Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Day 38: COVID-19 Outside of China

 

The President addressed US preparedness and readiness yesterday. From the Bloomberg ads airing yesterday and from Nancy and Chuck’s public comments the Democrats clearly want to paint the Trump administration as unprepared and to exploit politically whatever problems the COVID-19 virus creates for the country. That will be the theme the MSM will be making. Fox News’ Juan Williams apparently got the memo and on The Five was saying that the President was only holding the press conference to boost the stock market.

President Trump, like every president before him in the electronic age seeks to exact political benefit or limit political damage from the economy. Trump’s moves to repatriate manufacturing and reduce US dependence on international trade are probably the best strategies to minimize the economic harm to the US from the pandemic. His touting of US prominence in dealing with and assisting others in crisis is true, and comforting, but is of unknown significance in dealing with the “unknown unknowns.”

Meanwhile, South Korea, Italy and Iran are coming to know the unknowns.

Worldometer news:

Number of tests and positivity rate for Covid-19 as of Feb. 26

  • UK: 7,132 concluded tests, of which 13 positive (0.2% positivity rate). [source]
  • Italy: 9,462 tests, of which 470 positive (5.0% positivity rate), awaiting results: unknown. [source]
  • France: 762 tests, of which 17 positive (2.2% positivity rate), 179 awaiting results. [source]
  • Austria: 321 tests, of which 2 positive (0.6% positivity rate), awaiting results: unknown. [source]
  • United States: 445 concluded tests, of which 14 positive (3.1% positivity rate). [source]

Italy has announced on Feb. 26 that it would begin testing only people with symptoms, claiming that the higher number of cases (compared to other European countries) is due to more tests being conducted.

February 27 (GMT):

EUROPE and MIDDLE EAST
  • Israel’s Ministry of Health is mandating a 14-day quarantine for all travelers who have visited Italy in the past 14 days. The decree takes effect immediately and is retroactive and, therefore, effective as of February 13th. In order to contain the spread of COVID-19, Israel had already ordered a 14-day home quarantine for travelers coming from China, South Korea, Japan, Hong Kong, Macau, Singaporeand Thailand. The Health Ministry also issued a travel warning asking Israeli citizens to refrain from traveling abroad. “If you don’t genuinely have to fly — don’t do so,” the Ministry said in a statement. [source] [source]
  • About 60% of new cases (31 out of 54) diagnosed in Europe outside of Italy in the last 4 days (from Feb. 24 to Feb. 27) had recently traveled to Northern Italy.
  • 58 new cases and 2 new deaths in Italy [source]
  • 3 new cases in Spain (Madrid and Barcelona) one is in critical and one in serious condition in Madrid. The other case is a 22-year-old woman from Tenerife who went to Milan, Italy between Feb. 19 and Feb. 23. She is in mild condition “Currently, we are in a containment scenario: there is not a massive entry of imported cases that could imply a broad transmission in our country. It may be that we will not see more than this level or that in a few hours we will be forced to pass. There will be an effort not to be late in any case,” said Fernando Simón Simón, director of the Center for Health Alerts and Emergencies at the Ministry of Health, adding that “as we have cases for which we do not identify the origin, we are closer to the possibility of a new scenario.[source] [source]
  • 2 new cases in Greece (Athens): [source]
    a 38 year old woman in Thessaloniki who had recently returned from a trip to Milan, Italy.
    – a woman in Athens who had also recently been in Milan.
  • 1 new case in Israel: an Israeli citizen who came back from Italy. [source]
  • 106 new cases and 7 new deaths in Iran.
  • 1 new case in Austria, first in Vienna, a 72 year old man. [source]
  • 2 new cases in the UK: “the virus was passed on in Italy and Tenerife and the patients have been transferred to specialist NHS centers in Royal Liverpool Hospital and Royal Free Hospital, London,” reports DHSC. [source]
  • 3 new case in Switzerland, including:
    – 2 cases in the canton of Graubünden who are symptomatic but in good health. More information will be provided later by the authorities.
    – a 28-year-old man who had returned 3 days ago from Milan, Italy. He presents mild symptoms and is currently hospitalized at Geneva University Hospital. Around 15 contacts of the man have been placed in quarantine at their homes. This is the second case in Switzerland, both with recent travel history to Milan or Lombardy, in Italy. [source]
  • 1 new case in Spain (Valencia): a 44-year-old male who traveled to Milan to watch the Champions League match between Atalanta and Valencia of Feb. 19. [source]
  • 1st case in Estonia: a resident of Iran in Estonia who came from Riga (Latvia) by busand “called an ambulance upon arriving at the bus station” said Minister of Social Affairs Tanel Kiik. The patient is being treated in the infectious clinic at West Tallinn Central Hospital.
  • 1st case in Denmark: a TV 2 employee who came home from a ski vacation with his family in Lombardy, Italy (Chiesa in Valmalenco in the province of Sondrio) 3 days ago on Feb. 24 departing from the Malpensa airport in Milan. He bagan showing symptoms of cough and fever on the morning of Feb. 26. [source]
As the news feed is brought up to par, the rest of today’s updates will be added below.
ASIA
  • 3 new cases in Singapore, uncluding a 12-year-old. 66 out of 96 cases have so far recovered from the infection. [source]
  • 505 new cases (of which 422, or 84%, in Daegu) and 1 death in South Korea. The number of new cases in South Korea has topped China for the first time(China has reported 433 new cases for Feb. 26 [source]). This number is expected to further increase in the coming days as health authorities have started testing more than 210,000 members of the Shincheonji Church of Jesus in Daegu, attended by the 31st case (a possible “super spreader”) and which accounts for more than half of the country’s 1,766 total cases to date. [source] [source]
  • 433 new cases and 29 new deaths (of which 26 in Hubei) occurred in China on Feb. 26, as reported by the National Health Commission (NHC) of China. [source]

