Public Health

Up to 8,000 Chinese nationals came into US after Trump banned travel due to coronavirus: AP

Thousands of Chinese citizens have reportedly come into the U.S. since President Trump restricted travel on foreign nationals in January, arriving from China after the coronavirus outbreak. According to a recent report by The Associated Press, citing data it obtained regarding travel from the U.S. Commerce Department, as many as 8,000 Chinese nationals and foreign residents of Hong Kong and Macao have entered the U.S. over the last three months. More than 600 flights brought in travelers from these areas after Trump announced his travel ban in late January and it was enacted Feb. 2. Trump’s initial travel ban included any non-U.S. travelers coming from China, and excluded anyone coming from Hong Kong or Macau in late January. Travelers from Hong Kong and Macao also did not face the same scrutiny or screening processes as Americans or any foreign nationals coming into the U.S. after having been in Wuhan — where the coronavirus outbreak started. Flight records from FlightAware provided to The Associated Press showed that 5,600 Chinese and foreign nationals from Hong Kong and Macau arrived in the U.S. in February. More than 2,000 passengers from the same administrative zones arrived in March and an additional 150 in April, according to The AP report. There is no sufficient evidence to show people from these flights transmitted the coronavirus, but the National Security Council, the State Department, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) would not publicly comment on why these territories were exempt from the China travel ban. One administration official told The AP that the travel ban was instated after more than 12,000 people arrived in the U.S. through the two territories in January, according to Commerce records. The Trump administration said it would also require any Americans who have traveled through China and back into the U.S. to undergo a 14-day quarantine period. But according to data collected by The Associated Press, the system that was meant to track and monitor the people undergoing quarantine lost track of at least 1,600 Americans. Trump has touted his border closures, first from China, then European nations and Brazil, as the U.S.’s first line of defense against the coronavirus. In a tweet last week. the president said: “We did a great job on Coronavirus, including the very early ban on China.” “We saved millions of U.S. lives! Yet the Fake News refuses to acknowledge this in a positive way,” he added. Trump’s travel ban on China went into full effect on Feb. 2, at which time 15 people had already been confirmed with coronavirus in Hong Kong and seven people in Macau. The cases from Macau were later linked directly to Wuhan, the origin of the outbreak. The U.S. has reported more than 2.7 million cases of the coronavirus and nearly 130,000 deaths during the pandemic. Hong Kong has since banned all travelers from the U.S.

Bandana is least effective face mask material, study finds

Face mask material has a “notable impact” in stopping expelled respiratory droplets, one study recently found. Single-layer bandana-style masks offer the worst stopping-capability compared to other materials, researchers said. The team from Florida Atlantic University explored the effectiveness of various materials in stopping propelled droplets through visualization experiments. Researchers used a manual pump and a mannequin to emulate coughs or sneezes. Their findings were published on June 30 in Physics of Fluids. The rationale behind face masks amid the coronavirus pandemic is to reduce the risk of cross-infection by respiratory droplets from infected to healthy individuals. Coughing, sneezing, talking and even breathing emits respiratory droplets that can land on healthy people and lead to illness via the respiratory tract. Researchers found that unobstructed, expelled droplets consistently traveled up to 12 feet, which is double the current social distancing guidelines. A large majority of droplets fell to the ground by this point, however. Nevertheless, researchers advised updating the current social distancing guidelines. Further, when the mannequin was fitted with a bandana, droplets traveled an average of 3 feet, 7 inches. Cotton folded handkerchiefs showed a bit more stopping-capability, with droplets traveling 1 feet, 3 inches. For commercial masks, droplets traveled an average of 8 inches. Most effective, however, were homemade stitched masks with multiple layers of quilting cotton. Droplets traveled about 2.5 inches on average. Researchers said “leakage” likely remains an issue for people who rely on loosely-fitting masks. Also, even in the most effective face masks, some droplets make their way past small gaps along the edges. They said the visuals in the study will help further convey the rationale behind adhering to face mask recommendations and social distancing guidelines.

