The Disaster Center Covid-19 Chronicle

Prior our starting the report on the Corona Virus, the World Health Organization (WHO began its response on January 1st, setting up an Incident Management Support Team (IMST) across three levels: International, Regional, and Country. 

On the 4th, of January WHO reported on social media that there were a cluster of pneumonia cases, with no deaths, in Wuhan, Hubei Provence.  On the 5th WHO published its first report in WHO’s “Disaster Outbreak News.”

On January 6th to the 8th, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) issues a series of warnings, and alerts including travel warnings.

On the 10th, WHO issued a comprehensive package of technical guidance online to all countries on how to detect, test, and manage potential cases.

On January 12th, China publicly shared the genetic sequence of Covid-19. 

On the 13th, the first case was reported outside China.

On the 16th, the CDC says it will screen US passengers arriving from Wuhan.  On the 17th, Dr. Nancy Messonnier director of the National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases at the CDC reports that, “this is a serious situation.”  “…[W]e believe the current risk to the general public is low.”

January 21st, the first case is reported in the US of A. 

On the 22nd, President Trump during an interview says, “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.”

January 22nd, WHO issued a statement that there had been human to human transmission but more investigation was needed.  WHO Secretary General convened an Emergency Committee under the International Health Regulations to assess whether the outbreak constituted a public health emergency of international concern.  An agreement could not be reached, but it was agreed to meet ten days later. 

The 24th, President Trump in an interview says, “We have it totally under control.” Second US of A case reported.

On January 28th, a WHO delegation led by the Secretary General travelled to Beijing to meet with China’s leadership, to learn more about China’s response, and to offer any technical assistance.

On the 29th, The White House announces the organization of a coronavirus task force. Fifth US of A case reported.

On the 30th, WHO Declares the coronavirus a “public health emergency of international concern.

On the 30th, President Trump says, “we have only five people.  Hopefully, everything’s going to be great.  They have somewhat of a problem, but hopefully, it’s all going to be great.”

On February 2nd, President barred most travelers from China, but with exemptions of US Citizens, lawful permanent residents, and close family.   Eight US case reported.

On February 2nd 2020, we began our coverage of Covid -19.  WHO had been issuing reports from January 21st, which we had been following and had begun compiling.  We started running projections based on the reported data.  The first WHO reports showed an incredible daily increase in the number of cases.  In our report of the second, when 14,557 cases were reported and 305 people had died, we estimated that, if the rate of increase in cases were to continue to at 21.5% a day, by March 1st, globally over 3,000,000 people would be infected and 70,000 dead and by the end of March the number infected would reach a billion with deaths in the tens of millions.  The purpose of running out these projections was to highlight where we were and if current trends continue this is where we would be.  It actually worked out that on March 1st, worldwide 149,992 cases were reported with 683 dead and on March 31st, 750,890 confirmed cases and 36,405 deaths.

The numbers that we initially were looking at were inflating at a fast rate because the Chinese government was implemented wide spread testing.  In the United States we would see a similar affect when the US of A started to test for the virus.

On February 3rd, WHO publishes a Strategic Preparedness and Response Plan.

On February 3rd, the CDC’s Messonier said in a briefing that, “We expect to see more cases of person to person contact spread among close contacts.” 11 US of A cases

From the 3rd to the 7th, of February we reported that the rate of increase in cases fell from 19% to 15% per day.  By this time John Hopkins Covid-19 website had come on line.

From the 8th to the 11th, the daily percentage increase of cases in China fell from 14% to 6%.  Meanwhile the rate of increase outside China was 24%.

On the 11th, the President said at a rally, “Looks like by April, you know, in theory, when it gets warmer, it miraculously goes away….I think it’s going to work out fine.” 12 US of A cases.

On the 12th, we learned that China changed the way it was reporting cases of the virus and that this occurred as the percentage of reported cases declined.

February 12, 2020, we wrote: “We need to combine our efforts, to unite every person, state, nation in the effort to fight the spread of the virus.  If we assemble and combine our efforts the difference in the outcome may well be millions of lives and to mitigate the effects upon the world economy.  Now is the time for humanity to begin to understand that we are all on the same boat.”

From the 12th through the 24th, the daily increase in reported cases in China continued to decline from 6% to less than 1%.  Meanwhile, WHO and John Hopkins were reporting daily increase in cases outside China of 11% to 13%.

From the 16th to the 24th, a WHO and China Joint mission, which included experts from several countries, including the United States of America (CDC + NIH).  They spoke with health officials, scientists, and healthcare workers and issued a report.  It was not until the 5th of March that we got a copy of the report.

