Just how ill-prepared to meet the threat of coronavirus have Trump policies left us?

As of right now, there are close to 8,00 confirmed cases of the deadly the flulike illness known as coronavirus. [Coronavirus causes the disease COVID-19, which is what people are actually dying of.] While the World Health Organization has yet to label the illness a pandemic, it has already spread from China to a number of countries, taking the lives of at least 2,400. And, with new, sizable outbreaks in countries like Italy, Iran and South Korea, it would appear as though we’ve missed the opportunity to contain it. So, now, it would seem, it becomes a question of how we can best protect vulnerable populations and prepare for the illness’s spread.

I think we should assume that this virus is very soon going to be spreading in communities here, if it isn’t already, and despite aggressive actions, we should be putting more efforts to mitigate impacts,” Jennifer Nuzzo, an epidemiologist and senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, told the Washington Post yesterday. “That means protecting people who are most likely to develop severe illness and die.”

Congress, according to the reporting by the New York Times, “has been asking for weeks to seek more spending on the epidemic,” but it wasn’t until today that the Trump administration, likely because of the fact that the Dow Jones industrial average fell by more than 1,000 points, signaled a willingness to consider more aggressive action. [It wasn’t enough, apparently, when the number of coronavirus cases started approaching the number of SARS cases in 2003. We had to wait for Wall Street to react.] Remember, it was Donald Trump who told us a month ago that China had this under control and it would all “.” Well, it hasn’t. And we’re now looking at the very really possibility that, by the time this is done, a sizable percentage of the world’s population will have been exposed.

While I don’t know how much blame Donald Trump deserves for what’s happened thus far, I think it’s safe to say, without any fear of being proven wrong, that his administration has left us far worse off to meet the challenges of pandemics than that of his predecessor. Not only is his current budget calling for a 9% cut in the budget of the Centers for Disease Control, but, back in May of 2018, he eliminated the position of Senior Director of Global Health Security. This, according to Senator Brian Schatz of Hawaii, was “(the) person used to work in the NSC to coordinate responses to global health emergencies and potential pandemics.” And, right now, there’s no on in that position. [According to Obama advisor Ben Rhodes, this position had been created during the spread of Ebola, “when it was clear that you needed one person to coordinate the disparate parts of the government necessary to respond to a pandemic.”]

And then there’s the fact that the Trump administration apparently sought to take $252 million from the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) after the Ebola crisis had subsided… funds that would have gone toward preparing for the next pandemic. Ron Klain, our country’s former “Ebola czar,” had the following to say at the time. “If Congress accepts Trump’s proposal, USAID will have no funding for a response when the next crisis comes,” said Klain. “And it will have to wait until Congress passes new funding, or diverts funds from some other, then-existing disaster response.” These funds, according to the Atlantic, would have allowed “USAID to quickly deploy responders to the site of a future outbreak, to prevent it from metastasizing into an international disaster.” [Klain also said that “having some money left over was intentional”, so that the organization would be ready to meet the next pandemic. And that’s the money Trump was going after.] Apparently unpersuaded by the facts at the time, the Trump administration argued that this was just more “irresponsible federal spending.” And, now, of course, it’s going to cost us much more. [I’m still trying to find out how much of this $252M, if any, was retained by USAID, and to what extent these cuts initiated by the Trump administration may have impacted USAID’s initial response to coronavirus.]

Our government is supposed to exist in order to serve and protect the American people, and this, I’m afraid, is yet one more example of Donald Trump’s anti-science administration ignoring the facts and making decisions that, in the long run, are going to cost all of us and our families a hell of a lot more, not only in economic terms, but it terms of human life. On the plus side, though, these public health cuts may have made it possible for Donald Trump to bring Paula ‘I visited God in heaven’ White into the administration. So maybe it’ll all work out for the best.

update: OK, here’s an interesting twist. Apparently the President is interceding on behalf of the elected officials who support him and ensuring that infected persons reentering America are not sent to their states.

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99 Comments

  1. Royal Octopus
    Posted February 24, 2020 at 11:10 pm | Permalink

    As a former Ypsilantian now living in Shanghai, I have had a lot of time to think about the Coronavirus situation. I’ve been very worried that while China struggles to contain this that the rest of the world has been throwing a lot of judgment about what could be done or should be done in China to prevent it, all while doing very little to prepare themselves. Anyone who says China didn’t do enough really hasn’t been paying attention. They locked down Wuhan (a city larger than New York City x 2) within 1 month of the first cases. In retrospect, yeah, should have been quicker, but could that be done anywhere else? There is a lot going on in the cities to control the spread and check where people have been. Every day when I come back to my apartment complex I get my temperature checked and have to show a card that verifies my travel history for the past few weeks. Similar at work. Most people just stay at home to keep themselves and others safe. The Chinese government is probably the only one in the world that could react this quickly and effectively (there are plenty of problems with the government to be sure, but in this situation brutal efficiency isn’t necessarily bad thing).
    That’s nice that people from the cruise ship are going to be screened and quarantined, but for the past month plus any citizens returning from China have only had to say they didn’t go to Wuhan and pass a temperature check. There has been more control on non-citizens, but virus doesn’t really care about that. The US has been very slow to take it seriously. Knowing that the funds that should be in place to help prepare for this difficult work have already been used elsewhere isn’t very encouraging.
    Personally I am not too worried about the virus, my work gave me the option to return to the US but I opted to stay here. I think the risk of a serious situation is low, but things are not very clear yet. Things seem to be getting better in China, but it has taken a full on effort by the government and the Chinese people to keep things where they are now. If other countries don’t take this seriously it could be much worse.

