Research Misinfo/Disinfo: Ain’t No Sunshine Kill COVID-19 Gone

[Check the byline, thanks! /Rayne]

I thought this series would end after three posts but clearly the misinfo/disinfo related to research studies on COVID-19 continues.

This time Department of Homeland Security is one of the problem children.

By now you know about Trump’s wrong-headed comments about light and disinfectants used in and on humans’ bodies to eliminate SARS-CoV-19. You’ve also heard he gaslighted the public by claiming he was being sarcastic during Thursday’s briefing about light and disinfectants, followed by even more dog-ate-my-homework excuses.

You may have heard speculation that bleach as a COVID-19 therapy specifically may have been the result of communications with Trump by some crackpot who sells this re-labeled chlorine dioxide product as a miracle cure-all.

What you probably haven’t seen is the DHS’s “study” which may also have spurred Trump’s idiotic remarks about light or sunlight. Yahoo News reported about the “study” a week ago, sharing a link to the DHS document it received outlining DHS’s findings.

It’s not a paper. It’s a goddamned slide presentation of which stability of SARS-CoV-19 on surfaces was only a portion.

No peer-reviewed study has been published by DHS in any of the articles since Trump’s ridiculously inappropriate comments last evening.

News outlets have been all over Trump’s remarks, which as Marcy said elicited justifiable uproar. But outlets are doing a pissy job covering the sources of Trump’s practice of medicine without a license at the podium.

Newsweek offers a great example:

Fortunately, CNN got it right:

If DHS’s science and technology advisor Bill Bryan isn’t qualified to make declarative statements relying on research, who is?

Who did the research and where’s their data and output?

Why did the American public have to hear what DHS learned filtered through Trump who has proven himself to be incapable of understanding science let alone demonstrate respect for it?

We need to see the work because there are other studies which do not appear to agree with DHS’s presentation.

This widely cited piece tested the viability of SARS-CoV-2 on different surfaces after exposure to aerosolized virus. The temperature of the study was comparable to a nice spring day — 21-23 degrees Celsius or 69-73 degrees Fahrenheit — with 40% relative humidity.

Aerosol and Surface Stability of SARS-CoV-2 as Compared with SARS-CoV-1
van Doremalen N, Bushmaker T, Morris DH, et al.
March 17, 2020
DOI: 10.1056/NEJMc2004973

SARS-CoV-2 is quite stable in conditions one might find in an air-conditioned indoor setting according to this study. This much agrees with what DHS presented.

This study looked at viability of the virus over time at different increasing temperatures and exposure to ultraviolet light — like solar radiation.

Stability of SARS-CoV-2 in different environmental conditions
Alex W.H. Chin, Julie T.S. Chu, Mahen R.A. Perera, Kenrie P.Y. Hui, Hui-Ling Yen, Michael C.W. Chan, Malik Peiris, Leo L.M. Poon

Here’s a table from the study addressing viability of SARS-CoV-2 at different temperatures:

You can see the virus is viable at 37 degrees C — that’s coincidentally 98.6F, the old average temperature for humans. The virus is stable at that temp for as long as a day. It’s not stable for long at 56C (132.8F) and not at all at 70C (158F) but then neither are humans.

Unsurprisingly, disinfectants disinfect according to the study’s results shown in the table above. Only one little burp with hand soap solution — one of three attempts showed some viability.

This study looked at the differences in number of outbreaks over time in a particular region of China, as the season changed and both temperature and amount of sunlight increased.

No Association of COVID-19 transmission with temperature or UV radiation in Chinese cities
Ye Yao, Jinhua Pan, Zhixi Liu, Xia Meng, Weidong Wang, Haidong Kan, Weibing Wang
Published online April 8, 2020.
European Respiratory Journal 2020, 2000517; DOI: 10.1183/13993003.00517-2020

These researchers hypothesized that COVID-19 transmission may decrease or even disappear when the temperature and UV radiation increase in the summer.

They collected the confirmed case numbers of 224 cities from China’s National Health Commission, the daily mean temperature and relative humidity collected from the China Meteorological Data Sharing Service System, and daily erythemally-weighted daily dose of UV radiation data extracted from the Dutch-Finnish Ozone Monitoring Instrument aboard NASA’s Aurora satellite. After adjustment for relative humidity and UV, they found temperature held no significant associations with cumulative incidence rate, and that UV was not significantly associated with cumulative incidence rate after adjustment for temperature and relative humidity.

These studies — though some are pre-print and in peer review — do not agree with what DHS’s Bill Bryan or the DHS presentation published a week ago said.