Joy Behar says she and her husband drive around looking for people not wearing masks

“The View” co-host Joy Behar revealed on Tuesday that she regularly spends time looking at people who are walking around without masks during the coronavirus pandemic. “I don’t have much faith that this is going to end anytime soon … Barring a vaccine, all we have is social distancing and masks — neither of which is happening in this country right now … this is going to go on and on and on, and I’ll tell you the truth, it’s making me crazy,” she said. “All I do is I get in my car maybe with Steve and we go around town looking for people who are not wearing masks,” she added, referring to her husband. Behar’s comments touched on growing concerns that social distancing guidelines were being abused by some as a justification for surveilling fellow Americans. While mask requirements vary by state, the federal government has not mandated that citizens wear facial coverings in public. “The View” was discussing President Trump’s suggestion that testing rates should slow in order to avoid the alleged misconception that coronavirus cases were spiking across the country. According to Behar, halting testing would be a form of “criminal negligence” on Trump’s part. “He’s always wanted to slow down the testing because the testing — when it’s in big numbers, when it’s accurate — it makes him look bad. I believe that’s called criminal negligence, when you say I’m not going to do the testing. Just like he goes out without a mask, and encourage other people to do that,” she said.

Joy Behar is a nauseating, self-righteous, arrogant, liberal elitist, hypocrite.  Not ONCE has she spoken out against the crazy protestors and rioters.  BUT, because of the Trump rally, she freely admits that in her spare time she actually (no sh_t) drives around with her hubby looking for people not wearing face masks.  She is so overcome with “Trump Derangement Syndrome” (TDS), that she actually does things like that.  How crazy is that?!?  We wonder if someone is gonna remind her that as recently as yesterday, Dr. Fauci said on the record that NOBODY (i.e. President Trump, VP Pence, etc.) has asked him or the COVID taskforce to slow down COVID testing.  Sorry, Joy.  Nice try.  What a loser…

Gutfeld on airlines banning booze on flights

Have you heard the phrase “never let a pandemic go to waste?” Now you have, because I just said it. Some airlines are doing just that. Delta and American Airlines, among others, are suspending all or part of their booze service to reduce interactions between passengers and crews. And to limit bad behavior. So this, in medical circles, is called a stupid, stupid, highly stupid idea. Do these idiots have any idea why alcohol sales boomed during the lockdown? It’s because we were trapped in a room and we couldn’t get out. This is much like being on a plane, where you’re trapped with no way out, unless you open an emergency exit and aim for a big bush. I wouldn’t suggest that under any circumstances, unless you’re flying next to Joy Behar. It’s a fact that flying is getting less enjoyable every year. And yet we never get anywhere faster. As computer speed doubles every two years, we still produce new jets lumbering through the air at the same speeds as the old ones did in the 1970s. Worse, today we’re packed like sweaty veal, forced to endure endless delays and bizarre regulations that often leave us with hunger-induced migraines and distended bladders. And now, they want to take away the booze? Look, I get the face masks. And believe me, I hate drunk jackasses who fly. I even hate myself. But usually not until the next day But to punish everyone – especially me – because of the actions of a few is not the way to solve problems. Sadly, though, that seems to be the trend these days. With just a few bad apples, we don’t just throw out the whole batch – we defund the orchard. It’s enough to make me drink. And hate myself tomorrow.

As usual, Greg nails it.  This time, with air travel and latest idiotic decision by the airlines.  This was adapted from Greg Gutfeld’s monologue on “The Five” on June 17, 2020.

