I decided to update a few small errors in here today, add updated stats, and add a few more things I wanted to say and left out.(April 11, 2020)
(This post is now public, please feel free to share)
Dear Mr. President,
I am writing this letter to you on behalf of 12.8 million, blue collar Americans like myself that work in the American manufacturing industry. In other words, 8.5% of the entire workforce that drives your economy and might I add, most of which voted you in as the 45th President of The United States of America in November of 2016.
A lot has changed in that seemingly short amount of time. I, at that time(2016), viewed you as a breath of fresh air in the American political forefront. I spent many years since turning 18, going back and forth between leaning left and leaning right only to feel completely forgotten by the end of each administration I voted for. Nonetheless, I never have really affixed myself to either major American political party, I have always voted on merit. Then you and all the hard charging conservatives came along and struck a bit of awe into everyone. The choice was pretty clear between you or Mrs. Clinton. So I became an avid supporter/defender of your every move and every word and I was one of the 60 million plus that went out and cast a vote for Donald Trump in November of 2016, and I have staunchly supported you ever since despite many distasteful and idiotic moments.
Then, in late 2019, the world as we know it became undone by a virus, covid-19 as we now know it. It has been alleged that this originated in China during late November, early December of 2019. Wuhan was the main epicenter in China for the virus. Just over a month after the first few cases in Wuhan, Chinese authorities put an aggressive lockdown in place, which wasn't lifted for 76 days. The most interesting part of this aspect is the Chinese numbers. Officially they have listed 80,000+ cases confirmed, of which 3,300+ people perished from. There's three reasons anyone with a brain would understand as to why these numbers aren't true. First and foremost, when have we ever been able to trust the Chinese government? They always have remained defiant in saying no one died in Tiananmen Square either, while first hand reports from Chinese nationals recall thousands being slaughtered. Second, look at pollution maps from the time of the lockdown. Wuhan's incinerators were running 24/7 for an extended period of time, which is clearly visible on pollution maps showing the massive releases of sulfur dioxide gas, which is in relation to human cremation. Third, which puts it into perspective. Wuhan has some 6-7 funeral homes according to reports. Families have been lined up outside them non stop each day for weeks now to retrieve ashes of loved ones that succumbed to the virus, at a rate of 500 urns a day, per funeral home according to reports. I am no math teacher but that equation would seemingly have an end result of more than 3,300 dead.
Now let's do a small timeline here:
January 21, 2020
1st confirmed case of covid-19 in the USA
January 30, 2020
W.H.O. declares a global health emergency
February 26, 2020
1st local transmission cases recorded in the USA
February 29, 2020
1st US death due to covid-19
March 3, 2020
CDC finally lifts testing restriction parameters for the virus
March 11, 2020
W.H.O. declares covid-19 a pandemic
March 13, 2020
(Trump) You, declared a national emergency
March 15, 2020
CDC warns against large gatherings
(Trump) you and your team laid out the guidelines for social distancing
March 17, 2020
Covid-19 present within all 50 states in the United States of America (less than 2 months since the very first case in the USA)
March 30, 2020
(Trump) you and your team announced another 30 days to stop the spread, after stating on March 15, that we had 15 days to stop the spread.
Mind you this is a span of over two months now, and quickly approaching 3 months of little to no real action to combat this.
During this time, China, India, France, Spain, Italy, and many other countries have imposed strict nationwide lockdowns. Which, albeit their numbers are still grim, have however shown success in getting this to plateau and level off, and then decline. Imposing such measures in these places potentially saved thousands more lives. You could easily estimate that their death toll would have been many times higher had these measures not been taken.
In America we are leaving the course of action up to the state governments, which in a lot of cases already, acted too late to have much effect.
As of April 7, 2020
All but 8 states have issued stay at home orders. (All republican controlled mind you) 3 months almost after the first case and we still have 8 defiant governors refusing to take a good bit of action to limit spread.
Now let's start getting into the meat of the problem at hand I am writing to you about.
On March 26, 2020
Dr. Fauci recommended a national lockdown of 3 weeks at least during an interview. In that same interview, Dr. Fauci agreed that a national lockdown would be far more effective than state by state orders. Dr. Fauci also noted that states have significant leeway “to make their own decision” in this situation and questioned strongly some of the stay at home exemptions being allowed in each state. “I can't make any official proclamations here, but I can say: really, seriously consider this, are those exemptions appropriate when you think about what is going on?” Fauci said. “And I urge the people of the leadership at the state level to really take a close look at those kinds of decisions.”
It's also worth noting in that same interview Dr. Fauci states that President Trump is considering a domestic travel ban but no decision has been made as of yet. I'd like to add there are still no such measures in place.
