Moon of Alabama Brecht quote
February 29, 2020

Coronavirus - Its Time To Press Your Government To React Faster

The New York Times abuses the coronavirus pandemic to push more of its anti-China propaganda:

The New York Times @nytimes - 10:40 UTC · Feb 28, 2020

The Chinese government silenced whistle-blowers, withheld information and played down the threat of the new coronavirus. Now the ruling Communist Party is trying to rehabilitate its image by rebranding itself as the leader in the fight against the virus.

China Spins Coronavirus Crisis, Hailing Itself as a Global Leader
The propaganda push suggests the Chinese government might be worried about the lasting damage of the outbreak.

When a cluster of pneumonia cases of unknown origin appeared in Wuhan the first reaction was of course confusion and not an immediate large scale response. Yes, China could have been a bit faster and some local administrators made mistakes, but who please, if not the Chinese government, has since led the global fight against the novel coronavirus?


The report of the WHO mission to China is lauding it for good reasons:

China’s bold approach to contain the rapid spread of this new respiratory pathogen has changed the course of a rapidly escalating and deadly epidemic. A particularly compelling statistic is that on the first day of the advance team’s work there were 2478 newly confirmed cases of COVID-19 reported in China. Two weeks later, on the final day of this Mission, China reported 409 newly confirmed cases. This decline in COVID-19 cases across China is real.

It is the U.S. which is lagging in the fight as it still can not even test people who need to be tested:

The federal agency shunned the World Health Organization test guidelines used by other countries and set out to create a more complicated test of its own that could identify a range of similar viruses. But when it was sent to labs across the country in the first week of February, it didn’t work as expected. The CDC test correctly identified COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus. But in all but a handful of state labs, it falsely flagged the presence of the other viruses in harmless samples.

The CDC is still acting irresponsibly:

Some American Cities May Need to Wait Weeks For a Virus ‘Test That Works’

Across the U.S., fewer than 2,000 people had been been checked for the virus by Thursday -- a bare fraction of those in other large countries. City and state officials are frustrated by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s slowness to distribute accurate tests that could identify spreaders of the coronavirus.

That the CDC botched its response is probably not astonishing when its highest boss calls the obvious danger a 'hoax':

President Donald Trump on Friday night tried to cast the global outbreak of the coronavirus as a liberal conspiracy intended to undermine his first term, lumping it alongside impeachment and the Mueller investigation.

He blamed the press for acting hysterically about the virus, which has now spread to China, Japan, South Korea, Iran, Italy and the U.S, and he downplayed its dangers, saying against expert opinion it was on par with the flu.

“The Democrats are politicizing the coronavirus. They're politicizing it,” he said. “They don't have any clue. They can't even count their votes in Iowa. No, they can't. They can't count their votes. One of my people came up to me and said, ‘Mr. President, they tried to beat you on Russia, Russia, Russia.’ That did not work out too well. They could not do it. They tried the impeachment hoax.”

Then Trump called the coronavirus “their new hoax.”

It is not a hoax for the government workers who cared for the COVID-19 cases the U.S. evacuated from Japan but were left unprotected and had received no training. They should all be in quarantine but were seemingly allowed to leave. It is not a hoax for the guy in Brooklyn who just came back from Japan, developed a high fever and can not get a test. It is not a hoax for the man in Miami who came from China, was tested and will now have to pay $3,270 for it. It will not be a hoax for many million U.S. citizens.

The U.S. is botching its response to the outbreak just like Japan has botched it. South Korea shows how it should be done.

Raphael Rashid @koryodynasty - 14:35 UTC · Feb 28, 2020

South Korea has gone through over 10,000 COVID-19 tests today. People who have any slightest of symptoms (or not) can even get themselves tested at these testing drive-thru stations. The whole process takes 10 mins.


I'm in awe.
As @jeeabbeylee points out, these COVID-19 tests are FREE. Anyone can get tested.
And with emergency localised messages being beamed to (almost) every phone in the country (you cannot switch these alerts off), people know exactly whether they've been in the path of the virus or not. It's really incredible.
Might I also point out that not only is COVID-19 testing in S. Korea free, it's open to all, including foreign residents, INCL. undocumented immigrants.
Medical centres are exempt from obligation to notify immigration office of visa status of patients.
Oh also, while COVID-19 tests in S. Korea are free, if the medical team determines the test to not be necessary but someone insists on wanting to be tested, they'll have to fork out 160,000 won ($132).

The way the U.S. health system is structured will make it difficult to avoid an wider epidemic. It will hit workers especially hard:

The CDC released very clear instructions to help prevent the spread of respiratory diseases, including staying home when you are sick. Not everyone has that option.

Overall, just under three-quarters (73%) of private sector workers in the United States have the ability to earn paid sick time at work. And, as shown in the figure below, access to paid sick days is vastly unequal. The highest wage workers are more than three times as likely to have access to paid sick leave as the lowest paid workers. Whereas 93% of the highest wage workers had access to paid sick days, only 30% of the lowest paid workers were able to earn sick days.
The second recommendation from the CDC is to contact your healthcare provider.

We know in that the United States, millions of people delay getting medical treatment because of the costs. The latest Census numbers tell us that over 27 million people in this country are uninsured, up nearly two million over the previous year. These trends are moving in the wrong direction, notably because of losses in Medicaid coverage.
The CDC recommendations all seem well and good but how does someone with no paid sick days or insurance cope?

