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  • How the CDC let us down

    There is nothing happening other than COVID-19 . Nothing. I've looked. It's COVID-19 all the way down. And whatever happens one day, the next day is even more incredible. So far, the hair-on-fire alarmists have a comfortable lead over the nay-saying cool hand Lukes, perhaps warranted, although reliable numbers are largely missing or misrepresented.

    It is already getting a bit tedious being protected in ways last seen in occupied Minsk. This must be a real pandemic however, those in charge of nomenclature have declared it so.
    If half a dozen lives per million are being lost while 300,000 per million are seeing their lives ruined by mandated unemployment and inactivity, well, the 300k just don't matter.

    As of one week ago, there is one death from Wu-Flu every seventeen minutes in New York City. Of the 17,412 tests run by New York State on the Friday before last, 44% of them (7,681) were positive. 15,000 new cases per day in America. The total for the U.S. was 101,707 that Friday, doubling in three days. The U.S. death count crossed 2,100, more than double the level from two days before.

    And now.... WOW!

    Optimists make a case for a peak in May, pessimists for August. Given the determined incompetence of the government agencies involved, the latter appears more realistic.

    John Stossel explains how the CDC has been an impediment to handling the COVID-19 epidemic, in his essay-


    Coronavirus deaths leveled off in South Korea.

    That’s because people in Korea could easily find out if they had the disease. There are hundreds of testing locations — even pop-up drive-thru testing centers.

    Because Koreans got tested, Korean doctors knew who needed to be isolated and who didn’t. As a result, Korea limited the disease without mass quarantines and shortages.

    ... the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention made its own tests and insisted that people only use those CDC tests. But the CDC test often gave inaccurate results. Some early versions of the test couldn’t distinguish between coronavirus and water
    https://patriotpost.us/opinion/69458...mic-2020-03-25


    Taiwan, Singapore and Vietnam were also prepared and responded with massive testing.
    Shouldn't we be talking about following their health-care models, instead of the European kind?



    James Copland cites the CDC for preventing a timely and effective response to the epidemic in his essay, The Real-Life Costs of Bad Regulation, at City Journal. An excerpt:


    By aggressive testing, South Korea was able to trace viral spread and contain it. Without it, the U.S. was left with little choice but the draconian measures that have shut down much of American life.

    ... the CDC’s in-house testing design was flawed, thus compromising early testing results. Mistakes happen, but the impact of the test-design flaw was much greater than it should have been—owing to the U.S. bureaucracy’s tightly controlled process. Even had the CDC test worked perfectly, not nearly enough tests would have been available for wide-scale testing on the South Korean model.

    ... it’s hard not to believe that the U.S. agencies’ decision to micromanage all national testing for Covid-19 was fatally flawed.
    https://www.city-journal.org/governm...ovid-19-crisis

  • #2
    Originally posted by Phaing View Post
    Taiwan, Singapore and Vietnam were also prepared and responded with massive testing.
    Shouldn't we be talking about following their health-care models, instead of the European kind?
    Generally yes, but the problem is that its too late for that approach already. The number of available tests isnt even enough for those who have not just symptoms but are seriously sick. In this situation its smartest to slow down the spreadrate by lockdown, while at the same time push the testing capabilities to get the korean approach going.
    Anyway its too late for the US to use the expansive testing since there are simply too many infected already. Your government has failed to take the threat seriously when it had the chance. Now its only about slowing down the spreadrate by lockdown to avoid overflooding of hospitals which is already starting to happen.

    Comment


    • #3
      Originally posted by Phaing View Post
      Taiwan, Singapore and Vietnam were also prepared and responded with massive testing.
      Shouldn't we be talking about following their health-care models, instead of the European kind?
      You can chose whichever you want, just make sure you do it for the right reasons.

      The precise system doesn't matter that much. PREPAREDNESS does. Whichever system a country has had here, what so far makes the difference is prior preparation. The east asian examples are all part of the learning experience of SARS, and the preparations put in place for a possible repeat. While the US and Europeans all were pretty much out of that one and so lessons weren't learned.

