What if…

Testing failure timeline

Here is a pretty complete timeline of the testing fiasco.

So, what if, on January 1st, the FDA had been disbanded and its functions left to the private sector with all its competing companies and individuals, all striving to be the nation’s hero and get rich in the process?

32 thoughts on “What if…

    1. Trump ran on ridding us of such bureaucratic albatrosses. He has been doing a good job, considering the built in constituencies such organizations have. He didn’t get this one in time.

      But considering that these bureaucracies have had a hundred years to build their fortresses, he has done pretty well. Perhaps had he been able to see the future, he would have started with the FDA.

      I would have.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. @Tabor

        I do not accept the ahistorical revisionism of what Trump ran against. The “swamp” referred to corruption and the too cozy relationship between lobbyists, special interests and the government. Not to the “deep state.” He bragged of his special knowledge in this area because of his career of using political money to buy influence over government decisions.

        Many things might have gone differently and would have if Trump had done his job properly. But, no amount of coulda, woulda or shoulda changes what actually happened while Trump played politics with the foreboding science. And still does so to this day where more than 1,000 people died from this rapidly spreading virus.

        Liked by 2 people

  1. Okay Doc, make yourself useful. Given that you’ve moved your compound to BF Idaho, two hours from nowhere, what 3 medical devices would you add to a — let’s say hefty — first aid kit, e.g., blood pressure cuff, O2 saturation monitor, etc.?

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Defibrillator? I wonder the value if help is too far from reach. Prolonging the inevitable? Or do they have value for simply monitoring heart condition?

        Liked by 1 person

  2. Good article.

    I noted that the problem was noticed in late December.

    “ The first reports about a strange, possibly unknown virus started leaking out of China in late December. Scientists and researchers in the United States and around the world began paying keen attention to the apparent epicenter of the spread, a sprawling industrial city in central China called Wuhan.
    Among those keeping close track were virologists and other specialists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the country’s flagship public health agency. ”

    Perhaps a bit less deregulatory fervor to open coal mining and more on a threat that had been warned about since a Trump took office.

    The coal miners praised Trump more than microbiologists and CDC. Better photo ops too.

    Unfortunately he president told us he knew it was a pandemic, but didn’t want to panic “us” (really the economy, particularly the DOW).

    Even more unfortunately he obviously didn’t do anything even behind the scenes to keep abreast of the problem illustrated in the article. Get prepared. Make sure our defenses were adequate.

    From the end of December.

    That is his main job. Defend Americans.

    Instead it was rallies, golf and lying about the seriousness of this virus.

    That is why he is a failure and should not stay in office.

    IMHO

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes. Trump’s main job is to defend Americans, and in the face of an evolving threat he has done so,

      Democrat’s main job appears to be exploiting the tragedy for political gain.

      Again, if you look at what Trump actually DID, as opposed to his tweets, please do tell me where he did wrong?

      Oh, remember all the ridicule about his hopeful comments on hydroxychloroquine?

      https://www.foxnews.com/politics/after-mocking-trump-promoting-hydroxychloroquine-media-acknowleges-might-treat-coronavirus

      Turns out it might suppress the cytokine storm that causes lethal ARDS development.

      But to you, getting Trump out of office is all that matters, no matter how many die.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. The only American Trump has defended is Trump himself. He has been corrected so many times, you can mute him until the grown ups start talking during the briefings. It’s safer and you get better more accurate information.

        And it wasn’t the media that said “maybe”. It was Fauci and the media reported it. But using Fox News as your source for that shows how desperate you are to defend Trump’s indefensible actions and words.

        “But to you, getting Trump out of office is all that matters, no matter how many die.”

        You continually make that statement and it is as disgusting now as the first time. We could easily say the opposite. “But to you, keeping Trump in office is all that matters, no matter how many die.”

        Sickening.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Sorry, Don some partial travel restrictions from China in early February did not address our poor defenses and preparations for a known danger in late December.
        It is inherently obvious he cannot administer. And that is important in a serious crisis.

        How many lives might have been saved had he just had someone check to make sure things were in order at the end of December. A simple order for a very serious long known threat.

        He should have done it 3 years ago rather than blame Obama. A simple memo to HHS is all it would have taken. All yap and no results.

        When a hurricane is headed this way, do you wait until it starts raining to prepare and check your supplies?

        Instead we are hearing him blaming mayors and governors for not stockpiling enough for a worldwide pandemic. Pitting Americans against Americans for supplies the feds are SUPPOSED to have on hand to defend us.

        If we were invaded by Russia, would he blame the states for not defending us and the US military was just a backup?

        Your defense of the indefensible is hard to fathom.

        Liked by 2 people

      3. @Tabor

        “Democrat’s main job appears to be exploiting the tragedy for political gain”
        “But to you, getting Trump out of office is all that matters, no matter how many die.”

