WTF Community

🤮 Coronavirus (Community Thread)


(M A Croft) #822

Quoted for truth.

Some years ago your country produced almost all its own clothing, as we did here in NZ. Now the only clothing America produces is high end. I’m sure you are all more aware of that fact than I. But with the rise of the global economy, all western nations have done the same thing, exporting their production of clothing off-shore to sweat shops in Asia.
As a past student of Naval College I often wondered how an army would cloth itself if it were to engage in a conflict with its major supplier of clothing.
I took some comfort in this, because I couldn’t imagine any countries leader being so stupid. Now I’m not so sure.


#823

Wouldn’t that just down grade America’s credit rating?


#824

There are a lot of murmurings of where is the CDC in all this. Dr. Redfield (CDC head) has been sidelined it seems…and this is an explosive report from within the ranks of the CDC which clearly says that US was behind in the response.

It does all come down to messaging…and I am remembering hearing how internal WH memos wanted all messaging re: Coronavirus to be not ‘alarmist.’

CDC’s response to the pandemic outbreak

The U.S. government was slow to understand how much coronavirus was spreading from Europe, which helped drive the acceleration of outbreaks across the nation, a top health official said Friday.

Limited testing and delayed travel alerts for areas outside China contributed to the jump in U.S. cases starting in late February, said Dr. Anne Schuchat, the No. 2 official at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

We clearly didn’t recognize the full importations that were happening,” Schuchat told The Associated Press.

The coronavirus was first reported late last year in China, the initial epicenter of the global pandemic. But the U.S. has since become the hardest-hit nation, with about a third of the world’s reported cases and more than a quarter of the deaths.

The CDC on Friday published an article, authored by Schuchat, that looked back on the U.S. response, recapping some of the major decisions and events of the last few months. It suggests the nation’s top public health agency missed opportunities to slow the spread. Some public health experts saw it as important assessment by one of the nation’s most respected public health doctors.

The CDC is responsible for the recognition, tracking and prevention of just such a disease. But the agency has had a low profile during this pandemic, with White House officials controlling communications and leading most press briefings.

The degree to which CDC’s public presence has been so diminished … is one of the most striking and frankly puzzling aspects of the federal government’s response,” said Jason Schwartz, assistant professor of health policy at the Yale School of Public Health.

President Donald Trump has repeatedly celebrated a federal decision, announced on Jan. 31, to stop entry into the U.S. of any foreign nationals who had traveled to China in the previous 14 days. That took effect Feb. 2. China had imposed its own travel restrictions earlier, and travel out of its outbreak areas did indeed drop dramatically.

But in her article, Schuchat noted that nearly 2 million travelers arrived in the U.S. from Italy and other European countries during February. The U.S. government didn’t block travel from there until March 11.

“The extensive travel from Europe, once Europe was having outbreaks, really accelerated our importations and the rapid spread,” she told the AP. ”I think the timing of our travel alerts should have been earlier.”

She also noted in the article that more than 100 people who had been on nine separate Nile River cruises during February and early March had come to the U.S. and tested positive for the virus, nearly doubling the number of known U.S. cases at that time.

The article is carefully worded, but Schwartz saw it as a notable departure from the White House narrative.

“This report seems to challenge the idea that the China travel ban in late January was instrumental in changing the trajectory of this pandemic in the United States,” he said.

In the article, Schuchat also noted the explosive effect of some late February mass gatherings, including a scientific meeting in Boston, the Mardis Gras celebration in New Orleans and a funeral in Albany, Georgia. The gatherings spawned many cases, and led to decisions in mid-March to restrict crowds.

Asked about that during the interview, Schuchat said: “I think in retrospect, taking action earlier could have delayed further amplification (of the U.S. outbreak), or delayed the speed of it.”

But she also noted there was an evolving public understanding of just how bad things were, as well as a change in what kind of measures — including stay-at-home orders — people were willing to accept.

“I think that people’s willingness to accept the mitigation is unfortunately greater once they see the harm the virus can do,” she said. “There will be debates about should we have started much sooner, or did we go too far too fast.”

Schuchat’s article still leaves a lot of questions unanswered, said Dr. Howard Markel, a public health historian at the University of Michigan.

