Tuesday, July 07, 2020



A paper, "It is Time to Address Airborne Transmission of Covid-19," to be published in the journal, Clinical Infectious Diseases, was leaked by the Washington Post yesterday. 200 scientists from all over the world are insistent that not enough attention has been paid to the airborne spread of the coronavirus even as there is growing evidence that the virus spreads indoors through aerosols that linger in the air and can be infectious even in smaller quantities than previously thought. "Until recently," wrote Post reporters James McCauley and Emily Rauhala, "most public health guidelines have focused on social distancing measures, regular hand-washing and precautions to avoid droplets. But the signatories to the paper say the potential of the virus to spread via airborne transmission has not been fully appreciated even by public health institutions such as the WHO." The big concern is that the virus spreads "through aerosols, or tiny respiratory droplets, that infected people cough or otherwise release into the air. In crowded or poorly ventilated indoor settings, this could be especially dangerous, and would account for a number of 'superspreading' incidents" (like churches or crowded bars or Trump rallies-- or anyplace where people aren't wearing masks).
“There is no reason for fear. It is not like the virus has changed. We think it has been transmitted this way all along,” said Jose Jimenez, a chemist at the University of Colorado who signed the paper. “Knowing about it helps target the measures to control the pandemic more accurately.”

Co-author Donald Milton, a professor of environmental health at the University of Maryland, said the WHO’s apparent reluctance to emphasize this aspect of the virus’s ability to spread is probably because of the difficulty identifying tiny infectious particles.

“It is easy to find virus on surfaces, on hands, in large drops,” he said in an emailed statement. “But, it is very hard to find much less culture virus from the air-- it is a major technical challenge and naive investigators routinely fail to find it...

“Because a person breathes 10,000 to 15,000 liters of air a day and it only takes one infectious dose in that volume of air, sampling 100 or even 1000 liters of air and not finding virus is meaningless.”
The folks who run United Airlines are hardly scientists or medical doctors, but yesterday they admitted that social distancing on planes is mostly bullshit (and "theater" designed to make people feel better but without any actual benefit). That fits in with United's-- and all the greed-driven airlines'-- plans to continue selling middle seats and stuffing in all the passengers they can. Josh Earnest, United's chief communications officer, told CNN that "keeping the seat next to you open is not going to make a material difference... It is very very difficult, if not impossible to socially distance onboard an aircraft. What is going to make a material difference is wearing a mask, and having a high-quality air filter, and thoroughly cleaning the plane before you get on board." So should airline companies be legally liable for people getting sick when airlines don't endorse mask rules? Should company executives who give the orders to ease up on masking rules spend the rest of their lives in prison? Yeah, I think so too.

One senior congressional Democrat told me that he's "not comfortable with airlines making these decisions on their own. Are we going to let them decide their own safety protocols, too? How about air traffic control? They have an obvious conflict of interest, and a strong motivation to lie. It’s part of a vast and overwhelming problem-- everyone is told just 'do your own thing,' subject only to lawsuits after the fact, when someone already is injured or killed. We’re the only country in the world that’s dealing with the pandemic this way."

Meanwhile the pandemic is disappearing in Europe and growing by leaps and bounds in the U.S. On Saturday, the U.S. reported 45,182 new cases. On Sunday it was 44,530 new cases. Monday, as the U.S. hurtled past 3 million cases, there were another 50,586 confirmed new cases. CNN reported early Monday that hospitals are nearing capacity levels, exactly what effective social distancing was supposed to avoid.

This week marks about two months since many states kicked off their reopening plans-- which now officials across the country say came too quickly.

In Florida, officials shut multiple beaches throughout the state hoping to avoid July 4 crowds. The state reported 9,999 new coronavirus cases Sunday, bringing Florida's total to more than 200,000 infections.

"There's no doubt... that when we reopened, people started socializing as if the virus didn't exist," Miami Mayor Francis Suarez told ABC This Week.

In Texas, which reported its second highest day of new cases over the weekend, a local leader said the state opened "too early, too much," driving Houston hospitals to surge capacity in recent days.

"Wishful thinking is neither good economic policy, nor good public health policy," Texas Judge Lina Hidalgo said on ABC's "This Week" Sunday. "If we had stayed shut down for longer and opened more slowly, we would probably be in a more sustainable place in our economy."

