[ExI] perspective on covid

John Clark johnkclark at gmail.com
Sun Mar 8 18:04:49 UTC 2020

On Sun, Mar 8, 2020 at 11:44 AM spike jones via extropy-chat <
extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:

*> Suppose the higher error-rate kits are made in high volume in South
> Korea or China and the expensive lower error kits made in USA.  How do we
> choose which kind of kit to buy? *

I don't know where you got the idea that foreign test kits are inferior to
the domestic type, the CDC sent out thousands of kits but they blunderd,
the kits had such a high false positive rate they were worse than useless
and had to be recalled, so they to had to start from scratch and as a
result the USA lost over a month of priceless time. Meanwhile the World
Health Organization had a test kit that worked just fine but the
administration insisted on using a domestic one. I know of no regulation
that would prevent the CDC from using the WHO test kits they just didn't
want to, I guess they thought it would hurt their pride.

> > *John I don’t think you are advocating that FDA rules be set aside. *

I don't even know what specific rules you're talking about. I do know that
after the Ebola outbreak Barack Obama built a elaborate pandemic response
structure within the WHO to deal with the exact sort of thing we're facing
right now, but it will be of no help because a self described "Very Stable
Genius" dismantled it early last year to save money.

> > *Even if they were, the manufacturing of medical stuff in the USA isn’t
> set up for high volume.*

As I said, 2 months ago nobody was set up to make those kits in high volume
but some executives have the ability to change the way things get done if
they think it's important, and some executives don't.

 > *It isn’t at all clear to me that POTUS could set aside FDA regulations,*

It's certainly clear to POTUS, he's publicly said "I can do anything I


> *> The US government cannot dictate into existence high-volume
> manufacturing*

Of course it can! In January it could have offered to buy 10 million kits
if they could be delivered within a month and thanks to the free market
somebody in this country or some other country would have provided it.

And I've got to say the contortions you're going through to assign no blame
to the current administration for the way they're handling this crisis is
painful to behold.

John K Clark
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