Tag Archives: Recovery

So much good news in the battle against the Chinese Wuhan virus

Our best bet right now for slowing and stopping the pandemic
Our best bet right now for slowing and stopping the pandemic

I keep having tabs open in my browser with all sorts of good news stories, so I decided to just dump some of them in this one post so I can finally close the browser tabs.

April 4th: Doctors Rate Hydroxychloroquine ‘Most Effective’ Coronavirus Treatment:

An international poll of more than 6,000 doctors finds that the antimalarial drug hydroxychloroquine has been deemed the most highly rated treatment for the novel coronavirus.

The survey, conducted by Sermo, a global health care polling company, asked 6,227 physicians in 30 countries to find out what is the most effective against SARS-CoV-2. The poll finds that 37% of those treating patients suffering from the coronavirus that causes COVID-19 rated hydroxychloroquine as the “most effective therapy” out of a list of 15 choices.

On Monday, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration gave chloroquine and its derivative, hydroxychloroquine, emergency-use authorization, although many physicians were already using the drug.

Azithromycin, known by the brand name Zithromax or Z-Pak, came in as the second-most effective therapy at 32%, followed by “nothing.”

The study I looked at from Science Direct said that the best results are obtained by using a combination of hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin, which is (I think) what Trump had recommended earlier. In fact here’s an example story about a doctor who is using the combination of the two drugs:

April 2nd: Dr. On Malaria Drug: ‘Absolute Game Changer,’ ‘Beginning Of The End Of The Pandemic’:

An infectious disease doctor told Fox News on Wednesday night that using hydroxychloroquine and azithromycin to treat patients that have the coronavirus was an “absolute game changer” and that it was “the beginning of the end of the pandemic.”

The model used by the White House to calculate infection and death rates is being revised downward – twice.

April 6th: Influential Coronavirus Tracking Model Shows Steep Decline In Death, Bed Shortage Projections:

An influential prediction model, referenced routinely by White House coronavirus task for leader Dr. Deborah Birx, has been updated to reflect a major change in death and bed shortage projections, according to the Associated Press.

The Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation University of Washington’s School of Medicine now says they’re COVID-19 projection model shows a sharp decline in anticipated deaths, anticipated bed shortages, and even anticipated infections — a change made as new data about the virus’ real-world spread becomes available and analysts are able to monitor epicenters, like New York City, in real time.

April 6th: White House Coronavirus Model Gets Another Update, Downgrading Estimated Deaths:

A model heavily relied upon by the White House task force responding to the China-originated novel coronavirus, or COVID-19, has again been updated.

On Sunday night, a model from the Institute of Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington dropped its estimated death projection for the first wave of the pandemic to 81,766 deaths, down from 93,531.

“The 11,765 fewer deaths would mark a 14% decrease for the model’s target projection, and a 30% decrease for the worst-case scenario,” The Daily Caller noted Monday.

Some countries are starting to scale back their quarantining and social distancing:

April 6th: First European Country Announces Multi-Step Plan To Ease Coronavirus Lockdown:

On Monday, Austria became the first European country to announce its plan to begin easing “lockdown” measures amid signs that it has made it through the worst stages of the initial wave of the coronavirus pandemic. Other European countries are reportedly beginning to look with hope toward taking similar steps.

Austria has experienced “three consecutive days in which the number of coronavirus recoveries have exceeded the number of new cases,” The Washington Post explains. “On Monday, Austrian authorities reported 241 new infections over previous 24 hours, but 465 recoveries.”

Things are going so well, that even the Democrats have taken notice.

April 6th: Thousands Of N.Y. COVID Patients Being Treated With Anti-Malarial Drug Hydroxychloroquine:

As many as 4,000 people in New York are currently being treated with hydroxychloroquine, the New York Post reports:

A state Health Department official said the [Department of Health] has shipped doses of hydroxychloroquine to 56 hospitals across New York, distributing enough “to treat 4,000 patients to date.” Patients have received doses as part of four- or 10-day regimens, officials said. The University of Albany’s School of Public Health is observing the drug’s impact on the patients, and its preliminary study could come back in weeks instead of the usual months, officials said.

Cuomo has been criticized for prohibiting pharmacists from dispensing hydroxychloroquine outside a hospital.

April 6th: Cuomo: New York Coronavirus Deaths Have Been ‘Effectively Flat’ For Two Days:

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo (D) said Monday that the number of daily coronavirus deaths in his state has been “effectively flat for two days,” which he said may signal the pandemic is beginning to wane.

New York had 599 new deaths, up from 594 on Sunday but down from 630 on Saturday.

“While none of this is good news, the possible flattening of the curve is better than the increases that we have seen,” Cuomo said.

The governor also said the number of hospitalizations and intensive care admissions have also hit their lowest points in more than two weeks.

April 6th: Michigan Democrat With Coronavirus Credits Trump With Saving Her Life: ‘I Do Thank Him For That’:

A Michigan state Democratic lawmaker who was suffering from the coronavirus credited President Donald Trump with saving her life, saying on Monday that his constant touting of hydroxychloroquine is what led her to ask her doctor for the malaria drug.

Rep. Karen Whitsett (Detroit) “said she started taking hydroxychloroquine on March 31, prescribed by her doctor, after both she and her husband sought treatment for a range of symptoms on March 18,” The Detroit Free Press reported. “‘It was less than two hours’ before she started to feel relief, said Whitsett, who had experienced shortness of breath, swollen lymph nodes, and what felt like a sinus infection.”

April 4th: Biden Endorses Trump’s China Travel Restrictions — Two Months Late:

[O]n Jan. 31, the president declared coronavirus a U.S. public health emergency and issued a travel ban between the United States and China. Campaigning in Iowa that day, Biden criticized Trump’s China travel ban, saying, “This is no time for Donald Trump’s record of hysteria and xenophobia.”