The announcement came days after the governor himself-- who pushed for one of the most aggressive reopening plans in the country-- shut bars back down.

"If I could go back and redo anything it probably would have been the opening of bars, now seeing in the aftermath how quickly the coronavirus spread in the bar setting," Texas Gov. Greg Abbott has told CNN affiliate KVIA.

Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego told ABC's This Week that her state "opened way too early," attributing much of the "explosion" in cases to people between the ages of 20 and 44.

These are the states reporting a rise in cases compared to the previous week, according to Johns Hopkins University data:

Alabama, Alaska, Arizona, California, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Hawaii, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Michigan, Missouri, Montana, Nevada, New Mexico, North Carolina, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Washington state, West Virginia and Wisconsin.

Cases are trekking steady in 14 states: Arkansas, Colorado, Maine, Minnesota, Mississippi, Nebraska, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, South Dakota, Utah, Vermont, Virginia and Wyoming.

New cases are trending downward in Connecticut, Kentucky, Massachusetts and New Hampshire.

While Florida emerges as the nation's top hotspot, a CNN investigation found health authorities often failed to perform contact tracing, which has long been considered a key tool in containing coronavirus outbreaks.

CNN spoke with 27 Floridians-- or their family members-- who tested positive for the virus and only five said they received a call from health authorities asking for their contacts.

It's unclear how many contract tracers are employed by the state. A spokesperson for the state's health department told CNN there are 1,600 individuals "currently involved in contact tracing every positive case of COVID-19 in Florida" but another said there are 2,300 "individuals involved in contact tracing."

According to the Florida Department of Health, when someone tests positive for Covid-19, the department "conducts an extensive epidemiological investigation in conjunction with the [Centers for Disease Control and Prevention] to identify individuals who may have had close contact with the virus."

When CNN asked Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, how the nation is doing with contact tracing, he answered, "I don't think we're doing very well."
Goal ThermometerI asked Bob Lynch, one of the sharpest Florida candidates running for office what DeSantis and his and Trump's puppets in the legislature are doing wrong and what should be done to save lives in the Sunshine State. "The true tragedy of it all," he responded, "is that our dire health situation was entirely preventable if we had any semblance of competent leadership at the city, county, state, or national level. We closed the state too late and reopened it too early. The Florida GOP from DeSantis on down chose sychophancy over science with predictable results. Once I am elected I will help force Ron DeSantis to take the Medicaid expansion, giving 750 or so thousand Floridians coverage as we work towards Medicare for All. We need to establish true livable wages before the inevitable second wave of the virus hits. Floridians are being robbed of their own money by an Unemployment System (which they paid into) that was designed to fail. There is nowhere on the planet that failed so spectacularly at managing the virus than Miami-Dade County. The entire GOP leadership in this state needs to go. Our government should have been focusing all of their resources on how to safely reopen schools in the fall. Instead, they rushed to reopen bars and restaurants unsafely."

Labels: , , ,


At 8:18 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"Once I am elected I will help force Ron DeSantis to take the Medicaid expansion, giving 750 or so thousand Floridians coverage as we work towards Medicare for All." -- Lynch

A lie... or Lynch is an idiot. possibly both. He knows pelo$i won't ever let MFA into committee or onto the floor for discussion, much less a vote. And he cannot 'make' any state take the Medicaid expansion.

Another campaign lie that cannot ever happen.

But voters are too stupid to know this.

"Should company executives who give the orders to ease up on masking rules spend the rest of their lives in prison? Yeah, I think so too."

nonsense. no tobacco execs went to prison. the purveyors of asbestos never went to prison. purveyors of all manner of carcinogenic crap don't go to prison, even though it is trivial to prove they all knew their shit was toxic.

The only recourse is civil courts where monetary penalties may be extracted as the only punishment for willful evil.

That is where this needs to go. Clearly they cannot claim ignorance. So anyone that contracts and suffers permanent injury or death (their families) can and need to start suing airlines for everything they have.

At 4:26 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Such plaintiffs might be doing the airlines a favor suing them. There are plenty of 737 MAX aircraft that they need to unload and take off their inventories. Imagine being awarded one of THOSE as your settlement!



Post a Comment

<< Home