COVID Update September 12: The head of the @WHO called out for “moral bankruptcy” in our COVID response.

He’s exactly right. 1/
People are no longer dying from the virus because we don’t know how to prevent its spread. They’re dying because we don’t care to. 2/
Countries all over the world from Africa to Asia to Europe are showing us that contagion is a choice we are making not cards we have been dealt. 3/
Former conservative prime minister from Australia thinks we are spending too much money to save the lives of old people.

He says we are too fearful to say out loud that we should “let nature take its course.” 4/
He estimates that what Australia spent equates to the equivalent of $200,000/year for every life saved if 10 years were added to your life.

He calls that "substantially beyond what governments are usually prepared to pay for life-saving drugs." 5/
So let’s go there. The reason you spent $300 billion and the US well in excess is because we didn’t invest fractions of that amount in the first place. Because we didn’t value people’s health.

You want to make your citizen’s pay because the government failed to do its job.6/
South Africa has fewer than 2000 new cases every day with much fewer resources. In fact, the continent of Africa has fewer than 1 case/1000 & 28,000 deaths in total.

1.2 billion people. 28,000 deaths. 7/
As we cross 200,000 deaths this week, I doubt history will fault us for “caring too much” or “spending too much” here in the U.S. 8/
Let’s look at the “let nature take its course” alternative. What’s the cost to people paying taxes their whole lives, working hard in a country, and then to get dismissed because they are “elderly?” 9/
Let’s ask Scott Atlas, Donald Trump’s “science-y” advisor. He dismissively says risk of death is predominantly with people who are “elderly with chronic conditions”
First try to overlook the boorish & boisterous sarcasm if you can.

1. It’s a lie. It’s not age w. pre-existing conditions. It’s age or people w pre-ex.
2. He is using the phrase elderly to describe people over 65 (88% of deaths are people over 65).

(Time out for a second...)11
My dad was 64 when he died. He almost made it to Scott’s category when people can be discarded.

Today would have been his 81st birthday. I actually sang him “when I’m 64” in my shitty voice on that birthday. And those 17 years would have meant a lot. 12/
3- It’s sadly not just old people. The number of people UNDER 65 who have died is 24,000– about the same as all the people who died on the continent of Africa.

If someone told you last year that a bug would come & kill 24,000 middle aged & younger ppl in 6 months...13/
...would you say “that’s great!” 4000 Americans dying every month would be unprecedented by itself.
4. Young people with pre-existing conditions are almost as at risk as older people. 14/
5. Young people are hosts for COVID-19 and contagious often without their knowledge. We haven’t found a way to separate young and old people. And why should we make that the permanent answer? 15/
6. Sadly this is a virus of the blood vessels that lodged in organs and damages the body. It is creating a new form of mysterious chronic illness. If you haven’t listened to the long haulers episode, you’re going to want to. 16/
7. By my calculation, people who are classified as elderly & at the highest risk were:
-norm before or during the Depression
-fought in WWII, Korea, or Vietnam
-Many lived through discrimination/immigrated here/sacrificed in one
-Much is our economy was built on their backs 17/
-One or two had bone spurs & avoided paying taxes but most paid taxes, paid their dues, paid into Medicare, paid Social Security.

They didn’t do all this so a radical radiologist could decide what their life is worse. 18/
Seems like anyone whose ever met Scott or who understands infectious diseases wants to disassociate with him.

If I’m a senior I’m not voting for the death panels guy. 19/
I don’t say this lightly but people like Scott flourished under Adolf Hitler.

Now I’m not saying Scott would have worked for Hitler. That’s an exaggeration. But he at least would have interviewed for the job. 20/
So when @DrTedros talks about our morality, I say yes, finally, amen.
More than anything I’m glad people are finally saying this out loud. It’s not veiled talk. It’s not from Twitter trolls. It’s from our federal government.
Something tells me people who are older or plan to get older have something to vote for this year and I expect they will in record numbers. 23/
In societies where elders are honored around the world, the death toll is much lower. Here in the US Tribal leaders also sound very different notes.

There is cruelty in the world. Our society should just prevent those people from making decisions for the rest of us. Again./end

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More from @ASlavitt

11 Sep
COVID Update September 10: Paul Revere thought he was doing his job but that whole “redcoats are coming” thing panicked people. 1/
The White House has a very systematic model and detailed memos on states where COVID is growing but they don’t share them publicly. So we don’t panic people. 2/
Florida let go the one person in the state who tried to point out what was about to— and did— hit them. Fortunately they fired her so she didn’t panicked people. Before some of them died. 3/
Read 19 tweets
9 Sep
COVID Update September 9: I don't like writing COVID threads about Donald Trump.

But sometimes there is no choice. Today there is no choice. 1/
Now we know Trump wanted to "play it down" when he heard the Coronavirus spread through the air and could kill upwards of 5% of people.

So he thought (wrongly) that 5% of people-- including "not just old people" would die from COVID. And what he decided to do about it? 2/
"Play it down," Trump said of the virus.

So he decided to lie. And he decided to cover up that lie by publicly attacking anyone who disagreed. The CDC, HHS, Anthony Fauci. 3/
Read 19 tweets
9 Sep
NEW: One of the leading vaccine candidates from Oxford and AZ has been temporarily halted.

I’ve been confirming my understanding of this could mean with others. Follow below if interested.
Phase 3 trials put the vaccine in tens of thousands of people. They are followed very closely to monitor both safety & efficacy.
Trials frequently pause when one of the participants becomes ill.

For example, if one of the 30,000 or so people taking the vaccine has a heart attack, that’s the smart thing to do (I don’t know what the event was— I’m using this as an example).
Read 12 tweets
9 Sep
COVID Update September 8: Ive been trying to write on Twitter an amalgamation of what I hear every day from scientists, the White House, governors & every day people.

Now I want to write those actual conversations & stories. 1/…
Why? Because as the title says so much of the loss we’ve experienced was preventable.

And the on the ground view that I’ve seen tells me that we have to wrestle with some tough questions. 2/
Most experts I’ve talked to estimate that 75% of our the lives we lost could have been saved if we had done a better job at this.

These bugs are a part of life and we need to understand how to do this.3/
Read 16 tweets
8 Sep
COVID Update September 7: The best way to overview what’s going on w people w long term #COVIDー19 symptoms is to let people with #LongCovid speak for themselves.

And I gave a few things to say too. 1/
As with many viruses, some people experience symptoms long after their initial diagnosis. Known as #longhaulers, it can be rough going as symptoms can impact the nervous system, heart, lungs, gut, smell/taste, kidney, brain, immune system, energy.

Mental & physical symptoms.2/
Today I gave my account over to amplifying people’s stories.

And to my surprise that offended some people. 3/
Read 25 tweets
6 Sep
COVID Update September 6: There’s a lot of Twitter mansplaining about herd immunity.

Here’s what it means. 1/
I actually think it means one of several things depending on who says it. 2/
1. The first thing it means is “This is too hard. I give up. We might as well just get it dear & get it over with.”

Tired of missing your football games? Aching to go to the BBQ? Believe in herd immunity. 3/
Read 27 tweets

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