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COVID Upate July 21: There’s no reason we should still be experiencing this crisis in the US. 1/
Six months in, we should still not be here. The crisis should not be going on this long.

This doesn’t mean we should have eradicated the virus by now. It does mean we should have contained it. 2/
Before summarizing what I heard from experts, think on these questions.

If I told you in March that we would be low on PPE, would still lack testing supplies & that it would take 10 days to get a test result, would you have wondered what we had done the last 3 months? 3/
If I told you in March that we would still be spreading the virus when there are PROVEN methods not to spread the virus— proven— would you have believed it? 4/
If I told you in March that countries from Italy to China (to most of Europe & Asia) would have very low case counts and that the US would be spreading out of control, would you have believed it? 5/
I asked @larrybrilliant if he believed COVID-19 would be under control by now. Larry led the eradication or small pox & polio.

He told me w story of a bug the USSR was building that combined the lethality of the most dangerous bug & the infectiousness of the most infectious.6/
That bug was called Chimera.

Larry was clear. As bad & as devious as COVID-19 is, Chimera would have been much more lethal & contagious.

Chimera would have been a challenge but was expected by some to kill 500,000 by some estimates because of containment efforts. 7/
With 140,000 deaths & no real plan in place to reduce the spread before vaccines are broadly available and effective (likely next year), Larry said in no uncertain terms when COVID came, he expected things to be much much better.

He believes we should have solved this by now. 8/
The simple reason is all the tools exist: diagnostic testing. contact tracing. Masks.

Many of these tools have been available to us for centuries. 9/
Without daily testing, but masks, we would be able to carry on with 90% of our life. With daily testing & masks, that would be 98%. And after a short time, as the virus dies it could be 100%. 10/
Yet we sit here, with some of us leading 10% of our lives in terms of fulfillment. Not hugging our family. Not running our small business. Not going to school.

None of this is because we are over-reacting to COVID. It is because we DIDN’T react to COVID. 11/
Proof of this is on every continent in the world. I can’t accept people telling me it’s too hard.

China can test 11 million people in a weekend. European countries have more than adequate contact tracing. Dozens of countries have no problem with masks. 12/
Why is it that we haven’t done what we should have? Which of these?
1-Letting tens of thousands into the country from China & Europe despite contrary claims?
2-Disbanding our task force in May?
3-Pretending this was a hoax until March?
4-Reducing & defunding testing 13/
5-The president encouraging & failing to quash the “truthers”
6-Unwillingness to call for & encourage mask mandate
7-Not taking 3-4 week hard shut down
8-Defunding testing/testing sites
9-Not funding contact tracing
10-Eliminating pandemic response teams
11-Leaving bars open 14/
11-Mixed messaging/inconsistent leadership
12-No coordinated national approach
13-Elimination of nursing home safety fines
14-Congressional stalling
15-Leaving meatpacking plants open
16-Not caring about jails & prisons
17-CDC mistakes
18-No stockpiles

I got asked on TV how we stop more than 140,000 people from dying?

The answer is caring about the 140,001st. 16/
That list of 20 things was too easy to arrive at. And any of the 20 could have been accomplished. Most of them should have. With diligence, all of them would have. 17/
There’s no reason to be here now. 18/
The very day the schools closed was the day to start making them safe again.

Americans stayed home & expected the government to be hard at work. 19/
In a pandemic wasting time is wasting lives. Larry has a way of summarizing how the people who did this to the country should be described. At 3 am tomorrow my interview with him will be posted. 20/
He also grades scientists, public & our political response & tells us what no one knows about the virus. 21/
TV anchors are sighing relief at only 60,000 reported new daily cases & an 8-day testing results backlog.

It should be news when we have a dozen new cases. 22/
I’ve been working with Larry & other global leaders & am glad that our conversation will finally be public. /end
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