Tue May 12th, 2020 at 11:43:59 AM EST
Putting some facts on the table and a timeline of events in the Sino-American relations in 2020 …
Trump wishes to be forgiven for all past mistakes made and betting on the wrong horse of a laissez-faire approach to the “endemic flu-like virus” that had reached the mainland in Washington State, or at least the West Coast of America.
As previously noted, Trump abolished the DHS department for global pandemic watch and axed a crucial NSC member. Cornered, not knowing what a smart move is, the first chance he gets Trump cuts the WHO funding. Next he puts all blame on China for doing what it had to do: a complete lockdown to seal all travel from and to Wuhan and Hubei province.
Once he realizes he is all alone, he slams anyone and all who dare voice criticism. A small majority of Americans and the whole of the Global Community sees what a mess he has made of it, lies and propaganda and dithering along the way failing to set a coherent exit strategy. Building his castle on quicksand, just like a sudden sinkhole when one has not done basic research and gets caught by a backlash of nature and Planet Earth.
Failure In Leadership and Wishful Thinking
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 in January.
Before Trump’s inauguration, a warning: ‘The worst influenza pandemic since 1918’ | Politico |
○ Former President Obama Slams Trump's COVID-19 Response as an 'Absolute Chaotic Disaster' in Call With Supporters | TIME |
Continued below the fold ...
Interesting comparison ... traveling from Taiwan into San Francisco and US domestic flights. Just found an article of an American mother of two girls returning from the US and traveling home to Shanghai. Trump and the US wholly unprepared for what the WHO communicated to the world community: SARS CoV-2 spreads form human-to-human and has been defined as a PANDEMIC by the end of January.
China coronavirus: World Health Organisation again considers declaring global emergency after 'deeply concerning' cases | SCMP - Jan. 30, 2020 |
A WHO decision on whether the outbreak now constitutes a global public health emergency is expected to be announced on Thursday evening in Geneva, following the emergency committee's meetings.
Tedros apologised on Wednesday for a WHO situational report published over the weekend that said the global risk from the Wuhan coronavirus was "moderate". The wording, later amended to "high", was due to "human error in preparing the report", he said in a thread on Twitter.
The WHO has also come under fire for its officials' full-throated praise of the Chinese government's transparency in its response to the outbreak, contrasting with rising criticism that the government and its official media organs have downplayed the severity of the virus.
WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (left) said the evidence of human-to-human transmission outside China was "deeply concerning". (Photo: AP)
"I strongly advocated on air for [WHO] to declare a global health emergency today," Eric Feigl Ding, an epidemiologist and health economist at Harvard University's Chan School of Public Health, said in a Twitter post on Monday.
"The facts are pretty clear this #coronoavirus #nCoV2019 epidemic is no longer localized to China and has higher pandemic risk than SARS."
WHO Has Admitted an Error in Its Assessment of Wuhan Coronavirus Risk | Science Alert - Jab. 28, 2020 |
"WHO's risk assessment is that the outbreak is a very high risk in China, and a high risk regionally and globally."
WHO said the categorisation was "a global evaluation of risk, covering severity, spread and capacity to cope".
The agency added that the mistake made in three of its situation reports had been an "error in the wording".
Asked about the correction, Antoine Flahault, co-director of the Swiss School of Public Health, told AFP: "It's a mistake. It's definitely a sizeable one... but I really think it's a mistake that has now been corrected".
WHO's cautious approach to the outbreak, which has been challenged by some critics, can be seen in the context of past criticism over its slow or too hasty use of the term, first used for the deadly 2009 H1N1 swine flu pandemic.
During that outbreak, the UN health agency was criticised for sparking panic-buying of vaccines with its announcement that year that the outbreak had reached pandemic proportions, and then anger when it turned out the virus was not nearly as dangerous as first thought.
But in 2014, the WHO met harsh criticism for dragging its feet and downplaying the severity of the Ebola epidemic that ravaged three West Africa countries, claiming more than 11,300 lives by the time it ended in 2016.