There are also the undocumented immigrants who will fear that health personal may inform the immigration authorities.

National Nurses United warns that U.S. hospitals and hospital staff are unprepared for handling an epidemic:

The single COVID-19 patient admitted to the [UC Davis Medical Center] on Feb. 19 has now led to the self-quarantine at home of at least 36 RNs and 88 other health care workers.

These 124 nurses and health care workers, who are needed now more than ever, have instead been sidelined. Lack of preparedness will create an unsustainable national health care staffing crisis.
National Nurses United is conducting a survey of registered nurses across the country on hospital preparedness and will be releasing those results next week.

Preliminary results from more than 1,000 nurses in California are worrisome:

  • Only 27 percent report that there is a plan in place to isolate a patient with a possible novel coronavirus infection. 47 percent report they don’t know if there is a plan.
  • Only 73 percent report that they have access to N95 respirators on their units; 47 percent report access to powered air purifying respirators (PAPRs) on their units.
  • Only 27 percent report that their employer has sufficient personal protective equipment (PPE) stock on hand to protect staff if there is a rapid surge in patients with possible coronavirus infections; 44 percent don’t know.

Most of the issues above can be fixed if the government and Congress start to take the Covid-19 seriously. I have yet to see any sign that this is the case.

Tests must be freely available for anyone with even slight symptoms. Those who test positive must be isolated. There must be teams to trace and alarm all their contacts. All costs for COVID-19 cases, including money to pay people during for quarantine, must be paid by the government.  Services must be set up for deliveries to people who quarantine themselves at home. Each new cluster must receive an immediate response on a large scale. Health staff needs to get extra pay.

The above will require new legislation. It should be discussed today, not tomorrow. 

China has shown how a response can be done effectively. South Korea is following that path and will likely be equally successful.

There are also the economic consequences which only slowly start to come into view. Economist Nouriel Roubini predicts that the pandemic will cause a very strong global recession:

I expect global equities to tank by 30 to 40 percent this year.

The recession will also require massive government stimulus and work programs as most central banks already have extremely low interest rates and no room left to act.

To panic over the above facts is not useful at all. But people should press their governments and legislators to at least start the fight against the epidemic and its predictable consequences.

Previous Moon of Alabama posts on the issue:

Posted by b on February 29, 2020 at 19:21 UTC | Permalink

« previous page

Must read!

Excellent and very thorough about all aspects of the CV-19 virus...

Posted by: V | Mar 1 2020 6:14 utc | 101

=/ This project is called the Pandemic Ventilator, because it is meant to be used as a ventilator of last resort during a possible avian (bird) flu pandemic. /=

The Pandemic Ventilator

Posted by: blues | Mar 1 2020 7:11 utc | 102

Investors flee from controversial pandemic bonds with coronavirus set to trigger payout

Pandemic bonds sound like a curious financial concept — but they were brought in by the World Bank in 2017 to help developing economies. Against the odds, the coronavirus outbreak may see investors lose money on them.

The $$$ amounts are peanuts but it looks like someone was looking ahead to make money.

Posted by: Tom_LX | Mar 1 2020 7:35 utc | 103

Re: blues | Mar 1 2020 7:11 utc | 112

The 'Pandemic Ventilator' is rather unlikely to save any lives. The whole set of procedures for actually using one appears to be incredibly detailed, and unbelievably complicated and hazardous.

So maybe don't run down to the hardware store just yet.

Posted by: blues | Mar 1 2020 7:44 utc | 104

America couldn't cope with a Covid 19 outbreak. After decades of predatory capitalism by its psychopathic elites it is (to borrow Trump's words) 'a shithole country' with aging, creaking infrastructure, inadequate healthcare, a poorly educated population and 'regulatory' agencies that are owned lock, stock and barrel by the people they are supposed to be regulating. The Boeing scandal, for example, is a metaphor for modern America...all shiny and gleamy on the surface but useless, non-functioning and rotten to the core inside. The USA, quite simply, needs to get rid of its psychotic ruling class if it is to survive...

Posted by: Richard | Mar 1 2020 8:25 utc | 105

Richard | Mar 1 2020 8:25 utc | 116

Of course, you're correct; but so are plenty of others, and nothing changes. Since the Vietnam war, nothing has changed; and nothing in the forseeable future will change; except possibly fewer people populating this blue orb...
Your writing at your blog is a wee bit too sophomoric for my taste...
...but do carry on...

Posted by: V | Mar 1 2020 8:54 utc | 106

re Zee | Mar 1 2020 5:58 utc | 106
And yet I heard completely different stories from friends & acquaintances of 30 years and more ago (russian & Ukrainian in the main) who had been captured by the Germans, then repatriated to the soviet union. I have always believed the huge variations of the outcomes was down to the way the media typifies anything bad which happens being down to the bossfella, that is back then the alleged Berlin rapes (which an old colleague (Carla RIP) who was 14 and living in Berlin when the Soviets entered and told me the most untoward thing she saw that happened during that week was when she and all her early adolescent friends were rounded up & given a panzerfaust each to 'defend the reich'. Carla would get really angry just talking about it as her dad had been rounded up in the 30's as a 'commie unionist' and never heard from again.
Her and her mates, all good working class Berliners who had the sense, cynicism & class education to never fall for nazi tosh, saluted, heiled hitler than as soon as they got shot of the idiot nazis, (her words), tossed the tank killers away.

