Monday, July 20, 2020

The experts have no one to blame but themselves

The Week’s Damon Linker frets about the state of the “American character,” citing an emergency physician’s wife he knows whose friends ignore her frantic pleas on Facebook to take COVID-19 more seriously.  The Hill reports that the “experts” are exasperated that people aren’t responding to their warnings about the virus with sufficient urgency. 

Well, of course they aren’t, because so many experts, journalists, and politicians have, on this subject, proven themselves to be completely full of it. 

Hypocrisy and lies

There are several illustrations of this, and everyone knows Exhibit A.  After weeks of peddling panic about the supposedly grave dangers of mass gatherings, many of these experts, journalists, and politicians suddenly decided a few weeks ago that having thousands of left-wing protesters packed together in the streets, across the country and for days, was just fine. 

This rather gave the game away – not because these experts, journalists, and politicians don’t care about the lives of left-wing protesters, but precisely because they do care.  They hardly want hordes of fellow left-wingers dropping dead or confined to hospital beds, especially not when there is political hay to be made by having them riled up.

People aren’t completely stupid.  They can draw the obvious conclusion – that the experts, journalists, and politicians who approved of the protests don’t really believe that people in the age range and with the health status of the typical protester are in serious danger from the virus. 

Hypocrisy isn’t a good reason to reject an argument, but it is an excellent reason to reject testimony.  If people offer advice about matters of safety that they don’t hold even their own friends to, you can be sure they don’t really believe it.  The jig is up.  Telling everyone now to get back inside again sounds at this point like “Pay no attention to that man behind the curtain.”

Meanwhile, the sainted Dr. Anthony Fauci tells us that he and other officials were lying when they initially said that face masks were unnecessary – and then in the next breath complains that many people don’t trust scientific authorities like himself!

Crack immunologist though he is, Dr. Fauci is evidently no expert on logic or even basic human psychology, so let me spell it out for him: When you frankly tell people that you will lie to them when you think doing so is for their own good, they are bound to wonder whether your next remark is also a lie.  Not only is this a natural psychological response, it is a good way to avoid a fallacy of Appeal to Authority.  For as logicians teach, expert testimony should be taken with a grain of salt when there are grounds to doubt an expert’s objectivity.  And any expert who admits that he is a liar is, I submit, giving us such grounds.

Biased reporting

It is now widely acknowledged that the virus poses a serious danger primarily to the elderly and those with serious preexisting medical conditions.  Yes, occasionally there are people who fall outside those categories who also get seriously ill, but that’s true of other illnesses that we don’t respond to with lockdowns and other draconian measures.

So why the hell do people other than those at risk have, at this point, radically to disrupt their lives and livelihoods?  Why not just quarantine those who are sick or especially vulnerable?  Suspicion that there simply is no convincing answer to this question is only reinforced by the blatant dishonesty in much reporting about the virus.  For example, the evidence shows that children are simply not in any significant danger of getting ill from the virus or of spreading it – a now viral recent NBC news video with a group of pediatricians providing some vivid expert testimony to that effect.  Yet the Hill article linked to above, despite essentially acknowledging this, still strains desperately to find a way to scare us into thinking that we just might end up killing the kiddies if we reopen schools.  Which is true in the same sense that you just might kill the kiddies if you take them out on the freeway or let them go swimming.

Linker’s dishonesty is even more shameless.  He writes:

I remember when trusted models were predicting a total of 100,000 deaths from the pandemic. Skeptics dismissed this as scaremongering.  Then the estimates were lowered to 60,000 deaths and the skeptics scoffed: "We wrecked the economy for this? It's just the flu!"  That was three months ago.  On Wednesday of this week, we surpassed 140,000 dead.

Well, here’s what I remember: the notorious Imperial College model’s prediction that we could see over 2 million deaths in the U.S., and similar doomsday scenarios from others.  I doubt Linker has really forgotten that part, but certainly millions of other people have not.  And that, of course, is another reason they are skeptical now.  They would be insane not to be.  Linker should worry less about the “American character” and more about the character of experts and politicians – and of journalists like himself, who apparently thinks that his readers are all Memento cases who will buy his ridiculous insinuation that the experts were lowballing the death rate four months ago.

Then there is the manifestly politicized nature of much of the coverage.  The crisis has been far worse in “blue states” than in “red states,” and yet the press routinely demonizes Republican governors and lionizes Democratic governors.  The most ridiculous example is the hagiographic treatment afforded New York governor Andrew Cuomo, whose administration’s policy of forcing infected elderly people back into nursing homes is responsible for thousands of deaths.  Had Donald Trump done such a thing, we would now be subjected to yet another impeachment jihad.  Last week, the stench of this BS finally got to be too much even for CNN’s Jake Tapper.

When journalists transparently act like people who want to push a narrative rather than disinterested pursuers of truth, they can hardly complain when people respond accordingly.

Lack of common sense

It so happens that the politicians and journalists most inclined to push for draconian policies for dealing with the virus also tend to be those most inclined to minimize or excuse the behavior of looters and rioters, to call for police to stand down rather than prevent such violence, to call even for defunding the police, and to endorse other similarly insane and depraved notions.

Well, here’s the thing.  Suppose some authority makes it clear that he is not interested in doing what is necessary to keep your business from being looted or burnt down, or to keep your neighborhood safe.  You will naturally conclude that he is lacking in good judgment and good will. 

Hence, when he also advocates policies for dealing with the virus that threaten to destroy your livelihood, to prevent your children from being properly educated, etc., you are, if you are a rational person, going to doubt that he really has your best interests at heart or is capable of making sound policy decisions.  You will not be confident that he can wisely handle a complex thing like a pandemic, when he has shown himself unreliable on a simple thing like the fundamental duty of government to protect life, liberty, and property.

Nor are the policies prima facie any better than the politicians peddling them.  Indefinite lockdowns are as untried, untested, and contrary to common sense as defunding the police.  The Hong Kong flu pandemic of 1968-69 killed over 1 million people worldwide, and 100,000 in the United States alone.  The virus was a danger primarily to older people.  In short, the situation was not dissimilar to the current crisis.  Yet there was no drama queen hysteria, no confinement of the whole country to house arrest, no massive infringement on the natural right of citizens to earn a livelihood.  The idea of dealing with a pandemic by indefinitely locking down a whole state or a whole country – as opposed to merely quarantining those who are sick or at high risk – is an ivory tower construct that is only about fourteen years old.

Even in our degenerate age, many people retain enough common sense to see that they are being presented with a false alternative.  They are capable of taking the virus seriously while balking at needlessly extreme measures for dealing with it.  And their skepticism is bound only to increase when it is met, not with dispassionate arguments, but with shrill accusations of being “COVID deniers” or “anti-science,” from people many of whom can for independent reasons be judged to lack common sense.

Even if the most dire warnings currently being issued by experts, politicians, and journalists were well-founded – which, at this point, I personally don’t believe for a minute – the latter can only blame themselves if more people don’t heed them.

Related posts:


  1. It so happens that the politicians and journalists most inclined to push for draconian policies for dealing with the virus also tend to be those most inclined to minimize or excuse the behavior of looters and rioters, to call for police to stand down rather than prevent such violence, to call even for defunding the police, and to endorse other similarly insane and depraved notions.

    I'd argue that this is anarcho-tyranny in action. "Punish law-abiding citizens while excusing and encouraging violent criminals."

  2. I can't see that some places will ever stop requiring people to wear masks in their establishments.

    My hope with schools is that teachers get sick of trying to enforce it and it eventually gets tossed in the dust bin of history (along with huddling under desks in preparation for a bomb to drop)... at least in schools.

