I grief for her.
And salute her dedication.
I grief for her.
You are not the only one. It brought tears to my eyes too when I watched the video.
To be fair, MERS spread between humans but requires very close contact with the infected person. Since its spread is so uncommon outside of hospitals, no epidemic was declared. Not denying they have made mistakes. Not saying some of them should not be punished. I just don't want to be too judgemental as we know all the facts now but they don't. Put yourself in their shoes, it is not easy to make the call. Hindsight is 2020.1. COVID-19 was first reported to public health authorities on 12/27. The doctor who made the discovery had tested the patients for influenza, common cold and so on before reporting.
Public health authorities announced 'viral pneumonia of unknown cause' on Dec 31. On Jan 5 a Shanghai lab sequenced the virus from a sample sent from Wuhan (per protocol) and confirmed its a novel coronavirus. The lab immediately informed both Shanghai and national health authorities. China's medical-surveillance network had done a fantastic job!
2. I made a mistake here. The afflicted healthcare workers were denied access to their own chest CT scans. This was unusual and clearly an attempt at information control (although not necessarily a cover-up).
3. Again the question is not whether it's a novel virus, they knew by Jan 5 it was. The question was human to human transmission. The doctor who first discovered COVID-19 immediately suspected it's infectious (as an entire family of three were infected).
According to the first Caixin article, on Jan 5 a doctor with no contact history to the seafood market was suspected of having COVID-19 (later confirmed). CT scan confirmed lung infections. It was never mentioned in the Caixin article but it would be surprising if no tests were done to exclude other known causes for pneumonia. There were soon (one on Jan 6) other suspected cases emerging among healthcare workers too, many of them later diagnosed as having COVID-19. It would be surprising if none of them were tested to exclude other known causes for pneumonia. Given how fast the health authority announced 'viral pneumonia of unknown cause', it shouldn't take more than four days to test for the known causes to a high standard (high enough to allow the announcement in the first place). So by Jan 10 or Jan 11 at latest it should have became clear that healthcare workers without exposure to the seafood market also had 'viral pneumonia of unknown cause'. What's the odds of having two such diseases emerging at the same time? Yet the health authorities were still denying human to human transmission. Again, no smoking gun for a deliberate cover-up but to think there's no cover-up you had to believe a medical-surveillance network that was super efficient at identifying the disease and the virus for lay patients suddenly became inefficient when it came to healthcare workers, when they should had became more alert as a novel coronavirus had just been discovered.
4. The criteria were not for identifying a outbreak but for identifying individual cases. Again I'm no medical expert and I stand to be corrected, but I cannot think of a good reason to disallow a individual case with both the symptoms and the presence of the virus (confirmed by full sequencing) from being confirmed, other than to prevent confirmed cases with no exposure to the seafood market. As for the doctor's stress on the strictness of condition 3 rather than condition 1, I would imagine both the doctor and the journalist would want to avoid making or being seen as making a direct accusation against the National Health Commission.
This explains much.Two interesting interviews:
Interview with Feng Zijian, associate director of the Chinese CDC:
In response to the question whether the Chinese CDC was too slow in confirming human to human transmission, Dr Feng argued that CDC was being conservative and being conservative was rigorous.
Interview with Yang Gonghuan, former associate director of the Chinese CDC:
Dr Yang bought up a very important point: unlike its American counterpart, the Chinese CDC is not a government agency. It is a public-service unit (PSU/事业单位) just like universities, hospitals and research labs. I checked and indeed the website for Chinese CDC doesn't have a .gov.cn domain, it's chinacdc.cn instead of cdc.gov.cn
So members of the Chinese CDC are not public health officials, but researchers/scientists. From this point of view one can understand the current associate director Dr Feng's attitude that CDC was right in being very conservative and rigorous and therefore slow in confirming human to human transmission. It was good science but terrible public health policy. However, it seems public health officials in the National Health Commission might been overly influenced by the scientific opinions of the CDC, and failed to adequately consider the public health consequences. Note that public health officials might not have the technical expertises on infectious diseases the CDC has. This really doesn't seem like a good arrangement.
Wang Peiyu, a public health professor at Peking University, told the Global Times on Thursday that including the number of clinically diagnosed cases in the total of newly confirmed cases means that Hubei has adjusted the diagnostic criteria, turning some cases previously deemed as suspected ones into confirmed cases, which would also lead to a surge in the number of deaths.