Back then the western media would 'blame Stalin' every day just as it blames Putin now, but the truth was far more prosaic - any rapes, shooting of returning POW's etc was a low level decision made by an awful human being, most of the Soviet soldiers (including the NKVD who my father told me were excellent chaps to drink with even if he had no Russian & they had no english, as he discovered on convoy protection to Murmansk) had sufficient empathy to see their compatriots' point of view, but some of whom were the typical arsehole who sees the little bit of power delegated to them as a way to 'get even' with the world for some slight the moron believed he/she had suffered way back whenever.

Western media beat up the times an arsehole had done wrong then ignore the more frequent times a human behaved decently. No surprise that is the way we 99% have always been indoctrinated into fearing & loathing whoever the 1% tells us to.

Posted by: A User | Mar 1 2020 8:59 utc | 107

re psychedelicatessen | Mar 1 2020 7:59 utc | 115
If you had written " I 'd rather take my chances with an immune system well developed through public transportation for many years, than trust any zionist injection." your post would have come across as a little gauche but understandable given the naked greed & selfishness on display by israeli cocksuckers who apparently see no issue with confiscating, trading in the land owned by Palestinians for millennia. When you extend that out to all Jews, including the decent human beings who have suffered all sort of community and familial slights from those closest to them because they refuse to go along with ugly, unjustifiable greed, you reveal yourself to be a human just as, if not more, fucked up as those you anonymously denigrate.

Posted by: A User | Mar 1 2020 9:14 utc | 108

As some other commenters have remarked, the circuses of the US require mass assemblies. The advertising industry depends upon using these circuses as a primary vector.

So to prohibit large assemblies would be as unthinkable to the US economy as seriously telling workers who feel sick to stay home since the system is deliberately designed to make that financially impossible for most workers. (Though no doubt "sick workers" will be scapegoated for spreading the virus, to misdirect blame from the system that forces them to come to work sick.)

(I should probably add that I myself don't endorse ad hoc prohibitions, forcible quarantines, martial law or similar state measures. But such things would be typical of the mass society as such, so it's not clear on what basis run-of-the-mill modern statists would oppose any of that.)

Posted by: Russ | Mar 1 2020 9:32 utc | 109

SharonM says:

We can look back on it and see how quickly barflies are spooked into needing Big Brother to make them feel safe. Certainly martial law would be well received by many here

yeah, we remember the exercise in Boston, don't we?

...or maybe it's the geriatric nature of the commentariat...

Forever never seems that long until you're grown


as somewhat of an aside, one of my daughters lives and works in Berlin for a fairly prominent international outfit. she says folks there are taking the whole affair in stride, and that even in her workplace no warnings or specific instructions have been issued. a few evenings ago she went to a packed venue to see Dave Chappelle...

and says she never laughed so hard in her life!

Posted by: john | Mar 1 2020 11:47 utc | 110

Russ "As some other commenters have remarked, the circuses of the US require mass assemblies. The advertising industry depends upon using these circuses as a primary vector.

So to prohibit large assemblies would be as unthinkable to the US economy as seriously telling workers who feel sick to stay home since the system is deliberately designed to make that financially impossible for most workers."

You nail something here, but believing we should not cancel such events seems the wrong answer to me.
Isn't the capitalist system selling insurances to all its sheeps? (and states making some of these insurances mandatory)
Why shouldn't they pay once in a while?

Posted by: Mina | Mar 1 2020 12:15 utc | 111

A question for scientists here.
Is it useful to take natural anti-virals as a preventive measure?
I mean, if someone would eat massive amount of garlic, onion and other more concentrated health products, would it make it harder for the virus to get in and colonize?

Posted by: Mina | Mar 1 2020 12:16 utc | 112

Posted by: vk | Mar 1 2020 1:25 utc | 66

That is curiously common for other NHS in Europe for the first steps against this epidemic...
It seems that some have thought this could be a good way to pay the Brexit killing the elders...
Johnson can use the military he has around the world fighting along jihadists foreign governments where they have lost nothing to fight the Coronavirus outbreak, without calling the retirees of the health system who are enjoying a way well deserved rest time...Many health workers do not even reach retirement...many die in the surrounding years becuase of stress and exhaustion and illnesses caused by stress like strokes and cancers...

The revolution of health workers is the one pendant...just society relies on their good heart and proved vocation...but you can not straight people as chewing gum as it is being done...There is a limit to human strenght....

Posted by: H.Schmatz | Mar 1 2020 12:24 utc | 113

Mina | Mar 1 2020 12:16 utc | 113

Everything I've read would indicate a resounding YES!
I'm already in the program, so to speak...

Posted by: V | Mar 1 2020 12:45 utc | 114


Assuming you're being facetious. So, when you've lived through four years of conflagration, then another five years of uncertainty, then struggled to learn a new language while working a low-paying job with a wife and baby, you can regale me with how charming it all was.


It's "variation of outcomes" which inspires fear in people. When people started getting blown up buying tomatoes at the local market in Baghdad in 2004, Iraqis started waxing nostalgic for Hussein - at least when he was around, just buying groceries was not potentially deadly.