New models have projected anywhere in between the loss of 100,000-240,000 American lives from the virus. Let's talk about these numbers for a minute. Currently the estimated global regular CFR (case fatality rate) is somewhere in between 2-6% and that is with China's obviously flawed numbers and dependant on equation of use. The regular CFR rate equation is deaths / overall cases. There are several others that use ornate estimations as well for infection rates and several other factors.
Now I want to add something at this point for those of you who think that sounds like a low number. the 1918 influenza pandemic is estimated to have had a case-fatality ratio of less than 5% but had an enormous impact due to widespread transmission, so there is no room for complacency.
The most concerning equation however is one back building method to determine CFR(which is seemingly appropriate in this case considering the onset of symptoms in a severe case can persist up to two weeks, sometimes more, before it becomes fatal) recognized by the American Journal of Epidemiology. The equation of CFR used in this case = deaths / (deaths + recovered)
which, with the latest data available(April 11th, 2020), would be equal to:
108,822 / (108,822 + 404,029) = 21% CFR (worldwide)
If we now exclude cases in mainland China, using current data on deaths and recovered cases, we get:
105,483 / (105,483 + 326,454) = 24.4% CFR (outside of mainland China)
Time from first symptoms to death in severe cases is around 14 days on average, thus why you cannot use traditional equations of overall deaths divided by overall cases because that is actually a representation of an earlier point where the case load was lower. Also worth noting you can be asymptomatic or presymptomatic for 3-5 days adding further to the lag. And lastly, CDC has estimated 10% of carriers to be asymptomatic.
But it is also worth noting, CFR is at this time always going to fluctuate, and likely to decrease as more information becomes available with mild and asymptomatic cases, but how much is the question? Several recent outbreaks had intial, midway point of cases, and end of outbreak total numbers that varied overall by 6-7% depending on equation used.
As of April 11, 2020
There is 1.7+ million global cases and climbing
In America alone:
500,000+ confirmed cases
In a few short weeks we could easily eclipse 1,000,000 and still be climbing and it will continue to climb without further action.
Let's look statistically at several different countries and their rates as of April 7, 2020
Back building CFR not adjusted or estimated
41%, regular CFR 12.5%
Back building CFR not adjusted or estimated
37%, regular CFR 12.8%
Back building CFR not adjusted or estimated
24.5%, regular CFR 10%
All of which enacted strict nationwide lockdowns quickly after the onset of cases. That is very grim when you look at what the United States of America has done in comparison.
So let's do another statistical exercise with the United States of America numbers as of April 11, 2020
Current cases - 500,000+
The recommended rate to multiply to estimate reproduction of the virus per confirmed infected individual is 3.3
500,000 X 3.3 = 1,650,000 potential cases
750,000 X 3.3 = 2,475,000 potential cases
1,000,000 X 3.3 = 3,300,000 potential cases
2,000,000 X 3.3 = 6,600,000 potential cases
It only gets worse from there
Now take the aforementioned (in order) reduced to the 30% and 20% hospitalization rates
30% rate/20% in parentheses.
150,000 potential hospitalizations at 500,000 cases (100,000 at 20%)
225,000 potential hospitalizations at 750,000 cases (150,000 at 20%)
300,000 potential hospitalizations at 1,000,000 cases (200,000 at 20%)
450,000 potential hospitalizations at 1,500,000 cases (300,000 at 20%)
Worth quickly noting that 10 - 15% of hospitalizations become fatal.
It will be before this point that the hospital system becomes overloaded considering the layout of hospitals here in America. More in major cities, less in metro and rural areas. Let me address that quickly.
There are an estimated 728,000 hospital beds available in America or 2.2 beds per 1,000 population. 36% of which are typically occupied on any given day leaving 465,920 available beds or a rate of 0.8 beds per 1,000 population. It's not a matter of if at this point, but when we reach this point things will get extremely bad. Not to mention the repercussions this will inevitably have for healthcare nationwide taking on this type of case load. Now, consider that reproduction rate of 3.3 which gives you your potential cases per infected. When you add that to these numbers the picture becomes very grim.
And this is just the first wave, estimates have a vaccine anywhere between 8-16 months out still as well.
Now, if all of that wasn't enough, let's get to the real meat of the problem that I began writing this letter about. Let's talk about that number that I represent. 12.8 million manufacturing workers that for the majority, have been deemed essential for the stay at home orders. Let's use my little hometown as a perfect way to paint this picture. Rock Island, Illinois. Population - 38,000+. It is a part of the greater Quad Cities metro area which has a population of 383,600+. It has been less than three weeks since the illinois stay at home orders, Iowa unfortunately still has yet to do so.
In the last 3 weeks we have seen:
1 case confirmed at the manufacturing plant located on Aresenal Island, operating station of the US Army. (in between Moline, IL and Davenport, IA.
