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Response to SunSeeker (Original post)

Thu Apr 23, 2020, 04:13 PM

4. A couple of points for the RCP bit.

1. S. Korea's government did not manufacture the kits.

2. S. Korea's government asked private business to produce kits, and within 2 weeks had two kits approved, heading into mass production, using readily available technology and production techniques. Because the businesses produced them given what they know about the technology readily available. (It helped greatly that business, government, and academia all had the same tech.)

3. It was not the WHO kits that they produced.

But notice the timeline. S. Korea assumed China was lying out of its ass. It had already started doing intensive screening of anybody from Wuhan (and then Hubei province). Not as fast as Taiwan, which started this *before* the Chinese formally announced the novel virus, before the genome was (re)published, and before it was (again) identified as a coronavirus. When China was still saying that there was evidence of possible human-to-human transmission but that it apparently required close contact and extended exposure, they'd been working on their procedures for a week.

We make a big deal--"the Chinese said it was possible." Better, "the Chinese said it was possible, but rare." Less affirming that something was generally true, more restricting it to few cases. When they had good cause to know things in December, but even at higher echelons of power there was still a reluctance to say it. The rush of power emanating from a central authority often produces a current that keeps the truth from heading up stream.

S. Korea had the MERS outbreak a few years back as training. And were burned with Chinese "mask wearing" to hide the true face of the H1N1 and SARS outbreaks.

Then there's the culture and the other means used. I've already seen official statements from advocacy groups wanting all kinds of restrictions and oversight on the kinds of things that might be necessary for good contact tracing, the kinds of things Taiwan and S. Korea both did--we must protect privacy. As another pointed out yesterday, "life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness" aren't in the Constitution. I guess privacy is.

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