Wednesday, February 26, 2020

Coronavirus Updates:

CDC Confirms First US Coronavirus Case Of 'Unknown Origin': Live Updates

  • CDC confirms first case of 'unknown origin' in US
  • CDC reports 6 new cases among repatriated Americans
  • WaPo reports Northern California has 16th US case, says it's first of "unknown origin" and risks local spread
  • 83 being monitored in Nassau County
  • Orange County declares state of emergency
  • Norway has confirmed its first case
  • 8 quarantined in Westchester
  • HHS confirms 15th US case
  • Iran deaths hit 19
  • Brazil confirms first case in South America
  • France confirms 2nd death
  • Tokyo pushes back against Tokyo Games cancellation talk
  • Greece confirms first case
  • Germany unleashes fiscal stimulus after confirming new cases
  • Dems one-up Trump with $8.5 billion package.
  • Kuwait, Iraq, Lebanon, Bahrain confirm new cases
  • Finland confirms 2nd case
  • 1st 2 cases reported in Pakistan
  • HHS Secretary tells Congress infectious disease fund has no extra uncommitted cash
  • Congress begins talks on corona virus spending bill with vote expected early next month
  • Germany health minister warns we're at beginning of epidemic in Germany; 5 new cases
  • Italy confirms 12th death, cases soar above 400
  • North Macedonia confirms first case
  • South Korea cases soar above 1,200 as gov't begins testing of 200k patients
  • Brazil confirms infected patient came on plane from Paris
  • Ericsson confirms one of its employees in Croatia tested positive

The announcement, which was scooped by WaPo, follows Trump's press conference, where he named Mike Pence to be his "Coronavirus Czar" (though Trump made clear he didn't like that terminology).
One economist with praised Trump's performance, saying the appointment of Pence would help the administration clarify the narrative after yesterday's "bungled messaging."
"In naming Vice President Mike Pence as the administration’s point person in charge of the response to the coronavirus outbreak, President Trump attempted to show a concerted effort after bungled messaging. Even so, he couldn’t avoid the opportunity to spend more time at the briefing room lectern instead of letting the experts address health concerns."
Update (1850ET): Just as President Trump was appointing VP Mike Pence to oversee the US's virus response, the Washington Post reported that the first US coronavirus case of unknown origin has been reported in Northern California.
They added that the case is a sign that the virus "may be spreading in a local area."
The CDC won't disclose the exact location of the case, according to the paper.
Of course...

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Update (1755ET): FoxLA reports that Orange County officials declared a local health emergency Wednesday in response to the coronavirus, which has now infected more than 81,000 people worldwide. Michelle Steel, chair of the county Board of Supervisors, and board Vice Chair Andrew Do made the announcement at an early afternoon news conference.

Our declaration of local emergency today signed by Dr. Quick is about preparedness. It does not indicate a greater risk of harm, there are no current incidents reported in the county of Orange,” stated Supervisor Andrew Do.
There has only been one confirmed case of the virus in Orange County, according to county health officer Nichole Quick, that one patient has been treated and is no longer showing signs.
The Orange County decision follows San Diego County, where officials declared a local emergency in response to the coronavirus on Feb. 14, and San Francisco Mayor London Breed declared a local emergency on Tuesday.
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Paying The Price For Our Faustian Bargain With China

Charles "Sam" Faddis 

Roughly forty years ago we and the Chinese entered into a true Faustian bargain.   We agreed to open our markets to Chinese goods, and the Chinese in exchange opened their nation to foreign investment and manufacturing.

We were motivated by greed.  Factories in China would have access to seemingly unlimited quantities of low cost workers.  It did not hurt that those factories would be unencumbered by unions, workplace safety laws or environmental regulations.
The Chinese were motivated by a desire to survive.  The Soviet Union was tottering toward extinction, destroyed not by American forces on the battlefield but by rot and inefficiency in its economy.  The Chinese would escape that fate by giving their people a higher standard of living and a more comfortable lifestyle in exchange for the continued acceptance of an oppressive, totalitarian regime.
The bargain was made.  As with all pacts with the devil the bill has come due, this time in the form of the coronavirus.

Well over two months ago the coronavirus began to explode in China.  The Chinese government did what it always does.  It lied.  It covered up the truth.  It attacked those who claimed there was a serious problem and accused them of spreading disinformation and propaganda.  On the internet, the Chinese deployed an army of bots, similar to those it used to bury the truth about protests in Hong Kong last year.

U.S. firms are already experiencing significant delays in getting shipments from China, but they are fortunate in the overall scheme of things. Given the distances involved, American companies have yet to experience the full force of shutdowns, because products were already in transit when the virus hit with full force. For a glimpse of the future, though, we need only look at South Korea.
South Korea’s giant Hyundai complex at Ulsan, the world’s biggest auto assembly facility, recently shut down. The complex, which includes five separate automobile plants and makes 1.4 million vehicles a year is offline, because it cannot get the critical parts it needs from China. Twenty-five thousand workers have been laid-off. Hyundai is not the only firm affected. Other major car companies in South Korea are either shutting down, limiting operations or considering doing so.
Here’s the real bad news. It is likely only going to get worse. The Chinese Communist Party has no choice. A citizenry out of work, out of money and faced with the truth that its government cannot combat the growing epidemic may finally revolt. The coronavirus is not just threatening lives. It is threatening the very existence of the regime.
So, in desperation, the Chinese government is forcing factories open and herding hundreds of millions of workers, many of whom were locked down and in isolation, back into the crowded dormitories where they live during the work year, half a dozen men or women to a room, using communal bathrooms and working on overcrowded factory floors. There could not possibly be a better petri dish environment to guarantee a disease – already defying all efforts to control it – explodes.
We made our deal with the devil. Like Faust the price we pay will be a terrible one.

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