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Category Archives: Information


Ride the lie and falsehood train until you can’t. Recently TOTUS stated he has been taking a dubious drug: Despite testing negative, Trump told reporters he has been taking the drug in combination with other medicines for a “couple of weeks.” That is around the same time the first two cases of coronavirus were confirmed in the White House.

Apparently The TOTUS “lie train” can’t stop at any station. This latest is dangerous especially to to his loyal supporters who somehow believe he is truthful. His callousness has the power to cause the deaths of many people who follow him and for some reason find him truthful. Contrary to popular belief “Dead” people do not vote. The biggest con in the United States at this time is this Administration. If as voters we are unwilling to see through the fog of Trump then we are sure to begin a long time recession which affects ALL of us. There is no some of the people affected and some not, it is all of us to some degree. Just because the ill effects do not hit some as much as others does not mean it is OK. All of us need to be healed from this political farce of a Presidency.

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Colby Hall
The coronavirus pandemic has had global reach, affecting most developed nations within weeks of it leaving the Wuhan province of China from which it emanated. But curiously, nearby Thailand has enjoyed an incredibly low number of cases, which has led Dr. Amy Baxter to believe that this one personal hygiene habit is the reason: nasal irrigation.

a group of people around each other© Provided by Best LifeYesterday, Thailand authorities announced zero new coronavirus cases, and zero deaths as a result of COVID-19 while announcing plans to reopen the Southeast Asian country. Since the outbreak started, there have only been 3,025 reported cases of the coronavirus in Thailand, leading to only 56 deaths. These numbers are stunningly low considering that there are 70 million individuals that live in this favorite tourist destination.

Why are these numbers so low? Well, a vast majority of Thai people regularly practice nasal irrigation or the regular cleansing of their sinus with neti pots. And according to Dr. Baxter, that’s made a huge impact.

In a recent interview with Best Life, Baxter noted the total deaths in Southeast Asian countries like Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam are particularly low. “Yes, they wear masks, and yes, they bow and don’t shake hands, but the biggest difference between them and places like South Korea or Japan is that nasal irrigation is practiced by 80 percent of people,” she says. Laos has had less than 20 reported cases, and Vietnam roughly 300.

After considerable research and talking to colleagues who focus on both ear, nose, and throat and pulmonary treatment, the  CEO and founder of Pain Care Labs,  added that she “believe[s] strongly that nasal irrigation is the key to reducing COVID-19 progression of symptoms and infectivity.”

According to Baxter, recent clinical trials show that nasal irrigation reduces the duration and symptoms for other viral illnesses like flu and the common cold, though it hasn’t yet been studied for COVID-19. Still, she has multiple reasons for believing that this approach can be effective in preventing coronavirus from worsening in a sick patient.  “SARS-CoV2’s viral load is heaviest in sinuses/nasal cavity.”

There is a growing belief in medical communities that the viral load of COVID-19 is a significant variable in whether an individual gets sick or not.  Baxter explained how the buildup of viral particles in one’s sinus can inevitably lead to respiratory illness, but flushing it out once or twice a day “gives the immune system time to figure out what it needs while reducing the enemy.”

For anyone exposed to or positive for COVID-19, Baxter offers the following specific self-treatment:

“Do a hypertonic nasal irrigation with 1/2 tsp. povidone-iodine in the a.m. and in the evening with 8 oz. boiled lukewarm tap water, 1/2 tsp. baking soda, and 1 tsp. salt per cup H20.”

According to Dr. Baxter, there are now nine new registered trials trying this idea, including at Stanford, University of Kentucky, NYU Langone, University of Pittsburgh, and Vanderbilt among others.

In short, regular flushing of one’s sinuses in the manner described above could be an effective way to keep the COVID-19 contagion from building up and entering your lungs and causing potentially fatal respiratory problems.

