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Bellelettres Profile
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Coronavirus


China’s Leader, Under Fire, Says He Led Coronavirus Fight Early On

By Amy Qin
Feb. 16, 2020

Under fire for its response to the coronavirus epidemic, China’s authoritarian government appears to be pushing a new account of events that presents President Xi Jinping as taking early action to fight the outbreak that has convulsed the country.

But in doing so, the authorities have acknowledged for the first time that Mr. Xi was aware of the epidemic and involved in the response nearly two weeks before he first spoke publicly about it — and while officials at its epicenter in the city of Wuhan were still playing down its dangers.

That new account risks drawing the president, China’s most powerful leader in decades, directly into questions about whether top officials did too little, too late.

https://tinyurl.com/ta9eywf
2/16/2020, 7:05 am Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
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Re: Coronavirus


‘I Cannot Remain Silent’

By Nicholas Kristof
Feb. 15, 2020

China’s mishandling of the coronavirus outbreak has imperiled itself and the world because it is a land of 21st-century science and 19th-century politics.

Scholars in China predicted a year ago in an article in the journal Viruses that it was “highly likely” that there would be coronavirus outbreaks, calling it an “urgent issue.” Once the outbreak occurred, other Chinese scientists rapidly identified the virus and sequenced its DNA, posting it on Jan. 10 on a virology website for all to see. That was extraordinarily good and fast work.

Meanwhile, the Communist Party instinctively organized a cover-up, ordering the police to crack down on eight doctors accused of trying to alert others to the risks. National television programs repeatedly denounced the doctors as rumormongers.

One of those eight doctors, Li Wenliang, caught the virus and died — causing public outrage. Some Chinese make the point that if Li had been in charge of China, rather than President Xi Jinping, many lives might have been saved.

“The coronavirus epidemic has revealed the rotten core of Chinese governance,” a law professor in Beijing, Xu Zhangrun, wrote this month in an online essay that was immediately banned. “The level of popular fury is volcanic, and a people thus enraged may, in the end, also cast aside their fear.”

Xu certainly cast aside his own fear, predicting that he would face new punishments but adding, “I cannot remain silent.”


He called on his fellow Chinese citizens to demand free speech and free elections and urged: “Rage against injustice; let your lives burn with a flame of decency; break through stultifying darkness and welcome the dawn.”

Xu is now incommunicado, but it is remarkable to see the groundswell of anger online toward the dictatorship. Citizens can’t denounce Xi by name, but they are skilled in evading censors — such as by substituting President Trump’s name for Xi’s.

It’s difficult to know where this goes, but this incongruity between 21st-century science and 19th-century politics is what a Marxist might call a contradiction. This creates long-term challenges that are growing with a swelling middle class (now larger than America’s) that is impatient with the corrupt, thuggish and narcissistic leadership.

Ordinary Chinese see through government propaganda and realize that the mishandling of the coronavirus is only one example of the regime’s ineptitude. Xi’s government also mishandled a swine fever outbreak that began in 2018 and has now killed almost one-quarter of the world’s pigs.

Earlier, China fumbled SARS. And at the beginning of the 2000s, it covered up an AIDS outbreak spread by government-backed blood collection efforts. Vast numbers of impoverished farmers and workers died, for the government response was not to help those infected but to punish doctor whistle-blowers. I will never forget a woman then who tried to give me her 4-year-old son because she was dying of AIDS and her husband had already died.

Xi has tugged China backward, stifling social media and journalism while cultivating something approaching a North Korea-style personality cult around himself. Xi’s propaganda apparatus extols him for personally directing the efforts against the virus and claims that the World Health Organization sent experts to learn from China’s wise handling of the coronavirus.

China’s economic and educational success has created a savvy middle class that feels betrayed when the government spouts nonsense and targets doctors rather than a coronavirus. Doctors on the front line are working almost around the clock with limited supplies, taping up masks, using goggles made of plastic folders and eating only one meal a day or wearing diapers so as to go to the bathroom less often (for that means removing protective clothing that can’t be replaced).

So far, more than 1,700 medical workers have been infected and at least six have died.

The contrast between heroic doctors and bumbling political leaders could not be more stark.

It’s thus strange to find Trump repeating Xi’s talking points: “I spoke with President Xi,” Trump said, “and they’re working very, very hard, and I think it’s going to all work out fine.”

Xu’s take is harsher, and his essay is reverberating around China through surreptitious copies. “Faced with this virus, the Leader has flailed about,” Xu wrote. “Although everyone looks to The One for the nod of approval, The One himself is clueless.”

“Regardless of how good they are at controlling the internet,” Xu added, “they can’t keep all 1.4 billion mouths in China shut.”


https://tinyurl.com/vhlk65a

The extraordinary Xu Zhangrun essay is found at https://tinyurl.com/svoqgnq. The parallels between Xi Jinping and his enablers, and Trump and his enablers are unmistakable.

2/16/2020, 7:21 am Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
CooterBrown44 Profile
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Re: Coronavirus


No surprise. The impression of others on China is very important to most Orientals and even moreso when there is an authoritarian Communist government. They want to always look good even if they have to throw a wet blanket over events.

