Covid discussion thread: Part IX

by Judith Curry

Some interesting articles that I’ve spotted recently.

This is really a fantastic manuscript on what we know today about #COVID19 biology and immunology. cell.com/immunity/pdf/S

Fine COVID19 seroprevalence study in hard-hit Geneva finds peak at 10·8%. Also, for every confirmed case, there were ~12 undetected. Epidemic is far from coming to an end by means of fewer susceptible people in population. thelancet.com/action/showPdf

German study which concludes that making masks compulsory reduces daily growth rate in infections by 40%.[link]

“The speed by which structural information on the #SARSCoV2 virus has been collected is astonishing.” And that’s paving many ways to block it; a brief and helpful overview nature.com/articles/s4146

There are now 2 series of people who were asymptomatic but had lung CT scans Diamond Princess pubs.rsna.org/doi/10.1148/ry Korea medrxiv.org/content/10.110 Both showed a high % of abnormalities, ground-glass opacities

‘Superforecasters’ Are Making Accurate Predictions About COVID-19 [link]

#COVID19 vaccine development is moving forward at an unprecedented speed on the global efforts and challenges .sandiegouniontribune.com/news/science/s

“Norwegian scientist Birger Sørensen has claimed #SARSCoV2 is not natural in origin. The study from Sørensen and British professor Angus Dalgleish show that #coronavirus’ spike protein contains sequences that appear to be artificially inserted.“ [link]

Study suggests Vitamin K could help fight coronavirus [link]

pparently SARS-CoV-2 has another method of entering cells besides the ACE-2 receptor, a surface protein called NRP1. This would have an impact on the efficacy of HCQ with respect to blocking the virus’ entry into a cell. HCQ blocks ACE-2 but not NRP1. [link]

This analysis of #covid19 clusters in Japan in the first two and a half months of the epidemic there presents some really interesting data.  wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26

Why COVID-19 makes people lose their sense of smell [link]

“In this cohort, the majority of asymptomatically infected persons remained asymptomatic throughout the course of the infection” nejm.org/doi/full/10.10

Influential model judged reproducible — although software engineers called its code ‘horrible’ and ‘a buggy mess’. [link]

We detect >1300 independently-introduced transmission lineages. [link]

Resistance of children to COVID-19 infection.  How? [link]

HXQ

Does zinc supplementation enhance the clinical efficacy of HXQ in the battle against COVID-19? [link]

Senegal confirms its selection of hydroxychloroquine as a treatment with preliminary study showing hospitalisation’s length of stay of 13 days without HCQ, 11 HCQ alone and 9 HCQ+Azithromycin. francetvinfo.fr/monde/afrique/

France’s first coronavirus case was in December [link]

Younger adults were the main source of 61 different outbreak clusters in Japan. wwwnc.cdc.gov/eid/article/26

Spain: “we implemented a … treatment outside the hospital with hydroxychloroquine plus azithromycin … associated with a reduction in the burden of hospital … successful in terms of the number of patients who have developed serious complications.” [link]

Indonesia will publish a clinical study showing efficacy of combinations of various antibiotics with hydroxychloroquine or Kalestra. They have done exceptionally well against COVID-19 so far. jakartaglobe.id/news/indonesia

Turkey, which uses hydroxychloroquine early for treatment of Covid-19, reports that ICU cases have dropped from 200 in April to 50 today.

India’s health ministry guidelines for Covid-19 treatment now say hydroxychloroquine should be used as early in the disease course as possible and should be avoided in patients with severe cases. newsroompost-com.cdn.ampproject.org/c/s/newsroompo

UAE will not use hydroxychloroquine on severe cases any more, but still on mild and moderate patients. A few data points on a new promising stem cell treatment that reduced recovery time from 22 days to 6 days for serious cases. [link]

Policy

China defends its coronavirus response in new report abcn.ws/2XEzyRs

New evidence of China’s coronavirus cover-up: Scientists KNEW it was lethal and ‘clearly contagious’ before officials told the world about ‘mystery’ outbreak mol.im/a/8395163

UK SAGE Report  Britain’s recovery from COVID-19. says test, track & trace system is ‘not fit for purpose’independentsage.org/wp-content/upl

Dubious modeling is complicating Britain’s lockdown debate [link]

Understanding COVID-19 risks and vulnerabilities among black communities in America: the lethal force of syndemics – ow.ly/Xa9C30qOvCb

How to reset the US pandemic response [link]

Sociology 

The American Press is destroying itself [link]

Who’s to blame? These three scientists are at the heart of the Surgisphere COVID-19 scandal [link]

We often accuse the right of distorting science. But the left changed the coronavirus narrative overnight [link]

A delicate balance: weighing protest against the rise of COVID-19 [link]

A researcher involved in the retracted Lancet study has been terminated from the University of Utah faculty. [link]

From lockdown to meltdown: the logic of intolerance [link]

Why the coronavirus is winning [link]

Has the British scientific establishment made its biggest error in history? [link]

Tribalism comes for pandemic science [link]

Abrupt, radical reversal in how public healt experts now speak about coronavirus and mass gatherings [link]

“How a retracted research paper contaminated global #coronavirus research” latimes.com/business/story

The news media is destroying itself [link]

Covid-19 studies based on flawed Surgisphere data force medical journals to review processes [link]

Masks can disrupt our ability to communicate and connect. But there are ways to overcome a mask’s necessary downsides. ow.ly/WSrm50zSDxk

259 responses to “Covid discussion thread: Part IX

  1. “Superforecasters’ Are Making Accurate Predictions About COVID-19 [link]”
    has no active link. Try this:

    https://time.com/5848271/superforecasters-covid-19/

  2. Police chief Kelly of NYC fame recently said that the key to achieving good police work was to vet recruits before: “Hiring our problems.” That is, people of good character are required to implement good law enforcement. In addition, psychological stability is required to be involved in law enforcement and Chief Kelly wanted all recruits to pass psychological testing before pursuing a career in law enforcement.

    The lessons from law enforcement are directly applicable to journalism even though most journalists don’t carry firearms. What they do carry is a pen, and, given that the pen is mightier than the sword, journalists have a greater obligation to pursuing some sort of objective truth, however elusive that holy grail might be.

    American, and international journalism, writes and shames others for speaking outside of some prescribed narrative. The article on vitamin K and the NRP-1 receptor as an alternative respiratory cell entry site for the novel coronavirus is ignored as it doesn’t fit a preconceived narrative. Sutsh science understanding requires biology education than journalists have acquired. Journalists are hired to push selective narratives, and, by education and training they are not fit for purpose on any subject of science or requiring critical thinking skills. They can give an expose on how they feel about various topics. Today’s journalists seek a narrow expertise spectrum of other journalists for confirmation of their views, all pursuing the same narrative, primarily to discredit something President Trump has said or done (HXQ). There are no other litmus tests in their view.

    The politicization of the COVID-19 pandemic by the press is also evidenced by the rejection of science by the left, abusing the inquiry process as not valid and only a dogmatic ideology takes science’s place.

    If we were to view journalism today through the lens of their biases regarding climate change, we are not surprised that distortions are the objective.

    Knowledge and inquiry are not part of journalist’s vocabulary.

    1

    • If you look to journalists for your scientific knowledge you will be in trouble, just as you would be to look to journalists or politicians for detailed medical information. Journalists provide news – which would seem to be a superficial layperson’s view of the state of affairs which currently interests the general public, colored by whatever financial incentives their particular outlet benefits from.

      Instead of criticizing journalists for doing their job, read the scientific journals for science.

    • Actually, Kelly meant that the key to doing good police work (avoiding deadly interactions with citizens) is to work in a more or less law-abiding jurisdiction, where cops are respected and are not targets of rage.

    • Over-use of force is a fear response. The only people who are not afraid when confronting a possibly armed person in gang-infested areas are either sociopaths or people with long experience and training.
      Do you know how they would achieve “defunding” the police budget (which is mostly personnel)? The same way cities always reduce union payrolls- offering early retirement. Say good-bye to all the experienced cops.

      • Don Monfort

        Actually, use of force training is necessarily ambiguous. Don’t over-react, but if you feel your life is in danger, do what you gotta do. But don’t over-react, or there will be trouble. You are on your own out there. But don’t make any mistakes.

        In the 82nd Airborne, we took that to mean: When in doubt, light ’em up.

      • Hi Don,
        True to an extent. I used to be a reporter and on some beats spent a good deal of time with cops. A lot of their training is around maintaining physical distance and watching hands and constantly scanning their surroundings. And they train on physical restraints when that distance is impossible. It’s only in the movies, for example, that the cop walks up to your car window and sticks her head 6 inches from yours. They stand just behind the car door at an angle. Part of that is so a sudden movement isn’t misinterpreted by the cop and the first natural reaction is to side step away.
        One training tool they used to show me all the time was to get a squirt gun, have someone stand two feet from you with it and try to squirt you before you knock the gun away. They can’t. The point wasn’t that they could take guns away from bad guys ninja style, it was to demonstrate that distance is everything. If a cop isn’t far enough away, they aren’t in control even with their gun out and pointed at the bad guy.
        That takes training and repetition and if you slip up once you get surprised and a surprised armed person = bad.

      • Don Monfort

        I don’t believe that police training is our problem. Some cops are not very bright. Others have emotional-mental issues. Some are just bad human beings. Maybe a more rigorous selection process would help, but I am guessing the responsible authorities have already thought of that.

        Police discipline and accountability is a problem. It’s hard to weed out the bad apples. Blue wall of silence. Unions. Let’s see what the feckless mayors like those in NYC, Minneapolis, Seattle, Chicago, Portland etc. can do about that. If past performance is any indication, it won’t be much.

        Still, I don’t believe there are more than a very tiny number of cops that go out on their shifts looking for trouble, or hoping for an opportunity to crush some civilian.

        The core problem is a lot of fools are willing and able to do anything, up to and including taking the lives of cops, to escape arrest.

        The practical solution is to allow cops to turn ’em loose, if they don’t want to come along peaceably. Watch how that works out in crime ridden communities for a few years and see if attitudes towards law enforcement change for the better.

      • Not to diminish the importance of transparency and accountability (seriously, some of the cops in these situations hitting the headlines have had multiple improper use of force complaints, moved from one police force to another after getting canned, etc. Why shouldn’t there be public scrutiny of their records?), or the problem of the “thin blue line” and the union protectionism, or to diminish just how difficult a job it is to handle some of these situations, but check this one out.

        So here’s my take regarding training. This looks to me like the cops have been trained to demand complete compliance, So they go in heavily harmed, ready to shoot, and shout at the guy and demand he gets onto the ground with his hands up. The point here is that the homeless guy is like an enemy in warfare. There is no expectation, really, that the guy’s life has any value. Now there had apparently been reports that this guy was hanging around moving a gun back and forth in his hands, and he reached for his waistband, so in a sense it was a justifiable shooting – irrespective of the fact that it turned out to be a bb gun.

        But the paradigm here is that the cops should do anything at all to minimize their risk, and one of the ways to minimize their risk, in their training paradigm, is to demand absolute compliance in the most demanding way possible and to not allow any deviation from the demand of absolute compliance.

        I think we could have predicted that this guy was going to give an FU when ordered to get down on the ground. Would it have put the cops at greater risk if they had approached with guns drawn and ready to shoot, and tried to have a more persuasive convo with him? They still could have shot him if he reached for his waistband – but it’s almost like their approach was designed to achieve the worst possible outcome for that dude. And I think that’s because the paradigm is that his life doesn’t have value. He’s some homeless guy. In reality, probably no one really cares much if he lives. And he’s a public nuisance – scaring people an soaking up resources. I mean I can’t exactly disagree with the model to minimize risk at all costs to the cops, but I don’t think that there has to be a model working from a basic concept that the guy’s life have little value – in the same way that we might think of an enemy in warfare.

        So I’m not sure that there couldn’t be a different training model. Less of a militaristic one. Sure, you don’t want some unarmed social worker going up to this guy and trying to work with him…but I’m not sure that there couldn’t be a smarter model that lies somewhere in between.

      • The clip at the bottom. Not sure what the other one is…

      • I think burnout is another big problem caused by our conscious policy of highly concentrating poverty and social ills into specific neighborhoods. You hear it all the time from city public school teachers, social workers, all get fed up. It’s not just cities either- I saw in the all-white trailer parks in rural areas every dysfunction you’d find in Chicago’s southside only with fewer people an no national news media. I have stories to make your toes curl. However, in cities they compound the problem by sticking low income neighborhoods with every half-way house, drug rehab center, soup kitchen and homeless shelter in the city and invite in people from all over the state. It’s a lot easier to be a homeless addict in Chicago than in rural downstate Illinois. Then they stick every smelly or loud industrial activity there..
        I think they need to stop concentrating poverty and in the interim rotate cops and teachers out of high-poverty placements on a regular basis to decompress. If you let people develop a “war zone” mentality, everyone they meet is an enemy.

      • That clip shows a murder, pure and simple. Why no taser?

      • Jeff –

        Yeah, maybe redlining and 400 years of other discriminatory policies that lead to such discrepancies weren’t such a great idea after all.

        At any rate. There a problem with your suggested solution. A lot of teachers, and I would think a lot of cops, have absolutely no interest in working in the neighborhoods you’re taking about. With restored not in the lead becsuee the schools are in terrible shape and under resourced, and many of the kids in those schools have a huge range of big needs.

        And just curious…

        > I think they need to stop concentrating poverty..

        Who are the “they” that are concentrating poverty?

      • Guy –

        My guess is because with a taser there’s a chance he can stop get to his gun and shoot someone. With multiple automatic weapons….

        Keep in mind they were called in because of reports of a guy with a gun.

      • … with the schools not in the least….

      • Jeff –

        > The same way cities always reduce union payrolls- offering early retirement. Say good-bye to all the experienced cops.

        Actually, that is almost exactly wrong. One of the oei kema with the restructuring proposals that reduce the size of the police forces is that the cops that will get fired are the newer hires, and so you’re left with the older guys with more seniority and who have…um let’s just say less flexible… attitudes.

      • Josh:
        “Yeah, maybe redlining and 400 years of other discriminatory policies that lead to such discrepancies weren’t such a great idea after all.”

        Absolutely. I 100% agree. Seriously.

        “Who are the “they” that are concentrating poverty?”
        Federal (HUD) and cities, in addition to condoning redlining, also built massive public housing communities specifically to house poor people. Then the cities located the homeless shelters, prison halfway houses, and drug rehab centers next to the public housing. That was zoning and was also a mistake. All the way into the ’70s cities in the north and south allowed covenants prohibiting sales to African Americans and sometimes Jewish people. The writer Ta Nehisi Coates documented them in Chicago.

