Coronavirus

Donald Trump Declares 'We Will Ultimately and Expeditiously Defeat This Virus'

In two weeks we will know if his public health measures are too little, too late.

|

In a prime time speech to the nation last night, President Donald Trump outlined some steps his administration is taking to address the coronavirus. A lot of his speech focused on the economic fallout from the spreading epidemic. Let's set aside those fiscal items here, and instead concentrate on the measures that aim to deal directly with the disease.

The most headline-grabbing item was his restrictions on travel from Europe for the next 30 days. (The spread of the new coronavirus is accelerating in most of Europe, with about 23,000 cases now, half of which are in Italy.) The new ban mirrors the limits his administration put on travel from China in January.

In his speech, the president claimed that by "taking early, intense action, we have seen fewer cases of the virus in the United States than are now present in Europe." A March 6 study in the journal Science did calculate that the ban led to 77 percent fewer cases imported from mainland China than would have been expected. At the time that the administration imposed the rules, many infectious disease experts concurred that the travel restrictions would likely help slow the spread of the virus into the U.S.

The Science study also noted that while the "travel ban was initially effective at reducing international case importations, the number of cases observed outside Mainland China will resume its growth after 2–3 weeks from cases that originated elsewhere." Slowing is not stopping. The idea behind the travel ban was to buy time for public health workers to roll out a robust program of testing, aimed at quickly diagnosing and isolating new cases to prevent community transmission of the disease. Unfortunately, due to a bureaucratic snafu, that extra time was wasted.

The president asserted that "testing and testing capabilities are expanding rapidly," but the plain fact is that the U.S. lags substantially behind many other nations in testing for the virus. Indeed, bureaucratic barriers are still hindering the rapid deployment of coronavirus diagnostic tests developed by private companies and academic laboratories. Now there is evidence that the coronavirus epidemic may be accelerating here.

"Smart action today will prevent the spread of the virus tomorrow," declared the president. He urged Americans to follow his administration's guidance with respect to school closures, social distancing and limiting large gatherings.

Trump correctly pointed out that for "the vast majority of Americans, the risk is very, very low. Young and healthy people can expect to recover fully and quickly if they should get the virus." Research shows that the death rate for folks under age 40 is about 1 in 500. The greater risk, as he noted, "is for elderly population with underlying health conditions." A study out of China, for example, reported that the fatality rate for folks ages 60 to 69 is 3.6 percent. The rate increases to 8 percent for patients in their seventies, 15 percent for those over age 80. "The elderly population must be very, very careful," warned the 73-year-old president. "In general, older Americans should also avoid non-essential travel in crowded areas."

The president also gave the now standard but always good advice for people to practice good hygiene by frequently washing their hands; to avoid infection by not touching their faces; and to stay home if they are not feeling well.

"We've seen dramatically fewer cases of the virus in the United States than are now present in Europe," stated the president. That's true. But how much longer will that last?

To get some idea of how the epidemic here might evolve, let's contrast how it is currently playing out in Italy and South Korea.

Italian public health authorities reported detecting the first 16 cases of local coronavirus transmission on February 21. By February 29, the outbreak had risen to more than 1,000 cases and the death toll stood at 29. Not even four weeks later, the country is reporting nearly 12,500 cases and almost 900 deaths.

In South Korea, the first community transmission of the virus was confirmed on February 19. By February 26, the number of confirmed cases had climbed to 1,261 and killed 12. At the time, the daily of rate of increase in cases reached 40 percent. To counteract the epidemic, the country's public health authorities engaged in a massive testing campaign featuring drive-by testing sites. As of yesterday, the number of cases had risen to nearly 7,900, with 66 deaths. But the daily rate of increase had slowed to just 1.5 percent. That slowdown is largely the result of the widespread testing, which let infected citizens know they should isolate themselves and helped public health workers track and monitor their contacts.

On February 28, four people in California, Oregon, and Washington state were suspected of having been infected through community transmission. As of Wednesday, 1,311 cases have been diagnosed in the U.S. and 38 people have already succumbed to the disease. In just a couple of weeks, we will know which way the epidemic is trending in this country—more like Italy, or more like South Korea.

 

NEXT: Trump Confuses Nation With COVID-19 Address

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of Reason.com or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. They say that alcohol is not as effective as soap and water at dealing with the coronavirus, but I’ve found that soap and water tastes terrible. I’m sticking to vodka and I must say that since I’ve been starting my day with a couple of good stiff drinks I am feeling a lot better about a lot of things. I realize that this is merely anecdotal evidence and not a scientifically valid study, but I don’t see where regular and frequent doses of alcohol could cause any harm if you wanted to experiment with it yourself.

    1. I’ll tell you what, I will replicate your study over the next few days and then we’ll have another data point.

      1. Same here. But I want to expand the test and try: tequila, fireball, and Jack Daniels. We also need to determine efficacy! 🙂

        1. All that cinnamon in Fireball is good for your blood sugar. And diabetes is a well known risk factor!

      2. Do you think whiskey cocktails, say Manhattans, would be effective? I have a craving for a Manhattan.

        1. Do an experiment and report back to the group.

        2. Amd Jell-O shots could be a possible rapid delivery system. Will get to work on that

    2. end my day w/vodka we’ll see if it’s a time-of-day-thing too.

      1. sex linz is the best place for having sexy chat with amazing ladies

    3. Have you tried other varieties of alcohol? Bourbon, perhaps, or gin?

      1. Look I know it’s a global pandemic but I don’t think we’re at the point where we have to resort to drinking gin.

        1. Leaving gin for weirdos to drink should make the supply of rubbing alcohol last longer.

    4. As a supporter of the sciences, I think I’m going to participate in your study so that we can achieve a valid sample size.

      For an extra data point, I’ll be substituting bourbon for the vodka.

