Howdy All, a few Interesting Items for your information. Enjoy –
In this issue:
- Wuhan. The spread of the Wuhan virus in the US continued last week, and as testing was ramped up, so was the tally of infected and deceased here in the US. The most disturbing news was reporting of younger people with significant lung damage due to the virus. There is some speculation that these may be health care professionals who were getting snoutfulls of Wuhan as they treat their patients, though I haven’t been able to verify this as yet. The other bit of speculation is that the disease appears to be mostly spread by contact with infected surfaces, making some sort of wipedown and/or virus-destroying UV light a logical approach.
- The spread of the disease in Italy appears to be based on a toxic combination of political correctness, over 300,000 Chinese in the northern part of Italy, refusal to shut down air traffic between China and Italy, an aging population, and a socialized medical system that is currently maxed out to the point where they are reportedly denying respirator / ventilator care to anyone over 60. All of this was exacerbated by a PC “Hug a Chinese” so as to demonstrate that you aren’t a racist operation. And to top things off, Italy’s friends in the EU are refusing to send them sorely needed medical gear.
- As the week went by, two of the best summaries of the disease at the first of the week was in JoNova. Once again, her stuff is focused on Oz, but that is a nice perspective. An article late in the week on Medium was blocked by their censorship filters. It shows up on Zero Hedge and seems comprehensive. Keep in mind that Zero Hedge is usually viewed as a very Russian (and by extension, Putin) friendly web site, so take whatever you come across there with a grain or two of salt. Finally, Willis Eschenback had a great article in WUWT on the curve of viral infections. Figure out where we are on the curve, and you can predict where this is going.
- Consequences. Great pair of articles out of Sarah Hoyt and City Journal on the unintended consequences of the current festivities. The current festivities blow large caliber smoking holes into the ongoing leftist / liberal project.
- Sarah Hoyt posted Unintended Consequences on March 12. The piece starts off with a reminder that “scientific” and centralized forms can never work because of human nature and the sheer complexity of human society. She describes the attempt by the media to turn Wuhan into the modern coming of the Black Plague here in the US. The media is on the side of the social engineers, trying to engineer panic and ruin because it will help them put the “best people” in charge, with a stretch goal of universal health care. The problem is that they can’t keep up the panic forever, and it won’t unless body carts are making the rounds. People are now being stampeded into telecommuting and distance learning. Once employers and taxpayers figure out that both are far less expensive to do, employers and educators won’t be able to put that genie back into the bottle. 90% of workers love telecommuting. And once the workforce is telecommuting, there won’t be any need for the urban centers or mass transit (another liberal dream). People will return to the rural areas. The other obvious lesson will be the death of any move toward centralized health care. Another lesson will be that we Americans simply can no longer afford to do business with a totalitarian regime that lies all the time. Expect a move toward significant lockdown of the borders. Expect globalization, mass transit, and urbanization to all take a significant hit as preferable solutions. So will the ongoing war against single use plastic (straws, disposable plastic bags, etc). Finally, this move may very well break the education blob as parents can now monitor their kids taking online courses and get them other options than the continual propaganda. The funny part is that the media brought it all on themselves. Had they treated this like they did the Swine Flu in 2009 with O’Bama, none of this would have been possible.
- City Journal ran a piece entitled Greening Our Way to Infection on March 12. It was written mostly in response to legislation in NY that would ban single use plastic bags for shopping. While there are no documented cases of Wuhan being carried in reusable “green” shopping bags, it is only a matter of time before that vector shows up. Interesting to note that the initial three worst states, WA, CA and NY all have plastic bag bans of some sort in place. How smart can what was sold as a “smart choice” for shopping be if it is the one that is best at spreading disease?
- Timing. President Trump and his economic team are in a race against time, this one pitting the medical bureaucrats of the NIH / CDC against Trump’s economic Team of free marketers Larry Kurdlow and Stephen Moore. My guess is that they only have a couple weeks of hard economic shutdown before they damage the economy to the extent that it will take years to recover – turning what should be a V-shaped crash (like Reagan’s 1987 or Mellon’s in 1920 – 21) rather than an L-shaped one like the Great Depression or the aftermath of the 2008 crash. And Trump is actively and vigorously pushing the medical bureaucrats, most recently over the weekend getting them off the dime to pursue chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine into production and widespread use. He may think he only has a couple weeks. I tend to think he is right.
