Coronavirus

Public Health Authorities Have Failed America at Every Level

They ignored early warning signs and pretended that everything would be OK.

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President Donald Trump recently slammed the World Health Organization (WHO) for how it has handled the coronavirus pandemic, pointing out that the agency had "literally called every shot wrong." He's right about that. But then, so did officials at every level of government, starting with Trump himself.

If there is any reason for the WHO to exist, it is to alert the world to burgeoning health threats. The WHO's director-general, Tedros Adhanom, did the opposite. He ignored early signals that this virus was spreading, assuring everyone that China, which had lobbied aggressively for him to head the WHO, had everything under control. He rejected Taiwan's pleas in mid-January to declare a "public health emergency of international concerns" after it witnessed an alarming rise of disease clusters among visitors from the mainland.

Nor did Tedros hit the alarm button after the WHO conducted its own fact-finding mission to China at the end of January. Instead he declared that the Chinese had "rolled out perhaps the most ambitious, agile and aggressive disease containment effort in history," thus "creating a stronger first line of defense" for the global community. He reached this remarkably inaccurate conclusion by swallowing Beijing's official tally for COVID-19 case and mortality rates. British analysts estimate that those may have undercounted the actual numbers by a factor of anywhere from 15 to 40.

Obscenely, Tedros even complimented China's leadership for the "transparency it had demonstrated"—after the government had arrested researchers for telling their international peers about the growing threat. Tedros finally declared corona a global pandemic on March 11.

Tedros wasn't alone in falling for Chinese propaganda. Donald Trump did too.

The president lavishly complimented China's coronavirus response five times from late January to late February. On January 24—around the time his economic adviser Peter Navarro was warning in internal White House memos that coronavirus could take more than half a million American lives and cost close to $6 trillion—Trump tweeted that "the United States greatly appreciates their [Chinese leadership's] efforts and transparency" and assured Americans that "it will all work out well." Trump limited travel from China six days later, but that didn't stop him from complimenting President Xi Jinping on February 7 as "strong, sharp and powerfully focused on leading the counterattack on the Coronavirus."

Trump didn't just overestimate Xi's competence. He overestimated the competence of his own health agencies, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Trump is not coy about dissing executive agencies that he dislikes. (Just ask all the inspector generals he keeps threatening, such as Christi Grimm, who investigated the shortage of protective gear.) Yet even though the CDC foisted a defective test on the country—botching America's early response to the epidemic—Trump declared in early March that the "tests are all perfect" and "anybody that wants a test can get a test." (That is not true even now.)

Remember, the virus genome was publicly available by mid-January and the first tests were available shortly thereafter. In fact, one of the few things the WHO did right was to send hundreds of thousands of tests to dozens of labs around the world within a few weeks. If the United States had done what South Korea, Taiwan, and Germany did and allowed private and state labs to get these tests ready for mass production, we would have been able to conduct country-wide screening almost immediately. Instead the CDC decided to reinvent the wheel and develop its own test. It ordered private labs to desist and told them to wait for its test—and when the agency finally rolled the test out, it didn't work. By the end of February, only 4,000 tests had been conducted and the country had no idea how fast the virus was spreading.

Meanwhile, the feds were bungling reporting procedures, causing even more waste and delay. In early March, when private testing had yet to come up to speed and public labs were the only game in town, the FDA issued a directive requiring the CDC to retest every positive coronavirus result by these labs before certifying it. This meant that for several crucial weeks, America's coronavirus tally was lagging and everyone was underestimating how bad things were. Worse, it meant that lab resources and chemical agents, which have been in acutely short supply, couldn't be used for new tests. The FDA was apparently afraid that false positives would make the spread look worse than it was.

It wasn't just global and national authorities who screwed up. Many state and local authorities performed poorly too. Just look at New York, the worst hit state in the country.

Gov. Andrew Cuomo is trying to turn himself into the hero of the republic with his straight talk at press briefings about just how dire things are in New York. But in early March, like Trump, Cuomo and New York Mayor Bill de Blasio publicly and repeatedly underestimated the seriousness of the outbreak and overestimated their ability to cope with it. De Blasio even urged city residents to go about their daily business without changing their behavior. Meanwhile, in a rare joint press conference the two held, Cuomo bragged: "Excuse our arrogance as New Yorkers—I speak for the mayor also on this one—we think we have the best health care system on the planet right here in New York."

The two were blasé not just in their words but in their actions. They both promised that health investigators would track every person who had come in contact with the first two confirmed victims—a woman who had returned from Doha and a New Rochelle lawyer—but they failed to fully follow through, The New York Times reports. Both lagged as well in seeing the need for social distancing. San Francisco and Ohio closed their schools on March 12 when the former had only 18 confirmed cases and latter a mere five. De Blasio waited another few days, until his city's case count touched 329.

Just as Tedros and Trump will admit no misgivings about their initial handling of the situation, neither will the New York duo. Cuomo insists that he took action that everyone at the time regarded as "premature." And de Blasio pooh-poohs critics with the usual bromides about "hindsight" being perfect.

There's plenty of blame to go around, but will anyone take any responsibility?

NEXT: Serving 12 Years for Possessing a Cellphone—Unless the Coronavirus Gets to Him First

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  1. BTW, some Japanese politicians had some choice words for the WHO and China in regards to this thing.

    1. Wh…what I mean to say is, “Like Trump, Japanese politicians had some choice words for the WHO and China.”

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    2. Got a link?

