Expert Warns Quarantine Process Failed, As China Stands Ready To Crash World Economy

20 02 2020

  By Timothy D. Naegele[1]

This is the title of an article that Jared Harris has written for The Western Journal:

China’s rush to reopen factories and markets in the midst of a poorly understood outbreak may backfire, a failure that could result in one of the worst depressions the world has ever seen.

It’s no secret that the COVID-19 virus has dealt a punishing blow to the Chinese economy since its emergence months ago. With over 700 million now under some form of lockdown to control the coronavirus, work has ground to a halt.

Seeing a slowdown of new cases has prompted the ruling communist party to urge work to resume, with the party’s Global Times mouthpiece proclaiming “we must be resolute in resuming economic activity.”

Considering how little is known about the novel coronavirus, pushing workers to return to factories, markets and sales floors en masse does not look like a good decision.

Fortunately for virologists, a closed system with the virus exists on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship. Unfortunately for the people on the massive boat, their role as a large-scale petri dish shows just how contagious this bug really is.

Despite officials’ best efforts to contain the virus on the ship, the initially small number of infected soon soared to 454.

“The quarantine process failed,” National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr. Anthony Fauci told USA Today.

“I’d like to sugarcoat it and try to be diplomatic about it, but it failed. People were getting infected on that ship.”

It’s unclear why the quarantine failed and transmission occurred, but it may be because the virus is more easily spread through the air than previously thought. Although it’s not thought to be airborne, the CDC still recommends airborne procedures and protective gear.

If COVID-19 is able to spread through the air, the cruise ship’s ventilation system may be a major factor in the baffling infection rates.

Once that possibility is applied to China, where hundreds of millions are holed up in high-rise apartments designed according to loose Chinese standards, the potential of this disaster becomes clear.

Although the Chinese government claims to have a handle on the epidemic, changes in the diagnosis criteria have seen confirmed cases spike by over 14,000 in a single day. Skeptics also remain unconvinced that the country’s communist regime is being honest.

The predicament of the Chinese worker is apparent: The government appears close to giving the all-clear for many. Those voicing skepticism on Chinese social media are swiftly silenced. China’s social credit system likely also puts pressure on citizens to return to work.

While those with symptoms may stay home, the virus can hitch a ride on clothing and other materials. There is even evidence that infected individuals may be able to spread COVID-19 without showing symptoms.

China, the world’s second-largest economy, would be absolutely devastated if this virus made a strong resurgence. The impact on other countries would be downright horrifying.

China’s exports would grind to a halt, depriving the United States of $480 billion worth of goods. Take a look at some of the things around you right now. Many of these items (including the phone or computer you’re reading this on) likely originated in a Chinese factory.

The effect on American retailers would be disastrous. Walmart, for example, imports an estimated 80 percent of its products from Chinese suppliers, according to the Alliance for American Manufacturing.

Japan, Germany and the United Kingdom, three of the largest economies in the world, also rely on Chinese exports worth billions.

Needless to say, all of these exports grinding to a halt virtually overnight would not be pleasant for the world economy. Even the U.S. economy, at an all-time high thanks to President Donald Trump, would not escape without a major beating.

If the quarantines in China are failing just as they are on the Diamond Princess, we could be headed for the biggest economic gut punch since the Great Depression.[2]

Talk about Helter Skelter, if this materializes like the article suggests, the economic effects globally will be nothing short of catastrophic.[3]  

Chinese woman wears plastic wrap

  © 2020, Timothy D. Naegele


[1]  Timothy D. Naegele was counsel to the United States Senate’s Committee on Banking, Housing, and Urban Affairs, and chief of staff to Presidential Medal of Freedom and Congressional Gold Medal recipient and former U.S. Senator Edward W. Brooke (R-Mass). He and his firm, Timothy D. Naegele & Associates, specialize in Banking and Financial Institutions Law, Internet Law, Litigation and other matters (see www.naegele.com and https://naegeleblog.files.wordpress.com/2019/11/timothy-d.-naegele-resume-20-1-1.pdf). He has an undergraduate degree in economics from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA), as well as two law degrees from the School of Law (Boalt Hall), University of California, Berkeley, and from Georgetown University. He served as a Captain in the U.S. Army, assigned to the Defense Intelligence Agency at the Pentagon, where he received the Joint Service Commendation Medal (see, e.g., https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Commendation_Medal#Joint_Service). Mr. Naegele is an Independent politically; and he is listed in Who’s Who in America, Who’s Who in American Law, and Who’s Who in Finance and Business. He has written extensively over the years (see, e.g., www.naegele.com/whats_new.html#articles), and can be contacted directly at tdnaegele.associates@gmail.com

[2]  See https://www.wnd.com/2020/02/expert-warns-quarantine-process-failed-china-stands-ready-crash-world-economy/ (emphasis in original); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that/#comment-23012 (“Deadly Coronavirus Proves Immune To Political Correctness”)

[3]  See, e.g., https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/global-chaos-and-helter-skelter/ (“Global Chaos And Helter Skelter”) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/ (“EMP Attack: Only 30 Million Americans Survive”)

 


Actions

Information

10 responses

20 02 2020
Richard Schultz

Tim, An excellent review. Easy to read and comprehend. Richard

Liked by 1 person

20 02 2020
Timothy D. Naegele

Thank you, Richard. Coming from you, those are great compliments and much appreciated.

Again, the economic effects globally may be nothing short of catastrophic.

My earlier comments echo these concerns.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2011/01/13/china-is-americas-enemy-make-no-mistake-about-that/#comment-23012 (“Deadly Coronavirus Proves Immune To Political Correctness”); see also https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-8024213/Every-pore-body-opened-British-victim-describes-like-coronavirus.html (“‘Every pore on my body opened’: British victim describes what it is like to have coronavirus”) and https://naegeleblog.files.wordpress.com/2020/03/timothy-d.-naegele-resume-20-3-10.pdf

Liked by 1 person

23 02 2020
Timothy D. Naegele

The Economic Ripple Effects Of Coronavirus Are Staggering Already [UPDATED]

With much worse yet to come, in all likelihood.

Indeed, the article above discusses the full-blown economic issues. In China alone, the economic effects have hit hard. Enda Curran, Michael Sasso, and Karlis Salna have written for Bloomberg:

A Hong Kong watch maker who can’t get coils or wheels. New Zealand lobsters released back into the wild. A San Diego game studio facing delays to its latest fantasy board games.

The coronavirus outbreak that has hobbled China’s economy is increasingly ricocheting through the world economy and supply chains. To gauge the impact, Bloomberg News reporters asked businesses around the world to share their experiences.

Here are their stories.

Hong Kong Watch Maker

High-end watch maker William Shum Wai-lam specializes in tourbillon watches that are designed and assembled in Hong Kong but source hundreds of specialist components—hands, dials, glass, straps and buckles—that go into each time piece from factories in mainland China. The shuttering of production has left his Memorigin Watch Company Ltd. with a pre-order book of around 2,000 watches that he can’t make.

“Every watch I promised customers has to be delayed,” he said. “This is the first time I encountered a supplier that cannot supply to me.”

The specialized nature of the watches he makes means Shum’s options for alternative suppliers outside China are limited given the extra costs involved.

“We cannot do anything but keep waiting.”

American Board Game Maker

Fans of Renegade Game Studios will have to wait longer this summer for the latest copies of the company’s fantasy board games.

San Diego-based Renegade makes specialty games featuring wizards, Viking warriors and even some cuddly kittens, sourcing them from manufacturers around Shanghai and Shenzhen. For now, two of the three factories that make its games are operating, although running at less than full capacity, President Scott Gaeta said.

Things would be a lot worse if the supply chain crunch came in the third quarter, a few months ahead of the holiday season. Still, the delays happening now at the factory will hurt his inventory come June and July.

“As of today, we’re expecting a two-to-six-week delay shipping out to our customers,” Gaeta said. “We’ll have to push back release dates. It’s very fluid.”

Masks in Mexico

Jonathan Bass, a Los Angeles businessman who makes wall art and furniture from a factory in Mexico, says some of the components he needs for production are stuck at a port south of Shanghai. Aluminum-backed mirrors, door hinges, and polyester pillow filler are among the items he’s awaiting, forcing him to scurry for alternative providers closer to home.

“The shipping lines keep telling us it’s another two weeks,” Bass said, annoyed at being charged a storage fee at the port as the vessel waits for authorization to depart.

A concern also has been how and where to get enough face masks, which he had been sourcing from China and which Mexican authorities require for his factory workers. China is experiencing a severe shortage. Bass is hoping he’ll be allowed to manufacture his own masks.

“If this flow doesn’t start happening from six to eight weeks from Chinese New Year, you’re going to see big impacts,” he said.

German Auto Parts

At German auto parts supplier Webasto AG, eight of its roughly 1,000 Stockdorf-based employees contracted the virus following the visit of a Chinese colleague for a training session in January, forcing the manufacturer to shut down operations at the plant for two weeks. The closure ended after around 180 employees were tested for the illness and the company hired specialists to disinfect its workspaces and meeting rooms.

