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> Pandemic and the Political Blame Game, It's business as usual with trying to score political points
Syfir
post Oct 2 2020, 11:10 PM
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I saw a post on another site quoting Jim Dabakis (D)/(R ) from Utah that started "I find no joy with Trump and the First Lady having tested positive for COVID. This can be a devastating disease and I would not wish it on anyone--even the man who indirectly is largely responsible for so many deaths in America."

I have seen many different posts who blame Trump for everything related to this plague.

I have seen blame and vitriol towards President Trump for every perceived problem with America today.

What I have not seen is any one pointing out any person or organization who had actually done a good job in their handling of the situation.

There are records of Speaker Pelosi visiting San Francisco's Chinatown in February and stating that "there's no reason tourists or locals should be staying away from the area because of coronavirus concerns.

"That’s what we’re trying to do today is to say everything is fine here," Pelosi said. "Come because precautions have been taken. The city is on top of the situation.""

Governor Cuomo of New York's response directly or indirectly led to a significant percentage of the 5,000 nursing home deaths in New York among other problems with his response

And the list can go on.

While President Trump definitely deserves some blame for the U.S.'s response as a whole, it is not his responsibility for how the States, Cities, and other localities responded.

The blame game for political points needs to stop.

Rather than assigning blame I think one of the best ways to do this is to point out who has done well.

QUESTION -

Which locality do you feel has done a good job of responding to the pandemic and why?
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Blackstone
post Oct 9 2020, 12:11 AM
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It's hard to identify a location that got it completely right, but despite New York's initial screw-ups they seem to have gotten the hang of containing this thing. Also, though Florida received some heavy criticism for initially making the decision to keep their economy going, they did do a good job of keeping their (notoriously substantial) elderly population protected, and now appear to have things in general under much better control.

It's still, in my view, an open question whether or not the economic cure is worse than the disease. But it's hard to get reliable analysis in today's heavily politicized environment.
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Mrs. Pigpen
post Oct 9 2020, 01:47 PM
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QUOTE(Blackstone @ Oct 8 2020, 08:11 PM) *
It's still, in my view, an open question whether or not the economic cure is worse than the disease. But it's hard to get reliable analysis in today's heavily politicized environment.


It is impossible. Our community Colorado mountain area has been very mildly touched by covid. Our neighbors had it (in their late 70s). They called and asked us to pick their vegetables and cover the plants before the first big frost. They recovered (never even had to go to the hospital, mountain folk are tough).
BUT most of the businesses around here are going under. It is absolutely crushing business owners with the capacity guidelines and restrictions.
Suicides from this pandemic have escalated, mental illness isn't being treated. A good friend of ours who teaches special ed in a school in the keys lost a student during the lockdown. His brother, who had a history of mental illness killed him and almost killed his dad. The father is devastated, and pleaded for help long before this incident happened. But there was no help with the covid lockdown.
Our sons are not doing well (mentally) with the extreme confinement. The first few months they understood. We are now almost a year into a lockdown situation for a disease that is unlikely to effect them. A girlfriend of the roommate of our oldest recently tested positive so they had to do the test (negative, thank goodness). She has no idea where she got it, but tested twice and it was positive both times. Not even a sniffle.
I have a son enrolled at Boulder. They take a covid test every week. They are quarantined in what is essentially a solitary confinement situation. They aren't even allowed to eat with others, and are confined to their rooms.
The town of Boulder did not think this went far enough, so they issues a quarantined for the 18-21 year old age group. No going to businesses either. We brought him home.
Everything is a tradeoff. What we are doing to our young people now (not to mention business owners), will have long term consequences.

https://twitter.com/drsimonegold/status/131...8393145344?s=20

This post has been edited by Mrs. Pigpen: Oct 9 2020, 01:51 PM
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Hobbes
post Oct 9 2020, 04:32 PM
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QUOTE(Blackstone @ Oct 8 2020, 06:11 PM) *
It's hard to identify a location that got it completely right, but despite New York's initial screw-ups they seem to have gotten the hang of containing this thing.


Not really...they still have lots of new cases. Along with a MASSIVE exodus of people and businesses.

QUOTE
Also, though Florida received some heavy criticism for initially making the decision to keep their economy going, they did do a good job of keeping their (notoriously substantial) elderly population protected, and now appear to have things in general under much better control.


Exactly. The dirty secret is that there isn't really much, if any, statistical evidence that the lockdown, etc actually impacted the spread of the disease. In New York City, for example, they found out that incidence of disease for those people staying home in lock down was actually HIGHER than for those who were deemed essential workers, and didn't quarantine at all.

QUOTE
It's still, in my view, an open question whether or not the economic cure is worse than the disease. But it's hard to get reliable analysis in today's heavily politicized environment.


Truthfully, it isn't. The economic cure is causing severe and often permanent harm to tens of millions of people, which has its own associated human in addition to economic costs, whereas the actual benefits of it from a purely disease spread aspect are unknown. So, you have trillions of dollars and associated human harm vs unknown, and potentially very limited, benefits.

