COVID-19 is a harsh teacher. Let’s learn from it.

Reposted from the Fabius Maximus Blog

By Larry Kummer, Editor / 16 April 2020

Summary: COVID-19 teaches us about the propaganda and arrogance that hobble us. The cost in lives and money might be worthwhile if we learn from it and make a better America.

Man with eyes covered by propaganda - AdobeStock-320705180
By GoodIdeas. AdobeStock-320705180.

A nation lit only by propaganda

This “it’s China’s fault” campaign (details here and here) is eerily similar to the hysteria whipped up – manufactured – by the US government against Iraq before the 2003 invasion. The press were uncritical cheerleaders. Much of the US public became a mob (or more accurately, a flock). Calmer voices pointed out that the evidence was weak and that we were being manipulated. Manipulated again, as we were with the Tonkin Gulf incident and the invasion of Afghanistan (9/11 was plotted in Germany, with training in Florida).

The same tactics are being used against us again. Again with equally obvious motives – to arouse people against a new Cold War foe (to justify our massive military spending) and distract people’s attention from the massive failures of the Trump administration during the COVID-19 epidemic.

The saddest aspect of these campaigns is how easily our elites stage them. Can a people so easily manipulated and so unwilling to learn from experience govern themselves?

Man with eyes covered by arrogance - AdobeStock_320708771
By GoodIdeas. AdobeStock_320708771.

Climate Science to the rescue

Many climate scientists have been vocal during the pandemic, with unsolicited offers of their expertise. For instance, in this article by James Annan  (h/t to Climate Etc). Here is the money paragraph.

“We have been doing a very straightforward MCMC calibration of a simple SEIR model (equivalent of energy balance box model in climate science, pretty much). The basic concept is to use the model to invert the time series of reported deaths back through the time series of underlying infections in order to discover the model parameters such as the famous reproductive rate R. It’s actually rather simple and I am still bemused by the fact that none of the experts (in the UK at least) are doing this. I mean what on earth are mathematical epidemiologists actually for, if not this sort of thing? They should have been all over this like a rash.”

Well, something here is like a “rash.” When a layperson is “bemused” that experts are not doing what seems obvious to him, it probably means that he should ask an expert and dial down the self-confidence. In the climate wars, such statements often precede “analysis” showing that there is no greenhouse effect or that the world is totally doomed really soon.

The staff at CDC and WHO frequently discussed this issue that bemused Annan, explaining that R0 is of little use for laypeople. It is a variable, not a model parameter in the sense Annan appears to use it. Rather than being simple to calculate, R0 is complex. It varies by circumstances and can change over time. The CDC often cites a paper saying that it is “easily misrepresented, misinterpreted, and misapplied.”

More broadly, there are many fields using quantitative models (e.g., macroeconomics). Personally, climate scientists are among the last I would consult. The most obvious similarity of climate models to epidemiological models of COVID-19 is the Imperial College model made famous by Prof. Neil Ferguson. Created 13 years ago, undocumented code, unvalidated, lacking peer-review (per Ferguson) – but it made headlines and had a massive influence on UK public policy. Although it now appears grossly flawed (as seen in the “actual results don’t matter” justifications), it made him famous and resulted in a shower of grant money.

More broadly, the COVID-19 crisis has followed the same pattern as the public climate wars. Experts are center stage. Then they are displaced by a wider pool of authorities. Then wild claims by laypeople dominate, displacing actual experts (such as those at the IPCC and WHO). The climate wars reached that point after 3 decades. COVID-19 reached that stage in only 14 weeks, as claims that “It Is China’s Fault” increasingly dominate the news. This suggests that our dysfunctional response to major crises results from deeper problems in our society. If not fixed, we might have difficulty coping with more serious threats than COVID-19.

For More Information

Ideas! For some holiday shopping ideas, see my recommended books and films at Amazon. Also, see a powerful and disturbing story about “Birth of a Man of Steel …for the Soviet Union.

If you liked this post, like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter. See all posts about Reforming America: steps to a new politics, about the importance of clear vision, and especially these…

  1. Important advice: Learning skepticism, an essential skill for citizenship in 21st century America. About “extraordinary claims require extraordinary proof”.
  2. Important: Our leaders so often lie, but we still believe them.
  3. Swear allegiance to the truth as a step to reforming America.
  4. We live in an age of ignorance, but can decide to fix this – today.
  5. Ways to deal with those guilty of causing the fake news epidemic.
  6. The secret source of fake news. Its discovery will change America.
  7. We have been blind, but can learn to see.
  8. A new phase of the epidemic begins with propaganda.

Propaganda rules America! Read all about it!

Propaganda by Edward Bernays (1936). “The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country.”

Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda by Noam Chomsky (2002). “Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.”

"Propaganda" by Edward Bernays.
Available at Amazon.
"Media Control: The Spectacular Achievements of Propaganda" by Noam Chomsky.
Available at Amazon.

198 thoughts on “COVID-19 is a harsh teacher. Let’s learn from it.

  1. “The cost in lives and money might be worthwhile if we learn from it and make a better America.”
    There is no 10 trillion dollar lesson in this fantasy escapade of stupidity. So, no, we will never get our money’s worth out of this travesty.

    • Now that the Stanford researchers have found that the pool of positive cases is 50-80 times as big as the number testing positive, the whole epidemic could actually be an anxiety epidemic with a soup of flu viruses creating the deaths:
      The whole pandemic could be an illusion based on anxiety. Media makes anxiety for covid rise at the same time as testing proficiency rises. People have to be sufficiently worried to want to be tested. This fear can easily rise exponentially. And since there is at least 50 times as many infected as confirmed tests, there is no shortage of test positive individuals in a cross section of worried persons. After a while the pool of worried people is exhausted, positive tests flatten and this makes the fear in the population lower. Fewer are motivated to be tested and there is an exponential decline in cases.

      • That makes too much sense, want to try for something more speculative and outlandish?

      • Now that the Stanford researchers have found that the pool of positive cases is 50-80 times as big as the number testing positive, the whole epidemic could actually be an anxiety epidemic with a soup of flu viruses creating the deaths:

        sorry their study has a large test design flaw

        • Sure, in fact it has more than one flaw, but it’s also consistent with the German test, and with anecdotal evidence from Great Britain and the Czech Republic. The order of magnitude is in question, but the evidence provides a strong suggestion that this is endemic in the population, and all the quarantine restrictions are over-blown. Where it tends to be a public health problem is in low-income, high density areas, that also have a disproportionate number of multi-generational homes, and “stay-at-home” orders do nothing to curb the spread.

          • Low income, high density areas such as India and African cities tend to have a dirth of the obese and/or elderly, who appear to be the people that are vulnerable to this virus… making lock downs doubly stupid in these places, particularly as they’re unlikely to have much in the way of the savings they’ll need to rely on to buy food whilst they’re economically unproductive sheltering in place.

            That being said – SOMETHING is causing an illness that is filling and overwhelming our ICU wards, so even if Covid-19 is much more prevalent than currently believed, it still needs to be taken seriously.

            But AS seriously as our leaders are taking it with their predictions of year-long lockdowns? I think not.

      • The alleged huge percentage of infections (with no symptoms) made my personal BS meter explode. I don’t believe the claim.

        • Most flu cases have very mild symptoms. The reality is this may be a big nothing burger to people who have a healthy immune response. That’s why it’s so hard to estimate the actual number of infections in a year

        • Richard
          Rarely does the media say anything about the false-positive rate of the tests. At the moment, there is some concern about people in Korea who had apparently been infected, and subsequently tested negative, are now giving positive tests. Might this be a result of inaccuracies in the tests? Little is being said about this.

  2. I see anything by Chomsky I see leftist propaganda. Sorry, if there is any propaganda going on here it is saying we shouldn’t be taking a long hard look at China. That doesn’t mean we can’t look at ourselves too. China did this because we let them.

    • China did this because we let them

      Assumes that “we” (presumably the U.S.) are able to “let” China do anything. Which I find doubtful. China does what China does.

      • Point taken, by let I mean we moved our critical supply chains to China and placed ourselves in a position of being vulnerable to them exploiting a bad situation.

      • Smart

        I agree it is a bit hubristic to suggest that you or anyone can “let China” do anything. As a sovereign country with perpetually hostile enemies they do what a few in charge consider to be in their best personal and national interests – just like other countries. Seriously, is the USA any different?

        The big lesson from the pandemic is that unless the WHO is replaced by an institution that responds to global interests, this disaster will be repeated 100 times in the next century. There is only one planet to share, and we cannot have national interests dominating our global interests, precisely because they can be manipulated for the benefit, or harm, of other portions of humanity, in the absence of a strong, honest global institution.

        The WHO is a UN related body. The UN is clearly in need of reform – urgently. It was created in 1948 to prevent war between the major powers. Well, what is this? Whats the difference? Pandemic controls are a global responsibility. Clearly we need global cooperation, not as a country club, as a single species. The island nation is dead.

