By Nicole Montesano • Staff Writer • 

Commissioner seeking end to lockdown

Yamhill County commissioner Mary Starrett said the state should begin to reopen, joining some Republicans in the country who are growing uneasy about ongoing restrictions.

During the Thursday commissioners’ weekly meeting, Starrett told her colleagues she is “just hoping we can encourage our governor to allow us to get back to work and get back to life as we know it.”

However, that sentiment contradicts advice from health officials, and neither of her colleagues, commissioners Casey Kulla and Rick Olson, commented on her remarks.

During a teleconference of public officials on April 10, Starrett pressed county Health and Human Services Director Lindsey Manfrin for more information.

Starrett said it appeared to her the number of people hospitalized in the state for COVID-19 had peaked before Gov. Kate Brown’s order and it might be time to start easing restrictions.

However, Manfrin said she was “not aware of a peak that happened before the order was issued,” and Oregon needs to continue precautions.

Oregon Health Authority officials said over the weekend that projections show restrictions will need to remain in place through late May. While the rate of increase appears to have slowed, that could change quickly if restrictions were eased.

“By following Governor Brown’s stay at home executive orders, Oregonians are preventing a surge in new infections that could overwhelm hospital beds if left unchecked,” the OHA said in a news release.

“Researchers noted that Oregon’s health care systems would likely have become overburdened by late April in the absence of these sustained interventions to keep the number of infections under control.”

The release said “the latest model is based on the latest actual COVID-19 infection, hospitalization and death data. Researchers lengthened their assumptions on hospital length-of-stay based on the accumulation of additional data from Oregon cases.”

While there were 1,584 known infections in Oregon, the release indicated researchers believe the actual number is closer to 7,000, most of whom have not been tested.

“Staying at home and maintaining physical distancing is difficult and has had serious economic impacts that have affected many people, but the data continue to show that Oregonians are saving lives by staying home,” said Dr. Dean Sidelinger, a state health officer at OHA.




Starrett is in her own world. The numbers continue to rise (without adequate testing in the County and without adequate reporting of the clusters except by Portland media).


We cannot drop our gurard tooo early. China is starting to see a gain in new cases since lifting restrictions. I'm thinking, we need to keep social distancing in place for a while after we do open things up. One can never be to safe. I know our economy has taken a big hit; but we can't act too fast since this virus has so many unknows.


I'd rather we listen to health officials, the amount of disinformation and just plain terrible ideas being parroted by people like Starrett is disheartening.


Bad judgment by Starrett.....again!.....


Starrett probably thinks the whole thing is another conspiracy like she did 9/11 or the space shuttle accident. What a whack job, but she does take her cues from her brother. What's especially troubling is that she's supposed to be the liaison commissioner to Health and Human Services. What she should be doing is supporting the department head instead of again trying to bash Salem. She has made us the laughing stock of the state.

Bill B

Do we really care what a county commissioner thinks about this?


Given the profound implications of our current circumstances it is essential that we filter out the dangerous “noise” and listen to the experts. Nothing less than our lives depend on individual judgement and intelligent practices. Re the future, may we all remember who approached this crisis with REAL leadership and cast our votes accordingly in the next election.

Stay safe!


We have got to get this woman out of office! I have no idea what she could possibly be thinking!

David Bates

Everything I've heard and read suggests that, as unpleasant as all of this is, if we stop too early, we're just going to have Shutdown 2.0 in June or July. Let's just get it done right the first time and get it over with.


Oregon population 4.3 MILLION, COVID 19 deaths - 54. Twenty-four of the those deaths were people in nursing homes already too sick to care for themselves. Most of the rest were elderly people with other serious health issues. Outside of hot-spots like NYC, most hospitals are losing money because of lack of patients. If there is a slight bump in COVID cases from an easing of the lock-down, the medical system has more than enough capacity to handle it.


Wow Ralph....

How many deaths are in Yamhill County? How many positive cases and how many untested positive cases in our County?

These people lost were living, loving and enjoying their lives before this disease, and their families are devastated.

