Coronavirus Death Predictions Bring New Meaning to Hysteria

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Reposted from RealClearMarkets with author permission  (and slightly out of date)

By Michael Fumento
April 01, 2020

The U.S. is staring at a Netflix-type apocalypse. You know, with feral animals eating human corpses, mutant plants reoccupying streets and buildings, empty restaurants and malls across the landscape….

Well, that last part is true, anyway. Not because of the disease but rather hysteria.

You’ve heard the apocalyptic claims. Imperial College in London – in a claim that would later get walked way back to far less fanfare* – estimated as many as 2.2 million U.S. deaths, depending on how drastically the population is locked down, locked out, and locked in. To reduce that figure to a “mere” 1.1 million, we would need to live a gulag life “until a vaccine becomes available (potentially 18 months or more),” they said. The CDC has issued an estimate of as many as 1.7 million American deaths.

Yet with lesser measures in place now – and for a very short period – the market has crashed, we are experiencing more unemployment claims than at the height of the Great Recession, and there looms a real possibility of a worldwide depression. And there are those who say those measures aren’t nearly draconian enough.

Do we really need to destroy the country to save it?

Consider that China has had fewer than 3,300 deaths even though the virus struck a country with a lousy healthcare system wholly unaware. Their epidemic peaked over five weeks ago, with almost no new cases now. So with a vastly better health care system, the U.S. can expect a per capita death rate about 666 times higher than the Middle Kingdom? Seriously, Imperial College?

You can quit reading right there. But please don’t. The utter insanity here is worth documenting, as well as knowing why even the lower bound U.S. estimates are nonsense.


Fact is, the epidemic worldwide, far from “growing exponentially,” is slowing. And that was to be expected per what’s called “Farr’s Law,” which dictates that all epidemics tend to rise and fall in a roughly symmetrical pattern or bell-shaped curve. AIDS, SARS, Ebola, Zika – all followed that pattern. So does seasonal flu each year. COVID-19 peaks have already been reported in China, South Korea, and Singapore.

Importantly, Farr’s Law has nothing to do with human interventions such as “social distancing” to “flatten the curve,” and indeed predates public health organizations. It occurs because communicable diseases nab the “low-hanging fruit” first (in this case the elderly with comorbid conditions), but then find subsequent fruit harder and harder to reach. Until more or less now, COVID-19 has been finding that fresh fruit in new countries, but it’s close to running out. So while many people assume that China contained its epidemic with draconian regulations, we actually have no evidence of that. Even the New York Times admitted South Korea recovered far more quickly with measures nowhere on the scale of China, although of course the Times still attributes that to human intervention, which assigning no role to Mother Nature.

When the coronavirus epidemic ends and the public health zealots inevitably slap themselves on the back for having prevented their own ridiculous scenarios, don’t buy it. This isn’t to say that thorough hand-washing several times a day and not sneezing and coughing in others’ faces won’t help: It will. But without the authoritarian and economically-devastating measures the U.S. and other countries are taking that are wrecking the world economy, there will be no Apocalypse Now or in the future. The streets are empty not because of direct effects of the disease, but from fear and from government dictates; as in a cognate of “dictatorship.”

Mind, right now we’re seeing a spike in cases because only now is testing becoming readily available in the U.S. due to a delay in the CDC developing its own assay. This availability is almost universally hailed as only good, but has at least two bad aspects.

First, we’re now picking up a lot more asymptomatic people who will be counted as “cases” just as much as people on death’s door. This will further contribute to hysteria. Second, many who test positive will suddenly develop “nocebo” symptoms; the opposite of placebo. As I observed long ago, nocebo symptoms come from the mind but can be very real. They definitely can mimic COVID-19 symptoms. It’s a good guess that hospitals are seeing their share of the “worried well,” people who were feeling pretty well before they tested positive and suddenly truly feel deathly ill. And they’re not the only ones suffering as a result. This adds to the burden on severely stressed hospital workers already overwhelmed with patients whose symptoms do result from COVID-19—or from the many other ailments and injuries that haven’t stopped afflicting people while our attention is focused on this particular virus.

On the positive side (no pun intended), the more you test, the lower the death rate becomes because the denominator grows faster than the numerator. Rather than the 3.4% rate the WHO put out, the current crude U.S. death rate is ABOUT 1.6% and will probably drop to less than half that as we’ve seen so far in South Korea at 0.6%. Then as testing continues, the rate will drop even further. For the Imperial College figure to be correct, U.S. deaths would have to be 0.66 percent and every American would need to be infected.


So how many deaths can the U.S. reasonably expect? If it’s not the Chinese model, it appears to be the Italian one. At the least, the media tell us, “Italy’s Coronavirus Crisis Could Be America’s.” Really?

That country so far has had over 7,500 deaths out of a population of 50 million, but it appears cases peaked on March 21.

Still, at this point that’s a stunning 9.5% crude death rate, by far the highest death percentage in the world. Which of course is why the media choose to focus on it, rather than other countries such as Germany with only about 240 deaths out of a much larger population.

But why is this happening in Italy? Partly it’s because Italy just doesn’t have a particularly good health care system. Even more specifically, last year the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI) and the Johns Hopkins Center for Health Security ranked the U.S.the best-prepared country in the world to handle a pandemic in late 2019, whereas Italy came in at only 31 – below Mexico.

As Forbes recently noted, U.S. hospitals have vastly more critical care beds than Italy, which in turn has more than South Korea. And you don’t even want to hear about China. Not because they eat bats, but because “bed” pretty much equals “floor.”

Beyond that, Italy has the fifth oldest population in the world (whereas the U.S. ranks 61). We already knew from Chinese data that COVID-19 is overwhelmingly a killer of the old and infirm. An analysis by China’s Center for Disease Control & Prevention found that most deaths occurred in those aged 80 and over.

Further, almost all those elderly dead had “comorbid” conditions of cardiovascular disease, diabetes, or hypertension. Similarly, almost everyone who has died in Italy has been over age 70, and virtually all had comorbid conditions: In fact, half of those who died had three or more. Almost nobody under 50 has succumbed and almost all who have also had serious existing medical conditions. This is a condemnation of the nation’s health care system; not a portent of America’s future.
And it appears a major factor may be how cases are recorded, which makes the assumption that dying from COVID-19 is the same as dying with it. Given the strong overlap between the population susceptible to flu and COVID-19, it’s certain that many who actually succumbed to flu are marked as coronavirus cases. We can expect that in the U.S. as well.


Yet another U.S. advantage is that the epidemic hit it later than Italy (and Asia, of course) and spring is in the air. Respiratory viruses usually hate warm, moist, sunny weather. Hence flu arrives in the U.S. in the fall and disappears by April or May. We know the “common cold” is rare in summer and many colds are caused by four different coronaviruses.

SARS was a coronavirus and simply died out between April and July, 2003. The media and public health officials desperately want you to think this coronavirus is different, but the evidence so far is that it follows the usual pattern with scientific publications such as “High Temperature and High Humidity Reduce the Transmission of COVID-19.”

The media and public health alarmists also cite MERS-CoV as an exception, but there’s evidence that it is also complains: “If it’s not the damned heat, it’s the humidity!” This year, the flu peaked in February. So it’s possible that even now weather is affecting U.S. coronavirus spread. Will it come back in autumn? Probably. But by then many in the population will have had exposure immunity, hospitals will be better prepared, the worried well problem will be reduced because it will no longer be a “new” virus, and we’ll have time to see if anything in our arsenal of antivirals and other medicines is truly effective. (No, there will be no vaccine available.)

Meanwhile, we apparently have a new definition for “American exceptionalism.” Ignore what’s happening in the entire rest of the world; ignore epidemiology; ignore virology; ignore common sense; ignore history. America, as Johnny Cash sang: “God’s Gonna Cut You Down.” Just as SARS was supposed to (it killed zero Americans) and just as forecasters (seriously) predicted more American AIDS deaths than there were Americans.

Meanwhile, the harsh measures encompassing much of the country are simply unproven – beyond knowing that hermits don’t get contagious diseases. South Korea didn’t need them and Sweden hasn’t used them even as its neighbor Norway has been praised for early implementation. For its efforts, Norway has reported over twice as many cases per capita and suddenly suffers its highest unemployment rate in 80 years.
But as always we follow the dictates of the public health zealots, the media and power-hungry pols. Shame on us that after all these years we are once again ignoring reality for the dubious benefits of hysteria.

*Note: As this article was being written, Neil Ferguson, the head of the Imperial College study, simply threw his model away. Along with the U.S. one of 2.2 million deaths, he predicted the U.K. would have as many as 510,000 deaths. In an oral presentation he reduced the U.K figure slightly… to 20,000. So the model that launched a thousand articles wasn’t worth anything more than the pixels it appeared with.

Michael Fumento is an attorney, author, and journalist who has been documenting epidemic hysterias for 35 years.

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April 8, 2020 6:13 am

Who needs Cloward-Piven when you have the CDC??

Reply to  Mashman
April 8, 2020 6:42 am

Here is the UK’s latest update:

Reply to  Vuk
April 8, 2020 7:04 am

The correlation coefficient of your deaths trend line is worsening because deaths are increasingly falling below it. That’s good.

Reply to  Scissor
April 8, 2020 7:41 am

Scissors, that is correct, R^2 four days ago (4/4/2020) was R2 = 0.9985 against today’s 0.965 an encouraging reduction however small on the logarithmic scale. However, in absolute numbers divergence is some 3800 cases or about 35% below the longest persistent trend line.

Reply to  Mashman
April 8, 2020 8:27 am

I believe Dr Fauci also studied at the knee of Bill Ayers … and is well versed at bomb-throwing. Did you see his acknowledgement of a hostile (to President Trump) Reporter at yesterday’s ChiCom-19 update? … … watch all the way to the end.

Reply to  Kenji
April 8, 2020 8:49 am

That is sick. Fauci is playing politics with human lives.

Mike Bryant
Reply to  Kenji
April 8, 2020 9:20 am


Jeffery P
Reply to  Kenji
April 8, 2020 9:37 am

Fauci is an expert on epidemiology and apparently nothing else. Why are we letting someone with such narrow focus set the agenda. The man seems oblivious to the havoc caused by the CDC and the human toll caused by the lockdown.

Fauci, of course, gets his government check every 2 weeks.

Reply to  Jeffery P
April 8, 2020 10:41 am

His government pay might be more frequent if he gets it from China also.

Big Al
Reply to  Kenji
April 8, 2020 12:25 pm

In 2017 Deep State Dr. Fauci warned that President Trump would be surprised by a World wide pandemic. They never thought she would lose. Just think what the evil beast could have accomplished in thinning the heard. This man made virus Bill Gates special. Looking forward to purge of evil. Winning. PS….saving children first. Then justice will be served. Time to pay THE BARR BILL. Next !!! PSS …How starting this weekend, Saturday, lock Somebody UP ?

Reply to  Big Al
April 8, 2020 2:44 pm

I don’t think his pronouncement was sinister. He was talking about the fact that historically, new infectious diseases are a continuing threat. See for example, starting at ~7:40 in the following video of his comments.

Here are his slides from the event.

April 8, 2020 6:24 am

You might have done well to completely ignore china’s statistics as no one believes them in any way shape or form. Why you would self destruct your own argument by using China data is beyond me.

Russ R.
Reply to  astonerii
April 8, 2020 6:48 am

China distributed 40,000 to 50,000 urns to Wuhan families of deceased relatives in order to cheer them up for the big celebration. Are we to assume they died of natural causes?
We are in uncharted territory. That does not mean full stop, it also does not mean full speed ahead. It means “proceed with caution”. We have to have some control of this virus before we allow “the new normal” to proceed.
It is easy to sit on the sidelines and criticize. We only have a slight overcapacity at any time for medical supplies, personnel, and medical resources.
I advise any one that wants others to die, so they are not inconvenienced to take a chill pill and think about that. Tomorrow will get here for many of us. It will be better is we don’t have truck loads of bodies stacked up to deal with.
We will have to live without large gatherings for awhile. That is not a large sacrifice in our modern age.

