HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » babylonsister » Journal
Page: « Prev 1 ... 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 ... 25 Next »


Profile Information

Gender: Female
Hometown: NY
Home country: US
Current location: Florida
Member since: Mon Sep 6, 2004, 08:54 PM
Number of posts: 168,666

Journal Archives

Army Corps has a plan to convert hotels, dorms into coronavirus hospital rooms. Here's how

Army Corps has a plan to convert hotels, dorms into coronavirus hospital rooms. Here’s how
By Tara Copp
March 20, 2020 06:56 PM
Army Corps planning to convert 10,000 New York empty hotel rooms to treat coronavirus patients
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is preparing to create more than 10,000 hospital beds in New York City to treat coronavirus patients by converting empty hotel rooms, college dormitories and potentially even large sporting events centers. By U.S. Department of Defense

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is planning to convert more than 10,000 empty hotel and college dorm rooms into hospital rooms to treat coronavirus cases in New York City and is considering similar operations for Washington state and California, the Corps’ commanding general said on Friday.

“These hotels are empty. The people don’t have jobs,” Lt. Gen. Todd T. Semonite, chief of engineers and commanding general of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, told reporters at the Pentagon.

“We’ll go in and cut a contract and be able to have the state set up a lease for that particular facility, and then we would then take the building over. And in an exceptionally short amount of days we would go in and turn this into an ICU-like facility,” he said, referring to hospital intensive care units. The final plan still has to be approved by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, he said.

The Corps of Engineers is in talks with governors in Washington state and California about taking similar action, he said.


Posted by babylonsister | Sat Mar 21, 2020, 06:30 AM (2 replies)

It's Time to Build Ventilators Like We're at War and Our Lives Depend on It

OPINION | coronavirus
It’s Time to Build Ventilators Like We’re at War and Our Lives Depend on It
We are, and they do.
03/20/2020 05:10 PM EDT
Tom Inglesby is the director of the Center for Health Security of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
Eric Toner is a senior scholar with the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security and a senior scientist in the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Department of Environmental Health and Engineering.

On Thursday, the president said during his White House coronavirus briefing that “nobody in their wildest dreams would have ever thought that we’d need tens of thousands of ventilators.” But this need has long been recognized. Those in the pandemic and hospital preparedness community, including us, have warned for years about the likelihood of a mismatch in demand and ability to care for critically ill people, should a pandemic the likes of the 1918 Spanish Flu take place again.

Now that very situation is upon us, and it’s abundantly clear that the United States government needs to step in immediately. We are facing an impact from COVID-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus, that is unlike anything we have seen in modern times. For the battle against it, the U.S. needs a wartime mobilization to make mass numbers of ventilators, and to ensure the oxygen supply will be sufficient around the country for all the patients who will need it. The federal government needs to do something far more ambitious than sounding the alarm or coordinating with manufacturers: It needs to become the primary buyer and central market of ventilators. And doing so is both within its stated reach and part of its duty.

With the authority of the Defense Production Act, the U.S. government should approach, if it has not already done so, all ventilator manufacturers in the country and enter into very clear and binding contracts that commit the federal government to pay companies to move to maximum production for the indefinite future. The Defense Logistics Agency, with its massive capabilities and experience, could play a role in coordinating such an ambitious operation.

The principal reason people die after coronavirus infection is that they get overwhelming pneumonia and their lungs fail. While a ventilator can’t save all people with respiratory failure, it could be the critical difference between life and death for many patients. The problem is, unless we “flatten the curve,” there are, and will continue to be, far more Americans who need ventilators than the number of ventilators in America.


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Mar 20, 2020, 06:58 PM (11 replies)

Americans are going to demand to know why US wasn't prepared for this pandemic

Americans are going to demand to know why US wasn't prepared for this pandemic
Opinion by Peter Bergen, CNN National Security Analyst
Updated 2:39 PM EDT, Thu March 19, 2020

Editor's Note: (Peter Bergen is CNN's national security analyst, a vice president at New America, a professor of practice at Arizona State University. His new book is "Trump and His Generals: The Cost of Chaos." The opinions expressed in this commentary are his own. View more opinion articles at CNN.)


Sure, there will likely be push back from the Trump administration about the need for a coronavirus commission, but such an investigation is vital to understand how we might better prepare for the next pandemic or a possible bioterrorism attack, since they have some commonalities.

