It has been said, “We live in interesting times.” For the past decade or so, it seems that we live in unprecedented times. “Unprecedented” could be declared the word of the decade. That word is cropping up more often as time goes on.

If such a preponderance of unprecedented events continues apace, how on earth are we supposed to cope? Every week we face new, uncharted territory. Can we mere mortals handle it?

Now we have the coronavirus (COVID-19). Unprecedented? Really? Is this the first so-called pandemic that humanity has ever experienced? Not even close. The first that comes to mind is the Black Death or bubonic plague. Of course, this occurred centuries ago in medieval Europe, but worldwide death estimates have been as high as 200 million. Given the world population at the time, that number on a percentage basis was huge — approximately 30 percent of Earth’s population. But let’s look at more recent times.

The so-called Spanish flu (1918–1920) is said to have infected as many as 500 million worldwide. The Asian flu (H2N2 virus) hit in the late 1950s when I was in high school and reportedly caused as many as 2 million deaths worldwide and 70,000 fatalities here at home. Then came the Hong Kong flu (H3N2 virus) in the late 1960s. One million died worldwide, with over 30,000 deaths in this country. Who remembers the swine flu (H1N1 virus) in 2009–2010? It seemed to initiate in Mexico. About half a million people died worldwide, with about 12,000 accounted for in the U.S. And of course, concurrent with coronavirus, we are encountering another flu virus (H3N2), which seems to have been pushed into the background. Regardless of media or political reports, nothing about this is unprecedented. We’ve been there and done that numerous times — and survived them all as a nation. Many of us today have lived through at least three.

As a brief aside, kindly note the titles given to the various viruses cited above. Those who look for the slightest dent in President Trump’s armor have called him a racist (again) for referring to the coronavirus as Chinese because it is thought to have originated in China. Trump and many others come from a time when viruses were named based upon their point of origin. History proves the case. Politicization of any illness is just plain wrongheaded — regardless of leftist operational theory of never letting a crisis go to waste.

Last Monday, as I left from my morning with the horses, the farrier and I were discussing the latest closings. I’d been busy all morning and hadn’t heard the latest — gyms, bars and restaurants. My friend was concerned because he has friends who are bartenders and waitstaff at restaurants. Their source of income was coming to an end. That is truly a problem, and I echoed his concerns, adding that small businesses might well be forced to close.

Driving home, I had time to process that and concluded that we are at war — with the coronavirus. Being more grounded regarding war than a lot of people today, I have a certain attitude toward war. It is hard to disagree with a quote attributed to Civil War General William Tecumseh Sherman. “War is hell.” As a point of fact, the true quote is “There is many a boy here today who looks on war as all glory, but boys, it is all hell.” All war is hell. It matters not if it is on a battlefield, on the political landscape, regarding international relations or in a hospital or doctor’s office. All war involves casualties of one sort or another. People are hurt and people will die — simple facts, unpleasant as they are.

We are at war with an ugly virus. As in World War II — when we all (yup, I was there, although too young to recall much) — endured the rationing of sugar, gasoline, rubber tires, and other war-related products, every man, woman and child. Hoarding (aka selfishness) was as socially unacceptable then as it is now. Profiteering was illegal and punishable. Such ugly practices are happening today.

The stores that place a limit on the quantity that can be purchased are to be commended for attempting to ensure that everyone will have access to limited quantities. Much better than finding empty shelves due to those who think only of themselves.

We all live here and are in this together. Your friends, neighbors and children are watching. Are you acting neighborly? Do you care? People are remembered for how they react in crisis, which reminds me, my wife and I got a warm and fuzzy feeling this week. Two of our neighbors and one daughter called this week to check on our welfare. This country needs more such neighbors. They are appreciated by those in need, which we are not.

Try to remember that this, too, shall pass. Stay calm and carry on. We’ve been here and done this. As a dearly departed aunt used to close all her letters (Remember when people wrote those — in cursive?), “Be good to each other,” and I’ll add be careful out there.

Rick Blatchford writes from Mount Airy. Contact him at rpblatch4d@comcast.net.

(163) comments

des21

I know no one is objective but someone- anyone- read the comments and make a list of those who are politicizing the crisis by criticizing the President and those who are politicizing it from the right (like me I guess because I asked when the Senate was going to have a chance to hold nearing about the Bidens in Ukraine.) Get back to me (and reality) when you are done.

It's an act of God- and the Chinese folks! Wake up, we've seen this movie before but never has the reaction and blame of an individual been so blatantly political. Get a grip!

public-redux

150 comments on such an anodyne column? People must be bored in their self-quarantine.

hayduke2

[thumbup][thumbup]

des21

I can only home school my kids for so many hours in a day and i don't drink so......I've read a lot, yard work, correcting the feeble minded is just a public service i do in my spare time. This essay was as good an outlet as any other.[wink]

rikkitikkitavvi

Given all our comments, we are indeed not in this together. As long as you can still squeeze an ounce of venom from your veins. Because for you that suffer from TDS nothing is more important than hating on Trump and all things related to Trump. Well... buckle up buttercups, chicom flue ain't for snowflakes. Have a MAGA week.

Obadiah Plainsmen

What is going on here? In an AP article published today see link, the last two paragraphs are:

For most people, the new coronavirus causes only mild or moderate symptoms, such as fever and cough. For some, especially older adults and people with existing health problems, it can cause more severe illness, including pneumonia.