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These past 3 years of the Trump residency (not a Presidency) have shown us how good we had it in the past 3 administrations in spite of the real and perceived errors we as voters have experienced. The erratic and capricious actions of this administration have and will continue to affect us for years to come. The worst of this is the resurgence of the baser elements of our society. TOTUS has opened the door to potential civil unrest in many parts  of the country which have always teetered on that edge. The policies put forth will affect our  air and water quality along with the education system which was already frayed. All of this with the aid of a “conservative” congress whos sole aim is to make the United States in their own image no matter the needs of their constituents. If you as a voter are firmly entrenched in the policies of your representative, then you have already consumed the proverbial “kool aid”. Many of the current elected representatives have personal agendas that do not (in spite of what they tell us) include the needs and wishes of the voters in general. While they appeal to certain segments they do not reflect the general needs of the public. The general public needs include quality  affordable  healthcare and  education to name a couple. Our lack of interest in what the Congress is doing while the the Vacuous Leader puffs will result in a court system that is no longer impartial. There is a company whose logo has the words “readers are leaders” in it and that should be a clue to what we should as voters be doing. Donald J. Rump needs to be replaced along with most if not all of the Congressional members who support him above their constituents. The last thought: Before the impeachment proceedings each Senator swore to tell the truth under oath and then they Lied!!- they were for the most part Donald Trump supporters or at the least  GOP diehards who are now against spending additional dollars to save the states and their residents which includes all of us who are now and will be affected by this pandemic. These are the liars who wantto keep the status quo for quid pro quo.

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A bit different from the madness streaming from the Blight House. MA

From who can get it to how to get rid of it: Top myths get busted

In a matter of months, the coronavirus has swept across the globe, sickening millions and killing hundreds of thousands in its path. And just as quickly as the virus has spread, so too have falsehoods about its transmissibility and treatment. Here are 10 myths about the coronavirus that you shouldn’t believe.

Myth: Warmer weather will stop the spread of the coronavirus.

Summer is just around the corner, and some are hoping that the warmer weather will put an end to the coronavirus outbreak. Public health experts, however, caution that this may not be the case.


For the latest coronavirus news and advice go to AARP.org/coronavirus.


“The science there is not as clear as it needs to be” when it comes to the weather’s impact on the speed of the virus’s spread, says Aaron Bernstein, M.D., interim director of C-CHANGE (Center for Climate, Health and the Global Environment) at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. “And I don’t think it can be because, although we have other coronaviruses to draw inference from, we don’t have experience with this coronavirus.”

If this coronavirus acts like other coronaviruses (remember that there are several coronaviruses that can infect humans and cause mild upper-respiratory tract illnesses, such as the common cold), warmer temperatures and more humid weather may slow it down, Bernstein says. These viruses and others, including the bug that causes the flu, tend to spread more during cold-weather months, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). However, “that does not mean it is impossible to become sick with these viruses during other months,” the CDC says.

“There’s some research to suggest that even at slower rates, [the novel coronavirus] is still going to be capable of exponential transmission” during summer’s warm months, explains Bernstein, pointing to places with warm-weather climates such as Singapore, India and Louisiana as examples. These areas have seen large outbreaks of infections despite their hot temperatures.

Another thing to consider? Hot weather increases the risk for hospitalization and death, especially among older adults, whose bodies have a harder time adjusting to temperature changes. This could add stress to hospitals and health care systems around the country that are already burdened with coronavirus outbreaks.

“We have to be mindful” and not rush to abandon preventive measures such as social distancing just because it’s summer, Bernstein argues. The World Health Organization (WHO) says frequent handwashing is also needed to prevent coronavirus infections, no matter how sunny or warm it is outside.

Myth: Young people don’t get sick from a coronavirus infection.

While older adults and people with chronic health conditions — including heart disease, kidney disease, lung ailments and diabetes — are at higher risk than younger, healthier people for getting severely sick from the illness caused by the coronavirus (COVID-19), they are not the only population filling hospital beds around the globe.

A mid-March analysis from the CDC found that more than half of the nearly 2,500 Americans who had been hospitalized with COVID-19 at that point were younger than 55. And while the rate of hospitalizations for COVID-19 is higher in adults 65 and older, it’s still significant in people under 65.

