The Walls Come Down: No Travel Betwen US and Europe for 30 Days

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Re: The Walls Come Down: No Travel Betwen US and Europe for 30 Days

Post by Beowulf » 2020-03-14 02:39am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2020-03-13 05:51pm
Louisiana has become the first state to postpone an election, shifting its primary date:

https://nbcnews.com/politics/2020-elect ... s-n1158166

With no doubt many more to follow. What worries me most, though, is the general election.

I can just see how this goes. Trump, trailing desperately in the polls due to the coronavirus recession and his botched response. Trump, having declared a state of national emergency, orders all polling stations (or those in blue/swing states, which he insists are the most heavily-affected regardless of numbers) closed. Some states have a mail in ballot option which may be used. Others do not. Confusion is everywhere. Either Trump uses the confusion to cast doubt on the results, or he simply "postpones" the election. Most people accept it in the interests of public safety, because its a real crisis and a state of emergency gives the President broad powers. By the time most people realize that the "postponement" is never going to end, they've grown accostomed to it, and any backlash is muted. And thus, the republic dies.

There will probably be a bill to print mail ballots for all voters in the Congress. It will pass the House, and never come to a vote in Moscow Mitch's Senate, where they know exactly what they're doing, know exactly how to use a crisis to pass authoritarian measures in the name of "necessity", and know that coronavirus had handed despotism an even bigger opportunity than 9/11 did- a chance to end the electoral process once and for all.
Trump's term in office ends on 20 January, unless he wins the election. The House and Senate terms end on 3 Jan, unless the incumbents win their elections. Elections are run by the state. Trump can't postpone them, because the Federal government doesn't run them. I expect a better chance of mail in ballots being the norm than any of that castle in the sky you propose above.
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Re: The Walls Come Down: No Travel Betwen US and Europe for 30 Days

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2020-03-14 04:31am

Beowulf wrote:
2020-03-14 02:39am
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2020-03-13 05:51pm
Louisiana has become the first state to postpone an election, shifting its primary date:

https://nbcnews.com/politics/2020-elect ... s-n1158166

With no doubt many more to follow. What worries me most, though, is the general election.

I can just see how this goes. Trump, trailing desperately in the polls due to the coronavirus recession and his botched response. Trump, having declared a state of national emergency, orders all polling stations (or those in blue/swing states, which he insists are the most heavily-affected regardless of numbers) closed. Some states have a mail in ballot option which may be used. Others do not. Confusion is everywhere. Either Trump uses the confusion to cast doubt on the results, or he simply "postpones" the election. Most people accept it in the interests of public safety, because its a real crisis and a state of emergency gives the President broad powers. By the time most people realize that the "postponement" is never going to end, they've grown accostomed to it, and any backlash is muted. And thus, the republic dies.

There will probably be a bill to print mail ballots for all voters in the Congress. It will pass the House, and never come to a vote in Moscow Mitch's Senate, where they know exactly what they're doing, know exactly how to use a crisis to pass authoritarian measures in the name of "necessity", and know that coronavirus had handed despotism an even bigger opportunity than 9/11 did- a chance to end the electoral process once and for all.
Trump's term in office ends on 20 January, unless he wins the election. The House and Senate terms end on 3 Jan, unless the incumbents win their elections. Elections are run by the state. Trump can't postpone them, because the Federal government doesn't run them. I expect a better chance of mail in ballots being the norm than any of that castle in the sky you propose above.
The last four years have seen a long list of things that everyone knew Trump couldn't do, or were blatantly unlawful for him to do. They happened anyway. So I'll hope for the best, but fear for the worst.

There's already talk about banning large public gatherings: https://latimes.com/california/story/20 ... nds-season

Even if its only at the state level, we could easily see swing states with Republican state governments closing polling places at Trump's request. So far as I can determine, there is absolutely nothing to prevent such an action taking place. Hell, you could even argue it would be justified during a pandemic, except for the fact that Trump and his allies will be doing it to impede their opponents first and foremost, and will almost certainly not support alternative means of holding the election, like a nation-wide system of mail ballots. Louisiana has already postponed a primary: https://cnbc.com/2020/03/13/louisiana-p ... do-so.html

As in, its already happened. Not "TRR screaming that the sky is falling". Not, "it might happen". As in, it has been publicly announced and reported on in major news outlets.

I'll also remind you that polling has previously shown that over half of Republicans would support Trump and Congressional Republicans postponing elections:

https://washingtonpost.com/news/monkey- ... oposed-it/

Nearly half would have supported Trump doing it without Congressional support.

You want to tell me that there is absolutely no possible way that Republicans, after decades of trying to systematically suppress the vote, after cynically using "national security" to undermine basic liberties post-911 and with immigration, would ever cancel votes in at least some states, ostensibly in the name of public safety but in practice to impede their political opponents?

Doing so would be nothing outlandish. It would simply be an escalation of their existing pattern of behaviour. Which is pretty much the story of the Trump Presidency.
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Re: The Walls Come Down: No Travel Betwen US and Europe for 30 Days

Post by madd0ct0r » 2020-03-14 04:42am

The UK postponed local elections for a year, apparently door to door campaigning is the risk.
Year seems a lot, but there will be multiple waves of it passing through.

Vietnam airways is no longer flying to/from Europe. My father in law is stuck here for the foreseeable. He's morose.
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Re: The Walls Come Down: No Travel Betwen US and Europe for 30 Days

Post by ray245 » 2020-03-14 06:15am

madd0ct0r wrote:
2020-03-14 04:42am
The UK postponed local elections for a year, apparently door to door campaigning is the risk.
Year seems a lot, but there will be multiple waves of it passing through.

Vietnam airways is no longer flying to/from Europe. My father in law is stuck here for the foreseeable. He's morose.
He's probably less likely to get the virus in Vietnam than in the UK, where the strategy seems to be let it play out and let the population have herd immunity.
Humans are such funny creatures. We are selfish about selflessness, yet we can love something so much that we can hate something.

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Re: The Walls Come Down: No Travel Betwen US and Europe for 30 Days

Post by ray245 » 2020-03-14 06:15am

madd0ct0r wrote:
2020-03-14 04:42am
The UK postponed local elections for a year, apparently door to door campaigning is the risk.
Year seems a lot, but there will be multiple waves of it passing through.

Vietnam airways is no longer flying to/from Europe. My father in law is stuck here for the foreseeable. He's morose.
He's probably less likely to get the virus in Vietnam than in the UK, where the strategy seems to be let it play out and let the population have herd immunity.
Humans are such funny creatures. We are selfish about selflessness, yet we can love something so much that we can hate something.

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Re: The Walls Come Down: No Travel Betwen US and Europe for 30 Days

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2020-03-14 06:17am

ray245 wrote:
2020-03-14 06:15am
madd0ct0r wrote:
2020-03-14 04:42am
The UK postponed local elections for a year, apparently door to door campaigning is the risk.
Year seems a lot, but there will be multiple waves of it passing through.

Vietnam airways is no longer flying to/from Europe. My father in law is stuck here for the foreseeable. He's morose.
He's probably less likely to get the virus in Vietnam than in the UK, where the strategy seems to be let it play out and let the population have herd immunity.
And of course the UK is the one country in Europe Trump won't ban travel from. :banghead:
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-General Von Clauswitz, describing my opinion of Bernie or Busters and third partiers in a nutshell.

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Re: The Walls Come Down: No Travel Betwen US and Europe for 30 Days

Post by Captain Seafort » 2020-03-14 06:21am

madd0ct0r wrote:
2020-03-14 04:42am
The UK postponed local elections for a year, apparently door to door campaigning is the risk.

Year seems a lot, but there will be multiple waves of it passing through.
I suspect it's simply easier administratively to add this year's batch to next year's, rather than trying to organise something separate.
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Re: The Walls Come Down: No Travel Betwen US and Europe for 30 Days

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2020-03-14 06:31am

British Columbia is advising people not to travel overseas, including to the US. Those who do are advised to self-isolate upon returning home.

https://globalnews.ca/news/6668957/bc-c ... -march-12/
British Columbia’s top doctor has urged residents to avoid all non-essential international travel, including to the United States, amid the novel coronavirus pandemic.

