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Testing Alone Is Not The Answer to the Pandemic

by ARGeezer Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 05:25:16 PM EST

Since it became front page news I have believed that the only way to properly control COVID-19 was through wide spread testing of a large percentage of the population. From recent data it appears that both the USA and Korea have tested about 1% of their population: ~500,000 tests in Korea out of ~ 50 million people and ~ 3 million tests in the USA out of 327 million people. Yet the percent of the population infected is dramatically different between the two countries.

The difference is that Korea mobilized nationally at an early date and was able to develop and deploy tests towards the beginning of the outbreak. This strategy allowed Korea to CONTAIN the infection.

In the USA Trump refuses to put the federal government in charge in any meaningful or useful way and leaves the governors of the states in charge, making a coordinated national approach impossible. The one thing that the USA DID attempt to federalize was the production of a virus test, and that was a tragedy/fiasco that needlessly prevented other labs from deploying other tests. I have yet to see an adequate explanation of this failure.

Frontpaged - Frank Schnittger

Another major failure in the USA was/is the lack of availability of Personal Protection Equipment. Korea excelled here. The personnel doing mass sterilization  of streets and transit systems in Korea are wearing gear that appears to be better than what is available to most US medical personnel treating active COVID infections.

In the USA the responsibility comes down to the President and his administration. A Pandemic IS a National Security Threat and protection against such threats are the chief justification for the existence of the Federal Government.  There were warnings as early as November of the potential danger of the new virus. By January we had a clear example of the danger in China. National Intelligence Agencies and Trump's own chief economic adviser, Peter Navarro, warned of the danger in January. But Trump blew off these warnings and the ONLY substantive early action he took was stopping direct flights to and from China.

One early action Trump DID take back in February was to classify the internal discussions of the pandemic in his administration. This was harmful. His concern was and remains that of  the appearance of his actions in our response. As a result his actions have been much more harmful than helpful.

Instead of mobilizing the full capabilities of the USA to respond Trump has restricted the ability of medical experts to comment openly about medical matters. He has substituted his own 'feelings' for the findings of science. Instead of allowing a team of medical experts to take charge of presentation of the response to the public Trump has seized this role for himself. He then has used that position to undercut the medical recommendations of his top medical advisors repeatedly as to the danger of the virus, the need for social distancing, the length of time for which distancing will be required and the need to wear masks in public.

Instead of coordinating the production and distribution of needed supplies such as PPE, tests and ventilators via the National Production Act he has invoked the act but refused to actually use it properly. Very belatedly he has coerced Ford, GM and 3M into producing needed supplies but even now refuses to take charge of the distribution of these supplies. Instead, he leaves the Mayors and Governors to compete with each other in a bidders war over vital supplies.

Were the threat human one might think Trump was allied with the enemy. But that is as absurd as his actual actions. The most likely answer is that Trump sees his actions as vital to his re-election and he sees that as vastly more important than stopping the pandemic. This is the consequence of electing a POTUS who is so self-centered that he is incapable of distinguishing between self interest and the national interest.

"I have yet to see an adequate explanation of this failure.
Were the threat human one might think Trump was allied with the enemy."

It's been quite clear from the earliest beginning ... the United States of America was grossly unprepared. Just as Boris Johnson's UK knew it from a dry test with damning results a few years earlier.

Thus, the economic calculation was the theory of "herd immunity".  Conservative friend in mischief Mark Rutte signed on and gave political instructions to the RIVM.

POTUS, his National Security Council and CDC head Redfield knew the status as soon as the "flu" epidemic was recognized and spreading in Wuhan, China.

  • Trump had pulled out the US CDC representatives by WHO in China.
  • Trump and his minion Steve Bannon deleted the Pandemic Response Team from the NSC.

The 9/11 attacks was followed by the spurious anthrax attack after the escape from Fort Detrick (USAMRIID) in Maryland. The US Government commissioned a Biothreat division

Ten Years After 9/11 and the Anthrax Attacks: Protecting Against Biological Threats

Biological Threat Assessment: Is the Cure Worse Than the Disease?  | Arms Control |

    The country has made steady progress in the last decade, but there is much more that needs to be done to make us resilient to biological threats. There is vitally important work to do in countermeasure development, public health preparedness, biosurveillance and other key issues in the years ahead. We hope that the coming reauthorization of the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act will address many of the issues that I have outlined today. Thank you for this opportunity to provide recommendations in each of these areas.

My earlier post ...

ObamaCare vs Trump Doesn't Care

Additional reading ...