    But for many people and many places this will be the new hand-sanitizer.

    It's funny how scandalous taking a mask off can seem now. In movies, the liberal directors/producers always try making it seem like it's those religious conservatives that are out to fret when someone steps out of line with respects to an informal, yet agreed upon social standard. How quickly you discover that liberals are just as frenetic to ensure societal acquiesce with their own pet informal standards.

  3. Ed,

    I am a physician and an epidemiologist, although my epidemiology work in the past was with chronic diseases and not infectious diseases.

    "Well, of course they aren’t, because so many experts, journalists, and politicians have, on this subject, proven themselves to be completely full of it."


    I admire your expertise in Thomistic philosophy.

    But please don't exaggerate and feed into suspicion of health authorities during a pandemic. Fauci was wrong on facemasks and he should be criticized for lying on it due to the real life and death fear of the medical community in the front-lines and Fauci was not the only one who was wrong on that prior to Fauci and others correcting themselves.

    But Fauci has been right most of the "full of it" No, he is not "full of it"

    If we were disciplined so we can ensure elderly people and people with illnesses can be kept safe, and all wear masks, that gatherings that are not essential are prohibited and that social distancing is kept in any gatherings that are important, etc., then there would not be need for lockdowns....

    But can we be as disciplined as people in other countries when we are prone to conspiracy theories and to falsehoods of Fox Fake News?

    "Had Donald Trump done such a thing, we would now be subjected to yet another impeachment jihad."


    By any observation with someone who can think outside the cult lying world of Fox Fake News, Trump lies more frequently than he breathes. So, it is true that Trump is treated differently. But the reality is that if Presidents did 10% of what Trump did they would be treated far more harshly....other than issue of wars since Bush waged war on Iraqis when not one of our soldier died and many hundreds of thousands of dead Iraqi civilians later, we left....I said "wars" and not foreign policy because Trump (according to his National Security Advisor, Bolton) told the Chinese leader that it is excellent idea to create concentration camps for Uighur people. It is hard to imagine any leader outside of some puppet of China who would say something like that.

    Back to the topic at hand, it is terrible what Cuomo did and Cuomo should be voted out for it.

    But Trump has done worse for the pandemic in so many ways, I cannot even start.

    Trump could care less if thousands of people or tens of thousands of people or hundreds of thousands of people as long as the stock market is high and as long as he can get elected.

    He does everything and anything that he thinks will make him look good ---whether it is not testing people because he does not want the count to increase...testing is essential so that we can find those with the disease and find out who there contacts are and do isolation and quarantine and get numbers as low as what Europe we can get the Reproductive number of the virus below 1.0 so it does not grow exponentially

    But either Trump did not let anyone say all that to him or if they did, he did not understand it, or even if he understood it, he doesn't care as long if it might hurt his chances of the election in November.

    Please see

    1. Grateful,

      I read your first lines and was intrigued, expecting to hear some interesting pushback from someone with real expertise. And then...

      A rant about Trump, Fox News, etc. Sigh. Ah well.

      My post said nothing at all in defense of Trump, and nothing that has anything to do with Fox News or any of the other usual bogeymen. So the fact that you couldn't help bring all this stuff up says, if you'll pardon me saying so, more about you than about me.

      I will happily concede that not all the experts are full of it. That's why I said "many." And I also made it clear that I was referring to "many experts, journalists, and politicians." I wasn't talking about experts alone, much less all of them.

    2. And by the way, on top of that I think you completely missed the point of the post. If you want people not to doubt the experts, you should complain to those experts who say stupid things, rather than shooting the messenger (me). For example, you should complain to those epidemiologists I cited in an earlier post who explicitly made political affiliation a factor in what advice they would give about crowds, etc. Those are the people who destroy the credibility of experts, not people who call them out on it.

    3. Grateful.
      I am one of those skeptical folks.
      I find it interesting you reference "health authorities" that we should trust and not "health experts". Because I could find other experts in the field of virology and immunology who disagree with the "health authorities" on the matter.

      But, I would be relieved to hear something that makes sense that justifies this imbalanced response so as to make it seem more balanced. But then it's like you can't control yourself from typing "Fox Fake News" and "lies more than he breathes".

      You come across more as a crank than anything else. Links, links, and more links. Your like a lazy poster during the ID/Evolution debates that referred everyone to other sites that better expressed views than he ever could wish to.... and you claim to have some position of merit in the conversation.

    4. Mister Jorge,

      I don't have time for someone like you...

    5. And yet you had the time to come back and post this. Hmmm....

    6. Grateful, your first comment started out with some promise and then it and the numerous other comments you made here quickly descended into madness. You should have left a clue to what you were trying to do: Lasciate ogne speranza, voi ch’intrate.

      If you plan to convince anyone try the ancient captatio benevolentiae instead of insults to the audience.
      When you inform your readers how "to prevent" their "minds slipping into conspiratorial thinking" you convey that disagreement with your point of view is a sign of a conspiracy nut. Suggesting your audience is in need of some sort of remedial video (apparently telling what "should probably go without saying") is evidence that you do not hold your audience in high regard. In fact you clearly must think they are credulous boomer rubes.

      Links generally should support your argument just like normal citations, they can give context, set the stage, or be asides. But generic links ("") cannot stand in place of an argument. If they could to that, let me direct you to a refutation of your argument right here.

      Please, just stop.

    7. Interesting that you reference a Bolton comment, considering he has openly stated that he would lie to the American public:

      If you’re willing to so easily accept the claims of an admitted liar, it certainly calls your judgement into question, along with your entire treatise. The same media that has repeatedly lied to the American public (most egregiously, doctoring gun range footage and trying to pass it off as “Syrian Battlefield atrocities against the Kurds to drag us into yet another war) is now supposed to be a trusted resource?

      It’s clear you suffer from TDS, so feel free to denigrate Trump all you like, but don’t expect those who don’t suffer from this affliction to take your comments seriously.

    8. Grateful,

      As an epidemiologist, what is your view on the mask switch? I personally am pro-mask, but I do still have doubts that the studies are assuming perfect use in healthcare settings. This is the reason among other reasons that the WHO originally opposed it. Do you know of any sources with quantifiable data of the pros and cons of mask wearing for instance?

      I think if more balanced perspectives were presented by the media, many anti-maskers (not all) would be more willing to concede. It would build trust if experts provided the tolerance bands of their models instead of making dogmatic statements.

    9. "Trump (according to his National Security Advisor, Bolton) told the Chinese leader that it is excellent idea to create concentration camps for Uighur (sic) people."
      Interesting, because Trump has signed a law authorizing sanctions against the persecution of Uyghurs and his criticism of China can be safely described as much more negative than the Democrats'.
      But of course, we - not you - are prone to conspiracy theories.

  4. Here is a useful source to prevent our minds slipping into conspiratorial thinking...

    1. Thanks for the "useful source" that links to a Michael Shermer article??

      Ah, a science popularizer to quell all concerns.

    2. @grateful to God

      You seem to lack all self-awareness. The entire point of the article is that the health authorities have undermined their own trustworthiness by acting imprudently and in a partisan manner. So when you come on here with partisan talking points, citing spurious sources, and generally making a spectacle of yourself, you undermine you own case. Not only that, you also just give no positive reason for skeptics to trust the experts. You've only just spouted untrustworthy numbers and dismissed all concerns as "conspiracy theorists," which is exactly what a paid shill would say.

