We're past the point of questioning the validity of the actions our local, state and federal governments have taken in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, we're definitely at the time where our leadership needs to explain the exit strategy for these actions.

It's unrealistic to expect our society and economy to stop for 12 to 18 months in the hopes of a vaccine. Given that, what are the next steps and when should they be taken? I've heard the point of the measures that have been taken are to "flatten the infection curve" and keep from overwhelming the health care system with intensive care patients.

That's a great starting point for the government to provide us information — what is it doing to expand the health care system's capacity (both in terms of infrastructure and supplies) and how can we assess its results? I would expect the quarantine-lite that we're in now should be lifting proportionately with the success of the increased health care system capacity.

Hopefully, we will start to receive the kind of meaningful information that we need in order to see a return to a more functional society.

Paul Schnitger

Galveston

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(29) comments

domenico nuckols

Please do not listen to Dr. President Trump. His only concern is himself and money. Evaluate what the health care professionals say. Take what Dr. Anthony Faui, MD says a gospel. He has been with NIH since 1968. Please ignore what comes out of Austin.

Carlos Ponce

"Take what Dr. Anthony Faui, MD says a gospel." Good, because Doctor Fauci agrees with President Trump and President Trump agrees with Dr. Fauci.

"The president has listened to what I've said and to the other people who are on the task force have said. When I've made recommendations, he has taken them. He has never countered, overwritten me." - Dr Anthony Fauci in an interview with Vince Coglianese on the radio show "Mornings on the Mall".

domenico, can you put your hatred of President Trump on the shelf for the duration? Your statement make you look foolish and contradicts reality. Now take a chill pill and turn off the fake news.

Dr. Fauci has a message for you, "I would wish that would stop because we have a much bigger problem here than trying to point out differences. They're really fundamentally at the core when you look at things, they are not differences."

Dalton Logan

[thumbup]

Jim Forsythe

Now is the time for a leader to lead. A leader lets the experts tell us what is going on. If a leader does not know, they should not commit. Now is not the time for wrong information.

"Trump is clinging to his feeling that a malaria drug widely available could be the answer-in-waiting to an outbreak spreading around the nation, shutting down major parts of the economy, and posing the biggest challenge he has faced as president." "Fauci insists that science is not yet there to validate Trump's hope."

When asked about using a drug for a different use than it has been approved. His answer is not the same as Trump says.

"Fauci took the reporter's question and got right to the point. “No,” he said. “The answer ... is no. The information that you're referring to specifically is anecdotal,” Fauci added firmly. “It was not done in a controlled clinical trial, so you really can't make any definitive statement about it.” Fauci called the hydroxychloroquine evidence “anecdotal” and made it clear that wasn't how the science works.

"Fauci said that even with all deliberate speed a vaccine could take a year to 18 months, Trump told a political rally one could be ready “relatively soon." Trump assured the public that coronavirus tests were rapidly becoming available,

Fauci at a congressional hearing said the lack of widespread testing was “a failing” of the system.

Although Fauci has publicly supported Trump's travel restrictions to try to keep the virus out, he warned the worst was coming even as Trump suggested the crisis was under good control.

Carlos Ponce

"Now is not the time for wrong information." The information given by Trump is not wrong. The president and the doctor do not contradict each other as Liberal pundits suggest. As the doctor said, "They're really fundamentally at the core when you look at things, they are not differences."

Let me put it simply: Dr Fauci would like to see more data on the use of these drugs. President Trump says anecdotal accounts look promising. The two statements are not contradictory.

Gary Miller

Ditto Carlos

domenico nuckols

Drink the kool aide. Won’t hear from me until we get a real president

Carlos Ponce

You are more than welcome to post, domenico. I enjoy a good laugh.[beam][beam]

Jim Forsythe

Fauci. “It was not done in a controlled clinical trial, so you really can't make any definitive statement about it.”

Fauci called the hydroxychloroquine evidence “anecdotal” and made it clear that wasn't how the science works.

"One of the drugs President Trump has touted as a potential "game-changer" to treat COVID-19 is a vital medication for patients with lupus. However, the drug — hydroxychloroquine — has not been clinically tested or approved to treat coronavirus, and the nation's top infectious disease expert says there is no evidence it is effective."

Doctors are now hoarding the drug for themselves and their families, that people with lupus need. It now is in short supply because of a premature commit by Trump.

Carlos Ponce

“It was not done in a controlled clinical trial, so you really can't make any definitive statement about it.” It's NOW being done in a controlled clinical trial. SATISFIED, JIM? It is currently being mass produced to satisfy the need by the Mylan plant in Morgantown, West Virginia and also manufactured in Israel by Teva who has supplied the United States with MILLIONS of pills.

https://www.timesofisrael.com/teva-to-send-us-millions-of-malaria-pills-with-potential-to-help-covid-19/

Jim Forsythe

Until it is out of the trial, it is not approved to be used for non approved reasons. This will take some time to make sure it is used safely.

Patricia C Newsom

The malaria drug cocktail (malaria + 1 or 2 other drugs used in conjunction) has not been approved in the US for this virus. However, in a statement by the president within the past week, he said it can now be used as an “off label” drug. Meaning a doctor can administer the malaria drug cocktail to a patient if patient and doctor agree to this treatment.

Carlos Ponce

That's better than Jim Forsythe's alternative - DEATH.

Jim Forsythe

Until it is out of the trial, it is not approved to be used for non approved reasons

Carlos Ponce

"Until it is out of the trial, it is not approved to be used for non approved reasons" -people will DIE. I'm glad you are not a doctor.