China took the most severe measures on Jan. 22/23 to put tens of millions into lockdown. Is there something Trump and right-wing Republican advisors didn't understand ... SCIENCE is not prevalent, any risks will be termed an HOAX until further notice from the Chief in the Oval Office. Trump knew in December an impeachment would never pass HIS SENATE, so where was his focus? Trump doesn't accept ANY criticism.
WHO says not declaring China virus a global emergency | TRT World - Jan. 23, 2020 |
Beijing locks down some 20 million people in several cities to contain the disease, preventing planes and trains from leaving in an unprecedented move that health experts say is "new to science."
The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Thursday that the new coronavirus that has emerged in China and spread to several other countries does not yet constitute an international emergency but it was tracking its evolution "every minute".
WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus made the announcement after its Emergency Committee of 16 independent experts reviewed the latest evidence and made its recommendations, which he accepted.
"Make no mistake, though, this is an emergency in China," Tedros told a news conference at WHO headquarters in Geneva. "But it has not yet become a global health emergency. It may yet become one."
WHO's evaluation came as China locked down some 20 million people at the epicentre of a deadly virus outbreak on Thursday, banning planes and trains from leaving in an unprecedented move aimed at containing the disease which has already spread to other countries.
Streets and shopping centres in Wuhan were eerily quiet after authorities told residents not to leave the major city of 11 million people, where most of the cases have been identified.
Trains and planes out of Wuhan were indefinitely suspended and tollways on roads out the city were closed, leading to fear and panic for those who were trapped.
"We are feeling as though it is the end of the world," said one Wuhan resident on China's Twitter-like Weibo platform, voicing concerns about shortages of food and disinfectant.
Another described being on the "verge of tears" when the de facto quarantine was announced, with the misery compounded by the news coming on the eve of the Lunar New Year holiday.
Hours later, authorities in neighbouring Huanggang announced public transport and train services would be suspended at midnight, while people were told to not leave the city of 7.5 million.
All of Huanggang's cinemas, internet cafes, and the central market will close.
A third city, Ezhou, with a 1.1 million population, announced the train station had been closed earlier in the day.
SIGNING THE TRADE DEAL IN THE WHITE HOUSE – JAN. 15, 2020
“From day one, my Administration has
fought tirelessly to achieve a level
playing field for the American worker.”
President Donald J. Trump
Today, President Trump is signing a new, fully-enforceable Phase One Trade Agreement with China.
- President Trump is making good on his promise to fix the failed policies of the past and deliver fairer trade for the United States.
- This historic agreement will begin to rebalance our vital trade partnership with China and benefit both of our countries.
- The signing of this agreement will be an incredible boost for American businesses, farmers, manufacturers, and innovators.
I want to thank President Xi, who is watching as we speak — and I’ll be going over to China in the not-too-distant future to reciprocate — but I want to thank President Xi, a very, very good friend of mine. We’ve — we’re representing different countries. He’s representing China. I’m representing the U.S. But we’ve developed an incredible relationship. But I want to thank him for his cooperation and partnership throughout this very complex process. Our negotiations were tough, honest, open, and respectful — leading us to this really incredible breakthrough. Most people thought this could never happen. It should have happened 25 years ago, by the way. But that’s okay.
WHO DECLARED SARS CoV-2 A GLOBAL PANDEMIC: SEVEN WEEKS PASSED ...
h/t gmoke @EuroTrib ...
My friends and former co-workers, Marc and Sally, love to travel the world and this year spent some of February and March in Taiwan. This is their account of the response of Taiwan to COVID-19, the letter they sent to friends after they arrived back home on March 19, 2020:
Coronavirus chronicles: From Taipei to Boston | Berkshire Edge | by Marc Rudnick on April 6, 2020
Americans Marc Rudnick and Sally Wetzler wearing their stylin' art masks in a Taipei high-rise.
As the Grateful Dead so eloquently sang, "What a long, strange trip it's been!"
