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🤮 Coronavirus (Community Thread)


The Trump administration’s decision to entrust $765 million of taxpayer money to Eastman Kodak raised several questions about the financial vetting of the struggling camera company even before the deal was put on hold amid an investigation into potential insider trading.

President Trump tapped into the emotions and nostalgia of a bygone era, charging that Kodak would lead U.S. efforts to bring pharmaceutical manufacturing back to the United States.

But the camera-maker’s troubled history — it failed to adapt to the digital age and has struggled in recent years — immediately raised concerns on Capitol Hill.

“I don’t want to see a once-prestigious American brand go bankrupt. I love the idea that companies can continue; they can shift into new spaces,” one congressional aide said. “And, if there’s a clear or helpful way of doing that here, I’m open-minded about it. … But why is Kodak the right company?”

The anticipated loan, if completed, is being made by a little-known government agency called the U.S. International Development Finance Corp., or DFC, which provides loans in foreign countries. The president tapped the obscure agency to work on the job of figuring out how to spur U.S. production of medical supplies.

Elizabeth Littlefield, a U.S. development veteran who in the Obama era led the agency that became the DFC, said she was excited about the possibilities. But if the investment was a wise one, she asked, why wasn’t Kodak able to get the money another way?

“I really do hope that that analysis has been thorough because many questions will arise like, you know, why wasn’t Kodak raising this money from the public market? It’s a publicly traded company,” she said.

Trump said Kodak may have lost its way but would now be part of efforts to fulfill an “America First” priority of bringing back manufacturing to the United States and decoupling the nation’s drug supply that’s wrapped up in China.

“It’s a great name, when you think of it,” Trump said when making the announcement last month. “Such a great name. It was one of the great brands in the world.”


Deep dive into the history of Republicans v Dems belief system on science-based developments on Covid-19 - ie vaccines, Hydroxychloroquine and potential cures or existance of Covid-19.

Long article…excerpted here…

Takeaway -
1/3 of population will not take vaccine if presented with one (antivaxxers)

The Republican Revolt Against COVID Science and Common Sense

How did this happen? In 1973, Republicans trusted science more than religion, while Democrats trusted religion more than science. The reverse now holds true. In the meantime, working-class whites left the Democratic Party, which has increasingly taken on the outlook of the professional class with its trust in institutions and empiricism. The influx of working-class whites (especially religiously observant ones) has pushed Republicans toward increasingly paranoid varieties of populism.

This is the conventional history of right-wing populism — that it was a postwar backlash against the New Deal and the Republican Party’s inability or unwillingness to roll it back. The movement believed the government had been subverted, perhaps consciously, by conspirators seeking to impose some form of socialism, communism, or world government. Its “paranoid style,” so described by historian Richard Hofstadter, became warped with anti-intellectualism, reflecting a “conflict between businessmen of certain types and the New Deal bureaucracy, which has spilled over into a resentment of intellectuals and experts.” Its followers seemed prone to “a disorder in relation to authority, characterized by an inability to find other modes for human relationship than those of more or less complete domination or submission.” Perhaps this sounds like someone you’ve heard of.

But for all the virulence of conservative paranoia in American life, without the sanction of a major party exploiting and profiting from paranoia, and thereby encouraging its growth, the worldview remained relatively fringe. Some of the far right’s more colorful adherents, especially the 100,000 reactionaries who joined the John Birch Society, suspected the (then-novel, now-uncontroversial) practice of adding small amounts of fluoride to water supplies to improve dental health was, in fact, a communist plot intended to weaken the populace. Still, the far right lacked power. Republican leaders held Joe McCarthy at arm’s length; Goldwater captured the nomination but went down in a landslide defeat. In the era of Sputnik, science was hardly a countercultural institution. “In the early Cold War period, science was associated with the military,” says sociologist Timothy O’Brien who, along with Shiri Noy, has studied the transformation. “When people thought about scientists, they thought about the Manhattan Project.” The scientist was calculating, cold, heartless, an authority figure against whom the caring, feeling liberal might rebel. Radicals in the ’60s often directed their protests against the scientists or laboratories that worked with the Pentagon.