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  1. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    I don’t trust the numbers out of China or Thailand or Iran and give them an ‘E’ for response. The testing rates are too low in most countries. I am giving Singapore and ‘A’ and S.Korea a ‘B’. The US and Japan get a ‘C’ and Italy a ‘D’. 

    • #1
    • February 27, 2020, at 6:56 AM PST
    • 1 like
  2. Hugh Member

    And not much in Africa I expect largely because they don’t have the medical system to detect and test.

    • #2
    • February 27, 2020, at 7:19 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  3. Rodin Member
    Rodin

    Interesting take on President Trump’s COVID-19 presser.

    • #3
    • February 27, 2020, at 7:25 AM PST
    • 1 like
  4. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    @rodin have you attempted to calculate a death rate for the elderly? I am wondering if that ~10% rate is mostly among the elderly and the effective death rate for the elderly might be above 50%. I have not seen survivor data broken down by age. 

    • #4
    • February 27, 2020, at 7:38 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  5. Rodin Member
    Rodin

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    @rodin have you attempted to calculate a death rate for the elderly? I am wondering if that ~10% rate is mostly among the elderly and the effective death rate for the elderly might be above 50%. I have not seen survivor data broken down by age.

    @dong, I have no breakdown on ages. Anecdotally, the deaths seem clustered with >60 years of age. It’s complicated because age alone is not the determinant. People with compromised immune systems are susceptible at any age. People over 80 may have more difficulty with cell regeneration necessary to fight off disease processes of any type. (My own rule of thumb from life experience is that most people over 85 years of age can get seriously ill very quickly from a variety of sources.)

     

    • #5
    • February 27, 2020, at 7:50 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  6. iWe Reagan
    iWe Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    I just had a chat with a friend in South Korea. He said Trump was pilloried at the time for halting flights to/from China, but clearly it turned out to be the right call. He said that overall, things are stable: companies are encouraging people to work from home as possible, and people are keeping their distance.

    He also said that this virus is almost certainly man-made, based on its profile and the broad attacks on the body. Apparently it makes men sterile?