We are ensconced pond-side, bleary from poor sleep jet-lag wise, but home at last. So begins our at-least 14-day self-quarantine -- we've been through enough bad places in the past two days that it would be crazy to do anything else.
A sudden spike of CV in Taiwan (something like 25 new cases) brought instant response -- the borders are largely closed to foreigners now, and the government is busy tracking down the vectors of the newly infected. In Taiwan surgical masks are universally available. Just before leaving Taipei, we bought a big box of disposable gloves and two large bottles of hand sanitizer, both easily available in shops within a block of our hotel. We wore our masks and gloves throughout the airport experiences and for the first 20 minutes on the planes (allowing the HEPA systems to cleanse the cabin air a few hundred times before removing them). We washed down all the surfaces around us with sanitizer and washed our phones after handling them with gloves. Wore gloves to the bathroom and disposed of them after each visit.
Our Taiwan to San Francisco flight was a bit crowded, but we were still relatively isolated, plus everyone was coming from the clean island like us. Also, almost everyone wore surgical masks throughout the trip - it's what they do in Taiwan all the time anyway, and so did all the flight attendants.
All it took was a day back in America to see how hopeless avoiding an outbreak is here, given the money-making ethos of every business, the lax response by the government at every level (despite lots of talk) and the general idiocy of some of the people who live here.
Arriving at San Francisco airport, we breezed through re-entry, though standing in a lineup of returnees with no distancing whatsoever. The Immigration officer greeted us outside of the glass booth they usually sit in, with his mask dangling under his chin -- a 2-foot distance from hundreds of people every hour. No disinfection, no baggage check, no dogs, no customs inspection: we might as well have been carrying 50 pounds of crack and a nuclear device.
Shuttle driver to the hotel handled our bags, and everyone else's, without gloves (which we wore until we were inside our room.) No sanitizer in the hotel lobby.
[Read more ...]
Why an American mother rushed her daughters back to Shanghai during the Covid-19 outbreak | SCMP - May 3, 2020 |
In March 15, I flew home to the United States to bring my daughters back to Shanghai. The sharp contrast between the way China has sought to prevent the spread of Covid-19 and the way the US has handled the pandemic has been alarming.
My family has been navigating the shifting geography of Covid-19 for months, as the virus first emerged in China, our country of residence, and then moved onto our native home, the US. We are Americans with a home in Virginia, but a couple years ago I took a job in Shanghai, and we moved there, with my husband commuting to his job in Washington.
When the coronavirus began to shut down China over the Lunar New Year holiday in January, we were on holiday in Japan. Once Shanghai schools began announcing closures, we decided the girls - aged 13 and 10 - should fly back to the US unaccompanied to stay with my husband while I returned to work in Shanghai. The subsequent Chinese lockdown would separate us for two months.
By mid-March, we had reached a turning point. The girls had just enrolled in their old schools when those incyystitutions announced a shutdown. Meanwhile, their Shanghai school was sending out upbeat notices about reopening in the near future. And with US cases on the rise and China tightening its borders, I figured it was now or never.
An image posted on Twitter in March shows crowds at Chicago’s O’Hare Airport. (Photo: Twitter)
I was on the ground in the US for less than 36 hours, but saw enough to be alarmed. If I hadn't forcefully volunteered that I had just come from living in China, I don't think anyone would have checked me for fever before entering the US.
Once I declared myself, I was escorted to a "CDC line" for a cursory temperature check (with a large group of Mormon missionaries returning from Europe), given a Centres for Disease Control and Prevention flier about Covid-19 symptoms and asked to stay home and minimise my trips outside for 14 days.
While on the ground, I did not leave my house except to ride with my husband to pick up some takeaway; I was stunned at how full my hometown restaurants were.
The girls and I landed back in China on March 19, and our arrival there was the opposite of my entry to the US. Our flight from Tokyo landed at 11.45am, but we sat on Shanghai's Pudong International Airport tarmac for two hours before immigration officials let us disembark.
