Note: This thread is related to #Coronavirus #COVID19

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Andy Slavitt @ 🏡+ Your Authors @ASlavitt Ex-Obama health care head. Helper. Host podcast #IntheBubble. Listen: Founded @usofcare & @townhallvntrs. Insta: @andyslavitt. Jun. 05, 2020 3 min read + Your Authors

COVID Update June 4: There are efforts turn Coronavirus into a political litmus test.

It’s pretty clear who wins from that. The virus. Only the virus. 1/

There is still very strong evidence that when people aren’t asked about Coronavirus with a political bent, the public is pretty unified.
-9/10 say they want to avoid crowds of 10+
-8/10 believe staying home is safer & masks 2/

Yes of course there are exceptions & that 10-20% is up for discussion here. 3/

People are also worried. But in conversations, people of all parties are worried about many of the same things with some slight variation. Below from @USofCare new research.

And it’s a stressful time! (Was I yelling?)


It’s become a sport for us to call other people hypocrites or condemn them. Too many people attacked Georgia in May for opening without really knowing what’s going to happen.

But small businesses where people are for short periods w masks are reasonably safe. 5/

My problem with Georgia’s move is only that people who would be at risk and can’t safely go back to work can’t qualify for unemployment compensation.

That strikes me as very wrong. 6/

There is, of course, what we believe is dangerous behavior. Close quarters, indoors, poor circulation, large crowds. And without protective masks. Unsafe environments:
-packed churches (Matt)
-nursing homes

One superspreader can infect many many people. 7/

Democrats and Republicans ARE reacting differently to the virus— but it may not be entirely for reasons people think— for political reasons. It may because of something much simpler.8/

Many Republicans have had a different experience with the virus than Democrats. More rural and ex-urban communities have not seen as much spread.

Lockdowns may seem like an over-reaction where the virus hasn’t spread much but joblessness has.9/

Some Democrats (same graph) probably can’t understand why people aren’t reacting more strongly because of what they’ve experienced. Lives trump livelihoods when you’ve witnessed that much loss. 10/

The virus eventually finds those areas it hasn’t been even if it’s less efficient at infecting people in more rural areas. But if they are older w a lot of diabetes, high blood pressure & AA populations, we know they can be hit hard without precautions.11/

The brilliant Bill Joy, founder of Sun & someone who has studied pandemics & viruses for a long time, has done some analysis to see what happens if just 15% of people decide to behave incautiously & the rate of infection begins to double every 2 weeks in that group.12/

Showing the power of exponential growth, infection rates & deaths can grow quickly.

This isn’t Bill’s prediction but an illustration showing that with exponential numbers even a small population could drive disproportionate deaths. Quickly. 13/

Now if the population were younger & healthier or if people avoided large gatherings it may help. Bill also points out that people adjust. Just like the blue districts above if hospitals fill up & people know more people dying, they will modify as in the scenarios below. 14/

Bill’s point illustrates that with exponential growth, small populations who don’t practice safe behavior could have an enormous impact— as happened in the Northeast. And can happen elsewhere cautions aren’t taken seriously. 15/

Arm chair experts should be careful about being too definitive because of what they haven’t seen (possibly yet) can allow for dangerous narratives.

I’ve never been eaten by a bear therefore bears don’t eat people. 16/

Wanting to open up more quickly if you live in a part of the country where the virus has been less severe & where there are real economic consequences is understandable.

And can be done safely. . 17/

It’s a safe bet that as @JasonKander puts it here, dividing us won’t help. Listen here. 18/ 

Divisive rhetoric, taking a political stand to prove a point doesn’t show the humility that God armed some of us with.19/

This is about following & adapting to the best knowledge we have to #opensafely as much as possible.

Don’t turn your reaction to this virus into a proclamation over what “America” is. That’s for November.

You can follow @ASlavitt.


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