What is the Chinese-virus case fatality rate? #coronavirus

By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley

As the mean daily compound growth rates both in total confirmed cases and in total deaths continue to drop in most countries in the direction of levels at which it might become safe to end the lockdowns (in those countries that have them), one question continues to be difficult to answer. What is the true case fatality rate? In other words, what fraction of those who become infected will die?

During the early stages of a pandemic, the least unreliable way to get a handle on the case fatality rate is to look at the closed cases – those who have been infected and have either recovered or died. However, innumerate governments, not realizing that for this reason counting those who have recovered is no less important than counting those who have died, have been negligent in keeping proper track of recoveries. Indeed, Britain has proven so incompetent at keep track of those who have been discharged from the centrally-managed hospitals in the Government’s care that yesterday it abandoned the publication of daily recovery counts altogether. In consequence of such mismanagement, ten days ago the ratio of deaths to closed cases in the world excluding China and occupied Tibet was 27%.

The World Health Organization, which has not covered itself in glory in handling this pandemic, originally estimated a case fatality rate of 2% and then revised it to 3.4%. But it had originally estimated that the SARS case fatality rate was 2%, and it came out at 10%.


Fig. 1. Mean compound daily growth rates in confirmed cases of COVID-19 infection for the world excluding China (red) and for several individual nations averaged over the successive seven-day periods ending on all dates from March 28 to April 13, 2020. A link to the high-definition PowerPoint slides is at the end of this posting.


Fig. 2. Mean compound daily growth rates in reported COVID-19 deaths for the world excluding China (red) and for several individual nations averaged over the successive seven-day periods ending on all dates from April 4 to April 13, 2020.

The study by Imperial College, London, that led Boris Johnson to decide that he could no longer safely heed the “herd immunity” crowd predicted that, in the absence of control measures, some 7 billion of the world’s 7.8 billion people would become infected this year, and that 40 million of these would die, an implicit case fatality rate of 0.6%.

By casting deaths backward by three weeks and calling them confirmed cases, cumulating those and then casting them forward at the case growth rate then prevailing, my own calculations suggest a case fatality rate of somewhere between 0.1% and 1%: one cannot narrow it beyond that at present because the data are inadequate, and different countries have different methods of counting cases, recoveries and deaths, and even change their methods from week to week.

The useless World Health Organization ought to have developed a standard reporting protocol by now, but if there is such a thing there seems to be little evidence that it is being followed.

However, if 7 billion become infected and the case fatality rate is 0.1%, 7 million people would die of the Chinese virus if no treatment or cure were found. If the case fatality rate is 1%, make that 70 million. These numbers are large enough to matter, so the random serological trials now being conducted are important. The first results should be available in a week.

For comparison, the Spanish flu of 1918-1920 killed 50-100 million (though the global population was less than a quarter of today’s). And HIV has killed 30-50 million, but has taken the best part of half a century to do so.

Ø High-quality .pptx images of the two graphs are linked here.

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John Tillman
April 14, 2020 10:13 am

As you say, we need more blood antibody tests even to begin to get a handle on reasonable estimates. If the (challenged) German survey be in the ball park however, then some 1.2 billion are liable to become sufficiently infected to trigger an immune response.

Applying the CDC’s latest guess as to US deaths of 60,000 to the ~50 million infected under the German study’s 15% estimate yields a fatality rate of 0.12%. For the world, that means 1.44 million might succumb from COVID, or at least have their deaths attributed to it.

But we currently just can’t say. The MA wastewater study, and similar examinations in the Netherlands and Sweden, found five to 256 times as many cases as recorded in the sewage treatment catchment area. Only a larger random sample of blood tests can narrow that range.

Reply to  John Tillman
April 14, 2020 10:32 am

Closed cases

Cases which had an outcome:

68,200 (95%)
Recovered / Discharged

3,272 (5%)

Total today as per 17:00 CEST

Source: https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/country/germany/

Reply to  Krishna Gans
April 14, 2020 11:11 am

forget it.
Equador yesterday extracted 800 bodies.
In one single city.
They were rotting for a week.
Still, worldometer shows “355 corona dead”

Reply to  Alex
April 14, 2020 11:53 am

Almost 800 bodies have been collected

771 bodies from homes and 631 more from hospitals, though the cause of death was not confirmed

Conflation of causes, false positives, and inference color the climate.

Reply to  n.n
April 14, 2020 1:08 pm

People die in thousands in nursing houses.
They are not accounted for.
In no country.
People die in prisons.
Nobody count them.
Soldiers die.
Top secret.
No statistics at all.

John Tillman
Reply to  Krishna Gans
April 14, 2020 11:17 am

But if ten times as many cases go unrecorded than present with serious symptoms, the CFR would be 0.5%. If, 100 times, then 0.05%.

We just don’t know, and can’t until more data are available on asymptomatic and mild cases, which will require statistically significant random antibody testing.

Reply to  John Tillman
April 14, 2020 1:50 pm

There is also the rather frightening possibility that inappropriate use of invasive intubation may have been ki11ing as many as the virus and pneumonia. ie peeps are dying from PEEPS.

nosocomial deaths will go through the roof this year unless, like everything else we want escape blame for, we label it COVID-19.

Rich Davis
Reply to  John Tillman
April 15, 2020 6:08 pm

Very good news today!

Abbott Lab’s serological test begins shipping tomorrow (April 16). Supposedly 1million test kits to be delivered by next week.

I hope that there is somebody in the vast bureaucracy who has a plan ready for a valid randomized statistical study to tell us what the true extent of the virus has been.

Reply to  Krishna Gans
April 14, 2020 11:26 am

Are the 68,200 an unbiased representation of the true number of infected? If these cases are on average older than average age of infected population than mortality will be higher for them.

Reply to  Stevek
April 14, 2020 1:57 pm

I have no idea how the numbers are counted and what the sources are, I, you, we see these numbers following the link.

I know that are no solid numbers, all numbers.
When I compare the calculated numbers of new cases (by substraction today – yesterday) these are not equal to the published number of new cases. Same with new deaths.
The sum of all new cases by day in my sheed correspond to the number of total cases, so they are right following the maths. (all refers to worldometer)
Unfortunately, at orldometer I can’t go back to the frist days. It’s possible that the difference is caused by timeshift of reporting.

Reply to  Stevek
April 14, 2020 2:39 pm

If I look at the RKI dashboard, I find these stats for the last day comparing age & gender.
RKI dashboard

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Krishna Gans
April 14, 2020 9:29 pm

In response to Mr Gans, even in Germany it is possible that the recovered cases are being under-reported. A 5% death rate, if applied to the 7 billion globally who might become infected, would imply 350 million deaths. My calculations based on casting back the deaths, a standard technique early in a pandemic, suggest somewhere between 0.1% and 1% of those infected may die – i.e., 7 million to 70 million. Let us hope that it will be a great deal less than these numbers, which are subject to very wide uncertainty.

old white guy
Reply to  Krishna Gans
April 15, 2020 11:49 am

As of today, the 15th of April, the early am number was 126,761 deaths worldwide. That of course is with various countries fudging the numbers so that it looks worse. Looking like fools for shutting the world down for something less than the seasonal flu is no no. 3,177,204 deaths in 2018 from the seasonal flu must be doing something to make people question the insanity we are being subjected to.

Reply to  old white guy
April 17, 2020 4:38 am

If you believe that, plan a vacation in New York.

Reply to  John Tillman
April 14, 2020 11:25 am

But that assumes all deaths are caused by deaths. In the UK our “expert” says it might only be one third.

Smart Rock
Reply to  Phoenix44
April 14, 2020 1:12 pm

Er, Phoenix…

But that assumes all deaths are caused by deaths

I know it’s a typo, but I love it!

David Blenkinsop
Reply to  Smart Rock
April 14, 2020 3:27 pm

Hehe, that’s what all who claim that attributions of death counts are statistically ever so solid, must obviously mean.

It’s because they are all, you know, deaths. One hundred percent caused by death.

Zig Zag Wanderer
Reply to  David Blenkinsop
April 15, 2020 12:37 am

Technically, they are caused by life. Everyone who had ever died, had life. That proves that life causes death.

For safety reasons, given the fatal results of life, all life should be confiscated from anyone who has it. It’s obviously too dangerous.

Adam Gallon
Reply to  Phoenix44
April 14, 2020 2:07 pm

comment image

Former NIH Researcher
Reply to  John Tillman
April 14, 2020 11:56 am

Can we be sure that there is a causal link between the RNA strands that the Covid tests are able to pick up and the pneumonias we are seeing. I posed this question yesterday, and Sir Monckton pointed out that we could know this because the tests were associated with specific x-ray and scan pictures. This was immediately refuted by a radiology expert.
I thought to myself: Seriously, that is the reason for the lockdown? Some RNA strands are associated with a certain type of x-ray, maybe.
We are wrecking the worlds economy because somebody got the idea that some RNA strands seem to give patients something that gives a certain x-ray image, that might as well be the flu. And most people get these strands and have no problem with them. And the normal soup of mutated flu viruses goes on relieving the oldest and frailest of their suffering.

anna v
Reply to  Former NIH Researcher
April 14, 2020 9:42 pm

Reply to “Former NIH Researcher”

“We are wrecking the worlds economy because somebody got the idea that some RNA strands seem to give patients something that gives a certain x-ray image, that might as well be the flu. ”


The lock downs are imposed to save the health system of the country that imposes it. RNA is important for looking for medicines and creating vaccines, that is why the classification is needed.

Suppose a new variant of the flu not in the vaccines that protect the population had come up with the same transmission rate? The action of governments would be the same. No government wants to see the collapse of the health system.

Reply to  anna v
April 16, 2020 11:11 pm

You know that outside your tiny bubble, the population does not take the silly useless flu vaccine and still lives a happy life? (or lived, before the stupid lockdowns)

In fact, the flu vaccination is one possible risk factor of Covid.

D Cage
Reply to  Former NIH Researcher
April 15, 2020 10:06 am

This fails to include the fact that every day otherwise healthy medics die from this virus because they are exposed to a high viral load which is a proven concept. This means that allowing free natural transmission levels is accepting deaths of the next tier and possibly the next two tiers of weaker individuals. I am sure that in the long run this is not good economics ignoring that it is not very humane thinking.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  John Tillman
April 14, 2020 9:25 pm

Mr Tillman is right. It is urgent that more testing be done to establish the prevalence and transmission rate of the Chinese virus. But one should not assume from the Gangelt study that only 15% of the global population will become infected. The study tells us only how far the virus has spread in Gangelt to date, not how far it will eventually spread.

If the Imperial College researchers are right, perhaps only 10% of the global population will be found to have natural immunity to the virus. Eventually, everyone else will get it.

Robert of Ottawa
Reply to  John Tillman
April 15, 2020 4:08 am

From the only nearly complete survey carried out that I know of, the Priuncess Diamond cruise liner.

3,711 passengers and crew
712 positive
8 dead
46.5% had no symptoms

So is that 1.1% mortaility or 0.2% mortality
Although 712 were infected only 381 had disease.
Can we extrapolate to the glob (I don’t think so but this was a confined group) then 15 million would die

Source: https://www.axios.com/coronavirus-diamond-princess-cruise-ship-cabins-2c9e13e7-0f45-4847-8ccf-a9b2af4210ca.html

Reply to  Robert of Ottawa
April 15, 2020 6:41 am

Robert, the Ruby Princess, which docked in Sydney (Australia) allowed 2700 passengers and crew to disembark after being told that it was fine to do so. The ship declared that more than a hundred people on board were suffering from a respiratory illness that as yet had not been diagnosed. The ship did not have facilities to test for the virus but for some reason after being given the all clear they disembarked anyway.

There is an enquiry going on at the moment and it seems to be difficult to find details on the internet but though our numbers are small compared to other countries this mistake apparently makes up one third of the deaths from the Wuhan virus in Australia.

A C Osborn
Reply to  Robert of Ottawa
April 16, 2020 1:34 pm

Not correct, there are now 12 dead. With another 7 still critical, so at least another 3 will die based on current ICU mortality rates.

Reply to  Robert of Ottawa
April 16, 2020 3:45 pm

Robert they are still testing passengers and crew from the ‘Ruby Princess’.

3,747 passengers and crew
600 Australian passengers positive for virus
149 crew positive (11in the health care system)
19 dead

900 overseas passengers are unaccounted for! They went home with instructions to self isolate for 14 days. The ABC was able to trace 35 overseas passengers whom have tested positive, and sadly one Canadian man has died (one of the nineteen), though there could be others.

Given that there are so many people unaccounted for, and testing is incomplete it’s impossible to work out the total stats. There are a large number of people who have gone home not knowing that they were potentially carrying the virus.

April 14, 2020 10:15 am

The UK’s Covid-19 today’s (Tuesday) update:

Reply to  Vuk
April 14, 2020 10:49 am

“Chancellor Rishi Sunak, giving the daily briefing, has warned the government cannot protect the finances of every business and every household. “These are tough times and there will be more to come,” he said. It comes as the number of deaths in UK hospitals reached 12,107, an increase of 778 on Monday’s total.”

Reply to  ren
April 14, 2020 11:19 am

Incidentally, the 778 number is not the number that died in 24 hours. Its the number that were reported in the last 24 hours. These were for deaths in the last few days.

The stats are a mess. For understandable reasons, but the fact is, you can only get proper data with about a five day lag. And this is in a country with a centralized health service which is used to collecting all kinds of national data all the time….

Reply to  michel
April 14, 2020 1:22 pm

And a really bad week for data collection…..a 4-day-holiday weekend…with hospital admin underpopulated with many working from home, or just not working. Every weekends stats so far have shown a drop Sunday/Monday, and a rise the next few days…

Reply to  Vuk
April 14, 2020 11:13 am

This is not just ‘another flu’ as this graph for the England’s excess death shows and it is likely to get much worse.

Reply to  Vuk
April 14, 2020 11:45 am

Depends which “another flu” we’re talking about. “Hong Kong flu” in the late 1960s killed approximately 80,000 in the UK. Pretty grim, but we didn’t exacerbate the situation by adding to the economic misery we were already in.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  PJF
April 14, 2020 9:34 pm

In response to PJF, HM Government could not take the risk that the death rate from this previously unknown pathogen would be low. Therefore, it took precautions, which have reduced person-to-person contact and accordingly the numbers infected by some 85-95% compared with what they might otherwise have been, particularly in our densely-packed, high-rise cities.

If the daily case growth rates continue to fall as the charts suggest, it will soon be possible to modify and eventually to end the lockdown.

Reply to  PJF
April 14, 2020 11:23 pm

👍. Common sense. The lockdown kills more than the Kung flu.

Reply to  Vuk
April 14, 2020 11:51 am


I think your data came from this govt site and we need to see the full data for 2020 before we can put things into perspective


These comments below are from the web site and has lots of caveats, but it is clear that ‘normal’ deaths registered in the week you cite, excluding CV, were considerably higher than average for some reason.

Also we have this huge problem with the cause of death being listed as WITH CV rather than OF CV as can be seen in the last bullet point. As you know the Italian health authorities attributed CV as the prime cause of death in only 12% of the deaths listed in their CV statistics.

—- —–
“The provisional number of deaths registered in England and Wales in the week ending 3 April 2020 (Week 14) was 16,387; this represents an increase of 5,246 deaths registered compared with the previous week (Week 13) and 6,082 more than the five-year average.

Of the deaths registered in Week 14, 3,475 mentioned “novel coronavirus (COVID-19)”, which was 21.2% of all deaths; this compares with 539 (4.8% of all deaths) in Week 13.

Figures include deaths of non-residents.
Based on date a death was registered rather than occurred.
Estimates for 2020 are provisional.
The ICD-10 definitions are as follows: COVID-19 (U07.1 and U07.2), Influenza and Pneumonia (J09-J18).
A death can be registered with both COVID-19 and Influenza and Pneumonia mentioned on the death certificate. Because pneumonia may be a consequence of COVID-19, deaths where both were mentioned have been counted only in the COVID-19 category.”