      Besides, the European systems are national and a varied bunch. It's just with a perspective of foreshortening from the US that they can all blend into some kind of general "European".

      Do what the Germans have done and you should be doing better fx. The Finns are a case in point about general preparedness. Not that the Finns specifically prepared for something like this (like the east Asian nations doing relatively well) – it's just that the Finns never concluded the Cold War had ended, and are ready for a throw-down with Russia anytime. As a consequence they have massive civil defense system, with huge stockpiles of everything from field-hospitals and ventilators, to drugs and the material and machines to set up operation to make more drugs. All suddenly very useful in these new conditions.

      I.e., and I repeat myself, the system is secondary, prior preparation is what makes the real difference. And it definitely helps if it is specific to the challenge, but just general preparation for some large-scale calamity in general helps loads. Most are being caught out by insufficient planning, preparation and a planned lack of redundancy in their health-care systems, rather than real structural problems.

      Except of course the European tendency for one-payer tax-funded systems means that lack of preparation, and redundant capacity in a crisis is a matter of not "wasting" tax-payer money on things not of immediate use, up to now. While the US situation seems more about what level of preparation and redundant capacity it commercially viable for the health-care providers that be? (But a lot of that the US could probably handle just with legislation, even if it cuts into profitability for corporations.)

      Comment


      • #4
        The fish rots from the head. And that is not a dig at trump. Eisenhower was the last good president you had. The rest have been show stars, idiots or puppets, (or in the case of my runner up - Nixon- a criminal). But it is what it is. That is your system and nothing will change unless you demand it
        Matthew 5:9 Blessed are the cheesemakers

        That's right bitches. I'm blessed!

        Comment


        • #5
          Originally posted by Johan Banér View Post
          You can chose whichever you want, just make sure you do it for the right reasons.

          The precise system doesn't matter that much. PREPAREDNESS does. Whichever system a country has had here, what so far makes the difference is prior preparation. The east asian examples are all part of the learning experience of SARS, and the preparations put in place for a possible repeat. While the US and Europeans all were pretty much out of that one and so lessons weren't learned.

          Besides, the European systems are national and a varied bunch. It's just with a perspective of foreshortening from the US that they can all blend into some kind of general "European".

          Do what the Germans have done and you should be doing better fx. The Finns are a case in point about general preparedness. Not that the Finns specifically prepared for something like this (like the east Asian nations doing relatively well) – it's just that the Finns never concluded the Cold War had ended, and are ready for a throw-down with Russia anytime. As a consequence they have massive civil defense system, with huge stockpiles of everything from field-hospitals and ventilators, to drugs and the material and machines to set up operation to make more drugs. All suddenly very useful in these new conditions.

          I.e., and I repeat myself, the system is secondary, prior preparation is what makes the real difference. And it definitely helps if it is specific to the challenge, but just general preparation for some large-scale calamity in general helps loads. Most are being caught out by insufficient planning, preparation and a planned lack of redundancy in their health-care systems, rather than real structural problems.

          Except of course the European tendency for one-payer tax-funded systems means that lack of preparation, and redundant capacity in a crisis is a matter of not "wasting" tax-payer money on things not of immediate use, up to now. While the US situation seems more about what level of preparation and redundant capacity it commercially viable for the health-care providers that be? (But a lot of that the US could probably handle just with legislation, even if it cuts into profitability for corporations.)
          The S. Korean, Taiwan and Japanese healthcare systems are also based on a national one, but this did not stop them from preparing themselves

          https://www.treatmentabroad.com/dest...em-south-korea

          The South Korean healthcare system is run by the Ministry of Health and Welfare and is free to all citizens at the point of delivery. The system is funded by a compulsory National Health Insurance Scheme that covers 97% of the population.



          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Healthcare_in_Taiwan

          The current healthcare system in Taiwan, known as National Health Insurance (NHI, {全民健康保險}), was instituted in 1995. NHI is a single-payer compulsory social insurance plan that centralizes the disbursement of healthcare funds.

          https://www.internationalinsurance.c...tems/japan.php

          The Japanese medical system is provided through universal healthcare. The first form of public healthcare in Japan began in 1927 with an employee health insurance plan. By 1961, it had evolved into a system of universal coverage.

