Author Topic: The Politics Of The Coronavirus  (Read 47078 times)

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Offline Stadler

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The Politics Of The Coronavirus
« on: March 05, 2020, 08:48:41 AM »
Intended to be a more precise discussion of the politics around the coronavirus, not the virus itself, or the ramifications.  That can, I guess (I'm not a mod), stay in the General Discussion thread.  But since Trump has come up, I thought we could continue that dialogue here.

And the threshold question for me is, why is this even politicized to begin with?   Why is this even an issue?  I get it, we have to respond to everything he says as if it is gospel/proof of his orangeness and small penis, but more abstractly, isn't this just another example of where the President - any President, not just Trump - is blamed for shit when you don't support him and credited with shit when you do?   

I just spent the better part of the last couple weeks in both Atlanta and Florida, and I encountered more Trump supporters in that time than in the last six months here in Connecticut.  The narrative that prevails about the "base" - dumb-as-a-stump, racist-as-f*** - is not what I've seen personally.  I've seen far more people that view Trump as the unfortunate lesser-of-two-evils, something to tolerate as opposed to what the alternative is.   And not necessarily "socialism!", but the bigger (and more likely) evil, the "Establishment".   It's odd to me, because it doesn't make sense necessarily (you'd think a "conservative" would be okay with "Establishment") but it does with a little deeper thought.  The "Establishment" has been corrupted, has been co-opted.  As relates to the coronavirus, there seems to be a lot of misinformation - I saw more masks this trip than last, and still witnessed more people than not NOT washing hands in the men's room - even though the communication has been clear about that.   I'm not certain how much Trump saying "his hunch is" that the mortality rate is closer to 1% than 3.4% (a number that many experts have conceded is likely high*) really moves the needle.  Not defending his lack of veracity or adherence to scientific protocol - I despise it, to be honest - but strictly in terms of the politicization of this pandemic, he's not actually wrong, and to say he is I think may contribute to, not minimize, the idea that we're taking our eye off the ball.  Politicizing it isn't solving it any more than being optimistic; is that really the avenue we want to go down?


*“Globally, about 3.4 percent of reported Covid-19 cases have died,” Dr. Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, the W.H.O.’s director general, said on Tuesday at a news conference in Geneva.

But the figure came loaded with caveats. Experts, including those at the W.H.O., say that when more is known about the epidemic, the death rate will be considerably lower.

Dr. Bruce Aylward, who is leading the W.H.O.’s coronavirus efforts, said he expects that ultimately, it will turn out to be between 1 and 2 percent. And it could be below 1 percent, according Dr. Anthony S. Fauci and Dr. H. Clifford Lane, of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and Dr. Robert R. Redfield, director of the C.D.C."

Offline Harmony

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Re: The Politics Of The Coronavirus
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2020, 10:27:00 AM »
Trump (and members of his team) have made many erroneous statements about COVID-19.  I don't pretend to speak for others, but I'd rather get advice from people who understand science than a leader who has a bit of a reputation to lie about many things over the years.

I'll give but one example, "The virus might go away in April, with the heat."  This was said at a governor's meeting last month.  Is there any evidence that this virus will "go away" next month?  Does the temperature outside make the difference or is the difference that as temps get warmer in spring, people spend less time cooped up indoors where the virus can spread?

Just give me a credible source for information.  Trump and his administration do not fit that bill.
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Offline Chino

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Re: The Politics Of The Coronavirus
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2020, 10:58:05 AM »
Trump (and members of his team) have made many erroneous statements about COVID-19.  I don't pretend to speak for others, but I'd rather get advice from people who understand science than a leader who has a bit of a reputation to lie about many things over the years.

I'll give but one example, "The virus might go away in April, with the heat."  This was said at a governor's meeting last month.  Is there any evidence that this virus will "go away" next month? Does the temperature outside make the difference or is the difference that as temps get warmer in spring, people spend less time cooped up indoors where the virus can spread?

Just give me a credible source for information.  Trump and his administration do not fit that bill.

