By Christopher Monckton of Brenchley
The scale of the Chinese-virus pandemic is now beginning to become visible. Yesterday, the death toll of 59,000 in the United States exceeded the 58,000 in the Vietnam war.
In Europe, 488,764 people died of all causes in the six weeks to mid-April, according to an analysis of data from the European mortality monitoring agency carried out by Sky News. That is 117,641, or 32%, above the 371,302 deaths that would be expected over those six weeks in an average year. Sky comments that while these excess deaths are not necessarily all caused by the pandemic, the majority are likely to have been caused by it.
Across Europe, weeks 14 and 15 were the worst for excess deaths, with 64% above the average in both weeks. In normal times, even a 15% excess-death figure is regarded as exceptionally severe.
Fig. 1. All-cause excess mortality and Chinese-virus mortality to early/mid April 2020.
In most European countries, excess mortality (gray in Fig. 1) has greatly outstripped reported deaths from the Chinese virus (blue). It is likely that most of the additional excess deaths are also attributable to the virus but have not been reported as such.
As Fig. 2 shows, the four countries with the greatest peaks in excess deaths are England, Spain, Belgium and Italy. England recorded the highest number of excess deaths anywhere in Europe for three consecutive weeks (14 to 16). For the past two weeks, England is alone in having scored more than 40% above the average: it did so in two successive weeks.
Sky News also reports that England has had more excess deaths per head of population than Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland. The most likely reason for this high mortality is England’s high population density, which increases the transmission rate of the virus, aggravated by the Government’s month of dithering before locking down the country, which allowed unchecked exponential growth every day.
Fig. 2. Mortality z-scores (%) for various European countries, weeks 1-16 of 2020.
Lack of sunshine contributing to widespread Vitamin-D3 deficiency among the large elderly population is another possible factor: of all the various nostrums for reducing the probability of infection and severity of symptoms, the one that has been demonstrated by a meta-analysis of clinical trials involving at least 10,000 patients to be efficacious against respiratory viruses is daily supplementation with 10,000 units (25 micrograms) of Vitamin D3.
The darker the skin, the more likely is Vitamin D3 deficiency in sunless, northern climes. The large immigrant population in Britain has proven more susceptible to the Chinese virus than the Caucasian population – another reason why the UK figures are so bad. Finally, the Government failed to provide clear, timely instructions to care-homes for the elderly, where there have been thousands of hitherto-unreported Chinese-virus deaths.
The Netherlands, France and Switzerland also saw a steep rise in excess deaths. In Scandinavia, not so much. In Denmark and Norway, the deaths so far are what would be expected in a normal year. However, no-lockdown Sweden shows a small but significant excess already, and, based on the date of the tenth Chinese-virus death, which in Sweden was March 18, against March 7 in Spain, March 12 in the UK and February 25 in Italy, the next few weeks will reveal whether the no-lockdown strategy has been a success. Even then, the greater severity of the pandemic in territories where population densities are a lot higher than in Sweden would not have allowed those territories safely to avoid lockdowns altogether.
England will be the worst-affected country in Europe. In one recent week, 22,351 deaths were recorded: more than in any other week since modern records began (Fig. 3).
Fig. 3. Weekly all-cause mortality, England & Wales, 1970-2000.
In England, as in the other worst-affected countries, the discrepancy between Chinese-virus deaths and total excess deaths is substantial (Fig. 4), suggesting that thousands more may have died of the virus than official death-counts show. Notoriously, HM Government has until now excluded deaths outside hospitals from the daily counts it announces. From today, however, under pressure from the news media, it will count the deaths properly.
Fig. 4. Chinese-virus and “other” deaths against mean all-cause mortality, England & Wales.
Sky News has commented that were it not for the lockdown in the UK the death count might well have ended up in the hundreds of thousands.
Sir David Spiegelhalter, the Professor of the Public Understanding of Statistics at Cambridge, said on All Fools’ Day that, since the Chinese virus chiefly strikes the aged and infirm, many of them would soon have died in any event – a viewpoint that has hitherto been echoed, regrettably, by some commenters here.
Now, just four weeks later, the very sharp increase in excess deaths not only in Britain but also in other European countries shows that the victims of the Chinese virus are dying significantly sooner with the virus than without it.
Our daily graphs show that the daily compound growth rate in estimated active cases remains positive in some of the countries we are tracking – notably the United States, England and Sweden. In Britain, at any rate, the lockdown will not be ended until the rate is well below zero. The Prime Minister has been quoting Cicero: salus populi suprema lex.
As today’s graphs (Figs. 5-6) show, the global daily compound growth rate in estimated active cases – the key indicator of how bad the pandemic will eventually prove to be, and of whether ending lockdowns will be a prudent step – is zero in the world excluding China and occupied Tibet, where the numbers are fictitious.
Tomorrow I shall provide a simple mathematical wrinkle that will allow anyone to convert any compound active-case growth rate below 0% into an estimate of the total cases that would eventually arise if that negative growth rate were to persist.
Fig. 5. Mean compound daily growth rates in estimated active cases of COVID-19 for the world excluding China (red) and for several individual nations averaged over the successive seven-day periods ending on all dates from April 1 to April 28, 2020.
Fig. 6. Mean compound daily growth rates in cumulative 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 8 to April 28, 2020.
The UK’s Covid-19 latest (Wednesday) and possibly last update:
The UK’s government has changed the method the data is compiled, extracting the hospitalised cases from the amalgamated total with required accuracy may not be possible, hence these daily graphs most likely will not be updated in the future.
while there has been a lot of pressure to announce the total number of deaths, and quite rightly so, making incompatible changes to the statistics and not providing a continuous backwards compatible dataset somewhere is convenient way of masking what is really happening.
Now since this article chooses to talk about Euro Momo data , let’s start with a link to what we are talking about. https://euromomo.eu/graphs-and-maps/
One feature of the COVID spike which is frequently commented on it that is higher than even the severe flu years. What most people seem to miss is that it is also much narrower.
These are weekly death rates so to get the total deaths you need to look at the integral or “area under the graph”. When you do that you find it is not much more than the 2016/17 flu season and about equal to the lower but much longer 2017/18 flu season. That year actually looks like two overlapping outbreaks.
15-65 is now back to the annual mean for time of year. LET’S GET THEM BACK TO WORK.
If we look at the cumulative graphs of excess mortality in lower part of that page ( click on + to visualise 2017 as well ) we see that for 15-65 COVID is roughly equal to 2017 and notably less than 2018 totals. Since this group is now average that cumulative that is likely to reflect the end result unless there is another flare up.
The way this data is displayed is not the most useful since it splits each flu season between two years. The strong 17/18 flu season does not show up in the cumulative graphs since half of its deaths were counted in 2017, the other half in 2018. If this was shown June-June that flu season would be considerably stronger than COVID.
65+ group is not quite back down to average, so totals will still rise a bit, though not a lot.
If we similarly add the end of 2017 ( red line ) rise onto the flat end of 2018 , we see that, even for 65+ COVID is about the same as the 17/18 flu season .
So bottom line is COVID-19 now the Momo data is getting back to annual average has only been as bad as a bad flu year. To be realistic it should be noted that this is with EU+UK wide restrictions but on the other hand we do have a fair degree of herd immunity to flu plus annual jabs.
The dangerous factor with COVID was the short sharp spike and the lack of preparedness of most major countries health systems to cope with a surge. In the UK that is a result of decades of cuts which started in the Thatcher years and continued into the neo-Thatcherite Blair and Brown govts through to the current Conservative decade.
Germany clearly has a much more robust system and scandinavian countries could all have avoided the destruction of shutdowns.
Don’t bother , whatever that rate is one thing is certain. It will not persist. So the whole exercise is pointless.
Your continual ” if that rate were to persist” comments are meaningless and oddly similar to the stupid and misleading projections of the IPCC, famous for assuming “pathways” where all else remains constant until 2100 AD. As everyone must realise by now the chance of that ever happening is infinitesimal.
Once again you are incapable of addressing any technical criticism of what you write, so you hide your incompetence behind a trite and irrelevant reply.
He has form in that area. Lack of knowledge in a subject makes you lash out in frustration.
Good analysis Greg. It would be good to get more stats over the next few months on how Covid-19 compares with other epidemics.
then stop pointing at the weather and making climate predictions …
Christopher, are you in a position to expand on that comment?
Your choice of words suggests to me that Greg Goodman’s arguments were not as such incorrect, but more irritating because they related to things none of us had any control over.
Is Greg offering valid discussion, or is his reasoning flawed, or his reasoning sound but based on poorly constructed data?
“Don’t whine”, is MoB standard boilerplate, indicating that he has at least read the comment, but thinks it has no substance. That’s an improvement on the ad hominem of dubbing such commenters as a “bed-wetter” at least? More appropriate and less antagonistic would be to use a modern style Caesarean emoticon to express approval or the contrary, such as ….. 👍, 👎, or in extremis even 🖕.
There is no “Excess Mortality” in the 2020 USA numbers.
The USA death total has declined in the first 15 weeks of 2020 when compared to 2019 and 2018.
2020 – Week 1-15 – “All Deaths” – 848,042
2019 – Week 1-15 – “All Deaths” – 865,238
2018 – Week 1-15 – “All Deaths” – 892,029
This data opens from a CDC web page into the Excel app on my computer – so, linking to it is complicated!
“Weekly U.S. Influenza Surveillance Report”
(2) Scroll down to “Pneumonia and Influenza (P&I) Mortality” chart.
(3) Click on “View Chart Data” below the chart.
(4) Spread sheet opens on your spread sheet app.
(5) “All Deaths” is Column “F”
Influenza Like Illness, ILI
From the CDC website:
Mild COVID-19 illness presents with symptoms similar to ILI, so ILINet is being used to track trends of mild to moderate COVID-19 illness and allows for comparison with prior influenza seasons.
Nationwide during week 16, 2.2% of patient visits reported through ILINet were due to ILI. This percentage is below the national baseline of 2.4% [snip] Nationally, laboratory-confirmed influenza activity as reported by clinical laboratories has decreased to levels usually seen in summer months which, along with changes in healthcare seeking behavior and the impact of social distancing, is likely contributing to the decrease in ILI activity.
“Germany clearly has a much more robust system and scandinavian countries could all have avoided the destruction of shutdowns.”
Not seeing any evidence for your counterfactual.
It’s not supported by the data.
It’s not supported by any understanding of how the disease transmits.
Greg he never mentioned lock down and if you are going to complain about him over the use of the term “if that rate were to persist”. Well okay can we complain about you with the “there should be no lockdown” replys to posts that aren’t about lockdown. We can’t change that and it isn’t going to happen just like rates persisting ….. so it’s the same thing and it is by definition a whine.
Can we also complain about Greg Goodman responding to the first comment of every post with his unrelated comment just so everybody can tell how important his comment is?
Oh the message is that important … so if we all just say we agree will he go away 🙂
“Don’t bother , whatever that rate is one thing is certain. It will not persist. So the whole exercise is pointless.”
Read your quote once again and this time try to understand it. An epidemic regularly consists of an exponential growth phase followed by an exponential decay phase once R0 has sunk below 1.0. The latter is usually much longer and most cases and deaths actually occur during it, though at a lower rate.
If the decay is due to herd immunity a new surge is unlikely unless the infective agent mutates. If it was due to a lockdown and this is raised too soon a new surge is very likely.
“scandinavian countries could all have avoided the destruction of shutdowns.”
Sweden did. Currently we have about three times as many deaths as the other three countries put together and a mortality considerably higher than the US, and no end in sight.
