quora post from inside quarantined wuhan

Discussion in 'General Discussion' started by Agrul, Feb 2, 2020.

  1. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    Fauci: Mixed Messaging On Masks Set U.S. Public Health Response Back
    July 1, 2020

    https://www.npr.org/sections/health...es-a-day-fauci-urges-u-s-to-follow-guidelines

    While conceding missteps in the federal response to the coronavirus, Dr. Anthony Fauci said Wednesday it is not too late to avoid the dire picture he outlined in congressional testimony of 100,000 coronavirus cases a day.

    The nation's leading infectious disease experts said the conflicting advice offered by federal leaders around face masks in the early days of the pandemic helped sow distrust and continues to hamper the government's ability to slow the outbreak.

    "We have to admit it, that that mixed message in the beginning, even though it was well meant to allow masks to be available for health workers, that was detrimental in getting the message across," Fauci said in an interview with Mary Louise Kelly of NPR's All Things Considered. "No doubt about it."

    Despite the overwhelming consensus among public-health experts that face masks can help prevent the spread of the coronavirus, face coverings have become a partisan issue, something critics of the federal response have blamed on what they say has been a confusing back-and-forth on the issue from the Trump administration.

    As late as February 29, Surgeon General Jerome Adams was telling Americans on Twitter to stop buying masks, saying they are "NOT effective." But the guidance soon changed, and by early April the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention began recommending that Americans wear face coverings in public. Even then, however, President Trump said he would not be wearing a mask himself.

    "I think that that did have an effect," said Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, of the conflicting guidance. "The message early on became confusing," he said.

    But, he added, once it became clear people can spread the virus without knowing they're sick, public health leaders realized the message needed to change.

    "We have people who may not even know they're infected and are inadvertently infecting others," said Fauci.

    And the latest evidence shows some protection to the wearer too. "It isn't 100% protection by any means, but certainly the amount that you get is worth wearing it, not only worth wearing it, but really compels you to wear it."

    Fauci said he has been encouraged by a growing chorus among Republican leaders in recent days encouraging Americans to wear masks. That list has grown to include not only Vice President Mike Pence, but top Republicans in the Senate, including Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Tim Scott of South Carolina, Lamar Alexander of Tennessee and Marco Rubio of Florida.

    That's been matched by a rising number of states that now require that masks be worn in public. Eighteen states and the District of Columbia now mandate masks in public — a list that was joined by Pennsylvania on Wednesday.

    The tightening of coronavirus-related restrictions in many states comes amid a rapidly escalating surge in new cases that has eclipsed some of the worst days of the pandemic during the spring. More than 44,000 cases were reported Tuesday, according to data from Johns Hopkins University, one of the highest daily totals yet.

    And the worst may still be to come. In testimony before the Senate on Tuesday, Fauci warned that the virus could soon reach 100,000 cases per day.

    In his testimony, Fauci said one reason cases continue to climb is because the nation may not have shut down as aggressively as it needed to early in the crisis. He noted that in Europe, as much as 95% of the population was effectively shut down, while in the U.S., the figure was closer to 50%.

    "If you look at the Europeans, they got the curve way down," he told NPR. "Once the curve is way down ... it is much easier, when you do get blips of infection as you try to open up, to contain those infections. And if you look at our curve, it peaked, it came down a little and then it stayed about flat until just recently when it resurged up again. It makes it much more difficult because ... you're sort of chasing after things as opposed to getting your thumb on them. So we're in a bad position because of what happened early on."

    Fauci said he believes the country can avoid another lockdown, "but we have to do things a bit differently than what we've been doing."

    He said activities like "congregating in bars, congregating in crowds, people getting together in a celebratory way ... without wearing masks" contributed to recent case surges. This behavior, he said, while understandable because people "felt cooped up," represented "a violation of the principles of what we're trying to do, and that is the social distancing, the wearing of masks."

    "It's really in our hands as a community, as a nation, as a populace to make this happen," he said. "It does not have to be 100,000 cases a day."
     
