30 thoughts on “Inside Jared Kushner’s coronavirus research: a wide net on a giant Facebook group

  1. Of course it’s good.

    Not all good ideas arise in the Federal government. Getting a list of ideas from a wide sampling of front line physicians, discussed in advance by their peers, may well lead to good policy.

    The test kit fiasco should be ample evidence that central planning for health care is no better than for the economy.

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    1. It’s not so much the consulting of the medical community that is troubling. It’s that there is already an infrastructure (or used to be) in place to address something like this, and rather than take the advice of someone who (gasp) may have been a holdover from another administration, we get Jared and Mike Pence.

      As to “central planning for healthcare,” the strategies being successfully implemented by other countries suggest otherwise.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. It’s not bad. It is late, but not a bad thing, as you said, Don, to get front line inputs on the subject.

      My only question would be why wasn’t his done until recently when the virus erupted in December and early warning signs of the spread were noticeable (to those paying attention) in January?

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    3. RE: “The test kit fiasco should be ample evidence that central planning for health care is no better than for the economy.”

      I’ve been looking into this today to try to understand what happened. Apparently, the CDC at first reviewed the test protocols other countries were using, but rejected them for producing a high number of negative results, which are ambiguous. We needed a better test and would have to create it ourselves.

      That’s not particularly difficult, but the CDC chose to pursue development alone, to the exclusion of private labs in industry and elsewhere. Under the rules at the time, it was illegal for non-CDC labs to create or use Covid-19 tests of their own.

      Then a disastrous technical error occurred with the test kits the CDC produced and distributed. One of the ingredients — a reagent — was contaminated, making the test kits unreliable.

      Now the CDC had to make up for lost time. It cut red tape and authorized private labs to create and use approved test kits. That’s where we are now, with industry finally able to ramp up manufacturing and distribution.

      Two things to grasp:

      • None of the failures that occurred were serious in themselves. There were only serious because they occurred during an emergency.
      • All of the failures are tied to central planning effects in some way, whether it was the CDC having to approve every action others might take, or the CDC’s rigid adherence to complex, time-consuming procedures.

      So far, the biggest lesson to learn seems to be that decentralization of resources and capabilities deserves greater emphasis. One can say without irony that our own version of “socialized medicine” broke down.

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      1. A question comes to mind. Since the pandemic teams were dismantled and the funding for CDC was effectively cut by not renewing back in 2018, might not that have been an issue?

        I still don’t know the rationale of those actions in the first place. Particularly after several serious disease pandemics and scares showed the danger of such events to be as great or greater than military or terror actions.

        I think what we are overlooking is the lack of a single, focused, expert response organization for just such events with vendors, stockpiles of supplies, etc in place just like the DOD. Maybe localized networks are fine, but the engine has to start things going. There was plenty of warnings and information back in 2014-15 than pandemics are the most serious threat we can face.

        Liked by 1 person

          1. That occurred to me. I think it is just that in the rush to streamline, such a funding might not have seemed important. A lot of the expertise and money was for aid and tracking information in countries around the world, including China.

            A nationalist view might say we don’t need that. A broad based coterie of savvy advisors plus getting input from the Obama administration or Obama himself might have been a very good thing.

            It is a huge job and the “only I can do it” attitude is truly counterproductive. Ignorant really.

            Liked by 1 person

        1. RE: “Since the pandemic teams were dismantled and the funding for CDC was effectively cut by not renewing back in 2018, might not that have been an issue?”

          You appear to be misinformed. Here’s an AP fact check that may help a little, but there is much more to learn on the subject, if you are interested in being factually correct when making public statements:

          https://apnews.com/d36d6c4de29f4d04beda3db00cb46104

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          1. https://www.factcheck.org/2020/03/democrats-misleading-coronavirus-claims/

            This outlines again that the funding cuts were part of the Trump budget, but that was never enacted by Congress. So the money was there due to congressional rejection of the proposed cuts.

            Then there is the matter of dismantling of the pandemic teams.

            “But the lack of someone in the White House to coordinate the response to a widespread disease outbreak in the U.S. is something numerous experts and groups at the time had cautioned against.

            In a November 2019 report, the Center for Strategic & International Studies recommended restoring the global health security position on the NSC as one of seven key changes to better protect the American public from global health threats.

            “It remains unclear who would be in charge at the White House in the case of a grave pandemic threat or cross-border biological crisis,” the report reads, noting that such leadership is “critical in navigating challenging political issues like quarantines and travel bans and in communicating to and reassuring the American public.”

            “The authorities currently in place at HHS are insufficient to address these critical, complex, and often urgent interagency demands,” the report continues. “In addition to coordinating the interagency process, a global health security and biodefense directorate at the NSC can reform fragmented programs and ensure higher efficiencies, strengthened accountability, and better spending of scarce resources.”

            Bolton was instrumental in firing some top folks, and then it seems that the structure was never quite the same.

            I am not sure why it was important to dismantle and scatter the team, and as the FactCheck article said, they have not heard back from the White House.

            So, in conclusion, the budget was not cut because Congress rejected the budget proposal from Trump
            Which has been wrongly reported and I say mea culpa.

