Donald Trump will be facing a humiliating defeat did not hold true. In effect, it was a contest between a Team strongly backed by big money, big tech, and big media with deep interests and a person with Personal Charisma. Unlike the polls of 40 or 50 years earlier, voters have not enthusiastically responded to the telephone calls or avoided reflecting their true preferences to the pollsters specially since June when most polls predicted Biden’s victory. Remaining optimistic and responding to the challenge, the Republican voters, specially, were happy to abide by the President’s call to turn out in large numbers for voting on the Election Day. Florida, Texas, Ohio, and Iowa … remained solidly behind Donald Trump. Dark clouds of defeat seemed to have its silver lining in the determination of his voters (his base) including Latinos and some blacks in the voting process ensuing a smooth running of this historic Election.
If Joe Biden stands as the only Presidential candidate with the most number of votes polled in an election in the American History ; Donald Trump has also the distinction of being the second highest in terms of votes scored. That this has happened in this unique election is more than special.
For every success, a ‘dream’ is an important requisite. To fructify the dream, ‘hard work’ is more important. Dream and Hard Work should run in a parallel manner without letting it slip. Hard Work without Careful Thought and Dream without Hard Work cannot result in sprouting fields even if the seeds are sown in time. Biden’s Teamwork may well be an exemplification of this measure.
God “Bishamonten”, (God of dignity and authority) protector of those who follow rules and behave appropriately, surprised everyone with a life changing moment for the Citizens of America in this Election. Will it change the lives of Citizens for better for years into the future is what everyone will be eager to see and experience.
” Dieu avec nous “
Sunday, November 8, 2020 – 7.25 a.m. (IST)
Tidbit : ” This is the time to heal in America. I owe you everything ” – Joe Biden in his address.
US General Election will be held on November 3, 2020.
President Donald Trump’s team seems cautiously optimistic.
Joe Biden’s team seems invincible.
Who gains or who loses is not known now, but nobody will be in doubt.
But a day or two before the election, as now, President Donald Trump’s chances will depend on the following three factors as depicted in the figure below :
Let us consider the three factors : Visibility, Performance, and Leadership.
1. Visibility : A true leader is one who has a large segment of population in terms of age, gender, and social class as dedicated followers. They will want to see the leader’s face, posture, and expressions in realtime in public. What the leader speaks and promises will influence them to think, feel, and make their choice better. President Donald Trump’s visibility, specially, during the last few days in social space is high. In one day, the day before, he had five rallies, each with huge crowds in thousands. In Michigan, he said : ” Two days from now, we are going to win the State of Michigan again “. In Georgia, he said : ” Next year we will see the greatest economic growth in the history of America “. In Florida, he asked : ” Is there any place you would like to be rather than in a Trump rally ?” Everyone will be expecting a new surge in voting.
President Donald Trump has raised his visibility. Whether this will change the minds of voters in his favour is still uncertain.
2. Performance : He has kept the promises he made in 2016 to the people. He mentioned them in his speech in North Carolina yesterday and reiterated moving further on these : ” We are going to cut taxes ; cut regulations ; support police ; defend religious groups and their liberty ; produce more of what you produce now and make it ‘Made in America’ “. He handled the lootings, violent protests, and riots in Kenosha, Minnesota, and Portland with decisiveness even if it fell short of a healing process totally.
President, Donald Trump, is basically a businessman and not a politician. His chief armour in his weaponry for getting people on his side has been his PR (Public Relations) and Sales Pitch striking an unusual but welcome tone not seen generally among politicians and which people found attractive. This made people feel he is genuine. Will they hold the same opinion now is not certain.
His strength (weakness really) also constituted his blunt and candid expressions (good and not so good) about other leaders, opponents, aides, and individuals. His handling of COVID-19 has come in for sharp criticisms and condemnation for his refusal to listen to the advice of Scientists, Doctors, Experts, and Public Health Specialists. His gamble to concentrate more on Economy over Public Health and Safety may have separated him from not just his associates but the general public at large at this critical juncture.
A final word on this (how he scores on this characteristic) will be afforded by the people in the result of the Election.
