COVID-19 Information and Open Forum

Coronavirus information is everywhere so I want to list a few resources that I am using and want to get all in one place.

The website I am checking most is 1Point3Acres. This site has real time updates of new cases in the U.S. and Canada and all states and provinces. There are links to sources for all claims and links to the health departments of every state. The computer engineers staffing this site have been diligent in their work to keep it up to date.

Johns Hopkins University has a worldwide map of cases and deaths. The JHU resource center page is full of information on the virus.

Our World in Data tracks the growth of cases in most countries where the virus has appeared.

Although not as helpful as the JHU site, I should also mention the CDC website.

Trump dissolved the office for Global Health in the National Security Council which would have coordinated an early strategy. He now takes no responsibility for his actions.

Feel free to add additional links in the comments section. We are inching closer to a shutdown (announced more tightening here in PA today) so we all might have more time to read and comment.

75 thoughts on “COVID-19 Information and Open Forum”

  1. We’d probably have twice as many cases if Trump hadn’t very wisely back in January shut down travel to and from China. It seems funny back when he did it he was called a racist but now in retrospect it seemed like a sage move.

    He probably did the right thing and it will probably save his presidency. I’m glad he’s taking all the steps he possibly can in case the Coronavirus gets particularly bad.

    1. Oh, wait. You’re serious.

      U.S. intelligence reports from January and February warned about a likely pandemic

      And we used to be a first-world country. No more.
      Providence Hospital asking for volunteers to sew medical masks to battle coronavirus

      … even though those home-made masks are nowhere near as effective as real surgical masks.
      Conclusion: Our findings suggest that a homemade mask should only be considered as a last resort to prevent droplet transmission from infected individuals, but it would be better than no protection.

      Trump Uses Coronavirus Press Conference to Confirm He’s an Actual Sociopath

            Approval rating up five percentage points from prior poll
            60% approve of president’s response to COVID-19
            Job approval higher among independents, Democrats

    2. While instituting a travel ban on China likely did help, just about everything Trump has done since then has made things worse. Trump’s actions indicate the travel ban was less about stopping the virus and more about trying to hurt china economically.

  2. “The state projects that 25.5 million people in California will be infected with the coronavirus over an eight-week period,…”

    That’s a 64% infection rate in 2 months. That will swamp the health care system. The projection for 60% infections in over a more leisurely 6 months says they’ll need 4 to 8 times more beds. And respirators?

    1. That’s a good piece.

      We’re about to go into ‘lockdown’ over here in London …

  3. Thanking you for this, Warren.

    That JHU page looks really good. Some sharing to be done …

      1. My feeling is that the large size of the USA and the complex and fragmented nature of healthcare provision have contributed to a tenfold increase of confirmed cases over the last six days. Over the same period, the number of confirmed cases in the UK has risen fourfold.

        On this side of the Pond, draconian measures have been introduced to control the spread: bars, restaurants, clubs, gyms, theatres, concerts halls and other types of public venue have been ordered to close as of now. All schools, colleges and universities closed this afternoon (if they hadn’t already done so).

        I’m in interesting position: I’m an examiner/moderator, and will be dealing with issues around alternative ways of determining students’ results. It looks like I will rather busy over the next few months! But I will do at least a proportion of my extra work for nothing – we must all try to ‘do our bit’!

  4. “Trump is finally acknowledging that this outbreak is serious, and likely to last for at least several months.”

    I think the about-face happened when Trump had to get tested himself for possible exposure.
    Once he was PERSONALLY threatened…

    “Liberty U has announced it’s cutting in-person instruction and moving online, like so many other universities, not long after Falwell demonstrated a different kind of classlessness by calling a parent a “dummy” for urging such a move.”

    Like any courtier demonstrating his Loyalty.

    In “A Man for All Seasons”, there’s a scene where King Henry VIII is cruising up the Thames on the Royal Barge. The barge puts in at the riverbank, King Henry jumps off — and sinks halfway up to his knees in the mud of the riverbank.
    The courtiers and ministers on the barge stare in silence. Then King Henry starts laughing it off; a moment later he stops laughing abruptly and points at the barge; all the courtiers immediately start laughing.

    “And it seems the tone at Fox News is shifting from one of cynical minimization to something closer to relatively serious engagement.”

    And then, once Big Brother decreed Oceania has always been at Peace with Eurasia, the Ministry of Truth chimed in and everything to the contrary went down the memhole.

    And to the Base, there never was anything else.

  5. Speaking of things that just won’t go away:
    “Disgraced Pastor James MacDonald last night announced that he’ll be returning to the pulpit on March 22 with an 8-part series at Calvary Chapel South Bay in Gardena, California.” By Julie Roys
    Sez MacDonald: “God has seen it to be fit to allow us to be separated from the church that we loved for our whole lifetime. And it has been a real crucible of suffering for us.” Love the use of the royal “we.”

    1. I wonder how James feels about his first sermon being virtual because of the statewide quarantine. (And yes, I checked, he preached today.)