  2. Samassi Abou

    Samassi Abou TZT Abuser

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    Mindlessly supporting what some expert or “expert” says is in the end just as damaging as Trumpian anti-intellectualism.

    Let’s accept that experts regularly say things than are incorrect or even stupid. Mindlessly supporting them will only end up discrediting all experts in the public mind. A classic case of this was the endless predictions from economists that the Brexit vote would doom the British economy in the short term. Even at the time Paul Krugman, who doesn’t support Brexit, said that there was no evidence for this and that economists rushing to predict this were going to discredit the economics profession in the minds of average British people. That’s exactly what happened. Pro-Brexit politicians regularly used the failed predictions to dismiss economists. The mask thing was just as stupid, and the changing advice over masks has no doubt discredited medical authorities in the US among large sections of the population.

    The antidote to Trumpian anti-intellectualism is not slavish white knighting for everything any expert or “expert” says, which is what seemed to be happening back when the debate was first had here.

    Experts making terrible calls discredit experts in the public mind. They look like they don’t know what they’re talking about, which to be honest is often true, so it’s better to call out bad calls and demand a higher standard of analysis from experts.
     
  3. Kanmuk_Sealclubber

    Kanmuk_Sealclubber Yes

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    You may not have said they acted in bad faith. But the post of mine that you initially quoted was written entirely to address the accusation that they did, which has occurred here and elsewhere. And the fact that "changing" recommendations are often cited as reason not to follow the current ones at all.

    The two opening paragraphs of mine that you quoted were written to set up this:

    So I was trying to bring it back to that initial point: they are not bad-faith actors.

    I am not interested in contending with your more general disappointment, because I don't think it's irrational to want more precise communication or to want to re-examine evidence thresholds in a pandemic/emergency situation.

    (On a more general note, I think the West is going to have to re-examine the basis of our hyper-individuality, because we got completely smoked by Eastern collectivism, but that is a different topic).
     
  4. Utumno

    Utumno Administrator Staff Member

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    commie shit
     
  5. Sear

    Sear TZT Neckbeard Lord

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    I don't believe they acted in bad faith, but I do have to wonder why they chose to communicate the way they did.

    They told the public "you don't need a mask, it won't help". Not "we don't actually know right now because we're still studying it". That communication was worse than imprecise - it was misleading.

    The only zany conspiracy theory I will entertain here is that they could have been unprepared and pressured to put out a concrete statement to save face.

    I agree with Samassi about it being damaging to their credibility as an authority. We're fortunate that the anti-science side is fucking up so monumentally right now that it's not getting too much attention that we did a complete reversal on this.
     
  6. Samassi Abou

    Samassi Abou TZT Abuser

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    There’s really a sliding scale of Western badness. The US, UK, Brazil and arguably Sweden are shit-tier. The rest of Europe, Canada and Latin America are mediocre and Australia and NZ are God tier alongside Taiwan etc.

    I’ve often wondered whether there’s a cultural reason for Aus/NZ’s hard and fast response to the virus or it was just luck. For example, we had a near apocalypse just before the pandemic with the fires, so that may have shocked us out of our complacency just in time.
     
  7. Sear

    Sear TZT Neckbeard Lord

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    Our refusal to even consider Eastern experience and history is hilarious to me. China/Japan/Korea wear masks for decades and seem to do well with handling previous contagions like SARS? Nope. It's like it never happened. God forbid we follow another country's lead.

    I don't think we'll disagree much about collectivism. Our emphasis on individuality is an utter nightmare to deal with right now. Civic duty does not exist here.
     
    Last edited: Jul 1, 2020
  8. AgelessDrifter

    AgelessDrifter TZT Neckbeard Lord

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    White House ordered NIH to cancel coronavirus research funding, Fauci says
    The research was the target of a conspiracy theory about the origin of the new coronavirus.


    by Beth Mole - Jun 24, 2020 4:16pm PDT

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    The National Institutes of Health abruptly cut off funding to a long-standing, well-regarded research project on bat coronaviruses only after the White House specifically told it to do so, according to Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the NIH’s National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases.

