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Scientist, author, and entrepreneur Spencer Wells goes double-or-nothing:

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:

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!

 
• Category: Culture/Society, Science • Tags: Coronavirus 
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  1. I wasn’t completely sure where you stood on this stupidity until this post, A.E. Thank you for exercising common sense and having some perspective! Both have been severely lacking by the unz writers, say Steve Sailor and Ron Unz, for example, not to mention by the Lyin’ Press. As for this Wells character:

    State governors: the federal government seems to have abdicated its authority, so it’s up to you now…

    Actually Amendment X of the US Constitution is one step ahead of him. He may very well be a scientist, but he’s no Constitutional scholar. Mr. Wells ought to have his “Citizenship in the Nation” merit badge stripped right off his sash.

  2. I cannot seem to even imagine a comment…
    ‘I can’t believe the news today,I can’t close my eyes, and make it go away.
    How long,how long must we sing this song?How long?
    When fact is fiction and TV is reality’ U2

  3. anon[265] • Disclaimer says:

    Hospitals are empty.

    In my flyover town the hospitals furloughed some employees in April due to a lack of work. Elective procedures just halted. Let’s bear in mind that “elective” isn’t just plastic surgery or boob jobs, it’s hip and knee replacements, non-urgent heart stents, cataract surgery and so forth.

    By all means let’s screenshot this blogger’s predictions. Then we can make sure he never, ever forgets what he said. Because he can be reminded early and often.

  4. MattinLA says:

    Right now we unfortunately can make no inferences from the CDC statistics. The notes state there is an 8 week lag time for reports of death to reach them, so we don’t know if the reported deaths in the last 8 weeks will balloon outwards or stay the same as the numbers slowly roll in.

    • Agree: res
  5. nebulafox says:

    Literary nitpick: “genocidal”, like “terrorism”, is one of those words commonly thrown around as a catch all for mass murder that actually means something deeply specific. I’ve seen horrific atrocities like the 1965 mass murders in Indonesia described as genocidal. That’s just not accurate. Genocide means you are targeting a certain ethnic or religious group for wholesale annihilation, with no intended survivors. That’s a very hard, fast qualification.

    • Replies: @Talha
    , @WorkingClass
  6. I like to reserve my compliments for when I really mean them, so as to keep their value high. This is one of those rare times I’ll go out of my way to say, “What a great post.”

    • Thanks: Audacious Epigone
  7. “he (Trump) should stand trial for it in the Nuremberg-style trial…”

    So, they want to crush his testicles and force him to confess to imaginary mass murders?

    • Agree: Kent Nationalist
  8. iffen says:

    The charge against Trump is a sort of negative false dilemma. The US does not have ability, nor the political will, to replicate the type of lockdown that the Chinese conducted. We prevented the health care facilities from being overwhelmed. The virus is not going away; we must learn to live and die with it.

    • Replies: @Talha
    , @dfordoom
  9. Talha says:
    @nebulafox

    This is the kind of hyperbolic language that makes me question the judgement and pronouncements of an otherwise qualified expert.

    I think it’s about time we start easing back into normalcy while taking any due precautions.

    A brother I know, who is a radiologist in NY, got Covid several weeks back at the height of it and recovered and went back to work. At that time, he said the case load was “apocalyptic” and they were truly overwhelmed – he had seen nothing like it. Now he emailed me yesterday saying; “… there is almost no new corona cases at the hospital. it has been like thiat for a few weeks now.”

    So it can be argued both ways that the shutdown did indeed help and that it may now be over the top. My personal opinion lies somewhere in the middle but leaning towards easing restrictions earlier rather than later to stave off the economic fallout. The problem is that a normal and healthy public debate/discussion CANNOT be pursued if people are going to yell “Nazi baby killers” or “Commie fascists” at each other.

    Peace.

  10. Talha says:
    @iffen

    The US does not have ability, nor the political will, to replicate the type of lockdown that the Chinese conducted.

    Thank God. USA! USA! USA!

    Though some may like it otherwise:

    Peace.

  11. iffen says:
    @Talha

    Thank God. USA! USA! USA!

    Freedom ain’t cheap, even if you get it on the installment plan.

  12. @nebulafox

    In this era of anti-knowledge and negative IQ words are assigned new, sometimes opposite meanings. See for instance diversity or inclusion.

  13. @Talha

    “If you refuse to be vaccinated the state has the right to take you to a dr’s office & plunge a needle in your arm.”

    One of many strange things about Harvard Law Professor Alan Dershowitz is that he doesn’t seem to know the law. As mentioned here last week, the controlling Supreme Court decision is Jacobson v. Massachusetts where the Supreme Court specifically ruled that the state cannot forcibly vaccinate you. The state can, however, penalize you (fine, jail) for refusing to accept a vaccine they have mandated. (Or you can just leave the state. Only eleven states had mandatory vaccinations at the time of this decision.)

    Since the Dersh is too clever to be this ignorant, one can conclude he is trying to create a false psychological reality to override the true legal reality. Perhaps this Harvard Law Professor chooses to sacrifice your rights so he can wheeze out another year of undead twilight existence at your expense. I guess the child sex offerings his pal Jeff Epstein provided him didn’t give Dersh the immortality he was seeking.

    • Agree: iffen
    • Thanks: Talha
    • Replies: @DanHessinMD
    , @iffen
  14. braz999 says:

    I love your blog and this post is excellent. Except for the last paragraph.
    Like John Derbyshire, you have unhealthy respect for any quack with Ph.D. after his name, especially if it´s related to Hahv’d. The tweet you quote shows that this “scientist” is an immature attention seeking jerk. For more crap see https://twitter.com/spwells.

    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
  15. What a time to be alive ,we see 2 terrible things :

    1 – Most of People are incredible easy to manipulate,a billion people under various degrees of martial law and 99 % believe what (fake)news serves them .

    2 – Even when lockdowns end i suspect we gonna stuck up with ” social distancing ” as new normal ,and that means basically neutering entire western world . Will be kinda hard to get a girlfriend when you have to keep “muh social distance ” ,and no girlfriends eventually means no babies – and no babies mean demographic replacement .

    • Agree: Hippopotamusdrome
  16. iffen says:
    @Almost Missouri

    “If you refuse to be vaccinated the state has the right to take you to a dr’s office & plunge a needle in your arm.”

    Notice that he said you and your, not me and my.

    • Agree: Talha
    • Replies: @Talha
  17. Nodwink says:

    I thought Australia over-reacted, but check out what happens in New Zealand when you want to buy kitty litter, but don’t want to give your personal details to the staff. (note the date, and cross-check New Zealand’s corona case total for that date).