It doesn’t reveal what kind of proposals were made, and perhaps ignored, during the critical period before U.S. cases began to take off in late February, he said.

I want to know … the conversations, the memos the presidential edicts,” said Markel, who’s written history books on past pandemics. “Because I still believe this did not need to be as bad as it turned out.”

And this plug for getting the CDC back… article by Dr. Ashish JHA Harvard Global health Institute Director


#825

:eyes:


#826

Just a FYI…

May 12th is also the day Scotus listens to the Mazars and Deutsche Bank cases…

Note: Uncle Blazer (twitterer) is getting a bit conspiratorial for my likes, but he has got great legal acuity…


#827

Michael Lewis, author of many books (Moneyball) lays down these markers which illustrate how behind T was on the pandemic response.

Nowhere was ignorance of these responsibilities quite as glaring as within the Trump camp when it walked into the White House. The presidential team had next to no interest in studying the outgoing Obama administration’s painstaking transition documents.

And ever since, Trump has displayed a barely concealed indifference to the government he is supposed to lead, either leaving key posts vacant or appointing ill-suited hangers-on or business people with obvious conflicts of interest to head up different departments, agencies and regulatory bodies.

It’s a laissez-faire attitude that has left him ill-prepared to mobilise a coordinated national response to Covid-19. Lewis rates Trump’s performance at the outset of the pandemic as “appallingly bad”, not least because he had already dismantled a programme called Predict that was designed to anticipate the movement of viruses around the world.

But the big thing he did,Lewis adds, “was to remove the pandemic response team from the White House. So he cost us time in the beginning, and time is lives. He cost us much more time than an ordinarily inept man would’ve cost us because, in addition to being inept, he dug his heels in and pretended for weeks that he wasn’t inept. And those weeks were expensive.”

Trump’s downplaying or outright denial of the Covid-19 threat is well-documented. From mid-January to mid-March, he seemed to view it as something that could be talked away, as though it would disappear through the sheer force of his bluster. Since then he has been forced by events to change tack. The strategic line, though, has been rather muddled: one moment he emphasises the need to support the lockdown, the next he encourages protesters to reject individual state restrictions.

He should be speaking for the whole country and he’s not,” says Lewis, “but having said that, he hasn’t been as hostile to science as he might have been.”

By this, Lewis means that Trump has largely stood by Anthony Fauci, the key member of the White House coronavirus task force, whom Lewis calls “the most popular man in America”. The celebrated immunologist has certainly spearheaded a much-needed revival of expertise, but nonetheless Trump’s newfound support for science is not an obvious improvement on his previous hostility. After all, the cause of empirical research was hardly advanced by his suggestion that injecting disinfectant could be the answer to the pathogen.

Lewis concedes the point, yet sees signs that Trump, or those around him, are trying to scramble together a functioning operation to deal with the pandemic, if only because there is now no alternative.

It’s interesting to watch,” Lewis says, “because I think he’s figuring out in his reptilian brain that he actually has to solve a problem, rather than just let it all happen and then make up a story after the fact.”

The problem for Trump, whose speciality is presidential edict by tweet, is that he’s never had much respect for policy and planning. The degradation of federal planning and infrastructure is not a new development. It extends back to Ronald Reagan’s day, but Trump has rapidly accelerated the process. He is, says Lewis, “the last station on the Reagan Express”.


#828

The lack of rapid response from T 'n Co is getting rehashed quite a bit, and we’ve known all along it was a lot of too little too late, with preservation of the economy running at the top of T’s mind always positioning himself for getting re-elected.

But the inner ring of advisers and who was punting this or that back to the governors is interesting. I did not know about the offer that T made to Gov Newsom for that malaria drug quick fix - and Newsom is ten steps ahead of T, all the while
‘yessing’ T just to make sure CA gets what it needs.

And it is utterly disgusting to call any of this a ‘a great success’ hitting on any kind of messaging to turn around the devastation of this pandemic.

By the end of April — with more Americans dying in the month than in all of the Vietnam War — it became clear that the Hassett model was too good to be true. “A catastrophic miss,” as a former senior administration official briefed on the data described it. The president’s course would not be changed, however. Trump and Kushner began to declare a great victory against the virus, while urging America to start reopening businesses and schools.

