Author Topic: The Sky Is Falling! Yet Another Variant  (Read 14360 times)

Offline AsherO

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Re: The Sky Is Falling! Yet Another Variant
« Reply #140 on: December 01, 2021, 02:56:43 PM »
One thing to call out is that while Dr Coetzee contends that Omricon has been circulating in Africa for a while, Africa does much less testing and less sequencing, so it downplays that claim, they might not be as aware of the extent.

Offline Yehuda57

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Re: The Sky Is Falling! Yet Another Variant
« Reply #141 on: December 01, 2021, 03:12:22 PM »

That was racist.

That's your opinion. It is not a fact. You can form that opinion based on any number of facts, and I might agree with you, but it doesn't make it a fact.

I don't think you followed the conversation. I was not only arguing the veracity of some of the "facts", but also referring to the way facts are presented and cherry-picked, which is influenced heavily by the speaker's personal opinions. The point OP was trying to make was there are certain objective truths and those are not believed by people because of politics. I was merely pointing out that he was selecting and presenting those supposed truths based on his personal biases.

Even if you convince me that that particular line is a fact, my point still stands.
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Re: The Sky Is Falling! Yet Another Variant
« Reply #142 on: December 01, 2021, 03:17:54 PM »
That's your opinion. It is not a fact. You can form that opinion based on any number of facts, and I might agree with you, but it doesn't make it a fact.

I don't think you followed the conversation. I was not only arguing the veracity of some of the "facts", but also referring to the way facts are presented and cherry-picked, which is influenced heavily by the speaker's personal opinions. The point OP was trying to make was there are certain objective truths and those are not believed by people because of politics. I was merely pointing out that he was selecting and presenting those supposed truths based on his personal biases.

Even if you convince me that that particular line is a fact, my point still stands.
This is officially way OT. So I will end with this.
This is the issue with 90%+ of the discussions. While we use the same term, we are talking about two different things.
You're so far up Trump's a** you can see Giuliani's feet.  HT Baruch

Offline biobook

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Re: The Sky Is Falling! Yet Another Variant
« Reply #143 on: December 01, 2021, 03:31:56 PM »
Do you have a link to this?  All I see is the Fox reporter saying "Before Joe Biden was president, he said that Covid travel restrictions on foreign countries were hysterical, xenophobia and fear-mongering."  Do you have a source for this? 

There's a link to the Washington Post timeline in the original tweet I posted.

....When Biden was running for office he said the border closure policy was xenophobic hysteria.
The linked WaPo article does not conclude that Biden's comments about Trump's xenophobia were specifically aimed at the border closure policy.  Yes, they occurred later in the same day, but considering that democrats had been calling Trump xenophobic and fear-mongering for years, there doesn't seem to be enough evidence to tie this particular comment to Trump's policy announced that day.

But I go back to what I asked earlier, what is it that you really want to know?  Are you asking why this tweet seems to conflict with his current policy?  If yes, why is it that important to you to deconstruct this or any other Biden tweet?  Granted, Trump's communication was mostly via tweet, and we needed to pick apart those sound bites to understand if he was formulating a new policy, hiring and firing, or covfefe-ing.  But twitter is not the major means by which the rest of us communicate.  Presidential candidates, like many of us, have made one-sentence comments 18 months ago that we're happy to let stay in the past. 

Or do you want to know what Biden thought of border closings in the past, and if and why those have changed?  Because if that's your question, then there's a more useful place to find the answer.

The USA has protocols and plans in place for all types of disasters, including pandemics. This was one of the things that Trump was criticized for at the start, that he had gutted the team responsible for putting such plans in place.

You referred to the White House Pandemic Playbook which was created during the Obama-Biden administration, so those 69 pages should give a more detailed explanation of his views than the analysis of a one-sentence tweet.  It aims to facilitate decision-making by providing a series of questions to ask and appropriate government agencies to consult. 

P. 44 has a section on Travel-related interventions.  Possible interventions include:
Working with affected countries to place restrictions on travelers exiting the impacted countries
Working with transit countries to place restrictions on travelers coming to the US from an affected country
Providing health-related guidance to travelers entering the US
Restricting the arrival of conveyances or individuals from affected countries

There's more, but I think it's clear that the travel restrictions were not something that Biden had been opposed to in the past.   