But this began to change in the 1960s, along with everything else in American political and cultural life. New issues arose that tended to pit scientists against conservatives. Goldwater’s insouciant attitude toward the prospect of nuclear war with the Soviets provoked scientists to explain the impossibility of surviving atomic fallout and the formation of Scientists and Engineers for Johnson-Humphrey. New research by Rachel Carson about pollution and by Ralph Nader on the dangers of cars and other consumer products made science the linchpin of a vast new regulatory state. Business owners quickly grasped that stopping the advance of big government meant blunting the cultural and political authority of scientists. Expertise came to look like tyranny — or at least it was sold that way.

The Republican Party’s turn against science was slow and jagged, as most party-identity changes tend to be. The Environmental Protection Agency had been created under Richard Nixon, and its former administrator, Russell Train, once recalled President Gerald Ford promising to support whatever auto-emissions guidelines his staff deemed necessary. “I want you to be totally comfortable in the fact that no effort whatsoever will be made to try to change your position in any way,” said Ford — a pledge that would be unimaginable for a contemporary Republican president to make. Not until Ronald Reagan did Republican presidents begin letting business interests overrule experts, as when his EPA used a “hit list” of scientists flagged by industry as hostile. And even Reagan toggled between giving business a free hand and listening to his advisers (as he did when he signed a landmark 1987 agreement to phase out substances that were depleting the ozone layer and a plan the next year to curtail acid rain).

The party’s rightward tilt accelerated in the 1990s. “With the collapse of the Soviet Union, Cold Warriors looked for another great threat,” wrote science historians Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway. “They found it in environmentalism,” viewing climate change as a pretext to impose government control over the whole economy. Since the 1990s was also the decade in which scientific consensus solidified that greenhouse-gas emissions were permanently increasing temperatures, the political stakes of environmentalism soared.

One of the hardened realities of the modern red-blue map is that scientists have assumed a place on the blue team in the minds of both sides. A Pew survey this spring confirmed it again. About three-quarters of Democrats, but only 43 percent of Republicans, agree that scientists should take an active role in science-policy debates. Three-fifths of Democrats, but only one-third of Republicans, believe scientific experts are usually better than others at making policy decisions about scientific issues. A pile of research has found that conservatives are more distrustful than liberals of scientific forms of knowledge and are prone to believe conspiracy theories about scientists. And liberals do dominate the academy and the world of scientific research, alienated by the growing strain of know-nothing-ism in the other party.

The divide is not perfectly clean. One can still find varieties of anti-scientific thinking on the left. Anti-vaccine activists straddle the ideological divide, and distrust of GMOs, which scientists have found to be safe, persists on the grassroots left. But as science writer Arthur Allen has documented, the Democratic Party at the political level has almost uniformly spurned the anti-vaxx movement, while Republican officials in state legislatures have enlisted in its cause.

One Republican who paid close attention to the rise in distrust of science among the party’s base was Donald Trump, to whom the language and concepts of anti-scientific thought have come naturally. He has always arrived at his beliefs by intuition, rumor, and anecdote rather than any respect for evidence and study.

Later, Trump fixated on a new medical crisis: The Ebola pandemic, he warned everyone who would listen, posed a terrifying threat to Americans. Trump decried the hapless government response and demanded a complete halt of all travel to and from West Africa. During one of his public appearances, an interviewer played a clip of the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases warning that such a restriction would worsen the pandemic. Trump shot back, “Well, I think it’s ridiculous.”

When he assumed the presidency just over two years later, Trump probably didn’t remember that the doctor whose expertise he had dismissed on live television, Anthony Fauci, still worked in the federal government.

Trump quickly made enemies of the scientific apparatus he commanded. During the campaign, he had made clear his implacable disdain for the entire field of climate science. But what was more surprising — or at least self-defeating — when he took office was the mixture of indifference and hostility with which he treated the rest of his scientific experts. The federal government has a vast infrastructure of data and science experts in the departments of Energy, Commerce, and Agriculture, as well as many environmental experts who are responsible for preventing and managing low-probability, high-impact disasters that could happen on Trump’s watch. In his 2018 book The Fifth Risk , Michael Lewis chronicles the neglect and suspicion with which Trump treated the people whose entire jobs were focused on preventing a cataclysm, the principal victim of which would be Trump’s own presidency. “Many of them are potentially catastrophic risks — the risk of a pandemic, or the risk of a nuclear accident, or the risk of a terrorist attack — one after another,” Lewis explained two years ago. It could have been anything. It turned out to be a pandemic.

