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Sunday, February 21, 2021

Dr. Anthony Fauci cautiously optimistic about return of fans for 2021 MLB season

Dr. Anthony Fauci is cautiously optimistic about the prospect of fans returning to the stands for the 2021 MLB season, telling ESPN’s Buster Olney there’s a “pretty good chance” of it happening if the rate of COVID-19 infections continues to drop.

“We could have a pretty good chance of having a baseball season that’s a full season,” Fauci, the nation’s top infectious disease expert, said on ESPN’s Baseball Tonight Podcast. “That we could have people in the stands, maybe not right next to each other; there are going to be public health restrictions like mask wearing and things like that.”

Fauci cautioned that fan attendance would be dependent on current trends holding and that the full impact of certain coronavirus variants remains to be seen.

RoyalsRetro (AG#1F) Posted: February 21, 2021 at 10:37 AM | 81 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
  Tags: coronavirus

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   1. Rough Carrigan Posted: February 21, 2021 at 10:41 AM (#6006070)
Are we sure he's not lying to us for effect like he's admitted he lied about (in his opinion) whether masks are worthwhile last February or how he's admitted he lied about what it takes to get to herd immunity. Or maybe this is more in the category of his promotion of remdesivir while knocking ivermectin and HCQ. So many shades of lies to choose from with little Tony.
   2. Starring Bradley Scotchman as RMc Posted: February 21, 2021 at 12:34 PM (#6006085)
Re 1: I'm pretty sure this proves you're a racist.
   3. flournoy Posted: February 21, 2021 at 01:49 PM (#6006099)
Fauci will say whatever you pay him to say. Nothing wrong with that!
   4. Barry`s_Lazy_Boy Posted: February 21, 2021 at 01:53 PM (#6006100)
the GQP has arrived.
   5. gef, talking mongoose & suburban housewife Posted: February 21, 2021 at 02:21 PM (#6006105)
At least this keeps them off the streets nd out of the Capitol.
   6. Quaker Posted: February 21, 2021 at 06:41 PM (#6006128)
It amazes me that 100% of public opinion hasn't already turned against this little elf
   7. Astroenteritis Posted: February 21, 2021 at 07:09 PM (#6006129)
So I shouldn't listen to an expert like Fauci, but I should listen to Cro-MAGAnon man? Yeah, right.
   8. Los Angeles El Hombre of Anaheim Posted: February 21, 2021 at 07:22 PM (#6006131)
"....with little Tony."
I guess this is what public discourse looks like now.
   9. base ball chick Posted: February 21, 2021 at 07:37 PM (#6006135)
dear rough carrigan

remdesivir according to actual use on patients works better than either ivermectin/hydroxycloroquin which does not do anything at all.

is this sarcasm or do you truly believe that hundreeds of thousands of sick people are being denied 2 medications that actually cure the covid
   10. Mayor Blomberg Posted: February 21, 2021 at 08:04 PM (#6006139)
9 - Haven't you been listening to Dr. My Pillow Guy?
   11. base ball chick Posted: February 21, 2021 at 08:13 PM (#6006141)
no mayor, not listening to that dude

i am not no psychiatrist which is what that guy seriously needs like now because he has a serious mental problem
   12. Pat Rapper's Delight (as quoted on MLB Network) Posted: February 22, 2021 at 09:14 AM (#6006189)
I guess this is what public discourse looks like now.

The verbiage certainly pwns the libs.
   13. BDC Posted: February 22, 2021 at 10:36 AM (#6006207)
With my luck, they will make the Rangers play with the top down and I get no air-conditioning.
   14. gef, talking mongoose & suburban housewife Posted: February 22, 2021 at 02:36 PM (#6006228)
i am not no psychiatrist which is what that guy seriously needs like now because he has a serious mental problem


You just described about half the people in this thread.
   15. bunyon Posted: February 22, 2021 at 02:39 PM (#6006230)
BDC@13: Oh, man. I am now rooting for this outcome! (I keed, I keed)
   16. Karl from NY Posted: February 22, 2021 at 03:02 PM (#6006239)
I don't blame Fauci, even for the flip-flopping. He doesn't mean these things in a rigorous scientfic context. He's speculating - every one of these stories is where he's going "two masks might help", "sports might have fans" and so on. He's speaking offhandedly with conditions and possibilities, not as a policy enactor. He doesn't have bad or misguided intentions at all, he's genuinely trying to help.

But he has no idea how the media distorts whatever he said into being as scary and inciteful as they can manage, and as if it's a policy dictate rather than offhandedly based around conditions and speculation. The problem is the media spin, not Fauci.
   17. Lassus Posted: February 22, 2021 at 03:35 PM (#6006244)
BDC@13: Oh, man. I am now rooting for this outcome! (I keed, I keed)

I am also, and I am NOT kidding.


the GQP has arrived.