      By the way, can Michael Shermer explain why the hospital one of my friend's parents died in claimed she died of Covid-19 when she died of a heart attack? Could this be inflating the numbers?

    3. "why the hospital one of my friend's parents died in claimed she died of Covid-19 when she died of a heart attack? Could this be inflating the numbers?"

      No, this is not inflating the numbers...the vast, vast majority are not dying from heart attacks...

      Covid-19 unlike the flu has been shown to also be capable of causing a lot of damage to heart tissue including be contributory to causing myocardial infarctions (heart attacks).

      Mister Geocon, please don't ask any more questions to me...go ahead and make whatever vacuous comments you want but I don't have time to answer questions from people with your attitude

    4. By the way, I intended to give this youtube

      not the one by Shermer....I think Shermer's youtube was good but I cringe using Shermer since I think he refuses to think clearly when he tries to reason about God...I hold that God is the only logical explanation for any existence and especially our intuitively designed world and universe

    5. Citing a clown like Michael Shermer is supposed to reassure us?!

    6. A couple of decades ago I used to read Shermer's books, but a few too many times I realised that he hadn't done his homework and his arguments were just false. I stopped. I recommend you do to.

  5. Ed,

    I do believe that the medical community did mistakes and I do believe that more focus should be given towards the elderly.

    Regarding comparing with Flu...

    I think the comparison is problematic.

    Although mostly elderly die in both, the percentage of those who are 30 - 60 dying in COVID-19 is significantly higher than flu...

    And much more than that, the number of people requiring hospitalization among those 40-60 is not just a little higher but much higher for COVID-19 than flu and hospitals were being overrun with COVID-19 patients.

    Over 1000 hospital workers were killed because of COVID just by April!

    The VAST majority of them were killed because of exposure to patients...

    1. Grateful,

      To focus discussion, it would be helpful if you'd let us know if you think lockdowns, closure of businesses, closure of schools, and similar actions that in ordinary circumstances amount to grave violations of basic human rights, are strictly necessary. Because if you admit that they are not, then you and I have no significant disagreement, as far as I can see. Whereas if you think they are strictly necessary, then what you need to defend is that specific claim, rather than speaking in general terms about what COVID-19 is like compared to flu, etc.

    2. And I should add that at this point, it is much harder to sell lockdowns by appealing to the threat of hospitals being overwhelmed, etc. That would play back in March, when we were hit suddenly. Not so much now, when we've had months to prepare for bed shortages and the like.

    3. Thanks Ed,

      Ed, I think it is difficult to weigh all the benefits and losses of a lockdown.

      We should see what worked in other countries with regards to schools...I think they first waited until the curve was much better than it is now...which at the level of the nation is even worse than March, countries used sophisticated approaches such as keeping high schools closed and elementary schools functioning under certain regulated conditions to ensure social distancing, etc.

      We are much, much richer and thus we should be able to do as much as they did if not much better.

      As is now, I am not in favor of opening of schools.

      I read the following

      "Betsy DeVos says that "only" 0.02% of children will probably die as a result of schools re-opening.

      That's 14,740 children (who are predicted to die).

      Epidemiologists know that some places are particularly high at spreading infection such as bars and restaurants. Those high spreading places would have to be closed.

      That's about 40 times the number of school shooting victims from the last 10 years."

      Unfortunately public places of worship such as churches, mosques, etc. have also been shown to places causing high spread of infection. So those places should be closed during an active lockdown.

      I believe in God and service in places of worship are important but I hope we can be creative in using virtual services for temporary time so we can honor God by saving lives He has created.

      I realize that lockdowns can do a lot of damage by themselves by various ways by increasing depression, etc.

      Of course, lockdowns are terrible for the economy.

      But if we had several hundred thousand dead or even a few hundred thousand dead instead of 140,000 and counting, would not that all by itself would have damaged our economy by spreading panic, etc.?

      I think a more focused approach on the elderly would have been better. But we did not have a ready plan at hand and the way our government is now, I don't think anyone could rely on it to have developed one quickly or to even do one now.

      The above are a few scattered thoughts. I don't feel comfortable to give much of an answer since I don't know much about the details.

      If our numbers were low like Europe, then I would not support lockdowns. But I am sure you have seen how the Europe curve is a like a bell curve that has flattened out but our curve is higher than even in March.

      I think it is it is best for us to take seriously what is the consensus of public health experts in the US and around the world.

      In a previous blog post, I think you criticized the hard work of public health statisticians and epidemiologists as just a model.

      It is not just a theoretical model. It is based on a lot of empirical data.

      Please see St Louis versus Philadelphia to see what lockdowns can do...

      I can understand intellectuals would want to challenge public health experts to some extent but I think intellectuals who have some qualms should still defer to them more than they have done while the pandemic is so high and while people are not following simple measures like wearing masks.

      COVID-19 is a new organism. Since we cannot do experiments on humans, it takes time to know all the science as well as we would like at a given moment.

    4. I accidentally interrupted the full quote above...should be as below...

      "Betsy DeVos says that "only" 0.02% of children will probably die as a result of schools re-opening.

      That's 14,740 children (who are predicted to die).

      That's about 40 times the number of school shooting victims from the last 10 years."

      Epidemiologists know that some places are particularly high at spreading infection such as bars and restaurants. Those high spreading places would have to be closed.

    5. I suggest all to read

      this recent op-ed by John Barry who is the author of the best selling nonfiction book "The Great Influenza: The Story of the Deadliest Pandemic in History"

      He is not a physician nor does he have expertise in public health or epidemiology but in his research he became knowledgable to some extent of what worked and what didn't in terms of public health measures...

      He ends by saying,

      "This is our second chance. We won’t get a third. If we don’t get the growth of this pandemic under control now, in a few months, when the weather turns cold and forces people to spend more time indoors, we could face a disaster that dwarfs the situation today."

    6. Grateful,

      That first quote stopped me in my tracks. "Did De Vos really say that?" I thought.

      Turns out No, she did not:

      Not a good way to start, Grateful. I recommend not doing your research on Twitter and Facebook.

      And the issue is not that lockdowns are harmful to some abstraction called "the economy." They are destroying people's life's work. They are violating people's natural right to earn a living. Unless they are known to be strictly necessary, they are therefore gravely evil, not something authorities or experts have any business playing around with as if they were merely one more option on the table alongside others.

    7. I was just mentioning some places by example that have been shown to increase infections a lot, there are many other places that are causing particularly high infections....I did not mention them nor do I even know all the places....although I am a medical professional, it is not my area of expertise...I refer all to please see the CDC website. I am disappointed by the personnel appointed to lead Dept of Health and Human Services and other health appointees of the Trump Adminstration...however, thank God Almighty, most of our institutions are still functioning and most career servants are working hard to provide professional service and expertise...CDC is still the best resource for public health

      Another great resource is John Hopkins which has the leading public health school of the world

      I did not go through this resource and I don't all that is in here but I am sure it is useful and also based on science

    8. Ed,

      "That first quote stopped me in my tracks. "Did De Vos really say that?" I thought.

      Turns out No, she did not:

      Not a good way to start, Grateful. I recommend not doing your research on Twitter and Facebook."

      I stand corrected. She did not say that according to the link you sent. I thought she did say that since she has said so many cold and absurd statements regarding education.

      However, the 0.02% is shown to be the global death rate for children 0 - 17 years old at

      And when I use 56 million school children from the following which is dated

      then I do get 11,200 deaths.

      Of course, some children will still get it even if they don't go to school.

      The point is that even though the rate is small, it is not negligible like many Republican politician talking points.

