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POTUS, Covid and the New Zealand election

Written By: - Date published: 8:01 am, October 3rd, 2020 - 122 comments
Categories: covid-19, Donald Trump, election 2020, jacinda ardern, Judith Collins, labour, national, same old national, uncategorized - Tags:

Incredible yet utterly predictable news emerged from the US of A yesterday.

Donald Trump has tested positive for Covid.

I am not surprised.  This is the most evil, effective, transmittable disease imaginable.  It spreads easily, does not cause significant problems to the vast majority of people infected, yet for a few, including the old and those suffering from various conditions, it can prove to be fatal.

And the POTUS has been such a denier.  He has trashed the science, ridiculed the wearing of masks even though this one of the best things that you can do, engaged in campaign events where the idea of social distancing is an anathema, and even mocked his opponent for wearing masks in public, even at the same time Covid was probably setting up residence in him.

To beat it, or at least hold it at bay, you have to be ruthless, quick and be prepared to follow the scientific advice.  Like in Aotearoa New Zealand, where we have thrown everything at eradicating the virus and despite recent set backs we are, fingers crossed, heading towards a situation where we have no Covid cases in hospital and the only new cases are those travelling from overseas safely held up in quarantine.

As a sign of how potent the virus is we have had recent incidents involving an elevator button, some imported food and a rubbish bin.

We have multiple infections amongst people who happened to catch a plane together.

This is a tough virus.  You have to go hard and you have to go early.  There is no room for half measures or hesitation.  If you are not brave enough or fast enough you lose.

As WHO head Michael Ryan has put it in a slightly different context, speed trumps perfection.  I have used this tweet a few times.  It still strikes a chord for me about how the only successful response is a quick and determined one.

America’s problem?  Thanks to the unimaginable clusterfuck that is the Trump administration the most advanced and richest nation in the world is totally incapable of responding properly to the virus.  Trump prevaricated and downplayed and did not understand, or even worse did understand but for political reasons did not properly respond to, this most pressing of health issues.

What are the repercussions for Aotearoa politics?  If anything it reinforces how well Jacinda Ardern and the Government have handled the issue.

We are looking pretty good.  We have had a few scares and huge political and commentator beat ups about how bad our system is, but it is still holding.  The contact tracing is now working pretty well and it seems that we will not have to descend into level 4 lock downs any more, we just trace and organise and quarantine really hard.

What is National doing?

Well recently Collins claimed that New Zealand was too slow to close its border and that Samoa closed its border a month before we did.  Dear reader this is not true.  It really casts into doubt the commentators judgment on who won the second debate (looking at you Josie Pagani).  Sure Judith may have been louder and interrupted more and spoke for longer but for me I prefer a leader that actually gets their facts right.

When asked afterwards for proof that Samoa locked down National, excuse the caps SAID THAT SAMOA HAD ISSUED A HEALTH TRAVEL ADVISORY NOTICE.  I for one would be really afraid if I had a Prime Minister and a Government party that confused a border closure with a health travel advisory notice.

I would prefer that they would come out and say that Judith was wrong.  Their failure to do so and their decision to feed us crap indicates to me that they should never be trusted with any leadership role.

And get this.  National thinks that an incident involving ten people contracting the virus on a flight into New Zealand, being identified as being infected in quarantine and then put into isolation is proof of Labour’s failure at the border.   Call me biased but I would think that this was proof that the system was working exactly, precisely as it was intended.

Politics is changing.  Instead of this being a contest of ideas between the right and the left it is becoming a contest of ideas between intellectuals and mostly stupid rich people willing to sell their souls to huge corporations for power.  Truth does not matter, only headlines and soundbites and perceptions of being powerful.

America is testimony to what happens with this type of leadership.  New Zealand shows what happens when you don’t.

Vote wisely.  Your life of the lives of your loved ones depend on it.

122 comments on “POTUS, Covid and the New Zealand election ”

  1. dv 1


    Many Americans, especially those who dislike the President, will be dubious about the accuracy of the information that emerges from the White House in coming days given Trump's predilection for falsehoods.

  2. solkta 2

    One should never laugh at another's misfortune, bUt..

    • Anne 2.1

      There are always exceptions to the rule and Trump is a leading example. He got exactly what he deserved.

      I treat with contempt the various world leaders falling over themselves sending him messages of good will and hoping he recovers soon. Fawning over a despotic and bullying arsehole is about as disgusting as it can ever get. We saw it happen in the 1930s and look where that lead.