    • Chomsky is hopeless when it comes to economics (and climate change) and suffers badly from TDS, but his knowledge of State propaganda and the various crimes of the Anglo-American empire is encyclopedic.

      So on this topic, I would say Chomsky can be trusted.

      His analyses of the implications of those facts – to bash capitalism or markets, say – would be suspect, of course, but his basic facts tend to be pretty solid.

      • Chomsky is a hard-line anti American pro-Communist agitator. He has done nothing worthwhile since the mid-1950s. Merely citing him as an authority disqualifies everything Kummer has to say.

        • Sobchak: “Merely citing him as an authority…”

          Nice. Using your rapier logic we should abandon Newtonian gravity and calculus because he was an occultist and an alchemist.

          Do you really believe this kind of binary, Manichean thinking is how one solves problems in complex systems? Wait, don’t answer

          • Newton was a great mathematician and physicist. Inside his lane he was very good. As a theologian and an alchemist he was a nut case, although he did great work as the Master of the Mint.

            Chomsky was a minor league mathematician with a contribution to computer science. Outside his lane, he is nuttier than Newton was outside his. Citing Chomsky on politics is like citing Newton on theology.

    • I simply can’t believe the level of ‘tone deafness’ that Larry Kummer demonstrates in this propaganda piece of his own. His lede is accusing the Western world of propaganda, without addressing the clear propaganda and overt lies pumped out of China. His silence on China is deafening… and damning. Following that up with shameless shilling for his blog just adds to the urge to ‘tune him out’..

      • If I’m reading Larry right.
        He’s arguing that since he’s convinced himself that everything the news media reported prior to the resumption of the Gulf war was a lie (It wasn’t, but that’s the lie leftists like Larry cling to) therefore everything Trump says now is also a lie.

        Can’t actually show any failures by the Trump administration? No problem, just proclaim it loudly and frequently enough, and your myrmidons will believe it.

      • Worth watching: The Epoch Times Documentary on the Origin of CCP Virus (Coronavirus).
        JoNova: “The Epoch Times are an organization of dissident reporters, staunchly anti-communist.  They interview medical and political experts and we also find out the Chinese lab was set up with some US funds and with a lot of French support.  Obama cut off funds in 2014. But the West has made it as easy as possible, offering help, expertise, and training.”

        Their video makes a damning circumstantial case that the coronavirus escaped from the Wuhan virology lab and that the CCP has been covering up, deflecting blame, and emitting false statistics ever since.
        https://youtu.be/XMJ0EmMfb3U

        Here is climate contrarian Jo Nova’s very recent thread on this topic, including text repeating the claims in the video:
        “The first Synthetic Pandemic? Man who discovered HIV says Coronavirus is man made. CCP destroyed the evidence.”
        http://joannenova.com.au/2020/04/the-first-synthetic-pandemic-man-who-discovered-hiv-says-coronavirus-is-man-made-ccp-destroyed-the-evidence/

  3. For a completely different take, you might want to set aside an hour and a half to watch this:

    • Thanks, this is eye opening and troubling. It gives pause when you consider the direction we are being taken with the Gates Foundation and the push for vaccinations.

      Everyone should watch this.

    • Shiva is brilliant explains the science motivation and end game… This is the best video on YouTube explaining the epidemic and what we can expect… Highly recommend!

    • Human infection with avian influenza A(H5N1) virus (WHO).

      Globally, from January 2003 to 26 March 2020, there were 861 cases of human infection with avian influenza A(H5N1) virus reported from 17 countries. Of these 861 cases, 455 were fatal (CFR of 53%).

      http://shorturl.at/lEOV4

  4. I too considered mob mentality and how we were duped into Iraq.

    However, I am find the conclusions offensive and sorely supported. It brings up several situations from which it attempts to draw false parallels.

    The title suggests we can learn something – but then it drags the reader to bad Trump wants to lead us to world war three.

    There is no prescient context or information here.
    Several true things that are in-cohesively strung together and draw horrible and clear anti Trump conclusions.

    The article’s title should have been more honest. We think Trump built the military and put forth a terrible response to Covid 19 ergo he will fix that by starting a war with China.

    • China is the new global bully. The USA is the toughest ‘good guy’ in the schoolyard. My feeling is that someone has to start standing up to the bully, and Trump send to be the first to really do it.

      I very much doubt it would come to a physical war, but certainly an economic, and probably cyberspace, one instead. If Trump gets another 4 years (almost certain against Biden) then he may get to do that and even win. Just my opinion, however.

      • Yes: They will say Trump wants to start a war because we no longer will allow unfair trade, and ill behavior.

        Trump’s Terrible Crimes are:,
        1) America will walk away from business unless you play fair.
        2) We will hold up donations to the W.H.O. because they are using our money unwisely.

        I am sick of dull propaganda disguised as saving us from dull propaganda.

        • Yes, I see what you mean. The head poster’s whole premise here is “Orange Man Bad, About to Start War With China”. Somehow this virus coming out of China means the U.S. White House must be manipulating everyone?

          • Yes Kummer is a terrible source of poorly written misinformation. He and his ilk are bad for the country and world. Based on hate, he strings together words like a an adolescent without understanding how to debate or conduct proper research. He thinks opinions in and of themselves are facts.

      • “China is the new global bully. The USA is the toughest ‘good guy’ in the schoolyard”

        The average grunt may be a “good guy” who signed up to stand up to global bullies like China, but he’s being duped to enable the US to be the biggest global bully.

        Once the US empire collapses from over-reach and exhaustion – as all empires do – hollowed out by its leaders diverting too many resources to continue plundering abroad, I expect the Chinese will expand and replace it as regional hegemon, and I wouldn’t want to be under their control.

        But let’s not pretend that the US is in some way benevolent. Plenty of its citizens are, but they’re not the ones in charge of foreign policy.

        • Observer
          You presciently claimed, “Once the US empire collapses from over-reach and exhaustion ..”
          Do you care to assign a date to that?

        • What American Empire? You keep using that word but don’t seem to understand what it means.

          Who has been plundered?

          If the US actually was the evil empire that haunts your imagination, you wouldn’t be permitted to write the nonsense that you write.

      • The odds of Biden actually getting the DNC nomination grow less every day even as the odds of him being replaced before the actual election increase geometrically.

        The plan is that Biden will be replaced at the last moment, even just before the election, by someone in moderate standing (Cuomo?) who comes riding in on a white horse in silver armor.

        St. George against the orange Dragon.

        • My money is on Shrillary! It is her turn, ya know. And she is so good at losing, almost got to an art form.

      • “China is the new global bully. The USA is the toughest ‘good guy’ in the schoolyard. My feeling is that someone has to start standing up to the bully, and Trump send to be the first to really do it.”

        In one of the links I posted upthread it’s stated that India is considering suing China for $1 trillion in an international court for its carelessness in letting the coronavirus virus out of its lab.

        • Maybe he needed it for a research reactor, for Science.

          Or to make molybdenum-99 for medical purpose.

          • niceguy
            Make a list (it will be quite long) of possible uses. Then assign a probability score to all of the items on the list.

            Keep in mind, that he was attempting to convince all of his hostile neighbors that he had, or soon would have, nuclear capability. He was interfering with UN inspection teams. That could have been to keep his neighbors from finding out that he wasn’t close to that goal, OR the interference was to keep the world from finding out that he was pursuing nuclear capability.

            How many hospitals did he have that had advanced nuclear imaging capability requiring Mo 99 supplies? Enough to justify 500 tons of yellow cake? Were there also stockpiles of HEU or the chemical reagents and infrastructure necessary to extract molly-99?

      • Didn’t you know? Saddam was a nice, friendly chap who only wanted the best for everyone and us horrible Westerners were basically jealous of his greatness. It amazes me how easily the left have been able to re-brand an attempt to remove him as an all out war with Iraq, which it clearly wasn’t. It was handled poorly, but we never went to war with Iraq- but just try saying this in public….now that’s top notch propaganda!

        • Presumably then, you believe Hitler never went to war with France, only its leaders.

          Or the allies never went to war with Germany, they only went to war with Hitler… or, at most, the Nazi party.

          The whole point about a government is that they have broad control over their population, and to get rid of that leader you’re going to have to kill large numbers of that leader’s subjects.

          You might not understand this, but believe me: the neocon psychopaths who have hijacked the foreign policy apparatus of the US understand it.

          • That has to be one of the greatest non-sequiturs of the century.

            Why not actually true and disprove anything written. If you can.

          • RE: “…neocon psychopaths….”
            You’re right. I don’t understand your hysterical mental cramps.
            Recommend you take a Midol and have a nap.

      • he was also not violating multiple no fly zones (that we had been enforcing/paying for) for many years. funny how many people forget how much that was costing.
        he had to go.
        its how we went about it that was the problem.

        • There was no other way to go about it.
          The leftists both in the US and abroad were demanding that the sactions regime be lifted.
          The choice was invade or let him go.