And none of them match what Trump said, whatsoever.

Media outlets really need to have a science reporter covering Trump’s briefings rather than the usual White House correspondents — people who are already highly versed in COVID-19 research and are able to put Trump on the spot.

Or the media needs to give up covering Trump’s briefings live if they can’t do real time pushback and demand better of the guy occupying the White House. Carrying his unfiltered bullshit will get somebody killed and damage businesses which are doing their best to operate under the strain of pandemic conditions.

~ ~ ~

We know now from the Washington Post that Trump’s unacceptable remarks on light and disinfectant therapy for treatment of COVID-19 may have been inspired by a briefing about a DHS study:

Trump’s commentary seemed to be inspired by a presentation from a Department of Homeland Security official about a promising but still inconclusive government study exploring the possibility of heat, humidity and light to kill the virus, as well as the effectiveness of disinfectants in killing it on surfaces such as tables, countertops and office workspaces.

Emphasis mine. An in-fucking-conclusive study, the same one on which Bill Bryan gave a presentation. Why was it offered at all? To provide happy talk for the daily propaganda program?

William Bryan, the department’s acting undersecretary for science and technology, first shared the study with members of the White House coronavirus task force on Wednesday and returned Thursday. He said his department had studied the virus in an air chamber and never said chemicals or UV light had been studied on humans nor suggested they be used in humans, according to several administration officials.

Why did he come back? Did some asshat on the White House coronavirus task force think Bryan could finesse this inconclusive report?

Others on the task force, including Birx, White House chief of staff Mark Meadows, as well as McEnany and others in the communications and press shops, were concerned that the Department of Homeland Security study had not been thoroughly vetted. “It was not ready at all to go to the president,” the senior official said. “There was no guideline. There was no data. There was nothing.”

Oh. Now we have sources named. At least one of these people and/or Dr. Fauci are most likely to have said this “study” was not ready to go to Trump. If these three and Dr. Fauci didn’t think it was ready, how did it end up getting in front of Trump?

Still, Vice President Pence and his team wanted Bryan to present the information to the president and to the public, eager to have something positive to share. They hoped the study would help encourage people to spend more time outdoors and to disinfect their homes, aides said.

Oh great — Mr. HIV-outbreak-of Indiana Pence with a history of ignoring public health officials’ advice to the public’s detriment, probably ignored the opinions of task force members who felt the DHS “study” was not ready for Trump’s propaganda show.

This time Pence’s bad decision-making resulted in an onslaught of calls to poison control center numbers and at least 20 people in New York alone who ingested bleach or disinfectant.

No word yet as to whether someone has fried themselves crispy outdoors in an effort to get rid of SARS-CoV-2 using ultraviolet light having relied on the misinfo/disinfo served up by the idiocracy in the White House.

83 replies
    • Jenny says:

      Thanks Rayne. I have been listening to Bill Withers Greatest Hits for weeks. “Lovely Day” is favorite.

      Title – “Mr. HIV-outbreak-of Indiana Pence” fits.

  1. Eureka says:

    Thanks, Rayne. Also, Bill Withers and that song breaks my heart (RIP to him and to the lost loved ones that song reminds me of).

    I was wondering about that attribution to Pence as the info-dope pusher: do you think Trump allies are trying to throw Pence under the bus/ blameshift? Or maybe Pence was trying to pacify the toddler (even by pretense to ‘we’ve got this’)? Some other motive, like a cover story to push the birther compatriot’s bleach crap? None of this makes sense — it never does. And then there are the Bryan links to Ukraine graft-lines and Manafort’s oligarch, which harpie had linked around here. Does that just mean that he is a team player?

    What might we be missing: do they also have some UV-generating devices to sell?

    And while I’m speculating, I still think there’s something on the hydroxychloroquine front that we are missing, too: is there another angle, are they trying to _create_ a separate market(s) for some (e.g.) biologic (i.e. $$$$$) to fill the HCQ-vacuums they are creating for other, on-label diseases? (I had looked at e.g. the vivex and other non-HCQ-resistant malaria maps awhile back, and they are substantial enough and include some interesting marketplaces). Are they just trying to kill people and bankrupt hospitals with an ineffectual treatment (longer stays, lots more PPE purchases, and a country stuck in COVID-care and recovery), leaving them open to more vulture recapture (including the VA)? [While that all is ‘merely’ a potential set of consequences of their schemes, it probably is too complex to credit them with scheme-wise.]

    Like, seriously: wtf is going on? I feel like there’s bigger money somewhere at stake.

