Thursday, March 12, 2020

Rep. Katie Porter Deserves a Medal

Watch her push and push and push the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Dr. Robert Redfield, until he finally agrees to offer free coronavirus testing for every American who needs it. This is a thing of beauty. 


Ned said...

This is really insane. Trump keeps claiming that anyone can get tested who wants to (actually almost no one can get tested). Just yesterday, he claimed that all passengers arriving from Europe are being "tested" but actually none of them are being tested, they're being "screened" which is basically a joke.

Does Trump understand the difference between "testing" and "screening"? I doubt it!

We were told that millions of tests would be available by now, but that hasn't happened, and many at-risk people are being denied tests because of the continuing shortage.

In my lifetime the USA has has two massive self-inflicted disasters. One was the Iraq War, the other is happening right now: having Donald Trump overseeing the federal government during a pandemic. Trump is the head of the government and bears full responsibility for the government's abjectly impotent response to the arrival of the pandemic in the USA.

Here's Dr. Ashish Jha, Director of the Global Health Institute at Harvard.

Everyone needs to read this -- especially (on this blog) commenter "David in Cal", who as of last Sunday still seemed to believe that Trump "deserves a lot of credit" and says that "the problem is rapidly disappearing":


JHA: The American response has been deeply disappointing.

In almost every way, our response has been far less effective than every other major country in the world. It's baffling, actually. We have, in the CDC, arguably the best public health agency in the world. All of us thought that the CDC was going to — was prepared and was going to help fight this virus. The federal response has been a fiasco.


What your viewers need to understand is, if you get sick tomorrow with coronavirus, and you reach out to your doctor or you talk to your doctor, and your doctor wants to test you for coronavirus, he or she can't.

Most doctors today cannot test people for coronavirus, because we just don't have the tests. Every other major country has figured out how to do it. South Korea is testing 15,000 people a day. [...]

It's been one kind of debacle after another. My best sense is that the administration has not prioritized this. They have no sense of urgency over this.

And when you look at what's happening across the country, with school closures, the NBA, and March Madness, all that being shut down, it's basically because we can't test anybody. [...]

My guess is, about 10,000 Americans probably have the infection today ... That number is going to double in six days. It's going to double again in another six days.

Ned said...

Previous administrations have responded to emergencies (9/11, Katrina, the H1N1 flu epidemic) by temporarily allowing states to be more flexible in their use of Medicaid funds for crisis response.

The Trump Administration is refusing to do this, because of (a) its ideological opposition to the existence of Medicaid, and (b) Trump's desire to minimize the seriousness of the situation and avoid declaring a national emergency.

Trump administration blocks states from using Medicaid to respond to coronavirus crisis

David Appell said...

It's like Trump (et al) are *trying* to make things worse.

Entropic man said...

They are certainly very trying!