I have liked this, generally; but for here, QTF is better, don't you think?
   18. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 22, 2021 at 03:39 PM (#6006247)
Notwithstanding Fauci’s uneven record on predictions, I think he’s likely right on this one. Vaccination is ramping up pretty well, hitting around 2 million doses a day before severe weather issues caused what should be a temporary dip. Get to 3M doses a day, and you get a big impact in just a month. 44.1 million people have already been vaccinated, 36.2% of the prioritized population. Keep in mind, nor everyone is equal here. If vaccines are getting to the most vulnerable and those having the most public contact, that should have a disproportionate effect on deaths, hospitalizations, and new cases. Many of those outside the prioritized population are less vulnerable (e.g., children or healthy younger adults) and/or able to lower their risk through social distancing, working at home and masks.

This season will still be ‘different’, at least at the start, but it may be much more ‘normal’ by the All-Star break. I’ll be curious if there is an attendance surge in the 2nd half of the season & in 2022 - somewhat like how the pent-up demand touched off a post-WWII attendance boom.

   19. flournoy Posted: February 22, 2021 at 04:07 PM (#6006252)
He doesn't have bad or misguided intentions at all, he's genuinely trying to help.


I think his intentions are to keep himself in the news and the center of attention for as long as possible.
   20. Lassus Posted: February 22, 2021 at 04:09 PM (#6006253)
And the hundreds of thousands of non-internet scientists and doctors who agree with him are totally doing the same thing, obvs.
   21. gef, talking mongoose & suburban housewife Posted: February 22, 2021 at 04:09 PM (#6006254)
Thanks to QTF (nod to Lassus) rep for qularifying the qurazies' position.
   22. sunday silence (again) Posted: February 22, 2021 at 04:53 PM (#6006259)
Keep in mind, nor everyone is equal here. If vaccines are getting to the most vulnerable and those having the most public contact, that should have a disproportionate effect on deaths, hospitalizations, and new cases


yeah I agree. I was listening to some of this on Bloomberg radio and the one guy was saying we might never reach herd mentality. I guess that is true in theory if the virus continues to mutate, but the current strain would seem to be on the doorstop of herd immunity.

Another report on BLoomberg says we reach herd immunity be April which seems an overbid. My personal guess is June.
   23. sunday silence (again) Posted: February 22, 2021 at 04:56 PM (#6006262)

I don't blame Fauci, even for the flip-flopping.


I blame him for the remarks he made early on where he said a mask would do no good. THat was a calculated lie in order to save masks for first responders. By his own admission.

THe problem I have with that is who is Fauci to play god with who lives and dies? Almost certainly some people died because they heeded his advice. Not withstanding his motives he has no business tricking people so some might die that others might live. That to me has to violate whatever Hipocratic oath or whatever he took.
   24. Infinite Yost (Voxter) Posted: February 22, 2021 at 05:20 PM (#6006263)
It amazes me that 100% of public opinion hasn't already turned against this little elf

It amazes me that someone stupid enough to say this manages to keep himself alive by putting food in his mouth and not up his nose, so, you know.
   25. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 22, 2021 at 05:47 PM (#6006265)
I blame him for the remarks he made early on where he said a mask would do no good. THat was a calculated lie in order to save masks for first responders. By his own admission.

THe problem I have with that is who is Fauci to play god with who lives and dies? Almost certainly some people died because they heeded his advice. Not withstanding his motives he has no business tricking people so some might die that others might live. That to me has to violate whatever Hipocratic oath or whatever he took.


Please save your righteous indignation for something better. Surely it was better to have masks available for hundreds of nurses and doctors who are treating thousands of patients then giving out a hundred masks to some backwater old folks home in some random state to save 60 people who are 85 and older. Funnily enough, yes someone does have to "play god" and actually make decisions like this; and Fauci was that guy. Sure he made mistakes along the way, but not nearly as many as the guy who was ultimately in charge, who essentially did nothing for months on end and made the situation dramatically worse.
   26. sunday silence (again) Posted: February 22, 2021 at 06:01 PM (#6006268)
that's not the role for a doctor.
   27. Mayor Blomberg Posted: February 22, 2021 at 06:27 PM (#6006270)
one guy was saying we might never reach herd mentality.

oh, dear god, Trump saw to that
   28. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 22, 2021 at 06:28 PM (#6006271)
that's not the role for a doctor.


Well unfortunately the guy who was supposed to be in charge did bugger all, so someone had to make decisions and keeping the short supply of masks for health workers, etc was a sound decision even if it was underhanded at the time.
   29. Mayor Blomberg Posted: February 22, 2021 at 06:29 PM (#6006272)
that's not the role for a doctor.

But it is a role for a public health official.
   30. gef, talking mongoose & suburban housewife Posted: February 22, 2021 at 08:18 PM (#6006284)
Exactly. He wasn't exactly acting as a clinician or whatever, & only an idiot or an axe-grinder (probably at dire loose ends without any convenient Capitols to storm) -- not that those are mutually exclusive by any means -- would imply otherwise.
   31. Mayor Blomberg Posted: February 22, 2021 at 08:31 PM (#6006288)
THe problem I have with that is who is Fauci to play god with who lives and dies?

