Ep. 128 – Stubborn Inefficiency | COVID-19 Stimulus & The White House Response

The Jay Doherty Podcast · Episode 128 · March 24, 2020


The COVID-19 Senate Stimulus Package

Coronavirus continues to disrupt the usually sublime functions of Earth. Thousands of businesses have closed their doors for business, tens of thousands everyday Americans have been laid off, and stock markets around the world continue to drop considerably. As Washington tries to fix the problems with Stimulus packages and purported bipartisanship, millions of Americans are struggling as a result of COVID-19. So, what should (or could) the two parties put first; efficiency in the hope of helping every affected American… or viability in the hope of pushing their respective agendas? Where does the line get drawn between the 1% brawling on Capitol Hill and the 99% of everyday Americans who are losing their jobs?

The Latest COVID-19 White House Response

Also, President Trump’s conduct so far has been particularly absurd, and we’re not even halfway through the week. What is Trump doing, how is he handling Coronavirus, and how will all of this pressure affect his position in the 2020 Presidential race?

We’ll answer all of that and more on episode 128 of The Jay Doherty Podcast.

NOTE: Lots of information has changed since the recording of this audio!


Using, copying, or redistributing these show notes in any public or private medium is a violation of copyright and theft of intellectual property. 

COVID-19 Coronavirus


Also, a compelling case to wash your hands can be found in The Atlantic here



The source of the problem continues to be the problem in many ways… but they have also maintained their halfway gotten-back-together act in some ways as well. 

In an article published in The Federalist yesterday, which I know happens to be incredibly biased to the right, Helen Raleigh, who writes as a Senior Contributor — and also happens to be a Chinese immigrant — shed light on a greatly unspoken timeline by going through how and when China knew about this virus in the fall of last year but when Chinese doctors went to inform their own government about what they’d found, a SARS-like virus, they were reprimanded by Wuhan police for “spreading rumors”. (4th Paragraph)

There are lots of articles that give this timeline; I just thought the subjectivity that Helen Raleigh provided as a Chinese immigrant was unique… and most of the data reporting came from The South China Morning Post

Moving along in the more recent (but still distant) days of the beginning of this virus, China actually acknowledged its existence internally as being something that may have spread from a fish market, as described in a separate timeline written by Forbes. (2nd to last; also come back after reading Jan. 1 timeline)

Now, this is believed  to be the cause of the virus; there are many theories as to where this thing actually originated, but the United States CDC, seems to be going along with the idea that this did indeed come from an animal market in China, even though some Trump Senate allies seem to have other, disconcerting justification

China: Origination?

Take Senator John Cornyn who said this about the virus originating from China… CORNYN 1.

Although, according to The Guardian, who is getting their information from the potentially mendacious Chinese government, China has defeated the COVID-19 virus; their numbers are dropping rapidly but they are still the country with the most cases; about 20,000 more than Italy, which trails them… so I think “defeat” is much too strong of a word… what they are referring to is the fact that China hasn’t seen any new cases in recent days, which is no sign of victory, even marginal. The only victory I would accept is this virus being totally cured and wiped off of the planet OR a vaccine to treat the virus efficaciously… both of which are either in the future or in a utopia… anyway… (1st para).


Let’s pick up from last week… so last week, I talked about some studies….

  • The International Labour Organization, which is an agency of the UN, put out an assessment saying that 25 million jobs could be lost in a worst-case COVID-19 reality. 
  • Even in the week we are in right now, it is said that 2 million jobs will be lost as a result of Coronavirus… according to The Balance, unemployment was already pretty bleak within the first quarter of this year, jumping from 147,000 unemployed to a whopping 273,000 right now
  • Everyone is fighting but the crisis of this outbreak motivates them to actually pass something efficiently, but of course that failed. Of course, the lead Republican actor in Congress right now is Mitch McConell… the lead Democrat being Nancy Pelosi… and McConell is steering the ship when it comes to proposals… in fact the government’s goal was to get this bill to pass last night, Friday 3/20, so they could sign it into law the following Monday (yesterday) to, at least try to stop the disaster this disease is going to cause (fourth para).
    • Mitch McConell said the senate is at “warp speed” trying to fix this disaster out… here is me reacting to him using that phrase last week… TJDP 1
    • That reaction still stands. If you have not listened to that episode, you can go to jay-doherty.com/127 for episode 127 or listen in your favorite podcast directory

Moving towards today… we are seeing this stimulus package push through in its “warp speed” development through The Senate… and the mismanagement of this thing by both sides is just horrifyingly remarkable.