Coronavirus spikes a concern, but no reason ‘to go into lockdown,’ Inglesby says

Dr. Tom Inglesby, director of the Center for Health Security at Johns Hopkins University, warned that events such as President Trump’s campaign rally and ongoing protests over George Floyd’s death could bring about an increase in coronavirus cases, but noted that he does not believe that lockdowns are necessary to combat spikes. States such as Florida, Texas and Arizona have seen significant increases in COVID-19 cases and hospitalizations after they took steps to reopen their economies, but Inglesby told “Fox News Sunday” that this does not mean states must revert to shutting down again. “I don’t think we need to go into lockdown in these places,” Inglesby said, noting that different states have different circumstances. He did suggest that governors take the lead in providing guidance for people to take steps that will help, such as social distancing and wearing masks. “They should also be really strongly encouraging people, leaders should be encouraging people to use the tools that we know work,” Inglesby said. “We should be encouraging people to wear face coverings, to stay at a distance, to avoid large gatherings, to use hand sanitizer or wash your hands. And those are things that we know work, and leaders really should, I think, double down and be communicating that across the country.”

Soo..  To be clear..  Dr. Inglesby is saying we do NOT need to shut the country down again, if there is another spike.  He’s saying just do the social distancing, wash your hands, use hand sanitizer, wear face masks…the usual.  Imagine that!  Keep this in mind the next time you hear some liberal media personality or Democrat politician (who, btw, didn’t say anything during the all of th protests/riots) wring their hands about Trump rallies and such.  For more, click on the text above.

Trump Administration Bars Chinese Passenger Planes from Entry

As of June 16, President Donald Trump’s administration will bar all passenger planes originating in China from entry to the U.S. The order, announced by the U.S. Department of Transportation, applies to Air China, China Eastern Airlines Corp, China Southern Airlines Co, Hainan Airlines Holding Co, Sichuan Airlines Co, and Xiamen Airlines Co. Despite the agreement to restrict travel, airlines have continued to regularly ferry passengers from the origin point of the novel coronavirus pandemic. Meanwhile, both Delta and United have requested permission to resume flights to China, though the country “remains unable” to say when it will “allow U.S. carriers to reinstate scheduled passenger flights,” according to a formal order signed by the Transportation Department top aviation official Joel Szabat. In a statement on Wednesday, Delta said “we support and appreciate the U.S. government’s actions to enforce our rights and ensure fairness,” while United said it looks forward to resuming passenger service between the United States and China “when the regulatory environment allows us to do so.” The decision will enforce a level of parity between both sides, eliminating the lopsided permissions currently in effect. “We will allow Chinese carriers to operate the same number of scheduled passenger flights as the Chinese government allows ours,” the department said in a separate statement. Additionally, China will no longer be allowed to use charter flights to “further [increase] their advantage over U.S. carriers in providing U.S.-China passenger services.”

This is smart, and in our best interests.  Kudos to the Administration for putting our health and safety first.

Couples should wear face masks during sex, new study insists

Safe sex during the coronavirus pandemic might soon require protection beyond just the nether regions. A new study from researchers at Harvard University says that hooking up carries some risk for transmitting COVID-19 from one partner to the other, and recommends – among other practices – wearing a face mask while doin’ it. The research, published in the Annals of Internal Medicine, ranked frisky situations based on how likely it is to catch coronavirus while in the act. Researchers recommend wearing a mask for the riskiest sexual scenario: Sex with people other than those with whom one is quarantined. If you have an out-of-house coronavirus crush, the study says that – besides keeping your mask on – you should avoid kissing, as well as any oral-to-anal act, and anything that involves semen or urine. Shower before and after, and clean the space with alcohol wipes or soap. The study also mentions that having sex with people who are together in quarantine is safer, but there is still a risk. For instance, if one partner goes outside to run an errand and is exposed to the virus, they can transmit it to the other. Even if that person is ultimately an asymptomatic carrier, they can still infect the other. The safest approach to sexual activity, according to the researchers, is not having any. Abstinence, they say, is “low risk for infection, though not feasible for many.” Another option, they add, is masturbation. Other recommendations have come out since the coronavirus outbreak in the US, with some of them providing graphics to enhance the lessons. In April, the Oregon Health Authority released a sex guide that went viral, just weeks after the same happened to one released by the NYC Department of Health.

