Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Logic Fail

And for the "F**K everyone older than me, because I need muh paycheck now!" crowd:

Because the guys in the next foxhole have friends too, and they won't take kindly to your "Final Solution" battlefield ethics.

You'll find it easier, and increase blood flow to your brain, if you extract your heads from your asses first.

Just saying.


Aesop said...

1) I have made no secret of the fact that I'm making money hand over fist in this outbreak.
If that upsets anyone, we're hiring. Currently RNs in NYFC are pulling $10K/wk.
Stay in school, kids.

2) Reconcile Kung Flu having a CFR of roughly 3%, preventable with an N95 mask and gloves, while Ebola in the wild has a CFR of 66-90%, and had a transmissibility in the U.S. under stringent first-world CDC guidelines of 200%.

3) Cite chapter and verse where I ever told anyone to
i) run, and
ii) hide in a hole.
Neither is the case.
I told people to limit their interactions as much as possible, and be prepared to self-quarantine for several months, without further assistance.
I'm biased, but looking at things as of this minute, I seem to be a pretty goddam smart motherfucking clairvoyant, don't I?

4) We had 10 cases of Ebola in the U.S. at once in 2014. We had 11 BL-IV beds for it. 12 cases would have made us Liberia. 20 cases would have made us West Africa.

5) America didn't lose their collective shit then because they were, and are, almost universally, idiots. Doubly so if mathematics, medicine, or science are involved.
Then. Now. Probably forever.
Thanks for unintentionally illustrating that exact point, yet again.

6) True. Also irrelevant, unless and until you can point to it being 0.1% or less, and thus "no worse than the flu, bro." But you cannot do that either, can you?
But even now, it could be as bad at 5%, or even more.
So, do the math, and tell me what 5% or 10% dead out of 330M is.

7) The others weren't "scares". They were epidemics. This is a pandemic.
Ignore how WHO defines it, and look it up in a dictionary if this is hard to grasp.
It's lethal, within hours to days, and kills in the neighborhood of 3% of its victims, while requiring hospitalization for up to 10% or more. Which is enough to crash all healthcare in this country for months.
And it can remain latent in some people for days to weeks, and in asymptomatic carriers for months.
Spanish Flu didn't do that, because there was no "health care system" in this country to crash in 1918. You just got it and lived, or got it and died.
Millions died.

It's precisely those sorts of consequences to others that are the reason counties largely lacking any testing and therefore nominally having "no cases" have been shut down.

You've got tunnel vision on this, or a cement cranium. That sort of shit solves itself eventually too.

8) Something that hasn't happened before, can, theoretically. The point of reasoned argument is to summon evidence in support of the point. Otherwise you're just Chicken Little and The Boy Who Cried Wolf. Absent any compelling evidence, yelling fervently that "X" will happen because No Reason, and mere statistical possibility, is jackassical. There are 8B people on this planet. Believing any one of them, crying that "The World Is About To End!", solely on the grounds that "He might be right", is simply delusional. Grownups have no time to humor the clinically insane.

9) When this government ends, give a holler. I'm moderately prepared for that eventuality too. About some parts of that eventuality I'm genuinely enthusiastic. But everybody seems to be whinging so hard about the likelihood that it won't, which is the exact opposite problem. I the government ends, your quarantine problems are over at that same moment. You should be properly ecstatic about the possibility.
You cannot argue both sides of this problem simultaneously; pick one, or the other, and defend your ground; otherwise, go back to quietly chasing your own tail all by yourself. No one else has time to spin you around with a laser pointer as though it was serious business.

10) I haven't killed any messengers. I just don't suffer fools gladly.
Except as cat toys. You're welcome.

Wendy (KekistanTrans) said...

I would have a couple of questions for Aesop...

1) How long should there be a forced shutdown?

2) If after that period people and businesses start to get back to "normal" again and the WuFlu/COVID-19 cases pick back up, then what?

Opie Odd said...


Austria has decided to run that experiment for us.

Opie Odd

Aesop said...

When you can accurately and rapidly test people for Kung Flu, that's when they should be allowed out.
If you simply hold to that, including for all new entrees to the circulating pool, and test universally, Kung Flu doesn't "pick back up".

If you get an outbreak, you contact trace and re-test widely, and quarantine aggressively, to localize any re-emergence.

We had none of those options in this event up until last Friday.

When there are enough of the rapid-result tests available, we can start clearing people in droves.

