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posted by martyb on Sunday May 17 2020, @04:27AM   Printer-friendly
from the I'm-shocked,-shocked-I-say dept.

U.S. Government Proposed Manipulating CDC Guidelines to Avoid Mask Shortages: Whistleblower:

The U.S. government proposed manipulating information about whether N95 masks worked to fight the spread of coronavirus in the general public, according to Dr. Richard Bright, a whistleblower who testified publicly for the first time on Thursday. The deception was an effort to avoid shortages and keep masks available for U.S. health care workers, but likely had a ripple effect throughout the country, leaving many people to believe that all masks are useless or even harmful during a pandemic. Bright's testimony is the first confirmation from a high-ranking official that the U.S. government actively sought to distribute incorrect information about N95 masks during the covid-19 pandemic.

Dr. Bright told the House Subcommittee on Health on Thursday about his attempts to warn others in the Department of Health and Human Services about the pending shortage of masks in January and early February, just as the novel coronavirus was spreading outside of China. Bright said that officials at the meeting simply said they would change the recommendations put out by the CDC to discourage the general public from buying masks.

"I indicated we know there will be a critical shortage of these supplies. We need to do something to ramp up production," Dr. Bright, the former top vaccine specialist at HHS, said of a meeting with HHS officials on February 7.

"They indicated if we notice there is a shortage, that we will simply change the CDC guidelines to better inform people who should not be wearing those masks, so that would save those masks for our health care workers," Dr. Bright testified.

"My response was, 'I can not believe you can sit and say that with a straight face'," Bright said. "That was absurd."

[...] Dr. Bright's entire 6-hour testimony is available on YouTube, and it's quite damning.


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  • (Score: 0, Troll) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 17 2020, @10:15AM (2 children)

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 17 2020, @10:15AM (#995297)

    Look what happened to active cases in Austria when mask wearing was made mandatory in early April: this is what made Germany follow suit.

    https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/austria/ [worldometers.info]

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  • (Score: 3, Informative) by JoeMerchant on Sunday May 17 2020, @01:32PM

    by JoeMerchant (3937) on Sunday May 17 2020, @01:32PM (#995352)

    Thanks for the link, great site. I like this quote from an analysis of NYC data:

    So far there has been 1 death every 1,166 people under 65 years old (compared to 1 death every 358 people in the general population). And 89% of the times, the person who died had one or more underlying medical conditions.

    Message to my mom & dad (aged 72 and 73) STAY THE FUCK OFF THE STREETS. Same for anyone with underlying medical conditions that may make them susceptible. This thing is real, it's deadly, and you are at serious risk. Demand that people who interact with you take all precautions including distancing, proper masking, gloves, etc. as well as taking those precautions yourself. Normally, I'm not a fan of hand sanitizer, but in the at risk population at this time: use it, liberally.

    As for the rest of us, my layman's common sense advice would be: get on with life, if you haven't caught this thing yet you will eventually, and the sooner you get it and get over it, the sooner you will no longer be a vector for transmission. Get tested, know your status, in all likelihood there are (rare) Typhoid Marys out there and they should stay away from at risk people, food prep, and other super-spreader situations until we've got a better handle on vaccination, etc.

    Don't like advice from some random schmuck on the internet whose credentials and motivations are a mystery to you? Read TFA and decide if you'd rather trust your government instead.

    --
    John Galt is a selfish crybaby [huffpost.com].
  • (Score: 2, Insightful) by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 17 2020, @02:07PM

    by Anonymous Coward on Sunday May 17 2020, @02:07PM (#995363)

    That's nice, but wrong. There's no way any measure can have an effect on events 5 days earlier. For most measures, the expected delay time is two weeks (spread time, incubation time, symptom appearance time, time to take it seriously enough to get tested, time to get registered as a statistic). So the effect of "mask wearing made mandatory in early April" can not show in those numbers until roughly 15-20 april. Guess what: the virus spread was already well under control before that time.