Top presidential historian on Trump's legacy: 'He was largely responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans who did not need to die'

  

Category:  News & Politics

Via:  john-russell  •  4 weeks ago  •  64 comments

By:   insider@insider.com (John Haltiwanger) 1 hr ago (MSN)

Top presidential historian on Trump's legacy: 'He was largely responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans who did not need to die'
"Donald Trump is the kind of person that we have never ever seen before in the presidency, and I hope we never ever see again," Beschloss said.

S E E D E D   C O N T E N T


Top presidential historian on Trump's legacy: 'He was largely responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans who did not need to die'© AP Photo/Alex Brandon President Donald Trump. AP Photo/Alex Brandon

  • Presidential historian Michael Beschloss told MSNBC that President Donald Trump's legacy will always be tied to the catastrophic COVID-19 death toll in the US.
  • "Donald Trump is not going to change the record. He was largely responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans who did not need to die," Beschloss said.
  • As of Wednesday, nearly 339,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 under Trump's watch. It's the highest reported COVID-19 death toll in the world.
  • Visit Business Insider's homepage for more stories.

Michael Beschloss, a prominent presidential historian, in an interview with MSNBC this week said that historians will need time to fully assess President Donald Trump's legacy but that he'll never be able to escape the COVID-19 death toll.

"Donald Trump is not going to change the record. He was largely responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans who did not need to die," Beschloss said. "Millions of others who suffered from covid did not need to suffer…This is really Nero's fiddling while Rome burns."

The US has the highest numbers of reported COVID-19 cases and fatalities in the world.

As of Wednesday morning, there have been over 19.5 million confirmed COVID-19 cases and nearly 339,000 reported deaths from the virus in the US, according to Johns Hopkins. Public health experts have consistently criticized Trump's handling of the pandemic, contending that a more coherent response from the president could've prevented tens of thousands of deaths.

Beschloss and Mehdi Hasan, who interviewed the historian while guest-hosting MSNBC's "All In with Chris Hayes," also excoriated Trump over his recent actions that nearly derailed the newest COVID-19 stimulus bill.

Trump delayed economic assistance to millions Americans by initially refusing to sign a $900 billion COVID-19 stimulus package this month. The president said he wanted the $600 direct payments included as part of the legislation to be bumped up to $2000.

But Trump's last-minute demands went against what his own treasury secretary and Republican leaders in Congress had pushed for in lengthy, tedious negotiations over the stimulus with Democrats. Critics of the president have said he essentially delayed desperately needed assistance to Americans in order to score cheap political points.

Beschloss said that top-ranked presidents, such as Abraham Lincoln, were known for their compassion and empathy. But Trump does not qualify in this regard, he said.

"Donald Trump is the kind of person that we have never ever seen before in the presidency, and I hope we never ever see again," Beschloss said. "When you've got a president who has no empathy, who has no compassion, you see a spectacle like what we've seen this week."

Watch the clip below:

—MSNBC (@MSNBC) December 29, 2020


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JohnRussell
Professor Principal
1  seeder  JohnRussell    4 weeks ago

800

Michael Beschloss is the presidential historian of record for American Heritage and wrote biographies of every president for the book you see pictured above. 

As I have been saying for five years, historians are not going to treat Trump kindly. 

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Senior Quiet
1.1  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  JohnRussell @1    4 weeks ago

This coming from a lifelong liberal Democrat. What a surprise!

 
 
 
Tessylo
PhD Principal
1.1.2  Tessylo  replied to  Ed-NavDoc @1.1    4 weeks ago

An informed educated DEMOCRAT.  Why some frown on the educated and informed is beyond me.  

 
 
 
Ozzwald
PhD Quiet
1.1.3  Ozzwald  replied to  Tessylo @1.1.2    4 weeks ago
Why some frown on the educated and informed is beyond me.

Jealousy?

 
 
 
Ed-NavDoc
Senior Quiet
1.1.4  Ed-NavDoc  replied to  Ozzwald @1.1.1    4 weeks ago

Qualified does not always equate to nonbiased, and this guy strikes me as very biased.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Senior Participates
2  Greg Jones    4 weeks ago

"Donald Trump is not going to change the record. He was largely responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans who did not need to die,"

The validity of this assertion can't be explained by those who make it. Can you provide some details, because most normal people don't believe it such foolish statements

 
 
 
MrFrost
Masters Principal
2.1  MrFrost  replied to  Greg Jones @2    4 weeks ago
Can you provide some details

We have 4% of the global population, yet we have over 20% of the deaths. How's that for data?

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Guide
2.1.1  Sean Treacy  replied to  MrFrost @2.1    4 weeks ago
We have 4% of the global population, yet we have over 20% of the deaths. How's that for data?

No we don't.   For starters, and most obviously, Imagine publicly admitting to believe Putin and the CCP on Covid.  Why would you do that to yourself? 

