April 15: Task Force briefing notes

The briefing begins an hour into the video and ends after 57 minutes. I’m sorry, but I couldn’t find a YouTube version that was just the talking part and WordPress won’t reliably embed any other video sourse, so I’m going to deduct one hour from all my times.

POTUS comes out: Mitigation works, we’re winning, etc. The numbers of masks, gowns, etc. that have been delivered where they’re needed is in the tens of millions per.

It annoys me that the media can’t be bothered to praise the people organizing and doing all this important work. I also keep coming across talking and writing heads whining about how they should have known then what they know now about this completely new disease so they could have done a less drastic shut down.

They always mention the people who have lost their jobs; I’m always left wondering if what they really mean is “inconvenienced me.” Cuz I have been corresponding with two of those folks, to see how they’re doing and to offer help, prayers, etc. They’re struggling, but upbeat. One of the families was hit by the virus; they didn’t hospitalize her, but it was a near thing. She was really sick.

I’ve also seen both my doctors during the quarantine. My chiropractor made a home visit wearing a mask. He closed his office, but says he has come in for a few patients who are in serious pain. For them, he does what my primary does, which is have the patient call from the parking lot then wait for a call back before going in. They get met at the door and don’t disrobe or touch anything that isn’t necessary. Everybody in the office wears a mask. All the magazines and half the chairs are gone. They do as much as they can by TeleHealth and sterilize between the patients that need to come in.

On March 29th, when people were looking at the end of the first 15 Days to Slow the Spread and hoping we’d be free again on April 1, my primary was genuinely agitated about the idea. “They can’t do that. They’ll overwhelm the hospitals. It’s not fair to the patients.”  He admitted, “I’m REALLY upset about this.” He’s a very mellow guy; I’ve never seen him like that. So, while I had been hoping for April 1, after talking to him, I was grateful when Trump added 30 days.

Basically, what I’m saying is that if these two guys whom I know well and trust completely are scared by this virus, then what right do armchair pundits have to sneer at the difficult decisions that have been made by the people on the Task Force? Dr. Birx and Dr. Fauci are world-renowned experts at managing infectious diseases. Throughout this thing, they’ve been working with imperfect and ever evolving data to save lives.

And let’s try to remember that the last global pandemic killed somewhere between 17 and 100 million people. Think of that … not just the sheer numbers, but also the fact that even after all this time, with historians able to study whatever records existed, nobody really knows how many people DIED. Never mind how many caught it and recovered or how many had it without knowing it or how many died in part due to underlying conditions.

I don’t understand the armchair know-it-alls who are up in arms about how they’re supposedly “inflating the numbers” by counting as COVID-19 deaths anybody who died while infected, no matter what else was wrong with them. Oh. Um. And how many of them would still be LIVING with those other conditions if they had not caught the virus? I mean … sheesh. Okay, enough ranting. Back to POTUS.

Abbot Labs has developed an antibody test that can finally help us learn who has had and recovered from COVID-19 while showing only mild or no symptoms. They’ll have 20 million produced in a few weeks.

2020_04 16 GM 1

3:30 = GM and other companies are rapidly building high quality ventilators. GM created a one minute video that got played at the briefing, maybe because they all know the media will not give any air time to anything good that Trump was involved in.

5:50 = 35 therapies are being tested including: anti-virals; a mechanism that prevents the virus from multiplying; and medicines to stop the immune system from over-reacting to the virus (as I understand it, this last one is a big reason why people die). They’re also giving plasma from the blood of recovered patients which contains COVID-19 antibodies the recipient’s body can use to fight off the infection. Thousands of people who have recovered are eager to donate plasma to help others.

7:00 to 15:00 = Democrats continue to hold up the Trump administration’s efforts to do what needs doing. There are currently more than 100 Trump nominees whose approvals are stuck in the Senate, because Democrats waste as many days of Senate time as possible for each one. Some of these people are urgently needed to deal with virus-related business.

Congress has gone home, but they keep doing a fake “gaveling in” thing, specifically to prevent the president from using his authority to make recess appointments. Democrats are also still holding up the addition of needed money to the small business relief program.

If they don’t stop the nonsense, President Trump threatens to use the authority of his office to shut down Congress. Democrats don’t care. Remember this in November.

16:30 = Today he’s meeting with the governors about the reopening plan. Some areas probably can open before May 1. Yesterday, he met with business leaders about reopening – health, transportation, technology, financial, food, tourism, retail, agriculture, construction, energy, sports (I might’ve missed some). They had good questions and great ideas about how to move forward.