      • Yes, Saddam bad. And Yes we were duped into a never-ending poorly orchestrated regime change effort while also not using a correct set of rules of engagement. War should not be run the way we ran it. You don’t want war. But if you need to go to war, it needs to be brutal and fast and done. Not the rules of engagement that unnecessarily put our soldiers in terrible harms way. So we were duped to react wrongly and paid the dear price.

    • Mario, just on Iraq – remember that those weapons inspector ‘experts’ the world (UN) entrusted to inform us all about Saddam’s wmd (firstly Richard Butler, later Has Blix), both reported that Saddam was hiding wmd and seeking more.
      Both later qualified their views, but not timely enough to quell the predictable alarm conditions that set the hounds running towards forming the ‘coalition of the willing’.
      And the rest, as they say – is history.

      So if we are to learn anything from recent histories such as this, it should be that “experts” and their handler bureaucracies (eg UN) can’t help salivating at an opportunity to impose themselves into any situation that might bestow power, control and funding on them.

      And being unaccountable, they will never let past failures deter them from pursuing every future opportunity.

      • Yes, we should also recall that regime change in Iraq was official U.S.policy since 1998, when President Bill Clinton signed it into law.

        Saddam had been pushing his luck with the United States for a long time. He ended up hiding in a hole in the ground.

        Saddam Insane deserved everything that happened to him. He brought in upon himself with his insane actions.

        • Absolutely agree. I’m tired of feeling the need to defend brave soldiers from both sides of the Atlantic fighting and dying to protect our freedom from the likes of Saddam.

        • A much better policy would have been to offer Tariq Aziz, the comedian Foreign Minister who was on TV giving a news conference on Iraq’s might the night when the bombing began, that he would be made President if he would just give up Saddam’s location a few days earlier, and we put one of their own SKUD’s down Saddam’s chimney. We could have done regime change without tearing the country of Iraq apart. In hindsight, we picked the wrong country anyway; it was the Iranian Regime of the Mad Mullah’s we should have straitened out. Turns out that Iraq is now a close ally of Iran anyway thanks to Obama and his weak kneed policies on Iran and China. All that blood and treasure for nothing and then abandoning Syria on top of everything else. Thanks in part to Obama, is why the world is in much of the latest mess we are today both with Iran and China.

    • Which “elite” is blaming China? The elite are sucking up to China and the WHO.

      Must be some code words here that only progressives can understand. When I read between the lines, the message is normal Americans are dupes or stooges but we progressives know better.

      • As others have mentioned, Israel previously bombed an actually being built nuclear power plant in Iraq that would at some point start producing weapons grade plutonium. If that isn’t proof of all WMD attempts including chemical weapons use, then what is? Saddam was guilty as charged, and should have been taken out by internal resistance that were open to and aided in dealing with the West. But Saddam was so savage, that he managed to quell that. Hence there was no option but to invade at some point. With hindsight, one can always see how it could have been done better.

        • The Osirak plant (nickname: Oh, Chirac!) was specifically designed by the French CEA to not be able to produce usable plutonium. (Saddam asked for another technology that would have allowed to produce military quality Pu.)

          Of course, acquiring nuclear technology and expertise means that you get a lot closer to building your own plutonium production reactor…

          • As did the French when they supplied Israel with their nuclear civilian electricity generating fleet in the mid 1960’s so that Israel was fully and completely able to generate weapons grade plutonium within a few years thereafter.

          • Actually French military plutonium technology was teleported to Israel. As were French scientists.

            God did it, probably.

  5. Charles – how about a little /sarc tag on some of your articles, an introduction or a comment or two.

    Carpet bombing articles from other sites without context or comment give the reader zero idea about where you stand on issues.

    You might think it’s cute – staying in the shadows, but annoying as heck on a Friday afternoon.

    JTL

    • I try not to have a point of view when selecting articles, especially when it becomes this politicized.

      Larry emails me. He is sincere. We disagree on a lot of things, but I’ve always tried to allow all points of view.

      The sarcasm tag ruins jokes the same way as explaining a joke after telling it.

      • I wonder if you’re being used for link juice. Sincerity can only go so far before it becomes clear you’re in *foul-expletive*boy territory:
        https://www.cosmopolitan.com/uk/love-sex/relationships/a10368869/am-i-being-used/

        It’s happened to the best of you. Kummer is and has been for the most part a moron with the majority of “his” (h/t Jeff Alberts) posts here. /nosarc

        No, I won’t offer “further” evidence, to do so would require putting forth the effort to separate the wheat from the chaff when there’s no wheat at all. One can only read just so much chaff.

        I still believe you’re a rockin’ moderator, not that it matters in the slightest what I believe.

      • @Charles Rotter on behalf of sycomputing:

        . . . not that it matters in the slightest what I believe.

        To elaborate on this point, sometimes I’ll bounce ideas off myself just to try to get an accurate gauge of how truly brilliant I really am.

        Gotta be a short in this thing, I keep having to replace the batteries . . .

      • If WUWT readers can’t make up their own minds – IOW if everything has to be fed to them with instructions on what they have to think – then there’s no point in having WUWT; we might as well all join The Conversation. Charles is right, IMHO.

      • CR:
        I’m all for multiple points of view, but…
        In this particular case, 40 years of China watching tells me that Larry basically exonerating China and shoving the mess into DT’s shoes, like the WHO makes him a prime example of what Lenin apply referred to as “useful idiots”.
        Whatever merit the rest of his story may have, vaporizes right there.

        • CR – agree 110%

          It’s like otherwise rational thinkers exonerating the Climategate cabal as “work buddies just shootin’ the sh!t”

          We must ALL be ever vigilant against descending into personal “useful idiocy”

        • Larry reminds me of the Democrats who back in February who declared that Trump was both over reacting and a xenophobe for banning flights to and from China, but are now castigating Trump for not doing enough back in February.

          The same ones two weeks ago were going apoplectic when Trump declared that he was the one who would decide when states could open up. They are now declaring that Trump is passing the buck when he concedes that it’s the governors who have the final authority in that area.

      • Charles Rotter – there is absolutely no need for you to be apologetic about publishing this article. And I do not believe you published it just because Larry Krummer is “sincere”. His article is exceptionally intelligent and clear-sighted – that is why you published it.

        WUWT is one of my very favourite blogs – but the moment you begin shows any reluctance to publishing opposing opinions for fear of offending somebody, I will immediately unsubscribe.

        • What opinion was put forth? That the author is a conspiracy nutter? After the intro I stopped reading, because even though a broken clock is right twice a day, I’m not going to wait all day hoping to see it. I’ve seen this same pattern so many times before, the person who thinks everything is a false flag attack, and/or done for some nefarious reason, and/or the US is behind every bad thing that ever happened, sometimes even before it existed. These type of people are without logic. Why don’t you just repost all the sky dragon articles if your trying to publish “opposing”opinions for the sake of publishing “opposing” opinions.

      • Charles,
        Keep up the good work! Censorship is neither needed nor desirable at WUWT. Articles like Kummer’s help keep the BS meter calibrated and certified.

  6. “and distract people’s attention from the massive failures of the Trump administration during the COVID-19 epidemic”
    oh sheesh! who writes this shi..

    let’s add on – And the massive failures of the Eu administration-

    • The same people who demand that Trump listen to the experts are castigating Trump for listening to the experts.

  7. The end of the Iraq war? Or the beginning of the Greater Middle East War with the subsequent administration? Iraq, Iran, Libya, Ukraine, Syria, etc.

    China as a first-order forcing, hiding actions under a layer of privacy (their choice), cannot share/shift responsibility for catastrophic anthropogenic climate change, but there are functional enhancements through globalism, immigration reform, political congruence/correctness (PC), and spreaders of social contagion that have forced mismanagement of resources and cross-pollination.

  8. Kummer: Voice of Asia “gives no sources, other than hand-waving and wild guessing, to claim that China has underreported the number of COVID-19 cases. ”

    NYTimes Headline: ‘China Raises Coronavirus Death Toll by 50% in Wuhan” 17 April, 2020

    Sometimes Larry Kummer can be such a self-righteous windbag! You don’t have to be a Pentagon MIC shill to object to obvious misinformation and deception from the Chi-Coms.

  9. Sober rationality shines out from your article, Larry Krummer. And over the centuries ahead of us, human civilisation will slowly learn the painfully difficult, primitive psychology of homo sapiens sapiens. Mass communication and instant mass participation in all sorts of social, scientific and political affairs have really changed decision making this last quarter century – and not for the better.

  10. Well it will be well worth the 10 Trillion if the US learns not to base its whole economy on foreign goods. Multiple administrations have given away or jobs and trade secrets to appease the globalists.

    • The US has never based “it’s whole economy on foreign goods”. Not even close.
      It’s just that some people don’t believe the people of the US should ever be permitted to buy anything that wasn’t made in the US of A.

