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THORNER: TRUMP AND THE COVID-19 MASK DEBATE

October 8, 2020

Despite what many Democrats might have wished for, it appears even the Coronavirus isn't going to stop President Trump from his role as President

President Trump isn't the first US president to be infected with a "pandemic".  US President Woodrow Wilson became sick in April 1919 of 'Spanish Flu, while in Paris negotiating the end of World War One. The first lady, Edith Wilson, quickly stepped in to make sure as few people as possible knew the president was ailing. 
 
President Trump, on the other hand, announced via Twitter early on Friday, Oct 2, 2020 that he and the first lady had tested positive for Covid virus and were self-isolating.  Trump later that day was transported by helicopter from the White House to Walter Reed Hospital where he could be treated by a team of specialist as a precaution, because of his age and the nature of the illness on someone Trump's age, who is also overweight.
 
Reasonable responses
 
Federalist Senior Editor Mollie Hemingway responded to the news of President Donald Trump and the first lady’s positive coronavirus diagnosis on “Fox and Friends” noting, “I was disappointed — genuinely disappointed — to see the glee with which some people responded to this news,” referring to a number of political figures and verified Twitter users tweeting comments such as, “I hope he dies.”
 
Said Hemmingway, "There is a proper way to respond to this news, which includes prayer and avoiding unnecessary hysteria.
 
Hemingway also noted that although the virus can be dangerous and is one you would not wish on anyone, it’s important to look at the facts about the majority of people who do test positive, rather than respond as if it’s more dramatic than it is. 
 
Former White House Physician and Congressional candidate Ronny Jackson, likewise appeared on Fox and Friends on Friday, October 2nd, 2020, to say that Trump is “asymptomatic” and will be ready for the next debate.  A two-week quarantine which ends the day before the next debate on October 15 should show Trump “cured” and ready to debate.
 
As to the reaction of President Trump's White House coronavirus advisor Scott Atlas in an exclusive interview with Fox News:
 
“It is no surprise that people get the infection, even with precautions,” Atlas said. “I anticipate a complete and full and rapid recovery back to normal after his necessary confinement period. I anticipate he’ll be back on the road and in full swing.”
 
Atlas stressed that the president “always” takes precautions, following social distancing guidelines, that he is tested regularly, and “wears a mask in appropriate settings."
 
“He is a very, very healthy guy,” Atlas said. “And the overwhelming majority of people, even at his age do fine with this, so I anticipate the same for him.”
 
When asked about the first lady, Atlas also maintained that “she is not a high-risk person at all and I anticipate she will do perfectly well.”
 
Unhinged liberal responses
 
Less than 12 hours after President Trump’s public announcement of his China coronavirus diagnosis, The New York Times suggested that President Trump should immediately withdraw from the 2020 race, while Democrat Chris Murphy suggested that business in the Senate should stop. 
 
Besides wishing Trump dead, the liberal Internet was also fed “Trump is faking Covid” by MSNBC's Joy Reid, to get out of debates. 
 
Pelosi and all the rest of the howling Democrat hate Donald Trump mob claim Trump brought on himself by not wearing masks and socially distancing himself, but what about  Democrats who got Covid and had to quarantine? Among them is Gov. Ralph Northam and his wife who tested positive on September 25, 2020.
 
Trump shows he's in control
 
Despite what many Democrats might have wished for, it appears even the Coronavirus isn't going to stop President Trump from his role as President or from getting his campaign message out in what many consider a pivotal race in this nation's history.
 
President Donald Trump’s medical team reported on Sunday,10/4/2020 that Trump's health “continues to improve”, and that he could be discharged on Monday, October 5, 2020.  
 
 
Having received a positive diagnosis by his doctors on Monday, Oct. 5, 2020 President Trump left Walter Reed Hospital at 6:38 p.m. after a 72 hour stay for the short flight back to the White House, arriving back at 6:54 p.m.   Trump walked on his own looking confident and strong, even climbing the stars to his 2nd story living quarters of the White House.
 
To the American people Trump tweeted this very important message:  "Don't be afraid of Covid.  Don't let it dominate your life.  We have developed under the Trump administration some really good drugs and knowledge.  I feel better than I did 20 years ago."
 
The CDC’s new September 10th updated IFR estimates, as reported by Breitbart, discloses the rate of death from Covid-19 broken down by age group:  0-19 years old, 99.997 percent; 20-49 years old, 99.98 percent; 50-69 years, 99.5 percent; and 70 years old or older, 94.6 percent (Trump's category).
 
WHAT IS THE TRUTH ABOUT MASKS? 
 
