WTF Community

🤮 Coronavirus (Community Thread)

Yes, it is in about 5 states now. CA for sure…

Vaccine push big time…but where is the supply?

But CA now has this variant as well as one from Denmark.

The state is one of many dealing with the arrival of a more contagious viral variant, first discovered in Britain; the first confirmed case in Los Angeles was reported on Saturday. It is believed to be 50 percent more transmissible than the previous version of the virus.

Officials said they thought the variant, which has caused infections to soar in London and southeast England, has been spreading through Los Angeles for some time. While more contagious, the variant does not appear to cause more severe illness.

Barbara Ferrer, the director of the county’s public health department, called the arrival of the variant “troubling, as our health care system is already severely strained with more than 7,500 people currently hospitalized.”

On Sunday night, the California Department of Public Health reported another variant that had grown more common across the state since December. Known as L452R, it was first detected in Denmark in March and appeared in California in May. In December, researchers at the University of California, San Francisco sequenced genomes of coronavirus gathered around the state and found that the variant was present in just 3.8 percent of their samples. By January, it had jumped to 25.2 percent.


The new administration was left with no plans for vaccine distribution…no plans whatsoever.
Such an abdication of any responsibility from those WTFers.

Newly sworn in President Joe Biden and his advisers are inheriting no coronavirus vaccine distribution plan to speak of from the Trump administration, sources tell CNN, posing a significant challenge for the new White House.

The Biden administration has promised to try to turn the Covid-19 pandemic around and drastically speed up the pace of vaccinating Americans against the virus. But in the immediate hours following Biden being sworn into office on Wednesday, sources with direct knowledge of the new administration’s Covid-related work told CNN one of the biggest shocks that the Biden team had to digest during the transition period was what they saw as a complete lack of a vaccine distribution strategy under former President Donald Trump, even weeks after multiple vaccines were approved for use in the United States.

There is nothing for us to rework. We are going to have to build everything from scratch,” one source said.

Another source described the moment that it became clear the Biden administration would have to essentially start from “square one” because there simply was no plan as: "Wow, just further affirmation of complete incompetence."



Day 2 of Biden/Harris presidency - tackle COVID head on.


Can you believe we’ve NOT been doing this all along?

Biden requires international travelers to quarantine upon arrival to US


7 days is really not long enough. Here in NZ and in Australia persons arriving go into managed isolation for 14 days. They are tested on arrival, on day 3, and again on day 12. Air travel is in many cases a super spreading event. People arriving here frequently only begin to test positive on day 12 after their arrival.
We have in NZ capacity to accept around 400 persons per day, with a total capacity of around 4,500 people in managed isolation at any one time. If a person tests positive they are immediately transferred to a special quarantine facility until such time as they recover and test negative. There is a steady stream of people arriving and testing positive with Covid. We have today 73 people in quarantine, all new arrivals to the country.
Previously people did not have to have a test before boarding an aircraft to travel to NZ, but now the government requires all passengers flying to NZ to have a negative test before they board. Even so, over the past 3 days, 9 people have arrived and tested positive for Covid.
This is a very tricky virus, and I hope that the US (now being the epicentre of the pandemic), will continue to increase the requirements for international travel to combat its spread.


You are probably very correct. i think they slacked off on the quarantine number of days because they knew people would blow it off after around 7 days. I know the real window to quarantine is 14 but people can not always do that. Glad they are expecting a test before they get on a plane.

We do have so much virus…and it’s still very out of control. We just have to do what we can…
I hope we continue to vigorously tackle all fronts but this a bit of a barrier and better than none.


President Joe Biden on Monday will reinstate the Covid-19 travel restrictions on non-US citizens who have been in Brazil, Ireland, the United Kingdom, and much of Europe, a White House official confirmed to CNN.

Biden will also extend the restrictions to travelers who have recently been to South Africa, the official said.

The step, which was first reported by Reuters, comes just one week after President Donald Trump signed an executive order in his final days in office lifting the restrictions on travelers from these countries effective January 26.

“I agree with the Secretary that this action is the best way to continue protecting Americans from COVID-19 while enabling travel to resume safely,” Trump wrote in the order, referring to then-Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar.

The Biden transition team, however, vowed that same night the new administration would not lift the restrictions . “With the pandemic worsening, and more contagious variants emerging around the world, this is not the time to be lifting restrictions on international travel,” then-incoming White House press secretary Jen Psaki said on Twitter.

“On the advice of our medical team, the Administration does not intend to lift these restrictions on 1/26. In fact, we plan to strengthen public health measures around international travel in order to further mitigate the spread of COVID-19.”