The vast majority of people recover from the new virus. According to the World Health Organization, people with mild illness recover in about two weeks, while those with more severe illness may take three to six weeks to recover.

https://apnews.com/9aeebd670bd0bc320ae6cebd1c17ddf3

Moon otter

tell that to the 1600 who died in Spain which just surpassed Italy, Folks can be carriers and pass it on to others. Follow all the CDC and WHO guidelines. We need to spread the curve out folks.

des21

Yea, this vaunted European healthcare system is really outdoing itself isn't it?

threecents

Are you blaming the healthcare system for the pandemic?

Moon otter

just like in the US, no tests, nor masks and other equipment in our hospitals. We are so well prepared! Nope.

gabrielshorn2013

Testing is irrelevant without those that are negative isolating themselves so they dont get infected. As long as idiots like those spring breakers continue to " not care if they get coronavirus, as long as they can party", they put others at risk. The "negatives" have just as much responsibility to not get infected as the "positives" have to not infect anyone. That was a lesson learned in the AIDS epidemic" which seems to be forgotten now. Epidemics dont forgive "oops", or "it's just once". The risk you voluntarily take passes that carelessness on to others involuntary.

des21

No, I am blaming it for the ridiculously- higher than in China- death rates.

des21

Democrat mantra- "Never let a good crisis go to waste. If there is no crisis, make one up." The sky s falling don't you know. Has been for 3.5 years. At least they've stopped talking that impeachment nonsense!

When do the Senate hearings into the Biden family's dealing in Ukraine begin?

public-redux

Closer to November.

hayduke2

Your response is sad. Making it political and delusional. You,des, have gone over the line in your posts.

des21

Get real "bro."

des21

You never make it political Hay. Above all, know thyself.... wait you teach science right? Never mind. Pot, meet Hay

hayduke2

Fed, you have lost credibility and any semblance of objectivity! Keep your increasingly angry and delusional posts coming but don’t expect anyone to be impressed. Get a hold on the anger bro

hayduke2

Yeah fed, I do believe in science but not fantasy

MRS M

................... this stupidity is what ya get when folks are home from "work" with nothing to do, compunded by a lack of creativity and incentive. Stupid is as stupid does.

des21

As you have just demonstrated. How many years now have you been home from work? I've been quite busy thanks.

Moon otter

des you are one sad individual.

threecents

Moon[thumbup]

des21

Actually I'm quite happy. Am I sad because I say the Senate will look into Biden's time overseeing our policy n Ukraine? Why? He either knew what his son was doing and is a crook or didn't and is too senile to be President. That will sink his presidential aspirations for a third time I hope.

I smile when all of you who are politicizing this crisis by attacking Trump and his "mishandling" - and- of course, as always, his "lies" (it's called leading folks- look at the Europeans and Canadians following suit) this "tragedy. You people are so witless you don't even seem to know what you do or say. Incredible.

threecents

Des demonstrating he is to the right of Rick. At least Rick says this is nothing to politicize.

des21

Be quiet three, ask your son what he wants for breakfast.

enufalready

Make up a crisis? You mean like Obama had the audacity to wear a tan suit.

Put the rocks down when you live in a glass house.

hayduke2

Too late - that house was shattered long ago. Moved to the right too quickly b

olefool

des says: :When do the Senate hearings into the Biden family's dealing in Ukraine begin?

I say: NOVEMBER 7TH, 2020. The voters are speaking now, listen up!!

threecents

Fauci and other experts have said from the beginning that 1 - 4% would die and that 1/4 to 1/2 of the US population would get infected if we did nothing. If you do the math that would probably mean more than a million deaths with millions more on respirators.

gabrielshorn2013

Correct three, and serial epidemiological models are saying the same thing. We can "flatten the curve" until a safe and effective vaccine is developed. Check the report from the Imperial College of London.

des21

Nice essay, thanks Rick.

Moon otter

First H1N1 (Swine Flu) originated in the United States. We don't call it the US disease no we named it after pigs. So a bit history viruses especially those that jump from one species to another happens because it has mutated. Once it is in humans in order it to be transferred to another human it must mutate again. This virus has now mutated again second mutation within humans meaning any vaccine will be difficult to be made. Hate to burst your bubble folks even when China finally knew it was spreading in China, it was probably already here in the US and elsewhere. It takes 14-21 days for a virus to actually become endemic to an area. Now this virus is not the influenza which is one that is passed from human to human but what is called a zoonotic virus one passed to humans from another species and has mutated. I call this virus NCV19 disease. Everything that state governments have done in enacting in as closures are to protect its citizens should be commended. Our only means of slowing this virus is through spreading the infection out over time. Our federal government including the T rump had their heads in the sand on this one. All because of the stock market which was overinflated. Takes good ole nature to bring us back to reality. Your big corporations will weather this one, small business not so much and the folks who work paycheck to paycheck will take the biggest hit. Solutions are needed so no matter whether you are part time or full time unemployment kicks in and is based on a living wage. 15.00/hour for 40 hours. For small business their unemployment insurance doesn't go up in fact during this crisis they don't have to pay for it. Rents are for now for small businesses are on hold until crisis is over. Other solutions should be forth coming.

Comment deleted.
Moon otter

just to let you know otters can take down an alligator. they go for the back of the neck and pith it. it isn't doom or gloom its the facts so quit watching your faux pas news idiots. I follow science and its recommendations for folks to be safe. so keep putting your head in the sand cause apparently you can't understand science.

threecents

The evolution of flu viruses is unique because they can drastically mutate by a process called reassortment - where one cell is infected with two different types of flu viruses and some of the progeny viruses get genes from both parent flu viruses. This is called a genetic shift, rather than the smaller-scale genetic drift we see with most virus evolution. However, there seems to be a large amount of diversity among Chineese coronaviruses, and it is not clear yet how that happened. The result is that this is the third big emerging coronavirus epidemic in about ten years. Scientists think more coronaviruses will make the jump to people in the coming years. Other infectious diseases - especially from mosquito-borne pathogens - will also emerge due to climate change. If nothing else, Covid-19 is good practice.

Moon otter

[thumbup][thumbup]

jsklinelga

Mr. Blatchford.

I too believe this will pass. Read a really good article today about the positive developments related to the virus. Lots of innovative solutions for treatment and prevention are being developed around the world. Stay calm and you might be sitting at your favorite bar stool on Memorial Day.

phydeaux994

Do you have a link to the article so we could all rejoice with you.

jsklinelga

phy

https://www.goodnewsnetwork.org/10-positive-updates-on-the-covid-19-outbreaks-from-around-the-world/

rikkitikkitavvi

Hahahaha@jsk

threecents

A couple of silver linings of this shutdown that I haven't heard much talk about are that incidences of flu and other contagious diseases should go down, and in the future more people will decide to get vaccinated.

Dwasserba

Everyone's pets are loving it.

des21

Indeed!

Moon otter

On the pets they love folks being home. Big yes. Just don't have the virus. Couple of cases where it jumped to dogs after humans kissing them.

Obadiah Plainsmen

You can add Politico to the fake new category.

https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.politico.com/amp/news/2020/03/20/poll-majority-of-americans-now-approve-of-trumps-coronavirus-management-138570

threecents

Add this to your news about Trump. Fauci and others have to constantly correct him without hurting his feelings, or he will dump them and do something stupid. Trump is such a child, pretending to be an adult. https://www.aol.com/article/news/2020/03/20/fauci-tempers-trumps-optimism-on-chloroquine-use-for-coronavirus/23956640/

Obadiah Plainsmen

Well the National Guard is on the move, witness by yours truly being mobilized at Fed-ex field. It’s about to get interesting. Hopefully it’s just going to be a massive COVID19 testing sight.

jsklinelga

OP

Are we to understand that you personally are being mobilized? If so, God Bless and good fortune. (Side note: Congress is probably being briefed on the absolutely most reliable virus forecast as we speak. 3 to 4 week peak.? Too short of time to do significant harm to the economy. Bet some are investing.

Obadiah Plainsmen

No jsk, my days of that have been over for sometime. But I do have a good friend whose son is being mobilized and sent me a video.

phydeaux994

????

Greg F

I think...oby...we can say anything you post is an outright propagandist troll.

Obadiah Plainsmen

https://www.google.com/amp/s/baltimore.cbslocal.com/2020/03/20/coronavirus-latest-national-guard-caravan-baltimore-fedex-field/amp/

public-redux

“... the National Guard is on the move, witness by yours truly being mobilized...”

“Yours truly” refers to the person speaking (or writing). Because you were not being mobilized, your use of that term was misleading. Presumably unintentionally.

Obadiah Plainsmen

Yes it was misleading and I apologize for the way I wrote it. Won't blame it on fat fingers, old age or trying to create hype, it just came out wrong.

public-redux

[thumbup]

Obadiah Plainsmen

So now we know the crux of the issue. Those who value their investments and take the time to watch and study the markets, stay constantly vigilant to the ever changing world, listen to financial experts and not politicians, not afraid to take chances are considered evil and frowned upon by those who just wing-it through life. life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is whatever MSNBC or Jim Cramer tells them.

MRS M

No, the ignorant masses listen to Trump say "it's a Democratic hoax". They listen to FOX State News tell them it's all an overblown attempt to harm the president. And that it's "all contained" per Larry Kudlow. Except for the Senate, and Trump himself, who you can bet was NOT believing the FOX NEWS shills that were lying to the American people on his behalf.

Obadiah Plainsmen

I guess your one of them, when it comes to protecting your financial investments, I said don’t listen to politicians or any cable news show. Jeez it ain’t rocket science. You are responsible for your own financial future I’m sorry you listen to politicians and cable news . Cable news shows have made a fortune on the P.T Barnum quote: “There is a sucker born every minute”.

Greg F

One of “them”...as if we’re all against the “them” you don’t like. What do you listen to O? Hannity? Limbacile? faux Noise and all their bleach blonde Nazis?

public-redux

“you’re”, not “your”.

Greg F

Again today the orange ape says “Chinese virus” just to be a horse’s @ss. We all know he’s a flaming racist pig. That is except for Oby.

Obadiah Plainsmen

Didn’t know virus had emotions. Hope COVID 19 doesn’t take it personally.

des21

Just to clarify- speak for yourself please we don't "all know that." Sorry to disappoint hater.

hayduke2

Hey collins - how about those Chinese hats? You know, the ones with Make America Great Again on them. Wait, maybe that's how the virus got to the US. ( said in jest before some commenters go crazy ).

des21

If only they were a smart as you Mrs. M. Keep it up, you folks are Trump's best rallying cry.

Greg F

Again...troll troll troll your boat with Oby.

Obadiah Plainsmen

Com’on get in and row with me merrily down the stream and find that life Is but a dream.

awteam2000

I thought it was all about ‘life and fortune’? MAGA. It’s not? What’s Trump’s appeal to you? Morality? Ethics? Character? What’s your attraction to him? I don’t get it.