“We are relieved that no new cases of illness have arisen among our employees,” Chief Executive Officer Holger Engelmann said earlier this month. “However, we remain cautious because we still know so little about this virus.”

The company says it has restarted production at most of its locations in China, however to a limited extent. It could take until early March before operations are running smoothly again, a spokesperson said. The manufacturer has 12 locations across China, two of which are in Hubei province, and has set up a global task force to address any issues in its supply chain.

Indonesian Garment Factories

On Indonesia’s main island of Java, the garment factories that make up the country’s textile belt are ramping up production as companies look to move business out of China. Those who hadn’t already shifted because of the trade war “see the virus as a wake-up call,” said Iwan Lukminto, president director of PT Sri Rejeki Isman.

At a Sri Rejeki factory on the outskirts of Solo, in Central Java, where thousands of workers stitch clothes for the likes of J.C. Penney Co., Guess? Inc., Walmart Inc. and other major brands, the sewing machines are running at full capacity. “The virus has confirmed that everyone has been too dependent on China,” Lukminto said, adding that the jump in orders means they will be working at their peak for the next six months at least.

Lukminto said he had also received an order from Indonesia’s National Disaster Mitigation Agency for 20,000 chem-suits. The full-body overalls, otherwise known as CBRN because they protect against chemical, biological, radiological and nuclear threats, would be rolled out to people on the front-line of defense if there were to be an outbreak of the virus in Indonesia. There’s also been interest from China and Taiwan, Lukminto said.

But there’s a negative impact too. Budiarto Tjandra, the director of PT Panarub Industry, which makes shoes for Adidas and Mizuno, said the shuttering of factories in China was already causing problems. “Our material supplies have been disrupted because some of our material is imported from China, and the supplier’s factory is still closed,” he said.

Malaysian Pet Store

Nutri Pro Pets Sdn Bhd., a Malaysian pet products company, is imposing purchase restrictions on its cat litter, which it imports from China.

“My biggest problem right now is all my customers got a little panicked and rushed to buy my company’s products,” said Steve Soh, Nutri Pro Pets’ marketing manager. “This situation makes it impossible for my inventory to last for more than a month.”

“And now, all I can do is just ask the supplier when it will be able to produce,” he said.

The High Seas

William Fairclough, managing director of Wah Kwong Maritime Transport Holdings Ltd., which jointly owns bulkcarriers, tankers and small pressurized LPG carriers, said his firm will have to wait a little longer for the orders it has placed.

“We’ve got a couple of ships that are due to be delivered from shipyards in China, one in April and one in June, and we have already been sent a force majeure by the yard because they simply don’t have the workers, they are not there.”

“We had a ship that called in China for dry dock regular maintenance and we turned up at the shipyard last week and they just said ‘sorry, there’s just no people here.’”

He expects that to change over coming weeks as the Chinese government encourages workers to return. “It’s not an end of days game-changing event.”

New Zealand Lobsters

New Zealand’s government said on Feb. 5 that between 150 and 180 tons of live rock lobster were being held in the country in pots and tanks, at sea and on land, after Chinese buyers canceled their orders.

The government said it would allow a limited release of rock lobster back into the wild. Fisheries Minister Stuart Nash said in a release that the “decision will affect the live crayfish in holding pots at sea, and some held in tanks on land. It means they can be harvested again when the trade disruptions are resolved.”

Japanese Diggers

Japan’s Komatsu Ltd., the No. 2 maker of mining equipment, will move production of some parts from China to other Asian countries because of factory constraints. To avoid disrupting the global supply of its gigantic diggers, Komatsu will need to make or buy components used in vehicle frames, wire harnesses and casting parts in other countries such as Japan, Vietnam and Thailand, according to spokeswoman Naoko Furumai.

Rival Hitachi Construction Machinery Co. was forced to cease production of machines and parts at its plant in the eastern Chinese province of Anhui because of restrictions put in place to contain the virus. It’s going to take some time to restart manufacturing at the plant, according to Tokyo-based spokeswoman Sayori Nagaoka.

Vietnam Furniture Makers

A few months ago, Xuan Hoa Vietnam Joint Stock Co. was hosting prospective overseas clients looking to shift some of their furniture production to Vietnam from China. Now the company is scrambling to find key parts such as plastic chair netting and rubber washers to keep its assembly lines operating after Chinese suppliers closed factories.

“We are trying to keep the factory running by getting materials from other sources domestically, but we are very worried now,” said Chief Executive Officer Le Duy Anh, whose clients include Swedish furniture giant Ikea. Anh, whose factory of 500 workers lies northwest of Hanoi, has reduced employee hours as he trims production.

“We hope things will get better when summer comes and it kills the virus,” he said. “But right now we are struggling.”

See https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-02-22/coronavirus-hobbles-supply-chains-from-watches-to-lobsters (“The Virus Is Interrupting Supply Chains From Watches to Lobsters“) (emphasis in original); see also https://www.bloombergquint.com/global-economics/millions-of-chinese-firms-face-collapse-if-banks-don-t-act-fast (“Millions of Chinese Firms Face Collapse If Banks Don’t Act Fast“) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8034547/Giorgio-Armani-cancels-Milan-fashion-coronavirus-killed-two-people-near-city.html (“Giorgio Armani cancels Milan fashion show after coronavirus killed two people near the city“) and https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/24/us-futures-coronavirus-outbreak.html (“Dow futures drop 700 points as coronavirus cases outside China surge“)

Ultimately, the net effects may be as mentioned above: (1) “companies look to move business out of China,” and (2) “[t]he virus has confirmed that everyone has been too dependent on China.”

Only time will tell for certain . . . but this does not take into account the global health issues generated by the Coronavirus, which may be devastating.

See, e.g., https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8036213/World-reaches-coronavirus-tipping-point-three-deaths-spark-panic-Italy.html (“World reaches coronavirus ‘tipping point’ as three deaths spark panic in Italy“) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8037595/Coronavirus-Thousands-queue-buy-face-masks-South-Korea.html (“Coronavirus: Thousands queue to buy face masks in South Korea“)

Liked by 1 person

24 02 2020
Timothy D. Naegele

KILLER CORONAVIRUS [UPDATED]

The article above and the comments and links beneath it may present the tip of an enormous “iceberg” of economic and health calamities facing the world. Only time will tell for certain.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2020/02/20/expert-warns-quarantine-process-failed-as-china-stands-ready-to-crash-world-economy/ (“Expert Warns Quarantine Process Failed, As China Stands Ready To Crash World Economy“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2020/02/20/expert-warns-quarantine-process-failed-as-china-stands-ready-to-crash-world-economy/#comment-23171 (“The Economic Ripple Effects Of Coronavirus Are Staggering Already“); see also https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2015/07/01/global-chaos-and-helter-skelter/ (“Global Chaos And Helter Skelter“) (see also the extensive comments beneath this article)

The latest information, which will be updated as much as possible, presents dire predictions and ominous fears for the future. It is not this author’s intent to scare anyone. Indeed, there is every reason to believe that the United States and its residents may fare better than those of other countries.

For example, Sam Blanchard, Senior Health Reporter for the UK’s Daily Mail, has written:

The coronavirus sweeping the planet could be the ‘Disease X’ which experts have warned about, according to a World Health Organization representative.

The name is given to a future, mysterious pathogen which could break out among humans and wreak havoc across the world.

SARS-CoV-2 has infected around 80,000 people in the two months since it emerged at an animal market in Wuhan, China in December.

It has killed more than 2,600 and can cause severe lung damage and trigger multiple organ failure, mainly among old or weak patients.

Dr Marion Koopmans, a virologist for the WHO, said: ‘Whether it will be contained or not, this outbreak is rapidly becoming the first true pandemic challenge that fits the disease X category, listed to the WHO’s priority list of diseases for which we need to prepare in our current globalized society.’

Her comments come less than six months after a report led by a former WHO official which warned a flu-like illness could kill up to 80million people if it broke out.

In other developments to the escalating outbreak today:

• The World Health Organization admitted the killer coronavirus outbreak sweeping the world won’t be officially declared a pandemic

• Afghanistan, Bahrain, Kuwait and Iraq became the latest countries to record cases of COVID-19, the disease caused by the virus

• Italy confirmed its seventh virus death in Europe’s first major outbreak, with 11 towns in lockdown to contain the spread of the infection

• South Korea now has the largest number of cases outside of mainland China, with 830 patients known to have caught the virus

• Iranian officials denied a cover-up after a lawmaker claimed 50 people have died from the infection in the city of Qom alone

• But the UK’s official position for Italy, South Korea or Iran has not changed, with the coronavirus threat to the British public still being ‘low’

Dr Koopmans wrote: ‘Initial resemblances with the SARS outbreak in terms of its origin, the disease associated with infection, and the ability to spread are clear.

‘But since 2003, global air travel has increased more than 10-fold, and the efforts needed to try to contain the epidemic are daunting.’

