COVID19 update, May 10, 2020: more on COVID19 outbreaks at German meat processing plants; BND drops bombshell about China and WHO; miscellaneous updates

(1) COVID19 outbreaks at meat processing plants are not just a US phenomenon anymore. Apropos the report yesterday of large outbreaks at two such plants at opposite ends of Germany (here and here, both articles in German): it was pointed out that many at these plants are foreign workers living in very tight quarters. But in addition, a friend who is a Ph.D. biologist as well as a volunteer EMT responded: “Meat packing is one of those physical jobs (so high respiration rate) which happens in close quarters, in a cool and air[-conditioned] environment. Most other airconditioned environments are probably not so close together and/or do not involve the level of physical labor. The other possible idea is that meat surfaces and the aerosols generated cutting with band-saws might be a good place for the virus to survive and thrive.”

(2) RedState, quoting German weekly Der Spiegel, has a bombshell: The BND (Bundesnachrichtendienst or Federal Intelligence Serivce, Germany’s equivalent of the CIA — in a report that is otherwise critical of Trump— says the following (my translation from the original German):

“Nevertheless, to the BND’s knowledge, China urged the World Health Organization (WHO) at the highest level to delay a global warning after the outbreak of the virus. On 21st January China’s Head of State Xi Jinping, during a telephone conversation with WHO leader Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus, asked the WHO to withhold information on human-to-human transmission and to delay a pandemic warning. According to the BND, China’s information policy has resulted in the loss of four to six weeks worldwide to fight the virus.” [*]

Confirmation of what was obvious to many of us.

(3) Miscellaneous updates:

{*] original wording: “Nach Erkenntnissen des BND drängte China die Weltgesundheitsorganisation WHO allerdings nach dem Ausbruch des Virus auf höchster Ebene dazu, eine weltweite Warnung zu verzögern. Am 21. Januar habe Chinas Staatschef Xi Jinping bei einem Telefonat mit WHO-Chef Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus gebeten, Informationen über eine Mensch-zu-Mensch-Übertragung zurückzuhalten und eine Pandemiewarnung zu verschleppen. [new paragraph] Nach Einschätzung des BND sind durch die Informationspolitik Chinas weltweit vier bis sechs Wochen für die Bekämpfung des Virus verloren gegangen.”

UPDATE: via masgramondou, a second analysis of Neil Ferguson’s COVID19 model code that is even “better” (ahem) than the first. I’ve encountered enough modeler hubris in my day job that I believe I recognize it when I see it.

3 thoughts on “COVID19 update, May 10, 2020: more on COVID19 outbreaks at German meat processing plants; BND drops bombshell about China and WHO; miscellaneous updates

  1. Re the Matt Ridley story

    There actually has been high quality SARs Cov 2 infection outbreak data since March 17’th, 2020. The first paper published by South Korea researchers about the outbreak in their country. R0 of 1.5. Mortality rate of 0.6% Vast majority of deaths, old people with high risk preconditions.

    These SK numbers are being confirmed by the first data published out of Taiwan in the last few weeks. These are the only two countries that keep and publish medically accurate data about incidents of COVID-19 due to SARs CoV 2 infection. Those who die of severe pneumonia with novel pathogen.

    All other countries epidemiological datasets have serious problems. With Germany and Norway having the closest to a clean usable data set. But still not as good as SK or Taiwan. The datasets out of China, Italy, Spain, and states like NY are so severely compromised for various local political reasons as to be useless.

    If the South Koran paper was published on March 17’th,2020 that meant that the raw data sets were available through existing international medical information channels at least 7 to 10 days before.

    Actuate and transparent data was available by end of first week of March. The governments who locked down chose to use speculative, inaccurate and it seems now outright fraudulent data provided by the WHO and their national equivalents.

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