The official line is that mortality is peaking in Stockholm (they’ve claimed that for nearly a month now), but the rest of the country is still in the exponential rise phase. Officialdom seems to be getting a bit shaky, they’ve cancelled the daily press conferences, starting today.
The contrast in Covid-related deaths between Sweden and Norway, which share a 1,000 mile border, is stark. As of 30th April, the Our World in Data site puts the death-toll in Sweden at 2,462, which is ~244 per million population. In Norway it’s 202 deaths in total, which equates to ~37 per million population.
However, what is completely missing from these, at times, puerile exchanges is the other side of the coin – the socio-economic fallout.
Locking down a country’s economy comes with unfathomable multiple costs – we haven’t got even the first reasonable understanding of the dimensions of that.
Contrary to say Canada, Sweden kept a good portion of its economy intact, deciding to payi the Covid Piper up front.
To compare approaches we’ll have to do a cost benefit analysis of lives lost now vs. lives lost as collateral damage both now and later and crucially the damage to people’s lives from a wrecked economy. Apples to apples.
Meanwhile, Canada’s Parliamentary Budget Office now estimates the 2021 deficit at $250 billion – up from $180 billion a couple of weeks ago.
Keep this up, and before you know it we’re taking serious money.
Unemployment is exploding in Sweden too. Sweden is a very export- and import-dependent country so the no-shutdown policy really makes little difference. The economy is shutting itself down. And since we have let green regulations strangle much of our farming sector there is already talk about food rationing.
How is that for “keeping the conomy intact”
@tty – Hmm, some IKEA stores closing permanently, as they “rationalise” their furnishings empire. I wonder if that’s another consequence of what you remark? 🤔
“What most people seem to miss is that it is also much narrower.” What is your basis for this statement given we are in the middle of it now? Any narrowing of the bump can almost certainly be attributed to the lock-down orders and not some magical quality of the virus that makes it weaker as it spreads. Please explain how the transmission rate and/or mortality rate decline for this virus when such a small percentage of people have been infected.
I’ve just done an approximate analysis and the conclusion is much the same as yours.
I’m using the top graph in your link, which is the total deaths for all ages.
The spike certainly looks pretty dramatic. But if you redraw the graph so that the x axis is at zero rather than 40,000 then it looks much less dramatic. But it still looks scary.
I decided to compare the virus spike to a bad flu season, 2016/2017.
By hovering the mouse on the graph I got the weekly figures.
For 2016/2017 I used the values between weeks 48 and 8. The total deaths was 811,881.
I did the same for the virus spike, starting at the point where it started to spike upwards (weeks 10 to 14). This gives the numbers up to the peak of the spike. The spike is now falling at a similar rate, so a reasonable assumption is that the total number of deaths will be twice that from the start to the peak.
The number of deaths up to the peak was 338,155.
Doubling it gives a grand total of 676,310.
A bad flu season: 811,881 deaths
The total predicted covid-19 spike: 676,310 deaths
Some doctors (e.g. Dr Erickson) have specifically stated that the covid-19 death rate is similar to ordinary flu. These figures certainly seem to support that. However, there is one obvious difference: the covid-19 spike has grown and is now falling much faster than a normal flu season, so initially would create a larger burden than normal on health services. This could be because covid-19 is entirely new and we have zero initial immunity. This could also explain some extreme cases such as New York and some Italian hospitals: because it’s new we fear it far more than something we’re familiar with, such as flu. And of course the fear is quickly stoked up by fantasy computer models of doom. Sound familiar?
” The spike is now falling at a similar rate”
It never does, and it hasn’t even started to fall yet in most counties. The “fall” you imagine you see is because reporting is lagging. Take a look here instead to get more up to date figures:
I agree, assuming the rise and fall will be symmetrical is just that, an assumption.
So, supposing the final number of deaths was 3 times higher than my assumption, then it would mean the virus deaths were a bit less than 3 times worse than a bad flu season. Hardly worth destroying the world economy.
Worldometer seems only to give graphs of accumulated cases, which tends to smooth out the data. I’m looking at the WHO data:
“Deaths over time” gives a current figure of 221,823, which is very slightly less than Worldometer.
The “Deaths over time” graph defaults to cases per day, which gives a much better indication. If you switch the option to “Cumulative” then it looks the same as Worldometer, with no sign of a peak being reached. “Daily” clearly shows that global deaths peaked around April 17th, and have been falling since. And it does look quite symmetrical.
You really need to look at the cases per day rather than the accumulated total to see when the peak occurred.
The WHO daily graph shows a striking weekly cycle, probably a reporting artifact. And, for April 30th, a huge spike, about double the previous day and a rise of about 4000. The country graphs show this spike is from the UK. This is because the UK has just started to include deaths in care homes (previously it was just deaths in hospitals). It looks like all the deaths from care homes were lumped into one single day, which is ridiculous.
As I said, I agree that the euromomo graph’s apparent symmetrical spike may be an artifact as it’s at the end of the data. As the weeks pass the true trajectory of deaths in Europe will become a lot clearer. But there’s little doubt that the global death rate peaked in mid April and it’s now falling.
“Worldometer seems only to give graphs of accumulated cases”
No. Look a bit lower down for each country to see daily data (which are the interesting part).
“The WHO daily graph shows a striking weekly cycle, probably a reporting artifact.”
Indeed. This is extreme in the case of Sweden where data are therefore very difficult to interpret. Some deaths are not reported until two weeks later.
“But there’s little doubt that the global death rate peaked in mid April and it’s now falling.”
Possibly true if you consider the World to consist solely of Western Europe and North America, not otherwise. Most countries are still early in the exponential rise phase.
“What most people seem to miss is that it is also much narrower. ”
The latest report is more up to date than figure 4 above, albeit with some estimates.
What you miss is that this wave isn’t over and will see some more weeks well above ‘normal’ death numbers, including the report above which brings to figures up to last Friday. It was a figure only slightly down on the peak in the graph above. The current week, ending tomorrow, will drop to about midway I’m guessing. Looking at EU countries ahead of us on lockdown, the drops in cases are slower than the rises. These weeks with substantial extra deaths were with an unprecedented shut down of our society, meaning that the unmitigated total would have been higher.
Another thing you don’t seem to consider is that normal winter excess deaths include lots of other cold related deaths than flu. Strokes and heart attacks, all caused by the time of year and the low temperatures. You mention excess deaths for 2017/18. That winter was near or below ‘normal’ for the CET, in other words much colder than most modern years. During this pandemic we’ve been in very mild weather, even for the time of year, so deaths from temperature related reasons were very low. There have been excess stroke and heart attack deaths because people have been fearful of covid19 in hospital but that would have happened anyway without lock down. We;ve seen falls in road accident deaths and gang attacks but a rise in domestic violence.
Without knowing how many people have been infected and hopefully have some immunity, we don’t know how fast a second wave would fire up again or how high it might rise. Small studies have varied widely on the numbers of infected and may only relate to the places those studies were taken. Even the most optomistic figures still indicate that we’re nowhere near herd immunity. There’s no evidence to suggest another wave wouldn’t develop, would be less rapid or kill a smaller percentage. The more seed cases in the community, the harder it would be to keep in under control like South Korea.
So if we’d let the wave peak naturally the area under the graph would have been huge, simply because of the height it would have reached. There would have been many additional deaths caused by the chaos. If we relax too much and too soon we have multiple peaks, each with a severe winter death size total. Only a vaccine or a very good cure (and there is no study I’ve seen that demonstrates excellent results yet), would change that situation.
In reply to tty:
“No. Look a bit lower down for each country to see daily data (which are the interesting part).”
I’ve looked at the data tables quite a few times. But I was specifically referring to graphs showing the historical data. That’s essential to see the overlying trends. As far as I can see Worldometer doesn’t have an option to display graphs as daily or cumulative. They really should do that – the WHO does. The cumulative graphs are effectively highly smoothed so it’s very difficult to see exactly where the peak occurs, particularly if the graph itself isn’t very large.
Looking at the WHO daily global death numbers, it really does look like it peaked around April 17, even when taking into account the weekly cycle. The huge spike at the end is an artifact caused by the change in UK counting (it now includes data from care homes).
Not hugely scientific, but here are the figures for the four weekly peaks:
6716 7231 8473 6675
Are the WHO figures reliable?
The figures from China are obviously a sick joke, but overall I’ve no reason to doubt the global figures from the WHO within reason. The current global figure of accumulated deaths are similar, though the Worldometer figure is slightly larger. Probably not surprising as they use different methods to get the data. At the end of the day the WHO relies on all world governments to submit their best estimates of daily deaths.
“Possibly true if you consider the World to consist solely of Western Europe and North America, not otherwise. Most countries are still early in the exponential rise phase.”
WHO has a set of daily graphs for countries with the highest accumulated deaths. Nearly all of these show the death rate peaked around mid April. Two main exceptions: Brazil and the US. However, it was looking as if the US peaked around April 23, but the last two days have spiked up. Either the US hasn’t peaked yet or those two days are a reporting artifact, as with the UK.
The WHO data strongly indicates the world death rate peaked in mid April. But it is certainly possible that the rates will rise again as the rest of the world catches up. Time will tell….
There is a relationship to the Covid-19 defensive protocols and many other deaths, most particularly flu deaths. Therefore the defensive protocols have also greatly lowered other deaths besides Covid-19 deaths. Thus, with defensive protocols on place, those bad flu years would never have occurred.
You may be correct, but you reference to health care spending in the UK is misleading. Firstly, there have been no cuts. Healthcare spending has increased year on year in real terms and per capita since records began, even during the ‘austerity’ years. As of Feb this year, it was at a record high. UK health spending is above the OECD average as a percent of GDP. Secondly, the UK was one of the few countries were the health system comfortably absorbed the pandemic cases. Indeed hospital and ICU capacity has remained below average levels during the pandemic and is currently running at a record low of about 60%. The cause of UK COVID deaths is not due to hosptial or ICU capactiy.
figures lie and liars figure Greg. There is absolutely no way to believe numbers put out by the bureaucracy as evidenced by the Climate Alarmists.
As we come to the end of this particular flu season the liars will figure with a CYA methodolgy so the politicians, bureaucrats and Monckton’s; who have been whining since February about the end of the world and the absolute need to shelter in place, can point to the magic numbers and say “see it worked. Aren’t we wonderful for saving your life”
I’ve read that the last two flu seasons were milder than average, and the above comment says that 2018 excess deaths were low. If 2019 deaths also were low, then I might expect some of the high risk patients who survived those two years might be more ready to go this year, making excess deaths this year appear higher.
Do you think you could “Chinese-virus” one more time please? If all you care about is race and naming the virus I for one would have no interest in whatever other point you are trying to make (if there is one).
Sorry, couldn’t resist, like this old time music !
If Monckton keeps referring to Chinese-virus, it is an attack on the one party state govt. of China not the “race” of chinese people.
That you manage to interpret this as “racist” says more about your prejudices than his.
This looks like proxy TDS more than a reasoned criticism.
This response is meant for ALEX HARVEY April 29, 2020 at 10:07 am
“Do you think you could “Chinese-virus” one more time please? If all you care about is race and naming the virus I for one would have no interest in whatever other point you are trying to make (if there is one).”
Alex people are too quick to pull put the racist card! Just like the crappy decisions that our own governments make it’s the CCP that is the intended target of our wrath. The general Chinese population have no say in party policy, just as they are not personally responsible for the corruption of the party. Most of them are just trying to live their lives like ‘ordinary’ folk the world over.
The CCP however is doing everything they can to cover up the details in regard to the virus and want to transact business as usual on a global level. The ‘nothing to see here’ approach doesn’t cut it. They have caused death within the global community and major economic damage. They have done irreparable damage to millions of small businesses that will never recover.