Thanks for the OPs.
2/16/2020, 11:24 am Link to this post PM CooterBrown44
 
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Re: Coronavirus


(ARS Technica) - Amid coronavirus outbreak, Trump proposes slashing CDC budget

Amid an explosive outbreak of a novel coronavirus in China that has killed over 1,000 and sickened over 43,000 worldwide, US President Donald Trump proposed a nearly 19 percent budget cut to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—the agency primarily tasked with preparing for and responding to such outbreaks and other serious health threats.

In the president’s proposed 2021 federal budget released Monday, the administration says that the changes to the CDC’s funding are intended to “re-focus CDC’s core mission on preventing and controlling infectious diseases and other emerging public health issues, such as opioids.”

The proposal reduces and consolidates CDC funding for programs under the “chronic disease prevention and health promotion” category. That includes programs addressing heart disease, cancer, diabetes, tobacco use, stroke, nutrition, physical activity, and arthritis.

Heart disease, cancer, and diabetes are the leading causes of death and disability in the United States. Trump proposes cutting roughly $427 million in funding for the chronic disease category—a roughly 34.5 percent drop from enacted 2020 spending.

The budget also cuts funding for infectious-disease responses, including a 13 percent cut to programs under the category of “emerging and zoonotic infectious diseases.” (Zoonotic infectious diseases are those that spread from animals to people, of which the novel coronavirus is one.) This category includes cuts to programs addressing antibiotic-resistant infections, food safety, and healthcare-associated infections.

Additionally, Trump proposes a 10 percent cut to “public health scientific services,” which includes funding for health statistics, surveillance, epidemiology, and informatics activities. There’s also a 3 percent cut to “public health preparedness and response” programs and a nearly 7 percent cut to global health programs.

Areas of the CDC’s budget that Trump proposed increasing included programs for influenza planning and response, tick-borne diseases, HIV/AIDS, and the opioid epidemic.


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Lis

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2/16/2020, 12:22 pm Link to this post PM JustLis
 
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Re: Coronavirus


He would. His timing is impeccable.
2/16/2020, 2:52 pm Link to this post PM Bellelettres
 
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Re: Coronavirus


quote:

Bellelettres wrote:

He would. His timing is impeccable.



If it's a program that helps people he's gotta get rid of it.

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Robbie
2/16/2020, 3:58 pm Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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Re: Coronavirus


Live updates: First U.S coronavirus case of unknown origin confirmed in Northern California, a sign the virus may be spreading in a local area

BREAKING: The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been informed of the first case of the coronavirus in a person who did not recently return from a foreign country or have contact with a confirmed case, according to a person briefed on the case. Officials have begun tracing the contacts of the resident to find out how the person may have been infected and who else might have been exposed..
This is a developing story. It will be updated.

A new case of coronavirus was confirmed in the United States on Wednesday as several other countries also confirmed new cases and deaths, and President Trump called for a 6:30 p.m. news conference with officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others to discuss the spread of the virus. He accused the media of stoking panic about financial markets.

https://tinyurl.com/ue53vut

Not. Good. Sorry it’s behind a paywall, but right now it’s the only place I found the story.
2/26/2020, 7:07 pm Link to this post PM Birdz
 
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Re: Coronavirus


Birdz’s Paranoid Conspiracy Theory about Coronavirus:

We don’t know what team of mad scientists developed the virus, but the trump cabal got their hands on it. They then sent an emissary with the virus to Wuhan, where he (she?) released it.

As we know, the virus has spread to all continents, and we now have one case in the US that so far can’t be traced to any contacts who have been in epidemic areas. It’s just a matter of time before there are many more such cases here.

At some point, trump will declare martial law, close the borders, order us all into quarantine, and for good measure, declare himself king.
2/26/2020, 7:29 pm Link to this post PM Birdz
 
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Re: Coronavirus


quote:

[Trump] accused the media of stoking panic about financial markets.



Well, yeah! Never mind sick people. It's the markets!

---
Robbie
2/26/2020, 7:30 pm Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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Re: Coronavirus


Whether it evolved from conspiracy or not, Trump is definitely going to weaponize it. It will include blue states, democrats, poor people and minorities, anyone he deems disloyal, the election and whatever else. I believe this demented psychopath isn't above allowing it to spread in ways to his benefit. And putting Pence in charge of it is his attempt to be blameless and have a scapegoat. It may also eliminate Pence as someone he sees as a threat to his power.
2/26/2020, 7:46 pm Link to this post PM badhorsie
 
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Re: Coronavirus


All ANYONE has to do to completely discount Pence's ability to handle a medical crisis is to look at what he did during an HIV outbreak in southern Indiana. Public health officials were screaming for help, and Pence was initially stuck in the "well, if gay people would just become heterosexual, they wouldn't have a problem" syndrome.

Then the public health officials told him that it was NOT being spread via sex; it was being spread via dirty needles. They requested that he allow the region to put a needle exchange program in place. Pence refused, saying that would make the government complicit in their bad behavior, and if these people didn't stop their bad behavior, they'd just die.

