Posted by: maboulette | March 30, 2020

Trump’s Disastrous Handling of the Coronavirus Pandemic

virus presser

This timeline clearly and definitively shows that Trump knew a pandemic was coming, knew the US was unprepared for it, and left the US helpless to contain or combat the virus.

JANUARY 11, 2017

“Anthony S. Fauci, MD, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said there is ‘no doubt’ Donald J. Trump will be confronted with a surprise infectious disease outbreak during his presidency.”

JANUARY 13, 2017

Outgoing members of the Obama Administration walked Trump’s team through their pandemic playbook. Rather than following the playbook, the Trump Administration would wing it, fail miserably, and blame Obama.

FEBRUARY 1, 2018

Trump’s CDC announced plans to cut its efforts to fight global pandemics by 80%, scaling back operations in the world’s hot spots for emerging infectious disease, including removing personnel from China.

FEBRUARY 13, 2018

The US Intelligence Community released its annual intelligence assessment identifying coronaviruses as “having pandemic potential if they were to acquire efficient human-to-human transmissibility.”

MAY 2018

Trump’s National Security Advisor, John Bolton, guts the NSC’s pandemic unit and fires the NSC’s pandemic expert leaving the position vacant and never filling it.

AUGUST 2018

Trump is warned that his tariffs on Chinese goods will lead to a shortage in medical equipment due to most such equipment coming from China. Trump ignored the warning and imposed the tariffs, creating the exact shortage he was warned of.

JANUARY-AUGUST, 2019

The Trump Administration ran a pandemic simulation called Crimson Contagion, resulting in a report concluding that the Administration was woefully unprepared for a pandemic, including being short on PPE. Nothing was done to fix it.

JULY 2019

Trump eliminated a key American public health position in Beijing intended to help detect disease outbreaks in China, leaving the US without an observer on the ground in the most likely spot in the world to spark a global pandemic.

OCTOBER 2019

Trump shut down the US Agency for International Development’s “PREDICT” project to track and research potential pandemic diseases, a move widely panned as making the world more vulnerable to a pandemic.

JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2020

Trump received intelligence briefings throughout January and February warning that coronavirus was likely to result in a global pandemic, but maintained publicly that the pandemic was completely contained.

JANUARY 11, 2020

 China published coronavirus genome allowing tests to be developed. While South Korea was able to roll out widespread testing in early February 2020, Trump’s CDC would be unable to produce a reliable test until late March.

JANUARY-FEBRUARY 2020

Trump’s CDC declined to copy the WHO coronavirus test and created its own faulty test, leaving the US without testing until late March and losing the chance of containment. Trump’s FDA also hampered private test development efforts.

JANUARY 22, 2020

Trump told a reporter he was not concerned about the coronavirus becoming a pandemic and said it was completely under control.

FEBRUARY 7, 2020

While downplaying the seriousness of the pandemic and knowing the US’s strategic reserves were insufficient to combat a global pandemic, Trump facilitated the transportation of 17.8 tons of privately donated medical equipment to China.

FEBRUARY 24, 2020

Trump attempted to manipulate the stock market stating that it is “starting to look very good,” despite later claiming to know at the time of his statement that the world faced a serious pandemic that would surely destroy the US economy.

MARCH 20, 2020

Trump promoted unproven drug treatments as if they were miracle cures.

INFORMATION

The information on this timeline was taken from a thread on Twitter that was put together by Uncle Blazer @blakesmache who identifies himself as a lawyer without any inside information and who follows the investigations on Trump.  I put this together in this timeline so others not on Twitter could follow this.  I will not add to this after today.  If anything extremely important comes from Uncle Blazer on Twitter, I will add it to my Facebook page.

Reading this will show that Trump does not deserve to be re-elected in November.

 

Posted by: maboulette | March 27, 2020

What Doctors Across the United States Are Saying

Press conferences

Doctors across the country are furious. The things they are learning about the lack of U.S. preparedness are truly alarming. And after weeks of ringing alarm bells, they still don’t have the tests, PPE, and support they need on the front lines.

WHAT TIME HAS SHOWN

We all have learned that since Donald Trump took office, he cut 2/3s of the CDC staff in China.  In short, he sidelined professionals who could have helped China as well as provide critical information to the US Government.  Experts are now telling us that is the worst intelligence failure in the history of the US.  The Intelligence Community has been warning and asking Trump to prepare since at least January.