3. Leadership : ” President Donald Trump is a Leader with little respect for delegation. He is always focused in a way translating his principles and beliefs into actions. His actions will rarely give or point to a leader in control for the analysts, academics, and professionals in management. He is a ‘different’ leader. While some may be tempted to call his style of management in terms of being an authoritarian or even closer to being a dictator, the reality lies in the fact that he is one who would like to “create an identity” that is unique and think of himself as one who is not fit to hold a candle to any other. It is probably an inner desire driven by what many experts may term as ‘egoistic’. This is a factor that seriously clouds his trust among people and his re-election despite some good work on foreign policy, economy, military strength, immigration, and tax benefits.
Willingly or otherwise he has been disruptive and specially in this challenging moment of the pandemic holding firmly to his views without much embracing the general/expert opinions. Public suffered. Credit or blame to whatever happens to people in a term is generally fixed to the leader who held the fort.
Conclusion : The statistics in terms of Coronavirus impact seem aligned with his poll margins and prospects that make his second term a non-starter at this juncture. True, people will decide, but the die has been cast long before the voters enter the numbers on the ballot papers.
The “Curriculum Vitae” (CV) for this election can be written in two words : “Corona Virus” (CV).
” Dieu avec nous”
Monday, November 2, 2020 – 4.49 p.m. (IST)
Tidbit : ” It is Election uncertainty that will be in the lips of everyone “.
US general election 2020 is unique in its history. As a common man with no expertise in Political Science or practice of running a competitive organisation , I see this election between Good over Evil. I don’t really mean to be harsh or strong in my opinion. I have no stakes in this election, directly or indirectly, and I am always neutral.
US general election is the race between President Donald Trump and Joe Biden.
This is what I have come to understand following the media coverage, articles in print, the debates of both contestants in the preliminaries and finals, speeches of top politicians/surrogates of contestants specially in the last 7 or 20 days, and other reported events.
Political parties, the defining elements of representative democracy, have their colors and symbols. For the Republican Party, Red is the colour and Elephant stands as the symbol of hope ; For the Democratic Party, Blue is the colour and Donkey stands as the symbol of hope . These are used in campaigning and printed on ballot papers where voter has to make a mark for one while casting the vote.
Voters are people casting votes for their chosen candidate. Voting is an expression of the hope and desire of a person he/she has to choose.
There are only two factors, according to my commonsense, (though I wish I am wrong) that will decide the fate of the two candidates – prominent in their own ways and measures – 1. Anger, and 2. Masks ; a.m. for short.
1. Anger : This denotes the feeling that something has happened or someone has done something that one does not like. Here, in this context of the election, it refers to what President Donald Trump has done to spread COVID-19 as the opponents allege. The anger is not just passive, but open and assertive too as evidenced from the reactions of people and the polls.
Reasoning gets clouded when you are in anger ; blame spreads like wildfire ; makes one’s judgement clouded by personal whims.
Voting is not an accountable decision, rather it is subject to many factors and influences like emotion, bias, revenge, retribution, punitive, harsh without calling for any justification or evaluation in performance.
It is quite unlike business decisions where staff are engaged in detailed analysis of consequences of a decision and justifying that strongly with actions. There will not even be a single sight of questioning eyebrow raised by anyone in voting ; not any circumstances of providing a reason explaining the action except that it was “anger” that caused the action. There is little chance to take control of the situation and redirect the course it can take even with emergency measures. It has already embedded deeply among the people reaching a point of ‘no change’ ever. Anger is also amplified and magnified by media, print, common discussion courses, adding details to the faults, missteps, and wrongdoings raising the misery of the candidate.
To say that a large section of people are angry with President Donald Trump, genuinely or otherwise, is saying the obvious. Whether the facts of the case of neglect and delay in COVID-19 containment heaped against him are completely fair or set to get even with him for people sufferings is a subject that will be debated and analysed for years into the future after the election results come out.
2. Masks : This refers to something that one wears to cover his/her face or part of face in protection. Here, in this context, it is worn for protection against COVID-19.
