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CDC blunders in handling of COVID-19 epidemic in the USA

Neoliberal MSM dance around human mortality and fearmongering to get more revenue  provoked real panic. The USA government did not have a plan for coronavirus outbreak and improvises as events unfold. Blinded by neoliberalism CDC honchos did mot buy and store mask producing equipment and were unable to supply country with masks. They should be tried for criminal negiligence. they also failed to provided test when they were most effective tool of fighting with this coronarovirus. 

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COVID-19 fearmongering COVID-19 epidemic as the second stage of the crisis of neoliberalism  COVID-19 epidemic handing in the USA Absurdity of bureaucracies US Presidential Elections of 2020 Trump's impulsivity and incompetence The Real War on Reality
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Introduction

The virus epidemic which started in the USA in full force in March will probably follow Chinese pattern.  Which means the time to the peak will be around two-three months (which means in summer the epidemics start subsiding.) 

Might be shorter taking into account drastic measures taken by some state like NY, NJ, California and Washington. Currently NewYork is the epicenter of the epidemics.

As of March 21 we still see typical for initial stages of any flu epidemic exponential increase of cases, with  the number of patient doubling in approx. three days but very low number of critical cases.

Date Total cases Day increase Serious Deaths Recovered Notes
3/22 33,546 38.57% 64 396 178  
3/21 24,208 24.88% 64 279 147  
3/20 19,384 40.58% 64 160    
3/19 13,789 48.93% 12 124    
3/18 9,259 44.42% 12 94   10K mark
3/17 6,411 37.49% 12 93    
3/16 4,663 26.71% 10      
3/15 3,680 25.04% 10      
3/14 2,943 30.97%        
3/13 2,247 32.33%        
3/12 1,698 24.49%        
3/11 1,364 37.22%        
3/10 994 41.19%       1K mark
3/9 704 30.13%        
3/8 541 24.37%        
3/7 435 36.36%        
3/6 319 44.34%        
3/5 221 39.87%        
3/4 158 27.42%        
3/3 124 24.00%        
3/2 100 33.33%       100 mark
3/1 75          

Starting from 100K cases the rate of increate will probably slow down. Number of infections among medical personnel are unavailable  (worldometers.info

It took the USA eight days to get from 100 cases to 1000 and another eight days to get from 1K to 10K.  Some of the dynamics  can be explained the low availability of test kits  -- this was the area where CDC royally screwed the US population

Unfortunately, the current atmosphere increasingly exhibits the characteristics of a collective panic—and that is always a poor basis for intelligent policy decisions.

The neoliberal society with its twisted guiding philosophy of radical individualism and competition combined with a supremacist “that could never happen here” attitude quickly falls into panicked chaos when reality kicks in and reveals the society’s underlying vulnerabilities. Countries with weak social safety nets and an ideological opposition to social responsibility are extremely vulnerable to systemic breakdown when their societies are hit with unexpected stress. That is what we see in the USA. This virus is revealing just how ineffective the neoliberal social Darwinism (“every man for himself”) ethic  (aka "neoliberal rationality") is and how deeply in denial and out of touch with reality these societies are. Including first of all neoliberal politicians.

The for-profit health system in the USA is certainly is very efficient in raking in cash for insurance companies and big pharma. But health care outcomes are mediocre at best and other countries do a far better job for far less money. The most basic needs of patients and health care workers are often unmet. Health care workers complain they haven’t received proper training putting them in danger of infection and do not have supplies to protect themselves even as they treat COVID-19 patients. And that's in richest country in the world.

...system can’t provide enough hand sanitizer the governor of New York came up with a solution. Andrew Cuomo announced that the state will produce hand sanitizer made by prison labor .

The original reaction in the United States government to the corona outbreak was surprisingly casual. And that despire multiple intelligence againces who supposedly produce beefing for the President and other key figures of the administration (U.S. intelligence reports from January and February warned about a likely pandemic ).  Early on it was clear the older population will be hit hard, but administration did not close access to senior care centers.  They did nothing to rump up local production of masks and other clothing necessary for medical personnel to fight infection. Medics, who are in most danger among all population groups,  were not systematically trained by  Koreans (the USA has two month to do so).  Proper protocols were not established. This was the major blunder of Trump administration and the case of bureaucratic incompetence what will be studying in books. 

At the same time some facts point out that the danger of this epodemics is systematically distorted (https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/17/a-fiasco-in-the-making-as-the-coronavirus-pandemic-takes-hold-we-are-making-decisions-without-reliable-data/)

In the absence of data, prepare-for-the-worst reasoning leads to extreme measures of social distancing and lockdowns. Unfortunately, we do not know if these measures work. School closures, for example, may reduce transmission rates. But they may also backfire if children socialize anyhow, if school closure leads children to spend more time with susceptible elderly family members, if children at home disrupt their parents ability to work, and more. School closures may also diminish the chances of developing herd immunity in an age group that is spared serious disease.

The USA government behaviour  drastically changed in March 11 with Trump's surprise announcement of cancelling air travel from EU countries for 30 days. Initially GB and Ireland were excluded, which provide for strangled travelers a "window" of escape. Later they were added.  Still all this was badly planned and caused major panic with ticket prices for the last flights from EU to the USA skyrocketing.

CDC blunders is another parts of the story of bureaucratic incompetence. CDC did not launch the training of medical personnel to use protective gear, despite that the fact that the virus severely affected medical personnel in Wuhan.  There was no efforts to launch additional production of masks and ventilators domestically, despite that fact that both are known bottlenecks. There were only very limited attempt to establish the screening and mandatory quarantine of passengers in airports, arriving from international flights. There were no attempt to supply hospitals in large cities with additional ventilators, masksa.  and similar protection gear. Looks like the USA government wasted the whole February and met flaring up of infections in March unprepared.  And what is most important CDC botched the production and distribution of virus tests leaving the country without them till late March, when tesing can change nothing. Gin was out of the bottle. 

It seems the CDC, NIH and the USA privatized health care system in general was caught flat-footed as if they didn't have any plan to execute.  Currently CDC does not even provide the information about how this particular virus spreads (Transmission of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) CDC):

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

At the same time Trump attempted to fight panic spread by  neoliberal MSM as for mortality and that's a positive part of the government response ( Trump disputes World Health Organization death rate )

Asked about WHO's coronavirus fatality rate findings during an interview Wednesday, Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity: "Well, I think the 3.4% is really a false number."

He added, "now, this is just my hunch ... based on a lot of conversations with a lot of people that do this, because a lot of people will have this, and it's very mild."

Trump later put the number at less than 1%.

Later events proved that he was right.

While some problems that the USA now experience with coronavirus are the direct or indirect result of blunders (like CDC blunder with test kits; of overcrowding of returning passengers in airports on arrival from Europe after the fight ban), some are not.  Many things are rooted deeply in neoliberal globalization and perverted neoliberal rationality. Both make proper reaction to dangerous epidemic almost impossible. So by-and-large the USA current problems were unavoidable.

Also in epidemics like in war mistakes are to be made. At the same time repeating Chinese mistakes was pain vanilla incompetence. Classic bureaucratic incompetence, if you wish. While there are no perfect responses in the current environment (the availability of a vaccine would change everything), the earlier government reacted, the slower the virus would spread. But under neoliberal globalization any reaction entails severe economic disruption, and that means that the measures were postponed till it's to late for them to be affective while providing the same level of economic disruption.  Meanwhile large sectors of the economy, here and abroad, are nearly collapsing because of fears about COVID-19 epidemics that are not entirely justified.

Watch the interviews below. Dr. Anthony Fauci who is the head of the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) This high level "medical diplomat"  in his March interviews carefully avoid mentioning that fact that CDC completely botched producing and distributing test kits and the government did nothing substantial to combat the virus the whole February. Most airports did not perform even elementary screening of arriving passengers.  And the operation of returning the US citizens from Europe after travel with EU countries was banned was also completely botched. All February the administration essentially was allowing the flow infected passengers from Italy and France without screening and quarantine  (two severely hit by COVID-19 countries with large tourists flows from the USA) to spread the disease in the USA:

But there is some progress. With national emergency declared on Feb 13, FEMA's USD 50 billion is unlocked to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. FEMA is one of the few federal institutions which still works and works well.

Arrival of warm weather on Eastern Coast may significantly change the dynamic of epidemics, slow down infections and help NYC, which is the most severe affected on this coast and the most densely populated area.  

Measures for self-isolation of seniors like California tries now is of vital importance and it should have been done much earlier, because the USA has advantage of Chinese experience with this epidemic (which it by-and-large ignored). This was not done. There should also be the prohibition of air trips and remove vacations (including cruise ships) for this category of people. Violators they put their own life and lives of other people especially medical personnel in unnecessary danger. Seniors are the major factor is overcrowding of intensive care beds in the hospitals.  Trying to protect them from this virus is probably the most important part of "flattening the curve" efforts.

The USA has a lower population density than other affected countries so outside of large cities like New York it is in much better position  to suppress the epidemics. Large parts of the country such as Texas already have warm weather  which typically helps to suppress such epidemics.

Globally COVID-19 is spreading more slowly then in the USA slowly: 69K cases on Feb 15 vs. 162K cases on March 15: in other words the number of cases  approx. doubled in one month period. Assuming that the next month will be same and then epidemic start to subside replicating the shape of the curve before the peak,  we will have globally around 162+324+162K=648K or something like half-million cases total for this virus

The delay between the shutdown in Wuhan and a fall in new daily cases was 12 days . That suggests that in two weeks  from now we will probably see a drop in the number of new cases in the US. But that is not guaranteed.

The priority is to slow down the spread of the disease to lessen overcrowding of hospital beds with severe cases.

At the same time there are multiple cases of selfish, reckless behaviour of a part of the population.  Some young people from closed schools and universities engage in travel as tickets and hotels are dirt cheap now. Those who carry the virus are spreading the infection with them.   Some people who are at risk are not wearing mask and engage in reckless behaviour disrespecting community interests such as shopping using public transport or other encounters with large number of people. Years of neoliberalism brainwashing  ("Greed is good", "shareholder value" mantra, glorification of unlimited predatory competition as in Latin saying "homo homini lupus est") converted a large part of the US population into  greedy and selfish animals,   and while such people concentrate in FIRE sector, other segment of population  are also severely affected.  The situation is especially bad in NYC. 

Years of neoliberalism brainwashing converted some part of the US population into greedy and selfish animals and this epidemic and while such people concentrate in FIRE sector, other segment of population are also severely affected. Epidemic of hoarding also had shown the ugly face of neoliberal rationality in full grace. The situation is especially bad in NYC. 

So far infections are clustered within families and friends of initially infected persons. For example, if wife is infected, the husband and children typically became infected too. Common spreading centers are religious gatherings and conferences. The same danger represents  travelling with the infected person in public transport if he/she is not wearing a mask, or any other close and prolonged contact. Most of initial US patients had recently visited Wuhan or attended meeting/conference were at least one infected person  was present.  "Community spread" cases, where person was infected in transport or public places like grocery shops like on this early state of epidemic are relatively rare.

Judging from China experience the next two months in the USA will be "interesting times."  The lower you are in the "wealth pyramid" the  worse it is for you. Particularly for the elderly underclass.

peterAUS, February 26, 2020 at 12:23 am GMT 

@Delta G

Is the Chinese Government using the Corona outbreak as a cover for some other purpose?

Definitely. Iranian too. Related to trade war/sanctions I feel. The bottom line, everybody on top wins, in this game. Say….up to 20 %. The rest are designated losers. Lower in the pyramid worse it is. The elderly underclass in particular. Good gig…for some. So far works like charm.

Critique of the "flattening the curve" approach adopted by the USA

Adapted from the article by John P.A. Ioannidis https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/17/a-fiasco-in-the-making-as-the-coronavirus-pandemic-takes-hold-we-are-making-decisions-without-reliable-data/

Yet if the health system does become overwhelmed, the majority of the extra deaths may not be due to coronavirus but to other common diseases and conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, etc that are not adequately treated. If the level of the epidemic does overwhelm the health system and extreme measures have only modest effectiveness, then flattening the curve may make things worse: Instead of being overwhelmed during a short, acute phase, the health system will remain overwhelmed for a more protracted period. That’s another reason we need data about the exact level of the epidemic activity.