Viruses have a harder time surviving in warmer temperatures. It's the evolutionary reason as to why animals develop fevers. Your body is raising its temperature to literally cook the virus away.

Offline lordxizor

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Re: The Politics Of The Coronavirus
« Reply #3 on: March 05, 2020, 11:18:07 AM »
Plus cold and flu season typically ends when the weather turns warm. So it's not unreasonable to assume the same will happen here.

Offline cramx3

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Re: The Politics Of The Coronavirus
« Reply #4 on: March 05, 2020, 11:21:16 AM »
Yea, I've read the summer will help, but at the same time, other spots in the world will enter winter.  It may make things better naturally in certain areas, but it won't be the end of the virus.

Offline El Barto

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Re: The Politics Of The Coronavirus
« Reply #5 on: March 05, 2020, 12:20:17 PM »
I agree with what I gather is Stadler's bigger point, but the fact remains that Trump has made a mockery of science. That's part of his appeal. The anti-intellectualism. While I'm sure he's truly the world's leading authority on epidemiology, it's just hard to take the guy seriously on matters like this. He's really brought this on himself.  Unfortunately, I had the same notion that this will die off in the spring. I really don't feel so good about that assumption anymore.
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Offline Harmony

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Re: The Politics Of The Coronavirus
« Reply #6 on: March 05, 2020, 12:21:41 PM »
IIRC The Spanish Flu had a second wave in the fall after everyone thought it was over that wound up being far deadlier than the first wave.  It is irresponsible to assume and to suggest that COVID-19 is going away in April.
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Offline Harmony

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Re: The Politics Of The Coronavirus
« Reply #7 on: March 05, 2020, 12:28:25 PM »
Quote
“A lot of people will have this and it’s very mild. They’ll get better very rapidly. They don’t even see a doctor, they don’t even call a doctor. You never hear about those people,” Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity. “So you can’t put them down in the category of the overall population in terms of this corona flu and or virus. So you just can’t do that. So, if you know, we have thousands or hundreds of thousands of people that get better just by, you know, sitting around and even going to work. Some of them go to work, but they get better.”

Yeah, so if you have a mild case, just go to work.  So what if your co-worker is over 60 and has a heart condition?  So what if your co-worker is caring for their elderly parent at home?  So what if your co-worker gets you and your family sick?  Just go to work like normal!  Sure.  That's exactly what the CDC and public health officials are recommending.   ::)
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Offline cramx3

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Re: The Politics Of The Coronavirus
« Reply #8 on: March 05, 2020, 12:31:14 PM »
Trump is tweeting his face in space balls, obviously I'm not listening to anything he has to say about this.  Luckily, there are people who do care and are getting the appropriate information out there.  I'm more worried about the media's handling of all this than what Trump has to say.

Offline Adami

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Re: The Politics Of The Coronavirus
« Reply #9 on: March 05, 2020, 12:53:22 PM »
I agree with what I gather is Stadler's bigger point, but the fact remains that Trump has made a mockery of science. That's part of his appeal. The anti-intellectualism. While I'm sure he's truly the world's leading authority on epidemiology, it's just hard to take the guy seriously on matters like this. He's really brought this on himself.  Unfortunately, I had the same notion that this will die off in the spring. I really don't feel so good about that assumption anymore.

This is part of my point. He should never just be disagreeing with the WHO or CDC "based on a hunch." He is taken seriously by millions of people, even if some of us here don't. I want scientists to tell me science stuff based on science thinking. Not "well....as a businessman, I feel like this science stuff is wrong...." That should never be happening. Even if he turns out to be right, it is not an excuse.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: The Politics Of The Coronavirus
« Reply #10 on: March 06, 2020, 08:01:40 AM »
The narrative that prevails about the "base" - dumb-as-a-stump, racist-as-f*** - is not what I've seen personally.  I've seen far more people that view Trump as the unfortunate lesser-of-two-evils, something to tolerate as opposed to what the alternative is. 