Well, sure, normally we allow the market (access to quality health care) to play that role, which is all to the good because capitalism is never wrong, but int this case, without care-givers' access to masks, rich people might have died. Do you want that on your conscience?
   32. Lowry Seasoning Salt Posted: February 22, 2021 at 09:34 PM (#6006294)
From the lead public service representative who received Dr. Fauci's guidance:

Jan. 22, 2020: "We have it totally under control. It’s one person coming in from China, and we have it under control. It’s going to be just fine.”

Feb. 2: “We pretty much shut it down coming in from China.”

Feb. 4: "My administration will take all necessary steps to safeguard our citizens from this threat.”

Feb. 24: “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA."

Feb. 26: “When you have 15 people, and the 15 within a couple of days is going to be down to close to zero, that’s a pretty good job we’ve done.”

Feb. 27: “It’s going to disappear. One day, it’s like a miracle — it will disappear.”

Mar. 6: “Anybody that wants a test can get a test. That’s what the bottom line is.”

Mar. 11: “The virus will not have a chance against us. No nation is more prepared or more resilient than the United States.”

Mar. 19: “I wanted to always play it down. I still like playing it down, because I don’t want to create a panic.”

Apr. 2: "We’re going to save a lot of American lives.”

Apr. 3: “The president of the United States calls the shots.”

Etc., etc., etc.

Making Fauci out to be the problem is like saying the 2020 Pirates would have been fine if the guys penciled in the leadoff slot had done better than a .275 OBP.
   33. Benji Gil Gamesh VII - The Opt-Out Awakens Posted: February 22, 2021 at 09:39 PM (#6006295)
This thread has one heck of an excellent "update your Ignore List" ratio, so it's got that going for it.
   34. Sandra Davis Posted: February 23, 2021 at 01:22 AM (#6006310)
Email is a private way to contact your audience. And because it's a private message, relationships and interests have already been built up. The conversion rate could be higher compared to mainstream media due to low overhead and operating costs. In addition, email is easier to identify and analyze compared to written materials. The first step in buying business email lists for promotion is to select the right email list provider. You would need to buy email list to get useful advice from your prospective customers for your own brand. In this way, it will be easier for you to search for businesses, find contact persons and decision-makers, and negotiate your products and services.
   35. the Hugh Jorgan returns Posted: February 23, 2021 at 02:34 AM (#6006314)
Wow, the Fauci scorn is unreal. You really expected someone else to do better in an unprecedented situation where every week the battle front shifted and with no support from his superiors?

Tough crowd.

   36. MY PAIN IS NOT A HOLIDAY (CoB). Posted: February 23, 2021 at 04:12 AM (#6006318)
Sandra Davis wins the thread ...
   37. gef, talking mongoose & suburban housewife Posted: February 23, 2021 at 11:23 AM (#6006349)
Nah -- she used "due to," which I read at some point over the years should be avoided in favor of "owing to" or "because of." Or something like that.
   38. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: February 23, 2021 at 11:26 AM (#6006353)
2020 Pirates would have been fine if the guys penciled in the leadoff slot had done better than a .275 OBP.


Holy ####! He didn't lead off every game, but Frazier's .297 OBP really probably was their best option most of the time!
   39. Zonk is now Unified Posted: February 23, 2021 at 11:50 AM (#6006357)
I think his intentions are to keep himself in the news and the center of attention for as long as possible.


Yeah, I know a lot of people find that to be a really distasteful quality in a person.
   40. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 23, 2021 at 01:41 PM (#6006389)
Fauci deserves criticism for his early mask comments. As we can see, they damaged his credibility and that of the pro-mask advocates more generally. That being said, I think the vitriol against him is a bit over the top, and the people who want to attack everything he says because of that one mistake are throwing out the baby with the bathwater. He was put in a situation where there was no great option, when there was still a lot of uncertainty about what was going on, and he made a mistake. I believe he had good intentions, unlike others who have done far more harm during this pandemic.
   41. Nasty Nate Posted: February 23, 2021 at 01:57 PM (#6006392)
I think the vitriol against him is a bit over the top, and the people who want to attack everything he says because of that one mistake
Lots of people were/are against him for even stupider reasons than that.
   42. bunyon Posted: February 23, 2021 at 02:12 PM (#6006397)
I would be perfectly fine if everyone in leadership who made mistakes/erroneous statements about COVID were summarily banned from any further public statements or leadership position.
   43. dave h Posted: February 23, 2021 at 02:19 PM (#6006399)
Fauci's problem is the same as most everyone's - he decided what he thought should be done and he said what he thought would get people to do that, rather than just giving them the truth. Now a lot of people here think that's a good idea because people are too stupid to do the right thing if you give them the truth, but even then there's a problem: it doesn't work. Someone spots the deception uses it to undermine everything else you say. He deserves scorn for this because it was entirely predictable - we tried scaring people into not doing drugs and scaring people into not having sex and it didn't work, so why did anyone think we could scare people into not living their lives?
   44. Brian C Posted: February 23, 2021 at 09:08 PM (#6006451)
As we can see, they damaged his credibility and that of the pro-mask advocates more generally.