On the 24th, the CDC acknowledged problems with the Covid -19 test kits and the CDC also acknowledged that, “We can and should be prepared for this new virus to gain foothold in the U.S.” 51 US of A cases

February 24th, the US stock market began to fall.

On the 26th, the President tweeted, “The Coronavirus is very much under control in the USA...Stock markets starting to look very good to me!”  57 US of A cases

On February 26th, we found out that the testing kits developed by the CDC were not working correctly.  The one essential tool in any virus containment strategy failed to work.  In the United States there was no way to understand how many people had been and were infected by the virus. Covid-19 could only be tested when States submitted samples to the CDC.   The virus had been spreading in the United States with no practical means to test for the virus.

On February 29th, the CDC, in effect, admitted its failure when it issued guidelines easing restrictions on manufacturing of Covid-19 test kits by certain companies.  Without the ability to test large numbers of people for the virus, its not possible to have a containment policy. 68 US of A cases, 1 death.

March 5th, we learned how the Chinese contained the spread of the virus: “How did the government of China do it?

Most people in China were required to use an app that associated them with a risk factor, red, yellow or green.  Where you could go depended on the risk factor associated with your identity.  At check points monitored by police, people’s temperature and identities are scanned from their phones.  Check points were set up everywhere.  Highway traffic was stopped.  Everyone moving from one point to another had their temperature taken.

By tracking people’s movements, if someone was exposed to a person who later came down with the virus, people who rode the same train, frequented the same area, and lived at the same address they could be identified and assigned a code.  Massive amounts of data were collected and every effort made to track the contacts of the 70,000 cases.

It has been reported that individuals, who were identified by neighbors or associates as being ill, were rounded up by authorities for testing.

The government of China made sure that social media provided accurate information to users, that everyone was taught how hands should be washed, how to wear masks, not to shake hands, what were the symptoms of the corona virus.  Ninety percent of those with the virus had fever, seventy percent had dry coughs, thirty percent had malaise, and trouble breathing, only four percent have runny noses.  If you suspected you had the virus you went to a clinic where you would be asked: who have you had contact with, what was your travel and medical history. Then a CT scan would be performed to look for ground-glass opacities, which are lung abnormalities.   If you were still a suspect case, they would then do a swab test and you would wait four hours for the results to be processed.

If a person tested positive, with mild symptoms, (80 percent of all cases) a fever, cough, maybe even pneumonia, you go to an isolation center, set up in gymnasiums and stadiums.  The time between a person noting symptoms and the time they were hospitalized went from 15 days, when the virus first appeared, to two days.  If the symptoms were severe: needing oxygen or a ventilator or critical: other illnesses or over age 65, you’d go straight to hospital.

The best hospitals were designated just for severe and critical cases of the corona virus. Elective surgeries were postponed, other patients moved. Some hospitals were designated just for routine care.  The government made it clear: testing is free and when your insurance ended, the state picked up everything.

The response among the people was: we’ve got to help.  Other provinces sent 40,000 medical workers to Wuhan, many volunteered.  The fifteen million people of Wuhan couldn’t go out.  Food ordered online was delivered.

The spread of the virus has been beaten back in China, but is not yet beaten.  The fight goes on and has moved to different fields of battle, where how governments and people come together will determine the outcome.” 217 US of A cases, 12 deaths

March 6th, the President tweeted: “Gallup just gave us the highest rating ever for the way we are handling the CoronaVirus situation.  The April 2009-10 Swine Flu, where nearly 13,00 people died in the U.S., was poorly handled.”  262 US of A cases, 14 deaths

On March 7th, we wrote:  Compared to the total number of existing cases, the daily rate of increase inside China is 0.025%.  The rate of increased cases outside China is 20%.

The situation is the first global catastrophe of the digital age.

We are confronting an age-old problem with resources, awareness, and tools that have not existed for like plagues in the history of the humanity.  How every nation responds will have effects on every other nation.  What is needed is the global coordination of Emergency Support Functions, in an organizational structure to provide support, resources, program implementation, and services that are needed to save lives, to keep the engines of our economies moving, providing a global framework so that the people who inhabit the same small globe, will be able to minimize the negative effects to their economies, and to reduce the number of people who will become ill and die.