Then by definition those people are not his "base". A 'base' in politics refers to the section of an electorate whose loyalty is to a particular party or candidate. The terminology matters when discussing electoral patterns. Trump's base is a small percentage of the people who voted for him. From what I've seen there are people on this forum who voted for Trump but I don't think I've come across anyone who I think of as his 'base'. His base are those people about whom Republicans like Lindsey Graham, Ted Cruz and Marco Rubio spoke with contempt prior to July 19th 2016 (the day Trump won the Republican nomination, at which point they prostrated themselves before him); the fearful and the ignorant. They're the people Hillary described as deplorable on September 9th, but by that point it was a huge problem to call them that because Trump was already the nominee so the Republicans attacked her for saying what they'd already been saying for a year about Trump's 'MAGA' movement.

I've said it many times before: Trump's base is not the same as Trump's voters. Hillary herself made this distinction in her infamous 'Basket of Deplorables' comment. 

In which she placed about 31 million people.  That's important in the context of the point I'm making.   I don't disagree with you on your terminology.  You are, of course, correct.   But while my point could have been more precise in it's language, I'm saying something slightly different.   There is a prevailing notion - bolstered by Hillary's carelessness, though certainly not caused by it - that the Base is a seething teeming mass of racist, bigoted, mouth-breathing gollums populating the U.S. from about West Virginia to about Iowa, and spanning from the Canadian border to about the north border of Texas (but certainly including that wasteland that is Miss-abama).   Dragging the country down, clogging up the regulatory and judicial systems, and in general bringing Democracy to a screeching halt. 

I frequently get criticized for supposedly using positions that "nobody said", so I feel obligated to note: no, no one hear "said" this,  but the predicate for some of the danger of Trump is this "teeming mass".   Trump can spew his crap all day long, but we have at least three posts here from people that say "I don't listen to him".  So who is?  Not the people you differentiate above (and that I should have differentiated).   So who's left?  Unless we're going to live by the "even one idiot is too much" adage - which isn't reasonable, because there are just as many "free gas" and "so what if we tax the rich 110% on their annual income" maniacs on the left. 

Clearly, his "anti-intellectualism" isn't a decision point for a lot of people.   And if the ticket is what the ticket looks like, regardless of how November goes, we're in for four more years of if not "anti-intellectualism" then at least "luke warm intellectualism".  It's clearly not a deal-breaker issue for the Democrats, either.

Quote
As for the broader point in your post, there was an interesting article a week or so ago (can't remember where I read it but I'll try to find it later) in which the writer - as exasperated as you are with the politicization of the coronavirus - asked what on earth it would take for Americans to finally stop bickering, put aside politics, and come together for a short while. Maybe if this thing develops into a real threat to the entire country with thousands dying every month then we'll see a reduction in the political opportunism. Until then, I doubt it. This is the way things are now. The parties are engaged in a kind of 'war' for lack of a better word, and every chance to inflict a blow upon the other side will be leapt upon.

Which led us to Trump to begin with, and ergo my almost-signature "we've learned nothing". 

Offline Harmony

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Re: The Politics Of The Coronavirus
« Reply #11 on: March 06, 2020, 05:01:01 PM »
I agree with what I gather is Stadler's bigger point, but the fact remains that Trump has made a mockery of science. That's part of his appeal. The anti-intellectualism. While I'm sure he's truly the world's leading authority on epidemiology, it's just hard to take the guy seriously on matters like this. He's really brought this on himself.  Unfortunately, I had the same notion that this will die off in the spring. I really don't feel so good about that assumption anymore.

Trump at CDC: "You know my Uncle was a great -- he was at MIT. He taught at MIT for a record number of years. He was a great super genius, Dr. John Trump. I like this stuff. I really get it. People are surprised that I understand it...Maybe I have a natural ability."
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Offline Adami

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Re: The Politics Of The Coronavirus
« Reply #12 on: March 06, 2020, 05:13:09 PM »
I mean, he's not TOTALLY wrong. His uncle John really did teach at MIT for several decades. And who are we to say that he doesn't like this stuff? I mean, I get that you all think he's the devil with a tiny dick and even smaller brain, but not everything he says is wrong.