  11. So, Larry, let me get this straight. China DID NOT hide the actual start date of the local epidemic, DID NOT claim and push through WHO that person-to-person transmission was impossible when they knew the contrary to be true, DID NOT stone-wall USCDC requests for samples of the virus, DID NOT… You know, I give up with you. In the US, if you are promoting foreign interests, you have to register as a foreign agent. Got your paperwork in yet?

    • General Flynn was only credibly accused of writing one op ed in favor of Turkey. One.

      (The rest of the accusation against Flynn was bunk.)

  12. The thing to learn from this is to use simple common-sense, not socialist think-tank/group-think in dealing w/it. Perhaps shutting down big urban areas (like NYC & its suburbs in this case), but NOT shutting down areas that don’t have crowded conditions. You cannot shut down almost all of the frackin’ country because big cities are having problems.

    But we all know this has been done to take advantage of a crisis & try to discredit the President. Talk about blatant, even deadly treachery….

  13. This “it’s China’s fault” campaign (details here and here) is eerily similar to the hysteria whipped up – manufactured – by the US government against Iraq before the 2003 invasion.

    You’re right. We had abundant evidence back then of Saddam Hussein’s violation of UN resolutions, his mass murder of his own people, his exploration of a nuclear weapons program, his attempt to assassinate President George H.W. Bush (by itself, a sufficient reason to remove him from power), his use of chemical weapons against Iran and his own people, firing on coalition aircraft enforcing no-fly zones after his 1991 invasion of Kuwait.

    Similarly, we have abundant evidence of the Chinese Communist leadership’s nefarious deeds: invading and claiming other countries, increasing their dominance of the South China Sea by staking claim to and occupying islands that belong to other countries, threats against our allies, their massive industrial espionage and technology theft, their currency manipulation and state-sponsored destruction of industrial competitors and domination of certain industries, their brutal, murderous oppression of protesters and dissidents, their ethnic cleansing of Uyghurs. Oh yeah, and their lying and cover-up of a virus the became a global pandemic.

    The difference is—and it’s a subtle one—we’re not planning to invade China. We’re just pulling back the curtains on them; what every US President has declined to do going back 3 decades. But not this one. He fights to protect American interests in the face of the nebulous and questionable goals of “globalism.” We’ll be moving manufacturing and vital industries back to the U.S., you can be sure of it, and we will impede the Chinese Communist Party’s attempt to infiltrate global communications via deployment of 5G networks.

    • Not only that, Saddam was enabling Islamic terrorism, a sufficient reason to prevent the undoing of sanctions. Sanctions would have to be removed no matter what without an intervention. Saddam was going to hide his uranium stock building program.

    • Let me know when you find the WMDs… meanwhile, have you written condolences to the 5000 servicemen sacrificed in Iraq… and paid back the $7 T this War Crime cost?

      • Well let’s just say overturning dangerous dictators and Marshall Plans isn’t all it’s cracked up to be and we’ll need to be much more careful and selective about that in future. It’s definitely not one size fits all with Marshall Plans and Arab Springs is what I took from it but to pay more heed to the Israeli stance in these matters. What about yourself?

      • Sure, as soon as you write a written condolence to the mother of the small child found clutching a red and white ball in a mass grave in Iraq. May be hard since she was found lying next to the child. Or does that not rise to the level of “war crime” by you? Or is it you just choose to only be offended by those “war crimes” that fit your political narrative?

      • It’s not like we gave him 10 years to move anything before we went in to commit this ‘war crime’ against such a peaceful humanitarian is it?….

  14. A possible way to calm the hysteria is to look at the figures. For *England the daily number of new cases confirmed positive by a laboratory test is approximated by a simple formula: 4000 exp(-(t/15)²) where t is the number of days BEFORE April 5th. By Farr’s Law this symmetrical formula can be expected to apply for days AFTER April 5th, leading to expect a rapid fall. Whether “social distancing” or “lock-down” had any significant effect on the progress of the epidemic will probably be argued for years. There is always a threat of a “second wave” which doubtless will be used to counter any push to “re-open” the UK and free us from house-arrest. What astonishes me is the absence of any economic model of the effects of the lockdown, and the alacrity and meekness with which the public accepted it and indeed went on to enjoy it, even delighting on grassing up or social-shaming neighbours for going out for escaping for an hour.
    https://coronavirus.data.gov.uk/

  15. Italy, Spain, France and the state of New York together have more CoVid-19 deaths than the entire rest of the world combined.
    Italy, Spain, France, the state of New York, Great Britain, Belgium, Iran, Germany and New Jersey together have more Covid-19 confirmed cases than the entire rest of the world combined.
    CoVid-19 is not a global problem.
    CoVid-19 is not a US national problem.
    Covid-19 is a problem for the political, social, medical, financial s**t holes listed above.
    The medical and political bone heads who slammed the car door on the world’s economic fingers were stampeded into the precautionary principle by the lying, rabble-rousing, fact free, s**t stirring, fake news MSM propaganda machine and its pretentious talking heads intent on taking out Trump.
    Remember that come this November (maybe).

    • Say it plainly: it’s a COUP by the medical crowd. In France, the unions even took it to the French court of fundamental freedom (Conseil d’état) to remove fundamental freedom to protect the fake right to live.

      There is no right to not be contaminated or not come in contact with contaminating people, period.

  16. Is anyone defending Saddam again?

    Saddam was the good guy, or the bad-but-not-that-bad guy?

    Saddam was the non Islamic leader, again? (Because Baas I guess?)

    That’s BS.

    • That, and there was a ceasefire that persisted through the nineties, with one and more recorded violations, and finally concluded… would have concluded in the following decade: the end of the Iraq War, but instead it progressed and metastasized throughout the greater Middle East in one adventure after another.

      • If Saddam was so innocent why did the Israelis have to go in and level nuclear facilities, once in Iraq and then again in Syria and where did Assad get his reactor? Where did Assad get the stuff he used to gas his own people? Personally, I think Saddam clearers out Iraq of stuff and sent it to Assad. Bush certainly gave hime enough advance warning the Americans were coming.

  17. WUWT has wandered from being one of the best blogs on climate change. A lot of articles re Covid 19, astronomy and politics etc… Also doing a lot of what we accuse the ” climate alarmists ” of doing.
    For example much analysis of the Diamond Princess. Only 7 deaths proving only 1% death rate concluded early on. Well now there are now 13 deaths. Too quick to conclude with incomplete data.
    Much early comparison with flu and how at least 20,000 die every year in USA and how few deaths from Covid 19. Well now approaching 40,000 deaths attributed to Covid 19 and counting, most likely more in reality. How would you like to be in a long term care home right now? Lots of statements that there are multiples of people with the virus but not showing symptons, yet data I look at shows big majority of tests are negative. How many more deaths if nothing done? How do we actually return to some normality without some resurgence?
    Wonder what would be said here if infectious desease experts adamantly expressed their thoughts on climate. Many times on this blog the climatology credentials of authors have been dismissed.
    Perhaps we should stick to climate issues here.

    • We can only deal with incomplete data. Not only that, often biased data.

      In almost every field. I’m pleased with WUWT dealing with the current crisis.

    • Totally agree. Anthony Watts has some knowledge of climate issues – there is no evidence that he has put any personal effort into mastering the issues around COVID-19.

      ‘There is no evidence to show that the 2019 coronavirus is more lethal than respiratory adenoviruses, influenza viruses, coronaviruses from previous years, or rhinoviruses responsible for the common cold.’ (Dr Pablo Goldschmidt , virologist specializing in tropical diseases and Professor of Molecular Pharmacology at the Université Pierre et Marie Curie in Paris. Interview on Clarin.com, 9th March 2020)

      – It is has been well reported that in Italy, US and the UK just about everyone who dies in hospital is recorded as a coronavirus death – the authorities are quite open about this.
      Despite this, Lord Monkton has been presenting on this blog models based on this fake data.
      – Diagnostic tests are useless: see the manufacturers’ instructions, also this from a doctor, yes I know it’s anonymous (https://stovouno.org/2020/04/09/if-you-want-to-create-a-totally-false-panic-about-a-totally-false-pandemic-pick-a-coronavirus/).
      – Almost without exception those who die are old AND sick (in New Zealand the average age 85, all with underlying health conditions). The old and sick do die of seasonal flu, but this year it is often questionable whether the virus had anything to do with their deaths at all.
      – According to this study from Stanford University, the absolute risk of death from COVID-19 even in the highest age category >80 to-date and even in the hot epicenters does not exceed 0.24% in any location and in most locations it is 0.1%. https://t.co/txU0XyCAdS

      It’s a serious worry that so many people who have been following the climate issue have learned absolutely nothing outside the detail. The strategy in creating hysteria over COVID-19 is an almost exact replica of the climate hoax, from the huge sums spent on buying up/founding institutions starting with the IPCC and the WHO to the gaslighting and misinformation from the corporate media to the moral blackmail (if you point out the the only people who die of Wuflu are those who are dying anyway apparently you’re a psychopath). If anything Bill Gates has outdone David Rockefeller, in that the lockdowns make dissent that much more difficult.
      https://stovouno.org/2020/04/03/covid-19-bill-gates-engineers-a-global-crisis-from-seasonal-flu/

      • The whole point of this blog is to disseminate information on a host of topics, as is listed About (WUWT) as per the upper header in this website. It isn’t about whether Anthony is an expert on this issue, but for sure, there have been many experts here writing about this Wuhan Coronavirus issue and many people have learned a lot from it, including me. Just like when I can click on your name, and read your blog, some of which I agree with. I am sorry to hear that NZ is becoming a Police State, but that appears to be one of the attractions of this virus to nebulous leaders such as your PM Jacinda Ardern, which will probably try to be emulated for the climate crisis next. Such is the nature of socialist/marxist leaders that will never let a good crisis go to waste.

