Defund the CDC

States without lockdowns did better than states with restrictions

NPR: Pandemic Approaches: The Differences Between Florida, California
February 18, 2021
Heard on Morning Edition
National Public Radio

"California had this sustained, horrible surge of infections, the worst in the nation, for many weeks after the second lockdown was ordered. And the fact is, California's deaths per capita numbers, which, you know, officials have used throughout the pandemic to defend these very tough restrictions, are in many cases either the same or worse than many states that have been far less restrictive.... Florida never went to another lockdown. According to the CDC, the results haven't been too bad. We've had - Florida's have fewer cases per capita than California... in Florida, most businesses are open, and they have been for months now. Theme parks actually were allowed to reopen in June. So in terms of the economy, Florida's not doing too badly compared with the rest of the nation."

NEW YORK TIMES: Floridians are out and about and pandemic restrictions have been lifted.
March 13, 2021

"Florida reopened months before much of the rest of the nation, which only in recent days has begun to emerge from the better part of a year under lockdown. .... None of this feels particularly new in Florida, which slowed during the worst of the pandemic but only briefly closed. To the contrary, much of the state has a boomtown feel, a sense of making up for months of lost time.... Yet Florida’s death rate is no worse than the national average, and better than that of some other states that imposed more restrictions, despite its large numbers of retirees, young partyers and tourists...... Florida never imposed a statewide mask mandate, and the governor in September banned local governments from enforcing their own local orders. This week, Mr. DeSantis wiped out any outstanding fines related to virus restrictions, stating that most of the restrictions “have not been effective.”.... Florida ranks in the lower third of states when it comes to vaccinations."

NEWSWEEK: Texas COVID Cases Drop to Record Low Nearly Three Weeks After Mask Mandate Lifted
On 3/29/21 at 10:51 AM EDT
By Matthew Impelli

Coronavirus cases have dropped to a record low in Texas roughly three weeks after the state lifted its mask mandate and reopened businesses..... Mississippi also removed its COVID-19 restrictions around the same time. Like Texas, Mississippi has seen a drop in virus cases and hospitalizations. According to CDC data, as of Saturday Mississippi was seeing an average of 254 daily cases, which is a decrease from the previous month, where the state was averaging around 520. ... Before the decreases in cases and hospitalizations in Texas and Mississippi, they received criticism for their coronavirus policies, including from President Joe Biden. Shortly after both states said they were lifting their COVID-19 restrictions, Biden said, "The last thing we need is Neanderthal thinking, that, in the meantime, everything's fine, take off your mask, forget it. It still matters."

Coronavirus mask mandates are quickly destroying our planet

Disposable plastic face masks pose huge environmental risks, with 3 million used a minute, researchers warn
March 11, 2021
Around the world 129 billion face masks are now used every month

The huge demand for face masks in the year since the coronavirus pandemic has swept the globe has resulted in enormous production of disposable masks, but it is now feared that undisposed of properly, they pose a major threat to the natural world. ....Researchers now warn the huge volume of mask, with their plastic composition, pose a growing environmental threat and are urging action to prevent it from becoming the next plastic problem. ... Environmental toxicologist Elvis Genbo Xu from the University of Southern Denmark and professor Zhiyong Jason Ren, an expert in civil and environmental engineering at Princeton University, said: “Disposable masks are plastic products, that cannot be readily biodegraded but may fragment into smaller plastic particles, namely micro- and nanoplastics that widespread in ecosystems..... But they said unlike plastic bottles, of which approximately 25 per cent are recycled, there is no official guidance on mask recycling, making them more likely to be disposed of in inappropriate ways, the researchers said.

2020 coronavirus fears disproportionate to overall causes of deaths

(differences between 2017 to 2020 in blue)
1. Car crash/accident
2. Drug overdose/suicide
3. Guns/homocide
1. Car crash/accident
2. Drug overdose/suicide
3. Guns/homocide
1. Drug overdose/suicide
2. Car crash/accident
3. Guns/homocide
1. Drug overdose/suicide
2. Car crash/accident
3. Guns/homocide
1. Cancer
2. Heart disease
3. Drug overdose/suicide
1. Drug overdose/suicide
2. Cancer
3. Heart disease
1. Heart disease
2. Cancer
3. Respiratory disease*
1. Heart disease
2. Cancer
3. Respiratory disease*
* includes all influenza and coronaviruses (including Covid19)


COVID-19 not the sole cause of excess U.S. deaths in 2020
April 13, 2021
by University of Pennsylvania

By the year 2017, the United States was already suffering more excess deaths and more life years lost each year than those associated with the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, according to research from demographers Samuel Preston of the University of Pennsylvania and Yana Vierboom of the Max Planck Institute for Demographic Research.

In 2017, the United States suffered an estimated 401,000 total excess deaths, those beyond the "normal" number of deaths expected to have occurred. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reports 376,504 deaths related to COVID-19 in 2020.

Death and Lockdowns
There’s no proof that lockdowns save lives but plenty of evidence that they end them.
By John Tierney
March 21, 2021

John Tierney is a contributing editor of City Journal, a contributing science columnist for the New York Times, and coauthor of The Power of Bad: How the Negativity Effect Rules Us and How We Can Rule It.

City Journal is a publication of the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research (MI), a leading free-market think tank.

"The best gauge of the pandemic’s impact is what statisticians call “excess mortality,” which compares the overall number of deaths with the total in previous years. That measure rose among older Americans because of Covid-19, but it rose at an even sharper rate among people aged 15 to 54, and most of those excess deaths were not attributed to the virus."

Help us bring working people back to work!

Lockdown poverty and unemployment worsens future virus outbreaks.
Moreover, isolation, masks, and handsanitizers inhibit natural immunity.
Lets put working people back to work, and reduce the wealth gap, and
reduce racial inequality -- instead of shutting down working class jobs.

Table of Contents:

$12 billion a year (CDC budget) can go to
help the environment, schools, and working class jobs.

Help us bring working people back to work!

Working people can't work -- while the rich get richer

Fortunes of US billionaires grew by $434B since coronavirus crisis
By Noah Manskar
May 22, 2020 | 1:22pm | Updated

The combined fortunes of America’s billionaires ballooned by $434 billion during the coronavirus pandemic, even as millions of Americans lost their jobs, a new report says.

'Heads we win, tails you lose': how America's rich have turned pandemic into profit
Dominic Rushe and Mona Chalabi
The Guardian
April 26, 2020

Never let a good crisis go to waste: as the coronavirus pandemic sweeps the world, America’s 1% have taken profitable advantage of the old saying.

Amazon sales jumped 40%, Facebook profit increased by 98% and Apple posted more than $11BILLION profit in last quarter

Mollie Mansfield
Jul 31 2020, 9:48 ET
Updated: Jul 31 2020, 9:55 ET

AMAZON sales have jumped by 40 percent, Facebook's profit has increased by 98 percent and Apple has posted more than $11billion profit in the last quarter.

The companies have all seen a rise despite the coronavirus pandemic causing stores to shut and employees to work from home.

Debt, wealth destruction and lower pay will be coronavirus’ legacy
Satyajit Das
April 23, 2020

Financial fallout from the health crisis will widen the gap dividing rich and poor

Jeff Bezos Gains $24 Billion While World’s Rich Reap Bailout Rewards
Sophie Alexander, Tom Maloney and Tom Metcalf
April 14, 2020

(Bloomberg) -- The world’s richest person is getting richer, even in a pandemic, and perhaps because of it.

“All These Rich People Can’t Stop Themselves”: The Luxe Quarantine Lives of Silicon Valley’s Elite
Travis Kalanick is throwing (outdoor) parties, private-jet owners are hopping from safe zone to safe zone, and dinner party hosts are administering 15-minute COVID-19 rapid tests—all business as usual. “Coronavirus is a poor person’s virus,” says one source.