PANDEMIC PLAYBOOK

There are copies of the National Security Council’s Pandemic Playbook from the Obama administration that many have been able to read.  Worse than the fact that Trump’s team failed to follow it; they are still not implementing many of the recommendations that are in the playbook.  What was the biggest failure – testing!

QUESTION TO ASK

The moment that it looked like something could turn into a pandemic, the report offered a question to ask early and often “Is diagnosis capacity keeping up?” It wasn’t and it hasn’t – and it is still not.  Doctors see rationing of tests every day.  You have no idea the scope of the problem if you don’t know how many people are positive – but Trump doesn’t understand this.

DAVIDSON

As Dr. Rob Davidson continues to say in interviews, our first case was the same day as South Korea. They were ready and started testing immediately.  If the United States were testing at their level scaled for population, we would be testing 130,000 people daily.  We are barely halfway there.  We all know or should understand that this will all begin to end when we fix the testing problem.

WHAT ELSE HAS BEEN LEARNED

We also need:

  • National lockdown for the next 4 to 6 weeks in order to slow the spread;
  • Massive expansion in testing – to test, trace and isolate;
  • In the next year or more find a vaccine and test it.

MORE PROBLEMS

Now we have more problems, but the top of the list is that when we need a hero who steps up to boldly solve problems, we instead have a President who continues to lie and fails to act boldly.

HUMAN CONSEQUENCES

The human consequences of lack of preparedness, lack of tests, lack of PPE, lack of ventilators and lack of bold leadership are beginning to add up and quickly.  A Michigan nurse was breaking down after her shift as she described what felt like a war zone.  While in NYC a doctor described his experience in detail. “He treated a woman in her mid-sixties with telltale signs of covid-19: fever, shortness of breath, coughing up blood. She was terrified.”  In New Orleans, New York, Detroit, Atlanta and so many other communities, hospitals are at or near at capacity – running out of beds and ventilators.

OTHER PROBLEMS

With personal protective equipment (PPE), the situation is dire everywhere.  In Colorado there are reports of sowing stations at hospitals and in New York nurses are wearing trash bags.  Many of our medical professionals, public safety personnel and emergency service professionals are being taken out of the line of duty due to COVID-19 infections.

ECONOMIC RELIEF

Imperfect as it may be, economic relief is on the way, but now the President is talking about opening the country in the next few weeks – Easter to be exact.  This is deeply dangerous language and that is why ER doctors are speaking out.  They believe this is reckless and it will cost thousands if not millions of lives.  Information from other countries shows clearly that setting up 6 to 8 weeks shutdowns verse opening life in America right away will produce a disaster of epic proportions.

WHAT HE SHOULD DO

Mr. President needs to mobilize the nation under the Defense Production Act, move to a National Shelter in Place and give the tests that are needed.  Professionals who work in the medical settings agree that the following is needed and are sending letters to the President to do the following:

  • A widespread national testing regimen;
  • Federal action for a national shelter-in-place order;
  • Operationalize the National Defense Production Act for PPE, ventilators and testing.

 

 

 

Posted by: maboulette | March 22, 2020

Intelligence Warnings About Coronavirus Pandemic

“The system was blinking red,” an intelligence official told The Washington Post, but no one could get Trump to “do anything about it.”

 

logo intelligence

Once China reported they were having an outbreak of this new coronavirus in December, US intelligence agencies warned the Trump administration numerous times in classified messages on the potential shocking threat, reported The Washington Post reported on Friday.  But President Trump largely ignored these warnings and took no action that could have slowed this spread of the COVID-10 disease, said the newspaper.

INTELLIGENCE REPORTS

These reports warned that China originally appeared to be minimizing the danger of this virus but that the US would be wise to start preparing for a likely pandemic. Still Trump shrugged off the intelligence as well as repeatedly assured citizens that this coronavirus was nothing to be worried about.

TRUMP CURRENTLY SAYS

As the cases of the illness with its death rising in the US, Trump is now insisting that he though the problem was “urgent” right from the beginning and that he “felt it was a pandemic long before it was called a pandemic.”

WARNING SINCE JANUARY

A US official who had access to reports given to Congress and Trump officials told the Post that intelligence agencies “have been warning on this since January.”