The decision to reinstate the travel restrictions – and expand restrictions in the case of South Africa – marks the latest effort by the Biden administration to break from Trump’s discursive approach to the pandemic as cases continue to climb nationwide.

Biden said on his first full day in office on Thursday his strategy would be “based on science, not politics” as he signed a slate of coronavirus-related executive actions, including ramping up vaccination supplies and requiring international travelers to provide proof of a negative Covid-19 test prior to traveling to the US.

Many of the countries that would have been impacted by Trump’s order have their own recent requirements for American travelers looking to enter their borders.

US travelers must have a negative Covid-19 test from within 72 hours prior to travel into the United Kingdom or Ireland, and in conjunction with proof of a completed Declaration of Traveler’s Health to enter Brazil. American travelers generally cannot enter countries such as Spain, Germany, France, Italy and Sweden without meeting specific requirements.


Deborah Birx said Trump was being given ‘parallel data’ on covid-19

While she was giving him the real numbers, somebody else was feeding him fake numbers, and she does not know who.

As the previous administration’s coronavirus response coordinator, Deborah Birx provided President Donald Trump with hard numbers to guide the fight against the pandemic. But all along, she said, Trump was receiving different statistics from someone else.

“Someone out there, or someone inside, was creating a parallel set of data and graphics that were shown to the president,” she said Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation.” “I know what I sent up, and I know that what was in his hands was different.”

The 79-minute sit-down interview was Birx’s first since formally exiting her role advising the Trump administration. Birx told host Margaret Brennan that she “always” considered quitting her job, during which she alternately drew criticism from other scientists and Trump.

She said she will probably retire from her job at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention within weeks after helping the Biden administration with its transition.

Birx, a well-regarded HIV researcher, was selected by Vice President Mike Pence last February to serve as his “right arm” leading the administration’s chaotic response to the pandemic.

But even after she arrived at the White House and briefed Trump on the growing threat to the country, Birx said he continued receiving — and passing on — “a parallel data stream coming into the White House that were not transparently utilized.”

“I saw the president presenting graphs that I never made,” she said.

Birx added that she believed at least some of the data had been funneled along by Scott Atlas, then a White House coronavirus adviser. He was widely rebuked for playing down the pandemic despite having no infectious-disease or public health background.

In an email to The Washington Post early Monday, Atlas said that any data he passed on to Trump was “directly from the CDC, [Department of Health and Human Services] and ongoing scientific literature,” and he maintained that listening to “additional scientists outside the administration” is “the way to arrive at the best policies.”

Anecdotes like those from Birx could be a preview of the disclosures still to come from other former Trump officials, who were tasked with battling a pandemic that has now killed more than 418,000 people in the United States.

The New York Times on Sunday published an interview with Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease specialist, in which he noted that he and his family began facing harassment and death threats as early as March.

“One day I got a letter in the mail, I opened it up and a puff of powder came all over my face and my chest,” he recalled. “That was very, very disturbing.”

While a security detail sprayed down Fauci’s office to get rid of the powder, which ended up being a “benign nothing,” the 80-year-old seemed to suggest that whatever was inside could have easily killed him.

“If it was ricin, I was dead, so bye-bye,” he said. (On several occasions, envelopes containing that lethal powder were intercepted before reaching the White House or other government officials.)

As the pandemic shut down the country last March, Fauci and Birx rapidly became the faces of the government response, appearing in daily news conferences alongside Trump, Pence and other top officials. While Birx put her support behind the administration and for a time received praise from Trump, the president criticized Fauci from the get-go for contradicting his efforts to play down a growing death toll.

Fauci, in his interview with the Times, noted that while he remained in his day job leading the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, “Birx had to live with this person in the White House every day. So it was much more of a painful situation for her.”

He faced repeated criticism from the president for going against the White House’s efforts to tamp down the virus, noting that Trump sometimes called him to “express disappointment” about these conflicts. Despite the pressure, he said he never thought about quitting his post.

“I always felt that if I did walk away, the skunk at the picnic would no longer be at the picnic,” he said. “Even if I wasn’t very effective in changing everybody’s minds, the idea that they knew that nonsense could not be spouted without my pushing back on it, I felt was important.”

Birx expressed more hesitations about her tenure, telling Brennan that she wishes she had been “more outspoken publicly” on matters such as coronavirus testing.

“I always feel like I could have done more. … I didn’t know all the consequences of all of these issues,” she said.

After the Associated Press reported last month that she had traveled to her Delaware vacation home over Thanksgiving, flouting public health warnings against such trips, she announced she would retire from her position at the CDC.

Well before that, however, she had anticipated that her role at the White House would be the final chapter of her career in the federal government.

“You can’t go into something that’s that polarized and not believe you won’t be tainted by that experience,” she said.