By Nick Bilton
August 13, 2020

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Covid19 Laws used as excuse to crackdown on the poor, minorities, and rights activists

How the Pandemic Economy Could Wipe Out a Generation of Black-Owned Businesses
March 4, 2021 5 a.m. EST
by Lydia DePillis

"There are disparities between American businesses owned by white people and those owned by all minority groups, but the widest ones are typically with Black entrepreneurs, who tend to have modest family wealth and thin professional networks to help recruit talent and cut deals. Although the number of Black-owned businesses has grown in recent years... those years of compounding disadvantage have been exacerbated by the pandemic. For example, 18.4% fewer self-employed Black people were working in July 2020 than there had been a year previously, compared to 6.2% fewer self-employed white people (the dips for Asian and Hispanic people were even smaller). And minority-owned businesses overall have also been at the back of the line for relief programs, which were initially designed without factoring in the unique challenges of small businesses owned by people of color."

June 16, 2020 / 4:14 PM
U.S. racial inequality
3 Min Read

The unrest has sharpened the public focus on economic plight of black and Latino families, who on average continue to earn less, have higher unemployment, and are harder hit when economic shocks like the coronavirus hit.

NPR National
Vaccine Passports: 'Scarlet Letter' Or Just The Ticket?
April 9, 2021 7:06 AM ET
Heard on Morning Edition
Tovia Smith

"Being Jewish, I've always had this apprehension about anyone saying 'Show us your papers!'" Greenberg says, because it harkens back to the horrors Jews experienced in Nazi Germany. She's quick to acknowledge a vaccine passport is hardly the same thing, but she worries it would be prone to abuse. "It'll create two classes of human beings, almost like a caste system of vaccinated and unvaccinated. So then, what's next? It just makes me a little bit uneasy."... John Calvin Byrd III, has similar qualms. The self-described "far-left militant black man" lives in Los Angeles, and says he cringes at the thought of being seen as sharing the same concerns as "Trumpers," but he believes vaccine passports would impinge on his civil liberties. He says he and his family are not vaccinating, because they don't trust how fast the COVID-19 vaccines were rushed through the emergency authorization process, and because he doesn't trust Big Pharma. But he thinks it's unfair to penalize people like him, by restricting his ability to go out for dinner, travel, or visit a park, museum, or grocery store. "It's not like we committed a crime," he says. "We should be able to go and play and do whatever we want." He's also feeling pressure from his boss to vaccinate, and fears his decision not to, may cost him his job. ... More broadly, Byrd worries that vaccine passports will exacerbate inequities for Black and Brown people, who are still less likely to be vaccinated — either by choice or because of lack of access. "It puts people into separate groups, and one group has privileges and the other group does not ... That keeps myself, my family and people like us in the margins," Byrd says.

Black leaders react to South Beach spring break curfew, crackdown: ‘unnecessary force’
By Martin Vassolo
March 21, 2021 12:40 PM

"After weeks of uninhibited partying on South Beach by spring breakers, police turned away throngs of people — many of them Black — from world-famous Ocean Drive with a SWAT truck, pepper balls and sound cannons."

Democrat Miami Mayor Dan Gelber justifies crackdown on African-Americans, while letting the white crowds enjoy their privilege: "I don't see this [group dispursed by police] is a sort of spring break thing, because I don't think these are college kids," said Mayor Gelber. Because Covid19 restrictions are sacralized, we see no political outrage from Congress or Biden White House on discriminatory "social distancing" enforcement.

NPR National
Human Rights Advocacy Is Changing Tones Under The Biden Administration
March 30, 2021 4:08 PM ET
Heard on All Things Considered
Michele Kelemen

"The coronavirus pandemic has created more problems. The State Department says some governments have used the crisis as a pretext to restrict human rights."

A tale of two parks: Enjoying the sun in wealthy Manhattan, social distancing under police scrutiny in the Bronx
Yahoo News
May 6, 2020

Thousands of New Yorkers flocked to city parks all over the five boroughs last weekend to enjoy sunny spring weather and temperatures in the 70s. .... But not all parts of the city were enjoying the respite equally. .... This image was in stark contrast to a viral image Conde also took on May 2, showing Christopher Street Pier, on the edge of Greenwich Village, packed with New Yorkers enjoying the sun, in close proximity without masks. No officers were in sight, according to Conde. In another image Conde took at the same park on May 3, an officer is calmly passing out face masks to visitors. ... “I guess in the police force’s eyes, people of color need to be policed,” Conde said in an interview with Yahoo News.... It seems like two different cities: residents of affluent and mostly white neighborhoods enjoying the warm weather and receiving masks from friendly officers, while police cars patrol parks in the mostly Latino and black Bronx communities, an implied warning to residents not to enjoy the warm weather too much.

Amazon Fires Worker Who Led Strike Over Virus
Bloomberg News
March 31, 2020

(Bloomberg) -- Chris Smalls, an Inc. fulfillment center employee, said the company fired him after he led a strike at a warehouse in Staten Island, New York, over coronavirus safety conditions.....Amazon confirmed it fired Smalls, saying he violated safety regulations, including failing to abide by a 14-day quarantine required after being exposed to an employee with a confirmed case of Covid-19.

Governments use pandemic to crack down on online dissent: watchdog
October 14, 2020, 8:54 AM 2 min read

Governments and police must stop using pandemic as pretext for abuse
17 December 2020, 00:01 UTC

Abusive policing and excessive reliance on law enforcement to implement COVID-19 response measures have violated human rights and in some instances made the health crisis worse, Amnesty International said today.

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Excess deaths caused by virus or by virus restrictions?

NPR: Drug Overdose Deaths Surge Among Black Americans During Pandemic
March 3, 2021
Heard on Morning Edition

Scientists at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say fatal drug overdoses nationwide have surged roughly 20% during the pandemic, killing more than 83,000 people in 2020.

NPR: They Lost Sons To Drug Overdoses: How The Pandemic May Be Fueling Deaths Of Despair
January 26, 2021
Heard on Morning Edition

"Once COVID is in the rear-view mirror, we still have a lot of work to do to try to bring down the numbers of people who are dying annually in the U.S. from suicide, drug overdose, and from alcohol," Case said.

Drug overdoses just one example of 'excess deaths' during pandemic
Updated Oct 6, 2020

Drug overdoses aren’t the only cause of death that have spiked since the beginning of the spread of the novel coronavirus. The number of deaths in Colorado caused by heart disease, stroke, liver disease and Alzheimer’s are all up over recent years, adding to the understanding of the noncoronavirus “excess deaths” phenomenon.

Deaths from all causes — not just Covid-19 — are up since the pandemic started, a CDC report found.
By Julia Belluz
Oct 21, 2020, 10:10am EDT

It’s important to track excess deaths during a pandemic because official mortality counts may not capture undiagnosed fatal infections, or those who died of causes indirectly related to the virus [restrictions], such as interruptions in health care. We know of a few such interruptions in the US already: people experiencing heart attacks have been forgoing emergency room visits, and drop-offs in cancer screenings. We also know, from Brazil to Indonesia, excess deaths are way up this year.

Young people experienced the greatest relative increase in excess deaths

The most attention-grabbing finding relates to the pandemic’s toll on young people: For 25- to 44-year-olds, the excess death rate is up 27 percent. That’s the largest percentage increase of any age group.

....Drug overdoses and suicides were major contributors to the trend — and the arrival of the coronavirus may be exacerbating these factors.

“If young adults were already dying at higher rates from drug overdoses and suicide before the pandemic, the additional stresses brought on by the pandemic [fear-mongering] could not have helped matters,” said Woolf.

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Every year, a new virus strain of influenza or coronavirus
permeates the global ecosystem until an approximately 15% (1-in-7)
saturation threshold is reached -- regardless of vaccine.

Every year, 1 billion (1-in-7) are infected worldwide from new virus strains,
Aproximately 650,000 die worldwide yearly from new virus strains;
45 million Americans (1-in-7) are infected every year (CDC) by new strains

Source: World Health Organization 14 December 2017 and 11 March 2019 and CDC 2018

Why has the CDC not told us when each Covid-19 strain
reached its 1-in-7 threshold?

