The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

‘Chinese Bat Soup Flu’ Update

Posted on | March 24, 2020 | No Comments

 

Hat-tip to Kurt Schlicter for giving this pandemic a memorable name. It’s going to get worse — perhaps a whole lot worse — before it gets better, but in the meantime, we can figure out what went wrong, and caution about what’s still going wrong. The first and most important thing President Trump needs to do now is to halt domestic flight departures from New York City-area airports:

New Yorkers who flee to Florida during the coronavirus outbreak will have to self quarantine for two weeks when they arrive — or risk facing criminal charges, the Sunshine State’s governor said Monday.
Gov. Ron DeSantis said he was issuing the executive order that would apply to all travelers from New York City, which, as of Monday, has recorded 12,305 cases of the virus. By comparison, Florida so far has 1,100 cases.
The order also applies to areas surrounding the Big Apple, but DeSantis didn’t specify the exact perimeter.
The Florida governor said about 100 flights from New York City and the surrounding area arrive to his state daily. He said he believes at least one person aboard each flight is infected with the illness.
DeSantis at an earlier Monday press conference said, “We are getting huge amounts of people flying in. We are looking at how to address those flights.”
“In New York (City), when they did the stay-at-home order, what did people do? A lot of people fled the city and they are going to stay with their parents or fly (out),” DeSantis said.

With a large elderly population, Florida is uniquely vulnerable, and New York is now the U.S. epicenter of the Chinese Bat Soup Flu pandemic. New York and New Jersey combined have 23,719 reported cases of the virus, which is more than half (55.6%) of all U.S. cases (42,663). It is irresponsible to allow residents of such a “red zone” to hop on a plane and fly anywhere in the country, taking the virus with them. If you have 100 people on a plane leaving LaGuardia, JFK or Newark, chances are at least one of those passengers will be infected. Do you want them flying to your state? Ground those planes, Mr. President.

To get an idea of the way these pandemics can spread, here’s a story about a bunch of people who got sick after attending a March 5 party in Connecticut, and here’s a story about how one nursing home in Washington State became a “red zone.” While I have always been an optimist about America’s ability to fight this disease — and remember, I was potentially exposed to the virus when I covered CPAC — we cannot afford the kind of stupid errors that create these “red zones.” You don’t want the job of explaining to your kids that Grandma died because you didn’t practice proper hygiene and “social distancing.”

If we can just maintain quarantine conditions another week or two, there is every reason to believe that we will be past the the worst of it:

Those of us trying to predict what direction the Wuhan coronavirus pandemic will take in the United States have been paying close attention to reports from Italy. And until Sunday, the outlook there kept going from bad to worse.
For nearly two weeks after the Italian government imposed a nationwide lockdown on March 9, the daily number of coronavirus deaths mounted rapidly. On Friday, it was reported that 627 Italians died from the disease, as the country’s cumulative death toll passed 4,000. This was shocking, but then on Saturday, Italy reported that 793 more people had died from the virus.
If, like me, you have been laser-focused on this situation for the past week, you mentally braced yourself for Italy to report an even larger number on Sunday, but then breathed a sigh of relief when it was reported that only 651 Italians died of coronavirus. This was small consolation, as Italy — a nation with a population about 60 million — has already suffered more than 6,000 dead in this pandemic, with a total of more than 60,000 coronavirus cases and thousands of new infections still being reported every day. Yet Sunday’s numbers from Italy were a much-needed cause for hope, and this was followed by a further decrease in Monday’s reported deaths — down to 602, a 24-percent decline from Saturday’s peak. . . .

Read the rest of my latest column at The American Spectator.




 

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