 “Donald Trump may not have been expecting this, but a lot of other people in the government were — they just couldn’t get him to do anything about it,” the official said. “The system was blinking red.”

DENIED ACCOUNT

White House spokesperson Hogan Gidley denied this account, insisting to the Post the President has “taken historic, aggressive measures to protect the health, wealth and safety of the American people – and did so while the media and Democrats chose to only focus on the stupid politics of a sham illegitimate impeachment.”

TRUMP STATEMENTS

But it is clear by the President’s own public statements, however, that he did not believe coronavirus was a concern.  Rather he called criticisms of the White House to the outbreak a “new hoax” from the Democrats.  He also said last month that the 15 domestic cases in the US would go down “close to zero” and that this disease would vanish “like a miracle” or disappear by April when the weather begins to warm.

URGENCY

As warnings of intelligence increased in urgency, Trump administration officials repeatedly try to persuade Trump to focus on the issue – without success, according to the Post. Sec of Health and Human Services Alex Azar and former acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney tried to encourage Trump to participate in a response to this growing threat.  But he was “dismissive,” the Post reported.

CONCERNS OF TESTING

Concerns on a dearth of testing for coronavirus was raised in early days of February by Joe Grogan, the head of the White House Domestic Policy Council, according to the Post.

RELUCTANCE

The Post assigned part of Trump’s hesitancy to take this threat seriously was his relationship with China’s President Xi Jingping, who Trump believed initially believed was providing information that was accurate, according to the newspaper.  He has praised Xi’s efforts and “transparency.”

CHINESE VIRUS

Now the President is starting to refer to coronavirus as the “Chinese virus” and has in some ways suggested China did not alert the US soon enough. 

In the meantime, this outbreak has exploded all across America, with more than 25,896 cases confirmed as of now Saturday, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

 

Image of virus

Chinese researchers analyzed data from more than 200 COVID-19 patients admitted to hospitals in the Hubei province and found almost half said their main complaints were digestive symptoms.

DIGESTIVE ISSUES

Digestive issues such as diarrhea or vomiting could be early symptoms of novel coronavirus infection for many, Chinese researchers report in a new study

Researchers behind the study published in the American Journal of Gastroenterology this week analyzed data from 204 COVID-19 patients who were admitted to three hospitals in the Hubei province between Jan. 18 and Feb 28; the province of Hubei is where the outbreak started in late December

 ALMOST HALF

The study found almost half — 48.5 percent — of participants said their main complaint was digestive symptoms, such as diarrhea, vomiting and abdominal pain. About 7 percent reported experiencing no respiratory symptoms, which is the most common issue associated with the new novel coronavirus

“Clinicians must bear in mind that digestive symptoms, such as diarrhea, may be a presenting feature of COVID-19,” researchers said in the study. “And that the index of suspicion may need to be raised earlier in these cases rather than waiting for respiratory symptoms to emerge.”

 LONGER TIME FROM ONSET 

Researchers said patients with digestive symptoms experienced a longer time from symptom onset to hospital admission than those without digestive symptoms, nine days versus 7.3 days. The study suggests patients with digestive symptoms waited longer to seek medical attention because they did not suspect they had COVID-19 due to the absence of respiratory symptoms, such as coughing or shortness of breath. 

PATIENTS – CURED FASTER

Patients who did not experience digestive symptoms were more likely to be cured and discharged than those with digestive issues, 60 percent versus 34 percent, according to the study.   The study comes as more than 250,000 cases of coronavirus have been confirmed worldwide with more than 10,000 deaths, according to Johns Hopkins University data.

bact

All throughout history, human beings have lived side-by-side with viruses and bacteria.  From the bubonic plague to smallpox, humans have learned to resist them and in response they have developed new ways of infecting us.

NATURAL STALEMATE

When antibiotics were developed 100 years ago with the discovery of penicillin, what did bacteria do – they evolved to be resistant to many of the evolving antibiotics.  This battle is almost endless – because we spend a lot of time with pathogens and we sometimes develop a kind of natural stalemate.  But, think about this, what would happen if we were suddenly exposed to deadly viruses and bacteria that have been missing for thousands of years, or those we have never met before?

