34 thoughts on “News/Politics 3-17-20

  1. As DJ mentioned yesterday, this will help his chances in 2024, and his and Trumps in November. 🙂

    https://www.axios.com/pence-coronavirus-task-force-leadership-85c5ac0c-8b54-4e63-bd69-79c6ac9c5c70.html

    “Pence’s presidential moment”

    “Vice President Mike Pence, often caricatured as the White House Yes Man, is doing many of the things critics wish President Trump would do.

    The big picture: He’s a daily, consistent presence on the airwaves. He provides useful info rather than random digressions. He leans on health and medical experts — both at public events and behind the scenes when he’s chairing the White House Coronavirus Task Force.

    Pence, 60, a likely contender for the Republican nomination in 2024, has become one of the most praised administration officials during the virus crisis:

    “I actually think he’s done a reasonably good job,” popular tech author Scott Galloway, no fan of Trump, said on his Pivot podcast with Kara Swisher.
    Politico media columnist Jack Shafer wrote after Pence’s first virus press conferences: He “acted less like the ‘coronavirus czar’ and more like a good old-fashioned White House press secretary. He was calm. He was direct. He was polite in face of shouted, competing questions.”
    Part of Pence’s persona goes back to his days as host of a syndicated talk radio show in Indiana — his job before he became a congressman, House Republican Conference chair and Indiana governor.

    Marc Short, Pence’s chief of staff, said the vice president “has an understanding of what people are looking for”— facts that are “straightforward, not alarmist.”

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  2. 4 steps, 15 days.

    Just do it.

    https://dailycaller.com/2020/03/16/white-house-coronavirus-guidance-all-americans/

    “Trump Announces Four Steps Of New Coronavirus Guidance To Be Followed By All Americans For 15 Days”

    “President Donald Trump announced four specific guidelines Monday to be followed by all Americans for the next 15 days to stop the spread of coronavirus.t

    School-age Americans should study from home where possible
    All Americans should avoid groups of more than 10 people
    All Americans should avoid discretionary travel
    All Americans should avoid eating in public restaurants, bars or food courts.

    Printouts distributed to reporters in the White House briefing room expanded on the president’s new guidance, especially the need for the elderly to protect themselves.”

    ———

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  3. Let’s be South Korea, and not Italy.

    https://www.dailywire.com/news/heres-why-covid-19-ravaged-italy-while-south-korea-remained-relatively-stable

    “Here’s Why COVID-19 Ravaged Italy While South Korea Remained Relatively Stable”

    “As Surgeon General Jerome Adams put it on Monday: the next two weeks will be America’s time window to see whether or not the COVID-19 pandemic will unfold like the panic-stricken Italy or the relatively stable South Korea, depending on how diligent people are about following guidelines.

    In South Korea, as of this writing, the current death toll for COVID-19 stands at 66, which equals about 0.06% of those infected. Conversely, the death toll in Italy now tops 2,000 as the country’s healthcare system quickly becomes overwhelmed, with nurses and doctors having to make difficult decisions regarding which patients to whom they will administer care. Here’s why the pandemic unfolded so differently in the two countries, according to CNN:

    Though testing is known to effectively reduce the risk of transmission, many experts are beginning to also associate more widespread testing with the statistic of greatest concern — survival from the disease.

    The connection seems straightforward. Consider two countries with large outbreaks.

    In South Korea, the rate of testing has been quite high (3,692 tests per million people as of March 8), and its mortality among those infected quite low (about 0.6%, or 66 deaths, at last count).

    By contrast, Italy tests about 826 people per million and its mortality among those with diagnosed infection is about 10 times higher, with more than 1,000 people dead from the disease.

    Though COVID-19 testing works to help prevent the spread of infection (as opposed to treating the infection), it cannot necessarily be correlated with fewer deaths and a relatively stable healthcare apparatus. In fact, much of South Korea’s success in fighting this pandemic stems from several factors, including Italy’s high senior population and high smoking rate for women.

    “According to a UN report in 2015, 28.6% of the Italian population was 60 years old or older (second in the world after Japan at 33%),” continued CNN. “This compares to South Korea, where 18.5% of the population is at least 60 years of age, ranking 53rd globally. The impact of this disparity is quickly shown in the analysis of coronavirus deaths in each county. In Italy, 90% of the more than 1,000 deaths occur in those 70 or older.””

