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COVID-19 epidemic in the USA

March 24, 2020 (source J.P. Morgan) April 4, 2024 (source J.P. Morgan)
 

Neoliberal MSM dance around human mortality and fearmongering to get more revenue  provoked real panic. The USA government did not have a plan for coronavirus outbreak and improvises as events unfold.  China on Jan 22 had 571 case and on Feb 1 14,308 cases while the US on March 8 had 541 cases and it reached 13,789 cases on March 19. So the US was about 45 days behind China   USA government simply wasted 45 days and was caught without pants. Even the US navy was caught without pants.

News COVID-19 Epidemic Recommended Links Financial oligarchy as amoral and criminal neoliberal elite The threat of "Coronavirus recession" COVID-19 hoarding epidemics COVID-19 as a bioweapon hypothisis
COVID-19 fearmongering The second stage of the crisis of neoliberalism    COVID-19 prevention measures Absurdity of bureaucracies US Presidential Elections of 2020 Trump's impulsivity and incompetence The Real War on Reality
Media as a weapon of mass deception  Stability is destabilizing: The idea of Minsky moment Manufactured consent Groupthink The importance of controlling the narrative Trumpcare scam Nation under attack meme
Soft propaganda Nineteen Eighty-Four Casino Capitalism   Propaganda Quotes Humor Etc

Introduction

“Every gun that is made, every warship launched,
every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense,
a theft from those who hunger and are not fed,
those who are cold and are not clothed.”
President Dwight Eisenhower, 
Chance for Peace” speechApril 1953,

COVID-19 provided an interesting way for the USA population to pay the price for the militarism of its elite.

We can already can state the the US government reaction was subpar:

As of April 25, 2020 the COVID-19 epidemic in the USA is over the peak and is on decline. Period of exponential growth ended around March 22, 2020 and since then the acceleration is stably negative and now is around 8% a day ( 5 days average). This is a huge, four times drop  from around 32% a day during the exponential phase. 

Fearmongering graphs with absolute numbers is just a smoke screen over the fact that statistically COVID-19 did not exceeded the lethality a common seasonal flu (nobody is denying that virus pneumonia caused by COVID-19 is much worse then bacterial pneumonia  -- a common complication of ordinary seasonal flu). Fearmongering using absolute numbers is pretty effective and a very nasty trick ( please note that average mortality in the USA is 8K a day (240K a month) and average number of infected by seasonal flu in tens of millions; 0.8 million is just minuscule number in comparison), Emphasizing number of positive case helps to create drama, but the only interesting figure is the number of hospitalization which Hopkins disinformators conveniently omit.  And inside the number of hospitalizations the number of severe cases (patients moved to ISU is also pretty informative; none is provided )Also the default in right bottom square should be  "daily cases" because "confirmed" is not only uninformative, but represent pure fearmongering.

  Date Total cases Cases per one million Daily increase in cases Day increase in percent Weekly  increase Weekly  increase in % 5 days averafe 20 days  days average    Serious (in ICU)  % of serious cases in total Deaths Weekly deaths Daily death  Deaths five days average  Percentage of COVID deaths in daily mortality   Recovered Notes
7 3/1 75 0 10 33%                         75    
1 3/2 100 0 25 33%                          100   100 mark
2 3/3 124 0 24 24%                          124    
3 3/4 158 0 34 27%                          158    
4 3/5 221 1 63 40%      31                   221    
5 3/6 319 1 98 44%      49                   319    
6 3/7 435 1 116 36%      67                   435    
7 3/8 541 2 106 24% 441   83                   541    
1 3/9 704 2 163 30%      109                   704    
2 3/10 994 3 290 41%      155                   994   1K mark
3 3/11 1,301 4 307 31%      196                   1,301    
4 3/12 1,630 5 329 25%      239                   1,630    
5 3/13 2,183 7 553 34%      328                   2,183    
6 3/14 2,771 8 588 27%    0% 413                   2,771    
7 3/15 3,617 11 846 31% 2,913 30% 525               10 0.3%           3,617    
1 3/16 4,604 14 987 27%    0% 661               10 0.2% 86          4,518    
2 3/17 6,357 19 1,753 38%    0% 945               12 0.2% 109    23   0% #VALUE!    
3 3/18 9,317 28 2,960 47%    0% 1427               12 0.1% 150    41   1% #VALUE!   10K mark
4 3/19 13,998 42 4,681 50%    0% 2245             206 1.5% 207    57   1% #VALUE!    
5 3/20 19,551 59 5,553 40%    0% 3187             255 1.3% 256    49   1% #VALUE!    
6 3/21 24,418 74 4,867 25%    0% 3963             301 1.2% 302    46         43 1% 23,969 147  
7 3/22 33,840 102 9,422 39% 29,236 37% 5497             414 1.2% 419 269 117         62 1% 33,243 178  
1 3/23 44,189 134 10,349 31%    0% 6974             555 1.3% 573    154         85 2% 43,432 184  
2 3/24 55,398 167 11,209 25%    0% 8280             780 1.4% 775    202       114 3% 54,245 378  
3 3/25 68,905 208 13,507 24%    0% 9871          1,027 1.5% 1,032    257       155 3% 67,489 384 1K dead
4 3/26 86,379 261 17,474 25%    0% 12392          1,295 1.5% 1,143    111       168 1% 83,540 1696  
5 3/27 105,207 318 18,828 22%    0% 14273          1,695 1.6% 1,693    550       255 7% 101,303 2211 100K mark
6 3/28 124,788 377 19,581 19%    0% 16120          2,220 1.8% 2,211    518       328 6% 119,346 3231  
7 3/29 144,980 438 20,192 16% 100,791 25% 17916 6,878 194%      2,583 1.8% 2,457 1,425 246       336 3% #VALUE!    
1 3/30 168,177 508 23,197 16%    0% 19854 7,975 191%      3,141 1.9% 3,129    672       419 8% #VALUE!    
2 3/31 193,353 584 25,176 15%    0% 21395 9,160 175%      4,053 2.1% 4,053    924       582 12% 182,049 7251  
3 4/1 220,295 666 26,942 14%    0% 23018 10,428 158%      5,102 2.3% 5,102    1049       682 13% 206,315 8878  
4 4/2 250,908 758 30,613 14%    0% 25224 11,870 158%      6,076 2.4% 6,076    974       773 12% 232,891 11941 10K recovered
5 4/3 283,447 856 32,539 13%    0% 27693 13,394 143%      7,121 2.5% 7,212    1136       951 14% 263,506 12729  
6 4/4 317,994 961 34,547 12%    0% 29963 15,011 130%      8,452 2.7% 8,452    1240   1,065 16% 294,856 14686  
7 4/5 343,747 1,039 25,753 8% 175,570 14% 30079 16,197 59%      8,702 2.5% 9,616 4,514 1164   1,113 15% 316,154 17977  
1 4/6 375,348 1,134 31,601 9%    0% 31011 17,654 79%      8,879 2.4% 10,871    1255   1,154 16% 344,806 19671 10K dead
2 4/7 409,225 1,236 33,877 9%    0% 31663 19,184 77%      9,182 2.2% 12,848    1977   1,354 25% 374,502 21875  
3 4/8 441,569 1,334 32,344 8%    0% 31624 20,583 57%      9,485 2.1% 14,768    1920   1,511 24% 402,900 23902  
4 4/9 475,515 1,437 33,946 8%    0% 31504 21,977 54%   10,011 2.1% 16,697    1929   1,649 24% 432,890 25928  
5 4/10 509,604 1,540 34,089 7%    0% 33171 23,336 46%   10,917 2.1% 18,747    2050   1,826 26% 463,543 27314  
6 4/11 539,942 1,631 30,338 6%    0% 32919 24,549 24%   11,471 2.1% 20,577    1830   1,941 23% 488,912 30453  
7 4/12 567,708 1,715 27,766 5% 192,360 8% 31697 25,422 9%   11,766 2.1% 22,105 7,337 1528   1,851 19% 512,969 32634  
1 4/13 594,693 1,797 26,985 5%    0% 30625 26,214 3%   12,772 2.1% 23,640    1535   1,774 19% 534,105 36948  
2 4/14 621,953 1,879 27,260 5%    0% 29288 26,979 1%   13,473 2.2% 29,825    6185   2,626 77% 553,308 38820 change in death count methods
3 4/15 648,148 1,958 26,195 4%    0% 27709 27,583 -5%   13,487 2.1% 32,588    2763   2,768 35% 569,859 45701 change in death count methods
4 4/16 682,454 2,062 34,306 5%    0% 28502 28,385 21%   13,509 2.0% 34,619    2031   2,808 25% 594,730 53106  
5 4/17 714,822 2,160 32,368 5%    0% 29423 29,029 12%   13,509 1.9% 37,154    2535   3,010 32% 617,158 60510  
6 4/18 743,901 2,247 29,079 4%    0% 29842 29,482 -1%   13,551 1.8% 39,331    2177   3,138 27% 636,301 68269  
7 4/19 770,084 2,327 26,183 4% 175,391 5% 29626 29,767 -12%   13,556 1.8% 40,901 8,313 1570   2,215 20% 657,996 71187  
1 4/20 798,227 2,412 28,143 4%    0% 30016 30,002 -6%   13,951 1.7% 42,853    1952   2,053 24% 682,985 72389  
2 4/21 824,332 2,490 26,105 3%    0% 28376 30,047 -13%   14,016 1.7% 45,536    2683   2,183 34% 695,873 82923  
3 4/22 854,542 2,582 30,210 4%    0% 27944 30,202 0%   14,016 1.6% 47,894    2358   2,148 29% 722,598 84050  
4 4/23 886,274 2,678 31,732 4%    0% 28475 30,256 5%   14,016 1.6% 50,191    2297   2,172 29% 750,906 85177  
5 4/24 925,232 2,795 38,958 4%    0% 31030 30,561 27%   14,016 1.5% 52,488    2297   2,317 29% 786,440 86304  
6 4/25 960,651 2,902 35,419 4%    0% 32485 30,603 16%   14,016 1.5% 54,256    1768   2,281 22% 803,853 102543  
7 4/26 987,160 2,982 26,509 3% 188,933 4% 32566 30,639 -13%   14,016 1.4% 55,413 7,519 1157   1,975 14% 812,966 118781  
1 4/27 1,010,356 3,052 23,196 2%    0% 31163 30,238 -23%   14,186 1.4% 56,797    1384   1,781 17% 814,569 138990 One  million tested postive

Unfortunately this silly, alarmist and incompetently constructed web site became the reference site for the epidemic.  It just scream: give me money poor Pinocchio. Below is the simple spreadsheet that I constructed and that provide a little bit more clear picture of what is happing since the beginning of the epidemic. From it is is clear that we are past peak and that the virus retreats in all metrics (daily positive cases, daily death, daily hospitalization, daily ICU cases (ICU cases stabilized at around 14K total and change very little from day today now), etc)

The USA handing of the coronarovirus epidemic is interesting by its unique mix  of  effects of neoliberalism and incompetence of Trump administration (which was distracted in December and January by impeachment farce, thanks to Pelosi and friends). Effects of neoliberalism with its offshoring on manufacturing, outsourcing of essential functions, and long transcontinental "just-in-time" supply chains was especially drastic. The country with one trillion military budget had found itself without masks without sanitizers and even without special goans. Navy leadership was caught without pants, and Captain  Crozier who raises alarm about the epidemic on USS Theodor Roosevelt paid the price for reveling this sad fact.

Some idiotic race for ventilators also unfolded despite the fact that it was not clear if they are proper tool for treating severe cases of COVID-19. Unconfirmed information exists that this is more like high altitude sickness due to depletion of hemoglobin for which ventilator is useless, than malfunction of chest muscles or breathing regulation. In the latter case ( the case of ARDS ) ventilator does help some small percentage of patients; most die anyway iether while on ventilator or soon after due to mechanical damage to the lungs). Idiotic statement of governor Cuomo about NY need of 40K ventilators can be viewed as the pinnacle of this  "ventilator hoarding" epidemic.

As you would expect the performance of the neoliberal state during epidemic can be anything but competent because "greed is good" and depreciation of solidarity does NOT fare well at such times.  Add to immanent to neoliberalism (aka casino capitalism) existence of largely parasitic class of financial intermediaries (FIRE sector) which like intestinal worms weaken the social organism.

Another factor is the level of degeneration of neoliberal elite. The incompetence on many levels during this epidemic is a symptom of a morally-degenerate managerial class (in especially its most parasitic forms represented by  equity sharks such as Romney,  the gallery of "banksters" like Goldman Sachs "financial hackers",  and vulture funds "titans" such as Paul Singer. Regulate corporate management (such as in IBM or Boeing) also is perverted by MBS types and mostly  concerted with self-enrichment by offshoring, outsourcing, cutting the head count and using this instruments pushing up stock prices and getting outsized bonuses. People infected with neoliberal ideas have no sense of responsibility to anyone other than themselves.

The bank bailout in 2008 buried neoliberal ideology (the preachers of the neoliberal agenda suddenly found themselves without an audience)  but also exposed the level of hijacking of the state by financial oligarchy.  It is hard to distinguish between incompetence and fraud.  Much that looks incompetent conceals fraud (stock buybacks, Boeing fiasco, etc). And note that Boeing moved its headquarters to Chicago “to be more like GE”. Well they’ve destroyed the company to be more like the looters and liars and cheats. Along with GE there are some other notable poster-children of how private enterprise has committed suicide through the wanton bloodletting of its skilled employees (Boeing being a recent case-in-point).

The same phenomena can be found in universities, colleges  where faculties are no longer bolstered by a strong bench of tenured staff, contract and non-tenured hire-and-fire disposable staff are now the norm. No matter how many “systems” and “quality functions” they put in place, experience matters.

The story of the USA reaction on the emerging coronavirus pandemic can also be viewed as the case study of bureaucratic incompetence, when conflicting institutions and agenda paralyze any efforts. Fauci slept completely the first two months and then start running from one news outlet to another crying Wolf! Wolf!. Trump incompetence is only the tip of the iceberg. The whole Deep State proved to be too rigid to properly react to the epidemic, because each measure looked too drastic and too damaging to neoliberal globalization, until it was late to implement it. And then it was implemented anyway.  One effect of any large bureaucracy is that  any rare oasis  of reliable and timely information that exist is to be suppressed. And this is not Trump fault, although his incompetence exaggerated the effect.  This is iron logic of any large bureaucracy.

What is interesting is that the epidemic is localized in few hot spots with the largest being New York metropolitan areas. So governments could took measures immediately even without federal government prompting them. And that would be much better that nationwide shutdown. And FBI and CIA have the local governments in pocket anyway (this is a national security state, not something else after all). So where was the CIA boss when we needed her ? Or she is just capable of running Russiagate gaslighting operation type of operations?  CIA honchos used to have audacity to launch the efforts to depose Trump. Can we believe that they can't bypass Trump when they need to?

One of the problems is that financialization and securitization of everything revealed during this epidemic is that has effectively separated the managerial class in both private and public sector from knowledge and experience of actual logistics and execution. Transferring securities with the push of a button is not the same as getting an industrial plant or phone center built, trained, and running efficiently. Companies and organizations with a history of doing this well manage to lost that capability in only a couple of years after financial shark CEO was installed (e.g. IBM, CDC, FEMA, numerous companies taken over by private equity ).  They know the price of everything and the value of nothing

The rise of the FIRE sectors as a percentage of GDP has been obvious for a long time. And now the USA economy is over-financialized. All this has done is with layer after layers of  debt and interest payments  to the detriment of the real economy.  Financialization creates a positive feedback loop. Every system with positive feedback loop will crash, sooner or later. Neoliberals worked really hard to remove not just the negative feedback,  but any traces of the negative feedback on financial sector.  That makes COVID-19 recession more serious then in other circumstances and requiring much large bailout of FIRE sector.

The idea that “never attribute to malice that which can be explained by incompetence” (Hanlon's razor - Wikipedia ) is not longer true. The neoliberal America has a lot of corruption. Some obviously stupid actions are explainable for short term greed motives. That explains much of what we are seeing now.

CDC botched testing program during COVID-19 epidemic became a textbook example of bureaucratic incompetence.  They do not do competence in Washington. You need to start holding people responsible and that's impossible with the new neoliberal aristocracy (financial oligarchy), which inherited all vices of the old but none of its virtues.

The virus epidemic which started in the USA in full force only in March (two month after the start of epidemic in China) will probably follow Chinese pattern.  Which means the time to the peak will be around two-three months (which means approximately in late April ot early May the epidemics might start subsiding.).  The worst pandemic going on in the US and around the world in not Covit-19, it is opioid pandemic, 53,000 died last year in the US from opioids abuse alone. And this is not just in the US it is a world wide problem.

The aggravating factors for the USA include amazing lack of discipline (especially for teenagers), ignorance, petty greed, incompetence of the elite, and paradoxically widespread nutty religiousness (allowing religious services while keeping everybody on quarantines is pretty strange to me.)

Extremes meet: Orthodox Jews and Christian conservatives behavior patterns during this epidemic were very similar to Muslims: the funniest irony of it all is that while Iran has exacerbated coronavirus spread due to religious ignorance of population, similar incidents happened in the US too. Add to this the "American exceptionalism" which in reality is primitive nationalism, and neoliberalism with its deification of "free markets" which prevent some necessary measures,  and "Huston we have a problem"

IMHO any elite who is detached from the actual production process and engaged primarily in parasitic activities (finance), is decadent.

Any elite who is detached from the actual production process and engaged primarily in parasitic activities (finance), is decadent. In other words financialization of the economy means decadence of the elite

Pretty drastic measures taken by some states like NY, NJ, California and Washington (Currently New York Metropolital are is the epicenter of the epidemics with around 50% of all positive test for coronavirus ) were compromised by religious nuttiness and "covidiots" a sizable faction of younger population and students which went to Florida and other resorts during spring break despite warnings and then, because universities were closed, brought infection to their communities.  Some people considered losing a couple of thousand dollar which they paid for cruise ship trip more valuable then their health and went to cruise ship tripe even after the incident with Diamond Princess  (the first bad news about passengers on the Diamond Princess came on Feb 4, 2020).

Till March 2e we saw typical for initial stages of any flu epidemic exponential increase of cases, with  the number of patient doubling in approx. three days but a very low number of critical cases and hospitalizations.  Later the speed of epidemics start slowing down and in April dropped to less then 10% a day. 

The peak of the USA elidemic might happen somewere in late April, early May. Number of infections among medical personnel, another important metric, are unavailable  (worldometers.info

It took the USA eight days to get from 100 cases to 1000 and another eight days to get from 1K to 10K.  Some of the dynamics  can be explained the low availability of test kits  -- this was the area where CDC royally screwed the US population

Unfortunately, the current atmosphere increasingly exhibits the characteristics of a collective panic—and that is always a poor basis for intelligent policy decisions.

The neoliberal society with its twisted guiding philosophy of radical individualism and competition combined with a supremacist “that could never happen here” attitude quickly falls into panicked chaos when reality kicks in and reveals the society’s underlying vulnerabilities. Countries with weak social safety nets and an ideological opposition to social responsibility are extremely vulnerable to systemic breakdown when their societies are hit with unexpected stress. That is what we see in the USA. This virus is revealing just how ineffective the neoliberal social Darwinism (“every man for himself”) ethic  (aka "neoliberal rationality") is and how deeply in denial and out of touch with reality these societies are. Including first of all neoliberal politicians.

The for-profit health system in the USA is certainly is very efficient in raking in cash for insurance companies and big pharma. But health care outcomes are mediocre at best and other countries do a far better job for far less money. The most basic needs of patients and health care workers are often unmet. Health care workers complain they haven’t received proper training putting them in danger of infection and do not have supplies to protect themselves even as they treat COVID-19 patients. And that's in richest country in the world.

...system can’t provide enough hand sanitizer the governor of New York came up with a solution. Andrew Cuomo announced that the state will produce hand sanitizer made by prison labor .

We already are No.1. NYC is now world capital of coronavirus infections.   The fact that the country with one trillion military budget and 17 intelligence agencies was caught without pants for this epidemics is incredible. No plan for dealing with epidemic. States improvise as epidemics unfold, often overreacting with disastrous for the economy results.

We definitely have "Coronavirus recession" now as the second stage of 2008 recession/stagnation. All neoliberal transformation of the USA economy now had blow into our faces. Silicon Valley is partially guilty as the staunch promoter of neoliberalism and globalization in the USA. I would jail a couple to "tech titans" just as a useful scapegoats, but only after banksters (especially NYC faction of private equity sharks who destroyed the US healthcare). Renovation of Alcatraz for this purpose would be a very worthwhile project :-)

The USA might fare worse then China in this epidemic as there are a lot of overweight, deeply unhealthy people in the USA.  Many overweigh people are diabetic. Especially among African Americans, I sometimes watch with amazement and horror how many barely walk and have difficulties getting out of the car. Especially all those 300+ pound women and men.

For a country with one trillion military budget not having enough masks and ventilators and accepting help from China and Russia is very humiliating.  Level of bureaucratic incompetence demonstrated in this particular case is just staggering. 

Now it is clear the healthcare system has military importance. What is worse is that as the USA is considered now "not capable to adhere to signed treaties" there might be a new round of armed race in this particular area.

And in the USA healthcare is almost completely broken and taken over by private equity sharks. Only people with a good insurance are OK in this environment (let's say top 20% or so). Most of the population are screwed up. Ambulance ride can cost you neat $5K even if you have insurance, as most ambulances are conveniently "out of network" and are owned by Wall Street scum. Doctors here are not always trustworthy. For example, dozens of cardiac surgeons landed in jail performing unnecessary operations of healthy patients. And for one caught, probably tens exist that were not caught. Horrible stores abound. Inserting stents into healthy patients became a national hobby. Such a money sucking insects in white gowns.

Many people are afraid to go to the hospital even in case of real emergencies, as they do not have health insurance. That includes most of contractors. Because hospitals now are also owned by Wall Street scum. Financialization, as it is called. AKA Casino Capitalism. Selling stocks, buying stocks, getting bonuses. Most readers probably know the game and participated in this game (as marks ;).

That means that those people will propagate virus and make the epidemic worse and much longer.  In NJ not 100% of  front line staff of shops that still open still wearing masks (and almost nobody wear masks before March 20 or so). What is the value of quarantine is such situation is very unclear to me. Also not all shops force visitors to disinfect hands on entry. This is another big no-no.  Some shops that enforce two meter policy inside create lines of hundred of people outside which probably serve better for the propagation of the virus then presence inside the shop as the period of close infection is longer.

Frontline staff of still opened shops who do not wear masks will propagate virus and make the epidemic worse and much longer.  In NJ (No.2 state in the USA, as for the number of tested positive) not 100% of  front line staff of shops that still open still wearing masks (and almost nobody wear masks before March 20 or so).

What is the value of quarantine is such situation is very unclear to me.

It is quite possible that the virus originated from the USA. There was so called "vaping pneumonia" epidemic int he USA in august 2019.  Google "vaping pneumonia" -- it looks very similar to the COVID-19 virus pneumonia. Just a different category of affected: mostly smokers of some nasty staff. And for some reason nobody made genomic analysis of this the pathogen in this illness, which raises an important question: Is it different from COVID-19 or not?

I would like to state it again: the fact that the country with one trillion military budget was caught without pants for this epidemics is incredible.  And this is for a country with laboratories which store anthrax and other nasty staff. IMHO a large part of Pentagon brass, all those "Pentagon perfumed princes" need to be replaced after this incident.

Not enough stockpiled masks (even regular surgical mask, to say nothing about N95 masks), no ventilators (or more correctly not enough), no reserve production capacities to produce them, no plan how to deal with epidemics, some ad-hoc improvisations on state level. In other words this country does not have ability to produce N95 masks in quantities needed even for hospital staff (and  you be be sure that in case of epidemic international supplies will not difficult to get.) Just a bunch of expensive and semi-useless F35 and aircraft carriers to feed military industrial complex. BTW aircraft careers and submarines proved to be perfect places for the propagation of this virus. Warships (like cruise ships) are for this virus like mosquitoes for malaria.

To add insult to injury this court jester Dr. Fauci, since 1984 the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) slept over all January and woke up only in late February, crying Wolf, Wolf. He should not only be dismissed but prosecuted for criminal negligence. This old hat should travel to China or Korea in Jan and access the situation immediately because close ties between China and the USA in globalized economy. You do not need to have Ph.D to understand the NYC and LA will be next after Wuhan.

On the positive side epidemic is slowing down in the USA from average increase of positive probes 34% a day to 24% a day. I calculated some statistics and it is clear the danger is overblown and just enforcing wearing of masks in public places would do the job in this particular case.

There are only slightly above 30K hospitalizations (read cases of virus pneumonia) in the USA so far. Statistically this is just noise in comparison with seasonal flu (810K hospitalizations) but the virus pneumonia itself is very nasty (with fibrosis of lungs of various degree as a common outcome), so this is not apple-to apple comparison. Flu mainly causes bacterial pneumonia.

The original reaction in the United States government to the corona outbreak was surprisingly casual. It is unclear what information multiple intelligence agencies have had, because now they were engaged in efforts to save face and blame Trump administration and China  (U.S. intelligence reports from January and February warned about a likely pandemic ). 

One of the most regrettable blunders was that the administration did not close access to senior care centers for visitors and some of them which became the local centers of infection. As well as religious congregations. Some orthodox congregations and evangelical congregations became hot spots for propagating infection.  Is it so difficult to worship your God in masks ?  Hand disinfection was also not implemented.

Trump administration did absolutly nothing in January and February to rump up local production of masks and other clothing necessary for medical personnel to fight infection. Medics, who are in most danger among all population groups,  were not systematically trained by  Koreans (the USA has two month to do so).  Proper protocols were not established. This was the major blunder of Trump administration and the case of bureaucratic incompetence what will be studying in textbooks. 

At the same time some facts point out that the danger of this epidemic is systematically distorted (https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/17/a-fiasco-in-the-making-as-the-coronavirus-pandemic-takes-hold-we-are-making-decisions-without-reliable-data/)

In the absence of data, prepare-for-the-worst reasoning leads to extreme measures of social distancing and lockdowns. Unfortunately, we do not know if these measures work. School closures, for example, may reduce transmission rates. But they may also backfire if children socialize anyhow, if school closure leads children to spend more time with susceptible elderly family members, if children at home disrupt their parents ability to work, and more. School closures may also diminish the chances of developing herd immunity in an age group that is spared serious disease.

The USA government behaviour  drastically changed in March 11 with Trump's surprise announcement of cancelling air travel from EU countries for 30 days. Initially GB and Ireland were excluded, which provide for strangled travelers a "window" of escape. Later they were added.  Still all this was badly planned and caused major panic with ticket prices for the last flights from EU to the USA skyrocketing to ten thousand dollars.

CDC blunders is another parts of the story of bureaucratic incompetence. CDC did not launch the training of medical personnel in January  to use protective gear, despite that the fact that the virus severely affected medical personnel in Wuhan. 

There was no efforts to create "reasonable" safeguards in US airports, despite that fact that both are known centers of infections. There were only very limited attempt to establish the screening and mandatory quarantine of passengers in airports, arriving from international flights.

Looks like the USA government completely wasted the whole January February and met flaring up of infections in March unprepared.  And what is most important CDC botched the production and distribution of virus tests leaving the country without them till late March, when testing can change nothing. Gin was out of the bottle. 

It seems the CDC, NIH and the USA privatized health care system in general was caught flat-footed and didn't have any plan to execute.  Currently CDC does not even provide the information about how this particular virus spreads Look at this pitiful document (Transmission of Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) CDC)

The virus is thought to spread mainly from person-to-person.

These droplets can land in the mouths or noses of people who are nearby or possibly be inhaled into the lungs.

Spread from contact with infected surfaces or objects

It may be possible that a person can get COVID-19 by touching a surface or object that has the virus on it and then touching their own mouth, nose, or possibly their eyes, but this is not thought to be the main way the virus spreads.

And this is from organization with several billion dollars budget and specialized labs which theoretically should be able to establish precisely how virus replicates in short order. And what are possible health effects for those who get severe and critical cases but did not die.

At the same time Trump attempted to fight panic spread by  neoliberal MSM as for mortality and that's probably the only positive part of the government response ( Trump disputes World Health Organization death rate )

Asked about WHO's coronavirus fatality rate findings during an interview Wednesday, Trump told Fox News host Sean Hannity: "Well, I think the 3.4% is really a false number."

He added, "now, this is just my hunch ... based on a lot of conversations with a lot of people that do this, because a lot of people will have this, and it's very mild."

Trump later put the number at less than 1%.

Later events proved that he was right.

While some problems that the USA now experiencing with coronavirus are the direct or indirect result of blunders (like CDC blunder with test kits; of overcrowding of returning passengers in airports on arrival from Europe after the fight ban), some are not.  Many things are rooted deeply in neoliberal globalization and perverted neoliberal rationality. Both make proper reaction to dangerous epidemic almost impossible. So by-and-large the USA current problems were unavoidable.

Also in epidemics like in war mistakes are to be made. At the same time repeating Chinese mistakes was pain vanilla incompetence. Classic bureaucratic incompetence, if you wish. While there are no perfect responses in the current environment (the availability of a vaccine would change everything), the earlier government reacted, the slower the virus would spread.

But under neoliberal globalization any reaction like closing international travel and mandatory 14 days quarantine for arraval entails severe economic disruption, and that means that the measures were postponed till it's to late for them to be affective while providing the same level of economic disruption.  Meanwhile large sectors of the economy, here and abroad, are nearly collapsing because of fears about COVID-19 epidemics that are not entirely justified.

Watch the interviews below. Dr. Anthony Fauci who is the head of the head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) This high level "medical diplomat"  in his March interviews carefully avoid mentioning that fact that CDC completely botched producing and distributing test kits and the government did nothing substantial to combat the virus the whole February.  And that he spept all january and February doing tnothing to prepere the county to the epidemic.

As the result the USA goverment was not able to provide adequate quantities of masks even to medical workers. Frontline personnel in grocery shops, Wall Mart, etc still working the first half of March without masks. That makes a joke the fact that the USA was viewed as a country best prepared to facing the pandemic:

Ever since the West African Ebola epidemic of 2014, which the Global Health Security Index calls "a wake-up call," projects like this have been created to put better mechanisms in place for future pandemics of all kinds; be they naturally occurring viruses or genetically engineered bioweapons.

The tests the Index was based on concerns whether countries have "functional, tested, proven capabilities for stopping outbreaks at the source" which are then "regularly tested and shown to be functional in exercises or real-world events." Pretty serious stuff, then.

Countries were assessed based on six criteria: “Prevention, Detection and Reporting, Rapid Response, Health System, Compliance with International Norms, and Risk Environment.” Of those six, the US topped the field in four, even scoring an almost perfect 98.2 in “Early Detection & Reporting.” (So much for that.)

Overall, the US put the rest of the world to shame, scoring 83.5 out of a possible 100. In second place was the United Kingdom, followed by the Netherlands, Australia and Canada. Italy is in 31st place overall, and China is in 51st place. Most of the lowest scoring countries are small islands or African countries, and Equatorial Guinea gets the wooden spoon. The full list and report can be viewed here.

A comedy of errors

Being one of the richest countries in the world at the cutting edge of scientific innovation and medicine should have gone some way towards making America pandemic-proof. So why, then, are they in such big trouble now? The answer lies in their government’s poor decision-making from the very beginning, which has sent them on the most dangerous of all possible paths.

They were too slow to begin testing suspected cases, and when they did, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention bungled the rollout. Their cases really began to spike around mid-March, but now that they have taken the lead in confirmed cases outside of China, one feels that they will not look back. Just how bad the situation could deteriorate in the US remains to be seen.

Most airports did not perform even elementary screening of arriving passengers.  And the operation of returning the US citizens from Europe after travel with EU countries was banned was also completely botched. All February the administration essentially was allowing the flow infected passengers from Italy and France without screening and quarantine  (two severely hit by COVID-19 countries with large tourists flows from the USA) to spread the disease in the USA:

But there is some progress. With national emergency declared on Feb 13, FEMA's USD 50 billion is unlocked to fight the COVID-19 pandemic. FEMA is one of the few federal institutions which still works and works well.

Arrival of warm weather on Eastern Coast may significantly change the dynamic of epidemics, slow down infections and help NYC, which is the most severe affected on this coast and the most densely populated area.  

Measures for self-isolation of seniors that state like NY, NJ and California tries now, with all their shortcomings,  is of vital importance and it should have been done much earlier, because the USA has advantage of Chinese experience with this epidemic (which it by-and-large ignored). This was not done. There should also be the prohibition of air trips and remove vacations (including cruise ships) for this category of people. Violators they put their own life and lives of other people especially medical personnel in unnecessary danger. Seniors are the major factor is overcrowding of intensive care beds in the hospitals.  Trying to protect them from this virus is probably the most important part of "flattening the curve" efforts.

The USA has a lower population density than other affected countries so outside of large cities like New York it is in much better position  to suppress the epidemics. Large parts of the country such as Texas already have warm weather  which typically helps to suppress such epidemics.

