COVID-19 discussion thread VII

by Judith Curry

Some interesting papers that I’ve spotted over the past week.

New study from S. Korea finds HCQ +AZ (or other antibiotic) significantly reduces time to viral clearance and hospital stay in moderate covid-19 patients compared to both conservative treatment and Lopinavir-ritonavir.

The #COVID19 “6-feet rule” falls apart with even a slight breeze based upon extensive simulations of coughing and airborne droplet transmissions (e.g. saliva can travel 18 feet in 5 sec w/ a bit of wind)

Wearing a mask can reduce coronavirus transmission by 75% [link]

Covid Patients Testing Positive After Recovery Aren’t Infectious, Study Shows. They’re shedding only dead virus. [link]

Why are non-white Britons more likely to die of COVID19? [link]

Comparison of France to Marseille where people are being treated with HCQ+AZ. 0.5% fatality rate compared to 21.6% nationwide.

Mathematical models as public troubles in COVID-19 infection control: following the numbers [link]

The Covid-19 fatality rate remains at 1% in Senegal as the country continues to broadly use hydroxychloroquine “despite warnings from the World Health Organization.”

Why DID so many athletes fall sick in Wuhan in October? More competitors reveal they were ill at the World Military Games months before China admitted coronavirus could be passed between humans

Coronavirus did NOT come from animals in Wuhan market’: Landmark study suggests it was taken into the area by someone already infected

Malaysia has used hydroxychloroquine since the first wave of the Covid-19 outbreak. The recovery rate there now exceeds 80%. The country of over 30 million people only has 1,247 active cases. [link]


UK’s coronavirus response repeats the errors of past crises [link]

Britain’s hard lesson about blind trust in scientific authorities [link]

Fight over virus death toll opens grim new front in election battle [link]

Scientific integrity in the COVID response [link]

Estimating the burden of COVID in France [link]

Taiwan’s secret weapon against COVID:  An epidemiologist as Vice President [link]

The Kerala model- why this Indian state is doing so well in the COVID crisis [link]

Peter Gluckman – Reflections on the evidentiary-politics interface [link]

People or jobs, or wealth? The government has to decide which to prioritize. [link]

Why meatpacking plants have become COVID hot spots [link]

States are the laboratories of democracy [link]


The secret lives of perfect social distancers [link]

Virus pushes science and its controversies center state [link]

This pandemic shows that collaborating is better than competing, says author and theoretical physicist Carlo Rovelli [link]

Are “experts” all they are cracked up to be? Expert journalist says, “no”.

Understanding COVID19 — a supernova in human history [link]

World View: It is time to adopt a ‘red team’ approach in science that integrates criticism into each step of the research process, writes @lakens. “A scientific claim is as reliable as only the most severe criticism it has been able to withstand.”

Pandemic researchers — recruit your own best critics [link]

The biggest Asian neighborhood in NYC has had one if the lowest rates of covid-19. Why? Masks & early warning from relatives overseas. [link]
The world doesnt yet know enough to beat the coronavirus [link]
The radical uncertainties of coronavirus [link]
Covid-19 Science as a Contact Sport – what #Climate scientists have lived with for two decades, coronavirus researchers such as #NeilFerguson are finding out in a hurry
What was the point of offices anyway?

252 responses to “COVID-19 discussion thread VII

  1. Those reinfections?

    A Korean study identified 275 people who tested negative after surviving Covid-19, and then tested positive again.
    None of them were infectious. None of them were sick, though they might have had a cough or a sore throat. All of them had antibodies.

    Apparently the PCR RNA test is sensitive enough to detect fragments of RNA, without intact organisms… If you can apply the word organism to an entity that does not ingest, digest, or excrete, functions that we associate with organisms. No livers, muscles, or neurons, just weaponized chemicals. Not only are we not omnipotent, we can’t even defeat these wimps.

  2. Don Montford will be excited about the HDCQ results.

    • Let’s hope he and Trump and others have good reason to crow.

    • dpy, this is the work of the evil Dr. Didier Raoult:

      “When we now look at the treatments used and here the data are at the level of the city of Marseille. The mortality rate, all positive people, all hospitals combined, is 3.1%. This rate increases to 8.6% for people who have not received HCQ and AZ treatment . What is interesting to note is that this rate is 0.5% for patients who have received the HCQ and AZ treatment .

      For the record, the death rate in Germany is 4.5%.”

      In Marseille, the mortality rate is lower than that of Germany, probably because the massive screening and the treatment given early has an ESSENTIAL effect.”

      There are now almost 200 HCQ-COVID 19 trials listed on

      197 Studies found for: hydroxychloroquine | covid 19
      Also searched for SARS-CoV-2 and Plaquenil.

      Why do you suppose that POTUS Trump, who has been smeared and vilified for being optimistic about HCQ, announced he is using it? I know. Bad news on HCQ for the virus cheerleaders is coming soon. Stay tuned.

      One of the virus cheerleaders insisted a few days ago that plasma from recovered COVID 19 patients was not being given to hospitalized patients. Here’s a doc with ENCOURAGING words on the progress of trials at Columbia, Mayo Clinic, Johns Hopkins etc.

      • Don Monfort

        Title of video on youtube is:
        Plasma Therapy: Could That Be The Future of Treating Covid-19?

      • Don Monfort: dpy, this is the work of the evil Dr. Didier Raoult:

        No one has accused him of being evil.

      • Don Monfort

        You don’t know what you are talking about, again. He’s been called a witch doctor, dangerous charlatan, quack but I guess that ain’t calling him evil. You have obviously been brainwashed by the left loon media attacks.

      • russellseitz

        “He’s been called a witch doctor, dangerous charlatan, quack but I guess that ain’t calling him evil. You have obviously been brainwashed by the left loon media attacks.”

        Honi soit qui mal y fait

        At least he knows the difference in therapeutic index between the quines , chloro and hydroxy, and has never ever told gullible readers to swallow a fatal dose of either, on the advice of a mad mate in the malarial tropics.

      • Don Monfort: but I guess that ain’t calling him evil

        Good guess.

  3. Might have results from a study on HCQ use as post-exposure prophylaxis next week.

    • Curious George

      I love a fresh idea of publishing results from a study as a video. Will it be peer-reviewed? By CNN’s peers, probably.

      • russellseitz

        Pass the fish tank cleaner, this is getting hilarious!

      • Don Monfort

        We have all been wondering why there are around 200 ongoing clinical trials testing that aquarium cleaner as prophylaxis or treatment for COVID 19. Do you know anything about that, rustle? Or are you just inebriated and slumming, again?

    • No serious side effects, no cardiac arrythmias. And he knows more than he is letting on. I know more than he is letting on. Stay tuned.

      Dr. Bouleware is being a bit coy and somewhat disingenuous:

      “If you consent to participate, we will ask you to:

      Agree to be randomly assigned to receive hydroxychloroquine or a vitamin. If you agree to this study, there would be a 50-50 chance of receiving a vitamin instead of hydroxychloroquine.
      -Take the study medication for five days.
      -Answer 3 – 5 short, online follow-up surveys.
      -There are no required in-person visits.
      Anyone nationwide can participate, if eligible. You do not need to be in Minnesota.”

      The trial is not being conducted in a clinical setting and patients are not supervised, or even examined. Why would they do this? Because the drug is very safe and anybody with a lick of sense knows it.

  4. David L. Hagen (HagenDL)

    83% drop in infection fatality rate with Hydroxychloroquine + Azithromycin
    The hospital system where Didier Raoult et al. work, IHU Méditerranée Infection, posts a running total of fatalities for patients treated with Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycin versus previous cases without:
    Mediterranee Infectionaire reports 0.55% infection fatality rate for COVID-19 (18 deaths/ 3298 patients) when treating hospitalized patients with Hydroxychloroquine & Azithromycin.
    Before that had a 57&% higher fatality rate:
    3.1% infection fatality rate. (153 deaths/4864 patients)

    Dr Raoult et al. reported on 1061 patients treated at IHU Méditerranée Infection:
    Million, M., Lagier, J., Gautret, P., Colson, P., Fournier, P.E. and Amrane, S., 2020 Early treatment of COVID-19 patients with hydroxychloroquine and
    azithromycin: A retrospective analysis of 1061 cases in Marseille, France

    • “Mediterranee Infectionaire reports 0.55% infection fatality rate for COVID-19 (18 deaths/ 3298 patients) when treating hospitalized patients with Hydroxychloroquine & Azithromycin.
      Before that had a … higher fatality rate:
      3.1% infection fatality rate. (153 deaths/4864 patients)”

      I wonder if we’re confused about the IFR and CFR (case fatality rate)? When we say that we have a 3.1% infection fatality rate then that’s actually quite high, but is that counting all infections, including asymptomatic cases (who never become “patients”) or mild infections that never come forward to be treated?

      If you have a 0.55% “IFR” when treating hospitalized patients, then clearly you’re talking about cases: these people are sick enough to be in hospital. Would 0.55% be the Covid-19 hospitalized fatality rate (HFR??) It might be closer to the CFR (of which only a certain percentage become hospitalized) but it’s nowhere near the IFR.

      I bring this up because if we rely on the CEBM (Center for Evidence Based Medicine) IFR estimated range of 0.2-0.41%, then IFRs of 0.55% and 3.1% are both above that range and an IFR of 3.1% would be cause for some alarm.

      My own estimates using CEBM overall IFR of 0.41%, CDC Covid death data, and US population data is that the IFR for those over 65 is 2%, which is high and cause for concern, but the IFR for those under 65 is 0.01%, which is no cause for alarm (within the under-65 group, those 35-64 have an IFR of 0.2%.) Covid IFR rates are highly correlated with age. Mix them all together and you get an overall IFR of 0.41%.

      • Don Monfort

        Here you go, 132:

        “The overall burden of influenza for the 2017-2018 season was an estimated 45 million influenza illnesses, 21 million influenza-associated medical visits, 810,000 influenza-related hospitalizations, and 61,000 influenza-associated deaths (Table: Estimated Influenza Disease Burden, by Season — United States, 2010-11 through 2017-18 Influenza Seasons).”

        Flu related deaths 61,000/810,000 hospitalized patients = 0.075
        Of course, all deaths were not hospitalized patients, but close enough.

        “Mediterranee Infectionaire reports 0.55% infection fatality rate for COVID-19 (18 deaths/ 3298 patients) when treating hospitalized patients with Hydroxychloroquine & Azithromycin.”

        18/3298 = 0.0055
        61k/810k = 0.075

      • @the other Don thanks for the comment.

        “Flu related deaths 61,000/810,000 hospitalized patients = 0.075
        Of course, all deaths were not hospitalized patients, but close enough.
        18/3298 = 0.0055
        61k/810k = 0.075”

        Your math is as good as mine!
        If 61,000/810,000 is 0.075, then that gives us a (hospitalized) CFR of 7.5%, which is quite high and not in line with the expected flu value, 0.1% for IFR (or, as is often confused, the “CFR”.) A more accurate IFR would use the entire infected estimate.

        But I see your point.

      • Don Monfort

        My point is, I like your HFR for comparing the fatality rate of seasonal flu vs. fatality rate of HCQ+AZ treated COVID 19:

        “Would 0.55% be the Covid-19 hospitalized fatality rate (HFR??)”

        I would say yes, according to that set of data, in that location, at that time. Compare that with the HFR for the U.S. seasonal flu, 2017-2018:

        .55% vs. 7.5%

        I would say that early treatment of COVID 19 with HCQ + AZ looking good, provided the Marseilles results are verified by similar results in other clinical settings, particularly in prospective randomized double blind placebo controlled clinical trials etc. etc. I wouldn’t expect it to be that effective, but even if it slips quite a bit, it would still be impressive.