TeleHealth has grown like crazy over the last five weeks. “I think that’s going to be very important for our country.” When I saw my primary, we asked how they were handling it all. He said, “We’ve expanded our TeleHealth by a lot.” Then he chuckled and said, “Well, we didn’t have it at all before!” :o) I asked if the patient has to download something to make it work and he said no. “We just send you a link and you’re there.

Man, I could’ve loved to have that back when I had a sick or injured kid. I remember so many times that I agonized over whether it was better to let them stay home in bed or drag them out into the weather for a drive and waiting room wait. How was I supposed to know if they needed a test, prescription, stitches, or x-ray?

Too many times, I stressed them out by going to the office and spreading/acquiring germs only to be told “It’s a virus” or “It’s a sprain.” One of my least favorites was the time we spent a bundle on an ER visit with a 3-year-old who had fallen off a chair and split her scalp. The doctor showed us how to close a head wound by tying her hair.

21:00 = Dr. Birx reported on reassuring declines across the country over the past 5 or 6 days. People are still in the ICU and health care workers are still on the front lines, but we have the lowest death rate in the world.

We’re looking at each state and metro area individually, because their curves have been different. Connecticut and Rhode Island are getting hit from both sides, with people fleeing hot spots in New York City and Boston.

This is a highly contagious virus. Social gatherings can include an asymptomatic person who can unknowingly spread the virus. Keep following the social distancing guidelines. Mitigation works.

Hospitals, clinics and labs that have been built around the world, through the generosity of the American people, to combat TB, HIV, and malaria are now also working on COVID-19.

26:00 = Trump’s Secretary of Agriculture, Sonny Purdue, talked about food production during the virus. Purdue is a veterinarian and businessman who served as Georgia’s governor (2003-2011). He says our food supply is strong and safe. Employers and employees need to follow CDC guidelines. He thanked farmers, producers, processors, truckers, and grocers who have been patriotically keeping us all fed during the shut down.

Empty shelves are not a sign of food shortages; it’s the result of the fact that people who were eating in restaurants and cafeterias are now eating at home and that it took a while for them to switch production of restaurant/cafeteria food packaging to forms that grocery stores can use. But the fact is that we have plenty of food for everyone.

On a personal note, if your local food cupboard is operating, send them some money. They can buy food more cheaply than you can, so a check in the mail provides more for your neighbors in need than a drop off of groceries you purchased for that purpose. My daughter says in their area, the food cupboard closed, so the churches got together and organized volunteers to provide preparation and delivery of meals to needy homes.

Whenever I read or listen to yet another bitchy pundit complaining about how the government did or didn’t do something or other, I just want to reach into my monitor and smack some heads. We’re not children who have to wait on Big Daddy government to fix things!

We’re all in this together and we will get through this if we do it together. If you’re needy, reach out. If you’re in good shape, reach out. If you’ve been laid off, then you’ve got time. If you’re still working, then you’ve got money. Don’t bitch about what the government has or hasn’t done. Get off the couch and help.

32:00 = VP Pence talked. “Despite the heartbreaking losses, we’re getting there.” New guidelines will be presented soon to help us with the next phase. 24% of the counties in the country have zero cases. Half the states have fewer than 2,500 cases per state. Some areas are still hot and will have to continue with stringent mitigation. They’ve created a new program to collect plasma donations from people who have recovered.

39:00 = Reporter questions started. Some chatter about his threat to close Congress, but mostly rehashing stuff we’ve heard before many times.

2 Comments

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2 responses to “April 15: Task Force briefing notes

  1. The work you do is extensive, and we thank you. 🙂

    Bless and care for you and your lovies!

    I’ve been appreciating our POTUS and his administration’s daily brief at http://rsbnetwork.com/

    Now wondering if anyone in our neighbourhood (the armpit of Dallas County) will clap, bang on pots, and yell (noisy!) for our “essential workers” tonight at 7:00, as was suggested on our local news – we’ll see. I might shout out for Trump – he deserves it. Bless him, Lord.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. red

    Corona is so virulent, Mexico is opening up for business again. Arizona agrees. Texas, Kali-fornia, and many other states, Germans are revolting against asinine laws, and so on. the world lives in sunshine, while the neolibs only see a grave waiting for them and want to drag us in with them.

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