Graded on a Curve: Still Time to Ramp Up Coronavirus Testing

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Graph courtesy of cdc.gov/coronavirus

Here we go. The number of coronavirus deaths in the United States exceeded 2000 last Saturday, doubling in just two days as hot zones erupted across the country, from California to New York to New Orleans. This is what an exponential increase feels like. Hang on, it could get steep.

More than 120,000 people have tested positive or are presumed positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, since the first U.S. case was identified on Jan. 21. The U.S. has passed both China and Italy and now leads the world in the number of active cases.

Soon, it will lead in the number of coronavirus deaths. On Sunday, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases who has become a household name during the global pandemic, told CNN that current computer models of the outbreak indicate that millions of Americans will be infected with coronavirus and 100,000 to 200,000 people will die.

That was the model’s middle-of-the-road estimate.

So far in California, there are 5733 confirmed coronavirus cases and 122 deaths. In Shasta County, there are four confirmed coronavirus cases and one death. Siskiyou County has two confirmed coronavirus cases; Butte County has five confirmed coronavirus cases and Humboldt County has 14 confirmed coronavirus cases.

As environmental scientist Steve Towers pointed out in A News Café two weeks ago, it’s now likely that there are hundreds of infected people in Shasta County, many of them unknowingly carrying and spreading the virus, because they only suffer mild symptoms from COVID-19, or they’re entirely asymptomatic.

As of this writing, only 190 people have been tested in Shasta County for coronavirus, according to Shasta County Health & Human Services, which admits on its coronavirus website that there’s a testing logjam:

“Right now, the Public Health Lab (along with many other labs across the country) is experiencing a low supply on some of the materials required to perform the COVID-19 test, which are also used to do other tests in the lab. There are enough materials to keep up with the current demand. More materials and supplies have been ordered. Private laboratories are also performing COVID-19 tests.”

Translation: Because lab supplies are limited, coronavirus testing is limited to patients who meet a fairly narrow set of criteria: All the physical symptoms of COVID-19, or contact with a person who has tested positive for COVID-19, or recent travel from a known COVID-19 hot spot.

If you don’t meet any of those criteria and your insurance covers it or you can afford to pay the bill, you can go to a private lab, which apparently is obliged to report only positive results back to SCHHS, not the total number of people who’ve been tested.

Long story short? We still don’t have any idea what the actual number of coronavirus cases is in the county, let alone the country, because the Centers for Disease Control under the Trump administration completely botched the roll-out of its in-house coronavirus test kit.

As reported in excruciating detail by ProPublica, the novel coronavirus caught Trump’s CDC completely flat-footed when it comes to testing response. In contrast, South Korea, which recorded its first infection on the same day as the United States, was able to flatten the exponential growth of the virus via an aggressive testing and quarantine program.

The result, as of right now?

South Korea, 9478 confirmed coronavirus cases, 144 deaths. United States, 124,000 confirmed coronavirus cases, 2221 deaths and rising.

As grim as that score sounds, two epidemiologists told ProPublica that it’s not too late to ramp up coronavirus testing in the United States.

“It is not too late for large-scale testing in the United States to make a significant difference, said Vanderbilt’s William Schaffner and Eric Feigl-Ding, a researcher at Harvard who is also a senior fellow at the Federation of American Scientists. ‘The U.S. doesn’t yet have a runaway epidemic like Wuhan or Italy,’ Ding said. ‘Testing will be part of the containment that will flatten the curve,’ the ongoing effort to slow the pace of infections so the health care system is not overwhelmed by a flood of patients needing intensive care.”

It’s not too late. Of course, that article was written two weeks ago, but, maybe for remote Shasta County, it’s still not yet too late to test more people for novel coronavirus, isolate those who test positive and those who’ve come in contact with them, and contain the outbreak.

Then, maybe we can go back to work.

Until then, stay calm, stay cool and most of all stay home. Unless you’re an essential employee, there’s no need to put yours or anyone else’s life at risk.

R.V. Scheide
R.V. Scheide has been a northern California journalist for more than 20 years. He appreciates your comments and story ideas. He can be emailed at RVScheide@anewscafe.com.
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82 Responses

  1. Avatar Common Sense says:

    Both you and Steve have provided some excellent information and analysis! Nice work to both of you on this most serious situation.
    This will get much worse before it gets better. The Experts ( not the orange guy) say we should hit the top of the curve come about July, the middle to be exact. So any talk about this will all be over the end of April is just that, empty talk.
    In the past scoffing at the “Experts,Scientists and those in the know” wouldn’t get you killed…..those days are over now.
    In the past all the Presidents lies could not directly be tied to American deaths…..and those days are now over!
    There may very well be Over 100k deaths here on our Soil by the time its all said and done. It will affect EVERY little town and County and State as we are seeing it spread.
    Time to check your wet weather gear for holes, hunker down and load your pipe…..we have a ways to go to be out of the woods.
    Check in with your friends and Family……look out for one another……the Virus doesn’t know politics or party….

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      I agree the coronavirus is totally apolitical. It’s like, one minute Bernie was winning the California primary and the next … COVID-19.

  2. Avatar bruce vojtecky says:

    The big problem has been the lack of testing and as testing is beginning to be done more confirmed cases are a given. Here in Arizona the number of confirmed cases jumped seven fold in a week because of testing. Rural areas are becoming the hardest hit. The Navajo Nation has shut down and are worse off as it is estimated that only a third have access to running water. The Navajo Nation has a factory that manufactures latex gloves but there has been no mention of whether that is still operating. Will part of that small business stimulus reach there? Senator Sinema is a strong advocate for Native Americans and I hope she will make sure they get help. I posted on her Facebook about it but I don’t know if that will do any good.
    Open by the end of April hardly. Governor Ducey has proclaimed no city can shut down businesses without his okay but Flagstaff and Mesa ignored the warning.
    Because of social distancing the hiking trails have been shut down but the golf courses, unbelievably, are still open.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      I believe I read a story last night that California has closed its state parks because too many people were flocking to them after stay-at-home began. I’m hoping Shasta County’s rural attributes and a sharp increase in testing will blunt the curve as they say.

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        That’s true, but no worries! Whiskeytown NRA is federal, and is following CDC guidelines (vetted by the White House), with spotty adherence to state guidelines, so only the most public areas are closed (Visitor’s Center, tent campgrounds).

        Many trails remain closed due to Carr Fire hazards, but you are free to join everyone converging on the few open trails. Hike up to Whiskeytown Falls and hang out shoulder-to-shoulder at the viewing areas! Knock yourselves out!

        • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

          Good point! although I think I just heard Lassen is closed on the radio? Maybe it already was closed?

  3. Avatar christian gardinier says:

    Besides tRump’s criminal, negligent response to the Covid-19 wave, that US intelligence knew we were going to be drowned in months ago, it’s also interesting to think about this: Program cost: Gerald R. Ford-class aircraft carrier US$37.30 billion (FY2018) Unit cost: US$12.998 billion (FY2018). Let’s see, how many PPE’s devices could we buy for the cost of one new aircraft carrier? In other words, we had a pandemic team in place to deal with a threat like Covid-19 but because Obama established it, our stable genius gutted it and stated “12, maybe 13 cases. It will be down to 0 in no time.”

    Ah, but our great leader says’ the problem is the doctors and nurses; our health care workers are steeling face masks and selling them on the black market.

    When will this nation realize we have been taken by one of the most incompetent con men in history and at what cost? Oh well, never give suckers an even break eh?

      • Avatar Doug Cook says:

        Interesting article, Mark. My guess it will be roundly ignored by most on here. Because it is much more important to blame Trump than look at actual facts. California dismantled the emergency hospitals and equipment…but hey, we can still afford a $80 billion choo choo train from Bakersfield to Merced.

        • Avatar Anita L Brady says:

          Last time I looked, and for the previous more than three years, Trump has been President. For the first two years, he had both houses of Congress. All he did was give himself, other rich folks and big corp TAX CUTS. Doug- your Orange Cockwomble needs to own this but he has so many like yourself trying to give him excuses. OWN it Doug! It’s yours.