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  4. Italy shows what happens with socialized medicine at times like these. So stuff your socialized medicine.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/coronavirus-italy-hospitals-doctor-lockdown-quarantine-intensive-care-a9401186.html

    “A doctor in Italy has told The Independent how medics there are being forced to ration care to patients in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak with elderly patients being denied care based on their age and whether they have other conditions.

    Consultant anaesthetist and intensive care specialist Maria, who works at the Sant’Orsola-Malpighi Hospital in Bologna, described the relentless influx of coronavirus patients with medics working round the clock and being forced to make difficult decisions.

    She warned UK hospitals to plan now for the influx in patients stressing some of those who became sick and needed care were young and healthy.

    Official guidance to doctors in Italy, seen by The Independent, have said only patients “deemed worthy of intensive care” should get it and decisions based on a “distributive justice” approach balancing the demand for care versus available resources.

    Describing the difficulties caring for patients she said: “We are making difficult choices.”

    “I know from talking to colleagues in Lombardia, the most affected region in Italy, that they are using a cut off of 65-years-old in case of pre-existing comorbidities.

    “In Bologna, we are working with 80-years-old as our cut off, but between 65 and 80-years-old we still consider comorbidities.”

    She said it was wrong for people to assume coronavirus only affected elderly and already sick people saying her colleagues in the Lombardia region diagnosed a 38-year-old patient with Covid-19 who had to be put on a ventilator to help him breathe.

    She said after the first few cases, the region including Milan and Venice saw numbers swell to hundreds in days.

    Initially her hospital took patients from other cities to help but “after a few days we started having positive patients coming into A&E in respiratory arrest or already admitted for elective procedures.

    “At this point we stopped all elective operations and all clinics” adding all the wards were transformed into Covid-19 areas saying: “This early decision is saving us…we do still have space for Covid-19 patients thanks to the decision to stop electives, and promptly prepare wards and intensive care rooms before the numbers were out of control.”

    This contrast with the NHS which has yet to cancel operations despite doctors saying they need this time to prepare and get ready for an expected surge in admissions linked to the virus.

    Describing the patients with the coronavirus the doctor said many patients have no symptoms at all or were very mild but some become extremely sick.”

    ———–

    No thanks.

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  5. Grossly irresponsible, blatantly partisan, and just plain low class. That’s our media.

    https://townhall.com/tipsheet/juliorosas/2020/03/16/nyt-reporters-spread-trump-quote-missing-vital-context-n2565061

    “Mainstream Media Reporters Spread Trump Quote Missing Vital Context About Wuhan Virus Response”

    “Reporters from mainstream media outlets pushed a quote without providing vital context to how the federal government is helping the states while posting a New York Times story about President Trump’s teleconference meeting with state governors and how they can respond to the COVID-19 pandemic, commonly known as the Wuhan virus or Chinese coronavirus.

    The issue was how one quote made it seem like Trump was telling state governors to fend for themselves to get respirators and ventilators for severe cases of COVID-19. Many of the reporters left out the second half of Trump’s quote, where he stated, “We will be backing you, but try getting it yourselves. Point of sales, much better, much more direct if you can get it yourself.”

    “Trump’s point was that if state governors can get respirators and ventilators themselves more quickly than going through the federal government, then they should do so. However, the federal government will be assisting in providing medical equipment.”

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  6. Did I mention it’s unethical too?…. Because I meant to….

    ————-

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  7. Can you imagine the outrage had Trump done this?

    It would be epic.

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2020/03/trudeau-closes-canadas-border-to-non-citizens-or-permanent-residents-over-coronavirus/

    “Trudeau Closes Canada’s Border to Non-Citizens or Permanent Residents Over Coronavirus

    Could you imagine the outrage if Trump did this?”

    “The coronavirus has forced Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau to close the borders to all except a few people.

    But I thought closing borders is racist?

    From CBC:

    There will be exceptions for air crew, diplomats, immediate family members of citizens and, “at this time,” U.S. citizens, Trudeau said.

    The prime minister also said no one who is displaying symptoms will be permitted to board a flight to Canada, and that air operators will be required to complete a basic health assessment of every passenger based on guidelines from the Public Health Agency of Canada.

    “I know this news will spark concern among Canadians travelling abroad. I want to assure you than our government will not leave you unsupported,” he said.