        1. We’re digesting the same news sources!

    3. While the days ahead will provide us more and more information about what took place in days past, I’m concerned that a Reason Foundation senior analyst was so clarion on this matter. I factual note, Japan is just now declaring a health emergency. Germany did not declare until 17 Mar, and Taiwan had humint sources from Mainland China not available to us. Another point to consider is outside China, I believe the US has the second largest population in the Norther Hemisphere. The percentage of infected individuals is very similar to the overly referenced previous three countries. Another point, maybe worthy of discussion is the fact that senior political and technical advisors for three Presidencies were told all was good in the event of a Pandemic. Didn’t prove so. Let’s continue to rise above the hysteria and meet the original goals of Reason.com.

      1. Most politicians made a mess of this.

        What Trump did that was worse than just about everyone else was that he failed to ensure that the testing got done. Everyone agreed that the crucial metrics were the number of tests done and the results. Any other politician would have insisted on getting that info every day and then taking action. Not Trump.

        1. Leftist shills bang on the “muh testing” bs because the covid is not the plague they were hoping for

        2. The FDA and CDC collaborated to prevent any independent testing while failing to produce a working test of their own.

          Which US President not named Trump do you think would have overridden them?

          Certainly not #DeepState Obama. Or Bush. Or Clinton. Or Bush. *Maybe* Reagan? I’ll say maybe Carter too.

        3. Fauci, as of March 9th, said people could go to rallies on cruises. Trump shut down travel from China on 1/31 and from Europe on 3/11. The FDA and the CDC have blown this from the start, but you be you and blame Trump. I understand it’s a form of displacement and helps you get through the day.

          1. So, maki, allowing Covid-19 sick people from Europe to flow into the US/NY for an additional 11 days was a good thing? How do you
            justify Trump’s failure to act quickly on the East-West travel?

  2. After living under the threat of biological terrorism for decades this pandemic has exposed the government as being woefully unprepared nee incompetent.

    1. “the government” is an interesting choice. Is this the world government with its black helicopters? Is it just Trump, or Xi, or Putin, or …? Or just NY, or NJ, or …?

      If you had just left off the “the”! So close.

      1. It really does expose government as a fraud, but few want to see the truth. If any CEOs had laid down as much blarney, they’d be under the media bus.

      2. You forgot the option “All of the above”…

    2. This!!

      I’ll add corrupt as hell too.

      And there is zero chance they will be held accountable. DeRps can’t hold government accountable because the only thing they care about is electoral advantage. None of the third parties or independents really seem to care enough about governance to propose alternative ways of holding government accountable to anything. And bureaucrats of course have structural protections against accountability that make it damn hard anyway

      1. JFree
        April.13.2020 at 5:12 pm
        “This!!”
        Fuck off, you cowardly piece if shit, and jam your PANIC!! flag up your ass, stick first.
        And please, fuck off and die; the world will be a better place.

    3. IceTrey
      April.13.2020 at 2:24 pm
      “After living under the threat of biological terrorism for decades..”

      You have an active fantasy life and not nearly enough tin-foil lids.

  3. Here is the takeaway:

    Every major politician and public figure knew from day one that this coronacircus was not lethal or dangerous to 99% of people and that wrecking the economy to contain something that is fundamentally uncontainable was bad politics. But, then, after incessant media crying and the inevitable cycle of politicization, nobody with any power to try to control the situation wanted to take any risks and end up being blamed, in an election year no less, for not taking the apocalypse seriously enough and being responsible for literally “millions of deaths.”

    So, the inertia of our culture of “gotcha” politics lead everyone to take the most drastic, asinine approach available.

    You know why this was downplayed from the start? Because it was never serious to begin with. We crippled our economy for a cold. If this was 2021 or 2019, nobody would have batted an eye.

    1. While you’re downplaying it somewhat, it’s pretty obvious what a destructive panic this has been, as it’s starting to become clear that we’re now on the downslope when it comes to the spread of the disease, and we might even be on the downslope when it comes to Covid-19 deaths.

      It might disingenuous of me to say this, but I think a large reason there was such a panic is because so many people in the media felt CERTAIN that a Trump presidency would mean bodies piled up the streets. After three years of mostly business as usual, their sense of impending doom-and-gloom required them to seize upon a potential threat as potentially being the downfall of civilization.

      1. Perhaps we are on the other end of the curve. It is hard to tell. Nothing about the numbers is clear (or, to be frank, honest), apart from the fact that the virus is really not all that dangerous for anyone that doesn’t already have one foot in the grave.

        The real question is: Does it really matter where on the curve we are? If this was a virus that was indiscriminately striking down people across all demographics, the healthy and the feeble alike, I could at least begin to understand the draconian measures being unleashed. But that is not the case at all.

        It sounds callous, but if the death toll accumulating to date is primarily among those that would have perished anyway due to any number of other ailments brought about by contagious pathogens, why are we shutting anything down?

        Apart from the panic, we have suddenly pivoted to a remarkable denial about the reality, and inevitability, of death. And the crazy part is, politically speaking, Team Red and Team Blue gained nothing, and will still continue bludgeoning one another with retrospective gamesmanship until November 2020, after which all of this will promptly be forgotten.

        1. But we acquiesced.
          Fairly easily.
          Now they know they can do it, they can shut the people down from on high.
          Unless there are harsh, and I mean brutal, consequences for individuals behind this – media members, public health mandarins, panic funders, and dictatorial governors

          1. The specific individual(s) doesn’t even really matter that much, just that people from those groups were reached out and touched, thus not completely shielded

            1. Gotta have balance between civilization and nature

          2. Agreed.

            The government is overdue for a Timothy McVeighing. But, millennials these days don’t have the wherewithal to put together a jigsaw puzzle, let alone anything explosive — unless it’s a burrito, and the explosion is in their ass. They resist by wearing pussy hats and screaming at the sky, and they stopped doing even that because to scream at the sky you have to at least have the balls to go outside.