  18. The irony is that the Democrats just finished impeaching Trump for ‘abuse of power’ in February as the virus was spreading. The Democrats were focused 100% on undermining Trump’s authority and 0% on the virus.

    Every Democrat voted in favor although nobody is really clear on what Trump did. Not feel sufficiently enthusiastic that three years of his presidency were wasted on an illegal coup attempt based on Russia ‘collusion’ nonsense?

    So after being impeached for ‘abuse of power’ Trump should have canceled the South Carolina primary and Super Tuesday and given the Democrat nomination to Bernie? Remember, Super Tuesday was in March. That would have been utterly impossible.

    Remember, even Romney voted to impeach on charges of ‘abuse of power’ over nothing at all — right after, Trump was supposed to immediately take authoritarian action never seen in American history?

    To me Trump’s story is Christ-like. That isn’t a good thing. It is a story that ends in destruction.

    Shut down the world? I expected trouble from the Trump Derangement folks in 2020 but…

  19. @Talha

    an otherwise qualified expert

    Wells is a geneticist, not a legal scholar or medical scholar, so his pronouncements on law or epidemics have no more weight than yours or mine would. His statements on both these subjects are demonstrably halfwitted.

    “We started the lock down too late.”

    Even if it were true, those were state decisions, not federal decisions, per constitutional law. So is Spencer still in favor of a Nuremburg trial for genocidal mass murderer Obergruppenführer Cuomo, or are those measures only for innocent Republicans, not guilty Democrats?

    “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.”

    If there really is going to be huge second wave, then early lockdown places (e.g., China) will have no herd immunity, while places that allowed some exposure (e.g., Sweden, New York) will have some defense. His statement is self-contradictory.

    Really, all he is doing is virtue signalling, so it is too much to ask that he make sense or include facts. Spencer was already doing this before the pandemic [sic] even got rolling, when he went all-in on the media’s racism-against-Asians-is-the-real-problem narrative. I don’t know if he really believes this stuff. Maybe as an extremely white guy from the Deep South he feels he needs to do this to keep his career in celebrity-academia. Whatever the case, he is burning his own credibility as a “scientist”.

    A brother I know, who is a radiologist in NY, got Covid several weeks back at the height of it and recovered and went back to work. At that time, he said the case load was “apocalyptic” and they were truly overwhelmed – he had seen nothing like it. Now he emailed me yesterday saying; “… there is almost no new corona cases at the hospital. it has been like thiat for a few weeks now.” So it can be argued both ways that the shutdown did indeed help and that it may now be over the top.

    Metro New York was the American epicenter of this. About half of the entire “pan”demic was in this one small area. Since it also happens to be a self-important media center, it spared no effort in dragging the entire nation along with it through its self-inflicted travails. Most of the country could have simply skipped the lockdown with no different outcome, but the NYC propaganda noise machine is very hard to overrule in the court of public opinion, so very few elected officials were willing to try it.

    In the US, the history of the Great COVID Panic was really the history of New York City compelling the rest of America to experience its costs without gaining any corresponding benefit.

    • Replies: @DanHessinMD
    , @Talha
  20. @Almost Missouri

    Worse, New York seeded the pandemic in every other part of America.

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/05/07/us/new-york-city-coronavirus-outbreak.html

    I am surprised that they admit this.

    • Agree: Almost Missouri
  21. @WorkingClass

    Agree.

    Also note the especially pernicious,

    Civil rights: the power of the government to force you to obey its will.

    And a few personal bugbears:

    Very unique: not unique at all.

    Incredible: tediously plausible.

    Amazing: just plain tedious.

  22. Nuremberg for being too laissez faire, for not being fascistic enough–that’s an interesting twist.

    Maybe he means that the trial will include accusations that Trump incinerated black people using atomic weapons or killed them with electric floors and submarine diesel engines

  23. nebulafox says:
    @WorkingClass

    Ain’t it funny how our rulers love diversity of looks, but never true diversity of thought?

    • Agree: res
  24. nebulafox says:
    @Talha

    >Thank God.

    🙂

    That, sir, is the real spirit of the ancient flame. No matter how many troubles we come across-that a man may retain, may encapsulate a man’s dignity.

  25. iffen says:

    Ain’t it funny how our rulers love diversity of looks, but never true diversity of thought.

    Even funnier is that, per Biden and his acolytes, the diverse are denied the capacity for diversity of thought.

  26. @Talha

    a normal and healthy public debate/discussion CANNOT be pursued if people are going to yell “Nazi baby killers” or “Commie fascists” at each other.

    It’s almost as if preventing a rational debate is not a bug but a feature for some people.

    • Agree: Audacious Epigone
  27. LondonBob says:

    The irony is Trump’s initial inclination to close borders but otherwise leave things relatively open was the right one.

    This economic crisis will take time to develop, they all do, but increasing layoffs, bankruptcies and stress in the financial system will build. Air of unreality now.

    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
  28. I think Trump could de facto lift the 50-state lockdown by promising to promising to pardon anyone whom the governor’s arrested for violating the social distancing edicts. Since the edicts are unconstitutional anyway, the pardons could never be successfully challenged by the court of public opinion, either.

    In general, the presidential pardon is a much underutilized tool with which to acquire dictatorial power. It is the Executive Branch’s nuclear option. Trump needs to realize that all the power of the oligarchs is arrayed against him, and needs to become the dictator or he will be destroyed. This is hope I had when I voted for him in the first place. He needs to see it now.

    • Replies: @Mr. Rational
  29. dfordoom says: • Website
    @iffen

    The US does not have ability, nor the political will, to replicate the type of lockdown that the Chinese conducted.

    That’s pretty obvious. Hurrah for American incompetence! American exceptionalism now means exceptional incompetence.

    The virus is not going away; we must learn to live and die with it.

    Except in those countries that have eradicated it, like New Zealand. But those dastardly New Zealanders cheated – they displayed both ability and political will.

    • Agree: Alexander Turok
    • Replies: @Ancient Briton
  30. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Talha

    So it can be argued both ways that the shutdown did indeed help and that it may now be over the top. My personal opinion lies somewhere in the middle

    I agree. But moderation is very unfashionable these days. Being a moderate is worse than being a Nazi or a commie.

    but leaning towards easing restrictions earlier rather than later to stave off the economic fallout.

    I like the idea of gradually easing restrictions. I like the idea of keeping in place those measures that won’t cause economic damage (masks, social distancing, etc) while getting rid of the economically damaging measures (such as the shutdown of small businesses).