17% of US has been infected, model estimates
Jan. 23, 2021

Approximately 17% of people in the U.S. have been infected with the coronavirus, a model by researches at the University of Washington estimates. Current data suggests that at least 7% of Americans have tested positive for COVID-19, but the model by the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation assumes that testing isn't detecting all of the cases present in the population.

New Covid-19 cases down 16 percent last week: WHO
February 16, 2021

The number of new cases of Covid-19 reported worldwide fell by 16 percent last week to 2.7 million, the World Health Organization said... WHO director general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said Monday that the number of new cases had declined for a fifth consecutive week, dropping by almost half, from more than five million cases in the week of January 4.

Why ARE COVID cases plummeting?
Health Reporter For and Associated Press
February 3, 2021

Health experts say it is too soon for vaccines to be playing a major role in the decline with just 8% of the population having received the first shot and fewer than 2% being fully immunized.

1-in-7 New Yorkers May Have Already Gotten Covid-19
April 15, 2020

Of the 215 women who delivered babies at New York-Presbyterian Allen Hospital and Columbia University Irving Medical Center in Upper Manhattan from March 22 through April 4, 214 were tested for the coronavirus that causes Covid-19. Thirty-three of them, or more than 15%, tested positive, even though only a few had symptoms. In Gangelt, a German town that makes a big deal out of Karneval (aka Mardi Gras) and had a major coronavirus outbreak after this February’s festivities, 500 residents were tested for evidence of either the virus or the antibodies that indicate one has recovered from it, and 15% of them tested positive as well.

New York first state to pass peak
June 3, 2020

"New York state reports lowest daily coronavirus death toll yet" [soon after over 15% threshold already infected]

Household secondary attack rate of COVID-19 and associated determinants in Guangzhou, China: a retrospective cohort study
Published:June 17, 2020

Between Jan 7, 2020, and Feb 18, 2020, we traced 195 unrelated close contact groups (215 primary cases, 134 secondary or tertiary cases, and 1964 uninfected close contacts). By identifying households from these groups, assuming a mean incubation period of 5 days, a maximum infectious period of 13 days, and no case isolation, the estimated secondary attack rate among household contacts was 12·4% (95% CI 9·8–15·4) when household contacts were defined on the basis of close relatives and 17·1% (13·3–21·8) when household contacts were defined on the basis of residential address.

Antibody surveys suggesting vast undercount of coronavirus infections may be unreliable
By Gretchen Vogel
Apr. 21, 2020 6:30 PM

At a press conference on 9 April, virologist Hendrik Streeck from the University of Bonn announced preliminary results from a town of about 12,500 in Heinsberg, a region in Germany that had been hit hard by COVID-19. He told reporters his team had found antibodies to the virus in 14% of the 500 people tested. By comparing that number with the recorded deaths in the town, the study suggested the virus kills only 0.37% of the people infected.

CDC Community Transmission of Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome Coronavirus 2, Shenzhen, China, 2020
Volume 26, Number 6—June 2020

We found a sharply increasing proportion of infected children (from 2% before January 24 to 13% for January 25–February 5; p<0.001), implying that increased exposure for children and intrafamily transmission might contribute substantially to the epidemic.

(NIH) Probable Secondary Infections in Households of SARS Patients in Hong Kong
Emerg Infect Dis. 2004 Feb; 10(2): 236–243.

A case-control analysis identified risk factors for secondary infection. Secondary infection occurred in 14.9% (22.1% versus 11% in earlier and later phases) of all households and 8% (11.7% versus 5.9% in the earlier and later phases) of all household members.

COVID antibody test in German town shows 15 percent infection rate
Scientists randomly sampled 1,000 people in Gangelt
April 10, 2020

...The 15 percent figure from Gangelt is interesting because it matches two previous studies. Firstly, there was the accidental experiment of the cruise ship the Diamond Princess, which inadvertently became a floating laboratory when a passenger showing symptoms of COVID-19 boarded on January 20 and remained in the ship, spreading the virus, for five days. The ship was eventually quarantined on February 3 and all its 3,711 passengers tested for the virus. It turned out the 634 of them — 17 percent — had been infected, many of them without symptoms. The mortality rate on the vessel was 1.2 percent — although, inevitably being a cruise ship, it was a relatively elderly cohort.

We gained another insight into SARS-CoV-2 from a Chinese study into 391 cases of COVID-19 in the southern Chinese city of Shenzhen. In this case, scientists tested everyone who shared a household with people who were found to be suffering from the disease. It turned out 15 percent of this group had gone on to be infected with SARS-CoV-2 themselves. Again, many showed no symptoms.

Volume 26, Number 10—October 2020
CDC: Contact Tracing during Coronavirus Disease Outbreak, South Korea, 2020

We analyzed reports for 59,073 contacts of 5,706 coronavirus disease (COVID-19) index patients reported in South Korea during January 20–March 27, 2020. Of 10,592 household contacts, 11.8% had COVID-19.

Spouses, Adults Most Likely to Get COVID-19 Infection from Household Member
MAY 07, 2020

The results show that overall, the rate of infection among household members was 16.3%, with adults facing a greater likelihood of infection than children.

Coronavirus infections more widespread than expected in L.A. County
BY Leigh Hopper
May 18, 2020

A newly published, USC-led study has confirmed that, though many more L.A. County residents had COVID-19 antibodies than previously thought, most people have not been infected.

CDC Public Health Responses to COVID-19 Outbreaks on Cruise Ships — Worldwide, February–March 2020
Weekly / March 27, 2020 / 69(12);347-352
On March 23, 2020, this report was posted online as an MMWR Early Release.

During February 11–21, 2020, the Grand Princess cruise ship sailed roundtrip from San Francisco, California, making four stops in Mexico (voyage A).... During land-based quarantine in the United States, all persons were offered SARS-CoV-2 testing. As of March 21, of 469 persons with available test results, 78 (16.6%) had positive test results for SARS-CoV-2.

NY releases figures estimating 14 percent in state, 20 percent in NYC have had COVID-19
By Jessie Hellmann - 04/23/20 12:43 PM EDT

Preliminary data shows about 13.9 percent of the population of New York state — about 2.7 million people — have at some point been infected with the coronavirus.

About 3,000 people were randomly tested at grocery stores and other public locations to allow officials to get a broader sense of how widely the virus has spread in New York and how many people might now have immunity.

Nearly half of Diamond Princess cruise ship passengers and crew who had coronavirus were asymptomatic when tested, CDC report says
By Amir Vera and Shelby Lin Erdman, CNN
Updated 12:50 AM ET, Tue March 24, 2020

The CDC's report also detailed the other cruise ship, the Grand Princess, which was in limbo for days off the coast of California. Of the 469 people with available test results on that ship, 78 -- or 17% -- of them tested positive for coronavirus.

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Do quick and strong responses save lives --- or increase death?

"Really? What am I going to do with 40 ventilators when I need 30,000?"
---New York Governor Andrew Cuomo

Ventilators are being overused on COVID-19 patients, world-renowned critical care specialist says
Italian experts say many patients fare poorly on ventilators; Toronto expert says more data needed
CBC News
Posted: Apr 17, 2020 4:00 AM ET

Doctors in New York state and elsewhere have voiced similar concerns about putting patients on ventilators too soon and with the pressure too high. Many have begun to delay their use, after New York authorities reported a death rate of 80 per cent for people who go on ventilators.

Newsweek: Cuomo Requests 30,000 Ventilators
By Jeffery Martin On 3/26/20 at 10:36 PM EDT

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said at a Wednesday news conference. "Really? What am I going to do with 40 ventilators when I need 30,000?"