Coronavirus - Interview with German Prof. Alexander Kekulé

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 07:11:15 PM EST
I think Trump's dissolution of the Pandemic Response Team from the NSC was more likely than not just his way of formally disrespecting what Obama had done and what 'experts' had recommended. It is not surprising from his campaign rhetoric. We might also credit his own 'reasoning' - that he thought we didn't need these experts sitting around when there was no pandemic. Nor did he think it likely that he would benefit politically from any pandemic response. With Trump it is always all about him and the moment.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 08:22:02 PM EST
[ Parent ]
My recollection of the time is that it was John Bolton who was instrumental in the disbanding of the team during his time as national security advisor. Whether he was acting independently or on instructions from Trump, I don't know, but the overall responsibility lies with Trump regardless. It was he who appointed a nutter like Bolton to the job.

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 09:05:21 PM EST
[ Parent ]
The nutter Bolton [oops ... did I say nutter Steve Bannon?] was the instigator. Bolton got Bush "elected" through the US Supreme Court and dimple ballots in Florida after brother Jeb failed to ease George into the White House. Voter purge did the trick in the end.

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 09:31:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
"Bolton got Bush "elected" through the US Supreme Court and dimple ballots in Florida..." I thought those honors went to James Baker and John Roberts.

"It is not necessary to have hope in order to persevere."
by ARGeezer (ARGeezer a in a circle eurotrib daught com) on Sun Apr 12th, 2020 at 03:33:45 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Multiple persons on every level from counting ballots to SOS Katherine Harris, Gov. Rick Scott to the Florida and U.S. Supreme Court. The purging of voters was done by former CIA cocaïne flights pilot Hank Ascher, reinvented as data processor and hired in 1998. Based in Boca Raton, DTS Technologies ... a subsidiary of ChoicePoint in Atlanta did the trick. Covered this issue @BooMan.

Florida recount ... on the ground Bolton's posse forced their way into the counting process.

The Great Florida Recount of 2000 as told by two survivors -- John R. Bolton and Sheila Moloney

Bolton: We're prepared for election recount | JPost |

Photo of dimpled ballot count with John Bolton

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Apr 12th, 2020 at 04:44:31 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Sun Apr 12th, 2020 at 04:49:52 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Having read Playbook for Early Response to High-Consequence Emerging Infectious Disease Threats and Biological Incidents, produced by that administration, I'd say the so-called Pandemic Response Team has little to nothing do with coordination of domestic public health S/D. This document is almost exclusively concerned with "host country" CONTAINMENT -- executive branch command structure, foreign relations, and intelligence detail, or "fighting over there."

It follows--not only from that document, but CDC actual, miserable performance at home and abroad over prior decade--nothing lost, nothing gained from institutional knowledge in the current administration.

One might expect more, but that's not reasonable in points of fact (incidentally or historicallyy).

by Cat on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 09:44:58 PM EST
[ Parent ]
S. Korea has been living in a state of readiness for decades expecting some bioweapon lobbed over from N. Korea, so are kitted out to the max.
Asian peoples also have stronger civic sense than Anglo ones and tend to obey government orders more compliantly.
They came out clear winners for preparedness and swift, well-oiled execution of protocols, and benefited accordingly.
A stitch in time...
The insane military spending in the USA has left pocket change remaining in state coffers for such banal considerations as protecting the people.
Trump is so busy finagling business opportunities for the family brand - and golfing! - to have time to study up on exponential arithmetic, so things are a little more chaotic than usual arohnd the White (with one recent exception!) House.
Be calm, he helpfully offers, he's got this.
It'll just go away, 'like a miracle'.
(Kinda like the TP off the shelves).
Pat Robertson said so and he got it direct frkm the Man Upstairs, so if the Rapture Expert believes it, who needs science?

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 09:35:28 PM EST
I would argue that US and Japanese occupation has been of far greater concern to ROK social cohesion, political "readiness," and civil defense than aggression by DPRK.
by Cat on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 09:50:28 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Thanks, a good argument I have no proof against.
Certainly those played their part too, and I stupidly hadn't comsidered them,my bad.

'The history of public debt is full of irony. It rarely follows our ideas of order and justice.' Thomas Piketty
by melo (melometa4(at)gmail.com) on Mon Apr 13th, 2020 at 02:07:35 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui (Oui) on Sat Apr 11th, 2020 at 11:45:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Where have we seen these two corps "Inovio Pharmaceuticals, Moderna" coupled before?
by Cat on Sun Apr 12th, 2020 at 12:21:01 AM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sun Apr 12th, 2020 at 07:58:19 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Three years and a half into his presidency, and now he remembers Obama?
Is it desperation?
by Bernard (bernard) on Sun Apr 12th, 2020 at 08:09:13 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Luckily link is not available in my location 😄
Just wanted to check if it is the Onion, otherwise it makes no sense!

Is Barack undercutting Joe Biden by cozying up to the disaster president? I don't understand ...