        The seasonal flu estimated IFR for 2017-2018 would be 61,000 /45,000,000 = .14% I don’t care to guess what the IFR is for COVID 19, but if the success rate for early treatment with HCQ+AZ is anywhere nearly that good, the IFR will consequently be low and we won’t be needing any more of this lock down pain. The virus cheerleaders will all be on Prozac and Thunderbird.

      • I’m all for hydroxychloroquine, and I think the dismissal of this because it’s “anecdotal” is criminal. It’d be anecdotal if you heard it from your grandmother, but not if you heard it from eight doctors who find a significant improvement of HCQ in conjunction with other meds (including vitamin C!) in lowering rates of ICU admissions.

        This denial of a known, successful, early treatment for Covid leads me to believe that the purpose of Covid is to instill fear and panic, so that a world-state premised on technology and tracking can come into being: surveillance, monitoring of dissenters, and control. This is the definition of tyranny. Those who go along and support this new order will benefit most from being good soldiers, and these soldiers have already been recruited.

        Wow!! And I haven’t even had my second glass of wine yet. In another hour I may have even more to say ….

  5. David L. Hagen (HagenDL)

    Prophylactic use of Hydroxychloroquine

    After a large COVID-19 exposure event in a LTCH in Korea, PEP using hydroxychloroquine (HCQ) was conducted to 211 persons including 189 patients and 22 careworkers, whose baseline polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests for COVID-19 were negative. PEP was completed in 184 (97.4%) patients and 21 (95.5%) careworkers without serious adverse events. At the end of 14 days of quarantine, follow-up PCR tests were all negative.

    Lee, S.H., Son, H. and Peck, K.R., 2020. Can post-exposure prophylaxis for COVID-19 be considered as one of outbreak response strategies in long-term care hospitals? International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents, p.105988.

    • Curious George

      Do we have now, in May 2020, anything better than the hydroxychloroquine? Please tell me what it is.

      The WHO and FDA issued warnings on HCQ. Apparently, once you are on a deathbed, it won’t bring you back. Let people die to bring Trump down.

  6. Why Are Non-White Britons More Likely to Die of COVID-19?

    The link to a Vitamin D deficiency certainly sounds compelling but could be a statistical artifact, e.g., I imagine meat workers who test positive at a far higher rate than would be expected probably get very little on the job UVB exposure, among all the other factors the article discussed and adjusted for without apparently explaining the disparity in death rates. But, how many other such factors may exist that also have not been adjusted for that are not related to working indoors? Perhaps fewer have received vaccinations in the past. There may be more drinkers among them or perhaps of those who do drink, compared to most drinkers, perhaps more meat plant workers prefer bourbon then beer. Perhaps there is another relationship, e.g., that those who are Vitamin D deficient are most often also deficient in magnesium… I wish we knew more than we do.

    • Temperature in a meat processing plant is kept around 40F plus minus 1 or 2 degrees. There are no windows, no sunlight, Just a huge cold fricking refridgerator. Prime weather conditions for processing meat & prime weather conditions for growth of most viruses.

      • Don Monfort

        Very astute observation, Mr. Dallas. And meat packing plants seem to be the only type of work environments, outside of nursing homes, that are generating CoV cases and deaths.

      Skin pigmentation – Melanin, the pigment found in skin, is an adaptation that serves as a natural sunscreen, so darker skin color also blunts the body’s ability to make vitamin D.
      Age – As we age our body becomes less efficient at producing vitamin D from sun exposure.2 In fact, a 70-year-old makes 4 times less vitamin D from the sun than a 20-year-old.
      Body fat – Since vitamin D is fat soluble, the higher the body fat, the lower the bioavailability. A higher concentration of body fat prevents the vitamin D from being released into the blood stream. In fact, obese individuals have 50% less bioavailability of vitamin D compared to non-obese individuals.

      The 3 things are consisent with who is dying according to my news sources which is highlighted by Fox News.

      And the above was written at least 5 years ago.

      No regrets. Fish oil (read the label) and other foods high in Vitamin D.

  7. That’s a great list of links! Thanks.

    Small correction for you: the link for “Britain’s hard lesson about blind trust in scientific authorities” is a dupe of another of your links, not what it says it is!

    Maybe this one: ?

  8. Pingback: Judith Curry’s Covid-19 Discussion Thread: “Interesting papers I’ve spotted over the past week”-May 19, 2020…(Like, Covid-19 fatality rate remains 1% in Senegal which continues broad use of hydroxychloroquine “despite warnings

  9. Perhaps those of you in the USA are not aware that the Mail on Sunday and the Daily Mail are not considered reliable sources of information in the UK. Think of a slightly posher version of the National Enquirer.

    • Thanks for the heads up. There is value in looking at the National Enquirer when standing in grocery lines, though. Being able to see JFK and Jackie on the cover even now takes me down memory lane back to the days when I could still do the Twist.

    • Roger Knights

      “the Mail on Sunday and the Daily Mail are not considered reliable sources of information in the UK. Think of a slightly posher version of the National Enquirer.”

      It’s not that bad, according to an article (“Journalism with Attitude”) by the editor (Hugo de Burgh) of a British anthology titled “Investigative Journalism,” which is something of a “bible” in journalism schools. It’s on pages 272–88 of the 2nd edition.

      BTW, I read an article a week ago about the Mail-group’s major expansion into the U.S.

      • Steve Taylor

        The DM spent several years supporting Andrew Wakefield’s fake research and campaigning against vaccinations ;(

      • Roger Knights

        The essay I cited mentioned that. It wasn’t blind to the paper’s faults.

    • But the UK has a lot of problems. Think of what it used to be? I’ll use my own opinion about the Daily Mail.

  10. I doubt we will ever find out the actual death and case numbers from China but I’m more inclined to believe the 640,000 cases than the official number. Since April 30 they supposedly have had single digit increases in cases 17 days. Yeah, right.

    • “but I’m more inclined to believe the 640,000 cases than the official number”
      I have a lot less faith in numbers from the Daily Mail than from China. Do you see what they did here? Someone got hold of a database which had 640,000 lines. No-one actually knows what they mean. But the Daily Mail slaps on a headline
      “China may have 640,000 coronavirus cases instead of 84,000”

      The unfortunate guy who had to write up this crap at least noted some of the issues:
      “Inconsistencies in data gathering methods means it is possible that single cases could have been counted several times, skewing the figures.

      The data set also does not make it clear what was classified as a ‘confirmed’ case of the virus, which had led to discrepancies in reporting in other countries.

      Since no names or identifying details were included with the data, both Foreign Policy and 100Reporters said it has been impossible to verify any of the cases.

      MailOnline has not seen the dataset, which has not been released publicly. “

      • Don Monfort

        I am with nicky, on this one. The Daily Mail has been known to incarcerate and disappear folks, who contradict their reporting. China has no motive to
        shade the numbers. They’ve been very transparent. Very, very transparent. So transparent, you can see right through them.

      • Nick

        We will never know. When people disappear in the middle of the night in China they don’t know if they bought the farm or bought themselves a life sentence on a re-education farm.

      • “The Daily Mail has been known to incarcerate”
        The Daily Mail has been known to write stuff that just isn’t true. And they are obviously doing it here.

      • “I’ve had this story for three years. I’ve had this interview with Virginia Roberts. We would not put it on the air. First of all I was told, ‘Who is Jeffrey Epstein? No one knows who that is. This is a stupid story.'”

        I have an argument somewhere around here. Let’s say the specific Daily Mail story is wrong. They are still trying. Not looking to stay in China’s good graces I suppose.

        Of course we down weight the specific facts and fall back on reputations.

      • Don Monfort

        nicky: “I have a lot less faith in numbers from the Daily Mail than from China.”, because the Oppressive Red Chinese Thugocracy only lies, when their lips are moving.

      • Nick

        The Telegraph blaring headline….Sweden has highest COVID19 death rate…overtaking blah blah. Except it doesn’t. Only in the body of the article does it fess up that it’s a daily rate. Reading the headline only, gives no hint.

        It’s gone viral on Twitter. The headline is wrong but how many bother to check the details. What is it about your cousins in the Old Country. We can’t trust the Daily Mail and now the Slippery Telegraph.

      • Ragnaar- It was the National Enquirer that finally told American that vice presidential nominee John Edwards got his girlfriend pregnant, during the campaign while his wife was dying of cancer.
        The New York Times and Washington Post spent the whole time running hagiographic tales about his deep devotion to his marriage.
        Blind squirrels, nuts, etc.

    • Matthew R Marler

      cerescokid: I doubt we will ever find out the actual death and case numbers from China but I’m more inclined to believe the 640,000 cases than the official number.

      A precedent: it took decades for outsiders to learn approximately how many people died in the famine that followed the “Great Leap Forward”. Estimates of the COVID-19 caused deaths in China are likely to be all over the place, based on disparate small sources of “evidence”.

  11. Very interesting and helpful. Thank you. I am sharing some of your observations on social media.

  12. WRT
    “UK’s coronavirus response repeats the errors of past crises”

    Conservation and the Misuse of Science
    Hedgehogs, Bats and Badgers

    Whether it be hedgehogs, bats or badgers it would appear that SNH and others are happy to”fiddle” at taxpayers expense “while Rome burns” in terms of damage to human and animal health and to the economy. It is time that a stop was put to this form of self-indulgent and extravagant pseudo science.

    How the members of the Independent
    Scientific Group on Cattle TB were appointed

    The “Independent Scientific Group” advises against badger cull as part of plan to control TB in cattle.
    A sad day for science, and for animal health that it is supposed to protect.

    Tuberculosis in Cattle: DEFRA in no hurry to review Strategy

  13. call me a skeptic but – I’ve grown painfully aware of me and everyone I know being mostly wrong about mostly everything mostly all of the time so I guess it shouldn’t come as a shock to learn, according to the latest research, that we’re not getting covid from touching contaminated surfaces. We’re being infected by each other so wash your hands, sure… of course… I don’t know why it takes something like a Corona virus outbreak to learn that but… it ain’t ‘gonna help as far as covid-19 goes. The only thing that will help is wearing a mask – social distancing is BS.

  14. Meanwhile…in Sweden…

    I’m not particularly critical of Sweden’s approach. It’s one of the variety of bad choices.

    But when you look at the metric of deaths per capita, you will note that the rate of decline in Sweden is considerably lower than in Switzerland, the Netherlands, even France, and many, many other countries. Sweden is rising up the chart at a consistent pace.

    In fact, Sweden has had the higher per capita deaths in Europe over the last seven days. Even higher than the UK.

    Cross-country comparisons are of limited value. And the reasons for Sweden’s relatively slower decline than elsewhere are complicated. And there are necessarily tradeoffs in all of this, but you can’t even evaluate the tradeoffs if your vision is limited by your ideological blinders.

    • Joshua: But when you look at the metric of deaths per capita, you will note that the rate of decline in Sweden is considerably lower than in Switzerland

      True, but the initial rates of increase and the maximum daily new case and new death counts were much higher in Switzerland. I don’t know what the courses of case counts and death counts will be in a month’s time, or more, but the whole trajectories need to be compared, as well as the concomitant changes such as loss of economic productivity.

    • We all are going to get this. I was told we need to slow the peak to get ready. We did that. Is Sweden getting overwhelmed with this?

      We are all going to die. What do we do in the meantime? What we just did. Counting current deaths is just one part of complicted situation. Old people die all the time. Look down young people because of that? In what universe?

  15. How Diet Is Driving COVID-19 Outcomes

    For many people, a poor outcome from COVID-19 is in part, preventable.
    Metabolic syndrome is associated with COVID-19 mortality and morbidity.
    Many mechanisms are conceived, though not strictly tested.
    In this way, COVID-19 is an accute-on-top-of-chronic condition.
    The same metabolic syndrome which worsens outcomes, may also prevent vaccines from being effective.