I like your graphs you post each day, they are very clear


Reply to  tonyb
April 14, 2020 12:22 pm

you said that “it is clear that ‘normal’ deaths registered in the week you cite, excluding CV, were considerably higher than average for some reason. ”

I disagree. It is clear that *total* deaths registered in that week were considerably higher than average. The total was the highest for a single week in the 16 years thse statistics have been published. There is nothign to say these deaths were “normal”.

Reply to  AndyL
April 14, 2020 1:56 pm


According to the ONS our population in england is nearly 6 million greater
than when those records started in 2005, also the number of males over 85 has increased by over 50% since then and females by 22% as has those over 65

So there are many more people in the first place and many more who fall into the at risk age segment.

Causes of death showing more deaths than normal excluding cv is listed on the same site. The picture is hugely muddied by our not knowing whether the death was other than cv even though listed as being from that disease


Reply to  AndyL
April 14, 2020 2:29 pm

The total number of deaths in w/e 3rd April was 60% (6000) above the rolling 5 year average for the same week, as well as being a big jump over the previous weeks this year.

Is there anything else that could have caused such a jump? Of course it might be a statistical fluke which will net out in the following weeks. We shall see in seven days time.

Reply to  AndyL
April 15, 2020 12:36 am


Doubt if you will see this now but on todays front page of the Times they are discussing exactly this subject. Their speculation is that the sharp increase in ‘normal’ deaths I noted above is caused by those unable to properly manage such diseases as diabetes and those not wanting to go into hospital if they have a hear attack or stroke for fear of catching CV there.

Reply to  AndyL
April 15, 2020 7:20 am

Interesting, thanks. I hadn’t seen that in the Times. Yes, that could be another factor.

A C Osborn
Reply to  AndyL
April 16, 2020 1:39 pm

So are you suggesting that the extra 700+ deaths/day from COVID19 in hospital only, don’t have anything to do with it?
Remember they do not include Care Home and non hospital COVID19 deaths in those numbers

Reply to  Vuk
April 14, 2020 12:18 pm

Just to put that graph in words:
There were 16,000 total deaths in UK in the week ending 3rd April. This is 60% up on the 5-year average for this time of year which is 10,000.

Only 3,500 of these 6,000 excess deaths mentioned coronavirus on the death certificate.

The clear indication is that actual deaths from Covid19 are almost double the official statistics.

And that week was before the acceleration we have seen in the last fortnight.

Reply to  AndyL
April 14, 2020 7:07 pm

Yep – left alone this virus would destroy the world economy.

The month or so global holiday for non-essential activities is a tiny price to pay to keep essential activities intact.

Sweden will soon close restaurants in a belated bid to crush the virus. The death rate in Sweden is accelerating while countries that acted decisively and early like Denmark and Austria are already coming out the other side after crushing the virus within their borders.

No country will accept visitors from Sweden until it has crushed the infection rate. No one will want to visit Sweden while there is risk of getting infected.

Reply to  RickWill
April 14, 2020 11:41 pm

Sweden has the same population as Denmark and Norway combined but has had less cases than both countries combined.

A C Osborn
Reply to  RickWill
April 15, 2020 3:27 am

Mr Mosher, extremely well played, nothing like a few facts to stop richard in his tracks.

Phil Rae
Reply to  RickWill
April 15, 2020 6:40 am

But Sweden’s per capita death rate is still only 102 per million

versus >240 for France, 389 for Spain, 173 for Holland and 178 for the UK, as of yesterday!

Obviously, population density plays into this as has been discussed but Sweden is still doing OK consider its very light touch on lockdown.

Reply to  RickWill
April 15, 2020 1:46 pm

Sweden’s per million is already at 112. Gets pulverized day after day. Wonder if they hit the brakes when they go over 180.

Reply to  RickWill
April 16, 2020 6:38 am

Thursday. Sweden, with no lock down, still has less cases than Norway and Denmark combined.

In other news –

“In Italy, it has been established that only around 12% of the people listed as having died of the coronavirus were killed by it. The other 88% almost certainly died of something else. (The Italian Government’s scientific advisor reported that anyone who dies in Italy and who has the coronavirus will be listed as having died of the coronavirus. The National Institute of Health revaluated the death certificates and concluded that only 12% showed a direct causality from the coronavirus. )”

Reply to  RickWill
April 16, 2020 2:08 pm

Sweden has 1333 deaths.
Denmark has 321 deaths.
Norway has 152 deaths.

Sweden is at 132 deaths/million. 20 up since yesterday. If they keep up this speed they’ll cross 200 by next week.

Reply to  Vuk
April 16, 2020 1:32 am

April 14, 2020 at 11:13 am

Still COVID-19 is an influenza disease, caused by a novel influenza virus.


April 14, 2020 10:23 am

The first lesson to learn is that we were and are still woefully under prepared to even assess such an event let alone determine a good choice of direction in any time frame that would have an effect before the event had run its own course.

John Tillman
Reply to  Rocketscientist
April 14, 2020 10:37 am

We’ll be better prepared in future, unless we forget or fail to heed lessons learned.

For starters, the US government has rescinded the Obama administration’s rule limiting viral test kit production to the CDC. So we no longer need rely upon the criminally incompetent CDC, FDA and WHO, but have freed up American industry to make test kits.

We’ll replenish stockpiles of needed supplies, drawn down during the 2009 swine flu pandemic and not refilled. More importantly, reindustrialize our own production of medcine and equipment.

We’ll step up epidemiological surveillance of China and other likely source states, and develop better models. Our procedures for controlling spread will likewise, will similarly improve, drawing on our own experience and learning from what has worked in Korea, Japan, Taiwan, Hong Kong, Singapore and Thailand, among others.

Unless we return to pre-pandemic normality, as has happened before.

Reply to  John Tillman
April 14, 2020 11:13 am

Ha Ha Ha (many)

unless we forget or fail to heed lessons learned

That’s practically the definition of being American.

Daryl M
Reply to  taz1999
April 14, 2020 11:53 am

You mean human.

John Tillman
Reply to  taz1999
April 14, 2020 1:07 pm

You’re right that it’s in our national character not to take to heart lessons taught by history. But Americans have at times in the past changed our thinking, industries and government activities before, in response to perceived threats.

In the 1930s, we were predominantly isolationist, without a draft, with small armed forces and limited military industrial capacity, despite excess production ability due to the Depression.

We changed and built up during the war, then briefly demobilized rapidly after it. But the Cold War and Korea reversed the decline in conventional defense capability. Despite the end of the Cold War 30 years ago, we still maintain ground, air and naval forces more powerful than 80 years ago. We might be getting tired of doing so, but aren’t likely to return to Army strength in the 1930s, smaller than Portugal’s, Even adjusting for population growth, our active armed forces are larger than between the world wars (when the National Guard was bigger than the regular force).

Reply to  John Tillman
April 16, 2020 3:20 pm

in response to perceived threats.

In the 1930s, we were predominantly isolationist, without a draft, with small armed forces and limited military industrial capacity

I would change “perceived” to contrived. Up until maybe 15 years ago there was no significant threat to our “Homeland” (excepting Nuclear but we’re in a situation now where non-nuclear could and would crash the US as we’re figuring out now with C-Vid) US; Big moats on both sides and polite neighbors north and great gardeners south. Our intervention in WW1 directly connected to WW2.0 And every aggression since then has directly led to more insecurity for the common folk.

Long time ago you could kick your neighbors… get glory, food, gold, women, slaves and it works. It’s a different economy now so never experience or lesson learn.


Reply to  John Tillman
April 15, 2020 7:51 am

John Tillman April 14, 2020 at 10:37 am
For starters, the US government has rescinded the Obama administration’s rule limiting viral test kit production to the CDC. So we no longer need rely upon the criminally incompetent CDC, FDA and WHO, but have freed up American industry to make test kits.

There was no such rule.
The Trump administration was responsible for limiting the testing to the CDC test, they later rescinded it, but it was not an ‘Obama era’ rule. Consider the source!

We’ll replenish stockpiles of needed supplies, drawn down during the 2009 swine flu pandemic and not refilled.

Well the present administration has had three years to replenish it but chose not to.

More importantly, reindustrialize our own production of medicine and equipment.

Definitely need some rules to increase home supply.

Bengt Abelsson
Reply to  Rocketscientist
April 15, 2020 12:13 am

In Stockholm, (capital of Sweden), all incoming to the maternity wards were recently tested for COV-19.
No other reason than curiosity.
I would presume that that sampling is biased towards younger and healthier compared to the population in large.
Result: 7% of the tested were positive, COV-19 carriers.
Not sure, but presum that none of the tested had any symptoms from COV-19.

April 14, 2020 10:24 am

Yes, we need some real data to either support or counter the media hysteria. We know with an accurate count of infected the death rate can only go down. And importantly we’ll know how far herd immunity has progressed. Reports of self testing for antibody using saliva developed out of Rutgers and OK’d for use is promising.

Rich Davis
Reply to  markl
April 14, 2020 4:41 pm

That’s actually a diagnostic test for active infection rather than an antibody test.

Joel O'Bryan
April 14, 2020 10:25 am

Tuberculosis (TB and the causative agent – Mycobacterium tuberculosis) is now the world’s leading infectious disease k-1-ller. In 2018, an estimated 1.5 million people died, mostly in Russia, southern Africa, and the Indian subcontinent. It surpassed HIV/AIDS as the leading infectious disease killer in 2010. The steady increase in MDR TB and the lethal XDR TB cases should worry everyone, especially the WHO, much more than any acute hit-and-run corona virus where herd immunity will eventually snuff-out an epidemic/pandemic.

TB is in some ways much climate change, steady slow moving. Simply projecting out to century some logarithmic growth curve can be both alarming and also unlikely though.
But unlike climate scam, TB deaths are actually measurable and countable on death certificates and autopsies, and costs to the health care systems for treatments.
No one dies of climate change. At least not in the real world, but only in the fake virtual world of in silico junk models.

A C Osborn
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
April 14, 2020 11:30 am

Yes, TB virtually eradicated in the modern western world with childhood vaxinations and now it is back.

Ian W
April 14, 2020 10:31 am

It does not appear possible to extract any sensible figures from many countries reporting. Testing is skewed by only testing the really ill – so the denominator is being driven by testing rate not by cases infected. Research looking at corona virus in sewage outfalls in Boston suggests that the numbers infected is significantly higher (denominator larger). Reports of tests of pregnant women on arrival at hospital seems to indicate large number are asymptomatic but infected. Many times an infected person staying at home ‘self-isolating’ but being nursed by the family – members of the family do not get infected – implying that there is a proportion of the population with innate immunity. This naturally immune section of the population is not considered in any of the models. So the denominator is unknown.
The nominator is being given similar treatment. The NHS like the US NIH/CDC is counting anyone that dies _with_ COVID-19 as dying _of_ COVID-19. Yet it has been reported that many of the deaths are with co-morbidities. Do you count the final straw on the camel’s back or the half ton of goods that were before it?

In short with a reduced denominator that is linked to tests and a nominator that is heavily weighted, using the provided data is a waste of time.

Garbage in Garbage out. Doing any clever statistical maths on garbage will only produce more garbage

It is starting to look deliberate.

Lance Flake
Reply to  Ian W
April 14, 2020 11:22 am


Reply to  Ian W
April 14, 2020 11:35 am

Clever garbage. Give credit where credit is due. (^_^)

Grumpy Bill
Reply to  Ian W
April 14, 2020 2:16 pm

“Many times an infected person staying at home ‘self-isolating’ but being nursed by the family – members of the family do not get infected – implying that there is a proportion of the population with innate immunity.”

It could also imply that the test of the “infected” household member gave a false positive.

Ian Coleman.
April 14, 2020 10:35 am

Why can we not speak of the ages of the dead? The median age of the dead in most countries seems to be close to 80. It is just fatuous to say that the deaths of the very old are every bit as tragic as the deaths of the young or the middle-aged.

My father turned 20 the year Canada entered World War II. The median age of Canada’s war dead was (I’m guessing) about 26. (And of course almost all of the dead were male.) Now that was a tragedy. The median age of the dead in the North American AIDS epidemic might have been about 32. (Guessing again, but that’s a reasonable guess.) Death in youth is terrible. In advanced old age, death is a normal occurrence.

I’m 68. I don’t want to be dead right now, but if I were to die next Tuesday I’d have got my share, if you know what I mean. The young seem to think that old people are just young people with wrinkles and funny-looking hair. Well no. Being old is qualitatively different from being middle-aged, and is a hundred miles away from being young. Speaking for myself, I’m still reasonably able-bodied, and I’m not yet on any medications, but my quality of life is much less than when I was forty. I’m almost never comfortable. Some damn thing or other always aches or itches, and I’m always (and I mean always) tired. How tired? If you’re thirty, think how tired you would be if you’d just walked twenty-five miles. I’m that tired all the time.

I live in a seniors’ residence and I know two dozen people in their seventies nd eighties. All of the seventy=somethings are on medications, and would quickly decline and die if they couldn’t get them. All of the eighty-somethings are crippled. Every year, about fifteen of us die. No one really mourns these deaths, because we know that the lives lost were of very low quality. Seriously, that’s how we feel.

Flattening the curve of COVID-19 will not be worth the economic devastation that must certainly result. My view is now and has always been that we should have gone for herd immunity and accepted the deaths of the elderly that wold have occurred. Of course, most people flinch from that opinion, but I stand by it.

John K. Sutherland.
Reply to  Ian Coleman.
April 14, 2020 11:22 am

Very well said, Ian Coleman. I am 79 and even so am, hopefully, low risk, as I have no other compromising conditions. We should by now, recognise where the risks are, and suggest that the elderly and those most at risk, shelter, while getting everyone else back to work fast. The main ‘learning’ hump is over. The young, recover without hospitalization for the most part, so the medical facilities will not likely be overwhelmed; the elderly might not so easily recover. The sooner this disease works through the population, the better, and the faster is will die out. Only then, can the elderly come out of hiding with relative impunity. We know enough already to make the correct choices.

Reply to  John K. Sutherland.
April 14, 2020 1:03 pm

That’s right. We need to do things differently for those over 65 than for the young.

Former NIH Researcher
Reply to  Ian Coleman.
April 14, 2020 11:32 am

Very sensible post. Young people cannot really imagine how it is to be infirm, incontinent, chronically nauseous and fatigued, and confused because of dementia. Even atheists in this state are waiting for the end. Those who have a hope for a better world after this, will often welcome death. But medical science has to prologue the suffering, at an extreme cost.

Reply to  Ian Coleman.
April 14, 2020 11:33 am


Its wildly off topic and I don’t know your personal circumstances, but you are only 68. We re the same age and have had two five mile walks this week up our very steep Devon hills. I certainly don’t feel tired all the time, although it certainly takes longer to do things than when 30 and I often wonder how I found time to go to work!

Why are you living in a seniors residence at 68?. I know of no one in their seventies or eighties, let alone 2 dozen. I don’t know if you are overweight or have some underlying illness you are not aware of, but perhaps you need a younger aspect to your life to revitalise you, which won’t be obtained in a seniors residence. Didn’t mean to interfere


John Finn
Reply to  tonyb
April 14, 2020 4:02 pm

” but you are only 68. We re the same age ”

Me too. Are you 1951 or 52?

I can’t walk 5 miles any more though. A couple of miles and my knees start playing up. I can still cycle at a decent rate and I’ve got a friend (known him since I was 16) who still cycles competitively.

I agree with you that, providing you can stay healthy, 68 is not particularly old. There are plenty of guys in their mid 70s who are still pretty active.

Reply to  tonyb
April 14, 2020 6:33 pm

Do you ever come across James Lovelock around where you live? He’ll turn 101 in July. He walks 2 miles every day.

Reply to  tonyb
April 15, 2020 7:23 am

Ian, unless your health is significantly compromised, you are very young to be in aged care. My mother died aged 92 from associated dementia illnesses after being in care for three and a half years. I remember overhearing one of the lucid residents conversing with another resident and stating that they were all just waiting to die. It was such a sad thing to hear. I wasn’t able to care for my mother for various reasons but she made it clear that she hated being there, at least in the beginning. After a while she couldn’t communicate at all.

