Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Trump And His Band Of Clowns Were As Ill-Prepared For The Coronavirus As You'd Expect Them To Be


I've been with with the same financial advisor for something like 25 or 30 years. She's never let me make big market moves. Yesterday she did-- although probably not big enough.

Let's start with the fact that there are now more new coronavirus cases outside China than in that country and that the CDC warning that coronavirus is on its way here and the CDC is preparing for a "potential pandemic."
Nancy Messonnier, the CDC’s director of the Center for the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, said Tuesday that the agency expects sustained spread and called for efforts to prepare for diagnosing and treating a larger number of cases.

“We expect we will see community spread in this country,” said Dr. Messonnier. “It’s more of a question of when.”

In the U.S., there have been 14 confirmed local cases, with an additional three cases among the passengers from the U.S. chartered flights and 40 from the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention officials say the immediate threat to the general public in the U.S. is still low.

So far, public-health systems have sought to contain any cases in the U.S. to delay the virus’s spread. The effort consists of isolating confirmed cases, while monitoring close contacts for any signs of infection.

This strategy is most effective when the case count is relatively low and each case can be epidemiologically linked to each other and traced back to an original source, public-health authorities say.

That is the situation currently, with the confirmed cases within the U.S. occurring among people who had recently traveled to China, were a close contact of a case or were on the Diamond Princess cruise ship.

If the virus spreads more widely throughout the U.S., it might become difficult or impossible to contain it with the current methods, public-health authorities say. Rather, efforts would shift to strategies designed to stem the virus’s transmission, such as closing schools, canceling mass gatherings and requiring employees work from home.

“The disruption of daily life might be severe,” Dr. Messonnier said.

So far, health authorities have tested a total of 426 people in the U.S. for the virus, not including those who have been repatriated.

Meanwhile, Trump-- bullshitting as always-- "predicted the coronavirus is 'going to go away' despite warnings from Democrats that his White House is asleep amid cresting fears in Washington that the outbreak could spark a pandemic... But behind the scenes the President is less calm, and he is expressing frustration at some of the ways his administration is responding to the outbreak, sources familiar with the conversations told CNN. His mood reflects a growing realization among Trump's staff that the coronavirus is going to pose a greater challenge than previously understood."

Coke freak Kudlow
Nonetheless, Trump's top economic adviser, crazy drug addict Lawrence Kudlow made the baseless claim-- out and out lied-- on CNBC yesterday that "We have contained this; I won’t say airtight but pretty close to airtight." Nancy Messonnier, the head of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases, had a very different perspective than Trump and Kudlow and told the country we need to prepare now for the possibilities of remote work, teleschooling and other provisional measures when the disease starts spreading domestically. The CNN report noted that "Democrats are now sounding the alarm, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer charging Monday that the President is 'asleep at the wheel' as the threat builds. A serious outbreak in the U.S. could put a health system already facing a tough flu season under severe pressure, posing an organizational challenge for an administration that habitually stokes chaos and sends mixed messages. Speaking to reporters on Tuesday, Dr. Nancy Messonnier of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said it's too soon to tell whether the problem will go away, as the President suggested. 'We're going to be, again, preparing as if this is going to continue, preparing as if we're going to see community spread in the near-term. But I'm always going to be hopeful that disease will decline either for the summer, or that we'll be over-prepared and that we won't see this kind of high levels of transmission here in the U.S.,' she said. Trump has fired personnel and significantly cut the budget of the CDC in order to pay for the tax cut he gave to billionaires.
Even if worst-case scenarios don't come to pass, Trump's so far blasé approach to the virus, assuring Americans that Chinese President Xi Jinping is on top of the epidemic, does not seem sustainable for much longer. The President has also confidently predicted that warming spring weather could snuff out coronavirus, despite no evidence that is the case.

Yet as disquiet mounted by the hour in Washington, Trump was still not showing much concern late Monday about a virus that has infected more than 80,000 people and killed at least 2,704 worldwide and has now popped up in South Korea, Iran, Italy, Afghanistan, Kuwait and elsewhere.

During a visit to India, the President sent a tweet suggesting all was well, and predicted the stock market would bounce back.

"The coronavirus is very much under control in the USA. We are in contact with everyone and all relevant countries. CDC & World Health have been working hard and very smart. Stock Market starting to look very good to me!" Trump tweeted.

The President was technically correct. Coronavirus cases here have been linked to Americans returning home from China or Japan, and have yet to spread outside contained areas. But his tone jarred with an increasingly ominous mood back home.

In a sign of increasing urgency, the administration gave senators a classified briefing on Tuesday morning about coronavirus contingency plans. Officials from the CDC, Department of Health and Human Services, the Department of Homeland Security, the National Institutes of Health and the State Department took part.

Lawmakers leaving the briefing Tuesday said that officials told them that a vaccine is at least one year to 18 months away.