Obadiah Plainsmen

My life does not consist of waking up, doing daily activities and going to bed constantly thinking of President Trump. Whether you are rich or poor waking up in America is like living in a dream, the freedoms we enjoy are priceless. sorry you believe it's a nightmare.

rikkitikkitavvi

Old McDonald had a farm... Sing it with me children. EE-I- E-I-OOooo

threecents

Drinking again.[sad]

Piedmontgardener

Every thought in this column is spot on, with the exception of the nod to Trump, who's shown his level of incompetence and caring from day 1. And learning today of US Senators having dire information that would have assisted the American people in proper preparations without panic and trading on that information to profit upon the knowledge of the coming misery is yet another example of the class of leadership that we have in this country. We've had awful, corrupt times in our country before - it's time to clean house in November and rededicate ourselves to this County.

gabrielshorn2013

Do you mean selling stocks in the travel, energy, and hospitality sectors that everyone knew would tank if COVID-19 took off? Nothing illegal or untoward about that.

hayduke2

Except for the fact that it equals insider trading. "The more infamous form of insider trading is the illegal use of non-public material information for profit. It's important to remember this can be done by anyone including company executives, their friends, and relatives, or just a regular person on the street, as long as the information is not publicly known.

hayduke2

The trading in question just after they received a Senate briefing that was not PUBLIC about the severity of the virus.

gabrielshorn2013

Hay, if you look at the stocks he unloaded, there was no particular pattern, and some that were just plain strange. There was an insurance company (which makes sense to unload if they have any serious pending liability), some financial companies, a coatings company, and a pharmaceutical company (strange, pharma wouldn't be effected much, IMO). Did that hearing discuss any of these?

https://efdsearch.senate.gov/search/view/paper/156b69ba-6f48-4a32-b796-707093c476c6/

https://efdsearch.senate.gov/search/view/paper/c5ce97f8-72c9-4067-b789-34b656af4fb4/

hayduke2

Come on Gabe- read the Newsweek article. Fits insider trading to a “T”

threecents

It doesn't matter what stocks he sold, the point is whether trading was based on information that was he/she received before it became public - even if it was public information at the time of trading.

threecents

Sorry for typos.

Greg F

Hayduke...you are spot on and there should be jail time for the insider traders including Feinstein.

des21

Is Newsweek still around? Really? How?

MRS M

gabe, as you well know, the real question to be asked in this situation is: 'what did they know......and when did they know it?' Those in the closed Senate briefings were well aware of the Corona threats before this broke to the American public...while Trump was spewing his thoughts on "the Democrats HOAX" and Larry Kudlow was pushed forth to the media to tell America that "the corona virus is contained"..."pretty close to airtight" on February 25th. Still defending the indefensible, huh? Why?

gabrielshorn2013

When will you answer questions Mme. M? Please define what is "the indefensible". That category is too vague. If you are referring to the president, exactly where have I done that?

des21

Because it annoys people like you - know it alls since birth. You are the kind of person who got Trump elected. You know what's best for the rest of America Mrs. M. We disregard at our own risk but it's fun to watch those veins in your neck bulge![beam][thumbup]

threecents

Des, It has always seemed to me that your main goal here is to make people angry, and that post just confirms you are a sadist. I get annoyed with you and criticize you a lot, but I get no joy from your frustrations or anyone else's.

des21

Th truth can be annoying 3. Who is your boy backing for President now?

Mrs. M. is a condescending shrew. I do enjoy annoying her.

Piedmontgardener

It's hard to believe you wrote that with a straight face, Gabriel.

gabrielshorn2013

Not really PG. As soon as I saw what happened in China, and how it was spreading to other countries, and with my background, I had a good idea that we were going to be in trouble (and if you read the CDC reports, you would have too). I had my broker move me out of the transportation, energy, and hospitality sectors, and into other areas in early February. Isn't that exactly what this guy is alleged to have done? Didn't you?

phydeaux994

Everything you do is perfect gab. You should be selling a Tout Sheet, I.e. daily tout.com, and you wrote it with a straight face??? 🤨

MRS M

Therein lies the problem,pg. Those with the extensive "background" to accurately gauge the market, follow and then get ahead of global biotech and public health trends, and have the expertise that allows them to smugly brag that they instruct their broker to move their investments, perfectly demonstrates the disconnect between what is truthful and right, and the fiction some continue to tell themselves. When Trump sends Larry Kudlow out to speak for him, and FOX State TV continues the shameful sham, broadcasting for weeks that "the corona virus is all contained", a "hoax" and "fake news'.............. it's sadly the average American that is going to get burned, with their small investments and worrisome 401k's. A perfect example of how the Trump administration, and his friends at FOX, look out for ALL Americans. By telling lies, to the most gullible.

hayduke2

That’s fine but you did not receive a private briefing about the impact of the virus on stocks and immediately act on it. Can’t defend that kind of greed. BTW, are you implying that your stock portfolio is doing fine- I highly doubt that.

gabrielshorn2013

I'm hardly perfect phy, and never claimed to be. Very imperfect actually. However, with my education, training, and experience I had a good idea what was coming if the disease progressed as modeled. The data for this pandemic has been in the public domain since the beginning, and I have pointed it out several times now. Answer this question. Are you willing to fly right now if your next seat neighbor has a cough? No? Me neither, and I don't believe the majority of Americans would either, given the severity of COVID-19. Airlines are parking their planes because nobody is flying. Therefore, if nobody is flying, airline revenues will drop like a stone, causing the stock prices to plummet. That actually happened, right? Next, if the transportation segment slows, there will be a significant drop in demand for fuel by that sector right? If demand for fuel drops, but production doesn't, the price of fuel goes down, as does revenue to the energy sector. Therefore their stock prices will go down. Makes sense, right? Then, if there is nobody traveling, the demand for hotel rooms goes down, right? Therefore revenues go down, causing the stock price to go down. Same goes for bars and restaurants that have stock. If you shutter them, no revenue, stock price goes down. I was actually shocked at the behavior of those idiot college students on spring break, but that's another thread. All of this makes perfect sense, and you should have been able to figure out this for yourself. Stay well phy.

