WTF Community

🤮 Coronavirus (Community Thread)

A community thread for discussing the coronavirus as it intersects with the Trump administration.

How about maps of disease spread? Especially one that distinguishes cases contracted elsewhere v. Person-to-person spread. Thus far, CDC is claiming there are not Person-to-person cases, which, WHEN that starts in the US, will be a whole new ball game. I love graphic info. I also think a separate catagory might be a good idea after all. It’s gonna be yooooooge.

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Oops, first report of person-to-person in the US. Game on.


More on preparedness for the onset of Coronavirus.

Public-health officials’ warnings about the coronavirus are sounding increasingly urgent, with one top CDC official asking the public yesterday “to prepare for the expectation that this might be bad.”

Reality check: Other administration officials, including President Trump himself, were more subdued in their assessments. But underneath those tonal differences, the reality of the coronavirus is the same: It spreads quickly, and has already spread to many countries, making it likely to start spreading here, too.

Where it stands: There are now cases piling up across Asia and into the Middle East, where it’s also spreading locally, even from people who weren’t exposed in China. As the virus itself spreads and as American travelers can encounter it in more places, the risk of a pandemic rises.

  • Financial markets are already braced for the worst; the S&P 500 fell by 3.4% yesterday as fears of the virus widened.
  • So far, though, there are only about 50 confirmed cases of coronavirus inside the U.S., and most of those people were exposed to the virus abroad.

Yes, but: There may already be more American cases than we know about. The CDC’s diagnostic tests for the virus have malfunctioned, and only about a dozen state and local health agencies even have them.

  • The CDC is working on a new one, but in the meantime, the U.S. has only tested some 426 people for the virus.
  • “We still do not know when the CDC kit replacements will come out … it doesn’t feel like a good place to be,” Scott Becker, chief executive officer of the Association of Public Health Laboratories, told the Wall Street Journal.

You do not need to start panicking about coronavirus, at least not yet.

  • The best ways to avoid getting the coronavirus are the same things you’d do to avoid getting the flu: Wash your hands, and stay away from work, school or other crowded places if you’re sick.
  • If a pandemic does begin in the U.S., some businesses may want to embrace telework; schools may ultimately need to cancel classes; and local governments may want to reschedule large events, the CDC’s Nancy Messonnier said.
  • “I understand this situation may seem overwhelming and that disruption to everyday life may be severe, but these are things that people need to start thinking about now,” she said.

What’s next: The White House is asking Congress for $2.5 billion to combat the virus, though even some Republican senators were unhappy with a briefing yesterday about the federal response, per the Washington Post.

  • The National Institutes of Health is working on a vaccine. That will still take a year or more, “even at rocket speed,” the NIH’s Anthony Fauci said yesterday — but the coronavirus could stick around next flu season, too.
  • Hospitals rarely keep on hand the large quantities of protective gear they’d need to deal with a pandemic. Obtaining those supplies will be another challenge.

Be smart: Public-health experts told me in the early days of the Chinese outbreak that the smart thing to do was to prepare for the worst, and now the CDC is sounding that alarm, as well.

  • There’s not much you yourself can or should do right now — but some degree of outbreak has always been pretty likely and keeps looking more likely.

And a reminder don’t forget to get a flu shot-

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Thanks for starting this thread, @Huddy! I think we can sufficiently keep things tidy in this thread for the time being. In general, I want to try and keep this conversation at the intersection of coronavirus x Trump administration response.


cross-posting Tuesday’s coverage from: Day 1132


Cross-reference under immigration. With a potential pandemic looming, this is NOT good.


Also related:

Trump rips coronavirus coverage, to hold news conference




Trump administration to cut funds from health programs to pay for coronavirus response


One more

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Watch: President Trump Holds News Conference on Coronavirus

President Trump held a news conference to provide an update on the coronavirus outbreak.



Cross-posting from: Day 1133


This is a good graphic…with comparisons of various influenza - Swine, Ebola, SARS etc. Spanish Flu. Might just put it in perspective…it is linked to WHO but not created by it…

Not a T related intersection, but informative.


Tucker Carlson Blames ‘Diversity’ And ‘Wokeness’ For Coronavirus

The Fox News host turned to racism as the outbreak continued to spread.


T backers are sure this is a conspiracy against T to bring him down. WTF

Trump backers see a coronavirus conspiracy

CDC official who raised fears turns out to be Rod Rosenstein’s sister, setting off MAGA-world alarms._

Some supporters of President Donald Trump see a threat bigger than the spread of a highly contagious novel coronavirus: a conspiracy by “deep state” actors to use the virus against the president.

