Archive for the ‘Public Health’ Category

The phrase ‘Made in China’ still means what it meant 40+ years ago. It still means that you’re buying junk. Forty+ years ago, it meant junk. Then Nixon went to China and businesses started thinking that they’d make tons of money selling their products to China, which was true. Then people started thinking that they’d democratize China and that China would become a democratized nation of capitalists.

That part failed miserably.

That leads us to today’s China news:

The United Kingdom’s Prime Minister tested positive for Coronavirus late last month, was hospitalized over the weekend, then was transferred to an intensive care unit early this week after his symptoms worsened. He has been sickened by a highly-transmissible virus that originated in China, whose government lied, suppressed data and covered up crucial information over the course of critical early weeks — leading to a global pandemic — and their deceit persists to this day. With that as a backdrop, the British government is demanding a refund after becoming the latest victim of defective anti-Coronavirus medical supplies:

The UK is demanding a refund on this Chinese trash. (The sound you hear in the background is Chinese credibility collapsing.) Meanwhile, US innovators are creating new technologies that astonish people with their reliability. (The sound you hear under your feet is the ground shifting as the US reestablishes its marketplace dominance.

When Japan rebuilt its economy, it rebuilt by making quality products. When China entered the world market, it kept building crap for most things. This article highlights how much China’s stock is dropping:

In a blog post on Monday, John Bell, the coordinator of coronavirus testing for Public Health England, said that none of England’s 17 million antibody kits — including the ones bought from China — have performed well. “We see many false negatives and we also see false positives,” he wrote. “…This is not a good result for test suppliers or for us.”

It’s clear that US products are higher quality than China’s products. That’s especially important during a health crisis. Each test, each product is important. Lives hang in the balance with each test. That isn’t something that you can ‘roll the dice’ on. That’s something that you’ve got to nail each time, every time.

It’s likely that Minnesota DFL Gov. Tim Walz will start undoing the damage he did when he issued his initial stay-at-home executive order. At the time of his first EO, Gov. Walz relied on a model that “is premised on modeling performed by state and University of Minnesota public health experts. According to the modeling as reported by the Star Tribune, “up to 2.4 million Minnesotans could become infected with COVID-19[.]’ Further, ‘researchers roughly calculated that 74,000 Minnesotans would have died if no community mitigation measures had been taken, including limitations on crowd sizes and closing schools, restaurants and bars.'”

At the time, Gov. Walz was mostly driven by panic and poor analysis. As I write this, 34 people have died in Minnesota who had COVID-19. Notice that I didn’t say that 34 people had died of COVID-19. I said that 34 people who had been infected by COVID-19 had died. That’s a distinction with a significant difference.

Further, there wasn’t much of a chance that Minnesota would do nothing to protect themselves. In other words, Gov. Walz shut down the state because he panicked. Now, he’s trying to take credit for Minnesota limiting the spread of COVID-19. The truth is that the mitigation techniques were proposed by President Trump’s task force. Gov. Walz simply went along with their recommendation.

At this point, Minnesota is just 73,966 deaths short of the model’s prediction. Even with mitigation measures in place, we’re still 49,966 deaths short of the model’s predictions.

As of this morning, there have been 1,069 confirmed cases of people catching COVID-19. Admittedly, that number might be a bit low. Still, 1,100 confirmed cases isn’t justification for shutting a state down for 2 weeks.

If Gov. Walz wants to take credit for shutting down the state over COVID-19, he’ll have to explain why a) he panicked, b) his Department of Health got things so badly wrong and c) the U of M got things so badly wrong. Further, the Star Tribune has omitted the 74,000 figure from its reporting other than its first article. It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out that the Star Tribune is protecting a DFL governor. That’s what they do. That’s what they’ve done for a generation. We would’ve been better off had Gov. Walz shut down the Strib than shutting down the state.

Walz issued the stay-at-home order, which ends Friday, based on modeling by the University of Minnesota and the Minnesota Department of Health that was pessimistic in certain assumptions. The governor praised that modeling for predicting that the current social distancing would make a difference, but the reality of the outbreak has played out differently in Minnesota in some key ways.

The model predicted 50,000 Minnesotans would die after getting infected with COVID-19. That’s a far, distant cry from the 34 COVID-19 deaths we’ve had in Minnesota. I could’ve done as well throwing darts.