“I think this is really important. It is clear at this time that the evolving situation both in the United States and globally is a risk for all of us, and we are strongly advising people not to travel,” said Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry at a news conference on Thursday in Victoria.

Henry said the decision came in part after consultation with the government in Quebec, where some people returning home from spring break tested positive for COVID-19.

Anyone who travels outside Canada will need to stay away from school or work for 14 days upon return, Health Minister Adrian Dix told the news conference, adding that people in the Lower Mainland should no longer be hopping the border for a quart of milk.

“It’s our expectation that should people go to the United States for something so important, that they would choose to self-isolate when they come back,” he said.

Henry has also directed event organizers to cancel any gatherings larger than 250 people.

“It is a number we think has some rationale to it, in that over that large group, it’s really challenging to put into place those social distancing measures that protect people and prevent transmission of respiratory infections,” she said.

“We are looking at event organizers — whether it’s community events, whether it’s large events — to look at alternatives they can use to keep that connectedness and social cohesiveness.”

The measures are needed to “flatten the curve” of new infections, Henry said, and to prevent health-care facilities from being overwhelmed.

She said with the scale of global transmission, it’s now up to individuals to wash their hands and stay away from others in order to protect those who are vulnerable.

“We talked last week about an all-of-government approach,” said Henry.

“We need now an all-of-society approach because we cannot stop all of the transmissions into our province, and it’s unlikely that we will catch all of them.”

Schools to remain open
While organizers are being told to scrap mass gatherings, officials said the province is not ready to cancel school.

“We feel it’s appropriate for schools to remain open now, but we are going to use spring break … to consult with stakeholders and decide the appropriate policies and procedures that should occur for students and for staff when they return,” said Dix.

Henry said officials still believe measures can be taken in schools to keep young people safe and teach them about proper hygiene and social distancing measures such as avoiding hugs and handshakes.

She added that abruptly closing schools could come with social and economic disruptions.

Testing centres
Dix said provincial health authorities were working on new COVID-19 testing centres, with details to be announced in the coming days. Anyone feeling they need to be tested will be able to call Healthlink 811 to call and book a test.

“This isn’t a place where everyone comes and says, ‘I want to get tested’ and gets tested. This is based on referral from a health-care provider [or] a referral after an 811 call.”
Dix acknowledged the 811 system has been under immense pressure, answering nearly 3,800 calls on Wednesday alone.

“Obviously there was more demand than that, but we are working hard to deal with even higher call volumes by adding resources,” he said. “I know this can be frustrating for people. We ask them to be patient.”

Anyone who is showing symptoms is still asked to self-isolate and always call their doctor or 811 before going in to a health-care facility.

Seven new cases
The directions come as the province announces seven new cases of the novel coronavirus, bringing B.C.’s total to 53.

Henry said one of the new cases is an instance of community transmission.

B.C. has also identified an outbreak in a second long-term care facility, Hollyburn House in West Vancouver.

Officials say a 90 year old resident and two health-care workers at the facility have tested positive.

The two workers are also linked to the Lynn Valley Care Centre in North Vancouver, a long-term care centre with a previously identified outbreak.

Officials have yet to determine how the infection got into the facilities.

Several of the new cases are related to travel one man who travelled to the UK, and a couple who travelled to Egypt.

#BREAKING: @lululemon confirms one of its employees at the company headquarters in #Vancouver has a presumptive positive case of #COVID19. All #Vancouver employees mandated to work from home tomorrow—with employees asked to continue working from home until March 20th. @GlobalBC pic.twitter.com/je9HebMSlW

— Sarah MacDonald (@smacdonald__) March 13, 2020

Vancouver sportswear giant Lululemon confirmed Thursday that one of its employees had tested positive for the virus.

The company said it was doing a deep-clean and is implementing a work-from-home policy until March 20.

B.C. has only recorded one fatality.

13 of B.C.’s cases are linked to the Lynn Valley Care Centre and Hollyburn house.

Six of B.C.’s known cases were transmitted through the community and have unknown sources.

Of B.C.’s identified cases, 28 are in the Vancouver Coastal Health region, 23 are in the Fraser Health region, and there are one in each of the Interior and Island health regions.

Six people have now fully recovered from the virus in B.C.

On Wednesday, the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak of novel coronavirus a pandemic.

At least 138 cases of COVID-19 have been identified in Canada.

Major sports leagues including the NHL, NBA and MLS have suspended their seasons until further notice, and a number of major events in B.C. have been cancelled or postponed.

The United States has also suspended travel for non-citizens from continental Europe.

Canada has yet to restrict entry through its borders, but is asking travellers from China’s Wuhan province, Iran, and Italy to self-isolate for 14 days.

© 2020 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.
"I know its easy to be defeatist here because nothing has seemingly reigned Trump in so far. But I will say this: every asshole succeeds until finally, they don't. Again, 18 months before he resigned, Nixon had a sky-high approval rating of 67%. Harvey Weinstein was winning Oscars until one day, he definitely wasn't."-John Oliver

"The greatest enemy of a good plan is the dream of a perfect plan."-General Von Clauswitz, describing my opinion of Bernie or Busters and third partiers in a nutshell.

I SUPPORT A NATIONAL GENERAL STRIKE TO REMOVE TRUMP FROM OFFICE.

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Re: The Walls Come Down: No Travel Betwen US and Europe for 30 Days

Post by Broomstick » 2020-03-14 06:40am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2020-03-14 04:31am
The last four years have seen a long list of things that everyone knew Trump couldn't do, or were blatantly unlawful for him to do. They happened anyway. So I'll hope for the best, but fear for the worst.

There's already talk about banning large public gatherings: https://latimes.com/california/story/20 ... nds-season

Even if its only at the state level, we could easily see swing states with Republican state governments closing polling places at Trump's request. So far as I can determine, there is absolutely nothing to prevent such an action taking place.
Meanwhile...

Chicago is still scrambling to make sure their March 17 primary occurs on time despite covid-19 and epidemic restrictions and concerns. So, yes, Louisiana may have postponed a primary Illinois has not. Which just illustrates further that elections are State controlled and the response is unlikely to be uniform across the nation.
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Re: The Walls Come Down: No Travel Betwen US and Europe for 30 Days

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2020-03-14 06:55am

Broomstick wrote:
2020-03-14 06:40am
The Romulan Republic wrote:
2020-03-14 04:31am
The last four years have seen a long list of things that everyone knew Trump couldn't do, or were blatantly unlawful for him to do. They happened anyway. So I'll hope for the best, but fear for the worst.

There's already talk about banning large public gatherings: https://latimes.com/california/story/20 ... nds-season

Even if its only at the state level, we could easily see swing states with Republican state governments closing polling places at Trump's request. So far as I can determine, there is absolutely nothing to prevent such an action taking place.
Meanwhile...

Chicago is still scrambling to make sure their March 17 primary occurs on time despite covid-19 and epidemic restrictions and concerns. So, yes, Louisiana may have postponed a primary Illinois has not. Which just illustrates further that elections are State controlled and the response is unlikely to be uniform across the nation.
Granted. But that also means that some states will be far more represented in the elections than others, which will likely cast doubts on the legitimacy of any results, and could indeed (depending on the states) be enough to skew the outcome. If this continues through November, there is a very real possibility that at least some states' voters will lose their constitutionally guaranteed right to a vote.

Interesting (if slightly out of date) article on what coronavirus entails and what sort of response we really need:

https://theatlantic.com/health/archive/ ... rus/607759
Editor's Note: The Atlantic is making vital coverage of the coronavirus available to all readers. Find the collection here.

Covid-19 is not the flu. We have a vaccine for the flu. We have anti-viral medications designed to treat the flu. We have a sense of what to expect when we catch the flu, and when it’s necessary to seek medical attention. Doctors have experience treating the flu, and tests to help diagnose the flu, right there in the office, while you wait.

