I was left confused by Joe Biden’s speech on COVID-19 testing last week. He has a knack for doing that to me. And, I’m sure I’m not the only one.
Our Marin County public health website says: “Testing remains a vital tool in the fight against COVID-19. In addition to providing data on how and where the virus is spreading within our community, testing also helps slow transmission by identifying cases so those individuals can stay home while they are contagious. If you are experiencing COVID-19 symptoms, we urge you to get tested as soon as possible, even if you are fully vaccinated.”
OK. That’s good advice. But in his national address last week President Biden said testing is available at “federal testing sites all over the country” and if you need testing just Google “COVID test near me.”
So, I did that. The nearest had no time available that day or the next day. The website advised me to call them, set up an appointment and the cost will be only $160.
Wait, what? The president just said the tests were free. He said “local governments and healthcare providers are passing out free at-home tests that you can pick up.” Unfortunately, he gave no guidance on where to find those “free” sites. He said, “just find out where they are.”
A reporter shouted to the president after his remarks that “People are still standing in line a mile away from the White House to get a COVID test!”
Another reporter followed up with another question: “Sir, when should we expect the tests?”
Biden said nothing and shuffled off, far, far away from those pesky reporters and their follow-up questions.
Not a good day for the president. Sadly when it comes to the war on this pandemic that’s pretty much par for the course.
A SIMPLE SOLUTION
For those in Marin following the brouhaha surrounding the arrest of Jeremy Portje at the homeless Tent City in Sausalito, it seems to me that there’s a simple solution. As you will remember, Portje was arrested for assaulting a police officer but supporters say the officer was the real problem, saying he was the aggressor and brutality may have been involved. The injuries to the officer are documented. But the District Attorney elected not to prosecute the case in part because the officer’s body camera became dislodged.
Well, hey, Portje’s camera was running throughout the encounter, I presume. Shouldn’t he release the footage? He says he’s innocent. His supporters say brutality was involved. The footage should prove that beyond any reasonable doubt. No?
Just a suggestion.
CLIMATE CHANGE AND THE NEWS
I’m sure climate change exists to some extent, so don’t call me a climate denier. But current headlines don’t always support the idea that our world is coming to a rapid end because of it. Consider that the SFChron published a story asserting that snow will completely stop falling in the Sierras because of climate change. Then, just a week later, the newspaper carried this headline on Jan. 1: “Record snowfall in the Sierra: Storms smash 51-year-old record, force closures.”
Whoa, that didn’t age well.
Then comes this headline from the L.A. Times: “Number of large wildfires linked to arson.”
You mean all of these California wildfires are NOT the result of climate change but of arsonists?
Can it be both?
WHAT I’M WATCHING
I was one of the 9 million who watched the season 4 finale of Yellowstone. If you like cowboys, a dysfunctional ranching family in the fight of its way of life, this is the show for you. It is worth the binge. It will suck you in.
I also finished Still Game, a Scottish sitcom. It took me a few episodes to get into it, but came to like it very much. You might, too. Streaming on Netflix.
(PS: You will need subtitles. The Scottish accents are too thick for American ears.)
ONE MORE THING
– This year I want to be more like Jesus and take naps on boats.
– Feb. 2 this year falls on a Tuesday. So, 2/2/22 will, indeed, be a 2s day.
– Never in the history of calm down has anyone calmed down after being told to calm down.
– Why buy it for $7 when you can make it yourself with $28 of craft supplies.
Until next week, dear readers, avoid soreheads, laugh a little and always question authority.
(Sherman Frederick is an award-winning journalist and publisher of Marin’s community newspapers — the Novato Advance, San Rafael News-Pointer, Mill Valley Herald, Ross Valley Reporter, Twin City Times and the Sausalito Marin Scope. He is co-founder of Battle Born Media, a news organization dedicated to the preservation of community newspapers. You can reach him by email at email@example.com.)