Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.

Elon Musk Losing His Stock Bonus

by Oui Wed Apr 29th, 2020 at 03:36:50 PM EST

The losing battle of economic policy, Wall Street vs Lives lost: stop counting the dead.

His outburst came as he was close to securing a $750m (£585m) payout from a bonus scheme linked to Tesla's share price.

More below the fold ...

Elon Musk tweets protest against US coronavirus lockdown | The Guardian |

Musk, the world's 22nd-richest person with an estimated $38.5bn (£30.5bn) fortune, on Wednesday tweeted: "Give people their freedom back!" with a link to a Wall Street Journal article suggesting that the lockdowns have not saved that many lives but have shattered local economies.

He also tweeted: "Bravo Texas!" with a link to a local newspaper story about the Texas governor Greg Abbott's plans to allow shops, restaurants and movie theatres to reopen from Friday.

The Longhorn State - Bigger Than Trump's New York

My earlier diaries ...

Outbreak -- Herd Immunity Is Damning

Covid-19 Pandemic: Europe and America Next

The Secret to Germany’s COVID-19 Success: Angela Merkel Is a Scientist | The Atlantic |

Coronavirus: Countries 'ignored' early warnings for COVID-19 | DW |

Many countries did not pay enough attention to early warning signs for the coronavirus outbreak, according to the German Institute for Defense and Strategic Studies (GIDS), a military think tank.

"This crisis has shown that various countries, depending on their political cultures, have partially ignored or even denied the early warning signals," said Christian Haggenmiller, an expert and doctor with GIDS as well as the World Health Organization (WHO).

Haggenmiller said the "best example" was the United States, which has "very extensive resources for the early detection of health hazards." Though it "recognized the development around COVID-19 in a timely manner," the pandemic "was not considered a priority by the current political leadership."

There were "numerous early warning signs," he said — "the WHO receives about 7,000 infection warnings a month." But it's up to political systems to implement measures to combat a pandemic. He did admit there is sometimes "alarm fatigue," or "hesitation on the part of decision-makers due to the abundance of alerts."

Revealed: the inside story of the UK's Covid-19 crisis | The Guardian Report |

Ken believes she became infected sometime in that eerie, frightening week after Monday 16 March, when Boris Johnson’s government reconsidered its previous light-touch approach, which had envisaged 60% of the population – 40 million people – would become infected, and while many would die, the majority would recover and attain “herd immunity”.

That week, although more physical distancing had been advised by Johnson, normal life mostly continued until the compulsory lockdown; pubs, restaurants and gyms stayed open, as did schools, until Friday 20 March. Sazuze, who served 10 years in the British army before studying to be a nurse himself, says he “never liked that herd immunity idea”.

Germany's Covid-19 expert: 'For many, I'm the evil guy crippling the economy'

Christian Drosten, who directs the Institute of Virology at the Charité Hospital in Berlin, was one of those who identified the Sars virus in 2003. As the head of the German public health institute’s reference lab on coronaviruses, he has become the government’s go-to expert on the related virus causing the current pandemic.

In an exclusive interview, Drosten admits he fears a second deadly wave of the virus. He explains why Angela Merkel has an advantage over other world leaders – and why the “prevention paradox” keeps him awake at night.

Q: Germany will start to lift its lockdown gradually from Monday. What happens next?

A: At the moment, we are seeing half-empty ICUs in Germany. This is because we started diagnostics early and on a broad scale, and we stopped the epidemic – that is, we brought the reproduction number [a key measure of the spread of the virus] below 1. Now, what I call the “prevention paradox” has set in. People are claiming we over-reacted, there is political and economic pressure to return to normal. The federal plan is to lift lockdown slightly, but because the German states, or Länder, set their own rules, I fear we’re going to see a lot of creativity in the interpretation of that plan. I worry that the reproduction number will start to climb again, and we will have a second wave.

A single person from Medical University of Groningen made the difference and likely saved hundreds of lives and much misery in the three northern provinces of The Netherlands. He is Alex Friedrich, a German scientist who discarded the guidelines coming from Dutch political centre in The Hague and the RIVM proposals. The Medical University followed the German principles of testing, testing, and further testing to contain the virus from spreading. I had written about this distinct success earlier. I didn’t know how and who was behind this process.

Math : The Numbers -- Herd Policy A Failure – March 23, 2020

    It's now shielding of the vulnerable and elderly ... shit almost 1:1 with Mark Rutte and his statement on Dutch policies today ...

