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🤮 Coronavirus (Community Thread)


This Is How We Can Beat the Coronavirus

While many watched the coronavirus spread across the globe with disinterest for months, in the last week, most of us have finally realized it will disrupt our way of life. A recent analysis from Imperial College is now making some Americans, including many experts, panic. The report projects that 2.2 million people could die in the United States. But the analysis also provides reason for hope—suggesting a path forward to avoid the worst outcomes.

We can make things better; it’s not too late. But we have to be willing to act.

Let’s start with the bad news. The Imperial College response team’s report looked at the impact of measures we might take to flatten the curve, or reduce the rate at which people are becoming sick with COVID-19. If we do nothing and just let the virus run its course, the team predicts, we could see three times as many deaths as we see from cardiovascular disease each year. Further, it estimated that infections would peak in mid-June. We could expect to see about 55,000 deaths, in just one day.

Of course, we are doing something, so this outcome is unlikely to occur. We’re closing schools and businesses and committing to social (really, physical) distancing. But as the sobering charts from the analysis show, this isn’t enough. Even after we do these things, the report predicts that a significant number of infections will occur, that more people will need care than we can possibly provide in our hospitals, and that more than 1 million could die.

Why does the Imperial College team predict this for the West when things seem to be improving in Asia? Because we are taking different approaches. Asian countries have engaged in suppression; we are only engaging in mitigation.

Suppression refers to a campaign to reduce the infectivity of a pandemic, what experts call R0 (R-naught), to less than one. Unchecked, the R0 of COVID-19 is between 2 and 3, meaning that every infected person infects, on average, two to three others. An R0 less than 1 indicates that each infected person results in fewer than one new infection. When this happens, the outbreak will slowly grind to a halt.

To achieve this, we need to test many, many people, even those without symptoms. Testing will allow us to isolate the infected so they can’t infect others. We need to be vigilant, and willing to quarantine people with absolute diligence.

Because we failed to set up a testing infrastructure, we can’t check that many people. At the moment, we can’t even test everyone who is sick. Therefore, we’re attempting mitigation—accepting that the epidemic will advance but trying to reduce R0 as much as possible.

Our primary approach is social distancing—asking people to stay away from one another. This has meant closing schools, restaurants, and bars. It’s meant asking people to work from home and not meet in groups of 10 or more. Our efforts are good, temporizing measures. Impeding the growth of the infection improves the chance our health-care system will be able to keep up.

But these efforts won’t help those who are already infected. It will take up to two weeks for those infected today to show any symptoms, and some people won’t show symptoms at all. Social distancing cannot prevent these infections, as they’ve already happened. Therefore, things will appear to get worse for some time, even if what we’re doing is making things better in the long run. The outbreak will continue to progress.

But buried in the Imperial College report is reason for optimism. The analysis finds that in the do-nothing scenario, many people die and die quickly. With serious mitigation, though, many of the measures we’re taking now slow things down. By the summer, the report calculates, the number of people who become sick will eventually reduce to a trickle.

On this path, though, the real horror show will begin in the fall and crush us next winter, when COVID-19 comes back with a vengeance.

This is what happened with the flu in 1918. The spring was bad. Over the summer, the numbers of sick dwindled and created a false sense of security. Then, all hell broke loose. In late 1918, tens of millions of people died.

If a similar pattern holds for COVID-19, then while things are bad now, it may be nothing compared to what we face at the end of the year.

Because of this, some are now declaring that we might be on lockdown for the next 18 months. They see no alternative. If we go back to normal, they argue, the virus will run unchecked and tear through Americans in the fall and winter, infecting 40 to 70 percent of us, killing millions and sending tens of millions to the hospital. To prevent that, they suggest we keep the world shut down, which would destroy the economy and the fabric of society.

But all of that assumes that we can’t change, that the only two choices are millions of deaths or a wrecked society.

That’s not true. We can create a third path. We can decide to meet this challenge head-on. It is absolutely within our capacity to do so. We could develop tests that are fast, reliable, and ubiquitous. If we screen everyone, and do so regularly, we can let most people return to a more normal life. We can reopen schools and places where people gather. If we can be assured that the people who congregate aren’t infectious, they can socialize.

