Lest we forget!

https://nymag.com/intelligencer/article/trump-debate-swine-flu-biden-h1n1-coronavirus.html

The very “lucky” author is one of the 99.996% of American’s who survived Joe Biden’s bungled management of the H1N1 epidemic.

The wrap-up . . .

“The president’s critics tend to get hung up on the lethality, as if this excuses Biden. The point is, if H1N1 had been as lethal as COVID-19, then Biden’s decision to respond as if the disease wasn’t lethal would have been lethal. And that is truly unforgivable.”

22 thoughts on “Lest we forget!

  1. The Intelligencer should change its name.

    The point the snarky writer and you seem to miss is that the early indications were that H1N1 would be every bit as lethal as COVID-19, and particularly lethal to children.

    It was only after the handling of the contagion was blown that we learned it was not as lethal as COVID-19.

    If the early predictions had been true millions would have died.

    Biden was lucky, not smart.

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    1. As usual, Mr. Science, you do not get to make up your own facts. There was NOT any significant period when the H1N1 virus was considered to even possibly be as lethal as Covid-19. Why do you do this all the time? Never mind, rhetorical question. “Alternative facts” are very useful when – for some unknown reason – you are defending the indefensible.

      https://www.health.harvard.edu/press_releases/h1n1-flu-more-widespread-than-lethal

      “The good news is that virtually everything we have learned since the early days of this pandemic has pointed toward a lower level of concern,” said Marc Lipsitch, an epidemiologist at the Harvard School of Public Health and a member of the H1N1 scientific advisory group to the White House.”

      Within about three weeks of this variant on already known H1N1 influenza viruses being identified, the then-respected CDC was all over it.

      https://www.cdc.gov/h1n1flu/cdcresponse.htm

      The snarky tone of the article was entirely justified. This “argument” that Joe Biden ( who was not the President) bungled a pandemic even worse than Trump has done is simply ridiculous nonsense.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Your cite is behind a paywall. Did you read it?

        I do note that is is dated October, 2009. The H1N1 pandemic arose in Mexico in early March and the first US case was in early April.

        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_swine_flu_pandemic_timeline#March_2009

        So, your link is to a study after the fact, not an estimate from the early stages of the pandemic. The warnings I received from the State Board of Dentistry regarding precautions were quite dire early on, especially since it was most lethal for children.

        60 million Americans were infected, so even a 1% mortality would have left 600,000 dead.

        It turned out that 2 off-the-shelf antiviral drugs already in use were effective, otherwise it would have been much worse.

        As I wrote, we were just lucky,

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        1. I provided the relevant quote from the Harvard epidemiologist advising the President – “virtually everything we have learned since the early days of this pandemic has pointed toward a lower level of concern.” That could not be more clear. The Obama administration responded quickly and appropriately to a non-lethal form of the flu.

          “60 million Americans were infected, so even a 1% mortality would have left 600,000 dead.”

          Why not say that if it were 10% then death toll would have been 6 million. If you are going to treat imaginary facts as real, why stop with 1%?

          The reality is that IF it were a lethal disease the response by the government and by the people would have been very different. It remains a truly laughable argument. Just the sort that Trump and his enablers offer all the time on every subject.

          The last line of the original article is spot on . . . “The point is, if H1N1 had been as lethal as COVID-19, then Biden’s decision to respond as if the disease wasn’t lethal would have been lethal.”

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          1. Either you missed, or are trying to avoid, the point.

            H1N1 was initially believed to have a mortality well in excess of 1%. It was not until well after the opportunity to check the spread had been missed that we learned that it was not that lethal in adults and that off the shelf antivirals would effectively treat it.

            About 8 million Americans have been infected with COVID, 61 million with H1N1, making Trump’s public health measures 7 times as effective as Obama/Biden’s

            Obama/Biden were lucky, not smart.

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    2. Any president is judged by how he handles crises. They can either make or break a leader and to an extent fortune may be a determinant.

