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The New Phase of the Pandemic: Birx and Giroir contradict 45 and Pence
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: August 02, 2020 04:46PM
There is no good news here. Only the receipts of an epic, deadly failure.

So, so, so late. And still, no national plan.


[www.nytimes.com]
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Re: The New Phase of the Pandemic: Birx and Giroir contradict 45 and Pence
Posted by: bfd
Date: August 02, 2020 08:20PM
Quote
Lemon Drop
And still, no national plan.

This part is just unconscionable. #MAGA my azzzzzz
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Re: The New Phase of the Pandemic: Birx and Giroir contradict 45 and Pence
Posted by: samintx
Date: August 03, 2020 05:38AM
Birx is a pacifier. Why has she suddenly become the spokes person for the pandemic. Where is Fauci????Never mind I know what list he is on now thanks to 45.
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Re: The New Phase of the Pandemic: Birx and Giroir contradict 45 and Pence
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: August 03, 2020 08:49AM
Quote
samintx
Birx is a pacifier. Why has she suddenly become the spokes person for the pandemic. Where is Fauci????Never mind I know what list he is on now thanks to 45.

Well Birx has been out front since the beginning. She is an enigma to me. She's partly responsible for creating what turned out to be a deadly narrative: that the virus was a problem of the urban north and West Coast...others need not worry. Whether she was a victim of inaccurate science, or part of the White House political strategy to blame blue state governors...who knows. Maybe we'll learn the truth down the road.

I was a person who defended her early on as doing the best she could...maybe she did. She seems to be attempting to make up for it now.
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Re: The New Phase of the Pandemic: Birx and Giroir contradict 45 and Pence
Posted by: DeusxMac
Date: August 03, 2020 09:08AM
Quote
Lemon Drop
Quote
samintx
Birx is a pacifier. Why has she suddenly become the spokes person for the pandemic. Where is Fauci????Never mind I know what list he is on now thanks to 45.

Well Birx has been out front since the beginning. She is an enigma to me. She's partly responsible for creating what turned out to be a deadly narrative: that the virus was a problem of the urban north and West Coast...others need not worry. Whether she was a victim of inaccurate science, or part of the White House political strategy to blame blue state governors...who knows. Maybe we'll learn the truth down the road.

I was a person who defended her early on as doing the best she could...maybe she did. She seems to be attempting to make up for it now.

LD, it’s painful to watch you continue to struggle to avoid criticizing Birx. Why does she warrant such generous forebearance?

[forums.macresource.com]
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Re: The New Phase of the Pandemic: Birx and Giroir contradict 45 and Pence
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: August 03, 2020 09:13AM
Birx was the one who produced the charts that strategically excluded some states and terminated in June to make it look like the peak would be reached by early June at the latest. This was critical to the plausible deniability of the administration's failure to act to halt the spread of the virus.

I think she's more culpable than any Drumpf in this because she had the expertise to understand both her deceit and the cost.







Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/03/2020 09:14AM by Sarcany.
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Re: The New Phase of the Pandemic: Birx and Giroir contradict 45 and Pence
Posted by: Ted King
Date: August 03, 2020 09:56AM
I suspect Birx was either told what pandemic model to use - of course, one that was closest to what Trump wanted to believe - or looked for a model that would tell Trump more of what he wanted to believe. The former may make her slightly less culpable but either way she behaved irresponsibly.
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Re: The New Phase of the Pandemic: Birx and Giroir contradict 45 and Pence
Posted by: PeterB
Date: August 03, 2020 10:07AM
I cannot think of Birx without also remembering this moment: [www.youtube.com]

... she had a moral responsibility to say something and she didn't.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: The New Phase of the Pandemic: Birx and Giroir contradict 45 and Pence
Posted by: sekker
Date: August 03, 2020 10:26AM
Quote
PeterB
I cannot think of Birx without also remembering this moment: [www.youtube.com]

... she had a moral responsibility to say something and she didn't.

This. I watched this live with my wife. It was terrible.

Birx kept using the Seattle model where uncertainty of outcomes DROPPED over time. That NEVER happens - it's like saying you know the detailed weather forecast BETTER 6 months from now that tomorrow. Nonsense.

Again, what she did - and didn't do - during this crisis will be scrutinized for years.