It should start with everyone - every swinging Richard - currently at liberty as "essential": emergency services and health care, bank workers, food prep, supply and distribution, transportation, etc.

After that, everyone else, as fast as you can make it happen.
And in a sensible manner, i.e. you test all the teachers and school workers before the students and parents, and all of the above before you re-open the schools, etc.

It's going to take a metric fuckton of testing, and no small amount of re-testing and vigilance, and there will be bottlenecks and temporary screw-ups, but eventually everyone gets tested and cleared, and this goes away.

Just saying "Fuck it!" and re-opening everything, everywhere, is a recipe for turning a short-term pandemic into a perpetual disaster, and getting the total deaths to the max possible worst-case number, because Stupid.

Nick Flandrey said...

I'm finding it interesting that the very same people who won't accept anything close to worst case scenario for wuflu are jumping up and down for the worst case scenarios for liberty and the economy.

What about pent up demand?

Your spouse has been looking at the dirty walls and carpet for a month. That's gonna drive some spending.

Restaurants - people will either figure out that they can live without them or go back in droves.

Ford and chevy are gonna want customers for their products, there will be offers hard to refuse.

What money will people use for all this? Same that they use now, credit. Do I think that's wise? Oh hell no. Will it happen the instant people can leave their houses? Probably not. But if there is any way thru this at all, people will find the way and their enablers will be there to help them.

Maybe there'll be a lot of job openings for the people who make it thru. The black death led to the rise of the middle class after all. Maybe if 100K old people die (as some people can't seem to stop cheering for) that means all the money locked up in their estates will be spent by the heirs. Houses will be cheap if a million estates come on the market all at once, especially in Florida.

Maybe if all the non-essential people are identified, corps won't be dragged down supporting all that deadwood, and they can get back to making things instead of going to meetings to set the agenda for meetings.

Maybe US manufacturing will see a resurgence as companies "reshore" as quickly as possible so this won't happen again for a generation or two.

One last thought, people keep asking what the effect on the economy will be from this VERY PARTIAL shutdown, when they should be also asking what the effect of 1 MILLION deaths would have. The psychic trauma alone would change the world. The financial aspects are brutal too.


ThatWouldBeTelling said...

One last thought, people keep asking what the effect on the economy will be from this VERY PARTIAL shutdown, when they should be also asking what the effect of 1 MILLION deaths would have. The psychic trauma alone would change the world.

The very first thing one of my history professors did was to explain how death was a constant presence in the time before modern sanitation and medicine.

And people have been asking about antibody testing; here's reporting on a set of 3 non-CDC ones, although the CDC will be involved in later stages of the last on blood donation samples.

ThatWouldBeTelling said...

OK, Charles in VA, I'm now convinced the end times are nigh: "Delta Air Lines Donating 200,000 Pounds of Food to Charity." People are going to have to eat airline food to survive Corona-chan....

Ominous Cowherd said...

When you can accurately and rapidly test people for Kung Flu, that's when they should be allowed out.
If you simply hold to that, including for all new entrees to the circulating pool, and test universally, Kung Flu doesn't "pick back up".

Yep, that's the only strategy that doesn't boil down to ``ya'll get sick now, ya hear.'' Anything less than repeated testing of everybody is Underpants Gnome level wishful thinking.

Ominous Cowherd said...

Having said that, I should add that if we aren't going to begin universal testing soonish, we might as well all go out and get sick, because without universal testing, the alternative is to wait until we starve out, then all go out and get it.

Of course waiting awhile is optimal, but waiting until we're starved out is past the optimum. Alaska is using the shelter-in-place delay to set up hospices in convention centers, so the normal health care system can handle its normal load, and the CCP virus sufferers can get their Trump Cure without swamping it and sharing their virus. Another week or two and that will all be ready here. At that point, I'd say it's time to either ramp up the testing, or deal with everyone getting the disease.

I'd prefer to see the testing option, but I don't think we're going to get it, thanks to the CDC and the FDA.

Wendy (KekistanTrans) said...

"When you can accurately and rapidly test people for Kung Flu, that's when they should be allowed out.
If you simply hold to that, including for all new entrees to the circulating pool, and test universally, Kung Flu doesn't "pick back up".
If you get an outbreak, you contact trace and re-test widely, and quarantine aggressively, to localize any re-emergence.

Thank you for your answer. Sounds reasonable and logical to me and is probably the best way all things considered.