 
 
 
MrFrost
Masters Principal
2.1.2  MrFrost  replied to  Sean Treacy @2.1.1    4 weeks ago

Trump trusts Putin quite a bit, over our intel agencies to boot. 

But if you can supply data to the contrary of what I posted, feel free. 

Just to be fair, I did the math....

1.8 million total deaths. 339,000 in the USA, 339,000 is 18.83% of 1.8 million. So just over 1% shy of 20%. 

You are using assumptions in order to skew the math and....sorry, math doesn't work that way. 

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Guide
2.1.3  Sean Treacy  replied to  MrFrost @2.1.2    4 weeks ago

re using assumptions in order to skew the math

Let's talk about assumptions. In order for your math to be correct, you assume every single person who died of covid  in every single country was correctly counted.

That means you trust Putin, the CCP and Iran to accurately report the reality of what's going on in their countries. (They don't)

You assume every third world country has the means to record the number of people who died from Covid.  (They don't)  

You assume every country attributes deaths to covid using the same standards. ( They don't) 

No one has any clue right now how many people have died of Covid in the world.  Believing the self reported numbers constitutes an accurate picture of what's actually happened in the world is naïve and simplistic. It over inflates the relative totals for those countries that try to honestly report their numbers and have the means to do so and undercounts  the vast majority of the world that doesn't. 

 
 
 
bugsy
Masters Guide
2.1.4  bugsy  replied to  Sean Treacy @2.1.3    4 weeks ago

Don't forget that there are serious questions as to the reliability of the numbers the US is reporting. I saw somewhere yesterday that those numbers could be as much as 40 percent less than what John Hopkins is reporting.

 
 
 
Tessylo
PhD Principal
2.1.5  Tessylo  replied to  bugsy @2.1.4    4 weeks ago

"Don't forget that there are serious questions as to the reliability of the numbers the US is reporting. I saw somewhere yesterday that those numbers could be as much as 40 percent less than what John Hopkins is reporting."

Untrue.  [deleted]

 
 
 
MrFrost
Masters Principal
2.1.6  MrFrost  replied to  Sean Treacy @2.1.3    4 weeks ago
Let's talk about assumptions. In order for your math to be correct, you assume every single person who died of covid  in every single country was correctly counted.

I am not assuming anything, I am using available data. 

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Guide
2.1.7  Tacos!  replied to  MrFrost @2.1    4 weeks ago
We have 4% of the global population, yet we have over 20% of the deaths. How's that for data?

The data doesn't explain causation. 

Furthermore, the assertion that the deaths are attributable to Trump's lack of leadership fails in light of the fact that several other countries have more deaths per capita than the the US does. According to this site , 9 countries have a worse death per capita rate than the US for the year, and 20 countries have a worse death rate over the last week.

There is plenty of pain to go around, and zero value to be gained by arbitrarily blaming one man for a disease that is ravaging the whole world.

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Junior Guide
2.1.8  Drakkonis  replied to  Tacos! @2.1.7    4 weeks ago

Good post. It get's tiresome seeing "factoids" like...

We have 4% of the global population, yet we have over 20% of the deaths. How's that for data?

used to make a point when the factoid is not only meaningless but also seems designed to intentionally hide what is actually relevant. It's designed to get you to focus on the disparity in sizes. It doesn't take into account that, even if we are only 4% of the population, we are still the third largest country population wise.

And as you point out deaths per capita are a better marker. Yet, even that has it's problems. India, with a population of 1.3 billion, reports a death rate of just 105.4 per million. This is an extraordinarily low number for such a population. One could claim that India is obviously handling this better than we are. Thing is, this number is unlikely to be anything close to accurate, due to cultural factors if nothing else. Something close to 80% of Indians die at home. That alone guarantees to skew the numbers badly. And while something like 60% of tests being given are the more reliable PRC tests, many states are using the RAT tests, which apparently known to give false readings about 50% of the time. Funeral homes and crematoriums are also not much good since much of that happens out in the countryside, where such things aren't reported. Further, using the same site you did, which you can find here , while the US comes in second in testing per capita at 677,747 per million, India comes in 21st at 113,004.

So, I guess the point is, you can make statistics say what you want them to say or use them incorrectly unknowingly. Or you can do some digging, some thinking and maybe come to a conclusion that actually comes close to meaning somethin. 

 
 
 
Drakkonis
Junior Guide
2.1.9  Drakkonis  replied to  bugsy @2.1.4    4 weeks ago
Don't forget that there are serious questions as to the reliability of the numbers the US is reporting. I saw somewhere yesterday that those numbers could be as much as 40 percent less than what John Hopkins is reporting.

My opinion is that we aren't going to know actual numbers until well after this is over and scientists, statisticians and whatever other relevant field needs to be involved has a chance to put all the data together and study it. Could be higher, which may be more likely, or lower. I think time will tell.  