One of the bottom lines is that we don’t know how long ockdowns can be maintained without major consequences to the economy and society. Hyping the threat by MSM already produced harding epidemic in the USA.    Unpredictable evolutions may ensue, including financial crisis.

At a minimum, we need unbiased prevalence and incidence data for the evolving infectious load to guide decision-making.

In the most pessimistic scenario, which I do not espouse, if the new coronavirus infects 60% of the global population and 1% of the infected people die, that will translate into more than 40 million deaths globally, matching the 1918 influenza pandemic.

The vast majority of this hecatomb would be people with limited life expectancies. That’s in contrast to 1918, when many young people died.

Hoarding epidemics

We can discuss whether CODID-19 represents a pandemic or not, but hoarding epidemics in the USA is very real.

It also feels like a scam: there is no shortage of snake oil sellers who hope stoking such fears will make people buy more supplies. The reality is that there is little point “preparing“ for the most catastrophic scenarios some of these people envision. As a species, we live and die by our social world and  infrastructure — and outside some minimal stocks (say two weeks supply of food in areas affected by infection  and which might be subject to quarantine (which are currently only two cities in the  US.) Moreover, it is difficult to predict  what will be needed in the face of total catastrophe (Preparing for Coronavirus to Strike the U.S. - Scientific American Blog Network ). You can't drink sanitizer and you need minimal amount of it when you are outside of home. In all other cases regular soap is more effective against this virus,  so hoarding sanitizer is far from the best move you can make:

American Association for the Advancement of Science By Derek Lowe 4 March, 2020

ScienceMag - Pipeline

Since this is going to be a post about the coronavirus, let's start off with this PSA: wash your hands. These viruses have a lipid envelope that is crucial to their structure and function, and soaps and detergents are thus very effective at inactivating them. It's fast, it's simple, and it's one of the more useful things that any individual can do under these conditions.

The real crisis scenarios we’re likely to encounter require cooperation and, crucially, “flattening the curve” of the crisis   which includes sharing not hoarding, so the more vulnerable (older folks) can fare better and our social world and the infrastructure will be less stressed.  For those who can do it that way that means switching to work from home and avoiding unnecessary travel and meetings.  Most think those days can be done via phone of via teleconferencing.

We do not need to contribute to the panic, and to panic  buying isopropyl alcohol and hand sanitizers as if there no tomorrow. From state to state, shelves at grocery stores are being emptied. Community after community is stocking up on essential goods as they anticipate a very remote (or non-existent  in many areas of the country ) possibility our of fears of forced  China style self-quarantine.  In reality only retired persons in areas with active cases of infection need to self-quarantine as they are the most vulnerable and can overwhelm  hospitals. They generally should stay home, avoid direct contact with relatives  and friends (which are rare those days, anyway, so no big deal) , and do only rare shopping which should exclude all shopping for clothing, etc.  They need a lot of exposure to sun, vitamins, flesh air to boost the immune system. Abandoning bad  habits like smoking would be nice too. No or minimal visits to restaurants, entertainment centers like casino,  or God forbid cruise ships or international travel. For the sake of everyone else, they should prepare to stay home for a few weeks, while epidemic burns out in their neighborhood  and try their best not to be infected.  This way they will reduce their own risks, but most importantly, they will reduce the burden on health care and delivery infrastructure and allow frontline workers to reach and help the most vulnerable.

What does “flattening the curve” mean for the current COVID-19 threat facing us: the emerging pandemic of this human coronavirus? Epidemiologists often talk about two important numbers: R0 or how infectious a disease might be, expressed as the number of people that are infected by each person who’s been infected; and the case fatality ratio (CFR): the number of people who die as a result of being infected. For example, an R0 of two means each infected person infects two people on average, while a number less than one means the disease is likely dying out in the population. Some diseases are deadlier than others: the average case fatality ratio for Ebola has been around 50 percent, for example, while the common cold is rarely deadly for otherwise healthy individuals.

The infectiousness of a virus, for example, depends on how much we encounter one another; how well we quarantine individuals who are ill; how often we wash our hands; whether those treating the ill have proper protective equipment; how healthy we are to begin with—and such factors are all under our control. After active measures were implemented, the R0 for the 2003 SARS epidemic, for example, went from around three, meaning each person infected three others, to 0.04. It was our response to SARS in 2003 that made sure the disease died out from earth, with less than a thousand victims globally.

... ... ..

All of this means that the only path to flattening the curve for COVID-19 is community-wide isolation: the more people stay home, the fewer people will catch the disease. The fewer people who catch the disease, the better hospitals can help those who do. Crowding at hospitals doesn’t just threaten those with COVID-19; if emergency rooms are overwhelmed, more flu patients, too, will die because of lack of treatment, for example.

But what we see in the USA is primitive and destructive hoarding epidemic. Toilet paper, sanitary wipes and sanitizers are in short supply as stocks are being exhausted. As of March 3, 2020 a 250 ml (8 ounces) bottle of hand sanitizer on Amazon was $60 or so (while its regular price is $2 or so ;-).  This is not only ridiculous but it beats "socialist back market"  prices.

Ana

I know someone who is the head of security in the SF Bay for a large big box membership store that all of us in the States are familiar with. Their stores in the SF Bay area have been selling out of water, hand sanitizers, gloves, masks and other similar cleaning supplies, along with boxed mac and cheese and similar long shelf life foods.

Their regional supply center that brings replacement supply in over night by semi trucks has not been able to refill it’s own pallets from suppliers. He just texted me pics of local big box stores in the Bay with empty shelves and no back stock is available. I can’t find info on sales of things like generators. I don’t care what soothing nonsense the TV and feds blather at us. People are trying to get what they think they need to cope with serious disruption.

Ana in Sacramento.

P.S. By the way, I was one of the paper pushers who designed emergency response and business resumption plans for the State of California. This event was never considered or planned for. I’m retired so it may have been added after I left.

The dynamic of the USA panic can be watched via Amazon prices for those items and as of March 7 the panic is still in full swing  (you can buy the same 250 ml(8 ounces) bottle for mere $35 ;-) .   And they used to say that such hoarding behaviour is typical only for socialism ;-).

Starting from March 13 federal and local governments jumped into action

And despite chaotic and botched containment of epidemic (CDC botched development and production of test kits so badly that the officials responsible probably should be tried for criminal negligence ) the USA government managed already take several measures to slow down the spread of the virus (please note that time is working against the virus -- warm weather in East cost will come in May or even earlier).

For example, starting Sunday, Feb. 2, the US citizens, permanent residents and immediate family who have visited China's Hubei province undergo a mandatory 14 days quarantine. On Mar 11, Trump administration prohibited all flights from Europe firs exampling  UK and Ireland and later adding them.  

On Mar 13 Trump has declared the coronavirus a US national emergency and offered $50 billion for support of state and local governments to fight the virus with FEMA.

At the same time the US Fed has increased its public support of the global private banking system in amounts looking to total in the trillions of dollars and our Congress Critters are setting up to re-authorize the Patriot Act suppression of human rights.

On March 15 CDC recommended that all gatherings of more than 50 people within the United States be canceled for the next 8 weeks.

The same day California ordered all bars and nightclubs to shut their doors, restaurants to cut the number of tables in half and for millions of seniors and people with chronic health conditions to immediately “self-isolate” at home (mercurynews.com)

As the coronavirus continues its rapid spread, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday afternoon issued an urgent call for all California, restaurants to cut the number of tables in half and for millions of seniors and people with chronic health conditions to immediately “self-isolate” at home.

Newsom’s unprecedented call for action is designed to slow the infection rate, especially among the most vulnerable. The governor stopped short of asking eating establishments to shut their doors, saying the need for food service during the pandemic remained vital.

“We need to prioritize our focus,” Newsom said during an hour-long press conference in Sacramento. “We are looking at this from a very holistic perspective.”

It was unclear how long the self-quarantine for seniors should continue.

NYC closed all schools staring Monday, March 16, 2020. NJ followed the suit.  Both states resorted to pretty drastic measures. All schools, entertainment outlets such as bars, nightclubs and non-essential shops are closed in NY and NJ.   Meetings over 50 people prohibited. Malls are also closes in some counties. 

The colossal failure with production and distribution of tests by CDC

The CDC stunning failure to provide the coronavirus testing kits needed to control the spread of the outbreak is a national outrage. Their incompetence threatens to increase the scope and prolong the  duration of epidemics and contributes to troubles that now the USA economy experience.

It is unlearn why the CDC failed to make mass production of test kits its top priority and who is responsible. But it is clear that heads should roll (The Mercury News editorial,

South Korea is testing 20,000 people every day, thanks to a biotech firm that anticipated the threat in January. South Korea is providing free tests for anyone a doctor deems necessary at more than 100 facilities across the nation. The result is that South Korea is now seeing more recoveries than new cases.

Contrast that with the state of California, which has only 10 million fewer people than South Korea. Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday that the state has been provided with 8,227 testing kits from the CDC. But some of those kits did not contain all the chemicals needed to administer them to Californians — a glaring failure given that it’s been nearly two months since the coronavirus outbreak began in China.

Newsom compared it to “going to the store and purchasing a printer, but forgetting to purchase the ink. You need multiple components.”

All told, as of Friday [Mar13, 2020], California had conducted a total of only 1,573 tests at its 18 state test labs.

The problem stems from the CDC’s botched first effort to mass produce test kits, followed by delays in sending promised replacement kits for several weeks.

“The incompetence has really exceeded what anyone would expect with the CDC,” Dr. Michael Mina, an epidemiologist at Harvard University, told the New York Times. “This is not a difficult problem to solve in the world of viruses.”

Testing is crucial to slowing the spread of the disease because it allows those who are infected to be quarantined. Health officials can then trace who they may have been in contact with and test and possibly quarantine those people.

It’s essential that Congress investigate what went wrong and take steps to prevent it from happening during the next inevitable infectious disease threat. But that’s for another day. The focus now must be on taking steps to minimize further spread of coronavirus and its impact on people and the economy.

The state is turning to its major hospitals and private labs for additional help. It’s possible that their testing sites could be up and running in the next week. President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency on Friday could also eliminate red tape and speed the testing process.

Once upon a time, the United States was the global leader in fighting infectious diseases and serving as the provider for testing kits to the world. Those days are long gone. The CDC must act to make up for its incompetence and take whatever steps necessary to protect Americans against current and future outbreaks.

The CDC must also give clear direction on how hospitals can treat patients during this national emergency. It is not done. China recommended three drugs that can help some patients. CDC does not provided any recommendations at all.

A botched implementation of cutting air travel with Europe

Abrupt announcement caused panic and airports on arrival became so overcrowded that they became epicenter of spreading the decease: they manage to replicate the situation that was far worse that exists on cruise ships with many thousand of people.

Can air conditioners that re-circulate air spread the virus?

Air conditioners are also known to circulate air-borne diseases such as Legionairre’s Disease, a potentially fatal infectious disease that produces high fever and pneumonia. For efficiency air-conditioned on cruise ships, bases and airplanes mix fresh air with the already circulated air and this is a concern. For example, some experts think that in Diamond Princess cruise ship epidemic AC might help to spread the virus to all cabin

Currently there is no strong evidence to support the claim that the virus can be transmitted through the air conditioner recirculation. It is believed to be spread mainly through droplets on close contact with infected person (less then 2m). In this case the mucus or saliva of an infected person who sneezes or coughs can be inhaled and infect the person.  This virus is likely to die when the droplets dry up (Can the coronavirus be spread through the air, Singapore News & Top Stories - The Straits Times):

Experts say if the virus could really survive even after the droplets carrying it have dried up, it would have spread through the air as dust particles and potentially infected 10 times more people, which is not the case.

Last week, a Shanghai official, Mr Zeng Qun, said the virus could spread through aerosol transmission, or the mixing of the virus with airborne liquid droplets.

This would allow the virus to linger in the air and infect those who inhale it, he said. Diseases that are known to spread this way include tuberculosis, chicken pox and measles.