      1. Crown will work better

    5. I volunteer for the beer subgroup.

    6. I have a theory that 100 proof Southern Comfort can easily best the virus-killing powers of youall’s girly drinks. I will conduct tests tonight while reviewing my stock portfolio, and will endeavor to report back here when I sober up (possibly Monday).

      1. SoCo is gross.
        Bourbon or bust (though JD is ok too)

        1. Yeah, it’s gross. But, Mr. SmartyPants, have you ever had medicine that wasn’t gross?

          Thus far I’m still virus symptom free, so the SoCo is working. (I do not count vomiting as a virus symptom…)

  2. //That slowdown is largely the result of the widespread testing, which let infected citizens know they should isolate themselves and helped public health workers track and monitor their contacts.//

    Are we going to do this again?

    1. He just doesn’t get it. Don’t bang your head against a wall.

      1. It’s the Ron Bailey equivalent of “I know you are, but what am I?”

        1. It’s the same thing he does with climate change–he puts out endless articles about the AGW fanatics lies, about their alarmism, about how they’re perverting science…..

          And then says that he thinks that AGW or ACC is a serious issue.

    2. The Italian numbers alone show how absurd this testing canard is:

      “Italian public health authorities reported detecting the first 16 cases of local coronavirus transmission on February 21. By February 29, the outbreak had risen to more than 1,000 cases and the death toll stood at 29. Not even four weeks later, the country is reporting nearly 12,500 cases and almost 900 deaths.”

      In 8 days we went from 16 to 1000. A factor of 100.

      It didn’t go that high because 16 people infected 1000. It went that high because there were ALREADY thousands of people infected. All the increased tests did was find people who were already infected.

      Let’s repeat that. Increased testing did not do anything to stop this. Within a few days of discovering these cases, Italy barricaded towns. Shortly after the entire country was in lock down.

      So on the one hand, we have an example of a country that had its testing shit together right away, and the virus is out of control. And in the US, we did NOT have our testing shit together and this virus is looking to get out of control. Testing did nothing for either, because this virus is already everywhere.

  3. That slowdown is largely the result of the widespread testing, which let infected citizens know they should isolate themselves and helped public health workers track and monitor their contacts.

    Bullshit. Pure unadulterated bullshit. I’d agree that testing helped push the number down as low as 1.5% but the idea that testing is largely responsible for the drop from 40 to 1.5 is just patently absurd and relies on the false idea that, without testing, the daily rate would put the entire population of S. Korea as infected by now and the entire population of the world as infected in the next 60-70 days. Which is just dumb.

    1. The best way to stop this is to get rid of mass public gatherings. You don’t need testing to have the basketball and soccer games canceled and send the kids home from school. Testing helps on the edges in that it gets some of the people who are infected to isolate themselves. But testing will never stop the spread because there is no way to test everyone and lots of people have it without even having any symptons.

      The way you stop the spread is to do what they are doing, cancel big public gatherings and get people to practice social distancing. Testing has nothing to do with that. In fact, too much reliance on testing can have the perverse effect of hurting that effort because it can convince people that if they haven’t tested positive they have no need to worry about spreading it.

      The talking point seems to be “Trump didn’t test enough and is therefore responsible for this”. It is complete bullshit.

      It is also more than a bit rich for Bailey, who was telling everyone last week that this was just another bad flu season and nothing more, to today complain about Trump acting too little and too late. You mean he followed your advice Bailey?

      1. J: Yes, you are right that social distancing and avoiding mass gatherings is probably the best we can do now. However, testing early on would have let infected people know to isolate themselves and to warn their contacts to monitor themselves which would have hugely slowed down (if not prevented) the spread of this disease. Opportunity lost due to bureaucratic bungling.

        1. How can you state this so definitively? Here’s my definitive take: 500 million people quickly had this virus at the outset. Most were asymptomatic. So none would have been tested. Those people then passed on the virus to almost everyone that got sick or died. Testing would have done nothing. There, I have a theory. Is it right? We don’t know. Just like we don’t know if testing would have “hugely” slowed down the spread. As far as preventing the spread, that’s absurd. You can’t prevent the spread of a disease that has minor symptoms in most people.

          1. Do not bother. We went through this entire episode with Bailey yesterday and he will not budge an inch from his entirely unsupported conclusions. The purpose of these articles is not to actually inform anyone of anything, but to establish a “scientific” predicate to cite in the next round of grossly misleading character attacks against Trump to be published by Soave, Sullum, and Binion. They’ll cite freely and aggressively to Bailey’s “scientific” articles as prove that their character attacks are rooted in “science.”

            Call it editorial peer review, or journalistic malfeasance. There is scarcely a difference at this point.

            1. We don’t need articles to see that Trump’s character is flawed. He does that to himself.

              1. Tell that to Reason. I agree with you.

        2. Bailey, your assertion lacks context. And it is wrong. Your logic and reasoning are faulty.

          The majority of cases are asymptomatic. How do you know to test them? These are the bulk of the carriers. They don’t know they have it.

          Who produces the tests? Government, or private industry?

          The bungling here is because one part (of three) was not correct. The CDC had to re-test and verify the diagnostic test could work with two parts. They did that quite quickly.

          1. XY: No, my reasoning is not faulty. Testing symptomatic cases (that is folks with respiratory illnesses) would have separated out and identified those suffering from coronavirus whose contacts (pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic) in turn could be tested, who then would have been cleared or isolated. This exactly what was done successfully in South Korea.

            1. They don’t want to hear this because somehow it might make Trump look bad.

              1. JM: ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

                1. The “science” guy, ladies and gentlemen.

            2. Again, this presumes there was a limited, readily identifiable, and geographically confined group of symptomatic, infected individuals that didn’t already spread the virus to others. You have no way of knowing this.

