America’s ‘sad state of affairs,’ captured in one disturbing chart

Josh Brown sounds pretty down on the whole political structure in the United States.

“I don’t see myself ever joining one of the political parties because the more I see of partisanship, the more I come to the conclusion that ‘membership’ in any organized group forces you into positions and postures that require the shutting down of your brain,” he wrote.

That doesn’t mean the Ritholtz Wealth Management adviser, who has gained internet acclaim as the Reformed Broker blogger, is hesitant to air his grievances with the powers-that-be. On the contrary, he used this chart from JPMorgan Chase

to illustrate the “sad state of affairs and utter lack of competence and unity in the face of the crisis”:

MW IL383 Screen 20200729113002 NS

That chart was accompanied by this comment from JPMorgan’s Michael Cembalest, which Brown said “represents the failure of our current leadership to a tee”:

At a recent party conference meeting, GOP Representatives reportedly called on Liz Cheney (R-Wyo, who votes with Trump positions 97% of the time) to resign or be removed as House Republican Conference chair for simply supporting NIAID director Dr. Anthony Fauci in public. This [insert your own adjective here] anecdote may be as good an explanation for the U.S. infection gap with the rest of the developed world as any data-driven analysis I have seen to date.

Brown hailed Cembalest’s take as the “quote of the day” and then offered his own color on the failures of those running the coronavirus response.

“I don’t think you can have 50 states’ governors issuing 50 sets of diverging orders on 50 different timetables and come out with a satisfactory response to a virus that doesn’t respect or recognize borders,” he wrote. “Other countries tackled this as a health emergency. We treated it as just another excuse to fight with each other. We were failed by the people in charge and by our fellow Americans.”

Brown added in his blog post that, if and when our children don’t go back to school this fall, “you will be doubly reminded of this objective, undeniable fact.”

Meanwhile, the global tally of confirmed coronavirus cases climbed above 16.7 million on Wednesday, according to the latest figures aggregated by Johns Hopkins University, and the death toll rose to 660,748. At least 9.7 million people have recovered.

The U.S. saw its number rise to 4.35 million with a death toll of 149,258. A report from the White House Task Force created to manage the pandemic says 21 states are in the “red zone,” meaning they have seen more than 100 new cases per 100,000 people in the past week.

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