The Coronavirus (COVID-19) is Likely Already Here

26 02 2020

Habitual lying eventually becomes a credibility problem. For a president who has lied more than 13,435 times (as of October 14, 2019), credibility points have already been spent a long time ago. So is any competence. With the number of firings he has done, including the “best people he only hires”, the government is stretched pretty thin to respond to crises. He has dismantled the chain of command with regards to many things, pandemics being one of them. The entire pandemic chain of command, the global health security unit within the NSC, and the DHS epidemic team were pushed out; no one was ever replaced. Why? Because President Obama created it and Trump has to destroy everything he did because of a joke at a Correspondent’s Dinner that embarrassed him. Trump also defunded the CDC several years in a row. Last May, he fired his global health response experts that worked at the White House with the National Security Council and never filled these positions subsequently. There is no single individual in charge of this response—not a loyalist who will tow his lies but a real scientist that will give us facts. Now Trump’s just winging it with no real respect of science, but lots of respect for conspiracy theories.

The scientists within the CDC and elsewhere have a good feel for what is going on; the truth always comes out with the CDC speaking out today. The stock market and the course of this disease are things that Trump cannot predict.

It started with Twitter, as all things President Trump does. He posted that everything in the US was fine and under control. That’s a lie; it is NOT. It also said we were very close to a vaccine. That’s a lie; we are NOT.

In two days, the stock market dropped quite a bit, translating to $1.7 trillion of stock-market value. And what does Trump say? He’s worried that with the stock market dropping, it will hurt his re-election chances. I had to rewind what I was listening to and make sure I heard that right. It sounded like him because everything revolves around him, not any of the Americans who are affected.

According to Dr. Matt McCarthy, an infectious disease physician, an expert in superbugs at NY-Presbyterian Hospital in New York, he believes more people in this country are already affected and don’t even know it because it mimics the flu.

Dr. McCarthy, who is a practicing physician and professor of medicine, authored a book called, “Superbugs: The Race To Stop An Epidemic, said this during the interview: “We don’t need $2.5 million for a vaccine. We need to learn how to diagnose this. The FDA and CDC came out with a test and the test is flawed. The US is only testing 16 people a day. The rules [in our country] state that once a public health emergency is declared, certain rules go into place. One of them is that we, in the US, have to approve an FDA test.” His frustration is that he does not have the tools to diagnose this in the US at one of the best hospitals in the world. He said this about what needs to happen:  Liberalize the testing policy. We have to make sure it is a true positive as many companies will come out saying they have a test.

Per Dr. McCarthy: The CDC failed us here. We need a new process. We could reach out to labs all over the country to come up with a test, testing every patient in every hospital that presents with influenza symptoms. This is why the markets are destabilizing; too much uncertainty.

Today, the CDC said, “It’s not so much a question of if this will happen anymore, but rather more of a question of exactly when this will happen and how many people in this country will have severe illness.

Dr. McCarthy added that Trump asking for a vaccine is putting the cart before the horse. We have to learn how to diagnose this. Cases are skyrocketing all over the world and the US is eerily quiet because there is no testing for it. The have only tested a few hundred people.

Todd Ackerman of the Houston Chronicle said that there may be a vaccine to thwart the new coronavirus stored in a freezer in a lab in Baylor-UTMB. A vaccine that was being developed for SARS shares 82% of its genes with COVID-19. As the CDC confirmed today, any vaccine will take 1 to 1-1/2 years before it could be brought to the market.

In the meantime, we need to get a test to diagnose this, to separate those with COVID-19 and those who have just the flu or pneumonia. Our health care professionals need to be very cautious because they will wind up having to care for these patients and put their health at risk.

Suspect decisions made by Trump including allowing 14 healthy people to get on a plane after the CDC said they should absolutely not get on that plane with patients who had COVID-19.  Also telling the public that things will taper off “in the spring with the heat.” Again, there is no scientific basis for this statements. These decisions are not being made with the public’s best interest in mind. He also said we have a vaccine coming around the corner; again, not true-best case scenario per the scientists is that we are about 18 months away from something like that. Azar said we had 30 million masks but when pressed then he stated that is clearly not enough. When pressed into telling the truth, things are leaking out. Trump keeps finding himself isolated in these perspectives. Today NEC Chair Larry Kudlow said, “We have contained this. We have contained this. I won’t say airtight, but pretty close to airtight.” This is the guy that told people in September of 2008 to buy stocks as the markets were crashing. Acting Secretary of Homeland Security and Under Secretary of Homeland Security for Strategy, Policy and Plans, Chad Wolf, the agency that is coordinating the response to COVID-19, was ripped apart by GOP Senator John Kennedy of Louisiana for failing to do his job with his less than knowledgeable answers.

Dr. Nancy Messonnier of the CDC said she told her children, “While I didn’t think they were at risk right now, we as a family ought to be preparing for significant disruption to our lives.” I feel this is prudent. My husband and I discussed that perhaps we will get what we normally get for hurricane supplies early. Power could definitely be affected because people have to man the power plants. No power—no gas can get pumped. Perhaps buying some masks to wear. We are likely going to get our containers for gas so that we can use with a small generator we have that would allow us to keep our refrigerator on, or unplugging it to plug in a washer. Prescription medications would be difficult to get in advance, but over-the-counter medications we certainly can stock up on. We aren’t going crazy; just being cautious.

And what is Donald J. Trump concerned about? Not you. Not your family. Not anybody in this country. He is concerned about how this tragedy might help or hurt his re-election chances.  #sad



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