            3. You just moved the goalposts. Yes, what you just said above would decrease the spread. How much? We have no idea. Your reasoning wasn’t that it would help. It was that it would have been hugely slowed down or stopped.

            4. Libertarians for the police state!

              I so fucking dearly hope that you die of ass cancer Bailey. Sincerely and truly. No one has ever deserved it more than you.

              1. No one has ever deserved it more than you.

                This is pretty empirically untrue and wrong by like a country mile. Advocating for more testing, while questionable, isn’t even one of the more anti-libertarian, morally, and technically wrong positions on this very website, let alone compared to stories and stances advocated in the public at large or actual policy prescriptions made by lawmakers.

            5. The first cases came to light last fall. The virus has had from that time until the current panic began to spread.

              Like all cold viruses, it’s everywhere, and has been since before the media picked up on it.

              And all you have to do to see this is read the symptoms, treatment, and prevention guidelines handed out from everywhere for COVID-19.

              You’re not going to stop the common cold by ‘testing’ for it, Ron.

            6. On what date should they have started testing?
              How many people should have been tested?
              How should they have ensured compliance?
              What should they have done with the results?
              Be specific, because right now you look like an unintelligent fraud

            7. ” Testing symptomatic cases (that is folks with respiratory illnesses) would have separated out and identified those suffering from coronavirus whose contacts (pre-symptomatic or asymptomatic) in turn could be tested, who then would have been cleared or isolated.”

              But Bailey, they did this in Italy. They got 16 people, and then they started testing all their contacts. And what did they find? 1000 people infected within 8 days. Essentially, everyone they were testing was testing positive.

              This self isolation shit is nonsense when you are talking about a very contagious virus with broad symptoms.

              If anything, Testing would have done only one thing: It would have informed leaders that the virus was already out of control. We’d have moved quicker from the “Test yourself then self isolate” to the general policies- social isolation, ban travel, work from home, etc. The latter tactics are not PREVENTION, but rather BEND THE CURVE.

              Bend the Curve policies are designed to slow the rate of infection, acknowledging that you cannot prevent it. You are just trying to slow the rate that people show up at the hospitals. But as we have seen in the US, we are already at the Bend the Curve stage, despite the Testing Snafus. So, while it would have been nice to move to this stage earlier, the cost of delay has not been high (our hospitals are not overwhelmed).

        3. They couldn’t stop the spread of this in North Korea where they literally just shot anyone they thought might have been exposed to it. The world is too big and this got going to fast in China and Iran for there to have been any way to keep it out of the US.

          What testing do you think would have worked? What could they have done, tested every single person coming into the country? That is literally what it would have taken and that is a completely unrealistic expectation. Moreover, have you forgotten how exponentials work? There isn’t any “slowing it down” only delaying the inevitable exponential growth that occurs once someone who does have it gets into the country and starts spreading it.

          Your entire argument rests on the assumption that it would have been possible to test everyone and keep it out of the country for a significant time if only they had had enough test kids. There are not enough test kits in the world to accomplish that.

          1. J: See above.

            1. See Guzba’s response. If this had started at a Shriner’s convention, your argument would make sense. It does make sense for the Chinese back in November. But once it went beyond a small area in China, then no amount of testing was going to help contain it. There are millions of people coming into the country every day. There is no way to test all of them and if you don’t it is inevitable that one of them is going to have it once it became a pandemic which it did in February.

              Again, North Korea, the most isolated nation on earth, could not stop the spread of this even while resorting to mass murder of those thought to have been exposed. Yet, you claim the US could have stopped this at the border if only the CDC had had a few more test kits? Come on.

      2. J: It is true that early on when data were scarce various epidemic scenarios ranging from seasonal flu to Spanish flu were being discussed. Unfortunately, the evidence is converging on a case-fatality rate of around 1 percent. As Keynes supposedly once said: “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”

        1. As Keynes supposedly once said: “When the facts change, I change my mind. What do you do, sir?”

          I read Hayek instead.

          1. m.d: I read both, but like you, I much prefer Hayek. See my entry under Reason’s <a href="https://reason.com/2018/10/25/why-im-a-libertarian/"How I Became a Libertarian.

            1. Grrr. Link here

              1. Don’t you wish you had an edit button?

                1. Lol. Come on Ron, do it for the people!

              2. The irony.

                An edit button would be nice… as well as a preview button.

        2. Ron, what percentage of people infected with COVID 19 are symptomatic?

          What is the approximate time frame from initial exposure to the ability to transmit to others?

          What is the approximate time frame from initial exposure to being symptomatic?

          If you cannot answer all three right now then you have no reliable basis for making the statements you are making right now.

          1. TD: (1) You can only get an accurate answer to your first question if you test.
            (2) & (3): Incubation period 3 to 13 days and “People are thought to be most contagious when they are most symptomatic.”

            You know you could have googled this information yourself. There are lots of good sources of info online now.

            1. Hey look, more lying and deflection from Reason’s resident new age death cultist. End of Doom, right Ronnie?

              1. ADR: Hey, just read the links.

                1. Testing has been done.
                  Answer the ficking question

            2. “(1) You can only get an accurate answer to your first question if you test.”

              So, what you are saying is: You do not know.

              But in the absence of such knowledge you will make statements with certainty. Certainty that cannot exist in the absence of such knowledge.

              Thanks for playing Ron.

              1. “People are thought to be …”

                To be clear. Had you included such caveats in your arguments I’d have no problem with them. But then it would be entirely clear that you are merely speculating.

                You do admit that you are merely speculating, don’t you?

              2. TD: You know you actually could read about to learn about how South Korea successfully used testing to beat back the epidemic or you can not. Your choice.