Maybe you have a point, maybe it’s better to be taken by the coronavirus than to wait to die. I do think your surroundings are affecting the way you feel right now, that and the loss of life as you knew it. There are people older than you making life changing choices.

Don’t write yourself off, look to see how you can nourish your soul. Like others who have responded here, interference is not intended. I think the general conversation around this virus is making some of us feel that we are disposable, of little value. Age used to represent wisdom and invoke respect, it still can if we insist on being heard.

Reply to  Ian Coleman.
April 14, 2020 11:48 am

You might benefit from full blood test. Low T could be an issue or there might be something else.


Reply to  Ian Coleman.
April 14, 2020 1:17 pm

I am 65 and agree with every thing you say.
Would just like to add one story. My mother in law is in a nursing home and has been in lock down for 6 weeks, total lockdown for 3 weeks. She does not get out and has her meals and medications delivered. I assume what little muscle tone she had is now gone. Do not know as she was never able to master a cell phone so we cannot talk to her.
Her quality of life is so poor I am confidant she would welcome the end.

Russ R.
Reply to  Ian Coleman.
April 14, 2020 1:32 pm

Don’t worry Ian. With your outlook on life you will not be with us much longer. Take the Former NIH Researcher with you. You both have a morbid fascination with convincing elderly people that life is not worth living.
If you guys don’t want to live you have the freedom to give up.
Man up and face the challenges of your life, or slink off into the darkness like a person that cannot live with a conscience full of regret. But don’t prey on those that are struggling to hang onto their humanity. If you were confident in you misery, you wouldn’t have the need to convince others it was legitimate.
Being a salesman for the Heibai Wuchang will get you a reserved spot at the worst destination after you leave this life. If you accept who you are, and what you have done with the time you have been given, you don’t have to convince others to forsake what they still have.

Reply to  Russ R.
April 14, 2020 4:19 pm

Russ, I have a completely different interpretation of what Ian was saying than you do. I’m pretty sure he was saying that we need to go out and live our lives and meet those challenges, rather than cowering in our caves in fear of a bug and claiming we are doing it to protect him.

I am only 45 but am pretty sure I understand his point. Right now I am not living, merely surviving, due to the diktats of an idiot that my fellow citizens had chosen to lead us. I am currently a slave. I am given money to survive and told what it can be spent on. I am told where I am allowed to travel, and who am am allowed to visit. My free will, one of the core things that makes me human, has been taken from me through threat of force. They have assumed the power to deny any or all to me.

So what was the reason given to demand my servitude? It was to “flatten the curve” or in other words to prevent the medical system from being overrun to the point of collapse. That has now been accomplished. So why am I now being denied control of my life? The new claim is that it will somehow save people like Ian, John, Dean, and myself (high risk due to certain health issues). Is this a valid reason for the continued enslavement of us and our fellow man? Our claim is that while we do not seek an immediate end to our time on this Earth, should it happen, it is not the greatest tragedy to befall mankind, and if our deaths are the consequence of our and everyone else’s freedom, we’re prepared to live with it.

Russ R.
Reply to  CptTrips
April 14, 2020 6:49 pm

I am currently a slave. I am given money to survive and told what it can be spent on. I am told where I am allowed to travel, and who am am allowed to visit. My free will, one of the core things that makes me human, has been taken from me through threat of force. They have assumed the power to deny any or all to me.

Where are you living? Because no one is telling me any of that. Get in your car and go where ever you want. Go to the airport and fly where you want. You think someone is going to stop you?
All they did was close businesses and public property. Unless you are quarantined, you have a strange concept of what a slave is. When you look in the mirror do you see scars from the “lash”. If not, how you would explain your slavery to someone who was a real slave. Would you have the gall to tell them your tale of suffering the bonds of …what?
I can’t go to the ballgame? I can’t go to the mall? You should understand what the life of a slave was like, before you throw that word around. Going through life as a drama queen is a pain for everyone that is currently glad to not be around you.

Reply to  Russ R.
April 14, 2020 8:05 pm

You are exactly right sir!

“But no pleasure is comparable to the standing upon the vantage ground of truth” — Francis Bacon.

Reply to  Russ R.
April 14, 2020 9:36 pm

So how do you define slavery? I define it as denying a man control of his labor and/or the fruits of it. Whether my “master” is benevolent enough to only threaten, but not apply, violence does not change the chafing of the “chains”.

The point of the dramatic language is to illustrate the violation to the concepts held by western civilization being done by these governments, by breaking it down to its fundamental meanings. It’s an attempt to argue the ideas without being hung up on individual details that could move the conversation off point. But if you would like existing examples, allow me to oblige.

So I ask you, is it so hard to see the “scars of the lash” in the news of the day? Kentucky Christians were fined $500 for gathering in a way that meets the supposed social distancing requirements. Even after having a court issue a restraining order to allow them to gather, the local authorities booby-trapped the parking lot and went through recording the attendees. The same violations of religious freedom are being denied in Mississippi. Where does the State gain the authority to prevent this gathering while allowing a gathering under those same rules to a restaurant right down the street?
Today, in North Carolina, police stopped (including arrests) a group of citizens that were protesting the State’s order stopping them from working. They claimed there is no right to protest. Isn’t the State violating the most fundamental rights we have under the threat of violence the very lash you refer to? And at this point, for what legitimate purpose?
In Michigan, the Governor has declared it illegal to buy garden seeds and furniture because she has determined them to be non-essential. Her order prevents people from traveling to other residential properties that they own to choose to stay there. She has denied the citizens of Michigan even the right to choose to visit a friend or neighbor or to have any gathering of any size. How can any of that be justified without the belief that she “owns” the people?

Again the point of these orders was to prevent an overwhelming of the health industry. We won’t know whether that was a good or bad decision for at least a year. But that goal has been accomplished, so why does the lockdown need to continue? The crisis part has passed. People dying from a non-preventable disease may be tragic, but is not in and of itself, a crisis, and as such cannot justify a continuation of lockdown conditions.

COVID-19’s existence is not going away anytime soon. It may never be exterminated. We might not ever be able to create an effective vaccine. It may mutate to the point where we never achieve full herd immunity. So we had best start learning how to live with it like our ancestors have done with every other communicable disease that man has encountered. And that begins with the fact that we are not all going to live forever and it is up to each of us to determine what level of risk we are willing to accept and not have it dictated to us from “benevolent masters”.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  CptTrips
April 14, 2020 9:43 pm

CptTrips should know that, though the case-growth and death-growth rates in the United States, as in most Western countries, are still falling, they might not continue falling if the current lockdowns were altogether removed. Governments do have a responsibility to be cautious in the face of a pandemic with unknown characteristics but a propensity to kill. No Western democracy will leave its lockdown in place for a moment longer than is necessary.

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 15, 2020 12:56 am

Lord Monckton, I agree that the the rates may stop falling if we go back to “business as usual”. But based on what we have seen, it is unlikely to get to a point of overwhelming the medical system. More so, should the growth rate again rise to the level where the medical system is at risk of collapse, they can then be reinstated. If one assumes that the lockdown was the reason that the medical crisis was averted, then to release the lockdown and re-implement if necessary is a safe strategy.

As to government responsibility, as I responded to Russ R., People dying from a non-preventable disease is tragic, but is not, in and of itself, a crisis. Government, at least in the US, can be argued to have a role in mitigating a crisis, but has no responsibility (nor has been granted power) to protect us from tragedy. That is something we must deal with on our own.

Finally, listening to the words of people like Andrew Cuomo and Gavin Newsome does not give me confidence that the lockdown will be lifted at the moment it is no longer necessary. There are several news stories already showing the abuse of those you are putting your confidence in. I’d rather place my bet on the ordinary person exercising their own self-interest. At least we have methods of redress for abuses at that level.

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 15, 2020 6:54 pm

“Finally, listening to the words of people like Andrew Cuomo and Gavin Newsome does not give me confidence that the lockdown will be lifted at the moment it is no longer necessary.”

yes the conditions they put on re opening almost insure no re opening.

when I hear about their plans for hiring “tracers” and their plans for testing

It remains true. My fellow Americans REFUSE TO LEARN LESSONS FROM ASIA.

New York, having tested 500000 has a capacity that now exceeds the capacity
of Korea.

Tracing and Tracking? what does Singapore do?
Use the military


Reply to  CptTrips
April 15, 2020 6:19 am

Russ either doesn’t have grandkids or doesn’t care too much about them and their carers and they’re the curve he appears to enjoy flattening so he isn’t ever flattened. Fine then go hide at home away from the dreaded young but just be aware many of us don’t think that’s worth living and I’m not hiding from the grandkids because they might infect me innocently. That’s not living that’s curling up and dying with Netflix or virtual existence with Ubereats and Amazon for friends.

All I ask if it looks like I’m a goner then rather than spiflicate give me a shot of the really happy stuff before the bulldozer. What about a referendum of the over 60s on this global fallacy of composition with all the money printing? Either the young incur the real debt or they’ll wear it with massive stagflation and nobody ever consulted me about flattening the young fit and productive. Bah humbug!

Capn Mike
Reply to  Ian Coleman.
April 14, 2020 2:09 pm

I’m 72 and I couldn’t agree more. Well said!

A C Osborn
Reply to  Capn Mike
April 15, 2020 4:06 am

Contrast Mr Coleman and those who agree with him to Captian Tom Moore, a WW2 Veteran, just survived Cancer, had a hip operation and is now “walking for the NHS”.
He has rasied over £5million in less than a week.


Steven Mosher
Reply to  Ian Coleman.
April 15, 2020 6:14 pm

In Korea 99% of the deaths are over 50
92% over 60

Truth be told.

Free the young to go back to work, isolate us old (*****). a tropical island sounds nice.

[Mosh. Enough with the bad language, please. Mod]

April 14, 2020 10:42 am

It’s not just the death rate we need to worry about. There are now studies showing long term damage to the health of the survivors, including damage to heart, liver etc

Yes they are from China, but that is where there has been more time to investigate this.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  AndyL
April 14, 2020 1:31 pm


Reply to  AndyL
April 14, 2020 2:44 pm

One reason for long term lung damage may be caused by intubation in case the patient survived.

Reply to  Krishna Gans
April 15, 2020 5:45 am

Patients in need for intubation are surviving by a chance of 50% – at max. It’s a minor fraction of surviving patients where people with clearly damaged lungs on CT and/or X-ray might not even need oxygen. Does not mean their organ will not have (live) long lasting impairment like TBC.

We just don’t know yet.

It is a great irresponsibility to decide we should infect people for herd immunity as long as we don’t know these kind of things. Not only for health but also economically. Think about people suing their employers or the government. About chronic conditions limiting the work force. The cost for health care caused by these conditions.

And then we still have not looked at the possible damage to other organs like the nervous system and heart.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Ron
April 15, 2020 7:48 am

Remdesivir seems to be pulling people back from the brink even when intubated, elderly, and with comorbidities.
Many intubated patients expected to die are walking out of the hospital after one or a few days on remdesivir.
It is not saving everyone, but it is showing that there will be a new baseline.
It appears though that many people who could be getting the drug are instead choosing or being given hydroxychloroquine, which I am willing to say at this point is costing many of their lives.
It is clear to me, but unproven.
It is also becoming clearer to me that in all likelihood, the malaria drugs are costing lives, not saving them, even just compared to SoC.

I think there is a growing chance that reverse TDS may cost us the elections in November.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Ron
April 16, 2020 4:09 am

Another valuable treatment option that has been shoved aside is plasma from recovered COVOD patients.
Every treated person who could be getting something better is a personal tragedy.

April 14, 2020 10:42 am

It should be noted that we still don’t have an HIV vaccination, that “cures” the virus, after how many years and how many $Hundreds of Billions? Can we blame this on Reagan, still? Or is it true that about 25% of all known viruses have no effective vaccination. So let’s keep THOSE rates in mind as we launch hundreds of serological trials. 75% are good … not GREAT … odds.

Reply to  Kenji
April 14, 2020 10:54 am

HIV integrates into the host genome and targets the cells of the immune system. Complete different story.

John Tillman
Reply to  Ron
April 14, 2020 11:26 am

Studies on effects of WuFlu on immune system, published this month:

Fighting COVID-19 exhausts T cells


SARS-CoV-2 infects T lymphocytes through its spike protein-mediated membrane fusion


Granted, papers by Chinese scientists, but not a reason IMO to dismiss them out of hand.
And one’s in the US.

Of course worse in the old and already sick.

Reply to  John Tillman
April 14, 2020 11:51 am

Is that study claiming a glycoprotein releasing iron from hemoglobin correct?

John Tillman
Reply to  Scissor
April 14, 2020 12:56 pm
Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Scissor
April 14, 2020 1:29 pm

That Corona Virus Spike protein claim re: hemoglobin is junk. Absolute junk. Whoever wrote that piece and put it on Medium.com is a fraudster. Probably did it as a fake news phishing exercise to see how many people would mindlessly pickup that story and re-post it, retweet it, or share it on FB.

Hemoglobin is found inside Red Blood Cells. The RBCs have no nucleus and only have a very limited set of surface proteins coded by cellular mRNA, and do not express the ACE2 receptor of like nucleated cells. SARS-CoV-2 does not infect RBCs, so their is no way for the S protein to access hemoglobin.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  Scissor
April 14, 2020 8:42 pm

Did you even read that meta-analysis paper? Authors had 4 studies they finally came down to in their search. 3 showed lower hemoglobin levels, 1 showed higher levels in severe COVID-19 disease. Plus the one report they weighted at 80% was the NEJM paper from Chinese patients that reported 0.7 mg/dL lower hemoglobin in the severe patients than the non-severe patients, but the interquartile ranges of the two groups overlapped significantly. And the explanation non-significant difference is not severity of COVID-19, but that the severe ptx group was on average 7 years older, and had significantly higher rates of comorbidities (high blood pressure, diabetes, CVD) and smoking history.
Bottom-line, there is zero cell biology relevant papers/studies showing severe COVID-19 disease and having a lower hemaglobin level is mechanistically (biochemically) linked to the claims of “S protein attacking the 1-beta chain of hemoglobin and sequestering porphyrin”.
I stand by my assertion that the claims in the chemrxiv paper are junk science.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Scissor
April 15, 2020 7:35 am

Joel is 100% correct.

Reply to  John Tillman
April 16, 2020 12:33 am

SARS-CoV-2 infects T lymphocytes through its spike protein-mediated membrane fusion

John, how do you think immune response upgrades in consideration of a new disease,
where does it get the necessary info for the upgrade?
How would it produce the actual antibody in time, prior to the disease?


April 14, 2020 10:50 am

Today’s numbers from Ontario (Canada): 7,953 total cases since counting began and 334 dead, making for a death rate of 4.2%. C’est nes pas bon. (To be fair, a significant number of the dead were in long-term care facilities, had comorbidities, etc. This Chinese-virus did terrifying damage in those nursing homes.) Ontario’s population as of 2016: 13,448,494. So as a percentage, 0.059% of the population was or is infected. That means 99.941% are not infected. But with only 0.841% of the population tested (113,082) it’s hard to tell if this is good news. Does anyone know the minimum percentage required to make a valid extrapolation?

The Ontario government has just extended the state of emergency by 28 days.


Robert Austin
Reply to  PaulH
April 14, 2020 11:59 am

Your calculation assumes the 7,953 cases are the only ones infected. With many people not even showing symptoms, one can only assume that there are many more undocumented cases and that the death rate is much lower than 4.2%. I and my family went through a bout of something in late January that I attributed to some kind of flu, not suspecting that the Wuhan virus may have already been circulating in Southern Ontario. It would be interesting to be tested for antibodies to see if such was the case.

Reply to  Robert Austin
April 14, 2020 1:12 pm

In a German study 15% of the population studied had antibodies to the SARS-CoV-2 virus…but only 2% were confirmed cases. The ratio is the important number here…15/2 = 7.5 infected for each confirmed infection.

Infection rates are lower in the US, but the ratio of (infected/confirmed infected) is likely similar here in the US.

So take any CFR (Case Fatality Rate) and divide by 7.5 to get a more likely (and at least a somewhat more supportable) percentage.

