— Helen Branswell (@HelenBranswell) February 25, 2020
Of immediate interest to some Balloon Juice readers:
This is important for university students abroad as @CDCgov level 2 alerts tend to be the threshold for universities to start contingency planning for potentially bringing students back. https://t.co/HfVzztbYpD
— Dr. Saskia Popescu (@SaskiaPopescu) February 25, 2020
Smart advice for us ‘worried well’ (by all means read the whole article!)
IMO a really good post!
"Buy a few of the things each weekly shop. Don’t buy things you won’t eat later, don’t hoard and don’t buy more than you’ll need for a 2 week period. We’re not talking zombie apocalypse and we very probably won’t see power or water interruptions either." https://t.co/iGtIHylmwj
— Paul (@davispg) February 25, 2020
GENEVA, Feb 24 (Reuters) – The World Health Organization (WHO) said on Monday that the novel coronavirus outbreak was not out of control globally nor causing large-scale deaths and it was "too early" to speak of a pandemic.@WHO
— Carl Quintanilla (@carlquintanilla) February 24, 2020
— Helen Branswell (@HelenBranswell) February 24, 2020
I spoke with @katarinazimmer @TheScientistLLC the other day about #SARS_CoV_2 and #COVID19 disease. The short answer – it's complicated + your immune system has a lot to do with how things turn out. Also featuring @angie_rasmussen and Dr. Stanley Perlman.https://t.co/QYCSlo3b6U
— Lisa Gralinski (@LisaGralinski) February 24, 2020
Put the Qom imams' rejection of quarantine and social distancing together with the South Korea religious cult and BINGO — #COVID19 out of control.
— Laurie Garrett (@Laurie_Garrett) February 25, 2020
To be honest, it’s not the religious cultists overseas that worry me most, at this point — it’s the political cultists right here:
“The view in the White House is that this is one of those classic black swan events, and all we can do is control the health issues in the U.S.,” said Stephen Moore, an informal economic adviser to the Trump team. https://t.co/kOfPbabdzr @politico by @ddiamond & @nancook
— Darren Samuelsohn (@dsamuelsohn) February 25, 2020
… With the possibility of a U.S. outbreak growing by the day, Trump allies and advisers have grown increasingly worried that a botched coronavirus response will hit the U.S. economy. Even Donald Trump Jr. has mused to associates he hopes the White House does not screw up the response and put the president’s best reelection message at risk, said two individuals with knowledge of his comments.
“Trump’s reelection effort is so closely tied to the strength of the stock market and the economy,” said Moore, a distinguished visiting fellow at the Heritage Foundation and 2016 Trump campaign adviser. “Anything that shakes us off of that pro-growth track is a concern, but I think the view of officials in the White House is that this will be contained.”
“Once the virus is contained, the market will bounce right back,” Moore added…
But inside the White House, officials have been quietly studying models of the pandemic’s potential effect on both the U.S. and the global economy, said one Republican close to the White House. Among policy aides, there‘s widespread concern that the spread of the coronavirus will hit a slew of industries including manufacturers, airlines, automakers and tech companies, slowing down both the U.S. and Chinese economies. Aides fear the White House has few economic tricks it can deploy to lessen the impact.
Meanwhile, officials like acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and domestic policy chief Joe Grogan have turned their fire on HHS Secretary Alex Azar, who’s leading the coronavirus response, arguing that Azar has poorly coordinated the strategy, failed to escalate the potential risks to Trump and pushed for a multibillion-dollar emergency-funding request that they initially viewed as extreme, said four individuals familiar with the matter.The Trump administration on Monday night announced a request for $2.5 billion in emergency coronavirus cash, which would also shift at least $535 million in previously committed funds.