    Singapore has clearly done containment very well, indeed. I do not think a wide outbreak across the world is inevitable. Coronavirus is not as wildly contagious as people feared.

    • #6
    • February 27, 2020, at 7:50 AM PST
    • 4 likes
  7. Rodin Member
    Rodin

    The Democrat/MSM politicization of COVID-19 is discussed here.

    But Leftists in the media have questioned or inveighed against the president’s moves to not only to contain the virus, but to keep Americans safe in general. You’ve heard it all:

    • They called President Trump a bigot for limiting the number of people into the country from terrorist countries. He’s done the same for countries heavily afflicted with coronavirus (COVID-19)
    • Mocked and sued him for erecting a wall to keep out unknowns from sneaking into our country
    • Castigated him for requiring people who come to the U.S. to be able to support themselves
    • Wondered if Trump had been too tough by imposing tariffs on China for lying and cheating on trade
    • Called him a white nationalist for bringing back industry, including the steel industry, necessary for national defense that had been off-shored to China and other countries.
    • Called him a nationalist for fretting over supply chain interruptions because of over-reliance on off-shored sources, including China and applauded Apple for expanding a plant in Austin.

    Everywhere you turn, Trump has made moves that benefit the security of Americans. Leftists believe he should be El Patron of the world as long as he’s doing what they want, and right now they want a coronavirus King.

    Senator Chuck Schumer has leveled the charge that Trump wasn’t spending enough on the virus. What an odd charge. Congress has been asked for money to fight the virus.

    This is what Trump has been doing to keep out the virus:

    • Stopped non-U.S. citizens from coming in from China
    • Screened people coming from infected areas
    • Quarantined people coming from hot zones
    • Funded work to get a vaccine for the future
    • Sourced suppliers for hospital gowns and masks
    • Asked money from the Congress, Chuck.
    • #7
    • February 27, 2020, at 7:53 AM PST
    • 7 likes
  8. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Rodin (View Comment):

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    @rodin have you attempted to calculate a death rate for the elderly? I am wondering if that ~10% rate is mostly among the elderly and the effective death rate for the elderly might be above 50%. I have not seen survivor data broken down by age.

    @dong, I have no breakdown on ages. Anecdotally, the deaths seem clustered with >60 years of age. It’s complicated because age alone is not the determinant. People with compromised immune systems are susceptible at any age. People over 80 may have more difficulty with cell regeneration necessary to fight off disease processes of any type. (My own rule of thumb from life experience is that most people over 85 years of age can get seriously ill very quickly from a variety of sources.)

    I found this: It is a report of a JAMA article, but it is based on China and I don’t trust that data. CFR=case-fatality rate, which #-deaths/#-diagnosed.

    Of the confirmed cases, 1,023 patients—all in critical condition—died from the virus, which results in a CFR of 2.3%. The CFR jumped considerably among older patients, to 14.8% in patients 80 and older, and 8.0% in patients ages 70 to 79.

    My concern is that this virus will spread widely and will selectively kill off 20%+ of the elderly. No country has the hospital capacity to handle it, so it will be a DIY thing which will be bad. I heard that the US hospital capacity (100K ICU beds) is sized for peak flu season. I hope flu season ends early this year (typical peak is February).

    • #8
    • February 27, 2020, at 7:59 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  9. PHCheese Member

    Rodin (View Comment):

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):

    @rodin have you attempted to calculate a death rate for the elderly? I am wondering if that ~10% rate is mostly among the elderly and the effective death rate for the elderly might be above 50%. I have not seen survivor data broken down by age.

    @dong, I have no breakdown on ages. Anecdotally, the deaths seem clustered with >60 years of age. It’s complicated because age alone is not the determinant. People with compromised immune systems are susceptible at any age. People over 80 may have more difficulty with cell regeneration necessary to fight off disease processes of any type. (My own rule of thumb from life experience is that most people over 85 years of age can get seriously ill very quickly from a variety of sources.)

