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Author Topic: COVID-19 🏴☠️ Pandemic  (Read 14817 times)

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Surly1

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As I noted elsewhere (on the Doomstead Diner Forum), "No data? No problem." Does "slow-walking testing to keep a country’s numbers low" sound familiar?
But Trump's sockpuppet Mike Pence will only get so far with his gas lighting "pray-the-gay-away" approach to coronavirus.


The Official Coronavirus Numbers Are Wrong, and Everyone Knows It
Because the U.S. data on coronavirus infections are so deeply flawed, the quantification of the outbreak obscures more than it illuminates.




We know, irrefutably, one thing about the coronavirus in the United States: The number of cases reported in every chart and table is far too low.

The data are untrustworthy because the processes we used to get them were flawed. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s testing proceduresmissed the bulk of the cases. They focused exclusively on travelers, rather than testing more broadly, because that seemed like the best way to catch cases entering the country.

Read: You’re likely to get the coronavirus

Just days ago, it was not clear that the virus had spread solely from domestic contact at all. But then cases began popping up with no known international connection. What public-health experts call “community spread” had arrived in the United States. The virus would not be stopped by tight borders, because it was already propagating domestically. Trevor Bedford’s lab at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle, which studies viral evolution, concluded there is “firm evidence” that, at least in Washington State, the coronavirus had been spreading undetected for weeks. Now different projections estimate that 20to 1,500 people have already been infected in the greater Seattle area. In California, too, the disease appears to be spreading, although the limited testing means that no one is quite sure how far.

In total, fewer than 500 people have been tested across the country (although the CDC has stopped reporting that number in its summary of the outbreak). As a result, the current “official” case count inside the United States stood at 43 as of this morning (excluding cruise-ship cases). This number is wrong, yet it’s still constantly printed and quoted. In other contexts, we’d call this what it is: a subtle form of misinformation.

Read: What Trump could do right now to keep workers safe from the coronavirus

This artificially low number means that for the past few weeks, we’ve seen massive state action abroad and only simmering unease domestically. While Chinese officials were enacting a world-historic containment effort—putting more than 700 million people under some kind of movement restriction, quarantining tens of millions of people, and placing others under new kinds of surveillance—and American public-health officials were staring at the writing on the wall that the disease was extremely likely to spread in the U.S., the public-health response was stuck in neutral. The case count in the U.S. was not increasing at all. Preparing for a sizable outbreak seemed absurd when there were fewer than 20 cases on American soil. Now we know that the disease was already spreading and that it was the U.S. response that was stalled.

Meanwhile, South Korean officials have been testing more than 10,000 people a day, driving up the country’s reported-case count. Same goes for Italy: high test rate, high number of cases. (Now some Italian politicians want to restrict testing.) In China, the official data say the country has more than 80,000 cases, but the real number might be far, far higher because of all the people who had mild(er) cases and were turned away from medical care, or never sought it in the first place. That may be cause for reassurance (though not everyone agrees), because the total number of cases is the denominator in the simple equation that yields a fatality rate: deaths divided by cases. More cases with the same number of deaths means that the disease is likely less deadly than the data show.

Read: What you can do right now about the coronavirus

The point is that every country’s numbers are the result of a specific set of testing and accounting regimes. Everyone is cooking the data, one way or another. And yet, even though these inconsistencies are public and plain, people continue to rely on charts showing different numbers, with no indication that they are not all produced with the same rigor or vigor. This is bad. It encourages dangerous behavior such as cutting back testing to bring a country’s numbers down or slow-walking testing to keep a country’s numbers low.

Read: A coronavirus quarantine in America could be a giant legal mess

The other problem is, now that the U.S. appears to be ramping up testing, the number of cases will grow quickly. Public-health officials are currently cautioning people not to worry as that happens, but it will be hard to disambiguate what proportion of the ballooning number of cases is the result of more testing and what proportion is from the actual spread of the virus.

People trust data. Numbers seem real. Charts have charismatic power. People believe what can be quantified. But data do not always accurately reflect the state of the world. Or as one scholar put it in a book title: “Raw Data” Is an Oxymoron.

