Washington State Lacks a Rational Coronavirus Testing Approach: Can We Follow Oregon’s Lead?

From the Cliff Mass Weather Blog

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Bob Johnston
May 28, 2020 7:46 am

Cliff is as shortsighted on this as Washington State. Anyone talking about “defeating the virus” isn’t thinking straight… COVID is with us and it’s not going away until we achieve herd immunity or an effective vaccine is created. Random testing to see who currently has it is just a snapshot, it tells us nothing in terms of how many people have already had and it actually serves no purpose. Personally I think we’re better off if the people who have it but are asymptomatic do infect others because they probably have a weaker strain and people are less likely to die from the inevitable spread.

All the testing and tracing is so pointless it makes me wonder if it’s a cover for something much, much worse.

Reply to  Bob Johnston
May 28, 2020 8:23 am

“Personally I think we’re better off if the people who have it but are asymptomatic do infect others because they probably have a weaker strain and people are less likely to die from the inevitable spread.”
It sounds reasonable, but protect the vulnerable section of population until vaccine is available. It is what Sweden has done, but apparently they failed to protect vulnerable, the old and the people with severe medical underlining conditions, now Swedish death rate is nearly on the par with French.

Reply to  Vuk
May 28, 2020 9:10 am

Last I heard, Sweden’s deaths, like most other countries, were primarily in nursing homes. So the people dying were probably already going to die this year.

I suspect the reason deaths are declining is because it already killed most of the sick people it could kill and now we’re seeing the actual death rate in a population of largely healthy people.

Reply to  MarkG
May 28, 2020 12:37 pm

One of the better statistical websites, has interactive comparative graphs for the most of countries of interest

Reply to  Vuk
May 28, 2020 11:24 am

I don’t understand this obsession with a vaccine. Would a good treatment be equally effective? Unfortunately, I don’t see a large effort to find a treatment. I only see a large effort to show that the hydroxychloroquine is not effective.

Reply to  Curious George
May 28, 2020 1:12 pm

Leronlimab is showing great effacacy and trial data will emerge in a month or so. It’s the immune response that’s the problem. Excess RANTES is the problem. Blocking the CCR5 receptor is the solution. This is what Leronlimab does

Harry Davidson
Reply to  Curious George
May 28, 2020 1:34 pm

Treatments are always fairly expensive, vaccines are cheap as chips.

William Astley
Reply to  Curious George
May 28, 2020 1:42 pm

I agree. We seem to keep talking about things that do not change our situation.

We know what the natural, microbiological, solution is to the Covid crisis.

Regardless of sex or age, ‘Vitamin’ D deficient people are 20 times more likely to die or have serious covid virus symptoms, than ‘Vitamin’ D normal people.

And we know as we age we become more and more vitamin D deficient. The lowest Vitamin D levels are those who are obese and in nursing homes.

‘Vitamin’ D is a proteohormone that is turns on and off genes to make more than 200 processes in our body happen.

We know 42% of the US general population (same definition for deficient and normal) and 82% of the US Black population is Vitamin D deficient.

Three independent studies confirm that Covid Serious is caused by ‘Vitamin’ D deficiency.

We know US blacks and UK blacks are more than twice as likely to die from Covid.

So logically we should change the odds before going to fight with the virus, rather than just count how many people die.

Patterns of COVID-19 Mortality and Vitamin D: An Indonesian Study


Vitamin D Insufficient Patients 12.55 times more likely to die

Vitamin D Deficient Patients 19.12 times more likely to die



Prevalence and correlates of vitamin D deficiency in US adults.


And we know correcting the population’s Vitamin D deficiency, reduces the incidence of type 2 diabetes by more than 50%. We know 1 out three US medicare patients are type 2 diabetic.


Incidence rate of type 2 diabetes is >50% lower in Grassroots Health cohort with median serum 25–hydroxyvitamin D of 41 ng/ml than in NHANES cohort with median of 22 ng/ml

This is a chart that shows Vitamin D levels in the US population and the study results of the diseases that are eliminated if the Vitamin D level is raised.


This is the paper that showed a more than 70% reduction in the incidence of breast cancer when the Vitamin D deficiency is corrected.


Robert J Doyle
Reply to  Curious George
May 28, 2020 2:30 pm

Hydroxychloroquine is taking it from all sides.

First, “Trump must be proven wrong!”.

Second, it represents an historical occurrence. It would become the first “Generic”, off-patent drug to roll towards global distribution out of the starting gate.

I’m not going to venture into the anecdotal world I’ve read. I do not have a position of credibility.

I’ll simply say the world could save a lot of lives and money, if it would be used where it seems to fit. One, as a preventative dose, or two as an early first or second stage drug. Once the virus has taken hold, it seems to be a waste of time.