A bump = citizens , sickness and suffering. Some are young, most are older, but none have lives worth risking against the advice of experts.

Recall? Sounds great to me 👍


This article feels to me like nothin' but a piece of red meat thrown to the Starett haters. Come on NR, how 'bout balancing it out with some red meat about Kulla for us on the conservative side of the isle?


Interesting, Joel – I just re-read the article in search of “red meat” and couldn’t determine the source of your critical assertion. Are you suggesting the N/R needs to CREATE something to “balance” their reporting on a difference of opinion? Liberal or conservative, this issue needs to be fact-driven. And for the record, I am not a “Starrett hater” but I have no respect for her ideology. I hope her bad judgement and lack of leadership on this issue (plus many others) will help voters decide to send her into retirement.


A second Oregon team needs to be formed - one that will devise a plan to get us going again when it is safer. The economic costs of how we are handling this outbreak are devastating. We are talking many trillions, if not tens of trillions of dollars, nationwide.

While we may, in net, save lives in America and the developed world, expect to see mass starvation and disease in the developing world within the next year or so unless significant intervention is prepared soon - even so, we may not be able to totally prevent what will likely be misery in the 3rd world on a scale we haven't seen in some time.

It is too late to change course now I guess - we might as well see it through - but the debt we've added will be with us for generations. We also need to consider that the longer we keep businesses shutdown the harder it is to restart the economy.

Once this is over with we need to evaluate our response and develop alternative plans for the next outbreak. There has got to be a better way to protect the vulnerable while not running the economy into a brick wall.


Sorry, just a few more facts from the CDC website to keep things in perspective:
2018-2019 Flu Season: 35.5 million infected, 16.5 million doctor visits, 490,600 hospitalizations, 34,200 deaths. That was a normal flu season. Oregon Health Authority FluBites: 04/04/2020 graph shows steep decline in flu-related ER visits starting 03/21/2020. This roughly parallels the previous three seasons shown on the same graph. Lock-down started 03/23/2020. Any decrease in hospitalizations due to lock-down would not be seen until 8-10 days later due to incubation period for the virus, so the graph should have kept going up, not declining.

Looking at the facts from OHA shows this virus has run it's course in Oregon and was on the decline before the lock-down order, as Commissioner Starrett pointed out.


There's no vaccine. No cure. No natural resistance whatsoever. And at least at this point the actual doctors who are struggling to treat patients have only guesswork to guide treatment. A case fatality rate of over 4%.

Comparisons to influenza are insane.

Please don't kill my mom. It's not her time.

Bill B

Ralph, you seem to miss the fact that the flu season covered 6 months.


The stay at home order was imposed on Mar 23. We are now well into the fourth week since then, and my wife and I are now facing a conundrum. We did NOT stock up on "essential" times before March 23 and are now running short. Since March 23, some "essential" items have not been available when we visited our local Roths supermarket (the only essential outside the home activity we are undertaking), such as toilet paper and white unbleached flour. And the Roths employees cannot tell us when resupplies will come in. So, do my wife and I now abandon the stay at home order to travel around town seeking these items, or do we ignore appeals to shop locally and order them online? A thought - is there some enterprising individual or organization here who could set up a system to gather data on "essential" (and now scarce) items, and publicize their availability so that we can minimize our exposure while still shopping locally?


Please take a quick look at the graphs in the following link to the Oregon Health Authority.

Note the dates of the beginning of the decline in reported cases and hospital admissions. This data should make everyone feel a bit better.

Our amazing immune system is the same natural immunity that we have to any cold, flu, bacterial or other infection.

The initial death rates for COVID-19 were based on the number of hospitalized people who died. We now know half of infected people show no symptoms at all and the majority of the rest just have regular flu symptoms w/o going to the doctor. The final death rate for this flu will be similar to other flu outbreaks.

Relax folks. Take a deep (unmasked) breath and keep your toilet paper dry.


Ralph does not understand how immunity or a vertebrate immune system works.
So he should be ignored.