Offline Yehuda57

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Re: The Sky Is Falling! Yet Another Variant
« Reply #144 on: December 01, 2021, 03:46:58 PM »


I wasn't basing my posts on a single January Biden tweet or a second March tweet about walls not blocking the virus, but on "the preponderance of the evidence", not only from his statements, but from the entire left side of the spectrum with whom he was most definitely not disagreeing. Your quotes from the Obama era playbook only serve to underscore this point, and if memory serves, was part of the criticism of that anti-travel-ban position at the time. Why were border closures all of a sudden bad, racist policy when that was considered the standard practice until that point?

As for what I "want to know", I don't want to know anything.

I'm not trying to pin Biden's hypocrisy on you. You stated that both sides are reasonable, and the unreasonable thing is to call the closures (irrational) panic. Hence my diatribe that it is the very people closing borders now who began the "border closing = panic" rhetoric in the first place, so it is perfectly reasonable to conclude that either side is not being reasonable.

Calling this reaction a panic or political is perfectly reasonable given the political nature of these policy decisions in the past.
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Offline biobook

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Re: The Sky Is Falling! Yet Another Variant
« Reply #145 on: December 01, 2021, 04:44:59 PM »
I wasn't basing my posts on a single January Biden tweet or a second March tweet about walls not blocking the virus, but on "the preponderance of the evidence",
I asked for the evidence and you offered only the Washington Post article analyzing the tweets.
 
Why were border closures all of a sudden bad, racist policy when that was considered the standard practice until that point?
It's not that border closures were standard practice, but that they were one possible response to consider.  The Playbook further states that it's a complex issue to determine whether to institute border screenings - they can be valuable in slowing disease spread, but that needs to be balanced with possible harm to travel, trade, and the ability of the host country to deal with the disease.

To understand the opposition to Trump's border policy, we'd need to go back to read early 2020 news, which I don't think anyone is that interested in.  My memory is that it was not travel restriction as such that was criticized, but the details of its implementation.  People traveling from Wuhan on a Chinese passport could not enter, but those traveling from Wuhan on an American passport could.  Passengers flying directly from China were blocked, but passengers who traveled from China and had a transfer in Europe were allowed in.  There was no attempt to observe or isolate or quarantine those who may have had recent exposure to cases in China.

This is just from my faulty memory, not really certain of the details.

Offline Yehuda57

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Re: The Sky Is Falling! Yet Another Variant
« Reply #146 on: December 01, 2021, 04:59:49 PM »
I asked for the evidence and you offered only the Washington Post article analyzing the tweets.
 It's not that border closures were standard practice, but that they were one possible response to consider.  The Playbook further states that it's a complex issue to determine whether to institute border screenings - they can be valuable in slowing disease spread, but that needs to be balanced with possible harm to travel, trade, and the ability of the host country to deal with the disease.

To understand the opposition to Trump's border policy, we'd need to go back to read early 2020 news, which I don't think anyone is that interested in.  My memory is that it was not travel restriction as such that was criticized, but the details of its implementation.  People traveling from Wuhan on a Chinese passport could not enter, but those traveling from Wuhan on an American passport could.  Passengers flying directly from China were blocked, but passengers who traveled from China and had a transfer in Europe were allowed in.  There was no attempt to observe or isolate or quarantine those who may have had recent exposure to cases in China.

This is just from my faulty memory, not really certain of the details.

My sister just arrived from South Africa this week post-travel ban on a direct flight. (She's allowed in as she is an American citizen). She was not quarantined or screened in any way, not even a vaccination check. All there was was an announcement that the CDC recommends self-quarantine and that they should get tested within 3 days. So this ban is totally scientific and different compared to Trump's.
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Re: The Sky Is Falling! Yet Another Variant
« Reply #147 on: December 01, 2021, 05:01:26 PM »
I asked for the evidence and you offered only the Washington Post article analyzing the tweets.
 It's not that border closures were standard practice, but that they were one possible response to consider.  The Playbook further states that it's a complex issue to determine whether to institute border screenings - they can be valuable in slowing disease spread, but that needs to be balanced with possible harm to travel, trade, and the ability of the host country to deal with the disease.