        One aspect of systemic racism- which is real – was the policy decision to segregate, isolate and then overwhelm with dysfunction through zoning. IMO that has to be deconstructed. Full stop. I simply have no illusions about how difficult that will be. I’m the age where I got bussed as an elementary school kid. In Richmond Virginia. My parents were quasi-hippies- I was born right outside San Francisco. OMG what a disaster that was. The primary mover of deconcentration and desegregation now is Section 8 HUD vouchers. They’ve actually been tearing down a lot of public housing and offering vouchers that people can use in the burbs. That was a Bill Clinton initiative and a good one. It also came with initiatives to loosen credit and downpayment requirements for homebuying – that one didn’t work out so well.
        Pushback is from the left and right. You can’t break up concentrations of poverty and segregation without “gentrification.”

      • “One of the oei kema with the restructuring proposals that reduce the size of the police forces is that the cops that will get fired are the newer hires”

        Got a link to that- an actual proposal from an actual government?
        Cities don’t “fire” people, they do RIFs by not hiring when people quit or retire and if they RIF fast, they do early retirement incentives and or don’t pass a pay increase, which causes employees to decamp to neighboring jurisdictions.

      • Don Monfort

        “Why no taser?” That’s just too funny.

        I was going to post a video of neutered NYPD cops in a car on Flatbush Ave. (near joshie’s dark and dingy little studio apt) getting pelted by bricks, bottles and garbage cans, but I saw this and had to share the hilarity. It’s capo di tuti Cuomo’s little brother, left loon Fredo, being humiliated by a ramen munching genius:

      • Don Monfort

        Segregation these days has nothing to do with redlining. Folks of all races with the ability to move, get away from areas that are crime-ridden indiscriminate drive-by war zones, having worse than useless schools, businesses-jobs flee, public services deteriorate, life is cheap and ugly. Those who are left behind are what they are. Vicious predators and helpless prey.

  3. Curious George

    From media reports I got the impression that much more effort is directed to proving that the hydroxychloroquine does not work than towards finding a better treatment. The lives lost that way don’t bother anybody.

    • I have not had occasion to consider using hydroxychloroquine, but my colleagues who have generally do not see any overt benefit. Just anecdotal, but that is why controlled studies, preferably double-blind need to be done. And the medical literature simply reflects that there is no signal for benefit at this time. Remdesivir, which has not shown improved survival, has a signal for shortened course, and anecdotally seems to improve outcomes. convalescent plasma seems to have the best anecdotal outcomes.

      • Why has the use of hydroxychloroquine against COVID 19, become so widespread? Why over 200 clinical trials? Are there so many physicians who don’t know what they are doing?

      • Why did the NIH start a study so relatively recently?

      • RTW
        anecdotally, of course, remdesivir, caused a lot of problems in early studies in ? China, so much that the shares of its company sank for a while.
        Now, despite this, it is flavour of the month with FDA approval.
        What would you try if you or a close loved one had it by the way, would you see one of your colleagues for a script for chloroquine?
        Would you proudly say no not taking that rubbish I’ll try the ventilator option instead?
        My position, since you stated by omission that it anecdotally does no harm is that I would go out 100% to try it.
        Like your colleagues are doing by prescribing it in the first place.
        Convalescent plasma is not something you can buy and try and anecdotal outcomes are not comparable or useful, are they?
        That is why they are anecdotal.
        A very large amount of studies is being done on chloroquine because there is proper proof that it has a mechanism that might be helpful, this is not anecdotal.

      • angech –

        As you must well know, there are quite a few drugs that have had in vitro effects thst look promising for treating viruses but which do not prove to be effective treatments in vivo.

        Yes, there is anecdotal evidence of benefit and thus there is a logic to trying HCQ in clinical settings. But widespread usage outside of clinical settings has clear downsides.

        Just as there are physicians who believe they’ve used HCQ to good effect, there are a fair amount of physicians who have reported they’ve stopped using it becsuee of their observations of a lack of benefit.

        Don’t treat uncertainty selectively.

      • Why is joshie always lecturing his betters on selectivity, bias, motivated reasoning blah blah blah, when joshie is the king of all that foolishness? Answer: zero self-awareness.

        A lot of docs may have stopped using HCQ, because there has been a concerted effort to squash it, since POTUS said he had heard of its use and was hopeful it would be effective against the deadly novel pandemic virus, which had no established effective treatment.

        Medical science progressed for thousands of years before the recent modern era of randomized, double blind, placebo controlled clinical trials, by trying stuff to see if it worked. That’s what has been happening with the novel virus in this pandemic emergency.

        Wait for official, allegedly Gold Standard trials and you may lose a lot of folks who could otherwise have been saved. Thousands of docs put their reputations and careers on the line and went with HCQ. They didn’t just pick it out of a hat. Those whose clinical judgement told them it might be useful, used it and many continue to use it, despite the phony campaign to paint HCQ as a dangerous drug. Health authorities of whole countries have done likewise.

        They could all be wrong. It remains to be seen if Gold Standard trials will be thumbs up, or thumbs down. Haven’t seen any convincing evidence one way or the other, so far.

        Judith provided a link to a study that looked at CT scans of asymptomatic subjects who tested positive for CV 19. Scans showed some clinically significant ground glass opacities and other bad signs that indicate many of the asymptomatic could be a hop, skip and a jump from the ICU and on the path to ventilation and cold storage.

        What does seem to have been established is that early intervention in treating the disease is the first rule. When you see trial results announced, where a quarter of both the HCQ treatment arm and the control arm are dead, you know that was not early intervention treatment. Somebody needs to check the NHS.

      • Don –

        > Why is joshie always lecturing his betters on selectivity, bias, motivated reasoning blah blah blah,…

        I do apologize. I imagine that it must get a little annoying that I keep making the same point over and over.

        But on the other side, you might consider how annoying it is for me to have to point the same things out over and over and not have y’all make any improvements.

        I promise I will try to be more patient in the future. Maybe if I have a more patient tone it won’t be as annoying and maybe it will help y’all to learn?

      • Don Monfort

        Thanks, joshie. You didn’t let me down on that self-awareness thing. We are always amused.

  4. Joshua | June 15, 2020 at 6:52 am |
    Why did the NIH start a study so relatively recently?

    Was it something to do with COVID just starting so relatively recently, Joshua?

    I guess they could have tested it on COVID when putting it together in the biochemical research labs a year or so ago but it sort of defeats the purpose, doesn’t it.
    You know, mad scientist comes up with a virus to kill everything in the world but finds out a simple antidote kills it destroying his evil plans.

    • angech –

      What are you talking about?

      NIH started a study well into the controversy and all after the pandemic was under way in the States.

      My point being that they likely started the study because there was anecdotal evidence of efficacy for use as treatment for COVID-19. It seems that if there were none, there would be no reason for the study.

      • OTOH –

        The FDA just terminated the emergency use authorization of hydroxychloroquine for Covid-19…which could be a bad sign that the anecdotal evidence in support is lacking.

      • “”FDA has concluded that, based on this new information and other information discussed in the attached memorandum, it is no longer reasonable to believe that oral formulations of HCQ and CQ may be effective in treating COVID-19, nor is it reasonable to believe that the known and potential benefits of these products outweigh their known and potential risks”

        They must have some new information guiding the decision. Since this is coming from the Trump’s own FDA, it must be right.

      • Don Monfort

        Trump doesn’t tell the FDA apparatchiks what to do. Maybe they didn’t get the memo from WAPO (page 47 bottom left corner) or the NYslimes (not at all) that the big Lancet published study that deep-sixed HCQ was a complete fake. I am sure nobody has bothered to tell tiny little Dr. Fauci.

      • Don’t let facts get in the way of self-victimization and your persecution complex

        https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.nytimes.com/2020/06/02/health/coronavirus-study.amp.html

      • Don Monfort

        Blatantly obvious sarcasm sent little joshie on a fool’s errand to try to prove the left loon TDS media is not blatantly obvious biased af. I hope he didn’t spend too much time on that foolishness.

      • “My point being that they likely started the study because there was anecdotal evidence of efficacy for use as treatment for COVID-19. It seems that if there were none, there would be no reason for the study.”

        Joshua,
        There was actual evidence that chloroquine might work on viral illnesses, and that the type of viral illnesses it might work on included Corona viruses.
        This is a line of treatment that had actual scientific traction.
        Not anecdotal.
        Do me a favour and do some research yourself into these studies.
        Real scientists did, that is why chloroquine was trialled long before Trump jumped on the bandwagon.
        If, after that you wish to dispute the scientific rationale we can have a real discussion.
        You have the capacity and insight, I have seen it at times.
        But you are a man on a mission and when you do not want to listen, you will not listen.
        To your and our detriment.

      • angech –

        > There was actual evidence that chloroquine might work on viral illnesses, and that the type of viral illnesses it might work on included Corona viruses.
        This is a line of treatment that had actual scientific traction.

        From what I’ve seen, there is clinical evidence in vitro (as I stated above), not in vitro. There is anecdotal evidence in vitro (I’m going largely in what clinician, researchers, Fauci, etc. Have had to say. Evidence otherwise is welcome).

        > Do me a favour and do some research yourself into these studies.I’ve looked around a bit, and as such I’m not sure what you’re talking about (are you talking about the in vitro work

        > But you are a man on a mission and when you do not want to listen, you will not listen.

        What is my mission, pray tell? I certainly hope HCQ works (although I would likely not be a candidate for its use, I’d like to hope that friends, family, and society as a whole could have an effective anti-cirsl treatment for COVID-19). I think the likelihood is small except perhaps as a prophylaxis, for which there seems to be some anecdotal evidence in vivo (as yet).

        > To your and our detriment.

        I like to assure you that whether I’m mission driven or not will not affect your life in any meaningful way.

      • It seems to me that if joshie wanted to be important in his little progressive world, he would be better spending his time by getting out of that dingy little studio apt in AOC’s Congressional district and get to toppling some statues of oppressors.

  5. The Matt Taibbi column about the press destroying itself is really good, even though his concern is mostly that he wants the media to do a more competent job of cheerleading the Democratic Party.
    The media has taught an entire nation that anything in the paper isn’t true, neutered the word “racist,” told us there’s no reason to trust “science” (research is now transparently weaponized for politics).
    It’s also boring- the MSM has been stuck in the same obviously dishonest Trump dementia for four years. You could save a lot of money by simply changing the dates on most pundits’ columns- they’ve been the exact same since November 2016.
    Meanwhile there are amazing stories going unreported simply because partisanship demands they be ignored.
    If Memorial Day can cause a “surge” in infections in Arkansas, two weeks of mass gatherings in NYC, Chicago, Detroit and LA will be devastating, but since the media insists that only one of those is even possible, we have no idea if there is a surge, but we know our newspaper isn’t true.
    If the surge the partisan press seems so eager to see is real, why isn’t the press looking at the implications? If Arizona can’t reopen, NYC certainly can’t anytime soon. If major corporations don’t need skyscraper office towers in NYC for 10-12 months, they don’t need them at all. Imagine the quarterly report to stockholders: “we’re very eager to return to an enormously expensive and totally unnecessary building in NYC so that we can justify the bloated salaries and bonuses necessary for the NYC lifestyle. We don’t foresee any competitors being smart enough cut those expenses and eat our lunches in the marketplace.”
    Cities are in deep trouble. They’ve lost tens of millions of dollars a day in tax revenue- hotel taxes, meals taxes, subway fares, tolls, taxes on shows and sporting events. No “stimulus” will fix that – the whole point of stimulus is to put money in people’s hands so they go out and buy stuff. They physically can’t. The only thing that could save cities is figuring out a way to re-open quickly, but because Trump is saying that the entire MSM is outraged at the idea.
    So the staggeringly incompetent “plan” is to clearly lie to the American people, cheerlead rioting, root for the virus, promote economic depression, and hope that will get the midwest to vote for a 77 year old white guy who can’t even coherently hold his finger into the wind.

    • Jeff –

      > If Arizona can’t reopen, NYC certainly can’t anytime soon.

      Infection rate and contact tracing are key measures.

      Arkansas; infection rate = 1.28, contact tracing at 13%

      New York: infection rate = 0.81, contact tracing 100%

      I have. I idea of the veracity of those numbers.

      https://covidactnow.org/?s=49762

      • The Governor of NY is piously telling the media he may shut down NYC again. Not because of the nighttime rallies of thousands, but because of the lunch enjoyed by hundreds outdoors in the UV light.
        “Contact tracing” doesn’t help much when the number of contacts are in the 10s of thousands.
        “Who did you come in contact with?”
        “Brooklyn and Queens, why?”

        If you cannot eat lunch outdoors in the bright sunlight in NYC, much less eat a sandwich anywhere in Arkansas, you can’t open those office towers. If those businesses and workers don’t need those office towers for 10 months, they don’t need them at all. And the same science that says your office tower is unsafe means your hi-rise apartment building is too. Which means you’re essentially telling everyone to move out of NYC.

      • Sorry – you said Arizona, not Arkansas;

        In which case that would be:

        Arizona: 1.22 infection rate and 2% contact tracing
        NY: .81 infection rate and 100% contact tracing.

      • “Sorry – you said Arizona, not Arkansas;”
        I said both, you’re good.

        The Atlantic has a hopeful piece on cities that rests entirely on the facts that prior experiments in remote work didn’t take off and young people love restaurants.
        There is a lot of wishful thinking and misinformation in the article, but the main problem with it, IMO, is that those earlier experiments happened when offices were open and floorplans were designed for in-person creativity and team building. Who wants to work from home when everyone else is sitting around a table brainstorming downtown and then going out for drinks?
        Today those buildings are closed and entire businesses are being forced to recreate that energy remotely. Who wants to commute when everyone else is collaborating from home?

        https://www.theatlantic.com/health/archive/2020/06/pandemic-cities-moving-remote-work/613069/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=email&utm_campaign=atlantic-daily-newsletter&utm_content=20200615&silverid-ref=NDE4MDEwMjU3MjQyS0

      • “Which means you’re essentially telling everyone to move out of NYC.”
        Yes they are. Urban sprawl. Good government plan and control. Public transportation. Another winner. Trust your government. Trust the experts.

    • Bill Fabrizio

      I agree, Jeff. Good comment.

  6. Matthew R Marler

    The daily deathrate, daily deaths as a fraction of accumulated deaths, has been below 1% for 14 days in a row now, and may be around 0.6%.

    Despite some alarming news, TX, AZ, FL, GA, and CA have daily death counts lower than NY, MA, and NJ, though CA might be catching up (not close in total deaths, but daily rate has increased in CA as daily rates in the leading 3 remain much higher. .