            Yet, I am still on decent ground about the structural dismantling of experts for reasons yet to be determined.

            There are other FactCheck.org call outs on the Democrats in the same article.And I am sure they are fodder for the political right. And the right has not been sterling on this either. Politics as usual.

            No matter how this pans out, the buck always stops at the Oval Office whether the president agrees or not. He has been in office over 3 years now and he owns it all. Fairly or unfairly, that is the fate of presidents past an future.

            All this mess IMHO

            Liked by 1 person

      2. Sure, if one of a dozen test kit suppliers had a quality control issue like the CDC had, there would still be 11 other sources.

        But the FDA and CDC have a fetish for single sourcing in order to retain greater control of data, and here we are.

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          1. All capitalists prefer live customers. But good for him.

            Of course, prior to Trump’s relaxation of FDA regulations, the donated kits would not have been able to be used in the US.

            There is really no way around the fact that the single sourcing of test kits to the CDC by the FDA was bad policy.

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          2. That may be the case. Yet what is very upsetting is listening to Trump saying he is taking no responsibility. None.

            I don’t know that he knows his job is to run the administration. And when things are not right, it is his job, through staff and appointments to make them so. That requires attention to all aspects of his administration.

            After 3 years plus, failures are his. There is no president in history that would say what he did.

            “”I don’t take responsibility at all,” he said, insisting problems that led to slow test-kit distribution were the fault of previous administrations. “We were given a set of circumstances and we were given rules, regulations and specifications from a different time.”

            We have discussed this issue with regards to ignoring the CDC and its pandemic preparedness teams. He wrote it out of his budget proposal in 2018 so he knew what he was doing. His man Bolton dismantled the teams.

            Simply put, who is in charge here after 38 months in office and 2 months of transition?

            Is there any business, organization, government, etc. where the top person is not held to be responsible for the successes and failures of those entities.

            If my assistant took bad photos while I was playing golf, the client is going to come to me and if I value my business, the client and have any integrity I will own up and make things right.

            The president is no different.

            It is a character failure as well as an inability to administer. (Historically, that is an impeachable offense with regards to the origins of “High Crimes…” BTW.)

            So thanks to Mr. Ma.

            IMHO

            Liked by 1 person

          3. You actually expected Trump to know of an FDA reinterpretation of existing law to give the FDA sole authority to approve medical testing procedures which were previously regulated by State health departments?

            Do you really think any President gets that down deep in the weeds unless someone raises the issue?

            I don’t even know if Obama knew his FDA had made the change. In retrospect, it was a pretty bad decision, but it was a bureaucratic decision that perhaps reflected Obama’s view of regulation, but it is unlikely he ordered the specific change.

            Hey, but who knows, If you guys hadn’t kept Trump busy warding off impeachment since the hour he was elected, maybe his deregulation program might have gotten that far.

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          4. Two things.

            Obviously he can’t know all the workings of his administration. But he appoints people who are supposed to manage the various divisions.

            Remember though, more than a few folks have said since 2014 that our biggest threat would be a pandemic. So why would it not be at least on his agenda to have his folks tend to make sure that what we had in place was working and if not tend to it.

            Maybe a little less golf and Mar a Lago time he could have squeezed in a meeting or two in three years to do that. Too much to ask of the man we elected to run things for us?

            Impeachment time. He didn’t do squat. He had a dozen lawyers handling everything. Clinton ran the government just fine while he was being investigated for six years on God knows how many side investigations.

            To say he won’t take responsibility is the action of a 5 year old.

            Liked by 1 person

      3. “None of the failures that occurred were serious in themselves. There were only serious because they occurred during an emergency.”

        Accurate statement. However, wouldn’t you think that Emergency Preparedness would be part of, I don’t know, governing and protecting the country? “Only I can solve it” has proven to be more dangerous than centralized resources.

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        1. RE: “However, wouldn’t you think that Emergency Preparedness would be part of, I don’t know, governing and protecting the country?”

          It was. Emergency preparedness for public health threats is the core mission of the CDC.

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          1. True enough. Who does the CDC report to?

            “DC is one of the major operating components of the Department of Health and Human Services”.

            Who appoints the Secretary of HHS?

            So who is ultimately responsible? Especially after 38 months in office.

            The presidents job is to administer the executive branch. Admittedly that is a big job. But then we all know that and so does the man spending 1 billion or so to get that office.

            “”I don’t take responsibility at all,” he said, insisting problems that led to slow test-kit distribution were the fault of previous administrations. “We were given a set of circumstances and we were given rules, regulations and specifications from a different time.”

            That is absolutely not good enough if one has any modicum of integrity and self-respect as president of a great nation.

            IMHO

            Liked by 1 person

    4. “Not all good ideas arise in the Federal government.”

      Don, in case you forgot, Mr. Kushner is part of the staff of White House advisers. Which makes him part of the Federal Government. Just sayin’.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Politico also has a new piece on trump intentionally slow walking the roll out of testing kits/resources because he wanted to keep the confirmed numbers down for his political benefit.

    This POS HAS to go!

    Liked by 2 people

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