Against the new disease, we have none of this. This coronavirus is unknown to our species. Once it breaks into one of our cells, the extent of its spread through the body seems to vary significantly. The experience can slowly progress from the familiar—cough, congestion, fever—to a life-threatening inflammatory response as the virus spreads down into the lungs, filling the airways with fluid. Survivors can have permanent scarring in the lungs. The virus can also spread into other organs, causing liver damage or gastrointestinal disease. These effects can play out over longer periods than in the flu, sometimes waxing and waning. Some patients have begun to feel better, then fallen critically ill. The disease can be fatal despite receiving optimal medical care.

None of this is meant to cause panic. Panic is not useful. But as we all begin to comprehend the nature and extent of the new virus and its spread, questions should arise about what to do with those early, familiar symptoms. At what point should you ask for testing? When do you need to self-quarantine, and for how long? Who needs to be in a hospital, and who can ride things out at home? If you’re sick, should you bring your illness into a crowded clinic or emergency department, possibly shedding virus that infects others? Should you stay home, maybe using telemedicine, and risk infecting roommates or family members?

The source of most panic is uncertainty. While much remains uncertain in the realm of virology and immunology, other sources of anxiety could be mitigated. Everyone could have clarity and certainty on those fundamental questions, or at least on the most immediately pressing: What should I do if I start to feel sick?

In an ideal outbreak scenario, at the first signs of illness—or even after a concerning exposure—everyone would go get a quick test. It could assure them that they’re okay to go to work, or to go to a public gathering, or even to go home. If a test were positive, that person’s close contacts would be alerted of an anonymous exposure. They would be advised to come get tested. The process would be fast, easy, ubiquitous, and free.

Given the nature and spread of this particular virus, though, this textbook public-health approach to tracking and containment has proven infeasible. Even if perfect tests were widely available, and everyone agreed to get tested as soon as possible whenever they felt sick, demand for screening and evaluation would overload existing doctors’ offices and hospitals.

Emergency funds could theoretically be used to set up makeshift screening clinics in parking lots and public spaces. After being screened, some people could be escorted to a hospital for further treatment and evaluation. Others could be reassured that they were clear and go back to work. Still others could be advised to self-isolate at home until the illness passes, and to call, text, or return if symptoms escalated.

The best possible monitoring and communication will nonetheless prove vital to determining who needs hospital beds in the midst of a rapidly spreading, temperamental disease. Without it, to simply tell people to “stay at home if you’re sick” will be inadequate. Most cases of COVID-19 are reportedly “mild,” but that term can be misleading. As the World Health Organization adviser Bruce Aylward clarified last week, a “mild” case of COVID-19 is not equivalent to a mild cold. Expect it to be much worse: fever and coughing, sometimes pneumonia—anything short of requiring oxygen. “Severe” cases require supplemental oxygen, sometimes via a breathing tube and a ventilator. “Critical” cases involve “respiratory failure or multi-organ failure.”

The disease can sometimes escalate unexpectedly, and even healthy young patients will need people checking in on them. They may be fine at home initially, but would need to know precisely what to watch out for, and when to seek care. People who do require medical supervision—but not hospital care—need a place to go and stay. This could include people with escalating symptoms or underlying risk factors. Even patients with a mild case will need places to self-isolate if they live with others who have not yet been infected, especially if those people are older or immunocompromised.

China addressed this issue by mandating that sick people in Wuhan go into quarantine for two weeks, at one of the dozens of hastily adapted or constructed emergency facilities that look almost like military field hospitals. People are given food, beds, and medical monitoring. They can socialize with other sick people, and they can be transferred to a hospital if that becomes necessary.

In the U.S. and most other countries, the process of removing oneself from society for two weeks is not so straightforward—or even possible, for many people. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has ordered some mandatory two-week quarantines, but so far only for a few hundred travelers. The contained have passed their days at military bases, of which the country has 15 with designated space for quarantines. The capacity for housing and feeding larger numbers of people is nowhere near what may be needed. In February the Pentagon “ramped up” the military bases in preparation to quarantine 1,000 people.

Though mandatory quarantining at large scales would be infeasible (and legally treacherous), governments might at least offer facilities for people who have nowhere else to go when they get sick. To that end, Washington State’s public-health officials have already procured an Econolodge. Others could anticipate similar needs and secure local hotels, or retro-fit empty stadiums or dead malls, or even cruise ships at port. Ideally the accommodations would be nicer than military bases and would not feel punitive—or else people will not use them.

Given the expanding global recommendations to avoid large gatherings and limit travel, such arrangements might also keep the hospitality industry from collapsing.

If all of this were happening, the United States might be able to avoid the sort of widespread shutdowns of cities, businesses, and institutions that are playing out in Italy, China, and elsewhere. But it is not happening. People who are sick are told only to go home. A shortage of tests means that many people are staying home who do not need to. Many others are going out because they can’t afford to stay home and miss work. Many don’t have health insurance, or fear the costs of being hospitalized. There is a strong financial incentive to conceal symptoms, to try to keep working and caring for children, and by consequence spreading the virus.

As of last week, at Prohealth clinics in central Connecticut, patients who arrive with a fever and respiratory symptoms are instructed to wait in their car and call the clinic to announce their arrival. Then a doctor or nurse dons a full shield mask, a gown, and gloves and comes out to the parking lot. The patient is to roll down a window and be evaluated on the spot. If a flu test shows no sign of the flu, the patient is to wait in the car while the clinic contacts the state health department.

Health officials are then faced with a challenge. What to do with this person, sick and alone in their car, and not allowed into their own doctor’s office? This is where a test for the coronavirus would be of use. Until this week, though, the state of Connecticut had received only one coronavirus testing kit from the CDC. Testing capacity is increasing now, in partnership with private labs. But as of Monday afternoon, an ongoing Atlantic investigation could only confirm that 4,384 tests had been conducted nationally.

This number is projected to increase quickly, but not instantly. Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, said in an interview with JAMA that aired on Monday: “The goal over the next week or two is to get to the point of having a million diagnostic tests ready for shipment.”


A doctor prepares a test kit at a drive-in coronavirus check at a hospital in Germany. (Gross Gerau / Reuters)
Expectations are tempered; a similar promise from Vice President Mike Pence of 1.5 million tests by the end of last week did not come to pass. But even when these tests eventually are available, some limitations will have to be realized. Among them, these are diagnostic tests, not screening tests—a distinction that should shape expectations about the role doctors will play in helping manage this viral disease.

The difference comes down to a metric known as sensitivity of the test: how many people who have the virus will indeed test positive. No medical test is perfect. Some are too sensitive, meaning that the result may say you’re infected when you’re actually not. Others aren’t sensitive enough, meaning they don’t detect something that is actually there.

The latter is the model for a diagnostic test. These tests can help to confirm that a sick person has the virus; but they can’t always tell you that a person does not. When people come into a clinic or hospital with severe flu-like symptoms, a positive test for the new coronavirus can seal the diagnosis. Screening mildly ill people for the presence of the virus is, however, a different challenge.

“The problem in a scenario like this is false negatives,” says Albert Ko, the chair of epidemiology of microbial diseases at the Yale School of Public Health. If you wanted to use a test to, for example, help you decide whether an elementary-school teacher can go back to work without infecting his whole class, you really need a test that will almost never miss the virus.

“The sensitivity can be less than 100 percent and still be very useful,” Ko says, in many cases. But as that number falls, so does the usefulness of any given result. In China, the sensitivity of tests has been reported to be as low as 30 to 60 percent—meaning roughly half of the people who actually had the virus had negative test results. Using repeated testing was found to increase the sensitivity to 71 percent. But that means a negative test still couldn’t fully reassure someone like the teacher that he definitely doesn’t have the virus. At that level of sensitivity, Ko says, “if you’re especially risk-averse, do you just say: ‘If you have a cold, stay home’?”