    • There is still widespread social distancing and mask wearing in the cities in the ATL. Most retail and restaurants are either exclusively delivery or have limited in restaurant/store service. It may be a little different out in the country beyond the Atlanta area. That mostly accounts for the slower spread compared to NY, I think, which got hit early on before the mask wearing and distancing became routine. NY also had a huge reliance on public transportation and not so much ATL where you mostly need a car to get anywhere except to the downtown stadiums (and protests which are mostly outdoors also with a lot of mask wearing). I’m guessing it may be the same in most of those other states.

  7. snipped from the excellent Cell survey on Immunology:

    Figure 5. ACE2 Expression in Organs and
    Systems Most Frequently Implicated in
    COVID-19 Complications

    The gastrointestinal tract, kidneys, and testis have the highest ACE2 expressions. In some organs, different cell types have remarkably distinct expressions; e.g., in the lungs, alveolar epithelial cells have higher ACE2 expression levels than bronchial epithelial cells; in the liver, ACE2 is not expressed in hepatocytes, Kupffer cells, or endothelial cells but is detected in cholangiocytes, which can explain liver injury to some extent. Furthermore, ACE2 expression is enriched on enterocytes of the
    small intestine compared to the colon. ACE2, angiotensin-converting enzyme 2; BNP, Btype natriuretic peptide; CRP, C-reactive protein;
    IL, interleukin; N/L, neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio; PT, prothrombin time; aPTT, activated partial thromboplastin time

    Thank you for finding this and presenting it. I recommend it to readers.

    Thank you again for this continuing series on COVID-19.

  8. New paper by Ioannidis and collaborators on covid-19 forcasting. Basically, these models are ill-posed.

    “Failure in epidemic forecasting is an old problem. In fact, it is surprising that epidemic forecasting has retained much credibility among decision-makers, given its dubious track record.”

    “Despite these obvious failures, epidemic forecasting continued to thrive, perhaps because vastly erroneous predictions typically lacked serious consequences.”

    https://forecasters.org/blog/2020/06/14/forecasting-for-covid-19-has-failed/

    • Ioannidis has been pretty well discredited as well as having conflict of interest in his funding.

      Forecasts that are more than fortune telling have assumptions. If the assumptions do not hold, the forecast will not either. Most COVID-19 forecasts have been made with an assumption of BAU but most places have implemented preventive measures and peoples have voluntarily started wearing masks and staying home. This is altering the course of the pandemic. At any rate, the 117,000+ dead in the US now wasn’t wildly out of range of the early predictions of 100-200 thousand.

      • James –

        > Ioannidis has been pretty well discredited as well as having conflict of interest in his funding.

        I don’t agree with that. And I think it’s a bad argument. I mean I guess it goes back to what you mean by “discredited.”

        We don’t actually know from the conflict of issue anything at all about the analysis. Judge the analysis on it’s own merits. That’s not to excuse a non-disclosure of a conflict of interest. Good scientists should be very, very careful about that. It suggests a lack of professionality.

        But actually, I find the ethical breeches in how they conducted their research, in terms of their recruitment for the study (wife sending out emails to recruit, false promises in facebook ads, etc.) and even more troubling, in that they tested people with a false promise of an “immunity passport” and then didn’t offer retests despite a high likelihood of false positives (“Sure, you tested positive, go home and give grandma a big kiss”), both to be more troubling.

      • James Cross: At any rate, the 117,000+ dead in the US now wasn’t wildly out of range of the early predictions of 100-200 thousand.

        It might have been useful if the epidemiologists and others had been able to tell us clearly which of the projections could be relied upon for accuracy.

        Now that some models have been shown to have been the most accurate over the past 4 months, and now that we have long series of data from multiple regions, it might be worthwhile for them to fit the best fitting model to the data of several regions separately (FL, NY, Switzerland, Sweden) and see which parameter estimates are most distinct (thus hints at causal explanations); I expect that is an “ill-posed inverse problem) meaning that multiple combinations of data values can be shown to be different between regions yet have equally good fits in each region.

        Unless there is some learning applicable to future outbursts and pandemics, it does not do much good to discover after the fact which of conflicting forecasts we ought to have trusted.

      • Well, the models have been all over the place. Not surprising since its an ill posed problem. What is happening is that modelers are doing adjustments to their models to get better hindcasting for this epidemic. So its not surprising that current models are looking better than the early ones. This has marginal scientific value because these post hoc tweaks and changes may be completely wrong for any other epidemic.

        One of the main failings of the early models was the modeling of various responses such as lockdown. Recent work by health authorities in Switzerland and Germany has demonstrated that R was reduced to around 1.0 before lockdown started indicating that lockdowns were always un necessary and actually will cost many more lives than they “saved.”

        Ioannidis has not been discredited. He’s put out at least 4 papers since March with lots of collaborators. The conclusions seem to be holding up fine. I’ve seen no critical response in terms of journal responses or even letters to the editor. This is how normal science works.

        Ioannidis’ main point that he repeated over and over again in his videos was that lack of adequate data was causing failed and very costly policy measures that may not have been needed. He’s been proven right on this point. Even the riots can be partly be explained by the consequences of the economic depression government policy has caused.

        What has happened to him is a perfect example of politically motivated activists smearing scientists. It is deeply troubling how politicized science has become. Health care experts and scientists who say lockdown protests are dangerous then turn around and say riots and mass protests are OK if they are about racial injustice are discrediting themselves and their science.

  9. From the Ioannidis paper:

    “Predictions for hospital and ICU bed requirements were also entirely misinforming. Public leaders trusted models (sometimes even black boxes without disclosed methodology) inferring massively overwhelmed health care capacity. However, eventually very few hospitals were stressed, for a couple of weeks. Most hospitals maintained largely empty wards, waiting for tsunamis that never came. The general population was locked and placed in horror-alert to save the health system from collapsing. Tragically, many health systems faced major adverse consequences, not by COVID-19 cases overload, but for very different reasons.”

    In my state, we waited and waited for “the surge.” It never came. Deaths from Covid are far below projections, even accounting for lockdowns.

  10. Tony Banton

    “Dexamethasone is first life-saving coronavirus drug”

    https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-53061281

  11. Did Anthony Fauci’s promotion of dangerous research help create the COVID-19 pandemic?
    Americans have reason to question Fauci’s leadership of the COVID-19 response
    https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/did-anthony-faucis-promotion-of-dangerous-research-help-create-the-covid-19-pandemic

  12. Maybe I’m dull, but I have not yet heard of one single trial that tests the unique combination of hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin, and zinc in an outpatient setting for patients that show symptoms of Covid or that test positive for it, or else are in high-risk categories (i.e., elderly and/or with serious health problems.)

    I’ve heard and read of plenty of trials using HCQ and some using HCQ plus azithromycin, but none using zinc as well. We don’t know for certain how HCQ might work, but some suggest that it serves as an ionophore for zinc, and zinc is what does the job of halting viral replication inside cells. If this is so, then it seems that supplemental zinc would be vital for effective treatment with HCQ.

    So, where are the trials?

    • Hydroxychloroquine, Azithromycin, and Zinc Triple-Combo Proved to be Effective in Coronavirus Patients, Study Says

       https://www.sciencetimes.com/articles/25658/20200512/hydroxychloroquine-azithromycin-zinc-triple-combo-proved-effective-coronavirus-patients-study.htm 

      A prospective, randomised, open label study of the combined use of azithromcycin, hydroxychloroquine, zinc and standard clinical care verses favipiravir and standard clinical care verses standard clinical care alone.

      A computer-based software will randomise participants 1:1:1 to either receive; hydroxychloroquine, azithromycin and zinc and standard medical care; favipiravir and standard medical care or standard medical care alone. The allocated medical regime will commence for 10 days.

      https://www.clinicaltrials.gov/ct2/show/NCT04373733

      • Don B
        Thanks for the links. I noticed that the article in Science Times didn’t treat outpatients but rather inpatients. Risch’s paper on HCQ and azithromycin states, “For Covid-19, inpatient acute respiratory distress syndrome is typically a florid immune-system overreaction, whereas initial outpatient illness is a viral multiplication problem involving the beginnings of immune response. These are different diseases.”
        https://academic.oup.com/aje/advance-article/doi/10.1093/aje/kwaa093/5847586#.Xs7tRjYTCgc.twitter

        I noticed that the clinical trial of HCQ, AZ, ZN, hasn’t yet begun.

      • Don M,
        Thanks for the link.
        Eight trials total.
        The first trial, St Francis Hospital: where’s the control? If there’s no control, then what are they measuring?
        Second trail: OK, testing for prevention of infection in military healthcare workers.
        Third trial: Ends in May, 2021. Looks at prevention of infection.
        Fourth trail: again, looks at prevention of infection.
        Fifth trial: looks like it’s testing for efficacy of vitamin C in conjunction with HCQ, zinc
        Sixth trial: looks for HCQ prevention of infection
        Seventh trial: Looks good, estimated completion March, 2021. A bit late?
        Eighth trial: treating infected patients. Are these patients hospitalized? This trial is not yet recruiting. Ending May 2021.

        So until about March, 2021, we won’t have any good answers to the question, are HCQ, azithromycin, and zinc an effective outpatient treatment for Covid-19 infection? As far as I can tell, only the last two trials look at this question.

      • Don Monfort

        Mr. 132,
        There may be a probably erroneous assumption among most of the researchers that folks have a sufficient level of zinc going in. A couple hundred milligrams a day supplement couldn’t hurt.

      • DonB:, here is the preprint:
        https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.02.20080036v1

        From the text: The addition of zinc sulfate did not impact the length of hospitalization, duration of ventilation, or ICU duration. In univariate analyses, zinc sulfate increased the frequency of patients being discharged home, and decreased the need for ventilation, admission to the ICU, and mortality or transfer to hospice for patients who were never admitted to the ICU. After adjusting for the time at which zinc sulfate was added to our protocol, an increased frequency of being discharged home (OR 1.53,
        95% CI 1.12-2.09) reduction in mortality or transfer to hospice remained significant (OR 0.449, 95% CI 0.271-0.744).

        It was a chart review, not an RCT.

        In the press announcement, the OR of 1.53 was misinterpreted a a 50% increase in survival rate.

    • Roger Knights

      Copied from WUWT today:
      ————

      MP June 16, 2020 at 6:23 am
      14 case studies show good results in HCQ Prophylactic and Early Treatment for COVID-19

      https://docs.google.com/document/d/1vDD8JkHe62hmpkalx1tejkd_zDnVwJ9XXRjgXAc1qUc/edit

  13. verytallguy

    Good news for acute patients: RECOVERY trial announces first positive results.

    Click to access recovery_dexamethasone_statement_160620_v2final.pdf

  14. So where did Covid come from?
    It’s not mere conspiracy theory to ask if this new coronavirus leaked from a Wuhan lab
    https://unherd.com/2020/06/so-where-did-covid-come-from/

    • Wrong. It is a conspiracy theory and guess where it is coming from Russia.

      It’s proponent runs a biotech company in Moscow.

      Here’s the way to know the difference between a conspiracy and a conspriacy theory.

      “A real conspiracy actually exists, and it is usually uncovered by journalists, whistleblowers, document dumps from a corporation or government, or it’s discovered by a government agency. The Volkswagen emissions scandal, for example, was discovered by conventional ways when some engineers discovered an anomaly in a report. It was all mundane — normal people having normal observations based on data. They said, “Hang on, something’s funny here,” and then it unraveled. The same is true for the Iran-contra scandal. That broke via a newspaper in Lebanon. True conspiracies are often uncovered through the media. In Watergate, it was journalists not taking “no” for an answer.

      A conspiracy theory, on the other hand, is discussed at length on the internet by people who are not bona fide journalists or government officials or whistleblowers in an organization or investigative committees of regulators. They’re completely independent sources, individuals who self-nominate and put themselves forward as being in possession of the truth. In principle, that could be true. But then if you look at the way these people think and talk and communicate, you discover their cognition is different from what I would call conventional cognition.

      https://www.propublica.org/article/immune-to-evidence-how-dangerous-coronavirus-conspiracies-spread

      It is easy to string together some facts, conjectures, and theories, draw some tenuous connections and come up with a superficially persuasive theory.

      If it came from anywhere other than nature, it most likely came from Russia and was released in Wuhan so it could be blamed on the Chinese.

      https://broadspeculations.com/2020/04/25/covid-19-conspiracies/

  15. Your Questions Answered – Bret Weinstein and Yuri Deigin DarkHorse Podcast Livestream

    https://judithcurry.com/2020/06/05/covid-discussion-thread-part-viii/#comment-918838

  16. Much discussion about police training. Interesting insight as to how other countries train their police to react in a shooting situation. Here is an alternative approach and a critique of the standard American approach https://www.policeone.com/use-of-force/articles/shooting-center-mass-im-told-we-kill-everyone-z02sv5zP5OCCcKZt/

    • Don Monfort

      Those must be countries with different histories and demographics. You should try being a cop in inner city war zone. You might last twenty minutes.

  17. There is a lot of discussion about police training and weeding out bad cops as a response. When an analysis of social action is done by dropping down a level of analysis to the individual (I.e. the bad cop), you know that the analyst does not want to tackle the real problem of the social structure which promulgates and defines how that group reacts in the situation. It was not the bad cops who put the police in a blocking line armored with batons, shields, helmets, tear gas, rubber bullets, military armored vehicles, etc. Nor were they the ones who decided that these protestors way forward should be blocked, forced into areas where they could be handled. The bad cops did not deem that protestors should obey the law and go home at 8 pm. In fact, given that the protest was against the cops themselves, it would seem that using them to confront the protestors might not go so well. Neither the protestors, nor the police would tend to view each other as anything but hostile. Could there be another way. One suggestions, police in casual dress mixed in with the protestors and only do policing where necessary e.g. cases of looting, physical attacks on others. The protest allowed to proceed to their destination and to protest. The training that says police need to be shown to be in total control of a situation, would seem about as provocative a stance as possible.

    • At this point a top to bottom analysis is needed.
      Start here:
      https://www.joincampaignzero.org/#vision

      Campaign Zero sounds a lot less confrontational than “defund the police” I think.

    • Don Monfort

      “In fact, given that the protest was against the cops themselves, it would seem that using them to confront the protesters might not go so well.”

      When protesters refuse to obey the law, hire motorcycle gangs and allow them to use lawless methods of dispersal. Many might take care of it, just for entertainment.

      Or, the police could abandon the protested cities and let the protesters have at it. That always works.

      Or, citizens whose property is being denied their use and in many cases being destroyed, allow them to handle it.

      Allow motorists going about their business to plow through protesters blocking their way.

      That should keep you busy, for a while.