Today’s 580k Confirmed Cases with 22k fatalities produces a CFR of 3.8% . Dividing by 7.5 produces an IFR (Infection Fatality Rate) of 0.54%…closer to a really bad flu year.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Robert Austin
April 14, 2020 2:17 pm

I realize that you don’t live in the US, but others might be interested:


Reply to  Robert Austin
April 14, 2020 3:08 pm

I live in Ontario I would not be tested unless I had a number of symptoms. Premier Ford went ballistic the other day asking why testing volume was so low:

“”I want to see every frontline health care worker in this province tested, along with first responders — our police, our fire, our paramedics. We owe it to them, along with other people being tested,” said Ford.

“The days are done of these 2,000 and 3,000 a day being tested and moving forward we need to see 13,000 tests every single day. I have the confidence of our health team, I have the confidence of our leadership at the table — we have to make this happen and we need to start doing it immediately, starting tomorrow.”


At 3,000 tests/day we have more than 10 years to cover Ontario. Without realistic numbers no one can guesstimate what the fatality rate is. I was at PDCA the mining show in Toronto March 1st and a week later had a very sore throat and my asthma was a little worse. I hope I had the virus and recovered, feel fine now. Walked a friend’s golf course today, covered five miles and found 247 balls!

navy bob
Reply to  PaulH
April 14, 2020 12:19 pm

Is that Canadian French?

john harmsworth
Reply to  PaulH
April 14, 2020 1:02 pm

The recent German study indicated that the number of people who have antibodies but did not report illness was approx. 7 times the number who got sick. This is limited testing in one city in Western Germany but suggests that we may be closer to herd immunity than we had supposed. At the rate of infection with lockdowns and social distancing it will still take a very long time to get to the 60-70% epidemiologists say we need. The effects on the economy are probably unacceptable.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  john harmsworth
April 14, 2020 9:51 pm

In response to Mr Harmsworth, there is indeed a trade-off between the economic damage caused by lockdowns and the benefit, which is chiefly in making sure that healthcare systems are not overrun, as they were in some British hospitals before HM Government got a grip. The Office for Budget Responsibility in Britain has estimated that the economic cost of not locking down the country would have exceeded the cost of locking it down. But there are still too many unknown unknowns to do a proper benefit-cost analysis.

However, in Britain at any rate, there has been widespread – though not universal – support for the lockdown, because so little was known of how the virus might spread and how many it might affect. As our knowledge grows, our fear will diminish.

April 14, 2020 10:50 am

I’m confused by your swift change from the serological tests are useless (of yesterdays commnets) to waiting for results from random trials. Did we suddenly discover a antibody that wasn’t useless?

Reply to  dwestall
April 15, 2020 6:00 am

That is one thing people are confused often about:

Antibody tests are using baits to catch the antibodies from the patients blood. They don’t need biotechnologically generated antibodies.
The problem is the specificity and sensitivity of the bait. It has to be sensitive to not generate false negative results but also specific to not generate false positive results.

Specificity seems to be problematic at the moment as there is cross-reactivity of antibodies generated by other coronaviridae from cold in the patients with the baits.

There are biotechnologically generated antibodies that are considered for treatment of severe patients. Same idea as using plasma from people who have recovered. But that is a different story as the tests.

Bill Powers
April 14, 2020 10:54 am

We have essentially put a gun to our head with a loaded chamber, economically. so as to kill ourselves in advance of the possibility that we might get sick and die.

The people that survive, that being most of us, will now suffer through a prolonged depression which will be orders of magnitude more severe than COVID19.

My computer model indicates that suicides will “likely” outpace COVID deaths 5 to 1.

April 14, 2020 11:14 am

Deaths per confirmed case so far in Europe as of yesterday (easily obtained by adding one column in Excel to the worldometers data):

Austria 2.5%
Belgium 12%
Denmark 4.4%
France 11%
Germany 2.4%
Iceland 0.5%
Italy 12.7%
Netherlands 10.7%
Norway 2%
Portugal 3%
Spain 10.3%
Sweden 8.6%
Switzerland 4.4%
UK 12.7%

A clear separation around two peaks, with only the Swedes sitting in the middle. Are different governments counting different things?

John Tillman
Reply to  Neil Lock
April 14, 2020 11:27 am

Yes. Some don’t test the dead. Others distinguish between dying from the virus and with it.

There’s no standard, even in the EU.

Reply to  Neil Lock
April 14, 2020 12:48 pm


We must remain cognizant of a complete lack of statistical data reports from 2nd and 3rd world nations.

Most completely lack the means of testing and treating the Wuhan Institute of Virology virus. Sanitation services, untreated chronic illness, malnutrition, and poor hygiene practices will exacerbate the suffering.

For many such nations, proximity to the Equator and a corresponding prevalence of anti-maliarial drugs, may be the only silver lining in a cloud of death and despair.

Penetration of the virus into the 3rd world lags behind the developed world due to a relative dearth of international travel. This condition will not persist, as 3rd world inhabitants lack the means to purchase and store large supplies of food. Efforts to obtain food in the slums of the 3rd world will provide an efficient route of transmission.

The Spanish and Italian medical personnel struggled mightily to hold the mortality rates to single digits. We should not expect a better outcome for the poorest nations on the planet.

A tale of two-worlds will tell the story of dramatically different rates of morbidity.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  RobR
April 14, 2020 9:56 pm

RobR makes a very good point. There are fewer than 20,000 reported cases in the whole of Africa. One can hope this is because the virus is susceptible to sunshine and warm weather, but it is more likely that administrative incapacity is concealing the true extent of the problem in Africa.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Neil Lock
April 14, 2020 9:54 pm

Mr Lock raises a good point. It is clear that different governments are reporting to widely varying degrees, and with different standards. Not the least of the many failings of the World Death Organization was that it had either not introduced a clear common reporting standard – essential if one wants to learn fast, as one does in the early stages of a pandemic – or had not ensured that it was being adhered to.

Working Dog
April 14, 2020 11:17 am

The first lesson in all of this is that ALL governments and media outlets lie to push their self-interests and power. The CCP is not alone in this.

I will not waste my time to look at the mortality rate until I can look back on basic mortality rates and see what the excess mortality was for 2020. I doubt they will go to the effort to make up a stack of fake records to inflate the Wuhan Acquired Respiratory Syndrome numbers like the are doing with the death certs in the USA – but they might.

This is a dangerous virus for the aged and unfit. I will remain skeptical as to its medical impact on society until I can verify that myself. I can already see the enormous negative economic impact heaped on us by the liars in government and media.

April 14, 2020 11:20 am

so 7.8 billion people.

1,981,912 cases

125,075 deaths.

In the meantime

3,725,632Communicable disease deaths this year
139,585Seasonal flu deaths this year

Reply to  richard
April 14, 2020 12:24 pm

Only another 500,000 deaths to go to reach an average year.

I’ve noticed recently thar lot of people are praying that Sweden closes the gap.

Reply to  Klem
April 14, 2020 1:00 pm

praying for more deaths so they don’t look insane shutting the world down. That is a weird kind of sickness.

Reply to  richard
April 14, 2020 11:35 pm

Leftardism. AKA insanity, or globalism. One wonders if a virus causes it…..

Reply to  Klem
April 14, 2020 1:43 pm

“In the US, the authorities now also recommend that all test-positive deaths and even suspect cases without a positive test result be registered as „Covid deaths“. An American physician and state senator from Minnesota declared that this was tantamount to manipulation. Furthermore, there would be financial incentives for hospitals to declare patients as Covid19 “patients’

Reply to  richard
April 14, 2020 4:42 pm

My family friends just buried their 20 year old daughter today after what originally believed to be complications from COVID-19.

I will not post details but am obliged to mention she has never been a normal healthy person. Her parents watched her die via a video feed and were told the wake would have to be a closed casket affair.

Her posthumous test results were negative and an open casket wake was permitted.

My point being, it takes a great deal of gumption to tell the parents one thing, and then lie on statistical reports.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Klem
April 14, 2020 10:04 pm

In response to Klem, the deaths from the Chinese virus are in addition to the deaths in an average year – and the deaths to date from the virus are only for the first few weeks of the pandemic. No responsible government would do statistics as Klem does them.

And I have not seen anyone in this thread wishing that Sweden’s rates of infection or of death would rise. I hope they continue to fall, since that will encourage governments to end their lockdowns as soon as it is reasonably safe for them to do so. Sweden is a very interesting counterexample to the case for lockdowns, and, for that reason, I shall continue to track it here.

Phil Rae
Reply to  Klem
April 15, 2020 7:06 am

With an average death rate worldwide of slightly over 1 million souls per week, it’s difficult to find the relevant signal in the noise, sometimes.

Clearly this virus can be a killer and particularly so in the elderly. However, mis-attribution will undoubtedly lead to a higher apparent mortality of Covid-19 than reality. Many patients whose death certificates should likely have noted cardiac arrest, pneumonia, renal failure, etc will simply be classified as victims of SARS-CoV-2.

A C Osborn
Reply to  Phil Rae
April 16, 2020 1:46 pm

So those reasons for death weren’t caused by COVID19?
I suggest you read what COVID19 does to the patient’s body, all 3 of those are included.
There are far more people in the UK not being counted as COVID19 deaths because they do not die in hospital. They are the only ones in the statistics.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  richard
April 14, 2020 10:00 pm

In response to Richard, no epidemiologist would dream of comparing the fatalities from a pandemic in its early stages to the total fatalities from other causes, for we do not yet know how many will suffer. If there have already been 125,000 deaths, there will probably be many more before this is over. Only then would such comparisons be at all appropriate.

Yesterday 2400 died in the U.S.A. alone. Caution on the part of governments was, therefore, the responsible course.

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 15, 2020 1:42 am

It is now becoming very apparent that deaths are being misattributed.

“Several German law firms are preparing lawsuits against the measures and regulations that have been issued. A specialist in medical law writes in a press release: „The measures taken by the federal and state governments are blatantly unconstitutional and violate a multitude of basic rights of citizens in Germany to an unprecedented extent. This applies to all corona regulations of the 16 federal states. In particular, these measures are not justified by the Infection Protection Act, which was revised in no time at all just a few days ago. () Because the available figures and statistics show that corona infection is harmless in more than 95% of the population and therefore does not represent a serious danger to the general public.“

The lock down was based on non peer reviewed information from Imperial college. If you feel this is correct way to proceed then you will no doubt agree with the maths of Michael Mann.

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 15, 2020 3:02 am

there are 20-60,000 deaths a month from flu every year- no lock down.

All indications from all non lock down countries that this is not a cause for lock down.

We already know cases of corona have been misattributed by up to 50%.

“The Hamburg health authority now has test-positive deaths examined by forensic medicine in order to count only „real“ corona deaths. As a result, the number of deaths has already been reduced by up to 50% compared to the official figures of the Robert Koch Institute”

Steve Oregon
April 14, 2020 11:21 am

Obviously the reported cases are not the number of infected. Of course we’ll never know that number. For the same reason the yearly influenza cases has to be presumed with models. Presumptions that are certainly suspect. And I am mostly addressing the USA.
There has been a lot of the same kind of guesswork going on with COVID.
As the guesses keep getting revised down from earlier predictions, we seem to be getting told that no matter how far off the predictions were we still needed the same over reaction.
How does that make sense?
I reckon if one just doesn’t bother to consider the devastation to businesses, families and entire systems then it doesn’t matter.
Then it’s a blind reaction. One size fits all, shut everything down the same as in New York.
The CDC fall report on the 2017-2018 flu season says 80,000 died with significant pediatric mortality as well.
There were 900,00 hospitalizations, supplies ran short and officials feared a second spike that would overwhelm facilities.
Sound familiar?
Yet there was no shut down, no quarantining, no school closures and no disabling of our economy.
Let alone the severe crippling we are seeing now.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Steve Oregon
April 14, 2020 10:08 pm

In response to Steve Oregon, the reason why governments decided to act was that in the three weeks preceding Mr Trump’s declaration of a national emergency the reported cases had been increasing in the world outside China and occupied Tibet at a rate of almost 20% per day compound. That could not be allowed to continue. Now that lockdowns have largely done their work, more and more countries are relaxing their control measures, for no government will want to keep restrictions in place for a moment longer than necessary.

April 14, 2020 11:27 am

Population numbers are fairly accurate and so are deaths caused by covid-19. Publish those numbers together. Everything else is statistical busywork of pretend-importance right now.

Daryl M
Reply to  CKMoore
April 14, 2020 12:00 pm

What is considered to be a death caused by covid-19 is subjective. For example, in Italy, almost all of the morbidities had multiple co-morbidities. In other words, it’s not clear if they died because of the virus or because of one of their other co-morbidities.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Daryl M
April 14, 2020 10:12 pm

In response to Daryl M, in most cases where comorbidities are present it is clear that death was precipitated by the additional stress caused by the virus. Such deaths are properly recorded as deaths caused by the virus.

Working Dog
Reply to  CKMoore
April 14, 2020 2:38 pm

Population numbers we can agree on. However, if you read the instructions from CDC regarding death certs, deaths “from” or “with” Wuhan Acquired Respiratory Syndrome can be either “assumed” or “suspected”.



We will see in a year or so, but I suspect that the WARS numbers will prove to be inflated substantially given the majority of the at risk population (eg. old, obese, unhealthy, etc.).

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Working Dog
April 14, 2020 10:14 pm

In response to Working Dog, those who are obese are not at particularly greater risk of mortality from the Chinese virus, according to the first study of intensive-are outcomes in Britain.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  CKMoore
April 14, 2020 10:10 pm

In response to Mr Moore, in Britain there is some evidence that deaths are being under-reported by somewhere between 20% and 100%. And expressing deaths as a fraction of population during the early stages of a pandemic is meaningless. One must instead try to estimate how quickly the fatalities will accumulate, and take steps to prevent widespread death.

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 15, 2020 2:03 am

and evidence that deaths are being misattributed.

“An important distinction concerns the question of whether people die with or indeed from coronaviruses. Autopsies show that in many cases the previous illnesses were an important or decisive factor, but the official figures usually do not reflect this”

Ian Coleman.
April 14, 2020 11:30 am

The mortality rate of COVID-19 as a general population number is of only limited practical value. What is the mortality rate of COVID-19 for people aged 20 to 40? Probably quite low, and comparable to the seasonal flu.

It is absurd that we measure the damage done by a disease and refuse to speak of mortality rates in reference to age. For example, lung cancer is extremely rare in the young. This is why smoking in youth is a defensible choice. In young people, smoking is pleasant and the harms to health are mild and rare.

Remember when Mr. Trudeau had that big freak-out about the young people ignoring social quarantine rules and partying on the beach? “You’re not invincible,” he thundered. Actually, they mostly were, as the Prime Minster knew well because Mrs. Prime Minister was enduring only mild discomfort from COVID-19 at that point.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Ian Coleman.
April 14, 2020 10:16 pm

In response to Mr Coleman, responsible governments consider it their duty to protect the old and infirm as well as the young. A young person may not himself suffer if he contracts the infection, but he can pass it on to an old person and cause that old person’s death.

April 14, 2020 11:30 am

The disease will not be arrested by data, tests, vaccines, or respirators. Treatment is what is needed. Early treatment; before the onset of lung and heart damage. HCQ has been shown to be both effective and safe in that regard, with demonstrated mortality rates of zero. Access to that medicine is restricted due to Trump Derangement Syndrome.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Chazz
April 14, 2020 10:19 pm

In response to Chazz, hydroxychloroquinone is available on prescription, because in some patients there are strong side-effects. Aside from the requirement for prescription, the medication’s availability is limited only by the rate at which it can be supplied. India, for instance, was the world’s largest supplier, but has restricted exports of HxCQ.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Chazz
April 15, 2020 6:48 am

“HCQ has been shown to be both effective and safe in that regard, with demonstrated mortality rates of zero.”