  2. Anonymous
    Posted February 24, 2020 at 11:35 pm | Permalink

    This coronavirus is a cold virus that has a somewhat high mortality rate for older individuals, especially if they have other things going on, but very mild to symptomatic for younger adults and children. It’s going to be very hard to diagnose and contain, and I fully expect it to be an annual thing like cold and flu.

  3. Lynne
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 3:00 am | Permalink

    It will either be an annual thing or it will just disappear after it has run its course. It depends on how fast it mutates I guess. I hope we can make a vaccine.

  4. EOS
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    COVID-19 is the name of the particular strain of Coronavirus that is causing this years outbreak. The virus mutates rapidly and will be difficult to eradicate, much like the adenoviruses that cause the common cold. It has already spread too far to be contained. Ann Arbor will likely be the epicenter of the outbreak in Michigan.

    Paper face masks have limited ability to prevent the spread of virus from an infected patient, and will not help a person avoid getting infected. Wash your hands frequently, avoid rubbing your eyes, and avoid large crowds in enclosed spaces.

    It’s not Trump’s fault. If you weren’t so anti-science you would know that.

  5. Anonymous
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 7:19 am | Permalink

    The most common cold virus is rhinovirus. Coronaviruses of other genotypes are second. Adenovirus is third. The epicenter for Michigan will probably be DTW, and it depends on where the travelers who are exposed to asymptomatic carriers eventually end up.

  6. John Brown
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 7:39 am | Permalink

    It seems to be particularly lethal to older men in poor physical health. So I have my fingers crossed that there will be an upside.

  7. iRobert
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 8:07 am | Permalink

    You’re all really learned. Gee, any reason none of you have mentioned nutrition, or any of the many things a person can do to bolster their body’s immune system (or even just to bring it up to its standard level of functioning) ?

  8. Anonymous
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 8:23 am | Permalink

    Gee, sometimes an infection kills by overwhelming a person’s immune system with sheer numbers of organisms. That person would need an immune system boost. Sometimes an infection kills by overactivating a person’s immune system. The latter is called sepsis, or “blood poisoning”. That person would need an immune system downgrade. If you paid attention to the ads for modern medicines for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and multiple sclerosis, in between the ones for gold, hearing aids, and catheters, you might have noticed that they are all selective immune system suppressors. So what exactly do you mean by “bolstering”? Do we also have to establish an alkaline body pH? What about wearing copper and magnets? Do you have an opinion on jade egg usage?

  9. iRobert
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 8:29 am | Permalink

    Yeah, it’s a real mystery as to what bolsters a person’s immune system. I suppose mentally ill people may have some difficulty with the obvious. It’s nice that the pharmaceutical industry has taken a moment to chime in though.

    We all know what a challenge it is for you to think clearly, “Anonymous.”

  10. iRobert
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 8:34 am | Permalink

    By the way, I was being sarcastic. It’s not a mystery as to why nobody here mentioned nutrition or any of the many things people are doing these days which weaken their natural immune systems. None of this is a mystery to a reasonably sane person. The answers to all the questions you posed are obvious as well. But we both know you only posed them to give the appearance you’re well informed and learned. You think that is counter to insanity.

  11. iRobert
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    It’s good to see EOS back. I was about to file a missing person’s report. You missed some great posts, EOS.

    Not much has changed though. “Anonymous” still hoping that reading a lot will have the affect equal to that of dramatic, long-term, very productive, psychotherapy.

  12. Anonymous
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 8:54 am | Permalink

    It’s “effect, not “affect”.

  13. iRobert
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 8:57 am | Permalink

    “Anonymous” asks, “Do we also have to establish an alkaline body pH? What about wearing copper and magnets? Do you have an opinion on jade egg usage?”

    …because “Anonynous’s” favorite tactic is to preemptively misrepresent their opponents positions. “Anonymous” thinks that’s a legitimate strategy in making an argument. “Anonymous” has some mental problems.

  14. iRobert
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 9:00 am | Permalink

    Maybe pointing out typos and autocorrections makes you look less crazy. Maybe looking learned will make you look less crazy.

