Coachella Valley Independent

Indy Digest: April 24, 2023

Three years ago yesterday, we all witnessed one of the dumbest and most insane moments in presidential history.

The moment, which came during a COVID-19 press briefing, was memorialized in this video by comedian Sarah Cooper, whose lip-sync parodies of President Trump provided some much-needed laughs during the darkest moments of the shutdowns.

YouTube video

Here’s how The New York Times reported on what happened:

After the administrator, William N. Bryan, the head of science at the Department of Homeland Security, told the briefing that the agency had tested how sunlight and disinfectants—including bleach and alcohol—can kill the coronavirus on surfaces in as little as 30 seconds, an excited Mr. Trump returned to the lectern.

“Supposing we hit the body with a tremendous—whether it’s ultraviolet or just very powerful light,” Mr. Trump said. “And I think you said that hasn’t been checked, but we’re going to test it?” he added, turning to Mr. Bryan, who had returned to his seat. “And then I said, supposing you brought the light inside the body, either through the skin or some other way.”

Apparently reassured that the tests he was proposing would take place, Mr. Trump then theorized about the possible medical benefits of disinfectants in the fight against the virus.

“And then I see the disinfectant where it knocks it out in a minute—one minute—and is there a way we can do something like that by injection inside, or almost a cleaning?” he asked. “Because you see it gets in the lungs and it does a tremendous number on the lungs, so it would be interesting to check that.”

And of course, we all remember what came next. The New York Times said:

Mr. Trump’s comments prompted an explosion of warnings about the dangers of any improvised remedies. Emergency management officials in Washington State posted a warning on Twitter. “Please don’t eat tide pods or inject yourself with any kind of disinfectant,” they wrote, before urging the public to rely only on official medical advice about COVID-19. “Just don’t make a bad situation worse.”

The maker of the disinfectants Lysol and Dettol also issued a statement on Friday warning against the improper use of their products. “As a global leader in health and hygiene products, we must be clear that under no circumstance should our disinfectant products be administered into the human body (through injection, ingestion or any other route),” the company said.

Folks, the news can be pretty daunting and horrifying these days. But at least we’re no longer in an era when disinfectant manufacturers and emergency management agencies are issuing statements telling people to neither inject disinfectants nor stick ultraviolent light sources into one’s body—because the president of the United States went on television and seriously implied that such actions could possibly kill a deadly virus.

—Jimmy Boegle

From the Independent

Coachella 2023: Local Art, Big Stage—The Coachella Art Studios Space Features Local Artists and Gives Attendees a Place to Get Creative

By Matt King

April 22nd, 2023

Local artist Sofia Enriquez helps make Coachella Art Studios, inside the festival’s camping hub, a safe place for attendees to play and express their creativity.

Coachella 2023: Six Things Overheard at the Festival

By Matt King

April 24th, 2023

Seeing as each Coachella weekend draws an estimated 125,000 attendees, from all around the world, you’re gonna hear some interesting things.

Coachella 2023: Indio’s Everbloom Coffee Serves Local Latte Love at Coachella’s Indio Central Market

By Matt King

April 24th, 2023

Indio’s Everbloom Coffee was featured inside Coachella’s main food court area along with more than a dozen other restaurants from locales ranging from Los Angeles to New York.

A Dark ‘Evil Dead’: The Latest Film in the Franchise Feels a Bit Rote, but It Delivers Scares and Gore

By Bob Grimm

April 24th, 2023

Evil Dead Rise delivers as a pitch-black splatter-fest, although it may leave fans of the franchise feeling a little unfulfilled.

More News

One of the big news stories of the day is that Tucker Carlson was let go by Fox News. The New York Times explains why that happened: “Mr. Carlson was given no heads-up that his time at Fox News had drawn to an end, according to two people with knowledge of the timing of the conversation. The anchor was told of the network’s decision on Monday morning, and his senior executive producer, Justin Wells, was also out of a job. … Mr. Carlson is also facing a lawsuit from a former Fox News producer, Abby Grossberg, who claims that he presided over a misogynistic and discriminatory workplace culture. Ms. Grossberg said in the lawsuit, which was filed in March, that on her first day working for Mr. Carlson, she discovered the work space was decorated with large pictures of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi wearing a swimsuit.”