Here’s a question for Gov. Walz and the DFL: how many deaths would’ve been prevented had Gov. Walz’s EO just called for social distancing and avoiding crowds of bigger than 10? Would it have been 34 or more? Inquiring minds want to know.

By morning, if not faster, it’s virtually certain that the MSM will intentionally mischaracterize the Trump administration’s plans for the economy. That’s how they roll. The key to understanding the administration’s plans, look no further than Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin’s quote.

In a statement to Fox News, Mnuchin said “The president is very much looking at how we can reopen parts of the economy. There are parts of the country, like New York, where obviously this is very, very concerning. There are other parts of the country where it’s not.”

Kudlow added “The president would like to reopen the economy as soon as he can, and we are planning internally,’ adding that the spread of the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus is what will determine when the economy can be reopened. ‘I am hoping … we’re only a few weeks away from a reopening. We’ll see.”

In other words, President Trump isn’t planning on opening the economy by opening NYC a week after Easter. The thought that the administration is planning this suggests that there’s some thoughtfulness involved. Larry Kudlow has helped build some pretty dynamic economies in his career. Why shouldn’t we think that he’s capable of rebuilding the economy another time? It’d be one thing if we were asked to trust someone for the first time. That isn’t the case this time. Mr. Kudlow helped build the original Reagan economy that created 20,000,000 jobs.

This is exciting news on the COVID-19 front:

“Everybody who knows me knows that I am very conservative about making projections, but those are the kind of good signs that you look for,” White House task force member Dr. Anthony Fauci said during a televised briefing on April 6. “That’s the first thing you see when you start to see the turnaround.”

The COVID-19 virus, aka the Chinese Communist Party virus, isn’t to be taken lightly. Still, there’s increasingly positive sign appearing daily. At some point, it’s time to unleash this economy again. It was creating millions of jobs. Wages were rising at 3.1%. Unemployment was at 3.5%. There isn’t much chance it’ll pick up right where it left off. Still, there’s no doubt that it won’t perform well again. This isn’t the Obama administration asleep at the switch this time.

Dr. Fauci answers when we’ll return to normal during this briefing:

Like the title of an old book, “normal is a setting on a dryer.” There’s no question that it’ll take awhile to forget this virus. Some of the dire predictions won’t happen, either.

Still, there’s lots of stuff that we’ll learn from this virus, including whether we should’ve shut down the economy like we did. The easy answer is that we should’ve shut it down but that position is losing popularity due to the fact that we’re realizing that many of our decisions were guided primarily by fear. Fear, aka panic, isn’t the best basis for policy-making.

This op-ed is Tammy Duckworth’s audition for Nancy Pelosi’s role as lead Democrat bitch. Listen to Ms. Duckworth’s vitriol in her opening. That’s where she said “In the time it takes you to read this, dozens more Americans will probably have been diagnosed with COVID-19. By the time you finish it, there’s a good chance another American will have died from the disease.”

It isn’t clear whether she wants the role as the Democrats’ bitch or that of the grim reaper. In the next paragraph, Sen. Duckworth wrote “Many of those diagnoses will probably come in New York; some in California; others ranging from Louisiana to Florida. While we don’t know everything about this virus just yet, what we do know is that it is spreading exponentially. Young, old, rich, poor, black, white, Asian, Latino, you name it — every one of us is in danger. And if we don’t take immediate sweeping action many more Americans could die in a pandemic that’s already been made far worse by a president who has refused to take obvious measures that could be done with the stroke of a pen.”

You can’t be serious with that statement. President Trump has insisted that the FDA eliminate as many regulations as is possible to speed treatments as much as possible. President Trump has had the US Army Corps of Engineers build tent hospitals in NYC — in less than a week. BTW, these aren’t small town hospitals. They’ll hold almost 3,000 patients.

Speaking of treating patients, it took the Navy less than 2 weeks to stock the USNS Comfort and get it to New York Harbor. Originally, it was projected to take a full month to prepare for service.

As for the “pandemic that’s already been made far worse by a president” BS, let’s talk about the praise he’s received from such noted conservatives as Gavin Newsom and Andrew Cuomo. When pressed by Jake Tapper to admit that he’s only being nice so President Trump won’t cut him off, Gov. Newsom refused to take the bait. He kept saying that President Trump helped and that the help was prompt:

The mean-spirited things that Sen. Duckworth said don’t match the kind things that Gov. Newsom said.

