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Member since: Fri Jun 7, 2019, 02:43 PM
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Testing Is on the Brink of Paralysis. That's Very Bad News.

As Covid-19 cases surge to their highest levels in dozens of states, the nation’s testing effort is on the brink of paralysis because of widespread delays in getting back results. And that is very bad news, because even if testing is robust, the pandemic cannot be controlled without rapid results.

This is the latest failure in our national response to the worst pandemic in a century. Since the Trump administration has abdicated responsibility, governors must join forces to meet this threat before the cataclysm that Florida is experiencing becomes the reality across the country. Testing should be the governors’ first order of business.

Despite President Trump’s boast early this month that testing “is so massive and so good,” the United States’ two largest commercial testing companies, Quest Diagnostics and LabCorp, have found themselves overwhelmed and unable to return results promptly. Delays averaging a week or longer for all but top-priority hospital patients and symptomatic health care workers are disastrous for efforts to slow the spread of the virus.

Without rapid results, it is impossible to isolate new infections quickly enough to douse flare-ups before they grow. Slow diagnosis incapacitates contact tracing, which entails not only isolating those who test positive but also alerting the infected person’s contacts quickly so they can quarantine, too, and avoid exposing others to the virus unwittingly.
Vice President Mike Pence’s casual invocation of an “extraordinary national success in testing” in a recent call with governors was flatly wrong, as is the president’s similar trumpeting of testing success. These claims contribute to a false sense among the public that testing may have had early stumbles but is ramping up slowly but surely.

The reality is that the spread of the virus has vastly outpaced the expansion of testing capacity. That spread in turn results in more illness and therefore more tests to process, which further slows down turnaround time in a vicious cycle. The dedication and patience of thousands of people waiting in serpentine lines of cars for hours to be tested are wasted when the results aren’t returned quickly enough.

We are at this point because of the absence of a coordinated federal plan, and, indeed, because of a White House that seems actively hostile to producing one. The nation’s governors and state legislators must fill the void.


BREAKING: Oklahoma Gov. Kevin Stitt confirms he has tested positive for COVID-19.

Source: KOCO 5 Television Oklahoma City


Read more: https://www.koco.com/article/watch-live-gov-stitt-health-commissioner-to-provide-covid-19-update/33323673

Yes, he was at the Tulsa Rally.


Pence: "We don't want CDC guidance to be a reason why people don't reopen their schools."


This is how far we have fallen as a rational society.

Guess What Happened After Montana Care Home Refused Free COVID-19 Tests

It was meant to be a last line of defense to protect the most vulnerable as the coronavirus spread across the United States: Montana officials offered free testing in May for staff and residents at assisted living and long-term care facilities.

But not all of them followed through, according to state data, including a facility in Billings, Montana’s largest city, that cares for people with dementia and other memory problems. The virus has infected almost every resident and killed eight, accounting for almost a quarter of Montana’s 34 confirmed deaths. Thirty-six employees also have tested positive at the facility where 59 people lived before the deaths began.

While Montana’s rates of confirmed infections and deaths are much lower than other parts of the country, the outbreak at Canyon Creek Memory Care illustrates that even the most simple and common-sense preventive measures have sometimes gone unused during the pandemic, allowing the virus to sweep through elderly care facilities with devastating results.

“I don’t see that there’s good justification for just not testing. You’re operating in the dark,” said Chris Laxton, executive director of the Society for Post-Acute and Long-Term Care Medicine, which represents more than 50,000 long-term care workers.


Israeli Data Show School Openings Were a Disaster That Wiped Out Lockdown Gains

Source: The Daily Beast

Israel’s unchecked resurgence of COVID-19 was propelled by the abrupt May 17 decision to reopen all schools, medical and public-health officials have told The Daily Beast. The assessment of Israel’s trajectory has direct bearing on the heated debate underway in the United States between President Donald Trump, who is demanding a nationwide reopening of schools for what appear to be largely political reasons, and health authorities who caution it could put the wider population at risk.

Importantly, on May 17 in Israel it appeared the virus not only was under control, but defeated. Israel reported only 10 new cases of COVID-19 in the entire country that day. In the U.S., the debate often is about reopening schools where the disease is not only not in decline, but surging.