My opinion is: both sides of the argument are right. It works and it doesn’t work.

Jeffery P
Reply to  Robert J Doyle
May 29, 2020 4:35 am

India decided to use HCQ as a prophylactic against Covid-19. They are all in.

Reply to  Curious George
May 28, 2020 2:53 pm

Following the suspension in France of the use of hydroxychloroquine to treat Covid-19 professor Didier Raoult, who has controversially used the treatment says “the data gathered does not make sense, there is no mention of a hospital, doctor or those that were sick and treated”. In Marseille, 3,300 people followed professor Raoult’s protocol, taking hydoxychloroquine.

Reply to  Curious George
May 28, 2020 9:03 pm


You fail to grasp the vast difference between a therpeutic drug during active phase of infection and a vaccine that protects for years. I find that an amazing lack of critical understanding of the costs and to the health of thoise who get infected and must seek medical care for severe symptoms.

Therapeutic treatments for viral infections, especially ones that are acute and resolve in less than 2 weeks of the vast majority of patients is ill-advised. Anti-virals almost always have deleterious side-effects. And for those chronic viral infections where therapeutics are available, such as HIV, HepC etc, they are very expensive. Vaccines are cheap by comparison. If the vaccine is effective, it protects from a wide range of very bad sequelae such as comes with measles virus even long after the patient is asymptomatic.

Viruses are not like bacterial infections where antibiotics can be administered in most cases to resolve the infection. Antibiotics to bacteria can actually sterilize the body of the bacterial infection on their won in many cases. But with viruses, ultimately the immune system must clear the virus from the body. Therpeutics only shorten that time to clearance, or in the case of HIV check the virus in check. Probably the onlyc ase I can think of where a therapeutic drung to virus works is in HepC, but that is a very expensive, on-patent drug, and ultimately the immune system still has to clear the virally infected cells in the liver.

Reply to  Bob Johnston
May 28, 2020 8:26 am

Additional testing does seem to be serving at least one purpose. As the number of positive for virus but asymptomatic cases increases, Covid’s apparent fatality rate is dropping to more flu-like levels. (Yes, a bad flu, but still)

Otherwise, the whole thing just looks very curious. I particularly wonder who at the CDC came up with the “stick the active viral cases in nursing homes” philosophy and, further, which group of people approved it. If you want to talk about sick individuals…

mark from the midwest
Reply to  Spetzer86
May 28, 2020 8:53 am

The CDC has been a mess since the Clinton days, so has the National Institute for Health, but it was governors, particularly Cuomo and Whitmer that did the “park them in nursing homes” simply because that’s where the Medicaid money is to be found. Leaving them in a hospital would only cost the state more in terms of their Medicaid share, and shipping them to one of the temporary hospitals made available through DOD would force them to admit that Trump was a big help.

Reply to  mark from the midwest
May 28, 2020 12:39 pm

He has the indelible stain of “Murd3r3r” that he will carry to the grave.

Reply to  mark from the midwest
May 28, 2020 3:54 pm

The data is based on five scenarios, including the best estimate for a mortality rate, which is 0.4% overall.

I calculated Covid-19 mortality (deaths/infections) of ~0.5% about one month ago (~22Apr2020) from random Covid-19 tests in Iceland. Close enough. Almost all deaths were the elderly and infirm.

Deaths would have been significantly lower, except some states knowingly exposed their elderly to the virus and killed them off in droves. Attaboys to New York Governor Cuomo and other Dimocrats.

It IS clear that the full lockdown of the younger, healthy (and often asymptomatic) workforce worldwide was a huge, costly, destructive error – completely UNnecessary – and I published that conclusion on 21Mar2020.

I said no general lockdown, but double-down on protecting the elderly – and they did the exact opposite!

Some people are calling this Covid-19 fiasco a “Plandemic” – a deliberate scam. I’m not so sure.

“Never ascribe to malice what you can blame on the stupidity of leftist politicians and their minions.”

The Diamond Princess cruise ship in Yokohama provided excellent data on the morbidity/mortality of Covid-19 for different age groups – it had little or no effect on the majority younger healthier population, but was highly dangerous to the old and infirm. That was my confident conclusion by mid-March. I wrote that the full-lockdown was NOT necessary on 21-22Mar2020.

[excerpt- posted 21Mar2020]

Isolate people over sixty-five and those with poor immune systems and return to business-as-usual for people under sixty-five.
This will allow “herd immunity” to develop much sooner and older people will thus be more protected AND THE ECONOMY WON’T CRASH.

[excerpt- posted 22Mar2020]

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.

Reply to  Spetzer86
May 28, 2020 8:26 pm

Spetzer86: Please reference actual CDC guidance that says anything remotely resembling “stick active cases in nursing homes”.