Jordan Warchol, an emergency physician and assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center (UNMC), says she has seen “several people” in their 30s and 40s become critically ill with COVID-19.


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“Even though it might happen more often to older people, that doesn’t mean that young people are immune from it,” she says. And, unfortunately, lots of people are “getting severely ill when we otherwise would not expect that because of their age.”

Myth: Social distancing isn’t necessary if you’ve already been infected.

Even if you’ve tested positive for a past coronavirus infection, you still need to take the same precautions as everyone else, experts say. And that’s because we don’t have a definitive answer yet as to whether a previous infection provides extended immunity.

“We’re still waiting for some of the studies to come out that really tell us for sure that when you’ve had the virus and mounted an antibody to it, that you are protected,” says Roger Shapiro, M.D., associate professor of immunology and infectious diseases at the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. However, “the general feeling is that there’s a lot of optimism that this will be the case.”

In the case of severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) and Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) — two other illnesses caused by coronaviruses — infected survivors develop an immune response that can last for months to years, Shapiro points out. “So we are hopeful that [the novel coronavirus] will be the same.”

The virus’s close cousin, however — the one that causes the common cold — “is a little more tricky” because people get colds “over and over again,” Shapiro adds. “So that’s where some of the hesitation comes.”

Until the research paints a clearer picture, the CDC says everyone — including those who have had a coronavirus infection — should “continue to take steps to protect yourself and others.” This includes frequent handwashing, wearing a cloth face covering in public and keeping at least 6 feet of space between yourself and others.

Myth: If you don’t have fever, cough and shortness of breath, you don’t have COVID-19.

While fever, cough and shortness of breath are the hallmark symptoms of COVID-19, they are not the only warning signs of an infection. The CDC recently updated its list of symptoms to include chills, muscle pain, sore throat, and new loss of taste or smell. “Other less common symptoms have been reported, including gastrointestinal symptoms like nausea, vomiting or diarrhea,” the CDC says.

The newly expanded list makes it easier to catch patients who otherwise may not have qualified for a coronavirus test, thus helping containment efforts, UNMC’s Warchol explains. It also helps the general public know “what to be on the lookout for” in respect to self-isolation as experts learn more about the virus’s impact on the body.

Myth: You can catch COVID-19 from your pet.

There is no evidence to suggest that humans are catching COVID-19 from their pets or that animals play a significant role, if any, in spreading the disease, according to the CDC. Furthermore, the CDC says there is no evidence that the new coronavirus is circulating among wildlife, including bats, in the U.S. The origin of the coronavirus is unknown, though some researchers have tied it to a live animal market in China.

However, it does appear that the illness can spread from people to animals in some rare situations, both the CDC and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) say. A small number of animals worldwide have tested positive for the coronavirus, mostly after having close contact with a person with COVID-19. Because of this, public health officials say owners should make sure their pets follow some of the same preventive measures that humans practice.

For example, don’t let your pets interact with people or other animals outside the household, and avoid dog parks or other crowded areas where people and animals play. When walking your dog, keep at least 6 feet of space from other people and animals, the FDA says. And if you are sick with COVID-19, isolate yourself from other people and animals, including your pet, the CDC recommends. Instead, ask a friend or family member to care for your pet until you recover.

Other types of coronaviruses can make pets sick, such as canine and feline coronaviruses. However, “these other coronaviruses cannot infect people and are not related to the current COVID-19 outbreak,” the CDC says.

Myth: Ibuprofen makes COVID-19 worse.

Fever and muscle pain are two common symptoms of COVID-19, and without a formally approved treatment, the CDC recommends that people with mild cases of the illness take over-the-counter medicines to help alleviate uncomfortable symptoms. But a flood of news reports in March claimed that nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil), could make a case of COVID-19 worse, raising questions about the widely used drug’s safety in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic.