But an infectious diseases expert at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Mr Feng Luzhao, refuted this on Sunday, stating that the droplets carrying the virus travel only about 1m to 2m and do not stay suspended in the air. This is why you are unlikely to catch the virus through transient (or short-term) contact such as on public transport.

Ultraviolet rays and heat from the sun can kill the virus as virus does not last long on fresh air in a sunny day.  This is true for all viruses. The likelihood of viral persistence outdoors is lower, as most studies indicate that viruses do not survive in hot and humid environments. This refers to a temperature of over 30C and a humidity level of over 80 per cent.

Using humidifier at home and maintaining 50% humidity might  help to protect you and family members.


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[Jun 13, 2020] CDC Reiterates Mask Recommendations as Virus Continues to Spread - Bloomberg

Admitting their own blunder: Better late then never
Jun 13, 2020 | www.bloomberg.com

Masks "are strongly encouraged in settings where individuals might raise their voice," the CDC guidance said.

The agency also recommended limiting attendance to allow for distancing.

[Jun 10, 2020] Coronavirus vaccine developers are chasing outbreaks before they disappear Washpost - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Jun 10, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

"Coronavirus vaccine developers are chasing outbreaks before they disappear" Washpost

"The top teams rushing to develop coronavirus vaccines are alerting governments, health officials and shareholders that they may have a big problem : The outbreaks in their countries may be getting too small to quickly determine whether vaccines work

A leader of the Oxford University group, one of the furthest ahead with human trials, admits the reality is paradoxical, even "bizarre," but said the declining numbers of new infections this summer could be one of the big hurdles vaccine developers face in the global race to beat down the virus.

Even as new cases are growing worldwide, transmission rates are falling in Britain, China and many of the hardest-hit regions in the United States -- the three countries that have experimental vaccines ready to move into large-scale human testing in June, July and August." Washpost

---------------

Well, pilgrims it would seem that the Post staff does not see the irony in their own writing, or perhaps they do. There have been scattered evidences of rationality there lately. Even as Democrat governors and mayors across the country drag their feet on the re-opening of the American economy, infection rates are falling. In the Faucibirxist view of things everything depends on vaccine development (or herd immunity post holocaust). But, alas there just aren't enough new, vibrant infections to make development of the vaccines convenient. What will happen to the flow of government money to these projects if this phenomenon becomes general knowledge. Someone at the Post should be disciplined for this indiscretion. pl

https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/europe/coronavirus-vaccine-trials-astrazeneca-moderna/2020/06/09/48f28fea-a414-11ea-898e-b21b9a83f792_story.html


Fred , 10 June 2020 at 09:34 AM

"What will happen to the flow of government money to these projects if this phenomenon becomes general knowledge."

Well Fauci is almost 80 so I think he's set for life. I hear the left wants lots of redevelopment funds and jobs programs, with the attendant opportunities for graft that comes with them, for thier cities which we are all assured had neither rioting nor looting.

Jim , 10 June 2020 at 11:50 AM
Thank you Col. Lang for all the posts on novel coronavirus.

For shining light on this, this utter failure by the medical community and their various and sundry enablers in government and in business.

On these liars and charlatans and killers and criminals.

The video below is about an hour long. It is a nurse, who worked in NYC hospital, the alleged epi center of epi centers.

She basically says, without saying directly, but points to the fact that doctors were murdering patients there, it seems.

She paints a picture of doctors not as scientists but as zealots, as neo neanderthals, as craven monsters, who care not about life, the elderly, the sick, the least among us.

As Nurse Ratchets

Towards the end of video, she recounts her last day at this hospital, discussing a patient she had nursed for many days, and who was doing fine, making progress, . . . and how she was removed from his bed on direct orders, sent to the ER where she was not assigned, and 20 minutes later, the man she was caring for is dead.

These sorts of stories abound; this rage is not going away anytime soon. This is the rage, and what caused it, that our "lords and masters" who censor us and tell us black is white, and want to destroy our country. . . this is the rage they don't want to see expressed and exposed. Will they get their way?

http://edwardcurtin.com/the-undercover-epicenter-nurse-watch-weep-and-rage/


-30-

Laura Wilson , 10 June 2020 at 01:04 PM
Well...they can always test their vaccines in the USA. We seem not to be faring as well and can help out. (I believe this is a glass half-full moment.)
Walter Lang , 10 June 2020 at 01:27 PM
Laura Wilson

Still hysteric. if you are not over 65 and not in compromised health the disease is rarely fatal.

optimax , 10 June 2020 at 01:32 PM
Trump needs to stop the $600 a week federal bonus to the unemployed. My neighbor told me about how his daughter-in-law worked one day a week as a barmaid before the virus shut the bar down and made a little over a hundred a week. Oregon unemployment pays her 150 a week and with the added 600 she now makes over 7 times what she did working. How many protesters and rioters are just as flush getting paid to party in the street? Most i'd say. That makes these government funded protests a powerful voice and recruitment tool for the Democratic Party.

Ending the federal subsidy to the unemployed would reduce, if not stop, the demonstrations and mau-mauing of the country.

Fred , 10 June 2020 at 03:17 PM
optimax,

Absolutely. There were howls of protests before Minneapolis when Georgia, Florida and Texas started tellling people that if they recieved a recall to work notice from an employer and refused to go they would be considered a voluntary quit and no longer eligable for unemployment insurance payments. They'll howl again when they figure out this is all taxable income.

LA Sox Fan , 10 June 2020 at 03:21 PM
Take everything the WaPo claims with a grain of salt. There is no real worry over lower covid infections. What made Covid decrease was the lockdowns. Remove the lockdowns and covid infection rates will climb, as we are seeing in the already reopened states.

Then when fall rolls around, and people are stuck indoors again, rates will skyrocket. There will be plenty of test subjects for a vaccine.

rho , 10 June 2020 at 09:29 PM
With the spread rate of the coronavirus, any outbreak of the infection will peter out once the total immunity rate of the population approaches 65-70 percent.

In Bergamo (Italy), 57 percent a population sample have tested positive for coronavirus antibodies, which means that they must have had the infection before and are now most likely immune.

If you are a Karen, then don't listen to me, but take it from the German government's very own propaganda outlet, Deutsche Welle:

"Out of nearly 10,000 Bergamo residents who had their blood tested between April 23 and June 3, 57% had antibodies, indicating they had come into contact with the virus and developed an immune response.

Health authorities said the sample size was 'sufficiently broad' to be a reliable indicator of the presence of SARS-CoV-2 among Bergamo province's population."

https://www.dw.com/en/coronavirus-tests-show-half-of-people-in-italys-bergamo-have-antibodies/a-53739727

Nobody in Bergamo will need a coronavirus vaccine once its development is finished - whenever that may happen, if at all.

[Jun 04, 2020] I think the illusion the CDC. was the "world's premier health agency" comes from the fact that the USA has, by far, the largest and most powerful pharmaceutical sector in the world

CDC consist of overpaid idiots. On 20 January, the first confirmed case in South Korea was identified as a 35-year-old Chinese woman. The first South Korean national to be infected occurred three days later was a 55-year-old man who worked in Wuhan and returned for a checkup with flu symptoms. The two infection reports were publicly released on 24 January. [1] At this point team of CDC researchers should already be in South Korea. But nothing was done.
Jun 04, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
vk , Jun 3 2020 22:43 utc | 55
The C.D.C. waited 'its entire existence for this moment'. What went wrong?

Propaganda never stops:

The technology was old, the data poor, the bureaucracy slow, the guidance confusing, the administration not in agreement. The coronavirus shook the world's premier health agency , creating a loss of confidence and hampering the U.S. response to the crisis

"World's premier health agency"?

I think the illusion the C.D.C. was the "world's premier health agency" comes from the fact that the USA has, by far, the largest and most powerful pharmaceutical sector in the world (which Americans call "Big Pharma"). If you have the biggest pharma, you will have the most sheer volume of human trials and new drug patents. This, by osmosis, puts your country's C.D.C. at the forefront of most drug regulation - which the rest of the world's C.D.C.s will simply copy and paste for obvious reasons (i.e. they won't do the same work twice). That doesn't mean your C.D.C. is "the premier". For instance, it could simply be the most corrupt, the C.D.C. which is at the right place, the right time. An example for this is the USA's airplane equivalent to the C.D.C., which sold itself off to Boeing, resulting in the 737 MAX fiasco.

[May 28, 2020] U.S. Declares a Vaccine War on the World

Notable quotes:
"... The failure of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) against COVID-19, with nearly four times the annual budget of the WHO, is visible to the world. The CDC failed to provide a successful test for SARS-CoV-2 in the critical months of February and March , while ignoring the WHO's successful test kits that were distributed to 120 countries. ..."
"... Trump has yet to hold his administration and the CDC responsible for this criminal bungling. This, more than any other failure , is the reason that the U.S. numbers for COVID-19 are now more than 1.5 million and about a third of all global infections. Contrast this with China, the first to face an unknown epidemic, stopping it at 82,000 infections, and the amazing results that countries such as Vietnam and South Korea have produced. ..."
"... Taiwan was the first to inform the WHO of human-to-human transmissions in December, but was completely ignored. ..."
"... "Just how evil does this situation become? Is the general leadership of the American political economy trying to be evil just for the fun of it?" ..."
"... And at what point does the general indifference to this state of affairs that still, incredibly, obtains, turn over into mass outrage and condemnation? Skrelli, Bayer, and all the rest are frelling evil. Extortion writ large, with easily preventable death and suffering. ..."
"... As you note it's about profits. One of the disturbing condemnations of the now fading American Century, which most USians remain contentedly oblivious to is that during their watch as global hegemon, the US, in what can be seen, in the best light, as bad faith, worked to undermine the democratic functionality of international cooperative organizations like the WHO, the UN, etc. ..."
"... The intention of granting copyrights and patents was noble, to provide a limited monopoly on an invention or literary work for a limited period. IP has been distorted and twisted, extended to insane time limits to protect works that for any common sense thinkers have already become public domain (see, e.g. the Happy Birthday song, Mickey Mouse or re-formulation of a drug that's gone out of patent). Software should have had its own IP regime but that ship has sailed (thanks Bill G.). ..."
May 28, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Donald Trump launched a new vaccine war in May, but not against the virus. It was against the world. The United States and the UK were the only two holdouts in the World Health Assembly from the declaration that vaccines and medicines for COVID-19 should be available as public goods , and not under exclusive patent rights. The United States explicitly disassociated itself from the patent pool call, talking instead of "the critical role that intellectual property plays" -- in other words, patents for vaccines and medicines. Having badly botched his COVID-19 response, Trump is trying to redeem his electoral fortunes in the November elections this year by promising an early vaccine. The 2020 version of Trump's "Make America Great Again" slogan is shaping up to be, essentially, " vaccines for us" -- but the rest of the world will have to queue up and pay what big pharma asks, as they will hold the patents.

In contrast, all other countries agreed with the Costa Rican proposal in the World Health Assembly that there should be a patent pool for all COVID-19 vaccines and medicines. President Xi said that Chinese vaccines would be available as a public good , a view also shared by European Union leaders . Among the 10 candidate vaccines in Phase 1 and 2 of clinical trials, the Chinese have five, the United States has three, and the UK and Germany have one each.

Trump has given an ultimatum to the World Health Organization (WHO) with a permanent withdrawal of funds if it does not mend its ways in 30 days. In sharp contrast, in the World Health Assembly (the highest decision-making body of the WHO), almost all countries, including close allies of the United States, rallied behind the WHO. The failure of the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) against COVID-19, with nearly four times the annual budget of the WHO, is visible to the world. The CDC failed to provide a successful test for SARS-CoV-2 in the critical months of February and March , while ignoring the WHO's successful test kits that were distributed to 120 countries.

Trump has yet to hold his administration and the CDC responsible for this criminal bungling. This, more than any other failure , is the reason that the U.S. numbers for COVID-19 are now more than 1.5 million and about a third of all global infections. Contrast this with China, the first to face an unknown epidemic, stopping it at 82,000 infections, and the amazing results that countries such as Vietnam and South Korea have produced.