And the News Register should be mindful of how sweeping statements by self-proclaimed experts in the NR comments can be combined with entirely unrelated data published by OHA to produce confusion and misunderstanding leading to concurrent morbidity and mortality. Good journalism does not put readers at risk of death. These comments should be closed.

Listen to doctors, nurses, and virologists.

There is no human immune resistance to the virus that causes a COVID-19 infection. That is, your body does not produce immunoglobulin proteins that can specifically recognize or respond to the virus that causes a COVID-19 infection in order to prevent infection in any way. If Ralph, you, or anyone you know comes into direct tissue contact with enough virions they will be infected. Your body and your immune system cannot stop that.

And the only thing any doctor can do for you once that happens is comfort you, support your immune system by treating the symptoms of the disease, while waiting for your innate immune system response to react to the infection, and produce the antibodies required to fight the infection. In that, it is not unlike a common cold. Only this is a cold that kills.

Also, unlike influenza, doctors don't even know if recovered patients retain any lasting resistance. We don't have any anti-viral therapies that are known to work. And we don't know if immunity can even be acquired through prior infection.

How does that differ from influenza? In just about every meaningful way. But the most important is this: if you don't want to get an influenza infection you can get vaccinated. And if you happen to be infected anyway, you can be treated effectively with anti-virals. Right now the only way to protect against Novel Coronavirus is to avoid contact.


Treehouse. 👍


Safeway (North end) had flour when we went last week. They had toilet paper when they opened (we were told) but they have no limit and it was gone. If you order on amazon it can take over a month and appears to come from... China! Other stores allow in store purchases only.

I agree this county (maybe our emergency area thru HHS/Starrett) should provide at risk individuals a safe way to obtain essentials. Maybe they do? They should.

My husband and I feel for you and appreciate you doing your part, as we all struggle to do the same.

PS. I used to make fun of my late mother in law (years ago) who had a hall closet full of toilet paper at all times. Now, however, I get it 😳


Starrets bi-weekly newspaper quotes are starting to sound a lot like Trumps mind-boggling daily press conferences. Void of any facts, logic or science behind them.

Do you think there's a slight chance she knows that perhaps the reason for so few deaths in Oregon is BECAUSE of the restrictions? Thats probably lost on her.


Treehouse, that is Dr. Ralph to you. More years of education than I care to admit. I may be a slow learner, but I was not educated out of my common sense. I just looked back at the OHA website to see if there was something I missed. My only explanation for the sharp drop on multiple charts of flu-related issues is...That there IS a sharp drop in flu-related issues. Again, most of those decreases began before the lock-down. Things that make you go "Hmmm...". Follow the link, folks. It is just data, you can draw your own conclusions.

Decisions should not be made from a position of fear. The curve has been (more than) flattened. It is time to let go of COVID-19 and move on. And put your pitchfork down.


Without a vaccine, effective treatment options or any significant testing protocol ?.......Really “Dr” Ralph I think you opinion is not in the best interest of citizens and not shared by most in the medical community....


Calling her/himself a doctor will not make any of Ralph's foregoing comparisons between seasonal influenza death rates within the population and COVID-19 death rates within the population germane to Council Member Starrett's appeals for changes in public health policy. Appeals to empty authority or entitlement are as useless as the recommendations to drink tonic mixer... because "quinine"!

If either Council Member Starrett or "Doctor" Ralph were offering anything meaningful at all by way of public health policy beyond a broad recommendation that we return to "normal" and accept the consequent rise in mortality, particularly among seniors and the disabled, that might be a worthy discussion.

As this stands, empty un-scientific speculations surrounding influenza mortality amount to dangerous trolling, with predictable deadly effect. Pretending either that people won't die, or worse that they somehow deserve to die is monstrous.

Stay home. And have a gin and tonic. No, the gin and tonic won't prevent the spread of COVID-19. The staying home will.