To restate what I think you said: Progressively testing everyone, essential workers first, then everyone else, keeping the untested quarantined at home until they can be tested and identifying and keeping the sick ones inside until they either recover at home, get hospitalized or die - is to me a plan that makes a lot of sense (given that everyone has common sense and is willing to do the right thing for everyone).

However, some people just ain't gonna like it. particularly the parts about everyone being required to be tested and cleared as not infected before being "allowed" out. As in who is going to allow who out and what if they go out anyway what steps will be taken then, etc.

The issue of why a large number of Americans dying from this Pandemic is more important than the individual's right to travel and associate unfettered will have to be clearly explained to those skeptical persons (such as myself) who are distrustful of anything that seems like big brother police state control.

But then again (at least in my case) I have a driver's license, a concealed pistol license, and an amateur radio license, so it can be explained in terms of some regulation being necessary for the ability of all of us to live in a (mostly) peaceful and orderly society.

People buying up cart-fulls of toilet paper and empty shelves for the rest of us tells me what happens in situations where there is no regulation or limits on individual behavior.

There will be those who refuse to get tested and who will still go out anyway, and we are going to have to have an answer for those people who won't go along with the program.
I would hope that reasoned discussion and peer pressure from friends and family and social shaming, as well as mandated proof of testing in order to be allowed to return to work, would make police state level enforcement unnecessary, but you just know that some people are going to ignore the rules and have to be dealt with one way or the other.

The company I work for will probably be calling us back to work in the first week of May, so I hear. So I may be part of the grand experiment to go back into the water because the Mayor says it's safe. The engineers and managers will be working from home. Sending us work assignments and us sending progress reports and pictures of completed work via email I guess. Those who work on the industrial equipment and keep the actual machines and processes running can't work from home. Not that I will miss being around most of them at all. At least wearing nitrile gloves at work and everyone keeping a respectful distance should be the new norm for a while.

Again, thanks for putting yourself out there and continuing to provide the volume of reasoned insight and first hand observations that you do. We may not all agree but you are providing a great service by what you are doing (in the hospital and here).

FredLewers said...

Just to play devils advocate...
If they're gonna do testing in job lots to reopen the country and starting with essential people, teachers, students/parents etc.
How they gonna track who's been tested and cleared? Honor system? Travel papers? The test id number tattooed on the forearm?
How are they gonna check? Honor system? Check everybody in the truck when they pull them over for a burned out taillight? License plate scanner? Facial recognition software?
Any activity above sure is eerily similar to a totalitarian state...

Aesop said...

Unforgeable unswappable wristband, color coded (Red nor no, green for go, no sense re-inventing the wheel) with your name and ID # on it (state-issued picture ID only; don't like it? Tough shit, suffer at home, or sneak back into Mexico or wherever).
Lose it, and report it? Immediate re-test, plus lab fee.
Get caught without it because you lost it, and didn't get it replaced immediately?
A week in COVID jail, $500 fine, and re-test.
Without it and positive? $10,000 fine, felony rap, COVID prison until you're negative or dead, plus a year. Any co-domiciled family/group quarantined.
Out, but negative, without having tested clean first?
$1000 fine, six months in COVID jail, then test out - at the end of the line, after everyone else.

Anything less than manslaughter of anyone found to be out and about without a green wristband by anyone not badged and sworn is treated at best as a civic award for citizenship, and at worst as a citation for littering. $10 fine, and a stern finger waving. I.e. you get farther with a kind word, and a 2x4 upside the idiots' heads, than you do with just a kind word.

Compliance near 100%.
Herd IQ up 10 points inside a month.

None of that requires any lists or big brother measures.
Let states and counties work out who goes when. Zip codes, birthdays, your favorite color and your porn star name, whateverthehell they want, IDGAF, as long as it's logical, and non-stupid. (I.e. everyone at any one address gets tested at the same time; whoever gets tested first brings the whole unit along by virtue of common sense. Any unit fails, they all go to the quarantine pile together, and the Board of health follows up on them, monthly, until they all can test out. One positive person = everybody at that address is positive. Period. Full stop.)
IOW, we don't need to know that everyone is tested, because we checked them off on a list.
But if you haven't got the all clear, and the wristband to prove it, you don't get to come out.

If you've got it, then you go on a list.
Just like VD cases.
Just like TB cases.
You don't get a wristband, nor off the list, until you're cleared.

New outbreaks get jumped on like a naked guy guy waving a gun around outside the police station.