Calls are mounting for World Health Director-General Tedros to resign. Thus far, Senators Rick Scott, Martha McSally, Ted Cruz, Marco Rubio and Ben Sasse have called for either investigations resignations. Ambassador Nikki Haley has been critical, too.

Last week, Sen. McSally appeared on Maria Bartiromo’s FBN show. That’s where she said that “she has ‘never trusted a communist’ and that the Chinese government’s ‘cover-up of this virus that originated with them has caused unnecessary deaths around America and around the world… I think Dr. Tedros needs to step down.'” Later, Sen. McSally was quoted in this article as saying “Since the very beginning of this crisis, Tedros has parroted Chinese government talking points, even praising the communist party’s ‘transparency’ during its coronavirus response efforts despite a mountain of evidence showing that the regime concealed the severity of the outbreak.”

She finished with this quote:

“At the direction of Tedros, the WHO provided cover for China for months as it attempted to shirk accountability for its bungled efforts to contain this virus,” McSally added. “This deception cost lives.”

Here’s what Tedros said that got him in trouble:

“China is to be congratulated for the extraordinary measures it has taken to contain the outbreak despite the severe social and economic impact that it is having on China,” Tedros said in February.

China has been as transparent as a rock. Their lies have cost lives.

According to The Washington Free Beacon, Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said the WHO should consider removing Tedros as its head.
“The World Health Organization has consistently bent to the will of the Chinese Communist Party at the expense of global health and of containing the spread of the coronavirus, from downplaying the extent of the virus to systematically excluding Taiwan,” a Cruz spokesperson told the publication. “Sen. Cruz believes that the WHO has lost the credibility necessary for it to be effective, and a reevaluation of its leadership is urgently called for.”

Sen. Ben Sasse, R-Neb., also told the Free Beacon that “we need to have a serious reckoning with the World Health Organization.”

Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., joined in on calls for Tedros to face accountability for how his organization has performed during the pandemic. “Once this pandemic is under control, WHO leadership should be held to account. That includes Director-General Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, who has allowed Beijing to use the WHO to mislead the global community,” Rubio said. “At this moment, [Tedros] is either complicit or dangerously incompetent. Neither possibility bodes well for his future at the helm of this critical organization.”

The quote from Tedros is especially damning. It’s indefensible.

Is New York turning the best corner in its fight with the COVID-19 virus? That’s still to be determined. What’s been determined is that “New York state has seen its first drop in daily coronavirus deaths, Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced Sunday.” While this is exciting news, it doesn’t mean NY is out of the woods yet. Still, any good news is a ray of sunshine from the badly battered state.

The article continues, saying “Cuomo said New York also experienced a slight drop in intensive care admissions and the number of patients who need breathing tubes inserted. The hospital discharge rate is ‘way up’ he said, calling it ‘great news.’ You could argue that you are seeing a plateauing,’ Cuomo told reporters on Sunday, as he revealed that the state had reported 594 new coronavirus deaths — down from the 630 reported on Saturday and the 562 on Friday. At least 4,159 people have died in the state so far, with approximately 122,000 total positive cases.”

Let’s hope that this is the start of a trend. Let’s hope this isn’t an outlier or a momentary blip. We need to put this behind us ASAP so we can return to the best economy in our nation’s history.

“The number of beds doesn’t really matter anymore,” Cuomo went on. “We have the beds. It’s the ventilators, and then it’s the staff.”

The staff isn’t NY’s biggest problem, either:

Separately, the military said in a statement that the 1,000 personnel would work in support of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). A total of 300 of these “uniformed medical providers will work from the Javits Center and the rest will deploy to other area locations to expand local medical capabilities in the war against COVID-19,” U.S. Northern Command, which is leading coronavirus efforts for the Department of Defense, said.

Simply put, NY would be devastated if not for all the help President Trump has delivered to NY.