We can build health-care facilities that do rapid screening and care for people who are infected, apart from those who are not. This will prevent transmission from one sick person to another in hospitals and other health-care facilities. We can even commit to housing infected people apart from their healthy family members, to prevent transmission in households.

These steps alone still won’t be enough.

We will need to massively strengthen our medical infrastructure. We will need to build ventilators and add hospital beds. We will need to train and redistribute physicians, nurses, and respiratory therapists to where they are most needed. We will need to focus our factories on turning out the protective equipment—masks, gloves, gowns, and so forth—to ensure we keep our health-care workforce safe. And, most importantly, we need to pour vast sums of intellectual and financial resources into developing a vaccine that would finally bring this nightmare to a close. An effective vaccine would end the pandemic and protect billions of people around the world.

All of the difficult actions we are taking now to flatten the curve aren’t just intended to slow the rate of infection to levels the health-care system can manage. They’re also meant to buy us time. They give us the space to create what we need to make a real difference.

Of course, it all depends on what we do with that time. The mood of the country has shifted in the last few weeks, from dismissal to one of fear and concern. That’s appropriate. This is a serious pandemic, and it’s still very likely that the rate of infection will overwhelm the surge capacity in some areas of the United States. There will likely be more seriously ill people than we have resources to care for, meaning that providers will have to make decisions about whom to treat, and whom not to.

They may, explicitly or implicitly, have to decide who lives and who dies.

If we commit to social distancing, however, at some point in the next few months the rate of spread will slow. We’ll be able to catch our breath. We’ll be able to ease restrictions, as some early hit countries are doing. We can move toward some semblance of normalcy.

The temptation then will be to think we have made it past the worst. We cannot give in to that temptation. That will be the time to redouble our efforts. We will need to prepare for the coming storm. We’ll need to build up our stockpiles, create strategies, and get ready.

If we choose the third course, when fall arrives, we will be ahead of a resurgence of the infection. We can keep the number of those who are exposed to a minimum, focusing our attention on those who are infected, and enacting more stringent physical distancing only when, and in locations where, that fails. We can keep schools and businesses open as much as possible, closing them quickly when suppression fails, then opening them back up again once the infected are identified and isolated. Instead of playing defense, we could play more offense.

We need to keep time on the clock, time to find a treatment or a vaccine.

The last time we faced a pandemic with this level of infectivity, that was this dangerous, for which we had no therapy or vaccine, was a 100 years ago, and it led to 50 million deaths. The coronavirus pandemic isn’t unprecedented, but it’s not anything almost anyone alive has experienced before. We, are, however, much more knowledgeable, much more coordinated, and much more capable today.

Some Americans are in denial, and others are feeling despair. Both sentiments are understandable. We all have a choice to make. We can look at the coming fire and let it burn. We can hunker down, and hope to wait it out—or we can work together to get through it with as little damage as possible. This country has faced massive threats before and risen to the challenge; we can do it again. We just need to decide to make it happen.

Best defense is a good offense. We need to establish massive testing infrastructure, ASAP! We need to start testing everyone.

(David Bythewood) #362

Trump, or his media team, seems to be taking this seriously finally.

It would be nice if this thread he linked this morning had come from a doctor, not a CEO, but that he posted it at all is a minor miracle.

Still doesn’t make him competent.

Trump’s latest attack on the media is more heinous than usual


Vice President Mike Pence said Saturday that he and his wife Karen would be tested for the coronavirus after a staff member in his office tested positive for the virus this week.

“Given the unique position that I have as vice president and as the leader of the White House coronavirus task force, both I and my wife will be tested for the coronavirus later this afternoon,” Pence said during a news conference at the White House.

His office announced Friday that one of its members tested positive for the coronavirus – the closest confirmed case to Pence that is publicly known.

Pence told reporters Saturday that his staffer who tested positive for coronavirus is “doing well.”

He reiterated neither President Donald Trump nor himself had direct contact with the staff member, and said that health authorities have traced his contacts.