Anyone here from outside the country gets tested on arrival. (It takes 15 minutes, recall.) fail? Return to sender. Citizen of U.S.? Quarantine, until negative.
Anyone here illegally, and negative, gets double the resident COVID penalty, then deported, and banned for life from ever immigrating here, for the first offense.
Repeat offenders start with a 10 year sentence add on for each additional offense.

Any repeat offender who's positive gets the choice of LWOP on Devil's Island, or lethal injection. No appeals, no review of sentence. Execution of sentence to be carried out the next Monday morning. Putredo in Infernum.

Anyone aiding or abetting anyone untested or positive gets the same penalty as the original offender.

Pandemic solved.

No Big Brother machinery. No new lists. No more illegal immigration.
And once the original testing is completed, we don't even need the wristbands any more.

The nearest equivalent is turds in the pool.
Scoop them out, chlorinate to necessity, problem solved. Game over.

T said...

I figure there's about 2-3 weeks left before a whole lot of Americans are going to say "Fuck it", if some sort of compromise on "lock-down" isn't reached soon.

And then you see Barney Fifes doing this:

Apparently this pandemic is an excuse for some south Louisiana Podunk LEOs to let their inner Napoleon come out.

Since I and my co-workers are considered essential service personnel(oil & gas production), our company has given us a exemption letter in case some 5-O stops us on our way to the heliport at O-dark thirty.

Excuse my sarcasm, I'm on Day 22 of a 28 day rotation, 110 miles offshore in the GOM. On the bright side, I feel like I've rounded third base, and am looking at home plate.

FredLewers said...

Unforgeable? Criminals gonna find a way. They'll buy them in job lots until their inside guy gets perp walked out of whatever government office they worked at. The only way it can work is if the bracelets are chipped.
Next problem, how do we handle the cops/enforcement folks that like to flex their power muscles? What happens to the guy that pops a cap on a government bully? And it might be well deserved! Yet his or her life is over because they didn't roll over like good little sheeple...
Not to mention who gets to decide which group is tested out of COVID jail first?
You've got a lot of really good ideas. But I honestly feel that what we have now is much better than one more iota of government control. Yes a lot of people are dying. Even more people are gonna be bankrupted. I have a really bad feeling about this. There's way too many problems and chaos for this to end well. I think if we're lucky our economy and culture are in the crapper for years. If we're unlucky, this goes sideways and USA turns into just another totalitarian regime under the thumb of people who think they eat unicorn pie and shit flowers. Middle of the road result, American states turn into independent countries.

Aesop said...

Criminals aren't going to find a way to cut off their own heads, and the response to any attempt would make Vlad the Impaler shudder.
By the time they could come up with a forgery, the pandemic here is over, and there's no point.

WhoTF cares who goes first?
The point is, GET IT GOING NOW!!!

Secession/breakup would be a multi-fail amidst this.
Consolidation and tyranny would follow in about a minute.
You'd end up with two to five mega-blue-states, and a lot of rabble/herd of cats trying very hard to taste bad just before being tossed to the lions for sport, trying to survive in the fringes, while they could.

Rerun the War of Southern Overconfidence, and tell me how the side with no industry, no trade, no money, no central unifying theme, and no population does against the side with the opposite in all parameters, 152 years later.

You either start opening the taps, and mainstreaming that flow back into the status quo ante, or you set the whole thing on fire, and burn the mother down to the ground, and the survivors can try this again in 500 or 1000 years.

ThatWouldBeTelling said...

Please explain what the difference is between a red wristband and a yellow star, and as you like to say, show your work.

The red armband is sort of silly, in that what counts is having a green armband, if you don't have one, you need a really good, life or death reason to be outside your property. And anyone who wants to make sure it's safe to be around you needs proof you're safe, that you have the green armband. Make it a wristband, and "Roman Salutes" could become a thing again :-).

(The original source of Livy is quite interesting, all of that early Roman history that's supposed to be Whig history, the more we look, the more it gets confirmed from excavations etc. His sources seem to have been very good, and any writing that can enrage a reader two millennia later has something going for it, I'm referring to the incident that ended a period where Rome was ruled by ten "judges."

Power corrupts ... which is of course the topic at hand.)

The difference, of course, is that someone who's marked with a scarlet significance is someone who may have COVID-19 and may therefore kill you in a matter of days or weeks, without necessarily intending at all. But would they have their guns seized? Especially if they keep to their property?

