Masks Work: So Why Don’t We Have Any?

BY Herschel Smith
1 year, 5 months ago

Via Instapundit, masks work.

Masks reduce the spread of infectious disease by catching microbes expelled by the wearer and protecting the wearer from microbes in their environment. When we cough, sneeze, talk, or simply breathe we emit a plume of air and droplets, which are largely composed of saliva, mucus, salts, and—if we are infected—potentially dangerous microbes. The smallest of these droplets, sometimes called aerosols, may hover or drift through the air for hours, potentially exposing anyone who enters that airspace. Larger droplets may travel only a few feet—or up to 26 feet if propelled by a sneeze—before falling to the ground or onto another surface, such as someone’s skin or clothes.

So why don’t we have any?

Last week, a Trump administration official working to secure much-needed protective gear for doctors and nurses in the United States had a startling encounter with counterparts in Thailand.

The official asked the Thais for help—only to be informed by the puzzled voices on the other side of the line that a U.S. shipment of the same supplies, the second of two so far, was already on its way to Bangkok.

Trump aides were alarmed when they learned of the exchange, and immediately put the shipment on hold while they ordered a review of U.S. aid procedures. Crossed wires would only confuse our allies, they worried, or worse—offend them. And Americans confronting a surging death toll and shortages of medical equipment back home would likely be outraged.

[ … ]

The administration has also placed a moratorium on overseas shipments of USAID’s stockpiles of protective gear and is asking that the equipment be sent to the U.S. instead, other officials said.

“It’s a good thing that we’re taking a holistic look at where and when we’re sending PPE as we’re looking to fulfill needs here at home,” said Pence spokeswoman Katie Miller.

President Donald Trump seems attuned to the political hazards. During Monday’s task force briefing, he emphasized that the U.S. was sending only “things that we don’t need” to other countries. “We’re going to be sending approximately $100 million worth of things – of surgical and medical and hospital things to Italy,” he announced.

[ … ]

“They’re really trying to walk a fine line between making sure Americans get everything they need and then starting to provide assistance elsewhere, and the vice president’s oversight is slowing down the decision-making process,” one person close to USAID said.

As usual for Politico, the article eventually turns into a tiring and monotonous blast piece against the administration.  But that fine line being discussed is, to me, unnecessary.  It shouldn’t exist.  PPEs should be directed towards America first.  Only when America has enough should we even consider shipping PPEs overseas.  What to the pols is a fine line should be a big bold border.

I think I mentioned that I know a health care provider who showed up for work wearing an N95 mask, only to be told by hospital administration that personal PPEs weren’t allowed.  “Fine,” this health care provider said, “Then give me one.”  “Oh, we don’t have any.”

And why is there such a thing as a sewing group who has to sew cloth masks for health care providers?  Cotton is cellulose, and N95 masks, like HEPA filters in nuclear power plants, work by interception of particles with electrostatic charge.  That’s why they can’t be decontaminated with alcohol.  They lose their charge.

So who’s running this show anyway?


Comments

  1. On March 31, 2020 at 10:22 pm, Mary said:

    N95 masks can now be sterilized. Every bit helps.

    https://www.10tv.com/article/fda-approves-use-battelles-mask-sterilizing-technology-full-capacity-2020-mar

    The quilting groups online have been going nuts sewing masks. I’m self quarantined in an RV park in Arizona and you can hear sewing machines going, making masks.

  2. On April 1, 2020 at 7:59 am, MN Steel said:

    After decades of foreign aid, loose-to-nil border and immigration rules and enforcement, massive hand-outs to multi-national corporations and banks, non-productive foreign escapades, off-shoring of entire industries and milking legacy Americans, this surprises you?

    It’ s almost like everything that happens is designed to hurt one specific part of this “nation” to the benefit of others…

  3. On April 1, 2020 at 9:08 am, ambiguousfrog said:

    Aren’t most hospitals still private entities or for profit? Isn’t it there responsibility to acquire the proper equipment for almost everything imaginable from wherever they choose? Perhaps there’s enough blame to go around. But blaming the administration for not enough ventilators and ppe is political and misdirected.