Please do not believe the networks that are running cover for Cuomo.

Look at NBC stating republicans are “PACKING” the federal courts. The “reporting” was produced in support of the senate democrat’s BS report on republicans filling vacancies with conservatives. Fake news is what it is.

Richard Thornton
Reply to  Bob Johnston
May 28, 2020 8:34 am

Thanks Bob well stated. Testing, Vaccine, Tracing, Science! Have we “cured” Epstein-Barr, Herpes Simplex I or II, Colds. Not yet. Should we try, yes. This virus leaped out of the science box almost immediately and in into the political box and is doing its damage there as much as to the body human. At this point it has nothing whatsover to do with science especially when solid voices like Cliff Maas and so many other brilliant types are now touting “solutions”. The notion that government can now outlaw disease and death is downright bizarre. Taking away basic freedoms in the name of “science” is a beyond the slipperly slope and more likely a slipperly cliff and dovetails quite well with the genesis of this website. They are at it again.

Reply to  Richard Thornton
May 28, 2020 9:33 am

Richard Thornton May 28, 2020 at 8:34 am
“At this point it has nothing whatsover to do with science…”

Exactly! Like “Global Warming,” too many people are making their career on Covid-19, there is too much money, and too much inertia. During the 2017-18 flu season the CDC estimates 61,000 people in the US died and their families were the only ones who noticed. What is the future criteria for wearing masks, telling people they can’t work, closing their businesses, or distributing “free” money. By-in-large, the economic shutdown is supported by those whose income is not affected. Those who live paycheck-to-paycheck or customer-to-customer are being sacrificed both economically and in may cases with their lives.

Reply to  PMHinSC
May 28, 2020 1:31 pm

“Those who live paycheck-to-paycheck or customer-to-customer are being sacrificed”. Very neatly put.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Bob Johnston
May 28, 2020 11:51 am

NZ went into an almost complete lockdown for 8 weeks. As a result there are currently only 8 active cases and no new cases for almost a week. Lockdowns are crude but effective and they work.

The Dark Lord
Reply to  Izaak Walton
May 28, 2020 12:24 pm

on an island … now let the tally begin on the deaths the lockdown caused … for the next 2 years …

Izaak Walton
Reply to  The Dark Lord
May 28, 2020 12:49 pm

Currently the death toll in NZ is 22. In sweden which has twice the population but no lockdown the death toll is 4266. So in other words you have over a 100 times the chance of dying in Sweden from COVID-19 than in NZ. And do you really think that over the next two years there will be another excess 2000 deaths in NZ to bring the death toll anywhere approaching that of Sweden?

Reply to  Izaak Walton
May 28, 2020 1:42 pm

In case you haven’t noticed, Sweden is not an island. Neither did it shut down its borders early in the infection.

Nor is it full of New Zealanders.

Hopefully you plan to keep your borders closed from now on so no-one can bring the Chinese Flu back to you.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
May 28, 2020 7:13 pm

I have a zero percent chance of dying in either, at least presently.

Anyway, MarkG is correct. In addition, seasonality and its impact on serum vitamin D, demographics and all kinds of other factors need to be taken into account.

In general, islands have fared well because it’s easier for them to isolate with a natural border and fewer points of entry. What will be interesting is what happens when things open fully and Sweden has achieved herd immunity, if that is even possible.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Izaak Walton
May 28, 2020 7:27 pm

the latest study I saw suggested that in Sweden only about 7% have anti-bodies to COVID-19. Which if you combine it with other studies suggesting that you need 70% of the population exposed for herd immunity suggests that things could get 10 times worse in Sweden before it gets better. In contrast the Lancet is reporting promising early results for vaccines so it might well be that Sweden has made the wrong choice and that thousands of people died needlessly.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
May 28, 2020 9:17 pm

“Currently the death toll in NZ is 22. In sweden which has twice the population but no lockdown the death toll is 4266. ”

Death of what?

When you have death statistics that are unreliable as to cause, but ascribed to COVID-19 administratively, and in addition, infection tests and antibody tests of dubious reliability, you end up with a combination of “apples and oranges” AND “garbage in garbage out”.

Reply to  The Dark Lord
May 29, 2020 6:29 am

Slovakia is having zero few last days too, few cases are from quarantine. It is definitely not an island, but borders never closed for goods transport and are now few days open back to selected countries for 48 hours without tests. Incoming people from Covid active must go to mandatory 14 days quarantine. Currently there is option for smart quarantine, where you are at home, but have application on your smartphone watching you. It is of course optional with consent.
Countries which managed defy Coronavirus are opening to each other now. There is no other option, only get rid of Coronavirus to get to club of open countries.
Countries saying how impossible it is will be last to rejoin…

Reply to  Peter
May 29, 2020 7:01 pm

” Currently there is option for smart quarantine, where you are at home, but have application on your smartphone watching you. It is of course optional with consent.”