            1. Are you seriously insinuating that someone ought to blow up a daycare? I am at a complete loss to figure out how that could help anyone anywhere. Maybe you’re just another angry guy, frustrated by his own impotence like Tim McVeigh was. It didn’t work out so well for him. I can’t imagine it would play out like the Jerry Bruckheimer screenplay you’re projecting in you head. If the government is too quick to impose restrictions on personal liberty it’s because there are so many simple people with similar ideas. Government needs to protect citizens from that kind of person.

              1. If you read my obviously sarcastic comment and took it seriously, even for a second, despite the fact that I juxtaposed a terrorist attack with exploding asses and millennials making burritos, then you need to find another site to haunt with your naïve brand of concern trolling.

                1. Soi boiz have no sense of humor.

              2. McVeigh blew up a federal court house. That there was a daycare there was not relevant to his motives.

              3. McVeigh was a patsy, a fall guy, a convenient warm body to hang the whole gruesome mess onto.

                Anyone who knows ANYTHING about energy or any kind radiating outward from a point source (like a big truck parked at the kerb) would take one quick snap look at the pictures in the media of the front of that entire building and KNOW the place was wired with explosive charges throughout.
                So I will take the reference to McVeigh and “translate” it to the reality that MUST have been behind the destruction of that building. The name Timothy McVEigh is a metaphor for extreme violence perpetrated by some nefarious faction and blamed on a single individual for the purpose of obfuscation, the ultimate purpose in view being that of imposing MORE government restrictions upon all who are lazy/stupid enough to swallow the particular KoolAde du Jour.
                In that case, we have a near exact match, now justifying the draconian shutdown and stripping of myriad rights from all but the politicians and their hirelings by quietly pointing to “coronavirus” instead of McVeigh. In reality, “coronavirus’ is even more perfect, because it cannot be isolated to any given time or place, it is “everywhere” “all the time”, and thus we are “powerless’ to respond or control it.

            2. Do you have a newsletter?

    2. You know why this was downplayed from the start? Because it was never serious to begin with.

      Bingo. Colorado’s supposedly had this running wild through the state for 4-5 months, and based on the crying from the wine moms I see on social media, a not insignificant chunk of the population continues to not obey their house arrest to extent they can figure out ways to get around it.

      So far, in that 4-5 months, Colorado’s had a little over 7,300 identified cases, about 1,400 hospitalizations, and 290 deaths. These numbers will rise as more data is provided, but that’s not particularly relevant. What is relevant is that about 40% of all the deaths are from people in nursing homes, and I wouldn’t be surprised at all if they actually make up the majority of hospitalizations. No numbers on underlying conditions, but I suspect when that’s tallied up, it will be similar to NYC–95% or higher will have had something related to obesity, excessive smoking or drinking, or just general old age.

      This is in a state with close to 6 million people. The ski towns got supposedly got spiked at first, but based on the doomer-tards claims of COVID’s virulency, this should have ripped through and laid low not just the majority of the town populations long before now, but their workforce as well that has to commute from places like Lake County.

      If this is the new Black Plague, it’s definitely the Millennial version because this half-assed infection run hasn’t come near to living up to the hype.

      1. //If this is the new Black Plague, it’s definitely the Millennial version because this half-assed infection run hasn’t come near to living up to the hype.//

        Amen.

        But at least the millennials will now have a story of true “struggle” to relate to the grandchildren they’ll never have, because they opted to raise blinds dogs and traumatized kittens instead of having children.

        1. There I was, during the 2020 outbreak. No toilet paper, so I had to use the bidet even though I didn’t like it very much. Stores were out of gluten free everything, so I was forced to eat stuff that literally killed me. Starbucks was closed down literally forever. And then we had to stay home, but I still had to *work from home*. It was a nightmare. But I lived through it, so you shouldn’t complain about [fill in futuristic nightmare scenario here].

          1. “I had to use a French press to make my own coffee and, I’m not even kidding, the wrist stability needed to push down that plunger was overbearing. No warning or anything. I’m pretty sure I developed carpel tunnel, which is why I now lift my pinky when I sip my mud. Ask your mother. I was a completely different man.”

            1. If you guys lived during the ice age, you would be making fun of your tribesmen for starting a fire.

              1. If we lived during the ice age, we’d be using your skin as a diaper for our children. If you couldn’t decipher that, what I meant is that you’re full of shit.

            2. now THAT is hilarious.. the venerable Frog Pot is my daily brew method, multiple times, and I can brew in one go anywhere from my own single standard sized cup on up to 2.2 litres of high quality coffee, the like of which has never been experienced within any venue bearing the green mermaid logo on the door/cup.

              So that whinge above would be like saying “I ACTUALLY had to get my sorry behind out of my own BED every morning and THEN find my own breakfast.. oh, the horror!!!!”

        2. “But at least the millennials will now have a story of true “struggle” to relate”

          I was born in 1984.
          The 90s started with the Gulf War. Ran through Waco, OKC bombing, OJ, Olympics (including the bombing – side note: I moved to metro ATL 6 weeks before the Olympics), Clinton, and the internet becoming common.
          I was 17 on 9/11.
          2 years after college, the Great Recession.
          This was a period spanning exponential tech advances.
          It’s been weird times

          1. Same. But I still don’t think any of that shit even remotely compares to the struggles of 1930’s, WWII, Vietnam, etc.

            For the most part, this entire pandemic is an exercise in mass delusion.

            By the way, you forgot Y2K and that whole fiasco with the Mayan calendar in 2012 — real dark times.

            1. Good thing he didn’t have the trauma of air raid drills in school.

              1. OR millions of commies hiding under the beds and in the closets. NOT to mention the Monster in the Shed.

            2. “But I still don’t think any of that shit even remotely compares to the struggles of 1930’s, WWII, Vietnam, etc.”