It may well come down to the carelessness of a single individual but that implies a breakdown of laboratory bio security, obviously a serious issue. It is likely is wasn’t intentional but we’re not talking about a minor incident here and the Chinese government must take responsibility.
We give this virus a Chinese prefix because they are trying to worm their way out of any responsibility. It has nothing to do with racism.
Megs – well stated. WuFlu, Wuhan virus, Chinese virus are all better names and more memorable than the official name (thought up by China’s WHO?). The Chinese people are not responsible for their leadership, who took control of the country originally at gun-point and have not relinquished it. There are many good people in China, as in every country, but their own government gives them a hard time. The CCP has caused the deaths of millions of its own citizens, but it is also becoming an increasing threat to the rest of the world. The situation looks like it will get a whole lot worse before it gets better – and I hope that I am proved wrong on that!
You are so right and stated it beautifully.
People who pull out the race card don’t realize that they are supporting the Chinese Communist Dictatorship (or, do and that is their intention), not the Chinese people who are the greatest victims of their rotten, evil lying Government.
It beats naming it the Spanish Flu.
In that older case, the name came from the fact that Spain was reporting on the pandemic as a neutral country in WW1. The other countries had a news blackout on it because of the war effort and war fundraising drives. Spain was neither the source of the flu or the hardest hit place, yet the name stuck.
And Spain isn’t “blamed” for the Spanish flu. But China is blamed, and rightly so, for the “Chinese Virus”. Personally, I like the “WuWHOFlu”.
I haven’t stopped laughing—good one harmsworth.
Truth is a key element in GREAT humor.
Actually they were at the time and Spanish people were ostracised and subject to abuse by ignoramuses much like many people of East Asian appearance today, regardless of whether they have Chinese ancestry. Labelling it the “Chinese” virus is just asking to incite racist behaviour and it’s no excuse to claim you’re only referring to the CCP. Let’s rename the Spanish Influenza the Yankee Influenza and see how they like it. After all the earliest case we know about was at a US Army Camp in Kansas in 1917, not in Spain.
So many people getting triggered by a simple label.
It’s almost as if they are being paid to be offended.
The left plays the race card whenever they can, although complaining about China-virus is pretty silly considering there are actual racist terms that could be used instead. If it originated Canada, would there be an issue calling it the Canada virus?
Perhaps the Chimney Flu
The Canuk contagion?
Yes same issue when Australia put flight bans on China, WHO and all the good little lefties called it racist. The breeding ground of the lefties, Australian Universities had protests that the policy was racist and you can guess what country funded all those protests.
The bans were there for good reasons, but a lefty never lets the truth get in the way of an agenda.
Nope. Not paid to be a sceptic or a supporter of public health.
The Big Oil, Evil Bankers with Hook Noses, Reds Under the Beds argument is a way of avoiding thinking.
The reason the world’s healthcare experts have not named the flu after its point of origin is to keep us safe. Killing people out of prejudice is stupid. Killing yourself as well is very stupid.
Urgent action is required at the start of a pandemic. That action includes publicising the fact it’s happening. Stigmatising being the source of an outbreak discourages the required publicity. That makes us all more vulnerable.
Now you might say “That totalitarian dictatorship with no free press didn’t publicise it quick enough”. You would probably be right. But that is no reason to push for them to be even later next time.
The only correct responses to people too stupid to listen to the experts on this one are:
A) Ignore them
B) Ridicule them.
What experts? Madame Mao and the Gang of Four?
Your post makes no sense, except to understand you are pushing ChiCom propaganda and making silly claims that using another name will “keep us safe.” The horses already left the barn and are scattering to the four winds.
Are you paid to post this or afraid or what will happen if you don’t?
It has nothing to do with experts thinking they’re keeping us safe. It’s all about political correctness run amok and they’re keeping themselves safe from criticism. Every time Trump calls it the China virus, the media goes nuts projecting all sorts of nonsense which is probably why he does it. It generates the required attention, otherwise, the MSM wouldn’t even mention China’s role.
What China did to infect the world must be made very well known and naming the virus after them is a way to reinforce the connection. Calling it anything else is to deny the truth and whether it was out of incompetence or malice doesn’t matter. We will pay a price for reducing our dependence on cheap Chinese products and the consumer will need to understand why, and to be sure, it’s about more than just how the virus was let loose on an unsuspecting world.
But why should we conflate a scientific issue–a pandemic–with a political one?
The Chinese government is totalitarian, not really Communist, but we can call it that if we want to. So are half the governments on Earth. So they lied and covered up the origins and spread of the virus. That’s politics, and when the real truth comes out, if it ever does, history.
The situation in the world right now, and the world’s response to it, relies on scientific data, testing, medical response, and governmental action, which, unfortunately and unavoidably leads back into politics. But where the virus originated is not important at the moment, unless you want to petition the Chinese government to release the suppressed data.
Peter Pandemic – re “where the virus originated is not important at the moment” – you are correct, or rather you would be if the Chinese government hadn’t made it important by their aggressively thin-skinned bullying and offensive actions. As it is, it is very important for the west to hold China to account, otherwise they will be encouraged to pursue even more aggressive bullying and offensive actions. NOT calling the Chinese virus by that name, or WuFlu or Wuhan virus or WuWHOFlu or whatever, will just be seen as appeasement by the west and therefore a weakness to be exploited. This isn’t a time for political correctness, this is a time for thoroughly understanding game theory. Make no mistake, game theory is the game being played by Xi Jinping’s China.
“The Chinese government is totalitarian, not really Communist, but we can call it that if we want to.”
Six of one, half a dozen of another. These are just names for the same thing: A group of Elites rule over all the rest with a heavy hand.
Yes, I agree that politics shouldn’t be an issue here, but unfortunately, the political left doesn’t agree and has been continuously trying to use this pandemic to push their retrogressive agendas, whether its immigration, climate change, expanding the welfare state, bailing out mismanaged red states, international appeasement and the rest of their self destructive agendas. Labeling themselves progressives is a ploy to hide their true intent.
Political correctness is the lever they use to suppress dissent and it’s important to fight back against this kind of bullying. We see how much they use this against Trump in their lame attempt to undermine his presidency and he properly fights back. He was elected because he doesn’t care about being politically correct and the political left just can’t wrap their disfunctional brains around this so they double down which has led to the TDS pandemic which unfortunately is intransigently commingled with the China virus pandemic.
Oops, I meant blue state bailouts.
Well said Mike J. My favourite is CCP virus or Chinese Communist Party Virus depending on target audience.
Who are the ‘”experts”? How did they gain the title “expert”?
Experts are specialists. Lately, my view of specialists has aligned with Robert Heinlein’s:
“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”
you penning comment threw me for a minute till I read the rest, I agree with you on that, the problem is the difficulty on getting through the static on this, this column is one of biggest amount of static, the death numbers are meaning less with out context, the average number is even worse, why not use the mean number instead of average,then how do you take in the increase in population etc, there is more but that’s as far as I willing to go now.
Most climate scientists have a couple of these down (changing their diapers, and pitching manure). Hopefully they will start working on the others soon.
Never liked the die gallantly. Rather the other bugger did that.
“Never liked the die gallantly. Rather the other bugger did that.”
I’m with you, chas!
In the words of General George Patton: No bastard ever won a war by dying for his country. He won it by making some other poor bastard die for his country.
We want to live gallantly. 🙂
The phrase “jack of all trades, master of none” comes to mind. It takes practice and a lot of in-depth knowledge to do anything well – the day of the talented amateur is long gone. I read a lot of Heinlein’s books as a teenager. Rereading them as an adult I realise how simplistic a lot of his ideas are.
@MarkW – Oh, cynic ye!
Follow this rezoning ….. CoViD19 might cause diarrhoea ….. Diarrhoea might cause a sore ass ….. Sore ass sounds a bit like Soros ….. Soros is a sinophile ….. So there you have it, Soros funding agitprop comments. 🤒😷🤑😄
I agree with Alex Harvey
The virus has a scientific name that is concise, memorable and widely understood by the general public. Anyone using a different name for the virus is trying to make some kind of point. They should be prepared to explain what that point is.
“China lied, hundreds of thousands died.”
Is this enough?
Even though the Chinese lied, plenty of people round the world were fully aware of the impact of the virus in January.
The Chinese implemented strict lock-downs that offered us two months of precious time to get ourselves prepared. If governments in the West did nothing until March, they have only themselves to blame.
All of which has nothing to do with this “racist” theme.
AndyL: Well, what if “West” did nothing because China and WHO 1) made false reassuring statements through Jan and Feb; 2) would not let “West” scientists into Wuhan, making it difficult for western doctors to provide accurate analysis to “West” or advise whether lockdown was necessary, contradicting your casual “people round the world were fully aware in January” palaver; and 3) Chicom’s “lockdown” kept international travel going out of Wuhan even as locals were locked down. No, not on the “West”, the blame is all properly laid at China’s door.
Chain shutdown local flights and vehicle traffic from hubai province. It sid not shutdown international flights. Many countries knew? It was downplayed. We should be more worried about the flu was the most common rider with reports on coronavirus.
I am with Paul Courtney China reacted bitterly towards countries that did place international bans on them. They also obviously pressured WHO to give out the most stupid advice and who actively campaigned against travel bans.
So we are going to call Western Governments stupid then we should also state the fact China and WHO are corrupt, liars and culpable.
The Chinese Communist Party stopped domestic flights from Wuhan to the rest of China well before they stopped flights leaving China. They knowingly spread the virus to the rest of the world via thousands of travelers. During this time they gave no warning to the world. They are culpable for hundreds of thousands of deaths.
That’s irrelevant to the name of the virus. It is also inaccurate.
Germany, S Korea, Japan all had the same information as USA Italy, Spain and UK.
The difference in outcome isn’t that China told the WHO to say different things to different Governments. Everybody were told the same facts.
It was the competence of the leaderships that led to very different outcomes.
The real political victim here is Shinzo Abe who has taken far more flak than he deserves.
You forgot to mention Taiwan somehow. They warned WHO that the new virus spread from human to human on Dec. 31.
WHO suppressed that for three weeks until Beijing said the the same.
I suspect you lefties will only be happy when it’s called the Trump Virus.
Obama funded research into the virus in Wuhan to the tune of 3.5 million back in 2015. What ever happened, happened. Lets move on from the blame game and accept it is around the level of a bad flu.
Yes, about as bad as the Spanish flu.
I agree that China Virus isn’t precise because almost all animal-human viruses seem to come from China. Ebola is from central Africa, of course, and it should be to China’s undying shame that poorer nations seem less likely to generate pandemics. With Ebola African countries reported as per international rules in a timely manner.
China did not come clean and they even disappeared medical people who tried to report its danger. This is the world model gov for people like Chinese apologists Alex Harvey AndyL and the many other “Progressive” PC folk who comment here.
So, lets be more precise: Wuhan Virus M’Lord.
[a]lmost all animal-human viruses seem to come from China. Asia has the largest landmass on the planet so I would expect the highest rate of animal-human disease to come from there. But: Ebola- Africa, H1N1- USA, MERS- Middle East, Bird Flu- Worldwide, Spanish Flu- USA.
I am open to hearing the list of animal-human diseases that are coming from China.
“So, lets be more precise: Wuhan Virus M’Lord.”
I second the motion.
Using the “scientific” name you mention is also trying to make some kind of point…..it is trying to hide its origin….which is very important to remember because the world can never be caught with its pants down like this again….and it is all due to China and its puppet W.H.O. THAT’S THE POINT.