Several experts, however, have since countered these claims, including the FDA. The agency said it isn’t aware of any “scientific evidence” to prove that NSAIDs could aggravate COVID-19 symptoms. In April, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) doubled down on the FDA’s stance. In its treatment guidelines for COVID-19, the agency said there is no difference between acetaminophen (Tylenol) and NSAIDs for reducing fever among patients with and without COVID-19, and that people with COVID-19 who are taking NSAIDs to help manage another condition “should continue therapy as previously directed by their physician.”

Whether you have COVID-19 or not, it’s always a good idea to talk to your doctor or pharmacist before taking any new medication — especially if you have underlying health conditions that can be complicated by certain drugs.

People with kidney disease or problems with stomach ulcers, for example, may be steered toward acetaminophen. “And on the flip side, if you have problems with hepatitis or liver trouble, then acetaminophen may not be the best choice,” David Aronoff, a physician and director of the Division of Infectious Diseases at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told AARP. “And that’s why speaking with a pharmacist or a physician or nurse can be really very helpful.”

Myth: It’s dangerous to go outside during the pandemic.

The general advice from experts is to stay home as much as possible to limit your risk of a coronavirus infection, but that doesn’t mean you can’t garden in your yard or take a walk around the neighborhood for some fresh air and exercise. Just make sure you continue to practice precautions — bring some hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol and keep a distance of at least 6 feet from others.

It’s important to steer clear of crowded parks and group gatherings, the CDC says. And don’t forget to wear a cloth face mask when you do go out. This helps to “protect your community” in case that you unknowingly have the virus, Harvard’s Shapiro adds.

Myth: You should avoid the hospital at all costs if you want to stay healthy.

While in-person appointments at primary care offices are on pause during the pandemic, emergency rooms are still very much open. But recent data show fewer people are accessing them — and this can have deadly consequences.

“If you feel like what’s going on with you or with a loved one is an emergency, please come to the emergency department. We have plenty of measures in place to ensure your safety as far as not transferring coronavirus from another patient to you.”

– Jordan Warchol, emergency physician and assistant professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center

A poll from the American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) found that 80 percent of the roughly 2,200 adults surveyed were worried that a trip to the emergency room would put them at high risk for contracting COVID-19. Nearly one-third admitted to actively delaying or avoiding medical care during the pandemic out of concern for catching the illness.

A recent survey of nine high-volume hospitals illustrates just how much of an impact virus fears have had on medical care. For example, the frequency of one common emergency procedure for reopening arteries in heart attack patients is down by nearly 40 percent since the start of the coronavirus outbreak in the U.S.

“COVID-19 is definitely not stopping people from having heart attacks, strokes and cardiac arrests,” the American Heart Association (AHA) and seven other national health organizations said in a joint statement. “We fear it is stopping people from going to the hospital, and that can be devastating.”

Calling 911 immediately is still your best chance of surviving a heart attack or stroke, the AHA says. Other symptoms and conditions that warrant emergency care include difficulty breathing, choking, a head or spine injury, ingestion of a poisonous substance, serious injury, uncontrolled bleeding, and any sudden or severe pain.

“If you feel like what’s going on with you or with a loved one is an emergency, please come to the emergency department,” says UNMC emergency physician Warchol. “We have plenty of measures in place to ensure your safety [with regard to] not transferring coronavirus from another patient to you.”

Myth: Ingesting disinfectants can help treat a coronavirus infection.

Disinfectants help to eliminate germs on surfaces. However, they do not treat an infection inside the body and, in fact, can cause serious harm.

In April, the CDC reported that calls to U.S. poison centers were up by about 20 percent this year, compared with last year, and that they “increased sharply” at the beginning of March, around the same time the virus started spreading in the U.S. The agency stresses that people using disinfectants should follow instructions on the label to reduce the risk of adverse health effects.

The WHO has also warned that bleach and any other disinfectant should not, “under any circumstance,” be sprayed or introduced into the body. “These substances can be poisonous if ingested and cause irritation and damage to your skin and eyes,” the organization says.