        You really are full of shit. But that is not surprising for someone of at least modest intellect who is so enthralled with the idea of a Dear Leader that he has become blind to an ugly and dangerous reality.

        As a matter of fact, Trump has turned what are supposed to be important briefings on the crisis into de facto political rallies where he lies, exaggerates, boasts and hurls insults at leaders of the other party. So again and not surprisingly your accusations of politicization by the Democrats are right out of the GOP playbook – accuse your opponents of the sins YOU commit.

        Very, very sad.

        Liked by 1 person

      4. @Tabor

        Trump hyped this particular drug far beyond ANY evidence other than hopes of what it “might” do. And that hyping was part of a deadly pattern of minimizing the threat from this virus. Trump’s delays, indifference and lies are going to cost thousands of lives in the end.

        The most one can say about him if one is really, really kind is that given his obvious deficits of intellect, imagination, empathy and energy is that he has done his best. Not nearly good enough. He needs to go.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. RE: “So, what if, on January 1st, the FDA had been disbanded and its functions left to the private sector with all its competing companies and individuals, all striving to be the nation’s hero and get rich in the process?”

    We’d have been better off, obviously.

    It is clear from the timeline that CDC arrogance in seeking to operate as the single point of test coordination, and FDA bottleknecking with red tape caused early failures of the testing program. In retrospect it also appears that no one, early on, really appreciated what Covid-19 would become. But this, too, represents a bureaucratic failure. The participants were so busy doing their jobs that none developed any perspective until it was too late.

    To be fair, the nature of Covid-19 could not have been known, because the science was lacking. The nature of Covid-19 still isn’t known, because the science is still lacking. But this doesn’t stop fools from casting blame.

    These observations should put a complete end to every notion that governments can be effective at responding to real life problems beyond a limited range of specialities, such as military operations.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. “ In retrospect it also appears that no one, early on, really appreciated what Covid-19 would become.”

      It seems people around rage world paid “keen attention” in December.

      “ The first reports about a strange, possibly unknown virus started leaking out of China in late December. Scientists and researchers in the United States and around the world began paying keen attention to the apparent epicenter of the spread, a sprawling industrial city in central China called Wuhan.
      Among those keeping close track were virologists and other specialists at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the country’s flagship public health agency. ”

      Like a hurricane approaching, preparation starts before wild and rain.

      The threat had been voiced for years, and now we know that scientists were aware.

      Where was our administration?

      Liked by 1 person

      1. So, now you’re saying that Trump should have acted AGAINST the advice he was getting from CDC and NIH?

        He should have overruled the experts because he traveled forward in his time machine to gain hindsight?

        Yes, there were PRIVATE SECTOR experts who saw this coming, but Trump acted on what CDC and NIH were telling him.

        Had he ignored the government experts you would be criticizing him for that too.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. @Tabor

          Just stop it. And by “it” I mean spreading the dishonest horseshit that Trump trades in.

          Other countries took decisive action weeks before we did and that was totally on Trump and his concern for the political consequences of strong action.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Really?

            Which countries and what decisive actions?

            Other than the bureaucratic failure of testing resulting from the FDA’s overbearing incompetence, what did other countries do that we did not?

            Like

          2. @Tabor

            Trick question – Other than what we bungled should we have done?

            Which countries?
            The best example is South Korea which had their first cases and deaths at the same time that we did. They immediately instituted widespread testing, contact tracing, quarantining, use of cell phone technologies to identify hot spots etc. While we are suffering more than a 1,000 deaths each day, their TOTAL is less than 200.

            Japan also suffered early cases but corralled the outbreak quickly. It was big news when they closed ALL their schools weeks before we did anything. Their death toll stands today at 69 versus our 7,163.

            The biggest problem though is not what Trump did not do. It is what he did do – using his bully pulpit to convince half the nation that this was a “hoax”, a plot to get him by the media and no worse than the flu. That affected behavior for weeks and got us directly to our current disaster.

            Liked by 1 person

          3. South Korea and Japan made use of private sector testing. And, of course, they do not have things like Mardi Gras and Spring Break right at the critical time. They have cultural differences, such as a long history of wearing masks when there are viruses going around to protect others. We can’t even get people to abstain from partying.

            What you are avoiding is that this is a pandemic, and in reality, there wasn’t anything Trump or anyone else could have done that would have made a material difference.

            No matter what Trump would have done, the result would be very nearly the same, and whatever he did would have been criticized.

            Like

          4. @Tabor

            Maybe you skipped over this paragraph . . .

            “The biggest problem though is not what Trump did not do. It is what he did do – using his bully pulpit to convince half the nation that this was a “hoax”, a plot to get him by the media and no worse than the flu. That affected behavior for weeks and got us directly to our current disaster.”

