Wednesday, March 4, 2020


This is a reminder of how we got infected passengers sent back to the United States, with the blessing of the Trump administration ...

On Feb. 12, U.S. officials briefed members of Congress in a closed-door hearing. Rep. Phil Roe (R-Tenn.), a doctor, had also heard from a friend and fellow doctor, Arnold Hopland, of Elizabethton, Tenn., who was on the ship with his wife, Jeanie. Hopland told Roe about the deteriorating conditions.“That tipped the balance,” said the senior administration official.
By Friday afternoon in Washington, there was agreement among all the agencies in the U.S. coronavirus task force to evacuate the Americans.
You can read about America's path towards a viral clusterf*%&#  (to be sure, the article's actually titled, "Coronavirus-infected Americans flown home against Center for Disease Control's (CDC) advice") by clicking here.


But wait, this ugly turn of events gets better (or is that worse?). In 2019 Donald Trump began closing the federal program that investigates diseases and animal viruses that might infect humans because - and this is the fun part - President Obama supported it.

The program - known as "Predict" and run by USAID - not only found over 1,000 new viruses but learned that "a new animal disease that can also infect humans is discovered every four months."

The Predict program also sponsored epidemiological modeling to predict where outbreaks are likely to erupt, and fought to curb hunting and breeding practices that encouraged viral eruptions.

Over 10 years the program, which was supported by both the Bush and Obama administrations, cost $207 million, which equals .000129% of the $1.6 trillion tax cut that Trump and the GOP gave to America's richest groups two years ago (for the sake of comparison, the U.S. spent $5 billion combating Ebola in West Africa). So, yeah, cutting the program had little to do with financial costs, and more to do with incompetency and political point scoring.

You can access the NY Times article explaining the entire mess by clicking here.

- Mark

1 comment:

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