    The good news is than metabolic syndrome is reversible with diet and lifestyle change.

    • Curious George

      I love doctors who make an hour-long video rather than a transcript. Especially baffling for a NYTimes bestselling author.

    • “…thanks to the spread of the ultra-processed food…”

      My son the future scientist asks if I have any studies confirming my point of view? I say no.

      Still white flour is terrible for you. Eat sugar, it’s the same thing. Fiber and more fiber. Omega 3 and less Omega 6. Fish. Juice and frozen veggies. Moderation and lean to least processed foods all the time.

      This is of course, no regrets.

  16. People or jobs, or wealth? The government has to decide which to prioritize.

    The people can decide. And with somewhat independent states, counties and municipalities, the governments’ decisions, like the people’s decisions, do not all have to be the same.

    Anyone contemplating “borrowing wealth” to “help people” ought to give a lot more consideration than they do to the people whose work created that wealth in the first place, who are giving it up, and who will be required to work to pay off the debt in the future.

    The idea that the government has to decide everything is pernicious. In the US, the idea that the Federal Government has to decide everything contradicts the 9th and 10th amendments in the Bill of Rights.

    • Because my note was critical, I should add that the author lays out the problems well. His preference:
      The choices that have to be made

      We need to be prioritising work at present.

      And we need to keep trade alive.

      At the same time we also need to preserve the operational aspects of banking, as best we are able, because we cannot survive without it: those systems are the plumbing on which the economy runs. And because we have done no real banking reforms since 2008 that may yet require nationalisation of the whole banking sector fails as the property market collapses, and with it all the collateral on which banks have relied for around 85% of their loan books.

      But I stress, even if we are concerned that the property sector might collapse that is not a reason to priorities the interests of landlords. They have to be at the bottom of the pile for support right now. In other words, the government has everything the wrong way round.

      He does use “government” the singular, whereas in the US the plural state governors and municipal mayors and managers have not all taken the same path.

    • “….the people whose work created that wealth in the first place,… “

      • Half the people in the country have no idea who creates wealth and that the past economic success is no guarantee of the same success in the future. They think our standard of living is because of the Federal Government, The Tooth Fairy and Tinker Bell. They have no concept of the essentials of Capitalism, or an understanding of economics or business, not a clue about the banking system or the role of the Federal Reserve or the importance of capital formation and the capital markets. They believe profits are evil and the only way to solve deficits is to increase marginal tax rates. The good times just happen.

        What other explanation is there for such a high level of support for Socialism.

      • jungletrunks

        “Half the people in the country have no idea who creates wealth”

        And we know where these people align politically. But AOC has an economics degree ya know; she aims to buck the late Iron Lady’s logic and wisdom, as Thatcher stated: “The trouble with Socialism is that eventually you run out of other people’s money”.

        To put some context to what it means when the government spends 1 trillion dollars; a trillion seconds falls a bit shy of 32,000 years. The U.S. has a deep well economically, but exploiting a resource too aggressively always leads to depletion.

  17. Summer of (Pandemic) Love

    Interesting retrospective.

    Proportionate US death toll would be 170,000 for COVID-19, which we’re still shy of, but of course, we’re not done yet.

    Still, was the shutdown a huge mistake?

    • Given this tidbit that she included, it’s fair to ask if locking down a densely packed city was ever even possible:
      “The #COVID19 “6-feet rule” falls apart with even a slight breeze… based upon extensive simulations of coughing and airborne droplet transmissions (e.g. saliva can travel 18 feet in 5 sec w/ a bit of wind)”

      New York City had 8 million people sharing transportation and elevators. This pandemic did what they all do- decimated the old and sick in densely populated places. Particularly those that were cold in February/March.

      • “Two government doctors, not even epidemiologists” — Richard Hatchett and Carter Mecher, who worked for the George W. Bush administration — “hatched the idea [of using government-enforced social distancing] and hoped to try it out on the next virus.” We are, in effect, Tucker said, part of a grand social experiment.

        Do we have W to blame for this?

      • probably, but definitions of words and phrases are getting fluid- sometimes for political reasons.
        I practice “social distancing” at stores that are open. There is no scientific reason for it to be safer 6-feet away from people for an hour in a grocery store than any other building.

        There’s no reason to believe “social distancing” will be effective for someone who has to take the elevator from their 12th floor apartment in order to get on the crowded sidewalk that leads to the tiny grocery store. And they cannot “lock down” for 3 months without starving to death. Conversely. the suburbanite who needs only to stroll out her door to the car with the hepa-filtered cabin to drive to the Mega Mart or Big Restaurant can “social distance” all day without the slightest economic impact.

    5/10/2020 24,835 -2,878 -10.3 287,829
    5/11/2020 21,122 -3,713 -14.9 540,847
    5/12/2020 19,534 -1,588 -7.5 164,139
    5/13/2020 23,704 4,170 21.3 340,173
    5/14/2020 21,710 -1,994 -8.4 340,721
    5/15/2020 29,276 7,566 25.8 385,164
    5/16/2020 25,812 -3,464 -11.8 433,742
    5/17/2020 20,716 -5,096 -19.7 860,733
    5/18/2020 18,631 -2,103 -10.1 576,617
    5/19/2020 23,764 5,133 27.5 477,701
    5/20/2020 18,882 -4,882 20.5 357,771
    I apoligize for what I said yesterday. I thought I heard what I said but I was wrong. We did 10,000 tests less than yesterday.We have 4 days left to the end of the 14 days.

  19. Permit me to offer a feel good.

    Uncertainty regarding immune response, antibody generation and persistence as well as antibody mediated enhancement is being addressed.

  20. 5/13/20 Coronavirus (COVID 19) Grand Rounds –
    Stanford Department of Medicine

    Excellent presentation on the challenges of SARS2 vaccine development, manufacturing and distribution by Dr. Phil Pang, MD, PhD Chief Medical Office, VIR Biotechnology.

  21. I thought I’d share this .pdf file that looks at Covid-19 statistics against malaria. It’s not sophisticated, but the visual comparison is pretty obvious.

  22. “Malaysia has used hydroxychloroquine since the first wave of the Covid-19 outbreak. The recovery rate there now exceeds 80%. The country of over 30 million people only has 1,247 active cases”.

    Wow. Does that mean about 20% of infected are dying in Malaysia?

    “New study from S. Korea finds HCQ +AZ (or other antibiotic) significantly reduces time to viral clearance and hospital stay in moderate covid-19 patients compared to both conservative treatment and Lopinavir-ritonavir.”

    Unfortunately the core group from which the conclusion are drawn only consists of 22 people and 21 of them are women. Almost none have preexisting conditions. I doubt we can generalize a lot from that.

    “Coronavirus did NOT come from animals in Wuhan market’: Landmark study suggests it was taken into the area by someone already infected.”

    The actual paper behind this story suggests SARS-CoV-2 might be a mutation branching from 2003 SARS-CoV outbreak.

    “More evidence vitamin D can help against coronavirus: Study finds patients with a severe deficiency are TWICE as likely to die from COVID-19.”

    Without supplementation Vitamin D is a proxy for sunlight exposure which may have benefits beyond Vitamin D. However, I have thought all along that Vitamin D was the most commonsense thing to take if someone is not currently taking it. Low risk, low cost, and probable benefits for most people beyond any benefit for COVID-19.

    • If Vitamin D does nothing against the virus, the benefits of ending all Vitamin D deficiencies will exceed the costs of all of the directly related virus deaths.

  23. “Comparison of France to Marseille where people are being treated with HCQ+AZ. 0.5% fatality rate compared to 21.6% nationwide.

    My foray into the French language ended in the third grade when I consistently did not respond to “attention”

  24. from Models as Public Troubles: Days after the UK policy change from mitigation to suppression, which holds out hope of a coping NHS, COVID-19 is reconstituted by the NHS as no longer a ‘high consequence infectious disease’. In response to the emerging controversy, Neil Ferguson also takes to Twitter, March 26, in an attempt to ‘clear up some confusion’ that ‘we have substantially revised our assessments of mortality impact’ which ‘is not the case’. An element in the controversy is modellers holding on to the ‘fact’ that their numbers have not changed, and that the models are not new, but that what is fluid is how the models are being publicly communicated (Financial Times Alphaville, 2020b; National Review, 2020; Horton, 2020).

    An intriguing study of “science&society&science&society”. An informed and enhanced (imo) sociological perspective.

    Among other details, it is interesting how much scientific research, opinion, and policy debate is reported through Twitter.

    • Next they will report that Trump inappropriately grabbed the anonymous Kim, 32 years ago, in a dark alley, in some city.

      • I’ve had the hair stand up on the back of my neck only twice in my life. The first time was when I was duck hunting alone on a river bank and I surprised a family of raccoons that were 6 feet from my head. The second time I was walking down a dark deserted street at 3 am in Bangkok and a husky voice softly called out from an alley “Geeeeee Eyeeeee.”

    • Politicised medicine..

  25. Hmmm.

    So Iaonnidis and co-authors are out there speculating, without providing any details or data, that their surveys undersampled people who would test positive.

    Here’s a Baysean analysis of that question.

  26. I apologize to all lost faith in you.Evidently they put what you did yesterday in today’s numbers.

  27. Right now tomorrow”s number ot tests is 1,276,062. OH ME OF LITTLE FAITH.

  28. Pingback: Judith Curry’s Covid-19 Discussion Thread: “Interesting papers I’ve spotted over the past week”-May 19, 2020…(Like, Covid-19 fatality rate remains 1% in Senegal which continues broad use of hydroxychloroquine “despite warnings

  29. Oops.

    > STOCKHOLM (Reuters) – A Swedish study found that just 7.3 percent of Stockholmers developed COVID-19 antibodies by late April, which could fuel concern that a decision not to lock down Sweden against the pandemic may bring little herd immunity in the near future.

  30. Rapid peer review of Ioannidis’ paper:

  31. Rapid peer review of Ioannidis’ paper:

  32. A poll of likely voters in selected swing states.

    Will there be a second wave of COVID19?

    Definitely/Probably. DEM/LEAN DEM. 94%. GOP/ LEAN GOP. 21%

    Probably Not. DEM/LEAN DEM. 1%. GOP/LEAN GOP. 29%

    Perhaps depends on what the meaning of the word WAVE is.
    Also, which source of biased news you are addicted to.

  33. “Smokers less likely to fall ill with COVID19”

    The most counter intuitive statement of the pandemic.

  34. Have stayed out of this as very impressed with Rudd’s early informative and prognostic writings.
    However a Sweden Switzerland comparison has been raised elsewhere and I felt a couple of important points are being overlooked .
    ” Sweden has managed to hold the epidemic at a steady level, a little over 50 new cases per day per million population. That’s enough to strain the health care system, but not break it. What they’re doing now only holds the outbreak at bay; loosening will let it escape.”
    There are so many imponderables to consider.
    Tamino and the Swiss put a good case for strict controls to reduce and hopefully eliminate the disease.
    New Zealand even better.
    China also.
    But being persnickety as usual I would still like to raise the following points for consideration.
    1. Which will be the long term best path for the people and the country.
    This does depend on a lot of variables including both vaccines and mutation of the virus.
    2. Why the immense differences in both true infection rates and true death rates in different countries to date.
    3. What will the depth of penetration be for the population in general and for individual countries specifically.
    This is not being touched on but is vitally important for proper use of the statistics as Tamino would possibly agree.
    Finally for the statisticians, Testing has both sensitivity and specificity rates and it is amazing [unbelievable actually but great] that so many tests are now being produced in such a short time. However it comes with a kicker.
    False positives are an issue.
    Not so much in sick people where a high level of correlation is expected and a misdiagnosis is not going to alter the management for people who are severely ill.
    But in the issue of general population testing in a resolving situation the likelihood of any positive test being truly positive, Say in New Zealand is highly unlikely.
    Would like to comment further on Sweden Switzerland alternatives if possible.”

