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COVID-19 POLITICAL Thread

Old 03-12-20, 01:49 PM
  #1326  
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re: COVID-19 POLITICAL Thread

CDC tested only 77 people this week; coronavirus testing slow around the nation


Despite insistent promises from the Trump administration, coronavirus testing in the United States appears to be proceeding with a marked lack of urgency. An examination of state and federal records by Yahoo News finds that American states are, on average, testing fewer than 100 people per day — while the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had tested fewer than 100 people total in the first two days of this week.

Meanwhile, a single private lab is performing tests, according to a trade group representing such facilities. The administration has repeatedly said that private enterprise would play a critical role in making sure that all Americans who need a coronavirus test receive one.

U.S. officials on Tuesday were faced with an onslaught of questions from members of Congress, amid reports of South Korea’s drive-through coronavirus testing locations.

“This is not a problem we can test our way out of,” said Stephen Redd, MD, head of the CDC’s Office of Public Health Preparedness and Response, in testimony on Wednesday. It was an admission that, in a nation of 320 million, testing every person will be impossible.

Redd also revealed in his testimony that the total number of people tested for the coronavirus by the CDC was 1,784. That means that, as of Wednesday morning, the CDC had tested only 77 people for the coronavirus since Sunday. According to a CDC spokesman, the number that had been tested as of Sunday was 1,707.

Speaking at a different hearing on Wednesday, CDC Director Robert Redfield, MD, said public health labs — that is, labs run by individual states — were ready to “test up to 75,000 people,” presumably because they had received test kits from the CDC.

Redfield also said on Wednesday morning that 75 public labs were ready to perform tests across the United States. In fact, the number is even higher — 81, according to Michelle Forman, a spokesperson for the Association of Public Health Laboratories. Those labs each have the capacity to test 1,000 people per day.

So far, however, only 7,617 people have been tested in state laboratories, according to the COVID Tracking Project, a database that updates the test statistics from states and the federal government. (Some of those statistics don’t include negative tests, which means the number tested could be higher.) On Tuesday, the 50 states cumulatively had tested only 2,728 people, meaning an average of 55 people tested per state.

Administration officials have repeatedly said that private industry would step in and meet the deficit. But it was because of an administration directive that private laboratories could not prepare for a coronavirus surge until earlier this month. “We just haven’t been getting information about how to get those kits,” Mark Birenbaum of the National Independent Laboratory Association told Yahoo News last week.

As a result, Birenbaum said in a subsequent conversation, only a single private lab in the United States is performing coronavirus tests. He said he was aware of “one that will begin testing on March 16, and seven to 10 that are still setting up.” He later added that the total number of labs preparing to test for the coronavirus was actually 15.

More testing will inevitably reveal more coronavirus cases. The United States now has 1,300 cases, with 38 deaths. Trump admitted last Friday that he was hesitant to have coronavirus-infected passengers disembark the Grand Princess cruise ship on U.S. shores because, as he explained, “I like the numbers being where they are.”

The numbers where they are as of today are not especially troubling, but likely not because the coronavirus has failed to take hold. “Low case counts so far may reflect not an absence of the pathogen but a woeful lack of testing,” explained former Department of Homeland Security official Juliette Kayyem in an article for the Atlantic.

That could lull Americans into a false sense of security about the severity of the disease, and the disruptions that the disease could cause. “If Americans conclude that life will continue mostly as normal,” Kayyem writes, “they may be wrong.”

https://www.yahoo.com/news/cdc-teste...153646616.html

But our dear leader had said we had a million test kits ready to go?
Old 03-12-20, 01:52 PM
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re: COVID-19 POLITICAL Thread

Originally Posted by Giantrobo View Post
On a side note I've been seeing people hoping Corona kills the Cruise Ship Industry for good. I even have a 40 something yo FB friend who's says he's been preaching the "Evils" of the industry for 10+ years.

I had no idea people hated that industry so much.