Note that this doesn't imply NO precautions. But as Florida and many other places have demonstrated, one can take precautions without draconian lockdowns. The only reason this message isn't getting out is because of politics.

A data point that doesn't seem to be out there (which is baffling) is exactly what other industrialized countries have done/are doing that we aren't doing. Even with the lockdowns in place, we seem to have higher incidences of disease, AND worse outcomes (more fatalities). WHY? Also, are these other countries taking more draconian steps than we are? If so, I haven't heard that that is the case. If not...there is your evidence that these steps aren't what leads to success.

The simple fact that is getting lost in all of this, though, is that there is indeed a price on human life. There are in fact certain amount of deaths that ARE acceptable for purely economic terms. Lots of people don't want to believe that, but it is completely undeniably true, and people exhibit this themselves every single day. Every time you leave your house, you take risks, and those risks lead to potential for serious harm or death. Yet we do these things all the time. Why? Because we have all decided that these risks are acceptable to us...even though they DO involve a risk of very significant harm. So, when I hear people say 'oh, you're just putting economic reasons ahead of human life', well, YES! And all those people saying this do the very same thing, every single day. So it shouldn't be that shocking to them. If human live was always paramount, none of us would get in a car, go near other people (threat of disease is always out there, it's just a bit higher now), go fishing (boats sink), flying (planes crash), etc etc. It's all rationally nonsense. The question is, and should be...are we taking economically sound precautions? Were Covid so deadly that any contraction most likely led to death...that's one thing. Risk is MUCH higher then, and should be factored in. But to think that would just need to take any and all action to reduce what is actually a relatively small risk is poppycock. Those spouting that nonsense should immediately be removed from any actual decision making position.

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Mrs. Pigpen
post Oct 9 2020, 09:19 PM
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Hawaii has a "neat trick" right now.
Their economy is in tatters, so they're making the covid rules exceptionally restrictive but also hard to understand, and changing.
A friend of ours was recently fined 5,000 dollars and/or up to a year in prison. He was sitting on a park bench near the beach but it was supposed to be a restricted area. Or something.
Looks like he wasn't the only one.
The Surgeon General himself was fined for visiting a park he didn't know was closed.

Hawaii is nuts. I give them two thumbs down, and a rotten tomato, on their handling of the covid.
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Blackstone
post Oct 10 2020, 08:31 PM
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QUOTE(Hobbes @ Oct 9 2020, 12:32 PM) *
Not really...they still have lots of new cases.

Cases are going up nationwide, as cooler weather comes in and more activity moves indoors. That's going to be especially true for a city like New York. A densely populated city is always an epidemiological challenge, and New York in particular is set up in a way that makes it highly dependent on public transportation. Now certainly the wisdom of that kind of model can be debated, but as that was the result of decisions made over many years and even generations, I think it would be a bit unfair to lump it in as part of the assessment of how they're handling this particular crisis.

Suffice it to say, though they made some undeniably bad calls at the beginning, I don't find it that easy to fault them for the way they've handled an inherently difficult situation since then.

QUOTE
A data point that doesn't seem to be out there (which is baffling) is exactly what other industrialized countries have done/are doing that we aren't doing. Even with the lockdowns in place, we seem to have higher incidences of disease, AND worse outcomes (more fatalities). WHY? Also, are these other countries taking more draconian steps than we are?

More draconian? Perhaps not. More coordinated, on the other hand? Maybe. Some, like Taiwan, take things to an extent that I personally would never consider acceptable here except perhaps under the most dire circumstances, things like constant tracking of everyone's movements through cell phone location (yes, I know that sort of thing goes on here, too, but they've cranked it up to whole new levels of OMG).

The shortcomings in our response have been generally blamed, perhaps not entirely inaccurately, on our federated, (partially) decentralized system. Personally, I consider that decentralization to be a virtue in normal times (and we could use plenty more of it, in fact), so I'm willing to live with a little bit extra risk in these once-in-a-century events rather than sacrifice it. You know, Ben Franklin's quote about trading liberty for safety and all that.

Not that I don't recognize the value of reversing that trend temporarily during crises, PROVIDED, that there's a sure path back, and I mean all the way back, to the way it was after it's over. But of course that's a notoriously difficult thing to guarantee.

QUOTE
Every time you leave your house, you take risks, and those risks lead to potential for serious harm or death. Yet we do these things all the time. Why? Because we have all decided that these risks are acceptable to us...even though they DO involve a risk of very significant harm. So, when I hear people say 'oh, you're just putting economic reasons ahead of human life', well, YES! And all those people saying this do the very same thing, every single day. So it shouldn't be that shocking to them. If human live was always paramount, none of us would get in a car, go near other people (threat of disease is always out there, it's just a bit higher now), go fishing (boats sink), flying (planes crash), etc etc. It's all rationally nonsense. The question is, and should be...are we taking economically sound precautions?