    “To help asymptomatic Canadians to return home, our government will set up a support program for Canadians who need to get on a plane. Canadian travellers will be able to get financial assistance to help them with the costs of returning home or temporarily covering basic needs while they wait to come back to Canada.”

    As another measure to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus, Trudeau said international flights will be funnelled to airports in Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver to enhance screening.”

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  8. More fake news debunked….. by the same outlet that printed it in the first place.

    ———

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    ———–

    ———–

    ———-

    Kudos? Golf clap, at best. They wouldn’t have had to refute it if they weren’t wrong to begin with.

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  9. Here’s what I don’t understand. If we self-isolate for, say 30 days, that will not eradicate the virus. So when we go back to normal interaction, won’t this all just start over again?

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  10. The bar was set pretty low for Pence — anything is an improvement of Trump. Trump has oratory abilities but as a voice of reason and stability he’s not right person. There’s something to be said for having prior political experience after all. Still not looking forward to a Biden-Trump debate.

    A bit of false outrage on the Trudeau vs Trump comparison article. Trudeau issued a blanket travel ban (with the exception for Americans). Obviously not racist as its fairly universal. Similarly Trump wasn’t called racist when he banned Schengen countries. (The obvious loophole — go to the US via the UK or Canada has now been closed. He was justly criticized for leaving out the UK). Admittedly there was some false outrage over a China travel ban — quarantining areas with disease is an obvious move. The attempt to keep the cruise sheep from docking on the other hand deserved outrage.

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  11. Linda, the virus has a incubation period of two weeks and its course typically runs two weeks. So, within the first two weeks of any kind of lockdown, one would expect new cases to rise, but then they should level off and begin to drop as the virus looses opportunities to spread. It took about two months for that to happen on Wuhan, which is now starting to ease restrictions as case numbers continue to fall.

    The Real, the triaging of cases that is taking place in Italy has to do with having not enough vemtilators. Not even the US has enough ventilators for a sharp spike in cases requiring ventilation, as they are not usually needed in such high numbers: https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/03/15/coronavirus-rationing-us/.
    “A 2005 federal government report estimated that in the event of a pandemic like the 1918 flu, we would need mechanical ventilators for 740,000 patients. Currently 160,000 ventilators are available for patient care, with at least an another 8,900 in the national stockpile, according to a February estimate by the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins.”

    The world does not have enough ventilators for a widespread outbreak, just as it did not when the polio outbreak left thousands of people unable to breathe. Furthermore, using ventilation is not risk free, as ventilators are machines, and the human body is far more delicate than clumsy human machinery. Ventilation can cause complications such as collapsed lungs and cardiac overload. For the most fragile patients, ventilation may not only be ineffective, it may also cause more damage. For example, in advanced COPD patients, who are at high risk from COVID-19, ventilation can cause respiratory alkalosis, a fatal condition if not reversed. Ventilation also requires sedation and even deliberate paralysis by anesthetic agents as patients may otherwise become agitated and rip out their breathing tubes. Anesthetic, intubation, and ventilation carry their own risks of causing death, which is why elective surgery is not usually offered to those with advanced heart and lung conditions. Placing someone with prior heart or lung conditions who has pneumonia from COVID-19 under sedation in order to put them on ventilation could, if they are physically fragile, actually hasten their death.

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  12. Rationing also occurs in a free market system; its called “pricing”. People self ration when they can’t afford it. Insurance companies ration based on profit. In public systems its based on need.

    Its interesting you cite an article to criticize socialized medicine which itself is comparing the Italian experience to the NHS in the UK ie two different socialized systems. And in a previous article you say the US needs to be like South Korean — but it too has socialized medicine.

    I do think the US will do better than Italy. First, the stats will under report due to the self rationing mentioned before. And more importantly, the US has similar demographics to South Korea rather than Italy. With less testing and less deaths, the US should do better both statistically and in reality than many other countries.

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  13. Trump is “imprecise” in the way he speaks, which I think was one of the criticisms Hume had of his handling of this. He’s not clear when he speaks, he says things that, frankly, just jump out at you as being “HUH?” statements. Shepherding the nation through a crisis clearly isn’t in his (speaking abilities) wheelhouse.