When the coronavirus began spreading in American cities, the Republican Party turned to a trained store of experts whose judgment conservatives trusted implicitly. Unfortunately, their expertise and training lay not in epidemiology but in concocting pseudoscientific rationales to allow conservatives to disregard legitimate scientific conclusions.

The cadres who leapt forth to supply Trump and his allies with answers disproportionately came from the science-skeptic wing of the conservative-think-tank world. Steven Milloy, a climate-science skeptic who runs a think tank funded by tobacco and oil companies and who served on Trump’s environmental transition team, dismissed the virus as less deadly than the flu. Libertarian philosopher Richard Epstein, who had once insisted, “The evidence in favor of the close linkage between carbon dioxide and global warming has not been clearly established,” turned his analytical powers to projected pandemic death tolls. He estimated just 500 American deaths, an analysis that was circulated within the Trump White House before Epstein issued a correction.

It was like watching factories mobilize for war, only instead of automakers refitting their assembly lines to churn out tanks, these were professional manufacturers of scientific doubt scrambling to invent a new form of pedantry. Some skeptics took note of the connection, though they seem to have drawn the wrong conclusion. “While they are occurring on vastly different time scales, the COVID-19 panic and the climate-change panic are remarkably similar,” wrote one of the climate-skeptical Heartland Institute’s pseudo-experts.

Republicans goaded Trump to ramp up his attacks. “Dr. Fauci remains steadfast in his bureaucracy. Dr. Fauci’s a conformist,” announced Rush Limbaugh. “Here’s the difference between a health-professional bureaucrat-expert and Donald Trump.” This line reflects the view of science closest to Trump’s own perspective. He does not dismiss science wholesale as a field of study; he is not the medieval Church persecuting Galileo. Rather, he understands science as a kind of revelation accessible to a lucky genetic elite (naturally including himself, as evidenced by the genius MIT-professor uncle he often cites).

“I really get it,” he boasted during one visit to the CDC. “Every one of these doctors said, ‘How do you know so much about this?’ Maybe I have a natural ability.” That conviction is what gave Trump the confidence to deliver his on-camera brainstorming session, in which he suggested his science experts research the injection of light or disinfectant into the human body. If you don’t understand science as a discipline, you expect some genius will dream up a breakthrough cure. Why couldn’t Trump be that genius?

Hydroxychloroquine became a totem of Trumpist devotion. Trump urged the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institutes of Health, and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services to import, promote, and pay for his favorite medicine. Exasperated public-health officials complained that it was “mindshare, time, and energy being soaked up by a potential wild-goose chase.” Conservative media published stories about ordinary Americans who had taken the cure and found their symptoms disappear as if by miracle.

Any negative finding proved the scientific body that had conducted it was corrupt. When asked about a Veterans Affairs study that added to the growing evidence against hydroxychloroquine’s efficacy, the president attacked the research as a “Trump-enemy statement.” When Dr. Bright revealed that Trump political allies had pressured him to promote the drug, Trump tweeted accusingly, “So the so-called HHS Whistleblower was against HYDROXYCHLOROQUINE,” as if this were all the proof he needed that his target had it coming.

Yet public-health officials in almost every economic-peer country managed to overcome scientific uncertainty and missteps. Both here and abroad, they are gazing with a mix of horror and confusion at the helpless, pitiful American scientific giant. One German expert told the Washington Post that Germany had used American studies to design an effective response, which the U.S. somehow couldn’t implement. American “scientists appeared to have reached an adequate assessment of the situation early on, but this didn’t translate into a political action plan,” observed another.

The limiting factor that has done the most to contort the domestic response to the coronavirus is the pathology of the American right. As of late May, only 40 percent of Republicans believed COVID-19 was deadlier than the flu, and half believed the death count was overstated. One research study found that viewers of Fox News, which echoed Trump’s early dismissal of the pandemic, were less likely than the audiences of other cable news channels to engage in social distancing or to purchase masks or sanitizing products.

There has always been some question about the depth of sincerity with which conservatives hold their professed convictions. Did they believe that the Clintons murdered witnesses to their crimes and that Barack Obama faked details of his birth? Or were these statements expressions of partisan enthusiasm not to be taken literally? The coronavirus revealed the deadly earnestness with which the Republican audience accepts the guidance of the conservative alternative-information structure. As early as this spring, tragic stories began to appear of people mourning the deaths of loved ones who had angrily rejected public-health advice as a big-government plot.

