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Coronavirus: Theresa May criticises world pandemic response

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Former UK Prime Minister, Theresa May, did little - in the opinion of many - to distinguish herself in that role. In an opinion piece in the Times she has delivered a forthright and seemingly sensible critique of the inadequacies of the global response to the corona virus crisis by governments. (It pleasently surprised this observer, but maybe that's just me.)

Here is the link to the article.

And Here is the BBC's take on the subject. I stole the thread title from them.

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I also agree with Theresa. (I am especially disappointed how EU countries handled the situation - every country for itself). And I am afraid that for some time afterwards the world wont be a better place.

(I don't understand why criticizing China response is so much popular these days - It might be that the journalist emphasized this, not Theresa. I read the BBC version.).

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Rather ironic from a leader of one of the most isolationist and xenophobic governments the UK has had for a long time. (Which she played a large part in creating.)

3 minutes ago, Danijel Gorupec said:

I don't understand why criticizing China response is so much popular these days

Bizarre isn't it. "We all need to work together so please ignore the fact we are accusing you of incompetence and dishonesty."

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24 minutes ago, Strange said:

Rather ironic from a leader of one of the most isolationist and xenophobic governments the UK has had for a long time. (Which she played a large part in creating.)

It is quite common for "retired" politicians to become much more statesman like in their words and actions. Freed of the need for political machinations they can speak more from the heart (something I thought May did not have).

Taking a leaf from the fight against the virus, I wonder if we could take plasma from such politicians and inject it into the present incumbents, hoping that the antibodies would deal with the hypocrisy and kant flowing in their veins. :)

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4 hours ago, Danijel Gorupec said:

I don't understand why criticizing China response is so much popular these days

Some of the biggest critics of the Chinese response are the people of Wuhan, and the doctors/scientist  that originally called attention to the outbreak.

 

4 hours ago, Strange said:

We all need to work together so please ignore the fact we are accusing you of incompetence and dishonesty."

Seems China is more interested in "saving face' by silencing those people/doctors/scientists than working together.
And threatens economic retaliation for even suggesting a future ( after the pandemic, suggested by Australia ) investigation to find out how to best avoid repeating this debacle, which has caused a quarter million deaths, so far.

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7 minutes ago, MigL said:

Seems China is more interested in "saving face' by silencing those people/doctors/scientists than working together.
And threatens economic retaliation for even suggesting a future ( after the pandemic, suggested by Australia ) investigation to find out how to best avoid repeating this debacle, which has caused a quarter million deaths, so far.

I think politicization is the reason for that response. Prior to this, China has ongoing international collaborations investigating viruses in bats and other animals, for example. Even during the outbreak there were signals for collaborative research but then it seemed to kind of fell apart. Politics unfortunately trumps science on a regular basis.

But the answer with regard to how to avoid such a debacle, is quite clear on many levels. More international collaboration, more monitoring, international rapid response teams, tracking/isolation/quarantine plans and so on. For the most part it is not a mystery and we can at best slow circulation of viruses and other diseases (but not the fact that outbreaks will continue to happen in the first place).

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Posted (edited)
13 minutes ago, CharonY said:

I think politicization is the reason for that response. Prior to this, China has ongoing international collaborations investigating viruses in bats and other animals, for example. Even during the outbreak there were signals for collaborative research but then it seemed to kind of fell apart. Politics unfortunately trumps science on a regular basis.

But the answer with regard to how to avoid such a debacle, is quite clear on many levels. More international collaboration, more monitoring, international rapid response teams, tracking/isolation/quarantine plans and so on. For the most part it is not a mystery and we can at best slow circulation of viruses and other diseases (but not the fact that outbreaks will continue to happen in the first place).

Do you think bringing everybody home from other countries exacerbated the spread? Wouldn't it be better for control  if each country was responsible for all citizens  in their place  at the time an emergency is declared? Or is that an ethical minefield?

Edited by StringJunky

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38 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

Do you think bringing everybody home from other countries exacerbated the spread? Wouldn't it be better for control  if each country was responsible for all citizens  in their place  at the time an emergency is declared? Or is that an ethical minefield?

It depends all on how it is handled. If folks are self quarantined for the duration of the incubation period and tested, it would be fairly straightforward to contain. Even with a certain circulation, the measure of isolating and contact tracing can curb spread long enough to stamp out outbreaks. 

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12 minutes ago, CharonY said:

It depends all on how it is handled. If folks are self quarantined for the duration of the incubation period and tested, it would be fairly straightforward to contain. Even with a certain circulation, the measure of isolating and contact tracing can curb spread long enough to stamp out outbreaks. 

OK. Ta.

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1 hour ago, CharonY said:

But the answer with regard to how to avoid such a debacle, is quite clear on many levels. More international collaboration, more monitoring, international rapid response teams, tracking/isolation/quarantine plans and so on.

And maybe that's what the ( Australian suggested ) investigation would find.
That D Trump, Xi Jinping, Vladimir Putin, Emanuel Macron, Jair Bolsonaro, and even Theresa May, should base their policies/comments  on the suggestions of respected scientific advisors.
Certainly not their own personal opinions, wanting to 'save face', or trying to get re-elected.

Or do you think, that, without throwing these findings  in the face of some political leaders, the exact same thing won't happen the next time there's an outbreak ?

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I honestly think that highlighting these things will always be secondary to political concerns. After all these things listed are not new. Similar strategies have been proposed at least since the last century and always come up again after a major outbreak. Then there are few years without them and folks start winding down measures to save pennies (obviously they are a waste, nothing happened) and then something happens and folks start re-learn known lessons.