Ordinary Death vs. Extra Ordinary Death
A Minnesota Perspective on the Covid-19 Outbreak
By John W. Palmer, Ph.D.
Death and taxes are often mentioned as the only things certain in life. Another common statement is that no one ever gets out of this life alive. Death is something people do not usually dwell upon and those who frequently dwell upon death are often considered unbalanced. These past two months, our state and nation have obsessed on a virus associated with death. While that has been going on the ordinary death that surrounds us has continued to happen. I do not write this to minimize the threat to people’s health that COVID-19 presents. I write this to put COVID-19 death into perspective with the leading cause of death that individually and in total kill many if not overwhelming people the covid-19.
In a typical year about 44,500 Minnesotans die. These deaths often can be prevented or delayed by engaging in specific behaviors. Unlike the current bug du jour, these ordinary causes of death do not receive much public attention and as a result they continue to cut lives short. One of the causes of death that does not get captured in our census of death is the role fear plays. Dr. Marc Siegel’s book False Alarm: The Truth About The Epidemic of Fear provides insights into how fear leads to health problems and often is used to manipulate behavior. For a glimpse into this excellent book go to ref=sr_1_3? crid=2SACHBGM8GKPW&dchild=1&keywords=false+alarm&qid=1585752693&s=books&spre? x=False%2Caps%2C177&sr=1-3 As I read the book during the last few days and experienced the COVID-19 phenomena, I couldn’t help but wonder if this is just another bug du jour to be added to Siegel’s narrative. Only time will tell the truths of the COVID-19 outbreak.
What will be true are the predictable side-effects of the stay-at-home and constant urging of social distancing and good personal hygiene since we know less travel will mean less vehicle crashes and less work-related injury. It is also known that increases in good personal hygiene will mean less spread of bacterial and viral infections. It is possible that more lives will be saved by the side effects of the COVID-19 public health efforts than the principal target of COVID -19 related death.
The following Death by Leading Causes table which follows summarizes death in Minnesota and the leading causes of death in Minnesota. The total Minnesota Coved-19 deaths will not be known until year end but based on the mid-point of the range of COVID -19 deaths in the USA currently projected (120,000), it is hard to believe Minnesota’s (1.7% of US population) share of these project deaths (2039) would place COVID -19 in the top five leading cause of death in Minnesota.
Another way to look at the relationship between covid-19 and leading causes of death is to examine covid-19 deaths occurring during the last two months (see table titled February and March) with the typical deaths in a 2-month time period. The typical deaths over a two-month time period exceed the COVID-19 deaths in the last two months by a factor of over 600. Each of the top four leading causes of death also exceed COVID-19 deaths. Cancer deaths exceed COVID-19 deaths by a factor over 130 with Heart Disease deaths exceeding COVID-19 by a factor of 115 and Alzheimer and unintentional injury death both exceed COVID-19 death by over 35.

Two final comparisons of COVID-19 deaths which are interesting are the comparison of February 2020 motor vehicles deaths and Influenza deaths. All three of these censuses of cause of death occurred over a period of one month so these comparisons are over a similar time frame and does not use an estimate of monthly death. A total of 56 Influenza deaths happened in March of 2020 and 21 motor vehicle fatalities happen in February of this year. Influenza deaths exceed COVID-19 deaths by a factor of 4 and motor vehicle deaths by a factor of 1.75 (see the next two tables). Since the mitigation strategies for COVID-19 also will impact on influenza (virus spread in the same way) and motor vehicle fatalities (less driving will lead to less fatalities) it will be interesting to see what happens to motor vehicle and influenza related death.

I set out to put COVID-19 death into perspective with the leading cause of death that individually and in total kill many if not overwhelming numbers of people than COVID-19.

My hope is that as we face the impact of COVID-19 we do not lose site of the need to address the leading causes of death. With rare exception these cause of death all have potential of significant reductions in the number of deaths each year. Just as COVID-19 can be mitigated by shifting human behavior, each of the leading causes of death can also be mitigated by changing human behavior. Things like wearing protective equipment, washing hands and doing sensible things like staying home when you are sick all can reduce the chance of bad things happening and enhance the quality of life if people learn the importance of primary prevention. Unfortunately, our society has ignored, to a great extent, things which cause ordinary death. Hopefully, a positive side effect of COVID-19 can be renewed interest in primary prevention of the leading causes of death. We can’t eliminate death but we can take actions to delay its appearance. Perhaps, if in addition to the daily posting of COVID-19 cases and death, everyone will start to post the ongoing count for the ordinary deaths.