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Offline Harmony

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Re: The Politics Of The Coronavirus
« Reply #13 on: March 06, 2020, 05:29:59 PM »
Yeah, but where is the proof that Uncle John was a great super genius, huh?   :P
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Offline Tick

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Re: The Politics Of The Coronavirus
« Reply #14 on: March 07, 2020, 01:46:36 PM »
When I keep seeing all the Coronavirus news I keep thinking of the Rush song, The Weapon

"And the things that we fear, are a weapon to be used against us"

Not saying its not serious but I do think the lyric applies on some level.
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Offline Harmony

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Re: The Politics Of The Coronavirus
« Reply #15 on: March 07, 2020, 07:59:16 PM »
He is truly an embarrassment of "super gigantic genius" proportion.  There simply are no words.

In other news, the white house is bucking recommendations from public health officials to advise the elderly and people with chronic illness not to fly or go on cruises.  And they are planning to bail out the travel industry for lost revenue.  All for a situation that the administration has outright said is "*contained" or is "**being contained."   ::)

*Kudlow  **Conway

https://markets.businessinsider.com/news/stocks/white-house-considers-aid-tax-relief-airlines-coronavirus-hit-industries-2020-3-1028972782

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Offline Stadler

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Re: The Politics Of The Coronavirus
« Reply #16 on: March 09, 2020, 07:34:22 AM »
Minor point though:  the two ("contained", and "bail outs") are not mutually exclusive.   The "contained" - whether right or wrong - most likely refers to the virus itself and it's transmission, whereas the "bail outs" - again, no judgment here - are likely a result of the reaction to the virus, and I think we can all agree that the two are only tangentially related, and with some people, not related even a little bit. 

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Re: The Politics Of The Coronavirus
« Reply #17 on: March 12, 2020, 07:08:13 PM »
I only post on the P/R Forum approximately once every 17.5 years. Nice to see everyone. I fully admit to not being as informed on these kinds of matters as I should be, but for some reason I feel compelled to say how depressing it has been to hear Trump talk about the coronavirus the past few weeks. So much of what he has been saying is false, and he underestimated the situation greatly. Just an absolute failure from the dude in charge. Sigh.
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Offline cramx3

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Re: The Politics Of The Coronavirus
« Reply #18 on: March 12, 2020, 07:32:08 PM »
The sad part is, the things he said that were most important and meaningful last night were when he looked the sickest

Offline The Walrus

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Re: The Politics Of The Coronavirus
« Reply #19 on: March 13, 2020, 02:32:50 PM »
Trump says anyone can carry the virus. Still won't go get tested, despite meeting with people who have it. I'd say that's baffling if it was anybody but this guy.
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Offline Stadler

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Re: The Politics Of The Coronavirus
« Reply #20 on: March 13, 2020, 02:43:05 PM »
That was an interesting part of the press conference.  For anyone that speaks frequently in front of groups, you know that you have a set of canned responses, for those moments where there isn't a specific answer or the specific answer isn't for public consumption.   Any CEO, or comedian, or spokesperson will tell you that.

Clearly, the "I don't know him, I never met him, I meet a lot of people, I take a lot of pictures..." answer is one of those.  That works for when you're trying to distance yourself from a couple of Russian oligarchs who made off with a development fee, but it doesn't work so great when you're trying to discuss the science of viral transmission. 

Offline DragonAttack

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Re: The Politics Of The Coronavirus
« Reply #21 on: March 13, 2020, 03:31:52 PM »
Yeah, the 'I know nothing about David Duke' Sergeant Shultz type of response.  Except for the elbow bump guy, if I was anyone else that shook his hand or grabbed Donnie Gobert's mic, I'd be getting tested ASAP!
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Offline Harmony

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Re: The Politics Of The Coronavirus
« Reply #22 on: March 14, 2020, 01:33:44 PM »
So you know that Google website that Trump was bragging about at the presser yesterday?  Turns out, he's full of shit.  I know that comes as a shock.

