Contributor Post Created with Sketch. Recommended by Ricochet Members Created with Sketch. Trump: ‘I’m a Cheerleader for America’

 

This is going to be a very painful two weeks.

Our strength will be tested and our endurance will be tried, but America will answer with love, and courage, and iron-clad resolve.

I’m a cheerleader for America.

These were the key quotes for me from the Tuesday presidential press briefing. President Trump is determined that Americans will win, whatever the circumstances. He had his two senior medical experts, who once again showed both the depth and narrowness of their expertise, and so of their advice, give the nation both a giant bucket of cold water in the face and then reason for hope, both grounded in the renewed advice for all Americans to sustain physical distances of at least six feet in all public spaces, really anywhere outside their immediate family. The 15 day guidance was renewed as “The President’s Coronavirus Guidelines for America,” with the theme “30 days to slow the spread.” The clear, simple two slides are now in both English and Español.

President Trump took the worst-case numbers and ran with them, pointing to between 100,000 and 200,000 Americans dying of COVID-19 by June, with the daily death tolls peaking in the next two to four weeks. He and his team repeated again and again what had been done to “flatten the curve,” both on cases and on deaths. The president even noted that he saw shock on the faces of at least two reporters as the projected death toll was revealed.

The basis for hope starts in the wild divergence between New York and New Jersey compared to Washington and California. Dr. Birx relentlessly hammered, in her steady voice, on the importance of getting on top of physical distancing and keeping on top. No one was pointing fingers of blame actively at New York and New Jersey leaders, but they were surely praising better choices.

That said, a reporter asked the right question: what about the homeless on the streets of California’s major coastal cities? President Trump acknowledged this was a real problem, a real potential tinderbox for the virus, and said people in California were working on this, without more detail. Governor Newsom certainly understands the risk, but I am not sure what he can do at this point.

The logistics expert, the Navy admiral called in to straighten out the mess created by decades of poor bioterrorism and pandemic response planning, is apparently moving rapidly to give every state and county an accurate picture of their own actual resources on hand, in addition to reserves at each level above. This came up in the Tuesday briefing in terms of multiple deployed testing platforms being invisible to the hospitals that need them, a problem being addressed by the other uniformed service, our two-century-old biodefense force, the U.S. Public Health Service.

I noticed that Dr. Birx used the University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) model introduced to Ricochet readers by @rodin last week. She explained that this model is constantly updated based on the actual data in the United States. I also noticed that she had stripped out the most informative data, both the projected cases needing ventilators and the cases needing hospitalization. Those projections would have painted a more complicated picture, making harder the sale of the bitter treatment of over four more weeks of no employment, no income, and worry about loss of savings and livelihood, to say nothing of suicides, addiction relapse, and substance abuse deaths over the next few months.

Here are some of the relevant facts. In 2018, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security prepared a factsheet on ventilator capacity in the United States for the Clade X tabletop exercise. Yes, just two years ago our government ran a pandemic readiness exercise, which included getting the basic data any competent staff would gather. [my comments in brackets]

The US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) estimates that 865,000 US residents would be hospitalized during a moderate pandemic (as in 1957 and 1968) and 9.9 million during a severe pandemic (as in 1918).

• Moderate (1958/68-like) = 64,875 would need mechanical ventilation

• Severe (1918-like) = 742,500 would need mechanical ventilation

One study estimated that US acute care hospitals own approximately 62,000 full-feature mechanical ventilators. Calculations suggest that around 28,883 of these ventilators (46.4%) can be used to ventilate pediatric and neonatal patients. The study also reported an additional 98,000 ventilators that are not full featured but can still provide basic function.

• Based on these numbers, the maximum number that can be potentially ventilated is around 160,000.

• US: 20.5 ICU beds with mechanical ventilation capability per 100,000 population [by far highest proportion in the world]

These numbers did not include the National Strategic Stockpile (now over 10,000 ventilators) plus extra capability from the Department of Defense war stocks (2,000 already released). Nor did they include DoD all services capacity to surge both medical facilities and personnel, both of which we now see already moving to the sound of the sirens. The fact that the exercise was run and that it made brief but sensational headlines may have informed the move to restock the National Strategic Stockpile, as President Trump commented repeatedly in response to reporters’ questions. He compared this to the military munitions shortage at the beginning of his administration.