The Hunger Games aspect of the vaccine availability and the stealing of some doses by a FL paramedic.



UK version is moving a lot faster than we’d like to think.

Cases involving the variant are increasing 70 percent a week in Denmark, despite a strict lockdown, according to Denmark’s State Serum Institute, a government agency that tracks diseases and advises health policy.

“We’re losing some of the tools that we have to control the epidemic,” said Tyra Grove Krause, scientific director of the institute, which this past week began sequencing every positive coronavirus test to check for mutations. By contrast, the United States is sequencing 0.3 percent of cases, ranking it 43rd in the world and leaving it largely blind to the variant’s spread.


The Biden-Harris administration is planning to sign two executive orders that will likely provide some healthcare relief for those needing insurance during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as undo some Trump administration policies that undermined the Affordable Care Act.

The first order, Strengthening Medicaid and the Affordable Care Act, will ask HHS to reopen the Health Insurance Marketplace from Feb. 15 through May 15.

“This Special Enrollment Period will give Americans that need health care coverage during this global pandemic the opportunity to sign up,” the order reads.

The order will also take aim at Medicaid demonstrations and waivers introduced by the Trump administration, including adding Medicaid work requirements. The Trump administration also chipped away at the ACA by expanding short-term health plans that don’t comply with comprehensive care requirements of the healthcare law. Biden’s order promises to “re-examine” policies that undermine the Marketplace, that make it more difficult to enroll in Medicaid or the ACA, and that reduce affordability of coverage or financial assistance.

“As we continue to battle COVID-19, it is even more critical that Americans have meaningful access to affordable care,” the announcement read. “The actions the President is taking today complement the commitment he made in the American Rescue Plan to make health insurance coverage more affordable for millions of Americans.”

Biden has also directed agencies to look at policies that weaken protections for people with pre-existing conditions––including those related to COVID-19.

The second executive order is expected: a Presidential Memorandum to immediately rescind the global gag rule, or the Mexico City Policy, which severs funding to international healthcare organizations that provide abortion counseling or referrals. The gag rule has flip-flopped back and forth between Republican and Democratic presidents since Ronald Reagan, with Republicans reinstating the rule and Democrats repealing it.

Biden also asked HHS “to take immediate action to consider whether to rescind regulations under its Title X family planning program.”

Changes to the Title X Family Planning Program by Trump led approximately 25% of clinics to leave the program, according to the Guttmacher Institute. Implementing a domestic gag rule cut Title X network capacity by 46% nationwide. Planned Parenthood, which has treated one in five women in the U.S., left the Title X program in 2019 as a result of the Trump gag rule.


U.S. handling of American evacuees from Wuhan increased coronavirus risks, watchdog finds

The special counsel also criticized the HHS general counsel’s office for its ‘attempts to shame the whistleblower.’

As the first American evacuees from Wuhan, China, touched down at a California military base a year ago, fleeing the epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, they were met by U.S. health officials with no virus prevention plan or infection-control training — and who had not even been told to wear masks, according to a federal investigation.

Later, those officials were told to remove protective gear when meeting with the evacuees to avoid “bad optics,” and days after those initial encounters, departed California aboard commercial airline flights to other destinations.

Those are among the findings of two federal reports obtained by The Washington Post, supporting a whistleblower’s account of the chaos as U.S. officials scrambled to greet nearly 200 evacuees from Wuhan at March Air Reserve Base in Riverside County, Calif., in the early morning of Jan. 29, 2020. The handling and quarantining of those evacuees — the nation’s first up-close confrontation with a virus that has now sickened more than 25 million Americans — and the resulting whistleblower complaint prompted internal reviews by the Health and Human Services Department and an investigation overseen by the Office of Special Counsel.

The “most troubling finding” is that the government’s handling of the Wuhan evacuees “increased the risk of infection transmission not only to deployed [government] personnel, but also to the American public as a whole,” Special Counsel Henry Kerner wrote in a letter to President Biden on Thursday.

“In this unprecedented, dynamic, and evolving situation, the mission command and control structure during the March deployment temporarily broke down,” acknowledges an accompanying November report conducted by the HHS general counsel’s office. That report faulted a last-minute decision that resulted in HHS overseeing the operation — rather than the state of California, which had planned to house the evacuees but lacked medically adequate facilities — for the slew of ensuing problems.

In a notable rebuke, the special counsel criticized the general counsel’s office, led by Trump appointee Robert Charrow, for its “attempts to shame the whistleblower,” such as by publishing a nine-page supplemental report that repeatedly highlighted inconsistencies in her account and circulating it with members of Congress.

