//Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: The US turns to coronavirus mitigation

Abbreviated Pundit Round-up: The US turns to coronavirus mitigation

You’re going to hear a ton about Philadelphia and St. Louis. Philly refused to stop a parade while St. Louis took steps to aggressively mitigate the 1918 flu pandemic.

These are things we can and should to today, and asap. 


Philadelphia Threw a WWI Parade That Gave Thousands of Onlookers the Flu

The city sought to sell bonds to pay for the war effort, while bringing its citizens together during the infamous pandemic

For Philadelphia, the fallout was swift and deadly. Two days after the parade, the city’s public health director Wilmer Krusen, issued a grim pronouncement: “The epidemic is now present in the civilian population and is assuming the type found in naval stations and cantonments [army camps].”

Take it seriously. In one to two weeks, it will be where we are.

you’ll see Philly vs St Louis references, it’s from 1918 where Philly didn’t cancel a big parade and St louis aggressively closed schools pic.twitter.com/SggpQNSlGQ

— Greg Dworkin (@DemFromCT) March 10, 2020

Tom Bossert/WaPo:

It’s now or never for the U.S. if it hopes to keep coronavirus from burning out of control

Tom Bossert served as homeland security adviser to President Trump from 2017 to 2018.

The first phase of the coronavirus outbreak was a domestic challenge for China and a border containment one for the United States and others. Now we are in the second phase: community mitigation. Math and history must guide our next steps.

The near-term objective should be to reduce the acute, exponential growth of the outbreak, in order to reduce suffering and the strain on our health-care system. That will require significant effort, but it can work, as we have seen: Hong Kong and Singapore have achieved linear growth of covid-19 cases, staving off the terrifying exponential upward curve confronting Italy and pushing both the infection rate down and new cases out on the timeline.

Bossert tells NBC News just now: “We are 10 days from our hospitals getting creamed.” https://t.co/qvqQSvGKXW

— Ken Dilanian (@KenDilanianNBC) March 10, 2020

NY Times:

He Drove Her to the Hospital. She Gave Him the Coronavirus.

Taxi and bus drivers are on the forefront of the spread of the coronavirus in Asia, even as a tourism downturn hurts their business.

The Thai taxi driver got stuck in traffic because that’s what often happens in Bangkok. To pass the time, the woman took out her phone and, leaning forward, pointed out some tourist sites she might want to visit.

Then she sneezed, the spray showering the cabby’s face.

“I thought, she’s pretty but she doesn’t have any manners,” said Thongsuk Thongrat, the taxi driver.

About a week later, Mr. Thongsuk, 50, tested positive for the coronavirus that has been spreading across the globe from China and has infected at least 41 people in Thailand.

Wash your hands whenever you can.

How bad can it get? Bad. 

This is the relatively sanitized media story, and it’s still horrifying. Italian doctors on coronavirus frontline face tough calls on whom to save https://t.co/cHcyplphVR

— Aaron E. Carroll (@aaronecarroll) March 10, 2020

But let’s be clearer than the WH what this is about: preserving the health care system by “flattening the curve”, or putting less peak burden on the system.

Here’s a Vox explainer:

How canceled events and self-quarantines save lives, in one chart

“Even if you don’t reduce total cases, slowing down the rate of an epidemic can be critical,” wrote Carl Bergstrom, a biologist at the University of Washington in a Twitter thread praising the graphic, which was first created by the CDC, adapted by consultant Drew Harris, and popularized by the Economist. The chart has since gone viral with the help of the hashtag #FlattenTheCurve.

Our #FlattenTheCurve graphic is now up on @Wikipedia with proper attribution & a CC-BY-SA licence. Please share far & wide and translate it into any language you can! Details in the thread below. #Covid_19 #COVID2019 #COVID19 #coronavirus Thanks to @XTOTL & @TheSpinoffTV pic.twitter.com/BQop7yWu1Q

— Dr Siouxsie Wiles (@SiouxsieW) March 10, 2020

Yascha Mounk/Atlantic:

Cancel Everything

Social distancing is the only way to stop the coronavirus. We must start immediately.