    My Grandad died of the flu in 1966. He was 97. It took four months for him to die. The flu developed into pneumonia. My Grandma died in 1919 of the flu. She was a young healthy woman. That flu killed millions worldwide. It’s been blamed on World War1 . Here we are , my wife and I, in our seventies with our fingers crossed.

     

    • #9
    • February 27, 2020, at 8:09 AM PST
    • 6 likes
  10. Al French, PIT Geezer Moderator

    Rodin (View Comment):

    Interesting take on President Trump’s COVID-19 presser.

    Dead link.

    • #10
    • February 27, 2020, at 8:28 AM PST
    • Like
  11. Al French, PIT Geezer Moderator

    AP reports new case in Northern California.

    • #11
    • February 27, 2020, at 8:39 AM PST
    • 1 like
  12. Nohaaj Coolidge

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):
    @rodin have you attempted to calculate a death rate for the elderly? I am wondering if that ~10% rate is mostly among the elderly and the effective death rate for the elderly might be above 50%. I have not seen survivor data broken down by age. 

    @dong where are you seeing a 10% death rate? In the chart Rodin posted, only Iran has that kind of percentage, China’s percentage is approximately 3.5%, the rest of the world hovers around 1%. The numbers from Iran and China, both the total infected and the deaths, are particularly suspect because of the state controlled media. 

     

     

    • #12
    • February 27, 2020, at 8:44 AM PST
    • 1 like
  13. Unsk Member

    New Study out from Zerohedge :

    “Scientists Discover HIV-Like “Mutation” Which Makes Coronavirus Extremely Infectious”

    “While mainstream scientists continue to perform mental gymnastics to insist that the new coronavirus wasn’t man-made, new research from scientists in China and Europe reveal that the disease happens to have an ‘HIV-like mutation’ which allows it to bind with human cells up to 1,000 times stronger than the Sars virus, according to SCMP.

    Other highly contagious viruses, including HIV and Ebola, target an enzyme called furin, which works as a protein activator in the human body. Many proteins are inactive or dormant when they are produced and have to be “cut” at specific points to activate their various functions.

    When looking at the genome sequence of the new coronavirus, Professor Ruan Jishou and his team at Nankai University in Tianjin found a section of mutated genes that did not exist in Sars, but were similar to those found in HIV and Ebola. –SCMP

    “This finding suggests that 2019-nCoV [the new coronavirus] may be significantly different from the Sars coronavirus in the infection pathway,” reads the paper published this month on Chinaxiv.org – a platform used by the Chinese Academy of Sciences which releases research papers prior to peer-review.

    This virus may use the packing mechanisms of other viruses such as HIV,” they added.

    For those confused, what the latest scientific paper claims is that whereas the Coronavirus may indeed contain a specific HIV-like feature that makes it extremely infectious, that was the result of a rather bizarre “mutation.” However, since the scientists did not make the scandalous claim that Chinese scientists had created an airborne version of HIV, but instead blamed a mutation, they will likely not be forced to retract it, even if it the odds of such a “random” mutation taking place naturally are extremely small.

    As a reminder, the running narrative is that the new coronavirus lie dormant in bats somewhere between 20 and 70 years, then ‘crossed over’ to humans through and unknown species – possibly a Pangolinbefore it emerged at a Wuhan, China meat market roughly 900 feet from a level-4 bioweapons lab.”

    This CoronaVirus of course could not be the result of messing around with a Bio-Weapon . Such a thought is unthinkable and not uttered in gentile political circles. 

    However all that said, I am afraid for President Trump. Bloomberg however tied to the ChiComs, is now running adds blaming the President for the looming crisis. The problem is that the Trump original task force screwed up royally and did not get enough working testing kits out there. Trump needs to realize he has to get way out front on this issue. No one is going to blame him for doing too much or spending too much. But if this pandemic hits us like it hit South Korea or Italy, and it can be said he reacted too slowly he will be blamed by the media 24/7.

