Author Topic: Coronavirus Outbreak  (Read 29041 times)

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Offline theperfectdrugsk

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Offline MP-Ryan

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It's not really much worse than the flu. It's just that the world already has the flu.

Influenza has a faster spread and higher mortality rate.  In short, don't panic about coronavirus but DO go get your damn flu shot (it's free in many countries).


sigh...

Look at the date.  That was pre-Italy's data.

I DO stand by my "don't panic" statement, but I also fully agree with the measures now being introduced in most countries to flatten out the infection curve (the UK's bat**** herd immunity approach being a notable exception).  Coronavirus is undoubtedly serious and deserves a serious response - it's not-quite-but-getting-closer-to-Spanish-Flu trajectories - but the fact remains that everyone STILL has a higher risk of getting and being killed by influenza on an annual basis than coronavirus.

Now, if you've over 60 or immunocompromised, those numbers change.  Mortality rates in those subgroups are startlingly high, and this is actually the reason why everyone needs to take measures to reduce transmission.  I, for one, would like to get an ICU bed if something happened to me instead of them predominantly being occupied by older people who thought it's still a great idea to keep up with all their social activities and church groups.
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Offline Mongoose

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At least my state and those right next door forced the issue and mandated the social-distancing thing without waiting for the federal government to do nothing at all do something.  As others have said, I'm not really concerned for myself, but I am very concerned for a few immediate family members I live with who have significant health conditions.

 

Offline Su-tehp

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I work at a supermarket only two blocks from my apartment so I've seen firsthand how many of the shelves range from half-empty to almost completely stripped bare. No beef, no pork, no chicken, only cold cuts and kielbasa were left in the meat section. In the paper products section, only a few rolls of paper towels and NO toilet paper at all. I mean, seriously? Repeatedly wiping your ass might be considered hygienic, if a bit obsessive, but you're not gonna get rid of the coronavirus that way. :rolleyes:

But my sister is a bit worried I might get exposed while I work there and since I have a preexisting condition (diabetes and I had pneumonia once before) if I get the coronavirus, I might very well be ****ed with the proverbial chainsaw. Needless to say, I'm keeping my distance from customers as well as washing my hands and using hand sanitizer at every opportunity. Not to mention windexing my register and conveyer periodically. :nervous:
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I suppose it's been a century or so since a true global disaster hit. And while this may or may not result in millions dead, it will certainly throw a wrench into the current order of things for possibly years.
Stay safe everyone.

 

Offline MP-Ryan

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My wife and I were talking about this last night.  The really scary thing is that even if the control measures work, they have the side effect of ****ing the economy right over.  All kinds of businesses are being forced to close their doors, at least temporarily, and many have to lay off their workers.  Canada has an Employment Insurance program which covers people who have been working and paid into it, but the self-employed and small business owners are screwed.  And its a negative feedback loop - for every business that has to lay people off temporarily, that's fewer people spending money, which means more businesses lack revenue, which forces more layoffs, etc - this eventually trickles up to affect rent/mortgages and then banks.  And the kicker is that it won't just automatically restart when measures are relaxed - just because people can go back to work, businesses can't reopen without customer and revenue chains and if money isn't moving those won't show up.

In short, unprecedented government stimulus and aid measures direct to citizenry are going to become necessary in a whole bunch of advanced democracies.  Wouldn't it be ironic if the thing that finally triggers the middle and lower classes to stop voting for low taxes for the rich and start considering measures like universal basic incomes is a global economic meltdown brought about by a pandemic.

On another note, I am VERY mad at millionaires and billionaires right now.  Locally, food banks are begging for cash donations on radio and TV from the middle class as we bleed jobs on a daily basis, but there seems to be very little assistance from those who can most afford it.  Ryan Reynolds and Blake Lively being an apparent exception.
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Offline karajorma

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Thing is that China actually did come up with a raft of measures to help prevent people from having to sack employees during the shutdown. Not entirely sure of the details because I was pretty safe as a teacher (They just made me teach online and the school has already got the money for the term).
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Offline mjn.mixael

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What timeline is this where we are looking to China as an example of how to treat people? Lol.
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Offline The E

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What timeline is this where we are looking to China as an example of how to treat people? Lol.

The one where China's response, (once they got over the whole downplaying phase), was better organized and more effective than the american one.
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Offline mjn.mixael

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Which says so much about the American government these days...
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Offline Colonol Dekker

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Once the balloon goes up so to say, my stockpile of unused army rations (not a prepper I just didn't get rid of them 😂) means I'm good for 3 weeks or so unless I share with wife and kids in which case we'll probably last til Wednesday.

  

Offline theperfectdrugsk

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MRE veggie omelet ftw amiright?

