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What Are Six Steps to Writing?

The Riddle Report 04 20 2021

This blog is written to help new authors or those contemplating the idea of writing a book.

If you are thinking about whether to write a book or not, don’t be afraid to step out. While there are thousands of writers out there, there is no one quite like you. And we need to see your work.

What follows are six steps to help you get started. These are not in-depth, and they are not all that difficult. But I believe that you should take them to heart.

#1 – The Concept

The Basics of the Story

A story has to start somewhere and that is usually in the mind of the author. Perhaps it is a childhood memory, college years, military service, or simply a job. All of these are potential sources of plots.

You may only know a ‘what if?’ concept or perhaps a specific event in your own life that has triggered an idea for a story. While I am primarily talking about a fictional story, you could also want to write a nonfiction account of your experience.

#2 – The Research

Beginning Research

I call it Beginning Research because research is something you will need to do a lot of throughout your writing. But here you are performing some basic research to get you off on the right foot.

Some of the research you will do is as follows:

  • What is the uniqueness of the subject?
  • Has someone else already written on the subject?
  • What genres will it be in?
  • Is it fictional or nonfiction?

You get the idea. These are areas that you should consider, and you will probably come up with other areas. And none of the above will probably ever get in your book. But they will help you formulate your ideas.

Other areas of research may cover location of the story (i.e., Florida, Maine, etc.), type of industry in area, manner of speech and dress in the area, and so forth. The answers to these questions will have a direct impact upon your story.

In short, research is a valuable tool that you can use to help you throughout writing your book and, indeed, throughout your writing career.

#3 – First Draft

Your initial Work

New authors often fall in love with their first drafts because they poured their hearts into it. But you should always consider the first draft as a rough draft not meant for publication. No matter how much effort you put in this first draft it is going to require work.

I have never met an author who wrote a first draft and successfully published it. Someone out there may claim they have done so, but I can almost guarantee you that the draft is full of errors.

#4 – Review and Edit

Edit or not?

Some writers don’t edit until they have finished the first draft, others like to edit every page. Neither approach is wrong. But I would suggest that making use of your built-in grammar checker can be a help. But it is critical to remember that the grammar checker does not know whether you are writing an academic paper, which requires very stringent grammar, or a novel, which is not that stringent.

The other thing to remember about grammar programs is that they know the rules, but those rules are aimed at the academic level. Plus, the program does not know you are writing a novel, does not know your plot, does not know the education level of your characters, and so forth. So, use the grammar checker as a tool and interpret its concerns accordingly.

That said, I recommend that you strike a balance between constant editing and waiting until the end. Edit is necessary, but too much of a good thing can disrupt your flow of thoughts. In this first draft your story’s development is the most important thing going on. And when you finish your first draft you will find it necessary to go back over the entire book and check out your spelling, grammar, and other issues that may pop up. You find these issues by reading your draft. It is called reviewing.

What you are doing for each draft is reviewing and editing. And it may take several drafts before your book is ready to be published.

#5 – Get Help

Professional Help

After you have finished the first draft and done your review & edit, you can then write your next draft. But after you third or fourth or fifth draft you may realize that you need help.

The temptation is too do it all by yourself. And the hard truth is that even your very best authors don’t publish error free books. I know, I’ve read some of the best and still found errors. Sometimes minor and sometimes major. When you are talking about thousands of words, the likelihood of errors increases even when you use professional help.

But you don’t necessarily need professional help. Consider relatives or friends. But make sure they understand that you need honest reviews. It is not helpful if they tell you what they think you want to hear. What you need are another pair of eyes.

Even so, if you are on a tight budget, you may not be able to do that because if someone helps you out like that you should do something for them. If you are on a tight budget you may have to do it yourself, in which case, I would suggest that you take a breather after finishing a draft and do something else. Then go back and reread your story. You might consider reading with a view for spelling errors, such as ‘their’ instead of ‘there’. Then, reread the story and look at the grammar.

But if you go the do-it-yourself-approach, remember that you are the author and know what you think you wrote. Your mind might trick your eyes into seeing the words that you thought you wrote instead of the words you really wrote.

More about this issue on the other side of this break. TR-WritingServices.com brings you this blog post or podcast to help you be your absolute best as a writer.

The problems associated with self-editing are why there are professional editors out there. We exist to help you prepare your book for publishing. We read your book thoroughly looking for errors in grammar, spelling, etc. Then we work with you to improve the story.

In fact, if we are doing the editing, we do so with your story in mind. And not only your story, but your writing style. It is unique to you and we believe it should be preserved. So, we edit and proof the book, then we make sure you are happy with the results. Only when you are happy, and it meets the requirements of KDP is the book published.

And you haven’t spent a fortune to have it done.

Now back to the article.

#6 – Getting Published

Kindle Direct Publishing

At TR Writing Services we use KDP because they:

  • Allow the author to have total control except for a few technical issues
  • Allow you to determine your royalties, which range from 35% to 70%
  • Pay directly to an account you indicate
  • Provide you a large potential readership
  • and much more.

There are self-publishing companies out there that you should learn about. Don’t be confused by the term self-publishing. It does not mean that you have control over the publishing process. They do. And if you want them to edit your book, you may be giving up any control you have there as well.

But there are publishing criteria that you need to check out. One is the book cover.

It is important that after all the work you have put in to the book that your cover be good. And you have some options.

  • KDP gallery, which provides templates and pictures
  • Professional designers who will design a book cover for you

The KDP gallery should not be ignored. They have a small amount of pictures that may fit your need. I wish they would expand that gallery. However, they also have preset templates for book covers which allows you to upload your own pictures, such as designed for you or you purchased off the internet. Some designers will design the back cover for you but unless these people are KDP certified it could prove difficult. So, take the time and find out if they have worked with KDP, because KDP has criteria that must be met.

Professional designers offer their services at varying prices. Just because someone offers their services at a high cost does not mean that their services are better than anyone else’s. Check out their work.

Here’s thought. Why not make use of istock, pexels, pixabay, or others. Then upload to KDP the picture you bought or downloaded. Then let KDP do the rest.

I’ve done it. They also let you upload of bio picture of yourself along with a short biography and a description of the book. Then they let you know if you need to do more work on any of those items. When done, you have a quality book cover.

There you have it. Six basic steps to help you get started. There are several more items we didn’t discuss, such as ISBN, color vs. B&W, and more. But KDP will work with you on that as will just about any publisher that exists.

Find out the difference between Traditional Publishing, Self-Publishing, and Indie Publishing. I’ve written about this subject in the past. And remember this, Indie Publishing means you have more responsibility, better royalties, and, of course, more work to do. Why not be an Indie?

If you are listening to this podcast, it has been brought to you by T&R Independent Bookstore. We want to be your local bookstore and we are located on the internet at tr-writingservices.com. Drop in and check us out.

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Videos on a Budget

The Riddle Report 03 25 2021

We’ve all experienced working on a tight budget. It usually isn’t fun. But I’ve come to the conclusion that you can lay a foundation for when the fun begins. And you can achieve goals even though on a budget.

