Wilbur Ross says coronavirus could bring jobs back to the U.S. from China
Air Force Reserve supports repatriation efforts at March Air Reserve Base
By Linda Welz, 452nd Air Mobility Wing Public Affairs / Published January 30, 2020
March Air Reserve Base, Calif. (AFNS) -- A chartered aircraft carrying 210 U.S. citizen evacuees from Wuhan, China, arrived today at March Air Reserve Base, California, after refueling in Anchorage, Alaska, where passengers received two medical screenings by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Every passenger on board also received two screenings in China before departing, another upon arrival here, and they will continue to be screened throughout a voluntary, 3- to 14-day quarantine period here.
With less than a 24-hour notice, Team March spun into action, along with several federal, state, county and local agencies, to prepare a well-deserved welcome to the weary, U.S. diplomats and their families.
“One of the diplomats told me that he understands the work that Team March and the other agencies did to put this all together with such short notice, and is thankful for everything being done to welcome them and make them feel comfortable,” said Oliver Freeman, Airman and Family Readiness, 452nd Force Support Squadron. “He said he was especially happy that there were toys, coloring books, puzzles and games handed out to the children so their parents could focus on getting through the screening process and checking into their rooms,” Freeman said. “It felt good to be part of that teamwork.”
Riverside County Emergency Management, who is part of the overall team, coordinates with other county departments to bring together all the local civilian players. Working on logistics with local partners to make everyone aware of what’s going on is the job of Shane Reichardt, Senior Public Information Specialist, County of Riverside Emergency Management Department job. He said he shares the information so that all the needs identified can be met.
“We work together all the time and we train for stuff like this so it’s gone very well,” Reichardt said. “We are very fortunate to have a close-knit county family which makes it easier to call our counterparts from different departments and get the information that we are looking for, identify a need and get multiple people working toward getting the resources to fill that need.”
Having exercised with and worked real-world events with Reichardt’s departments, Team March integrated its assets seamlessly into the process as they have done many times before.
“The challenges have been minimal during this event,” said Jose Arballo Jr., Senior Public Information Specialist, Riverside University Health System-Public Health. “The team at March has gone out of its way to be hospitable and the folks at the CDC have been a pleasure to work with,” Arballo said. “We are working together in a collaborative fashion.”
“At CDC, we’re here to support our state, local and sister federal agencies. We’ve been working together seamlessly, (and) very hard these last few days,” said Dr. Chris Braden, Deputy Director of the National Center for Emerging and Zoonotic Infectious Diseases and CDC spokesperson. “The county and the Air Force Reserve have done a suburb job in standing up really rapidly to receive our fellow citizens that we care so much about.”
“We are…taking all precautions to ensure both the passengers and our residents are safe,” said Supervisor Jeff Hewitt, County of Riverside, Fifth District. “This is a very large response that involves many federal, state and county agencies. We are proud to have March Air Reserve Base in our backyard where we have the necessary resources to get this job done, to have this flight land here where we can welcome our U.S. citizens back home after a long arduous flight, and make sure they are well before they head back to their homes.”
The Defense Department will work closely with its interagency partners and monitor the situation closely. The Department’s primary responsibility at this time is the safety of its force, its families, and its base communities.
The coronavirus outbreak is now a global health emergency, WHO says
With more than 8,000 cases in at least 20 countries, the agency called for a coordinated international response.
By Julia Belluz@firstname.lastname@example.org Jan 30, 2020, 2:44pm EST
The World Health Organization has declared the outbreak of the new coronavirus rapidly spreading quickly across China a global health emergency — a rare designation the agency gives disease threats that pose an international risk.
The decision Thursday came as the number of people diagnosed with the 2019-nCoV virus had skyrocketed to more than 8,200, surpassing the SARS case toll. There are also now people in at least 19 other countries with the virus.
“Over the past few weeks we have witnessed the emergence of a previously unknown pathogen which has escalated into an unprecedented outbreak and which has been met by an unprecedented response,” WHO’s director general, Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, said.
Just a week ago, Dr. Tedros, as he’s known, said the agency considered the formal “public health emergency of international concern,” or PHEIC, declaration, premature.