AndyL fell on his keyboard and said:
“The virus has a scientific name that is concise, memorable and widely understood by the general public. Anyone using a different name for the virus is trying to make some kind of point.”
“Chinese Virus” is concise, memorable and widely understood by the general public. If you insist on using a different name then what is YOUR point?
But nobody, outside of a few threads is using that name. Almost everybody I’ve spoken to calls it the coronavirus, and that is probably how it will be. Coronavirus rolls off the tongue much easier that Chinese virus. And that’s just the way it is.
Blog threads get a limited amount of attention, and so one who posts only three or four times a week must make every word count including the headline. And yeah, it started in China. The 1918 flu likely started in some hog farms in Kansas, so: the “The Great U.S. Influenza Epidemic of 1918”, if you like. It killed 50 million.
WRT to the widely mimed Coronavirus mortality figure alleging the U.S. now surpasses the Vietnam War death toll… has anyone ever managed to disaggregated flu deaths from these? Some death certificates specify “non-flu” respiratory virus, indicating somebody actually tested for it. My understanding is no one has made that distinction with CV-19 since Department of Health issued “guidance” to not make the effort. Maybe too costly or time-consuming to test for “every little thing” when there’s a bright shiny novel thing.
The 1918 flu likely started in some hog farms in Kansas
A factoid. The virus had already been established in humans for some years, but not widely distributed:
The virus is apparently called SARs CoV 2. Its name is not memorable, concise or well known.
Actually, pal, in a free society, we can call it what we want. I personally call it Coronavirus or WuFlu because those were the names I heard first of all. This madness has brought out enough little Hitlers without you chipping in.
I say “Chinese virus” simply to trigger knee- jerk PC objections from snowflakes like you. Unless you are Chinese, butt out. If you are Chinese: Them’s the breaks, mate!
Andy how about The Chinese Communist Party Virus or even better the CCP Virus. Short, not so sweet, but the political point it make is self-explanatory. As for whether the political point needs to be made, think about all the wonderful buying opportunities China will find with it’s Nazi Germany style command economy where the Chinese state owns, directly or indirectly, the entire business sector, out in the US, UK, Australia etc. etc. once the economic effects of this epidemic starts to hit home. No doubt we’ll also see more ‘Confucius’ Centres (Karl Marx Centres) popping up like mushrooms all over the place.
That naming “China Virus” is entirely in conformity to all other pandemics. The author has explained it before so please pay attention.
“That naming “China Virus” is entirely in conformity to all other pandemics. The author has explained it before so please pay attention.”
Indeed. LIke the bubonic plague that originated in Bubonia. And cholera, that originated in North Choleria. Influenza (Influenzania), typhus (Typhustina), smallpox (Smallpoxia), measles (Measland), tuberculosis (the asteroid Tuberculan 5), leprosy (Leprostan), malaria (Malaria), and yellow fever (China).
“Chinese” refers to something from China. It does not necessarily refer to any specific race. It could refer to Chinese people, but that that also points to nationality and not necessarily race.
Wuhan virus is better because it more precisely names the location of the first major outbreak of the disease that we are discussing. There are already many viral diseases that originated in China and it gets quite confusing to remember all of them. Of course, the ‘Han” of “Wuhan” refers to the major ethnic group in China. A rose is a rose, they say, but Wuhan is no rose and neither is the Wuhan virus.
It is the norm to name infections after their place of origin, except, it seems, when a nation with many powerful people’s hands in their pockets objects because it interferes with their determined cover-up of their evil and callous behavior.
12 Diseases and the Lucky Places They’re Named For
1. Guinea Worm
2. West Nile Virus
3. German Measles
4. Ross River Fever
5. Omsk Hemorrhagic Fever
6. Ebola Hemorrhagic Fever
7. Marburg Virus Disease
8. Lassa Fever
9. La Crosse Encephalitis
10. St. Louis Encephalitis
11. Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever
12. Ohio Valley Fever
13.San Joaquin Valley Fever
chinese is not a race….
…there are tons of different ethnicities in china
saying it’s racist is just showing your ignorance
Are cars made in Japan called Japanese cars?
What of shoes made in Italy?
How about steel made in Korea?
What of the language spoken in France?
In each case, we can see the origin of each thing provides a unique and logical naming convention.
I personally prefer Chinese Communist Party Virus, as the pandemic is a product of complacency and government cover up.
As to the claim of racism, please provide dispassionate proof. Such proof requires a reasoned response, as opposed to what someone has told you to believe.
BoM pointed out that more Americans so far have died of COVID-19 than had died in the entire Vietnam war (~58,000). The Chinese Communist Party had their hand in Vietnam also, and as you point out, are culpable for all deaths from this virus.
Chinese racism (not our racism against Chinese but their racism against non-Chinese) may have played a role in their unleashing of the virus, but ideology is really what is driving their ongoing deception.
It sorta originated in China, hence Chinese Flu. Mind you I prefer Wuhan Flu which is more accurate.
Maybe you have heard of other epidemics/pandemics named for their place of origin – like Spanish Flu for instance.
But it’s not influenza. The ChiCom-19 virus is not the flu.
If all he cared about was naming the Chinese virus “The Chinese Virus”, why would he bother including any other points?
“If all you care about is race”
chinese is not a race Alex….and saying so just shows your ignorance and all you care about
If you care more about political correctness and being accused of racism than you do about facts, that’s your issue. Good luck with that. The virus came from China and it is therefore a Chinese virus and that has nothing whatsoever to do with race.
In reply to:
“If all you care about is race and naming the virus’
I do not understand this ‘race’ card that is used to try to stop an investigation into covid-19 virus.
Race has zero to do with the questions about the virus’ origin and ‘history’. Those are scientific questions.
Race has zero to do with investigating why China is hiding information concerning this virus.
If China did not have something to hide, the communist party would not have threatened Australia with economic war as Australia to try to intimidate Australia.
Why is China trying to intimidate Australia? China has also kidnapped a number of Canadian citizens on trumped up charges to pressure the Canadian government. What is next? Torture?
China’s response is Australia request for a corona virus investigation, is that Australia is like gum on your shoe.
“Why is China trying to intimidate Australia?”
That’s the way the Chinese dictatorship works. Their arrogance leads them to believe they can push everyone around.
Dictators are basically schoolyard bullies on an international scale. That’s their psychology.
HIV would then be …
“It is widely believed that HIV originated in Kinshasa, in the Democratic Republic of Congo around 1920 when HIV crossed species from chimpanzees to humans.”
So I guess it would be called the Kinshasa virus, no?
Whether from Chinese ghouls eating fetid flesh from a wet market or from a Chinese weapons lab, it was all made in China. Have the CCP opened their labs for inspection? No. Have they closed the wet markets? No. Their intentions are clear. This is not the last virus they will spread to the world. COVID-19 is the euphomism that the WHO slapped on it at the direction of the CCP. Stuff it! It is the Chinese Wuhan Virus. Live with it!
Chinese is not a race …
It’s not racist to state the fact that the virus came from China, therefore it’s Chinese.
“Chinese” is not a race- its a nationality.
You’re just trying to be Sensational Alex Harvey – Banned
Did you complain when they called this years Flu Australian Flu?
Saying “Chinese” is like saying “American” there is nothing racial about it. Both countries have many ethnic people groups.
Is Spanish Flu racist too?
Stop racist comments… This virus is as «Chinese», as the «Influenza» virus was Spanish… Characteristically, this last one, it seems, first started in the USA…
The ChiCom-19 virus came from China. Evidence also points to the Spanish Flu originating in China as well, but the actual origins are debatable.
The ChiCom-19 pandemic is entirely due to the CHINESE COMMUNIST government. Blaming the corrupt, totalitarian government and the CHINESE COMMUNIST PARTY is not blame the people of China, much less blaming any Asian person you see on the street. An intelligent person knows this.
Go peddle your propaganda elsewhere.
Jeffery P: “The ChiCom-19 pandemic is entirely due to the CHINESE COMMUNIST government”.
Well well, Mr “P”; nothing like a bit of unexpected pressure to bring out the atavism lurking shallowly beneath even the most sophisticated and “educated” of skins. Don’t worry though, you find yourself in excellent and most-august company judging by how many of our Intellectual Sentinels – including the Laird and Mr. Middleton (the list is long) – have salivated on cue the moment their till-very-recently maligned political overlords rang the Great Nationalist Bell.
Try this for a thought experiment: are you familiar with the concept of randomness and the innate drive for the human brain to rationalise post hoc? Fine, so let us also assume, then, that the virus did originate in China, one way or another. No, hell, let’s go all the way and accept that it originated in the BLS4 facility in Wuhan. Now let’s leave aside for a moment the trenchant evidence that the US funded a lot of that particular research – which makes them complicit co-conspirators, not so? Next – pray tell, are you familiar with what transpired at Fort Detrick, why, just this last August? Allow me to refresh your memory courtesY of the NYT: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/08/05/health/germs-fort-detrick-biohazard.html.
So as anyone with eyes can see, what we are really discussing here is how lucky the US was that something nasty didn’t slip out of Fort Detrick, not so? (or did it? Answer: we’ll never know). So let me ask you, the Laird and Middleton a chance-based question: IF anything had slipped out of Detrick, would you and the rest of the world have named it the US-Cap(italist) Virus? Or the Uncle Sam virus? Or as Nassim Taleb might phrase it: can your minds perceive or even conceive oF, the “Alternate Barrel of Reality?”
Gentlemen, with the greatest respect, constrain your rising jingiosim lest it proceed to gnaw away at your ability to contribute to this fine blog on climate related issues in the future. We need your minds healthy, intact and clear!
what a word salad….
probably would have called it the Detrick virus…and no one would have blinked
Why the big China coverup?….global warming, plastic in the ocean, environmental toxins and devastation to many to list, poisons in baby formula and milk, poisons in animal food, toxins in baby toys…..war against christians and any and all religions….human rights are a joke
What’s the deal here?….China is the worst country on this planet…and yet, all the little over educated peons in this country either ignore/deny…or rush to their defense
“what a word salad”
If you can’t dazzle them with your brilliance, baffle them with your bull schist.
“not so?” 1: No.
Help with funding a research lab confers no culpability for inept safety administrators.
“not so?” 2: No.
It wasn’t luck. It was control following expert evaluation. The NYT article serves to disprove your polemic.
3: It might be called the Fort Detrick virus. If the US gov’t covered up a Ft. Detrick release, thereby inducing a global pandemic, maybe and justifiably it would be called the American virus. That seems as justifiable as “Chinese virus,” as Chinese refers to something from China (Chinese art, e.g.), as well as referring to a group of east Asian people.
Or, following your fastidiousness about labeling, would ‘American virus’ be a racist slur against Americans? Running to white, black, brown, burnt umber, and yellow-tan as Americans do, would you achieve an efficient racism by including so many skin-tone variants under the single term, American virus?
“Racism” once had some standing as an intellectual construct. It then referred to an ideology forwarding one race as superior or inferior to some other. One could actually identify racism by reference to an objective external standard.
In recent times, “racism” has descended into a vulgar catch-all indictment. It is emptied of any specific meaning, allowing “racism/racist” to be used by progressives to impose silence. Silence everywhere except on their own self-serving exegetical inventions.
Racism pops up every time anyone calls out this sudden jingoism about China and COVID. I am very familiar with China, the Chinese and all their foibles and deep contradictions. I also have precisely zero tolerance for either PC culture or its opposite, which is on daily display here. My criticism points solely at the sudden inability of some here to maintain ideological balance, and both logical and moral equivalence.