    I also like the idea of encouraging people to wear masks on buses and trains, because it will make it easier to get people back to work. And I like the idea of encouraging people to wear masks on aircraft, and testing people before they get on a plane, so that tourism can slowly reopen (because I don’t think it’s a good idea to let an entire sector of the economy like tourism just die because that would destroy entire towns and communities that rely on tourism).

    The problem is that a normal and healthy public debate/discussion CANNOT be pursued if people are going to yell “Nazi baby killers” or “Commie fascists” at each other.

    I agree. Is it possible these days to have a healthy public debate/discussion on any issue?

    • Agree: ic1000
  31. @WorkingClass

    And then there is Ezra Pound’s old chestnut:

    Democracy is now currently defined in Europe as a “country run by Jews”.

  32. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Intelligent Dasein

    “The fact that births and fertility continued to decline in 2019 despite the booming economy suggests that this is a permanent shift to a lower fertility regime in the U.S.,”

    Which is what I’ve been saying for quite a while. Whether the economy does well or does badly birth rates are still going to continue to decline. The fact that economic conditions make little difference suggests that financial incentives will probably have no effect either. People are not basing their decisions to have fewer children on economic factors.

    Obviously a time of extreme uncertainty such as we’re going through at the moment will push birth rates even lower but what matters is the long-term trend and the long-term trend regardless of economic conditions is downwards.

    Population decline is something we will probably have to learn to live with. Maybe we should start thinking about how we can do that, rather than clinging to fantasies that these trends can be reversed.

  33. There are two routes for the US. One is that when the huge second wave comes, because all fifty states have now reopened

    This isn’t even factually correct. I know Michigan’s stay-at-home order was just extended to June 12. I presume there are other states that have also not reopened.

  34. A cursory reading of Wells’ Twitter dumpster fire reveals a few things.

    – He’s a big China booster
    – He hates Trump, and America
    – He’s a globalist who supports H-1B workers coming here and displacing Americans
    – He opposes capital punishment
    – He spells “fecal” with an extra a, the Anglosphere spelling. Sometimes little clues like that tell you a lot.

    He’s a progressive wanker, in other words. And very few people interact with him on Twitter, which probably gets under the Harvard man’s skin.

  35. It is clear that Wells is completely correct when it comes to an earlier response being optimal. That’s not really to his credit, since hindsight is 20/20 and the examples set by East Asia, Australia, and NZ all illustrate how even a semi-competent response can be enough to stop the virus. I wonder if he was actually calling for stricter measures to be taken in February?

    The irony here is that if the US had taken Coronavirus more seriously from the beginning, not only would hundreds of thousands of lives been saved,* but the economy would also be much better. South Korea, by enacting super strict travel restrictions, meticulously locking up anyone suspected of being in contact with a COVID patient, and tracking their movements, avoided a country-wide lockdown altogether. They will probably see positive economic growth for the year.

    So every additional sign of economic distress is actually further proof that the “hysterical” and “doomerist” virologists and public health experts were right all along.

    *as MattInLA points out, the CDC statistics aren’t even compiled yet for April or May, so you should probably remove them. Just NYC saw 32k deaths from March 11 to May 2, as opposed to 8k expected deaths. So a 300% increase. The only way you could possibly think this is “not a big deal” is if, I don’t know, you believe Lizardmen/ Illuminati control every government on Earth and they are fabricating the total death count?

    • Agree: dfordoom
  36. Talha says:
    @Almost Missouri

    Even if it were true, those were state decisions, not federal decisions, per constitutional law. So is Spencer still in favor of a Nuremburg trial for genocidal mass murderer Obergruppenführer Cuomo

    Wow, good point. It’s amazing what propaganda can do when repeated so often. I had indeed forgotten that the various states were the first ones to make the decisions on whether to lock down and to which degree.

    Peace.

  37. There is indeed a Genocide against the foolish American people.
    But whatever Trump does at this point, can’t be worse than what those fools have brought upon themselves.

    SPLC and ADL keep cheering.

  38. Kudo’s for calling out the CoronaChan Frankenvirus religious cultist out! And with nothing but raw facts and common sense!

  39. The various state-ordered lockdowns were really the system working as intended. The US is far too large for one-size-fits all solutions and the states are supposed to be sovereign in use of police power and most other direct actions against citizens.

    You may or may not like how your state has handled the virus, but that’s between you and your state, which is a far easier political relationship for citizens to influence than the actions of the federal government.

    I take all hypothetical arguments — how many lives would have been saved or cost had some agency or individual acted differently — with a grain of salt.

    I spent much of my career doing indexing and analysis of very large datasets as well as forensic analysis of very detailed data — the data you see when you delve down to very specific instances among the larger data. One thing I learned is dynamic real-world situations almost never align with theory. There are far too many not only uncontrolled variables, but unknown variables in a system as large as an entire nation, or even a state or a city.

    Witness people pointing to “hotspots” or “coldspots” as evidence for or against some particular theory. “This hotspot shows that because the location did X that means they had more or less infections than locations that did Y.” Statistical averages are not the real world. Statistically, everything is a uniform blob, and if you tweak one variable, you see obvious changes. In the real world, there are bulges and spikes in datasets and nobody really has any idea why, because many of the variables controlling differences in behavior and effects among different populations are unknowable.

    This is why much of social science, economics and epidemiology doesn’t count as real science, because controlled laboratory conditions with no unknown variables and clean control groups are not possible. They’re not science, they’re (sometimes) informed speculation and should be taken with a grain of salt.

    We will probably never understand exactly why Italy’s outcomes were so much different than Singapore’s, for example. The only thing I would be willing to bet on that any speculative answer will be at best incomplete. Italy and Singapore are completely different places in almost every respect and thus the variables that influenced the differences are legion and mostly out of control of the governments of those places.

  40. @Talha

    Now he emailed me yesterday saying; “… there is almost no new corona cases at the hospital. it has been like thiat for a few weeks now.”

    So the 20% of people who account for 80% of the transmission have mostly gotten the virus and either died or recovered.  R0 is now well below 1.  Why is this a surprise?

    So it can be argued both ways that the shutdown did indeed help and that it may now be over the top.

    Yup.

  41. @Intelligent Dasein

    Trump could de facto lift the 50-state lockdown by promising to pardon

    Sadly, he can’t do that.  POTUS can only issue pardons for Federal crimes.

    • Replies: @Intelligent Dasein
  42. @Mr. Rational

    Yes, that’s true. I think the issue is forcible, however.

    • Replies: @Diversity Heretic
  43. 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.