    • False negatives are a real thing as well. I was just on the phone with a client who has an employee showing all the symptoms, but a negative test result. She doesn’t believe the test and is staying far away from anyone.
      But others might consider a negative test result to be permission to visit grandma.

      Interesting that you could argue that she “trusts science” with either decision and that she “ignores science” with either decision. Funny how that works.

  35. While experimenting with the properties of conventional epidemiological equations, I observed a somewhat unexpected behavior wrt social distance modeling by changing the I->S feedback rate constant, k1.

    Abruptly decreasing this rate prior to the epidemiological maximum shows a perhaps anticipated decrease in infections followed by a secondary peak should excessive constraint have been applied. When, however, constraints are altered after the peak has passed, only minor changes are seen even when this rate is doubled, a shift of at most a few days in the recovery period. (The conventional parameter, Ro, equals 10 k1.) Details are in the Notebook.

    Has anyone noted or suggested this quantitative effect?

  36. Video where epidemiologists go into seroprevalence sampling, and discuss the Santa Clara study in particular. Bottom line, the. Santa Clara study is garbage.

    Real stain on Ioannidis’ reputation. It’s a travesty that they launched a massive media campaign based on the preprint for that study.

    • If you have anything more definitive I will take a look. I don’t think this Swedish number is accurate. Nic just explained to you that its actually 20%. Twitter is a garbage forum. It is possible that herd immunity can happen when 20% are infected and recovered as Nic’s model suggests.

      Further is those 20% are concentrated among those most susceptible, the apparent IFR can be much higher than the age adjusted IFR.

  37. These people must be crazy. Haven’t they heard about the warnings that HCQ “touted” by Orange Man Bad can kill you, dead?

    Global clinical trial of 40,000+ healthcare workers begins to test in UK if chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine can prevent COVID-19

    • Obviously, the risk to people who are sick with COVID, or old, or old and sick with COVID, or with comorbidities, or sick with COVID and with comorbidities, or old and with comorbidities, or sick with COVID and with comorbidities and who are old, are different than just a notion of “Just take it, wuddya have to lose?” ignorance coming out of the most powerful person in the world with millions of dedicated followers who look to him for leadership.

      But we certainly shouldn’t expect toadies and sycophants (i. e., cult members) to acknowledge those differences, eh?

      • Don Monfort

        You’re stuttering, while lying. That’s at least a misdemeanor. Doctors all over the world had been giving HCQ to COVID 19 patients, old, co-morbid with blah blah blah, before POTUS and Most Powerful Man in the World, Donald J. Trump, ever heard of it. We all know that you want it to fail at saving lives, because Orange Man Bad. How can you stand yourself?

      • Curious George

        “Just take it, wuddya have to lose?” Joshua – please explain what’s wrong with it.

      • George –

        We can’t even really know yet what level of risk it has to people suffering from COVID, particularly if they are of advanced age or with comorbidities.

        So the risks as compared to non-infected, younger people people who just take it as a profylaxis is unknown.

        Use as a widespread profylaxis is also not without risk. No way to know yet if it is worth any benefit.

        So Trump saying “Whattya got to lose?” may be sub-optimal (or beneficial) but definitely misleading. He doesn’t know. So it’s a misleading question. It implies that he knows there’s nothing to lose. He doesn’t know that.

        IMO, better he just stick to something like, consult with your doctor.”

    • Don Monfort:

      thank you for the link.

      I have the classic cognitive dissonants (or dissonant cognitions): I am hoping for a good positive result, but expecting a negligible effect tied up in confounders.

      • Don Monfort

        You are amazing. All the complaining you have done about docs not conducting formal randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled trials, you just learn of a huge Gold Standard trial, and you immediately conjure up a negligible effect tied up in confounders. You are confounded.

        What confounders do you imagine could confound a Gold Standard trial involving 40,000 health care professionals with a binary outcome: they either get sick with COVID 19, or they don’t. I know you will think of something. I’ll get you started:

        Well maybe the randomization is not really randomly randomized, maybe one arm is taller than the other, maybe one arm is seeing sicker patients who shed more viruses, maybe they forgot something yadda yadda yadda

        Anyway, if this huge Gold Standard trial doesn’t do it for you there are about 200 other trials underway.

      • Don Monfort: You are amazing.

        Yes. I hope for good supportive results, but have much experience with disappointing results, and the evidence regarding HCQ to date is poor.

        As you noted, the evidence against comes from studies with biased assignment: HCQ given preferentially to people in advanced stages of the disease. So you know about confounders. They can cut both ways.

      • Don Monfort

        You must not have read the protocol of this trial. Or, you don’t understand it. Or, maybe 40,000 subjects is not big enough. Or, whatever. For someone who is always harping on the necessity of clinical trials, you indicate having very little confidence in trials being able to produce reliable results.

      • Don Monfort: you indicate having very little confidence in trials being able to produce reliable results.

        Led by the University of Oxford and Wellcome supported Mahidol Oxford Tropical Medicine Research Unit (MORU) in Bangkok, Thailand, the COPCOV study is a double-blind, randomised, placebo-controlled trial that will enrol 40,000+ frontline healthcare workers and staff from Europe, Africa, Asia and South America who have close contact with patients with COVID-19 to determine definitively if chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine are effective in preventing COVID-19.

        That sounds good if they are able to maintain the random assignment and double-blinding throughout the study. A propensity score analysis will show whether they likely obtained the balance of confounders that they aimed for. Random assignment does not guarantee a lack of balanced confounders, only that confounding is not built-in. RCTs are not exempt from Murphy’s Law.

        Confidence that HCQ works is different from confidence that an RCT can get a clear result. I am more confident of the latter than the former, but our confidence as observers isn’t worth anything.

      • Don Monfort

        “RCTs are not exempt from Murphy’s Law.” I bet they know that.

        Unless the clinicians involved are significantly incompetent, the size of the trial should ameliorate possible effects of minor confounding whatevers.

        One big issue I see is that the health care professional subjects will know whether they are being given HCQ, or a placebo, as I would. I’ll let you work out what could result from that.

        Anyway, at the end of the trial they will have somewhat less than 20,000 subjects in each of the two arms. If HCQ works as I hope and anticipate, there will be a clear difference in the rate of COVID 19 infections, between the treatment arm and placebo arm. But I expect to know the answer before this trial is halfway finished, from the results of some of the 200 other ongoing trials.

        If good HCQ results start rolling in, they will eliminate the placebo arm of the trial we are discussing and give everybody the miracle cure “touted” by POTUS Donald J. Trump.

        My confidence as an observer of drug trials has been worth a lot to me. Just this Monday, I sold my Sorrento stock for a huge profit. It’s a good company. I’ll probably buy back in when the price is sensible. That’s how we do it, mattie.

  38. If you own any stocks of Chinese companies listed on U.S exchanges, you should read this:

    Finally looks like something is going to be done about the lack of compliance with U.S. securities accounting requirements that Chinese companies have gotten away with forever. The Obama-Biden syndicate continued to give them a pass after this big and continuing scandal blew up (see recent Luckin Coffee):

    I told you all about this back in the day. We made a lot of money shorting that crap. Is this another golden opportunity?

  39. DATE NEW CASES increase % # TESTS
    5/10/2020 24,835 -2,878 -10.3 287,829
    5/11/2020 21,122 -3,713 -14.9 540,847
    5/12/2020 19,534 -1,588 -7.5 164,139
    5/13/2020 23,704 4,170 21.3 340,173
    5/14/2020 21,710 -1,994 -8.4 340,721
    5/15/2020 29,276 7,566 25.8 385,164
    5/16/2020 25,812 -3,464 -11.8 433,742
    5/17/2020 20,716 -5,096 -19.7 860,733
    5/18/2020 18,631 -2,103 -10.1 576,617
    5/19/2020 23,764 5,133 27.5 477,701
    5/20/2020 18,882 -4,882 20.5 357,771
    5/21/2020 24,816 5,234 31.4 1,501,704
    24,816 is 1.6% of total tests

  40. At 12:00 PM CDT the total tests was 14,282,478. Now at 12:45 PM CDT the total tests is 13,204,356. I believ somebody out there does not want the general public to know how well you are doing!!!

  41. Here’s what Sweden’s first coronavirus antibody tests tell us

  42. The Unspoken Reason for Lockdowns
    Governments cannot openly admit that the “controlled easing” of COVID-19 lockdowns in fact means controlled progress toward so-called herd immunity to the virus. Much better, then, to pursue this objective silently, under a cloud of obfuscation, and hope that a vaccine will arrive before most of the population gets infected.

    Dr. Jay Bhattacharya: His new MLB COVID-19 Study and the Dilemma of the Lockdown

  43. Exclusive: A quarter of Americans are hesitant about a coronavirus vaccine – Reuters/Ipsos poll
    A quarter of Americans have little or no interest in taking a coronavirus vaccine, a Reuters/Ipsos poll published on Thursday found, with some voicing concern that the record pace at which vaccine candidates are being developed could compromise safety.
    While health experts say a vaccine to prevent infection is needed to return life to normal, the survey points to a potential trust issue for the Trump administration already under fire for its often contradictory safety guidance during the pandemic.
    Some 36% of respondents said they would be less willing to take a vaccine if U.S. President Donald Trump said it was safe, compared with only 14% who would be more interested.

    Divided by COVID-19: Democratic U.S. areas hit three times as hard as Republican ones
    As America’s response to the coronavirus pandemic splits along partisan lines, a Reuters analysis may help explain why: Death rates in Democratic areas are triple those in Republican ones
    By Wednesday, U.S. counties that voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton in the 2016 presidential election reported 39 coronavirus deaths per 100,000 residents, according to an analysis of demographic and public health data.
    In counties that voted for Republican Donald Trump, 13 of every 100,000 people had died from the virus.

    • More Than Stimulus Checks: How Covid-19 Relief Might Include Mandated Vaccines
      Should a coronavirus vaccine be developed, students may hesitate to return to campus if their peers refuse to get vaccinated. But refusing a coronavirus vaccine may be illegal.
      “If you refuse to be vaccinated, the state has the power to literally take you to a doctor’s office and plunge a needle into your arm,” explained Alan Dershowitz in an interview earlier this week.

      • The real question in this possibility is this:

        If you are vaccinated, why are you afraid of those who are not ?

        Surely it’s not because you think the vaccine may not be effective. If it is not, you remain as unprotected as those who are not vaccinated. If it is effective, those who are unvaccinated cannot harm you.

        [I do vaccinate since I prefer not to catch whatever nasty the vaccine is meant to protect. Those who prefer not to are entitled to their choice since it does not harm the vaccinated]

    • Curious George

      “Democratic counties in 36 of the 50 U.S. states collectively reported higher death rates than Republican counties.” Is there any other factor than avoidance of HCQ in play?

  44. Sunetra Gupta: Covid-19 is on the way out
    The author of the Oxford model defends her view that the virus has passed through the UK’s population

  45. > Trump says he won’t wear a mask in front of cameras

    Doesn’t want his orange makeup to get smudged.

    • He’s trolling the media by not wearing a mask. The first step of breaking from the left and right is to say no. It is to disagree. To not care about criticism.

  46. Easier format for reading the deconstruction of Ioannidis’ meta-analysis:

    • Nobody is going to read that. Your vendetta against Dr. Ioannidis is not interesting, in any format.

  47. Curious George

    “Around one in six people in London … have already had coronavirus” []
    Remarkably, it is also a ratio of infected sailors on the USS Theodore Roosevelt. Are we sure that the virus infects everybody?