Virologist condemns Netherlands' slow Covid-19 testing | NL Times |

Virologist Alex Friedrich of the University Medical Center in Groningen thinks that the Netherlands should be testing more for the coronavirus Covid-19. The current testing of only risk groups is not enough and he does not understand the claim that there is not enough capacity to do more, Friedrich said in an interview with De Groene Amsterdammer.

"We don't have a capacity problem," Friedrich said. "It is possible that a certain lab is short of certain materials, but that is business as usual, you solve that. This is not the case as long as you are not dependent on a commercial party. We don't need such a party either, because you can do these tests in almost any ordinary lab."

A spokesperson for public health institute RIVM told NL times that they do not think the Netherlands is falling behind on testing, but added that the institute is looking into more testing capacity. "We are now testing less than before, because we want to focus tests on vulnerable groups. So if there are two positive tests in a care home, we assume an outbreak and will no longer test." According to the spokesperson, the fact that fewer tests are being done has to do with how many test kits and staff are available.

According to Friedrich, Groningen is testing according to the World Health Organization's recommendations. He acknowledged that this is partly possible because the northern provinces still have relatively few Covid-19 cases. He is confident that the number of infections will remain low because Groningen - like the other northern provinces - are reacting proactively, he said.

by Oui on Wed Apr 29th, 2020 at 05:51:34 PM EST
by Oui on Wed Apr 29th, 2020 at 05:55:43 PM EST
Musk is quickly turning into a billionaire villain from the James Bond movies.
by Bernard on Wed Apr 29th, 2020 at 06:13:59 PM EST
by Oui on Wed Apr 29th, 2020 at 07:31:00 PM EST
With COVID-19, modeling takes on life and death importance

Jacco Wallinga's computer simulations are about to face a high-stakes reality check. Wallinga is a mathematician and the chief epidemic modeler at the National Institute for Public Health and the Environment (RIVM), which is advising the Dutch government on what actions, such as closing schools and businesses, will help control the spread of the novel coronavirus in the country.

The Netherlands has so far chosen a softer set of measures than most Western European countries; it was late to close its schools and restaurants and hasn't ordered a full lockdown. In a 17 March speech, Prime Minister Mark Rutte rejected "working endlessly to contain the virus" and "shutting down the country completely." Instead, he opted for "controlled spread" of the virus while making sure the health system isn't swamped with COVID-19 patients. He called on the public to respect RIVM's expertise on how to thread that needle.

Jacco Wallage is an advisory board member Imperial College in London

by Oui on Wed Apr 29th, 2020 at 07:45:56 PM EST
by Oui on Wed Apr 29th, 2020 at 07:46:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui on Wed Apr 29th, 2020 at 07:47:29 PM EST
[ Parent ]
A pathogenic virus with no vaccine and a high rate of mortality falls within the definition of a Bio-Level 4 Hazard requiring labs to provide 100% containment suits with their own oxygen supply.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu Apr 30th, 2020 at 06:58:42 PM EST
by Cat on Thu Apr 30th, 2020 at 11:35:45 PM EST
Most ignorant, litigious nation on planet , heh?
by Bernard on Fri May 1st, 2020 at 07:43:17 AM EST
[ Parent ]
Musk tweets:

Wall Street obliges:

Elon Musk says Tesla's stock price is too high, and now it has fallen

He got what he wanted

Tesla CEO Elon Musk tweeted Friday that Tesla's stock price is "too high imo," and the stock fell immediately after. Tesla's stock is down more than 10 percent.

Last year, Musk made an agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission to have a company lawyer pre-approve tweets about Tesla's finances, sales, or deliveries last April. The settlement exists because Musk tweeted he was thinking of taking Tesla private, "funding secured." The SEC sued him for securities fraud as a result.

by Bernard on Fri May 1st, 2020 at 08:22:15 PM EST
by Oui on Sat May 2nd, 2020 at 02:47:05 AM EST
by Oui on Sat May 2nd, 2020 at 02:52:53 AM EST
[ Parent ]
The largest US deposits of uranium are under the Navajo reservation.  They have steadfastly refused to let Peabody Energy mine the stuff because the last time they did children ovarian and testicle cancer rates shot through the roof.  Peabody couldn't be bothered to clean-up the mine tailings.  Peabody and the rest of the nuclear power industry really REALLY wants to get their mitts on the ore.

The Navajo nation was supposed to get federal help back in April.  It never arrived.

Surprise. Surprise.

Now do you begin to understand the dynamic?  