    • Don Monfort

    • CMS, I think your heart is in the right place, but ultimately it comes down to the simple fact than human beings will defend themselves, protect their stuff, and seek retribution (justice) for those who wrong them.
      You can either hire a professional force to do that, or let people handle it themselves. Police forces are the result of thousands of years of experience telling us the latter is the worst choice- it allows the strong or better armed to reign supreme and increases the toll on both the victims and perpetrators of crimes.

      As for dressing the police in casual clothes, how do you know the man grabbing that looter is a cop and not just some guy in a T-shirt looking for a fight? I can’t think of anything more dangerous than making it appear some random guy is suddenly grabbing people.

      • I guess CMS would have the plainclothes cop flash his badge, the frenzied mob would recede and he makes his arrest. Maybe they give the cop one of those sticks like Moses used to part the sea. They could use little ginger Irish cops armed with magic shillelagh.

      • Makes cops personally accountable (just like us) and minimize cop interactions (end the drug war!) and use truly neutral judges/prosecutors for police investigations (I.e. from far away).

        Problem will be greatly reduced.

      • Minimize criminal interactions. Keep them in jail.

  18. This is the report on the first round in April with raw prevalence of 4.1%. The second round was done in May with raw prevalence of 2.1%. Both samples are likely quite biased.

  19. Gerald Browning
    “Judith is going post my peer reviewed manuscript with my introductory comments soon. The manuscript proves that all climate models are based on the wrong dynamical system of equations. Thus any IPCC conclusions based on those models is unreliable.“

    This statement would read better if we swapped the the two terms.
    “The manuscript proves that all climate models are based on an unreliable dynamical system of equations. Thus any IPCC conclusions based on those models is wrong.”

    People are less likely to take full umbrage if you suggest that there are just a few little things they should have included rather than telling them an unpalatable fact.

    In fairness everyone should be using fairly standard equation systems, i.e. all talking the same language. Putting them together in the right dynamical way is, as you say, the difficult part.
    This difficulty in many areas has been known and mentioned interminably in the past, only to then be thrown in the too hard basket. Held and Soden have
    to their credit raised these problems, but systems have been put together dynamically and when they failed had major ad hoc adjustments made to compensate for the failure rather than fixing the problem with the science.
    I do not know if your system will work better but it has to be better than methods which are knowing still used when wrong.

    Best of luck and science with your new book.

    “Just that the the “science” being touted as proving that there is AGW
    Is on thin ice.“
    Best not to go there.

    “That leaves proxy data that Stephen Mcintyre has discredited.”
    Or there.
    Bad climate science has withered at his touch but this does not help your work

    “I am not saying that there is or not global warming.“
    Now that is a nice touch.

  20. Article a few days ago describing how the Oral Polio Vaccine may provide some benefit for Covid19 (sorry for missing the link)

    One observation is that the oral polio vaccine was developed in 1955 and began widespread use in 1961. Individuals over the age of 70 didnt receive the polio vaccine until their late teens or sometime in their twenties.

    The question is whether
    A) the polio vaccine has some cross immunity for Covid19 and
    B) since the age 70+ individuals received the vaccine much later in life, did they never really developed sufficient immunity and are therefore getting much higher negative impacts from covid19?

    Look forward to any comments positive or negative

  21. Antibody studies might only be picking up the former severe cases- and since approx 80% of cases are asymptomatic/mild….. sero study prevalence could likely be only 20% of actual prevalence:
    https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.05.21.108308v1

  22. I didn’t think it could happen, but now I think it’s possible thst seven may evegnsuallybhacd more per capita deaths than Italy.

    Lots of reasons why thst may be the case – not likely simply a product of the policies in government mandated shelter in place orders. Seems that they have a rather casual attitudes towards treating infected older people which is certainly a contributing factor.

    But, folks may want to start backing away from the idea that Sweden should be a model for the U.S.

    Especially if a vaccine is distributed on a moderately fast time table.

  23. … may eventually have more per capita deaths than Italy….

    • Oy. seven = Sweden.

      • Don Monfort

        evegnsuallybhacd

        That means you need to get out of that dank and dingy little studio apt in AOC’s forlorn Congressional district and get some fresh air and sunshine. Topple some statues.

      • Hey Don –

        What do you think about Bolton? Deep state of TDS?

        Either way, it’s pretty amazing how many do the “best people” have bad think to say about your boy. How’d you like the stuff about Trump only caring about reelection. A real shocker, huh?

      • That would put Trump in the same league as Obama and most other politicians. I am simply shocked.

      • So you’re saying Trump is like other politicians? Wow. Thanks for admitting themat. David. That’s an improvement. Let’s see if we can keep it going.

      • You really need to get yourself checked, joshie. You are oying all over the place. Has the power company there in AOC’s little idiocratic Congressional district turned off your lights? Statue fall on yer little head?

        Bolten has wanted to be in charge of U.S. foreign and defense policy, since he was born. Trump gave him an opportunity to advise. Didn’t like his advice and personality, so he unceremoniously gave him the boot. Write book. Make money. Take revenge. The left loons’ hate of Bolten turns to adoration. Whatever.

      • Glad the cult leader hires all the best people. A real indicator of the quality of his decision-making.

        It’s true, though, that I’ll burn in hell for rooting for the mustache.

      • Bolton – More pointless conflicts.
        Trump- Less pointless conflicts.
        As to why Trump hired Bolton, he can read the situation. The establishment is appeased by Trump. Just like bulding stuff in NYC. Hiring Bolton was throwing a bone to the establishment. Then, he fired him. Giving the finger to the establishment. Might try that some time.

      • Amazing how many best people he hires saying they’re great and then fires saying they’re terrible.

        But it couldn’t be a sign he doesn’t have a clue, right? Nope, it means he has a master plan. He always has a master plan. You know, because he loves his country so much.

      • “But it couldn’t be a sign he doesn’t have a clue, right? Nope, it means he has a master plan.”
        Average your two aboves. And bump it up a bit. He’s a little better than average. Which isn’t hard to do.

      • Ragnaar –

        He’s more than a little above average in bringing people into his key positions in his administration singing their praise with superlatives, then firing them or watching them quit, and then trashing them afterwards taking about how bad they were using superlatives.

        Even if we leave our the superlatives, he’s way above average w/r/t his cabinet and we’ll above average with the rest

        https://www.google.com/amp/s/www.brookings.edu/research/tracking-turnover-in-the-trump-administration/amp/

        https://www.google.com/amp/s/time.com/5625699/trump-cabinet-acosta/%3famp=true

      • But I’ll take your view that he’s performed a little below average in terms of personnel management, as inaccurate as it is, as a good sign.

        The cultish assessment of Trump from people with stars in their eyes is more than a little disturbing.

      • Historic roll back of regulations – 50+ years of environmental, health and consumer/worker protection. If you are pro Trump this is his legacy. Own it, rejoice in the damage it inflicts on the environment and societies around the world. To the rest of the planet it reads like a vendetta of a ignorant, sick ideology.
        https://www.brookings.edu/interactives/tracking-deregulation-in-the-trump-era/

      • Cult?

        Fact: performs better than the EU.
        Cult: He failed utterly!
        Fact: HQC has helped people
        Cult: Trump mentioned it, destroy it! Lie about it!
        Fact: Texas and Florida had low death tolls and controlled the virus well Cutt:Call the governors of Texas and Florida murderers, promote the governors of the states with the highest death tolls as heroes.
        Fact: We never ran out of ventilators
        Cult: We must have run out of ventilators!!!
        Fact: Liberals have been holding mass rallies nightly in every city for three weeks without a massive spike in cases
        Cult: one rally scheduled for this Saturday is the only dangerous rally in the country because it’s Republican and the virus discriminates by political affiliation.
        Fact: Reopening is happening prudently and is necessary.
        Cult: reopening can only happen in blue states, anywhere else is an “experiment in human sacrifice” (actual description in The Atlantic of a red state reopening.)

        There’s only one “cult” in our culture right now and it extravagantly beclowning itself.

      • Jeff –

        That you list what you consider to be successes, apparently under the belief that they are unarguably so, coupled with my guess that you would deny many failures that are unarguably so, reinforces my perception that there’s a cult.

        It is exactly aninability to see anything negative, to attribute to him positives that are mere fabrications, and to make excuses for those failures that can’t be avoided, that resemble a cult following of a cult leader.

        I’d provide you with a counter list, but I’m sure it would be quite a waste of time. What would be more interesting to see is a list of the things that you think were unarguably failings on his part.

        Can you do that?

      • Joshua: I’d provide you with a counter list, but I’m sure it would be quite a waste of time.

        You ought to give it a try.

        So far the single worst decision by anyone in authority in the US was Cuomo’s order to NY nursing homes to accept infections COVID-19 patients immediately after their discharges from hospitals.

      • And Jeff –

        We’re 9th worst in terms of per capita deaths, among 215 countries.

        We’re 27th on the list in per capita testing.

        We’re 11th on the list in per capita cases.

        We’re well down on the list of positive testing rate:

        We’re pretty will back in the pack (don’t have the actual number) in terms of rate of positive testing.

        It’s really funny that you insist on pointing to particular countries in the EU for comparison – countries which had community spread well before we did, those which are far closer to the hotspot of Lombardy, with population density on the order of 3 times greater, without considering if they have older populations, or whether they are more likely to live in multi-generational households, or whether they rely much more on public transportation…

        And pick only the one metric as a point of comparison.

        And, of course, you ignore Germany, Denmark, Finland, Portugal, Austria, Coatia, the Czechia, Greece, the Netherlands, Romania, and Switzerland and Denmark which aren’t in the EU but should be a basis of comparison.

        But not a cult member.

      • “What would be more interesting to see is a list of the things that you think were unarguably failings on his part.”

        It’s the hysterics, disinformation and obvious contradictions that make one side a “cult.”
        This is a global deadly pandemic. Better than the EU is not the same thing as “good” it’s a benchmark for reality that disproves the hysterical, dishonest media narrative of utter and complete failure.
        I’m glad you brought up testing the hysterical cult says this is Trump’s personal complete and utter failing. So let’s compare.
        The top six EU countries for testing, combined, have conducted 23.9 million tests for a combined population of 400 million
        The United States, according to Politico not a right-wing site – has conducted 24.9 million tests in a population of 331 million .

        The media is hysterically denouncing a government that’s performing better than comparable wealthy democracies all because they hope nobody notices that one country developing from scratch, building, distributing, administering, and analyzing the results of 25 million tests in three months is pretty impressive and they aren’t bright enough to point out that presidents don’t really have any impact on that.

        https://www.statista.com/statistics/1109066/coronavirus-testing-in-europe-by-country/
        The top six EU countries for number of tests administered are Uk (number one because Boris is bad of course) Germany, Spain, Italy, Turkey and France. Population is from Google. Numbers as of this morning.

        https://www.politico.com/interactives/2020/coronavirus-testing-by-state-chart-of-new-cases/

      • J:

        I say Trump is a bit above average.
        He wins at this: Trolling the left.
        He wins at helping the left show more of their true selves.
        It is the most entertaining President ever. We get those blaming Trump for many things. He was successful enough enough to win and I think it’s more than a coincidence that the magnification has been turned up on so many things. He is in a situation but his ability to cause this situation is quite limited. Over regulation is a situation building for decades. Ripe for rollbacks and slowing. Over regulation is the work of many devoting their lives to it. He didn’t cause snowflakes. But he has an easy answer for it. But that was teed up for him by those whose made the snowflakes. He only needs to be a bit above average. He makes us wonder why Republican politicians aren’t a bit above average?

        Trump did not cause our foreign policy. But it only takes a bit above average to not bomb where ever and fire Bolton shortly thereafter. All this stuff was teed up for him by the Democrats and the Republicans.

      • J:

        My all time favorite was Trump making the left in favor of war. Simple. Elegant and only requires being a bit above average.

      • Your comment is awaiting moderation.
        Ragnaar –

        I will agree that he’s above average at some things.

        Yes, he’s definitely above average at tr*lling the left.

        He’s also way above average at lying.

        He’s above average at making totally contradictory statements and not caring that he’s made totally contradictory statements.

        He’s slightly above average at catering to dictators (although admittedly, he’s got a lot of competition there from other presidents).

        He’s above average at claiming successes that don’t exist – remember when North Korea was no longer a threat?

        He’s well-above average at acquiring a cult following.

        Along those lines, and related to his trolling ability, he’s extremely above average at exploiting tribalism, and rancor, and hatred towards the left, and he’s really, really good at exploiting hatred at Jim Acosta.

        He’s way above average at hiring and working with flat out crooks, mafia, etc.. Of course, that’s not new – he’s been good at that for decades.

        He’s way, way, way above average at ostentatious displays of the wealth he inherited.

        And I hear he’s above average at golf – but then again with the amount of practice he’s had since he’s come into office he should be pretty good at it.

        > But he has an easy answer for it. But that was teed up for him by those whose made the snowflakes. He only needs to be a bit above average.

        And lest I forget, he’s way above average at playing the victim. He really has a remarkable skill at doing so.

        And that goes along with his way above average ability to deny any accountability for any of his failings. Although, I have to give his cult members a lot of credit for that. If they could ever bring themselves to hold him accountable, his ability to avoid any accountability would be severely diminished. But they’re too busy hatin’ on libz and Jim Acosta to be bothered.

      • Ragnaar –

        I will agree that he’s above average at some things.

        Yes, he’s definitely above average at trolling the left.

        He’s also way above average at lying.

        He’s above average at making totally contradictory statements and not caring that he’s made totally contradictory statements.

        He’s slightly above average at catering to dictators (although admittedly, he’s got a lot of competition there from other presidents).

      • He’s way, way, way above average at ostentatious displays of the wealth he inherited.

        And I hear he’s above average at golf – but then again with the amount of practice he’s had since he’s come into office he should be pretty good at it.

        > But he has an easy answer for it. But that was teed up for him by those whose made the snowflakes. He only needs to be a bit above average.

        And lest I forget, he’s way above average at playing the victim. He really has a remarkable skill at doing so.

        And that goes along with his way above average ability to deny any accountability for any of his failings. Although, I have to give his cult members a lot of credit for that. If they could ever bring themselves to hold him accountable, his ability to avoid any accountability would be severely diminished. But they’re too busy hatin’ on libz and Jim Acosta to be bothered.

      • Ragnaar –

        He’s above average at claiming successes that don’t exist – remember when North Korea was no longer a threat?

        He’s well-above average at acquiring a cult following.

      • Along those lines, and related to his trolling ability, he’s extremely above average at exploiting tribalism, and rancor, and hatred towards the left, and he’s really, really good at exploiting hatred at Jim Acosta.