Meanwhile I have other young FB friends taking advantage of this and booking cheap tickets for seemingly ALL Travel Industries.
Did they say what about cruising specifically makes it so evil? I know they don't treat their people all that great.. but some I've talked to say it's a lifestyle that's just not for everyone. Some really like it. Some can't wait for their contract to end.

I saw a RT to Australia the other day from LAX for like $179. That's hard to pass up.

I'm going to need a vacation. The company I worked for just moved a chunk of folks to telecommuter so we've got 10k laptops coming in and we need to load a bunch of software that we've not loaded in for automated distribution before...so.. I'll be plenty busy. And I expect this is the first round of what will be many.
Old 03-12-20, 01:52 PM
  #1328  
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re: COVID-19 POLITICAL Thread

Yep, my friend of mine who works on Broadway has heard they are shutting down. And there goes my NYC trip.
Old 03-12-20, 01:53 PM
  #1329  
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re: COVID-19 POLITICAL Thread

I can't imagine...

When your phone rings at 2:15 a.m., it’s a safe bet the news isn’t good. Turns out the odds are even better when you’re an American traveling overseas amid the coronavirus pandemic.

The voice on the other end was our daughter, wanting to make sure my wife and I had heard that “President Trump just banned all travel from Europe!” No, we had not heard that, because we were sound asleep in the rented Paris apartment where we had been staying the week, intending to return to New York on Saturday.

Now, all at once, our plans threatened to be upended. We clicked on the TV and checked Twitter. It did, in fact, appear that the president was putting a sweeping ban in place, starting midnight Friday.

I jumped online and frantically tried to change our Saturday flight to something sooner, but our attempts to rebook or cancel would not go through. We called the customer service number and were told the wait time to speak to a representative was four hours.

Worried about missing what seemed to be a looming deadline to get back home, we started looking for new tickets — without having canceled the old ones. It was immediately obvious that, less than an hour after Mr. Trump’s pronouncement, swarms of other anxious travelers were trying to do the same thing. We’d click on an airfare, only to find it was “no longer available.” It was like trying to catch a firefly that hovered before you for a moment and then winked out before you could grab it.

What was left were increasingly oddball flights — 31-hour treks on airlines we’d never heard of — and a smattering of very expensive ones. Same-day economy tickets from Paris to New York appeared for thousands of dollars apiece. Because my credit card’s travel benefit has a 24-hour cancellation policy, I took the plunge and used it to buy two basic one-way tickets that, combined, cost more than $5,000. We rationalized the cost by figuring if we were eventually able to get a better deal by changing our original tickets, we could still get our money back for these new ones.

No sooner did I hit the “purchase” button than an update appeared on CNN: President Trump’s travel ban did not cover Americans in Europe after all, only foreign nationals. Whipsawed, we scrambled to cancel the tickets we had just bought — and quickly found it impossible. Cancellation options online were either unavailable or did not work, and the airline’s wait time for callers was now up to six hours. And my credit card customer service line played music for two hours before disconnecting.

We decided on one last play: Get to the airport and try to cancel, in person, through a ticket agent. We packed up, assuming that if our scheme didn’t work, we’d have to decide on the spot whether to take the flight and be done with it. A 45-minute Uber ride later, we were at Charles de Gaulle Airport, staring at an impossibly long line of passengers beseeching harried ticket agents for help. It was obvious that in the hours it would take to finally reach the customer service counter, our flight would have already left.

We debated what to do. Looking around at the growing chaos that seemed destined to intensify in the coming days, we swallowed hard and pulled out our gold-plated economy tickets. The agent who checked our bags said we were not alone, explaining that he had just heard from a man who had gone online earlier that morning and paid “$20,000 for economy tickets” and was now trying to cancel them. The agent did not know if the passenger was successful.

Fortified with that tale of someone else’s woe, we boarded the flight to New York, joining other frazzled Americans, wiping down seat armrests with sanitizer and wondering if being home would really be any safer than staying away.
https://www.nytimes.com/2020/03/12/t...ban-paris.html
Old 03-12-20, 02:00 PM
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re: COVID-19 POLITICAL Thread

Originally Posted by General Zod View Post
Did they say what about cruising specifically makes it so evil? I know they don't treat their people all that great.. but some I've talked to say it's a lifestyle that's just not for everyone. Some really like it. Some can't wait for their contract to end.