    He sounds scripted mostly, reading his remarks in a monotone — but when he ad libs this stuff, he tends to say things that I suspect he doesn’t mean to say (or doesn’t mean for it to sound the way it does).

    That’s why it’s much more reassuring to have Pence at the microphone as much as possible.

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  14. Like the vapid take that Trump disbanded the pandemic response team, he didn’t restrict a cruise ship from docking for nefarious reasons. Please let’s not get our info from facebook template memes and spout them around everywhere.

    Liked by 1 person

  15. Consolidate and restructure is often code for eliminate. Special education has been consolidated and restructured over the least decade — the superintendent will say special education still exists but in reality it barely exists and service tends to change depending on location.

    In the pandemic response story, you have two stories. In one, people on the team claim they were dismissed while other officials claim it was simply restructured and consolidated. Unless a team has a specific function related to pandemics, its focus will be elsewhere and will be less effective.

    An other interesting tale on the left side of the internet is the testing fiasco. Apparently WHO has their own testing kits but the US turned them down preferring to use CDC produced kits hence the delay. To add a conspiratorial twist to it, the company producing these kits is said to be linked to the Jared Kushner.

    https://www.esquire.com/news-politics/politics/a31677485/coronavirus-trump-administration-rejected-who-test/

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  16. By the way, I heard a radio interview yesterday with a physician in Lombardy who stated they had not yet had to make decisions about whether or not someone should get a ventilator based on supply. They have shut down operating rooms to use the ventilators every operating room is equipped with, but have not run out of ventilators at this point. Other news reports have said China is sharing equipment with Italy. World is also reporting that the rumours of rationaling ventilators to exclude the frail and elderly is untrue: https://world.wng.org/content/inside_the_outbreak_disaster_medicine

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  17. HRW,

    Stuff it. We don’t want socialized healthcare. Full stop.

    ————

    Roscuro,

    Ventilators are not the only reason for the rationing. I suspect you realize this.

    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/health/coronavirus-italy-doctors-intensive-care-deaths-a9384356.html

    “They said hospitals across the UK and Europe needed to prepare for a surge in admissions and cautioned against working “in silos”. They said it was vital hospitals had equipment to protect staff and that staff were trained in wearing the kit.

    They added: “Increase your total ICU capacity. Identify early hospitals that can manage the initial surge in a safe way. Get ready to prepare ICU areas where to cohort Covid-19 patients – in every hospital if necessary.”

    There have been concerns the NHS will struggle to cope in the event of a sustained coronavirus outbreak where large numbers of patients require intensive care. The UK’s chief medical officer Professor Chris Whitty has said critical care units may struggle.

    Latest figures show NHS intensive care units were running at around 80 per cent capacity at the start of March. Overall the NHS has one of the lowest ratios of hospital beds per head of population in Europe.

    UK hospitals are already discussing how they will need to ration care to those most likely to survive in the event there are not enough beds, ventilators or staff to care for the numbers infected if the worst case scenario predictions prove accurate.

    A senior consultant at a major London hospital told The Independent the letter was a concern.

    “He said: “It will be tough. It’s going to be hard. My worry is staffing. If a lot of doctors and nurses become sick that will be the crunch. If a third of staff are self-isolating that is the time when we stop being able to cope.””

    ——-

    Ventilators are a convenient excuse, but not even close to the whole picture. Socialized medicine has a hard enough time keeping up with demand and treating patients, and with rationing care, in the best of times. That’s well documented. And this is certainly not the best if times.

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  18. The hope also is that this will respond as the “regular” flu does and prove to be seasonal in nature — that it won’t survive as well in warmer, more humid temperatures.

    But it remains “new” to us so is untested on some of these counts. Learning as we go.

    Liked by 1 person

  19. Some of them may be scoundrels. But they’re our scoundrels.

    BREAKING NEWS
    China said it would expel American journalists working for The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal and The Washington Post.

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  20. So, China closes off even more avenues to find out what is really happening in their country. 😦 They just need to talk with businesses in China. It’s amazing how much the employees will tell them–and, of course, it’s insider information.

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  21. “often code for” is often code for “these words mean what I insist they mean based on my preconceived, uninformed prejudices.” Trump didn’t disband the pandemic response team. Dats da facts, jack. Also, folks who regurgitate this stuff? Discredited.