This is fake news.
100% false and fake.
In the year 2020, fake news can k!ll.
Why on Earth would you make such an unfounded statement when people’s lives are ending day after day by the thousands?
You are actively touting as safe and 100% effective, a drug which has killed many people all around the world in recent days, and is nothing like 100% effective in patients receiving it.
It is beginning to appear that it may well turn out to be the case that more people die who take than who do not.
Which is not at all unusual when people take a drug for a purpose for which no scientific data exists to recommend it.
In fact, it has always been known to be a highly cytotoxic substance which has a very narrow therapeutic window. What that means in plain English is, the amount that will k!ll a person is very close to the amount needed to have any potential therapeutic effect.
Funny thing about things that are not true…repeating them will convince more and more people that it is true, but the repetition will not change the falsehood into a truth.

*In the year 2020, fake news can k!ll.*

People on the internet and on blogs are spreading deadly misinformation.
It needs to stop.
It is bordering on a psychosis at this point.

> In the US, the FAA has banned any pilots from flying within 48 hours of using any chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine drugs. Active pilots are directed that use of either drug is disqualifying:
“Use of chloroquine or hydroxychloroquine to prevent coronavirus infection is disqualifying while on the medication and for 48 hours after the last dose before reporting for flight or other safety related duties,” a new FAA directive says.”
“Chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine were both reviewed by the FAA Federal Air Surgeon when they entered the market and have long been considered generally incompatible for those performing safety related aviation duties,” the agency said.”
>The CIA, “has quietly warned its employees against using the drug unless prescribed by medical professionals “as part of ongoing investigational studies,” because “there are potentially significant side effects, including sudden cardiac death.”
*Note some of the text in the following items has been translated by my web browser to English*
> So far, hospitals in Sweden have stopped using it after numerous dangerous and adverse side effects impacted patients.
“Poison Information Centre: “One pill can kill””
>Doctors in China are reporting that all use in that country has been halted in regular care hospital settings, and it is not being given to anyone on an outpatient basis at all.
Here is the latest news of a study from China, in addition to the Wuhan ER doctors who have stated hospitals in China stopped using it when it became clear it was too dangerous and no evidence of efficacy had been shown:
“The pill did not help patients clear the virus better than standard care and was much more likely to cause side effects, according to a study of 150 hospitalised patients by doctors at 16 centres in China. The research, which has not been peer-reviewed, was released on Tuesday (April 14).”
>Brazil has halted usage and shut down a trial after numerous adverse events and 11 deaths.
“The study was broken down into two groups. One group was slated to receive 600-milligram doses of chloroquine twice daily for 10 days and the other group was due to receive 450-milligram doses twice on the first day and then once a day after that.
By the sixth day, 11 of the 81 total enrolled patients had died.”

>France has warned that the drugs is showing an alarming risk of cardiac events:
“About 100 cases of adverse events have been reported in relation to drugs used in patients infected with COVID-19, including 82 serious cases, including 4 deaths. The majority of reported adverse events are split in half between lopinavir-ritonavir and hydroxychoroquine. Most of the observed effects are known and described in the literature and in the records and CPR (summary of the characteristics of the product) of the drugs: hepatotoxicity, nephrotoxicity, retinal disorders, cardiovascular disorders in particular.

The existence of these cardiovascular risks led us to set up a second survey, conducted by the CRPV of Nice, dedicated to these particular events.

53 cases of cardiac side effects were analysed, including 43 cases with hydroxychloroquine, alone or in association (particularly with azithromycin). They are categorized into three categories: 7 cases of sudden death, 3 of which are “recovered” by external electric shock, a dozen electrocardiographic rhythm disorders or cardiac symptoms evoking them as syncope, and conduction disorders including longer QT intervals, favorable evolution after discontinuation of treatment.

This first assessment shows that the risks, particularly cardiovascular, associated with these treatments are present and potentially increased in patients of COVID-19. Almost all of the declarations come from health facilities. Unauthorized prescription in the city is likely to explain the near absence of reporting in this area, although cases of prescriptions or self-prescriptions by doctors have been reported.

This information, taking into account the under-reporting of side effects, which is usual, and probably accentuated in this period of high tension in hospital services, is an important signal. This is why the ANSM reminds that these drugs should be used only in the hospital, under close medical supervision within the framework set by the High Council of Public Health.”


>Germany has warned on the drug, and has categorically advised not to use with the Z-Pak drug:

>Danish Medicines Agency has warned:
“The Danish Medicines Agency is following international research closely. At present, there are not enough scientific studies to draw any conclusions on the effect of chloroquine and hydroxychloroquine on COVID-19.”

That is what one finds when one searches for the latest news from around the world on these drugs used for this disease.
And it is by no means all such news emerging.
People promoting this drug might well succeed in getting the Democrats elected this fall.
Except for a handful of hucksters, the news is all bad.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 15, 2020 9:22 am

“…killed many people around the world in recent days…” Your linked citations do not support this claim. Please provide a link to reputable statistics showing deaths due to Plaquenil (HCQ) treatment provided under medical supervision.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Chazz
April 16, 2020 4:06 am

“…53 cases of cardiac side effects were analysed, including 43 cases with hydroxychloroquine, alone or in association (particularly with azithromycin). They are categorized into three categories: 7 cases of sudden death, 3 of which are “recovered” by external electric shock, a dozen electrocardiographic rhythm disorders or cardiac symptoms evoking them as syncope, and conduction disorders including longer QT intervals, favorable evolution after discontinuation of treatment.”

I have no idea what part of “7 cases of sudden death” is unclear to you.
The case for these drugs is getting weaker with every report.

A C Osborn
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 16, 2020 1:30 pm

That is not what that data says, you are implying it.
All of those sudden deaths could have been in the 10 cases that were not being given HCQ.
How many had cardio vascular desease before getting COVID19?
What is the rate of Cardiac Arrest in all cases of COVID19?
Pretty high by the look of it.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Chazz
April 15, 2020 6:58 am

My longer comment with links and quotes went into moderation, so I will post this part of it in the mean time:
““HCQ has been shown to be both effective and safe in that regard, with demonstrated mortality rates of zero.”

This is fake news.
100% false and fake.
In the year 2020, fake news can k!ll.
Why on Earth would you make such an unfounded statement when people’s lives are ending day after day by the thousands?
You are actively touting as safe and 100% effective, a drug which has k!lled many people all around the world in recent days, and is nothing like 100% effective in patients receiving it.
It is beginning to appear that it may well turn out to be the case that more people d!e who take than who do not.
Which is not at all unusual when people take a drug for a purpose for which no scientific data exists to recommend it.
In fact, it has always been known to be a highly cytotoxic substance which has a very narrow therapeutic window. What that means in plain English is, the amount that will k!ll a person is very close to the amount needed to have any potential therapeutic effect.
Funny thing about things that are not true…repeating them will convince more and more people that it is true, but the repetition will not change the falsehood into a truth.

*In the year 2020, fake news can k!ll.*

People on the internet and on blogs are spreading de@dly misinformation.
It needs to stop.
It is bordering on a psychosis at this point.
Stick to the truth.
The drugs are being tested.
Numerous safety concerns are known, and instances of adverse events are occurring, including numerous f@talities.

I am starting to wonder if some of the people spreading this fake news are trolls doing everything they can to harm Trump and the prospects for conservative victories in November.
One thing is for sure, associating a politician with something that may end up being shown to have ended many lives and kept people away from safer and more promising treatments, is an incredibly foolish gambit.

April 14, 2020 11:33 am

The thymus and its T cells play a decisive role in recognizing and defending against a new type of virus. Unfortunately, after the age of 60, the thymus disappears. That is why the new virus is so destructive to people over this age.
T-cells (sometimes called T-lymphocytes and often named in lab reports as CD3 cells) are another type of immune cell. T-cells directly attack cells infected with viruses, and they also act as regulators of the immune system.

“T-cells develop from hematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow but complete their development in the thymus. The thymus is a specialized organ of the immune system in the chest. Within the thymus, immature lymphocytes develop into mature T-cells (the “T” stands for the thymus) and T-cells with the potential to attack normal tissues are eliminated. The thymus is essential for this process, and T-cells cannot develop if the fetus does not have a thymus. Mature T-cells leave the thymus and populate other organs of the immune system, such as the spleen, lymph nodes, bone marrow and blood.”
The fact that young people are more resistant to SARS-Cov-2 is proof that we are dealing with a new type of virus.

Reply to  ren
April 14, 2020 12:02 pm

The thymus shrinks with age, it doesn’t disappear. It can be restored with zinc. Use a zinc supplement that has good absorbability (zinc oxide is about worthless).

Restoration of the thymus in aging mice by in vivo zinc supplementation

Reply to  icisil
April 14, 2020 2:21 pm

I think mine disappeared. That, or I can’t remember where I put it. I think maybe it’s partying with some of my missing socks.

Joel O'Bryan
Reply to  icisil
April 14, 2020 9:04 pm

Zinc…. LOL. 27 year old study in mice. Good for a belly laugh, ICISIL.

If there had been anything to that in humans, groups would have reported on that by now. No one reports negative results.
If you want to spur your immune system and T cells, then Calorie Restriction is the proven method in humans and primates and mice. One day every week, fast on nothing but water to stay hydrated. Your immune function after a few months of a one day a week fast, including T cell responsiveness, will be markedly enhanced.

Another proven way to enhance thymic function and thymic output of T cells in men is castration (removal of testosterone). But that has other not-so-nice side-effects for most guys ‘cept maybe for Caitlin Jenner and Chelsea Manning.

Mike O
April 14, 2020 11:33 am

Am I wrong and thinking that having the new cases and deaths reach a peak on the same day in the US (April 10th), that this is an indication that we have dramatically improved clinical outcomes over the last 4 weeks? With a 20 day lag between initial positive test and death for those who are chosen, you would expect to see the peak of cases on the 10th followed by a peak of deaths 20 days (or so) later. Having the peaks coincide strongly indicates that treatments have rapidly advanced to the point where maybe a 3% mortality has declined to .1% just among those actually being counted/tested.

Have I missed something?

Reply to  Mike O
April 14, 2020 11:39 am

No, most countries are the same, as deaths follow testing very closely – R2 of 0.8. I think its because most deaths are “with” not “by” so in most cases there is little delay between testing and death.

That also means the deaths will not fall in a class infection pattern, but have a “sloping shoulder”.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Mike O
April 14, 2020 10:21 pm

Mike O has indeed missed something. More than 2400 people died of the Chinese virus in the United States on April 14 – a new peak. To avoid the obsession with peaks and fluctuations, the graphs in the head posting are seven-day smoothed. That gives a fairer idea of the direction of travel.

April 14, 2020 11:36 am

What we actually need to know is how many of the deaths are actually caused by the virus? Until we know that, we have no idea whether even one person has actually been killed by it, or whether we simply measuring the spread of an infection.

It is extraordinary that we are taking such extreme and damaging measures without governments (part from Germany) bothering to find out how many people are actually having their lives shortened and by how much.

This is a virus that apparently, and inexplicably kills virtually no children and significantly discriminates between men and women, yet we keep running numbers as if it does not.

At least 90% of people in the UK who have died are over 65. A majority are over 80, which given an average life expectancy of 83 means most of those are not losing many years, if any at all. It is these figures that determine whether this is actually serious or not. For the vast majority of the 7 billion people in the world this is simply a tiny increase in risk, if any increase at all.

So lets drop the nonsense and look at what is actually happening – elderly, ill people are dying, not children, not teenagers, not young adults. We need to understand whether this is taking ten years or ten days from the old.

Reply to  Phoenix44
April 14, 2020 12:57 pm

Discriminates by race, too. Blacks in the US are significantly more impacted than whites, but they also are more hypertensive and diabetic.

I’m looking at the first autopsy series from New Orleans: 4 decedents, all black, all class 2-3 obese, all had hypertension controlled by meds, 3 had insulin-dependent type 2 diabetes, 2 had chronic kidney disease (stages 2 and 3), and one was on cancer chemotherapy. Sounds like they were already pretty unhealthy people.

Peter Barrett
Reply to  Phoenix44
April 14, 2020 2:21 pm

A UK resident reaching the age of 80 years has an average further life expectancy of seven years, not three, regardless of medical conditions. It is unfortunate when discussing end of life that longevity and expectancy are wrongly conflated.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Phoenix44
April 14, 2020 10:25 pm

In response to Phoenix44, responsible governments do not consider that they should allow their hospital systems to be overwhelmed by large numbers of elderly or infirm people requiring complex, advanced, prolonged intensive-care treatment. It is for that reason, above all, that governments with particularly rapid daily case-growth rates, such as Britain and parts of the United States, introduced temporary lockdowns.

It is not only lockdowns that have an economic cost. The economic cost of the societal breakdown consequent upon the collapse of the hospital system could have been a great deal worse.

April 14, 2020 11:38 am

The death numbers at this point in time are essentially meaningless because some percentage of mortality has almost certainly been caused by the early, high PEEP intubation of patients whose physiological conditions didn’t warrant such a dangerous and invasive procedure. Whether that percentage is large or small, no one can say at the moment, but part of doctors’ rationale for doing so suggests that it might be a large number. That rationale being, fear-driven concern for health workers’safety taking precedence over patients’ well-being. For example:

Yesterday, an ED doc says “if they don’t do well with 6 liters by NC [high flow nasal cannula], we tube them. Not risking exposing staff to aerosolization with higher flow O2.” oy…


What we are witnessing is a controversy and paradigm shift in medicine that pits those who base treatments on patients’ physiological conditions (doesn’t make sense to tube them when they don’t present like they need tubing) against those who base treatments solely on establishment protocols (the numbers say tube ’em, so we tube ’em).

This is a kind of disease in which you don’t have to follow the protocol-you have to follow the physiology,” Gattinoni said. “Unfortunately, many, many doctors around the world cannot think outside the protocol

<What disease are we treating?

Reply to  icisil
April 14, 2020 12:14 pm

This from a distinguished professor of Pulmonary/critical care exactly validates what
@cameronks had to take to Youtube so others would listen.

Tobin: “The surest way to increase #COVID19 mortality is liberal use of intubation and mechanical ventilation.”


Mike O
Reply to  icisil
April 14, 2020 12:16 pm

The recognition that there are two ways that the disease manifests in the lungs seems to be a big breakthrough. The first is like ARDS (Type H)and is amenable to treatment like ARDS including intubation and ventilation. The second is not like ARDS (Type L), but has been treated the same as if it were. The Type L patients are not helped by being on ventilators and it may be detrimental. Interestingly, the proportions of Type H are about 20 – 30% of patients which might be helped by ventilators. Coincidentally, about 20 – 30% of people put on ventilators survive.


Mike O
Reply to  icisil
April 14, 2020 12:17 pm

Sorry, just watched the video. They cover the same points as my previous comment.

Reply to  Mike O
April 14, 2020 12:27 pm

No need to be sorry. Interesting link. Thank you.

Reply to  Mike O
April 14, 2020 1:12 pm

Using a preset protocol on a ventilator is easy. To program a ventilator for an individual patient’s con dition is not trivial. The programming requires the knowledge of a pulmonologist, a knowledgeable life support equipment technician familiar with the particular ventilator, and an anaesthesiologist.

Reply to  icisil
April 14, 2020 1:02 pm

CYA medicine. Need to look carefully at Vital Sign Monitor trends, lab tests, then decide, then do it all over again after a set time. Could also be a cases of some GP’s working as pulmonologists, not enough Vital Sign Monitors, not enough lab tests, not enough patient monitoring, no oxygen administering equipment, ETC, ETC. The default is CYA medicine, one shoe fits all protocol.

Reply to  otsar
April 14, 2020 1:48 pm

This is likely exacerbated by a large dose of defensive medicine to protect against future malpractice lawsuits. Following established protocol / standards of care provides a pretty good defense against liability. Deviating from established protocols is more problematic. It also does not help that medicate compensation is substantially higher for intubated patients. While I doubt that many physicians are influenced by this, I suspect that health care systems are.

We need more data on what treatments work, and for which patients.

Jeffery P
April 14, 2020 11:43 am

It’s impossible to estimate the actual death rate.

_We don’t know the true number of deaths from Covid-19 (as opposed to with Covid-19).
_We don’t know the actual number of infected. For most, symptoms are mild or non-existent. Perhaps 90% of the actual cases are unreported.

For accurate estimates, a large population sample needs testing.

Reply to  Jeffery P
April 14, 2020 12:42 pm

The company i work for is going crazy about social distancing.