Voters do not have any symbol normally . This time, though, they have earned a powerful symbol thanks to COVID-19, the “Mask”. It occurs to my mind that the fight between the two candidates is more based on the “Mask”, and its usage or otherwise rather than the issues that usually drive the voters to make their choices. Hurt and anger in general that have resulted from continuous and incessant bombarding of wearing or otherwise of ‘masks’ as a public health measure to contain COVID-19 has now become the decisive issue in voters’ preference for the candidate.
President Donald Trump has shown a total disregard for the ‘masks’ for months claiming that COVID-19 will disappear ; propagating therapeutic measures of his choice ; claiming thst a vaccine will be ready by November ; espousing the cause and interests of students (opening schools) and businesses (opening dealings) ; insisting on restoration of law and order amidst protests ; and ridiculing strongly lockdown as causing damage to the economy.
In contrast, Joe Biden advocated strongly the use of ‘masks’ by everyone ( even to the extent of favouring a mandate on mask wearing ) ; listening to scientists and doctors in observing public health measures diligently ; using the vaccine only after proper safety and effectiveness confirmation ; holding the life of people more sacred than even national growth ; and not doing anything in haste to gain political advantage.
The general public perception seem to strongly favour Joe Biden and his assessment of the situation in reality. Seeing, hearing, and understanding of Joe Biden has come to be approved and admired by a large section of the people. His 10 to 12% margin of lead over President Donald Trump in polls combined with more than 74 million votes cast already reflecting the interest and higher turn out in this election bear testimony to this.
Whether President Donald Trump’s recent spate of rallies in States with huge gatherings ; whether Republican Party’s ground level operations constituting voter contact door to door making a big impact ; and whether Hunter Biden’s alleged disproportionate accumulation of wealth can tilt the voter’s behaviour in the last 5 or 6 days before the election day remains uncertain.
Voters, for the first time in a general election, have earned their symbol, in “Masks”. Mask has become synonymous with “vote” in favour of Democrats.
If Joe Biden gives the victory speech on November 3 or 4 or even later ; and stands to deliver the President’s Inaugural Address on January 20, 2020, it will be due to public “anger” and “mask” wearing.
If Joe Biden says, “what I am” is “who I am” on that day, the credit will belong to the people’s “a.m.”, that is ‘anger’ and ‘mask’ that would have elevated him to that position.
” Dieu avec nous”
Thursday, October 29, 2020 – 9.35 p.m. (IST)
Tidbit : ” What I am is usually said by the person in the context and who I am is usually said by the public “.
” Judge Amy Coney Barrett Confirmed to the Supreme Court – President Donald Trump’s Third Win ” – October 26, 2020.
President Donald Trump scored a “hat-trick” with the confirmation of Judge Amy Coney Barrett as the 115th Justice to Supreme Court tonight, Monday, October 26, 2020. President nominated her to Supreme Court on September 26, 2020, to replace late Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg on September 18, 2020.
This is one of the quickest nomination proceedings culminating in confirmation in modern times in its 231 year history.
Figure below succinctly represents the character triad exceeding credibility enabling Judge Amy Coney Barrett in getting confirmed to this highly prestigious position :
The three characteristics are : (a) Education and Experience ; (b) Judicial Reasoning Ability ; and (c) Courage and Integrity.
(a) Education and Experience : Judge Amy Coney Barrett possesses the excellent combination of academics and practice in her career with teaching and publications as Professor in Legal Education, plus Court practice with litigation/family law experience in the appellate court that cannot be ignored by anyone at the highest level. Her knowledge and interest in legal education and ability to remain fully equipped with current practices are equally well known. Her positive recognition within the worksysyem or outside in the community has been impeccable.
(b) Judicial Reasoning Ability : Her conduct during her career of maintaining a standard above what is required was in no doubt either. Even the Democratic Senator, Dianne Feinstein praised her during the confirmation process. Judge Amy Coney Barrett was open-minded, patient, and firm in her answers during the confirmation process. Add to this, her general characteristics of humility, commonsense, and compassion, the Court gets a Justice who has manifested these qualities in her academic role and profession in the past. None has questioned her Intelligence and ability to possess and apply legal rules or her ability to understand new concepts and ideas. Her respect for the Congress as the pillar of legislature vouch for this, as she had emphasized many times during the confirmation process.