Ironically, Fauci seems to be free of these issues. I do wonder whether he had Birx take some of the heat, however. But I do not recall him EVER showing these poorly done models, for example. Or making any claims.
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Re: The New Phase of the Pandemic: Birx and Giroir contradict 45 and Pence
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: August 03, 2020 10:39AM
Birx has screwed herself by letting her message get subverted.

Nobody has any faith in her and Drumpf is throwing her under the bus (as he does).



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Re: The New Phase of the Pandemic: Birx and Giroir contradict 45 and Pence
Posted by: rjmacs
Date: August 03, 2020 11:28AM
She is a political appointee, and has long understood what that means. She has tried, in various manners, to steer the national response toward coherence and reason; that being said, she's also participated in broad deception and minimized criminal and catastrophic mismanagement.

To pretend that she didn't know what kind of administration this is when she took the position on the Task Force in February is a little overgenerous, I think. At my most sympathetic, I can imagine that she naively and hubristically believed that her expertise would carry real weight, and that her voice would matter to the men making the real decisions. That prideful ignorance is harder to forgive.

It's easier when you consider exactly what's happened - as an accomplished, ambitious, professional woman with exceptional mastery of the subject at hand, she has been treated as a well-coiffed and appointed accessory to be trotted out when needed, and otherwise dismissed. That's a position so often reserved for women.



rj
AKA
Vreemac, Moth of the Future




Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/03/2020 11:30AM by rjmacs.
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Re: The New Phase of the Pandemic: Birx and Giroir contradict 45 and Pence
Posted by: Steve G.
Date: August 03, 2020 11:30AM
There was more than one defendant at Nuremberg.


the tubby one on the left looks familiar
where's his glasses?
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Re: The New Phase of the Pandemic: Birx and Giroir contradict 45 and Pence
Posted by: PeterB
Date: August 03, 2020 12:37PM
Being a political appointee is no excuse in my book. She took an oath long before she became an appointee, to do no harm. How many people died, because she did not uphold that oath? Not saying something when she ought to have, is a lie of omission.

She could (and should?) have resigned, rather than contributing to deaths caused by her inaction; or spoken out in the way that Fauci has, directly contradicting the boss (but in a polite way), and not taking the bait when the boss is childishly attacking you behind your back.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/03/2020 12:38PM by PeterB.
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Re: The New Phase of the Pandemic: Birx and Giroir contradict 45 and Pence
Posted by: hal
Date: August 03, 2020 02:30PM
I think the damning evidence is there and is plain to see, but I believe that Birx resisted the shackles placed on her as best she could.

People seem to forget that this is HER commission - she's in charge and answers to Trump. Fauci was an invited guest and did NOT answer direct to Trump.

I think that if a real Trump stooge was in Birx' position, things would have been much worse.

Let's face it - doing a proper job of it simply was not possible with Trump as the boss. If she spoke 'truth' from the beginning, she would have been gone in the beginning.
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Re: The New Phase of the Pandemic: Birx and Giroir contradict 45 and Pence
Posted by: rjmacs
Date: August 03, 2020 02:44PM
Quote
hal
I think the damning evidence is there and is plain to see, but I believe that Birx resisted the shackles placed on her as best she could.

People seem to forget that this is HER commission - she's in charge and answers to Trump Pence. Fauci was an invited guest and did NOT answer direct to Trump Pence.

I think that if a real Trump stooge was in Birx' position, things would have been much worse.

Let's face it - doing a proper job of it simply was not possible with Trump as the boss. If she spoke 'truth' from the beginning, she would have been gone in the beginning.

Just a technicality.



rj
AKA
Vreemac, Moth of the Future
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Re: The New Phase of the Pandemic: Birx and Giroir contradict 45 and Pence
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: August 03, 2020 03:47PM
Quote
sekker

Birx kept using the Seattle model where uncertainty of outcomes DROPPED over time. That NEVER happens - it's like saying you know the detailed weather forecast BETTER 6 months from now that tomorrow. Nonsense.

.

The White House team used a variety of models, not just one.

Could you say more about this? Which is the "Seattle model?" Do you mean the IHME model? What do you mean by "uncertainty drops over time?"

In late March, for example, IHME projected that there will be a total of 81,114 Covid-19 deaths in the U.S. over the next four months, but that number came with a caveat: The actual number could be as few as 38,242 and as many as 162,106.

So on the high end that model was closer than any other I've seen, predicting 4 months into the future. The high end number assumed that mitigation efforts were not in place, which we know now they were not in many places.