80% of NYC's coronavirus patients who are put on ventilators ultimately die, and some doctors are trying to stop using them
Sinéad Baker
Apr 9, 2020, 6:56 AM

* Some doctors are trying to reduce their reliance on ventilators for coronavirus patients because of reports of abnormally high death rates for patients using the machines, The Associated Press reported on Wednesday.
* New York City officials have said at least 80% of coronavirus patients who were on ventilators in the city died, the AP reported. Unusually high death rates have also been recorded elsewhere in the US and the world.

New analysis recommends less reliance on ventilators to treat coronavirus patients
By Sharon Begley
April 21, 2020

By using ventilators more sparingly on Covid-19 patients, physicians could reduce the more-than-50% death rate for those put on the machines, according to an analysis published Tuesday in the American Journal of Tropical Medicine and Hygiene.

Study: Most N.Y. COVID Patients on Ventilators Died
By Robert Preidt
HealthDay Reporter

WEDNESDAY, April 22, 2020 (HealthDay News) -- The largest analysis of hospitalized U.S. COVID-19 patients to date finds that most did not survive after being placed on a mechanical ventilator.

Are Ventilators Helping or Harming COVID-19 Patients?
April 15, 2020, at 2:00 p.m.
By Dennis Thompson
HealthDay Reporter

Mechanical ventilators mark a crisis point in a patient's COVID-19 course, and questions are now being raised as to whether the machines can cause harm.

‘Almost a death sentence’: How Wisconsin doctors, peers are rethinking ventilators for coronavirus
BRAM SABLE-SMITH Wisconsin Watch
May 11, 2020

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Help us bring working people back to work!

The shutdown measures are destroying the planet, the oceans, killing sealife!

Disposable plastic face masks pose huge environmental risks, with 3 million used a minute, researchers warn
March 11, 2021
Around the world 129 billion face masks are now used every month

The huge demand for face masks in the year since the coronavirus pandemic has swept the globe has resulted in enormous production of disposable masks, but it is now feared that undisposed of properly, they pose a major threat to the natural world. ....Researchers now warn the huge volume of mask, with their plastic composition, pose a growing environmental threat and are urging action to prevent it from becoming the next plastic problem. ... Environmental toxicologist Elvis Genbo Xu from the University of Southern Denmark and professor Zhiyong Jason Ren, an expert in civil and environmental engineering at Princeton University, said: “Disposable masks are plastic products, that cannot be readily biodegraded but may fragment into smaller plastic particles, namely micro- and nanoplastics that widespread in ecosystems..... But they said unlike plastic bottles, of which approximately 25 per cent are recycled, there is no official guidance on mask recycling, making them more likely to be disposed of in inappropriate ways, the researchers said.

World Economic Forum
Do you wear a disposable mask?

06 Aug 2020

....But aside from limiting the transmission of COVID-19, disposable plastic masks are having a devastating effect on the planet, adding to the world's growing plastic problem....

July 23, 2020 / 6:44 PM / 16 days ago
Plastic pollution flowing into oceans to triple by 2040: study
Joe Brock

4 Min Read

SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The amount of plastic waste flowing into the ocean and killing marine life could triple in the next 20 years, unless companies and governments can drastically reduce plastic production, a new study published on Thursday said.

Single-use plastic consumption has increased during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the International Solid Waste Association, an NGO. Face masks and latex gloves are washing up daily on Asia’s remote beaches. Landfills worldwide are piled high with record amounts of takeaway food containers and online delivery packaging.

United Nations
You should know about disposable masks and plastic pollution

30 July 2020

...“Plastic pollution was already one of the greatest threats to our planet before the coronavirus outbreak,” says Pamela Coke-Hamilton, UNCTAD’s director of international trade. “The sudden boom in the daily use of certain products to keep people safe and stop the disease is making things much worse.”

Discarded used masks, gloves increase health risks, pollution
By Brendan Quealy
Aug 8, 2020

A study released last week from the the journal of Environmental Science and Technology found that, worldwide, people are using and throwing away an estimated 129 billion disposable masks and 65 billion disposable gloves every month..... The gloves, masks and sanitizing wipes are all plastic, which break down into microplastics that attract pesticides and other harmful chemicals, officials with the Citizens Campaign for the Environment said.... When the wildlife eats the litter, they don’t just get the plastic, they get the chemicals as well.

McDonald's: 'Face mask' found inside Aldershot store's chicken nugget
5 August 2020

A six-year-old girl nearly choked on a chicken nugget from McDonald's which her mother has claimed contained a blue surgical face mask..... She managed to get the chicken nugget out of her daughter's mouth and said: "It was a mask, it was absolutely baked into it".

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Africa spared? Isolation and chemicals worsen outbreaks.

The hygiene hypothesis: How being too clean might be making us sick
By Joseph Stromberg
Updated Jan 28, 2015, 11:07am EST

Over the past few decades, doctors have arrived at a counterintuitive hypothesis about our modern, ultra-sanitized world. Too much cleanliness may be causing us to develop allergies, asthma, inflammatory bowel diseases, and other autoimmune disorders. The idea is that for many children in the wealthy world, a lack of exposure to bacteria, viruses, and allergens prevents the normal development of the immune system, ultimately increasing the chance of disorders within this system down the road. This is called the hygiene hypothesis.

Coronavirus in South Africa: Scientists explore surprise theory for low death rate
By Andrew Harding
BBC Africa correspondent, Johannesburg
Published 2 September 2020

The idea is that, by studying the PBMCs, the scientists might find evidence that people had been widely infected by other coronaviruses - those, for instance, responsible for many common colds - and that, as a result, they might enjoy some degree of immunity to Covid-19.

"It's a hypothesis. Some level of pre-existing cross-protective immunity… might explain why the epidemic didn't unfold (the way it did in other parts of the world)," said Professor Madhi, explaining that data from scientists in the United States appeared to support the hypothesis of some pre-existing immunity.

Colds and flu are, of course, commonplace around the world. But the South African scientists wondered whether, because those viruses spread more effectively in over-crowded neighbourhoods where it is harder for people to self-isolate, there might be an extra degree of immunity towards Covid-19.

"The protection might be much more intense in highly populated areas, in African settings. It might explain why the majority (on the continent) have asymptomatic or mild infections," Professor Madhi said.

"I can't think of anything else that would explain the numbers of completely asymptomatic people we're seeing. The numbers are completely unbelievable,"he said, expressing cautious hope that some of the challenges that have so often held back poorer communities might now work in their favour.

Germ-free kids may risk more adult illnesses: study
by Karin Zeitvogel Karin Zeitvogel
Wed December 9, 2009 3:57 pm ET

"Our research suggests that ultra-clean, ultra-hygienic environments early in life may contribute to higher levels of inflammation as an adult, which in turn increases risks for a wide range of diseases," including cardiovascular disease, Thomas McDade, lead author of the study, said.

You Can Stop Cleaning Your Mail Now
People are power scrubbing their way to a false sense of security.

July 27, 2020
Staff writer at The Atlantic

As a COVID-19 summer surge sweeps the country, deep cleans are all the rage.

FDA Warns About Toxic Hand Sanitizers
Agency found wood alcohol, which can be fatal when ingested, in dozens of products originating from companies in Mexico
By Sharon Terlep
Wall Street Journal
July 24, 2020 8:18 am ET

"Wood alcohol, or methanol, can be fatal when ingested and lead to methanol poisoning when applied to the skin."

One Of The World's Poorest Countries Has One Of The World's Lowest COVID Death Rates
May 4, 2021 8:22 AM ET
Heard on Morning Edition

NPR: "Haiti has one of the lowest death rates from COVID-19 in the world..... Most people have given up wearing masks in public. Buses and markets are crowded. And Haiti hasn't yet administered a single COVID-19 vaccine. ... Dr. Jean Pape says very few cases are detected each day. ... "Sometimes it's two, sometimes zero, sometimes it's 20 cases," he says. "But we are not seeing a second wave, as we had thought would happen."

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Do any measures actually make a difference?