Globally COVID-19 is spreading more slowly then in the USA slowly: 69K cases on Feb 15 vs. 162K cases on March 15: in other words the number of cases  approx. doubled in one month period. Assuming that the next month will be same and then epidemic start to subside replicating the shape of the curve before the peak,  we will have globally around 162+324+162K=648K or something like half-million cases total for this virus

The delay between the shutdown in Wuhan and a fall in new daily cases was 12 days . That suggests that in two weeks  from now (April 2)  we will probably see a drop in the number of new cases in the US. But that is not guaranteed.

The priority is to slow down the spread of the disease to lessen overcrowding of hospital beds with severe cases.

At the same time there are multiple cases of selfish, reckless behaviour of a part of the population.  Some young people from closed schools and universities engage in travel as tickets and hotels are dirt cheap now. Those who carry the virus are spreading the infection with them.   Some people who are at risk are not wearing mask and engage in reckless behaviour disrespecting community interests such as shopping using public transport or other encounters with large number of people. Years of neoliberalism brainwashing  ("Greed is good", "shareholder value" mantra, glorification of unlimited predatory competition as in Latin saying "homo homini lupus est") converted a large part of the US population into  greedy and selfish animals,   and while such people concentrate in FIRE sector, other segment of population  are also severely affected.  The situation is especially bad in NYC. 

Years of neoliberalism brainwashing converted some part of the US population into greedy and selfish animals and this epidemic and while such people concentrate in FIRE sector, other segment of population are also severely affected. Epidemic of hoarding also had shown the ugly face of neoliberal rationality in full grace. The situation is especially bad in NYC. 

So far infections are clustered within families and friends of initially infected persons. For example, if wife is infected, the husband and children typically became infected too. Common spreading centers are religious gatherings and conferences. The same danger represents  travelling with the infected person in public transport if he/she is not wearing a mask, or any other close and prolonged contact. Most of initial US patients had recently visited Wuhan or attended meeting/conference were at least one infected person  was present.  "Community spread" cases, where person was infected in transport or public places like grocery shops like on this early state of epidemic are relatively rare.

The lower you are in the USA "wealth pyramid" the  worse it is for you. Particularly for the elderly underclass.

peterAUS, February 26, 2020 at 12:23 am GMT 

@Delta G

Is the Chinese Government using the Corona outbreak as a cover for some other purpose?

Definitely. Iranian too. Related to trade war/sanctions I feel. The bottom line, everybody on top wins, in this game. Say….up to 20 %. The rest are designated losers. Lower in the pyramid worse it is. The elderly underclass in particular. Good gig…for some. So far works like charm.

Critique of the "flattening the curve" approach adopted by the USA

Adapted from the article by John P.A. Ioannidis https://www.statnews.com/2020/03/17/a-fiasco-in-the-making-as-the-coronavirus-pandemic-takes-hold-we-are-making-decisions-without-reliable-data/

Yet if the health system does become overwhelmed, the majority of the extra deaths may not be due to coronavirus but to other common diseases and conditions such as heart attacks, strokes, etc that are not adequately treated. If the level of the epidemic does overwhelm the health system and extreme measures have only modest effectiveness, then flattening the curve may make things worse: Instead of being overwhelmed during a short, acute phase, the health system will remain overwhelmed for a more protracted period. That’s another reason we need data about the exact level of the epidemic activity.

One of the bottom lines is that we don’t know how long ockdowns can be maintained without major consequences to the economy and society. Hyping the threat by MSM already produced harding epidemic in the USA.    Unpredictable evolutions may ensue, including financial crisis.

At a minimum, we need unbiased prevalence and incidence data for the evolving infectious load to guide decision-making.

In the most pessimistic scenario, which I do not espouse, if the new coronavirus infects 60% of the global population and 1% of the infected people die, that will translate into more than 40 million deaths globally, matching the 1918 influenza pandemic.

The vast majority of this hecatomb would be people with limited life expectancies. That’s in contrast to 1918, when many young people died.

Hoarding epidemics

We can discuss whether CODID-19 represents a pandemic or not, but hoarding epidemics in the USA is very real.

It also feels like a scam: there is no shortage of snake oil sellers who hope stoking such fears will make people buy more supplies. The reality is that there is little point “preparing“ for the most catastrophic scenarios some of these people envision. As a species, we live and die by our social world and  infrastructure — and outside some minimal stocks (say two weeks supply of food in areas affected by infection  and which might be subject to quarantine (which are currently only two cities in the  US.) Moreover, it is difficult to predict  what will be needed in the face of total catastrophe (Preparing for Coronavirus to Strike the U.S. - Scientific American Blog Network ). You can't drink sanitizer and you need minimal amount of it when you are outside of home. In all other cases regular soap is more effective against this virus,  so hoarding sanitizer is far from the best move you can make:

American Association for the Advancement of Science By Derek Lowe 4 March, 2020

ScienceMag - Pipeline

Since this is going to be a post about the coronavirus, let's start off with this PSA: wash your hands. These viruses have a lipid envelope that is crucial to their structure and function, and soaps and detergents are thus very effective at inactivating them. It's fast, it's simple, and it's one of the more useful things that any individual can do under these conditions.

The real crisis scenarios we’re likely to encounter require cooperation and, crucially, “flattening the curve” of the crisis   which includes sharing not hoarding, so the more vulnerable (older folks) can fare better and our social world and the infrastructure will be less stressed.  For those who can do it that way that means switching to work from home and avoiding unnecessary travel and meetings.  Most think those days can be done via phone of via teleconferencing.

We do not need to contribute to the panic, and to panic  buying isopropyl alcohol and hand sanitizers as if there no tomorrow. From state to state, shelves at grocery stores are being emptied. Community after community is stocking up on essential goods as they anticipate a very remote (or non-existent  in many areas of the country ) possibility our of fears of forced  China style self-quarantine.  In reality only retired persons in areas with active cases of infection need to self-quarantine as they are the most vulnerable and can overwhelm  hospitals. They generally should stay home, avoid direct contact with relatives  and friends (which are rare those days, anyway, so no big deal) , and do only rare shopping which should exclude all shopping for clothing, etc.  They need a lot of exposure to sun, vitamins, flesh air to boost the immune system. Abandoning bad  habits like smoking would be nice too. No or minimal visits to restaurants, entertainment centers like casino,  or God forbid cruise ships or international travel. For the sake of everyone else, they should prepare to stay home for a few weeks, while epidemic burns out in their neighborhood  and try their best not to be infected.  This way they will reduce their own risks, but most importantly, they will reduce the burden on health care and delivery infrastructure and allow frontline workers to reach and help the most vulnerable.

What does “flattening the curve” mean for the current COVID-19 threat facing us: the emerging pandemic of this human coronavirus? Epidemiologists often talk about two important numbers: R0 or how infectious a disease might be, expressed as the number of people that are infected by each person who’s been infected; and the case fatality ratio (CFR): the number of people who die as a result of being infected. For example, an R0 of two means each infected person infects two people on average, while a number less than one means the disease is likely dying out in the population. Some diseases are deadlier than others: the average case fatality ratio for Ebola has been around 50 percent, for example, while the common cold is rarely deadly for otherwise healthy individuals.

The infectiousness of a virus, for example, depends on how much we encounter one another; how well we quarantine individuals who are ill; how often we wash our hands; whether those treating the ill have proper protective equipment; how healthy we are to begin with—and such factors are all under our control. After active measures were implemented, the R0 for the 2003 SARS epidemic, for example, went from around three, meaning each person infected three others, to 0.04. It was our response to SARS in 2003 that made sure the disease died out from earth, with less than a thousand victims globally.

... ... ..

All of this means that the only path to flattening the curve for COVID-19 is community-wide isolation: the more people stay home, the fewer people will catch the disease. The fewer people who catch the disease, the better hospitals can help those who do. Crowding at hospitals doesn’t just threaten those with COVID-19; if emergency rooms are overwhelmed, more flu patients, too, will die because of lack of treatment, for example.

But what we see in the USA is primitive and destructive hoarding epidemic. Toilet paper, sanitary wipes and sanitizers are in short supply as stocks are being exhausted. As of March 3, 2020 a 250 ml (8 ounces) bottle of hand sanitizer on Amazon was $60 or so (while its regular price is $2 or so ;-).  This is not only ridiculous but it beats "socialist back market"  prices.

Ana

I know someone who is the head of security in the SF Bay for a large big box membership store that all of us in the States are familiar with. Their stores in the SF Bay area have been selling out of water, hand sanitizers, gloves, masks and other similar cleaning supplies, along with boxed mac and cheese and similar long shelf life foods.

Their regional supply center that brings replacement supply in over night by semi trucks has not been able to refill it’s own pallets from suppliers. He just texted me pics of local big box stores in the Bay with empty shelves and no back stock is available. I can’t find info on sales of things like generators. I don’t care what soothing nonsense the TV and feds blather at us. People are trying to get what they think they need to cope with serious disruption.

Ana in Sacramento.

P.S. By the way, I was one of the paper pushers who designed emergency response and business resumption plans for the State of California. This event was never considered or planned for. I’m retired so it may have been added after I left.

The dynamic of the USA panic can be watched via Amazon prices for those items and as of March 7 the panic is still in full swing  (you can buy the same 250 ml(8 ounces) bottle for mere $35 ;-) .   And they used to say that such hoarding behaviour is typical only for socialism ;-).

Starting from March 13 federal and local governments jumped into action

And despite chaotic and botched containment of epidemic (CDC botched development and production of test kits so badly that the officials responsible probably should be tried for criminal negligence ) the USA government managed already take several measures to slow down the spread of the virus (please note that time is working against the virus -- warm weather in East cost will come in May or even earlier).

For example, starting Sunday, Feb. 2, the US citizens, permanent residents and immediate family who have visited China's Hubei province undergo a mandatory 14 days quarantine. On Mar 11, Trump administration prohibited all flights from Europe firs exampling  UK and Ireland and later adding them.  

On Mar 13 Trump has declared the coronavirus a US national emergency and offered $50 billion for support of state and local governments to fight the virus with FEMA.

At the same time the US Fed has increased its public support of the global private banking system in amounts looking to total in the trillions of dollars and our Congress Critters are setting up to re-authorize the Patriot Act suppression of human rights.

On March 15 CDC recommended that all gatherings of more than 50 people within the United States be canceled for the next 8 weeks.

The same day California ordered all bars and nightclubs to shut their doors, restaurants to cut the number of tables in half and for millions of seniors and people with chronic health conditions to immediately “self-isolate” at home (mercurynews.com)

As the coronavirus continues its rapid spread, Gov. Gavin Newsom on Sunday afternoon issued an urgent call for all California, restaurants to cut the number of tables in half and for millions of seniors and people with chronic health conditions to immediately “self-isolate” at home.

Newsom’s unprecedented call for action is designed to slow the infection rate, especially among the most vulnerable. The governor stopped short of asking eating establishments to shut their doors, saying the need for food service during the pandemic remained vital.

“We need to prioritize our focus,” Newsom said during an hour-long press conference in Sacramento. “We are looking at this from a very holistic perspective.”

It was unclear how long the self-quarantine for seniors should continue.

NYC closed all schools staring Monday, March 16, 2020. NJ followed the suit.  Both states resorted to pretty drastic measures. All schools, entertainment outlets such as bars, nightclubs and non-essential shops are closed in NY and NJ.   Meetings over 50 people prohibited. Malls are also closes in some counties. 

The colossal failure with production and distribution of tests by CDC

The CDC stunning failure to provide the coronavirus testing kits needed to control the spread of the outbreak is a national outrage. Their incompetence threatens to increase the scope and prolong the  duration of epidemics and contributes to troubles that now the USA economy experience.

It is unlearn why the CDC failed to make mass production of test kits its top priority and who is responsible. But it is clear that heads should roll (The Mercury News editorial,

South Korea is testing 20,000 people every day, thanks to a biotech firm that anticipated the threat in January. South Korea is providing free tests for anyone a doctor deems necessary at more than 100 facilities across the nation. The result is that South Korea is now seeing more recoveries than new cases.

Contrast that with the state of California, which has only 10 million fewer people than South Korea. Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday that the state has been provided with 8,227 testing kits from the CDC. But some of those kits did not contain all the chemicals needed to administer them to Californians — a glaring failure given that it’s been nearly two months since the coronavirus outbreak began in China.

Newsom compared it to “going to the store and purchasing a printer, but forgetting to purchase the ink. You need multiple components.”

All told, as of Friday [Mar13, 2020], California had conducted a total of only 1,573 tests at its 18 state test labs.

The problem stems from the CDC’s botched first effort to mass produce test kits, followed by delays in sending promised replacement kits for several weeks.

“The incompetence has really exceeded what anyone would expect with the CDC,” Dr. Michael Mina, an epidemiologist at Harvard University, told the New York Times. “This is not a difficult problem to solve in the world of viruses.”

Testing is crucial to slowing the spread of the disease because it allows those who are infected to be quarantined. Health officials can then trace who they may have been in contact with and test and possibly quarantine those people.

It’s essential that Congress investigate what went wrong and take steps to prevent it from happening during the next inevitable infectious disease threat. But that’s for another day. The focus now must be on taking steps to minimize further spread of coronavirus and its impact on people and the economy.

The state is turning to its major hospitals and private labs for additional help. It’s possible that their testing sites could be up and running in the next week. President Trump’s declaration of a national emergency on Friday could also eliminate red tape and speed the testing process.

Once upon a time, the United States was the global leader in fighting infectious diseases and serving as the provider for testing kits to the world. Those days are long gone. The CDC must act to make up for its incompetence and take whatever steps necessary to protect Americans against current and future outbreaks.

The CDC must also give clear direction on how hospitals can treat patients during this national emergency. It is not done. China recommended three drugs that can help some patients. CDC does not provided any recommendations at all.

A botched implementation of cutting air travel with Europe

Abrupt announcement caused panic and airports on arrival became so overcrowded that they became epicenter of spreading the decease: they manage to replicate the situation that was far worse that exists on cruise ships with many thousand of people.

Can air conditioners that re-circulate air spread the virus?

Air conditioners are also known to circulate air-borne diseases such as Legionairre’s Disease, a potentially fatal infectious disease that produces high fever and pneumonia. For efficiency air-conditioned on cruise ships, bases and airplanes mix fresh air with the already circulated air and this is a concern. For example, some experts think that in Diamond Princess cruise ship epidemic AC might help to spread the virus to all cabin

Currently there is no strong evidence to support the claim that the virus can be transmitted through the air conditioner recirculation. It is believed to be spread mainly through droplets on close contact with infected person (less then 2m). In this case the mucus or saliva of an infected person who sneezes or coughs can be inhaled and infect the person.  This virus is likely to die when the droplets dry up (Can the coronavirus be spread through the air, Singapore News & Top Stories - The Straits Times):

Experts say if the virus could really survive even after the droplets carrying it have dried up, it would have spread through the air as dust particles and potentially infected 10 times more people, which is not the case.

Last week, a Shanghai official, Mr Zeng Qun, said the virus could spread through aerosol transmission, or the mixing of the virus with airborne liquid droplets.

This would allow the virus to linger in the air and infect those who inhale it, he said. Diseases that are known to spread this way include tuberculosis, chicken pox and measles.

But an infectious diseases expert at the Chinese Centre for Disease Control and Prevention, Mr Feng Luzhao, refuted this on Sunday, stating that the droplets carrying the virus travel only about 1m to 2m and do not stay suspended in the air. This is why you are unlikely to catch the virus through transient (or short-term) contact such as on public transport.

Ultraviolet rays and heat from the sun can kill the virus as virus does not last long on fresh air in a sunny day.  This is true for all viruses. The likelihood of viral persistence outdoors is lower, as most studies indicate that viruses do not survive in hot and humid environments. This refers to a temperature of over 30C and a humidity level of over 80 per cent.

Using humidifier at home and maintaining 50% humidity might  help to protect you and family members.

Trump threatens to invoke Defense Production Act but, being a patsy of Wall Street,  is afraid to do so

Trump is a neoliberal to the core so he postponed invocation of the Defense Production Act (DPA). That did not stop him from threatening toinvoke it, but people at the top understand that those threats are toothless.  Trump has a chance to prove that his is not  complete stooge of  Wall Street and financial oligarchy.

On March 28, 2020 he threatened to invoke the Defense Production Act (DPA) to force General Motors to ramp up production of  ventilators. He did did not actually invoked it due to the big business lobbying (including powerful U.S. Chamber of Commerce) against the use of the emergency powers (Trump, Biden and the Defense Production Act - FactCheck.org):

Five days later, on March 18, Trump invoked the Defense Production Act “just in case we need it.” But Trump stopped short of implementing the act to force production of certain goods. Later that day, Trump tweeted, “I only signed the Defense Production Act to combat the Chinese Virus should we need to invoke it in a worst case scenario in the future. Hopefully there will be no need.”

... ... ...

In the following days, Trump said that he was reluctant to use the Defense Production Act to force corporations to make products, likening such a move to “nationalizing our businesses.”

This sucker does not even understand that nationalizing can be a temporary measure:

Trump, March 22: We’re a country not based on nationalizing our business. Call a person over in Venezuela; ask them how did nationalization of their businesses work out. Not too well. The concept of nationalizing our business is not a good concept.

Trump, March 26: For the most part, the companies … We say, “We need this,” and they say, “Don’t bother. We’re going to do it.” I mean, we — we’re dealing with Ford, General Motors, 3M. We’re dealing with great companies. They want to do this. They want to do this. They’re doing things that — that frankly, they don’t need somebody to walk over there with a — with a hammer and say, “Do it.” They are getting it done.

Of course his rhetoric was different, but in reality he behaved like a patsy, he actually is (Trump bucks business on Defense Production Act TheHill)

“Our fight against the virus is too urgent to allow the give-and-take of the contracting process to continue to run its normal course,” Trump said in a statement. “GM was wasting time. Today’s action will help ensure the quick production of ventilators that will save American lives.” 

Trump also said the country “will be making over 100,000 pretty quickly.” States have warned of a dangerous shortage of the breathing machines.

Trump also tapped White House aide Peter Navarro to coordinate policies enacted under the Korean War-era law that gives the president broad authority to increase the manufacturing output of critical items in times of national emergency, including public health crises.

“My order establishes that Peter will serve as national Defense Production Act policy coordinator for the federal government,” Trump said Friday during a White House briefing. “That's a very important position. More important probably than it's almost ever been in our country.”

All he did is a little bit ruffle GM brass feathers: TheHill

“As usual with ‘this’ General Motors, things just never seem to work out,” Trump tweeted. “They said they were going to give us 40,000 much needed Ventilators, “very quickly”. Now they are saying it will only be 6000, in late April, and they want top dollar. Always a mess with Mary B. Invoke ‘P.’ ”

On Friday, before Trump invoked the DPA, Neil Bradley, the Chamber’s executive vice president and chief policy officer, told The Hill that the move would be unnecessary.

Because companies had already stepped up to address the country’s needs, Bradley said, the call for more DPA authority is like a solution in search of a problem, adding, “Should we do something that won’t produce any positive effect just because we can say we did it?”

On Friday, the Chamber also launched a tool that showcased corporate America’s robust contribution to combat the coronavirus pandemic.

“When the issue of DPA comes up, it’s a question of would that allow us to do something that we couldn’t otherwise do?” Bradley said Friday afternoon. “Or [would it] help us meet the needs, at least with respect to increasing production itself? The answer is no.”

But by Friday evening, Trump signed a presidential memorandum placing at least some of GM’s production lines in the hands of the Department of Health and Human Services.

Trump’s order directed his administration to use “any and all authority available under the Defense Production Act to require General Motors to accept, perform, and prioritize Federal contracts for ventilators.”

Defense Production Act was enacted in 1950 as response to the Korean War Trump invokes Defense Production Act: What is it? | Fox News

Companies are required to accept and prioritize contracts from the government and to prioritize “materials, services, and facilities to promote the national defense or to maximize domestic energy supplies.” While this provision has historically been used to ramp up military production, in the midst of the COVID19 pandemic the act will be used for medical supplies.

The second provision in the act provides financial measures, such as loans, loan guarantees, purchases, and purchase commitments, to speed up the production of materials “needed to support national defense and homeland security procurement requirements.”

The act also addresses voluntary agreements – or what the government says is “an association of private interests, approved by the Government to plan and coordinate actions in support of the national defense.” The proviso permits business competitors to work together to plan and coordinate measures to increase the supply of materials.

Along with the three main provisions, the act also provides the government with the authority to obtain information from businesses, authorizes establishment of the National Defense Executive Reserve, and a Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States – which works on the effects on national security of certain mergers, acquisitions, and takeovers related to foreign investment in the U.S.

When the act is invoked it requires the administration to file an annual report to Congress on the impact of offsets on the defense preparedness, industrial competitiveness, employment, and trade from the act.


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[May 24, 2020] I Think It May Have Cost Lives - Nobel Prize Winner Slams Lockdowns As Product Of Panic Virus

May 24, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

According to the Telegraph , Michael Levitt correctly predicted the initial trajectory of the pandemic, but was ignored by now-disgraced Imperial College epidemiologist Niall Ferguson, whose warnings were embraced by the UK government as justification for the lockdown, despite the fact that the projections proved to be extremely flawed and dramatically overestimated the virus's potential for devastation. As early as march, Levitt warned that Ferguson's projections had over-estimated the potential death toll by "10 or 12 times".

Instead of helping the situation, Fergusons' projections created an unnecessary "panic virus" which spread among global political leaders, Prof Levitt told the Telegraph.

Prof Levitt, a British-American-Israeli who shared the Nobel prize for chemistry in 2013 for the "development of multiscale models for complex chemical systems", has said for two months that the planet will beat coronavirus faster than most other experts predict.

"I think lockdown saved no lives," said the scientist, who added that the Government should have encouraged Britons to wear masks and adhere to other forms of social distancing.

"I think it may have cost lives. It will have saved a few road accident lives - things like that - but social damage - domestic abuse, divorces, alcoholism - has been extreme. And then you have those who were not treated for other conditions."

Data from various studies has offered a mixed picture about the effectiveness of the lockdowns. The number of cases and deaths has undoubtedly plunged in the US and across Europe since strict lockdowns were almost universally enacted, but many wonder whether governments are being overly cautious, perhaps to a dangerous degree.

Though his models have been vindicated by the passage of time, Levitt said his initial concerns about Ferguson's models were largely ignored due to what he calls the "panic virus", despite the fact that there's recent precedent for epidemiological models over-estimating the impact of other outbreaks, including H1N1 and Ebola.

Having assessed the initial outbreak in China and from the infected Diamond Princess cruise ship, he predicted by March 14 that the UK would lose around 50,000 lives. Prof Ferguson's modelling that same week estimated up to 500,000 deaths without social distancing measures.

"I think that the real virus was the panic virus," Prof Levitt told the Telegraph. "For reasons that were not clear to me, I think the leaders panicked and the people panicked and I think there was a huge lack of discussion..

The 73-year-old has no background as an epidemiologist, but he assessed the outbreak in China and prepared a paper based on his own calculations. Most countries, he predicted, would suffer a Covid-19 death rate worth around an extra month in excess deaths over the calendar year.

"In Europe, I don't think that anything actually stopped the virus other than some kind of burnout," he added. " There's a huge number of people who are asymptomatic so I would seriously imagine that by the time lockdown was finally introduced in the UK the virus was already widely spread. They could have just stayed open like Sweden by that stage and nothing would have happened."

Professor Levitt has now analysed the data from 78 nations with more than 50 reported cases of coronavirus. His investigations proved the virus was never going to achieve the type of exponential growth that the researchers at Imperial were predicting at the same time.

At this point, Levitt believes the virus has reached a point of saturation across Europe and parts of the US making lockdowns much less effective. At this point, they're probably causing far more harm than benefit.

The virus "has saturated", he believes, across Europe. "I think the lockdown will cause much more damage than the deaths saved," he added. "When I saw the briefing (from Prof Ferguson) I was shocked. I had a run-in with him when I actually saw that Ferguson's death rate was a year's worth - doubling the normal death rate. I saw that and said immediately that's completely wrong. I think Ferguson over-estimated 10 or 12 times. We should have seen from China that a virus never grows exponentially. From the very first case you see, exponential growth actually slows down very dramatically.

"The problem with epidemiologists is that they feel their job is to frighten people into lockdown, social distancing. So you say 'there's going to be a million deaths' and when there are only 25,000 you say 'it's good you listened to my advice'. This happened with Ebola and bird flu. It's just part of the madness."

Prof Levitt says the global evidence shows the virus fades in dry heat and in much of the western world "there seems to be some kind of immunity". "The main worry I would have would be in China," he said when asked about the prospect of a second outbreak. "I am 73 and I feel very young," he added. "I don't care about the risk at all. As you get old the risk of dying from disease is so high that this is the time to buy a motorcycle, go skiing!"

Even as the NYT and WaPo search for every shred of evidence to support the view that the reopening in the US will lead to a second wave, they're finding that there's not nearly as much as they'd hoped - which is why projections are their new favorite tool.

[May 24, 2020] It all points to social economic status and povert: one argument against shutting down economies so drastically

May 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Blue Dotterel , May 24 2020 16:29 utc | 8

"It all points to social economic status and poverty," Gray Molina said.

This is probably true. It was one argument against shutting down economies so drastically. This is less of a problem in the wealthier countries for the moment, but in a second or third wave, you will probably see more deaths among the below 60s due to increasing poverty caused by poorly managed lockdowns this time around.

[May 24, 2020] 'How Could the CDC Make That Mistake?' The government's disease-fighting agency is conflating viral and antibody tests, compromising a few crucial metrics that governors depend on to reopen their economies. Pennsylvania, Georgia, Texas, and other states are doing the same.

Notable quotes:
"... "According to CDC, the disease of obesity affects about 78 million Americans 1 and the ASMBS estimates about 24 million have severe or morbid obesity." ..."
May 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Richard Steven Hack , May 24 2020 23:54 utc | 46

And the government botching of this crisis continues...

'How Could the CDC Make That Mistake?' The government's disease-fighting agency is conflating viral and antibody tests, compromising a few crucial metrics that governors depend on to reopen their economies. Pennsylvania, Georgia, Texas, and other states are doing the same.
https://tinyurl.com/y92ea59f

And overseas as well...

'Politicised nature' of lockdown debate delays Imperial report
https://tinyurl.com/y7csboom

And of course, the effect of that...

Nearly half of US states haven't contained their coronavirus outbreaks, a new study finds
https://tinyurl.com/yc72pd8t

And no, Sweden is not doing better...

Just 7.3% of Stockholm had Covid-19 antibodies by end of April, study shows
Official findings add to concerns about Sweden's laissez-faire strategy towards the pandemic
https://tinyurl.com/yahnmb3a

Finally, a large scale study on HCQ - 86,000 patients, with 15,000 receiving HCQ...

Trump drug hydroxychloroquine raises death risk in Covid patients, study says
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-52779309

The color of coronavirus:
COVID-19 deaths by race and ethnicity in the U.S.
https://www.apmresearchlab.org/covid/deaths-by-race

Blacks are *twice* as likely to get it as whites and Latinos. American Indians are *five times* more likely to get it. They conclude the best indicator is poverty.

From The Lancet, a study of New York patients... Epidemiology, clinical course, and outcomes of critically ill adults with COVID-19 in New York City: a prospective cohort study https://tinyurl.com/yblmszsx

Between March 2 and April 1, 2020, 1150 adults were admitted to both hospitals with laboratory-confirmed COVID-19, of which 257 (22%) were critically ill.

The median age of patients was 62 years (IQR 51–72), 171 (67%) were men. 212 (82%) patients had at least one chronic illness, the most common of which were hypertension (162 [63%]) and diabetes (92 [36%]).

119 (46%) patients had obesity.

As of April 28, 2020, 101 (39%) patients had died and 94 (37%) remained hospitalised.

203 (79%) patients received invasive mechanical ventilation for a median of 18 days (IQR 9–28), 170 (66%) of 257 patients received vasopressors and 79 (31%) received renal replacement therapy.

The median time to in-hospital deterioration was 3 days (IQR 1–6).

In the multivariable Cox model, older age (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR] 1·31 [1·09–1·57] per 10-year increase), chronic cardiac disease (aHR 1·76 [1·08–2·86]), chronic pulmonary disease (aHR 2·94 [1·48–5·84]), higher concentrations of interleukin-6 (aHR 1·11 [95%CI 1·02–1·20] per decile increase), and higher concentrations of D-dimer (aHR 1·10 [1·01–1·19] per decile increase) were independently associated with in-hospital mortality.

Note: 36% had diabetes; 46% were fat. Like I've said before, "diabetes" is a code word for "fat." And how many people in the US are fat and thus at risk? "According to CDC, the disease of obesity affects about 78 million Americans 1 and the ASMBS estimates about 24 million have severe or morbid obesity."

So much for "let's just isolate the elderly"...so we can attend our baseball games this summer and stuff ourselves with crap food...

[May 24, 2020] It's the biggest question in the world right now: is Covid-19 a deadly disease that only a small fraction of our populations have so far been exposed to? Or is it a much milder pandemic that a large percentage of people have already encountered and is already on its way out?

May 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

Swedish Family , says: Show Comment May 21, 2020 at 8:39 pm GMT

New UnHerd interview up , this time with Sunetra Gupta, professor of theoretical epidemiology at Oxford. From their summary:

It's the biggest question in the world right now: is Covid-19 a deadly disease that only a small fraction of our populations have so far been exposed to? Or is it a much milder pandemic that a large percentage of people have already encountered and is already on its way out?

If Professor Neil Ferguson of Imperial College is the figurehead for the first opinion, then Sunetra Gupta, Professor of Theoretical Epidemiology at the University of Oxford, is the representative of the second. Her group at Oxford produced a rival model to Ferguson's back in March which speculated that as much as 50% of the population may already have been infected and the true Infection Fatality Rate may be as low as 0.1%.

Since then, we have seen various antibody studies around the world indicating a disappointingly small percentage of seroprevalence -- the percentage of the population has the anti-Covid-19 antibody. It was starting to seem like Ferguson's view was the one closer to the truth.

But, in her first major interview since the Oxford study was published in March, Professor Gupta is only more convinced that her original opinion was correct.

As she sees it, the antibody studies, although useful, do not indicate the true level of exposure or level of immunity. First, many of the antibody tests are "extremely unreliable" and rely on hard-to-achieve representative groups. But more important, many people who have been exposed to the virus will have other kinds of immunity that don't show up on antibody tests -- either for genetic reasons or the result of pre-existing immunities to related coronaviruses such as the common cold.

The implications of this are profound – it means that when we hear results from antibody tests (such as a forthcoming official UK Government study) the percentage who test positive for antibodies is not necessarily equal to the percentage who have immunity or resistance to the virus. The true number could be much higher.

Observing the very similar patterns of the epidemic across countries around the world has convinced Professor Gupta that it is this hidden immunity, more than lockdowns or government interventions, that offers the best explanation of the Covid-19 progression:

"In almost every context we've seen the epidemic grow, turn around and die away -- almost like clockwork. Different countries have had different lockdown policies, and yet what we've observed is almost a uniform pattern of behaviour which is highly consistent with the SIR model. To me that suggests that much of the driving force here was due to the build-up of immunity. I think that's a more parsimonious explanation than one which requires in every country for lockdown (or various degrees of lockdown, including no lockdown) to have had the same effect."

Asked what her updated estimate for the Infection Fatality Rate is, Professor Gupta says, "I think that the epidemic has largely come and is on its way out in this country so I think it would be definitely less than 1 in 1000 and probably closer to 1 in 10,000." That would be somewhere between 0.1% and 0.01%.

[ ]

https://www.youtube.com/embed/DKh6kJ-RSMI?feature=oembed

If she is right, antibody tests are a poor measure of the true virus spread, and the declining death rate Sweden and many other countries have seen this past month is from immunity -- not measures -- lowering the effective reproduction number. Time will tell.

[May 24, 2020] Coronafacts IFR 1%, Spread Low by Anatoly Karlin

May 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

Beckow , says: Show Comment May 21, 2020 at 11:24 am GMT

To summarise: corona infects less than 5-10% of people, more under ideal virus circumstances in cold, dumpy ski resorts or in NY-London tenements. Among infected it kills about 1%, almost all over 65, with those over 80 having a 10-20% chance of dying.

And they shut down the world, because ' corona '. This is a policy of 'do anything to protect the old' even if it means enslaving the young, a gerontocracy that would be unthinkable in the past.

It is dawning on even the most fanatical corona fans that the data won't change. Now we hear about a 'second wave' – why only one more? Or that the restrictions stopped a disaster – one of those 'what if' historical speculations. But the best one lately is that ' we didn't know anything, nobody knew '.