Currently there is no approved treatment for COVID-19. Several drug trials are ongoing, and one antiviral therapy, remdesivir, recently received emergency use authorization from the FDA to treat hospitalized patients.

Myth: Mosquitoes and ticks transmit the coronavirus.

The CDC says at this time it has no data to suggest that the coronavirus can be spread by mosquitoes or ticks. The main way the virus is thought to spread is from person to person, through respiratory droplets.

That said, mosquitoes and ticks can spread other diseases, including the Zika virus and Lyme disease. Clothing that covers your arms and legs can help minimize your risk of insect-borne illnesses — and so can insect repellents that have been approved by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

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I have invested a good amount of time on politics in this blog and often covering the current administration has been exhausting however I continue to do it with the help of “experts” on the subject ( reprinting their postings). I have offered my own opinions after researching to insure I am as correct and honest as I can be. To be clear we are in dire straits with this administration and the abetting Senate Majority. This election year is and will be unusual to say  the least yet we (voters) must find our way through the garbage of campaign rhetoric and out right lies (from n both sides). It has been stated by many that when you know your history, you can then go forward well informed or at the least informed. To that end the importance of balancing reality and facts when deciding who to vote for is crucial. If you have been paying attention you will realize that the current Congress is in need of different leadership, not leadership that is using an inept leader as a cover for their own personal agendas that do not bode well for us (voters).  If we pay attention and understand that what we see we will understand that the real work of Congress occurs behind closed doors not in the open as C-span would have you believe. Our voices are what needs to be heard by these representatives but in an informed and steady way. Bear in mind that we need to be ready to block the inanities that will come back at us as “Government speak”. It is obvious that we need to oust the current administration and any or all of it’s Congressional supporters but we must remember that all of the excesses and poor actions including  foreign policy actions by this administration will have to be reversed and that will take up all of the first year and probably most if not all of the second year of a new administration.

Imagine this as an aftermath of the 2020 election: A semi trailer backs up to the White House delivery door, inside the trailer are rows of hand cuffs and leg braces, then the residents of the Whitehouse are marched out and shackled for their crimes, this vehicle is then driven to the Congress and the baser members are marched out in the same fashion. Once done they all are deposited into work camps to atone for their sins.

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“And an office called the Pandemic Preparedness Office… that they abolished. And a global monitoring system called PREDICT .. that they cut by 75%” he added.

Jeremy Konyndyk, who previously served as the director of USAID’s Office of US Foreign Disaster Assistance, told CNN that the Trump administration was “extensively briefed” on the plan during the transition.

The White House has garnered criticism in the midst of the coronavirus for a 2018 decision to disband the National Security Council’s global health unit, a decision former national security adviser John Bolton characterized as a “streamlining.”

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Kevin Breuninger
a person wearing a suit and tie: Rick Bright, deputy assistant secretary for preparedness and response for Health and Human Services (HHS), speaks during a House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, March 8, 2018.© Provided by CNBC Rick Bright, deputy assistant secretary for preparedness and response for Health and Human Services (HHS), speaks during a House Oversight and Investigations Subcommittee hearing in Washington, D.C., on Thursday, March 8, 2018.

President Donald Trump on Thursday tore into ousted federal scientist-turned-whistleblower Dr. Rick Bright just before Bright was set to testify before Congress that the U.S. “missed early warning signals” about the coronavirus.

“I don’t know the so-called Whistleblower Rick Bright, never met him or even heard of him,” Trump tweeted Thursday morning.

“But to me he is a disgruntled employee, not liked or respected by people I spoke to and who, with his attitude, should no longer be working for our government!” Trump said.

Donald J. Trump

@realDonaldTrump

I don’t know the so-called Whistleblower Rick Bright, never met him or even heard of him, but to me he is a disgruntled employee, not liked or respected by people I spoke to and who, with his attitude, should no longer be working for our government!