Rate of coronavirus death proportion to population
as of August 21, 2020 (highest to lowest)

Belgium: 0.087% (9,976 deaths of 11.5 million population)
England: 0.066% (36,765 deaths of 56 million population)
Spain: 0.061% (28,838 deaths of 47 million population)
Italy: 0.059% (35,427 deaths of 60.3 million population)
Chile: 0.057% (10,723 deaths of 18.7 million population)
Sweden: 0.057% (5,810 deaths of 10.23 million population)
United States: 0.053% (175,000 deaths of 328 million population)

NIH "The data suggest that both medical and non-medical facemasks are ineffective to block human-to-human transmission of viral and infectious disease such SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, supporting against the usage of facemasks."
Med Hypotheses. 2021 Jan; 146: 110411.
By Baruch Vainshelboim

"Conclusion: The existing scientific evidences challenge the safety and efficacy of wearing facemask as preventive intervention for COVID-19. The data suggest that both medical and non-medical facemasks are ineffective to block human-to-human transmission of viral and infectious disease such SARS-CoV-2 and COVID-19, supporting against the usage of facemasks. Wearing facemasks has been demonstrated to have substantial adverse physiological and psychological effects. These include hypoxia, hypercapnia, shortness of breath, increased acidity and toxicity, activation of fear and stress response, rise in stress hormones, immunosuppression, fatigue, headaches, decline in cognitive performance, predisposition for viral and infectious illnesses, chronic stress, anxiety and depression. Long-term consequences of wearing facemask can cause health deterioration, developing and progression of chronic diseases and premature death. Governments, policy makers and health organizations should utilize prosper and scientific evidence-based approach with respect to wearing facemasks, when the latter is considered as preventive intervention for public health."

MSN.COM Hygiene Theater Is Still a Huge Waste of Time
Derek Thompson
February 8, 2021

"If somebody with COVID-19 sneezes three times onto a little spot on a cold steel table, and you rub your hand around in the snot for a bit and immediately lick your fingers, that disgusting act may well result in you infecting yourself."

New England Journal of Medicine
Universal Masking in Hospitals in the Covid-19 Era
May 21, 2020
N Engl J Med 2020; 382:e63
DOI: 10.1056/NEJMp2006372

"We know that wearing a mask outside health care facilities offers little, if any, protection from infection. .... The chance of catching Covid-19 from a passing interaction in a public space is therefore minimal. In many cases, the desire for widespread masking is a reflexive reaction to anxiety over the pandemic..... A mask alone in this setting will reduce risk only slightly, however, since it does not provide protection from droplets that may enter the eyes or from fomites on the patient or in the environment that providers may pick up on their hands and carry to their mucous membranes (particularly given the concern that mask wearers may have an increased tendency to touch their faces)."

Volume 26, Number 5—May 2020
CDC Policy Review
CDC 2018 Virus study review:
Nonpharmaceutical Measures for Pandemic Influenza in Nonhealthcare Settings—Personal Protective and Environmental Measures

Although mechanistic studies support the potential effect of hand hygiene or face masks, evidence from 14 randomized controlled trials of these measures did not support a substantial effect on transmission of laboratory-confirmed influenza. We similarly found limited evidence on the effectiveness of improved hygiene and environmental cleaning. .... In pooled analysis, we found no significant reduction in influenza transmission with the use of face masks.... Given that influenza virus can survive on some surfaces for prolonged periods, and that cleaning or disinfection procedures can effectively reduce or inactivate influenza virus from surfaces and objects in experimental studies, there is a theoretical basis to believe that environmental cleaning could reduce influenza transmission. As an illustration of this proposal, a modeling study estimated that cleaning of extensively touched surfaces could reduce influenza A infection by 2%. However, most studies of influenza virus in the environment are based on detection of virus RNA by PCR, and few studies reported detection of viable virus. ... Although irritation caused by cleaning products is limited, safety remains a concern because some cleaning products can be toxic or cause allergies. .... In this review, we did not find evidence to support a protective effect of personal protective measures or environmental measures in reducing influenza transmission. ... However, in our systematic review, updating the findings of Wong et al., we did not find evidence of a major effect of hand hygiene on laboratory-confirmed influenza virus transmission .... We did not find evidence that surgical-type face masks are effective in reducing laboratory-confirmed influenza transmission, either when worn by infected persons (source control) or by persons in the general community to reduce their susceptibility.

Fauci says he wears a mask to be a symbol of what 'you should be doing'
By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN
Updated 11:36 AM ET, Wed May 27, 2020

Dr. Anthony Fauci on Wednesday called for a cautious approach to reopening the US and implored Americans to wear face masks in public.... "because I want to make it be a symbol for people to see that that's the kind of thing you should be doing," Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert and a member of the White House's coronavirus task force, told CNN's Jim Sciutto on "Newsroom." Fauci said he believes that while wearing a mask is not "100% effective," it is a valuable safeguard and shows "respect for another person."

Is Sweden’s coronavirus strategy working after all?
By Natalie Huet & Per Bergfors Nyberg
last updated: 28/07/2020

Sweden famously took a totally different approach to its Nordic neighbours in trying to contain the spread of the novel coronavirus.

The Swedish strategy allowed people to keep living largely as normal. Stores and restaurants remained open – so too did many schools.

With a COVID-19 death toll of 5,700, Sweden’s mortality rate from the disease is now around a quarter higher than that of the United States, when adjusted for population size.

Sweden is still nowhere near 'herd immunity,' even though it didn't go into lockdown
By Niamh Kennedy, CNN
Updated 5:12 PM ET, Thu May 21, 2020

"Sweden's percentage of people with antibodies is not far off that of other countries that did enforce lockdowns."

CNBC Health and Science
Sweden resisted a lockdown, and its capital Stockholm is expected to reach 'herd immunity' in weeks
Published Wed, Apr 22 2020 6:56 AM EDT
Key Points
* Unlike its neighbors, Sweden did not impose a lockdown amid the coronavirus outbreak.
* The strategy — aimed at building a broad-base of immunity while protecting at-risk groups like the elderly — has proved controversial.
* But Sweden's chief epidemiologist has said "herd immunity" could be reached in Stockholm within weeks.

Its neighbors closed borders, schools, bars and businesses as the coronavirus pandemic swept through Europe, but Sweden went against the grain by keeping public life as unrestricted as possible.

Sweden Says Controversial Virus Strategy Proving Effective
By Niclas Rolander (Bloomberg)
Updated on April 20, 2020, 2:10 AM EDT

"Sweden has left its schools, gyms, cafes, bars and restaurants open throughout the spread of the pandemic. Instead, the government has urged citizens to act responsibly and follow social distancing guidelines."

Sweden bucks global trend with experimental virus strategy
Fewer restrictions than other leading countries and schools remain open
Richard Milne in Oslo (Financial Times) March 25, 2020

Sweden has become an international outlier in its response to the deadly coronavirus outbreak by keeping schools open and adopting few other restrictions, as the Scandinavian nation embarks on what one health expert called a “huge experiment”.

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How many cases are asymptomatic or have pre-existing immunity?

Hundreds of thousands in L.A. County may have been infected with coronavirus, study finds
By Melanie Mason, Staff Writer
Los Angeles Times April 20, 2020

"Both studies [Stanford University and University of Southern California] estimated a mortality rate of 0.1% to 0.2%, which is closer to the death rate associated with the seasonal flu."

In four U.S. state prisons, nearly 3,300 inmates test positive for coronavirus -- 96% without symptoms
APRIL 25, 2020 / 6:01 PM

"Of the 444 who were infected by the virus, 98% were asymptomatic, the state’s department of public safety said."

More than 200 sailors aboard USS Theodore Roosevelt test positive for coronavirus
By Justin Wise - 04/07/20 06:09 PM EDT

More than 200 sailors from the USS Theodore Roosevelt, the aircraft carrier whose captain was fired after warning of a coronavirus outbreak, have tested positive for COVID-19, the Navy said Tuesday.... No hospitalizations have been required, the Navy said, and 2,000 sailors were temporarily moved to shore in response to the outbreak.

