It's like in 1942, three years before Germany was defeated, President Franklin Delano Roosevelt had said: "Gee, it's well past time to end this tiring war against the Nazis."
The Coronavirus Working Group has provided much-needed scientific and public health expertise to President Donald Trump, who generally places great emphasis on the findings from his own gut rather than the expert's findings. Trump understandably wants to change the narrative from fighting the virus to opening up the economy, but biology won't be so easily correlated.
First, think about the carnage that is still caused by the virus. An internal Trump administration model suggests
that there may be 3,000 deaths a day by June. Put another way, within a few months from now, we can see similar tolls of a September 11 attack each day in the United States. Michael Osterholm, a leading American expert on infectious diseases, estimates
There may be 800,000 COVID-19 deaths in the United States in the next 18 months. That's Osterholm's low-end estimate.
Also, keep in mind that there are swarms of unanswered questions about how to deal with coronavirus, which will not be desired by unpacking the workgroup.
As has been widely observed, there is a lack of testing for the virus, despite President Trump's incessant claims to the contrary. according to COVID tracking project
more than 7 million tests have been performed, which is only around 2% of the US population.
For normal life to return, a Harvard study
recommends 5 million tests per day in the US in early June and 20 million tests per day in the middle of summer. The United States is nowhere near this goal.
There is also great uncertainty about the efficiency of the available antibody tests,
which, if they were reliable, could at least theoretically allow those shown to have antibodies to coronaviruses to return to work and socialize normally.
In the meantime, it is not at all clear what "immunity" to coronavirus is actually gives.
Last month the World Health Organization warned
that antibody tests that show that you have been exposed to the virus do not necessarily mean that you cannot be re-infected.
And there is widespread agreement among researchers that there will be a "second wave" of infections in the fall.
Trump's own Centers for Disease Control Director Robert Redfield angered the president when he told the Washington Post
last month that this second wave could possibly be "even more difficult than the one we just went through." In Washington DC, a gaffe is sometimes defined as telling the truth to the public. When Redfield was called to the White House to clean up his "error protocol" in front of President Trump, Redfield instead doubled down, saying that the second wave "was going to be more difficult and potentially complicated."
What can I do about supposed success stories like the effective authoritarian city of Singapore? Singapore was held up as a model
about how to cope with the corona virus in March, but last month clusters of cases occurred in dormitories for migrant workers, and Singapore now has most cases
in Southeast Asia.
Finally, while "on the paper" it is possible that there will be a vaccine available by January – such as Dr. Deborah Birx, White House response coordinator, told
Fox News on Sunday – it is also "on paper" that Trump will finally get his heartfelt wish and be awarded the Nobel Peace Prize for his gone-nowhere diplomacy with North Korea.
Don't bet the farm on any of the events. England's Chief Medical Officer Chris Whitty said publicly last month that there is one "incredibly small"
chance of having an effective coronavirus vaccine in early 2021.
There are this kind of countless unresolved questions about how to deal with the corona virus that the Trump administration needs continuous, scientific, scientific advice. Trump said
Birx and others will continue to provide scientific guidance to him. But formally dissolving the coronavirus working group signals a lack of seriousness about the threat posed by Covid-19. Do not do it.