Disease X ‘represents the knowledge that a serious international epidemic could be caused by a pathogen currently unknown to cause human disease’, according to the WHO.

It was listed on the global organisation’s list of top priorities for research and development two years ago. It remains on the list, despite not yet existing.

Authorities and scientists around the world should, the WHO says, be prepared to have to work together to stop this mysterious new illness when it appears.

SARS and MERS – both close cousins of the COVID-19 virus – both appear on the top priorities list.

And others on the list include Crimean-Congo haemorrhagic fever (CCHF), Ebola, Lassa fever, the Nipah virus, Rift valley fever and Zika.

Dr Koopmans accused scientists and public health experts of ‘wasting precious time’ by not preparing for outbreaks of these diseases.

In her article she said: ‘In my birth town, we used to watch the rivers flood inevitably every winter, with some people losing their homes because “that is what happens”.

‘Now, there are modern flood barriers built to channel the river, based on forward-looking investments in the past decades.

‘Our ways of dealing with outbreaks is a mixture of modern floodwalls in some parts of the world while relying on sandbags in others. Needless to say where the weakest links will be.

‘Time will tell whether the consolidated efforts of the Chinese authorities and the international public health and research community will succeed.’

Dr Koopmans made the comments in an article in the scientific journal Cell.

A report last year said there was a ‘real threat’ of a flu-like pandemic spreading around the world and killing millions of people.

The Global Preparedness Monitoring Board (GPMB), a team of health experts led by a former chief of the World Health Organization, Dr Gro Harlem Brundtland, produced the report to try and spur world leaders into action.

‘The threat of a pandemic spreading around the globe is a real one,’ the group said.

‘A quick-moving pathogen has the potential to kill tens of millions of people, disrupt economies and destabilise national security.’

The group estimated that a pandemic could kill between 50 and 80million people and wipe out five per cent of the global economy.

It said national health systems, particularly those in poor countries, would collapse under the strain of a disease spreading widely and quickly.

And the report said that recommendations and warnings it made in an earlier report have been largely ignored by world leaders.

‘Many of the recommendations reviewed were poorly implemented, or not implemented at all, and serious gaps persist,’ the GPMB wrote.

‘For too long, we have allowed a cycle of panic and neglect when it comes to pandemics: we ramp up efforts when there is a serious threat, then quickly forget about them when the threat subsides. It is well past time to act.’

A review of health care systems already in place across the world found just 13 countries had the resources to put up a fight against an ‘inevitable’ pandemic.

Among the countries ranked in the top tier were Britain, the US, Australia, Canada, France and Holland.

In other developments, the World Health Organization today admitted the killer coronavirus outbreak sweeping the world won’t be officially declared a pandemic.

Instead, the UN-body said the crisis has already been a public health emergency of international concern – the highest warning level – for a month.

Fears of a pandemic are mounting, with a surge in COVID-19 cases in South Korea, Italy and Iran taking the world close to the ‘tipping point’.

But the WHO – which defines a pandemic as the worldwide spread of a new disease – will no longer officially declare that stage of an outbreak.

The body, headquartered in Geneva in Switzerland, argues a pathogen must spread easily between humans across the world before it is called a pandemic.

The WHO said the current crisis, which has infected almost 80,000 people and killed 2,600, is a cluster of cases in 36 countries and territories which can be traced back to Asia.

An Italian passenger jet was held in Mauritius over coronavirus fears today after Italy confirmed its seventh virus death in Europe’s first major outbreak.

Dozens of passengers from Lombardy and Veneto – the two worst-affected regions of Italy – were told to return home or face quarantine in the Indian Ocean country, airline Alitalia said.

Forty of the 224 people on board eventually chose to return home to northern Italy where 50,000 people have been placed under lockdown, schools shut and public events banned in a drastic bid to contain the virus.

It is not yet clear whether any other passengers or crew were kept in quarantine in Mauritius, after initial reports said around another 30 people from the affected regions had been on the plane.

The outbreak has sparked fears that tourists returning from Italy could send the epidemic spiralling across Europe, with many Britons back at school and work after the half-term break today.

One British Airways flight to Milan was delayed this morning after a passenger left the plane shortly before take-off at Heathrow, allegedly because they feared they would catch the virus.

BA said it was ‘reviewing the situation’ today but the UK government insisted that ‘the threat to the British public is currently low’.

There is also no change in Foreign Office advice for British tourists to ‘follow the instructions of local authorities’, while Ireland has gone further and advised against travel to the virus hotspots.

One man who returned to the UK from Codogno – one of the towns in lockdown – said he called the NHS today but was told to ‘continue as usual’.

_____

WHAT IS DISEASE X?

Disease X is a term used by the World Health Organization (WHO) to refer to a disease which has not yet been discovered but is expected to have a global impact when it emerges.

The WHO says: ‘Disease X represents the knowledge a serious international epidemic could be caused by a pathogen currently unknown to cause human disease.

‘And so the research and development blueprint explicitly seeks to enable cross-cutting R&D preparedness that is also relevant for an unknown “Disease X” as far as possible.’

The name Disease X is essentially a placeholder for an illness which global experts are certain will appear at some point in the future but do not yet know what it is or where it will happen.

Simulations have predicted that a pandemic outbreak of a flu-like virus could kill tens of millions of people around the world and seriously injure the global economy.

Other illnesses which have a comparable level of concern include Ebola, Lassa fever, Zika and Congo haemorrhagic fever.

Source: World Health Organization

_____

WHO ADMITS THE OUTBREAK WILL NOT BE CALLED A PANDEMIC

The World Health Organization today admitted the killer coronavirus outbreak sweeping the world won’t be officially declared a pandemic.

Instead, the UN-body said the crisis has already been a public health emergency of international concern – the highest warning level – for a month.

Fears of a pandemic are mounting, with a surge in COVID-19 cases in South Korea, Italy and Iran taking the world close to the ‘tipping point’.

But the WHO – which defines a pandemic as the worldwide spread of a new disease – will no longer officially declare that stage of an outbreak.

The body, headquartered in Geneva in Switzerland, argues a pathogen must spread easily between humans across the world before it is called a pandemic.

The WHO said the current crisis, which has infected almost 80,000 people and killed 2,600, is a cluster of cases in 36 countries and territories and that most of the cases can be traced back to China.

_____

WHAT DO WE KNOW ABOUT THE DEADLY CORONAVIRUS IN CHINA?

Someone who is infected with the coronavirus can spread it with just a simple cough or a sneeze, scientists say.

Over 2,600 people with the virus are now confirmed to have died and more than 79,000 have been infected. But experts predict the true number of people with the disease could be as high as 350,000 in Wuhan alone. Here’s what we know so far:

What is the coronavirus?

A coronavirus is a type of virus which can cause illness in animals and people. Viruses break into cells inside their host and use them to reproduce itself and disrupt the body’s normal functions. Coronaviruses are named after the Latin word ‘corona’, which means crown, because they are encased by a spiked shell which resembles a royal crown.

The coronavirus from Wuhan is one which has never been seen before this outbreak. It has been named SARS-CoV-2 by the International Committee on Taxonomy of Viruses. The name stands for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome coronavirus 2.

Experts say the bug, which has killed around one in 50 patients since the outbreak began in December, is a ‘sister’ of the SARS illness which hit China in 2002, so has been named after it.

The disease that the virus causes has been named COVID-19, which stands for coronavirus disease 2019.

Dr Helena Maier, from the Pirbright Institute, said: ‘Coronaviruses are a family of viruses that infect a wide range of different species including humans, cattle, pigs, chickens, dogs, cats and wild animals.

‘Until this new coronavirus was identified, there were only six different coronaviruses known to infect humans. Four of these cause a mild common cold-type illness, but since 2002 there has been the emergence of two new coronaviruses that can infect humans and result in more severe disease (Severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) coronaviruses).

‘Coronaviruses are known to be able to occasionally jump from one species to another and that is what happened in the case of SARS, MERS and the new coronavirus. The animal origin of the new coronavirus is not yet known.’

The first human cases were publicly reported from the Chinese city of Wuhan, where approximately 11million people live, after medics first started publicly reporting infections on December 31.

By January 8, 59 suspected cases had been reported and seven people were in critical condition. Tests were developed for the new virus and recorded cases started to surge.

The first person died that week and, by January 16, two were dead and 41 cases were confirmed. The next day, scientists predicted that 1,700 people had become infected, possibly up to 7,000.

Just a week after that, there had been more than 800 confirmed cases and those same scientists estimated that some 4,000 – possibly 9,700 – were infected in Wuhan alone. By that point, 26 people had died.

By January 27, more than 2,800 people were confirmed to have been infected, 81 had died, and estimates of the total number of cases ranged from 100,000 to 350,000 in Wuhan alone.

By January 29, the number of deaths had risen to 132 and cases were in excess of 6,000.

By February 5, there were more than 24,000 cases and 492 deaths.

By February 11, this had risen to more than 43,000 cases and 1,000 deaths.

A change in the way cases are confirmed on February 13 – doctors decided to start using lung scans as a formal diagnosis, as well as laboratory tests – caused a spike in the number of cases, to more than 60,000 and to 1,369 deaths.