Nicole Montesano

Culbert, I am sorry for your frustrations. Great Harvest Bread, located not far from Roth's, is selling both white and whole-wheat flour. I've also heard someone else say they found flour recently at Safeway. As for toilet paper, the best advice I can offer is to do your shopping early in the day, when, with luck, perhaps it will still be in stock.



Albertson's on Tuesday's, Thursday's, and Saturday's has hours (7-9AM) for older and other high-risk folks. They seem to be getting toilet paper shipments on those days. I was able to get some last Saturday shortly after 9.

All - we don't really know the death rate for COVID-19 because we don't know the true denominator (how many have had it?). Until we know that, its difficult to make definitive comparison's to flu or anything else. There will need to be widespread, randomized, antibody tests and a comprehensive study. What we do know is that earlier models, already accounting for social distancing, appear to be wrong and overly pessimistic. Let's hope we keep getting that kind of good news.

Nicole Montesano

The shutdown is causing difficulties for many people, and conflicting opinions are bound to be aired. Commissioner Mary Starrett is a public official; as such, she is not merely entitled to hold opinions about the merits of the shutdown, but is in some sense, obligated to. Whether she is obligated to match those opinions to those of health officials is a matter for the voters to decide; certainly it is clear from the debate here that the voters’ opinions on that question are not unanimous.
This discussion reminds me of one of my favorite quotes, by Thomas Jefferson: "The boisterous sea of liberty is never without a wave."
It's something I have to remind myself of, when my own convictions are challenged.


Tree, sorry for this major tangent...
I don't care how "woke" someone is, I think it's safe to say that Ralph is a "he" and not a "she".
Reminds me of a couple of weeks ago at Lowes when one of their workers instead of referring to me as a "he" referred to me as a "they". Bizarre world that the "woke" are trying to form. No wonder Trump was elected and will likely be reelected.


Here is a link to a COVID-19 specific graph from OHA that breaks COVID data out from the rest of the flu data. Same curve. Again showing peak happened before the lock-down could have had any benefit.

This is good news, look at it and be encouraged.!/vizhome/OregonHealthAuthorityCOVID-19DataDashboard/COVID-19EPIConfirmed?:display_count=y&:toolbar=n&:origin=viz_share_link&:showShareOptions=false


Interesting graph(s) Ralph. Let's hope that sharp drop off in tests needed holds. On Tuesday April 14th there were 70 tests statewide and only two positive results. Its dropped off a cliff. I am hoping and praying this thing goes away like the flu as the weather warms and those numbers on the 14th isn't a fluke.


Our thanks to all who responded! We found the items we sought with a minimum of effort. It takes a village! :-))


Rob; Thanks for looking. The best indicator of where we are in the life cycle of the virus is the number of hospitalizations, the blue part of the graph. The number of people testing positive is just a reflection of the number of people being tested, i.e. if we tested no one there would be no new cases, and if we could test everyone, there would be a sudden spike in new cases.

Regarding mortality rate, as you mentioned above, as the denominator (positive tests) gets larger, the lower the mortality rate goes. The mortality rate here in Oregon is approaching that of a normal flu season.


Dr Ralph

Without a lockdown the numbers would far exceed the flu in Oregon

Also - reports I’ve seen mention the 26th for the peak. Time will tell with lack of testing. Many folks have died in their homes, some weeks after being told to go home and self quarantine. Many positives are out there running around without symptoms.

Question: are you employed by the County?



Great news 👍



Thanks for the link, I read the article. There have been several peaks predicted that have not happened. According to news stories 1 1/2 weeks ago, we were supposed to be at a peak right now, April 15-17. As the predicted peaks don't happen, the date keeps getting moved further out. According to the article, the peak was predicted to be April 21, newest prediction is April 26. The folks making these predictions are the University of Washington Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). This is the same group that gave us the model that overestimated the impact of COVID-19 by a factor of ten. It was a huge blunder that nobody wants to talk about. Their assumptions were based on the transmission and deaths in the first nursing home in Washington that was hit with COVID. The virus did not act as they predicted in the rest of the population. It was this miscalculation that led the governors to decide to put the states on lock-down. That model even had the assumption of social distancing built into it.