Regarding Ft Detrick – do you seriously suggest that there is no equivalence purely because there happens to be no evidence that anything potentially serious resulted from those lax controls? It’s amusing to note how WUWT is suddenly filled with people with a lot to say about – apparently inherent – Chinese fallibility and moral decrepitude, yet the all seeing U.S. government co-funded high risk experimental work with them, at ground zero!…but have pristinely clean hands. Sure Pat, one can reason that way but, come on man, at least have the courage to call things by their proper name!
I see the US now àlso wants to hold China “financially accountable”. Should the rest of the world send the USA and UK a bill for the criminally corrupt 2009 Wall Street and City of London-triggered global financial collapse and all its after shocks? Or how about Iraq? Afghanistan? Libya? Where’s the line Pat? Ever heard of Hanlon’s Razor?
I closely followed your work on probabilities. Much respect. When smart, respectable minds like yours trade Logos for one-eyed flag-waving you do WUWT no favours
I am most grateful to my good friend Pat Frank for having pointed out that the charge of “racism” is a catch-all insult designed to silence the opponents of Communism. Well, it won’t work. In due course I shall set out the timeline of China’s guilt, without which the world would not now be facing hundreds of thousands of excess deaths, with who knows how many more to come.
Mr Buchan, like many of the apologists for Chinese Communist failings here, tries to divert attention away from the Communist Party’s responsibility for having failed to notify the world community of the infection within 24 hours of its first detection, in terms of Article 6 of the International Health Regulations; for having repeatedly lied to the effect that the virus did not transmit from person to person; and for having demanded that flights to and from China should remain open until the virus had been thoroughly transmitted worldwide; and for having disappeared at least seven doctors who had wanted to warn the world in time.
Peter Buchan, you wrote in support of Alex Harvey’s racism thesis.
Your “Racism pops up every time, etc., …” exactly exemplifies my point about vulgar racism. Rhetorically: why is blaming China for covid-19 racist? Well, because peter buchan says so.
There may be racist people who spit, “*Chinese!* virus” as a racist pejorative. But to know that’s an example of racism, we must diagnose the speaker first as a racist. The “Chinese virus” then becomes a racist insult by association with the racist prior.
Chinese virus is an identifier. So is Wuhan virus.
Neither descriptor is ever a racist insult in isolation, without any diagnostic prior.
Far too many folks have set aside their capacity for rational appraisal — jumping to one diagnosis with no inclusion of source or context. It’s more often an indication of their own moral feebleness, than of any one else’s racial outlook.
Maybe some people here are racists. Maybe others are tired of hypocritical progressive embrace of Chinese racism, colonialism, mercantilism and imperialism, and so take some pleasure in hyperbole.
I don’t know, though. There’s been no poll. You’ve not conducted one. Neither have Alex Harvey, AndyL, or Fonesca-Statter. None of you have asked any of the posters here whether they despise Chinese people as a race. Or for their possible alternative motives.
You’ve all just concluded racism when confronted with statements of motivational ambiguity. Given that, it’s you folks on display here as biased, not the others.
You asked, “do you seriously suggest that there is no equivalence purely because there happens to be no evidence that anything potentially serious resulted from those lax controls?”
Yes, I do aver, not suggest, that; on the grounds of the NYT story that said the US shut down a lab that was not meeting safety standards. Had the Chinese done that — and they were warned the Wuhan standards were lax — the covid outbreak may not have happened.
Given the fundamental difference — expert shut-down at Detrick vs. inept continuance at Wuhan — there is no apparent reason for your insistence on their equivalence.
The US has all sorts of high-end scientific and technological cooperative projects with China. I worked with Chinese scientists at SLAC helping them do advanced x-ray spectroscopy. There were undoubtedly Chinese students at Stanford doing advanced BSL work. Likewise elsewhere around the US. Why, then, shouldn’t the US help Chinese in China with that same work? The fact that there were American inspectors shows evidence of oversight. The funding was not just blind hands-off carte blanche.
The proper name for a Wuhan release is ineptitude. Ineptitude of the Chinese administrators and laboratory officers. Calling Covid-19 the Chinese virus is a valid shorthand identifier specifying origin. Doing so is not racism. It takes courage to be neutrally rational in a moralizing time, Peter.
Regarding accountability, the US is a democratic republic, as opposed to China’s fascist thugocracy. The prior US leadership is gone. If anyone should be held accountable for past criminality, bring charges against those individuals. They’re civilians now.
You won’t get any national traction from the accusatory shibboleths of Iraq, Libya or Afghanistan. Libya can be laid at Hillary Clinton’s feet. And Barack Obama’s. Prosecute them. I agree that some recompense is owed Libya for Gaddafi’s murder, and the chaos that followed. But criminal and moral guilt left with the Obama administration.
In China’s thugocracy, guilt is permanently retained by the president-for-life thugocrat and associated hench-people.
A very good argument can be made that Afghanistan and Iraq called war down upon themselves. The mistake in Afghanistan was nation-building. Likewise Iraq. The local cultures don’t seem to provide the soil for a successful polity.
Thank-you for your kind words about my paper on the reliability of climate model projections.
However, I do not admit to showing one-eyed flag-waving. I have objected to closed-eyed racism-baiting. Doing so isn’t jingoism, atavistic, or even nationalism. It’s ethical rationalism.
“my good friend Pat Frank ”
Thank-you for that, Christopher. I’m very honored. Truly so.
Speaking of salivating on cue, here comes yet another apologist for the Chi Coms who insists that anyone who doesn’t ignore the crimes of his masters is just another unthinking racist.
And of course he has to claim that since the US played a very small part in funding the facility that released the virus, that the US must bear most of the blame, while those in charge of that facility were just helpless dupes. And of course the often repeated but never proven claim that the virus really came from the US. Who cares about evidence, we have paymasters to defend.
Why is it the left can never answer a simple question in a sentence or two but just launch into a great multiparagraph, multisyllabic word salad designed to show how clever they are rather than communicate clearly. Let’s get a few things straight for the record. 1) The virus came from a bat from China. 2) The USA had nothing whatsoever to do with releasing said virus on the world. That’s Chicom CYA propaganda unworthy of consideration. 3) Just because the USA responsibly shut down a lab where there were problems doesn’t give the Chinese a licence to not shut down a lab where there are apparently similar problems. (That’s assuming one accepts the NYT as reliable source which I do not.) Whataboutism and straw man arguments just don’t cut it. This from the same folks that wanted to call it the Trump virus, no doubt.
“Now let’s leave aside for a moment the trenchant evidence that the US funded a lot of that particular research – which makes them complicit co-conspirators, not so?”
No, not so. The U.S. was involved in the lab at one time, but it doesn’t follow that the U.S. conspired with the Chinese to release this virus into the population after the U.S. had withdrawn its support for the lab some years ago.
And it doesn’t really matter where the virus first appeared, what matters is that after the Chinese leadership knew they had a very infectious, lethal disease spreading in their country, they concealed the fact from the rest of the world, and then stopped internal traffic out of Wuhan to contain the virus, while at the same time encouraging and even bullying nations into continuing international flights in and out of China, knowing full well that infected people were on those flights.
The Chinese leadership foisted this disease on the whole world deliberately. Xi should accept responsiblity and resign, and China should offer to repay all affected nations. That might take a lot of heat off the Chinese. If that doesn’t happen, then we may be entering a new cold war, or even a hot one. Bullies will back off with enough pressure, but sometimes you have to give them a bloody nose before they understand their situation. Once you give them a bloody nose, they will run like hell.
China is one of the most racist nations on the face of the earth. They don’t give a wit about racism or being racist. They are using the Western Left’s notion that racism is everywhere and everyone’s a racist to deflect the justifiable blame from themselves, not because they care about racism.
You are either a fool or, a Chinese stooge.
Want an example? Here you go.
‘Arguably the most racist ad I’ve ever seen’: Chinese ad for laundry detergent jaw-DROPPINGLY racist (watch) https://twitchy.com/samj-3930/2020/04/16/arguably-the-most-racist-ad-ive-ever-seen-chinese-ad-for-laundry-detergent-jaw-droppingly-racist-watch/
This is what they are doing to religious people. China is despicable and no nation who claims to be moral should be now or, ever have done business with such a truly evil Government.
China Accused of Harvesting Organs of Uighurs, Falun Gong Religious Group
September 26, 2019
Yeah but that’s just their culture. Anyone that calls themselves an American citizen doesn’t have culture because they stole it. /SARC
The knee jerk reaction and virtue signalling to the naming of the virus is the sort of thing that stopped us barring flights from China early enough to make a difference.
What are you talking about? Trump was the first Leader outside of Taiwan and So. Korea who, based on long experience with the despicable CCP, both knew that China was lying, to ban travel. He did it against the advice of the W.H.O. and the CDC.
For doing the right thing, the Left/Dems called him racist and xenophobic.
Trump banned travel despite knowing the usual suspects would accuse him of both and they did.
You have it completely backwards.
“What are you talking about? Trump was the first Leader outside of Taiwan and So. Korea who, based on long experience with the despicable CCP, both knew that China was lying, to ban travel. He did it against the advice of the W.H.O. and the CDC.”
Not only that, but Trump went against all his advisors when he placed a travel ban on China.
Trump said when they were discussing whether to impose the China ban, there were 21 people in the room with Trump, and Trump said every one of them opposed the travel ban. So the travel ban was Trump’s idea alone and he went against everyone including his own people, in order to put it in place.
That’s what I call a decisive man. A prescient man.
KcTaz April 29, 2020 at 11:21 am
What are you talking about? Trump was the first Leader outside of Taiwan and So. Korea who, based on long experience with the despicable CCP, both knew that China was lying, to ban travel.
Not true, for example Italy banned flights from China on Jan 30th, a couple of days later Trump restricted entry to the US from China (“Any foreign national who has traveled within China in the last 14 days will not be allowed to enter the United States”).
Oh no, the PC Patrol has arrived! Run for your lives!
Exactly, we should call it the Bat-cold!
You know, it would be like the Bird-flu or the Swine-flu.
That wouldn’t be racist but it could be construed as Species-ist, or something.
We can’t have that.
Very true. Bat Soup Flu?
No matter how hard leftists try to control language, it will never change reality about what they are.
“Political correctness is Fascism pretending to have manners.”
Those ‘manners’ had politicians in the US telling people to go out and party in crowds, Italian Mayors telling people to hug their Chinese visitors and that anyone who objected was a racist…or something
I don’t care if people call it the China flu, kung flu, chinese virus, or anything else, but the misinformation about them eating bats is just ignorance on full display. Bats have a lot to do with the bio lab in Wuhan, but have nothing to do with their seafood markets.
Mr Turner is not quite correct. Bats can pass their viruses to animals such as the pangolins, a protected species that was on sale at the Huanan “seafood” market.
That’s true, viruses might even play a role in evolution.
But what is also unequivocally true is that the SARS virus has been studied and mutated in labs around the world since it first jumped to humans from bats in 2003. The jump occurred in tropical Guangdong where there are actually a lot of bats in the winter. SARSCOV2 first appeared in Wuhan, a continental climate where I assume there aren’t too many fruit bats hanging around the sea food, but it does have China’s only bio lab that does research on these viruses.
It’s actually sort of funny, if you look up ‘bats wuhan china’ and limit the results to before 2019, you get a lot of research on these viruses from the Wuhan Institute of Virology which all state that the bats are from Guangdong. The lab is actually close to the seafood market too, I wonder where the nearest bat cave is.
And of course the pangolin is a protected species and it is illegal to take them, so of course the black market makes a convenient scapegoat.
It really is amazing how desperate the usual suspects are to find some way to blame everything bad on the US. Even when there is no actual data to support their fantastical desires.