Posted by: Zee | Mar 1 2020 12:48 utc | 115

“Its the oil stupid” - Comandante March, 2020

Remember USA is now #1 exporter of oil. Look what happened to oil consumption when China shut down. Its a glut now. Imagine if USA starts quarantining cities/states and shuts down. Most oil countries will be devastated by economically including now US. I believe Trump and US elites are weighing the pros and cons of that scenario vs letting everyone get the virus(in a controlled manner)

The elites seem to be opting for the latter option in hopes the economy will not be completely obliterated.

“its the oil stupid”

Posted by: Comandante | Mar 1 2020 12:51 utc | 116

re the hollow core of the u.s.
it's not even that bright and shiny anymore, that decaying infrastructure is more and more evident. it looks bright and shiny through the magic of tv, yes.

Posted by: pretzelattack | Mar 1 2020 13:08 utc | 117

@111 John

"yeah, we remember the exercise in Boston, don't we?"

That's an excellent reminder, John. I hope the barflies start remembering it as well:)

Posted by: SharonM | Mar 1 2020 13:28 utc | 118

Nothing will push the USA closer to 'socialized medicine' than an actual epidemic outbreak of 'flu' that leaves millions wheezing in the streets, and thousands dying alone in their homes. "Healthcare" is issue #1 for 'Americans' who are caught in an egregious for-profit system that wants to charge a couple in their early 60s $30,000/year for INSURANCE.

If projections for this spread of infection come true, Trump will be the first one-term President since George HW Bush.

Posted by: gottlieb | Mar 1 2020 14:20 utc | 119

Interesting question raised In "COVID-19 Coronavirus: A Fake Pandemic? Who’s Behind It? Global Economic, Social and Geopolitical Destabilization" Is less who, but why?

Additionally > "Media Whipping Covid19 Panic to Unprecedented Heights Is this just mass hysteria, or is a major play in the pipeline?"

This is happening against a groundnorm of impending nuclear war in Europe and Syria (remember?)

Why? is reasonably obvious...several realistic purposes are served. QED

Posted by: Walter | Mar 1 2020 14:38 utc | 120

Swiss mag. Illustré (link in F - see for the pix.)

summary main points re. China

6 Feb. The WHO Covid-19 crisis cell, in SHOC (strategic health operations center) 30 experts, is presided by Tedros G. A world emergency had already been declared. The tension, stress in the room is palpable. A large delegation of Chinese officials are present (brought by perm. rep. at the UN.) They were f*** furious, said they were on top of the situation, and that it was the US who was trying to do them ‘down’. Discussed: the cruise ships, and the death of Li Wenliang (died after giving first alarm on 8 Dec.) Very tense. Tedros G. apparently manages to calm all down and prevent some explosions.

A visit by Tedros G. with 15 experts to Beijing seems to help. Tedros meets Xi, praises China for its response. (See also for ex. the vid I posted previously by Dr. B. Aylward, who was on that visit, and is known for his contrib. to the Ebola crisis) It is finally decided that China will do all it can to prevent the spread with help from the WHO if desired.

comment: China is a major (perhaps biggest..can’t look it up right now) contributor to the WHO. Taiwan, along with Palestine, the Holy See, has only ‘observer’ status.

Aylward link again (worth it for getting an overall pic)

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 1 2020 14:41 utc | 121

If Trump's defeat is now assured, Hillary Clinton will do all she can to get the Dem nomination.

Posted by: lysias | Mar 1 2020 15:27 utc | 122

From CH. The general advice to the public does not include wearing any kind of mask. Such measures are considered to provide a false sense of security, as fakey stuff to be persona grata behaving 'good' .. Got my mask, got my money, got my ..

Covid-19 virus measures about .12 (point one two, diameter, it is pretty round) microns while d. of an average human hair is 15 microns.

Every mask I have seen ppl wearing here have mini perforations in the material, gaps around the nose, face, etc. visible to my human eye. Which means they are useless.

Pressing Gvmts is moot in CH! Some contrasted newsies:

The MAD nighclub in Lausanne has separated, creating two nightclubs, to obey the under 1k congregation rule. How will the authorities react?

Chur (Coire) has banned all meets, congregations of over 50 ppl. With an exception … for funerals!

I had planned a visit to an antiques-old stuff fair, and went. Plenty of ppl but not one wonky chair, ancient plant holder, or handsome stool was to be seen. Self-cancellation.

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 1 2020 15:30 utc | 123

>Posted by: Yonatan | Feb 29 2020 22:42 utc | 45

Hehe. It is a perfect example of how useless CDC is. That poster probably cost a million dollars and took five years to develop after countless meetings, memos, a conference, approvals by a dozen agencies, a "white paper", then a press conference to tell us how great they are. And lots of contracts and consultants for every step of the process.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Mar 1 2020 15:33 utc | 124

Gottlieb @121
If the projections are true America will be stuck with trump as a dictator for the foreseeable future! No election due to martial law. No democracy and no working class.
My message to America from the rest of the world is -
Don’t piss down my back and tell me it’s raining.

Posted by: Mark2 | Mar 1 2020 15:38 utc | 125

Noirette @125: Covid-19 virus measures about .12 ...

The virus spreads via droplets that are much larger.

It's the droplets that have to be blocked.


Posted by: Jackrabbit | Mar 1 2020 15:39 utc | 126

CBC radio reports that Canadian hospitals are already over 100% capacity. So good luck to fellow workers in Canada. The same report said US hospitals are only at 75%; they will probably be happy to rent a few beds to wealthy Canadians. Nothing is more important to a hospital administrator than keeping the census up, if they want to keep their bonus...

