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Director Robert R. Redfield of the US Center for Disease Control has presided over the most scandalous incompetence in a plague season rife with scandalous incompetence.
From The Atlantic, Alexis C. Madrigal and Robinson Meyer report:
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is conflating the results of two different types of coronavirus tests, distorting several important metrics and providing the country with an inaccurate picture of the state of the pandemic. We’ve learned that the CDC is making, at best, a debilitating mistake: combining test results that diagnose current coronavirus infections with test results that measure whether someone has ever had the virus. The upshot is that the government’s disease-fighting agency is overstating the country’s ability to test people who are sick with COVID-19. The agency confirmed to The Atlantic on Wednesday that it is mixing the results of viral and antibody tests, even though the two tests reveal different information and are used for different reasons.
This is not merely a technical error. States have set quantitative guidelines for reopening their economies based on these flawed data points.
“You’ve got to be kidding me,” Ashish Jha, the K. T. Li Professor of Global Health at Harvard and the director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, told us when we described what the CDC was doing. “How could the CDC make that mistake? This is a mess.”
A negative test result means something different for each test. If somebody tests negative on a viral test, a doctor can be relatively confident that they are not sick right now; if somebody tests negative on an antibody test, they have probably never been infected with or exposed to the coronavirus. (Or they may have been given a false result—antibody tests are notoriously less accurate on an individual level than viral tests.) The problem is that the CDC is clumping negative results from both tests together in its public reporting.
Yes, I know this story broke over a month ago, but I was distracted then trying to rescue my business and my home, so if I did notice it in passing, I was too preoccupied to focus. I have earned myself a little breathing room now, and looking around I am none too happy with any of it. Unfair? I haven’t seen much fair lately. I have seen people struggling to find work and keep businesses open. I’ve packed groceries for the Salvation Army to hand out to an endless line of families that can’t pay for groceries. Children. Seniors. All ethnicities. I am not seeing much fairness at all.
These amateurs murdering cops and torching businesses and homes think they are scary. Welcome to America, we invented scary. You will beg for fully-funded police before this is over. Those of you not already in jail or otherwise removed from the board. You will beg the police to arrest you and protect you from the Americans whose lives you have ravaged, and their very angry neighbors.
Redfield is an embarrassment to his president and his nation, serving as the face of the agency that couldn’t shoot straight when it mattered most. He has done more damage than any one man should ever be allowed to do. More than Antifa and BLM combined. The fundamental incompetence in misreporting these numbers is so obvious that only the New York Times, the Washington Post, and the View could miss the significance. He hasn’t gotten the job done and he isn’t getting the job done. The CDC needs leadership, not a chair warmer.
I also note in passing that the general gist of the coverage at the time was that the confusion was likely intentional to inflate the apparent count COVID tests being done, which would then be an orange man bad angle. The numbers were coming bad from several states that should have known better, including my own Virginia with their new Democratic regime voted in last Fall. Looks like bipartisan quackery from here.
I look forward to when the press is concerned about main street and Joe lunch pail rather than just taking endless swipes at the man they carried into office on their shoulders with the biggest gift of unearned media ever bestowed on a candidate, over $5 billion worth during the 2016 election campaign. They built him up before trying to tear him down. All for the ratings in both cases.
During the Civil War Lincoln went through a lot of generals until he got to Grant. If we are going to get to the right CDC Director, the president needs to start with firing this one, now, if Redfield won’t step down before Trump comes for him.
Hat tip to Dinesh D’Souza.Published in