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Guide
2.1.10  Sean Treacy  replied to  MrFrost @2.1.6    4 weeks ago
I am not assuming anything, I am using available data. 

The data doesn't support the conclusion you claimed it did. Do you understand that now? 

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Guide
2.1.11  Sean Treacy  replied to  Drakkonis @2.1.8    4 weeks ago

n g is, this number is unlikely to be anything close to accurate, due to cultural factors if nothing else. Something close to 80% of Indians die at home

Yes, India is a perfect example of what I'm talking about. No one believes the reported numbers of deaths are close to accurate for the reasons you list and for different standards in reporting.  Even in those areas that are reporting covid deaths, some Indian states are not counting  deaths as covid related if they had co-morbidities, which other parts of the world like the US count as Covid caused deaths.  

For those interested in how this plays out in one country, this is a pretty good overview of how systematic undercounting takes place:

Once you understand how prevalent these issues are, it makes believing that we "know" the actual global amount of deaths preposterous. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
2.1.12  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Sean Treacy @2.1.10    4 weeks ago

It doesn't matter how many people died or didnt die, Trump abdicated his responsibility to lead the nation because he thought emphasis on the virus would hurt his re-election chances. 

He has shamed our country and he deserves every bit of criticism he gets and more. 

"I wanted to always play it down,"Trump said on March 19, according to CNN, which obtained an audio recording of the interview, and The Washington Post. "I still like playing it down

and where did "playing it down" get us ?   He admitted to "playing it down " over nine months ago and 300,000 Americans have died since then. 

He made it his fault. 

 
 
 
dennis smith
Senior Silent
2.1.13  dennis smith  replied to  MrFrost @2.1    4 weeks ago

Each state is responsible for handling the Covid. Trump supplied them with Naval hospital beds, filed hospitals,converted buildings to handle Covid patients, gowns, ventilators etc. Warp speed vaccine etc. 

Each state has its own state, county, city governments who made the local decisions on how they were going to put controls in place. The blame lies with them . 

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2.1.14  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  Tacos! @2.1.7    4 weeks ago

And I thought I was the devil's advocate on this site.

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2.1.15  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  JohnRussell @2.1.12    4 weeks ago

He said he didn't want the people to panic (seems like he preferred for them to die).

 
 
 
Buzz of the Orient
Professor Principal
2.1.16  Buzz of the Orient  replied to  dennis smith @2.1.13    4 weeks ago

Out of curiosity, when the Japanese attacked Pearl Harbour, did each state, county and city government decide individually on their own what to do, and how and when to do it?

 
 
 
MrFrost
Masters Principal
2.2  MrFrost  replied to  Greg Jones @2    4 weeks ago

Here, notice anything weird about this graph? 

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
Senior Participates
2.2.1  igknorantzrulz  replied to  MrFrost @2.2    4 weeks ago

Excellent link

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
Junior Expert
2.2.2  FLYNAVY1  replied to  MrFrost @2.2    4 weeks ago

Greg would never acknowledge that Trump supporting states lead the union in Covid Cases..... nor would even admit as to why.

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Senior Participates
2.2.3  Greg Jones  replied to  MrFrost @2.2    4 weeks ago

It doesn't support Trump being responsible 

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Senior Participates
2.2.4  Greg Jones  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @2.2.2    4 weeks ago

What states are those?

California and New York are blue states.

 
 
 
gooseisgone
Junior Quiet
2.2.5  gooseisgone  replied to  MrFrost @2.2    4 weeks ago
Here, notice anything weird about this graph?

Yeah, where's New York?

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Guide
2.2.6  Sean Treacy  replied to  MrFrost @2.2    4 weeks ago

Here, notice anything weird about this graph? 

Yes, it transparently cherry picks data for partisan purposes. 

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Guide
3  Sean Treacy    4 weeks ago

Millions of others who suffered from covid did not need to suffer…This is really Nero's fiddling while Rome burns."

No, it won't effect his legacy anymore than Wilson's is blemished by the Spanish Flu or Eisenhower's is by the Asian Flu, or Nixon's by the Hong Flu, all of which killed the equivalent of hundreds of thousands of Americans.

Historians who aren't partisan hacks understand what viruses without a cure will do, and know that American Presidents can't stop a virus anymore than the PM of England or the President of France.  

 
 
 
Tessylo
PhD Principal
3.1  Tessylo  replied to  Sean Treacy @3    4 weeks ago

Of course it will effect tRumpTurd's 'legacy' - he's responsible for over 250,000 deaths.  

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
Senior Participates
3.2  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Sean Treacy @3    4 weeks ago
know that American Presidents can't stop a virus anymore than the PM of England or the President of France.  

THEY CAN CERTAINLY SLOW THE SPREAD, TO REDUCE THE DEAD !

 
 
 
Greg Jones
Senior Participates
3.2.1  Greg Jones  replied to  igknorantzrulz @3.2    4 weeks ago

THEY CAN CERTAINLY SLOW THE SPREAD, TO REDUCE THE DEAD !