The article also stated that if this most recent predicted surge happens, the medical system in Oregon has plenty of capacity to handle it.

Right now, politically, there is a lot of trying to save face and point fingers. I don't care who was right or wrong. The numbers to me say it is time to lift the lock-down. The cure is killing the patient.


If we take a look at the total deaths and total positive cases in our county you will see that the majority of our cases reside in congregate care settings, all of them having underlying medical conditions upon their death and 36 % of all positive cases were in this same facility. Our county is not making decisions based on our county's statistics. They are making decisions based on speaking with California, OHA, and Washington public health. Per law, Yamhill County Commissioners have the right to enforce public health policies that are tailored to our community. We are not centralized health. We are decentralized, yet decisions are being made as if we are centralized and not tailored to our community. Had they been tailored to our community, I believe less deaths would have occurred in the facility in Newberg, but we were never informed until an Oregonian Reporter fought for the data. Lets be smart and make policies consistent to our county.


Let’s do testing so we can make truly informed decisions...
Why are the people not screaming for a testing plan?....That’s how we get to normal.....


That's absolutely correct, tagup.

Germany is beginning to send more people back to work this week because they have capacity for more than 375,000 tests per week which allows them to do very thorough case identification and contact tracing. Here in the US we still have to prioritize testing for front line health and safety workers, vulnerable populations, and hot spots. That leaves us unable to quickly identify, isolate, and contain new cases and points of transmission.There still isn't any way for us to stop the virus from rapidly propagating through the population once we begin to restore normal daily interactions. And that points up the real problem with looking at cases in local isolation. Oregon has been lucky because we appear to have had relatively few active infections in our state when the statewide closures began. Yamhill County luckier still. But it is the nature of people in our economy to move around. Wherever people go the virus will go also. So until we have the testing capacity to identify cases, isolate, and contain, returning to normal activities means we put ourselves on the trajectory of surrounding areas.

It's a shame, actually. This was entirely predictable many, many weeks ago. As soon as it was clear that the epidemic was under way, then at some point in the future, when we would be able to contain and control the rapid growth in caseload and "flatten the curve", we would have a need for testing. Unfortunately very little has yet been done to address that. Individual states, hospitals, and labs have been trying their best to scale up testing. But their resources are limited and spread thin at the moment struggling to prevent deaths.


If we all stay strong and continue to self-isolate we work together to survive this pandemic. To adopt a piece-meal approach just prolongs the pain.

The generation before us decided to make huge sacrifices to achieve a victory in WWII. Communities held scrap drives to collect, aluminum, metal and rubber to make armaments. They rationed food, gas and clothing. People bought US War Bonds to help pay for our defense. Men went off to fight and woman went to work in their place. Factories were re-tooled to make equipment and arms. Average Americans stepped up to serve as air-raid wardens and blackouts were common. Americans pulled together for the good of the country and to achieve security for all.

What if during WWII, people who think like you thought all of these requirements to work, collect scrape, build weapons, turn out their lights and serve in the military was seen as an infringement on their liberty? If people didn't pull together would we have been victorious?

Mary, you underestimate the American people.

I think the majority would rather be unemployed than dead and I think most are willing to endure hardship if it means that we work together to save as many of our neighbors as possible.


Amen Mudstump!


It would be helpful if the lock-downs weren't so senseless in their implementation. For instance, you can buy pot in Michigan but not seeds (wait a minute - I'm not an expert but doesn't that stuff have seeds in it?). That's what the Michigan folks were protesting.

We aren't children that the government shouldn't treat us as such. Develop procedures and guidelines and let us go forward. Some places (e.g. schools) may need to remain closed for now but a lot of what they are enforcing makes absolutely nonsensical (e.g. giving people tickets for listening to a sermon while in their cars in a parking lot).