      • Raggnar,
        June 6, 2020 8:00AM ET (RollingStone.com)
        America’s Longest War Takes a Deadly New Turn
        Under the Trump administration, the U.S. military has ramped up a reckless air war that is killing Afghan civilians in record numbers

        “Last year, the U.S. dropped more bombs on Afghanistan than in any year in the past decade. There were more than 1,000 civilian casualties, 700 dead and 345 wounded, from U.S. and Afghan airstrikes, the fifth year in a row airstrike casualties have risen, according to the U.N.”

        The US needs to stop this two party crime syndicate. There are at least 5 factions, right, moderate-right, center, moderate-left, left. Start with public funding of campaigns and rank choice voting.

      • Jeff –

        The problem for the cult members as that as we improve (slowly) up from 188th place in per capita testing, we’re not addressing the real problem which is that we’re the 204th worst at preventing spread per capita – and after all, that is the goal of testing, isn’t it?

        Well, except for Trump. He’s on record as saying that testing is “overrated,” and that the problem with more testing is that when you do more testing there are more cases, and that “if we stop testing right now, we’d have very few cases.”

        I think that only a cult member could support a president who makes statements like that.

      • Joshua:and hatred towards the left, and he’s really, really good at exploiting hatred at Jim Acosta.

        I think you have that backward. Trump is really good at exploiting the left’s hatred for the rest of America, and Jim Acosta’s animosity toward him. I read editorials, tweets, and facebook posts that agree with you, but I think that Trump has the edge in the rhetoric war among swing voters.

        So make up your list of Trump’s mistakes and show us how you would persuade the swing voters of OH, MI, NC, PA, and WI that Trump’s mistakes are worse than Obama’s, or that Biden can be depended upon to be an improvement.

      • I should modify that.

        In one sense, it isn’t a problem for the cult members that we’re doing poorly at preventing spread. In being cult members, nothing can shake their fealty – short of some kind of de-brainwashing intervention.

        But it is a problem for all of us, as it would mean that more of us are infected. Let’s just hope that the rise in infections really is primarily a function of more testing, or who is being tested, or that the spread is going to peter out.

        Despite the hatred, cult members and non-cult members have the same interests in that respect.

      • Matthew –

        > I think you have that backward. Trump is really good at exploiting the left’s hatred for the rest of America,…

        Well, I’m sure there’s a self-reinforcing loop in both directions. Trump can say “See, see how much they hate me, and it’s because they’re loons, and they’re radicals, and they are do-nothings, and they hate America, and they hate me because I love America, and I care about the people, and I’m trying to restore America to the greatness we once had….”

        And people on the left hate him for his rhetoric, and people on the right love him because they identify.

        I do think it’s instructive that there’s a fair amount of people who have been life-long Republicans who see Trump as deliberately exploiting division for his own political expediency.

        But of course, they are attacked as well merely for expressing that opinion – even though by your reasoning that would mean that they, as well, have “hatred for the rest of America.”

      • Ukraine.

        Who cares? Used to care enough to impeach Trump. Nobody cares. Side show. A solemn duty. They prayed for the President. Ukraine is just as bad as before. Trump is still my President.

        Believe all women? Nope. Not now. Not all women. Side show. Wall to wall coverage. Angry people. Now? Not really.

        He makes the Democrats do that. The Republican politicians are a bunch of frauds too. They are mostly sitting this one out. Helping Trump now and again.

      • “…we’re the 204th worst at preventing spread per capita …”

        What does that even mean?

        I bet we’re the 394th worst at left-handed cricket in urban public elementary schools! The horror!

      • > What does that even mean?

        Really? That has to be explained?

        There are 203 countries that have a lower per capita rate of infections. Now of course, the rate of infections is related to the rate of testing, but we’;re only 27th on the list of countries with respect to per capita testing, and our (slow) increase in ranking on per capita testing isn’t particularly improving our rate of per capita infections.

        In short, it means that we’ve done a pretty poor job of protecting our citizens from illness and death.

      • > > What does that even mean?

        Is that what you say when Trump says that we’ve done the best job in the world at testing?

        I have to say, it seems you’re in deeper than I thought.

      • It’s really remarkable.

        We have one of the highest rates in the world of deaths per capita.

        We have one of the highest rates in the world of infections per capita.

        Our rate of testing is mediocre at best (particularly considering the resources we could being to bear).

        And Jeff holds on to pretending he doesn’t know what any of that means.

        And denies he’s in a cult.

        Remarkable.

      • Don Monfort

        Little joshie’s blatantly obvious hatred of the POTUS is eating him up. How is the little fella going to survive 4 more years?

      • Joshua: In short, it means that we’ve done a pretty poor job of protecting our citizens from illness and death.

        The statistics are more interesting than that.

        The US has done more tests per million than India (80,000 vs 5000 appx) but the US has a higher rate of death per million (360 vs 10 appx). Is there a case that one country has done a better job? Especially in light of the fact that the US has much more commerce and travel with China than India has?

        The UK has conducted more tests per million than the US (110,000 vs 80,000 appx), but has a higher death rate per million than the US (620 vs 360 appx). Which country has done a better job, and can you tell from these figures?

        For assessing the “job” that the US has done, what are the good comparisons? Peru (43,000 tests per million, 220 deaths per million)? Pakistan (4500, 14 respectively)? Israel (87,000, 33)? Ivory Coast? Senegal? Maldives? Sri Lanka?

        Because of the similar economies and trade (including China), I’d go with the comparison to the EU.

        It’s complicated by our Federal system and the fact that the Constitution gives most power over health and safety to the states. Within the US, variation across states is great. In most, the Feds have played little or no role other than giving conflicting and changeable advice.

        You don’t have to be a Trump supporter to perceive that a lot of the criticism of Trump is off the deep end.

      • Don Monfort

        Oy: “In short, it means that we’ve done a pretty poor job of protecting our citizens from illness and death.”

        The little fella is talking about the Democrats, who run the blatantly obvious worst parts of the country. Check Democrat Congressional districts for thier leadership in:

        crime
        disease and pestilence
        education failure
        poverty
        homelessness
        joblessness
        homophobia
        misogyny
        welfare dependency
        no dads
        $300 sneakers
        etc.
        etc.

      • No measure is perfect but putting them together you get…

        We rank poorly in deaths per capita. That is clearly the most salient measure, along with hospitalizations.

        Not sure that there is a general trend of an inverse relationship between rates of testing and rates of deaths. There are some counties with a low death rate and a low testing rate, but yeah, a country with a high rate of deaths and a mediocre rate of testing is probably doing a poor job. Then throw in the high rate of infections in this country.

        Rates of positive tests are also important. Looks like we’re pretty mediocre there, also.

        Early testing was probably the most important to get out in front of the spread, and that’s where we did the worst. We’ve gained in per capita testing rates in comparison to some countries like Korea that have much lower fatality rates, but they started out well ahead of us when getting in front of the curve was key. Of course they’ve also done much better in contact tracing and isolation, so that’s another way that we’ve done poorly.

        Its rather remarkable how hard people push back on this. Apparently some people really don’t want to believe that we’ve done poorly even though we have a high death rate, a high infection rate and a mediocre rate of testing, and a poor track record on tracing and isolation relative to countries that have a lower death rate.

        But note not a tiny little teeny weeny sqeak of pushback when Trump or Pence or a Republican politician talks of what a great job that we’ve done.

      • Don –

        > Little joshie’s blatantly obvious hatred of the POTUS is eating him up. How is the little fella going to survive 4 more years?

        Actually, in in a good mood about politics. Policevrefirns on the way. More funding for helping the homeless and addicted. More community involvement in policing. Better oversight of cops.

        Transgender rights = HUGE

        Protection of dreamers = HUGE

        I like to tweak the cult members about being cult members but Trump’s mostly a distraction. He’s even hiding on stupid things like the NFL players kneeling.

        And what’s with that whole ramp thing and the glass of water thing? Side-effects from the HCQ?

        The screw up in the virus is important, but not much can be done about it now.

      • Police reforms on the way…

        Anyway, I’ve had my fun for a while. Thanks for the amusement, boyz. It’s been real.

        Not even your nonsense can detract from the good recent SCOTUS and police reform developments.

        Enough with the Trump distraction. I’ll leave you to fawn over him in peace.

      • “There are 203 countries that have a lower per capita rate of infections. ”

        I’m messing with you because you’re trapped by your own political obsession.
        You know that you couldn’t possibly know that without a massive testing effort, right? A testing effort you deny has taken place.
        And since our death toll is low comparable to the EU’s, what you’re saying is that we did the best at preventing deaths.
        For example 5.3% of Americans who tested positive for Covid have died. In France the number is over 15%.

        Your argument- not mine – is that Trump is personally responsible for these numbers. So which is it, did Trump personally turn in the best survival rate, or did France undercount the spread of infections so you could pretend the US rate is high? One of those two is the answer.
        Good luck!

      • Don Monfort

        Is that how you are going to cope with four more years of The Donald POTUS Commander in Chief Most Powerful Man in the world, joshie? Pretend the left loons are winning.

        Police reforms, aka neutering the cops, won’t help the folks who need police protection the most. Black folks. Murder rates will go up again, as they did after the last BLM riots. Cops won’t take chances in the thankless task of defending the defenseless. More businesses and tax-paying citizens will leave the Democrat run cesspool cities.

        Transgender “rights” only harm real girls and women. The feminists are are starting to wake up to left loon identity politics

        Not too many people want the so-called Dreamers deported. However, the SC decision to ignore the fact that the Obama pen and phone edict was unlawful will just add motivation to Trump voters, who will crawl over broken glass a foot deep to give him the honor of appointing two more SCOTUS Jurists and hundreds of other Federal Court Judges. Oy!

        The prognosis for your TDS affliction is not good, joshie.

      • Joshua: We rank poorly in deaths per capita.

        Among whom do we rank poorly? Other countries that have much trade with China and who rank well are Taiwan, Japan, and S. Korea who cut of trade and travel with China early and completely.

        Who among our states rank poorly? The Northeastern Seaboard states that celebrated their internationalism with Europe and China. They account for almost 3/4 of all cases. And then there’s Louisiana.

      • Matthew –

        > Who among our states rank poorly? The Northeastern Seaboard states that celebrated their internationalism with Europe and China. They account for almost 3/4 of all cases. And then there’s Louisiana.

        Actually, much evidence that much of the COVID-19 in the Eastern U.S. seems to have come from Italy. Surprised you didn’t know that.

      • Don –

        > Is that how you are going to cope with four more years of The Donald POTUS Commander in Chief Most Powerful Man in the world, joshie?

        Actually, the CIC aspect is much less concerned to me than the other stuff.

        I mean sure, he’s unstable and far from being a genius – and he could well get us into something bad.

        And sure, the who abandoning the Kurds thing was beyond disgusting.

        And yes, the whole North Korea campaign stunt was more evidence of his self-absorption, but we’re not really worse off for it.

        And yeah, the whole military budget thing is a boondoggle that leaves us worse off.

        And yes, his embrace of facists and tyrants and authoritarians is very disturbing.

        And yes, he’s driven allies away, and China is stepping in to fill in the gaps in many places.

        And yes, he’s advanced the cause of rightwing human rights abuse in places like Brazil and Bolivia.

        And yes, his embrace of Saudi Arabia is beyond disturbing, especially after the Khashoggi situation.

        But in some ways the fact that he doesn’t have a clue about foreign policy has led to four years of foreign policy not that too much worse than his predecessors (for example, presidents have been in bed with Saudi Arabia for quite a while now).

        And fortunately, it seems that sane military leaders have stepped in to limit his impact behind his back, and they’ve also criticized him publicly which I think tends to rein him in because all he cares about is his public image and so he’s sensitive to criticism from the military.

        So yeah, in some ways he’s less of a disaster with the CIC role than in other aspects of his presidency.

      • Joshua: Actually, much evidence that much of the COVID-19 in the Eastern U.S. seems to have come from Italy.

        You shifted your ground. How does that show that the US ranks below someone – India, Fiji, UK, or France for example?

        Perhaps you are trying to contribute to the case that Trump ought to have halted foreign travel, China and EU especially, as early as Jan 1, 2020?

      • Matthew –

        > Perhaps you are trying to contribute to the case that Trump ought to have halted foreign travel, China and EU especially, as early as Jan 1, 2020?

        Let’s take it out of the Trump category, or what *should* or *shouldn’t* have been done.

        I think that halting foreign travel, particularly from “hotspots,” has a positive effect if you do it before there is community spread. If you do it after there is community spread, it is less effective. And by that logic, the degree of community spread at the time you halt foreign travel is obviously relevant.

        Also relevant is what you do with foreign travelers that do come in, to the extent that its hard to shut it down completely (say with citizens). It’s ideal to have a robust program for isolation and follow-up, and to the extent that you don’t require isolation and provide facilities and resources for isolation, the robustness of your contact tracing program is also important.

        Many of the countries that have handled the virus the best (i.e., limited spread per capita and deaths per capita) have provided a good model.

      • So I said we would see Sweden pass Italy and Spain last week, but now it lloks like it will take another two weeks. In fact, Spain’s new numbers have jumped dramatically. They must have started counting more probable deaths.

      • India also did not have the political backlash against hydroxy chloroquine. Might that have been a factor?

    • “He wins at this: Trolling the left.”

      If Donald Trump announced it was important to drink liquids, half the Democratic Party would be in the hospital for dehydration within 24 hours.

      Anthony Fauci would appear on television to tell us authoritatively that water can be bad (you can drown in it) or good.
      The NYT would headline Fauci’s statement as “Expert: Trump’s Advice to Americans Potentially Lethal”
      The Washington Post would record Trump’s suggestion that water is good for you as his 7,345,687th untrue statement while CNN would host a panel on hydration as cultural appropriation- humans did first consume water in Africa. MSNBC would note the United States has an institutionalized inequality in water pressure at the tap that is almost detectable.
      By the end of July, Trump “sycophants” will be saying the man’s opponents must be consuming liquids because they’re still above ground. This will be denied until a tabloid paper runs photos of Joe Biden sipping from a water bottle.

      • Latest Trump Tweet:

        “Sun rises in West. Dem hoax it rises in East. Because lefties like China and China is in the East.”

        Fox News: DOJ to Investigate NASA Sunrise Scandal

        Breitbart: Senators call for investigation of Hillary Clinton email directing NASA to say sun rises in east in return for political contribution from China.

        Insta-Poll of Republicans on question of direction of sunrise:

        85% West
        7% East
        8% Unsure or think it may be some other direction

        Hannity tonight: Interview with Liberty University astrophysicist on NASA scanals involving moon landing and face on Mars

      • James Cross: “Sun rises in West. Dem hoax it rises in East. Because lefties like China and China is in the East.”

        that’s funny enough; can you do Joe Biden or Nancy Pelosi? Did you sleep through the Obama administration? You know: [there will be no American boots on the ground in Syria] and many others.