I think this is really the key point - what would the outcome have looked like if Fauci had decided to be truthful about masks? The calculation that he would prevent hoarding turned out to be wrong, and he badly hurt the credibility of maskers in general by doing what he did. While he was by no means the sole cause of anti-masking sentiments, it's pretty clear to me that we're still seeing the effects of what he said now a year later.

But it certainly sounds plausible that early warnings when he was at the peak of his credibility to wear masks would have both put more urgency into manufacturing more masks, more quickly, while also putting more urgency behind mask mandates that were necessary from the start but were delayed and resulted in great loss of life. In the end most people here in the US relied on simple cloth masks anyway, which could have been encouraged from day 1, and probably would have even prevented some of the medical mask shortages that were so critical in the early days of the pandemic. The math behind exponential spread means that even minor increases in masking from an earlier date would have made a big difference in the long run, and no one disputes that Fauci knowingly misled us on the effectiveness of masks.

So I agree that it's way to simple to say "well Fauci sucks because he got it wrong and I'm going to disregard everything he says." But it's also too simple to say "tough crowd to criticize him when he was doing his best." If nothing else, it's worth sorting out exactly what he did wrong so that we can avoid this happening again next time - it's just worth being straightforward about what mistakes were made and when.
   45. Tom Goes to the Ballpark Posted: February 23, 2021 at 10:00 PM (#6006456)
Fauci was wrong to say masks weren’t necessary for average joes and he should have advocated for cloth masks for all (clear in hindsight at least). However, anyone who thinks that would have made a significant difference in public action is deluding themselves. The anti-maskers were always going to do whatever the Big Guy told them to do and the Big Guy hated that masks smeared his makeup and made him look like a p****.
   46. Mayor Blomberg Posted: February 23, 2021 at 10:00 PM (#6006457)
more urgency into manufacturing more masks

urgency was there, rhetoric was there, production wasn't. That's a different story that also needs proper sorting.
   47. SoSH U at work Posted: February 23, 2021 at 11:08 PM (#6006466)
The calculation that he would prevent hoarding turned out to be wrong,


What do you mean it turned out to be wrong?
   48. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: February 24, 2021 at 07:56 AM (#6006470)
The amount of blame that #44 seems to be putting on Fauci instead of the other actors in government is astounding.

Do you really think Republican members of Congress continue to not wear masks (highlighted during the closed quarter capitol hill riots) because of something Fauci said in March/April? REALLY??? You are attributing a delicate butterfly effect to the spread of COVID while ignoring the petulant man-child hurling rocks into the water.
   49. dave h Posted: February 24, 2021 at 07:58 AM (#6006471)
There are people who wouldn't wear a mask no matter what, but there are plenty of people who could have been convinced. The problem is in both demanding and underselling masks. If they are really 95% effective, then that allows some return to normalcy. Tell people "wear a mask and you can go back to normal" is a lot easier sell than "wear a mask AND don't live your life and also we're going to keep moving the goalposts on when you can get back to normal." The same thing is happening with the vaccine now - on the one hand it's very important to get it (it is) but on the other hand officials are emphasizing theoretical problems and how we will still will have to take all the same precautions. It should be obvious that strategy has problems.
   50. Zonk is now Unified Posted: February 24, 2021 at 09:10 AM (#6006475)
Fauci's problem is the same as most everyone's - he decided what he thought should be done and he said what he thought would get people to do that, rather than just giving them the truth. Now a lot of people here think that's a good idea because people are too stupid to do the right thing if you give them the truth, but even then there's a problem: it doesn't work. Someone spots the deception uses it to undermine everything else you say. He deserves scorn for this because it was entirely predictable - we tried scaring people into not doing drugs and scaring people into not having sex and it didn't work, so why did anyone think we could scare people into not living their lives?


I think this oversimplifies things...

Lately, I've become a bigger fan that I used to be of Tom Nichols -- and I really liked his book from several years back, "The Death of Expertise".

I'm not saying that a statement - which should be read in full, in context; not to score points after the fact - cloaked in a private public policy misdirection doesn't objectively hurt.

But - I am no longer the wide-eyed optimist regarding "truth" and the dissemination thereof being a perfect shield. We too often do live in a post-truth world.