I think this might be a pointless intellectual exercise, the more I think about the spit-balled estimate 10-20 million testing machines that would be required. That's a huge undertaking; if, and it's definitely an if, we can design, test, and produce one or more vaccines, finishing the construction of those machines would probably come later.

Urk, this scheme fails without invoking Big Brother, or having an improbably secured chip in the machines for a private key for signing. Because you can't reduce it to less than a people problem. Forget counterfeiting, millions of corruptible people will be running the process, who can hand out perfectly valid bands to people who didn't pass the test. We also need to solve the false negative problem, which is a very big issue, and not answered by our host.

Another issue is that since the scheme is starting from a standing stop unlike vaccines, where we were seriously but with much less urgency working on MERS-CoV ones, political will would have to be created. Which I expect would only happen if we maintain a modified, limited lock down, and say 1 to 2 years from now realize we aren't going to have a safe and effective vaccine. Which would also be required for necessary measures like locking down our borders, unless Roman saluting becomes mandatory....

We're not likely to Manhattan Project it in parallel with vaccines, unlike Bill Gates who's willing to waste billions to make sure we have serious factory capacity for whatever vaccines we're able to develop and test by the time they're finished.

Anonymous said...

Things are going to get very interesting in the next 3 to 4 weeks when deaths stabilize, but the hordes still have to shut in.
After that, when the jobs don't reappear, we're officially in CW2.

There is no solution with testing all individuals and requiring them to wear visible identification. Shit, half or more of the tests in Western Europe are defective. Where are the 5 or 15 minute tests seen in other places?
People will ignore any forced test if they're fine, and doing it as a prerequisite to being allowed out of the house won't make a difference anyway because they won't have a job to go to. A lot of health officials and such trying to enforce this will get shot for trespassing, and then they'll stop doing it.

There is a solution.
1) Identify what treatments are working and deploy them nationwide, yesterday.
2) Provide an American made Covid-19 5 minute test and hand them out for free like candy.
3) Arrest and incarcerate ANY public official that has not done their job with this crisis.
4) Repeal all gun regulations, going as far back as 1934, and declare all property defendable, not just your abode. Someone trespasses on your land...justifiable homicide.
5) Publicly blame China for the release of the virus and retaliate. Ban all Chinese imports effective immediately; any company that does business in China is excluded from any bail out bucks. Repatriate all Chinese visitors, students and businesses. Require ANY product,regardless of where it's made to declare if any Chinese components exist in the product.

Aesop said...

1) Big Brother isn't keeping track of everyone on a naughty or nice list. Big Brother objection eliminated. QED

2) 10-20M testing machines was too big a napkin estimate. In an economy at a large-scale halt, the number needed would be overcome in a matter of another month or two. We make 11M automobiles here in a year. (Not to mention planes, boats, trains, snowmobiles, jetskis, and God alone knows what else.) To get enough test machines to restart the economy, people would be making the damned things in their garage if they could. And 100-200K machines is closer to the requisite number. Back in the misty past, I worked for a storefront company that made all of CA's lottery machines, which were probably more complicated, using lower tech. We shipped >10K/month, from one business employing <60 people. That's about 1/hr/per person, hardly a break-neck pace. 10 larger companies: done in 2 weeks.

3) A vaccine is a year or more away, from right now, best case. By which time, we could easily have made 20M machines and 500M test kits, with no such Manhattan Project effort, and tested the entire North American continent, not just the U.S. A vaccine would be nice. It's also on the Christmas list for "maybe sometime around spring of 2021, best case, to the Twelfth Of Never, worst case".

4) This is a high trust society. We have labs and hospitals now that we trust with these sorts of results, and they do a fine job. People willing to force a full lockdown in perpetuity in return for a few bucks from a stranger, while statistically possible, are about as likely as being struck by lightning. New outbreaks would be ruthlessly tracked, and the response to fraud and forgery would make Vlad the Impaler blush to witness.

5) Machines can be made by anyone who ever built an Apple IIe.
Vaccines development and production requires biolabs found in about 5-10 places on the continent.
Game over.

And while you're waiting for a vaccine, we can be running tests every 15 minutes.
That's nearly 100 tests/day per machine, 3000/month. Which represents 3000 people per machine back at work and school.

At 100,000 machines, we're one month from testing the entire country, with enough test kits. At 1M machines, you can test half the world in a month.

This is neither hard to conceive of, nor hard to do.
if we started tomorrow, the entire country (less those actually infected) would be back at work before Memorial Day, and this would be an annoying economic hiccup.
Nothing more.