“An inaccurate test—one prone to false positive or false negative results, can be worse than no test at all,” Ian Lipkin, an epidemiology professor at Columbia University, told me in an email. The CDC has not shared the exact sensitivity of the testing process it has been using. When Fauci was asked about it on Monday, he once again hedged. “If it’s positive, you absolutely can make a decision,” he said. If it’s not, that’s a judgment call. Usually a second test is recommended, and it depends on the patient’s symptoms, exposures, and how sick they appear to be.

The tests involve other variables, too. Samples must be taken using a long cotton swab that goes into the back of the patient’s nose (or mouth, though this seems to be a less sensitive method). In either case, sometimes you just don’t get enough mucus on the swab. It can be hard to know if that was the cause of a negative test result when results come in from the lab a day later.

In attempt to increase sensitivity of the testing process, China not only swabbed people multiple times, but also added CT scans for an additional clue. The scans can sometimes help identify the unique patterns of lung damage caused by the virus, says Howard Forman, who practices radiology in the emergency department at Yale–New Haven Hospital. But scanning is a slow process to do at large scales, and it’s costly and involves exposure to radiation. “You would need dedicated scanners as well, so as not to contaminate other patients,” he told me. “So it becomes very difficult to use CT for high-level screening.”

Given the number of variables, widespread screening tests for the virus are not looming on the horizon as a way to obviate the urgent need for social distancing.

Some hope is being placed in biotech companies that are working to develop quick, mobile tests that could give results anywhere—be it at a doctor’s office or in a modified parking lot. “The goal would be to allow people to know if they have a cold or if they have the virus and need to self-quarantine, right there in the doctor’s office,” says William Brody, a radiologist and former president of Johns Hopkins University. He is currently working on one such project with Hong Cai, a molecular biologist, at a small company called Mesa. The duo told me this is, at best, months away from being tested widely. Even then, its sensitivity will remain to be seen, and will likely be less than that of the current, slower tests. But Hong says her team is working as expeditiously as possible to solve the problem.

In the absence of a quick, sensitive, ubiquitous screening test that can decisively rule out coronavirus infection—and send healthy people back out into the world to work and to live— we face unique challenges. The World Health Organization is lately signaling that a declaration of pandemic is imminent. Leaders point to dramatic shutdown and mass quarantine measures taken in China in laudatory terms—as evidence that lives can be saved, and this is how. Other countries are already following China’s example. Italy has banned weddings and funerals as the number of cases exploded in recent days. Japan has closed schools for a month. France has banned large public gatherings, and Iraq has banned even small ones. The United Nations has canceled all in-person meetings to address climate change.

For now at least, it seems, minimizing damage will involve sweeping and imprecise action. To shut down a city, or a country, is to gamble that incurring disastrous economic consequences in the short term will prevent even more disastrous consequences in the longer term. In the nightmare scenario that everyone is trying to avoid, the disease spreads so quickly that a country’s health-care system is overwhelmed, and people go untreated amid panic and chaos.

A pandemic is like a slow-motion hurricane that will hit the entire world. If the same amount of rain and wind is to hit us in any scenario, better to have it come over the course of a day than an hour. People will suffer either way, but spreading the damage out will allow as many people as possible to care for one another.

Slowing the disease requires asking people to isolate themselves and, in most cases, stop working. Most of the world cannot shelter in place for long without income. When people are asked to survive alone—without the cultural, social, and financial inputs that typically keep us alive—new ways of attending to basic needs become immediately necessary. “For people who can’t afford time off work, we absolutely need to come up with out-of-the-box solutions right now,” Ko says.

Among them is the idea that everyone receive cash, immediately. People need to feel able to skip work and still make rent and feed their family. They need cash without strings attached, and they need it now, not via a complex omnibus economic stimulus package next month. With each day that such bills are debated by skeptical senators, people will continue to go into their communities, out of a need to work, spreading the disease simply because they have no other choice.

Planning for emergency cash transfers is underway in Hong Kong, where permanent residents are to receive the equivalent of $1,282 later this year, in an effort to keep both the economy and people alive.* In response to a month of nationwide school closures in Japan, the government is paying out $80 per worker per day to help cover child care or the costs of staying home to parent. Other government payments could be conditional on taking sick leave—a sort of emergency national sick-leave policy, whereby your employer might simply have to verify that you did indeed miss work for two weeks. Or, as with President George W. Bush’s $152 billion economic-stimulus bill in 2008, people could simply get a check in the mail.

“There’s precedent internationally for this idea,” says Natalie Foster, who studies economic policy at the nonprofit Economic Security Project. She says the cash could easily come in the form of earned-income tax credits. “We have an entire tax system that has been doing this for decades … We could expand and modernize it for this precarious moment.”

“Unconditional or conditional cash transfers may be wise in a situation like this, where you’re asking people to stay home to protect themselves and others,” says Paul Farmer, a global-health professor at Harvard Medical School. “If people know there will be support, and other things like soup kitchens and nursing care at home, those would make a big difference overall in suffering involved with an illness like this. If people feel like Hey, we got you, they would be a lot less lonely and frightened. Pandemics bind us together, and often not in great ways. But sometimes in great ways.”
Gee, its almost as though having a preextisting Universal Basic Income in place would have made us all much safer.
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Re: The Walls Come Down: No Travel Betwen US and Europe for 30 Days

Post by Lost Soal » 2020-03-14 06:57am

The Romulan Republic wrote:
2020-03-14 04:31am
The last four years have seen a long list of things that everyone knew Trump couldn't do, or were blatantly unlawful for him to do. They happened anyway. So I'll hope for the best, but fear for the worst.

There's already talk about banning large public gatherings: https://latimes.com/california/story/20 ... nds-season

Even if its only at the state level, we could easily see swing states with Republican state governments closing polling places at Trump's request. So far as I can determine, there is absolutely nothing to prevent such an action taking place. Hell, you could even argue it would be justified during a pandemic, except for the fact that Trump and his allies will be doing it to impede their opponents first and foremost, and will almost certainly not support alternative means of holding the election, like a nation-wide system of mail ballots. Louisiana has already postponed a primary: https://cnbc.com/2020/03/13/louisiana-p ... do-so.html

As in, its already happened. Not "TRR screaming that the sky is falling". Not, "it might happen". As in, it has been publicly announced and reported on in major news outlets.

I'll also remind you that polling has previously shown that over half of Republicans would support Trump and Congressional Republicans postponing elections:

https://washingtonpost.com/news/monkey- ... oposed-it/

Nearly half would have supported Trump doing it without Congressional support.

You want to tell me that there is absolutely no possible way that Republicans, after decades of trying to systematically suppress the vote, after cynically using "national security" to undermine basic liberties post-911 and with immigration, would ever cancel votes in at least some states, ostensibly in the name of public safety but in practice to impede their political opponents?

Doing so would be nothing outlandish. It would simply be an escalation of their existing pattern of behaviour. Which is pretty much the story of the Trump Presidency.
Presidential elections are legally mandated, primaries are not. The Republican party had already cancelled several Primaries and their is no legal backlash because a primary is not required for someone to run for President. A primary is merely a party mechanism to decide who to put their money and support behind, you cannot in anyway compare postponing a State Party primary to postponing Presidential Elections, they don't compare.
Oh and if Republican states did try to cancel their elections, that would mean the election would be determined by the remaining states, i.e. those which swing Democrat.
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Re: The Walls Come Down: No Travel Betwen US and Europe for 30 Days

Post by mr friendly guy » 2020-03-14 07:05am

https://www.apple.com/newsroom/2020/03/ ... -response/
Apple will close all retail stores outside of Greater China until March 27 and stores in Greater China is now reopened. I assume the term Greater China is used to refer to the PRC, ROC, HK and Macau.

https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles ... emium-asia
President Donald Trump said he doesn’t accept responsibility for a scarcity of coronavirus tests available in the U.S. after state officials complained patients with symptoms couldn’t get screened.

“I don’t take responsibility at all,” Trump told reporters at the White House on Friday. “We were given a set of circumstances and we were given rules and regulations and specifications from a different time -- it wasn’t meant for this kind of event with the kind of numbers that we’re talking about.”

