It is no longer business as usual, and hundreds of millions of Americans have learned. The proverbial party is, at least for now, over. Professionals, investors, advocates and others should strive to know how this scenario has come to be.
Our factory-built housing profession and most others face the most disruptive set of circumstances in the vast majority of our lifetimes. It has aptly been compared to the consequences of World War II, the Great Depression or the 1918 Spanish Flu pandemic. The later, per Wikipedia, lasted “from January 1918 through December 1920, it infected 500 million people—about a quarter of the world’s population. The death toll is estimated to have been anywhere from 17 million to 50 million, and possibly as high as 100 million, making it one of the deadliest epidemics in human history.”
How long this outbreak will last is not yet know. With over 75 million in the U.S. currently under lockdown, and that number could rise, there is time to read and reflect on how your life and that of so many others has been upended. Because what has happened before can occur again if the lessons of history aren’t learned and then applied.
In the current global COVID19 pandemic, a variety of issues have been raised, including the question of the nation’s lack of preparedness. As the New York Times point out recently, there occured what has been described as the largest exercise to date in simulating a pandemic in 2019. The test of the nation’s readiness was code-named “Crimson Contagion.”
Per the NY Times, “The [Crimson Contagion] draft report, marked “not to be disclosed,” laid out in stark detail repeated cases of “confusion” in the exercise. Federal agencies jockeyed over who was in charge. State officials and hospitals struggled to figure out what kind of equipment was stockpiled or available. Cities and states went their own ways on school closings.” That sounds eerily akin to what has been occurring.
“The [Crimson Contagion] simulation’s sobering results — contained in a draft report dated October 2019 that has not previously been reported — drove home just how underfunded, underprepared and uncoordinated the federal government would be for a life-or-death battle with a virus for which no treatment existed,” per that same source.
What Assistant Secretary For Preparedness and Response Robert Kadlec, MD, Told Congress
On a document release dated December 4, 2019, a report was delivered to Congress by Dr. Robert Kadlec. Place that fact in context. Per the timeline found in the report linked below,
- it was on “Dec. 10: Wei Guixian, one of the earliest known coronavirus patients, starts feeling ill.”
- It was not until “Dec. 27: Wuhan health officials are told that a new coronavirus is causing the illness.”
- It wasn’t until December 31 “that China tells the World Health Organization’s China office about the cases of an unknown illness.”
- On that same date that “Wuhan health officials confirm 27 cases of illness and close a market they think is related to the virus’ spread.”
Rephrased, that abbreviated timeline makes clear that it is not unfair to say that members of Congress – and presumably senior members of the Trump Administration – had little or no effective lead time to fully digest much less implement the findings of Crimson Contagion. The report by Dr. Kadlec was delivered to Congress during the very timeframe that the COVID19/coronavirus outbreak had already started in China. That’s not to say there is no accountability for federal and state officials, but that must be set in the proper context. That context and a more detailed timeline and backdrop are found in the more detailed Masthead report linked below.
That testimony by Dr. Kadlec to Congress is linked here as a download. In that, he said about Mitigating the Impact of Pandemic Influenza through Vaccine Innovation, “in a pandemic year, depending on the transmission efficiency and virulence of the particular pandemic virus, the economic damage would range from $413 billion to $3.79 trillion. Fatalities in the most serious scenario would exceed half a million people in the United States. Millions more would be sick, with between approximately 670,000 to 4.3 million requiring hospitalization.”
As staggering as those numbers may have sounded then, the emerging reality is that the cost of this unfolding pandemic has already dwarfed the high-side estimate, at least as measured by the loss of stock market values, but also in other measures. For example, billionaire Ray Dalio of the Bridgewater hedge fund said on 3.20.2020 that the hit to the global economy is being estimated at $12 trillion dollars, and some $4 trillion lost to U.S. corporate interests, per CNN Business.
As more businesses face or have experienced shutdown orders, manufactured housing is in that mix. Furthermore, it is self-evident that impacts on jobs will have a ripple effect on the sale of housing. MHProNews will plan a report on that topic in the near term.
It isn’t until the bottom of page 8 of Dr. Kadlec’s testimony until the high level summary of Crimson Contagion is found. It said the following.
“To identify potential gaps in preparedness and, where possible, make improvements, ASPR [Assistant Secretary For Preparedness and Response] manages a robust exercise and evaluation process. Related to pandemic influenza, August 13-16, 2019, ASPR led the Crimson Contagion 2019 Functional Exercise (Crimson Contagion). Crimson Contagion exercised a nationwide pandemic influenza response, testing current plans, policies, and procedures, as well as the nation’s core capability to respond. This exercise was the largest pandemic exercise to date and included 12 Federal departments/agencies, 12 states, 96 local jurisdictions, 24 Native American Tribes, 87 hospitals, and more than 100 private sector partners. The exercise found that, in the event of a pandemic:
- If vaccine development and procurement for medical countermeasures is needed above current capacity, additional funding would likely be required.