IHME has been using different curves to show estimates based on whether mitigation strategies were in place in specific states, this is very difficult to project because there is no way to know if measures will stay in place or if the public will embrace them.

What model(s) got this right?

From what I understand the WH used a number of models, not just one. The message was always "social distancing/mask wearing/stay at home" works, it worked other places.
It's also important to remember that many states did not follow the WH guidelines about re-opening. South Carolina certainly did not. They re-opened while case numbers were still rising. Birx had told them not to.
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Re: The New Phase of the Pandemic: Birx and Giroir contradict 45 and Pence
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: August 03, 2020 04:07PM
Just read this and found it to be a fair assessment of Dr. Birx and her role:

[www.usatoday.com]


I'm surprised to read people (including Nancy Pelosi) say that Birx didn't do enough to counter the President on his disinfectant/sunlight claims. She did. She disagreed with him real time during the press conference and in numerous press interviews afterwards. And the entire task force (except Pence of course) went after him on the drug stuff.

It's election season' Pelosi has to say bad things about the administration and everyone associated with it. Targeting Birx works politically for her. Birx's response to Pelosi was perfect.

It is not typical for a presidential appointee to contradict that person live, real-time, in front of the press...in fact I'd venture to say that never happens. She handled that like a pro, I doubt many others could have navigated that without getting fired by Trump.

Then we would have been up sh%t creek even worse than we have been. She's been flying around the country convincing governors to do the right thing (like Arizona, where she had a good impact).. I doubt anyone could have done better given the boss she has and his incredible negative impact on the country's efforts to combat this virus.
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Re: The New Phase of the Pandemic: Birx and Giroir contradict 45 and Pence
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: August 03, 2020 04:24PM
Quote
Lemon Drop
It is not typical for a presidential appointee to contradict that person live, real-time, in front of the press...

Making up bogus props to support a bunch of lies sure doesn't look good.

But let's be generous: Maybe she was just a fool.

[www.nytimes.com]

Inside the White House, Dr. Birx was the chief evangelist for the idea that the threat from the virus was fading.

Unlike Dr. Fauci, Dr. Birx is a strong believer in models that forecast the course of an outbreak. Dr. Fauci has cautioned that “models are only models” and that real-world outcomes depend on how people respond to calls for changes in behavior — to stay home, for example, or wear masks in public — sacrifices that required a sense of shared national responsibility...

There were warnings that the models she studied might not be accurate, especially in predicting the course of the virus against a backdrop of evolving political, economic and social factors. Among the models Dr. Birx relied on most was one produced by researchers at the University of Washington. But when Mr. Hassett reviewed its performance by looking back on its predictions from three weeks earlier, it turned out to be hit or miss.

The authors of the University of Washington model spoke to Dr. Birx or members of her team almost daily, they said, and often cautioned that their work was only supposed to offer a snapshot based on key assumptions, like people continuing to abide by social distancing until June 1.

“We made clear that to get the epidemic under control and bring it down to effectively zero transmission required the social distancing mandates to be in place,” said Christopher J. L. Murray, the director of the modeling program. “April 22 — somewhere around that period. That’s when the tone shifted. They started to ask questions about what will be the trajectory and where with the lifting of mandates?”

Some state officials were also alarmed by the administration’s use of the University of Washington model...

But despite the outside warnings and evidence by early May that new infections, while down, remained higher than anticipated, the White House never fundamentally re-examined the course it had set in mid-April.

Dr. Fauci, a friend of Dr. Birx’s for 30 years, would describe her as more political than him, a “different species.” More pessimistic by nature, Dr. Fauci privately warned that the virus was going to be difficult to control, often commenting that he was the “skunk at the garden party.”

...By contrast, Dr. Birx regularly delivered what the new team was hoping for.

“All metros are stabilizing,” she would tell them, describing the virus as having hit its “peak” around mid-April. The New York area accounted for half of the total cases in the country, she said. The slope was heading in the right direction. “We’re behind the worst of it.” She endorsed the idea that the death counts and hospitalization numbers could be inflated.




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Re: The New Phase of the Pandemic: Birx and Giroir contradict 45 and Pence
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: August 03, 2020 05:06PM
This is from the article linked above...and I think it highlights how Trump undercut Birx - Had all the governors done what Birx advocated regarding holding off on re-opening, or putting mitigation measures in place if there were none, we would not be in the mess that we're in now. and it's not her fault that they did not.