One issue is now looming large over the COVID-19 pandemic. If we do not address the intellectual property rights issue in this pandemic, we are likely to see a repeat of the AIDS tragedy . People died for 10 years (1994-2004) as patented AIDS medicine was priced at $10,000 to $15,000 for a year's supply, far beyond their reach. Finally, patent laws in India allowed people to get AIDS medicine at less than a dollar a day , or $350 for a year's supply. Today, 80 percent of the world's AIDS medicine comes from India. For big pharma, profits trumped lives, and they will continue to do so, COVID or no COVID, unless we change the world.

Most countries have compulsory licensing provisions that will allow them to break patents in case of epidemics or health emergencies. Even the WTO, after a bitter fight, accepted in its Doha Declaration (2001) that countries, in a health emergency, have the right to allow any company to manufacture a patented drug without the patent holder's permission, and even import it from other countries.

Why is it, then, that countries are unable to break patents, even if there are provisions in their laws and in the TRIPS Agreement? The answer is their fear of U.S. sanctions against them. Every year, the U.S. Office of the United States Trade Representative (USTR) issues a Special 301 Report that it has used to threaten trade sanctions against any country that tries to compulsorily license any patented product. India figures prominently in this report year after year, for daring to issue a compulsory license in 2012 to Natco for nexavar, a cancer drug Bayer was selling for more than $65,000 a year . Marijn Dekkers, the CEO of Bayer, was quoted widely that this was "theft," and "We did not develop this medicine for Indians We developed it for Western patients who can afford it."

This leaves unanswered how many people even in the affluent West can afford a $65,000 bill for an illness. But there is no question that a bill of this magnitude is a death sentence for anybody but the super-rich in countries like India. Though a number of other drugs were under also consideration for compulsory licensing at that time, India has not exercised this provision again after receiving U.S. threats.

It is the fear that countries can break patents using their compulsory licensing powers that led to proposals for patent pooling. The argument was that since many of these diseases do not affect rich countries, big pharma should either let go of their patents to such patent pools, or philanthropic capital should fund the development of new drugs for this pool. Facing the pandemic of COVID-19, it is this idea of patent pooling that emerged in the recent World Health Assembly , WHA-73. All countries supported this proposal, barring the United States and its loyal camp follower, the UK . The United States also entered its disagreement on the final WHA resolution, being the lone objector to patent pooling of COVID-19 medicines and vaccines, noting "the critical role that intellectual property plays in incentivizing the development of new and improved health products."

While patent pooling is welcome if no other measure is available, it also makes it appear as if countries have no other recourse apart from the charity of big capital. What this hides, as charity always does, is that people and countries have legitimate rights even under TRIPS to break patents under conditions of an epidemic or a health emergency.

The United States, which screams murder if a compulsory license is issued by any country, has no such compunction when its own interests are threatened. During the anthrax scare in 2001, the U.S. Secretary of Health issued a threat to Bayer under "eminent domain for patents" for licensing the anthrax-treatment drug ciprofloxacin to other manufacturers. Bayer folded, and agreed to supply the quantity at a price that the U.S. government had set. And without a whimper. Yes, this is the same Bayer that considers India as a "thief" for issuing a compulsory license!

The vaccination for COVID-19 might need to be repeated each year, as we still do not know the duration of its protection. It is unlikely that a vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 will provide a lifetime immunity like the smallpox vaccine. Unlike AIDS, where the patient numbers were smaller and were unfortunately stigmatized in different ways, COVID-19 is a visible threat for everyone. Any attempt to hold people and governments to ransom on COVID-19 vaccines or medicines could see the collapse of the entire patent edifice of TRIPS that big pharma backed by the United States and major EU countries have built. That is why the more clever in the capitalist world have moved toward a voluntary patent pool for potential COVID-19 medicines and vaccines. A voluntary patent pool means that companies or institutions holding patents on medicines -- such as remdesivir -- or vaccines would voluntarily hand them over to such a pool. The terms and conditions of such a handover, meaning at concessional rates, or for only for certain regions, are still not clear -- leading to criticism that a voluntary patent pool is not a substitute for declaring that all such medicines and vaccines should be declared global public goods during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Unlike clever capital, Trump's response to the COVID-19 vaccine is to thuggishly bully his way through. He believes that with the unlimited money that the United States is now willing to put into the vaccine efforts, it will either beat everybody else to the winning post, or buy the company that is successful . If this strategy succeeds, he can then use "his" COVID-19 vaccine as a new instrument of global power. It is the United States that will then decide which countries get the vaccine (and for how much), and which ones don't.

Trump does not believe in a rule-based global order , even if the rules are biased in favor of the rich. He is walking out of various arms control agreements and has crippled the WTO . He believes that the United States, as the biggest economy and the most powerful military power , should have the untrammeled right to dictate to all countries. Threats of bombing and invasions can be combined with illegal unilateral sanctions ; and the latest weapon in his imaginary arsenal is withholding vaccines.

Trump's little problem is that the days of the United States being a sole global hegemon passed decades ago. The United States has shown itself as a fumbling giant and its epidemic response shambolic . It has been unable to provide virus tests to its people in time, and failed to stop the epidemic through containment/mitigation measures, which a number of other countries have done.

China and the EU have already agreed that any vaccine developed by them will be regarded as a public good. Even without that, once a medicine or a vaccine is known to be successful, any country with a reasonable scientific infrastructure can replicate the medicine or the vaccine, and manufacture it locally. India in particular has one of the largest generic drug and vaccine manufacturing capacities in the world. What prevents India, or any country for that matter, from manufacturing COVID-19 vaccines or drugs once they are developed -- only the empty threat of a failed hegemon on breaking patents?


Noel Nospamington , May 28, 2020 at 4:19 am

Clearly the Trump and Johnson administrations are completely wrong in not supporting that all COVID vaccines and medications be declared as public goods. This is an unprecedented global threat requiring unprecedented global response.

But as a Canadian I have to reluctantly admit, there are legimate reasons to oppose the WHO. Trump like a broken clock can be correct twice a day, even if he is wrong the other 1438 times a day.

The worst offence is that the WHO (World Health Organisation) is suppose to represent the world, and yet it deliberately excludes Taiwan, which it a known part of the world with 24 million people.

Taiwan was the first to inform the WHO of human-to-human transmissions in December, but was completely ignored. And Taiwan has best handled its response to the pandemic.

Personally I think that all countries should stop supporting the WHO until it restores Taiwan's observer status it previous had until 2016. The only other reasonable option would be to create an alternative health organisation to the WHO which does not exclude any part of the world.

The WHO also has other failings, including corruption, exorbitant travel expenses, and an unqualified president beholden to the CCP. But these failings pale in comparison to Taiwan's exclusion, and hopefully the other failings can be fixed within the organisation.

Amfortas the hippie , May 28, 2020 at 7:49 am

"Just how evil does this situation become? Is the general leadership of the American political economy trying to be evil just for the fun of it?"

And at what point does the general indifference to this state of affairs that still, incredibly, obtains, turn over into mass outrage and condemnation?
Skrelli, Bayer, and all the rest are frelling evil. Extortion writ large, with easily preventable death and suffering.

it did NOT begin with trump.It's been there for most of my life. What will it take for ordinary people to get mad enough about it all to do something about it?

Even in this article, the unspoken assumption is that our hands are somehow tied that these corps have agency far beyond anyone else's but those corps can be seized, and exist only at the pleasure of governments in the places they pretend to exist in.

They are a human creation an Egregore, set tottering about as if it were willful and alive but even Lefties treat them as untouchable godlike entities "oh, well lets appeal to "Benevolent Capital, instead "

"Behold, I show you the last man. 'What is love? What is creation? What is longing? What is a star?' thus asks the last man, and blinks. The earth has become small, and on it hops the last man, who makes everything small. His race is as ineradicable as the flea; the last man lives longest. 'We have invented happiness,'say the last men, and they blink. They have left the regions where it was hard to live, for one needs warmth. One still loves one's neighbor and rubs against him, for one needs warmth

One still works, for work is a form of entertainment. But one is careful lest the entertainment be too harrowing. One no longer becomes poor or rich: both require too much exertion. Who still wants to rule? Who obey? Both require too much exertion.

No shepherd and one herd! Everybody wants the same, everybody is the same: whoever feels different goes voluntarily into a madhouse. 'Formerly, all the world was mad,' say the most refined, and they blink

One has one's little pleasure for the day and one's little pleasure for the night: but one has a regard for health. 'We have invented happiness,' say the last men, and they blink.""

-Zarathustra

mpalomar , May 28, 2020 at 8:50 am

As you note it's about profits. One of the disturbing condemnations of the now fading American Century, which most USians remain contentedly oblivious to is that during their watch as global hegemon, the US, in what can be seen, in the best light, as bad faith, worked to undermine the democratic functionality of international cooperative organizations like the WHO, the UN, etc.

Thus when emergencies arise such as international diplomatic crisis or pandemics, it is found these organisations have been rendered untrustworthy, corrupted and unreliable; unsuited to purpose. American exceptionalism?

VietnamVet , May 28, 2020 at 5:55 am

It is clear now that the USA will not fund a national public health system to fight the coronavirus epidemic. The only conclusion is the reason is to allow Pharmaceutical Corporations to make huge profits by marketing patented drugs and vaccines to treat the illness; if and when, they become available sometime in the future.

Due to incompetence, lack of money and bad messengering; the economic reopening of the USA could kill close to a million Americans. To Republicans and Libertarians, this is of no concern. Democrats may acknowledge the deaths but say they are unavoidable.

For the Elite keeping their wealth is more important than spending a portion to prevent the huge costs in lives and treasure that will come once the Wuhan Coronavirus is established across North America like the related common cold.

Alternate Delegate , May 28, 2020 at 6:32 am

This is a teachable moment on the immorality of all "intellectual property". I am pleased to see that so many countries – other than the US and the UK – can get together on the common decency of allowing everyone to live, and set that above the "justice" of paying off intellectual property assignees. But these countries still have some ways to go in understanding that this applies to all information. That the creation of information can never be a living – in contrast to a living based on the creation of essential goods and services, about which we are learning so much right now! – and that information can never be owned.

They do not yet fully comprehend that all claims to own and extract rent from information are in fact crimes against humanity.

But they will. A teachable, as I said, moment.

Bugs Bunny , May 28, 2020 at 7:05 am

The intention of granting copyrights and patents was noble, to provide a limited monopoly on an invention or literary work for a limited period. IP has been distorted and twisted, extended to insane time limits to protect works that for any common sense thinkers have already become public domain (see, e.g. the Happy Birthday song, Mickey Mouse or re-formulation of a drug that's gone out of patent). Software should have had its own IP regime but that ship has sailed (thanks Bill G.).

Either a giant reform is due or people will ignore the law and infringe the IP. Chinese companies do it with impunity. Maybe they're right to do so.

John Wright , May 28, 2020 at 9:59 am

It appears that the USA has some real competition in the intellectual property game.

Per https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/World_Intellectual_Property_Indicators

Patent applications for the top 20 offices, 2018
Rank Country Patent applications
1 China 1,542,002
2 U.S. 597,141
3 Japan 313,567
4 South Korea 209,992

If one sums up USA patent applications vs Asia (China, Japan, SK), it is USA 597K vs Asia 2066K.

So Asia is putting in patent applications, vs the USA, at a 3.46 multiple vs the USA.

It will be interesting to see if the USA attitude about the sanctity of intellectual property changes when important key patents are held by the rest of the world.

timbers , May 28, 2020 at 8:33 am

Teachable moments. This could get really interesting if China or a non US & associated puppets develops an effect Covid treatment first.

I will dream of something like this: China develops vaccine, offers it free to US on condition it reduce it's Dept of War & Aggression by 80% and honor all existing and recently existing arms control agreement, and withdraws it's Naval forces though out the world and confines them to the North Atlantic and California coast.