  2. Mu7ibullah says:

    “Only one little burp with hand soap solution — one of three attempts showed some viability.”
    Does that mean that all that 20 second handwashing is useless? Should we be dipping our hands in soap solution for > 15 min instead?

    • Rayne says:

      No. In my opinion as a non-health care professional, you need to scrub and rinse well when you wash your hands. You’re not doing it right if your hands are still covered in soap and virus after washing your hands.

      We aren’t seeing a lot of documented cases of transmission from washed hands. I am far less worried about that vector than I am about being cooped up in a closed space with poor ventilation and someone who is asymptomatic and breathing.

    • Duke says:

      I believe the friction generated in the rubbing hands together with soap/detergent and water combine to destroy the virus. Think Synergy.

        • Tom says:

          I may be wrong, but I seem to recall a doctor saying that the purpose of regular hand washing with soap and water was to physically remove the virus from your hands, not to kill the virus on your skin surface, though if soap or disinfectant has that effect it’s all to the good.

          Somehow the news that the coronavirus doesn’t like sunlight or disinfectants wasn’t exactly tremendously surprising.

        • Ginevra diBenci says:

          What I remember from the way back time of early March, when Covid Science You Can Use still appeared in FAQ form prominently displayed, the function of handwashing-with-soap is to prevent the virus from penetrating/bonding with our cell surfaces. We can’t kill it; unlike bacteria, it’s not really alive.

        • it's complicated says:

          You can’t kill the non-living, but you can damage it to the point of losing it’s infectivity. Soap water will destroy the virus’s lipid (~fatty) hull, and very effectively so.

        • Tom says:

          Speaking of the non-living, there were reports earlier today stating “Kim Jong Un Dead” which were hard not to read as “Kim Jong UnDead”.

        • bmaz says:

          I have a couple of friends who are pretty solidly expert on both Koreas (to the extent any Americans are on NK), and neither believe he is dead. Nobody really knows I guess, but these are very sober, quite knowledgeable and trustworthy folks, so I very much tend to trust their thoughts at this point. We shall see sooner or later I suppose.

        • Rugger9 says:

          I’ve literally sailed those seas, and I concur that it is not likely that KJU is dead. There would be scurrying around within the government without any focus, which at the moment is to hide issues with COVID-19 since officially there are no cases in the DPRK.

          That scurrying is inevitable given that someone would need to seize the levers of power and would stomp on the competition to do it (listen to Evita on the Art of the Possible). There’s really no way to hide that from the ROK or the NSA looking for exactly those little tells of struggle. However, the fact that KJU missed the biggest day of the political year (loosely similar in concept to the wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Memorial Day, but more intense) is why this had any traction at all.

        • it's complicated says:

          Well, the guy might actually just be in hiding, so that the virus won’t find him.
          He is a walking list of risk factors, after all.
          And no, I don’t believe that delegation of 50 doctors and other personnel from China were sent to his bedside. Imagine trying to arrange them around even a king size bed. Covid help between allies sounds much more plausible to me.
          There seems to be a lot of rumors on social networks in China, but nothing tangible so far. There seem to be no unusual military movements, and South Korea keeps the ball low, too.
          If Kim Jong Un would really drop out or die now, that could become really hairy, at a moment when the whole world doesn’t need yet another problem.
          Nobody knows if there is a succession plan…
          And we cannot look inside.
          It’s a case of Schroedinger’s Kim.
          The Un knowable.

        • Tom says:

          “Not really alive” — yes, which is why the virus is sometimes described as being deactivated rather than killed.

        • Geoguy says:

          I copied this from Quinn Norton’s post of 3/10/20:

          12. Could you stop with the nerd talk?

          Sorry. If you put soap on the virus and rub a bit, it pops, and then it dies.

          13. Wow!

          I know, right? You can set it on fire and pour alcohol on it or whatever, but anything that cuts grease and little back and forth, and you can just imagine those tiny little spiky balls popping and spilling their tiny little guts everywhere. It’s great. Just makes you want to scrub everything.

  3. Badger Robert says:

    The make believe science from the President is disabling the real science that could get us beyond the quarantine.
    Outside, we don’t crowd together nearly as much. And we pass, briefly, and the virus does not get the sustained exchanges it depends upon.
    We have not figured out why children deal with this virus much better than children. What makes them different and why some children get it regardless of the general resistance?
    The number of vulnerable people who are highly infectious is much less than the whole population. We could detect them and protect them from the disease, and then we would not need a 14th century quarantine.
    Plus there are some therapies that can help some people.
    Talk about miracle cures distracts from the fact that medicine is complex, but it can save some people.