Medicine, epidemiology, etc - these things are far outside my education and professional scope. But - I think I understand them well enough to know that we had seriously unrealistic expectations last year. One area of professional expertise I have at least adjacent experience is the concept of ontologies and taxonomical classification.. not just what it is, but why it matters and how it creates a foundation to a lot of solutions. One thing I rather marveled at over the summer (pace one of Nichols' books' theses, looking up the virus name) is that even as late as last summer, the virus itself wasn't well-classified. If professionals who have spent their entire lives still have such foundational black holes in understanding, it was never realistic for those of us in the general public to expect immediate answers and for all of them to be correct.

My life in its narrow confines has taught me that while one should always seek the simplest answer, the things I know well - professionally, socially, familial, etc - are rarely "simple".

Combine a post-truth world where everyone considers themselves an expert because there are no shortage of resources - and a LOT of grifters who know simply posting something online or spinning up a youtube video lends your voice to the chorus of would-be experts, whether it belongs there or not with this anger over "elites" allegedly failing us because "it's all so simple"....

   51. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 24, 2021 at 09:24 AM (#6006476)
But - I am no longer the wide-eyed optimist regarding "truth" and the dissemination thereof being a perfect shield. We too often do live in a post-truth world.

I don’t think the truth will always magically do the trick, but it’s better than lying to people and it’s certainly better than lying to people and subsequently backtracking later.

I do think that #44 gives Fauci too much “credit” — most anti-maskers wouldn’t be wearing masks no matter what, and Fauci just gives them an easy excuse.

Of course, if you think masks don’t work, the right thing to do in this pandemic is *stay home*. The fact that anti-maskers insist on going out and being around other people when they are convinced there’s nothing we can do to prevent the spread of the virus in such situations shows how disingenuous they are.
   52. Brian C Posted: February 24, 2021 at 10:04 AM (#6006478)
What do you mean it turned out to be wrong?

I mean that there were widespread shortages of medical-quality masks when the first wave crested.
The amount of blame that #44 seems to be putting on Fauci instead of the other actors in government is astounding.

Do you really think Republican members of Congress continue to not wear masks (highlighted during the closed quarter capitol hill riots) because of something Fauci said in March/April? REALLY??? You are attributing a delicate butterfly effect to the spread of COVID while ignoring the petulant man-child hurling rocks into the water.

Let's see, do I really think that? REALLY??? Hmm, let's check the record...
While he was by no means the sole cause of anti-masking sentiments...

You be the judge, I guess.
   53. Brian C Posted: February 24, 2021 at 10:07 AM (#6006480)
We too often do live in a post-truth world.

What makes you say that, in a thread where people want to defend a guy for purposely misleading the public to obviously disastrous effect?
   54. SoSH U at work Posted: February 24, 2021 at 10:11 AM (#6006481)
I mean that there were widespread shortages of medical-quality masks when the first wave crested.


And telling ordinary people they needed masks would have made that better? We saw the hoarding of toilet paper and sanitary wipes. You don't think the same would have happened with masks?
   55. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 24, 2021 at 10:17 AM (#6006482)
His point is that it happened with masks anyway. Although I think that is talking out of both sides of his mouth. If you think Fauci’s comments had an effect on mask adoption, then it presumably reduced the hoarding of masks even if it didn’t eliminate it.
   56. SoSH U at work Posted: February 24, 2021 at 10:25 AM (#6006484)
His point is that it happened with masks anyway.


I know that's what his point is. The folly is thinking the condition was as bad as it could be. That's nonsense.
   57. Commissioner Bud Black Beltre Hillman Fred Posted: February 24, 2021 at 10:35 AM (#6006486)
I have liked this, generally; but for here, QTF is better, don't you think?
I dunno, it sortof implies that they're thinking.
   58. Zonk is now Unified Posted: February 24, 2021 at 10:36 AM (#6006487)
We too often do live in a post-truth world.

What makes you say that, in a thread where people want to defend a guy for purposely misleading the public to obviously disastrous effect?


The corollary/pairing with it's NOT all so simple.

I.e., Let's say Fauci had said "Everybody get a mask! Get 10! Get 'em yesterday!"

Well... we very much DID have shortages in PPE/masks at the time Fauci made this statement. We very much DID have serious, significant stretches in our healthcare system. Anyone who has forgotten or doesn't know that clearly has no friends/family who are doctors and nurses - they and the system were near the breaking point...

So, instead of people being asked to donate extra masks to hospitals because of the lie - people start doing EXACTLY what happened with everything from toilet paper to hand sanitizer.... not just hoarding, but profiteering, and the rest.

Then?

If the healthcare system - at least, in localized areas - collapses.... Then what? At least Fauci didn't "lie"?
   59. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: February 24, 2021 at 11:47 AM (#6006507)
Then?

If the healthcare system - at least, in localized areas - collapses.... Then what? At least Fauci didn't "lie"?


According to Brian C presumably when Fauci said we all need to wear masks it would have both put more urgency into manufacturing more masks, more quickly, while also putting more urgency behind mask mandates that were necessary from the start but were delayed and resulted in great loss of life.