30.3K people are talking about this

Bright in late April was removed as director of the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority and transferred to a job with fewer responsibilities at the National Institutes of Health. He filed a formal whistleblower complaint to the U.S. Office of Special Counsel after his removal.

Lawyers for Bright say he was sidelined in retaliation for his pushback on the Trump administration’s efforts “to provide unfettered access to potentially dangerous drugs, including chloroquine … which is untested and possibly deadly when used improperly.”

Bright is scheduled to testify before the House Energy and Commerce Subcommittee on Health at 10 a.m. ET.

In his opening statement, Bright is expected to say that Covid-19 could potentially make 2020 the “darkest winter in modern history” if leaders can’t mount a more coordinated response to contain the outbreak.

“Our window of opportunity is closing. If we fail to develop a national coordinated response, based in science, I fear the pandemic will get far worse and be prolonged, causing unprecedented illness and fatalities,” Bright’s written testimony says.

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Jennifer Rubin 19 hrs ago, Washington Post

Editor’s note: The opinions in this article are the author’s, as published by our content partner, and do not necessarily represent the views of MSN or Microsoft.

One does not need to be a professional pollster to understand that American voters want the federal government to stop shifting responsibility to the states for testing and that they are not enamored with the race to reopen the economy when conditions do not warrant doing so.

The latest Pew poll shows that “a majority of Americans (61%) say it is primarily the federal government’s responsibility to make sure there are enough COVID-19 tests in order to safely lift the restrictions.” That captures two concepts: It’s the feds’ job, and you need testing to reopen. Local hospitals and medical professionals rate the highest on their pandemic response (88 percent), while public health officials such as those at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also do extremely well (72 percent). President Trump gets 41 percent.

Republicans, meanwhile, seem loath to believe that the virus is a big deal:

Within the most and least heavily impacted counties, sizable partisan differences remain, particularly in views of the impact of the coronavirus on people’s health. Democrats overall are 20 percentage points more likely than Republicans to view the coronavirus outbreak as a major threat to their personal health; these differences persist in counties most impacted by the outbreak as well as those less affected. Among Republicans in the most impacted counties, 34% see the coronavirus as a major threat to their health; that is much lower than the share of Democrats in the least affected counties who say this (48%).

Republicans, it seems, think it’s fine to let the states deal with the crisis. What we do not know is whether this will change if premature openings in red states fuel a spate of cases. Nevertheless, it is much more politically popular to tread carefully, as illustrated by the Post-Ipsos poll: “While the average approval rating for governors is 71 percent, it goes as high as 86 percent for Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine (R), and it’s significantly lower in a trio of big states in which GOP governors have been slower on stay-at-home orders and more aggressive on reopening: Florida, Georgia and Texas.”

One reason voters are wary of opening too fast might be that health officials (whom they respect) and now even Republican senators are zeroing in on the necessity of testing before we launch back into full economic activity. The Post reports, “Anthony S. Fauci, the nation’s top infectious-disease expert, warned of avoidable ‘suffering and death’ and of further economic damage if states reopen too quickly and said the U.S. death toll from the novel coronavirus is probably higher than the 80,000 reported.”

In a hearing before the Republican-led Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee on Tuesday, Fauci, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.) and Sen. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) all took issue with the notion that we have “prevailed” on testing. “It’s the ability and the capability of responding to those cases with good identification, isolation and contact tracing [that] will determine whether you can continue to go forward as you try to reopen America,” Fauci said. Without robust testing, we are risking many more deaths. (Alexander echoed that sentiment: “All roads back to work and back to school lead through testing, tracking, isolation, treatment and vaccines.”)

As Trump encourages businesses to open up and exaggerates the sufficiency of testing, House Democrats are lining up with public opinion. In their next proposed pandemic-related bill, they throw in $75 billion for “coronavirus testing, contact tracing and isolation measures, ensuring every American can access free coronavirus treatment, and supporting hospitals and providers,” as House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) announced in a press release on Tuesday. “That is three times the amount allocated for testing in the first CARES package.”