      And there is evidence that among survivors (presumably including children) who are hospitalized, there is some damage to multiple organs.

    9. Ed,

      "And the issue is not that lockdowns are harmful to some abstraction called "the economy." They are destroying people's life's work. They are violating people's natural right to earn a living. Unless they are known to be strictly necessary, they are therefore gravely evil, not something authorities or experts have any business playing around with as if they were merely one more option on the table alongside others."

      People whose livelihood is being affected by shutdown should be compensated.

      Don't you agree Ed, that an infectious disease which is deadly is also destroying people's life?

      Is not that even worse than one's temporary livelihood?

      Ed, I want to pull my hair out when you mention this issue.

      I am not saying you support Republican economic fact, on a previous post you told me that you agree with much of what I was saying.

      But it is hyper capitalist policies of Republicans and Corporation friendly Democrats that has been destroying livelihoods more than anything else.

      This temporary lockdowns is like the size of a virus compared to a blue whale in terms of the damage that hyper capitalism does to people's livelihoods.

      I support capitalism and it is a great engine for jobs. But the way it is in now in the US is massively sucking away opportunities from the fellow individual to corporations.

      By the way, people who are struggling to make ends meet, to pay the month's bill, wondering if they have enough for the medical bill, can't send their children to college, etc., find it difficult to refine their minds by reading books and improving their critical thinking. I would hope you to appreciate that.

      I don't mean to take off the topic off tangent but just like Thomistic philosophy may be difficult to understand without the context of understanding act and potency, etc., it is hard for me to understand how you can be so worked up with this temporary effect on people's livelihood but not speak out at least as stridently if not more so against what is keeping many of them as indentured slaves in this unjust economic system.

    10. Ed,

      As I mentioned that I don't feel competent to respond to the question on lockdown....while I mentioned about places causing high level of infections, I did not speak about places causing lower levels of spread of infection.

      While I don't want to comment about all places of work, etc., I think that lockdowns should be done using local numbers at state level and county level, etc.

      So it is very important for public health authorities to be able to do population wide testing so they can determine rates more scientifically. We can get good idea of rates by how many people are going to the hospital and so on and thus public health authorities can still call for lockdowns based on that evidence, but it is a travesty that Trump wants to prevent money going for testing (again he does not want the numbers to be counted). And he even wants to keep the numbers of counts away from the lead public health agency of the CDC.

      Sorry for so many posts.

    11. You do sound like a crank. Like a nice person also, but like a crank nonetheless. You don't seem to admit - only to bypass - the criticisms being offered here. You're a former epidemiologist and a medical doctor arguing on a philosophy blog (some smart, fair-minded people read here), but you don't seem to have any command of the topic? You should have a lot to offer in your comments that could be helpful to us - there isn't really anything interesting about your opinions on Trump though.

      This request is kindly intended: please stick a bit closer to the topic at hand, and stay focused in your responses so I can learn from you.

    12. To be fair, the 14,000 or 11,000 deaths in school children is under the hypothetical situation of all getting infected which of course does not happen but experts think that majority of the population will eventually get either infected if there is no vaccine and no herd immunity

      So not all the 14,000 or 11,000 but very possibly still many thousands of dead school children

      Imagine if the World Trade Center deaths were all children

    13. Grateful, you are making a simple mistake here. You say "However, the 0.02% is shown to be the global death rate for children 0 - 17 years old" in the table on Age of Coronavirus Deaths.

      The table purports to show the distribution of "Coronavirus deaths" using "data from all US States" - so these are not global stats, for one.

      Much more importantly the 0.02% is the "share of deaths" - the 3 deaths from corona of underage persons without underlying conditions related to the total number of 15,320 deaths deemed relevant (as of May 13, 2020 according to the fine print of the table you refer to).

      Assuming your data and maths are correct that lead to your dire prediction of 11,200 deaths - these deaths have to have actually already have happened if the 0.02% number actually was the death rate among that age group, which is your claim.

      This is terrifyingly sloppy for someone who claims to have worked in that field of expertise and underscores why (self-proclaimed) experts are not met with unthinking assent to whatever claim they come up with.

    14. Grateful,

      You don't even write correctly half the time. Why would I believe that you're a well educated medical expert? Unless you're willing to release your name and evidence of your credentials, you're going to have to do better than "I'm an expert. Listen to me." If you're an expert, use your expertise in formulating arguments.

      (More importantly, experts disagree on this. So, even if you are an expert, it's of limited value.)

      You cite the CDC. The CDC recently stated that the overall death rate, under the most likely scenario, is 0.26%.

    15. grateful: take a break, K?

    16. "People whose livelihood is being affected by shutdown should be compensated."

      I notice you omit the people whose duty it is to do so -- while their ability to raise the money to do so is also harmed.

    17. grateful - you made a strange comparison to Europe, and despite your verbosity I've found it again: "If our numbers were low like Europe". Today's statistics on deaths per million, USA 442, UK 670, Spain 608, Italy 580, France 462, Sweden 561. So I assume you mean numbers of new cases, but if you compare the curve of the states that had large numbers of infections early on, to the curves of European countries, there is a similar pattern.

  6. My mistake...

    The previous list included those from other countries...

    The 600 health workers killed in the US (I don't have exact cut off date but at least before June) are as follows...

  7. I'd like to read your thoughts on this masking phenomenon, and what you think about mandatory masking or mandatory vaccinations.

    1. Hi Drew,

      Public Health in our country is underfunded. But we quickly were able to confirm based on solid evidence of other countries dealing with SARS epidemic and other epidemics and based on data from US, that it is clear that face masks help to prevent infection.

      To find out more on which masks help the most, please see this very reader friendly article

      Regarding "mandatory vaccinations," I am not sure what you mean. I did not read any where that vaccine for Covid-19 will be mandatory. Since it will not be mandatory, some public health authorities are worried we may not develop herd immunity where the spread of infection becomes very unlikely because so many people are immune to it...sort of like removing much of the oxygen in a place of fire.

  8. In a May 12th article, Unicef claims that 1.2 million children under 5 years old could die from reductions in routine health services caused by Covid lockdowns. This doesn’t say anything about adults who will die from delayed healthcare, suicide, alcoholism, etc. And this says nothing about people whose livelihoods are destroyed.

    The “experts” are not so much into talking about lockdown costs. And let’s get something straight: there are no “experts” in telling you what type of life you should find meaningful; that’s up to you.

    1. The implication of lockdowns in other countries can be more severe than in the US.

      As I mentoined it is not easy to weigh all benefits and losses from a lockdown.

      However, the US is the richest country in the world.

      We can compensate all workers.

      We can find ways to cover for other needed services, etc.

    2. So . . . why kill more people than fewer?

      grateful, seriously, when you get on a forum and can't control your desire to hit that "Post" button every 3 minutes, and you rant on about Trump and Fox news, what do you think that looks like? Take a guess.

    3. Grateful,
      can you explain who exactly the "we" is in your pronouncement "We can compensate all workers. We can find ways to cover for other needed services, etc."
      It surely cannot be all US citizens because a lot of them are among the workers "we" can compensate. So either the compensation a US citizen receives qua worker is more than that same worker pays qua US citizen to finance compensating all workers - and he actually does not receive compensation on balance. Or he receives something on balance and then it is clear he is not part of the "we" you claim "compensate(s) all workers".

      Please, as you seem to say you have the solution, let us know who exactly will be part of the "we" in each case, or what you mean when you us words as "compensate" or "cover for needed services, etc."

      Have you actually thought this through?