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4 hours ago, CharonY said:

I honestly think that highlighting these things will always be secondary to political concerns. After all these things listed are not new. Similar strategies have been proposed at least since the last century and always come up again after a major outbreak. Then there are few years without them and folks start winding down measures to save pennies (obviously they are a waste, nothing happened) and then something happens and folks start re-learn known lessons.

There should be 'war' memorials dotted in town centres saying "Lest We Forget - COVID19"

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2 hours ago, StringJunky said:

There should be 'war' memorials dotted in town centres saying "Lest We Forget - COVID19"

With all due respect to the many who have perished prematurely, for the vast majority this doesn't define their lives.

8 hours ago, StringJunky said:

Do you think bringing everybody home from other countries exacerbated the spread? Wouldn't it be better for control  if each country was responsible for all citizens  in their place  at the time an emergency is declared? Or is that an ethical minefield?

Thinking about how they all arrived home and waited in congested lines to be tested (evaluated) and cleared, at least it could have been done better.

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2 minutes ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

With all due respect to the many who have perished prematurely, for the vast majority this doesn't define their lives.

It's affected the whole effing world. It was an of-the-cuff suggestion to prevent us forgetting. Nobody born post WW1 has seen a global crisis like this.

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Posted (edited)
11 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

It's affected the whole effing world. It was an of-the-cuff suggestion to prevent us forgetting. Nobody born post WW1 has seen a global crisis like this.

Sorry Stringy. Missed the context.

WW1/Spanish flu? (WW2 was more global than WW1)

Edited by J.C.MacSwell

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Posted (edited)
7 minutes ago, J.C.MacSwell said:

Sorry Stringy. Missed the context.

WW1/Spanish flu? (WW2 was more global than WW1)

No prob. I did think of WW2 initially but thought Spanish Flu around WW1 was more appropriate.

Edited by StringJunky

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14 hours ago, MigL said:

Or do you think, that, without throwing these findings  in the face of some political leaders, the exact same thing won't happen the next time there's an outbreak ?

Since the current pandemic has often been compared to a war, I am reminded of two military aphorisms.

  • Generals are well prepared to fight the last war.
  • No battle plan survives its first contact with the enemy.

If true, these suggest that:

  • We must be much smarter (and invest more money in planning and preparation) than we have been traditionally.
  • Flexibility and rapid response must be built in at every level and in every location.

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3 hours ago, Area54 said:

Since the current pandemic has often been compared to a war, I am reminded of two military aphorisms.

  • Generals are well prepared to fight the last war.
  • No battle plan survives its first contact with the enemy.

If true, these suggest that:

  • We must be much smarter (and invest more money in planning and preparation) than we have been traditionally.
  • Flexibility and rapid response must be built in at every level and in every location.

That will last while it's fresh in the memory, but every year that this extreme, doesn't happen again = less interest and credulity and money invested.

Besides, Generals that well prepared tend to be scornful of the enemy.

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What the he*l is going on in the UK ?
The Covid-19 death toll has now surpassed Italy's death toll.
Not good.
Is the NHS badly supported ( staffing, supplies, ventilators, blood thinners, etc. ), incompetent, or are other factors at play ?

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I think it is too early to tell. There could be any number of reasons including a higher circulation than hitherto detected. Direct comparisons are difficult (and perhaps only meaningful in narrow way) Belgium is also seemingly an outlier with rather high deaths relative to the population.

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Meanwhile, the White House is suppressing CDC guidelines for safe reopenings. And some officials want to dispute the actual death toll. It is telling that the US government is now engaging in practices that they accuse other governments of conducting. For now their control is more limited, but one could easily see how it would work out if they manage to compel e.g. states to join in on the message. 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/07/us/politics/trump-cdc.html

https://www.axios.com/trump-coronavirus-death-toll-d8ba60a4-316b-4d1e-8595-74970c15fb34.html

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38 minutes ago, CharonY said:

Meanwhile, the White House is suppressing CDC guidelines for safe reopenings. And some officials want to dispute the actual death toll. It is telling that the US government is now engaging in practices that they accuse other governments of conducting. For now their control is more limited, but one could easily see how it would work out if they manage to compel e.g. states to join in on the message. 

https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/07/us/politics/trump-cdc.html

https://www.axios.com/trump-coronavirus-death-toll-d8ba60a4-316b-4d1e-8595-74970c15fb34.html

Yes, the WH  wants to control the narrative... like several countries elsewhere.

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Posted (edited)
21 minutes ago, John Cuthber said:

Outstanding hypocrisy from Mrs May  to say 

"Nationalism is no ally in this battle without borders"
having been the architect of stirring up racism
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Home_Office_hostile_environment_policy

You took what she was referring to totally out of context. I see no hypocrisy. Two different areas of application. Read this properly and what she's referring to:

"Nationalism is no ally in this battle without borders"

She's referring to disease and how it is indiscriminately crossing international boundaries. Nationalism is impotent in this case.

Edited by StringJunky

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12 minutes ago, StringJunky said:

You took what she was referring to totally out of context. I see no hypocrisy. Two different areas of application. Read this properly and what she's referring to:

"Nationalism is no ally in this battle without borders"

She's referring to disease and how it is indiscriminately crossing international boundaries. Nationalism is impotent in this case.

Maybe "hypocrisy" isn't exactly the right word for dropping your strongly held principles (xenophobia) when it is convenient. But it is close.

And the Home Office hostile environment that she engineered is still operating, with the HO chartering flights to deport people during lockdown, when people are not supposed to travel.

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