“It’s going to go. It’s going to leave. It’s going to be gone. It’s going to be eradicated,” the president said Wednesday, hours after his son-in-law claimed the administration’s response had been “a great success story.

The span of 34 days between March 29, when Trump agreed to extend strict social-distancing guidelines, and this past week, when he celebrated the reopening of some states as a harbinger of economic revival, tells a story of desperation and dysfunction.

So determined was Trump to extinguish the deadly virus that he repeatedly embraced fantasy cure-alls and tuned out both the reality that the first wave has yet to significantly recede and the possibility of a potentially worse second wave in the fall.

The president sought to obscure major problems by trying to recast them as triumphs. He repeatedly boasted, for instance, that the United States has conducted more tests than any other country, even though the total of 6.75 million is a fraction of the 2 million to 3 million tests per day that many experts say is needed to safely reopen.

And though Trump was fixated on reopening the economy, he and his administration fell far short of making that a reality. The factors that health and business leaders say are critical to a speedy and effective reopening — widespread testing, contact tracing and coordinated efforts between Washington and the states — remain lacking.

“We wasted two months denying it. We’re now wasting another two months by just dithering around,” said Kathleen Sebelius, a former Kansas governor and health secretary in the Obama administration. “The administration seems to have washed their hands of it and said [to governors], we’re out of it. You’re on your own. Figure it out.”

“That’s really the story of all this,” agreed one outside adviser to the Trump administration. “The states are just doing everything on their own.”


(David Bythewood) #829




(David Bythewood) #830



#831

I looked at this…projecting Presidential/VP ticket…that’s all it was. And full of gaslighting, with soft ball q’s from Fox. Didn’t needed to watch but #Trainwreck


(David Bythewood) #832

#833

The Trump administration projects about 3,000 daily deaths by early June.

As President Trump presses for states to reopen their economies, his administration is privately projecting a steady rise in the number of cases and deaths from coronavirus over the next several weeks, reaching about 3,000 daily deaths on June 1, according to an internal document obtained by The New York Times, nearly double from the current level of about 1,750.

The projections, based on modeling by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and pulled together in chart form by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, forecast about 200,000 new cases each day by the end of the month, up from about 25,000 cases now.

The numbers underscore a sobering reality: While the United States has been hunkered down for the past seven weeks, not much has changed. And the reopening to the economy will make matters worse.

“There remains a large number of counties whose burden continues to grow,” the C.D.C. warned.

The projections confirm the primary fear of public health experts:** that a reopening of the economy will put the nation right back where it was in mid-March**, when cases were rising so rapidly in some parts of the country that patients were dying on gurneys in hospital hallways as the health care system grew overloaded.

DOCUMENTS

See the internal report.

“While mitigation didn’t fail, I think it’s fair to say that it didn’t work as well as we expected,” Scott Gottlieb, Mr. Trump’s former commissioner of food and drugs, said Sunday on the CBS program Face the Nation. “We expected that we would start seeing more significant declines in new cases and deaths around the nation at this point. And we’re just not seeing that.”

On Sunday, Mr. Trump said deaths in the United States could reach 100,000, twice as many as he had forecast just two weeks ago. But his new estimate still underestimates what his own administration is now predicting to be the total death toll by the end of May — much less in the months that follow. It follows a pattern for Mr. Trump, who has frequently understated the impact of the disease.

“We’re going to lose anywhere from 75, 80 to 100,000 people,” he said in a virtual town hall on Fox News. “That’s a horrible thing. We shouldn’t lose one person over this.”

Mr. Gottlieb said Americans “may be facing the prospect that 20,000, 30,000 new cases a day diagnosed becomes the new normal.”

Some states that have partially reopened are still seeing an increase in coronavirus cases, including Iowa, Minnesota, Tennessee and Texas, according to Times data. Indiana, Kansas, Nebraska and Arizona also are seeing an increase in cases and are planning on some kind of reopening soon. Alaska has also reopened and is seeing a small number of increasing cases.