(c) Courage and Integrity : Judge Amy Coney Barrett displayed positive forbearance amidst provocation during the Senate Confirmation without being offensive while remaining sensitive to the issues on which she was probed. While abiding by the tenet of Originalism, she seemed to insist on her course of actions that she would follow as an Associate Justice always following what the laws would require her to do even if it is not popular. She also averred many times in the course of the process of confirmation that she will strive to maintain integrity without being influenced by identity, status, and relationships – individual or Political.
Judge Amy Coney Barrett has now been confirmed as an Associate Justice to the Supreme Court. That she will be able to deliver active, effective, and impartial service to the public through her support for decisions for years into the future is the HOPE of every Citizen now.
As a common man with little knowledge of the subject, I write the following as I see and feel :
A special swearing in took place at the White House tonight with Justice Clarence Thomas administering the constitutional oath to Amy Coney Barrett. President, Donald Trump, spoke for a few minutes introducing both.
In today’s COVID-19 environment, any act will receive criticisms and counterviews for crowded settings or gatherings without mandated testing, wearing masks, maintaining social distance, no handshaking, and the number being less than 20 to 50. This event, nevertheless, took place while adhering to the norms with earnest. Some points here in this respect :
1. While House may have been constrained by the Public Health Measures. It must also be remembered here that this is not some act according to whims and fancies, but a regular and justifiable event in recognition of the success of the candidate at the highest level in the Supreme Court who will shoulder the responsibility with honesty, integrity, and sincerity.
2. There are restrictions placed on such events, but this is an exceptional event in the nature of “customer service”, a service to the Citizens of America here in this case.
3. Restrictions do exist, everyone agrees ; but exceptions also exist. At best, it serves as a test to the Public Health Impact to which there is no standard formulated yet – that an event of, say, a thousand persons should not have more than, say, ten numbers of infections or so.
4. Best is not to let anyone infected. But, best case scenarios are mostly non-practical and non-existent. An argument could be that the congregation should not have more than 20 persons, even to which there is no guarantee that none will be infected. Say, for example, one case in twenty is an acceptable limit – the least that one can say as a standard ; it means that in a gathering/congregation of 1000, about 50 infections are acceptable ; whether advancing such a linear scale increase in expectations are right or not is a matter to be debated.
5. So, the ideal act is not to hold a celebration of this nature at all. And hence, a symbolic swearing-in with just the Candidate, President, Chief of Swearing-in ceremony, with just a few ( five to ten) persons, would seem proper to many. But, recognising the nature of importance of this event, the congregation assembled with full observance of stringent Public Health Measures this time has to be considered as perfectly in order.
Take the case of accidents and deaths. I want to draw a parallel in this context. Elimination of accidents is not possible ; at best minimisation of victims is the guide rule in Prevention of accidents. Even in accidents we say (as Safety expert Heinrich put it) that 88% of accidents occur due to Unsafe Acts ; 10% of accidents occur due to Unsafe Conditions ; and the remaining 1 or 2 % is left to God. Elimination of infections at this juncture is not possible. Not holding the event is also not in good spirits. Let the act of God prevail, if there are any infectious cases, is the hope here.
If the September 29, 2020, event in the White House – announcement of the nomination of Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court – earned the moniker, “Super Spreader” signifying multiple spreading of the infected cases, the present event of October 26, 2020, – Constitutional Oath taking Ceremony – be christened “Cipher” with no spreading of infected cases. This is the moment of God.
” Dieu avec nous “
Tuesday, October 27, 2020 – 8.15 a.m. ( IST )
Tidbit : ” It is not the oath that makes us believe the person, but the person the oath ” – Aeschylus.
Two candidates facing one another for the last time in a debate with the Prize of President at stake : one rejuvenated after falling a victim to the Coronavirus attack himself presenting his views and policies in fundraisers and rallies in Florida, Georgia, Nevada, North Carolina, Arizona .. trying to project a more positive image of himself ; and the other with seemingly invincible poll advantage giving leeway to lessen the mass rallies but concentrating more on debate preparations.