Right, who knew? One can justify anything by embracing ignorance: "I know nothing, but you must do what I say." This is one is better than WMDs, lier loans, or Putin personally flipping votes in Michigan in 2016 West is really growing intellectually. I can't wait for the next one

sudden death , says: Show Comment May 21, 2020 at 11:50 am GMT

To summarise: corona infects less than 5-10% of people, more under ideal virus circumstances in cold, dumpy ski resorts or in NY-London tenements

That is in 2-3 months since initial infections and it was enough to completely overwhelm organized healthcare in some places and strain very hard in most places, then all those loathed protective measures kick in and the spread slows because of it. If there were no such any measures taken anywhere in the world growth would become explosively exponential very soon and those 5% would increase tenfold.

Ludwig , says: Show Comment May 21, 2020 at 1:34 pm GMT
Thanks for a great list of resources! Incidentally ongoing studies from the COVID-19 stricken USS Roosevelt – a closed ecosystem like the Diamond Princess but with relatively young, fit crew members – should be interesting. ( https://www.washingtonpost.com/national-security/2020/04/23/roosevelt-coronavirus-epidemiology )

A couple of thoughts (and apologize if they may be in some of the links you mentioned):

While it's good to know what the "average" IFR is, IMO it's as important from a policy point of view to know what the conditions in which it varies and how much (based on current treatment options) it can vary by. Speaking purely statistically, a mean of 1% with a 95% CI of 0.9-1.1% is significantly different from one of 1% with a 95% CI of 0.01% to 2%.

Here are some factors that we already know significantly impact hospitalizations/mortality:

Inherent Factors:
– Age (easily the biggest known variable for impacting IFR, likely correlated with immune system response)
– Gender (men more susceptible than women (around 30% more?)
– Co-morbidity (correlates with pre-existing damage to tissues throughout the body and sensitivity of receptors/immune response)
– Prior coronavirus history (??? One paper claims that recent infection with coronavirus that causes the common cold may offer cross-reactive antibodies to SARS-Cov-2 https://www.lji.org/news-events/news/post/first-detailed-analysis-of-immune-response-to-sars-cov-2-bodes-well-for-covid-19-vaccine-development/ )
– Blood groups (??? Contradictory/not fully vetted data claiming for example those with ABO antigen type A more susceptible to infection progressing than type O, B, AB)

External Factors
– Early detection and treatment before severe symptoms
– Medical care availability
– Tailored treatment cocktails (evolving but reports that each country/region gaining experience on identifying optimal treatment regimens depending on patient)
– Optimal use of ventilators (reports that though low blood oxygen is first presented, automatic intubating may often make things worse)
– Lethality/Infectiousness of different strains (?? Non-peer reviewed studies claim for example at least three major strains that differ in infectiousness/severity which are found dominant in different regions.

There may be more (eg BCG vaccine (a theory I don't buy for reasons too long to go into here); past use of nicotine etc; ethnic genotypes etc).

But the point is, based on even current, rapidly evolving knowledge, IFR varies widely based on known/speculative factors, which should inform response policy from severity/types of lockdowns/social restrictions to medical responses in addition to efforts to prevent infection in the first place.

A123 , says: Show Comment May 21, 2020 at 1:36 pm GMT
@AP The interesting & important thing to note is that fatalities are heavily tied to the related factors of pre-existing conditions and advanced age. For example:

https://www.statista.com/statistics/1107913/number-of-coronavirus-deaths-in-sweden-by-age-groups/

With CQ/AZ/ZN available everywhere, the bulk of the economy could reopen immediately with or without masks. Given that psychology is important, odds are mask wearing will make the restart more effective. However, masks provide partial protection at most.

Znzn , says: Show Comment May 21, 2020 at 3:03 pm GMT
Let us talk about this again, basically, how much of international travel is really necessary, the cheap labor travel? White pedos vacationing in Thailand? A lot of mass tourism just leads to places like Queenstown, Kyoto, and Venice being trashed, driving the locals out, and losing their local culture, and 95 percent of business travel are really junkets that can be replaced by videoconferencing.
Znzn , says: Show Comment May 21, 2020 at 3:05 pm GMT
@james wilson Given that the current crap state of Western culture is that responsibility of SJW millennials and zoomer maybe it is they that should be sacrificed? How much will the world lose anyway? The world was much better off before they came here. They are the ones who are responsible for things going off the deep end the past decade or so. Look at how much better Star Trek the next generation was compared to the crap now by JJ Abrams.
utu , says: Show Comment May 21, 2020 at 3:18 pm GMT
I liked very much the paper by the Berkeley physicists: Modi, Chirag, Vanessa Boehm, Simone Ferraro, George Stein, and Uros Seljak. Epidemiologists and all kinds of statisticians could learn from them how to write transparently. One of the reason there are so many papers written poorly is that the authors often have to obfuscate as they do not really understand what they are doing. People can be taught how to use statistical software packages like SAS, SPSS, R w/o really understanding the underlying mathematical routines.

[May 23, 2020] Lock Bill Gates Up!

May 23, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Millennial Millie investigates the deep conflicts of interest and connections Bill Gates has with the coronavirus and his proposed 'vaccine' to cure the pandemic.

[May 23, 2020] Plummeting Morale, Rising Discontent

May 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

financial matters , May 23 2020 0:36 utc | 49

This is an interesting look at the situation in the military as related to the militaries place in society. It is written in Marxist language of class struggle which is one way to look at it. There does seem to be pressure for some sort of social reform.

Also similar things could be said about the working conditions of many of our 'essential workers'

The Coronavirus Crisis Is Creating Dissent Within The Ranks Of The Armed Forces.
https://popularresistance.org/the-growing-outbreak-of-discontent-in-the-us-military/

""It is a well-known feature of revolutionary history that the individual soldiers and sailors who make up the armed forces can be affected by the overarching mood in society and play a key role in the class struggle. The cramped quarters of Navy warships have been likened to "floating factories," and given the proletarian background of most of their crews, these conditions can breed a fierce class hatred.

Add a deadly virus to the already volatile mix, and the stage is set for a social explosion.

On April 2, Thomas Modly, the then-Acting Secretary of the Navy, relieved Crozier of command and ordered him removed from the vessel. An online video was posted of Crozier leaving the vessel, with the Roosevelt's crew on deck cheering him and chanting his name. To the rank and file, an officer standing up to leadership at such a high level to advocate on their behalf is almost unheard of. Then, Modly, who previously sat on the Defense Business Board of a $42 billion consulting firm, actually flew all the way out to Guam -- at a reported cost of $243,000 -- to personally berate the crew, calling them "stupid," and Captain Crozier "naïve." His profanity-laden rebuke was also leaked by members of the crew.

Modly was defiantly heckled by the sailors, and after the subsequent public outcry, he resigned on April 7. As of the writing of this article, there have been over 1,100 positive cases of COVID-19 among the crew of the Roosevelt -- including Crozier himself. One crew member, a junior enlisted sailor, has died. The crew continues to languish in port as Crozier's dire prediction came true. This saga of higher-level commanders ignoring the warnings of the people "on the ground" is all too familiar to the military rank and file.

Plummeting Morale, Rising Discontent

The public heckling of Thomas Modly was a significant event. No matter how unpopular the leader, service members will almost always "sit there and take it," both out of a sense of professionalism -- and out of fear of punishment. The response of the Roosevelt's crew reflects a population on edge

In these conditions of dysfunction and discontent, military leaders are undoubtedly haunted by the recent 45th anniversary of the Fall of Saigon, which marked the defeat of the US in Vietnam amid widespread mutinies and soldier resistance. In the course of that war, the Pentagon documented half a million cases of desertion, and at least 900 incidents of "fragging" -- the deliberate killing of officers by soldiers.

As a result, the Pentagon drew certain conclusions and the entire military was restructured in an attempt to cut across a repeat of those events. The military is no longer made up of conscripts, most combat missions are performed by special forces or drones, and information is effectively sanitized and kept out of public view. And yet, despite these measures, service member opposition to the current wars, has been on the rise, especially among veterans.

In many cases, soldiers are recruited on the predatory basis of the "poverty draft," with the promise of a stable income, housing, healthcare, education opportunities, and an escape from the deprivations of capitalism. But the empty nature of these promises is revealed by the rates of homelessness and mental illness among veterans.

According to a "Political Risk Outlook" published by the strategic consulting firm Maplecroft, a quarter of the countries on the earth's surface experienced a surge in civil unrest, mass protests, and revolutionary situations last year. The report summary concluded by describing 2019 as the "new normal":"

The pent-up rage that has boiled over into street protests over the past year has caught most governments by surprise. Policymakers across the globe have mostly reacted with limited concessions and a clampdown by security forces, but without addressing the underlying causes. However, even if tackled immediately, most of the grievances are deeply entrenched and would take years to address. With this in mind, 2019 is unlikely to be a flash in the pan. The next 12 months are likely to yield more of the same, and companies and investors will have to learn to adapt and live with this "new normal." "

[May 22, 2020] Grandma Killer Cuomo Sent 4,300 Patients Back To Nursing Homes Despite Positive COVID-19 Tests

May 22, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

"Grandma Killer" Cuomo Sent 4,300 Patients Back To Nursing Homes Despite Positive COVID-19 Tests by Tyler Durden Fri, 05/22/2020 - 17:25 Earlier this month, a reporter at one of NY Gov Andrew Cuomo's daily press briefings asked the governor about reports that the state issued guidance calling for hospitals to return thousands of patients who had tested positive for COVID-19 to nursing homes or long-term care facilities where they lived.

Somehow, despite the horrifying notion that Cuomo deliberately sent patients back to nursing homes where they unleashed some of the deadliest outbreaks in the country, the governor readily owned up to the decision, and insisted public health officials believed this to be the best option to prevent the patients from just hanging around the hospital.

With the benefit of hindsight, we now see that the hospital bed shortages that the US had prepared for never came to pass. So, not only did this decision lead to thousands of deaths, it was also totally unnecessary.

Because as the Associated Press reported Friday morning, an investigation discovered that more than 4,000 nursing home patients who had tested positive for COVID-19 were returned to their care facilities due to this state order.

More than 4,300 recovering coronavirus patients were sent to New York's already vulnerable nursing homes under a controversial state directive that was ultimately scrapped amid criticisms it was accelerating the nation's deadliest outbreaks, according to a count by The Associated Press.

AP compiled its own tally to find out how many COVID-19 patients were discharged from hospitals to nursing homes under the March 25 directive after New York's Health Department declined to release its internal survey conducted two weeks ago. It says it is still verifying data that was incomplete.

The issue has become a huge problem for Cuomo, who has been labeled "the grandma killer" by critics. When confronted with the data by the AP, the state health department declined to comment. One individual quoted by the AP called it "the single dumbest decision" made during the response to the pandemic.

And guess what - this decision had nothing to do with President Trump. While Cuomo of course tried to deflected criticism to the Trump administration by claiming that the decision stemmed from federal guidance, the AP pointed out that "few states went as far as New York and neighboring New Jersey, which has the second-most care home deaths, in discharging hospitalized coronavirus patients to nursing homes. California followed suit but loosened its requirement following intense criticism."

Whatever the full number, nursing home administrators, residents' advocates and relatives say i t has added up to a big and indefensible problem for facilities that even Gov. Andrew Cuomo -- the main proponent of the policy -- called "the optimum feeding ground for this virus."

"It was the single dumbest decision anyone could make if they wanted to kill people," Daniel Arbeeny said of the directive, which prompted him to pull his 88-year-old father out of a Brooklyn nursing home where more than 50 people have died. His father later died of COVID-19 at home.

"This isn't rocket science," Arbeeny said. "We knew the most vulnerable - the elderly and compromised - are in nursing homes and rehab centers."

Told of the AP's tally, the Health Department said late Thursday it "can't comment on data we haven't had a chance to review, particularly while we're still validating our own comprehensive survey of nursing homes admission and re-admission data in the middle of responding to this global pandemic."

Cuomo didn't reverse the order until May 10. According to the directive, nursing homes could "refuse" to take in the patients if they weren't "equipped" to handle them. But unsurprisingly, no nursing homes did so - since this would be tantamount to admitting that the facilities weren't safe .

Cuomo, a Democrat, on May 10 reversed the directive, which had been intended to help free up hospital beds for the sickest patients as cases surged. But he continued to defend it this week , saying he didn't believe it contributed to the more than 5,800 nursing and adult care facility deaths in New York -- more than in any other state -- and that homes should have spoken up if it was a problem.

"Any nursing home could just say, 'I can't handle a COVID person in my facility,'" he said, although the March 25 order didn't specify how homes could refuse, saying that "no resident shall be denied re-admission or admission to the (nursing home) solely based" on confirmed or suspected COVID-19.

Over a month later, on April 29, the Health Department clarified that homes should not take any new residents if they were unable to meet their needs, including a checklist of standards for coronavirus care and prevention.

And according to the AP, even the most well-equipped nursing homes in the state saw the trickle of COVID patients turn into a flood that quickly overwhelmed their ability to cope. Across the country, thousands of nursing home residents and staff have succumbed to the illness.

Gurwin Jewish, a 460-bed home on Long Island, seemed well-prepared for the coronavirus in early March, with movable walls to seal off hallways for the infected. But after the state order, a trickle of recovering COVID-19 patients from local hospitals turned into a flood of 58 people.

More walls were put up, but other residents nonetheless began falling sick and dying. In the end, 47 Gurwin residents died of confirmed or suspected COVID-19.

The state order "put staff and residents at great risk," CEO Stuart Almer said. "We can't draw a straight line from bringing in someone positive to someone catching the disease, but we're talking about elderly, fragile and vulnerable residents."

Nationally, over 35,500 people have died from coronavirus outbreaks at nursing homes and long-term care facilities, about a third of the overall death toll, according to the AP's running tally.

Bottom line: Irony of ironies, the most sanctimonious blue-state governors, who used every conceivable pretext to bash President Trump, also allowed the largest numbers of vulnerable patients to die because of what amounts to sheer bureaucratic idiocy.

The scandal has earned Cuomo a new nickname that has been heavily suppressed by the likes of Google, Facebook and Twitter: The "Grandma Killer".

[May 22, 2020] Cuomo Order That Sent Estimated 4,300 Covid-19 Patients to Nursing Homes Denounced as 'Single Dumbest Decision Anyone Could Make'

May 22, 2020 | www.commondreams.org

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo is facing new criticism after the Associated Press reported Friday that a state directive led to over 4,300 still recovering coronavirus patients being sent to New York's "already vulnerable nursing homes."

"It was a death sentence," tweeted Daniel Choi, a doctor at the Donald and Barbara Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell. He called the directive a "horrendous idea" and "definitely not something any doctor taking care of nursing home patients would have signed off on."

The state health department directive (pdf), issued March 25, barred nursing homes from requiring patients deemed "medically stable" from being tested for Covid-19 prior to admission. Cuomo, a Democrat, rescinded the order May 10, but not before thousands of infected patients likely entered nursing homes and contributed to the coronavirus's spread.

The estimated number tallied by the AP amounts to what would have been a "big and indefensible problem for facilities," the outlet reported.

From the AP :

"It was the single dumbest decision anyone could make if they wanted to kill people," Daniel Arbeeny said of the directive, which prompted him to pull his 88-year-old father out of a Brooklyn nursing home where more than 50 people have died. His father later died of Covid-19 at home.

"This isn't rocket science," Arbeeny said. "We knew the most vulnerable -- the elderly and compromised -- are in nursing homes and rehab centers."

CBS New York reported Friday that the conoravirus has taken the lives of almost 5% of nursing home residents in the state, and this week the Cuomo tried to deflect blame for the directive.

"Why did the state do that with Covid patients in nursing homes?" asked Cuomo. "It's because the state followed President Trump's CDC guidelines. So they should ask President Trump."

In an op-ed at the Guardian on Wednesday questioning the recent accolades heaped on the New York governor -- including suggestions that Cuomo run for president -- journalists Lyta Gold and Nathan Robinson of Current Affairs magazine write that "Cuomo should be one of the most loathed officials in America right now. "

Gold and Robinson argue that blame for New York's high death toll from the virus should sit largely with Cuomo.

"Federal failures played a role, of course, but this tragedy was absolutely due, in part, to decisions by the governor," they wrote, citing as examples his failure to take swift action, delays in imposing social distancing measures, Medicaid cuts both before and after the start of the pandemic, and his partnership with Silicon Valley billionaires to "reimagine education."

"This is the problem: for too long, Democrats have measured their politicians by 'whether they are better than Republicans,' wrote Gold and Robinson. "This sets the bar very low indeed, and means that Democrats end up settling for incompetent and amoral leaders who betray progressive values again and again."

[May 22, 2020] End New York City's lockdown now! by David Marcus

May 22, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Terence Gore , 21 May 2020 at 12:13 PM

long interview Robert Kennedy Jr

as left as you can get

against the left support of big Pharma

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=3164&v=QLi6ZrFp6vQ&feature=emb_logo

RFrancis , 21 May 2020 at 12:27 PM
The phrase "professional deformations" helped clarify a number of things for me! Thank you for your incisive words, Col. Lang.
CK , 21 May 2020 at 12:30 PM
But what about the snitches and the virtue signalers and the screamingly fearful faux celebrities, and how can you be so cruel to the currently essential who if we re-open have to return to being just another bunch of working stiffs. Have you not seen the vasty deep outpouring of love and affection we are currently piling on the Nurse Ratcheds and Dr. Evils of the world for their virtuous and self effacing tv commercials and the many glorious PSAs with paeans and "we're all in this together" sophistries from various health insurance companies and makers of very expensive symptom mollifiers?
I am sorry sir, but I must disagree. We must not only keep closed that which is currently closed, we must use the power of the IC and the various state and federal militaries and national guards to close down all the open and partially opened states and cities and towns and farms and counties and any other political subdivisions of this great nation until we are truly "all in this together".
Or
We could just open all of it, now.
If we did, we would be back to normal in about 60 days, some places would open with new management, some folks would enjoy continued unemployment until they were called back.
I, personally, expect that except for Ca and NY the country will be reopen about 90 days prior to the election.
Deap , 21 May 2020 at 12:38 PM
The liberal media and legislators applied the 100% solution to 1% of the population, if that much.

That was failed leadership; that was slavish "following orders". That was a loss of the maxim "trust, but verify" maxim. This powerful legacy of the Reagan era, must be put back at the forefront of any public decision process. Question authority needs repeating as well.

Our public education system failed us completely for too many decades. Teaching generations of Americans to be critical of America, is not teaching them critical thinking skills. We need to own up to that, from our local school boards on up.

These non-science , not thinking, hateful liberal media and politicians deserve the 100% solution - 100% voted out of office in 2020. Liberal media and legislators must get a new message. Voting and boycotting are the two primary tools we have. Some stunning upsets in primary races are already occurring. It will be morning in America again.

But may we never forget why so many were so willing to shoot ourselves in the foot. For what end purpose? Were we ever so collectively scared as a Nation in the past, that we were willing destroy ourselves as we witnessed happening these past few money - no nuance, no graduated response, no scalpel wiled with professional precision.

What happened to our true grit as Americans? How did we get into this devastatingly false dichotomy - total submission or we are all going to die.

Will there be a post mortem examination of the corpse of our once vibrant nation? This requires honest soul searching. I honestly don't think we have the tools to do this any longer. I hope I am wrong. In fact I would be greatly comforted to be proven wrong.

Will current national leadership rise to this challenge? Or has the Black Swan yet to arrive. Or do we start this soul-searching right here and right now, one by one. "Stronger together". Will the Karens stop demanding we go through their menopause danger years with them.

ancientarcher , 21 May 2020 at 02:02 PM
It is astonishing that no one is talking about the death profile from covid19 (or as it should have been named - the Wuhan coronavirus). Over there in the UK, the median age of death from covid is 83-84.

There has been a lot of talk about Children dying of covid. Only 2 (two) children under the age of 10 have died from covid since it started and they probably had other conditions. This is in a total population of 65million.

Fully 90% of the deaths from covid19 are in the ages of 65+ and that segment of the population doesn't, by and large, participate in production in the economy (of goods or services). While death is always sad and it will lead to grieving, we have to understand that people always die, especially the old and infirm. Anyways, no one is suggesting that they should be left to fend for themselves, the older people and those with conditions makes them high risk should be isolated.

The UK closed the massive Nightingale hospitals that were set up to handle thousands of patients. The one in London handled a total of 54 before shutting down. Clearly, we had over-provisioned for the outbreak (as we should) but very clearly we are past the worst.

Please OPEN UP THE ECONOMY. And do it NOW. The deaths being avoided are not worth keeping the economy shut down, not only in the UK but across the world.

People point towards the Spanish flu where most deaths happened in the 2nd wave. Well, most of those deaths would not have happened had antibiotics been invented then. The deaths were due to subsequent bacterial infections (usually pneumonia) after the virus weakened the immune system.

We need to start going back to normal and we need to do it now!

Fred , 21 May 2020 at 02:03 PM
Democrats - the Dream Killers. Meanwhile immigration is our strength, multi-national corporations may operate, private businesses may not - "for the common good" as Deborah Dingell, former GM lobbyist and now successor to John D's hold on power in Congress and the DNC, likes to repeat daily on her FB stream of concousness - along with exhortations to obedience.

"By prolonging the coronavirus shutdown long after its core mission was accomplished, Gov. Andrew Cuomo and Mayor Bill de Blasio have plunged tens of thousands of New Yorkers into poverty."

Poverty apparently doesn't kill anyone infected with this virus, but it sure is killing our freedoms and thanks to Cuomo and Whitmer it has killed thousands in nursing homes. The press is all praise for them, and tries to gin up stories about other governors, such as De Santis of Florida, or ignores them, as they are going with the story in Georgia.

Eric Newhill , 21 May 2020 at 02:05 PM
Sir,
I was a fence sitter/agnostic until the end of February or early March. Then there was enough data in to be able to understand that the elderly needed to be protected and the rest of should go about life as normal. When you first posted about panic, I wasn't seeing a panic as I would define it. Then a few days later lockdowns were announced. You had the jump on that one!

Just to summarize what I have been saying since the lockdown started, there are going to be more deaths (and many more years of life lost) from all of the people not able and/or too afraid to engage in regular healthcare services than there will be killed by the virus - and from the effects of economic destruction.

The Mayor of Ithaca, NY - not a conservative by any means - made an appeal to Cuomo to open the economy back up and to allow students to return to colleges. He says his college town (includes Cornell U) had the best economy in all of NY up to the lockdown (lowest unemployment, etc). Now he can't collect enough tax revenue to pay police and other public servants.

And that's what I don't get about this scheme to establish a new [socialist] normal. How do the socialists think they are going to generate revenues to pay for everything they want? It's almost as if they don't understand economics 101. Will they turn on their limousine faction and confiscate their wealth along with that of conservatives? Do they really imagine that no one is going to fight back (I mean with votes, pitchforks, guns...whatever)? For that matter, same goes for the non-scheming sincere useful science geek/idiots. They are supposed to be engineer types, but where are the sober calculations of costs and benefits? What are they thinking?

TedBuila , 21 May 2020 at 02:14 PM
Re:
A lot of people die every day of a variety of causes. This virus is a reaper that culls the population, eliminating the weak and the old. The great majority of healthy, productive people survive infection with little or no apparent effect.

The last or only time this brushed me was with polio in Detroit in the 50's. Following your "re-open the country, all of it" swimming pools and Belle Isle would never have been closed would have remained open in August and September to allow nature to thin-out Detroit's/the country's weakest.

That's your C19 call as I read it.

Keith Harbaugh , 21 May 2020 at 02:28 PM
On the damage the shutdowns and restrictions are causing,
this is a good account:

Doctors raise alarm about health effects of continued coronavirus shutdown: 'Mass casualty incident'

https://www.foxnews.com/politics/doctors-raise-alarm-about-health-effects-of-continued-coronavirus-shutdown

Laura Wilson , 21 May 2020 at 02:58 PM
Yeah, too bad about all those doctors and nurses dying. Easily replaced, I'm sure.

It's just math, folks. Epidemics are math...you can either go with the math or try to change the equation and the outcome of the math. I, personally, would rather try to change the equation.

turcopolier , 21 May 2020 at 03:40 PM
Laura Wilson

"The greater good ..." How many doctors and nurses really? How many? You should remember about me that I am accustomed to sacrificing people for the greater good. That is MY professional deformation.

turcopolier , 21 May 2020 at 03:44 PM
TedBuila

This plague actually kills few outside the legion of the old and infirm. Polio kills the youngest first. Yours is a false comparison.

turcopolier , 21 May 2020 at 03:50 PM
Eric Newhill

What were the Khmer Rouge thinking in the Year Zero when they systematically destroyed Cambodia and killed millions?

jerseycityjoan , 21 May 2020 at 04:07 PM
New York City is still getting hundreds of new cases and hospitalizations a day. How many people will want to go to crowded indoor places? If there is social distancing with lots of empty chairs and spaces, how many closed places could make any money if they opened?

There's been a lot of uncertainty and guesswork involved with this new virus and that will continue. We came through the first round with some hotspots but most places doing OK. I think we were right to shut down when we did and that we need to be careful in opening back up. I still trust Dr. Fauci and Dr. Birx.

Certainly it's time to start relaxing restrictions in most places. But we need to remember that this is a new virus with many unknowns and that we are all vulnerable because there's no proven ttestment that works, cure or vaccine.

I have to say that this crisis has taken on a symbolic importance for some. It has not for me. I think this will lead to a lot more disagreement about what should be done in the future, particularly if we have addition waves. That makes me feel uneasy -- very uneasy. I am not assuming we're going to have a very effective vaccine within a year so we may be living with this threat for a long time.

Deap , 21 May 2020 at 04:09 PM
Eric, socialists in California have one standard answer when confronted with funding for their schemes: They'll find the money. .

End of all practical discussion. When asked for details, they will invariably add .. "you had money for the Vietnam war .... the military etc. Just use that money."

Only two decades of total socialism in this state has this done to our fiscal literacy. "Just tax the rich" gets anything passed. Cruel fact in this state, the rich - just the top 1% in this state pay 50% of all state revenues. Only a handful of people pay half the bills.

Should any of this top 1% leave, like Musk recently threatened, shock waves will reach the state's executive suite. But this threat will fall on deaf ears in the state's Democrat super-majority legislature.

Voters finally are catching on - they lost their livelihood due to government actions, but government employees never missed a paycheck. How this translates at the ballot box remains to be seen. Two Democrats getting recently tossed out is a good start, but is it a trend?

My own local city council yesterday just gave all SEIU employees a raise; while our entire economy, much of it dependent on tourism, has been totally trashed. This is what a Democrat one party state looks like.

turcopolier , 21 May 2020 at 04:19 PM
jerseycityjoan

Timid. Will you like living in a dying metro area?

blue peacock , 21 May 2020 at 04:28 PM
"How do the socialists think they are going to generate revenues to pay for everything they want?"

Eric,

Simple. Print money. As they've been doing since the GFC at scale. The added benefit is that the biggest beneficiary of socialism - the titan of capitalism - Wall St - will get the lion's share as they're getting now with the Wuhan virus lockdown. Average Joe peon should be thankful they got $1,200.

Powell on 60 Minutes says there's no limit to the Fed printing money. He like Bernanke loves to click Print on the keyboard. And no pesky Congressional authorization either. MOAR & MOAR!!

BillWade , 21 May 2020 at 04:47 PM
It's feeling pretty normal here in SW Florida now, rumor is Jun 1st the bars will open up and that makes it 100% normal. I know of at least 6 restaurants in Port Charlotte/Punta Gorda that will not re-open. We go through the restaurant closings every year anyway, "Season" ended early this year with the lock down. Memorial Day usually is when we get the closings. But, they will reopen with new owners who have recently retired and "have always wanted to own a restaurant" not understanding that the restaurant business is for the younger, just as life is.

I feel awful when I see the little old ladies driving alone in their cars with their masks on, victims of the MSM that are truly a national security threat.

Eric Newhill , 21 May 2020 at 05:06 PM
Sir,
The fact of the Khmer Rouge and the mentality behind it (at bottom, same as Mao, same as Stalin same others that brought death, destruction and misery to their societies) is another reason to get back to normal in this country - and accept any casualties that might result. This has become a war for the heart and soul of the country. Actually, it's a war for everything; even material prosperity. Whatever the casualties might be in the short run, they will be far less than the long run if we allow the Khmer Rouge to continue (which, of course, is one of your key points).

One of my objectives on social media has been to try to gain insight into the Khmer Rouge and young pioneer psychology. I can now recognize it when I see it; even when it tries to disguise itself, but I truly don't understand such people. IMO it is some kind of twisted spiritual illness that seeks dominance as it replaces God with themselves. That much I can see. I guess it has to do with the battle between good and evil. Evil always seeks to control and manipulate and disrespects the sanctity of each soul. It seeks to enslave and cut off from freedom and recognition of divinity around each of us and in each of us. Its sycophants are attracted to the sense of power; false as it may truly be.

At least that is the way I best understand it.

Barbara Ann , 21 May 2020 at 05:15 PM
jerseycityjoan

Our natural capacity for threat perception and assessment is warped by the media's need to generate headlines. The virus is a gift to them which they have enthusiastically embraced. Most of us have a vanishing small chance of it killing us off, yet this single risk dominates the public discourse to the exclusion of almost all else.

Social media is particularly insidious, the effects of which far too few are prepared to counter. The feedback loops of hysteria it generates must be assessed as a threat in their own right - to our ability to make sound judgments.

A destroyed economy is not a direct threat to any one individual's survival, but it's collapse is an inevitable consequence if the lockdowns are allowed to continue. In this case many will die and very many more will experience a great deal of misery. Sadly the headlines carrying these stories will only come after it is far too late.

Turn off the Tee Vee news, treat social media 'news' with great skepticism and read the opinions of people who see the bigger picture. You are in the right place for the last of these.

Bobo , 21 May 2020 at 05:51 PM
Open it up-It never should of closed. What we have done is to prolong the inevitable. You either get it or you don't but it is still here waiting for those cowering in their homes. Prudent actions and awareness of your situation will get one through most of life's events.
The next thing we will here is Oh Folks, get out there and enjoy the summer while you can as it's coming back in the fall. No schools, Sheltering in Place, minimize the essentials, where are those ships and tent hospitals, we need PPE, start the printing etc etc cause the vaccine ain't ready Folks.

It will all be fine, don't worry. Keep in mind it has only taken a 100,000 out 330,000,000 a very low ratio.

rho , 21 May 2020 at 06:39 PM
"How do the socialists think they are going to generate revenues to pay for everything they want?"

https://www.zerohedge.com/markets/goldman-spots-huge-problem-fed

The US government will issue 3 trillion $ of new debt in this quarter alone. The banks will buy these bonds, then sell them back to the US Central Bank (that's called "quantitative easing", the quoted article talks about the expectation that the central bank will announce a new bond purchasing program soon because the current one is far too small to absorb all the new debt), and the cycle repeats.

That's not sustainable, but that's the only plan that exists. If the shutdown of the economy continues indefinitely, it will end in economic collapse by bankruptcy of the federal government, or hyperinflation, which is really just a different way to reach the same painful end point.

Same story here in Europe, just with the added complication that there are conflicts between the different national governments of the Eurozone when the European Central Bank does the very same thing.

Master Slacker , 21 May 2020 at 06:50 PM
You can open up the city when everyone starts to wear a mask . Covid-19 is proving to be an airborne killer... which simplifies things enormously. Consider it an instance of CBW. And of course the children's inflammatory syndrome is just collateral damage.
Laura Wilson , 21 May 2020 at 07:59 PM
Master Slacker--And now there is some evidence that the inflammatory syndrome is hitting teenagers and young adults, too.

turocpolier--The numbers aren't comprehensive (or even good) on the national toll of doctors and nurses and aides and CNAs, etc. in health care/hospitals. Too bad our government can't get everyone to report in a uniform manner!!!! (Not that any other administration has been successful with this either.) It certainly would be helpful in the middle of a novel pandemic to know if we were going to have enough front line responders to stay in the fight.

And I NEVER forget that you are a professional "sacrificer for the greater good." That is why I appreciate what you have to say...it is a worthy perspective and not one that I default to!

Fred , 21 May 2020 at 08:00 PM
Master slacker,

So "my body, my choice" is for abortion only now, because your fear is greater than my rights? "stay home, stay safe" negates my need to wear a gag in your presence. I reccomend Kevin Drum go out and drum up some antifa support for the socialist distancing policing. They ought to be well rested and ready for some agit-prop and agent provocateur actions by now.

"children's inflammatory syndrome" - is a miniscule risk to a minimal risk pool. It's like the CDC's mentioning legionaire's disease in their school opening guidlelines - meant to invoke fear. More civil servent "resistance". Trump should reform the civil service. Perhaps he should revoke EO 10988,
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Executive_Order_10988
His initial order was upheld, I'm sure this one would be too.
https://www.politico.com/newsletters/morning-shift/2019/07/17/executive-orders-limiting-federal-employee-unions-reinstated-458951


[May 22, 2020] Battle Covid-19, Not Medicare for All: Doctors Demand Hospital Industry Stop Funding Dark Money Lobby Group

May 22, 2020 | www.commondreams.org

A progressive organization of 23,000 physicians from across the U.S. demanded Thursday that the American Hospital Association (AHA) divest completely from a dark-money lobbying group that has spent millions combating Medicare for All and instead devote those financial resources to the fight against Covid-19 and to better support for patients and healthcare workers.

