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Today’s required reading

Thursday, Mar 26, 2020

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- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 9:33 am:

    It’s a new world out there, that’s for sure. But we have to adapt and use stringent measures as early as possible, such as certain states are doing. We should be looking to do even more, if necessary.

    It is just so irresponsible to say we must open the economy back up by Easter. All of the hyperbole from the president and elsewhere must end. It’s so not about anyone’s reelection chances or approval ratings.

    We are on the brink of enacting a massive federal stimulus package, and that’s just what we need, for starters.

  2. - thunderspirit - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 9:33 am:

    I stumbled across this one yesterday. Sobering.

  3. - DTAG - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 9:34 am:

    Can someone TL;DR this?

  4. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 9:37 am:

    ===Can someone TL;DR this? ===

    No. Read it.

  5. - Interim Retiree - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 9:44 am:

    This IS required reading. More than sobering. Thanks Rich.

  6. - Out Here In The Middle - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 9:49 am:

    “Partly, that’s because the White House is a ghost town of scientific expertise.”

  7. - Han's Solo Cup - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 9:52 am:

    One thing that will come from this is that States will develop their own strategic stockpiles so they won’t need to depend on Washington. That takes money, which Illinois currently doesn’t have. It would be tactless for him to start pointing this out now, but JB can leverage this into another reason Illinois needs to remake it’s tax code.

  8. - Scamp640 - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 9:55 am:

    I was slightly heartened to read that for the time being at least, Trump continues to listen to Anthony Fauci.

  9. - Trapped in the ‘burbs - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 10:04 am:

    I stopped watching the president’s daily briefing because
    it made me more worried and less confident. This article
    has made me even more concerned. The people that encourage us to get back to our normal lives are dangerous.
    We need to listen to what the scientists and doctors tell
    us and follow their directions.

  10. - Cool Papa Bell - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 10:05 am:

    This is what kept me up for an hour last night. I need to stop reading news feeds past 8 pm. But I was waiting to see what the Senate was going to do.

    I’ll be optimistic, no we won’t have a vaccine but maybe what the Blue Dog says might happen. I’m also hopeful that as in Italy there will be large pockets of the US that stay fairly healthy.

    But its clear, when the virus takes hold in a region with people living in close quarters its a terrible situation.

  11. - Blue Dog Dem - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 10:08 am:

    Cool papa. I can see the damage this is doing to my kids and grandchildren. It’s up to me and mrs Blue to point out the dangers, but also provide a glimmer of hope.

  12. - ChrisB - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 10:10 am:


    The thing is, we’re supposed to have a national stockpile of these things. It just hasn’t been replenished in 11 years. Everyone is to blame for all of this.

  13. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 10:18 am:

    Sobering read, it puts the science to its honest reality of our lives.

    === Can someone TL;DR this?===

    This virus isn’t a “Cliff’s Notes” situation.

    Thanks for sharing. Read it all.

  14. - DuPage Dave - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 10:18 am:

    Terrific article with a very scary prognosis. No one knows when things will be more-or-less normal again, or how many people won’t survive.

  15. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 10:18 am:

    ===Everyone is to blame for all of this===

    Thanks, Harry Truman.

  16. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 10:18 am:

    Kudos to the state and local leaders like Gov. Cuomo, Mayor Lightfoot and our governor, who are taking the initiative in stringent measures. We utterly lack leadership from the president, who’s been so flippant about this pandemic and instead has attacked people at rallies and social media and used racially-charged language, to promote further division.

  17. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 10:25 am:

    ===Everyone is to blame for all of this===

    Lack of leadership at the Executive level in Washington is painfully obvious.

    It’s not a partisan take, it’s me listening to POTUS.

    “I don’t take responsibility at all.”

    What is at play in “all of this“ is the lacking of an understanding by leadership that needs to play catch-up to the failures that has us in our dire position.

    A leader not seeing any responsibility, and deciding states best handle a federal disaster… not “everyone” is to blame.

    The goal is to work around those willing to hurt us all.

  18. - muon - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 10:26 am:

    This is an important story especially on the endgame and aftermath, but the timeline projections for the next few months depend heavily on the assumptions built into the statistical models. For example, Dr. Michael Levitt, a 2013 Nobel laureate, writes that his modeling shows a shorter time to peak and case decline.

  19. - TinyDancer(FKASue) - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 10:30 am:

    There will be time enough for finger-pointing when this is all over. The only way out of this is to accept reality, do all we can to stop the spread, and test, test, test, trace, and isolate.
    Unfortunately, leadership is living in la-la land - focused on vaccines and experimental drugs which might actually be available after we’re all dead.