- The U.S. lacks sufficient domestic manufacturing capacity and/or raw materials for almost all pandemic influenza medical countermeasures, including vaccines and therapeutics, the needles and syringes needed to administer them, and personal protective equipment, including masks, needles, and syringes. Further, in a pandemic, global manufacturing capacity will likely not be sufficient to meet demand, resulting in an inability to import adequate quantities of medial countermeasures.
Kadlec’s testimony’s foreshadowed some of the key items that are now making headlines in recent days. Namely, the obvious dependence on China for much of the U.S. supply chain, including, but not limited to medical and pharmaceutical needs. From our industry’s perspective, there are potential and actual dispruptions too.
Here is how Kadlec’s testimony phrased it.
“To that point, supply chain issues are among the most significant challenges to preparing for an influenza pandemic as well as other infectious diseases. Today, we are dependent on receipt of active ingredients in America’s pharmaceutical and over the counter drugs come from China and India; this dependency also extends beyond pharmaceuticals and includes auxiliary medical supplies such as syringes and gloves3. This dramatic shift in the manufacture of medicines is very recent in origin. In the 1990s the U.S., Europe, and Japan manufactured ninety percent of the global supply of the key ingredients for the world’s medicines and vitamins. Now, China is the largest global supplier. In a pandemic environment, this dependence could become a matter of national security, as we witnessed during the H1N1 pandemic of 2009. Countries with influenza vaccine manufacturing facilities restricted exports to satisfy their domestic requirements first.”
For those who are seeking partisan attack points, the above and much of the report could go back to the early part of the Obama Administration for what could or should have been the wakeup call – the H1N1 pandemic of 2009 – that failed to get a proper response. That lack of preparation by federal and state officials continued on into the Trump era, as the current crisis has revealed. But the same point could be made about the Bush or Clinton Adminstrations too.
The House Committee on the Budget posted the 2021 Trump Administration proposal on February 13, 2020. It included a marked proposed increase in federal funding for pandemic influenza.
Reporter James Rosen, formerly with Fox News and now with Sinclair, reported a claim that the president had been lied to by the Center for Disease Control (CDC) about their ability to provide tests.
Dr. Kadlec’s drew his testimony to a close by saying the following, “An influenza pandemic poses a significant threat to global public health and to the security of the United States. Together with our Federal, Congressional, and our industry partners, ASPR has made major progress towards pandemic influenza preparedness. Our nation must continue to invest in domestically-based pandemic preparedness efforts and work with key global partners to prepare for, prevent, detect, and respond to emerging pandemic threats.”
What About U.S. Intelligence and the China Flu Pandemic?
MHProNews has mused about the response of the intelligence community. This report has touched on that topic and was published last night.
“U.S. intelligence agencies were issuing ominous, classified warnings in January and February about the global danger posed by the coronavirus while President Donald Trump and lawmakers played down the threat and failed to take action that might have slowed the spread of the pathogen, according to U.S. officials familiar with spy agency reporting,” stated The Hour in a report published 8:34 pm EDT, Friday, March 20, 2020.
“The intelligence reports didn’t predict when the virus might land on U.S. shores or recommend particular steps that public health officials should take, issues outside the purview of the intelligence agencies. But they did track the spread of the virus in China, and later in other countries, and warned that Chinese officials appeared to be minimizing the severity of the outbreak.” So said The Hour in that same news item.
While several such reports are slanted in a manner that craft narratives aim to undermine the president, they routinely fail to note what MHProNews has in our timelines. Namely, as important as this spreading virus was, it hardly occurred in a vacuum. Not the least among those other issues is the fact that as the threat overseas from China grew, House and Senate Democrats were busy trying to impeach the 45th president in votes that largely fell along partisan lines.
Indeed, it is already well known that senior law enforcement and intelligence agencies had team members involved in the what became the series of Russia-gate narratives. There is evidence that the Trump Adminstration has been battling aspects of the federal government which he is supposed to be the leader of constitutionally. It seems odd at best, sad at worst, that U.S. spy services didn’t know more about the spread of the coronavirus in China than what ordinary news service reports contained? That’s what part of the takeaway from The Hour’s report cited above should include – the harder questions as to why more wasn’t known.
