[ExI] We're not ready

Dylan Distasio interzone at gmail.com
Wed Feb 26 13:56:08 UTC 2020

A few comments...Although I still don't trust numbers out of China, we are
starting (unfortunately) to also have some from outside of it.  All told
(and treating Chinese #s as close to reality), current death rates look
like around .8% in Hubei province China (Wuhan sits here), and around 1.2%
outside of China.   I believe SARS also had higher fatality rates outside
of China.    If the 1.2% is the max, we may have lucked out a bit there.

Also, unsurprisingly, treatment of infected with recovered plasma looks to
have been successful.  It would be difficult to scale as well, but is
another source for antibodies.

On a more trade related note, how would you address the fact that so much
of our supply chain had been moved to China (prior to the current
administration which has succeeded in moving some of it out of China,
although not pharmaceutical related unfortunately).   Sanofi has just
announced that they will be spinning off a company with the specific
purpose of producing many of the pharmaceutical inputs that China is
currently the only one producing which is promising news LONGER term.
India has also realized the danger their industry is in depending on
Chinese pharmaceutical inputs.

Hopefully this is a wake up call to move that production back to the US and
Europe as well even if it needs to be incentivized by the respective

On Wed, Feb 26, 2020 at 8:42 AM John Clark via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

> Only 1.9% of the people who got the 1918 flu died of it,  but so many got
> sick it ended up killing 675,000 people in the USA alone and 35 million
> worldwide. Because it's so new the death rate for the Corvid 19 virus is
> more uncertain but it's estimated to be between 2% and 6%, and it shows a
> disturbingly long incubation period during which a person is infectious but
> displays no obvious symptoms of being ill; it can be diagnosed with DNA
> detection kits but those are in extremely short supply. Administering large
> amounts of Corvid-19 antibodies would almost certainly cut the death rate
> considerably but you'd need massive amounts of it and, like DNA detection
> kits, we no longer have the infrastructure to rapidly mass produce it.
> Obama created a pandemic czar to deal with just this sort of thing and to
> coordinate the activities of the various federal agencies, but in the
> spring of 2018 the pandemic czar position was eliminated, the entire chain
> of command was fired, and the disease fighting budgets of the Centers for
> Disease Control, the National Safety Council, the Department of Homeland
> Security, and Health and Human Services was cut by 15 billion dollars. The
> infrastructure can be rebuilt but that takes not just money but also time,
> and that is time we may not have. In 2017 Bill Gates told national security
> advisor H.R. McMaster that cutting the disease fighting budgets of federal
> agencies would "*significantly increase the probability of a large and
> lethal modern-day pandemic occurring in our lifetimes*". Maybe Corvid-19
> will just peter out but I wouldn't count on it, it's looking increasingly
> likely that Mr. Gates was right. We're not ready.
> John K Clark
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