Wednesday, May 20, 2020

What We’re Getting Right and Wrong with Reopening

What We’re Getting Right and Wrong with Reopening
Excerpt: Forty-eight of the fifty states still have an Rt number below one, meaning that the average person who gets infected to SARS-CoV-2 is spreading it to less than one person. There’s been a little movement at the tail end; Maine is now down to .98, Minnesota is at 1.01, and Wyoming had a jump to 1.02. The lower, the better; we should keep in mind that as we reopen the economy and society, we’re probably going to see this number go up, at least a little.
The United States is now conducting around 400,000 tests per day, roughly twice the sum in late April. Some states now report considerable amounts of unused testing capacity. In just about every state, as more tests are conducted, the percentage of tests that come back positive is shrinking. There’s promising news on the vaccine front from Moderna and Pfizer and on the antibody front from Sorrento. Yes, it is still early on that Moderna vaccine trial — it’s basically the first four subjects in each of two groups with different dosages — but we would rather see good progress in the earliest subjects than no progress in the earliest subjects. It is increasingly clear that many of the forecasts of doom for particular states were driven by partisan, ideological, or regional animus. On April 1, a New Jersey columnist wrote, “Wake up, N.J.! Florida is trying to kill us,” and it was not an April Fool’s Day joke. Since the first week of April, Florida’s cases have generally declined slowly, with fits and starts. The Sunshine State had 854 new cases Monday; the state has nearly 47,000 total cases and 2051 deaths as of this writing. New Jersey had 1,705 new cases Monday; the state has more than 149,000 total cases and 10,586 deaths as of this writing. Governor Ron DeSantis laid out to NR how his team spent less time worrying about young people on the beaches and more time worrying about the elderly in nursing homes. On April 29, Amanda Mull of The Atlantic magazine characterized Georgia’s reopening policy as an “experiment in human sacrifice” The following day was the second peak of new cases, with 1,131 daily number of new cases in Georgia is slowly curving down — with the usual dips in reported cases on weekends — with 580 cases yesterday.

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