  15. iRobert
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    “Anonymous” says “If you paid attention to the ads for modern medicines for rheumatoid arthritis, psoriasis, and multiple sclerosis, in between the ones for gold, hearing aids, and catheters, you might have noticed that they are all selective immune system suppressors.”

    I agree, there is much to learn from pharma ads. I’m guessing you and I would have some disagreement on what all is there in terms of clues though.

  16. EOS
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 9:11 am | Permalink

    @ Robert,

    Why are you giving Anonymous a hard time. Do you think it is someone who posts regularly under another name?

  17. iRobert
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 9:12 am | Permalink

    I’d even say there are multiple layers as to what can be learned from pharma ads. But you’d fail miserably as a detective, “Anonymous.” Your thinking is desperate. I’d suggest you take some advanced level investigation courses, but I’m certain that would destabilize you further. You need to address the childhood experiences which made you so desperate for artificial structure.

  18. iRobert
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 9:16 am | Permalink

    If it isn’t, EOS, it is practically a carbon copy, in terms of mental state and personality. Which seems highly unlikely. I couldn’t be sure if you were asking to be funny or not.

  19. EOS
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 9:20 am | Permalink

    Do you think John Brown is the same person also?

  20. iRobert
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    No.

    I haven’t noticed if John Brown has posted under other names. Though I don’t pay very close attention.

    John Brown seems to be to be highly artistic, creative and at times very eloquent. I admire those qualities and assume I’d notice them in others here as well.

  21. Meta
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 9:34 am | Permalink

    Judd Legume: “Unprepared”

    Tearing down America’s pandemic response infrastructure

    In 2018, the Trump administration ousted Rear Adm. Tim Ziemer, who served as the Senior Director of Global Health Security. Ziemer was a member of the National Security Council, where he was responsible for coordinating “responses to global health emergencies and potential pandemics.” Ziemer was lauded as “one of the most quietly effective leaders in public health.” His work on Malaria during the Obama administration helped save 6 million lives.

    “Admiral Ziemer’s departure is deeply alarming,” Congressman Ami Bera (D-CA) said in May 2018. “Expertise like his is critical in avoiding large outbreaks.” Beth Cameron, who served on the National Security Council in the Obama administration, said that Ziemer’s ouster was “a major loss for health security, biodefense, and pandemic preparedness” and noted that it “is unclear in his absence who at the White House would be in charge of a pandemic.”

    John Bolton, who was serving as Trump’s National Security Adviser at the time, did not just remove Ziemer. He decided to eliminate the position, and “the NSC’s entire global health security unit.” Bolton also forced out Tom Bossert, a highly regarded expert who was Ziemer’s counterpart at the Department of Homeland Security. “Neither the NSC nor DHS epidemic teams have been replaced,” Foreign Policy reported in January.

    Trump slashed funding for the CDC’s epidemic prevention activities, forcing the agency to end its work “in 39 out of 49 countries because money is running out” in 2018. The program, which started in 2014, was designed to “help countries prevent infectious-disease threats from becoming epidemics.” Among the countries no longer included: China.

    Trump has also tried to decimate funding for the U.S. Public Health Service Commissioned Corps, which is tasked with fighting the spread of disease. Congress, however, has refused to comply. So the Trump administration has simply let the group slowly atrophy, failing to replace members who quit or retire.

    Who is in charge?

    Who is in charge of the United States’ response to the coronavirus? You might assume it is the CDC. You would be wrong.

    There were several hundred Americans aboard a cruise ship, the Diamond Princess, that experienced an outbreak of COVID-19 near Japan. The Americans were evacuated and, before they were flown home, 14 tested positive for the coronavirus. The CDC advised that these infected passengers should not be flown home with the rest of the group, arguing that they could infect the others.

    The CDC, however, was overruled by the “State Department and a top Trump administration health official.” The decision was made even though to government “had already told passengers they would not be evacuated with anyone who was infected or who showed symptoms.” CDC officials were so distraught that they “demanded to be left out of the news release that explained that infected people were being flown back to the United States.”

    At the moment, there is no “clear chain of command for pandemic response.”

    Read more:
    https://popular.info/p/unprepared

  22. Anonymous
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    Senator Chris Murphy:

    The Trump Administration’s failure to take Cornavirus seriously is so frightening. It will cost lives.

    Many of us were calling for major emergency funding weeks ago and Trump ignored us. Now it’s likely too little and too late.

  23. EOS
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 9:47 am | Permalink

    A President, the CDC, WHO, and all the money in the world cannot stop this pandemic or the next. China attempted to quarantine millions, scanned crowds with thermal imagery to identify those infected, and then forcefully carried them to isolation. So many bodies were burned that sulfur dioxide plumes were seen from satellites in space. To no avail.

    Those who advocate crowding people into urban environments and making them dependent on mass transit should rethink their position.

  24. John Galt
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 9:54 am | Permalink

    I’m with EOS on this. Why spend money on science when we have the power of prayer?