              Not arguing that. No generation will ever reach the toughness of the one that grew up during the great depression then fought World War 2.
              And we didn’t have to deal with the draft and prospect of going to Vietnam, nor the constant threat of nuclear war.
              But 9/11, and the political culture that grew out of it, was a phase shift. The tech advances we’re too close to really fully appreciate.
              Not saying millennials have had it real tough (though, it should be noted, the Gen Xers had about as easy a road as possible…) but that times were weird. Destabilizing.
              It hasn’t been all ice cream and rainbows, though that is no excuse

            3. I was born in 1968. When the Kung Flu Troubles began I resorted to not taking no for an answer and barged my way back into my ex girlfriend’s life and bed and banged her for the first two months. Some days I would go back to my apartment and paint my MicroArmor and set up 3mm and 6mm battles and smoke weed which had to be delivered cuz the NKoViD banned open store fronts; some days I just watched MST3K

        3. Social distancing is the victim of its own success.

      2. Colorado’s supposedly had this running wild through the state for 4-5 months

        I understand you ‘just the flu’ types don’t actually do math for anything over 2 (and not ‘running wild’ for more than 6 weeks – and of course I just gave you an excuse to turn that into 6 months because weeks are the same as months to you people). But cite.

        1. Here, JFuckwad, you doomer piece of shit:

          Colorado Sun, April 9 2020:

          “Coronavirus may have reached Colorado as early as January, weeks before the state had the ability to test.”

          Key takeaway: Herlihy admits “we don’t know precisely” when patient zero arrived in Colorado, or where that person was located in the state. “There’s a very strong possibility that cases went undetected across the U.S., including here in Colorado.”
          The state’s mountain communities are thought to have been a prime transmission engine for the disease. A combination of international and out-of-state travelers mingling with locals traveling to and from the high country made the spread of the virus across Colorado possible.
          Boulder County said early on that it believed the virus was spreading in its community after people were infected in Colorado’s mountain towns.
          “We have travelers from all over the world that go to those communities,” Herlihy said. “And we think that’s potentially where some early introductions in Colorado may have occurred.”

          The first COVID cases in China were first traced back to November, but widespread identification didn’t begin until January when they finally locked down Wuhan. Ski season in Colorado began in November 2019, and Denver is also a travel hub for cross-country airline transportation because of DIA. This is also the second worst flu season for hospitalizations in the last 11 years, and it’s likely that some of those cases were COVID but never tested.

          WHERE MUH BLACK PLAGUE AT?

          1. AND since there WAS no ability for widespread testing for numbers who actuall had THIS virus instead of THAT one (standard rack grade “seasonal flu” which has killed upwards of 40K in the US this season) there is no wat of knowing precisely WHICH disease was the real “cause of death”.

            We KNOW, based on stats, that in Italy 99% of those who have died and have the “cause of death” recorded as the Chinese Virus, ALSO had one or more serious co-morbidity factors that were the REAL cause of death.. in other words, a small handful of folks died FROM COVID 19, all the rest died WITH COVID 19. But,since the blood tests showed that 99% had the virus in theyr system, THAT is what was written down as “cause of death”.
            Same game in NYC. And that rest home in Washington State.

    3. You’re 100% right, with one notable exception: Sweden,

      Bless their hearts, the Swedes told the scummy hysterical lowlife vermin in the media what we what should all be telling them almost all the time: “Go fuck yourselves”.

      1. Give it a month.

        The word of the week is “Exponential.”

        Everyone in Sweden will be dead by the end of April, if the snus doesn’t kill them all first.

    4. “Every major politician and public figure knew from day one that this coronacircus was not lethal or dangerous to 99% of people…”

      Bullshit.
      You presume cupidity where stupidity will suffice.

      1. That was nicely said

  4. One of the bigger takeaways from the coronavirus that I have taken is wonderment at the amount of surprise people are that governments and politicians bugled and botched a response to something. Eventually, I would hope the public dynamic is to be surprised when governments and politicians don’t botch something, as that is the more rare event. I’m tired of constantly hearing how bad this government or that government did something with underlying intimations that such a result is not par for the course.

    1. If you want your government to be involved with everything, you shoudn’t expect it to be good at anything.

    2. You are so right. Let’s look at the People’s Republic of NJ.

      We have a Team D governor, a Goldman Sachs reject named Phailing Phil Murphy. Talk about incompetent. Oy vey.

      The People’s Republic of NJ currently has a 14-day backlog in processing tests. Phailing Phil is phucking up so badly it is clear he can’t manage his way out of an open paper bag. Not a typo. A TWO WEEK backlog of thousands of tests. Tests are administered and just sit there….for WEEKS. Unreal.

      The People’s Republic State Health Commissioner is no great shakes either. A real disappointment. On the plus side, the dashboards created by the NJ Department of health are pretty good.

      1. XY, I live in NJ and have no knowledge of a two week test backlog at the present time. When you make statements such as you have, you must document a valid source of the information. Otherwise it’s just bs.

  5. There’s plenty of blame to go around, but will anyone take any responsibility?

    These are politicians we’re talking about so no.

    1. No matter what the economic impact, they saved billions of lives.

      1. Billions? You’re thinking too small. Trillions of lives have been saved. Quadrillions. Quintillions of lives are now safe thanks to the heroic efforts of our Top Men! Thank god… I mean Donald Trump and Nancy Pelosi for saving the lives of every human being who has ever lived, ever will live, or might have lived. Why, if weren’t against the law for me to leave my house I’d go out there and clap for all our heroic boys in blue risking DEATH at the hands of the Commie Virus as they protect us from ourselves. Sure, my family might not have any food to eat because I lost my job and maybe at the end of the month we won’t have a place to live but it’s a small sacrifice to pay to save someone’s life (presumably).

