Good News! If You Have Symptoms, You May Be Able To Wait For Testing!
What do the NFL, the NBA, Broadway, the Pope, and the Disney Corporation understand about this pandemic that the Trump team has yet to figure out?
Only moments ago, the president of the United States declared what he called a National Emergency, as he put it, “Two very big words.” Apparently that declaration arrives even as he contends that “we are in very strong shape.” Disregarding the best advice of every practicing physician, clinical care giver, and ordinary informed citizen, he then shook hands with the ranks of corporate chiefs flanking him in this celebration of the union of government and business. The declaration was buttressed by the insight that the president had memorised the Stafford Act which allocates funds to states and localities in times of emergency.
I, like Will Ferrell as Mugatu, feel like I’m taking crazy pills. For example, I’m pretty sure I heard the President offer this opinion two days ago:
“The vast majority of Americans (sic): The risk is very, very low. Young and healthy people can expect to recover fully and quickly if they should get the virus. The highest risk is for elderly population with underlying health conditions. The elderly population must be very, very careful.”
Careful to …? Come on, we’re elderly. Throw us a bone. What’s the drill?
Ah, cover our mouths when we sneeze and stay away from people with symptoms. Oh, and wash hands.
The clear message from the assorted sycophants was that most people don’t need to be tested, this will pass, and that should people get sick, the new rules will allow doctors from another state to jump in to help. Oh, and wash your hands.
In a press conference that went right past self-congratulatory to celebration, the president’s coterie thanked him effusively for his far sighted leadership in avoiding a health disaster in the United States. Recalling yet another high point in unfortunate prognostication, the phrase “Mission Accomplished” comes to mind.
Dr. Fauci, who also endorses hand washing, declared that the administration was, “proactive, leaning forward, trying to stay ahead of the curve.” Unfortunately, both he and the president seemed somewhat confused about what had brought the downsizing of the Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense, often known as the pandemic office. “I didn’t do it,” the president reminded the press, also clearly advising them that he was not responsible for the lag time in making test kits available. His words will ring through the annals of time. “I don’t take responsibility at all,” a bold assertion for any head of state to offer a nation in crisis.
And even more good news: We got a great deal on oil. Apparently we are now “energy independent” which will be good news for all those flights, cruises, and auto trips … oh … wait.
Apocalypse Watch 2020 is getting tricky. On one hand, the former governor of Alaska and former vice presidential candidate appeared on The Masked Singer as a bear rapping Baby Got Back, which, I gotta say, drove the dial pretty deep. On the other, the unleashing of the full power of the federal government and the business partners in emergency response was displayed by Dr. Deborah Birx holding what appeared to be a Science Fair’s C minus poster upon which the path to testing was presented.
Actually, the poster was not really necessary, as the president’s opinion is that, “We don’t want people to take a test if we feel they shouldn’t be doing it and we don’t want everyone running out and taking(sic), Only if you have certain symptoms.”
Ah Hah! And it is this directive that brings Google into the picture. The president seems to believe that Google has 1700 engineers working on a website as he spoke, a website that would allow virtual triage, probably in place by Sunday night. Yesterday, Sundar Pichai, the Chief Executive Officer of Alphabet sent an email to employees advising them that Google is working on testing, also asking for volunteers to work on that task. It seems that the president’s description may have been premature as Google immediately sent out a statement that the work was in the very early stages.
We can expect the Google product to match Dr. Birx’s poster, but it too essentially asks the responder to respond if symptomatic. A “YES” allows the subject then to begin the process of seeking testing, which we are lead to believe, will take place in a Walmart parking lot.
Tough choice as I post this piece. Picture of the Birx poster or of Sarah Palin in a bear costume? Pretty much a toss up when it comes to meaningful response to a pandemic already very much here.