  25. EOS
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 10:07 am | Permalink

    Viral pandemics are inevitable. Prayer can work miracles. There have been peer-reviewed scientific papers of double blind experiments that prove prayer is effective. Faith and Science coexist. One does not negate the other.

  26. iRobert
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 10:09 am | Permalink

    So instead of sharing information which would genuinely help more people weather this virus, everyone is going to seek to use it to gain political advantage. Nice.

  27. EOS
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    Please Robert,

    Tell us how you would save people from a virus.

  28. Jean Henry
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    iRobert and EOS– There are at least two Anonymous. One is a Bernie supporter and the other is a fucking epidemiologist, whose expertise made you laugh.

    As someone with an auto-immune disorder and an ongoing rhinovirus apparently evolving into a bronchial infection as we speak, I can tell you the meds for one do not help with the other. I don’t know what people mean by ‘boosting the immune system’ because that is not what I need at all. But I do know that maintaining health is about maintaining a balance. not one thing or another, and even then, sometimes you just draw a bad hand. Rest and lots of water seem to help with both of my health concerns. Too much of either is still bad for you though…

    As for EOS’ sulfur cloud claim. It’s BS like everything they say. https://fullfact.org/health/satellites-wuhan-sulphur-dioxide-coronavirus/

  29. EOS
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 10:14 am | Permalink

    Move to a remote area. Grow your own food. Isolate yourself from other people….

  30. iRobert
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 10:19 am | Permalink

    Nice try, Jean. So I suppose this epidemiologist shares all your personality disorders.

  31. Jean Henry
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    As for EOS testament to the power of prayer, it does indeed work, and it doesn’t matter what your belief system is. Faith healing and caring touch of any kind also appear to be effective So are placebos. The brain is a powerful instrument within the body. A friend was dying and making some questionable (to me and to science) decisions re her care and my cousin who is an oncologist and an atheist told me never to disrupt a patient’s belief system.

    I choose to believe in science and it works pretty well for me. I also feel very comfortable with the clear human need for spiritual seeking. It seems undeniable. It also seems to work for people. This explains why religion exists and persists, but it doesn’t prove the existence of god in any form. It does annoy me that atheists can not seem to grasp the power of the spiritual, despite all evidence of its value to people. But they are no better at admitting what they do not know and can not know than religious people.

  32. Jean Henry
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 10:21 am | Permalink

    iRobert– Think for a minute about who it might be…

  33. iRobert
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 10:29 am | Permalink

    You have patterns, Jean. They’re obnoxious. You can pull the Jekyll routine all you want, now, but few people have your specific set of patterns.

    Please do share the story, though. I’d like to hear how you’ve supposedly come by the identities of people who post as anonymous.

  34. iRobert
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 10:36 am | Permalink

    EOS and Jean, I do agree with what you’ve both said about the power of prayer and belief.

    We could get into the scientific arguments suggesting the universe/multiverse is infinite. We could then discuss the certainty of the infinite including an infinite consciousness/being. But I don’t know if we want to get into all that here.

  35. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 10:40 am | Permalink

    “As someone with an auto-immune disorder and an ongoing rhinovirus apparently evolving into a bronchial infection as we speak, I can tell you the meds for one do not help with the other. I don’t know what people mean by ‘boosting the immune system’ because that is not what I need at all.”

    Guess what is a powerful immunosuppressant? It’s something the fucking epidemiologist calls snake oil.

  36. iRobert
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 10:45 am | Permalink

    I wonder if the epidemiologist thinks there is anything to be learned from pharma ads beyond what is intended.

  37. EOS
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 10:48 am | Permalink

    So if JH knows that there are at least two anons, she must be one, and IL another. That was quick confirmation.

    Our epidemiologist didn’t refute what I said, but he added to it. The majority of travelers from Asia, through DTW, end up in Ann Arbor. But I concede he is right. If one traveler infects an entire plane load, the virus will be quickly spread throughout SE Michigan. With non-stop flights from Asia and recirculated air on the plane, that’s a likely possibility.

  38. iRobert
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    I also laugh at Kobe’s hotdogging helicopter pilot…

    …and I can’t fly a helicopter.

  39. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 10:51 am | Permalink

    It’s anti-bacterial too so it’s got you covered on both fronts. Amazing. Eat concentrates for immunosuppression and smoke or vape for direct anti-bacterial treatments to the lungs.

  40. EOS
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 10:53 am | Permalink

    Robert,

    Many chronic auto-immune diseases are caused by an over active immune system and many of the biologics advertised on TV supress the immune system. “Don’t take this medication if you think you might have TB or have traveled to an area that has prevalent fungal diseases” signals this. They target specific cytokines. These medicines stop a debilitating disease but increase your risk of contracting others. While taking these medications, you will be tested periodically to make sure you haven’t acquired the disease.

  41. iRobert
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 11:00 am | Permalink

    EOS, why would you think I don’t know all that?