  4. On April 1, 2020 at 9:20 am, Fred said:

    Why would anybody advocate at any time that the US government stick its nose into the OODA Loop of a Supply, Demand, Price Signal market? Maybe, just maybe, Thailand was getting them because hospitals and others there asked? Shocker. I’m pretty sure that the US Government can fix this mess through a Command and Control Economy, why didn’t we think of this earlier? Pfft.

    Also shocking to Americans would be to find that USAID, stocks large caches of these masks because every flu season the Asians “need” them.

    Who is “We”? There is no “We” in America. It’s:
    1. Government
    2. Preferreds
    3. Essentials
    4. Others

    The only way to save yourself, or move up, is to get on the Essential list or Preferred list, or of course you could work for the wholly wicked and perverse Government. Maybe if you were 1/1024 American Indian that would do it?

  5. On April 1, 2020 at 11:04 am, Herschel Smith said:

    @Fred,

    Your point goes to whether one is a Ron Paul libertarian when it comes to markets (the world is utopia, unicorns fart purple pixie dust rainbows as they fly, everyone holds hands and gets along with each other, etc.) or more a follower of R.J. Rushdoony market philosophy.

    Suffice it to say that this is a VERY, VERY complex conversation, one in which I can’t engage at this time.

    If I can find the time in the future, I’ll write a post on that subject.

  6. On April 1, 2020 at 1:10 pm, Fred said:

    Government picking winners and losers one at a time is the surest and fastest way to economic destruction, other than a complete shutdown on all small businesses of course.

    I’m not a Ron Paul libertarian when it comes to International (external) Trade. I’m for a Nationalistic Mercantile approach. The US government should charge Huge sums (Tariffs) for the importation of anything, and let the market bare what it will both internally and on exports, cost based upon real money, not fiat.

    But, that’s not the situation. I’m talking about reality, in which USAID made, of it’s own free accord, a cost analysis (not completely in USD since it’s a charity). Both Ron Paul and Rushdoony are pie in the sky rainbow farts. I’m talking about right now as it is. I’m 100 percent for 100 percent trade barriers, but that’s not America’s approach and America doesn’t have in any way shape form or fashion an America first approach, as a fact. If you want a Nationalist approach then don’t piddle puss around about it; ban all imports!!! Government picking winners and losers and sticking it’s big fat face into the middle of a trade is a Fascistic/Commie approach that is highly damaging to individuals ability to provide for their families. Certainty that an agreement will be met is the single most important cost factor in a trade. No government, no central authority, is capable of managing trade without destroying it.

    I do however, welcome a theoretical discussion about Christian Reconstruction at any juncture. But no matter what, I want NO central authority in my daily buying and selling decisions among my family/tribe/nation. And I’m against bans on any item whatsoever internally as those bans are just excuses for Christians to be lazy and not tell people that they are sinners bound for hell. Nobody should pay for those individual decisions except for the individuals. No welfare. Sin must have consequences. Christian Social Justice is just as stupid and Communist Social Justice and the result would appear to be the same.

    I’ve been to Thailand several times and know a bit about their politics, ’cause government work. It’s highly unlikely that they are or will be locked down in any meaningful way. They have a higher “cost” for lacking masks than America because they can’t lockdown and traditionally, Americans don’t wear stupid masks, so USAID, made the right decision based upon reality as it is right now and the Government shouldn’t countermand that ongoing trade because it wants to try a social experiment to see Americans will start wearing masks if the TV tells them to.

    And now we’re having a ridiculous conversation while what is being done to America has ZERO to do with a virus, not that it can’t kill you.

  7. On April 1, 2020 at 1:24 pm, Herschel Smith said:

    If you think this is a ridiculous conversation, then don’t have it.

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This article is filed under the category(s) Survival and was published March 31st, 2020 by Herschel Smith.

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