In interviews, Pelosi frequently notes that “testing, testing, testing” and “science, science, science” are the way to restore the country’s health and economic vitality. Another one of her favorite sayings: “Public sentiment is everything. With it, you can accomplish almost anything. Without it, you can accomplish virtually nothing.” In this case — on testing as a precondition to restarting nonessential economic activity and on the feds’ responsibility for it — she has it squarely on her side.

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Read more:

Jennifer Rubin: Which came first: The rotten polls or the raving?

The Post’s View: The patchwork of state reopenings is a deadly game of trial and error

Joe Biden: How the White House coronavirus response presents us with a false choice

Eugene Robinson: 80,000 Americans have died. Trump is still engaged in magical thinking.

Michael Gerson: Trump’s tweets are a strategy of distraction to obscure a policy of abdication

The Post’s View: The coronavirus spreads in close quarters. That should factor into reopening decisions.


Published: April 2, 2020

By Dr. Eduardo Sanchez, American Heart Association Chief Medical Officer for Prevention

(Paul Biris/Moment, Getty Images)

Dr. Eduardo Sanchez is the American Heart Association’s chief medical officer for prevention and a former state health commissioner of Texas. He has dealt with major public health crises, including the SARS outbreak. In this occasional series, he offers his insights into various topics related to the coronavirus pandemic.

When a communicable disease outbreak begins, the ideal response is for public health officials to begin testing for it early.

That leads to quick identification of cases, quick treatment for those people and immediate isolation to prevent spread. Early testing also helps to identify anyone who came into contact with infected people so they too can be quickly treated.

While we are obviously not in that ideal situation with COVID-19, testing remains critical.

It’s crucial of course to help treat, isolate or hospitalize people who are infected. Testing also is important in the bigger public health picture on mitigation efforts, helping investigators characterize the prevalence, spread and contagiousness of the disease.

In comparison to China and South Korea, testing in the United States appears to have been insufficient for optimal early containment. And now we’re seeing a rapid rise in hospitalizations that is overwhelming public health systems and clinical care systems.

These systems, lacking vital equipment to test and provide timely results and staff to address “positives,” are now bracing for more and more critically ill patients in the coming days and weeks.

A big part of the problem is the inability to conduct “contact investigations.” These investigations involve figuring out everyone an infected person may have been in contact with. This requires a lot of time and labor – two resources that just aren’t available in a strained system. It’s easy to see how quickly cases can spread without information from contact investigations.

Another important kind of test is one that determines if a person has already had COVID-19. When a person is infected with a novel virus such as SARS-CoV-2 (the scientific name for this specific coronavirus), the person’s immune system has never “seen” that virus before. As the virus reproduces, it causes manifestations of disease – fever, cough and so on – and triggers an immune response.

The immune response is how the body fights the virus and protects itself. The immune system activates, produces and mobilizes a variety of protective cells and molecules that attack the “foreign” virus. The immune system will recognize the virus after that and protect the person by destroying it if it returns.

The key to that protection is the work of molecules called antibodies. When tests turn up the presence of disease-specific antibodies, it’s considered evidence of past exposure and infection. While the no-longer-infected person is out of danger, the information about past infection status is extremely valuable.

Confirming that someone has had the disease and is now immune helps public health officials and others understand the level of immunity in a population. A high percentage of people with immunity adds to “herd immunity,” which protects the larger community.

Knowing who has been infected also is important because people with immunity from COVID-19 can safely work in essential settings such as health care, public safety and the service industry. They also can work in “non-essential” settings with less need for extreme personal protection.

Furthermore, for clinical care, testing for seroconversion – the technical name for the process of going from non-infected to infected to immune – can identify people whose plasma contains COVID-19-specific antibodies.

This plasma could, theoretically, be used for infusions to treat the disease and prevent its severe complications. Use of such plasma, called convalescent plasma, is not new. In fact, it was a treatment approach during the 1918 flu pandemic.