  42. John Brown
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    JH, as I’m sure you realize I began my social justice career as an ardent Bible thumper. But the last 170 years has convinced me beyond doubt that the destructive effects of organized religion at the societal level are so severe that any good it does easing an individuals pain is trivial in comparison to the systemic suffering and injustice it perpetuates. Destroy the patriarchy.

  43. iRobert
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 11:02 am | Permalink

    I may seem uneducated because my writing here is so sloppy and I use a lot of thuggish language, I guess.

  44. I bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    Aloha, I took EOS’s advice. Only 900 residents on the island. The touristas keep away from the locals and vice versa. It is really hard to avoid air travel though, only two boats a week and they take 3 days to get here.
    I think it is fun when EOS starts talking science and “mutations”. Nothing like a christian fundamentalists watching evolution at work, but we live in the world of insanity.

  45. iRobert
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 11:07 am | Permalink

    What do you have to say about the causes of over active immune systems?

  46. iRobert
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 11:10 am | Permalink

    Wobblie, You know how much I love making fun of EOS. But you have to admit, it’s nice that he doesn’t disclaim science as much as many do. We can be relieved about that. Can’t we?

  47. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 11:11 am | Permalink

    “John Brown
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 11:02 am | Permalink
    JH, as I’m sure you realize I began my social justice career as an ardent Bible thumper. But the last 170 years has convinced me beyond doubt that the destructive effects of organized religion at the societal level are so severe that any good it does easing an individuals pain is trivial in comparison to the systemic suffering and injustice it perpetuates. Destroy the patriarchy.”

    Stalinesque

  48. I bet HW that McCabe wouldn’t be fired and all I got was this stupid name
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 11:13 am | Permalink

    Aloha, Senator Blumenthal after a briefing on the growing pandemic
    inadequacy…”

    Richard Blumenthal

    @SenBlumenthal
    This morning’s classified coronavirus briefing should have been made fully open to the American people—they would be as appalled & astonished as I am by the inadequacy of preparedness & prevention.

    7,095
    9:48 AM – Feb 25, 2020
    Twitter Ads info and privacy

    4,079 people are talking about this

    Richard Blumenthal
    @SenBlumenthal

    This morning’s classified coronavirus briefing should have been made fully open to the American people—they would be as appalled & astonished as I am by the inadequacy of

    inadequacy…”

    Richard Blumenthal

    @SenBlumenthal
    This morning’s classified coronavirus briefing should have been made fully open to the American people—they would be as appalled & astonished as I am by the inadequacy of preparedness & prevention.

    7,095
    9:48 AM – Feb 25, 2020
    Twitter Ads info and privacy

    4,079 people are talking about this

    Richard Blumenthal
    @SenBlumenthal

    This morning’s classified coronavirus briefing should have been made fully open to the American people—they would be as appalled & astonished as I am by the inadequacy of preparedness and prevention.

  49. EOS
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 11:14 am | Permalink

    For the Record,

    I believe in evolution. I understand genomic analysis. I also believe that there is no indisputable scientific evidence that the mechanisms of evolution can account for all life forms having descended from one, or a few, single celled organisms that spontaneously formed in the primordial goo. That first cell had to have a minimum of 150 distinct genes, each being about 10,000 base pairs long, that formed and stabilized so that a semi-permeable membrane could surround them. The first step is insurmountable based on the known laws of thermodynamics.

    @Robert,
    Based only on what you wrote. I guess I missed your point.

  50. iRobert
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 11:16 am | Permalink

    I’m curious, would everyone here agree that the whole of reality is infinite?

    Like I say, I’m just curious. I am not looking to bait anyone like I am usually.

  51. iRobert
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    I didn’t intend to quiet or change the subject either. Far be it from me to interrupt the partisan sluggfest.

    It would be nice, though, if once in a while people could focus on working together to save others from suffering and premature death.

  52. Jean Henry
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 11:28 am | Permalink

    EOS– I don’t post anonymously. I used deductive reasoning as one is a Bernie supporter and one is not. I laid it all out for you. I wish I were as knowledgeable about anything as one Anonymous is about disease.

    Who really has time for more than one persona? We all waste enough time here already.

    John Galt is my favorite of all posters here by a wide margin.

  53. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Interesting question. It tends to go against the prevailing view of the universe as having an expanding boundary that will eventually contract. I lean towards the emerging electric universe theory that requires no beginning or end. What is the difference between the Big Bang and creation by God other than attribution? Scientific evidence right? They have to fudge it with 95% Dark Matter to make their predictions work though. That’s how far off they were.

  54. EOS
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 11:29 am | Permalink

    Here’s a hypothesis of the trigger for overactive immune response. A person receives a vaccination designed to trigger an immune response. Something in that vaccine happens to trigger a response to a protein sequence that a small portion of the population has. Or a person gets infected with a virus that has a sequence that resembles a particular individual’s makeup. So the immune system is stimulated to attack a person’s own body. Once stimulated, the immune response never shuts off, even to the detriment of the person.