Here are some questions such a commission might try to answer:

-- Why was it that the United States had tested such a small number of people for the coronavirus so many weeks into the crisis? In the weeks since Covid-19 first appeared in the United States, the CDC has, as of Tuesday, together with other public health laboratories, carried out some 32,000 tests. Meanwhile, South Korea has tested more than a quarter million people -- more than 7.5 times more than the United States. What did South Korea, a nation whose total population is only about 15% that of the United States, get right about its tests that America did not? A smart early decision by the Trump administration came at the end of January, which was to bar non-US citizens who had recently visited China from entering the United States and also to quarantine Americans who had visited China's Hubei province, the epicenter of the virus. But why didn't the administration use the weeks of additional time that this bought the American public to do anything substantially to prepare for the crisis by, for instance, speeding up the availability of tests?

-- Why didn't the government step in to make sure we had enough medical-grade masks for what promised to be vastly increased hospital occupancy? According to The New York Times on March 9, "The federal government's Strategic National Stockpile of medical supplies includes 12 million medical-grade N95 masks and 30 million surgical masks -- only about one percent of the 3.5 billion that the Department of Health and Human Services estimates would be needed over the course of a year if the outbreak reaches pandemic levels" -- which, of course, it already has. Knowing that hospitals run on limited inventory, the federal government should have anticipated that supplies would run short.

-- Why might we face inadequate numbers of ventilators for the patients who might become critically ill? Following a tabletop exercise, the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security warned in 2018 that in the event of a severe pandemic there would be a shortfall of hundreds of thousands of ventilators in the United States. This warning seems to have been largely ignored.

-- Why did the Trump administration eliminate the National Security Council's pandemic unit in May 2018 and what effect might that have had on the lethargic response to the crisis?

-- Why did President Trump repeatedly mislead the public about the scale of the threat? Trump said February 26 there were only 15 coronavirus cases in the United States and that the number would soon be close to zero. And as recently as Sunday, Trump made the nonsensical claim that "we have tremendous control" of the virus. Trump's other absurd claim earlier this month that "anybody who wants a test can get a test" was about as accurate as his assessment that his handling of the crisis is rated "a 10."


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Mar 20, 2020, 05:44 PM (5 replies)

cnn's John King defending Peter Alexander...

Posted by babylonsister | Fri Mar 20, 2020, 01:44 PM (9 replies)

Designer Christian Siriano offers to help make protective masks for coronavirus health workers


Designer Christian Siriano offers to help make protective masks for coronavirus health workers
By Judy Kurtz - 03/20/20 02:34 PM EDT

Fashion designer Christian Siriano is offering the use of his design team to produce face masks to help with reported hospital supply shortages due to the coronavirus.

The 34-year-old fashion pro and "Project Runway" alum tweeted on Friday:

Christian Siriano


If @NYGovCuomo says we need masks my team will help make some. I have a full sewing team still on staff working from home that can help.
12:11 PM - Mar 20, 2020

State officials across the country have said they've faced a shortage of masks and other equipment to help protect health care workers treating patients with the coronavirus. Many hospitals have indicated that they're quickly depleting their stockpiles of masks.

On Thursday, the British Fashion Council urged designers to "help in the manufacture of essential products including masks."

"In times of need," the British nonprofit wrote on Instagram, "the fashion industry can be of service."
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Mar 20, 2020, 01:42 PM (23 replies)

I'm A Doctor. The U.S. Response To Coronavirus Has Been Nothing Short Of Criminal.


03/20/2020 01:39 pm ET
I’m A Doctor. The U.S. Response To Coronavirus Has Been Nothing Short Of Criminal.
“With every crucial delay, with every blunder and misstep, the toll is going to be measured in lives lost.”
Dipti S. Barot


We health care workers are, and have been, on our own. We are making decisions hospital by hospital because there is no centralized response or clear guidelines. Surgeons had to make their own decisions about canceling elective surgeries while the surgeon general, an anesthesiologist, lectured journalists on what type of stories they should be writing. With every crucial delay, with every blunder and misstep, the toll is going to be measured in lives lost.

Health care workers have had some of the worst outcomes when confronted with this virus, dying at higher rates than expected for their ages. And yet doctors will be the ones treating Elon Musk’s workers, who were expected to report to the Tesla factory in California — even though the county they were in had ordered citizens to shelter in place. Who is there to protect those frontline workers from the failure of this government?