This is Chinese Big Sister Lite. Later on there will be rewards for the compliant and finally, punishment for the rest…

Ken Irwin
Reply to  Izaak Walton
May 28, 2020 12:34 pm

Until they reopen their borders – then they are back in the same boat as the rest of us.

Lockdowns only delay the inevitable.

The area under the curve is the same (total deaths)

Delaying tactics may save lives by preventing avoidable deaths through triage if the health system is overwhelmed.

Unless New Zealand keeps its borders closed until a vaccine is produced (which may never happen) they will be unable to rejoin the world.

Izaak Walton
Reply to  Ken Irwin
May 28, 2020 12:53 pm

that is an issue. However other countries like Australia are also well on the way to eliminating the virus and there is considerable discussion of allowing free travel between NZ, Australia and various pacific islands by the end of the year. Other travellers are allowed to enter if they agree to a mandatory 2 week quarantine period upon arrival.

But the point on my original post was to point out that it is very simple to “defeat the virus”. All people need to do is stay at home. It has worked in multiple countries.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
May 28, 2020 1:45 pm

“All people need to do is stay at home.”

But multiple studies have shown that home is where most of the spread occurs. Taiwan, I believe, discovered that months ago.

And here in Canada, over 80% of the deaths have been in care homes. Simply keeping the disease out of them would have reduced the deaths by more than a factor of five.

Reply to  Izaak Walton
May 28, 2020 4:58 pm

“But multiple studies have shown that home is where most of the spread occurs. Taiwan, I believe, discovered that months ago.”

err no.

Family transmission in the home is caused by people leaving the home and returning with the virus.

This is why, for example, China removed sick people from their homes and isolated them.

It takes 14 to 20 days to do it right.

1. 1 person is allowed to leave the home twice a week for groceries ( most used deliveries)
2. Delivery people are forced to practice sanitation ( and sign their deliveries)

14-20 days your cases will go to a very low rate.

What does not work is the following.

Lockdown policies that nobody follows.

then you get the daily double: A busted economy AND more sick people

Reply to  Izaak Walton
May 28, 2020 7:31 pm

As a New Zealander … New Zealand is being hailed by many as an example to the rest of the world, which is not really fair. Firstly, we’ve just come out of a long summer, so Vitamin D levels are going to be high within the population. Secondly, flying time from Australia is over 3 hours, and from China is around 12 hours, which provides a bit of a deterrent to sick travellers, and may well have selected for less virulent stains of the virus.

The virus succeeded in infecting 1210 people under the age of 60 – but not one of these died. All deaths came from the 294 who were over 60. The average age of those who died was over 80, with nearly three quarters (16/22) coming from just TWO aged-care facilities. Our latest ‘Covid death’ was a 96-year-old who had actually recovered from Covid. Even though the immediate cause of death was not Covid, she was still included in our Covid death stats!

Quarantining will certainly prevent the spread of transmissible diseases, (I suspect we will have eliminated influenza as well as Covid) but we’ve been kept in the dark concerning the numbers for those who will likely die from the consequences of the lockdown. Our hospitals and doctors were effectively shut down for two months, waiting for the onslaught which never eventuated. We are now left in limbo, waiting for a vaccine that may never come, with an economy in tatters and massive government debt. Time will tell whether our government has served us well or not.

Reply to  Ken Irwin
May 29, 2020 6:40 am

Ken you got it wrong. You are outside of boat. Just work like other countries to get back in.
In Europe countries which managed Coronavirus are opening to each other. Slovakia, Czech Republic, Austria, Germany, Croatia, Slovenia, Estonia. Other will follow. If your country has free Coronavirus circulating, only way to get to those countries will be through 14 days quarantine if you will be allowed to enter at all.

Ken Irwin
Reply to  Peter
May 29, 2020 7:48 am

I wish I was wrong – but this disease is incredibly infectious but has not yet tainted even 0.1% of the world’s population.
The genie is out of the bottle and I’m afraid its just going to flare up again and again until herd immunity stops it.
New Zeeland is welcome to isolate until the situation becomes clearer – but we cannot repeat this lockdown process, the economic desolation will kill more than the disease.
I hope I’m wrong.