(David Bythewood) #364

Dr. Emily Landon’s talk about the #coronavirus has become widely considered one of the best for explaining the importance of sheltering in place.

“If we do this right, nothing happens.” - Dr. Emily Landon

It’s always about money.

The Latest Obstacle to Getting Tested? A Shortage of Swabs and Face Masks

Hospitals and doctors say they are critically low on swabs needed to test patients for the coronavirus, as well as face masks and other gear to protect health care workers.

What Are Viruses Anyway, and Why Do They Make Us so Sick? 5 Questions Answered

Viruses are basically parasites and, as such, can wreak havoc – but not always. They cause the most damage when jumping from a familiar host to a new host.

(David Bythewood) #365


If true that would be excellent progress…:boom:

Thx @matt who tweets all important news day and night.

Washington, DC(CNN)The US Food and Drug Administration announced it has authorized the use of the first rapid diagnostic test that could detect the novel coronavirus in approximately 45 minutes.

The authorization was made Friday and tests will begin shipping next week, according to a statement from California-based Cepheid, the company manufacturing the tests.

“During this time of increased demand for hospital services, Clinicians urgently need an on-demand diagnostic test for real-time management of patients being evaluated for admission to health-care facilities,” said Dr. David Persing, MD, Ph.D., chief medical and technology officer at Cepheid.

An accurate test delivered close to the patient can be transformative – and help alleviate the pressure that the emergence of the 2019-nCoV outbreak has put on healthcare facilities that need to properly allocate their respiratory isolation resources," Persing added.

(David Bythewood) #367

Instead of working to get more masks made and shipped to hospitals around the country, our #COVIDIOT - in-chief is chastising them for how they dispose of masks.

To be very, very clear, no, you cannot safely de-sanitize your masks the way Trump says. They are single-use for a reason, and before this they were quite cheap to obtain. Trump is a moron.

This will definitely make China want to resolve that trade war nicely and swiftly, right?


‘Our warehouse is empty’: Washington state epidemiologist describes severe shortage of medical supplies

Washington’s state epidemiologist on Friday offered a stark assessment of a critical shortage of personal protective gear for health care workers and testing supplies needed to combat the coronavirus pandemic and safeguard workers.

“We have health care workers wearing bandannas at this point,” Dr. Scott Lindquist told The Seattle Times on Friday. “Our warehouse is empty. Literally, we don’t have any [equipment] to be given out. And when we do get it, we give it out right away.”

There will be a spike in the numbers as supplies dwindle.

(David Bythewood) #369

Oh, and it turns out that the DoJ wants to be able to hold ANYBODY indefinitely during an emergency, once again showing what the Trump regime thinks of the Constitution.

DOJ Wants to Suspend Certain Constitutional Rights During Coronavirus Emergency

The DoJ has secretly asked Congress for the ability to detain arrested people “indefinitely” in addition to other powers that one expert called “terrifying”


(Lynn) #370

trump’s weeks of downplaying COVID-19…Watch the lies unfold. :exploding_head:


USA compared to the other countries…insidious and unmitigated for too long.



Senator Rand Paul Tests Positive for Coronavirus

Kentucky Republican Rand Paul is the first US senator to test positive for coronavirus, according to a statement on Twitter.

“He is feeling fine and is in quarantine. He is asymptomatic and was tested out of an abundance of caution due to his extensive travel and events. He was not aware of any direct contact with any infected person,” the post said.

Wishing Mr. Paul well and hoping he recovers quickly without infecting others.

However, we should not forget his shameful behavior just last week. In the middle of this crisis, when every hour counts as the virus spreads exponentially, Rand Paul, a self-styled “libertarian conservative,” was solely responsible for delaying the coronavirus relief bill a full day just so he could grandstand his views in the Senate.

Senator Rand Paul Single-handedly Delayed Coronavirus Relief Bill

Senate leaders were scrambling Tuesday to pass coronavirus legislation as quickly as possible, but Sen. Rand Paul put a damper on those plans, two leadership sources told NBC News.

Senators were heading toward a vote on the package — which would include provisions for free coronavirus testing, secure paid emergency leave, enhance unemployment insurance, strengthen food security initiatives and increase federal Medicaid funding to states — but they had to slam on the brakes because of an amendment Paul proposed.

