We may now be starting to see the very real consequences of relying on data coming out of China – something I warned against in a February 2 article I wrote urging people to consider focusing on data outside of China instead of what the Chinese government was telling us.
My reasoning for this was my personal opinion after years of working with Chinese nationals, investigating US listed China-based companies and having a feel for the optics of the Chinese government. I concluded that China may not be giving us reliable data, in favor of trying to create the appearance of a situation that isn’t as dire as it truly is.
But now, as more data is being released from countries like South Korea - which saw an exponential rise in cases over the last 72 hours - it is becoming apparent that the World Health Organization, the CDC and many other international governments may have underestimated how big of an issue this virus is going to be.
For example, the Washington Post reported just moments ago that the incubation period for the virus could now be longer than 14 days, which was previously the highest estimate in a range of estimates we were relying on. Additionally, cases are being reported in major cities, like Milan, which has a population of 1.8 million people. We're also hearing that patients that have been reported as "cured" are showing up re-infected again.
Chart source: Zerohedge
Chart source: @Jodigraphics15
Whether China has gamed the numbers or not - and whether, if they have, they've done it inadvertently or on purpose, is now moot. It was clear to me weeks ago that the response China was taking was not congruent with the numbers it was recording, as I talked about on my February 8 podcast . Furthermore, China has now changed the parameters it uses to report virus infections three times, leading to an even greater air of confusion surrounding their data.
Additionally, and even more worrying to me, communist party mouthpieces like Hu Xijin, Editor-in-Chief at The Global Times, who stupidly and potentially nefariously suggested just days ago that Americans should begin traveling back to China again...
...are now starting to try and shift the narrative to blame the rest of the world for underestimating the virus, instead of China.
But, again, blame for the issue can be dealt with later - it is the response in the United States that is the most important thing now.
The U.S. CDC seems to be wising up slightly, but there needs to be a sense of serious urgency at the Federal level in the United States to make sure that the country is adequately equipped to test for and treat this virus before it arrives here en masse – assuming it hasn’t already. The CDC has now said it is preparing for the virus to become a pandemic.
Dr. Nancy Messonnier, director of the CDC's National Center for Immunization and Respiratory Diseases said on Friday: “We’re not seeing community spread here in the United States, yet, but it’s very possible, even likely, that it may eventually happen. Our goal continues to be slowing the introduction of the virus into the U.S. This buys us more time to prepare communities for more cases and possibly sustained spread.”
Even more worrying are reports that came out over the last 24 hours that only 3 U.S. states are prepared to test for coronavirus. This means that many people with flu or pneumonia symptoms already may already be transmitting the virus inside the US.
Furthermore, we continue to hear horror stories like people who were tested to be negative being released from quarantine, and then later being found to have the virus. We have even heard of people being released from quarantine before they were even tested for the virus. Who knows how many people they have been in touch with. We must also consider situations like students who returned back to the U.S., from China, after the Christmas holiday, who may pose another significant threat. Air travel was allowed to continue for weeks after the virus was first discovered, which may have already been weeks before its "patient zero" started spreading it.
Chart source: @Jodigraphics15
The origins of the virus are no longer important. Playing the blame game at this point is too little, too late and, as the CDC noted late last week, the window for the U.S. to confront this virus is rapidly closing. Instead, focus should be turning to preparation – on a personal level, municipal level, state level and federal level.
We have to confront this problem in the United States before it confronts us. This country spends hundreds of billions of dollars in defense spending for conventional style attacks and we need to immediately allocate federal resources toward confronting the issue of this virus before it starts to spread the way that it has in South Korea, Italy and Iran. If this were a conventional military attack, President Trump’s response would have already been decisive – but I fear because this is a different type of threat, the Government may be dragging its heels at the most crucial of times.
I am not even addressing the potential financial impact of this virus. The first cases in major U.S. cities will grind the U.S. economy to a halt and there's going to be nothing the Federal Reserve can do to save it. That is another article for another day - most of my readers already know how I feel about it. Today's point is far more important than the economy - it's a matter that I believe could soon be "life and death".
Weeks ago, I was labeled a fear monger and a conspiracy theorist for merely suggesting that people may want to take some type of precaution and be skeptical of China's numbers. Now, those suggestions are looking closer to what the government may be ready to acknowledge as reality. It is with the same prescience that I am today suggesting that the government act swiftly and extraordinarily decisively to respond to this virus right now, by preparing the healthcare system and citizens of this country, before it gets out of control.
I urge our leaders to act in a bipartisan way – and I would urge my readers to forward them this article and suggest they do the same – for benefit of our families and our country, both of which we love.