And M, my stocks are in a 401k plan. You are allowed to move things around and re-balance as necessary. You are not stuck in one position. Don't you have a 401k or a Roth?

gabrielshorn2013

hay, oh God no. I've lost quite a bit on paper, but not as much as if I stayed in the three sectors I described above, who took huge hits.

phydeaux994

I was able to retire at 62 gab, in 2002. In 2008, when the slide began, I signed up with my Financial Advisor and cashed out my employees retirement accounts for them to manage with more of an eye on a Portfolio to sustain an income until 110 years of age. So far it’s working out well. BTW, is your 36% gain last year holding up?

gabrielshorn2013

That has dropped a bit phy, but I haven't lost all 36% because I was able to move some things around. Some also went to cash which was just reinvested, allowing me to buy more stock at a lower price.

Greg F

Gabe...waking about with the blinders again, I see.

threecents

Gabe, I think Piedmont - perhaps unjustly - is referring to Trump's first national address on the virus. Trump said there are only a couple of Americans infected and he believed they were getting better and that would likely be the end of it, though he stopped short of guaranteeing it. I think that led to undue national optimism and a short-term boost to the market. So even Trump apparently did not foresee the huge selloff. There is also the question of when Trump declared a national emergency. If anyone in government had advance knowledge of that and then sold stocks, then that may be illegal insider training.

des21

Who cares given the issues facing us? Really folks- put the hate gene away for just a bit! You may be less miserable!

des21

You are a smart man Gabe. No doubt a result of your white, male privilege and no thanks to your own abilities. The oppressed lacked the opportunity, education, training, parenting etc., to exhibit the sense you did to position yourself for this crisis. If only they had a union to champion them........

gabrielshorn2013

collinsm says "Gabe...waking about with the blinders again, I see."

How so Collins? Please explain.

Obadiah Plainsmen

The stock market has been flashing the red light danger sign for months. If you research it you will see that financial gurus started talking recession in April 2019. “IF” you controlled you own finances once the COVID19 became widespread (Jan 2020 ) in was a nobrainer to dump your portfolio and get into cash. Its easy to blame others for you own mistakes. Sorry you missed the boat.

awteam2000

Actually from it’s peak on Feb 12. a month and 8 days. A 30% drop in values. As Trump would put it “ We never seen anything like this in history“.

xJacky1

[thumbup][thumbup]

public-redux

It was amusing that just yesterday Trump said, “Nobody’s ever seen anything like this before” displaying exactly the sort of historical ignorance our faithful columnist noted.

jsklinelga

Piedmontgardener

" it's time to clean house in November and rededicate ourselves to this Country" This sounds like a MAGA campaign slogan. But is that the most pressing issue of the day. Senators and congressman constantly have the best inside information available. That is how they became millionaires as politicians. And I could not agree with your last statement more. But now is not the time.

As I read these comments I cannot help but to think of all the people worldwide that are tirelessly fighting to find cures for this pandemic. And of all the medical staffs worldwide that are now exhaustingly, at great personal risk and sacrifice, fighting to save lives and mitigate suffering. And on top of that all the leaders of every jurisdiction, with the weight of the world on their shoulders, that have to make multiple, complicated decisions daily that impact million of lives only to be subjected to political scrutiny for any misstep. Thankfully our opinions are not relevant and small potatoes in the grand scheme of this current crisis..

awteam2000

The bubonic plague, Spanish flu, Asian flu, Hong Kong flu, swine flu or any other epidemic aren’t excuses for Trump’s failure of leadership. Please stop making excuses for him. No needs to. He’s made it clear he takes no responsibility for what’s going on.

jsklinelga

awteam2000

The majority of Americans disagree with your assessment of President Trump's handling of the crisis. But that being said. similar political comments like these,coming from both sides seem juvenile and counter productive. We want united solutions not political infighting.

awteam2000

Sorry, Trump is doing an incredible job, yes it’s incredible ask Mike Pence.

awteam2000

JSK, you are way wrong. Actually most Americans don’t trust Trump’s handling of the Coronavirus. From first being elected, Trump has never held favor with “most Americans” on any issue and certainly not this one. If he held favor with the majority, you guys wouldn’t have to defend his position, lack of leadership, racist slurs, explain what he meant, claim others did it too or say the ‘bubonic plague’ was worse, why people can’t get test, why he claims there are plenty of ventilators, protective gears and medical supplies but the medical professionals says “they’re not”.

You worshipping Trump isn’t a winner. Simply wanting.

xJacky1

You forgot H1N1 on your list and the abject failure of the prior administrations response. Why?

awteam2000

I did mention it.

Are you asking me, xJacky1 why I didn’t mention H1N1?

The A/H1N1 is the swine flu, you knew that. Right? 🤦‍♂️

Can I ask, why you asked that question?

You wouldn’t be excusing Trump’s handling ot the Coronavirus as Obama’s fault. Would you? You know the swine flu was 10 years ago and 2 years ago, Trump illuminated the division of ‘infectious diseases’ from the White House and CDC, that address future outbreaks of pandemics.

Would you like me to forward you some reference guides?

des21

No H1N1? Why not. Because Obama flubbed it? hardly honest. Typical, but hardly honest.

awteam2000

This is not the time for racist slurs.

Trump spewing ‘Chinese Virus’ is simply a stupid comment by a profoundly unfit ‘Carni’ only to distract from his incompetence. Stirring-up racist hate isn’t a solution only divisive and dangerous. Typical Trump shtick, totally irrelevant.