            Your mention of Mardi Gras and Spring Break reinforces this important point about Trump’s failed leadership. If the only thing different was Trump’s rhetoric we would not be so far into this mess as we are. And the final death toll would be lower by many thousands.

            As for “private testing” being a key difference you seem to want to say that Trump bears no responsibility for the actions of HIS government. That is still a dog that will not hunt.

            Liked by 1 person

          5. The FDA has been around a long time and his its own constituency in Congress. What exactly do you think Trump could have done, in the absence of emergency powers, to rein in the FDA?

            He is able to get around the FDA now only because of the urgency of the pandemic. Prior to that urgency, it would have required several acts of Congress.

            Like

          6. @Tabor

            Bullshit! He is the President. The FDA answers to him. HE appointed its leaders. It has been under his control for three years. The truth is that he is so lazy and out of touch that he probably had no idea what was going on there until it was too late. And that is a generous assessment.

            Like

          7. The FDA is set up to be semi independent, and the civil service employees are not subject to being fired at will.

            Removing the FDA authority to regulate testing would require and act of Congress other than in a state of emergency.

            Like

          8. @Tabor

            Hmmm.

            So who had it within his power to declare a state of emergency – if that was what was required?

            Your reference to civil service protections is more bullshit – an obvious red herring. The management of the FDA is appointed by the President. It has been managed by Trump appointees since January 20, 2017. The current head – Steven Hahn – was appointed by Trump in November of 2019 and confirmed by the GOP Senate the next month.

            Liked by 1 person

          9. On what basis would Trump have declared a state of emergency to reorder the FDA BEFORE the coronavirus showed up?

            Wouldn’t that have been impeachable?

            He’s President, not dictator.

            Like

          10. @Tabor

            You are really on a roll today. Nothing but bullshit.

            The National Emergency Act of 1976 empowers the President to declare a state of emergency when circumstances warrant. Since then, 61 have been declared and we are still operating under 34 of them. All of which Trump has either renewed (27) or declared himself (7).

            Laughably one was in February last year under which Trump diverted funds to his pet project – The Wall. And you thought that was just dandy. Not like a “dictator” usurping Congressional functions at all.

            His last one was on March 13th re: the coronavirus. He has had the scientific and intelligence information that would justify such action vis a vis FDA processes for about 70 days according to reporting by the WAPO. That was BEFORE the virus landed on these shores.

            https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2020/04/04/coronavirus-government-dysfunction/?arc404=true

            Liked by 1 person

        2. Trump did not follow the advice of his own HHS Secretary. And he was the man Trump put in charge of the agency that runs CDC, etc.

          “ Azar himself has testified that officials from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention first learned of coronavirus directly from Chinese officials on Jan. 3.
          Indeed, CNN’s revelations about Azar’s early concerns are particularly interesting — and damning — in light of other aspects of the timeline. As Politico reports, as early as mid-January, the HHS secretary urgently tried to warn Trump to take the coronavirus extremely seriously, but Trump’s aides “mocked and belittled Azar as alarmist.”

          https://www.washingtonpost.com/opinions/2020/04/03/more-damning-revelations-about-trump-yet-another-bogus-defense/

          So I guess you are correct. Trump did go against the advice of his own man, Azar.

          Liked by 2 people

      2. RE: “Where was our administration?”

        I’d say it was living rent free in your head, already causing such paranoia and vociferous complaining that you, yourself, couldn’t see Covid-19 coming.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. The whole country could see the dangers long before Trump acknowledged the seriousness in mid March. The media, except for FOX was raising questions and concerns only to be blasted as “fake news”.

          Your are blind to what has happened. And a believer in revisionist history.

          We need the truth, not what Trump said. His propaganda machine among right wing media plus influential lawmakers said to “party on” in the face of a rising pandemic.

          Liked by 2 people

    2. @Roberts

      “We’d have been better off, obviously.”

      That is not in the least obvious. For-profit companies do not risk substantial capital on total unknowns. The best evidence is that this particular virus did not even exist until late in 2019. The idea that they would instantly act decisively without the promise of government support flies in the face of a century of experience.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. The evidence is clear that the administration screwed up big time.

    Even Trump’s own words said he new it was a pandemic long ago. Yet our preparations were pathetic.

    We will survive this mostly due to scientists and smart governors. All this in spite of the administration’s best efforts to squash the information and its gross negligence in even preparing after three years of warnings. And after Trump’s own HHS head warned early on.

    The important thing is to make sure that this president doesn’t rewrite history. He is trying so hard along with right wing media to do just that.

    Incompetence on this grand scale must not be allowed to repeat.

    Liked by 2 people

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