In a sense we are always on a budget. Even when you have a lot of money you are budgeting where that money goes. But our human nature is such that we sometimes get swayed into spending more money than we should on different items.

In today’s blog, I am addressing using videos as a way to augment your business. There are a lot of tempting products out there that are yelling at you and telling you that you MUST have them. They sound attractive and the need seems to be great if you want to compete with the big boys.

Like most authors I have looked at the idea of marketing my books and/or services via videos. I’ve experimented and learned a lot, especially over the last year. I am now investing my time into creating videos that not only market my products but provide information that can help others be better authors and Indie businesspersons.

All in all, the video industry is growing and becoming a needful place to be if you want to see your business grow. What you see on the Internet are very successful people with fancy equipment and studios, but they didn’t start that way. We all, or at least most of us, start small and grow. And that usually means we start with a small or tight budget. Today’s blog is directed at you.

Go High Tech or Basic

One of the most interesting questions is whether to go high tech or Basic. By Basic I mean using the equipment you already own. Let’s take a look.

News Item #1 Overview.

  1. The Budget – For a new or struggling author budgeting is king! And even after you succeed you need to follow a budget. I mentioned that above. The fact is that lack of money is a huge factor controlling what you can and cannot do.
  2. Computer Camera – Not so long-ago computers with built-in cameras were not of very good quality. The picture was not all that sharp, picture stability was not good, and the resulting video was not something you wanted for your business. But times have changed! Nowadays, you can buy a middle of the road computer and it will come with a decent built-in camera. It is certainly not on the level of a camera that costs hundreds of dollars, but it is good enough for advertising clips, instructional videos, and the like.
  3. Cell Phone Cameras – You could almost copy and paste the comments I made above. Cell phone cameras have come a long way. I plan on buying a new phone in the near future and I am already excited about the possibilities I will have with the new camera (or cameras as some phones have multiple camera lenses). When reading someone’s evaluation of a cell phone camera and you see “It’s OK”, don’t let that turn you down. You don’t know the reviewers background or needs. I suspect they often are more demanding than most of us are or need to be.
  4. Award Winning Video – It is important to remember that you are not trying to win an award for your video. You are creating a video for a particular purpose, such as teaching or marketing.
  5. Studio – Many of the videos you watch show the person surrounded by expensive equipment and a large studio. But you don’t need expensive equipment nor a large studio. The studio can be the corner of your living room, a converted bedroom, or some other place in your house.
  6. Presentation – This is what is important and what I address below.

News Item #2 There are 3 basic parts to Presentation.

If budget is the King, then Presentation is the Queen. You can have the best equipment, and the best studio and still stink!

Presentation consists of 3 parts: Visual, You, and Message.

  1. Visual – This includes anything that the eye perceives. However, I am zooming in on office appearance while your appearance will be dealt with separately. As stated earlier, the studio can be anywhere, and it can vary in size. I’ve seen large studios and small studios and they all seem to work. I have found that a small studio can dramatically be changed by simply adding a display of books in the background, a banner on the wall, or anything that adds color and may represent your message.
  2. You – I think this is the second most important part of your video (message being #1).
    1. How does the viewer see you? A long time ago I realized I wasn’t Prince Charming. No matter how I dress I will never be a magnetic person, but I can dress for success and that isn’t as hard as you may imagine. The next time you watch a video that is teaching or selling, note the speaker’s manner of dress. They don’t dress like a slob nor do they dress like they are going to a White House event! Generally, they dress casually. In my case I dress casually, which in my case that means no coat and tie. There was a time I dressed in a tie, but eventually that went. From videos I’ve watched the casual approach is best. I also try to be consistent in style of clothing.
    1. Don’t feel speech must be letter perfect. Your viewer needs to hear and understand your speech, but you are not trying to win a speech award.
    1. Don’t need to be a star. The message is the star!
    1. Be Genuine.
    1. Speak clearly.
    1. Be enthusiastic, but not overbearing.
  3. Message – This is the most important part.
    1. Your message should be short. Usually around 10 minutes or less. Some of my teaching videos have gone over 10 minutes out of necessity, but I recommend you keep it shorter.
    1. Be Direct – Whether selling or teaching you want your message to be clear and less distracting as possible. I have tossed videos simply because of a coughing spasm, a momentary pause in my speech, or other seemingly mild interruptions just because they were distracting.
    1. Be honest – Don’t make claims you can’t back up. I have watched videos where the speaker practically promised the product would do wonders for the viewer. It is better to show or tell them what they need to know and let them connect the dots.
    1. Don’t Brag – This is related to being honest. When you brag about what you have done you can be irritating, but you are suggesting that if the viewer does what you what them to do, they will have the same success. You can’t really prove that. If they think they can do better, that is one thing, but bragging (especially showing bank accounts) could be a can of worms if they buy your product or service and it doesn’t perform as advertised.

News Item #3 Conclusion

I believe I have found the best way: start with what you have and build upon it!

Namely, start with the current equipment you have, yourself, and your message. Yes, you will make mistakes, but you can redo a video. That is one reason for keeping them short. You can also do really short clips and when you have them all done, use an editor to make one complete video.

As you move forward, your message will be refined and stronger, you will be more relaxed and composed, and the equipment will improve.

Get free Guide to Writing at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

Subscribe to Author Alerts (click and submit signup form)

For information about us (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”) contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com and get our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

AUTHOR’S PAGE: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

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R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld and his Parler page is authorriddle.

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Non-Election News

The Riddle Report 12 07 2020

While the Presidential election fraud cases wind their way through the court system to the Supreme Court, I thought it appropriate to take a break and report on other news matters. So, what follows covers wide ranging subjects.

Covid-19

This issue continues to dominate the news. In my opinion, while it is serious it is no longer the danger it once was. It doesn’t help that the media and selected doctors talk about a second wave when such a second wave is hard to find. I haven’t been following Europe, but here in America the spikes have appeared to be in areas where Covid-19 wasn’t a major factor earlier. An exception would be nursing homes, which is another story.

Take the Death Rate. It is by far the most important factor, but it is continually under-reported. For example, while the Cases are spiking, the Death Rate continues to fall. In today’s paper the deaths and cases reported turn out to have a death rate of 0.0191 or 1.91% for the nation and 0.0184 or 1.84% for Florida. It keeps going down as the cases go up.

This suggests that while there are record setting daily deaths the overall death count has stabilized and is falling. How can that be? Well, it is hard to tell but watching the news carefully you might detect that many of the spikes are in areas not previously hit. In a recent blog I mentioned Findlay, Ohio. They have been hard hit, but I saw a chart that showed the virus as negligible prior to that. And, in my opinion, that is not a second wave, it is the first wave hitting new territory.

Clearly, this is evidence that we are past the worst which was rising cases and rising deaths.  But that doesn’t fit the media agenda, so we just continue to hear about negative news that supports that agenda, which I think is to push for more government control of our lives.