        1. We all need to make sacrifices. Some need to sacrifice more. Your sacrifice will be remembered in some form of generic salute to sacrifice.

    2. My sources say no.

      1. Saving or creating billions of lives.

        1. To be fair, the lockdown may actually be creating lives.

    3. At this point, what difference does it make?

  6. STOP WITH THE KUNGFLU HYSTERIA.

    1. He’s baaaaaack….

      1. He’s also right.

        1. He’s sure not left … mostly.

          1. I can’t keep going back and forth on this. I heard someone sneeze downstairs and will need at least an hour to barricade my doors.

            1. A barricade isn’t going to stop the covid.
              You gotta burn that bitch down.
              It’s the only way to be sure

              1. Do you have a model or a chart for that?

                1. Yes, the chart is a hockey stick. Up and to the right. 🙂

  7. The FDA was apparently afraid that false positives would make the spread look worse than it was.

    Man, they sure feel silly now, don’t they? No need to worry about overestimating the illness leading to a panic.

  8. The media failed us much more than government. This article is an example of that. The media continues to present covid-19 as dramatically and hysterically more dangerous than it actually is. Yes it probably is worse than the seasonal flu for vulnerable populations; no governments should not force all people to stay at home because of that fact. The media has been infatuated with a single solution to this problem: National lockdown.

    1. Inagine if the mefus had the sane skepticism of the War on Iraq as they have with national lockdowns.

    2. Yeah, they completely missed an opportunity to take a much more targeted approach, now they’re banning things like the purchase of seeds, and closing public parks merely because they can. They have no idea what they’re doing.

      1. They honestly thought the lockdowns would bring the virus to a screeching halt. The fact that we still continue to have people getting infected and dying from it, even in numbers far smaller than predicted, is unfathomable to them, and now they’re lashing out like spurned teenage girls at people who aren’t even violating distancing recommendations.

        The vindictive, rejection-obsessed behavior by the left-wing bourgeoisie in response to this has been something to behold, and makes me wonder if Lenin wasn’t actually right about them.

        1. Kulaks and wreckers. It’s the only possible explanation.

          1. +10000

  9. Progressives: “Government will save us!”

    Conservatives: “Trump will save us!”

    The rest us: “Fuck ’em all.”

    1. Yes. If you are relying on politicians and bureaucrats, you are already screwed!

    2. Me: Nuke them from orbit, it’s the only way to be sure.

      1. They mostly come out at night.
        Mostly.

    3. Conservatives: “My skills and preparation will see me and my family through this.”

      There, FTFY.

  10. This Virus is very bad for the world.

  11. Lest we forget too soon, never forget the clarion words of, um, what business leader? None that I remember. Not one of them prophesied any of this. None of them warned. But lots did complain, are still complaining, and will continue to complain over shut-downs, lockdowns and shelter in place.

    Attack the government some other time please. The vast plethora of “vastly far more successful libertarian states worldwide” that have eluded the pandemic altogether with “market forces” is, as we know…

    …nowhere to be seen.

    1. Bill Gates has been preaching “PANDEMIC” for years

      1. Windows really is a pandemic computer virus!

      2. Lots of people have been warning about corona-virus risks since SARS and especially since MERS. The difference is that when Gates says things, the media takes notice.

  12. We need open borders to solve this problem.

  13. “There’s plenty of blame to go around, but will anyone take any responsibility?

    Rhetorical question right?

  14. so Dalmia would have been out there in Dec supporting travel bans if Trump had done that?

  15. Please provide a copy of the contract so I can decide for myself if “Public Authorities” failed.

  16. Ah, well: Another 20-20 vituperative hindsight. Where were all these outraged critics when the virus first started in Wuhan? Not until the coronavirus became a pandemic did the finger-pointing start. If Washington, the states, or cities had tried to shut down the airlines, hotels, retailers, restaurants, etc. two months ago, the authorities would have been accused of, and sued for, crying “Wolf”.

  17. You know Reason, it wouldn’t hurt until this hysteria passes before pointing fingers.

    We have a an idea what happened but let’s not get ahead of ourselves.

  18. It’s always enjoyable to come to Reason and see Donald Trump being criticized for precisely the opposite of the reasons for which he is criticized on the Left.

  19. Taiwan, mentioned in the article, is an important yardstick for success against C-19 against which to measure the unmitigated failure of Trump and company. Taiwan has had only six C-19 deaths, despite it many nearer connections to the initial outbreak. Scaled to our population that would equal roughly just under 100 deaths for the USA. Trump and company have gotten over 23,000 Americans killed with their early denial of C-19 risks and continuing bungling response.

    1. Bungled response? The death rate was reduced from 2 million to 60,000. Pretty good for a governmental project.

      1. Those guesses are for the end of pandemic totals, which we are very far from.

        The six Taiwanese and 23,604 Americans dead, as of now, were real living people. Trump’s actual death rate is more than 230 times worse than Taiwan’s – irrefutably a bungled response.

        1. Real people that were going to die whether it was Covid, or seasonal flu, or food poisoning from questionable dairy.

          Those real people wouldn’t have been noticed at all, but they would have got to see their families and have a proper burial if it weren’t for Bill gates snd fauci.