Trump said his administration has revamped those rules and that “we’ll have the ability to do in the millions over a very very quick period of time.”

While some other countries did immediate and widespread testing to identify those with the virus, the U.S. did not. That means people who were positive for the virus and didn’t know it may not have taken steps to prevent others from getting ill.

Governors reported frustration with a lack of tests made available by the federal government. With more than 1,200 confirmed cases in the country, public-health experts criticized how the White House has responded.

Read More: U.S. Virus Response Marred by Overconfidence and Delays

“This is an unmitigated disaster that the administration has brought upon the population, and I don’t say this lightly,” says Ashish Jha, director of the Harvard Global Health Institute. “We have had a much worse response than Iran, than Italy, than China and South Korea.”
https://www.thelocal.se/20200312/why-we ... rus-crisis

Sweden is now no longer going to test all coronavirus suspects.
From today, Stockholm will no longer be testing all suspected cases of the coronavirus. Up until now their focus was on testing each and every one who returned from a high-risk area with symptoms, and then tracing all their contacts to stop the virus from spreading.

Now that we have had the first signs of so-called community infection, when the virus is starting to spread in Sweden (this is not the case for all of Sweden, only the Västra Götaland and Stockholm regions), health authorities believe this is no longer the best approach.

Instead, Stockholm will focus on protecting the elderly and people in hospital with underlying health conditions, so the testing will mainly be limited to those at-risk groups from now on.

The vast majority of patients get only a mild version of the virus and don't need treatment, but it is crucial that they don't pass the virus on to other people who may be worse affected.

This means that if you experience any symptoms of the coronavirus (such as a fever and a cough), however mild, you are urged to stay at home and not use public transport. If your health deteriorates, you should of course call health services.
And lastly We can pray the coronavirus away together
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Re: The Walls Come Down: No Travel Betwen US and Europe for 30 Days

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2020-03-14 07:15am

On the election issue, here's a decent article which breaks it down- no, Trump can't (not legally, and probably not practically) cancel elections. But there are several ways coronavirus and Trump can play hell with the election:

https://buzzfeednews.com/article/domini ... 0-election
Thousands of Americans think President Donald Trump may try to cancel the 2020 election by citing the coronavirus pandemic. On the left and right, they envision him declaring a national emergency, using those newly invoked powers to suspend the November vote and extend his first term in the White House.

It’s not purely paranoia. The pandemic has already canceled campaign rallies, postponed the primary election in Louisiana, and raised ideas to nix the parties’ nominating conventions. Trump, for his part, has often lied about his last election to justify his political power, and most specifically, he retweeted a suggestion last year from Jerry Falwell Jr. that his first term should be extended by two years.

Screenshots via Twitter
Major disturbances during elections, it turns out, are an age-old American problem, and so, dear reader, we are here to answer the question: Can the president cancel the election? Or can a viral outbreak — or some other bona fide crisis, such as terrorism or war — lead to postponing voting day?

The short answer is no, a president cannot defer an election unilaterally. And even with support in much of Congress and the states, it would be extremely difficult, perhaps logistically impossible, to postpone the presidential general election.

But that doesn’t mean disasters can’t wreak havoc on democracy as usual.

Congress could try setting a new election timeline, local election boards could be unable to operate polling sites, and the president could sow doubt in the election's legitimacy or push executive emergency powers to the legal brink to disrupt the vote. It is important that we discuss all of these scenarios right now.

There’s a lot we still don’t know about the coronavirus outbreak. Our newsletter, Outbreak Today, will do its best to put everything we do know in one place — you can sign up here. Do you have questions you want answered? You can always get in touch. And if you're someone who is seeing the impact of this firsthand, we’d also love to hear from you (you can reach out to us via one of our tip line channels).

What if Trump wants to postpone Election Day?
In a viral Twitter thread last month, former assistant US attorney Glenn Kirschner, now an analyst for MSNBC, envisioned Trump delivering a national TV address in October 2020 to announce, “I am declaring a national emergency and postponing the presidential election.”

While Trump could say that, he couldn’t follow through on it on his own — a point where Democratic and Republican experts agree.

Hans von Spakovsky, an election law specialist for the conservative Heritage Foundation, told BuzzFeed News in an email this week, “The president has no power to change the date of a federal election.”

His answer jibes with Justin Levitt’s, who led the Justice Department’s Voting Section during the Obama administration. “The president saying we are not having an election until X date has as much authority as me saying it, which is zero,” he said in a phone call. “He might well try, even thought the answer is, ‘No, he cannot.’”

This is because only Congress sets the “times, places and manner” of federal elections, according to the Constitution. While the Constitution doesn’t prescribe those dates, exactly, Congress did in 3 U.S. Code § 1. That federal law schedules presidential elections — brace for this sentence — “on the Tuesday next after the first Monday in November, in every fourth year succeeding every election of a President and Vice President.”

This year, that is Nov. 3.

What if Congress wants to change the date?
In addition to changing Election Day, Congress would need to rewrite 3 U.S. Code § 7, which sets the timeline for electors — chosen by states — to vote in the Electoral College and install the new president. That law says the electors “shall meet and give their votes on the first Monday after the second Wednesday in December.” This year, it’s Dec. 14.

Even if Congress did all that, however, lawmakers still couldn’t delay Election Day by more than a couple months without rewriting the Constitution itself, which says the president can only “hold his Office during the Term of four Years.” The upshot: After four years, the president’s term — and authority — expires.

“There’s no holdover,” John Conklin, the director of public information at the New York State Board of Elections, told BuzzFeed News, about what happens if that four-year term ends without the state electors choosing the president. “There’s no one to replace the president and vice president.”

A Congressional Research Service report in 2004 noted the 20th Amendment terminates each presidential term at noon on Jan. 20. As a result, the report found, “Congress could not postpone elections indefinitely.”

Extending the president’s term by amending the Constitution would require two-thirds of the House and the Senate. Speaker Nancy Pelosi, who runs the Democrat-controlled House, didn’t answer questions about her willingness to postpone the election.

“I can promise you that this Congress will not do that,” Levitt said of delaying the vote due to the novel coronavirus. “If virus fears are bad enough in early November that you can’t hold an election in many places, they’re still going to be that bad on December 31.”

What if Trump tries to use a national emergency to delay the election?
The president can quickly amass dozens of powers by declaring a national emergency, citing the National Emergencies Act and other laws for crisis, as detailed in this handy table created by the Brennan Center for Justice.

But the president only gets emergency powers domestically that are given to him by federal law, Levitt explained. “Those have to be locked in by statute.” None of those emergency laws apply to changing the time we vote.

As a result, the 2004 Congressional Research Service report, “Executive Branch Power to Postpone Elections,” concluded: “The Executive Branch does not appear to currently have the authority to establish or postpone the dates of elections at either the federal or state level in the event of an emergency situation.”

What if states want to change their Election Day?
A peculiarity of US federal elections — both for Congress and the White House — is that the federal government doesn’t administer them. The states do.

The president only commands federal agents; the 10th Amendment stops the federal government from commandeering state officials. The officers who actually run elections — secretaries of state, state and county election boards, election supervisors, the list goes on — simply don’t report to the White House.

The laws they follow aren’t primarily federal, either. Conklin, whose office oversees New York elections, explained, “All of the elections are codified in the state laws.” In order to change procedures on the ground nationally, 50 states would need to be on board. “I think legislatures would have to act,” Conklin said, except where certain authority is already vested governors or other officials. Even then, he added, “Most states would want the legislature to give legitimacy for any change to an election.”

Despite the states’ autonomy to run the show, they can’t stray much from the national timeline. They are bound to pick their presidential electors in mid-December, as required by federal law, Conklin added. “Most states would have to keep their election in place to send electors to vote in the Electoral College.”

This creates a sort of baked-in lethargy to any possible change; a slew of federal and state laws, plus constitutional amendments to term limits, may need to be rewritten en masse to change Election Day for the president. It would be difficult, if not impossible, to announce a change in October and enact all of that by early November.