    Are you really so stupid as to not consider that maybe the lockdowns are what prevented far more deaths? Your own source show deaths were at 130% of their expected level, and the fall thereafter may be due to recent deaths not being reported, certainly, the 53% figure in the latest week is wrong. Would you also agree that all that stuff we did to avoid getting nuked during the cold war was a waste, as no one actually died?

    And the “despair” and “perpetual state of fear” from people who spent the past few years speaking against blue-haired snowflakes. Pathetic.

  44. anon[102] • Disclaimer says:

    27 thousand excess deaths this year then?

    Just imagine that if Governor “Cuoma” and Whitmer had not shoved all those covid-patients into nursing homes, so that little old people with weak immune systems would be availed to the corona virus. Just imagine if the remedy of zinc+azithromycin+hydroxychloroquine was adopted early and often.

    That number might be as low as 10,000 then.

    Something I’ve noticed: When you type certain words that various browsers don’t want you to type like azithromycin or hydroxychloroquine, the browser will underline the word in red, as if you have misspelled it when you haven’t. Its an effort to keep you from telling people about it. Im using Opera on this laptop right now, and am spelling those words correctly (checking against my phone browser). Funny that, ain’t it?

  45. @Elmer's Washable School Glue

    “I wonder if he was actually calling for stricter measures to be taken in February?”

    As it happens, we can answer this. On his February 19th podcast with Razib Khan, Wells minimized the virus as a health hazard, and complained instead that the virus brought out

    “the worst in anti-Asian racism, people making horrible comments online, even shops turning away Chinese people*, and not only in places like the US … That’s really the big impact: it’s kind of the cultural-social-economic impact, rather than the raw numbers of people who have died. Even though for people who have died it’s horrible, but we’re not approaching anything like the numbers of people who have died of the seasonal flu yet.”

    So back when strict measures might have made a difference, Wells’s tune was like General Casey’s: horrific as any deaths are, if our diversity becomes a casualty, that’s much worse!

    Now that Wells got his way, he’s accusing the man who followed his advice of crimes against humanity. [insert nonplussed emoji here]

    This is a good object lesson in why never to take advice from a liberal. Besides that they are reliably wrong, they will always stab you in the back in any situation where a normal person would feel embarrassment!

    —–

    *I strongly doubt this happened anywhere in America. Wells cited no source, of course.

    • Agree: Mark G.
  46. @Alexander Turok

    Are you really so stupid…

    No, I’m pretty sure he’s not.

    Did Japan Just Beat the Virus Without Lockdowns or Mass Testing?

    The Results of Europe’s Lockdown Experiment Are In

    “But, as our next chart shows, there’s little correlation between the severity of a nation’s restrictions and whether it managed to curb excess fatalities — a measure that looks at the overall number of deaths compared with normal trends.”

    • Thanks: Audacious Epigone
  47. @MattinLA

    No inferences? They’re preliminary but it’s not as though all deaths take eight weeks to count. Most come in almost instantaneously.

    • Replies: @Lars Porsena
  48. @braz999

    Thanks, but he has done a lot and he has one of the greatest polymaths alive working for him. He’s added a lot of value to humanity that I cannot hand wave away.

    • Replies: @res
  49. @LondonBob

    Indeed. They get mildly upset at Trump when he is wrong about something–and they become ferociously, violently apoplectic when he is right about something.

  50. @Elmer's Washable School Glue

    The data is preliminary and not yet completed. That doesn’t mean they haven’t been largely compiled. The CDC table puts NYC at 236% of expected deaths through May 22nd, by far the highest of any place presented.

    Regarding the lockdowns, whatever the efficacy, the selling point was to prevent the health care system from becoming overwhelmed. It didn’t come close to happening anywhere, including in NYC, which seems like pretty strong evidence that the nationwide response was a drastic overreaction.

    Hindsight is 20/20, but some humility is in order for those who predicted deaths far in excess of what occurred and who now continue to act as though their views should be given precedence despite being wildly off the mark, often without even qualifying how wrong they were.

  51. @Alexander Turok

    Are you really so stupid as to not consider that maybe the lockdowns are what prevented far more deaths?

    Besides being an untestable counterfactual, the lock downs were sold as a measure to avoid overwhelming the health care system. The system came nowhere close to being overwhelmed anywhere, indicating that the lock downs were an overreaction. Barring holding off until a hypothetical vaccine, what other benefits are supposed to come out of lock down?

    • Agree: iffen
  52. anon[257] • Disclaimer says:
    @anon

    Im using Opera on this laptop right now

    There’s your problem. That browser was sold to the Chinese a few years back.

    Switch to Vivaldi or Brave, or you can try both. Vivaldi is much of the old Opera team, Brave is Brandon Eich’s team.

  53. I would say this is going to be five to ten times worse than the first wave. That will be seen by July.

    It’s really interesting when people put hard numbers and dates on forecasts.

    When he’s wrong, does he get his own Nuremberg Tribunal for being an alarmist fuckwit? Nope.

    Does he sheepishly admit he was wrong? Nope.

    What he’ll do, is what the Climate Cult do: make an even more dire prediction, and put a later date on it. Rely on people just ignoring failed forecasts and accepting the new forecast on blind faith (why do we say “blind faith” when there is no other kind of faith?)

    People being mostly-imbeciles and all, this appears to be a costless strategy for charlatans. It has a track record that spans centuries: rubes have fallen for the same type of bullshit over and over with regard to the Second Coming (of the fictional first-century beta Jew) and/or the End of Days and/or the Rapture.

    • Replies: @Mark G.
  54. @anon

    The spelling dictionaries of browsers (and even LibreOffice) tend to be rather small.  I got tired of adding regularly-used words to mine and just turned the spell-check off.

    • Agree: Audacious Epigone
  55. @MattinLA

    Right now we unfortunately can make no inferences from the CDC statistics. The notes state there is an 8 week lag time for reports of death to reach them, so we don’t know if the reported deaths in the last 8 weeks will balloon outwards or stay the same as the numbers slowly roll in.

    It’s not as if we can make no inferences. We can make inferences about the period up to March 28 (which I did in comments – the first two days ago; the second yesterday).

    For more recent weeks, someone who has been routinely downloading the data from that table (as I have been) can say sensible things about how long it takes until the numbers stabilise. By ‘stabilise’ I don’t mean “are unchanged thereafter”, but rather when the published number differs from its current number by an insignificant amount.

    As an example: in the April 17th data, the numbers for March 28th were
     • Deaths: 52,569 (current data: 60,375);
     • covid19:2,285 (current data: 2,964)

    The ‘current data’ means the number for March 28th in the current data – not the latest ‘all cause’ deaths for the current week.

    So it’s clear that ~3 weeks after publication the ‘all-cause’ numbers are still rubbery enough to affect the week’s comparison to expectations, but an individual week’s error is not enough to materially impact year-to-date totals. The much larger effect is the accumulated adjustments to all prior weeks.

    (To put that in context: the count for the week ending Feb 1 2020 has increased by 2% since the April 17th data, and the YTD total to March 28th is now 6% higher than it is when calculated from the April 17th data).

    On the covid19 side of things, there was a complete redefinition in mid-April that added ‘suspected’ covid19 deaths, which was backpropagated and added ~28% to all covid19 numbers.

    covid19 death statistics are pretty final at a lag of 2 weeks (until they change the definition again – maybe next they’ll classify gunshot wounds and traffic accidents as covid19). All-cause is near-final at about week 6 (~4% out for an individual week) – it looks like death reporting is yet another instance in which the American Empire has dropped the ball.

    For later weeks, it’s possible to get an estimate on how ‘complete’ the data is, by looking at

    all-cause – expected – covid19

    … i.e., non-covid deaths relative to expectations. This quantity has an expected value of zero.

    If that quantity is negative in recent weeks, the data is certainly nowhere near final.

    In the first two really significant covid19 death weeks (w/e April 4 and April 11) all-cause deaths exceed expectations by more than the covid19 deaths – by a total of 5,600.

    So in the first two weeks of April there were unexpected non-covid-related deaths, equal to roughly 20% of all deaths that it was possible to finagle into the covid19 category. That number is the only one that will increase meaningfully as the data is revised (the expected number will also go up a little).

  56. anon[416] • Disclaimer says:

    A lot of commentators have lost esteem in the past couple months. Anyone who looked at the IFR published by the CDC before this thing landed Stateside and thought lockdown has no business in any position of authority. It has only underscored for me the urgent need to promote competent adults to mind the store.

  57. res says:
    @Audacious Epigone

    Thanks, but he has done a lot and he has one of the greatest polymaths alive working for him. He’s added a lot of value to humanity that I cannot hand wave away.

    Could you elaborate? You aren’t thinking of David Reich and Nick Patterson by some chance?

    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
  58. @Audacious Epigone

    The data is preliminary and not yet completed. That doesn’t mean they haven’t been largely compiled.

    The data for last week–May 16th– shows an actual death rate only 53% of what should be expected. So even if COVID has totally disappeared and caused no deaths that week, only about half of all deaths of been compiled so far. The actual % compiled, counting COVID deaths, is certaintly even lower. The week before (94% of expected) has the same problem but less extreme.

    This under counting is being averaged into your “103% death rate” total, a number which is therefore incredibly misleading. To aim for some semblance of accuracy, you should at least limit the search to April deaths– even these are probably still a bit undercounted (going by the CDC guidelines) but not too badly. Eyeballing it would put total deaths at ~125% expected, which is easily the most massive public health catastrophe since 1918.

    Intentionally throwing in last week’s “53% expected deaths” to lower the average would be extremely dishonest, though I’m assuming it was just a mistake.

    • Thanks: Audacious Epigone
    • Replies: @res
  59. Juckett says:
    @Alexander Turok

    Those with “despair” and ” perpetual state of fear” ARE the blue-haired snowflakes.

  60. Juckett says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    The ” Murhican” birth rate continues to drop. ( Abortions not so much. Maybe they have their masks on the wrong part of their body?)

    Yet Cowards are multiplying exponentially !! I guess that is natural selection in the 21st century.

  61. MBlanc46 says:
    @Achmed E. Newman

    That’s the same thought that I had while reading the guy’s rant, A.E. He wants to have President Trump hanged for not doing that is clearly illegal for him to do.

  62. Mark G. says:
    @Kratoklastes

    It’s really interesting when people put hard numbers and dates on forecasts.
    When he’s wrong, does he get his own Nuremberg Tribunal for being an alarmist fuckwit? Nope.

    No one has been more wrong more often than Neil Ferguson. He has taken time out from his love life and has just co-authored a new Imperial College report with hard numbers and dates.

    https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-8351187/Coronavirus-spreading-uncontrolled-24-states-Imperial-College-London-model-claims.html

    He is now saying the coronavirus is running out of control in the U.S. and U.S. deaths will triple over the next two months to 288,00.00. It will be interesting to see how he does on this prediction. He previously predicted two million deaths here so this is a drop from that.

    The Imperial College model was taken by a team at Uppsala University and applied to Sweden in March. They said if Sweden continued a voluntary social distancing policy there would be 40,000 deaths by May 1 but if it went into a hard lockdown it could get the deaths down to 10,000. Actual number of deaths on May 1 was under 3,000.

    • Replies: @res
  63. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Audacious Epigone

    Regarding the lockdowns, whatever the efficacy, the selling point was to prevent the health care system from becoming overwhelmed. It didn’t come close to happening anywhere, including in NYC, which seems like pretty strong evidence that the nationwide response was a drastic overreaction.

    That doesn’t make any sense. It appears that the lockdowns accomplished exactly what they were meant to accomplish. They prevented the health system from collapsing. Which tends to suggest that lockdowns work. I can’t see any other way to interpret the evidence.

    Maybe the lockdowns were more effective than anyone expected. That’s surely a good thing. It means they not only prevented the health system from collapsing but they probably saved a lot of lives as well.

  64. @Intelligent Dasein

    Dwight Eisenhower used national government troops (101st Airborne, IIRC) to enforce desegregation orders in the South. Trump could either federalize the national guard in a state, or use national government troops, to intervene and prevent a state from enforcing its house arrest. The troops would themselves arrest any official seeking to arrest or detain a citizen in violation of unconstitutional house arrest/curfew orders. This would, of course, provoke a constitutional crisis (the House would impeach him within 24 hours and federalized national guards might refuse to follow orders) and possibly armed conflict between state and national authorities.

    That’s rather too much to ask of a guy who can ‘t get the wall built.

    • Replies: @anon
  65. @Talha

    At that time, he said the case load was “apocalyptic” and they were truly overwhelmed

    Sure it wasn’t hypochondriacs who went to the hospital because they coughed, after watching the news, which was Corona 24/7?

  66. @dfordoom

    ” It appears that the lockdowns accomplished exactly what they were meant to accomplish. They prevented the health system from collapsing. “

    Agreed – therefore it’s time to lift lockdown at least for all but the at-risk groups, the old, the fat, the diabetic, the immune-compromised.

    The UK put together a large number of “instant hospitals” in sports and conference centres – hardly any were opened and those that did soon closed again.

    I’m intrigued by the total death count being only fractionally higher than in previous years – how much of that is that lockdown preventing other stuff like influenza, how much is postponement of operations etc i.e. not giving the quacks so many opportunities to kill people?

    The UK figures are very different – death rates are now at the average WINTER level for the last 5 years, but it’s mid-May. That’s a big difference between the two countries.

    https://www.ons.gov.uk/peoplepopulationandcommunity/birthsdeathsandmarriages/deaths/bulletins/deathsregisteredweeklyinenglandandwalesprovisional/weekending8may2020#deaths-registered-by-week

    Full lockdown (pubs shut etc) came in on Saturday 21st March, and was followed by a big increase in deaths, a peak being reached in mid-late April, with 22,000 deaths, 12,000 more than usual for the time of year.

    You can conclude from that either that

    a) lockdown came in the nick of time OR
    b) it was lockdown that caused the spike in deaths.

    While it may have reduced animal spirits in elderly people deprived of family contacts, I think the nick of time hypothesis is stronger.

    • Replies: @AaronB
    , @Audacious Epigone
  67. neutral says:
    @Talha

    He is just a jew doing what they always do.

  68. Nuremberg for being too laissez faire, for not being fascistic enough–that’s an interesting twist.

    Alternatively, a Nuremburg conviction for not following the orders of the Technocrat Deep State soon enough.

    Trump’s Presidency has been a classic example of the Milgram Experiment; he may want to follow his gut and do the right thing, but he almost invariably caves to all the authorities surrounding him and screaming at him to push the button.

    Sad!

    If at any time the teacher indicated a desire to halt the experiment, the experimenter was instructed to give specific verbal prods. The prods were, in this order:[1]

    1. Please continue.
    2. The experiment requires that you continue.
    3. It is absolutely essential that you continue.
    4. You have no other choice, you must go on.

  69. anarchyst says:

    Both professional and political arrogance is responsible for the present state of the world economy and world population as well.

    A common annual “flu virus” was promoted as a “pandemic” by the “smartest” and “best and brightest” people in positions of power, both in the USA and in the rest of the world.

    These “best and brightest” convinced political “leaders” to impose mandatory business closures, “lockdowns” and “quarantines” on healthy populations, which is contrary to every common sense and scientific principle.

    These “business closures” were not imposed “across the board”, but were picked by political hacks as “winners and losers”. Liquor stores, marijuana dispensaries, lottery retailers, and certain “big box” home improvement and sporting goods stores were permitted to remain in operation, while just about all small businesses were forced to close.

    In some states, the political arrogance was so great, plant nurseries, seed distributors, and other businesses were deemed “non-essential” and forced to close. Even “big box” stores were prohibited from selling lawn and garden supplies. Many restaurants were also put out of business by these clearly unconstitutional edicts.

    Imposing “quarantines” and “lockdowns” on healthy people does nothing to insure public health, and in fact delays necessary herd immunity.

    Public health is further damaged by business closures, especially small businesses whose owners rely on continuing business as a means of making a living, both for themselves and their employees.

    A major problem is that these “best and brightest” and political “leaders” are so arrogant that they refuse to admit that “they screwed up, big time”. Instead, they “double down” and inflict further pain on the public by refusing to insist that “they were wrong”. None of them will pay personally for their arrogance, stupidity, and just outright dishonesty and criminality.

    All one has to do is look at the “coronavirus hospitals” that were created to handle the “overflow” of coronavirus patients which never materialized. These “hospitals” were a waste of taxpayer dollars and did absolutely nothing to promote public health.

    At the same time, local hospitals were required to cease admissions, even for those of an emergency nature. Although not specifically stated, the public with health problems were covertly “encouraged” to avoid hospitals at all costs because of the phony “coronavirus” claims.

    Health professionals are also responsible for the current state of affairs, also refusing to admit that “they screwed up, big time” as well, and continue to insist that this annual flue is a “pandemic”.

    Then we have the “heavy hitters” with money, such as Bill Gates and Stephen Fauci who claim that they have “solutions” to our (artificially contrived) health problems.

    Gates is so arrogant the he feels that he can get away with genocide by using mandatory vaccinations to “cull” the world population.

    Gates “vaccination” programs in third-world countries failed to adhere to good medical practices, and the Nuremberg principle that “informed consent” must reign supreme in the administration of all medical procedures.

    Gates’ “vaccination” programs introduced polio into children in India for which he and his program were banned from the country. Gates’ African “vaccination” programs surreptitiously introduced sterilization and birth-control compounds as part of their vaccination program without gaining “informed consent” from the recipients.

    According to these moneyed types and even “health care” officials, we are to be branded, tagged, and treated like cattle with no means to make informed choices about our health or health care decisions.

    Wearing masks and “social distancing” are no different than the “security theater” that we experience at airports with the TSA.

    There are no valid reasons for “mask-wearing” or “social distancing” for healthy people.

    “Lockdowns”, “business closures”, and “quarantining” of healthy people is being used for “control” and nothing more. The “powers that be” are desirous to see “how far they can go” to get the world population to accede to their demands.

    Fortunately, there are a lot more of us than there are of . We (still) have the power of the internet to bypass the “filters” that they put in place to keep us from seeing their “real” motives.

    • Replies: @Tlotsi
  70. anarchyst says:

    Here in Michigan, “attorney general” Dana Nessel’s favorite sodomite swinger “gay bar” was allowed to re-open while other businesses and churches were forced to remain closed.
    Go figure…

    • Replies: @Tlotsi
  71. res says:
    @Elmer's Washable School Glue

    This plot gives a good graphical example of the the late reporting problem.
    http://www.drroyspencer.com/2020/04/correcting-recent-u-s-weekly-death-statistics-for-incomplete-reporting/

    More discussion in the thread around this comment:
    https://www.unz.com/isteve/a-big-question/#comment-3906367

    A statistical take on the delay from this recent CDC planning document.
    https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/hcp/planning-scenarios.html

    Mean number of days from death to reporting (standard deviation): 0-49 years: 7.1 (7.7) days, 50-64 years: 7.2 (7.7) days, ≥65 years: 6.6 (7.3) days

  72. AaronB says:
    @YetAnotherAnon

    the fat

    That’s 2/3 of the American people, according to official stats.

  73. res says:
    @Mark G.

    Thanks. I think the paper itself is worth a look.
    Report 23: State-level tracking of COVID-19 in the United States
    https://spiral.imperial.ac.uk:8443/handle/10044/1/79231
    https://www.imperial.ac.uk/media/imperial-college/medicine/mrc-gida/2020-05-21-COVID19-Report-23.pdf

    Note that the definition of “out of control” being used is R > 1. Which means still spreading, but if R is close to 1 (as they all seem to be) not growing very fast.

    There is much interesting material collected in the paper. One thing which caught my eye is Figure 14: Infectiousness gτ∗ of an infected individual over time. Unfortunately, I am not seeing a reference for where he got the data.

    Ferguson actually did a sensitivity analysis this time (for IFR). See Appendix G. The IFRs he is using are pretty much in the 0.6-1.2% range with most being around 0.9%.

    One way to put that tripling prediction in perspective is to consider this graph of US daily deaths to date from the article.

    And note that a simple extrapolation of 1.5k deaths/day for 2 months would result in 90k additional deaths roughly doubling where we are now.

    Note that Ferguson is more pessimistic than the IHME model (which I don’t think has been notable for being overly optimistic ; ) which shows the states with high daily death rates declining (these would dominate the current deaths number) and the other states muddling along with low death rates. The notable exception is Arizona which they show having increasing daily death rates. Anyone know what is going on there? Is the model negative because they ended most of their countermeasures 5/16? If so, should make a(nother) good case study for model accuracy.

    https://covid19.healthdata.org/united-states-of-america/new-york

    P.S. I sincerely hope US state governors aren’t paying serious attention to Ferguson anymore. If they are, the US will be locked down forever.

  74. @anon

    Something I’ve noticed: When you type certain words that various browsers don’t want you to type like azithromycin or hydroxychloroquine, the browser will underline the word in red, as if you have misspelled it when you haven’t. Its an effort to keep you from telling people about it. Im using Opera on this laptop right now, and am spelling those words correctly (checking against my phone browser). Funny that, ain’t it?

    I often get that same impression ie. that the tech oligarchs are using spell check software as a form of “soft” censorship.

    On the other hand, it took Facebook several years to recognize that “Los Angeles” wasn’t a misspelling, so maybe the spell check software just kinda sucks?

  75. Peter Frost says: • Website

    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.

    That low figure of 3% has two explanations:

    1. From January through to the end of March, the COVID-19 death rate was low. This was partly because very few people were infected before March and partly because the time lag between infection and death is around a month. If you look at the following weeks, excess deaths were between 20 and 30% of expected deaths. That’s a lot.

    2. Excess deaths are lower for the last three weeks because of delays in reporting and coding deaths. Your reply to Mattin is uninformed. Death reports don’t come in instantaneously.

    Data during this period are incomplete because of the lag in time between when the death occurred and when the death certificate is completed, submitted to NCHS and processed for reporting purposes. This delay can range from 1 week to 8 weeks or more, depending on the jurisdiction, age, and cause of death.

    It’s good for the layman to get interested in medical issues. It’s irresponsible, however, for a layman to go around saying that medical experts are lying, without checking his facts.

  76. anon[359] • Disclaimer says:
    @Diversity Heretic

    Dwight Eisenhower used national government troops (101st Airborne, IIRC) to enforce desegregation orders in the South.

    In the 1950’s.

    Trump could either federalize the national guard in a state, or use national government troops, to intervene and prevent a state from enforcing its house arrest.

    In 2020? Really?

    That’s rather too much to ask of a guy who can ‘t get the wall built.

  77. @Alexander Turok

    Your habit of constantly accusing others of stupidity and foolishness is one of the most insufferable things to be found in any comment section on the internet.

    • Agree: Manfred Arcane
    • Replies: @res
  78. Well, folks, the good news is that, if you’re folksy and Christian enough, your children and grandchildren will be inspired by these hard times to make beautiful music.

    Just ask Alan Jackson.

  79. res says:
    @John Burns, Gettysburg Partisan

    Just interpret it as projection. Which it probably is. Makes the comments more amusing and less annoying.

  80. JosephB says:

    The CDC numbers are very interesting. It’s tempting to read the 103% figure, and impute the extra 3% of deaths to covid to get ~27k. One concern is the “safer at home” mantra is correct: we are safer when we stay at home. We’re not getting into traffic accidents, exposing ourselves to infections (besides covid), getting assaulted, having accidents from being too enthusiastic in activities, …

    How much does the death rate been suppressed by the lockdown? I don’t know a good way to model that, other than find states that had lockdowns (that people followed!) before covid arrived. We could begin to estimate how much the death rate has been suppressed due to behavioral changes. That step seems necessary before jumping to 27k more excess deaths = 27k deaths due to covid. The count is probably higher.

  81. vok3 says:

    For the “with/of” discussion, I’ll let this nurse from Los Angeles who’s treated his own share of COVID patients dispose of you properly:

    http://raconteurreport.blogspot.com/2020/04/co-morbidity.html?m=1

    The short version is, you’re an idiot.

    But what annoys me more is this:

    ” the all cause American death rate has been 3% higher than expected relative to all cause deaths from the same time period ”

    “By this all-in metric, then, coronavirus has led to about 27,000 excess deaths nationwide,”

    This is astoundingly dishonest.

    According to all the antibody tests that have been run in the past few weeks, somewhere between 3% to 5% of the population has been exposed to it, except for NYC where it might be as high as 20%. The metric is therefore not “nationwide” by any stretch of imagination or word-meaning, nor is it a 3% increase.

    All-cause death rates have DROPPED everywhere (not just in the USA: in every country for which data is available) the virus is not prevalent – due to the lockdowns; due to people not going out driving and having car accidents and falling off rooftops while trying to fix something and electrocuting themselves and getting stupid drunk in bars and all the rest of it. All-cause deaths go UP in areas where the virus is prevalent. The virus-attributable deaths are therefore the difference between the average under-lockdown – which is LOWER than normal – and the measurable death rates in the virus hot spots – which are notably higher.

    Measure the virus-attributable deaths this way, as a percentage of the population of the virus hot spots, and a very different picture emerges than the one you are attempting to present here. Guess what: people have done exactly that. For example, Luca Dellanna’s article on Substack indicating that deaths in Bergamo were 4.5 times the number of a normal year, or the newspaper Corriere Della Serra’s article indicating that across northern Italy the excess death rate was 40% higher than what had been officially counted by the virus, or New York City’s numbers on the same topic indicating official numbers were undercounting by 40%-50%.

    I’ve seen you crunch numbers enough before that I don’t believe this is an innocent mistake. You know exactly what you are papering over when you present things this way. You know exactly why it is wrong. You are doing it anyway.

    You’re a liar.

  82. Tlotsi says:
    @anarchyst

    It shows that this isn’t about public health.

  83. Jtgw says:
    @dfordoom

    If lockdowns worked better than expected that suggests the virus is not as dangerous as expected

  84. “Parenthetically, it should go without saying that I mean no personal disrespect to Dr. Wells”

    why not? i assure you, he means personal disrespect to you. there’s nothing wrong with calling out a self appointed expert and telling him he’s dead wrong and dismissing everything he has to say.

    these people are scientists, not gods. there are literally millions of scientists. plenty of them are wrong most of the time, especially the ones who deliberately make themselves public figures. as with doctors like Fauci, there are thousands of people who can do Wells’ job, and many who can do it better. what’s so special about him? why does he deserve any particular respect?

    just tell a smart guy he’s wrong. it’s not hard. and insult him too. for being a hysterical woman telling us the sky is going to fall.

    i’m getting tired of stupid assholes like Wells and Fauci and Ferguson and our current ‘elite’ and our and subject matter ‘experts’, telling us what’s gonna happen or what we should do, and then being WRONG most of the time. why do they deserve any particular regard? they’re just stupid assholes and they should be told that to their faces. they should be taken down a peg in public.

    indeed, the problem with our current system is that mediocre stupid assholes with big mouths now occupy most of the positions of authority.

  85. @dfordoom

    It’s nice to be homogenous and islands and miles from anywhere.

  86. Jtgw says:

    If it’s true that spread is low ie only small fraction of population infected, then the low excess mortality is much less reassuring. Low spread can also perhaps explain low hospitalization. However the question then becomes why spread is so low. Experts were insisting lockdown measures were too little too late and we’d see hospitals overrun and bodies stacked in the streets by now. Outside New York this never materialized and even there the worst has passed. Not enough to say “lockdown worked” after loudly insisting for so long that they wouldn’t work.

  87. MattinLA says:
    @vok3

    We cant conclude anything from current known data. We dont know how much car or industrial accidents have gone down; we also dont know how many people died because they had heart pains but were afraid t o go to the hospital because of media hysteria. Shut up until we get more data.

  88. @Audacious Epigone

    I think those statistics are noted to grow for up to a year. IE 1 year later the death statistics still get revised upward.

    That being said, I think a hell of a lot of these deaths ‘from’ corona are ‘with’ or in some cases ‘not even with but blamed on’.

    But the numbers will probably go up. That being said, I don’t see them reaching more than double the 2018 flu at the high end.

  89. @Achmed E. Newman

    Thanks, though I unambiguously disavow the assertion about lacking perspective from two of the most perspicacious people I’ve ever known.

    • Replies: @Achmed E. Newman
  90. @res

    I’m referring to the great Bangladeshi khan.

    • Replies: @Talha
    , @res
  91. @dfordoom

    States on the loosest end of the spectrum came nowhere near collapsing. That indicates even the least intensive lockdowns were too much.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  92. @YetAnotherAnon

    Fewer automobile deaths, more deaths from untreated health emergencies. Roughly a wash?

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  93. @Peter Frost

    From the same report:

    While 80% of deaths are electronically processed and coded by NCHS within minutes, most deaths from COVID-19 must be coded by a person, which takes an average of 7 days.

    My reading of this was (is) that the bulk of deaths come in almost instantaneously. Covid deaths take longer to come in. The same section reports that 63% of covid deaths, a minority of all deaths, come in within the first ten days. Where am I getting so far off track?

    There must also be some sort of accommodation made for the expected percentage of deaths–the figure for the week of May 16th has now declined from 53% when I posted this to 45% today, even with the first deaths for the subsequent week showing up.

  94. @vok3

    If NYC nursing home induced breakouts were the norm, you’d be correct. But they’re not, and as we’re seeing in Georgia, Florida, and other states that have reopened, it looks like most places don’t experience outbreaks even when people are taking modest, only marginally disruptive precautions. Deadly outbreaks are the exception, not the rule, and it doesn’t look like it requires lockdowns for that to be the case.

  95. @Peter Frost

    The absolute number of reported deaths for the week of May 16th increased since the original post but the percentage of expected deaths decreased. So there must be some sort of accommodation being made to take lag expectations into account.

  96. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Audacious Epigone

    States on the loosest end of the spectrum came nowhere near collapsing. That indicates even the least intensive lockdowns were too much.

    If you’re accepting the “flattening the curve” idea then as long as the health system doesn’t collapse then everything is hunky dory, even if lots of people die.

    I don’t accept that idea. The correct approach was to eliminate the virus, as quite a few countries have managed to do. That could easily have been achieved but governments in Britain, the US and western Europe were asleep at the wheel (I’m being generous in ascribing their failures to mere incompetence). Mostly what was needed was early closure of all borders. The US failed to do this and as a result the virus mostly entered the US from Italy.

    The best approach is lock down hard and early, get the economic pain over and done with, and then you can reopen your economy. If you adopt the half-assed approach the US adopted you end up with lots of people dying and economic ruin as well.

    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
  97. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Audacious Epigone

    Fewer automobile deaths, more deaths from untreated health emergencies. Roughly a wash?

    If you lock down you’ll also get, as an added bonus, a huge drop in deaths from ordinary seasonal flu. That’s what we’re seeing in Australia.

    • Replies: @Audacious Epigone
  98. @Talha

    Thanks.

    (Somebody had to do that.)

  99. @Audacious Epigone

    Perspicaciousness is one thing (I’ll go look it up in a sec.), but Steve Sailer, or all people, falling hook line and sinker for this Infotainment Panic-Fest?? His bread & butter has been noticing the BS out of the Lyin’ Press and somewhat out of government too. How could he not notice how much he’s been bamboozled on this Kung Flu panic, and instead of just admitting some of it, he’s getting re-bamboozled on the flip side too. (He’s been great about getting back to his regular material lately, as I’ve noticed from his titles.)

    Ron Unz … well, REDACTED.

  100. @dfordoom

    A lot of countries have eliminated the virus? I’ve heard that about New Zealand, at least for now. Where else?

  101. @dfordoom

    What about an increase in deaths of despair? Attribution is going to be a bitch in the coming months.

    • Replies: @dfordoom
  102. dfordoom says: • Website
    @Audacious Epigone

    What about an increase in deaths of despair?

    I don’t buy that nonsense. People wallow too much in self-pity these days. If someone decides to become an alcoholic or an opioid addict that’s their choice. And I certainly don’t buy the idea that there’s going to be a rash of people killing themselves because they can’t go to their favourite restaurants because of the lockdowns.

    Deaths of despair has become a major far right meme and it seems to be part of the far right’s increasing tendency to turn itself into a cult of victimhood and self-pity.

    It’s also much too typical of the current tendency to emotionalism and hysteria in politics. And the right has become every bit as bad in that respect as the left.

  103. res says:
    @Audacious Epigone

    Thanks. I had not realized they were working together.

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