The playbook for handling a public-health crisis assumes some baseline level of rationality in the government. The administration is presumed to be working with, not against, its public-health experts; the news media to be informing the public, not actively disinforming it. The ranks of American government, academia, and the nonprofit sector are thick with experts in pandemic response, but very few of them ever trained to deal with a pandemic in Trump’s America.

Trump, of course, will pass from the scene, perhaps by January. But the political culture that produced him isn’t going anywhere. And one dilemma it may present quite soon is what happens when a vaccine arrives.

If Trump pulls out of his polling swoon and wins reelection, he will have to persuade Americans to trust the vaccines his administration has produced, even though many of them distrust either vaccines or Trump. (Of course, if Trump wins reelection, vaccine take-up will be the least of our problems.)


So here’s the thing… at this point in my life, I don’t know any anti-vaxxers. I used to, because I was part of a community that they gravitated toward, and good lord, but they are now blissfully absent from my life. Most of the people I associate with these days are “the government needs to hold people down and force them or take their kids away if they refuse” which… yikes. Maybe just issue some fines or something.

I do, however, know a whole lot of people who look at what’s going in the States, Russia, China, etc., look you square in the eye and say “you first.” They’re the same ones who want to physically force vaccinations already available. I have to admit I really struggle with this myself.

The reason is the administration. If it comes out of Europe or Africa or basically anywhere else, arms out gimme that shit right now, here’s my kids, do it do it. Everyone I know is clamoring for a vaccine. Some are even looking into participating in trials themselves, but the others just don’t trust Trump, his FDA, or anyone else looking to basically skip phase III trials for election points, or purely for the sake of global competition and the cred that comes with being “first.” Right now it just seems like these people who don’t understand what a vaccine is are trying to push this through with no regard for safety or actual efficacy. Right now, they’re our leaders, and they care only about appearances and the money they can make. Pfizer I’m looking at you.

I look at literally everything this administration has produced in its time, and everything out of Trump’s mouth, and think “you know, do I really want something they’ve rushed out 6-8 months before it should be because Trump thinks he has a “natural ability” injected directly into my body?” … The answer is not “yes.” I am really far from being an anti-vaxxer, but this one gives me a lot of pause.


This is my great worry as well, behind Russia’s Sputnik V and anything Donnie Dollhands rolls out, and a lot of top scientists are very worried about this happening as well.


Stark warning from Fauci on whether could US just hope for herd immunity. Short answer - NO

If the United States allowed coronavirus infections to run rampant to achieve possible herd immunity, the death toll would be massive, especially among vulnerable people, the nation’s top infectious doctor said.

Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, explained the risks during a live Instagram session.

"If everyone contracted it, even with the relatively high percentage of people without symptoms … a lot of people are going to die," Fauci said.

At least 167,298 people have died in the US from coronavirus, Johns Hopkins University reported Friday.

"You look at the United States of America, with our epidemic of obesity as it were. With the number of people with hypertension. With the number of people with diabetes. If everyone got infected, the death toll would be enormous and totally unacceptable," Fauci said.

Herd immunity is reached when around 70% to 90% of a population becomes immune to a disease either through infection and recovery or vaccination. When that happens, the disease is less likely to spread to people who aren’t immune because there just aren’t enough infectious carriers to reach them.


Keeps climbing…


There can be no legal or proper reason for this.

Firm Collecting Virus Data Refuses to Answer Senators’ Questions

A private technology company that gathers data for a coronavirus database said a nondisclosure agreement with the Trump administration blocks it from discussing its $10.2 million contract.

The health care technology firm that is helping to manage the Trump administration’s new coronavirus database has refused to answer questions from Senate Democrats about its $10.2 million contract, citing a nondisclosure agreement it signed with the Department of Health and Human Services.

In a letter dated Aug. 3 and obtained Friday by The New York Times, a lawyer for the Pittsburgh-based TeleTracking Technologies cited the nondisclosure agreement in declining to say how it collects and shares data. The lawyer refused to share the company’s proposal to the government, its communications with administration officials and other information related to the awarding of the contract.