      1. Narcissists who want to be the center of attention hate not having an audience. On the other hand he is used to making his radio show without an audience. I am more concerned about the lemmings who listened and sucked up his garbage.

        The fear of the Lord is what God is actually saying at the current moment. And that none of us have enough of, which is why God has to do something severe enough to get our attention. Few of our celebrities are going to tell us to repent, and the ones that do are the hypocrites who are not doing it themselves. God has been telling me for years that He wants us to repent and that is why I have foreseen the difficulties of the times that we are just now entering into. In the next short weeks and months we are entering a time where we choose either God’s ways or stay with the world’s ways and that will effect the rest of our life either for the better or the worse.

        1. Putting it more prosaically: when people say “when things get back to normal …”, I respond by saying that we should not ‘go back to normal’; it was ‘normal’ that was the cause of the problem! We need to do things differently, respecting the reality that, if we play fast and loose with the created order, it reserves the right to turn round and bite us on the bottom!

          I still do not think that this present crisis is ‘an act of God’. Furthermore, I believe there is a real danger that, if we think this way, we could end up be failing to take seriously the responsibility given to us in (the allegorical but profoundly truthful story in) Genesis 2. I know might wish to quote certain portions of Scripture is response to my contention, but, as I’m sure you’ve guessed, I am ready with some answers!

          But now we must find some real answers to some very important questions. This crisis could bring great opportunities to reassess our personal and social behaviour and, yes, I have no doubt that great scriptural themes (the role of humans as stewards, care for the poor, listening to what the Still Small Voice is trying to tell us …) should be central to that reassessment.

  6. According to an article in the WaPo (no friend of Trump), a former director of the pandemic office, Tim Morrison, says that Trump did not disband the global health office. It was a reorganization of the NSC and the reduction was elsewhere. Morrison says,

    “It is this reorganization that critics have misconstrued or intentionally misrepresented … The reduction of force in the NSC has continued since I departed the White House. But it has left the biodefense staff unaffected – perhaps a recognition of the importance of that mission to the president, who, after all, in 2018 issued a presidential memorandum to finally create real accountability in the federal government’s expansive biodefense system.”

    Again false “facts” serve no one well.

    1. Well said – I think it is interesting that there are those who claimed that Trump would try and take over America by somehow imposing “marshal law.” Then there are those who are now criticizing him for not imposing marshal law – locking American down more. As Tim Morrison starts his editorial in WAPO, “President Trump get his share of criticism — some warranted, much not. But recently the president’s critics have chosen curious ground to question his response to the coronavirus outbreak….”

      1. It is actually “martial law” but I get it. It is interesting that when Trump shut down travel from China on January 28, he was accused of being xenophobic and overreacting by Biden, the ACLU, and others. Now they are saying we should be even more quarantined.

        It’s an odd, odd world.

      2. By all means just gloss over the constant minimizing of the crisis, for critical weeks, personal attacks on governors in the midst of dealing with the crisis on the ground, the constant denials and lies — even over the most trivial of issues — and most of all, the total and utter refusal to accept responsibility for anything, at all, unless it is spoken of in glowing terms about how brilliant a job he’s doing. “The buck stops anywhere but me!” said no other president in history.

        I mean, neither side has been perfect, but the false equivalence in your argument cannot be overstated.

        The man is unfit to be president. Period.

      1. So what do you make of the director of the pandemic office (who was actually there) saying that the office was not disbanded? It seems you are taking the word of Snopes over the word of the guy who was running the place?

        I honestly don’t know. But when the WaPo (who hates Trump) publishes something like this, it seems to have at least some credibility.

        1. It’s not Snopes’ word. Did you read the article? They investigate and give a tldr rating. But, the article is actually quite balanced. They point out that Bolton (who was appointed and worked for Trump) reorganized the NSC, eliminating the task force. Some positions were eliminated and others re-assigned. And there are contemporaneous news reports at the time reporting this. Therefore, it’s fair to say Trump disbanded the team.

          But, they also pointed out that the CDC’s budget was not slashed. It had depleted it’s previously allotted funding. And cuts were ultimately avoided because congress provided other funding.

          With regards to Tim Morrison, he says the NSC staff was reduced, he just says it didn’t affect what an awesome job they’re doing. It’s basically just his opinion. An opinion, I might add, we have no reason to take at face value. He’s not a health expert. He’s a Republican political adviser. I assume he wants to continue working in politics. If so, he must make the President and by extension, Republicans, look good. It’s well known, this is how politics works. And many other experts disagree with his assessment.

          ETA: I wanted to point this out, but I forgot. Look at that Federalist article. Notice how unnecessarily inflammatory it’s headline and text are? “Contrary To What The Media Told You….”. Aren’t they part of “The Media”? Of course not, they are the “good guys” like you and me reader, is the subtext.

          1. It is Snopes’ word–their interpretation of the data, which, as others have shown, is not always reliable.

            But the fact is that the office still exists. You can verify that in numerous places. It was simply reorganized into a different spot in the organization.

