O wszystkim co jest związane z pandemią.
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U.S. Field Hospitals Stand Down, Most Without Treating Any COVID-19 Patients

As hospitals were overrun by coronavirus patients in other parts of the world, the Army Corps of Engineers mobilized in the U.S., hiring private contractors to build emergency field hospitals around the country.

The endeavor cost more than $660 million, according to an NPR analysis of federal spending records.

But nearly four months into the pandemic, most of these facilities haven't treated a single patient.
Public health experts said this episode exposes how ill-prepared the U.S. is for a pandemic. They praised the Army Corps for quickly providing thousands of extra beds, but experts said there wasn't enough planning to make sure these field hospitals could be put to use once they were finished.

"It's so painful because what it's showing is that the plans we have in place, they don't work," said Robyn Gershon, a professor at New York University's School of Global Public Health. "We have to go back to the drawing board and redo it."

But the nation's governors — who requested the Army Corps projects and, in some cases, contributed state funding — said they're relieved these facilities didn't get more use. They said early models predicted a catastrophic shortage of hospital beds, and no one knew for sure when or if stay-at-home orders would reduce the spread of the coronavirus.

"All those field hospitals and available beds sit empty today," Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, said last month. "And that's a very, very good thing."
Michigan Gov. Gretchen Whitmer, a Democrat, said: "These 1,000-bed alternate care sites are not necessary; they're not filled. Thank God."

Senior military leaders also said the effort was a success — even if the beds sit empty. Gen. John Hyten, vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, was asked at a news conference if it bothered him to see the field hospitals go unused.

"For gosh sakes, no," Hyten said. "If you see beds full, that means the local capacity of the local hospitals to handle this [has] been overwhelmed. And now we're into an emergency situation."

The Army Corps started building more than 30 field hospitals, retrofitting convention centers and erecting climate-controlled tents, in mid-March. Agency officials pushed to get these facilities done fast — limiting the bidding process and often negotiating directly with contractors they knew could deliver on time.
"I tell our guys, you have three weeks," Lt. Gen. Todd Semonite, commander of the Army Corps of Engineers, said at a Pentagon news briefing in March. "You get as much as you can [get] done in three weeks. And then the mission is complete. We have a narrow window of opportunity. If we don't leverage that window of opportunity, we're gonna miss it."

At Chicago's McCormick Place, workers scrambled in April to transform the convention center into a massive temporary hospital with 3,000 beds — more than the biggest hospital in Illinois.

"This was an empty convention hall," Illinois Gov. J.B. Pritzker said during a news conference while flanked by construction workers in hard hats and bright yellow vests. "Monumental, round-the-clock dedication is what got this done before we need it, preparing for saving lives in the event that things become as bad as some have predicted."

But just as construction got underway, states were issuing stay-at-home orders. And the spread of the coronavirus eventually began to slow.

Work on the field hospitals continued, though some projects were scaled back — including McCormick Place. The field hospital opened with one-third of the beds originally planned, and it closed its doors a few weeks later after treating fewer than 40 patients.

The same story is playing out across the country. In fact, most Army Corps field hospitals haven't seen a single patient.

In many parts of the U.S., hospitals were able to expand their capacity to keep up with the surge of coronavirus patients. But in New York, hospitals were overwhelmed, and local officials pleaded with the public to save hospital beds for people who needed them most.

"The mantra was, 'Don't come to the hospital, don't go to the doctor, stay home, stay home till your lips turn blue,' " said Gershon of NYU's School of Global Public Health. "Well, we now know that was a crazy set of advice."
Gershon said she worries that a lot of people followed that advice and that some may have died because of it — including a cousin of hers on Long Island. He stayed at home as he got sicker, Gershon said, and later died on a ventilator in the hospital.

Contractors built two field hospitals on Long Island, on the campuses of the State University of New York at Stony Brook and SUNY Old Westbury, at a total cost of more than $270 million.

The Army Corps limited the competition in awarding the projects to speed the process, which usually takes six to nine months, according to agency documents. Officials noted they were able to complete the contract award for the Stony Brook project in a "little more than three days."

"This time savings was critical in order for construction to begin as quickly as possible, supporting the unusual and compelling nature of the urgency of this procurement and the national emergency," the document said.

The two Long Island field hospitals were completed in late April. They never opened to the public and didn't treat any patients.

"That's outrageous," Gershon said. "That's completely crazy. I hope they didn't take them down."