    4. "the US is the richest country in the world" Maybe, but the world appears to be full of "rich" countries that have massive debts and future liabilities that appear (to mere accountants) to be unsustainable. Whatever "rich" means, it can't be an accounting term.

    5. However, the US is the richest country in the world.
      We can compensate all workers.

      Mr. G2G - You can compensate workers all you want.

      It's all worthless paper if there's nothing to buy. You can't shut down the economy and think you can throw money at the problem to fix it. You're doing the equivalent of removing the engine from a car and then thinking you can just dump more gas into the tank to get it to run.

  9. One notes that once you have admitted you lied, we have no motive to believe your claimed reason for doing so.

    1. You have no idea of this Fascist Administration, do you?

      Do you think it would have been easy for Fauci to have told people to wear a mask when the Administration did not want him to do so at that time when it was not clear as it is now that masks are very important?

      And the Adulterer-Pathological Liar Trump still does not wear a mask.

      Fauci was wrong and he should be criticized for lying.

      But I won't be surprised if he was not even sure of the science of masks at that time.

      Asian countries knew the power of masks but it sadly we did not seek out what worked in other countries...and we need to learn more from what has been beneficial in other countries.....

      By the way, public health like wearing masks is not the expertise of Fauci...the department he is head of is more in line with technical expertise doing research like producing vaccines...

      Wearing masks is more in line with CDC's function

      It is proven that masks helped deal with the SARS epidemic in 2003...masks were not a sure solution...lockdowns are still needed at times...but masks were proven to be helpful...but Fauci is a human...he is not all knowledgable...his focus is more on hard science and sometimes the scientist reading hundreds of papers done in labs misses some aspects that are not done in labs....

    2. "You have no idea of this Fascist Administration, do you?"

      Okay. I don't like Trump, am not American, and recommended American friends vote against him last election, but I've seen all I need to. You're hysterical. I have other, better things to do.

    3. Yes, given "Grateful's" cpmbination pf factual errors, links to partidan sources, rabidly partisan rants, and genetal information on COVID that anyone could find by five minutes of googling, I'd say it's more likely he's a left-wing troll than an epidemiologist. Or if he is an epidemiologist, he is being more of a left-wing troll.

    4. Of course, that's "combination of" and"partisan sources." Fat fingers and a phone.

    5. All these pointless complaints about why I have I posted so much and why I am appearing upset calls for responses. I was concentrating on the question at hand as Ed requested but the repeated over and over complaints call for a response

    6. "Do you think it would have been easy for Fauci to have told people to wear a mask when the Administration did not want him to do so at that time when it was not clear as it is now that masks are very important?"

      But it wasn't just Dr. Fauci and its not just the US govt, or even just the US.

      “There is no evidence that general wearing of face masks by the public who are well affects the spread of the disease in our society.” - England's Deputy Chief Medical Officer, Jonathan Van-Tam - 3rd April

      "Seriously people- STOP BUYING MASKS! They are NOT effective in preventing general public from catching #Coronavirus" - US Surgeon General, Jerome Adams - 29 Feb

      “There is currently no evidence that wearing a mask, whether medical or other types, by healthy persons in the wider community setting, including universal community masking, can prevent them from infection with respiratory viruses, including Covid-19,” - The World Health Organisation - 6th April

      “very little evidence of a widespread benefit” - Head of Infectious Diseases at Public Health England, Jake Dunning - 12th March.

      Are you saying the Trump is such a mastermind that he was manipulating UK experts and the WHO (who have lied several times about the pandemic), among many others? I think you give Trump far too much credit there.

      "You have no idea of this Fascist Administration, do you?"

      Let me guess, Boris Johnson is also fascists genius mastermind manipulating UK experts, just like Trump?

  10. Oh, come on, "Grateful", I voted for the sTrump(et), and even I know that he lies more often than he speaks. So? By 20 minutes into the campaign, it was obvious to anyone who was listening that this is the case. Yes, he is a jerk, a liar, a cad, and an ass. YES!

    And yet he is light years better than a Hillary Clinton, and several light years better than a Biden. (By the way, Biden was so STUPendous as a VP that he made even Dan Quayle look good, which is really sayin' something!) What does that say about his competition? And the Dems who field such candidates?

    I don't follow the news enough to pick out the details, but one thing is sure and certain: nobody in any of the 50 governor mansions had studied up on "Epidemic Management" before Covid came along. And most of the governors reacted FAR more from fear of high deaths from THIS specific disease than from concern about overall damage to the common weal. It is STILL the case that nobody seems to be tracking how many deaths are being caused right now - not 10 years from now - from the lack of OTHER health care from the lockdowns, from suicide out of depression from the lockdowns, and from lack of resources from the lockdowns (like not working, or your needed items are not in stores). Governors were NOT thinking strategically. Governors were putting too much power into the hands of health specialists, when the common weal is made up of MANY kinds of goods, health being just one. I fault Trump on that too - he could have used federal resources to get manufacturers switch over to massive production of testing kits, and flood the country with so many kits that people at risk could take a test every 3 days.

    On another tack entirely: much is being made of the fact that some countries (especially places like South Korea, Japan and Taiwan) have been doing so well (largely without rigid lockdowns), and some highlight the fact that these cultures allow for a higher degree of regimentation and/or top-down control of social norms - things that Americans don't take laying down. I wonder if it might have been the case, given the particular American psyche, if the authorities had gone about it entirely differently, REQUESTING "lockdown" type behaviors, and then setting the example by directing government office heads to (a) allow people to work from home, (b) ask public schools to go to mostly virtual classrooms, etc. That is, to do it voluntarily, but put social pressure on those that choose not to comply as ostracism, not as law-breaking. Would it have worked? Could they attract more flies with honey than vinegar? At first, probably not perfectly well. But later on? Well, the way we are going, "later on" we will seemingly have less than 50% compliance with a lot of lockdown orders anyway, so...maybe?

  11. The Imperial College model predicted a *range* of different numbers for the number of fatalities in the USA, contingent on exactly what response society made. The 2.2 million prediction was one of those numbers, and expressly contingent on society not appreciably changing its behavior in response to the pandemic. Other, lesser, fatality numbers were predicted, depending on exactly what changes society did make. The purpose of the 2.2 million prediction was to answer the question: "What could happen if we do nothing much?".

    The contingency of the predictions wasn't made clear to the general public (and still isn't), especially by those who (for various reasons) were ignorant of science and couldn't read and understand the model for themselves, and those who had some kind of axe to grind.

    1. Get out of here with your reasonableness!

      Seriously, though. The Imperial College model is mostly a red herring in this context. Note how Feser conveniently hedges the topic with “Well, here’s what I remember.” Those of us with better memories know that, if you were listening to Fauci or any other expert in March, you knew to take the 2.2 million figure with a grain of salt. It was always considered the doomsday scenario — worrisome, but not particularly likely . In fact, the first model explicitly endorsed by Fauci and the White House team predicted 100,000 to 240,000 deaths, which would take place with social distancing measures. Looking back, that was a sound prediction, and it was made on the early date of March 31st. So no, Feser, epidemiologists were not routinely hyping death predictions four months ago, as you stated.

      Moreover, Paul Connors, your post reminds us why epidemiologists at the time had every good reason to think that this Coronavirus would be nothing like the 1968 flu. In fact, the comparison still isn’t apt, since Covid is likely to be more than twice as deadly (and if no vaccine is found in time, probably much more than twice as deadly) as the 1968 flu, and that’s with a host of societal changes that weren’t operative in ‘68

    2. I wish I could be half as tactful as Paul Connors in explaining scientific modeling and statistics to the nothingburgers.