      • ” . . . in New Zealand the average age 85, all with underlying health conditions”
        ++++
        Not only that, they’re all described on TV news as “tragic” deaths, the news reader completing the picture with tilted head and furrowed brow. Seemingly, “tragic” has slipped down the scale to sit alongside “sad”.
        If someone used the time-honoured phrase “the old man’s friend” for bronchitis, these people would no doubt be frozen with horror.

        • Still , it’s not quite the “80,000 NZers could die from this” that the bird-brained P.M. of NZ , Jacinda Ardern alleged on public TV, purely for the purpose of encouraging the acolytes to lock themselves away, and to accept blinly their new label i.e. “Non-essential”.
          It’s actually less than a score as we speak.

          • One of the posters here assured me that the death toll would never reach 20,000 and probably wouldn’t break 10,000.

      • “Earthling2 April 17, 2020 at 6:59 pm

        I am sorry to hear that NZ is becoming a Police State,…”

        NZ has been a police state for a long time.

      • Given the number of comments on the COVID-19 and astronomy articles, I find it hard to believe that most posters here are as disinterested in these topics as you wish to believe.

      • “The strategy in creating hysteria over COVID-19 is an almost exact replica”
        …of pro vax hysteria with measles, an obvious con, as the same pro vax authorities admit there were no more than 30 death from measles PER YEAR in France before mass vaccination.

        Although nearly every time these statistics are mentioned by a vaccine skeptic, it’s “fake news”. In fact every time a skeptic mentions something not pretty from the official data of vaccines promoters, he is accused of lying or misleading!

        Yet many on WUWT are vaxxists, that is, brainwashed and deranged.

  18. Coolio – Gangsta’s Paradise (feat. L.V.) [Official Music Video]

    Just for the fun of a second go…

    Hope this gets through… really.

    cheers

  19. The China fault campaign seems to be based on pretty substantial information and evidence.This doesn’t suggest they orchestrated for it to happen but within the parameters of how their society runs were pretty reckless in any efforts to try to contain it once they were aware that there was a problem. I don’t really see how the China fault discussion ties in with the rest of the post. The fact that experts exaggerate a threat in order to impose an agenda on the population is very familiar territory for climate realists but somehow equating that to a China’s fault campaign seems hardly equivalent. Scientists in cahoots with media and governments manipulate and misrepresent data all the time. I have been bitterly disappointed how willing people have been to give up basic freedoms to the government during this time but am not surprised because a whole generation of people have been softened up into compliance by 20 years of climate change propaganda.

  20. Well, Larry Kummer never fails to disappoint. I suppose he is given air time here, just for folk like me to be able to see how flawed his arguments actually are. Hopefully, the West is planning on containing Red China and the CPC, preferably economically, but by absolute force if necessary.

  21. The covid mass hysteria shows that we learned nothing despite having spent trillions on the climate scam.

    • I don’t see any “mass hysteria.” I see Americans who were shocked and saddened by what happened to Italy, and wanted to make sure that didn’t happen here.

      One month or so on, those same shocked and saddened Americans are now eyeing the political leaders here with scowls and raised eyebrows, drumming on the metaphorical table top with their fingers and tapping their toes impatiently. We will not put up with this much longer.

  22. I too am appalled at how easy it is to get most people onside in a panic. When Dick Cheney wanted to scare Americans into attacking Iraq, he was able to do it without speaking any outright lies. He was asked, Is Saddam trying to make nuclear weapons? and he replied, we just don’t know. Which was technically true. Condoleezza Rice just said, we don’t want’ the smoking gun to be a nuclear weapon. See? Technically true. Their argument was, we don’t have to prove it. We don’t have to even try to prove it. If we can imagine that it might happen (and we have authority), that is justification enough to invade Iraq, kill thousands of people and install an American regency. And it was. The real cost of obviating the imaginary threat was dwarfed by the imaginary cost of the imaginary threat.

    Climate change alarmism is similarly like a bizarre application of the logic inherent in Pascal’s Wager. If climate change alarmists are right about climate change, humanity is doomed by 2100. If they’re wrong, well, we probably shouldn’t have granted them all that money and prestige, and fooled the Germans into putting up all those wind turbines. Safer to assume they’re right, pal.

    • You leave out several well known facts.
      1) Saddam had WMD programs at one time. Both chemical and nuclear.
      2) We had evidence that Saddam hadn’t given up on his desire to build WMDs. Both chemical and nuclear.

      We didn’t need to prove that he was trying to build such weapons in the here and now.

      • And never forget the plane hijack school that was run at several Iraqi military bases during the 1990s. 60 Minutes even did a segment on that.

      • Indeed MarkW, and in addition to the fact that he had such programs at one time, he actually used the chemical weapons on his own people previously. So we knew he had previously had the chemical kind and that he continued to pursue both chemical and nuclear ones. While we didn’t know what level of success he had in pursuing them, you can bet that if left to it, eventually he would succeed and he wouldn’t be afraid to use it (as he’d done previously with the chemical weapons).

    • There were many lies of people supporting the Irak status quo and the “Saddam is bad but at least we know him”, or “he brings stability to the ME”.

      One of the most inane lie what that Saddam was “un laïc”, that he supported separation of State and religion or that he was atheist. (Because Bass is socialism and socialism is against religion influence on politics.)

      Another was that Saddam had nothing to do with terrorism.

      The arguments of people opposing war were debunked. Nothing was discussed. They never came out clear and no “journalist” asked them about their lies.

      That does not mean war was the best option or that it was done intelligently. But at least admit that what we have been told by the so called neutral, anti-Bush experts was BS.

  23. This suggests that our dysfunctional response to major crises results from deeper problems in our society.

    Yes, the deeper problem is gaslighting like this that claims that this isn’t China’s fault, and that this is all just meant to distract from Trump’s “failures.” No doubt you think the federal government should and does have dictatorial powers over any and all aspect of our society and economy.

    So let’s see, China didn’t:
    Censor doctors who tried to warn of the disease back in November and December.
    Didn’t withhold live virus samples from the West.
    Didn’t prohibit US CDC personnel from directly investigating the Wuhan epidemic.
    Didn’t ban all domestic travel from Wuhan while allowing international flights to continue.
    Didn’t instruct their surrogate companies in Australia to buy up all of the PPE and medical equipment they could find.
    Didn’t tell the WHO and the world that Human-Human transmission WAS occurring in January.
    Didn’t install a corrupt regime in WHO that deliberately ignored Human-Human transmission warnings from Taiwan because Taiwan is the “bad” China in their eyes.
    Didn’t sell back PPE aid donated to them from European countries.

    And you have the gall to lecture anyone on swearing allegiance to the truth?!

    I have a two word response to your “truth.”

  24. A complete load of propaganda dross and spew-tem.

    But you have to realise, that this is exactly how the average leftist/democrat thinks and acts.

    Another manic case of TDS, and the support of Chinese interests over American interests.

  25. A perfectly dreary day here in central Indiana. Cold and wet and just plain oppressive. Kind of like this post.
    Thankfully the wife made a big batch of chili. The perfect dish for such a day. When she makes meals that are best made in big batches she calls the neighbors and asks if they would like some but this time when she called she found out they had made a big pot of ham & beans and were about to call and ask if we wanted some.

    I wish I could go over and spend some time with my friends and putter around doing something in his barn, but being a trucker being out dealing with people in different places all the time, I just won’t risk it. We can talk to each other from a distance when the weather is nice enough and that is the way it’s going to have to be for some time to come I’m afraid.

  26. Then wild claims by laypeople dominate, displacing actual experts (such as those at the IPCC and WHO).

    You mean these WHO experts:

    “From the information that we have it is possible that there is limited human-to-human transmission, potentially among families, but it is very clear right now that we have no sustained human-to-human transmission,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, acting head of WHO’s emerging diseases unit.

    WHO, Jan. 14

    And the CDC “experts” who had faulty reagents in their test kits that rendered useless due to excessive false positives?

    Gosh, tell us again how if we just apply the scientific method and finally compare the models to empirical data all of the CAGW nonsense will be behind us.