      Trump to this very day is claiming the pandemic is round the curve and even that a vaccine will be available in a few weeks, then a few months then “soon”.

      He is not realistic and to say he wants to be optimistic is way too late. He tried that back in January. Telling us one thing, but warning Wall Street pals.

      Bottom line, Trump is not handling this well at all. Perhaps he was unlucky, but we don’t hire presidents to hand hold us through a sunny walk on the beach.

      Things got tough fast, and he tried to play it down. Then for some reason we might never understand he politicized masks. #LIBERATE and mocking the wearers.

      We found out what the president is made of and it wasn’t pretty.

      If he loses, which seems likely, it is his own making. Maybe he could have cleaned out the swamp, but he hadn’t a clue how the drains worked. Plus he had too many friends in the administration who either were ignorant or toadies.

      Time the clean up after the elephants. Again. Only this time the mess is truly big.

      IMHO

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Regarding the vaccine. As you know, I recommend immediate release to high risk individuals.

        https://tidewaterliberty.wordpress.com/2020/10/19/the-risk-of-avoiding-risk/

        SO, my question to you is, if you could get the first dose tomorrow, would you do it? Would you accept the very small risk in order to be able to go get groceries without fear of bringing home the virus to your wife?

        If you should have that option, shouldn’t everyone else? Who, other than you and your doctor, should weigh the risk?

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        1. Actually, I would not get the shot tomorrow. If the efficacy is only a few months, for example, that would create doubt as to the usefulness and would not change my caution. And that is something I see no benefit for.

          As far as my immunosuppressive wife goes, we would be more amenable.

          But, again, it wouldn’t change the caution for us at least for another 6 months or so.

          The country is experiencing an explosion in both cases and hospitalization. Particularly in those states that poo pooed the virus and rural communities. I.e., the shit has hit the proverbial fan, as predicted. It would be wonderful to end this mess. But false hopes are just as bad.

          Yes, I want a virus vaccine. . But more important.y, I want to know it works well and is reliable.

          Liked by 2 people

          1. If the vaccine were available. it would be better for you to take it than your wife.

            You would get a strong response and develop neutralizing antibodies and T cells. Your wife might not get a reaction at all. That’s what immunosuppressed means.

            I agree on not dropping our guard, but the vaccine would make you a more effective barrier between her and the world.

            And for me. I would gladly take any of the top 4 in OP Warp Speed, I’d even take the Russian vaccine.(they don’t do phase 3) At the very least, any of them would preload my immune system for a faster response.

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      1. This is maybe the sixth or seventh time that I have reminded you that Dr. Fauci was very clear that masks and social distancing in a specific area were not necessary UNTIL there was evidence of community spread in that area. And, if you recall – and you are honest – it was a time in which shortages of PPE for frontline medical personnel was an issue. THAT was the context of his advising that masks not be used where they were not yet needed. That is very different from what the lying liars are claiming about his advice.

        The very idea that a world-renowned expert on infectious diseases would have only discovered later that masks help stop the spread of a highly infectious disease is in and of itself risible. But that does not stop Trump from making this one of his many lame ass excuses for his failures.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Nonetheless, you are faulting Trump for not advocating masks before the experts recommended them for general use.

          Of course a main reason was to preserve masks for medical personnel. Lots of things were done for such reasons. Early on, the push to put patients on ventilators routinely was because it was believed doing so would prevent aerosols from infecting medical personnel, not because it was believed better for the patients.

          Liked by 1 person

          1. Fair enough. But once the PPE issue was solved, Trump NEVER came back and recommended masks. And even his supporters made comments like …”everytime you put on a mask remember that this is what tyranny feels like.”

            Now you have been a proponent for mask wearing since early on. Yet you STILL give Trump a pass and try to blame Fauci for Trump’s idiotic comments, including “We are turning the corner.” The increase in daily cases says we are making a u-turn. But it has nothing to do with POTUS’s words and actions.