Dr. Adam Gaffney, president of Physicians for a National Health Program (PNHP), said in a statement that "the Covid-19 pandemic has stretched hospitals' resources to the limit, and the AHA should not waste precious member hospitals' funds lobbying against universal health coverage" as a member of the Partnership for America's Health Care Future (PFAHCF).

Because Medicare for All would provide a lifeline to hospitals in underserved areas that have been hit hard by Covid-19, Gaffney argued, the AHA "cannot claim to represent hospitals while also opposing a single-payer system that would keep struggling hospitals open." The AHA represents around 5,000 hospitals and other healthcare providers in the U.S.

As Common Dreams reported earlier this month, public health officials are accusing the Trump administration of directing billions of dollars in Covid-19 hospital bailout funds to high-revenue providers while restricting money to hospitals that serve low-income areas.

Tenet Healthcare, an investor-owned hospital company that has donated hundreds of thousands to PFAHCF, has received $345 million in Covid-19 bailout funds, Axios reported last month.

"The AHA should immediately leave the PFAHCF," Gaffney said, "and redirect that money to supporting patients and frontline healthcare workers."

"As physicians, we can no longer tolerate a health system that puts profits ahead of patients and public health," Gaffney added. "It's time for health professionals to hold accountable the organizations that claim to represent us."

Formed in the summer of 2018 by an alliance of pharmaceutical, insurance, and hospital lobbyists with the goal of countering the push for universal healthcare, PFAHCF's anti-Medicare for All " army " has grown rapidly since its founding, with the AHA joining the fray in 2019.

As The Intercept reported last October, the for-profit hospital industry has played an "integral role" in the corporate fight against single-payer.

[May 22, 2020] Washington State conned out of a likely 'hundreds of millions of dollars' by Nigerian scammers

If Nigerian hackers can steal that much money, Israel, Chinese, and Russian, intel agencies probably are in the most Fed information systems doing what they want ;-)
Notable quotes:
"... officials in Washington State may have lost "hundreds of millions of dollars" to fraudsters filing bogus unemployment claim ..."
May 22, 2020 | www.rt.com
officials in Washington State may have lost "hundreds of millions of dollars" to fraudsters filing bogus unemployment claim s – all the way from Nigeria.

[May 22, 2020] America's Patchwork Pandemic Is Fraying Even Further

May 22, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

"America's Patchwork Pandemic Is Fraying Even Further" [ The Atlantic ]. "America spent much of April on a disquieting plateau, with every day bringing about 30,000 new cases and about 2,000 new deaths .

This pattern exists because different states have experienced the coronavirus pandemic in very different ways . The U.S. is dealing with a patchwork pandemic. The patchwork is not static. Next month's hot spots will not be the same as last month's.

I spoke with two dozen experts who agreed that in the absence of a vaccine, the patchwork will continue. Cities that thought the worst had passed may be hit anew. States that had lucky escapes may find themselves less lucky. The future is uncertain, but Americans should expect neither a swift return to normalcy nor a unified national experience, with an initial spring wave, a summer lull, and a fall resurgence. "The talk of a second wave as if we've exited the first doesn't capture what's really happening," says Caitlin Rivers, an epidemiologist at the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security. What's happening is not one crisis, but many interconnected ones.

A patchwork was inevitable, especially when a pandemic unfolds over a nation as large as the U.S. But the White House has intensified it by devolving responsibility to the states. There is some sense to that. American public health works at a local level, delivered by more than 3,000 departments that serve specific cities, counties, tribes, and states. This decentralized system is a strength: An epidemiologist in rural Minnesota knows the needs and vulnerabilities of her community better than a federal official in Washington, D.C.

But in a pandemic, the actions of 50 uncoordinated states will be less than the sum of their parts. Only the federal government has pockets deep enough to fund the extraordinary public-health effort now needed. Only it can coordinate the production of medical supplies to avoid local supply-chain choke points, and then ensure that said supplies are distributed according to need, rather than influence

The pandemic patchwork exists because the U.S. is a patchwork to its core . New outbreaks will continue to flare and fester unless the country makes a serious effort to protect its most vulnerable citizens, recognizing that their risk is the result of societal failures, not personal ones." • A must-read.

[May 22, 2020] Andrew Cuomo is no hero. He's to blame for New York's coronavirus catastrophe

May 22, 2020 | www.theguardian.com

Andrew Cuomo may be the most popular politician in the country. ... All of which is bizarre, because Cuomo should be one of the most loathed officials in America right now. ProPublica recently released a report outlining catastrophic missteps by Cuomo and the New York City mayor, Bill de Blasio, which probably resulted in many thousands of needless coronavirus cases. ProPublica offers some appalling numbers contrasting what happened in New York with the outbreak in California. By mid-May, New York City alone had almost 20,000 deaths, while in San Francisco there had been only 35, and New York state as a whole suffered 10 times as many deaths as California.

Federal failures played a role, of course, but this tragedy was absolutely due, in part, to decisions by the governor. Cuomo initially "reacted to De Blasio's idea for closing down New York City with derision", saying it "was dangerous" and "served only to scare people". He said the "seasonal flu was a graver worry". A spokesperson for Cuomo "refused to say if the governor had ever read the state's pandemic plan". Later, Cuomo would blame the press, including the New York Times for failing to say "Be careful, there's a virus in China that may be in the United States?" even though the Times wrote nearly 500 stories on the virus before the state acted. Experts told ProPublica that "had New York imposed its extreme social distancing measures a week or two earlier, the death toll might have been cut by half or more".

But delay was not the only screw-up. Elderly prisoners have died of coronavirus because New York has failed to act on their medical parole requests. As Business Insider documented:

"Testing was slow . Nonprofit social-service agencies that serve the most vulnerable couldn't get answers either . And medical experts like the former CDC director Tom Frieden said 'so many deaths could have been prevented' had New York issued its stay-at-home order just 'days earlier' than it did. On March 19, when New York's schools had already been closed, Cuomo said 'in many ways, the fear is more dangerous than the virus.'"

The governor has failed to take responsibility for the obvious failures, consistently blaming others and at one point even saying " governors don't do pandemics ". (Actually, some governors just don't read their state's pandemic plans.) But much of the press has ignored this, focusing instead on Cuomo's aesthetic presentation: his poise during press conferences, his dramatic statements about "taking responsibility" (even when he obviously hasn't), and his invisible good looks. ...

There's something disturbing about Cuomo being hailed as the hero of the pandemic when he should rightly be one of the villains. As Business Insider notes, he is now only able to attain praise for his actions because his earlier failures made those actions necessary. He's lauded for addressing a problem that he himself partly caused. Of course, part of this is because Donald Trump has bungled the coronavirus response even more badly , so that Cuomo – by not being a complete buffoon – looks like a capable statesman by contrast. But this is the problem: for too long, Democrats have measured their politicians by "whether they are better than Republicans". This sets the bar very low indeed, and means that Democrats end up settling for incompetent and amoral leaders who betray progressive values again and again.

[May 22, 2020] With 36 Million Newly Out of Work, Trump Says He s Willing to Let Boosted Unemployment Benefits Expire

Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
May 22, 2020 | www.commondreams.org

President Donald Trump told Republican senators during a private lunch Tuesday that he is willing to let expanded unemployment benefits expire at the end of July, a decision that would massively slash the incomes of tens of millions of people who have lost their jobs due to the Covid-19 crisis.

The Washington Post reported Tuesday that the president "privately expressed opposition to extending a weekly $600 boost in unemployment insurance for laid-off workers affected by the coronavirus pandemic, according to three officials familiar with his remarks."

House Democrats passed legislation last week that would extend the beefed-up unemployment benefits through January of 2021 as experts and government officials -- including Federal Reserve chair Jerome Powell -- warn the U.S. unemployment rate could soon reach 25%. The unemployment insurance boost under the CARES Act is set to expire on July 31, even as many people have yet to receive their first check.

"With nearly 1 in 5 Americans out of work, Donald Trump's plan is to cut off the boost to unemployment benefits and shower his wealthy buddies with more tax cuts," Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), one of the architects of the unemployment insurance expansion, told HuffPost . "This is the worst economic crisis in 100 years and Donald Trump is doubling down on Herbert Hoover's economic playbook and pushing workers to risk their health for his political benefit."

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) -- who declared earlier this month that Congress will only extend the boosted unemployment insurance "over our dead bodies" -- said after the private lunch that Trump believes the benefits are "hurting the economic recovery." Graham was one of several Republican senators who opposed the initial expansion of unemployment benefits as too generous.

An analysis released last week by the Hamilton Project, an initiative of the Brookings Institution, found that expanded unemployment benefits offset "roughly half of lost wages and salaries in April." Unemployment insurance has "been essential to families, and is vital for keeping the economy from cratering further," the authors of the analysis noted.

Ernie Tedeschi, a former Treasury Department economist, estimated that "come July 31, if the emergency UI top-up isn't extended, unemployed workers will effectively get a pay cut of 50-75% overnight."

"It's increasingly looking like there won't be enough labor demand to hire them all back at that point," Tedeschi tweeted.

The latest Labor Department statistics showed that more than 36 million people in the U.S. have filed jobless claims since mid-March as mass layoffs continue in the absence of government action to keep workers on company payrolls. Despite the grim numbers, the Post 's Jeff Stein reported Tuesday that the White House is " predicting a swift economic recovery " as it resists additional efforts to provide relief to frontline workers and the unemployed.

On top of rejecting an extension of enhanced unemployment insurance, Trump last month publicly voiced opposition to another round of direct stimulus payments, instead advocating a cut to the tax that funds Social Security and Medicare.

[May 22, 2020] McDonald's Workers Strike Across US to Demand Better Protections From Covid-19

May 22, 2020 | www.commondreams.org

Demanding McDonald's prioritize public health and worker safety over profits, hundreds of employees at the fast food chain went on strike Wednesday, a day before the company was set to hold its annual shareholders' meeting.

Instead of distributing dividends to its shareholders, the striking employees are calling for the company to use its massive profits to pay for safety and financial protections for workers, scores of whom have contracted Covid-19 in at least 16 states so far.

Employees and strike organizers at the fair wage advocacy group Fight for $15 are demanding hazard pay during the pandemic of "$15X2," paid sick leave, sufficient protective gear for workers, and company-wide policy of closing a restaurant for two weeks when an employee becomes infected, with workers being fully paid.

The strike is taking place at stores in at least 20 cities. Fight for $15 and the SEIU, which is also supporting the action, say it's the first nationwide coordinated effort targeting the company since the coronavirus pandemic began in March.

[May 21, 2020] Do Lockdowns Work Mounting Evidence Says No

May 21, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Ryan McMaken via The Mises Institute,

The coerced economic "shutdowns" - enforced with fines, arrests, and revoked business licenses - are not the natural outgrowth of a pandemic. They are the result of policy decisions taken by politicians who have suspended constitutional institutions and legal recognition of basic human rights. These politicians have instead imposed a new form of central planning based on an unproven, theoretical set of ideas about police-enforced "social distancing."

Suspending the rule of law and civil rights will have enormous consequences in terms of human life counted in suicides, drug overdoses, and other grave health problems resulting from unemployment , denial of "elective" medical care , and social isolation.

None of that is being considered, however, since it is now fashionable to have governments determine whether or not people may open their businesses or leave their homes. So far, the strategy for dealing with the resulting economic collapse is no more sophisticated than record-breaking deficit spending , followed by debt monetization via money printing. In short, politicians, bureaucrats, and their supporters have insisted a single policy goal -- ending the spread of a disease -- be allowed to destroy all other values and considerations in society.

Has it even worked? Mounting evidence says no.

In The Lancet , Swedish infectious disease clinician (and World Health Organization (WHO) advisor) Johan Giesecke concluded:

It has become clear that a hard lockdown does not protect old and frail people living in care homes - a population the lockdown was designed to protect. Neither does it decrease mortality from COVID-19, which is evident when comparing the UK's experience with that of other European countries.

At best, lockdowns push cases into the future, they do not lower total deaths. Gieseck continues:

Measures to flatten the curve might have an effect, but a lockdown only pushes the severe cases into the future -- it will not prevent them. Admittedly, countries have managed to slow down spread so as not to overburden health-care systems, and, yes, effective drugs that save lives might soon be developed, but this pandemic is swift, and those drugs have to be developed, tested, and marketed quickly. Much hope is put in vaccines, but they will take time, and with the unclear protective immunological response to infection, it is not certain that vaccines will be very effective.

As a public policy measure, the lack of evidence that lockdowns work must be balanced with the fact that we have already observed that economic destruction is costly in terms of human life.

Yet in the public debate, lockdown enthusiasts insist that any deviation from the lockdown will result in total deaths far exceeding those places where there are lockdowns. So far, there is no evidence of this.

In a new study titled "Full Lockdown Policies in Western Europe Countries Have No Evident Impacts on the COVID-19 Epidemic," author Thomas Meunier writes , "total deaths numbers using pre-lockdown trends suggest that no lives were saved by this strategy, in comparison with pre-lockdown, less restrictive, social distancing policies." That is, the "full lockdown policies of France, Italy, Spain and United Kingdom haven't had the expected effects in the evolution of the COVID-19 epidemic." 1

The premise here is not that voluntary "social distancing" has no effect. Rather, the question is to whether "police-enforced home containment" works to limit the spread of disease. Meunier concludes it does not.

Meanwhile a study by polititical scientist Wilfred Reilly compared lockdown policies and COVID-19 fatalities among US states. Reilly writes:

The question the model set out to ask was whether lockdown states experience fewer Covid-19 cases and deaths than social-distancing states, adjusted for all of the above variables. The answer? No. The impact of state-response strategy on both my cases and deaths measures was utterly insignificant. The "p-value" for the variable representing strategy was 0.94 when it was regressed against the deaths metric, which means there is a 94 per cent chance that any relationship between the different measures and Covid-19 deaths was the result of pure random chance.

Overall, however, the fact that good-sized regions from Utah to Sweden to much of East Asia have avoided harsh lockdowns without being overrun by Covid-19 is notable.

Another study on lockdowns -- again, we're talking about forced business closures and stay-at-home orders here -- is this study by researcher Lyman Stone at the American Enterprise Institute. Stone notes that areas where lockdowns were imposed either had already experienced a downward trend in deaths before the lockdown could have possibly shown effects or showed the same trend as the year prior. In other words, lockdown advocates have been taking credit for trends that had already been observed before lockdowns were forced on the population.

Stone writes:

Here's the thing: there's no evidence of lockdowns working. If strict lockdowns actually saved lives, I would be all for them, even if they had large economic costs. But the scientific and medical case for strict lockdowns is paper-thin.

Experience increasingly suggests that a more targeted approach is better for those who actually want to limit the spread of disease among the most vulnerable. The overwhelming majority -- nearly 75 percent -- of deaths from COVID-19 occur in patients over sixty-five years of age. Of those, approximately 90 percent have other underlying conditions . Thus, limiting the spread of COVID-19 is most critical among those who are already engaged with the healthcare system and are elderly. In the US and Europe , more than half of COVID-19 deaths are occuring in nursing homes and similar institutions.

This is why Matt Ridley at The Spectator quite reasonably observes that testing, not lockdowns, appears to be the key factor in limiting deaths from COVID-19 . Those areas where testing is widespread have performed better:

Yet it is not obvious why testing would make a difference, especially to the death rate. Testing does not cure the disease. Germany's strange achievement of a consistently low case fatality rate seems baffling -- until you think through where most early cases were found: in hospitals. By doing a lot more testing, countries like Germany might have partly kept the virus from spreading within the healthcare system. Germany, Japan and Hong Kong had different and more effective protocols in place from day one to prevent the virus spreading within care homes and hospitals.

The horrible truth is that it now looks like in many of the early cases, the disease was probably caught in hospitals and doctors' surgeries. That is where the virus kept returning, in the lungs of sick people, and that is where the next person often caught it, including plenty of healthcare workers. Many of these may not have realised they had it, or thought they had a mild cold. They then gave it to yet more elderly patients who were in hospital for other reasons, some of whom were sent back to care homes when the National Health Service made space on the wards for the expected wave of coronavirus patients.

We could contrast this with the policies of Governor Andrew Cuomo in New York, who mandated that nursing homes accept new residents without testing . This method nearly ensures that the disease will spread quickly among those who are most likely to die from it.

Meanwhile, Governor Cuomo saw fit to impose police-enforced lockdowns on the entire population of New York, ensuring economic ruin and ruined health for many non-COVID patients who were then cut off from vital treatments. Yet, disturbingly, lockdown fetishists like Cuomo are hailed as wise statesmen who "acted decisively" to prevent the spread of disease.

But this is the sort of regime we now live under. In the minds of many, it is better to abolish human rights and consign millions to destitution in the name of pursuing trendy unproven policies. The prolockdown party has even turned basic fundamentals of policy debate upside down. As Stone notes:

At this point, the question I usually get is, "What's your evidence that lockdowns don't work?"

It's a strange question. Why should I have to prove that lockdowns don't work? The burden of proof is to show that they do work! If you're going to essentially cancel the civil liberties of the entire population for a few weeks, you should probably have evidence that the strategy will work. And there, lockdown advocates fail miserably, because they simply don't have evidence.

With economic output crashing worldwide and unemployment soaring to Great Depression levels, governments are already looking for a way out. Don't expect to hear any mea culpas from politicians, but we can already see how governments are quickly moving toward a voluntary social-distancing, nonlockdown strategy. This comes even after politicians and disease "experts" have been insisting that lockdowns must be imposed indefinitely until there's a vaccine .

The longer the lockdown-created economic destruction continues, the greater will be the threat of social unrest and even economic free fall. The political reality is thst the current situation cannot be sustained without threatening the regimes in power themselves. In an article for Foreign Policy titled " Sweden's Coronavirus Strategy Will Soon Be the World's ," authors Nils Karlson, Charlotta Stern, and Daniel B. Klein suggest that regimes will be forced to retreat to a Swedish model:

As the pain of national lockdowns grows intolerable and countries realize that managing -- rather than defeating -- the pandemic is the only realistic option, more and more of them will begin to open up. Smart social distancing to keep health-care systems from being overwhelmed, improved therapies for the afflicted, and better protections for at-risk groups can help reduce the human toll. But at the end of the day, increased -- and ultimately, herd -- immunity may be the only viable defense against the disease, so long as vulnerable groups are protected along the way. Whatever marks Sweden deserves for managing the pandemic, other nations are beginning to see that it is ahead of the curve.

[May 21, 2020] On the necessity and the duration of quarantine

May 21, 2020 | www.unz.com

likbez , says: Show Comment May 21, 2020 at 9:20 pm GMT

Hi The Kremlin Stooge,

Don't forget 'Covidiots'. The frontline-worker-lovin', government-narrative-believin' social-distance welcomin' simpletons are endlessly inventive when it comes to coining contemptuous nicknames for those who don't buy into their embrace of madness. I am happy to be able to say I thought the virus was bogus from the first, and said so to anyone who would listen.

That's too simplistic. You should agree that religious nuts who attend the church in large groups despite the risk can and should be called "Covidiots". Because they are. And the people who are trying to preserve their meager income generally should not.

Why religious nuts can't move to outdoors for the same purpose like first Chirstians did, is unclear to me ;-). Not sure about Orthodox Jews, which is pretty closed sect in any case so if they want to infect each other, be my guest.

The virus causes specific for it virus pneumonia which is no joke. People who recovered still have fibroses in this lungs of different degree. That's why people who were hospitalized with COVID-19 are ineligible to serve in US army. So for those unlucky who get virus pneumonia that's a crippling disease. You can't deny this.

For around 15-20% of people over 65 infected with COVID-19 it means the death sentence -- they will never recover and either die in hospital or soon after. Men over 65 are two third of those so for old men the risk can't be discounted.

So the question is what forms and length of quarantine was optimal, not whether it should or should not be enforced. I doubt that you want to argue that night clubs should remain open. Or that wearing masks in closed spaces is redundant (in open spaces they generally are redundant, unless you are standing in line, etc)

You also need some timeout to collect the vital information about the disease using first cases, enhance the protection of medical personnel, and access the level of actual risk to the population and the economy (the USA generally wasted it and Trump was inapt; so the effect of quarantine is more questionable for this particular country).

It was not that clear in March that the risk is generally low, although we can't deny that Fauci and Co were caught without pants (or, for some sinister reason were intended to be caught this way as if they waited until epidemic got to a certain point that masks something else )

That does not excuse incompetence of Trump administration and very strange behaviors of Fauci, who spent two months and then woke up and suddenly start crying Wolf, Wolf, but the USA is very mysterious country and in no way Canadians can understand it

[May 21, 2020] The Argument Against the Argument Against Facemasks

May 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Richard Steven Hack , May 19 2020 6:26 utc | 110


Richard Steven Hack , May 19 2020 6:47 utc | 111

The Argument Against the Argument Against Facemasks
Resistance rooted in liberty clashes with the unalienable right of life
https://tinyurl.com/yctjydmx

Masks help stop the spread of coronavirus – the science is simple and I'm one of 100 experts urging governors to require public mask-wearing
https://tinyurl.com/yah8orzo

THE STATE OF THE NATION: A 50-STATE COVID-19 SURVEYUSA, April 2020
https://tinyurl.com/yaf58h27

Key takeaways:


More than 80% of Americans support closing non-essential businesses. Support for limiting restaurants, closing schools, canceling sporting and entertainment events, and group gatherings exceeds 90%. A total of 94% strongly or somewhat approve asking people to stay home and avoid gathering in groups; 92% support canceling major sports and entertainment events; 91% approve closing K-12 schools; 91% approve limiting restaurants to carry-out only; 83% approve closing businesses other than grocery stores and pharmacies. There are some partisan differences on these items -- Republicans are somewhat less supportive, but even among Republicans large majorities support all of these measures; and, as summarized below, support is largely consistent across every state.

A bipartisan consensus opposes a rapid "reopening" of the economy. Only 7% support immediate reopening of the economy, and the median respondent supports waiting four to six weeks. There is a bipartisan consensus on waiting (89% of Republicans as compared to 96% of Democrats opposed immediate re-opening), and Republicans support a somewhat faster re-opening of the economy than Democrats, where the median Republican supports waiting two to four weeks versus median Democrat six to eight weeks. As discussed below, even in those Republican-led states which are moving toward re-opening, few people support reopening immediately
Generally, Americans report adhering to social distancing, indicating that they had minimal social interactions with people outside of their households. That said, 56% reported encountering at least one person from outside of their home in the preceding 24 hours (and 7% reported encountering 10 or more persons); the survey did not contain information on the circumstances of those encounters (e.g., was it at grocery stores? were the individuals wearing masks?). Generally, there were not large differences with respect to age, gender, race, income, partisanship or education. An exception was that Asian Americans were substantially less likely to encounter other individuals, and more likely to avoid contact with other people. There were significant racial differences reported in wearing face masks outside of the home, with 51% of whites reporting following recommendations very closely, along with 62% of Hispanics, 64% of African Americans, and 68% of Asian Americans. There was also an age gradient in this regard, ranging from 50% face mask wearing for 18-24 year olds to 60% of those aged 65 or higher. There were also partisan differences: 51% of Republicans, compared to 64% for Democrats, reported wearing face masks outside the home.

I find the racial differences interesting, especially since in my observation fewer blacks are wearing masks. However, since I was specifically looking at blacks (due to the disproportionate number of blacks dying) in my walks, I may have under counted the number of whites not wearing masks. Also I suspect it varies between cities, states and more suburban or rural areas.

In any event, not enough people are wearing masks to re-open the economy - and we damn sure don't have enough testing, tracing and isolating capability and probably won't until September, according to one report I read.

A number of other interesting results. Check it out.

Richard Steven Hack , May 19 2020 7:03 utc | 113
Another useful article on masks...which is likely to be the next hot-button issue for the idiots and trolls...

The Science and Politics of Masks in the Covid-19 Pandemic
https://tinyurl.com/y7bxakhv


One of the key things to understand in thinking about the value of masks is the concept of the viral dose. While it seem logical that a single viral particle hitting a person's mouth, nose or eye could cause an infection, strong laboratory and empirical evidence says that this is not the case -- it takes a big dose of virus to launch a case of Covid. This happy fact means that masks for everyday use don't need to block 100% of pathogens in order to prevent the disease from spreading. (Even the medical grade N95 masks don't block every viral particle, but they block enough to protect the user, even when caring for patients with known Covid-19.)

A simulation by De Kai and colleagues makes the case that masks are most effective if at least 80% of people are using them. The figure below maps the rate of transmission with the expected deaths from Covid-19 in a nation the size of the UK. According to the simulation, social distancing alone without masking would lead to 1.16 million deaths by May 31st. However, with 50% of the population masking, the projected death figure drops to 240,000. With 80% masking, there are 60,000 deaths. If Professor De Kai's mind-blowing video (below) doesn't convince you of the virtue of mask wearing, I just don't know what to tell you.

Video referenced above:
Visual simulations show why we all need to wear masks now #UniversalMasking #masks4all #COVID19
42,341 views •Apr 26, 2020
https://tinyurl.com/yc89vf9c

[May 21, 2020] More than 80% of Americans support closing non-essential businesses. Support for limiting restaurants, closing schools, canceling sporting and entertainment events, and group gatherings exceeds 90%.

May 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Richard Steven Hack , May 19 2020 6:47 utc | 111

The Argument Against the Argument Against Facemasks
Resistance rooted in liberty clashes with the unalienable right of life
https://tinyurl.com/yctjydmx

Masks help stop the spread of coronavirus – the science is simple and I'm one of 100 experts urging governors to require public mask-wearing
https://tinyurl.com/yah8orzo

THE STATE OF THE NATION: A 50-STATE COVID-19 SURVEYUSA, April 2020
https://tinyurl.com/yaf58h27

Key takeaways:


More than 80% of Americans support closing non-essential businesses. Support for limiting restaurants, closing schools, canceling sporting and entertainment events, and group gatherings exceeds 90%. A total of 94% strongly or somewhat approve asking people to stay home and avoid gathering in groups; 92% support canceling major sports and entertainment events; 91% approve closing K-12 schools; 91% approve limiting restaurants to carry-out only; 83% approve closing businesses other than grocery stores and pharmacies. There are some partisan differences on these items -- Republicans are somewhat less supportive, but even among Republicans large majorities support all of these measures; and, as summarized below, support is largely consistent across every state.

A bipartisan consensus opposes a rapid "reopening" of the economy. Only 7% support immediate reopening of the economy, and the median respondent supports waiting four to six weeks. There is a bipartisan consensus on waiting (89% of Republicans as compared to 96% of Democrats opposed immediate re-opening), and Republicans support a somewhat faster re-opening of the economy than Democrats, where the median Republican supports waiting two to four weeks versus median Democrat six to eight weeks. As discussed below, even in those Republican-led states which are moving toward re-opening, few people support reopening immediately
Generally, Americans report adhering to social distancing, indicating that they had minimal social interactions with people outside of their households. That said, 56% reported encountering at least one person from outside of their home in the preceding 24 hours (and 7% reported encountering 10 or more persons); the survey did not contain information on the circumstances of those encounters (e.g., was it at grocery stores? were the individuals wearing masks?). Generally, there were not large differences with respect to age, gender, race, income, partisanship or education. An exception was that Asian Americans were substantially less likely to encounter other individuals, and more likely to avoid contact with other people. There were significant racial differences reported in wearing face masks outside of the home, with 51% of whites reporting following recommendations very closely, along with 62% of Hispanics, 64% of African Americans, and 68% of Asian Americans. There was also an age gradient in this regard, ranging from 50% face mask wearing for 18-24 year olds to 60% of those aged 65 or higher. There were also partisan differences: 51% of Republicans, compared to 64% for Democrats, reported wearing face masks outside the home.

I find the racial differences interesting, especially since in my observation fewer blacks are wearing masks. However, since I was specifically looking at blacks (due to the disproportionate number of blacks dying) in my walks, I may have under counted the number of whites not wearing masks. Also I suspect it varies between cities, states and more suburban or rural areas.

In any event, not enough people are wearing masks to re-open the economy - and we damn sure don't have enough testing, tracing and isolating capability and probably won't until September, according to one report I read.

A number of other interesting results. Check it out.

[May 21, 2020] New York Times continues to prop up the vaccine hype

May 21, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , May 21 2020 0:49 utc | 55

New York Times continues to prop up the vaccine hype:

Coronavirus Live Updates: Scientists See Progress in Path to Vaccine by Next Year

In addition to this Home Page highlight, there's an opinion piece as a side dish:

What to Expect When a Coronavirus Vaccine Finally Arrives

Buried a little bit more at the bottom, there's this borderline pseudoscientific, definitely reckless article:

Prototype Vaccine Protects Monkeys From Coronavirus

There is a statistical possibility a vaccine comes out next year. But his possibility is remote. The key here is that a vaccine must be tested to the exhaustion before being ok'd by any government for mass use. Any mistake can result in a number of deaths that will make this pandemic look like child's play. My opinion is that the NYT is feeding too much enthusiasm to its readers.

Circe , May 19 2020 12:05 utc | 119

The Moderna Vaccine the media is touting as a promising, miracle breakthrough that has only been tested on a limited group of 45 people, aged 18 to 55 has Grade 3 adverse effects in 100 and 250 microgram dosage.

So they're going to lower dosage to 50 micrograms and test it on the 56 to 70 and over 70 age groups. What about the group most Americans are in: the KFC, McDonald's, IHOP group?

[May 20, 2020] Trust Is Being Undermined - Harvard Medical School Prof Questions Fauci's Shading Vaccine Results

Fauci jumped the gun with the Moderna vaccine promotion.
Notable quotes:
"... Former Harvard Medical School professor and founder of the university's cancer and HIV/AIDS research departments, William Haseltine dared to speak out today about the high level of bullshit and damage that is being done to "trust" in "scientists" and even dared to break the one holy writ that shall go un-mentioned, throwing some shade a Dr.Fauci. ..."
"... But, but, but... the CNBC anchorette blubbered, "are you questioning Dr. Fauci who also said that this was encouraging news?" ..."
"... "Whether [Fauci] shaded what should should have been done, I think is an important question. He's obviously under enormous pressure for positive results but it was not the right thing to do if you can't see the data." ..."
"... The most recent example is Moderna's claim Monday of favorable results in its vaccine trial, which it announced without revealing any of the underlying data. The announcement added billions of dollars to the value of the company, with its shares jumping almost 20 percent. Many analysts believe it contributed to a 900-point gain in the Dow Jones industrial average. ..."
"... The Moderna announcement described a safety trial of its vaccine based on eight healthy participants. The claim was that in all eight people, the vaccine raised the levels of neutralizing antibodies equivalent to those found in convalescent serum of those who recovered from covid-19. What to make of that claim? Hard to say, because we have no sense of what those levels were. This is the equivalent of a chief executive of a public company announcing a favorable earnings report without supplying supporting financial data, which the Securities and Exchange Commission would never allow. ..."
"... There is a legitimate question regarding what Moderna's unsupported assertion means. The scientific and medical literature reports that some people who have recovered have little to no detectable neutralizing antibodies . There is even existing scientific literature that suggests it is possible neutralizing antibodies may not protect animals or humans from infection or reinfection by coronaviruses. ..."
"... The National Institutes of Health announced last month that the drug remdesivir offered a clear benefit to covid-19 patients with moderate disease, shortening the length of their hospital stay by several days. But did it really? Twenty days after the announcement, the supporting data has still not been published. Without the data, no doctor treating a patient can be sure they are doing the right thing. ..."
"... Another paper , published the same day, found that remdesivir had no measurable effect on patient survival or the amount of virus detectable in nasopharynx and lung secretions. What then should a practicing physician do? Follow the unsupported advice of a news announcement or a medical report published in a leading scientific journal? This is not an idle question: The NIH announcement triggered a global stampede for limited supplies of the drug. ..."
"... The media also bears responsibility. Asking experts to opine on unsubstantiated claims is not useful. Medicine and science are not matters of majority opinion; they are matters of fact supported by transparent data. This is the backbone of scientific progress and our only hope to end this pandemic. We can't give up on our standards now. ..."
May 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
At a moment in time when narrative-following "scientists" are lauded like unquestionably omniscient supreme beings enabling dumb-as-a-rock-partisan-politicians to play omnipotent overlords without fear of blowback, the world needs more people like William Haseltine.

The last two weeks have seen markets and politicians jump exuberantly at the hope of every press release from a biotech firm that proclaims one of their pet rabbits didn't die when they fed it their latest DNA-reshaping test material (oh that is except if anyone dares say anything positive about hydroxychloroquine but that is a topic for another discussion) as the fate of global citizenry rests on a vaccine (and definitely not herd immunity, don't even mention it).

Barstool Sports' Dave Portnoy said it right - when did we shift from "flatten the curve, flatten the curve, flatten the curve" to "we have to fund a cure or everyone's going to die."