This NY Times article represents a definite victory for optimism in the fight against the Wuhan Virus. The article opens by saying “The malaria drug hydroxychloroquine helped to speed the recovery of a small number of patients who were mildly ill from the coronavirus, doctors in China reported this week. Cough, fever and pneumonia went away faster, and the disease seemed less likely to turn severe in people who received hydroxychloroquine than in a comparison group not given the drug.”

A paragraph later in the article, it quoted “Dr. William Schaffner, an infectious disease expert at Vanderbilt University”, as saying “It’s going to send a ripple of excitement out through the treating community.” This isn’t a silver bullet treatment that will cure badly ill patients. This isn’t as important as prevention and mitigation strategies like social distancing and washing your hands.

What it represents is another bullet to use against this virus. That, in turn, represents another glimmer of optimism in this fight. We still need to fight this fight smart but optimism is important in keeping our spirits high during the fight.

On another front, it’s important that the FDA is cutting through tons of red tape to speed products to market:

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell took time in this article to compliment Sen. Tom Cotton, (R-AR), for spotting the first case of COVID-19. Later in the article, they highlight a tweet by John Ashbrook, who is described as a “former McConnell aide.” Specifically, the article said “Former McConnell aide John Ashbrook also pointed this out Tuesday, stating that the pandemic is believed to have hit the United States the same day that House Democrats marched articles of impeachment to the Senate after House Speaker Nancy Pelosi held off on moving forward on impeachment for weeks.”

Whether Democrats like it or not, the truth is that the Democrats’ impeachment march happened on January 15,2020, the same date as the CDC’s confirmation of the first case of COVID-19 in the US. The truth is that Democrats were focused on impeaching President Trump from the middle of November, 2019, through early February, 2020. That’s harsh but that’s reality.

That isn’t the harshest news, though. I wrote in this post that the House Homeland Security Committee held 3 hearings on the COVID-19 virus. The first hearing was on March 4, 2020. The third hearing was held on March 11. That means the committee of jurisdiction waited almost 2 months to hold a hearing on a deadly virus. It isn’t entirely the committee chairman’s fault.

The House and Senate stop in their tracks while trying a president for impeachment. That means we can only blame Chairman Thompson for wasting the second month to hold a hearing. Imagine what could’ve happened if we had serious people running the House and Senate. First, we wouldn’t have seen a tweet like this:

It’s time to return serious people to chairing committees. We can’t handle the partisan political hacks chairing House committees any longer. By comparison, Sen. Tom Cotton spoke out about the COVID-19 virus early:

On January 22, one day before the Chinese government began a quarantine of Wuhan to contain the spread of the virus, the Arkansas senator sent a letter to Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar encouraging the Trump administration to consider banning travel between China and the United States and warning that the Communist regime could be covering up how dangerous the disease really was. That same day, he amplified his warnings on Twitter and in an appearance on the radio program of Fox & Friends host Brian Kilmeade.

Not every politician was distracted. Sen. Cotton paid attention. Meanwhile, idiots like Adam Schiff and Jerry Nadler battled to see who got more time in front of the camera.

It’s time to run both of these idiots out of Congress. They’re a total waste of time.

After reading this article, it’s easy to figure out why Democrats lose national elections. They lose because their true colors shine through. At yesterday afternoon’s virus press conference, President Trump called several companies’ CEOs up to speak about how their companies are helping with the fight against COVID-19. The first of those CEOs was Mike Lindell, the CEO and founder of My Pillow.

While the punks in the press mocked Lindell, others maintained their professionalism. Here’s one example of that professionalism:

Liberal ‘correspondents’ couldn’t maintain their professionalism. Here’s a few of those examples:

Thank God for Greg Gutfeld:

While the MSDNC gang (don’t take it literally) sneers down its liberal noses, Greg Gutfeld highlights the fact that Mike Lindell is a patriot helping his nation through a crisis. The MSDNC gang can’t point to anything like that in their resume. God bless all of the Mike Lindell-like heroes who put country ahead of self. Thank God for Greg Gutfeld, too, for criticizing these snobs while providing us with humor.

PS- Democrats lose elections because blue collar people notice how anti-faith Democrats are.