            Liked by 1 person

          2. But we are turning the corner, and we could do it very quickly,

            Phase 3 testing for a COVID vaccine is insane. We could have the entire high risk population protected by Christmas. Sure, it would take time to vaccinate everyone, but we could vaccinate everyone who is at risk of a serious outcome before the end of the year.

            The Regeneron antibody combo that Trump took under a compassionate use permit by the FDA could be released immediately. People continue to die only because the FDA wants to be “careful.”

            And Trump has recommended mask use, repeatedly. There is no reason, other than to set an example, for him to wear one now, but I’d like to see him do it more for that reason.

            Oh, and when Daniel Gade made the comment about masks, he was referring to mandates, he has also said that people should wear masks out of respect for others, not because government requires it.

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          3. Not so. President Trump has repeatedly said people should wear masks when appropriate beginning with his April statement on reopening the economy.

            But he has also declined to wear one himself when it was not necessary, such as when he, and everyone else in the room had been tested. He was technically correct, but I would have preferred if he had worn one anyway just to set an example.

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          4. The essence of the criticism of Trump’s massive failure is not just about masks and his refusal – even to this day when we have had the highest number of new cases so far – to recommend that people wear them. That is just a manifestation of the real problem. It is this . . . Trump LIED and people DIED.

            Liked by 2 people

          5. “But we are turning the corner, and we could do it very quickly”

            Stuff and nonsense. I have not seen today’s figures but the last two days set new records for the number of new cases. 83,000+ just yesterday. Actual scientists have warned of a resurgence with the fall weather and it seems to be upon us. And even as this wave hits, Trump is still lying through his teeth.

            Vaccines should they prove safe and effective will certainly help put this behind us, but we do not have one yet. Early promise in small tests is hopeful, but that is all.

            As for Trump’s “cure,” nobody knows what cured him. They threw everything at him at once. But, assuming that this Regeneron stuff is an effective treatment it will not do much good without far more testing to catch the disease early as – presumably – was done with Trump. And, production of it is extremely limited with no more than 50,000 doses being foreseen in the near future. Again hopeful, but that is all.

            As for mandates, the government SHOULD mandate the wearing of masks in public places and severely punish people who will not comply. You have referred to those defiantly not wearing masks as “sociopaths” and you were not wrong. Sociopaths need the strong hand of the law to make them behave. They are killing people. It is as simple as that.

            Liked by 1 person

          6. “They threw everything at him at once. ”

            True, Trump allowed himself to be used as a lab rat.

            But we should all be so lucky.

            This disease has two phases,

            In the first, the virus is rapidly multiplying with little opposition from the immune system. In the second phase, the immune system kicks in and if you have a very heavy viral load, the immune response itself can kill you.

            But the key to NOT having a life threatening phase two is to suppress the virus in phase one.

            So ANY antiviral measure, be it recemdivir, monoclonal antibody cocktails like Regnerons, convalescent plasma and yes, hydrochloroquine, are most effective if given early. HCQ is the weakest of the lot but even so, HCQ and zinc given early are better than recemdivir after you are in phase 2 .

            That is the one thing we could do that would most reduce the death toll until the vaccine is effective, put the antiviral treatments in the hands of the primary care doctor for outpatient use instead of reserving them for hospital use when it is all but too late.

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  2. “H1N1 was initially believed to have a mortality well in excess of 1%”

    That is simply false. You need to stop making things up.

    If there was any such fear – unlike Covid, it is a strain of flu after all – it was put to rest very early because few people were dying. Trump knew that Covid was far, far worse very early and lied about it. The Obama government response and the behavior of the people were appropriate for a non-lethal disease. And that was not just luck. It was science. The comparison you are pushing is a-scientific nonsense.

    As for turning the corner, things that you imagine might act as miracle do not count. Here in the real world we are turning a corner into probably the darkest phase of the pandemic. The first waves were concentrated in a few cities but this new surge is everywhere and is very clearly out of control.

    Liked by 1 person

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