By February 24, around 80,000 people had been infected and some 2,600 had died.

Where does the virus come from?

According to scientists, the virus almost certainly came from bats. Coronaviruses in general tend to originate in animals – the similar SARS and MERS viruses are believed to have originated in civet cats and camels, respectively.

The first cases of COVID-19 came from people visiting or working in a live animal market in Wuhan, which has since been closed down for investigation.

Although the market is officially a seafood market, other dead and living animals were being sold there, including wolf cubs, salamanders, snakes, peacocks, porcupines and camel meat.

A study by the Wuhan Institute of Virology, published in February 2020 in the scientific journal Nature, found that the genetic make-up virus samples found in patients in China is 96 per cent identical to a coronavirus they found in bats.

However, there were not many bats at the market so scientists say it was likely there was an animal which acted as a middle-man, contracting it from a bat before then transmitting it to a human. It has not yet been confirmed what type of animal this was.

Dr Michael Skinner, a virologist at Imperial College London, was not involved with the research but said: ‘The discovery definitely places the origin of nCoV in bats in China.

‘We still do not know whether another species served as an intermediate host to amplify the virus, and possibly even to bring it to the market, nor what species that host might have been.’

So far the fatalities are quite low. Why are health experts so worried about it?

Experts say the international community is concerned about the virus because so little is known about it and it appears to be spreading quickly.

It is similar to SARS, which infected 8,000 people and killed nearly 800 in an outbreak in Asia in 2003, in that it is a type of coronavirus which infects humans’ lungs. It is less deadly than SARS, however.

Another reason for concern is that nobody has any immunity to the virus because they’ve never encountered it before. This means it may be able to cause more damage than viruses we come across often, like the flu or common cold.

Speaking at a briefing in January, Oxford University professor, Dr Peter Horby, said: ‘Novel viruses can spread much faster through the population than viruses which circulate all the time because we have no immunity to them.

‘Most seasonal flu viruses have a case fatality rate of less than one in 1,000 people. Here we’re talking about a virus where we don’t understand fully the severity spectrum but it’s possible the case fatality rate could be as high as two per cent.’

If the death rate is truly two per cent, that means two out of every 100 patients who get it will die.

‘My feeling is it’s lower,’ Dr Horby added. ‘We’re probably missing this iceberg of milder cases. But that’s the current circumstance we’re in.

‘Two per cent case fatality rate is comparable to the Spanish Flu pandemic in 1918 so it is a significant concern globally.’

How does the virus spread?

The illness can spread between people just through coughs and sneezes, making it an extremely contagious infection. And it may also spread even before someone has symptoms.

It is believed to travel in the saliva and even through water in the eyes, therefore close contact, kissing, and sharing cutlery or utensils are all risky.

Originally, people were thought to be catching it from a live animal market in Wuhan city. But cases soon began to emerge in people who had never been there, which forced medics to realise it was spreading from person to person.

There is now evidence that it can spread third hand – to someone from a person who caught it from another person.

What does the virus do to you? What are the symptoms?

Once someone has caught the COVID-19 virus it may take between two and 14 days, or even longer, for them to show any symptoms – but they may still be contagious during this time.

If and when they do become ill, typical signs include a runny nose, a cough, sore throat and a fever (high temperature). The vast majority of patients – at least 97 per cent, based on available data – will recover from these without any issues or medical help.

In a small group of patients, who seem mainly to be the elderly or those with long-term illnesses, it can lead to pneumonia. Pneumonia is an infection in which the insides of the lungs swell up and fill with fluid. It makes it increasingly difficult to breathe and, if left untreated, can be fatal and suffocate people.

What have genetic tests revealed about the virus?

Scientists in China have recorded the genetic sequences of around 19 strains of the virus and released them to experts working around the world.

This allows others to study them, develop tests and potentially look into treating the illness they cause.

Examinations have revealed the coronavirus did not change much – changing is known as mutating – much during the early stages of its spread.

However, the director-general of China’s Center for Disease Control and Prevention, Gao Fu, said the virus was mutating and adapting as it spread through people.

This means efforts to study the virus and to potentially control it may be made extra difficult because the virus might look different every time scientists analyse it.

More study may be able to reveal whether the virus first infected a small number of people then change and spread from them, or whether there were various versions of the virus coming from animals which have developed separately.

How dangerous is the virus?

The virus has a death rate of around two per cent. This is a similar death rate to the Spanish Flu outbreak which, in 1918, went on to kill around 50million people.

However, experts say the true number of patients is likely considerably higher and therefore the death rate considerably lower. Imperial College London researchers estimate that there were 4,000 (up to 9,700) cases in Wuhan city alone up to January 18 – officially there were only 444 there to that date. If cases are in fact 100 times more common than the official figures, the virus may be far less dangerous than currently believed, but also far more widespread.

Experts say it is likely only the most seriously ill patients who are seeking help and are therefore recorded – the vast majority will have only mild, cold-like symptoms. For those whose conditions do become more severe, there is a risk of developing pneumonia which can destroy the lungs and kill them.

Can the virus be cured?

The COVID-19 virus cannot be cured and it is proving difficult to contain.

Antibiotics do not work against viruses, so they are out of the question. Antiviral drugs can work, but the process of understanding a virus then developing and producing drugs to treat it would take years and huge amounts of money.

No vaccine exists for the coronavirus yet and it’s not likely one will be developed in time to be of any use in this outbreak, for similar reasons to the above.

The National Institutes of Health in the US, and Baylor University in Waco, Texas, say they are working on a vaccine based on what they know about coronaviruses in general, using information from the SARS outbreak. But this may take a year or more to develop, according to Pharmaceutical Technology.

Currently, governments and health authorities are working to contain the virus and to care for patients who are sick and stop them infecting other people.

People who catch the illness are being quarantined in hospitals, where their symptoms can be treated and they will be away from the uninfected public.

And airports around the world are putting in place screening measures such as having doctors on-site, taking people’s temperatures to check for fevers and using thermal screening to spot those who might be ill (infection causes a raised temperature).

However, it can take weeks for symptoms to appear, so there is only a small likelihood that patients will be spotted up in an airport.

Is this outbreak an epidemic or a pandemic?

The outbreak is an epidemic, which is when a disease takes hold of one community such as a country or region.

Although it has spread to dozens of countries, the outbreak is not yet classed as a pandemic, which is defined by the World Health Organization as the ‘worldwide spread of a new disease’.

The head of WHO’s global infectious hazard preparedness, Dr Sylvie Briand, said: ‘Currently we are not in a pandemic. We are at the phase where it is an epidemic with multiple foci, and we try to extinguish the transmission in each of these foci,’ the Guardian reported.

She said that most cases outside of Hubei had been ‘spillover’ from the epicentre, so the disease wasn’t actually spreading actively around the world.

See https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-8037835/Coronavirus-rapidly-fitting-Disease-X-category-World-Health-Organization-expert-warns.html (“Is the killer coronavirus now disease X? World Health Organization expert warns the infection is ‘rapidly’ fitting category for the mysterious pathogen scientists fear will kill 80million”) (emphasis in original; graph, diagram and video omitted); see also https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8037389/Beijing-warns-citizens-not-travel-unfair-treatment-amid-coronavirus-outbreak.html (“Beijing warns its citizens not to travel to the US due to unfair treatment amid coronavirus outbreak“) and https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/24/us-futures-coronavirus-outbreak.html (“Dow plunges 1,000 points on coronavirus fears, 3.5% drop is worst in two years“) and https://www.msn.com/en-us/news/world/coronavirus-skyrockets-in-italy-cases-surge-from-3-to-more-than-200-in-a-few-days/ar-BB10jFlo (“Italy’s coronavirus lockdown shows how the outbreak is testing democracies“) and https://apnews.com/041a70e832d06dc7f09e0f724efa1321 (“Desperate to stop virus’ spread, countries limit travel“) and https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/25/coronavirus-latest-updates.html (“US confirms 53 cases, CDC outlines pandemic planning“) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-8043325/Top-CDC-official-says-parents-need-prepare-tele-schooling-coronavirus-pandemic.html (“Top CDC official says parents need to prepare for tele-schooling if coronavirus becomes pandemic“) and https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/health-ministry-quarantine-precautions/2020/02/26/id/955924/ (“Israel Warns Against Any International Travel“) and https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/coca-cola-sweetener-supply/2020/02/26/id/955927/ (“Coca-Cola’s Artificial Sweetener Supply Hit by Virus“) and https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2020/02/27/gov-newsom-coronavirus-testing-kits-shortage/ (“California only has 200 testing kits for the coronavirus“) and https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/26/dow-futures-fall-after-microsoft-issues-coronavirus-warning.html (“Dow plunges 1,100 points, bringing its decline from a record high to more than 10%“) and https://variety.com/2020/biz/asia/tokyo-disneyland-theme-parks-coronavirus-1203518619/ (“Tokyo Disneyland Theme Parks Closed in Coronavirus Reaction“)


[“Coronaviruses are named after the Latin word ‘corona’, which means crown, because they are encased by a spiked shell which resembles a royal crown”]

Liked by 1 person

28 02 2020
Timothy D. Naegele

California Is A Disaster

It has been reported that California is monitoring at least 8,400 people for the coronavirus. At the same time, the state only has 200 testing kits for the virus.