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Sun Apr 12th, 2020 at 08:47:57 PM EST
[ Parent ]
MSM assualt of low, low, low expectations continues.

*note replies form most ignorant, litigious nation on planet.

by Cat on Sun Apr 12th, 2020 at 09:32:16 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Same here, but I suspect the picture is from the last day's of Obama's Presidency and the only connection between the two now is that they both tweeted Easter greetings...

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Sun Apr 12th, 2020 at 09:52:14 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Photo Misleading: Separately or Jointly

During the Obama years, he would invoke the support of former Presidents ... I don't see Trump do that anytime soon. This photo is of course dated to January 2017 most likely.

The news is that both Presidents used social media to convey best wishes to the Nation ... luckily quite separated from one another and not mentioning the opposition Red or Blue colour.

Obama wishes country a 'blessed and joyful Easter'

The other president did something similar in his own style ...

Happy Easter Everybody: Getting rid of the plague

Jesus Saves ... but not if You attend Church this Sunday!

Indeed .. I had a restless night :-)

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Mon Apr 13th, 2020 at 08:38:54 AM EST
[ Parent ]
As they say in Spanish football - "Jesus saves, but Covid scores on the rebound!"

Index of Frank's Diaries
by Frank Schnittger (mail Frankschnittger at hot male dotty communists) on Mon Apr 13th, 2020 at 09:46:34 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Daegu District Court approves seizure of Nippon Steel's S. Korean assets, 9 Jan
A South Korean government official predicted that Japan would be "sending official notice shortly to request diplomatic discussions in accordance with the South Korea-Japan Claims Settlement Agreement."
Virus cases BALLOON in S. Korea as outbreak shifts, spreads, 21 Feb
Most of those cases have been linked to a single house of worship, a branch of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus, where a woman in her 60s attended two services before testing positive for the virus.

About 1,000 others who attended services with the woman have been isolated in their homes for screening, and health authorities say they're trying to monitor thousands of other church members.

All 74 sites operated by the Shincheonji Church have been closed and worshipers have been told to instead watch services online for a sect whose leader claims to be an angel of Christ, but who is dismissed by many outsiders as a cult leader. Its teachings revolve largely around the Book of Revelation, a chapter of the New Testament known mostly for its apocalyptic foreshadowing.

DOJ says to 'expect action' on social distancing and religious services amid coronavirus outbreak
"freedom of religion"
by Cat on Sun Apr 12th, 2020 at 08:24:59 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Sun Apr 12th, 2020 at 01:29:45 AM EST
What Jesse said.

I am somebody.

by Cat on Sun Apr 12th, 2020 at 07:00:43 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Cat on Mon Apr 13th, 2020 at 01:55:55 AM EST

Oral Polio Vaccine Influences the Immune Response to BCG Vaccination. A Natural Experiment plus More ...

Why a pandemic in Spain and not bordering Portugal, the latter has national BCG vaccination in place.

Correlation between universal BCG vaccination policy and reduced morbidity and mortality for COVID-19: an epidemiological study

The 1918 Influenza study and lessons ...

The Spanish influenza pandemic in occidental Europe (1918-1920) and victim age

'Sapere aude'

by Oui (Oui) on Tue Apr 14th, 2020 at 04:10:36 AM EST
by generic on Tue Apr 14th, 2020 at 03:56:16 PM EST
Miracle Max treatment, featuring off-label "experimental" pharmacology, purportedly "pioneered" by inscrutable Chinese and literate Italian physicians revives mostly dead Seattle Man.

"This is a movie-like save"

by Cat on Tue Apr 14th, 2020 at 09:49:56 PM EST

From the FT. Milan's air looks terrible. Bergamo was the centre of the outbreak, yes? Tehran looks unchanged.

by generic on Tue Apr 14th, 2020 at 11:39:40 PM EST
this week, of course, doesn't immediately create sufficient medical staff, equipment, supplies, or services to treat COVID-19; it doesn't simplify prescription of "proven" Rx; and it is a complicated origin story with an ambiguous moral with which "average" intellects struggle to apprehend, ironically, regardless of social media tuition or time.


Phylogenetic network analysis of SARS-CoV-2 genomes

This viral network is a snapshot of the early stages of an epidemic before the phylogeny becomes obscured by subsequent migration and mutation. The question may be asked whether the rooting of the viral evolution can be achieved at this early stage by using the oldest available sampled genome as a root. As SI Appendix, Fig. S4 shows, however, the first virus genome that was sampled on 24 December 2019 already is distant from the root type according to the bat coronavirus outgroup rooting.
archived in the long run
by Cat on Wed Apr 15th, 2020 at 01:49:43 PM EST

'Sapere aude'
by Oui (Oui) on Wed Apr 15th, 2020 at 10:27:56 PM EST

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