On Sunday, for instance, U.S. Education Secretary Betsy DeVos told Chris Wallace on Fox News Sunday, “There’s nothing in the data that suggests that kids being in school is in any way dangerous.” But that is not the case in Israel, where the data from June, the last month for which there is a full set of statistics, appear all too clear. The road from anti-coronavirus paradigm to rampant infection in this country of 9 million people followed two months of almost total lockdown. May 17 also was the day Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his former rival Benny Gantz swore in their “corona emergency government,” whose sole declared purpose is to fight the spread of the virus. Netanyahu’s decree that the nation’s entire school system would reopen was a political flourish to signal everything was under control.

On June 3, two weeks after schools opened, more than 244 students and staff were found to test positive for COVID-19. According to the education ministry, 2,026 students, teachers, and staff have contracted COVID-19, and 28,147 are in quarantine due to possible contagion. Just in the first two weeks of July, 393 kindergartens and schools open for summer programs have been shuttered due to cases of COVID-19.

On July 2, Eric Feigl-Ding, an epidemiologist and health economist at the Federation of American Scientists, tweeted a chart showing Israel’s rate of infection surging past Europe and fast approaching the disastrous rate in the U.S., noting that it was exactly one month since the reopening of Israeli schools.

Read more: https://www.thedailybeast.com/israeli-data-show-school-openings-were-a-disaster-that-wiped-out-lockdown-gains

We are totally unprepared to open schools here in the US.

Doing so will create super-spreader events in every town in the country.

School kids spread every other virus and disease, covid-19 will be no different.

Former CDC Heads: Trump Administration Risking Lives By Politicizing Science

Four former heads of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention warned Tuesday that President Donald Trump’s administration is needlessly risking lives by undermining science and public health officials.

In an op-ed published in The Washington Post, former CDC Directors Tom Frieden, Jeffrey Koplan and David Satcher, as well as former acting CDC Director Richard Besser, excoriated administration officials for taking “political potshots” at scientists during the coronavirus pandemic.

“As America begins the formidable task of getting our kids back to school and all of us back to work safely amid a pandemic that is only getting worse, public health experts face two opponents: covid-19, but also political leaders and others attempting to undermine the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” they wrote.

They continued:

As the debate last week around reopening schools more safely showed, these repeated efforts to subvert sound public health guidelines introduce chaos and uncertainty while unnecessarily putting lives at risk. ...

Despite the inevitable challenges of evolving science and the public’s expectation of certainty, these are the people best positioned to help our country emerge from this crisis as safely as possible. Unfortunately, their sound science is being challenged with partisan potshots, sowing confusion and mistrust at a time when the American people need leadership, expertise and clarity. These efforts have even fueled a backlash against public health officials across the country: Public servants have been harassed, threatened and forced to resign when we need them most. This is unconscionable and dangerous.

The former CDC chiefs cautioned that the coronavirus is “not even close” to being under control in the U.S., despite Trump and his allies suggesting that it is, and noted that the virus has disproportionately hurt Black, Latino and Native American communities.


Trump's incompetence has wrecked us. Where are the calls for him to resign?

f you’re lucky enough to live in New Zealand, the coronavirus nightmare has been mostly over since June. After more than two weeks with no new cases, the government lifted almost all restrictions that month. The borders are still shut, but inside the country, normal life returned.

It’s coming back elsewhere too. Taiwan, where most days this month no new cases have been reported, just held the Taipei Film Festival, and a recent baseball game drew 10,000 spectators. Italy was once the epicenter of Europe’s outbreak and remains in a state of emergency, but with just a few hundred new cases a day in the whole country, bars are open and tourists have started returning, though of course Americans remain banned. According to The New York Times’s figures, there were 321 new cases in all of Canada last Friday.

And America? We had 68,241. As of last week, the worst per capita outbreak on the planet was in Arizona, followed by Florida. The world is closed to us; American passports were once coveted, but now only a few dozen nations will let us in. Lawrence O. Gostin, professor of global health law at Georgetown, told me he doesn’t expect American life to feel truly normal before summer 2022. Two years of our lives, stolen by Donald Trump.