The two candidates are the incumbent President, Donald Trump, (Republican) and former VP, Joe Biden (Democrat). Both candidates tested negative for Coronavirus prior to the debate.
With 12 days to go for the General Election on November 3, the two candidates stood 12 feet apart in their final face off to speak and influence the voters.
The debate was held at Belmont University, Nashville, Tennessee.
Kristen Welker, American TV journalist working for NBC News moderated the debate.
In the Background : (a) President , Donald Trump, was trailing in the polls by at least 10%. (b) About 46.4 million votes have already been cast. There were 222,925 deaths due to Coronavirus ; and 8,395,100 cases of Coronavirus totally in the U.S.A. now. (c) A morale boosting forceful 35 minutes speech by former President, Barack Obama, campaigning for Joe Biden at 6.30 p.m. Wednesday, October 21, 2020, in Philadelphia. (d) John Ratcliffe, Director of National Intelligence, and Christopher Wray, FBI Director, at a Press Conference at 6.50 p.m. on Wednesday, October 21, 2020, alleviating fears due to interference in the elections by Russia and Iran, which obtained information on Voters’ Registration. and (e) FDA approving Remdesivir for treatment of patients hospitalized for COVID-19. First therapeutic drug to receive the FDA approval on October 21, 2020.
There were six segments of 15 minutes each for a total of 90 minutes covering the following topics : COVID-19 ; National Security ; American Families ; Race Relations ; Climate Change ; and Leadership.
Key Highlights :
Both candidates made their cases equally well to create an identity for themselves. However, there has not been any specific plans from either for COVID-19, Immigration, Healthcare, Relief Bill, or Climate Change.
President, Donald Trump’s gist of arguments can be summarised as in the figure below :
His Leadership style will reflect the revival of Classical Approach to governance, a style that depends upon solving the problems of Citizens, be it economy, education, health, safety or environment. He will strive to preserve and protect the policies and programs initiated during his present term. Help make all Citizens reap the rewards of his initiatives. He was optimistic that Coronavirus will go away without alluding to specifics (other than a vaccine to be ready by the year end) or timeframes. Touting the termination of the individual mandate through legislature and promise to protect those with pre existing conditions, he asserted that he will run the program as well as he can. He called Joe Biden’s program as “socialised medicine”. Blaming Nancy Pelosi for his inability to pass the relief bill on time, he reminded the three bills that have earlier been passed to his credit. He listed his efforts on Criminal Justice Reform, Prison Reform, Opportunity zone bill, Tremendous resources deployed, Uplifting historically black colleges and universities, Providing 10 year long term funding – emphasizing that not since Abraham Lincoln has anybody done what he has done to the blacks. Cleanest air, cleanest water, and best carbon emission standards are his accomplishments, according to him. Voters are the final assessors.
Joe Biden’s gist of arguments can be summarised as in figure below :
Joe Biden will be a leader to all Americans with no distinction whatsoever ; he will strive to build the economy through clean energy programs ; and character, decency, and dignity on the ballot will be the deciding factor for people to vote. He opposed Donald Trump saying, ” People are not learning to live, but they are dying “, I will shut down the virus and not the country. His main argument was centered around President, Donald Trump, ignoring to be truthful in statements and not being transparent in his disclosures. Any country interfering in our elections will pay a big price, he warned. On healthcare, he promised to lower premiums, offer cheaper plans, and make drug prices affordable. Relief bill to concentrate on bailing out small businesses. Moral obligation to protection of environment, in another 8 years we may be reaching a point of no return according to scientists if actions are not taken – the reason that I am running, creation of millions of new jobs, 50000 charging stations on highways for electrical vehicles, and providing enormous opportunities to citizens are at the heart of his programs.
Joe Biden was not without his fumbling moments in this debate too. While answering the question on National Security, he first fumbled : ‘ China is going .. .. to .. .. a .. new .. .. golf course ‘. While detailing his clean energy programs : ‘ facts .. .. growing electric .. .. solar .. .. .. wind mills ‘. Again in the same segment : ‘ subsidy to .. .. the .. oil .. .. industry ‘ – just to cite three instances.
