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Friday, February 28, 2020

A serious pandemic would upend U.S. elections in ways not seen in a century. The spread of coronavirus in America could eventually affect campaigning, conventions and even voting, and experts say election officials should make contingency plans now.


The reinfection has health officials worried the illness could stay dormant after signs of recovery.


President Donald Trump has worked to minimize fears about the virus, but on Wednesday he and federal health officials recommended that schools start planning for arrival of the COVID-19 virus "just in case." "It's the perfect time for businesses, health care systems, universities and schools to look at their pandemic preparedness plans, dust them off, and make sure that they're ready," Dr. Anne Schuchat, principal deputy director of the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said at a Wednesday news conference.


The United States has its first novel coronavirus-related drug shortage, according to the US Food and Drug Administration. The maker of an unnamed drug that has recently been added to the FDA Drug Shortages list told the agency that the shortage is due to the novel coronavirus. On Tuesday, the FDA warned that these types of shortages could happen, and said it was monitoring the situation closely. The agency identified 20 drugs that either solely sourced their active pharmaceutical ingredients, or produced finished drug products, from or in China.


Wednesday, February 26, 2020

After railing for years against the "Deep State" and the "Russia Hoax," the president is on his way to getting the docile intelligence community he's always wanted. read more


Comments

Holy schitt, I hope Trump is right about a miracle:

AMY GOODMAN: Final comments, as we look at what's happening in the world, every continent but Antarctica? What does it mean to have a unified response?

LAURIE GARRETT: Well, we won't have a unified response. We don't. It's fragmented. It's fragmented within countries, and it's fragmented among countries. Already everybody is sealing their borders. Everybody starts saying, "No, you can't fly here. You can't." Well, we're going to see, and what's unfolding now, and the reason that the smart guys on the stock market are getting upset, is that the whole globalization system, the chain of supply and shipping, is fragmenting. And it's fragmenting amid fear and amid the false idea that in the age of air travel you could somehow stop a virus by just saying, "No, no, no, you're not allowed to land at that airport." Well, how did this fellow way up in Northern California in a rural area get infected? You know, we've been screening at the San Francisco airport since day one of this mess.

So, I think that the problem is we don't have a solidified response. And what you're going to see, and it's already playing out, is this NIMBY attitude. You know, we already have states saying, "We're not going to allow you to put quarantined people in our state. Ship them to another state," and "Oh, my state has plenty of masks on supply. We're not sharing them with the bozos next door." In every tabletop exercise I've ever been in for the last 30 years role-playing what would happen in an outbreak, the solidarity between the states of the United States completely breaks down. States put borders. They won't let you come on a highway. And they block goods from leaving the state: "No, that may be destined for Illinois, but we in Indiana want those supplies. You can't take them to Illinois."

AU, thank you for your insights. Yes, I see what is being said now:

AURIE GARRETT: Pretty abysmal situation. Where we are right now is that everybody is recognizing, oops, it was a big mistake by the Trump administration to obliterate the entire infrastructure of pandemic response that the Obama administration had created. Why did he do it? Well, it certainly wasn't about the money, because it wasn't a heavily funded program. It was certainly because it was Obama's program.

AMY GOODMAN: And explain. You're talking about the unit within the Centers for Disease Control.

LAURIE GARRETT: No, we're talking about something much vaster than that. It was a special division inside the National Security Council, a special division inside of the Department of Homeland Security--that bozo [i.e Wolf from above post] was talking from--and collaborating centers in HHS, headquarters in Washington, the Office of Global Health Affairs, and the Commerce Department, Treasury Department. But what Obama understood, dealing with Ebola in 2014, is that any American response had to be an all-of-government response, that there were so many agencies overlapping, and they all had a little piece of the puzzle in the case of a pandemic.

Just do this mental exercise with me, Amy. If we get to the situation where we're anything like what's going on in China right now, then our Department of Commerce, our Department of Transportation and our department of USDA would have to collaborate to get food deliveries all over America so that parts of America don't starve. And you could see in China convoys, hundreds of 18-wheeler vehicles completely full of food, coming into Wuhan every single day. Do we have the capacity to coordinate that?

What the Obama administration realized was that you can't corral multiple agencies and things from private sector as well as public sector to come to the aid of America, unless you have some one person in charge who's really the manager of it all. And in his case, it was Ron Klain, who had worked under Vice President Biden. And he was designated, with an office inside the White House, to give orders and coordinate all these various things.

Well, that was all eliminated. It's gone. And now they're hastily trying to recreate something. And last night there were many names tossed around about who he was going to appoint as head of the response. He had previously gone on the record, President Trump, saying, "I have great faith in Secretary Azar, and my HHS secretary will be in charge." And we're told, from multiple sources, that right up until they got on stage for that press briefing, Azar thought he was in charge. And then the president says, "And here's my good friend Mike Pence, and he's taking charge."


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