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      “… negligent response to the Covid-19 wave, that US intelligence knew we were going to be drowned in months ago”

      Let’s go back months ago christian…what would you have had President Trump do back in mid January? What was the criminal, negligent response? The day after WHO declared the virus a global emergency, he banned travel from China. Was that a negligent response? Was it criminal and negligent that Democrat leaders criticized that move?

      Your claim that the intelligence community ‘knew we were going to be drowned in months ago’ is just your own embellishment. What is your sourcing that shows that? From what I could gather, the intelligence was about China lying about the extent of the virus and what will happen in countries without proper health care infrastructure.

      What is criminal, is the bloated slow moving bureaucracies of our country. It doesn’t matter who is president. When the CDC declared the virus a national emergency, protocols kicked in that actually slowed the ability to produce testing kits. It was the burdensome regulations that have been put in place that caused the backlog…not the president. After these regulations were lifted is when things started to move. But of course, in the last 3 years…Trump has been criticized mightily for trying to rid the government of regulations that hurt productivity. My guess in mid January id President Trump said he was going to waive all the FDA regulations concerning testing kits for the virus, the Democrats would have had a fit. hindsight is 20-20, isn’t it christian?

      • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

        He banned travel from China……he banned travel from China……he banned travel from China……he banned travel from China…..he banned travel from China……he banned….

        Trump refused to let the CDC purchase testing kits from foreign countries. He directed that American companies develop tests from scratch so that his administration could “buy American.” He blamed the hot-spots on Democrats not supporting his wall and being lax on illegal immigration, with zero evidence that illegal immigrants had anything to do with it. He called criticism of his slow action the latest Democratic hoax. He misled America by claiming repeatedly that all was well…that his Administration would soon have our caseload down to zero. He has continuously downplayed the severity of the pandemic, saying that people are overreacting and that it would all be over soon. He put his idiot son-in-law in charge—a clown who has zero qualification and thought the whole thing was a PR issue. His initial COVID-19 address to the U.S. was so abysmal that it panicked investors, and the next morning the markets crashed. To this day, he’s more focused on the trajectory of his T.V. ratings than the trajectory of the disease. I could go on.

        It’s a flat-out lie that regulations caused the delay in rolling out tests. The truth is that the initial tests rolled out didn’t work. The “just-so” story circulated by Trump apologists is based on the statement of a single university researcher who said his people are good at conducting assays, not filling out paperwork. The truth is that biomedical researchers are expert at negotiating compliance with government regulations. It’s part of the job, it’s not that difficult, and there are sound reasons for restraining academic research labs from doing whatever the hell they want.

        • Avatar Doug Cook says:

          “…Trump refused to let the CDC purchase testing kits from foreign countries.”
          That claim has been fact checked numerous times and roundly categorized as false. The claim is that WHO shipped coronavirus tests to nearly 60 countries at the end of February, but the U.S. was not among them. The countries WHO helped are ones that lack the virology lab horsepower that exists across the United States.
          “No discussions occurred between WHO and CDC about WHO providing COVID-19 tests to the United States,” said WHO spokesperson Margaret Harris. “This is consistent with experience since the United States does not ordinarily rely on WHO for reagents or diagnostic tests because of sufficient domestic capacity.” WHO said there was never any talk of WHO sending testing kits to the United States.

          It is not a lie that regulations slowed the rollout. Yes, the original tests didn’t work properly and had to be fixed. On Feb. 4, the FDA, which regulates devices as well as drugs, released a document called an Emergency Use Authorization to govern the use of the test. The emergency authorization slowed the process of tests offered by private labs. The stringently written EUA appears to have become more of a hindrance than a help. ” The FDA initially required private labs to copy the CDC’s test design and have the agency review their tests before allowing them to begin testing. It took more than three weeks and growing criticism for the FDA to update its guidelines to allow certain academic labs to start testing once they had validated their tests internally.” Yes, there is no doubt that bureaucratic regulations slowed the production of test kits. How could it not?

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            This is one of Doug’s tried-and-untrue tactics: Take something someone says and fashion it into a straw man that’s easier for him to slay.

            First of all, I didn’t mention the CDC obtaining tests from WHO. I was referring to the United States failing to seek purchase of tests from countries that had already ramped up development and production of tests, tested extensively, gone over the hump, and had extra test materials for sale—like South Korea. We didn’t start asking South Korea for tests until 6 days ago. Five days ago they said yes, of course, up to the extent that it doesn’t impact our own needs.

            And *of course* there are regulations that prevent rushing out tests, vaccines, and medicines that are both unproven and potentially harmful. Some of those regs were thrown overboard in light of the severity of the current crisis. But are those really overly burdensome regulations? Do we really want Big (and little) Pharma putting out meds with no proof of their veracity or safety? It doesn’t work that way anywhere in the Western world—and when it has happened in the past, it’s been ugly (e.g., using people from third-world countries with lax regulations as guinea pigs).

            Also, Doug’s “bureaucratic regulations” is extremely misleading. Federal agencies don’t pass regulations—Congress does, and presidents sign them into law. Bureaucratic protocols are established to carry out the will of Congress. The President, as leader of the executive branch (all of those federal agencies) has the power to alter those protocols as he sees fit.

            If Doug wants to volunteer as a COVID-19 guinea pig now that the regs have been suspended in this emergency, that’s a real thing. He should go for it. Let’s not hold our collective breath.

      • Avatar Randy says:

        I am of the opinion that Trump should first face charges of criminal negligence for pushing the demonstrable lie that AGW is a hoax and after that we can look at his deceptive, dysfunctional maneuverings in dealing with COVID19.

        “After the disease was in Washington state and the World Health Organization reported a high global risk, Trump said there were no worries of a pandemic.

        The day the stock market plummeted, Trump said the virus was very much under control in the U.S., and the stock market was looking pretty good to him.

        A few days after declaring a national emergency, Trump said he had “always known” this was a pandemic. (That’s Pants on Fire.)”

        https://www.politifact.com/article/2020/mar/20/how-donald-trump-responded-coronavirus-pandemic/

      • Avatar christian gardinier says:

        Your comments are as dangerous as all tRumps lies about Covid 19. Trying to spin the failure of a pathetic failed “president” might con a few uneducated, but not people who pay attention and watch something other than fox news. A recent report stated, “At a White House briefing Friday, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar said officials had been alerted to the initial reports of the virus by discussions that the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention had with Chinese colleagues on Jan. 3.” Intelligence was on it in December as we had people in China watching Covid 19 unfold. Intelligence was blinking red, tRump was lying and covering up. Hindsight is often 20/20. But foresight for tRump is only what he sees as a way to lie, cheat and con his continued status of power. With con men like the Don and supporters that try and spin Don’s lies, criminal activity and narcissistic behavior as something good for America, our nation is increasinly placed in clear and present danger, much in the way Germany was as Hitler rose to power. And that’s some hindsight I should think might be of use for us today.

      • Avatar Common Sense says:

        https://www.businessinsider.com/coronavirus-intelligence-warned-trump-of-pandemic-in-january-2020-3

        All he had to do was take our Intelligence Community at it’s word and Not the Chinese. It wasn’t rocket science!

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Christian, speaking of U.S. Navy aircraft carriers, the USS Teddy Roosevelt and the USS Ronald Reagan are both experiencing coronavirus outbreaks. There’s 5000 sailors on those things. Worse than a cruise ship.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      The Pro Publica piece on America’s coronavirus testing snafu ultimately puts the finger on good old American exceptionalism: The CDC wanted to make its own coronavirus test because that’s what the CDC always does. South Korean heath officials, thanks to there previous experience with SARS, were prepared to fast track new test kits almost as soon as the virus landed. There U.S. could have easily made the same preparations, but successive Republicans and Democratic administrations have failed to do so.

      As for Trump, there couldn’t be a worse person to be leading us right now, a science-denying malignant narcissist without a trace of empathy. I fully expect him to take credit for “highest plague score ever.”

      • Avatar Doug Cook says:

        I agree whole heartedly with your first paragraph and what Pro Publica wrote. That has been my point for days now, it wouldn’t have mattered who was president. It is the FDA and CDC that bogged down what should have been an immediate response.