- Impeachment. Joel Pollak at Breitbart wrote a column comparing timelines of Wuhan and House democrat impeachment of President Trump. The dates are interesting at best, damning at worst. Democrats have been trying to impeach Trump since before his election in 2016. First Articles of Impeachment were introduced in the House in July 2017. They were reintroduced Jan 2019 after democrats retook the majority in the House. Following the implosion of the Mueller investigation, House democrats worked with embedded O’Bamoids in the intel community to concoct the Ukraine Affair. Heeding promises from the intel community and House Intel Committee Chair Adam Schiff, Pelosi ordered the inquiry on Sept 24. This led to the secret depositions in front of Schiff’s committee and serial leaks to the NYT to make sure the festivities kept percolating along. House Judiciary voted to approve the Articles on Dec 12 and the full House voted to impeach on Dec 18. Pelosi waited another 3 weeks to send the Articles to the Senate for trial. But the world did not stand still while all this was going on. A problem was brewing in Wuhan, China as the virus jumped from an animal species (bat or pangolin) to human. The onset of symptoms was first noticed on Dec 6. By Christmas, at least two hospitals were dealing with a new strain of what they called viral pneumonia. In late Dec, Wuhan hospitals noted an exponential increase in the number of cases that could not be linked back to the wet market. A fearless Chinese doctor, Li Wenliang sent a message to other doctors warning of a possible outbreak of a disease that resembled SARS. He was arrested, punished, forced to retract, and eventually succumbed to the disease. By the end of 2019, China notified the WHO of the new disease. Jan 1, 175,000 left Wuhan, spreading the new disease worldwide. China continued to suppress all information about the disease. China reported the first death on Jan 11. Pelosi voted to send Articles of Impeachment to the Senate on Jan 15. The first person from Wuhan arrives in the US on Jan 23, the same day China closes off Wuhan completely. It is also the same day House Managers start their opening arguments before the Senate. The WHO declares a global health emergency on Jan 30 as Wuhan continues to spread. President Trump declares a national health emergency on Jan 31. He also closes all travel between the US and China. For his efforts, he is excoriated by Biden and the media calling the decision “hysterical xenophobia …. and fear mongering.” The Senate votes to acquit Trump on Feb 5, the day the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia takes up Wuhan for the first time. It appears that January was critical to stopping the spread of Wuhan to the US and House democrats were too busy trying to remove Trump from office to notice or care.
- CDC. Once the current festivities are over, we’re going to have to have a real discussion about mission creep at the Centers for Disease Prevention and Control (CDC) that took place during the last two democrat administrations. The last crisis the CDC had to deal with was Ebola six years ago. They botched it, allowing medical personnel infect with Ebola to avoid a quarantine and interact with Americans until they showed symptoms. There were no protocols in place for treating the potentially infected. At the height of Ebola, the CDC managed to send live Ebola samples to the CDC lab. CDC officials blamed their failures on budget cuts by the Republican congress which took their budget from $6.5 to $5.9 billion. Why the cut? Mission creep, as the O’Bbama regime had the CDC working on alternative health concerns like gun violence. They’ve been doing this for a long time, as Clinton appointees used it in 1999 as a vehicle to end syphilis in 5 years, a thinly veiled social welfare proposal. Hilly promised to use the CDC to achieve what she called an “AIDS free generation” in 2011. O’Bama allowed Biden to use the CDC in 2016 for his Cancer Moonshot. The CDC is a classic example of democrats wasting resources making false promises to voters while its core competencies wither on the vine. The agency was created to fight malaria by spraying DDT. Once that became politically incorrect, democrats and their appointees turned the CDC to all manner of politically correct new missions. These included fighting syphilis by combatting racism, and fighting obesity, all of which turned the CDC into a pipeline of pork for universities. Perhaps one of the outcomes from the Wuhan virus and our approach to it is to refocus the CDC on its original and lawful mission.
- Gillum. Looks like Florida dodged a very large caliber bullet as former Tallahassee Mayor and failed democrat gubernatorial candidate Andrew Gillum was found in a Miami Beach hotel with two other men at 1 AM. First responders gave medical attention to one of the individuals for a possible drug overdose. Gillum was inebriated and there was crystal meth in the room, so drug use is suspected. Arrests were made. One of the men was a male prostitute who worked with gay customers. Gillum has been married for 11 years and has three children. Like Lucy Ricardo, he has some ‘splaining to do, both to Florida voters who supported him and to his immediate family. That should be an interesting discussion. His official statement afterwards blamed the incident on depression following his loss. No explanation why he was in a hotel room with another man who did not attend the wedding Gillum claimed to have attended. No explanation why both were overdosing on drugs.
More later –