Note: This thread is related to #Coronavirus #COVID19

Follow the World Health Organization's instructions to reduce your risk of infection:

1/ Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.

2/ When coughing and sneezing cover mouth and nose with flexed elbow or tissue - throw issue away immediately and wash hands.

3/ Avoid close contact with anyone that has fever and cough.

Andy Slavitt @ 🏡+ Your Authors @ASlavitt Ex-Obama health care head. Helper. Host podcast #IntheBubble. Listen: Founded @usofcare & @townhallvntrs. Insta: @andyslavitt. May. 29, 2020 4 min read + Your Authors

COVID Update May 28: If Trump has done one simple thing he would have changed the course of history. 1/

What if Trump has very simply worn a mask? 2/

If he hadn’t let what I can only assume is vanity guide him we could be in a very different place today. Possibly with little to no community transmission of COVID-19. 3/

It is easy to point to Trump’s continual denial of the facts as they emerged & were presented to him out of Wujan. To an earlier admonishment to socially distance. To having testing ready. To REALLY stopping travel from Wujan. 4/

Any, any one of those things would have saved lives. All were part of a playbook of items @RonaldKlain had left the Trump Administration. And that were no secret to public health officials. 5/ 

If you want to hear Ron expertly talk about how good responses work. And hear @lanheechen who was Mitt Romney’s health care advisor do the same, it’s a lesson in competency. 6/ 

Trump also could have not scrapped nursing home regulations in 2017 called them too burdensome. Or forced meatpacking plants to work. Or made sure our stockpiles were modernized & complete. 7/

But by mid-March and April most of those ships had sailed. Most of those options were no longer available to Trump. Still he had one thing he could have done to stop the pandemic in its tracks & open the economy by mid-April. Wear a mask. 8/

Imagine if Trump has strolled out in the middle of March with a mask on his face. What would have happened?

It’s easy to imagine the 35-40% of the country that are avid Trump supporters getting on board wearing masks. Much of the rest of the country already is. 9/

A number of scientists project that if 80% of the public wore a mask in public, the virus would have been very difficult to pass from one person to another. And when that happens every day for a period of weeks, the virus begins to rapidly die. 10/

The Czech Republic famously did this. Taking a lesson from Hong Kong and H1N1, they stifled the virus. 11/ 

There’s a famous test where a child chooses between eating a marshmellow immediately or leaving it for a short while with the promise of 2 marshmallows with a little patience & discipline. 12/

Taking our medicine early— 14-21 days of mask wearing wouldn’t have lasted forever. Predictabilly, the virus was put down and the economy is opening in the Czech Repiblic. Without masks. 13/ 

But Trump are the marshmellow. 14/

At first the CDC and the WHO both said mask use wasn’t necessary. It was calculated. They said it knowing that we faced a shortage of N-95 masks needed for essential health care workers. 15/

But the homemade mask 😷 was soon enough of a thing. And Americans were eager to do their part.

But nothing was asked of people. No example was set. 16/

Opening the economy after a month would have meant a small number of easily traceable cases. Accompany that with right border security & temperature readings and we would look a lot more like New Zealand or South Korea. 17/

Hunting for small fires not battling out of control blazes, we would have developed some of the same careful behaviors but large scale events, sports, travel, and dining would have resumed after weeks not months. 18/

The cost of this is a several dollar piece of material. And one man’s feeling that he can do no wrong. And if you can do no wrong, why not eat the marshmellow? 19/

The bar is certainly lower when a basic standard hygiene and a small example would be so meaningful. 20/

A former health official advised me simply to witness his West Wing behavior. Those around the president must wear a mask & take a test daily.

And since “my mask protects you & yours protects me”, the only person in the WH who doesn’t wear one is the one who doesn’t care. 21/

Masks are still be the answer. High quality, washable, low tech, easy.

Respectful. Thoughtful. Selfless. What so many who have led this country would have relished an opportunity to show. 22/

Instead Trump mocks people who wear a mask as “politically correct.”

And his supporters take their lead. 23/ 

Leading a nation is a privilege. It’s a burden. Lives and public safety are often in the balance.

Sometimes there is little that can be done. Other times you can get away with doing so little. We deserve more. /end

You can follow @ASlavitt.


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