31 March 2020


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I want to know who advised him to do nothing?


The CDC also misinformed Obama on the Swine Flu.

Col. Lang needs to come out of retirement and teach the Epidemic Intelligence Service how to do a better job.

different clue

Who would have advised President Trump to do nothing special? I don't think we will ever know unless President Trump decides to tell us himself. Unless he does that, all we will ever be able to do is guess.

I will go ahead and guess: Peter Mnuchin, economic adviser Steven Moore, Mr. Kudlow, and maybe others in that circle of friends and fellow like-thinkers. But unless the President tells us, I will never know if I have guessed right or wrong.


I agree Trump is doing a great job. And so is Pence with his stable and competent attitude that is reassuring.

Oregon's governor Kate Brown is leading our fight by blaming Trump for evry single death in the US from the virus. Insley and Newsome are much better leaders despite the former's complaints.

Ramon Z

If you find yourself in a novel situation and you have to make a decision with incomplete information, then good luck and best wishes.
We are already seeing which countries were prepared and which were not.
If you leave the population exposed to a virus that all the experts told you was coming, then you should be facing serious consequences.


“The plan is more social distancing for another Thirty days. During that period we are going to see a lot of people die, no matter what.


We’ve been hearing this refrain for many weeks now. But when I talk to my grandson who is a doc at the VA, my doc and my nephew who is a doc in Tennessee, none are seeing the surge at their ICUs that was predicted couple weeks ago. Their ICUs are at normal load for this time of the year.

As you know only some 26 states have imposed the draconian order to shut it all down except for essentials. I’m not reading about any major acceleration of infections in those states where such an order has not been issued and many small businesses are still operating. In addition I don’t see news stories of stress in the hospital system around the country with the exception of NYC.

OTOH the response to the Wuhan virus potential fatalities and spread could cause unemployment and small business failures that rival the Great Depression. At what point will the epidemiologists who claim potential catastrophe walk back their calls if we don’t see this surge at our hospitals? How many weeks do they need before it needs to be concluded that this could be a false alarm?

Federal Reserve estimates coronavirus job losses could total 47M; unemployment rate may hit 32%, topping Great Depression peak of 24.9%.



Jack, the problem with this virus is that it is infectious for at least four days before symptoms appear. That means that what we do today won’t produce results for at least a week.

To put that another way, remember the old joke about the parachutist with the collapsed chute? “So far so good!”.

Trump uniquely understands this, probably because he has serious experience at high level real estate project management.


You are judging organizational effectiveness from the ability to put on a dog and pony show? Granted, inability of world class professionals to put on a show is an indicator of onrushing calamity. But the show is not the operation. (Whatever professional politician might think.) I stopped watching such things many decades ago except for the purpose of judging their effects on the public. Does it impress me that Biden can't seem to put on a good show? Yes. Does it impress me that Trump can? No. Putting on a good show should be a minimal standard.

There were lots of good dog and pony shows during the Vietnam war. Did they prove that the war was being conducted competently? No.


I find Trump to be a carnival barker.No continuity of thought or action but lots of blathering.
Also fear his long history of bankrupting organizations will continue.
Lastly anyone that puts the likes of Pompeo and Bolton in position of authority is not to be trusted.



" Incomplete Chinese Data Misled Experts on Seriousness of Coronavirus"
That headlilne is the understatement of the century. The Chinese willfully lied to everyone and still is. They've siezed the production capacity of medical equipment supply companies and are using the output themselves, though they do send defective equipment abroad and teams of doctors for the 'dog and pony show', to use Fredw's term, to put their communist govenment in the best light possible.

The Beaver

I want to know who advised him to do nothing?

It is the Hidden Genius - his son in law Jared, who then went to the father in law of his brother to get some advice when things started to get bad on March 11, 2020. That FIL who is an ER doctor went to his Facebook to get advice from his brethren and that's why we got an address from the Oval Office on March 12, 2020.
Jared must have read 25 books on epidemiology from Jan 21st 2020 till March 11th 2020 ( sarcasm) like he did for Peace in the Middle East


I have been reading the full Corona Task Force press conference transcripts for the past week plus. They are far more informative than any media coverage I have access to and I would recommend reading the transcripts in stead of relying on typical brief (and probably biased - from either "side") media coverage.

It is clear that the Task Force is learning and evolving a range of positions on action.

I fully agree with Walrus that this team is impressive and Trump appears to be leading it well.


Thanks Mr Walrus!

And, I'll voice my appreciation to the Australian longshoreman who are refusing to unload a Chinese freighter, hope our guys follow suit soon.

Bill H

There is nothing in the constitution about the president being responsible for budgeting, "keeping us safe," or drafting legislation. The responsibility of the president is to provide leadership for the nation, and President Trump is doing an admirable job of precisely that. Not since FDR's "Fireside Chats" has the nation been provided with such frequent quidance from its chief executive.



Thanks for the comment about the doctor's view of ICUs. We need more of this kind of information as a reality check. I noticed in the Province of British Columbia, CA there are now about 120 cases in the hospitals and only about 60 in ICUs, with no information about how old they are and what underlying diseases exist. Meanwhile Canadian border has been mostly closed and the economy has been partly shut down with obvious economic and personal injury. "Thousands" of hospital beds are being made available.