So no health care collapse at all! Trump would have been right all along "this is nothing" if it were not for Fauci's damning lie.
   60. dave h Posted: February 24, 2021 at 11:50 AM (#6006508)
The idea that we're in a "post-truth" world is predicated on the idea that there was a "truth" world, but that's absolutely false. People have always been willing to do the steps to arrive at truth (the most important being trying to prove your own view wrong) when there is suitable incentive to do so. We apply the scientific method to airplane design, because to not do so will obviously get a lot of people killed. When it comes to policy, very few people look for truth because to do so might alienate themselves from their group, with obvious negative consequences. And in most cases people have no impact on policy, so getting it "right" doesn't have a positive consequence. This isn't a new thing, though it's likely exacerbated by people moving into more and more isolated groups by political philosophy. This applies to people of all political persuasions and it's not based on how smart you are.

Response to the pandemic is in a middle ground - there are behaviors that would get you shunned by your group (which goes both ways for mask-wearing, as well as other activities) and there are also clear, direct effects on your health. Public health officials could have made honest arguments appealing to the incentive to stay healthy. Instead they decided that they should encourage every possible safeguard by whatever method they had, and hope that people adopted some of them. It's "this is your brain on drugs" or "the only safe sex is abstinence" all over again (just by a different group of people, in an ironic twist).
   61. Zonk is now Unified Posted: February 24, 2021 at 11:59 AM (#6006511)
Given the pretty recent and significant Boeing 737 MAX failures -- and what we know so far about the decisions around design, corrections, and public response...

I'm not so sure airplane design is a good near-term counterpoint to the idea that the "truth" struggles mightily of late.
   62. Tom Nawrocki Posted: February 24, 2021 at 12:01 PM (#6006512)
And telling ordinary people they needed masks would have made that better? We saw the hoarding of toilet paper and sanitary wipes. You don't think the same would have happened with masks?


One difference is that people could and did make their own masks. The first three or four masks I had were all homemade cloth masks.

I don't think anyone was making their own toilet paper.
   63. SoSH U at work Posted: February 24, 2021 at 12:04 PM (#6006515)
One difference is that people could and did make their own masks.


Possible, sure. But do you doubt we would have also seen hoarding of the existing supply?
   64. Lassus Posted: February 24, 2021 at 12:16 PM (#6006521)
The idea that we're in a "post-truth" world is predicated on the idea that there was a "truth" world, but that's absolutely false.

Nah, oversell. The current unapologetic prominence is a difference.
   65. bunyon Posted: February 24, 2021 at 12:21 PM (#6006525)
And telling ordinary people they needed masks would have made that better? We saw the hoarding of toilet paper and sanitary wipes. You don't think the same would have happened with masks?


One difference is that people could and did make their own masks. The first three or four masks I had were all homemade cloth masks.

I don't think anyone was making their own toilet paper.


People hoarded PPE anyway, even with Fauci downplaying it. You couldn't buy masks or gloves for good long time back in March and April. And the efficacy of cloth masks was hotly debated among those who disagreed with him. A lot of experts didn't think cloth masks would be effective at all. I suspect Fauci was in that camp.

Scientists have a lot of experience that should be listened to but they're not magic. They don't know things that haven't been studied. New virus, new protocols. They start based on the last, most similar virus and evolve.
   66. Tom Nawrocki Posted: February 24, 2021 at 12:35 PM (#6006530)
Possible, sure. But do you doubt we would have also seen hoarding of the existing supply?


I honestly have no idea. I would assume that hospitals are sourcing masks from different places than Walgreens is, but I don't know.

I do think Fauci deliberately telling people not to wear masks is a bad thing, since our public officials really should not say things they know are not true. I also think it was negligible in the adoption of masks, and people who were never going to wear masks use it simply as a excuse.
   67. Tom Nawrocki Posted: February 24, 2021 at 12:44 PM (#6006532)
Scientists have a lot of experience that should be listened to but they're not magic. They don't know things that haven't been studied. New virus, new protocols. They start based on the last, most similar virus and evolve.


Yeah, I think people need to keep in mind that this virus didn't even exist a year and a half ago. People are going to make mistakes as we figure out how to negotiate our way through it.

I went from bandanna -> homemade cloth mask -> store-bought paper surgical masks -> professionally made tight-fitting cloth masks, which is where I am now. I am sure that each one of these steps (a) provided some measure of protection for myself and those around me, and (b) could have been improved upon.
   68. SoSH U at work Posted: February 24, 2021 at 12:45 PM (#6006533)
I would assume that hospitals are sourcing masks from different places than Walgreens is, but I don't know.


Obviously Fauci was worried about it, so I'm guessing the public has the ability to access that medical supply to some extent.

I also think it was negligible in the adoption of masks, and people who were never going to wear masks use it simply as a excuse.