    3. The 2.2M dead figure in the IC paper did indeed represent the expected result if "we do nothing much". The corresponding figure for the most optimistic scenario - if all recommended lockdowns were applied and worked effectively, and "even if all patients were able to be treated", was 1.1-1.2M dead in the US - an order of magnitude's difference from the observed reality.

    4. No, that's wrong. The "1.1-1.2M dead in the US" number was not the most optimisitc scenario. The Imperial College paper looked at two types of strategy for dealing with the epidemic. One was called "mitigation", and the other was called "suppression". The number you quote was for the best *mitigation* strategy (a mitigation which included case isolation, household quarantine and social distancing of the elderly).

      However, it was the *suppression* strategies that added in social distancing of the *general* population, and it was the suppression strategies that resulted in much better outcomes. In fact the best suppression strategy in the IC paper lowered the overall number of dead by a factor of about 60 -- a huge improvement over the mitigation strategies. The modeled best suppression strategies typically had a total number of dead only in the tens of thousands.

      Early on in the epidemic, the UK considered adopting a mitigation strategy, but rejected it when models showed that the numbers of dead would be horrendous. They switched to the suppression strategy, and the USA (fortunately) chose a similar policy.

  12. Thanks for the post, Ed. In addition to your take, there are lots of helpful links. The one about when and how the idea of lock downs came about is priceless.

  13. Hey Ed, I want you to know something.

    The adults who judge this to be a nothingburger have the gift of freedom, which includes the freedom to be ignorant and the freedom to die. Let everyone respect their freedoms.
    Let no one stop them!

    1. Please go live in Antarctica. You won't freedom to infect any humans if you go there and you can have all the freedom you want.

    2. @grateful

      The point I was trying to make is that if they want to die, let them die. And people who want to avoid getting sick must learn to identify the ignoramuses and designate them as no-go.

    3. Right, the point is, if they want to die, let them not wear masks, so that they will surely die. Well, they'll probably die. Or at least they might die. Anyway, there's a tiny chance they might die. In all honesty, if they want to die, probably they could pick a better method than not wearing a mask... Then again there's a one hundred percent chance they will die whether or not they wear a mask. But the point is, possibly it's more likely they'll die sooner if they don't wear a mask, so if they don't, clearly they're frickin' morons. Anyway, yeah, let 'em die! Ignoramuses.

    4. And same goes for anybody taking part in any activity with known associated risks. Designate them, avoid them, and let the ignoramuses die. (This is point where an astonishing number of people seem to have gotten to. Lord have mercy on us! The great lie in all this is that the only important thing is to avoid death, so that being prepared for it gets nary a mention.)

    5. The great lie in all this is that the only important thing is to avoid death, so that being prepared for it gets nary a mention.

      Where there's life there's hope. But once you're dead hope dies with it. We place so much importance on avoiding death because we love the precious gift of hope (which you can only possess while you're alive).

    6. Alternately, once you're dead hope is either fulfilled or disappointed. It's hardly even a variation of the lie to say that "hope is for this life only"; that's only for people for whom life has already led to despair. And where there's life, often enough there is despair. It's a lie to claim otherwise.

    7. Anyway, that's all besides the point.

      The point is when you get COVID19, nobody is going to say at your eulogy

      David McPike was a good man, moreso the rest of us. While the world lived by the fears of the rumors of men, David McPike placed his faith in the New Jerusalem, knowing that the beatific vision is far superior, and courageously refused to cave into the fear and boldly encountered life fully exposed and unprotected...

      ...they're going to think to themselves (or even outright say, if they're particularly tactless) "what a Goddamn fool." Your fellow nothingburger pall-bearers are going to think to themselves "what a Goddamn fool" even though they'll ignore your bad example and follow you soon afterward. And once one of your distant cousins posts this story complete with photos & screenshots online and it goes viral, the whole world--from Patagonia to Japan--will think "what a Goddamn fool."

    8. The point is when you get COVID19, nobody is going to say at your eulogy

      What if he gets COVID and... doesn't die? (like 80-99% of infected)

      Won't you feel silly then.

  14. It is difficult to quarantine the at risk when the virus has spread widely in the community. This is seen even in Australia which has had more success in limiting the virus spread.

  15. From Simon James:

    For what it's worth, I spent some time looking over the list of 1,288 "Public Health Experts" who signed the Open Letter (Ed's "Exhibit A" above). Here are the 20 most common names among the signatories:

    1. Catherine/Katherine/Kate/Katie (22)
    2. Emily (17)
    3. Rachel (14)
    4. Anne (13)
    5. Elizabeth (13)
    6. Sarah (12)
    7. Julia (11)
    8. Lauren (11)
    9. Laura (10)
    10. Jessica (10)
    11. Megan (8)
    12. Hannah (8)
    13. Erin (8)
    14. Rebecca (8)
    15. Nicole (8)
    16. Samantha (7)
    17. Sara (7)
    18. Jennifer (7)
    19. Angela (7)
    20. David (7)

    1. Well God describes wisdom as a woman for a reason.

    2. What was the ratio of female to male names?

  16. Ed,

    Like you, I'm not a big fan of lockdowns, although as a one-off measure, they're defensible.

    But I can assure you that wearing masks is just common sense. I live in Japan, where everyone wears them, and where the total number of deaths from COVID-19 is just 1,000. That number speaks for itself.

    Yesterday, just three people in Japan died from the new coronavirus.

    1. Hardly impressive for an island to stave off a virus.

      And certainly not everyone wears one, and mask advocates treat not wearing one like inflicting a plague on a supermarket. Curious how masks can be so weak yet so powerful at the same time; not curious if you see it as a symbol of conformity.

    2. @Anonymous

      "Hardly impressive for an island to stave off a virus."

      Let me guess: You are not aware of the number of dead in the island of Great Britain. So here are the numbers of dead per million as per July 17:

      United Kingdom 668
      USA 421
      Brazil 366
      EU 303

      And here is the average daily number of deaths per million, which is a good measure about how serious the situation remains:

      United Kingdom 1.7
      USA 2.7
      Brasil 5.5
      EU 0.2

      The US, UK, and Brazil are widely considered to be the worse performing large countries in the world. What do they have in common? Populist right-wing governments, which at the beginning even denied the seriousness of the epidemic. The result: Many people dead.

    3. "The US, UK, and Brazil are widely considered to be the worse (sic) performing large countries in the world."
      It seems you are intentionally employing the weasely "widely considered", but since your are not trying to be dishonest you will be able and willing to answer the following questions:

      Who considers the US, UK, and Brazl to be the worst perfoming large countries in the world?
      What is the definition of "large country"?
      Why do you make that distinction?
      Where are the most cases in the US to be found? Are they amassed in territories the "populist right-wing government" directly rules?
      Are the US, UK, and Brazil in fact performing worse than all other countries, or all other large countries?
      How do you define "performing" in the first place?
      How have you established the performance?
      How did you make sure that the reporting of cases is comparable?
      What makes you think the UK is a large country in the world while Italy and Spain seem to not make your list?

      Now, when you have frankly answered those questions it is possible that it turns out you were mistaken. But the most likely result: I was mistaken about what you were trying to do.