The sources said Paul is forcing a vote on his amendment, which would “require a social security number for purposes of the child tax credit, and to provide the President the authority to transfer funds as necessary, and to terminate United States military operations and reconstruction activities in Afghanistan.”

The House bill “must pass the Senate today but unfortunately, first we must dispose of a Republican amendment that would make a condition of the bill to require the president to terminate military operations in Afghanistan. Yes you heard me right!” Schumer said on the Senate floor. "In a time of national emergency this Republican amendment is ridiculous, a colossal waste of time. We probably could have voted on this bill a day or two ago if not for the need to schedule this amendment."


German Chancellor Angela Merkel in quarantine after doctor tests positive

Chancellor Angela Merkel must now go into quarantine, her spokesman Steffen Seibert has announced. Immediately after announcing drastic, Germany-wide measures on limiting contact among the population, Merkel was informed that a doctor she had been in contact with on Friday had meanwhile tested positive for the coronavirus.

“Even from domestic quarantine, the Chancellor will continue her official business”, Seibert said.


Elizabeth Warren critical of coronavirus relief bill, “Not bipartisan,” “Slush fund for the big guys”

(David Bythewood) #376

Trump has sent a letter to North Korean dictator Kim Jong Un offering aid with the coronavirus, making North Korea the first nation, including the US, for Trump to offer assistance to.

(David Bythewood) #377

The thread is worth reading, it has some stunning info also.

Lawsuit: Trump Admin Using Coronavirus as Political Weapon to Punish California and ‘Reward’ Red States

President Donald Trump is using the Coronavirus as a political weapon to reward his allies and punish his enemies, according to court documents filed on Monday morning.

City leaders in Costa Mesa, California are currently engaged in a volley of words and legal briefs with the Trump administration in general–and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) in particular–over a plan to move several dozen Coronavirus patients from a military lockup facility to a civilian-run facility.

Local officials there are backed up by their counterparts in Orange County, as well as state and federal officials representing California.

The feud has been simmering for awhile–though the legal battle itself is only a few days old–as the woefully unprepared Trump administration scrambles to control the deadly outbreak.

The plan from Trump’s HHS to transfer the 50-plus patients out of military custody to a state-run facility have been vociferously opposed from the start–but the latest filings add an entirely new political dimension rife with themes of reward and retribution.

The struggle in the Monday filing paints the choices and preferences of HHS Director Alex Azar –seemingly acting on Trump’s behalf and/or in order to please his boss–as a tribal and partisan battle between red states and the bluest state in the nation.

The filing begins with decided aplomb:

If there were any doubt that the federal government has no plan and is not acting in the best interests of the community, those doubts have been laid to rest by the Federal Government’s most recent actions. On February 23, 2020, President Trump spoke with Alabama Senator Richard Shelby and promised to protect the people of Alabama by not sending Coronavirus patients to that state even though the facility there is a former military base, a multi-jurisdictional training center for chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear threats, and one of the most suitable in the country to handle the unique challenges of isolating and treating Coronavirus patients. Yet Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar confirmed to Alabama Congressman Mike Rogers that no one exposed to Coronavirus would be sent to the Center for Domestic Preparedness in Anniston, Alabama.

“Instead, it now seems like the entire national burden of isolating and caring for this entire cohort of people in the United States infected with the Coronavirus — and perhaps more, once Costa Mesa is established as the ‘go to’ place for these folks — will fall on the community of Costa Mesa and its surrounding cities,” the cities’ brief continues. “The Defendants have called this action interference with federal-state cooperation on federal quarantine issues. To the contrary, it has shined a light on the fact that the federal government is acting for arbitrary and capricious political reasons, and not based on the best scientific evidence or to protect the public.”

Far from subtle, the Costa Mesa lawsuit directly accuses Trump and his subordinates of using the deadly sickness as a cudgel against his enemies.

One section heading reads: “President Trump’s Promise to Alabama Confirms that Coronavirus Patients Pose a Public Health Risk, and Reveals the Federal Government’s Plan as an Effort to Use this Crisis as a Political Weapon.”