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Mar 1 2020 15:40 utc | 127

Re: Article linked by blues @99 "Why Coronavirus Conspiracy Theories Are a Serious Problem"

"...during the Black Death in Europe, Jews were scapegoated as responsible for the pandemic. These conspiracy theories led to violent attacks and massacres of Jewish communities all over Europe."

And then:

"One conspiracy theory proposes that the coronavirus is actually a bio-weapon engineered by the CIA as a way to wage war on China."

Firstly, the CIA outsources the development of biological weapons as they employ few STEM majors. More importantly, is it really a problem if there are "violent attacks and massacres" of CIA personnel all over the world? Will it really harm anyone if these "conspiracy theories" cause people to distrust the CIA and their "assets"? Even if the "conspiracy theory" that the weird coronavirus is a biological weapon attack on China by the CIA in order to try to avoid losing the trade war that America started happens to be false (it isn't) then there still isn't any harmful reason not to promote that "conspiracy theory."

Anyone writing an entire article designed to equate bigoted attacks on Jews with promoting distrust of the CIA should themselves be distrusted.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 1 2020 15:41 utc | 128

Peter Koenig essay "China is Confronting the COVID-19 Epidemic. Was It Man-Made? An Act of of Bio-warfare?" is a thoughtful and sober, I think, examination...with certain observations which seem realistic... He takes a broad view.

Evidently the "agent Sam" with the mayonnaise jar that old Wally postulated may have actually been in Wuhan last October, about 2 weeks before the fevers started...waaalllwhaddyaknow?

And yeah, evidently we've being conditioned to avoid each other, and crowds, and beg to get injections...and Yes, Johns Hopkins modeled the CV at exactly the same time it began...

Suck, any hick can see through this con...

And yes, they can rig the PPL (phoneyphuckin'lection) 'specially it the wrong guy might win...

One glove, many fingers

Posted by: Walter | Mar 1 2020 16:17 utc | 129

Jack R. 127, true enough, but that assumes that the masks can stop ‘droplets’ (many don’t or only partially or just absorb them on the surface, what happens next is moot..) which are the ‘only vehicle’ etc. which is patently nonsense. Surfaces are actually a big deal, and airborne is very complicated.

Ppl like to feel they are doing the right thing, protecting themselves and loved ones, etc. so they adopt the mask-symbol, a pol. correct visible sign of ‘caring’ which is imho almost totally useless. But who am I...etc. Certainly not a mask expert.

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 1 2020 16:17 utc | 130

gottlieb @120:

. . . to be replaced by a Republican-disguised-as-Democrat who will do just as little to promote meaningful universal healthcare?


Posted by: corvo | Mar 1 2020 16:38 utc | 131

"Some people say" (sorry, just couldn't resist) that masks may be helpful (notice the qualifier) because they remind people to stay back, don't shake hands, don't touch one's face. My overall impression is that there is no need to panic over lack of masks.

On the other hand, I saw a video of a Chinese team training to subdue an antisocial person who is outside and not wearing a mask. The team included one person who used a butterfly net on a long pole to "capture" the miscreant by the head. So in China it is a good idea to wear a mask and avoid the butterfly net.

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Mar 1 2020 16:51 utc | 132

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Mar 1 2020 16:51 utc | 133

Or you can take this approach,

Posted by: Tom_LX | Mar 1 2020 17:11 utc | 133

@ Posted by: Noirette | Mar 1 2020 16:17 utc | 131

The COVID-19 is not airborne. It is speculated by some studies that it can be transported through aerosol in some very specific conditions but that's it.

Posted by: vk | Mar 1 2020 17:32 utc | 134

Posted by: Trailer Trash | Mar 1 2020 15:40 utc | 128

CBC radio reports that Canadian hospitals are already over 100% capacity. So good luck to fellow workers in Canada.
Because it is a flu season, old folks tend to get quite sick when they got it, so they go to hospital. With no charge of course.

The same report said US hospitals are only at 75%
Well that is what you get when the option for old and sick to go to hospital is somewhat more limited. More vacancies there!

What Canada is now trying to do is to contain/delay/postpone sars2 outbreak until the flu season ends to free up resources needed to deal with it.

Posted by: hopehely | Mar 1 2020 17:41 utc | 135

On a bit lighter note there is a story (no link) at ZH about 86 men getting virus quarantined in a brothel in Spain

Posted by: psychohistorian | Mar 1 2020 17:57 utc | 136

Posted by: corvo | Mar 1 2020 16:38 utc | 132
. . . to be replaced by a Republican-disguised-as-Democrat who will do just as little to promote meaningful universal healthcare? Meh.

Has anyone asked Bernie why he hasn't implemented the universal healthcare in his home state? Does USA have some federal law prohibiting member states to do so, even if they want it?

Posted by: hopehely | Mar 1 2020 18:11 utc | 137

All costs for COVID-19 cases, including money to pay people during for quarantine, must be paid by the government.

By the government??? But... but... but... that sounds like COMMUNISM!!! America is a Capitalist nation (per our Cheeto-in-Chief)... where's the profit in free care???

Posted by: Marshalldoc | Mar 1 2020 18:44 utc | 138

SharonM@93. You never know you might actually 'see' something beyond your blinders. Thanks for the clarity on your ignorance. Every little bit helps as they say...You are welcome.

