Draft Copy of CDC Guidance on Reopening

Here is a copy of the 17-page detailed guidelines prepared by the CDC but rejected by the Trump Administration.

Updates on May 8,  from CNN:

The CDC guidance contained detailed advice on safe reopening for child care programs, schools, religious communities, employers with vulnerable workers, restaurants, bars and mass transit systems.
But the White House rejected it as too stringent and too prescriptive, sources told CNN. The move was the latest instance in which Trump has ignored or downplayed CDC advice in his aggressive push to reopen the country, despite warnings from scientists that doing so could cost tens of thousands of lives. His dismissal of that guidance and White House efforts to lower the profile of his top medical advisers strengthen the impression that he has turned against a comprehensive response to the worst public health threat in 100 years.

In Defense of Science and Dr. Bright

Update on May 9th: This actions has been reviewed by a court and it may recommend reinstating Dr. Bright.

While it is not the intent of this posting to take a political position on a current event, the Diva thinks it is worth sharing some observations of a recent author published here.

Readers may recall the recent review of an important new book from the National Academy of Sciences titled Exploring Lessons Learned from a Century of Outbreaks –  Readiness for 2030 : Proceedings of a Workshop (2019) , reviewed by Don Watson

Mr. Watson called to my attention the fact that in the review he had highlighted the work of Dr. Rick Bright, (now former) director of Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) for the extensive briefing on the impact of infectious disease outbreaks across the world. Bright reviews the essential elements of effective pandemic preparedness and response: early detection, vaccination, behavioral countermeasures, and gaps in host-based treatment in which early detection. Watson wrote in the review that, [Bright] “…makes the point familiar to emergency managers experienced in natural disasters that, ‘a vaccine intervention alone would only slightly—and insufficiently—shift the epidemic curve. The combined effects of multiple interventions are what effectively suppress the epidemic curve.’”

In Watson’s opinion “Every elected official, health planner and pandemic responder, should read the publication. The last sentence especially should resonate across county and world. “

Two Important New GAO Reports re FEMA- plus blog commentary

FEMA Disaster Workforce: Actions Needed to Address Deployment and Staff Development Challenges ,  GAO-20-360, May 4

National Preparedness: Additional Actions Needed to Address Gaps in the Nation’s Emergency Management CapabilitiesGAO-20-297, May 4


On May 5th, the GAO WatchBlog posted this article:  Is FEMA Ready to Respond to Emergencies?  Even before COVID-19, a rising number of natural disasters has meant an increased reliance by state, local, and tribal entities on federal funding and resources.

May 6: From GovExec: FEMA Is Deploying Employees Ill-Prepared for Disaster Response, Report Finds. The agency is also dealing with severe shortfalls in its on-call and reservist workforce.


Failure to Govern Post Covid-19

From the WashPost, this highly critical article: Trump and the GOP have a plan for governing during a pandemic: Just don’t. Public officials are trying to escape responsibility for public health.

That’s because for Trump, nothing that goes wrong is ever his fault. In fact, nothing that can go wrong is even his job. This is partly a function of the president’s personal rejection of even minimal accountability, but it’s also rooted in a long-standing principle among Republicans that government solutions should be last resorts and the business of governing should be outsourced to actual businesses. Trump’s refusal to govern during the pandemic isn’t just ineptitude; it’s ideology, and he’s not the only one who embraces it.

A Feminist Economic Recovery Plan for Hawaii

The Diva wants to share a recent note she received. See below:

I wanted to share with you all our report, Building Bridges, Not Walking on Backs: A Feminist Economic Recovery Plan for COVID-19 for Hawaiʻi. It is the first time an official U.S. State agency has developed an explicitly feminist economic recovery plan. Through the Hawai’i State Commission on the Status of Women we have been building a collaborative process to develop this agenda through a working group that includes women’s organizations, advocates and activists from across Hawaiʻi. We also hope it may be helpful to groups in other geographies looking for ways to come together.

We also recently received some small funding to establish the “Hawai’i-Pacific Participatory Feminist, Anti-racist and Indigenous-Centered Responses to COVID-19” with funds from the CONVERGE facility at the Natural Hazards Center at the University of Colorado Boulder and Social Science Extreme Events Research (SSEER) Network funded through the National Science Foundation. This group will do some research on developing participatory, feminist, anti-racist and responsive Indigenous strategies to address the interconnected crises related to COVID-19. Our aim is to connect research and organizing/advocacy. We will have more info up about the group and how to join soon.

Thank you for sharing the report with your networks, including media. Feel free to reach out with any thoughts, feedback or ideas.

Dr. Amanda Shaw
Lecturer, University of Hawai’i at Mānoa

Thanks to Prof. Jane Henrici of The George Washington University for calling this to my attention.

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