NO THEY CAN'T

 
 
 
igknorantzrulz
Senior Participates
3.2.2  igknorantzrulz  replied to  Greg Jones @3.2.1    4 weeks ago

spread TRUTH not trump LIES

 
 
 
pat wilson
Professor Guide
3.2.3  pat wilson  replied to  Greg Jones @3.2.1    4 weeks ago
NO THEY CAN'T

Si se puede !

 
 
 
MrFrost
Masters Principal
3.3  MrFrost  replied to  Sean Treacy @3    4 weeks ago

When was the last time the USA saw over 330,000 Americans die in one year from a virus, (or even a war for that matter)? 

Never. 

It's a first. 

291,557 - WWII - 6 years. 

58,000+ - Vietnam - 19 years.

53,502 - WWI - 2 years.

340,000 - Covid-19 - 10 months. 

Historians who aren't partisan hacks understand what viruses without a cure will do

VERY few cures for a viral infection. We don't even have a "cure" for the common flu. We do have vaccines though, which are hit and miss. 

BTW: WWII had a pretty big impact on the legacy of President Truman. 

If you don't think that trump's legacy will be the covid deaths, you're mistaken. Suppose we could tack on golfing, lying, fake investigations and his refusal to admit that he lost. 

It's a long list, none of it good. 

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Guide
3.3.1  Sean Treacy  replied to  MrFrost @3.3    4 weeks ago

When was the last time the USA saw over 330,000 Americans die in one year from a virus, (or even a war for that matter)? 

Never. 

It's a first. 

Of Course it isn't.  675,000 Americans died from the 1918 Spanish  flu. On a per capita basis, that's the equivalent of Two million Americans dying from Covid. in 2020.

As I said, Wilson's legacy isn't blemished by it. You apparently didn't even know it happened. 

RY few cures for a viral infection. We don't even have a "cure" for the common flu. We do have vaccines though, which are hit and miss. 

Yes, exactly. Which is why smart people realize a President isn't responsible for "stopping" a virus that has no cure.  Many humans need certainty and psychologically  require  someone or something to blame because they can't tolerate random or arbitrary events. Blaming the President for a virus is like blaming a witch for a drought.  Same mindset.

TW: WWII had a pretty big impact on the legacy of President Truman. 

Of course it did. Just like World War I has an oversize impact on Wilson's legacy and the virus that killed 675,000 Americans had none. Historians understand what a President can effect, and what he can't.

If you don't think that trump's legacy will be the covid deaths, you're mistaken

I'm sure it will among the ignorant, who don't really understand viruses or the powers of a President and need scape goat  to sooth their simple minds. . Some who know better will do it for partisan reasons. People credit and blame Presidents for all sorts of things they have no control or responsibility over. It's the way of the world. 

 
 
 
pat wilson
Professor Guide
3.3.2  pat wilson  replied to  Sean Treacy @3.3.1    4 weeks ago

In an op-ed for the Washington Post, Beth Cameron, former Senior Director for Global Health Security and Biodefense in the NSC, wrote, “When President Trump took office in 2017, the White House’s National Security Council Directorate for Global Health Security and Biodefense survived the transition intact.

“Its mission was the same as when I was asked to lead the office, established after the Ebola epidemic of 2014: to do everything possible within the vast powers and resources of the U.S. government to prepare for the next disease outbreak and prevent it from becoming an epidemic or pandemic. One year later, I was mystified when the White House dissolved the office, leaving the country less prepared for pandemics like covid-19” ( here ).

 
 
 
Tessylo
PhD Principal
3.3.3  Tessylo  replied to  pat wilson @3.3.2    4 weeks ago

The incompetent negligent turd 'president' also did this:

The Trump Administration Shut a Vaccine Safety Office Last Year. What’s the Plan Now?

The office was dedicated to the long-term safety of vaccines. Experts say plans to track coronavirus vaccines are fragmented and “behind the eight ball.”

President Trump and the Health and Human Services secretary, Alex M. Azar II, who disbanded the National Vaccine Program Office last year. Credit... Al Drago for The New York Times

  • Oct. 23, 2020

As the first coronavirus vaccines arrive in the coming year, government researchers will face a monumental challenge: monitoring the health of hundreds of millions of Americans to ensure the vaccines don’t cause harm.

Purely by chance, thousands of vaccinated people will have heart attacks, strokes and other illnesses shortly after the injections. Sorting out whether the vaccines had anything to do with their ailments will be a thorny problem, requiring a vast, coordinated effort by state and federal agencies, hospitals, drug makers and insurers to discern patterns in a flood of data. Findings will need to be clearly communicated to a distrustful public swamped with disinformation.

For now, Operation Warp Speed, created by the Trump administration to spearhead development of coronavirus vaccines and treatments, is focused on getting vaccines through clinical trials in record time and manufacturing them quickly.