    • #13
    • February 27, 2020, at 8:47 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  14. MarciN Member

    This summary of the situation is from the WSJ today:

    “It is now a near certainty that it will spread to all corners of the globe and affect every country,” Dr. Daulaire said. “The horse is most decidedly out of the barn.”

    Public-health systems around the world have improved their ability to detect and battle new emerging diseases, applying lessons learned from SARS, flu epidemics and a devastating Ebola epidemic in West Africa in 2014. Governments and other funders have also invested in new technologies to speed the development of medicines and vaccines.

    But the new coronavirus epidemic shows that major gaps remain. Many countries still don’t have the staff or laboratory technologies to detect outbreaks quickly. Problems with diagnostic tests and protocols for the new coronavirus mean many infected people likely aren’t being tested. Few countries, including the U.S. and European nations, have extra supplies of hospital beds, ventilators or other equipment to handle an influx of patients with pneumonia caused by the new coronavirus.

    “There has to be a shift in mind-sets,” said Bruce Aylward, a veteran epidemiologist who headed an international mission of experts for the WHO to China last week. “Have you got 100 beds where you can isolate people if you have to? Have you got a wing of a hospital that you’re going to close off?” he said.

    Watching the Zika virus spread throughout the world three to four years ago should have put all countries on the alert for the necessity of adding negative-pressure quarantine facilities.

    But in all fairness to every country involved, this type of large-scale preventive measure is a hard sell because it is so expensive.

    But we have to do it now. Shutting down travel and factories and whole countries is not going to work going forward.

    It should be easy for the travel industry on a global basis to establish a fund and quarantine facilities to meet this challenge. They stand to lose the most if people start using Skype instead the airlines, hotels, and car rentals.

    • #14
    • February 27, 2020, at 9:35 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  15. Al French, PIT Geezer Moderator

    Unsk (View Comment):

    New Study out from Zerohedge :

    “Scientists Discover HIV-Like “Mutation” Which Makes Coronavirus Extremely Infectious”

    “While mainstream scientists continue to perform mental gymnastics to insist that the new coronavirus wasn’t man-made, new research from scientists in China and Europe reveal that the disease happens to have an ‘HIV-like mutation’ which allows it to bind with human cells up to 1,000 times stronger than the Sars virus, according to SCMP.

    Other highly contagious viruses, including HIV and Ebola, target an enzyme called furin, which works as a protein activator in the human body. Many proteins are inactive or dormant when they are produced and have to be “cut” at specific points to activate their various functions.

    When looking at the genome sequence of the new coronavirus, Professor Ruan Jishou and his team at Nankai University in Tianjin found a section of mutated genes that did not exist in Sars, but were similar to those found in HIV and Ebola. –SCMP

    “This finding suggests that 2019-nCoV [the new coronavirus] may be significantly different from the Sars coronavirus in the infection pathway,” reads the paper published this month on Chinaxiv.org – a platform used by the Chinese Academy of Sciences which releases research papers prior to peer-review.

    This virus may use the packing mechanisms of other viruses such as HIV,” they added.

    For those confused, what the latest scientific paper claims is that whereas the Coronavirus may indeed contain a specific HIV-like feature that makes it extremely infectious, that was the result of a rather bizarre “mutation.” However, since the scientists did not make the scandalous claim that Chinese scientists had created an airborne version of HIV, but instead blamed a mutation, they will likely not be forced to retract it, even if it the odds of such a “random” mutation taking place naturally are extremely small.

    As a reminder, the running narrative is that the new coronavirus lie dormant in bats somewhere between 20 and 70 years, then ‘crossed over’ to humans through and unknown species – possibly a Pangolinbefore it emerged at a Wuhan, China meat market roughly 900 feet from a level-4 bioweapons lab.”

    This CoronaVirus of course could not be the result of messing around with a Bio-Weapon . Such a thought is unthinkable and not uttered in gentile political circles.