You really can’t make this stuff up, folks.  You’re welcome..

Bored of the indoors? These are the best outdoor activities for social distancing

The best activities for this summer are the ones that involve staying away from people. After much of the country spent the winter and spring cooped up inside, many people are probably looking for ways to get out of the house during the summer months. Since the coronavirus pandemic is still ongoing, however, it’s important to remember to social distance. This can be hard with typical summer activities, like going to the beach, amusement parks or outdoor concerts, which all tend to draw large crowds. The Arkansas Game and Fish Commission, however, posted on its website that most fishing rods are the perfect length for social distancing. On its website, the AGFC wrote, “Most common fishing rods are between 6 and 7 feet long, the distance the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend to space apart from others in public. Of course, the best way to practice this technique is to get outside and enjoy some angling.” While fishing is definitely a great option for people looking to spend some time outside, it might not be for everyone. For families looking to get the kids out of the house, Health.gov writes that playgrounds may not be a great choice, even if they’re empty. Since a lot of people use and touch the equipment, an empty playground can still have germs. Instead, Health.gov recommends playing games like hopscotch or four-square, which keep kids (and sometimes parents) active and don’t require any equipment (other than some chalk and some space). Health.gov also recommends avoiding activities like group fitness classes and team sports. The website recommends practicing individual skills, whenever possible, in an open space. They also recommend going to parks but avoiding ones that are too crowded. Also, the website advises that people come prepared knowing that certain facilities at these parks, like concessions and bathrooms, will likely be closed.

For more, click on the text above.

US was more prepared for pandemic than any other country, Johns Hopkins study found