    • P J Evans says:

      “Highly infectious” doesn’t mean symptomatic – this one is contagious before you even have symptoms, and a lot of people have cases so mild they didn’t know they had it – which means they could have been spreading it for days or weeks.

  4. John K says:

    “In my opinion as a non-health care professional, you need to scrub and rinse well when you wash your hands.”
    Because you aren’t a health care professional, this statement provides a rational interpretation of the facts as you have them before you. Because our president does not possess anything close to your critical thinking skills, there is never a good time to present him with anything such as experimental results. It will always be incomprehensible to him because context does not exist for him (and his base). For them, there is no differentiation between a science lab and the inside of a human body.
    Not only was Trump not being sarcastic, he was attempting to show off his understanding of the problem and to display his non existent ability to leap ahead of the research and show us its potential. Calling it wrongheaded falls way short of what he was trying to do.
    The severe shortage of critical thinking skills in our country has led to a true idiocracy. The unwillingness of our political leaders to provide a quality education for all citizens has created a real handicap for all of us. America was founded with the potential to become the greatest country ever. Instead, we merely became the wealthiest. In all the most important metrics, we fall behind. If we had managed to actually provide Americans with real critical thinking skills, Donald Trump could not have risen to the presidency and we would have been prepared for the virus when it got here

    • Tom says:

      The single most valuable course I ever took in university was a first year philosophy course where we spent the first semester studying logic. Schools sometimes seem more focused on teaching students what to think instead of how to think.

      • Chris.EL says:

        That’s what I took away from Univ. of Calif. …it taught me how to think.

        Actually, for some reason dumb-trumpo got me thinking about the maxim: no pathogens harmful to humans can grow in wine.

        That got me to recall monks during bubonic plague eras would put garlic cloves in their wine.

        Which led to swirling wine (as practicing wine tasting) to aerosolize “ether” and inhaling non-corrosive wine (alcohol).

        Perhaps a non-harmful nasal spray could make the mucosal tissue less condusive to covid-19 attachment.

        Lemon juice is another non-hazardous acid that could be ingested to dissolve the virus lipid bubble or render the internal environment hostile to attachment and replication.

        Gargle salt water (changes PH), pathogens cannot thrive, attach, replicate…

        • bmaz says:

          No, this looks beyond counterproductive. Please don’t pull that bunk here with bizarre and speculative home remedy bullshit. We don’t ever do that here. Stop. And nobody, not one single person, should bite off on this silly crap.

        • timbo says:

          Thanks for the safe harbor here, Bmaz. Whatever that was was unpleasant, and that’s about the only clear thing about it.

      • RMD says:

        Ditto. So enjoyed rhetoric and logic discussed in Eng Lit class, I asked the Prof to do a course. He didn’t think it’d garner enough interest. He did and it did. Some assignments had us analyzing Nixon’s (dating myself) press releases. Great stuff. Liked it so much I then pressed him to do an advanced class…He did and it was also successful.

        • vvv says:

          Poly Sci/Creative Writing major with a minor in Philosophy here, then grad school. I totally agree about learning *how* to think – something I was made aware of when bitching about algebra in high-school (still hate math tho’ I scored highest in it – maybe why I’m a musician).
          OK, to my point: one of the most useful things I learned *how* to think came from working on cars, and later on amps – troubleshooting. When you get even just OK at it, and can do it in reverse … then you can be useful.
          Too many in gov, well, this admin anyway, seem to look for someone to tell them what the problem is, and who to blame, and then they try to profit from it.

        • RMD says:

          couldn’t agree more re: troubleshooting….
          later, have worked on process flow and decision trees as a tech writer. Very useful to map out processes. Can trace out where decisions / changes were made that impacted outcomes.

          Troubleshooting can sometimes be a trial and error flow; check this first, if not that, then check this, if not that, check this.
          i just don’t think they have real policy people in this admin., just ideologues and transactional types workin’ a scam to favor their preferred clients. Actual thinking of outcomes, maximizing for best cases… just doesn’t enter into it.
          short term. it’s a mobocracy and thought process.

          I play keyboards, and find experimentation somewhat similar at times

  5. To be continued says:

    Shout out to my former grad students working so hard at Bluedot this past many years and no one wanted to listen. Glad to see they are finally getting the recognition they deserve.
    It has been disheartening working in epidemiology and public health these past years…it is hard to convince people that the system needs capacity and PH has value. Human and veterinary and that the 2 systems have to be integrated. The outbreak on mink farms in netherlands is another reminder. We won’t have trouble recruiting epi and PH students this fall…. will they be hired in 2 years after covid recedes….

