Coronavirus (1 Viewer)

Poindexter

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Trump says U.S. in 'very good shape' on coronavirus. Health officials aren't so confident.
President Donald Trump said Tuesday said that the United States was in "very good shape" when it comes to preparing for the deadly coronavirus illness known as COVID-19, while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned that only it's a matter of when — not if — it will spread across communities in the U.S.

"Ultimately we expect we will see community spread in this country," Dr. Nancy Messonier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, told reporters on a conference call. While the CDC has been preparing for a possible outbreak, Messonier said hospitals and schools should be doing the same.

"These are things that people need to start thinking about now," Messonier said. "We are asking the American public to prepare for the expectation that this might be bad."

Her comments came hours after Trump spoke about the coronavirus at a news conference in India, saying it is "very well under control in our country."

"I think that whole situation will start working out. Lot of talent, a lot of brainpower is being put behind it," Trump said.

The administration's mixed messaging was also evident on Capitol Hill.

Full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak

Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf told senators that "the threat right now remains low," and he said a vaccine was just months away. But Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., told Wolf that senators had been told in a briefing earlier in the day that a vaccine was further off.

"Your numbers aren't the same as CDC's," Kennedy said. "You don't know why you have a discrepancy?"

Wolf said he'd defer to the CDC. He told Kennedy that he wasn't sure how many Americans could be infected or how well-stocked the country was in items like masks and ventilators.

"You're supposed to keep us safe. And the American people deserve some straight answers on the coronavirus — and I'm not getting them from you," Kennedy said.

"I disagree," Wolf said.

In separate Senate testimony, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar called COVID-19 an "unprecedented, potentially severe health challenge globally" and asked for an additional $2.5 billion to combat it on behalf of the Trump administration.

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Republicans and Democrats alike said that might not be enough.

"If you lowball something like this, you'll deal with it later," Sen. Richard Shelby, R-Ala., told Azar.

The White House requested the money as key government accounts are running low. The Department of Health and Human Services, or HHS, had already tapped into an emergency infectious disease rapid-response fund and was seeking to transfer more than $130 million from other HHS accounts to combat the virus, but it is pressing for more.

The administration is requesting $1.25 billion in new funding and wants to transfer $535 million more from an Ebola preparedness account, which has been a top priority of Democrats. The White House anticipates shifting money from other HHS accounts and other agencies to complete the $2.5 billion response plan.


House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., toured San Francisco's Chinatown, where concerns over the coronavirus have had an impact on businesses, on Monday, Feb. 24, 2020. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images
The White House request includes more than $1 billion to develop a vaccine, as well as money for therapeutics and stockpiles of protective equipment like masks.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif., said in a statement that the administration's request "is long overdue and completely inadequate to the scale of this emergency."

She accused the Trump administration of having left critical positions vacant at the National Security Council and the Department of Homeland Security.

"And now, the president is compounding our vulnerabilities by seeking to ransack funds still needed to keep Ebola in check," Pelosi said.

"The president should not be raiding money that Congress has appropriated for other life-or-death public health priorities," she said, suggesting that the House would move forward with its own plan.

Sen. Roy Blunt, R-Mo., defended the administration's handling of the outbreak, calling it "an all-hands-on-deck effort." As for the White House's funding request, he said, "we'll decide the final numbers."

In a meeting with business leaders Tuesday in India, Trump noted Monday's drop in the financial markets as the virus continues to spread. The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed down more than 1,000 points Monday over coronavirus fears, and the losses continued into Tuesday.

"I think it's going to be under control," Trump said in New Delhi.

Earlier, Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., dismissed the White House's effort as "too little too late."

"That President Trump is trying to steal funds dedicated to fight Ebola — which is still considered an epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo — is indicative of his towering incompetence and further proof that he and his administration aren't taking the coronavirus crisis as seriously as they need to be," Schumer said in a statement.

Trump tweeted Tuesday that Schumer is "complaining, for publicity purposes only, that I should be asking for more money than $2.5 Billion to prepare for Coronavirus. If I asked for more he would say it is too much."