      • Chris T 2.1.1


        Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern has passed on "New Zealand's best wishes" to Covid-19 infected US President Donald Trump and his wife, Melenia.

        "We have seen now several world leaders who are being affected by Covid-19 and I know that I stand with others in wishing all the best," she told reporters this afternoon.

        "This is, obviously, a virus that has had a devastating impact."

        She has asked her officials at the New Zealand Embassy in the US to pass along a message, wishing "the President a speedy recovery on behalf of New Zealand"."

        • solkta

          I hope they added "yeh, nah" on the end.

        • Anne

          Yep. I'm at liberty to be honest whereas the "well wishing" leaders think they have to pretend to care.

          I don't give a damn what happens to the man because he's a malevolent narcissist, bully-boy fascist and I loathe everything he stands for. He's the new Hitler and if he wins this US election the world is in for another world war.

    • KJT 2.2

      I'm philosophically opposed to the death penalty.

      But. If you could have time traveled back to `1930's Germany and had the opportunity, "Would you have killed, Hitler?".

      • Chris T 2.2.1

        Personal opinion philosophically, no.

        As extremely bad as it was, the world would be in a totally different make up.

        And you really wouldn't want to mess with that stuff, as the over all outcome could have meant we were screwed in other ways.

        • KJT

          Yes. I strongly suspect Hitler, and Trump were/are a symptom as much as the cause.

          It would probably just change the name of the arsehole, who ended up doing similar things.

          • Chris T

            But then having read that, we have ended up with people comparing an orange twat in the US, who only gets 4 year terms in power to one of the worst mass genocidal maniacs the world has ever produced, so I could be persuaded, if it means not having that level of stupid.

            • McFlock

              Between the 200,000 dead, the forced sterilisations, and the support for white supremacist gangs… really, the only difference is a couple of zeros. Most presidents manage to stay much further away from the comparison than that.

              • Chris T

                What 200,000 dead? and Hitler was 11,000,000 including women and children.

                Edit: Apologies. Just realised you mean Covid 19. FFS. Get some perspective

                • McFlock

                  So you know about the forced sterilisations then? And the support from and for white supremacist street gangs?

                  As for perspective, here's an interesting one from May: The Coronavirus Was an Emergency Until Trump Found Out Who Was Dying

                • Foreign waka

                  Chris T on 3/10 at 4:04pm

                  The perspective is that we all need to be more tolerant of each other and accept that in nature variety secures survival. Once you start eliminating everything to get one type of anything, all starts to fall apart and die.

                  As people we are part of nature and should, no matter how intellectual and "developed" we are emulate this absolute survival strategy.

                • KJT

                  Only 200 000 dead, and several more billions from his blocking AGW action with his appointed stooges.

                  Not so bad then?

              • Rapunzel

                The two other ways to "be screwed" you mention are just a couple of the many happening in the US are overlooked by the poster – death by a 1000 cuts looks to be what's happening there

            • KJT

              An orange twit who is threatening violence if he is not re-elected.

              Robert Riech.

              It follows that if he loses the election, Trump will not accept the result because it would be the product of Anti-Trump Nation, and Trump isn’t the president of people who would vote against him. As he recently claimed, “The only way we’re going to lose this election is if the election is rigged.”

              Read more

              In the warped minds of Trump and his acolytes, this could lead to civil war. Just this week he refused to commit to a peaceful transition of power. His consigliere Roger Stone urges him to declare “martial law” if he loses. Michael Caputo, assistant secretary of public affairs at the Department of Health and Human Services, warns “the shooting will begin” when Trump refuses to go.

              Civil war is unlikely, but the weeks and perhaps months after election day will surely be fraught. Even if Trump is ultimately forced to relinquish power, his core adherents will continue to view him as their leader. If he retains power, many if not most Americans will consider his presidency illegitimate”.

              • Draco T Bastard

                “The only way we’re going to lose this election is if the election is rigged.”

                Which is very similar to what National were saying last election when they lost with their No, no, no its the biggest party that should be in government.

                It was, and is, disturbing how many people actually believed them.

            • Andre

              Patience. Give Hair Twitler a bit of time. Addy became Chancellor in '33, then Fuhrer in '34. He didn't really start rolling with the stuff he became best known for until '39.

          • Draco T Bastard

            Yes. I strongly suspect Hitler, and Trump were/are a symptom as much as the cause.

            And thus the correction that followed/follows is needed? A jolt along the path to being a better people?