Joe Crawford
Reply to  Russ R.
April 8, 2020 8:12 am

“I advise any one that wants others to die, so they are not inconvenienced to take a chill pill and think about that.” You might also consider the possibility that you’re on their list.

Reply to  Russ R.
April 8, 2020 8:19 am

How is it “uncharted”? Have we never had a virus before?

We are still waiting for a single country to report excess deaths. The UK YTD deaths are running 3,000 below the five year average. Deaths of under 65s YTD are exactly average.

Meanwhile, US coronavirus deaths have reached the heady figure of 50% of flu deaths this winter. What 24,000 flu deaths “uncharted ” as well? Should we have locked down for that? For some reason we are behaving as if nobody ever dies from disease, nobody ever goes into ICU for anything and young people never die from flu.

Ed H
Reply to  Phoenix44
April 8, 2020 9:24 am

It is uncharted territory to have major medical centers in major cities so overwhelmed as to be akin to war zones. Flu has never done that in he US in the way it is now during the current lifetimes of anyone under 100. That is what flattening the curve is about. Flu deaths each year happen over many months. While there are peaks,they don’t overwhelm our systems by hitting them with high patient loads all at once. And with flu, for those hospitalized needing specialized equipment, the duration that equipment is needed is also far shorter than is being experienced for Covid-19. Again, uncharted territory exacerbated by how early we are in understanding what are the most effective treatment regimens, especially before people hit life threatening stage. I am a lifelong conservative but the cavalier attitudes about this may be the first and only experience that has ever happened in my lifetime that could drive me away from that. So far our President is finding a balance of caution and optimism. If it were not for his balanced approach, these cavalier attitudes would be quickly driving me towards the other party.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Ed H
April 8, 2020 9:54 am

Whoa, hold on a second Ed.
There is a small but vocal minority commenting incessantly that are doing what you are talking about, vis-a-vis the cavalier attitude.
Let’s not forget the shenanigans from the other side in all of this.

I am right there with you on every other point you made.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Ed H
April 8, 2020 10:10 am

The vast majority of hospitals in the US are not “so overwhelmed as to be akin to war zones”. Not even close. Prove me wrong. Post the hundreds of pictures that must exist (if you are correct) of these hospital “war zones”.

Reply to  Ed H
April 8, 2020 11:58 am

True story, in the entire province of BC, the health minister has openly and repeatedly declared that he has cleared more than 4,000 acute-care hospital beds (cancelling all kinds of procedures and surgeries) even as the hospitalized COVID-19 cases are holding steady at fewer than 150.

I’m not sure I’d be bragging about that. Though, it should be noted that hospital bed occupancy in BC has run at more than 100 per cent for many years, with overflow systems for surgery and other patients. So it’s not a huge leap to think that he’s doing all this grandstanding and ordering of lockdowns just to get finally get some attention on the matter.

Joe T
Reply to  Ed H
April 8, 2020 3:07 pm

Ed – CDC some years ago, published for the usual US flus, for one flu season, that 810,000 had to be hospitalized, and there were 61,000 US deaths. Explain to us why the economy wasn’t shut down, and why the Media did the usual flu season coverage, that is, no panic, no screaming, just accepted it. We need your input to explain this.
Also, if you don’t believe this, go to the CDC web site, and look at influenza data.

Ed H
Reply to  Ed H
April 8, 2020 4:15 pm

The long incubation period and easy spread makes it too late to avoid over-crowding once an area becomes a hot spot. You need a few weeks advance prediction on it, which unfortunately is hard to do. I am not saying every area should have the exact same measures, and some rural areas don’t or shouldn’t. But also remember that rural areas tend to be served by critical access hospitals (minimum of 35 miles from another hospital, often further). Fortunately, the regulations limiting critical access hospitals to 25 or fewer beds have been relaxed in the crisis, and that helps IF they have the staff and equipment to go with it in order to actually handle more than 25 patients. If anyone can definitively predict which hospitals will see a surge exceeding their capacity of staff and beds at least 3 weeks in advance, with personal accountability for the results if they are wrong, then feel free to volunteer to shoulder that accountability.

Reply to  Ed H
April 8, 2020 9:43 pm

… and don’t forget, Ed, if/when you are driven over to that “other party,” the annual, world-wide number of cases for their aborted-access-to-life ideology far outstrips those who would die from a non-flattened corona virus curve. (To see the magnitude of comparison, look it up on the Worldometer.)

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Phoenix44
April 8, 2020 9:30 am

Let me guess, you do not work in a hospital right now?

Ed H
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 8, 2020 9:43 am

My job has me in contact with some hospitals involved in this – so I am familiar with what is actually happening on the ground in some places. Uncharted territory.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 8, 2020 10:19 am

A lot of what you’re alluding to is caused by fear-driven policy decisions.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 8, 2020 12:39 pm

Ed, I was responding to Phoenix with that comment about working in a hospital.
Acting like this situation can be judged by eyeballing mortality statistics, which are generally not considered to be very accurate until about two years after any particular date, is absolutely inane in my view.
I would like to known how many of the blithe commentators here are volunteering at a COVID ward, or doing anything else which actually demonstrates they think there is nothing to be concerned about by personally exposing themselves to the virus?
Maybe they are.
Maybe they are just yammering while doing what everyone else is doing…trying not to get a virus which might well land them in a hospital ICU lickety-split.

Russ R.
Reply to  Phoenix44
April 8, 2020 9:51 am

This is not a flu. If you don’t understand the difference, then spend some time learning the difference.
China spent a great deal of time and energy searching for this virus in the bats that live in the caves around Shitou Cave in South China.
Their excuse was to “understand” it better in case it spread through the population like SARS or MERS. In their zeal to understand it, it got out of the Wuhan Virology Institute. Most likely by a PhD intern named Huang Yan Ling, who is missing and presumed dead. She worked for Shi Zhenglin the woman at the center of this pandemic. Shi originally said the missing intern never worked for her, then later when presented with the papers that had been published, said she “moved on several years ago”. A student who walks away from virology work, without CCP surveillance is more rare than a leprechaun with bucket of bitcoin.
You can spend several days researching all this, it is available on line.
Bottom line, we have no resistance to this virus. And it is highly contagious. Our flu death rate is acceptable because we can treat those that come down with it. This virus will overwhelm our medical system, and hundreds of thousands of people would die before our collective immunity was accumulated. It would be just as disruptive to ignore it and let it play out, as it is to take “social distancing” measures, and try to manage the situation using our current meds and sanitary measures.
This is “uncharted territory”. The answers to manage this are not difficult. Getting people to understand why they are necessary is difficult.
If you are interested, a good place to start:

Reply to  Phoenix44
April 8, 2020 10:00 am

Death reports are always initially lower and adjusted as reporting comes in. It will be awhile before we know what the recent death rate has been and can make statements like above or below the five year average.

Marty Skapik
Reply to  Phoenix44
April 8, 2020 8:07 pm

I have been trying to find stats on total deaths for the USA thru March 2020 versus March 2019. Where were you able to get the death rate stats ? Common sense has dictated that the total shut down of the economy has reduced so many other deaths that it will be less than the extra deaths contributed to Covid. In addition many deaths that should be attributed to heart disease, pneumonia, kidney failure, cancer, will be counted as Covid related. The percentages of these consistent mortality rates will now suddenly be reduced with no explanation other than the obvious.

Reply to  Phoenix44
April 9, 2020 3:17 am

Here are some interesting facts. Reuters quotes a doctor:

“Dr. Craig Spencer, director of global health in emergency medicine at New York’s Columbia University Medical Center, described the scene inside tents set up outside hospitals to help contain an increasing influx of patients.

“’In those same tents, I saw too much pain, loneliness, and death. People dying alone,’ he wrote on Twitter on Thursday night.” (original Reuters quote not found)

Only problem is, citizen-videos of these tents showed no one there days after one hospital in particular, Elmhurst, was splashed all over America, showing pandemonium. Citizen videos: nothing. Dead quite. No one in tents, which were never used to house patients in the first place but were used for testing. Here, have a look at Elmhurst hospital:

Well, I’ll be. This video was taken down, and is now back up. (I was expecting to see a blank YouTube page.) I can bore you with the details if you wish but I’ve verified that this is the exact same entrance, and those are the exact same tents (at about the three-minute mark, on the left; the stripped material covering the slope is an unmistakable clue that this is the same location) that were days earlier shown as the scene of the crime.

There’s no one in the tents. No one is dying in tents, although to be fair it’s quite possible that someone had a heart attack while being tested.

NYC overrun with dead bodies? Maybe, but this might also be because there are fewer people around to bury the 14,000- some people who die in the NYC metropolitan area each month:

“New York State Funeral Directors Association director Mike Lanotte said religious cemeteries, including ones run by the Archdiocese of New York, have put protocols in place to protect staff working in cemeteries that have led to less manpower.

“’They’re not able to bury as many people in a day as they normally would and that’s a concern because if there’s a large number of cemeteries that start to do this, we’re going to start to have — for lack of a better word — a bottleneck,’ Lanotte told The Post.”

So maybe what we really have is a crisis of unbiased reporting?

Reply to  Russ R.
April 8, 2020 9:46 am

As far as the disease, this territory is about as uncharted as a current street map of New York City. As far as the hysteria, this is indeed uncharted territory. Did you know that people in the UK are tearing down mobile phone towers because they actually believe it causes COVID-19? Where did such rumors start? Social media allows lies and half-truths to spread like wildfire. And then the traditional media in their lust of ratings pours gasoline on the fire which only makes things worse.

This much I can promise you, those who want to control us are taking notes on how easy it was to get people to surrender their rights. Their army of the vocal minority will make sure every one falls in line; people will be too afraid to stop it. I myself have stopped posting provable and verifiable facts on websites about this virus because I got tired of being insulted by the anonymous vocal minority. I do continue to tell everyone I meet in person these facts and, when possible, how they can verify themselves.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Russ R.
April 8, 2020 10:06 am

Your hyperbole is not helpful. For the vast bulk of the population, getting the Wuhan Flu is not a death sentence, so stop with the truck loads of bodies memes. I don’t want anyone to die, but that doesn’t change the fact that people will die today, and tomorrow, and the day after, all of many different causes. What I don’t want to happen is the economy to collapse and cause a world wide depression. That would cause a lot more suffering and deaths than this virus ever will.

Russ R.
Reply to  Paul Penrose
April 8, 2020 11:01 am

@Paul – Get a clue. If you knew what you were talking about you would not call it hyperbole. There are truck loads of bodies right now, after two weeks of lock down:

The daily death toll the coronavirus across the country hit 1,939 on Tuesday, which was the highest single-day total for any country since the virus was first detected in China late last year.

Do you think we are using 1900 ambulances to transport the dead, when we need them to transport the living?
If it were not for the lockdown that number would be double at least, and headed higher. Most people will survive this, although a percentage of those will lose lung capacity from scaring of the lungs. Many people are still working. Those that are not, will be back at work soon. The weather change will help us. Hydroxychloriquin will help us. Wearing masks in public will help us.
This is not paranoia or hyperbole. It is a new virus that we don’t have immunity to. It burns like a wildfire through a population ignoring it and going to sporting events, parades, and parties, overwhelming any medical system, anywhere!

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Russ R.
April 8, 2020 12:31 pm

“If it were not for the lockdown that number would be double at least, and headed higher.”
Pure speculation. There’s no way you or anybody could know this.