CLIMATE CHANGE

With climate change we are about to find out.  The warming of the climate is melting permafrost soils that have been frozen for thousands of years and as this soil melt, they are releasing ancient viruses and bacteria that have been dormant – and now spring back to life.  In August 2016, in a remote part of the Siberian tundra known as the Yamal Peninsula in the Arctic Circle, a 12-year-old boy died and as many as 20 were hospitalized after being infected with anthrax.

THEORY OF WHAT HAPPENED

How did this happen?  The theory is that over 75 years ago, a reindeer infected with anthrax died and its carcass was frozen and trapped under a layer of frozen soil, – permafrost.  And that is where it stayed until a heatwave during the summer of 2016, when the permafrost thawed.  This exposed the body of the dead reindeer and released infectious anthrax into nearby water and soil and then directly into the food supply. Over 2000 reindeer feeding nearby became infected, which then led to small number of human cases.  And the fear is that this will not be an isolated case.

CONTINUES TO WARM

As the world continues to warm, more permafrost will melt.  Under normal circumstances, superficial permafrost layers are about 50 cm or 1.5 feet melt every summer.  But now with global warming there is gradually older layers of permafrost being exposed.  Frozen permafrost soil is the perfect place for bacteria and viruses to stay alive for very long time periods, perhaps as long as a million years. That means melting ice could potentially open a Pandora’s box of diseases.

ARCTIC CIRCLE

The temperature of the Arctic Circle is quickly rising, almost 3 times faster than in the rest of the world.  As the ice and permafrost melt, other infectious agents may be released.  Evolutionary biologist Jean-Michel Claverie has said,

“Permafrost is a very good preserver of microbe and viruses, because it is cold, there is no oxygen and it is dark.  Pathogenic viruses that can infect humans or animals might be preserved in old permafrost layers, including some that have caused global epidemics in the past.”

EARLY 20th CENTURY

In the early parts of the 20th Century alone, over a million reindeer died from anthrax.  It is not easy to dig deep graves, so most of these bodies are buried close to the surface, scattered among 7000 burial grounds in northern Russia.  But the big fear is what else can be lurking beneath this frozen soil.

BURIED FOR CENTURIES

Animals and people have been buried in the permafrost for centuries, so it is entirely conceivable that other infectious agents could be released.  For example, scientists have discovered fragments of RNA from the 1918 Spanish flu virus in corpses buried in mass graves in Alaska’s tundra.  Bubonic plague and smallpox are also very likely to be buried in Siberia.

STUDY IN 2011

In a study in 2011, Boris Revich and Marina Poolnaya wrote:

“As a consequence of permafrost melting, the vectors of deadly infections of the 18th and 19th centuries may come back, especially near the cemeteries where victims of these infections were buried”.

REVIVED BACTERIA

NASA scientists have successfully revived bacteria that has been encased in a frozen pond in Alaska for 32,000 years.  The microbes, called Carnobacterium pleistocenium, had been frozen since the Pleistocene period, when woolly mammoths still roamed the earth.  Once the ice melted, they began swimming around, seemingly unaffected.  Once they were revived, the viruses quickly became infectious.

MILLIONS OF YEARS OLD

Two years later, scientists managed to revive an 8-million-year old bacterium that had been lying dormant in ice, beneath the surface of a glacier in the Beacon and Mullins valleys of Antarctica.  In that same study, bacteria were also revived from ice that was over 100,000 years old.

STILL ALIVE IN ICE

More and more of these studies are finding bacteria and viruses long believed to be eradicated are still alive as this ice and frozen permafrost melt.  But it gets worse!

MEXICAN MINE

In February 2017, NASA scientists announced that they had found 10 to 50,000 year-old microbes inside crystals in a Mexican mine.  The bacteria found somehow become resistant to 18 different types of antibiotics.  The bacteria were located in the Cave of the Crystals, part of a mine in Nacica in northern Mexico.  This cave contains many milky-white crystals of the mineral selenite, which formed over hundreds of thousands of years.  The bacteria were trapped inside small, fluid pockets of the crystals, but once they were removed, they revived and started to multiply.  The microbes are genetically unique and may well be a new species, but these researchers have yet to publish their work.