I agree that social distancing and wearing masks are helpful, but mandates are not. In some cases where the spikes have hit, you see people masked and social distancing, plus you learn the community is tough on people who don’t. Yet, they are hit as bad or worse than those who don’t mandate.

The overall news when it includes a rapidly declining Death Rate is good news. And the soon to arrive vaccine is better news. I would anticipate that they might use the vaccine in highly impacted areas first. We already know they will be used with first responders, but they should also be used in the hardest hit areas.

Iran

Trying to take advantage of our election woes, Iran is planning to increase oil production within the next 3 months. They are anticipating a Bide/Harris win and the restoration of the Obama era nuclear accords.

And indeed, former Vice President Biden, who currently leads President Trump in assumed electoral votes, has indicated he wants to bring Iran back into the disastrous accord he brokered under President Obama. In connection with this, it is also believed that the Biden/Harris Presidency will ban fracking, which would increase Iran’s value as a supplier of oil products. It would also increase unemployment at home and make us more reliant on Mideast oil.

SpaceX

SpaceX has entered a new phase in their space program. With a newer and bigger Dragon capsule supply ship, they will supply the International Space Station (ISS) with Christmas presents, tracts, and treats. SpaceX expects to always have at least one Dragon capsule at the ISS supplying the station with necessary goods.

While NASA was energized under the Trump Administration it is unknown what plans the Biden/Harris team has if they get elected. Assuming the fraud cases are eventually successful upon reaching the Supreme Court, and the trajectory is going as expected, then the space program will remain in safe hands.

Distance Learning

Distance Learning is not new. It has been around awhile, particularly on the college level. But Home Schoolers often make use of it rather successfully. So, when Covid-19 hit it wasn’t a surprise when the public schools decided to use DL. But it has been a surprise that they have had troubles with it.

In this mornings paper there was an Associated Press story detailing the problems they are having with Distance Learning. After reading the article I find myself asking some questions. Now, remember that while I am not a teacher, I have been around Christian private schools, I know people who Home School, and my wife had Distance Learning in college. And I have taken online courses before.

So, it is not that hard to learn. It does take self-discipline and a computer connection. It also takes teachers who know how to supervise students over the internet. So, why these problems?

Skipping Assignments – That suggests lack of control by the teachers. Some seem concerned about marking a student down and giving them a zero. The poor child might feel bad. But skipping assignments should never be an option. And in this day of Zoom, etc., you can interact with the student one-on-one.

Camera off – Also lack of control. Kids today know how to turn the camera on. Classroom (even though on the internet) discipline should be exercised. The student must be seen as well as the teacher. If they don’t turn their camera on, they get a lower grade.

Skipping School for the day – Come on! Did you allow that in the physical classroom?

Unfortunately, our public-school education system has not been well for years. We are a third-class country in education. The usual suggestions for improvement are smaller class sizes, easier grading, etc. I suggest that the students would do better if the teachers insisted that they learn. Back when I was a child, the teacher ran the classroom.

The ‘experts’ don’t really know why all this is happening and probably don’t agree with my suggested solutions (above), but their methods certainly haven’t worked.

Pearl Harbor Day

Today is the 79th anniversary of Pearl Harbor where over 2,400 military and civilian lives were lost and some 1,200 wounded. It was a cowardly sneak attack that brought America into a world war. The Japanese expected it to keep America on the sidelines; instead, it led to the demise of their empire!

America responded with power and determination. And this is how America has always responded when under attack. Today America is under attack from within. It is not just the attempted steal of an election, it is the wholesale attack on our education, free enterprise, and our representative democracy. To honor those who have fought and died for our country we owe it to them to stand up for what is right. If you are a Christian, I ask you to pray that God will intervene and not let the liberals destroy our country. But more than that, we need a return to God nationally, corporately, and personally.

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R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Confusing COVID-19 Data

The Riddle Report 12 04 2020

Covid-19 Cases Up!

Covid-19 Hospitalizations Up!

Covid-19 Deaths Up!

Covid-19 Death Rate Down!

How can that be?

Perhaps this strikes me more than you since I’ve worked with numbers most of my life. But logic tells me that if Cases, Hospitalizations, and Deaths are up then so should the Death Rate.

What is the Death Rate?

The Death Rate is simple division. You take the Total Numbers of Deaths-to-Date and divide that number by the Total Number of Cases-to-Date. For Example, today’s published deaths for this year-to-date are 275,550 while the published cases for this year-to-date are 14,086,016. When you divide the Cases into the Deaths you get 0.01956 or 1.96% which is lower than last March’s high of 2.04%.

Now, even if you compensate for the lag time, generally considered 2 weeks although it could be longer, you still get a plunging death rate.

The Numbers Don’t Add UP

It makes one suspicious when such discrepancies occur. If all three (cases, hospitalizations, and deaths) are up then it stands to reason that the death rate would also be up. Anyone can figure out the death rate, but we are dependent upon CDC and others (including the news media) to keep us informed.

So, What is Happening?

It looks to me like someone is not being honest. Like I said, the numbers aren’t adding up. We know for a fact that the cases are up in certain areas of the country. We also know that hospitalizations are up in certain areas of the country. And it is possible that deaths are up in certain parts of the country.

What I suspect is that these ‘certain areas’ are not all the same. For example, cases are up in Findlay Ohio? Are hospitalizations and deaths? For Hancock County (where Findlay is located) the deaths are 46 year-to-date and cases are 2845 year-to-date for a death rate 1.62%. However, the week-to-week increase was more around 15% for deaths. And that may explain the differences.

The News Media Reports Week to Week

When you do that you make things seem far worse than they are. The only true gauge, in my opinion, is month to month or, better, year-to-date. Year-to-date takes into account lag time between cases and related deaths. It doesn’t focus on spikes but on overall trends.

Isn’t This A Second Wave?

That is what they tell us. But getting back to Hancock, Ohio the chart (not shown here) shows very little in the way of cases and deaths until just recently. And the report I looked at today shows a sudden drop off to 0 cases for the last two days. To me this means it is still the First Wave which hadn’t really hit the area earlier. But it sounds more alarming when you call it a second wave instead of a spike.

Again, a longer time span is more instructive than a short one. And a large area is also more instructive. This is great for us trying to understand the trends, but for individuals and families with Covid-19 they are in the now and trends don’t mean much.

So, Why the Difference?

In my opinion, it is because it serves the news media’s agenda to publish the more alarming data. And it justifies the liberal politicians’ pursuit of total lockdowns and mask mandates.

Are We Going to have Mask Mandates?

It looks like it in some communities. I, personally, am not opposed to wearing masks and social distancing. Of the two, I believe social distancing is more effective. Both together may be even more effective. But extreme measures are not warranted and so far, if you look at the states with stringent rules, it doesn’t work.

I believe that President Trump hit the nail on the head when he said, repeatedly, ‘you cannot have the cure worse than the disease’.

Common Sense is in Short Supply.

Common sense tells you that taking precautions such as wearing a mask and social distancing may help friends, neighbors, and relatives. These should not be mandated. Period. I am glad that the Supreme Court stepped in and by all appearances gave a unanimous decision striking down California’s war on churches. The state was willing to throw the rights of the people and the rights of churches under the bus, but the court said, ‘No’.