“It is a new virus that we don’t have immunity to. It burns like a wildfire through a population ignoring it and going to sporting events, parades, and parties, overwhelming any medical system, anywhere!”
If that isn’t hyperbole, then I don’t know what is. I am finished with your nonsense.

Russ R.
Reply to  Russ R.
April 8, 2020 1:11 pm

Put in your posts for today, and waiting on the check. Another useful idiot. China has a responsibility for this that will not fade in our lifetime. I would distance myself from the stench of their behavior. No amount of easy money can wash off the smell of death.

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Russ R.
April 9, 2020 9:56 am

Stick it where the sun don’t shine, Russ. I use my actual full name so that people know I’m not a bot or a PR flak for anybody. Google me. I am a full-time Software Engineer, so I don’t have time to deal with idiots like you.

Russ R.
Reply to  Russ R.
April 9, 2020 11:07 am

Wow, you have a web presence! That is impressive you must be legit. I don’t recognize your name, or remember you. So you will excuse me if I assume from your formula responses that you just showed up to criticize without offering any alternative ideas and backing them up with logical anlysis.
And the fact that you said ” I am finished with your nonsense.”, but now you are back, even though you “don’t have time for this”, shows you just like to throw rocks, but not add anything constructive.
I am not here to educate the ignorant, so it is good that you are too busy to think. Your posts are all about “how you feel”, and I already know how being ignorant and scared makes you feel. If you want to test the logic of your thoughts you came to the right place If not don’t waste your time.

Reply to  Russ R.
April 8, 2020 10:24 am

“China distributed 40,000 to 50,000 urns to Wuhan families of deceased relatives in order to cheer them up for the big celebration. “

How do you know?

Russ R.
Reply to  Derg
April 9, 2020 1:01 pm
michael burns
Reply to  Russ R.
April 8, 2020 11:11 am

“China distributed 40,000 to 50,000 urns to Wuhan families of deceased relatives in order to cheer them up for the big celebration. Are we to assume they died of natural causes?”

Get a grip will you, these are fantasies in your mind. Your enteric nervous system is twitching because of fear, it is Pavlovian response and or as the author speaks tantamount to the Nocebo effect in action.

Do you know how many die each year in highly polluted Chinese cities from Pneumonia? There are roughly 1.43 billion Chinese with a Pneumonia death rate from 120-150/per Million each and every year.
That roughly between 172,000-215,000 deaths every single year from Pneumonia. And CVID killed how many?
And what causes pneumonia besides COVID?

Here’s some reading on the subject…

Russ R.
Reply to  michael burns
April 9, 2020 1:28 pm

So in a city of 11 million *120/million * 1/6 = 220.
Or 275 at the higher range.

That is average deaths from Pneumonia for Wuhan for a two month lock down. I am sure there were plenty of deaths from causes other than CCP virus.
But they have 7 crematoriums and they are adequate for normal times, to run banker hours. They were running 24/7 according to multiple sources. The smoke was thick in the city, even though all the factories were closed, and the traffic was minimal.

Reply to  astonerii
April 8, 2020 6:49 am

Your point is well taken. There seems to be a pandemic of cognitive dissonance.

Reply to  astonerii
April 8, 2020 7:05 am

While I’m not defending the data out of China or David’s use of it I have to say “It’s all we got currently”.

It’s not just China. There is no standardized test for it and most countries tests vary in method and accuracy. Not trusting data is a good thing.

At this point we are like a blind man in a dark room wearing a blindfold.

Reply to  astonerii
April 8, 2020 7:06 am

Michael’s not David’s. My mistake on my previous comment.

Just Jenn
April 8, 2020 6:27 am

This isn’t about a virus, this is about superiority of piety and shaming into conformity.


We went from “flatten the curve” to “Stay Safe, STAY HOME.” When did that Morph? Why does everything in our (US here) society have to one up the other?

Around my town I’ve noticed blue ribbons all over, one house is all decked out with ribbons on every tree, pendants strung across them, and writing all over their front door. Stay SAFE, STAY HOME. Funny, I wonder where they bought that? Seems pretty “non-essential” to me, but you know, close the fabric stores so people can’t make a proper cloth mask. /sarc

This is becoming another excuse to feel superior among the sheeple. Only instead of goods, now it’s decorations and who can throw the most shade and shameful looks in a grocery store.

Foley Hund
Reply to  Just Jenn
April 8, 2020 7:04 am


Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Just Jenn
April 8, 2020 9:35 am

What it boils down to is…no one really feels like getting really really sick.
And no one knows ahead of time which people that will be.
Sure, we mostly know who will will not be able to survive a case of viral pneumonia.
But most people have never had that…never been that sick that they needed to be hospitalized.
The binary lived/died question ignores this…but a large number of people are not ignoring it.

Ron Long
April 8, 2020 6:28 am

Good posting, Charles, and Michael Fumento has a point. This morning it has been reported that the IHME model (questionable as its intent may be) has dropped the USA predicted COVID-19 deaths from 100,000 to 240,000, to 93,000, to 81,000, and now to 60,000. Yesterday Dr. Birx confirmed that anyone who dies in the USA, if they are positive for COVID-19, has their death recorded as due to the virus. See the Willis posting from several days ago about the shortfall in reported pneumonia deaths, which agrees with earlier comments by Lord M of }B. The tendency to panic is associated with several factors which I won’t get into, but pilots, generals, scientists, and yes, even some engineers, tend not to panic. During my training as an Air Traffic Controller (FAA cert. 1904664) the nature and detection of panic was taught and emphasized, as you needed to recognize the mental state of a person declaring an emergency. For the record, every emergency I handled in Vietnam was with pilots who did not panic, even under life-threatening conditions. Where is the filter for these characteristics in modern elected politicians? Substantially lacking, it seems. Stay safe.

Reply to  Ron Long
April 8, 2020 8:02 am

The problem with MSM interpretation of the IHME models is that they pay too much attention to the dotted center line. The curves should not have that line but should have too solid lines at the error margins and then maybe some would realize that because of the error margin width just how useless those curves are. Kinda like trying to predict location of hurricane landfall when the storm is still in the middle of the Atlantic.

Reply to  BFL
April 8, 2020 9:23 am


Good point.

Tom Abbott
April 8, 2020 6:36 am

From the article: “But as always we follow the dictates of the public health zealots, the media and power-hungry pols. Shame on us that after all these years we are once again ignoring reality for the dubious benefits of hysteria.”

So what’s your suggestion? Should we revolt against the government?

What’s your solution to the Wuhan virus? Do you just want to turn it loose and see what happens? That’s what it sounds like. Which would be totally irresponsible.

I wouldn’t want you running my country.

David Joyce
Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 8, 2020 7:27 am

Necessity. The cry of every tyrant. The creed of every slave.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 8, 2020 7:37 am

And I wouldn’t want you running mine.

Currently there is little evidence that this virus is new or that it came from a wet market in Wuhan. These are unsubstantiated claims.

For all we know, cvd-19 has been infecting people for centuries.

In the end, this will turn out to be a normal flu season and we’ll look back and wonder what the fuss was all about.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Klem
April 8, 2020 8:24 am

What it boils down to Klem, is we don’t know nearly enough about this virus to be able to dismiss it as not being a huge threat. That being the case, we have to try to reduce its spread as much as possible in the shortterm while we learn more about how it spreads and work on treatments that will help the situation until we can get a vaccine or we develop herd imminity to it..

Every day the medical situation is improving because we are learning more and are getting our manufacturing processes up to speed..

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Klem
April 8, 2020 9:29 am

How much you wanna bet, Klem?

The Dark Lord
Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 8, 2020 7:56 am

no, lock down the at risk … leave everyone else alone … thats what we would do if a serial killer was targeting the at risk …

your childish idea that there are only 2 choices … lock down everyone or do nothing is silly …

Josh Postema
Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 8, 2020 7:59 am

“So what’s your suggestion? Should we revolt against the government?”

King George raised some taxes.

The Dictatorship of Experts wants to confine all Americans to house arrest indefinitely until a vaccine is mass produced – which at a minimum would be two years and could never happen.

I see a disconnect here.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Josh Postema
April 8, 2020 8:16 am

“The Dictatorship of Experts wants to confine all Americans to house arrest indefinitely ”

I’m not confined to house arrest. I’m an American. I see a disconnect in your statement.

Josh Postema
Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 8, 2020 10:09 am

There is a significant difference between wanting something and getting it.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 8, 2020 10:34 am

In the current mindset, you very easily could be.

Reply to  Josh Postema
April 8, 2020 10:34 am

It’s gone from the point of all people being innocent until proven guilty to all people being assumed guilty (infectious carriers) until they can prove their innocence. And people who think they are freedom lovers are OK with that.

Russ R.
Reply to  icisil
April 8, 2020 12:20 pm

TSA thinks your assumed guilty before you get on an airplane.
I am not OK with that, but it is the world we live in. It is better than the alternative and I have the choice to not fly.
I currently have the choice to move to a rural area where no one will bother me. This is a problem with public safety. The government has power to curtail individual rights to protect public safety.

Reply to  Russ R.
April 8, 2020 2:55 pm

If you fly private aircraft you have fewer restrictions placed on you. Better yet, is to have your own airfield.

Russ R.
Reply to  Josh Postema
April 9, 2020 10:03 am

Your “house arrest” is largely a request that only has some force behind it for businesses to not operate. Other than not being able to go to businesses that have closed, you are free to go as you please. There is no enforcement of the public’s movement as long as they don’t assemble in groups.

Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 8, 2020 8:34 am

Maybe a balanced appropriate response. You know like many countries are doing that have/had great results. Closing schools for some period (2-4 weeks maybe), postponing/canceling large gatherings, encouraging masks and social distancing. Shutting down every business that can’t work from home or is deemed non-essential… not so much. Recognizing that the some significant majority of deaths that are occurring are among folks who would die soon anyway from their other problems. Stop pretending that we don’t choose economics (and simple pleasure) over lives all the time and every day. Understand that when this all this is over and we look back the overall mortality rate won’t have changed much from the usual and likely won’t reach the peak we saw in the flu season from two years ago when the US saw ~80K deaths and we didn’t shut down a single thing. Maybe some perspective would good. I’m going to assume that you aren’t advocating locking every one in their home to save “just 1 life”. So if you aren’t advocating that then what are you advocating? How many lives does a model to project we’re going to save for us to lock people in their homes? How many times does that model have to be proven wrong (as the IMHE model has been multiple times so far) before we then allow people to get back on with their lives?

Paul Penrose
Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 8, 2020 10:33 am

No, I don’t think we should revolt against the government, but we now have governors and mayors that are attempting to restrict our constitutional rights without due process, so we should push back against these kind of unlawful and unconstitutional orders; in other words, civil disobedience. It’s what we did to force the end of the Jim Crow era.

As to the solution to the Wuhan virus? There is no “solution”. All we can do is survive it until/unless a vaccine is developed. In the meantime we must be careful not to cause more suffering and death via economic damage in an attempt to mitigate the effects of the virus. BTW, it is already “on the loose”, and there’s nothing we can do to stop it. As a practical matter, we probably can’t even really slow it down by any meaningful amount. So my advice is to quarantine, to the best of our ability, the old people and the sick, since they are the most vulnerable. Try to limit the spread as much as possible by washing hands, etc., although I don’t think paper or cloth masks do anything for healthy people. Manage hot-spots and move people/supplies to where it is needed the most. Make sure the work to develop a vaccine is not inhibited by anything.

Hyperbole does not help. Spreading fear does not help. Giving up all our essential liberties and shredding our Constitution is insanity. In the end, the deprivation from shutting down our economy will kill many more people than this virus ever could, and that isn’t fear mongering, it is an established fact.