          2. It is Snopes’ word–their interpretation of the data, which, as others have shown, is not always reliable.

            Part of the problem is, you misunderstand how objectivity works. Anyone could be wrong. Nobody is 100.0% reliable. The correct measure is *not*, they were wrong one time so they are not reliable (noting that you didn’t provide evidence here). You look at how transparent they are and *when* they are wrong, what do they do about it?

            One the first point, they list their sources. You can go to the sources and see if they are misrepresenting. By all means, do that. On the second point, when they are wrong, they have a public contact form through which to issue corrections. By all means, do that. When they issue corrections, they are noted in the main article. These are some of the reason I trust them. In addition, they try to avoid inflammatory language unlike, say, The Federalist.

            But the fact is that the office still exists. You can verify that in numerous places. It was simply reorganized into a different spot in the organization.

            Cite missing. -10 points.

          3. No, I understand how objectivity works. Anyone can be wrong. I never appealed to a time they were wrong (though those exist). The point is that they are interpreting data and are not always reliable in the interpretation of that data. Nor are they always transparent. Here is an article that explains some of the issues:

            Furthermore, they can be completely accurate in what they say but present something misleading by what they omit.

            John Bolton, who is no fan of this administration, said, “Claims that streamlining NSC structures impaired our nation’s bio defense are false. Global health remained a top NSC priority, and its expert team was critical to effectively handling the 2018-19 Africa Ebola crisis. The angry Left just can’t stop attacking, even in a crisis.”

            Reuter’s, which is no right wing source, labels the claim only “partly false”:

            Feel free to differ on Snopes. I don’t check them. If others do, fine. The point in this case is that they are contradicting the word of a person who was actually there. And they are contradicting the plain fact that the office still exists in another place in the organization.

            As for the office still existing:

  7. I can’t tell the difference in the number of people at Biden’s rallies before and after corona.

  8. Thanks Warren for posting up this information. God has been warning me for over a decade of a coming great storm of trouble on earth. I have been anticipating days like these for a long time, although I did not think they would start with a plague of pestilence and with the speed and ferocity that we are now seeing. Last year I saw a mega church service in early March of this year where they had just had a $40K shortfall for February and were unusually concerned about what that meant going forward. Now I know why I saw that, with these big atrocities of so-called churches are going to totter and fall like a sack of bricks.

    In early January I saw a giant beast of destruction on the horizon headed right for the church service I just came out of. I knew I was not safe and I needed to get away from the church building. I did not know what that meant, where the danger was coming from at that time, but now it is obvious for this pestilence has been spreading since November of last year. The judgment of God starts with His own house.

    The short of what I saw over the last 10 years is that this is not going to just blow over. This is going to cause major damage to the world economies. There are many political parties in this world trying to deal with this. They are all run by narcissists that are utterly foolish. Our political parties (ALL OF THEM) will make things much worse by trying to do something then if they just ignored this thing. Things will snowball and great suffering will continue for a long time. This is judgment from God just as in times of old. The best thing a Christian can do is repent and return to God in all of his ways. We are all going to go through this, but we can choose to either have help from above or just try to go through this with our own wisdom and strength. With that some are already dying so I would not recommend the latter option…

    1. Mr J has been commenting like this over at Wartburg Watch.
      With OT proof texts about God sending pestilence.

  9. Trump was called xenophobic for the early travel ban, now he’s accused of not doing enough sooner. Hypocrisy at it’s finest!

  10. Here are my favorite covid-19 links:

    Of course the CDC’s straight-forward PSAs, as Warren mentioned.
    Here’s yesterday’s “Briefing Room”

    A physician’s description of the dire nature of this epidemic. A must for any Fox-addict who’s having a hard time coming around:

    A very informative graphical simulation of the importance of social distancing:

    A graphical description of how one person’s activities effects many.

    And Max and Mel Brooks put together a cute father/son PSA.

    AND FINALLY, pity the poor Fox addicts who are having to pivot from Fox’s constant streams of misinformation and adjust to reality. It can’t be easy., especially the compilation put together by Morning Joy.

    Be well and Stay Safe!

  11. Thank you for the helpful links. How is your institution adjusting? Many campuses are moving to online instruction.

    1. Like Lex Lata, my kids are now home-schooled which is something through online from their school. We have talked about switching to this format for several years but never pulled the trigger on it. It’s a forced experiment which may turn out nice.I love my kids playing sports but I am not sad about not running to practice or hanging out after school for an hour or two for practice.

      My wife works in a school so she is laid off. But that means she is home with the kids and we don’t need her income so it isn’t hurting us.

      The church is making lots of adjustments as to services and how I will teach. Not sure what the outcome of that will be.

      Overall, a bit of a slower pace of life so far. I enjoy that part of it.

  12. Thank you for the link.

    Ten years ago I would have said, “COVID-19? Meh.” But I was ten years younger then, and much less in danger. Now I’m in the bad demographic for susceptibility.

    Lucky me.

    1. If any healthy teenager comes up and deliberately coughs in your face, DECK ‘EM!

      (Yes, I’ve heard of this happening. They think it’s very very funny.)

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