 
The U.S. is, under this current administration, failing miserably even by the standard of countries like Iran. We have no idea how many people are infected because we literally don't have the same kind of test the rest of the world is using.

 

Offline karajorma

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And you just know that a story will quietly appear and be forgotten about / ignored by Trump's entire base that it was because someone in the administration made money off the decision to use a US kit instead.
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Offline mjn.mixael

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And you just know that a story will quietly appear and be forgotten about / ignored by Trump's entire base that it was because someone in the administration made money off the decision to use a US kit instead.

Uh pretty sure I already saw something about one of the companies set to provide kits has strong ties to Jared Kushner.... Now I gotta go find the source.
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Offline jr2

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CDC issue with test kits fixed:

https://www.npr.org/sections/health-shots/2020/02/27/809936132/cdc-fixes-issue-delaying-coronavirus-testing-in-u-s

Now, on the main issue:

Claim that US turned down WHO test kits debunked:

https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/mar/16/joe-biden/biden-falsely-says-trump-administration-rejected-w/

Quote
Biden falsely says Trump administration rejected WHO coronavirus test kits (that were never offered)
by Jon Greenberg
March 16, 2020
by Victoria Knight
March 16, 2020

tl;dr:

  • The WHO never offered to sell test kits to the United States.
  • The CDC opted to develop its own coronavirus test and did not use the WHO’s protocol for the test.
  • Other developed countries with advanced research capabilities developed their own tests. (emphasis mine)

See sources for this fact-check

Copy-pasta with links:

During Sunday night’s debate, while levelling criticism at President Donald Trump’s handling of the national response to the coronavirus pandemic, former Vice President Joe Biden said the Trump administration refused to get coronavirus testing kits from the World Health Organization.

"Look, the World Health Organization offered the testing kits that they have available and to give it to us now. We refused them. We did not want to buy them. We did not want to get them from them. We wanted to make sure we had our own," Biden said.

A similar claim on WHO test kits has also been circulating on Facebook.

The Biden campaign referred us to a Politico article that said the WHO shipped coronavirus tests to nearly 60 countries at the end of February, but the U.S. was not among them. That is technically correct, but it suggests that the United States would have been on the list under any circumstances.

The countries WHO helped are ones that lack the virology lab horsepower that exists across the United States. The outreach work by the Pan American Health Organization is a case in point.

The group is WHO’s arm in the Americas. It conducted trainings and sent materials to conduct tests to 29 nations. The list included Paraguay, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, and many others.

The group said it focused most of its efforts on "countries with the weakest health systems."

"No discussions occurred between WHO and CDC about WHO providing COVID-19 tests to the United States," said WHO spokeswoman Margaret Harris. "This is consistent with experience since the United States does not ordinarily rely on WHO for reagents or diagnostic tests because of sufficient domestic capacity."

According to interviews with several infectious disease experts, Biden’s statement leaves out key context regarding how different countries decided on which test they’d use to identify the presence of the coronavirus.

WHO lists seven different approaches — including that of China, the United States, Japan, Hong Kong, Thailand, France and Germany — each one targeting different parts of the COVID-19 genetic profile.

Christopher Mores, a global health professor at George Washington University, said that when faced with an outbreak, the WHO will usually adopt the best test that a research group brings forward.

The German one became the approach WHO circulated as its preferred model.

Aid groups, such as the Pan American Health Organization, took that model and built their training and supplies around it. If the model was like the recipe in a cookbook, the supplies were the ingredients in a home meal kit from Blue Apron.

Any country could use whatever recipe it preferred, and even if the United States had picked the WHO’s protocol, it wouldn’t need the WHO to sell it the materials to follow it. Germany released its protocol on Jan. 17, but the U.S. decided to have the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention develop its own. That protocol was published Jan. 28.

In this instance, this caused a lag in testing for the virus in the U.S.

The CDC’s test was different and more complicated than the German test. It worked in the CDC lab, but when the materials went out to state labs, some of them got inconsistent results. The CDC had to resend packages with new chemical reagents.

State laboratories started developing their own tests and were ready to use them, but had to wait for emergency approval from the Food and Drug Administration. All of this added up to a delay in testing capabilities which resulted in fewer Americans being tested and an overall slower U.S. response compared to other countries.

When asked to respond to Biden’s claim, the Trump campaign pointed to multiple news stories that said it's not uncommon for the U.S. and other countries to develop their own tests during outbreaks, and that the CDC did so during Ebola and Zika outbreaks. The campaign also said the CDC's test had a quick turnaround compared to other diagnostic tests like MERS and Zika that took months to develop. And the issue with the CDC’s protocol was not the test itself, but rather a manufacturing defect, the campaign added.

That’s not how it works

While it might seem odd that the Trump administration shunned the WHO’s coronavirus test protocol, it’s normal for countries with advanced research capabilities to want to develop a measure that they trust.