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  22. They just lie Solar, and the press never calls them on it.

    https://khn.org/news/biden-falsely-blames-trump-administration-for-rejecting-who-coronavirus-test-kits-that-were-never-offered/

    “Biden Falsely Blames Trump Administration For Rejecting WHO Coronavirus Test Kits (That Were Never Offered)

    “During Sunday night’s debate, while leveling criticism at President Donald Trump’s handling of the national response to the coronavirus pandemic, former Vice President Joe Biden said the Trump administration refused to get coronavirus testing kits from the World Health Organization.
    “Look, the World Health Organization offered the testing kits that they have available and to give it to us now. We refused them. We did not want to buy them. We did not want to get them from them. We wanted to make sure we had our own,” Biden said.

    A similar claim about WHO test kits has also been circulating on Facebook.

    The Biden campaign referred us to a Politico article that said the WHO shipped coronavirus tests to nearly 60 countries at the end of February, but the U.S. was not among them. That is technically correct, but it suggests that the United States would have been on the list under any circumstances.

    The countries WHO helped are ones that lack the virology lab horsepower that exists across the United States. The outreach work by the Pan American Health Organization is a case in point.

    The group is WHO’s arm in the Americas. It conducted trainings and sent materials to conduct tests to 29 nations. The list included Paraguay, Bolivia, Argentina, Chile, Belize, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua and many others.

    The group said it focused most of its efforts on “countries with the weakest health systems.”

    ——-

    You know, the countries with socialist healthcare systems…..

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  23. You’re welcome….

    ———-

    “While it might seem odd that the Trump administration shunned the WHO’s coronavirus test protocol, it’s normal for countries with advanced research capabilities to want to develop a measure they trust.

    “I don’t know if WHO agreed to sell the kits to us, but it should never have been something we needed to do given our technological expertise and the fact we would have ‘taken kits from low- and middle-income countries’ that otherwise could not make or afford them,” said Michael Osterholm, director of the Center for Infectious Disease Research and Policy at the University of Minnesota, in an email.

    It’s also unlikely, Mores said, that the WHO offered to sell kits to the U.S., because that’s not normally what the organization does.

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  24. And in other news…..

    There was never a case anyway, as the Russians would never show for trial. This was just for show and to feed the failed narrative the old leadership was pushing.

    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/doj-drops-once-heralded-prosecution-of-russian-troll-farm

    “DOJ abruptly drops once-heralded prosecution of Russian troll farm initiated by Mueller”

    “In a striking and unexpected abandonment of a once-heralded prosecution initiated by Special Counsel Robert Mueller, the Justice Department moved Monday to drop charges against two Russian companies that were accused of funding a social media meme campaign to further their “strategic goal to sow discord in the U.S. political system, including the 2016 presidential election.”

    Late Monday, with jury selection in the case set to begin in just two weeks, a federal judge granted the DOJ’s motion to kill the prosecution for several counts of conspiring to defraud U.S. agencies tasked with combating election interference. The government acknowledged the Russian companies were never likely to actually face punishment anyway and cited possible national security risks with going forward to trial.

    Concord Management and Consulting LLC and Concord Catering were among three companies and 13 individuals charged in February 2018 by Mueller. Their alleged criminal effort included social media postings and campaigns aimed at dividing American public opinion and sowing discord in the electorate, officials said, although no impact on voters was ever demonstrated.”

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  25. Some good news comes out of the bad.

    https://legalinsurrection.com/2020/03/iran-scaling-back-on-terror-activities-as-coronavirus-outbreak-cripples-islamic-revolutionary-guard-corps/

    “Iran “Scaling Back” on Terror Activities as Coronavirus Outbreak Cripples Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps

    The regime is now busy covering up the extent of the outbreak. Recent satellite images show regime authorities digging up mass graves to bury victims some 80 miles south of the capital Tehran.”

    ——-

    “The confirmation comes amid reports of senior commanders of Iran’s Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps (IRGC), the regime’s military arm, and the pro-Iranian Lebanese terror militia Hezbollah contracting the virus.

    “Hezbollah members were reportedly infected with the highly transmissible contagion after coming into contact with affected Iranian military officials during a meeting in Beirut last week,” Israel broadcaster i24News reported.