The reality gap between American numbers and American cases is wide. Regular citizens and decision makers cannot rely on only the numbers to make decisions. Sometimes quantification actually obscures as much as it reveals.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.


Surly1

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Don't Drink The Bleach
« Reply #31 on: March 04, 2020, 07:05:25 am »
What You Can Do Right Now About the Coronavirus
A lot of advice is going around, both good and bad. Here's some good information in one place.



David Smart / Shutterstock / Katie Martin / The Atlantic

James Hamblin
March 3, 2020


Over the past week, the number of confirmed cases of coronavirus infection in the U.S. has more than doubled. It’s become apparent that previous numbers were low, in part, because we weren’t testing people for it. We now know that there has been ongoing community spread, but to what extent is unclear.

For now, most American schools and offices are open, and few public gatherings have been canceled. Life goes on for most people, but with more push alerts and uncertainty about what to do. Hopefully, the virus will hit various areas in waves, scattering disease over a longer period of time, so that people can be treated and society remains functional. A less preferable scenario would be that too many people in a given area are out of commission and in need of medical care. If this happens, cities and states may go into shutdown modes to block further viral spread, disrupting the economy and everyday life.

Everyone can help in the effort to prevent this from happening. Unlike many global-health issues that depend on orchestration at the highest levels of government, individual behaviors matter in an immediate sense. The demographic most likely to survive an infection—the young and healthy—may need to pay the closest attention to preventive measures. These are the people who will spread the disease while believing that they have only a cold. They can infect the elderly, or people who have chronic diseases or immune conditions, who are less likely to survive.

A lot of advice is going around, both good and bad. I hope it’s helpful to compile some good information in one place. Much of what follows is not original—generally don’t trust health advice that no one else is giving—and please bear in mind that any guidance can and should change as the situation develops, and that local health departments and personal physicians may need to tailor recommendations for specific scenarios. That said, here are preventive measures that people are considering at the moment, and some notes that are worth your time and attention.

Using hand sanitizer

It works. Use it often. Make sure it’s alcohol-based. There are some “natural” products designed to be less drying to your hands. These do not work.

Washing hands

This is always important, but especially now. Wash your hands for 20 seconds, regularly. Note that soap works ideally in combination with scrubbing and heat, but cold water works far better than nothing. You do not need antibacterial soap; the coronavirus is a virus, not a bacterium.

Cleaning hand towels

Wash them often, too.

Shaking hands

It’s not a clearly threatening practice, and physical touch has its own value to consider, as do gestures of respect. But I’ve been an advocate of alternative forms of greetings such as fist bumps for years, and this outbreak doesn’t change that.

Touching your face

Avoiding touching your face is a nice idea and would be very effective, but no one is going to stop touching their face.

Using bathrooms

Here’s an unproven suggestion from me that transcends this particular outbreak: All business and public spaces should turn their bathrooms’ doors around, so you push on the way out rather than the way in. If building codes or other safety codes prohibit this, install a foot pull. If none of this is possible, at least put the trash can for paper towels outside the door so everyone can use a paper towel to touch the handle.

Disinfecting common surfaces

The crux of all the focus on hand-washing is that you’re unlikely to get the virus from someone coughing or sneezing directly into your face. You are much more likely to catch the virus by touching something that someone else touched after coughing into their hand. This can partly be prevented by disinfecting surfaces.

The most commonly touched surfaces in homes and offices, especially shared spaces, are priority. Countertops, remote controls, and refrigerator handles should be disinfected regularly. That said, it’s very possible to become compulsive about this in ways that have their own risks. Any given surface is very unlikely to harbor a dangerous virus, so it’s possible to overdo this and waste a lot of time, resources, and concern. But if you’re the sort to typically only clean things that look visibly dirty, do consider the invisible.

Cleaning phones

This one warrants its own special note because phone screens may be the surface we touch the most. Other, similar coronaviruses are known to live on glass for up to four days. If you’ve been touching your phone with viral hands, then you do a beautiful job washing those hands, and then you touch your phone again, you may have just recontaminated yourself. I’m not suggesting constantly cleaning your phone. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention currently recommends once a day, though I don’t see how—if it’s worth doing at all—that would be often enough. That said, I have never once cleaned my phone.