What if a bona fide emergency threatens to upend the election?
We have examples. The 9/11 attackers hit New York City the morning of the state’s 2001 primary election, so the governor postponed voting for two weeks.

Historically, however, disruptions haven’t changed the date of US elections so much as turnout and practices at the polls.

In late October 2012, when Hurricane Sandy hit New York and New Jersey — two states currently facing viral breakouts — “schools, nursing homes, and dozens of other poll sites were no longer available,” Conklin recalled. “In some places, they were putting up tents in parking lots and brought in generators to run lights.”

During the coronavirus pandemic, he said, “the problem seems to be not bringing people together in large clumps.”

That was an issue during the Spanish flu, which engulfed the country amid the 1918 midterm elections for Congress, killing an estimated half million people in the United States, despite quarantines.

“In Idaho, the governor mandated that all voters queue single file in their polling places to avoid the crowds that the flu liked to feed on,” according to a 2010 study by Jason Marisam in the Election Law Journal. In San Francisco, poll workers and voters all had to wear masks.

“The flu likely had a significant impact on voter turnout — perhaps keeping hundreds of thousands away from the polls on Election Day,” said the study, which reported turnout down about 10% from the previous midterms, despite newspapers urging people to vote. “But surprisingly, in most places the election was held with relatively few complications. There was no national debate about the legitimacy of the election results.”

Like the Spanish flu, the coronavirus may require quarantines. A 2006 report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Strategy for Pandemic Influenza: Implementation Plan, sets out “a range of options, such as reductions in non-essential travel and, as a last resort, mandatory restrictions.”

Although the CDC’s pandemic plan makes no mention of what happens in the event of an election, the federal government’s powers to quarantine domestically and punish violators are restricted: Federal officials can only block domestic travel between states, a power created by the Constitution’s Commerce Clause. A CDC quarantine can’t keep Americans in their homes on its own. However, states could establish more stringent rules for travel, potentially impeding voters trying to reach the polls.

“I have a hard time seeing anything other than a mass disaster being a reason to delay an election,” von Spakovsky of the Heritage Foundation said, dismissing the coronavirus as a reason to stall. “The outbreak of a disease with an extremely low fatality rate does not even come close.”

What if Trump tries to discourage voting, even if he can’t stop it?
The Atlantic last year described a hypothetical situation where Trump abuses his power to win another term. By deploying the Presidential Alert system, he would send a text message to every cellphone about the “risk of violence at polling stations,” saying “troops will be deployed as necessary” to keep order. Scared Democrats would stay home and, voila, Trump would win.

“He could claim authority he does not have, which would not be the first time,” Levitt said. An analysis by the Washington Post last year found judges had ruled against the administration 63 times, often for violating the Administrative Procedure Act and running afoul of the Constitution, including on issues of immigration, the census, and law enforcement.

Trump has a predilection for lying about elections. The White House voter fraud commission was created after Trump claimed 3 to 5 million people voted illegally, but the board shut down after being sued for records by one of its own Democratic members. Those records, the member said after getting the documents, showed Trump’s voting fraud claims were “false.”

At least two laws could stop efforts to deploy federal resources, like troops, to intimidate voters. The Posse Comitatus Act, as described in a 2018 report to Congress, “outlaws the willful use of any part of the Army or Air Force to execute the law unless expressly authorized by the Constitution or an act of Congress.” Likewise, the Antideficiency Act prevents federal workers from using their resources beyond the purpose of their funding appropriations — so FBI agents can’t be stationed outside polling places for the purpose of scaring away voters.

Levitt warned, however, those laws may not stop the president from using troops in ways that are “right up to the border of what is legal.” Trump may not have the backing of the military to push those limits, he said. “That doesn’t mean you won’t read about it on Twitter.”

What if we try to protect the vote now?
States’ legislatures can expand the right to vote by mail — getting people out of crowded polling places and, according to research, increasing voter participation. Dale Ho, a voting rights lawyer for the ACLU, noted in the New York Times, “In the 2018 midterms, for example, states that permit voting by mail had, on average, a 15.5 percentage point higher turnout than states that did not.” A handful of states have switched to this system entirely, including Colorado, Hawaii, Oregon, and Washington.

States can also expand the right to vote absentee for any reason (known as no-fault absentee voting).

The House last year passed H.R.1, a bill to expand voting access — including, among other provisions, to ensure ballots cast by mail are counted. The Republican-controlled Senate hasn’t touched it.
So yeah, Trump can't legally unilaterally cancel elections. Not legally, and not practically except to the extent that Congress, state governments, and the military are willing to go along with it. He can, however, use the crisis in a variety of ways to delay, complicate, confuse, and suppress them- including declaring he's postponing them to suppress turnout.

And honestly, it stuns me that there are STILL people saying "Well, the law says Trump can't do this, so it won't happen". At the end of the day, Trump can do as much as the state governments and the armed forces let him get away with doing, no more, no less.
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Re: The Walls Come Down: No Travel Betwen US and Europe for 30 Days

Post by The Romulan Republic » 2020-03-14 07:21am

Some more info, including the fact (of which I was not aware) that W considered postponing the 2004 election over a "terrorism threat".

https://independent.co.uk/voices/corona ... 00411.html
President Donald Trump is facing the first true crisis of his presidency. While many have long worried how well-prepared the Trump administration would be to manage a foreign policy emergency, it is not a confrontation with North Korea or Iran that presents the clearest danger to his presidency. Covid-19 is a black swan event in 2020, and depending on the outbreak’s trajectory over the next few months is likely to pose a big headache for Trump’s November re-election bid. And with the Louisiana Democratic presidential primary suspended just hours ago, this may mean a different kind of general election for everyone.

Unlike the trade conflict with China with its tit-for-tat escalations, or the moment just after the US killed Qassim Soleimani, Trump cannot sanction the coronavirus; he cannot tariff it, negotiate with it, or executive action it into oblivion. Sure, he can attempt to spin the narrative around it on a day-to-day basis, as we saw in his most recent Oval Office address, but ultimately the Trump administration will either effectively manage the health dimensions or it will not.

There is a level of transparency in the health metrics (infection, mortality, recovery rates) that will make it unavoidably clear whether it is the former or the latter. And while testing delays in the US compromise the completeness of the health information available, there is visibility around friends, neighbors, family members and Hollywood stars falling ill.

Trump started 2020 ascendant. Riding high from the phase-one US-China trade deal, the passage of the US-Mexico-Canada trade deal, the death of Soleimani, his State of the Union Address boasting his first term policy accomplishments, and his impeachment acquittal in the Senate, Trump’s approval rating surpassed his disapproval rating for the first time in his presidency during early February. Within the Republican party, Trump’s approval in January and February notched up even further, sitting at 94 per cent at its peak in January. Compare these numbers with President Barack Obama who polled in the low to mid-80s (in the Democratic party) for the same period in his presidency, ahead of his successful 2012 re-election bid.

And yet. Just over a month on from his impeachment “exoneration” (recall after the Senate acquittal, Trump tweeted a meme of himself staying in office “4 eva”), Trump must confront the prospect of not being re-elected this fall. And the driver will largely be the economy, stupid.

Heading into his re-election bid it was crucial for Trump that domestic economic indicators (jobs report and unemployment levels, growth rates, the stock market, wages) continued to look strong. The economy has consistently remained a top priority for the US public over the past two decades, and there is a sense that voters are willing to overlook Trump’s personal or personality flaws so long as their pocketbooks feel heavier.

Joe Biden unveils coronavirus plan after Trump response
Already as Covid-19 has spread globally, the US Dow Jones Industrial Average has dropped 20 per cent from its record high in February, ending its longest running bull market. Estimates of the broader economic impact of the coronavirus remain fluid. Despite Trump reassuring the public in his Oval Office address that “this is not a financial crisis”, economists have cut global growth forecasts amidst fears of a 2008-sized recession.

The full financial impact will certainly depend on the trajectory of the outbreak over the next few months as well as the US government’s ability to contain the virus and use its monetary and fiscal tools to manage an epidemic economy. In a scenario where Covid-19 affects all countries but is a one-time pandemic with a low severity, the US economy would be estimated to lose $420 billion in 2020. The World Health Organisation declared the Covid-19 outbreak a pandemic earlier this week.