Also - both Sweden and Taiwan are handling this crisis quite well without such draconian lockdowns. I don't believe many grasp (how could they?) what is economically waiting for us the longer we remain in the current state. We must get widespread testing now to find out how widespread this is and start getting back on our feet soon or in the end there will be far more long-term deaths worldwide from the West's mitigation to stop the virus than the virus itself.


What’s senseless is people gathered in a crowd to protest seeds ( if that is actually the case)in the middle of a pandemic when they could easily buy them online....
I’m sure that there are many other closure examples that may not make sense, probably because officials didn’t have much time to think through the process....
you state that people don’t want to be treated like children, but when people don’t use common sense (like the beaches in Florida) they are indeed acting like children while putting more than themselves in danger.
Taiwan doesn’t need a lockdown because they have done massive testing and contact tracing. The US has done little in that area thanks to inept federal leadership.
If you want normal.....demand a federal testing program.


So today the reported death toll in the US from the COVID-19 virus exceeded that of the 2018-2019 influenza season.

In just a few weeks. And we are just reaching peak daily dying.


The CDC dropped the ball badly by monopolizing testing and then screwing it up with a QC issue. Some procedures were so antiquated that the first applicant for vaccine testing was required to send in a CD-ROM and paper application. That's been fixed by allowing private companies in and getting rid of some of these useless regulations but we need to get the tests by the tens of millions. Beaches and other outdoor areas are fine if people practice social distancing. Don't punish the responsible vast, vast, majority for the few.

You can't leave the booze and pot shops open but then close other stores and say your being intellectually consistent regarding a safety point of view. Just use the same precautions at other stores as you are at the pot and alcohol shops.

The depression, not recession, that is coming could be horrendous unless we can pull out fast somehow. The economic numbers I am seeing I would have never believed. 22 million unemployment claims in 4 weeks (millions more unemployed without filing), a federal deficit of at least 4 trillion dollars, 5 trillion in lost American income this year, 20 trillion in lost worldwide income this year. Wait until we see what happens at the State and local level.

We are all focused on the death-count from the virus, and there is nothing on the surface wrong with that, but do we have any idea what a loss of world-wide income of that magnitude does in places like SE Asia, Africa, Eastern Europe and Central/South America? Millions may die.


No doubt the economic cost is are the PPP and other programs to keep people afloat.....seems to me that investing in and mobilizing a federal testing and tracing program ( use the military?)would be less expensive and would allow a partial return to normal while we wait for a vaccine....Having 50 different states develop individual programs is not efficient or cost effective.
How is this not a national problem?


The 22 million new applications for UI are right in line with the numerous predictions and reports at the NSC back in February. Which might have been an excellent time to begin ordering specific domestic manufacturers to begin production of test kits and personal protective equipment (PPE) like N95 masks, gloves, and hand sanitizer.

Right now would also be a excellent time.

But until we have enough of both, we should not be discussing resuming mass gatherings and interactions unless we are also willing to discuss specific numbers of Americans we wish to see dead.

So until you have mass testing and availability of PPE, start with the number. How many? How many dead are you willing to accept?



Fine - I'll use your method to frame this.

How many? How many dead are you willing to accept that will starve to death and die by other diseases etc. in the third world? When you close a factory in Bangladesh there is no unemployment program from which to feed them. Expound on that a thousand times over. How many American lives are you willing to forever harm through bankruptcy, loss of house, business, etc.?

We need to do a nationwide, wide-scale, randomized sample to best understand who is at risk and has already had this. We are fortunate in the fact that this disease highly differentiates itself in severity (see link below). Many are at high-risk if they get this but many appear not. 1,046 of the 1,760 personnel on a French aircraft carrier are infected. Only twenty require hospitalization and one is in ICU.

This facet may give us an opportunity to use a 'surgical strike approach' to open the economy up in stages while mitigating risk rather than the 'carpet bombing' methodology we are currently employing; to use military verbiage.


Tagup - it's a national problem but would likely be handled much more efficiently at the state and local level with federal backing for resources. I believe that is the approach the administration has took. State governors and local officials are in far better position to decide on how to manage their state rather than some bureaucrat thousands of miles away in Washington DC over-ruling decisions or just as bad, delaying action.