For example, the New York Times’ Crimson Contagion report makes clear that the Pentagon and the National Security Council (NSC) were part of that exercise. So, that undermines a key element of the assertion made by The Hour that contagious diseases were “issues outside the purview of the intelligence agencies.” Nonsense. That phrase is arguably either a logical disconnect, was written by some that are unaware of other facts, or was crafted by writers with an agenda journalistic slant.
As the more detailed Masthead report reflects, there are numerous currents and eddies to this stream of sometimes conflicting information. That’s been acknowledged by members of both major parties. For instance, some were led to think that people under 50 were not at serious risk. But that has been strongly rejected in recent days.
There are perhaps more questions than answers at this point. But there are several evidence-based reasons to believe that certain parties that had clear knowledge of what was occurring in China but failed to communicate the urgency of the matter to top American officials. That begs the question, why? Who benefits from this unfolding global human and economic tragedy?
There are also questions about accountability within state and federal governments, nonprofits, the World Health Organization (WHO), and of course in China. Ultimately, the source of the disease bears a lion share of responsibility for how they responded – and per Axios and others – slow-walked the words that could have saved as yet untold numbers of lives and trillions of dollars in economic harm.
MHProNews and other sources have raised concerns that this could pandemic – however it originated – could be a massive transfer of wealth scheme deployed in plain sight during a crisis. Something similar occurred during the fallout of the 2008 financial crisis. That’s why timelines, evidence, prior patterns of activity and who said and did what, when, where, why and how all matter.
To understand possible answers to those questions better, including how it has been playing out in manufactured housing, see the reports linked below. Those should be digested within the framework of the deeper-dive Masthead report of 3.20.2020 linked here.
Human history has often been marked by a struggle between the powerful few and the masses. The framers of the American Republic said that belief in God and the moral restraints that established was critical.
Warren Buffett is a self-professed atheist, as the documentary movie previously posted below that he authorized with HBO makes clear near the end.
When Bill Gates was asked about the topic of belief in God, he said:
“I agree with people like Richard Dawkins that mankind felt the need for creation myths. Before we really began to understand disease and the weather and things like that, we sought false explanations for them. Now science has filled in some of the realm – not all – that religion used to fill. But the mystery and the beauty of the world is overwhelmingly amazing, and there’s no scientific explanation of how it came about. To say that it was generated by random numbers, that does seem, you know, sort of an uncharitable view [laughs]. I think it makes sense to believe in God, but exactly what decision in your life you make differently because of it, I don’t know.”
Per the BBC, “Richard Dawkins is a British evolutionary biologist who has been outspoken in his support of Darwinism, atheism and secular humanism and opposition to religion.”
CNS reminds readers about this statement by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation leader’s comments on the federal government, stating that it is “a pretty blunt instrument and without the constant attention of highly qualified people with the right metrics, it will fall into not doing things very well.” Ouch, but in some ways, that fits into this current crisis, doesn’t it?
Without a solid moral tether, America’s founders knew from history that those with money, influence, and connections can justify whatever they wish. Quoting Gates with an italicized emphasis on the last phrase, “I think it makes sense to believe in God, but exactly what decision in your life you make differently because of it, I don’t know.”
We’ve cited Sharyl Attkisson on numerous occasions, including her left-right media bias chart, which is posted below. Let’s note for the record that MHProNews on every article for some time has stated that they are a blend of news, fact-checks, commentary and analysis. That’s truth in labeling. We cite our sources so that others can retrace the steps and discern the value of the content prudently. That’s what “We Provide, You Decide” © means. That said, this new video by Attkisson is useful in understanding today’s often gotcha and agenda driven media environment. Note that MHProNews routinely sources across the left-right spectrum.
See the related reports below the byline for more insights on COVID19, including various touch-points with manufactured housing. Watch for an upcoming MHI connected report that is in the works, here on the runaway number one source for “News through the lens of manufactured homes and factory-built housing” © where – “We Provide, You Decide.” © ## See Related Reports, further below. Note that text/image boxes often are hot-linked to other reports that can be access by clicking on them. Any third-party images and content are provided under fair use guidelines.)
By L.A. “Tony” Kovach – for MHProNews.com.
Tony earned a journalism scholarship and was recognized with the prestigious Lottinville Award in history from the University of Oklahoma, where he also studied business management with a perfect 4.0 and made the Dean’s List. Tony has earned multiple awards in manufactured housing and in history. He’s a managing member of LifeStyle Factory Homes, LLC, the parent company to MHProNews, and MHLivingNews.com.
Office 863-213-4090 |Connect on LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/in/latonykovach
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