          1. God I hate fucking bill gates. He’s such a fucking cunt.

    2. Does Taiwan have a bunch of obese fatasses in nursing homes?

    3. What a load of codswallop. Absolutely everybody was downplaying the risks both before and after Trump ordered the shutdown of traffic with china. Nancy Pelosi went to Chinatown in SF on February 24 urging people to “Come on out, go shopping, it’s fine!’ as Biden blamed Trump’s China shutdown for being ” xenophobic” .
      Here is a compilation of the MSM downplaying the virus well into March:
      https://twitter.com/gazordroig/status/1245334151382917121/photo/1

      1. Ladyhawk
        April.14.2020 at 11:40 am
        What a load of codswallop. Absolutely everybody was downplaying the risks both before and after Trump ordered the shutdown of traffic with china. Nancy Pelosi went to Chinatown in SF on February 24 urging people to “Come on out, go shopping, it’s fine!’ as Biden blamed Trump’s China shutdown for being ” xenophobic” .
        Here is a compilation of the MSM downplaying the virus well into March:
        https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wVDPVBZF2Xg

    4. This is not a major threat to the people of the United States and this is not something that the citizens of the United States should be worried about right now,” Dr. Fauci told Newsmax’s Greg Kelly on January 21.

  20. It’s easy to sit back in arm chairs and criticize, especially when you don’t have facts about what’s really going on; it’s much much (!) harder, requiring mucho knowledge and expertise to contribute positively.

  21. Don’t plan to read another article by this dumb feckless cunt.

  22. Just recalled this gem from the NYT
    “There is no evidence that the new virus is readily spread by humans, which would make it particularly dangerous, and it has not been tied to any deaths.”
    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/01/08/health/china-pneumonia-outbreak-virus.html?smid=tw-nytimes&smtyp=cur

    authors :Sui-Lee Wee and Donald G. McNeil Jr.

  23. Shikkha, WHY do you put the full blame on Trump for the bad information and collusion within CDC, WHO, FDA, and such?
    DO YOU remember when Bush Two reliedon the “intel” that Iraq had WMD and therefor we HAD to go beat them up?

    Don’t forget, those US alphabet soup outfits are full of clintonistas, obamanations, and other pelosious operatives that are wholly dedicaated to taking Trump down at any cost and by any means available. WHY? Because he had the temerity to actually DEFEAT the Hildabeest. Naughty naughty naught, Donald. Mustn’t do. Not cricket at all. Now go and be a good little chap, mind your Mummie and stop embarrassingus. Now there’s a good lad……

    1. Shikkha, WHY do you put the full blame on Trump for the bad information and collusion within CDC, WHO, FDA, and such?

      Because she’s both dumb as a rock and a progressive propagandist.

  24. Evidently emory university created a kungflu antibody test.

    We can hopefully be able to determine that tens of millions of Americans were asymptomatic carriers of Kungflu and the economy never needed to be shutdown just like how we handle the flu/cold season each year.

  25. They ignored early warning signs and pretended that everything would be OK.

    Did they stop you from protecting yourself? No? Did they keep the information out of China from you? No? Did you prevent you from stocking up on supplies? No? Then don’t complain that they didn’t do enough. If you followed their advice or relied on them to protect you, that’s because you’re a dumb fool who wants an authoritarian leadership to tell you what to do.

    You know what you should be complaining about? The fact that government now forces us at gunpoint to stay locked up in our houses.

    But that’s a libertarian complaint, and you wouldn’t understand that, Shikha.

    1. “You know what you should be complaining about? The fact that government now forces us at gunpoint to stay locked up in our houses.

      But that’s a libertarian complaint, and you wouldn’t understand that, Shikha.”

      Nor would anybody at Reason, apparently

  26. The governments, including the bureaucrats, did what they do: the acted in THEIR best interest.
    Gavin Newsom doesn’t give a shit about what the CA economy looks like in 6 months; he cares how it affects his political future.

    1. And banging his chief of staff’s wife.

  27. The broad failure from Trump on is obvious and irrefutable with the USA having the highest number of both cases and deaths, despite having months more than most of the world to prepare. To add insult to injury our “…land of the free and home of the brave…” was thrown blind and helpless into this pandemic due the federal government’s restricting the private sector from acting and from government officials being too cowardly to speak out accurately and publicly.

    “If the United States had done what South Korea, Taiwan, and Germany did and allowed private and state labs to get these tests ready for mass production, we would have been able to conduct country-wide screening almost immediately.”

    “The president lavishly complimented China’s coronavirus response five times from late January to late February. On January 24—around the time his economic adviser Peter Navarro was warning in internal White House memos that coronavirus could take more than half a million American lives and cost close to $6 trillion—Trump tweeted that ‘the United States greatly appreciates their [Chinese leadership’s] efforts and transparency’ and assured Americans that ‘it will all work out well.'”

    1. “I believe everything the #CCP says.”

    2. Can’t you get attention some other way?

    3. Hun, math is obviously difficult for you, but what matters is death rate, not our number of deaths compared to Liechtenstein. And our death rate is somewhere in the middle for western nations, as expected for the largest western nation. Trump did a pretty good job at the federal level.

      And given what we know about covid, tests are useless for prevention. What tests would have been useful for is avoiding this clusterfck of a shutdown and fire reopening the economy. You can blame federal bureaucrats for that, not Trump.

  28. It’d be nice if just one person, from the media, from WHO, from our government or even Trump himself would publicly admit serious mistakes were made and those mistakes cost lives. I’d have a helluva lot more respect for anyone who had the gonads to do that. Most people are reasonable. we know we don’t live in a perfect world and perfect responses to unknown risk are far out of our reach, but if we can admit to the mistakes made we can focus on doing better next time.

    1. What mistakes id Trump make? Please enlighten. All the criticism I see is out of context. Even the criticism in this article is childish nonsense. How about we let the man who do is job and stop undermining him? Reason is still criticizing Trump for his tariffs on China. You need to Thank Trump. If Reason, the Democrats, GOPe, would have been in charge, this would have been much worse.

    2. Hindsight is 20/20. But what’s erroneous decisions do you think Trump made?

  29. “Public Health Authorities Have Failed America at Every Level
    They ignored early warning signs and pretended that everything would be OK.”

