As I have noted recently, the coronavirus-induced panic has substantially receded since the Black Lives Matters demonstrations have begun.

As Americans’ fears have eased, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has decided to gin them up again by urging face masks use in its revised guidelines for “large political gatherings” . . . just in time for President Trump’s June 19 event in Tulsa, OK.

The CDC also released new guidelines for safely holding and attending events and gatherings, as well as precautions to take when going out as lockdown orders that took effect nationwide in March are lifted.

While officials steered clear of specifically recommending against attending a President Trump political rally planned for June 19 in Tulsa, Oklahoma, the guidelines published by the agency put such events in the category of “highest risk” for COVID-19 infection.

Specifically, it calls out, “large in-person gatherings where it is difficult for individuals to remain spaced at least 6 feet apart and attendees travel from outside the local area.”

“The more people an individual interacts with at a gathering and the longer that interaction lasts, the higher the potential risk of becoming infected with COVID-19 and COVID-19 spreading,” Friday’s guidelines said.

The agency is also threatening to implement mitigation measures again if cases go up substantially:

States may need to reimplement the strict social distancing measures that were put in place earlier this year if U.S. coronavirus cases rise “dramatically,” a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention official said Friday.

“Right now, communities are experiencing different levels of transmission occurring, as they gradually ease up onto the community mitigation efforts and gradually reopen,” the CDC’s deputy director for infectious diseases, Jay Butler, told reporters during a press briefing.

“If cases begin to go up again, particularly if they go up dramatically, it’s important to recognize that more mitigation efforts such as what were implemented back in March may be needed again,” Butler said.

He said the decision to reimplement measures will have to be made locally and based on “what is happening within the community regarding disease transmission.”

The CDC may find that reimplementation will not be the readily-accepted process it was the first time around. To begin with, Trump has already indicated a second lockdown guideline will not be issued in the event of another wave of infections.

Additionally, there is a “mask rebellion” that is occurring in California, the bluest of blue states.

….[A] mask rebellion is underway in some parts of the state, with residents pushing back on mandatory face-covering rules even with coronavirus cases on the rise and as more businesses open their doors and some people yearn to return to old routines.

The potency of mask politics became clear this week in Orange County, where the health officer resigned after weeks of attacks — and a death threat — over her mandatory mask rules. Her replacement on Thursday rescinded the rules amid intense pressure from the Board of Supervisors.

Instead, Orange County “strongly recommends” wearing masks in public settings, and the county’s top health official was left to explain the change even while acknowledging face coverings could prevent more deaths.

“I want to be clear: This does not diminish the importance of face coverings,” said Orange County Health Care Agency Director Dr. Clayton Chau, who is now also the interim health officer. “I stand with the public health experts and believe wearing cloth face coverings helps to slow the spread of COVID-19 in our community and save lives.”

Finally, in support of the end to pandemic panic, continuing analysis of COVID-19 cases from around the world indicate that it is up to four times less deadly than feared.

A review of antibody surveillance studies — which paint a much clearer picture of how many people have really been infected — suggests the coronavirus has a mortality rate of 0.25 per cent, meaning it kills one in every 400 people who get it.

Most coronavirus modelling, including the grim Imperial College London projection that warned 500,000 Brits could die without action and convinced ministers to impose a lockdown, are based on a death rate of around 1 per cent. For comparison, seasonal flu is estimated to kill around 0.1 per cent of patients.

The new estimate was based on figures from 23 different testing surveys carried out worldwide, which suggested the actual mortality rate ranged from as low as 0.02 to as high as 0.78 per cent.

I would like to note that if the press plans to focus on any outbreaks in Tulsa after Trump’s rally, I will also look forward to reading about all the “spikes” around CHAZ as well.


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