To Test or Not Test, that is the Question


“Whether ’tis nobler in the mind to suffer the slings and arrows of outrageous voices, or to take arms against a sea of idiotic statements, And, by opposing, end them?”
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From the British Medical Journal “The Lancet”
“The Administration is obsessed with magic bullets—vaccines, new medicines, or a hope that the virus will simply disappear. But only a steadfast reliance on basic public health principles, like test, trace, and isolate, will see the emergency brought to an end, and this requires an effective national public health agency.”
—  The Lancet,  Reviving the CDC, May 16, 2020 Volume 395Number 10236p1521-1586, e83-e89
https://www.thelancet.com/journals/lancet/article/PIIS0140-6736(20)31140-5/fulltext
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From President Donald Trump
“When you test, you have a case. When you test, you find something is wrong with  people.  If we didn’t do any testing, we would have very few cases.  It could be that testing frankly, is overrated.”
– President Donald Trump   (5/14/2020)

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The CDC has literally surrendered, they are beaten.  Last month, the government awarded an unusual $10.2 million contract to a Pittsburgh information technology … to collect data on available hospital beds, hospital capacity, COVID-19 patients, and deaths caused by the coronavirus – information it already receives from the CDC.   
Trump will now have “HIS” numbers to use and not the CDC’s.  Trump will not try to be the voice of the CDC, he will be the CDC.
SARS-CoV-2 came from bats; bats have the highest body temperature of any mammal.  It will not magically disappear when it gets hot.   It will be here this fall and there is probably going to be limited compliance with “separation” rules.  By Fall it will be in every corner of the nation – waiting.   We will not have Test and Trace in place.  We will not be able to stop it.  
In 1918, the first wave was rather small and everyone thought it had magically disappeared.   Here was the second wave.  

death-chart.jpeg

A Vaccine by the end of the year?
 I believe the Oxford vaccine is still the best candidate.  It’s built using an existing vaccine framework that is also easy to manufacturer.  It’s cleared two animal trials with flying colors.  Human trials will be next.  Initial human trials are simple – does it protect from the virus without killing the person.  We share 96%  of our DNA with the test monkeys so there is a chance.   
The initial trials will probably use around 6,000 healthy subjects. (3,000 with vaccine/ 3,000 without.) That will prove the efficacy but safety for only healthy people.  In normal times, stage 2 would be a larger trial using a broad selection of subjects (age, gender, race, existing diseases, varying genetic (DNA) codes, blood types, taking different drugs).  This study will look for adverse reactions in subjects grouped in any of the above categories.  Then there is the study on how strong a dose is needed; how long will it last; do you need boosters.  


A drug manufacturer in India has already started to manufacture the drug, but initially it is going to be in short supply.  Other facilities will start producing the drug but we might only have several million doses initially.   That will be divided among all nations.  With 326 million people in the U.S, we might have only a small supply to go around. Of course, there are 7 billion people in the entire world standing in line with you.
On a brighter side, if the vaccine works in humans, one could  balance the possible death of hundreds of thousands without the vaccine against the death of a possible few that might die from some specific interactions yet to be discovered.  


So yes, there may be vaccine by the end of the year.  


Personally, I’m tired of listening to all the shouting and yelling about starting the economy NOW.   I say, go ahead.   Yes, I know it will fail; we will be worse off; and it will take longer to recover.  Choosing a ‘hunch’ over a ‘scientific opinion’ is the proverbial “bringing a knife to a gunfight” but every reasonable voice in our government has been silenced.