Bold Measures Needed to Deal with a Growing Health Emergency
by Stephen Lendman (stephenlendman.org – Home – Stephen Lendman)
From the onset of COVID-19 outbreaks in the US, Trump and Congress betrayed the public trust by mishandling what could spread to a nationwide epidemic level, potentially infecting millions of people, countless numbers perishing for not going all-out quickly to contain things.
Trump unacceptably bungled by appointing anti-social justice/science denier/evangelical Christian fascist Pence to head a COVID-1 task force, a figure who believes prayer solves problems — never without people helping themselves.
As Indiana governor, he slashed public health spending and presided over the state’s worst HIV/AIDS outbreak.
He believes “smoking doesn’t kill” or cause lung cancer, and evolution is fiction.
Putting him in charge of dealing with a growing national health emergency is like appointing an arsonist as fire chief or serial killer as police chief.
Tweeting “red tape has been cut, ready to go” on addressing COVID-19, Trump’s agenda is all about wanting congressional legislation that benefits monied interests over public health and welfare.
Independent infectious disease experts should be in charge of what needs to be done to deal with and contain the spread of COVID-19 that may already have infected tens of thousands of Americans who don’t know they’re carriers for lack of nationwide testing.
“(S)triv(ing) to make science widely available so that medicine can serve, and transform society, and positively impact the lives of people” since founded in 1823, the Lancet medical journal publishes commentaries on vital health issues.
On March 9, it headlined “How will country-based mitigation measures influence the course of the COVID-19 epidemic?”
As growing outbreaks of the disease spread worldwide, top priority for governments should be treatment for individuals needing it and “(k)eeping mortality as low as possible,” the Lancet said, adding:
China “show(ed) that quarantine, social distancing, and isolation of infected populations can contain the epidemic,” a policy affected countries should institute to contain outbreaks as much as possible.
Though impossible to predict how widespread COVID-19 could become, the Lancet estimates that about 60% of the world population could become infected, or over 4.5 billion people.
Calling this projection “a very worst case scenario,” mandatory or voluntary social distancing could significantly reduce the disease’s spread.
Its incubation period is “5 – 6 days.” No data exists on the potential fatality rate. “Best estimates suggest a CFR (case fatality rate) for COVID-19 of about 0·3–1%” — three to 10 times the rate of influenza deaths.
The virus is new so there’s much to be learned about it not currently known.
Because the threat of a global pandemic is real, the US and other governments must prioritize treatment and containment — no matter the potential economic impact that may be considerable.
No antiviral treatment for COVID-19 exists so far. Dr. Gabe Mirkin explained that the disease “is incredibly contagious because no human has yet been shown to have been infected with this virus previously, so nobody is immune to it,” adding:
“It is spread by contagious respiratory droplets from person-to-person or on surfaces such as door handles, furniture, clothes and any other object that you may touch.”
It’s why frequent hand-washing and other good personal hygiene practices are essential to minimize the risk of contagion.
Mirkin recommends “using alcohol-based sanitizer products on your hands and on any surfaces that may have been exposed to respiratory droplets from infected people” — which is hard to know so follow this advice as long as COVID-19 remains a major health threat.
Large-scale social distancing is needed to contain its spread. China showed it’s effective. This approach was instituted in northern Italy.
On Thursday, New York City Major Bill de Blasio declared a state of emergency to contain COVID-19 outbreaks that could last six months, he said.
Madison Square Garden and other large venues will likely be closed for months until the virus is contained.
Further steps may include public curfews, closing down public transit, public spaces, even rationing goods, imposing price restrictions, and suspending alcohol sales.
NYC has 95 confirmed COVID-19 cases, 42 in the last 24 hours, suggesting many more to be reported.
Nearly 1,800 city residents voluntarily self-quarantined, another 29 under mandatory quarantine. By next week, the number of COVID-19 cases in the city is projected to be around 1,000, de Blasio said.
Isolating and treating them is vital. The same applies nationwide and in other countries.
New York Governor Andrew Cuomo banned gatherings of over 500 people state-wise “for the foreseeable future.”
As of Thursday, over 127,000 COVID-19 cases were confirmed and at least 4,700 deaths worldwide, 1,300 cases and at least 38 deaths in the US — according to Johns Hopkins University data.
Given the daily spread of the disease in at least two-thirds of world countries, the above data most likely reflect a significant undercount.
Because of scant US testing so far, the number of infected Americans may be far higher than confirmed cases.
On March 12, Natural News.com reported that vitamin C, a powerful antioxidant, is helping Chinese COVID-19 patients, adding:
“(D)octors have been using it since the 1940s to fight viral pneumonia.”
A “statement made by the Xi’an Jiaotong University Second Hospital in China (said) four patients with severe coronavirus-related pneumonia had recovered from it and a further eight had already been discharged from their hospital.”
“They said high doses of vitamin C brought about good results in clinical applications, and they believe it should be given to patients who have severe pneumonia as quickly as possible after they’ve been admitted to the hospital.”
They believe “(h)igh doses of vitamin C (can) improve antiviral levels and can prevent and treat acute respiratory distress and lung injury.”
Similar results were gotten in South Korea, high vitamin C doses of 30,000 mg administered intravenously.
Chinese Dr. Richard Cheng said large doses of vitamin C can treat COVID-19 cases effectively and can be used prophylactically as a preventative measure.
Given lack of a proper public response in dealing with this serious viral threat by the Trump regime, it’s essential for individuals to do all they can on their own to mitigate the risk of contagion.
It’s likely to be a considerable time before the threat abates.
We’re all in this together. My best to everyone everywhere in weathering this storm.
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My newest book as editor and contributor is titled “Flashpoint in Ukraine: How the US Drive for Hegemony Risks WW III.”