How The Center For Disease Control And Prevention Failed Us

From Alex Taborrok’s review of Scott Gottlieb’s new book, Uncontrolled Spread: Why Covid-19 Crushed Us and How We Can Defeat the Next Pandemic.

“If there’s one overarching theme of “Uncontrolled Spread,” it’s that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention failed utterly. It’s now well known that the CDC didn’t follow standard operating procedures in its own labs, resulting in contamination and a complete botch of its original SARS-CoV-2 test. The agency’s failure put us weeks behind and took the South Korea option of suppressing the virus off the table. But the blunder was much deeper and more systematic than a botched test. The CDC never had a plan for widespread testing, which in any scenario could only be achieved by bringing in the big, private labs.

Instead of working with the commercial labs, the CDC went out of its way to impede them from developing and deploying their own tests. The CDC wouldn’t share its virus samples with commercial labs, slowing down test development. ‘The agency didn’t view it as a part of its mission to assist these labs.’ Dr. Gottlieb writes. As a result, ‘It would be weeks before commercial manufacturers could get access to the samples they needed, and they’d mostly have to go around the CDC. One large commercial lab would obtain samples from a subsidiary in South Korea.’

In the early months of the pandemic the CDC impeded private firms from developing their own tests and demanded that all testing be run through its labs even as its own test failed miserably and its own labs had no hope of scaling up to deal with the levels of testing needed. Moreover, the author notes, because its own labs couldn’t scale, the CDC played down the necessity of widespread testing and took ‘deliberate steps to enforce guidelines that would make sure it didn’t receive more samples than its single lab could handle.'”

The solution has to be a more decentralized public health apparatus, doesn’t it?

Paragraph To Ponder

“In July, the I.M.F. estimated that an investment of $50 billion in a comprehensive campaign for vaccination and other virus control efforts would generate some $9 trillion in additional global output by 2025 — a ratio of 180 to 1. What investment could hope to yield a higher rate of return? And yet none of the members of the Group of 20 have stepped up, not Europe, not the United States, not even China. Billions of people will be forced to wait until 2023 to receive even their first shot.”

Adam Tooze, What if the Coronavirus Crisis Is Just a Trial Run?

Paragraphs To Ponder—Haiti

By Maria Abi-Habib.

“With broken bones and open wounds, the injured jammed into damaged hospitals or headed to the airport, hoping for mercy flights out. A handful of doctors toiled all night in makeshift triage wards. A retired senator used his seven-seat propeller plane to ferry the most urgent patients to emergency care in the capital.

A day after a magnitude-7.2 earthquake killed at least 1,300 people and injured thousands in western Haiti, the main airport of the city of Les Cayes was overwhelmed Sunday with people trying to evacuate their loved ones to Port-au-Prince, the capital, about 80 miles to the east.

There wasn’t much choice. With just a few dozen doctors available in a region that is home to one million people, the quake aftermath was turning increasingly dire.

‘I’m the only surgeon over there,’ said Dr. Edward Destine, an orthopedic surgeon, waving toward a temporary operating room of corrugated tin set up near the airport in Les Cayes. ‘I would like to operate on 10 people today, but I just don’t have the supplies,’ he said, listing an urgent need for intravenous drips and even the most basic antibiotics.

The earthquake was the latest calamity to convulse Haiti, which is still living with the aftereffects of a 2010 quake that killed an estimated quarter-million people. Saturday’s quake came about five weeks after the Haitian president, Jovenel Moïse, was assassinated, leaving a leadership vacuum in a country already grappling with severe poverty and rampant gang violence.”

Postscript.

Genuflecting To The Right

In large part, Trump’s 2016 upset of Hillary Clinton was attributed to his personal bravado. His supporters liked how he repeatedly said crass things that paralleled their thinking. Finally, a politician who just shoots from the hip, focus groups and polls be damned.

If there’s any truth to that analysis, how do you explain the contents of this article, “Trump Keeps Rejecting Pleas From Allies for Pro-Vax Campaign”?

Paragraphs to ponder:

“More than 400,000 Americans had died of coronavirus when Trump left office, and the death count has swelled to more than 600,000 since. But as Trump has settled into a post-presidency defined largely by prolonging his anti-democratic crusade and settling scores with Republicans who crossed him, the former president has privately dropped hints about why, exactly, he has been so derelict.

According to two of the sources who have spoken to Trump about this, he has occasionally referenced polling and other indicators—such as what he’s seen on TV—that show how the vaccines are unpopular with many of his supporters. This has left the impression with some of those close to Trump that he doesn’t want to push too hard on the subject, so as to not ‘piss off his base,’ one of the two people said.”

Maybe Trump was never that distinctive of a politician. Or the ‘swamp’ changed him. Add ‘being too busy assessing which way the political winds were blowing to help us get the upper hand on the ‘rona’ to his legacy.

‘Not Paying Taxes Makes Me Smart’

I received a letter from my uni’s CFO—Creative Financial Officer—who earned his degree from Trump University. He said there was good and bad news.

The bad news. . . I’m not going to be paid my normal salary anymore. The good news . . . the university is going to provide me with a car, a Parkland pied de terre, and some petty cash for weekly dining at Marzanos.

Really Disappointed With The ‘Former Guy’

Truth aside, the Former Guy routinely wielded the English language in unique and original ways that worked for him. I acknowledge, conceding that probably makes me a “sad (sick) guy”.

So today, when he called the fifteen indictments against his organization “a political Witch Hunt by the Radical Left Democrats,” I was sorely disappointed by the banal redundancy. There is absolutely nothing unique or original in that description.*

I suppose it’s no surprise he’s lost a step. First there was the embarrassing electoral ass whipping. On top of that people don’t fully appreciate how much leading an Insurrection takes out of you. Then, worst of all, the irrelevance.

This is for all my friends seeking some semblance of balance from the Humble Blog. “Lock him up!”

* I grew numb to the Capitalization Errors a long time ago.