          Even the Chinese seem to have accomplished universal healthcare coverage

          http://www.searo.who.int/entity/asia.../hit_china/en/

          Social health insurance schemes, including the rural cooperative medical scheme and the urban resident-based health insurance scheme that are mainly financed by government subsidies, and the urban employee-based health insurance scheme financed with contributions from both the employees and the employers have reached universal population coverage.

          As for the Finns, their very low population density certainly gave them a big advantage. So, I am not sure if the results there reflect some form of superior preparation.
          My most dangerous mission: I landed in the middle of an enemy tank battalion and I immediately, started spraying bullets killing everybody around me having fun up until my computer froze...

          Comment


          • #6
            Then you don't know Finland.

            As for the density question, would you be interested in looking at Iceland?

            360 000 people in total, 1417 infected by last count, i.e. almost 4/1000 people. I.e. if it was the US currently the eqv. of approx. 1.3 million infected (factoring for size). And the Icelandic population density is 9/sq. mile. In Finland it's 47. Why would Finland get a huge boost here with its figure of 47, when Norway has an even lower one of 38, but so far also has 4 times the number of infections Finland has?

            Of course, he Icelanders, due to the genomics research they have been at the centre of since the 1980's, have some interesting advantages re. testing, so the tracking there can be assumed to be relatively awesome by international standards.

            I still say that the thing to take away from all this, is that preparation pays off, and systems can vary hugely since they matter way less than preparation.

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Johan Banér View Post

              I still say that the thing to take away from all this, is that preparation pays off, and systems can vary hugely since they matter way less than preparation.
              Very well said. In other words, an ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure.

              We are not now that strength which in old days
              Moved earth and heaven; that which we are we are; One equal temper of heroic hearts
              Made weak by time and fate but strong in will
              To strive to seek to find and not to yield.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by Massena View Post

                Very well said. In other words, an ounce of preparation is worth a pound of cure.
                Well yes.

                The reason Swedes look at the Finnish situation is due to not just the proximity but the historic mirroring going on between the countries.

                Finland has reasonably retained its civil defense medical capabilities since the end of the Cold War, Sweden has not. It's preparedness re things like ICU beds etc. more resembles the UK.

                Sweden is currently at 6500 registered infections (0,65 /1000 population). It's still estimated that nationally 1/3-1/4 of the ICU beds are still unoccupied, but things are approaching critical levels in Stockholm. Like for everywhere else, estimations says that availability of ventilators would become crucial for handling a crisis.

                And the army has now put in operation its current two (2) field hospitals, one south of Stockholm, the other outside Gothenburg.

                Backtrack to the situation for the Swedish civil defense system during the Cold War, late 80's into the early 90's:
                It had the capacity for 50 field hospitals, 10 000 extra beds, 900 ventilators in storage, supplies for tending to 150 000 patients.

                It would of course have cost the government a pretty penny to maintain, but in light of the current challenge...

                Comment


                • #9
                  Originally posted by Johan Banér View Post
                  Then you don't know Finland.

                  As for the density question, would you be interested in looking at Iceland?

                  360 000 people in total, 1417 infected by last count, i.e. almost 4/1000 people. I.e. if it was the US currently the eqv. of approx. 1.3 million infected (factoring for size). And the Icelandic population density is 9/sq. mile. In Finland it's 47. Why would Finland get a huge boost here with its figure of 47, when Norway has an even lower one of 38, but so far also has 4 times the number of infections Finland has?

                  Of course, he Icelanders, due to the genomics research they have been at the centre of since the 1980's, have some interesting advantages re. testing, so the tracking there can be assumed to be relatively awesome by international standards.

                  I still say that the thing to take away from all this, is that preparation pays off, and systems can vary hugely since they matter way less than preparation.
                  For this particular epidemic, I certainly do not know what the Finnish did or did not do to prepare themselves. I will not assume though that they were prepared because they have a history of preparing themselves against the USSR.