That's largely what I think, though I think the president could have gotten a lot more of his base to buy into it had he modeled the behavior and was consistent on message. Some of the freedom lovers would balk under any circumstances, but Trump actually had a chance to get many of his followers onboard if he had framed it properly.

How much advocating for mask usage right from the start would have done to slow the spread in the first wave vs. the effect such a message could have had on the supply available to the healthcare people who desperately needed it is unknown, but I think he was looking at a choice between two bad outcomes.
   69. Never Give an Inge (Dave) Posted: February 24, 2021 at 01:30 PM (#6006539)
I would assume that hospitals are sourcing masks from different places than Walgreens is, but I don't know.


There were reports of people stealing PPE supplies directly from hospitals to sell to individuals. I don’t know how pervasive this was but it wasn’t a completely baseless concern.
   70. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 24, 2021 at 02:00 PM (#6006552)
There were reports of people stealing PPE supplies directly from hospitals to sell to individuals.
Yes, hospital employees primarily, as well as taking masks home for their families use. There were always going to be shortages because those ‘in the know’ knew that self-help measures such as masks had some benefit. Keeping that knowledge from others still seems problematic.
   71. Mayor Blomberg Posted: February 24, 2021 at 02:06 PM (#6006555)
Is it possible to stop pretending that there was mp pressure -- by MARCH 2020 at the latest -- to ramp up mask production, but as with al;l things trump, screaming went nowhere. I well recall the experience of attempting to buy N95/KN95 masks in march and seeing that they were all ####### fraudulent.

And #53 is nothing short of recklessly idiotic.
   72. Zonk is now Unified Posted: February 24, 2021 at 02:08 PM (#6006556)
I honestly have no idea. I would assume that hospitals are sourcing masks from different places than Walgreens is, but I don't know.


Interestingly - tying it back to toilet paper - it goes upstream to supply chain and logistics...

I.e., People suddenly hoarding toilet paper certainly played a large role, *but* - there are some fundamental differences (aside from, lack a better term, comfort) between TP rolls manufactured for commercial use and home use.

To wit - in many places, the rolls are of a different size in businesses.

Suddenly, business stop needing/ordering so much TP because people aren't in stores, offices, and airports... but - even setting aside that most people don't want the thin sandpaper at home (but hey, in a pinch...) - you cannot put those large roles on your TP roller in your home bathroom. Now, sure... it's not like you can't just put in the tank... BUT - there are not existing supply chains to deliver or even package the rolls for consumer purchase.

IOW - TP producers couldn't readily, quickly, easily just switch to smaller roll production... their packaging could just quickly shift to plastic packaging rather than big boxes for commercial buyers.... and their distribution/supply chain processes couldn't just quickly send to Walgreens rather than ACME Commercial Hub or whatever.

Anyway... All of these issues had solutions, of course, but doing it all rapidly, at scale?
   73. Tom Nawrocki Posted: February 24, 2021 at 02:45 PM (#6006566)
That's largely what I think, though I think the president could have gotten a lot more of his base to buy into it had he modeled the behavior and was consistent on message. Some of the freedom lovers would balk under any circumstances, but Trump actually had a chance to get many of his followers onboard if he had framed it properly.


I shouldn't have said "were never going to wear masks." I'm sure a lot more people would have been willing to wear masks had it not turned into a political/cultural issue.

Surely, the greatest single reason that many people have refused to wear masks is Trump, by orders of magnitude more than Fauci.
   74. dave h Posted: February 24, 2021 at 02:46 PM (#6006567)
I'm not so sure airplane design is a good near-term counterpoint to the idea that the "truth" struggles mightily of late.


I use airplanes mostly because it's such a good example of something that right from its invention was dependent on the scientific method, which people often refuse to apply in other circumstances. I don't know every detail of the current controversies, but overall from the Wright Brothers on I think flight is a pretty amazing triumph of humanity. You can replace with your favorite scientific/technological advance.

Nah, oversell. The current unapologetic prominence is a difference.


Eh, there are all sorts of ways to be wrong. Not caring about being right is one, but deluding yourself into thinking what you already believe is right is another. Maybe there's a difference, but it's small compared to actually doing the work to figure out if you're right.

   75. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 24, 2021 at 03:18 PM (#6006581)
Looks like the FDA is poised to approve the Johnson & Johnson vaccine by this weekend:
A Food and Drug Administration review released Wednesday of the single-shot coronavirus vaccine made by pharmaceutical giant Johnson & Johnson found it was safe and effective and completely prevented hospitalizations and deaths in a large clinical trial.
. . .
The Johnson & Johnson vaccine was 85 percent effective at preventing severe illness, including in a region dominated by a concerning variant, but only 66 percent protective overall when moderate cases were included.
. . .
“We know this vaccine prevents 85 percent of the severe disease … It was 100 percent effective in preventing hospitalization and deaths, and that’s really what’s important,” said Nancy M. Bennett, a professor of medicine and public health sciences at the University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry. “Those facts are the most important thing to recognize.”
Good news.
   76. Zonk is now Unified Posted: February 24, 2021 at 03:18 PM (#6006582)
I use airplanes mostly because it's such a good example of something that right from its invention was dependent on the scientific method, which people often refuse to apply in other circumstances. I don't know every detail of the current controversies, but overall from the Wright Brothers on I think flight is a pretty amazing triumph of humanity. You can replace with your favorite scientific/technological advance.