Wearing masks

Masks seem logical as preventive measures because the disease is spread by respiratory droplets, which can travel simply by breathing but mostly distribute in plumes from coughs or sneezes. If you were sick and had to leave home for some reason, ideally you would wear a surgical mask. But even this precaution is far from perfect—the wearable equivalent of sneezing into your elbow instead of right in someone’s face. You’re still infectious and should behave accordingly. The World Health Organization has published recommendations for when civilians should use masks. But stockpiling also deprives other people who might have needed to follow those guidelines.

Stockpiling masks

This week the U.S. surgeon general, Jerome Adams, urged Americans to stop buying face masks. This is a matter of short supply, should worst-case scenarios play out. In an ideal world, people who live with other people would have masks on hand when someone in the house gets sick, and they could help prevent close-quarters spread. But this is not an ideal world, and masks are needed for the people who are at the highest risk. When doctors, nurses, and first responders cannot work, new crises present themselves.

Stockpiling food

This mainly applies to people in remote areas where the town’s one grocery store could close down. Closing the store would be preferable to having sick employees report to work. In these areas, it’s always advisable to have a short-term supply of food (for any natural disaster), and this would be fair to treat similarly. Elsewhere, supply chains could be threatened, requiring certain shippers or grocers to close temporarily and certain foods to become scarce in certain areas, but none of this is cause for stockpiling.

Stockpiling prescription medications

Most U.S. prescription medications are made in China, whose own outbreak has raised concerns about medication supply chains. As of now, supplies have not been disrupted, and China is reporting declines in the spread of the virus. As with food, though, anyone who has a vital prescription and lives in a place where access would be affected bythe single shutdown of a local pharmacy or a public-transit system, for example, should always have a small supply for emergencies. Health-care providers should help ensure this.

Traveling

It’s always advisable to avoid travel if you’re sick. But no stay home directive is sustainable for long periods, and urgent life events will overlap with this outbreak. So guidance about this will be targeted, and ideally informed by easy screening and testing that can advise people with the sniffles whether they are fine to get on a plane or should urgently self-quarantine.

Staying home

This is an extremely imperfect directive, as so many people’s jobs and other obligations make it impossible. But no single recommendation is perfect or universally applicable. And Americans have proved, flu season after flu season, that many workplaces are not accommodating enough of staying home. If workplaces are not accommodating, business may suffer even more in the long run, if more shutdown measures are taken.

Seeking medical care

This may be the most crucial question: When do mild symptoms warrant attention? Most people are not accustomed to seeking care or testing when they have a mild cough or runny nose. My hope is that, in the coming days and weeks, local and federal officials share clear guidelines for exactly how and when to seek medical attention early in the disease’s course. China’s containment measures depended on early detection that isolated people at the beginning of their infectious stage. Then again, we can’t have everyone with a cough and sniffles rushing to doctors’ offices.

South Korea, which has now identified some 5,000 cases, is pioneering drive-through screening clinics. The idea seems smart: There are no doorknobs to touch, no crowded waiting rooms with magazines that have been coughed on for months. Maybe most important, there is no paperwork to fill out and no cost. If an outbreak hits a major city, clinics and hospitals will likely be overrun with people who have cold and flu symptoms. Some of those people will need reassurance that they can go home and will be fine; others will need admission to a hospital; others may need an intermediate level of care, monitoring, and quarantine.

Being conscientious

No matter your position, there are people who stand to lose much more than you do if they get sick. No matter how worried you are, there are people who are more worried. Look out for them, and help make sure everyone takes these basic measures and doesn’t panic. Societies break down when people fear one another as simply bipedal distributors of infectious agents. See people as allies in this unique moment of uncertainty.

James Hamblin, MD, is a staff writer at The Atlantic. He is also a lecturer at Yale School of Public Health and author of the forthcoming book Clean.