  20. - West Sider - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 10:31 am:

    What has been striking me is, that while Biden will be the nominee, and the Good Lord willing, the next President, this pandemic means that Sanders has won the intellectual war. A unified national healthcare system is clearly a national defense issue not “free stuff”.
    This will be FDR’s America- I just pray it’s not his economy.

  21. - SOIL M - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 10:36 am:

    There are many to blame, including some who are trying to point fingers at others. The SNS should have been restocked but it wasn’t. Some States that had stockpiles made decisions not to replenish their supply. This has been predicted for a long time, yet few listened. This happens in every aspect of Emergency - Disaster Management at all levels. When an emergency hasn’t happened for a while, it is out of sight and out of mind. And Local, State, and Federal levels all think that these things can wait and it wont happen on their watch, until it does.

    With that said, in times of an emergency is not the time to point fingers and try to assign blame. What happened in the past does not matter right now. What should be or should not be doesn’t make a difference. The only thing that matters is how you act today and how you plan for tomorrow. You can point fingers and assess blame in the after action reports if you want, but right now it doesnt do any good. Act today and plan how to respond for tomorrow.

  22. - Blue Dog Dem - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 10:37 am:

    Sort of amazing that the most recent Gallup poll shows Trumps approval rating on this crisis actually higher than his overall approval rating.

  23. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 10:39 am:

    === in times of an emergency is not the time to point fingers and try to assign blame===

    Another Harry Truman fan.

  24. - SOIL M - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 10:40 am:

    One more thing.
    I was a skeptic on shutting everything down, and the social distancing. But now, based on where it happened and where it was scoffed at there is noticeable differences in cinfirmed cases. New York City, New Orleans, Italy did not take it serious and look at where they are today.

  25. - Grandson of Man - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 10:40 am:

    Many of us are not doing our parts either, as we can see with people not following social distancing orders in parks, prompting responses from leaders like Mayor Lightfoot and interim CPD Superintendent Beck.

  26. - NorthsideNoMore - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 10:42 am:

    Very good read, when you combined with some of the presidents, Dr Fauci CDCs comments the last few days it is indeed sobering. Maintaining a steadfast vigilance ( by all that are able to understand the concept) of oneself and not being afraid to push safe pracitces onto others, is going to be needed for many months to come. We are now seeing how vulnerable things we take for granted in the US are in this world; including heath care and critical supply chains. Our instant gratification society has been slapped in the face with wet fish. CV 19 pandemic will create a new normal for years to come.

  27. - JoanP - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 10:49 am:

    =Trump continues to listen to Anthony Fauci. =

    I would love to believe this. Yet this is the same man who wants to see “packed churches all over our country” on Easter.

  28. - Bluegrass Boy - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 10:57 am:

    The Power Unseen, how microbes rule the world. Read this book by Bernard Dixon. If more people understood how important microbes are to our daily lives maybe we would be more unified on the seriousness of the situation.

  29. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 11:00 am:

    == =Trump continues to listen to Anthony Fauci. ===

    If that were the case, the federal response would be quite different and the words at the podium by this POTUS would be more honest and sobering.

    I think this as POTUS will say one thing and Dr. Fauci rarely concurs fully at the podium as one would think. (That’s me being far more polite than I should be)

    Dr. Fauci’s recommendations are still in the mix is probably most accurate.

    How long will Dr. Fauci be a voice at all in that White House?

    I’d like to think the fallout of dismissing Dr. Fauci gives them pause… because it’s shown listening to him seems to be optional at times.

  30. - Pundent - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 11:10 am:

    ==Trump continues to listen to Anthony Fauci. =

    I have no doubt that Trump listens to Fauci. But more often than not the reality of that rationale voice is overcome by Trump’s desire to pretend that things are “great” and he’s doing a fantastic job. If he were to truly embrace what Fauci is saying he would not waver in decisions and actions. Test, masks, social distancing first and foremost. And only then can we think about addressing the economic fallout from the crisis.

    It’s not that Trump isn’t listening to Fauci, it’s that he’s listening to too many others that tell him what he wants to hear.

  31. - Urban Girl - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 11:13 am:

    The Atlantic coverage has been excellent. This article was beyond sobering. I suggest following it up with the piece they did about how people are coping without their regular hair and nail appointments. In between the tears, it is helpful to laugh at our vanity a bit.

  32. - Earnest - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 11:15 am:

    I found the article oddly comforting. It was rooted in facts and the projected potential outcomes seemed well thought out. I’m not sure I should be comforted, given the bleakness of many of the outcomes, but it was nice to step back and get out of crisis mode and into planning mode for a moment.