                1. Deflect all you want Ron. You are placing your agenda above your science. It is that obvious.

                  1. Wrong.

                    1. Hea absolutely right, but Ron Bailey has no integrity

                2. In the last two weeks the number of confirmed cases in S. Korea has tripled. Johns Hopkins currently reports 7869 cases, up from just under 1800 at the end of February.

                  What is most telling in Korea is the death rate – which is about four times less than that of Italy’s. Testing didn’t do that.

        3. Kinda like how you became a global warming death cultist as soon as it became fashionable?

          1. ADR: For those commenters who are not “in the know” about my “global warming death cultism” you may want to read my recent comprehensive analysis of climate science here. I hope that helps.

            1. “Science”

              1. “Analysis”

                1. “comprehensive”

        4. “In two weeks we will know if his public health measures are too little, too late.”

          The travel bans are more about delaying the spread so we will be more prepared than preventing it. And it already paid big dividends. First of all we weren’t anywhere near prepared for more widespread testing when Trump put on the China travel restrictions. Now while there are still hickups we are much better prepared.

          Also there is an antiviral medication, Remdesivir, in two double blind trials in China and the US, we will have the result in mid April. If its effective, then the travel bans would also have been critical in flattiening the curve of new cases until either there is a treatment, or warmer weather starts impeding its spread.

      3. Testing does more than ‘help on the edges’. That testing proceeds as part of ‘tracing contacts’. Medical folks initially just sit in hospital (or at the airport for inbound flights) where sicker people come to them – and test them. But every country that takes epidemic outbreak seriously then follows up with that serious case. Where have you been, who have you been in close contact with, etc in the last week or so.

        Absent testing there is no point at all in even asking those questions because what are you going to do with that info?

        With testing supplies, you then proactively contact those people. Offer them a chance to get tested for an infectious deadly disease. Tell them they have been in contact with someone who is now in hospital with that disease so maybe they want to self-isolate until their test results come back. Create a chain of contacts

        Yes – that hugely reduces the transmission. Because unlike you R’s, most people actually are concerned about whether they themselves are infected. They don’t want to infect the people in their daily lives. This is actionable information.

        Testing would certainly not have had as much effect in the US as anywhere else. Because we don’t do actual public health. People wouldn’t be ‘tested for a disease’. They would open the door to someone trying to sell them a test for a deadly disease. The suggestion of ‘self-isolate’ would basically be – sit around the house for a few days so you can infect your family. Cuz we’re gonna charge the afflicted for ‘self-isolation’ too.

        But that reality is, like it or not, a damnation of how we control access to medical in this country. NOT about the particulars of this disease. ‘Epidemic’ is – along with ‘prevention’ – and cronyism – the fatal flaw of our approach. And we are soon gonna find out the cost of that flaw.

        1. If the disease isn’t widespread, all of that is true. But once it is widespread the resources do not exist to do any of the things you are talking about. You can’t do tracing and all of that when there thousands of cases and especially when most of them are not showing symptoms.

          You are making up this fantasy where the Wuhan Virus was contained to a few dozen people entering the country. And that is totally at odds with the reality that tens of thousands of people had it long before it ever got to the US and it was so widespread there was not way stop it.

          And this is actually 1/9th as contagious as regular flu. So it isn’t going to be that hard to contain. Let them give it to their family. Unless one of them has comorbidity, they won’t suffer from it either. And it will clear from their systems.

          This isn’t a particularly contagious virus as viruses go. So, a few basic public health measures and the coming of warm weather will stop its spread.

          1. If the disease isn’t widespread, all of that is true.

            No. He conflates understanding and communication of risk with determination of outcome and determination of outcome with treatment. Information for knowledge and understanding.

            He doesn’t and wouldn’t distinguish between a nosocomial outbreak and a regular outbreak as long as testing was done, or not done, equally in both cases.

            1. Bureaucrats are gonna bureaucrat.

              The part that makes me want to retch is that if I were as fast and loose with my language as Ron is with his citations and mathematics I wouldn’t be incorrect in saying that they’ve abused math and fundamental epidemiology worse than Malthus ever did.

          2. Cases/deaths in China x Hubei : 13,000 cases and 110 deaths
            Those are definitely understated deaths – but confirmed cases? Not as understated as the US. According to Bailey’s link, those non-Hubei provinces have a likely test rate of about 2,000 per million peeps. So assume that 90% of cases there were mild – that’s 130,000 total cases outside Hubei

            Cases/deaths in US: 1400 cases and 40 deaths
            Our test rate is 26/million peeps

            Now when our case load (and yes like China the confirmed cases are likely to be skewed towards the serious – becoming more ‘normal’ the higher the test rate) and deaths rise above non-Hubei China (a week or so from now) you are gonna have a difficult change in narrative.

            Hubei was locked down the same time everywhere. No time warp. Did more of those people who left before lockdown catch planes to the US? Or did they mostly go elsewhere in China? If they went elsewhere in China did they mostly then get on planes to come to the US or did they mostly not do that? Or did they all fly to Italy with the purpose of targeting people with airline tickets to America there? Or is the narrative – yes the US sucks at epidemics but we are world-class in tummy-tucks. Freedom babe. Or what?

            I’ll leave that as your homework to secure the 2020 election for the R’s.

            1. Now when our case load (and yes like China the confirmed cases are likely to be skewed towards the serious – becoming more ‘normal’ the higher the test rate) and deaths rise above non-Hubei China (a week or so from now) you are gonna have a difficult change in narrative.

              You’re good OK with the numbers until this point. Being more clear, you’re saying that, in a week, there will be more deaths in the US than in non-Hubei China? Absolutely more deaths or more deaths relative to the total population or more deaths relative to the infected population or other? Got a solid number or, if not, an over/under on how right or wrong your projection is?