      • jeffnsails850 and James Cross: If Donald Trump announced it was important to drink liquids, half the Democratic Party would be in the hospital for dehydration within 24 hours.

        I enjoy the dueling caricatures. Go lightly throughout the election season, please.

      • “…can you do Joe Biden or Nancy Pelosi?”

        Biden: This is crazy, man! He actually said liquids are important! He said that! When I am, um, the, ah, senator of Scranton, there’s gonna be action, not just talk, but action on the plan to, uh, liquids, because he’s wrong, he’s wrong, and that’s what we’ll, um, be doing with our international partners because they understand- in ways Trump never will – that liquids aren’t liquid, they’re solid.

        Pelosi- Once again this sad, sad man has placed Americans in danger and caused unnecessary division with his anti-scientific ranting about the alleged importance of liquids. Much worse, we have seen recent news reports that many so-called “red states” actually have publicly funded projects that put these dangerous liquids into every house. Reports suggest evidence that minorities have been forced by the Texas government to bathe in water as there is no available alternative. As speaker of the House, I have introduced immediate legislation to defund any local government providing lethal doses of water to American homes. In addition we will be demanding $16 trillion for a nationwide infrastructure effort to replace all of our nation’s dangerous “water” systems with those designed to carry much safer H2O. This will be a massive undertaking, mostly to replace signs, but together we can accomplish this if we unify our country in hatred of the Republicans’ anti-science, dangerous mismanagement.

  24. Robert Clark

    I am listening to Biden’s talk about the virus and how this virus being out of control is all the President’s fault. That is not true. It is our fault. Back about a month you did 1.5 million tests. It shows we can control this until science finds the solution. One thing I missed is that from the time the individual is infected, that individual is transmitting the virus for about 3 days before the test can detect it.

    We know how to bring the percentage down. TEST, TEST, TEST, TEST!!!!

  25. More from the German face mask study:We use the synthetic control method to analyze the effect of face masks on the spread of Covid-19 in Germany. Our identification approach exploits regional variation in the point
    in time when face masks became compulsory. Depending on the region we analyse, we find that face masks reduced the cumulative number of registered Covid-19 cases between 2.3% and 13% over a period of 10 days after they became compulsory. Assessing the credibility of the various estimates, we conclude that face masks reduce the daily growth
    rate of reported infections by around 40%.

    This was made possible by the relative homogeneity of Germany, which made possible the selection of regions that were highly similar but almost independent. Comparing Sweden to Switzerland this way would likely be futile.

    AND

    We should also stress that 40 to 60% might still be a lower bound. The daily growth rates in the number of infections when face masks were introduced was around 2 to 3%. These are very low growth rates compared to the early days of the epidemic in Germany, where daily growth rates also lay above 50% (Wälde, 2020). One might therefore conjecture that the effects might have been even greater if masks had been introduced earlier.

    It’s demonstrably a real effect, but claiming a 40% reduction from a 3% infection rate is a bit of an oversell.

    In my readings so far, this is the best evidence that requiring facemasks is effective.

    I don’t know how you could do this in the US. How could you construct “virtual [statistical] controls” for states as diverse as NY, GA, FL, and TX?

  26. Everett F Sargent

    Coronavirus Antibody Tests Have a Mathematical Pitfall
    The accuracy of screening tests is highly dependent on the infection rate
    https://www.scientificamerican.com/article/coronavirus-antibody-tests-have-a-mathematical-pitfall/

  27. –snip–

    Have deaths from COVID-19 in Europe plateaued due to herd immunity?

    –snip–

    Click to access PIIS0140-6736(20)31357-X.pdf

  28. –snip–

    Estimating the effects of non-pharmaceutical interventions on COVID-19 in Europe.

    –snip–

    https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2405-7

  29. from the Geneva seroprevalence study: We invited 6229 participants of 9500 with an email address (after inviting participants to update their contact information; appendix p 4). 5492 of these potential participants had valid email addresses and were invited to participate over the first 5 weeks. 1919 (34·9%) accepted the invitation (of whom 1360 [70·9%] have already participated and 559 [29·1%] have booked an appointment), 147 (2·7%) refused to participate or were not eligible (because their primary residence was outside of Geneva or they had died), and 3426 (62·4%) have a pending
    status (waiting to book an appointment or being recontacted). Between April 6 and May 9, 2020, we enrolled 2834 individuals, including household members of Bus Santé participants, of whom 2766 had complete data and were included in our analysis.

    This describes a bias we have come to expect. Of the random sample for the Bus Sante’ study, 60% agreed to participate. Of those participants, the investigators focused for this study on participants who had cell phones. Of the cell-phone-owning participants selected via cell phone or regular mail, 35% agreed to participate. Of those, the reported study results are based on the earliest responders.

    Unless the self-selection biases are negligible, the confidence limits are optimistic.

  30. Spain: “we implemented a … treatment outside the hospital with hydroxychloroquine plus azithromycin … associated with a reduction in the burden of hospital … successful in terms of the number of patients who have developed serious complications.”

    The comparison of before protocol adoption to after protocol adoption does not explicitly show an improvement following adoption.

  31. “Complex systems tend to falsify every hypothesis by virtue of the fact that there are lots of processes interfacing with each other.” – Eric Weinstein

    CO2 is the control knob. Social distancing is the control knob. Two fails. I don’t care how many times some politician says, Data and Science. Fail.

    This is just been a fast played out version of climate change. For our short attention spans. What do we do next week?

  32. Click to access s41591-020-0965-6.pdf


    Article describes rapid decline of IgG in convalescent period, with conversion back to seronegative in 40% of asymptomatics and 13% of symptomatics.

    A rough estimate, assuming 60% asymptomatics in an outbreak, would yield 24% + 5% = 29% seronegatives 8 weeks after infection in a 100% infected population. Thus serologic surveys likely underestimate attack rate by 40% or more. The question will be if these seronegative convalescents are truly susceptible again, or may have sustained immunity which is not detectable using current IgG testing.

  33. RTW –

    > The question will be if these seronegative convalescents are truly susceptible again, or may have sustained immunity which is not detectable using current IgG testing.

    What would the mechanism for the immunity be if someinee doesn’t test positive for the IgG antibody? IgM antibodies?

    • I am neither an immunologist or virologist, but based on my general medical and scientific knowledge:

      No, IgM is an initial immune response and once the organism is no longer “naive”, it will not play much of a role.

      The negative tests may reflect a non-detectable level of IgG, which will rise quickly due to “memory” B-cells which will proliferate quickly and begin to produce detectable IgG on restimulation by SARA-CoV-2 antigens.

      At least as important would be T-cell response and especially cross-reactive antibody response. The COVID-19 antibody testing is designed to exclude crossreactive activity from other coronaviruses and other related antigenic material in order to improve test specificity for true SARS-CoV-2 exposure. So the targeted antigenic material are parts of the spike protein, etc. which are fairly unique this single virus. Antibodies which react to coronaviruses in general are not detected in the assay on purpose.

      However, your immune system is designed to produce the most economical defense to the external environment and SARS-CoV-2 is not its sole obsession. So a possible mechanism would be that on initial SARS-CoV-2 exposure, the antibody responses include IgM and subsequently IgG production specific to the spike S2 protein and the like along with stimulation of the non-specific antibodies programmed in the “memory” cells for coronaviruses or similar pathogens in general. This later response may be much large because of the “memory” response, and adequately protective at some level to prevent infection. As the antigenic stimulus recedes, the specific antibody response will diminish, but the non-specific “memory” response may be much more prolonged, especially if continuing exposure to environmentally plentiful coronaviruses is present. This residual response could confer some complete or partial immunity for a considerably longer period of time, e.g. until the next seasonal respiratory virus episode.

      All these questions could only be answered by a primate animal model or human experimentation, both of which are not that likely achievable or morally acceptable at this time.

  34. https://thomasglassphd.com/category/daily-briefings/

    2. COVID-19 cases rising in US after falling; COVID-19 deaths falling in US. Will decline in deaths continue with earlier diagnosis and improved care? Does the rising case rate result from simultaneous increase in testing and decline in rate of spread?

    • Hi Matthew. In my state the count of cases has “surged!!!!” 41% in the last three weeks, the count of “hospitalized” has “skyrocketed”32%, but this is not evidence of our “dangerous!!!!” reopening because our governor is a Democrat.
      The number actually in the hospital (pending and confirmed) is dropping like a stone to numbers not seen since since the beginning of this and the number on ventilators has dropped 40% over three weeks.

      But, wait, how could those numbers be possible – a “surge!!!” and a decrease? The number of test results returned increased 80% in those three weeks and include, a significant number of results for tests that were administered weeks ago.
      In other words, the massive scale up of testing is catching asymptomatic or mild cases nobody noticed before and we’re confirming that people in the hospital in late April and early May actually did have Covid.
      And a group of people in the media and politics are selectively using the statistics in order to play political games.

      • You should wait a couple of weeks for determining there won’t be an increase in hospitalizations in association with the rising cases. I would think that people would have learned by now to be more careful with jumping to conclusions.

      • Don Monfort

        Are you saying that your left loon comrades in media and politics aren’t selectively using stats to play political games, joshie? Don’t try to sell us that BS.

      • Don –

        I’ve said consistently, and over and over, that I think it is politicized on both sides.

        It’s just so funny how difficult it is for some people to grasp such a simple concept.

      • Don Monfort

        We know what you have said consistently. You are consistently disingenuous. Tedious, too.

      • Yes Jeff, The corporate media hasn’t been this partisan and dishonest since the late 19th Century. They view this new virus as an opportunity to sell their narratives in favor of cultural marxism. They construct narratives that appear quickly and then vanish when they are debunked, without the media ever admitting they were wrong. Remember “Russian collusion.” That was a huge one that lasted years and really was manufactured by collusion between the deep state and the media.

      • Matthew R Marler

        Joshua: You should wait a couple of weeks for determining there won’t be an increase in hospitalizations in association with the rising cases. I would think that people would have learned by now to be more careful with jumping to conclusions.

        I am sure that we’ll all be checking almost everyday. No conclusions jumped to, just the state of the pandemic so far.

      • BTW –

        > In other words, the massive scale up of testing is catching asymptomatic or mild cases nobody noticed before and we’re confirming that people in the hospital in late April and early May actually did have Covid.

        Would you expect to see an increasing positivty test rate then? Is that what you see?

      • Even hospitalizations is a limited metric. Could be that there are people who didn’t go to the hospital for it her reasons during the shelter in place but are going in now – say for elective surgeries.

        Deaths is probably the most informative metric of the tend, along with maybe ICU admissions as the best metric of the trend of future threat. Thus far most locations still have enough ICU beds to handle a surge. Although certain localities, like Arizona, are treading close to the line:

        https://covidactnow.org/us/az?s=53768

        Let’s hope that rhe current upward trend in cases is mostly a function of the testing. The downward trend in deaths might be a good sign, but the drop-off in the places where the most people were dying – like NY, NJ, etc. – is much more dramatic than the overall downward movement, and that is a worrying sign. It means that the trend deaths in other areas is to some degree equalizing the drop-off in the worst areas.

        Hopefully, the downward tend in deaths will continue even with the increase in cases. We’ll know in a couple of weeks and it would be more than a worthwhile trade-off for cult members having a claim to a political victory.

    • There is certainly a component of the increase which is due to increased testing. One way to analyze this factor would be to look at % positivity, which would drop dramatically with increased testing in an uninfected pool, but would only drop slightly in an epidemically infected pool, and might even rise if asymptomatic cases are a large proportion of infections.

      There is also the problem of test sensitivity both due to actual test mechanism and due to specimen collection technique. Also, I believe in many states, multiple tests are run on an individual, either as evidence of recovery for public health reasons, or to provide evidence of safety for health care and frontline individuals. For instance, in L.A. County skilled nursing facility residents and staff where there is more than one positive patient or staff in the last 14 days get weekly testing, meaning some individuals have had five or more tests to date. The repeat positive tests on recovery skew the numbers one way. The repeat negative results for screening skew the other way.

      The more accurate number is hospitalization rates and death rates which although fraught with error, are certainly more accurate than “confirmed cases”. However, my guess would be that we are seeing a lull where the massive outbreaks in major urban areas are resolving due to public health measures and some elements of herd immunity in Queens, Bronx and New Rochelle as well as in Lombardy, etc. We will now see the general spread throughout less urban areas in the U.S. The death rate in those areas should be slightly lower than in NYC because of inoculum doses, but where there is sustained aerosol exposure in congregate living situations or in gatherings with poor or recirculated ventilation, especially unmasked, we will see higher inoculum doses and infection fatality rates.

    • The linked article is not quite correct because if you can drop R down below 1, and decrease importation of external vectors to a fraction of you current infected population you can actually flatten the curve to a plateau or a gradual decline and avoid the broadened peak. Of course, you may not succeed to eliminating the broadened peak, but it may not be practically discernable. So increased hospitalizations are not inevitable with prevention of exponential growth.

  35. Human to mink, mink to human transmission with cats running around positive as well:

    Click to access s41591-020-0965-6.pdf

    https://promedmail.org/promed-post/?id=20200525.7375359

  36. Raises the possibility of bat to mink or cat to human transmission.

  37. Tucker Carlson’s Friday Open:

    He’s capable of making good argument. We all agree on the Democrats. The Republicans have let us down. The economy has been significantly impacted and a number of areas have burned. And the Republicans did what?

    The Democrats want this stuff as they’ll do almost anything to beat Trump. I don’t mean all of them. But I do mean those in the House and Senate.

    The Republicans do what they always do. Hide and keep their heads down. No wonder I am a libertarian.

    Government is supposed to protect us from crimes like arson and vandalism. Our businesses too. It is not supposed to discriminate in favor of certain segments. We are all equal under the law or we are not. We are not kind of equal you scientists. Or are we?

    We point to Seattle. The same thing happens all over the country to a lesser extent. Aided by Republicans who are too afraid.

    We spend 99% of the time practicing for that 1% of the time we need to do something. The Republicans failed us.

    • Every one of the 4 Republicans who live in Seattle failed you.

      • As insane as the extreme Democrats are, you’d think it would be easy for the Republicans to come out of their Don’t Cancel Me Survival Shelters. Anything that comes to mind of them doing that in the past 2 weeks? You’ve got Senators kneeling with some kind of colorful deal arrayed on them. Were the Republican Senators barricaded in their offices? I don’t recall. Trump can’t carry these people too.

      • Don Monfort

        You seem to have missed a lot. Anyway, we been hoping the self-righteous mighty Libertarian horde would show up and save us. Where they at?