Reply to  Peter
May 29, 2020 12:33 pm

Ken, in current situation in Slovakia virus does not have chance. It was erradicated once when country was not prepared, it will be erradicated again with prepared healthcare, testing and processes.
Country is working on almost 100%, maybe with exception of mass actions like sport events or concerts.
This was possible with light restrictions, for example without lockdown. Now country found balance where economy is going and virus is on retreat.
Main point of success was quick reaction. With Coronavirus the later you react, the harder is to recover your country.
But every country must go through it. There is no economy with virus circulating. Countries building herd imunity are the most affected.
For example Sweden which is for now excluded from border opening in Europe.
Genie is out of the bottle, but it can be pushed out. And number of coutries where it is done is increasing. It is better to be in one of them.

Jeffery P
Reply to  Izaak Walton
May 29, 2020 5:58 am

Yet 2/3 of New York state cases happened after the lockdown started.

Perhaps there is more to the story?

Reply to  Bob Johnston
May 28, 2020 3:59 pm

Cliff has the cart in front of his horse in my opinion.

Q. What is the test for?
A. The test is for a virulent and deadly virus.

Q. What would be indicative of such a pandemic?
A. People getting sick and dying. This would be the most obvious indicator of a pandemic.

Q. Why then is Cliff upset the Washington State has adhered to a regime of testing and reporting both positive, negative and inconclusive of those presenting with Flu like symptoms.
These results show the COVID-19 did not exceed ~ %10 of those presenting and has been decreasing since the 24th of March.
Did this not fit the narrative of a Pandemic?
A. No these results completely destroy the narrative as does the empty hospitals.

There is going to be more people reaching the death zone as the Baby Boomers arrive as do people who are living with diabetes, obesity and loneliness. Living in the neglect of increasingly bureaucratic welfare systems will be fatal.
More testing will find more viral infections, a symptom not the cause.
Will that stop people dying of neglect?
I do not believe so.

May 28, 2020 8:11 am

Bob Johnston is on the right track. The way to herd immunity is through fairly rapid infection of the populace. Since this virus can mutate quickly, if you drag out the time, the folks that developed immunity first may not be immune to the version that is going around 6-18 months later. A vaccine would have the same issue, if you don’t vaccinate everyone near simultaneously, the virus will have changed before it runs out of hosts. We might be better off with a mandatory 6 months of hydroxychloroquine, zinc, Mg, vitamin D, and vitamin C regimen for all our at risk citizens. (not that I favor that, but better than cowering in our homes)

Reply to  John_C
May 28, 2020 11:27 am

“This virus can mutate quickly.” Is it an assumption, or a proven fact?

John Bell
May 28, 2020 8:13 am

I do not know what they hope to achieve by all this testing, it will not defeat the virus. And even if you could test everybody every day – so what? It is no cure, but it would show how bad the models are. I think testing is over rated.

Reply to  John Bell
May 28, 2020 11:55 am

I would be loathe to use Oregon as an example. The gov’t policy is that if you identify as black or are black or Latino you get pushed ahead of whites and Asians for testing. So, Rachel Dosual(sp?) Gets tested before an Asian female? On what planet is that based on science?

May 28, 2020 8:32 am

Testing will work for protecting vulnerable populations. For example I live in a community where they’ve tested 900+ people w/ 4 positives, so people don’t need to be as cautious as you might in a hot spot. A jump in cases would signal vulnerable people to not go out.
I’m 59 with asthma. I’ve kept working and going about my business but when it gets here I’ll stay home for a while.
Our local news publishes up to date testing results daily.

Reply to  Grant
May 29, 2020 12:18 am

Your community is a sitting duck if you are not testing for Ebola. Not so long ago the experts were asking for sacrifice to ward of evil spirits and guarantee a bumper crop. Same guys.

I would suggest getting on with your life and using your preventative.

May 28, 2020 8:51 am

So much time is spent on talking about testing and death rates. Where is the talk and hard numbers on treatment plans. When I was young I had Polio. The only reason I am able to live a normal life is that my doctor used a treatment plan that was very successful. Yes it took me many years of rehab but the treatment plan worked. Why are the treatment plans so obscured as they are the only current hope. Proper treatment plans really save lives. Lockdowns and isolation only slow the spread.

Reply to  Terry Bixler
May 28, 2020 9:12 am

“Where is the talk and hard numbers on treatment plans.”

There’s no power to be grabbed with treatment plans. Hence the rabid reaction to any drug which shows it can treat the disease.

At least, any drug that Big Pharma can’t charge thousands of dollars for.

Reply to  MarkG
May 28, 2020 6:45 pm

My impression is that it is popular to talk about lockdowns and testing. It is what is in the media. But the reality is there is no vaccine and Doctors have to treat patients. Opinions seem to differ on treatment plans and indeed deaths are directly involved with treatment plans. If you get the virus you can hope that your doctor is well informed and has picked the proper treatment plan.