Whatever the magnitude of the economic effect, Americans also face the personal experience of Covid-19 with issues such as sick leave and loss of income, pre-existing conditions, testing and drug costs, access to adequate medical care and premature death of loved ones all likely to affect voter preferences in the fall. This will only amplify the conversation around affordable healthcare in the US, and draw out the presidential candidates’ positions on single-payer options and the future of Obamacare.

Trump had hoped to be passing around “Keep America Great” hats at Trump rallies as he made the case for the promises he has kept to the American people during his first term. Instead, three months into 2020 and with Covid-19’s US footprint spreading, Trump has cancelled rallies in Nevada, Colorado and Wisconsin. Several top Republican officials, including the president’s newly appointed chief of staff Mark Meadows, are in self-isolation due to recent exposure. On the Democratic side, former Vice President Joe Biden and Senator Bernie Sanders have both cancelled campaign events over coronavirus fears and will be debating onstage this weekend to no live audience.

With the virus raising increasing concerns about close contact (in large groups), federal and state authorities must start planning now for how the US will hold elections in the midst of a Covid-19 epidemic. Already we are seeing schools shuttering, the NBA suspending its season and the Louvre museum staff walking out in response to the Covid-19 threat.

While we would like to think that the likelihood of any federal election postponement or cancellation is far off and remote, not enough advanced planning or analysis is being done around how Covid-19 could disrupt the November elections. This includes how to secure turnout levels and individual health safety should the virus still be active (or recur) in November. Trump remains more concerned with how a national emergency declaration might undermine his “Covid-19-as-seasonal flu” narrative than he is with taking timely and appropriate steps to manage the growing pandemic.

Postponing US elections was last seriously considered in 2004, over worries of an impending terrorism threat. Analysis done at the time by the Congressional Research Service focused mostly on who had the power to postpone elections (Congress or states could pass legislation affecting the timing of elections, a power that could be delegated to the executive through statute) rather than safeguards and procedures for conducting a delayed election. In the end, the 2004 elections were not delayed and so provide only limited guidance for November.

With Covid-19 presenting a unique test for the 2020 race, Trump may find comfort in the incumbency advantage in US politics. In-office parties have kept the White House two-thirds of the time when running incumbent candidates. Even still, given the growing economic turmoil arising out of Covid-19, the fates of those recent incumbents who were not reelected — George H W Bush and Jimmy Carter — may provide more fitting precedents.
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Re: The Walls Come Down: No Travel Betwen US and Europe for 30 Days

Post by Broomstick » 2020-03-14 07:48am

I'm going to interrupt the fascinating speculations on politics and elections to cover a more mundane concern.

Since I live alone and what little family I have left is far away I have concerns about possibly being ill and alone, or in quarantine and alone. What if I need some sort of supply but I'm not supposed to leave my home? What if I am ill and become suddenly worse?

I have a friend who has put together a small group that will, in the event any of them are quarantined or ill, engage in daily welfare checks and if no answer via phone or text will either investigate or contact local authorities. I also have a relationship with the local Jewish Federation of Northwest Indiana that has already called me to make sure I'm OK and pledged to likewise check in on me and/or help me by getting me things I need, either via volunteer or by contacting the appropriate authorities. So I have two networks watching over me if I need it. I may be getting a lot of calls and texts, but that beats being alone, isolated, and without resources.

So, I would suggest we ALL check our support networks, figure out how we're going to make things work when someone is ill/quarantined, and if you don't have family or many friends to seek out a local group of some sort to provide this sort of support.

Remember, a "mild" case of covid-19 just means you don't need supplemental oxygen at this point. You could still be ill seriously ill by any other standard, and some people have experienced a very sudden turn for the worse with this disease. Even if you don't need essentials delivered or medical assistance, just knowing someone has your back can be very, very important to your mental health.
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Re: The Walls Come Down: No Travel Betwen US and Europe for 30 Days

Post by mr friendly guy » 2020-03-14 09:36am

Inspired by Shep, I decided to try a quick and dirty table breaking down China's stats by province. Commentary below.

Image

As a general rule, the provinces which are not Hubei, where the outbreak was first noticed has much lower fatality rate. Some currently as low as zero. Quite a few less than 0.5% and 1%. There some exceptions which seem to be high, Xinjiang has increased recently, whereas a week or so ago it had zero fatalities from memory.

So if you can spread the number of patients out so that they don't all come at once and overwhelm the health system, your fatality rates can be improved quite a bit, say around 2-4%. Now given covid 19 is predicted to affect 40-70% of the population, you can do the maths depending on the population of the country, but say Australia's population of 24 million, a 2% decrease in fatality rate translates to 336,000 lives saved assuming a 70% infection rate.
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Re: The Walls Come Down: No Travel Betwen US and Europe for 30 Days

Post by Nicholas » 2020-03-14 11:41am

Ziggy Stardust wrote:
2020-03-13 08:59pm
I wouldn't worry too much about the general election (or, more precisely, in this particular scenario for the general election, I think there are about a thousand valid reasons to be worried about this general election). The election isn't until November, the pandemic will have long since subsided in the US by then. It is just starting to ramp up in the US now, and is likely to peak sometime in April/May, before dying down. While it's possible for a bungled response to result in a secondary epidemic, it's highly unlikely that even a secondary epidemic would endure past mid-summer. Remember, although covid-19 is not strictly speaking an influenza, it behaves in much the same way from an epidemiologically standpoint; just as with influenza it will have seasonal waves, with its peak in the winter and spring while all but disappearing in the summer and fall. Even the Democratic Convention isn't until July. The delayed primaries will likely still happen before that, though maybe they delay the convention until August or September. Other than the social, economic, and political after-effects that the pandemic will assuredly have, it will be gone by election day (of course, expect to start seeing seasonal cases of it starting to arise soon thereafter, this virus is going to become part of our annual flu season).

Trump will start coming under pressure to remove the state of emergency months before the general election takes place, probably at least a month before even the Democratic Convention takes place. Given Trump's history it still seems valid to worry about how he will approach it, but the particular scenario of it being extended specifically as a pretense for rigging the election is not particularly plausible given the timeline.
The COVID-19 predictions you make here strike me as both incredibly pessimistic and incredibly optimistic.

Incredibly pessimistic because you assume that, in the United States, COVID-19 is going to behave like an uncontrolled epidemics, which tend to infect most everyone who is susceptible in a fairly short period of time and then die down as herd immunity develops.

Incredibly optimistic in that you think there will be widespread immunity and the resulting ability to treat COVID-19 as an insignificant concern by November.

I think it far more likely that COVID-19 will be mostly controlled by the current move to social isolation. What this will mean is that it will die down but the bulk of the population will not be immune which means there will need to be a constant and aggressive monitoring program in place to prevent and contain outbreaks. The tests and laws needed for that (given US culture I expect the US will need mandatory quarantines at government facilities with jail sentences for breaking quarantine) cannot come soon enough because I doubt it will be more then a few weeks before people start deciding in large numbers that the risks of COVID-19 are worth it to be with people. Depending on the structure of these laws I would not be willing to say that it will be impossible for corrupt and amoral people (on either side) to use them to manipulate turnout in November.

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Re: The Walls Come Down: No Travel Betwen US and Europe for 30 Days

Post by Nicholas » 2020-03-14 11:43am

mr friendly guy wrote:
2020-03-14 09:36am
Inspired by Shep, I decided to try a quick and dirty table breaking down China's stats by province. Commentary below.

Image

As a general rule, the provinces which are not Hubei, where the outbreak was first noticed has much lower fatality rate. Some currently as low as zero. Quite a few less than 0.5% and 1%. There some exceptions which seem to be high, Xinjiang has increased recently, whereas a week or so ago it had zero fatalities from memory.