Yet I know a coworker who recently was sick and the recovered from confirmed cvd-19. The company has gone nuts fussing over this guy.

But another coworker recently had what she referred to as a ‘mild cold’. No one said anything, she wasn’t tested, she did not see a doctor, everyone carried on like there was nothing to worry about because she called it a cold. Her sickness went unrecorded.

Clearly none of these people know that cvd-19 is a cold virus and she could easily had cvd-19.

One of my coworkers even has a PhD in science and he didn’t question it either. Its the weirdest thing.

Daryl M
April 14, 2020 11:47 am

You’re conflating case fatality rate and infection fatality rate. They are not the same. A “case” is someone who tested positive. By definition, if a person who got infected, but didn’t get tested, that person will not be counted as a case. Many people (perhaps most people) who have COVID-19 will never be tested because they either have no symptoms or their symptoms are mild or indistinguishable from a common cold or influenza. The only number that really matters is the infection fatality rate. This number could easily be 10x smaller than the case fatality rate.

Here is a good reference that explains the difference between CFR and IFR: https://www.virology.ws/2020/04/05/infection-fatality-rate-a-critical-missing-piece-for-managing-covid-19/

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Daryl M
April 14, 2020 11:02 pm

A fair point: one should indeed distinguish between the fatality rate as a fraction of reported cases and the fatality rate as a fraction of all infections whether reported or not. If my nomenclature was adrift, I trust that my meaning was not.

Will Jones
April 14, 2020 11:51 am

There are already a number of studies on this including using antibody testing, most recently a Danish study also one from Colorado. This article should refer to those, not just feature more of the writer’s back of envelope calculations.

Jerry Kirkpatrick
April 14, 2020 11:52 am

Bjorn Lomborg tweeted recently: ” A Danish study of 1,487 blood donors found the corona fatality rate to be 0.16%.” https://translate.google.com/translate?sl=auto&tl=en&u=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dr.dk%2Fnyheder%2Findland%2Fdoedelighed-skal-formentlig-taelles-i-promiller-danske-blodproever-kaster-nyt-lys (Google translate works reasonably!)

April 14, 2020 11:56 am

Well, Dread Lord Monckton, (My name is Allen Stoner II) since you seem to give a damn about my identity.
What ever the infection fatality ratio, shutting down and destroying tens of trillions of dollars of potential wealth creation to save lives seems to be the wrong way to save lives. It is a virus, slow it down today and it still gets you tomorrow. Net saved lives, 0. We will not have a vaccine for quite some time. Thus, you are not going to really prevent anyone from getting sick with it from the shut down. Swine flu ran through the population and is now just another number in the hundreds or thousands of strains that cause the flu. It kills primarily CHILDREN FOR GODS SAKE and no shut down. Every child that dies is equal to 10 to 20 elderly who die on a life year basis. No shut down.
In the United States for example, 2.2 trillion in shut down stimuless and about 5.6 trillion estimated economic damage an infection fatality ratio of 1% is 3.3 million. Anyone actually believe this is possible? Stimuless alone is still $666,666 per life, and we are not going to save them all! $2.3 million per life with economic losses combined. Who here thinks there is a risk of 3.3 million American lives after watching the first 4 months of the disease take out about 22,500? Any takers? NO? One would think not. Even at this ridiculously high death number the shut down is not worth doing.
Now, if it is 0.1% multiply those costs by 10. And remember, we are not saving all those lives. SO these numbers are extremely conservative.
What is more likely is that this is about as deadly overall as H1N1, around 0.02%. It just seems deadly as no one is immune to it. And instead of killing children it kills nearly dead old people. Saving months per life saved rather than decades. My guess is it comes in under 0.03% Infection Fatality Ratio once this is 3 years in the past and all the studies have real world numbers to look at. At 0.03% which comes in under 100,000 lives. $76 million per life. And guess what, we are probably going to actually see somewhere around 40,000 dead by summer, another 5,000 dead over the summer and another 30,000 dead next fall. So we are really saving 25,000 lives if we are saving any at all. Again, all near deaths door saving months per life rather than decades other causes of death cause. That comes out to $304,000,000 dollars per life saved.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  astonerii
April 14, 2020 10:38 pm

In response to Mr Stoner, the words “my guess” occur in his posting. And that is just the point. From his armchair he can afford to guess and whinge and demand this, that or the other thing. Responsible governments, however, have to try to keep things running on the basis of information that, in the early stages of a pandemic, is always going to be deficient. But one thing that caused the governments on both sides of the Atlantic to take a less relaxed view than Mr Stoner was the daily compound case growth rate, which in the three weeks before Mr Trump declared a national emergency was above the global average of almost 20% both in the UK and in the US. They could not afford to take the risk of allowing that growth rate to continue, so they intervened.

Unfortunately, they intervened belatedly. It is advisable to be activist during the very early stages of a pandemic, since the earlier the intervention the less economically intrusive it needs to be. On both sides of the Atlantic, the passivists and do-little merchants prevailed for too long. South Korea, on the other hand, acted very promptly and avoided a nationwide lockdown altogether.

Now that the numbers are beginning to come under control – in Britain, the mean person-to-person contact rate has fallen by 85-95% as a result of the lockdown, greatly reducing the speed of transmission and saving the hospitals from meltdown – it will soon be possible to relax the restrictions that would not have been needed if governments had acted far, far sooner than they did.

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 15, 2020 9:01 am

If we look at the 15% as realistic right now, the fact that many if not most carriers have no symptoms, explain to me exactly what early measures would have prevented this disease from spreading widely and quickly through the populations? My guess, is nothing short of absolute and total lock down would work. Something that is not happening and has never happened, not even in China, who wisely saw the flaw in their response and reopened for business, and then went on a propaganda war against the world simultaneously deflecting blame from themselves and corrupting idiots and using useful idiots (not sure which one you are anymore) to cause the rest of the world to follow through on their mistake and destroy themselves.
That there is the crux. Your argument that early lock downs would have worked, but the facts do not bear that argument out in the least. In order for Sweden to fail in remaining open is if they have at least 6 times as many deaths per million population as we have. Because the models without social distancing indicate they should come in at 18,000 deaths. If they come in at around 2250, which I will put as my bet for the end of July, it tells me that they won the shut down versus open model and you and your activist cohorts are to blame for the tens of trillions in lost world economic output and the deaths that poverty and unemployment causes. My guess is that like all tyrants, you will not accept the deaths that are the result of your favored activist policy.

Tim Bidie
April 14, 2020 12:04 pm

Only 19 people in the London Nightingale Hospital over the weekend.

Total death rate in Britain for 2020 only 1% or so above the five year average.

Mortality by age plumb normal.

We only went in to lockdown because ‘Le Banquier’ across the channel threatened to close France off if Britain did not follow France in locking down.

Sweden is a standing reproof to the rest of Europe’s spineless leaders, and an exemplar of certain reforms that we badly need in this country.

Reply to  Tim Bidie
April 14, 2020 12:34 pm


I decided to check your claim and you are absolutely right


It seems that other London trusts have some capacity


TC in the OC
Reply to  Tonyb
April 14, 2020 1:20 pm

My daughter (ER Doctor) had told me on 4/8 that she was not very busy at work and knew of other doctors having shifts cancelled or hours reduced. Also because the stoppage of elective surgeries has freed up most beds in the hospitals there is not a shortage of beds or supplies. Unless the hospital is in a hot zone their employment is being hurt by the lock down like all other sectors.


Reply to  Tonyb
April 14, 2020 1:24 pm

In SW London (my area, two large hospitals nearby) there is no critical shortage of hospital beds but there is critical shortage of medics to provide the essential coverage, even with the 12h long shifts. There is no point of taking an elderly patient from a care home bed to to be placed in a hospital bed, since there is no treatment and few available oxygen machines (again critical shortage) are taken up by normally physically stronger or younger patients. In another London hospital 50% of a CV ward is taken-up by the infected medics.

Tim Bidie
Reply to  Vuk
April 14, 2020 10:47 pm

It is very easy to miss the point here.

The point is: mortality from all causes for 2020 is still lower than for 2018 for the same period. That may change in the next couple of weeks, but not materially; so the analysis (by so many experienced epidemiologists) of ‘2020 is just like a bad influenza year’ (albeit a different virus, more like the common cold(!))is, surprise, proving to be spot on.

The NHS suffered staff shortages in 2018, cancelled routine operations in 2018, for exactly the same reasons.


A. Why was England not better prepared in 2020 after the experience of 2018?

B. Why did we think a lockdown would be a good idea this year, based on a completely ‘batty’ model?

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Tonyb
April 14, 2020 10:43 pm

In response to TonyB, let us hope that the emergency hospitals do not fill up with patients. The whole purpose of the lockdown was to make sure that they should not fill up. Therefore, to imply that the lockdown was unnecessary because the emergency hospitals are not yet full is bizarre. Applying Occam’s razor, it is more likely that the emergency hospitals are not yet full because the greatly reduced person-to-person contact rate achieved chiefly thanks to the lockdown has slowed the spread of the infection enough to allow the hospitals to cope. And a good thing too.

Reply to  Tim Bidie
April 14, 2020 1:25 pm

Tim B,

The many differences in population demographics between Stockholm and London have been discussed at length on previous posts from CoB.

How can you continue to pretend these differences don’t exist? Better yet, how can you be certain the disasters of Italy and Spain would not have prevailed in England, absent containment efforts?

Tim Bidie
Reply to  RobR
April 14, 2020 10:30 pm

You are correct. There are so many differences in so many Covid 19 numbers, lacking any international standards for such things (a task that the W.H.O. could usefully have performed) that considering them is almost completely pointless.

Except for one metric: mortality from all causes.

From the British Office of National Statistics, for the week ending 03 April, deaths from all causes were 16,387. That is 6,000 above the five year average for that particular week.

To put that in perspective, 15,000 died in week 2 of 2018 and 14,000 in week 2 of 2020

Added to which, 17 out of the last 18 weeks of 2019 had been above the five year average but, before the week ending 03 April 2020, all deaths for 2020 were cumulatively about 4,000 below the five year average.

The distribution of deaths by age groups appears to be pretty much plumb normal.

Deaths for 2020 now running at perhaps 1% or so above the five year average for the year so far.

That is excellent news. Now let’s just get back to work, as they are in sensible Sweden.

Oh, and in Britain, as they do in Sweden, let’s have an independent health authority, and education authority and so on and so forth……..

Most things, including this site, work better without politics.

monckton of brenchley
Reply to  Tim Bidie
April 14, 2020 10:40 pm

Mr Bidie continues to make the elementary mistake of comparing the death rate during the early stages of a pandemic with the known annual mortality rates. Any such comparison will inevitably make the pandemic seem less serious than it is, but no responsible government would monkey with the statistics in that way. A lot more people will be killed by this virus before the pandemic is over. Only then would such comparisons yield useful and honest information.

Tim Bidie
Reply to  monckton of brenchley
April 15, 2020 12:50 am

As Badger, shaking his head, slowly, solemnly, announced to Mole

‘The jury is already in, and that’s a fact, and no mistake!’

April 14, 2020 12:39 pm

Lord moctkton stay away from things you know nothing about coronaviruses or Sweden had 17 deaths of old people today with no lockdown compared with all european countries with lockdowns andmore deaths your are a pompous British old style git but you are wonderful with maths stick to that and AGW people may watch your stuff in the future

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Eliza
April 14, 2020 10:48 pm

Eliza, who knows nothing about epidemiology, falsely imagines that I know nothing about it. However, governments in most countries have accepted advice from those of us who, with long experience of modeling and handling epidemics at government level, know the value of acting decisively and quickly to prevent a new and fatal pandemic from spreading too fast for the hospitals to handle it.

Now that the pandemic is coming under control, thanks to the lockdowns in those countries that needed them, it will soon be possible to relax the lockdowns and gradually return to normal life. Had governments acted more quickly, as South Korea did, lockdowns could have been avoided.

Eliza is out of her depth here, and would be better not being rude about those of us who have a considerably greater knowledge and experience in government than she. Responsible governments cannot afford to indulge petulance such as hers. Lives are at stake.

April 14, 2020 12:44 pm

WUWT really has to rethink if The “lord” should be allowed post anything about viruses which he knows nothing about! let him post about AGW as much as he wants

Greg Goodman
Reply to  Eliza
April 14, 2020 1:33 pm

Agreed, he recently promised he would only be posting twice a week now, but it seems more like twice a day.

Apart from acting as a coat peg for others to share other useful information, his posts serve little purpose. His headline graphs tell us next to nothing.

… in the direction of levels at which it might become safe to end the lockdowns

So far despite several requests on my part he has been unable to say exactly what these numbers mean quantitatively. After originally claiming they should go negative ( which he later had to retract when I pointed out that would never happen ) , he walked it back to “close to zero” which just means it’s all over, now it is “levels at which” : an expression so totally vague and imprecise that it is meaningless.

Time for him to admit he has no understanding and his supposedly world class graph for policymakers is a useless metric.

The eloquent Baron of BS falls flat on his skinny butt once again.

When is this going to be enough?

Reply to  Greg Goodman
April 14, 2020 7:04 pm

He is eloquent and dogged in the pursuit of his objective(s). These are the qualities needed to stalk the corridors of power and, by coincidence, to be a snake-oil salesman.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Alex
April 14, 2020 10:58 pm

In response to Alex, I am not selling anything, and nobody pays me. And, like it or not, governments are overwhelmingly taking the advice of those of us who, from long experience, know that acting decisively in the early stages of a pandemic of unknown characteristics is, in the long run, not only the more humane option but economically the best option too.

I make allowances, when listening to some of the often venomous whining here, for the fact that the whingers are not being heeded in the corridors of power and are annoyed about that.

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 15, 2020 5:04 am

You are an educated man and know full well what I meant. Selling figuratively rather than literally with a quid pro quo outcome.
You have a classical education and have been a government adviser and I’m sure that you were honest and had the best interests of the government in mind. I say government rather than the people because you can’t please everybody. You would have generated proposals that would have had limited options of action. You can’t give politicians too many options because they vacillate and can’t make a decision. You had to be firm in your convictions or you wouldn’t be taken seriously. I get that.
Svante Arrhenius wrote a paper about the effects of CO2. It was based on experimental data of another person. Svante dismissed some of the data because it didn’t fit with some calculations. He does not hide this fact in the paper. I never finished reading the paper. How is it possible to take any conclusions of the paper seriously?
In a similar way, I can’t take your essays/papers about Covid19 seriously. I have doubts about your objectivity. You are very emotional with your rhetoric about Communist China, particularly the leadership. I can’t be certain whether the data you obtain is presented in an emotional or in an objective manner.
I don’t know whether the whingers and whiners, you refer to, are jealous of you or not. I, for one, have no interest in influencing politicians at the moment. A pointless exercise. I will be waiting for it all to blow over, which it will inevitably do. The sitting members will be dislocating their shoulders patting themselves on the back for a job well done. When it comes time for re-election I want them unseated.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Greg Goodman
April 14, 2020 10:55 pm

Mere yah-boo from the poisonous Greg Goodman, who, as usual, has absolutely nothing constructive, useful or informative to offer. Let him gnash his dentures in the wilderness: it is those of us who have advocated determined action to prevent an unacceptable rate of growth in transmission who have been heeded by governments.

As for the graphs showing the daily case-growth and death-growth rates, they do show – as I had hoped they would show – that the lockdowns are working and the daily growth rates are declining.

And if Mr Goodman thinks these daily updates are too frequent, there is a simple solution to that. He need not read them. This is not a Communist country. There is no obligation to read what he does not like.

But perhaps he has nothing better to do with his life than to sit in his threadbare armchair and whine futilely. How very sad.

Reply to  Eliza
April 14, 2020 1:44 pm

Outbreaks and Investigations
Remember—there are no medications or vaccines to protect us. Physical separation is the best way to stop this virus from spreading further.

Here’s what we are asking:

Stay at home.
Limit your physical interactions to the same people during this time. Less than five people total will help us stop the virus from spreading.
Keep at least 6 feet apart from others and avoid direct physical contact.
Limit the amount of time you spend making essential trips to the grocery store or to pick up medication.
Make essential trips no more than once a week.
And stay in touch over the phone with your family and friends as much as possible. We all need support through this time.
Wash your hands often with soap and water.