April 8, 2020 6:42 am

“On the positive side (no pun intended), the more you test, the lower the death rate becomes because the denominator grows faster than the numerator. Rather than the 3.4% rate the WHO put out, the current crude U.S. death rate is ABOUT 1.6% and will probably drop to less than half that as we’ve seen so far in South Korea at 0.6%.”

For whatever reason, the ratio of deaths to cases in the U.S. has been increasing since about the 27th of March. I think some of this may be do to over assigning deaths to coronavirus and perhaps it being under assigned prior to that. Also, there is a time lag between case onset and outcomes.

Reply to  Scissor
April 8, 2020 7:00 am

In the UK up to date they test only patients who are brought to hospitals in critical condition and mortality in such group of people is just above 11%.
Situation in the neighbouring France isn’t much different

Reply to  Vuk
April 8, 2020 7:55 am

In France, those who are treated with Hydroxychloroquine and Azithromycine have an crude death ratio of 0,4%.

This is the case at the IHU Méditerranée Infections of Marseille – France.

Data here :
– as of today : 2187 positive cases, 10 deaths.

Compare it to the country’s crude death ratio of some 10% :

Despite this piece of evidence (among others and scientific publications), Prof Raoult and his team are facing one of the worst ad hominem attack, blatant disinformation and shameless propaganda in the science history.

If one wonder why, just follow the monney (Unlike its main competitors, old drug Plaquenil side effects are well known and it costs nothing to produce).

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Petit_Barde
April 8, 2020 9:44 am

This methodology does not allow anyone to reach any logical conclusion that is evidence based.
Come back with something scientific with numbers like that.
Everyone will be very happy.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 8, 2020 12:40 pm

You have no clue about what science is, at all.

Let’s people die.

Thank you.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 8, 2020 3:13 pm

Right back atcha bub.

The Dark Lord
Reply to  Vuk
April 8, 2020 8:00 am

which is higher than the flu … but not by much … 800k in hospital … 60k dead … in 2017-2018 … and as he pointed out a virus always starts with the low hanging fruit … so it could easily drop below the flu’s case mortality rate …

Reply to  Vuk
April 8, 2020 8:02 am

Paying too much attention to the statistics and you can miss the obvious Selection Bias.

Tom Abbott
April 8, 2020 6:48 am

I’ve never seen so much whining and handwringing and wild speculation in all my life. It’s really pathetic. And it’s misleading a lot of people and probably stressing them out more than they would be if they hadn’t read such rank hysteria, posing as rational thought.

We’ll revisit all these whiner’s forecasts of economic doom, in the near future. Be careful what you predict. Someone may call you on it someday.

John F. Hultquist
Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 8, 2020 7:55 am

For some, “economic doom” arrived in the last week or so.
That is at the level of individuals, not the macro-system.

What is interesting (disheartening) is the considerable effects underway with the
educational system (USA) from pre-school to university level.
Again, there are macro & individual aspects. Ask those from a mid-size
university what is happening. How are school districts handling
“distance learning”, testing, student advancement? Or not!

Reply to  John F. Hultquist
April 8, 2020 8:44 am

Yeah, it’s imperative to keep downloading Alinsky and Zinn into those li’l beggars heads! Heaven help us if they learn about life from their PARENTS . . . !

Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 8, 2020 8:33 am

452 … COVID-19 Deaths in CA as of Apr. 7
200,000 … Number of COVID-19 deaths in CA … predicted by Gavin Newsom

If you made such horrific calculation ERRORS in your job … would you still have one? Come to think of it … the ONLY ones who still have their jobs … are government workers.

April 8, 2020 6:52 am

I wouldn’t tout China’s numbers as being anything resembling reality, and so wouldn’t be willing to recognize any of their reports about when it peaked or how many people had it. Otherwise decent information.

April 8, 2020 6:54 am

That country [Italy] so far has had over 7,500 deaths out of a population of 50 million, but it appears cases peaked on March 21.

This article was written on April 1st. That country now has over 17k deaths. That’s the trouble with epidemics. The numbers can change quite quickly within a few days

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  John Finn
April 8, 2020 7:46 am

The author said “cases” peaked, not deaths.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
April 8, 2020 8:08 am

True, but the truth about case rate is even more damaging to the article’s claims. The number of *cases* reported in Italy on 21 March was 47,000; it is now (8 April) over 135,000. Far from peaking a couple weeks ago, it’s still going up, and fast.

Reply to  Jeff Alberts
April 8, 2020 8:24 am

And yet it is not true:

number of (active) cases in Itlay is today 18% higher than on the day the article was written.

Reply to  MFKBoulder
April 8, 2020 10:09 am

@MFKBoulder, not sure where you’re getting that 18% number. There’s a graph here:
of the *active* cases in Italy (about 1/3 of the way down the page). It says the number of active cases on 21 March (= the date the author claimed the cases in Italy had peaked) was 42,681 (a little shy of the 47,000 I mentioned, with virtually the entire difference being due to deaths, nor recoveries). The current number of active cases in Italy is 94,067, more than double that number.

As for the date the article was written (1 Apr), that was 10 days after the date the article claims the cases peaked in Italy–which makes the claim obviously false, since the number of active cases on 1 April was over 80,000, nearly double the number on 21 March. So why the author claims the peak had been reached on 21 March is a mystery.

So whether you take the date that Rotter claimed the cases in Italy peaked (21 March) or the date the article was written (1 April), Rotter is wrong; neither was the peak.

Reply to  MFKBoulder
April 8, 2020 10:11 am

An edit to the reply I submitted just now: the author of the original article was Fumento, not Rotter. Rotter was just passing it on to this website.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  mcswell
April 8, 2020 12:50 pm

Charles Rotter did not write this article.
He posted it.
The author is someone named Michael Fumento.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Jeff Alberts
April 8, 2020 10:32 am

And let us not forget that “new cases per day” relates more to how much testing is going on in many places.
Also, my impression is that Italy is in lock down and has been for a weeks and weeks.

There are reports that a large number of people in Italy, and likely other places, are not being counted as COVID deaths because they died at home.
Some percentage of people seem to be dying very suddenly of ARDS after seeming to be recovering or almost recovered.
Impossible to say if it is a rare one or two here and there, or a substantial number.

See here. Any good analyst is emphasizing the uncertainty:

David Blenkinsop
Reply to  John Finn
April 10, 2020 5:36 pm

But in the head posting near your quote, the writer also says ‘a 9.5 percent crude death rate”? That’s pretty murky terminology to me, it seems to suggest almost five *million* deaths so far out of Italy’s total population of fifty million?

April 8, 2020 6:54 am

You have to be just plain stupid to believe China only had 3500 deaths. They are lying. Having said that, the reaction in the US is just crazy. I just learned NJ just closed all State and county parks. The stupid lies thick over the NJ government.

Jeff Alberts
Reply to  Nelson
April 8, 2020 7:47 am

And here in Washington State, going fishing, alone, is apparently frowned upon.

Reply to  Nelson
April 8, 2020 8:11 am

in Victoria Aus you cant even go fishing..or play golf even just 2 people keeping distance etc
no camping
no driving around even if you dont stop anywhere
bloody insanity

Reply to  Nelson
April 8, 2020 2:56 pm

Here in CA, they arrested and cuffed a guy for paddleboarding in the middle of the ocean (he was hundreds of meters from the nearest person. Beaches are closed, parks are closed, running and biking trails are closed, gyms are closed.

Reply to  Alex
April 8, 2020 7:43 am

Many thanks for the link!

That looks really, really bad for some regions…

Reply to  Ron
April 8, 2020 9:04 am

Yes. Some regions there are really bad over there.
I hope, Spain will hold the lockdown policy.

Reply to  Alex
April 8, 2020 8:26 am

Alex/John/Nelson, calm down…

Alex, if you’re going to cite EuroMomo data, at least have the courtesy and scientific integrity to show the whole picture and not cherry pick:

Spain (and Italy) hasn’t even reached the level of excess death it experienced during the pan-European 2018 or 2017 flu seasons, which were: 1) unusually severe, 2) reported heavily in the media, and 3) didn’t elicit a panicked shutdown of the global economy.

Ask yourselves, why weren’t we hysterical back then? 2017 was an off-the-charts flu season across Europe. But we knew it would pass, so we just wanted it out until our herd immunity kicked (thanks children, we love your sloppy hygiene heathy young lungs!). This mechanism has largely protected us as a species for the last 200,000 flu seasons (with the odd exception, Spanish flu, I’m looking at you).

The difference this year is early on Imperial College threw some numbers into a computer, gave reporters an easy story to cover, and they ran with it. Then human nature kicked in, and here we are.

And to anyone who replies to this with, “yeah, but I read about xx number somewhere, and it sounds REALLY big!”, you must first ask: Compared to what?

Reply to  SteveB
April 8, 2020 8:45 am

We have no herd immunity against SARS-CoV-2. None. Totally different from influenza, well, yes, except for the Spanish flu:

Do we really want to do this again?

Reply to  Ron
April 8, 2020 11:28 am

I don’t follow.

It’s not an all-or-nothing proposition. Some regions already have clearly reached (or will now inevitably reach) the 80% infection rate to achieve herd immunity (parts of China, most of South Korea, parts of Europe, parts of Canada, Pacific NW USA, etc.), while others are still ramping up. But the local patterns are clear — transmission ramps up for a couple of weeks, flattens quickly, then it ramps down a couple of weeks.

The whole concept of seasonal flu revolves around the fact that every year we have new mutations of (previous) viruses to deal with that create an annual epidemic of respiratory illness. They are novel every new year, so we initially have no “herd immunity” from ANY of them. In the Northern hemisphere, they start infecting us late in the year, we reach 80% infection by the springtime, some people die, then they go away.

I don’t know why this misconception keeps arising, but Coronaviruses aren’t new. While this CoV-2 is a new strain, the coronavirus classification has been around for a long time and typically represents 5%-15% of the annual viral distribution.

And by the way, we still indirectly get the Spanish flu every year — it belongs to the H1N1 strain that is included in the Influenza A type that makes up part of our seasonal flu epidemics. Some of the annual mutations are particularly nasty, others less so. But our global healthcare system (minus the lunatic hysteria) is also much better prepared to deal with them than we were in 1918.

Reply to  SteveB
April 8, 2020 2:50 pm

You have clearly no idea how antibody based immunity works. Just any infection with random corona viruses doesn’t give you any immunity from too distant related ones. Influenza strains are way more closely related. So closely that some people have just by chance generated so-called superantibodies that work against all 16 known variants.

For influenza the whole population has seen so many strains and variants that just by chance some antibodies of some people will works against new ones. But the first time we had to generate immunity against H1N1 that was paid by death of millions. Just by chance the first encounter was one with a high lethality. Fortunately that was an exception and not the rule. Does not mean it cannot happen again with something new where we have absolutely no immunity against – like SARS-CoV-2.

“Some regions already have clearly reached (or will now inevitably reach) the 80% infection rate to achieve herd immunity (parts of China, most of South Korea, parts of Europe, parts of Canada, Pacific NW USA, etc.), while others are still ramping up. But the local patterns are clear — transmission ramps up for a couple of weeks, flattens quickly, then it ramps down a couple of weeks.”

That is total nonsense. Which part of the world got a flattening without a strict lockdown?

Wishful thinking will not solve this. It’s a shitty, nasty and deadly virus where we do not have any immunity against in the population. That is why it spreads so fast. Would there be immune people they still would get infected but they wouldn’t become contagious and wouldn’t spread the virus further. That is how vaccination and antibodies work. That is clearly not the case.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  SteveB
April 8, 2020 10:22 am

Flu does not put ten people in the hospital for every person who dies from it.
Comparing to flu makes no sense whatsoever.
In five year we can compare it to flu.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 8, 2020 12:15 pm

See my response to Ron above.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  SteveB
April 8, 2020 1:09 pm

No one here does not know that corona viruses cause one out of three common colds.
You are conflating a hash of irrelevancies with what is happening now.
You clearly have a superficial understanding of virology and immunology if you think what makes this virus novel is equivalent to the variations in viruses that have always been endemic in people.
Right now there are bird flu strains that are well known to be as much as 60% fatal in humans who contract it.
Lots of birds have it, and people can get it from birds, but so far it cannot be spread between people. Luckily.