Roger Welsh
May 28, 2020 9:10 am

As has been pointed out, the common cold has yet to achieve “vaccine” status. 20% are caused by a corona virus.

There is nothing new under the Sun, only surprises and political twisting.

The flu season comes and goes every year!

May 28, 2020 9:12 am

Contact tracing is joke at this point. For a whole list of reasons it is simply a waste or resources and leads to unnecessary fear mongering. Strictly the fear-mongering facet is probably why its being pursued.

– This is a highly transmissible, aerosolized respiratory 100 nm diameter virus lofted by sub-micron aerosols that linger in the air of closed spaces for hours.
– As such aersols linger in the air, non-contact casual transmission is not only possible, likely in public.
– the virus can setttle onto on surfaces, remain viable for hours until someone handles the fomite, and then transfer the virus to the nose or eyes.
– Most cloth Masks filter 1-5 micron and larger size particles at best. Specialized masks such as N-95’s and surgical masks with 0.3 micron filter material inserts will stop bacterial-laden particles, but not the aerosols holding viruses. If you can smell cigarette smoke through your mask, sub-micron smoke particles and aerosols are penetrating it easily.
– The way most cloth maks are now used by the general public, and the fact most a simply pieces of common cloth with no 0.3 micron filter material in them, plus they are simply handled and handled and handled and reused, makes masks a largely ineffective tool in the general public against this virus.
– The vulnerable should follow good mask hygiene though out in public, such as wearing new surgical masks every day, avoiding contact with the outside of the mask, avoid fiddling with it once in place in public.

– On the pyschology side of contact tracing, many people are going to be potentially exposed under contact tracing, such as waiters, store clerks/cashiers, hair stylists, barbers. How do they really expect a person who has been out of work for 2 months, to then be told that they were contact trced, potentially exposed, and now must self-quarantine for 2 weeks? Then it could happen again. and again, until a vaccine becomes available.

Contact tracing is thus abad joke on the people and very poor public policy at this stage of a wide-spread epidemic, with a virus that doesn’t need direct contact, or even close contact..

Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 29, 2020 6:50 am

Slovakia fought off Coronavirus by exactly:
Contact tracing,
Face masks however crude for all,
Disinfection of hands in shops,
14 days quarantine for all coming from abroad (home, state, electronic)

Currently there is zero new cases in country, new cases are from quarantine. Life is back into normal with some hygienic rules.
All your points are wrong.

J Mac
May 28, 2020 9:21 am

Washington state lacks a rational Chinese virus response because Washington state does not have a rational Governor or administration. Gov. Jay Inslee is a low science, climate change zealot, completely out of his depth with the demands of our current reality. The Washington state ‘Employment Security Department’ was just bilked of $500,000,000 in fraudulent unemployment claims because Inslee’s appointment, ESD commissioner Suzy LeVine, is as ill prepared for the job as Jay Inslee is. Suzy received the appointment as political payback for being a ‘rain maker’ and bundler of money that feeds the Washington state democrat party candidates and Jay Inslee, in particular. *Face Palm!* Inslee’s response? “What? Me worry?” Next thing, he will allege it is somehow President Trump’s fault.

Washington state is going back to work and telling japing Jay Inslee in no uncertain terms to ‘Go Pound Sand’! That applies equally well to Cliff Mass and anyone else suggesting we should follow the similarly inept dictatorial measures being applied in Oregon.

Reply to  J Mac
May 28, 2020 10:05 am

Gov Inslee has consistently demonstrated his lack of science aptitude. But he is in large company with folks like Obama, also very ignorant of science. So ignorant that they simply let pseudoscientists, masquerading a scientists (i,.e Mann, Dessler, Hayhoe, Overpeck, Schmidt, Santer, et al) with environmental-socialist ideological agendas turn the real science of climate stability and CO-2 forcing into the climate scam.

J Mac
Reply to  Joel O'Bryan
May 28, 2020 10:32 am


Bar Code
May 28, 2020 9:38 am

Washington State DOH does not know how many patients are being tested. Our local private lab tests about 1000 patients a day for SARS-COV-2, but in mid-March was told to stop reporting negative tests to DOH — the DOH software apparently couldn’t keep track of that many patients. I suspect they were using Excel, one row per patient, and ran out of rows. The DOH public site shows a number for negative tests, but it is obviously incorrect. Other figures derived from “total tests” are likewise incorrect.
BTW, I’m not impressed with Ohio testing 1,200 “random” individuals out of a population of 12 million. Unless the incidence of the disease is very high, I would not consider the statistics to be valid.

Reply to  Bar Code
May 28, 2020 5:39 pm

As a WA state resident, for now, I’m wondering how much of the $200Million+ might have been spent on better Covid response instead of sending it to Nigerian scammers. (referring to the unemployment claims that were fraudulent and paid to Nigerian scammers (yes, really) for unemployment claims).