Sure, but I don't think you can really compare something like an invention to public policy.

To wit - Fauci's role is not "pure science". As I understand it 'epidemiology' itself isn't really that, either. It's a balancing of multiple factors. Any single factor may certainly have an absolute truth and correct answer, but when you have to combine those single factors - it gets murky and harder.

Tying it back to airplanes - and specific, Boeing problems... I'm remembering (possibly misremembering) a discussion from the exile land from a pilot (if Misirlou stumbles by, he can correct me)... the nature of the 737 MAX problems was that Boeing wanted to handle their problems in a way that didn't require pilots to be retrained and recertified. This was an outcome of public policy - the nature by which any given pilot can legally pilot certain types of planes. Boeing can sell more 737 MAX planes to airlines if airlines don't have to account for not just the purchase, but the fact that they don't need to spend on pilot training and recertification.

Yet, the public policy was actually correct - on a general level, though one can certainly say that it "failed" because Boeing found the nooks and crannies to sell the new plane without ticking off the parameters that would have required retraining.... and multiple planes crashed... because it was a new system/design that should have necessitated retraining... rather than being plug-and-play.

Thus it is with most inventions/advances... Those are - in a way - the easy part. The genius that sees a possibility and a way to do something better or new.

Yet, wither the broader rollout and commercialization? Even if one isn't a nanny state liberal - as I am - I would think even the most libertarian of people would have to admit that there has to be some manner of public policy around it.... and this means things get complicated.

If I build an amazing space heater that costs 50 bucks and even 95% of the time - allows you to heat 1500 sqft at half the energy price of most such things.... but 5% of the time, it starts a big fire (and that 5% isn't random, it's because there is some kind of deeply detailed, specific, and whatnot required to lower the risk of conflagration...)

Well... Should public policy prevent it from being sold? Should public policy require some kind of certification to own? To install? Wither liability? And so on...

   77. Mayor Blomberg Posted: February 24, 2021 at 04:55 PM (#6006605)
Zonk and others, the problems with the MAX were twofold: (1) design, (2) review and certification. As to #2 the FAA basically outsourced the work of review on which certification is based to ... Boeing. Fallows, among others, covered this at the the MAXes were grounded.

Should public policy prevent it from being sold? Should public policy require some kind of certification to own? To install? Wither liability?

How close is your house to mine?
   78. bunyon Posted: February 24, 2021 at 05:04 PM (#6006609)
Those heaters should obviously be allowed to be sold. Producers need to make money. If your neighbors are worried, they should take steps to protect their property. They could build a moat. Or hire a fire truck.
   79. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 24, 2021 at 05:46 PM (#6006615)
If I build an amazing space heater that costs 50 bucks and even 95% of the time - allows you to heat 1500 sqft at half the energy price of most such things.... but 5% of the time, it starts a big fire (and that 5% isn't random, it's because there is some kind of deeply detailed, specific, and whatnot required to lower the risk of conflagration...)

Well... Should public policy prevent it from being sold? Should public policy require some kind of certification to own? To install? Wither liability? And so on...
Tort law provides the answer here. Zonk goes bust.
   80. Zonk is now Unified Posted: February 24, 2021 at 08:47 PM (#6006650)
Tort law provides the answer here. Zonk goes bust.


Except it doesn't.

If you want to argue that a one-size fits all, federal approach isn't the answer - fine... but public policy has layers.

Living in a building with 12 units, extremely close to larger buildings with equal/more units... Yeah, it matters how close your space is to mine.

Even assuming the particulars specific to homeowners vs renters insurance, that my insurer doesn't decide "#### this ####, it's quicker and cheaper to find an out in the individually impacted claims, et al...

I would rather my #### not burn down due to the fault of someone or someones else regardless of whether I get a check to cover to the loss.

Oh yeah, plus, of course.... "Tort law" is not some kind of natural state or law... it's a public policy construct. So, you know, I guess it does provide the answer here... and we're actually arguing the specific of the counter-balances of multiple, individual thrusts combined into a cohesive... public policy.
   81. The Yankee Clapper Posted: February 24, 2021 at 09:32 PM (#6006659)
I don’t think you fully appreciate how many roadblocks tort law creates for your effort to market Mrs. O’Leary’s Space Heaters. You likely won’t get funding, or insurance, and you will go broke after selling but a few units out of your [possibly smoldering] garage.

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