  48. The LWN’s will be embarrassed when HCQ proves to be a valuable treatment in the not-too-distant future. The press will try to bury it, but it won’t work. We are on to them :)

  49. Your link is very weak Josh. Many of the “objections” were things Ioannidis tried to correct for. Ioannidis is widely respected. I’m more likely to believe him than this twitter tweeter. People who are very competent often avoid twitter because its a garbage forum.

  50. Simple numbers:

    … low estimate of 0.18% makes MUCH more sense than a minimum of 0.02% for IFR

    Why? Well, take New York. ~16,000 deaths in a city of 8.4 million means that if every single person has been infected the IFR would be 0.19%

    Now, everyone calls NYC an outlier, and perhaps it is, but if you repeat this calculation for other places in the States, the same chilling thing happens:

    Massachusetts: 0.9%
    New Jersey: 0.12%
    Connecticut: 0.1%

    The same is true of other places overseas – Lombardy has a total death toll of 0.16%, Madrid is around the same, even London is above 0.1% dead due to COVID-19

    It seems INCREDIBLY unlikely, at this point, for the IFR to be below 0.1%


    Get that? If EVERYONE in those places were infected, the low bound would be higher than John’s. And in NY, some significant % has left the city, so that’s even an underestimate.

    For the country as a whole, if you were to assume a 6% infection rate, just based on the deaths we’ve had already you’d get to a 0.5% IFR.

    Watch this is you sill think these people are doing decent work – it’s a stain on John’s good career.

    They had a participation rate of 7% for their Facebook recruitment. They assume the participants were representative – a dubious assumption (if only because people had to drive to get to the testing sites – but there could be many reasons). If they weren’t representative, then their CI could go from 0.1% – 93.1%

    It’s ugly.

    • Not that it’s to your point but 16,000 for NYC is actually over 20,000. Go to worldometer then USA then NY then to counties then add up 5 boroughs in NYC, including Richmond (Staten Island). I wouldn’t want Son of Mario to pull a fast one on you.

    • Well Josh, There is a lot of data out there that seems inconsistent with low IFR’s. That much is true.
      1. Most of it is from hot spots where the medical system was strained.
      2. Not a lot of attention has been paid to how accurate the death counts are. In New York City there are about 16,000 test positive deaths and 4700 “presumed” deaths.
      3. We simply don’t know how many died “with” covid19 and how many died “because of” covid19. Since this disease seems to strike those who are already ill very hard, that becomes a judgment call.
      4. In any case, reports indicates that Birx seems to believe that the death numbers are inflated perhaps by 25%.
      5. Recently Colorado (Dem governor) revised their data and lowered the covid19 death toll by 25%.
      6. It’s quite possible that in New York, physicians simply didn’t have time to thoughtfully fill out death certificates and that in any case, charts might not have been well maintained making it difficult to accurately record cause of death. I think statistics would be more accurate in a place like Florida where there are orders of magnitude fewer deaths.
      7. I read somewhere that there were financial incentives for hospitals to record deaths as due to covid19 because reimbursement rates were higher. Haven’t verified that so its a single source.

      So I don’t know the answer here, but I think part is the answer is that death numbers tend to get inflated in hot spots and may be 25% too high across the board.

  51. Seroprevalence:

    Spain ~5%
    Italy ~5%
    Sweden ~5%
    Denmark ~1%
    Norway < 1%

  52. Postmortem examinations following COVID-19 deaths:

    Only 10 decedents, but I thought it remarkable that there was no liver damage or kidney damage of the sort that would pervert HCQ pharmacokinetics.

    • I was going to post this last week, but I didn’t know if anybody would be interested in gory details w/photos. Just for you:

      If link doesn’t work, youtube title:

      12 Autopsy Cases Reveal TRUTH About How Patients Die From Coronavirus | COVID-19

  53. This notion thsr COVID-19 is just like the seasonal flu is nuts.

    If NYC has 22k deaths out of 8 million people (actually, fewer people, as many left the city), the IFR is 0.275%.


    If 20% have been infected, as shown in the seroprevalence survey a whole back the rate is 1.37%.

    If 40% have been infected, it’s 0.69%

    If 60% have been infected, it’s 0.45%

    If no one else in the country dies, and 5% of the country has been infected, the IFR is 0.61%.

    If 10% of the country has been infected, the IFR is 0.30%

    Do you think 10% of the entire country has been infected – 33,000,000 people? They say that the asymptomatic rate might be 50%. We have 1.6 million cases identified (some small % of which would be asymptomatic). Do you think we have identified only one out of 20 cases?

    This is simple math. What is wrong with you people?

  54. Seroprevalence has Italy at 5%. With 32,000 dead that equals a 1.0% IFR,

    If no one else dies.

  55. Seroprevalence has Spain at 5%. If no one else dies, that’s an IFR of 1.12%

    If no one else dies.

  56. Seroprevalence has Denmark at 1%.

    If no one else dies that puts the IFR at 0.96%

    If no one else dies.

    Double the seroprevalence. That puts the IFR at 0.48%

    In Denmark. If no one else dies.

  57. The CDC has best estimate of a CASE FATALITY of 0.4%

    Their worst case has the CFR – not IFR – at 1%.

    I certainly hope they’re right.

    • It’s difficult not to draw the analogy of 1968.

      COVID-19 CFR may be similar or lower than that of the Hong Kong flu.

      If so, the ‘lockdown’ reaction may indeed be a panicked reaction which has ultimately caused net harm.

      Of course, the human population is older and fatter than it was in 1968.

      We can’t change the past, but young people are paying dearly for saving relatively few if even one life-year of the aged and infirm.

      • TE –

        Seems to me much easier to get a feel for a case fatality rate at this early stage than an infection fatality rate, and looking at the rates with the numbers identified thus far they seem waaay low.

        Just based in the raw numbers, I find that figure implausible. And it certainly seems to lie well outside most of the analyses I’ve seen. But I’m also reluctant to just dismiss what the CDC has to say.

      • I commented on this above. I believe that in Italy for example, where the hospitals were overwhelmed, IFR’s will be much higher.

  58. Tamino discusses comparisons of different methods.
    This led to my musings on the issue.
    ” recent measures in Sweden to loosen yet more, are ill advised. What they’re doing now only holds the outbreak at bay; loosening will let it escape”’.
    recent reports suggest this may be happening but there are some positive aspects.
    To recap, The more infection there is, in that part of the population prone to infection, the sooner the virus will be able to slow down due to the human immune system.
    There are at least 2 different factors at play to consider in looking at an approach which will lessen the disease and still save elderly people’s lives if we are unable to develop a vaccine.
    This is the critical issue.
    Herd Immunity of sorts.
    Degradation of the disease by mutation.
    A vaccine.
    Or other non vaccine treatments that might mitigate the viral effects.

    I am sure there are others but the what if is if we do not develop an effective usable vaccine or vaccines.

    In that case the Sweden /Switzerland comparison you discuss assumes vital importance.

    The proper strategy pari passu is the Swedish model not the Swiss.
    All your comments are on target but for the fact that if we cannot get a vaccine we remain permanently at risk of reinfections. The Swiss model does not obviate this, it makes it worse.
    The Swedish model offers some hope of eventual recovery to a near normal lifestyle whereas the Swiss model puts there country at permanent risk of serious future outbreaks and the continuation of severe restrictions on peoples lives..

    The best model is as always a combination of the best from both models.
    Let the younger safe population get exposed to and recover from what is in their cases no more than a bad cold.
    Keep the elderly and at risk populations in the more socially isolated lifestyle.
    Yes there will be increased deaths from the corona vurus in the short and medium time frames for the first 3-12 months.
    But less deaths and poverty and lack of medical treatment forgetting totally about economic devastation. After 12 months the herd immunity will mean seasonally adjusted less deaths and smaler outbreaks that will continue to plague a country like Switzerland for many years.

    Like so many topics people, like mathematics, split into 2 main groups in their response to any dilemma. Fight or flight. Sanitise or exposure. It is almost impossible to change the gut feelings to danger that we show or the divarication until the benefits of one or other approach become more evident.
    In my opinion the answers will not become evident for 2 years but I expect the greater herd immunity of those countries who knowingly or unknowingly exposed themselves to a greater amount of virus in the population must, medically, do better in the long run.

    Finally there is a chance that the virus may mutate to less virulent forms * but it is more likely to do this in the setting of widespread exposure to develop more of the less virulent forms. An unexpected blessing and reason to encourage some controlled spread.

    * Yes. but more virulent is less likely.
    Thank you for your presentation.

    Hope you do not mind comments crossing sites when relevant, Judith.

  59. “A recent review that included 11,321 people from 14 countries demonstrated that supplementing with vitamin D decreased the risk of acute respiratory infections (ARI) in both those who were deficient in vitamin D and those with adequate levels.”

    I do not understand why the right is not hammering on this? Who is against sufficient vitamin D levels?

  60. The “Wearing a mask can reduce coronavirus transmission by 75% [link]” is a study in HAMSTERS.

    I was once a “Hamster Rancher” — known in the NY area wholesale pet business as “The Hamster Man”. In those years I raised untold thousands of hamsters — and have never known one hamster to sneeze…..

    I have serious doubts that hamsters are wearing masks.

    • The Study – Wearing a mask can reduce coronavirus transmission by 75% [link] –

      If the risk of transmission of Covid19 is moderate or high in the particular environment, then a 75% reduction in transmission is probably a valid estimate. If the risk of transmission of the virus is low (or non existent ) in the partiular environment, then the 75% reduction is probably very over stated. Even if true, if in a low risk environment, the marginal benefit of wearing a mask is extremely small.

      In the mask is providing a moderate to high level of marginal benefit in the particular environment , then the risk of transmission that environment is high enough that that particular eniromnet should be closed.

      • Kip Hansen

        Joe ==> How they would have established this using Hamsters as study subjects I can’t fathom…..and I know far more about hamsters than I ever wanted to know.

    • Robert Austin

      The hamsters were not wearing masks, the “masks” were put over their cages. What a farce! A mask placed over the face is subject to the high positive and negative pressures of respiration. One can literally suck or blow those sub 2.5 micron virus particles through the mask with almost no restriction. Confidence in the efficacy of masks may lead to over-confidence that social distancing is for those without masks.

  61. Latest from The Lancet:

    Abstract: Methods We did a multinational registry analysis of the use of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19. The registry comprised data from 671 hospitals in six continents. We included patients hospitalised between Dec 20, 2019, and April 14, 2020, with a positive laboratory finding for SARS-CoV-2. Patients who received one of the treatments of interest within 48 h of diagnosis were included in one of four treatment groups (chloroquine alone, chloroquine with a macrolide, hydroxychloroquine alone, or hydroxychloroquine with a
    macrolide), and patients who received none of these treatments formed the control group. Patients for whom one of the treatments of interest was initiated more than 48 h after diagnosis or while they were on mechanical ventilation, as well as patients who received remdesivir, were excluded. The main outcomes of interest were in-hospital mortality and the occurrence of de-novo ventricular arrhythmias (non-sustained or sustained ventricular tachycardia or ventricular fibrillation).

    Findings 96032 patients (mean age 53·8 years, 46·3% women) with COVID-19 were hospitalised during the study period and met the inclusion criteria. Of these, 14 888 patients were in the treatment groups (1868 received
    chloroquine, 3783 received chloroquine with a macrolide, 3016 received hydroxychloroquine, and 6221 received hydroxychloroquine with a macrolide) and 81 144 patients were in the control group. 10698 (11·1%) patients died in hospital. After controlling for multiple confounding factors (age, sex, race or ethnicity, body-mass index, underlying cardiovascular disease and its risk factors, diabetes, underlying lung disease, smoking, immunosuppressed condition, and baseline disease severity), when compared with mortality in the control group (9·3%), hydroxychloroquine
    (18·0%; hazard ratio 1·335, 95% CI 1·223–1·457), hydroxychloroquine with a macrolide (23·8%; 1·447, 1·368–1·531), chloroquine (16·4%; 1·365, 1·218–1·531), and chloroquine with a macrolide (22·2%; 1·368, 1·273–1·469) were each independently associated with an increased risk of in-hospital mortality. Compared with the control group (0·3%), hydroxychloroquine (6·1%; 2·369, 1·935–2·900), hydroxychloroquine with a macrolide (8·1%; 5·106, 4·106–5·983), chloroquine (4·3%; 3·561, 2·760–4·596), and chloroquine with a macrolide (6·5%; 4·011, 3·344–4·812) were independently associated with an increased risk of de-novo ventricular arrhythmia during hospitalisation.