The Los Angeles Times has followed up on a story broken last week by The Desert Sun about the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department doing a very dumb thing: “An ’embarrassing’ Riverside County Sheriff’s Department sting operation gone wrong last week put 60 pounds of methamphetamine in the hands of a narcotics trafficker, the department has admitted. Narcotics investigators with the department were hoping to identify drug traffickers Wednesday during an undercover operation, the Sheriff’s Department said. Deputies posing as wholesale drug sellers met with a suspect who wanted to buy 27 kilos of the powerful stimulant, they said. The deputies sold the street drug to the suspect, who promptly drove away from the undercover law enforcement team, according to the department. … ‘Why would you let someone get in their vehicle, I don’t know,’ said Michael Lujan, a retired captain with the Riverside Sheriff’s Department who lost the election to be sheriff to Chad Bianco last year. ‘It is pretty embarrassing. It’s unfortunate because now we have additional narcotics out on the street.’”

• The Montana Legislature is taking extraordinary steps to silence a lawmaker—simply because she’s transgender, and she dared criticize the Republican leadership. The Associated Press reports on the ongoing story: “As Republican leaders in the Montana Legislature doubled down on forbidding Rep. Zooey Zephyr from participating in debate for a second week, her supporters interrupted proceedings in the House by chanting, ‘Let her speak!’ Zephyr … had aimed to speak on a proposal that would have restricted when children could change the names and pronouns they use in school and required their parents’ consent. … The ordeal is the latest development in a three-day fight over Zephyr’s remarks against lawmakers who support of a ban on gender-affirming care. Zephyr, who is transgender and a first-term Democrat from Missoula, hasn’t been allowed to speak on the statehouse floor since Thursday because she told her Republican colleagues last week they would have ‘blood on their hands’ if they banned gender-affirming medical care for transgender youth.

• The 2026 governor’s race has begun, because sure, why not. The Sacramento Bee reports: “California Lt. Gov. Eleni Kounalakis on Monday became the first candidate to enter the race to succeed Gov. Gavin Newsom as the state’s leader in 2026. Kounalakis, who was first elected lieutenant governor in 2018, kicked off her gubernatorial campaign to become the first woman to lead the state. The move, announced more than three and a half years before the election, allows Kounalakis to get an early jump on the rest of the field.”

• Here’s a story tangentially related to our story last week about the fact that the Coachella Valley—and the rest of the state as a whole—will not be getting a new California State University campus anytime soon. Our partners at Calmatters say: “As two California higher education systems continue to feud, lawmakers have entered the equation using a route usually reserved for irate retirees: a strongly worded letter. The matter at hand—the 1,300-student Feather River College in rural Plumas County offering a bachelor’s degree in applied fire management—has become a lightning rod issue, sparking delays and anger on both sides. … (The) objection stems from the Master Plan for Higher Education California adopted in 1960 and tweaked occasionally since. In that plan, the University of California system has sole jurisdiction to award doctorate degrees; the UC and CSU systems should both award bachelor’s degrees; and community colleges are supposed to function as vocational instruction, plus undergraduate education for students who then transfer to a UC or CSU. The crux of the current kerfuffle is a law that went into effect last year that allows the Community College Chancellor’s Office to establish as many as 30 new bachelor’s degree programs every year at any one of its 116 colleges, with certain caveats. Most importantly, the bachelor’s degree program cannot be ‘duplicative’ of ‘existing baccalaureate programs offered by state universities.’”

• And finally … CNN takes a look at the fact that, now more than ever, Americans are REALLY into buying guns: After talking about two friends at a New York shooting range, the story says: “Jenn and Shelby are part of a growing number of Americans, particularly women and people of color, on an extended national gun shopping splurge—many for the first time. The heightened interest in guns comes amid a horrific spate of mass shootings and—according to the CDC’s most recent figure—firearm fatalities that outnumbered motor vehicle traffic deaths, 48,830 to 45,404. … The number of both state and national instant criminal background checks—required before one can purchase a gun and a rough indicator of how many people are either purchasing or possibly being issued a gun permit—surged during the pandemic from under 30 million to nearly 40 million, according to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.”

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Jimmy Boegle is the founding editor and publisher of the Coachella Valley Independent. He is also the executive editor and publisher of the Reno News & Review in Reno, Nev. A native of Reno, the Dodgers...