Schumer fired back on the Senate floor, accusing the administration of "towering and dangerous incompetence" in its response to the crisis and calling for the appointment of an independent "czar" to oversee the response. Schumer also called for $3.1 billion in new funding and for the president to leave the Ebola funds where they are. Doing otherwise, he said, would be "robbing Peter to pay Paul."

As for Trump's tweet about his earlier comments, Schumer said: "I'm glad he's noticed. Maybe he'll start taking this issue more seriously."

Mitt Romney of Utah, the lone Republican senator who voted with Democrats to remove Trump from office during his impeachment trial, said he'd "like to see us investing more than we have been and probably more than we're even planning in this stage to make sure that in the event that something comes to this country or it spreads that we're able to care for our people."

There have been no deaths from the coronavirus illness in the United States, but there are confirmed cases.

The CDC says that there have been two cases of person-to-person transmission in the U.S. and that the virus can be spread via respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The CDC says on its website that the virus is not currently spreading in the U.S.

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The majority of deaths linked to COVID-19 have been in mainland China, where the outbreak began. There have been 12 deaths in Iran, eight in South Korea, seven in Italy and others elsewhere, according to public health officials.

In mainland China, the National Health Commission reported a total of 2,663 deaths linked to COVID-19 Tuesday morning local time.

There have been more than 77,600 confirmed cases in mainland China, according to the commission. The center of the outbreak has been in Hubei province, where Wuhan is located.

Let Us Count the Ways the Trump Administration Is Underprepared to Tackle the Coronavirus

Coronavirus. Passengers arrive at Heathrow Airport in London after the last British Airways flight from China touched down in the UK following an announcement that the airline was suspending all flights to and from mainland China with immediate effect amid the escalating coronavirus crisis. AP

The coronavirus outbreak is intensifying, with at least 6,065 cases and 132 deaths worldwide, as of Wednesday afternoon. So far, doctors have confirmed five cases in the United States, all in people who have picked it up abroad. The virus doesn’t yet appear to be spreading between people in the United States, but public health experts warn that it’s almost certain that number of cases will increase in the coming weeks—and they’re scrambling to prepare diagnostic tests and treatment protocols.

This isn’t the first time a rapidly spreading virus has threatened the United States: In recent history alone, recall H1N1 in 2009, Ebola in 2014, and Zika in 2016. So have those outbreaks made us better prepared for an influx of coronavirus cases? We’ve made some progress in the last few years. But experts agree it’s not nearly enough.

First, the good news: In the wake of the Ebola and Zika outbreaks, the Trump administration actually made a few strategic moves to prevent the spread of disease around the world. It invested substantially in the CDC’s Global Health Security program, which helps set up infectious disease monitoring and treatment centers around the world. In 2017, the administration created a $70 million Emergency Reserve Fund at USAID to respond to outbreaks of contagious disease, along with a similar $50 million Rapid Response Fund at the CDC.

On the other hand, in May 2019, the president’s proposed budget for global health was dramatically lower than it had been in previous years—$8 billion for 2020, compared with more than $10 billion every year since 2010.

And here in the United States, epidemic preparedness hasn’t been a priority, to put it mildly. Let’s start with the leadership in the White House—or lack thereof. At the beginning of the Trump administration, public health legend Rear Admiral Tim Ziemer led a global health security team at the White House’s National Security Council. This, almost everyone agreed, was a very good thing: Ziemer had years of experience—under President George W. Bush, he had led a successful effort to fight malaria overseas. His team, a group of world-class infectious disease and public health experts—was working on implementing a national biodefense strategy to coordinate agencies in order to make the United States more resilient to the threat of biowarfare and epidemics.

But in 2018, when John Bolton assumed the role of national security advisor, Ziemer left, and Bolton disbanded his team, amid public outcry. No one has since filled the position. And Ziemer wasn’t the only public health advocate to jump ship: White House homeland security advisor Tom Bossert, a staunch advocate of infectious disease preparedness and the biodefense strategy, left soon after Bolton took over.