Each day we get more reports of health care workers infected, hospitalized, and dying all over the world. This week we lost the brilliant Dr. Steven Schwartz to COVID-19 in Seattle. Others will follow. They will continue to die because of the inaction of their leaders. Their lives will end because factories were not taken over by their governments to manufacture test kits and personal protective equipment in time. They will die because they are putting their limp, used masks in little brown paper bags after their 12-hour shift, to be used again tomorrow; they are wiping down their lone allotted face shields with disinfectant, or wrapping them in saran wrap, and cutting plastic Coke bottles to make new ones. They will inadvertently infect their patients because they are reusing disposable gowns, and MacGyver-ing equipment to make do with what they have to serve as many they can. Meanwhile, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is issuing guidance about how to use bandanas and scarves to deal with the dearth.


There is a shooter looking down the barrel of a gun that points straight at each and every one of these people ― and every front line health care worker in this country. Once they are taken out, our first line of defense will be eroded. Many of us will get sick and more of us will die. This is a crime — and there are people directly responsible for it. Blood will be on the hands of those who have sent health care workers to war without armor, to fight battles brandishing pool noodles instead of swords.

Dipti S. Barot is a primary care doctor in the San Francisco Bay area. She is also a freelance writer.
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Mar 20, 2020, 01:35 PM (34 replies)

Eric Alterman: Fox News Has Always Lied to Old People. This Time It May Kill Them.

Fox News Has Always Lied to Old People. This Time It May Kill Them.
The pandemic makes obvious what has long been true: Fox News is dangerous.
By Eric Alterman
Today 11:07 am

Fox News is not news. I have been saying and writing this since Rupert Murdoch launched the network in 1996, but today, it is more important than ever to understand. Fox is, and always has been, a right-wing propaganda outlet disguised as a cable news network.

Sure, CNN, MSNBC, and the network news programs are often filled with all manner of nonsense and misinformation. Indeed, Donald Trump likely would not be in the White House if Jeff Zucker, the president of CNN, hadn’t aired Trump’s falsehood-filled speeches and hired know-nothing flacks to flatter the candidate in a mindless dedication to “bothsideism.” While other networks may be craven and insufficiently concerned with accuracy, Fox is different. It is specifically designed to disinform its viewers and distort our national discourse.

With the largest and most devoted audience in cable news, Fox’s commitment to deluding its audience has long been a barrier to intelligent discussion. Fox has devoted itself to climate denialism, racist attacks on immigrants, and the celebration of economic inequality to name just three. During its first two decades, Murdoch could depend on the late right-wing ideologue and television impresario, Roger Ailes, to navigate Fox’s ideological direction. But since Ailes’s 2016 departure following a bevy of sexual harassment and exploitation scandals, its unofficial program director has been Donald J. Trump.

During the Trump presidency, Fox has joined the president and the Republicans—and sometimes led him and them—in scapegoating the most vulnerable members of our society. But few Fox viewers have seen children caged and separated, often forever, from their parents. Few are victims of violent ICE raids.

What is different about the current crisis is that Trump’s unique combination of dishonesty, conspiracism, and rank incompetence are right in front of all of us. Everyone has friends and family members are losing their jobs or getting sick. This is not the kind of “he said/she said” situation where viewers have no vantage point to judge who is lying and who isn’t. This time, Fox’s misinformation is in our face. Eric Boehlert’s excellent newsletter, “Press Run,” points to just a few of recent examples of when Fox has “downplayed and minimized the novel coronavirus and assured viewers it was likely a partisan Democratic, ‘Deep State’ plot to take down Trump just like impeachment” as it was simultaneously “spreading blatant public health disinformation.”


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Mar 20, 2020, 10:44 AM (2 replies)

New York Times: HHS' pandemic simulation showed how US was ill prepared for coronavirus

New York Times: HHS' pandemic simulation showed how US was ill prepared for coronavirus
By Veronica Stracqualursi, CNN
Updated 4:13 PM ET, Thu March 19, 2020

(CNN)The Trump administration ran a government exercise last year simulating a severe influenza pandemic for which there is no vaccine that showed the country was ill prepared, according to The New York Times.
The results laid out in a draft report showed that the US was underprepared and disorganized for a pandemic scenario similar to coronavirus, which has spread to all 50 states and has yet to peak in the US, the Times reported.