What are you hoping to accomplish with this crap?
Do you want some people to go catch the virus?
Do you think viral pneumonia is a joke?
And your posts said nothing about what I was talking about here…the death rate is a small part of the story.

Are some people over reacting? Clearly.
Are some people trying to use this situation to advance a political agenda? Clearly.
But trying to argue there is nothing much going on out of the ordinary is just dumb.
Not wanting to get pneumonia is not hysteria.
Acting like this is anything like the common cold might be though.
Why are you insisting that no one who is not on their death bad has anything to be concerned about?

April 8, 2020 7:17 am

Importantly, Farr’s Law has nothing to do with human interventions such as “social distancing” to “flatten the curve,” and indeed predates public health organizations.

I’m not sure this is even true but, in any case, we all know that epidemics rise then eventually fall because the number of susceptible (non immune) cases in the population falls.

The use Farr’s Law to support the author’s argument is ridiculous.

John Endicott
April 8, 2020 7:20 am

Consider that China has had fewer than 3,300 deaths even though the virus struck a country with a lousy healthcare system wholly unaware

The thing is, you’ve just blown your own credibility by believing anything China has to say on the subject. They’ve been in cover-up mode since the outbreak began. Most here would not, with good reason, trust China’s numbers to be anywhere close to accurate. That you would use their numbers as a talking point simply discredits your argument from the outset. Garbage in, garbage out applies.

David L Hagen
April 8, 2020 7:22 am

First do no harm?
Doctors parallized by malpractice panic have caused astronomically high economic harm.
The fear of billion dollar malpractice suits has caused an economic Covid Depression.
US unemployment is now greater than during the Great Depression.
Desperate for sales, the Bad News Sells partisan Mainstream Media drove the public panic.
The US legal, medical and media systems are equally at fault for causing this massive economic harm far out of proportion to the increase in deaths.

Reply to  David L Hagen
April 8, 2020 8:09 am

Where do you see any evidence that the covid problem has been caused by fear of malpractice (or anything else to do with malpractice)?

Reply to  David L Hagen
April 8, 2020 8:29 am

Don’t forget the public health sector.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  David L Hagen
April 8, 2020 8:41 am

“US unemployment is now greater than during the Great Depression”

Only on paper. If we started the economy back up today, all those “unemployed” would have jobs to go to.

I just saw a story on Fox News this morning about a woman who owns five coffee shops in which she employs mostly mentally-challenged people, about 130 of them, and she shut down her shops because of the social distancing and had to lay off her employees.

She said she just talked to her banker and the banker arranged to give her money, under the Trump rescue plan, and she was happy to report that she had rehired all her employees and was good to go for a couple of more months, based on the loan amount she recieved.

That story is happening all over this country. Most employers want to hang on to their employees, because the job market was tight two months ago, for one reason, and for personal reasons, too. President Trump and Congress have given American small businesses the ability to do so.

The U.S. economy is good. It’s good because Trump got us low oil prices and cut taxes and reduced regulations. All of those factors are still in place. All we need is a “Go” signal.

John Endicott
Reply to  Tom Abbott
April 9, 2020 7:24 am

Indeed. The large number of unemployed isn’t due to lack of jobs to be done, unlike the Great Depression. So once the word is given that businesses can re-open, most of those currently out of work will be back at their old jobs again. Unemployment will then probably be only slightly higher than before the Wuhan-virus shut-down, as there will be a few businesses that go bust due to the shut-down (the longer the shut-down the more such businesses) and some companies will probably take the opportunity to not bring back some of their least productive members (IE the “dead wood”) that may have otherwise been hard to fire under normal circumstances (due to unions rules, for one example) But for the most part, companies will want their workers back because they know those workers have the skills needed to do the jobs those companies need done.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  John Endicott
April 10, 2020 4:55 am

Good analysis, John. That’s about the way I see it, too.

April 8, 2020 7:34 am

“Michael Fumento is an attorney, author, and journalist who has been documenting epidemic hysterias for 35 years. ”

… and does not understand exponential growth as well as significant biological differences between diseases like transmission mechanisms. All numbers tell that SARS-CoV-2 is way more contagious than all other diseases mentioned in the article making comparisons utterly meaningless.

… and does not understand how South Korea’s containment strategy works. Schools are closed, no holy mass etc. PLUS the tracing and isolation regime.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Ron
April 8, 2020 10:05 am

They must have a very dedicated army of people doing all that contact tracing.
We have nothing like that.
Plus they all had a drawerful of masks (or so it would seem) and knew to wear them right away.
We, on the other hand, had our public health bureaucracy fail us at the one job and the one time they themselves have known for many decades was coming.
Even just a week ago, the surgeon general was ACTIVELY telling people masks have no value for everyday people doing everyday stuff like shopping in crowded stores.

The people we trusted and have paid for a very long time to know what they were doing and saying failed us all miserably.
It is a outrage and a scandal.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 8, 2020 11:27 am

“It is a outrage and a scandal.“

What do you want done?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Derg
April 8, 2020 12:31 pm

I want the people who have been paid a large amount of money for a very long time to have been very good at their jobs.
I already did not get that.
They have always known a pandemic would happen…so why no large stockpile of PPE.
(Did they really throw away millions of N-95 masks because they “expired? Huh?)
Why no possible way to make enough tests in anything like a short amount of time?
The previous administration gave the only authority or ability to create test kits or do testing to the CDC, and then the CDC, knowing it was all them or no one, dropped the ball.
What I want done is for them to have not done that.
I want them to have not insisted for something like two months that no one should wear a mask, instead of just spelling it out: Masks protect people but not 100%, and there are not enough of them, but anything is better than nothing.
I want them to not have ignored that this virus was being spread by people who were not outwardly sick.
I want them to have not acted like they were on top of the virus when in fact they did no testing while it was spreading far and wide.
I want them to be have been very smart, very focused, cautious instead of lax, assumed the worst and hoped they were wrong, etc.
I want them to have been at the outset possessing encyclopedic knowledge of virology, including being familiar with every study and finding in the entire field. Ditto for immunology and epidemiology. They were not. They still are not.
They are, by all available evidence, lazy bureaucrats with an attitude problem.
They have warned everyone about a pandemic for decades, and when it happened, they were asleep at the wheel and even now are not driving, but along for the ride.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 8, 2020 1:27 pm

You want this of government?

That is a rhetorical question…we know the answer

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 8, 2020 3:24 pm

I never really considered the CDC to be “the government”.
Dumb in retrospect I suppose, but they had an excellent reputation,,,right up until crunch time.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 8, 2020 2:59 pm

South Korea is quite open about the fact that without the lessons from SARS and MERS they wouldn’t be as prepared as they are now. Lucky for them both had a higher death rate but have been not as contagious as SARS-CoV-2.

Russ R.
Reply to  Ron
April 8, 2020 12:42 pm

South Korea has a neighbor that wants to destroy them. They are ready because this is a very real possibility to them every day. The rest of the world thought they could trust China to be a civilized member of the world. It is a tough lesson to learn, but “message received”.

April 8, 2020 7:49 am

The best data we have on mortality is from Korea. They showed a death rate of somewhere around 1% with a medical system that is not overwhelmed. You can triple the death rate by overwhelming the medical system such as what is happening in italy and maybe in Wuhan.

The author implies that were getting close to herd immunity. This is an unproven assumption. We need antibody testing to determine the percent of people that have caught and recovered from this disease. I would be very happy to lose this argument and to find out we are close to herd immunity. I suspect that the downside of the death curve is caused by social distancing, testing, isolating, and the wearing of face masks instead of herd immunity.

Its really hard to estimate the actual death toll in China. The only people that they counted were the people that were a confirmed case that died in a hospital. Its quite possible the actual death rate was 50,000 in just Wuhan.

Reply to  Lowell
April 8, 2020 8:59 am

I totally agree though a death rate of 1% would be actually on the lower side of the estimate and the best case scenario.

South Korea’s undetected infections have to be really low otherwise their containment strategy would not work. From their most recent numbers the death rate is 1.9%. Same is actually true for Germany who do a lot of testing.

Death rate of closed cases (recovered or dead) in Germany is actually fluctuating quite stable around 5% for the last two weeks though so the long incubation and treatment time might be giving a wrong impression of a lower death rate than is actual real.

I also wish that I am totally wrong about this but the numbers suggest otherwise.

April 8, 2020 7:55 am

I think the comments on China can be ignored. Clearly they are lying. Corona is quickly becoming China’s Chernobyl. The communist system who favors appearances over truth has again produced a global disaster.

Ken Irwin
Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
April 8, 2020 9:15 am

And as bad a Chernobyl was – it did not produce the millions of fatalities breathlessly predicted by the MSM.
The MSM did however stampede a million pregnant women in to having abortions.

We can fix this by not allowing anyone to practice journalism with qualifying in statistics (like that’s going to happen.)

Frankly I’d be happy if they showed a level of mathematical comprehension that went beyond what they can add up on their fingers.

April 8, 2020 8:01 am

What was Will Rogers comment on statistics? I think there were three types?

April 8, 2020 8:02 am

I tend to agree that a lot of this is hype and scaremongering – driven by needy politicians, scientists and of course the (most trouble making of all) media!
If you look at the European mortality rates on this website – – unsurprisingly most deaths are in the older age groups and what do you know, generally with spikes in December through to March.
The data here is lagging and I expect that the current Dec – Mar range will increase but I don’t see it being significantly greater than previous years.
We’re 16/17 days into our Lockdown in the UK and I still don’t directly know anyone with the virus and I’m starting to wish I had it just to make it all worthwhile!!

April 8, 2020 8:03 am

This is so full of bad information that it’s embarrassing, and it’s likely to make fewer people come to this site because it’s so obviously wrong.

“China has had fewer than 3,300 deaths…” China claims slightly over 3300 deaths, but that’s a disputed figure (and apparently growing more disputed every day).

“the epidemic worldwide, far from “growing exponentially,” is slowing”. Wrong, as a glance at any website tracking this will show. I’d even go so far as to say this statement is a flat out lie.

“all epidemics tend to rise and fall in a roughly symmetrical pattern or bell-shaped curve”: perhaps, but what part of that bell-shaped curve are we on? All indications are that we’re on the rising part.

“Farr’s Law has nothing to do with human interventions… It occurs because communicable diseases nab the “low-hanging fruit” first” Certainly a communicable disease will eventually die out, if only when it kills off all of the species that’s susceptible. (That of course does not appear to be the case with covid-19.) The question is not whether covid-19 will eventually run out of steam, but whether we can turn off the fire under the boiler before it lifts safeties.

“Neil Ferguson…predicted the U.K. would have as many as 510,000 deaths. In an oral presentation he reduced the U.K figure slightly… to 20,000. So the model that launched a thousand articles wasn’t worth anything more than the pixels it appeared with.” Duh. The upper figure was what might happen if nothing was done to prevent spread. Something was done, in fact a lot was done.

I really think Anthony Watts should remove this article, or at least put a disclaimer on it. It does not reflect well on this website.

April 8, 2020 8:08 am

Somehow I think the 18 month lockdown is the goal behind all of this.