  6. Rugger9 says:

    Is it too late to start a pool on when DJT comes back to the lectern? Tiebreakers would be # of questions “addressed” (we know he doesn’t answer them) or # of press people insulted or how many minutes he stays. Bonus tiebreakers would be the number of facepalms by the experts. Too bad EW doesn’t have swag.

    I vote Tuesday, 2 questions, 3 press people (CNN twice) and 20 minutes, with 2 facepalms.

  7. 200Toros says:

    Doctor wife says the next key question to be answered is about reinfection. The key issue of importance is that IF reinfection is possible, then No Vaccine Is Possible.

    Reinfection after you’ve had the virus means your body did not have an adaptive response and has no immunity to the virus. Which means the entire mechanism behind vaccines won’t work. No vaccine is possible at that point. Just treatment.

    WHO said on Saturday that there is “no evidence yet that recovered COVID-19 patients are immune to reinfection”. Apparently some that recover have very low levels of antibodies, which makes it unclear as to whether they could be protected or not. Studies from South Korea are contradictory/inconclusive. I gather it’s too soon to tell, here in the US.

    Another key question is how long immunity, if it develops, lasts.

    South Korea’s CDC deputy director Kwon Joon-wook summed it up best: “We don’t know much about Covid-19.”

    • bmaz says:

      Ooof. I am, obviously, most certainly not a doctor, but I have some moderate background in science and talk to several doctors, including at the VA (actually doing a great job on corona given a lot of issues at the VA).

      Jim White, Rayne, Pdaly, Viget and several others here can provide far better takes.

      But my take is that no one really knows if there is “immunity after infection” and, probably far more importantly, how long it may last even if there is. This is yet another cog in the “the US does not have sufficient testing and tracking ability” wheel. Which, I think, is exactly what you are saying.

      And that is what freaks me out about “opening the economy all up!”.

      • Jim White says:

        Yes, we just don’t know yet what immunity would look like, how long it lasts and whether it can be achieved with a vaccine. Obviously, for that middle part, it will have to be a “learn as we go” situation even if the other two are achieved.

    • Rayne says:

      Doctor’s made an accurate assessment. Big problem is lack of adequate followup with antibody testing as well as testing at 21-35 days after recovery for any shedding of RNA or active virus.

      • Rugger9 says:

        So far no indication of immunity, but the serology studies of the survivors will tell us for sure and that will take some time. I did see something about 2-3 weeks ago that the COVID-19 virus did not mutate like HIV does to prevent (so far) a viable vaccine.

      • 200Toros says:

        From what I’m reading, some of the “good” results of studies showing “immunity” from reinfection are from researchers who have put their results in the MSM, without peer review or any scientific vetting.

        “We found antibodies, it’s all good!” Not quite, apparently there is much more to it than that.

        Sounds like confirmation bias is rearing it’s ugly head…

  8. Max404 says:

    The WHO announcement, as filtered through the popular press, has caused consternation. It is worthwhile to read the announcement itself:

    The key operative statement is:

    At this point in the pandemic, there is not enough evidence about the effectiveness of antibody-mediated immunity to guarantee the accuracy of an “immunity passport” or “risk-free certificate.”

    In other words, too early to be able to rely on a test to issue immunity passports. Not enough knowledge.

    On the subject of immunity: here is what the Robert Koch Institute says:

    23. Immunität

    Erste Studien haben gezeigt, dass Personen nach durchgemachter SARS-CoV-2-Infektion spezifische Antikörper entwickeln (94). Durch Tierversuche an Rhesusaffen (95), früheren Erkenntnissen zu SARS sowie Plausibilitäts- und Machbarkeitsannahmen gehen Experten davon aus, dass genesene Patienten ein nur sehr geringes Reinfektionsrisiko haben. Unklar ist, wie regelhaft, robust und dauerhaft dieser Immunstatus aufgebaut wird. Die Erfahrungen mit anderen Coronaviren-Infektionen (SARS und MERS) deuten darauf hin, dass die Immunität bis zu drei Jahre anhalten könnte (96). Um das genauer zu bestimmen, sind serologische Längsschnittstudien erforderlich, die die Immunität der Patienten über einen längeren Zeitraum beobachten (97).

    23. immunity
    Initial studies have shown that individuals develop specific antibodies after undergoing SARS-CoV-2 infection (94). Based on animal experiments on rhesus monkeys (95), earlier findings on SARS and plausibility and feasibility assumptions, experts assume that recovered patients have only a very low risk of reinfection. It is unclear how regular, robust and permanent this immune status is built up. Experience with other coronavirus infections (SARS and MERS) suggests that immunity could last up to three years (96). To determine this more precisely, longitudinal serological studies are required to monitor the immunity of patients over a longer period of time (97).

