March 18, 2020

If Pandemic Is Expected To Last 18+ Months, How Can The 2020 Season Be Played?

It's beginning to look like the 2020 baseball season will be cancelled.

Matt Stieb, New York Magazine, March 18, 2020:
U.S. Coronavirus Plan Warns Pandemic 'Will Last 18 Months or Longer'

On Friday, the day that Trump declared a national emergency while taking "no responsibility at all" for his administration's coronavirus failures, the Department of Health and Human Services warned lawmakers that the pandemic "will last 18 months or longer" and that it could include "multiple waves of illness." ...

Despite calls from governors to boost the federal response to the crisis, Trump has largely failed to do so at this point in the crisis. As the New York Times reports, the Army Corps of Engineers, the Department of Veterans Affairs (which serves as the backup health-care system during national crises), and the National Disaster Medical System are all "waiting for orders."
There have been signs in recent days that the US government is finally taking some steps toward combating the spread of the virus. Those signs appear to be merely illusionary. And the right-wing media, which has shamelessly turned on a dime, switching from calling the virus a hoax to praising Trump's leadership against this very serious health threat, is now lying about those steps.

Every aspect of the Trump administration's response to this crisis has been a total disaster. That is not my opinion. In fact, you don't need anyone's opinion to come to the same conclusion. The Trump Shit Show has not been conducted in secret. It's been a public debacle from the very beginning. All you need is to watch the actual video clips, listen to the actual press conferences, read Trump's actual tweets, and see what has actually been done (or not been done).

Jonathan Chait, New York Magazine, March 18, 2020:
The Hospital Deluge Is Coming. Washington Has Done Almost Nothing to Prepare.

President Trump has won glowing plaudits for changing the tone of his press conferences from completely unhinged to partially hinged, and reducing his rate of massive Orwellian lies to one or two per appearance. But as the president manages to stumble over a bar set at ground level in his televised communications, the government's actual performance is a different matter altogether. ... [A] growing body of reporting suggests the government has done shockingly little to prepare for the coming public-health crisis. ...

The loss of those two months [because the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention failed to deploy an effective coronavirus test] deprived the government of any chance to prevent the pandemic from sweeping across the entire country. ... [I]t is highly likely that, within a few weeks, the number of infected patients will exceed the capacity of the hospital system to treat them.

Washington has had weeks and weeks to prepare for this surge. The three most obvious and foreseeable shortages are hospital beds, respirator masks to protect medical staff, and ventilators (the machines that are needed to pump air into the lungs of patients with the most serious coronavirus symptoms).

You would think the government would have spent the last two months scrambling to produce more of all three. There is no evidence this has happened, and a great deal of evidence it has not. ...

Begin with the ventilator machines. ...

They are days away from having potentially thousands of Americans dying, and Trump still hasn't decided if he's ready to take the step to ramp up the machines that will be needed to keep them alive.

What about getting more respirator masks and hospital beds? The New York Times has an even more harrowing overview of the federal response — or, more accurately, nonresponse. Governors are begging Trump to send more masks for their hospitals, which have desperate shortages. So far they've got nothing of value ... [At least one hospital is making its own masks from office supplies]

Experts have proposed preparing the Army to set up mobile hospitals to treat overflow patients — something the Army has done before. A spokesperson reported to the Times that the Army has not been given any orders to prepare for such an eventuality:
"The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is prepared to assist the nation in a time of crisis to the very best of its capabilities, and we are postured to lean forward when an official request is received through the Department of Defense," Raini W. Brunson, an Army Corps spokeswoman said in a statement. "However, at this time, we have not been assigned a mission."
They have not been assigned a mission.

What about the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which also has relevant expertise setting up medical facilities during emergencies? "FEMA officials said the Department of Health and Human Services remains in charge of the federal response," reports the Times, "and it too is waiting for orders from the agency before it moves to ramp up assistance." ...

The closer you look at the inner workings of Trump's coronavirus response, the worse it gets.

5 comments:

johngoldfine said...

No always a fan of Chait's but that piece was solid.

allan said...

The Trump Crime Syndicate will do nothing unless it can enrich itself in the process.

The Kushner Kingpin and His Corona Conflicts
"Joshua Kushner is the younger brother of Jared Kushner, who was recently put in charge by the Trump administration of “researching” how to proceed with curtailing the COVID-19 epidemic. ...
On Friday, Trump spoke from the Rose Garden during a press conference on the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic and what measures the administration would be taking moving forward. He was surrounded by the CEOs of major healthcare companies and retailers ... He made point to mention the private company Thermo Fisher Scientific, a company with whom President Trump has had a longstanding relationship, that was recently given approval to provide high-speed tests to hospitals and laboratories resulting in the ability to diagnose the new coronavirus in as many as 5 million people a week. The American public was left with more questions than answers, including why Trump continued to name the private companies who would stand to profit from the pandemic ...
The same day as the Trump announcement, Oscar announced it was launching the first testing center locator for COVID-19 in the U.S., and that the site already featured more than 100 centers. The webpage also touts that “more testing centers are being added every day.” ...
The timing of the announcement, along with the fact that Josh Kushner is Jared Kushner’s brother, also looks as if the White House is coordinating directly with Oscar. ...
The Trump administration has assisted with the necessary de-regulation that has allowed Oscar to profit in certain states from insurance policies that could be deemed predatory. ...
Although there is no direct evidence at this point that shows Jared Kushner has any current investment in Oscar ... The 2018 public financial disclosure reports showed that Kushner amended his financial disclosure five times and that Ivanka Trump amended her financial disclosure eight times. ...
[I]t is clear that proximity to Jared Kushner has become a valuable asset for private American companies. Kushner is calling the shots and advising President Trump — this in itself is a huge conflict of interest given that his brother’s company stands to make money from all of it.
This is just another series of questions we now add to the ongoing ones involving the decisions Trump has made thus far in failing to act to the COVID-19 crisis. The Trump administration previously refused testing kits that were offered in February by the World Health Organization despite the lack of tests in stock in the U.S. and the impending need. Now that we are entrenched in the pandemic, Trump is distributing contracts to private companies like Roche and Thermo Fisher Scientific to make the test kits."

driverdave said...

If it's 18 months we may be looking at no baseball until 2022.

GK said...

A crime syndicate masquerading as government

Paul Hickman said...

Yes I have to agree, think the 2020 season is gone ......

Surely 2021 ? But you wouldn't want to put "your life" on it !

Meanwhile Allan is doing some great stuff on the Hilarious Sick Joke of the Dump Administration

I cannot quite comprehend the level of brain injury required not to see the Costly & Painful Truth of the Most Hopeless & Corrupt Administration in American History

Anybody who STILL supports Dump, should simply do themselves ( & the Nation ) a favour & self immolate !!!!!