I think public health experts like Birx were not wrong to think that elected officials might learn from the experience of Italy and China and take measures to control the virus - New York did it, and it worked. And from that basic expectation arose their projections.


Dr. Birx was more central than publicly known to the judgment inside the West Wing that the virus was on a downward path. Colleagues described her as dedicated to public health and working herself to exhaustion to get the data right, but her model-based assessment nonetheless failed to account for a vital variable: how Mr. Trump’s rush to urge a return to normal would help undercut the social distancing and other measures that were holding down the numbers.


So let's put the blame where it belongs - on Donald Trump and Mike Pence and the dumb, misguided governors who put their faith in those two men, instead of in people like Deborah Birx.



Edited 2 time(s). Last edit at 08/03/2020 05:25PM by Lemon Drop.
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Re: The New Phase of the Pandemic: Birx and Giroir contradict 45 and Pence
Posted by: PeterB
Date: August 03, 2020 05:46PM
LD, there's no question Trump is to blame. The problem I have with Birx is exactly summarized by the video I posted ... she has/had a moral duty to contradict the President, if not on the spot, then afterwards. She did not. She has consistently not contradicted him publicly, when she ought to have. [www.theguardian.com]

Trump has reportedly just now publicly referred to Birx as "pathetic". She will probably be the latest in a long line of Trump mouthpieces who, unwilling to completely toe the party line, will be ejected and ex post facto claimed to be a "disgrace". [www.cnn.com]




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: The New Phase of the Pandemic: Birx and Giroir contradict 45 and Pence
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: August 03, 2020 07:40PM
The problem I have with Birx is exactly summarized by the video I posted ... she has/had a moral duty to contradict the President, if not on the spot, then afterwards. She did not.

The video you posted is from the infamous disinfectant/sunlight press conference.
She DID contradict him when he asked her about it, during the press conference. Trump cut her off before she could complete her response. She also made several media appearances in the days afterward and explained that neither disinfectant or sunlight were appropriate treatments for the virus. So it's just flat wrong to claim that she didn't contradict her boss. She did.

Mr. Trump then turned to Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House coronavirus response coordinator, and asked if she had heard of the success of sunlight as an effective tool against viruses, and more specifically the coronavirus.

“Not as a treatment,” Dr. Birx replied. “I mean, certainly fever is a good thing when you have a fever. It helps your body respond. But not as — I have not seen heat or ….”

Mr. Trump cut short her answer.

“I think that’s a great thing to look at,” he said. “I mean you know, OK?”
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Re: The New Phase of the Pandemic: Birx and Giroir contradict 45 and Pence
Posted by: PeterB
Date: August 03, 2020 08:03PM
Eh, that's (to me) just wordplay. Her halfhearted attempt to correct him is not the same as coming out and flatly saying that he was wrong, or better yet, full of it. In fact, her response (which you quoted) could be viewed as a "bridge" ... in psychoanalytical terms, she is trying to appease him by mentioning a fever as the body's natural response to try to respond to the virus, but which is wholly inapplicable in context to what Trump was claiming.

As for what she said afterwards, she only said something about it when pressed on the issue by the media, and again she made some statements that could be viewed as "bridges", like for example along the lines of "oh, I don't think he was serious" or "oh, he was just carrying out a dialogue". [www.nydailynews.com]

I think Pelosi is exactly right when she says, “I don’t have confidence in anyone who stands there while the president says swallow Lysol and it’s going to cure your virus.” She is also right on the mark by calling out Birx for enabling Trump and not setting the record straight on multiple medical issues, not just the disinfectant thing.




Freya says, 'Hello from NOLA, baby!' (Laissez bon temps rouler!)
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Re: The New Phase of the Pandemic: Birx and Giroir contradict 45 and Pence
Posted by: RgrF
Date: August 03, 2020 08:53PM
She military and responded to her military background with regard to commanders. She put that above her Hippocratic Oath and thus became an enabler.

Trump's entire life has been built on the enablers he surrounds himself with. The pragmatic approach that one can do more from inside than out doesn't work with him.

She's culpable and she knows that, her reputation is in tatters and it's likely she'll exit the service soon with not much more in future prospects than her pension and/or a book tour.
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Re: The New Phase of the Pandemic: Birx and Giroir contradict 45 and Pence
Posted by: Sarcany
Date: August 03, 2020 09:22PM
Quote
RgrF
She's culpable and she knows that, her reputation is in tatters and it's likely she'll exit the service soon with not much more in future prospects than her pension and/or a book tour.