While the country has stabilized, it has not really improved, as shown by data collected by The Times. Case and death numbers remain stuck on a numbing, tragic plateau that is tilting only slightly downward.

At least 1,000 people with the virus, and sometimes more than 2,000, have died every day for the last month. On a near-daily basis, at least 25,000 new cases of the virus are being identified across the country. And even as New York City, New Orleans and Detroit have shown improvement, other urban centers, including Chicago and Los Angeles, are reporting steady growth in cases.

The situation has devolved most dramatically in parts of rural America that were largely spared in the early stages of the pandemic. As food processing facilities and prisons have emerged as some of the country’s largest case clusters, the counties that include Logansport, Ind., South Sioux City, Neb., and Marion, Ohio, have surpassed New York City in cases per capita.

[New] forecast about 200,000 new cases each day by the end of the month, up from about 25,000 cases now, reaching about 3,000 daily deaths on June 1


#834

WaPo confirms

https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/government-report-predicts-covid-19-cases-will-reach-200000-a-day-by-june-1/2020/05/04/02fe743e-8e27-11ea-a9c0-73b93422d691_story.html#click=https://t.co/DGHHX3RyKR


#835

Horrifying

A security guard at a Family Dollar store in Flint, Michigan, was shot and killed after telling a customer to wear a state-mandated face mask, police said.

Calvin Munerlyn, 43, died at a local hospital after he was shot in the head Friday, said Michigan State Police Lt. David Kaiser.

The shooter and a second suspect remain at large, Kaiser told CNN on Monday.

Witnesses at the store told police that Munerlyn got into a verbal altercation with a woman because she was not wearing a mask, said Genesee County prosecutor David Leyton. Surveillance video confirms the incident, Leyton said.


(M A Croft) #836

A very useful analysis of the likely origins of the virus is here:

Why do scientists think it wasn’t genetically engineered?

To genetically engineer a new virus, scientists can combine pieces of viruses they’ve seen before. In the case of a genetically engineered coronavirus that was designed to infect humans, the bulk of its genetic material — its “backbone” — would come from SARS or a close relative, while the tools it used to infect cells would be grafted on. But the backbone doesn’t look like any disease-causing virus, and other key parts of the virus are new to science.

What if it was in a petri dish and got out?

Another theory suggests a researcher at the WIV studying a precursor to SARS-CoV-2 was accidentally infected.

But the researchers I spoke to threw cold water on that. “I think it’s not unreasonable to ask these questions and examine all sources of the outbreak,” said Gregory Koblentz, a professor at George Mason University who studies biosecurity. “But based on what we know of the biology of the virus, a natural source of the outbreak is the most likely explanation.”

The virus’s spike has a hinge-like structure, allowing the spike to change shape as the virus enters the host cell. Like the spike tip, the hinge on SARS-CoV-2 is markedly different from anything seen in its close relatives. New research suggests that the hinge loses its unique characteristics when cultured in a lab, said Garry. The spike also appears to be able to shield itself from antibodies—another hint that it evolved in the presence of host immune systems.

Most importantly, there’s no smoking gun connecting the lab to an ancestor of the virus. There’s “no bat virus that’s close enough to be the progenitor,” said Garry. The closest known relative to SARS-CoV-2 is a cousin that diverged decades ago in bats.

And while critics suggest that the WIV might have concealed the ancestral virus, 27 scientists who have collaborated with the WIV, including former U.S. officials, rejected the idea in a letter to The Lancet.

Koblentz agrees there’s not much evidence to suggest a cover-up. “If the Chinese government suspected that the outbreak was the result of a biosafety breach in Wuhan, I would have expected them to come down very hard on that lab, not letting them talk to foreigners,” he said. But in March, a lead researcher at the WIV talked to Scientific American about her search for the ancestral strain.

The WIV has released sequences of bat coronavirus in the months since the epidemic started, giving other scientists insight into the origins of the virus that causes COVID-19. Several of the early virus genome sequences in an open-source international database were submitted by the WIV, which allowed other countries to begin developing diagnostic tools. That willingness to release data, Koblentz said, could be evidence that weights “the scale towards [the WIV] being transparent and cooperative.”

Then how’d it get here at all?