    Interpretation We were unable to confirm a benefit of hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine, when used alone or with a macrolide, on in-hospital outcomes for COVID-19. Each of these drug regimens was associated with decrease

    Part of the propensity score analysis (do check table 2):

    For each treatment group, a separate matched control was identified using exact and propensity-score matched criteria with a calliper of 0·001. This method was used to provide a close approximation of demographics,
    comorbidities, disease severity, and baseline medications between patients. The propensity score was based on the following variables: age, BMI, gender, race or ethnicity, comorbidities, use of ACE inhibitors, use of statins, use of angiotensin receptor blockers, treatment with other antivirals, qSOFA score of less than 1, and SPO2 of less than 94% on room air. The patients were well matched, with standardised mean difference estimates of less than
    10% for all matched parameters.

    • And another one that doesn’t ….

      “In summary, this multinational, observational, real-world study of patients with COVID-19 requiring hospitalisation found that the use of a regimen containing hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine (with or without a macrolide) was associated with no evidence of benefit, but instead was associated with an increase in the risk of ventricular arrhythmias and a greater hazard for in-hospital death with COVID-19. These findings suggest that these drug regimens should not be used outside of clinical trials and urgent confirmation from randomised clinical trials is needed.”

      • Don Monfort

        toney, toney

        Very likely that is as far as you got. Down at the bottom, it says:

        “Our study has several limitations. The association of decreased survival with hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine treatment regimens should be interpreted cautiously. Due to the observational study design, we cannot exclude the possibility of unmeasured confounding factors, although we have reassuringly noted consistency between the primary analysis and the propensity score matched analyses. Nevertheless a cause-and-effect relationship between drug therapy and survival should not be inferred. These data do not apply to the use of any treatment regimen in the ambulatory, out-of-hospital setting. Randomized clinical trials will be required before any conclusion can be reached regarding benefit or harm of these agents in COVID 19 patients.”

        This is another retrospective study. Not a randomized, double-blind, placebo controlled clinical trial. Still, it is a sizable study and seems to be successful enough in matching the treatment and control arms for obvious possible confounding factors. But there are limitations, as the authors state and some oddities that don’t add up, in my very humble opinion.

        They are way too vague about the severity/significance of the ventricular arrythmias:

        “We also note that although we evaluated the relationship of the drug treatment regimen with the occurrence of ventricular arrythmia, we did not measure QT intervals, nor did we stratify the arrythmia pattern (such as torsade de pointe).”

        Why not? This is one of the two main outcomes under investigation in the study. Deadly cardiac toxicity is supposed to be a big deal with these chloroquine drugs. A QT prolongation possibly leads to ventricular arrythmia, a brief ventricular arrythmia is a relative hiccup, a torsade de pointe can put a patient in the ground. There is no good reason for not citing the QT prolongation data, or for not stratifying the severity of the arrythmia incidents. They also, as far as I could tell, did not mention any patients being taken off the CQ or HCQ regimens, due to QT prolongation, or ventricular arrythmias. They have linked zero deaths to side effects of the drugs. They have failed to provide any useful information, on the safety issue. And they admit it:

        “We also did not establish if the association of increased risk of in-hospital deaths with use of the drug regimen is linked directly to their cardiac risk, nor did we conduct drug-dose response analysis of the observed risks.”

        I suspect that the trial arms were not well matched with regards to initial severity. The study authors calculated a qSOFA score and used SPO2 data to retrospectively assess and classify severity. What we would like to know is how was the severity of these patients’ illnesses evaluated by the docs, who examined them and made the decision, within 48 hours of diagnosis, to treat them with ” WARNING DANGEROUS” chloroquine drugs.

        There are 201 HCQ_COVID 19 prospective clinical trials underway, as of about a minute ago. I’ll wait.

      • Don Monfort

        This is how the left loon TDS media reports the trial results:

        Hydroxychloroquine linked to deaths and heart risks in new COVID-19 study after Trump touted and claimed to be taking the drug

      • Don Monfort

        Points out more flaws in this retrospective study that has the virus cheerleaders all giddy:

    • Really, Matthew, you find that “testimony” credible?

    • Pat Cassen: Really, Matthew, you find that “testimony” credible?


      Look at the Lancet article I cited just above it.

  62. A discussion of declining rates of change, with comments on geographic heterogeniety:

    Item 1 tries to throw a wet blanket on enthusiasm for vaccines.

  63. I did an analysis demonstrating Ioannidis’ statements about IFR because its quite obvious that apparent values will vary over a large range depending on the risk groups infected. That’s why the estimates from serological studies include demographic information are the best ones.

    I will start with Ferguson’s age cohort IFR estimates. Virtually every serologic study in the US shows his IFR’s are at least a factor of 2 too high. This gives me the following values. I have combined the 1-0 and 10-19 cohorts and the 20-19 and 30-39 cohorts.

    Age cohort. IFR. % of US population
    1. 0-19 0.002% 27%
    2. 20-49 0.0275% 28%
    3. 50-59 0.3% 14%
    4. 60-69 1.1% 14%
    5. 70-79 2.5% 11%
    6. 80-90 4.6% 4.2%
    Total IFR: 0.67%

    Its now easy to do some calculations on apparent IFR’s depending on the age profile of those infected. For reference, in the US, expected mortality is about 2,840,000 per annum.

    Scenario. #0
    Age cohort % infected. Fatalities. Infections
    1. 10% 2282 8,900,000
    2. 20%. 5,082 18,500,000
    3. 30%. 41,580 13,900,000
    4. 40%. 203,280 18,500,000
    5. 60%. 544,500 21,780,000
    6. 80%. 510,048 11,088,000
    Totals 1,306,772 92,668,000
    Apparent IFR: 1.41%

    Scenario. #1
    Age cohort % infected. Fatalities. Infections
    1. 10% 2282 8,900,000
    2. 20%. 5,082 18,500,000
    3. 30%. 41,580 13,900,000
    4. 35%. 177,870 16,200,000
    5. 40%. 370,260 14,520,000
    6. 45%. 255,042 5,544,000
    Totals 852,116. 77,564,000
    Apparent IFR: 1.10%

    Scenario. #2
    Age cohort % infected. Fatalities. Infections
    1. 40% 7128 35,640,000
    2. 30%. 7,623 27,720,000
    3. 20%. 27,720 9,240,000
    4. 15%. 69,300 6,300,000
    5. 10%. 90,750 3,630,000
    6. 5%. 31,878 693,000
    Totals 234,399. 76,593,000
    Apparent IFR: 0.31%

    This also demonstrates the imperative to protect nursing homes from infection. It appears in the US that 40% of all fatalities have taken place in residents of these homes. Some governors like DeSantos in Florida did a good job. Others in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania did a terrible job and cost tens of thousands of lives. This also explains the apparently higher IFR in these locales and the much lower IFR in Florida.

    CFR’s are much more uncertain because of massive differences in rates of testing.

    Ioannidis is aware of all this and is attempting to correct his numbers based on the available data on age structure of those tested. So far the only critique I’ve seen was on the garbage twitter forum. More work needs to be done. However, I tend to trust someone with no political motivation and with scores of collaborators and a sterling reputation more than outsiders who know little.

  64. DATE NEW CASES increase % # TESTS
    5/10/2020 24,835 -2,878 -10.3 287,829
    5/11/2020 21,122 -3,713 -14.9 540,847
    5/12/2020 19,534 -1,588 -7.5 164,139
    5/13/2020 23,704 4,170 21.3 340,173
    5/14/2020 21,710 -1,994 -8.4 340,721
    5/15/2020 29,276 7,566 25.8 385,164
    5/16/2020 25,812 -3,464 -11.8 433,742
    5/17/2020 20,716 -5,096 -19.7 860,733
    5/18/2020 18,631 -2,103 -10.1 576,617
    5/19/2020 23,764 5,133 27.5 477,701
    5/20/2020 18,882 -4,882 20.5 357,771
    5/21/2020 24,816 5,234 31.4 1,501,704
    5/22/2020 27,559 2,743 11 429,222
    27,559 is 6.4% of total tests.
    The jail break has begun. Colleges are closed. Remember the spring breakers. They are unleashed. Lord help us all.

  65. Dr. Birx is is on CSPAN now talking about how well you have done. They must think, as I do, we are at the bottom. It is only up from here.

    • They estimate the global IFR. Considering the expected variance based on available treatment and demographics it is an interesting statistical tidbit, but not particularly useful IMO. For decades, the IFR of a novel virus has been determined by seroprevalence tests.

      I am always amused when smart people say that the tests in LA County, Germany, and New York can’t all be correct since the implied IFR is so different. Why do we believe they should all be the same?

      • I agree that a global IFR is of limited value.

        The problem is thst there are a lot of people saying “This is just like a bad flu.” — and then crying “tyranny, tyranny” based on, essentially, a global IFR estimate.

        Thus, it meakes sense to vet the “global IFR” to get a sense of the number.

  66. On 4/24/2020 39,887 is 8.6% of total tests 465,986
    On 5/22/2020 27,559 is 6.4% of total tests 429,222

  67. Ioannidis meta-analysis:

    > Infection fatality rates ranged from 0.03% to 0.50% and corrected values ranged from 0.02% to 0.40%.

    If everyone in the country were infected, at 99k deaths it would be 0.03%, higher than the lower bound of his adjusted range.

    • There are a lot of confounding factors here. In New York City IFR will be higher because of a strained health care system and the high exposure rates in nursing homes and hospitals.

  68. new case counts and percent increase in the US over the past week:

    23589, 1.6%; 19891, 1.3%; 22630,1.5%; 20289, 1.3%; 21408, 1.4%;
    27733, 1.7%; 24197, 1.5%.

    1089, 2.2%; 865, 1.0%; 1003, 1.1%; 1552, 1.7%; 1461, 1.6%;
    1359, 1.4%; 1293, 1.4%.

    This looks more like an approximate steady-state, to me, than a continuing decline.

  69. UK-Weather Lass-In-Earnest

    A little piece of the jigsaw concerning immunity seems to be missing from all but the most detailed and comprehensive trace and track regimes (e.g. Iceland).

    It would IMO be very useful to know the time it takes from initial infection to the presence of immunity to the virus by a healthy individual’s unique immune system. Are antibodies necessary for short term immunity from reinfection or do they slowly but surely develop for longer term protection from reinfection?

    I do not get the feeling we know these things about most influenza seasons let alone SARS-CoV-2 and perhaps we should.


    • With vaccine, I have always heard that 2 weeks are needed. So likely that would be the case with infection of actual virus – 2 weeks from infection. But that is just a guess.

      • dougbadgero

        One seroprevalence test I looked at, Roche I believe, had a 100% sensitivity after 14 days and 65% after 7 days. This was in patients who tested positive for the virus via PCR test.

  70. Long term health care facilities in Minnesota account for 81% of COVID19 deaths.
    “Minnesota long term care residents represent only about 1% of the state population, and have made up 13% of total COVID-19 cases in the state, but have made up about 81% of total deaths.”

    There have been 11 deaths age 50 and below which is 0.0003% of that cohort.