And so, that is where we find ourselves... Every talking head proclaiming the same malarkey - we will re-open carefully, with PPE, and social distancing, and whetever else is mandated from on-high "until we find a vaccine in 12-18 months" at which point the world will be made whole again and Kumbaya...

All of which brings us back to the man of the day in our humble opinion.

Former Harvard Medical School professor and founder of the university's cancer and HIV/AIDS research departments, William Haseltine dared to speak out today about the high level of bullshit and damage that is being done to "trust" in "scientists" and even dared to break the one holy writ that shall go un-mentioned, throwing some shade a Dr.Fauci.

Reflecting on Moderna's press release this week (which was immediately followed by massive equity raises across numerous biotech firms and upgrades from the underwriters, surprise), Haseltine said:

"If a CFO had tried to get away with such an opaque and data-less statement it would have bee treated with derision and possibly an investigation."

The CNBC anchor desperately tried to guilt him into the official narrative of clinging to any hope as long as it lifts stocks - no matter its utter bullshittiness - but Haseltine destroyed her naive party line:

"we all know its an emergency, and in an emergency it's even more important to be clear on what you know and what you do not know."

Moderna did not follow the process:

"you don't know what happened, we don't know what happened, there is no data."

But, but, but... the CNBC anchorette blubbered, "are you questioning Dr. Fauci who also said that this was encouraging news?"

"Whether [Fauci] shaded what should should have been done, I think is an important question. He's obviously under enormous pressure for positive results but it was not the right thing to do if you can't see the data."

The full interview below is a must-watch by all who care about their freedom being controlled by a narrative directed by fearmongering elites in the name of "science" when the "science" is a) being ignored, b) being bastardized to meet a political need, c) being treated as if handed down on high from the man himself, or d) being manipulated explicitly.

https://player.cnbc.com/p/gZWlPC/cnbc_global?playertype=synd&byGuid=7000137277&size=530_298

Why this former Harvard Med School prof says Moderna's vaccine trial 'publication by press release' from CNBC .

Haseltine's interview is perfect lead into his opinion piece in todays' Washington Post :

Faith in medicine and science is based on trust. But today, in the rush to share scientific progress in combating covid-19, that trust is being undermined.

Private companies, governments and research institutes are holding news conferences to report potential breakthroughs that cannot be verified. The results are always favorable, but the full data on which the announcements are based are not immediately available for critical review. This is "publication by press release," and it's damaging trust in the fundamental methods of science and medicine at a time when we need it most.

The most recent example is Moderna's claim Monday of favorable results in its vaccine trial, which it announced without revealing any of the underlying data. The announcement added billions of dollars to the value of the company, with its shares jumping almost 20 percent. Many analysts believe it contributed to a 900-point gain in the Dow Jones industrial average.

The Moderna announcement described a safety trial of its vaccine based on eight healthy participants. The claim was that in all eight people, the vaccine raised the levels of neutralizing antibodies equivalent to those found in convalescent serum of those who recovered from covid-19. What to make of that claim? Hard to say, because we have no sense of what those levels were. This is the equivalent of a chief executive of a public company announcing a favorable earnings report without supplying supporting financial data, which the Securities and Exchange Commission would never allow.

There is a legitimate question regarding what Moderna's unsupported assertion means. The scientific and medical literature reports that some people who have recovered have little to no detectable neutralizing antibodies . There is even existing scientific literature that suggests it is possible neutralizing antibodies may not protect animals or humans from infection or reinfection by coronaviruses.

Such "publication by press release" seems to be a standard practice lately.

The National Institutes of Health announced last month that the drug remdesivir offered a clear benefit to covid-19 patients with moderate disease, shortening the length of their hospital stay by several days. But did it really? Twenty days after the announcement, the supporting data has still not been published. Without the data, no doctor treating a patient can be sure they are doing the right thing.

Another paper , published the same day, found that remdesivir had no measurable effect on patient survival or the amount of virus detectable in nasopharynx and lung secretions. What then should a practicing physician do? Follow the unsupported advice of a news announcement or a medical report published in a leading scientific journal? This is not an idle question: The NIH announcement triggered a global stampede for limited supplies of the drug.

The case is more nuanced for the vaccine developed by the Jenner Institute at Oxford University, though the mileposts remain the same: It started with a public pronouncement of favorable results from an early study, this time in monkeys, well before any data was publicly released. An NIH scientist working on a trial of the Oxford vaccine gave an interview to the New York Times , claiming the drug was a success.

But the data, released as a prepublication version more than two weeks after the story ran, didn't quite live up to the early claim. All of the vaccinated monkeys became infected when introduced to the virus. Though there was some reduction in the amount of viral RNA detected in the lungs, there was no reduction in the nasal secretions in the vaccinated monkeys. So the positive result reported by the Oxford group turned out not to be protection from infection at all, something most would agree is what a successful vaccine would do. Instead, it lowered only the amount of virus recoverable from the vaccinated monkey's lung.

To the Jenner Institute's credit, it does warn visitors to its website that there have been many false reports about the progress of its vaccine trial. Still, having a scientist working on the trial paint preliminary results in such a positive manner without having yet released the full data is cause for concern.

We all understand the need to share scientific and medical data as rapidly as possible in this time of crisis. But a media announcement alone is not enough. There are ways to share the data quickly and transparently: posting manuscripts before review or acceptance on publicly available websites or working with journals to allow an early view. Publishing in this manner allows doctors and scientists to reach their own conclusion, based on the evidence available.

The media also bears responsibility. Asking experts to opine on unsubstantiated claims is not useful. Medicine and science are not matters of majority opinion; they are matters of fact supported by transparent data. This is the backbone of scientific progress and our only hope to end this pandemic. We can't give up on our standards now.

* * *

So, by all means, trust in "science" but choose your "scientist" well...


Pure Evil, 13 minutes ago

It seems the more this hoax is exposed. The more Gates/Fauci appear as money grubbing opportunist vaccine pushers the more the MSM and the government double down on the whole false narrative.

hanekhw, 13 minutes ago

Look around at the moral climate and ask yourself if lying about everything for profit was not required for success how can we stop it without pain, suffering and violence? There really IS no free lunch and there never has been nor ever will be. We pay one way or another but we ALL pay.

Enraged, 15 minutes ago

Fake media, fake Big Pharma, fake banksters, fake government, fake breasts, fake stock "market", fake medical agencies, fake wars.

Assume they are 100% wrong unless there is substantial evidence they are correct, which will be on very rare occasions.

[May 20, 2020] Adding insult to injury Spike in Covid-19 robocalls fraud

Few things can be more annoying than answering the phone while you're in the middle of something -- and then being greeted by a recording. If you receive a robocall trying to sell you something (and you haven't given the caller your written permission), it's an illegal call. You should hang up. Then, file a complaint with the FTC and the National Do Not Call Registry.
May 20, 2020 | www.rt.com

From phony positive Covid-19 test results to deceptive offers of financial relief, robocalls have proliferated amid the pandemic, separating Americans from millions of precious dollars at a time when few can afford to lose money.

One particularly nasty scam sees the target receive a text or phone call warning them they've been exposed to the virus, tricking them into providing personal information while in a state of panic. Another cruel variant dangles the possibility of virus-related financial relief if they just give up their bank account details or wire the scammer a small " fee " – a tempting prospect at a time when half of American workers are unlikely to see a paycheck this month and upwards of 36 million have filed for unemployment since the pandemic began. Phony treatments – in which the target orders a miracle cure, only to never receive it – comprise some 22 percent of coronavirus-related robocalls, making them the most common pandemic scam.

Even those who haven't been personally scammed by a robocaller have experienced stress because of them, Provision found; 70 percent of millennials are concerned a parent or grandparent will be preyed upon by the automated scammers, who frequently impersonate government authorities like the Social Security Administration or the Internal Revenue Service in order to con their targets out of bank account information or other personal data. In fact, nearly two in five robocalls (39 percent) claim to be the SSA, with 38 percent impersonating the IRS and 33 percent pretending to be debt collectors.

The Covid-19 scams are apparently quite effective, robbing Americans of over $13.4 million of their hard-earned cash in the first three months of 2020 alone, according to the Federal Trade Commission. That number doesn't include scams that haven't been discovered by their victims, or those that go unreported to the FTC – meaning the real figure is likely much higher.

[May 20, 2020] Beware of fake contact tracers, N.J. officials warn

May 20, 2020 | www.nytimes.com

Beware of fake contact tracers, N.J. officials warn.

New Jersey officials warned residents on Wednesday to be wary of fraudsters identifying themselves as contact tracers in order to obtain financial information.

In recent weeks, as health departments have hired legitimate tracers to track the spread of the coronavirus, fake tracers have been sending people text messages looking for insurance information and bank account and social security numbers, said Judith Persichilli, the state health commissioner.

Real contact tracers do not ask for such things, the state said.

A legitimate tracer will call, identify themselves as part of a local health department, and explain to the person on the phone that they may have come into contact with someone who tested positive for the virus.

Scams around the virus, unemployment benefits and stimulus checks have proliferated nationwide , the authorities say.

Gov. Philip D. Murphy said "there is a special place in hell" for people who would scam others during the pandemic.

Mr. Murphy also reported the state's daily virus fatalities: 168, bringing the overall death toll to 10,747.

[May 20, 2020] Harvard Medical School Prof Questions Fauci's questionable vaccine results

May 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

this_circus_is_no_fun, 19 minutes ago

Wow. A real scientist. I'm glad that there's at least one left.

[May 20, 2020] Was Fauci a complete idiot to use Ferguson model as the base of his own forecast

May 20, 2020 | www.armstrongeconomics.com

Stochastic" is simply defined as "randomly determined; having a random probability distribution or pattern that may be analyzed statistically but may not be predicted precisely." In other words, they begin with a presumption, and therein lies the FIRST error. Ferguson's assumption was wrong, to begin with. Then this mode is so old, they recommend that it be run only on a single CORE processor as if we were dealing with an old IBM XT.

Effectively, you start the program with what is called a "seed" number which is then used to produce a random number. Most children's games begin this way. In fact, this is a version of what you would be similar to the game SimCity where you create a city starting from scratch and it simulates what might happen based upon the beginning presumption. There are numerous bugs in the code and the documentation suggests to run it several times and take the average. This is just unthinkable! A program should produce the same result with the same data from which it begins. Therefore, there is no possible way this model would ever produce the same results. In reality, this model produces completely different results even when beginning with the very same starting seeds and parameters because of the attempt to also make the seed random. This is not even as sophisticated as SimCity, which is really questionable. This is where the Imperial College claims that the errors will vanish if you run it on an old system in the single-threaded mode as if you were using a 1980s XT.

In programming, you run what is known as a regression-test, which is re-running a functional and non-functional test to ensure that previously developed and tested software still performs after a change. In market terminology, its called back-testing. In the most unprofessional manner imaginable, the Imperial College code does not even have a regression-test structure. They apparently attempted to but the extent of the random behavior caused by bugs in the code to prevent that check? On April 4th, 2020, Imperial College noted:

" However, we haven't had the time to work out a scalable and maintainable way of running the regression test in a way that allows a small amount of variation, but doesn't let the figures drift over time."

This Ferguson Model is such a joke it is either an outright fraud, or it is the most inept piece of programming I may have ever seen in my life. There is no valid test to warrant any funding of Imperial College for providing ANY forecast based upon this model. This is the most UNPROFESSIONAL operation perhaps in computer science. The entire team should be disbanded and an independent team put in place to review the world of Neil Ferguson and he should NOT be allowed to oversee any review of this model.

The only REASONABLE conclusion I can reach is that this has been deliberately used to justify bogus forecasts intent for political activism, or I must accept that these academics are totally incapable of even creating a theoretical model no less coding it as a programmer. There seems to have been no independent review of Ferguson's work which is unimaginable!

A 15,000 line program is nothing. I will be glad to write a model like this in two weeks and will only charge $1 million instead of $79 million. If you really want one to work globally, no problem. It will take a bit more time and the price will be at a discount – only $50 million on sale – refunds not accepted as is the deal with Imperial College.

[May 19, 2020] One more Fauci narrative about how the virus was so horrific, used to justify the lockdowns, is shown to be utter bullshit. Remember "the immunity doesn't last, you can get reinfected, the next time it's lethal"?

May 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

aqualech , May 19 2020 1:29 utc | 98

So just one more narrative about how the virus was so horrific, used to justify the lockdowns, is shown to be utter bullshit. Remember "the immunity doesn't last, you can get reinfected, the next time it's lethal"?

So, contrary to that, lots of people have immunity before they even get exposed to it. From the common cold. So the idea that the corona immunity is a short term and unreliable thing was just a bunch of uninformed blather, or worse, targeted and manipulative narrative.

Fearmongering bullshit that is 95% wrong needs to get called out constantly.

Even in New York there was not the "catastrophic death count" that I see people writing about as if it were true.

Hey! Let's talk about duct tape and plastic sheeting! Remember that idiotic bullshit scare narrative?

[May 19, 2020] Fauci vs. Trump -- Who's Right by Pat Buchanan

May 19, 2020 | www.unz.com

"We have met the moment and we have prevailed," said President Donald Trump Monday, as he supported the opening of the U.S. economy before the shutdown plunges us into a deep and lasting depression.

Tuesday, Dr. Anthony S. Fauci, the nation's leading expert on infectious diseases, made clear to a Senate committee his contradictory views.

"If states reopen their economies too soon, there is a real risk that you may trigger an outbreak that you may not be able to control," said Fauci. "My concern is that we will start to see little spikes that might turn into outbreaks of the disease (and) the inevitable return of infections."

Fauci is talking of the real possibility of a second and even more severe wave of the pandemic this summer and fall, if we open too soon.

There is evidence to justify the fears of Fauci and Dr. Robert Redfield of the Centers for Disease Control, who told the same Senate committee, "We are not out of the woods yet."

Yet, there is a case to be made for the risks that Trump and red state governors are taking in opening up sooner.

The Washington Post daily graph of new deaths nationally has been showing a curve sloping downward for a month from April's more than 2,000 a day. On no day yet this week did the U.S. record 2,000 dead from the virus. On some days, there were fewer than 1,000.

The graph for new coronavirus cases, which was showing more than 30,000 a day in April, is now closer to 25,000.

Also, hospitalizations and ICU occupancies are not as high as they were. Hospitals put up in Central Park and the Javits Center seem not to have been needed. There was and is no shortage of ventilators. The Navy hospital ships Comfort and Mercy are returning to their home ports.

Also, not all states are suffering equally, nor are all communities in the hardest-hit states. There have been three times as many COVID-19 cases in New Jersey as in Texas, though New Jersey is a fraction of the size and has a fraction of the population of Texas.

There are twice as many cases in Massachusetts as in Florida, the nation's third-most populous state with one of its highest percentages of retirees and elderly. There have been five times as many cases in New York as in California.

It is the nursing homes filled with the elderly and ill that have proven to be the real killing fields of this virus. According to The New York Times, one-third of all deaths from COVID-19 have come among residents and staff of nursing homes. Beyond these are the meatpacking plants and the prisons where social distancing is almost nonexistent.

Moreover, while Fauci and Redfield are specialists in epidemics, Trump's portfolio goes far beyond that.

He is chief of state, head of government and commander in chief, responsible for the security and defense of the nation. His portfolio is broader and deeper than those of Fauci and Redfield.

ORDER IT NOW

In the first hours of the Normandy invasion, General Eisenhower must have been rightly alarmed about the high U.S. casualties on Omaha Beach. But he also had to concern himself with the failure to capture the Port of Caen to bring ashore the armor to stop any German counterattack that might turn D-Day into another Anzio.

Ike could not worry about casualties alone.

According to The Washington Post, economists already project that 100,000 small businesses have shuttered, never to reopen.

"(D)eeper and longer recessions can leave behind lasting damage to the productive capacity of the economy," warned Federal Reserve Board Chair Jerome Powell on Wednesday. "Avoidable household and business insolvencies can weigh on growth for years to come."

Ultimately, Fauci is not "The Decider" here. Trump is.

It is he who is accountable to the nation for weighing the losses, both human and material, due to his decisions.

Fauci may be the best at what he does, but he is still only an adviser. As John F. Kennedy said after the Bay of Pigs, it is the president who ultimately bears responsibility for what he does and fails to do, while "the advisers may move on to new advice."

Believing he can do no more than his White House is now doing to contain the incidence of cases, hospitalizations and deaths, Trump has decided his primary job is to prevent the nation from a catastrophic economic collapse from which it might take years to recover.

The country is slowly moving in Trump's direction, slowly opening. And he will be responsible for whether the policy succeeds or opens the floodgates to a second and worse wave, should it come.

As Abraham Lincoln put his situation: "I mean to keep going. If the end brings me out all right, then what is said against me won't matter. If I'm wrong, ten angels swearing I was right won't make a difference."

Patrick J. Buchanan is the author of "Nixon's White House Wars: The Battles That Made and Broke a President and Divided America Forever."

Copyright 2020 Creators.com.

Bill H , says: Show Comment May 15, 2020 at 5:41 am GMT

Fauci says that, "My concern is that we will start to see little spikes that might turn into outbreaks of the disease "

The problem with his statement is the first two words. A science advisor is supposed to provide advice based knowledge and science. It is not part of his job description to voice his feelings.

BobM11 , says: Show Comment May 15, 2020 at 7:52 am GMT
In this case, it doesn't matter who is "right" only one of them is POTUS! I get it that Trumps perch on his seat is tenuous and exactly how much real control he has over the government he supposedly heads is open to speculation, but at the end of the day Trump is POTUS and this is no time to be thinking of political futures he must be focused on the future of America.

We need not only an end to the lockdowns, but an end to the media campaign to demoralize the country by hyping the non-event known as corona virus. It is all hype. when you get past the spin and media blitz, there is nothing about this virus that would justify any kind of response beyond your doctor testing you for covid along with the flu when you go to the doctor with flu symptoms. That's it.

This is simply not the life altering virus that is being hyped. The enemy here is NOT the virus, it is the (((elites))) who are trying to destroy us. It is time people it is time.

[May 18, 2020] Judicial Watch files lawsuit seeking Dr. Fauci, WHO records - YouTube

May 18, 2020 | www.youtube.com

soakedbearrd , 6 days ago (edited)

Good, he's a crooked snake. And the WHO is corrupt.

Candy Rinard , 6 days ago

Don't trust Fauci at all. Not one thing he says.

Ender Gate , 1 week ago

Fauci sits on the leadership board of the Gates Foundation. That's a conflict of interest...

Eagle Arrow , 1 week ago

Fauci & Gates shouldn't be able to patent vaccines from research funded by American tax payers.

Mary Bevacqua , 1 week ago

Look at Fauci's connection and history. Follow the money! Corruption is a normal way of life. People's lives are NOT a concern.

dolphinsc1 , 1 week ago

Gen. Flynn is the perfect example of how far these gov't agencies will go to protect a lie and those frauds involved in the cover up/hoax. Trump was there target, the pathetic part of all this is just how many republicans knew about the fraud before Trump did and did nothing to protect him or Americans.

Linda Huckabee , 1 week ago

Their pushing vaccines to make money. When other treatments would be better like interferon therapy.

Carie Saad , 1 week ago

The CARES ACT was introduced in January of 2019, almost a year before CoronaVirus started. Hmmmmm......

ozrocksinger , 1 week ago (edited)

File on Gates too for practicing Medicine without a license!

Jillayne Holter , 6 days ago

Fauci, Clinton's, Gates, WHO, Big Pharma, and China all together to keeping things locked-down until they can make a vaccin

jomeza72 , 6 days ago (edited)

3.7 million Dollars To Wuhan Laboratories , Come On !!!

Nathan McClellan , 4 days ago

Fauci wasn't mislead by the WHO, he was given cover for his misdeeds.

Spyderhead , 4 days ago (edited)

"Doctor" Fauci is just another Deep State hack. A puppet. 😎

[May 18, 2020] Donald Trump says Americans won't stand for stay-at-home orders anymore

May 18, 2020 | www.washingtontimes.com

me name=

President Trump said Wednesday the coronavirus crisis is worse than the 9/11 terrorist attacks, and Americans won't allow it to go on any longer.

"I don't think people will stand for it," Mr. Trump told reporters in the Oval Office. "The country won't stand for it. It's not sustainable."

He said the pandemic "is worse than Pearl Harbor."

...Asked about soaring unemployment being a potential liability for him in an election year, the president replied, "Nobody's blaming me for that. I built the greatest economy and I'm going to rebuild it again. This was an artificially induced unemployment."

[May 17, 2020] Fact check Anthony Fauci, Bill Gates won't profit from remdesivir

May 17, 2020 | www.usatoday.com

Fauci, Gates and coronavirus treatments

Fauci, the director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, is not cited anywhere as an inventor or patent owner of the drug and has not authored any research studying remdesivir.

While Fauci has also said that early trials of remdesivir on coronavirus patients are a positive sign, he has also cautioned against prematurely celebrating.

"I was very serious when I said this was not the total answer by any means, but it's a very important first step," Fauci said on April 30 about the NIH study on remdesivir.

As remdesivir is wholly owned by Gilead Sciences, Fauci is not legally entitled to any profits from remdesivir.

Fauci was the director of NIAID during the 2013-14 Ebola outbreak and spearheaded the department's research and response to the virus. NIAID supported research into a range of potential Ebola treatments, including remdesivir, as recently as December. That said, Fauci did not directly conduct this research; neither he nor the NIH stand to profit from its results.

The National Institutes of Health confirmed that Fauci has not authored any studies on remdesivir and does not own stock in any biomedical or pharmaceutical companies.

Owning financial assets in pharmaceutical firms like Gilead would also be required to be publicly disclosed per the agency's ethics policy .

The NIH now recommends remdesivir be used "in hospitalized patients with severe disease," meaning any case where a the patient needs the use of a ventilator.

[May 17, 2020] How Huxley's X-Club Created Nature Magazine Sabotaged Science For 150 Years

May 16, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Matthew Ehret via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Amidst the storm of controversy raised by the lab-origin theory of COVID-19 extolled by such figures as Nobel prize winning virologist Luc Montagnier, bioweapons expert Francis Boyle, Sri Lankan Cardinal Malcolm Ranjith and the head of Iran's Revolutionary Guard, an elaborate project was undertaken under the nominal helm of NATURE Magazine in order to refute the claim once and for all under the report 'The proximal origin of SARS-CoV-2' .

This project was led by a team of evolutionary virologists using a line of reasoning that "random mutation can account for anything" and was parroted loudly and repeatedly by Fauci, WHO officials and Bill Gates in order to shut down all uncomfortable discussion of the possible laboratory origins of COVID-19 while also pushing for a global vaccine campaign. On April 18, Dr. Fauci (whose close ties with Bill Gates, and Big Pharma have much to do with his control of hundreds of billions of dollars of research money), stated :

"There was a study recently that we can make available to you, where a group of highly qualified evolutionary virologists looked at the sequences there and the sequences in bats as they evolve. And the mutations that it took to get to the point where it is now is totally consistent with a jump of a species from an animal to a human."

I think at this moment, rife as it is with speculative arguments, confusion and under-defined data, it is useful to remove oneself from the present and look for higher reference points from which we can re-evaluate events now unfolding on the world stage.

... ... ...

[May 17, 2020] Italian Politician Demands Bill Gates Arrest For Crimes Against Humanity

Notable quotes:
"... Sara Cunial, the Member of Parliament for Rome denounced Bill Gates as a "vaccine criminal" and urged the Italian President to hand him over to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. ..."
"... In an extraordinary seven-minute speech met with wide applause, Sara Cunial, the Member of Parliament for Rome said that Italy had been subjected to a "Holy Inquisition of false science." ..."
May 17, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Via GreatGameIndia.com,

As the FDA shuts down a Bill Gates-funded COVID-testing program , an Italian politician has demanded the arrest of Bill Gates in the Italian parliament.

Sara Cunial, the Member of Parliament for Rome denounced Bill Gates as a "vaccine criminal" and urged the Italian President to hand him over to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity.

She also exposed Bill Gates' agenda in India and Africa, along with the plans to chip the human race through the digital identification program ID2020.

As reported by GreatGameIndia earlier, in 2015 it were the Italians who exposed secret Chinese biological experiments with Coronavirus . The video, which was broadcast in November, 2015, showed how Chinese scientists were doing biological experiments on a SARS connected virus believed to be Coronavirus, derived from bats and mice, asking whether it was worth the risk in order to be able to modify the virus for compatibility with human organisms.

In an extraordinary seven-minute speech met with wide applause, Sara Cunial, the Member of Parliament for Rome said that Italy had been subjected to a "Holy Inquisition of false science."

She roundly criticized the unnecessary lockdown imposed on her fellow Italians in the service of a globalist agenda. She urged fellow political leaders to desist in any plans to compel citizens to surrender themselves to compulsory COVID-19 vaccination at the hands of the corrupt elite – whom she identified as the Deep State .

Below is the transcription of the full speech delivered to the Italian Parliament by Sara Cunial, the Member of Parliament for Rome.

* * *

Sara Cunial

The Member of Parliament for Rome

Speech delivered to the Italian Parliament

May 2020

https://www.youtube.com/embed/QnsYcsCjLWI

[Emphasis ours]

Hobbes said that absolute power does not come from an imposition from above but by the choice of individuals who feel more protected renouncing to their own freedom and granting it to a third party.

With this, you are going on anesthetizing the minds with corrupted Mass Media with Amuchina (a brand of disinfectant promoted by Mass Media) and NLP, with words like "regime", "to allow" and "to permit", to the point of allowing you to regulate our emotional ties and feelings and certify our affects.

So, in this way, Phase 2 is nothing else than the persecution/continuation of Phase 1 – you just changed the name, as you did with the European Stability Mechanism (ESM). We have understood people, for sure, don't die for the virus alone. So people will be allowed to die and suffer, thanks to you and your laws, for misery and poverty. And, as in the "best" regimes, the blame will be dropped only on citizens. You take away our freedom and say that we looked for it. Divide et Impera (Divide and Rule).

It is our children who will lose more, who are 'raped souls', with the help of the so-called "guarantor of their rights" and of CISMAI (Italian Coordination of Services against Child Abuse). In this way, the right to school will be granted only with a bracelet to get them used to probation, to get them used to slavery – involuntary treatment and to virtual lager. All this in exchange for a push-scooter and a tablet. All to satisfy the appetites of a financial capitalism whose driving force is the conflict of interest, conflict well represented by the WHO, whose main financier is the well-known "philanthropist and savior of the world" Bill Gates.

We all know it, now. Bill Gates, already in 2018, predicted a pandemic, simulated in October 2019 at the "Event 201", together with Davos (Switzerland). For decades, Gates has been working on Depopulation policy and dictatorial control plans on global politics, aiming to obtain the primacy on agriculture, technology and energy.

Gates said, I quote exactly from his speech:

"If we do a good job on vaccines, health and reproduction, we can reduce the world population by 10-15%. Only a genocide can save the world".

With his vaccines, Gates managed to sterilize millions of women in Africa. Gates caused a polio epidemic that paralyzed 500,000 children in India and still today with DTP, Gates causes more deaths than the disease itself. And he does the same with GMOs designed by Monsanto and "generously donated" to needy populations. All this while he is already thinking about distributing the quantum tattoo for vaccination recognition and mRNA vaccines as tools for reprogramming our immune system. In addition, Gates also does business with several multinationals that own 5G facilities in the USA.

On this table there is the entire Deep State in Italian sauce : Sanofi, together with GlaxoSmithKline are friends of the Ranieri Guerra, Ricciardi, and of the well-known virologist that we pay 2000 Euro every 10 minutes for the presentations on Rai (Italian state TV. She's probably talking about Burioni). Sanofi and GlaxoSmithKline sign agreements with medical societies to indoctrinate future doctors, making fun of their autonomy of judgment and their oath.

Hi-Tech multinationals, like the Roman Engineering which is friend of the noble Mantoan, or Bending Spoons, of Pisano, which are there for control and manage our personal health datas in agreement with the European Agenda ID2020 of electronic identification, which aims to use mass vaccination to obtain a digital platform of digital ID. This is a continuation of the transfer of data started by Renzi to IBM. Renzi, in 2016, gave a plus 30% to Gates Global Fund.

On the Deep State table there are the people of Aspen, like the Saxon Colao, who with his 4-pages reports, paid 800 Euros/hour, with no scientific review, dictates its politics as a Bilderberg general as he is, staying away from the battlefield. The list is long. Very long. In the list there is also Mediatronic, by Arcuri and many more.

The Italian contribution to the International Alliance Against Coronavirus will be of 140 million Euros, of which 120 million Euros will be given to GAVI Alliance, the non-profit by Gates Foundation. They are just a part of the 7.4 billion Euro fund by the EU to find a vaccine against Coronavirus – vaccines which will be used as I said before.

No money, of course for serotherapy, which has the collateral effect of being super cheap. No money for prevention, a real prevention, which includes our lifestyles, our food and our relationship with the environment.

The real goal of all of this is total control. Absolute domination of human beings, transformed into guinea pigs and slaves, violating sovereignty and free will. All this thanks to tricks/hoax disguised as political compromises. While you rip up the Nuremberg code with involuntary treatment, fines and deportation, facial recognition and intimidation, endorsed by dogmatic scientism – protected by our "Multi-President" of the Republic who is real cultural epidemic of this country.

We, with the people, will multiply the fires of resistance in a way that you won't be able to repress all of us.

I ask you, President, to be the spokesperson and give an advice to our President Conte: Dear Mr. President Conte, next time you receive a phone call from the philanthropist Bill Gates forward it directly to the International Criminal Court for crimes against humanity. If you won't do this, tell us how we should define you, the "friend lawyer" who takes orders from a criminal.

Thank you.

[May 17, 2020] No Evidence Coronavirus Was Made in a Chinese Lab Fauci Says

May 05, 2020 | www.informationclearinghouse.info
By teleSUR

" Information Clearing House " - Trump insists that his administration has evidence that the virus was created in Wuhan city. The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) Director Anthony Fauci Monday reiterated that there is no scientific evidence to claim that the SARS-CoV coronavirus was created in a laboratory. His statement contradicts again the theory on the origin of COVID-19 defended by the U.S. President Donald Trump and Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.

"If you look at the evolution of the virus in bats and what's out there now, [the scientific evidence] is very, very strongly leaning toward this could not have been artificially or deliberately manipulated," Fauci said in an interview with National Geographic

"Everything about the stepwise evolution over time strongly indicates that [this virus] evolved in nature and then jumped species," the U.S. government's leading epidemiologist added.

His statements are in line with those set forth by the World Health Organization (WHO), a United Nations agency that ratified on Monday that the coronavirus is of animal origin. "The coronavirus circulates ancestrally between bats.

"That is something we know based on this virus's genetic sequence. What we need to understand is which animal... was infected by bats and transmitted it to humans," the WHO Emerging Diseases Department Director Maria Van Kerkhove said.

Demand Trump's incompetent, unqualified son-in-law be removed from the coronavirus response team! #care2 https://t.co/TN8jpMIw2p

-- Frank (@watercutter11) May 5, 2020

Nevertheless, Trump insists that the U.S. government has evidence that the virus was created in a laboratory in Wuhan (China), something that the Intelligence Directorate also rejected.

Are You Tired Of The Lies And Non-Stop Propaganda?

On Tuesday morning, the U.S. president also reacted angrily to a video titled "Mourning In America" produced by The Lincoln Project (LP), a conservative group opposed to Trump's reelection which blames him for mishandling the COVID-19 pandemic.

"There's mourning in America - and under the leadership of Donald Trump, our country is weaker, sicker, and poorer," the LP video points out and adds that the United States is on the brink of a new Great Depression.

In response to the above, Trump released his discomfort by calling the Lincoln Project members "losers."​​​​​​​

[May 16, 2020] The controversy and confusion on wearing masks

May 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Likklemore , May 16 2020 18:11 utc | 130

the Controversy and confusion on wearing masks:

Should everyone be wearing face masks? It's complicated.

Why don't masks protect the wearer?
Paul Glasziou, Professor of Medicine, Bond University and Chris Del Mar, Professor of Public Health, Bond University, AU
also endorsed by epidemiologists in UK, CAD.


[.] There are several possible reasons why masks don't offer significant protection. First, masks may not do much without eye protection. We know from animal and laboratory experiments that influenza or other coronaviruses can enter the eyes and travel to the nose and into the respiratory system.

While standard and special masks provide incomplete protection, special masks combined with goggles appear to provide complete protection in laboratory experiments. However, there are no studies in real-world situations measuring the results of combined mask and eyewear.

The apparent minimal impact of wearing masks might also be because people didn't use them properly. For example, one study found less than half of the participants wore them "most of the time". People may also wear masks inappropriately, or touch a contaminated part of the mask when removing it and transfer the virus to their hand, then their eyes and thus to the nose.

Masks may also provide a false sense of security, meaning wearers might do riskier things such as going into crowded spaces and places.[.]

Got goggles or a Visor? Eye protection is essential.