        As far as your second paragraph, I submit that Trump is probably the best president for this crisis. Yes, his messaging is not good…but his actions have been on target, and that is what matters… Gallup gives him a 60% approval rating in handling the crisis. He was criticized in appointing Pence as the point man, but every indication is that Pence is doing an admirable job. He has put together a quality team of experts and the president is listening to them. In its reporting on the pandemic, as with most issues, the press along with Democrat politicians and contributors to ANC have gone overboard criticizing the President.

        • Avatar The old pretender says:

          “..admirable job”. Your blind adherence to this president and the neoliberal capitalists taking your tax money and giving it to corporations, some of which are registered overseas, creates immense suspicion of your sense of reason and logic. You’ve said some bizarre babble before, but thinking this pandemic has been handled well negates the validity of any damn thing you spout.

  4. Avatar Annelise says:

    RV, are the criteria you list above really the reasons people can be tested for COVID-19 in Shasta County? It is my understanding that even with all the symptoms of the disease and recent travel patients are still frequently not tested. And whether you meet criteria to be tested seems to depends on from what facility you are receiving your care. Would also love to know the source of your image. Thanks!

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      My oldest daughter is a nurse-practitioner in the Roseville hospital where NorCal’s first COVID-19 death occurred. She’s had respiratory infection symptoms for several weeks. They sent her home for a few days, but called her back in because they needed her. She has not yet been tested. Because she’s not sure, outside of work she and her family are on 100% quarantine, and have been for weeks.

      • Avatar Annelise says:

        Public Health’s Shastaready.org site addresses testing criteria without actually addressing it, saying under the tab titled “testing criteria” essentially we will test you if you meet our criteria (which they don’t spell out.) They also say there that they follow the guidelines of the CDC which include this guideline: “CDC has guidance for who should be tested, but decisions about testing are at the discretion of state and local health departments and/or individual clinicians.” In other words Shasta County public health will decide if they will test you and they aren’t telling us how they are deciding.

        • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

          My daughter doesn’t have a fever, so they haven’t tested her. She’s a front-line hospital health-care provider with symptoms of respiratory infection—nothing screams louder that there aren’t enough tests to go around. Trump’s ongoing claims that we now have enough tests are a bald-faced lie.

          Of course, we keep hearing about politicians and the rich and famous who are asymptomatic and are testing positive. There are no testing criteria if you’re in one of those cohorts, because ‘Murica.

        • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

          I think HHS follows the CDC guidelines until they hit their testing capacity, and then err on the side of testing the sickest most likely patients. What we need right now is 18000 test kits for our 180,000 county residents. Maybe they’re on the way, with the masks and the gloves we’re all gonna need.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      The image is from the CDC. The latest USA numbers from last night. Damn, I thought it said that in the text on the image. I’ll make a caption.

      I based the criteria for who HHS is currently testing on information from the CDC, local news stories and what HHS has been saying in their video briefings on Facebook and its website. It’s my description of what the criteria appears to be, not theirs.

      My understanding is that Shasta County, because of the limitations on lab supplies, is only testing people for coronavirus who meet all the symptoms, including fever. This of course leaves out thousands of people who have COVID-19 and don’t show symptoms. In two months, in a county with 180,000 people, we’ve tested 190 people. That seems frightfully low to me, when hundreds if not thousands of people may be carrying it.

      HHS is also doing some contact tracing for the four coronavirus cases so far, and they are supposed to test anyone who has traveled here from a banned country and/or put them in self-isolation if no testing is available. Some of the 190 tests so far were contact tracing tests that luckily turned out negative. While HHS claims its keeping up with demand for testing, its very clear from watching the HHS briefings that the agency is concerned about its present testing limitations. Not that I want to panic anyone.

      What appears to be happening here is happening everywhere else: because of testing limitations from the top down, only the super sick people are being tested, and a select few others. I’m not sure how this filters down to the institutional level at individual hospitals. We need to test a much broader cross section than we are now if we’re going to stop/mitigate the spread.

  5. Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

    The current doubling rate for confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S. is 4 days. Let’s assume that it stays at roughly 4 days for ~2 weeks, then slows (as these growth rates tend to do) to a doubling rate of 8 days for another ~2 weeks, through May 1. That’s about a month from now.

    As of this morning, there are 143,025 cases in the U.S. By April 15, doubling every 4 days, that will be 2,288,400 cases. By May 1 (doubling every 8 days following April 15), we will have 9,153,600 cases.

    As of this morning, there are 2,509 confirmed deaths in the U.S. By April 15, doubling every 4 days, that will have 40,144 deaths. By May 1 (doubling every 8 days after April 15), we will have 160,576 deaths.

    I assure you that this simplistic step-wise calculation isn’t the growth function used by CDC epidemiologists to estimate how many of us are likely to get sick and how many will die, but note that the projection of 160,576 deaths is well within the range of 100,000 to 200,000 that Dr. Fauci predicted…if we continue to half-ass it.

    Also note that the White House-vetted CDC web page for COVID-19 recommendation still, as of this morning, says nothing about sheltering in place. It says: (1) wash your hands, and (2) don’t go out in public IF YOU’RE SICK. This despite the fact that it’s well known that a large percentage of the infected don’t know that they’re shedding the virus. It’s also, as of this morning, the advice being faithfully parroted by our local representatives in Sacramento and Washington D.C.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Steve the doubling numbers of cases sound daunting on the national level, but if we begin with our current 4 confirmed coronavirus cases in Shasta County, our caseload could be in the thousands in a couple of weeks … which sounds daunting as well.

  6. Avatar Robert V. Scheide SR. says:

    The Trump administration was warned early on that a pandemic was on the way, and they had been briefed that supplies needed were not on hand. What did they do, nothing. Yet his adoring fans are sticking to him..Kinda like standing on the funnel with a bucket screaming bail , bail. They also axed two agencies dealing with pandemics, brilliant,

    Trump for far too long said that this was a democratic hoax. Even today Trump is saying it is each state’s job is too get their own supplies while they are out biding the state for the gear.

    While the whole time our dear leader takes no responsibilities for his response.

    It’s difficult to watch the hospital workers cry out for help getting proper equipment. Especially since the president says they don’t need it.

    This event even in its present state ranks as the number 1 cluster”F” in my 82 years and they are saying this is going to get much worse. Governor Cuomo has shown how to address this problem and he hasn’t got ahead of it yet. In states where there leaders are not addressing the problem the virus could get a strong hold.

    What can we do? Stay home except for food and pharmacy runs. Stay in touch with loved ones, be kind to one another, dust off the books you been meaning to read forever and hunker down.

    One other thing to put on your list. NOVEMBER is coming , get your blue pen ready.
    Kill our most deadly Virus Trump.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      During Trump’s first year in office, 2017-18 he ignored what turned out to be the most lethal flu epidemic in 40 years, killing 60,000. Anti-vaxer Trump refused to do a PSA for the flu, unlike Obama.

  7. Douglas Craig Douglas Craig says:

    Fortunately, we have good news on the future testing capability for the coronavirus.

    https://www.theverge.com/2020/3/28/21197944/coronavirus-test-fast-doctors-office-abbott-fda

    “A new COVID-19 test from the medical device company Abbott can return positive results in five minutes — and it can be run in a doctor’s office. The test was approved for emergency use in the United States by the Food and Drug Administration last night.

    “The test uses Abbott’s small, portable ID NOW platform, and doesn’t have to be sent to a central lab for analysis. Instead, it can be done directly in an emergency room or urgent care clinic, which could cut down on the days-long wait time some patients now face for test results. Doctors could take a swab from a patient’s nose or throat and insert it directly into the machine, and have results within 15 minutes (it can take up to 13 minutes if the sample is negative for the virus).”

    “Abbott says it plans to start shipping 50,000 ID NOW COVID-19 tests a day starting next week.”

    That is 350,000 a week and over 18 million a year. Testing is one of the most important weapons we have in fighting this.