AGelbert

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Re: New Pandemic?
« Reply #32 on: March 04, 2020, 12:40:41 pm »
Click on image for updates:
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Are you beginning to see how this works? 😨
« Reply #33 on: March 05, 2020, 12:37:07 pm »
Click on image for updates:

For fellow geezers on Medicare: Your Medicare Part B (Medical Insurance) covers a test to see if you have Coronavirus. This test is covered when your doctor or a health care provider orders it, if you get the test on or after February 4, 2020. You usually pay nothing for Medicare-covered clinical diagnostic laboratory tests.

Agelbert NOTE: The above is a quote from an e-mail I got from Medicare.gov today. I am guilty of putting certain parts of that quote in bold. In a sane country, you DO NOT need some MD to "prescribe" a test for a dangerous virus like COVID-19 (the virus has mutated. There are TWO variants now - the latest one gives encephalitis...  ). So, all these geezers. like me, who AVOID seeing a doctor regularly to keep from being cash cows for the CAPITALIST greedball medical complex in the USA, are being SET UP to HAVE TO PAY FOR AN APPOINTMENT WITH A DOCTOR, OR BE SADDLED FOR A THOUSAND BUCKS or so for a COVID-19 test. >:(  :(

Tell me, dear friends, what GP Doctor, who has never seen you as a patient before, is going to agree to see you because you think you may have COVID-19 symptoms? Do you think he is going to authorize a COVID-19 test without an appointment? Do you think he will agree to an appointment without telling you in advance that you will have to pay EXTRA for the special protective gear the doctor has to wear to protect himself from possible infection when he sees you? Are you beginning to see how this works?


As usual, the 😈 CAPITALISTS are always quick to find a way to profit off of the misery of the masses, while claiming to "help". USA! USA! USA!


Yes Virginia, the CAPITALIST GREEDBALLS in the USA HAVE JUST GUARANTEED that the COVID-19 PANDEMIC will be MUCH WORSE than if anyone could get the test FOR FREE on request. GREED isn't just bad; it is ABYSMALLY STUPID.

« Last Edit: March 05, 2020, 04:38:16 pm by AGelbert »
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Trump Ignored CoVid-19. Now Its About To Boom!
« Reply #34 on: March 05, 2020, 06:09:36 pm »
Trump Ignored CoVid-19. Now Its About To Boom!
8,279 views•Mar 3, 2020


Thom Hartmann Program
212K subscribers

Donald Trump ignored the CoVid-19, then pushed conspiracy theories about it, and now cases of the new coronvavirus are exploding. Thom Hartmann explains!

🔴 Subscribe for more clips like this: https://www.youtube.com/user/thomhartmann

Donald Trump ignored a major health crisis, and has been cutting vital infrastructure needed to fight the CoVid-19, is there enough time to stop the virus? How can we hold 🦀 Donald Trump accountable for allowing this to spread across the country?

⭐ Join our Membership and Support the Channel:  https://www.youtube.com/user/thomhartmann
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

Surly1

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Re: New Pandemic? Now over 100,000 cases
« Reply #35 on: March 06, 2020, 08:50:09 am »

Surly1

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Re: Are you beginning to see how this works? 😨
« Reply #36 on: March 06, 2020, 08:55:26 am »


Yes Virginia, the CAPITALIST GREEDBALLS in the USA HAVE JUST GUARANTEED that the COVID-19 PANDEMIC will be MUCH WORSE than if anyone could get the test FOR FREE on request. GREED isn't just bad; it is ABYSMALLY STUPID.


As with most things, the worst people on the planet have created a market for testing. And the other worst people (by which I mean Mike Pence) are contorting themselves into exotic new positions to kiss Trump's ass. And speaking of Fat Orange, he is skipping a planned attendance3 at the CDC in favor of a planned fundraiser at Mar-a-logo tonight.

AGelbert

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Yes Virginia, the CAPITALIST GREEDBALLS in the USA HAVE JUST GUARANTEED that the COVID-19 PANDEMIC will be MUCH WORSE than if anyone could get the test FOR FREE on request. GREED isn't just bad; it is ABYSMALLY STUPID.

As with most things, the worst people on the planet have created a market for testing. And the other worst people (by which I mean Mike Pence) are contorting themselves into exotic new positions to kiss Trump's ass. And speaking of Fat Orange, he is skipping a planned attendance at the CDC in favor of a planned fundraiser at Mar-a-logo tonight.

