Thursday, April 16, 2020

Important Considerations Re The Novel Coronavirus

Look, I'm very sympathetic to the concerns of all those being hurt by this pandemic. I'll just repeat: I'm totally convinced that no one is working harder to find a way to safely "reopen" America than is President Trump. It's extremely complicated and we're fortunate to have a leader like Trump in charge. The thing is, "reopening" isn't just a matter of reopening the 50 states--it involves Reopening to the World as well. Even if we work quickly to delink from China to the greatest degree possible, reopening to other parts of the world could open America up to new sources of infection--because this really is a pandemic.

With that in mind I'm going to paste in some tweets from Adam Housley, whom I consider to be a credible commenter. He may be right, he may be wrong, but his track record suggests that he is doing his best to provide accurate information. That's not to say that I can be held to agree with everything he says, but he provides a useful reference point for discussion and coming to grips with the issues we're facing.

As everyone here knows, I originally came at this whole pandemic issue from the standpoint of whether it was a human engineered virus in some way. Whether as a potential bioweapon or an accidental release of a virus altered for arguably legitimate (a controversial issue) research purposes. I've seen nothing to alter my views in that regard, and that's something we really need to keep in mind--because it greatly complicates matters.

I was pointed in this direction by emailer Todd (h/t), so I'll start with a quote he sent me:

They've already detected two or three traits that have never been observed naturally. Viruses that jump the barrier are never perfectly formed to human receptors. They're generally not very successful at all against a healthy human immune system. Nor do they have a protein to hide from the human immune system for days to weeks while compromising cells AND blocking interferon release.  *Could* be by chance, but I suspect there was some degree of tinkering that was going on and this thing escaped the inadequate Level 4 lab.

That should give a very strong idea of how badly China has potentially screwed the world. All those epidemiologists who concentrated on the danger of a new flu pandemic rather than a SARS pandemic--they knew all of the above, based on the experience with SARS and MERS. That's why they regarded the previous SARS releases from Chinese labs to be regional rather than pandemic threats, and remained focused on the flu threat. And then along came SARS-CoV-2, with its enhanced transmissibility, beyond anything anyone ever expected.

So now, Housley: more info. While nothing has been ruled out, it's making more sense with factual info obtained that this accidentally escaped. That doesn't make it any less bad because of the coverup and continued lies that cost the rest of the world thousands and thousands of lives.  
NOW...there is massive info being obtained that China knew early how bad this was, knew it wasn't natural occurring and knew there would be massive problems. The Chinese government was more concerned about the cover and spread to other parts of China, than the rest of the world. 
They wanted no part of a China shutdown, so they tried to contain and didn't care one bit about shutting down external travel. Thus trains in Wuhan were stopped, but flights to Europe after Chinese New Years and other parts of the world continued.
They have without a doubt made it very difficult for other countries to know the truth behind this and the truth about this virus. Doctors and whistleblowers and evidence has disappeared. The bio weapon suggestion, while not ruled out yet, has a few holes.  
China absolutely strong armed the WHO and that's why the harsh words towards that organization. Both knew. Taiwan knew. The world listened and trusted China and the WHO over Taiwan due to politics. 

And then he adds:

The other issue I'm told that is hampering decisions at the federal and state level about reopening ... is the fact they've been told the virus is believed to not be natural occurring ... which means nobody knows exactly what it's going to do.
Will it mutate? Why are some areas more prone to the spread, while others are less prone? It is very contagious and easily spread, but there's still many unknowns about that. These are the questions that are also part of the overall investigation into what China has done. 

We'd all like more transparency, but for now I continue to trust Trump.


  1. I trust Trump also and believe, even with the bad models, that what we are doing is good.

    Up to a point.

    22 million jobs gone in a month. Democrats calling for massive changes to Constitution and general way of life. Police officers given the green light to ticket or throw into jail anyone not in their homes no matter how alone or isolated these people were. Even nasty CNN Cuomo accosted for being outside his own residence on his own property with his own family by the Kingflu neighborhood patrol. Thousands protest in two different states the capricious, authoritarian measures.

