Must Watch: Top Expert Assesses Risk and Trajectory of Coronavirus 'Epidemic,' Advises Major Steps to Curb Spread

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Posted: Mar 09, 2020 1:05 PM

For weeks, I have been an ardent opponent of Coronavirus panic, while cautioning that the disease is quite serious and should treated as such.  It's hard to argue against the proposition that we are experiencing a worldwide escalation -- as a handful of members of Congress are in precautionary self-imposed quarantine (prompting additional concerns), confirmed cases are spiking globally, and market reaction has been so negative that the New York Stock Exchange halted trading.  One of the foremost experts whose analysis has been solid, serious and honest is Dr. Scott Gottlieb, the former commissioner of the Food and Drug Administration.  He served in the Trump administration.  His Twitter threads have been extremely measured and informative, including his latest on Saturday, which strongly suggested that the situation was deteriorating:


He went on to discuss the need for federal action to encourage mitigation steps, including potential financial assistance for state and local economies, businesses and workers that will sustain a significant hit as a result of quarantines, closures and cancellations.  Beyond that, he touted straightforward but effective actions: "Simple measures still matter. Hand washing, avoiding crowded indoor spaces, cleaning surfaces, keeping people more apart where appropriate. Businesses and individuals are responding with prudent and measured action, and need to step up these efforts," he wrote (I'll add that evidence suggests regular old soap works well in the fight against Coronavirus).  His only partially-reassuring conclusion:


Gottlieb appeared on CBS News' Face the Nation on Sunday, and I strongly encourage you to watch the full, sobering interview:

Containment is out.  A major goal now is to take decisive action to ensure that the (superb) American healthcare system is not overwhelmed when Coronavirus peaks, which could be an aggravating factor and a lethal development.  While choosing his words carefully, Gottlieb doused ice water on President Trump's assertion that there's a "perfectly coordinated and fine-tuned plan" in place.  It appears as thought Trump's decisive action on travel bans bought us a few weeks, but the overall governmental response to Coronavirus has been deeply flawed.  That's hardly his fault, but needless and inaccurate boasting does not help matters.  Efficient and reliable screening has been a major blemish, with governments scrambling to finally catch up.  Considering that Gottlieb has previously served in the administration, I'd humbly suggest that the President and Vice President strongly consider bringing him back into the fold as a point person on Coronavirus -- both on policy and public relations.  He is very strong and reliable. I'm evidently not the only one having this thought:


I'll leave you with a few reminders that cheap political point-scoring is a very bad look here, especially when the point you're trying to make isn't backed up by the facts.  And having a woke food fight about the "racism" of using the disease's epicenter as a shorthand in discussing it is...as idiotic as it sounds: