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Thread: COVID-2019 in America, effect on politics and economy

  1. #1126
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Oracle View Post
    Even science graduates, believe FB/whatsapp forwards like gospel, then there is this bias of seeing things through the lens of religion, and finally the political bias. One just cannot comprehend the level of idiocy in India. We have 1.25 billion donkeys here out of a population of 1.3 billion. Now beat that!
    Yeah, seems like a bit of regression back to a Medieval way of science by the masses. If Galileo were alive and working there would probably be many that would still call him a heretic today for promoting fake science.

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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    Yeah, seems like a bit of regression back to a Medieval way of science by the masses. If Galileo were alive and working there would probably be many that would still call him a heretic today for promoting fake science.
    I don't understand where the mistrust in science came from though? Politicians and people in power have a lot of the blame to carry, but like we were saying before, social media, with all of its good potential, carries a lot of it too. It's just a weird irony where all the answers are at your fingertips via your phone and internet, but illiteracy and lack of proficiency in subjects leads most people to still get it wrong.

    I think some of it comes to communication. Scientists (I know I work with them), can be pretty bad at communicating.

  3. #1128
    Defense ProfessionalSenior Contributor tbm3fan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by statquo View Post
    I don't understand where the mistrust in science came from though? Politicians and people in power have a lot of the blame to carry, but like we were saying before, social media, with all of its good potential, carries a lot of it too. It's just a weird irony where all the answers are at your fingertips via your phone and internet, but illiteracy and lack of proficiency in subjects leads most people to still get it wrong.

    I think some of it comes to communication. Scientists (I know I work with them), can be pretty bad at communicating.
    No, scientists and doctors communicate well with each other because they all speak the same foreign language. It is a foreign language because of all the unique terms we use which go right over the head of the average person. Many of them aren't able to break it down to a language that the average person can understand. Carl Sagan was good at breaking it down. I have the ability to break it down to easier to understand terms. I have people come to me who remember what the M.D. told them exactly, but have no idea what that all meant, and ask me if I can explain it to them.

    Plus, and I think this is more important than some realize, is that I strongly believe the internet being so quick, right or wrong, has really shortened people's attention span. When I was doing my courses through the 70s and needed information it was off to the library, find the book, and either check it out or sit down at a desk and read. That is time consuming but I never gave it a second thought. Today they go waaaa do I have to...? Boring...

  4. #1129
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    Quote Originally Posted by tbm3fan View Post
    No, scientists and doctors communicate well with each other because they all speak the same foreign language. It is a foreign language because of all the unique terms we use which go right over the head of the average person. Many of them aren't able to break it down to a language that the average person can understand. Carl Sagan was good at breaking it down. I have the ability to break it down to easier to understand terms. I have people come to me who remember what the M.D. told them exactly, but have no idea what that all meant, and ask me if I can explain it to them.

    Plus, and I think this is more important than some realize, is that I strongly believe the internet being so quick, right or wrong, has really shortened people's attention span. When I was doing my courses through the 70s and needed information it was off to the library, find the book, and either check it out or sit down at a desk and read. That is time consuming but I never gave it a second thought. Today they go waaaa do I have to...? Boring...
    Well ya with each other they speak the same language. But if you're trying to teach the public, scientists can come across as very pretentious assholes. Very very few can simplify it and relate it to the average person in easy terms. Very few have that patience.

    And I agree, people attention's spans are so short, and I think the internet has played a big role, but I see it as more of a cultural thing. "I want something now, that mean's right now."

  5. #1130
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    Documents show top WH officials buried CDC report

    GAINESVILLE, Fla. (AP) — The decision to shelve detailed advice from the nation’s top disease control experts for reopening communities during the coronavirus pandemic came from the highest levels of the White House, according to internal government emails obtained by The Associated Press.

    The files also show that after the AP reported Thursday that the guidance document had been buried, the Trump administration ordered key parts of it to be fast-tracked fo
    r approval.