    Several IRGC top operatives have succumbed to the disease, including a senior commander, Nasser Shabani, and former head of its Political Bureau, Farhad Tazari. Mohammad Haj Abolghasem, commander of the IRGC-affiliated Basij Forces, also died of the virus. He was known as the “butcher of Tehran” for his role in the bloody clampdown of the recent anti-regime protests, in which more than 1,500 Iranian were murdered.”

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  26. So let’s get to it.

    Time to use that pen and phone and make it happen Mr. President, by EO, if it already hasn’t….

    https://reason.com/2020/03/16/ramping-up-manufacturing-of-ventilators-and-other-medical-supplies/

    “Ramping Up Manufacturing of Ventilators and Other Medical Supplies”

    “In a previous post, I described a simple mechanism by which the government can encourage private spending toward some goal, such as reducing the spread of COVID-19. That mechanism is detailed in my recently completed paper, currently under submission to law reviews, Random Selection for Scaling Standards, with Applications to Climate Change. I received excellent comments and will return in a later post to answer some of the questions and objections raised by commentators. But I now want to make the previous post more narrow, by focusing on a subset of the COVID-19 spending problem, specifically the challenge of ramping up the manufacturing of medical supplies. Tyler Cowen’s Emergent Venture Prizes generously announced $1 million for rewards to be given ex post for COVID-19 work. My suggestion here is that the government should spend far more than this to ramp up manufacturing, relying primarily on ex post evaluations rather than ex ante contracts.

    It is now clear that there will be a massive shortage of certain medical products. Let’s just focus on one particularly important product category: ventilators. If we had enough ventilators, many more future critical patients could be saved than with current capacity. Along with many other improvements, this might increase the production capacity of the healthcare system, eventually reducing the extent to which the curve must be flattened. If we no longer needed to worry about “flattening” the curve, global economic activity could resume, reducing the devastation of the inevitable recession. Thus, increasing ventilator production ought to be one (of many) important public policy goals.

    So, what is happening? Well, the U.K. (whose government has resisted the urge to flatten the curve on the theory that it is better to generate herd immunity by allowing the virus to spread rapidly in low-vulnerability populations) has urged industry to switch to making ventilators. The U.S. hasn’t done much of anything at all as a policy matter. According to Forbes, ventilator firms themselves seem to think that they could increase production within a few months, but hospitals may not place orders that far into the future, given the risk that the machines will not be necessary. One imagines that ventilator firms and hospitals will increase production and orders considerably, because they want to do the right thing and be perceived as doing the right thing, but the overall level of ramping up might be considerably less than the social optimum. Rules and norms against price gouging limit the incentive to expand new production.

    Vox reports that if the situation were similar to the Spanish flu pandemic, approximately 750,000 people would need ventilation. Even under worst-case scenarios, they would not need them all at once. Suppose that we need one-third of that capacity at any given time and that we accept Vox’s estimate that we currently have about 160,000 altogether. That suggests that an order of 100,000 ventilators would greatly increase our ability to meet this challenge (though still possibly fall short, given non-COVID-19 patients needing ventilation). Hospital-grade ventilators typically cost around $25,000, so if we were willing to wait indefinitely for ventilators, the total bill for this country would be around $2.5 billion. But we need these ventilators to be made very quickly, and that would presumably be a lot more expensive. Not only would ventilator makers need to increase their production capacity dramatically, but so too would their parts makers (and the makers of parts for those parts, and so on to not-quite-infinite regress). Even if the government were to spend $25 billion on 100,000 ventilators, that would easily pass cost-benefit analysis if just 5,000 lives could be saved, with a valuation of life of $5,000,000. It seems plausible that the investment could save many more lives than that, especially if the private sector is able to produce a larger number of ventilators.

    I don’t have the knowledge to speculate how much one would need to spend to persuade ventilator makers and parts makers to greatly increase their production capacity quickly. Perhaps industry or government could study the question, but that would involve a fair amount of guesswork, requiring speculation about which parts of the supply chain will turn out to be bottlenecks and how expensive it would be to develop alternatives. The Hayekian claim would be that no one has the relevant knowledge, some of which doesn’t exist yet and some of which is diffused through markets. In any event, while even preliminary estimates would help, we don’t have time for a detailed study.