[May 16, 2020] The obvious shortcomings of the USA government reaction: no distributions of free masks, no temperature checks, no oxymeter checks, no retrofitted busses and other transportation to have individual air supplies, no retrofitting air conditioners

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... > How about we follow WHO's rule zero: test, test and test? ..."
"... Why the USA did not implemented entry/exist temperature checks (even at airports) I do not understand. The richest nation in the world has the government which is probably the most inept and disfunctional ..."
"... It looks like this is mainly the disease of megacities and industries with closely packed people (ships, meatpacking plants, Amazon warepuses) . And a large part of large cities infrastructure such as subways and air-conditioned building, hotels and shops are ideal environment for spreading of the virus. ..."
"... Another interesting feature of this virus is that it simply revealed how unhealthy the USA population generally is. For example, the epidemic of obesity now is tightly intermixed with the epidemic of COVID-19. Within the limits of the neoliberal social system very little can be done about it: for profit medicine makes is more fragile and create multiple avenue of abusing people. ..."
May 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

likbez , May 16, 2020 at 19:42

@vk | May 16 2020 15:52 utc | 108

> How about we follow WHO's rule zero: test, test and test?

Do you understand the cost of each test? Some data suggest that it is between $50 and $100. https://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2020-03-15/coronavirus-tests-from-labcorp-quest-will-cost-50-to-100

Do you understand that the current polymerase tests have 20-30% of false positives?

So if everybody in the USA is tested around 60-80 million people in the USA would be deemed infected. I suspect that a very large percentage of "asymptomatics" are in reality false positives.

We need to distinguish between the necessary measures and fearmongering. I suspect that in the case of polymerase test the mantra "test, test, test" is close to the latter. This is s rather expensive test and money probably can be better spend distributing masks to the population. That would instantly give a larger effect. The simple measure that in the USA was not done. Just for that Fauci should be fired and probably tried, IMHO.

The same is probably true with the distribution of oxymeters too: people with lows reading need oxygen. As simple as that. That probably will cut hospitalizations in half.

My impression is that temperature and oxymeter testing might be a proxy for polymerase testing and much cheaper: if oxygen saturation is less then 90% the person need to be isolated/treated with oxygen

Why the USA did not implemented entry/exist temperature checks (even at airports) I do not understand. The richest nation in the world has the government which is probably the most inept and disfunctional

It looks like this is mainly the disease of megacities and industries with closely packed people (ships, meatpacking plants, Amazon warepuses) . And a large part of large cities infrastructure such as subways and air-conditioned building, hotels and shops are ideal environment for spreading of the virus.

Even reasonable prophylactic measures do not work that well in large cities. Slums and homeless are and will be hotspots.

Even at work enforcing prophylactic measures is non trivial. You need to change mask each 2 hours when you are working inside. How many people will do that ?

I think there is not way out other then clench your teeth and go forward adapting the behavior as new information about the virus emerge.

For example individual supply of air in planes, trains and buses (which existed in old planes and some buses ) might be an important psychological (and with better filters medical) measure required.

Also Cruise ships "experiments" suggest that only around 20% of population is susceptible to the virus. Even among Wuhan medics who started working with coronavirus patients without wearing protective equipment only around half got the disease. The simplistic assumption that 100% of people is susceptible is just a myth propagated by fearmongers for fun and profit.

Another interesting feature of this virus is that it simply revealed how unhealthy the USA population generally is. For example, the epidemic of obesity now is tightly intermixed with the epidemic of COVID-19. Within the limits of the neoliberal social system very little can be done about it: for profit medicine makes is more fragile and create multiple avenue of abusing people.

[May 16, 2020] TSA Better late then never: To Check Passengers' Temperature At Airports

There are four month late...
May 16, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) will be checking passengers' temperatures at select airports next week.

People familiar with the matter told The Wall Street Journal that additional details would be unveiled in the near term. The program is expected to roll out at 12 airports next week and will cost $20 million to implement. Thermal check fees will be waived for travelers and likely expensed to the federal government.

[May 16, 2020] Note to the quarantine/vaccine promoter Fauci: Any sufficiently advanced cluelessness is indistinguishable from malice

May 16, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

1. 'BE AFRAID '

The first message is that covid19 is terrifying, unique, an existential threat to the human race.

This message is never sourced to much fact, because the facts about the virus don't really support it. If it cites anything solid it's the appallingly sloppy and discredited Imperial computer model, or some generic research into the pathology of severe infections or rare viral syndromes, which it tries to spin as being unique to covid19, even though it is not. But mostly it doesn't cite anything at all. Or really claim anything at all.

It just tells people to be afraid. Very afraid. Of death, of uncertainty, of the 'virus', of other people, of 'fake news'.

The fear being encouraged is not rooted in facts, and is therefore impervious to them.

2. 'THERE IS NOTHING TO BE AFRAID OF '

The second message is that covid19 is actually pretty harmless and no big deal.

This message is rooted in a great deal of fact, because, as we have been pointing out since day one, pretty much all the data coming out about this virus supports exactly this conclusion.

No official body has ever denied this, and most of them readily admit it. Regularly and unambiguously. Here and here and here and here .

Chris Whitty above is only one of many and this is not even his first go (see here ) at explaining clearly that covid19 is only dangerous to a very very small minority of people, and that most who get it will be just fine.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/adj8MCsZKlg

Here's a slide from his talk on April 30th:

At an individual level the chances of dying of coronavirus are low.

• Over the whole epidemic, even if there is no vaccine, a high proportion
will not get it.

• Of those who do, a significant proportion (exact number not yet clear)
have no symptoms.

• Of the symptomatic cases, the great majority (around 80%) a mild-
moderate disease.

• A minority have to go to hospital, most need only oxygen. The great
majority of these survive.

• A minority of those need ventilation.

• A minority of every agegroup sadly die with current treatment, but even
of the oldest group most do not.

[T]he great majority of people will not die from this and I'll just repeat something I said right at the beginning because I think it's worth reinforcing :

Most people, a significant proportion of people, will not get this virus at all, at any point of the epidemic which is going to go on for a long period of time.

Of those who do, some of them will get the virus without even knowing it, they will have the virus with no symptoms at all, asymptomatic carriage, and we know that happens.

Of those who get symptoms, the great majority, probably 80%, will have a mild or moderate disease. Might be bad enough for them to have to go to bed for a few days, not bad enough for them to have to go to the doctor.

An unfortunate minority will have to go as far as hospital, but the majority of those will just need oxygen and will then leave hospital.

And then a minority of those will end up having to go to severe end critical care and some of those sadly will die.

But that's a minority, it's 1% or possibly even less than 1% overall.

And even in the highest risk group this is significantly less than 20%, ie. the great majority of people, even the very highest groups, if they catch this virus, will not die.

And I really wanted to make that point really clearly

[May 16, 2020] I know it does not fit the fear agenda but COVID-19 disruption present much higher threat to children then CODIV-19 itself.

May 16, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

ted01 , May 16 2020 0:17 utc | 32

Australia - deaths from Covid-19

Total - 98 (15/05/2020)

0-39 = 0
40-49 = 1
50-59 = 2
60-69 = 11
70-79 = 31
80-89 = 34
90+ = 19

Australian Government Dept. of Health

I know it does not fit the fear agenda.

As the lockdown has been eased in most Australian states there have been zero announcements on additional protections for the elderly & infirm.

Why are the Federal & state governments doing nothing but the most basic measures to ensure the safety of the elderly & infirm?

fairleft , May 16 2020 2:37 utc | 37

Yes, Ken Garoo @26, the fearmongers have blood on their hands, not just in the UK, and this is a massive life-and-death crisis. More evidence, from another unimpeachable source various MoA stalwarts will now have to claim is a hack:

Unicef warns lockdown could kill more than Covid-19 as model predicts 1.2 million child deaths
Subhead: 'Indiscriminate lockdowns' are an ineffective way to control Covid and could contribute to a 45 per cent rise in child mortality

"...According to a stark report published in Lancet Global Health journal on Wednesday, almost 1.2 million children could die in the next six months due to the disruption to health services and food supplies caused by the coronavirus pandemic.

"The modelling, by researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Unicef, found that child mortality rates could rise by as much as 45 per cent due to coronavirus-related disruptions, while maternal deaths could increase by almost 39 per cent.

"Dr [Stefan Peterson, chief of health at UNICEF] said these figures were in part a reflection of stringent restrictions in much of the world that prevent people leaving their homes without documentation, preventing them from accessing essential health care services. ...

"...Covid is not a children's disease. Yes there are rare instances and we see them publicised across the media. But pneumonia, diarrhoea, measles, death in childbirth, these are the reasons we will see deaths rise."

[May 15, 2020] The reason NYC appears to be such an outlier could be a combination of all the possible reasons PO mentions bad healthcare system; runaway spread in nursing homes

May 15, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Jen May 12, 2020 at 3:54 pm

The reason NYC appears to be such an outlier could be a combination of all the possible reasons PO mentions – bad healthcare system; runaway spread in nursing homes that maybe weren't being run very well in the first place and were employing people on low wages or contracts so they were forced to work long hours and ended up being exposed to large viral loads and were passing the disease from one person to the next – plus reasons particular to NYC itself as a large city (poor communities densely packed in sub-standard housing with little or no access to the most up-to-date and accurate information on COVID-19, and unable to practise the hygiene and social distancing measures needed to stop transmission of the virus; air pollution issues).

Some mainstream news media reports I have seen state many poor communities in the US have particular issues with obtaining necessary healthcare because (a) they have experienced discrimination (racial, religious, whatever) in the past from hospitals or clinics and are reluctant to go again, so they delay and delay until their situation becomes critical; and (b) they have no medical insurance so again they delay seeking help. The situation in NYC does seem to be the result of myriad factors, some particular to the city itself, others particular to NYC because it is a large city with dense population clusters in particular neighbourhoods with problems of discrimination that impact on their health, and still others that are general, all of them having an impact on one another.

Black communities in some parts of the US have been badly hit by COVID-19: in the state of Louisiana, where about a third of the total population is black, 70% of COVID-19-related deaths have been of black people.
Brookings Institution: Mapping racial inequity amid COVID-19 underscores policy discriminations against Black Americans

Patient Observer May 13, 2020 at 4:35 pm
A significant factor, embarrassing to us Americans, is the link between obesity and its related health issues to the fatality rate of the virus. Bluntly put, obese people appear much more likely to succumb to the virus. If Russia has a significantly lower rate of obesity, it would only be logical that they would also have a significantly lower rate of mortality. I have not seen this factor mentioned in the blizzard of discussion on the difference in death rates between NCY and Moscow.
Mark Chapman May 13, 2020 at 4:45 pm
But obesity is not nearly so prevalent in the UK as it is in the USA, and it is clearing them out like nobody's business – their death rate is significantly higher than Russia's. The UK, also, follows a practice of assigning the death to COVID-19 if the patient dies even if obvious underlying conditions are present, and it may have a similar financial system in place, in which the hospital receives a payout if a patient is deemed to be suffering from COVID-19, and a much larger payment if the patient has to be put on a ventilator.
Patient Observer May 13, 2020 at 6:10 pm
Let's say lower obesity, generally better fitness, more effective planning, better medical response and possibly other factors (e.g. TB vaccination) could explain the difference.

Tp support the foregoing, differences in mortality between racial group is generally attributed to differences in the level of obesity and related health issues so general levels of obesity is a factor, perhaps a major factor. It may be a little morbid but it would be interesting to understand the correlation between obesity and Covid-19 deaths in the US, UK and Russia.

Absolutely the case that the US and the UK authorities have an enormous financial interest in exaggerating the mortality rate for short term gain and long term sustainable profit through massive and likely unnecessary vaccination programs of hundreds of millions of people generating $10 of billions revenue. And it would almost be a certainty that a new deadly virus will pop up at a rate that match the available capacity of Big Pharma to crank out new" life saving" medicines. To be clear, Big Pharma is only one of the nefarious groups benefitting from a public cowering in fear.

I read somewhere years ago that Big Pharma's long term goal is to have every American on a prescription drug(s) from cradle to grave. And Big Data wants every American to be enslaved by their smart phones and social media. Bastards.

[May 15, 2020] Ferguson fraud and Orlov tale of coronavirus epidemic

May 15, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman May 9, 2020 at 10:55 am

Hurrah! I have my blogroll back! I'm just starting to build it. At some point in the frequent rollouts of new WordPress features, they added a 'WP Admin' button, which gives access to the 'Links' page and allowed me to eliminate those irritating default links, as well as add new ones. So, I'm just getting started, but among the must-sees I stumbled across while starting out with links I knew I wanted to add right away are one discussing the coronavirus (haven't even read all of it myself yet) at Club Orlov;

https://cluborlov.blogspot.com/2020/05/gaslighting-coronavirus.html

and a great article, very much on point with this post, at Irrussianality, detailing the absolutely flabbergasting Joint Statement on the Anniversary of the End of the Second World War, on the USA's State Department website. The Nazis get one mention – the rest is non-stop Russia is evil.

https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2020/05/08/joint-statement-on-the-75th-anniversary-of-the-end-of-the-second-world-war/ I'm not sure what Dmitry Orlov does for a living, but if he is exclusively a writer when he's not sailing around, I suppose he is entitled to charge a fee for his product, and I have found it consistently excellent and well-sourced, much like John Helmer's work (although that is still free). Orlov's blog is only $2.50 a month at the basic level of subscriber, and that's cheap enough for me. I encourage readers to subscribe at the same level, because it's an excellent resource. In this case, I had just skipped over it very quickly, because I wanted to add it to the blogroll. I read the first couple of paragraphs, divined that it was not only about the coronavirus, but vindicated many of my own beliefs, and went elsewhere to add another site. I did not notice until I came back to it that it was now subscription-only.

So I'll copy a few salient points for everyone, and they can judge for themselves if they are willing to pay a couple of bucks for that kind of content. It was not all about the coronavirus – it started out about that, and sort of segued into the precarious position the USA is now in economically. So that's why it may look like two different posts; I am just excerpting at random: the entire post is much too long to copy. Presuming you have read as much of the post as was already included as a teaser before it became subscriber-only

"First, let's handle the question of vaccination. There is a measles vaccine, yet it kills 140,000 a year. There is a pneumococcus vaccine, yet it kills between 2 and 2.5 million a year. There is a hepatitis B vaccine, yet it kills 140,000. There is a tetanus vaccine, yet it kills 89,000 annually. There is a rotavirus vaccine, yet it kills 800,000. There is a HPV vaccine, yet it kills 250,000. There is a tuberculosis vaccine, yet it kills 1.5 million. There is an influenza vaccine, yet it kills 650,000 to 1 million a year. None of these are considered pandemics, cause entire economies to be shut down, or call for any extraordinary measures at all.

And then there is the novel coronavirus which has killed 218,187 people to date (the vast majority of them very old and/or very sick) -- and this is considered to be a problem to be solved with all possible haste. Some infectious disease experts have suggested that the entire populace may be required to shelter in place until a vaccine becomes available. Meanwhile, deaths from the novel coronavirus largely fit within the usual mortality of the flu season. The northern hemisphere winter was warmer than usual, and some of the elderly and sick people who would have been killed off by any of the usual influenza viruses (including other coronaviruses) during any of the previous three flu seasons were claimed by the novel coronavirus.

But even this is uncertain because it is unclear whether these 218,187 deaths were actually caused by the coronavirus or whether the coronavirus just happened to be present in their bodies at the time of death. Furthermore, a lot of people were diagnosed as suffering from this coronavirus based on symptoms which are not too different from those caused by other viral agents. Lastly, the vast majority of those who have died from it had what are called comorbidities. Elderly immunocompromised morbidly obese diabetics with high blood pressure, cancer and other potential fatal ailments have been particularly susceptible. If you discard all fatal cases with comorbidities and only consider young healthy people, then the number of deaths where the new coronavirus is obviously the root cause may turn out to be as low as zero.

Confirmed novel coronavirus cases number less than 3,147,626 worldwide, which is 0.04% of the world's population. This barely adds up to a cough and a sneeze. As this virus has spread throughout the world the increase in cases has slowed, but the number of confirmed cases could yet double or even triple, adding up to as much as three coughs and three sneezes. But then the World Health Organization enters the fray. The WHO makes gratuitous use of appellations such as "world" and "health" but is actually a semi-private entity lavishly financed by Bill Gates and Big Pharma, which is owned by a handful of highly inbred oligarchic entities that include Vanguard, BlackRock, Capital Group, Morgan Stanley, Goldman Sachs, Northern Trust and State Street, which in turn own each other in various convoluted ways. WHO's main function is to scare people into getting vaccinated and accepting expensive drug regimens (barely half of which do any good at all), thus funneling resources toward Big Pharma.

The World Health Organization establishes thresholds to determine whether to declare an influenza epidemic that range between 2.5% and 5%. The novel coronavirus misses the mark by a thousand-fold, yet the WHO has declared it to be the cause of a global pandemic. If this seems like an extreme overreaction, that is because this is an extreme overreaction. Some conspiratorially-minded people may surmise that this is a conspiracy, but it isn't. It is yet another blatant attempt to confiscate a chunk of the world's wealth by requiring it to buy something worthless, just like this same set of medical/financial interests did with the relatively worthless Tamiflu antiviral medication during the H1N1 swine flu pandemic of 2009-10 which caused a mere 18,036 deaths worldwide. This is a specific group pursuing its own group interests."

Then he went into how the Chinese and the Russians are respectively manipulating the coronavirus in their own countries for their own ends

"The Chinese have taken the novel coronavirus outbreak as a chance to train for repelling a biological warfare attack. To argue that this coronavirus is indeed the agent of a biowarfare attack is to argue for something extremely stupid because it just isn't effective as a biowarfare agent. It's almost as bad as Novichok, which was touted as being able to wipe out entire armies but only managed to sicken five people and kill just one of them. It doesn't matter whether this coronavirus leaked out of a dead bat or a biowarfare lab, or both -- it just isn't any good as a weapon. But the Chinese government imposed extreme, unprecedented controls over much of the population and the economy. The Russians followed suit, with the difference that while the Chinese saw these extreme measures as temporary, setting up makeshift hospitals, the Russians seized on them as a chance to fundamentally upgrade the entire health care system, setting it up to effectively handle any future biological warfare attacks.

In doing so, the Chinese and the Russians pursued different goals. The Chinese need to find a way to stop shipping actual physical manufactured goods to the US in exchange for pieces of paper or promises to pay, all of which are about to become worthless, without triggering a dangerous escalation. The need to do so with all necessary haste became obvious in mid-August of 2019, when it turned out that banks were no longer willing to accept US Treasury debt instruments as collateral for overnight loans. These were supposedly the safest investments in the world that made up the world's largest and most liquid financial market -- until it turned out that they weren't that at all."

And on the American economy

"There are two important global processes which, while they will affect the US particularly severely, go far beyond its geographic confines. One is the still relatively gradual process of dethroning the US dollar from its position of dominance. Until the coronavirus pandemic disrupted much of the global economy, most of its participants were interested in preserving some measure of stability to the dollar system. But now that trade has already been disrupted, an opening has been created to dump the dollar without necessarily causing economic damage significantly worse than already exists. The actions of the Federal Reserve, which is in the process of monetizing a large proportion of existing US government debt and virtually all of the new debt being issued to cover the ever-growing budget deficit, are undermining the dollar as well. Although the term "debt monetization" is being used to describe what's happening, issuing currency with which to buy up worthless promissory notes stretches the definition of "debt" beyond any reasonable limit, while "monetization" is far too dignified a term for such a desperate delaying tactic. As a consequence, some analysts do not see US dollar-based global financial system holding up too far beyond this year.

The other process is the rapid transition of the US from the world's largest producer of oil to one of the smallest, because the fracking bonanza has largely run its course. It has never really made any money, since fracked oil is, for technological reasons, always too expensive to sustain economic growth. And now, with an economic depression setting in, economies at a standstill and oil futures trading in the negative territory (where market participants are willing to pay producers to get out of having take delivery of the oil when the contract matures) the fracking industry is going bankrupt, production is falling, and in less than a year it is likely to be down by as much as 70%. At that point, any attempt at economic recovery in the US will involve having to start importing large quantities of oil from a world supply that, with the exception of fracked oil from the US, hasn't expanded much since 2005."

et Al May 10, 2020 at 1:50 am
My view is that despite this being all highly disruptive, it will prepare us all for the inevitable outbreak of a truly deadly virus that will also kill the young and healthy too (hopefully not cats). The world is becoming ever more globalized, transmission chains and time seriously shortened. There will be no escape even on the periphery. A biological version of Neville Shute's On the Beach.

Handling this well (in future) is eminently doable without even losing a (metaphorical) bollock. It is basic stuff and really shouldn't be 'a thing.' The WHO is a redirection nothing burger for those who are responsible for the abrogation of national competence. Decisions are still taken at the national level, no? The WHO is a spokesbody and therein it does have a role to play. It is neither free from political inteference or influence just like every other international organization.

Fortunately, Asia has shown the common-sense that we in the old world have lost through our own arrogance and self-importance. We should be humiliated, but we are not. We're too busy blaming others.

This CoVid-19 outbreak has provided everyone with a crystal clear warning of precisely how incompetent many nation states are over basic provision of health and pandemic planning in the 21st Century. This isn't 1918. Things are supposed to have moved on a bit but it has exposed the ideology of cuts, penny-pinching and not-give-a-f/kery over common-sense by those elected (by us) to provide responsible government. They've been warned multiple times about the risks, not to mention the series of other outbreaks in this century. Still, they're rather more interested in squeaking out ever leaner efficiencies to maximize profit.

I'm not worried about the planet, we'll knock ourselves off first.

Happy Mothers Day!

Patrick Armstrong May 10, 2020 at 10:01 am
My initial feeling was that the initial reaction of Putin, Trump and Johnson was to let the thing burn itself out and maybe put the effort into looking after the most at risk. The Imperial College thing seems to be the reason why Trump and Johnson went to lockdown and that left me puzzled why Putin did. Orlov's piece gave me the idea that maybe, after talking to Xi, Putin decided to use it as a test of Russia's ability to handle a bioattack. Notice that Russia is actually building specialised hospitals around the country rather than just (as in the West) temporarily re-purposing large facilities. We'll probably never know but it's a thought I will keep in the Maybe File.
Mark Chapman May 10, 2020 at 10:55 am
Agreed; I could think of no good reason for it, and consequently Orlov's speculation came as a revelation. Again, it's only speculation on his part, but it does make sense and fits with the Sino-Russian concept of every experience being a teachable moment, to be wrung for such lessons as it may yield.

It is fairly well-known that Johnson's initial plan was to go for herd immunity and just say bollocks to social distancing, but something caused him to abruptly reverse himself after the UK had already started a pretty respectable infection curve. I'm not familiar with the 'Imperial College thing'; could you enlighten me? I do know that impatience at being shut in with no job is increasingly unpopular with people everywhere it prevails, and governments are having a harder time keeping the lid on. I can only imagine it is the same for Putin's government.

Patrick Armstrong May 10, 2020 at 11:47 am
Imperial College model https://www.ft.com/content/16764a22-69ca-11ea-a3c9-1fe6fedcca75
Looks rather GIGO https://lockdownsceptics.org/code-review-of-fergusons-model/
Mark Chapman May 10, 2020 at 11:57 am
I see; thanks for that. I remember reading mentions of a study which forecast incredible death tolls, but didn't realize that was it. Well, no way they could have done anything else, in the face of that – 2.2 million deaths in the US, and more than half a million in the UK.

I don't suppose they will ever be called to account for their fearmongering quackery. To nobody's surprise, I'm sure, the Imperial College receives generous grants from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the most recent in March of this year – just shy of $80 Million, to develop a new tool for malaria control and elimination in sub-Saharan Africa.

https://www.gatesfoundation.org/How-We-Work/Quick-Links/Grants-Database/Grants/2020/03/OPP1210755

Nor was that the only one, by a long chalk; 80 donations between 2006 and 2018. This website does ask that a disclaimer be included that the data are preliminary; final development is not expected to be achieved until 2022. But at first glance, it looks like the full amount will run into quite a few decimal places.

https://donations.vipulnaik.com/donorDonee.php?donor=Bill+and+Melinda+Gates+Foundation&donee=Imperial+College+London

Patient Observer May 10, 2020 at 12:23 pm
An under-reported fact in the US is the abundance of empty ICUs and now a surplus of ventilators. A nearby city is laying off 2,500 medical personnel for lack of work (presumably mobilized for the pandemic).

IIRC, a local story blew the whistle on a staged waiting line for Covid-19 testing; most of the people in line (including medical volunteers who had nothing to do) were asked to to stand in line to provide video footage for a network news team.

Saw this clever play on words – plandemic.

Mark Chapman May 10, 2020 at 12:48 pm
Yes, that's correct: Cherry Health, in Grand Rapids, Michigan. The article points out that Cherry Health stands to lose millions as a result of the crisis.

https://www.woodtv.com/news/grand-rapids/expert-accusations-of-staged-covid-19-test-line-fodder-for-doubters/

Patrick Armstrong May 10, 2020 at 12:47 pm
More fun to come, Mark https://metro.co.uk/2020/05/05/government-coronavirus-scientist-resigns-meeting-married-lover-lockdown-12659413/
Mark Chapman May 10, 2020 at 12:52 pm
Ha, ha!! Dear God. Well, I hope he doesn't lose his tasty bit on the side over this – he'll probably top himself. She looks quite yummy. But it's always the same, innit? Those who make up the rules get a great kick out of it, but feel free to disregard them themselves as soon as they get in the way.
Patrick Armstrong May 10, 2020 at 1:58 pm
And still more https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2020/05/httpsenwikipediaorgwikiavaaz.html
Patrick Armstrong May 10, 2020 at 1:58 pm
And still more https://turcopolier.typepad.com/sic_semper_tyrannis/2020/05/httpsenwikipediaorgwikiavaaz.html
Patient Observer May 11, 2020 at 5:07 am
Makes one wonder if the virus response is being managed at some level to cull the old and frail to reduce health care costs. The obvious vulnerability of nursing home residents combined with the apparent lack of resources specifically devoted to protecting those individuals suggests high level scheming in that regard.

It was only a few months ago that we exceptional people were told that masks were useless and unneeded (except for health care workers who desperately needed them for self-protection). It is likely that policy lead to a rapid spread in the vulnerable population.

It is remarkable how quickly the "masks are useless" directive has been officially forgotten. Now, it's all about how China allowed us to mishandle the situation.

Mark Chapman May 11, 2020 at 8:34 am
I would think not, only because no apparent effort has been made to ensure infection of the homeless in their cardboard cities, and wipe them out. Here, as I have mentioned before, Mayor Helps has given them a city park to use as their own squalid state, constantly refers to them tenderly as 'our most vulnerable', and provides them no end of services, all for free on the taxpayer. If your ambitions are modest, there is no real incentive to work.

If it were all part of a diabolical plan, you would think that plan would allow for taking out the 'useless eaters' among the poor and helpless, as well as the old.

Fern May 12, 2020 at 5:15 pm
It certainly looks that way but such a plot requires a competence that our political elites (at least in the UK) just don't have. Unfortunately, we're led by the shallow, ignorant and inexperienced who responded to a serious health problem with blind panic. It's common sense that a virus, which is particularly dangerous for the elderly, shouldn't be let out to play in care homes; that steps should have been taken to protect the vulnerable rather than putting everyone under house arrest while destroying their livelihoods. But common sense is a bit like common courtesy, not actually that common when you get right down to it.

Professor Neil Ferguson (he of the 500,000 deaths forecast) and his Imperial College team have a dire track record of forecasting in previous health crises, consistently wrong by an order of magnitude. Yet it seems that no-one in government or our once highly competent civil service had either the skills or time to query his forecasting model and the assumptions he made. The fact that he broke the lockdown, introduced as a result of his forecast, in order to dally with his mistress, does kind of suggest he doesn't believe in his own figures.

Mark Chapman May 12, 2020 at 6:04 pm
Yes, it sounds as if you are right. I suppose one reason it looks like a well-managed conspiracy is that it was such a startlingly stupid thing to do – it's difficult to imagine people would willingly cause such destruction without the slightest look to the future.

Johnson is an idiot, but his first instinct – or apparently so, I suppose it might have been just paralysis – was the correct one; proceed as normal, no reason to believe this is the Black Death.

et Al May 13, 2020 at 12:52 am
The phrase Never let a good crisis go to waste springs to mind.*
Mark Chapman May 11, 2020 at 8:28 am
It's almost like the 'pandemic' is just an excuse for something, and the rest is just going through the motions.

On relaxation of restrictions, it's mostly a game of feeling for the level of restriction the public will tolerate, because it is so grateful for the degree of freedom allowed it. I imagine when stores are opened, they're going to want Soviet-style lineups outside, social-distancing 6 feet apart, because only 50 people are allowed inside at any one time. So they can social-distance inside as well, as if that were somehow an effective contagious-virus countermeasure, the way grocery stores are now. And 50 seems to be the magic number no matter the size of the store, except for kiosks which are only allowed to serve one person inside at a time.

The local pizza hotspot, Romeo's, seems to be doing a land-office business, and is probably making money. They only serve take-out now, no inside service, so they only have to pay the cooks and perhaps two counter-service persons; no waitresses or waiters or busboys. And the line outside frequently is about a quarter-mile. But they still have to pay their rent based on the size of the building, which is wasteful – look for perhaps quite a few businesses switching to take-out only in the course of time, and renting smaller premises. Because of course The Authorities are going to want social-distancing inside restaurants as well as we emerge, to preserve the illusion that they knew what they were about.

[May 15, 2020] America has a surveillance state but it refuses to use it to save lives. Instead, it uses it to save Wall Street and protect the extractive elite from any TRUE REAL threat.

May 15, 2020 | www.unz.com

450.org , says: Show Comment May 14, 2020 at 12:29 pm GMT

Case in point. America has a surveillance state but it refuses to use it to save lives. Instead, it uses it to save Wall Street and protect the extractive elite from any TRUE REAL threat. I relish the notion of this virus running rampant across America until it ravages, and decimates actually, the Praetorian Guard Class, the managerial class if you will, that licks the ass of the extractive elite for some bread crust, discarded steak fat and a Tesla. I want to see them truly suffer for their sins.

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2020/05/12/us/coronavirus-reopening-shutdown.html

After weeks cooped up at home following governors' orders to contain the coronavirus outbreak, U.S. residents appear eager to get moving again. As more states began to relax restrictions, about 25 million more people ventured outside their homes on an average day last week than during the preceding six weeks, a New York Times analysis of cellphone data found .

In nearly every part of the country, the share of people staying home dropped, in some places by nearly 11 percentage points.

As the death toll from this pandemic rises in America with no end in sight, Wall Street, as reflected in the DJIA, doesn't even blink and actually cheers. It doesn't get any sicker than that. Wall Street sees the carnage as an opportunity to make more profit off of death and the extractive elite see it as an opportunity to concentrate wealth even further and rid the world of burdensome useless eaters. It's sick. It's sadistic. It's malevolent. It's evil. It's our reality.

Damn them all to hell.

[May 15, 2020] I don't think we should coerce people to go back to work. But once people are given accurate information and this hysteria calms down, people will just go back to their lives as normal. No coercion will be needed.

May 15, 2020 | crookedtimber.org

Anthony T 05.11.20 at 11:53 am 1 ( 1 )

Hello Chris,

I certainly don't think that people should be coerced back to work if they don't want to, though I do think we need to end these lockdowns as soon as possible. What we need is more clear public messaging, from the government: making it clear to people that this disease isn't actually that dangerous and that unless they are in an at risk group they really have very little to be concerned about. Cards should be sent out with green, red, amber marking where people can fill it out with their BMI, their underlying health conditions, chronic diseases etc. and this will give them a picture for whether or not they and their household is actually at risk.

People are talking about this disease like its the black death; as though it threatens everyone and kills indiscriminately. This way of talking has created a completely unfounded mass hysteria in the population. We are talking about a disease which has a case fatality rate of 0.3% (according to the most detailed serological studies, such as the one carried out in Gangelt) so it's a little more deadly than the flu. Of course, it will be a significant killer for the next couple of years – but so is influenza, and nobody panics like this and announces crackers lockdowns during a bad flu season.

Part of the problem has been the medias failure to adequately contextualise the data they are presenting, so people just hear a large number of deaths and don't know what to make of that number. Reporters need to be more clear about the fact that 800,000 people die every year in the UK and that deviations of 5% on either side of this are not uncommon. We need to be reminded that at 43,000 the number of excess deaths in the UK is about the same as the number of excess deaths during the 2014/15 flu season – and still falls short of the number of excess deaths during the 2017/18 flu season (excess deaths then were around 50,000). That context allows people to make sense of the data they read about without panicking – how scared were you of going to work during the 17/18 flu season? Most people probably didn't even notice.