We need ventilators, masks, protective clothings, and other medical materials yesterday. The president needs to get his butt in gear and institute the Defense Production Act instead of states competing against states for the same supplies needs. Get us these critical supplies. NOW!

Trump should focus on that then his usual ‘m.o.’

This is so much bigger then politics.

gabrielshorn2013

Is the Spanish flu a racist slur aw? How about the Hong Kong flu? These were the common names of those epidemics. I guess the Wuhan flu might have been more accurate.

awteam2000

Is the early 20th century, it was common place to use racist terms, black face, slanted eyes to depict Asians, were common place and considered entertaining by those of European decent. Xenophobia spreads wild leading to the innocent being persecuted during infectious diseases spans. You may want to consult Rick Blatchford, a student of social behavior during infectious disease crises going back to the bubonic plague.

des21

Still in style among Democrats in Virginia.

awteam2000

Who put him in charge of naming viruses. He thought it was a flu. 🤦‍♂️ But more importantly don’t focus on Trump’s boring antics, focused on how he’s addressing the crisis at hand. He needs to lead or get out of the way.

des21

It is a Chinese originated virus- like so many others in the past. While the cave men and morons focus on Russia and that "evil empire" the Chinese have been eating our lunch economically, investment wise, epidemiologically and environmentally for decades.

KellyAlzan

lol - why, FNP? WHY?

Obadiah Plainsmen

Because laughter is the best medicine.

rikkitikkitavvi

B. I. N. G. O. on the "laughter"

Obadiah Plainsmen

Yes Rick we will. But it is amazing the short selective memory of Americans. In the early 1990's Osama Bin laden and Al-Qaeda introduced himself to America by declaring a Holy War. America ignored his threats until 1998 when he bombed the Embassies in Kenya and Tanzania. America continued to pussyfoot around with bin-Laden for another 2 years then he bombed the USS Cole in 2000. Again America gave an half-arse effort in finding him. It wasn't until 9/11 that America took bin-laden seriously but by then it was to late. America was changed forever. America is always slow to react, however it's not how you start a race that matters, it's how you finish that declares the winner. America will win with this crisis.

DickD

Poor Rick. His hero Trump has failed once again and Rick feels it is necessary to defend him. Problem is, Rick, Trump never has learned how to govern. Trump just wants worshipers to inflate his ego.

gary4books

This is a good point of view and Rick writes well. But President Trump has made decisions to cut spending and had he not shut down our teams to detect plagues, we may have detected it in China and contained it there. As we did with avian diseases earlier. "Chinese ###" is unfortunate and some say it was done to shift the "blame." I was not so upset by the term. But if we want friends in China, we ought to be polite. In a few months, they may be back to work and providing our basic needs.

rikkitikkitavvi

""Chinese ###" is unfortunate" You Sir are being too nice. Unfortunate is too tame of a word to be using at this point in time. We "want friends" with china on our terms. Not theirs. They are now insinuating, in very strong terms, that the Western civilizations are to blame. Not only are their propaganda media bleating this but large swaths of our media is providing cover for America's number one foe in geopolitics, The Chinese Communist Party. To me that is simply astounding. You last sentence really is gloomy sounding. We, as Americans do NOT want these people "providing our basic needs". Are you saying you believe they should? Please give me a little more depth for your last sentence Gary. Are you thinking clearly?

Dwasserba

If you had Chinese American friends or family, you'd understand America is a mix, and Americans can be unnecessarily unkind.

threecents

I think by "basic needs" Gary was referring to all the stuff we need that are made in China, including medical supplies, like N95 masks, that are now in very short supply.

gabrielshorn2013

With all due respect Gary, for someone that worked at FDA, your statement ” we may have detected it in China and contained it there. As we did with avian diseases earlier” is naïve. The Chinese were not giving any information out to anyone when the outbreak of SARS CoV-2 started. They didn’t start working with WHO until January 14. The US has no authority to tell the Chinese government to do anything, let alone how to contain such an outbreak. No US health authority has the authority to enter China without the expressed invitation of the Chinese government. That certainly did not happen until after January 14, when the COVID-19 outbreak was in full swing in China. So exactly what was any US health authority to do to stem the tide of the disease and keep it bottled up in China? Simply, it couldn’t, unless China was shut off from the rest of the world entirely. No flights in (from anywhere), and no flights out (to anywhere). Our world is just too mobile and interconnected for that to happen. How many countries did that? Not many. The US did, and was roundly criticized as a “racist move” and for leaving US citizens stranded. Our government then had to arrange “rescue missions” to bring them home. All other forms of transport, including trains, trucks, and cars would have needed to be shut down, thus isolating China. Furthermore, epidemiologic models are saying that despite the dip in new cases, this may just be the first, or “herald wave” of the disease in China, and thus the rest of the world. This is what happened in 1918 with the H1N1 “Spanish Flu”. As for the name, I couldn’t care less. We have been naming influenza outbreaks by their origin for over a century.

sue1955

Gabe; as a person who spent her whole career in FDA, you are absolutely on target. I, too, was struck by Gary's comments. Thank you for your well-said commentary. You provided the critical analyses that is lacking in posts (in virtually all news media, not just in the FNP) that are generally reactionary without knowing what really transpires in

reality.

des21

You guys, along with veritas are my heroes. Voices of sanity in an otherwise hate, greed and envy filled forum of misinformation. Keep the faith and testify my friends.

olefool

Instead of trying to wipe his name and deeds from history Trump should be praising Obama for his careful and prodigious handling of the Ebola epidemic. Trump is so consumed with hate for Obama that he is willing to let millions of Americans die in this Corvid 19 attack. Obama's actions during that crises make Trump's fumbling now look like a monkey with a rattle. Just look at who he appoints to handle the death dealing crises, Kushner and Pence???.