The temporary hospitals in New York haven't been taken down. They're on hold in case they need to be reopened in the future, according to a state health department spokesman.

New York has "so far avoided the worst-case scenario we were preparing for," the spokesman said in a statement. "There has been a reduced need for hospital beds, and as of now we are not moving forward on purchasing supplies and equipment or securing staff for these sites."

Even in New York City, where the Army Corps field hospital did treat COVID-19 patients, it never reached full capacity.

"There are a lot of losers in it and not a lot of winners," said Dario Gonzalez, an emergency doctor with the New York City Fire Department who helped lead the medical response at the temporary hospital at the Javits Center in Manhattan.

"It was very disappointing," Gonzalez said. "Everybody was here, ready to work, ready to get patients in."
The plan was for the Javits Center to take patients from overwhelmed hospitals in the city. But in practice it wasn't that easy. Some hospitals complained that the intake process was too complicated. And they sent few patients to Javits — even as they resorted to treating patients in the hallways.

During the three weeks it was open, the Javits field hospital treated about 1,100 patients. Gonzales said it could have handled a lot more.

"We all could have done a much better job," Gonzalez says. "And we've got to really get it together to get that right the next time."

Officials in other states such as Illinois and Michigan also said field hospitals can be quickly reopened if there's an increase in coronavirus cases.

"We really wanted to make sure that we were maintaining some of the physical infrastructure that has been built there. So that should we need it, it doesn't take us a long time to potentially turn that back on," said Allison Arwady, the public health commissioner in Chicago.

She said officials there are keeping a close eye on the number of COVID-19 patients in local hospitals.

"We watch it really closely every day," Arwady said. "And certainly if we start to see any direction that things are not going the right way, we stand ready in case that needs to be reassessed."

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Bill Gates offered House of Reps $10m bribe for speedy passage of compulsory vaccine bill – CUPP alleges

The Coalition of United Political Parties (CUPP), on Monday, alleged that it has intercepted a human intelligence report that the Nigeria House of Representatives leadership was poised to forcefully pass the compulsory vaccine bill without subjecting it to the traditions of legislative proceedings.

In a statement issued and signed by the spokesperson of the opposition political parties, Barrister Ikenga Imo Ugochinyere and sent to DAILY POST in Abuja on Monday, the body urged lawmakers in the lower chamber to rise against impunity.

The body in the statement alleged that a sum of $10 million was offered by the American Computer Czar, Bill Gates to influence the speedy passage of the bill without recourse to legislative public hearing, a development they averted as anachronistic, adding that the Speaker, Femi Gbajabiamila should be impeached if he forces the bill on members.

The statement read:

“Opposition Coalition (CUPP) has intercepted very credible intelligence and hereby alerts Nigerians of plans by the leadership of the House of Representatives led by Femi Gbajabiamila to forcefully and without adherence to the rules of lawmaking to pass the Control of Infectious Diseases Bill 2020 otherwise known as the Compulsory Vaccination Bill which is proposing a compulsory vaccination of all Nigerians even when the vaccines have not been discovered.

“This intelligence is coupled with the information of the alleged receipt, from sources outside the country but very interested in the Bill, of the sum of $10 million by the sponsors and promoters of the Bill to distribute among lawmakers to ensure a smooth passage of the Bill.

“This will manifest in a wishy-washy public hearing which the promoters still insist on cancelling under the pretext of containment of the spread of the coronavirus. The intelligence is that the House will under whatever guise pass the Bill tomorrow 5th May, 2020 upon resumption.

“The Nigeria opposition rejects the Bill and urges opposition lawmakers in the House of Representatives to confront the Speaker of the House with these facts tomorrow at plenary and resist every plan to illegally pass the Bill.

“We have been informed that the alleged deal on the passage of the Bill was struck during a trip to Austria a few months back while the financial support for the promotion of the Bill was allegedly received last week to mobilize for a push leading to the hurried attempt to pass the Bill by any means necessary.

“Nigerians are reminded that at present, there is no discovered/approved vaccine anywhere in the world and one now begins to wonder why the hurry to pass a Bill for a compulsory vaccine when there is none.

“What if the world eventually does not find a vaccine or cure for coronavirus just like it has not found a cure for HIV AIDS? What is the hurry in passing a Bill based on speculation or is there anything else the leadership of the House would want to tell Nigerians? Is this bill what will stop the mass deaths and infections rising in Lagos, Kano, Abuja, Gombe, Borno, Kaduna, Ogun, Bauchi and indeed all over the country?