The model on which Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci now rely points to an expected daily peak demand, nationally, for:

  • 27,000 ventilators
  • 33,000 ICU beds
  • 221,000 hospital beds

All of these have very large confidence intervals, fudge factors, around them. The worst cases are:

  • 41,000 ventilators (out of 62,000 plus 12,000 = 74,000 in hospitals or stockpile today)
  • 54,000 ICU beds (this looks to be the point on which everyone should really be focused)
  • 356,000 hospital beds

A 2020 American Hospital Association report points to:

  • Staffed Beds in Community Hospitals: 792,417
  • Intensive Care Beds in Community Hospitals
    • Medical-Surgical Intensive Care Beds in Community Hospitals: 55,663
    • Cardiac Intensive Care Beds in Community Hospitals: 15,160
    • Other Intensive Care Beds in Community Hospitals: 7,419

I left out pediatric, neonatal, and burn wards from the ICU report. You can see that the worst-case scenario, based on how the disease has actually progressed in America, could strain or overwhelm bed capacity, including the needed medical staff, but almost certainly not the one thing that reporters have been banging on about for weeks. Also notice that the claims by Dr. Fauci about no one expecting such a thing are clearly mistaken. He got a far worse estimate two years ago, as you can see with the Clade X numbers.

You will also notice that the projected COVID-19 deaths in the UW model, on which our two national experts now rely, total up to 84,000 by August 2020, not 200,000. However, the fudge factor is between 37,000 and 153,000 deaths. This seems to me to be about dealing with the politics of the disease, managing expectations and trying to get the best results by another very hard 30 days for Americans. Anything below 100,000 becomes a big win.

With the tough news, President Trump and his team stood, spoke, and answered questions for two hours and 13 minutes. He praised some reporters for good questions and kept taking more.


Transcript of “Remarks by President Trump, Vice President Pence, and Members of the Coronavirus Task Force in Press Briefing” posted April 1, 2020. This 2+ hour briefing could not possibly be transcribed and checked Tuesday evening. Continued commendable work by unrecognized White House staffers keeps us equipped with original news.

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  1. Locke On Member

    I noticed that Dr. Birx used the University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) model introduced to Ricochet readers by @rodin last week. I also noticed that she had carefully stripped out the most informative data, both the projected cases needing ventilators and the cases needing hospitalization. Those projections would have painted a more complicated picture, making harder the sale of the bitter treatment of over four more weeks of no employment, no income, and worry about loss of savings and livelihood, to say nothing of suicides, addiction relapse, and substance abuse deaths over the next few months.

    You did not note that the current output of that model assumes the continuation of the current social distancing and other isolation measures. So saying that it does not indicate a gross overrun of resources in its current version is not an argument for discontinuing those measures. Try again.

    • #1
    • March 31, 2020, at 7:31 PM PDT
    • Like
  2. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    Locke On (View Comment):

    I noticed that Dr. Birx used the University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) model introduced to Ricochet readers by @rodin last week. I also noticed that she had carefully stripped out the most informative data, both the projected cases needing ventilators and the cases needing hospitalization. Those projections would have painted a more complicated picture, making harder the sale of the bitter treatment of over four more weeks of no employment, no income, and worry about loss of savings and livelihood, to say nothing of suicides, addiction relapse, and substance abuse deaths over the next few months.

    You did not note that the current output of that model assumes the continuation of the current social distancing and other isolation measures. So saying that it does not indicate a gross overrun of resources in its current version is not an argument for discontinuing those measures. Try again.

    Not my claim. Read again.

    • #2
    • March 31, 2020, at 7:33 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  3. Locke On Member

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Locke On (View Comment):

    I noticed that Dr. Birx used the University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) model introduced to Ricochet readers by @rodin last week. I also noticed that she had carefully stripped out the most informative data, both the projected cases needing ventilators and the cases needing hospitalization. Those projections would have painted a more complicated picture, making harder the sale of the bitter treatment of over four more weeks of no employment, no income, and worry about loss of savings and livelihood, to say nothing of suicides, addiction relapse, and substance abuse deaths over the next few months.

    You did not note that the current output of that model assumes the continuation of the current social distancing and other isolation measures. So saying that it does not indicate a gross overrun of resources in its current version is not an argument for discontinuing those measures. Try again.