The way I would phrase the question is: what are the tradeoffs? In the everyday examples you give, the tradeoff to not doing those things that risk death is that you risk, even by denying yourself recreation, not to mention things like employment, a potentially early grave (and miserable life prior to then). So the more specific question is how much that holds true for shorter periods of time to mitigate higher (how high? I don't know) risks of death.

Of course, with some "experts" now saying that even with a vaccine widely available we still will have to wait even longer, a question like that takes on much more urgency. But that's starting to get into a little bit different discussion from which places have been handling things well up to this point.
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Hobbes
post Oct 13 2020, 02:30 AM
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QUOTE(Blackstone @ Oct 10 2020, 02:31 PM) *
Suffice it to say, though they made some undeniably bad calls at the beginning, I don't find it that easy to fault them for the way they've handled an inherently difficult situation since then.


Fair, and as for the beginning, it's also fair to point out that hindsight is lovely. Lessons learned for next time.


QUOTE
More draconian? Perhaps not. More coordinated, on the other hand? Maybe. ....
The shortcomings in our response have been generally blamed, perhaps not entirely inaccurately, on our federated, (partially) decentralized system. Personally, I consider that decentralization to be a virtue in normal times (and we could use plenty more of it, in fact), so I'm willing to live with a little bit extra risk in these once-in-a-century events rather than sacrifice it. You know, Ben Franklin's quote about trading liberty for safety and all that.


That's quite likely true, although to what degree that impacts results I'm not sure. One of the things Trump did, that I'm generally in favor of but perhaps not in these situations, is put lots of the work and the coordination back on the states. It probably couldn't work any other way, though...there is no federal command and control system set up for that, whereas states had that.

QUOTE
Some, like Taiwan, take things to an extent that I personally would never consider acceptable here except perhaps under the most dire circumstances, things like constant tracking of everyone's movements through cell phone location (yes, I know that sort of thing goes on here, too, but they've cranked it up to whole new levels of OMG).


Yes, that's a tradeoff that most Americans would definitely have balked at. whistling.gif)

QUOTE
The way I would phrase the question is: what are the tradeoffs?
Yes, that's what I am saying as well. We all make these tradeoff decisions all the time, and we do not simply sit in our house in fear of bad outcomes.

Interesting (and relatedly), WHO reversed its stance on lockdowns today, saying they likely cause more hard than good.
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droop224
post Oct 20 2020, 09:30 PM
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QUOTE(Hobbes)
Yes, that's what I am saying as well. We all make these tradeoff decisions all the time, and we do not simply sit in our house in fear of bad outcomes.

Interesting (and relatedly), WHO reversed its stance on lockdowns today, saying they likely cause more hard than good.
Is this actually true? The WHO claims it has not reversed itself. but held the same position as it regards to using lock downs.
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Blackstone
post Yesterday, 11:46 PM
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QUOTE(droop224 @ Oct 20 2020, 05:30 PM) *
Is this actually true?

This is David Nabarro, who according to his Wikipedia article is "one of six Special Envoys from the DGWHO [Director-General of the WHO], who were tasked to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic." He's claiming to speak on behalf of the WHO in this interview, and he appears to be in a position to do so. It's been nearly two weeks since the interview, and I haven't seen any sign of pushback or criticism against him for doing so.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaPkDiIRBmM
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droop224
post Today, 02:49 AM
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QUOTE(Blackstone @ Oct 21 2020, 05:46 PM) *
QUOTE(droop224 @ Oct 20 2020, 05:30 PM) *
Is this actually true?

This is David Nabarro, who according to his Wikipedia article is "one of six Special Envoys from the DGWHO [Director-General of the WHO], who were tasked to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic." He's claiming to speak on behalf of the WHO in this interview, and he appears to be in a position to do so. It's been nearly two weeks since the interview, and I haven't seen any sign of pushback or criticism against him for doing so.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qaPkDiIRBmM


Hmmm I see.
Well politifact states that Hobbes statement is untrue and that the stance of has not backflipped, u-turned, did a 180, or however else we want to classify Nabarro's statement. In fact, its quite clearly the position of most scientist, politicians, and population, whether on the left or right.

I kind of baited the question knowing this, but honestly this is the trouble with debating modern conservatism, even of a moderate nature. As a liberal i feel their worldview, their "reality" is so skewed from what is real, you have to spend so much time knocking down the strawman, that you won't ever convince them that they aren't even debating the correct opposing stance. Now, I'm not saying this only afflicts conservatism, but damn if I don't have to deal with it quite a bit since i do like debating.

That being said I was never under the opinion that the government, WHO or anyone else WANTED to use lock-downs as a primary way to control this pandemic. We all know the trade-off. We can have economic hardships or we can have hospitals overrun with patients and morgues overrun with dead bodies. That's the debate.

This post has been edited by droop224: Today, 02:50 AM
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