Legal Insurrection readers likely recall our stories on Hepatitis A, typhoid, and typhus outbreaks that struck the homeless hard in various California cities.

Californians have been clamoring for a more serious response to the ever-growing camps that are public health problems.  Despite political theater, millions spent on “solutions,” and promises of doctor’s prescriptions, the crisis is not ending.

Now it appears that the state’s long-neglected public health chickens have come home to roost. Los Angeles officials are now worried about the Wuhan coronavirus hitting the homeless population, which is not known for its robust good health or proactive personal hygiene practices.

The potential for an outbreak among that unsheltered population — both in Sacramento and across California — is beginning to concern some public health officials as the coronavirus spreads.

On Thursday, a student at UC Davis’ main campus, about 30 miles from the hospital, was isolated after exhibiting mild symptoms of the virus. On Friday, a second case of unknown origin was diagnosed in Santa Clara County. And on Saturday, a man died of the coronavirus in Washington state, the first fatality in the U.S.

“I was thinking about it when I was in the … shower [on Thursday] morning, literally,” said Peter Beilenson, director of health services for Sacramento County, where preparations for a potential local outbreak began almost immediately after the Solano County woman was diagnosed. “We’ve been checking on the schools and on the nursing homes and on healthcare facilities, etc., and so I was thinking, ‘What about the homeless?’”

When feces and vomit cover the streets, needles scattered in public areas, and rats run with abandon through encampments, the stage is set for significant outbreaks in cities throughout the West Coast. And if that should happen, President Donald Trump will not be the one to blame.

Coronavirus may have been spreading in Washington state for weeks

One argument in favor of COVID-19 being a much more mild virus than feared is that people may not have known they had the pathogen. This theory receives support from the fact the Wuhan coronavirus may have spread throughout Washington state for six weeks before serious cases came to light.

Trevor Bedford, an associate professor at the University of Washington, said that one of the state’s recent cases appears to be linked to a Snohomish County man who was identified Jan. 19 as the country’s first coronavirus patient, the New York Times reported.

Bedford and a research team found similarities while comparing the genetic sequence of the two samples that indicated the recent case had been descended from the other, suggesting that there has been community spread throughout the region, the outlet reported.

“I believe we’re facing an already substantial outbreak in Washington State that was not detected until now due to narrow case definition requiring direct travel to China,” Bedford tweeted.

Washington state says coronavirus death toll rises to 6

Sadly, it seems six people who became infected with the coronovirus in Washington during those past 6 weeks have succumbed.

Health officials in Washington state announced four additional deaths among coronavirus patients on Monday, bringing the total number of fatalities to six. Two of the patients were considered “new” cases of COVID-19, while a third death involved a patient who was previously confirmed to have the virus.

Moments after King County health officials announced that the state’s death toll had risen to five, another official said an additional death occurred in Snohomish County, bringing the tally to six.

The new cases bring the total number of confirmed COVID-19 instances in the state to 18, including eight of which have been linked to Life Care Center of Kirkland, which is currently experiencing an outbreak. Another hospitalized patient involves a man in his 50’s with no known previous exposure.

Stock Market Surges

The stock market surged historically today, making historic gains, posting its best day in 10 years.

The Dow closed 1,293.96 points higher, or 5.1%, at 26,703.32. The move on a percentage basis was the Dow’s biggest since March 2009. It was the largest-ever points gain for the 30-stock average.

The S&P 500 climbed 4.6% — its best one-day performance since Dec. 26, 2018 — to close at 3,090.23. The Nasdaq Composite also had its best day since 2018, surging 4.5% to 8,952.16.

Monday’s gains snapped a seven-day losing streak for the Dow.

There are likely several reasons for these gains. The Trump administration’s robust and public response to the coronavirus outbreaks are a factor. The push-back by doctors and bio-safety professionals against the press-induced panic is another. The fact that a communist is unlikely to be the next US president is likely another.

However, my favorite explanation is that many Americans bought stock today, to send a fiscal rebuke to the American media about its gleeful reporting about last week’s coronavirus and stock market news. Sensibly, I bought shares in pharmaceutical firms with US manufacturing facilities.

 

 
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