  17. I don't think anyone is fan of an extended lock down but leadership from the top down has only exasperated this situation. It is a fact that other countries are faring far better than our own on nearly every level in regards to this pandemic and are actually able to "open up" without seeing the huge spikes we are. If you honestly are not able to see Trump's enormous missteps in contributing to the huge toll of covid on this country, or the inane politicization of wearing a simple cloth mask in public, I don't think you are operating on a reasonable level and further dialogue is a waste of time. I don't think anyone is advocating for extended wearing of masks or lockdowns, but if more people acted reasonably, then then perhaps our numbers would be low enough to not have to continue with either. I was totally dumbfounded by all of the bluster from some on the right for wearing a cloth mask? What was or is the enormous inconvenience? I have been wearing one for weeks during various public activities and while mildly uncomfortable it is hardly an infringement on my rights. Is that really something worth creating a huge fuss about? Also, I do not agree with painting fauci as a liar. I think in the beginning masks were not found to be effective and there was also a shortage, so it was discouraged to have people hoard them. Now that we have learned more about the virus and its transmission they have corrected themselves on mask wearing. People make mistakes. He acknowledged it, lets move on. The Right starts going on about things like this and reasonable just people stop listening. The right nor the left are immune from critiques and lately Ed, you have come across as an apologists for a lot of nonsensical behavior on the right. I think your energy can be put in much more enlightening areas.

    1. I concur with the above assessment regarding Fauci.

      However, I do think he has been wrong about being too skeptical on hydroxychloroquine. He was right to be skeptical but when we are in a crisis, I think he was a little too skeptical and mislabeling large case series wrongly as "anecdotal."

      Having said that, the studies on hydroxychloroquine have been mixed. The mainstream media have been to too quick to think that the studies have established hydroxychloroquine does not work or that it can do more harm.

      A recent study by Henry Ford Health System has evidence showing it does work when given early before the bodies immune system attacks the body in trying to deal with the virus.

      "'Our results do differ from some other studies," Zervos told a news conference. "What we think was important in ours ... is that patients were treated early. For hydroxychloroquine to have a benefit, it needs to begin before the patients begin to suffer some of the severe immune reactions that patients can have with Covid," he added.

      The Henry Ford team also monitored patients carefully for heart problems, he said....It is important to note that in the right settings, this potentially could be a lifesaver for patients," Dr. Steven Kalkanis, CEO of the Henry Ford Medical Group, said at the news conference. Kalkanis said that their findings do not necessarily contradict those of earlier studies. "We also want to make the point that just because our results differ from some others that may have been published, it doesn't make those studies wrong or definitely a conflict. What it simply means is that by looking at the nuanced data of which patients actually benefited and when, we might be able to further unlock the code of how this disease works," he said. "

      Although this is an observational study and thus is not definitive, it is still a decent study done by a reputable center.

    2. "It is a fact that other countries are faring far better than our own on nearly every level in regards to this pandemic" What sort of fact is this? I might say I'm fitter and healthier than other people..and select only people 20 years older than me for the comparison. It is too soon to tell because the virus has spread and peaked in different countries at different times, but on the deaths/million statistic the USA still has fewer deaths than most of the European countries. We don't know at this stage whether it will reach their rates or exceed them, or what the final outcomes will be in Latin America or Africa or India. Your "fact" can obviously be supported by a judicious selection of other countries, but it's not a useful "fact".

    3. Masks are pretty uncomfortable in 100 degree heat with 80% humidity. Something tells me you work inside.

  18. Thank you, Mr. Feser, for a calm recapitulation of what we experienced this Spring and Summer. The attempt to explain away the 2 million deaths as a "doomsday scenario" is not at all what we experienced. Rather, it was THE SCENARIO related to us plebians by our media and government. That froze everyone in place and we are right to be skeptical now about the numbers of dead children being thrown around by people grateful for scientism. As with our adult population, CERTAIN children will be vulnerable due to medical conditions. Protecting these will require effort, honesty and determination. We chose the easier and governmentally convenient path of imprisoning everyone. As Mr. Feser points out, this situation is too tempting for some mayors and governors to resist. THEY now have say on which citizens will have their rights restored.

  19. If anyone is against lockdowns then read this article

    If we spend energy in getting all to wear masks, then that can help prevent or make the lockdowns much shorter

  20. I'm a bit more cynical. I think Lefties would rather let their fellow Lefties die, than risk being called a racist.

  21. @Grateful: Why should people listen to the American medical profession when its leaders are so partisan? Everything that possibly can be has to be closed to stop the virus spreading, but left-wing protests are okay? (Strangely only left-wing protests are immune to the virus – right-wing protests are not.)

    I'm sure some American medical professionals disagreed with this blatant vandalism of their own authority, but so few of those who disagreed with it have had the courage to speak up against it.

    I think here in Australia, the medical profession is more respected because most of them have shut up about protests. In my state (NSW), the state government went to court to try to have all BLM protests banned on public health grounds, and I haven't heard any Australian medical professionals of note speak out against that (some left-wing media outlets, like The Guardian, whined about it, but only die-hard lefties pay any attention to what the Guardian says). Professor Brendan Murphy (who until last month was Australia's chief medical officer) called out BLM protests as dangerous to human health. If any equivalently senior US health officials have called them out as harmful, I haven't heard about it.

    If some Americans choose to ignore health advice from biased and partisan medical professionals and end up dying as a result, don't those professionals deserve some of the blame for that outcome?

  22. Dr Feser may think the 1968 Hong Kong Pandemic was worse than Covid19. Kaiser Permanente has been around for 75 years. Dr. Randy Bergen, an Infection Disease Specialist thinks Covid19 will be far worse than the Hong Kong


  23. Let's fact check what the saintly Ed Feser said about Dr. Fauci

  24. Here is a good 2 minute explanation of how schools are not being resourced to protect adult teachers and child students from death from Covid19

    PPE and point of care testing (that means testing that can be done at the site itself rather person having to do outside the setting) is not being provided by the Federal govt when it must be provided

  25. Sadly, I underestimated the vulnerability of the CDC to rot down from its politically appointed leaders to its guidance....

    Well, CDC guidance for individuals is still good but the guidance for schools has become politicized making the CDC to flip flop under the pressure of the Trump Administration's ambition to win reelection despite the cost in American lives....

    Please see....

    1. Dear Grateful to God,

      The epidemic is over. Deaths from all causes are back to baseline. Weekly deaths from Covid19 continue their exponential decline to baseline. Wear a mask if it makes you happy, but you might want to reconsider you fascist impulses make other people suffer.

    2. Edit: " ...but you might want to reconsider your fascist impulses to make other people suffer."

    3. Testblogger, there is a thousand people dying every day. There is a 9-11 number of deaths every 3 days.

      Stop projecting your leader's fascism onto others out of denial.

    4. Dear Grateful to God,

      Obviously you didn't read the actual CDC data, so I'll reprint the real weekly CDC Covid19 death numbers here.

      Table 1 from

      2-08-2020 1
      2-15-2020 0
      2-22-2020 5
      2-29-2020 7
      3-07-2020 35
      3-14-2020 52
      3-21-2020 565
      3-28-2020 3,141
      4-04-2020 9,933
      4-11-2020 16,076
      4-18-2020 16,966
      4-25-2020 15,304
      5-02-2020 13,024
      5-09-2020 11,028
      5-16-2020 9,016
      5-23-2020 7,046
      5-30-2020 6,006
      6-06-2020 4,858
      6-13-2020 4,033
      6-20-2020 3,551
      6-27-2020 3,321
      7-04-2020 3,554
      7-11-2020 3,331
      7-18-2020 1,513

      There haven't been 1,000 people dying each day since the end of May.