    However all that said, I am afraid for President Trump. Bloomberg however tied to the ChiComs, is now running adds blaming the President for the looming crisis. The problem is that the Trump original task force screwed up royally and did not get enough working testing kits out there. Trump needs to realize he has to get way out front on this issue. No one is going to blame him for doing too much or spending too much. But if this pandemic hits us like it hit South Korea or Italy, and it can be said he reacted too slowly he will be blamed by the media 24/7.

    No matter what Trump does, he will be blamed by the media.

    • #15
    • February 27, 2020, at 9:53 AM PST
    • 5 likes
  16. Mike H Coolidge

    Things look like they are going exceptionally well to me.

    • #16
    • February 27, 2020, at 10:11 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  17. Old Bathos Moderator

    If this bug is going to go all pandemic on us, shouldn’t we see a more accelerated infection rate by now?

    • #17
    • February 27, 2020, at 10:19 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  18. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Old Bathos (View Comment):

    If this bug is going to go all pandemic on us, shouldn’t we see a more accelerated infection rate by now?

    The number of cases doubles every 6 days without general quarantine. Exponential “accelerates” quickly.

    • #18
    • February 27, 2020, at 11:08 AM PST
    • 1 like
  19. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    PHCheese (View Comment):
    My Grandma died in 1919 of the flu. She was a young healthy woman. That flu killed millions worldwide. It’s been blamed on World War1 . Here we are , my wife and I, in our seventies with our fingers crossed.

    The “Spanish Flu” has been well studied and traced to a young guy in Kansas. He was drafted for WWI and took the disease from his farm to the training site. A boatload of infected guys deployed into France and the rotating troops took it everywhere. 

    • #19
    • February 27, 2020, at 11:13 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  20. Front Seat Cat Member

    Thank you Rodin for keeping us all up to date on this very scary and complicated health crisis. I hope everyone is stocked up as best as you can with the basics. What timing……..a major election year with a very dicey socialist out front, middle of flu season, Easter, spring break and tax season coming, to where people will be in close contact and travel more, and open borders in many areas worldwide. Plus the 2020 census. I also saw several headlines of some of the worst locust crop infestations taking place in 70 years across already poor regions. This feels like a judgement. I will remember this Lent….

    • #20
    • February 27, 2020, at 11:19 AM PST
    • 3 likes
  21. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Nohaaj (View Comment):

    DonG (skeptic) (View Comment):
    @rodin have you attempted to calculate a death rate for the elderly? I am wondering if that ~10% rate is mostly among the elderly and the effective death rate for the elderly might be above 50%. I have not seen survivor data broken down by age. 

    @dong where are you seeing a 10% death rate? In the chart Rodin posted, only Iran has that kind of percentage, China’s percentage is approximately 3.5%

    That 10% figure is based on #dead/(#dead+#recovered) and not #dead/#diagnosed looking at numbers in Italy. Rodin did a post a few days ago with these calculations. With a quickly spreading disease the long-term case-fatality rate is better estimated by looking at people that have completed the disease and excluding newly diagnosed folks. The data on diagnoses is not good. Most of the diagnoses today are based on symptoms+contact history and maybe xrays. Not many are confirmed by RNA analysis, which is slow. 

    FYI, SARS happened in 2001 and MERS happened in 2009. Both are corona virus diseases and vaccines were never created. I did a Google search and it doesn’t look like any vaccine for any corona virus has been successfully made.

    • #21
    • February 27, 2020, at 11:24 AM PST
    • 2 likes
  22. Unsk Member

    If this bug is going to go all pandemic on us, shouldn’t we see a more accelerated infection rate by now?

    We do not have enough test kits to test all the potential carriers. We really don’t know how many cases in the US there are. It’s a terrible scandal, which Trump needs to clean up muy pronto, or there is going to be hell to pay. 

    • #22
    • February 27, 2020, at 1:01 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  23. Rodin Member
    Rodin

    Unsk (View Comment):

    If this bug is going to go all pandemic on us, shouldn’t we see a more accelerated infection rate by now?

    We do not have enough test kits to test all the potential carriers. We really don’t know how many cases in the US there are. It’s a terrible scandal, which Trump needs to clean up muy pronto, or there is going to be hell to pay.