    The trove of emails show the nation's top public health experts at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention spending weeks working on guidance to help the country deal with a public health emergency, only to see their work quashed by political appointees with little explanation.

    The document, titled “Guidance for Implementing the Opening Up America Again Framework,” was researched and written to help faith leaders, business owners, educators and state and local officials as they begin to reopen. It included detailed “decision trees,” or flow charts aimed at helping local leaders navigate the difficult decision of whether to reopen or remain closed.

    White House spokeswoman Kayleigh McEnany said Friday that the documents had not been approved by CDC Director Robert Redfield. The new emails, however, show that Redfield cleared the guidance.

    This new CDC guidance — a mix of advice already released along with newer information — had been approved and promoted by the highest levels of its leadership, including Redfield. Despite this, the administration shelved it on April 30.

    As early as April 10, Redfield, who is also a member of the White House coronavirus task force, shared via email the guidance and decision trees with President Donald Trump's inner circle, including his son-in-law Jared Kushner, top adviser Kellyanne Conway and Joseph Grogan, assistant to the president for domestic policy. Also included were Dr. Deborah Birx, Dr. Anthony Fauci and other task force members.

    Three days later, CDC’s upper management sent the more than 60-page report with attached flow charts to the White House Office of Management and Budget, a step usually taken only when agencies are seeking final White House approval for documents they have already cleared.

    The 17-page version later released by The AP and other news outlets was only part of the actual document submitted by the CDC, and targeted specific facilities like bars and restaurants. The AP obtained a copy Friday of the full document. That version is a more universal series of phased guidelines, “Steps for All Americans in Every Community,” geared to advise communities as a whole on testing, contact tracing and other fundamental infection control measures.

    On April 24, Redfield again emailed the guidance documents to Birx and Grogan, according to a copy viewed by The AP. Redfield asked Birx and Grogan for their review so that the CDC could post the guidance publicly. Attached to Redfield’s email were the guidance documents and the corresponding decision trees — including one for meat packing plants.

    “We plan to post these to CDC’s website once approved. Peace, God bless r3,” the director wrote. (Redfield's initials are R.R.R.)

    Redfield’s emailed comments contradict the White House assertion Thursday that it had not yet approved the guidelines because the CDC’s own leadership had not yet given them the green light.

    Two days later, on April 26, the CDC still had not received any word from the administration, according to the internal communications. Robert McGowan, the CDC chief of staff who was shepherding the guidance through the OMB, sent an email seeking an update. “We need them as soon as possible so that we can get them posted,” he wrote to Nancy Beck, an OMB staffer.

    Beck said she was awaiting review by the White House Principals Committee, a group of top White House officials. “They need to be approved before they can move forward. WH principals are in touch with the task force so the task force should be aware of the status,” Beck wrote to McGowan.

    The next day, April 27, Satya Thallam of the OMB sent the CDC a similar response: “The re-opening guidance and decision tree documents went to a West Wing principals committee on Sunday. We have not received word on specific timing for their considerations.

    “However, I am passing along their message: they have given strict and explicit direction that these documents are not yet cleared and cannot go out as of right now — this includes related press statements or other communications that may preview content or timing of guidances.”

    OMB spokeswoman Rachel Semmel said the office has reviewed hundreds of pages of pandemic-related documents.

    "The initial submission to OMB is the start of the deliberative process, not the end, and everyone knows that,” Semmel said in an email.

    According to the documents, CDC continued inquiring for days about the guidance that officials had hoped to post by Friday, May 1, the day Trump had targeted for reopening some businesses, according to a source who was granted anonymity because they were not permitted to speak to the press.

    On April 30 the CDC’s documents were killed for good.

    The agency had not heard any specific critiques from either the White House Principals Committee or the coronavirus task force in days, so officials asked for an update.

    “The guidance should be more cross-cutting and say when they should reopen and how to keep people safe. Fundamentally, the Task Force cleared this for further development, but not for release,” wrote Quinn Hirsch, a staffer in the White House's office of regulatory affairs (OIRA), in an email to the CDC’s parent agency, the Department of Health and Human Services.

    CDC staff working on the guidance decided to try again.

    The administration had already released its Opening Up America Again Plan, and the clock was ticking. Staff at CDC thought if they could get their reopening advice out there, it would help communities do so with detailed expert help.

    But hours later on April 30, CDC’s Chief of Staff McGowan told CDC staff that neither the guidance documents nor the decision trees “would ever see the light of day,” according to three officials who declined to be named because they were not authorized to speak to reporters.

    The next day, May 1, the emails showed, a staffer at CDC was told “we would not even be allowed to post the decision trees. We had the team (exhausted as they are) stand down.”

    The CDC’s guidance was shelved. Until May 7.

    That morning The Associated Press reported that the Trump administration had buried the guidance, even as many states had started allowing businesses to reopen.

    After the story ran, the White House called the CDC and ordered them to refile all of the decision trees, except one that targeted churches. An email obtained by the AP confirmed the agency resent the documents late Thursday, hours after news broke.

    “Attached per the request from earlier today are the decision trees previously submitted to both OIRA and the WH Task Force, minus the communities of faith tree,” read the email. “Please let us know if/when/how we are able to proceed from here.”
    ______________

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  6. #1131
    Former Staff Senior Contributor Ironduke's Avatar
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    This, from the CDC, estimated that as of two weeks ago, there were at least 32,325 excess deaths excluding those officially attributed to COVID-19 based on information available to them as of 4/25/20.

    A caveat:

    However, data for the most recent week(s) are still likely to be incomplete. Only about 60% of deaths are reported within 10 days of the date of death, and there is considerable variation by jurisdiction.
    A few things things I noticed in the data:

    • All figures for states reporting the week ending 4/25/20 are only partially reported, most look to be around half or less.
    • Some states are weeks behind in their reporting. For example:
    • Connecticut, the last full week included in this data set looks to be February 15, with no data from February 29 forward.
    • North Carolina's last full week included in this data set looks to be March 7, with no data reported from March 14 onward.

    I'm not a statistician, so perhaps someone here who is can break this down for me (emphasis on the bolded bit).

    For each jurisdiction, a model is used to generate a set of expected counts, and the upper bound of the 95% Confidence Intervals (95% CI) of these expected counts is used as a threshold to estimate excess deaths. Observed counts are compared to these upper bound estimates to determine whether a significant increase in deaths has occurred. Provisional counts are weighted to account for potential underreporting in the most recent weeks.
    I think it's safe to conclude that:

    1. The number of excess deaths, excluding those officially attributed to COVID-19, was even higher than 32,325 as of 4/25/20.
    2. The number of excess deaths, ditto, as of 5/9/20 is yet even higher.

    As of today, 80,000+ deaths in the US have been attributed to COVID-19. I wouldn't be surprised if the actual death toll is 125,000 or higher at this point.

    Last edited by Ironduke; 10 May 20, at 01:16.
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  7. #1132
    Resident Curmudgeon Military Professional Gun Grape's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by statquo View Post
    Well ya with each other they speak the same language. But if you're trying to teach the public, scientists can come across as very pretentious assholes. Very very few can simplify it and relate it to the average person in easy terms. Very few have that patience.

    And I agree, people attention's spans are so short, and I think the internet has played a big role, but I see it as more of a cultural thing. "I want something now, that mean's right now."
    Let me call out the 500lb gorilla standing in the room. The rise of the evangelical religious right starting in the Reagan years. We went from teaching science to having "serious" discussions about teaching creationism as a equal and just as true fact as evolution.
    We had as the head of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee say that climate change wasn't real and even f it was God could come down and fix it. There is no scientific method there is prayer and Gods will. One of my sons science teachers in high school told his class that "we know this stuff isn't right according to the Bible, but I have to teach it according to the same government that took God out of the classroom.

    Add that to the internet where anyone can post anything without peer review and call it fact. Wrong information gains traction through conformation bias because people search to prove their ideas. Not like the old days when we went to the library and researched subjects using peer reviewed science journals Today something posted on facebook holds just as much weight as an article in JAMA
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  8. #1133
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    As I said before ...
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    Trust me?
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  9. #1134
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    Quote Originally Posted by DOR View Post
    As I said before ...
    What do you think about some people who say that economic growth and science do not mix.
    Power Respects Power
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  10. #1135
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    Quote Originally Posted by nvishal View Post
    What do you think about some people who say that economic growth and science do not mix.
    Um, if any one ever said such a silly thing I’d probably smile and think to myself, “Well, you don’t seem to understand either science or economics. Probably a Republican.”
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  11. #1136
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gun Grape View Post
    Let me call out the 500lb gorilla standing in the room. The rise of the evangelical religious right starting in the Reagan years. We went from teaching science to having "serious" discussions about teaching creationism as a equal and just as true fact as evolution.
    We had as the head of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee say that climate change wasn't real and even f it was God could come down and fix it. There is no scientific method there is prayer and Gods will. One of my sons science teachers in high school told his class that "we know this stuff isn't right according to the Bible, but I have to teach it according to the same government that took God out of the classroom.

    Add that to the internet where anyone can post anything without peer review and call it fact. Wrong information gains traction through conformation bias because people search to prove their ideas. Not like the old days when we went to the library and researched subjects using peer reviewed science journals Today something posted on facebook holds just as much weight as an article in JAMA
    DING!!! DING!!!! DING!!!! We have a winner!!!

    I'd like to know the flash to bang time on you showing up at the school to make a comment, Gunny on the bolded part.
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  12. #1137
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    From the NYT Opinion Section (full article):

    10-4: How to Reopen the Economy by Exploiting the Coronavirus’s Weak Spot

    By Uri Alon, Ron Milo and Eran Yashiv

    Mr. Alon and Mr. Milo are professors of computational and systems biology at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel. Mr. Yashiv is a professor of economics at Tel Aviv University and at the London School of Economics Center for Macroeconomics.

    If we cannot resume economic activity without causing a resurgence of Covid-19 infections, we face a grim, unpredictable future of opening and closing schools and businesses.

    We can find a way out of this dilemma by exploiting a key property of the virus: its latent period — the three-day delay on average between the time a person is infected and the time he or she can infect others.

    People can work in two-week cycles, on the job for four days then, by the time they might become infectious, 10 days at home in lockdown.

    If we cannot resume economic activity without causing a resurgence of Covid-19 infections, we face a grim, unpredictable future of opening and closing schools and businesses.

    We can find a way out of this dilemma by exploiting a key property of the virus: its latent period — the three-day delay on average between the time a person is infected and the time he or she can infect others.

    People can work in two-week cycles, on the job for four days then, by the time they might become infectious, 10 days at home in lockdown. The strategy works even better when the population is split into two groups of households working alternating weeks.

    Austrian school officials will adopt a simple version — with two groups of students attending school for five days every two weeks — starting May 18.

    Models we created at the Weizmann Institute in Israel predict that this two-week cycle can reduce the virus’s reproduction number — the average number of people infected by each infected person — below one. So a 10-4 cycle could suppress the epidemic while allowing sustainable economic activity.

    Even if someone is infected, and without symptoms, he or she would be in contact with people outside their household for only four days every two weeks, not 10 days, as with a normal schedule. This strategy packs another punch: It reduces the density of people at work and school, thus curtailing the transmission of the virus.

    Schools could have students attend for four consecutive days every two weeks, in two alternating groups, and use distance-learning methods on the other school days. Children would go to school on the same days as their parents go to work.

    Businesses would work almost continuously, alternating between two groups of workers, for regular and predictable production. This would increase consumer confidence, shoring up supply and demand simultaneously.

    During lockdown days, this approach requires adherence only to the level of distancing already being demonstrated in European countries and New York City. It prevents the economic and psychological costs of opening the economy and then having to reinstate complete lockdown when cases inevitably resurge. Giving hope and then taking it away can cause despair and resistance.

    A 10-4 routine provides at least part-time employment for millions who have been fired or sent on leave without pay. These jobs prevent the devastating, and often long-lasting, mental and physical impacts of unemployment. For those living on cash, there would be four days to make a living, reducing the economic necessity to disregard lockdown altogether. Business bankruptcies would also be reduced, speeding up eventual economic recovery.
    Last edited by Ironduke; 11 May 20, at 16:15.
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  13. #1138
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by statquo View Post
    In a perfect world, scientists would have these debates in private, because during a crisis, you need a consistent message. But, unfortunately, anyone can say anything at anytime, everything is politicized, and you can't trust those in power.

    Example: X leader of one country needs a strong economy to help his chances at re-election. 49 scientists say, "lockdown the economy". One scientist says, and maybe with good intentions and legitimate questioning, "Is this the right course? Why not try this other way?"

    X Leader says, "Oh look, a single scientist says there's a way to not lockdown the economy, which will help my chances at being re-elected. We'll disregard the 49 other scientists, and run with the opinion of one scientist who has a more favorable idea. And if the 49 scientists disagree, then it's obvious they are all bias because of their political views."

    Now the messaging is inconsistent, people don't know who to believe, don't trust the information, question possible motives, and then fall back into the friendly confines of their political tribe and turn it into, yet another, 'us vs them'.
    I'm glad he went public because what he has to say is important, to the entire world. You said you love statistics this means you attach some importance to the credibility of the data. Did you by any chance read the article he got attacked for ?

    A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data | Stat | Mar 17 2020

    Making policy on the basis of incomplete data ! if you do that then expensive mistakes will be made.

    This is what he got demonized for ?

    There are examples. UK builds 4,000 bed field hospital within 9 days in London. Nightingales. Max occupancy never exceeded 35 (!)

    It wouldn't be so bad if that was the only one but they went on to build three more elsewhere in the country. What made them do it.

    This was the first guy to clue me in that we were flying blind. All of us.

    The essence of science is questioning the scientists not swallowing everything they hand out willy nilly.

    No where was this better demonstrated than in the global warming thread here on the board.

    Lock downs are easy to get into but much harder to get out of.

    We aren't going to stay in lock down forever. At some point we will have to transition away.

    Attacking people who have ideas about that isn't very smart. It isn't scientific, its group think.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 11 May 20, at 22:04.

  14. #1139
    Turbanator Senior Contributor Double Edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TopHatter View Post
    Trump Twice Ignored Advisors Who Urged Him in January to Pressure Xi for Coronavirus Transparency
    The National Review

    President Trump on two different occasions in January reportedly rejected the advice of advisers who urged him to ask China’s president for more transparency about the nature of the coronavirus.

    Trump brushed off his advisers when they urged greater transparency because he thought it might imperil future U.S.-China relations, the Wall Street Journal reported Thursday.

    Trump’s advisers reportedly argued that a confrontation with China over its handling of the virus would be received well on both sides of the aisle. They proposed a special commission to investigate how the virus originated and examine China’s efforts to control the spread.

    The coronavirus outbreak, which began in the Chinese city of Wuhan, has cast a pall over the Trump administration’s efforts to improve relations with the communist country. As the outbreak turned into a global pandemic, U.S. officials have heightened their criticism of China’s early handling of the virus and accused Beijing of mounting a coverup of the extent of the spread within China’s borders.

    During the early days of the outbreak in January and February, Trump praised China several times for transparency around the coronavirus.

    “The United States greatly appreciates their efforts and transparency,” the president wrote in a January 24 tweet, two days after he touted the administration’s trade deal with China.

    Throughout February, Trump praised China’s President Xi for working “very hard” to combat the outbreak.

    Since then, however, he has adopted a more critical tone of China’s handling of the virus, slamming the World Health Organization for apparently taking China at its word about the nature and spread of the pandemic.

    “The W.H.O. really blew it,” Trump wrote on Twitter in early April. “For some reason, funded largely by the United States, yet very China centric. We will be giving that a good look. Fortunately I rejected their advice on keeping our borders open to China early on. Why did they give us such a faulty recommendation?”

    The U.S. intelligence community concluded last month that China deliberately provided incomplete public numbers for coronavirus cases and deaths resulting from the infection. Intelligence agencies have not determined whether the virus escaped from a Wuhan lab, but have said the virus was not “manmade or genetically modified.”

    The WHO recommended in January that countries keep borders and trade open even as it dubbed the coronavirus outbreak a global emergency.

    In December, when China is believed to have become aware of the virus, local and national officials issued a gag order to labs in Wuhan after scientists there identified a new viral pneumonia, ordering them to halt tests, destroy samples, and conceal the news. Link
    ___________
    And why did Trump do what the title said ? because as mentioned in the linked WSJ article....he thought China would become unhelpful.

    There is just one factory in Dallas making N95's and Bannon interviewed the guy who ran it. They were working flat out and clearly would not be able to fill all orders. The guy explained all he had been through. Earlier this decade hospitals wanted supplies for H1N1 but he didn't get confirmed orders. He went on to produce what they wanted and they went with a cheaper ie overseas supplier. He had to let over a 100 people go.

    This is why Bannon slams earlier policies that have led to the US becoming a supplicant at this point in time.

    Where would the PPE's come from had Trump taken a harder stance on China back then ? inspite of this supplies were pretty tight through March.

    It isn't too late to have a commission looking into how this started. The question is whether it will happen or not.

    Trump was hoping for the economy to rebound come Nov. That option is gone now. So he's got into the blame game.

    No mention of the trade deal in the WSJ article which i thought was his angle for pushing the blame game.
    Last edited by Double Edge; 11 May 20, at 21:56.

  15. #1140
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    Quote Originally Posted by Double Edge View Post
    I'm glad he went public because what he has to say is important, to the entire world. You said you love statistics this means you attach some importance to the credibility of the data. Did you by any chance read the article he got attacked for ?

    A fiasco in the making? As the coronavirus pandemic takes hold, we are making decisions without reliable data | Stat | Mar 17 2020

    Making policy on the basis of incomplete data ! if you do that then expensive mistakes will be made.

    This is what he got demonized for ?

    There are examples. UK builds 4,000 bed field hospital within 9 days in London. Nightingales. Max occupancy never exceeded 35 (!)

    It wouldn't be so bad if that was the only one but they went on to build three more elsewhere in the country. What made them do it.

    This was the first guy to clue me in that we were flying blind. All of us.

    The essence of science is questioning the scientists not swallowing everything they hand out willy nilly.

    No where was this better demonstrated than in the global warming thread here on the board.

    Lock downs are easy to get into but much harder to get out of.

    We aren't going to stay in lock down forever. At some point we will have to transition away.

    Attacking people who have ideas about that isn't very smart. It isn't scientific, its group think.
    I don't really know what you're suggesting? They should've waited for 'complete' data at some unknown future time to create the policy?

    Making policy on the basis of incomplete data ! if you do that then expensive mistakes will be made.
    You say that with such confidence that you're leaving out the context of the situation. It could be an expensive, and deadlier, mistake by not making policy at all.

    Fortunately for the naysayers, they aren't held responsible if they are wrong. They'll quietly melt away and pretend they never trumpeted what they did. For those who are going to be held responsible, they need to make decisions in real time with the data and resources they have in front of them.

    I noticed you are just bullet pointing talking points too that I already explained in my post you quoted so I sense an agenda/conspiracy theory. I won't engage any further.

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