ProNewerDeal , May 28, 2020 at 8:55 am

I wonder if a geopolitically powerful nation/bloc of nations such as China/India/etc might announce that they disregard pharma IP, & announce that they will adhere to the economist Dr Dean Baker-type policy of open source pharma R&D/recipe publication, any private manufacturer may manufacture & sell the resultant pharma SKU. I am referring to any type of pharma or medical device (such as ventilators), not just a COVID-19 vaccine. I would guesstimate that the "soft power" & goodwill generated by such a policy would be extremely beneficial to those nation(s). Furthermore, the US if it tried to retaliate via sanctions or other threats would get a corresponding additional decrease in soft power.

Raj , May 28, 2020 at 9:37 am

To be honest, in some instances Indian govt practices on pharma are quite bad. It is extremely hard in some instances to recoup investments at prices they ask for.

[May 27, 2020] The CDC Slashed The COVID-19 Fatality Rate To A Fraction Of Earlier Estimate Used To Justify Lockdowns

May 27, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Ryan McMaken via The Mises Institute,

Governments throughout the world and across the US justified extreme, draconian, undemocratic, and unconstitutional (in most US states) "lockdown" and stay-at-home orders on the grounds that the COVID-19 virus was exceptionally fatal.

In March, the World Health Organization (WHO) was claiming that the fatality rate was a very high 3.4 percent .

Yet as time went on, it became increasingly clear that such high estimates were essentially meaningless because researchers had no idea how many people were actually infected with the disease. Tests were largely being conducted on those with symptoms serious enough to end up in emergency rooms or doctor's offices.

By late April, many researchers were publishing new studies showing that the number of people with the disease was actually much higher than was previously thought. Thus, it became clear that the percentage of people with the disease who died from it suddenly became much smaller.

Now, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has released new estimates suggesting that the real fatality rate is around 0.26 percent.

Specifically, the report concludes that the "symptomatic case fatality ratio" is 0.4 percent. But that's just symptomatic cases. In the same report, the CDC also claims that 35 percent of all cases are asymptomatic.

Or, as the Washington Post reported this week:

The agency offered a "current best estimate" of 0.4 percent. The agency also gave a best estimate that 35 percent of people infected never develop symptoms. Those numbers when put together would produce an infection fatality rate of 0.26, which is lower than many of the estimates produced by scientists and modelers to date."

Of course, not all scientists have been wrong on this. Back in March, Stanford scientist John Ioannidis was much, much closer to the CDC's estimate than the WHO. The Wall Street Journal noted in April :

In a March article for Stat News, Dr. Ioannidis argued that Covid-19 is far less deadly than modelers were assuming. He considered the experience of the Diamond Princess cruise ship, which was quarantined Feb. 4 in Japan. Nine of 700 infected passengers and crew died. Based on the demographics of the ship's population, Dr. Ioannidis estimated that the U.S. fatality rate could be as low as 0.025% to 0.625% and put the upper bound at 0.05% to 1% -- comparable to that of seasonal flu.

Not that this will settle the matter.

Proponents of destroying human rights and the rule of law in order to carry out lockdowns will continue to insist that "we didn't know" what the fatality rate was back in March. The lack of evidence, however, didn't stop proponents of lockdowns from implementing policies that destroyed the ability of families to earn a living, and which also created social conditions that caused child abuse and suicides to spike.

But for more sane people, extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Those who have claimed that lockdowns are "the only option" had virtually no evidence at all to support their position. Indeed, such extreme over-the-top measures such as the general lockdowns required an extreme level of high-quality, nearly irrefutable evidence that lockdowns would work and were necessary in the face of a disease with an extremely high fatality rate. But the only "data" the prolockdown people could offer was speculation and hyperbolic predictions of bodies piling up in the streets.

But that became politically unimportant.

The people who wanted lockdowns had gained the obeisance of powerful people in government institutions and in the media . So actual data, science, or respect for human rights suddenly became meaningless. All that mattered was getting those lockdowns. So the lockdown crowd destroyed the lives of millions in the developed world -- and more than a hundred million in the developing world -- to satisfy the hunches of a tiny handful of politicians and technocrats.

[May 24, 2020] 'How Could the CDC Make That Mistake?' The government's disease-fighting agency is conflating viral and antibody tests, compromising a few crucial metrics that governors depend on to reopen their economies. Pennsylvania, Georgia, Texas, and other states are doing the same.

Notable quotes:
"... "According to CDC, the disease of obesity affects about 78 million Americans 1 and the ASMBS estimates about 24 million have severe or morbid obesity." ..."
May 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Richard Steven Hack , May 24 2020 23:54 utc | 46

And the government botching of this crisis continues...

'How Could the CDC Make That Mistake?' The government's disease-fighting agency is conflating viral and antibody tests, compromising a few crucial metrics that governors depend on to reopen their economies. Pennsylvania, Georgia, Texas, and other states are doing the same.
https://tinyurl.com/y92ea59f

And overseas as well...

'Politicised nature' of lockdown debate delays Imperial report
https://tinyurl.com/y7csboom

And of course, the effect of that...

Nearly half of US states haven't contained their coronavirus outbreaks, a new study finds
https://tinyurl.com/yc72pd8t

And no, Sweden is not doing better...

Just 7.3% of Stockholm had Covid-19 antibodies by end of April, study shows
Official findings add to concerns about Sweden's laissez-faire strategy towards the pandemic
https://tinyurl.com/yahnmb3a

Finally, a large scale study on HCQ - 86,000 patients, with 15,000 receiving HCQ...

Trump drug hydroxychloroquine raises death risk in Covid patients, study says
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-52779309

The color of coronavirus:
COVID-19 deaths by race and ethnicity in the U.S.
https://www.apmresearchlab.org/covid/deaths-by-race

Blacks are *twice* as likely to get it as whites and Latinos. American Indians are *five times* more likely to get it. They conclude the best indicator is poverty.

From The Lancet, a study of New York patients... Epidemiology, clinical course, and outcomes of critically ill adults with COVID-19 in New York City: a prospective cohort study https://tinyurl.com/yblmszsx

Between March 2 and April 1, 2020, 1150 adults were admitted to both hospitals with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, of which 257 (22%) were critically ill.

The median age of patients was 62 years (IQR 51–72), 171 (67%) were men. 212 (82%) patients had at least one chronic illness, the most common of which were hypertension (162 [63%]) and diabetes (92 [36%]).

119 (46%) patients had obesity.

As of April 28, 2020, 101 (39%) patients had died and 94 (37%) remained hospitalised.

203 (79%) patients received invasive mechanical ventilation for a median of 18 days (IQR 9–28), 170 (66%) of 257 patients received vasopressors and 79 (31%) received renal replacement therapy.

The median time to in-hospital deterioration was 3 days (IQR 1–6).

In the multivariable Cox model, older age (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 1·31 [1·09–1·57] per 10-year increase), chronic cardiac disease (aHR 1·76 [1·08–2·86]), chronic pulmonary disease (aHR 2·94 [1·48–5·84]), higher concentrations of interleukin-6 (aHR 1·11 [95%CI 1·02–1·20] per decile increase), and higher concentrations of D-dimer (aHR 1·10 [1·01–1·19] per decile increase) were independently associated with in-hospital mortality.

Note: 36% had diabetes; 46% were fat. Like I've said before, "diabetes" is a code word for "fat." And how many people in the US are fat and thus at risk? "According to CDC, the disease of obesity affects about 78 million Americans 1 and the ASMBS estimates about 24 million have severe or morbid obesity."

So much for "let's just isolate the elderly"...so we can attend our baseball games this summer and stuff ourselves with crap food...

[May 04, 2020] Fauci and the damage to the USA economy

May 04, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

It's likely Fauci's incorrect simply because just as central planners routinely failed when it came to planning economic outcomes in the 20th century, so does that same central planning fail now. Fauci once again may be brilliant, but he's no match for a U.S. economy comprised of hundreds of millions of individuals making infinite informed decisions every second of every day.

The same applies to Bill Gates. Some believe that his undeniable genius as a businessman positions him to knowledgeably opine on how we the U.S. and the world can come back from the virus. Gates has observed that businesses would be troubled with or without the lockdowns, unemployment would be higher with or without them, so the plan should be to continue them until we're better situated in terms of a vaccine.

Is Gates right? It's once again difficult to know. For one, his analysis ignores the "unseen"; as in what would individuals and businesses have done had the response of politicians to the virus been something like "You're all adults. Be careful."

If so, it's not unreasonable to suggest that Fauci, Gates and other intelligent individuals would have strongly called for Americans to shelter-in-place, and tens of millions would have done just that. At the same time, Elon Musk and investors like Michael Burry might have responded in more intrepid fashion; calling for individuals and businesses to work around a virus of unknown lethality.

[May 02, 2020] In pandemic blame distribution Fauci and the CDC top should get mayor shares

May 02, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Antonym , May 1 2020 14:03 utc | 15

In pandemic blame distribution Fauci and the CDC top should get mayor shares.

In financial crash blame distribution the New York FED with its top 5 controller / bail-out receiver banks have big parts. It still holds the world's other Central Banks hostage through its reserves and trade in U$ dollars only meme.

In the intelligence area it is not very different: also that branch of the US Deep State failed.

A multipolar world is getting closer..

GeorgeV , May 1 2020 14:04 utc | 16

The jaw-dropping stupidity of the Trump administration regarding the COVID-19 pandemic is truly mind numbing. There is an old dictum that states that there is no such thing as 'military intelligence.' To that I add there is no such thing as 'intelligence' in Washington DC either, or the Trump White House for that matter. If you try to look for it, you will only find hacks, flacks, quacks and certifiable jerks. You would do better to waste your time and money looking for the Loch Ness Monster, Big Foot, or the Tooth Fairy. The prospect that Trump could get anther four years as president is depressing indeed. All that would be left is divine intervention, and I don't think that is any more likely than finding the aforementioned mythical creatures.

[May 01, 2020] Ten questions the U.S. needs to offer clear answers to the world regarding the #COVID19.

People's Daily, China
Notable quotes:
"... Among the reported influenza deaths in the US, how many cases were infected with COVID-19? Did the US government cover up the spread of coronavirus with the flu? When will the US government make public the samples of the US influenza virus and its genetic sequence, or allow experts from the WHO or the United Nations to sample and analyze? ..."
May 01, 2020 | www.facebook.com
Yesterday at 9:30 AM · Ten questions the U.S. needs to offer clear answers to the world regarding the # COVID19 .

1. Regarding the restarted avian influenza virus modification experiment last year, why does the US release no more updates?

The Science reported in February 2019 that US authorities had quietly approved the avian influenza virus modification experiment. The research, aiming to transform the H5N1 virus to be more capable of infecting mammals, was controversial and considered extremely dangerous. Some experts believe that the modification may increase the risk of human-to-human transmission of the virus. The question is why the US government decided to unfreeze the experiment 4 years after it was halted, and why there are no more updates regarding the experiment.

2. The United States Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases (USAMRIID) was previously closed. What is the truth behind ?

The Global Biodefence reported in April that the USAMRIID, US Army's primary institution and facility for biological research headquartered in Fort Detrick, Maryland, has resumed full operation. The institution was once ordered to halt the study of biological select agents and toxins (BSATs) last July. In March, there was a petition on the White House website demanding the clarification of the shutdown of USAMRIID. Given that these issues have become a primary public concern, what is the US government's response?

3. The US Department of Health and Human Services ran a scenario last year that was similar to the COVID-19 outbreak. Is this just a coincidence?

In March, the New York Times quoted a draft report obtained from the US government saying that from January to August 2019, the US Department of Health and Human Services ran a scenario called "Crimson Contagion" that simulated the fictional outbreak involving a group of tourists visiting China. They then became infected and flew to various countries, including the US. Last October, a high-level pandemic exercise named Event 201 was hosted by a couple of US organizations. The drill simulated a scenario that a fictional virus called CAPS, which causes more severe symptoms than SARS and transmits via the respiratory route like the common flu, had caused a pandemic. Like COVID-19, there is no vaccine for CAPS.

Given the fact that the simulated virus is so much like COVID-19, is this just a coincidence? Another question is, why did it not take enough preventive measures at the early stages of the coronavirus outbreak since the US has predicted a similar pandemic?