The next job will be to monitor the safety of vaccines once they’re in widespread use. But the administration last year quietly disbanded the office with the expertise for exactly this job, merging it into an office focused on infectious diseases. Its elimination has left that long-term safety effort for coronavirus vaccines fragmented among federal agencies, with no central leadership, experts say.

“We’re behind the eight ball,” said Daniel Salmon, who served as the director of vaccine safety in that office from 2007 to 2012, overseeing coordination during the H1N1 flu pandemic in 2009. ”We don’t even know who’s in charge.”

“It’s like satellites looking at the weather,” said Dr. Bruce Gellin, the president of the Sabin Vaccine Institute, who headed the National Vaccine Program Office from 2002 to 2017.

But monitoring hundreds of millions of Americans who may get different coronavirus vaccines from a variety of drug makers by summer is like tracking a major storm beyond anything researchers have dealt with before.

coronavirus-vaccine-tracker-promo-1600439734668-articleLarge-v38.png

Coronavirus Vaccine Tracker

A look at all the vaccines that have reached trials in humans.

The closest parallel was in the spring of 2009, when a new strain of H1N1 influenza emerged, and researchers raced to make a vaccine. From October 2009 to January 2010, it was administered to over 82 million people in the United States.

As the vaccine was developed, Dr. Gellin and other federal officials and scientists organized a system to monitor the population for severe side effects and to promptly share results with the public. Eleven years later, it looks like the lessons of 2009 are being forgotten, experts say.

“People are vaccinated one day, and the next day they have some bad medical event, and then they scratch their head and say, ‘Well, you know, I was fine until this happened,’” Dr. Gellin said.
In 1990, the C.D.C. set up a new way to track vaccines that didn’t depend on people coming forward. The agency worked with health care organizations to get updates on people’s medical conditions. That system now covers 12 million people. Researchers can use it to look for clusters of symptoms that arise in people who get the same vaccine.

Covid-19 Vaccines ›

Answers to Your Vaccine Questions

With distribution of a coronavirus vaccine beginning in the U.S.,   here are answers to some questions you may be wondering about :

    • If I live in the U.S., when can I get the vaccine?   While the exact order of vaccine recipients may vary by state, most will likely put medical workers and residents of long-term care facilities first. If you want to understand how this decision is getting made,   this article will help.
    • When can I return to normal life after being vaccinated?   Life   will return to normal  only when society as a whole gains enough protection against the coronavirus. Once countries authorize a vaccine, they’ll only be able to vaccinate a few percent of their citizens at most in the first couple months. The unvaccinated majority will still remain vulnerable to getting infected. A growing number of   coronavirus vaccines  are showing robust protection against becoming sick. But it’s also possible for people to spread the virus without even knowing they’re infected because they experience only mild symptoms or none at all. Scientists don’t yet know if the vaccines also block the transmission of the coronavirus. So for the time being, even   vaccinated people will need to wear masks , avoid indoor crowds, and so on. Once enough people get vaccinated, it will become very difficult for the coronavirus to find vulnerable people to infect. Depending on how quickly we as a society achieve that goal, life might start approaching something like   normal by the fall 2021 .
    • If I’ve been vaccinated, do I still need to wear a mask?  Yes, but not forever. Here’s why. The coronavirus vaccines are injected deep into the muscles and stimulate the immune system to produce antibodies. This appears to be enough protection to keep the vaccinated person from getting ill. But what’s not clear is whether it’s possible for the virus to bloom in the nose — and be sneezed or breathed out to infect others — even as antibodies elsewhere in the body have mobilized to prevent the vaccinated person from getting sick. The vaccine clinical trials were designed to determine whether vaccinated people are protected from illness — not to find out whether they could still spread the coronavirus. Based on studies of flu vaccine and even patients infected with Covid-19, researchers have reason to be hopeful that vaccinated people won’t spread the virus, but more research is needed. In the meantime, everyone —   even vaccinated people  — will need to think of themselves as possible silent spreaders and keep wearing a mask.   Read more here.
    • Will it hurt? What are the side effects?   The   Pfizer and BioNTech vaccine  is delivered as a shot in the arm, like other typical vaccines. The injection into your arm won’t feel different than any other vaccine, but the rate of short-lived side effects does appear higher than a flu shot. Tens of thousands of people have already received the vaccines, and none of them have   reported any serious  health problems. The side effects, which can resemble the symptoms of Covid-19, last about a day and appear more likely after the second dose. Early reports from vaccine trials suggest some people might need to take a day off from work because they feel lousy after receiving the second dose. In the Pfizer study, about half developed fatigue. Other side effects occurred in at least 25 to 33 percent of patients, sometimes more, including headaches, chills and muscle pain. While these experiences aren’t pleasant, they are a good sign that your own immune system is mounting a potent response to the vaccine that will provide long-lasting immunity.
    • Will mRNA vaccines change my genes?   No. The vaccines from Moderna and Pfizer   use a genetic molecule to prime the immune system.  That molecule, known as mRNA, is eventually destroyed by the body. The mRNA is packaged in an oily bubble that can fuse to a cell, allowing the molecule to slip in. The cell uses the mRNA to make proteins from the coronavirus, which can stimulate the immune system. At any moment, each of our cells may contain hundreds of thousands of mRNA molecules, which they produce in order to make proteins of their own. Once those proteins are made, our cells then shred the mRNA with special enzymes. The mRNA molecules our cells make can only survive a matter of minutes. The mRNA in vaccines is engineered to withstand the cell's enzymes a bit longer, so that the cells can make extra virus proteins and prompt a stronger immune response. But the mRNA can only last for a few days at most before they are destroyed.