Where did it originate from ? China, its a virus that originated in China. Got it, its not rocket science is it. It is not racist, its a matter of fact.
Is “West Nile Virus” also “racist”?
Of course “West Nile Virus” is racist. Everything is racist. Except leftists. They’re virtuous, upstanding haters of everything American, especially the President. That’s not racism. Racism is disagreeing with a Leftist stooge. Racism is not being a Leftist stooge. All is racism.
Haha wow, now the Chicoms have even made it to WUWT.
“Stop racist comments… This virus is as «Chinese», as the «Influenza» virus was Spanish… Characteristically, this last one, it seems, first started in the USA…”
And not one American feels a sense of shame because of it. Why? Because not one American deliberately foisted the Spanish flu on anyone, so they have nothing to be ashamed of.
The only people in China who should be ashamed of the Wuhan virus are those who deliberately foisted the Wuhan virus plague on the planet. That would be the Chinese leadership, although I think it is safe to say they have no shame. Can’t see much humanity there, either. Not when you deliberately destroy millions of innocent lives (the dead are not the only victims)..
Some excess deaths could be caused by sick people not getting treatment for fear of going to GPs or hospital
On the other hand the lock down should have reduced deaths from normal flu’s.
Perhaps but it might unintentionally expose the decades old practice of combining cold and flu deaths together and simply calling it seasonal flu.
That wouldn’t be good, might spoil the narrative.
You’d think so.
One of the recurrent themes is that the coronavirus is just hastening the demise of those who would soon have died anyway. In that respect you would expect that, once the coronavirus settles down, we will have negative excess deaths. In other words, because people died earlier, they won’t be around to die in August or whenever. Yeah, well we’ll see about that.
The one thing I can confidently predict is that statisticians will be busy for decades.
I suspect this is very true. And the excess deaths also include people not getting regular hospital care due to the obsessive focus on COVID.
A few weeks ago Willis had an article in which he showed that the number of deaths had at temporarily dropped below normal levels.
In other words, because people died earlier, they won’t be around to die in August or whenever. Yeah, well we’ll see about that.
Actually, this is a normal feature of “flu” deaths. If there’s a bad season the next one is usually much less bad. The UK 2019/2020 flu season was light and it was a very mild winter. Many people were left who might have seen another summer. There was lots of low hanging fruit for COVID-19 to harvest.
Obviously we’ll have to wait and see, but it might be that the virus has a tougher job this coming autumn/winter.
That also compounds itself into the future, perhaps generations. There were not so well known flu pandemics in the 1950s, but you know what researchers attribute to them not being so bad? Immunity, even in those that weren’t even old enough to be around when that strain last spread, because mothers pass theirs to their children through breast milk. But now Chicken Little tells us the only thing to do is crawl inside a bubble and spend the rest of your days in fear of the flu and cold.
The one thing I can confidently predict is that statisticians will be busy for decades.
Will they try to hide the decline ??? 😀
“On the other hand the lock down should have reduced deaths from normal flu’s.”
Interestingly, the excess deaths stats in Europe point into a direction of less deaths <15y than average:
But it's still too early to draw any conclusions.
Yes, I know a doctor who predicted this on the very first day of government hostage taking. There is already a large number of diseases that go unchecked and cause mortality, like diabetes, and this fear mongering is likely having a big impact on such diseases. That’s besides the unequivocal impact, like Chicken Little buying out the entire rubbing alcohol supply so diabetics don’t have it for injections. Meh, what’s a little staph infection compared to a disease with a 0.03% mortality rate anyhow?
Then they are also legitimate victims of the Wuhan virus.
That’s one of many confounding problems. In a ‘normal’ year, about 100 people per day in the US die from auto accidents. I would have to believe that that number has plummeted, as well as the number of job related deaths. Deaths from domestic abuse, suicide, alcohol, and drugs, otoh, have likely gone up.
The Italian study about first Italian city totaly closed, Vo.
Worth a look.
Very informative. Thanks.
Isn’t there a big problem with their “test” – they conclude that they show mandated lockdowns suppress the disease. That’s completely untrue because that is not what was tested. They tested whether you can suppress the disease by testing 80% of the population to first find out whether they had it or not while also mandating a lockdown. With that conveniently done, how many carriers do you think didn’t quarantine among their own family and roommates? How many carriers do you think went out to do the family’s shopping, or went to their “essential” jobs? And even knowing who carried it, 8 new cases managed to still pop up during the lockdown. Did they not tell the test subjects whether they had it or not after the first swab? That would be a proper test, but I doubt they had that option for ethical reasons.
Do you see what I’m saying? By knowing whether they were carriers or not, there was an effectiveness in suppressing the spread, and that could happen whether there was a mandatory lockdown or not. We needs tests, not quarantine of the healthy.
In Vo’, Italy, the prevalence of the infection was 2.5% when the first case was identified and the town locked down, and 1.2% some weeks after the lockdown. O si sic omnes.
It’s been said here before that daily death rates taper off over time. So is the presumed causal effect real or only apparent. If real, how many livelihoods were destroyed for the benefit, and what are the ultimate consequences of doing that?
To protect the elderly and critical condition people, we should aim for herd immunity ASAP. Stretching it out means by sheltering creates a longer and greater chance for the virus to get to this group, which should always be protected, largely by their own measures, during the flu season.
It is not wrong to expect the elderly and compromised to aim to protect themselves, with the aid, in some cases, of their care-workers. However, it is egregiously wrong to expect and demand that the rest of the population who are at low risk to completely cease their lives for this group. It’s plainly stupid and ignorant and does much more damage than good.
I agree with you Charles.
Early data (Diamond Princess cruise ship, etc.) clearly showed that Covid-19 was overwhelmingly dangerous to the high-risk elderly and infirm, not the majority young-and-healthy population.
If we wanted to truly protect seniors in long-term care from Covid-19, their care-givers would have to be locked-down on-site for the duration – failing to do that was a guarantee of high mortality in these homes. We could have done that for nickels and dimes, instead of locking down the entire low-risk population and trashing the economy.
The reason for England’s atypical continued increase in Covid-19 deaths is explained below by Dr. Malcolm Kendrick – incompetent health care policies that increase mortality of the elderly and the poor – similar to BoJo’s (BloJo’s?) imbecilic green energy policies (see “Heat or Eat”).
The very low Excess Winter Mortality (1Dec2019-31Mar2020) across Europe probably reflects a very good guess in the formulation of this year’s flu vaccine, as compared to the major failure of 2017-2018. This good fortune left many elderly and infirm people alive through 31Mar2020, only to be struck down in April by Covid-19.
We could have done so much better, by thinking more and panicking less.
In Europe, Total Deaths from All Causes peaked in week 14, the week of 30Mar2020-5Apr2020.
Dr. Malcolm Kendrick, a Scottish physician, wrote:
“Unfortunately, it seems that COVID-19 has infected everyone involved in healthcare management and turned their brains into useless mush.
[In my view, if we had any sense, we would lockdown/protect the elderly, and let everyone else get on with their lives].
However, the hospitals themselves have another policy. Which is to discharge the elderly unwell patients with COVID directly back into the community, and care homes. Where they can spread the virus widely amongst the most vulnerable.
This, believe it or not, is NHS policy. Still.”
Dr. Kendrick is obviously brilliant, in that he agrees with me. 🙂
As I wrote in March:
[excerpt- posted 21Mar2020]
“This full-lockdown scenario is especially hurting service sector businesses and their minimum-wage employees – young people are telling me they are “financially under the bus”. The young are being destroyed to protect us over-65’s. A far better solution is to get them back to work and let us oldies keep our distance, and get “herd immunity” established ASAP – in months not years. Then we will all be safe again.”
Have we wasted many trillions, harmed billions of young people and trashed our economies for nothing? Seems so. We should end this unnecessary lockdown now!
Here in Alberta, many/most of our Covid-19 deaths are among the elderly in nursing homes – if we had a deliberate strategy to kill them off, we could not do much better.
The global Covid-19 lock-down strategy appears to be overprotect the healthy majority, who will get little or no symptoms of the virus, kill the economy and do ruinous harm to young people and small businesses, and fail to protect the elderly and the unwell, and kill them off as expeditiously as possible. Attaboys all around.
Herd immunity without a vaccine as a viable strategy is wishful thinking.
As more and more reliable data comes in the CFR manifests to be ~1% of the whole population at least.
Herd immunity 70%.
So for the US:
328 M x 0.7 x 0.01 = 2,296,000 deaths
66.65 M x 0.7 x 0.01 = 466,550 deaths
In the US 5.6% of deaths are people <50y, in the UK 8.8%.
So even if you manage to completely protect the people over 50y you still end up with
2,296,000 x 0.056 = 128,576 deaths for US
466,550 x 0.088 = 41,056 deaths for UK
But that is not all. You would still overload your health care system. People <50y make up 25.5% of hospitalized cases in the US. Too much to let the virus go wild.
As I said going for herd immunity just like that is not feasible but also in general because of the CFR of ~1%. 1st. for the health care system you need additional measures to not crush it and 2nd. it will be political suicide too go for a death toll of people <50y that exceeds double the numbers of Vietnam.
“Herd immunity without a vaccine as a viable strategy is wishful thinking.”
I think that statement is false – an effective vaccine usually takes many months or even years to be widely implemented, and may not even be possible.
Herd immunity of seasonal flu’s usually happens in a few months.
Until otherwise convincing disproved, Covid-19 should be treated just another severe seasonal flu, which arrived a bit later than most.
“Herd immunity of seasonal flu’s usually happens in a few months.”
That is a total misconception how the immunity against influenza works in the population.
Mr Macrae should be aware that with the Chinese virus herd immunity cannot be guaranteed. In South Korea and other places, the period of immunity in some patients has been shown to be very short indeed, and coronaviridae tend at best to have immunity periods of only 3-6 months.
Lord Monckton wrote:
“Mr Macrae should be aware that with the Chinese virus herd immunity cannot be guaranteed. In South Korea and other places, the period of immunity in some patients has been shown to be very short indeed, and coronaviridae tend at best to have immunity periods of only 3-6 months.”
Thank you Sir.
Yes I am aware of that notion, which at this point appears to be an unproven hypothesis that is of little value. Until that specific concept is guaranteed to be widely correct, the most prudent path is to proceed as I have stated – end the full lock-down asap AND start actually protecting the elderly and infirm, rather than ~pretending to do so.
To be clear, I suggest that the utterly shabby treatment of the elderly and infirm in the UK is why you have the continuing deaths that you do.
Experts in South Korea said that recovered coronavirus patients who tested positive again were not reinfected and that their virus was not reactivated, as was previously feared.
More than 260 people who recovered and tested negative subsequently tested positive again. The Korea Centers for Disease Control and Prevention worried that the virus had reactivated after going dormant.
But the country’s infectious-disease experts said on Thursday that the tests were detecting dead fragments of the virus left in patients’ bodies.
Forgot to include age distribution into the calculation:
308 x 0.4 x 0.7 x 0.00055 makes 47,432 deaths for 20-50y old in the US still.
Hospitalization rate doesn’t change.
You’re numbers are rubbish.
1. You are assuming 70% of the entire population instantly gets the disease at once.
2. You assume that if 70% of the entire population got the disease at once, that the number of deaths and people hospitalized can be scaled up based on the current number of people in those situations, when the people currently in those situations are the ones already compromised by the disease due to complicating illnesses or autoimmune deficiencies – the low hanging fruit.
3. You treat all people under the age of 50 as if they are in the same population group when in fact SARS-Cov2 clearly has trouble even infecting the young.
4. You assume the winter season statistics, when northern hemisphere denizens have weakened immune systems, will carry on through the summer months.