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre

by ATinNM on Wed May 6th, 2020 at 02:35:05 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Tribes receive partial COVID-19 funds: Too little, too late?

Jason O'Neill, director of the Western Values Project, said the delay in funding occurred because tribes in the lower 48 states objected to Alaska Native corporations being part of CARES -- arguing they're "for-profit" businesses, and don't meet the definition of tribal governments.

"They were delayed by the Trump administration trying to take advantage of a loophole in the CARES Act legislation that forced tribal governments to sue the Trump administration to ensure that these funds were allocated correctly," he said.

She believed in nothing; only her skepticism kept her from being an atheist. -- Jean-Paul Sartre
by ATinNM on Thu May 7th, 2020 at 02:29:07 PM EST
[ Parent ]
by Oui on Sat May 2nd, 2020 at 08:57:12 AM EST
by Oui on Sat May 2nd, 2020 at 12:36:35 PM EST
You say that like it's a bad thing
by Bernard on Sat May 2nd, 2020 at 12:50:11 PM EST
[ Parent ]
Received a link from an Dutch interview with Jaap Goudsmit, a virologist at Harvard T.H. Chan School. A very wise person with the right analysis about the COVID-19 Pandemic.

In modelling there is too much uncertainty due to assumptions. To attack the coronavirus. medical science needs data ... tests, tests, tests!

Jaap Goudsmit about the war (which he summarized in numbers) and the corona crisis (in which he lacks data) | De Volkskrant |

Goudsmit was on the front of the SARS outbreak ... the SARS CoV-19 was more contagious and spread further. The global community failed at the onset of the outbreak and failed in international cooperation. Many politicians had personal issues or other non-essential topics: best economy ever @Davos, UK-EU Brexit doom, US Congress - White House Trump impeachment, US-China Trade relations, Iran sanctions, Russia sanctions, Turkey-Erdogan and the War against Assad, etc.

The potential of targeted antibody prophylaxis in SARS outbreak control: A mathematic analysis ☆


Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus-like viruses continue to circulate in animal reservoirs. If new mutants of SARS coronavirus do initiate another epidemic, administration of prophylactic antibodies to risk groups may supplement the stringent isolation procedures that contained the first SARS outbreak.


Patient isolation alone can be sufficient to control SARS outbreaks provided that the time from onset to admission is short. Antibody prophylaxis as supplemental measure generally allows for containment of higher R0 values and restricts both the size and duration of an outbreak.


Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) was the first major outbreak of a newly emergent communicable disease in the 21st century, affecting over 8000 persons on multiple continents. Its appearance stirred an unprecedented coordinated effort to control transmission and morbidity, motivated by fears that local outbreaks might give rise to a major pandemic within months. From the onset, mathematical modeling has proven to be a very useful tool for evaluating the impact of the control measures instigated.

The SARS outbreak originated in the Guangdong province of China, from where it spread to Hong Kong and next to Vietnam, Singapore and Canada. On 15 March 2003, the World Health Organization (WHO) issued a second global alert together with a name for the new disease and a case definition. The outbreak was fully contained by July 2003, the last case occurring in Canada. SARS coronavirus, the causative agent of the new disease, most likely was transmitted to humans by the masked palm civet (Paguma larvata). Adaptation to human transmission is possible through a single mutation in the spike glycoprotein of a civet SARS-like virus. As SARS-like viruses continue to circulate in animal reservoirs, the risk of another major outbreak remains.

[A long read ...]

Further reading ...

Assessing intervention scenarios during the initial pandemic wave

[Above modelling failed as the SARS CoV-2 was more virulent, failed early treatment of patient and the very serious cases with deep lung infection or pneumonia were admitted to hospitals, intubation with advanced respiratory support 80% mortality rate  - Oui]

Are we no more than herd animals? How group immunity came and went.

My diary on the risk of political choice for herd immunity ...

Outbreak -- Herd Immunity Is Damning!

Came across this interesting read from Goudsmit's blog ... the year 2011 after the financial crisis.

Occupy Wall Street and the Common Sense

This guy must be a Bernie Sanders supporter! 😊

by Oui on Mon May 4th, 2020 at 10:09:56 AM EST
by Oui on Mon May 4th, 2020 at 01:59:41 PM EST
Musk objects that he's locked down?  Well I object he's not locked up for multiple counts of securities fraud.
by rifek on Sat May 9th, 2020 at 05:08:12 PM EST
Alameda County: Shelter in Place Order to reduce the spread of COVID-19 has been extended.

by Oui on Sat May 9th, 2020 at 09:14:52 PM EST

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