So if you can spread the number of patients out so that they don't all come at once and overwhelm the health system, your fatality rates can be improved quite a bit, say around 2-4%. Now given covid 19 is predicted to affect 40-70% of the population, you can do the maths depending on the population of the country, but say Australia's population of 24 million, a 2% decrease in fatality rate translates to 336,000 lives saved assuming a 70% infection rate.
Do you have numbers tested per province as well? I am curious whether China is testing people who develop pneumonia in rural areas and small villages.

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Re: The Walls Come Down: No Travel Betwen US and Europe for 30 Days

Post by Enigma » 2020-03-14 11:56am

Currently I have a tab open to keep track of the virus that is constantly updated. arcgis.com
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Re: The Walls Come Down: No Travel Betwen US and Europe for 30 Days

Post by madd0ct0r » 2020-03-14 02:32pm

ray245 wrote:
2020-03-14 06:15am
madd0ct0r wrote:
2020-03-14 04:42am
The UK postponed local elections for a year, apparently door to door campaigning is the risk.
Year seems a lot, but there will be multiple waves of it passing through.

Vietnam airways is no longer flying to/from Europe. My father in law is stuck here for the foreseeable. He's morose.
He's probably less likely to get the virus in Vietnam than in the UK, where the strategy seems to be let it play out and let the population have herd immunity.

Thanks for the attempt of cheer Ray, but he's stuck here in the UK with us, not in sunny Vietnam. :) Sadly he's still getting his news through vietnamese facebook, so is getting all of the scare stories. The world online does seem to be incredibly freaked out by the 'herd immunity' comment. Seems to have fixated on people as a brutally fatalistic approach. The same press briefing basically said 'we'll probably be closing schools and locking the country down after easter holidays, but we can't trust you lot to keep that up for more than a fortnight without getting bored and breaking the curfew to go to the pub so we're triggering the lockdown as close to the peak as possible'
All presentations at work are digital only, all travel is banned. wfh is being stress trested, but Pub of the Month is marching on, I've even restarted drinking :)
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2020-03-14 06:21am
madd0ct0r wrote:
2020-03-14 04:42am
The UK postponed local elections for a year, apparently door to door campaigning is the risk.

Year seems a lot, but there will be multiple waves of it passing through.
I suspect it's simply easier administratively to add this year's batch to next year's, rather than trying to organise something separate.
maybe. I think it was basically kicked down the line to reduce complications n the present. A year away is far enough away no body is tempted to campaign anyway.
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Re: The Walls Come Down: No Travel Betwen US and Europe for 30 Days

Post by MKSheppard » 2020-03-14 03:27pm

So Hollywood news:
WB alone cancelled 72 TV shows. about 250 people per show.
18k people out of work overnight
10.8 million in payroll a DAY
GONE
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Re: The Walls Come Down: No Travel Betwen US and Europe for 30 Days

Post by MKSheppard » 2020-03-14 03:31pm

The wall got ten feet longer!

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/trump- ... uk-ireland
The Trump administration will extend its European travel ban to include the U.K. and Ireland as part of continuing efforts to combat the coronavirus pandemic, President Trump said Saturday, before saying he was also looking at the possibility of domestic travel restrictions as well.

“We are looking at it very seriously, yeah, because they’ve had a little bit of activity unfortunately,” he said when asked in the White House briefing room about reports that the European travel ban would be extended. “So we’re going to be looking at that -- we actually already have looked at it and that is going to be announced.”

Asked if he was considering any domestic travel restrictions, Trump said: "Yes, specifically from certain areas, yes we are."

"We're working with the states and we're considering other restrictions, yes," he said.

Vice President Mike Pence confirmed later in the briefing that the travel from U.K. and Ireland would be suspended as of midnight Monday night EDT. He said it was after the unanimous recommendation from health experts at the White House.
Want to bet Washington State gets hit with a travel ban starting Midnight EDT, Monday?
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Re: The Walls Come Down: No Travel Betwen US and Europe for 30 Days

Post by MKSheppard » 2020-03-14 03:32pm

Norway:

Prime Minister Solberg just announced that Norway is closing its borders from Monday morning 0800 until after Easter. Goods will be allowed to pass, and citizens are allowed to return home.

All foreigners will be turned around and deported back to their country of origin.
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Re: The Walls Come Down: No Travel Betwen US and Europe for 30 Days

Post by MKSheppard » 2020-03-14 03:33pm

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2020/ ... s-lockdown
The Spanish government will use the declaration of a state of emergency over the coronavirus to lock down the country, ordering people to stay at home unless they need to buy food or medicine or go to work or a hospital, according to local media reports on Saturday.

The cabinet is meeting to agree the precise measures to be taken under the state of emergency, which was announced on Friday.

Its emergency powers, set out in article 116 of the constitution, allow the government to limit the movement of people and vehicles in specified places, ttemporarily requisition goods, take over factories and businesses, ration the consumption of basic items and issue the necessary orders to ensure the provision of services.
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Re: The Walls Come Down: No Travel Betwen US and Europe for 30 Days

Post by madd0ct0r » 2020-03-14 04:44pm

An interesting and nuanced breakdown of the UK strategy
Professor Ian Donald
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a day ago, 15 tweets, 3 min read

1. The govt strategy on #Coronavirus is more refined than those used in other countries and potentially very effective. But it is also riskier and based on a number of assumptions. They need to be correct, and the measures they introduce need to work when they are supposed to.
2. This all assumes I'm correct in what I think the govt are doing and why. I could be wrong - and wouldn't be surprised. But it looks to me like. . .
3. A UK starting assumption is that a high number of the population will inevitably get infected whatever is done – up to 80%. As you can’t stop it, so it is best to manage it.

There are limited health resources so the aim is to manage the flow of the seriously ill to these.
4. The Italian model the aims to stop infection. The UKs wants infection BUT of particular categories of people. The aim of the UK is to have as many lower risk people infected as possible. Immune people cannot infect others; the more there are the lower the risk of infection
5. That's herd immunity.
Based on this idea, at the moment the govt wants people to get infected, up until hospitals begin to reach capacity. At that they want to reduce, but not stop infection rate. Ideally they balance it so the numbers entering hospital = the number leaving.
6. That balance is the big risk.

All the time people are being treated, other mildly ill people are recovering and the population grows a higher percent of immune people who can’t infect. They can also return to work and keep things going normally - and go to the pubs.
7.The risk is being able to accurately manage infection flow relative to health case resources. Data on infection rates needs to be accurate, the measures they introduce need to work and at the time they want them to and to the degree they want, or the system is overwhelmed.
8. Schools: Kids generally won’t get very ill, so the govt can use them as a tool to infect others when you want to increase infection. When you need to slow infection, that tap can be turned off – at that point they close the schools. Politically risky for them to say this.
9. The same for large scale events - stop them when you want to slow infection rates; turn another tap off. This means schools etc are closed for a shorter period and disruption generally is therefore for a shorter period, AND with a growing immune population. This is sustainable
10. After a while most of the population is immune, the seriously ill have all received treatment and the country is resistant. The more vulnerable are then less at risk. This is the end state the govt is aiming for and could achieve.
11. BUT a key issue during this process is protection of those for whom the virus is fatal. It's not clear the full measures there are to protect those people. It assumes they can measure infection, that their behavioural expectations are met - people do what they think they will
12. The Italian (and others) strategy is to stop as much infection as possible - or all infection. This is appealing, but then what? The restrictions are not sustainable for months. So the will need to be relaxed. But that will lead to reemergence of infections.
13. Then rates will then start to climb again. So they will have to reintroduce the restrictions each time infection rates rise. That is not a sustainable model and takes much longer to achieve the goal of a largely immune population with low risk of infection of the vulnerable
14. As the government tries to achieve equilibrium between hospitalisations and infections, more interventions will appear. It's perhaps why there are at the moment few public information films on staying at home. They are treading a tight path, but possibly a sensible one.
15. This is probably the best strategy, but they should explain it more clearly. It relies on a lot of assumptions, so it would be good to know what they are - especially behavioural. Most encouraging, it's way too clever for #BorisJohnson to have had any role in developing.[\quote]
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