As MBC's Chuck Todd said: "Perhaps Trump's illness will cause doubters to take the virus seriously and wear a mask?" 
 
Evidently Democrat PA Gov. Tom Wold and PA State Representative Wendy Ullman don't take face masks all that seriously, having been caught on a hot mike calling face masks "political theater." Check out this video.
 
WHO
 
On September 3, 2020, the World Health Organization admitted there was no direct evidence that masks prevent viral infections, including Covid -19, as cited in WHO’s June 5, 2020, guidance memo on face mask.
 
Center for Disease Control and Prevention
 
A policy review paper published in Emerging Infectious Diseases in May 2020, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s own journal, also found no evidence of benefit from face masks.
 
A quote appearing in the review paper:
“In our systematic review, we identified 10 RCTs [randomized controlled trials] that reported estimates of the effectiveness of face masks in reducing laboratory-confirmed influenza virus infections in the community from literature published during 1946–July 27, 2018. In pooled analysis, we found no significant reduction in influenza transmission with the use of face masks …
 
A summation statement: 
The science, contrary to the ignorant platitudes we are bombarded with, has NOT proven that universal masking is effective for viral containment, and has instead provided substantial grounds for skepticism of such a policy.
 
Originally published on the Oral Heath website
 
This excellent but lengthy article is a flashback to 2016:  Face Masks Didn't Work Then, Either
 
Originally published on the Oral Health website, it vanished in June 2020 and was replaced with the statement, “ …it has been removed. The content was published in 2016 and is no longer relevant in our current climate.
 
In pointing out the inadequacies of face masks:  Between 2004 and 2016 at least a dozen research or review articles have been published on the inadequacies of face masks.  All agree that the poor facial fit and limited filtration characteristics of face masks make them unable to prevent the wearer inhaling airborne particles.
 
Wikipedia article on face marks
 
Some takeaways from the Wikipedia article follow:  Face masks during the Covid19 pandemic.
  • Effective in trapping larger liquid drops exhaled by the wearer.
  • Ineffective in trapping aerosol particles.*
  • Considerable leakage when exhaling or inhaling.
  • Masks are more effective in preventing spread of the disease than catching it.
  • Policy to require everyone to wear a mask is intended to not stigmatize the infected person.
*Aerosol droplets don't fall by gravity like larger particle do, but it's still uncertain how far aerosol particles can travel in the air.
 
The Atlantic
 
An article in The Atlantic by Zeynep Tufekct published Sept. 30, 2020, This Overlooked Variable Is the Key to the Pandemic, suggests the following:
 
The “overlooked variable” is “k”. R0 is the average number of people infected by one infected individual, largely accepted as 3. The author defines “k” as the dispersion (ie variability) number the R factor, which explains why infections tend to occur in clusters rather than uniformly across the country.
 
He cites an example of one person in South Korea who spread the disease to 5000 others at a single religious service. We have seen similar cases in the US, where 90 people contracted COVID-19 after attending a wedding with 200 guests. So many people among Trump’s associates getting infected at the same time may be due to a so-called “superspreader.”
 
If this proves to be the case, then it is much more effective to trace contacts backwards to the “supersource” than forward to everyone the victim has been near.
 
Mr. Tufekct also emphasizes that preventive measures like masks and isolation only slow the progress of the disease. Only an effective vaccine or herd immunity, where about 50% of the population is immune, can stop the disease. Even then, it doesn’t go away, but infections stay at a very low level, for a very long time.
 
Trump excoriated for not always wearing a mask
 
As noted in the Washington Examiner on October 2, 2020 by Commentary Writer Eddie Scarry,Trump caught an easily spread, airborne virus.  That happens in a pandemic.
 
"The professional coronavirus hysterics in the media are naturally having vapors about President Trump and the first lady having been infected, because this is what happens when you don't wear masks!"
 
As Mr. Scurry suggested: 
  • A majority of small business owners, and even large business owners, won't survive more shutdowns and restrictions.
  • For a virus with a mortality rate of less than 1% -- it's closer to .05% for healthy people under the age of 55 -- individuals should be able to calculate their own risk and make the best decisions for themselves, while allowing them to continue life in the most normal way possible.
"Trump didn't get the virus because he doesn't obsess over putting a mask on his face. He got it because this is what happens when you're in the middle of a pandemic with a highly contagious virus."
 
[Originally posted on Illinois Review]
Article Tags
Government & Politics
Author
Nancy J. Thorner is a writer, cellist, and Tea Party activist based in suburban Chicago.
media@heartland.org @nancycello1
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