4. US intelligence officials warned of coronavirus crisis as early as last November. Why the warning was ignored?

In April, according to the American Broadcasting Corporation (ABC), it was said that, as early as late November 2019, US intelligence officials had warned the Defense Intelligence Agency, the Pentagon, and the White House that an infectious disease was sweeping through Wuhan, China.

Last November, the US National Center for Medical Intelligence (NCMI) issued a report detailing the coronavirus pandemic, which was later identified as "COVID-19". Some analysts believed that the outbreak in Wuhan might have evolved into a catastrophic event. According to the Washington Post, in more than two months from January to February, Trump had received intensive warnings from the US intelligence agencies about the coronavirus. Why did the US government not declare a "National Emergency" until March 13?

5. Among the reported influenza deaths in the US, can the US clarify how many cases are actually infected with COVID-19?

Japanese Asahi Television reported on February 21 that some of the 14,000 people reportedly killed by influenza in the US might have died from coronavirus, which became a hot topic soon after.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) released a report at the end of February, showing that there have been at least 32 million flu illnesses in the US that winter.

On March 11, at the House of Representatives, Robert Redfield, the director of the US CDC, admitted that some in the US who were previously thought to have been killed from the flu may have been infected with coronavirus.

Among the reported influenza deaths in the US, how many cases were infected with COVID-19? Did the US government cover up the spread of coronavirus with the flu? When will the US government make public the samples of the US influenza virus and its genetic sequence, or allow experts from the WHO or the United Nations to sample and analyze?

6. When did the novel coronavirus first appear in the US? Did community transmission of the coronavirus start sooner than it was reported?

A report released in late April by local health authorities suggests that a 57-year-old woman from Santa Clara County of California died from COVID-19 on February 6, some 20 days earlier than the date the US announced its first death caused by the virus.

The Los Angeles Times quoted Santa Clara County health officer Sara Cody in a piece saying, "we presume that each of them represents community transmission and that there was some significant level of virus circulating in our community in early February."

County Executive Officer Jeffrey V. Smith said this is evidence that the coronavirus was circulating in California as early as January or even earlier.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom has ordered all counties in the state to review autopsies of suspected coronavirus deaths dating back to December.

When did the novel coronavirus first appear in the US? Did community transmission of the coronavirus start sooner than it was reported?

7. How did the US get the virus strains so soon to start the first human testing of a vaccine against COVID-19?

The Wall Street Journal on March 16 reported that the first human testing of Moderna Inc.'s experimental vaccine against the COVID-19 had already begun. Experts immediately raised questions about the speed of the vaccine development, saying that it would not be possible unless the US had obtained the virus strains from very early on. So how did the US start the first human testing of the vaccine so soon? When and how did they get the virus strains?

8. Why did the US government keep downplaying the pandemic while its officials privately dumped stocks?

According to the Washington Post, US Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr and his wife sold up to 1.7 million in 33 different stocks just one week before the market plunged. Why did these officials at the Committee act so quickly while the government was continually understating the pandemic?

Why is the vital information kept confidential to the public while the government officials were taking advantage to practice insider-trading?

9. Why are US experts not allowed to discuss COVID-19 in public?

The New York Times reported that the White House began tightening controls for all coronavirus messaging from health officials on February 27 after Vice President Mike Pence led the nation's epidemic prevention and control efforts.

Several scientists and government health officials, including the nation's leading infectious disease expert Anthony S. Fauci, have been asked to make statements or make public appearances about the COVID-19 only after consultation with the US vice president's office.

Why does the United States, which claims free speech, not allow experts and scholars to discuss the novel coronavirus in public? Does the US want to hide something or fear of something?

10. What research is being done in the US overseas biological laboratories? Why does the US keep tight-lipped about it?

Natalia Poklonskaya, deputy chairman of the State Duma Committee on Foreign Affairs, has proposed verifying the legitimacy of US biological laboratories around the world, according to Sputnik news agency.

Not long ago, a spokesman for the Russian Foreign Ministry expressed concern about the establishment of a biological laboratory in countries from the former Soviet Union.

Grigory Trofimchuk, a Russian expert in the field of internal affairs, foreign affairs, and national defense, said the work of these biological laboratories was never disclosed to the outside world, and that they had caused several problems, with widespread outbreaks of dangerous infectious diseases such as measles at the laboratory site.

What research is being done in these biological laboratories? Why does the US keep tight-lipped about the function, use, the safety of these biological laboratories?

[May 01, 2020] In pandemic blame distribution Fauci and the CDC top should get mayor shares

May 01, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Antonym , May 1 2020 14:03 utc | 15

In pandemic blame distribution Fauci and the CDC top should get mayor shares.

In financial crash blame distribution the New York FED with its top 5 controller / bail-out receiver banks have big parts. It still holds the world's other Central Banks hostage through its reserves and trade in U$ dollars only meme.

In the intelligence area it is not very different: also that branch of the US Deep State failed.

A multipolar world is getting closer..

[May 01, 2020] The CDC is actually a vaccine company. -- Robert F. Kennedy Jr., by Paul Craig Roberts

May 01, 2020 | www.unz.com

Watch this RT interview with Robert Kennedy to see how corrupt the CDC is. We cannot trust this corrupt organization with our health. The CDC has a large financial interest in pushing untested vaccines on the public.

WHO is even more under the control of Big Pharma. The organization is corrupt beyond the meaning of the word. "The WHO is a sock puppet for the pharmaceutical industry." -- Robert F. Kennedy Jr.

https://youtu.be/5CfLDXpC324

[Apr 04, 2020] WATCH Trump's coronavirus task force gives update at White House

That was one of the worst decisions Trump administration made. Now they change their stance. Better later then never...
Notable quotes:
"... Part of the reason was to preserve medical-grade masks for health care workers who desperately need them at a time when they are in continuously short supply. ..."
Apr 04, 2020 | www.youtube.com

The C.D.C. has recommended that all Americans wear cloth masks if they go out in public. This is a shift in federal guidance reflecting new concerns that the coronavirus is being spread by infected people who have no symptoms .

Until now, the C.D.C., like the W.H.O., has advised that ordinary people don't need to wear masks unless they are sick and coughing.

Part of the reason was to preserve medical-grade masks for health care workers who desperately need them at a time when they are in continuously short supply.

Masks don't replace hand washing and social distancing.

[Mar 27, 2020] Not Just China U.S. Reliance on Foreign Medical Supplies is Staggering by Alan Tonelson

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Put together, they reveal how big a share of the American markets for drugs, medical devices, and protective gear is controlled by goods made overseas. The big takeaway is that the nation could be in big enough trouble if supply disruptions were to occur in normal times (say, due to natural disasters in manufacturing centers abroad). During a high-mortality pandemic like the CCP Virus, these levels of foreign dependency are high enough to guarantee significant numbers of needless deaths. ..."
"... And in fact, the import penetration trends for these products exemplify the nation's health care security weaknesses. In 2002 -- a good baseline, since that's the first year China was a member of the World Trade Organization -- imports overall accounted for 16.7 percent of all surgical appliances and supplies used in the United States (measured by value, not numbers of masks or pairs of gloves). During the first full year of the Great Recession, 2008, this share totaled 28.08 percent. ..."
"... Keeping this qualification in mind, overall, 32.41 percent of surgical appliances and supplies were imported from other countries by 2011, according to these figures. In 2016, that number reached 41.81 percent of a $33.71 billion U.S. market. It may well be higher these days, as between then and last year, U.S. overseas purchases jumped by more than 29 percent. (Interestingly, in light of domestic shortages, U.S. exports in appliances and supplies actually rose by more than 13 percent during this period!) ..."
"... Ventilators, sadly, have been in the news, too; they and related products like oxygen tents and bronchoscopes and inhalators and suction equipment are found in a big goods category called surgical and medical instruments. In 2002, imports from all corners of the world represented 22.04 percent of American consumption. By 2016, this figure stood at 35.91 percent of a $37.5 billion national market, and over the next three years, imports grew nearly 31 percent. (Exports expanded at a relatively slow 11.84 percent.) ..."
"... exclusive U.S. reliance on China for the chemical ingredients of numerous medicines has now become a major federal government concern. ..."
"... The main foreign suppliers to the American pharmaceuticals market as of last year look encouragingly diversified and encouragingly friendly. For example, Ireland was number one, with 22.15 percent of such shipments, followed by Switzerland with 14.05 percent. But third and fourth, with 8.87 percent and 8.39 percent of imports, were Germany and India, respectively, both of which have limited or embargoed their medical exports this year. And number five, at 7.38 percent, was Italy -- whose current CCP Virus devastation could easily bring about export restrictions. ..."
"... Last year, America's leading foreign supplier of surgical and medical instruments (the ventilators category) was Mexico, which sold U.S. customers 28.58 percent of the $17.62 billion of total imports. But export-curber Germany was number three, at 9.43 percent, and China was sixth, at 6.93 percent. ..."
"... Purely domestic policy steps, like mandating more stockpiling or new recycling and re-use strategies, undoubtedly can add to national medical products supplies. But even these general import penetration figures, along with the shortage reports that keep pouring in, make clear that enduring national health care security can't be restored without a major ramping up of domestic output. And since export-heavy economies like China's and Germany's will undoubtedly work overtime to keep their American health care customers -- including with all manner of predatory economic practices -- it's similarly clear that big, lasting U.S. departures from standard free trade policies will be unavoidable. ..."
Mar 27, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Not Just China: U.S. Reliance on Foreign Medical Supplies is Staggering

The government's own numbers tell a frightening tale of how this happened, and when.

Virus pandemic having exposed scary domestic shortages of critical medical goods ranging from safety masks to ventilators, along with potential shortages of pharmaceuticals, political leaders across the spectrum are finally regretting having allowed so much output of these products to migrate offshore.

China's role in global supply chains has understandably sparked much of the alarm, since its government has all but threatened to withhold supplies of medicines whenever it wishes. But all told, at least 38 countries (including the 27-member European Union) have curbed exports of anti-pandemic products at some point since the CCP Virus began dominating headlines.

So potential foreign chokeholds in the nation's health care-related supply chains appear global in scope. The federal government's best data make clear just how widespread the problem has become, and how steadily it's been growing.

The figures come from the government's statistics on industry-by-industry manufacturing output and on exports and imports. (The output data can be accessed through databases created by the Census Bureau for its Annual Survey of Manufactures that are located at this link . The trade numbers can be retrieved at an interactive database maintained by the U.S. International Trade Commission that's located at this link .)

Put together, they reveal how big a share of the American markets for drugs, medical devices, and protective gear is controlled by goods made overseas. The big takeaway is that the nation could be in big enough trouble if supply disruptions were to occur in normal times (say, due to natural disasters in manufacturing centers abroad). During a high-mortality pandemic like the CCP Virus, these levels of foreign dependency are high enough to guarantee significant numbers of needless deaths.

These statistics aren't problem-free. Principally, because the manufacturing output figures are so granular, and therefore take so long to compile, import penetration rates for these (and other manufactures) can be calculated only through 2016. Yet the more timely import numbers can provide a reasonable indication of whether vulnerabilities are worsening or shrinking. At the same time, the government's main trade data aren't nearly as detailed as the production numbers. As a result, it's not possible to know the percentage of, say, safety masks used in the United States that are produced abroad. But it's easy to come up with this number for the category in which masks (and other protective gear) are grouped -- surgical appliances and supplies.

And in fact, the import penetration trends for these products exemplify the nation's health care security weaknesses. In 2002 -- a good baseline, since that's the first year China was a member of the World Trade Organization -- imports overall accounted for 16.7 percent of all surgical appliances and supplies used in the United States (measured by value, not numbers of masks or pairs of gloves). During the first full year of the Great Recession, 2008, this share totaled 28.08 percent.

Notably, these imports from China were a tiny 1.5 percent in 2002, and had actually dropped to 0.49 percent by 2008. By 2016, they accounted for a seemingly modest 6.54 percent of American consumption. But here's where another weakness in the data emerges: they say nothing about the origin of the materials, parts, and components of the final goods.