    • “WHO, Jan. 14”
      That is actually a Reuters article Jan 14, headed
      “WHO says new China coronavirus could spread, warns hospitals worldwide”

      The quote from Maria Van Kerkhove is Jan 9th, and there is more to it:

      “From the information that we have it is possible that there is limited human-to-human transmission, potentially among families, but it is very clear right now that we have no sustained human-to-human transmission,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, acting head of WHO’s emerging diseases unit.

      The WHO is however preparing for the possibility that there could be a wider outbreak, she told a Geneva news briefing. “It is still early days, we don’t have a clear clinical picture.”

      “And the CDC “experts” who had faulty reagents in their test kits…”
      Well, WHO had supplied the rest of the world with test kits that worked.

      • Thanks for quoting exactly the same passage. And it was actually tweeted directly by WHO.

        Just so you’re clear:

        but it is very clear right now that we have no sustained human-to-human transmission,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, acting head of WHO’s emerging diseases unit.

        Care to explain how it was so clear?

        And this was after Taiwan’s warning on Dec. 31:

        Taiwanese health officials have accused the World Health Organization of failing to communicate the country’s warning in December regarding possible human-to-human transmission of the Wuhan coronavirus, the Financial Times reported Friday.

        The officials said doctors in Taiwan had learned from their colleagues in mainland China that medical staff were falling ill from the as-yet unnamed coronavirus, a sign of human-to-human transmission that Taiwan says it passed on to the WHO and Chinese authorities on December 31. However, the WHO did not communicate the information with other nations.

        “The WHO could not obtain first-hand information to study and judge whether there was human-to-human transmission of Covid-19,” Chen said. “This led it to announce human-to-human transmission with a delay, and an opportunity to raise the alert level both in China and the wider world was lost.”

        Responding to the accusations, the WHO said it needed to “hold frank and open discussions on sometimes sensitive issues” which “requires that we respect the confidentiality of such communications.”

        Well, WHO had supplied the rest of the world with test kits that worked.
        You mean the same kits that were never offered to the US? And that somehow makes up for their earlier mistakes?

        • “Care to explain how it was so clear?”
          She used her words carefully. “sustained human-to-human transmission”. That is the exact wording of
          phase 4 alert level of a pandemic . And it is defined (here for flu):
          “Human-to-human transmission of an animal or human-animal influenza reassortant virus able to sustain community-level outbreaks has been verified”
          At that stage (Jan 9th) the cases notified all seemed to be derived from contact with the original source region.

          I quoted the whole story, which was obviously, as stated explicitly in the headline, about the WHO warning the world about a new danger. You selected one little bit to try to make it seem she was playing down the danger.

          “You mean the same kits that were never offered to the US?”
          Of course the US could have used the kits. Deborah Birx explains:
          “On Tuesday, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, also discussed why the United States had not adopted a test distributed by WHO as the CDC-developed test struggled.

          “Because quality testing for our American people is paramount to us,” Birx said before suggesting that other tests have been inaccurate. “It doesn’t help to put out a test where 50% or 47% are false positives.”

          Only an American test would do.

          • Oh Nick, why didn’t you look at the tweet link? Would you like to know what it said on Jan. 14? Note the date because your claim is that everything changed after Jan. 9.

            Preliminary investigations conducted by the Chinese authorities have found no clear evidence of human-to-human transmission of the novel #coronavirus (2019-nCoV) identified in #Wuhan, #China🇨🇳.

            Do you see any hedging there? Do you see the word “sustained” there? Are you going to try to deflect again by claiming that it used the word “preliminary” or that it came from China and was only reproduced through the official WHO twitter account?

            Please cite where I “made it seem she was playing down the danger.” I was pointing out that she was wrong and I referenced the warning from Taiwan which you not so curiously avoided. I realize that you have a blind faith in authority, but I’m simply pointing out the failure of experts. Sorry that disturbs you so much.

            “You mean the same kits that were never offered to the US?”
            Of course the US could have used the kits. Deborah Birx explains:
            “On Tuesday, Dr. Deborah Birx, the White House’s coronavirus response coordinator, also discussed why the United States had not adopted a test distributed by WHO as the CDC-developed test struggled.

            “Could” is not the same as “offered,” but I’m sure your careful word choice was unintentional. I’ll even cite a source that I’m sure you find authoritative, Snopes:

            https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/us-coronavirus-test/

            What’s False
            The U.S. did not turn down an offer to use those tests (as no such offer was extended), nor was it unusual for the United States to design and produce its own diagnostic tests in lieu of those made elsewhere.

            But for the sake of argument let’s say they had turned the kits down, care to explain how that makes the “experts” at CDC look any better? That, after all, was my point which you tried to turn into two different straw men. First that working kits (which were German BTW, not WHO-generated) from WHO somehow makes up for their earlier failures, and second that American arrogance somehow vindicates a failure of CDC experts.

  27. The point remains that society today is riddled with advertising/propaganda.
    Women and some men and many undecideds spend a lot of money on cosmetics. Many of these are basically a slurry of mud, with addition of chemicals with pseudo-chemical names. People do this in huge numbers because advertising is heavy, clever and merciless. If you do not use cosmetics, society will reject you.
    Another example is alternative medicine including hot whoppers like oversell of multi-vitamins, frauds like homeopathy, natural herbs and spices with magical powers like sitting in a pyramid. It is all so fake, fake, fake, but people go along with it because advertising tells them to. Day after day, night after night.
    There is gun culture backed by 50 years of Hollywood movies which by some strange, unwritten social contract, makes it near compulsory for a movie to include gun use. Not in-your-face advertising, but powerful and taking a horrible daily toll of lives. Accept the gun as a familiar part of life and soon you accept recreational drugs as a familiar part of life.
    Alcohol use is similarly propelled by advertising.
    So is your choice of laundry detergent and dozens of other daily products about whose safety you do not have a clue. But TV tells us it is OK, even lovable.
    One can go on and on because examples are abundant.
    Take a good look around, then do an inventory asking “How does advertising guide my life?” You might be astounded when you do it thoroughly. Geoff S

    • Women have used cosmetics since the days of Pharaoh, and Americans have owned and used firearms long before movies and mass media existed.

      You know who really gets fooled by Hollywood movies and TV? People who watch them and think Americans are “decadent” and easily manipulated. They go right on believing that until they receive a boot in the ass, courtesy of those “decadent” Americans.

    • Geoff
      There is little doubt that advertising is a tool to get unthinking people to buy things they probably wouldn’t otherwise buy. If people just remember that advertising is about getting people to part with their money, rather than promote a social good, then they will have the proper perspective on the continuous barrage of advertising at all levels of their life, but especially entertainment.

      It seems that, at least in American culture, sex and violence are like the Homeric Sirens. What is interesting is that many of the Hollywood stars, who have become rich shooting up the Silver Screen, give lip service to the role that they believe firearms play in causing real violence. None of them have the moral integrity to decline a well-paid role that ends up advertising the things they complain about.

      • The goal of the vast majority of advertising is to get people to buy our product instead of the other guys. The evidence that advertising increases over all spending is weak at best.

    • A bit more on my previous comments:

      To this very day, the IPCC has failed to perform the most basic task in any assessment of climate change, which is to answer the question of, “What will happen if we do nothing?”

      For example, to this very day, the IPCC has not said, “Under a Business as Usual situation in which no further measures are taken, there is a 50 percent chance global warming will be less than X, a 5 percent chance global warming will be less than Y, and a 95 percent chance that global warming will be less than Z, by the year 2100.”

      That is a absolute disgrace. The IPCC dishonest and/or incompetent to not be able to make that straightforward analysis. I made that analysis more than 15 years ago:

      https://markbahner.typepad.com/random_thoughts/2006/04/complete_set_of.html

      And I think it’s already pretty clear that my analysis is going to hold up reasonably well, particularly with regard to anthropogenic CO2 emissions:

      https://markbahner.typepad.com/random_thoughts/2017/07/mark-bahner-vs-wigley-and-raper-science-2001-vs-ipcc-rcps.html

      The fact that Larry Kummer, after more than a decade, apparently still does not comprehend the IPCC’s dishonesty and/or incompetence, merely shows that my comment to him that he is a “clueless amateur” (which apparently got me banned from his blog) is completely correct.

  28. It’s China’s fault.
    It’s China’s fault.
    It’s China’s fault.
    It’s China’s fault.
    It’s China’s fault.
    It’s China’s fault.
    It’s China’s fault.
    It’s China’s fault.
    It’s China’s fault.
    It’s China’s fault.
    It’s China’s fault.

  29. It’s not over until the fat lady sings and I think it’s worse than we know and we’ve been scammed again. My layman $.02.

    • The fat lady is at higher risk of contracting COVID-19 in a bad way, because she is obese, and obesity seems to be a standout factor in COVID-19 mortality, … after age. If she’s elderly and obese, … well, … she might not be the one who sings, I’m afraid. It’ll be the young, skinny lady’s show this time.

