(BALTIMORE – May 11, 2020) – I want to frame what I’m about to say. I don’t “support” this point of view, and I don’t want it to be this way. I am saying this as an analyst only; this is what I think is happening, and I am not convinced we have the ability to change this under the current US administration.
We seem to be arriving at an inconvenient truth: current virus prevalence outstrips our ability to control it, and it will ultimately not be contained in nearly any country, but especially not in the US.
– not enough tests
– not enough contact tracers, and will never be
– too much prevalence for apps to work
– insufficient popular will
– masks giving people false confidence
We bought ourselves a couple of months. We wasted them. That time should have been used to mount a national and global response. That didn’t happen.
Trump administration will most likely abandon the effort and just blame governors, media, and China. Individuals will either risk infection, or wait for treatments and vaccines. (I’m in the latter camp.)
This will of course result in a very large number of deaths in the US. It didn’t need to be this way; however it seems this is what is going to happen due to our failure and inability to assert any other reality.
Every state that has been brought to heel with a Rt presently <1 will reverse course and turn >1 if restrictions are lifted without sufficient testing and tracing, which do not appear to be materializing.
Right now, based on all the evidence this is where we are heading. And while there are technical solutions possible that could dramatically arrest this and send us on a different path (household testing seems like one), the will or mechanisms to do this simply are not there.
To use another analogy, we appear to have passed a tipping point (at least as regards our current approach), and it’s unlikely we will reverse that.