If this is not a basis for getting rid of the governor and all Democratic officials in the state—and in other far-Left states like it—nothing ever will be. And yes, lots of us began as Democrats but will never vote for one again.

See https://www.cnbc.com/2020/02/27/california-is-monitoring-8400-people-for-the-coronavirus.html (“California is monitoring at least 8,400 people for the coronavirus“) and https://sanfrancisco.cbslocal.com/2020/02/27/gov-newsom-coronavirus-testing-kits-shortage/ (“California only has 200 testing kits for the coronavirus“)

Liked by 1 person

7 03 2020
Timothy D. Naegele

The Coronavirus Pandemic Is Arriving With A Thud [UPDATED]

Eric Mack has written at Newsmax.com:

One best-case-scenario study suggests the coronavirus is going to ultimately kill 15 million people and a make a $2.4 trillion hit to world gross domestic product.

Australian National University looked at seven scenarios of how the global outbreak might impact humanity and world GDP, using a statistical model based on the Hong Kong flu from 1968 to 1969 that killed an estimated 1 million.

“Our scenarios show that even a contained outbreak could significantly impact the global economy in the short run,” economics professor at ANU Warwick McKibbin wrote in the study. “In the case where Covid-19 develops into a global pandemic, our results suggest that the cost can escalate quickly.

“Even in the best-case scenario of a low-severity impact, the economic fallout is going to be enormous and countries need to work together to limit the potential damage as much as possible. This is particularly the case when it comes to the potential loss of life.”

The highest-end prediction, using the Spanish flu from 1918 to 1920 that killed 17 million and cost GDP $50 million, projects 68 million dead and a GDP hit of $9 trillion, per the study.

The study was designed to spur world policymakers to take a serious approach to the coronavirus. The U.S. Congress has already passed $8.3 billion to address it.

“Our study shows the possible costs that can be avoided through global cooperative investment in public health in all countries,” McKibbin wrote. “There needs to be vastly more investment in public health and development, especially in the poorest countries.

“All major countries need to participate actively. It is too late to attempt to close borders once the disease has taken hold in many other countries and a global pandemic has started.”

See https://www.newsmax.com/newsfront/gdp-death-epidemic-medical/2020/03/07/id/957321/ (“Best-Case Scenario 15M Dead, $2.4T GDP Hit“) (emphasis added); see also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pandemic (“Pandemic“) and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_epidemics (“List of epidemics“) and https://www.newsmax.com/us/fauci-coronavirus-nih-cruise/2020/03/08/id/957376/ (“NIH’s Dr. Fauci to Elderly and Vulnerable: ‘Don’t Get on a Cruise Ship'”) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8102665/Donald-Trump-closes-borders-Europe-pledges-financial-aid-sick.html (“Donald Trump closes the borders with Europe and pledges financial aid for the sick“) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8101135/Intensive-care-units-stop-treating-elderly-coronavirus-outbreak-worsens.html (“Italy announces all shops except pharmacies and food outlets will CLOSE amid coronavirus crisis“) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8101887/Ohio-order-force-NCAA-Tournament-games-without-fans.html (“NCAA officially BANS spectators from March Madness games“) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8101871/New-York-City-cancels-St-Patricks-Day-parade.html (“Coronavirus US: New York City cancels St Patrick’s Day parade“) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8100447/Bottom-line-going-worse-Dr-Tony-Fauci-offers-grim-assessment-coronavirus.html (“‘Bottom line, it’s going to get worse’: Dr. Tony Fauci offers grim assessment of coronavirus”) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8102785/Tom-Hanks-wife-Rita-Wilson-test-positive-coronavirus.html (“Tom Hanks and wife Rita Wilson test positive for coronavirus“) and https://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-51835856 (“Coronavirus: Up to 70% of Germany could become infected – Merkel“) and https://www.cnbc.com/2020/03/12/coronavirus-nba-suspends-season-after-player-tests-positive.html (“Coronavirus: NBA suspends season after player tests positive“) and https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/coronavirus-nyc-venues-shutter-1284249 (“Broadway to Go Dark, NYC Venues Shutter Amid Coronavirus Pandemic“) and https://www.wnd.com/2020/03/china-doubles-blaming-america-coronavirus/ (“China doubles down on blaming America for coronavirus”—”Fox News reported Chinese state-run media began spreading the wild suggestion that ‘President Trump went to China and released vials of COVID-19 on groups of unsuspecting men, women and children'”) and https://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/ncaa-cancels-march-madness-tournament-coronavirus-outbreak-1284245 (“NCAA Cancels March Madness Tournament Amid Coronavirus Outbreak“)

The Coronavirus is changing lives like nothing the world has faced since World War II.

Like

13 03 2020
Timothy D. Naegele

Will The Coronavirus Kill The New World Order? [UPDATED]

This is the question posed by Pat Buchanan—an adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, and a former GOP presidential aspirant himself—who has written:

Dr. Brian Monahan, attending physician of Congress, told a closed meeting of Senate staffers this week that 70 million to 150 million Americans — a third of the nation — could contract the coronavirus. Dr. Anthony Fauci testified that the mortality rate for COVID-19 will likely run near 1%.

Translation: Between 750,000 and 1.1 million Americans may die of this disease before it runs its course. The latter figure is equal to all the U.S. dead in World War II and on both sides in the Civil War.

Chancellor Angela Merkel warns that 70% of Germany’s population — 58 million people — could contract the coronavirus. If she is right, and Fauci’s mortality rate holds for her country, that could mean more than half a million dead Germans.

Czech Prime Minister Andrej Babis called Merkel’s remark “unhelpful” and said it could cause panic. But Harvard epidemiologist Marc Lipsitch seemed to support Merkel, saying between 40% and 70% of the world’s population could become infected.

Again, if Fauci’s 1% mortality rate and Lipsitch’s estimate prove on target, between 3 billion and 5 billion people on earth will be infected, and 30 million to 50 million will die, a death toll greater than that of the Spanish Flu of 1918.

There is, however, some contradictory news.

China, with 81,000 cases, has noted a deceleration in new cases and South Korea appears to be gradually containing the spread of the virus.

Yet, Italy, with its large elderly population, may be a harbinger of what is to come in the West.

As of Thursday, Italy had reported 12,000 cases and 827 deaths, a mortality rate of nearly 7%. This suggests that the unreported and undetected infections in shutdown Italy are far more numerous.

In the U.S., the death toll at this writing is 39, a tiny fraction of the annual toll of tens of thousands who die of the flu.

But the problem is this: COVID-19 has not nearly run its course in the USA, while the reaction in society and the economy approaches what we might expect from a boiling national disaster.

The stock market has plunged further and faster than it did in the Great Crash of 1929. Trillions of dollars in wealth have vanished. If Sen. Bernie Sanders does not like “millionaires and billionaires,” he should be pleased. There are far fewer of them today than there were when he won the New Hampshire primary.

What does the future hold?

It may one day be said that the coronavirus delivered the deathblow to the New World Order, to a half-century of globalization, and to the era of interdependence of the world’s great nations.

Tourism, air travel, vacation cruises, international gatherings and festivals are already shutting down. Travel bans between countries and continents are being imposed. Conventions, concerts and sporting events are being canceled. Will the Tokyo Olympics go forward? If they do, will all the anticipated visitors from abroad come to Japan to enjoy the games?

Trump has issued a one-month travel ban on Europe.

As for the “open borders” crowd, do Democrats still believe that breaking into our country should no longer be a crime, and immigrants arriving illegally should be given free health care, a proposition to which all the Democratic debaters raised their hands?

The ideological roots of our free trade era can be traced to the mid-19th century when its great evangelist, Richard Cobden, rose at Free Trade Hall in Manchester on Jan. 15, 1846, and rhapsodized:

“I see in the Free Trade principle that which shall act on the moral world as the principle of gravitation in the universe — drawing men together, thrusting aside the antagonism of race, and creed, and language, and uniting us in the bonds of eternal peace.”

In the pre-Trump era, Republicans held hands with liberal Democrats in embracing NAFTA, GATT, the WTO and most-favored-nation trade privileges for China.

In retrospect, was it wise to have relied on China to produce essential parts for the supply chains of goods vital to our national security? Does it appear wise to have moved the production of pharmaceuticals and lifesaving drugs for heart disease, strokes and diabetes to China? Does it appear wise to have allowed China to develop a virtual monopoly on rare earth minerals crucial to the development of weapons for our defense?

In this coronavirus pandemic, people now seem to be looking for authoritative leaders and nations seem to be looking out for their own peoples first. Would Merkel, today, invite a million Syrian refugees into Germany no matter the conditions under which they were living in Syria and Turkey?