One key piece of evidence fueling their theory: A Centers for Disease Control official making public statements on the outbreak is the sister of Rod Rosenstein, the former deputy attorney general who oversaw the Mueller probe and, according to a disputed report, once discussed removing Trump from office.

Dr. Nancy Messonnier, head of the CDC’s National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases — who got a shoutout from her brother for attending his 2017 confirmation hearing – warned Americans in a Tuesday media briefing that an outbreak in the U.S. is inevitable.

Messonnier’s comments got widespread attention, sparking calls for further actions by the administration, which had long struck a more reassuring note. The furor appeared to catch Trump flat-footed while en route back from his summit with the Indian prime minister, where he had declared the outbreak “very well under control.”

The likes of conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh and Jim Hoft, publisher of the Gateway Pundit, a conspiratorial, pro-Trump site, have seized on the sibling connection, as have a large number of anonymous Twitter accounts.

“Rod Rosenstein as we all know definitely worked to undermine the Trump administration, which is oddly exactly what his sister is doing by undermining the more logical and calm message the president’s team has issued on the virus,” charged conservative pundit Wayne Dupree in a Wednesday blog post.

Global financial markets have been sliding for several days over concerns about the fallout from the virus, a trend that threatens Trump’s rosy economic message as well as his political future.

Yet there is no evidence that federal health authorities are over-stating the threat of coronavirus to prosecute a political vendetta against Trump, and some conservatives – even as they praised the administration’s response – rushed to defend Messonier.

“I’ve heard people jumping on Nancy Messonnier because she told us the truth: that it’s not a matter of if but when,”Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.) told reporters on Wednesday. “Isn’t that what you want to hear instead of some pie in the sky?”

Trump himself – who rose to political prominence by promoting the false idea that Barack Obama was not born in the United States – has aired his own suspicions that mainstream media outlets are sensationalizing the virus and contributing to a plunging stock market. “Low Ratings Fake News MSDNC (Comcast) & @CNN are doing everything possible to make the Caronavirus look as bad as possible, including panicking markets, if possible,” he tweeted on Wednesday morning.

The tweet came after Limbaugh aired fears that the virus was being “weaponized” against Trump on his Monday radio program. He accused the “Drive-By Media” of over-hyping the threat posed by the virus in order to tank financial markets.

“There’s nothing unusual about the coronavirus,” opined Limbaugh, who was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by Trump earlier this month. Limbaugh, who also compared the virus to the “common cold,” followed up on Tuesday by seizing on the Messonnier-Rosenstein connection.

Low Ratings Fake News MSDNC (Comcast) & @CNN are doing everything possible to make the Caronavirus look as bad as possible, including panicking markets, if possible. Likewise their incompetent Do Nothing Democrat comrades are all talk, no action. USA in great shape! @CDCgov

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 26, 2020

Other Trump supporters, meanwhile, have seized on the crisis to deflect blame to some of the president’s favorite targets: foreign governments and powerful global organizations.

In a January 29 blog post, America First Policies, a pro-Trump nonprofit co-founded by Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale, criticized the Chinese Communist Party and the World Health Organization for not doing enough to raise the alarm about the outbreak.

The World Health Organization,” the group wrote, “is a case study of how the Chinese Communist Party infects supposedly apolitical institutions.”



Yup, I posted a thing about that earlier from that moron Chuck Woolery. I didn’t realize it was this widespread, though!


Is it wrong to hope that someone infected goes to a t rally?


Okay, first, there IS no vaccine any time in the near future.


The Trump administration says the coronavirus vaccine might not be affordable for all Americans

Coronavirus lays bare all the pathologies of the Trump administration

Acting deputy secretary of DHS, arch-nativist Ken Cuccinell, a top member of Trump’s coronavirus task force, asked Twitter for help accessing map of the virus

Trump’s DHS head has a brutal exchange on coronavirus — courtesy of a GOP senator

The Department of Homeland Security is coordinating the U.S. government’s response to the increasing threat of the novel coronavirus. The agency has also been under the control of acting head Chad Wolf for more than four months, with no full-time replacement selected.

And Wolf’s testimony Tuesday morning wasn’t exactly confidence-inspiring — particularly for one GOP senator.

Appearing in front of a Senate appropriations subcommittee, Wolf was on the receiving end of a brutal line of questioning from Sen. John Neely Kennedy (R-La.). Throughout the exchange, Wolf struggled to produce basic facts and projections about the disease. Perhaps most strikingly, the hearing came at a time of heightened fears about the disease, with the stock market plunging over new estimates about its spread into the United States. It’s a moment in which you’d expect such things to be top of mind for someone in Wolf’s position.