Keeping this qualification in mind, overall, 32.41 percent of surgical appliances and supplies were imported from other countries by 2011, according to these figures. In 2016, that number reached 41.81 percent of a $33.71 billion U.S. market. It may well be higher these days, as between then and last year, U.S. overseas purchases jumped by more than 29 percent. (Interestingly, in light of domestic shortages, U.S. exports in appliances and supplies actually rose by more than 13 percent during this period!)

Ventilators, sadly, have been in the news, too; they and related products like oxygen tents and bronchoscopes and inhalators and suction equipment are found in a big goods category called surgical and medical instruments. In 2002, imports from all corners of the world represented 22.04 percent of American consumption. By 2016, this figure stood at 35.91 percent of a $37.5 billion national market, and over the next three years, imports grew nearly 31 percent. (Exports expanded at a relatively slow 11.84 percent.)

Again, the China figures are small beans -- the import penetration rate for 2016 was a mere 2.35 percent. But these products often contain lots of electronics parts, and half the world's printed circuit boards, for example, are made in the People's Republic. In other words, lots of existing global surge capacity throughout the sector is ultimately controlled by Beijing.

Thanks to the work of researchers like the Hastings Center's Rosemary Gibson and independent journalist Katherine Eban, heavy and sometimes exclusive U.S. reliance on China for the chemical ingredients of numerous medicines has now become a major federal government concern. Indeed, the Food and Drug Administration is keeping an especially close eye on the availability of no fewer than 20 pharmaceutical products that use Chinese raw materials. (Unfortunately, the FDA won't say what they are, which calls for some Freedom of Information Act requests, pronto.)

But the import penetration figures make clear that supply disruptions could also originate elsewhere. Between 2002 and 2016, drugs produced overseas more than doubled their share of America's consumption (which stood at nearly $200 billion three years ago), from 17.23 percent to 38.51 percent. As of 2019, moreover, U.S. drugs imports were 20.34 percent higher than in 2016.

The main foreign suppliers to the American pharmaceuticals market as of last year look encouragingly diversified and encouragingly friendly. For example, Ireland was number one, with 22.15 percent of such shipments, followed by Switzerland with 14.05 percent. But third and fourth, with 8.87 percent and 8.39 percent of imports, were Germany and India, respectively, both of which have limited or embargoed their medical exports this year. And number five, at 7.38 percent, was Italy -- whose current CCP Virus devastation could easily bring about export restrictions.

Nor is this pattern restricted to pharmaceuticals. Last year, America's leading foreign supplier of surgical and medical instruments (the ventilators category) was Mexico, which sold U.S. customers 28.58 percent of the $17.62 billion of total imports. But export-curber Germany was number three, at 9.43 percent, and China was sixth, at 6.93 percent.

For surgical appliances and supplies (the masks and protective gear category), Ireland topped the 2019 foreign supplier list, selling the United States 24.09 percent of its $18.21 billion of total imports. But China was second, at 15.29 percent, and in third place, at 9.68 percent, stood Malaysia, which banned mask exports on March 20.

Purely domestic policy steps, like mandating more stockpiling or new recycling and re-use strategies, undoubtedly can add to national medical products supplies. But even these general import penetration figures, along with the shortage reports that keep pouring in, make clear that enduring national health care security can't be restored without a major ramping up of domestic output. And since export-heavy economies like China's and Germany's will undoubtedly work overtime to keep their American health care customers -- including with all manner of predatory economic practices -- it's similarly clear that big, lasting U.S. departures from standard free trade policies will be unavoidable.

Alan Tonelson is the founder of RealityChek, a public policy blog focusing on economics and national security, and the author of The Race to the Bottom .

[Mar 22, 2020] Coronavirus - On Western Government Failures And Possible Therapies

Mar 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jen , Mar 21 2020 19:51 utc | 3

Thus the Washington Post headlines:

U.S. intelligence reports from January and February warned about a likely pandemic

U.S. intelligence agencies were issuing ominous, classified warnings in January and February about the global danger posed by the coronavirus while President Trump and lawmakers played down the threat and failed to take action that might have slowed the spread of the pathogen, according to U.S. officials familiar with spy agency reporting.

The intelligence reports didn't predict when the virus might land on U.S. shores or recommend particular steps that public health officials should take, issues outside the purview of the intelligence agencies. But they did track the spread of the virus in China, and later in other countries, and warned that Chinese officials appeared to be minimizing the severity of the outbreak.

If the spy services were really concerned about the issue why did they not warn the public? Instead of leaking new idiotic fairytales they could have leaked a warning about the pandemic. Instead we were given this:

If the intelligence services had taken the pandemic seriously they could have warned the public via their countless stenographers in the media. Instead they kept the media filled with false anti-Russian stories and told Trump that the Chinese are lying which they were in fact not.

Trump of course would have not have believed the intelligence reports anyway. Why would he? The FBI and CIA have for three years tried to get him impeached. They created Russiagate based on a fake dossier. They lied to get FISA warrants to spy on his campaign. When Russiagate finally fell apart the CIA sent a fake 'whistleblower' to launch Ukrainegate. In Trump's place there is no reason to believe a word of whatever any of the 'intelligence officials' say.

The intelligence services failed to issue effective warnings. But they were not the only ones. All institution in 'western' countries and their leaders have lacked in their preparation for a larger outbreak.

China warned us early on. The WHO was informed in late December. On January 3 the director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention was informed by his Chinese colleagues. After China recognized that the new SARS-CoV-2 virus indeed jumped from person to person it took radical measures to get a grip on the epidemic and those measures have worked well. China has only 3,255 death in a nation of 1.4 billion people. Today all checkpoints were removed from Wuhan city and life there is slowly turning back to normal.

Since when did the CIA, the NSA, the DIA and the rest of the much vaunted 17 alphabet-named intel agencies in the US ever provide much in the way of "intelligence"?

The CIA famously failed to foresee the revolution that felled Iranian shah Mohammed Reza Pahlavi and the role Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini played in it, in 1979. The CIA also failed to foresee the downfall of Communist govts in eastern Europe and the Soviet Union in 1989 and 1991. Instead the CIA spends US taxpayer millions on brainwashing and torture programs like MK ULTRA and their like in universities and institutions in the US and Canada (McGill University) from the 1950s onwards.

The current activities of the CIA and FBI in promoting anti-Russia / anti-China propaganda and propaganda aimed at destabilising these and other nations that don't bow to the US are equivalent to a global witch-hunt hysteria. The CIA's patron saint should be 17th-century English self-proclaimed Witchfinder General Matthee Hopkins. Senator Eugene McCarthy probably wouldn't come close to this fanatic.


SharonM , Mar 21 2020 20:18 utc | 15

I thought it was well known that U.S. intelligence services don't exist to warn the public about possible dangers from abroad. They exist to create dangers abroad and at home.

"The U.S. intelligence services fear to come under questioning for not raising enough warning about the novel coronavirus pandemic."

Fear being questioned? U.S. intelligence agencies don't fear being questioned--I thought this was well-known too. It's going to be harder and harder to write articles from the perspective of being in favor of the U.S. regime using martial law on us without completely forgetting what the U.S. regime stands for in the first place.

The Corbett Report released a video today about martial law. In it, he shows us a German document from 2013, entitled:
"Information from the German government – Report on risk analysis in civil protection 2012"

"In it, frightening similarities with what is currently happening can be seen – in particular by explicitly mentioning the "SARS coronavirus (CoV)". The scenario presented, in which the spread, course, duration, mortality etc. are described, goes as far as to make a drastic restriction of fundamental rights necessary.
The scenario states in this respect:"

"The competent authorities, first of all the public health authorities and primarily the public health officers, must take measures to prevent communicable diseases. The IfSG [Infektionsschutzgesetz] allows, among other things, restrictions of basic rights, such as the right to inviolability of the home. Within the framework of necessary protective measures, the fundamental right of personal freedom and the freedom of assembly can also be restricted. In addition to these measures to be ordered directly by the public health officer, the Federal Ministry of Health can order by statutory order that threatened sections of the population have to take part in protective vaccinations or other measures of specific prophylaxis, whereby the right to physical integrity can be restricted".
https://www.globalresearch.ca/coronavirus-new-world-order-something-rotten-state-denmark/5706464

Knowing that b is German, I thought this could be of interest to him;)

Here is the link to Corbett's video from today:
"Medical Martial Law 2020"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l2ZRT-gWZ8M

Jackrabbit , Mar 21 2020 22:32 utc | 50

"The U.S. intelligence services fear to come under questioning for not raising enough warning about the novel coronavirus pandemic.

IMO, this is a misreading.

I think a better interpretation is that US media is providing cover for Deep State officials (including high-level intelligence officials) that gamed the virus response. In that regard, this is the key phrase:

The intelligence reports didn't predict when the virus might land on U.S. shores or recommend particular steps that public health officials should take ...

=
The intelligence services failed to issue effective warnings."

But we know that they were providing very effective warnings: Senator Richard Burr, who is Chair of Intel Cmte, WAS getting appropriately dire warnings and acting upon those warnings: trading stock and telling his closest friends and supporters about the looming pandemic and the terrible effects it would have.

=
"But they were not the only ones. All institution in 'western' countries and their leaders have lacked in their preparation for a larger outbreak."

Well, we shouldn't over look the fact that the top US health officials are all currently or formerly military officers:

I expect that top health officials in other Western countries are also be connected to the military. These officials "failed us" in the same way that our media "fails us": they serve the interests of the EMPIRE-FIRST Deep State.

More here: The Empire Games Covid-19

!!

[Mar 21, 2020] Korea and Germany virus tests numbers vs the USA

Mar 21, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

I would say that Germany's testing is far superior @Marie
to the US. They test a far larger number of people and don't have the restriction of having to show symptoms before one can get tested. This gives them a larger base of infected so it shows a lower ratio for deaths/confirmed. Earlier detection will also greatly improve outcomes. The slope of their new infections is also starting to flatten - unlike the US where it is getting steeper with each passing day.

https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/total-cases-covid-19?country=USA+DEU+IRN

These factors are actually a really, really bad warning sign for the evolution of the virus outbreak within the US. The US, as a fist world country should not have outcomes like a second world country.

#7.1
COVID-19 infections, but an incredibly low number of deaths and patients in serious condition. The numbers may be valid but if so, there's an element of luck in Germany's favor.

up 5 users have voted.

Marie on Sat, 03/21/2020 - 5:21pm

Haven't seen any data on testing in Germany

@CB
The only country I've seen that has been releasing daily figures on testing is South Korea and they've been doing it since their first case on 20 Jan 2020. Update 21 Jan 2021 . First confirmed case in Germany was on 28 Jan.

As of 21 Mar:
Germany: confirmed cases 21,854. (population 83 million)
South Korea: confirmed cases 8,799. (population 51 million) Total tests administered 327,599.

So, SK has better contained the internal spread than Germany and has released more complete information on the imported cases.

At this time, I'm not going to speculate as to why SK's deaths are so much higher than Germany's. But do note that if Germany's health care for a virus with no cure is so far superior to SK's, why are there also so few recoveries in Germany - 180 compared to SK's 2,612.

#7.1.2
to the US. They test a far larger number of people and don't have the restriction of having to show symptoms before one can get tested. This gives them a larger base of infected so it shows a lower ratio for deaths/confirmed. Earlier detection will also greatly improve outcomes. The slope of their new infections is also starting to flatten - unlike the US where it is getting steeper with each passing day.

https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/total-cases-covid-19?country=USA+DEU+IRN

These factors are actually a really, really bad warning sign for the evolution of the virus outbreak within the US. The US, as a fist world country should not have outcomes like a second world country.

Marie on Sat, 03/21/2020 - 5:30pm
btw:

@CB
Confirmed cases - Germany:
19 Mar - 17,372
20 Mar - 19,848
21 Mar - 21,854

Confirmed cases - South Korea
19 Mar - 8,565
20 Mar - 8,652
21 Mar - 8,799

[Mar 21, 2020] FEMA has been put in charge of COVID-19

Mar 21, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

CB on Sat, 03/21/2020 - 1:34pm

FEMA has been put in charge of COVID-19

@Lily O Lady
NHS will report to them.

