The Swamp’s The Problem Therefore Trump’s To Blame

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It is, of course, true that Orange Man Bad. But to blame him for the actions of the very swamp he claims to want to drain is going a bit far. Yet that’s what the latest fool to join The Guardian tries to do:

The USNS comfort, the navy hospital ship deployed to New York City this week, was supposed to house 1,000 patients. Instead, it’s taken in only 20, refusing to accept New Yorkers suffering with coronavirus.

Sitting on idle on the Hudson River, the ship is quickly becoming a symbol of all that has gone horrifically wrong with both the federal and local response to the Covid-19 outbreak. There are about 50,000 confirmed coronavirus cases in New York City alone, with more than a thousand dead. Many, with the right course of action, could have been prevented.

OK, cool. We’re even willing to agree with the set up here. We’ve a pandemic, we’ve empty hospital beds, what is it that is preventing ill people from occupying those empty beds?

But military and bureaucratic hurdles have prevented the Comfort from accepting most patients.

Strict rules are preventing people infected with the virus from coming on board. The navy is also refusing to treat a host of other conditions. Guidelines sent to hospitals included a list of 49 medical conditions that would exclude a patient from admittance to the ship.

Ambulances cannot take patients directly to the Comfort. First, they must deliver patients to a city hospital to be tested for the virus and then pick them up again for transport to the ship. Hospital leaders rightfully find the delays untenable.

Not so cool but OK, we’ll accept the diagnosis. The swamp, the bureaucracy, so envelops our society that good things cannot be done.

The solution is obvious enough. Open the navy hospital ship to coronavirus patients….

OK, cool again, why not? All we’ve got to do is ignore the regulations that the bureaucracy has festooned all over our society, kill off the progressive idea of governance for everything and, hopefully and if we may, shoot a few bureaucrats. Very cool.

Ultimately, politicians like Trump and Cuomo invested far too much hope in one hospital ship. It’s the tragic consequence of failing in the most brutal way to prepare for such a pandemic. America knew what was happening in China, Spain, Italy and elsewhere: there were many weeks of lead time that other countries couldn’t benefit from.

Trump, a deeply incompetent executive who denies science, could not ramp up testing to create any kind of accurate picture of which Americans were infected and needed to be quarantined. Federal guidelines for social distancing came too late.

The FDA and CDC conspired to ensure that no tests were available, that private labs wouldn’t be allowed to conduct them anyway. We’ve even had the FDA insisting that home tests are illegal. This ship can’t be used because bureaucracy. The man who wants to kill much of the Federal bureaucracy is at fault for this?

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Phoenix44
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Phoenix44

I remain unconvinced that anything anybody has done so far has saved a single life. A large proportion of those entering ICU die (as they always do) and there’s so far not much evidence people cannot get an ICU bed. So those who can be saved by modern medicine have been saved, those who cannot, haven’t been. Same as every day. There’s no evidence any of the social measures are doing anything – as you would expect of the infection as already widely spread. And the fact that it was already everywhere in the UK two weeks ago shows that… Read more »

Spike
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Spike

But if you die in ICU and they find COVID in you, you are listed in the national body count, the deliberate panic feeding what is essentially martial law.

Phoenix44
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Phoenix44

Yes but that depends where you are. Germany not, and I think Switzerland not. Sweden as well from the numbers. To 20th March (latest ONS figures) cumulative all cause deaths in the UK were slightly (but not significantly) below cumulative five year average. We have had an increase in daily deaths since then, but it will be interesting to see whether the total deaths have moved at all.

I don’t think its deliberate panic here, just good old fashioned panic, driven by Arts graduates not understanding what scientists are actually telling them.

Spike
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Spike

It seems the requirement to classify as a “COVID death” ANY death of someone with the virus in the corpse, comes from the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Sweden is famously different.

I do see the US panic as more sinister. The opposition has tried outrageous ploys to stall Trump’s government and dent his popularity, and with COVID, they have finally found something to make the notorious germophobe harm the country and the economy that was to be his re-election theme.

dodgy geezer
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dodgy geezer

There is certainly a small epidemic under way. The Total Mortality stats bear that out. So there have been some extra deaths. The jury is still out on whether prompt use of Chloroquine would have suppressed that set of deaths.

Pat
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Pat

Total mortality stats don’t bear that out. Very likely because flu is down, but the total is slightly down.

Spike
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Spike

I agree and would expect that. When you make avoiding contagion the country’s main theme for the entire flu season, you should see a drop in the normal spread of all contagious pathogens. (Is it worth it? If it were, then without prodding, we would spend every year avoiding rather than achieving.)

Virusago
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Virusago

‘History will be the judge’ as Europe watches to see what happens in Sweden, a developed country alone in following the ‘herd immunity’ , no lockdown, model:
https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/amp/world-europe-52076293

John B
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John B

I read that the hospital ships were there to take non-critical patients to free up hospital beds and other resources. They would not be adequately equipped to provide intensive care on any scale.

Pat
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Pat

Furthermore NYC has about 15000 spare beds at the moment, including all emergency provisions. Beds were built/moved in to deal with the projected number of cases, but the actual demand has not grown as much as predicted. Probably wise to err on the side of caution but there it is.

Pat
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Pat

Trump doesn’t believe in science? Doubt it. He won’t take a man’s word for something just because the man has letters after his name, but that is how science is supposed to be. Take no man’s word if I recall rightly used to be the motto of the Royal Institution, and that is what Trump does.
Today’s “believers in science” will take the word of a man who testifies that he has lost all his work: believing a man who is incapable of filing and fails to hire a filing clerk ain’t believing in science it’s believing in scientists.

Spike
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Spike

But that’s exactly what Trump has done. The deprecated London prediction, and the carnage predicted by a computer model the CDC won’t disclose but is off by a factor of 8-10, have been the basis for a national shutdown.

We now “believe in science” (that is, statistics) so much that our single national value is “flattening the curve.” We are to look away from damage to the economy and only look at contagion rates of this unremarkable microbe (wondering if we’ll be equally irrational during 2021 flu season). What I “believe in” is perspective.