    There are a lot of auto-immune diseases that exist predominantly in individuals of a certain HLA blood type.

    One of the first humans to receive gene therapy was an 18 year old male who received the needed gene in a virus, in the hopes that the virus would deliver the gene to his cells. Instead, it triggered such a strong response that his immune system overwhelmed his body and he died immediately.

    Many patients receiving chemo need to be watched closely by nurses/doctors while the medication is being delivered by IV because their bodies could react to the toxic chemicals with too strong an immune response. They have a crash cart nearby to stop it immediately.

    But if you knew this already, I’m not sure why you ask.

  55. Jean Henry
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 11:31 am | Permalink

    “would everyone here agree that the whole of reality is infinite?”

    Not one of us knows or will ever know in this lifetime. What a stupid thing to ask.
    Your conceit might be infinitesimal, iRobert…

  56. iRobert
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    How many people at the University of Michigan had some idea about what Doctor Robert E. Anderson was doing?

    How many people at MSU and USA gymnastics had some idea about what Nassar was doing.

    Does Jean or our resident epidemiologist have an understanding of why those sorts of things go on for decades unaddressed?

  57. iRobert
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 11:36 am | Permalink

    Jean: “Not one of us knows or will ever know in this lifetime. What a stupid thing to ask.
    Your conceit might be infinitesimal, iRobert…”

    A simple “no” or “it’s impossible to know” would suffice. I was just curious about people’s beliefs. I didn’t realize such a question would so trigger you.

  58. iRobert
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 11:41 am | Permalink

    Jean: “Who really has time for more than one persona? We all waste enough time here already.”

    You do, Jean, especially now that annarbor.com stopped allowing comments. I expect to see you posting here a lot more, including as Anonynous.

  59. Jean Henry
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 11:43 am | Permalink

    iRobert: Re the speculative source of autoimmune disease: in my case, which is all I can speak to, genetics and a whole bunch of semi-standard but cumulatively intense life stressors.

    Otherwise, I grew up on pristine mineral-laden well water and homegrown and made food and very limited sugar, much less preservatives or any of that stuff. I have never abused any drug nor used many pharmaceuticals. I grew up without TV, working and playing outside and riding horses. I was filthy dirty most of the time with soil which is supposed to bolster the immune system, especially gut health. And yet I have both ADHD and an gut-related autoimmune disease that many correlate (falsely) to a modern lifestyle I did not live and exposures I did not have. I was 12 miles from Three Mile Island and within the Windstream of its released radiation over many years, drinking lots of milk that possibly had Strontium 90 bonded to the calcium. As far as I know, that didn’t lead to my autoimmune disease. None of my siblings have it in my manifestation. Grandparents on both sides probably did.

  60. iRobert
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 11:44 am | Permalink

    Thank you for the thoughtful responses, HW and EOS.

  61. Jean Henry
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 11:46 am | Permalink

    iRobert– I rarely posted on Ann Arbor.com and always as myself. I only posted about housing related issues. Probably less than 15 times ever. I’ll soon be gone from this space too. You are so tiresome. You and HW and FF and EOS can have it. What a cesspool of idiocy. It’s sad because this site used to be both amusing and informed in its comment section as well as Mark’s posts.

  62. Eel
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    Trump has this covered. Don’t worry.

    https://twitter.com/AWorldOutOfMind/status/1232046759905550337?s=20

  63. iRobert
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    You’re lying, Jean.

  64. Jean Henry
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    John Brown– re the pain created by organized religion:
    1) I spoke of spiritual seeking, nit all of that or even most of that is expressed in organized religion.

    2)Human organizations and systems create pain and suffering. All of them. Religion has a unique purchase on the human imagination but its flaws are not unique. Governments/economic systems and religions are a lot alike. They all have created most human progress and most of its suffering as well. Come to think of it one can add science to that equation. Maybe even the ultimate conceit of reason and logic.

    Humans are the central problem of humanity and always will be.
    People, have you seen their work?

  65. iRobert
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 11:54 am | Permalink

    …and EOS and HW just responded to my oddball questions with sincerity and politeness. I think we just saw an example of civil discussion. You chose to do your Hyde routine, however.

  66. Jean Henry
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 11:56 am | Permalink

    IRobert– who do you think I am on MLive? I’m truly curious. I always post as myself.

  67. Jean Henry
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 11:59 am | Permalink

    iRobert– a civilized discussion about the unknowable between a group of paranoid and bloviated idiots. Not interested. Happy to be Hyde.

  68. EOS
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 12:07 pm | Permalink

    Go away Jean, you are not a nice person. Or stay here, but be nicer. There were far better discussions before you decided to drive everyone off. And I agree with Robert. IL does not write like you. He left long ago.

  69. iRobert
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 12:10 pm | Permalink

    I thought HW’s response was quite intelligent. I also thought that of EOS’s response to the immunity question. I’d guess just about everyone reading this, other than you, would agree.