Yup. The COVID-19 Pandemic is being made worse by the CAPITALISTS who, due to their "altruism is verboten" evil ideology (SEE: "Game theory", "Might equals Right", "Shock Doctrine", etc.), cannot see any mass human misery taking place as anything but another "great opportunity" to make more money. You can bet your bottom dollar that every corporate profiting penny of those billions Congress just approved to "fight COVID-19" is going to pad the 1%'s bank accounts.

Meanwhile, it's Déjà flu on another Cruise Ship (a very appropriate deadly disease ridden floating symbol of the inevitable result of polluting profit over people and planet).

The "profit is IT" RELIGION of the US Government Fascists like Trump and Pence (the "Christianity" thing has always been a nice bullshit bit of lip service cover for his Social Darwinist REAL religion) prohibits them from taking sensible steps like stopping all travel until a vaccine can be developed, tested and distributed to the most vulnerable cohorts of the population. Furthermore, the medical greedballs in the USA, who know full well that biology of virus spread CONTAINMENT truth, are ALSO every bit as guilty as Trump and Pence are for not screaming at the top of their lungs that ALL OPTIONAL TRAVEL MOST STOP NOW, no matter what it does to the stock market!

The Capitalist Clusterfuck continues to wreak havoc on humanity in general and the USA in particular.

Fri, 03/06/2020 - 11:30


Click on image for updates:



 
« Last Edit: March 06, 2020, 02:33:12 pm by AGelbert »
Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

AGelbert

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Agelbert REQUEST: Please sign this petition and urge everyine you know to do so as well. I signed it today.

Quote
While the novel virus COVID-19 (aka coronavirus) continues to spread across the globe, credible health organizations still say containment is possible. However, there are a few things making containment within the U.S. less likely. The biggest of which is that people are expected to pay out of pocket for testing, treatment, and quarantine. But it doesn't have to be this way, and New York State just proved it!

Sign on to demand every other state follows New York's lead to block insurance companies from charging people for testing and treatment of coronavirus!

The current estimated death rate of the virus is 3.4%, which would translate to millions of people in the U.S. if the virus continues to spread. The Center for Disease Control (CDC) has just changed the standards for coronavirus testing to anyone who has a doctor's order. But due to the cost of such testing - one Miami man was charged over $3000, and that was with insurance - many people will not get tested and instead continue to spread the disease.

The solution? Governors can prohibit insurance companies from charging people for testing and care of coronavirus. We, collectively, can afford to do this.

If this country has any hope of curbing the sickness and death this virus is causing around the world, we have to demand free treatment for all! As a society, we are only as safe as the least safe among us. Let's stand together and demand our lawmakers protect us in every way possible, starting with making all testing and treatment of coronavirus free!

Sign on to help.


Rob not the poor, because he is poor: neither oppress the afflicted in the gate:
For the Lord will plead their cause, and spoil the soul of those that spoiled them. Pr. 22:22-23

Surly1

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As the coronavirus spreads, one study predicts that even the best-case scenario is 15 million dead and a $2.4 trillion hit to global GDP

  • While much is still unknown about the virus, a group of Australian experts have estimated that the virus may have severe consequences on global gross domestic product.

  • New modeling from The Australian National University looks at seven scenarios of how the outbreak might affect the world's wealth, ranging from low severity to high severity.

  • In the low-severity model — or best-case scenario of the seven — ANU researchers estimate a global GDP loss of $2.4 trillion, with an estimated death toll of 15 million.

  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

As coronavirus cases continue to rise around the world, a group of Australian experts predict that the economic impact of the disease in the best-case scenario may total $2.4 trillion in lost global gross domestic product.

The coronavirus outbreak that originated in Wuhan, China, has killed nearly 3,300 people and infected more than 95,000. The virus, which causes a disease known as COVID-19, has spread to at least 81 countries.

More than 150 cases have been reported in the US, including 11 deaths across two states. The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak an international public-health emergency and warned that the window of opportunity to contain it is narrowing.

On Tuesday, the WHO noted that the global death rate for the novel coronavirus based on the latest figures was 3.4% — higher than earlier figures of about 2%. The WHO's director-general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said the new coronavirus was "a unique virus with unique characteristics."