Moment of the Debate :
Donald Trump’s words in the segment on Racism in America : ” Here we go again with Russia. Is the laptop a Russia hoax ? You are kidding ” – to Joe Biden. Reminded of President Reagan’s famous words in his debate with Carter.
About Moderator :
The chaotic first debate with the criticisms that followed for days prompting the CPD to change the format with the decision to mute the microphones when the candidates speak (so audience will not hear, should there be unwanted interruptions) did make the task of the moderator less troublesome in controlling the anger, excitations, and interruptions during the debate. It was a delight to watch the orderly debate.
Conclusion : America needs a strong Government and a strong leader in this critical time. Both candidates showed positive nerves to take on the responsibility. Both in their seventies and still going strong as seen in this debate. President, Donald Trump, appeared to be strong willed. He also showed that he can be different without being aggressive in this debate. Will this make amends to his failings in the last debate ? May be, may be not. Debates are, however, over. Who will give the victory speech on November 3/4 is difficult to make based on this debate.
” Dieu avec nous “
Friday, October 23, 2020 – 10.05 a.m (IST)
Tibit : ” Stock market will bloom if I am elected ; stock market will crash if Joe Biden is elected ” – Donald Trump.
” About President Donald Trump’s Decision not to Participate in a Virtual Debate ” – October 9, 2020.
President Donald Trump possibly remaining contagious still forced the Commission on Presidential Debates to hold the 2nd Presidential debate (October 15, 2020) in a Virtual format with candidates President Donald Trump and former VP Joe Biden in remote locations, and the moderator with participants in Miami, Florida. This is to protect the safety and health of everyone involved in the debate – according to the CPD.
President Donald Trump expressed his disagreement of not doing a virtual debate, but instead holding a rally.
Former VP Joe Biden expressed his willingness to the change in debate format as announced by the CPD, but also added that he will hold a virtual town hall event in the event of President Donald Trump not accepting to participate in the deabate.
Figure below represents the fundamental debate structure in the form of a simple triad:
The basic foundation of a debate is the structure and environment provided by the debate hall/venue that will promote answers to the moderator’s questions ; opinions/views on the topics of the debate ; and the connection that the debaters expect to build with the viewers and listeners. This is what will make a perfect debate hall and environment. The two debaters and the moderator constitute the three pillars of the debate setting and it is necessary that they are physically present in the same place in any genuine debate setting. With participants in the hall of the debate already limited, the orientation of the debaters in trying to face the participants directly ( in good numbers ) remain already limited stifling the interests of debaters ( cheers of encouragement to good points, interventions, replies from the participants driving the motivation factor removed completely ).
There are some factors that need consideration here :
1. Virtual debate is not “real” and in fact disrupts the atmosphere of the debate hall. In real situations the debaters can do justice in terms of how well they can engage Peoples’ attention to non verbal cues and gestures ; reactions of aggression or otherwise to the points made ; and the force and power of rebuttals. It is the experience viewers lose when the debaters resort to face to face exchanges and rebuttals. It is also likely that viewers will feel the debate itself boring.
2. The moderator will have great difficulty leading the debaters with questions ; stopping interruptions ; controlling unnecessary exchanges and extensions ; and posing follow up questions to further explore the thoughts of debaters setting the dynamics of the debate on course. It means simply that there will be difficulty in monitoring the debate perfectly. A new challenge to the Moderator.
3. Although both the debaters of the day come with vast experience in public life – business and political – it is uncertain at this juncture as to how they will feel the “isolation” of remaining in remote places and whether that will impact their real performances even while accepting that it will be a new experience.
4. President Donald Trump avoiding the debate ( even while his decision is correct ) may well be interpreted as his personal dislike and not due to the change in format. President Donald Trump may also be squandering a chance to recover his lost ground in the chaotic first debate. ( Whether viewers will take this seriously is not known yet ). Pros and cons notwithstanding he may find support from people for his bold attitude.