Nearly 95 percent of Tyson Foods employees with COVID-19 were asymptomatic, company says
Friday, June 19th 2020

"In four U.S. state prisons, nearly 3,300 inmates test positive for coronavirus -- 96% without symptoms.."

Low Asymptomatic Risk: Virus Update
Bloomberg News
June 8, 2020

Transmission of the coronavirus by people who aren’t showing symptoms is “very rare,” the World Health Organization said as infections surpassed 7 million globally.

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Poverty and hunger caused by social distancing is killing millions.....

More Americans Go Hungry Amid Coronavirus Pandemic, Census Shows
Causes include higher food prices, school closings; expiration of federal jobless benefits deepens distress

Wall Street Journal
By David Harrison
Updated Aug. 16, 2020 12:47 pm ET

The number of Americans who say they can’t afford enough food for themselves or their children is growing, according to Census data, and it is likely to get larger now that some government benefits have expired.

Extreme poverty rises and a generation sees future slip away
Associated Press
August 10, 2020 GMT

"With the virus and its restrictions, up to 100 million more people globally could fall into the bitter existence of living on just $1.90 a day, according to the World Bank."

Coronavirus Pandemic Leaves Millions Of Americans Unemployed, Hungry
By Steve Inskeep, National Public Radio
May 27, 2020

(NPR) Originally published on May 27, 2020 8:03 am

U.N. Warns Number Of People Starving To Death Could Double Amid Pandemic
May 5, 2020 3:55 AM ET
H.J. Mai, National Public Radio

(NPR) The U.N.'s humanitarian chief has warned that without global cooperation and financial assistance, the number of people dying from hunger or hunger-related diseases could double this year due to the economic fallout of the coronavirus pandemic..... Every year, around 9 million people die of hunger, according to the international relief agency Mercy Corps.

'We need food': Tunisians struggle under coronavirus lockdown

Tensions rise in Tunisia as people struggle to cope with hunger and unemployment amid coronavirus outbreak.
by Sofia Barbarani
11 Apr 2020 18:12 GMT

Hungry neighbors cook together as virus roils Latin America
Associated Press
June 19, 2020

" recent months as coronavirus quarantines and shutdowns have left millions of poor people with no way to feed their families."

'Hunger will kill us before coronavirus', say Rohingya in India
Thousands of Rohingya in India battle hunger as a coronavirus outbreak in refugee camps looms large.
by Raqib Hameed Naik
31 Mar 2020 05:10 GMT

Din Mohammad is doing everything possible in his power to keep his family and fellow Rohingya refugees healthy during a three-week lockdown enforced by the Indian government to fight the coronavirus.

New York Times: For India’s Laborers, Coronavirus Lockdown Is an Order to Starve
Despite leaders’ decrees on staying home, laborers who live hand-to-mouth say they have no choice but to keep hitting the streets. Here are their stories.
By Maria Abi-Habib and Sameer Yasir
March 30, 2020

Prime Minister Narendra Modi has ordered a lockdown of India’s 1.3 billion citizens to fight the spread of coronavirus, urging people to distance themselves socially and work from home.

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Media Covid19 fearmongering is creating anxiety and increasing suicide rates

National Public Radio
WAMU May 18, 2020
Suicide Experts Are Seeing Worrying Signs During The Pandemic

The global pandemic is putting a strain on Americans’ mental health. There’s been a surge of calls to crisis lines in the past two months. Add a spike in gun sales to that, and experts say we may be at risk of a suicide epidemic.

Domestic violence victims facing higher risks amid coronavirus quarantine
By Sara Dorn
March 28, 2020 | 10:55am

Domestic violence victims trapped at home with their abusers amid the coronavirus crisis are in more peril than ever — at the same time, the courts have vastly reduced the number of protection orders they are processing.

A third of Americans now show signs of clinical anxiety or depression, Census Bureau finds
Alyssa Fowers and William Wan
The Washington Post
Published 1:51 pm PDT, Tuesday, May 26, 2020

A third of Americans are showing signs of clinical anxiety or depression, Census Bureau data shows, the most definitive and alarming sign yet of the psychological toll exacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Mental Health
How Pandemic Has Affected Mental Health Of LGBTQ Youth In The U.S.
July 20, 2020 4:09 PM ET
Heard on All Things Considered

NPR's Ailsa Chang talks with Amit Paley of The Trevor Project about its recent survey on the mental health of LGBTQ youth and how being quarantined in unsupportive households is affecting their lives.

Exasperation Grows Over Delays Trying To Sign Up For Unemployment, ‘People Have No Food, People Are Talking About Suicide’
April 27, 2020 at 6:56 pm

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – Unemployment remains a major issue across the country.

“People have no food. People are talking about suicide,” Izzi said. “We’re literally begging you, sir, please come out of your ivory tower, come down here in the trenches with your people and actually see what’s going on, answer us.”

Wall Street Journal: More People Are Taking Drugs for Anxiety and Insomnia, and Doctors Are Worried
As coronavirus health concerns, social isolation and job-loss stress take a toll, people turn to medications; ‘It can very quickly become a habit’
By Andrea Petersen
May 25, 2020 9:00 am ET

Prescriptions for anti-anxiety medications and sleep aids have risen during the pandemic, prompting doctors to warn about the possibility of long-term addiction and abuse of the drugs.

Health (National Public Radio)
COVID-19 Crisis: More Testing Needed, Online Support For Alcoholics
April 20, 2020 5:02 AM ET
Heard on Morning Edition
Allison Aubrey, NPR

"AUBREY: That's right. That's exactly right. I mean, it is clear in the scientific literature that poverty and economic hard times take their toll on health. Economic hardship can exacerbate chronic conditions. It can obviously limit access to health care. And for many people who are dealing with addiction or alcoholism, this shutdown has been tough."

"NOGUCHI: You know, the common thread I've heard across a lot of stories is that life in pandemic is just full of triggers, stresses that stir up past traumas and past problem behaviors. So, for example, I talked to one local woman. She's in early recovery from addiction and didn't want us to use her name. She's a teacher and isn't working obviously. And in the past, she says that kind of social isolation triggered heavy drinking."

New York Times: In the Wake of Covid-19 Lockdowns, a Troubling Surge in Homicides
August 11, 2020

“People have gotten to the point where they just don’t give a damn,” said a minister in Kansas City, which is on pace for a record number of killings.

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5 states account for almost all the Covid19 excess deaths
The CDC has the numbers. Why are they not investigating?

New York’s true nursing home death toll cloaked in secrecy
August 11, 2020 GMT

"New York’s coronavirus death toll in nursing homes, already among the highest in the nation, could actually be a significant undercount. .... But so far the administration of Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo has refused to divulge the number, leading to speculation the state is manipulating the figures to make it appear it is doing a better than other states and to make a tragic situation less dire..... But a controversial March 25 order to send recovering COVID-19 patients from hospitals into nursing homes that was designed to free up hospital bed space at the height of the pandemic has drawn withering criticism from relatives and patient advocates who contend it accelerated nursing home outbreaks. ... Cuomo reversed the order under pressure in early May. And his health department later released an internal report that concluded asymptomatic nursing home staffers were the real spreaders of the virus, not the 6,300 recovering patients released from hospitals into nursing homes. .... But epidemiologists and academics derided the study for a flawed methodology that sidestepped key questions and relied on selective stats, including the state’s official death toll figures."

In per-capita COVID deaths, Texas ranks No. 28
Rick Kelley -
August 3, 2020

"In the states with highest per-capita death rates, both New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy ordered nursing homes to accept patients who had tested positive for coronavirus.... Governors of three other states with high per-capita death rates, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, which ranked No. 7 with 65 deaths per 100,000, and Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania, which ranked 11th at 56 deaths per 100,000, also ordered positive COVID-19 cases into nursing homes."