Reply to  Eliza
April 14, 2020 1:58 pm

yep have to agree. It feels forced and weirdly government led.

Joe Born
Reply to  Eliza
April 14, 2020 6:27 pm

I’m afraid I disagree. However poorly reasoned his Wuhan-virus posts are, they’re relatively harmless; few look to this site for information on that subject.

But this site is taken by many as representing the caliber of skeptical thought. By providing a platform for Lord Monckton’s embarrassingly innumerate climate theories, Mr. Watts has tended to bring climate us skeptics into disrepute.

I’d be happy to let Lord Monckton mindlessly pontificate as much as he wants about epidemiology so long as he refrained from doing any more damage to skeptics’ image.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Joe Born
April 14, 2020 11:01 pm

The Born Liar reverts to type, yet again. Let him, too, whine futilely from his threadbare armchair, and tremblingly drool into his tea, while the rest of us get on with our lives. Having been caught out lying, he has been bitchy ever since.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Eliza
April 14, 2020 10:50 pm

More mere yah-boo from Eliza. The growing band of readers from round the world who find these posts informative would disagree with her. And, though I do not know which country she comes from, in the United States, where this column is hosted, there is freedom of speech, and I am exercising it. Get over it.

April 14, 2020 12:46 pm

Lord Monckton, you are confounding Infectious Fatality Rate (“IFR”) and Case Fatality Rate (“CFR”); the latter is using known cases the former the is ONLY number that really matters. The IFR<<CFR. Even a cursory explanation of the literature explains the difference.

IFR is between 0.05% and 0.35% (as per Oxford and several more recent supporting studies) and is variable depending on where you live since the virus kills almost exclusively elderly people. A US IFR of 0.17% = Italy IFR of 0.30% since Italy has more old people than the US.

Its worth pointing out that in Europe 50% of the deaths to date are in seniors facilities that lockdowns do not have any effects on viral spread.

April 14, 2020 1:30 pm

There are better studies coming out now which look at absolute risk of dying, for example here https://www.medrxiv.org/content/10.1101/2020.04.05.20054361v1
I quote, “The COVID-19 death risk in people <65 years old during the period of fatalities from the epidemic was equivalent to the death risk from driving between 9 miles per day (Germany) and 415 miles per day (New York City). People <65 years old and not having any underlying predisposing conditions accounted for only 0.3%, 0.7%, and 1.8% of all COVID-19 deaths in Netherlands, Italy, and New York City.“

There are other recent studies reporting similar numbers. Time for the fear driven speculation to stop.

William Abbott
April 14, 2020 1:38 pm

The HIV/AIDS estimate of 30 – 50 million dead is a garbage number. The deaths in Africa are the vast majority of that estimated number and there is no testing done in Africa for HIV. The tested number is best estimated at zero.

The HIV retrovirus is absolutely unique in how it kills. Unlike all other retrovirus in mortality. So unique, in fact,… well some world-class virologists like Peter Duesberg don’t think it is the cause of AIDS

Reply to  William Abbott
April 14, 2020 2:53 pm

Nor did Kary Mullis, the guy who invented PCR.

April 14, 2020 1:48 pm

Do you really think Anthony is going to censor someone because you disagree with his position.

Maybe you should try holding your breath, followed by a hunger strike.

April 14, 2020 1:50 pm

Something weird that most of the Corona deaths have been in ten, 1st world countries out of 195 countries that have the virus.

Now I can’t put my finger on it but?

Reply to  richard
April 14, 2020 2:51 pm

Age profile with associated health problems, obesity, high blood pressure , heart disease?

Reply to  Tonyb
April 14, 2020 4:02 pm

Hypertension (the highest risk category) is pretty prevalent in underdeveloped countries, but it’s typically not as well-controlled as it is in more developed countries; which means ACE inhibitor and ARB use is not as high, especially in E Asian countries where calcium channel blockers are used as the primary hypertensive treatment.

April 14, 2020 1:59 pm

(Reuters) – U.S. deaths from the novel coronavirus topped 25,700 on Tuesday, the biggest single-day increase to date, according to a Reuters tally, as officials debated how to reopen the economy without reigniting the outbreak.

The United States, with the world’s third-largest population, passed a second milestone on Tuesday with over 600,000 reported cases, three times more than any other country.

U.S. deaths rose by a record 2,082 on Tuesday with a few states yet to report. The previous record was 2,069 new deaths in a day set on April 10.

Health experts had forecast deaths would peak this week and last week but there had been hopes the worst was behind the United States when new deaths reported on Sunday and Monday were about 1,500 per day, far below last week’s running tally of roughly 2,000 deaths every 24 hours, according to a Reuters tally.

Reply to  ren
April 14, 2020 3:14 pm

“In the US, the authorities now also recommend that all test-positive deaths and even suspect cases without a positive test result be registered as „Covid deaths“. An American physician and state senator from Minnesota declared that this was tantamount to manipulation. Furthermore, there would be financial incentives for hospitals to declare patients as Covid19 “patients.

Curious George
Reply to  ren
April 14, 2020 3:48 pm

“U.S. deaths rose by a record 2,082 on Tuesday with a few states yet to report.”
Posted at 1:59 pm Tuesday. Quite a chutzpah.

Reply to  ren
April 14, 2020 5:57 pm

Someone decided they wanted more deaths, so they raided the democrat’s voter rolls.

April 14, 2020 2:11 pm

“However, if 7 billion become infected and the case fatality rate is 0.1%, 7 million people would die of the Chinese virus if no treatment or cure were found. If the case fatality rate is 1%, make that 70 million. These numbers are large enough to matter, so the random serological trials now being conducted are important. The first results should be available in a week.”

There is nothing more important than random serological trials.

I think in terms world population, you should disregard China’s 1.4 billion.
And can disregard Africa’s 1.4 billion and focus on India’s 1.4 billion.
Though I imagine Africa could have a low death, mainly because Africa is the hottest continent [continent with highest average air temperature}, but with South Africa going into winter, it’s something to watch, as is most southern region in South America.
I notice the entire world seems to be doing a lot of testing {though of course not serological testing} and such exponential growth in such global testing will reach even higher levels within a week.
It seems India in terms of global populations will provide best metric. India is very warm and has malaria, so might on low side.
And currently India has 0.3 deaths per million.
And one can easily expect more 1 per million within a year’s time period.
And I think general knowledge of danger of virus, combined with warm weather, and Malaria {not being rare} works like social distancing and “lockdowns”, or slows the spread- or see few other reasons that explain what is happening {or not happening in India}.
And it seems India {unlike Europe} is going to have a lot time, and will gaining all the knowledge of how to deal with virus. So India will be real death rate if not counting WHO’s massive screw up {or criminal behavior}.
Or you look at death from China virus and who WHO murdered.

April 14, 2020 3:13 pm

the new world of Corona, take with a pinch of salt but the MSM wrote it-


April 14, 2020 3:31 pm

A WUWT Please get rid of this insufferable pompous British git who knows nothing about viruses and has been 100% wrong about anything concerning this virus re Sweden ect

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Eliza
April 14, 2020 11:07 pm

If Eliza whined less and read more, she would have realized that throughout these postings I have drawn attention to the fact that Sweden’s numbers are falling even without a lockdown, and have discussed some of the reasons why this is the case.

Since this is a free country, if Eliza does not wish to read these posts she does not need to do so. Has she nothing better to do with her time than whine?

April 14, 2020 3:42 pm

1. ” As the mean daily compound growth rates both in total confirmed cases and in total deaths continue to drop in most countries in the direction of levels at which it might become safe to end the lockdowns (in those countries that have them), … ”

Continue to drop? Really? Some source at hand?

2. ” … one question continues to be difficult to answer. What is the true case fatality rate? In other words, what fraction of those who become infected will die? ”

Nobody knows exactly, especially all those hyperspecialists who doubt about about all numbers everywhere, and – especially here – about both total confirmed cases and total deaths, regardless who communicates them.
I have collected some numbers for Germany, the US, France, Spain and Italy since a few weeks, published daily at


For the US, the total death / total case ratio (a temporary, per se fluctuating estimate of the mortality rate) was
– on March 23: 553 / 43734 = 1.26 %
– on April 13: 23640 / 586941 = 4.03 %


The estimated mortality rate for SARS-COV-2 is, according to Worldometers, 2 %:

to be compared with 0.1 % for the seasonal flu.

The current mortality rate estimates for Italy, Spain, UK and France – based on the total death / total case ratio as well – are way higher (resp. . 13, 10.5, 13 and 11 %).

Germany is here kinda outlier with a little 2.5 %. This is certainly due to
– a far less endangered population structure, and
– a much better prepared hospital environment (though medical staffs lacked face masks and protective clothes like everywhere else).
On 15.04.2020, 0.00 @ GMT +2, the US reported 2215 new deaths (but this number is expected to still increase because daily shutdown manifestly is when California reaches 0.00 AM).

This is disturbing, because the last four new deaths reports for the US were 2035, 1830, 1528 and 1535, what had let me hope that this number would now seriously move down.

Thus my guess is that it would not be unwise to await the bear’s death before selling its skin.

J.-P. Dehottay

Reply to  Bindidon
April 14, 2020 7:38 pm

“This is disturbing, because the last four new deaths reports for the US were 2035, 1830, 1528 and 1535, what had let me hope that this number would now seriously move down.

You should not have assumed US would go down. But New York State has been decreasing, but you should not assume New York State to seriously move down within next few days. Meanwhile in less dense areas of US you should expect increases, which have been happening.
Or New York State is less far less than 1/10th of US population, and New York State considering it’s population density was quite late in getting to it’s Lock down measures. And one could imagine New York City as large explosion which went out beyond the borders of it’s State. Or New Jersey is still climbing {as are nearby States} and is probably not at it’s peak, yet.

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Bindidon
April 14, 2020 11:09 pm

If Bindidon were to read the head posting, or even just look at the pictures, he would find that the mean daily compound case-growth rates are indeed falling in most countries. Same for deaths.

April 14, 2020 4:19 pm

Found it first in a French paper:

Sandworm Blood Could Help Coronavirus Victims

Two French hospitals are poised to start experimental treatment with sandworm blood of patients suffering of respiratory problems caused by the new coronavirus.

April 14, 2020 4:34 pm

Just to throw a wrench into all of the counting, the city of New York has added 3,700 “presumed” cases to the death rolls, retroactive deaths.

Paywalled, but the headline says it all.


Reply to  Dwayne
April 14, 2020 6:09 pm

What a racket. Money must be involved. More cases = more money

New York City, already a world epicenter of the coronavirus outbreak, sharply increased its death toll by more than 3,700 victims on Tuesday, after officials said they were now including people who had never tested positive for the virus but were presumed to have died of it.

Reply to  Dwayne
April 14, 2020 6:15 pm

They were already including presumptive deaths before this last boost.

But for weeks, the Health Department also had been recording additional deaths tied to the virus, according to two people briefed on the matter. Those cases involved people who were presumed to have been infected because of their symptoms and medical history.

Reply to  Dwayne
April 14, 2020 6:16 pm

Article linked to in above article

Death Count Expected To Soar As NYC Says It Will Begin Reporting Probable COVID Deaths In Addition To Confirmed Ones

April 14, 2020 5:12 pm

How do politics affect COVID-19 death rate? The difference between Sweden and Denmark shows that the lockdown is effectively decreasing deaths. By now it is reduced with about 50%. And the difference will be greater as Sweden is lagging behind in flattening the curve. From the perspective of people density the Danish people should be more infected than those from Sweeden.
To the discussion of fatality rate. I think the German study is the most thorough, with an IFR of 0,37%. Perhaps as a zero hypothesis for a global average. Then different countries will have some variations around this value. I think measures that are taken have clear effects. Slowing down the outbreak, and flattening the curve, will reduce mortality. And it is OK to have questions about costs without those stupid arguments about old people who would not have survived the next months, nevertheless.

Reply to  nobodysknowledge
April 14, 2020 6:57 pm

The lockdown has no impact on mortality rate, but possibly on infection rate relative to the population.
The only known data is the number of confirmed cases relative to the population (“tot cases / 1 M pop”, see https://www.worldometers.info/coronavirus/#countries) :

“tot cases / 1 M pop” :
Life goes on as usual : Sweden : 1,133
Lockdown : Danemark : 1,124, Norway : 1,222

If anything, this disprove the lockdown effectiveness.

There are two other countries that are very similar and adopted opposite strategies :
– Netherlands and Belgium.

Lockdown : Belgium : 2,685
Life as usual : Netherlands : 1,600

This further confirms that lockdown is completely useless (at best), and maybe an aggravating factor.
For instance, in France, due to lockdown, most symptomatic people stay at home and most cases are treated too late, when the respiratory distress is already huge.

In France, the number of days between the daily cases peak (April 3) and the daily deaths peak (April 7) is 4 days :

Conversely, when people is treated at the early stage of the disease, the death rate is much lower.
See for instance the death rate of the IHU Méditerranée Infections here :

The medical authorities of this hospital asked anyone with the COVID-19 symptoms to come as soon as possible and get tested and possibly treated.

This is not the policy globally adopted in France, where the authorities ask people to stay at home until their case is serious so that they have to be hospitalized.

Reply to  Petit_Barde
April 14, 2020 8:04 pm

“The lockdown has no impact on mortality rate”

Well lockdown can alter the intensity of the exposure to virus-
the virus load.
So if lockdown stops large gathering, shuts down subways and buses.
And don’t have crowded elevators, this reduces the virus load by a lot.
But other possible effects of virus load, it doesn’t appear to effect mortality rate, other than provide more time for medical industry to learn treatments of those who are sick.
Plus there would be panic and stress, which doesn’t help in lowering rate of death. More knowledge will lower such panic and stress.

Steven Mosher
April 14, 2020 5:19 pm
Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Steven Mosher
April 15, 2020 5:59 am

It is higher when you hold aces and eights and have your back to the door.

April 14, 2020 6:03 pm

It is not the death rate which is important, but the total deaths. Death rate has little meaning unless you also know the contagion rate, which is very high for COVID19, supposedly 5 times greater than the typical seasonal flu. That would mean, if COVID19 had the same death rate as seasonal flu A, then COVID 19 would kill 5 times more people than flu A.

Steven Mosher
April 14, 2020 8:31 pm
Reply to  Steven Mosher
April 15, 2020 2:56 am

Yes, that is interesting. Annan and Hargreaves have also published together in the field of climate! Thanks for the link, Steven.

They are saying that the R0 for the disease is around 3 in the UK, but the Rt since lockdown is about 0.49. Of course, that says nothing about how much of the decrease will have been (would have been?) due to forced lockdown, and how much to people simply going about their business more carefully. Sweden, and to a lesser extent the Netherlands, should give us some more data on this.

Their modelling technique does seem refreshingly simple, and produces hindcasts that have at least some resemblance to reality. But I wonder if they may not be a bit optimistic when their Figure 2(b) shows UK deaths going down from here on in? For most of the epidemic, the pattern of deaths in the UK seems to have lagged new cases by about 6-7 days. By my reckoning, new cases have not yet definitely peaked in the UK – the weekly average of new daily cases is still going up, whether or not you count the 3K or so delayed-report cases they added on April 10th. So I’d expect it to be at least another week or so before peak UK deaths. But then, who am I to contradict the modellers?

Steven Mosher
Reply to  Neil Lock
April 15, 2020 3:49 am

“So I’d expect it to be at least another week or so before peak UK deaths. But then, who am I to contradict the modellers?”

if they would release the following data it would be easier.

1. The age distribution of Confirmed cases
2. the age distribution of Hospitalizations.
3. the age distribution of ICU patients.
4. the age distribution of tubed patients

basically then you could do a simple markov chain.
For example: in NYC 80% of hospitalizations are rleased
20% go into ICU
80% of ICU die after being tubed.