That contract has come under scrutiny in the wake of an abrupt decision last month by Alex M. Azar II, the health and human services secretary, who ordered hospitals to stop reporting coronavirus patient data to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and instead send the information to TeleTracking for inclusion in a new centralized coronavirus database. The order raised alarms about data transparency and the sidelining of C.D.C. experts.

Later Friday, the Department of Health and Human Services official in charge of the new database, José Arrieta, abruptly resigned after only 16 months on the job, according to a report in the Federal News Network. On a conference call with reporters last month, Mr. Arrieta, the agency’s chief information officer, defended the TeleTracking contract, saying he envisioned the centralized database as a critical way “to make data visible to first responders at the federal, state and local” levels. He also said the department was considering giving Congress access to the database.

“We have been transparent with data and pushed boundaries,” the Federal News Network quoted him as saying on Friday.

But that pledge for transparency seems at odds with the nondisclosure agreement. Jessica Tillipman, an assistant dean at George Washington University Law School who teaches about government contracts and anticorruption, said Friday that such agreements with government vendors were unusual.

“One of the cornerstones of the federal procurement system is transparency, so it strikes me as odd,” she said.

The government uses the data to help track the pandemic and make crucial decisions about how to allocate scarce supplies, like ventilators and the drug remdesivir, which is used to treat hospitalized Covid-19 patients. Department of Health and Human Services officials have said the switch was necessary to speed up reporting and improve accuracy.

But the abrupt change — hospitals were given several days’ notice — has generated an outcry among public health experts and outside advisers to the health and human services agency, who say that the new system is burdening hospitals and endangering scientific integrity.

And one month into the new arrangement, there are questions about how useful the new database is. The Covid Tracking Project, a heavily used resource, reported this week that the federal data are “unreliable.” In comparing hospitalization data reported by the state and federal governments, the project has found large discrepancies in certain states.

“We felt like we had a very solid baseline current hospitalization number, and then after the switchover, for reasons that remain somewhat obscure to us, we suddenly saw numbers jumping around in totally different ways,” Alexis Madrigal, the project’s co-founder, said in an interview.

The letter made public on Friday was in response to an inquiry from Senator Chuck Schumer of New York, the Democratic leader, and Senator Patty Murray of Washington, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Health Committee. They wrote the company on July 22, seeking information about its arrangement with the Health and Human Services Department — “a sudden and significant departure,” they wrote, “from the way the federal government has collected public health data regarding infectious diseases in the past.”

The Washington lawyer A. Scott Bolden replied on behalf of Michael Zamagias, a Pittsburgh real estate developer who is TeleTracking’s chairman and majority owner. Mr. Bolden suggested the Democrats direct questions about the contract to the government, and a health department spokeswoman said Friday that that was what members of Congress should do, adding that the agency was working to provide such information.


Distance birthday party for my little one today. She’s young enough not to be disappointed that she can’t have friends over and I hate that shit anyway, but normally she’d get to have a party with her grandparents. Screens are not the same for little kids.


but normally she’d get to have a party with her grandparents.

We on the other hand are missing our Grandchildren heaps. They are 7 1/2 hours flight away (takes a whole day to travel) in Perth Western Australia and normally we would be getting ready to fly over there for about a months stay with them. Their birthdays are in Sep and just a couple of days apart. So it will have to be a Viber to see them open their pressies and wish them a Happy Birthday. :frowning:

We were hoping that a travel bubble would be possible - WA have been practically Covid free for some months now - just the odd case in a returnee in quarantine - as we were until last week. The out break in Melbourne, and our new cluster here, have put a stop to that hope.

The signs look positive that our cluster is being ring fenced though. The contact tracing of possible close contacts has been working well, with around 90% success rate. Targeted testing around the area and group (around 100,000 tests) has found only 38 cases in total so far - although more will most likely turn up as the contact tracing and extended testing progresses. But with the rapid instigation of lockdown after the first case we have a good chance of stopping the virus again.

From genome sequencing this strain of the virus is different from the previous strain that we had; indicating that it is a new outbreak, and not a reoccurrence of the old that has been lurking in the community undetected for 100 days.

We shall see in a couple of weeks as the incubation period progresses, if we have whacked this mole on the head.