Over the weekend, Leg. Affairs Republicans from The White House have been meeting with Senior Democrats and over the weekend and yesterday (Monday, Mar. 23), Democrats, who ultimately have control over the future of this bill, as Nancy Pelosi’s signature dictates whether or not The President will be able to sign it into law.

Before we get more into the characters in this fine story, let’s go over what the bill being proposed by President Trump’s Administration; it is a $1 Trillion package and it is more or less partitioned into four separate cash allocations, according to The U.S. Treasury.

In Trump’s plan there would be:

  • $500 Billion for cash payments to taxpayers 
    • up to $1200 for adults making under $75,000, and for couples that make less than $150,000 per year, $500 for each child who fits under those same circumstances
  • $300 Billion For small businesses
    • Less than 500 employees
  • $50 Billion in loans for airline industry
  • $150 Billion for other sectors


These numbers — and the semantics of the bill relating to these numbers — is what Congress has been fighting over for the past couple of days but the reality is that, as soon as this bill is signed, people start getting checks, regardless of whether or not Democrats or Republicans agree with one another, the interpersonal economy of this nation is jolted as a result of some stimulus package being passed… and Washington can often lose sight of the fact that there are people literally struggling to put food on the table because of this virus, and in terms of government intervention, that they (meaning Washington) is the only entity that can do anything about it. 

Which is why America, as a nation, as represented by trending Twitter hashtags is pretty angry at The Democratic Party right now, simply because people who fit in the brackets of this COVID deal, have $’s in their eyes 🙂

Going into the official trading week was when anticipation was high because everyone would, in theory, be going back to work or being laid off for work, which would be a nifty point of entry for this stimulus package, but Democrats, were stubborn about this bill… and the execution of it, which really hurt future’s markets, as CNN’s Phil Mattingly writes

The calculation is essentially this: Democrats wanted significant revisions that had been rejected the night prior. Voting down a procedural motion on a Sunday hurt futures markets and cause some Monday morning market issues, but it can quickly be overcome with a final deal. Sunday was the time to make the play to force changes. The window on this is short, however, and Democrats CNN has spoken to know a deal needs to be reached soon.

Phil Mattingly, CNN

That was their attitude going into it Monday, and they felt optimistic that they could reach a deal in the early workday today… and we are seeing the reality of that happening as I speak right now…. For updates on that, you can visit thedohertyfiles.com


Adison Mitchell McConell is the protagonist in The Stimulus package story… the only reason Chuck Schumer is not is because McConell provided the canvas for criticism in this new stimulus. McConell was quite perturbed on Sunday, to put it lightly.

  • Note: I feel like whenever any Senator(s) have to come in and negotiate/work on the weekends, they are just inherently a bit more angry… and that was confirmed this Sunday as McConell and Schumer squabble

To put it in simple terms, the entire point of these negotiations are to just show that the respective constituencies of these elected officials are represented through the helms of each of their parties — those helms being Chuck Schumer and Mitch McConell.

Endless, Often Purposeless Negotiations

The Republicans are saying, in these endless and often purposeless negotiations, that the Democrat proposal is just a partisan way to squeeze little unrelated snippets of a biased agenda into their separate stimulus bill. Here is Mitch McConell after reading off a slew of Democrat miscellany that happens to be in this bill, one of which happens to relate to MCCONELL 2… hehe, Here’s Mitch… MCCONELL 1.

Meanwhile, The Democrats are saying that the Republican proposal focuses too much on bailing out corporate companies and not the average American… here’s Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer presenting that argument… SCHUMER 1.

Both of these are valid points… and, quite frankly, they could solve 70% of their problems if they just ditched those ideas in a mutual agreement. 

Republicans could also just partition $50 billion (or more) of their “other sectors”money into their taxpayer partition, reorganize the distribution of the money, and make everyone go home happy… but in Washington, they will lose efficiency as a result of stubbornness.

In this particular case, I think the Republicans should be more willing to compromise and The Democrats should be less partisans.