For reference, during Obama’s presidency in 2014, he implemented safety measures amid the breakout of the Ebola virus. His administration “set up a permanent epidemic monitoring and command group inside the White House National Security Council (NSC) and another in the Department of Homeland Security (DHS)—both of which followed the scientific and public health leads of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the diplomatic advice of the State Department,” according to Foreign Policy. Additionally, Obama appointed former vice-presidential staffer Ronald Klain as the “Ebola Czar” to coordinate the government’s response to the virus.

Obadiah Plainsmen

Kushner is nowhere near this crisis and his name hasn't been remotely mentioned. There you go again blaming a jew. That's how it started 70 years ago.

hayduke2

Bury your head in the sand bro. https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2020/03/jared-kushner-shadow-coronavirus-task-force

Obadiah Plainsmen

What did I say about calling me "bro" I ain't your "bro"!!! And vanity fair com'on !! Yup blame it on a jew.

hayduke2

Would have copied the Washington Post article but you would dismiss that too. Truth hurts.

hayduke2

PS - I could care less that Kushner is Jewish. That seems to be your fall back and go to here. Own it.

Obadiah Plainsmen

Pss You’re still refusing to grow up I see.

hayduke2

Take your own advice OP..

phydeaux994

So you’re fully grown when you agree with you??? Evangelical Christian/Trump Acolyte. To quote Peter Pan, “I’ll never grow up” if I have to agree with an Oxymoron.

des21

Hayduke's really cool- in his own mind- OP.

phydeaux994

businessinsider.com.

Trump downplayed the coronavirus threat in its early days. A new report says Jared Kushner had been telling him the media was exaggerating the crisis.

threecents

What Jew did he blame in 1950?

Comment deleted.
hayduke2

Maybe you should call the oval office instead and request that the president put America first. Remember, the month and a half that he downplayed it, even as the health professionals said otherwise. Governor's and states acted. Remember blaming the media for the "hype" despite what was going on overseas. This week, do you remember when he said " I take no blame or responsibility". Did you see yesterday when he blamed the governors? Or how about the " we aren't supply clerks" comments. It is hard when you realize you've been conned - grow up rikki.

rikkitikkitavvi

This timeline, compiled from information reported by the Wall Street Journal, the Washington Post, the South China Morning Post and other sources, shows that China’s cover-up and the delay in serious measures to contain the virus lasted about three weeks.

Dec. 10: Wei Guixian, one of the earliest known coronavirus patients, starts feeling ill.

Dec. 16: Patient admitted to Wuhan Central Hospital with infection in both lungs but resistant to anti-flu drugs. Staff later learned he worked at a wildlife market connected to the outbreak.

Dec. 27: Wuhan health officials are told that a new coronavirus is causing the illness.

Dec. 30:

-Ai Fen, a top director at Wuhan Central Hospital, posts information on WeChat about the new virus. She was reprimanded for doing so and told not to spread information about it.

-Wuhan doctor Li Wenliang also shares information on WeChat about the new SARS-like virus. He is called in for questioning shortly afterward.

-Wuhan health commission notifies hospitals of a “pneumonia of unclear cause” and orders them to report any related information.

Dec. 31:

-Wuhan health officials confirm 27 cases of illness and close a market they think is related to the virus’ spread.

-China tells the World Health Organization’s China office about the cases of an unknown illness.

Jan. 1: Wuhan Public Security Bureau brings in for questioning eight doctors who had posted information about the illness on WeChat.

-An official at the Hubei Provincial Health Commission orders labs, which had already determined that the novel virus was similar to SARS, to stop testing samples and to destroy existing samples.

Jan. 2: Chinese researchers map the new coronavirus’ complete genetic information. This information is not made public until Jan. 9.

Jan. 7: Xi Jinping becomes involved in the response.

Jan. 9: China announces it has mapped the coronavirus genome.

Jan. 11–17: Important prescheduled CCP meeting held in Wuhan. During that time, the Wuhan Health Commission insists there are no new cases.

Jan. 13: First coronavirus case reported in Thailand, the first known case outside China.

Jan. 14: WHO announces Chinese authorities have seen “no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel coronavirus.”

rikkitikkitavvi

A better one:The timeline of the two developments — impeachment and coronavirus — is shocking, and reveals the true cost of hyper-partisanship.

January 11: Chinese state media report the first known death from an illness originating in the Wuhan market.

January 15: Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) holds a vote to send articles of impeachment to the Senate. Pelosi and House Democrats celebrate the “solemn” occasion with a signing ceremony, using commemorative pens.

January 21: The first person with coronavirus arrives in the United States from China, where he had been in Wuhan.

January 23: The House impeachment managers make their opening arguments for removing President Trump.

January 23: China closes off the city of Wuhan completely to slow the spread of coronavirus to the rest of China.

January 30: Senators begin asking two days of questions of both sides in the president’s impeachment trial.

January 30: The World Health Organization declares a global health emergency as coronavirus continues to spread.

January 31: The Senate holds a vote on whether to allow further witnesses and documents in the impeachment trial.

January 31: President Trump declares a national health emergency and imposes a ban on travel to and from China. Former Vice President Joe Biden calls Trump’s decision “hysterical xenophobia … and fear-mongering.”

February 2: The first death from coronavirus outside China is reported in the Philippines.

February 3: House impeachment managers begin closing arguments, calling Trump a threat to national security.

February 4: President Trump talks about coronavirus in his State of the Union address; Pelosi rips up every page.