      We also know that the CDC numbers are probably fudged in obtuse ways according to how death certificates are filled out. Anyone testing positive, no matter the real cause of death, can be counted as a Covid19 death. According to CDC recommendations, George Floyd died of Covid19.

      But you can't fudge the deaths from all causes, and that number is almost back to baseline. Scroll down and LOOK at the actual graph.

      Regarding fascism, you can read but you can't think. If anyone is projecting fascism, it's you. Your side desperately wants a national dictator to order mandatory masks AFTER the epidemic is over. The only purpose to that is pure destruction. You really need to look in a mirror.

  26. Hi Testblogger,

    Thank you for taking the time to print it out but you are misunderstanding.

    Please try to understand.

    I did not check all cause mortality. If all cause mortality is low, then it means that people staying in their homes is somehow on average lowering their other deaths.

    I don't know what you are insinuating by saying my side. I just want people to not spread the infection to other innocent people because of their inconsiderateness. It is not a matter of getting some symptoms but a matter of concern for lives. Sadly, a lot of people are dying and they don't need to die.

    If there is adequate testing and the positive people are identified and told to be in isolation with their contacts also quarantining themselves, then the epidemic would eventually run out of oxygen and the oxygen for infectious diseases are susceptible people who are close enough to get the infection and keep the disease spreading.

    Sadly, Trump repeatedly tries to lower testing....

    Please see:

    This is not from a partisan group. The Lincoln Project is by life long Republicans committed to conservatism.


    1. Are you trying to pass off a rabidly anti-Trump super-PAC as "not … a partisan group"?

  27. Ed,

    You, yourself, are also full of it. This isn't rocket science. It isn't about a blind "trust" in the "experts". Experts are certainly fallible. However, this is basic epidemiology, of which the right-wing echo chamber has spent the last several months in denial. (It must be in denial, because it shows why modern capitalism is a failure, and will provide the impetus for "socialism!!!" such as UBI and M4A or at least a public option.) Calling out failure of experts is simply ignoring the elephant in the room. What's the right-wing response to coronavirus, I would like to know???

    It's true Dr. Fauci lied about masks in late March. He did so not because he didn't believe in their efficacy, but because he was worried about there not being enough for health care professionals if the public made a run on them. That was not right, but he was genuinely concerned about public health, and your portraying him as some sort of villain is pure cow manure. It proves he's human.

    It's true that some supported BLM protests without wearing masks and social distancing (although it is also true that others objected, a fact which you conveniently omit). But it is not that they thought there was no risk. That is a lie on your part. What they actually said was, the risk is justified considering the much greater risk structural racism poses to life. You may (and no doubt will) disagree with this, but please don't misrepresent what they said.

    The rest of this is simply ignoring the reality of the virus and sacrificing public health on the altar of the economy and modern capitalism.

    "So why the hell do people other than those at risk have, at this point, radically to disrupt their lives and livelihoods? Why not just quarantine those who are sick or especially vulnerable?"

    Because, in order to do that, you need effective testing and contact tracing. But Trump was too busy attempting to score political points.

    "For example, the evidence shows that children are simply not in any significant danger of getting ill from the virus or of spreading it..."

    You're kidding, right?

    "Well, here’s what I remember: the notorious Imperial College model’s prediction that we could see over 2 million deaths in the U.S., and similar doomsday scenarios from others..."

    And we well could have seen that, and could still see that, without proper social distancing measures. YOU are lying here and dishonest, when you pretend that the ACTUAL fatality counts falsify the model.

    1. Are you delusional and trolling or just trolling, HavingTakenLeaveOrYourSenses (posting under the pseudonym of LetsGoFishing)?

  28. Ed and all,

    I have to admit that Trump seems to be right and the naysayers wrong with respect to use of hudroxychloroquine but only in outpatient settings or in eary hospital settings like first 24-48 hours on admission and before there is an immune overreaction of the body when it may be worse to given at that time.

    Please see this article by an accomplished epidemiologist at Yale saying that we must use hydroxychloroquine…

    Please share the above newsweek article to all

    1. HCQ for Covid19 is pure quackery.

  29. Closing schools in March may have saved 40,000 lives in the US according to a study just published in the prestigious journal JAMA (Journal of American Medical Association)

  30. This blog post will not age well. Yes, the Hong Kong flu killed 100k Americans in 1 year. Covid-19 has killed over 150k in half that time. But as you have stated yourself, Dr. Feser, no radical measures were taken to contain the Hong Kong flu. But radical measures HAVE been taken to contain covid-19. You can't discount the effect those measures have had on the mortality. Especially not since the data makes it so abundantly clear that social-distancing policies, and adherence to such, are directly associated with reversing trends in infection and therefore mortality rates. As a passionate fan of your brilliant contributions to philosophy (I own most of your books), I am disappointed by the lack of rigor in your analysis of this situation. The 2 million figures that were bandied about early on were always predicated on the statement "if we do nothing". But we did not do nothing. You can look at every state that did something and have a pretty good idea of when they did it simply by looking at the trend lines. It's clear as day.

    1. If you compare our current high-risk population (53 million people over 65) with that of 1968 (20 million), and assume 80% of deaths occurred among that population, Covid in America looks about half as deadly as the HK flu, so far. We'll need to see another 150k Covid deaths before they are equally deadly.

    2. We have had millions of people who were hospitalized.

      I have no idea how many people would have died if we used 1968 medicine for supportive care but I would not be surprised if 500,000 deaths would have occurred by now.

      So the comparison with 1968 doesn't work. If we compare it putting all the factors involved, lot more people have died due to Covid.

      And this is without even getting into how our norms are different now. Vast numbers of people were dying per mile driven. But we instituted seat belts, and many safety features. Too many people are still killed or suffer terrible injuries but it is better than 1968. I think we would like preventable infectious disease deaths to be less than 1968 also.

    3. According to CDC numbers, there had been roughly 430,000 covid-related hospitalizations in the US as of July 25:

      That's a lot of people but it's an order of magnitude smaller than 'millions'. And it suggests that your 500k guess is way off, unless you assume that every single person who has been hospitalized for covid would have died in the hospital in 1968. Is this a remotely plausible assumption?

    4. It's also worth noting that what CDC actually reports is 430,000 "COVID-19-associated" hospitalizations. So we don't know how many of those people were admitted *because* of severe covid, and how many were not sick at all but were admitted for elective surgery, or to give birth, or whatever, and happened to test positive for the virus while in the hospital.

      Oddly, media reports of 'full hospitals' usually don't go into this distinction either. Or perhaps that's not very odd.

    5. Yes, 500,000 deaths using 1968 medicine would be impossible.

      But with the lack of national testing--contact tracing--isolating cases, etc. system, we are in trajectory for some quarter of a million or so deaths by the year's end and that is a few months less than 12 months from when this would have started. And this is without adding the 3 months to complete 12 months for a valid comparison.

      It appears 500,000 would still be too high but the number would still be high enough to counter the 1968 comparison even without asking if we really want to accept health standards of over 50 years ago.

  31. Here is a good piece to watch

  32. Watch above from about 50 seconds onwards where Fauci explains that Asia and Europe did a shutdown they did a shutdown of 95% to get their baseline to tens or hundreds of cases per day.

    When we did shutdowns, we lowered our baseline to 20,000 cases per day.

    If you lower your baseline to very low, then you can control it and the disease has less chance of exponentially growing.

    In other words, we need to reduce the Reproductive Rate of Covid19 to below 1.

    We are not doing that.

    So tens of thousands upon many more tens of thousands of preventable deaths will sadly continue to occur until we do that.