American Elephants


The President’s Wednesday Press Conference by The Elephant's Child

Today, Wednesday 18th, Presidential Press Conference. Long, but very informative. Worth your time. Here’s what they are doing, why, and how, and what they expect to result from their actions. Democrat talking point that calling it the “Chinese virus” is somehow “racist” appears. Embarrassing.  Everybody in the entire world knows it originated in Wuhan, China. It is customary to call viruses by the name of the locale where it first appeared to specify exactly which virus it is. You may have heard of the Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. That’s not racist either.



Here’s What the World Health Organization Has to Say: by The Elephant's Child

I am trying to keep up with worldwide reports, especially after learning of the dreadful case of Italy who lost so many elderly people, so I checked in with the World Health Organization (WHO), and thought that probably many of you had not, and were depending on the American media, who have become (as Hillary called anyone who dared to support President Trump) — the”Deplorables.” And you can’t trust the media any more. They are trying to blame the entire coronavirus on Donald Trump. Nevermind that he seems to be doing exactly the right things, effectively, and a pretty good job of protecting American citizens.

So here is the website for the WHO and what they are reporting for each country. Again, this is what has been reported to them. Africa is experiencing it only very lightly, as is the Russian Federation. Is that really few cases or lax reporting? Only 304 cases in Canada, and not too much is South America. They have a list for each country, besides a dandy map that gives a visual idea. We are told that the death toll from the flu is high, but I haven’t seen reports of how many Americans died from the flu, nor how it affected other countries. The flu was devastating following World War I, and killed thousands. Have heard constantly from pharmacies to be sure to get your flu shots, so apparently many people don’t or they wouldn’t nag.

China has 81,077 cases, Italy 24,747 cases.  I don’t know. Do you hunger for more statistics so you feel more prepared, calmer? Or are you sick of the whole subject? I always line up with “studying up” — the more you know, the less the chance that you can be a victim.



The Day Before St. Patrick’s Update by The Elephant's Child

The virus has been named “SARS-CoV-2” and the disease it causes has been named “CoronaVirus Disease 2019” (abbreviated “COVID-19”).

“On January 30, 2020, the International Health Regulations Emergency Committee of the World Health Organization (WHO) declared the outbreak a “public health emergency of international concern” (PHEIC). On January 31, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex M. Azar II declared a Public Health Emergency (PHE) for the United States to aid the nation’s healthcare community in responding to COVID-19. This declaration freed up funding and regulations to aid in efforts until Congress had a chance to act. President Trump also halted all travel from China, other affected areas, and put Americans returning from China into quarantine. On March 11, WHO publicly  characterized COVID-19 as a pandemic. On March 13, the President of the United States declared the COVID-19 outbreak. a National Emergency

That’s the official language and dates from the CDC. Washington State and New York State each have 501 to 1,000 cases. King County has reported  today, March 16, that they have 420 confirmed cases and one more death. Snohomish County,  reports 176 confirmed cases and 4 deaths, Pierce County 29 confirmed cases and Island County had 6. Which indicates that a lot more testing has been done. Scientists here in King County have produced a vaccine, which has just begun human testing.

I am currently re-reading John McPhee’s Table of Contents. In an essay about scientists at Princeton, he quotes Freeman Dyson as saying: “The first rule of technology is that no one can tell in advance whether a piece of technology is any good. It will hang on things that are unforeseeable. In groping around, one wants to try out things that are quick and cheap and find out what doesn’t work.” which applies to our current situation rather nicely.

ADDENDUM: Late day, checking in with King County virus updates: Confirmed cases have reached 488. This demonstrates that testing is increasing, and identifying those who have been infected. This is a good thing. As testing increases, you should expect numbers to rise–not because infections are increasing necessarily, but because existing infections are being identified. Sadly, 43 deaths in total, most from the nursing home in Kirkland.