        • Drowsy M. Kram

          Tricky hypothetical. Better the genocidal maniac you know, eh? Couldn’t have done it myself (not enough of the right stuff), but would at least consider paying someone else to do it without too many qualms.


          Chapter 1: 20,946,000 Victims – Nazi Germany 1933 To 1945

          "Hitler told Himmler that it was not enough for the Jews simply to die; they must die in agony." — Robert Payne, The Life and Death of Adolf Hitler

          • KJT

            I think Chris T may be right. The death toll from another megolomaniac strongman instead, could have been the same.

            But then. The Wiemer Republic, may have prevailed. Though Hitler was not the only wannabee warlord.

            • Drowsy M. Kram

              We’ll never know. I'd be OK with the possibility of a similar outcome, but not a worse one.

  3. Ad 3

    This is the Covid election.

    Ardern is the leader who got us out of it.

    Ardern needs our party vote.

    And today voting starts.

    • solkta 3.1

      Actually, Ardern does not need your party vote. Plenty are coming her way. Party vote Green for a labour Labour government.

      • Ad 3.1.1

        No one else deserves it like Ardern.

      • Andre 3.1.2

        The most recent polls from all three pollsters show that neither Greens nor Labour need a "helping hand" or "charity" vote.

        Keeping in mind the old idea that "people is policy", vote for whichever party that best fits your values and priorities on balance.

        • solkta

          It is not about the Greens not getting in, i have never doubted that, but rather getting enough of the vote so that we can actually have that "transformational government" that keeps getting talked about.

        • McFlock

          Greens are still a bit close to the line for my liking.

          But I don't think anyone can go too far wrong voting for either Green or Labour.

          • KJT

            Don't mind saying i've already voted. Greens for the party to keep the next Labour/Greens Government, "Left", and candidate vote for the excellent local Labour candidate. Splitting the "leftish" candidate vote will just make it even more likely the National Moran, and he really is, gets through.

            • solkta

              I'll be voting the same way in the same electorate. I couldn't stomach the Labour candidate last time, but this time they have done much better.

  4. joe90 4

    Herman Cain was doing well, too.

    • joe90 4.1

      Here we go…

      edit: yeah, precautionary

    • Andre 4.2

      If nothing else, it seems to have given him covid-thumbs, and the rest of us some hours of blessed relief from his twitter-vomit.

    • Sacha 4.3

      Yes. Good summary reply:

    • Incognito 4.4

      D) The treatment is bogus and purely for PR spin.

      Would be interesting to watch Regeneron’s share price 😉

      • Dennis Frank 4.4.1

        The treatment is bogus

        Likely, since Kim Hill's Washington correspondent told her a few minutes ago that his health advisor is an osteopath!

        However, one ought never to rule out alt health treatments, even in wackoland. The Don is fierce in exercising his freedom to choose. We all know that. His courage in volunteering to be a guinea pig in an alt health science experiment can only be admired. I await the details of that treatment with fascination!

        Of course, you will point to the idiocy driving his choice. Rightly so! However it is always a good idea to look up the original meaning of idiocy (which one can intuit by pondering idiosyncratic), and you may form the opinion that being oneself is quite natural…

        • Incognito

          My apologies, I meant that POTUS is not receiving the treatment they (…) say he’s receiving. It was not at all about real or perceived efficacy of any of those mentioned treatments, alone or in combination, to treat Covid. That’s a rabbit hole only qualified rabbits should go in 😉

      • Craig H 4.4.2

        E) Trump is a complete germophobe and hypochondriac and this was at his insistence after he demanded to know what experimental treatments were available.

    • Andre 4.5

      Hah! Everybody got it wrong and missed the obvious explanation: he saw it on Faux News.


  5. EE 5

    One shouldn’t laugh at anothers misfortune, but this is a Bolsanaro/Johnson moment.
    That sense of Justice, when a bag of shit leader gets a taste of what they have inflicted on their people

  6. Foreign waka 6

    "Politics is changing. Instead of this being a contest of ideas between the right and the left it is becoming a contest of ideas between intellectuals and mostly stupid rich people willing to sell their souls to huge corporations for power. Truth does not matter, only headlines and soundbites and perceptions of being powerful"

    A large section of the population is left behind right here with that statement non the less. Intellectuals such as researchers are often desk jockeys who will not comprehend a fruit pickers or cleaners life challenges. Many rich person might not care but remember most have University degrees and hence are part of the intellectual class.