To understand the opposition to Trump's border policy, we'd need to go back to read early 2020 news, which I don't think anyone is that interested in.  My memory is that it was not travel restriction as such that was criticized, but the details of its implementation.  People traveling from Wuhan on a Chinese passport could not enter, but those traveling from Wuhan on an American passport could.  Passengers flying directly from China were blocked, but passengers who traveled from China and had a transfer in Europe were allowed in.  There was no attempt to observe or isolate or quarantine those who may have had recent exposure to cases in China.

This is just from my faulty memory, not really certain of the details.
It wasn't Chinese passports that were singled out, only US citizens were allowed back in.
I wonder what people who type "u" instead of "you" do with all their free time.

Offline biobook

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Re: The Sky Is Falling! Yet Another Variant
« Reply #148 on: December 01, 2021, 05:49:05 PM »
My sister just arrived from South Africa this week post-travel ban on a direct flight. (She's allowed in as she is an American citizen). She was not quarantined or screened in any way, not even a vaccination check. All there was was an announcement that the CDC recommends self-quarantine and that they should get tested within 3 days. So this ban is totally scientific and different compared to Trump's.
Great, good start!  :P
That's all I was saying, that if you want to compare Biden-Trump travel bans, look at the details of each, not their tweets.  (I'm not sure of the Trump details - my previous comments on that were just from memory.)

And I hope your sister was not the recent arrival described earlier today.
https://www.cnn.com/2021/12/01/health/us-omicron-variant-confirmed-case/index.html

Offline AsherO

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Re: The Sky Is Falling! Yet Another Variant
« Reply #149 on: December 01, 2021, 06:00:09 PM »
And I hope your sister was not the recent arrival described earlier today.
https://www.cnn.com/2021/12/01/health/us-omicron-variant-confirmed-case/index.html

Nope, the passenger in that article arrived over a week ago (before Omricon blew up in the media), while Y57’s sister arrived this week.

Omricon has been the prevalent strain of sequenced COVID in SA for some time now, so anyone who got infected there (and travelled abroad) is likely carrying the Omricon variant.

Offline biobook

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Re: The Sky Is Falling! Yet Another Variant
« Reply #150 on: December 01, 2021, 08:13:45 PM »

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Re: The Sky Is Falling! Yet Another Variant
« Reply #151 on: December 01, 2021, 08:15:48 PM »
I asked for the evidence and you offered only the Washington Post article analyzing the tweets.
 It's not that border closures were standard practice, but that they were one possible response to consider.  The Playbook further states that it's a complex issue to determine whether to institute border screenings - they can be valuable in slowing disease spread, but that needs to be balanced with possible harm to travel, trade, and the ability of the host country to deal with the disease.

To understand the opposition to Trump's border policy, we'd need to go back to read early 2020 news, which I don't think anyone is that interested in.  My memory is that it was not travel restriction as such that was criticized, but the details of its implementation.  People traveling from Wuhan on a Chinese passport could not enter, but those traveling from Wuhan on an American passport could.  Passengers flying directly from China were blocked, but passengers who traveled from China and had a transfer in Europe were allowed in.  There was no attempt to observe or isolate or quarantine those who may have had recent exposure to cases in China.

This is just from my faulty memory, not really certain of the details.

He also tried to make limits to interstate travel. The left nearly hung him for that.

Offline Abey

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Re: The Sky Is Falling! Yet Another Variant
« Reply #152 on: December 02, 2021, 01:05:58 PM »
Firstly, it's pretty broad, what closures are you referring to? But either way, there is still plenty of debate about the efficacy of lockdown strategies, not to mention that even were this to be unanimously accepted, that wouldn't mean everyone agrees that the benefits of such strategies would outweigh the costs.
 Again, I'm inclined to agree that Trump is a racist xenophobe, but that's my personal belief. Back in Jan 2020 when all sides and media were naming the virus "the Wuhan virus" or "The Wuhan cold" and the like, that wasn't hate against China, but when Trump did it it was?So this part isn't a fact, it is a personal opinion, but the fact it is adjacent to is not tinged by your opinion?
Really? There's plenty of statements out there from that time, and the cumulative effect cannot honestly be interpreted that way
In your opinionThere is no need to apologize for getting something wrong about a new virus no one knew anything about if your opinions were based on data and the knowledge available at the time. If your opinion was based on politics, however, then you would need to try wiggle your way out of your earlier positions instead of saying "we now have many more months and millions of cases worth of data, and many worlds more knowledge and as such have changed our positions."
To clarify: closures I was referring to are country specific to stave off infections not stop them and give us time to analyze. lockdowns are considered an effective tool in some cases (Ebola) but didn’t work here and immediately as that was obvious lockdowns should’ve been abandoned as a strategy.