New York Times: ‘Playing Russian Roulette’: Nursing Homes Told to Take the Infected
California, New Jersey and New York have made nursing homes accept Covid-19 patients from hospitals. Residents and workers fear the policy is risking lives.
By Kim Barker and Amy Julia Harris
Published April 24, 2020
Updated May 7, 2020

Neal Nibur has lived in a nursing home for about a year, ever since he had a bad bout of pneumonia. Now, the 80-year-old man has not only his own health to worry about but that of his neighbors at the Poughkeepsie, N.Y., residence. Four new patients recently arrived from the hospital with Covid-19.

They were admitted for one reason, according to staff members: A state guideline says nursing homes cannot refuse to take patients from hospitals solely because they have the coronavirus.

POLITICO: States prod nursing homes to take more Covid-19 patients
Offered vastly higher reimbursements, many substandard facilities are jumping at the chance to accept sick residents.
06/04/2020 07:55 PM EDT

Programs designed to help elderly people with coronavirus are creating a perverse financial incentive for nursing homes with bad track records to bring in sick patients, raising the risks of spreading infections and substandard care for seriously ill patients, according to advocates for the elderly and industry experts.

Coronavirus-positive patients can bring in double or more the funding of other residents. States including California, Massachusetts, Michigan and New Mexico, wanting to relieve pressure on crowded hospitals, are providing extra incentives for nursing homes to accept such patients.

States ordered nursing homes to take COVID-19 residents. Thousands died. Here's what happened
David Robinson, Stacey Barchenger
Kelly Powers
Published 7:25 a.m. ET May 1, 2020

The deadly virus has spread like wildfire through many nursing homes across the Northeast, and state officials are scrambling to better protect those most vulnerable to COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus.

House Hammers Governors Over Nursing Home Admission Orders Amid COVID-19 Pandemic
By Alex Spanko
June 17, 2020

As a leading House Democrat demands information about the response to COVID-19 in nursing homes from the federal government — and a quintet of top operators — his Republican counterparts have targeted governors whose states required facilities to take in patients with COVID-19.

Rep. Steve Scalise, the Louisiana Republican who serves as the ranking member on the House’s Select Subcommittee on the Coronavirus Crisis, led a group of GOP lawmakers in sending letters to five state governors, all Democrats, asking for detailed information about their COVID-19 policies for nursing homes.

“The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic has disproportionately affected the elderly, especially those living in nursing homes and other long-term care facilities,” the U.S. representatives wrote in the introduction to each letter. “We write seeking information, at a granular level, about the science and information used to inform your decision to mandate nursing homes and long-term care facilities admit untested and contagious COVID-19 patients from hospitals.”

The letters, dated June 15, were sent to Gov. Andrew Cuomo of New York, Gov. Phil Murphy of New Jersey, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer of Michigan, Gov. Gavin Newsom of California, and Gov. Tom Wolf of Pennsylvania.

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Is there corruption in the Covid19 fatality counting?

Colorado Gov Polis pushes back against CDC’s coronavirus death counts
Ronn Blitzer
May 17, 2020

Colorado Gov. Jared Polis pushed back against recent coronavirus death counts, including those conducted by the CDC, days after his own state’s health department acknowledged that their numbers had been inflated by including people who had the virus but died from other causes.

Members of the Coronavirus Task Force in Press Briefing | April 7, 2020
Issued on: April 7, 2020

Deborah Birx: "There are other countries that if you had a pre-existing condition, and let’s say the virus caused you to go to the ICU [intensive care unit] and then have a heart or kidney problem. Some countries are recording that as a heart issue or a kidney issue and not a COVID-19 death. [In the United States] if someone dies with covid-19, we are counting that as a covid-19 death."

N.Y.C. Death Toll Soars Past 10,000 in Revised Virus Count The city has added more than 3,700 additional people who were presumed to have died of the coronavirus but had never tested positive.
By J. David Goodman and William K. Rashbaum
April 14, 2020

"New York City is among a handful of places in the country, including Connecticut, Ohio and Delaware, that are beginning to disclose cases where infection is presumed but not confirmed."

Feds classifying all coronavirus patient deaths as ‘COVID-19’ deaths, regardless of cause
April 7, 2020 | 11:38pm

The federal government is classifying the deaths of patients infected with the coronavirus as COVID-19 deaths, regardless of any underlying health issues that could have contributed to the loss of someone’s life.

Dr. Deborah Birx, the response coordinator for the White House coronavirus task force, said the federal government is continuing to count the suspected COVID-19 deaths, despite other nations doing the opposite.

“There are other countries that if you had a pre-existing condition, and let’s say the virus caused you to go to the ICU [intensive care unit] and then have a heart or kidney problem,” she said during a Tuesday news briefing at the White House. “Some countries are recording that as a heart issue or a kidney issue and not a COVID-19 death.

Minnesota doctor blasts 'ridiculous' CDC coronavirus death count guidelines
April 10, 2020
By Charles Creitz

"Right now Medicare has determined that if you have a COVID-19 admission to the hospital you’ll get paid $13,000. If that COVID-19 patient goes on a ventilator, you get $39,000; three times as much. Nobody can tell me, after 35 years in the world of medicine, that sometimes those kinds of things [have] impact on what we do.

CBS News Man who died in motorcycle crash counted as COVID-19 death in Florida: Report
by Lizandra Portal
Saturday, July 18th 2020

According to the report, Orange County Health Officer Dr. Raul Pino was asked whether two coronavirus victims in their 20s had any underlying medical conditions that could have potentially made them more susceptible to the virus.... Pino's answer was that one of the two people who was listed as a COVID death actually died in a motorcycle crash. Despite health officials knowing the man died in a motorcycle crash... Gov. Ron DeSantis during a news conference on Wednesday says Florida law for a reportable illness states that if someone tests positive, it must be reported.

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Safer at home --- or is isolation the cause?

CNBC: Cuomo says it’s ‘shocking’ most new coronavirus hospitalizations are people who had been staying home
Published Wed, May 6 2020 12:25 PM EDT
Noah Higgins-Dunn, Kevin Breuninger

“This is a surprise: Overwhelmingly, the people were at home,” he added. “We thought maybe they were taking public transportation, and we’ve taken special precautions on public transportation, but actually no, because these people were literally at home.”

NPR: Coronavirus Updates: National Public Radio
April 30, 2020 4:15 PM ET
Heard on All Things Considered

"SHAPIRO: ... But this is a controversial idea, so what does the science tell us about the risk of catching the coronavirus when you're outside in a place like a beach?... LINSEY MARR: And out of over 7,000 cases that they looked at, they were able to identify only two where the transmission occurred outdoors in a conversation between two people..... GREENFIELDBOYCE: So that suggests the indoors, not outside, is where the vast majority of transmission actually happens..... SHAPIRO: So if people are going to go to beaches, should they pack masks along with their sunscreen? .... GREENFIELDBOYCE: Well, I asked Josh Santarpia at the University of Nebraska Medical Center specifically about beaches today. And he told me there's a lot there at the beach that would work against the virus. You've got the breeze, the sunlight, the humidity, the heat.... JOSH SANTARPIA: I mean, my honest opinion is that, you know, you're probably safer outside than inside."

Why does COVID-19 strike some and not others? Fauci sees an answer in new study Michael Wilner
August 11, 2020, 4:00 AM

The study found that the immune systems of roughly half of its subjects appeared to remember past exposure to other, prevalent coronaviruses, including variants of the common cold, equipping them to respond more quickly to a COVID-19 infection once it appeared.

T cells found in COVID-19 patients ‘bode well’ for long-term immunity
By Mitch Leslie
May 14, 2020 , 9:00 PM

"The teams also asked whether people who haven’t been infected with SARS-CoV-2 also produce cells that combat it. Thiel and colleagues analyzed blood from 68 uninfected people and found that 34% hosted helper T cells that recognized SARS-CoV-2. The La Jolla team detected this crossreactivity in about half of stored blood samples collected between 2015 and 2018, well before the current pandemic began. The researchers think these cells were likely triggered by past infection with one of the four human coronaviruses that cause colds; proteins in these viruses resemble those of SARS-CoV-2."

