101

I can't speak for Rebecca's judgement in interpreting those words of Trump, but for instance a NYT article says: “Our people want to return to work,” Mr. Trump declared Tuesday on Twitter, adding, “THE CURE CANNOT BE WORSE (by far) THAN THE PROBLEM!” In essence, he was raising an issue that economists have long grappled with: How can a society assess ...


66

Specifically with reference to the UK, an article in the Guardian reports that Experts have warned about the risk that if tough measures are taken too soon, “fatigue” may set in, prompting the public to disregard the advice just as the virus reaches its peak. Effectively the argument is that, absent some sort of enforcement squad if people are told to ...


45

Trump is weighing the economy vs lives saved. That is his job No leader wants to be in the position Trump is in. For instance, it has been stated that Winston Churchill knew in advance of a bombing raid on Coventry but chose to take no action. Ignoring the controversy over the assertion, this comment at the end is apropos "But even if Churchill had known ...


36

Shutting down schools, banning large gatherings and pushing people to do home office has a massive economic cost. Of course you never get the exact numbers on either death or cost but essentially you have to answer questions like: How many death does one need to prevent to make a 10% reduction of annual GDP worth it? This is a complicated ethical question ...


14

It's a balancing act. You want to save as many people from the virus as possible, but you also don't want to disrupt the economy any more than you need to. This isn't just people being greedy either, many people living paycheck to paycheck cannot handle a recession. Some of these people will, after losing everything, commit suicide. Others will turn to ...


13

To delve a bit into philosophy here, Trump demonstrates a distorted form of what Nietzsche called 'master morality,' which might seem alien to most people. Nietzsche's master morality values strength, power, beauty, victory, wealth: all the material/physical symbols of practical success are interpreted as moral goods, and all their opposites or lacks are ...


9

The small Italian town of Vò has tested and retested its entire population. Through testing and retesting of all 3,300 inhabitants of the town of Vò, near Venice, regardless of whether they were exhibiting symptoms, and rigorous quarantining of their contacts once infection was confirmed, health authorities have been able to completely stop the spread of ...


6

In many "poorer non-first world countries" it's going to be very challenging. People often need to work every day in order to "eat" the next day, which prohibits social distancing measures. They have a problem with the availability of sanitation - for hand cleaning. The density of the population in some of these countries is also very significant, which can ...


6

I am unable to find any instances of random samples for Covid-19 tests being drawn from the general population (at the time of writing, see other answers for more recent developments). Current random test samples seem to have been drawn from populations most likely to be infected with the virus, such as healthcare professionals or those who have recently ...


6

The Dutch have begun a project to test donated blood for the antibodies to SARS-COV-2. (sources: Reuters, NLtimes) The motivation for this project seems to be similar to that in your discussion. The blood antibody test is different than the swab tests, however. The swab PCR tests seem to be designed for patients who have a significant probability of having ...


5

Very little, practically speaking. From the WHO: "Describing the situation as a pandemic does not change WHO’s assessment of the threat posed by this #coronavirus. It doesn’t change what WHO is doing, and it doesn’t change what countries should do"- @DrTedros As discussed in this Q&A, the definition of "pandemic" is fairly arbitrary. It does ...


5

Federal The CDC, under the Health and Human Services Secretary, has some authorization to do quarantines (emphasis mine) Under section 361 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S. Code § 264), the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services is authorized to take measures to prevent the entry and spread of communicable diseases from foreign countries ...


4

He did. Only the title is slightly different Under the Public Health Act 1997, Tasmania doesn’t have a CHO. We have a Director of Public Health Services which has all the powers of a CHO. That is Dr Mark Veitch In addition I appointed Professor Tony Laaler to a new position of Chief Medical Officer.


4

"From the helicopter" there is now a more general claim (e.g. in the following McKinsey slide) that Western countries are trying to emulate China and/or South Korea's response: The devil might be in the details, of course. Getting to the details might be too involved/broad in a question like this, not specific to a pair of countries. There's for example a ...


4

Iceland has come close Since their first cases in late February, Iceland has provided free COVID-19 testing to anyone with no requirements for symptoms and travel. So far (as of 4/1), they've tested >5% of the population. While this is not a fully random sampling, since asymptomatic people still have to opt-in, but it provides a much better sampling of the ...


3

The Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment held a small random sample test among hospital staff in the Dutch province of Noord-Brabant. Outcome indicated that about 4% of staff was infected with COVID-19. From 6 to 8 March 1097 hospital workers were tested of which 3.9 per cent was indeed infected with COVID-19. The percentages ...


3

According to the www.imperial.co.uk Coronavirus would infect 80% of US citizens and kill about 4 million if no action is taken at all. Does that answer it?


2

Like any alert system, this is the highest level of alert they can issue. What does this exactly mean, however? That's not as clear In some ways, declaring a pandemic is more art than science. “Pandemics mean different things to different people,” National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases Director Dr. Anthony Fauci said in February. “It really ...


2

Because you would potentially destroy some businesses Understand that minor and temporary inconveniences can be absorbed by the market, but if those distortions last for long periods of time, they can carry serious consequences. For instance, Royal Caribbean Cruise Lines is offering full refunds through the end of July Effective March 6, 2020, the new ...


1

I have now been through more than one week of "social distancing" in Toronto. And, Canada has not slowed that you would notice. Still a doubling time of pretty much 4 days. If we are going to slow this thing, we are going to need to be a lot more active about it. There is one simple thing that might have been done that would have made a difference. ...


1

It's an interesting question, and one that I hope we (Canada) will answer in the affirmative. Short term, in an emergency context like this, I think notion of privacy is turned around a bit: a sick person, unless at home, should have no expectation to keep their status private, quite the opposite. And, once recovered, that previously sick person could ...


1

No, because in the US (and Western democracies in general) patient privacy is very important and the kind of surveillance that the Chinese/South Korean/Singaporean model involves would be politically impossible. See source: There is something fascinating about reading Singapore’s government-supplied coronavirus outbreak information. The data is organized ...


1

The Health and Human Services(HHS) Secretary can make that determination in conjunction with the CDC. From the CDC website Under section 361 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S. Code § 264), the U.S. Secretary of Health and Human Services is authorized to take measures to prevent the entry and spread of communicable diseases from foreign countries ...


1

Also, almost the entire population of the Diamond Princess cruise ship has been tested (3,063 PCR tests for the 3,711 passengers and crew). This actually provided a way to calibrate the "death rate" (technical term: case fatality rate, CFR) in other countries/regions. (For the Princess, the CFR was 1%.) Additionally, the Princess has provided us with an ...


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