That section states its case plain:

President Trump put a finer point on the harm threatened against Costa Mesa Sunday when he promised to protect Alabama residents from this very same danger even though the facility in Alabama selected as a location to treat other Coronavirus patients is far more secure and suitable for this purpose. The public statements of Governor [ Kay ] Ivey , Senator Shelby, and Congressman Rogers thanking President Trump for cancelling the plans to use the Center for Domestic Preparedness and thereby “keeping Alabamians safe,” make clear that President Trump’s promise presumed that moving individuals with Coronavirus to the State of Alabama posed a danger to that state’s public health and safety.

Ivey recently moved to allay fears in her home state after it was reported that a FEMA Facility in Anniston, Alabama was being considered due to its highly-specialized nature and ability to handle such cases.

“Late Friday night, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) informed me about their proposal to transport Americans who have tested positive with the Coronavirus (COVID-19) from the Diamond Princess cruise ship to a FEMA Center for Domestic Preparedness (CDP) in Anniston,” Ivey’s statement said. “Sensing the urgency, I quickly informed the offices of Senators Richard Shelby and Doug Jones and Congressman Mike Rogers, as well as Dr. Scott Harris with the Alabama Department of Public Health. On Saturday, it appears that a press release from HHS was inadvertently, and perhaps prematurely, sent notifying the State of Alabama that these individuals were scheduled to begin transporting to Alabama as early as Wednesday.”

Instead, Ivey insisted, the Anniston facility was simply a “back-up plan.”

But California officials apparently smelled a rat.

“Because we were not given the opportunity to play a role in that decision, we decided that the only way we could stop the process was to seek a federal court judge’s help and get the injunction,” Costa Mesa Mayor Katrina Foley said at a slapdash press conference after she and other California officials were apparently blindsided by the Trump administration’s shifting proposal. “We are not going to continue to be the place where everybody drops off their crises and expects us to correct it.”

Again the filing at length [emphasis theirs]:

Moreover, if it were truly necessary to send the Coronavirus patients to new locations now, then President Trump would not have withdrawn the Government’s supposedly well thought out and scientifically based plan to locate the majority of those patients at a facility in Alabama uniquely qualified to handle this threat. And the people of Costa Mesa are now left to wonder if everyone infected with Coronavirus will be housed in a dilapidated former assisted living facility the State of California declared just three weeks ago to be unsuitable as an emergency shelter. Indeed, the State determined this facility could not be used even as an alternative to having people sleep on the street because it required two years and $25 million dollars in rehabilitation just to make it habitable. Are the people of Costa Mesa really supposed to believe this is the best location in the entire country to serve as the frontline for combatting [sic] and containing this potential epidemic?

“In the absence of any meaningful communication from the federal government, Plaintiffs and the people of Costa Mesa and Orange County are left wondering why their community was chosen and why Alabama was spared,” the filing continues before begging the question: “Why are secure federal facilities and specialized medical facilities inappropriate, but a rundown former home for people with developmental disabilities is perfectly situated to contain a dangerous and deadly disease?”

Read the full filing below:

Federal law enforcement document reveals white supremacists discussed using coronavirus as a bioweapon

White supremacists discussed plans to weaponize coronavirus via “saliva,” a “spray bottle” or “laced items,” according to a weekly intelligence brief distributed by a federal law enforcement division on Feb. 17.


Half a million N95 masks are on their way to New York and Seattle, manufacturer says

A 3M factory in South Dakota is now producing 35 million N95 masks a month, 90 percent of which the company is selling for healthcare workers after a change in law last week eliminated the threat of lawsuits from such sales.

(David Bythewood) #379

U.S. axed CDC expert job in China months before virus outbreak

(David Bythewood) #380

Why Hasn’t Trump Ordered the Army Corps of Engineers to Build Out Hospital Capacity?

We are going to need a lot more hospital beds. The lack of action is in line with the administration’s response when it comes to coronavirus testing and a whole lot else.

Ocasio-Cortez says President not using his Defense Production Act powers will cost lives