    You know who else has failed America at every level?

    The Globalists of every stripe who denied:
    1) That there could not possibly be any downside to offshoring any and all industries, including medical device manufacturing, to the world’s most powerful dictatorship.
    2) That there could be any possible downside to mass migration of human widgets and their accompanying viruses to drive down labor costs for the Globalist ruling class.

    Though I stare in wonder at the phrase “Failed America” from Shikha Hate America First Dalmia.

    1. “Trump didn’t just overestimate Xi’s competence. He overestimated the competence of his own health agencies, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).”

      While it is fair for Libertarians to criticize Trump for trusting the medical #DeepState, we’re really the only ones with that luxury, and I’m curious just *who* Shikha would have cheered Trump on to trust *instead*. Trump is neither a doctor nor a scientist. The entire class of professional apparatchiks would have risen as one in outrage if Trump had bypassed the #DeepState “experts”. Would Shikha have been there defending Orange Man Bad?

      As for “overestimating Xi’s competence”, Trump routinely makes nice nice talk when he wants something from a foreign leader. Mistaking Trump saying “nice doggy” to a rabid animal in the street as Trump really thinking that’s a nice doggy is a new level of stupid even for Shikha, and that’s saying a lot.

      Thanks to Globalists like Shikha, China still does produce much of our medical supplies, and we’re not in a position to overly antagonize Xi. But I am looking forward to Shikha’s support when Trump does more than talk against Emperor Xi, with tariffs and outright import bans against Chinese products, and shutting down Chinese corporate and scientific espionage by shutting down H1B and Student visas awarded to Chinese nationals.

      And if you think Slave Emperor Xi’s *competence* is the issue, and not his honesty and intent, you’re even more of a clueless buffoon than we all thought.

      #CCPLiedPeopleDied

      1. Great point. Most of these people are paid off by the Chinese. They own our country. The Democrats, half the Republican Party, most institutions(NBA?) are spouting the China line.

  30. Elizehab T Gregg want to have some fun and to play dirtу ==>> Details Here

  31. You all at Reason can rip Trump all you want. The man was smart enough to shut down all travel from China on January 31st which is proving prescient and probably the most important thing he has done. Funny how there is absolutely NO mention of the fact that he was facing full impeachment within the entire confines of the cesspool known as Washington D.C. ANY OTHER LEADER AT ANY POINT OR LEVEL IN GOVERNMENT SHOULD HAVE TAKEN THE TRAVEL BAN AS THE POINT IN WHICH THEY MOVED TO FULL MOBILIZATION TO COMBAT THE CHINESE VIRUS. AND THEY DIDN’T. Sorry, I feel better…

    The Chinese did this to us with the help of our media which has to be funded by the same. Blame them and either join in the help to a pretty damn good president or move.

    1. Great point. Most of these people are paid off by the Chinese. They own our country. The Democrats, half the Republican Party, most institutions(NBA?) are spouting the China line.

    2. Trump was the only politician trying to decouple from China. For this, I am eternally grateful. Reason is still complaining about his tariffs.It was Reason and the policies they supported which put us in this mess. It took decades of selling out to China to put us in this mess.

    3. ” The man was smart enough to shut down all travel from China on January 31st which is proving prescient and probably the most important thing he has done.”

      Wasn’t that too late? By the end of January, hadn’t the Chinese already have things under control?

      1. No. China didn’t even lock down Wuhan until 19th Feb, and it was a couple of days later for Hubei Province. It wasn’t until 19th March that China reported no new infections from local transmission.

        1. China seems to have prevented the virus from devastating much larger and important cities like Beijing and Shanghai. Wuhan is only a mid-sized city by Chinese standards, but larger than New York. Do you think this is a public health success? Or is it too early to say?

          1. tl;dr: I don’t know, but I’m not optimistic for them.

            I think the situation in Hubei is largely opaque, at least to people like you and I. I have close friends and co-workers with direct ties to that area, and what is coming from them is inconsistent with the CCP official statements, but then there’s the question of subjective vs. objective. Social media posts and images from within the affected areas of China appear ephemerally, then are gone, wiped away by the Great Firewall’s automated processes and “mechanical turks”. It is difficult to distinguish escaping facts from planted rumors. Based on China’s track record and the perceived trustworthiness of those inside China with whom I have indirect contact, I’m inclined toward considering their successes to be inaccurately portrayed, at best.

  32. Testing wouldn’t have made a bit of difference. You’re delusional if you think a government who cannot supply basic medical supplies is going to deploy millions of test efficiently. There are so many holes in the test and trace method, I don’t know where to begin.
    1. People aren’t going to get tested unless their symptoms get severe. Most people will wait a few days.
    2. The test aren’t accurate.
    3. It’s expensive.
    4. The test take a long time.
    5. It is very unstable approach. Once containment is broken, you have no other alternatives.
    6. Doesn’t work well on a virulent strain.
    7. It has to be done perfectly or you lose containment.
    I’m always amazed how the supporters of testing just assert it like a religious belief. They never acknowledge the short comings. They never explain how it would have prevented the spread. They let you assume that testing is the panacea. Its the holy grail, if only it was done. I’m not buying it. The people who focused on testing and tracing early diverted a lot of resources and endangered a lot of people. These disciples have alot to answer for.

  33. Shikha, people who sacrifice their liberty and rely on the government – state or federal – to protect their health, deserve neither their health or their liberty.

  34. “There’s plenty of blame to go around, but will anyone take any responsibility?”

    Let me know when anyone ‘takes responsibility’ for America’s ever rising suicide rates, ever shrinking life expectancy, ever expanding obesity measures.

    1. The first two are mostly the responsibility of the individuals involved, and the third one is entirely the responsibility of the individuals involved.