CAVE IN NEW MEXICO

Even older bacteria have been found in Lechuguilla Cave in New Mexico, 1000 ft underground.  These microbes have not seen the surface for over 4 million years. The cave never sees sunlight and it is so isolated that it takes about 10,000 years for water from the surface to reach this cave.  And antibiotic resistance has been around for millions or even billions of years.  These bacteria have somehow become resistant to 18 types of antibiotics, including drugs considered to be a “last resort” for fighting infections.  In a study published in December 2016, researchers found that the bacteria, known as Paenibacillus sp. LC231, was resistant to 70% of antibiotics and was able to totally inactivate many of them.

RESISTANCE TO ANTIBIOTICS

All the bacteria have remained completely isolated in the cave for 4 million years, they have not come into contact with people or the antibiotic drugs used to treat human infections.  That means its antibiotic resistance must have arisen in some other way.  Scientists involved believe that the bacteria, which does not harm humans, is one of the many that have naturally evolved resistance to antibiotics.  This suggests that antibiotic resistance has been around for millions or even billions of years.

HOW DOES THIS HAPPEN

The reason for this is that many types of fungi, and even other bacteria, naturally produce antibiotics to gain a competitive advantage over other microbes.  This is how Fleming first discovered penicillin: bacteria in a petri dish died after one became contaminated with an antibiotic-excreting mold.

2011 STUDY

In fact, with the ancient hidden bacteria, natural antibiotic resistance is possibly so prevalent that many of the bacteria emerging from melting permafrost may already have it.  In line with that, in a 2011 study scientists extracted DNA from bacteria found in 30,000-year-old permafrost in the Beringian region between Russia and Canada.  They found genes encoding resistance to beta-lactam, tetracycline and glycopeptide antibiotics.

How much should we be concerned about all this?

 

noval virus

The Trump administration offered “large sums of money” for the exclusive right to a coronavirus vaccine currently being worked on by a German company, it was reported Sunday by Die Welt.  The article further stated that Trump was trying to get the Tubingen-based CureVac company – which has sites in Boston and Frankfurt to move its research wing to the United States and develop the vaccine “for the U.S. only.”

GERMAN HEALTH MINISTRY

A spokesperson for the German Health Ministry quoted in this article appeared to acknowledge that the US approach and said that Berlin was “very interested in insuring that vaccines and active substances against the coronavirus are also developed in Germany and Europe”.

REUTERS

Sunday afternoon, Reuters was told by German Health Ministry that its spokesperson had been correctly quoted in the newspaper article, confirming that Washington attempted to take over the biopharmaceutical company.  Sources in the government indicated that Berlin was now offering CureVac financial incentives if it remained in Germany.  German Interior Minister Horst Seehofer said at a press conference Sunday that he had heard about these reports and that it would be discussed at a crisis team meeting Monday.

US RESPONSE

The US ambassador to Germany, Richard Grenell, said on Twitter that the Welt report was “wrong”.

CUREVAC CEO

Last week CureVac CEO Daniel Menichella was one of the pharmaceutical representatives invited to the White House for discussions on the development of the coronavirus vaccine development and revealed it hope to have an experimental vaccine ready by early summer.

CUREVAC PRESS RELEASE

The company press release stated that Menichella had told US officials about the vaccines it had in development and revealed its hope of having an experimental vaccine ready by early summer.

GERMAN MINISTERS

Yesterday it was reported that German ministers have reacted angrily to the reports that US President Trump offered this German company a large sum of money for exclusive rights to Covid-10 vaccine.  Economy Minister Peter Altmaier told broadcaster ARD that “Germany is not for sale”.  This was reported on the front page in Welt am Sonntage newspaper with headline “Trump vs Berlin.”

The newspaper further reported that Trump offered $1 bn to CureVac to secure the vaccine “only for the United States.”

ANGRY REACTIONS

This news prompted angry reactions from German politicians who demanded that Berlin do everything possible in order to prevent the US from controlling access to an eventual coronavirus vaccine.

UNFRIENDLY ACT

“The American regime has committed an extremely unfriendly act,” stated Social Democrat MP Karl Lautherbach, who said that Germany health workers on the front lies as well as people around the world, need to have access to something developed in Germany and that no country should be able to purchase exclusive access to the vaccine.  He stated, “Capitalism has limits”.

“German researchers are taking a leading role in developing medication and vaccines as part of a global cooperation network,” foreign minister Heiko Mass told the Funke Mediengruppe research network.  “We cannot allow a situation where others want to exclusively acquire the results of their research.”