"US has 55 million masks" "we should sanitize and reuse them"

China makes N35 masks at the rate of tens of millions per day. They are shipping millions to other countries around the world. Sinopec even constructed a brand new factory with 12 production lines from scratch in 10 days to manufacture the PP material over a month ago.

Trump bragging about how prescient he was in handling this pandemic.

Lying about China not telling world what was happening for two to three months despite WHO reports from early January.
He keeps repeating how he acted very early.

Scapegoating China again. What a fucking lying fuckwit.

Still don't know how many or when test kits will come out.

Blaming all problems on previous administration - inherited the deficiencies.

One reporter catches him out on when he knew about China from his public statement on Jan 24.

Watch the following video. Trump knew about the virus at least by Jan 3 (the day it's genome was published)

//www.youtube.com/embed/Zm0lcZ4RsjI?modestbranding=0&html5=1&rel=0&autoplay=0&wmode=opaque&loop=0&controls=1&autohide=0&showinfo=0&theme=dark&color=red&enablejsapi=0

Lily O Lady on Sat, 03/21/2020 - 1:55pm
The problem now with test kits is that we are running

@CB

out of the reagents to run the tests. So samples can be collected, but may not be processed. There will be more cover-ups when this becomes generally known. Attention! Forward fail!

CB on Sat, 03/21/2020 - 2:14pm
Most of the reagents come from China

@Lily O Lady @Lily O Lady
as do most of the precursors for the various drugs that are made in the US.

Here's a video of how China ramped up mask production within days of learning about the COVID-19 infection.
Someone should have the Trumpeter watch this video. He might discover why masks can't be cleaned and reused.

//www.youtube.com/embed/dZYVaokFBzc?modestbranding=0&html5=1&rel=0&autoplay=0&wmode=opaque&loop=0&controls=1&autohide=0&showinfo=0&theme=dark&color=red&enablejsapi=0

[Mar 17, 2020] Roche has started shipping tests to labs across the US.

Mar 17, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Roche, the Swiss drug company that is one of several companies working with the administration to increase the supply of tests, has started shipping tests to labs across the US.

[Mar 16, 2020] Did Trump administration seek exclusive vaccine deal with German biontech company?

Mar 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

ak74 , Mar 16 2020 20:40 utc | 35

@ Ort | Mar 16 2020 19:45 utc | 24

Dude, I don't give a rat's ass about Donald Trump or any other American political leader.

Democrat and Republican. They are all scum. All of them.

But the German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer, foreign minister Heiko Maas, and the German Health Ministry are treating this American takeover threat as real:

"At a news conference on Sunday, interior minister Horst Seehofer was asked to confirm the attempts to court the German company. 'I can only say that I have heard several times today from government officials today that this is the case, and we will be discussing it in the crisis committee tomorrow,' he said."

Coronavirus: anger in Germany at report Trump seeking exclusive vaccine deal
https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/mar/16/not-for-sale-anger-in-germany-at-report-trump-seeking-exclusive-coronavirus-vaccine-deal

Germany tries to stop US from luring away firm seeking coronavirus vaccine
https://www.reuters.com/article/health-coronavirus-germany-usa-idUSL8N2B8075

[Mar 14, 2020] US military intelligence came to the conclusion over a month ago that coronavirus cases would reach "pandemic proportions" domestically by the end of March.

Mar 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Alpi , Mar 13 2020 23:09 utc | 145

Rather ominous article from W. Webb in Mintpress:

https://www.mintpressnews.com/us-intelligence-unsettling-role-classified-9-11-like-coronavirus-response/265687/

This quote is particularly trouble some:

" While the plans of the federal government remain classified, recent reports have revealed that the military and intelligence communities -- now working with the NSC to develop the government's coronavirus response -- have anticipated a massive explosion in cases for weeks. U.S. military intelligence came to the conclusion over a month ago that coronavirus cases would reach "pandemic proportions" domestically by the end of March. That military intelligence agency, known as the National Center for Medical Intelligence (NCMI), coordinates closely with the National Security Agency (NSA) to conduct "medical SIGINT [signals intelligence]."

[Mar 13, 2020] Did some running around the local Medical Industrial Complex this morning. What a difference a week makes. The attitude about the coronavirus is completely different from last week.

Mar 13, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

ambrit , March 12, 2020 at 2:24 pm

Reply about conditions in Hattiesburg for Judy2Shoes.
Did some running around the local Medical Industrial Complex this morning. What a difference a week makes. The attitude about the coronavirus is completely different from last week.

Now there are people walking around the clinic and hospital wearing masks, and some 'rubber' gloves. Signs up everywhere about precautions for the coronavirus. When I went to pay off a small bill associated with Phyl's leg case, there was a big sign in the glass door for the Financial Department saying that, essentially, if you show the basic symptoms, do not come into that office but go to the ER entrance for evaluation.

No signs of panic here yet. This region is still "low information" concerning the spread and severity of the pathogen, but at least it is now a major concern locally.

All the best for your uncle.

judy2shoes , March 12, 2020 at 3:22 pm

Thank you so much, Ambrit. That makes me feel better. I have a lot of relatives in MS, but their level of concern has been shaped by the MSM. It's so much better to hear from someone like you, who is actually paying attention.

In my neck of the woods (eastern Washington), I've been trying for weeks to get people to make prudent purchases of staples to store away – just in case.

One elderly neighbor kept saying people were overreacting, but I kept at her, pointing out having a few extra supplies on hand might be a good idea and wouldn't be hoarding.

When I told her that Trump wasn't telling the public the truth, she said that people don't understand that it's his job to keep the public calm. I could have walked her through the dangerous results of his lying (and everything else he's doing), but I let it go. At least she started to collect supplies a couple of weeks ago, and now she's in somewhat of an overreacting mode. I don't care. Whatever keeps her safe.

Best to you and Phyl, Ambrit.

ambrit , March 12, 2020 at 4:46 pm

Less than stellar news addendum.
Do call that 'Assisted Living' place and agitate for your uncle now. This afternoon, local news announces that Hattiesburg has first probable case in Mississippi. A man who visited Florida recently is "self isolated at home" after a first positive test result. Secondary test being done now. Test happening at State lab.
See: https://www.wdam.com/2020/03/12/forrest-county-man-is-first-presumptive-coronavirus-case-miss/
At least the locals are mentally prepared now
Be strong.

MLTPB , March 12, 2020 at 5:37 pm

Didn't Arizona declare war on California in 1934?

Will we see states blocking other states? Can they do that?

ambrit , March 12, 2020 at 7:59 pm

That Lake Havasu travesty is all "Water Over The Dam" now. The real 1930s War was between the Coastals and the Okies. See "The Grapes of Wrath" for a literary rundown on that one. (No Pink P -- y Hats in that fight. People were killed.)
Insofar as the States have their own Health Authorities, they could ban certain types of "contagious" people from entering their environs. I have seen cases of local Organs of State Security requiring exile from a particular State in return for non-prosecution of certain non-violent offenses.
The balance of power between the States and the Federal Government is an always evolving 'situation.'

[Mar 12, 2020] I know of a Miami emergency room tech who just finished a 72 hour shift, was given a 12 hour break who says they are overwhelmed and getting burned out.

Mar 12, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

BillWade , 11 March 2020 at 01:09 PM

Might not it be prudent to take all personnel currently in basic training from all branches and give them basic medic training and oxygen ventilator training and have them ready to deploy where ever needed. The Lombard region of Italy is already considering lowering the triage age from 70 to 60.

I know of a Miami emergency room tech who just finished a 72 hour shift, was given a 12 hour break who says they are overwhelmed and getting burned out.

[Mar 12, 2020] I'm not trying to minimise the impact, but my feeling is that it has more to do with the falling rate of profit than the number of sick people.

Mar 12, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Barovsky , Mar 11 2020 17:57 utc | 32

b, time for a cooler head. Okay, as the Russian virologist said, a new virus is a 'meeting of strangers', so we have to get to 'know' each other first and this takes time. So, just as we got to 'know' the various flu varieties and built immunities to them, so too the virus gets to 'know' us and undergoes its mutations. After all, if it kills all its hosts, it kills itself.

The thing about 'bat' flu is that it seems to kill the old and the sick but leaves the majority with well, flu and I'm one of those old folk (I'm almost 75 and with a bunch of metal tubes in my heart but with a strong immune system, so wish me luck).

I think you're overreacting somewhat.

Is it because it's only the so-called developed nations that have a high preponderance of older people that we're seeing this panic, or is because capitalism was on the verge of meltdown anyway?

My feeling is that the barbarians have no compunction in sacrificing the old and sick. Social Darwinism Rules OK! And don't forget, the wealthy are mostly old too!!

I'm not trying to minimise the impact, but my feeling is that it has more to do with the falling rate of profit than the number of sick people.

Bruce Aylward, Deputy DG of WHO, who is interviewed in this article makes eminent sense but his views have been universally ignored in the West (he spent time in China in February), I more than suspect because of the West's racist anti-Chinese attitudes, else why ignore virtually all of his recommendations?

[Mar 11, 2020] Coronavirus Epidemic Update 34 US Cases Surge, Chloroquine Zinc Treatment Combo, Italy Lockdown

Mar 10, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update 34 with pulmonologist & critical care specialist Roger Seheult, MD of https://www.MedCram.com

[Mar 10, 2020] How US counts the sick when CDC test kits are unreliable amd by-and-large unavailble?

Mar 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Tom_LX , Mar 9 2020 19:35 utc | 23

Posted by: charliechan | Mar 9 2020 19:30 utc | 20

Charli Chan ask right question.

charlie cha wonders how US counts the sick when CDC test kits are unreliable.

and unavailable in quantities necessary !!!!

[Mar 10, 2020] The USA is particularly poorly set up to cope with COVID-19 epidemics, thanks to our fragmented public health system and overpriced, privatized and less than comprehensive health care. That bad situation is made worse by the CDC being short on resources and hamstrung further by the Trump Administration's PR imperatives

Mar 10, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

New Wafer Army , March 9, 2020 at 5:29 am

The glue appears at the start of the article:

"the US is particularly poorly set up to cope, thanks to our fragmented public health system and overpriced, privatized and less than comprehensive health care. That bad situation is made worse by the CDC being short on resources and hamstrung further by the Trump Administration's PR imperatives."

Basically, it is expected that Europe manages the crisis less badly.

Eustache de Saint Pierre , March 9, 2020 at 12:18 pm

It has been interesting watching Dr. John Campbell's growing realisation & some shock that everything is not well with the US healthcare system & he has received some abuse but also support from Americans for his growing criticism.

His listing as requested of his 2 degrees & Phd, never mind his long front line experience & his books I think shut some up for perhaps thinking that he was only a nurse, but perhaps he shouda gone to NakedCapitalism.

[Mar 10, 2020] It is the overwhelming of ICUs and the whole health care system that makes the new virus much more deadly

Mar 10, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

b , 09 March 2020 at 06:18 PM

...It is the overwhelming of ICUs and the whole health care system that makes the new virus much more deadly than it would be without overwhelmed ICUs.

That is because it is a NEW virus and we do not have a basic immunity against it in our societies like we do have against common flu viruses.

For your age Pat, the death rate may be 5% with functional ICUs available. With overwhelmed ICUs the death rate for your age will be above 50%.

Consider that Lombardy, which is now overwhelmed, has now a death rate over all cases of 6% while South Korea, which effectively limited the spread through early testing and is not overwhelmed, limited the death rate to below 1%.

Stephanie , 09 March 2020 at 06:38 PM
...Read this article.

https://www.moonofalabama.org/2020/03/is-the-coronavirus-really-more-dangerous-than-the-flu.html#more

Whatever you may think of the blogger, he is absolutely 100% correct here. Executive summary: if you extend the time period over which the epidemic occurs by testing and quarantining, you reduce the risk that your health care system will collapse, like it has in Italy. South Korea is the case where testing has prevented their health care system collapsing. Their health care system has not collapsed. Italy's has.

And now we will wait and see what happens in the U.S. Trump is betting his re-election on your being right.

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