      • Republicans win, but they have no principles. Libertarians can’t elected dog catcher, but they score higher on principles. My point is Tucker Carlson’s open on Friday. He seems to be sane. Recently some mob tried to cancel him. Pulling ads. At a time such as this, principles might help. And bravery from the Republicans. Do your job Republicans.

      • Ragnaar –

        Do you think it’s mere coincidence that you think the arguments he makes that align with your politics are the ones that you consider “sane?”

        If you look at the structure of Carlson’s arguments, they often employ fallacious reasoning, strawmen, outrage mining, etc. I didn’t look at the clip you’re speaking of, but I bet that if you went back and watched again with a skeptical eye, you could find some.

        That isn’t to say that he never raises legit points, or that he’s never working with legit concerns, just that he’s often full of it for the benefit of rehorical games and pleasing his audience – as any true skeptic would expect of *any* media figure. Don’t forget, with media treatment of complex conditions, you are the easiest person for you to fool.

        Have you forgotten that? It should be a basic principle of a libertarian approach to considering what is principled.

        But the funniest part is when he cries “censorship” because a private sector business chooses to define the terms and conditions of how the service they procide gets used by him. And then libertarians think that. is a principled argument? Maybe like Trump, he thinks the government should dictate how private sector companies should be able to provide their service?

        And he has a national TV platform to promote his views that he cries are being “CENSORED!11!!!!1”.

        And libertarians think that consumers shouldn’t lobby companies to withdraw advertisement, in line with their opinions?

        It’s all such a rich target zone for motivated training.

      • My target was the Republicans and their absence from recent events. Carlson is not beholden to them.

        Democracy – You have to have a message. What is the Republicans? It’s not order. Not protecting property. Not free speech. It’s don’t cancel me. It is going to be the message more than principles. That’s democracy and the best we got. But we could have a consistent message coming for somewhere.

        This is why Trump won. He couldn’t be canceled.

        I didn’t say Carlson had principles. He’s part of the Fox team. I meant to say he was accurate on the Republicans recent lack of responses.

        Sam Harris said, it’s not getting worse for the Black/Police/Shooting interface as far as I know. What Republicans said that? Harris is far left and has Trump Derangement Syndrome. Jesus.

        The Republicans are too afraid to say that. What good are they? Why did they get all this fundraising money? They didn’t answer the bell.

      • J:

        It’s nice that you hang around. Thanks.

    • I don’t see a lot of real evidence in that link that it was made in a laboratory. It is mostly a lot of speculation built around the fact it is almost impossible to find a patient zero.

      But let’s say it was made in a laboratory. Then it could have been made in a laboratory anywhere in the world then released in Wuhan. Who is the main proponent of the theory it was laboratory made? A entrepreneur for a Russian biotech firm. Who would benefit most from a Chinese origin of the virus? Russia. Not George Soros or Bill Gates.

    • https://www.independentsciencenews.org/health/the-case-is-building-that-covid-19-had-a-lab-origin/ This essay has a lot of good information and links.

      There’s substantial evidence that Covid-19 might have been lab produced, and most likely Dr. Fauci, the WHO, and the Gates Foundation know this, as all of them are linked to Ecohealth Alliance, which has received grants to work on gain-of-function research at Wuhan. See https://www.ecohealthalliance.org/partners

      What’s Ecohealth Alliance? From their website: “EcoHealth Alliance is a global environmental health nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting wildlife and public health from the emergence of disease.” Like, for example, through gain-of-function research.

      Peter Daszak is the president of Ecohealth Alliance, and in that capacity he’s received numerous grants for research at the Wuhan laboratory, including grants given through the NIAID, Dr. Fauci’s agency. https://grantome.com/search?q=@author%20%20Peter%20Daszak

      The scientific and policy advisors to Ecohealth Alliance include representatives from the NIH, the CDC, the WHO, and the Gates Foundation.

      If we assume that Dr. Fauci knew of the research at Wuhan– and it’s highly likely that he did, as his agency gave numerous grants to Daszak specifically for coronavirus research at Wuhan– then we have to ask ourselves this question: why, when Governor Cuomo ordered nursing homes to take Covid-19 patients, did Dr. Fauci fail to step in and have a conversation with the Governor when his own agency was funding research into coronavirus emergence over several years, with the specific research title of “Understanding the Risk of Bat Coronavirus Emergence?” Furthermore, why, when NY state specifically prohibited nursing homes from testing incoming patients for Covid-19, did Dr. Fauci keep silent?

      • That there was research on cornoavirus at the Wuhan center isn’t in question. Fauci, I’m pretty sure, knew that. It is located in practically the ecological world center for coronavirus and they have been actively studying and collecting them for years in China. Would you prefer that nobody study them?

        It doesn’t follow it was engineered or that it escaped from a lab. And there is no substantial evidence.

        Nor does it follow that if it was engineered it occurred in a lab in China. It could have happened in any number of governmental and private labs in dozens of countries. And the logical place to release it would have been Wuhan.

      • Jame Cross,
        I said:

        “There’s substantial evidence that Covid-19 might have been lab produced, and most likely Dr. Fauci, the WHO, and the Gates Foundation know this, as all of them are linked to Ecohealth Alliance, which has received grants to work on gain-of-function research at Wuhan.”

        Note: “might.” That was deliberate.

        According to the essay I linked to (and the links it contains,) there’s substantial evidence that these sorts of labs aren’t as secure as generally supposed, that pathogens have escaped in the past, that the safety of the Wuhan lab had been called into question, and that the Wuhan lab had been working on gain-of-function research.

        I agree that the pathogen could have been produced anywhere and released in Wuhan.

        I’m still looking into this. I don’t know. I’m interested in other opinions, so yes, I pretty much agree with you. Except I don’t quite understand why we need to be researching gain-of-function pathogens. This is an area fraught with ethical concerns and these concerns should be thoroughly vetted. But, that’s another question. Right now my concern is, who knew what and when about Covid-19, and is important information being kept from the public? If Covid-19 was produced in the lab, was the release deliberate in order to cripple the world economic order, save the planet from global warming (after all, we only had 12 years left) and install a new world order dictated by transnational entities such as the Ecohealth Alliance, the Gates Foundation, and the UN and other corporate partners? After all, who’s going to pick up the pieces if another wave hits? Granted this is speculation, but it’s important for us to consider these questions and be vigilant if we value our freedom and if we value democracy; we all hope these are mere speculations and paranoid fantasies with no substance, but we must consider them and all such questions, and our fears for the usurpation of our freedom from quarters we might only dimly suspect must trump our distaste for “conspiracy theories.” We should look into all possibilities. If everything is innocent, no one has anything to fear, and no one should say “no, you can’t look there, that’s conspiracy theory.” That would be the signal to look even closer.

        “[N]o natural virus matching to COVID-19 has been found in nature despite an intensive search to find its origins. …

        “[R]esearchers from the Wuhan lab travelled to caves in Yunnan (1,500 Km away) to find horseshoe bats containing SARS-like coronaviruses. To-date, the closest living relative of Sars-CoV-2 yet found comes from Yunnan. Why would an outbreak of a bat virus therefore occur in Wuhan?

        “Moreover, China has a population of 1.3 billion. If spillover from the wildlife trade was the explanation, then, other things being equal, the probability of a pandemic starting in Wuhan (pop. 11 million) is less than 1%.”

        From https://www.independentsciencenews.org/health/the-case-is-building-that-covid-19-had-a-lab-origin/

  38. So far…

    • > COVID is the 23rd worst.

      Good thing we sheltered in place, huh?

      • Perhaps, but no science to support that position.

      • I’ve shopped at the same grocery store for a very long time now.
        They evidently offer pretty good compensation, because the employee base is very stable and I know all their faces. As far as I know, none of them has fallen ill, and they’ve worked through the whole thing, interfacing hundreds ( thousands? ) of customers a day.

        They did put up plexiglass at the cashiers and the did start wearing masks, but only around late April. There isn’t RCT science about masks, shields or distancing, but for the grocery, anyway, those measures alone perhaps would have been sufficient.

      • TE –

        > Perhaps, but no science to support that POSITION.

        Just because you’ve rejected it out of hand doesn’t mean that none exists.

        https://www.nature.com/articles/s41586-020-2405-7

      • TE –

        > …but for the grocery, anyway, those measures alone perhaps would have been sufficient.

        There is a paucity of well quantified evidence, that is CI trolled well for confounding variables, to provide for an extremely convincing longitudinal analysis, in my opinion. That doesn’t mean that there’s zero evidence.

        For example, we have evidence from Sweden that a more limited approach to shelter in place may well be associated with higher rates of spread and higher rates of death between similar countries (like Denmark, Finland, Norway, and the Netherlands).

        But…. we don’t know yet whether in the long run the differentially worse outcomes in Sweden might equalize over time with the same spread and dsmeafh elsewhere but with more economic pain. Or maybe the worse outcomes in Sweden are primarily due to idiosyncratic factors, such as a more casual attitude there towards treating ill people (such as not providing oxygen therapy at horsing homes). Or maybe over time, if a vaccine is distributed Ina relatively short time frame the differentially worse outcomes in Sweden will prove to be entirely without any relative advantage, because all those extra deaths could have been prevented ming term.

        But theimited evidence doesn’t seem to stop some people from drawing conclusions. If you get my drift.

      • Er… horsing homes = nursing homes…. I think the other corrections are obvious?

      • Yeah, but we have plenty of time to climb up the rankings. We might make it to 21 or 22 in a few weeks after the Big Orange Petri Dish get inoculated tonight.

    • And when did hygiene, sewage, antibiotics, functional hospitals with any treatment other than leeches appear? You should research how many humans used to be eaten by sabretooth tigers as well.

  39. Six Trump campaign staffers working on Tulsa rally test positive for coronavirus

    “The Trump campaign has dismissed concerns about the ongoing pandemic, moving forward with the scheduled rally despite a rising infection rate in Oklahoma. As of Saturday afternoon, Tulsa County reported the most cases — 2,206 total — of any county in the state, according to the Oklahoma State Department of Health. The state recently reported its largest single day increase in coronavirus cases since the start of the pandemic.”

    https://www.cnn.com/2020/06/20/politics/trump-campaign-staffers/index.html

    • Russell Seitz

      The President thinks they’ll be fine after Senator Inhofe’s snowballs melt

      https://vvattsupwiththat.blogspot.com/2020/06/keep-calm-and-refrain-from-thinking.html

    • Don Monfort

      They’ll put them in the balcony.

      Trump’s massive exuberant rallies have always scared the bejeezus out of you left loons.

      Meanwhile, poor old lonely senile Joe:

      • That there’s even a chance Trump might lose to Biden just tells you how terrible a candidate Trump is.

        Lousy ratings all presidency. Lost the popular vote to a terrible candidate with historically low favorability ratings who ran a terrible campaign.

        Incredible that the Demz after picking losers like Gore, Kerry and Clinton could pick someone as bad as Biden.

        But you never know. Maybe if the side effects from the HCQ get worse and Trump tries to drink a glass of water in public a few more times and they cancel all debates…Biden can squeak it out?

      • Don Monfort

        You are a very bitter little left loon, joshie.

        So, you don’t believe the left loon propaganda that Hillary was the most qualified person to ever run for POTUS. You weren’t giddy and popping champagne corks on that fateful Tuesday, only to end the night drowning in your tears.

        Biden is the proof that Democrats will vote for any old creature with a (D) brand.

      • I don’t know who the most qualified person to run for President ever was but I sure know who the most unqualified one was.

      • Don Monfort

        Do you know what your opinion is worth? I will help you:

      • I think Josh, the question is how disconnected from reality is the Democratic party to get railroaded into picking the worst candidate among a field with some who might actually have won like Klobuchar? The answer you may not want to hear is that Dem’s have been torn apart by their socialist woke extremists. They denied the nomination to candidates who might have won to support an aging loony 60’s communist sympathizer. Other candidates were forced out by failing to be woke enough or by looking like liars when they tried to outflank Bernie (Warren). Then the party establishment panicked that Bernie might get nominated and were forced to support a barely alive fossil who has been the epitome of a corrupt politician for 45 years. That’s world class disfunction.

      • > the question is how disconnected from reality is the Democratic party to get railroaded into picking the worst candidate among a field with some who might actually have won like Klobuchar? The answer you may not want to hear is that Dem’s have been torn apart by their socialist woke extremists.

        One if tbe single must remarkably implausible and illogical and just flat out absurd political analyses I’ve ever read in my lifetime. Just goes to show, David, that when you want to reach a particular conclusion, you can do it no matter what

      • I feel we are on probation because of the virus and the riots. Is any of this related to climate, science or renewable energy?

        I thought dpy6620’s above was good. There is the question of is the Democrat party being torn apart by the socialist woke extremists? This is favored by some, but may be a talking point. In 2016, Sanders supporters had to be persuaded back in. The intellectual dark web exists. Why? That’s Dave Rubin and Jordan Peterson and others.

        The idea as a scientist is to see mass and its flows. If something divides and the two parts drift away, we want to see that. We could say that happened. But then we have to develop tests to measure that.

        Klobuchar has had a rough go of it. First she’s upstaged by Ilhan Omar. Who has no record. Then she takes a rhetorical hatchet to Justice K. Then it comes out that she let that cop in Minneapolis continue on. She had and has a black problem. And I am not saying it’s her fault. Then she made the deal whatever it was with the establishment to drop out running for President.

        She is a moderate. But had to go along with her party or decided to do that. She probably would have been a good President. She’d have gotten on well enough with the rednecks.

        This election will be about renewable energy. The price of gasoline and electricity. Pipelines. Energy independence. The economy.

    • James, It is also true that cases in Florida are surging but I’m not worried because the average age of those testing positive is if memory serves 35. In the early days, it was 65. Given this fact, I expect hospitalizations to continue to decline.

      As to the Trump campaign, I don’t see anything wrong with what they are doing. Recall that the purpose of mitigation was never to keep people from getting covid19. It was to flatten the curve. If there is ever a truly effective vaccine (and the tract record is not good), then the epidemic will be over. Failing that, we are going to have to accept that herd immunity is the only answer and hope that better treatment will reduce the death toll. Steroids for those seriously ill are looking very promising incidentally.

      I don’t know where this spurious idea arose that we can just “stop the virus” but stamping it out. That’s about as likely as a solid gold asteroid landing in my back yard.

    • Thousands of empty seats at rally. Overflow area empty and Trump appearance at overflow venue cancelled. Trump’s elderly supporters not willing to risk their life apparently.

  40. Lockdowns Versus Small Business?

    Click to access 20-022.pdf

    “Lockdown orders” or “independent social distancing”, continued

    • Because of lack of financial and resource redundancy, small business will suffer disproportionately in any unexpected social/economic/health dislocation.

      For those who believe that government should protect social structures, an organized governmental response would cushion the damage. For those who believe in skeletal government, there is no cushion.