We don’t yet know the full ramifications of the novel coronavirus. But three crucial facts have become clear in the first months of this extraordinary global event. And what they add up to is not an invocation to stay calm, as so many politicians around the globe are incessantly suggesting; it is, on the contrary, the case for changing our behavior in radical ways—right now.

“Meanwhile, Trump has corrupted the flow of information to the news media and the public by encouraging a culture of presidential glorification instead of expert candidness.” thank you thank you thank you for saying this out loud @RadioFreeTom https://t.co/M6u1b5726r

— Greg Dworkin (@DemFromCT) March 10, 2020

And this from Dan Drezner/WaPo, is important:

Why the coronavirus response seems so outsize

And this is why it seems to so many as though the precautions being taken are so disproportionate. What is being asked of healthy people — people who even if they contract the virus are unlikely to get too sick — is to nonetheless change their behavior in costly ways so that they reduce the risk of spreading the virus to more people. Or as Johns Hopkins School of Advanced International Studies professor Johannes Urpelainen put it with respect to travel cancellations: “If you are a healthy adult, you are not canceling your event or travel or conference because of yourself — but because of the more vulnerable people who will suffer if you become a vector.”

CDC tells people over 60 or who have chronic illnesses like diabetes to stock up on goods and buckle down for a lengthy stay at home. https://t.co/Lej6QMp0oY

— Jim Roberts (@nycjim) March 10, 2020


And politics. Yeah there was an election yesterday. Joe did well, Bernie not as well as he wanted (see Upper Peninsula).

Dramatic swings among white men from 2016 to 2020 via @CNN exit polls: White men in Michigan: ’16: Sanders 62%, Clinton 37% ’20: Sanders 49%, Biden 46% White men in Missouri: ’16: Sanders 61%, Clinton 38% ’20: Biden 49%, Sanders 45%

— Ryan Struyk (@ryanstruyk) March 11, 2020

There are a lot of ways to read last night’s results. 2016 being anti Hillary for reasons, e.g. Or maybe this: white voters are listening to what SC black voters said, and are following through. 

Black voters over 60 years old in Mississippi are virtually unanimous via @CNN exit polls: Biden 96% (!) Sanders 3% Others 1%

— Ryan Struyk (@ryanstruyk) March 11, 2020

The split between under and over 50 is real and will need to be addressed. Bernie’s voters are important and need to be welcomed. Make climate change front and center. Appoint people who matter, whose values matter, to younger voters.

In the case of Medicare for All âÂ�Â� itâÂ�Â�s because the answer changes dramatically when you add in the idea that people will lose their current insurance. TheyâÂ�Â�re all for Medicare being available to all…but not if it threatens their care https://t.co/CP3UUJW1xN

— Kasie Hunt (@kasie) March 11, 2020

Remember who you went to the dance with. Remember to build the party.

Wow. Significant from a leading Dem super PAC that has taken pains to stay neutral in the primary. https://t.co/0TB6k3IFGS

— Adam Wollner (@AdamWollner) March 11, 2020

But there is an overriding motivating factor: Donald J Trump.

What’s become even clearer in the past week: Democratic voters don’t want a protracted primary fight.

— Dave Wasserman (@Redistrict) March 11, 2020

The polling that says “Biden in a crisis” is another factor, but Trump. And don’t ever forget it.

Bernie Sanders just canceled a rally in Ohio as a public health precaution. This is a good decision. If Joe Biden has any similar-sized events coming up, he should do the same.

— Matthew Chapman (@fawfulfan) March 10, 2020

SCOOP: Joe Biden�s rally in Cleveland tonight has been cancelled as well, per a campaign source.

— Scott Bixby (@scottbix) March 10, 2020

It�s fun to read the guy who helped lie us into Iraq. https://t.co/za6j0Z4Vjr

— Dick Polman (@DickPolman1) March 11, 2020

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