  30. I like alternative viewpoints
    If you don’t read and absorb them how can you possibly know how to spot the insane members of the crowd
    I love this site but I also read on the CBC, rabble.ca and even the Tyee at times
    How else can you recognize the enemy if you can observe and identify their beliefs?

  31. james annaan’s model has the advantage of being Less wrong than
    the other models being used.

    The shortcoming he found in other models is real.

  32. Fabius Maximus lost me several years ago with his gloom and doom pronouncements about having reached peak oil.

    I agree that there is something bad going on with the Covid-19 hysteria, but it is more like a mass delusion than propaganda.

    500,000,000 entrants came into the global workforce in 2000 when China joined the WTO. The CCP runs the show. Apart from that, Chinese culture sees China in a certain way (as the center of the world). We all owe them tribute from their point of view. The West took certain actions with respect to China, and relocated production there to an excess. It is time for a reassessment and re-balance.

    Now this plague comes out of China, and the West within 8 weeks sees how vulnerable it has made itself. It is time for action, but instead we have put ourselves and our economy into an induced coma. We’ll come out of this poorer, wiser, and ultimately stronger, but it will take a while. The experts who told us everything was fine for the last twenty years will continue to talk that talk. Shame on us if we listen to them.

    We should not trust projections. They are hypotheses. They need to be tested. They need experiments and observations. We should act only on empirical evidence.

    • Absolutely agree. I’m tired of feeling the need to defend brave soldiers from both sides of the Atlantic fighting and dying to protect our freedom from the likes of Saddam.

    • We have done this to ourselves:

      “New Chinese export restrictions are exacerbating the chronic shortage of protective gear in the U.S. Face masks, test kits and other medical equipment bound for the U.S. are sitting in warehouses across China unable to receive necessary official clearances, some suppliers and brokers told The Wall Street Journal.

      “Chinese officials have said the policies, instituted this month, are intended to ensure the quality of exported medical products and to make sure needed goods aren’t being shipped out of China. They have created bottlenecks at a time of urgent need, according to the suppliers, brokers and the State Department memos.”

      https://www.wsj.com/articles/coronavirus-surges-in-some-asian-countries-that-had-been-lightly-hit-11587031743

      • Fine, block all Chinese imports of medical equipment and pharmaceuticals. America is capable of manufacturing our own. Besides, China is intentionally shipping defective equipment and improperly made pharmaceuticals, have been for a long time, and each time it is pointed out they simply reply with a wafting of empty hands and a “So sorry”. Cut them off at the knees. As for their road&belt financial scheme, time for all their patsies to default, en-masse and watch the renminbi go down the squatter. They want to play global unconventional war games? Lets play.

  33. Larry started copying his blogs here some time ago. He started off with the assumption that consensus Catastrophic Anthropo Global Warming was essentially largely settled science and that sceptics had a point or two and what was needed was the two sides to get together in a collegial manner and hammer out something better.

    He got himself a good education here, and I commented on one of his later offerings that it was good to see that he had come to be less sure of himself on CAGW. WUWT has had that effect on many ‘settled science’ visitors and I give kudos to those that come here and argue and learn and keep us honest. Sadly too few do. However, this article is a demonstration that Larry has a dyed in the wool rigidity and he really hasn’t altered his thinking at all. I was deceived. He’s not a learner, he is a teacher.

    This posting is the worst he’s brought here. He’s even got Trump Derangement Syndrome, he’s an apologist for China and WHO and has reverence for the IPCC stronger than ever. There are millions of Larry Kummers out there. We can get his thoughts 24 hrs a day from CNN, NBC and most of the other networks. He doesn’t see that climate is a vehicle for a new world order.

    He displays only shame for his country. Yeah, he touched on some things done that weren’t well thought out, but he has no praise for the unique marvel that this country is on many many fronts. It saved the asses of Europe twice in two world wars and even stood the vanquished back up on their feet and gave them economies they never would have had. Ditto China to a fault! It is the most generous, productive, innovative country on earth. It took us to the stars… Bad show Larry. Hey, Im not even Anerican, How ’bout that.

  34. It’s China’s fault was a response to China’s behaviour.

    President Trump on why he used the term ‘China virus’

    “I don’t regret it, but they accused us of having done it through our soldiers, they said our soldiers did it on purpose, what kind of a thing is that?” Trump said in an interview Tuesday with Fox News. “Look, everyone knows it came out of China, but I decided we shouldn’t make any more of a big deal out of it. I think I made a big deal. I think people understand it. But that all began when they said our soldiers started it. Our soldiers had nothing to do with it.”

    It’s continued because of the Chinese governments behaviour to avoid all responsibility for it’s spread and possible escape from a lab.

  35. Walter? Walter? You’re being very immature, Walter. It’s Trump’s fault. Or maybe it was those Italians with their names that all end in vowels.

    Well, look it’s not my fault. I didn’t do it. I wasn’t there.

    • @Amadeus 48 is correct. You are trying to distract us from the true strategic issue.

      Dealing with the pandemic is merely tactical. We will devise tests, find cures, create vaccines.

      The strategic issue is the arrogant, oppressive, imperialistic, reactionary, racist, Chinese Communist Regime.

      The theory we worked on for the last 30 years was that if China were incorporated into the international economic system, and if it grew rich, it would develop a broad middle class. That class would in turn push the regime towards liberalism (Abraham Lincoln, not Nancy Pelosi) in economic, social, and political matters.

      What has happened confounded all of those expectations.

      You may not want a cold war with China, but you have one. And you have decide to fight it and win or surrender and give up you freedom and prosperity.

      Which will it be?

  36. “We have been doing a very straightforward MCMC calibration of a simple SEIR model (equivalent of energy balance box model in climate science, pretty much). The basic concept is to use the model to invert the time series of reported deaths back through the time series of underlying infections in order to discover the model parameters such as the famous reproductive rate R. It’s actually rather simple and I am still bemused by the fact that none of the experts (in the UK at least) are doing this. I mean what on earth are mathematical epidemiologists actually for, if not this sort of thing? They should have been all over this like a rash.”

    Really. Could we have that in English.

    He might as well have said:

    “Forty-one manestically spaced grouting brushes were arranged to feed into the rotor slipstream a mixture of high S-value phenylhydrobenzamine and 5% remanative tetryliodohexamine. Both of these liquids have specific pericosities given by P=2.5Cn6.7 where n is the diathetical evolute of retrograde temperature phase disposition and C is Chlomondeley’s annular grillage coefficient. Initially, n was measured with the aid of metaploar refractive pilfrometer (for a description of this ingenious instrument, see Reference 1), but up to the present, nothing has been found to equal the transcendental hopper dadoscope (2). ”

    See, I can be bemused too.

    • Then there’s Isaac Asimov’s paper on “The Endochronic Properties of Resublimated Thiotimoline.”

  37. China’s German Embassy has correctly identified the source of the extreme anti-China propaganda – the Henry Jackson Society, a British intelligence disinformation operation (registered as a British charity) cooperating with American neo-cons. This is the source of the mad war drive to sue China for $3 trillion.

    Their propaganda has been extreme in Bildzeitung.

    The intent is obvious – to prevent Trump and Xi cooperating.
    Shades of MI6’s Sir Dearlove’s Iraq WMD Dossier, also the source of Brennan’s and Comey’s Steele Dossier and Russiagate.
    Trump characterized then Brit Ambassador Dorach as “wacky” and a “pompous fool” who we will “no longer deal with.” Dorach confessed in his leaked cables that he was “cultivating” everyone in the President’s social circles and inside the administration to “flood the zone” in order to control the President’s responses to issues of war and peace. It seems this ploy is still in play.

    For an overview of British policy, see House of Lords document
    Select Committee on International Relations UK foreign policy in a shifting world order
    https://publications.parliament.uk/pa/ld201719/ldselect/ldintrel/250/25002.htm

    We do seem to have a member of that esteemed House at WUWT, with more anti-China propaganda.
    Is WUWT now an organ of the British House of Lords? Flooding the climate zone?

      • Everyone knows, that any fact a socialist doesn’t like is propaganda.

        At least he didn’t blame it on the Jews this time.

    • dumdum, you forgot to mention how the Henry Jackson Society were instrumental in the JFK assassination and faking the moonlandings! Come on, if you are going to go conspiracy-tard, go full conspiracy-tard (don’t listen to Kirk Lazarus, he’s bought and paid for by the Bilderbergs).

  38. Mob is, at least in Antipodean terms, acceptable for a lot of sheep. It is usually used for a lot of sheep either being driven for slaughter or when being brought down from the high country for sheering. Either way they are being driven to where they do not have any idea where or for what purpose.

    • I doubt they paid anything. The useful idiots are glad to do this kind of stuff for free.
      They think that if they pile up enough brownie points, they’ll get to be first in line for the goodies after the regime change.