Last January to August, the Department of Health and Human Services ran a scenario named "Crimson Contagion" that included participation from 19 federal agencies, a dozen states, tribal nations, hospitals and nongovernmental organizations, according to the HHS draft report obtained by the Times.

The fictional outbreak involved a group of tourists visiting China who then become infected and fly home to various countries, including the US, the draft report said. In this scenario, the virus is first detected in Chicago, according to the report.

The HHS draft report concluded that the US doesn't have the capacity to manufacture personal protective equipment, needles and syringes. The report noted that these supplies, along with antiviral medications, respirators and ventilators, would be "limited and difficult to restock," due to them being largely manufactured overseas.


Posted by babylonsister | Fri Mar 20, 2020, 09:53 AM (2 replies)

U.S. Orders Up To A Yearlong Break On Mortgage Payments


U.S. Orders Up To A Yearlong Break On Mortgage Payments

March 19, 20202:03 PM ET
Heard on Morning Edition
Chris Arnold
The federal government is telling lenders to lower or suspend mortgage payments for homeowners who have lost income because of the coronavirus outbreak.
Mike Segar/Reuters
Updated at 2:49 p.m. ET

Homeowners who have lost income or their jobs because of the coronavirus outbreak are getting some relief. Depending on their situation, they should be eligible to have their mortgage payments reduced or suspended for up to 12 months.

Federal regulators, through the mortgage giants Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, are ordering lenders to offer homeowners flexibility. The move covers about half of all home loans in the U.S. — those guaranteed by Fannie and Freddie. But regulators expect that the entire mortgage industry will quickly adopt a similar policy.

Under the plan, people who have suffered a loss of income can qualify to make reduced payments or be granted a complete pause in payments.

"That forbearance is up to 12 months, depending on their particular situation," says Mark Calabria, director of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, which oversees Fannie and Freddie.

Homeowners can't just stop paying their mortgage. "They need to contact their servicer — that is the lender that they send the check to every month," he says. "That lender will work with them to be able to work out a payment plan. Obviously, we hope to get them back on their feet as soon as possible."

Calabria says people in financial distress because of the coronavirus can just verbally testify to that over the phone with their lender. Documenting the hardship can come later. "You're not going to have to send 20 pieces of paper at the front of this," he says. "We want to do it quickly."
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Mar 20, 2020, 09:50 AM (11 replies)

Trump Is a Menace to Public Health


Trump Is a Menace to Public Health
March 20, 2020 at 9:24 am EDT By Taegan Goddard

Adam Serwer: “I don’t mean that I disagree with him on policy, although I do. I don’t mean that I abhor the president’s expressed bigotry toward religious and ethnic minorities, although that is also true. I am not referring to Donald Trump’s efforts to corrupt the Justice Department, shield his criminal associates from legal peril, or funnel taxpayer money to his tacky hotels and golf courses, although all of these things are reason enough to oppose the president.”

“What I am referring to is the fact that, soon after the coronavirus outbreak emerged in China, the rest of the world began to regard it as a threat to public health, while Trump has seen it as a public-relations problem. Trump’s primary method of dealing with public-relations problems is to exert the full force of the authoritarian cult of personality that surrounds him to deny that a problem even exists. This approach has paid political dividends for the Republican Party, in the form of judicial appointments, tax cuts for the wealthy, and a rapid erosion of the rule of law. But applied to the deadly pandemic now sweeping the planet, all it has done is exacerbate the inevitable public-health crisis, while leaving both the federal government and the entire swath of the country that hangs on his every word unprepared for the catastrophe now unfolding in the United States. The cardinal belief of Trumpism is that loyalty to Trump is loyalty to the country, and that equation leaves no room for the public interest.”

“Neither the tide of pestilence sweeping the nation nor the economic calamity that will follow was inevitable. They are the predictable outcomes of the president’s authoritarian instincts, his obvious incompetence, and the propaganda apparatus that has shielded him from accountability by ensuring that the public is blinded to his role in the scale of this disaster.”
Posted by babylonsister | Fri Mar 20, 2020, 09:47 AM (4 replies)
Go to Page: « Prev 1 ... 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 ... 25 Next »