    Yes, this. We don’t know how bad it will be. It is estimated that 3-4 in 5 people who come down with it may not be able to distinguish it from other colds and flus. So absent a specific test someone may not know they had it unless they get a severe respiratory ailment. Buried in an already bad flu season you could have a number of infections without even knowing it. And that is what is going to make the true fatality risk hard to know. If you use the death/(death+recovery) ratio it is going to be higher than the death/infections because although the former all involves confirmed cases the latter is always lagging until there are 0 new cases. And the value may never be truly known because there can missing cases where the person was never tested to confirm COVID-19. 

    • #23
    • February 27, 2020, at 1:29 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  24. Hugh Member

    Spending a good portion of today working on a continuity plan for our company. Should have some guidelines out to the staff tomorrow. Luckily a lot of our business can be run remotely.

    On the other hand we have an employee who came back from vacation in Pakistan on Monday and has a pretty well developed cough……

    • #24
    • February 27, 2020, at 1:31 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  25. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Rodin (View Comment):
    Yes, this. We don’t know how bad it will be. It is estimated that 3-4 in 5 people who come down with it may not be able to distinguish it from other colds and flus.

    I was reading about SARS (peaked in month of May) and of the ~8,000 cases only 19 had an RNA test. Back in 2003 it was just a mystery virus and all diagnostics was done based on symptoms. There was no test. We have come a long way. 

    • #25
    • February 27, 2020, at 2:42 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  26. Unsk Member

    “No matter what Trump does, he will be blamed by the media.”

    There is a lot of truth in that statement, but reports like this one out of the NYT don’t help at all :

    “They were preparing to confirm a Washington Post report about a new coronavirus patient whose infection was of unknown provenance.

    But according to a story published Thursday morning by the New York Times, Californian health officials could have known about the infection – and thus taken the critical early steps to quarantine the individual – days earlier if it weren’t for restrictive federal criteria determining when federal or state officials can use one of the limited number of coronavirus testing kits available in the US.”

    Trump and the task force have got to get a handle on this Test Kit problem immediately or we will be hearing about it till November and beyond. It has been almost four weeks, the task force got to have a sense of urgency.

    • All those like Larry Kudlow who say we have the CoronaVirus handled are painting the Administration into a PR nightmare box when and if things go really bad.

    • The Administration also needs to be building dozens of Corona Virus specific hospitals right now because hospital beds are in short supply and we should not try to mix the patients with existing hospitals because we will likely infect the rest of the hospital. 

    From Charles Hugh-Smith:

    Observers have noted that the number of available beds in U.S. hospitals is modest compared to the potential demands of a pandemic, and others have wondered who will pay the astronomical bills that will be presented to those who are treated for severe cases of Covid-19, as the U.S. system routinely generates bills of $100,000 and up for a few days in a hospital.”

    Beyond the possibility that the logistics and costs of care will overwhelm the system, there are numerous and highly consequential second-order effects to consider:”

    1. “People avoiding care because they can’t afford it.”

    2. “Potential shortages of medications due to an over-reliance on supply chains in China.”

    3. “U.S. healthcare’s obsession with maximizing profits by any means available has transformed healthcare from a calling to just another burnout job in the Corporate America profit-maximizing grinder.”

    “A long time general practitioner (physician) recently explained the consequences of this transformation should the pandemic engulf the U.S.:

    “The risk of wholesale healthcare system failure from a stress even a fraction of what is experienced in China is deeply, deeply under appreciated. The transition of medicine from calling to career is nearly complete– as is the removal of any mentors who might teach otherwise.”

    From Capitalist Exploits, attributed to Niccolò Machiavelli:

    “The Wise Man Does At Once What the Fool Does Finally”. I hope the Trump Task Force finally get a clue that they need to go all in and then some. Don’t play the fool like Kudlow.