Liberal politicians are using ‘panic’ to further their political agendas. And that is wrong. Don’t believe me. The Democratic controlled House of Representatives waited until after the election to compromise on the Relief Bill. They could have done so before the election, but they waited until it appeared that Biden won.

Did Biden Win?

That’s another subject but the evidence that the news media says doesn’t exist is so overwhelming that there is serious doubt about a Biden win. Now that the lawsuits are moving into the federal court system and away from the state courts (primarily controlled by Democrats) the issues and the evidence are being taken seriously.

Will We Ever Know the Truth About Covid-19 and the Election?

Those are two different issues. It is possible there are connections, but I am treating them as separate. The truth about Covid-19 will take time. There is ample evidence the virus while deadly is not nearly as deadly as the media reports. How deadly is a matter of looking back over time. But yes, I think we will eventually know the truth.

As for the Election, the answer to that will come much faster. You have courts and state legislatures (who are the only ones with the final say according to the U.S. Constitution) that are already investigating. And don’t forget we have a Senate runoff election coming up in Georgia. That is already stirring up legal scrutiny.

But they must decide these things soon to determine who leads our country for the next four years. My own opinion is that President Trump will emerge as having won the election. But only God knows the truth right now.

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Thanksgiving

The Riddle Report 11 18 2020

So, now the government wants us to forego Thanksgiving. Governors are not only suggesting it, but some are going Orwellian and threatening jail time. We Americans have the right to assemble in our churches and in our homes to worship and thank God for His blessings.

Shouldn’t we be careful though?

Should we be careful? Of course, but suggesting we limit the size of family that visits us or that we insist on testing is going too far. That is the politics of fear. I understand that the cases have been spiking and some hospitals are having difficulties. But the nation as a whole is experiencing a decline in the death rate. That means that the virus is still deadly, but less so than it was in May when the death rate hit its highest level at 5.8%. It is now down to 2.23% and dropping.

What about locally?

Here in Florida the cases have risen to 897,323 since January and 17,644 deaths for a death rate of 1.97%. Meanwhile Texas has year-to-date cases of 1,078,875 and 20,147 deaths for a death rate of 1.87%. With the media constantly emphasizing the case load and the total number of deaths it lends itself to creating panic. It is a case of overreaching by the media and perhaps by some politicians seeking their own glory.

It might also be noted that now there are effective measures in place to help people who contract the virus. It is not like it was in the period of March thru May. Doctors have the tools, hospitals can order the supplies needed, and the government can get these supplies to the hospitals. One more thing to consider. The media points to the fact that 11 million people have contracted the disease and 245,000 have died. But the total population as of 2019 was 328 million.

What does that mean?

It means that only 3.35% of Americans have contracted the disease since January and 2.23% of the patients have died. We need to keep these low numbers in mind because the media will ignore them. And remember those numbers include all cases since the beginning of January not just the last two weeks!

What should we do?

Common sense tells you that if you live in an area that is hit hard you need to practice social distancing and wear masks. In fact, that is not bad advice for anywhere. But the testing part I am not so sure about. It seems to me that the testing is so broad that it captures people who don’t really have the disease and instead have other conditions like the flu or a simple cold. It is misleading and creates doubt and fear.

To put it simply, I don’t believe the doctors really know the symptoms and are using a wide net hoping to catch the real infected people. And if your only concern is to beat the virus then perhaps that is ok. But our concern needs to be more narrowly focused.

With the election over, as far as the voting is concerned, the need to cause panic should also be over. Politicians need to act more responsibly and more in line with our constitution. Locking down homes and businesses is a draconian response and certainly not responsible leadership. I know of people who have contracted Covid-19 and everyone of them has responded responsibly. That is the American way.

Personally, my wife and I will probably stay home for Thanksgiving, but not because of Covid-19. It is an opportunity for the two of us to spend some time thanking the Lord for His care. Our health is good right now, my wife is in remission, and we enjoy one another. If we have the opportunity to visit family, we will certainly consider it.

Here’s a thought: Instead of letting a disease control you, take control yourself. You decide what the risks are and what, if any, risks you are willing to take. Thanksgiving is not just a time of fellowship; it is a time when we can and should thank God. It is a spiritual right and responsibility for all Christians.

It is not the responsibility of the government to tell us whether we can go to church, visit family, or what health steps we should take. We are fully capable of handling this without the government’s intervention.

Get free Guide to Writing at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

Subscribe to Author Alerts (click and submit signup form)

For information about us (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com and get our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

AUTHOR’S PAGE: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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The Virus is Losing

The Riddle Report 11 16 2020

Reports have been coming for several weeks about a resurgence of the virus. You hear talk of record-breaking cases, overflowing hospitals, and rising deaths. I don’t want to negate all this news and call it false. I am sure the numbers are correct.

In fact, I know that some communities, such as Findlay, Ohio are getting hit really hard by the virus. But here is a fact you need to know: The death rate after weeks of surging cases has sunk to new lows. After hitting a high of 5.8% at the end of May 2020 it has now sunk to 2.23%.

What Does That Mean?

Please remember that I am not a doctor, but I can read, and I can understand numbers. The rise in cases is a concern, but the real question is should we panic?

Rise in Cases

To listen to the media, we should be panicking. But when you hear about the geography of the virus and the social groups hit by the virus this rise appears to be spotty. To put another way the hotspots are scattered. I mentioned Findlay Ohio above. That appears to be a definite hotspot and in fact the state of Ohio seems to have numerous hotspots. And there are other states experiencing rises in case count.

So, this is serious and should not be taken likely.

At the same time, it is not a time to panic. I will get into that more later, but we have learned how to handle the virus and a vaccine is coming. We have much to be thankful for.

Hospitalizations.

News reports tell us that some hospitals are experiencing high numbers of Covid-19 patients and diminishing supplies. But those should be short-term issues. The nation is no longer short on the needed supplies for testing and for hospitals.

Deaths

When the news media reports something like 5,000 cases and 54 deaths, it all seems high. But simple math tells a different story.  These numbers turn out to be a 1.08% death rate. Don’t get me wrong, any death is bad. But a death rate of 1.08% in an environment of surging cases is great news.

Before you say, “Yeah, but deaths lag cases” just remember that this rise in cases has been rising for several weeks. Also, throughout the period from June 1st to the middle of September, the cases were rising and the death rate plunging.

If you compare deaths to the United States population (2019) you get .00076219512 or a death rate of 0.076% or 0.08%. That is less than one percent and less than one hundredth percent.

The facts are encouraging!

Vaccine

The much-maligned Operation Warp Speed of President Trump has been and still is working. Based on its history and goals, I think it is logical to anticipate the vaccine going out to first responders this year.

Conclusion

We have good reason to not panic and instead to be encouraged concerning the virus. As stated in the headline, the virus is losing. And that is a good thing!