5. Former VP Joe Biden’s keen interest to speak directly to people in terms of a virtual rally will likely add to the gains he has already scored in the first debate. He will be seen as being honest and sympathetic. Biden’s likeness of the CPD doing the right thing in format changes in this critical and risky times of the global pandemic may resonate well with his supporters.
IT REMAINS TO BE SEEN IF THIS IS A BLISS OR A MISERY !
” Dieu avec nous “
Friday, October 9, 2020 – 7.33 a.m. (IST)
Tidbit : ” Decision on who is the real winner will be extremely subjective in this debate, when held. “
” President Donald Trump Returns to White House from Walter Reed Medical Center on Monday ” – October 5, 2020.
President Donald Trump has been discharged from Walter Reed National Military Medical Centre on Monday evening . He was earlier admitted on Friday last. His condition at that time was marked by only mild symptoms – mild cough, mild nasal congestion, mild exhaustion, and mild fever.
Sean Conley, White House physician, said : ” President has continued to improve; he has met or exceeded all hospital discharge criteria”.
Thoughts and reactions ran wild even as the news of his contracting the Coronavirus came as a revelation earlier. His position as President entails him to the best of the best medical care available.
President Donald Trump tweeted about his condition before leaving for the hospital ; released a short video conveying the message coupled with his optimism to be back soon ; discussions and possibilities based on the 25th Amendment in the media or elsewhere were not perceived as serious (the President himself perceived that all is well ); posted a video on the second day from the hospital that he is doing well and likely resume work as early as possible ; as if to prove his point again he took a short ride in a SUV with security and waved to the people gathered on either side of the road ( the act was portrayed as unwarranted, unsentimental, and unsettling by many in the media ); and finally got discharged from the hospital to be back at the White House on Monday evening .
There has not been a clear and transparent account of the sequence of treatment afforded to him, but it may have to do with the sense of extreme security and sensitivity concerns on this issue.
The first procedure after testing (diagnosis) pertains to the information recorded from Pulse Oximeter placed on the finger (a small device). Using a beam of light it can measure the Oxygen in the blood and the heart rate. Oxygen in blood less than 95% signifies that aggressive anti viral and anti inflammatory treatment immediately. The patient needs to be isolated, monitored carefully, and be aware of the symptoms growing or otherwise.
President Donald Trump is aged 74 ; 6’3″ tall; and weighs 244 lbs. So he is at more than normal risk category. “Remdesivir”, the anti viral medicine, and “Dexamethasone”, the anti inflammatory medicine are usually administered. Remdesivir to stop viral replication and Dexamethasone to decrease disease progression and disease mortality. They, however, are not fully guaranteed in all treatments. But it is known to work better in patients who get respiratory therapy. Convalescent plasma containing a mix of antibodies from patients who have recovered from COVID-19 may also be administered. Use of blood thinner to prevent harmful clotting and organ damage has also been advised. Oxygen therapy is another one used.
Whatever be the treatment that President Donald Trump received in the hospital, the following fact and condition should be observed : Helen Boucher, Chief of the division of Geographic medicine and infectious diseases at Tufts Medical Centre in Boston calls COVID-19 as a ” Two-phase Disease”. She opined that COVID-19 patients need to be monitored closely even if they showed symptoms. The possibility, even when it is restricted to a very small proportion that patients can get sicker in the second week after contracting the virus has to be kept in mind.
President Donald Trump is back in the White House now. He appears pretty healthy and he walked with a brisk pace and steadily ; removed his mask ; offered a salute ; and smiled encouragingly. It is a good sign at this moment.
Now that he is ready and determined to perform his tasks from the White House and be willing to engage in campaign mode again, his staunch supporters and all well wishers will consider the news of his physical and mental pain in the last week as a message directly from GOD.
President, Donald Trump, needs to be cautious, nevertheless.
” Dieu avec nous “
Tuesday, October 6, 2020 – 11.49 a.m. (IST)
Tidbit : ” Don’t be afraid of COVID-19 ; Don’t let it dominate your life. ” – President Donald Trump after his return from hospital.