    To top it all off, all this was done to not overwhelm hospitals, yet, except in an extremely few areas, hospital employees all over the US, including Syracuse, NY, are being sent home due to no one in the hospitals because almost all other procedures other than treating Covid patients are considered elective.

    Things are going to get worse as long as this continues no matter how virtuous are our intentions.

    1. But Housley's point isn't about "virtuous intentions." It's about very basic prudential considerations in the face of a threat the nature of which we aren't sure we fully understand. Beyond this, I do agree that more needs to be done to mitigate not so much the disease as the reaction to it. The problem is that in modern life everything is linked. Syracuse can't fully reopen, for example, without opening to New York City. It's the nature of modern life.

    2. I take your point, in response to TexasDude, and, to some extent, share your concerns.

      But we have shut down (destroyed is more apt) the economy to fight a virus that kills about, give or take, 1% of the people who get it.

      That doesn't seem rational.

    3. Do you understand what you just wrote? If we take no measures to contain this virus and it infects all 330M people in the US, you're talking about 3.3M deaths. I agree that that's very unlikely--for reasons we don't fully understand. But scale it back from 330M. At what point do the number of deaths become less "rational".

      I hear this a lot from "conservatives". Human life becomes a "rational" calculation. Along the lines of, It's better that one man should die for the people than for the whole nation to be destroyed.

      Of course I don't suppose--although feel free to disabuse me of it--that you really mean that. Nevertheless, do you really believe you have the knowledge to make that decision? Or even to recommend it?

      The UK tried to avoid shutting things down. Their deaths per million are now TWICE that of the US. Sweden's stats--in a not too densely populated country--are well above ours.

      I agree with Housley that there are too many unknowns at this point. Well, certainly unknown to me.

    4. By rational, I meant our response. I'm not saying we should not have taken measures. The social distancing makes sense, as does closing arenas, segregating the at risk. Everything else is madness. We've gone too far.

      People are dying now. It's not like we stopped the process. Your claim would be that 100 times as many people would be dying, or 1000--pick a multiple--if we hadn't stopped the world.

      The thing is: you don't know this.

    5. I am appalled when I see fellow Conservatives swing from hardcore anti-abortion to the “Rational” when it comes to how many human lives could now be sacrificed for “The Economy”. This is when we lose the really rational Conservatives… There appears to be a hypocrisy factor in that position.

      I once met a salty old Brit guy, friend of former husband, who qualified his opinion by saying it had. after all, “come from a veritable storehouse of bogus information”. We don’t have enough solid information to allow us to make sweeping judgements on how many deaths we could “afford". We can only hope that the President is better informed than we when he has to make his decisions…

      As one who is “at risk”, I’d be curious to know how I would be segregated if everyone else were to be turned loose to escape the “madness”....

    6. Problem is, even in the hot zone, China, where they allowed it to fester before taking drastic measures, and even bumping up their official numbers, China, a population that dwarfs ours and concentrated in dense cities like NYC, has not had any deaths coming close to a million or half a million or a quarter of a million.

    7. You're a trusting soul. I've heard from people I trust who suggest well over 1/4 million deaths.

    8. How you would be segregated would be up to you. Should you want to live under house arrest, that would be your choice. You don't have to have contact with people. But YOUR choice.

      By 'at risk' I meant primarily people in nursing homes, who are segregated as it is. It turns out, from what I can gather, that the virus was spread in these places by health care workers.

      Residents in nursing homes tend to become victims of the flu as well.

      People could take their own measures. In the meantime, millions of pounds of fruits and vegetables are being plowed under. Milk is being poured into fields. Start planting.

    9. Uhhh, yeah, Bebe ...

      Pelosi just stated all life is precious and any death is heart breaking.

      Nevermind she led the group calling Trump racist for calling the virus Chinese and was more interested in impeaching Trump over ginned up accusations than dealing with Covid.

  2. I trust Trump, too.

    In reaching this conclusion, I asked myself: Why?

    The answer, I told myself, is because I believe Trump, for all his flaws, is fundamentally honest.