Now, if only we can settle the issue of who won the election, former Vice President Joe Biden or President Trump. Once they have determined what are legal ballots and illegal ballots and finish the recount, I anticipate that President Trump will be re-elected. It may take court cases to finally resolve the issue, so we have to be patient and, better yet, pray.

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AUTHOR’S PAGE: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Riddle News: The Problem With Science

11 12 2020

Welcome to Riddle News.

Joe Biden has said that if he is elected, he will on the first day of his Presidency follow science and shutdown the economy; completely. Dr. Michael Osterholm, an advisor to Biden, says that a total shutdown of four to six weeks would bring the cases down to manageable levels. In the same breath he says that the government could borrow the money to pay for lost wages for individuals, for losses to small companies, to medium-sized companies, or city, state, or county governments.

Let’s forget for the moment that the death rate is still down around 2.30%. Let’s also forget that this is happening although the latest surge has been longer than a couple of weeks. In addition, let’s forget that the economy while still down is recovering and unemployment rate is down. Then there is the fact that a vaccine is already in the approval process and probably will be available for First Responders this year and the general public possibly before Biden takes office (if elected).

Let’s forget all that and focus on the merits or lack thereof of Dr. Osterholm’s theory.

Shutting Down Businesses

Shutting down businesses and paying people for lost wages for four to six weeks could help keep the coronavirus pandemic in check and get the economy on track until a vaccine is approved and distributed.

All of this is based on his understanding of science.

The problem with Science

The problem with elevating science to the dominating position that many people, including Biden/Harris, have done is that science is not absolute. It is constantly changing. Usually that change is for the better and we have a better life than our parents and grandparents because of science. But science is sometimes wrong.

History is covered with scientific wrong thinking:

George Washington, after retiring from the Presidency, got sick. The science of the day preached bloodletting. That is the practice of surgically removing blood from the patient because they thought that would heal him. But instead it weakened him, and he died.

They followed science, but science was wrong.

Abortion. There was a time when science said that life doesn’t begin until after a baby is born. Thus, it was alright to abort. And now we have an abortion industry and politicians who want to expand it. But science was wrong. Today science believes that life begins at fertilization. (There are arguments about when this takes place, but they generally agree that human life begins at or shortly after fertilization.)

Unfortunately, abortionists still operate on the notion that life doesn’t begin until ‘birth’. This old science was wrong.

Covid-19. Dr. Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has been shifting his stance ever since the virus came to America. But we shouldn’t blame him, blame science. In the first quarter of 2020 science pointed to a quick solution and recovery and he followed science and passed his views to President Trump. But the science was wrong.

Now science says that a vaccine is imminent. It is already being tested and distribution is being set up. There are other vaccines also nearing availability. Where once science said vaccines were up to 2 years away, now it is only weeks and months away.

The truth is that science has been changing. As new studies occur, and the results are learned science has had to adjust. What they thought they knew in January and what they think they know now are worlds apart.

But while science has adjusted, the liberal media and liberals in general stuck with the worst-case scenario that they created. Thus, the criticism of the Trump Administration.

Trump Administration. At this time, we don’t know who won the election (all media claims aside), but we do know that the administration followed science, at least at first. Advised by Dr. Fauci and others, the administration banned flights to and from China, then later from Europe and Britain. Here the science appears to have been correct as far as hindering the spread of the virus.

But it soon became apparent that science was having to adjust to the changing profile of the virus. Suddenly science had to develop new tools and strategies. And both were untested. The Trump Administration was faced with fully trusting theories put forth as facts or charting a course that incorporated the theories mixed with commonsense solutions.

I believe the Administration took the correct route and pulled back from full belief in science. Working with governors to shut down the nation saved approximately 2 million lives and reopening the nation saved our economy. The President was constantly juggling decisions based on input from both the changing medical science and from the changing business climate. These were difficult decisions, but the choices worked.

Has Trump’s Handling of Virus Been Good?

Yes, definitely! Although cases are still happening and people are still dying, the death rate has plunged and is still down. Plus, the economy is picking up and promises to be stronger in the fourth quarter and in January (although there are naysayers). Operation Warp Speed has brought hope to millions of people with the announcements regarding potential vaccines.

Assuming President Trump is re-elected (an increasing probability) then we can expect the virus to be brought under control, vaccine distribution to the general public, and a rebounding economy. It is not so rosy if Joe Biden or as I say Biden/Harris is elected. Shutting down the economy a second time would be devastating.

Especially since they are talking total shutdown. Talking about borrowing money to take care of lost wages and revenue ignores the fact that the House of Representatives has an agenda to help out Democratic states that were already in financial trouble prior to Covid-19. Our economy would be crippled trying to take care of them plus take care of Covid-19 issues. Businesses would close, some permanently, and people would go back to unemployment status. And does Dr. Osterholm really believe that the turnaround would only take 4 to 6 weeks?

I think somebody’s science is wrong.

If Trump Wins Then What?

As mentioned earlier there is at least one vaccine on warp speed. Already the National Guards throughout the nation are being prepared to distribute the vaccine first to First Responders and then to the public. By January 20th, the virus may be under control and our economy revving up.

We have had the right man at the helm during this crisis. I am praying that the recounts and court cases will give us 4 more years of Donald Trump.

As for science, it should never be considered the absolute authority. It is an important resource, but we need men and women who can lead even if it means turning aside from science.

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ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Riddle News: Covid-19 2020

10 30 2020

Welcome to Riddle News which is published every Monday and Friday. This is a Special review of the Trump response to Covid-19.

In my book Trump an Outsider’s View I have a timeline showing the Trump Administration’s action right up to August 31, 2020. The Timeline begins November 17, 2019 with the first known case and provides a daily look worldwide on the cases and deaths.

As I closed yesterday’s blog, I updated and expanded the Special Notice. Today I will take it further and it will serve to conclude this series.

Special Notice as of 10/30/20

In four days (if you count today) we will have Election Day and you will have the opportunity to choose between former Vice President Joe Biden (chosen by the media) and President Donald Trump, a conservative populist.

Joe Biden’s claim to fame is that he stopped the Great Recession of 2008-2009. However, a little exercise of your memory will tell you that the nation wasn’t recovering right up to election day. Jobs were up, but they were low quality, low wage jobs, and President Obama was telling people to get used to it, the good jobs weren’t coming back.

The Donald Trump economic recovery began within days of his election. Obama was still President, but industry believed Trump’s promises and began hiring. I believe this is when the boom began, possibly the day after the election. It was a combination of rejection of Obama policies and anticipation of Trump policies.

Then came Covid-19. I don’t know who coined the CCP virus (Chinese Communist Party virus), but it is very apropos. We all know the bad news concerning the virus, but the good news is that the Trump Administration got on top of it from the start and were taking actions before America had its first case. It is also good news if we Americans realize the dangers of doing business with China.

It is fine to do business with them, but it is necessary to be extremely careful. Whether they intentionally exported this virus or they were criminally neglectful, they were responsible. And their attempts to cover the situation up played a key roll in over 44,000,000 cases and over 1,100,000 deaths. The death rate of 2.64% is significantly higher than the U.S. rate of 2.54% (today’s data).