Scientists Link Toxic Coronavirus Disinfectant Use to Wild Animal Deaths

An alarming new scientific report finds that excessive, indiscriminate disinfectant use against COVID-19 puts wildlife health at risk, especially in urban settings. The analysis, published in the journal Environmental Research , finds many of the chemical ingredients in disinfectant products are “acutely toxic to both terrestrial and aquatic animals,” causing death following exposure. Additionally, these chemicals have implications for human health as infectious disease specialists at the World Health Organization (WHO) warn excessive disinfectant use can cause respiratory problems, especially for those with underlying respiratory conditions.

With the total U.S. COVID-19 cases rising above 5.1 million, and the pressure to reopen public facilities, like schools, restaurants, gyms, etc., increasing, lack of proper disinfection guidelines and monitoring generates concerns surrounding heightened environmental pollution. The authors’ analysis supports the need for global leaders to regulate the spraying of disinfectants, especially in urban areas, with input from the scientific community. Wildlife are moving into urban areas at higher rates due to food availability and protection from hunting and natural dangers. However, if indiscriminate dispersal of disinfectants continues, these urban inhabitants face a whirlwind of health risks associated with exposure. The report’s analysts note, “The overuse of disinfectants may contaminate the habitats of urban wildlife. . . Therefore, it is important that disinfectants used to control COVID-19 in urban environments are selected and applied in ways that avoid unnecessary environmental pollution.”

Amidst the outbreak of SARS-CoV-2 (COVID-19), the global demand for disinfectants and sanitizers has increased substantially as a means of preventing illness in domestic and community settings. Initially, public health officials considered disinfecting highly trafficked areas as the most effective way to combat COVID-19. This notion has led to improper disinfectant practices in many countries, including China, France, and Spain, which employed trucks, drones, or robots to disperse massive amounts of disinfectants into public areas. However, the active ingredients in most disinfectants are harmful because these chemical compounds have corrosive and irritating properties. The New York Times reports an increase in calls to poison control centers regarding illnesses resulting from use or misuse of toxic disinfectants during the pandemic. Furthermore, WHO, and other infectious-disease specialists, condemn indiscriminate and vast amounts of disinfectant spraying in public areas as it is both ineffective and a health hazard, upon inhalation, or when combined with other disinfectants. Although some individuals can mitigate exposure to these toxic chemicals by remaining indoors, urban wildlife cannot do the same and bear the brunt of disinfectant exposure. As cities remain in lockdown, with streets void of humans, urban wildlife can roam around cities more frequently and in higher numbers. However, the vast amount of disinfectant use coinciding with the increase in urban wildlife during lockdown has scientists concerned about the impact on wildlife biodiversity.

Since China was the first country to begin citywide sanitation, researchers analyze a Chongqing Forestry Bureau report from Chongqing, China that investigated animal poisonings after exposure to disinfectants. Using field investigations in conjunction with sampling and testing done by animal quarantine agencies, researchers document the cause of these animal poisonings.

According to the Chongqing report, excessive disinfectant use results in abnormal animal deaths. At least 135 animals of 17 different species (including wild boars, weasels, common blackbirds [ Turdus merula], and other bird species) died after disinfectant exposure from spraying.

Although chemical disinfectants kill viruses, bacteria, and other microbes via cell wall and protein destruction, they can also irritate and destroy the mucous membranes in animal and human respiratory and digestive tracts upon ingestion or inhalation. Occasionally, this exposure can lead to death in extreme cases. People who have a preexisting condition or are of advanced age, who may have a weakened immune or respiratory system. are more vulnerable to the effects of the virus. Many of the products approved as disinfectants have negative impacts on the respiratory or immune system, thus reducing resistance to the disease. When managing viral and bacterial infections, chemicals that exacerbate the risk to vulnerable individuals are of serious concern. Exposure to disinfectant products containing toxic chemicals, such as chlorine bleach, peroxyacetic acid, quaternary ammonium compounds (quats), sodium dichloro-s-triazinetrione, and hydrochloric acid are associated with a long list of adverse effects, from asthma to cancer. All of these chemicals can harm the respiratory system, with some quats shown to cause mutations, lower fertility, and increase antibiotic resistance. Additionally, toxic phenolic chemical compounds (i.e., cresols, hexachlorobenzene, and chlorophenols) cause adverse health effects from inhalation or exposure to the skin, including headaches, burning eyes, muscle tremors, skin burns, irregular heartbeat, severe injury to the heart, liver, kidneys, and lungs, cancer, and even death. Beyond Pesticides believes, “It is important during public health emergencies involving infectious diseases to scrutinize practices and products very carefully so that hazards presented by the crisis are not elevated because of the unnecessary threat introduced with toxic chemical use.”