When the H1N1 flu hit in 2009, Dr. Salmon recognized that these methods didn’t track enough people to quickly pick up rare symptoms. He reached out to researchers at Harvard to build a new system, which came to be known as PRISM. Ten states supplied vaccination records, and five health insurance companies shared anonymous information about 38 million members. PRISM then connected the two databases to track insurance claims in the wake of vaccination. “That really gave us a ton of data,” Dr. Salmon said.

The researchers could come up with a background rate of a host of medical conditions. If the H1N1 vaccine was linked to cases that matched the background rate, they could dismiss the symptoms as ordinary. Only if they rose above the background rate would they be considered unusual and warrant a closer look.

Scientists from various federal agencies gathered every two weeks to share data and look for worrying clusters of symptoms. Every month, outside experts reviewed the evidence and released public reports. “Vaccine programs are contingent on trust,” Dr. Gellin said, “and transparency is a huge element of that.”

The vast majority of reports turned out to have nothing to do with the new vaccines. Just a handful of medical conditions required an intensive review. The researchers noticed that some vaccinated people developed a facial weakness called Bell’s palsy, for example, but within two weeks they ruled out vaccines as the cause.

In the following years, as emerging viruses caused outbreaks of Ebola, MERS and other diseases, experts called for more preparations for the next pandemic. In 2016, President Barack Obama set up a global health security office at the National Security Council. But in 2018, the Trump administration disbanded that office, saying it was streamlining bureaucratic bloat.

The next year, the National Vaccine Program Office met a similar fate. Alex M. Azar II, the secretary of health and human services, said in a letter to Senator Patty Murray, the ranking member of a health subcommittee, that the merger, as part of a broader department reorganization, would “increase operational efficiencies by eliminating program redundancies and decreasing program costs.”

doc-100831-aa-to-sen-promo-articleLarge.png

Read the document

The Trump Administration last year shut down an office focused on the long-term safety of vaccines. Experts say plans to track coronavirus vaccines are fragmented and “behind the eight ball.”

The offices were merged “after a study by career staff who recommended to the Assistant Secretary for Health that this was the best way to improve the function of both offices by creating synergies and eliminating stovepipes,” said Admiral Brett Giroir, assistant secretary for health, in a brief statement. “I wholeheartedly concurred with this recommendation because strengthening vaccine effectiveness and confidence and ending the H.I.V. epidemic are two of my most critical priorities. Anyone who is suggesting that we closed this office has no clue what they’re talking about.”

But Dr. Nicole Lurie, who was assistant secretary for preparedness and response at H.H.S. during the 2009 pandemic, said the loss of the vaccine safety office was especially costly once the coronavirus pandemic hit. “The coordinated leadership for stuff like this would likely come from the National Vaccine Program Office,” she said.

Dr. Lurie, now an adviser at the Coalition for Epidemic Preparedness Innovation, has been waiting along with other researchers, month after month, for coordinated leadership to emerge from the federal government on long-term vaccine safety. “There are a whole bunch of people who were really concerned about this,” she said.

An F.D.A. official who declined to be identified said that in the absence of the National Vaccine Program Office, F.D.A. and C.D.C. staff members were relying on relationships they had built across the agencies, meeting regularly to discuss their separate projects.

That leaderless effort concerns Dr. Lurie. “There’s no sort of active coordination to bring all the information together,” she said.

On Thursday, an expert from the C.D.C. and another from the F.D.A. gave presentations about monitoring systems at a meeting of the F.D.A.’s vaccine advisory committee. One system will use smartphone apps to stay in touch with health and other essential workers after their vaccinations. Another will look at a database of electronic health records and insurance claims, and yet another will use Centers for Medicare & Medicaid data to track people over 65.

Although each system may reveal important clues, they have limits that worry outside experts. Dr. Steven Black, the co-director of the Global Vaccine Data Network, observed that the Medicare system only registers billing information, resulting in a time lag. “The patient has to get into the hospital, leave the hospital and a bill needs to be sent,” he said.