1 case confirmed at the Exelon nuclear power plant in Cordova, IL
1 case confirmed at John Deere Dubuque Works in Dubuque, IA that halted production for several days
1-4 cases confirmed at Arconic manufacturing plant in Bettendorf, IA which caused production delays and mass panic
1 case confirmed at Cattleman's meat market in East Moline, IL which lead them to close both locations indefinitely. Also, it is a personal friend of mine which angers me even more.
4 cases confirmed amongst paramedics at ADM ambulatory services in Dubuque, IA
1 case confirmed at John Deere Cylinder Division in Moline, IL which halted production for several days and staff was sent back on a staggered schedule
1 confirmed case on an ironworker crew that is a part of the I74 bridge project that halted production for a week
24-30+ confirmed cases at Tyson Foods in Columbus Junction, IA.
Less. Than. Three. Weeks.
You have 45 confirmed cases within workplaces deemed essential. Now take the reproduction multiplier of 3.3 and that number becomes a potential 148.5 cases
Essential, we may be, but how is one supposed to protect their loved ones being forced into a great unknown of working conditions with this virus everyday?
No one, I repeat, no one is “safe at home” if there is an “essential” employee(s) living in their household.
So many businesses also have outright lied to remain open under the stay at home orders. Bending the stipulations and the grey areas to do so. It's not in my interest to name names because we all have a job to do but I do know of multiple companies currently operating in this area that are not providing vital parts necessary to any customer, company, or other sources for their current operations. Most places still working are building equipment that is still some time away from even being commissioned into operation, or building equipment that is already in abundance world wide. How is this essential?
You have companies giving what equates to “hush money” in the form of “bonuses” for their employees to maintain quiet about anything that could be potentially happening within their business. I guess throwing money at the walking dead is supposed to make us happy? I got news for you, all that money stays here to rot when my body goes into that casket and into the cold ground.
Most smaller companies cannot even provide an adequate and safe way to continue operations while maintaining social distancing orders. Nor can they provide basic sanitation essentials to keep our areas clean and ourselves as safe as possible. Most also aren't even following the CDC guidelines other than having a meeting and putting a few posts up about them, there is zero enforcement going on for the most part. And now with the CDC recommendations of a cloth face mask many companies are scrambling to even provide that for us.
At my workplace alone there have been 5 individuals already that have had to quarantine, thankfully no positive tests, yet. That is out of just over 50 workers total. But we have been told multiple times we are at a low risk for virus spread where we work. Yet we share all the same common areas, break room, locker room, bathroom and work areas.
Now, the worst two parts for myself specifically, and many others out there currently reading this.
My wife is immunosuppressed, instead of her workplace accommodating her to work from home until this is over, she is being forced into a small office with multiple other co workers within close proximity of each other 3 times a week still.
She is horrified and frightened by the thought of our daughter being without a mother because of ill thought and negligent ideas like this during an ongoing global health crisis.
And lastly, there is my daughter. She has a pretty decent case of asthma, which also makes her at risk too. How am I to keep my 11 year old daughter, the future of this great nation, safe from all of this when both of her parents are being forced out into these conditions daily?
The economy should NEVER supersede the aforementioned, EVER. The economy can and will be fixed in due time. There is no fix however, for two dead parents of a scared 11 year old that doesn't understand the whole situation.
Mr. President, I am begging and pleading with you to do the right thing. Listen to Dr. Fauci. We need to heed his advice and go on at least, a three week national lockdown. I'm tired of hearing the excuse of the Constitution and the economy as to why we are not, the purpose of both is to ensure the best life possible for every American. We are not doing that by continuing forward with little action in these trying times. Grocery stores, gas stations, banks, hospitals, emergency services, energy and media providers (direct only) should be the only essential businesses currently open, PERIOD.
If we do not take these aggressive and hard actions Mr. President, I guarantee a main chunk of your voters in 2016 will be riddled by this virus (I.E. the 12.8 million factory workers whom I am writing this letter for)
Rest assured Mr. President, we are watching your every move closely at this time and will continue to do so. We are taking down names and we will never, EVER forget any inactions taken during this time that is directly leading to the endangerment of our livelihoods. Rest assured that will lead to severe ramifications in November if you continue this course, you and many other lawmakers and representatives, both Democrat and Republican will feel the fury of the voter first hand
We, the American workers are a resilient bunch Mr. President. We laugh at a challenge and we succeed in overcoming all obstacles. Even with a small time off Mr. President I assure you, we the people, will lift this damn economy on our shoulders and take it back to it's glory all by ourselves. But we can only do so if you give us a fighting chance to survive in the first place. Do the right thing before it's too late. Thank you for taking the time to read this sir, God bless, and Godspeed.
Jakob R Krouth
Rock Island, Illinois.