5. You pull a CFR of 1% out of … but the actual numbers are closer to 0.03% when you factor the prevalence now being revealed by actual testing – at least according to a long time practicing doctor in CA that is being desperately being censored by the MSM.
@Robert W. Turner
to 1. No. It doesn’t matter when the people will get the disease if they die or not. One point people argue often with when it comes to herd immunity and that we should just get it over with.
to 2. No. Same here as point 1. Also people are not getting in line according to their predisposition and the most likely to get hospitalized are at the front. They catch the virus by chance so the hospitalized numbers are reflecting an average of the population. At least when the numbers are big enough – what they are by now.
to 3. Your claim is completely not backed up by any data. Epidemiologic data indicates that the attack rate in households is the same if a child brings in the disease as if an adult does. So under the same circumstances for infections children are not at all more protected.
to 4. And you argue for a seasonal effect where there is no data that there will be one. The excess mortality from Ecuador strongly argues against a seasonal effect on the virus ability for infection except for maybe a change in people’s behavior (less gatherings in crowded rooms).
to 5. I didn’t pull the ~1% CFR out of nowhere:
Overall CFR is estimated to be 1.38%.
The ridiculous low estimate of 0.03% (only one third of a bad flu year’s 0.1%… really?!) comes from completely untrustworthy charlatanry masking as science. But I understand why people want to believe it.
First fundamental error: you’re using CFR as if it’s IFR (infection fatality rate, which we will have no clue about until governments become honest enough to do antibody testing).
Second of all, your calculation/model don’t hold up to reality. Quick test of predicative power, apply historic data. Let’s use worldwide influenza A & B between 2011-2018 (Fu & Zhou study, IM&D, 2019):
Average CFR per 100: 0.0021
Herd immunity required: 70% (not sure where you’re getting that # from, but let’s go with it…)
Population 2011-2018: 7.0-7.6 billion
7 billion x 70% x 0.0021 = 10.3 MILLION DEATHS PER YEAR FROM INFLUENZA???
Population 2011-2018: 311-327 million
311 million x 70% x 0.0021 = 457 THOUSAND DEATHS PER YEAR FROM INFLUENZA???
Good news, you’re only off by a full order of magnitude (minimum), which apparently could still land you a cushy job at Imperial College.
It astounds me that people actually think established fields of study like biostatistics only require wild guesses for inputs and simple algebra to understand.
Do you think the thesis defense for a PhD in epidemiology comes down to: “Multiply these 3 random numbers together”?
If it makes you happier I can call it estimated IFR in the future even if it is called CFR in scientific literature:
Which is estimated to be 1.38% according to the paper.
60-70% immunity is considered to be required for herd immunity. I didn’t make up those numbers. It’s just what will put your R0 automatically below 1 and ends the outbreak. As simple as that.
And now to your biggest misconception:
We have a lot of immunity against the flu in the population – even against new strains because they are still related enough that people can have by chance generated immunity triggered by similar enough sequences.
That is completely lacking for SARS-CoV-2. All the super spreading events are pointing to no immunity in the population at all. It’s hard to get R0 of 2-3 without that prerequisite.
So to recap:
1. You’ve invented a new metric called “estimated IFR” that only you understand the meaning of.
2. You don’t realize that serology testing (not PCR) is necessary to even crudely estimate IFRs.
3. You reject the idea that using CFR as you have doesn’t make even basic logical sense (you’re multiplying the PCR-based CASE rate against the ENTIRE population).
4. You think that herd immunity metric somehow affects the virus’s R0 (when, in fact, it’s the other way around).
5. You still haven’t explained even attempted to explain why the simple math you’re using to make these extravagant claims today don’t apply to the past.
Just wanted to make sure I understood who I was sparring with on this… thanks for clarifying.
You completely failed to account for those getting the flu vaccine. Last year it was 47% of the population.
That impacts the numbers in two, very big ways. First, the 47% who were vaccinated were at very low risk of dying from the flu. Secondly, only 23% of the population needed to recover from the flu for herd immunity to kick in; 70% of the population would no longer be at risk of catching and spreading the flu.
Your numbers are wildly high.
Don’t blame me. They’re not “my” numbers. They’re Ron’s incoherent mathematical ramblings reflected back to him through the reality-check of plugging in actual historical Influenza data to test his “model.”
Even if I play along with what you’re saying and change the parameters I used to crudely test his calculations it only reduces the results by 2/3 and leaves numbers still preposterously high — proving his approach is nonsense.
But you seem keen to defend him, so if you’re up for the task of showing how Ron’s approach actually generates numbers in the ballpark of reality for historic Influenza data, be my guest.
IFR equals CFR if all cases are detected. The best estimate for IFR are therefore the CFRs from countries that successfully contain the virus by testing&tracking. Their strategy would not work if the undetected cases where anywhere a significant number.
“You don’t realize that serology testing (not PCR) is necessary to even crudely estimate IFRs.”
Practically most likely, in principle not at all if you catch all cases via testing&tracking.
“You reject the idea that using CFR as you have doesn’t make even basic logical sense (you’re multiplying the PCR-based CASE rate against the ENTIRE population).”
It’s case FATALITY rate and not case rate. The whole Lancet paper I linked to addresses the issue of undertesting. That you make best use of PCR-based data as possible.
And the numbers are not “my” numbers as well how to calculate the death count is not “my” way”. At least not exclusively:
“If we combine infection fatality data with an estimate of the number of individuals that need to develop immunity to reach the herd immunity threshold, we can project the expected number of deaths as a consequence of meeting this threshold. Because of the uncertainty in the COVID-19 IFR, we use three different point estimates in our analysis: 1) an IFR of 0.2%, 2) IFR of 0.6% that is in line with the IFR determined by Verity et al., and 3) an IFR of 1% (Figure 2C). Assuming a uniform herd immunity threshold of 67% (R0 = 3) and an IFR of 0.6%, the absolute number of expected deaths across the globe would exceed 30 million people (Figure 2C).”
Would make 50 million for 1%.
The difference between influenza and SARS-CoV-2 is that influenza had and still has a huge background immunity in the population for centuries where SARS-CoV-2 has none.
Reality undercuts your argument.
1) WuWhoFlu almost certainly kills less than 0.6% and may kill fewer than 0.2% of the infected. source: https://spectator.org/mapping-the-mortality-maze-how-deadly-is-covid-19/ The higher figure is based on NY state deaths as of 29 Apr and testing results indicating 15+% of the state’s population has already been exposed to / infected by the virus. The lower figure is based on US deaths as of 29 Apr and testing results indicating 8+% of the US population has C19 antibodies.
2) Lockdowns are intended to stretch over a longer time period C19’s death toll, not to reduce the death toll. In contrast, reducing the death toll is a key function of developing herd immunity.
The 1st sentence should read: Reality undercuts your argument for the US.
Please remind us again what %age is required for herd immunity?
Read this article:
If the mortality was 0.2% as you suggest 11,890,000 in New York state would already had the virus. 3,963,333 if 0.6%. I really doubt that.
All antibody tests so far are unreliable in terms of false positives (their specificity is not sufficient). The Stanford one definitively had this issue and its findings could have been ZERO real infected people by a probability of 90%. About the New York one I couldn’t find any specifications yet.
I’m really waiting for a test that meets specifications that the data can be interpreted in a decision advising way.
2) No, that is not how that works.
A strict lockdown is the best way to put at maximum risk our ederly and vulnerable. because we are just delaying the suppression of the infection and the contained zones will all soon or later be contaminated.
The lockdown was supposed to limit the peak of the infection spread:
– it failed everywhere in Europe simply because it has been applied almost everywhere 1 to 2 weeks after the peak of the infection spread.
With respect to this epidemy, this is paradoxically a good news because at least, we will unlikely have to face a noticeable second wave during the lockdown exit.
Thus, ironically, the only good news about the lockdown now that we have to get out of it, is that it will have been almost completely useless with respect to its primary objective which was to lower the peak infection spread.
What if, as seems possible, herd-immunity is not conferred upon SARS-CoV-2 victims…..or is only a short-term effect?
And if long term immunity is not gained after infection and recovery, then what use a vaccine?
It looks like we may end-up with a quite lethal recurrent disease, like an extremely bad common cold, for which no immunity is gained.
100%. The irony is that the majority of those in that at-risk group are those that are most adamantly for individual rights and people having the right to choose quarantine without being sick.
Most of these social justice idiots would have given you a strange look if you asked them about the 1918-19 pandemic last year, but every single one could could have told you something they know about the Great Depression. If we can’t shock the economy back to life after this is all said and done, the ramifications could last for generations.
Yeah but you’re missing that the entire point is to crash the economy.
Don’t be silly.
I don’t think we need to ascribe this debacle to malice by our Western governments, when panic and extreme stupidity will suffice.
Regards, Allan 🙂
Mr Higley has been told time and again that it is not yet possible to rely upon “herd immunity” with this particular pandemic, since a) the period of immunity for coronaviridae in general is 3065 months, which is too short to be useful, and b) the Chinese virus has been shown to return within days of an infection clearing in several South Korean patients.
Until it is known that herd immunity is a viable option with this virus, and now that it is known that it may not be an option responsible governments cannot take the risk of simply assuming that it will work.
I have seen no discussion of false positive tests. With PCR, contamination can also produce a false positive. Without this information, a few case reports are just supposition.
So what is the option? Humans will not remain locked down. You are going to get it and survive or get it and die. Nothing we are doing is going to change that. If the IFR was 5% (and it’s not) the world still has to go on for the other 95%.
Those that tested positive again I have my doubts.
The simplest explanation is they were never really negative. The nasal swab was obviously RNA negative by RT-PCR, but the virus likely can replicate at lower levels than the lung epithelial cells in other tissues such a striated muscle and the liver, spleen and small intestinal endotheial cells. We also know from SARS-CoV-1 that it could replicate as an enteric infection in the small intestine. SARS-2 likely can replicate at low levels in the intestine as well since receptor useage is similar. Furthermore, the clinical symptom of reported loss of taste and smell by some patients is strongly suggestive some replication occurs in the neurons of olfaction innervation paths, providing another possible sorce of occult infection. Thus the SARS-CoV-1/2 viruses are likely replicating in other tissues not gaining clearance yet by IgM and T cell responses, and then re-infects the upper airway to give a positive PCR nasal swab in a final surge before the immune system finally fully responds.
Chinese Virus it certainly is . Why all the PC panic about not naming it correctly ?
Monckton has edited out ‘ occupied Tibet ‘ which is very polite of him .
Hi Christopher…thank you again for an interesting and, above all, useful post.
Excess deaths and actual infection penetration into the various populations are critical data needed to add coherence to the complex decision making going on as we speak. Good data can be used to improve the path forward. Unfortunately we are mostly in a mode of using various data as weapons to defend whatever theory we might harbor. The ### virus is doing enough damage on its own..let’s not add to it by bludgeoning each other with crap data.
It is not clear whether Mr Brand is saying that the data we reproduce here are useless. They are certainly incomplete, but they are nevertheless useful. Excess mortality is a good way to discern whether, as some have tried to suggest here, there are far fewer people dying of the virus than with it, or whether the death counts published by governments are underestimates. The evidence from the head posting is that they are underestimates.
For some time we have been pointing out here that in Britain, for instance, the published death toll was for hospital cases only, and that there must be a very large number of extranosocomial deaths in the general population because the excess-death statistics have risen so sharply. Today HM Government has at last admitted what those who follow this series of data-driven pieces were the first to know: namely, that the official government death-toll figures in the UK were a considerable understatement.
you are arguing with a group of people whose mindset and tactics are drawn from
the playbook of people who want to see the death certificates of people who died
in nazi death camps.