This Too Shall Pass.* by The Elephant's Child

What’s new, you might ask, in the center of the CoronaVirus in the country? Unfortunately the “stocking-up” goes on apace. Grocery store shelves are empty, deliveries take far longer than was usual. That’s what is reported. We have not left the house. That which we have ordered delivered will be here next Monday (a week away, not tomorrow) And as these things go, the more bare shelves there are, or the more anxiety that is expressed, the more people try to stock up. We used to call it just plain hoarding. But that word has gone out of style.

It’s a growth thing. The more it’s talked about, the more empty shelves, the more people panic, and their actions inflict another bunch.

Two brothers from Tennessee who tried to capitalize on the outbreak of coronavirus bought up nearly 18,000 bottles of hand sanitizer which they were selling for between $8 and $70 each. Much higher than any in the local stores. Amazon and other online sellers cracked down on sellers who were found to be price gouging. Now they are stuck with a huge supply and nowhere to sell it. To which the American people are undoubtedly saying “Good! Serves ’em right.”

In New York City Mayor Bill De Blasio announced that the CoronaVirus is a case for “Nationalization of crucial factories and Industries that could produce the medical supplies needed” Brilliant! He added that “every factory that can make hand sanitizer should be on 24/7 shifts and the distribution should be going to the places that need it most.” President Trump has just asked companies for their help and offered federal help to them in a time of crisis, and they are going to work.

Some people go to work, others pontificate. Bit of a test of character. The Israelis have a vaccine ready for testing. We have vaccines close to being ready. You have to conduct testing with real people to find out if it really works as hoped for., and that all takes time. Stay calm, study up, and wash your hands a lot.

*“This too shall pass” is a Persian adage translated and used in multiple languages. It reflects on the temporary nature, or ephemerality, of the human condition. The general sentiment is often expressed in wisdom literature throughout history and across cultures, although the specific phrase seems to have originated in the writings of the medieval Persian Sufi poets such as Rumi.



Corona virus Update by The Elephant's Child

King County, Washington reports 388 confirmed cases, 35 deaths. 3 more deaths have been reported since this morning.  Snohomish County, just to our north, has reported 154 confirmed cases. There is a smattering of single cases throughout the state.

The CDC (Center for Disease Control) reports 1,629 total cases in the country, and 41 total deaths. As you can see, most of them are obviously from here. They report that slightly more than half, nationwide,  are travel related. That includes people returning from Wuhan, China, from Italy, and 46 from the Diamond Princess Cruise ship.

If you go to the CDC website, and look for the COVID-19 in the U.S. there’s a dandy map if you scroll down that gives the numbers for the whole country. Page is updated at noon, Monday through Fridays. 46 states are reporting and the District of Columbia. Not sure who is missing, Alaska and Hawaii I would guess, and…?

Here in King County, there’s a lot of hoarding going on. Grocery stores are being raided as people think of themselves as “stocking up” just in case. Unfortunately grocery shelves are stripped and anyone who did not grasp the greed of their fellow citizens is out of luck. Nice going, neighbors.



COVID-19 Update by The Elephant's Child


Yes, the Corona virus is scary. Here in Washington state, we learn that we are the leader in the center of the virus in the U.S.  Governor Inslee has closed the schools starting Tuesday, for at least a month. Nationally, the media is still trying to blame it all on President Trump — who is handling the outbreak very, very well indeed. When that becomes fairly clear ( He declared a national emergency today, which frees up more government money and more government action) the media turn their attention to his calling the virus the “Wuhan virus” or the Chinese virus” as “racist” and “xenophobic”, ignoring the obvious point that it arose in Wuhan, China, and was spread from there.

Now there is constant talk about the “shortage” of testing kits, as the president is arranging for “drive by” testing at cooperative popular retailers who have drive by windows. Mostly left out of the conversation is the fact that you shouldn’t request a test unless you have some symptoms. If you seem perfectly healthy, you probably are. Stay home, wash your hands a lot, wipe down packages that are delivered with antiseptic, and try not to hoard and unnecessarily stock up as if for the duration of a war.