There’s an ocean of a difference saying “wuhan virus” and trumps comments of “China gave us this virus” “it came from China “ specifically using it in a broader fight against China economic influence over the US. when you combine his statements re China you’d have to twist yourself in a literal pretzel not to see any correlation between the virus messaging and China/Asians in general, of course analysis of each statement in itself will not hold up in a court as “hate” and at minimum his silence as the hate against Asians was raging is horrible.

As to why Biden won’t say he was wrong to criticize the policy ? See above
« Last Edit: December 02, 2021, 01:10:36 PM by Abey »

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Re: The Sky Is Falling! Yet Another Variant
« Reply #153 on: December 02, 2021, 01:19:35 PM »

Positivity rate of 22.4% seems bad

Offline Yehuda57

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Re: The Sky Is Falling! Yet Another Variant
« Reply #154 on: December 02, 2021, 01:48:07 PM »
To clarify: closures I was referring to are country specific to stave off infections not stop them and give us time to analyze. lockdowns are considered an effective tool in some cases (Ebola) but didn’t work here and immediately as that was obvious lockdowns should’ve been abandoned as a strategy.

There’s an ocean of a difference saying “wuhan virus” and trumps comments of “China gave us this virus” “it came from China “ specifically using it in a broader fight against China economic influence over the US. when you combine his statements re China you’d have to twist yourself in a literal pretzel not to see any correlation between the virus messaging and China/Asians in general, of course analysis of each statement in itself will not hold up in a court as “hate” and at minimum his silence as the hate against Asians was raging is horrible.

As to why Biden won’t say he was wrong to criticize the policy ? See above

There is still argument as to the efficacy of country-specific closures to stave off infections, especially considering the genie is already out of the bottle once a new variant is discovered. As we see now with Omicron, they banned travel from Southern Africa and discovered it is already rampant throughout Europe.

And, as noted upthread, even the country-specific closures that are being done are in no way realistically going to be helpful. The fact that a USA citizen can come from South Africa but a South African citizen cannot makes absolutely no sense. I get that you don't want to block US citizens from returning home, but mandatory quarantines are a thing. A year ago, if you came from South Africa they would supposedly check in on you to make sure you were in quarantine. Now, there isn't even a form filled out. I know people that had inspectors knock on their door to make sure they were at their quarantine address a year ago, whereas now they don't even have an address to check even if they wanted to.

So why won't Biden say he was wrong? Because he doesn't believe he was wrong. What was behind his criticism of policy then is the same as what is behind his policy now: politics. He thought he had the right politics then, and thinks he has the right politics now.

As for the China virus stuff, as I said, I would agree with you that Trump's motivations were indeed racist. But the handwringing and op eds about not calling the virus by its place of origin came from the very same people who were using the name of origin to name the virus not 2 months earlier. You want to say "I changed my mind"? Sure, go ahead. But you'll only do that if you're an honest broker. If you're playing politics, that doesn't even enter the equation. My point, as stated, was that you yourself presented it as "I believe", in other words, "it is my opinion that Trump was racist [when referring to covid as the China virus]. That opinion is grounded in plenty of Trump rhetoric, and I'm inclined to agree with you. But that opinion very obviously affects the way you present the so-called "facts", or which "facts" you choose to share or omit.


I was [...] referring to the way facts are presented and cherry-picked, which is influenced heavily by the speaker's personal opinions. The point OP was trying to make was there are certain objective truths and those are not believed by people because of politics. I was merely pointing out that he was selecting and presenting those supposed truths based on his personal biases.
 

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Offline Yehuda57

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Re: The Sky Is Falling! Yet Another Variant
« Reply #155 on: December 02, 2021, 01:58:40 PM »

Positivity rate of 22.4% seems bad

I'm not going to get into a stats discussion with you, as I can only count past ten using my toes, and my coworkers will murder me if I take my socks off. But how does this spike compare to last year? The South African president said a 4th wave spike in December was predicted, expedited, and planned for.