              1. I look forward to you reporting the non-Hubei and US numbers a week or so from now

          3. And this is actually 1/9th as contagious as regular flu.

            Without necessarily questioning you, can you point to something that backs up this assertion? Because everything I’ve read says COVID-19 has about double the reproductive rate of influenza.

            1. Apparently he can’t.

        2. //Yes – that hugely reduces the transmission. Because unlike you R’s, most people actually are concerned about whether they themselves are infected. They don’t want to infect the people in their daily lives. This is actionable information.

          Testing would certainly not have had as much effect in the US as anywhere else. Because we don’t do actual public health. People wouldn’t be ‘tested for a disease’. They would open the door to someone trying to sell them a test for a deadly disease. The suggestion of ‘self-isolate’ would basically be – sit around the house for a few days so you can infect your family. Cuz we’re gonna charge the afflicted for ‘self-isolation’ too.//

          Polemics conjoined with shoddy science are great way to make sure people stay deluded, and scared, rather than informed and calm.

          Sitting around the house and not infecting others is routine advice given to anyone ever diagnosed with the flu. How many times in your life have you ever actually been tested for influenza when you visited a doctor? In my life, zero times. But the advice is the same. Stay home. Rest. Don’t go to work. Give it a few days.

          The testing is neither needed in order for people to take sensible precautions nor to stem the spread of the virus. Testing is not useless information, but to argue as Bailey does (an argument with which you appear to agree) that testing would have actually reduced the overall number of infections to date doesn’t make sense unless you know exactly how many infections there were at the point in time during which you propose testing should have taken place.

          It is impossible to know this. It is actually impossible. It is like counting grains of sand on a beach and then attempting to recreate the path each grain took to get where it is today. It is impossible.

          1. I would argue that widespread available testing at this point is counter productive. Unless you have some other health problems, this is nothing but an ordinary case of the flu. So 95% of the people who get it should just stay home and stay away from people. But make testing readily available, everyone who sneezes will run to their doctor or ER to be tested and in the process either contract it if they didn’t have it already or spread it to the other patients and worse their doctors and nurses and PAs if they did. Without the testing, those people stay home recover and don’t spread the virus.

            1. Impossible! We have infinite resources and are hoarding the goods because Republicans are evil and selfish and worship a stupid, orange man and his filthy lies.

            2. I would argue that widespread available testing at this point is counter productive.

              There have also been some pretty mythological jumps in assumptions about testing as well. The test the FDA/CDC backed flopped and while I generally agree that the market is better at finding solutions faster, cheaper, or more efficiently/effectively, that doesn’t mean the market produces zero flops either or, moreover, that the success/failure of any given endeavor is solely determined by government or private funding.

      4. Surely getting as many people as possible to gather in the hospital to wait for hours to get tested would lower the transmission rate.

        1. [Critical Drinker]
          *Draw the curtains between suspected carriers and no-shit immune compromised patients*

          Nah, it’ll be fine.
          [/Critical Drinker]

        2. Golly. That is why many countries are copying what Korea started doing a few weeks ago. Drive-up testing. Now definitely in Germany and UK.

          Course there’s no point thinking about that when — there is no testing at all. It is now finally ramping up in some states – CO has this now even if it’s a rather crappy copy – at one location. Still – not bad for one week after they finally start testing. Maybe other states too.

          Singapore has added GPS info to its confirmed – like China and Korea – so apps devs can create apps for people to stay away from clusters.

          Course – the feds are still uselessly pretending the problem is those damn foreigners who are testing positive in countries that actually test people. And trying to save Wall St. Rather than deploying the NG and helping states mobilize volunteers and fund the construction of those drive-up facilities. Or make info transparent so the entire population can be better mobilized to add Hayekian value to KNOWLEDGE.

          You R’s are proving why ‘conservatives’ and ‘ancaps’ are absolutely fucking useless and an enemy of actual libertarians or classical liberals.

          This crisis is gonna be the utter death of the R’s as a political party. LP too if they don’t get rid of the ancaps. What arises from the ash heap as the second party – idk. Nothing in 2020 obviously

    2. GG & m.d: Here’s some <a href="https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/10/simple-math-alarming-answers-covid-19/"simple math for you. Also see former FDA head (I wish to Hell he were still there) Scott Gottlieb’s analysis of the role of testing in controlling this epidemic.

      1. Your first page has a bad link. Beyond that, testing is of limited ulitity in fighting a virus that often produces no or limited symptoms. You can’t test everyone or even a significant portion of the population. Yes, testing is vital when the outbreak is small. But once it becomes widespread, the numbers quickly go way beyond any medical system’s ability to test. At that point, the only way to stop it is to have everyone act as if they are contagious and practice self isolation and social distance.

        You still need testing for people who are very ill and for medical personnel, but that is on the edges. The primary way the spread of the disease is stopped is through social distancing. Do that for a few weeks and the people who are infected don’t spread it and it eventually clears from their system.

        1. Yea, whatever. Your version doesn’t lead to blaming Trump for the death of innocent people so … not fit to print.

        2. Given the incubation period and the fact that this has already dispersed around the globe, I concur with John.

          You can’t defuse a bomb thats already gone off.

          1. ::men outrun an explosion and deadly shrapnel in slow-motion, action movie style, as the flames engulf the screen behind them::

            “Isn’t it good that we knew it was a bomb?”
            “And took corrective action!”

            ::the men high five each other with unflinching bravado while wearing charred t-shirts and sporting a grizzled five-o’clock shadow::

        3. “You still need testing for people who are very ill and for medical personnel, but that is on the edges. The primary way the spread of the disease is stopped is through social distancing.”

          One correction- this virus is not going to be stopped. It has breached containment. I have a work colleague in NEBRASKA who just tested positive.

          These new measures are designed merely to SLOW the rate of infection so that the hospitals don’t get overwhelmed. This tacitly acknowledges that nothing will be stopped or prevented.