Fighting a “war” with 50 different entities all competing for the same resources .....glad we didn’t use this strategy in WW II or we would all be speaking Japanese.....


We also may want to consider ways of opening things up to allow those of whom appear to be mostly immune to the worst effects of this virus to develop a herd immunity to protect those of us whom become gravely ill.


How can you know which people are “ mostly immune” without testing them?


How many?

That's quite easy, actually. If it's just the money the answer is fairly simple for me.


This is why the US Treasury has the capacity to spend and invest in excess of receipts. For moments precisely like this one. I have tremendous faith in the productivity of Americans. And I know that provided we don't kill each other with our own stupidity, we can earn whatever it takes to avoid a false choice between killing people and killing jobs.

Spend the money, not the lives.


Treehouse - you miss my point. Things are already shutting down in the 3rd world. People most likely have already have died and that will climb rapidly as this goes on. Zero is not an option with our economy closed. Also - money is not the same as capital formation. Money can be printed all day long but capital stock is being destroyed at an alarming rate.

For example, just because we had all the money in the world to print to buy N95 masks doesn't mean we could - most of the factories and the labor to operate them was outsourced to China.

Tagup - what am I missing? There is a national effort backed by many trillions of treasury and federal reserve dollars. I merely say I prefer decision making on the ground be made at the local level by people that know what is happening in their communities and businesses.


3M is not in China (Aberdeen S.D.). Nor is the fiber supplier that 3M relies upon (Nanaimo B.C.). So pretty bad example. And a further waste of time while people are dying and we need the supplies.

Other nations with only a tiny fraction of the US healthcare manufacturing capacity are currently out producing us by orders of magnitude for these vital supplies like N95 masks and PCR test kits.

You obviously have an agenda you are pushing here. I have no idea what it is because you seem to be shifting positions with little regard for what you've previously claimed. This is not the seasonal flue. What the CDC did or did not do in January is not the reason we still aren't manufacturing enough test kits or PPE in the US. State governors can't order manufacturing of vital supplies. Nor can they spend the credit of the US Treasury. Sweden and Taiwan are testing and protecting their population with PPE, contact tracing, and individual quarantines. We can't do any of that without the supplies. Where are you going with this? Wherever you need to? As the bodies continue to pile up, how will you shift your claims to support your demands next?

One thing seems clear. You won't give us a number. I guess that's the one thing you aren't going to try.


Treehouse - I know 3M has factories in the U.S. but obviously not nearly enough to meet our needs. It may not have been the best example in as much as at least some of the manufacturing actually remained in the U.S. [China has 50% of the world's capacity - see link] but as one who watched some of it happen, I assure you a very large portion of America's industrial base was off-shored to China these past several decades.

[You obviously have an agenda you are pushing here. I have no idea what it is because you seem to be shifting positions with little regard for what you've previously claimed] If you're going to make that claim then be very specific. Granted, my belief in Federalism is being tested by some dumbfounded decisions coming from a few governors and mayors but that is for the local citizenry to address and changes are being made per their protests.

I am one of the lucky ones that can weather a shut down a very long time. I am trying not be be myopic as many millions are and will be hurt badly. The president was forced to enact Defense Production Act (DPA) to confiscate American production capacity but you can enact it all day long - if the American factories don't exist you don't have the items until manufacturing capacity is created. Thankfully the private sector is jumping in but it will take time.

[One thing seems clear. You won't give us a number. I guess that's the one thing you aren't going to try.]

You are requesting a single COVID-19 death count number. What I am saying is we should be trying to minimize total short and long-term American and worldwide deaths from this virus AND those caused by our actions to mitigate this virus and not totally discount other suffering. That is a function of many variables including COVID-19 deaths.


Sorry Rob. Not going to bait click a link to material published by Dimitri Simes.

