Graphic from “Are coronavirus diseases equally deadly?” (NBCnew.com)
Today’s action contains:
- Related coronavirus-related political actions, click here.
- New Action – Government funding of vaccines.
- County and state updates on coronavirus spread and prevention information.
- Weirdly fascinating video on hand washing. We’re not doing it right.
Action #1 – GOVERNMENT SHOULD NOT BE RUN LIKE A BUSINESS. Support legislation to fund government research to fight this disease.
In the last two decades, a series of “animal” viruses, including SARS and MERS, have triggered intermittent outbreaks around the world. Now there’s COVID-19, with 65 countries reporting infections and 88 confirmed cases in the US. But in the time gaps between epidemics, public attention wanes and scientists struggle to get funding. In 2016, researchers in Texas were ready to test a vaccine against SARS, “severe acute respiratory syndrome”, which is structurally similar to our current disease. However, they couldn’t get grants or investors for the testing process. Dr. Peter Hotez, head of that abandoned project, told Congress on Thursday that the new coronavirus should trigger changes in the way the government funds vaccine development. “It’s tragic that we won’t have a vaccine ready for this epidemic. Practically speaking, we’ll be fighting these outbreaks with one hand tied behind our backs.”
Not only does it need to be ready, but affordable or free to truly saturate a population. However, our
drug company executive and pharmaceutical lobbyist HHS Secretary Alex Azar just defended private industry’s right to profit handsomely from a pandemic, and could not assure Congress that people would be able to afford their resulting vaccines.
Therefore, Senator Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) introduced legislation to conduct and support comprehensive research to create a universal coronavirus vaccine, something that NIAID administrator, Dr. Anthony Fauci, has stated is possible and worth considering. His bill calls for a total investment of $1 billion – $250 million for each of fiscal years 2020 through 2023 for the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID).
Minimal script: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Sen/Rep. to support Sen Markey’s legislation to fund research for a universal coronavirus vaccine.
Rep. Julia Brownley: email, (CA-26): DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
or Rep. Salud Carbajal: email.(CA-24): DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
Senator Feinstein: email, DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
and Senator Harris: email, DC (202) 224-3553, LA (213) 894-5000, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 355-9041, SD (619) 239-3884
Who is my representative/senator?: https://whoismyrepresentative.com
Action #2 – Information only – Gavin Newsom already declared a state of emergency for COVID-19
Gov. Gavin Newsom declared a state of emergency over the novel coronavirus after a California man died after falling ill with the virus while on a cruise ship. The virus has now been reported in 12 counties in the state and has sickened more than 50 people.
His emergency declaration will allow state agencies to more easily procure equipment and services, share information on patients and alleviate restrictions on the use of state-owned properties and facilities. He previously requested that the Legislature make $20 million available for the state to respond to the coronavirus and announced the California Department of Public Health is dipping into its reserves of millions of N95 masks to distribute to healthcare workers on the front lines of the coronavirus fights.
On Wednesday, Newsom declared that a corona lab test is now considered an essential benefit covered by government-sponsored health plans AND private insurers. He is also extending price gouging restrictions in response to Amazon vendors using predatory pricing for hand sanitize and other in-demand goods. Anyone who believes they may have been victimized by price gouging or is aware of such activity was urged to call 213-978-8340.
Action #3 – Information only – County of Ventura Information
County of Ventura Coronavirus Information here.
This site contains links to guidance pages of preparedness information to prevent the spread of this disease at home, at schools, at colleges and universities, at work, in hospital and healthcare settings, and at large community events or gatherings. There are specific pages for more vulnerable demographics, including pregnant women, seniors, healthcare workers and family caregivers and the homeless. ((homeless) here, (shelters) here and (encampments) here.)
- Public Health update novel coronavirus – 2/28/2020 (English): here.
- Public Health update novel coronavirus – 2/28/2020 (Spanish): here.
- Print resources here.
- CDC guidance list: here.
- FAQs: here.
- Fact sheet in English here.
- Fact sheet in Spanish here.
- City of Camarillo
Action #4 – Exactly zero of us non-medical professionals wash our hands properly.
Most of us are all over the palm-to-palm-scrub and the finger-interlacing slide…but truthfully, how many of us knew about the ring-around-the-thumb trick or the scrub-the-fingertips action? Lots of moves to keep you busy for that recommended 20 seconds.
When Xenophobia Spreads Like A Virus. American racism and xenophobia is right below the surface. (npr.org)