                  Too early to tell, even looking at Iceland. And even there, if half of the population lives in the capital as opposed to Finland when there is less percentage of the population concentrated in Helsinki, you may have a LIVING population density in Iceland being higher than the one in Finland.

                  And indeed,

                  https://www.citylab.com/life/2018/02...ensity/552815/

                  Yet simply dividing the number of people by the land area of a country is not always the best way to understand population density.

                  ...


                  But we can get further clarity still by honing in on “built-up” density, which takes into account only those 1 square kilometer areas with people living in them. I call this figure “lived density,”

                  Notice how Iceland has actually a much HIGHER living population density than Finland

                  Iceland lived density 187

                  Finland lived density 53

                  Norway has also much higher lived density than Finland (89)

                  I agree with the last sentence that preparation is more important than the system in place. It is just that I am not convinced that Finland's results show such preparation. And in general, when the number of total cases are affected so by what is happening in a single city, it is difficult to come to firm conclusions. A single additional charter with infected Icelanders tourists returning from Italy can create a big difference on the ground.
                  Last edited by pamak; 05 Apr 20, 07:51.
                  My most dangerous mission: I landed in the middle of an enemy tank battalion and I immediately, started spraying bullets killing everybody around me having fun up until my computer froze...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Here it is 0634 MST and I'm still awake. Insomnia is a real curse.

                    America has faced a so-called epidemic/pandemic since 2004 every two years and has done nothing to prepare for the inevitable next one. That being said, COVID is over-rated, the death rate remains steady at 2% -well below the death rate from car accidents, heart attacks and homicides - and the majority of the deaths are among the elderly with poor health and declining immune systems who will die from flu or ordinary pneumonia or something similar anyway.

                    The lockdown is not the answer for two unarguable reasons:

                    1. It isn't being done properly or effectively, and

                    2. America has no plan to operate under lockdown. Everything is failing instead.

                    Isolate those most at risk, send the healthy ones back to work and get things moving again so that resources can flow to areas of need and care can be provided. Panic is NEVER the answer to anything.

                    Governor Clueless Polis of Colrado has mandated face mask for everyone but those masks do not exist and cannot be obtained, ad if they are available he had ordered that they be restricted to medical and emergency personnel...so? What now? Why hasn't a Presidential directive ordered emergency production of effective face masks?

                    Meanwhile, in a stroke of idiocy reminiscent of Lil' Bush, he has told us that we can use old T-shirts to make face masks. Remember Lil' Bush and his plastic sheeting and duct tape to protect us from chemical and bio warfare agents?

                    Guess what I saw at the market today? A woman with a hand-crocheted face mask! Does this look virus proof to you?!! An effective face mask requires a HEPA filter construction to screen out viruses, which are extremely tiny particles. And no, your old T-shirt doesn'r measure up to that standard.

                    Meanwhile, believe it or not, Pax and I saw a flock of around forty to fifty buzzards roosting in two trees in the middle of Canon City...
                    Quis Custodiet Ipsos Custodes? Who is watching the watchers?

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Blaming the government and not the culture misses half the problem. Koreans were prepared to act responsibly because they have been hit with SARS, etc. they are also are less inclined than other cultures to be individualistic.

                      The idea that the fish dots from the head down is simple escapism. A representative government rots from the bottom up.
                      We hunt the hunters

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        The face mask use by ordinary people is a droplet catcher, just like the elbow sleeve. Nothing more, nothing less.
                        As such it works; there's no denying that. Just like coughing in the elbow sleeve works a whole lot better then coughing in someone's direction.

                        It's just not a magical virus trap.
                        "For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and there you will long to return"

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Thank you for all the good posts here, I see preparedness is the the most popular topic, but the topic is drifing away from the CDC.
                          The CDC has revealed itself as a threat to public health if not criminal malfeasance. They had one job. They didn't perform. They kept others from performing. There is no excuse. As a thought experiment, imagine the doors of CDC headquarters had been welded shut and the utilities disconnected long ago. Would we be worse off ?
                          https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/29/b...shortage.html/

                          The emergency exposed missing stockpiles of N95 masks. Turns out they were drawn down a decade ago and not replaced. Apparently the funds were diverted to fight "the epidemic of racism and obesity".
                          And now, we all must pay the price for their failures.
                          After the 2009 H1N1 epidemic, the previous administration, despite warnings, never bothered to replenish stockpiles of N95.