A simple Google search shows me an extremely pronounced spike in December. Dec 1 shows 2295 new cases, Dec 3 4400, Dec 8 8166, and up and up it goes, peaking in mid-January. (It doesn't show % on the Google search page). Of course, these initial spike numbers are higher, but what was testing like last year vs this year?
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Re: The Sky Is Falling! Yet Another Variant
« Reply #156 on: December 02, 2021, 02:03:15 PM »
I'm not going to get into a stats discussion with you, as I can only count past ten using my toes, and my coworkers will murder me if I take my socks off. But how does this spike compare to last year? The South African president said a 4th wave spike in December was predicted, expedited, and planned for.

A simple Google search shows me an extremely pronounced spike in December. Dec 1 shows 2295 new cases, Dec 3 4400, Dec 8 8166, and up and up it goes, peaking in mid-January. (It doesn't show % on the Google search page). Of course, these initial spike numbers are higher, but what was testing like last year vs this year?
and only 24% vaxxed probably has a little to do with it
but dont worry the Buffalo says you dont have to
dankie Oom Cyril

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The Sky Is Falling! Yet Another Variant
« Reply #157 on: December 02, 2021, 02:25:40 PM »
I'm not going to get into a stats discussion with you, as I can only count past ten using my toes, and my coworkers will murder me if I take my socks off. But how does this spike compare to last year? The South African president said a 4th wave spike in December was predicted, expedited, and planned for.

A simple Google search shows me an extremely pronounced spike in December. Dec 1 shows 2295 new cases, Dec 3 4400, Dec 8 8166, and up and up it goes, peaking in mid-January. (It doesn't show % on the Google search page). Of course, these initial spike numbers are higher, but what was testing like last year vs this year?
I have no idea - it just "seems bad" to me; when Israel had its waves their high marks were like 10% positivity IIRC. I did 0 research ;)

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Re: The Sky Is Falling! Yet Another Variant
« Reply #158 on: December 02, 2021, 02:44:01 PM »
There is still argument as to the efficacy of country-specific closures to stave off infections, especially considering the genie is already out of the bottle once a new variant is discovered. As we see now with Omicron, they banned travel from Southern Africa and discovered it is already rampant throughout Europe.

And, as noted upthread, even the country-specific closures that are being done are in no way realistically going to be helpful. The fact that a USA citizen can come from South Africa but a South African citizen cannot makes absolutely no sense. I get that you don't want to block US citizens from returning home, but mandatory quarantines are a thing. A year ago, if you came from South Africa they would supposedly check in on you to make sure you were in quarantine. Now, there isn't even a form filled out. I know people that had inspectors knock on their door to make sure they were at their quarantine address a year ago, whereas now they don't even have an address to check even if they wanted to.

So why won't Biden say he was wrong? Because he doesn't believe he was wrong. What was behind his criticism of policy then is the same as what is behind his policy now: politics. He thought he had the right politics then, and thinks he has the right politics now.

As for the China virus stuff, as I said, I would agree with you that Trump's motivations were indeed racist. But the handwringing and op eds about not calling the virus by its place of origin came from the very same people who were using the name of origin to name the virus not 2 months earlier. You want to say "I changed my mind"? Sure, go ahead. But you'll only do that if you're an honest broker. If you're playing politics, that doesn't even enter the equation. My point, as stated, was that you yourself presented it as "I believe", in other words, "it is my opinion that Trump was racist [when referring to covid as the China virus]. That opinion is grounded in plenty of Trump rhetoric, and I'm inclined to agree with you. But that opinion very obviously affects the way you present the so-called "facts", or which "facts" you choose to share or omit.
You are bringing in a larger discussion here and while I agree with most of what you said it is not relevant to the specific point we were discussing: closures and Bidens opinions of them and to those I presented all the relevant facts of you find any I omitted please present them…

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Re: The Sky Is Falling! Yet Another Variant
« Reply #159 on: December 02, 2021, 08:54:02 PM »
Mods - think it might be time for a thread split. Either a new Omicron thread, or yet another Biden/Trump thread.