Is not the case now conclusive that we made a historic mistake when we outsourced our economic independence to rely for vital necessities upon nations that have never had America’s best interests at heart?

Which rings truer today? We are all part of mankind, all citizens of the world. Or that it’s time to put America and Americans first!

See https://buchanan.org/blog/will-the-coronavirus-kill-the-new-world-order-138281 (emphasis added); see also https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8107427/America-shuts-Congress-warned-150MILLION-infected-coronavirus.html (“America shuts down as Congress is warned 150MILLION will be infected with coronavirus: Highways and airports are deserted, DC is a ghost town and millions of people mob grocery stores to get supplies“)

We may be at a turning point in human history, not seen since World War II. Hold on tight. The ride may be bumpy, and perilous.

Lastly, China lies and lies and lies. It unleashed the Coronavirus, and it must be boycotted.

See, e.g., https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8105527/China-government-spokesman-says-U-S-military-bought-virus-China.html (“China says U.S. military may have brought coronavirus to epicenter Wuhan“)

Like

15 03 2020
Timothy D. Naegele

America’s hospitals Will Be Overrun In Just Eight Days [UPDATED]

This is the assertion of Barack Obama’s Medicare boss, which has been reported by Jennifer Smith in the UK’s Daily Mail:

America’s hospitals will be overrun with coronavirus patients in just eight days and face months of strain, according to Obama’s former Medicare boss.

Andy Slavitt, former Acting Administrator of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, issued the dire warning on Twitter on Saturday along with a string of advice for the public, governments and health workers.

‘Last night I was on with state & local officials around the US well into the night.

‘By March 23 many of our largest cities & hospitals are on course to be overrun with cases,’ he wrote.

Slavitt then listed highlights from the memo he had prepared which included telling people to self-isolate now, closing bars and restaurants, frantically sourcing medical supplies ‘even from the black market’ if necessary and gearing up for the ‘tsunami’ of patients that will soon arrive at hospitals.

‘The stakes are higher than any most of us have ever experienced: wars, 9/11, whatever,’ he later added.

As of Saturday morning, there were more than confirmed 2,200 cases of COVID-19 in the US and 50 people had died from it but doctors are warning there are more like 500,000 already infected and that we just do not know it [yet] because so few people have been tested.

Dr. Marty Makary, a professor at Johns Hopkins University, said that was likely a gross under-representation of the true scale.

‘Don’t believe the numbers when you see, even on our Johns Hopkins website, that 1,600 Americans have the virus. No, that means 1,600 got the test, tested positive.

‘There are probably 25 to 50 people who have the virus for every one person who is confirmed.

‘I think we have between 50,000 and half a million cases right now walking around in the United States,’ he told Yahoo Finance.

Dr. Makary urged people to be more vigilant.

‘I’m concerned when I hear a neighbor or a friend say that they’re planning to go to a kid’s swim meet in three weeks or going on vacation next week.

‘No — we’re about to experience the worst public health epidemic since polio,’ he said starkly.

The estimate of how many more people are going to become infected ranges wildly but congress’s doctor has said as many as 150million people may become infected, and Johns Hopkins says as many as 10million may need to be hospitalized because of it.

The Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security estimates that 38 million Americans will need medical care for COVID-19.

Of that number, as many as 9.6 million will need to be hospitalized and about a third of them – some 3million – will need ICU-level care.

There are only 100,000 ICU beds in America and 790,000 ordinary beds across the country. Not all of those people will need to be hospitalized at the same time, and experts say the crisis could last up to nine months.

But hospitals are not sitting empty, waiting for severe cases of coronavirus patients to arrive. Many are still busy with flu patients, some of whom require intense levels of care.

‘This is going to be a fairly tremendous strain on our health system,’ Dr. William Jaquis, president of the American College of Emergency Physicians, said.

Dr. Gabriel Cade of Blue Ridge Regional said: ‘We’ve got to expect that this is going to be bad. The situation in Italy is a huge eye-opener.’

A ‘moderate’ outbreak could result in 200,000 patients needing intensive care, Dr. Leana Wen, an emergency medicine specialist at George Washington said.

‘The U.S. only has 100,000 intensive care beds, and most are already occupied. If tens of thousands become sick at once, people will simply not receive the care that they need,’ she said.

Aside from people needing intensive care, USA Today predicts that there will be six people fighting for every ordinary hospital bed when the outbreak peaks.

But before anyone is admitted to the hospital, the testing phase needs to be completed.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo said earlier this week that he was going to look at turning shuttered public venues into make-shift hospitals to treat the sick.

Trump’s national emergency declaration on Friday allows hospitals to make fast decisions about hiring, freeing up hospital beds and resourcing supplies.

It also allows medical personnel to travel and work between states. Many doctors and nurses are coming out of retirement to help in the crisis

From the beginning of the outbreak, there has been consistent criticism of the way the government has handled testing.

As more tests are finally rolled out across the country over the coming weeks and months, there will be a surge in the number of positive cases.

To try to stop the spread, Trump has closed the border with Europe and people in the US are being told to practice social distancing.

On Saturday, he tweeted: ‘Attending meetings on Covid-19 in the White House. Working with States and local governments, many of whom have done a great job. Full report latter (sic)’

He later tweeted: ‘SOCIAL DISTANCING!’

There have been fears over whether or not the president himself has come into contact with the virus. Several people he has come into contact with over the last few weeks have tested positive for the virus.

At a press conference on Friday where he declared a national state of emergency, he shook hands with several of the people who had joined him to deliver information on a plan.

_____

BILL PASSED TO BEAT CORONAVIRUS

A coronavirus economic aid bill was passed by 363 votes to 40 by the House of Representatives in the early hours of Saturday morning after receiving support from President Trump who declared a national emergency because of the coronavirus on Friday afternoon.

The sweeping relief package includes two weeks of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave as the coronavirus is now confirmed in 49 states. West Virginia is the only state not to have a case by Friday evening.

Trump threw his support behind the legislation which faced a vote in the House early Saturday morning, after announcing a national emergency over coronavirus and later designating this Sunday, March 15, a National Prayer Day.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi on Friday announced the deal with the Trump administration for an aid package from Congress that would provide free tests even for the uninsured, enhanced unemployment benefits by boosting food stamps, and federal funds for Medicaid.

It will also bolster food programs with additional food aid.

Additionally it will include two weeks of paid sick leave and up to three months of paid family and medical leave for Americans who work for businesses with less than 500 employees or the government and are infected by the virus.

The bill was passed by the House in a post-midnight vote on Saturday morning after a last-minute push to get details agreed. It will now go to a vote in the Senate when it returns next week.

Amid concerns from Republicans on Friday, who claimed they would not vote for the response bill without being sure of Trump’s support, the president encouraged both parties to vote yes.

‘I fully support H.R. 6201: Families First CoronaVirus Response Act, which will be voted on in the House this evening. This Bill will follow my direction for free CoronaVirus tests, and paid sick leave for our impacted American workers,’ Trump tweeted.

‘I have directed the Secretary of the Treasury and the Secretary of Labor to issue regulations that will provide flexibility so that in no way will Small Businesses be hurt. I encourage all Republicans and Democrats to come together and VOTE YES!

‘I will always put the health and well-being of American families FIRST. Look forward to signing the final Bill, ASAP!’ he added.

See https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8112063/America-braces-coronvirus-collapse-100-00-ICU-beds-10-MILLION-hospitalized.html (“America’s hospitals will be overrun with coronavirus in just EIGHT DAYS: Obama’s Medicare boss issues dire warning as doctors say as many as 500,000 are already infected and 10 MILLION will need care“) (emphasis added; videos, Tweets and diagram omitted); see also https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8112479/Trump-tested-coronavirus-waiting-results.html (“Trump test NEGATIVE for coronavirus“) and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spanish_flu (“Spanish flu”—”The death toll is estimated to have been anywhere from 17 million to 50 million, and possibly as high as 100 million, making it one of the deadliest epidemics in human history”)

Like

18 03 2020
Timothy D. Naegele

China’s Hitler, And Beyond The Coronavirus Crisis


[Xi Jinping]

Former Speaker of the United States House of Representatives Newt Gingrich has written:

Writing from Italy, where the coronavirus pandemic is at its strongest, I am fully committed to taking the most draconian steps necessary to keep people physically separated until the virus dies out for lack of new hosts.

My op-ed last week made clear how strongly I believe that we have to take bold, strong measures on both the public health and the economic fronts.

I strongly supported the $8.3 billion bill for coronavirus actions – and I support the bill now in the Senate that will send emergency relief to many American businesses and American workers.

The shape of a $1 trillion emergency bill is beginning to be clear. It is driven by deep fears. The first fear is that so many Americans will be out of work and in deep financial distress that we simply have to get them enough cash to survive for a month (with an expectation that if the pandemic is still threatening us, there may be a second check a month later).

It tells you something about the scale of the crisis – and the daring boldness of President Trump as an entrepreneur – that he is prepared to defend the largest government handout to individuals in American history. It will be fascinating to see how Americans respond when they get the checks and have the money.