    So before we go down the road of the new social class system that seem to develop here – intellectuals of any ilk vs under educated workers – lets stop that rot in the tracks please. Its a British thing, I get it but we should have moved on.

  7. Anne 7

    Talk about a gross over-reaction:


    It could only happen in America.

    "It's the plane that has the ability to order the killing of everyone on earth if someone attacks the US with nukes in a first strike. It can talk to our missile subs under water even if DC is gone."

    • Sacha 7.1

      Not at all. Shows how potentially serious this development is. The UK would have done similar things when Boris was hospitalised but not said anything about it.

  8. Incognito 8

    Minor correction:

    As a sign of how potent the virus is we have had recent incidents involving an elevator button, some imported food and a rubbish bin.

    We have multiple infections amongst people who happened to catch a plane together. [my italics]

    The correct term is:



  9. joe90 9

    Doesn't look too flash.

  10. Poission 10

    To beat it, or at least hold it at bay, you have to be ruthless, quick and be prepared to follow the scientific advice.

    Well you wouldn't want to follow WHO advice,where economics,politics,and PC were the standard OP.

    • Muttonbird 10.1

      I spent 4 hours in Lorenz's Bar & Cafe at Whakapapa on Wednesday waiting for the gondola to open (it didn't).

      Tightly packed, it was hive of potential Covid spread.

      My two and I were the only, and I mean only, mask wearers in the place. Sure, they are at L1 but Aucklanders are told to 'take their level with them'.

      • Sacha 10.1.1


      • KJT 10.1.2

        Flight recently. Everyone donned masks before getting into the boarding line. Small airport so all distanced before that. Except for two middle aged expensive suits.

        Arrival Auckland. Almost no masks in the terminal. WTF.

        • Muttonbird

          Yeah, I was hoping for a sea change in attitude after the August outbreak. Hasn't happened.

          A mask-less L1 is not proof against Coronavirus.

          • KJT

            To me. Masks when a lot of people have to be close together for an extended time is almost a no brainer. And easy and cheap to do. Especially as Air NZ gives them out like lollies. Good on them.

  11. Dennis Frank 11

    Trump’s physician said in a memo that the president “as a precautionary measure” has “received a single 8 gram dose of Regeneron’s polyclonal antibody cocktail.”

    Trump has also been taking zinc, vitamin D, melatonin, a daily aspirin and the histamine-blocker famotidine, Conley said in the memo.


    Conspiracy theorists will no doubt get excited by the word polyclonal. Talk first, think later syndrome will kick in, so expect the spectre of multiple Trump clones to loom large on social media sometime soon.

    Actually, the science of this treatment seems to be animal based so I wonder about human trials… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyclonal_antibodies


    • Incognito 11.1

      Actually, the science of this treatment seems to be animal based so I wonder about human trials…

      What do you mean?

      • Dennis Frank 11.1.1

        My quick scan of the wiki didn't pick up on any, so it got me wondering. I haven't time to investigate further currently, so maybe someone else here can reveal the extent of human trialling of the treatment (if any). Just so we know how far out on this limb Trump has crawled…

        • Incognito

          I see, I thought you had some beef with ‘animal-based’ treatments in general.

          Yes, the trial is in progress and only a descriptive analysis has been released only a few days as far as I can tell.

          The investigational antibody cocktail is called REGN-COV2 and is a combination of two monoclonal antibodies (REGN10933 and REGN10987). In other words, you were heading down the wrong path with those links to polyclonals.

          There seems to be a tendency among Social Media users to ‘echo’ stuff that they appear to know very little about 🙁

          • Dennis Frank

            Are you suggesting Trump’s physician was lying? Or is his use of polyclonal erroneous due to not being a specialist in that field? Latter more likely, eh?

            Further info: “After Trump’s disclosure, he and first lady Melania had tested positive some physicians including Dr. Matt McCarthy, an infectious disease expert, identified Regeneron’s drug as the best option for treatment at this time.” https://www.foxbusiness.com/markets/regeneron-is-trumps-covid-19-treatment-what-to-know

            • SPC

              Depends on whether you think two monoclonals is polyclonal or not, you can read up on the monoclonal combinations (those considered and ones chosen) being used (it has a lot to do with preventing viral attachment to cells and preventing mutation – I thought they were just replicating the antibodies produced by recovered patients currently given via blood plasma, but its complicated).

            • Incognito

              A mixture of two monoclonals would be a biclonal antibody. The difference between monoclonal and polyclonal antibodies is more fundamental than simply implying ‘a mixture of’. At best, I’d say it was sloppy use of language. At worst, the person who wrote that Memo is ignorant.