    The conventional approach to this problem would be for the government (presumably the federal government, though one could also imagine states acting independently) to engage in procurement, letting private firms bid on price and perhaps some other variables. A benefit of this approach is that our legal institutions for conducting such procurements are greatly developed. There are even rules that relax other rules for emergencies, including “when the President has made a declaration under the Robert T. Stafford Disaster Relief and Emergency Assistance Act,” as the President has now done. For example under FAR 18.125, “agency protest override procedures allow the head of the contracting activity to determine that the contracting process may continue after GAO has received a protest.”

    ————–

    https://www.themanufacturer.com/articles/call-make-ventilators-manufacturers-put-war-footing-help-combat-coronavirus-pandemic/

    “Call to make ventilators: manufacturers put on war footing to help combat Coronavirus pandemic”

    “The UK Government has called upon engineering firms to switch some of their manufacturing output to the production of new ventilators to help tackle the Coronavirus health crisis.

    Matt Hancock, the Secretary of State for Health and Social Care, said on Sunday that UK hospitals have about 5,000 ventilators but that more are needed to treat patients with serious cases of the Coronavirus.

    “We are better equipped thanks to the NHS than most other countries, but we will need many more [ventilators],” Mr Hancock wrote in an article for the Sunday Telegraph. “We now need any manufacturers to transform their production lines to make ventilators. We cannot make too many.”

    The Secretary of State’s plea to manufacturers to diversify their output during the Coronavirus pandemic has been likened to those engineering firms who were called upon during the Second World War to deliver equipment to the front lines.

    According to a report in the Sunday Telegraph, it is understood that manufacturers such as JCB, Rolls-Royce and Unipart are to join a conference call with the Prime Minister to discuss ramping up production of ventilators and other equipment the NHS will need.”

    ————

    We ought to be doing the same. We’re a few weeks “behind” much of the world on this, so let’s take advantage of it.

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  27. But AJ you do have socialized health care — you have the VA, Medicare and medicaid plus you now have Pence offering Covid testing free for those who need it. That by its very definition is socialized health care. Free for those who need it provided for by the state. Sure, in the US, its selective and ad hoc but its still socialized medicine. In your last post you even advocated Trump interfere in the means of production to produce health care products that too is socialism — government intervention in the means of production. Then again, the US gov’t threw money away trying to stabilize the stock market. An other example of selective socialism.

    WHO did offer the test kits and the CDC preferred its own. Whether that was the right decision is a matter of discussion. The WHO kits were created by knowledge obtained by Chinese doctors and technology created by German health scientists — you know socialist health care systems.

    The US is the only country in the OECD without a universal health care system. Fairly consistently, the US is ranked in the mid to late 30s for health care by various organizations. Canada isn’t much better at the late 20s. Above us is the East Asia, Gulf States and western Europe. This roughly mirrors the reputation the American health care system has in Europe. Overpriced and under delivered. Its actually unfortunate because the US gov’t does have some amazing agencies including the CDC, NIH, and state universities, and thus with the right focus should easily be able to imitate the European success. Canada also needs to stop being complacent and work to improve — more focus on pharma, home care etc. is needed.

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  28. Positive side effects — pollution is down, urban residents in China can breathe, the water in Venice is clear (usually boats churn up sediment) and the fish are returning,

    Negative side effects — we’re ignoring the plague of locusts in Africa and the rise of dengue fever in South America at a far higher and more deadly rate than the corona virus.

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  29. There’s no way around it.

    These people are disgusting human beings.

    https://dailycaller.com/2020/03/17/msnbc-glenn-kirschner-coronavirus-prosecute-trump-murder/

    “MSNBC Analyst Suggests Using Coronavirus To Prosecute Trump For ‘Negligent Homicide’ — Gets An Assist From Former Democratic Candidate”

    “MSNBC Analyst Glenn Kirschner suggested Tuesday that he would attempt to prosecute President Donald Trump for negligent homicide over his handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

    Kirschner laid out his explanation in a series of tweets, first claiming that the president “may have criminal exposure for some level of negligent homicide or voluntary/involuntary manslaughter for the way he’s mishandled the Coronavirus crisis.”

    He went on to tout his own career as a prosecutor, saying that he had always been “on the lookout for novel ways to apply homicide … liability in an attempt to appropriately and ethically hold accountable those who were responsible for taking the life of a fellow human being.””

    ———–

    He’s a vile piece of something.

    Like

  30. This was a bit surprising.

    Like

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