    In a recent issue of New Scientist magazine (March 21-27, 2020), the World Health Organization’s assistant director general Bruce Aylward was interviewed about China’s response to the COVID-19 outbreak. He said, “China did something that most other countries would not even have tried, and many people thought would have been impossible. It used fundamental public health approaches – such as case finding and contact tracing – to stop a respiratory virus. That seemed almost impossible as a premise, because respiratory viruses transmit so effectively and efficiently – typically the only way you can stop them is with a vaccine or pharmaceutical treatment. But China did provide a lesson for infectious disease epidemiologists.”
    He said, “The first thing (China) did was try to prevent the spread as much as it could and make sure people knew about the disease and how to get tested. To actually stop the virus, it had to do rapid testing of any suspect case, immediate isolation of anyone who was a confirmed or suspected case and then quarantine the close contacts for 14 days so that they could figure out if they if any were infected. Those were the measures that stop transmission in China, not the big travel restrictions and lockdowns.”
    He said, “Stopping the movement of people doesn’t stop the virus jumping from person to person, it just prevents those people from moving to other places. The travel restrictions and lockdowns were to give them time to get the other things in place and actually stop transmission.”
    He said, “When I spoke to Italy the other day. They said: ‘We’ve got these lockdowns in place.’ I said: ‘Great, you’ve done the hard part, now you have to do the really hard part, and that is making sure the cases are effectively isolated.’ What’s happening in Italy, and in many other countries in Europe, is that they are treating the mild cases at home. In some countries they are not even testing them. They are saying. If you have a cough and high fever, stay at home.
    “But the problem then is that (people) don’t know that they have the disease, they haven’t had it confirmed after a couple of days, people get bored, go out for a walk and go shopping and get other people infected. If you know you are infected you are more likely to isolate yourself.
    “Generally, in a population, around 60 to 80 percent of those affected are going to have mild or moderate disease. If those people are all out of hospital, most of your cases are at home, but not isolated. In China, they found that didn’t work. They had to get them isolated in hospitals or dormitories or stadiums. The main goal was to keep them from getting bored.”
    “South Korea has been pretty rigorous about testing all the suspect cases and finding all the contacts. In the past couple of days, we have seen that, instead of that relentless upward creep in cases, it seems to have turned a corner which is positive.
    Singapore is another country that is been hit with importations again and again and they are jumping on them, tracing all the cases, tracing all the contacts, professionally, isolating them all. It seems to be doing pretty well, even though it has got relatively big numbers.”
    “Canada had importations into four or five different provinces. And in almost all of these those it had been able to keep the numbers fairly low, following a very simple rapid test approach. And in all those places, it’s very easy to get tested as well.”

    https://www.newscientist.com/article/2237493-we-have-to-respect-the-coronavirus-and-learn-as-the-disease-evolves/

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Doug, if we can get 1800 of these test kits right away, we can test 1 percent of the county. If we can get 18000, we can test 10 percent. Somewhere in between should suffice to stop or at least slow down coronavirus spread in Shasta County.

  8. Avatar Michael Mathews says:

    A friend of ours here in Redding is very sick with a high fever. She called for a test and was told that until she had trouble breathing she would not be tested. Today she has trouble breathing and will soon be in the hospital I fear. At that time she will receive a test that will confirm what what we already think. That seems to be the testing criteria for Shasta.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      I’ve heard similar stories in the past several weeks. Patients are told they have to have all the symptoms.

  9. Avatar Alan Ernesto Phillips says:

    Our HHS follows the CDC which follows Trump… (Oy vey).

    Yale epidemiologist, Dr. Greg Gonsalves @gregggonsalves, says the U.S. coronavirus response represents the biggest public health failure of the past 100 years. “We knew in December this was going to be a global pandemic,” he says. “But the government sat on its hands.”

    Short interview clip:
    https://twitter.com/democracynow/status/1244605866096988160

    Second to R.V. Scheide with ANewsCafe.com, @democracynow is one of my MOST preferred, often scholarly supported news sources related to the COVID-19 (SARS-2) pandemic.

    THANK YOU for keeping us informed!!

    • Douglas Craig Douglas Craig says:

      I agree with you Alan. I’ve been watching Amy Goodman on Democracy Now! for over 15 years. Absolutely essential viewing/listening for those of us who want to stay informed and not rely on the limited corporate media machine.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Why thank you Alan. I too regularly watch Democracy Now. A good source for reliable coronavirus news is the r/coronavirus subreddit. That group has really taken off in membership.

      Personally as a writer during this tumultuous time I feel I must restrain my ranting, even about Trump, because this is a very serious matter, and the main thing I want people to do is stay out of harms way. We’re a small enough community that we can find a way to help each and get through this with minimal dying.

      Wear gloves and mask up when you go on essential trips. I’ve been doing that for two weeks.

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      “…“We knew in December this was going to be a global pandemic”

      That is untrue, It wasn’t until mid January that China admitted to the WHO that there was a problem. On January 23, 2020 the WHO says that the coronavirus “does not yet constitute a public health emergency of international concern.” WHO didn’t declare it a global emergency until January 31st. On the 23rd, a leading infectious disease experts, Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research said this of the virus, “…This is one of those inflection moments in outbreak history where we have enough information to be very concerned, but not enough information to say this is going to be an international crisis.”

      It is easy now to have 20-20 hindsight, but please don’t rewrite history. If we knew this virus was going to explode back in January, things would be much different.

      I would also respectfully submit that in using ‘Democracynow’ as your source for information does not give you unbiased reporting, the same as I would never use Briebart as a source.

      The goal of most of the contributors on ANC as of late, and sites like Democracynow is to do whatever they can to hurt the president. There once was a time in America when partisanship was set aside during a time of crisis. The continual berating of the president has to stop.

      • Avatar christian gardinier says:

        Sorry Cook, you are so wrong and dangerously trying to spin this disaster. Three months ago the directors of China’s and The US Centers of Disease Control spent hours on the phone, New Year’s day in fact. The Chinese Director broke down crying, he knew what was going to happen throughout China, America and the rest of the world. January 8, we had the first case located in the state of Washington. The American Director knew what was coming and was pleading for ramping up and distribution of PPE. We had ngo Americans in China watching it unfold. tRump called the whole thing fake news, a hoax, of course designed to hurt him politically and personally, and lied, lied lied and lied. The red light was blinking, alarms going off. The medical community anxious and demanding help, but idiot told us it’s only 5 maybe 11, soon it would be 0. He said it would go away in April with the hot weather, miraculously it will just disappear, that hey, people go to work, it just takes care of itself. I’m really smart about these things people are amazed, my uncle went to MIT…” And more lies after lies. Yesterday your president actually had Pellow Man, of course a well-known disease expert and medical doctor right, making statements on fighting this virus. Are you blank – blank kidding me?

        The incompetence, the lies, the conspin, the inaction, it’s pretty much like this. We are told that an enemy will be dropping radiological material over our nation. It will be happening soon. But our president says “hey, it’s fake news, a hoax by my opponents, we got it under control nothing to worry about it’s taken care of go to work have fun.” And because most people do want to trust a president, even one who has lied over 16,000 times, we say to ourselves, “well, maybe it is under control maybe this whole thing is blown out of proportion, I’ll just keep doing what I normally do.

        After 2 months of warning, the federal government started swinging into action… very slowly, still not taking war power action in the way needed to ramp up production and distribution of simple things, like masks, gloves and test kits. A few days ago tRump acknowledged maybe a hundred thousand maybe two hundred thousand will die, who knows, is a good thing. Then he says we don’t need so many ventilators or medical equipment, anyone who wants a test can get one, there’s plenty PPE to go around, if the nurses weren’t stealing them and sending out the back doors that is…

        Cook, just like the intelligence agencies are alarmed at Trump’s buddy Putin interfering with our elections, and just like Trump’s collusion, obfuscation, lies and obstruction in investigating this, Trump and his administration have proven to be criminally negligent in protecting our people and our democracy.

        What a pathetic joke played on the American people. Mr Cook, people like you are indeed part of the problem. It is a free country, say what you want, and I don’t know you you might be a real nice guy. But, it is your thinking, your words and your president that is placing America in great harm. We should have been at full scale war two months ago. If you want me to understand what that is talk to a doctor.

        • Avatar Doug Cook says:

          Sorry sir…your timeline is not even close. The first case in Washington was on January 21st…not January 8th. WHO on Jan 23rd came out with a statement that the virus ” does not yet constitute a public health emergency of international concern.” Don’t pretend that anyone but China knew the extent of the crisis…and any official in China that expressed their concern seemed to disappear.

          It is now understood that the President did not call the virus a hoax. That has been refuted by just about every fact checking site. Which puts the rest of your rant in question if you still believe that false narrative…as well as your Russian collusion beliefs.

