Three stories that came out over at the website Stars And Stripes over the past several days help to tell a story that we'll never get from the mainstream media here in America, painting a dire picture of life in the US military in 2020's 'year of coronavirus' and giving America a look at a possible 'trouble point' ahead.
Before we continue, for those who aren't aware, from their 'about page': Stars and Stripes provides independent news and information to the U.S. military community, including active-duty servicemembers, DoD civilians, veterans, contractors, and their families. Unique among Department of Defense authorized news outlets, Stars and Stripes is governed by the principles of the First Amendment.
Back on March 27th, Stars & Stripes published this story titled "VA predicts virus could affect 30 percent of its workforce" which hinted what was ahead. Warning within their story that the Department of Veterans Affairs had released a 262-page coronavirus pandemic response plan and the department predicted that 30% of its employees would be unable to work because they or a family member would become infected, they also predicted this outbreak could last 18 months or longer and include multiple waves of illness.
Predicting also that 20% of the people who tested positive for the virus would require hospitalization, 5% of those requiring intensive care, the VA also predicted major shortages of personal protective equipment for medical staff, hospital beds, ventilators and morgue space. With FEMA now sending 85 mobile morgues to New York city helping to underscore the gravity of the situation and the shortages that our medical community is facing and will continue to face in the days ahead, as LewRockwell.com reported in this must-read new story, "Americans Will Have To Cure The Coronavirus Epidemic On Their Own".
Because with hospitals across the country sure to be short themselves on protective equipment, staff and hospital beds and even the US military also warning that they will be hard hit, we may be much better off fending for ourselves with hospitals across the nation pushing a universal 'do not resucitate order' and hospitals the last place one should want to be when we're living through a pandemic. As many sick kids, including myself, through time have said in order to avoid a doctors office visit, I don't want to go 'because sick people are in there'.
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The Pentagon is struggling to stay ahead of the widening coronavirus pandemic as early missteps start piling up, a scattershot response sows confusion and the Navy is forced to sideline an aircraft carrier.
The USS Theodore Roosevelt, a 5,000-person aircraft carrier meant to be patrolling the Pacific and South China Sea, is instead sitting dockside in Guam indefinitely as the number of infected sailors rises daily. Infections started cropping up after an early March port call in Vietnam, which Pentagon leaders say had about 16 known virus cases at the time.
Defense Secretary Mark Esper says he's leaving key decisions about how to address the outbreak to local commanders. But as infections mount and more warriors are sidelined, Pentagon leaders will face difficult questions about how to stay fully ready to confront rivals from North Korea to Iran and how to signal unflagging resolve to such adversaries.
"The military is torn between its need to maintain operations, which cannot be done with 'social distancing,' and the need to restrict interactions to inhibit infections," said Mark Cancian, a military analyst with the Center for Strategic and International Studies in Washington who's a retired Marine Corps colonel. "It has still not figured out how to strike that balance."
The Defense Department has ordered commanders at all of its installations worldwide to stop announcing publicly new coronavirus cases among their personnel, as the Pentagon said Monday that more than 1,000 U.S. military-linked people had been sickened by the virus.
The order issued by Defense Secretary Mark Esper on Friday is meant to protect operational security at the Defense Department’s global installations, Jonathan Hoffman, the Pentagon’s chief spokesman, said in a statement Monday. He said Defense Department leaders worried adversaries could exploit such information, especially if the data showed the outbreak impacted U.S. nuclear forces or other critical units.
"Unit level readiness data for key military forces is information that is classified as a risk to operational security and could jeopardize operations and/or deterrence,” Hoffman said in the statement. “If a commander believes that [the coronavirus] could affect the readiness of our strategic deterrent or strategic response forces, we understandably protect that information from public release and falling into the hands of our adversaries — as we expect they would do the same.”
He pledged the Pentagon would continue to release near-daily updates of total cases among troops, DOD civilian workers, military dependents and defense contractors, which officials with Esper’s public affairs office have done for nearly three weeks. Those numbers have grown steadily with each release — eclipsing 1,000 cases in Monday’s announcement.
With 60% of Americans now fearing they'll lose their jobs during this pandemic with 45% of Americans already knowing at least 3 different people who have lost their jobs, the US military isn't the only industry that will see potentially huge workforce problems but perhaps one of the most important ones.
As NPR reported in this recent story, America's food industry may also see major disruptions in the days and weeks ahead and while many will argue that the US military being struck by this pandemic might be the worst 'industry' it could hit, others would argue America's food chain is much more important to America's overall 'survivability' because our military and their families are all dependent upon it as well. From NPR and an interview between Ari Shapiro and Millie Munshi from Bloomberg News.:
ARI SHAPIRO: Are the empty shelves just a sign that people are hoarding and buying more than they should, or are there actual shortages of important food products?
MUNSHI: At this time, there's no shortage of food in the United States. Warehouses are pretty full. There's a lot of things of - supplies of things like frozen cuts of pork, wheels of cheese. The reason you're seeing the empty shelves is because of how much frenzied buying there has been. And with that huge spike in demand, retailers, suppliers, the whole supply chain really has had a hard time refilling and restocking. So that's really what's causing the empty shelves right now.
SHAPIRO: Has the pandemic caused any logistical challenges in the supply chain that gets stuff onto the shelves?
MUNSHI: Yes, definitely. We're starting to see real evidence of constraints coming onto the supply chain. I mean, there's things - for example, like, there's a finite number of trucks that can actually load up at a warehouse to bring chicken or ice cream, toilet paper, that kind of thing into the grocery stores. There's finite numbers of hours that people can spend on stocking shelves, stocking rail cars and all of that. Then there's other kinds of knock-on effects from the virus. In China a couple of months ago, when they were really at the peak of their virus, the exports from China slowed down into places like Canada. And - so that created a shortage of containers coming in from China into Canada. And so now Canadian pea companies, for example, are having a harder time exporting because they don't have the empty containers to fill.
SHAPIRO: Interesting. I know you've been talking with people in various points of the supply chain. Give us an example of somebody who's experience you think reflects the larger story of what's happening today. I understand you talked with an almond farmer who has a good story.
MUNSHI: That's right. I spoke with Matt Billings. He's a fourth-generation farmer in California. He actually operates all the way from grove to spoon. He grows almonds. He processes them. He manufactures them into AYO almond milk yogurt. And what he told me is that basically every step of that process right now is impacted from the virus and its ripple effects in various ways. For example, the farmers that work on his almond groves, they can't get access to the kinds of masks that they need to protect against dust and the sprays that they use. In his processing facilities, people are starting to call in sick a little bit because the virus is starting to spread. There's probably going to be more issues down the road with workers calling in sick both in places like manufacturing and processing facilities but also at places like beef plants and slaughterhouses. There was actually a beef plant in Canada that closed today because of a virus case.
SHAPIRO: And I imagine that could set off a chain of dominos.
MUNSHI: That's exactly right. We could see a situation where there are production bottlenecks. There is probably not going to be major shortages, but there definitely could be hiccups and bottlenecks as you see more and more of this labor crunch showing up in different places around the world.
So with very real problems now within the US military with over 1,000 diagnosed coronavirus cases and the military unable to do 'social distancing' and still do their job and the very real chance of major disruptions to America's food supply ahead due to coronavirus, we continue to serve our families and loved ones and '1st responders' and hospitals best by preparing to ride out this storm on our own as we hear in the final video below featuring Dr. Paul Cottrell joining Mike Adams from Natural News to talk 'coronavirus solutions'.
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