I know who he is. And I know about his direct involvement in organizing Russian espionage activities in the US since 2015. His involvement with and assistance of, for example, convicted spy Maria Butina and her Russian state handlers may have been "inadvertent". But that's certainly enough to destroy his credibility in my book.

It doesn't help your credibility either.


So you're hypothesis is much of American manufacturing hasn't been off-shored these past several decades? I was in electronics - there are empty factories even in our area attesting to what happened. If there is one thing we've learned from this event it is the danger's of not keeping sufficient strategically MFG (e.g. medical) in the U.S. That is why we can't manufacture re-agents fast enough.

If I was king for a day, I'd re-instate the tax favored status of this type of MFG for Puerto Rico that Bill Clinton signed away in the late nineties. In his, and the Republican deficit Hawks at the time's defense, I doubt any if them imagined much of it would be off-shored lock-stock-and-barrel. On the good front - there is some talk of bringing it back.


This book came out a couple of years ago. I heard and interview by one of the the authors and she sounds impressive. She warned about our over-dependence on the PRC for our medication and proved rather prescient.


"So you're hypothesis is..."

Still nope.
You make an unsound claim, relying on both a straw man argument (regarding an hypothesis you claim I am offering) and drawing an irrelevant conclusion (that the failure of the straw man somehow supports one, some, or all of your own shifting claims).

This is entirely dishonest rhetoric, further diminishing your credibility. This is not working for you.


Imagine a U-shaped curve. On the Y axis are total deaths from COVID-19 plus those resulting from our shutting down our economy in this manner. The other deaths include world-wide famine ect. we can expect that will result from what some estimate is a 50% shut-down in the global economy. On the x-axis is the length of time we keep the economy shut in the USA without adjusting our approach.

What I am trying to say, but not doing a good job of, is that we should try to aim for the point on the curve that is the minimum total number. What that is, I don't know, but even though I can withstand an extended shut-down I am not going to turn a blind eye to the suffering of others. An AI driven computer forecasting model I follow, that has an astonishing track record, is projecting some rather dire economic consequences if we don't adjust our course.


And I want to make clear, given the state of modern discourse, I am not implying that you are turning a blind eye to others. You're obviously concerned about those that will be hurt and die of the virus, as I think we all are. What I am trying to point out is that there are other 'others', and the model is not as simple as equating how many are going to die now from the virus to X amount of money as is a common mantra today.


"Imagine a U-shaped curve."

Now all you need is real life data that fits the imaginary curve.

Oh. That.

Sadly, we already have plenty of data for deaths, extended hospitalization, and treatment of the fatal pandemic virus. I guess the rest of the data we are left to "imagine".

Look at that. More dishonest rhetoric. This time invoking imaginary graphs without supporting data, combined with an appeal for "the suffering" that the imaginary graph would represent.


I don't understand where this 'dishonest rhetoric' concept is coming from - I guess in the end we will find out. Hopefully, its projections are wrong. All I know is that in the past when I didn't believe the AI program's projections, I was the one that was wrong. I don't agree with a lot of this guy's politics but the accuracy of his organization's AI is impressive.


This is part of what I've been trying to communicate. Notice, that Elba's wife, Dhowre Elba, says "With Ebola, more people actually died from the economic aftermath than the actual disease itself." The economic downturn we are in dwarfs Ebola and reaches most corners of the earth. If she and others like her are right, there could be some tough times ahead if first world nation's don't act fast.

Idris Elba: 'Food will run out if farmers can't farm'


"Federal health officials estimated in early April that more than 300,000 Americans could die from COVID-19 if all social distancing measures are abandoned, and later estimates pushed the possible death toll even higher, according to documents obtained by the Center for Public Integrity. Some outside experts say even that grim outlook may be too optimistic.

The documents created by the Department of Health and Human Services spell out the data and analysis the agency is sharing with other federal agencies to help shape their responses to the coronavirus."

This is an excerpt from an article titled: Federal Documents: More Than 300,000 Likely To Die If Restrictions Are Lifted

This is a document from Trump's own Department Of Health And Human Services.

You can read the entire article here:

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