  70. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    Jean claimed that she posted as “Anonymous” here before. Maybe she forgot?

  71. Sad
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 12:33 pm | Permalink

    Maybe Mayor Pete was a CIA plant to split up the moderate vote and throw the race to Sanders who might more easily lose to Trump?

    Maybe the virus is a Trump plan to stop globalism and shut down borders around the world?

    Maybe HW EOS IRobert and Jean are reasonable and thoughtful.

    It’s a lot to take in.

  72. iRobert
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

    Have you switched off Mayor Pete yet, Sad?

    I’m still going to vote for Tulsi, unless she officially drops out before March 10th.

  73. Sad
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    No.

    I’ll remain loyal until the end.

    So many of my conservative friends have the same reaction to Sanders that Mr.Maynard has to Trump. Revulsion, disgust and anger.

    But what do I know!

  74. iRobert
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

    Yes, FF, I thought it was odd that Jean didn’t seem to recall how she had confessed to posting as Anonymous. I thought maybe she wasn’t sure I’d recall.

    Sad, I’ve seen that in some of my conservative friends as well.

  75. Satan
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 2:05 pm | Permalink

    Can’t you all see she’s “gas-lighting” you?

  76. John Brown
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 3:33 pm | Permalink

    Mark, can you change “comments” header above to “a civilized discussion about the unknowable between a group of paranoid and bloviated idiots?”

    Satan, gaslighting is the new “be a good listener” of civil discourse. You’re definitely getting some serious traction under Agent Orange.

    But what’s real is the plunging stock market. Down hard second day running on the knowledge that the Admin is incompetent in the face of a pandemic.

  77. Elizabeth Warren by proxy
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 4:22 pm | Permalink

    The Trump administration is absolutely bungling the response to coronavirus, putting our public health and our economy at risk. This is why we need a real plan and an adult in charge. Here’s what I think we should be doing.

  78. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

    Solid link.

    Solid plan.

    I agree with Warren. We must immediately start to.

    It will help with the.

  79. John Galt
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 4:41 pm | Permalink

    Paula White can stop this!

    We just need to send her our first fruits!

  80. EOS
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 4:53 pm | Permalink

    FF,
    Perfect

  81. Jean Henry
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 6:49 pm | Permalink

    Gaslighting is misused but it’s for sure real.

    When Bernie supporters insist that Bernie Bros don’t exist, that’s a classic gaslighting strategy.

    If you are ever unfortunate enough to be in a relationship where someone gaslights you, you will recognize the strategy. It’s powerful and disabling of one’s ability to trust one’s own sense of reality. Unlike many others, I often think it’s unintentional. It arises from extreme defensiveness and denial.

    No matter how trendy, I don’t think an experience so powerful and well-documented, warrants quotation marks or sarcasm.

    That seems a bit like gaslighting the experience of gaslighting…

    I would think Satan would be all for legitimizing it.

  82. Hyborian Warlord
    Posted February 25, 2020 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

    That can only be true if they are using dirty tricks to make you question your sanity. If they are telling you the truth it cannot be gaslighting.

  83. iRobert
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 12:40 pm | Permalink

    So now Jean’s ma’am-splaining “gas-lighting.”

  84. Jean Henry
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 12:48 pm | Permalink

    Happy to serve, iRobert.
    Also see HW gaslighting gaslighting for re-emphasis of the principle. See also people who believe their gaslighting, but also feel highly motivated to shut down any dissent.

  85. Jean Henry
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 12:49 pm | Permalink

    Viral things that concern me more that Corona Virus for now…

    “Running parallel to this effort| some conservatives have been experimenting with a scheme to exploit the credibility of local journalism. Over the past few years| hundreds of websites with innocuous-sounding names like the Arizona Monitor and The Kalamazoo Times have begun popping up. At first glance| they look like regular publications| complete with community notices and coverage of schools. But look closer and you’ll find that there are often no mastheads| few if any bylines| and no addresses for local offices. Many of them are organs of Republican lobbying groups; others belong to a mysterious company called Locality Labs| which is run by a conservative activist in Illinois. Readers are given no indication that these sites have political agendas—which is precisely what makes them valuable.”

    https://github.com/MassMove/AttackVectors?fbclid=IwAR27s-252CJcXScWIK-NOBlvAS976-B4whea0UVbbFtTmevjxcOzt5xTJlI

  86. Eel
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    I think this belongs here:

    White House hires college senior as top Trump official: report http://hill.cm/k5wAmD2

  87. Anonymous
    Posted February 26, 2020 at 3:04 pm | Permalink

    Kamala Harris: Americans deserve transparency about what the administration is doing to confront the coronavirus.

  88. Frosted Flakes
    Posted February 28, 2020 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

    “HW gaslighting gaslighting”—Jean

    No. HW was explaining the concept “gaslight” and questioning whether or not you were misapplying the term.