    • “Long term health care facilities in Minnesota account for 81% of COVID19 deaths”.

      Don’t you always need to qualify statements like this by adding “so far”?

      Nursing homes, prisons, meat packing plants are going to get the first intense outbreaks because they have large numbers of people in close proximity. Nursing homes will get a lot of deaths because the people in them are old and medically compromised.

      The disease will move out from these hot spots more slowly to the rest of the population over the course of 18-24 months. There will still be lot of deaths in nursing homes in the overall totals but percentages will go down as the virus moves through the general population. Some are speculating we may be heading towards an extended plateau of cases and deaths. I’m thinking in terms of 200-300K or so deaths with maybe 50-60% elderly eventually in the US unless an early vaccine becomes available.

      • One probably does need to say, So far.
        What will happen is nursing homes will evolve. People will change their behaviors.
        Home care.
        Home care was all ready increasing.
        But we could have socialized care instead and not let nursing homes evolve or behaviors change. Let’s have our politicians decide this.

      • No, Jim. It’s in past tense “have made up”. I don’t need to say, so far. It’s a given. Have you ever said anything is anything or was anything when you are talking about the future?. If I had wanted to make a point about the future, I would have put in a predicate like “It’s projected to be” or “It’s predicted”.

        C’mon maaan.

        Look at the pie chart on the right. Look at the deaths/cases ratio. It’s obvious the general population is not as at risk as nursing homes, for a number of reasons.. As I showed, just 0.0003% of those under 50 of the general population have died. Of the 87 counties in Minnesota, 55 counties have 0 (ZERO) deaths. There is a reason for zero. It’s space. Buffers of space. There are still hundreds of counties in America with 0 deaths. There are 2,500 counties out of 3,200 counties with 0 or single digit deaths. There are probably more deaths on a Brooklyn street than in the entire state of Wyoming.

        I think you are frustrated your apocalyptic predictions for Main Street America have been a dud. Just like Ferguson’s model. And unless a drastic change of events comes to pass, the UN prediction of up to 3.3 Million deaths in Africa will also fall flat. There are 3184 deaths “so far” for all of Africa, and Ethiopia, a country of 115,000,000, has been stuck at 5 deaths for quite a few days.

        If we get a spike next winter, it’s only going to be a Thumb Tack.

      • “I think you are frustrated your apocalyptic predictions for Main Street America have been a dud.”.

        This you say as we approach 100,000 deaths, hospitals in Alabama overflowing, hot spots now states like Texas, Florida. Nebraska, Oklahoma.

        That would be funny if it wasn’t.

      • James Cross: hot spots now states like Texas, Florida. Nebraska, Oklahoma.

        Texas yesterday reported 1109 new cases and 26 new deaths; Florida 2190 and 45. That is not nearly as “hot” as the North-Eastern Seaboard (e.g. Massachusetts with 80 new deaths, or new York with 124 new deaths; both with smaller populations). Alabama recorded 12 new deaths and 5178 active cases; where is the evidence for exhausted hospital capacity in Alabama?

      • James Cross: hot spots now states like Texas

        Daily New Case counts and Daily New Death counts are nearly constant over the past month in Texas:

      • Don Monfort

        “I’m thinking in terms of 200-300K or so deaths with maybe 50-60% elderly eventually in the US unless an early vaccine becomes available.”

        Wishful thinking.

      • Jim

        There are 73 counties in Nebraska without a single death. Another 8 counties have a single death. So 81 out of 93 counties have 0 or 1 deaths.

        Over 50% of Nebraska deaths have occurred in nursing homes. Eight of the counties with either the most deaths or a dramatic increase in cases have major meat packing operations, just like other hotspots across the country. Those counties also have demographic characteristics associated with employment that perhaps contribute to higher than average levels. There has also been a dramatic increase in testing in some locations.

        Add it up and you have a confluence of employment, sociological and testing factors that have been at play. The entire state has 149 deaths.

      • Jim

        Oklahoma is similar to Nebraska, in that nursing homes account for 50% of the state’s 307 COVID19 deaths. They also have had a major effort to increase testing with assistance from the National Guard related to outbreaks at meat processing facilities. Also, breakouts at correction institutions have added to the total, with expanded testing.

        It would be interesting to know how much of the increase in cases nationwide has been due to programs to test inmates. Michigan’s cases in its correctional system went up dramatically in a few days simply because the National Guard implemented an intensive testing program.

      • With just one ICU bed available, Montgomery, Alabama, is sending sick patients to Birmingham

      • Don Monfort

        OMG! It’s much worse than we thought. Hospitals in Alabama are overflowing. Except in Birmingham.

  71. latest CDC report:

    Actual data only through March, whereas April was the deadliest month so far. Table 2 is getting a lot of play.

    • Yes Matt, It’s incredibly good news. Their best estimate scenario has a symptomatic IFR of 0.4%. If we adjust that for asymptomic cases (35%) in this scenario, one gets about 0.26% for the IFR. That’s in the same range as Ioannidis and colleagues estimates based on Santa Clara and my estimate based on Miami Dade.

  72. some of the ongoing modeling projects:

    Pick your favorite. Some are updated regularly.

    The UTexas Austin graph notes apparent current/recent flattening (what I called approximate steady-state), but projects declining deaths in future.

    • Well, They seem to assume their testing sample is random but there is strong evidence its skewed to young and healthy individuals. But the issue that I think is the most serious one is the counting of “presumed” covid deaths. There is growing evidence that covid death counts are too high. Birx believes they are 25% too high. Last week Colorado lowered their count by 25%. There is also in my mind a higher chance of errors in New York City where medical professionals probably didn’t have time to accurately determine cause of death and in fact many patients may have had incomplete charts. My crude calculation at the time the serologic study was released was 0.5%.

      There is a higher chance that demographics were taken into account in the Santa Clara study and a higher chance of a random sample in Miami Dade county,

  73. (regarding transmission into and within Israel) Another preprint – take with a grain of salt:

    > A comparison between reported and model-estimated case numbers indicated high levels of transmission heterogeneity in SARS-CoV-2 spread, with between 1-10% of infected individuals resulting in 80% of secondary infections.

  74. DATE NEW CASES increase % # TESTS
    5/10/2020 24,835 -2,878 -10.3 287,829
    5/11/2020 21,122 -3,713 -14.9 540,847
    5/12/2020 19,534 -1,588 -7.5 164,139
    5/13/2020 23,704 4,170 21.3 340,173
    5/14/2020 21,710 -1,994 -8.4 340,721
    5/15/2020 29,276 7,566 25.8 385,164
    5/16/2020 25,812 -3,464 -11.8 433,742
    5/17/2020 20,716 -5,096 -19.7 860,733
    5/18/2020 18,631 -2,103 -10.1 576,617
    5/19/2020 23,764 5,133 27.5 477,701
    5/20/2020 18,882 -4,882 20.5 357,771
    5/21/2020 24,816 5,234 31.4 1,501,704
    5/22/2020 27,559 2,743 11 429,222
    5/23/2020 25,349 -2,210 -8 472,287
    Would be nice to see how many we could put in volentary isolation with 500,000 tests. Talk to yoyr co-workers again.

    • If we stay 500,000 or higher we should stay way aheat of those cases that are being made by the present.infectred.

  75. In the HCQ news:

    New Delhi: The Indian Council of Medical Research (ICMR), the country’s apex body in the field, has found that consuming the drug hydroxychloroquine reduces the chances of getting infected with Covid-19.

    • They recommend close monitoring and informed consent:

      However, in the final results of the studies (HCQ prophylaxis among 1,323 healthcare workers), the ICMR found mild adverse effects such as nausea in 8.9 per cent workers, abdominal pain in 7.3 per cent, vomiting in 1.5 per cent, low blood sugar (hypoglycaemia) in 1.7 per cent and cardio-vascular effects in 1.9 per cent.

      The advisory states the drug should be discontinued if it causes the “rare” side effects related to the heart, such as cardiomyopathy, a disease which makes it harder for heart to pump blood to the entire body, and heart-rate disorders.

      The advisory mentions that HCQ, in rare cases, can cause visual disturbance, including “blurring of vision, which is usually self-limiting and improves on discontinuation of the drug”.

      ICMR has clarified that “for the above cited reasons — heart and vision — the drug has to be given under strict medical supervision with an informed consent”.

      • Don Monfort

        That’s surprising. I would have thought they would recommend just slipping it into the water supply.

    • Looks good, but “love” might not be the right word: MUMBAI: More than half of the 10,000 policemen … [refuse to take the drug.]

    • I wonder why Judith deleted my comment. The cops who died were all in the bunch, who refused to take the HCQ. HCQ is saving lives in India. That’s why India loves it. Really, India loves it. They like it, too. They are ecstatic about it. They are enamored with it. They think it’s nice. Go to it, mattie.

  76. Climate policy based on geothermal denialism has/will cause more deaths than COVID19.

  77. Matthew R Marler

    JP Morgan economic report:

    Daily Mail claims to report on a JP Morgan analysis showing no increase in viral infection rates following end of lockdowns, but I have not found the original that they cite.

  78. Roger Knights

    Just up, here’s a Jo Nova critique of the Lancet HCQ paper:

    Hydroxychloroquine Lancet study of 96,000 Covid patients ignores Zinc, wasn’t randomized, has 12% death rate

  79. This should be a great time to accomplish a lot, but I keep finding myself distracted.

    What have you found to stay on task during this captive free time?

  80. Every time you hear a reporter or government official say WE HAD A RECORD NUMBER OF NEW CASES, pat yourself on the back and laugh. That just means you are doing a good job.

  81. This is indeed damning:

    • So said Rhett.

      Just musing.

      After you move inland from the I-95 corridor, get away from international air travel, exclude the subways, take away the nursing homes, subtract the meat processing plants, ignore the special testing programs, leave out the incarcerated, allow for the most at risk due to underlying health conditions, and consider the social habits and living arrangements of some communities, I wonder if the lockdowns were applied to the overwhelming segment of the population who weren’t the source of the most fertile territory for the virus.

    • How do you determine which state is in lock down, when did it start, when did it end?

      The problems with much this “lock down” analysis are:

      1- Many states never were in lock down or were in lock down so briefly that it may have had little or no effect. This applies to much of the South and Midwest especially.
      2- People and businesses are locking themselves down even when lock downs have been officially lifted.

      I live in the Georgia which officially is not locked down yet most restaurants and retail shops are closed or open only for take out or with other restrictions, people are wearing face masks, plexiglass is at checkouts at grocery stores, one way aisles, and 6 foot markers at checkout lines. Our pool isn’t open and 4th of July parade and fireworks have been cancelled. Most large corps are working remotely. Are we locked down or not? For all intents and purposes, in this part of the state we are still locked down.

      You can’t know anything about people’s actual behavior by whether the state is officially locked down or not.

      • “How do you determine which state is in lock down, when did it start, when did it end?”
        And how did you determine the climate is now worse and we caused at least half of the warming? Perhaps after 10 years of work, you can do that. But make no reference to the economics of wind turbines and solar panels please. But what we can learn from the climate debate is to shut down the other side.

      • James Cross: You can’t know anything about people’s actual behavior by whether the state is officially locked down or not.

        One of the issues here is whether the decrees had any effect, over and above the voluntary social distancing that preceded and succeeded them. The dates of the decrees are known; and when schools were closed, restaurants shifted to take-out only, when police started patrolling the surfers, etc. The decrees had some foolishness (putting sand in skateboard parks), and contradictions (most elective surgeries called “non-essential” but not abortions; bars open but not hair salons.)

        Another issue is the extravagance of the commentaries: the Gov of S. Dakota received much villification; Atlantic magazine published a warning that the Georgia lockdown end constituted “human sacrifice”. There were claims that the reduction in new case and death rates were entirely due to the mandated lockdowns (e.g. Tamino’s comparison of Switzerland and Sweden.)