Joel Snider
April 8, 2020 8:22 am

Lest the exploitation not achieve the level of true blaspheme, I saw the Pope was claiming Coronavirus is ‘nature’s response’ to climate change.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Joel Snider
April 8, 2020 10:23 am

Thereby conclusively proving, yet again, that he is without a doubt one of the biggest jackasses on the planet.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 8, 2020 11:28 am

But he believes in science 😉

Russ R.
Reply to  Derg
April 8, 2020 12:46 pm

Science does not require belief. Religion does.
Science only requires reproducibility. I doubt the Pope is confirming Maxwell’s equations in a lab.

Reply to  Russ R.
April 8, 2020 3:50 pm

Exactly but the warming crowd loves the Pope because he is all in on global warming…he BELIEVES in science.

Go Home
April 8, 2020 8:29 am

The US appears to be on the trajectory of Italy death rate. We are where Italy was 18 days ago. See following chart.

comment image?dl=0

The US may be turning the corner earlier than Italy, but it is too early to tell.

23.0% of Italy’s population is over the age of 65 and 13.3% are 14 or younger. 16.2% of the USA population is over the age of 65 and 18.7% are 14 or younger. These facts on age should put the US at an advantage for a lower death rate assuming infection rate per capita is the same and all else was equal.

If the US has fewer concentrated population areas compared to Italy, then this would predispose the US to lower infection rates and deaths per capita with all else being equal. The 10 largest cities in Italy comprises 13.1% of the population compared to 8.5% for the US. The population density for Italy is 533 residence per square mile compared to 93 residence per square mile for the US. 69% of Italy’s population is designated as urban compared to 83% for the US. Population distribution appears to be a wash as a factor with neither country having an advantage for a lower infection rate and death count per capita.

Italy’s National Institution of Health has identified the top two preexisting health conditions linked to COVID-19 deaths. In Italy, 76.1% of patients who died from COVID-19 had hypertension (or high blood pressure) and 35.5% had Diabetes. If the US has smaller percentages for these health conditions compared to Italy, then this would predispose the US to lower deaths per capita with all else being equal. Italy has a death rate from coronary heart disease of 64.5/100,000 residence compared to 86.9/100,000 for the US. Italy has a death rate of 13.7/100,000 residence from diabetes compared to 15.2/100,000 for the US. These two facts put Italy’s better health at an advantage for a smaller death count per capita compared to Italy assuming the same infection rate and all else being equal.

In the end, we may end up better off than Italy. If not Trump, will be doomed even with Biden as the 2020 Democrat nominee.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Go Home
April 8, 2020 9:26 am

We might have a lower proportion of close talkers, touchy-feely people, and chronic huggers than Italy.

Joel Snider
Reply to  Go Home
April 8, 2020 11:19 am

‘Trump, will be doomed even with Biden as the 2020 Democrat nominee.’

Lord. Can you imagine what this current crop of progressives would do with presidential power?

Russ R.
Reply to  Joel Snider
April 8, 2020 1:00 pm

Biden is currently hiding his own Easter eggs.
I have never seen a candidate with a less enthusiastic base of support. The dems will get some radical lefty for VP, then slip Joe the Kung Flu.
Their current slogan is “We hope you die, so we can use it as a political advantage. But if you don’t you should vote for us”.

John Endicott
Reply to  Russ R.
April 9, 2020 7:38 am

They wouldn’t need to slip him the Kung Flu. Remember all that talk about “invoking the 25th” early in Trump’s presidency, well the far left Dems wouldn’t just talk about doing that to Joe, they’d actually do it – Just declare he’s got Alzimers or other dementia and thus can no longer perform his duties and his far left VP get’s her promotion.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Joel Snider
April 9, 2020 5:13 am

“Can you imagine what this current crop of progressives would do with presidential power?”

Unfortunately, I can. It would be a nightmare and maybe the end of our personal freedoms.

We need to put the Democrats in the rearview mirror.

April 8, 2020 8:29 am

Sorry, but the lawyer is an idiot.
New York has an nCOV mortality rate now exceeding Italy’s: over 2800 death per 10M. Lousiana is over 1200 death per 10M population.
The US, overall, is still showing low numbers but that is *with* lockdowns – and the numbers are still growing.

Even a cursory analysis shows the “miscount” meme to be nonsense: nCOV infection rate in New York is between 0.7% (confirmed cases vs. pop) to 3.7% (extrapolation of nCOV infected from deaths).

If every single “overall mortality” death in these subsets is counted as an nCOV death, it would only be 41 to 241 deaths per 10M (NY normally has 6500 deaths per month from all causes) vs. the 2,824 nCOV deaths per 10M that New York has seen as of April 7.

There is no way that “normal” deaths are significantly skewing the nCOV numbers unless medical examiners are classifying most of all deaths of any causes, without testing, to nCOV. I fully expect New York to end up with 3500 or more nCOV deaths per 10M by the end of April – likely a lot more – at which point literally more than 50% of all deaths from all causes would have to be attributed to nCOV: car accidents, suicides, homicides, heart attacks, strokes etc.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  c1ue
April 8, 2020 9:25 am

I have stayed out of speculating on numbers of deaths yet to come, but it is obvious that this is not anything like a normal flu.
One month ago today total US deaths were at 22, and there were under 100 up until March 17th.
Three weeks and one day ago, on my calendar.
And now here we are, with nearly (on April 2nd there were “only” 974) every day this month tallying over 1000 new deaths, and yesterday was close to 2000.

And this is with an incredibly surreal pretty much overnight change in behavior, as you rightly point out.
If no one had reacted anywhere in the world, where would these numbers be?
Who knows.
There is a cruise ship* off the coast of Uruguay that has 60% of everyone on board testing positive.
That is a lot higher than the Japanese one some people said was a worst case scenario.
People on the Japan cruise ship were on lock down, just not a very good one.
Why is it 60% on this ship?
Is it not 100% only because some people isolated themselves?
Or is 60% a worst case scenario?
But if 60% of any country gets this virus in a short span of time, and a few percent of them die…that is a lot of people…and the number will be a lot higher than a few percent if that happened anywhere…because many who are not dying now, would likely not survive a severe case of pneumonia if there is no health care for them because the systems are overwhelmed.

*Separate issue altogether, but…We now have a situation where no country in the world will let ships land, even if they are their own people on board.
They are still writing about the world war two refugee ship that was turned away from several countries as if it was the crime of the century. And it was terrible…few would dispute that now I suspect, or argue that it was proper.
Those ships are incubators for this virus, and sooner or later someone is gonna have to let them come ashore, right? So why wait? I have heard zero outcry from liberal media about sick people stranded on boats being refused a port. It seems monstrous. What are people thinking? Give them a stinking football stadium or something!

45 refrigerator trucks outside the back door of hospitals in NYC alone…and at least some people think they will be full soon and they will have to dig mass graves on public land…in NYC in the year 2020!

Meanwhile, people are saying we would never even notice the deaths above the background death rate if not for the media.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 9, 2020 5:32 am

” 45 refrigerator trucks outside the back door of hospitals in NYC alone…and at least some people think they will be full soon and they will have to dig mass graves on public land…in NYC in the year 2020!

Meanwhile, people are saying we would never even notice the deaths above the background death rate if not for the media.”

Yes, I think we have a lot of people doing a lot of speculating without much of a knowledge base. They are seeing what they want to see. They want to see the economy up and running and so they downplay the danger even though they don’t know a whole lot about the Wuhan virus.

Seeing what you want to see. We all do this. We should recongnize this in ourselves and should all try not to do this as much as possible. Seeing what we want to see will lead us astray, sometimes in dangerous directions.

April 8, 2020 8:37 am

A high percentage of population has really locked themselves down. The other people will see virus spread in their ranks. Virus will start to burn out in population that has not locked themselves down. There are likely super spreaders that have low symptoms and interact with lots of people. These super spreaders will get virus faster and then virus starts to run out of super spreaders.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Stevek
April 8, 2020 10:11 am

So far the numbers are very small compared to any total population, even in the hardest hit locales and countries.
But of course we have no idea because there has been no random testing, and because so far there is no way to tell what level of IGG and antibodies confers immunity…even if we had widespread antibody testing.

April 8, 2020 8:47 am

“Normal” deaths seem to be something statistics don’t exist for at present; without the stats of normal baseline death rate and cause by city, county, or state the “death rate” from COVID-19 is without context. Unfortunately the majority of Americans being innumerate, don’t realize that. This is a crash course in statistics for people who can’t balance their checkbook, which is why the media is able to create/exploit mass hysteria to the hilt.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Goldrider
April 8, 2020 8:55 am

I have to disagree that not wanting to get really sick and possibly dying is hysteria.
Millions thinking they are about to die of climate change is hysteria.
Not wanting to get very sick and maybe die, it seems to me, is as rational as it gets.

Are you volunteering in a COVID ward to no PPE?

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 8, 2020 9:54 am

That possibility follows you every time you step out the door of your house and every moment you are alive. What’s different now? Fear and hysteria.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  icisil
April 8, 2020 10:54 am

Brave talk.
Judging by the amount of time you are spending here commenting, I’d bet you are at home cowering like a frightened kitten.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 8, 2020 4:13 pm

You sound like you envy my lack of fear.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 8, 2020 6:36 pm

Oh, man…I am so busted!

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 8, 2020 1:14 pm

No, I’m cussing out the joggers who insist on getting within 75 feet of me. I don’t want to catch this, believe me. But I also don’t want my business destroyed by a decade-long depression that ultimately accomplishes nothing but delaying herd immunity.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Goldrider
April 8, 2020 3:53 pm

I think you are right about the media…they are all in on political advantage and could not care less about facts…unless they think facts are bad for Trump.
I suppose people jamming into stores to buy three years worth of toilet paper they do not need may have been verging on some sort of hysteria…or maybe it was just watching stores shelves empty of stuff and considering the prospect on no toilet paper.
Clearly we are not in some Venezuela-like situation where the deliveries will stop coming.
I would bet anything everybody that makes paper towels and T.P. in the country is running flat out if they have their supply lines open.
At some point everyone will have all of their closet space full up and there will once against be nine foot tall stacks of it in every Costco in the country.

I am not really seeing anything like hysteria…exasperation maybe.
I am thinking about what is motivating me to have made any changes I have made, and extrapolated that out to the rest of the world.
On top of that a lot of people in charge of businesses and schools and sports and stuff…decided they do not want to be responsible for people getting sick and some of them dying.
My perception is that is was like a rolling wave of people giving each other permission to close up shop for a while
Then some people were posted on social media saying the equivalent of the old Daffy Duck line “Consequences schmonsequences! I no care about no stinkin’ virus!”
And at that point some government leaders were pressured to not let a few people flout what had somehow become a new social more’…people are going out of their way to not get sick, and here come some people literally saying they will spread the virus if they damn well please, thank you very much.
Or words to that effect.
I do not think anyone really caused this to happen like in China…I think it was much more a case of everyone deciding that they themselves really did not feel like spinning the roulette wheel…and the idea sort of crystallized over time, more than all at once.

Nicholas McGinley
April 8, 2020 8:48 am

The numbers and percentages used by this author look nothing like what I see when I look at the world meter site:

It lists Italy as 135,586 cases and over 17,000 deaths.
That appears to be far higher than 9.5%.
And a long list of countries have a proportion of deaths to total cases near or above 10%.
Spain, 146,000+ cases, 14,500+ deaths.
France, 109,000+ cases, over 10,000 deaths
UK, over 55,000 cases, over 6100 deaths
Belgium, 23,400+, 2240

The article reports a crude death rate in the US is 1.9%, and includes a link to the CDC site.
That page has numbers that appear out of date, but even so, the 374,000+ cases and 12,000+ deaths looks to
be a lot higher than 1.9%.
Using those numbers gives a rate of 3.22%.

And what is up with using China’s numbers to make a point?
No one believes the numbers out of China.