  12. Stuart Munro 12

    Well, I hope he doesn't come out of a mild case tweeting "See – it's no worse than the 'flu", and cost a lot more lives.

    • SPC 12.1

      Fun fact for those infected. You are 10 times more likely to die from SARS COV2 than the average flu virus. So if use of a flu vaccine makes sense …

  13. SPC 13

    Information that POTUS is taking Vitamin D, like Fauci, is good news.

    Vitamin D is required for a healthy immune system (and aging reduces the amount made in the body from sun on the skin). As is sleep – which explains the use of melatonin.

    Presumably Trump will not make the Boris Johnson mistake of doing too much work after infection.

    Of the early treatments for viral infections (via chemists nasal spray and iodine solution throat gargles) available, its interesting that they have gone for monoclonal antibodies. Other options more widely used included blood plasma from recovered patients (for the antibodies) which has shown to work best the earlier it is given and remdesivir (only shown to have reduced hospitalisation stays by a few days).

    Initial results have suggested that they can reduce the level of the virus in the body and possibly shorten hospital stays — when they are given early in the course of infection.


    One thing that is resulting from SARS Cov2 is the development of new approaches for either stimulating immune response or anti-viral action when infected with a virus.

    PS Use of a mask to either prevent infection or reduce the amount of infection has been compared to being vaccinated (do not get it, so cannot pass it on or get it and not much if any illness).

    • Sacha 13.1

      Presumably Trump will not make the Boris Johnson mistake of doing too much work

      We can guarantee that.

  14. joe90 14

    Super-spreader in chief.

  15. SPC 15

    Trump said

    he wore masks "when needed" but said his opponent Biden wore masks unnecessarily when people were "200 feet away from him and he shows up with the biggest mask I've ever seen".

    Trump apparently found it hard to socially isolate before the debate, and yet did not wear a mask.

    Where there is no justice, there is no hope. Where there is Hope there is justice, for each and every rally now not held will save lives across the towns of America. Finally Trump is serving American interests, by practicising social distancing.

  16. Draco T Bastard 16

    To beat it, or at least hold it at bay, you have to be ruthless, quick and be prepared to follow the scientific advice.

    This is a tough virus. You have to go hard and you have to go early. There is no room for half measures or hesitation. If you are not brave enough or fast enough you lose.

    And he would have known that if he'd Ascended:

    "There is a fine line between consideration and hesitation. The former is wisdom, the latter is fear."

    Although I doubt he'd play as he doesn't seem to like NZ and its a NZ made game. That said, he does seem to be conversant with the wisdom of the scion:

    Power corrupts and corruption empowers.

    National thinks that an incident involving ten people contracting the virus on a flight into New Zealand, being identified as being infected in quarantine and then put into isolation is proof of Labour’s failure at the border.

    The right-wing have to lie because reality never conforms to their beliefs or their desires.

    Instead of this being a contest of ideas between the right and the left it is becoming a contest of ideas between intellectuals and mostly stupid rich people willing to sell their souls to huge corporations for power.

    Not really. It's mostly been about a competition between beliefs but the old beliefs of conservatives and the rich are being proved wrong on a more or less daily basis. The Left are, mostly, dropping those failed beliefs while National and the right-wing try to maintain them in place for their own power and aggrandizement.

  17. Very concerning news and I, like millions around the world, wish for a rapid recovery.

    isolating after positive coronavirus test

  18. joe90 18

    Is schadenfreude lasting longer than 24 hours harmful to one's health?

  19. Byd0nz 19

    Give him novichock, it dont kill people apparantly, maybe it will kill the virus.

  20. joe90 20

    Getting his $750's worth.

  21. Sacha 21

    Silver linings

  22. Andre 22

    Depending on your nature, the view from MAGAmoronia is either hysterically funny or horrifying:


    • Ad 22.1

      That was fun.

      I do sometimes wonder what it would look like in a parallel universe where Hillary was elected and got the disease. Would we be any nobler?

      O but wait this is reality.

      And the surf is high and glassy on Schadenfreude Reef.

  23. Treetop 23

    Covid – 19 is so unpredictable, from being asymptomatic to not winning the battle for your life.

    Trump is facing the unknown and each of us do not know how we would respond were we to be infected with the virus.

    What a leveler for Trump. Covid has the ability to weaken Trump physically, mentally and politically. The outcome is that without the health required to campaign at such a critical time in the election cycle what is the point in running for president?