    I then reflected about how another potential leader, Mrs Clinton, might have managed this crisis. Not well, I concluded. In large measure because she is fundamentally dis-honest.

    Then I thought about President Trump's nominal opponent this Fall and considered how he fares on the honesty scale. Not well, I concluded. The Ukraine matter being just one example.

    In a contest between an honest man and a dishonest man there shouldn't be much of a hard choice to be made.

    1. Beyond his fundamental honesty I would also maintain that he's smart and very competent, understands how big organizations work, understands the economy.

    2. And in a counter-intuitive way, he is apolitical. In the sense that he isn't wedded to a political ideology like the Dems. His ideology, I would submit, like his honesty, is fundamental. As, for example, the Constitution, is fundamental.

      Take, for example, his approach to racial issues. I believe he believes in the original American dream of 'equality for all', not the warped (and I would say inherently racist) Democratic approach of ultimately divisive affirmative action, welfare, victimology and 'reparations'.

      When Trump takes the podium to announce that the black unemployment rate under his leadership is (was) the lowest in history and clearly evidences pride in the accomplishment, I know he is no racist.

      When the Dems repeatedly accuse him of racism, they lie.

      Again, back to fundamental honesty.

    3. Totally agree. He's not some sort of constitutional scholar and can misspeak at times. But his instinct is for federalism and he's willing to be corrected. Fundamental honesty.

    4. Add to that he genuinely, old school, loves this country, all of it. I think that greatly influenced the shambles that comprised his early appointments in that he couldn't readily get his head around the sewer that professional government had become. He, like many of us, didn't want to believe the corruption really was as bad as it has proven to be.
      While he may think of himself a man of the world, he never considered himself a citizen of the world. Home is where the heart is, and for most of our 'elites' that is not America.
      Tom S.

    5. Yep. Pelosi and the rest don't love this country. They love an ideology they hope to implement that will create a country they think they can love--and will subjugate those they don't love.

    6. I wouldn't regard what they envision as a 'country' as much as a satrap, a mere province, in a global empire ruled by a hierarchy of oligarchs: the globalist dream, gussied up as a Socialist Utopia.
      Tom S.

    7. good thoughts in this particular thread regarding Donald Trump. I believe he is the right man for the job and echo Cassander regarding Clinton.

      I love how his name will appear on the stimulus checks. I think that it's another example of how he gets under the skin of his opponents.

  3. Mask wearing is now required in NY, NJ, and Maryland.

    In California about 50% of the population is in areas requiring masks (LA, Riverside, and San Bernardino Counties).

    My guess is you will see a huge reduction in the infections due to Coronavirus in about 2 weeks. This will change the conversation on re-opening.

    The original massive estimates of mortality in the US have been scaled back that were used to justify the blank stay at home orders. From 2 Million to under 100,000. My guess is some areas will slowly re-open, and depending on the results, other areas will re-open. And other countries are also slowly re-opening, depending on results.

    On the virus, I agree 100% it escaped from a lab. And I would not be surprised if it got tinkered with for "legitimate" research reasons. I see the Overton Window on this conversation moving. Zerohedge is still banned from twitter for having an article about the origin from a lab. Interesting who immediately came out against this theory.

    1. I wouldn't be surprised if Trump were to issue federal 'guidelines' for reopening local areas on a piecemeal basis. That's the approach Gottlieb has recommended. Obviously you don't want New Yorkers reinfecting the entire country, but I do believe there are sensible actions that could be taken. Housley's cautions are well founded, but only take us so far.

    2. FYI - here in Los Angeles the current UCLA guidelines for masks: required ONLY if people need to work within 6 FEET of each other for 10 MINUTES.

      This indicates to me that COVID is probably far less contagious than is commonly believed.

    3. 6/10 is what I heard from our public health official on the radio several weeks ago. Unfortunately governments have not done a good job of educating people. Now when I go for a walk I see people walking around with a mask on with nobody else near as far as the eye can see. Are they afraid of a virus from the trees? Are they afraid of being arrested? Information is what people need.