The other systems can provide safety information much faster, but they’re small compared with the PRISM system, which now covers about 60 million people. The F.D.A. still uses PRISM for drug safety research, but not for vaccines. Dr. Salmon is baffled that the agency hasn’t tapped into it again. “Why would you not use that?” he asked. (An agency spokeswoman said it might use PRISM in the future should the need arise.) 

The F.D.A. official said the agencies were still building lists of symptoms they plan to track closely. The C.D.C.’s list includes conditions like strokes and seizures. But it is also including entirely new conditions the coronavirus causes, like Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome, which affects many organs at once.

The agencies are searching the scientific literature to estimate the background rates of these outcomes. But Dr. Salmon warned that lockdowns and other disruptions have made some conditions more common and others less so. Comparing the health of vaccinated people with that of people from before the pandemic may set off false alarms.

Dr. Salmon and other researchers are concerned that no overarching plan for communicating findings to the public has emerged. The F.D.A. official said the agency would post its updates on its website. A C.D.C. committee will get safety data from the agencies and discuss the results at public meetings.

But that may fall short of what’s needed to foster public confidence. A   poll   conducted earlier this month by Stat and The Harris Poll found that 58 percent of Americans said they would get vaccinated as soon as a vaccine was available, down from 69 percent in August.

The explosion of disinformation on social media will make clear communication vital. “I think that preparing for Russian disinformation campaigns should be part of preparing for the rollout of a Covid vaccine,” said Steven Wilson, a political scientist at Brandeis University.

Dr. Grace Lee, a professor at the Stanford University School of Medicine and a member of the C.D.C. committee, agreed that such preparations were urgent, but said they were beyond the committee’s scope: “A national communication strategy and plan is much needed.”

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Guide
3.3.4  Sean Treacy  replied to  pat wilson @3.3.2    4 weeks ago

So what?  Unless you are claiming the office had a vaccine to a disease it didn’t know existed, it wouldn’t have had any real life Effect on the virus spread. 

look around.  After nine months the spread is worse than it’s ever been in states like California because governmental intervention has little to no effect. 

 
 
 
dennis smith
Senior Silent
3.3.5  dennis smith  replied to  Sean Treacy @3.3.4    4 weeks ago

Local government had the opportunity to intervene, some did worse than others thus the high death counts.

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
3.4  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  Sean Treacy @3    4 weeks ago
Historians who aren't partisan hacks understand what viruses without a cure will do, and know that American Presidents can't stop a virus anymore than the PM of England or the President of France.  

How many previous presidents who were facing a virus held self-serving press conferences every day for months at which they paraded out clowns like the My Pillow Guy whose role was to tell the president how wonderful he was?  There isn't a chance in hell that Trump will be seen favorably by history. You know that. You just would rather argue with the "libs" than admit to the malignant farce Trump has presided over in this country for years. 

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Guide
3.4.1  Sean Treacy  replied to  JohnRussell @3.4    4 weeks ago
vious presidents who were facing a virus held self-serving press conferences every day for months at wh

So what? His blathering had zero effect on the course of the virus. 

here isn't a chance in hell that Trump will be seen favorably by histor

The virus will have zero impact on that 

 
 
 
Tacos!
PhD Guide
4  Tacos!    4 weeks ago
He was largely responsible for the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans who did not need to die,"

There is no cause-and-effect connection that can be made to justify this wild claim. It can be argued that the president could have done certain things differently or better. I have held that position myself from the beginning. But I don't see evidence that his actions directly resulted in "hundreds of thousands" of American deaths. Thousands? Possibly. But hundreds of thousands? No way.

We've lost over 300 thousand. By saying "hundreds of thousands" you are attributing at least 200 thousands of those deaths to Trump. That's not rational.

The accusation makes it sound as if there is something unique about Trump. i.e., But for Trump, rates of infection and death would be far lower. Not just a little bit lower, but something like 60% or 70% lower at minimum to get to "hundreds of thousands." There is no data to suggest that is a reasonable assumption.

According to Johns Hopkins, the US Deaths per population , is high, but surpassed by the UK, Spain, and Italy. The Case-Fatality ratio is surpassed by 17 countries , including places like the UK, France, Canada, and Germany. None of those countries are led by Trump.

There are probably a lot of reasons why deaths in America are so high. Some we can reasonably speculate about and some which may be completely unknown. Only blind partisanship can put all of them at the feet of Trump.

 
 
 
MrFrost
Masters Principal
4.1  MrFrost  replied to  Tacos! @4    4 weeks ago
There is no cause-and-effect connection that can be made to justify this wild claim.

Masks and social distancing obviously work, which is proven when you compare deaths in blue states and red states, (see the link above). Trump never did endorse mask wearing because he doesn't want to wear one, (said himself he would look, "silly"), so his supporters refused to wear them, which spreads covid around. 

 
 
 
JohnRussell
Professor Principal
4.1.1  seeder  JohnRussell  replied to  MrFrost @4.1    4 weeks ago

No one could objectively look at Donald Trump over the past year and possibly believe he responded appropriately to the pandemic. 