That no one in the White House is coordinating a multi-agency response to the coronavirus is “worrisome,” says Asha George, executive director of the global public health advocacy group Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense. “Is it the CDC director?” she says. “Where is the surgeon general? He could be issuing messages. But I’m not seeing any of that.” Rebecca Katz, director of Georgetown University’s Center for Global Health Science and Security, echoed those concerns. “The decision to get rid of the directorate within the NSC, the pandemic response officer—people in our field found that really distressing,” she said.

If Ziemer and his team had been able to implement the biodefense strategy they were working on, there would likely be a better plan for leadership, she said. But unfortunately, according to George, that strategy is currently languishing in bureaucratic limbo: “It just kind of lost steam.”

What else could that strategy have helped with? For starters, a plan for hospitals. After the Ebola crisis, the US Department of Health and Human Services and the CDC designated the three US hospitals that successfully treated Ebola patients as infectious disease centers—they received additional training, staff, and resources to prepare for future outbreaks. That’s a start, says George, but three expert hospitals won’t be of much use in the case of a nationwide epidemic. “If you have a disease that’s spreading, then having just a few hospitals is ridiculous.”

The biodefense strategy also would have helped set up a system to disseminate accurate, up-to-date information about the spread of disease. But Georgetown’s Katz said she has been disheartened by the lack of public information about the coronavirus. Ideally, she said, citizens would be able to check with local officials—say, their county health departments—for accurate updates, symptom lists, and instructions on how to get treated. Katz told me she wasn’t even sure if doctors, other healthcare providers, and local health departments know where to find the latest information. Ostensibly, they can check a CDC service called Health Alert Network, “but I don’t even know if everyone knows to go to it,” she said.

Preparing a country for infectious disease is a complicated process—to do it right will require sustained attention and resources, and it’s unlikely that a comprehensive plan will materialize in time to make a real difference as the coronavirus spreads. Still, the experts I spoke to agreed that the Trump Administration could take a few immediate steps that would dramatically improve our chances of weathering an outbreak. For starters, Trump could appoint someone at the White House to oversee the response to the virus, publicizing an easily accessible official source of public information.

That might not be top priority—George points out that Trump has a few other things going on. “We have an impeachment going on; we have some pretty significant national security things going on, with Iran, and with North Korea—and now they have to deal with coronavirus,” she says. “Trying to react and respond while all of this other stuff is happening,” she says, “is just really difficult.”
 

Poindexter

Reputation: ∞
Staff member

Coronavirus: CDC finds some test kits sent to states are faulty
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has found that some coronavirus test kits delivered to state laboratories are faulty.

The test kits were delivered to enable states to carry out testing locally rather than transporting samples to CDC headquarters in Atlanta, expediting the diagnosis process.

The public health institute is working to ship replacements, report Reuters.

After receiving the test kits, state labs must verify them to ensure that they function correctly.

However, some public health labs reported that during a routine verification process, the kits provided inconclusive results.

In a press conference, CDC National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases director Dr Nancy Messonnier said: “When a state gets the test kits, they have to verify that it works the same in their lab that it worked at CDC.

“And when some states were doing this, we received feedback that they weren’t, that it wasn’t working as expected, specifically some public health labs at states were getting inconclusive results and what that means is that test results were not coming back as false positive or false negatives but they were being read as inconclusive.”

Messonnier speculates that an issue with one of three assays and inconsistent performance by a reagent are likely behind the inconclusive results.

However, officials did not specify how many kits were faulty.

Meanwhile, the death toll due to coronavirus outbreak jumped to 1,369 with 254 new fatalities reported at the end of 12 February.

Recently, the virus was officially named Covid-19 by the World Health Organization (WHO).

The total number of Covid-19 cases in the US is 14.
 

Ct_L33T

Well-Known Member
So much I'll advised opinions on this issue.

The #1 goal of public health is to protect the health/safety of a population. The spread of panic and fear is directly counter productive to this goal, in this regard Trump has actually done the right thing (in terms of public speaking). Without an effective solution prepared, raising awareness within the general public will result in chaos, making containment of the illness more difficult to contain.