I wish I could report on the Chinese death rate but while there are figures out there it is virtually impossible to know or even make an educated guess as to the real numbers. Let’s just say it is likely higher than the reported 85,915 cases and 4,634 deaths. If you believe those numbers, I think Governor Cuomo of New York has a bridge or two he might want to sell to you.

Millions of people have already voted and to my knowledge can’t change their vote. But those of you who haven’t voted yet, you still have a choice. You could choose Joe Biden who attacked President Trump when the President closed travel to and from China. You could also choose Biden who is about my age (I’m 77). While I do have momentary lapses of memory, he seems to have it to a much greater degree and may be taking medicine for it.

Which brings us to Senator Kamala Harris. Recently Rep. Nancy Pelosi began talking about the 25th Amendment. Why? Well, it is not another attack on Trump. Vice President Pence would never agree to such a move. But Senator Harris would. The whole idea is to pave the way for a Vice President Harris to take a President Biden’s place and become President Kamala Harris.

What a scary thought!

So, what are you going to do?

I’ve shown you the Trump record. It is a record of hard work and success in combating an invasion of a deadly virus. But instead of 2.2 million deaths if we did nothing, it has been reduced to under 230,000 deaths. That is amazing, especially when you consider that they started out with antiquated tools and Democratic opposition. They eventually got better tools and the Democrats finally realized the threat (and the opportunity to assail Trump).

While the Democrats used the crises to advance their leftist agenda, the Trump Administration fought to bring the deadly results of the virus down and fought to not only save the economy, but getting it going strong again. And with a 33.1% growth in the 3rd Quarter, he’s succeeding.

My book, Trump an Outsider’s View, covers Covid-19 and the Death Rate rather thoroughly. I still track the Death Rate and it is now down to 2.54% as of today (10/30/20). That’s another 0.03% drop since yesterday. And it is still going down. To dismiss this by noting there is a lag time between cases and related deaths is just being ignorant. We now have almost 11 months of tracking that clearly shows the Death Rate in decline!

Dr. Fauci and others agree that the Trump Administration saved thousands of lives by restricting China travel in January, a fact which embarrasses Biden who opposed the restrictions. This is interesting since Dr. Fauci seems to now be in Biden’s camp (probably because he’ll have job security with Biden).

Another factor to be considered. Many liberals claim that the President said this and said that. I don’t have the time to argue each point. The truth is that actions speak louder than words. January through August were months of action that were wise and often. The Death Rate at the end of May represented the high point, and we are still seeing the Death Rate decline.

Little is mentioned in the media or social media about the corruption of the Democratic Party. I’m not talking about Joe Biden’s son Hunter. We already know about that and that the FBI does not consider it as outside (i.e., Russian) disinformation.

What I am talking about is that the Democratic Party is captive to the Far Left. They support abortions right up to the moment of birth (do you remember the cheering and applause in New York), socialized medicine (where they tell you who will be your doctor and where you will go for surgery if you qualify), socialized industry (private industry gone), defunding the police (instead of 911 you will call the mental health number or something like that), the Green Deal (doing away with fracking which will undermine the economy, plus reducing all fossil fuel consumption), and embracing China as our preferred trading partner. Plus, they opposed Covid-19 restrictions until the virus was underway.

I was born in the early 40’s and most of my childhood was in the 50’s. As a teen and later as a young adult I paid attention to national politics. It didn’t take me long to recognize that there was a difference between the Democrats and Republicans. But I also remember that men and women of both parties could sit down and come to an agreement. It wasn’t perfect, but it was far better than it is now.

The current divide didn’t start with Trump’s election as the Democrats maintain. It didn’t start when Obama was elected. It goes back much further and involves both parties. The seeds for it were planted in the late 1940s. And the divide isn’t just political.

The divide began when we as a nation began turning away from God. Poor laws, even poorer Supreme Court decisions kicked God out of our schools. Today children are going to public schools where they are not taught biblical truths. There is no moral absolute.

The result is chaos. Today people take other people’s lives and think nothing of it. What does our culture do? It blames guns.

Because of the moral cesspool many people are or have already given up. But God is a merciful God (yes, He still exists and has absolute power). What we need is a turning back to Him, a revival such as I have never witnessed. God warned His people Israel, and they would not listen. And He had to punish them. Twice! (Actually many times, but two stand out.)

First, they were taken over by Babylon. Jerusalem was destroyed, the people enslaved until God restored them. The second time was when they rejected Christ. While many now have returned to their land, many more are scattered abroad. God will restore them, but they could have avoided it all if they had worshiped Him in truth and obeyed.

Re-electing Donald Trump is huge right now, but it is just a step. We Christians must pray for revival, seek His face, and turn from our wicked ways. We can’t simply blame the liberals and Democrats, it is Christians who didn’t bother to vote in previous elections, who didn’t raise up their voices against sin in all its forms, and who buried their heads in the sand.

Yes, we need to vote and to make that vote for President Donald Trump, for Conservative Representatives and Senators, and then get our own lives right with God. He has and will use Donald Trump; the question is will He use us.

Get free Guide to Writing at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

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For information about us (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com and get our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

AUTHOR’S PAGE: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

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R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Riddle News: Covid-19 August 2020

10 29 2020

Welcome to Riddle News which is published every Monday and Friday. This is a Special review of the Trump response to Covid-19.

In my book Trump an Outsider’s View I have a timeline showing the Trump Administration’s action right up to August 31, 2020. The Timeline begins November 17, 2019 with the first known case and provides a daily look worldwide on the cases and deaths. I am enclosing excerpts from August here:

AUGUST 2020

03 August

  • President authorizes extension through the end of the year for the use of the National Guard for COVID-19 assistance in 46 states and the territories of Guam, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. Effective August 21, 44 states and these territories will have a 75% Federal cost share. Florida and Texas will retain a 100% Federal cost share.
  • President signs an Executive Order focusing Federal agencies on United States labor in Federal contracts. The order notes that these opportunities are especially critical during the economic dislocation caused by COVID-19.

05 August

  • DOD, in support of the DHHS Strategic National Stockpile, announces it has awarded $104M for procurement of syringes in support of the U.S. COVID-19 vaccination campaign.

06 August

  • President signs an Executive Order on ensuring essential medicines, medical countermeasures, and critical inputs are made in the United States.
  • The U.S. State Department, in coordination with the CDC, lifts its Global Level 4 Health Advisory that had been in place since March 19. With changing COVID-19 conditions, the Department is returning to its previous system of country-specific levels of travel advice.
  • DOD Under Secretary for Personnel & Readiness issues Force Health Protection Guidance Supplement 12.

07 August

  • President directs FEMA to fund 25% of the cost share through September 30 for the use of the National Guard for COVID-19 assistance in Arizona, California, and Connecticut. This assistance is in addition to the 75% federal cost share through the end of the year for the extension of the use of the National Guard for COVID-19 response announced on August 3.