    Not my claim. Read again.

    Then perhaps you had better spell it out. I find the OP wording somewhere between disingenuous and deceptive.

    • #3
    • March 31, 2020, at 7:37 PM PDT
    • Like
  4. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    Locke On (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Locke On (View Comment):

    I noticed that Dr. Birx used the University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) model introduced to Ricochet readers by @rodin last week. I also noticed that she had carefully stripped out the most informative data, both the projected cases needing ventilators and the cases needing hospitalization. Those projections would have painted a more complicated picture, making harder the sale of the bitter treatment of over four more weeks of no employment, no income, and worry about loss of savings and livelihood, to say nothing of suicides, addiction relapse, and substance abuse deaths over the next few months.

    You did not note that the current output of that model assumes the continuation of the current social distancing and other isolation measures. So saying that it does not indicate a gross overrun of resources in its current version is not an argument for discontinuing those measures. Try again.

    Not my claim. Read again.

    Then perhaps you had better spell it out. I find the OP wording somewhere between disingenuous and deceptive.

    I don’t. However I’ve added a sentence explaining the use of the UW model: “She explained that this model is constantly updated based on the actual data in the United States.” Both the 100,000-200,000 and the 37,000-153,000 claims are based on the same basic assumptions about mitigation.

    • #4
    • March 31, 2020, at 8:14 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  5. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    The purpose of the disease is to destroy Trump. How many lives it destroys or economies it wipes out is immaterial as long as Trump is replaced on way or another.

    • #5
    • March 31, 2020, at 8:29 PM PDT
    • 3 likes
  6. Stad Thatcher

    Clifford A. Brown:

    This is going to be a very painful two weeks.

    Our strength will be tested and our endurance will be tried, but America will answer with love, and courage, and iron clad resolve.

    I’m a cheerleader for America.

    Honest words which don’t pull the punch, yet give reassurance. Compare that to words from Governors Cuomo and Newsome, which are threats and fearmongering.

    • #6
    • April 1, 2020, at 6:39 AM PDT
    • 4 likes
  7. DrewInWisconsin, Ham-Fisted Bu… Coolidge

    Acosta’s questions are so stupid. Notable that it’s Acosta’s stupid questions that elicited the President’s “I’m a cheerleader for America.”

    All Acosta wanted to do was blame the President for everything.

    • #7
    • April 1, 2020, at 11:47 AM PDT
    • 3 likes
  8. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    Stad (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown:

    This is going to be a very painful two weeks.

    Our strength will be tested and our endurance will be tried, but America will answer with love, and courage, and iron clad resolve.

    I’m a cheerleader for America.

    Honest words which don’t pull the punch, yet give reassurance. Compare that to words from Governors Cuomo and Newsome, which are threats and fearmongering.

    I really like President Trump’s handling of the press and the governors. He is who he is, and he knows he needs to encourage good behavior, that is substantive questions from reporters, while bucking up governors who are in the thick of it. He has been praising Governor Newsom regularly and tempering his responses to both Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio. All three of these fellows are riding the tigers they helped feed their entire political careers. From the “undocumented” to the “homeless,” they have large populations not properly counted, with public health not planned and resourced to robustly account for them.

    • #8
    • April 1, 2020, at 12:00 PM PDT
    • 4 likes
  9. CarolJoy, Above Top Secret Coolidge

    Yes Dr Fauci has issued statements that are false. It is hopeful for me whenever anyone in the USA understands that. So I am glad to read that you realize some of what we see when the curtain gets pulled back.

    But for some damn reason, no official in the world, except perhaps those of Sweden have chosen to ignore the inflammatory and f-a-l-s-e! numbers regarding the mortality rate of COVID and let the world’s people go about their lives.

    https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/04/coronavirus-china-world-health-organization-chinese-communist-party/

    Thirty three seconds ago, The National Review has released an intelligent and accusatory attack on the WHO, and its Chinese Communist sycophant Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus. It is well worth the time you spend reading it. (Link is slightly above this paragraph)

    The article mentions exactly why the Review thinks that Ghebreyesus pulled away from letting the world know about the opinions of Taiwanese officials, in favor of Chinese officials. It is time to realize that when Trump allows himself to be in the company of Fauci, who is most likely compromised by his association with Ghebreyesus, both the people of our nation and the people of the world suffer.