.
I don't know why they feel that way about the Cruise Ships. I was just shocked by the hope that the industry is forced out of business. I'm sure each one has different reasons.
Old 03-12-20, 02:22 PM
  #1331  
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re: COVID-19 POLITICAL Thread

Originally Posted by General Zod View Post
Did they say what about cruising specifically makes it so evil? I know they don't treat their people all that great.. but some I've talked to say it's a lifestyle that's just not for everyone. Some really like it. Some can't wait for their contract to end.

I saw a RT to Australia the other day from LAX for like $179. That's hard to pass up.

I'm going to need a vacation. The company I worked for just moved a chunk of folks to telecommuter so we've got 10k laptops coming in and we need to load a bunch of software that we've not loaded in for automated distribution before...so.. I'll be plenty busy. And I expect this is the first round of what will be many.
I bought a tix to Vegas for next week. Waiting on hotel prices to drop a bit more before booking that. Figure if I’m going to bars, restaurants, shops, here...could do it with more fun in Vegas.
Old 03-12-20, 02:27 PM
  #1332  
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re: COVID-19 POLITICAL Thread

Originally Posted by Giantrobo View Post
I don't know why they feel that way about the Cruise Ships. I was just shocked by the hope that the industry is forced out of business. I'm sure each one has different reasons.
Patriot Act on Netflix had a decent episode about the problems with cruise ships. It's a comedy/political show, but they do a decent job getting into these topics if you want a quick intro.
Old 03-12-20, 02:31 PM
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re: COVID-19 POLITICAL Thread

Originally Posted by Giantrobo View Post
I don't know why they feel that way about the Cruise Ships. I was just shocked by the hope that the industry is forced out of business. I'm sure each one has different reasons.
My wife and I loved our cruise to Alaska a couple of years ago. I don't know if I would label myself a "cruise guy" at this point though. I don't know if I could put up with it every year for vacations.
Old 03-12-20, 02:33 PM
  #1334  
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re: COVID-19 POLITICAL Thread

Originally Posted by spainlinx0 View Post
Patriot Act on Netflix had a decent episode about the problems with cruise ships. It's a comedy/political show, but they do a decent job getting into these topics if you want a quick intro.
Thanks I am kinda curious about the hate. I mean i know many feel ships are disgusting virus/germ containers and also floating rape and murder farms for crew members who prey on passengers but other than that...
Old 03-12-20, 02:41 PM
  #1335  
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re: COVID-19 POLITICAL Thread

Originally Posted by JasonF View Post
I just heard the best summation of what's going on, though: this is not a travel-related disease. It's in the U.S. It's everywhere in the U.S. In the DC area, where I live, there have been more than a dozen people diagnosed. One of those people was an episcopal priest, who gave people communion potentially multiple weeks between the time he was exposed and the time he was diagnosed. There was an attendee at CPAC who was diagnosed; more than 10,000 people attended that conference from all over the country. I get that there are a lot of people in Italy who have the virus, but banning them from coming here isn't going to keep the virus out. The virus is already here.
I am afraid you are right. I saw an analysis that combined worldwide data, looking at this outbreak as one virus attack on humankind regardless of countries. That alllowed them to pool the data (>100K infected cases) to estimate “true” infection and mortality rates, and get around the atrociously low testing number in the US.

One question often asked is, will the US see an outbreak like Wuhan, China. Their answer is that it’s not that we will become like Wuhan, but we already are. In fact we are past the points when Wuhan implemented their lockdown. We have more infected people now than Wuhan did, but we don’t know because we don’t measure.

The next question is, what do we do now: It looks like China, South Korea and Italy have adopted the same solution: near total shutdown and massive disinfection of high-risk areas. Korea got better and faster results than China, presumably because they went second and learned, and now Italy is next. We don’t know their results yet. Do we have to do the same thing here? I don’t know and hope we don’t have to, but there is nothing else proven yet, not even by paper analysis.