Here's some facts about the virus. You can have it for up to 27 days without showing symptoms, yet you can still infect others throughout that time. The virus mutates rapidly (like the common cold) so an effective vaccine is unlikely.

Most likely China has been under reporting incidence rates in order to not cause panic within their country/economy, but global preparedness is largely influenced by social behavior and institutional backing. That's why China can build a massive medical center in a week and quarantine an entire city. That shit wouldn't fly in America.

These are the type of conditions that make an illness become a pandemic.
 

Noise

Ruido
Malaria: 800,000/year.
Heart disease (in America alone): 647,000/year.
Cancer (in America alone): 156,000/year.
Lightning: 24,000/year.
From not wearing your seatbelt: 16,836/year.
Falling coconuts: 150/year.
Champagne corks: 24/year.
Falling icicles: 15/year.
 

Kevo

SMOKE BOMB!
Malaria: 800,000/year.
Heart disease (in America alone): 647,000/year.
Cancer (in America alone): 156,000/year.
Lightning: 24,000/year.
From not wearing your seatbelt: 16,836/year.
Falling coconuts: 150/year.
Champagne corks: 24/year.
Falling icicles: 15/year.
Don't look into escalator accidents, that shit'll freak you out.
 

Poindexter

Reputation: ∞
Staff member
So much I'll advised opinions on this issue.

The #1 goal of public health is to protect the health/safety of a population. The spread of panic and fear is directly counter productive to this goal, in this regard Trump has actually done the right thing (in terms of public speaking). Without an effective solution prepared, raising awareness within the general public will result in chaos, making containment of the illness more difficult to contain.

Here's some facts about the virus. You can have it for up to 27 days without showing symptoms, yet you can still infect others throughout that time. The virus mutates rapidly (like the common cold) so an effective vaccine is unlikely.

Most likely China has been under reporting incidence rates in order to not cause panic within their country/economy, but global preparedness is largely influenced by social behavior and institutional backing. That's why China can build a massive medical center in a week and quarantine an entire city. That shit wouldn't fly in America.

These are the type of conditions that make an illness become a pandemic.
Trump has not spread fear, in that he hasn't shown much concern; however, he has given misinformation that hasn't been arrived at scientifically whatsoever: it's seasonal, the warm weather will be a remedy, it's going away, a vaccine is near, etc., while at the same time dismantling the government's institutional ability to respond to issues such as pandemics, etc. The long incubation, the lack of a vaccine, and the possibility that it is airborne, are the main concerns, is that correct?
 

Ct_L33T

Well-Known Member
Yea. I was only referring to him doing the right thing by trying to keep the public calm. As far as his administration's handling of staffing/funding for our public health institutions, he has been terrible.

Warm weather will certainly decrease the prevalence of the virus, just like the common cold, but it won't remove it from the ecosystem entirely.

Keep in mind, America isn't the only authority on health. Every first world country's public health institutions are monitoring the disease and I think they are all very concerned.

This is my opinion mostly, but the way this virus propagates leads me to the conclusion that it will be amongst us indefinitely. Which is indeed terrifying.
 
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Ct_L33T

Well-Known Member
Can y'all imagine if they tried to quarantine an American city, say Atlanta? Shit, it would be absolute pandemonium; honestly, it's a state of emergency if we get just 1 inch of snow.
 

Noise

Ruido
If this thing doesn't produce fanged zombies across our city streets, y'all and the media finna owe Abuelito Trump a motherfucking apology.
 

nbm02ss

Well-Known Member
What're the Vegas odds on a catastrophic outbreak? Daddy needs a ludicrously irresponsible personal loan, but I don't want to have to pay it back.
 

Ninjastix

The Fat Mamba
Site Donor
You know it'd be far less of an issue in the US if there weren't so many uninsured/underinsured medically skeptical people. A developed nation with a national healthcare program doesn't seem like it'd have much to worry about. But the impact to the underinsured should it spread here will be costly.

It may not cost lives but it's gonna make the economy sick. No reason an issue like this should be politicized. Really wish those on either end of the spectrum could just hang out for a bit in closed garages with running cars.

Talk out your differences while it all goes black and leave the rest of us be please.
 

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