The number of Wuhan Coronavirus cases reported worldwide is 83,379, distributed between 54 countries and territories. The death toll stands at 2,858.

CDC director downplays claim that coronavirus spread is inevitable

Two days ago, I reported that CDC official Nancy Messonnier ginned-up coronavirus fear with her announcement about an outbreak in this country being inevitable. She also has a deeply deep state connection in the form of her brother, former Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein.

Now, the director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) downplayed her warning that the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus in the U.S. is inevitable, saying she misspoke.

CDC Director Robert Redfield told Capitol Hill lawmakers Thursday that Dr. Nancy Messonnier’s statement Tuesday belied the fact that risk remains low.

“I think what Dr. Messonnier was trying to say — I think it maybe could have been done much more articulately from what the American public heard — was she was trying to say it’s also a good time for us to prepare if we have to go to more mitigation,” Redfield told a House subcommittee.

He added: “We’re still committed to get aggressive containment, and I want the American public to know at this point that the risk is low.”

…“In some countries this has moved very quickly, like we saw in Korea now, where we had more cases in Korea in the last 24 hours than we had in all of China. We’ve seen in Italy, it’s moving fast, in Iran, it’s moving fast,” Redfield said. “But other countries have really used a containment and a blended mitigation strategy like Singapore and Hong Kong and they have really limited the spread after the initial introduction from China.”

Coronavirus clusters at Beijing hospitals ignite new fears among Chinese

When looking at China’s experience with COVID-19, it is essential to keep in mind that the Chinese dietary options are not as great as ours in America. Additionally, China’s air pollution levels are substantially higher (leading to over 800,000 premature deaths annually), and there are 350 million Chinese smokers (the country produces 42% of the world’s cigarettes).

Therefore, any virus that impacts the respiratory system is likelier to hit Chinese harder than Americans, and the recovery process will be slower. New reports from China indicate the capital city of Beijing is now reporting clusters of Wuhan Coronavirus at significant hospitals.

Reports of new infections in Beijing have sparked fears over the capital’s exposure to the deadly novel coronavirus, especially as millions of people head back to work after an extended holiday.

New confirmed cases have led to large-scale quarantines in at least two hospitals in downtown Beijing, with many potential contacts yet to be traced, according to a city government news briefing on Thursday.

Beijing reported a total of 395 confirmed COVID-19 cases as of the end of Wednesday. Nationwide, the disease has sickened nearly 75,000 people and killed over 2,100. More than 80% of the patients are from the central the city of Wuhan and surrounding Hubei Province.

The daily count of new cases has declined for several days in China, fueling hopes that the epidemic is peaking. But clusters of infections recently reported at hospitals in Beijing sparked concerns over the vulnerability of medical institutions in the city.

Beijing has instituted a 14-day quarantine for visitors to the city. My colleague Mary Chastain has a friend in Beijing now, who sent back pictures of empty streets that usually would have been bustling on a typical day.

Orignal from Mary Chastain friend, with permission to use

From Mary Chastain friend, with permission to use

From Mary Chastain friend, with permission to use

Israel’s ambassador to China under quarantine in Beijing after sharing a flight with South Koreans infected with Covid-19

One of the travelers currently under quarantine in Beijing is Israel’s ambassador to China, who last weekend shared a flight from Tel Aviv to Seoul with a group of South Koreans later found to be infected with the coronavirus.

Zvi Heifetz was aboard the flight on February 15 that was also carrying nine South Koreans who had been on holiday in Israel
for the previous eight days, the ministry said on Saturday.

It did not explain why he was on the flight to Seoul or say when he travelled from the South Korean capital to Beijing.

A spokesperson for the Israeli embassy in Beijing said that although Heifetz was on the flight he was seated in business class some distance away from the tourists and had worn a face mask for the duration of the trip.

Whistleblower says HHS sent workers to handle possible coronavirus patients without gear, training

A whistleblower is claiming that the Department of Health and Human Services “improperly deployed” more than a dozen workers to two California military bases receiving Americans evacuated from coronavirus without giving them training or protective equipment.

The whistleblower alleged that HHS officials shot down her concerns and on Feb. 15 threatened to fire her if she did not accept a reassignment. The workers who may have been exposed to the coronavirus then were able to travel freely among the public, the complaint reportedly said.

“We are hopeful that Congress and the OSC [the U.S. Office of the Special Counsel] will investigate this case in a timely and comprehensive manner,” the whistleblower’s attorney, Lauren Naylor, told Fox News, adding that the team could not provide a public copy of the complaint. “This matter concerns HHS’s response to the coronavirus, and its failure to protect its employees and potentially the public. The retaliatory efforts to intimidate and silence our client must be opposed.”

 

 
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