    The references 94-97 can be found at the link given.

    Conclusion: it is too early to know exactly how immunity develops but it is absolutely false to assert that there is no immunity possible. Wrong to give “certificates” now, wrong to panic. Right to keep on the research and be patient.

  9. harpie says:

    [I posted this on Jim’s post, too.] Via Laura Rozen:
    12:18 PM · Apr 26, 2020

    “We are now almost six months into this pandemic, which began in November in Wuhan, with 50,000 Americans dead and 200,000 more around the world. And yet we still don’t really know how the disease is killing us.” (1/x) […]

    “Last week, scientists reported finding that the ability of the disease to mutate has been ‘vastly underestimated,’ and that “the most aggressive strains could generate 270 times as much viral load as the weakest type… These strains also killed the cells the fastest.’” […]

    “’Despite the more than 1,000 papers now spilling into journals and onto preprint servers every week,’ Science concluded, ‘a clear picture is elusive, as the virus acts like no pathogen humanity has ever seen.’” […] [link]

    Links to:
    We Still Don’t Know How the Coronavirus Is Killing Us
    David Wallace-Wells 4/26/20

  10. bloopie2 says:

    One US college focuses its curriculum on the “how to think” issue. No majors; everyone takes substantially all the same courses, designed to educate you by reading and discussing the “great books” of western civilization, from the ancient Greeks to the present –philosophy, literature, mathematics, science. The premise is that there have been a lot of great thinkers through the ages who have thought about a lot of the timeless human problems — why not see what they have to say? And do it in Socratic style discussion classes, where each student’s ideas on the topic are put to the test by presentation to and critique by the other students. Bmaz might be aware of it, in the next state — St. John’s College in Santa Fe, New Mexico. That’s their second campus; the first is in Annapolis, across the street from the Naval Academy. Check it out some time.

  11. madwand says:

    A piece of good news today which shows the value of taking the virus on early. New Zealand claims elimination (not eradication, single digit infection rate). According to a CNN article this AM, New Zealand around 1/2 the population of the US state of Georgia, has experienced 1469 cases and 19 deaths. They have also run approximately 124,000 tests which is slightly above the total number of tests for Georgia (122,600) with a higher population. Georgia deaths (916) are also much higher. Too be clear, New Zealand is now starting into fall and winter, so it remains to be seen if the containment will hold. If it doesn’t then Ardern will clamp down again.

  12. errant aesthete says:

    HEADLINE: Monday, April 27 2020, Bill Gates’s vision for life beyond the coronavirus

    Ezra Klein of Vox interviews Bill Gates

    Ezra Klein:
    “I was looking back at a paper you published in 2015 about preparing for pandemics. And the point you made there that was telling: We are constantly rehearsing for war against an enemy of another country. We’re constantly rehearsing as part of NATO or US military war games.

    Pandemics are a well-known thing, they’ve happened throughout history. We knew one was going to come eventually. And we were not doing these pre-rehearsals. Why do you think it is that we are so much more focused on threats from each other than threats that come from nature?”

    Bill Gates:
    “I think part of it is that the minor epidemics we had really didn’t hit the US. If you look at the Asian countries that did well, many of them wrote down: step one, identify all PCR machines. [Polymerase chain reaction machines, used by laboratories to copy small segments of DNA.] Step two: get supplies for PCR machines. We haven’t done that in a reasonable way today, even though we have more machines per capita than anybody else.

    Places like Taiwan or South Korea, because they were hit with MERS or SARS, had the playbook. They opened the playbook, they went through those steps, and it’s saved them 10 percent of GDP and immense human suffering that they took respiratory disease in a serious way.

    The fact that [a novel infectious disease] hasn’t been in this country for so long allowed us to not think about it as a priority. I wish I’d been more successful in getting these investments made in advance. I think back: How could I have been louder, more articulate? Very little was done.”

    [ ]

    “It’s looking more and more like indoor infection is a dramatic part of the infection, and that the way our circulation works in closed spaces like subways really works against you.

    Are asymptomatics just slightly being exposed and therefore not in the chain of infection very much? The best study on that in Singapore shows about 6 percent [of cases came from asymptomatic transfer]. But other people have done the studies different ways that give, I think, unrealistically high numbers.

    We don’t know enough about the human immune response yet. That’s very important, because if it’s a very weak response, then you’re not protected from a second infection. I don’t think that’s likely. Until we actually are looking at this blood plasma to see what the titers of the antibodies are, not this binary serology thing that’s not helpful, we’re very much in uncharted territory.”