Reply to  Bar Code
May 28, 2020 5:49 pm

WA state does not know where it’s money is being spent either – see the $200+ million unemployment claims sent out of state mistakenly.

That money might have been better spent on more effective response to the virus.

May 28, 2020 11:32 am

In Arizona as of May 28:

Age Cases Deaths % of Cases
65 3,637 670 18.42%

All Ages 17,753 857 4.83%

6.2% of tested report positive or serology positive for COVID-19

Older population especially in care facilities is the major group facing death. In AZ, it is 17x as likely.

Data taken and interpreted from

Ed Patterson of Mesa, AZ

Reply to  Edward Patterson
May 29, 2020 8:59 am

Sorry about the above being messed up. Lines missing ( 4 age groups).

I did a follow up post yesterday and it never posted.

Ed Patterson of Mesa, AZ

May 28, 2020 12:19 pm

The State of Oregon “testing program” is so ill conceived that it is worse than a complete waste of money and time.

It is only a way to spend money & try to prove that the virus is as bad as touted.

In Oregon “A request for volunteers will go out mid-May. When any of the 100,000 volunteers develop COVID-19 symptoms, they will be tested.”

To date 3,950 people have tested positive in Oregon; another 100 have officially & simply been assumed positive. 116,000 have been tested (and we only allowed tor testing of symptomatic people).

So, based on the recent trend of 2.7% of the population being tested (because they showed symptoms) over the last few months it will roughly take another 84 months to get a simple majority of the “randomly selected” 100,000 folks tested (based solely on being symptomatic).

I know that Kate Brown is too stupid to understand what a waste this program will be (she is also about as biased as a person can be, so maybe the intent is that funding will be directed toward her friendlies), but the health department folks recommending this program as something that will give an informational return need to be fired.

Based on the existing stats in Oregon 1 out of a 1,000 has been confirmed or assumed to be positive. 1 out of 30,000 has died. So, to be very scary (based on the limited/crappy existing data) … 1 in 30 that are symptomatic AND test positive will die (so don’t get tested, your odds go up:)).

May 28, 2020 12:22 pm

… and this is relevant to a climate blog because …?

climatology is not epidemiology.

Please, stick to the topic.

Sceptical lefty
Reply to  chris
May 28, 2020 10:39 pm

I think that you’re correct and I sympathise — really!
But that horse bolted a long time ago.

May 28, 2020 12:25 pm

Warning:This is a post from someone ignorant of microbiology, and I have a question that some might find childishly , perhaps insultingly, naive.
The media have been giving estimates of how long this SARS -COV 2 virus “lives” on different surfaces , a period from a few hours to days apparently .
Now what do they mean by a virus “life” – is it the period when it is biologically active, after which it “dies”? How can a ball of protein and nucleic acid, probably held together with some H – bonding water be said to “die” or become inactive. I can understand medium or short wave UV affecting its chemical composition because it does that to most organic materials, over a long enough period of time . But a virus particle on door handle in a house? What “kills” it then?
Inspired by watching an ad for an “odour molecule destroying” air freshener, presumably not destructive of nasal passages, I wondered whether one could “kill ” the virus particles in the atmosphere with a suitable puffer.
Of course I could Wiki this (and did) but it’s more fun asking questions here to see the debate that ensues (if it does ). Anyway Wiki could not answer my question in fact , but as a sort of compensation it did offer the following interesting bit of info on marine viruses. Apparently they control algal blooms and:
-“Their effects are far-reaching; by increasing the amount of respiration in the oceans, viruses are indirectly responsible for reducing the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by approximately 3 gigatonnes of carbon per year.[100] “-
The solution to AGW? Since the people at Wuhan seem hell bent on pursuing their obsession with viruses , direct their attention to marine “super viruses” which will take even more CO2 out of the atmosphere.

Reply to  mikewaite
May 28, 2020 7:27 pm

It sounds like you actually have done your research and know quite a lot.

Anyway, live just means it’s still capable of infection. There are all kinds of means to destroy a virus’s viability. Sunlight is great. Many oxidants are used as air fresheners and most would “kill” viruses. A big challenge is that it doesn’t take much to cause infection and hardly anything is more than 99% effective.

We still don’t know a lot about SARS-CoV-2.

TG McCoy
May 28, 2020 12:41 pm

Until we can get results of antibody testing we really don’t know who has actually have had the Virus..

Reply to  TG McCoy
May 28, 2020 2:49 pm

A new study by French researchers, in partnership with the Pasteur Institute, has shown that mild cases of Covid-19 produce antibodies whose neutralising effect increases in the weeks following infection. Further research is however required to determine how long the neutralising effect lasts.