The other issue is consistent definitions of various stages
and variable criteria of moving people into hospitals.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
April 15, 2020 6:10 am

This thing is a nightmare to model as the variability of each case is pretty high. Not a very uniform picture. That means all model predictions will not survive the comparison with the medias tendency to look at short term development. No chance with disease courses of 1 up to 8 weeks. They need time to average things out. People don’t seem to be this patient.

Joe Born
Reply to  Steven Mosher
April 15, 2020 4:33 am

That was actually a constructive contribution.

Much as I hate to admit it, Annan and Hargreaves do seem to have adopted a reasonable approach. (And, can’t say I’m surprised, but it turns out that I wasn’t the first to add poles to the standard SEIR model.)

Michael Carter
April 14, 2020 8:44 pm

“A WUWT Please get rid of this insufferable pompous British git who knows nothing about viruses and has been 100% wrong about anything concerning this virus re Sweden ect”

I see this as a little unfair. My Lord’s theses throughout has been that lockdowns are working in the interests of avoiding health services being overloaded. I have not seen him trying to establish that lockdowns are definitely the right action

I am not a Brit but maybe identify better than many here the very British role-play that originates in the classic debating halls of the likes of Cambridge and Oxford . The Lord is as much an entertainer as anything else. He plays this role very well, thank the Lord

His insinuation ( as I see it) is that lockdowns are the least worst action. While I disagree with him on this point I look forward to his post each day. He is doing the best he can with what data is available. That’s good enough for me. His is a legitimate interpretation IMO

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Michael Carter
April 14, 2020 11:13 pm

I am most grateful to Mr Carter for his kind words. And I do indeed prefer the South Korean approach – act fast, test, contact-trace, isolate carriers, wear masks, avoid mass meetings – which prevents the need for lockdowns. However, those countries that failed to act as South Korea has acted have had to introduce lockdowns, particularly if their urban population densities are high.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Michael Carter
April 15, 2020 3:02 pm

In a corruption of what Voltaire reportedly wrote, “I may not agree with what you say, but I will defend with my life, your right to say it.”

Anything other than insults and ad hominem attacks should be encouraged, while the former should be deleted.

I too disagree with LM’s conclusions, but I think we all benefit from seeing his facts and why he has reached the conclusion(s) he has. Most of us are able to interpret the facts independently.

April 14, 2020 9:11 pm

So, how many people have had the virus? In the world, no way to know. In a country, no way to know. In Chicago where I live, no way to know.

It does kill people, we know that. I had a thing in my throat last week, thought I was getting laryngitis, no pain, no coughing nor sneezing, just a catch in my voice for two days. Was it the virus? I feel fine, still working out.

Random testing for the anti-bodies to find out how many have had it, only way to find out the rate of fatalities. We do know that it kills old sick people much more than young healthy people.

Destroying a healthy vibrant economy and putting tens of millions of people into unemployment, and hundreds of thousands of businesses into bankruptcy, to save the lives of a few thousand 80-year-olds, why even the 80-year-olds do not think this is a good idea.

Have We Thought This Through?

Monckton of Brenchley
Reply to  Michael Moon
April 14, 2020 11:17 pm

In response to Mr Moon, yes, we have thought this through. Responsible governments cannot afford to allow their healthcare and hospital systems to collapse under the weight of intensive-care cases requiring more advanced and more prolonged treatment than for pre-existing pulmonary diseases.

One would have thought that the totalitarian disregard for human life in the 20th century would have taught us in the 21st not to speak airily of letting thousands of people that we don’t care about die in expensive and prolonged and unnecessary and preventable agony.

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 15, 2020 10:58 am

This self-inflicted recession will very likely kill far more than the virus. Already domestic violence and suicides have increased hugely. Here in the USA over 17 million new unemployment applications have come in the last three weeks. Businesses that fail in this recession, and there will be MANY, will not re-open when the virus and the lockdowns are gone. Peoples’ life savings are disappearing.

Cure looks Worse than the Disease, to me anyway.

Reply to  Monckton of Brenchley
April 15, 2020 8:28 pm

And who said I do not care about them? I am one, 61, but feeling fine and continuing my work-outs. Really?

April 14, 2020 10:16 pm

Those who mix climate with epidemics should know that the long winter in the northern hemisphere is very good for the virus.
comment image

Reply to  ren
April 14, 2020 11:42 pm

“Far, far below average temperatures across much of the central and eastern United States”

Tim Bidie
April 14, 2020 11:12 pm

Latest UK mortality from all causes numbers to 03 April 2020: 164,444

Same period 2018: 175,419

So, with the London Nightingale hospital hosting just 19 patients over the weekend, it must now be dawning on a growing number of long suffering British voters that the ‘panic’, for that is all it has been (again!), is over.

Those who have lost jobs, livelihoods, businesses, will not be in a forgiving mood.

As well as palliative and remedial economic efforts, the minimum that will be expected of a UK Government is a swingeing package of reforms to set up a fully independent health authority, as in Sweden, and a fully resourced contingency plan for future pandemics (because if we panic about the common cold, as, effectively, we just have, then it is now pandemics every year!).

There is a long list of other necessary reforms, beginning with state broadcasting, which should have set so much better an example, but this is not the time or place………

April 14, 2020 11:24 pm

Once again-

“A study by ETH Zurich found that the infection rate in Switzerland fell to a stable value of 1 several days before the „lockdown“, presumably due to general hygiene and everyday measures. If this result is correct, it would fundamentally question the sense of a „lockdown“.

April 14, 2020 11:46 pm

In Italy you have to add on- “Strongly increased death rates, as in northern Italy, can be influenced by additional risk factors such as very high air pollution and microbial contamination as well as a collapse in the care of the elderly and sick due to mass panic and lockdown measures”

April 14, 2020 11:54 pm

If you are waiting for a vaccine.

Flu vaccines do not work well for the elderly. It is mostly the elderly that die from Corona.

“Former Microsoft owner and billionaire globalist, Bill Gates admits vaccines are less effective for older people and the planned international roll out of his COVID19 vaccine will likely kill or maim about 700.000 people. All said with that indifferent smile of his”

April 15, 2020 12:05 am

or rather , Gates, says “up to 700,000 people who could suffer from the side effects” Be careful of a vaccine.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  richard
April 15, 2020 1:35 pm

Typical side effect of a vaccine is soreness in the arm for a day or two.
Some people might get a slight fever.
Some people will surely feel sick or get a cold or something after getting a vaccine, purely by coincidence, and some of those people would typically report such as a side effect of the vaccine.
Besides he is not saying there will be that many, he was giving a for instance.
He said “If we have one in ten thousand have side effects, then yada yada yada.
There is no vaccine.
No one can tell you a side effect profile of something that does not exist.
He was speaking from the point of view of how many side effects would be tolerable in clinical trials and still get approved…if one is found to work at all.
One in ten thousand people getting a sore arm would be amazingly low amount of that side effect.
Usually I think most people will get a sore arm from an injection of an antigen into their muscle.
The low grade fever that is common is because that is what happens when your imune system turns on in response to a pathogen, and that is how vaccines work…they cause the immune system to behave as if an infectious organism has gotten into your body, and so an immune response to generate antibodies occurs.

So of course you heard that and said that he “admits that his vaccine will likely kill or maim 600,000…”
Why should anyone pay attention to you?
Are you in grade school?
There is no planned roll out. There is no vaccine.
He was speaking about generalities.

Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 15, 2020 1:58 pm

do flu vaccines work well in the elderly?

Tim Bidie
April 15, 2020 12:10 am

Britain has demonstrated, of course, that, given the resources, contingency plans can be made and implemented, swiftly and effectively. Those plans now exist, no doubt already existed, and must be allocated contingency resources, every year, to be drawn down as required, so obviating (excepting real, existential, national medical emergencies) crazy lockdowns in the future.

It is entirely possible (of course it is!) that hospitals in Britain might have been overwhelmed this year. With UK hospital intensive care units every year routinely operating at 90% of capacity, that happens, at some time or another, most winters, and certainly happened as recently as 2018.

That can in no way justify this lockdown, but goes some way to explaining it.

Worse, trying to implement a lockdown in future will have been made immeasurably more difficult as the truth dawns that this one, simply because contingency plans had been made, but not resourced, could and should have been avoided.

A C Osborn
Reply to  Tim Bidie
April 15, 2020 4:10 am

Tim, even worse is that the Government had plenty of warning, at least 3 years what would happen if we were hit by a pandemic.
They chose to spend the cash elsewhere.

Vincent Causey
April 15, 2020 1:03 am

What amuses me is the fact that some people whine and attack Lord Monckton and say he shouldn’t be allowed to post here. But when I look at the number of the comments, I see that people are drawn here in large numbers. More people are reading and posting on Lord Monckton articles than on any of the others, with few exceptions. It is only a handful though, who are rude, and the majority, including myself, are genuinely interested. In fact, I’ve now started to check in every morning just to read another Monckton post.

Reply to  Vincent Causey
April 15, 2020 7:54 am

He still confuses Case Fatality Ratio with Infection Fatality Ratio. In his first paragraph. Even though there have been numerous posts telling him and even directing him to web pages that explain in deep detail the difference.
Which means on this subject, he is highly lacking not only the natural reasoning to come to reasonable conclusions, but also the lack of interest in learning the rules that allow you to come to reasonable conclusions.
His entire speil is basically appeal to authority and a complete abandonment of challenging authority. Basically, I think the only reason he is allowed to push his shut down hysteria here is because he is an authority here that is respected by many. So, his posts are an appeal to authority by an authority with local appeal. My view is that he is in the process of burning his local appeal by pushing tyranny as a reasonable response to a disease.
Those who give up liberty for temporary false security deserve neither.
And Dread Lord Monckton, my name is Allen Stoner II, that is where a stoner ii comes from.

Reply to  astonerii
April 15, 2020 3:20 pm

Yep, feels like he is just pushing the government line.

I think they should be concerned. A lot of info coming out now illustrating the lock down was not a good strategy or indeed needed.

Stephan Harrison
April 15, 2020 1:51 am

Could I ask a question about vaccines? This might be rather naive, but in the 1958/59 flu pandemic vaccines were available very quickly after the virus was identified. From Wiki : “Maurice Hilleman…obtained samples of the virus from a United States Navy doctor in Japan. The Public Health Service released the virus cultures to vaccine manufacturers on 12 May 1957, and a vaccine entered trials at Fort Ord on 26 July and Lowry Air Force Base on 29 July.[9] The vaccine was available from October 1957 in the United Kingdom”.

Both the 1958 and 1968 flu pandemics killed at least 1 million people globally but were reasonably quickly contained. Why is Covid19 so different, and why will it take so long to develop a vaccine? Thanks.

Reply to  Stephan Harrison
April 15, 2020 8:04 am

Both the 1958 and 1968 flu pandemics killed at least 1 million people globally but were reasonably quickly contained. Why is Covid19 so different, and why will it take so long to develop a vaccine?

Because seasonal flus belong to the same families of viruses so each year a new model of vaccine is developed in advance and even with low uptake of vaccines (about 45%) a substantial measure of immunity is conferred on the population. The is no resistance to COVID-19. The other aspect of COVID-19 is that the proportion of the effected population that develop extreme symptoms require substantial treatment in hospital and the length of time treatment is needed (about three times seasonal flu). Proportionately higher impact on the health services.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Phil.
April 15, 2020 2:48 pm

Something to consider is that there are two approaches to reducing the severity of a pandemic; 1) early vaccination, 2) societal lock-downs. Clearly, the vaccine is the preferred approach, but when there is no vaccine, the lock-downs may be equally efficacious. I say “may,” because coincidentally, the seasonal flu probably started earlier, but apparently peaked about the time COVID-19 hit the US. COVID-19 now appears to be peaking. It may have a seasonal behavior, if for no other reason than that people start to get more vitamin D production in the Spring.

What could be devastating is that now that it is established in the world population, it may start early next year. If there is no vaccine, or highly effective treatment, it could be much worse next season and we have already done serious damage to the world economy for what appears to be no worse than a bad seasonal-flu year in the first wave.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Stephan Harrison
April 15, 2020 8:23 am

COVID -19 is caused by a corona virus. There are no vaccines against corona viruses that cause disease in humans.
But we do have vaccines for human influenza type A, the one that is most prevalent of the four genera of influenza viruses that are known, and the cause of all pandemics.
Regarding type A:
When a new strain of flu circulates, what varies from one strain to another are two surface proteins.
These are called hemagglutinin and neuraminidase, H and N.
There are numerous known configurations of these two proteins, and more subtle variations with each configuration.
These various configurations are given a number.
Currently we know of something like 18 H protein types, and 11 N protein types, which includes a couple of recent additions.
In circulation right now are only a few of them.
A few others have emerged occasionally.
Small changes in the structure of these two proteins can cause a huge change in the virulence of the disease that they cause in humans.
But since we have a library of these basic forms, we can quickly create a vaccine for a particular strain by using our library of stored proteins to find one that comes close to matching the new strain.
And since we know a lot about how to identify new variations, and also know how alter the basic vaccine to match the particular H and N proteins of any particular strain that pops up, it is possible to grow a new vaccine in quantity in a relatively short amount of time.

Stephan Harrison
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 15, 2020 10:28 am

Thanks Nicholas and Phil. So what’s your considered opinion on whether we will manage to get a successful vaccine for COVID19?

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Stephan Harrison
April 15, 2020 10:57 am

No way to say.
I am hopeful, and waiting for results, which unfortunately will be a long time coming, in comparison to the pace of recent events.
If I see favorable data in early phases of vaccine trials, I would considered enrolling as a volunteer to take one of them, if at such a time it looks like a safe bet, I am not yet exposed, and they are enrolling subjects in my area.

Most drug trials for untested drugs fail, but this virus has already something like 60 vaccine candidate drugs in early testing or preparing for testing, IIRC.
There are no vaccines for human corona viruses, which is not a good track record.
But there are gonna be a lot of chances for one to work, which improves the odds.
All we can do is remain hopeful and wait.
Oh, and try to not get infected.
I would also recommend finding out where is the nearest place from where one lives that clinical trials are being offered, and make some sort of contingency plan for where you would rather be if you get infected, and what you would prefer to try out of the list of experimental drugs being tested.

Nicholas McGinley
Reply to  Nicholas McGinley
April 15, 2020 11:17 am

Also, there are ongoing programs to monitor the reservoirs for strains of influenza carried by birds and pigs that harbor them.
It is known that there are some very worrisome ones in some birds in various parts of the world, and there are stockpiles of vaccine in various countries for the ones which some researchers suppose are the most cause for concern should they enter humans and spread from person to person.
At present, the worst of the bird flu strains of virus are widely carried by birds, which occasionally pass them to people, but so far none of them have been able to spread from one person to another when this occurs.
But that is expected to change at some point, and cause a pandemic.
In fact, this has been the possibility deemed most likely to cause a awful pandemic, and was the one most public health authorities have been prepared to deal with, or so we are told.
A strain of bird flu called H5N1 infects a lot of birds in Asia, and when it gets into people, it is very deadly…some 60% of people who get a case of avian H5N1 are killed by it.
If a humanized version of this strain emerges, it is expected to be real big trouble.
There is one in pigs called H1N1, which is the designation that was believed to have caused the 1919 pandemic. This is another one that is deemed to be quite worrisome.

Of course, it may wind up being the case that the one we never see coming will be the one that is the most dangerous.
Right now there are a lot of people in the world, and a lot of viruses. All of them would be happy to get into people and spread right across the entire planet, and they do not seem to care who dies when they manage to find a way to do it.

Clyde Spencer
Reply to  Steven Mosher
April 15, 2020 2:35 pm

Your linked article says, “it’s far worse than in any of the Nordic countries with which Sweden usually compares itself. The Swedish mortality rate is almost 10 times higher than in Finland, more than four times higher than in Norway, and twice Denmark’s.”

That is not totally unexpected because Sweden is not trying as hard to flatten the curve as other countries. Therefore, one would expect Sweden to peak sooner. What remains to be seen is what the total deaths are once the peaks are seen. If the other Nordic have a longer tail-off, then things could equalize. Time will tell.

Reply to  Steven Mosher
April 15, 2020 3:22 pm

how is it worse if Sweden has less cases than Norway and Denmark combined and a population the same as both countries combined?

A C Osborn