Funding the response had been a major sticking point between the White House and Azar, who lobbied to request additional funds from Congress before he makes four separate hearings on the Hill this week. Officials had spent days jockeying over the final figure for the emergency package, veering anywhere between $1 billion to $5 billion. The package also is expected to face resistance from Democrats, who have warned the Trump administration against shifting money away from existing commitments…
Fortunately, there are still some grown-ups in the government. Per NBC:
The White House is asking Congress for $2.5 billion to respond to the coronavirus illness known as COVID-19 that has killed more than 2,600 people in mainland China, but House Speaker Nancy Pelosi called the request inadequate.
Pelosi, D-California, said in a statement that the administration’s request is “is long overdue and completely inadequate to the scale of this emergency.”
She also accused the Trump administration of leaving vacant critical positions at the National Security Council and Department of Homeland Security.
“And now, the president is compounding our vulnerabilities by seeking to ransack funds still needed to keep Ebola in check,” Pelosi said.
“The president should not be raiding money that Congress has appropriated for other life-or-death public health priorities,” she said, suggesting that the House would move forward with its own plan…
Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer, D-New York, signaled his disapproval as well, saying the effort was “too little too late.”
“That President Trump is trying to steal funds dedicated to fight Ebola — which is still considered an epidemic in the Democratic Republic of the Congo — is indicative of his towering incompetence and further proof that he and his administration aren’t taking the coronavirus crisis as seriously as they need to be,” Schumer said in a statement.
There have been no deaths from the coronavirus illness in the United States, but there are confirmed cases.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says that there have been two cases of person-to-person transmission in the U.S., and that the virus can be spread via respiratory droplets when an infected person coughs or sneezes. The CDC says on its website that the virus is not currently spreading in the U.S…
The acting deputy secretary of homeland security is asking the internet where to get information about the spread of #Covid19.
We are so borked. pic.twitter.com/hWony9uGG4
— Greg Greene (@ggreeneva) February 24, 2020
The @JohnsHopkins map is a great tool. But when I coordinated the Ebola response in 2014-15, I got two briefings a day from the CIA … and never crowd-sourced the response on @Twitter. https://t.co/eT1FVmtaSQ
— Ronald Klain (@RonaldKlain) February 25, 2020
Another excellent thread, from someone who knows what he’s talking about:
As both an emergency manager and as someone who helped manage the 2014 USG Ebola response, let me tell you why this is such a damaging tweet.
This is the loudest voice in the US government sharing actively problematic risk communication. https://t.co/L3PPHX4gW8
— Jeremy Konyndyk (@JeremyKonyndyk) February 24, 2020
Wow, this has blown up. While you're here: don't despair, do prepare.
This outbreak can be managed, and damaging overreaction is as risky as damaging under-reaction.
Here's an overview of what governments should be doing to get ready: https://t.co/mboRx431i2
— Jeremy Konyndyk (@JeremyKonyndyk) February 25, 2020
The coronavirus story will also become a health-insurance story in America. This guy went to China, caught the flu, came back, did the responsible thing and reported himself for possible coronavirus — but tested negative and now might have to pay $1,400+. https://t.co/GdDqyODPVw
— Matt Pearce 🦅 (@mattdpearce) February 24, 2020
This is EXACTLY the argument against formally declaring a pandemic. Pandemic does not necessarily mean "category 5 hurricane". It simply means that the outbreak has taken root in multiple geographic regions. But the word elicits panic and hysteria, which are NOT helpful.
— Sanghyuk Shin (@sanghyuk_shin) February 25, 2020
The Chinese CDC today published the largest case series to date of #COVID19 in mainland China (72 314 cases through 2/11/20). Here are some of the data:
• 2.3% Overall
• 14.8% age >= 80
• 8.0% age 70-79
• 49.0% in critical caseshttps://t.co/ZFR6pScCpa
— JAMA (@JAMA_current) February 24, 2020
I wholeheartedly agree with this. Chinese have sacrificed so much. The party members have covered up, and the cadres produced theater, but the everyday Chinese put their lives on hold to save the world. We owe them the best use of our remaining bought time https://t.co/zqoRA9BmeD
— Daniel Sinclair (@_DanielSinclair) February 24, 2020