          My guess is that you were one that criticized the president for shutting down travel from China. Did you call the president Xenophobic like most of the media and Democrats?
          Hindsight is 20-20 christian, it is easy to play Monday morning quarterback, but the reality is, back in early January, nobody expected the virus to rage out of control like this. I wonder what criticism the president would have received in early January if he started suggesting businesses close because of a virus that was still off the radar? If you were president, what would you have done in early January?

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            The countries that have best limited their COVID-19 down outbreaks (e.g., South Korea, Denmark) acted early and decisively, and they had far less advance warning than the United States. It’s beyond absurd to claim that nobody could have seen it coming when many others clearly did. It’s downright delusional to keep claiming that the response by the Trump administration was timely, effective, and laudable. Our response has been among the worst in the developed world, and the numbers are showing it.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            The difference is, you are putting the blame solely on Trump. I believe it was systematic failures of our federal agencies that slowed the response. I doubt that if President Obama was in office,, things would have been any different, it probably would have been worse, as he didn’t have much of a history of quick and decisive action taking.

          • Avatar christian gardinier says:

            Not even close? Yep, not even close, off by 12 days. Dr. Robert Redfield (CDC) heard about the severity of the virus from his Chinese counterparts on New Year’s Day, when he was on vacation with his family. He spent so much time on the phone that they barely saw him. And what he heard rattled him; later, in one grim conversation about the virus George F. Gao, the director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, burst into tears, he knew what was coming to China, the US and the world.On Jan. 7, the C.D.C. created an “incident management system.”

            The CDC knew what was happening and yet tRump continued to lie. Talk about a false narrative! Trump, ” Jan. 22: On whether he was worried about a pandemic: “No, we’re not at all. And we have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China.” Feb. 14: “We have a very small number of people in the country, right now, with it. It’s like around 12. Many of them are getting better. Some are fully recovered already. So we’re in very good shape.” He even believes believes people infected with the novel coronavirus may get better “by sitting around and even going to work.” Feb 13, President idiot said” “It looks like by April, you know in theory, when it gets a little warmer, (the coronavirus) miraculously goes away …” Feb. 26: “the risk to the American people remains very low. … When you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero. That’s a pretty good job we’ve done.” War should have started on Feb 27. Instead he said, “the number of people infected in the United States is “going very substantially down, not up….” This lying fool also stated, “I like this stuff… You know, my uncle was a great person. He was at MIT. He taught at MIT for, I think, like a record number of years. He was a great super genius. Dr. John Trump. I like this stuff. I really get it. People are surprised that I understand it. Every one of these doctors said, ‘How do you know so much about this? ‘ Maybe I have a natural ability. Maybe I should have done that instead of running for president….” Wow!!! What the hell is he talking about?

            It’s not complicated… Tell the truth (16000 lies, how can a human even do that?) be a War Time Leader, Nationalize, mobilize and again, DON’T LIE! We knew we were going to be under attack on Jan 01.tRump just lied…. It’s sickening.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            Interesting christian, On February 27th of this year, Dr Redfield testified to Congress and this is what he said, “… the immediate risk to most Americans is low. The greater risk is for people who have recently traveled to China or been exposed to someone with COVID-19.

            Trump in the early stages was repeating what CDC believed. The problem being that the situation was changing so fast. What was said in mid January was irrelevant a week later. That isn’t Trump’s fault. It was the nature of the speed of the virus. AS I mentioned earlier, in the Democratic debate of Feb 25th, there was one question about the virus a hour and a half into the debate. The candidates spent more time discussing the literacy program in Cuba than the coronavirus. In a Feb 2 press release, the CDC made this statement, “…“Given what we’ve seen in China and other countries with the novel coronavirus, CDC experts have expected some person-to-person spread in the US, we understand that this may be concerning, but based on what we know now, we still believe the immediate risk to the American public is low.”

            So sir, Trump wasn’t lying…he was repeating what the experts were telling him. Was the CDC wrong? Yep…but again, hindsight is 20-20.

      • Avatar christian gardinier says:

        The “berating” of your president will stop….the day his is kicked out of office… But then there will be a lot of court battles for him, oh well. And then there is this… “Concerns about a dwindling supply of PPE are not new. Back on February 7, the World Health Organization sounded alarm bells about “the limited stock of PPE,” noting demand was 100 times higher than normal for this equipment.
        Yet the same day as the WHO warning, the Trump administration announced that it was transporting to China nearly 17.8 tons (more than 35,000 pounds) of “masks, gowns, gauze, respirators, and other vital materials.” As Secretary of State Mike Pompeo noted in the press release announcing this shipment, “These donations are a testament to the generosity of the American people.”

        • Avatar Doug Cook says:

          Of course if back in late January when no one was taking the virus seriously in the US, if Trump announced that he refuses to send needed supplies to China…there would have been an outcry of ‘white nationalism’ and xenophobia’. HIndsight is 20-20, christian

          • Avatar christian gardinier says:

            Cook, you’re either lying or very uneducated about Trump’s well documented catastrophic failure. U.S. intelligence agencies were issuing lots of ominous, classified warnings in January and February about the global danger posed by the coronavirus while you’re so called “President” tRump was……. Playing golf. How do you justify supporting a documented 1600 lies in 3 years by president grab them by the —-y? Amazing…

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            What warnings were given, christian? Specifically? Are you privy to classified briefings?I know I am being a broken record about this…but it is a clear example of how the left is rewriting history. When Trump banned travel from China, the left …including your hero Biden called the move hysterical and xenophobic. How many times have I brought= this up? and how many times has it been ignored by you?

            I also jus gave specific examples from the ‘experts in mid in January and February saying the virus was a low risk for the US. Should Trump back then ignored his infectious disease experts and closed down businesses unilaterally? How would that have gone over. I’ll go back again to the Democratic debate at the end of Feb. There was ONE question about the virus, they spent 2 minutes on it. So don’t tell me the country knew what would happen here. If you want to blame anyone…blame the Chinese gov’t. Funny… that I don’t read those comments on these pages.

            Last week the president was using Easter as the day we could possibly start getting back to normal…as further information and modeling came to the experts, President Trump was advised that the Easter was probably not advisable and it should be extended. To which the president said as much in his next daily briefing. Did the president lie before that? Or did he just adjust to more accurate information received?

            I get it…you hate the president and will look at anything to try and take him down. Now is not the time to do that.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            Doug — Nobody is claiming that Trump didn’t ban travel from China. What we’re claiming is that one correct move and 50 dropped balls does not equal a triumphant performance, as you have somehow convinced yourself.

            The facts are: (1) Trump had the advantage of longer lead time than nearly all developed countries, and (2) the advantage of lower population density once it got here. He had those advantages, and he squandered them. Other countries without those advantages performed far better, and the numbers show it.

            You keep humping the travel ban from China, pairing that with the fantasy that NOBODY predicted what might happen. Even *Trump* is now claiming that he new all along this might happen—it’s just that he just wanted to project a positive vibe. If he’s telling the truth—he actually did understand what might happen two months ago—then his abject failures to act decisively are all the more profoundly awful.

            Your suggestion that the modeling predicting an epidemic came to light between last week and this week is either dishonest or delusional. That is simply the time-frame when it became impossible for Trump to continue denying the obvious.

            You’re so blinded by partisanship that you’ve lost touch with reality. You’ve chosen to forfeit any sense of objectivity, self-awareness, and dignity in service to your fealty to Trump. It’s really is sad—I feel bad for you, dropping your pants and exposing your @$$ on behalf of this ridiculous clown-emperor imposter, day after day.

          • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

            Doug sez: “If you want to blame anyone…blame the Chinese gov’t.”

            Why? Are we limited by The Trump Rules to blaming only one party (anyone but Trump)? The Chinese have always doled out information as they see fit to serve their interests. Whose fault is it if the Trump Administration took it at face value?

            Again: Given that we had more lead time, why were we so slow to react COMPARED WITH SO MANY OTHER COUNTRIES? What’s our excuse? That Commander Shinsplints trusted the Chinese?

