Phyllis Randall, Loudoun County Chairwoman

Loudoun County Chairwoman Phyllis Randall (D-At Large)

Thirteen days.

That's how long it will be between the first reported U.S. death from coronavirus and Loudoun County's first public briefing on the threat, scheduled for March 11.

There's no way around it: that's far too long.

The anxiety and fear is palpable across Loudoun and the nation – and it has been for weeks. Many of the concerns are valid, and some are downright hysterical.

Which is exactly why county leaders should have already held the briefing: to quell the fears, dice through misinformation and assure members of the public their representatives are doing everything in their power to stay ahead of the situation.

Taking weeks to hold a simple question-and-answer session does nothing to demonstrate the county's readiness for this national health crisis, especially when or if cases start being reported in the D.C. region. (Most experts agree it's a foregone conclusion the commonwealth will eventually see cases.)

We recognize the county launched a web page this week to inform the public, and we saw local officials begin in earnest to push the word out mid-week. Indeed, it's better late than never, but we remain dumbfounded by how long it took.

We're further troubled the county can't corral its health experts and elected officials in a more timely fashion for such a daunting public health scare.

In a call with the Times-Mirror Wednesday, Board of Supervisors Chairwoman Phyllis Randall (D) said the meeting time was selected because the board wanted to find a day when all members could be present.

That's reasonable in theory, but not if it's going to take well over a week. And weren't all members of the Board of Supervisors present during the March 3 business meeting?

On the same call, Randall said she didn't want to do a press conference, per se, “because press conferences are for politicians,” and this issue shouldn't be political. The public briefing should be guided by the health experts laying out the facts, she said.

Agreed, yet the county is waiting until all elected supervisors – see: politicians – can be present for the briefing? The logic just isn't there, something Randall seemed to concede as the call went on.

We aren't claiming outright carelessness on the issue, and we don't suspect there are any malicious motivations behind the delay. No, we don't believe this is a conscience failure, but we insist it's a failure nonetheless.

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(19) comments

pual mase

Still trying to understand what the Loudoun BOS can add the the hysterical media and political saturation coverage of the corona virus.

It seems all there is to do is practice good hygiene and avoid high risk areas.

Prepare and treat like you would for the flu.

Sorry but I don’t look for Randall or any Supervisor for medical advice or psychological assuarance.

amerigirl

Do you plan on taking any advise at all now that there are 2 confirmed cases in Virginia, one in Fairfax? Usually if there is a plan put in place then money is allocated to cover the costs. This could mean extra testing kits or better plan for isolating the virus. I bet you believe trump when he said it would go away when it got warmer out too. Lies that put us at risk. The swine flu didn't even start in this country until April of that year.

pual mase

I’m taking the advice I have been hearing constantly since this started: wash hands, don’t touch your face, self-quarantine if sick........just like you would or should for the flu. You seem to know that the coronavirus will not recede when weather warms. And you accuse Trump of lying to suggest this may happen. Every health expert I have heard from says respiratory viruses don’t spread as much in high humidity and higher temperatures because virus don’t travel as far in hot humid air. This is a reason why flu viruses typically recede when weather warms.

Spare me your know it all medical advice and gratuitous Trump bashing.

amerigirl

Well pual I’m glad you are taking advice, . But please do NOT lie about what I said. I said that the weather may not have anything to do with the virus, not that it wouldn’t recede when weather warms. There are no guarantees. Trump is not a medical expert and his statement was not based on the information that was given to him by his own health expert (infectious disease) that spoke out when he made that statement. How many health experts have you spoken with? Coronaviruses are a large family of viruses that usually infect animals but can sometimes evolve and spread to humans, with this strain human have given it to their pets. If you fact check it the answer you will get is: What's True: Some viral strains, such as those that cause common cold and influenza, are less likely to spread during warmer seasons. What's False: Although warm weather may slow the spread of some viruses, it doesn't eradicate the seasonal diseases they cause. What's Undetermined: It's too early to tell if the spread of the new coronavirus that causes COVID-19 will be dampened by warm weather. Who is bashing who? He made a statement that he based on nothing but a feeling and wanting to reassure the population so he could control the stack market. The people are more important than the stock market. The market will comeback up when the virus starts to subside. If people die, they don’t have a comeback.

