In The Long Run, This Would Not Have Mattered, But It Was Still Irresponsible

Yesterday The Daily Signal posted an article about the shortage of N95 protective respirator masks. Some of the media have stated that President Obama chose not to replenish the stockpile of these masks after the 2009 H1N1 virus epidemic. That is true, but there is more to the story. At this point I would like to note that the masks have a shelf life of five years–even if President Obama had replenished the stockpile, in order for the stockpile to be any good it would have had to have been replenished again in 2014 and 2019. The responsibility for the shortage of these masks rests of both the Obama and Trump administrations. However, I think that the blame actually rests on the bureaucrats running the CDC and other health agencies inside the government.

The article notes:

H1N1, also known as the swine flu, drew down about 100 million N95 protective respirator masks.

Afterward, an H1N1 task force recommended that the Obama administration replace the masks in the national stockpile, according to reporting by the Los Angeles Times and Bloomberg News.

“If the Obama administration didn’t respond to a request for additional masks, and if they did not communicate that need to the incoming [Trump] administration, that would certainly make the present situation more difficult,” Amy Anderson, a registered nurse and co-founder of the Global Nurse Consultants Alliance, told The Daily Signal in a phone interview.

…The Los Angeles Times reported March 20 that the U.S. government ignored warnings in 2009, making no reference to Obama’s being president at the time. 

The CDC, under the George W. Bush administration, published a “National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza” in 2005. In that case, the government heeded the agency’s advice to stockpile medical supplies. 

…The International Safety Equipment Association and the federal H1N1 task force recommended replacing the N95 masks after the response to the swine flu drew down 100 million masks from the federal stockpile, the paper reported.

However, association President Charles Johnson told the Times: “Our association is unaware of any major effort to restore the stockpile to cover that drawdown.”

The problem with a medical emergency is that you generally don’t see it coming. Blaming any administration for current supply problems is not helpful. Finding a solution to those problems is helpful. It would be nice if the mainstream media would attempt to unite us rather than divide us. The reporting during the Wuhan Flu epidemic has been horrendous and very unhelpful.

I Had To Check To See If This Was A Satire Site

The Washington Examiner reported yesterday that Massachusetts Representative Ayanna Pressley, a member of the ‘squad’ that includes Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York, Representative Ilhan Omar of Minnesota, and Representative Rashida Tlaib of Michigan, has stated that now is the time to commute the sentences of some federal prisoners who are vulnerable to the coronavirus outbreak. Well, wait a minute. Prison might be one of the safest places right now if access to the prison is controlled. The virus does not come from nowhere–someone has to come in contact with someone who has it or is in the process of coming down with it. It cannot simply walk into a prison without being carried by a person. If prisons are kept secure, there is no reason for anyone to be in danger of contracting the virus.

The article quotes her statement:

“This pandemic, COVID-19, has certainly highlighted and exasperated every socio, ratio, and political fault line in our country. And I’m just advocating to make sure that when we are talking about those that are most vulnerable, our low-income residents and citizens, those experiencing homelessness, our seniors, that we are also including the incarcerated men and women, who are certainly amongst one of the most vulnerable populations. And given the crowding and overpopulating in our prisons for a confluence of other reasons … are an ecosystem in a petri dish for the spreading of this pandemic, which is why I partnered with my colleagues, Reps. [Nydia] Velasquez, [Alexandria] Ocasio-Cortez, and [Rashida] Tlaib, to lobby the Bureau of Prisons to use their full power and to communicate guidance for how we will contain and mitigate this epidemic behind the wall,” she said.

…“Specifically, do they have access to testing? Secondly, has anyone already tested positive, and what are the quarantine measures? Again, given the overpopulating, and the fact that many of these facilities are already subpar, and that incarcerated men and women do not have access to soap, to alcohol-based hand sanitizers, and to regular showers: You know, what is the guidance both for those that are incarcerated and for staff?” said Pressley, who also mentioned exacting “clemency” to take care of the “most vulnerable” inmates.

Why are Democrats so anxious to put criminals back on the streets? There probably are situations where clemency might be a good idea, but the idea of letting a large number of criminals out could potentially put more Americans in danger due to criminal activity. Oddly enough, it might also put the former prisoners at higher risk for the coronavirus.

You Might Not Have Read This In The Mainstream Media

Yesterday The Western Journal posted some comments by Dr. Marc Siegel, a professor of medicine at New York University, a medical correspondent for Fox News, and the author of “False Alarm: The Truth About the Epidemic of Fear.”

The article reports Dr. Siegel’s comments:

“I’ve been handling these emerging contagions for about 20 years now, and I have to tell you, I’ve never seen one handled better,” Dr. Marc Siegel said regarding the actions of President Donald Trump since the coronavirus first emerged as a concern in January.

…“The task force are really top players,” said Siegel, noting the inclusion of Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Fauci is “one of the top infectious disease experts in the country,” he noted.

“They’ve been doing exactly what they’re supposed to be doing,” he said, listing actions Trump has called for such as “restricting travel, isolating patients who are sick and, trying to cut down on contact. It’s a very hard thing to do when people are pouring in from all over the world.”

CDC Director Dr. Robert Redfield, a virologist, and Dr. Nancy Messonnier, an expert in vaccines who has been sounding the alarm about the virus, are also important members, he said, though he believes the “doom and gloom comment” about the inevitable spread of the virus was uncalled for.

Siegel said that the coronavirus is different from diseases such as SARS or the flu.

“SARS had about a ten percent mortality [rate], but it only affected about 8,000 people. Swine flu had a very, very low mortality for flu, but flu itself really only causes about a point-four percent death rate, and [coronavirus] is about one-point-four percent. So this is killing more than flu, but I want to make a couple of points that will reassure people,” he said.

“One, at the beginning of an emerging contagion, it always appears more deadly than it actually is. The 1918 flu is an exception, but normally as time goes on, it’s less deadly, and part of that is because you see more immunity appearing, and you also find a lot of milder cases — or even cases where people don’t get sick at all. You find that as you start to test more people,” he said.

He also noted that people who were infected but never got sick do not show up in statistics, making the virus seem more deadly than it is.

The bottom line here is that the coronavirus is serious, but it is not the 1918 flu. Wash your hands, and use common sense. Winter is ending, and hopefully the flu season will end with it!

A Little Perspective Please

As the coronavirus spreads, we need to put the threat into perspective. This is a serious virus, and people have died after contracting it, but how does this compare with the basic American flu season?

CNS News reports:

As explained by Johns Hopkins Medicine, COVID-19 is “caused by one virus, the novel 2019 coronavirus, now called severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2, or SARS-CoV-2.” The flu is “caused by any of several different types and strains of influenza viruses.”

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), there were approximately 45 million cases of the flu in the United States during the 2017-2018 influenza season. Among those cases, 810,000 people had to be hospitalized.

During that season, 61,000 people died from the flu.

…As of Feb. 25, the World Health Organization (WHO) said there were 80,239 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in 34 countries. 

The WHO also reported that there have been 2,700 deaths from COVID-19.

As of Feb. 25, there were 54 COVID-19 cases in the United States but no deaths reported.

The coronavirus is a serious health concern. However, I am tired of watching news anchors with their hair on fire claiming we are all going to die and that it’s President Trump’s fault. These are the same people who criticized President Trump when he limited travel to America from China in January. That alone has probably prevented many cases of the virus in America.

Meanwhile, wash you hands. Stay away from sneezing and coughing people. Get enough sleep, and take your vitamins. Hopefully the coronavirus will be similar to the flu and will be seasonal.