                          In 2017, at least, they knew that something like this was probably coming from China--

                          It's important to note in this regard that China's risky practices were not so esoteric that the NIH and CDC couldn't reasonably have been expected to know about them. In November 2017, two years before the coronavirus reared up in China, Smithsonian Magazine was asking, "Is China Ground Zero for a Future Pandemic?" Although the article was concerned with diseases originating with birds, it still stated pertinent facts relevant to all animal-to-human viruses:
                          But China is uniquely positioned to create a novel flu virus that kills people. On Chinese farms, people, poultry and other livestock often live in close proximity. Pigs can be infected by both bird flu and human flu viruses, becoming potent "mixing vessels" that allow genetic material from each to combine and possibly form new and deadly strains. The public's taste for freshly killed meat, and the conditions at live markets, create ample opportunity for humans to come in contact with these new mutations.

                          (see link in the quote(

                          Last edited by Phaing; 06 Apr 20, 15:01.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            With the sudden about-face on the whole mask issue confidence in the CDC is at an all-time low. The CDC has revealed itself as a threat to public health if not criminal malfeasance. They had one job. They didn't perform. They kept others from performing. There is no excuse. As a thought experiment, imagine the doors of CDC headquarters had been welded shut and the utilities disconnected long ago. Would we be worse off?

                            https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/29/b...shortage.html/


                            The emergency exposed missing stockpiles of N95 masks. Turns out they were drawn down a decade ago and not replaced. Apparently the funds were diverted to fight "the epidemic of racism and obesity".

                            After the 2009 H1N1 epidemic, the Previous administration, despite warnings, never bothered to replenish stockpiles of N95.

                            Twelve and a half years ago, in October 2007, researchers at the University of Hong Kong published an article entitled "Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus as an Agent of Emerging and Reemerging Infection."


                            Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) coronavirus (SARS-CoV) is a novel virus that caused the first major pandemic of the new millennium (89, 180, 259). The rapid economic growth in southern China has led to an increasing demand for animal proteins including those from exotic game food animals such as civets. Large numbers and varieties of these wild game mammals in overcrowded cages and the lack of biosecurity measures in wet markets allowed the jumping of this novel virus from animals to human (353, 376). Its capacity for human-to-human transmission, the lack of awareness in hospital infection control, and international air travel facilitated the rapid global dissemination of this agent. Over 8,000 people were affected, with a crude fatality rate of 10%. The acute and dramatic impact on health care systems, economies, and societies of affected countries within just a few months of early 2003 was unparalleled since the last plague. The small reemergence of SARS in late 2003 after the resumption of the wildlife market in southern China and the recent discovery of a very similar virus in horseshoe bats, bat SARS-CoV, suggested that SARS can return if conditions are fit for the introduction, mutation, amplification, and transmission of this dangerous virus(45, 190, 215, 347). Here, we review the biology of the virus in relation to the epidemiology, clinical presentation, pathogenesis, laboratory diagnosis, animal models or hosts, and options for treatment, immunization, and infection control.
                            This is what they knew.
                            And this is when they knew it.

                            It gets worse -


                            Internal Emails Show How Chaos at the CDC Slowed the Early Response to Coronavirus ... the CDC underestimated the threat from the virus and stumbled in communicating to local public health officials what should be done
                            https://www.propublica.org/article/i...to-coronavirus

                            The question now is, does anyone care?
                            How can this be fixed?

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Rojik View Post
                              The fish rots from the head. And that is not a dig at trump. Eisenhower was the last good president you had. The rest have been show stars, idiots or puppets, (or in the case of my runner up - Nixon- a criminal). But it is what it is. That is your system and nothing will change unless you demand it
                              The problem is that the U.S. is a bottom to top system. In the argument re: the CDC it is about bureaucratic inertia, which no President in reality controls. Trump tries, but look how the entrenched attacked him.

                              Comment

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