I alluded to this story yesterday but figured it's worth circling back to because President Trump is getting grief from the usual suspects, even for sensible policies that make sense. Too many of the people demanding that Trump stop thinking about politics cannot stop thinking about politics. And they're evidently wrong in this critique. Here's Dr. Anthony Fauci -- credible as can be -- stating that contrary to some bipartisan skeptics, the new European travel changes are a good and helpful idea:
Full exchange:— Kyle Cheney (@kyledcheney) March 12, 2020
Q: Does banning travel from Europe help stop the spread of this illness?
FAUCI: Most of the new infections that we're getting right now, the majority of them are coming from Europe.
Q: So you think that'll make a difference?
FAUCI: "I really do. I really do."
The UK exception is a bit strange, however, given that one of their health ministers just tested positive for the virus, and official cases are mounting rapidly. In case you missed it yesterday, check out the trajectories:
?? France, Spain and Germany are about 9 to 10 days behind Italy in #COVID19 progression; the UK and the US follow at 13 to 16 days. In Italy we waited too long, these countries should really start implementing aggressive containment measures now. pic.twitter.com/xL7jUczpmY— Silvia Merler (@SMerler) March 10, 2020
The biggest scandal in terms of the US response has been a totally shambolic and disastrous testing regime, marred by incompetence, delays and "glitches." It will cost lives. Meanwhile, it's certainly attention-grabbing when world leaders are suddenly announcing personal precautions and self-quarantines:
??Brazilian president Jair Bolsonaro is being monitored for coronavirus after his press secretary tested positive for coronavirus. Bolsonaro’s schedule for the week was canceled.— Raquel Krähenbühl (@Rkrahenbuhl) March 12, 2020
Both were with Donald Trump and Mike Pence last Saturday at a Mar-a Lago.
BREAKING: Canada's Prime Minister is self isolating after his wife, Sophie Grégoire Trudeau, returned from London and started showing "mild flu-like symptoms." As a result, the "in person" First Ministers meeting has been postponed. pic.twitter.com/uLvhetrlb7— Annie Bergeron-Oliver (@AnnieClaireBO) March 12, 2020
And it very much looks like the president of the United States has at least been exposed:
The guy standing to Trump’s left just tested positive for coronavirus, according to Brazilian media. Fabio Wajngarten posted this photo, taken during meetings at Mar-a-Lago, five days ago. pic.twitter.com/qioU4qIlxl— Gabriel Stargardter (@gabstargardter) March 12, 2020
There's no need for further speculation on this point, and I'll remind you that exposure does not necessarily mean infection -- and that infection very often does not mean noticeable or bad symptoms (which is a double-edged sword because largely asymptomatic carriers can unwittingly infect others). I'm all for leaders not fueling unnecessary panic, but this is...not good. I'll leave you with some shameless Chinese deflection/propaganda, and some useful, practical news:
Senior Chinese diplomat suggesting without evidence that the US Army may have brought coronavirus to China --> https://t.co/YdlF4ceWmp— Josh Lederman (@JoshNBCNews) March 12, 2020
News you can use: "The most vulnerable parts of your hands are your fingertips, between your fingers, the backs of your hands and under your nails. Rubbing these surfaces with enough force is critical, health experts say." https://t.co/30S8pU4wMR— Dustin *Help Flatten the Curve* Volz (@dnvolz) March 12, 2020