Posted by: Tannenhouser | Mar 1 2020 18:52 utc | 139


The US probably wouldn't have forced a whistleblower doctor to sign a false confession stating that he was lying.

Perhaps the orders for the early suppression of knowledge about the outbreak didn't come from Party leadership; I think that's very possible. Supposedly there's now an official inquiry going on into what happened in that first month, but I wouldn't put much trust in it being anything other than performative.

But even if the suppression and forced confession were entirely because of the decisions of local authorities, that still reflects incredibly poorly on the Chinese system as a whole. It's a system heavily biased towards censorship, suppression, and coercion. That the first, instinctual response of local leaders to a doctor warning about an outbreak was to arrest that doctor and force him to lie is quite damning.

Will the US be able to handle the pandemic (I think it's safe to call it that now) here? Almost certainly not. I acknowledge the (supposed; the fact is I don't see any reason to trust China's official numbers) efficacy of China's extreme lockdown, and acknowledge the efficiency with which they did it. That doesn't change the fact that they fucked up the first month badly, and the fuck up very much has to do with intrinsic problems with their totalitarian system.

Posted by: Benjamin | Mar 1 2020 19:06 utc | 140

What if COVID-19 is as imaginary as Mickey Mouse?

Posted by: Vonu | Mar 1 2020 21:00 utc | 141

Vonu @ 142
Good luck with that thinking ! If your wrong it could cost you your life.
It’s a USA bio- weapon.Try criminal profileing, track record, motive,and opotunity.
Those 70 biolabs US have around the world how much did they cost ? And yet Americans can’t even get access to a free coronavirus test, think about that.

Posted by: Mark2 | Mar 1 2020 21:17 utc | 142

Now we will see how well works the health care scam of USA; when the vultures ask 3.000$ for corona test, as in Florida. The best to avoid having a pandemic is not make test, so people will died of "something unknown" and in any case they are f**king losers that deserve to die

Posted by: DFC | Mar 1 2020 21:31 utc | 143

The case with the coronavirus shows the ambivalence of mainstream media
- source of excellent information because of competent journalism
- use it to feed the anti-China campaign because of bias, power aligned bias and propaganda
- build up bandwagon and hype the subject because of the nature of commercial media

Posted by: Tuyzentfloot | Mar 1 2020 22:23 utc | 144

"If Trump has any sense, he'll turn on a sixpence and push M4A as a campaign pledge."

What is M4A?

Posted by: Really?? | Mar 1 2020 22:44 utc | 145

Has anybody stopped to think about the relationship with flu. Most experts are reporting its symptoms are similar to flu although it might too early to be definitive. Flue deaths worldwide might be as high as a half million. Coronavirus nothing like that early on. Early still, but the hysteria seems misplaced. Recall the anthrax hysteria. Best bet, much ado about nothing. Serves political and financial interests and likely will be viewed that way several years hence. Of course, it will be used by some and others, mainly bureaucrats are not going to take any chances involved if they objectively rated its seriousness and it turned out otherwise.

Besides I think Americans and probably others are easy to stampede.

Posted by: Herman | Mar 2 2020 0:29 utc | 146


I agree.
There is no way west coast USA has the ability to fight this battle.
The tweet below demonstrates the failure.
Very bleak.
It could well be a godsend for my good Uncle Bernie.

Posted by: MadMax2 | Mar 2 2020 0:56 utc | 147

All the manufactured panic. All the fake concern. All the empty rationalisations and dishonest justifications. All those grasping socialists hoping, here it is, the moment is at hand at last. All those rotten collectivists with their big ideas to command everyone else what must be done (OR ELSE). All predictable. All malfeasance. All wrong.

This is a mild cold like illness. This type of thing comes around pretty much every year. The likelihood of serious outcome for an individual is predicated on their diet, whether or not that person is a smoker, their general state of health and whether their immune system is compromised in some way due to insult or taking certain medications and/or recreational drugs etc. You do not need a vaccine. You do not need to be in quarantine. You do not need to worry about this illness unless you happen to be in one of the categories which makes you susceptible to a bad outcome. Even if that, there are plenty of precautions available to limit any risk. Those steps do not include national and international governments restricting travel, forcing tests on everyone and mandating treatments (which is what is being built towards).

It is a no big deal bug- a common cold.

Now, were one to be of a conspiratorial mindset it could be suggested that perhaps the reason for all the attention is to generate major distraction, an excuse, to cover up for the looming failures of government action and systems and schemes all around the world; failures for which the seeds were planted by those very same governments' greed for power over an extended period of time.

Posted by: Siotu | Mar 2 2020 4:21 utc | 148

Thanks for providing this great exemplum of "the denial way".
What of the medics who have been repeatedly infected and died of it?

Posted by: Mina | Mar 2 2020 9:25 utc | 149

I mean, if someone would eat massive amount of garlic, onion and other more concentrated health products, would it make it harder for the virus to get in and colonize?

Posted by: Mina | Mar 1 2020 12:16 utc | 113

The spread of the virus in Korea makes it a bit doubtful. OTOH, half of the cases were in a small Protestant sect that could have some unique habits, like eating only a little garlic (a Korean with no garlic? nay). More seriously, some epidemics attack healthy people more severely, but the current one follows the more usual pattern, namely that immune system helps and it is not hijacked by the bugs. So sensible diet and exercise give you a better prognosis in the case you get infected.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 2 2020 12:01 utc | 150

We are in good hands, proper authorities are already preparing an adequate response: Federal Reserve in USA is watching the situation and it is ready to cut interest rates if needed.