While much is still unknown about the virus, the group of Australian experts has produced a warning about the impact the virus might have on people's lives if left unchecked.

Australian researchers estimate the economic impact of the virus

South Korean soldiers in protective gear sanitizing a shopping street in Seoul, South Korea, on Wednesday.
South Korean soldiers in protective gear sanitizing a shopping street in Seoul, South Korea, on Wednesday.

Reuters

New modeling from The Australian National University looks at seven scenarios of how the COVID-19 outbreak might affect the world's wealth, ranging from low severity to high severity.

Four of the seven scenarios in the paper examine the impact of COVID-19 spreading outside China, ranging from low to high severity. A seventh scenario examines a global impact in which a mild pandemic occurs each year indefinitely.

But even in the low-severity model — or best-case scenario of the seven, which the paper acknowledged were not definitive — ANU researchers estimate a global GDP loss of $2.4 trillion, with an estimated death toll of 15 million. They modeled their estimates on the Hong Kong flu pandemic, an outbreak in 1968-1969 that is estimated to have killed about 1 million people.

In the high-severity model — modeled after the Spanish flu pandemic, which killed an estimated 17 million to 50 million globally from 1918 to 1920 — the global GDP loss could be as high as $9 trillion. In that model, the death toll is estimated to surpass 68 million.

"Our scenarios show that even a contained outbreak could significantly impact the global economy in the short run," said Warwick McKibbin, a professor of economics at ANU who was one of the paper's authors.

"Even in the best-case scenario of a low-severity impact, the economic fallout is going to be enormous and countries need to work together to limit the potential damage as much as possible," he added.

The research aims to help policymakers respond to the economic impact of COVID-19 as the disease continues to spread.

"There needs to be vastly more investment in public health and development, especially in the poorest countries," McKibbin said. "It is too late to attempt to close borders once the disease has taken hold in many other countries and a global pandemic has started."

The death toll is still evolving

Medical workers at a hospital in Chennai, India, on January 29 inside a ward specializing in receiving people who may have been infected with the novel coronavirus.
Medical workers at a hospital in Chennai, India, on January 29 inside a ward specializing in receiving people who may have been infected with the novel coronavirus.

P. Ravikumar/Reuters

A patient's risk of dying from COVID-19 varies based on several factors, including where they are treated, their age, and any preexisting health conditions.

A study conducted last month from the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention showed that the virus most seriously affected older people with preexisting health problems. The data suggests a person's chances of dying from the disease increase with age.

Notably, the research showed that patients ages 10 to 19 had the same chance of dying from COVID-19 as patients in their 20s and 30s, but the disease appeared to be much more fatal in people ages 50 and over.

About 80% of COVID-19 cases are mild, the research showed, and experts think many mild cases haven't been reported because some people aren't going to the doctor or hospitals for treatment.

Aria Bendix contributed reporting.

Business Insider


Surly1

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Who says there's no good news?

Trump Vows to Keep Holding Rallies, Despite CPAC Attendee’s Coronavirus Case

There may soon come a point when Trump’s projected confidence risks the health of his most faithful supporters. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

President Trump has been repeatedly downplaying the threat of the coronavirus, including at the CDC on Friday when he insisted he was not worried about the risk the virus could pose at his political rallies or any other large public gatherings. He then reaffirmed that on Saturday — after the American Conservative Union (ACU) announced that an attendee of the organization’s recent CPAC event had tested positive for COVID-19. President Trump, Vice-President Pence, and numerous other senior Trump administration officials and Trump-orbiting celebrities went to the multi-day event, which was attended by thousands of conservatives from around the country.

In response to the report, a White House statement noted they were aware of the case, but that “at this time there is no indication that either President Trump or Vice-President Pence met with or were in close proximity to the attendee.” A CPAC statement released Saturday night concurred, explaining that the attendee was exposed to the virus prior to attending the event, did not interact with Trump or Pence, and never even went to the event’s main hall. However:

“I’m not concerned at all,” Trump told reporters on Saturday night at his Mar-a-Lago resort in Florida, insisting he was not planning to scale back his campaign rallies because of the coronavirus, and that he was not worried about the virus having reached Washington, D.C. (The District’s first confirmed COVID-19 case was announced earlier in the day.)