There’s a simpler, if less flashy, explanation for the emergence of a new SARS. A study, published in 2018, of four rural villages in Yunnan provincelocated near caves containing bats known to carry coronaviruses found that 2.7 percent of those surveyed had antibodies for close relatives of SARS. Thousands, if not millions, of people are exposed to wild coronaviruses every year. Most of them aren’t dangerous, but “if you roll the dice enough times,” Goldstein said, you’ll see a bad one.


#837

AP FACT CHECK: Trump won’t admit failures in virus testing

President Donald Trump was displeased when the Republican and Democratic leaders of Congress joined in a statement declining to use coronavirus testing machines from the White House for lawmakers. The statement affirmed what U.S. officials already know but Trump won’t admit — the U.S. is still short of the tests crucial to ending the pandemic.

Trump responded to their statement with a falsehood.

TRUMP: “Interesting? By Congress not wanting the special 5 minute testing apparatus, they are saying that they are not ‘essential’. In any event, we have great testing capacity, and have performed 6.5 million tests, which is more than every country in the world, combined!” — tweet Monday.

THE FACTS: This is not remotely true.

The U.S. has tested far fewer people than all other countries combined. It also lags dozens of countries in testing its population proportionally.

Together, just three countries — Russia, Germany and Italy – have tested about 9.4 million people, compared with about 7.2 million in the United States, by the latest count. The next six countries in the ranking have each tested more than 1 million. And the count does not include China, the world’s most populous country and the one where the virus started, because it has not reported national numbers.

In their weekend statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell together thanked Trump for offering to send over rapid-test machines from the White House but “respectfully” declined.

“Our country’s testing capacities are continuing to scale up nationwide and Congress wants to keep directing resources to the front-line facilities where they can do the most good the most quickly,” they said. The polite pushback underscored the persistent U.S. failure to make diagnostic testing available in sufficient numbers, a shortfall also experienced on Capitol Hill.

The Senate convened Monday for the first time since March while the House held off.

Trump relentlessly boasts about U.S. testing in the face of its striking shortcomings. “We have an incredible testing,” he said Sunday in a Fox News interview. “We have the best testing system, right now, in the world.”

The total number of tests performed country to country is a poor measure of success because populations obviously differ hugely. On a more telling measure — the proportion of a country’s population that gets tested — the U.S. was not only late getting started but is still way behind.

More than 40 other countries have tested a greater proportion of their populations than has the United States. Some are geographically compact, making people easier to reach, but the world’s two largest countries by area, Russia and Canada, are among those that have outperformed the U.S.

So have Germany, Spain, Italy, Australia and dozens more. China remains a question mark. The U.S now has surpassed South Korea in proportional as well as total testing. Trump specifically bragged about his country doing better than South Korea in testing people before that was so.


EDITOR’S NOTE — A look at the veracity of claims by political figures.


Find AP Fact Checks at http://apnews.com/APFactCheck


#838

WTFery…every turn, a bozo move. T wants all the glory…or the chance to give it to his high donors.

World leaders pledge $8 billion for a vaccine, but the U.S. declines to participate.

Prime ministers, a king, a prince and Madonna all chipped in to an $8 billion pot to fund a coronavirus vaccine.

Mr. Trump skipped the chance to contribute, with officials in his administration noting that the United States was pouring billions of dollars into its own research efforts.


#839

What goes around, comes around. A circuit of kindness between the Navajo and Hopi tribes and the Irish.


(David Bythewood) #840

In a really weird moment, Donnie just re-tweeted a Breitbart story claiming the coronavirus was created in a Wuhan lab, posted by GOP chairperson and Trump mouthpiece Ronna McDaniel, while claiming the post was about re-opening the country.
image



Remember what really matters to Trump: ratings and ranting about how mean the press are to him, especially female reporters.



(David Bythewood) #841

US absent from global conference to raise money for coronavirus vaccine

US has given $2.4B for COVID response, but didn’t say why it snubbed the summit.


The louder a bully whines, the more you know the truth is hitting home hard and he can’t stand it.

‘They’re all LOSERS’: Trump lashes out at conservative critics over new coronavirus ad

The price of reopening the economy: tens of thousands of American lives