The United States was ranked the best-prepared country in the world to handle a pandemic in late 2019 by the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security (JHCHS) — an assessment seemingly at odds with claims by Democrats that the Trump administration left the country vulnerable to the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. The Global Health Security Index was “developed with guidance from an international panel of experts from 13 countries, with research by the Economist Intelligence Unit” from 2018 to 2019, The Washington Post reported last year. “More than 100 researchers spent a year collecting and validating publicly available data.” At the same time, the paper noted that the U.S. score was still not perfect, and that “factors driving down the U.S. score include the risks of social unrest and terrorism, and low public confidence in government.” President Trump’s campaign has argued in recent days that misinformation may be one of the leading causes of that lack of confidence. For example, Trump’s team has pointed to claims by presidential contender Joe Biden that “no one on the National Security Council staff was put in charge” of pandemic preparedness, based on a report that in May 2018, then-National Security Adviser John Bolton eliminated the NSC’s Office of Global Health Security and Biodefense in a reorganization effort. Rear Adm. R. Timothy Ziemer reportedly was ousted as senior director, and no replacement was named. But, FactCheck.org has determined that the matter amounted to a reorganization, and that “some team members [of the NSC pandemic office] were shifted to other groups, and others took over some of [the top official’s] duties.” The White House says the NSC remains involved in responding to the coronavirus pandemic. A senior administration official said earlier this month that the NSC’s global health security directorate was absorbed into another division where similar responsibilities still exist, but under different titles. The work of coordinating policy and making sure that decisions made by Trump’s coronavirus task force are implemented is still the job of the NSC. Separately, the Biden team has repeatedly argued that the president once referred to coronavirus as a “hoax.” That claim has been refuted by numerous fact-checkers, including the Post’s, which found that Trump was clearly referring to Democrats’ efforts to blame him for the pandemic, not the virus itself. Additionally, numerous Democrats, including Biden, have falsely claimed that the president cut the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) budget. The Associated Press has noted that those claims “distort” the facts. Trump’s budgets have proposed cuts to public health, only to be overruled by Congress, where there’s strong bipartisan support for agencies such as the CDC and NIH. Instead, financing has increased. Indeed, the money that government disease detectives first tapped to fight the latest outbreak was a congressional fund created for health emergencies. Some public health experts say a bigger concern than White House budgets is the steady erosion of a CDC grant program for state and local public health emergency preparedness — the front lines in detecting and battling new disease. But that decline was set in motion by a congressional budget measure that predates Trump. “The CDC’s response has been excellent, as it has been in the past,” said John Auerbach, president of the nonpartisan Trust for America’s Health, which works with government at all levels to improve the nation’s response to high-risk health crises. Some Democrats have charged that Trump decimated the nation’s public health leadership, but Auerbach said CDC’s top scientific ranks have remained stable during the past three years. Nevertheless, misleading reports about the Trump campaign’s pandemic response efforts have continued to spread. A recent report by Reuters that the U.S. had recently terminated a CDC position in China was widely cited by Democrats and reporters as evidence of a lack of preparedness, and formed the basis for a reporter’s question at a recent White House coronavirus briefing. But, the article itself made clear that experts didn’t think the move had anything to do with the spread of coronavirus in the United States. “One disease expert told Reuters he was skeptical that the U.S. resident adviser would have been able to get earlier or better information to the Trump administration, given the Chinese government’s suppression of information,” the outlet noted. “In the end, based on circumstances in China, it probably wouldn’t have made a big difference,” former CDC epidemiologist and Emory University professor Scott McNabb told Reuters. “The problem was how the Chinese handled it,” McNabb continued. “What should have changed was the Chinese should have acknowledged it earlier and didn’t.” Regardless, some lawmakers are pushing for more action out of an abundance of caution. Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-Va., and Rep. Steve Chabot, R-Ohio, have introduced a bill that would require future administrations to have experts always in place to prepare for new pandemics. “Two years ago, the administration dismantled the apparatus that had been put in place five years before in the face of the Ebola crisis,” Connolly said. “I think, in retrospect, that was an unwise move. This bill would restore that and institutionalize it.” Connolly said the bill is not meant to be critical of the Trump administration. He said it’s a recognition that Trump had to name a coronavirus responder just like Obama had to name one for Ebola in 2014. “We can’t go from pandemic to pandemic,” Connolly said. The House Foreign Affairs Committee on March 4 passed the measure, which is co-sponsored by 37 Democrats and five Republicans.

Only drug in US to treat ‘severe’ malaria approved by FDA, federal agency says

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) this week announced the approval of the only drug in the country to treat “severe” cases of malaria in both adults and pediatric patients. The FDA granted approval for the drug, artesunate, for injection, to the Maryland-based company Amivas, according to a Tuesday statement on the federal agency’s website. “Treatment of severe malaria with intravenous (IV) artesunate should always be followed by a complete treatment course of an appropriate oral antimalarial regimen,” the FDA said when announcing its approval. “Prior to this approval, IV artesunate was only available to patients through the FDA’s Expanded Access Program, which allowed the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) to provide IV artesunate to U.S. patients with severe malaria and to patients with uncomplicated malaria who are unable to take oral medications under an investigational new drug (IND) protocol,” the FDA said, noting that in the U.S., there has been “no FDA-approved drug for treatment of severe malaria… since the marketing of quinine was discontinued by the manufacturer in March 2019.” In two separate randomized control trials, the drug was found to lower the death rate in those treated with it when compared to patients treated with quinine, the FDA said. “This approval will now give patients more access to a life-saving drug,” said Dr. John Farley, the acting director of the Office of Infectious Diseases in the FDA’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research, in a statement. “Furthermore, the risk of developing severe malaria emphasizes the importance of taking medications to prevent malaria and using mosquito avoidance measures when traveling to malaria-endemic areas.” Each year, the U.S. sees about 2,000 cases of malaria, with 300 of those cases considered severe, as per the FDA.

For more info, click on the text above.