Second, the new emergency bill will focus on saving targeted industries that will be destroyed by the pandemic unless they get help. Airlines and cruise lines are two good examples of industries that were successful a month ago and are now being crushed by the impact of fighting the pandemic. If we do not help these industries, they will go bankrupt, and when the virus is defeated there will be no companies to fill the niches.

These are all reasonable steps in an unreasonable time. On projects of this scale there will be mistakes, sloppiness, and waste. This is inevitable. It was the same in World War II – or any other massive mobilization.

Today, though, I want to suggest that President Trump create a planning team to think beyond the immediate crisis. The public health experts believe the pandemic may last several months. The economy will not take this kind of total freeze for much longer. We need a plan to restart the economy and to, step-by-step, make it possible for Americans to be active and productive even while we are fighting the virus.

Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Hong Kong, and Singapore have all done a better job than the western countries. We ought to have the courage to admit this and study these countries to figure out what they are doing that we can learn, emulate, and even improve upon.

We need two enormous steps beyond the trillion-dollar emergency bill.

First, we need a methodical plan to begin reopening businesses under controlled circumstances. When I was in South Korea, the major hotels had a person at the front door checking the temperatures of every person who came in. Restaurants willing to resize to provide physical distancing should be able to open if they check temperatures of every staff person, every day, and check the temperature of every guest when they walk in. Thermometers may be as helpful as washing your hands in managing the transitional world we have to enter if we are to save the economy from the tyranny of a single focus on the virus. Public health comes first – but a healthy economy is a much closer second than the current system seems to understand.

A large part of this methodical plan could be learned by studying how we demobilized and went from a wartime economy to a peacetime economy in 1865, 1918, and 1945. We have an economic patient that is going to need reviving fully as much as the physical patients will.

Second, with the follow-on trillion-dollar legislation, we will have adopted more than enough Keynesian demand side pump priming. We will have engaged in what Milton Friedman called “helicopter money.”

However, beginning with Jack Kemp and Ronald Reagan, a classic economic principle was resurrected called “supply side economics.” Supply side economics is based on the idea that if you encourage enough innovation and investment you will generate a lot of jobs. If you generate a lot of jobs, you will have generated a lot of money in the form of salaries and profits. Furthermore, if you focus on growing the supply side, you mop up the money and avoid inflation (note that Reagan’s growth period saw monetary stability while Carter’s desperate experiment in demand side spending simply led to 13 percent inflation and 8 percent unemployment).

As soon as the emergency bill is completed, the Trump administration needs to immediately begin drafting a supply side “Economic Growth, Jobs and Prosperity Act of 2020.” This act should include:

• Making 100 percent expensing permanent, so companies can invest in a better future;

• Further reducing the capital gains tax to incentivize investment;

• Issuing 50- and 100-year bonds to lock in the current low interest rates on our debt (saving an estimated $3 trillion in interest over the next three decades). This would be financing – at no new cost to the taxpayer – a $1 trillion infrastructure program while reducing the out-year debt by $2 trillion;

• Creating a one-time, 100 percent tax credit for companies that in-source their production from China back to the United States;

• Making any profits from space activities tax-free for the next 30 years to incentivize the private sector to develop commercial space – including the president’s Moon and Mars development project.

Ultimately, managing the transition back to a healthy, growing economy is as important as public health. Remember, a long absolute shutdown of the American economy will kill more people than the pandemic through poverty and despair.

We must manage both the physical health and the economic health of America. We can’t afford to sacrifice either.

See https://www.gingrich360.com/2020/03/beyond-the-crisis-protecting-our-physical-and-economic-health/ (“Beyond the Crisis – Protecting Our Physical and Economic Health“); see also https://www.gingrich360.com/2020/03/america-italy-and-the-dual-coronavirus-threats/ (“America-Italy and the Dual Coronavirus Threats”—”Because the demand for respirators and intensive care has been beyond any previous planning, doctors have been forced into the kind of triage thinking developed for intense battlefield casualty situations. There are reports that emergency room doctors are allotting respirators to those with higher life expectancy due to the limited equipment in the hardest hit areas of the province. If you are older or have other illnesses, you may simply not be eligible for treatment. . . . President Trump was right to cut off travel from China as soon as it was clear how big the pandemic was going to be. He saved American lives and bought time for America to be more prepared as the pandemic developed. . . . By the same standard, President Trump was exactly right to ban travel from Europe. . . . Faced with a pandemic threat, history teaches us it is far better to be over prepared than underprepared. . . . We should be planning for a worst-case pandemic and using the kind of intensity of implementation which served us so well in World War II. . . . At the same time, we are solving the public health crisis we also must solve the economic challenge. Italy has a worrisome economic problem, because it was already sliding into a recession and the necessary steps to isolate the disease will also crush the economy. There is a real danger that the Italian banks will fail and will pull the European banks down with them. As President Trump and the Congress consider what we must do to keep America growing and prosperous they have to recognize that we may need to grow strongly enough to help pull Europe out of a deep recession by this fall. We can’t just think about what is happening economically in the United States. A collapsing Europe would have huge impact on the entire world economy including America“) and https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/08/13/china-is-americas-enemy-and-the-enemy-of-free-people-everywhere/#comment-23495 (“China Lies And Lies And Lies, And It Must Be Boycotted“)

One impressive businessperson and “seer” has asked with respect to China and its dictatorial leader Xi:

Did they do it on purpose? I feel that they might risk part of their massive population to crush us.

The answer, of course, is that Mao would have done that. So would Hitler; and in fact he did it.

Some might argue that such reasoning by us is fanciful, unrealistic, racist and warmongering. I prefer to err on the side of caution, pragmatism and realism.

The Chinese economy was teetering; they were losing the economic and military race with us; and they were developing such weapons at their lab near Wuhan. Why? Why not use them?

Some of China’s population has been sacrificed already, just as Mao did. The world is in chaos. China may be recovering. Are they realizing their goal?

Let’s add one other factor into the equation: China’s ability and willingness to launch a nation-ending EMP Attack against us, to finish us off. Sound far-fetched/ Maybe. Maybe not.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2010/01/19/emp-attack-only-30-million-americans-survive/ (“EMP Attack: Only 30 Million Americans Survive“) and https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-17/mnuchin-warns-virus-could-yield-20-jobless-rate-without-action-k7wheob8 (“Mnuchin warns virus could yield 20% jobless rate without action“) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8122673/Global-recession-begins-FIFTH-workers-lost-wages-coronavirus.html (“Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin ‘warns unemployment in the US could hit 20 PERCENT’ for the first time since 1935: Coronavirus plunges economy into recession with a fifth of workers already losing wages and fears millions will be laid off in days“)

Lastly, thank God for President Trump. He is telling the truth.

See https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8125915/Donald-Trump-triples-calling-coronavirus-Chinese-virus.html (“Donald Trump triples down on calling coronavirus ‘the Chinese virus'”) and https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8125943/Fox-News-host-Tucker-Carlson-praises-Donald-Trump-calling-coronavirus-Chinese-virus.html (“Fox News host Tucker Carlson backs Donald Trump for calling coronavirus ‘the Chinese virus’ and says it shows the president ‘at his best'”)

Make no mistake about it, as I have written before, China is America’s enemy and the enemy of free people everywhere. And Xi Jinping is its autocratic and sinister leader.

See https://naegeleblog.wordpress.com/2019/08/13/china-is-americas-enemy-and-the-enemy-of-free-people-everywhere/#comment-23495 (“China Lies And Lies And Lies, And It Must Be Boycotted“)

Like

20 03 2020
Timothy D. Naegele

We Are At War

And China’s authoritarian leader, Xi Jinping, is the face of our enemy.

Pat Buchanan—an adviser to Presidents Richard Nixon, Ronald Reagan and Gerald Ford, and a former GOP presidential aspirant himself—has written:

“It’s a war,” says President Donald Trump of his efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic, and likening his role to that of “wartime president.”

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo welcomed the president’s claim to his commander in chief role in the crisis and his resolve: “The president and I agreed yesterday… we’re fighting the same war — and this is a war.”

Some measures already taken do call to mind actions in wartime.

Commercial airline flights have been reduced or canceled. Schools have been closed. Universities have shut their doors.

Where Ford, Chrysler, GM and other great auto companies shifted production to jeeps, tanks and bombers in 1942, U.S. auto factories have today been shut down to prevent the spread of the virus.

Bars and restaurants are being closed.

This month, millions of Americans will be added to unemployment rolls, and millions of senior citizens and elderly have already followed government directives to “self-isolate” or “shelter in place.”

There is talk of quarantines lasting not days or weeks, as Americans knew in the days of measles, mumps, chickenpox, scarlet fever and polio, but months.

While a new social solidarity and spirit of self-sacrifice seem to be manifesting themselves in this pandemic, can it endure?

Is the country prepared for months, or years, of social isolation, if that is what is required to win this war?

It is a question that needs to be addressed.