March 8th in response to the President’s remarks that we are switching to a mitigation from a containment policy, we wrote:  The US of A has announced that it is giving up on containment as a strategy.  It will contain individuals who have been exposed, but not going to take the kind of proactive responses that the Chinese did. At one end, if the spread of the virus were not contained in any way, it is reasonable to forecast that millions of people in the United States would die.  If a vaccine were put on the market in the near future then those millions won't die.  It may be that we have to wait a year before a vaccine is available.  Unfortunately, we cannot predict the rate of the spread the virus with any certainty, because testing in the US of A has not been available, because of CDC screw ups.  We are not going to have a reasonable idea of how many people in the US of A have been infected for a while.  For us to be able to forecast the daily rate of increase is probably going to take a month.  This morning John Hopkins website is reporting that 437 people have been diagnosed with the virus in the US of A. If the number of reported daily cases increases by 15% a day, by next Sunday the number of reported cases will be 1,162 and by June 5, 2020 over 100 million.    

On March 9th we continued: A containment policy is a system in place to contain the spread of the virus by identifying individuals who have the virus and those whom they have exposed and to isolate or contain them, either voluntarily or by force.  The United States never had a containment policy because until recently it did not have the means available to test large numbers of people.  Recently, the US announced that it was moving to mitigation from a containment policy that never existed.  China has had and is now pursuing a containment policy. At 4AM John Hopkins Coronavirus COVID-19 website indicated that 554 cases had been reported in the US of A.

March 11th, “this was unexpected. … And it hit the world.  And we’re prepared, and we’re doing a great job with it.  And it will go away.  Just stay calm.  It will go away.  – Trump to reporters at the US Capitol.  1,281 US of A cases, 36 deaths

March 12th, the President restricts travel from 26 European nations. 1,663 US of A cases 40 deaths

March 13th, Washington Governor Inlee closes all schools in the State and the President declares a national emergency.  3,499 US of A cases 63 deaths

March 13th, at this point the US of A was beginning to undertake mass testing and the daily rate of increase in reported cases was rising at a rate of 30% per day.

March 15th we wrote: At the Disaster Center we started to panic about the corona virus on February 2nd. This last week the people of the United States caught up with us. Last Sunday we wrote that if the number of reported cases increases by 15% a day the total number of cases today would be 1,162.  This morning at 7 AM EST the number of reported cases is 2,952.    Last week we also forecast if the virus increased at 15% per day to June 5th that around one hundred million people would have been infected by that date.  In spite of this, today we saying that the time for panic is over.  We won't be able to beat the virus until a vaccine is developed, but eventually we'll be able to limit the spread of the virus and return to normal. That is going to happen because we are now focused on the reality that we need get together and fight a common enemy.  It's going to take time and cost money.  The Chinese fought it back by adopting measures that are difficult for any people to accept.  On March 5, we wrote about how the China did it.  Please be mindful of people who are especially vulnerable.

March 17th, the President asks the workforce to stay home and says he always knew it was a pandemic.  6,421 US of A cases, 108 deaths

March 24th, the President says he want the country to reopen by April 12th.  53,736 US of A cases, 557 deaths

March 27th, the President signs a $2.2 trillion emergency spending bill.  101,657 US of A cases, 1,581 deaths

March 31th, the President falsely claims that his administration inherited faulty test kits for a virus that didn’t exist prior to his taking office.  188,172 US of A cases 3,874 deaths

April 2nd, 6.6 million workers file for unemployment.  275,367 cases, 7,090 deaths

April 4th and 5th, the President pushes the use of hydroxychloroquine. “Take it. What do you have to lose?" 308,650 cases, 8,408 deaths

April 8th, President Trump “…you have to understand, I’m a cheerleader for this country.”428,654 cases, 14,704 deaths

April 9th, “FLATTENING OF THE CURVE!” – Trump tweet 462,780 cases, 16,544 deaths

April 15th President instructs his administration to halt funding of WHO, the agency coordinating worldwide Covid-19 response 636,350 cases, 32,930 deaths

April 18th, On this day we forecast 3 to 3.3 million cases by May 1st and 5 to 5.9 million cases by June 1st.  On May 1st, WHO reported 3.175 million cases and on May 31st WHO reported 5.934 million cases.  John Hopkins reports are always higher than WHO’s daily reports.

On May 2nd, we estimated that US of A cases would be 2.2 million by June 1st.  WHO’s confirmed cases for the US of A total 1.035 million cases.  At the time I felt that because of the relaxation of stay at home orders the second surge would be taking place by now.

On May 4th, The President’ son-in-law declared victory over the corona virus and the President promised that the cost of his victory over the virus would only be 100,000 dead.  This was our last Disaster Center index/diary page Covid-19 report.

As of May 31st, 2020, John Hopkins is reporting that a world-wide total of 6,104,980 cases reported and 370,078 people are dead because of the virus.  It is widely believed that these numbers grossly under report the actual number of cases.  In the US of A 1,775,125 reported cases and 102,201 deaths.

The failure of the United States response was due to its election of a President that does not believe in science.  He believes in the Trump magic.