I can't remember how long that standoff went on before a needle exchange program was put into place -- and the HIV outbreak almost immediately fell to expected levels.

---
Lis

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2/26/2020, 10:18 pm Link to this post PM JustLis
 
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Re: Coronavirus


Lawrence O'Donnell said tonight that five sources are reporting that Secretary of Health and Human Services Alex Azar had NO warning that Trump was going to name Pence as leading the effort.

Nothing like being displaced in public....

And if you happened to catch the press conference, it was pretty unbelievable. Whatever the experts on the platform said, Trump just contradicted it. Way to give the people confidence by just contradicting the experts!

According to Trump again, it is NOT inevitable that the virus will spread within the US. It will probably be all over by the time the weather improves in April. Besides, the vaccine will be in place in the next month or so.

The experts, of course, said it was inevitable that the virus will spread within the US, and they called on businesses, schools, and other entities to "dust off" and go over their pandemic protocols and get prepared. Because we have no idea yet whether this disease spreads like flu (it appears to be far more contagious), we have no reason to believe it will abate in April. And one expert said it will be a YEAR before we have a vaccine -- at best.

Two other countries have said that they have their first cases today that they also cannot trace.... So it's spreading....

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Lis

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2/26/2020, 10:24 pm Link to this post PM JustLis
 
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Re: Coronavirus


OK, it's time to stock up on water and non-perishable foods. I have zero confidence in these jokers to prevent a worst case scenario.

I also have a Mediterranean cruise scheduled for June and I'm pretty sure I can kiss that goodbye.
2/27/2020, 11:35 am Link to this post PM Whatsupchuck
 
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Re: Coronavirus


Oh, goodness, Chuck. emoticon

I have a National School Board Association conference in April -- 10,000 school boards from all over the nation. I hadn't even thought about them cancelling. Apparently Facebook just cancelled a May software writers' conference in California for May.

I don't know about all of your conspiracy theory, Birdz, but I know the Trumpeters are already talking about Chinese researchers developing the virus as a weapon and then losing control of it.

I don't know if it was China, but national security specialists for YEARS have talked about needing to be aware of the possibility of some form of biological weapon being unleashed. It could have come from anywhere, so I don't discount that possibility.

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Lis

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2/27/2020, 2:02 pm Link to this post PM JustLis
 
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Re: Coronavirus


Stocking up on water and non perishable foods may be a good idea. If this pandemic gets as bad as it’s been in China, we too could end up quarantined, confined to our own homes, for a period of time.

We might not even be able to get out to vote. Sorry, but trump brings out the paranoid in me.
2/27/2020, 7:23 pm Link to this post PM Birdz
 
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Re: Coronavirus


Is bottled water necessary? I drink right from the fridge (normal filter). Just wondered if the thought was that the water would be tainted by sick people, too. Trying to be reasonable and practical.

---
Lis

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2/27/2020, 8:49 pm Link to this post PM JustLis
 
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Re: Coronavirus


Aren't there things campers put into creek water that renders it safe?

I should check one of our camping supply stores.

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Robbie
2/27/2020, 9:27 pm Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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Re: Coronavirus


I'm going by DHS guidelines, and they recommend a supply of water. I don't know why, and questioning their wisdom is probably not totally out of bounds.

I'm the furthest thing from a prepper and never stock up for potential emergencies, but like Birdz says, the way this has played out in China has got me a little spooked. A flat or two of bottled water and some cans of soup seem like cheap insurance.
2/28/2020, 1:16 am Link to this post PM Whatsupchuck
 
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Re: Coronavirus


How much is "a flat or two" of bottled water? I have six gallons on hand at all times, but I realize how little that is. I think the guideline is one gallon per day for each person. Some must be allocated for pets, as well.

I'll Google the DHS guidelines and see if Trump tells me to make the servants give up their shares.

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Robbie
2/28/2020, 1:26 am Link to this post PM Miz Robbie
 
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Re: Coronavirus


Before a Pandemic

Store a two week supply of water and food.

Periodically check your regular prescription drugs to ensure a continuous supply in your home.

Have any nonprescription drugs and other health supplies on hand, including pain relievers, stomach remedies, cough and cold medicines, fluids with electrolytes, and vitamins.

Get copies and maintain electronic versions of health records from doctors, hospitals, pharmacies and other sources and store them, for personal reference. Get help accessing electronic health records.

Talk with family members and loved ones about how they would be cared for if they got sick, or what will be needed to care for them in your home.

During a Pandemic

Limit the Spread of Germs and Prevent Infection

Avoid close contact with people who are sick.
When you are sick, keep your distance from others to protect them from getting sick too.

Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when coughing or sneezing. It may prevent those around you from getting sick.

Washing your hands often will help protect you from germs.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth.
Practice other good health habits. Get plenty of sleep, be physically active, manage your stress, drink plenty of fluids, and eat nutritious food.
2/28/2020, 10:18 am Link to this post PM Whatsupchuck
 


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