    • #26
    • February 27, 2020, at 3:35 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  27. Kozak Member
    Kozak Joined in the first year of Ricochet Ricochet Charter Member

    Unsk (View Comment):
    • The Administration also needs to be building dozens of Corona Virus specific hospitals right now because hospital beds are in short supply and we should not try to mix the patients with existing hospitals because we will likely infect the rest of the hospital. 

    Thats not going to happen. Not unless they can cancel a ton of local laws on hospital construction.

    It takes years to get a new hospital approved. In NC you need a “certificate of need” for example. Prevents competition, er “overbedding a community”.

    After that the plans need to be approved, every stage of construction has to be vigorously inspected. 

    Once the hospital is finished in many states the electrical, plumbing and HVAC systems need to be run for a month to ensure they function properly.

    Who is going to staff all those new hospitals? Nurses and doctors are in short supply already.

    The Feds might be able to get around that by building on Federal land, military bases, etc.

    Where are we going to get the equipment, supplies and medications? Hint China….

    I don’t see a quick way out of this.

    • #27
    • February 27, 2020, at 3:52 PM PST
    • 3 likes
  28. Goldwaterwoman Thatcher

    Unsk (View Comment):
    “The Wise Man Does At Once What the Fool Does Finally”. I hope the Trump Task Force finally get a clue that they need to go all in and then some. Don’t play the fool like Kudlow.

    I cringed when I heard what Kudlow said hoping he wouldn’t live to regret those words. In his defense, the US is not alone in being between a rock and a hard place as all governments on this planet now grapple with the potential for huge numbers of very sick people overwhelming medical facilities and the subsequent potential for a worldwide economic depression. On the one hand they certainly don’t want to cause unnecessary panic, but they also need the public to be informed in order to keep it from spreading further and to feel top political officials in partnership with the best and the brightest in the medical profession are doing everything within their power to contain and stop it. 

    • #28
    • February 27, 2020, at 4:33 PM PST
    • 2 likes
  29. Unsk Member

    “On the one hand they certainly don’t want to cause unnecessary panic, but they also need the public to be informed in order to keep it from spreading further and to feel top political officials in partnership with the best and the brightest in the medical profession are doing everything within their power to contain and stop it. “

    The best way to stop unnecessary panic is to get ahead of the curve, so people will feel the government has a handle on the problem. They should have started building temporary hospitals a month ago but haven’t started and aren’t even discussing it. Our hospitals can’t handle a South Korea like situation. Hello is anyone home? They don’t have nearly enough test kits. It’s been a month. Surely some manufacturer in the US can manufacture the test kits and do a lot of them. Perhaps several. Such an opportunity is a great job for some smaller manufacturers. At this point, we are only talking a few thousand. In a week or two it easily could be that we need tenths of thousands or more. We seemingly have nowhere near enough test kits so how are we treat the disease? Do we have enough antidote drugs like AIDs drugs and Flu drugs? Don’t think so- in fact we are likely not even close. 

    The are stories going around LA that a bunch of people are sick in Koreatown, which has the largest population of Korean born people outside of Korea. If that is even remotely true, we are in a world of hurt because the Pandemic is here and we are not even remotely prepared. Trump can then kiss the campaign good bye. The news media will chew him up and spit him out. 

    • #29
    • February 27, 2020, at 5:46 PM PST
    • 1 like
  30. DonG (skeptic) Coolidge

    Unsk (View Comment):
    The best way to stop unnecessary panic is to get ahead of the curve, so people will feel the government has a handle on the problem. They should have started building temporary hospitals a month ago but haven’t started and aren’t even discussing it. Our hospitals can’t handle a South Korea like situation.

    On the other hand, for the US the death count at breweries is much higher than from Covid-19. Part of staying ahead is telling people to wash their hands until they get bored and focus on something else.

    Lots of things can be used as hospitals. Take all those thing that hold gathered people that are closed because there are no gatherings and use those: schools, civic centers, warehouses, … Plus you have temporary structures: tents, trailers, …

    • #30
    • February 27, 2020, at 6:57 PM PST
    • 2 likes