I suspect we would find the same general data about hospitalizations in Washington State if the data were being reported. We need more reality check (called investigative journalism) going on through the news media.


"Incomplete Chinese Data Misled Experts on Seriousness of Coronavirus"

As a first year college student, I participated in a small group meeting with a professor of Chinese philosophy and history. The thought about China that he wanted us to take away was "Never trust Chinese statistics." This thought had no specific reference to the Maoist regime. He had outrageous examples from all periods of Chinese history. I didn't actually know anything relevant at the time, but it stuck in my mind and I have always found his characterization to be accurate. Only non-Chinese numbers about China are useful. That was in 1964.

Mark K Logan

The last few pressers have been well done, no doubt about it. I can't go as far as saying that makes him a great President. Bush with his megaphone on the rubble was thereby a great President, Giuliani with some of his statements at that time would be a great man too. The information is Trump is capable of putting himself aside in a crisis. Many will find that surprising and be incredulous. He has not exhibited this sort of behavior often.


People who would wreck a one-car funeral have no idea what it is to bring a lot of people together and get them moving in a coordinated manner to common purpose under extraordinary circumstances.

That said, Jim Acosta seemed to be on what passes for his best behavior yesterday afternoon.


>I want to know who advised him to do nothing?

Jared and the rest of the Tribe


Mark K Logan

Yes he has but you want to grade his mannerisms and hate him because he is a counter-revolutionary of the sort detested by the clown pseudo intellectual Jim Acosta.



One of my friends is an ICU nurse is in Detroit, she says the ward is full. The nurse I know working in Novi, 26 miles West says their's is not, neither is the one in Toledo according to one of their contacts. What do these three anecdotes tell that is different than yours from the doctor at the unknow VA location or the one in an unknown hospital in Tennesse? Not too much.
FWH, here's more anecdotes for to fill your need: 11 patients recovered and off ventilators. dischargwd 40 people identified to have Covid19. I assume that means recovered patient. Hope you feel better but I sure wouldn't make national or even state policy off this one data point.



Trump's CEO type leadership has been adequate...not bold...not great. Yes, he proposed the travel ban; but like many other policies, his follow thru was/has been tepid. He is risk averse. He acts on knowledge and chooses the middle ground. He proposes restricting illegal and legal immigration, but signs bills that invites both. He chooses conservatives justices/judges to the federal courts, but ignores the demographic change that will yield their appointments meaningless. He speaks of opening the country up for business one day and then to possibly quarantine the nation the next. With the bully pulpit at his disposal, he then can claim he was right all along. Trump's adequate leadership so far reveals he is not a man of history; but like Col Lang has commented, a mere businessman.


I am in the process of setting up new ICUs and cross training staff to supplement the ICU doctors we have and supplement the mid-levels. I dont do clinical ICU anymore so I am taking advice from my ICU leads, but I am responsible for both choosing the people to give me advice and deciding the quality of their advice. If I choose the idiot who tells me we dont really need PPE gear, it is my responsibility. If they forget to tell me something and one of my staff is harmed it will be my responsibility for not choosing the right person or not getting another opinion.

If you want to lead you dont get to just blame others when things go wrong and take the credit when things go well. I think the general failure to hold our leaders responsible has become a problem in our society.



Trump is now the arsonist who lit his girlfriend's house on fire and is now is the hero for rushing to save her.

Why not blame him for not picking up on the risk himself, many many people did and the writing was on the walls

A pandemic-preparedness office that was part of the National Security Council was dissolved in 2018. On January 28, Luciana Borio, who was part of that team, urged the government to “act now to prevent an American epidemic,” and specifically to work with the private sector to develop fast, easy diagnostic tests. But with the office shuttered, those warnings were published in The Wall Street Journal, rather than spoken into the president’s ear. Instead of springing into action, America sat idle.


Dec. 31: China confirms existence of a new virus.
JAN. 30 The W.H.O. declared a global health emergency.
March 2: Fewer than 500 people have been tested for the coronavirus in the United States, compared with 1,126 in the Ontario province of Canada alone.

We were caught with our pants down, no PPE, doctors and Nurses on the front lines without masks, unable to test, trace, and contain.

At one hospital in NYC alone: Montefiore CEO Philip Ozuah went on the conference call with employees and said 311 workers had been confirmed positive for Covid-19 and more than 1,000 were quarantined.


We had a heads up for months. What if this were a terrorist biological attack or a missiles from North Korea... ?

The risk was anticipated in 2015 and described in details as if the talk was today by Bill Gates


different clue


Am I being too paranoid when I consider the possibility that the ChinaGov sent defective medical-worker-safety equipment deliberately and on purpose in hopes of fostering more corona spreading specifically among the medical care-givers in order to force-multiply the spread of corona all over America?

( And did I use the term " force multiply" correctly?)

English Outsider

Walrus - thank you for a great article. It would be interesting to have an overview of the response by the various Western countries. The impression I get is that most heeded the initial WHO advice and thought this would be no big deal. Then when they realised it was they got to grips with it.

None more effectively than Trump. Some of the European leaders were pretty good - Mrs Merkel in particular, I thought, and our own PM did fine, but the sheer bustle and dynamism of Trump's response was something else.

But why does the American President have to be perpetually savaged by most of the media? Just once they could let up and recognise that this is the sort of work Trump was designed for, and leave off the constant carping.

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