What is the point of making a point with erroneous numbers?
And besides for the deaths, a far larger number of people are getting very sick and needing to be treated in a hospital, many of them in an ICU, and many of them for many weeks.
Leaving out that part of it is ignoring a large part of what makes this a different thing than we have seen in our lifetimes.

I wish people would stop saying the peak of the whole thing has passed.
Because every time someone says that, the next day has the highest number of deaths yet.
Yesterday a long list of countries had a number of deaths far higher than any day yet.
The numbers of people that are critical keeps getting higher too.

And I have no idea where talk of panic is coming from.
People are concerned, and do not feel like getting what may turn into a case of viral pneumonia.
80% of people that get it have absent to mildish and moderate symptoms.
No one cares about that.
And no one thinks they are at risk if they get it because a lot of very old and very sick people are dying if they get it.
People think they are at risk because a lot of people of all ages (except the very youngest, but even some of them get sick and a few die) are winding up in a hospital and many of those hospitalized people wind up in an ICU with a severe case of viral pneumonia.
No one wants to get viral pneumonia…that is my best idea of why so many people are taking this very seriously.
80% have either not much or what amounts to a bad cold or flu.
But another 10-20% need to be hospitalized.
And a substantial percentage of them wind up in an ICU.
Healthy people are surviving, mostly.
But no one feels like spinning that roulette wheel.

Because no one knows ahead of time who will just get a dry cough for a few days, and who will wind up on a respirator for a few weeks.
Any analysis that ignores that obvious fact is not a very good one, IMO.
People were self isolating before anyone told them to.
And entire sports leagues, amusement parks, airline routes, concerts and movie theaters shut their door before anyone announced any compulsory measures or lock downs.
The roads are empty in states with no lockdowns, and were empty in the ones that have lockdowns before the lockdowns.

All the pooh-poohing in the world, a million authors saying this is no big deal, a gazillion people saying no one should panic…will not change the perception of people who do not want to spin a roulette wheel with their health and their life on the line.
Who would eat a jelly bean from a jar if one or two or three out of a hundred of them will kill you, and another 10-20 out of every hundred will make you sick enough for a trip to a hospital?

The only thing that will change how people are reacting, IMO, is when they no longer have a perception of danger.
People die anyway, for sure.
But mostly they never see it coming, even in the very old and frail.
People will eat from a jar of jelly beans if no one knows a few of them are deadly, but no one will eat any if they even have a strong suspicion that some of them are deadly.

The prospect of dying has a way of focusing people’s attention.
At this point, I am sure enough people are paying attention to health and safety than deaths rates will almost surely fall.

Rod Evans
April 8, 2020 8:55 am

I will be looking closely at the UK national monthly death numbers overall, as confirmed by the ONS. At the moment in the UK the death rates this winter have been below the five year average and that happy position has not changed despite the hype associated with Covid 19. If Covid 19 is raising the death rate, it will eventually show in the stats. All other chatter about the deaths from Covid being a pandemic is just that, chatter. The tests to differentiate between existing corona virus in the population and Covid 19 still needs to be demonstrated. At the moment there is no incentive for the system of reporting to be specific about which corona virus is within the patient, nor is there any driver to split out those who died with a corona virus at the time of death and those who died because of that virus. Ultimately, it doesn’t really matter because the annual death rate stats will tell us if this period is unusual or not. The national rates of death will reveal if we have had a pandemic or not.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Rod Evans
April 8, 2020 9:48 am

How many annual death rate stats before now have a period of time in which almost no one is going outside?

In any case, I suspect that like everyone else, people in charge of keeping statistics are not at their desks conducting business as usual at the moment.

I am mystified why some people are ignoring these two things that to me are blindingly obvious.

Tom Abbott
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 9, 2020 5:43 am

“I am mystified why some people are ignoring these two things that to me are blindingly obvious.”

The Wuhan virus minimizers are desperate for an argument to open up the economy, therefore they try to downplay the danger by selectively ignoring some of the facts.

April 8, 2020 8:57 am

“we would need to live a gulag life”

Yes, you must.
China lived two months “gulag life”

Steven Mosher
April 8, 2020 9:01 am

“The CDC has issued an estimate of as many as 1.7 million American deaths.”

They did not Issue this as an estimate

Fake news, here at WUWT

Did you even read the link?

“The assumptions, reviewed by The New York Times, were shared with about 50 expert teams to model how the virus could tear through the population — and what might stop it.

The CDC’s scenarios were depicted in terms of percentages of the population. Translated into absolute numbers by independent experts using simple models of how viruses spread, the worst-case figures would be staggering if no actions were taken to slow transmission.

Between 160 million and 214 million people in in the US could be infected over the course of the epidemic, according to one projection. That could last months or even over a year, with infections concentrated in shorter periods, staggered across time in different communities, experts said. As many as 200,000 to 1.7 million people could die……

The CDC-led effort is developing more sophisticated models showing how interventions might decrease the worst-case numbers, though their projections have not been made public…..

“When people change their behavior,” said Lauren Gardner, an associate professor at the Johns Hopkins Whiting School of Engineering who models epidemics, “those model parameters are no longer applicable,” so short-term forecasts are likely to be more accurate. “There is a lot of room for improvement if we act appropriately.”

“The Times obtained screenshots of the CDC presentation, which has not been released publicly, from someone not involved in the meetings. The Times then verified the data with several scientists who did participate. The scenarios were marked valid until Feb. 28 but remain “roughly the same,” according to Ira Longini, co-director of the Center for Statistics and Quantitative Infectious Diseases at the University of Florida. He has joined in meetings of the group.

The CDC declined interview requests about the modeling effort and referred a request for comment to the White House Coronavirus Task Force. Devin O’Malley, a spokesman for the task force, said that senior health officials had not presented the findings to the group, led by Vice President Mike Pence, and that nobody in Pence’s office “has seen or been briefed on these models.”

so, 4 groups were invited to give worst case scenarios. The scenarios were never shown to Pence.
The NYT copped a look at unreleased scenarios.

Not the CDC
Not Released.

April 8, 2020 9:08 am

We wanted to go to Sam’s Club this morning and noticed Sam’s employee’s apparently monitoring who enters and exits the store.
I inquired as to the reason and advised that they were only allowing 75 persons at a time into the store because of social distancing.
We also noticed a long line of more than 100 potential customers waiting to enter. The astonishing point is that they were standing within 1 to 2 feet of each other, the line was very reminiscent of a high school cafeteria lunch line or the bread lines in the old Soviet Union.
If Sam’s Club is so anxious to enforce social distancing why where they jeopardizing people, requiring them to stand in a line next to each another?
We drove away and found a store that welcomes business and commerce.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Teewee
April 8, 2020 10:19 am

They should have someone enforcing a distancing in the line, and in fact no one should need to be told this.
Probably they are going to have to paint some lines of six foot long boxes on the sidewalks.

I would not wait in that line either, but what I would do is go back late evening or first thing in the morning.
Have you considered calling the store and talking to the manager?
They are trying to keep people safe, not ruin everyone’s life and their business.

April 8, 2020 9:12 am

From article:

“… Sweden hasn’t used [harsh measures] even as its neighbor Norway has been praised for early implementation. For its efforts, Norway has reported over twice as many cases per capita and suddenly suffers its highest unemployment rate in 80 years.”

Appreciating that this was written using data probably only up to 31st March, but the higher reports of cases per capita in Norway probably indicates better testing there than in Sweden. As far as deaths per capita go, as of Apr 8th Sweden has a rate of 68 deaths per million of population compared to 17 per million in Norway – exactly 4 times higher.

Reply to  TheFinalNail
April 8, 2020 1:02 pm

Good point,

I saw the same.

April 8, 2020 9:15 am

There would have been no Chernobyl if Sweden had not detected radiation at one of their own reactor sites.

Do you really think there are near zero cases in Chinese provinces outside of Hubei? Or that China could afford to stay locked down one week beyond what they did?

Jeffery P
Reply to  ResourceGuy
April 8, 2020 10:14 am

No, I don’t believe it. China expelled a lot of non-sympatico foreign reporters. Let those journalist back in the country and we’ll see the real situation in China, eventually.

The one good thing I hope can come from this is the world learns China is not to be trusted but needs to be contained until they reform their economy and government. The USSR fell decades ago. May Communist China meet the same fate soon.

April 8, 2020 9:21 am

The difference with the COVID-19 is its terrible habit of not alerting the victim, so he/she continues living as normal all the while sprayig the environment with viruses. Korea semed to have eveyone under mask, which had the very positive benefit of supppressing large amounts of virusess in the environment. It those who have the virus that need to be masked, and since there are so many who don’t know they are a victim, everyone has to wear a mask. Apparently its only during the initial stages when the infected sprays large amounts of viruses into the environment. It is said that 60 % of those infected were infected by an asymptomatic carrier. THOSE are the most important folks to have masks. Unfortunately we did not have enough maslks and no one thought of having people cober their mouth and nose, the means by which the viruses are expelled into the environment. Note that the U.S. accounts for roughly a third of the “cases but only accounts for an eighth of the deaths, which means both that 1) number of cases is wildly inaccurate and or 2) theh U.S. healthcare system saves a lot more lives than the healthcare systems of other countries.

Jeffery P
Reply to  ColMosby
April 8, 2020 10:10 am

I can’t remember what the last expert quoted said the purpose of the mask is (for the general public). Some say it is to keep from infecting others. Some say it is to keep us from being protected. Another said the masks are so we don’t touch our face when we’re out.

No reason all 3 can’t be true.

Reply to  Jeffery P
April 8, 2020 1:02 pm

I think the masks have a reasonably high effectiveness for protecting others. They are less well suited for self protection, but they provide some protection. (There is a lot of confusion/conflation/obfuscation around what is possible and what is probable. I.e. practical concerns versus theoretical concerns.) And lastly they might help some people avoid face touching.

A mask that limits the probability of self infection by 50% is not highly effective at the individual level, but it should impact overall spread significantly. There’s a lot of crashes a seat belt does little good in, but we don’t consider them useless since they do not approach a 100% rate for protection.

Reply to  PlanningEngineer
April 8, 2020 5:39 pm

And we never say: seat belts might encourage reckless driving.

April 8, 2020 9:23 am

Noe of Neil Ferguson’s predictions have been correct.

Jim Veenbaas
April 8, 2020 10:17 am

Here in Alberta we have a population of 3 million. We’ve had 26 deaths so far. Yet somehow they are predicting up to 6,600 deaths if we do nothing. That’s 300 hundred times more than we have right now. It doesn’t make any sense at all. At 26 deaths a day, it would take almost a year to reach that total. And we’ve had 26 in six weeks.

Reply to  Jim Veenbaas
April 8, 2020 11:02 am

Alberta’s population is closer to 4.4 million.

April 8, 2020 10:39 am

The lockdown is and was silly. Given the data I, myself, being 76 and wanting to be 77 would be self-isolating anyway.
If a younger person, knowing that they only have a 1 in 100 chance of dying if they get it may well decide money to feed the family is important enough to take the risk. The spring-breakers would have even less chance of dying.
And, if grandpa doesn’t want you to visit for a month then don’t.
Publish all the data and all the differing opinions of epidemiologists and ER physicians and let us decide.
Yes, there will be stupid people. You can’t fix stupidity. Perhaps stupidity could be deadly, but then it always was.

Reply to  ghsteele
April 8, 2020 11:05 am

It does seem smarter to protect the vulnerable rather than punish everyone. But that would make too much sense.

Reply to  Jeff in Calgary
April 8, 2020 1:11 pm

I think we asked way too much of our young people and I am sorry they are having to forego so much. Especially high school and college kids. There’s a lot there will never be made up.