On Feb. 1, Biden again criticized Trump for the move.

[…]Presumed Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden now backs restrictions on travel from China — two months after President Donald Trump put them into place to stem the spread of the coronavirus, which originated in Wuhan, China.

It took a few months, but the Democrats and their mainstream media allies are starting to credit Trump for taking the Wuhan virus seriously early on.

And of course the stock market was up 7.5% on Monday. I hope you bought the dip in March. I was out of the market since last summer when the markets crossed over the 52-week highs. I just got back in last month. So far, I’m up 10% in my portfolio, and my nerves are steady. It’s a risk I’m willing to take because the reward is worth it.

Fiscal cliff deal raises taxes by $600 billion, increases spending $330 billion

The Heritage Foundation explains.

Excerpt:

The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) just now released its score of the bill the Senate passed early this morning while everyone was celebrating the beginning of the New Year. Despite knowing for a long time that taxes would go up on all Americans today, the Senate waited until we technically went over the cliff to act. Washington’s dysfunction was even fodder for New Year’s revelers in Times Square.

Going over the cliff allows Congress to technically say that it isn’t raising taxes, but is cutting them instead. CBO’s score backs them up on this by scoring the Senate bill as a $3.6 trillion tax cut. No one should fall for this. The Senate bill is a tax hike because it allows taxes to go up from 2012 to 2013. The tax increases in the bill will reportedly raise about $600 billion over the next 10 years.

Also of note in the CBO score is that the Senate bill increases spending by around $330 billion by extending expanded unemployment benefits, a temporary “doc fix” patch to prevent cuts to Medicare, and extension of the agriculture programs.

There was some good in the Senate bill — the harmful defense sequester cuts were postponed and most tax hikes were avoided. But there was bad — tax hikes that will hurt the economy and do little to tame the deficit, especially factoring in the spending in the bill.

As I noted before, the CBO has predicted that the bill will add $4 trillion to the national debt, taking us over the $20 trillion mark.

Bloomberg:

The budget deal passed by the U.S. Senate today would raise taxes on 77.1 percent of U.S. households, mostly because of the expiration of a payroll tax cut, according to preliminary estimates from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center in Washington.

More than 80 percent of households with incomes between $50,000 and $200,000 would pay higher taxes. Among the households facing higher taxes, the average increase would be $1,635, the policy center said. A 2 percent payroll tax cut, enacted during the economic slowdown, is being allowed to expire as of yesterday.

According to the CBO, the deal would raise taxes by $41 for every $1 cut from the budget. Have we really dodged a fiscal cliff?

 

Obama’s fiscal cliff plan would increase debt to $20 trillion by 2016

Forbes magazine explains why Obama’s plan doesn’t solve our long-term spending problem.

Excerpt:

The President, while not presenting concrete proposals, has been quite clear on what he wants: to raise taxes on the top two percent, keep the Bush tax cuts for everyone else, offer only vague promises of future spending cuts, and gain the unprecedented authority to raise the debt limit without Congressional approval. He does not plan to reform the entitlements so dear to his heart and his base’s. Instead of less spending, he would like to spend more on “stimulus” and “investments.” Obama knows that physicians will desert Medicare if he cuts their compensation by the scheduled 26.5 percent. That is simply not going to happen.

Here are Obama’s desired alternative fiscal policies to avoid the fiscal cliff in order of their effect on the five-year budget as estimated by the CBO:

1. Preserve Bush tax cuts and other tax provisions for everyone except the top 2 percent: Raises the five-year deficit by $2.0 trillion.

2. Drop the fiscal-cliff sequestration of spending and expand discretionary spending by the rate of inflation: Raises the five-year deficit by another trillion dollars.

3. Raise the tax rate on the top 2 percent:  Lowers the five-year deficit by $300 billion.

4. Extend enhanced unemployment benefits: Raises the five-year deficit by $200 billion.

5. Do not cut Medicare payment rates to physicians: Raises the five-year deficit by some $100.

Four of the five fiscal policies on Obama’s wish list raise the deficit. Only one – the vaunted tax on the rich on which he based his campaign – lowers the deficit, but only by a miniscule $300 billion ($60 billion per year). If Obama gets the tax and spending changes he wants, his 2017 successor will inherit a national debt in excess of  $20 trillion.

A warning: The 2013-2017 budget deficits could be much higher. No one knows what the costs of Obama Care will be. By 2017, the federal government will be spending more on health care than on social security. The CBO projection assumes that the costs of Obama Care come in on target. If Obama Care cannot contain health care costs, we could easily see a five-year deficit well in excess of $5 trillion, for an annual deficit of more than a trillion dollars. The CBO also uses a historically low rate of increase of discretionary non-defense spending equal to the rate of inflation. If we return to “business as usual” in Washington, the discretionary spending figure could also be blasted out of the water.

Obama based his re-election campaign on “the rich should pay their fair share” and “I killed Osama.” Well before the election, it was clear from the government’s own figures that taxing the top two percent would make only a tiny contribution to solving our deficit problems.

Why was this not pointed out by the media, who played along with the “tax the rich” fairy tale?  Why was this not the central theme of the Republican campaign?

I think that point I highlighted in bold deserves emphasis. Obama ran up over $6 trillion in new debt – pushing us to a $16.5 trillion dollar debt. His “balanced approach” will generate a measly $60 billion a year in “new revenues”, assuming that “the rich” don’t just curtail their productive activities and shift their operations elsewhere (Canada). If you generate $60 billion in revenues, there is NO WAY that this is going to pay for a trillion dollars a year in new debt. So we are on track to hit over $20 trillion in national debt in Obama’s second term, taking us into Greece-like territory.

And that is according to the official CBO numbers.