The other problem is that the government has completely failed to give a serious explanation for the lockdown to the public. They are spouting rubbish about "save lives" without actually explaining why the lockdown would "save lives". As a result the public have been given the wrong impression that just extending the lockdown on and on will save lives. This is nonsense. Eventually the lockdown will be lifted and then the same people who would have died before would die a bit later – so no lives would be saved apart from for a few months. There are two explanations that could have been given for why we were implementing the lockdown. Firstly, it could be to ensure that hospitals don't get overfilled as happened in Wuhan and Northern Italy. If that was the aim, then a short lockdown (or a local lockdown in London and some of the other cities with severe outbreaks) would have been sufficient. It has been clear for at least the last three weeks that the government has overestimated ICU needs, most hospitals around the country – including the Nightingale in London – are completely empty. There are no more concerns about shortages of ventilators as it is now clear they are not actually a good way to treat most cases. If there is another severe outbreak in another city in the UK we can always just announce a small local lockdown of that city. Secondly, it could be argued that lockdowns save lives because they give us time to build up a testing capactiy so we can trace down cases and stop really severe outbreaks from happening; but at 500,000 or so tests per week the UK is now testing a lot of people and has the capacity to test even more. Apart from that I can't really think of any other reason why a lockdown would "save lives".

So, no I don't think we should coerce people to go back to work. But once people are given accurate information and this hysteria calms down, people will just go back to their lives as normal. No coercion will be needed.

[May 14, 2020] What you *deliberately* have ignored and continue to ignore is the number of people who *are* at risk from re-opening the economy too soon.

May 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Richard Steven Hack , May 14 2020 2:26 utc | 254

Posted by: fairleft | May 14 2020 0:35 utc | 253 So because you didn't read the word "healthy" in my description of the truth about Covid-19 (which I note you do not deny), you've stupidly decided I'm a troll.

No, you've been pushing this "only the elderly are at risk" *crap* since forever. *Of course* healthy people are at limited risk. That's been known since almost day one from China. As soon as the first statistics came out, we knew that *most* people don't die from it.

What you *deliberately* have ignored and continue to ignore is the number of people who *are* at risk from re-opening the economy too soon. I have cited the *millions* of people who are at risk several times in these threads. The numbers aren't hard to find. And every expert who has written about risk factors since the first statistics came out have pointed that out.

But it doesn't fit your agenda, so you ignore it.

"And I'm not writing about Amerikkka moron."

Nice try. You were referring to the Galbraith piece in the top post which is explicitly referring to the US. Moron.

Typical troll behavior. Deflect, deny, make counter accusations, continually re-assert the same positions no matter how many times they are debunked.

Why b hasn't kicked your ass to the curb is beyond me. Few people here are posting more nonsense than you - and you have even less actual evidence.

[May 14, 2020] Stephan Kohn (who was fired immediately of course) assesses the German reaction as "Fehlalarm" (false alarm), claims that the lockdown has charged/will charge many more deaths than the virus itself. It was a grotesque overreaction, not only in Germany, but in many other countries.

May 14, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

mk , May 13 2020 19:40 utc | 241

In Germany a huge scandal is growing. I'm surprised that this didn't emerge here yet (as far as I can see).

An official in the Ministry for Interior has blown the whistle. After trying to forward a study about the effect of the lockdown measures to his superiors, including Minister for Interior Horst Seehofer, and being ignored, he leaked the study to a non-mainstream online magazine. The study has reached the mainstream meanwhile.

Stephan Kohn (who was fired immediately of course) assesses the German reaction as "Fehlalarm" (false alarm), claims that the lockdown has charged/will charge many more deaths than the virus itself. It was a grotesque overreaction, not only in Germany, but in many other countries.

I will just take one point, which the majority here, AFAICS, has never taken into account: collateral damage. In Germany, in March/April 2020, 90% of important, in part life-saving operations have not been conducted because the beds were reserved for the expected giant Corona wave that didn't arrive. This means between 1,5 Million and 2,5 Million people are affected, and it is only a matter of statistics how many lives have been lost or shortened due to the delayed operations. Cohn estimates between 5000 and 125000 premature deaths which easily outweigh the 7000 Corona deaths.

And this is just one point.

Like so many virologists, he says Corona is not worse than a strong flu.

Here's the document:

https://ichbinanderermeinung.de/Dokument93.pdf

[May 13, 2020] Shock at low US confidence in Trump's coronavirus narrative ignores decades of governments abusing Americans' trust by Helen Buyniski

Notable quotes:
"... In light of such a history of distrust – the president who'd promised to not only shutter the infamous Guantanamo Bay prison but also end the seemingly eternal wars in the Middle East had not only failed to deliver on those promises, but actually launched several new wars in Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan – it's no surprise Americans are reluctant to embrace the Trump administration's Covid-19 narrative. ..."
"... Like the fabled boy who cried wolf, it doesn't matter if the emergency is real this time – the government has simply worn out its welcome by making demands on false pretenses. ..."
May 12, 2020 | www.rt.com

Just over a third of Americans trust President Donald Trump's information about the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a new poll. But given decades of crises mishandled by the government, the only surprise is that it isn't lower. A CNN poll showing that just 36 percent of Americans trust Trump for reliable information about the coronavirus was held up triumphantly by the president's critics on Tuesday as proof his credibility is circling the drain. But it's more likely to be the fallout not just from Trump, but from the two preceding presidential administrations' misrepresentation of crises, that has created epidemic levels of distrust among the people.

Trump's own approval rating is hovering around 45 percent, according to the poll, conducted by CNN in conjunction with SSRS and released on Tuesday. While it's been presented as a scathing mass rejection of Trump, the same pollsters are actually seeing an uptick in support for the president – the approval rating last month stood at 44 percent, and the previous month's was 43. But Americans can't be faulted for distrusting the Trump administration's narratives, given prior presidents' tendencies toward crying wolf in ways that have invariably left the American people worse off.

The last time Washington tried to mobilize the US with the threat of an invisible enemy was during George W. Bush's 'War on Terror' after the September 11 attacks. While it soon became apparent that the many deaths that occurred on that day had nothing to do with the subsequent US invasions of Afghanistan and then Iraq, it was too late by the time Americans found out they had been lied to. Not only had the Afghan government willingly offered up Osama bin Laden, but Saddam Hussein was found to have had no 'weapons of mass destruction', and the entire narrative was the concoction of a secretive entity that had been set up to create a casus belli for war with Iraq despite the facts.

Bush's approval ratings declined steadily following 9/11, as the nation was forced into one war after another on false pretenses. At his lowest point, just 25 percent of Americans trusted him. The 'invisible enemy' of terrorism – supposedly lurking around every corner and requiring Americans to practically disrobe at entrances to airports – had lost its luster, and Bush's poor handling of real-life crises like Hurricane Katrina put the final nail in the coffin of his credibility.

While Barack Obama entered office on a high note with a promise of " hope and change ," his approval rating also plunged quickly – especially when he refused to stand in the way of the wildly unpopular 2008 'Wall Street bailout' – sinking to 41 percent in 2011 as Americans grew restive after years of recession with no change in sight. By 2014, 70 percent of respondents to an MSNBC poll stated the country was headed in the wrong direction, with 80 percent singling out the political system as the primary culprit. Congress enjoyed an appallingly low 14 percent approval rating.

In light of such a history of distrust – the president who'd promised to not only shutter the infamous Guantanamo Bay prison but also end the seemingly eternal wars in the Middle East had not only failed to deliver on those promises, but actually launched several new wars in Syria, Libya, Yemen, Somalia and Sudan – it's no surprise Americans are reluctant to embrace the Trump administration's Covid-19 narrative.

Another invisible enemy that requires them to sacrifice their livelihoods – a third of Americans couldn't pay their rent last month, while even the paltry $1,200 stimulus checks supposedly heading to 130 million Americans have apparently not reached half their intended recipients yet – is reminding Americans of what happened last time they were told to put aside their real-life concerns and fall in line behind a narrative that turned out to be false.

Like the fabled boy who cried wolf, it doesn't matter if the emergency is real this time – the government has simply worn out its welcome by making demands on false pretenses.

[May 13, 2020] In Major U-Turn, NJ governer ordered 'Partial Reopening' Monday

May 13, 2020 | ussanews.com

Less than a day after he whined during his daily press briefing about having the worst mortality rate from the virus in the country (he doesn't), NJ Gov Phil Murphy has on Wednesday seemingly taken a major u-turn, moving ahead with a plan to partially reopen the state on Monday after pledging to wait for more testing.

Specifically, the state will allow construction workers and more 'non-essential' retail workers to report to work, with shoppers able to shop via 'curbside' pickup.

Holding a COVID-19 briefing. WATCH: https://t.co/JoDcRJysDp

Data shows that we are ready to begin to restart our economy. From the peak:
📉New hospitalizations down 2/3
📉Total hospitalizations down nearly 1/2
📉Patients in ICU are down
📉Patients on ventilators down
📉Positive cases down nearly 70%
📉Deaths have decreased more than 1/3 pic.twitter.com/CAl0kK31DC

-- Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) May 13, 2020

[May 13, 2020] A Pandemic of Know-Nothings

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The coronavirus reminds us that the gap between what we think we know and what we actually do know is enormous. ..."
"... American Journal of Public Health ..."
May 13, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The coronavirus reminds us that the gap between what we think we know and what we actually do know is enormous.

Dr. Deborah Birx, White House coronavirus response coordinator, shows off charts with members of the coronavirus task force during a briefing in response to the COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room at the White House on Tuesday, March 31, 2020 in Washington, DC. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post via Getty Images)

May 13, 2020

|

12:01 am

Matt Purple St. Louis Federal Reserve watchers, rejoice! And yes, I'm talking to both of you. The St. Louis Fed is freshly relevant this week thanks to a paper it published back in 2007 that examined the economic effects of the 1918 Spanish flu. Drawing on old newspaper articles, local surveys, and other studies -- national data back then was scarce -- the report found that the damage done to businesses by the outbreak was both severe and short-lived. The impact on the next generation, however, was longer-lasting. Those in utero during the pandemic went on to attain less education and lower incomes than had previous generations.

What we wouldn't give for that kind of glimpse from the future today. The coronavirus has killed hundreds of thousands while sledgehammering the economy, leaving close to a quarter of working-age Americans either unemployed or underemployed. And we still have no idea how it will end. It may be that this recession is similar to the one in 1918, cutting deeply but easing rapidly. Or it may be that we're in for another lost decade of stubborn unemployment and stagnant growth. It may be that the virus is seen off this summer, remembered as a frightening but ultimately brief ordeal. Or it may be that it lurks into the autumn, whereupon it comes roaring back.

We don't know, and we hate that we don't know. Consequently a cottage industry has sprung up around our uncertainty, hawking models, projections, expert opinions. These things have valid scientific purposes, of course, but thrown down the rabbit hole of our popular discourse, they've taken on a kind of hysterical clairvoyance, supposedly able to tell us what's coming and how we should respond. With climate change, we grew accustomed to the idea that scientists could see into the future. Now we're demanding they do the same with the coronavirus. That's despite the fact that so far, none of these projections have demonstrated any greater predictive ability than your average call to Miss Cleo.

Take the government's official death toll projections. Back in January, the White House was largely complacent over the coronavirus, with President Trump comparing it to the seasonal flu and his health secretary saying that Americans need "not worry for their own safety." Then in late March, the pendulum swung towards apocalypse. Actually, the White House said, 200,000 Americans could die. Two weeks later, the death toll projection fell to a far rosier 60,000 , and the country breathed a sigh of relief ahead of Easter weekend. Then the projections ticked upwards yet again. Today, IHME, the White House's principal modeler, predicts that 147,000 Americans will be killed by August 4.

Some of the issue here may be the choice of models. IHME has been criticized by epidemiologists , as have the Imperial College modelers in Britain (who have lately been distracted by, er, more extracurricular activities ). But the bigger problem is best summed up in a quote to Politico by the head of IHME, explaining why his organization's projections were so wrong. "We had presumed, perhaps naively," he said, "that given the magnitude of the epidemic, most states would stick to their social distancing until the end of May." In other words, the models are premised on assumptions that can be scrambled by real-world events, whether political decisions or acts of God or the caprices of the virus itself. They aren't showing us the future so much as extrapolating off of a snapshot, one that can easily change. Yet we treat them as practically mystic. "200,000 could die!!" scream the headlines, with "could" ever the weasel word.

We don't just do this with the death toll. On the economy, too, we seem hopelessly confused. Here's a smattering of headlines from the past two months: "Unemployment rate could exceed 20% by June, top White House adviser says." "Economists see uneven jobs recovery, high U.S. unemployment through 2021." "Top JPMorgan investment advisor: It will take '10 to 12 years' for U.S. employment levels to return." "The coronavirus recession will be deeper and faster than the financial crisis." "Economists say quick rebound from recession is unlikely." "Trump's baseless claim that a recession would be deadlier than the coronavirus." "U.N. warns economic downturn could kill hundreds of thousands of children in 2020."

Stare into this blurry puddle long enough and you might conclude that no one has any idea what the hell they're talking about. Or you might fall back on your own biases, choosing to believe stories that buttress your political beliefs and speak to your own personal circumstances. Either way, this kind of confusion can have long-reaching effects. Consider, for example, a new study that was released last week, which found that there could be 75,000 so-called deaths of despair -- meaning suicides and drug and alcohol overdoses -- as a result of the coronavirus recession. It called to mind another social science finding , one of the most consequential of the last decade: that life expectancy among less educated, middle-aged, white Americans was declining, driven primarily by those deaths of despair.

That claim, courtesy of researchers Anne Case and Angus Deaton , made its way around the internet. It fed into the narrative of the populist right and Donald Trump. It provided an empirical grounding for "American carnage." But wait: a less noticed study a year later, which took Case's and Deaton's data and adjusted for age, found a more mixed picture. According to research from Columbia University , while middle-aged white women had indeed seen increased mortality rates, middle-aged white men had reversed this trend back in 2005. And then came another study, in the American Journal of Public Health , that challenged the very concept of "deaths of despair," warning that "the gap between deaths of despair as a claim and deaths of despair as a rigorously tested scientific concept is wide."

There is a Grand Canyon-sized gap between what we think we know and what we actually know. How to navigate this chasm? Two maxims can help.

The first comes from Friedrich Hayek: "The curious task of economics is to demonstrate to men how little they really know about what they imagine they can design." Hayek was concerned with what he called the "fatal conceit," which he defined as the belief "that man is able to shape the world around him according to his wishes." We might add a corollary: that man is able to anticipate the world around him according to his wishes. Because knowledge is complex and dispersed, Hayek argued, no one can ever marshal enough of it to centrally plan an economy. Likewise even a sophisticated model can't have enough data to foresee how a pandemic will play out. There are simply too many variables, drawing on too many areas of life.

The second maxim comes from a very different source: John Dickinson, perhaps our most conservative founding father. "Experience must be our only guide," Dickinson said. "Reason may mislead us." Of course, by reason, he didn't mean vast computer algorithms struggling to track contagion across seven continents; he was thinking of 18th-century rationalism, which he contrasted with the more reliable yardstick of historical experience. While what seemed philosophically sound in the abstract could be tainted by personal bias or disconnected from real life, precedent was far more settled. How something had worked in the past was a good indication of how it would work in the future.

Unfortunately we have very little precedent when it comes to the coronavirus, though the Spanish flu can perhaps offer some clues. The 1918 influenza, like the current pandemic, began in the spring, only to enter a second wave in the fall that killed more people than the first. A third wave then began that winter and stretched into the summer of 1919. That's chilling, yet there's good news too: the recession that followed was short and quickly blossomed into the 1920s, one of the most dizzying economic expansions in our history.

So top hats and flapper dresses all around? Who knows? It's called the novel coronavirus for a reason. The awful truth is that we have very little idea how long this will go on and how it will ultimately turn out. And the reason for that is that we know so very much less than we think we do.

[May 13, 2020] There may be no vaccine. What then?

May 13, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

"Paul's challenge encapsulates the debate between elected officials eager to open up businesses and willing to accept the risk that more people will die, and public health experts committed to lowering infection rates and keeping the public as safe as possible.

" People are hurting and we're destroying our country ," Paul told reporters outside the hearing room. "We've got to open up business we got to let people vote, and we're not going to live in a perfect world without infectious disease, we're still going to have it, but we got to open the economy and that's the number one message I have."

The Kentucky senator, an opthamologist, told Fauci he didn't believe there would be a surge in cases if schools opened, which is not what public health experts say. Paul dismissed predictive models of the virus. "The history of this, when we look back, will be of wrong prediction after wrong prediction after wrong prediction ," Paul said.

Paul then targeted Fauci personally: "As much as I respect you Dr. Fauci, I don't think you're the end-all, I don't think you're the one person that gets to make the decision . We can listen to your advice. But there are people on the other side saying there won't be a surge and we can safely open the economy." CNBC

--------------

IMO, there may or may not be an effective vaccine developed against COVID-19. Some virus bugs are never countered effectively by vaccines. There are no vaccines for the common cold, the Spanish Influenza of 1918, and many other virus strains. Some diseases must burn themselves out in a population by establishing herd immunity. Bubonic Plague is a bacterial infection, but the same thing was true of it. It ravaged Europe, but eventually the fire of infection burned out in Europe and those of us who are descended from Europeans are the descendants of the herd survivors.

COVID-19 is nothing like the Black Death or the Spanish Influenza in lethality except for the old and infirm. Suck it up, people! Cowboy up! Grow a pair! Fauci is a techno dweeb who would keep the US shut down economically until the survivors of COVID-19 would be living in a post-apocalyptic world of small communities living in poverty, a dystopian nightmare.

Rand Paul is also a doctor, and a survivor of the disease.

The Democrats are having a good time playing with Trump while the country burns to the ground economically.

Biden? Pelosi? Juan Williams? Northam? You want them? If you do, and you want to hunker down until the country dies, well then, Bless You! You will deserve what you get.

SWMBO and I, and the doggies are unlikely to be here to share your pain. pl

https://www.cnbc.com/2020/05/12/dr-anthony-fauci-sen-rand-paul-spar-over-safety-and-death-rates-among-children-with-coronavirus.html

Posted at 06:29 PM in Health Care Permalink | Comments (8)


Jack , 12 May 2020 at 06:46 PM

Sir,

LA County apparently wants to extend the lockdown by another 3 months. This is just insane!

Old guys like me could hang out more at the ranch but the youth need to be out and about.

There's no perfect risk-free scenario as you point out. Unfortunately we have cultivated a nanny state of big government and big business that are quite rapacious in reality. Has any state actually passed legislation to enforce lockdowns? These are just executive orders at the state and local levels. It would appear that these orders suspends the constitution? I'm surprised no one has yet challenged these orders in state and federal courts.

We sure are an afraid lot. What happened to the derring-do?

james , 12 May 2020 at 06:55 PM
maybe they could do a special ufc - wrestling type show with paul and fauci.. the american public seem very keen on this sort of thing and would eat it up..

can someone explain how herd immunity works?? i've never heard of people being referred to as a herd... i missed that in school..

Keith Harbaugh , 12 May 2020 at 07:04 PM
BTW, notice how Ukraine has vanished from the national conversation.
Who needs to keep yapping about how Trump let down (one faction in) Ukraine when they can blame him for the economic calamity which, in point of fact, is due to the vast overreaction that has been pushed by the media and Dem politicians.
For example, failing to point out that New York has unique demographics, which directly and conclusively led to its high hospitalization and fatality rate.
turcopolier , 12 May 2020 at 07:21 PM
james

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herd_immunity Idiot

Keith Harbaugh , 12 May 2020 at 08:02 PM
A key point the media doesn't adequately emphasize, IMO, is the sharpness of the dependency on age.
In Virginia, there have been, to date, roughly 900 deaths attributed to the virus.
Of those deaths, over half were to people over 80.
Roughly one quarter were people in their 70s.
About 15% were people on their 60s.
Less than 10% were people under 60.
There were ZERO deaths of people under 20.

To see a bar chart which shows the exact numbers, visit
https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/
Then click on "Demographics", then set "Select Measure" to "Deaths".

Fred , 12 May 2020 at 08:05 PM
"public health experts"
These folks appear to be expert only at guaranteeing thier jobs. The backpedaling, double speak and out right fraud is beyond shameless. I notice we aren't talking about the Georgia death count any longer but St. Travoon of the skittles accolyte. This thing is over but for NYC and the politicians in the democratic death traps being governed by fools. Ordering infected elderly patients back to nursing homes, which experts advised that to Cuomo and Whitmer? Suicide, drug overdoses, those deaths don't count?

"Biden? Pelosi? Juan Williams? Northam? You want them?" No, nor Whitmer nor Newsom. If we get them I won't be around much longer than your doggies and I'm much younger than you and SWMBO.

John Merryman , 12 May 2020 at 08:07 PM
I think a big part of the problem is the total lack of any deeper philosophic debate, as part of a normal social functioning. People want answers not truths, so there are plenty of politicians and priests, but philosophy is neutered and left to the back alleys of academia.
We are linear, goal oriented creatures in a cyclical, reciprocal, feedback generated reality, in which there is this organic interplay between competition and cooperation, as well as public and private functions of society, etc. So when we impose this goal oriented model on those facts of life, we end up with a bunch of absolutist ideologs running the world and using the other side as boogymen to rally their cultists. Rather than appreciating such interplay is fundamental to life.
When we have such a fundamentally primitive understanding of how reality functions, having nuanced discussion of life and death issues is not possible.
Eric Newhill , 12 May 2020 at 08:19 PM
The people won't stand for Fausti's nonsense, nor the Democrats'. They will just open their businesses and local governments - especially county level - will allow it. Already happening in PA. Heck even some states are doing it. As counties and states open up, the populations of those that do not will become increasingly agitated and begin to break "the rules". There will be a ripple effect. The cowards and social media magnates and leftists will call them names and wave fingers at them, but the people won't care. Actually they will continue to open with even more fervor just to give give these "elites" the finger.

As always, the socialist/dictator class ignores human nature and believes people can be programmed. As always, they are wrong. People are no longer buying the models and case rates BS, etc. that the "scientists" put out there. Geekery ain't cutting it any more.

Hopefully, this will all occur peacefully with the socialists/dictators just throwing up their hands. If they double down, then the tree of liberty gets watered. Probably the outcome that needs to happen, terrible as it is. Right now Pelosi is trying to develop a plan to bribe the people into staying locked down and vote democrat. It will fail.

Jack , 12 May 2020 at 06:46 PM
Sir,

LA County apparently wants to extend the lockdown by another 3 months. This is just insane!

Old guys like me could hang out more at the ranch but the youth need to be out and about.

There's no perfect risk-free scenario as you point out. Unfortunately we have cultivated a nanny state of big government and big business that are quite rapacious in reality. Has any state actually passed legislation to enforce lockdowns? These are just executive orders at the state and local levels. It would appear that these orders suspends the constitution? I'm surprised no one has yet challenged these orders in state and federal courts.

We sure are an afraid lot. What happened to the derring-do?

james , 12 May 2020 at 06:55 PM
maybe they could do a special ufc - wrestling type show with paul and fauci.. the american public seem very keen on this sort of thing and would eat it up..

can someone explain how herd immunity works?? i've never heard of people being referred to as a herd... i missed that in school..

Keith Harbaugh , 12 May 2020 at 07:04 PM
BTW, notice how Ukraine has vanished from the national conversation.
Who needs to keep yapping about how Trump let down (one faction in) Ukraine when they can blame him for the economic calamity which, in point of fact, is due to the vast overreaction that has been pushed by the media and Dem politicians.
For example, failing to point out that New York has unique demographics, which directly and conclusively led to its high hospitalization and fatality rate.
turcopolier , 12 May 2020 at 07:21 PM
james

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Herd_immunity Idiot

Keith Harbaugh , 12 May 2020 at 08:02 PM
A key point the media doesn't adequately emphasize, IMO, is the sharpness of the dependency on age.
In Virginia, there have been, to date, roughly 900 deaths attributed to the virus.
Of those deaths, over half were to people over 80.
Roughly one quarter were people in their 70s.
About 15% were people on their 60s.
Less than 10% were people under 60.
There were ZERO deaths of people under 20.

To see a bar chart which shows the exact numbers, visit
https://www.vdh.virginia.gov/coronavirus/
Then click on "Demographics", then set "Select Measure" to "Deaths".

Fred , 12 May 2020 at 08:05 PM
"public health experts"
These folks appear to be expert only at guaranteeing thier jobs. The backpedaling, double speak and out right fraud is beyond shameless. I notice we aren't talking about the Georgia death count any longer but St. Travoon of the skittles accolyte. This thing is over but for NYC and the politicians in the democratic death traps being governed by fools. Ordering infected elderly patients back to nursing homes, which experts advised that to Cuomo and Whitmer? Suicide, drug overdoses, those deaths don't count?

"Biden? Pelosi? Juan Williams? Northam? You want them?" No, nor Whitmer nor Newsom. If we get them I won't be around much longer than your doggies and I'm much younger than you and SWMBO.

John Merryman , 12 May 2020 at 08:07 PM
I think a big part of the problem is the total lack of any deeper philosophic debate, as part of a normal social functioning. People want answers not truths, so there are plenty of politicians and priests, but philosophy is neutered and left to the back alleys of academia.
We are linear, goal oriented creatures in a cyclical, reciprocal, feedback generated reality, in which there is this organic interplay between competition and cooperation, as well as public and private functions of society, etc. So when we impose this goal oriented model on those facts of life, we end up with a bunch of absolutist ideologs running the world and using the other side as boogymen to rally their cultists. Rather than appreciating such interplay is fundamental to life.
When we have such a fundamentally primitive understanding of how reality functions, having nuanced discussion of life and death issues is not possible.
Eric Newhill , 12 May 2020 at 08:19 PM
The people won't stand for Fausti's nonsense, nor the Democrats'. They will just open their businesses and local governments - especially county level - will allow it. Already happening in PA. Heck even some states are doing it. As counties and states open up, the populations of those that do not will become increasingly agitated and begin to break "the rules". There will be a ripple effect. The cowards and social media magnates and leftists will call them names and wave fingers at them, but the people won't care. Actually they will continue to open with even more fervor just to give give these "elites" the finger.

As always, the socialist/dictator class ignores human nature and believes people can be programmed. As always, they are wrong. People are no longer buying the models and case rates BS, etc. that the "scientists" put out there. Geekery ain't cutting it any more.

Hopefully, this will all occur peacefully with the socialists/dictators just throwing up their hands. If they double down, then the tree of liberty gets watered. Probably the outcome that needs to happen, terrible as it is. Right now Pelosi is trying to develop a plan to bribe the people into staying locked down and vote democrat. It will fail.

[May 13, 2020] Prager The Worldwide Lockdown May Be The Greatest Policy Mistake In History

Notable quotes:
"... The forcible prevention of Americans from doing anything except what politicians deem "essential" has led to the worst economy in American history since the Great Depression of the 1930s. It is panic and hysteria, not the coronavirus , that created this catastrophe. And the consequences in much of the world will be more horrible than in America. ..."
"... That would be enough to characterize the worldwide lockdown as a deathly error. But there is much more. If global GDP declines by 5%, another 147 million people could be plunged into extreme poverty, according to the International Food Policy Research Institute. ..."
"... Foreign Policy magazine reports that, according to the International Monetary Fund, the global economy will shrink by 3% in 2020, marking the biggest downturn since the Great Depression, and the U.S., the eurozone and Japan will contract by 5.9%, 7.5% and 5.2%, respectively. Meanwhile, across South Asia, as of a month ago, tens of millions were already "struggling to put food on the table." Again, all because of the lockdowns, not the virus. ..."
May 13, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Prager: The Worldwide Lockdown May Be The Greatest Policy Mistake In History by Tyler Durden Wed, 05/13/2020 - 13:15 Authored by Dennis Prager via PJMedia.com,

The idea that the worldwide lockdown of virtually every country other than Sweden may have been an enormous mistake strikes many - including world leaders; most scientists, especially health officials, doctors and epidemiologists; those who work in major news media; opinion writers in those media; and the hundreds of millions, if not billions, of people who put their faith in these people - as so preposterous as to be immoral.

Timothy Egan of The New York Times described Republicans who wish to enable their states to open up as "the party of death."

That's the way it is today on planet Earth, where deceit, cowardice and immaturity now dominate almost all societies because the elites are deceitful, cowardly and immature.

But for those open to reading thoughts they may differ with, here is the case for why the worldwide lockdown is not only a mistake but also, possibly, the worst mistake the world has ever made. And for those intellectually challenged by the English language and/or logic, "mistake" and "evil" are not synonyms. The lockdown is a mistake; the Holocaust, slavery, communism, fascism, etc., were evils. Massive mistakes are made by arrogant fools; massive evils are committed by evil people.

The forcible prevention of Americans from doing anything except what politicians deem "essential" has led to the worst economy in American history since the Great Depression of the 1930s. It is panic and hysteria, not the coronavirus , that created this catastrophe. And the consequences in much of the world will be more horrible than in America.

The United Nations World Food Programme, or the WFP, states that by the end of the year, more than 260 million people will face starvation -- double last year's figures. According to WFP director David Beasley on April 21:

"We could be looking at famine in about three dozen countries...

There is also a real danger that more people could potentially die from the economic impact of COVID-19 than from the virus itself " (italics added).

That would be enough to characterize the worldwide lockdown as a deathly error. But there is much more. If global GDP declines by 5%, another 147 million people could be plunged into extreme poverty, according to the International Food Policy Research Institute.

Foreign Policy magazine reports that, according to the International Monetary Fund, the global economy will shrink by 3% in 2020, marking the biggest downturn since the Great Depression, and the U.S., the eurozone and Japan will contract by 5.9%, 7.5% and 5.2%, respectively. Meanwhile, across South Asia, as of a month ago, tens of millions were already "struggling to put food on the table." Again, all because of the lockdowns, not the virus.

In one particularly incomprehensible act, the government of India, a poor country of 1.3 billion people, locked down its people. As Quartz India reported on April 22, "Coronavirus has killed only around 700 Indians a small number still compared to the 450,000 TB and 10,000-odd malaria deaths recorded every year."

One of the thousands of unpaid garment workers protesting the lockdown in Bangladesh understands the situation better than almost any health official in the world:

"We are starving. If we don't have food in our stomach, what's the use of observing this lockdown?"

But concern for that Bangladeshi worker among the world's elites seems nonexistent.

The lockdown is " possibly even more catastrophic (than the virus) in its outcome : the collapse of global food-supply systems and widespread human starvation" (italics added).

That was published in the left-wing The Nation, which, nevertheless, enthusiastically supports lockdowns. But the American left cares as much about the millions of non-Americans reduced to hunger and starvation because of the lockdown as it does about the people of upstate New York who have no incomes, despite the minuscule number of coronavirus deaths there. Or about the citizens of Oregon, whose governor has just announced the state will remain locked down until July 6. As of this writing, a total of 109 people have died of the coronavirus in Oregon.

An example of how disinterested the left is in worldwide suffering is made abundantly clear in a front-page "prayer" by a left-wing Christian in the current issue of The Nation: "May we who are merely inconvenienced remember those whose lives are at stake."

"Merely inconvenienced" is how the Rev. Dr. William J. Barber II, a Protestant minister and president of the North Carolina NAACP, describes the tens of millions of Americans rendered destitute, not to mention the hundreds of millions around the world rendered not only penniless but hungry. The truth is, like most of the elites, it is Barber who is "merely inconvenienced." Indeed, the American battle today is between the merely inconvenienced and the rest of America.

Michael Levitt, professor of structural biology at Stanford Medical School and winner of the 2013 Nobel Prize in chemistry, recently stated, "There is no doubt in my mind that when we come to look back on this, the damage done by lockdown will exceed any saving of lives by a huge factor."

To the left, anyone who questions the lockdown is driven by preference for money over lives. Typical of the left's moral shallowness is this headline on Salon this week:

"It's Time To Reject the Gods of Commerce: America Is a Society, Not an 'Economy,'" with the subhead reading, "America Is About People, Not Profit Margins."

And, of course, to smug editors and writers of The Atlantic, in article after repetitive article, the fault lies not with the lockdown but with President Donald Trump. The most popular article in The Atlantic this week is titled "The Rest of the World Is Laughing at Trump." The elites can afford to laugh at whatever they want. Meanwhile, the less fortunate -- that is, most people -- are crying.

[May 13, 2020] The Chilling Return of 'Papers Please'

May 13, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The Chilling Return of 'Papers Please'

So-called immunity passports would bring back the worst civil liberties abuses of the past and result in a crime wave. Credit: M.Moira/Shutterstock

May 13, 2020

|

12:01 am

Bill Wirtz The coronavirus lockdown drags on, yet only a few fringe fanatics (and France, but I repeat myself) support continuing complete shutdowns of the world's economies. However, even those countries that have opted to end forced quarantines still present a range of worrying responses. One of these ongoing debates surrounds the so-called "Corona apps," with which authorities intend to track and trace the movements of their own citizens. In Poland, the government is mandating that those infected with COVID-19 install an app and use it to send a selfie on a regular basis. If they do not comply, they face a visit from the law enforcement.

The nightmarish infringements on civil liberties are set to continue with "immunity passports." The German Robert Koch Institute, along with other researchers and blood donation services, is working on a large-scale study to establish immunity in COVID-19 patients. Those found to have built immunity, either because they've already had the disease or through antibody testing, could be issued paperwork that exempts them from lockdown restrictions.