Many studies show the links between human health and environmental and animal health as urban wildlife can positively affect human’s physical, mental, societal, cultural, and economic health and stability. However, toxic disinfectants can disrupt wildlife productivity via direct or indirect impacts. Chlorine, one of the most common disinfectants, is acutely toxic to terrestrial and aquatic organisms, including birds and mammals, causing respiratory injuries, digestive wounds, and death. Additionally, chlorine residue can bioaccumulate in the environment and contaminate food and water sources, thus creating an indirect exposure route for organisms never exposed to chlorine disinfectants.

Although disinfection is one of the most efficient ways to kill pathogens, one must follow scientifically based guidelines that take into consideration the effectiveness, accessibility, and health risks associated with the careful selection and proper use of disinfectant products. Scientists analyzing the Chongqing report believe, “Given that there are no scientific guidelines for the large-scale use of disinfectants in outdoor urban environments, it is crucial to develop strategies to minimize the environmental pollution caused by this practice… [A]n effective biological and environmental safety evaluation and prevention system are required to be put forward for facilitating healthy environments for organisms and biodiversity, especially for managing the future global public health challenges.”

With the management of viral and bacterial infections, we must not exacerbate the risk to both animals and humans in the process of avoiding or controlling the threat. In the case of COVID-19, we have measures of protection—both practices and products—that can prevent infection without using toxic products that increase risk factors. Individuals and government officials, alike, should observe all chemical ingredients on the disinfectant and sanitizer product labels and look at the use instructions to ensure that the method of use is safe for you. Additionally, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) registers disinfectants as pesticides designed for use on hard surfaces, but not bare skin like sanitizers. It is essential that when EPA weighs risks and benefits of pesticide use, it does not allow harm to those disproportionally impacted by these chemicals like farm/landscape workers and people of color, who may suffer elevated exposure to the virus as essential workers. An evaluation of the contribution of pesticide use and exposure to health outcomes of COVID-19 is urgently needed. For the facts on meeting health protection needs for disinfection, see Beyond Pesticides’ webpage on Disinfectants and Sanitizers for more information.


Yeah we usually spend our summers with them. We almost always need to leave there before now, but the first week in August they have a little party for her with cupcakes and some presents. My mom usually comes here for my other kid’s birthday in May, so we had to do a distance thing for his birthday too.

So instead of visiting them in their hot, humid part of the country this year, we are stuck here inside of Satan’s literal asshole and I hate it because we can’t go outside, and we can’t do anything inside. The kids dry out too fast and I just completely stop functioning and come to a stand-still like Tik-Tok in Return to Oz.


Gosh whoever would have guessed that heaps of disinfectant would kill living things.

I am so cranky right now get my kids out of here omg, they never, ever leave.


Yeah, I kind of called this when I saw the story of that idiot in Florida a city gave permission to go around misting the stuff all over town.

And then there’s Trump pushing a drug made from oleander, a highly toxic flower, that is guaranteed to have a repeat of the early incidents with people dying after he first pushed hydroxychloroquine.



That blew my mind this morning :exploding_head: and I thought I had seen it all with this President.

Oleander is super poisonous!!! Do not eat! It will kill you!!!


Yup. It’s a staple of mystery and crime shows for a reason. I foresee more deaths like there were from hydroxychloroquine, only worse.


Every part of the plant is poisonous! Do not use sticks from these bushes to roast marshmallows.

These are the bushes that grow in the freeway dividers around Sacramento. Beautiful bushes but really toxic.


More Americans Go Hungry Amid Coronavirus Pandemic, Census Shows

Causes include higher food prices, school closings; expiration of federal jobless benefits deepens distress


UNC-Chapel Hill reverses plans for in-person classes after 130 students test positive for Covid-19


I need to scream right about now.

‘Horrifying’ data glitch skews key Iowa coronavirus metrics

Iowa’s coronavirus website has made the pandemic look less severe than it is because of a software error that artificially lowers the number of new confirmed cases


I bet that’s the news Iowa needs right now. :confused: