☕️ Coffee & Covid ☙ Wednesday, December 22, 2021 ☙ DON’T PANIC 🦠
Biden’s Big Announcement; Omicron hospitalizations appear to be a fraction of Delta’s; London Breed proves why local emergency powers are idiotic; and the Supreme Court sets a briefing schedule...
Happy Wednesday! Everything you need to know about Biden’s Big Announcement; Omicron hospitalizations appear to be a fraction of Delta’s; London Breed proves why local emergency powers are idiotic; and the Supreme Court sets a briefing schedule for the injection mandate appeals.
🗞*COVID NEWS AND COMMENTARY* 🗞
🎄 “We should all be concerned about Omicron, but not panic … this is not March of 2020 … we just have to stay focused.” Biden built back a better announcement yesterday, at his Botox-faced animatronic best, slowly swaying rhythmically — hypnotically — side to side, coughing repeatedly from time to time … nothing to do with that Covid-positive staffer meeting Friday … clearing his throat, stumbling over the words on the teleprompter, repeatedly chastising the un-injected, emphasizing words awkwardly and wincing emphatically to make a point.
It took Biden twenty minutes to explain his three-point plan: 500 million new, free at-home test kits — about 1.5 tests per American, new “pop-up” booster injection sites, and extra support for overwhelmed hospitals from military doctors.
He hit all the progressive talking points: dangerous online misinformation, more testing sites, masking, boosters, a pandemic of selfish unvaccinated people, and something called “PPP”, which Biden explained was “gowns, gloves, masks, and ventilators.” Ventilators are back!
FEMA is going to build some more temporary hospitals and stage ambulances in the big blue cities to move patients from overwhelmed hospitals to other nearby hospitals.
There was some good news for citizens in blue states. Biden said there’d be no closing of businesses — no lockdowns — or closing of schools. “K-12 schools should be open,” he said. “Covid-19 is scary but the science is clear: kids are as safe at school as anywhere.” He referenced the CDC’s recent change in policy, obviously timed with his announcement, to stop quarantining healthy kids. Just like in Florida! Except that contact-traced kids will have to test at least twice a week.
After conceding that the injections can’t stop infections, Biden plugged his mandates. “I know vaccination requirements aren’t popular … they’re not to control your life, but to SAVE your life.” Oh, thanks. He ended on a hopeful note: “Look, I know you’re tired and frustrated … but this is the critical moment … we’ll get through this. Let’s keep the faith … there’s no challenge too big for America … we can do this together, I guarantee it.”
He didn’t mention treatment options. At all. Not even the new Merck and Pfizer pills.
🎄 Here’s my take. First of all, there was no reason why Biden couldn’t have said all this stuff LAST Thursday when he announced that he would be making an announcement. So I conclude they just weren’t ready last week. They didn’t have the plan yet.
The plan is basically just a surge plan: more testing and increased hospital capacity. That’s it. But he had to fill up a lot of time to make it sound bigger and better, and to pacify liberals who want lockdowns, more mandates, and school closures by criticizing the un-injected, pushing masks and boosters, and condemning “dangerous peddlers of misinformation on cable tv.” I guess he means Tucker.
In fact, if anything, Biden’s announcement signaled a RELAXING of restrictions. There were no new lockdowns or closures, and he stressed the brand-new non-quarantine and non-closing policy for schools.
In other words, the White House decided NOT to over-react to Omicron. Telling people NOT to panic? Biden actually said people should celebrate Christmas, because it’s not March 2020. But they still had to sell the non-over-reaction to the worried, anxious progressive base. So the plan was served up as a surge plan, heavily garnished with the demonization of uninjected people, and a helping of “misinformation alerts” and plugs for booster shots.
It was interesting. It’s too soon to say whether this signals any kind of new direction or a new contingent in control of the White House’s Covid strategy, but it makes you wonder.
🎄 Florida appears to be holding steady on low hospitalization rates even while cases are increasing into the seasonal winter wave. In prior waves, increased hospitalizations have closely tracked increased cases, with a very short lag time in reporting. We are past that now. It appears — appears — that cases and hospitalizations may have “decoupled” — a sign of the holy grail of herd immunity.
Governor DeSantis told Fox News yesterday that Florida isn’t seeing the hospitalization rates that the northern states are experiencing. He stressed that Florida is NOT going to lock down or close anything, and is going to keep emphasizing early treatment.
It’s still early — and I may regret writing this — but it is starting to look like the winter wave could be categorically different from prior seasonal Covid waves.
🎄 Reuters reported yesterday that, even though Denmark logged a record number of Covid cases in the previous 24 hours, hospitalizations actually went DOWN. Denmark reached a peak of 13,558 new cases in 24 hours, while the number of Covid patients in hospitals fell by 27 to 554. Daily hospital admissions and deaths remain below levels from last December’s wave.
🎄 According to the CDC’s data tracker, 95% of all Covid cases in Tennessee last week were estimated to be the Omicron variant. Two weeks ago, Omicron was estimated at only 1%. In other words, Omicron appears to quickly be displacing prior variants.
🔬 A new study published yesterday in MedRxIV is titled, “Early assessment of the clinical severity of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant in South Africa.” The researchers looked at Omicron hospitalizations in South Africa, and concluded that hospitalization rates for the new variant are EIGHTY PERCENT (80%) LOWER than they were for the Delta variant. So.
🎄 Unlikely-named San Francisco mayor London Breed declared a new state of emergency in the city, but this time it’s not Covid. This time, it’s the downtown drug epidemic. She said in a tweet that the declaration of emergency will make things easier for her to get things done fast: “We showed under the COVID State of Emergency what can get done when we can move quickly.”
In case that wasn’t clear enough for you, she made it even more plain, spelling it out for the meanest intelligence: “We can’t wait another 6 to 9 months to go through the regular bureaucratic process. We need to act with urgency to provide the services and treatment options that this public health crisis demands.”
The “regular bureaucratic process.” She’s talking about representative democracy, which is just TOO SLOW. Old-fashioned. Clunky. Representative democracy is like dial-up internet. And it often interferes with executives doing whatever they want, as opposed to places like China, where they can get things done at fiber speeds.
See, folks? THIS is why it was so important this summer that Florida’s legislature stripped most emergency powers from local governments. They have a taste for human flesh now, and nobody’s safe.
👨⚖️ So this is different. Justice Kavanaugh ordered a response from the federal government in the OSHA vaccine mandate case by 4:00 p.m. on December 30. Happy holidays, lawyers!
On his Fox News interview yesterday, Governor DeSantis — like me — criticized the Sixth Circuit’s overturning of the injunction, calling it a “terrible decision.” He pointed out, as I did, that the decision was a 2-1 ruling from a three-judge panel, and predicted it would have been overturned by the entire court. I think he’s exactly right.
Justice Kavanaugh also ordered responses from the various state attorneys general regarding Biden’s appeals of the CMS Mandate stays — due on the same date.
The Supreme Court could have tossed out the emergency appeals and left the lower rulings in place, as they have done with the previous mandate appeals. So this briefing schedule is a pretty good sign that the previous denials of injunction appeals might not predict the outcome, this time.
Have a wonderful Wednesday, get those last-minute online orders in, and I’ll see you tomorrow.
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