  13. Peter Klein says:

    I think we need to get back to work. At a certain point, the benefits from sheltering in place will be outweighed by the harms caused by the shut-down. This is a serious virus but we shouldn’t kill the body because of a foot infection. We should obviously continue to pay attention to the foot infection and make sure it doesn’t spread to other areas of the body, however, everyone suffers when the economy is dead. Society makes these types of trade-offs all the time. Let’s hope our leaders are using a cost-benefit type of analysis and aren’t focusing too much on politics and how opening back up and how it’s implemented might affect 2020.

    • bmaz says:

      Yeah? And who the fuck are “we” Kemosabe? I will not welcome your first parachute in comment at this forum, because it is full of shit.

      Seriously “foot infection”? Fuck off. “Let’s hope our leaders” are not as ignorant and craven as you. Many, including here, have immune and respiratory compromises. Blithe and ignorant garbage like you are peddling will kill me, and many here. Go straight to hell.

    • bmaz says:

      By the way “Peter Klein” seeing as your locale, you are not affiliated with Carolyn Goodman, are you?

    • Badger Robert says:

      There is growing evidence that containment has completely failed. The virus is becoming endemic in the population. We may have spread out the known cases, but the virus seems to have enough hosts to find all of the vulnerable people.
      If the number of known cases reaches 2M, I am not sure what the closures are accomplishing.
      The second wave will be some Covid/19 deaths, and a lot more deaths based on dislocation, and poverty.

    • Rugger9 says:

      Foot infection leading to gas gangrene and sepsis, killing the patient.

      So, Sparky, how many things will a dead person buy? Maybe you should go first and find out.

      • bmaz says:

        ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ I’d laugh even further, but people are actually arguing this garbage. It is a mad, mad, mad world.

    • earlofhuntingdon says:

      Your argument assumes that there is no cost to “getting back to work,” there is only an upside. That’s false, and a typically hapless and dangerous Trumpian fantasy. The logic appears to come straight from RNC Central.

      Before “we” get back to work, we need testing, testing, testing. We need a competent administration willing and able to collect and collate the information from them. We need considerably more immunity. Government needs to monitor public health developments so that changes in the disease’s course can be detected and used to close or open the throttle of getting back to work.

      Lastlyi, lawmakers need to rescind any immunity granted to businesses for getting back to work, to the extent they purport to eliminate liability for negligent, reckless, or intentional managerial conduct. The very idea is an invitation to slaughter.

      If you reopen without those things, I suggest you order a lot more body bags – and vests imperious to sharpened pitchforks.

      • Tom says:

        During the Great War, British generals on the Western Front soon became accustomed to losing several thousand men a day, even during quiet periods in the trenches, through what they called wastage. That is, soldiers who were killed or wounded by German snipers, friendly artillery fire, mortar attacks, random enemy action, and any other type of accidental death or injury. It was the daily cost of carrying on the war.

        I think the Back to Workers are espousing the same concept–wastage. That is, we all have to die some day and we should all be willing to accept an increased number of random and some not-so-random deaths for the greater good of the economy and the rest of society.

        If the BtWs want to gamble with their own lives, fine. But they shouldn’t be allowed to gamble with other people’s lives.

    • DeAnne says:

      Peter, I’m going to address your comment as though it were made in good faith, in that perhaps you’ve heard that opinion repeated regularly on media channels you frequent.

      The quarantines weren’t put in place to stop Covid, they were put in place to keep the incidence level down low enough that hospitals were not overwhelmed, like what we witnessed in Italy. This modality seems to be working as well as can be expected, in a country with almost no safety net.

      I put it to you that this country has vast treasure, which could be distributed to ensure that no American goes hungry or homeless while we fight the plague. Furthermore, I posit that we could use this opportunity to reconsider how healthcare is managed in a free market, and realize that it has failed us, and should be reconfigured to be a human right, rather than a human cost.

      The Right wing will carry on about socialism and the free market, but what they really want is corporate socialism, hence the bailouts to airlines, oil companies, and Fortune 500 publicly traded companies, with virtually no assistance to the workers.

      We could take every dollar given in tax grants since Trump took office and it would be more than enough for Americans to weather this storm. To suggest that waitresses and bus drivers and school teachers should be willing to risk their lives so Bezos can keep making 50k a minute without paying any taxes verges on psychotic.

      Now is the time to realize that corporate socialism has to end, and socialism for the people should begin.