"Don't you think she looks tired?"



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Re: The New Phase of the Pandemic: Birx and Giroir contradict 45 and Pence
Posted by: RgrF
Date: August 03, 2020 09:44PM
"Don't you think she looks tired?"

Trump does too, should I feel for him?
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Re: The New Phase of the Pandemic: Birx and Giroir contradict 45 and Pence
Posted by: sekker
Date: August 03, 2020 11:09PM
Birx almost exclusively showed the IMHE model. It kept showing lower uncertainty over time, due as we now know to fundamental flaws. This model was showing nearly complete loss of COVID by June.

We stopped following it a few weeks in March as more than a public website as our models were showing major differences over time.

If you need, I can dig out the Twitter threads that went into the core scientific issues.

You no longer see the IMHE scientific team on CNN anymore, and for good reason.

Look at this set of models on 538. The uncertainty increases the further away from current date. [projects.fivethirtyeight.com]



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 08/03/2020 11:12PM by sekker.
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Re: The New Phase of the Pandemic: Birx and Giroir contradict 45 and Pence
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: August 04, 2020 12:38PM
Quote
sekker
Birx almost exclusively showed the IMHE model. It kept showing lower uncertainty over time, due as we now know to fundamental flaws. This model was showing nearly complete loss of COVID by June.

We stopped following it a few weeks in March as more than a public website as our models were showing major differences over time.

If you need, I can dig out the Twitter threads that went into the core scientific issues.

You no longer see the IMHE scientific team on CNN anymore, and for good reason.

Look at this set of models on 538. The uncertainty increases the further away from current date. [projects.fivethirtyeight.com]


I'm not sure what benchmark being on CNN is, but they still report IHME data regularly, this is from the last week:

Researchers estimate the US will have 219,864 total Covid-19 deaths by November 1, according to the Institute for Health Metrics at the University of Washington.

Dr. Chris Murray was on Don Lemon on July 14:
[twitter.com]


IHME did make major changes to their projections after mobility increased in late April and states re-opened earlier than they should have. Their earlier projections had assumed that mandates would stay in place through the end of May which theoretically would have brought case numbers very low.

538 includes this model along with others, I don't see any caveats stating that this model is unreliable.

IHME has made changes to their approach as the pandemic has progressed and they have learned more. As all good scientists do. They were also transparent in April about errors in uncertainty intervals for cumulative deaths and corrected that.

I still don't understand what "lower uncertainty over time" means for IHME - their approach appears the same as the other models on the 538 site. What am I missing?
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Re: The New Phase of the Pandemic: Birx and Giroir contradict 45 and Pence
Posted by: sekker
Date: August 04, 2020 04:59PM
IHME made massive changes to their model mid-May. I would have to go back in time and grab their images, or just catch one of Dr Birx cardboard figures.

To my knowledge, Dr. Carl T. Bergstrom caught the fundamental IHME error first.

What IHME was showing in mid-March was a range of outcomes for April 1 that had a reasonable variance.

But what was amazing was that variance (range of outcomes) was LOWER further out you went i.e. May 1.

All of the models currently on 538, including the current version of IHME, show the opposite (and normal for models - the further away you are from current data, the less sure you are of the outcome.

The older IHME model showed the exact opposite. That model received a LOT of attention in part because it was arguing we were DEFINITELY going to get better, even with all of the caveats you noted.

I believe that Dr Birx wanted to show best-case scenarios to be the optimist, while Fauci played the pessimist. That's ok except when the model you picked - IHME - was fundamentally flawed (which we now know in hindsight). The state of MN refused to use the IHME model, as well as Mayo Clinic - but few were willing to call them out due to their visibility in the White House, CNN etc. One of the few science areas where those two groups both agreed! Alas, it was too good to be true.
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Re: The New Phase of the Pandemic: Birx and Giroir contradict 45 and Pence
Posted by: Lemon Drop
Date: August 05, 2020 08:03AM
Thank you sekker for the detailed explanation - that's helpful to my understanding. I tried to get through the methodology page on the IHME website but it's been too long since I took Stats...

I follow Dr. Bergstrom on twitter, along with other epidemiologists. It's been a good learning experience.
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