Aesop said...


Take a breath.
Testing isn't that hard.
People aren't going to Boogaloo unless they listen to morons.
Starting global thermonuclear war isn't a solution.

Breathe, man. Stop hyperventilating.

ThatWouldBeTelling said...

1) Big Brother isn't keeping track of everyone on a naughty or nice list. Big Brother objection eliminated. QED

Big Brother might be milking the recovered for antibodies, though....

Your production guess strike me as bogus. For example, how long does it take for a car company, at a normal pace, I grant you, to design a car, buy the tooling, install it in a factory, and get a production line going, with a supply chain?

3) A vaccine is a year or more away, from right now, best case. By which time, we could easily have made 20M machines and 500M test kits, with no such Manhattan Project effort, and tested the entire North American continent, not just the U.S.

Which unless you're partaking of your hospital's medical stores, you know the political will to get it started exist anytime soon. And do you include Mexico in the "North American continent" (technically it is).

4) This is a high trust society.

Not entirely any more, for very substantial and increasing portions of it. See the people you're arguing against, high or low trust??

We have labs and hospitals now that we trust with these sorts of results, and they do a fine job.

With much lower consequences. Beware of Goodhart's law, "When a measure becomes a target, it ceases to be a good measure."

Vaccines development and production requires biolabs found in about 5-10 places on the continent.
Game over.

While the gain of function research that might have created Corona-chan should be done in a BSL-4 lab, of which there indeed aren't a whole lot, something of low lethality, not to mention wildly circulating in the population like SARS-CoV-2, can be researched, cultured, etc. in a BSL-3 lab.

If we end up with a killed virus vaccine, there's probably a level at which "BSL-3" won't suffice for producing it. I get the impression that's the least likely to be successful, don't even know if it's being tried. Attenuated virus vaccine is attenuated.

One wild scheme which is being tested in humans now is to give them bits of viral RNA, which hijack some cells to produce the bits of viral protein the immune system will then react to. That's not contagious at all. Other schemes accomplish much the same by splicing relevant genetic sequences into yeast or bug etc. cells to pump out the proteins, see Protein Sciences which won all of Walmart's flu vaccination business for this flu season, or the mid-1980s Hepatitis B vaccine, the first of this type.

FredLewers said...

Some people worship money. They'll pimp their grandmother for a dollar.
Industries & occupations that are regulated and require regular certification and recertification have a lower incidence of it. Wide open industries are rife with unethical money grubbing fools. I'll show my work... How many illegal aliens working as an RN or NP? I don't know of any. But there's millions of undocumented democrats working in construction, agriculture and domestic help. Millions... Why? Democrats and Republicans are eager to keep the cross border flow of personnel going. Cheap labor and free votes... So, yes I would be absolutely shocked if some affirmative action employee DID NOT sell green wristbands. They might be very discreet and only sell to clients they trust, but rest assured THERE. WILL. BE. CORRUPTION. It's guaranteed by human nature.

Aesop said...

Yes, Fred, but a miniscule fraction, and with draconian punishments.
Not worried about it overall.
It isn't going to be statistically significant, unless TPTB fuck up screening and enforcement both deliberately and maliciously.

If that happens, you have much bigger immediate problems than this virus.

Anonymous said...

Aesop, I'm not hyperventilating, I'm as calm as a freshly fucked whore.
I'm proposing a proactive course of action. If we don't shed China, we'll become their bitch, just sayin'.
Our country is done unless we address the China problem. That's where we need to start.

ThatWouldBeTelling said...

If we don't shed China, we'll become their bitch, just sayin'.
Our country is done unless we address the China problem.
That's where we need to start.

Where we need to start?!?!!??? First we need to get our own house in order with COVID-19. Then it would be wise to start making all our pharmaceuticals in our country, and that's going to be politically hard to impossible as long as the PRC and India can resume production, unless you think our addiction to cheap is getting solved by this mess.

Doing this cold turkey as your suggest, when 90% of our pharmaceutical supply chains trace back to the PRC, Active Pharmaceutical Ingredients or chemical precursors, could easily kill more people than COVID-19.

In general, we need to quarantine the PRC altogether, except perhaps for shipping them food, but that's going to take a long time, and take more political will than seems to be available at the moment. Also note Mitch McConnell is owned by the PRC through his wife Elaine Chao and her family, although I suppose their shipping company isn't doing so well right now.