“We’ll hold tremendous rallies,” said Trump.

The annual Conservative Political Action Conference was held from February 26-29 at the Gaylord National Resort & Convention Center in Maryland just outside of Washington, D.C. The ACU said that the attendee with COVID-19 tested positive in New Jersey, where he remains hospitalized and isolated.

“Our children, spouses, extended family, and friends attended CPAC,” the statement read. “During this time, we need to remain calm, listen to our health care professionals and support each other. We send this message in that spirit.”

Even if the attendee did not expose anyone at the conference to the coronavirus and Trump isn’t worried about the risk, the case may bring home the reality of the coronavirus to others at CPAC. So far there is at least anecdotal evidence that some Trump supporters have not been taking the virus seriously, in line with what Trump has said about the outbreak.

It’s also not totally clear what extra precautions Trump’s staff and the Secret Service are taking to protect the president from exposure to COVID-19 at public events, particularly when public health officials around the country are saying that without more widespread testing, it’s not possible to know how far the virus has spread within the country.

The president originally canceled his trip to the CDC on Friday after a staffer seemed to have contracted the illness, but their test came back negative and Trump ultimately decided to go anyway. Meanwhile, the White House imposed new restrictions on Friday and will now look into guests’ recent travel histories to make sure they haven’t been to an outbreak area. White House staff have also been given some limited guidance on prevention, per CNN:

Staffers recently received advisories about the coronavirus epidemic that focused on prevention and guidelines for what to do if experiencing coronavirus symptoms. The information distributed to staff included a one-pager from the Centers for Disease Control and

Prevention reminding people to wash their hands, stay home if they are sick and informing people of the coronavirus symptoms, similar to information health officials have publicly distributed or discussed.

One official said staffers have appeared more attuned to their health amid the outbreak, wiping down desks with anti-bacterial wipes and being more careful about sneezing into a tissue or arm. But aides have not received any formal guidance on workplace procedures if the virus escalates further, like lawmakers on Capitol Hill recently received, according to officials.

Numerous reports have indicated that Trump — a notorious germaphobe — was already the hand-sanitizer-in-chief long before the COVID-19 outbreak. “When somebody sneezes — I mean, I try and bail out as much as possible when they’re sneezing,” Trump said at a coronavirus press conference last week.

But while Trump may not have much close contact with the masses at his political events, his supporters and staff do. As large scale events around the country continue to be canceled out of concern over the coronavirus, the president will eventually have to either decide to suspend big events during the outbreak or push ahead and risk the health of his supporters, even if that risk is low. At a time when the president is already trying to project confidence about the U.S. coronavirus response, and denying any missteps by his administration, Trump could be damned either way. Or maybe he has already made his decision: As of Saturday, he has no future rallies on his schedule. And according to ABC News, his campaign has also started thinking through how they might adjust to cancellations:

Trump campaign communications director Tim Murtaugh told ABC News on Saturday that they were “proceeding as normal” with the reelection events, though Trump currently has no rallies on his public schedule. … While there haven’t been changes in planning so far around the coronavirus outbreak, the Trump campaign has held discussions about what to do if the rallies have to be put on hold, which currently isn’t the plan, two campaign sources told ABC News.

“We will announce rallies when we are ready to do so,” a Trump campaign spokesperson claimed.


Surly1

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Johns Hopkins 3/9
« Reply #41 on: March 09, 2020, 07:46:17 am »

Surly1

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“He’s Definitely Melting Down Over This”
« Reply #42 on: March 11, 2020, 11:15:48 am »
“He’s Definitely Melting Down Over This”
Trump, Germaphobe in Chief, Struggles to Control the Covid-19 Story


By Drew Angerer/Getty Images.

By Gabriel Sherman

March 9, 2020
Publicly, he sees it as yet another (“Fake News”) media war; privately, he worries about virus-carrying journalists on Air Force One. But cancel his rallies? “I’m not going to do it,” he says.