    Pres Trump needs to remind himself at all times that when we voted for him, we certainly did not voice any admiration at all for this man:

    UNSPECIFIED : Mao Zedong (1893-1976) leader of chinese communist party president of Popular China 1949-1959 and 1968-1976, here c.1949 (Photo by Apic/Getty Images)

    ####

    • #9
    • April 1, 2020, at 2:54 PM PDT
    • Like
    • This comment has been edited.
  10. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    To clarify, I am not claiming the model presented by Dr. Birx and supported by Dr. Fauci is false. I am pointing out that the repeated claim of complete surprise does not match public facts, well known to such experts. I am also pointing out that the media focus is wrong: that it is beds and medical personnel, not respirators, that are now projected to be the long pole in the tent. This is why the cross-state barrier was broken for medical credentialing and why we are told of flows of both personnel and medical ward “bed” capacity to the hot spots.

    Yes, the president constantly updates respirator status, as does his team, but the projections of need and reports of known existing ventilators suggest that this will not be the failure point.

    • #10
    • April 1, 2020, at 3:00 PM PDT
    • 2 likes
    • This comment has been edited.
  11. Richard Fulmer Member

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    The purpose of the disease is to destroy Trump. How many lives it destroys or economies it wipes out is immaterial as long as Trump is replaced on way or another.

    You’re taking conspiracy theory to a new level. For viruses to have a purpose they would need brains and free will. The disease is indifferent to Trump.

    • #11
    • April 1, 2020, at 5:25 PM PDT
    • Like
    • This comment has been edited.
  12. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    The purpose of the disease is to destroy Trump. How many lives it destroys or economies it wipes out is immaterial as long as Trump is replaced on way or another.

    You’re taking conspiracy theory to a new level. For viruses to have a purpose they would need brains and free will. The disease is indifferent to Trump.

    You may be a liberal. 

    • #12
    • April 1, 2020, at 6:07 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  13. Clifford A. Brown Contributor
    Clifford A. Brown

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    The purpose of the disease is to destroy Trump. How many lives it destroys or economies it wipes out is immaterial as long as Trump is replaced on way or another.

    You’re taking conspiracy theory to a new level. For viruses to have a purpose they would need brains and free will. The disease is indifferent to Trump.

    You may be a liberal.

    Or somehow unfamiliar with the wit and wisdom [?] of Fake John/Jane Galt.

    • #13
    • April 1, 2020, at 6:10 PM PDT
    • 1 like
  14. Fake John/Jane Galt Coolidge

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    Richard Fulmer (View Comment):

    Fake John/Jane Galt (View Comment):

    The purpose of the disease is to destroy Trump. How many lives it destroys or economies it wipes out is immaterial as long as Trump is replaced on way or another.

    You’re taking conspiracy theory to a new level. For viruses to have a purpose they would need brains and free will. The disease is indifferent to Trump.

    You may be a liberal.

    Or somehow unfamiliar with the wit and wisdom [?] of Fake John/Jane Galt.

    Here’s their card

    • #14
    • April 1, 2020, at 6:12 PM PDT
    • Like
  15. Stad Thatcher

    Clifford A. Brown (View Comment):

    Stad (View Comment):

    Clifford A. Brown:

    This is going to be a very painful two weeks.

    Our strength will be tested and our endurance will be tried, but America will answer with love, and courage, and iron clad resolve.

    I’m a cheerleader for America.

    Honest words which don’t pull the punch, yet give reassurance. Compare that to words from Governors Cuomo and Newsome, which are threats and fearmongering.

    I really like President Trump’s handling of the press and the governors. He is who he is, and he knows he needs to encourage good behavior, that is substantive questions from reporters, while bucking up governors who are in the thick of it. He has been praising Governor Newsom regularly and tempering his responses to both Governor Cuomo and Mayor de Blasio. All three of these fellows are riding the tigers they helped feed their entire political careers. From the “undocumented” to the “homeless,” they have large populations not properly counted, with public health not planned and resourced to robustly account for them.

    Because Trump’s briefings are so good, some of the MSM are cutting away from covering them.

    • #15
    • April 2, 2020, at 6:04 AM PDT
    • 5 likes