As our country plunges into a black hole of unchecked illness, death and pariahdom, the administration is waging a PR war on its own top disease expert, Anthony Fauci, trying to convince news outlets that he can’t be trusted. “The move to treat Dr. Fauci as if he were a warring political rival comes as he has grown increasingly vocal in his concerns about the national surge in coronavirus cases,” reported The Times.

Trump has also undercut the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, retweeting the conspiratorial ramblings of the former game show host Chuck Woolery: “The most outrageous lies are the ones about Covid-19. Everyone is lying. The C.D.C., media, Democrats, our doctors, not all but most, that we are told to trust.” There are now so many stories of Trump fans dying after blithely exposing themselves to the virus that they’ve become a macabre cliché.


A century after a race massacre, Tulsa finally digs for suspected mass graves

Nearly a century after a brutal race massacre left as many as 300 black people dead, this city began to dig Monday for suspected mass graves from the violence.

A team of scientists, archaeologists and forensic anthropologists watched as a backhoe moved dirt from an 8-by-10-foot hole at the city-owned Oaklawn Cemetery, where ground-penetrating radar last year detected anomalies consistent with mass graves.

Several descendants of massacre survivors bore witness to the moment outside the graveyard’s wrought-iron fence, standing in a light rain after the work was briefly delayed by booming thunder and lightning. J. Kavin Ross, whose great-grandfather owned a business that was destroyed in the massacre, said he had waited a long time for this day.

“I’ve waited for this day for over two decades to find out the truth of Tulsa’s public secrets,” said Ross, a photojournalist and teacher in Tulsa who spent years of his own time interviewing survivors of the massacre. “A lot of people knew about it but wouldn’t tell about it.”

Tulsa Mayor G.T. Bynum (R), who ordered the investigation reopened after a Washington Post story detailed the unresolved questions surrounding the violence, told reporters that he once thought it was incredible that there could be mass graves in Tulsa.

“You hear about mass graves in authoritarian regimes,” he said. “You don’t hear about them in the United States and definitely shouldn’t be hearing about them in Tulsa.”


Well, that's the thing. For minorities especially, the United States has been an "authoritarian regime" and continues to be one to this very day.

That's simply a fact.

Trump's FAILURE in one animated chart

Watch it to the end:


Now, as his abject failure to respond to the pandemic becomes more and more obvious, tRump turns to scapegoating Dr. Anthony Fauci and the CDC.

Essentially, Trump is saying today that the CDC is in cahoots with the doctors just to make him look bad.

Twelve signs Trump would try to run a fascist dictatorship in a second term

People have debated whether Donald Trump is fascist since he announced he was running for president. In 2015, Jamelle Bouie wrote in Slate that Trump, in his campaign speeches and Twitter utterances, exhibited seven of the 14 characteristics identified by the Italian novelist Umberto Eco in his defining essay “Ur-Fascism.” In 2016, the Georgetown professor John McNeill assessed Trump’s fascist tendencies on a scale of zero to four “Benitos,” after the father of fascism, Benito Mussolini. As an amateur, Trump fell short.

That was then. What about now? And, more important, what about the Trump of a potential second term in the White House?

On June 1, as demonstrators gathered and marched in Washington and around the country to protest the killing of George Floyd by the Minneapolis police, President Trump, in a brief speech in the White House Rose Garden, called for states to use the National Guard to “dominate the streets” and promised that if they didn’t, “I will deploy the United States military and quickly solve the problem for them.” Federal forces then used tear gas and stun grenades on peaceful protesters to clear a path for him to walk from the White House to nearby St. John’s Episcopal Church for a photo op with a Bible as prop.

“The fascist speech Donald Trump just delivered verged on a declaration of war against American citizens,” Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.) tweeted. Rep. Jared Huffman (D-Calif.) — noting in an opinion column three days later that the president’s “attempt to use chaos to shred democratic safeguards and consolidate authoritarian power is deadly serious” — put it this way: “This is our own Reichstag fire and, yes, Trump is playing the role of would-be Fuehrer, proclaiming a ‘God-given signal’ to seize more power.”

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