"The vaccine for the Coronavirus is moving more rapidly than any vaccine we have already tried to approve-- but it will take a year or 18 months," said retiring Republican Sen. Lamar Alexander, who chairs the Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions Committee. "The way to stop (an outbreak) is quarantine and monitoring."

He added, "I believe it's under control. Do I think it will spread in the United States? The advice we got today is inevitably it will spread."

The White House, meanwhile, asked Congress for $1.25 billion in emergency funding to combat the outbreak.

"The Administration believes additional Federal resources are necessary to take steps to prepare for a potential worsening of the situation in the United States," it said in a letter sent to Capitol Hill.

In a statement, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blasted the emergency funding request as "long overdue and completely inadequate to the scale of this emergency." She hinted that her chamber would provide more resources than Trump requested.

"The House will swiftly advance a strong, strategic funding package that fully addresses the scale and seriousness of this public health crisis," Pelosi said.

Schumer had slammed Trump earlier Monday, saying the President was not taking the situation sufficiently seriously.

"All of the warning lights are flashing bright red. We are staring down a potential pandemic and the administration has no plan," the New York Democrat warned.

"The Trump administration has been asleep at the wheel. President Trump, good morning, there is a pandemic of coronavirus. Where are you?"

After the administration's funding request was unveiled, Schumer criticized it as "too little, too late."

Privately, Trump has lashed out against decisions made by his team and insisted stricter controls be put in place to prevent those with coronavirus-- even Americans-- from entering the United States, the sources told CNN.

...Trump was upset to learn that 14 Americans who tested positive for coronavirus were allowed to fly back to the United States after spending weeks in quarantine on a cruise ship in Japan. He was initially told they would remain in Asia for further quarantine and was frustrated he wasn't kept abreast of the decision-making to allow them to return to the U.S.
At a private Senate briefing, Mitt Romney warned the hapless goons the Trump Regime sent over that the White House has not adequately or quickly prepared for what may be coming. "I’m very disappointed in the degree to which we’ve prepared for a pandemic, both in terms of protective equipment and in terms of medical devices that would help people once they are infected. At this stage, I think we are substantially underinvesting in what would be appropriate for a setting which could be serious... I think we should be pulling out all the stops."

Back in January, Laurie Garrett, reporting for Foreign Policy wrote that Trump has sabotaged America's conornavirus response and that thanks to him and his policies we've "never been less prepared for a pandemic."
In 2018, the Trump administration fired the government’s entire pandemic response chain of command, including the White House management infrastructure. In numerous phone calls and emails with key agencies across the U.S. government, the only consistent response I encountered was distressed confusion. If the United States still has a clear chain of command for pandemic response, the White House urgently needs to clarify what it is-- not just for the public but for the government itself, which largely finds itself in the dark.

...In May 2018, Trump ordered the NSC’s entire global health security unit shut down, calling for reassignment of Rear Adm. Timothy Ziemer and dissolution of his team inside the agency. The month before, then-White House National Security Advisor John Bolton pressured Ziemer’s DHS counterpart, Tom Bossert, to resign along with his team. Neither the NSC nor DHS epidemic teams have been replaced. The global health section of the CDC was so drastically cut in 2018 that much of its staff was laid off and the number of countries it was working in was reduced from 49 to merely 10. Meanwhile, throughout 2018, the U.S. Agency for International Development and its director, Mark Green, came repeatedly under fire from both the White House and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. And though Congress has so far managed to block Trump administration plans to cut the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps by 40 percent, the disease-fighting cadres have steadily eroded as retiring officers go unreplaced.

Public health advocates have been ringing alarm bells to no avail. Klain has been warning for two years that the United States was in grave danger should a pandemic emerge. In 2017 and 2018, the philanthropist billionaire Bill Gates met repeatedly with Bolton and his predecessor, H.R. McMaster, warning that ongoing cuts to the global health disease infrastructure would render the United States vulnerable to, as he put it, the “significant probability of a large and lethal modern-day pandemic occurring in our lifetimes.” And an independent, bipartisan panel formed by the Center for Strategic and International Studies concluded that lack of preparedness was so acute in the Trump administration that the “United States must either pay now and gain protection and security or wait for the next epidemic and pay a much greater price in human and economic costs.”

The next epidemic is now here; we’ll soon know the costs imposed by the Trump administration’s early negligence and present panic. On Jan. 29, Trump announced the creation of the President’s Coronavirus Task Force, an all-male group of a dozen advisors, five from the White House staff. Chaired by Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar, the task force includes men from the CDC, State Department, DHS, the Office of Management and Budget, and the Transportation Department. It’s not clear how this task force will function or when it will even convene.
Today Trump, while continuing to downplay the severity of the pandemic, announced that his coronavirus czar is Pence. I guess we'll all be praying for salvation.



At 1:20 AM, Blogger sink dish washing said...

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At 1:46 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Too many won't take this seriously until the wagons come calling, "Bring out your dead!"


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