Jim Forsythe

You keep saying that I want people to die. Nowhere did I say that.

I want drugs that are used, to be safe.

Carlos Ponce

"Until it is out of the trial, it is not approved to be used for non approved reasons."

What's the alternative to taking these drugs under a doctor's supervision????

DEATH! DEATH! DEATH!!!!!!!!!

Gary Miller

The drug in question has been tested as safe for human use almost a hundred years. Many DR's are using it with good results and no problems. The drug testing bureaucracy wants a long and COSTLY test. Long and costly is the operative not proving it's safety for an off label use. If DR's are hording it I'll bet they think it works. The company making it has increased production.

Jim Forsythe

The following is one of the reasons why the FDA is strict about making sure a drug has gone through clinical trials.

Off label use can lead to unforeseen adverse drug reactions.

"Thalidomide first entered the German market in 1957 as an over-the-counter remedy, based on the maker’s safety claims. They advertised their product as “completely safe” for everyone, including mother and child, “even during pregnancy,” as its developers “could not find a dose high enough to kill a rat.” By 1960, thalidomide was marketed in 46 countries, with sales nearly matching those of aspirin. Around this time, Australian obstetrician Dr. William McBride discovered that the drug also alleviated morning sickness. He started recommending this off-label use of the drug to his pregnant patients, setting a worldwide trend.

However, this practice can also lead to a more prevalent occurrence of unanticipated, and often serious, adverse drug reactions. In 1961, McBride began to associate this so-called harmless compound with severe birth defects in the babies he delivered. The drug interfered with the babies' normal development, causing many of them to be born with phocomelia, resulting in shortened, absent, or flipper-like limbs. A German newspaper soon reported 161 babies were adversely affected by thalidomide, leading the makers of the drug—who had ignored reports of the birth defects associated with it—to finally stop distribution within Germany. Other countries followed suit and, by March of 1962, the drug was banned in most countries where it was previously sold."

Carlos Ponce

Like Gary pointed out, the drug in question has been approved for use in the United States since 1945 for other diseases such as malaria and lupus. Side effects are known for consuming mass quantities in the area of 2 grams or more. The recommended dosage is in mg (milligrams) not grams.

Coronavirus attacks the elderly well beyond the child bearing age. So don't give it to pregnant grandmas.

Jim Forsythe

Thalidomide was ok until it was not. Clinical trials are to keep us from repeating what has happened in the past, unforeseen side effects. "the drug — hydroxychloroquine — has not been clinically tested or approved to treat coronavirus, and the nation's top infectious disease expert says there is no evidence it is effective." Until it is proven safe for use for coronavirus, anyone prescribing it for coronavirus is taking a chance with the liability laws.

As many Grandmaws giveing birth, it is important to be safe.

"A 67-year-old woman has given birth to a baby girl who she and her husband was naturally conceived. So yes it is important for Grandmaws and others to be careful."

Carlos Ponce

"A 67-year-old woman has given birth to a baby girl" That report came from China and is anecdotal at best. Tian, a retired doctor who’d worked at the same hospital in the Shandong region was taking fertility treatments.

Jim Forsythe

Evenif you say is true, she is still a Greadmother.

Carlos Ponce

Anecdotal at best. Hardly worth mentioning.

Harvey Mueller

So we're doomed. Nothing can be done because it has never been done. I do not agree with that doomsday thinking.

Why is there anecdotal evidence that chloroquine has provided relief for some people with severe cases? Someone was willing to try it In the absence of approved drug regimen and no alternatives. Got it. Before adding it to the approved drug regimen, it should go through clinical trials. How many people have severe reactions to some drugs .. even those that have undergone clinical trials. It is not a failsafe system.

Carlos Ponce

It has been said that if aspirin had to undergo modern clinical trials it probably would not be considered an over-the-counter medication, available by prescription only.

Brian Tamney

Jim, every pool float you buy says not to be used as a lifesaving device, so by your way of thinking if i take you n100 miles offshore and throw you overboard without a lifejacket and throw in an inflatable swan, you will not geab onto it because it is not to be used as a lifesaving device?? i think not.

Jim Forsythe

Brian, anyone that gets the virus will get treatment at this time. If some are bad enough, they could be placed in a clinical trial.

The black swan event you are talking about should never happen. Coast guard requires you to have lifejackets, and most would never leave the dock without the number required. Unless you are a captain that does not follow the law.

The same is true with these drugs. It is required that if a doctor gives them off script they must have approval. The approval is required for the safety of all.

The two drugs that most are talking about have many side effects when taken for what they are made for. Once you go off script, new side effect may happen.

I'm sure you read about the man that took fish tank cleaner because he was under the impression that it had the same ingredients as these drugs. That's bad enough, but he also gave it to his wife who the last I read was still in the hospital. To top that off, this product is now hard to find because other people are buying it in masses.

Harvey Mueller

This whole thread has strayed from the original topic brought up by Paul Schnitger.

DoD. Definition of Done. It's the very heart of every project and is often ignored. When can we say the statewide shutdown has served it's purpose and we can get back to our daily lives. Is it no new cases in a week? 25% decline in number of new cases? Will it be over Apr 3 as per the original order? Could it be extended? None of this was included when the shutdowns were ordered by Harris Co, city of Galveston or by the Governor. No one is addressing what it takes to get back to normal. What criteria needs to be met? What criteria can cause an extension?

The response from authorities is wash your hands and social distancing. The fear and hoarding is due to uncertainty. Definition of Done again. When are we done? We don't know and there's nothing written to tell us when we are done. It is time to have those conversations.

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