A Typical Day in the Mainland Colony Known as the District of Columbia

In the midst of this NY Times story about the White House’s and Congressional Republicans’ inability to be anything other than inconsiderate assholes about mask wearing and other basic public hygiene measures and thereby endangering the local colonials, by way of Atrios, we noticed this (boldface mine):

The federal government’s disconnect from the city in which it operates, and where many of its staff members live, was perhaps best demonstrated last weekend when a number of White House officials, some of them senior, frantically called officials at the office of Gov. Larry Hogan of Maryland for help getting tested. Mr. Hogan has been lauded for his management of the crisis. But the White House officials apparently were unaware of the city’s numerous and rapid testing sites.

While I’ve been critical at times of D.C.’s response, it’s really hard to not know about D.C.’s COVID-19 testing sites unless you have utter ignorance of D.C. The state government has done a really good job of publicizing this and making it accessible, and if you know how to use the Google machine, the top hit for “coronavirus dc” is the D.C. government coronavirus site. But when it comes to the federal government, ignorance of D.C. just means it’s another day that ends in “y.”

Of course, Trump et alia are the greatest superspreaders of them all:

The city has had about five new daily cases per 100,000 residents, leading Ms. Bowser to ponder partially reopening the city’s 51,000-student public school system next month. But the number of elected officials, staff members, reporters and others who have come down with the virus in recent weeks appears to outpace the weekly infection rate in the region, and may be worse than any single event in the district this year, health experts said.

“There’s nothing to my knowledge that replicates this other than those outbreaks in congregate settings, like the nursing homes that we saw, or the shelters,” said Amanda D. Castel, a professor of epidemiology at George Washington University who has long worked with the D.C. health department.

There was concern earlier in the summer of outbreaks that might arise from the large-scale protests in downtown Washington, she said, but no major occurrences appeared in the data.

Of course, why limit it to personal irresponsibility?

Even more concerning than events at the White House or in Congress, city officials said, is that the National Park Service has been issuing permits for large events on the National Mall, including a prayer march in September and a Women’s March group event planned for Oct. 17. A Park Service spokeswoman could not explain why the permits were issued against the prohibition on groups over 50 or if any local park departments were offering permits against local guidelines.

“The N.P.S. continues to work with federal, state and local partners across the country to ensure applicable activities on public lands are permitted with the necessary safety measures in place and will continue to do so,” said Jenny Anzelmo-Sarles, the Park Service’s chief spokeswoman.

I realize most people outside of D.C. view statehood as a way to gain two Democratic senators, but for us colonials, it’s about much more. Like our health and lives.

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