Updated again on April 20, 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 and forecasts 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 (see graph at end of article), which is in relation to human cremation. Third, which puts it into perspective. Wuhan has 8 funeral homes according to reports. Families have been lined up outside them non stop each day for a week to a week and a half 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.
Update: China has since added 1,200 deaths to their overall total as of April 20, 2020.
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 (mind you we had 1,700 cases and 40 confirmed deaths at this point)
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. (At this point we had 153,000 confirmed cases and 2,800 deaths)
Mind you this is a span of over two months now, and quickly approaching 3. We had almost 2 months to somewhat prepare before you declared a national emergency. To be quite blunt, this started making world headlines in late December/very early January, so 3 months to "logically" prepare.
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. Also it is worth noting that we haven't even been completely inundated with this yet. The majority of our deaths and cased are mainly from less than 9 states. Now with all 50 states, and affiliated territories having reported cases it is also worth noting there is only 12 states and or territories that have less than 1,000 cases. This is going to almost create a situation of a continuous wave effect due to rural areas of the country just now starting to see their numbers rise.
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.
As of April 20, 2020
There is now an effort for multiple states to start rapidly reopening businesses, restaurants and schools.
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. (See graph at the end) 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) (please see link at the end of the article for better description)
which, with the latest data available (April 20, 2020) would be equal to:
170,456 / (170,456 + 652,093) = 21% CFR (worldwide)
If we now exclude cases in mainland China, using current data on deaths and recovered cases, we get:
165,824 / (165,824 + 574,970) = 22.4% 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. (WHO just announced they think 25% can be asymptomatic. Undetermined if true at this time however.)
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 of SARS and MERS had intial, midway point of cases, and end of outbreak total numbers that varied overall by 6-9% depending on equation used compared to the final numbers when those outbreaks subsided.
As of April 20, 2020
There is 2.4+ million global cases and climbing
170,000+ dead (was 108,000 on April 7, 2020 my last edit to this letter)
In America alone:
798,000+ confirmed cases
Back building CFR not estimated or adjusted 36.8% and a straight up CFR of 5.2% (now keep in mind the infection rate here in America as well as the lag in onset of symptoms thus why you have such a difference in these two equations right now)
Also worth noting only around 1% of the population has been tested due to shortage of overall test availability.
In the next month we could easily eclipse 1,000,000 and still be climbing and it will continue to climb without further action, especially now that several states are introducing plans to reopen everything as quickly as possible.
Let's look statistically at several different countries and their rates as of April 20, 2020
Back building CFR not adjusted or estimated
32.8 %, regular CFR 13.2%
Back building CFR not adjusted or estimated
35.8%, regular CFR 17.5%
Back building CFR not adjusted or estimated
20.7%, regular CFR 10.5%
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 20, 2020
Current cases - 790,000+ (April 20, 2020)
The recommended rate to multiply to estimate reproduction of the virus per confirmed infected individual is 3.3
750,000 X 3.3 = 2,475,000 potential cases
1,000,000 X 3.3 = 3,300,000 potential cases
1,500,000 X 3.3 = 4,950,000 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%, 20% and 10% hospitalization rates
30% rate/20% and 10% in parentheses.
225,000 potential hospitalizations at 750,000 cases (150,000 at 20% and 75,000 at 10%)
300,000 potential hospitalizations at 1,000,000 cases (200,000 at 20% and 100,000 at 10%)
450,000 potential hospitalizations at 1,500,000 cases (300,000 at 20% and 150,000 at 10%)
600,000 potential hospitalizations at 2,000,000 cases (400,000 at 20% and 200,000 at 10%)
Worth quickly noting that 10 - 15% of hospitalizations become fatal.
It will be around this point that the hospital system could be potentially 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.
Now add in the shortage nationwide of medical staff, shortfalls in the national stockpile for emergencies, and overall shortfalls of personal protective equipment and basic sanitizing chemicals. Overall we were nowhere near as prepared as we should have been.
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. City population - 40,000+, the county itself however is around 140,000+. It is a part of the greater Quad Cities metro area which has a population of 383,600+ between Rock Island County in Illinois and Scott County in Iowa. It has been a little over a month since the Illinois stay at home orders, Iowa unfortunately still has yet to do so.
In a little over a month 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
3 cases confirmed at Arconic manufacturing plant in Bettendorf, IA which caused production delays and mass panic. 1 worker has now passed away.
1 case confirmed at Cattleman's meat market in East Moline, IL which lead them to close both locations indefinitely.
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
200 confirmed cases at Tyson Foods in Columbus Junction, IA. 2 workers have now died. Plant has closed until further notice.(reopen soon after cleaning)
The owner of the filling station I'm Davenport, Iowa caught covid 19 and died two weeks later
2 cases confirmed at Purina in Davenport, Iowa.
1 case confirmed at Kraft Heinz in Davenport, Iowa.
3 cases confirmed at Smithfield foods in Monmouth
And now with today's information(April 20, 2020) released on care homes statewide in Illinois, there is 14 cases in Rock Island County care homes and there has been 4 overall reported deaths.
Just over one month since stay at home orders in Illinois and partial closings in Iowa.
You have 244 confirmed cases within workplaces deemed essential in the greater Quad Cities alone and nearby surrounding areas. Now take the reproduction multiplier of 3.3 and that number becomes a potential 805.5 cases
In Rock Island County alone we are at 260+ confirmed cases now. (April 20, 2020) we were at less than 80 cases at the time of my last update (April 7, 2020)
We are now approaching infection rates to the likes of cook county and surrounding suburbs of Chicago (see graph at the end of the article)
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. I fear that we are lifting stay at home orders or coaxing people into trying to get the orders lifted is only going to lead to a second wave. At this point that is inevitable either way you look at it. We are going to need a stringent lockdown at some point but you keep trying to head the ship towards everything is getting better already.
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.
Graphs and links for clarification
(First graph) Daily death toll rates, as you can see we reached 42,000 deaths in just about 40 days and still have not yet seen the decline in daily deaths, more so has been steady for the last ten days. So you could easily double this rate in hopes of showing your overall fatality rate if and when we start declining. That would put you around 84,000 deaths at 80 days and this is still with pretty relaxed stay at home orders. Still puts us pretty close to the original predictions.
And for those wondering where the CFR rates and equations are coming from here's a very descriptive link and explanation of it all.