          So, testing CAN tell you that you’ve gotten past the “prevention” stage and into the “slow the infection rate” stage. And it would have been nice to have that earlier. But given that the US hospitals haven’t been overwhelmed yet, it doesn’t look like the delay was as catastrophic as people want it to be.

      2. The simple math source plays exceedingly fast and loose with the numbers.

        First, he says there are only 500 cases, and then rounds the number up to 2000. Then he says we can expect a doubling every 6 days and then notes that *both* Japan an S. Korea have avoided those numbers (and doesn’t note other nations that don’t appear to have met those numbers either). It’s the same bullshit we get from AGW scientists; claim some projected fantastic outcome, take action based on the outcome, declare victory/success when the not-so-real outcome doesn’t materialize. We aren’t going to get to 1M infections by the end of April and we never were or, equally, we were and only a few hundred thousand were going to report.

        And Gottlieb, while giving some good analysis, gives some advice that runs counter to libertarian and other sensibilities. He calls for expansion of public healthcare and insists that, without it, it all rests on the shoulders of LabCorp and Quest. Which I don’t exactly disagree but then the CDC and FDA are going to get involved and necessarily so. No way are those two organizations just going to eat the risk of misdiagnosing thousands, let alone tens or hundreds of thousands of patients. Moreover, Gottlieb (at least not anywhere that I saw) conflates diagnostic testing with precautionary action the way you do/did.

        1. Bureaucrats are even more risk adverse than private companies. The idea that the CDC is going to move fast and settle for hopefully good enough and not some perfect ass covering gold plated solution runs counter to every other experience with government bureaucracy in history.

          1. Bureaucrats are gonna bureaucrat.

            The part that makes me want to retch is that if I were as fast and loose with my language as Ron is with his citations and mathematics I wouldn’t be incorrect in saying that they’ve abused math and fundamental epidemiology worse than Malthus ever did.

  4. AHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Holy fuck you sad fucking cunts are desperate.

    RIP The End of Doom, Long Live the Orange Man Apocalypse!

    if you’re 89 years old you might die of this instead of cancer! HOLY FUCKING FUCK!

    1. If you are 89 getting any sort of flu is a big deal that stands a good chance of killing you.

      1. Getting 89 stands a good chance of killing you.

        1. Living is eventually fatal.

  5. I got hit with some sort of bug Tuesday, it was transmitted from a woman who had been traveling in Mexico and Texas. She was sick for two days and quickly transmitted the infection to everyone in the house. A night of hallucinations, vomiting, violent retching and the runs. I had gotten a flu shot this year that didn’t cover this incident.
    Don;t know how widespread this will be but any news will be eclipsed by corona.

    1. Hallucinations? That’s new.

      1. Sounds like the symptoms of too much gin, not a virus.

  6. From a Koch / Reason libertarian perspective, a travel ban is literally the worst possible reaction to a pandemic. Our uncompromising #ImmigrationAboveAll priorities should motivate us to denounce such a bigoted policy.

    #OpenBorders
    #(EvenDuringAPandemic)

    1. O: What part of the below reporting in this article did you not understand?

      In his speech, the president claimed that by “taking early, intense action, we have seen fewer cases of the virus in the United States than are now present in Europe.” A March 6 study in the journal Science did calculate that the ban led to 77 percent fewer cases imported from mainland China than would have been expected. At the time that the administration imposed the rules, many infectious disease experts concurred that the travel restrictions would likely help slow the spread of the virus into the U.S.

      1. Ron, OBL is a parody account, probably not worth a response.

      2. Your colleagues however, were busily screeching “racist, racist, racist” when POTUS Trump made the correct call. Let’s see if they can ‘man up’ and own their error.

        Of course, we don’t expect them to.

        1. XY: Really? Please point to examples of where my colleagues called Trump a racist in the context of the China travel ban.

          1. Now you want actual data to confirm a point? How about you first respond to ThomasD above, who laid out some of the most important data points needed to determine whether testing would have “hugely slowed” the spread of the virus?

          2. “Political Opportunists Are Using Coronavirus Fears To Push Whatever Policies They Already Wanted” By Eric Boehm, 2.27.2020

            Now watch as Ron mysteriously vanishes and never posts again in this thread…

            1. ADR: Did you actually read Eric’s article? Where’s any “screeching about racism” in that article? Either you’re being really dense or dishonest.

              1. Are you worried your monopoly on “dense and dishonest” might not be secure?

      3. OBL is a character played for a comedic bit.

        It’s “satire”.

        1. And RB isn’t?

          Damn you learn something new…

          1. And RB isn’t?

            Nah, Bailey isn’t funny, he’s just a mindless death cultist.

      4. You’re replying to a parody account. That pretty much lampoons Reason’s ‘open borders no matter what, and at any cost’ editorial position.

    2. Good job, OBL. Your parody hornswaggled a Reason contributor.

      1. Well, to be fair, that Reason contributor is pretty easily hornswaggled

  7. In just a couple of weeks, we will know which way the epidemic is trending in this country—more like Italy, or more like South Korea.

    A couple weeks of more of these articles? Oh boy.

    1. Couple of weeks? They’re going to pound this drum until that fateful Tuesday in November

      1. “In yet another drastic maneuver, the Administration is postponing the election.”

        1. LOL

        2. yeah funny.

    2. If I had to speculate I’d say the two things we will better understand in two weeks is that morbidity is best predicted by two factors – age and quality of health care. the early numbers from Italy and South Korea appear to be bearing this out. In Italy it is a disease of the elderly – who are dying in large percentages, while in South Korea the death rate is substantially lower.