“Is this Bill going to revive and grow the economy and reduce hunger and give us more testing kits or bed spaces? Is this Bill going to stop the stealing of palliatives meant for poor and vulnerable Nigerians? Is it true that all these noises for the Bill is all for the alleged $10 million?

“The leadership of the House needs to start speaking now on why the hurry when there are a lot of urgent Bills to be passed which are not being attended to.

“Where is the Bill to make the wearing of face masks compulsory now that the Federal Government has against all wisdom insisted on easing the lockdown and the people have trooped out already without obeying the health regulations that will make them safe?

“Where are the economic revival Bills to protect jobs and vulnerable Nigerian workers whose livelihoods are threatened daily by this pandemic? Where are the Bills to compel the Federal Government to look inwards and encourage emergency research for the manufacture of essentials like test kits, ventilators, Personal Protective Equipment, vaccines, drugs, masks, sanitizers etc

“All opposition lawmakers should prove they are not part of the evil or partakers of the financial inducement and confront Speaker Femi Gbajabiamila to come clean.

“Let all parliamentary rules be dropped and opposition members should turn the House upside down using their parliamentary privileges if that is what it takes to stop this foreign-sponsored Bill.

“Why make a law for a vaccine that has not been discovered? Does it mean that Femi Gbajabiamila and the promoters have an idea of the vaccine and when it will be ready? When nations like Madagascar are making local remedies which is working, APC is making a law to compulsorily inject Nigerians with vaccines our former slave masters have not yet discovered.

“The plan to push the passing of the bill is evil

“The Nigeria Centre for Disease Control, NCDC did not make any contributions to the drafting of the Bill and has even told Femi Gbajabiamila to suspend the Bill as the timing is very wrong but Mr. Gbajabiamila believes he can secure the silence and acquiescence of the NCDC with all the illegal powers been provided for the NCDC in the Bill hence he still wants to push ahead with it the passage.

“Like we told the Federal Government before, do not bring Chinese doctors, shut our external borders, do not ease the lockdown, do not relax Kano lockdown and they refused to heed to wise counsel preferring to play myopic politics with the lives of Nigerians, today the community transmission is getting worse and it has almost been confirmed that the so called strange deaths in Kano of hundreds of citizens is a result of the COVID-19.

“We are saying loudly again and calling on House of Representatives to suspend this Control of Infectious Diseases Bill and await for proper input and scrutiny after the pandemic and charge all efforts towards giving the needed support to reduce the spread and find a homegrown solution.”

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Fact-checking Judy Mikovits, the controversial virologist attacking Anthony Fauci in a viral conspiracy video

In a video that has exploded on social media in the past few days, virologist Judy Mikovits claims the new coronavirus is being wrongly blamed for many deaths. She makes head-scratching assertions about the virus—for instance, that it is “activated” by face masks.

Mikovits also accuses Anthony Fauci, head of the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and a prominent member of the White House’s Coronavirus Task Force, of being responsible for the deaths of millions during the early years of the HIV/AIDS pandemic. The video claims Mikovits was part of the team that discovered HIV, revolutionized HIV treatment, and was jailed without charges for her scientific positions.

Science fact-checked the video. None of these claims are true. The video is an excerpt from a forthcoming movie Plandemic, which promises to “expose the scientific and political elite who run the scam that is our global health system.” YouTube, Facebook, and other platforms have taken down the video because of inaccuracies. It keeps resurfacing, including on the Plandemic website, which, in “an effort to bypass the gatekeepers of free speech,” invites people to download the video and repost it.

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But first, who is Judy Mikovits?

Mikovits started her career as a lab technician at the National Cancer Institute (NCI) in 1988. She became a scientist and obtained a Ph.D. in biochemistry and molecular biology from George Washington University in 1991. By 2009, she was research director at the Whittemore Peterson Institute (WPI), a private research center in Reno, Nevada, but she remained largely unknown to the scientific community. That year, however, she co-authored a paper in Science that suggested an obscure agent named xenotropic murine leukemia virus-related virus (XMRV) caused chronic fatigue syndrome (CFS).