    Fauci made the revelation Tuesday at a Congressional hearing on the federal response to the COVID-19 pandemic, which is caused by a coronavirus that is genetically linked to those found in bats. Rep. Marc Veasey (D-Texas) asked Fauci why the NIH abruptly canceled funding for the project, which specifically worked to understand the risk of bat coronaviruses jumping to humans and causing devastating disease

    Fauci responded to Veasey saying: “It was cancelled because the NIH was told to cancel it.”

    “And why were they told to cancel it?” Veasey pressed.

    “I don’t know the reason, but we were told to cancel it,” Fauci said.

    After the hearing, Fauci clarified to Politico that it was the White House that told the NIH to cancel the funding. An unnamed White House official told Politico that the White House did encourage the funding cut, but ultimately it was the Department of Health and Human Services—of which the NIH is a part—that made the final decision. An HHS spokesperson said only that the funding was cut because "the grantee was not in compliance with NIH's grant policy."

    In an emailed statement to Ars Wednesday, the NIH did not respond to questions about the cancellation, saying only that “NIH does not discuss internal deliberations on grant terminations.”

    Politics and conspiracies
    The involvement of the White House is a new wrinkle in a story that has appalled and angered scientists. Since the grant was nixed in late April, scientists had speculated that politics and a conspiracy theory played a role in canceling funding for the research, which was in good scientific standing and seen as critical work. The grant, titled “Understanding the risk of bat coronavirus emergence,” was originally funded by the NIH in 2014 and renewed for another five years in 2019 after receiving an outstanding peer-review score.

    The research is run by EcoHealth Alliance Inc., a nonprofit based in New York, but it collaborates with a virologist at the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV) in China, who works with bat coronaviruses. The WIV became the center of a conspiracy theory that suggested that the pandemic coronavirus originated in or escaped from a lab at the institute.

    On April 17, a reporter brought up that conspiracy theory and EcoHealth’s grant to President Trump during a press conference. The reporter asked: “Why would the US give a grant like that to China?” Trump responded that “We will end that grant very quickly.”

    In an email to EcoHealth on April 19—two days later—Dr. Michael Lauer, NIH deputy director for Extramural Research, reportedly wrote:

    The funding was terminated on April 24. In a termination letter to EcoHealth, the NIH wrote: “At this time, NIH does not believe that the current project outcomes align with the program goals and agency priorities.”

    Shoddy truth
    Following Dr. Fauci’s revelations Tuesday, EcoHealth President Peter Daszak tweeted that it was an “obvious case of political interference.”

    “Eventually, we’ll all know the shoddy truth of how a conspiracy theory pushed by this administration led @NIHDirector to block the only US research group still working in China to analyze COVID origins,” he wrote. “Thanks to this China can now do the research, we can’t!”

    Scientists, meanwhile, have roundly refuted claims that the WIV was the source of the new coronavirus, noting that natural spillover from animals is the most likely source.

    In an April 18 comment to ScienceInsider, the WIV virologist working with EcoHealth—Shi Zhengli—also disputed the link, saying that “the closest progenitor of COVID-19 virus is still mysterious and it’s definitely not from my lab or any other labs... It’s a shame to make the science so complicated.”

    Scientists also continue to express dismay at the apparent political interference. The American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) released a statement Wednesday saying that such orders to cancel funding “will undermine the integrity of science funding and public trust. We urge Congress to use its oversight authority to ensure that the integrity of government science agencies is not compromised

    https://arstechnica.com/science/2020/06/white-house-ordered-nih-to-cancel-coronavirus-research-funding-fauci-says/?
     
  9. Red

    Red TZT Neckbeard

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  10. Kanmuk_Sealclubber

    Kanmuk_Sealclubber Yes

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    When we had this conversation a while ago, I went through the official, written guidelines from different health bodies and they tended to be far more careful with their language. This isn't a coronavirus recommendation, because most websites have updated them, but here is an example from the CDC website about the flu, updated in 2019:

    Individual representatives are often more sloppy and/or shitty. Adams' controversial tweet was terrible. Fauci has made several errors (although Fauci is an extraordinarily good communicator overall, he *still* makes mistakes). And that 100%, unambiguously needs to be cleaned up.