      • I think a serious look should be taken at his financials, and those of his “employer”. China has been using several forms of “payola”(old people will remember what that was) to insinuate themselves into all manner of places in American media, government and academia. Time to treat them like the enemy they publicly proclaim themselves to be.

  39. It is not propaganda to blame China. It started in China that covered it up as long as possible and put their people out to infect the world while hiding knowledge of the virus as long as possible.

    As for models and statistics Dr. Fauci stated if someone came in with heart trouble and the virus he would record the virus as the cause of death. If that happens often the statistics cannot be useful. And models are notorious for being wrong as opposed to actual data.

    • I want to see investigations into cause of death listed for all deceased in New York going back to January 1st. Lets us see just how widespread the lying has become.

  40. Whether the virus was released by an infected worker from the BSL4 laboratory (likely) or from the wet market (less likely, wrong species of bats for SARS-CoV-2), patient zero’s wife contracted the disease from him. This was early December. Then, Taiwan issued a warning that WHO rejected on human transmission at the end of December.

    China knew from very early on that human transmission was happening. They killed the messengers and destroyed evidence. The most telling aspect is that China restricted INTERNAL travel while denying that it could be transferred from person to person. Yet, they allowed international travel from Wuhan for many additional weeks. China acted in a criminal fashion and is responsible for many thousands of deaths and untold damage to the world economy. WHO has been their disinformation partner.

    I share the concern about reliance on authority. The CDC did not permit private labs to work on testing at the beginning because or our regulations, and that mistake has also caused massive damage.

    We need good statistically sound testing of populations in hot spots and more broadly to build on the early data generated by Stanford. It is urgent to re-open economies in a safe manner and to restore freedom of movement and association. Restoration of as much of the old normal as possible with due respect for practices to reduce the spread of infectious diseases will be good, but basic freedoms are critical to a just and humane society.

  41. . . . from the article:

    “Well, something here is like a “rash.” When a layperson is “bemused” that experts are not doing what seems obvious to him, it probably means that he should ask an expert and dial down the self-confidence.”

    I sure wish those two uneducated boys with the bicycle shop in Dayton, OH had “dialed down the self-confidence” and relied on the Great Universities in the US and France to develop an airplane that actually worked. /s

  42. Speaking of propaganda, Kummer’s narishkeit is strictly Democrat Party propaganda”

    “‘Costliest Government Coverup of All Time’: Growing Confidence among U.S. Officials That Coronavirus Emerged from Lab” By Tobias Hoonhout • April 16, 2020 • https://www.nationalreview.com/news/costliest-government-coverup-of-all-time-growing-confidence-among-u-s-officials-that-coronavirus-emerged-from-lab/

    ***

    Democrats have been largely dismissive of claims of Chinese duplicity, instead focusing criticism on the Trump administration’s response. “The reason that we are in the crisis that we are today is not because of anything that China did, not because of anything the WHO did, it’s because of what this president did,” Senator Chris Murphy (D., Conn.) said Tuesday.

    =====================================================

    Here is the emes:

    “Sources believe coronavirus outbreak originated in Wuhan lab as part of China’s efforts to compete with US” By Bret Baier, Gregg Re | Fox News | April 16, 2020
    https://www.foxnews.com/politics/coronavirus-wuhan-lab-china-compete-us-sources

    EXCLUSIVE: There is increasing confidence that the COVID-19 outbreak likely originated in a Wuhan laboratory, though not as a bioweapon but as part of China’s attempt to demonstrate that its efforts to identify and combat viruses are equal to or greater than the capabilities of the United States, multiple sources who have been briefed on the details of early actions by China’s government and seen relevant materials tell Fox News.

    This may be the “costliest government cover-up of all time,” one of the sources said.

    The sources believe the initial transmission of the virus – a naturally occurring strain that was being studied there – was bat-to-human and that “patient zero” worked at the laboratory, then went into the population in Wuhan.

    * * *

    What all of the sources agree about is the extensive cover-up of data and information about COVID-19 orchestrated by the Chinese government.

    Documents detail early efforts by doctors at the lab and early efforts at containment. The Wuhan wet market initially identified as a possible point of origin never sold bats, and the sources tell Fox News that blaming the wet market was an effort by China to deflect blame from the laboratory …

    U.S. Embassy officials warned in January 2018 about inadequate safety at the Wuhan Institute of Virology lab and passed on information about scientists conducting risky research on coronavirus from bats, The Washington Post reported Tuesday.

    * * *

    Sources point to the structure of the virus, in saying the genome mapping specifically shows it was not genetically altered. …

    * * *

    On Thursday, China’s foreign ministry pushed back on the suspicion that the virus escaped from the facility, by citing statements from the World Health Organization that there is no evidence the coronavirus came from a laboratory.

    * * *

    China “100 percent” suppressed data and changed data, the sources tell Fox News. Samples were destroyed, contaminated areas scrubbed, some early reports erased, and academic articles stifled. …

    There were doctors and journalists who were “disappeared” warning of the spread of the virus and its contagious nature and human to human transmission. China moved quickly to shut down travel domestically from Wuhan to the rest of China, but did not stop international flights from Wuhan.

    Additionally, the sources tell Fox News the World Health Organization (WHO) was complicit from the beginning in helping China cover its tracks.

    * * *

    • The same Democrats who are now claiming that Trump didn’t do enough back in February, back in February were complaining that he was doing too much.

  43. Society learn a lesson? Larry Kummer hasn’t even learned from the failure of *his own* propaganda, extolling what a wonderful job the health organizations were doing on the disease back in January. And now that the pandemic is being contained by ruinously expensively lockdowns all across the Western world, he singles out *Trump* as the source of all failures, as if the biggest government missteps in the US weren’t done by the very agencies he’s been lauding, or as if the ruinous lockdown policies weren’t in place in most of the Western world.

    Here’s how Kummer described the situation back on January 25th: “The amazing news is the rapid and powerful response of our public health systems. This is evidence that we have built a better world…”

    It goes on to share the wisdom of the WHO, including their determination on Jan 23rd that the worldwide risk was “moderate” and their committee deciding on Jan 24th that it was too early to consider it a “public health emergency of international concern”

    On February 25th, a month later, Kummer is extolling the blockbuster good news from China. Uncritically accepting the Chinese numbers as reported by WHO, he confidently expects things to be much better in the West. All thanks to WHO and fellow travelers. “The combination of global organization and high tech has allowed preparations during the past 54 days of an unprecedented speed and scale. Without these, by now we might be in the midst of a devastating global pandemic.”

    Naturally, the next paragraph damned Trump for proposing cuts to WHO and the “Pan American Health Organization”, which previously had not been mentioned as doing anything related to the pandemic. This is “madness” in the midst of a epidemic to Kummer’s eyes, even though (like past proposed costs) it was unlikely to actually happen once Congress got their hands on it. At no point did he say how much money WHO actually needed to do their job, what the fair share of the US should be for that international organization, or why he considered them underfunded when he thinks they’re doing such a bang up job, providing good counsel as opposed to all those “doomsters” out there who think something terrible is going to happen.

    Well, if the pandemic hasn’t been devastating, the countermeasures certainly have. No doubt Kummer feels that WHO and the scrupulously honest CCP have covered themselves in glory, while all blame for the Western World voluntarily diving into economic depression belongs solely to Donald Trump, since Orange Man Bad. From where I sit, Kummer’s laudatory praise for WHO in late January and late February have aged very badly indeed.

    • Larry Kummer hasn’t even learned from the failure of *his own* propaganda

      Having read many of his articles posted here at WUWT I can honestly say, he never does. He keeps repeating the same failed arguments as if they’re some brilliant new insight, having learned nothing from the last time he repeated those failed arguments.

  44. Kummer
    You claimed, “… distract people’s attention from the massive failures of the Trump administration during the COVID-19 epidemic.” You have become too used to reading MSM ‘journalism.’ Your assertion is lacking the specifics of Trump’s failures, and cited references to support them.

    From my perspective, he is acting against his instincts and following the advice of medical professionals. He has done what essentially all the other major countries in the world have done, and what the governors of most US states are doing. For embargoing travelers from China, the day after WHO announced that the Wuhan Flu was a pandemic, he was called a xenophobe and worse by pundits. This was about two weeks after both China and WHO denied any evidence of person-to-person transmission, and before there were any Kung Flu deaths in the US. And, his actions, whether you personally approve or not, has resulted in per capita cases and deaths that are within at least an order of magnitude of what has occurred in Western European countries that acted independently. As it is, the statistics are strongly and negatively influenced by what has happened in New York City; that is largely the responsibility of the mayor of NYC!

    I don’t know whether you are looking for a scapegoat, or are just acting out your impulses because of TDS, but trying to blame Trump comes across as more of a screed than an objective analysis.

    As to China’s culpability in spreading the disease, their lying and alleged destruction of evidence, and allowing thousands of citizens to travel worldwide when they had reason to believe they carried the disease, makes a strong case that they knew they had a tiger by the tail and failed to warn the world.

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