It can't be done. 

Yet of course his lackeys and sheeplings will do what they can. 

Trump was allegedly our national leader in a time of deep crisis, and he acted like the whole thing was an imposition on him. History will be brutal to this guy. 

 
 
 
MrFrost
Masters Principal
4.1.2  MrFrost  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.1    4 weeks ago

True. He spent MONTHS lying about it, (Woodward tapes prove that), golfing and downplaying it. 

Like you said, there is simply NO WAY to justify trumps response, (or lack of), to covid. 

 
 
 
bugsy
Masters Guide
4.1.3  bugsy  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.1    4 weeks ago

John, you need to find a new schtick. This one is done and over.

 
 
 
Tessylo
PhD Principal
4.1.4  Tessylo  replied to  bugsy @4.1.3    4 weeks ago

Bugs, you need to find a new schtick.  This one is done and over.  

 
 
 
Tessylo
PhD Principal
4.1.5  Tessylo  replied to  MrFrost @4.1.2    4 weeks ago
"True. He spent MONTHS lying about it, (Woodward tapes prove that), golfing and downplaying it.  Like you said, there is simply NO WAY to justify trumps response, (or lack of), to covid."

The traitorous tRumpTurd also allowed his already wealthy benefactors to profit off of the incoming virus/crisis

 
 
 
FLYNAVY1
Junior Expert
4.1.6  FLYNAVY1  replied to  bugsy @4.1.3    4 weeks ago

This isn't a schtick bugsy..... people have needlessly died because of a lack of leadership starting at your savior Trump.

 
 
 
Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom
Professor Guide
4.1.7  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom  replied to  bugsy @4.1.3    4 weeks ago
John, you need to find a new schtick. This one is done and over.

Trump lost, so get over it.  You are the one that needs a new schtick.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Guide
4.1.8  Sean Treacy  replied to  MrFrost @4.1    4 weeks ago
asks and social distancing obviously work, which is proven when you compare deaths in blue states and red states,

Oh.. That explains why four of the five states with the most covid deaths yesterday were blue states.  

 
 
 
Tessylo
PhD Principal
4.1.9  Tessylo  replied to  Sean Treacy @4.1.8    4 weeks ago

Is Florida a blue state?  NO.

 
 
 
Sean Treacy
Professor Guide
4.1.10  Sean Treacy  replied to  Tessylo @4.1.9    4 weeks ago
s Florida a blue state?  NO

Florida was ninth yesterday in daily deaths. And since the beginning of the pandemic is below the national average in deaths per capita. 

 
 
 
bugsy
Masters Guide
4.1.11  bugsy  replied to  FLYNAVY1 @4.1.6    4 weeks ago
people have needlessly died because of a lack of leadership starting at your savior Trump.

No, people needlessly died because of personal choices. I know you think Trump and the government should have held every single person in this country hand, but unfortunately for the left, it doesn't work like that.

 
 
 
bugsy
Masters Guide
4.1.12  bugsy  replied to  Sister Mary Agnes Ample Bottom @4.1.7    4 weeks ago
Trump lost, so get over it.

Why?

You and millions of other liberals have not yet gotten over Hillary's loss, hence the 4 years of constant whining and TDS.

 
 
 
Paula Bartholomew
Masters Guide
4.1.13  Paula Bartholomew  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.1    4 weeks ago

Yet one of the magats here did a seed on his excellent handling of the pandemic.  Never once has Trump acknowledged the death of thousands or done jack shit regarding preventable measures..  His priority was low flow shower heads and ripping out the renovations by Melania at Mar A Largo.

 
 
 
bugsy
Masters Guide
4.1.14  bugsy  replied to  Paula Bartholomew @4.1.13    4 weeks ago

What does this have to do with your post telling me to get over it. I answered you accordingly and correctly, and you deflect to something someone else posted.

You failed.

 
 
 
dennis smith
Senior Silent
4.1.15  dennis smith  replied to  MrFrost @4.1    4 weeks ago

It is up to the states to implement protocols for their citizens. Blaming Trump for their failure to do so is nonsense.

 
 
 
dennis smith
Senior Silent
4.1.16  dennis smith  replied to  JohnRussell @4.1.1    4 weeks ago

And governors are allegedly our state leaders whose failures are being blamed on Trump.

Trump supplied them with ventilators, masks gowns, hospital ships, field hospitals, military medical personnel, warp speed vaccine etc and states Covid numbers are still going up. 

 
 
 
Kavika
Professor Principal
5  Kavika     4 weeks ago

In the last two days, we have had a record number of deaths from COVID. Bunker Boy was spent the time whining and lying about losing and playing golf. Not a fricking word about the deaths. In fact, since his loss on November 3rd he has done nothing but whine, lie, file lawsuits and play golf. No leadership at all, it's all about him and always has been. 

Make all the excuses in the world for his lack of performance it's all bullshit.

 
 
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