LetsBreal

"The more the plans fail, the more the planners plan" - Ronald Reagan.

I plan on IGNORING everything on the hyped up airwaves. I'm tired of "plans" being the panacea to every perceived problem dreamed up by the DNC. The only planning going on is how to make political hay out of everything under the sun, and you're right at ground zero of it. Oh, and Jeff Epstein didn't kill himself. That is all.

amerigirl

Lets, good luck. It’s ignorance of the situation that makes the situation worse. You think that the DNC created the virus????? What, did they go to China and sell in the wild game markets? Surely you realize that trump is down playing it because he is losing his bragging rights on the economy, right? Don’t you believe the death toll recorded by WHO? Blind worship of your idol is not going to keep you from getting sick. The worse part is that blind following of your idol will only help spread it. Trump will never give up all the praise he gets at his rallies so he will encourage crowds. That Cruz, Gosar, and Collins had concerning contact at CPAC is striking considering many of the conference’s speakers worked to, as President Donald Trump has done, minimize the seriousness of the virus. Republicans Matt Gaetz of Florida, who traveled on Air Force One with President Trump, and Doug Collins of Georgia announced on Monday that they had begun two weeks of self-imposed isolation, as recommended by the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) for anyone who has come into contact with the virus. Trump has falsely claimed the virus is “contained” in the United States and accused the media and Democrats of exaggerating the threat it poses, in an effort to hurt him. The virus is not contained, it is growing. Funny how all these republicans take precautions when they think they might have it but tell their constituents that it is all fake news.

amerigirl

Who thinks it's hysteria? If only practicing good hygiene and avoid high risk areas worked, that would be great. But what about those spreaders that don't show symptoms yet or at all? People who have flu are most contagious in the first three to four days after their illness begins, people with the virus can be contagious for up to 2 weeks before they are ill. Pretty sure that Randall or any supervisor is getting their advise from medical professionals.

amerigirl

I think that is an overreaction. The county has put up guidelines in their website a contact to get updates, and have a Pandemic Response Plan in place.

marv

They are still trying to figure out how they can blame Trump.

amerigirl

Seriously????Trump has already blamed Obama.

pual mase

Trump just reacting to the knee jerk , over the top, dishonest Dem and media blame game

amerigirl

pual, what knee jerk? The one reacting the strongest to his actions is the medical community. If you think trump has kept up with what was suppose to be done you should go to the CDC site and look under pandemics and responses. Trumps response time is terrible, he was so worried about the economy that he tried to play it down

amerigirl

OK marvl, let’s get some facts, not your fantasy’s. Your pathological liar trump bragged on March 4 at a meeting with airline execs “And we couldn’t have done that under the Obama rule” he blames everything on Obama, even things that happened before Obama was a senator, you can look it up. There was/is NO Obama rule. He made that up. There was a draft plan being worked on, just as trump was working on one with congress, but it was dismissed and never took effect. Trump can never be wrong and if he needs to lie to cover his fat butt then he does.

RoundHillGuy

Does the CDC have a Cure for Trump derangement syndrome?

pual mase

Where do your find your medical community? On MSNBC? Any objective observer would conclude the Trump administration task force has the best professionals in the world and is taking the right steps in an unprecedented situation.

Obama was a fool that showed a real knack for doing exactly the wrong thing.

Thank god he is not in charge now

Chris McHale

Wow, LTM calling out the BOS Chairman, I almost fell over. I think that might be a first.

KK153

Doom porn at its finest

NvolvedParent

Do you know how many cases of ILIs have occurred in the past or current calendar year for Loudoun County according to CDC reporting, or the number of deaths for those time periods?

Probably not, even if you do know what an “ILI” is.

Your medical paranoia is only reinforcing your impatience especially since there has yet to be a confirmed case or death in Virginia.

SayWhat2000

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