May 28, 2020 12:48 pm

As an Oregonian I’ve had 0 people ask me to volunteer for a COVID test, that also goes for family/friends/co-workers. So where are these 100k coming from? I’m guessing someone is getting a kick back for donating to her last campaign as she’s been known to do.

Outside of that, Cliff Mass should not compare Oregon to Washington COVID testing. Currently Washington has tested ~335k people vs. Oregon’s 119k. Toss another 100K in there for Oregon and we still fall below Washington. FYI, those are official state numbers that I just looked up as I was curioius.

Roger Knights
May 28, 2020 3:16 pm

Here’s an extract from an article out today:

As Lockdowns Are Lifted, Is the COVID-19 Reproductive Number Rising or Falling?
Two models generate strikingly different estimates.
Jacob Sullum5.28.2020 3:10 PM

the Gu model’s projections “are considerably less optimistic” than the projections from other widely cited models. Historically, Gu notes, his model’s COVID-19 death projections have matched the actual fatalities counted by the Johns Hopkins Coronavirus Resource Center much better than the model used by the University of Washington’s Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME). On May 2, for instance, the Gu model predicted 101,950 deaths in the United States by today, compared to the IHME projection (since revised) of 71,918. The current Johns Hopkins tally is 100,415.

The Gu model predicted that the death toll would reach 100,000 by May 25, and that happened just a couple of days later. It is now projecting more than 200,000 deaths by August 28. A projection by the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, leaked to the press early this month, predicted that mark would be reached by June 1, which thankfully has proven to be excessively pessimistic. But if history is any guide, the IHME projections err in the opposite direction. They currently go only as far as August 4, when the predicted death toll is about 132,000, compared to more than 173,000 in the Gu model.

Since the Gu model’s death projections incorporate its estimate of the reproductive number, it seems to have a pretty good handle on the latter, which suggests it is closer to the mark than the University of Utah model. Nationally, the Gu model shows the reproductive number falling from 2.26 on February 5 to a low of 0.91 on April 11, then beginning to rise on April 28 and reaching 1.02 today.

May 28, 2020 4:46 pm

“Our state leadership is throwing away a tremendous opportunity to defeat the virus. If appears that random testing of a population is a powerful tool for keeping diseases like COVID-19 in check. Several papers have shown exactly how this can be done. One samples a few tenths of a percent of the population each day. Such testing provide a good idea of the trend in infection. But even more important, you can catch asymptomatically infectious folks and take them out of circulation. If you have the resources, you can trace their contacts and test them as well. Slowly, but surely you defeat the virus by quarantining the infected.”

there is no evidence that random diagnostic testing of the population will work.



there is evidence that FOCUSED non random testing does work.

1. A symptomatic person shows up for test, test positive.
2. test their family, test their friends, test their co workers.
3. If they have attended a large event ( wedding, gym work out, night club), test those as well.

You cant find asymptomatics by random DIAGNOSTIC testing. They get the disease and resolve.
Its like try to find a moving needing in a haystack.

You can find them by Serological testing.

That said, ONLY TESTING the symptomatic is about as dumb as random testing

Mike Maguire
May 28, 2020 7:53 pm

Agree strongly with Steven.

Effective contact tracing is our best bet at breaking the transmission chain. When somebody is identified with the virus………because they have symptoms.

THEN you do an intensive interview(s) with that person by trained individuals to target everybody that had an encounter with that person that potentially exposed them to the virus and you do it immediately.
Testing and providing support systems for self isolation and self quarantine is essential.


Focus most of your resources where they will pay dividends…….on the REAL cases and all those that were potentially exposed in their world. Then provide support for those potential spreaders to minimize their interactions with others for 2 weeks or whatever the appropriate period of time is(when they test negative, for instance).

With almost half of the deaths occurring at nursing homes and assisted living facilities, draconian measures should remain in force at these facilities the longest, depending on each local and how this evolves.
Widespread testing of everybody, including workers at these facilities would actually make good sense because stumbling on 1 asymptomatic person that interacts in this environment and getting them out of there immediately can pay 50 times the potential dividends in human lives saved vs discovering that an 18 year had it.
Maybe the younger person will be around more people and potentially spread it to more people but if we are going to do random testing of non sick people, concentrate on those that will potentially spread it to the most vulnerable.

May 29, 2020 9:14 pm

Check out TestIowa, where they ramped up testing by 800% in one month, tested 2.8% of their population last month, and just opened up testing for anyone who wants a test.

Since the system was opened up to all there has been a rush to fill all available appointments, and it has become politicized by the liberal resistance who want the Republican Governor to fail, but most objective reviews seem to be positive.

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