  24. Pat 24

    "A long era of stable resource competition is thus rapidly ending. Historically, empires locked in their economic supply chains and managed competition. And in the long post-1945 cycle of decolonization, the United States, as the global economic hegemon, backstopped the rules and norms of world trade. At the same time, supplies of critical resources – in particular, fossil fuels – became more dispersed as improved geological information and new technologies (like deep-sea drilling and fracking) helped to loosen OPEC’s grip.

    But today, conditions have flipped. Critical minerals for the digital and post-carbon economy are highly concentrated geographically, while the end of US unipolarity and increasing global trade uncertainties have triggered a rush to secure them."


    Energy…the basis of everything we do and why in a world of 8 billion mass starvation and conflict has remained subdued….so far.

    • Andre 24.1

      Yeah, nah.

      Consider batteries – much is made of lithium and the concentrations in Bolivia, Argentina and Chile. But Tesla gets its lithium mostly from Australia, and has purchased mineral rights in Nevada which is expected to supply much of its demand. Then when it comes to nickel and cobalt, there's other chemistries that don't need either. Tesla is even using nickel and cobalt free LFP batteries in some of its made in China cars. Let alone alternatives that are a bit further out, such as lithium-sulfur. Or beyond that, sodium or potassium, or, or …

      Similarly for rare earths – they're not actually particularly rare. It's more that extracting and refining them is environmentally nasty, so in most places it's not worth complying with even minimal environment protection standards to get set up. Particularly when places like China DGAF so it's easy and cheapish to set up and just make a mess. But if the price gets high enough, then it becomes worthwhile to set up. So there was a bit of a supply/price crunch a few years back IIRC, but things have settled back down since then. Then for a lot of applications that use rare-earths, there are in fact substitutes that only carry small weight/efficiency/price penalties that are quite viable to substitute in if rare earth supply becomes too hard.


      Bottom line is, that article makes the mistake of looking at what the situation is now and extrapolating out to what the problems might be if the status quo just massively expands. But that doesn't happen, technology changes, substitutes are found, the entire situation evolves to become very different to previous conditions. Predictions are hard, especially about the future.

      BTW, can’t see the connection with Covid, POTUS, and our election. Maybe better moved to Open Mike?

      • Pat 24.1.1

        "BTW, can’t see the connection with Covid, POTUS, and our election. Maybe better moved to Open Mike?"

        My bad, thought i had.

        • Andre

          Substance of this thread has been copied to Open Mike so can probably be deleted here.

  25. joe90 25

    His quacks blew the cover-up.

  26. joe90 26

    Life and art etc etc

    The red death had long devastated the country. No pestilence had ever been so fatal, or so hideous. Blood was its Avatar and its seal — the madness and the horror of blood. There were sharp pains, and sudden dizziness, and then profuse bleeding at the pores, with dissolution. The scarlet stains upon the body and especially upon the face of the victim, were the pest ban which shut him out from the aid and from the sympathy of his fellow-men. And the whole seizure, progress, and termination of the disease, were incidents of half an hour.

    But Prince Prospero was happy and dauntless and sagacious. When his dominions were half depopulated, he summoned to his presence a thousand hale and light-hearted friends from among the knights and dames of his court, and with these retired to the deep seclusion of one of his crenellated abbeys. This was an extensive and magnificent structure, the creation of the prince's own eccentric yet august taste. A strong and lofty wall girdled it in. This wall had gates of iron. The courtiers, having entered, brought furnaces and massy hammers and welded the bolts.

    They resolved to leave means neither of ingress nor egress to the sudden impulses of despair or of frenzy from within. The abbey was amply provisioned. With such precautions the courtiers might bid defiance to contagion. The external world could take care of itself. In the meantime it was folly to grieve or to think. The prince had provided all the appliances of pleasure. There were buffoons, there were improvisatori, there were ballet-dancers, there were musicians, there was Beauty, there was wine. All these and security were within. Without was the "Red Death."

    It was toward the close of the fifth or sixth month of his seclusion that the Prince Prospero entertained his thousand friends at a masked ball of the most unusual magnificence.


    And now was acknowledged the presence of the Red Death. He had come like a thief in the night. And one by one dropped the revellers in the blood-bedewed halls of their revel, and died each in the despairing posture of his fall. And the life of the ebony clock went out with that of the last of the gay. And the flames of the tripods expired. And Darkness and Decay and the Red Death held illimitable dominion over all.


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