.@WHO is working closely with all countries to control the new #coronavirus outbreak. Person-to-person transmission has been seen in at least 3 countries outside #China – Japan , Vietnam & Germany - and the cooperation and info-sharing has been very good.
— Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus (@DrTedros) January 30, 2020
But since then, the situation has changed dramatically, and there’s now evidence of person-to-person spread of the virus happening outside China, including in the US.
This is the sixth time the WHO has declared a public health emergency
Formally, a PHEIC — pronounced “fake” — is defined as “an extraordinary event which is determined to constitute a public health risk to other States through the international spread of disease and to potentially require a coordinated international response.”
In reality, it’s a political tool the WHO can use to draw attention to a serious disease that has caught the world off guard and put people’s health in danger. It’s meant to engage the global community in a coordinated outbreak response, galvanize resources, and stop the disease from spreading further across borders.
Before today, the WHO had only declared a public health emergency five times since the International Health Regulations, which govern global health emergency responses, were enacted in 2007.
Several global health experts have been calling for the WHO to reconsider its decision about the novel coronavirus since last week. “It’s long overdue, and it should have happened Monday,” Devi Sridhar, professor and chair of Global Public Health at the University of Edinburgh, told Vox.
“This is an international emergency,” said Tom Frieden, the former director of the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. “A PHEIC allows [the WHO] to further lean into the role of global leadership for governments and the private sector.”
The outbreak was first reported to the WHO by Chinese officials a month ago, on December 31. It appears to have originated in Wuhan, a city of 11 million in Hubei province. At that point, cases centered on Wuhan’s Huanan South China Seafood Market and the leading hypothesis was that the virus was spreading directly from animals to humans there.
Today, the outbreak has spread beyond that — and around the world. Sridhar pointed out that one of the reasons the WHO pauses before triggering a PHEIC is because of the economic fallout international attention on a disease threat can bring.
According to Reuters, the global economic losses from the 2003 SARS outbreak totaled $40 billion, and the world’s gross domestic product “suffered a 0.1% hit due to the outbreak.”
But in the past week, countries have sealed their borders to China, issued travel advisories, and started repatriating citizens. Australia took the extraordinary measure of sending returning citizens from Wuhan, the center of China’s outbreak, to a remote island 1,200 miles off the coast of the mainland. Meanwhile, numerous airlines — including British Airways — announced they would suspend travel to the country.
“Right now we need some guidance,” Sridhar added. “Everyone has been waiting for the WHO. The world is moving on with or without the WHO.”
The outbreak is still centered on mainland China
At the same time, it’s important to remember the outbreak is still heavily centered on mainland China. Of the 8,235 confirmed cases, 8,124 have been found in mainland China — and more than half of those in Hubei province.
There’s also a lot to learn about 2019-nCoV, including how deadly it is. In humans, coronaviruses can lead to symptoms that range from the common cold to severe pneumonia and death in the case of SARS and MERS. It’s not yet clear where 2019-nCoV falls on that spectrum, and it’ll be weeks before researchers have a clearer picture. But we do know that in addition to the 171 deaths the virus has caused, there have been many reports of people with very mild symptoms. There’s also evidence of asymptomatic cases.
It’s possible that as we learn more, 2019-nCoV will look more like the common cold than like SARS. That’s because infectious diseases typically look more severe when they’re first discovered, since the people showing up in hospitals tend to be the sickest. Once more of these mild or asymptomatic cases are discovered, this virus could wind up looking a lot less scary. (For more on that, see this Vox explainer.)
“We live [with] and tolerate a whole lot of respiratory viruses,” said Jennifer Nuzzo, senior scholar at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security, “some of which are even more transmissible than the estimates people have come out for this one — but they don’t make the headlines,” like the common cold. If the new coronavirus winds up looking less severe, “We may be moving away from containing the virus as a goal to one of minimizing its spread,” Nuzzo added.
I experienced anti-Chinese racism during SARS. But with coronavirus scare, social media makes it so much worse
But now, more than 15 years later, it seems that the lessons we had hoped to learn haven’t been resolved and are rather amplified by our digital world.
It’s possible that as we learn more, 2019-nCoV will look more like the common cold than like SARS.