How did Hawaii go from the most isolated and safest state in June ----
to the worst hit with coronavirus in August?
Isolation from infection makes people more vulnerable:

'Ghost town': As tourism plummets from coronavirus, Hawaii grapples with Great Depression-level unemployment
One town has 35% unemployment, higher than the peak of the Great Depression.
By Catherine Thorbecke
June 13, 2020, 9:25 AM
15 min read

"We’re probably the safest state in the country right now in terms of health outcomes and controlling the virus," he said.

Experts: COVID-19 is spreading in Hawaii at a faster rate than anywhere else in the nation
By HNN Staff | August 10, 2020 at 3:18 PM HST
Updated August 11 at 2:45 PM

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Are hospitals overwhelmed?

New York Times
The U.S. media is offering a different picture of Covid-19 from science journals or the international media, a study finds.
By David Leonhardt
March 24, 2021 6:47 a.m. ET

...When cases were falling, the coverage instead focused on those places where cases were rising. .... The coverage by U.S. publications with a national audience has been much more negative than coverage by any other source that the researchers analyzed, including scientific journals, major international publications and regional U.S. media. ....

National Public Radio
Las Vegas Casinos Are Open At 50% Capacity. What About Las Vegas Hospitals?
August 10, 2020 3:48 PM ET
Heard on All Things Considered

(NPR) "STEVE SISOLAK: We have room in our hospitals. We have room in our ICUs."

Two Miami-Dade COVID hospitals haven’t treated a single patient. One closed this week.
By Martin Vassolo and Doug Hanks
June 05, 2020 05:07 PM

Miami-Dade’s first coronavirus field hospital, assembled in March in Tamiami Park, was dismantled this week, while the state has extended its lease on the Miami Beach Convention Center, which was retrofitted with hospital facilities for COVID-19 patients in April.... Neither hospital has had a single patient.

Doctors worry the coronavirus is keeping patients away from US hospitals as ER visits drop: 'Heart attacks don't stop'
Published Tue, Apr 14 2020 3:40 PM EDT

"Instead of the wartime triage scenarios predicted by U.S. health officials, emergency rooms in some parts of the country are relatively empty."

National Public Radio
COVID-19 Fears May Be Causing People To Ignore Medical Emergencies
May 6, 2020 5:04 AM ET
Heard on Morning Edition

"....ER doctors are saying they're seeing this overall big drop in patients coming in, including here in Los Angeles. They say they've never seen anything like this, and they use words like eerie and shocking. One estimate says ER visits are down 40% to 50% nationwide.... KING: And, Will, it's worth noting that heart attacks and strokes are some of the most common medical problems in the United States. These are not things that you can put off for a week. And yet you're reporting that those patients who would normally be calling 911 are not. What's going on? .... STONE: Doctors and nurses are wondering the same thing. They say this kind of drop-off in heart attack and stroke patients is just unprecedented. Some 911 data show calls for these types of emergencies started declining in mid-March. At the University of Washington here in Seattle, the hospital saw a 60% decline in patients admitted for stroke in the first half of April compared to last year. There's a similar trend with heart attacks, according to another study..... KING: Which sounds like it could potentially lead to another public health crisis which is quieter than COVID-19 but happening at the same time. Will, what happens to patients who are having strokes or heart attacks but who don't call an ambulance right away?... STONE: Some doctors have told us they are already seeing tragic consequences because people are avoiding the hospital. You see, for an emergency like a stroke, acting quickly when you first notice symptoms is absolutely crucial."

New York Times
Where Have All the Heart Attacks Gone?
Except for treating Covid-19, many hospitals seem to be eerily quiet.

By Harlan M. Krumholz, M.D.
April 6, 2020

The hospitals are eerily quiet, except for Covid-19......In more normal times, we never have so many empty beds.

CBS reairs footage of Italian hospital after blaming first incident on 'editing mistake'
by Dominick Mastrangelo
April 08, 2020 05:19 PM

CBS News reaired footage of an Italian hospital during a segment about U.S. medical facilities scrambling to deal with overcrowding because of the coronavirus.

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How do we stop the inevitable new virus strain?
Every year, new virus strains travel our global ecosystem,
and no measures can reduce inevitable total cases.

Flattening the Coronavirus Curve and the Importance of Social Distancing
By Katelyn Newman, Staff Writer
U.S. News
March 18, 2020, at 6:07 a.m.

"The purpose was always, as mentioned in the original documents, to try to keep the demand on the system down and not overwhelm the capacity for health responders to manage people who would inevitably become ill."

Why we should keep trying to contain the coronavirus and ‘flatten the curve’
By Melissa Healy, Amina Khan
Los Angeles Times
March 11, 2020
5:23 PM

Instead, the objective is to spread out the inevitable infections so that the healthcare system isn’t overwhelmed with patients.

Americans Act To Flatten the Coronavirus Epidemic Curve
Ronald Bailey
3.13.2020 3:40 PM

Since the epidemic is inevitable, the best strategy for coping with it is to flatten the curve—that is, to adopt measures that slow down the rate of infection. The number of people eventually infected will not necessarily be lower, but the goal is spread out the infections over time in order to avoid overtaxing the health care system with a flood of cases.

Coronavirus: What is 'flattening the curve,' and will it work?
By Brandon Specktor
Senior Writer 16 March 2020

A flatter curve, on the other hand, assumes the same number of people ultimately get infected, but over a longer period of time.

US Tries To 'Flatten The Curve', Avoid Overwhelming Spike In Coronavirus Cases
By Joe Mathieu
March 16, 2020

The whole goal is to limit the number of close interactions you have with other people in the hopes that it will just make it that much harder for the virus to spread from one person to another, slow down the spread and make the inevitable surge in cases something that is more manageable for the health care system as opposed to a tsunami of cases that would effectively cripple hospitals.

Coronavirus infection rates begin to fall, but 'flattening the curve' may mean WA is locked down even longer
By James Carmody
Posted 31 March 2020, updated 1 April 2020

He was resolute that WA could not avoid coronavirus and that he remained committed to the national goal of "flattening the curve".

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Why not focus resources on susceptible populations?
Populations with comorbidity are most vulnerable

CDC Releases Early Demographic Snapshot of Worst Coronavirus Cases
David Waldstein
The New York Times
April 9, 2020

Approximately 90% of the 1,482 hospitalized patients included in the study released Wednesday had one or more underlying medical conditions.

99% of Those Who Died From Virus Had Other Illness, Italy Says
By Tommaso Ebhardt, Chiara Remondini, and Marco Bertacche
March 18, 2020, 8:56 AM EDT

More than 99% of Italy’s coronavirus fatalities were people who suffered from previous medical conditions, according to a study by the country’s national health authority.

Most NYC Virus Deaths Were Among People With Other Health Ills
By Drew Armstrong
March 25, 2020, 11:25 AM EDT

"Ninety-five percent of New York City’s almost 200 deaths from the new coronavirus had underlying health conditions.... About half of all adults had some degree of high blood pressure, according to a separate CDC report..... The [New York] data line up with places like Italy, where 99% of patients who died in that country’s large, ongoing outbreak had some form of underlying health condition."

CDC Provisional Death Counts for Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)
Table 3. Conditions contributing to deaths involving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), by age group, United States. Week ending 2/1/2020 to 8/22/2020.*

Comorbidities: Table 3 shows the types of health conditions and contributing causes mentioned in conjunction with deaths involving coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19). For 6% of the deaths, COVID-19 was the only cause mentioned. For deaths with conditions or causes in addition to COVID-19, on average, there were 2.6 additional conditions or causes per death.

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In the long-run, increased poverty will worsen our virus immunity,
and worsen future virus outbreaks. Isolation inhibits natural immunity.
Lets put working people back to work, and reduce the wealth gap, and
reduce racial inequality -- instead of shutting down working class jobs.

Help us being working people back to work!