International co-operation is important now, not national self-interest,” said Erwin Rüddel, a conservative lawmaker on the German parliament’s health committee.

QUESTIONS AND OPINION

Good, Mr. Impeached President, another ally that you have ruined the relationship with.  My question is what Trump planned to do with the “exclusive use for the US policy.”  Have his company sell it to other countries?  Was he trying to make an enrichment deal for himself?

SHAME

A president who would do this only brings shame on himself and the country he leads.

 

Posted by: maboulette | March 14, 2020

Fact Checking Trump’s Press Conference

new trump picture

As he declared a national emergency over the coronavirus outbreak, President Trump attempted to deflect criticisms of his administration’s response to the virus with inaccurate claims. Here’s are some fact-checks.

FACT-CHECK 1

Mr. Trump blamed the Obama administration for coronavirus testing shortages and falsely said it “didn’t do testing” during the swine flu epidemic of 2009.

WHAT MR. TRUMP SAID

“I don’t take responsibility at all because we were given a set of circumstances and we were given rules, regulations, and specifications from a different time.”

FALSE

The Food and Drug Administration issued a “draft guidance” in 2014 in which it sought to extend its authority to regulate laboratory-developed tests. But it’s wrong to blame that effort for the scattered and insufficient delivery of coronavirus tests as this guidance was not especially appropriate to emergency situations and was never finalized or generally enforced.

A law enacted in 2004 created the process and requirements for the use of unapproved products in public health emergencies. Under the law and guidance set by the Trump administration itself, the Food and Drug Administration requires those developers of laboratory-developed tests to submit information and to comply with certain procedures.

The agency said in early March that it would permit unapproved tests for the coronavirus for 15 days while developers are preparing their emergency authorization request. Neither the 2004 law nor following amendments limited the Trump administration from doing so, nor did it slow down previous administrations in fast-tracking testing for other health crises.

FACT CHECK 2

WHAT MR. TRUMP SAID

“If you go back to the swine flu, it was nothing like this. They didn’t do testing like this, and actually they lost approximately 14,000 people, and they didn’t do the testing. They started thinking about testing when it was far too late.”

FALSE

This is wrong. Diagnostic tests for the swine flu were approved and shipped out less than two weeks after the H1N1 virus was identified and a day before the first death in the United States.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention identified the first case of that virus on April 14, 2009. The Obama administration declared swine flu a public health emergency on April 26. The Food and Drug Administration approved a rapid test for the virus two days later. At that time, the CDC had reported 64 cases and zero deaths. The CDC began shipping test kits to public health laboratories on May 1 (at 141 cases and one death) and a second test was approved in July. From May to September 2009, the agency shipped more than 1,000 kits, each one able to test 1,000 specimens.

To be sure, researchers found flaws and limitations in the tests but testing was conducted. A vaccine became available in early October but, amid reports of shortages, President Obama confirmed the outbreak as a national emergency later that month. The estimated death toll in the United States from the H1N1 epidemic was 12,469 from April 2009 to April 2010.

FACT CHECK 3

WHAT MR. TRUMP SAID

Mr. Trump inaccurately described a website in development to alleviate the outbreak.

 “I want to thank Google. Google is helping to develop a website, it’s going to be very quickly done, unlike websites of the past, to determine whether a test is warranted and to facilitate testing at a nearby convenient location.”

This is misleading. Mr. Trump misstated the company developing the website and amplified its scope. After Mr. Trump spoke, Google issued a statement on Twitter from Verily, a separate subsidiary of Google’s parent company.

“We are developing a tool to help triage individuals for Covid-19 testing. Verily is in the early stages of development, and planning to roll testing out in the Bay Area, with the hope of expanding more broadly over time,” the statement read.

A spokeswoman for Verily said it had originally planned for the website to be used only by health care workers. Mr. Trump’s statement prompted the company to make it available to the public. The site will direct people to “pilot sites” for testing in the Bay Area, the spokeswoman said.

FACT-CHECK  4

Mr. Trump again mischaracterized travel restrictions imposed on certain European countries.

WHAT MR. TRUMP SAID

“As you know, Europe was just designated as the hot spot right now and we closed that border a while ago.”

This is misleading. Mr. Trump imposed some travel restrictions on 26 European countries on Wednesday night, but those restrictions do not go into effect until midnight on Friday and do not amount to a total shutting down of the border.