The Food and Drug Administration is currently accepting requests from researchers who want to study the use of COVID-19 convalescent plasma.

When we look back at what will be the first wave of COVID-19 in the United States, testing data will help us develop a full picture of the epidemiology and course of this disease. The data can provide important puzzle pieces for stopping or slowing the disease in the future.

Editor’s note: Because of the rapidly evolving events surrounding the coronavirus, the facts and advice presented in this story may have changed since publication. Visit Heart.org for the latest coverage, and check with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and local health officials for the most recent guidance.

If you have questions or comments about this story, please email editor@heart.org.

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Again TOTUS has turned anything that will get him in the spotlight into a political statement, this is TOTUS at his self serving and deflecting best MA.

Trump calls Ahmaud Arbery killing ‘heartbreaking’ but cautions about ’empty spot on the tape’

Yahoo News 
Trump expresses sympathy over death of Ahmaud Arbery, then raises questions about video
“You have a lot of people looking at it and hopefully an answer is going to be arrived at very quickly. But it’s something that is heartbreaking,” Trump said.

President Trump said Monday that a video showing two white men in Georgia gunning down and killing an African-American jogger is “heartbreaking,” though he left open the possibility that “an empty spot on the tape” might reveal more information in the case.

Trump was asked about the video that shows the shooting of Ahmaud Arbery as he jogged along a tree-lined street in Brunswick, Ga. The question came near the end of a Rose Garden briefing on the coronavirus pandemic.

“I think it’s horrible and it’s certainly being looked at by many people. I’m speaking to many people about it,” Trump said of the video that surfaced on social media two months after the Feb. 23 shooting. A swift public outcry erupted and was followed by the arrest of Travis McMichael, 34, on a charge of felony murder and aggravated assault, and his father, Gregory, 64, who is charged as a party to felony murder and aggravated assault.

Trump praised Arbery’s appearance in a photograph released by his family that showed him wearing a tuxedo.

“He looked, I saw the picture of him in his tuxedo and it was so beautiful and he looks like a wonderful young guy. Would have been a wonderful … just a wonderful guy,” Trump said. “I think it’s a horrible thing. I think it’s a horrible thing. Now, with that being said, as you know they’re studying the case carefully, they’re interviewing everybody involved and we’ll see what happens. To me it’s a very sad thing.”

Gregory McMichael, left, and his son Travis McMichael. (Glynn County Detention Center via AP)
Gregory McMichael, left, and his son Travis McMichael. (Glynn County Detention Center via AP)

The video was believed to be in the possession of authorities before it was released anonymously online, but neither McMichael had been charged. In questioning at the time, they told investigators they were attempting a citizens arrest of Arbery, who was 25, suspecting him of a burglary. In the account by the McMichaels, according to the Brunswick News, Arbery, who was unarmed, was struggling with Travis McMichael, who had a shotgun.

Protests have erupted over the killing as well as the investigation. Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms said Sunday that “this was a lynching of an African-American man.”

Trump said Tuesday that he hoped for a speedy resolution in the case.

“You have a lot of people looking at it and hopefully an answer is going to be arrived at very quickly. But it’s something that is heartbreaking,” Trump said.

The president also repeated his earlier assertion that the video, which was shot by a motorist, might contain “an empty spot on the tape” that could affect the case.

President Trump at the press briefing on Monday. (Alex Brandon/AP)
President Trump at the press briefing on Monday. (Alex Brandon/AP)

“Well, I saw the tape and when they moved left, I don’t believe that when they moved left outside of the tape nobody saw what was going on. Nobody saw — it’s an empty spot on the tape, I guess,” Trump said. “Now, do they have additional tapes, I hope, but I will say that it’s something that based on what I saw, doesn’t look good.”

Trump added that he he had spoken over the weekend to Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., an African-American who he had “a lot of respect for” to ask him his opinion of the video.

“Tim, what do you think, tell me,” the president said, reprising his conversation with Scott.

Trump said Scott was “very disturbed by it.”

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