“It is reprehensible that HHS [general counsel] would use the investigation as an attempt to discredit [the whistleblower] when she showed tremendous courage in bringing these allegations forward,” Kerner wrote in his letter to Biden, adding that he worried about the effect on future whistleblowers.

A top Democrat seized on the special counsel’s findings, calling them “a damning account of how HHS political officials campaigned to discredit and retaliate” against a whistleblower. “Thankfully, we have turned the page on the Trump era, but we must now work to repair our damaged institutions, which includes ensuring that whistleblowers can come forward without fear of reprisal,” said Rep. Frank Pallone Jr. (D-N.J.), chairman of the House Energy and Commerce Committee.

Reached by phone, Charrow dismissed the special counsel’s critique as an interoffice quarrel. “The reputation of the Office of Special Counsel is less than stellar and does not compare with the reputation of the Office of General Counsel,” Charrow said, touting the credentials of his former team and insisting they rushed to investigate the allegations. “We work on large law firm hours, not on bankers’ hours.”

Charrow also defended his former department’s response, saying that officials were blindsided by their role in the evacuation and moved quickly to resolve safety concerns, such as by providing more protective equipment.

“Was the Department of Health and Human Services placed in an untenable position? The answer is yes,” Charrow said. “Were things corrected immediately? The answer is yes.”

The Washington Post last year detailed the whistleblower’s allegations, which prompted the HHS review. The Office of Special Counsel subsequently became involved because it receives complaints from whistleblowers and protects them from reprisal as it investigates their allegations of misconduct.

The reports paint a vivid picture of the disarray in the days leading up to the arrival of the Wuhan evacuees, with staff from the federal government’s Administration for Children and Families — who typically help with social-work services during natural disasters, and are not trained for infectious-disease outbreaks — receiving conflicting instructions about where to meet the evacuees, what to wear and even what to do.

While the reports note that none of the Wuhan evacuees tested positive for the coronavirus, and that “infection transmission apparently did not occur from the deployment,” HHS repeatedly faults Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials, some of whom were also at the base during the group’s quarantine, and the department’s regional leaders, for failing to prepare government workers and other personnel for the encounter.

For instance, a civilian contractor who drove a bus containing dozens of new arrivals from the airplane to the hangar wasn’t wearing protective equipment, despite his extended, close encounter with the evacuees, witnesses said. A food vendor also repeatedly “broke the quarantine area without permission,” investigators found.

Meanwhile, government health workers were told they didn’t need protective gear as long as they stayed six feet away from the evacuees. But evacuees, faced with overflowing trash cans in their quarantine area, would repeatedly approach the officials and personally hand them their trash.

In one episode that stretched for more than seven hours on Jan. 29, an evacuee sought to “immediately” leave the military base and eventually prevailed on public-health service officers to drive her off-site, investigators found. The effort was halted only when a county health official stepped in front of the car and later put the evacuee under a state-mandated quarantine. Neither the evacuee nor the three public health service officers who had been in the car with her wore any protective equipment, the report said.

The CDC ultimately issued a two-week quarantine order to keep the evacuees on the base in an attempt to reduce potential coronavirus risks, the agency’s first mandatory quarantine order in more than 50 years — and a sign of the restrictions that were yet to come.

In another striking moment, staff who attended a Jan. 30 “town hall” with the evacuees said they were ordered to remove their masks and gloves, with witnesses suggesting that a senior official was worried that photographs of the garbed health workers — which some evacuees were posting on social media — would alarm the public and spark media interest.

That official acknowledged to investigators that she warned health workers that wearing protective equipment would “freak out” evacuees, but disputed she was giving an order. Investigators also found a photo showing health workers without masks or gloves at the town hall, appearing to be within six feet of the evacuees.

The CDC did not provide clear guidance on the need for health workers to wear protective equipment until Feb. 1 — three days after staff had spent hours working with the evacuees on planning and paperwork, sometimes shoulder-to-shoulder, the report concluded.

HHS, in its report, said that staff who received a second round of Wuhan evacuees at Travis Air Force Base Solano County, Calif., on Feb. 5. 2020, were given proper training and protective equipment. The HHS report also concluded that the CDC must play a more formal role in providing infection-control guidance and handling future quarantines.


This is really important but also a bit of a rough watch if you’re sensitive, so TW. Caitlin is a mortician and death educator.



Wisconsin Vaccine Saboteur Steven Brandenburg Is a Flat-Earther, FBI Document Reveals

Steven Brandenburg also allegedly carried a handgun to work, and believed the sky was actually a “shield put up by the Government to prevent individuals from seeing God.”

Such a tragic, terrible loss. We are losing so many of our amazing elders to this pandemic.

R.I.P Lidia Menapace, original Antifa member, fighting fascists during WWII and sexism among the very partisans she fought alongside.