The restrictions barred the entry of foreign nationals who have been to any of the 26 countries that make up Europe’s Schengen Area of open borders within 14 days. That area does not include more than 20 other European countries, including Britain. The proclamation also does not apply to American citizens, permanent residents, their immediate families, or those who are members of air or sea crews.

FACT CHECK 5

Mr. Trump said he was not responsible for disbanding the White House’s pandemic team.

WHAT MR. TRUMP SAID

“When you say me, I didn’t do it. We have a group of people I could ask — perhaps my administration — but I could perhaps ask Tony about that because I don’t know anything about it.”

This is misleading. The top White House official tasked with leading the country’s response to a pandemic left the administration in May 2018 and his team was disbanded by Mr. Trump’s national security adviser at the time, John R. Bolton, The Washington Post has reported.

While there is no evidence that Mr. Trump personally directed the banishing of these officials, he also did not replace them in the nearly two years since, in spite of repeated bipartisan urging from lawmakers and experts.

Posted by: maboulette | March 12, 2020

Management of Coronavirus

thACJS6E5N

Among the warnings from officials from public health that this outbreak of the new coronavirus could become (and has) become a pandemic involving the US.  This leads me to verify a rumor that US President Donald Trump had “fired the entire pandemic response team 2 years ago and then didn’t replace them.”

FACT CHECK

These claims have been made on Twitter posed by many people including by Democratic legislators and some Republicans that the Trump administration had left the country ill-prepared for a pandemic such as this.

OUTLINED BY MANY

It has been outlined by many that a series of cost-cutting decisions made by the Trump administration in preceding years, gutted the nation’s infectious disease defense infrastructure.  This was known as the “pandemic response team” and claims have been made and verified by news accounts from Spring 2018 reporting that the White House officials tasked with directing a national response to a pandemic had been ousted.

HEAD OF TEAM

Rear Adm. Timothy Ziemer abruptly departed his post leading the global health security team on the National Security Council in May 2018 amid a reorganization of the council by then-National Security Adviser John Bolton and the team was disbanded.  Tom Bosser, whom the Washington Post reported “had called for a comprehensive biodefense strategy against pandemics and biological attacks” was fired one month prior.

FACT CHECK TRUE

So this has been reported as true that the Trump administration killed the executive branch team that was responsible for coordinating any response to a pandemic and did not replace it, eliminating the position of the head of this team and reassigned others to other areas.  Bolton was the executive at the top of the National Security Council chain of command at that time.

FURTHER REPORTING

It has been further reported that Trump also cut funding for the CDC, forcing the CDC to cancel its effect to help countries prevent infectious-disease threats from becoming epidemics, in 39 of 40 countries in 2018.  One of these country’s prevention effects was reduced by 80% including funding for the agency’s efforts in China.   

FEB 24th

On Feb 24 of this year the Trump administration requested $2.5 billion to address the coronavirus outbreak as critics asserted that this might not have been needed if the previous program cuts had not taken place. Fortune reported the issue that:

The cuts could be especially problematic as COVID-19 continues to spread.  Health officials are now warning the US is unlikely to be spared, even though cases are minimal here as of that date.  But now it is not the question anymore but a question of when this happens how many people will have severe illness.

CURRENTLY

Currently as of this date 3/12 this is the situation in the United States:

  • Total positive cases – 1,215
  • Total deaths 36;
  • Jurisdictions reporting cases 43 – 42 states and the District of Columbia.

TESTING KITS

But since there are very few testing kits, it is not possible to know for certain the number of people who are positive for this virus.  So why are there very few testing kits when the problem in China developed during the end of 2019 and began to spread?  Did the US government think that banning people from China was going to stop this virus from spreading to our country?

PRESIDENT TRUMP

This is the worse example of incompetence that this President has shown.  He has lied about the severity of the situation, the number of testing kits and how long this crisis will last.  Professionals in the area of infectious diseases have stated that the worst is yet to come and we do not have the hospital space or equipment to handle this situation.

COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED

This could have all been avoided if President Trump had not cut our nation’s infectious disease defense infrastructure – the “pandemic response team” that was set up by the Obama Administration.  Trump has taken his hatred for President Obama to a danger point where many Americans will be sick and many may also die.  This is the worse example of crisis management and is one of many reasons that Trump should not be re-elected.