            You can’t defend the indefensible, Doug. That’s why you keep refusing to respond to that question.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            “…Nobody is claiming that Trump didn’t ban travel from China”
            I never suggested that, the same as I never said that the modeling predicting an epidemic came to light between last week and this week. The point I am making that you all don’t seem to get is that during the beginning of us learning about the virus, the experts were calling it a low risk for the US. We now know that was incorrect, but you can’t put the blame on the president. You can’t rewrite history and claim that the president should have known the severity of the virus back in December. It wasn’t on the radar. That is why I bring up the travel ban. The Trump distractors criticized him for the move. Why? Because at the time we didn’t think it was going to affect the US as bad as it did. Why did the Democratic debate spend 2 minutes and only one question about the virus in late Feb? Because the country wasn’t that concerned yet. . The candidates spent more time discussing literacy rates in Cuba than the coronavirus. Why wasn’t the CDC in full emergency mode in December? Because at the time, it was relegated to China and a few SE Asia countries.

            The speed that the virus grew is unprecedented, and now we want to go back with the knowledge we have now and say the president should have done more. Yes, he could have done more if he knew. But it is unfair, with the knowledge we have now, to constantly criticize his actions. You know dang well that if he, in early January, came up with the plan to shutter businesses and have millions shelter in place, he would have been raked across the coals as being a tyrant and dictator…Again, why? because the virus was not on our radar yet. The intelligence reports that christian constantly brings up that the president received discussed what was happening in China, and the Communist governments cover up. But of course, I don’t read anything on here about the irresponsibility of China …just what Trump has or not done.

            It is very easy to be a Monday morning quarterback. President Clinton had the opportunity to take out Osama Bin Laden in 1999, but chose not to. My guess is he regrets that decision in light of 9/11. Monday morning quarterbacking.

            Jim Acosta asked the president yesterday, or today…i can’t remember, exactly that question. Did we move to slowly? Go and listen to Dr Fauci’s answer and their thinking back then at the beginning.

            I still believe it is despicable the constant drumbeat of negativism directed towards the president during a crisis bigger than just about anything else in the history of our country.

            You may find this interesting…Bill Gates did a Ted Talk back in 2015 predicting the biggest danger to the world will be a pandemic…not nuclear war.
            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6Af6b_wyiwI

            That is a big ‘I told you so’ moment. What was astonishing to me, is the recent headlines I read about this story… MSNBC’s read, “See Bill Gates’ chilling pandemic warnings to Trump – before the coronavirus outbreak hit” This speech was in 2015…wasn’t it just as much of a warning to President Obama? Trump wasn’t in office in 2015. But of course, we don’t hate Obama so we will just pass on that and blame Trump for not taking action.

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            I’ll ask you once again, CS…in January, what would you have had the president to do? The day after WHO declared the virus a global emergency, the president declared it a national emergency. Congress got the same briefings…what did they do? At the time there were no cases in the US. So tell me, what didn’t the president do that would have made a difference in mid January. Answer with knowledge we knew back then, not hindsight. I’m waiting with bated breath for your answer.

        • Avatar Doug Cook says:

          “…Given that we had more lead time, why were we so slow to react”

          Because President Trump was listening to his experts. If the CDC comes out and says the risk to Americans is low. Why would the president think otherwise? Upon further reflection, the experts were wrong. That is not on the president. blame the experts. Blame the sluggish federal bureaucracies for them moving slowly in lifting burdensome regulations…regulations that if lifted early by the president would have been no doubt highly controversial

          • Richard DuPertuis Richard DuPertuis says:

            Did the CDC tell the president to label the coronavirus as a Democratic hoax?

          • Avatar Doug Cook says:

            No Richard…the CDC did not tell the president to label the virus as a hoax. nor did the president call the virus a hoax. He said Democrats are trying to use the coronavirus to damage him. and called that “their new hoax.” He did not suggest that the outbreak itself is a hoax but rather claimed that his critics are “politicizing” the situation to make him look bad… and of course they are.

  10. Avatar Miguel says:

    It’s been the testing all along. And, yes, I understand if they’re just not available .. they’re just not available. Also won’t try to minimize other inadequacies and failures (disbanded pandemic units, neglected and underfunded stockpiles, false and incoherent messaging from leadership). But the testing is where this all fell apart. And right now, as R.V’s article attests, public health is doing their level best to reassure (a legitimate part of the job) .. and paper over the fact that we’re STILL not doing it.

    And, until we are … Just spinning our wheels.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      Well said, Miguel. I could have stated it a little more bluntly. We need testing, testing, testing!

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      One of Trump’s biggest lies that he just can’t help telling on an ongoing basis:

      Hard version: If you *want* to get tested, you can get tested.

      Soft version: If you *need* to get tested, you can get tested.

      We still have no idea how many people in this country are infected. Absolutely no idea.

  11. Avatar Ed Marek says:

    Rather than waste further commentary on the trump regime’s manifest failures to prevent or even prepare for the pandemic over the many months since we first received multiple warnings, I think we need to consider the failure of its efforts since it claimed to be finally taking the pandemic seriously, by instituting the “15 day” program concluding tomorrow:

    https://www.whitehouse.gov/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/03.16.20_coronavirus-guidance_8.5x11_315PM.pdf

    And why trump’s announced plans to extend the existing program is almost certain to offer us only additional failure in the future, with massive numbers of infections and deaths, and likely producing catastrophic economic effects for many of those those who survive.

    Take a look by selecting “US” on the left and using the settings below the lower right chart:

    https://www.arcgis.com/apps/opsdashboard/index.html#/bda7594740fd40299423467b48e9ecf6

    While the numbers of infections and deaths are certainly disastrous, select the logarithmic curve for the most damning evidence of our national failure.

    There is only a minor improvement, shown by the slight bend downward near the end, which itself appears to be largely the result of regional improvements in California (most of, if not the rural areas) and Washington, where more effective programs preceded the “15 day” national effort.

    Now compare with this chart (top chart, default setting) comparing our national efforts with other countries:

    https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/03/21/upshot/coronavirus-deaths-by-country.html?campaign_id=9&emc=edit_NN_p_20200330&instance_id=17179&nl=morning-briefing&regi_id=52870560&section=topNews&segment_id=23277&te=1&user_id=34e9ffcfbcd67e43723ce891808c5843

    As you can see, we appear to still be transmitting the virus at a rapid rate, and we not only trail the relatively successful national programs, but are well behind those tragic nations with the worst per-capita death rates, Italy and Spain in our efforts to bend the curve.

    Our failure should have been expected, as to satisfy the demands of the ignorant (trump himself being the most important constituent) our national effort was enfeebled from the start.

    Trumps program was never truthful, consistent, or in the interests of the entire nation.

    Which is more or less the defining statement on trumpism in general, IMO.

    So, will trump admit his errors tomorrow, and make the improvements in his program that could quickly bring us up to somewhere among average among the world’s nations?

    Will we actually shut down all non-essential contacts that cause viral transmission? Every bar. restaurant (and yes, North California, every public house of worship and gun dealer) in the nation?

    Will we quickly order hundreds of millions of the surplus N-95 particulate masks the Chinese have stockpiled, and are already providing to other countries, and distribute them to all Americans to use whenever six-feet-or-more of physical distancing is not possible? That means not just health care workers and first-responders, but EVERY shopper and EVERY Checker in EVERY supermarket in the USA.

    And will trump pledge to keep this program in place until the pandemic is reduced to a tolerable level, by which I think should mean a number not in the thousands (or even the hundreds) of deaths per day?

    I wouldn’t bet on it…

    Will we actually shut down all non-essential contacts that cause viral transmission? Every bar. restaurant, and yes, every church and gun dealer, in the nation?

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      I wouldn’t bet on it either Ed. I’m with you, I’ve been wearing gloves and a mask for all essential trips. I’m sterilizing and reusing my masks, and I’ve also go a real nice respirator if things get real serious. I’ve only seen a few people in Redding doing the same, but the crowds are definitely down every where I’ve been. I think more essential employers should be not only providing but requiring essential employees to wear PPE,

  12. Avatar Common Sense says:

    When there is enough testing in place for just about anyone that thinks they need one to get one, that’s when the numbers will go through the roof! There are without a doubt “many” that have been told to stay at home that actually have it.