They decided long ago that this disease could not be a threat, therefore no data will convince them that it is in fact a threat.
Every little oddity in data will signal to them that it is all worthless or made up.
Nothing will convince them because they decided long ago.
One thing may convince them. catching a case.
Maybe we could examine the correlation between major objectors to “the lockdown” and their investment portfolios’ ?
That would probably be more revealing than an examination of leakage from a bio-research lab, partially financed by the USA !
I seem to have missed any discussion of the effect (or not) of the quality of Her Majesties medical/hospital system regarding this issue. Do ALL those requiring hospitalization get it in a timely manner regardless of class? Does everyone who needs to simply see a Dr get to see one to confirm/deny the existence of the virus as appropriate? Is the medical system so strained that “minor” things like appendicitis are shunted aside so Coronavirus patients can be seen?
The ability of the medical system to PROPERLY handle the load could obviously have a great effect on the excess death rate which is the subject of discussion here.
Locally, patients presenting with sars-cov-2 symptoms are admitted to a separate section of the hospital, deliberately separated, and treated within an area expanded to accommodate those patients. The ICU area has been expanded and now encompasses several recovery areas and attached operating theatres. Since several new modular operating theatres/recovery areas were added within the last few years, this has not stressed the hospital enough to halt other treatments, although some clinics have been moved to separate areas more. More ECMOs’ would be useful, but their use in patients is a skilled operation, with skills being at a premium (now more than ever). Since the NHS modelled a pandemic 4 years age, much of this response was planned then. Sadly, while the hospitals had planning in place, the lack of any urgency from central govt has curtailed its effectiveness, particularly in provision of ventilation and oxygenation equipment and PPE for staff.
“Since several new modular operating theatres/recovery areas were added within the last few years, this has not stressed the hospital enough to halt other treatments, although some clinics have been moved to separate areas more.”
Sorry that is not what the UK news says, it is certainly not the case for brother awaiting a crucial Heart vlave operation.
Quarantine demands that highly contagious patients with dangerous deseases not be in the same hospital as general patients, it is what “Isolation Hospitals” were for.
If it worked as you suggest why have so many patients caught COVID-19 in hospital?
Merchants of Panic.
Frankly, anyone that repeats the risible MSM Vietnam line loses all credibility. For a rational perspective, the virus deaths in NY State are still only a small fraction of the normal number of annual deaths.
UK weekly mortality has barely exceeded the worst weeks in 2005 and 2015 of 16-17,000+.
The numbers are big because the population is big. The extra risk of dying is very very very very very very tiny.
Sorry that was England and Wales ONLY figures, not entire UK!
There are some 5 million more people in the UK since the start of the century and numbers of the over 80’s has increased by 50 percent for men and 25 percent for women since 1985 so there an awful lot more vulnerable people very susceptible to any virus.
In response to Tonyb, it is necessary not to look the other way in the face of the excess-mortality statistics, which have risen with unprecedented sharpness in the UK and in many other European countries. It is no longer possible for the apologist for the Chinese Communist Party here to go on trying to maintain that the Chinese virus is no worse than the flu. It is worse – about ten times more infectious and ten times more deadly, according to Jerome Kim, the director-general of the International VIrological Institute.
Underplaying the seriousness of the threat is of assistance to Communist China, of course, but it is irresponsible, and the data simply no longer allow avoidance of the issue.
Rather, extending the lockdown to increase the damage to our economies is what is in the Chinese Communist Party’s interests.
Since ChiCom19 has only been killing people for a couple of months, comparing those deaths to an entire year’s worth of deaths in a normal year is quite deceptive.
MarkW is correct. Apologists for the failed Chinese Communist regime in these columns have done their level worst to go on and on and on attempting to compare an entire year’s average flu deaths with deaths from the Chinese virus over recent weeks. That tactic smacks of the same desperation that has led the official propagandists for the regime to declare that the virus originated not in Wuhan but in Maryland, and to try to pressure even hard-headed Republican legislators into congratulating the regime for its “transparency” – a “transparency” so inspissate that China failed to notify the world community of the existence of this new pathogen for six weeks after it was first identified, when the International Health Regulations – for good reason – require notification within 24 hours.
‘failed Chinese Communist regime ‘ ???
I thought they were still in power.
They are and remain a failure, regardless of what power they currently wield.
My definition of failed is- no more, doesn’t work, ex-parrot.
To say ‘failed regime’, is to be dismissive of a clear and current threat. It ain’t de*d Jim.
A failed test, experiment or device still exists it sits there as a stubborn reminder of the failure …. so something still existing doesn’t mean it hasn’t failed
Pretty much like that argument 🙂
And renewable energy.
It’s a matter of semantics and perspective. Of course, there are different interpretations of the word.
You should have read the post before comenting. Monkton points out that the latest weekly death rates for for England and Wales was 22,351 – and that data was for three weeks ago.
“Frankly, anyone that repeats the risible MSM Vietnam line loses all credibility. ” MrGrimNasty.
I agree completely. Monckton has now adopted the tactics of Global Warming Alarmists… it is distasteful and doesn’t reflect well on him or his position on this subject.
Mr Miller says I have adopted a tactic of the climate Communists. No, I have merely reported the fact – and it is just that, a fact – that in just weeks the Chinese virus has killed more Americans than the years of the Vietnam war.
I know not whether Mr Miller is an apologist for the Chinese Communist regime, or a hard-Right redneck prone to jump to the asinine conclusion that governments have brought in lockdowns (in Britain’s case with the overwhelming support of the nation’s legislators) as a means of asserting Socialist control.
But this column will continue to report the facts, whether Mr Miller or anyone else likes those facts or not, until the mean daily compound growth rate in active cases has fallen significantly below zero.
A different age-cohort of Americans than died in Vietnam, surely. 🙂
A distinction that seems worth making.
MrGrimNasty appears to be trolling pseudonymously for the Chinese Communist regime. It is a fact that deaths from the Chinese virus in the U.S. have, in a couple of months, exceeded the U.S. deaths in years of war in Vietnam. That fact, being a fact, may legitimately be stated. No point in whining about it: it is an indication that this virus is slaughering a lot of people very quickly. Let us hope it will cease to do so. That is why we are tracking the daily compound growth rate in active cases.
Is that Very^6?
Jo Nova is also writing about:
But may still be less than:
2014-2015 flu which killed an estimated 44,000 to 64,000
2016-2017 flu which killed an estimated 29,000 to 61,000
2017-2018 flu which killed an estimated 46,000 to 95,000
Which is…wait for it…in the range of the number killed in the Vietnam war. See, I can make scary, meaningless comparisons too.
Entire flu seasons compared against a couple of months worth of data.
Many strains of flu compared against a single new strain.
The flu numbers include vaccines and known therapies including Tamiflu, while this virus is NEW with none of that. Yet somehow we live with 10’s of thousands dying every year from a treatable communicable virus without shutting down the economy…
Mr Flake has failed to follow the logic of his own argument. It is precisely because there is no vaccine yet proven against the Chinese virus, and because it is ten times more infectious than flu, and because it is ten times deadlier than flu, and because excess deaths in the past couple of months are way above normal, and because the daily growth rates in active cases continue to be high enough to keep the excess deaths high for some time to come, that responsible governments rather than petulant armchair epidemiologists are taking sensible and commensurate precautions.
Several governments, having brought their case-growth rates close to zero or even below it, are now cautiously bringing the lockdowns to an end. One of the reasons why we have shown the relentless decline in case-growth rates is to assist governments in realizing that they can now safely begin to bring the lockdowns to an end.
Attempting to minimize the threat that this pandemic poses will not help. One must be realistic. Just look at the excess-death curves in the head posting, and think a little.
Comparing WuWHOFlu deaths to the Vietnam War is racist. I think it would be more PC to compare them to the Peloponnesian War, which would offend fewer people.
In caeli mutatione belli suprema lex est.–Cicero, updated
Flu numbers are modeled calculated deaths from excess death mortality. Not reported numbers from really testing. These are only hundreds to few thousands.
But surprisingly it does only matter for COVID-19 that every death needs to be proofed to come only from the disease to count. At least for some people.
How many swimming pools does that work out to be?
Maybe this is good website for death rates in Europe..
In response to Jozzie, the statistics from the European Mortality Monitoring Agency are featured regularly in this series.
More deaths in winter = warmth is good for humans.
There seems to be an increasing number of questions regarding the attribution of Covid-19 as a cause of mortality. In the USA, at least, there are numerous reports of medical personnel being directed to list the virus as a cause of death regardless of other factors. Additionally, at least in New York state, there has been an unusual decrease in influenza deaths as Covid deaths have grown. This is not some grand conspiracy, but seems to emerge from the fact that Medicare is providing hospitals greater reimbursement for Covid-19 related deaths than other causes. Additionally, hospitals are being provided reimbursement for Covid-19 related deaths among the uninsured. Given that hospitals are woefully low on business, laying off medical staff, and closing entire sections of their facilities, it is understandable that hospital administrators would want to pad their Covid numbers to offset their financial losses.
Deaths from regular flu would be expected to decrease thanks to social distancing and the wearing of masks in the general population.
I’ve seen lots of people making the claim about doctors being instructed to call everything a ChiCom19 death many times. Yet I have yet to be able to find a single authoritative source making this claim. It’s always, somebody talked to someone who talked to an un-named doctor.
Are ER and other doctors not authoritative sources, MarkW?
The CEO of Google justified their taking down of this video because these doctors’ opinions differed from that of the W.H.O. She said Google would take down anything that contradicts the W.H.O. Given the appalling handling of the C-19 virus as well as their long record of mistakes, this is a CEO with an agenda that has no relationship with facts. It’s truly an appalling case of censorship worthy of the CCP.
CA doctor lockdown is about control, doctors pressured to put COV-19 on death certificates
They must have hit a nerve as YouTube took their video down as they have with other doctors making the same claim.
Tucker Blasts YouTube Taking Down Doctors CoronaVirus …
Search domain main.docsplace.org/2020/04/29/tucker-youtube-removes-coronavirus-research-video/https://main.docsplace.org/2020/04/29/tucker-youtube-removes-coronavirus-research-video/
Preston Tucker blasted Google owned YouTube who earlier removed California Doctors Dan Erickson and Artin Massihi popular coronavirus research video. Skip to content. Wednesday, April 29, 2020. Recent posts . Tucker Blasts YouTube Taking Down Doctors CoronaVirus Research Video … In Tuckers video interview CEO Susan Wojcicki accused Erickson …
In response to KcTaz, the two doctors whose video YouTube took down seemed to me to have very little experience of the public-policy aspects of handling a highly infectious and deadly pandemic. Some of the points they made were half-witted.
Nevertheless, YouTube should not have censored them. It would have been far better to allow their idiocies to circulate, so that people looking at what they said would realize how weak the case against taking proportionate precautions truly is.
The increasing propensity of YouTube and Google to exercise censorship is no longer acceptable and will have to be legislated against.
This fellow has a good presentation on the CDC directive on coding covid-19 deaths. He also points to two separate doctors who back up his information. The information is available, you just need to open your eyes.
A link to Dr. Brix and her statement of covid-19 deaths with covid-19 vs deaths of covid-19.
Dr. Birx describes counting coronavirus deaths: https://bit.ly/2V1FuTz
In response to Dwayne, one can argue endlessly about how to count the Chinese-virus deaths: but the plain fact is that as the infection reached Europe and North America the excess deaths in both territories rose sharply. The correlation does not necessarily imply causation, but it is implausible to deny the probability that the virus is actually killing more, not fewer, than the official government statistics maintain.