"I don’t know if WHO agreed to sell the kits to us, but it should never have been something we needed to do given our technological expertise and the fact we would have ‘taken kits from low- and middle-income countries’ that otherwise could not make or afford them," said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, in an email.

It’s also unlikely, Mores said, that the WHO offered to sell kits to the U.S., because that’s not normally what the organization does.

"In my experience, this is never something that I would have to purchase," he said.

Typically, Mores said, American labs have all of the basic ingredients and equipment to run the test — all that would be needed is the viral sequences and an exact test protocol. The only catch at the moment is that supplies of those basic ingredients are stretched thin due to high demand.

Our ruling

Biden said, "The World Health Organization offered, offered the testing kits that they have available and to give it to us now. We refused them. We did not want to buy them."

Biden has a point that the U.S. did not attempt to use the WHO test. But the U.S. would never have needed complete kits from WHO. Even if it had adopted the WHO testing approach, it already had access to all the necessary materials.

WHO said there was never any talk of WHO sending testing kits to the United States.

Biden’s words leave out other important context and information.

The U.S. chose to use its own test, rather than the one circulated by WHO. Other nations, such as China, Japan and France, also developed their own tests. Multiple public health experts said that is not unusual.

Biden’s emphasis on WHO offering kits is simply wrong. We rate this claim Mostly False.

Also

https://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/what-went-wrong-with-coronavirus-testing-in-the-us

Snopes version of the same thing with the same results here: https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/us-coronavirus-test/

Snopes debunking the Kushner conspiracy theory:

https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/kushner-oscar-covid/

Quote
What's True
Jared Kushner’s brother, Joshua, is co-founder of the health insurance start-up Oscar, which recently released an online tool to locate COVID-19 testing centers in some areas. At least in the past, Jared Kushner has had a financial interest in Oscar.

What's False (basically the entire effing thing because the facts destroy the underlying reasoning for the conspiracy theory)
Oscar is not involved in the actual process of COVID-19 testing or in the manufacturing of such a test. Oscar created a website — open to the public — that screens users to see if they qualify for a test and then provides a list of testing sites nearby.

Not copy-pasting that, you can go check the Snopes link out if you want the details and sources.

You folks stay classy in here, and give Maddow my regards.  :yes:

 

Offline karajorma

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Notice that even the link you quote points out that the decision to use American tests rather than simply copying the German one caused delays. Just cause Biden got a bunch of facts wrong doesn't mean that the CDC's decision was a good one. It was a bad choice. And I'll still bet money was behind it.
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Offline Colonol Dekker

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MRE veggie omelet ftw amiright?

Hot chocolate mixed into the porridge.  😉👌

 

Offline jr2

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Notice that even the link you quote points out that the decision to use American tests rather than simply copying the German one caused delays. Just cause Biden got a bunch of facts wrong doesn't mean that the CDC's decision was a good one. It was a bad choice. And I'll still bet money was behind it.

'

If you bother to read the context, it also points out that this was a) not unusual, and also done by several other advanced countries (China, Japan, France) and b) caused by a manufacturing defect in the CDC test that was rectified.

EDIT: A bit more detail and reasoning (Chinese tests had too high false positive rate, US wanted its own version -- again, not unusual, and like others -- also, WHO did not have its own protocol but rather simply published the German one):

https://ktla.com/news/coronavirus/who-cdc-never-discussed-providing-coronavirus-test-kits-to-the-u-s-global-health-agency-says/

EDIT 2:

Trump fired pandemic officials debunked:

https://www.politifact.com/factchecks/2020/feb/28/michael-bloomberg/did-donald-trump-fire-pandemic-officials-defund-cd/

Quote
On the first point, it’s hard to pin down whether the National Security Council staffers were "fired" in 2018, but they certainly left abruptly and have not been replaced, though other leaders in the coronavirus fight have been named in recent days.



CDC funding cut debunked:

https://www.factcheck.org/2020/03/false-claim-about-cdcs-global-anti-pandemic-work/

Quote
CDC operating budget plans show that its funding for global public health protection — which includes global disease detection and emergency response and global public health capacity — increased from $58 million in fiscal year 2017 to around $108 million in fiscal years 2018 and 2019. (And that does not include any remaining supplemental funds available for use.) The increases included nearly $50 million more each year for CDC’s global health security initiatives.

Those amounts went up again in fiscal year 2020, when the CDC was awarded $183 million for global public health protection, overall, and $125 million specifically for its global health security efforts. For fiscal year 2021, President Donald Trump has requested that CDC funding for global disease detection and other programs be increased further — to $225 million total, with $175 million going directly to global health security.
« Last Edit: March 19, 2020, 07:44:10 am by jr2 »

 
lol jr2, you may want to read the stuff you link.