At Sunday night’s Coronavirus Task Force briefing President Donald Trump and his team gave a sober and grim assessment of the days ahead. Reassuring the nation that the Federal Government is doing all that it can to support the states with medical supplies and military personal the message was to be strong and get through this week.
“This will be probably the toughest week between this week and next week, and there will be a lot of death, unfortunately, but a lot less death than if this wasn’t done,” Mr Trump said. But it’s a lot more death then what would have happened if every person infected by Chinavirus had been named and their address mapped. The fact is that this virus has been hiding behind HIPAA regulations that prevent it from being exposed and isolated.
Dr Anthony Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, has projected the US could see between 100,000 and 200,000 deaths before the outbreak is contained. How and when the Chinavirus is contained remains an open question but yesterday Trump said, “We don’t want to be doing this for months and months and months.”
Interviewed on Fox News Sunday, Surgeon General Jerome Adams said, “This is going to be our Pearl Harbor moment, our 9/11 moment. Only, it’s not going to be localized, it’s going to be happening all over the country. And I want America to understand that.” The implication of these comments being that the U.S is at war and extreme levels of social distancing must be employed to combat the “hidden enemy.”
The dire prognosis of mass death, endless sickness with no real end date in sight and a dangerously overwhelmed health care system necessitates unprecedented changes is normal activity. Constitutional rights of free association are trampled and businesses are forced to close at the dictate of state and local politicians. In such a horrible crisis it would be beneficial to know who has the Chinavirus and where they live, but 25 year old regulations prevents Americans from knowing that information.
Laws laid down in 1996 by the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) ensure that a person’s health records remain undisclosed to the general public long after their death. That means releasing names of anyone with COVID-19 would violate HIPAA. Even those who have died from Chinavirus maintain their anonymity (exception for the famous) thereby keeping those who lived near the diseased in the lonely, social distanced dark.
The Center for Systems Science and Engineering (CSSE) at Johns Hopkins University (JHU) has a map of world wide Chinavirus infection Coronavirus COVID-19 Global Cases. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has a map of U.S. Chinavirus cases Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). Even National Public Radio (NPR) has a map Map: Tracking The Spread Of The Coronavirus In The U.S. But none of these maps will show where, at the street level, these Chinavirus infected people live or lived in the case of the dead. It’s impossible for “We the People” to fight a war when they’re not allowed know where the “hidden enemy” has been hiding.