08 August

  • President signs a memorandum authorizing the Other Needs Assistance Program for major disaster declarations related to COVID-19.
  • President signs a memorandum deferring payroll tax obligations in light of COVID-19.
  • POTUS signs an Executive Order on fighting the spread of COVID-19 by providing assistance to renters and homeowners.
  • President extends student loan payment relief during COVID-19 through the end of the year.

10 August

  • DOD, in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services, announces details for a Defense Production Act Title 3 COVID-19 action: a $3.1M agreement with BioFire Defense, LLC, to expand domestic production capacity for molecular diagnostic testing.

11 August

  • State Testing Plans Now Publicly Available: HHS has published an all 50 state COVID-19 testing plans. Posting the plans allows states to view others’ approaches, plans and strategies and create new methods moving forward. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) awarded a total of $10.25 billion to states, territories, and localities to help implement the goals of each jurisdiction’s testing plan, with goals to improve testing for minorities and other vulnerable groups.  

14 August

  • DOD awards $750K to Plasma Technologies, LLC for manufacturing of convalescent plasma products using a novel process in support of the U.S. COVID-19 response.

20 August

  • DOD reaches over 50,000 presumed COVID-19 cases (military, military dependents, DOD civilian employees, and DOD contractors).

21 August

  • DOD announces details for three more Defense Production Act Title 3 COVID-19 actions: AQYR Technologies ($3.6M), Leonardo Electronics US Inc. ($7M), and Aero Turbine ($3.7M). These actions will help to retain critical workforce capabilities throughout the COVID-19 disruption.

23 August

  • The FDA issued an emergency use authorization for convalescent plasma to treat COVID-19.

25 August

  • President Trump announces additional steps, including new testing requirements, to help protect nursing home residents from COVID-19.

27 August

  • The Trump Administration announces its purchase and production of 150 million rapid COVID-19 tests, to be distributed across the country.

29 August

  • FEMA, acting on President Trump’s order earlier in the month, announced Lost Wages Grant for Florida. It will allow Florida to provide $300 per week – on top of their regular unemployment benefit – to those unemployed due to COVID-19.

Special Notice as of 10/29/20

We are just days from perhaps the most crucial election our country has ever had. It is complicated by the lies and distortions that have daily been aimed at Americans. I have personally witnessed otherwise intelligent people repeat the lies they’ve been told. I’ve also read Letters to the Editor of our local paper that are based on these lies as well. And all to many people have believed them. I hope I have reached at least one of the above who now realize that the Trump Administration was on top of Covid-19 (or CCP for Chinese Communist Party virus) from the beginning.

I’ve shown you the record. It is a record of hard work and success. Instead of 2.2 million deaths if we did nothing, it has been reduced to under 228,000 deaths. That is amazing, especially when you consider that they started out with antiquated tools and Democratic opposition. They eventually got better tools and the Democrats finally realized the threat (and the opportunity to assail Trump).

While the Democrats used the crises to advance their leftist agenda, the Trump Administration fought to bring the deadly results of the virus down and fought to not only save the economy, but getting it going strong again. And with a 33.1% growth in the 3rd Quarter, he’s succeeding.

My book, Trump an Outsider’s View, covers Covid-19 and the Death Rate rather thoroughly. I still track the Death Rate and it is now down to 2.57% as of today (10/29/20). That’s another 0.01% drop since yesterday. And it is still going down. To dismiss this by noting there is a lag time between cases and related deaths is just being ignorant. We now have almost 11 months of tracking that clearly shows the Death Rate in decline!

Dr. Fauci and others agree that the Trump Administration saved thousands of lives by restricting China travel in January, a fact which embarrasses Biden who opposed the restrictions. This is interesting since Dr. Fauci seems to now be in Biden’s camp (probably because he’ll have job security with Biden).

Another factor to be considered. Many liberals claim that the President said this and said that. I don’t have the time to argue each point. The truth is that actions speak louder than words. January thru August were months of action that were wise and often. The Death Rate at the end of May represented the high point, and we are still seeing the Death Rate decline.

Tomorrow, I will bring this series to a close.

Get free Guide to Writing at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com.

Subscribe to Author Alerts (click and submit signup form)

For information about us (“we edit, proof, and publish the book within you”)  contact us at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com and get our Free Brochure which tells you about our services.

AUTHOR’S PAGE: amazon.com/author/rfrederickriddle.

ARE YOU A BOOK REVIEWER? Want to review our books? Contact me at marketing@tr-indbkstore.com with the subject line indicating that desire. Such as, ‘Seek to review [book Title].’ Be sure to indicate your email address and your name.

 – – – – – – –

R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.

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Riddle News: Covid-19 July 2020

10 28 2020

Welcome to Riddle News which is published every Monday and Friday. This is a Special review of the Trump response to Covid-19.

In my book Trump an Outsider’s View I have a timeline showing the Trump Administration’s action right up to August 31, 2020. The Timeline begins November 17, 2019 with the first known case and provides a daily look worldwide on the cases and deaths. I am enclosing excerpts from July here:

JULY 2020

01 July

  • On July 1, the U.S. Department of the Interior released public health guidance for the Independence Day celebrations on the National Mall on July 4. The Department recommends people who are not members of the same household keep six feet apart and asks people to wear masks. The Department is providing 300,000 cloth masks at the event.
  • DOD approves award of the Armed Forces Service Medal and Humanitarian Service Medal to recognize service members for their qualifying participation in COVID-19 operations.

02 July

  • DOD replaces its “Travel Restrictions: Green Locations” releases with installation status updates. The previous format listed U.S. states, districts, and territories, and host nations which meet the conditions outlined in the Secretary of Defense’s May 22 memo on moving to a conditions-based, phased approach to personnel movement and travel. The new format lists the status of travel restrictions for DOD Installation, facilities, and locations with greater than 1,000 DOD personnel assigned. Weekly updates will be posted on the releases page of Defense.gov.

04 July

  • POTUS signs into law a bill that reauthorizes lending under the Paycheck Protection Program through August 8, 2020 and separates the authorized limits for commitments under the program from other Small Business Administration loan programs.

06 July

  • DA Authorizes EUA for Rapid Diagnostic Test: The Food and Drug Administration granted an Emergency Use Authorization for a rapid, point-of-care, SARS-CoV-2 diagnostic test called a BD Veritor Plus System. Assistant Secretary for Health Admiral Brett P. Giroir, M.D. believes it will help identify community spread of the virus by further enabling rapid diagnosis of COVID-19.
  • PA Announces First Disinfectants Proven against COVID-19: The EPA announced that it has approved the first two surface disinfectant products, Lysol Disinfectant Spray and Lysol Max Cover Disinfectant Mist as effective against COVID-19. The agency also maintains a list (List N) of over 400 products from manufacturers that submit data to the agency showing their disinfectants are effective against harder-to-kill viruses that are similar to COVID-19.