Ever since the coronavirus exploded outside of China at the end of January, Donald Trump has treated the public health crisis as a media war that he could win with the right messaging. But with cases now documented in 34 states and markets plunging, Republicans close to Trump fear his rosy assessments are fundamentally detached from reality in ways that will make the epidemic worse. “He is trying to control the narrative and he can’t,” a former West Wing official told me.

The problem is that the crisis fits into his preexisting and deeply held worldview—that the media is always searching for a story to bring him down. Covid-19 is merely the latest instance, and he’s reacting in familiar ways. “So much FAKE NEWS!” Trump tweeted this morning. “He wants Justice to open investigations of the media for market manipulation,” a source close to the White House told me. Trump is also frustrated with his West Wing for not getting a handle on the news cycle. “He’s very frustrated he doesn’t have a good team around him,” a former White House official said. On Friday he forced out acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and replaced him with former House Freedom Caucus chair Mark Meadows. Trump thought the virus was “getting beyond Mick,” a person briefed on the internal discussions said. Trump has also complained that economic adviser Larry Kudlow is not doing enough to calm jittery markets. Last week Kudlow refused Trump’s request that Kudlow hold an on-camera press briefing, sources said. “Larry didn’t want to have to take questions about coronavirus,” a person close to Kudlow told me. “Larry’s not a doctor. How can he answer questions about something he doesn’t know?”

Trump found a willing surrogate in Kellyanne Conway, but Conway’s dubious claim on Friday that the virus “is being contained” only made the P.R. situation worse.

Trump’s efforts to take control of the story himself have so far failed. A source said Trump was pleased with ratings for the Fox News town hall last Thursday, but he was furious with how he looked on television. “Trump said afterwards that the lighting was bad,” a source briefed on the conversation said. “He said, ‘We need Bill Shine back in here. Bill would never allow this.’”

Trump’s press conference on Friday at the CDC was a Trumpian classic, heavy on braggadocio and almost entirely lacking a sense of the seriousness of the crisis. “I like this stuff. I really get it,” Trump told reporters, his face partly hidden under a red “Keep America Great” hat. “People are surprised that I understand it. Every one of these doctors say, ‘How do you know so much about this?’ Maybe I have a natural ability. Maybe I should’ve done that instead of running for president.” At another point Trump compared the situation to the Ukraine shakedown. “The [coronavirus] tests are all perfect. Like the letter was perfect. The transcription was perfect,” he said.

By now many of the president’s advisers are numb to this kind of performance. “There’s very little that fazes anyone now,” a former official said. But one person who spoke to the president over the weekend saw the press conference as an ominous sign. “He’s just now waking up to the fact that this is bad, and he doesn’t know how to respond.”

As Trump pushes a nothing-to-see-here message in public, sources said he’s privately terrified about getting the virus. “Donald is a famous germaphobe. He hates it if someone is eating nachos and dips a chip back in after taking a bite. He calls them ‘double dippers,’” a prominent Republican said. Former Trump aide Sam Nunberg recalled Trump’s response to the last major outbreak in 2014. “When I worked for Trump, he was obsessed with Ebola,” Nunberg told me. (One Mar-a-Lago guest disputed this and said Trump was handshaking with gusto this past weekend. “He was acting like the opposite of a germaphobe,” the source said.)

Stories about Trump’s coronavirus fears have spread through the White House. Last week Trump told aides he’s afraid journalists will try to purposefully contract coronavirus to give it to him on Air Force One, a person close to the administration told me. The source also said Trump has asked the Secret Service to set up a screening program and bar anyone who has a cough from the White House grounds. “He’s definitely melting down over this,” the source said.

But thus far Trump’s private concerns haven’t affected his public response. Pressure from the public health community is mounting on Trump to cancel his mass rallies, but Trump is pushing back. “He is going to resist until the very last minute,” a former West Wing official said. “He may take suggestions to stop shaking hands, but in terms of shutting stuff down, his position is: ‘No, I’m not going to do it.’”

The White House did not respond to a request for comment.


Surly1

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Re: New Pandemic?
« Reply #43 on: March 13, 2020, 07:03:28 am »
Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases by the Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University-- March 13, 2020



 

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