  33. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 11:18 am:

    Welp, then they are listening to Dr. Fauci, they just aren’t hearing him.

    Again, I point to podium performances

  34. - RNUG - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 11:23 am:

    Read this yesterday. Would have been an even stronger article if they had toned down the bits of partisanship.

    To the point of Trump and Easter, he specifically said IF we can … he was defining a hopeful goal, not a cast in stone target. The way he speaks, it’s often hard to follow.

    To the rest of his actions, my take is he is reluctant to dump the federal stockpile, such as it is, in one fell swoop. Maybe he has gotten advice it is going to be much worse before it gets better, and us actually listening.

    I would like to think he is waiting to see where the major hit spots are (clearly NYC at the moment), and trying to do targeted assistance as opposed to emptying the pantry and not being able to refill it.

  35. - Yellow Dog Democrat - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 11:31 am:

    1. The current pandemic in the US is Trump’s responsibility. No if’s and’s or but’s. He was touring India a month ago, that is how serious he took this. No need to dwell on it, but let’s not obfuscate it either.

    2. The federal stimulus is not a stimulus, its a lifeline. The Companies that support travel, hospitality, school operations are going to start grinding to a halt.

    3. Trump might be “listening” to what Fauci has to say, but it is not carrying any weight. As Oswego points out, review the podium performances. Besides, what did you expect Fauci to say, Trump is ignoring me?

    4. I was surprised the column suggested a worst case scenario of 2.2 million deaths. But I think it’s important to keep in mind that just a week or two ago, the worst case scenario was 1 million deaths. In two weeks, I will not be surprised if the new worst case scenario is 5 million dead.

    I guess the only thing to ask the White House and those that support the President is whether they want to be remembered as being responsible for killing 1 million, 2 million or 5 million Americans?

  36. - ChrisB - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 11:32 am:

    @Rich and OW

    Don’t get me wrong, the federal response has been abysmal. It has failed from the very beginning. The lack of tests, and subsequent lack of testing the entire population, rather than just the suspected infected, is creating fear and uncertainty more than anything else. We are no where close to looking at the whole picture, and are merely confirming our suspicions at this point.

    I was specifically referencing the lack of preparedness. Buying N95 masks wasn’t sexy until a few weeks ago, but the federal government should have been doing it as one of its basic duties of protecting its citizens. Every budget passed since 2010, and every lawmaker who passed them, has failed in that regard.

  37. - Socially DIstant Watcher - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 11:36 am:

    The other sobering read, for the national level is this one:

    If we don’t value government, we’re doomed to face more uphill struggles when situations like this come at us.

  38. - Pundent - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 11:38 am:

    =The way he speaks, it’s often hard to follow.=

    Actually I find very little ambiguity in what he says. Like calling Jay Islee a snake and calling Mitt Romney a RINO. Or telling us that anybody who needs a test can get one. The only reason it may be difficult to follow what he says is because he continually provides inaccurate misleading information. How can we provide hopeful goals with inadequate testing, PPE, and social distancing? Suggesting that this might go away by way of new treatments or vaccines that are just around the corner is dangerous. It not only creates false hope, but it also says that we don’t have to take current measures seriously.

    I would neither defend or criticize the President for partisan reasons. He’s failed and I would also say that if he was a Democrat.

  39. - don the legend - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 11:38 am:

    What an article. Must reading indeed.

    It is so scary to know that we have a President who self admits that he would never read anything that lengthy.

  40. - Siualum - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 11:56 am:

    Thank you for posting the link.
    Regarding a previous post, I fail to see how “everyone” is to blame”. And another comment stating “what happened in the past does not matter right now…..only thing that matters is how you act today and plan for tomorrow…” . Seems to me we should look at the past, if only to see what doesn’t work, while we plan for tomorrow.

  41. - pawn - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 12:20 pm:

    I read that article before i got out of bed this morning, and now find that I am paralyzed with fear for my young adult and teenaged children and their future. Really feel consumed with rage at Trump and his failures and fear. It is not healthy.

  42. - Huh? - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 12:26 pm:

    From the NY Times article linked above “… Empty slots and high turnover have left parts of the federal government unprepared and ill equipped for what may be the largest public health crisis in a century …”

    Trump’s style of governance and the carnage it brings means the systematic failures of the federal government to combat the Covid19 are all on him.

  43. - CapnCrunch - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 1:16 pm:

    “…Would have been an even stronger article if they had toned down the bits of partisanship….”

    I had similar impressions.
    Repeat telling all of the past mistakes until arrival at the plot in the last paragraph. Defeat Trump and we can pivot “from isolationism to international cooperation” and prevent mayhem in the future. And live happily ever after. See Woodrow Wilson and FDR.