One important thing we need to keep in mind is that South Korea made one mistake and let a single infected person through, and it nearly wiped them out. The margin of error is non-existent here. The optimistic side of me says that the problem has been solved twice, so Just do it, no need to reinvent anything. The pessimistic side says we lack the will and leadership intelligence.
Old 03-12-20, 02:45 PM
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re: COVID-19 POLITICAL Thread

We have some pretty damning numbers for Italy so far (15,113 (up 2651 today), and 1016 dead).

South Korea seems to be settling, with 7869 cases and 66 deaths, it's only adding about 150 cases a day with a downward trajectory.

The main difference is South Korea has been testing upward of 15,000 people a day, the US is still under 5,000 total.
Old 03-12-20, 02:46 PM
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re: COVID-19 POLITICAL Thread

Originally Posted by Psi View Post
The next question is, what do we do now: It looks like China, South Korea and Italy have adopted the same solution: near total shutdown and massive disinfection of high-risk areas. Korea got better and faster results than China, presumably because they went second and learned, and now Italy is next. We don’t know their results yet. Do we have to do the same thing here? I don’t know and hope we don’t have to, but there is nothing else proven yet, not even by paper analysis.

One important thing we need to keep in mind is that South Korea made one mistake and let a single infected person through, and it nearly wiped them out. The margin of error is non-existent here. The optimistic side of me says that the problem has been solved twice, so Just do it, no need to reinvent anything. The pessimistic side says we lack the will and leadership intelligence.
The situation in South Korea is arguably much better than the situation in Italy. Reuters has a good article contrasting the response in the two countries:
https://www.reuters.com/article/us-h...-idUSKBN20Z27P

Unfortunately, when it comes to extensive testing, the U.S. is currently more like Italy than South Korea.
Old 03-12-20, 02:53 PM
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re: COVID-19 POLITICAL Thread

Originally Posted by VinVega View Post
My wife and I loved our cruise to Alaska a couple of years ago. I don't know if I would label myself a "cruise guy" at this point though. I don't know if I could put up with it every year for vacations.
I’ve only taken one cruise, also to Alaska, and enjoyed it enough to do another someday. Just haven’t gotten around to making it a priority.
Old 03-12-20, 02:57 PM
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re: COVID-19 POLITICAL Thread

At least Democrats are for restricted travel during a pandemic that is sweeping across the world, and understand that isolation is probably best in this situation..
Old 03-12-20, 03:07 PM
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re: COVID-19 POLITICAL Thread

Holy crap.

Broadway Will Go Dark Amid Coronavirus Concerns
https://www.playbill.com/article/bro...virus-concerns

The closure is effective at 5 PM tonight, and will last through April 12.
Broadway theatres will go dark beginning 5 PM, March 12, by order of Governor Andrew Cuomo. Performances will resume the week of April 13.

The announcement comes as venues and performing arts organizations around New York City and the country have announced closures of their own amid rising concerns about the global coronavirus pandemic.

“Our top priority has been and will continue to be the health and well-being of Broadway theatregoers and the thousands of people who work in the theatre industry every day, including actors, musicians, stagehands, ushers, and many other dedicated professionals,” said Charlotte St. Martin, President of the Broadway League, in a statement. “Broadway has the power to inspire, enrich and entertain, and together we are committed to making that vital spirit a reality. Once our stages are lit again, we will welcome fans back with open arms so that they can continue to experience the joy, heart, and goodwill that our shows so passionately express every night.”
Old 03-12-20, 03:08 PM
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re: COVID-19 POLITICAL Thread

My schools just closed. Not a single confirmed case in our county. We are being told to expect a 30+ day closure.
Old 03-12-20, 03:18 PM
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re: COVID-19 POLITICAL Thread