What Republicans should do…

The Republicans could easily say… look, you’re right, Chuck, we don’t need to be giving a combined $200 billion to bailout corporate companies, a fourth of which going to a market who’s CEO salary among the top 4 companies in that industry is more than $11 million per year… we’ll just let the Fed keep their interest rates really low, so long as Jerry Powell is over there, so the airline companies can take out ridiculous loans that they will easily be able to pay back with the money that we gave to the average Americans who will begin to stimulate the economy and reinitiate the cycle… also, we would’ve taken a loan out regardless of whether or not you gave us this money…. That’s what I would be saying if I were an Airline Company CEO making $11 million.

What Democrats should do…

The Democrats could also acknowledge their own distracting shortcomings in their bill with provisions that don’t even relate to COVID-19 that instead include a medley of unrelated goals like… MCCONELL 3

We could talk about specifics all day… the conclusion is that there is a common problem but not a common solution.. But there is a common need for one… and in order to have a functioning government, you have to be able to compromise so all three of those boxes are checked. 

Senate negotiators cite progress on coronavirus bill after day of drama and rancor

As seen on the newsletter….



Useful and useless… Those two terms correspond to the order of the delivery of Trump’s speech at The White House yesterday… as per usual. But we’ll begin with the 62 seconds of Trump’s pre-written speech that happened to prove utilitarian… here is Trump… TRUMP 1

And that is really where there needs to be a reality check on both sides. The doctors will want to shut down the entire planet for three years in order to completely wipe the virus off the planet, and the economists (and people owning/running big companies) wouldn’t have wanted anything to have shut down in the first place. Similar to the military… you are biased towards your own craft, especially when you have facts to back up your argument. There needs to be a balance, though because when you don’t know what argument you want to win, in this case, doing things to support public health or doing things to revamp the national economy, then you turn to logic.

Logic says you cannot have one without the other. You cannot have a livelihood without a life. You cannot have the economy without a life. Which is why Trump’s fiscal inclinations to revamp American business, which is not entirely shut down by the way (lots of the world still runs digitally), is wholly dangerous. 


Point man number one throughout this entire pandemic, from the United States perspective, has been Dr. Anthony Fauci (Anthony Stephen Fauci is an American immunologist who serves as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and as a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force addressing the 2019–20 coronavirus pandemic.)

He has been at every single major White House briefing since the beginning of the virus… and, last episode, I actually said that there were really two reliable medical sources in this entire case… here is what I said last week… TJDP 2. 

The concern this time, however, is that Fauci, who has been a regular on that podium for the past couple of weeks was absent from the most recent briefing in which Trump was very persistent on pushing away scientific medical advice because of his visceral response to make money. Here is Trump being asked why Fauci wasn’t there at the briefing yesterday… TRUMP 2.

Now I think Trump and Fauci don’t get along too well behind the scenes. Trump has this overriding inclination to narcissistically interject his opinions over facts, and Fauci was probably just being candid about what could happen if we don’t slow America down for a week to recover from this virus. In fact, USA TODAY reported…

His whereabouts have become a point of interest since Fauci gave a remarkably candid interview to Science magazine, published Sunday evening, in which he admitted being at odds with Trump over several issues. And because Fauci has, for many Americans, provided a reassuring, rational voice as the coronavirus pandemic upended their lives. 


“Even though we disagree on some things, he listens. He goes his own way. He has his own style,” Fauci said in the Science magazine interview.

Code for something else?

The reason Fauci’s absence is worrisome is because it symbolically shows that Trump has a lack of regard for medical professionals… he even said on Twitter that he is basically defying doctor’s orders and putting the economy first, tweeting

America could become the epicenter, etc.

Absurdity… it cost Trump “billions” to run and is painful to be sued while millions of Americans lose jobs and the nation faces a health risk of massive proportions… just nuts… TRUMP 3.

Very dangerous times… make sure you listen this week to The JDRC Politics Podcast this week!

The phone number for this podcast is 312-625-8492. You can receive emails and newsletter updates every week at jay-doherty.com/newsletter. See show notes and episode highlights at jay-doherty dot com. Clips and highlights at The Doherty Files dot com. This has been a JD Media Network Production. Thanks for listening. 

FI: “Washington, DC – Capitol” by ComputerGuy – Wikipedia User is licensed under CC BY 2.0 

Jay Doherty