The cause of CFS, also called myalgic encephalomyelitis, had long remained elusive, and the disease had been neglected by science. The study created hope that CFS might become treatable with antivirals. Some patients even began to take antiretroviral drugs used by HIV-infected people. But the paper also created worries that XMRV might spread via the blood supply.

Other researchers soon questioned the findings, and over the next 2 years, the paper’s claims fell apart. Researchers showed that XMRV was created accidentally in the lab during mouse experiments; it may never have infected any humans. The authors first retracted two figures and a table from the paper in October 2011. Around the same time, a study by several labs, including WPI itself, showed the findings couldn’t be replicated.

Two months later, the entire Science paper was retracted. Mikovits refused to sign the retraction notice, but she took part in another major replication effort. That $2.3 million study, led by Ian Lipkin of Columbia University and funded by the National Institutes of Health, was “the definitive answer,” Mikovits said at a September 2012 press conference where the results were announced. The rigorous study looked for XMRV in blinded blood samples from nearly 300 people, half of whom had the disease, and none had the virus. “There is no evidence that XMRV is a human pathogen,” Mikovits conceded.

Science’s news department, which works independently from its editorial side, followed the saga closely and published a detailed reconstruction of the fiasco in September 2011. (The story won a Communications Award from the American Society for Microbiology.)

Around the same time, Mikovits had an explosive breakup with WPI. The institute filed suit against her in November 2011 for allegedly removing laboratory notebooks and keeping other proprietary information on her laptop, on flash drives, and in a personal email account. She was arrested in California on felony charges that she was a fugitive from justice and jailed for several days. Prosecutors in Washoe county, Nevada, eventually dropped criminal charges against her in June 2012.

Mikovits has not published anything in the scientific literature since 2012. But she soon began to promote the XMRV hypothesis again, and attack the Lipkin study that she agreed had put the issue to rest. She has weighed in on the autism debate with controversial theories about causes and treatments. Her discredited work and her legal travails have made her a martyr in the eyes of some.

Now comes a new book she co-authored, Plague of Corruption: Restoring Faith in the Promise of Science—billed as “a behind the scenes look at the issues and egos which will determine the future health of humanity”—and the viral video, which is an extended interview with Mikovits.

Science asked Mikovits for an interview for this article. She responded by sending an empty email with, as attachments, a copy of her new book and a PowerPoint of a 2019 presentation titled “Persecution and Coverup.”

Below are some of the video’s main claims and allegations, along with the facts.

Interviewer: Dr. Judy Mikovits has been called one of the most accomplished scientists of her generation.

Mikovits had authored 40 scientific papers and wasn’t widely known in the scientific community before she published the 2009 Science paper claiming a link between a new retrovirus and CFS. The paper was later proven erroneous and retracted.

Interviewer: Her 1991 doctoral thesis revolutionized the treatment of HIV/AIDS.

Mikovits’s Ph.D. thesis, “Negative Regulation of HIV Expression in Monocytes,” had no discernible impact on the treatment of HIV/AIDS.

Interviewer: At the height of her career, Dr. Mikovits published a blockbuster article in the journal Science. The controversial article sent shock waves through the scientific community, as it revealed that the common use of animal and human fetal tissues was unleashing devastating plagues of chronic diseases.

The paper revealed nothing of the sort; it only claimed to show a link between one condition, CFS, and a mouse retrovirus.

Mikovits: I was held in jail, with no charges.

The district attorney in Washoe county, Nevada, filed a criminal complaint against Mikovits that charged her with illegally taking computer data and related property from WPI. The charges were dropped, in part because of legal troubles faced by her former employer.

Mikovits: Heads of our entire HHS [Department of Health and Human Services] colluded and destroyed my reputation and the Department of Justice and the [Federal Bureau of Investigation] sat on it, and kept that case under seal.

Mikovits has presented no direct evidence that HHS heads colluded against her.

Mikovits: [Fauci] directed the cover-up. And in fact, everybody else was paid off, and paid off big time, millions of dollars in funding from Tony Fauci and … the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. These investigators that committed the fraud, continue to this day to be paid big time by the NIAID.

It’s not clear which fraud and what cover-up Mikovits is talking about exactly. There is no evidence that Fauci was involved in a cover-up or that anyone was paid off with funding from him or his institute. No one has been charged with fraud in relation to Mikovits’s allegations.