CNN's medical analyst Saju Mathew counts himself as convinced by the concept, and quotes a noted beacon of human freedom to back it up: "In China, for example, QR codes have been used to loosen restrictions in Wuhan, where the pandemic originated. People assessed to be healthy have been given a green QR code, indicating they can travel within the province."

From a law enforcement level, the existence of immunity passports would extend indefinitely the practice of questioning citizens without reasonable suspicion at any time. "Papers please" wouldn't be experienced only because one is crossing a border, but merely because one is outside. If you were worried about rogue police abusing power before, wait until stop and frisk becomes the norm all across the United States, at any time of the day.

In the United Kingdom, Professor Peter Openshaw, a member of the government's new and emerging respiratory virus threats advisory group, told The Guardian that "people granted the passports would have to be kept under close observation to ensure they were not becoming reinfected." In practice, this would amount to daily identification checkpoints and mandatory home visits. Any pretense of individual liberty and fundamental rights would go out the window.

But beyond that, on a more practical level, the measure would be inoperable. In a scientific brief published at the end of April , the World Health Organization (WHO) -- known to be warm on authoritarian measures such as those used by China -- preliminarily rejected the idea of these passports. Current antibody tests, the WHO warned, could confuse immunity with one of the six existing coronaviruses, four of which cause the common cold. The WHO also noted that such paperwork would give citizens the impression that they do not need to abide by social distancing guidelines, giving them a false sense of security. Professor Openshaw adds that immunity passports would incentivize people to try and deliberately catch coronavirus, which could end up overwhelming the health sector, exactly the scenario that the lockdowns are meant to prevent.

There's also a massive opportunity for crime under such a proposal. In 2015, 50 million travel documents were either lost or stolen. In 2014, the UK recorded a five-year high of counterfeit passport seizures. Fake passports fuel organized crime and have long been available on the black market. Immunity passports would be far more valuable, since they would grant not just the ability to go to other countries, but other basic freedoms of movement, going into shops or meeting friends. The idea that people would pay a pretty price for their freedom would be an understatement. In turn, the government could only react to such a flood of false documentation by becoming more authoritarian, casting us into yet another spiral of increasing state control.

There is no instance in which the systematic control of citizens has not ended in police abuse, or plain and simple authoritarianism. There is a genuine fear about the coronavirus. That said, we cannot allow such fear to rid us completely of our fundamental rights. States of emergency were and are designed to be temporary, and in that, to be short.

If the debate is over whether to radically overturn the Bill of Rights and human rights conventions, then let us have that debate. Let us talk about rewriting the rules, instead of just plain ignoring them.

Bill Wirtz comments on European politics and policy in English, French, and German. His work has appeared in Newsweek , the Washington Examiner , CityAM, Le Monde , Le Figaro , and Die Welt .

[May 12, 2020] We need a radically different model to tackle the COVID-19 crisis By James K. Galbraith Defend Democracy Press

May 12, 2020 | www.defenddemocracy.press

We need a radically different model to tackle the COVID-19 crisis | By James K. Galbraith 12/05/2020

The Current Situation in the United States: May 2020
James K. Galbraith

Two weeks ago week the US death toll from Covid-19 exceeded that of US soldiers in Vietnam, 1955-1974. On May 1 the one-day toll reached a new high, greater than that in New York City on September 11, 2001. Meanwhile economic output has collapsed and over thirty million Americans had filed unemployment claims as of April 30, 2020. On the public health front, testing remains inadequate, contact tracing non-existent, treatment options appear stalled and millions remain uninsured. The federal bailouts have worked well in one way only: to spur a modest revival of stocks and to forestall massive defaults on bonds.

The failures of the public health system border on sabotage. Test kits were available from the WHO in January; the US elected not to use them. The first production of tests from the CDC was botched. Testing was deliberately limited as community transmission grew, so that the virus escaped from early containment that might have been possible. Lockdowns and quarantines came late, were poorly organized and weakly enforced. Supplies of PPE were not allocated to hospitals and health care providers according to need; the Defense Production Act was not deployed in timely and effective manner to ramp up home production; no effective federal system to manage international medical supply chains exists to this day. While some firms have no doubt done their best, reports of profiteering and scams are rampant.

The push to reopen the economy is a further mark of failure. As food supply workers were not properly protected, unacceptable levels of sickness and workplace contamination have occurred, notably in meat. Food banks are in crisis, while milk, eggs and other perishables are wasted. State governments facing fiscal catastrophe press businesses to reopen on terms that cannot be profitable, because capacity is constrained for health reasons. The openings are calculated to force workers off of unemployment insurance, which can be revoked if they decline to return to risky jobs. Many smaller businesses are deciding not to reopen; they will face bankruptcy instead and disappear. Although evictions and foreclosures are technically deferred, many landlords have ignored this and in any event rent, mortgages, utility bills and other debts continue to accrue.

Models of the pandemic now openly predict infections rising further as lockdowns are relaxed, to the point of testing the capacity of health care systems even in parts of the country not yet severely affected. Whether this will happen or not is not yet clear; the public may continue, as a general rule, to practice safe contact behavior, and if the transmission rates hold below 1, as they presently are estimated to be in almost all of the American states , the pandemic may continue to decline. But if the models are borne out, death rates will rise by many multiples of their current values. These events are projected to lead to further lock-downs on a rolling basis, until such time as a vaccine or therapy is available. There is no guarantee of either.

Read also: Brazil's Haddad Extends Support to 23% of Voter Intent

Even if the pandemic is now contained the economy will not revert to "normal." The United States is a premier producer of energy, aerospace, advanced information technologies and financial services. It assembles many million automobiles, appliances and other consumer durable goods every year. The oil sector has suffered a price collapse and borders now on mass bankruptcy; when fracking wells are capped they will sand up and become very costly to reopen, so the US energy-based economic expansion is over. Airplanes are lined up in parking spaces; no new civilian passenger airliners will be needed indefinitely. Households who are either unemployed or working from home (and therefore not commuting) or that face deferred rent and mortgages will not soon be in the market for new cars; in any event the old ones will last longer as they are being driven much less. As office buildings remain empty, new ones will not be built. Similarly for retail stores, already driven to the wall by on-line ordering and deliveries. The banking sector is on the hook for energy loans gone bad, and for household debts, and for corporate loans that will be at risk once the bailout money runs low. The debts built up during the pandemic will be defaulted in many cases, ruining credit for the households affected. All of which foretells a long depression even under the best foreseeable public health conditions. A cycle of infections and lock-downs will make all of this that much worse.

There is an illusion about, that the recent prosperity can be revived by "reopening." But many industries – aircraft, airlines, hotels, automobiles, appliances, commercial construction, energy – will definitely shrink, whatever happens now and no matter how much money they receive. The bailouts were a measure predicated on the idea that these industries were facing just a temporary interruption. But it is difficult to see how bankruptcies and liquidations can be avoided if there is no revival in the demand for product. And large-scale production relies on interlinked supply-chains, so that if a single major producer (for example one of the majors in the automotive sector) fails, there is a risk of cascading liquidations (for example in auto parts), making operations difficult – perhaps impossible – for the survivors. In these industries the supply chains and subcontractors are much larger in the aggregate than the assembly operations of the final production firm.

Higher education, a large sector in America, faces a crisis of high costs, collapsing enrollments and the actual alternative of cheap on-line instruction in many fields. This was already in the works for demographic reasons, and is now being accelerated by the loss of household wealth. Health care, ten times larger, also faces financial difficulties as millions are losing their insurance and – for the moment anyway – as accidents, other infectious diseases and such are down, depriving doctors and hospitals of reimbursements. Service industries from restaurants to retailers cannot function profitably at one-quarter of capacity; bars, nightclubs, and most sporting venues cannot reopen at all.

Read also: America's Painful Self-delusion

Federal decision-making has failed at every level. In the executive branch, it has been at best a complex of incompetence, denial, and political motivation. At worst, decisions were taken and are still being taken in full knowledge of the projected death rates and potential for private profiteering, both in the medical sector and in the larger financial economy. It is known that some private speculators made over three hundred billion dollars shorting the stock market before the February collapse, and that some Members of Congress sold their holdings based on information provided in intelligence briefings. Congressional action has been slow, marred by politics, lobbies, regional rivalries, poor judgment and a misdiagnosis of the economic issues, as Congress reached for legislative models used in past business downturns, especially the crisis of 2007-2009, which had no quarantine or other public health component.

The specific policies implemented were plagued by problems. To calculate payments under the first CARES Act, the IRS had to use filings from tax year 2018, and also ran into printing bottlenecks for paper checks that had to be mailed to those without direct deposit. Unemployment insurance benefits were made relatively generous, and the state unemployment insurance web-sites could not handle the crush, so they crashed, leaving many without the ability to access the program. Instead of simple wage replacement (which would have protected health insurance and union membership) the Small Business Administration issued rules that appeared unusable for many firms, banks gave preference to favored clients, and in the first round also the money soon ran out. In short, the effort to save the economy by pouring money into it through conventional channels was inadequate, ill-considered, inefficient, and in some respects corrupt. The best that may be said is that it was much better than doing nothing at all.

As events progress, the usual pattern of property sales and purchases cannot proceed. So property values will collapse, leaving millions of homeowners without equity; as this happens, mass foreclosures and property seizures are inevitable under the present legal rules. Predatory private investors will buy distressed assets at firesale prices and the American population will revert, largely to renter status. For those with means, private tutors and doctors will remain available; the others will manage as they can. Needless to say, depression, despair, drug abuse and suicide will prevail.

Or maybe they won't . In the wake of the Great Financial Crisis, it was possible – barely possible, but possible – to shift the blame from the bankers to the victims, from those who built a massively fraudulent financial system to those who took out the loans that they could not repay. But there was no viral element, no public health trigger, to that crisis. This one is different. Every development described above is a consequence, direct or indirect, of the coronavirus. Those who were laid off, and who went home, and who broke the transmission of the disease, did their part, just as health-care professionals and grocery clerks did theirs. Their legal case for relief remains weak. But the moral case is strong and the economic case is beyond dispute. Even the incumbent Treasury Secretary, Steven Mnuchin, a foreclosure-predator of the first water after 2008, has stated that the economic crisis "is no fault of American business, it is no fault of American workers, it is the fault of a virus." This is true but it does not mean that things will return to the past if the virus can be made to go away.

Read also: IMF issues warning over growing Chinese debt problems

To move forward, first of all, debts incurred before and during the pandemic will have to be written down. The energy sector and transport sectors will have to be rebuilt, based far more on renewables and sources other than oil. A large share of basic industries – especially in the health sector – will have to be repatriated so that basic sufficiency exists in this country. Millions of people will be needed to monitor and support public health; jobs for them must be organized and funded by the government. State and local governments will have to be federally-funded, in substantial part, to provide basic public services. New and sustainable housing must be built, in new community structures. High speed broadband must be provided to all. A new financing model – cooperative, with public support – will be required to re-establish small businesses. Local, decentralized cultural and sporting venues will have to replace mass-based experiences; these too will require cooperative structures and public support. In short, the only way out, remotely acceptable to the population at large, will require a comprehensive restructuring of the economy on a cooperative foundation, with the government stepping up to guaranteed funding, employment, and public investments.

Disaster capitalism is being tried, and the worst case is now the likely case. But there is a scale beyond which disaster capitalism cannot go. At a certain point, the carnage becomes too great to neglect, impossible to avoid and lethal to overlook. At a certain point, ordinary people will stand up and refuse to be bullied any more. That point has not quite arrived; we are still in the mind-set of "getting back to normal," even as the pandemic continues. The contradiction between normality and public health is on people's minds; the impossibility of returning to the previous abnormal-normal has not yet settled in. It will, in due course. At that point, the question of alternatives will have to be faced.

[May 12, 2020] One month later the first pacient was detected in Seatle Fauci was still proclaiming in public that the evil virus was less of a problem than the annual influenza. Someplace there is a video of Fauci saying this, right around Feb 15.

May 12, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Trailer Trash , May 12 2020 14:58 utc | 113

>Patient #1 was a 35 year old male who presented at a Seattle (WA) clinic on Jan 15, 2020

A month later Fauci was still proclaiming in public that the evil virus was less of a problem than the annual influenza. Someplace there is a video of Fauci saying this, right around Feb 15.

I can not understand how even complete incompetents manage to make exactly the wrong decision at every opportunity. In the UK there was a policy to send elderly patients, both suspected and known to have the virus, to care homes, without even warning the care home people. Supposedly it was to make room for corona patients who were even sicker than the ones going into care homes. This is straight-up criminal negligence.

Here are sordid details from the New York Post :


The governor -- who himself has described nursing homes as a "feeding frenzy'' for the deadly coronavirus -- said that the facilities can't challenge a state regulation forcing them to admit patients with the contagion .

The CEO of a hard-hit Brooklyn nursing home, where 55 patients have died from the coronavirus, told The Post last week that he'd been warning state Health Department officials for weeks he had staffing and equipment issues -- yet received little help.

"There is no way for us to prevent the spread under these conditions,'' the head of the Cobble Hill Health Center, Donny Tuchman, wrote in an e-mail to the department on April 8.

He said he asked to move some patients to the makeshift wards at Manhattan's Javits Center and aboard the city-docked USNS Comfort amid the pandemic, only to be told those two spots were receiving only patients from hospitals.

"I made specific requests to transfer patients, and it didn't happen,'' Tuchman told The Post. "There weren't options."

Deliberate policy decisions have killed and continue to kill people. That is perfectly clear, even while the origins of the virus and the intent of decisions are hiding in the muck. Will relatives of the dead just accept this as "an act of god", or will they come to understand these events as "acts of dear leaders"?

For two months Dear Leaders have claimed that destroying the economy, house arrest, and no care home visitors are for the express purpose of protecting ... care home residents. But most of the dead were care home residents, along with plenty of their care workers.

Yes it sounds melodramatic but I keep seeing black-and-white images of people being herded into shower rooms in order to get showered with Zyklon B. Please tell me why we are not witnessing state-sanctioned murder.

[May 12, 2020] 'I don't think you are the end-all' Rand Paul calls out Fauci over Covid-19 policy based 'one wrong prediction after another'

Notable quotes:
"... Paul, who also has a medical degree, called for "a little bit of humility in our belief that we know what's best for our economy," questioning Fauci's support for a prolonged economic shutdown during a Senate hearing on the government's coronavirus response on Tuesday. ..."
"... With all due respect I don't think you're the end-all, I don't think you're the one person who gets to make a decision. ..."
"... "I hope that people who are predicting doom and gloom and saying oh we can't do this there's going to be a surge will admit they're wrong if there isn't a surge," the senator continued, calling for the Trump administration to listen to experts who disagreed with the "doom and gloom" predictions of Fauci and his ilk. ..."
"... Paul added that continuing the lockdown would widen the class divide, explaining that if children are kept out of school for months on end, then "the poor and underprivileged kids who don't have a parent that's able to teach them at home aren't going to be able to learn for a full year." He also said that the catastrophic narrative painting Covid-19 as a killer necessitating mass shutdowns had gotten started with "wrong prediction after wrong prediction," starting with the British scientist Neil Ferguson's apocalyptic forecasts – even as the British scientist had been meeting secretly with his mistress in violation of the lockdown he'd been championing. ..."
May 12, 2020 | www.rt.com

Republican Senator Rand Paul has challenged National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases director Dr Anthony Fauci on the nation's Covid-19 policy, suggesting the US is waiting too long to reopen. Paul, who also has a medical degree, called for "a little bit of humility in our belief that we know what's best for our economy," questioning Fauci's support for a prolonged economic shutdown during a Senate hearing on the government's coronavirus response on Tuesday.

Sen. Paul argues school decisions should be made district by district, tells Dr. Fauci: "I don't think you're the end all."Fauci: "I'm a scientist... I think we better be careful if we are not cavalier in thinking that children are completely immune to the deleterious effects." pic.twitter.com/dIjXwkM5AU

-- NBC News (@NBCNews) May 12, 2020

With all due respect I don't think you're the end-all, I don't think you're the one person who gets to make a decision.

"I hope that people who are predicting doom and gloom and saying oh we can't do this there's going to be a surge will admit they're wrong if there isn't a surge," the senator continued, calling for the Trump administration to listen to experts who disagreed with the "doom and gloom" predictions of Fauci and his ilk.

" In rural states, we never really reached any sort of pandemic levels in Kentucky and other states ," Paul pointed out, even as he acknowledged that " New England " had been hit hard by the virus. " We have less deaths in Kentucky than we have in an average flu season. "

Antibody tests show Ohio had first Covid-19 cases as early as JANUARY – state health director

" We don't know everything about this virus ," Fauci countered, challenging that children in some parts of the country were turning up with " a very strange inflammatory syndrome " similar to Kawasaki syndrome.

" You're right in the numbers that children do much much better .but I am very careful, and hopefully humble, in knowing that I don't know everything about this disease, and that's why I'm very reserved in making broad predictions ," Fauci continued.

Paul added that continuing the lockdown would widen the class divide, explaining that if children are kept out of school for months on end, then "the poor and underprivileged kids who don't have a parent that's able to teach them at home aren't going to be able to learn for a full year." He also said that the catastrophic narrative painting Covid-19 as a killer necessitating mass shutdowns had gotten started with "wrong prediction after wrong prediction," starting with the British scientist Neil Ferguson's apocalyptic forecasts – even as the British scientist had been meeting secretly with his mistress in violation of the lockdown he'd been championing.

Fauci's supporters took to social media to slam his opponent, noting that Paul had gone to the Senate gym while infected with the coronavirus and perhaps infected others. They also cited high numbers of Covid-19 cases in Paul's home county of Warren County, Kentucky.

Watching Republicans cheer on Rand Paul "taking on" Dr. Fauci almost perfectly characterizes the anti-intellectual, anti-reason, anti-fact, and frankly degenerate state of the Republican Party.

-- Devin Duke (@sirDukeDevin) May 12, 2020

Warren County, Kentucky – where Rand Paul lives – has more COVID-19 cases per capita than 51 of the 67 counties in New England states.Senator Paul is wrong and the ignorant message he is peddling is dangerous. There is no special immunity to this virus based on where you live. https://t.co/l9u5RBYR2J

-- Rep. Don Beyer (@RepDonBeyer) May 12, 2020

Meanwhile, the senator's backers took the exact same exchange as proof that Paul had " destroyed " Fauci.

Rand Paul saves the day! Calls out the "experts" and says you are not the "end all" to make all decisions. GAME, SET, MATCH.

-- Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) May 12, 2020

Rand Paul absolutely destroys Dr. Fraudci. "I don't think you're the end all. I don't think you're the one person who gets to make the decision." pic.twitter.com/nvljuGAy5u

-- LivePDDave 🇺🇸 🚨 🥊 (@LivePDDave1) May 12, 2020

Federal 'social distancing' guidelines were lifted at the end of April, but hotspots like New York and California have extended their economic shutdowns as lesser-hit states have begun to relax restrictions.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

[May 12, 2020] You re Not The End All Rand Paul Slams Fauci In Heated Exchange Over Lockdowns

Notable quotes:
"... X22 Report Fauci's Connections To Wuhan Ready To Be Exposed - Episode 2171c ..."
"... I don't remember Fauci ever apologizing his remarks concerning - you don't need to worry, you don't need masks - masks are bad, the virus can't be spread easily, his models predicting millions would die in the US. ..."
May 12, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

"The history of this when we look back will be wrong prediction after wrong prediction after wrong prediction... As much as I respect you, Dr. Fauci, I don't think you're the end all, I don't think you're the one person that gets to make a decision," said Paul - who added that we need to "observe with an open eye what happened in Sweden, where the kids kept going to school."

"The mortality per capita in Sweden is actually less than France, less than Italy, less than Spain, less than Belgium, less than the Netherlands, about the same as Switzerland. But basically I don't think there's anybody arguing that what happened in Sweden is an unacceptable result. I think people are intrigued by it, and we should be."

"I don't think any of us are certain when we do all these modelings - there have been more people wrong with modeling than right. We're opening up a lot of economies around the US, and I hope that people who are predicting doom and gloom and saying 'oh, we can't do this, there's going to be a surge' - will admit when there isn't a surge."

Watch:

Sen. Rand Paul:

"The history of this when we look back will be wrong prediction after wrong prediction after wrong prediction... As much as I respect you, Dr. Fauci, I don't think you're the end all, I don't think you're the one person that gets to make a decision." pic.twitter.com/SP9T638y2B

— Daily Caller (@DailyCaller) May 12, 2020

Fauci responded, (25 seconds in below), saying "Sen. Paul, I have never made myself out to be the end-all & only voice of this. I'm a scientist, a physician, and a public health official."

He then offered a 'but, the children!' argument - latching onto Paul's comment that we don't know everything about the virus, and that "we really better be very careful, particularly when it comes to children."

"Because the more and more we learn - we're seeing things about what this virus can do that we didn't see from the studies in China. Or in Europe. For example, right now children presenting with COVID-19 who actually have a very strange inflammatory symdrome, very similar to Kawasaki syndrome. I think we better be careful that we are not cavalier in thinking that children are not immune to the deleterious effects.

"I never made myself to be out the end all. I’m a scientist, a physician, and a public health official. I give advice according to the best scientific evidence. "

Dr. Fauci responds to @RandPaul pic.twitter.com/gxOWB9BTQ4

— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) May 12, 2020

I have not promoted the #FireFauci movement. I've defended him. But now...

Fauci responded to a factual-based inquiry by @RandPaul w/an egregious allusion to some mystery Kawasaki-like disease & tripled-down on his aversion to a 2020-21 school session.

I'm done.#FIREFAUCI

— Justin Hart (@justin_hart) May 12, 2020

mikesap, 3 minutes ago

Why isn't anyone asking directly about the 'gain of function' studies that NIH was doing on the US prior to outsourcing the experiments to Wuhan and illegally funding it via the NIH....why is there a need to lockdown 300m people for a relative small number of deaths which in turn are focused on the elderly with prior illnesses...what is the relationship betwe3n the CDC and the European CDC... does the European CDC pay European hospitals for every diagnosis and every ventilator use.... its all BS...hopefully people are beginning to smell a rat and through these bums out....

Al Agent, 3 minutes ago

True. Fauci wasn't elected to make policy; in fact, he wasn't elected at all! He was employed to advise on what happens under different scenarios. Trump's economic advisors weren't elected to make policy; in fact, they weren't elected at all! They are employed to advise on what happens under different scenarios.

Congress and The President decide on policy. They were elected to do that.

Templar X, 16 minutes ago

There will never be a vaccine for COVID-19 which is safe, effective, and worthwhile.

The fastest a vaccine has ever been developed in the past was four years after the first appearance of a new infectious disease.

Four years from now people will either have herd immunity or they will be dead.

Within a year or two, the COVID-19 virus will likely mutate itself to death, or it will weaken and become no worse than a regular flu virus.

COVID-19 is, apparently, less harmful to people under 65 years of age and those with no underlying health conditions, which, of course, is also true of the common flu.

theWHTMANN, 32 minutes ago

How come no one asks Fauci straight to his face regarding all the deaths that will happen because of the lockdown (missed surgeries, suicide, famine, et al.). What is this con man's response? He doesn't care? What if non-COVID deaths because of the lockdown are 3x or 4x the COVID deaths? What then? Does anyone ask this fool Fauci whether he will take responsibility for anything?

mrpc, 30 minutes ago

Like Fauci says himself, in the interview, he gives advice. He doesn't make the decisions.

sun tzu, 34 minutes ago (Edited)

Where's the carnage in Georgia, Florida, Texas, and South Carolina from reopening? I see no massive surge in the hospitals or deaths. The only carnage I see is in the nursing homes in New York, New Jersey, and Massachusetts all states run by Democrats

PerilouseTimes, 8 minutes ago

I made an appointment for a procedure this week and had to go in for covid pretesting today. It was my second test in three months. I worked with and personally interacted with, people that tested positive for covid in mid March. I was unusually sick in January and have talked to many others that was strange sick in January as well. After speaking with the health professionals and the people I know in and around this, I am convinced that this is all a load of ****. I had covid in Jan, and so did many of the others I worked with. The nurse I just talked to said to me that her and her family along with many people that she is testing was convinced that they had it between Dec. and Feb. I'm in GA and it is long past time to get this show on the road.

Roger Casement, 37 minutes ago

X22 Report Fauci's Connections To Wuhan Ready To Be Exposed - Episode 2171c

NumbNuts, 39 minutes ago

Fauci is dangerous:

https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2020/05/10/is-there-a-vaccine-for-coronavirus.aspx

Those experiments were going on in the United States until 2014. They were Dr. Anthony Fauci's projects. President Obama ordered that to stop because they had a lot of lab escape problems in 2014 from three different labs

Instead of stopping as he was ordered, Fauci moved those operations to the Wuhan lab in China and continued to do those experiments right up until the time that the coronavirus [pandemic occurred]. In fact, [infectious disease expert] Ian Lipkin was doing those experiments over there when [COVID-19] exploded. And I'll tell you exactly what happened because it's very suspicious."

---ZerooreZ---, 56 minutes ago

I am genuinely impressed with the American spirit, that everything covid related has happened at double the speed in the USA compared to the UK - you were the last to get this thing and seem to be the first to open back up (well done!). I guess because you guys have lived with guns your whole lives, you are braver than the average UK citizen who literally have been the most obedient and most scared bunch I have experienced. People literally throw themselves off the pavements into the road to avoid someone walking the other way, they would rather be

sun tzu, 1 hour ago

Epidemic indeed

ToWo, 1 hour ago

I don't remember Fauci ever apologizing his remarks concerning - you don't need to worry, you don't need masks - masks are bad, the virus can't be spread easily, his models predicting millions would die in the US.

[May 11, 2020] Boomerang returned

May 11, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

Newsweek reveals that as recently as last year, the US funded scientists at the Wuhan Institute of Virology in 'gain of function' research on bat coronaviruses.

The source of that funding? The National Institute for Allergy and Infectious Disease, headed by.....(drumroll please)....Dr Anthony Fauci, lead medical expert for America's Covid-19 task force.

[May 11, 2020] Angry Bear " Fauci No scientific evidence the coronavirus was made in a Chinese lab

May 11, 2020 | angrybearblog.com
  1. likbez , May 11, 2020 1:53 am

    run75441

    I would be wary of Fauci.

    It looks like it was Fauci who financed Wuhan lab continuation of very dangerous "gain of function" experiments started at UNC Dr. Baric lab.

    https://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2020/apr/27/anthony-fauci-should-explain-37-million-wuhan-labo/

    President Donald Trump's legal counsel, Rudy Giuliani, in a recent chat on "The Cats Roundtable" on New York AM 970 radio, suggested a good U.S. attorney general move about now would be to investigate key members of the past Barack Obama administration on the Wuhan, China, laboratory, to see what they knew and when they knew it.

    And then he mentioned Dr. Anthony Fauci specifically.

    And then he accused the prior Team Obama of sending $3.7 million to the lab in 2014 -- at a time when that same Team Obama had banned the funding of any lab that was involved in virus experimentation.

    And then he named Fauci as the guy who gave the money to the Wuhan Institute of Virology.

    Ouch. Politically speaking, the perception of one of this administration's loudest voices on the coronavirus front -- the one calling for shutdowns and shut-ins and contact tracing-slash-government-tracking of American citizens -- well, it doesn't look good to have him tied financially to Wuhan.

    Giuliani, as RedState noted, said this:

    "Back in 2014, the Obama administration prohibited the U.S. from giving money to any laboratory, including in the U.S., that was fooling around with these viruses. Prohibited. Despite that, Dr. Fauci gave $3.7 million to the Wuhan laboratory.

    And then even after the State Department issued reports about how unsafe that laboratory was, and how suspicious they were in the way they were developing a virus that could be transmitted to humans, we never pulled that money."

    Giuliani said if he were attorney general, he'd open an investigation.

[May 10, 2020] Bubble-Wrapped Americans How The US Became Obsessed With Physical Emotional Safety

May 10, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Bubble-Wrapped Americans: How The US Became Obsessed With Physical & Emotional Safety by Tyler Durden Sat, 05/09/2020 - 22:20 Via Ammo.com,

"In America we say if anyone gets hurt, we will ban it for everyone everywhere for all time. And before we know it, everything is banned."

- Professor Jonathan Haidt

It's a common refrain: We have bubble-wrapped the world . Americans in particular are obsessed with "safety." The simplest way to get any law passed in America, be it a zoning law or a sweeping reform of the intelligence community, is to invoke a simple sentence: "A kid might get hurt."

Almost no one is opposed to reasonable efforts at making the world a safer place. But the operating word here is "reasonable." Banning lawn darts , for example, rather than just telling people that they can be dangerous when used by unsupervised children, is a perfect example of a craving for safety gone too far.

Beyond the realm of legislation, this has begun to infect our very culture. Think of things like "trigger warnings" and "safe spaces." These are part of broader cultural trends in search of a kind of "emotional safety" – a purported right to never be disturbed or offended by anything. This is by no means confined to the sphere of academia, but is also in our popular culture, both in " extremely online " and more mainstream variants.

Why are Americans so obsessed with safety? What is the endgame of those who would bubble wrap the world, both physically and emotionally? Perhaps most importantly, what can we do to turn back the tide and reclaim our culture of self-reliance , mental toughness , and giving one another the benefit of the doubt so that we don't "bankrupt ourselves in the vain search for absolute security," as President Dwight D. Eisenhower warned us about ?

Coddling and Splintering: The Transformation of the American Mind

Two books published in 2018 provide parallel insights into the problems presented by the safety obsession of American culture: The Splintering of the American Mind by William Egginton , focused on the tendency of Americans to tunnel themselves off into self-selected bubbles, and The Coddling of the American Mind by Greg Lukianoff and Jonathan Haidt , which deals more with the tendency to avoid any uncomfortable or unpleasant information.

There is an interesting phenomenon involved in coddling: Australian psychologist Nick Haskam first coined the term "concept creep." Basically, this means that terms are often elastic and expand past the point of meaning. Take, for example, the concept of "trauma." This used to have a very limited meaning. However, "trauma" quickly became expanded to mean even slight physical or emotional harm or discomfort. Thus the increasing belief among the far left that words can be "violence" – not "violent," mind you, but actual, literal violence.

In the other direction, the definition of "hero" has been expanded to mean just about anything. Every teacher, firefighter and police officer is now considered a "hero." This isn't to downplay or minimize the importance of these roles in our society. It's simply to point out that "hero" just doesn't mean what it used to 100 or even 30 years ago.

Once this expansion of a term occurs, there is never any kind of retraction. Trauma now means just about anything, and violence will soon be expanded to include lawful, peaceful speech that one disapproves of. Once this happens, there will be no going back. In the words of Sam Harris :

"We (as a society) have to be committed to defending free speech however impolitic, or unpopular, or even wrong because defending that is the only barrier to violence. That's because the only way we can influence one another short of physical violence is through speech, through communicating ideas. The moment you say certain ideas can't be communicated you create a circumstance where people have no alternative but to go hands on you."

It is extremely dangerous to begin labelling everything as violence for reasons of free speech, but perhaps even more dangerous is the notion that when anything is violence, nothing is violence. Redefining words as "violence" means that we have little recourse for when actual violence occurs.

The Coddling of the American Mind notes some other concepts that are important as we speak of America's obsession with "safety" above all else. First, that coddling combined with splintering means that people's political views are much more like fanatical religious views than anything. They don't see themselves as having to debate ideas or seek common ground. Rather, the opposing side and its proponents are seen as "dangerous" and must be discredited at all costs. It is worth noting that this is much more common among the left than the right or the center, which has now become more the place where "live and let live" types congregate.

The problem with this goes beyond simply being irritated by irrational people barking at you or at someone else: There is an entire generation of people who are seriously lacking in critical thinking skills . They think that labelling people and name-calling are excuses for a reasoned argument. In the words of Voltaire, "Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."

These problems are hardly confined to political radicalism or academia. Indeed, the corporate sector is no stranger to this kind of safety obsession. There is the phenomenon of "woke capital," where the corporations find the latest celebrity cause-du-jour and use it as a marketing strategy.

There is currently an extreme risk aversion in management science. Companies will now do basically anything to avoid "a kid getting hurt" or someone's delicate sensibilities being offended.

Education from kindergarten up to the universities is increasingly about teaching doctrines and ideology, rather than critical thinking and problem solving skills. All of this is a dangerous admixture that combines the full weight of the academic, cultural and business elites in this country. And its consequences are far reaching.

Trigger Warnings and Safe Spaces

For those unaware, a "trigger warning" is a person's advisory that disturbing content is going to be posted. However, in an example of concept creep, the meaning of "disturbing" has become expanded to mean, well, just about anything that might offend a leftist. It is also sometimes known as a "content warning," "TW" or "CW."

A similar concept is that of a "safe space." What used to be a term used for a place where people in actual danger of physical harm could express themselves, a "safe space" now means a place where there is no room for disagreement or questions because language is literally violence.

This mig