      1. SKorea death rate (and for that matter everywhere except Hubei, Italy, and prob Iran – Spain and Turkey will likely fall there too) is a function of whether the epidemic has reached the point where hospitals hit breaking point. In those cases the death rate is low because all serious cases can be treated. Even though treatment is obviously going to be less effective for those who are already ailing (elderly or co-morbid)

        In the ‘hospitals now full’ cases, the death rate is more a matter of triage decisions and the length of time that the hospital system is full. At that point, every serious case (apparently about 10-15% of total) will be triaged at the hospital door. Told to go home and (prob) die. Or come in and be treated. Length of time that the hospital system is full is a direct consequence of how quickly new field hospital capacity is brought online.

        Unfortunately I think the US is, in most places, going to be in that latter group. I wish it wasn’t true but we’re getting to point where its too late to change the trajectory.

  8. But someone told me testing doesn’t help, even though we have clear evidence it does.

    1. Does it help more than the same control measures performed in the absence of such testing?

      1. If so explain how.

    2. Who said testing doesn’t help?

    3. What evidence is that? Do you plan to test the entire country? If not, then what good is testing going to do?

      1. Testing makes people feel better about being otherwise powerless to stop a rapidly spreading viral infection. Testing feeds into the illusion of control.

  9. Via Instapundit:

    Don’t take this the wrong way but if you were a young, hardline environmentalist looking for the ultimate weapon against climate change, you could hardly design anything better than coronavirus.
    Unlike most other such diseases, it kills mostly the old who, let’s face it, are more likely to be climate sceptics. It spares the young. Most of all, it stymies the forces that have been generating greenhouse gases for decades. Deadly enough to terrify; containable enough that aggressive quarantine measures can prevent it from spreading. The rational response for any country determined to prevent loss of life is to follow China’s lead and lock down their economy to stem its spread.
    And so airlines are cancelling flights; companies are scrapping travel. Factories in China and, presumably soon in Europe, are being mothballed. The chimneys which once belched smog into the skies of Beijing and Shenzhen are smoking no more. Perhaps you saw the satellite map produced by Nasa showing that pollution across China, usually visible in dense patches blanketing the country, has almost entirely gone.
    Hardcore climate activists have long railed against economic growth and in the months ahead they may have their wish granted as GDP growth from China to Europe and the US is hammered by coronavirus.

    1. Works for Ronnie the death cultist.

    2. It also reinforces the untested and untestable self-fulfilling prophecy as science narrative; “Because we took action, we averted the unreal, world-ending catastrophe that I said would happen if we didn’t take action (whether we actually took the specific action I recommended or not). HOORAY FOR SCIENCE!”

      In 12 yrs. “The only reason the youth of today are alive is because of the action taken to combat climate change.” will be a true statement.

  10. Only this idiot could seem to make this situation worse with his bullshit. What a clown (and I’m talking about Trump for all you simpletons who still support him.)

    1. You don’t seem to know much or have any understanding of what is going on. Maybe emoting about your various prejudices doesn’t really help you understand what is going on? Just saying.

    2. Fuck off Tony.

    3. You’re just assblasted because your active HIV infection makes you more susceptible to the virus. Take a biological hint you faggot, kill yourself.

    4. He just found out by reading about it in the paper today.

      Whoops, wrong president…

    5. Most people don’t benefit from having their skull bashed in with a claw hammer. In your case, the results would be an improvement.

  11. If only there was a libertarian website out there. If one existed, it might grapple with the question of reconciling libertarian philosophy with the need for quarantines, which are generally enforced by the state.

    But there is no such discussion happening here.

    Instead, our “libertarian” website is dedicating itself to condemning the state for not imposing enough restrictions on people.

    1. Or if nothing else, drawing larger lessons from the alleged failures of the state beyond “Orange Man Bad”.

    2. They’re also advocating for payroll taxes, so at least they have that going for them.

    3. Remember, Ron is in favor of compulsory vaccinations as well. All within the state, nothing outside the state, nothing against the state. Except for Bad Orange Man.

  12. Whether you agree or disagree, I do want to give a hat-tip to Ron for responding to comments, statements, and questions in this comment section. I don’t always agree with Ron, but I do really appreciate him interacting with readers about his articles. That is definitely not a common practice. Cheers!

    1. Fair point. Ron deserves respect for that.

      1. I agree. Bailey grew a pair, and I appreciate that as well. He engages and debates Readership. For this alone, he gets respect.

        1. His scoffing demeanor would be more tolerable if his own argument was sturdier than a house of cards.

    2. I respect Ron for engaging with comments.
      The substance of that engagement, not so much

      1. Annnnnnnd Ron Bailey ran away like a bitch.
        Big loss of respect points for that

    3. This is one of those things that makes Reason awesome. The writers regularly get in the comments. Reminds me of when The Atlantic used to allow comments, but Ta Nehisi Coates used to go in the comments and just spew irrational hate and insults at people who responded to his articles.

      1. The writers regularly get in the comments.
        Not unless they’re using socks they don’t. Which could be…which Reason writer do you think Hihn is?

  13. Anybody ever read “The Eyes of Darkness”, by Dean Koontz?

  14. I was pleasantly surprised to read your column about my students’ community cleanup project.

  15. “In two weeks we will know if his public health measures are too little, too late.”

    Nope.
    In two weeks, Trump will be excoriated for doing entirely too much and not nearly enough!

    1. Two or three weeks from now this article with either be a loud “I told you so” or quietly memory holed.

      Either one, it’s already baked into the narrative cake.

  16. The politicization of a virus by Ds is sickening. Horrible puns aside, it actually is disgraceful of them, but I expect nothing less. First the media says Trump is a moron who needs to follow the experts, then he follows the experts and they approve of what he’s doing and we’re seeing results, but the pundits, who are NOT the experts, are upset he’s listening to the experts and not to them. Now we’re talking about too little too late for a virus that really doesn’t warrant hysteria, never mind that even the deadliest of viruses only becomes harder to combat when people are hysterical.