    As more testing IS done….the numbers will be exponential. But then we know a lot more about where we are currently at. Testing is the key along with Self Isolation for anyone thinks they have it…..

    I am hoping we have this whole thing behind us by the end of the year. But it’s up to each and everyone of us to do the right thing. Not hold gatherings or church services like that one church with 300 people hugging and gathering etc back east.

    The Virus knows No Political Party or Religion……

  13. Avatar bruce vojtecky says:

    The Guardian has labeled Arizona “A Sick Experiment” as Governor Ducey’s response sounds a lot like Trump’s response. Picking which businesses are essential seems like whoever has the most money is essential. Schools are closed for the year and all the places that kids would go to have been shut down, parks, library, playgrounds. Our little corner playground has been shut down while the golf course across the street is running full time. Volunteers have been going to certain playgrounds wiping down the equipment but now that is illegal. Yet the golf carts are still flooding the streets headed to the golf course, mainly because the head of the golf course association has issued the warning that due to COVI golfers are requested to use their own carts.
    And despite Arizona’s lack of nursing staff Banner Health, where a suspected COVI victim had been untested for over a week, sent ten of their nurses to Greely, Colorado.
    Ducey will be termed out in a few years and will not be missed. And it is rumored, almost a certainty he will be ASU’s next president. What is sad about that is Ducey might be an improvement over the present president.
    Really feel like I am just shuffling chairs around.

    • Steve Towers Steve Towers says:

      Maybe the Guv’s “Cold Stone Creamery” should change its name to “Stone Cold Crockery.”

  14. Avatar Richard Christoph says:

    Having narrowly escaped being caught in New Zealand’s nation-wide lock down last Wednesday, we are are on our 5th day of strict self-imposed quarantine here in our Redding home, simultaneously feeling lucky as hell to be here and aghast at the number of people who are flouting the commonsense Federal, State, and Local directives. Makes one wonder about the future of our species when something so obvious is so widely discounted or ignored completely. BTW, current figures in the U.S. are:

    161,883, up 19,885 (14.00%) so far today, and 3,149 deaths, up 585 (21.86%).

    ncov2019.live/data

    Of course these numbers, like R.V.s when he posted this story, will soon be outdated.

    Stay home, stay safe, stay sane.

  15. Frank Treadway Frank Treadway says:

    I only watch ABC channel coverage of the virus by knowledgeable reporters and doctors; it’s on Mon-Fri, 12noon-1pm. Watching the alleged, almost daily, COVID19 update is nothing more than a free political advertisement for POTUS’ November campaign.
    BTW, the local Sewers Guild of America members are making cotton masks for free, hundreds have already been delivered to local medical facilities. I hear daily that wearing a mask when going to any public location is the smart thing to do, who cares what we look like.

  16. Avatar Chad Magnuson says:

    On Sunday we made a much needed trip to the store for groceries. Trader Joe’s.
    My wife shopped wearing gloves and a mask while I waited in the car.
    I was amazed at the many twenty something year olds ignoring social distancing, hugging, gathering together and generally acting as if nothing was wrong.
    I only saw 3 other people wearing masks going into the store.
    Aside from this trip, my wife and I have remained quarantined, and will continue our isolation.

    Until all people are tested, the exact numbers of those affected will not be known.
    Until testing is available for everyone, the death rate and the numbers will continue to rise.

    • R.V. Scheide R.V. Scheide says:

      I saw just 3 people wearing gloves and masks at WinCo last week. Really surprised to see lots of employees not wearing any PPE.

      • Avatar Anita Lynn Brady says:

        I donated my extra masks and gloves to Shasta Community Health Center. I have used physical distancing and sanitizer/hand washing, so far successfully- though I have self- isolated MOST of the time.

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      Chad, I went to Safeway this morning during the hours that they try to reserve for seniors only. I was able to score a 12 pack of toilet paper, thank god. There was one youngster in the store, looked like he was about 25. The rest of us were respectful and doing our best to maintain social distancing. This fool couldn’t care less. He was talked to at least twice, that I saw, from store personnel asking him to keep away from these vulnerable shoppers. It was nothing but a big joke to him.

  17. Avatar Ed Marek says:

    R.V. Scheide:

    “…Here we go. The number of coronavirus deaths in the United States exceeded 2000 last Saturday,

    More than 120,000 people have tested positive or are presumed positive for COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus, since the first U.S. case was identified on Jan. 21…”

    Total U.S.A .fatalities will have doubled again to over 4,000 by tomorrow morning, confirmed cases will take another day or so to double to 240,000, by which time we will have about ten times as many cases per capita of the disease trump likes to call “the Chinese virus”, than China has.

    “Everything trump touches dies” takes on a new, and more literal meaning, with every passing day, as we move towards our new official target of a hundred thousand (or is it now a quarter million?) Americans, dead.

    Trump awarded himself an “A+” grade for this great achievement during today’s campaign speech, even as a few of his toadies standing behind him looked close to their limits in suppressing their reactions of horror.

    We should expect some truly gruesome scenes from the East Coast soon, as if today’s video of a forklift being used to load bodies into an 18-wheeler at a Brooklyn hospital doesn’t already deserve that description.

    At one point today Dr. Fauci, practically begged Americans to ignore trump’s insane directive to continue with another “30 days” of his failed “presidential guidelines”, and instead make an additional last-minute push to try to reinforce our pathetic national defenses. Probably too little and too late to rehabilitate his reputation. Fauci looks like he will just be the latest example of a decent and honorable American who was destroyed by trying to negotiate with trump, while he holds America hostage.

    https://www.pbs.org/newshour/health/watch-live-white-house-officials-give-update-on-u-s-coronavirus-response

  18. Avatar Anita Lynn Brady says:

    President Chaos is on the job– who thought that could turn out bad? ME!!!! How can any thinking person support this administration?
    https://www.thedailybeast.com/white-house-halts-overseas-shipments-of-protective-medical-gear-after-embarrassing-mix-up-says-report

  19. Avatar Gary Tull says:

    “It was wholly preventable, and not just preventable in hindsight — it was preventable in foresight. Eve”

    Trump spent “two months of completely ignoring every bit of scientific advice,” Dr. Ashish Jha, the director of the Harvard Global Health Institute, told Insider in mid-March. “We’ve wasted two months. And this is not a disease where you’re allowed to waste two months.”

    Jha, a general internist who received his doctorate in medicine from Harvard Medical School, slammed Trump for telling Americans everything was “under control” when, he said, it “was very clear to anybody paying attention that it was not under control.”

    “I don’t use these words lightly, and it’s incredibly painful for me to say it,” he said, adding: “The cost of all of this is that tens of thousands of Americans are going to die unnecessarily.” He went on to say: “It was wholly preventable, and not just preventable in hindsight — it was preventable in foresight. Everybody said this is how it was going to play out if they didn’t act.”

  20. Avatar Ed Marek says:

    I don’t usually waste time on trumpist trolls, but the ANC comments section have been polluted for far too long with distortions of fact and outright lies:

    Doug Cook April 1, 2020 at 2:35 pm
    ‘“…Nobody is claiming that Trump didn’t ban travel from China.”
    I never suggested that…’

    In point of fact, trump did not “ban travel from China.”

    The modest restrictions trump put on some travel from china were far too little, too late, to offer any significant protection to the USA, as the national disaster that ensued has now been proven, beyond any doubt:

    AP FACT CHECK: Trump’s inaccurate boasts on China travel ban
    By HOPE YEN
    March 26, 2020

    WASHINGTON (AP) — Defending early missteps in the U.S. response to the coronavirus, President Donald Trump has repeatedly boasted of travel restrictions on China that he suggests he decided on his own over the objections of health experts and saved “thousands” of lives.

    His claims aren’t substantiated.

    TRUMP: “We’re the ones that gave the great response, and we’re the ones that kept China out of here. … If I didn’t do that early call on China — and nobody wanted that to happen. Everybody thought it was just unnecessary to do it.” — news briefing Wednesday…

    TRUMP: “I’ll tell you how prepared I was, I called for a ban.” — news briefing on March 19.