    • Vicks says:

      Yeah sure, go back to work.
      I’m sitting in day nine of what may be a total waste of time or nine days with fourteen left to go of self isolation because a family member MAY have had the virus.
      It’s been eight days since they shoved a swab up his nose and still no results on a test that should take 24 hours.
      Business can’t even buy paper towels and people are still camping out at stores to buy a bottle of Lysol.
      They closed down a Walmart not to far from here after 3 people died and multiple complaints from employees that the company wasn’t doing enough to keep employees and customers safe. They wanted protective gear.
      Where the hell is Walmart going to find protective gear?
      I’m not usually this cranky but WTF?
      Cost benefit analysis? What a life worth exactly? My brother always thought he was better than me. Will the truth finally come out when they run the numbers?
      EVERYONE wants to get back at it, but most people realize that in order to do so we need a fucking plan that includes basic logistics, and we need to know who has the virus and who doesn’t.
      If you have some answers or ideas let’s hear them.

      • Vicks says:

        Oh and fuck this survival of the fittest mentality.
        I have an 80 year old mother who just moved here in Feb.
        She is high risk and can’t drive.
        I’m in self isolation so I had a friend take her to a doctors appointment yesterday.
        She raised three kids on an LPN’s paycheck, and this women is alone right now, scared shitless and I JUST learned she cried in front of a total stranger because she feels she is a “burden”
        No one deserves to be left behind and imho this is this country’s final chance to save itself.

  14. harpie says:

    Via John Weaver:
    8:09 AM · Apr 26, 2020

    Elisa Granato was one of the first patients injected with a #coronavirus vaccine trial in Oxford three days ago. Three days later, anti-vaxx groups/pages on Facebook and conspiracy theorists are spreading a totally fake story on the internet suggesting she has died. She hasn’t. [screenshots]

    Who took note and amplified it in their circles? Anti-vaxxers and QAnon conspiracy theorists. Look at the types of groups/pages/accounts sharing this false piece on Facebook and Twitter. Notice a theme? Also frightening is the siz of interactions/audience. [screenshots]

    Anti-vaxxers all around the world are amplifying this fake story [screenshots]

    ….and here is Dr Elisa Granato in person. Alive and well [VIDEO]

    Facebook has started to take down some of the most viral false posts about Elisa. But most tweets are still up. Don’t for a moment think strong rebuttal will stop some from sharing this. The numbers are still growing. This is always the main issue when fake news goes viral […]

    • P J Evans says:

      Looks like his usual performance level: the big announcement from the WH, the videos and news stories for a few days to a couple of weeks, then the disappearance from all news.
      If they weren’t still stealing equipment, I’d think they all disappeared.

    • P J Evans says:

      I saw tweets about the restaurant and its AC/exhaust fan last week. Bloomberg is a little slow.
      Droplets being blown past others…an arguments for wearing masks and avoiding restaurants with that kind of HVAC. (I think in the US they generally have AC from ceiling vents, and filters in those systems.) Outdoor tables might be safer than eating inside.

      • Rayne says:

        Bloomberg was reporting about a new study from Wuhan which looked for SARS-CoV-2 virus in hospital settings and found it in highest concentration where air flow was more restricted. The study did not examine infectiousness/contagion, only where the virus was found and in what concentrations. In this sense, Bloomberg is on top of the reporting as no other study has looked at this so far.

        There have been studies IIRC in Singapore and Hong Kong which took samples looking at spread of the virus on surfaces where COVID-19 patients had been treated. There’s some overlap of findings — like the drift of the virus over a room must from from aerosolized exhalation by the patient — but each study examining location of virus material has found something new.

        The new Wuhan study makes it clear hospitals must do more to disinfect health care workers before they disrobe, for example.

    • bmaz says:

      Lol. Yeah. Had a long conversation with Rayne today about not being quite ready to go back to a full courthouse.

      This is exactly why.

  15. MB says:

    Well, the inevitable has finally happened. Despite calls to state public health hotlines (esp. in Maryland and New York) about the advisability of ingesting bleach, isopropyl alcohol and disinfectants, at least those people had just enough good sense to call the numbers and ask questions first.

    However, today in the metro Atlanta area comes the story of 2 people that actually did this. One case was a guy who “drank 16 ounces of bleach”, the other a guy who creatively mixed a cocktail of: 1) beer, 2) mouthwash, 3) pain meds and 4) beer together. Both patients were released after treatment, the first guy was sent to the psych ward for evaluation before release.–regional/men-drink-disinfectants-attempts-stop-coronavirus/uRsz2zLLhpqqOX2SjpEfjL/

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