Here are some articles that you may find useful. The first is from Heather Mac Donald, who does correct math, and researches facts carefully. The second is from John Hinderaker on “The Politics of Coronavirus.” The third from Paul Mirengoff also from Powerline about “The Coronavirus in Iran.” Here’s David Harsanyi from National Review on “COVID-19:Scary Enough without the Scaremongering.” And from City Journal, Clark Whelton recalls the 1957 Asian Flu pandemic.  I was around then, but have no memory of that one. Obviously I didn’t get it or I would remember. All good articles, and good common sense as opposed to all the Media hype and hysteria. The American media has a lot to answer for these days. They are partisan and forgetting, shamefully, what journalism is all about, or what it is supposed to be.

King County WA cases: up slightly from Wednesday: 328 confirmed cases, 30 deaths. Washington state has 568 cases,most in adjacent counties.

Italy has had 1,266 deaths, and we are reminded that the population of Italy is the oldest in Europe. They are not even treating the oldest people, but saving resources for the younger. France has 3,661 cases and 70 deaths, Spain  4,209 cases and 120 dead. The UK has only 798 cases. Helps to be an Island.



The WHO Has Now Designated it as a Pandemic by The Elephant's Child

Democrats are beside themselves. Here is this dreadful virus arriving in the country and they want to blame President Trump for it, but so far it just isn’t working. They tried claiming that to blame the virus on China or to call it the “China virus” or the “Wuhan virus” was “racist”, but that was absurd.

The virus clearly emerged in China’s Wuhan province, apparently connected to a Chinese fondness for eating bats. (different strokes for different folks as they say), but the Chinese connection and Wuhan are just simple facts. Now they are trying to effectively strip President Trump of his authority to impose the travel bans that protect American citizens.  At least the Democrats are making clear just what their goals and interests really are.

The “No Ban Act,” introduced by Rep. Judy Chu (D-CA) and co-sponsored by 219 House Democrats, would have prevented Trump from immediately implementing a travel ban on China once the outbreak of the coronavirus spread past its origins of Wuhan. That sounds helpful.

Instead, the No Ban Act would have allowed travelers from Wuhan to continue to arrive in the U.S. while the president received guidance from Congress.

“This bill imposes limitations on the President’s authority to suspend or restrict aliens from entering the United States and terminates certain presidential actions implementing such restrictions,” a summary of the legislation reads.

The legislation would mandate Trump “only issue a restriction when required to address a compelling government interest,” though that interest is not defined. Before imposing a travel ban, Trump would have to “consult with Congress,” the legislation dictates.

Oh please. Trump has expanded a travel ban on some legal immigration from Burma, Eritrea, Kyrgyztan, Nigeria, Tanzania, Sudan, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Somalia, Syria, Venezuela and Yemen. It is not a permanent ban, but until the virus pandemic passes, we would not like it extended to America more than it already has been.

The number of coronavirus cases has hit 1,107 nationwide including 32 deaths, so Democrats want to end America’s ability to restrict travel?  Bernie Sanders (I-VT) explicitly said this week that he would not close American borders to protect Americans from the pandemic. Would you put Bernie in charge of protecting the country? Or Biden for that matter? Trump is doing a very good job with it, according to the scientists most familiar with pandemics.

Doctors say he has saved a lot of people from getting sick with his prompt border closings, refusing to let cruise ships disembark their passengers until they can be tested, and getting help from manufacturers and businessmen in getting needed supplies to the spots where they are needed on time.

The Coronavirus has hit Italy hard. There are 7,350 confirmed cases of COVID-19 and the death toll is rising. The majority were in the south of the Lombardy region, but it is spreading. Public schools and offices have been closed in the affected regions.

Health systems and state governments are working in a much more coordinated effort. The handling of infected patients is getting incredibly better. Vaccine production is being analyzed, and labs are making breakthroughs.

Too much of the medical supply chain has relied on China, and President Trump has signed an executive order to end the reliance on foreign-made medical supplies.  We will diversify our supply chain in pharmaceuticals and medical equipment.

It is a nasty disease, and we are taking every step we can to keep our people safe.




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