We started the lock down too late. This was a genocidal decision made by the US administration under president Trump and in my opinion he should stand trial for it in the Nuremberg-style trial when this is over.
Nuremberg for being too laissez faire, for not being fascistic enough–that’s an interesting twist.
Before tearing into the American response in general and the Trump administration in particular, Wells offered that:
There are two routes for the US. One is that when the huge second wave comes, because all fifty states have now reopened though the virus is still spreading and there’s no sign of it going away in the US the way it did in China before they reopened, there’s going to be a massive second wave. It’s going to be like the second wave for the 1918 flu, which was several times higher. I would say this is going to be five to ten times worse than the first wave. That will be seen by July.
This humble blogger bends his knee in observation of an awesome display of audacity that puts his own handle to shame. If a second wave hits and we reach the high end of that range, then maybe–just maybe–we will finally get in July what people like Wells were predicting we’d get in April.
Perhaps a little humility is in order after the impending health catastrophe was not:
Coronavirus: Trump warns shutdown could 'destroy' US, wants lockdown relaxed by mid-April 🦠 This is criminally irresponsible. State governors: the federal government seems to have abdicated its authority, so it’s up to you now… https://t.co/xZ8gjrUdNb
— Spencer Wells (@spwells) March 24, 2020
Hospitals are empty. States that reopened early, like Georgia and Florida, continue to see fewer per capita cases and deaths than the country as a whole does.
The above is predicated on granting legitimacy to the dubious death counts attributed to coronavirus so far, figures that make little effort to distinguish death from covid and death with covid from one another, almost certainly significantly inflating the true fatality figures. This is one reason the popular death tracking sites show higher coronavirus-attributed deaths than the CDC does.
Speaking of the CDC, it illustrates how a picture is often worth a thousand words:
From February through the middle of May, the all cause American death rate has been 3% higher than expected relative to all cause deaths from the same time period in the years 2017, 2018, and 2019. Instead of the 895,000 deaths we ‘should’ have had up to this point, coronavirus kicked us up to 922,000.
By this all-in metric, then, coronavirus has led to about 27,000 excess deaths nationwide, a little less than one-third the number of deaths attributed to covid in media reports. Given the age profile of those who have died, most of these excess deaths have been pulled forward a few months or years. Those lives matter, too, of course, but it’s not the same as people dying unexpectedly in the prime of their lives.
Forty million people out of work, the national debt exploded, the Fed married to the Treasury and both completely off the chain, a 1990s Russia-style oligarchic looting of the country, civil liberties extinguished, and despair rising as people contend with existing in a perpetual state of fear over what has amounted to, up to this point, something close to a rounding error in a country of nearly 330,000,000 people.
Parenthetically, it should go without saying that I mean no personal disrespect to Dr. Wells, a man who has contributed far more to the store of human knowledge than I could ever hope to and from whom I’ve learned a lot. Those of us pilloried for warning the cure would be worse than the disease have a right to be pissed off, though. Catharsis is good for our mental health, and our health matters, too!