  89. Sad
    Posted February 28, 2020 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    I’m more interested in flashlighting.

    https://youtu.be/6F7xbF7OnxU

  90. FLS
    Posted March 13, 2020 at 1:46 am | Permalink

    @Jean Henry
    I do hope you will fair well. I am in Seattle and I am 99.9% sure I managed to pick this up at the beginning of February as unlikely as all thought it could be at that point. Be that as it may, it started as what I thought must be strep throat with a dry cough, my temp went up and down for a few days but nothing insane as I am usually very low anyways, but the cough developed quickly into an awful hacking cough that I can only describe as shaking my body with every hack! It was God awful! I have an autoimmune disorder and had just finished 5 days of high dose steroids as well. My PCP could not see by until MARCH & that was the 2/08! So I pushed fluids, took Aleve and slept a lot. My appetite was nil. After about 2 weeks of continuous coughing, sleeping on the sofa away from my husband to not disturb him, I again called PCP, to be triaged again & as I had not been to China nor knew anyone that had, simply told to go to the ER. I opted to do a virtual appointment. That Dr asked the same questions and felt it was probably bacterial (again they didnt know that there could be any virus circulating in Seattle for weeks at the point) & prescribed an antibiotic for 1 week. I took it religiously. It did nothing. SO…I kept pushing fluids and the cough has very slowly reduced BUT it has not gone away totally! I still need naps more than I did in the past, I have a dull ache that was not there before but I am alive. SO do not loose hope. I will suggest that you look up chest percussion therapy that is used on Cystic Fibrosis patients. I showed my husband how to do this and it dramatically helped with my the heaviness I felt during the worse of my illness. Several drs have now said that they believe that I did have the virus…and I am praying that is so because if I had anything else and didnt fully recover still, then I will be in trouble. Other patients with active coughs I have heard sound EXACTLY the same as I did while sick. Think the only I would wish this on is my ex :) lolz. It was rough….
    Drink lots of gatorade…take whatever NSAID your PCP recommends….normal flu stuff and rest.
    As Biden pointed out today when he spoke, this virus does not care if you are Republican, Independent or Democrat….
    This is not a political thing at all….it doesn’t matter whether I agree with Trump or not…the only thing that matters now is that we work together to help one another get through this.
    I do hope you do well.

  91. iRobert
    Posted September 9, 2020 at 9:38 pm | Permalink

    The United States and Italy now have the same number of deaths per capita – 589 deaths per one million population.

  92. iRobert
    Posted September 17, 2020 at 2:00 pm | Permalink

    Well, Mark, to answer your question;

    Remember how Italy was caught almost completely off-guard by the spread of the virus there? Remember what dire straights they were in as a consequence? Remember the dramatic death tolls, shortage of personnel and equipment they had?

    Well, the United States has now surpassed Italy in deaths per capita. Does that help answer your question? We’ve done worse than a country that was caught off-guard with very little warning and no time to prepare. The US, on the other hand, has had months more than Italy in forewarning and time to prepare and mobilize.

    Deaths per million population:
    USA: 619
    Italy: 590

  93. Posted September 17, 2020 at 6:18 pm | Permalink

    But our president didn’t want to scare us! *rolls eyes*

  94. Frosted Flakes
    Posted September 17, 2020 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

    It’s possible that it is not so simple right?

    https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.wsj.com/amp/articles/italys-coronavirus-death-toll-is-far-higher-than-reported-11585767179

  95. iRobert
    Posted September 17, 2020 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    I assume you wouldn’t believe the US has the same problems and have been undercounting deaths.

    That article is from April 1st. Has anything been done in five months to fully document all COVID-19 deaths?

  96. Frosted Flakes
    Posted September 17, 2020 at 9:11 pm | Permalink

    I know that Birx said last month she thinks we overcounted by 25%. I do not know if Italy has adjusted their numbers to be more reflective of reality.

  97. Posted September 17, 2020 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

    “Italy was not the only country to have failed to fully account for deaths linked to the coronavirus. Other studies showed that the United States, Peru and Mexico City largely under-reported the number of people who died from the disease.”

    From Medical X Press

    Italy suffered double mortality in worst month of pandemic, study shows

    https://medicalxpress.com/news/2020-07-italy-mortality-worst-month-pandemic.html

  98. Anonymous
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 5:10 am | Permalink

    Anonymous

    https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/09/pandemic-intuition-nightmare-spiral-winter/616204/

  99. Frosted Flakes
    Posted September 18, 2020 at 6:46 am | Permalink

    This seems like a good article which uses the excessive mortality rates of different countries and cities. It seems to support the idea that US is actually under reporting COVID deaths but still we are under reporting at a rate lower than Italy. Certainly under reporting at a rate lower than Peru and Mexico City—both of which have high excess mortality that was never, for whatever reason, attributed to Covid.

    https://www.economist.com/graphic-detail/2020/07/15/tracking-covid-19-excess-deaths-across-countries

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