      As in other aspects of the socialist-capitalist balance, the paradox is that those who advocate the least government restraint also expose the entrepreneural small business sector to the most predatory environment, because the large corporate structures will always have more resources to survive the shocks.

      The biological equivalent is that individual animals always succumb to organized gross changes in the environment. The only time small animals outlast the socialized creatures are when everything is destroyed chaotically, like a meteor strike to the earth. Anyone who has a settled lifestyle would like to avoid cataclysm.

      • “Because of lack of financial and resource redundancy, small business will suffer disproportionately in any unexpected social/economic/health dislocation.”

        I do personal income taxes. Small businesses have a host of advantages. Leanness is one of them. Independence and the lack of shareholders to worry about is another. There’s also flexibility.

        “For those who believe that government should protect social structures, an organized governmental response would cushion the damage.”

        Government will protect us. Beyond point X, no. We don’t need government to level things but to allow us to thrive.

        “As in other aspects of the socialist-capitalist balance, the paradox is that those who advocate the least government restraint also expose the entrepreneural small business sector to the most predatory environment, because the large corporate structures will always have more resources to survive the shocks.”

        With the big shocks, what we see is large corporations being bailed out. Automakers, Financial Institutions, the Airlines.

        Too big to fail means they’ve captured government. Government is then not the savior but a tool for them to use. Don’t look to the government. It’s a bunch of stupid politicians.

    • “Lockdown orders” or “independent social distancing” seems to me to be a false dichotomy. As a individual solo practitioner with limited office space, I can not prescreen, segregate, and educate patients effectively for proportionate costs the way a Kaiser, or a multispecialty practice sponsored by a tertiary care hospital or academic center can. But that is what I need to do for my patients if I take the Hippocratic Oath seriously. So “Lockdown orders” and “independent social distancing” are equivalent in reality for small business.

  41. Matthew R Marler

    RTW: “Lockdown orders” or “independent social distancing” seems to me to be a false dichotomy.

    Lockdown orders are official govt. acts with dates and affected regions. That makes it possible to study whether they had any utility, as in the German study. Voluntary social distancing is harder to measure and study.

    • I was merely stating that for many small businesses there may be little functional difference. I believe that for society as a whole, a clearly defined policy driven by a public health strategy, provides for more apparent social justice and shared burden, but that for the purposes of analyzing effect on small businesses, I am not sure that it makes a difference. The voluntary approach makes for more friction and unrest because of differences in perceived fairness and interpretation of the commonweal.

  42. RTW: I was merely stating that for many small businesses there may be little functional difference.

    In a manner of speaking, there is always a difference between what can be reliably studied and shared, and what arguably “really” matters. To almost everyone, it’s the behavior that matters; for policy shapers and voters, we have to focus on the reliable and shareable knowledge from research. It is a constant turmoil to reconcile these perspectives.

    What is “equivalent in reality” is, for practical purposes, unfortunately not reliably known.

  43. ‘Superforecasters’ Are Making Accurate Predictions About COVID-19 [link]

    That link does not work.

  44. It’s amazing how quiet certain people on this thread have gotten now the virus is spiking in Florida, Texas, and Arizona. Governors gung-ho to open up now are trying to cope with a crisis they could have avoided if they had learned from what New York and Europe went through.

    Few left claiming CV is seasonal. Not many thinking Vitamin D and sunshine was all that was needed. The Sunshine State is showing rates of growth like NY did in the early stages of the epidemic.

    As it now continues to spread throughout the US, we can expect it to revisit NY and all the other places it has been in the fall. Efforts to keep out the infected of one area from another are hopeless. It’s a national problem not a state one, and needs a national solution.

    Compare death rates of S. Korea with US and we can see what would have been possible, Probably fewer than 10,000 deaths in the US was doable, possibly with the economy quickly back on its feet. Now that it has spread all over and all appetite for lockdowns is gone we have no control over what happens next.

    If the antibodies only are viable for a few months, even herd immunity may need years to achieve.

    • Florida, Texas, and Arizona will be fine. They are adapting, an attribute of successful life. There is a bell curve distribution of responses. You bracket things. Make sense? Or you do full on authoritarian like the China. We are what we are. We are the best. Big picture, we win.

      Vitamin D is not all that was needed and I doubt you can quote somebody here saying that. It helps. It’s adaptive and part of the bell curve of responses to see what works. I would like you give up Vitamin D to be part of the experiment.

      It is not a National or a State problem but an individual one. We’ve had enough of politicians trying to save us. We survived anti-vaxxers, vegans and rooftop solar. We can handle this.

      • > Florida, Texas, and Arizona will be fine. They are adapting, an attribute of successful life.

        We don’t actually know yet what will happen. I how that you’re right and that the dramatic rise in cases doesn’t translate to as deaeix a rise in hospitalizations and deaths. We’ll know in a few weeks and your optimism will hopefully pan out.

        On the other hand regardless, your prediction of being done ignores two important considerations – the first is that the impact affects different people differently. While the state populations as a whole may tien out to be “fine,” there are sub-populations where thst won’t be the case. The difficulty I have with statements such as yours is thst they seem to me to effectively ignore that disperate mpact. Certain communities being hot more heavily won’t change the overall oixute of the states rien out to be “fine” overall – but to not acknowledge the disperate impact by making such a characterization seems inappropriate to me. If the states overall are “fine” that doesn’t negate that certain communities will be far from “fine.” I’m sure I can fine many examples where you wouldn’t subsume disperate impact on certain subgroups by merely asserting that on average, everything was “fine.”

        Along the same lines, there is another group who are sacrificing, at a relatively high cost, so that others can pronounce the situation as “fine.”. I would hope the you consider their welfare, as an explicit component, when you come to your overall conclusions. If everything is “fine” in those states it will only be because of their sacrifice. It won’t just be because of some natural course of events. Personally, I think that there are good reasons for the larger community to also sacrifice with recognition of the far greater sacrifice of those upon whom they depend, like medical workers. It disturbs me that many seem to have a sense of entitlement – that they should enjoy the benefits of the sacrifices of those who step up to help others while seeming to whine if they are also called upon to sacrifice. Imo, it isn’t the sign of a healthy community.

      • Yes there are disparate impacts, as there have been for past 100 years. We’ve done a terrible job with that and now is not the time to fix it. What are the wages of sin?

        We want to pursue the path that does the most good. That calculation is impossible. But we have a year ago and we have now. And most of the difference was the pursuit of what? This pursuit is measured as a success or failure how? We have the deaths we have and the deaths we would have had according to…

        Someone said South Korea. I’d rather live in Minnesota now and in the future. I don’t want to move to New Zealand as I’d give up too much.

        We are the best and will remain the best. We are in the middle of doing the remaining though some want to change that. Guilt I guess.

      • > We’ve done a terrible job with that and now is not the time to fix it.

        You can’t fix it [a problem] if you won’t acknowledge that the problem exists.

        > We want to pursue the path that does the most good. That calculation is impossible.

        The difficulty of coming up with an answer doesn’t diminish the importance of trying to answer it. But if you/re complacent enough because the current answer works for you, you’re entitled to that complacency. But it looks rather pathetic of you then lay claim to being a “victim” of “tyranny” when there are many who suffered more than you – and arguably because of your unwillingness to sacrifice. Mask wearing is the current, best example – as if wearing a mask is some huge sacrifice. But we can certainly see many making that claim. Shutting down businesses is another example, and ignoring the uncertainty on the other side – as if there isn’t a calculation being made about the relative merits of shutting down businesses is no better than claiming no one has a right to ask you to sacrifice by wearing a mask. If you want to engage the discussion – but simply refusing the discussion and playing victim, IMO, lack accountability. Such an approach works in junior high school, but IMO doesn’t scale up very well beyond that point

        > And most of the difference was the pursuit of what? This pursuit is measured as a success or failure how? We have the deaths we have and the deaths we would have had according to…

        Yes, those are the questions. Would you just dismiss them by simply claiming that you can’t answer them, or because you’re a victim because people want you to wear a mask?

        > Someone said South Korea. I’d rather live in Minnesota now and in the future. I don’t want to move to New Zealand as I’d give up too much.

        These are false choices. You don’t have to choose to live in S. Korea or live in a country that employs he effective methods they used to address the pandemic.

        > We are the best and will remain the best.

        So that means we can’t/shouldn’t change? Strange logic, that (IMO).

        > Guilt I guess.

        So easy to project something that doesn’t exist onto someone else and then just close your mind, isn’t it?

        It isn’t “guilt” that motivates my view on this. Imagine incorporating that as a baseline and then rethinking your logic. Or not. If just dismissing an alternate view because you’ve determined it is motivated for guilt, and if that works for you, have at it. It’s your right. I wouldn’t want to infringe on your right to be wrong.

      • There are disparate impacts and have been for the past 100 years. Blacks have poor options for educating their children. I admit that. A problem exists. We aren’t solving that in the next 3 months.

        Which is the bigger problem? It’s not the virus.

        We need to find the most urgent problem. This problem will not primarily be solved by righting past wrongs. Just as saying minorities are more impacted by climate change which I doubt has accomplished much.

        I am sure I have claimed to be a victim a number of times in the past. But that’s not my normal thing. I don’t think these arguments depend on that claim. Semantically, sacrifices are voluntary.

        Small businesses. Bottom up. It’s that approach that makes success. Your not telling people what do, you’re figuring out what provides value to them. Non-governmental actions are going to work better.

        They are trying to control an ant colony. When the colony knows what to do. The colony is fine. They are killing the colony or setting it back.

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      • Meanwhile, as I’ve pointed out before, the simple outpatient protocol of HCQ, zinc, and azithromycin hasn’t been tested despite all this time and all the debate over HCQ. I’d suggest that it’s not really the HCQ that’s the key, it’s the zinc: zinc destroys coronavirus in vitro and we have good reason to believe it does the same in vivo. HCQ is an ionophore for zinc. Although there are tests of HCQ and zinc ongoing, many of these don’t test the actual efficacy of the protocol and instead expect that combination to wipe out the virus completely, which was never claimed in the original Zelenko protocol. That simple protocol only claimed that it greatly reduced hospitalizations and deaths.

        There’s more. Recent reports are that many of the current trials for HCQ– again without zinc, and in sick patients– are using lethal doses of HCQ. They’re given patients something like 2.5 grams of HCQ in the first 24 hours when we’ve known since 1979 that 1.5 grams can kill. https://ahrp.org/covid-19-has-turned-public-health-into-a-lethal-patient-killing-experimental-endeavor/

      • Don –

        I’ve been looking for updates on research on HCQ as a prophylaxis – in particular in conjunction with antibiotics and zinc. It would be great if it works. Surprising thst we haven’t seen outcomes one way or the other from any quality studies yet.

      • James cross says that the HCQ, zinc, azithromycin protocol is being tested in a trial and links to it. This may be true, but this is not the Zelenko protocol. HCQ is given at 800 mg the first day, whereas the Zelenko protocol calls for 400 mg each day for five days. Why does the time for HCQ use range from 2-5 days? Eligibility requires a positive Covid test– when is the test administered, how long does it take to get results back?

        In short, yes, we may know results by January, 2021, but I see potential for subversion of honest reporting, such as due to the range of HCQ use and the requirement for a positive test, which may delay an early intervention

        The big question is, when we’ve already had these other trials of HCQ done and published, why have we not yet had a trial of the Zelenko protocol? A seemingly innocent and maybe stupid question, until you think about it. Because, what could be simpler?

    • > Probably fewer than 10,000 deaths in the US was doable, possibly with the economy quickly back on its feet.

      S. Korea is beginning to have sporting events with crowds present. We can bet that it isn’t because of carelessness, or recklessness, or political expediency that they are taking that step. We can bet it is because they have carefully calculated the risks, and scientifically gone about setting up a robust infrastructure for testing, tracing, and isolating that will mitigate the risks they are taking.

      What a shame that our society (government and citizens alike) can’t get out of their way enough to emulate S. Korea’a approach. It’s truly tragic, with respect to the direct impact of the deaths from the virus, but also potentially with respect to the impact of the pandemic on the economy (we shall see how that pans out but it doesn’t look very good, relatively speaking).

      But in the end as ye sow so shall ye reap – because as a society we’re more focused on the political implications of the virus than we are on determining what kinds of sacrifice we should be making for the common good. There are some downsides to the attitude of collectivism embraced by cultures such as the Korean culture, and there some are advantages to the worship of individualism that characterizes much of the American culture – but in the current conditions the relative merits of S. Korean collectivism seem magnified relative to the merits of American individualism.

      • You know if you really like collectivism, you could move the China or Korea Josh. You could continue to spend all your time posting lengthy and mostly content free comments on the internet. Western cultures were the incubators of modern science and industry exactly because they had more freedom of thought and action than other civilizations.

      • Lol. Love it or leave it, eh David? Thst mentality worked 60 years ago, why not now?

        Leave it to you to snowflake out and get all politically correct because I point out that our trajectory has resulted in an orders of magnitude higher death rate than in other countries. And that it is related to different cultural styles.

        As it happens, I lived in Korea for a year – wouldn’t want to move back there. Traveled in New Zealand for 6 weeks. I could see living there but have no immediate plans to move – of course they don’t want people from heavily infected countries like the U. S. anyway.

        Sorry that I upset you by pointing out that there are different advantages from different cultural styles. Maybe sing kumbaya to yourself and you’ll get over it.

      • I’m not a fan of collectivism either and for all sorts of cultural reasons it would have been difficult to do what Korea did in the US. But it does provide a rough guide to what is possible with the virus. At any rate, we certainly know we could do a lot better than holding large indoor rallies while actively discouraging mask use.

      • Your assertion that the US did so much worse than other countries is simply wrong as has been pointed out to you many many times. Most of the major European countries have done worse in terms of deaths per million.

        Do you favor lowering the speed limit to 10 MPH to save 45,000 lives a year and prevent hundreds of thousands of serious injuries?

  45. I don’t know that I ever asserted we did worse than all other countries. Right now we are doing better than Sweden for example, but cases are dropping quickly in most of Europe while ours are still growing. I just say we could have done a lot better. Look at the rate in Korea if that is not obvious. And we could be doing a whole lot better with mask wearing and limitations on indoor gatherings like rallies and bars.

    • Obviously, doing better with nursing homes would have delayed perhaps 50,000 deaths nationwide and that’s on incompetent governors. But most of these 50,000 would have died within a year or two regardless. I actually think that leaders paniced and put in draconian policies. Isolating the vulnerable would have been much smarter but also not politically correct since it “discriminates against those who are old or diseased.” Such a policy could have had minimal economic cost.

      Sweden’s cases are actually dramatically increasing due to more testing.