    I agree that it can seed distrust. However, I also think we need to be fair and accurate with our criticisms. When we start getting into the idea that scientists are collectively acting in bad faith, we are opening up a whole new level of distrust, and we can see that at play quite regularly in certain communities, which is why I guard against it.
     
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  11. AgelessDrifter

    AgelessDrifter TZT Neckbeard Lord

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  12. Kanmuk_Sealclubber

    Kanmuk_Sealclubber Yes

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    I don't know. You guys fine people for not voting. That's something that would never fly over here. We often, in Canada, hear about how Australia is similar to us (because we are both very multicultural, and we both have a few major cities spread out over a lot of empty land). But I don't know if there are areas where you are more collectivist, overall. Probably. We are very heavily influenced by American culture.
     
  13. AgelessDrifter

    AgelessDrifter TZT Neckbeard Lord

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    Plus Christmas falls in summer down there, so that probably affects things a lot
     
  14. Velox

    Velox TZT Abuser

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    I agree that they weren't acting in bad faith necessarily. I also saw similar quotes in other countries, I think they synched this via WHO (which initially was also anti-mask for some reason). However to say that they aren't recommending masks because there isn't incontrovertible evidence of them working is I think flawed as a policy recommendation. As you point out, there are also two factors to this: does it help the mask-wearer, and does it help surrounding people. The second one was afaik not even in question, but they kept focusing on the first when people brought up mandatory mask usage. From a policy perspective, this seems like extremely flawed reasoning. I truly hope somebody digs down into where this reluctance to use masks actually came from.

    Western health agencies, and maybe even the entire WHO, seemed to have strong (overconfident) opinions on how to manage a pandemic that just didn't check out in reality. Imagine for example if everybody had just quarantined all international travelers as early as January when it became known that we had a potential pandemic in the making. Yeah it would have ruffled some feathers, but we would have saved 500 000 lives and maybe avoided complete lock-downs entirely. They didn't, because they were assuming it would be stopped in Asia like SARS/MERS was. In what other field is ignoring enormous risk a sane strategy? At least from the outside this seems like very narrow-minded binary thinking.

    The Swedish Fauci recently commented on some of his critics with the winged words [paraphrased] "they are not credible, they were warning of a pandemic back during SARS/MERS also and that never happened". They just don't seem to get the concept of risk. What is preferable, quarantining international travelers a few weeks every 5-10 years, or million+ dead and a global depression every 25-50? That seems like a very easy decision problem to me.
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020
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  15. Utumno

    Utumno Administrator Staff Member

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    gop.exe
     
  16. Utumno

    Utumno Administrator Staff Member

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    Have australians in general been wearing masks much more than say US/Canada since start of pandemic? Was that already discussed here?

    Just wondering if their proximity to the asian countries made that a more familiar sight and removed some of the tough guy taboo against it.
     
  17. Vlaara

    Vlaara Maaruk the Mighty

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    + the Coriolis effect
     
  18. Agrul

    Agrul TZT Neckbeard Lord

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    they got a lot of roos

    & sheep. lot of sheep. seems important
     
  19. Velox

    Velox TZT Abuser

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    Btw, I still don't see U.S. death rate spiking [1], so my earlier suspicion that the new wave of corona cases isn't as bad as it looked might be true.

    Just looking at confirmed corona cases can be very misleading. Testing does seem to have been rapidly increasing [2], which throws off the stats. Although it certainly can't explain all of the increase. I'm going to hazard a guess that it's also mostly young people infected this time around. Just eye-balling it, I expect we'll likely only see a small to moderate increase in death rate if the number of cases / day doesn't increase further.

    [1] https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/us/
    [2] https://ourworldindata.org/grapher/...-smoothed-7-day?time=2020-04-15..&country=USA
     
    Last edited: Jul 2, 2020
  20. Czer

    Czer I'm a poor person. The lambo is my cousin's.

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    fauci said this isn't a second wave, we are still in the first