https://www.wired.com/story/coronavirus-donald-trump-google-website/

Quote
Most important, today’s White House presentation created confusion at a time when the US can least afford it. People will be looking for a site that tells them where to get tested; unless they live in a handful of zip codes, it will be useless to them for the foreseeable future. That Trump said untrue things about a focal point of his plan also does not engender confidence in the rest of the measures. The US needs reliable, wide-scale testing, now. Without that, the site issue is moot.
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Offline Adami

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Re: The Politics Of The Coronavirus
« Reply #23 on: March 14, 2020, 01:40:27 PM »
So you know that Google website that Trump was bragging about at the presser yesterday?  Turns out, he's full of shit.  I know that comes as a shock.

https://www.wired.com/story/coronavirus-donald-trump-google-website/

Quote
Most important, today’s White House presentation created confusion at a time when the US can least afford it. People will be looking for a site that tells them where to get tested; unless they live in a handful of zip codes, it will be useless to them for the foreseeable future. That Trump said untrue things about a focal point of his plan also does not engender confidence in the rest of the measures. The US needs reliable, wide-scale testing, now. Without that, the site issue is moot.

Eh, as long as 1-2% of what Trump says is true, then people (even here) will make sure to focus only on that and the exclusion of most else.
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Offline Harmony

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Re: The Politics Of The Coronavirus
« Reply #24 on: March 15, 2020, 09:43:48 AM »
13 US airports are packed shoulder to shoulder with travelers returning home from abroad.  They are having to wait hours just to be medically screened and clear customs.  Here is Dallas Fort Worth



This is the epitome of what social distancing isn't.  Why weren't these crowds anticipated and airports staffed with the appropriate number of screeners and TSA agents to move them through in a safe way?  This is absolutely the worst imaginable way to manage this pandemic.

This is not the way to instill trust in this current administration.  They are dropping the ball in numerous ways and people are going to die because of the incompetence.

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Offline Adami

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Re: The Politics Of The Coronavirus
« Reply #25 on: March 15, 2020, 11:06:49 AM »
Are there even enough screeners to do that?

I wonder if using the National Guard would be helpful.
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Offline The Walrus

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Re: The Politics Of The Coronavirus
« Reply #26 on: March 15, 2020, 11:09:02 AM »
Are there even enough screeners to do that?

I wonder if using the National Guard would be helpful.

That's what I was kind of wondering, but momentarily didn't post because the last time I was in an airport, I was in diapers being carried around by my mom. But to me every time I see a picture or video of an airport it just seems like the places aren't built to handle the boom in population we've seen over the last few decades, and even moreso there simply don't appear to be enough human beings employed to handle the volumes of people in a timely/orderly manner. Maybe I'm wrong about that, though. But to me I think some of the problem in Harmony's post/picture there is far beyond Trump or his administration, it's an infrastructure problem, a staffing problem; you can't just press a button and fart out fresh employees from the back room like it's Westworld  :biggrin:
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Offline Adami

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Re: The Politics Of The Coronavirus
« Reply #27 on: March 15, 2020, 11:15:02 AM »
I've spent a lot of times in a lot of airports. No possible way they have enough people to handle anything NEAR what we're seeing now. That's why I'm wondering about the national guard.
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Offline cramx3

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Re: The Politics Of The Coronavirus
« Reply #28 on: March 15, 2020, 11:52:58 AM »
Yea, if they put a timestamp on the travel restrictions, they should have ramped up to be prepared for the surge of people, potentially sick people too.  It would have only needed to be for the immediate future as the airports are about to be completely empty.

Offline Adami

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Re: The Politics Of The Coronavirus
« Reply #29 on: March 15, 2020, 11:54:58 AM »
Yea, if they put a timestamp on the travel restrictions, they should have ramped up to be prepared for the surge of people, potentially sick people too.  It would have only needed to be for the immediate future as the airports are about to be completely empty.

But do those numbers of employees even exist? I get the idea of "they should have been more prepared" but do they even have the resources to be more prepared? I would love to know how many employees these places have for this stuff and how many would be necessary to handle the current situation.
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Offline cramx3

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Re: The Politics Of The Coronavirus
« Reply #30 on: March 15, 2020, 12:02:19 PM »
Yea, if they put a timestamp on the travel restrictions, they should have ramped up to be prepared for the surge of people, potentially sick people too.  It would have only needed to be for the immediate future as the airports are about to be completely empty.