April 8, 2020 10:49 am

I’ve been saying for the last 9 years that there is no justification for me, and people like me, to have to commute into some drab downtown office every day to do our work. We come into our office and login to a PC. From there, we remote into a VM desktop being run on some blade servers in a data center that’s some 60 km away. That data center sits on an internet backbone pipe – really big bandwidth. It wouldn’t matter if it were 6,000 km away. From this remote VM desktop, we administer a web site being run in that same data center. Why must we spend 2-4 hours a day commuting to an office we don’t want to go to in a city we don’t want to go to in order to remote into a data center to administer a web site – all of which we can do just fine, and just as securely, from our home offices?

If anything good comes out of this, I hope it’s the realization that we don’t have to be there to be there.

Robert of Texas
April 8, 2020 12:15 pm

“Consider that China has had fewer than 3,300 deaths ”

Anyone capable of skeptical thinking and can understand statistics knows that China is fabricating their numbers. Comparing what is happening in the U.S. to China completely ruins any credibility your argument might have had.

In the period where there was almost a complete lack of good data, health officials *have* to error on the side of safety – they can’t just shrug and say “oops, my bad”. Your easy-chair quarter backing after the fact is rather pointless. Yes the disease will follow a predictable curve, but one does not not the height of the curve until after it starts to flatten. One can stretch the curve out reducing the peak – this isn’t a fabrication, its based on science.

The idea to slow the infection down was a sound decision given what they knew at the time. New York could have been much, much worse off. I am not happy about the economy either, but it *will* recover.

The point is not that we overreacted, the point is we reacted quickly with the tools we had available. Overreaction to a novel highly infectious disease can only be determined after the fact – the period when all of the “captain hindsights” come out to tell us what we should have done differently.

If anything good comes out of this experience, it should be that we are more prepared for the next time. Unlike huge asteroids striking the Earth, which *will* happen but so seldom as to make preparation very difficult, novel disease *will* spread and probably within a few decades – maybe more than once. Being prepared is what we should concentrate on now, not complaining about what is already done.

Reply to  Robert of Texas
April 10, 2020 6:47 am

How the hell do you chose a “safe side” in any real world situation?

Nicholas McGinley
April 8, 2020 1:36 pm

I am wondering…what would the death rate from this virus be if medical care was at the same level as in 1919?
When I was little, the oldest people in my extended family…Grandmom, Grand aunt, and their friends, used to use a phrase we do not hear anymore: “Put on a warmer jacket…you’ll catch your death from pneumonia!”

“You’ll catch your death from pneumonia” was a phrase I heard ten thousand times when I was a child in the 1960’s.
Because back then, anyone older than about 40 or 50 could very well remember when people used to die all the time in large numbers, if they caught pneumonia.

It just occurred to me that there are likely a set of younger people here that have no idea what it actually means to get pneumonia…they have never known anyone who has had it.
Above a certain level of damage, your lungs will never be the lungs of a healthy person.
COVID deniers seem to be taking no account of the crucial difference between this virus and when influenza kills or contributes to the death of someone who was inform or at end of life stage already.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 8, 2020 1:36 pm

Who was infirm!
Dang autocorrect!

Larry in Texas
April 8, 2020 2:14 pm

All that I know is, for all of the hysteria and brouhaha, Michael Fumento has been dead-on point in his discussions of epidemics and how they extend. He, and not Dr. Fauci, was correct about the myth of heterosexual AIDS and about the actual extent of that disease. While his reliance on China’s data is not good (because there is now evidence that the Chinese covered up more than just the emergence of COVID-19, with China’s purchase – or attempted order, at least – of 200,000 body bags, and the emergence of all the urns), that does not ruin his basic point – we are not making good public policy in response to this disease.

In the meantime, Dr. Fauci should be fired. For a whole host of reasons, including his (at first) underestimating the extent of the COVID-19 threat, then for the overstatements about the possible casualties and whatever bad advice he offered about the extent to which the economy should be and has been shut down. He is much more of a political operator, a political animal in the environs of Washington, D.C. than a scientist/epidemiologist, and has been protected for too long.

April 8, 2020 3:30 pm

bad bad post. Dangerous and wrong.

And if someone posts about the ‘myth of heterosexual AIDS’ they need to visit Africa.

And have some nice unprotected heterosexual sex.

Patrick MJD
Reply to  Leo Smith
April 8, 2020 7:44 pm

“Leo Smith April 8, 2020 at 3:30 pm

And if someone posts about the ‘myth of heterosexual AIDS’ they need to visit Africa.”

It was no myth, I lived through that time in the 80’s. It was wayyyy over hyped though because I recall predictions that by 2000 half the planet would be dead.

Been to Africa several times and married to a Zimbabwean.

April 8, 2020 4:42 pm

document is Guidance #3 from NVSS/CDC April 2020 : Guidance for Certifying Deaths Due to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID–19)

9 Apr: Gateway Pundit: HUGE! MN Senator and Dr. Reveals HHS Document Coaching Him on How to Overcount COVID-19 Cases — WITH COPY OF DOCUMENT (VIDEO)
by Cristina Laila
Dr. Scott Jensen, a Minnesota physician and Republican state senator said he received a 7-page document coaching him to fill out death certificates with a COVID-19 diagnosis without a lab test to confirm the patient actually had the virus.
“Last Friday I received a 7-page document that told me if I had an 86-year-old patient that had pneumonia but was never tested for COVID-19 but some time after she came down with pneumonia we learned that she had been exposed to her son who had no symptoms but later on was identified with COVID-19, then it would be appropriate to diagnose on the death certificate COVID-19,” Dr. Scott Jensen said.

Dr. Jensen explained that this is not a normal procedure.
Dr.. Jensen said for example if the same patient had pneumonia during flu season and he didn’t have a test confirming the patient also had influenza, he would never diagnose the patient with influenza on the death certificate…
The document is here (LINK)…

8 Apr: Gateway Pundit: This Is Strange: Total US Deaths in March 2020 are Actually Down 15% from Average of Prior Four Years
by Jim Hoft
What is going on? After shutting down the government and killing the greatest economy in the world due to deathly estimates from specialists on the coronavirus, the data is showing that this may be one great big mistake or hoax…

there is a graph somewhere showing US pneumonia deaths plummeting in recent weeks. hope someone can find it and provide a link. would like to see similar for NY/NYC. too easy – when you have a pneumonia virus that allegedly attacks the elderly disproportionately – to shift pneumonia deaths to the COVID death stats.

also, even if you look at the 65+ group at the following link, there’s not a lot going on in Europe that hasn’t occurred in 2017, 2018:

EuroMOMO: Weekly mortality as deviations from the baseline (Z-score) for the past 4½ years in the data-providing EuroMOMO partners, in four age groups.

April 8, 2020 11:54 pm

this segment of The Ingraham Angle needs to go VIRAL. Birx/Fauci get called out too.

19m29s to 25m27s : Laura re Italy’s COVID numbers being only 12% of the official total. then she speaks to Dr. Scott Jensen re CDC’s guidance on COVID deaths:

Youtube: Laura Ingraham 8 Apr 2020

more from Dr. Jensen:

9 Apr: Gateway Pundit: HUGE! MN Senator and Dr. Reveals HHS Document Coaching Him on How to Overcount COVID-19 Cases — WITH COPY OF (CDC) DOCUMENT (VIDEO)
by Cristina Laila
Dr. Scott Jensen, a Minnesota physician and Republican state senator said he received a 7-page document coaching him to fill out death certificates with a COVID-19 diagnosis without a lab test to confirm the patient actually had the virus.
“Last Friday I received a 7-page document that told me if I had an 86-year-old patient that had pneumonia but was never tested for COVID-19 but some time after she came down with pneumonia we learned that she had been exposed to her son who had no symptoms but later on was identified with COVID-19, then it would be appropriate to diagnose on the death certificate COVID-19,” Dr. Scott Jensen said.

Dr. Jensen explained that this is not a normal procedure.
Dr.. Jensen said for example if the same patient had pneumonia during flu season and he didn’t have a test confirming the patient also had influenza, he would never diagnose the patient with influenza on the death certificate…
The document is here (LINK)…

As TGP reported over the weekend, the amount of Americans who are reported to have died from the Coronavirus is based on a CDC coding system that will “result in COVID-19 being the underlying cause more often than not.”
Dr. Birx confirmed this on Tuesday during a COVID-19 task force briefing…
Dr. Birx on Tuesday told a reporter during a Coronavirus task force briefing, “We’ve taken a very liberal approach to mortality.”…

Fabio Capezzuoli
April 9, 2020 12:17 am

Regarding Italy, many do not realize that the situation is very not homogeneous; the region of Lombardia suffered the most and found its health service (health services now operate on a regional basis) overwhelmed, while others are nowhere near that point.

Details have been revealed of the why. In the early stages of the epidemic, hospitals did not isolate COVID patients properly if at all and did not have PPE for the medical personnel; a significant number of medical personnel then was infected and spread coronavirus to patients.
Still some days later, it is a matter of public record that Lombardia government deliberated that not critical elderly COVID patients should be put into retirement homes. Those that accepted saw a terrible death count among their guests.

So mismanagement of the early stages led to the elderly and sick being exposed directly to high viral loads, with catastrophic results.

John Dowser
April 9, 2020 2:29 am

Many good points raised in the article but I doubt the truth of a “lousy healthcare system” in Wuhan city and region. The SARS epidemic caused many reforms and to some degree the level of preparation was quite high compared to the West. Also the lockdown measures were more severe than most Western countries went with. There were certainly issues with quality of the care and personnel. It’s hard to quantify all of this.

All in all it seems very tricky to deduce too much from Chinese numbers and death rates. Epidemics are only understandable on the larger scales when all the data pours in. Then local, regional and national factors can be addressed. But, by then, it could be too late?

David Hartley
April 9, 2020 2:54 am

This chap is really worth listening to. From Germany Professor Doctor Sucharit Bhakdi and his open letter to Merkel.

Professor Doctor Sucharit Bhakdi Challenges the Coronavirus Crisis (English Audio read description)

Lloyd Martin Hendaye
April 10, 2020 7:02 am

For the record, the current U.S. death-rate of 468,965 Covid-19 cases to 16,697 deaths is 3.60% vs. a statistically normal 31-country rate of 4.15%. On a comparative unit-basis, discounting the CDC’s egregiously flawed (and wildly variable) projections, our rudimentary “curve-straightened” (linear) model extrapolates 1.365 million U.S. cases with 48.6 thousand deaths. (CDC projects 66.8 thousand deaths, inflating attested totals by 25%.) By end-2020, results within +/- 10% of these back-of-the envelope figures will likely have have trumped rump-fed Officialdom’s gobblerones by major margins. Meantime:

Given respective Crude Death Rates (CDR) of 5.6 and 8.6 per thousand, South Korea’s co-morbidity Risk Ratio of 1.74% Covid-19 deaths to .56% Crude Deaths per million is 3.11 vs. America’s commensurate ratio of 2.67% : .855% = 3.12. Indexing these results per a statistically normal 31-country set derives proportional South Korean risk at -.284 vs. the U.S. -.281, connoting virtually identical social (as distinct from personal) levels of viral-contagion risk.

Despite wildly disparate inputs –at 50.7 : 4.1, daily U.S. Covid-19 deaths per million are 12.5 times South Korea’s– Seoul has neither trampled civil liberties via commercial/industrial (“Defense Production”) mandates, instituted lockdowns and shutdowns amounting to undeclared Martial Law, nor gutted national prosperity with fiat scrip amounting to 10% GDP “borrowed” (stolen) from unborn posterity with no prospect of any real return. In this light, despite its identical risk-profile, Seoul’s prudent Covid countermeasures are superior to DC’s rote despotic, panic-stricken –profoundly un-American– overreaction in every way.

April 21, 2020 8:15 am

I have heard, might not be accurate, that the Imperial College predicted 12 million deaths for Portugal… we are only 10 million … go figure.

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