Hacker News new | past | comments | ask | show | jobs | submit login
[flagged] Fauci offers candid advice to city leaders (news.harvard.edu)
32 points by chmaynard 13 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 23 comments





> But minority groups, particularly African Americans, who live in the inner city are extremely vulnerable, “on a scale of a nursing home or a prison or a meat-packing plant” in terms of risk and how devastating an outbreak can be, Fauci said.

> “We are really almost morally obligated on our part to concentrate the resources in those communities so that they can do the adequate testing, and then, when someone gets infected, identification, isolation and contact tracing, and provide them with the resources to be able to physically separate when they do get an infected individual,” he said.

Unfortunately this has become a political issue, and the American president has already stated that much of the economic damage is self-inflicted by "blue" states, and that it would be unfair to provide more stimulus checks when it would primarily help blue states.


If we ignore the party politics of these decisions, and think about it from an abstract/philosophical point of view, should how much prosperity to trade for safety be a state-by-state decision? Given that states have the police power, should they be fully accountable for the consequences of their decisions, or should the federal government provide some sort of state-to-state redistribution? I think these questions go to the core of federalism.

More to the point of the article, I find Fauci's appreciation of non-sickness issues to be refreshing and helpful. Most doctors are so focused on the disease itself that they don't seem to take 'collateral damage' from containment into account.


We’re already seeing a huge disparity between states, with strong enforcement of social distancing NOT correlating with a reduced death rate. The point is we don’t fully know yet what the best policy will be.

By leaving it up to the states, we’re creating a distributed system where there can be failure without bringing down the whole country.


There are thousands of confounding variables. It seems highly unlikely that social distancing is not having a significant effect on spreading covid.

It's entirely possible that it doesn't have a huge effect on the death rate, though. It almost seems like there are two seperate but linked sets of outbreaks: one in the general population with a low death toll, and one in places like nursing homes and hospitals with a high death toll. Social distancing measures targeting the general population don't appear to have so much effect on the other, more deadly spread.

That depends on which social distancing measures you're referring to. The results of contact tracing indicate that large indoor gatherings such as concerts, nightclubs, and sporting events do cause a lot of virus transmission. But there has never been any direct evidence that closing beaches and parks has a significant effect.

> there can be failure without bringing down the whole country

Why not succeed as a country? Australia, New Zealand, South Korea, and Taiwan are doing much better than the US with their country-wide responses:

https://coronavirus.jhu.edu/map.html

https://ourworldindata.org/coronavirus


> social distancing NOT correlating with a reduced death rate.

The point is to reduce the infection rate so that the total number of hospitalizations (Covid19 or otherwise) does not exceed the healthcare system's capacity. I doubt your uncited claim here is comparing apples to apples.


Likewise, how much responsibility should the estates shoulder? There are trillions in private wealth that could be redistributed.

I think you're talking about liability, as I think you're looking at the rich as a source of money. It doesn't seem like the accumulation of wealth was responsible for this pandemic.

Indeed, a virus was responsible. But I do think the accumulation of extreme wealth played a role in the following way: Wealth influences policy. So far, virtually all policy discussions have focused on a tradeoff between saving lives, and saving "the economy" implicitly while leaving private wealth untouched. A focus on protecting stock prices -- a measure of wealth -- definitely played a role.

A little more speculative is my suspicion that a capitalist society storing its surplus in private hands may be correlated with a society that is unprepared for a crisis of this magnitude. The first time the President came on the radio to talk about the crisis, his tacit message was: We are hopelessly unprepared for this.


I'm a Democrat, and I think Trump pulling politics at a time like this is unacceptable.

However I grew up in the south and when I came to the northeast for college I had no idea how many northeasterners not only thought Republicans we're all dumb but also that the south should separate from the union and often heard the argument of how much money In a dollar per dollar of welfare goes to republican states, as a way to backfire on Republicans who don't believe there should be welfare.

It seems like this is a very specific dig right back at Democrats on this long standing argument.

Regardless, it's frustrating to know neither side is going to budge on their stances and either side will continue to badger and demonize the other not only during this time but always.

Though I stand by my personal ethics, I don't believe Democrats are blameless all of the time or that alienating each side is going to result in any progress in this country, only more radical responses from each side, of which Trump being elected is just one IMHO in a series of escalations fueled by spite for the other side.


>However I grew up in the south and when I came to the northeast for college I had no idea how many northeasterners not only thought Republicans we're all dumb but also that the south should separate from the union and often heard the argument of how much money In a dollar per dollar of welfare goes to republican states, as a way to backfire on Republicans who don't believe there should be welfare.

Some Democrats may think like that, but that's never been the policy of Democrat presidents or politicians. Whereas what Trump and McConnell are saying and doing are explicitly GOP party policies.


Democratic presidents are not above using the treasury to pay off political allies; Johnson in particular comes to mind, but there have been many.

Nonsense, this is the Feds abdicating their responsibilities.

Party politics aside, much of the damage has been self-inflicted.

Take a look at this unemployment map:

https://files.taxfoundation.org/20200521093315/Table-2-of-Ci...

Several wealthy states seem to have forgotten that money doesn’t grow on trees and obliterated their tax bases. Most other states are pretty healthy and not in need of additional bailouts.

These states now have two crises instead of one.


Characterizing a response to a pandemic threat as "self-inflicted" is very disingenuous. Those states have not "forgotten that money doesn't grow on trees" as you so derisively put it, they are trying help people survive while society attempts to mitigate the consequences of this pandemic in every way we can think of.

No, it’s fully ingenuous.

Leadership is about balancing competing concerns, and five states in particular reacted in a way that is increasing human suffering rather than minimizing it. And even after paying a very high cost, they have infection rates similar to the rest of the country.


Washington went from being the first state with an outbreak to being the 21st state in absolute infection numbers, and 150 new cases/day, down from a peak of 600/day. New York brought daily cases down from 11,000/day, to 500/day.

Whereas, places like North Carolina, Texas, and Florida not even peaked yet. Seems odd to declare victory, when their numbers are steadily climbing.

I wonder, what is the economic cost of people falling sick, and needing medical treatment? Are the red states including that in their accounts of human well-being? Or is it a 'screw you, you're sick, it's your problem now'?


> Party politics aside, much of the damage has been self-inflicted.

> Several wealthy states seem to have forgotten that money doesn’t grow on trees and obliterated their tax bases. Most other states are pretty healthy and not in need of additional bailouts.

The list of states that are "healthy," economically, also coincidentally lines up with the list of states with the least accurate counting of current infections and have done the least to flatten their respective curves. Their actual health, the word often associate with human physical well-being, is a black box and it almost feels like they prefer to keep it that way.


I don't see how "self inflicted" follows.

And keep in mind there's a few confounding factors here (how easy it is to apply for unemployment).


> Party politics aside, much of the damage has been self-inflicted.

And what of the economic damage of an epidemic raging out of control? Do we just assume it is zero?

Economic damage is part and parcel of living in a post-covid world.


Fauci.. the man who is at the centre of this mess

https://www.newsweek.com/dr-fauci-backed-controversial-wuhan...




Guidelines | FAQ | Support | API | Security | Lists | Bookmarklet | Legal | Apply to YC | Contact

Search: