The CDC announced today that 37,308 have died in the United States from COVID-19, a far cry from more nearly 70 thousand claimed by the media. These CDC numbers, based on death certificates, are updated through May 1, week ending April 25 (from February 1). The number one will find in a Google search, which presently stands at 68,276, are from the World Health Organization, the running dogs of the Chinese Communist Party.
This virus is not as deadly as they told us even if we calculate the numbers using confirmed cases. For those who are not very old or who suffer from a handful of health conditions, this virus is not very deadly at all. Those younger than 45 years of age, have seen fewer than 1000 deaths from this virus. That’s a death rate of 0.08% (assuming 1.18 million confirmed cases). If you look into those cases you will no doubt find a condition which made those persons vulnerable. For those younger than 25 years of age, there have been fewer than 100 deaths associated with this virus. That’s a death rate of 0.008%, a vanishingly small number. Again, there will be health problems that explain this. When you consider that the true number of cases is between 25 and 85 times higher than the number of confirmed cases, then the death rate is many times lower (I true you can do math). These deaths, as tragic as they are, do not justify all of the harm to health, jobs, security, and well-being, that this shut down has brought about.
I’ve been saying from the beginning that we should’ve protected the vulnerable and let this virus burn through the population. We should do that now. We should not go a day longer with the lockdown. The evidence is clear that the policies pursued by the federal government and the various states represent a monumental error. We are all paying dearly for this mistake.
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As expected, those who are confronted with these numbers thank the lockdown for “fattening the curve.” But what is the evidence that the lockdown saved lives? Hospitals across the country laid off employees because they canceled appointments to make room for a wave of patients who never materialized. Hospitals have ventilators coming out of their ears. Only in a few places were hospitals overwhelmed, and that wasn’t because of the virus but because of mismanagement and ruthless cost cutting to maximize salaries of administrators, doctors, and shareholders. Flatten the curve is not science. It’s ideology.
However, social distancing probably accomplished this: keeping the population of health persons from developing herd immunity, which means we’re going to have to suffer this virus in the future with a greater force than we would have had we done what I recommended.
For our awareness of the disease until mid-March, there were fewer than fifty deaths. For a pneumonia season, COVID-19 was sharply truncated arriving when it did (likely from a laboratory accident in Wuhan, China). Next fall we’re going to have a full season of COVID-19, and we will confront the virus without having acquired herd immunity. Moreover, there will be no vaccine (there may never be). So to the extent that one could say that we saved lives this time around, when we weigh that against the health, security, and well-being of people next time around, we see that the policies pursued still amount to a monumental error. In an previous blog entry, I called it a pyrrhic victory.
Had we let healthy adults get this virus, those who are vulnerable would enjoy more protection, because there would be fewer carriers of the disease. We’re told that opponents of the lockdown want the vulnerable to die. But it’s actually the opposite of what they claim. If healthy adults get the virus, they will likely have an immunity to it. Since most people don’t know they have it, fewer people with it means fewer transmissions of the disease. Herd immunity reduces community spread.
On top of more COVID-19, we will likely be mired in an economic depression, which means that we will be severely hampered in dealing with this disease—and a myriad of other health matters—next fall. Real swift thinking there, flatten-the-curvers. Thanks for chucking basic biology out the window.
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Re: this obnoxious claim that those who want to open society “want to kill grandma.” Here’s their dilemma. Approximately half a million people are killed every year in Europe from air pollution. Around 5 million people are killed globally annually because of air pollution. That number must be very great in America, as well, much greater than deaths from COVID-19 (and now even greater than when I put this challenge to Facebook’s fearmongering wokescolds on May 1). Deaths from air pollution are set to decline substantially because of the economic shutdowns across the globe. When the shutdowns are lifted, dirty economic activity will resume. Which means that the pollution that kills so many people will return and kill again.
Are those who argue that those who want to re-open the economy want to kill grandma with COVID-19 going to also argue that those who want to re-open the economy want to kill grandma with air pollution? Are they prepared to be consistent and argue that we should not reopen the economy because pollution has lethal consequences? Moreover, are they prepared to accept responsibility for the benefits of economic growth that has killed so many people in the past? After all they were prepared to tolerate tens of thousands of flu deaths every year for the sake of keeping society open. Why COVID-19 and not pollution? Why COVID-19 and not influenza?
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This “flattening the curve” business is absurd even if limited to the claim that we didn’t want to overwhelm hospitals. You don’t close schools and shutter the economy to not overwhelm hospitals. Those populations are extremely unlikely to get sick from this virus. You want hospitals for people who need medical attention; you don’t cancel tests and procedures in anticipation of a crisis that, for most places, never occurred, nor was likely to occur based on what we were seeing. A lot of people saw their cancer go undiagnosed and grow during this period. Cancer and a lot of other medical conditions. There is no evidence that bottlenecks in our hospitals had anything to do with the virus. It had to do with the way the health care system operates. And then only in some places. That’s a scandal that the media should look into.
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Among the left-liberals freaking over people protesting the lockdown, it makes sense that a population sheepishly submitting to extreme restrictions on the freedom of movement would be less inclined to defend other basic freedoms of citizens such as assembly and speech. The lockdown has been effective in entrenching a general authoritarian attitude among progressives. They see individuals with guns as an opportunity to trash liberty and validate their own authoritarian desire. The call for the Bill of Rights to be abrogated by the public health authorities.
This brand of authoritarian sentiment is all over social media. People are clamoring to not only have their own freedom stripped from them (and then glorify their sacrifice), but to see the freedom of everybody taken away. If this was the point of this exercise, then mission accomplished. We’re becoming Communist China. Of course, their authoritarian is qualified: those measures perceived as restricting those freedoms with which they identify, even if imaginary, are great injustices justifying protest. They just don’t think those who have a different point of view should have that same freedom.
COVID-19 doesn’t scare me. I’ve looked at the evidence and there’s nothing really extraordinary about this virus, certainly nothing that justifies the state’s response to it. we are plainly in the midst of mass hysteria. It’s the left-liberals and progressives who demand the shuttering of society, the radical curtailment of personal freedom, and the arbitrary violation of basic human rights, and shame of those who still wish to be free—they’re the terrifying element in all this.
I might have expected that politicians would impose draconian measures amid a manufactured crisis. Those actions represent a long trend in the diminishment of freedom and democracy in America and around the world. Remember what we know: the world is governed by a corporate state apparatus that routinely dispenses with democratic principle and individual liberty. Now they’re using public health to justify totalitarian action. What can’t they justify with this new authority?
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Finally, on this accusation of selfishness, I have an autoimmune disorder and two of the leading comorbidities that put me at special risk for serious complication from COVID-19 and a host of other diseases. I’m spring chicken, either. I would hate to think people would lose their jobs, homes, and savings on account of my personal circumstances. I don’t want my age or conditions to hurt or oppress others.
I wouldn’t care much for the wellbeing and freedom of others if I desired that they be shackled by my infirmities. I don’t like to shame people, but it’s a selfish way to think about one’s existence to think otherwise. Please don’t stay home or wear masks for my sake. Live your life. If you need my permission, then I’m giving it to you. But you really don’t need my permission. You need to get the government off your back. Liberty is the most precious thing in the world.
Remember, defending liberty is not a rightwing issue.