This from the WHO DG, via their info-machine ...Retired AF Guy said:
A bit more technical detail in the attached meeting summary.Good evening to everyone in the room, and to everyone online.
Over the past few weeks, we have witnessed the emergence of a previously unknown pathogen, which has escalated into an unprecedented outbreak, and which has been met by an unprecedented response.
As I have said repeatedly since my return from Beijing, the Chinese government is to be congratulated for the extraordinary measures it has taken to contain the outbreak, despite the severe social and economic impact those measures are having on the Chinese people.
We would have seen many more cases outside China by now – and probably deaths – if it were not for the government’s efforts, and the progress they have made to protect their own people and the people of the world.
The speed with which China detected the outbreak, isolated the virus, sequenced the genome and shared it with WHO and the world are very impressive, and beyond words. So is China’s commitment to transparency and to supporting other countries.
In many ways, China is actually setting a new standard for outbreak response. It’s not an exaggeration.
I also offer my profound respect and thanks to the thousands of brave health professionals and all frontline responders, who in the midst of the Spring Festival, are working 24/7 to treat the sick, save lives and bring this outbreak under control.
Thanks to their efforts, the number of cases in the rest of the world so far has remained relatively small.
There are now 98 cases in 18 countries outside China, including 8 cases of human-to-human transmission in four countries: Germany, Japan, Viet Nam and the United States of America.
So far we have not seen any deaths outside China, for which we must all be grateful. Although these numbers are still relatively small compared to the number of cases in China, we must all act together now to limit further spread.
The vast majority of cases outside China have a travel history to Wuhan, or contact with someone with a travel history to Wuhan.
We don’t know what sort of damage this virus could do if it were to spread in a country with a weaker health system.
We must act now to help countries prepare for that possibility.
For all of these reasons, I am declaring a public health emergency of international concern over the global outbreak of novel coronavirus.
The main reason for this declaration is not because of what is happening in China, but because of what is happening in other countries.
Our greatest concern is the potential for the virus to spread to countries with weaker health systems, and which are ill-prepared to deal with it.
Let me be clear: this declaration is not a vote of no confidence in China. On the contrary, WHO continues to have confidence in China’s capacity to control the outbreak.
As you know, I was in China just a few days ago, where I met with President Xi Jinping. I left in absolutely no doubt about China’s commitment to transparency, and to protecting the world’s people.
To the people of China and to all of those around the world who have been affected by this outbreak, we want you to know that the world stands with you. We are working diligently with national and international public health partners to bring this outbreak under control as fast as possible.
In total, there are now 7834 confirmed cases, including 7736 in China, representing almost 99% of all reported cases worldwide. 170 people have lost their lives to this outbreak, all of them in China.
We must remember that these are people, not numbers.
More important than the declaration of a public health emergency are the committee’s recommendations for preventing the spread of the virus and ensuring a measured and evidence-based response.
I would like to summarize those recommendations in seven key areas.
First, there is no reason for measures that unnecessarily interfere with international travel and trade. WHO doesn’t recommend limiting trade and movement.
We call on all countries to implement decisions that are evidence-based and consistent. WHO stands ready to provide advice to any country that is considering which measures to take.
Second, we must support countries with weaker health systems.
Third, accelerate the development of vaccines, therapeutics and diagnostics.
Fourth, combat the spread of rumours and misinformation.
Fifth, review preparedness plans, identify gaps and evaluate the resources needed to identify, isolate and care for cases, and prevent transmission.
Sixth, share data, knowledge and experience with WHO and the world.
And seventh, the only way we will defeat this outbreak is for all countries to work together in a spirit of solidarity and cooperation. We are all in this together, and we can only stop it together.
This is the time for facts, not fear.
This is the time for science, not rumours.
This is the time for solidarity, not stigma.
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tomahawk6 said:First US case of person to person transmission.Death toll in China is at 170 plus. Looking to me like a replay of SARS. Watching the local news last night and they said flu shots are helpful and even better might be pneumonia shots. I had both last fall so I feel somewhat safe and no more visits to my favorite Chinese place. That last might be over the top but who knows ?
Furniture said:When you wonder why the rest of Canada dislikes Toronto, please reference back to the pretentiousness of this post.