Mikovits: It started really when I was 25 years old, and I was part of the team that isolated HIV from the saliva and blood of the patients from France where [virologist Luc] Montagnier had originally isolated the virus. … Fauci holds up the publication of the paper for several months while Robert Gallo writes his own paper and takes all the credit, and of course patents are involved. This delay of the confirmation, you know, literally led to spreading the virus around, you know, killing millions.

At the time of HIV’s discovery, Mikovits was a lab technician in Francis Ruscetti’s lab at NCI and had yet to receive her Ph.D. There is no evidence that she was part of the team that first isolated the virus. Her first published paper, co-authored with Ruscetti, was on HIV and published in May 1986, 2 years after Science published four landmark papers that linked HIV (then called HTLV-III by Gallo’s lab) to AIDS. Ruscetti’s first paper on HIV appeared in August 1985. There is no evidence that Fauci held up either paper or that this led to the death of millions.

Interviewer: If we activate mandatory vaccines globally, I imagine these people stand to make hundreds of billions of dollars that own the vaccines.

Mikovits: And they’ll kill millions, as they already have with their vaccines. There is no vaccine currently on the schedule for any RNA virus that works.

Vaccines have not killed millions; they have saved millions of lives. Many vaccines that work against RNA viruses are on the market, including for influenza, measles, mumps, rubella, rabies, yellow fever, and Ebola.

Interviewer: So, I have to ask you, are you antivaccine?

Mikovits: Oh, absolutely not. In fact vaccine is immune therapy, just like interferon alpha is immune therapy, so I’m not antivaccine. My job is to develop immune therapies. That’s what vaccines are.

In another recent video, Mikovits is wearing a hat that says VAXXED II, which is a sequel to a film that links the mumps, measles, and rubella vaccine to autism, a debunked theory. She also repeats several claims made by people who are leading the antivaccine movement. In the PowerPoint presentation she sent to Science, she calls for an “immediate moratorium” on all vaccines.

Interviewer: Do you believe that this virus [SARS-CoV-2] was created in the laboratory?

Mikovits: I wouldn’t use the word created. But you can’t say naturally occurring if it was by way of the laboratory. So it’s very clear this virus was manipulated. This family of viruses was manipulated and studied in a laboratory where the animals were taken into the laboratory, and this is what was released, whether deliberate or not. That cannot be naturally occurring. Somebody didn’t go to a market, get a bat, the virus didn’t jump directly to humans. That’s not how it works. That’s accelerated viral evolution. If it was a natural occurrence, it would take up to 800 years to occur.

Scientific estimates suggest the closest virus to SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19, is a bat coronavirus identified by the Wuhan Institute of Virology (WIV). Its “distance” in evolutionary time to SARS-CoV-2 is about 20 to 80 years. There is no evidence this bat virus was manipulated.

Interviewer: And do you have any ideas of where this occurred?

Mikovits: Oh yeah, I’m sure it occurred between the North Carolina laboratories, Fort Detrick, the U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, and the Wuhan laboratory.

There is no evidence that SARS-CoV-2 originated at WIV. NIAID’s funding of a U.S. group that works with the Wuhan lab has been stopped, which outraged many scientists.

Mikovits: Italy has a very old population. They’re very sick with inflammatory disorders. They got at the beginning of 2019 an untested new form of influenza vaccine that had four different strains of influenza, including the highly pathogenic H1N1. That vaccine was grown in a cell line, a dog cell line. Dogs have lots of coronaviruses.

There is no evidence that links any influenza vaccine, or a dog coronavirus, to Italy’s COVID-19 epidemic.

Mikovits: Wearing the mask literally activates your own virus. You’re getting sick from your own reactivated coronavirus expressions, and if it happens to be SARS-CoV-2, then you’ve got a big problem.

It’s not clear what Mikovits means by “coronavirus expressions.” There is no evidence that wearing a mask can activate viruses and make people sick.

Mikovits: Why would you close the beach? You’ve got sequences in the soil, in the sand. You’ve got healing microbes in the ocean in the salt water. That’s insanity.

It’s not clear what Mikovits means by sand or soil “sequences.” There is no evidence that microbes in the ocean can heal COVID-19 patients.

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EU Mulls ‘COVID-19 Passports’ to Restore Tourism Industry

The Tourism Ministers of the 27 the European Union Member States meet on Monday through a video conference, in a bid to find a way to restore the tourism in the block, which has been one of the most affected sectors by the Coronavirus pandemic.