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 2 2020 12:10 utc | 151

Posted by: Piotr Berman | Mar 2 2020 12:01 utc | 151
Posted by: Mina | Mar 1 2020 12:16 utc | 113

Of course lots of garlic helps as people will then keep some distance from you.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 2 2020 12:36 utc | 152

Posted by: somebody | Mar 2 2020 12:36 utc | 153

add: The more they are testing, the more infected people they are bound to find. Presumably the virus had already traveled the world when Wuhan noticed it.

Posted by: somebody | Mar 2 2020 12:39 utc | 153

Coronavirus Test Kit

You are saying that the Chinese developed an effective test kit early on while the U.S. developed a different one which is both more expensive and less effective. Why doesn't the U.S. copy the Chinese test kit, did they hide the details on how to make it, we didn't ask, or are we refusing to use it?

Posted by: Christian J Chuba | Mar 2 2020 13:02 utc | 154

Christian J Chuba @155

The test kit must be compatible with what domestic manufacturers can produce. Recall that most of America's manufacturing has been outsourced to China, and China has been a little preoccupied with their own issues for the last few weeks. While the details of the Chinese test kits are likely open to the public, the supply chains to produce them are not available to Americans at the moment.

Posted by: William Gruff | Mar 2 2020 13:45 utc | 155

vk at 135. Well that is good to know. I read some article that said Covid-19 could be airborne, was most likely so, complicated, etc.

Posted by: Noirette | Mar 2 2020 15:09 utc | 156

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Posted by: Blogger Templates | Mar 2 2020 15:11 utc | 157

Nathan Rich, a YouTuber who fights anti-Chinese propaganda, has made a video comparing the timelines of the U.S.’s reaction to Influenza A/H1N1 and China’s reaction to SARS-CoV-2: WHAT WILL HAPPEN IF THE CORONAVIRUS EPIDEMIC HITS USA? (H1N1 TIMELINE). Ignore the somewhat misleading all-caps headline, the video is actually interesting.

Posted by: S | Mar 3 2020 6:52 utc | 158

What will happen if the corona virus gets to the USA?

Nothing much.



Posted by: Siotu | Mar 4 2020 0:17 utc | 159

March 4th Seattle Wa.-

Seattle is in meltdown panic mode. State of Emergency declared, many grocery store shelves emptied of things like TP, bottled water, canned goods, bags of rice. Hand sanitizer nowhere to be found (though I personally do not use it).

It is believed, and I think accurately, that this virus has been Live in Wa state for well over a month. My company has been strongly hit by a very intense flu circulating around- intense fever, intense respiratory coughs, stomach issues, headache, malaise. The small size of our business, combined with the number of people slammed with this flu- leads me to believe that the general population has been unknowingly hit with this virus already.

With zero testing being done up to this point, how can the real # of cases be determined and accurately reported? It cannot.

On average I may get a light cold every two years for a few days. I got tagged with an illness unlike anything I can remember in more than 25 years. I got home from work, had a few beers, took a bath, did a bunch of stretching (feeling great). Next thing I recall I'm laying on my bed intermittently waking up feeling delusional with my entire head bathed in sweat. Date was 2/12/20.

I do not know how long this went on- could have been 20 minuets or 2 hours. Waking up (my head only) drenched in sweat, passing back out, repeat. At some point I realized I needed to get air and walked outside into the cool night- It felt like everything was closing in and I had a cogent thought of "oh this it what it feels like to be dying" joking to myself that they would find me outside my door on the ground dead. I was very close to passing out into the unknown.

Calmed down a bit and made my way back to bed. Woke up (thankfully) with severe chills, fever, and my lungs filled with fluid and extreme cough. I have never experienced my lungs filling up in literally hours with a cough like that going from feeling great to thinking I was dying.

For 2 days I was feverish, could not read, look at a computer screen or move around. Fever broke after 2 full days and I barely left my bed for 4 days not even venturing out of the house. On day 6 I tried to return to work thinking I'll bounce back (as usual with any illness prone to quick recovery). I got dizzy driving to work, when I walked into the office I got shaky, more dizzy and thought I was going to pass out. Back home I went- spending another 4 days bed ridden resting.

This past Sun 3/1 the news broke about deaths and confirmations of the virus hitting Kirkland Wa. I should note that on 1/28 my co-worker, whom I have close contact with at work became very ill in a very quick onset scenario. Exactly 15 days later I got hammered with the flu. Both of us went from feeling great to feeling crushed with zero symptoms of any of the usual illness warning signs that would maybe lead one to believe a cold or illness was approaching.

I strongly believe this was potentially THE virus. I am not an alarmist or prone to getting sick nor do I tend towards drama or hypochondria. Whatever the fuck it was it kicked my ass and I would not wish this type of illness on anyone. Anyone with fragility or weakened system could easily be seriously compromised.

22 days later I still have a cough and do not feel 100%. The notion that this virus can re-manifest after you have gotten it and recovered is disturbing. I had some crazy ass fever dreams for 2 days and really wonder wtf all this was about.

I am definitely not saying hit the panic button...but whatever illness I had was no joke and I would encourage everyone to proceed with caution as my experience was nasty and unlike any flu I can recall ever.