    THE FACTS: His decision was far from solo nor was it made over opposition from health experts, as the White House coronavirus task force makes clear. His decision followed a consensus by his public health advisers that the restrictions should take place…

    Most major airlines had already suspended flights to China prior to the announcement on Jan. 31, following the lead of several major international carriers that had stopped due to the coronavirus outbreak. Delta, American and United cited a sharp drop in demand for the flights, and an earlier State Department advisory told Americans not to travel to China because of the outbreak….

    TRUMP: “And if we didn’t do that, thousands and thousands of people would have died.” — news briefing Wednesday.

    THE FACTS: The impact hasn’t been quantified. While Dr. Anthony Fauci of the National Institutes of Health has praised the travel restrictions on China for slowing the virus, it’s not known how big an impact they had or if “thousands and thousands” of lives were saved.

    There were plenty of gaps in containment.

    Trump’s order did not fully “close” the U.S. off to China, as he asserts. It temporarily barred entry by foreign nationals who had traveled in China within the previous 14 days, with exceptions for the immediate family of U.S. citizens and permanent residents. Americans returning from China were allowed back after enhanced screening at select ports of entry and for 14 days afterward. But U.S. scientists say screenings can miss people who don’t yet show symptoms of COVID-19; while symptoms often appear within five or six days of exposure, the incubation period is 14 days.

    A recent study from the journal Science found China’s internal crackdown modestly delayed the spread of the virus. It cast doubt that travel restrictions elsewhere will do much compared with other preventive measures, citing in part the likelihood that a large number of people exposed to the virus had already been traveling internationally without being detected…”

    https://apnews.com/0dc271ad7f7917374a5a0cfb49273783

    Doug Cook April 1, 2020 at 2:46 pm

    “…Because President Trump was listening to his experts. If the CDC comes out and says the risk to Americans is low. Why would the president think otherwise? …”

    Maybe because trump knows that his own appointee to head up the agency controlling the CDC is completely untrustworthy, having spent his life supporting right-wing politics and other corrupt endeavours?

    “Alex Michael Azar II (/??z??r/; born June 17, 1967) is an American attorney, public servant, former pharmaceutical lobbyist and executive who serves as the United States Secretary of Health and Human Services. Azar was nominated to his post by President Donald Trump on November 13, 2017, and confirmed by the United States Senate on January 24, 2018…

    From 1992 to 1993, he served as a law clerk for Associate Justice Antonin Scalia of the United States Supreme Court.[10]

    From 1994 to 1996, he served as an Associate Independent Counsel for Ken Starr in the United States Office of the Independent Counsel, where he worked on the first two years of the investigation into the Whitewater controversy.[11][12] At the time of Azar’s appointment, he was working as an associate in Starr’s law firm…

    From 2012 to 2017, Azar was President of the U.S. division of Eli Lilly and Company, a major drug company, and a member of the board of directors of the Biotechnology Innovation Organization, a large pharmaceutical lobby…

    On January 28, 2020, Azar stated that the Trump administration had no plan to declare a public health emergency as the COVID-19 virus spread in China. He asserted that the risk to Americans was minimal…”

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Alex_Azar

    • Avatar DXoug Cook says:

      On January 28th, there were 5 cases of the virus in the US. It wasn’t Azar that determined the US was at low risk. It was the scientists and experts that work for the CDC. On January 30th, WHO declared the virus a global emergency. A day later Azar declared a national emergency. What more should have the administration done at the end of January? Not using your 20-20 hindsight, but what we knew at the time.

  21. Avatar Kathryn McDonald says:

    The only reason I continue to glance at Doug’s ridiculous posts is so that I understand the context of the smart posts by those who take him on. Actually, he posts the same thing over and over so I think I’ll just read the smart posts from now on.

    • Avatar Doug Cook says:

      ..and the purpose of your post was? Unlike the vast majority of you, I am not consumed by hatred of the president…I don’t twist facts to try and put him in the worst light possible. See…I can go back in time ad look at what was really being said by experts, the media, the Democrat candidates. people forget what it was like in late January, early February. Try answering my question honestly, Kathryn. What would have been your reaction if the president instituted these draconian shelter in place rules? What would your reaction be if in early February, the president came out and said we refuse to send medical supplies to China? The only country at the time that was suffering? We know the left’s reaction to his travel ban…remember when Biden called the move hysterical?

      So sure, go ahead and continue your insults towards me for pointing out actual facts. Go ahead and read only the party line. Continue to rewrite history simply for the benefit of making the president look bad. My posts are ridiculous? From someone that does little but insult other people for stating their opinion. How open minded you are.

  22. Avatar christian gardinier says:

    R.V. your excellent article – Graded On A Curve, March 30, 2020, gave us lots of information. The grade? How about F for failure. Yesterday so did Trump; he admitted he knew all about what was going on for months. ” I’ve always known this is a real, this is a pandemic… long before it was called a pandemic… All you had to do was look at other countries.” No kidding Sherlock.

    Trump is not a “stable genius,” but for months the pandemic alarm bells were blasting and red lights flashing… and you don’t have to be Einstein to know we were, and still are, in clear and present danger! The Washington Post reported that U.S. Intelligence officials were warning the president about the potential scale of the coronavirus outbreak as early as January. New Year’s Day, Dr. Redfield (CDC) and his Chinese counterparts, “spent so much time on the phone that his family barely saw him. And what he heard rattled him! In one bleak conversation about the virus days later, between Redfield and George F. Gao, the director of the Chinese Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Gao “burst into tears…” Gao fully understood what was happening to his county, what would happen to the USA, and to the world. A few days later, the C.D.C. created a COVID – 19 “incident management system.” Then Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar asked for $2 billion to buy respirator masks and other supplies for a depleted federal stockpile of emergency medical equipment; trump gave him 500 million and then sent 14 TONS of P.P.E. to China. Now it looks like we are about to completely run out of the national P.P.E. stockpile, (of course Trump accuses nurses of stealing them, “going out the back door…”).

    But hey, don’t worry, “We’re going to be pretty soon at only five people. And we could be at just one or two people over the next short period of time…” because, “This is a flu. This is like a flu… you treat this like a flu… It’s a little like the regular flu that we have flu shots for… And we’ll essentially have a flu shot for this in a fairly quick manner… You know, my uncle was a great person. He was at MIT. He taught at MIT for, I think, like a record number of years. He was a great super genius. Dr. John Trump. I like this stuff. I really get it. People are surprised that I understand it. Every one of these doctors said, ‘How do you know so much about this? ‘ Maybe I have a natural ability. Maybe I should have done that instead of running for president.” Wow… What can you say about all that? He better have a few billion for malpractice insurance…

    Negligence is failure to use reasonable care, resulting in damage or injury to another, and Dereliction of Duty, the shameful failure to fulfill one’s obligations… Of course he knew what was going on!
    Just like Putin interfering with US elections, “I have President Putin. He just said it’s not Russia, I will say this: I don’t see any reason why it would be…,” just like collusion with Russia, and just like Climate Change, “It’s a Chinese hoax,” Trump’s response was, and always is, cover-up, lie, obfuscate, attack political enemies and the media “enemy of the people,” and create his trademark, chaos…that is between campaign rallies and golf games.

    Even if he didn’t fully know about the severity of a pandemic as his apologizers and defenders have declared, his actions over the last few months would be called complete incompetence. But he did know, has admitted it! Did trump create Covid – 19? No, of course not. But out of incompetence, and concern for his re-election and the wealth of the rich, he committed negligence and the dereliction of duty. Instead of eliminating the White House Pandemic Team, he wasted two months spinning the pandemic in chaos and lies that could have been spent nationalizing manufacturing and distributing medical supplies, mobilizing national stay at home orders, Now upwards of 240,000 Americans could die, millions could get sick and the economy is in a nose-dive (“Stock Market starting to look very good to me!”) that could result in psychological and economic depression.

    This is nothing but a negligent catastrophic failure, committed by trump, his administration and his public army of apologizers. Hindsight is 20/20? Maybe for some folks, true and sometimes we can learn for mistakes, just ask Germeny. Hey, all you lawyers out there give this a try, “Honest your honor, looking at with 20/20 hindsight, my client understands he blew it…” All this will go down as a very depressing and disturbing part of Trump’s failed presidency, at the blood and treasure cost of the United States of America. But hey, from Jan. 9 to today, he did play golf at least 6 times and hold 8 campaign rallies… so all is not lost, eh?