Well, Stephen Crane did when he wrote "The Red Badge of Courage" in 1895 and we know Trump didn't read it (because it's a book) but apparently one of his writers did and they brilliantly gave Trump a new way to spin the World's highest rate of infection (and these are the non-fictional words of the President of the United States):

"By the way, you know when you say that we lead in cases, that's because we have more testing than anybody else. So when we have a lot of cases I don't look at that as a bad thing, I look at that as, in a certain respect, as being a good thing because it means our testing is much better. So I view it as a badge of honour. Really, it's a badge of honour."

When you have to say "really" right after you say something, you KNOW the thing you said sounded like you were joking… Clearly, to the rational mind, testing doesn't cause infections. Countries that get the virus under control with less than 1.5M cases tend to do less testing. As the US infection rate hits 3M, 10M and 20M – I'm sure we'll do a lot more testing while countries that drop to a dozen cases a day will do less testing – BECAUSE THEY DON'T NEED TO! Holy cow – it amazes me that I actually have to put this kind of stuff in writing but, amazingly, a huge number of people don't understand the logic – including the President.

“At times he regarded the wounded soldiers in an envious way. He conceived persons with torn bodies to be peculiarly happy. He wished that he, too, had a wound, a red badge of courage.”

“His fingers twined nervously about his rifle. He wished that it was an engine of annihilating power. He felt that he and his companions were being taunted and derided from sincere convictions that they were poor and puny. His knowledge of his inability to take vengeance for it made his rage into a dark and stormy specter, that possessed him and made him dream of abominable cruelties. The tormentors were flies sucking insolently at his blood, and he thought that he would have given his life for a revenge of seeing their faces in pitiful plights.” - The Red Badge of Courage

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Like it or not, we are soldiers now in Trump's war on a virus and General Trump has decided, against the advice of his scientists, that the best thing to do is re-open the country – even when we don't have enough Testing or PPE or even Tracking Systems to keep things under control like other countries that have opened up.

As the other officer tossed his fingers toward his cap and wheeling his horse, started away, the general called out to him in a sober voice: "I don't believe many of your mule drivers will get back." The other shouted something in reply. He smiled. With scared faces, the youth and his companion hurried back to the line. These happenings had occupied an incredibly short time, yet the youth felt that in them he had been made aged. New eyes were given to him. And the most startling thing was to learn suddenly that he was very insignificant. The officer spoke of the regiment as if he referred to a broom. Some part of the woods needed sweeping, perhaps, and he merely indicated a broom in a tone properly indifferent to its fate. It was war, no doubt, but it appeared strange.” - The Red Badge of Courage

It's a brilliant pivot by the President, who takes the news of our 1.5 Millionth infection (a clear indication of his complete failure) and attempts to turn it into a positive. As I noted yesterday, US testing is picking up but still behind the UK, Italy and Germany in terms of how many tests per 1,000 citizens and we also have twice as many infections per 1,000 citizens and yes, more testing will reveal more cases but, until you test people extensively, how do you know the person standing next to you isn't infecting you right now?

Virus May 20 2020

“And there were iron laws of tradition and law on four sides. He was in a moving box. As he perceived this fact it occurred to him that he had never wished to come to the war. He had not enlisted of his free will. He had been dragged by the merciless government. And now they were taking him out to be slaughtered.” - The Red Badge of Courage

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The markets are up again in the Futures with the S&P (/ES) at 2,954 and we made nice money shorting below the 2,950 line yesterday in our Live Member Chat Room – along with the Nasdaq (/NQ) Futures below 9,400. None of this matters anyway as we're heading into a Holiday Weekend in the US and the beaches are open and the people are out and about – what could possibly go wrong?

Well, plenty of things and that's why we added more hedges to our Short-Term Portfolio (STP) yesterday as we'll have over 100,000 deaths to go with over 1.6M infections by Tuesday, when the markets re-open but I'm sure the Presdent will tell us those people were "heroes", who died so that our Economy could live.

After all, isn't that what Memorial Day is all about?