Posted by: CitizenX | Mar 4 2020 23:59 utc | 160

snake #43 posted this at the afghanistan/taliban thread but it is relevant here

Here an interview asking if the coronavirus in China is a hidden coup.

Are the Wuhan, China, Covid-19 story, Bernie to Biden switch, and Afghanistan treaty somehow related?

Your post is better heard at this thread for the coronavirus bar to consider.

The link is to a Russian web or TV interview reposted at VT. The interview is in Russian translated as english subtitles.

There are a number of reasons it may be worth considering as it touches on a deep analysis of internal Chinese political meanders and it looks like good comic relief.

My critique:

Where to start. Who is this guy, what are his credentials to make these allegations against China? Why did the translation stop for five minutes in the heart of his explanation in the final segment.

I found his dialogue regarding the Chinese political manoeuvrings possible but he really did not substantiate them well.

His comparison between Russian actors and the Democrat party of the USA seemed whacky. But then I would never trust Medvedev.

The set was ridiculous. He is sitting on a chair in front of draped howitzer ammo boxes at a table facing reversed with a totally retro phone from the 1960’s sitting on it. It seemed so gauche and over-russia-ed. Hackneyed is the word.

And finally it comes from Veterans Today brought to you by Gordon Duff BS artist extraordinaire.
I would call it invention unless corroborated with tangible proof.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 5 2020 10:24 utc | 161

ben #82

just to believe there's justice in the universe.

I reckon there is justice in the universe but unfortunately it surfs about on gravity waves which are infrequent and sometimes really weak. Don't wait up for it. Stay well and remain calm.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 5 2020 10:47 utc | 162

re uncle Tungsten @ 152 thanks..
consider this ..

According to article at global research the virus did not originate in China and, according to reports in Japanese and other media, may have originated at the USA. .. if so, those that govern have kept the Americans they govern in the dark about the virus. ?
this is a claim that needs to be confirmed IMO.

still the question is stated at 43.. are the Wuhan quarantine, the HK issue, Afghanistan and the recent apparent
upset in the Democrat (Sanders vs Biden) Nomination related.

How does infection detection method of WHO vs infection detection method of CDC (USA will not allow WHO methods of virus detection be used) fit into this picture ..I feel something global is happening and the Afghan situation is part of it

According to a video Nikolay Vavilov, former Russian Expert on China, & specialist on Chinese domestic policy .. is said to have reminded us.
1. Dmitry Medvelov, Former President of Russia, had close ties with Democratic Party in America. recently resigned.
2. Chinese constitutional parliament special session indefinitely delayed<=virus policy and actual virus effect.
3. Mentions Current leaders of Komsomal PM Likeqiang
4. Jan 6, NYT called the virus "mysterious Disease.
5. Jan 2, Taiwanese General was killed
6 Jan 3 head of gen staff of Iran Soleimani was killed
7. Jan 3 head of the Kurdish intelligence Metin Arsain was killed.
8. Feb 29, Taliban USA agreement.

I am interested to find out what this is all about.. thanks.

Posted by: snake | Mar 5 2020 10:49 utc | 163

CitizenX #161

That was a horror story and I trust it wont recur. Thank you for describing its impact and duration. I will be mighty cautious for a while. There are similar runs on store goods in my land as well. People get panicky. I guess supermarkets are banking the advance sales and feeling ok either way.

The next six months in the western nations will be interesting and I figure that Trump will mismanage it much worse than Bush did Katrina.

Posted by: uncle tungsten | Mar 5 2020 10:55 utc | 164

As I predicted, capitalism wouldn't suffice. South Korea is now desperately resorting to socialist policies to contain the COVID-19:

Government to ban export of face masks

Of course just printing and injecting money wouldn't solve the problem. The private sector would simply hoard it and play "siege economy", just to get out even richer after the ravage of the epidemic is gone.

This mask export ban is, in the greater scheme of things, just symbolic, since these cloth masks won't stop the virus, but it's something.


Beginning of the end? Reject the politics of fear and embrace hope and cooperation instead

But the same SCMP was trumpeting the "this is the beginning of the end for the CCP tyranny" when the COVID-19 was ravaging just China.

Now that the virus is wrecking havoc in the West, the narrative has quickly changed: it's all "hope and cooperation".


CCP's official newspapers humiliates western MSM, MoA commenters with this:

Conspiracy theories won’t hold water when evaluated with science, rationality

Do yourself a favor: don't play the dumb racist christian westerner. That's the life lesson to be learned with the COVID-19.

Posted by: vk | Mar 5 2020 11:41 utc | 165

I will assert that the numbers of confirmed cases in most Nations do not reflect the true numbers of those who have contracted this virus, in it's myriad forms manifested thus far.

There will be profound economic impacts at least in the short term. If you're in the sanitizer/face mask business good, otherwise not so much. This will paralyze Seattle's economy for at least the next month. Dining out, public transportation, public events (concerts/theatre/classes/movies etc) travel, tourism, small business's will all take a hit.

Prepare for financial, emotional, and physical duress. Regardless of where you stand on this in terms of bio-engineered, psy-op, or silly panic- people are getting sick in peculiar ways from perhaps a mutant strain of who knows what. It's kicking a lot of doors in on a global scale and there will be local impact wherever you reside.

Take care of yourself, and take care of each other.

Posted by: CitizenX | Mar 5 2020 14:45 utc | 166

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