  44. - Boone's is Back - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 1:20 pm:

    Well that was uplifting.

  45. - Not now - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 1:37 pm:

    Those of us who’ve worked in government should express no surprise at the current state of readiness or preparedness. We’ve all dealt with budget issues where the question comes down to “should we order more supplies just in case…” or “we need to replace the (boiler, squad car, court security system, etc.)”. Invariably the just in cases never seem to receive the funding until an event like this occurs. Call it human nature. The money (federal, state and local) spent in the aftermath of 911 to establish plans, acquire equipment and such was pretty much shelved at my gov’t a decade ago. I was recently told to update the operational continuity plan which was last updated in 2012 - if this event hadn’t occurred, I’m sure the 2012 plan would have continued to gather dust.

    In fact those in government who were brave enough to stand up in the past couple of years and reiterate the need for revising the disaster operational plans and stockpiles were often ridiculed during the budgeting process. I sincerely hope that lessons are learned from this, but sadly I doubt it.

  46. - Pundent - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 1:39 pm:

    =Trump’s style of governance and the carnage it brings means the systematic failures of the federal government to combat the Covid19 are all on him.=

    You seem to be suggesting that maybe we shouldn’t have “drained the swamp” entirely?

  47. - Pundent - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 2:10 pm:

    =To the point of Trump and Easter, he specifically said IF we can … he was defining a hopeful goal, not a cast in stone target.=

    To wit:

    Trump tweeted, “The LameStream Media is the dominant force in trying to get me to keep our Country closed as long as possible in the hope that it will be detrimental to my election success. The real people want to get back to work ASAP. We will be stronger than ever before!”

    So it’s not the virus that’s keeping us from returning to normalcy, it’s the media. Hard to understand let alone defend that. It would be bizarre no matter what the party affiliation.

  48. - Blue Dog Dem - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 2:11 pm:

    Rich, if you feel this offensive, I understand.
    From CNN yesterday.

    On ‘convalescent plasma’, Dr. Arturo Casadevall, chief of molecular microbiology and immunology at John Hopkins Bloomberg School of Medicine of Public Health says,’it has a high likelihood of working but we wont know whether it works until it’s done and enough patients have been treated, we do know based on history it has a good chance of working.”

    I know the Washington University school of medicine is also deep into this treatment.

    I just feel it important to keep balance between doom and gloom and hope. I dont want anyone to think I am advocating social interaction, but I am looking to see my 75th birthday outside the compound of my bunker

  49. - Druid Eye - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 2:22 pm:

    Great article Rich. Thank you for sharing.

  50. - Thomas Paine - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 2:24 pm:

    If you read that article and your takeaway was “it was partisan,” that is on you. 100 percent.

    You need to stop consuming information through a Democrat v Republican lens. The coronavirus does not care if your parents or grandparents are Democrats or Republicans. This is not a political contest or a philosophical debate about smaller government or open borders.

    Hoover failed America because he thought the Great Depression was an important philosophical debate about Conservatism v Liberalism, small govt. versus big government.

    It’s not. It’s about helping people in need.

  51. - Anonymous - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 2:32 pm:

    =I just feel it important to keep balance between doom and gloom and hope.=

    The extent to which any of these treatments are deployed at any sort of scale is likely months away. We can’t prioritize around a “cure” until we have adequate testing for those that may be sick and a way of protecting those that are treating them. Look at the countries that have been more successful in navigating through this. It wasn’t hope or a cure that got them there. It was testing, PPE, and social distancing. Doom and gloom is ignoring that reality with the hope that the magical cure comes along.

  52. - Paul Powell’s Shoebox - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 2:43 pm:

    The article loses a great deal of credibility when it cites as a primary source the Imperial College of London’s study and modeling which predicted the 2.2 million in deaths. The study was based on 13 year old code in an outdated program with a 1000 lines that the authors refused to release to an open source to check for accuracy. Today The authors admitted the model was wrong. That is the danger, as policy was built on faulty data and modeling. Then it gets perpetuated into articles like this

  53. - RedDog55 - Thursday, Mar 26, 20 @ 6:52 pm:

    - muon - I have a hard time trusting Dr. Levitt opinion after reading this: “There is a lot of unjustified panic in Israel.” “I will be surprised if number of deaths in Israel surpasses ten, and even five now with the restrictions.”

    They have 427 confirmed cases, I can’t believe they have contained it to the degree that many more will not get sick.

    Nobel laureate: surprised if Israel has more than 10 coronavirus deaths

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