This is propaganda, not science. Broad testing helps ends the closures of businesses, helps get people back to work, helps reopen schools safely.

The President’s lead advisor on COVID is getting it exactly wrong. He’s willfully ignoring the evidence.
Universities that have aggressive testing strategies alongside other adaptations have been able to limit spread.…
Many that haven’t have ended up like this:…
Testing on its own is not a panacea, as the White House found. Works less well if you’re reckless and don’t tie it to other mitigation measures, as the White House also found. But if it’s as useless as @SWAtlasHoover claims, why has the White House been regularly testing staff?
With a competent, evidence-driven testing strategy we could be using aggressive testing to screen students and workers everywhere, not just at the universities that can afford to do so. We could be opening safely and confidently.
Instead we are nine months into this disaster, facing a looming winter while heading toward the highest confirmed case levels we’ve seen. So much remains closed not because we’re testing too much, but because the White House has abandoned the fight.

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More from @JeremyKonyndyk

18 Oct
Strip away all the spin, the noise, the BS, and what's left is this:

This man's arrogant nonchalance is killing Americans.

Had this pandemic occurred under any other past administration, at least 100,000 fewer Americans would have died. And that is a conservative estimate.
Read 10 tweets
16 Oct
Great thread on how massively difficult "shielding the vulnerable" would be in practice. Far harder than using public health measures to control the virus.

None of the "shielding" advocates are grappling seriously with this.

Shielding is not a plan; it's a sleight of hand.
I have yet to see any of the herd immunity/shielding crowd lay out an affirmative agenda that reckons with:

1) how many would need to be shielded
2) what that shielding would entail
3) what support would be provided
4) at what cost
5) how the vulnerable would be identified
As the thread persuasively lays out, tens of millions would need to be shielded, requiring an ambitious plan to protect them while providing massive social and economic support at tremendous cost.

The Barrington crowd proposes nothing of the kind.
Read 5 tweets
16 Oct
So glad that @SavannahGuthrie checked him on this.

He's been peddling this repeatedly so let's put it to bed.

The right reference point isn't literally doing nothing, it's *what more successful countries actually did.*
The US is the unique among peer countries in having a 3-crest pandemic (so far).

We are trending upwards now, as is much of Europe - with the key difference that Europe didn't have the summer wave that we did. Image
So let's look at that and a couple of other scenarios for total mortality, had we controlled it as well as other countries and regions have.

Let's start with top performers: East Asian countries.

You have to log-scale the chart to even be able to see them, compared to the US. Image
Read 12 tweets
15 Oct
Here's the thing about a "shield the vulnerable" strategy: it would have to actually try to identify and shield the vulnerable.

Like mass-producing N95s for anyone 65+ or with other risk factors.

Or programs to support them as they sequester.

There's been nothing of the kind.
I don't support a shielding strategy in any case.

But let's be clear that the administration isn't pursuing it either, at least in practice.

All they're doing is using it as a rhetorical device to excuse their other failures.
The administration is not seeking to identify and support the vulnerable.

It's not trying to scale up real support for them.

It's not laying out a plan for how this would all work.

It is simply pointing to "shielding" to rationalize its failure to actually control the virus.
Read 7 tweets
13 Oct
I have a new paper out today! Co-written with my colleagues @PatrickSaez2 and @rswrdn. And it's (mostly) not about COVID! :)

We explore the shortcomings of the heavily siloed humanitarian coordination architecture, and propose a new approach.
If you're sticking with me to the second tweet, chances are you know that the "cluster approach" has been in place for 15 years now, and orients humanitarian coordination, planning, and operations around the major technical sectors.

It's got problems.
As we, and many before us, have found, the sector-driven logic of the clusters is increasingly at odds with what the system needs from humanitarian coordination.

Humanitarian ops need to be demand driven, integrated across sectors, and devolve power/resources toward the field.
Read 12 tweets
13 Oct
This is helpful update to that chart. Takeaway is much the same. (HT @CT_Bergstrom)

I do think there is a reasonable rationale for looking at the March/April phase a little differently than May/June onward. In early phase we were fighting this much blinder than from summer on.
The states that got hit in the first crest in March/April were largely places with major travel hubs to Europe/China, and dense populations. And due to federal failings they had little preparedness, little support, and a lot less knowledge on how to fight it.
Other states would likely have followed suit if not for the shutdowns that spread across the country from mid-March, and held in place into late April/May.

The shutdowns spared the rest of the country from NYC-like outcomes.
Read 6 tweets

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