    I don’t like when we expect leaders to micro manage, especially in fields they know nothing about, but the overreaction to coronavirus is pitiable. No branch of govt has ever had many MDs in it. When MDs are elected to office, they’re usually general practice or family physicians, like Drs. Ron and Rand Paul. If Trump is as stupid as the media claims and the govt response truly hasn’t been adequate, that’s not Trump’s fault. That falls to the experts. It’s the same as any leadership role. If leaders are doing their subordinate’s work for them, then they aren’t leading. Nobody can be an expert in all subjects.

    Unsurprisingly, Ds once again show they don’t know anything about real leadership.

    1. Also, where is the Libertarian response to this? Why did we all suddenly forget about what the Constitution says and the role of limited government? You’re all making TDS look worse than coronavirus!

  17. That is just crazy what goes on in the world. I had to cancel all my planned trips…. and cannot see my family, but of course the most important now is that everyone stays healthy

  18. “slowing is not stopping” No shit, but given the complete cover up in December and January by the Chinese government, you ain’t stopping this one. All you can do is keep it to a dull roar and hope medical services can keep up.

  19. “Italy is reporting nearly 12,500 cases and almost 900 deaths”

    Why so high? What are they doing wrong?

    1. The average age of those dying in Italy is 81. Those people were on death’s door before coronavirus showed up, but if a strong breeze had taken them out it wouldn’t be newsworthy.

  20. I am creating an honest wage from home 3000 Dollars/week , that is wonderful, below a year agone i used to be unemployed during a atrocious economy. I convey God on a daily basis i used to be endowed these directions and currently it’s my duty to pay it forward and share it with everybody, Here is I started… Read more  

  21. Got an email from probation today saying I don’t need to check in if I get sick, but I feel fine. Hopefully his fight for a cure is like building a border wall and I’ll finally have an excuse not see my PO.

  22. Was talking to my sister (a physician) about this last night. She says the idea is not to “stop” corona virus, rather to slow the spread down so it occurs within the vulnerable population over a longer period of time so the medical community does not become overwhelmed.

    For example, her husband who is a general practitioner within a largish hospital network in Texas says they anticipate at the current rate of infection they will need 200 ICU beds within a few months. They only have 100. They are currently only testing people for coronavirus who are ill enough to require hospital admission as they are conserving the limited supply of test kits they have on hand. So if you go to your doctor there with symptoms … but are not sick enough for a hospital admission – they’re not going to test you.

    1. Yet another tragic consequence of this administrations failures. 🙁

  23. Coronavirus: President Donald Trump handed gift by Fabio Wajngarten, Brazilian press secretary with Covid-19

    President Bolsonaro of Brazil’s press secretary, who met and handed a gift to President Trump on Saturday, has tested positive for the coronavirus. Fabio Wajngarten was pictured standing next to Mr Trump at the president’s Mar-a-Lago resort …He gave Mr Trump a cap that had the slogan “Make Brazil Great Again”. Mr Trump was holding the cap that he had just been given … Later that evening Mr Wajngarten, 44, attended a party at the resort hosted by Kimberly Ann Guilfoyle, 51, who is working as a senior adviser for President Trump’s re-election campaign, and is the girlfriend of Donald Trump Jr, the president’s eldest son.

    The White House says that Trump and Pence refuse to be tested.
    This leaves two possibilities.
    1) Likely: Trump and Pence will both be tested, but deny it.
    2) VERY remote: Nancy Pelosi, now second in the line of succession to the Presidency, will become first female President.

    Would Trump risk even his own death, to avoid admitting he ever made a mistake?

  24. Donald Trump takes good action Again Corona Virus.

  25. Neither Trump nor the government is responsible for the coronavirus or for the flu, or for the consequences of either, or for the stock market, whether it goes up or down. We are responsible for ourselves. Ronald Bailey is not an epidemiologist, nor an authority of any kind on viruses and their spread. He really should stop pretending he has something to say about these subjects.

    1. Saying Trump is not responsible for Covid-19, nor the flu is as silly as saying Trump didn’t cause the Great Flood in the Old Testament. A shameful diversion. Under the guise of faux self-righteousness.

      Trump’s delays and attitude have DIRECTLY caused needless infections and deaths. The most blatant abuse was forcing thousands of passengers to stay trapped on a cruise liner, exposed to dozens of infected passengers … who Trump LATER and “graciously” permitted to leave the ship, directly into quarantine.

      He really should stop pretending he has something to say about these subjects.

      But you’re allowed to lie so blatantly.

      What Ron has done is called JOURNALISM, so SHAME ON YOU for trying to stifle every journalist in America, who does not satisfy YOUR diktats of being “not an epidemiologist, nor an authority of any kind on viruses and their spread.”

      Ron also reported on the Washington state doctor who did virus tests without government approval … found an infected teenager … warned the authorities … the teen’s school was immediately shut down … stopping future infections and possible deaths. (followed by over a dozen lies about what he reported)

      Who the HELL are YOU to demand that NEWS FACTS may be reported ONLY by an epidemiologist? HOW DARE YOU place the health and lives of SCHOOLKIDS above SLIMY partisan trolling.

      Trump did warn us about YOU and so many others. If you’d LIE to defend him of COLD-BLOODED MURDER, with witnesses … then lying about his INCOMPETENCE causing “accidental” deaths is … trivial.

      Jack-booted thugs, attacking our free press, emulating their cult leader.

  26. Do you need a loan
    pay your bills or do you want to get off your any debts if yes apply for a loan today and get one via: markwilliam6681@gmail.com or whatsapp him +12138065264

  27. I absolutely agree with PG23COLO, its really useful comment

  28. really ! lets go to bead!

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.