        The evidence cited by the JP Morgan report undermines the claims that the Governor’s who issued lockdown orders achieved anything thereby.

    • USA TODAY presented the Top 50 Counties for highest per capita COVID19 cases. There are many ways of identifying the hardest hit areas and this is one, but not necessarily the best or most relevant or most useful. I would like to see an analysis of the county per capita death rate, so that might come later. Wayne County (Detroit) didn’t even make the list. I’m sure if it was Deaths Per Capita they would have.

      I analyzed their list to see if there were dominant themes or causes etc. This is what I found.

      20 counties:meat processing plants as the probable cause of the high rate.
      14 counties were in the NYC Metro Area or I-95 Corridor(Boston)
      10 counties were affected by outbreaks/intensive testing at correctional facilities
      3 counties were affected by major nursing home outbreaks
      1 County was adjacent to Navajo Nation
      1 County with major ski resort. National/International customer base
      1 County undetermined cause of outbreak

      These 50 counties had the highest per capita case rate. That is not the same as the highest infection rate. We may never know what those counties are. Most of the counties outside of NYC environs have small population bases. Some were 7k, 8k, 9k, 10k. The actual number of cases are rounding errors for major metro areas. Consequently, an outbreak at a single plant or prison or nursing home has an enormous impact on that community. Outbreaks in low population areas have a leverage effect. Because they have many cases, pressure is brought to have a more intensive program of testing, which in turn increases the cases and thus raises their per capita rate.

      One of the more interesting things I came across was the result from a major testing program at one of the prisons. They found a 98% asymptomatic rate, which is much higher than I have seen elsewhere.

      This is one way to evaluate where the so called hotspots are but it has its limitations in use for policy responses.

  82. New zealand. Very few new cases.

    1504 cases. 21 deaths. 1.39% case fatality rate.

    • Now examine the Taiwan results. You know, where the deaths/10 million are the lowest recorded (which is how pandemics are actually measured) yet they did NOT lockdown their economic life.

      C;mon, don’t be shy. Address it. Oh, and special pleading will require hard, empirical evidence, not just arm-waving.


      • Taiwan. 441 cases. 7 deaths.

        Case fatality = 1.58%.

        Assume 35% asymptomatic cases.

        595 cases, 7 deaths = 1.17% IFR.

    • What’s your theory explaining this good result? I heard on NPR, they didn’t make it political. But what is, Not political? It’s not political when I give in and say you’re right.

      What has New Zealand done for me?

      • Tons of reasons for good results overall.

        What’s hard to do is reconcile their high death rate, given the estimate of of the CDC. Perhaps they have many unidentified cases, but that seems unlikely given that their rate of symptomatic cases showing up is so low (something like zero cases at all in 5 out of the last 6 days), and they rank reasinably in testing per capita.

      • Average hours of sunshine per year of New Zealand versus Australia. High death rate. Base level of vitamin D.

      • Unlikely that the causality isn’t multi-factorial.

  83. Roger Knights

    The Coronavirus Vaccine May Not Work on the Elderly
    For those over 65, the pandemic is unlikely to end when the first vaccines arrive
    Brendan Borrell May 21 · 8 min read

  84. We all know climate versus weather. This is virus versus what people do. What people do is advised by governments at various levels of encouragement.

    The virus is, as the climate is. Weather is now, with the background of climate. Today’s stats have the background of what the virus is, plus variability, plus our managing the virus to date.

    We are trying to control the weather in this analogy.

    We are not even sure what the weather is in place A versus place B. Too complicated and non-standard data. We cannot agree on what the weather is?

    Say for instance that total deaths in a country doubles (2X) for one year from the average. But otherwise their economy continues its average rate of growth. What is the weather?

    The next country has a death rate of 1.5X yet tanks their economy for the next 3 years. What is the weather?

    The weather is my interpretation of what it is. Not some scientist’s interpretation. I have to deal with my weather. That scientist is not giving me money.

  85. All cause mortality in the liberty case of Sweden through April.

    • Notice how they conveniently include January and February which were months with few attributed CV deaths. 2017, 2018,, and 2019 had worse flu seasons Nov-Feb than 2020. 2020 was having a mild season so including those bad flu seasons with the deaths in March and April that are mostly outside of flu mask the effect of the coronavirus deaths. Straight up comparison of excess deaths in March and April show the effect of the pandemic.

      How can they focus on a week – with a seasonal virus, you must focus on the season e.g.— Ivor Cummins (@FatEmperor) May 24, 2020

      • The plot is of all cause mortality for January through April.

        If one is worried about COVID, one can worry.

        If one was worried about dying from any cause, COVID was irrelevant.

      • You have to consider the impact of COVID-19 independently.

        Imagine normal all cause, and then add COVID-19 on top. And then you have to factor in the uncertainties in the identifications. And then you have to factor in any likelihood that the numbers might have been higher absent interventions. And it’d still to early to evaluate anyway.

        Respect uncertainty.

    • Of course, there’s uncertainty with all the numbers.
      Below are the FT’s weekly data and Sweden shows a peak.

      Still, many countries don’t show significant all cause mortality risk.

      The 1968 influenza didn’t bump the all cause mortality so much either.

      • A comparison of the number of deaths from all causes in the U.S. during the first 17 weeks of 2020 reveals a higher mortality than for the same period in any of the previous five years. While the death count was comparable to previous years in the first two months of 2020, it increased rapidly in March and April. Comparisons of mortality are highly sensitive to how the data are gathered and presented, therefore any claims based on the data must always be presented in the appropriate context. Since its outbreak in the U.S., COVID-19 has claimed more lives than diabetes, suicide, or stroke.

        Using the most recent data from the CDC on the leading causes of death in the U.S. during 2017, we can see that COVID-19 claimed more lives over the 12 weeks of noticeable presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the U.S. (from week 6 through week 17) than accidents, stroke, diabetes, suicide, and other conditions (Figure 4) during an equivalent period of time%. STAT News reached a similar conclusion in an article published on 9 April, albeit with a different methodology. The fact that COVID-19 ranked third in the list of leading causes of death in the U.S. during the 12 weeks from February to the end of April shows that COVID-19 cannot be ignored as possible contributor to the unusual increase in the number of U.S. deaths, which as our calculations here demonstrate, was not “non-existent”.

      • “unusual increase in the number of U.S. deaths”

        We’re not done with this, of course.

        But US deaths year to date are 3% above 2017-2019 mean, which is probably at the noise level.

        And, the profile of COVID fatalities are old and with metabolic syndrome.
        Such conditions were more conducive to death by the end of the year as it was and may not be ‘unexpected’ deaths.

  86. (echoing pdcarey above)

  87. DATE NEW CASES increase % # TESTS
    5/10/2020 24,835 -2,878 -10.3 287,829
    5/11/2020 21,122 -3,713 -14.9 540,847
    5/12/2020 19,534 -1,588 -7.5 164,139
    5/13/2020 23,704 4,170 21.3 340,173
    5/14/2020 21,710 -1,994 -8.4 340,721
    5/15/2020 29,276 7,566 25.8 385,164
    5/16/2020 25,812 -3,464 -11.8 433,742
    5/17/2020 20,716 -5,096 -19.7 860,733
    5/18/2020 18,631 -2,103 -10.1 576,617
    5/19/2020 23,764 5,133 27.5 477,701
    5/20/2020 18,882 -4,882 20.5 357,771
    5/21/2020 24,816 5,234 31.4 1,501,704
    5/22/2020 27,559 2,743 11 429,222
    5/23/2020 25,349 -2,210 -8 472,287
    5/24/2020 19,173 -6,176 24.3 368,126
    19,173 is 5.1% of total tests.
    Today is the 14th day. In the last 14 days you have removed 320,048 into isolation.
    Tomorrow is Veteran’s day. Thank-you
    In the next 7 days lets see how close you can come to what you did 3 days ago. Only we can open the country. Put as many asymptomatic into self isolation with a record number of tests. It would be enjoyable to hear the newss media say every day we have a record number of new cases!!!

  88. SteveF at lucia’s made an interesting calculation.

    The NY [serologic] results were announced on April 24, the testing took place in the week before, and the positive individuals would had to have been infected no later than 2 weeks before… so about 160,000 symptomatic cases by then… making the asymptomatic cases about 15 times more prevalent than symptomatic cases. That means right now the people in NYC are likely approaching 50% seropositive! No wonder the new cases are falling.

    Assuming the same ratio, at the moment NY has had 5.56 million infections or 28.5% of the population. In New York City its probably much higher.

    Given this fact, did the lockdown really make much difference other than flattening the curve? I don’t think wo.

  89. “Hydroxychloroquine or chloroquine with or without a macrolide for treatment of COVID-19: a multinational registry analysis

    Prof Mandeep R Mehra, MD
    Sapan S Desai, MD
    Prof Frank Ruschitzka, MD
    Amit N Patel, MD
    Published:May 22, 2020DOI:

    I don’t know if some of the resident Climate Etc. statisticians have looked at this paper that is currently careening through the lay press, I would be interested in determining whether the control group is comparable to the treatment group. Since the sine qua non of cardiac arrhythmia complication for these drugs is prolongation of the QTc interval and that was not measured, that the treatment group that did poorly had the Black, obese and more cardiac issues before treatment demographic characteristics, I wonder what may be the proper way to handle these effects.

    Just wondering.

    • My take:

      The biggest problem is that the relative baseline disease severity of the treatment and control arms is unknown. The post hoc criteria the retrospective study used is inadequate. We need to know the rationale used by the docs who started treatment. Docs have been discouraged from using HCQ in early treatment and treatment of relatively mild disease, because HCQ is unproven and DANGEROUS WILL ROBINSON! It’s likely that docs would have been reluctant to prescribe HCQ for milder cases that appeared to be progressing towards resolution.

      Anyway, there are 201 real clinical trials underway. University of Minnesota PEP trial manuscript is in hands of reviewers. Could be announced this week.

      • Don Monfort

        PS: It just occurred to me:

        study says:“We also did not establish if the association of increased risk of in-hospital deaths with use of the drug regimen is linked directly to their cardiac risk, nor did we conduct drug-dose response analysis of the observed risks.”

        If there was any hint of significant drug related cardiac toxicity, I bet they would have been happy to conduct drug-dose response analysis.

        These people set out to show that HCQ is ineffective and dangerous. Failed.

      • “These people set out to show…..”
        Doesn’t anyone do science for science sake? Everybody has their hustle. After reading all the politicized crap by climate scientists I thought they were the worst. This HCQ thing just throws a bigger lurid blanket over the lot of them. Politics has infected everything.

  90. Relatively low death total today – which is interesting given that case numbers were high @ threee weeks ago and IIRC the highest fatality is at around 3 weeks.

    Maybe treatment has gotten better?

    Either way, I’ll gladly take it.

  91. Low Dose of Hydroxychloroquine Reduces Fatality of Critically Ill Patients With COVID-19

    Pre-print abstract of 500+ patient, 48 HCQ treated, retrospective study from China, for whatever it’s worth. Control arm just about wiped out. What is most interesting is:

    “The levels of inflammatory cytokine IL-6 were significantly reduced from 22.2 (8.3-118.9) pg mL-1 at the beginning of the treatment to 5.2 (3.0-23.4) pg mL-1 (P<0.05) at the end of the treatment in the HCQ group but there is no change in the NHCQ group. These data demonstrate that addition of HCQ on top of the basic treatments is highly effective in reducing the fatality of critically ill patients of COVID-19 through attenuation of inflammatory cytokine storm."

    I don't recall seeing HCQ linked to significant reduction of IL-6, or success in treating critically ill on ventilators.

  92. Bad news for the virus cheerleaders. Mid April-to-mid May tests for Sars CoV way up, positive percentage way down:

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