During those hours we filled out health forms that asked, among other questions, whether we had sore throats, runny noses, or fevers, and whether we had taken any medication to reduce fevers. I debated whether to report a stuffy nose that I was sure was caused by allergies.
A security worker at Shanghai airport on March 18. (Photo: AFP)
Finally, after we promised not to leave our flat, our passports were returned to us, and at 4.03am, some 16 hours after landing, we were home. That morning, a young woman in a hazmat suit knocked on our door and took our temperatures at 10am. She returned at 3pm to take our temperatures again.
This routine was repeated for 14 days before we would be permitted to circulate in the general Shanghai population.
[Read more ...]
Mike Pence 'not up to task’ of leading US coronavirus response, say experts | The Guardian - Feb. 27, 2020 |
The “China virus” knows no borders, race, wealth or White House entry checks. It’s invaded the premises on 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue uninvited and is carried into the Oval Office by hosts, the workplace of the most powerful leader on Planet Earth. The bluff and bruhaha of Trump in spite, the virus is sitting close by near his desk where the sign “the buck stops here” has been replaced by a photo of himself.
Dr. Fauci Backed Controversial Wuhan Lab with U.S. Dollars for Risky Coronavirus Research | Newsweek - Apr. 28, 2020 |
In 2019, with the backing of NIAID, the National Institutes of Health committed $3.7 million over six years for research that included some gain-of-function work. The program followed another $3.7 million, 5-year project for collecting and studying bat coronaviruses, which ended in 2019, bringing the total to $7.4 million.
Many scientists have criticized gain of function research, which involves manipulating viruses in the lab to explore their potential for infecting humans, because it creates a risk of starting a pandemic from accidental release.
The Newsweek article is poorly researched, so I won't spend more time to read it.
The World Community knows the Trump Administration was quite busy with daily petty quarrels with the media at press briefings, the hours Trump spends on Fox News, right-wing talk radio, complot and conspiracy theories ... so Trump has been completely swamped in Washington. The President has no grasp of the facts as the US Consumer is treated on complete bullsh*t from the Oval Offices and Washington DC environs. As the US economy needs to open up - be LIBERATED - the White House goes into isolation and near LOCKDOWN. What a great show ... leadership my a$$.
○ Under Trump, American exceptionalism means poverty, misery and death | Opinion by RobertReich |
○ China’s purchases of US goods will fall way short of ‘phase one’ trade deal due to the coronavirus, says think tank | CNBC – May 11, 2020 |
Furthermore, there were a number of leaders who proclaimed early on: "We'll ride this flu-like epidemic out and won't shut down our GREAT ECONOMY. As I have written from early in March, the herd immunity advocates were Donald Trump, Boris Johnson and in The Netherlands close Anglo-Saxon ally Mark Rutte. All three countries are hiding the full reports of it's citizens killed by SARS CoV-2 due to not being prepared, refuse to do the necessary testing, not capable to protect frontline doctors, nurses and medical workers with professional PPE.
○ BoJo Explains Rising Death Toll and Herd Immunity
Herd Immunity WHO Ryan
MISSOURI HAS NOT ONLY FOREIGN, BUT ALSO DOMESTIC ENEMIES ☹
○ The Show-Me State Is Out for Answers: Missouri Sues China, Chinese Communist Party Over COVID-19
President Trump is such a devisive person by nature and personality, not capable of empathy and bringing parties together in Washington DC, in collaboration with Governors across America in Red and Blue States, and has played politics of quid-pro-quo on relations with other nations. It's not just about trade and MAGA, it's a foreign policy of bullying other nations into submission.
The pandemics of SARS CoV-2 and the approach chosen by the White House has one where backing Taiwan and opposing the Communist Party of China has played a major role. SHAME! This policy has cost tens of thousands of American lives.
○ WHO says it cannot invite Taiwan to upcoming global health meeting | The Hill |
○ Two WHO members propose to discuss Taiwan WHA participation: WHO