Wolf got started on the wrong foot almost immediately, when Kennedy asked him how many cases of the coronavirus there were in the United States. Wolf stated there were 14 but was uncertain about how many cases had been repatriated back to the United States from cruise ships, placing the number at “20- or 30-some-odd.”

Asked how many DHS was anticipating, Wolf didn’t have an answer and suggested this was the Department of Health and Human Services’ territory. “We do anticipate the number will grow; I don’t have an exact figure for you, though,” Wolf said.

“You’re head of Homeland Security, and your job is to keep us safe,” Kennedy responded, asking him again what the estimates might be. Wolf talked around the question, which led Kennedy to say, “Don’t you think you ought to check on that, as the head of Homeland Security?”

“We will,” Wolf responded. He referred to a task force that is working on that issue.

“I’m all for committees and task forces,” Kennedy said. “I think you ought to know that answer.”

Things didn’t get much better from there.

Kennedy then asked Wolf how the coronavirus was transmitted, to which Wolf responded that there were “a variety of ways” including “human to human.” That, though, wasn’t what Kennedy was asking; he was asking how it was transmitted between humans.

“How is it transmitted?” Kennedy cut in, making clear he wanted specifics.

“A variety of different ways,” Wolf again responded.

“Tell me what they are,” Kennedy quizzed him, clearly skeptical that Wolf knew the answer.

When Wolf again referred to “human-to-human” transmissions, Kennedy cut in. “Well, obviously human to human,” Kennedy said. “How?”

Wolf could muster only that it was “being in the same vicinity” and “physical contact.”

Kennedy then sought to compare mortality rates for the coronavirus — which is about 2 percent — and for influenza “over the last 10 years in America.” Wolf, who was clearly on his heels, responded somewhat haltingly that the flu was “also right around that percentage, as well” — referring to the 2 percent.

“You sure of that?” Kennedy asked.

“Yes, sir,” Wolf said.

The mortality rate for influenza in the United States is significantly lower than that — only around 0.1 percent, according to the CDC, with some differences depending on how you define an influenza-related death. In other words, while about 1 in 50 people are dying from the coronavirus, only about 1 in 1,000 Americans die of the flu. Wolf may have been referring to the worldwide flu mortality rate, which is indeed significantly higher than in the United States. He began answering the question as Kennedy was saying “America.”

It was more of the same from there. Kennedy asked whether we have enough respirators, and Wolf again wasn’t totally sure. “To my knowledge, we do.” Kennedy responded the committee had been told that wasn’t the case. Wolf seemed to think Kennedy was asking only about equipment for DHS officials and not the broader public.

A similar exchange occurred on masks. Wolf then tried to push back, noting Kennedy was asking him about “a number of medical questions.”

“I’m asking you questions because you’re the secretary of the Department of Homeland Security,” Kennedy shot back, “and you’re supposed to keep us safe. And you need to know the answers to these questions.”

Kennedy then asked when a vaccine for the disease might be ready, and Wolf said “several months.” Kennedy again said that conflicted with what the committee had been told elsewhere.

“Your numbers aren’t the same as CDC’s,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy concluded by again begging Wolf to have answers to these questions. But as Wolf tried to respond, Kennedy was apparently finished with the whole thing, and he instead yielded his time back.

The scene was jarring, but it wasn’t without precedent from Kennedy. The Louisiana senator has occasionally sent a message to the Trump administration by lighting into the president’s judicial picks — including in 2017 and last year. He also told administration officials during a hearing on the opioid crisis two months ago, “I don’t speak B.S.

Tuesday was particularly striking, though, given who Wolf is. President Trump has left acting officials in charge of major departments and in other Cabinet-level jobs for months and months without picking successors that people like Kennedy would vote to confirm. The downside of that is the people in charge haven’t been vetted as closely for situations such as a potential outbreak of a disease. (DHS has actually been under acting control for more than 10 months now.)

Whether any one of Kennedy’s individual questions was fair or not, Wolf’s exchange with Kennedy suggested someone who was wasn’t terribly plugged in to what’s going on. That’s not a great sign.

As coronavirus fear grips Wall Street, the White House moves decisively to protect Trump from germs

Behind our sluggish response to coronavirus, an unnecessary battle over funding

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I wouldn’t wish that on anyone but that would really bring new meaning to “where we go one, we go all.”