      1. This is what makes the coronavirus different. It’s still scandalous that America’s public health is such a shambles due to self inflicted issues.

        “third one is entirely the responsibility of the individuals involved”

        If society incentivizes behavior that leads to obesity, then society has to take its share of the blame. The enormous subsidies given over to sugar production is part of public policy which voters have some input over and are therefore responsible, however abstractly. (ie ability to elect representatives who will put an end to such subsidies).

        1. I get where you’re coming from on sugar subsidies, but even if the US were a multi-party system, there still cannot be enough candidates for every office to be able to pick one with just the “right” set of policies. Moreover, sugar subsidies are likely way down the priority list for most voters (ignoring the large subset of voters who will vote based on a single issue, or the candidate’s party/smile). For myself, there are so many other more important (to me) issues over sugar subsidies that there’s effectively zero chance that specific one will enter into my calculus. Regardless, barring uncommon health conditions, each of us has the option to consume just a little less ice cream, and each of us bears the responsibility for the consequences, good or bad.

          More into the weeds, if you’ve got a valid study showing that sugar subsidies causally contribute to obesity, I’d like to see it. I have yet to see a good study which finds a causative link between soda (and other sugary drink) consumption and obesity – there are plenty of studies which establish strong correlation, but not causation.

  35. Failures of leadership, no question.
    But let us not make the mistake of thinking these failures all fall in the lap of government. They don’t.

    The good thing about a free country is that we are all free to do — pretty much — as we please…. to act in accordance with or in opposition to, whatever ‘general’ or ‘public’ or ‘common’ guidelines happen to be in place. We are all free to do the right thing — even if others don’t. And this freedom means that the leadership failure (whose results we now suffer) began at the very epicenter of the current crisis: with the healthcare providers themselves, who were free to build fail-safe PPE inventory…. or not. And clearly they did not.

    But it is not the doctors and nurses, per se, who were at fault — though we might argue that they, more so than anyone else, had at least some insight into the risks they would be exposed to…some insight into their own state of preparedness (or lack thereof)….and at least some voice in the preparedness discussions. Rather it is the hospital administrators, the hospital boards, the leadership staffs, the presidents & CEO’s & COO’s & CFO’s…the purchasing managers, the inventory managers, those charged with emergency services….all those responsible for community healthcare who much more critically failed. These are the individuals who somehow came to believe that PREPAREDNESS simply cost too much..and had too little payback.

    What else can we conclude?

    If I ran a hospital (or a consortium of hospitals) should I concern myself with how many days/weeks of PPE inventory I should carry to deal with emergency demands …or should I simply rely upon ‘someone else’ (other hospitals, the supply chain, my delivery services) to rescue me as needed (knowing that PPEquipment was absolutely critical to my ability to perform)?

    It simply boggles the mind to discover that such absolute necessities as gloves and face shields and masks became no-go bottlenecks (resources in critically short supply) within days of the WuhanV crisis. How is this possible? Like a restaurant running out of food in the middle of the dinner hour….like a stadium running out of beer partway through the 1st quarter….like your 16 yr. old son leaving your car in the driveway with no gas in the tank….or a baseball team running out of baseball gloves….how is it possible for a hospital or clinic to RUN OUT of the equipment which is fundamental to their primary function? What were they thinking??!!

    The problem is twofold.

    Preparedness costs dollars…and it’s always easier (and much more popular) to spend available $$’s on stuff which benefits us TODAY. Much more difficult (and much less popular) to allocate those same dollars to inventory which will simply sit and age in a storage closet, and might never be needed.

    Second, there are — especially in this day & age — too many cooks in every kitchen. From a distance it’s easy to say, “Leadership failed!” But which particular leadership? Clearly there are multiple ‘chiefs’ on every hospital staff, each of whom would have a voice in ‘preparedness’ discussions. Equally the city, the state, and the region all have a stake (and a voice…and a ‘shared’ responsibility in community healthcare). And finally the federal government, the CDC, the FDA, Health & Human Services … they all obviously have (or could have…or should have) a role in ensuring appropriate ‘health security.’ And of course when everyone is responsible….no one is responsible….and we now see the entirely predictable result.

    Of special note, the abysmal failure of the Center for Disease Control….an organization which exists ONLY to monitor, prevent, and control disease….which in fact, did none of those things. How is that even possible? 11K employees and a $12B budget and somehow they failed utterly to perform the single task they were uniquely designed to perform.

    We might point to the fact that a casual CDC website search yields 66K results clustered under the banner of ‘Social Justice/Diversity/Inclusivity/Equality’…and only 50K results under “Virus”. We might then suspect that it became a whole lot easier to chase Social Justice bunnies rather than worry about how to prevent pandemics. But these are only guesses. What we do know is that they failed so severely and so completely that they only possible solution (once all this has ended) is to houseclean the leadership….fumigate the social justice crap which has infested the organization….and start fresh.

    But that is then and this is now….and now we simply have to deal with the combined result of all these multiple failures.

    I hope, at least, we learn something.

  36. “I hope, at least, we learn something.”

    What have you learned from the Chinese reaction to the pandemic? They don’t seem to have had any of the shortages of equipment you point out and were able to mobilize tens of thousands of trained personal to combat the spread, quarantining Hubei province etc.

    1. Um, I learned that china lies? Oh wait, I already knew that.

      1. “Oh wait, I already knew that.”

        You’ve learned nothing, in other words.

    2. Well, we learned that there was a great shortage of urns in the formerly quarantined area…

      1. Being well prepared doesn’t make you immune from surprises.

        1. China has largely mastered the modern “just in time” supply chain. Tragically, there’s no reason to assume that there’s much slack built into the quantity of urns.

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