An Interview With the State Epidemiologist

Here is interview I did today for Style Weekly with Dr. Lillian Peake, the State Epidemiologist for Virginia. It was for Style Weekly, but I think they won’t mind if I share it with you.

— Peter Galuszka

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11 responses to “An Interview With the State Epidemiologist

  1. Did I miss something, or did she say a whole lot of nothing?

  2. Your view. I only had five minutes

  3. Peter did good and she did her best and I’m glad she did not grandstand and get out over her skis… like you know who.

    thanks Peter!

    • She’s paid to know what she’s doing. If she didn’t have any answers why did she do the interview? This is becoming a hallmark of the Northam Administration.

      Earlier this week Gov Cuomo predicted that the peak in New York would occur within 14 – 21 days.

      How is it that New York can make these predictions and we can’t?

  4. Great questions. Evasive answers.

  5. The Daily Press came out with a story a couple of days ago about how Virginia is lagging behind most states, including North Carolina and Tennessee, in testing. I wish you had had enough time to ask her why that is so. Presumably, those states are facing the same problems in getting tests as Virginia.

  6. I noticed that the lady gave several interviews to various outlets. She’s down
    a couple of slots in the VDH food chain and appears that she is or was a doctor with a practice.

    Here is state-by-state testing numbers:

    Virginia lags some states but is way ahead of others, Looks to rank about 15 or so:

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/health/2020/03/23/huge-testing-discrepancies-among-states-muddles-meaning-results/

  7. Playing a little bit with the data to show positive results per million tests:
    (sorted from highest to lowest):

    New York 1115
    New Jersey 320
    Washington 292
    Louisiana 252
    District of Columbia 194
    Michigan 133
    Colorado 125
    Vermont 120
    Connecticut 116
    Massachusetts 113
    Illinois 101
    Rhode Island 100
    Tennessee 90
    Delaware 89
    Mississippi 84
    Nevada 80
    Utah 80
    Maine 80
    Georgia 75
    New Hampshire 74
    Wisconsin 71
    Arkansas 67
    South Carolina 58
    Florida 57
    Hawaii 54
    Pennsylvania 50
    Wyoming 50
    Alaska 49
    Maryland 48
    Oregon 45
    California 44
    Minnesota 42
    Montana 42
    North Dakota 42
    New Mexico 40
    Ohio 38
    Indiana 38
    Arizona 36
    Iowa 33
    South Dakota 32
    Missouri 30
    Virginia 30
    Kansas 28
    Kentucky 28
    North Carolina 28
    Idaho 28
    Nebraska 26
    Oklahoma 20
    Texas 12
    West Virginia 11

    maybe an anomaly – how could there be such a wide range ? Different
    kinds of tests or testing protocols?

    easy to see how one could get tangled up in the data.

  8. This is one of the most incredible interviews of a public official I’ve ever seen. Peter asked the right questions. Peake’s lips were moving, but she conveyed nothing of substance whatsoever. Just extraordinary.

    Peter: How bad do you think this is going to get?
    Peake: We’re tracking the virus, following what’s going on in other states. We expect the numbers to increase. And we’re going to follow that each we, so we can get a sense of what’s going on.
    Bacon translation: We don’t have a clue.

    Peter: How bad is the shortage of protective equipment and ventilators?
    Peake: Virginia has a coordinated approach to bring all the different sectors together and respond to the health crisis. We’re looking at what resources we have and what gaps we might have. We’re actively planning to address those issues.
    Bacon translation: We don’t have clue.

    Peter: Do you have any idea when the epidemic might peak?
    Peake: We don’t have that information. We’re following the numbers. We’re looking at our models. … At some point the curve will level off and decrease. We’re watching it every day. … We’re taking it one day at a time.
    Bacon’s translation: We don’t have a clue.

    Peter: What is the proper balance between containing the virus and supporting the economy?
    Peake: We have to do both. We’re tracking the disease, looking at what’s going on, providing information.
    Bacon’s translation: We have nothing useful to say about that.

    Peter: A lot of healthcare workers in Boston are coming down with the disease. Could that happen here?
    Peake: We are providing healthcare providers information about infection control. They’re using the resources and knowledge they have, and we’re tracking the information.
    Bacon’s translation: We don’t have a clue.

    Peter: Will warmer weather slow the spread of the disease?
    Peake: We don’t know. The studies have been inconclusive. we’re watching this carefully to see what happens.
    Bacon’s translation: We don’t have a clue.

    Peter: Could the disease mutate?
    Peake: It depends on how easily it spreads from person to person. People in Virginian haven’t had this disease before. If people recover, they’re immune, and that slows down the spread in the future. … We are tracking this. Our website has lots of tips on how to protect yourself and your family.
    Bacon’s translation: The answer is so unresponsive to the question that it cannot be translated.

    Performances like this do not instill confidence.

  9. An Atlanta pr firm contacted style and we were scheduled tight, five minute time frames. We couldn’t really turn it down. My
    Guess us they wanted to spread the word about their website

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