My office is starting to scramble for setting up work at home options for some staff members. We're a bank, so I don't think they will be closing their doors to customers, but those who work the teller areas better have their hand sanitizer juiced up.
Old 03-12-20, 03:18 PM
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re: COVID-19 POLITICAL Thread

It feels like the world has turned upside down in just the last 24 hours or so. I fear that in the next 24 hours we might see some mass pandemonium (riots, looting, etc).
Old 03-12-20, 03:19 PM
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re: COVID-19 POLITICAL Thread

Neat!
Old 03-12-20, 03:19 PM
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re: COVID-19 POLITICAL Thread

Originally Posted by davidh777 View Post
I’ve only taken one cruise, also to Alaska, and enjoyed it enough to do another someday. Just haven’t gotten around to making it a priority.
In my opinion you've taken the best one. I've got over 200 days at sea logged and Alaska is still my favorite. I've done 4 times already and I have another booked for end of May. There's a few reasons why it's my favorite though.. 1) The best crab ever. 2) The glaciers in Alaska are just awesome. I've been to Greenland, around Cape horn, etc.. been to a lot of places where there's icebergs. Alaska has the best. 3) I'm a cool weather guy. I hate the heat. Having said that you can get days in the 80's in Alaska but at least it's not stupidly hot like when I was in Spain 4) The best crab ever. 5) It's convenient for me. Ship does a RT from LA so I'm on board and hour and a half after leaving my house. 6) Our son lives in Seattle so we always meet up with him somewhere along the way. 7) Best crab ever.

Sorry off topic i know.. but obviously I really enjoying cruising and hope this does NOT kill the industry. Obviously this really going to hurt them.
Old 03-12-20, 03:21 PM
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re: COVID-19 POLITICAL Thread

Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
It feels like the world has turned upside down in just the last 24 hours or so. I fear that in the next 24 hours we might see some mass pandemonium (riots, looting, etc).
That's the real worry. That things will spiral out of control. Things are just moving too fast right now and governments don't have a handle on things.
Old 03-12-20, 03:25 PM
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This is worth signal boosting because it means people ARE doing the right things

When this all slows down and normal life resumes, I hope that everyone sees that these actions are what helped. Unfortunately, I think there will be too many who will say things like, "See? It was all hysteria!!"
Old 03-12-20, 03:25 PM
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re: COVID-19 POLITICAL Thread

Originally Posted by General Zod View Post
In my opinion you've taken the best one. I've got over 200 days at sea logged and Alaska is still my favorite. I've done 4 times already and I have another booked for end of May. There's a few reasons why it's my favorite though.. 1) The best crab ever. 2) The glaciers in Alaska are just awesome. I've been to Greenland, around Cape horn, etc.. been to a lot of places where there's icebergs. Alaska has the best. 3) I'm a cool weather guy. I hate the heat. Having said that you can get days in the 80's in Alaska but at least it's not stupidly hot like when I was in Spain 4) The best crab ever. 5) It's convenient for me. Ship does a RT from LA so I'm on board and hour and a half after leaving my house. 6) Our son lives in Seattle so we always meet up with him somewhere along the way. 7) Best crab ever.

Sorry off topic i know.. but obviously I really enjoying cruising and hope this does NOT kill the industry. Obviously this really going to hurt them.
I do love my crab, and the Seattle departure is super convenient. Some family flew up here for it.
Old 03-12-20, 03:27 PM
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re: COVID-19 POLITICAL Thread

I live in Ohio and Gov Dewine has closed schools for a three week spring break, starting Monday. I didn't vote for him, but I appreciate how in front of this he has tried to be. Not sure how we are going to handle a three week spring break for our two kids, but we will figure it out.
Old 03-12-20, 03:28 PM
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re: COVID-19 POLITICAL Thread

Originally Posted by Groucho View Post
It feels like the world has turned upside down in just the last 24 hours or so. I fear that in the next 24 hours we might see some mass pandemonium (riots, looting, etc).
Well I've taken all jewelry, cash, etc out of our safe and put our toilet paper in there. So anyone who comes here rioting and looting will be very disappointed.

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