07 July

  • HHS and DOD Partner with Regeneron for COVID-19 Therapeutic Treatment Project: HHS and DOD announce their partnership with Regeneron, Inc. to demonstrate a commercial-scale manufacturing of the company’s COVID-19 investigational anti-viral antibody treatment, REGN-COV2. The partnership allows the federal government to own the doses of the anti-viral treatment expected to result from the demonstration project. The company estimates between 70,000 and 300,000 treatment doses could be available from this project, with the initial doses ready as early as end of summer and completed this fall.
  • HHS and DOD Partner with Novavax to Produce Doses of Experimental Vaccine: In a $1.6 billion agreement with Novavax, HHS and DOD set out to demonstrate commercial-scale manufacturing of the private company’s COVID-19 investigational vaccine. This agreement allows the federal government to own the 100 million doses of the investigational vaccine expected to result from the demonstration projects. As a part of Operation Warp Speed, the vaccine doses will become available for clinical trials to investigate their effectiveness. 
  • Increase in COVID-19 Testing for Hotspot Jurisdictions: HHS announced free COVID-19 testing for Jacksonville, Florida; Baton Rouge, AR; and Edinburgh, TX. The temporary funding increases federal support in places where there has been an intense rise in positive cases and hospitalizations. Testing at surge locations is available to people five years and older who have been exposed, are experiencing symptoms, at a high risk for exposure, or those worried about contracting COVID-19. 

08 July

  • The United States formally withdraws from WHO. The reason is the failure of WHO (documented in this chapter) in handling COVID-19. Withdrawal was effective July 6, 2020.

09 July

  • 21 Million to Health Centers for COVID-19 Response: HHS awards HRSA $21 million to be distributed to health centers to help their response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The majority of the funding will be used to expand health centers’ capabilities for COVID-19 testing, with $17 million to support 78 Health Center Program look-alikes. 

10 July

  • $4 Billion in Additional Relief Payments to Healthcare Providers: HHA announces an additional relief package to healthcare providers impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. Hospitals serving a large percentage of vulnerable populations on thin margins is set to receive $3 billion and approximately $1 billion will go to specialty rural hospitals, urban hospitals with certain rural Medicare designations, and hospitals in small metropolitan areas. HHS expects to distribute over $3 billion across 215 acute care facilities, bringing the total payments for safety net hospitals from the Provider Relief Fund to $12.8 billion to 959 facilities.
  • DOD announces details for seven Defense Production Act Title 3 COVID-19 actions: AirMap ($3.3M), ModalAI ($3M), Skydio ($4M), Graffiti Enterprises ($1.5M), Obsidian Sensors ($1.6M), Leo Labs Inc. ($15M), and ArcelorMittal Inc. ($56M). These actions will help to retain critical workforce capabilities throughout the COVID-19 disruption and to restore some jobs lost because of the pandemic.

13 July

  • President signs into law the “Emergency Aid for Returning Americans Affected by Coronavirus Act,” increasing from $1M to $10M the amount the DHHS may spend for the provision of assistance to repatriated U.S. citizens in FY 2020.

17 July

  • DOD reports two Defense Production Act Title 3 COVID-19 actions: Amfuel ($14.9M), and Rolls-Royce ($22M) helping retain critical workforce capabilities throughout COVID-19 disruption restoring some jobs lost due to the pandemic.

23 July

  • DOD announces it has awarded a $4.9M contract to Pall Corporation to increase industrial base expansion for medical ventilator components.

24 July

  • DOD announces details for three Defense Production Act Title 3 COVID-19 actions: eMagin Corporation ($33.6M), Meggitt-Rockmart, Inc. ($14.9M), and Urban Mining Company ($28.8M). These actions will help to retain critical workforce capabilities throughout the COVID-19 disruption and to restore some jobs lost because of the pandemic.

25 July

  • DOD, in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services, has signed a $2.75M contract with NPS to increase U.S. domestic production of meltblown fiber.

27 July

  • DOD and the Department of Health and Human Services have awarded a $7.6M contract with Hologic, Inc., to increase U.S. domestic production of custom sample collection and processing consumables for COVID-19 testing.

31 July

  • HHS Announces an Extension to the Application Deadline for Medicaid and Medicare Providers:HHS extended the application deadline for the Phase 2 general distribution to Medicaid, Medicaid managed care, Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) and dental providers. Providers now have until Aug. 28, 2020 to apply for these federal programs. By extending the deadline, certain Medicare providers get a second chance to apply for federal assistance due to COVID-19 expenses, and providers who had a change in ownership get to apply for the Provider Relief Fund payment.  
  • DOD announces it has awarded a $42M contract to Curative Inc. to provide 250,000 Curative Inc. oral fluid swab test kits to military treatment facilities, thus expanding the department’s COVID-19 testing capability.
  • DOD announces details for a Defense Production Act Title 3 COVID-19 action: a $31M agreement with North American Forgemasters to sustain and increase critical industrial base capability for domestic production of ultra-large iron and steel forging in support of the U.S. Navy and Naval Nuclear Propulsion Program.
  • DOD, in coordination with the Department of Health and Human Services, has awarded a $51.15M undefinitized contract action to Puritan Medical Products Company LLC to increase domestic production capacity of flock tip testing swabs.
  • DOD and the DHHS have invested $24.3M in Becton, Dickinson, and Co. to establish and expand production of SARS-CoV-2 assays for BD Veritor™ devices

[At this time, the total cases were 3,760,000 and total deaths were 140,471 for a death rate of 3.7%. This indicates that the so-called death rate delay has not shown up as the rise in cases began July 2. Despite this fact the national news media continues to talk about the virus in an urgent, discouraging manner. Why?]

Special Notice as of 10/28/20

If you watch TV and read the paper, you are aware of a resurgence in Covid-19 cases both abroad and here in the United States. They are calling it the second wave.

However, you need to take a closer look. It is not so much of a second wave as it is a continuation of the first wave. It is now hitting rural America and young people. If you insist on calling it a second wave, I won’t argue with you. But to include it into the worldwide resurgence is simply not ethical. And please take note that while the cases may be rising, the Death Rate continues to fall.

My book, Trump an Outsider’s View, covers Covid-19 and the Death Rate rather thoroughly. I still track the Death Rate and it is now down to 2.58%. That’s another 0.01% drop since yesterday. And it is still going down. To dismiss this by noting there is a lag time between cases and related deaths is just being ignorant. We now have almost 11 months of tracking that clearly shows the Death Rate in decline!

Dr. Fauci and others agree that the Trump Administration saved thousands of lives by restricting China travel in January, a fact which embarrasses Biden who opposed the restrictions. This is interesting since Dr. Fauci seems to now be in Biden’s camp (probably because he’ll have job security with Biden).

Another factor to be considered. Many liberals claim that the President said this and said that. I don’t have the time to argue each point. The truth is that actions speak louder than words. January thru May were months of action that were wise and often. The Death Rate at the end of May represented the high point.

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R Frederick Riddle is the Editor of TR Writing Services providing help to struggling and/or new authors to write and publish their books. He is also an author of Historical, Speculative, and Mystery fiction, plus co-founder and Vice President of T&R Independent Books. To reply to any blog you can comment on a blog and/or send an email to marketing@tr-indbkstore.com. His Facebook page is at RFrederickRiddlesWorld.