But do those numbers of employees even exist? I get the idea of "they should have been more prepared" but do they even have the resources to be more prepared? I would love to know how many employees these places have for this stuff and how many would be necessary to handle the current situation.

National guard?  Reroute people to the international airports?  My friend works homeland security with his drug sniffing dog at an airport.  His airport is empty today.  I mean, there is a realistic capacity problem and things are happening quickly so mobilizing so fast is another issue.  Just thinking, things maybe could be done better here.

Offline Adami

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Re: The Politics Of The Coronavirus
« Reply #31 on: March 15, 2020, 12:27:47 PM »
Yea, if they put a timestamp on the travel restrictions, they should have ramped up to be prepared for the surge of people, potentially sick people too.  It would have only needed to be for the immediate future as the airports are about to be completely empty.

But do those numbers of employees even exist? I get the idea of "they should have been more prepared" but do they even have the resources to be more prepared? I would love to know how many employees these places have for this stuff and how many would be necessary to handle the current situation.

National guard?  Reroute people to the international airports?  My friend works homeland security with his drug sniffing dog at an airport.  His airport is empty today.  I mean, there is a realistic capacity problem and things are happening quickly so mobilizing so fast is another issue.  Just thinking, things maybe could be done better here.

I gotcha. I thought you were just saying they should have enough employees to do this. I agree with National Guard. I also considered your idea of rerouting people to different airports, though that would cause just as many problems in other ways. It's a tough situation.
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Offline El Barto

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Re: The Politics Of The Coronavirus
« Reply #32 on: March 15, 2020, 02:08:22 PM »
Are there even enough screeners to do that?

I wonder if using the National Guard would be helpful.
Nope. I've been in that very hall plenty of times, and it's just not built for that sort of capacity. Under normal circumstances there are no lines at all. The 10 or so guys they have are plenty to take care of standard arrivals. They can probably triple the number of screeners, but judging from that picture they're losing the manpower battle.

This is what a typical day looks like:


Honestly, I have no idea what that is supposed to accomplish. If you nab one guy with a fever don't you need to isolate the 100 people before and after him from all of the zig-zagging in those long lines? By forcing them into close quarters you're almost certainly making matters worse by increasing the odds of people contacting the virus who will then go on to clear customs.
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Offline Harmony

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Re: The Politics Of The Coronavirus
« Reply #33 on: March 15, 2020, 04:17:40 PM »
Dr. Anthony Fauci's message to young people earlier today: “You are not immune or safe from getting seriously ill."

Trump just now: "Young people, people of good health, and groups of people, just are not strongly affected."

Gosh who to believe?  A medical doctor and lauded immunologist who understands science, or a bumbling buffoon who lies as easily as he breathes?


Also, when does social distancing impact standing at a podium during a presser?  ::)
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Offline The Walrus

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Re: The Politics Of The Coronavirus
« Reply #34 on: March 15, 2020, 05:41:45 PM »
Dr. Anthony Fauci's message to young people earlier today: “You are not immune or safe from getting seriously ill."

Trump just now: "Young people, people of good health, and groups of people, just are not strongly affected."

Gosh who to believe?  A medical doctor and lauded immunologist who understands science, or a bumbling buffoon who lies as easily as he breathes?


Also, when does social distancing impact standing at a podium during a presser?  ::)

What Trump said doesn't contradict the first statement. Dr. Fauci said young people are not immune from getting seriously ill. Trump said that young people, OF GOOD HEALTH, are not STRONGLY affected. I believe he probably intended strongly in terms of the numbers, NOT the effects, which can still seriously harm young people. The stats show that he's not incorrect thuogh. The two statements can coexist... I know the man's a big fat moron but can we at least acknowledge a broken clock is right twice a day?

Not sure what he was getting at with that nebulous 'and groups of people' though
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