Consider. The Chinese government, whose word is admittedly suspect, claims to have achieved a deceleration in the daily number of new coronavirus infections. The South Koreans say they, too, have broken and reversed the momentum of the spread of the virus.

On March 3, the number of new cases of the coronavirus reported across South Korea was 852. On St. Patrick’s Day, March 17, exactly two weeks later, the count was 85 new cases, a plunge of 90%.

South Korea appears to have “flattened the curve.”

We Americans, however, are far from that.

Exactly how far behind South Korea we are cannot be known until more tens of thousands of Americans are tested, and we learn how many cases of the disease are out there undiscovered and unreported.

But whatever the success of Asian nations in containing the virus, are we politically and socially able to impose the same draconian measures?

Ordering people to “shelter in place” in their own homes, not just for days or weeks but months — can this be done in a free society, as it can be done in the surveillance state of Communist China?

Can mayors and governors of beach towns along the East Coast from Maine to Miami, and the Gulf Coast from Florida to Texas, keep tens of millions from gathering on beaches this summer?

Last week, we saw college kids cavorting on Florida’s beaches, despite warnings that any one among them infected with COVID-19 could transmit it to the rest, leading to grave illness and, in some cases, death.

Moreover, they could become carriers of the disease to parents and siblings. They did not seem to care.

As Prohibition proved, Americans are a rule-breaking people.

Scores of thousands are injured in auto accidents and thousands killed each year from driving under the influence of alcohol, despite tough laws against drunk driving.

Since the 1960s, laws against the use of marijuana, cocaine, heroin, fentanyl, have not halted the rampant ingestion of illegal narcotics and dangerous drugs.

We are endlessly admonished that climate change poses an existential threat to the planet. But have the elites who profess to believe this given up flying in private jets? Have Americans given up their SUVs or ceased to heat their homes with oil and gas?

Are parents going to be able to confine to their homes children whose lives are built around friends on playgrounds? Is the crowd on Martha’s Vineyard going to give up socializing to prevent the spread of the coronavirus?

In the ’60s, we were told that the correlation between cigarette smoking and lung cancer, emphysema and heart disease, is absolute. Yet 34 million Americans continue to risk shortening their lives by smoking.

Seniors and elderly, among whom the mortality rate from the coronavirus is the highest — 15% of those over 80 in one estimate — may shelter in place for months.

But if, in diverse cities, minority communities come out for block parties in summer, are we going to have the police march them back into their homes? Do we have enough cops for that?

A prediction: The longer the orders to shelter in place and self-isolate remain in force, the greater the probability they will begin to be ignored and people will take the risks to end their isolation and be with friends.

Will Americans suffer in social isolation, inside their own homes for months, while a state-induced Great Depression washes over the land?

My guess is that many will rebel.

See https://buchanan.org/blog/are-americans-all-in-for-a-long-coronavirus-war-138334 (“Are Americans All-In for a Long Coronavirus War?“) (emphasis added); see also https://news.yahoo.com/u-virus-plan-anticipates-18-190626012.html (“U.S. Virus Plan Anticipates 18-Month Pandemic and Widespread Shortages“)

The United States and the American people are to freedoms what China and its totalitarian regime under Xi are to repression: night-and-day differences. Xi is America’s enemy; and at the very least, he and China must be crushed economically.

Last year, John Mauldin wrote in Forbes:

When the US and ultimately the rest of the Western world began to engage China, resulting in China finally being allowed into the World Trade Organization in the early 2000s, no one really expected the outcomes we see today.

There is no simple disengagement path, given the scope of economic and legal entanglements. This isn’t a “trade” we can simply walk away from.

But it is also one that, if allowed to continue in its current form, could lead to a loss of personal freedom for Western civilization. It really is that much of an existential question.

Doing nothing isn’t an especially good option because, like it or not, the world is becoming something quite different than we expected just a few years ago—not just technologically, but geopolitically and socially.

China and the West

Let’s begin with how we got here.

My generation came of age during the Cold War. China was a huge, impoverished odd duck in those years. In the late 1970s, China began slowly opening to the West. Change unfolded gradually but by the 1990s, serious people wanted to bring China into the modern world, and China wanted to join it.

Understand that China’s total GDP in 1980 was under $90 billion in current dollars. Today, it is over $12 trillion. The world has never seen such enormous economic growth in such a short time.

Meanwhile, the Soviet Union collapsed and the internet was born. The US, as sole superpower, saw opportunities everywhere. American businesses shifted production to lower-cost countries. Thus came the incredible extension of globalization.

We in the Western world thought (somewhat arrogantly, in hindsight) everyone else wanted to be like us. It made sense. Our ideas, freedom, and technology had won both World War II and the Cold War that followed it. Obviously, our ways were best.

But that wasn’t obvious to people elsewhere, most notably China. Leaders in Beijing may have admired our accomplishments, but not enough to abandon Communism.

They merely adapted and rebranded it. We perceived a bigger change than there actually was. Today’s Chinese communists are nowhere near Mao’s kind of communism. Xi calls it “Socialism with a Chinese character.” It appears to be a dynamic capitalistic market, but is also a totalitarian, top-down structure with rigid rules and social restrictions.

So here we are, our economy now hardwired with an autocratic regime that has no interest in becoming like us.

China’s Hundred-Year Marathon

In The Hundred-Year Marathon, Michael Pillsbury marshals a lot of evidence showing the Chinese government has a detailed strategy to overtake the US as the world’s dominant power.

They want to do this by 2049, the centennial of China’s Communist revolution.

The strategy has been well documented in Chinese literature, published and sanctioned by organizations of the People’s Liberation Army, for well over 50 years.

And just as we have hawks and moderates on China within the US, there are hawks and moderates within China about how to engage the West. Unfortunately, the hawks are ascendant, embodied most clearly in Xi Jinping.

Xi’s vision of the Chinese Communist Party controlling the state and eventually influencing and even controlling the rest of the world is clear. These are not merely words for the consumption of the masses. They are instructions to party members.

Grand dreams of world domination are part and parcel of communist ideologies, going all the way back to Karl Marx. For the Chinese, this blends with the country’s own long history.

It isn’t always clear to Western minds whether they actually believe the rhetoric or simply use it to keep the peasantry in line. Pillsbury says Xi Jinping really sees this as China’s destiny, and himself as the leader who will deliver it.

To that end, according to Pillsbury, the Chinese manipulated Western politicians and business leaders into thinking China was evolving toward democracy and capitalism. In fact, the intent was to acquire our capital, technology, and other resources for use in China’s own modernization.

It worked, too.

Over the last 20–30 years, we have equipped the Chinese with almost everything they need to match us, technologically and otherwise. Hundreds of billions of Western dollars have been spent developing China and its state-owned businesses.

Sometimes this happened voluntarily, as companies gave away trade secrets in the (often futile) hope it would let them access China’s huge market. Other times it was outright theft. In either case, this was no accident but part of a long-term plan.

Pillsbury (who, by the way, advises the White House including the president himself) thinks the clash is intensifying because President Trump’s China skepticism is disrupting the Chinese plan. They see his talk of restoring America’s greatness as an affront to their own dreams.

In any case, we have reached a crossroads. What do we do about China now?

Targeted Response

In crafting a response, the first step is to define the problem correctly and specifically. We hear a lot about China cheating on trade deals and taking jobs from Americans. That’s not entirely wrong, but it’s also not the main challenge.

I believe in free trade. I think David Ricardo was right about comparative advantage: Every nation is better off if all specialize in whatever they do best.

However, free trade doesn’t mean nations need to arm their potential adversaries. Nowadays, military superiority is less about factories and shipyards than high-tech weapons and cyberwarfare. Much of our “peaceful” technology is easily weaponized.

This means our response has to be narrowly targeted at specific companies and products. Broad-based tariffs are the opposite of what we should be doing. Ditto for capital controls.

They are blunt instruments that may feel good to swing, but they hurt the wrong people and may not accomplish what we want.

We should not be using the blunt tool of tariffs to fight a trade deficit that is actually necessary. The Chinese are not paying our tariffs; US consumers are.

Importing t-shirts and sneakers from China doesn’t threaten our national security. Let that kind of trade continue unmolested and work instead on protecting our advantages in quantum computing, artificial intelligence, autonomous drones, and so on.

The Trump administration appears to (finally) be getting this. They are clearly seeking ways to pull back the various tariffs and ramping up other efforts.

See
https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnmauldin/2019/11/12/chinas-grand-plan-to-take-over-the-world/ (“China’s Grand Plan To Take Over The World“) (emphasis in original)

Have Xi and his Chinese leadership jumpstarted their attacks on the West by unleashing the Coronavirus? Is this the “time bomb” that will allow Xi to accomplish his goals during his lifetime, before passing the torch to his successors? Is this really what the Chinese virus, or the Coronavirus, is really all about?

If so, then we must wage the war with every ounce of courage and determination that Americans used to destroy Hitler’s Germany, Imperial Japan and the Soviet Union’s brand of communism too. Nothing less will suffice.

Like

Leave a Reply to Timothy D. Naegele Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.




%d bloggers like this: