Amid a flurry of astounding news stories, the development that the US Department of Health and Human Services experienced a cyber attack -- apparently designed to propagate false information and stir paranoia and panic among a populace already on edge -- is particularly enraging. America is in a vulnerable position due to Coronavirus, and matters are likely going to get worse before they get better. If this is determined to be the handiwork of a hostile foreign power, as reportedly suspected, there should be hell to pay:
LATEST: U.S. officials have not yet confirmed who was behind the HHS hacking. The hack yesterday involved overloading the HHS servers with millions of hits over several hours, sources tell me and @shiramstein https://t.co/d12zNuAYXg— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) March 16, 2020
U.S. Health and Human Services suffered a cyber-attack on its computer system Sunday night, three sources told Bloomberg. Officials believed the attack was from a hostile foreign actor, and was designed to slow the agency’s services amid the government’s rollout of a response to coronavirus, but failed to register a meaningful impact and did not appear to remove any data, the sources said...The National Security Council reportedly attempted to address the hack and the release of disinformation by tweeting just before midnight. “Text message rumors of a national #quarantine are FAKE. There is no national lockdown. @CDCgov has and will continue to post the latest guidance on #COVID19,” the NSC said.
This would be an outrageous affront to the United States if it came at any time. In the midst of a global pandemic, it is an outright act of aggression against the American people. We need to determine the culprit and respond harshly. These types of reactions are appropriate:
Sen. Sasse on HHS cyber attack: pic.twitter.com/hq7aWTMqhG— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) March 16, 2020
As for the increasingly intense social distancing and isolation policies being implemented in order to help 'flatten the curve' (see here), figures from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to Dr. Anthony Fauci are begging people to understand that steps that might seem like an overreaction right now will pay dividends and mitigate the worsening situation in the coming days and weeks. Gingrich's wife is the Trump administration's ambassador to the Vatican, so he's been living in Italy, where things are going rather badly. Don't replicate these mistakes, he warns:
And here's Fauci making a key point -- "if it looks like you're overreacting, you're probably doing the right thing:"
Head of @NIAIDNews Dr. Anthony Fauci said earlier this week that the #CoronavirusPandemic will get worse in the U.S. before it gets better.— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) March 15, 2020
How much worse? Dr. Fauci to @margbrennan this morning: “It’s going to depend on the effectiveness of our response” pic.twitter.com/mD0WKoufZf
Writes Allahpundit: "Shutting down schools and businesses looks like an overreaction only because exponential growth is “invisible” in its early stages. No one notices when two cases turn into four, then four into eight, then eight into 16. But after 3,000 have turned into 6,000 and then 12,000 in a week, there are too many carriers circulating to sharply mitigate the spread with aggressive isolation measures." If you weren't convinced by the South Korea vs. Italy juxtaposition of approaches and outcomes I flagged yesterday, how about this example from within Italy? One city "overreacted" early, the other waited weeks:
Real-time evidence of flattening the curve. Lodi had the first Covid-19 case in Italy, and implemented a shutdown on Feb 23. Bergamo waited until March 8.— Don Moynihan (@donmoyn) March 15, 2020
Look at the difference.
Incredible research by @drjenndowd, @melindacmills & co-authors. https://t.co/JYf1F5GnYu pic.twitter.com/iMVXBJ59Y6
The early adopter city of Lodi has a much flatter curve, meaning less strain on the health system and likely fewer deaths. The later adopter? You can seek the spike and consider its negative and even lethal ramifications. American officials (with President Trump getting much more serious of late) are trying to make sure the US looks more like Lodi than Bergamo. Will idiotic young people screw it up?
So thousands of young healthy people -- prime candidates to spread corona while remaining asymptomatic themselves -- are traveling from all around the country to a state where many older, at-risk folks choose to retire. https://t.co/GYi3rXLj8i— Nick Confessore (@nickconfessore) March 16, 2020
I'll leave you with this:
A compilation of Italians sending video messages to themselves 10 days ago, warning about what's coming & why not taking it seriously was a grave error. In short, they're talking to Americans...while we still have time to mitigate here. Watch and share: https://t.co/AyyI8yvY35— Guy Benson (@guypbenson) March 16, 2020
It is getting bad over there.