During the video conference, the Ministers discussed the need to protect tens of millions of travellers, and restore tourism, in particular for Italy, Greece, Croatia and Portugal, who all rely on a thriving tourism sector.

Among other ideas, the EU diplomats discussed the option of creating a certificate of security in the sphere of tourism under the provisional name “COVID-19 passport”, which would refer to the health status of the owner of the document, and enable him/her to travel to the EU and Schengen States.

This passport would be linked to capitals being subject to “common rules and protocols” for social distancing, as well as tracking systems if there is an outbreak of infections.

Croatia’s Minister of Tourism, Gari Cappelli confirmed that the Ministers agreed on the creation of a common document under name COVID-passport, which would work all over the EU.

“We reached several conclusions, particularly in the organization of the joint European approach to emerging from the crisis. It will include the creation of joint protocols and measures in the spheres of health and security. The ministers agreed that the common document under provision name Covid-passport should be created and it will work all over the EU,” Cappelli said.

During the same video conference, the European Commissioner for Internal Market and Services Thierry Breton called for fast action, pragmatism and creativity to recover and build a resilient and sustainable tourism industry.

During his speech, Commissioner Breton pointed out that the virus has had a devastating impact on the entire tourism ecosystem, including hospitality, travel agencies, tour operators, airlines and other forms of transport.

Previously, on April 15, the European Commission and European Council Presidents proposed a European roadmap to phase-out the containment measures due to the coronavirus outbreak.

However, all member states are also planning to unilaterally take additional measures aside from the ones outlined in EC’s guidelines.

For example, Greece is planning to welcome travellers who have tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies and are believed to be immune from the virus, whereas France wants to give priority to domestic travellers favouring a so-called “staycation”. had previously reported that those wishing to travel to the Schengen Area after the Member States start permitting entry for non-EEA nationals, may have to present a negative COVID-19 test.

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San Diego Supervisor Says Only 6 Of 194 Coronavirus-Recorded Deaths ‘Pure’ Coronavirus Deaths

On Tuesday, San Diego county Supervisor Jim Desmond said after digging into the data that he believes only six of the county’s 194 coronavirus-identified deaths are “pure” coronavirus deaths, meaning they died from the virus, not merely with the virus.

Desmond was seemingly ruling out deaths from individuals with preexisting conditions.

“We’ve unfortunately had six pure, solely coronavirus deaths — six out of 3.3 million people,” Desmond said on a podcast, Armstrong & Getty Extra Large Interviews, according to San Diego Tribune. “I mean, what number are we trying to get to with those odds. I mean, it’s incredible. We want to be safe, and we can do it, but unfortunately, it’s more about control than getting the economy going again and keeping people safe.”

Public Health Officer Dr. Wilma Wooten suggested Wednesday during a press briefing that Desmond was being callous, noting that their liberal identification of COVID-19 deaths is uniform with coding nationwide.

“Their life is no less valuable than someone’s life who does not have underlying medical conditions,” Wooten said. “This is not just San Diego. This is how this is done throughout the entire nation in terms of identifying who has died of COVID-19.”

“Any loss of life, for any reason, is worth preventing,” Desmond reportedly responded via email, according to the San Diego Tribune. “Clearly, those with underlying circumstances are the most vulnerable. I believe we can keep people safe and responsibly open our businesses.”

According to a recent report from The Washington Post, leading voice on the White House Coronavirus Task Force Dr. Deborah Birx believes coronavirus-coded deaths are inflated by some 25%.

“During a task force meeting Wednesday, a heated discussion broke out between Deborah Birx, the physician who oversees the administration’s coronavirus response, and Robert Redfield, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention,” The Washington Post reported over the weekend, adding, “Birx and others were frustrated with the CDC’s antiquated system for tracking virus data, which they worried was inflating some statistics — such as mortality rate and case count — by as much as 25 percent, according to four people present for the discussion or later briefed on it. Two senior administration officials said the discussion was not heated.”

“There is nothing from the CDC that I can trust,” Birx said, according to two sources.

In April, Birx made it clear that the U.S. is liberally coding COVID deaths; in other words, she explained, if a person tests positive for the virus, “we are counting that.”

“I think in this country, we are taking a very liberal approach to mortality,” she said at an April press briefing. “And I think the reporting here has been pretty straightforward over the last five to six weeks. … If someone dies with COVID-19, we are counting that.”

“There are other countries, that if you have a pre-existing condition, and let’s say the virus called you to go to the ICU (intensive care unit) and then have a heart or kidney problem,” Birx explained. “Some countries are recording that as a kidney issue, or a heart issue, and not a COVID-19 death.” In the U.S., she suggested, “we’re still recording it” as a COVID-19 death.

On Tuesday, however, Dr. Anthony Fauci, another leading voice on the White House Coronavirus Task Force, told the Senate he believes COVID-19 deaths are likely understated.

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Governor Inslee lays out statewide contact tracing plan for COVID-19

At his May 12 press conference, Governor Jay Inslee laid out the plans for the statewide contact tracing initiative.

“[The initiative] is robust, it is vigorous and it is comprehensive, and it needs to be all three to be successful,” Inslee said. “If we do not succeed in this second stage of our efforts, this virus could come bright back and bite us.”

Inslee said that the state has seen early success in its efforts against COVID-19, and this initiative will represent a transition from one strategy to another. Social distancing was the primary tool against the virus, and when the state is looking to open the economy, contact tracing and isolation of those who test positive will be the next tool.

“If this is successful, it will allow us to open our economy,” Inslee said. “This next stage… actually will be more difficult, and its success will depend on both the state and local public health officials and families who will need to be committed to this effort to help their community.”

Box the virus

The information Inslee provided was labeled as “Contact Tracing: Box in The Virus.” The steps were listed as follows:

Contact tracing involves interviewing people with positive COVID-19 tests to identify who they’ve been in contact with, getting those people tested and then making sure they isolate themselves and their families.

Isolation/Quarantine upon first symptoms

The Governor recommends that people are to quarantine immediately for 14-days upon experiencing the first systems. This includes entire households – e.g. all members of the household must isolate with the possible infected person.

Anyone who has had contact with that person will be quarantined until they have tested negative, even if they have not tested positive or shown symptoms.


Test widely

Contact tracers will reach out to notify those that may have been exposed to COVID-19 within 24 to 48 hrs of a positive test result. The governor compared the contract tracers or “COVID brigade,” to the operation of a “fire brigade.”


Isolate quickly, identify, and quarantine contacts

To isolate quickly, 1,371 contact tracers will be trained to implement steps 2-5. The plan is to hire additional contact tracers including volunteers to relief national guardsman.

The national gaurd’s function will not be that of law enforcement only public health.


This effort will be a partnership between local health districts and the Washington State Department of health. Individuals should quarantine immediately upon first symptoms and stay quarantined until receiving a negative test result.

Those who test positive will need to isolate for 14 days; that includes everyone who lives in the household. An interviewer will call those who test positive for COVID-19 to identify and inform close contacts of potential exposure.

Inslee also spent time talking about the privacy measures related to contact tracing. Individuals’ data will only be accessible to public health professionals; it will not be shared with anyone else. Contacts will not be told the name of the person who may have exposed them to COVID-19.

By the end of the week, Inslee said the state will have 1,371 contact tracers trained and ready; 351 of those will be national guard, 390 will be Department of Licensing and 630 will be State/Local health professionals.

Contact tracers will not ask for the following information: immigration status, social security number, financial info or marital status.

For those businesses/individuals that don’t comply, the governor stated that he confirmed with Attorney General Bob Ferguson, there will be sanctions in civil or crimal court.

At timestamp 38:55 in the video of the press conference below, one reporter asked: “When it comes to contact tracing, how are you guys going to handle people or families who want to refuse to test or to self isolate? If they want to leave their home to get groceries I know you’ve said they can’t do that; how will you make sure they don’t?“

Below is Jay Inslee’s response:
  • “We will have attached to the families a family support person who will check in with them to see what they need on a daily basis… and help them. If they can’t get a friend to do their grocery shopping, we will help get them groceries in some fashion. If they need pharmaceuticals to be picked up, we will make sure they get their pharmaceuticals… That’s going to help encourage them to maintain their isolation too.
  • “As far as refusal, it just shouldn’t come to that, and it really hasn’t. We’ve had really good success when we ask people to isolate, and they’ve done so in really high percentages, so we’re happy about that, and we believe that will continue.”
Therefore, those individuals that refuse to cooperate with contact tracers and/or refuse testing, those individuals will not be allowed to leave their homes to purchase basic necessities such as groceries and/or prescriptions. Those persons will need to make arrangements through friends, family, or a state provided “family support personnel.”

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