February 5: The Senate votes to acquit President Trump on both articles of impeachment, 52-48 and 53-47.

February 5: House Democrats finally take up coronavirus in the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Asia.

For twenty days, from the day the first death from coronavirus was known, Democrats did nothing about it. They were too busy with the president’s impeachment trial — a trial Pelosi had delayed unnecessarily for several weeks.

To the extent that they commented on coronavirus at all, it was only to tear up the president’s remarks or to call him a racist. They told the nation that he, not coronavirus, was a threat to the national security of the United States.

hayduke2

rikki - nice timelines but if you believe that intelligence and health care folks did not let him know well in advance that this was serious, you are naive. His earlier remarks, well documented by film, show him downplaying or misleading the American public. That is not leadership and his concern appears to be more related to his ego and re-election prospects. It wasn't until governors and local health care professionals reacted that he changed his tune - again, that is not leadership. Go ahead and spin it all you want but the president shares quite a bit of the blame for not acting quickly.

Comment deleted.
olefool

Bloviation is a style of empty, pompous, political speech which originated in Ohio and was used by US President Warren G. Harding, who described it as "the art of speaking for as long as the occasion warrants, and saying nothing". Suits you to a T rikki...

xJacky1

H1N1, did ya forget that failure? Thanks, Obama.

threecents

How was that an Obama failure?

des21

He did nothing. How is this Trump's failure?

Samanthapowers

des, you are really so pathetically desperate that you blame barry? Maybe it came out of Roswell! Dump knew about this and had ample warning. You are beyond help if you do not realize that. Just as Bush and that walking sack og bones ghouliani ignored the imminent dangers posed by AQ. They are war criminals. And dumpo will surely be labeled as such. He want's a war footing, put a leader in charge cause he ain't it.

Samanthapowers

Three - it's like dealing with petulant and insolent children.

threecents

What should Obama have done?

This is not Trump's failure, though he should have accepted WHO's offer of testing kits and he should not publicly disagree with his science experts, unless he has more than a gut feeling they are wrong. For instance he should not have downplayed the pandemic with his first public announcement, and he should not have said hydroxyquinolone has been used successfully to treat SARS and Covid-19. In fact hydroxyquinolone has been tried to treat at least one other viral disease and actually made it worse, despite promising earlier in vitro tests.

Samanthapowers

Not trumps failure, three? He has not done one thing to avoid or help.

public-redux

des, I don’t think “nothing” means what you think it means.

threecents

An American vaccine against H1N1 flu was quickly developed and used widely, but Trump did all he could to stop the use of flu vaccines. Over the years and even while in office, he as been a big supporter or anti-vaxxers, including their leader, Andrew Wakefield. In 2015 Trump said he never had a flu shot and suggested that flu vaccines cause the flu. It is hard to think what is going through Trump's head now, as he is now pushing for new vaccines. How can anyone not think of him as a lunatic?

https://www.politico.eu/article/disgraced-doctor-who-questioned-vaccine-safety-looks-to-trump-with-hope/

gabrielshorn2013

Sam, step back and look at the world situation. Is it Macron's fault because of the epidemic in France? Merkel's fault because of the epidemic in Germany? Johnson's fault because of the epidemic in the UK? Conte's fault for the epidemic in Italy? Jacob's fault for the epidemic in Singapore? Abe's fault in Japan? And so on, and so on....? No. The original outbreak was in China, who could not keep it contained due to its infectivity (R0 of 3-5), and our worldwide interconnectivity. This spread was inevitable once it got out of China. Trump is a jackass, yes, but the fact it's here is not his fault. However, he does need to shut the [censored] up.

gabrielshorn2013

Three, when has the President ever done anything th interfere with the yearly influenza immunization program? It is inexpensive, convenient, and effective. If only more people would participate, maybe we wouldn't have lost upwards of 30,000 people so far this season.

threecents

Gabe, You answered your question. Participation is low. Why? Because many people don't think it works, many think it actually causes flu, and it is not promoted enough. Also, many think it still contains thimerosal and believe that causes autism and other neurological disorders. As I said Trump is a long-time supporter of the anti-vaxxer movement.

gabrielshorn2013

Three, Not promoted enough? Every pharmacy, doctor's office, and grocery store with a pharmacy offer the flu shot for either a nominal charge, or free of charge. There were also TV commercials. Every time I walked into the CVS to pick up a prescription they ask me. My response? "Yes, I got it here in November." There were flu shot multiple displays at Wegmans, Wal-Mart, and I'm pretty sure there was one at Costco's pharmacy too. Anyone saying that "they didn't know" is not telling the truth. Trump supporting the anti-vaxers is about as relevant as Jenny McCarthy supporting them. Are they medical doctors? Scientists? No. One is famous for having a big mouth, and the other for multiple nude layouts in Playboy, not for anything remotely related to public health. When either gets a scientific education, their voices may become relevant. Until then, they're just the noise we have to work through.

threecents

Gabe, I agree that it is obvious people should believe medical professionals, rather than Jenny McCarthy and the anti-vaxxers that Trump supported, but a huge number of people still don't. Just read the comments under any Paul Offit YouTube video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QkuvhlVHpEI

threecents

...Or look up books on vaccines on Amazon and see that half the books are anti-vaccine books that sell quite well. One is actually co-authored by Jenny McCarthy and Andrew Wakefield, who Trump has supported for years. Crazy but true.

threecents

There are also lots of YouTube videos about the late, great Maurice Hilleman, who had a hand in making most of today's vaccines, and they shutdown the comments of most of those videos because of the predominance of genuine hate towards him. He has probably save billions of lives, yet he is hated by millions.

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