Posted by: maboulette | March 7, 2020

Controversial Research on The Coronavirus

corono virus

There is a controversial research paper out that is claiming the new coronavirus has split into 2 distinct strains and that it is possible to be infected with both, but some experts are not convinced.

JOINT STUDY

A joint study by researchers from multiple Chinese universities, which has been accepted by Chinese journal National Science Review, looked at 103 genomes of SARS-CoV-2 and found the virus had evolved into two distinct strains, known as “S” and “L”, with the “L” type being newer, more prevalent and more aggressive.  Viruses are known for constantly mutating – in fact, these mutations are so rapid that scientists can use them to trace where in the world patients might have picked up the virus – but the authors of this study say the two types are so distinct they can be described as two strains.

OTHER EXPERTS

But In contrast, other experts in the field say the 2 types the Chinese researchers claimed to have identified were a result of both normal viral mutation and errors in data that they were relying on.

VIROLOGIST FROM UNIVERSITY OF QUEENLAND

A virologist from the University of Queensland, Ian Mackay, has said there were major problems with the study, including that some of the data used, which was published on a database shared by researchers, had not yet been “cleaned up”.  “The differences are sequences errors which in fact were corrected very soon after they were originally uploaded to the GISAID database,” said Professor Mackay.

FURTHER STATED

He further stated that the patterns they identified were no more than normal variation.  “They’re almost all identical. It’s like us putting on different clothes from day to day,” Professor Mackay said“I can’t believe this has been peer reviewed. It’s a weak paper and poor science.”

ALSO SUGGESTING

The paper also suggested a patient from Queensland “might have been infected by at least two different strains” but Professor Mackay dismissed this claim, saying it did not fit with the evidence offered.  Since the coronavirus is so new, the amount of data available on it is still quiet small, wrote Oscar Maclean from the University of Glasgow on virology discussion forum Virological.

“Two of the key claims made by this paper appear to have been reached by misunderstanding and over-interpretation of the SARS-CoV-2 data, with an additional analysis suffering from methodological limitations,” Dr Maclean wrote.

TWITTER

On Twitter, Swiss biologist Richard Neher wrote of the paper that “just taking values at face values will result in wrong, misleading, or downright dangerous inferences”.  The study also looked at the evolution of SARS-CoV-2 and other related coronaviruses in an attempt to decide which animal the virus evolved through before it got to humans.

ORIGINATED IN BATS

It is accepted that the virus originated in bats, but some studies had suggested it came to humans via pangolins. This new study casts doubt on that, although Professor Mackay said it was not the first to do so.

 

 

Posted by: maboulette | March 7, 2020

Vote Blue No Matter Who

democrat

Written by Brandy Nichole

 You’re not just voting for President. 

  1. You’re voting for who replaces RBG on the Supreme Court.
  2. You’re voting for the next Secretary of Education.
  3. You’re voting for federal judges.
  4. You’re voting for the rule of law.
  5. You’re voting for saving national parks.
  6. You’re voting for letting kids out of cages.
  7. You’re voting for clean air and clean water.
  8. You’re voting for scientists to be allowed to speak about climate change and for rebuilding the CDC.
  9. You’re voting for what a President says and does on Twitter.
  10. You’re voting for housing rights.
  11. You’re voting for LGBTQ people to be treated with dignity.
  12. You’re voting for non-Christians to be able to adopt and to feel like full citizens.
  13. You’re voting for Dreamers.
  14. You’re voting so that there will be Social Security and Medicare when you retire.
  15. You’re voting for veterans to get the care they deserve.
  16. You’re voting for rural hospitals.
  17. You’re voting so that someone else can have health insurance.
  18. You’re voting for the preservation of PBS.
  19. You’re voting to have a President who doesn’t embarrass this country every time she or he attends an international meeting.
  20. And you’re voting against allowing the USA to become yet another authoritarian regime.
  21. You’re voting for sensible gun laws.
  22. You’re voting for an end to voter suppression.

No Democrat is perfect.

Your first AND second choices may have dropped out. Your third might. But the nominee, no matter who she or he is, won’t be perfect. They won’t pass your purity test.

And yet EVERY SINGLE ONE OF THEM WILL BE BETTER THAN FOUR MORE YEARS OF “the donald”.

 

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